The Quran's level of incoherence has left thousands of the most prominent Quranic commentators from the past 14 centuries grappling to comprehend it, yet they have been unable to fully do so.
One of the reasons for this confusion is the presence of verses revealed during the Meccan period within the Medinan Surahs, and vice versa. This intermingling makes it incredibly challenging for an ordinary person to discern which incident each verse refers to.
The disorderliness is not confined to the arrangement of Surahs alone; it extends even within individual verses. For instance, a single verse might begin discussing one event, then abruptly shift to another event that occurred years later, only to circle back and address the initial event in its third part. This internal disarray adds to the difficulty of comprehending the Quran's intended message (if it really has any).
Look at this verse from the Quran:
(Quran 5:3) (1st part of the verse about the event 1) Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression (2nd part of the verse about the event 2, which happened many years later) This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; (3rd part of the verse, which again starts talking about the event 1) but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
All Quranic commentators unanimously agree that this particular verse presents a unique case of discontinuity:
- The first part of the verse pertains to Haram (prohibited) foods and was revealed during the 6th Hijri year, specifically during the Pact of Hudaybiyyah.
- However, the 2nd (middle) part of the same verse unexpectedly shifts the topic to the "Perfection of Religion." This portion of the verse was revealed at a completely different time in the 10th Hijri year, approximately 81 days prior to the death of Muhammad. Interestingly, this section has no apparent connection to the preceding part of the verse.
- Finally, the 3rd and last part of the verse (or sentence) circles back to address the initial incident concerning Haram foods. This part was also revealed during the event of the Pact of Hudaybiyyah in the 6th Hijri year.
Maulana Modoodi wrote in his commentary of the Quran under this verse:
“According to authentic traditions, this 2nd part of the verse (about the perfection of religion) was revealed at the time of “Last Sermon” in the 10th Hijri year. But the initial part of the verse was about the Pact of Hudaybiyyah (which happened in the 6th Hijri year).
Maulana Taqi Uthmani wrote in his commentary of the Quran under this verse:
Some Jews said to Umar Ibn Khattab, had this verse “This day have I perfected for you your religion” revealed upon them, then they would have taken it as a day of Eid (celebration). Upon that Umar told the Jews that they didn't know that two Eids of Muslims were combined on this day. This verse was revealed in the 10 th Hijri year at the incident of "Last Sermon" at the place of "Urfa" at the time of "Asr Prayer". There were 40 thousand companions with prophet Muhammad. And the holy prophet remained alive for 81 days after this incident.
Is there any other book besides the Quran that exhibits such a high level of incoherence?
Undoubtedly, even the Bible contains instances of incoherence, but it still surpasses the Quran in terms of clarity and comprehensibility. A regular person can read the Bible and understand it to a considerable extent. However, this is not the case with the Quran, as it remains profoundly challenging for an ordinary individual to grasp, despite the Quran's claims and the assertions of Muslims that Allah designed it to be easily understood.
The most remarkable miracle, in fact, lies in how billions of Muslims can consider such an incoherent book like the Quran to be a divine miracle.
Question: Why don't Muslims perceive these problems with the Quran?
Response: Consider the phenomenon of conformity seen in experiments, where a newcomer adopts the behavior of a group without necessarily understanding the reasons behind it. For instance, if the entire group starts clapping, the newcomer also begins clapping without any specific reason.
It is known as the Asch conformity experiment. People may follow the wrong trend just to keep up with a group.
External Link: The Truth About the Quran | Harvard Professor Shady Nasser