The Scientific Miracle Scam

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How many times have you heard the favourite Muslim line: “There are scientific miracles in the Quran”? Let me give you a background story.

For decades, the Islamic world accepted they were far behind in the sciences unlike the West. Then came along a “hero” to the Arabs: Maurice Bucaille (1920-1998), a French physician of then king Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

He published a book in 1976, The Bible, Quran and Science. In it, he attacked the inspiration of the Bible and cited several areas where the Quran allegedly agreed with modern science – proofs that the Quran is divine.

The book paid off and Dr. Bucaille went laughing to the bank. Since then, Muslims have found a sanctuary in his theory.

I’m sure if Dr Bucaille had been an African, the Arabs wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. But once a westerner (Caucasian) writes just a sentence in favour of Islam, it must make headlines.

After Dr. Bucaille’s lofty appraisal of the Quran, he still didn’t convert to Islam. He remained a devoted Roman Catholic till death. Why? If he really believed that the Quran agrees with modern science and read in it that all infidels will roast in Hell, why didn’t he convert to Islam? You see, it was all for the oil money.

Today, “Bucailleism” – the idea that there are scientific miracles in the Quran – is a main topic of Islamic dawah books and videos. Muslim youths sing Bucaille’s arguments like a national anthem. But not all Muslims are excited with such buffs.

Respected Muslim scholars like Maulana Ashraf Ali and Nomanul Haq have opposed “bucalleism.” Pakistani Nobel Laureate Physicist, Dr Abdus Salam has countered:

“There is no such thing as Islamic science, nor Jewish science, Hindu science … nor Christian science.”

Come to think of it, if the Quran is so “scientific,” how come it doesn’t explain nuclear physics, quantum mechanics or molecular genetics?

Why did all the great scientific discoveries of antibiotics, steam turbines, aircraft, electricity or computers come from the “infidel” Westerners instead of the turbaned sheikhs?

Why is the Islamic world more eager to make bombs than vaccines? Even the term “scientific miracles” is a paradox. Sciences are not miracles and miracles are not scientific. It’s as inane as saying “elastic glass.”

In his debate with Dr.  William Campbell, Dr. Zakir Naik said:

In the olden days, it was the age of miracles, the Quran was a miracle of miracles. Then in the age of literature and poetry, it was a masterpiece. Now we are in the age of science and technology.”

This drivel reminds me of junk food – it fills you up but lacks wholesome nutrition. The Quran didn’t exist until the 7th century AD, so when was the time-frame of this “age of miracles?” Of course, Islamic miracles have long ceased, since they were either tales made up by Muhammad or his followers.

Now, if the Quran was ever a “masterpiece” of literature and poetry, I can assure you that all non-Muslims would have converted to Islam, but they haven’t. In fact, the Quran is a badly written book plagued with many factual errors. This is why bucailleism is such a risky business; it exposes the Quran to scientific scrutiny.

Dr. Naik continues:

“The Glorious Quran is not a book of science, its a book of signs. And there are more than 6,000 signs in the Quran of which more than a thousand speak about science.”

These are word games. Signs are not “sciences,” they are supernatural feats while Science can be empirically tested and repeated. More than “a thousand sciences” in the Quran? This man is a politician. He should apply for the Indian cabinet.

Let’s check out some of these Quranic “scientific miracles”:

1. The Big Bang

It is said that the Quran describes the ‘big bang’ theory in which one primary nebula separated with a big bang giving rise to galaxies.

This is often laced with Sura 21:30: “Do not the unbelievers see? That the heavens and earth were joined together and we clove them asunder.”

Muslims really need to read up about the Big Bang. This theory stipulates that about 13.7 billion years ago, a tremendous explosion started the universe.

Prior to this event, all the energy that transformed the matter was contained at one infinitely small point (not a nebula!) The explosion purportedly resulted into particles that gave rise to matter as well as space and time.

Since the galaxies were not all clumped together, the idea of heavens and earth “being separated” as the Quran says is nonsense.

In their fervour (or rather ignorance) to find science in the Quran, the scientific miracle fans overlook the fact that the big bang theory excludes creationism which the Quran teaches.

Big bang is a theory, not a scientific fact. If it’s true, then the story of God creating the earth or Adam and Eve is false. Only atheists believe in the big bang. Muslims can’t have it both ways.

Besides that verse used as “proof” contradicts another one which says: “Moreover he comprehended in his design the sky and it had been (as) smoke. He said to it and the earth ‘Come ye together willingly or unwillingly…” (Sura 41:11)

In Sura 21:30, Allah is separating the heavens and the earth but in Sura 41:11, he is joining them together. Two opposite versions of the same creation event! How can such a contradiction come from God?

It’s even amusing that the Quran claims heaven was a smoke.

II. Egg-Shaped Earth?

Muslims claim that the Quran foretold the shape of the earth centuries before modern science. They quote sura 79:30 “He made the earth egg-shaped.”

The trick here is, the Quranic version quoted was by Rashad Khalifa (a man denounced as a cultist by majority Muslims). All other versions read differently:

“He spread out the earth” (Pickthall)
“He extended the earth” (Ali);
“He spread the earth (Hilali-Khan)
“He spread forth the earth” (Sher Ali)
“He stretch out the earth” (Palmer)

Far from accurately telling us the shape of the earth, this verse is actually teaching a flat earth. The Arabic word translated as “spread out” is dahaha and all Arabic dictionaries define it as a flat bed prepared by an ostrich to lay its eggs on.

Sly Muslim scholars latch on to the word “egg” and insist that the word means egg-shaped. No, the earth is geoid, not “egg shaped.”

In Muhammad’s time the earth was erroneously believed to be flat and that was exactly how he described the earth in the Quran:

“And He it is who hath outstretched [Madda] the earth and place on it the firm mountain.” (13:3)

“And the earth we spread out [Madadnaha]” (15:19)

“(Yea, the same that) has made for you the earth (like a carpet) spread out [Mahdan].” (43:10)

The Arabic words Madda, Madadnaha and Mahdan all mean flat. This was why a Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, once dogmatically declared that the earth was flat. This is a shameful error, not a scientific miracle.

III. Human Embryology

This is perhaps the most “selling point” of Bucailleism. A Muslim guy wrote to me:

“Do you know that in Quran the creation of man in the womb of the mother was perfectly described? Right from his stage as a clot of blood. How could Muhammad have known this 1400 years ago when there was not technological advancement? Except it comes from the Creator. Muhammad could not have known that because we both know he was not a reader.”

This is their typical peroration. Once you refute this line, the Quran’s author is shown to be not the Creator, but a very ignorant fellow. The Quran describes its “embryology” thus:

Sura 40:67 “He it is who created you from dust, then from a sperm drop, then from a leech like clot- ‘alaqa.’ Then brings you forth as a child that perhaps you may understand.”

Sura 23:12-14 “Verily We created man from a product of wet earth. Then We placed him as a drop in a safe lodging. Then We fashioned the drop a clot (‘alaqa, something sticky) and of the clot (‘alaqa), We fashioned a chewed lump, and of the chewed lump We fashioned bones and We clothed the bones (with) meat. Then We produced it as another creation…”

We can lay it out as: Sperm (Nufta) → Clot (Alaqa) → lump of meat (Mudgha) →Bones (Azaam) →bones clothed up with muscles.

There is nothing here that “perfectly describes” human embryology. Any Medical or Biology textbook would describe it far better than the above, yet that doesn’t make these textbooks divine.

In the same vein, even if the Quran’s embryology was “perfectly described” that still will not prove that it’s divinely inspired. Even Satan can describe such stuff easily. Moreover, there are several pitfalls in this embryology:

a) Muhammad confused the creation of man in Eden from dust with the growth of a baby in the womb. This is an error. Adam wasn’t made from a semen and semen do not come from the “dust.”

b) Nowhere does the Quran speak of the ovum which the sperm fertilizes to become a zygote as modern science proves.

No self-respecting elementary science student will make a blunder of saying semen develop into a baby without the egg. The Arabic word “nufta amshaj” means “thickened or mingled” and not “zygote” as some Muslims try to say. The Quran goofed.

c) At no point does the human embryo becomes a “clot of blood” unless there is a miscarriage, in which case the foetus is dead.

Clumps of blood clot do not grow into babies. Muhammad’s wives must have experienced miscarriages so he thought that blood clots grow in the womb as the foetus. It was the thinking of his time.

Dr. Bucaille, in order to sustain his theory, resorted to word games. He claims the Arabic word “alaqa” means “something which clings” that the blood clot clings to the womb. That is nonsense.

In major English translations of the Quran the word “alaqa” is rendered as: “leech-like clot” (Ali), “clotted blood” (Sher Ali), “clots of blood” (Rodwell) or “a clot” (Hilali-Khan).

It’s even strange how Muslim leaders would allow an “infidel” Westerner to be a valid interpreter of the Quran as if there are shortages of Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia. But you know, rules have to be set aside if a white man is going to market Islam.

d) At no point does the embryo becomes a bony skeleton waiting to be clothed with flesh.

Dr. Keith Moore, another westerner who wanted some oil money wrote to appease the Muslims in 1981 that the Quran’s embryology is accurate, yet he was careful enough not to get ousted from the Medical community by making darn remarks.

In his book, The Developing Human, he explained that the embryo’s skeletal system develops from the mesoderm. The cartilage which looks like bones is formed with muscles around it. As Calcium deposits on the cartilage, bones are formed. (Chapters 15-17) Contrary to the Quran, muscles are formed first before bones.

The Langman’s Medical Embryology states that at the 8th week of fertilization, the ribs become cartilaginous – not bony – and muscles are present.

The author of the Quran thought embryos were made like animal statues where sticks are first arranged as support and mud is used to cover them up.

e) Centuries before Muhammad was born, the Quranic ideas of embryology (babies being formed from semen and blood clots) were already known.

This very idea is found in a Hindu Text, Garbha Upinandas dating back to 1416 BC. Hippocrates (460-370), the father of Western Medicine wrote about the same idea in his works.

Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC) described embryology based on the limited knowledge of his time.

Claudius Galenus (129-210 AD) too wrote the very same ideas.

So what’s new about what Muhammad said? If his claims were already known before his time, he didn’t need to be a prophet to know them.

IV. Oceanography

It is said that the Quran agrees with modern oceanography which states that when two types of water flow into one another, a slanting area is formed or an “unseen barrier.” This is supported by quoting Sura 25:53

“It is Allah who let free two flowing bodies of water – one sweet and palatable, the other salt and bitter. Though they meet, they do not mix. Between them is a barrier which is forbidden to be trespassed.”

There are no “invisible barriers which is forbidden to be trespassed” between two waters. No science textbook makes such a claim. Waters do not mix immediately because of differences in temperature and density, but they do eventually.

Muhammad being a superstitious man thought there was an invisible barrier between such waters. His modern followers are no different, in spite of their academic titles.

V. Mountains and the Sinking Sun

We are told that the Quran agrees with the modern theory of plate tectonics which says that mountains work as stabilizers and act as support for the earth. Sura 16:15 “And He has thrown onto the earth mountains lest it shake with you.”

This is nonsense. Mountains do not stabilise the earth. They actually result from the movements and instability of the tectonic plates. Another ridiculous verse is:

“Have We not made the earth a bed? And the mountains as pegs?” (Sura 78:7). This a cave man thinking. The earth is geoid, not flat.

Muhammad being an illiterate thought the mountains are just like the pegs the old Arabs inserted into the ground to support their tents.

As if these are not bad enough, Sura 18:86 says Dhul Qarnain travelled “until he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water.”

Muhammad thought the earth was flat and once the sun “sinks into a murky stream” sunset came about! How can such a stupid statement come from God?

When I was a boy, there was a bedtime story we used to read. It’s a story about a village of fools who saw the moon’s reflection in their stream for the first time, felt the moon must have fallen into it. So all the villagers – both young and old – came out with nets, boats, rakes, buckets and surrounded the stream to pull the moon out of it.

Today, the Quran has made a village of fools out of many Muslims. We can still pardon the ignorant 7th century Arabs who fell prey to Muhammad’s lies, but how can we pardon the educated Muslims in this 21st century who still want to be fooled?

There seems to be a beam of cloud that blocks the mind of Muslims who promote the “scientific miracle” scam. The longer it stays, the more fame and wealth their leaders get.

There are no miracles in the Quran. The only miracle is the willingness of people to be fooled.

Can Keeping the Law Save?

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One of the key differences between True Christianity and world religions and cults is the basis of man’s salvation.

While Bible Christianity teaches that only God saves man, false religions teach that man save himself by good works. One Muslim author wrote:

As against the teaching of the Master (Jesus), that salvation comes only through keeping the commandments (Matthew 19:16-17), Paul nails the law and the commandments to the cross (Colossians 2:14) and claims that salvation can only be obtained by the death and resurrection of Christ.”

This Matthew 19:16-17 is one of the most common Bible texts used to support the teaching of salvation by law.

It’s argued that when the young ruler came to Jesus and asked Him how He could be saved, Jesus told him to “observe the law” (Mk. 10:19-20, Mt. 19:18-20). But apostle Paul says that a person is saved by faith in Jesus (Rom. 3:21:28, Gal. 2:16).

Some even reach a bizarre conclusion: Christians are following apostle Paul, not Jesus.

Selective presentation of facts does not help – regardless of which side one is on – but rather damages one’s cause.

For instance, in the proceeding verses of Matthew 19:17 (which is never included), though the young ruler admits he obeys the Law, Jesus told him he still lacks something, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor…then come, follow me” (v. 21).

By God’s standard, he still wasn’t perfect even though he kept the Law. He could only attain that by following Christ wholeheartedly. Perfection doesn’t come by keeping the Law it comes by faith in Christ.

When one takes the New Testament as a whole, rather than getting caught up with isolated texts, this truth about salvation clearly unfolds.

In Matthew 19, Jesus listed 6 out of the 10 commandments which govern one’s relationship with others – which he kept – but not the first four which deal with one’s devotion to God where he was sorely lacking.

The problem of that rich man was that his love of money surpassed his love for God. Hence, it is implied that his following Christ was the same as his keeping the first four commandments.

In Mark 10:29-30, Jesus assured that as many as have left all they had “for Me and the gospel” will receive “eternal life.” He didn’t say it’s by observing the law that they will qualify for it.

Jesus is revealed as the One who “shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21) and He had the power to forgive men’s sins (Luke 7:48-50). Certainly, He is more than a Prophet; He is the Saviour.

He says that “whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life … Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:15-18).

When the people came to Him and asked “What must we do to do the works God requires?” He replied “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29).

He said “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life…” (v. 40)

The case of the penitent thief at the cross also refutes the salvation by law. First, he saw himself as a sinner under condemnation: “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.”

Second, he saw Jesus as being more than a prophet or a mere man but as the Lord who had a kingdom and could decide his judgement: “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

And Jesus said to him “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:41-43). Salvation is not received by keeping the Law, but by faith in Christ and His finished work.

Another Bible text misused is Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil it.”

Some Christian legalists have jumped on this verse and run off with it saying, “Yes, Jesus said we must fulfil the law!”

They are reading their preconceived ideas into this text rather than letting it speak for itself. A Bible scholar explains that:

“In Matthew 5:17-18 Christ affirmed that not the smallest letter or stroke would pass from the law until it would be fulfilled. In verse 17 He referred to the law or the prophets, a common phrase designating the entire Old Testament. In this rather strong statement, Jesus affirmed the inviolability of the entire Old Testament and thereby affirmed the inspiration of the entire Old Testament” (Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Moody Press, 2008, 164).

The proceeding verse says:

Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19)

By “these commandments” Jesus was referring to the ones He gave from verses 21-48 on to chapter 6, not Old Testament laws.

In this passage, Jesus was correcting the misinterpretations of the Law by the religious teachers. He wasn’t correcting what “You have read” but rather what “You have heard.” Big difference.

The Greek word translated as “fulfil” is plero, and it means to satisfy, expire, and to end by fulfilling like when prophecies are fulfilled.

Every jot and tittle of the whole law or contract at Sinai was fulfilled, ended, and abolished in Christ and “done away” by Him when He made the new contract/covenant with His blood (2 Cor. 3:6-15, Gal. 3:19-25, Heb. 7:11).

“But Jesus observed the Jewish Law,” someone may argue Yes, He did.

We are told that “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). Jesus was born a Jew in the flesh and was under the Jewish Law. But after His death, that Law contract was taken away (Col. 2:13-14).

What the Bible means by Jesus fulfilling the Law can be understood by this example.

When you want to build a house, you can get a building contractor based on a contract. The builder fulfills that contract, not by doing away with the it, but by finishing the structure as required by the contract. And once the work has been completed to the client’s satisfaction, the contract is fulfilled and the builder is no longer bound by it.

Likewise, Jesus didn’t come to rip up the Law but fulfilled it by keeping it perfectly. Once it is fulfilled by Christ, the law contract is no longer binding on God’s people.

Christians are now under a new law called “the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2) or “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2). The former law covenant given through Moses to the nation of Israel came to an end when Jesus’ death fulfilled it. Therefore, “we have been discharged from the law” (Romans 7:6).

“Does this mean that Christians are not under any sort of law?” No. There are also laws given in the New Testament directed to Christians. For example, Jesus emphasised two laws which sums up the ten commandments – love of God and love of neighbour (Mt. 22:36-40).

Some OT laws no longer apply to Christians (such as sabbath keeping) while some commands were reaffirmed.

This is similar to when a nation changes its constitution. Once the new constitution is legally in place, people are no longer required to obey the former one, even if some old laws are repeated in the new.

So nationality would need to study the new constitution carefully to see what laws now apply. Unlike the old laws which operated from the outside, now when people trust in Christ and become saved, they are empowered by God’s Spirit and transformed by His grace from within to obey the commands as defined and interpreted by the New Testament.

Why Can’t the Law Save Us?

1. Man being basically evil can’t really keep the law. “Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law” (John 7:19).

The law was given to show man what sin is (“for by the law is the knowledge of sin” Romans 3:20).

2. For one to keep the old Jewish laws, he will have to keep the whole law all the time. To break it at any point is to break all of it (James 2:10-11, Gal. 3:10).

But man can’t keep the law perfectly, only Christ could do it. There is not a single place where the believer is asked to fulfil the Law.

3. The Law wasn’t given to justify or save man, but was “our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24).

The Greek word paidagogos translated as tutor means a servant who was hired to walk the child to school and teach him the elements of education.

The Law teaches us the basic elements of righteousness, and also leads us to the school (Christ) where we can learn the real lesson.

4. There has been a change of the law. In the OT, the priesthood could only come from Aaron’s lineage, but Christ our High Priest came from Judah’s tribe (Hebrews 7:11-14).

It was God’s plan to replace the Old law with a New law (Jer. 31:31-35). This He did through Christ. “He sets aside the first to establish the second” (Heb. 10:9).

The old Law was a covenant between God and the nation of Israel while the new was a covenant between God and as many believe in Jesus as Saviour. Therefore, no one can have a right standing before God unless He is in this New Covenant relationship with God.

5. Salvation by grace through faith in Christ is not an “invention of apostle Paul” but is the consistent teaching of the New Testament (see John 1:12-13, 29, Acts 3:16-19, 10:43-48, 1John 5:4-5). No one can hold partially to the NT. You either accept it or reject it.

6  Finally, scripture distinguishes between: “the first covenant” and the “second covenant” (Heb 8:7); “the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39) and “the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2); the “law of sin” (Rom 7:23) and the “law of righteousness” (Rom. 9:31); the glorious covenant and the more glorious covenant (2 Cor. 3:7-10), the law of works (Rom. 3:26-31) and the law of grace (Jn. 1:17); that which is “powerless to save” (Heb. 9:12-13) and that which “saves to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25).