## Mathematical Miracle of the Qur'an (Follow Up)

**Question:**

Assalamuaykum,

Thank you for replying to my question, I would like to discuss on why I think surat al muddathir is referring to the miracle of 19. Ayat 30 & 31 says "over it is 19. And We have made the guardians of the Fire to be angels; and We did not make their number except: as a trial for those who have rejected, so that those who were given the Scripture would be certain, and those who have faith would be increased in faith, and so that those who have been given the Scripture and the believers do not have doubt, and so that those who have a sickness in their hearts and the rejecters would say: “What did God mean with an example such as this?” It is such that God misguides whom He wishes, and He guides whom He wishes. And none know your Lord’s soldiers except Him; and it is but a reminder for human beings."

According to my interpretation ayah 31 says that the number 19's purpose is to increase the believers in faith and to test the kuffar. This can't be referring to the akhira because the believers will already be in jannah and the kuffar will already be in hell. Therefore it must be referring to the dunya. Which leads me to conclude that it is referring to the miracle of 19, because how can knowing how many angels are over the hellfire increase the believers in faith and test the kuffar unless it is referring to a miracle.

As for the evidences I agree with you in that most of them are unconvincing, but the numerical analogy between the Prophets Isa and Adam is convincing http://www.answering-christianity.com/fakir60/jesus.htm

**Answer:**

Assalamu Alaykum,

Before making any speculations about the mentioning of the number 19 in this verse it is better to first fully understand what the verse says. A rather fair translation of the related verses is included in your question so I am not going to repeat it. If we read the translation in your question, a few observations can be made:

- The number 19 is related to the guardians of Hell and not the Qur’an.

- The mentioning of this number had a meaning for the people of the Book at the time of the prophet (pbuh) as it could bring them certainty (Yaqin).

- The mentioning of this number would increase the faith of the believers at the time of the prophet (pbuh)

- The mentioning of this number would serve as a trial for rejecters who would question the reason that this specific number was mentioned.

The main conclusion from the above observations, that would be related to your question, is that mentioning of number 19 served as a trial and as a tool to increase the faith for the addressees of the prophet (pbuh) at the time.

Now if we say that this number 19 is mentioned to refer to the so called mathematical miracle of the Qur’an and that this was in fact the significance of this number, then the question will be:

“In what way the mentioning of this number could be a trial and a tool for increasing the faith of the addressees of the prophet in Mecca, more than 1400 years ago?”

Obviously none of the so called patterns of 19 in the Qur’an was known at the time of the prophet (pbuh). In fact when this verse was revealed a significant part of the Qur’an was not revealed yet.

Number 19 had to have a meaning or a familiar signal for the primary addressees of the verse, in particular the people of the book, so that the promise of the verse could be fulfilled. Somewhere in their religious texts or beliefs a reference to the significance of 19 or a similar way of describing the hell in the hereafter existed.(1)

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As for what you mentioned about the numerical analogy between the prophets Isa and Adam (pbut) in the website you mentioned, unlike you I did not find it convincing at all. Teaching and research in analyzing numbers and data and finding patterns and meaning of patterns is part of my day job. One of the first things we establish for our students is that not every pattern is a meaningful one. The simplest example I can give are the clouds. When we look at the clouds we often see images. Does this mean that clouds are made intentionally in those images? Definitely not! Everyone knows that it is simply our mind that becomes imaginative and understands images from totally randomly shaped clouds.

I may become convinced by such analysis of numbers in the Qur’an if two further analyses could be added to them:

A. An analysis to prove that such pattern of 19 only exists for this number, i.e. 19, in the Qur’an and does not exist for some other numbers as well.

B. An analysis to prove that similar patterns cannot be found in almost any other book.

The above analysis will ensure that the observed pattern is not merely the random effect of repetition of words in almost any texts.

In a more technical word, for those readers who may have interest in Statistics, a proper statistical analysis needs to be done to refute the following

Only after refuting the above null hypothesis the following

The problem is that in our haste to prove additional miracles for the Qur’an, we sometimes forget the

*null hypothesis*:*Null Hypothesis*: Number 19 in the Qur’an does not form any mathematical patterns that could not be found in other texts and could not be formed by any other numbers.Only after refuting the above null hypothesis the following

*alternative hypothesis*can be held:*Alternative Hypothesis*: Number 19 in the Qur’an forms a mathematical pattern that cannot be found in other texts and cannot be formed by any other numbers.The problem is that in our haste to prove additional miracles for the Qur’an, we sometimes forget the

*null hypothesis*and simply attempt to prove the*alternative hypothesis*. This method is statistically wrong and often results in conclusions that are biased and are not academically defendable.I suggest you read the book The Qur’an’s Numerical Miracle by Dr. Bilal Philips, where he not only points some data falsification and manipulation in the counts of 19 but also shows mathematically that a similar pattern can be claimed for number 8, a number that is mentioned in 69:17 (and I argue based on experience that similar pattern can be found on the basis of many other numbers in the Qur’an and in almost any other book). Please read page 75 of the book in particular. Please also note that this is not the only research-based writing in refuting the claim about the miracle of 19 in the Qur’an. You only need to search for keywords like “hoax”, “mathematical miracle”, “Qur’an”,”19” in Google. You will see that many of the authors of these refutations are in fact well known scholars of Islam.

I reiterate again that I am not denying the possibility of a mathematical miracle in the Qur’an. However unless a proper statistical research (as mentioned above) is done in an academic and non-biased way, I cannot agree with the so called miracle of 19 in the Qur’an.

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Note:

1. This may not be really relevant but it is interesting to note the following:

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Related Topics:

- Mathematical Miracle of the Qur'an

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September 2013

I reiterate again that I am not denying the possibility of a mathematical miracle in the Qur’an. However unless a proper statistical research (as mentioned above) is done in an academic and non-biased way, I cannot agree with the so called miracle of 19 in the Qur’an.

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Note:

1. This may not be really relevant but it is interesting to note the following:

*"(in biblical studies) When nineteen is mentioned, it represents divine order connected with judgment since it is a combination of ten and nine."*(Number 19 and its meaning in the Bible).----------------

Related Topics:

- Mathematical Miracle of the Qur'an

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September 2013