Friday, 12 July 2013

The Miracle of Iron; Pondering the concept of “the Middle of the Qur’an”

Jochen Katz

Osama Abdallah is obsessed with alleged scientific miracles of the Qur’an. Although he joined that fad rather late in the game, he has become one of the most prolific writers on this issue in recent years.

One of those supposed proofs of the divine origins of the Qur’an is the claim that Allah revealed in the Qur’an that iron was sent down to earth from outer space. The verse in question or rather the part of the verse that forms the basis of the miracle claim (context is duly ignored as it could only get in the way), is this:

We sent down iron … (S. 57:25 Yusuf Ali)

The larger part of Osama Abdallah’s claims on that particular issue are mere repetition of what is found elsewhere and which has been ably refuted by Masud Masihiyyen in his article “
A Tower of Iron or a Castle of Sand?” responding to the most prominent propagator of this miracle, Harun Yahya.

This article is highly recommended, and there is no need to repeat here what has already been said there.

However, Osama Abdallah adds a few extra claims to his article which again show how utterly silly his claims are. I will highlight just one of them.

In a grey box on his page on the earth and the iron, Abdallah claims:

The numerological value of the word "alhadid" alone is 57, and 57 is:

1- The number of Noble Surah's (Chapter), and the abjad numerical value of the Noble Surah's Name (Alhadid).
2- Makes the Noble Surah in the Middle of the Noble Quran, since the Noble Quran has 114 Noble Surahs.
3- The iron core is also in the center of planet earth
. (

[Note: I apologize that my quotation is not as beautifully colored as Abdallah’s original. However, the text is exactly as displayed on his website on 8 November 2009.]

Most of the numerology aspects are dealt with in the above recommended article, but let’s look at Osama Abdallah’s claim about Sura 57 being “in the Middle of the Noble Quran” which is nonsense in at least two ways.

First, take this claim in the “mathematical sense”. Let’s make this really easy and assume there are three chapters. Which one is in the middle? Everyone knows that. Number two is in the middle. There is one chapter before it and one chapter after it. Good. Now, let’s increase the number of chapters. What if we have four chapters? Which one is in the middle? According to Osama Abdallah’s method, just divide four by two and obtain the result that chapter two is in the middle of the four. If you are a Muslim, do you see a problem with that? Not? Great! You just passed the test as an unshakable believer in Abdallah’s miracleology. You will not be distracted by facts or reason. Abdallah will love you for being his loyal admirer despite all evidence to the contrary.

Perhaps the number four is still too large and the question too complex? Then let’s make the example even smaller: If we have only two chapters, which one is in the middle? Ah, … by now even Osama Abdallah should be able to spot the problem.

However, I am sure Abdallah can fix that little oversight in no time. He simply has to introduce the concept of an “approximate miracle. I mean, give me (or rather: him) a break, nobody can produce exact miracles all the time. Even Allah must be permitted to perform some approximate miracles once in a while. And, as a devout believer, one should not be nitpicking but be grateful for every miracle one can get, even if they are only approximately miraculous.

Okay, let’s stop beating this dead horse.

Second, since Osama Abdallah programmed his own Qur’an search engine, we can use it to find the second problem in a visual way. The reader simply needs to follow these easy instructions:

- Go to Abdallah’s amazing search engine:
- Click on the name “
Dr. Munir Munshey“ to utilize the translation which Abdallah is so proud to host on his server.
- Click on the first main link “
Dr. Munir Munshey's own English translation of the Noble Quran”.
- Search for the verse “057:025” where the miracle is supposedly located.

What do you observe in regard to the scroll bar at the right margin of your browser?

You are about in the middle of the text of the Qur’an. Wow! What better visual illustration could there be? The revelation of iron in the Qur’an is exactly in the middle of the Qur’an, right in the center, just like the earth has an iron core!

Before you continue, please scroll to the very bottom of the page you retrieved (don’t worry, it is not that far after all) and observe that you were served exactly 6236 Noble Verses, i.e. the full Qur’an consists of 6236 verses.

Now, there is a second exercise that we can perform with Abdallah’s helpful Qur’an search engine.

- Go back to step one of the last round, i.e. the
search page.
- In the right half of it, under the heading “Noble Verses' Numeric Search” put the search parameter “57:26-114:6” to get all verses coming after the “Verse of Iron” to the end of the Qur’an.
- Restrict your search to Dr. Munshey’s translation only by clicking the box before his name.
- Press “Search”.
- Scroll down to the end of the page.

What do you see? How many verses were you served? Right, 1136 Noble Verses.

Now some math: If the Qur’an has 6236 verses in total, and there are 1136 verses after the verse on iron, how many are there before this verse?

Surely you got the same result as I did: 5099. Not? Try again!

Conclusion: There are 5099 verses before and 1136 verses after the miraculous verse of iron. Amazing, how this verse sits smack dab in the middle of the Qur’an, truly representing the core of iron inside the earth.

Appendix: The inherent beauty of Osama Abdallah’s miracle ranking list

And there is more to discover. Here is the relevant part of the Iron Verse again.

We sent down iron … (S. 57:25 Yusuf Ali)

Amazingly, the miracle claim “Iron was sent down from space” is currently listed as

Iron was sent down from space.

on Abdallah’s ranking list of his most favourite scientific miracles in the Qur’an (
here). This astonishing agreement of verse number and ranking number both being “25” may well constitutes another miracle! Should we even take this as a sign that the writings of Osama Abdallah are divinely inspired?

1 Hm, or maybe that verse was meant differently? The iron was so heavy, it “sent down” your scroll bar … ?
2 Don’t forget to subtract one for the Iron verse itself, S. 57:25, since this verse cannot be before or after itself.



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