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An Imperfection in the Perfect Quran

By Kimble K. Smith The Quran is the perfect word of Allah and cannot have errors. Written by Allah, its perfection has existed since time began. There is a passage in the Quran that describes the mother of Jesus of Nazareth as the sister of Aaron. It goes like this: At length she brought (the babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: O Mary! Truly a strange thing has thou brought! O sister of Aaron, thy father was not a man of evil, nor your mother a woman unchaste!" (Sura 19:27-28). But Aaron, the brother of Moses, lived and died centuries before Mary, the mother of Jesus was born; and Aarons sister was Miriam, not Mary. In the Arabic language, the word for Mary and Miriam is the same word, (Maryam) perhaps the cause of this mistake. It is an error that an Arab of the 7th Century might make, to confuse Mary with Miriam, but not a mistake that the all-knowing Allah would make. The above error was discovered during Muhammads lifetime, and it was brought to his attention. He had an answer for it. His explanation went as follows: The (people of the old age) used to give names (to their persons) after the names of Apostles and pious persons who had gone before them. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book on General Behaviour (Kitable Al-Adab), Book 025, Number 5326). There is no way that Muhammad could have known that this was the reason that Mary was called sister of Aaron in the Quran unless Allah told him. Mary is never addressed anywhere (and for any reason) as the sister of Aaron in any of the Jewish or Christian scriptures. So either Allah gave this explanation to Muhammad as the reason why Mary was addressed in the Quran as the sister of Aaron, or Muhammad lied. If we believe that Allah told this to Muhammad, then we have to wonder why, to avoid the appearance of an error in the Quran, Allah didnt explain the use of the phrase sister of Aaron right in the Quran in the first place. For example, why didnt the Quran say something like this: At length she brought (the babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: O Mary! Truly a strange thing has thou brought! And addressing her with a pious name of old, they said, O sister of Aaron, thy father was not a man of evil, nor your mother a woman unchaste"? Surely Allah, being the greatest of all poets, could have found a beautiful, perfect way to explain this issue in the Quran. Allah has many attributes, but stupid is not one of them. Why did Allah allow His perfect book to be doubted and attacked for describing Mary as the sister of Aaron when Allah could have easily fixed the problem beforehand right in the Quran? Because Allah did not fix this passage, many believe that Muhammad was lying to cover a mistake that he, not Allah, had made. Note that Muhammads explanation nullifies all other possible explanations, such as the possibility that the brother of Mary mentioned in the Quran was a different Aaron from the brother of Moses.

Also note that the Quran is a perfect book, but contains an imperfection that could have easily been corrected within the book itself, creating a contradiction of the most fundamental sort. Surely Allah knew that the phrase, sister of Aaron would be read as a mistake by many readers. He knew that the Arabic word for Miriam and Mary was the same word, pointing to an Arab (and who else but Muhammad?) as the likely source of this passage. For all these reasons, Allah had every incentive to correct this problem in the Quran so that it would not look like Muhammads mistake; but He didnt correct it. Therefore, we conclude that Allah did not write the Quran. However it is very likely that this hadith was forged and falsely attributed to Muhammad. It is an attempt of the Muslims to whitewash Muhammads error.