Difference of Qur’an Commentators on Qur’an
Peace and blessings be upon you. My question is about a doubt raised about the Quran that was contrived by Christians and spread among the people. I hope you give an answer concerning it before an overwhelming mischief takes place. This doubt goes as follow:
Almighty Allah said, “If it had been from other than Allah, they would, most surely, have found in it much discrepancy.” It is known among the Muslims that there are differences of opinion concerning many of the verses of the Quran, which constitutes evidence, according to those who propagate this doubt, that the Quran is from other than Almighty Allah. How can we respond to this?
All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and his companions. And upon you be peace, together with the mercy and blessings of Allah.
In the first place, this verse should be understood in a different way than the one adopted by such doubt-mongers. The issue has no relation with scholars’ difference of opinions concerning the indications of the verses of the Quran. It rather could be interpreted in either of three ways: first, discrepancy here stands for contradiction; for the Quran contains no contradiction. It enjoins absolute justice and excellence, and thus it includes no unfairness or injustice. Hence, the basic and major principles to which the Quran calls never differ, while if it were from other than Allah, whims would overcome man and he would enjoin good one time and evil another time. This is the first interpretation.
Second, had the Quran been from other than Allah, it would have differed from actual reality; that is, the information it gives would have differed from the reality of the matter it talks about. However, the Quran never has mentioned anything but it turned out to be so. It speaks to them about the disbelief and hypocrisy they harbor, and they know this for sure. They know that what the Quran warns them against is true. All that the Quran talks about is true, be it related to the conditions of the universe or to the actions of the people. Realities, experiences and the present always prove the truthfulness of the noble Quran. This has clearly manifested itself in the scientific miracles of the Quran and the Sunnah.
Third, had it been from other than Allah, you would have found it different from what it is. Since it is not different from what it is, we know that it is from Allah. This needs some reflection and subtle understanding. The meaning is that had this Book been from other than Allah, it would have been different from this noble Quran, as the Quran, like its Composer, is noble and excellent.
These are the three interpretations given by the exegetes to this verse, “If it had been from other than Allah, they would, most surely, have found in it much discrepancy.” [4:82] However, it is from Allah and thus there is no discrepancy in it. The issue, thus, has nothing to do with scholars’ difference of opinions over the verses of the Quran, the different indications of its words, or the different lengths of its chapters. All this is not intended by the noble verse. This is the answer to doubt raised about this verse. Allah knows best.