One Quran,but infinite interpretations..WHY?



How can one say that one interpretation is “right” and the other is “wrong”?


Its been many times that different people are asking me the same question..I am trying to find an answer within my limited knowledge and reading..


Islam is based upon following a specific legislation and it is agreed upon that the legislation is the Quraan and Sunnah.


  • 016.044  With clear proofs and writings; and We have revealed unto thee the Remembrance that thou mayst explain to mankind that which hath been revealed for them, and that haply they may reflect.


  • 004.080  He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: But if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds).


  • 024.047 And they say: We believe in Allah and the messenger, and we obey; then after that a faction of them turn away. Such are not believers.


  • 024.048 When they are summoned to Allah and His messenger, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come


“All of my Ummah will enter heaven except those who refuse (or reject), so they asked him: oh messenger of Allaah, who is the one who refuses? The Prophet said: whoever obeys me will enter heaven and whoever obeys me he has refused” Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, 7280



As many of you (rightly) said, it is possible to interpret verses according to our line of thoughts, and hence to avoid that, Islam follows the law of three generations…i.e,we refer to the right interpretation of Quran and Sunnah as perceived from first three generations of Prophet..Those who deviate from this and make their own interpretations are out of the fold of ‘right’ interpretation. Pls see the proof.



“The best of mankind is my generation then those who come (immediately) after them, then those who come after them. Thereafter will come a people whose witnesses will go ahead of their oaths and the oaths will go ahead of their witnesses.” (link) 



Isn’t it clear that Quran cannot be interpretted as when and how you like it?Look upto what Prophet explained a verse to be..Again I repeat what i said earlier.Allah revealed Quran over 23 yrs,through a Prophet,,during different occasions..If He wanted,He could have dispatched it as a book one fine morning,and obviously and righfully,it would ahve been pron to infinite interpretations and there would not have been any head or tail to it.But that is not the case.Quran was not sent to you,but to Prophet and He eplained it to you..I don’t know,I really don’t know how can it be otherwise..Did Allah come to their dreams and give them the authority to make up a different meaning,than that given to Prophet?By doing so,does it imply that they are being superior or are overriding the whole crappy 1400yrs since Quran has been here??I don’t know why is it so confusing and un-understandable..Islam is what Quran is and Quran is what Prophet simple as that..  




There is an excellent book by Harun Yahya on this regard..Its not a novel-lengthy,but just a 3-webpages lengthy book,completed reading it in 10-15 minutes or so…Read if you have time..


I quote..





The Qur’an is an invitation to the right path for the whole of mankind, but God directly addresses only those who believe in Him. This is why the Qur’an has been revealed as a book that is only understood properly by believers. The most important qualities of believers, that allow them to understand the Qur’an, are their good consciences and sincerity. It is only natural for people who are distant from religion and whose spiritual state and character are far from those of a believer, to misunderstand the Qur’an.

  • When you recite the Qur’an, We place an obscuring veil between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter. We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur’an, they turn their backs and run away. (Surat al-Isra’: 45-46)





The Qur’anic commandments have been explained in a clear and simple manner so believers can easily abide by them. These are called the “perspicuous” (muhkam) verses. These verses, according to the Qur’an, are the “Core of the Book” and so make up its foundation. There is another type of Qur’anic verses that are referred to as “intricate” (mutashabih) verses. These types of verses contain various comparisons and similes. People with no Qur’anic knowledge but ulterior motives can misinterpret the “intricate verses” in many twisted and startling ways. This is explained in the Qur’an as follows:


  • It is He who sent down the Book to you from Him: verses containing clear judgements – they are the core of the Book – and others which are open to interpretation. Those with deviation in their hearts follow what is open to interpretation in it, desiring conflict, seeking its inner meaning. No one knows its inner meaning but God. Those firmly rooted in knowledge say, ‘We have faith in it. All of it is from our Lord.’ But only people of intelligence pay heed. (Surat Al ‘Imran: 7)




The Qur’an is a miraculous Book that contains all of the essential information mankind needs. This is due to the endless divine wisdom present in it. A finite number of verses contain infinite knowledge that has been placed in them with superior wisdom. The verses contain meanings that may be apparent, hidden, inter-woven or overlapping. They also produce countless other meanings when they interact with other verses. There are times when a single verse can take a whole book to explain. That is why, in order to be able to interpret the Qur’an correctly and take in all of its contents, one must be capable of grasping it in its entirety and must also be skilled in all the required interpretation techniques.



One significant technique consists of analyzing a verse according to its context in the Qur’an. The meaning of a Qur’anic verse can often be explained according to the theme around it. Another important method is to interpret the words that make up the verses by taking their context in that particular verse into consideration. The meaning of one Qur’anic word often derives from the way it is used in another part of the Qur’an. Time and again a word can have more than one meaning. So the meaning of such a word is to be deduced from the manner in which it is used in a different section of the Qur’an. Just looking the word up in a dictionary and applying the first meaning we come across can result in an extremely inaccurate interpretation; and sometimes, the interpretation that results can even be the opposite of the true meaning. One can see from this that the Qur’an is self-explanatory. The explanation of one verse can sometimes be hidden in the meaning of another verse or verses.



Another important rule in the interpretation of the Qur’an is to fully grasp its essence. In order to do that, one has to see it as a whole. Furthermore, it should be explained in the light of the many verses which reflect the infinite mercy, compassion and justice of God.






God states that He has sent the Qur’an as a book written in Arabic. Obviously, translations into other languages are sufficient when one only needs to understand very basic concepts, such as learning about God, the main principles of faith and their essential applications, as well as seeking guidance and meditating on it. Nonetheless, none of these translations can, in any way, match the original language of the Qur’an. Even in a direct, word for word translation, a lot of vocabulary as well as meanings will be missed since it is quite impossible to grammatically adapt many Arabic words in their correct sentence form to any other language. Therefore, so-called “translations of the Qur’an” do no more than give an overall feel of its contents and never actually reflect the exact meanings of the verses.





It says in the Qur’an that, in order to make a sound interpretation of its contents, one has to think about and contemplate it thoroughly. If the Qur’an is viewed superficially and read as if it were just another ordinary book, then the true benefits of this endless source of wisdom will not surface. In the Qur’an, God constantly invites man to use his reason and to think. Thinking, using one’s reason, and making an effort to try and grasp the meanings, finer points, mysteries and miracles of the Qur’an are essential if one is to truly appreciate it. The Qur’an reveals to everyone information about himself, the purpose behind his creation, the true nature of this world, the reasons for what goes on around him, along with many other subjects concerning him and his surroundings. Accordingly, one should try to establish a connection between the verses and himself, his surroundings and the events he experiences, and strive to understand the Qur’an by thinking deeply on all of these. It is stated in the Qur’an that it was revealed to those who reflect:

  • This is the path of your Lord – straight. We have made the Signs clear for people who remember. (Surat al-An’am: 126)
  • …In this way We make Our Signs clear for people who reflect. (Surah Yunus: 24)





  Arrogance will prevent anyone from understanding the Qur’an. Since an arrogant person considers himself to be superior, he will not possess the necessary humility and awareness needed to approach the Qur’an properly.His pride and assumed superiority prevent him from doing so. That is the reason why he will see the Qur’an as a threat to his character, which is based on arrogance. He will fight with all his might to seek ways to contradict the Qur’an. In so doing he will argue about the verses. It has been stated in the Qur’an that those with pride cannot comprehend its verses:

  • I will divert from My Signs all those who are arrogant in the earth without any right. If they see every Sign, they will not believe in it. If they see the way of right guidance, they will not take it as a way. But if they see the way of error, they will take that as a way. That is because they denied Our Signs and paid no attention to them. (Surat al-A’raf: 146)
  • Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will nonetheless never be guided. (Surat al-Kahf: 57) 


Arrogance is a tool for viewing one’s own intelligence, culture and knowledge as superior. So the accomplishments of an arrogant person, such as his academic career, culture and expertise, will actually serve to distance him from the Qur’an. The unwise claims made by seeming experts or intellectuals regarding the Qur’an are proof of the fact that pride prevents anyone from truly acknowledging the Qur’an. This sort of people are described in many verses:

  • Certainly those who argue about the Signs of God without any authority having come to them have nothing in their breasts except for pride which they will never be able to vindicate. Therefore seek refuge with God. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (Surat al-Mu’min: 56)
  • Who hears the Signs of God recited to him and then persists in his arrogance just as if he had never heard them. Give him the news of a painful punishment. (Surat al-Jathiyah: 8)




 One of the greatest mistakes made when trying to interpret the Qur’an is making use of hearsay and superstitions from one’s forefathers and of old traditions which are claimed to be the words of religion. People who do that follow an inherited traditional religion rather than the Qur’an, and at the same time try to adapt the Qur’an to that perverted religion. Their twisted mentality has been described in the Qur’an:

  • When they are told, ‘Follow what God has sent down to you,’ They say, ‘We are following what we found our fathers doing.’ What, even though their fathers did not understand a thing and were not guided! (Surat al-Baqarah: 170)

This twisted view of religion, that is widespread among the uneducated, puts forward a model of belief that is completely different from and contradictory to the Islamic one. This model, which is presented under the name of Islam, in fact has no relation whatsoever with the true religion, ethics and lifestyle that are described in the Qur’an. This distorted model is based on traditions and old-fashioned superstitions and not on the Qur’an. The followers of this warped practice try to adapt the Qur’an and its verses to fit their traditions and superstitions. It is obviously impossible to explain the Qur’an with such nonsense. However, as mentioned in the Qur’an, these fabrications that are manufactured by “distorting the book with tongues” only serve to distance one from the Qur’an.





 There are those who live by modern-day as well as social standards, who accept the rules applied by the majority as absolute facts and use them to try and interpret the Qur’an. People like this make up the majority of those who try to object to the Qur’an, even though they are the least educated and cultured. It is possible to come across such people in every profession and part of society. They make up a majority, who do not think too deeply or possess a certain world-view, and are obsessed only with worldly pursuits and are only focused on their livelihood. Since they seek simple pleasures, small calculations and profits, they perceive the Qur’an as a threat that would limit their so-called freedom, alter their simple lifestyles or expectations, and the order to which they are accustomed. Therefore, they try to oppose the Qur’an with their primitive logic.

  • If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would misguide you from God’s Way. They follow nothing but conjecture. They are only guessing. (Surat al-An’am: 116)






Many scientific facts are mentioned either directly or indirectly in the Qur’an. Many topics, from the creation phases of the universe, human beings and the formation of rain to the movement of continents are mentioned as proof of the perfection and superiority of God’s creation. Nevertheless, obviously the Qur’an is not a book of science. In the Qur’an, scientific information is sometimes mentioned in a clear, lucid language, and at other times it is explained by means of comparisons, indications or concealed language. Being unable to realize the wisdom in such verses, some prejudiced people, who do not possess the necessary basic knowledge of science and scientific progress, nor a subtle comprehension, end up opposing the Qur’an.

  • Then when they arrive He (God) will say, ‘Did you deny My Signs even though you did not have proper knowledge of them. What were you doing?’ (Surat an-Naml: 84)






    • Milind Kher
    • September 18th, 2008


    This is an excellent piece that you have produced. Indeed, understanding of the Quran becomes more difficult on account of the fact that the intentions are not right rather than capabilities being low.

    However, it is equally true that for a person whose niyyah is good, understanding the Quran is not a difficult matter. It is a good thing that you are doing a lot of research.

    • Nimmy
    • September 18th, 2008

    Milind,thanks:) im just trying my part to learn and equip myself with RIGHT knowledge..

  1. I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. Your posts are pretty interesting, I don’t necessarily agree on everything you say but I like to read your point of view. I am not a very religious or political person. Being a Hindu I have never fully read any interpretation of the ‘The Gita’- shame on me, i know. ‘The Gita’ too has several interpretations, the only difference is that nobody has been able to interpret it to cause any harm to anyone else. Its sad that the Quran has been misinterpreted by so many people. Its commendable that you are trying to spread positive knowledge about the Quran through your blog. Keep blogging and I’ll keep reading ! 🙂

    • Nimmy
    • September 18th, 2008

    Hi Priyanka ..welcome:) Thanks for your nce words..I never knew I had silent readers..Thanks..Keep coming and share your thoughts..I need not be correct always and so,feel free to share and correct..Good day

    P.S :I am not a religious person..Actually I don’t even qualify being 25% of ‘mainstream’ religion..What i write is what I think and believe..

    • Najeeb
    • September 18th, 2008

    Hi Nimmy,

    Why did you delete that comment in the other thread??!! I was about to reply, then my kid wanted to say something to me, so I left the key board. Coming back, it disappeared!!

    • Nimmy
    • September 18th, 2008

    when i didn’t see your reply,i thought u didn’t like it:)

    Are you malayaleeeeee!! lol..

    • Najeeb
    • September 18th, 2008

    yes, of course i am… i thought you realised it when we discussed about Anand’s book

  2. This might be a stupid question, but

    Possibly the biggest division in christianity is between the catholics and the protestants. Oversimplying some, the former hold that god speaks thru the pope; the latter hold that god speaks directly to the reader of his book, that there should be no intermediary. So…

    Is there a comparable school of thought in islam that one should read your book directly, without appealing to any authority to interpret it for you the reader?

    • Milind Kher
    • September 18th, 2008


    Please do share whatever you know about the Gita. I have a copy of it with exegesis, so we might be able to exchange views.

    I am planning to read it and absorb it, so that I am on a better platform when dealing with people who quote from it and relate to it. The more we acquire knowledge, the fuller we become as human beings

    • vinod
    • September 18th, 2008

    Two things strike me when i read your blogs….

    1. You are more emotional than rational in your blogs though you would like it to be the other way around.

    2. Your belief in ISLAM and Quran are absolute. All other inferences and analysis you arrive to….for any worldy issues or scenario’s….cannot contradict this core belief.

    My basis for the 2nd point is how you defend the marraige of Aisha by giving the readers the wikipedia of the 5-yr old mother. Being a woman yourself…i find it hard to fathom you supporting a 53 yr old man lusting after a 9 yr old…..

    remove your cloak of religion, put urself into a 9 yr old shoes and think what she must have went through….

    besides, being God’s messenger, doesnt Mohammed’s behaviour expected to be more divine than any normal man of that century? then wat was the need to consummate the marraige?

    In other words, forget your beliefs and see what the real world is….and it will be a much better realistic view.

    • vinod
    • September 18th, 2008

    @ Nimmy,

    I assumed that my comments had to go thro modreation, so i wrote it personally to you…not to the whole world.

    I dont intend to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments in your blog site….. Please delete the comment if you feel it does that.

    • nandu
    • September 19th, 2008


    As I have said before, my religion to me is like my mother; something which I am born into. So my relationship to it is more emotional than rational. Therefore, I can afford to be “rational” about somebody else’s religion: I guess this goes for most human beings.

    I shall be commenting on this blog, looking at the Qur’an with a critical eye. I do not hold that the Qur’an (or any religious text) is the direct word of God, so my comments in some instances may disturb you. If you feel that it may hurt you, please say so, and I’ll leave peacefully.

    Let’s hope we can keep this spirit of mutual respect throughout this discussion, even when we are disagreeing.

  3. Nimmy,

    Thanks for this post…I hope it helps clear many a wrong belief that people hold about the Koran.

    What I wanted to share with you and perhaps your readers too is that my eighty plus father in law just finished reading the Koran and he says he is surprised by what the book has to say and also sad that he has lived with so many commonly held misperceptions most of his life.

    And we are not Muslims we are Hindus and he infact is a brahmin too.

    Correct information and a mind free of misconceptions and prejudices can change the way the world works.

  4. hey…

    have added u to my blog roll. hope thats acceptable.

    • Nimmy
    • September 19th, 2008


    Is there a comparable school of thought in islam that one should read your book directly, without appealing to any authority to interpret it for you the reader?

    Sorry,i don’t know any such rule..I am not concerened either..I read and uderstand for myslef and i don’t find a problem with that..

    • Nimmy
    • September 19th, 2008


    You are more emotional than rational in your blogs though you would like it to be the other way around.

    Lol..yeah,it is true,but am i always emotional?:) As I said,maybe it is the difference in between having faith and not..and don’t you think i am justified enough to be emotional..hmm..But my intention is to be rational..But not to the extent as splitting apart noun verb and pronoun in Quran and then

    Your belief in ISLAM and Quran are absolut


    Not really,bcoz then i would not be looking for questions posed here..I would just gulp and rant “I believe bcoz i am told to and nothing can shake my faith”..Instead,i read all ur qstns with critical mind,and look into answers..Infact,this reverse mode of learning has helped me lot..I am not at all a religious person.But lot of qstns posed by others,made me look into it..So, i guess my faith is not simply blind and absolute..

    All other inferences and analysis you arrive to….for any worldy issues or scenario’s….cannot contradict this core belief…

    ..I’ld say,’cannot contradict Quran’..But i had alwyas talked beard old mullahs and fat kings in muslim community..So,I am against those perverted innovations by thme,but i belive in quran..Again,if i can’t find answers to my qstns from Quran,i’ll stop believeing in it..As simple as that..

    Being a woman yourself…i find it hard to fathom you supporting a 53 yr old man lusting after a 9 yr old…..

    Yeah right,even i have problems with that..Maybe the real reason is yet to be digged out..I need to read more…

    In other words, forget your beliefs and see what the real world is….and it will be a much better realistic view.

    Yes,i need to imporve..Thanks for your comment..Good day:)

    • Nimmy
    • September 19th, 2008


    Therefore, I can afford to be “rational” about somebody else’s religion: I guess this goes for most human beings.

    Yes i agree…That is the case with me too..

    If you feel that it may hurt you, please say so, and I’ll leave peacefully


    Never,there is no point in being offended and walking away while in a discussion and i dn’t intend to do that:)

    Let’s hope we can keep this spirit of mutual respect throughout this discussion, even when we are disagreeing.

    Sure,lets look into it more in the respectful way we are doing it as of now..But always remember,i am a least informed person..It maybe the first time i am hearing about a qstn of urs..So you have to give me time to put forward my views…Good day

    • Nimmy
    • September 19th, 2008


    Correct information and a mind free of misconceptions and prejudices can change the way the world works.

    Very very true..Even i am in search for right information .I am glad and feel ashamed at the same time that even though your FIL read the whole Quran,i never did that..

    have added u to my blog roll. hope thats acceptable


    I am honoured..pls keep coming and give comments..Good day 🙂

  5. Different interpretations arise when people ignore context.
    Throughout history an endless succession of men follow these steps:
    (1) claim god talks to them; (2) convince others they are not insane, (3) gain followers, (4)condemn those who disagree, (5) abuse their position of authority, to gain (6) personal wealth, and (7) free access to women, since its almost always men that do this. Usually they resort to violence and end up getting their followers and/or themselves killed, but if they can avoid that it is a very profitable course.

    Some examples are: Warren Jeffs, David Koresh, Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Shoko Asahara, Joseph Smith, Mohammed and thousands of others. Hardly a month goes by without another news headline of someone else who fits this pattern. That is the context of history. When they survive their followers often write a book about them (bible, quran, book of mormon…) That is the context in which these books exist and must be interpreted.

    • nandu
    • September 20th, 2008


    I must refute your simplistic analysis of how religion arises.

    Even before the organised religions came into being, man has “talked” to God-from the very primitive ages, man has tried to contact the ground of being that lies beyond mundane everyday existence. This is the origin of religious belief, the need to connect to something beyond; the search for transcendence. I know atheists deny any such need, but it is rather like a colour blind person denying the existence of colour.

    These holy books must be analysed and interpreted at three levels: the sociological, the historical and the psychological. Hopefully, that is what we are here to do-if Nimmy permits.


    My first question to you:

    I am a non-Muslim. I do not see the Qur’an as the revealed word of God. In fact, I don’t subscribe to the idea of a God separate from myself at all. How do you, as Muslim, see me and others like me in the light of the teachings of the Qur’an? And I want your honest opinion, not something some Islamic scholar has written.

  6. I must refute your simplistic analysis of how religion arises.

    That’ll be difficult for you since I haven’t said a word about how religion arises. Your post has nothing to do with what I said, but it does support my point of putting things in a larger context. It’s odd though that you don’t feel any need to analyze holy books on a spiritual or moral level.

    • nandu
    • September 21st, 2008


    Pardon me if I misread your comment. From your post, it seemed to me that you were saying that all holy books were the products of the followers of cults. In my opinion, the books are the end products of years of oral tradition.

    The moral context arises out of the sociological, and the spiritual out of the psychological.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 21st, 2008

    The perspective that a Muslim will have on the Quran will be radically different from that of a Non Muslim because the former believes it to be the revealed word of God, while the latter does not.

    Therefore, if you blatantly state that you do not believe the Quran to be the word of God, the Muslim will automatically go on the defensive.

    • nandu
    • September 22nd, 2008


    Isn’t it a bit too much to ask everybody to admit that the Qur’an is the revealed word of God, so that Muslims may be put at their ease?

    • Nimmy
    • September 22nd, 2008

    Nandu,why do you think that muslims want the whole world to belive that Quran is Allah’s word..It is OUR holy book and it matters to us i not right?

    “….so that Muslims may be put at their ease”..What does that imply? What makes you think that muslims should convince the whole world as to why do they follow islam..Why do you think muslims should explain all logical and linguistic perspectives of Quran..If one asks it,sure we’ll explain..But other than that,i think its soley our spiritual business..Am i not right? All my life i never asked anybody ‘Why do you follow hinduism,christianity or like”..

    • Milind Kher
    • September 22nd, 2008


    Nobody questions Non Muslims about their beliefs. Everybody wants to do it to the Muslims.

    I don’t really think that the Muslim wants to enforce his decision. In fact what the historian De Lacy O’Leary had to say is worth quoting.

    “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslim, sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”

    • najeeb
    • September 22nd, 2008

    Hi Milind, Nandu,

    You may be interested to read the book ‘Historical Role of Islam’ by MN Roy. He wrote the book after he ceased to be a marxist (!) and became a humanist.

    The book is availabe at

  7. Harun Yahya, whom you cite in your post, has just given an interview in Der Spiegel It seems all misinterpretations are due to Darwinism.
    So now we know.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 22nd, 2008


    Thanks. I will check it out.

  8. What a load of crap?

    I know and have seen this kind. Actually if you have read nazi’s justification for their many acts people with out a brain can believe them to be truthful.

    • Riaz
    • November 14th, 2010

    Its all bull…im a muslim too and indoctrinated with islam from very early age. as i grew older i realized quran seems like the anger of god towards non-believers and god seems like a very needy god. if we obey god we go to heaven and if we disobey we go to a hell with eternal damnation. i suspect its written by a cruel human being living in medieval arabia. Good muslims have a tough time to give a true direct interpretation of quran as it cant fit in a civilized society with gender equality. the state of islamic nations today gives us some idea what happens if we force islam today in 21st century. im sorry for my bad english. finally i recommend everyone to read a good english translation of quran to be able to debate with islamists.
    PS: Islamists say engligh is an inferior language and only Arabic is superior. But dont care about them and go ahead and read quran to feel for yourself the anger of god.

  1. March 21st, 2009

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