Does the Koran or Qur’an have errors in it? If so, why do Muslims claim it’s inspired by God?
Does the Koran or Qur’an have errors in it? If so, why do Muslims claim it’s inspired by God? Those are two very good questions, and the answer to the first question is, yes, the Qur’an does contain errors. In fact, there are many errors, including scientific ones, and ones that the Bible does not contain. For example, the Qur’an states that “By the Sun and his (glorious) splendour; By the Moon as she follows him” (Surah 91:1-2). Of course, the moon doesn’t follow the sun. They have different courses in their circuits. Elsewhere, Surah 18:86 says, “Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu’l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness.” Obviously, the sun cannot set in a muddy spring, but would consume it and the earth too, but also, “The Qur’an says that stars (kawakib) / lamps (masabih) adorn the heavens and guard against devils” (Surah 76:5). Clearly, our protection from the Evil One and his minions do not come from stars or heavenly bodies, but God Himself. Surah 86:5-8 says “Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted – Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs: Surely (Allah) is able to bring him back (to life)!” Obviously this is scientifically wrong. The Qur’an also says that the earth was created before the heavens, which is contrary to Genesis 1 and 2. The Qur’an states, “He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things” (2:29), and then there are even claims that human beings are formed from a clot of blood (Surah 23:14). In all, there are well over 100 scientific errors in the Qur’an, including at least a dozen references about the earth being flat (Surah 15:19, 20:53, 43:10, 50:7, 51:8, etc.).
The Qur’an may have been nearly unchanged since its seventeenth century version, however, there are several different texts circulating in Syria, Iraq and Armenia that are radically different from the seventeenth-century copy, so the Muslim claim of perfect unity in the copies of the Qur’an is false. Qur’an experts acknowledge that the grammatical rules had to be altered in order to fit the claim that the Qur’an was flawless. Besides this, the Qur’an contains sentences which are incomplete and not fully intelligible without the aid of commentaries. At times, it makes the text illogical and ungrammatical, so much so that even readings of the text are a task. Even the simplest of pronouns being out of place in sentence structures makes them extremely difficult to negotiate and understand.
The Qur’an also contains historical errors. Surah 20:85-95 mentions the golden calve and verse 95 specifically states, “The Samaratin has led them into error.’ Then Moses returned…and we cast them [(gold) ornaments], as the Samaritan also threw them, into the fire.’ (Then he brought out for them a Calf, a mere body that lowed; and they said, ‘This is your god, and the god of Moses, whom he has forgotten.’)…Moses said, ‘And thou, Samaritan, what was thy business?’” The date of this was about 1400 B.C. The problem is that the Samaritans did not even exist until 870 B.C. when the nation was founded by King Omri. Surah 5:116 says that Christians believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was part of the Trinity; consisting of God, Jesus, and Mary, however, Christianity has never held to this truth, so the Qur’an was wrong about that too. They also mistakenly assume that we believe Jesus was begotten by the Father and Mary having sex, so they refute this heresy in Surah 19:27-28, but this also is wrong. Christianity has never believed this or taught this, although a few cults come close to this view, but they did not exist at the time the Qur’an was written.
There are also doctrinal errors where certain statements conflict with other sections of the Qur’an, but the most glaring issue is what they think the Bible says and what it actually does say. For example, the Qur’an teaches that Christians believe that the Trinity is three, completely different gods (Surah 4:171, 5:73). They falsely believe that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was part of the Trinity (wrong!), and that the Trinity includes God, Jesus, and Mary (Surah 4:171). Once again, this is not correct. Some mistakes were so blatant that it’s seems that Muslim scholars have not really read or studied the Bible. For example, they state that Mary is Aaron’s sister (Surah 19:27-28), when she would not be born for another 2,000 years.
Perhaps the greatest of errors in the Qur’an is what it teaches about Jesus. The Qur’an teaches that Jesus was only a prophet of God and that He did not die on the cross, quoting, “That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” (Qur’an, Surah 4 (An-Nisa) ayat 157–158). We know differently because the true Word of God says “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4), so “in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20). You can trust the Word of God, the Bible. The Qur’an? Not so much.
Here is some related reading for you: Does the Qur’an mention Jesus? What do Muslims Believe about Jesus? 
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.