Citing Quran 75:4, Muslims claim that the Quran talked about uniqueness of fingerprints 14 centuries ago. Another Quranic miracle, and another proof that Quran is divine. But this verse does not talk about "fingerprints" at all, let alone its uniqueness. Moreover, usage of fingerprints for signature and identification purposes goes thousands of years before Islam.
Ever since kaffir quack-scientist Maurice Bucaille (1920–98) of France (actually medical doctor of the Saudi royal family) published his book, The Bible, The Quran and Science, to demonstrate that the Quran is scientific, Bible not, numerous Muslim quack-scientists, led by Zakir Naik and Harun Yahya, have discovered numerous scientific miracles in the Quran and continue to so. We are aware of the big-time Quranic sciences, namely embryology, big-bang theory, cosmology and many more.
Another miracle that has been making rounds, although failed to attract major attention, is the mention of uniqueness of the “fingerprints” in the Quran. A few days ago (not the first time), I received following query from a non-Muslim reader:
Greeting to all staffs of islam-watch.org site. How are you? And now please, I want you to send me your response (rebuttals) for this claim, and I look forward your instant and positive reply with a great hope. So please, please help me.
General Science Fingerprints‘Does man think that We Cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put Together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.’ [Quran 75:3–4]Unbelievers argued regarding resurrection taking place after bones of dead people have disintegrated in the earth and how each individual would be identified on the Day of Judgement. Almighty Allah answers that He can not only assemble our bones, but can also reconstruct perfectly our very fingertips.
According to Muslims, the second verse 75:4—'Nay, We are able to put Together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers'—was talking about uniqueness of fingerprints some 14 centuries ago.
We are all aware of the immense value fingerprints have added to our civilization. Concerning modern development of fingerprint usage, German anatomist Johann Christoph Andreas Mayer (1747–1801) recognized in 1788 that fingerprints are unique to each individual, while English magistrate Sir William James Herschel (1833–1918) initiated fingerprinting in British India in 1858. Since then, fingerprinting has been used extensively as signatures in legal documents to this day around the world. While, with increasing literacy, signatures are replacing fingerprints in documents, the usage of fingerprinting continues to diversify and become increasingly important in criminal investigation, biometric identification, determination of drug abuse, and creating databases etc.
The Quranic miracle-hunting Muslims say that nobody knew about uniqueness of fingerprints until the 18th century. How could the Quran, revealed 1,400 years ago, be talking about such a valuable tool to humanity? So wonder stunned Muslims: 'Surely it could have been none other than the Creator Himself (who authored the Quran)!'
Thus, we have another scientific miracle in the Quran, which would go on to enrich humanity greatly, but only after its discovery by kafir scientists, like all other miraculous Quranic sciences. Readers may consult commentaries of various Islamic scientists on this Quranic miracle in following links:
1. Harun Yahya’s Identity In The Fingerprint.
2. And following video:
Let me now address a point Harun Yahya made about fingerprints: 'Fingerprints attain their final shape before birth and remain the same for a lifetime unless a permanent scar appears.'
Contrary to Yahya’s assertion, fingerprints are, in fact, not so stable in children until the age of puberty, according to 1995 findings by researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (see, Ashbaugh DR. (1991) "Ridgeology", Journal of Forensic Identification Vol 41:1).
Nonetheless, the importance of fingerprints as an identity marker of individuals is immense. Now the question that must be asked is:
Does Quran 75:4 truly talk about fingerprints and its uniqueness?
Let me cite a number of translations of Quran 75:3–4:
Yusuf Ali: Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very “tips of his fingers”.
Pickthal: Thinketh man that We shall not assemble his bones? Yea, verily. We are Able to restore his very “fingers”!
Shakir: Does man think that We shall not gather his bones? Yea! We are able to make complete his very “fingertips”.
Khalifa: Does the human being think that we will not reconstruct his bones? Yes indeed; we are able to reconstruct his “fingertip”.
Ahmed Ali: Does man think We shall not put his bones together? Surely We are able to reform even his “fingertips”.
As to background of these verses, the idolaters of Mecca—who had no idea of the Islamic concept of Resurrection, i.e. every humans would rise in perfect size and shape on the Judgment Day to answer questions to God/Allah—questioned Muhammad’s idea of resurrection of the dead and rotten. How could the scattered bones of the dead be put together to bring every dead individual to life, they asked? And, these two verses was Allah’s counter to such question of the Polytheists.
Different translations listed above gives a somewhat different rendering: it is talking about Allah’s ability to reassemble either the “fingertips” or the “fingers”.
Thus, these verses talk about fingertips or fingers, not fingerprints—the latter being unique to individuals. So, we once again see the opium-addicted hypnotic nature of Quranic miracle hunting Muslims, who are quick to discover ‘Big Bang’ from the letter ‘B’ in the Quran.
(From this pro-Islam article, Fingerprints and the human identity):
The Arabic word ‘banan’ has been rendered as fingertips or fingers in this verse. According to Arabic scholar Ibn Mandhour ‘banan’ in Arabic stands for:
Tip of the finger of hands and feet (banana means whole finger);
Joints of fingers.
While, according to scholar Khortobi: ‘banan’ means “fingers”, 'banana' being its singular form.
Thus, ‘banan’ may mean:
Now let me now make a couple of conclusions:
The translations of this verse suggest that it is not talking about “fingerprints” at all, but about “fingertips” or “fingers” (Fingerprints are a different thing from fingertips/fingers). If we take into consideration of other meanings of the word ‘banan’, it may also be talking about “finger-joints”.
What I think about this verse is that it talks about Allah’s ability of assembling scattered “bones” of the dead, not at all about “skin”, which contain fingerprints.
My feeling is that, while revealing this verse, Allah (aka Muhammad) had meant finger-joints, that is, Allah ability to assembling finger-joints—meaning joining finger-bones in right order.
Whatever the meaning, this verse does not talk about fingerprints at all, except to blindfolded Quranic miracle hunters. ‘Banan’ cannot mean “fingerprint”. None of the translators says so. Neither does any tafsirist or interpreters of the Quran as I include four tafsirs below.
1. Maududi tafsir:
That is, ‘Not to speak of building up your skeleton once again by gathering together the major bones? We are able to make whole the most delicate parts of your body, even your finger tips, as they used to be before.’
2. Ibn Abbâs tafsir:
(Yea, verily) I am capable of doing so. (Yea, We are able to restore his very fingers!) We are able to gather his fingers, such that his palm becomes like the hoof of a camel or beasts. He says: We are able to make his hand look like the hoof of a camel, so how is it that We cannot restore his bones?
3. Jalalyn tafsir:
Yes, indeed!, We shall assemble them. We are able, in addition to assembling them, to reshape [even] his fingers, that is to say, to restore their bones just as they had been, despite their smallness: so how much more so [are We able to restore] the larger ones!
4. Ibn Kathir tafsir:
…[the verse means] ‘does man think that We will not gather his bones Surely, We will gather them and We are quite able to put together his fingertips. This means Our power is suitable to gather (and recreate) them, and if We wished We could surely resurrect him with more than what he originally had. We could make his Banan, which are the tips of his fingers, all equal (in length).’
Now let us now agree that this verse truly talk about “fingerprints”, however impossible it may.
But was Quran the first to tell us about uniqueness of fingerprints? No, it is not.
Use of fingerprints to protect documents against forgery goes back to Babylonia some 2,500 years before Islam (i.e. 20th-19th century BCE), when parties to legal contracts impressed their fingerprints into the clay-tablets on which contracts had been written. Chinese officials impressed their fingerprints in clay-seals to seal official documents as early as the third century BCE, a practice that continued in China as they discovered paper and started using it for writing legal documents. Arab Muslim merchant Abu Zayd Hasan, while visiting China before 851 CE, witnessed Chinese merchants using fingerprints to authenticate loans.
Even forensic use of fingerprints, such as to keep records of criminals, goes back thousands of years before Islam. During Babylonian king Hammurabi (1792–1750 BCE), law-officials fingerprinted arrested criminals; in China, handprints were used as evidence in a trial for theft c. 300 CE. In 650 CE, the Chinese historian Kia Kung-Yen remarked that fingerprints could be used as a means of authentication. While Persian physician Rashid-al-Din Hamadani (1247–1318), referring to Chinese practice, wrote in his Jami al-Tawarikh:
"Experience shows that no two individuals have fingers exactly alike."
The Quranic verse 75:4 does not talk about “fingerprints” or its uniqueness at all. Moreover, humanity has known and used the uniqueness of fingerprints for identification purposes since ages before the coming of Islam.
Another Quranic miracle busted!!!
See Fingerprint, Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint#cite_note-20
M. A. Khan is the author of Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery, and the editor of islam-watch.org website.