The Prime Argument


The Prime Argument

Edip Yuksel vs. Carl Sagan


Edip Yuksel and Carl Sagan argue on the “mathematical structure” of the Quran and its philosophical implication regarding the existence of God. Carl Sagan, as an agnostic astronomer, expresses his doubts about such an inference. The two-round short argument provides a different perspective on the “Miraculous Code 19” of the Quran. It is a prime argument on a mysterious prime number.


74:0         In the name of God, the Gracious, the Compassionate.

74:1         O you hidden one:

74:2         Stand and warn.

74:3         Your Lord glorify.

74:4         Your garments purify.

74:5         Abandon all that is vile.

74:6         Do not be greedy.

74:7         To your Lord be patient.

74:8         So when the trumpet is sounded. [1]

74:9         That will be a very difficult day.

74:10       Upon the ingrates it will not be easy.

74:11       So leave Me alone with the one I have created.

74:12       I gave him abundant wealth.

74:13       Children to bear witness.

74:14       I made everything comfortable for him.

74:15       Then he wishes that I give more.

74:16       No. He was stubborn to Our signs.

74:17       I will exhaust him in climbing.

74:18       He thought and he analyzed.

74:19       So woes to him for how he analyzed.

74:20       Then woe to him for how he analyzed.

74:21       Then he looked.

74:22       Then he frowned and scowled.

74:23       Then he turned away in arrogance.

74:24       He said, “This is nothing but an impressive magic.”

74:25       “This is nothing but the words of a human.”

74:26       I will cast him in the Saqar.

74:27       Do you know what Saqar is?

74:28       It does not spare nor leave anything.

74:29       Manifest to all the people. [2]

74:30       On it is nineteen.

74:31       We have made the guardians of the fire to be angels; and We did not make their number except as a test for those who have rejected, to convince those who were given the book, to strengthen the acknowledgment of those who have acknowledged, so that those who have been given the book and those who acknowledge do not have doubt, and so that those who have a sickness in their hearts and the ingrates would say, “What did God mean by this example?” Thus God misguides whoever/whomever He wishes, and He guides whoever/whomever He wishes. None knows your Lord’s soldiers except Him. It is but a reminder for people.

74:32       No, by the moon.*

74:33       By the night when it passes.

74:34       By the morning when it shines.

74:35       It is one of the great ones. [3]

74:36       A warning to people.

74:37       For any among you who wishes to progress or regress.

In the name of God, Gracious, Merciful


Dear Carl Sagan,

Since I read your novel “Contact” three years ago I have been thinking to “contact” you. Recently, your Parading articles* forced me to write this letter and send you my first books in English.

To create a mutual knowledge of each other I will give headline information about me with segregated phrases.

The following unsolicited information of snap-shot moments of my life with a grammatically handicapped English (or “literary challenged”, if you like!), may send twinkling silly messages for a world-wide famous scientist. But, I bet you like silly things. I know from the conspicuous smile on your face.

[Personal information omitted]

Here I enclose two of my first booklets in English. I am planning to complete them with “19 Questions for atheists.”

Please read them, at least the last question (which is almost identical in both). It is about the “miraculous” mathematical structure of the Quran. Please don’t reject it without studying it, since it is very easy to confuse it with numerology. How will you react to someone who think that Astronomy is a branch of Astrology?

I would like to discuss with you on many issues. Just for this reason I’m applying to Cornell university for graduate program in Philosophy. We may end up co-authoring a book together, if you keep alive your diverse curiosity and sparkles in your eyes.

Edip Yuksel

*[Here, I refer to Sagan’s article “How Can Games Test Ethics? A New Way To Think About Rules To Live By” published in Parade Magazine, November 28, 1993. There Sagan used empirical evidence to compare some well-known ethical rules. He concluded that the Goldplated Brazen Rule is the most efficient rule. He referred to a Quranic “Brazen” verse quoted by President Clinton at the Israeli/Palestinian peace accords. “If the enemy inclines toward peace, do you also incline toward peace.” (8:61; 4:90). Nevertheless, other verses encouraging forgiveness in the practice of retaliation (such as 2:178) makes the Quranic rule a “Gold-plated Brazen Rule”.]

PS: If you want, I can send some of my short arguments on paranormal phenomena. By the way, I strongly believe that there is life in other parts of the universe, with a probability of being a few intelligent kind. My primary reason for this belief is very different than yours.

 “This Is The Only Way”

“No, don’t you see? This would be different. This isn’t just starting the universe out with some precise mathematical laws that determine physics and chemistry. This is a message. Whoever makes the universe hides messages in transcendental numbers so they’ll be read fifteen billion years later when intelligent life finally evolves. I criticized you and Rankin the time we first met for not understanding this. ‘If God wanted us to know that he existed, why didn’t he send us an unambiguous message?’ I asked. Remember?”

“I remember very well. You think God is a mathematician.”

“Something like that. If what we’re told is true. If this isn’t a wild-goose chase. If there’s a message hiding in pi and not one of the infinity of other transcendental numbers. That’s a lot of ifs.”

“You’re looking for Revelation in arithmetic. I know a better way.”

“Palmer, this is the only way. This is the only thing that would convince a skeptic. Imagine we find something. It doesn’t have to be tremendously complicated. Just something more orderly than could accumulate by chance that many digits into pi. That’s all we need. Then mathematicians all over the world can find exactly the same pattern or message or whatever it proves to be. Then there are no sectarian divisions. Everybody begins reading the same Scripture. No one could then argue that the key miracle in the religion was some conjurer’s trick, or that later historians had falsified the record, or that it’s just hysteria or delusion or a substitute parent for when we grow up. Everyone could be a believer.” (Sagan, Carl. Contact. Simon and Schuster. New York: 1985, p 418-419)

The above excerpts are quoted from CONTACT, a book by Dr. Carl Sagan the famous astronomer and writer. Sagan’s CONTACT is a novel expression of philosopher’s prime dream: Mathematical evidence for God’s existence.

Mathematics is considered as an a priori, that is knowledge gained independently of experience. Most of the philosophers highly relied on mathematics. Descartes who employed extreme doubt as a method to reach the knowledge (certainty) could not doubt from mathematics. The language of mathematics is universal.

The Most Controversial Concept

Hindus believe that he is incarnated in many human beings. Christians pontificate that he has multiple personalities, one of them being sacrificed for humanity. Jews assert that he is Jehovah. Muslims claim that he is Allah. Many question his gender. Millions die for him, millions fight for him, millions cry for him. Clergymen use his name as a trademark for their business, and the very same name motivates many devotees to give away their belongings as charity. Many joyfully sing songs for his love, and others outrageously declare dialectic or scientific wars against him. Some even exclaim that he is no longer alive (Nietzche, p. 275, Vol. 10).

Volume upon volume of books were published for and against him. Big lies were attributed to him while scientific hoaxes were arranged to deny him. He is in the courts, he is on the money, he is in the schools, he is in the mind of saints and in the mouth of hypocrites. Yes, he is everywhere. And yet, philosophers continuously question his existence. In fact, world religions, with numerous versions of odd gods, have not helped philosophers prove his existence. On the contrary, they created further intellectual problems and logical obstacles for questioning minds who try to reach him.

The Prime Evidence

The “prime” evidence comes in the form of a highly sophisticated mathematical code embedded in an ancient document. Computer decoding of this document was originally started by Dr. Rashad Khalifa, a biochemist, in 1969. In 1974, this study unveiled an intricate mathematical pattern based on a prime number. (Having interested with the subject the author, like many others, I examined Dr. Khalifa’s findings and assisted him in his further research.)

With the computer decoding of an ancient document summarized below, the argument for the existence of God gained an examinable physical evidence. Although the document presented here had been in existence for fourteen centuries, its mathematical code remained a secret until computer decoding became possible. As it turned out, the code ranges from extreme simplicity to a complex, interlocking intricacy. Thus, it can be appreciated by persons with limited education, as well as scholars.

This ancient document is the Quran, revealed to Muhammad of Arabia early in the seventh century as The Final Testament. The following is a condensed summary of this unique literary code. Please note that one does not need to know Arabic, the original language of the Quran, to examine most of the evidences presented below. For some of them one may only need to recognize the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet.

The Message For The Computer Generation

Chapter 74 of the Quran is dedicated to the PRIME number 19. This chapter is titled “Al-Muddassir” (The Hidden Secret). The number 19 is specifically mentioned in that Chapter as a “punishment” for those who state that the scripture is human-made (74:25). This number is also called “One of the greatest portents” (74:35). In 74:31, the purpose of the number 19 is described: to remove all doubts regarding the authenticity of the Quran, to increase the faith of the believers, and to be a scientific punishment for hypocrites and disbelievers. However, the implication of this number as a proof for the authenticity of the Quran remained unknown for centuries. For fourteen centuries, the commentators tried in vain to understand the function and fulfillment of the number 19.

Before The Secret Was Decoded

Before the discovery of the 19-based system, we were aware of a symmetrical mathematical wonder in the Quran. For example:

  • The word “month” (shahr) occurs 12 times.
  • The word “day” (yawm) occurs 365 times.
  • The word “days” (eyyam, yawmeyn) occurs 30 times.
  • The words “satan” (shaytan) & “angel” (malak), each occur 88 times.
  • The words “this world” (dunya) and “hereafter” (ahirah), each occur 115 times.

Simple To Understand, Impossible To Imitate

The mathematical structure of the Quran, or The Final Testament, is simple to understand, yet impossible to imitate. You do not need to know Arabic, the original language of the Quran to examine it for yourself. Basically, what you need is to be able to count until 19. It is a challenge for atheists, an invitation for agnostics and a guidance for believers. It is a perpetual miracle for the computer generation. Dr. Rashad Khalifa introduces this supernatural message as follows:

The Quran is characterized by a unique phenomenon never found in any human authored book. Every element of the Quran is mathematically composed-the chapters, the verses, the words, the number of certain letters, the number of words from the same root, the number and variety of divine names, the unique spelling of certain words, and many other elements of the Quran besides its content. There are two major facets of the Quran’s mathematical system: (1) The mathematical literary composition, and (2) The mathematical structure involving the numbers of chapters and verses. Because of this comprehensive mathematical coding, the slightest distortion of the Quran’s text or physical arrangement is immediately exposed (Rashad Khalifa, Quran The Final Testament, 1989, p. 609).

Physical, Examinable Evidence

Here is the summary of this historical message:

  • The first verse, i.e., the opening statement “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim”, shortly “Basmalah,” consists of 19 Arabic letters.
  • The first word of Basmalah, Ism (name), withouth conraction, occurs in the Quran 19 times.
  • The second word of Basmalah, Allah (God) occurs 2698 times, or 19×142.
  • The third word of Basmalah, Rahman (Gracious) occurs 57 times, or 19×3.
  • The fourth word of Basmalah, Rahim (Merciful) occurs 114 times, or 19×6.
  • Although this phenomenon (the opening statement consists of 19 letters, and each word occurs in multiple of 19) represents a minute portion of the code, it was described by Martin Gardner in the Scientific American as “ingenious” (September, 1981, p. 22-24)
  • The multiplication factors of the words of the Basmalah (1+142+3+6) add up to 152 or 19×8.
  • The Quran consists of 114 chapters, which is 19×6.
  • The total number of verses in the Quran including all unnumbered Basmalahs is 6346, or 19×334. If you add the digits of that number, 6+3+4+6 equals 19.
  • The Basmalah occurs 114 times, (despite its conspicuous absence from chapter 9, it occurs twice in chapter 27) and 114 is 19×6.
  • From the missing Basmalah of chapter 9 to the extra Basmalah of chapter 27, there are precisely 19 chapters.
  • The occurrence of the extra Basmalah is in 27:30. The number of the chapter and the verse add up to 57, or 19×3.
  • Each letter of the Arabic alphabet corresponds to a number according to their original sequence in the alphabet. The Arabs were using this system for calculations. When the Quran was revealed 14 centuries ago, the numbers known today did not exist. A universal system was used where the letters of the Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek alphabets were used as numerals. The number assigned to each letter is its “Gematrical Value.” The numerical values of the Arabic alphabet are shown below:

[the table is omitted]

A study on the gematrical values of about 120 attributes of God which are mentioned in the Quran, shows that only four attributes have gematrical values which are multiples of 19. These are “Wahid” (One), “Zul Fadl al Azim” (Possessor of Infinite Grace), “Majid” (Glorous), “Jaami” (Summoner). Their gematrical value are 19 , 2698, 57, and 114 respectively, which are all divisible by 19 and correspond exactly to the frequencies of occurrence of the Basmalah’s four words.

  • The total numbers of verses where the word “Allah” (God) occurs, add up to 118123, and is 19×6217.
  • The total occurrences of the word Allah (God) in all the verses whose numbers are multiples of 19 is 133, or 19×7.
  • The key commandment: “You shall devote your worship to God alone” (in Arabic “Wahdahu”) occurs in 7:70; 39:45; 40:12,84; and 60:4. The total of these numbers adds up to 361, or 19×19.
  • The Quran is characterized by a unique phenomenon that is not found in any other book: 29 chapters are prefixed with “Quranic Initials” which remained mysterious for 1406 years. With the discovery of the code 19, we realized their major role in the Quran’s mathematical structure. The initials occur in their respective chapters in multiples of 19. For example, Chapter 19 has five letters in its beginning, K.H.Y.A’.SS., and the total occurrence of these letters in this chapter is 798, or 19×42.
  • To witness the details of the miracle of these initials, a short chapter which begins with one initial, letter “Q”, will be a good example. The frequency of “Q” in chapter 50 is 57, or 19×3. The letter “Q” occurs in the other Q-initialed chapter, i.e., chapter 42, exactly the same number of times, 57. The total occurrence of the letter “Q” in the two Q-initialed chapters is 114, which equals the number of chapters in the Quran. The description of the Quran as “Majid” (Glorious) is correlated with the frequency of occurrence of the letter “Q” in each of the Q-initialed chapters. The word “Majid” has a gematrical value of 57. Chapter 42 consists of 53 verses, and 42+53 is 95, or 19×5. Chapter 50 consists of 45 verses, and 50+45 is 95, or 19×5.
  • The Quran mentions 30 different cardinal numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 19, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 99, 100, 200, 300, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, 50000, & 100000. The sum of these numbers is 162146, which equals 19×8534.
  • In addition to 30 cardinal numbers, the Quran contains 8 fractions: 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3. Thus, the Quran contains 38 (19×2) different numbers. The total of fractions is approximately 2.
  • If we write down the number of each verse in the Quran, one next to the other, preceded by the number of verses in each chapter, the resulting long number consists of 12692 digits (19×668). Additionally, the huge number itself is also a multiple of 19.

Similar Phenomenon In Older Documents

It is significant that the same 19-based mathematical composition was discovered by Rabbi Judah in the 12th century AD in a preserved part of the Old Testament. Below is a quote from Studies In Jewish Mysticism.

“The people (Jews) in France made it a custom to add (in the morning prayer) the words: ” ’Ashrei temimei derekh (blessed are those who walk the righteous way),” and our Rabbi, the Pious, of blessed memory, wrote that they were completely and utterly wrong. It is all gross falsehood, because there are only nineteen times that the Holy Name is mentioned (in that portion of the morning prayer), . . . and similarly you find the word Elohim nineteen times in the pericope of Ve-’elleh shemot . . . .

“Similarly, you find that Israel were called “sons” nineteen times, and there are many other examples. All these sets of nineteen are intricately intertwined, and they contain many secrets and esoteric meanings, which are contained in more than eight volumes. Therefore, anyone who has the fear of God in him will not listen to the words of the Frenchmen who add the verse ” ’Ashrei temimei derekh (blessed are those who walk in the paths of God’s Torah, for according to their additions the Holy Name is mentioned twenty times . . . and this is a great mistake. Furthermore, in this section there are 152 words, but if you add ” ’Ashrei temimei derekh” there are 158 words. This is nonsense, for it is a great and hidden secret why there should be 152 words . . .” (Studies In Jewish Mysticism, Joseph Dan, Association for Jewish Studies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1978, p 88.)

How Can We Explain This Phenomenon?

There are basically four possible explanations:

  1. Manipulation: One may be skeptical about our data regarding the mathematical structure of the Quran. However, one can eliminate this option by spending several hours of checking the data at random. Several books on the subject have been published. Muslim scholars and clerics who have traded the Quran with primitive mediaeval fabrications, that is, Hadith and Sunna, strongly reject this mathematical system, since the mathematical system exposes the corruption of religions by clergymen. Today’s Islam (Submission) has virtually nothing to do with original teaching of Muhammad, that is, the Quran.
  2. Coincidence: This possibility is eliminated by the statistical probability laws. The consistency and frequency of the 19-based pattern is much too overwhelming to occur coincidentally.
  3. Human fabrication: While fabricating a literary work that meets the criteria of the document summarized here is a stunning challenge for our computer generation, it is certainly even more improbable during the time of initiation of the document, namely, 610 AD. One more fact augments the improbability of human fabrication. If a certain person or persons had fabricated this literary work, they would want to reap the fruits of their efforts; they would have shown it to people to prove their cause. In view of the originality, complexity, and mathematical sophistication of this work, one has to admit that it is ingenious. However, no one has ever claimed credit for this unique literary code; the code was never known prior to the computer decoding accomplished by Dr. Khalifa. Therefore, it is reasonable to exclude the possibility of human fabrication.The timing of the discovery may be considered another evidence for the existence and full control of the Supreme Being: The mystery of the number 19 which is mentioned as “one of the greatest events” in the chapter 74 (The Hidden Secret) was discovered by Dr. Khalifa in1974, exactly 1406 (19×74) lunar years after the revelation of the Quran. The connection between 19 (the code) and 74 (the number of the chapter which this code is mentioned) is significant in the timing of the discovery.
  4. Super Intelligent Source: The only remaining possibility is that a super intelligent source is responsible for this document; one who designed the work in this extraordinary manner, then managed to keep it a well-guarded secret for 14 centuries, for a predetermined time. The mathematical code ensures that the source is super intelligent and also that the document is perfectly intact.