Questions and Answers > Qur'an > Contradictions Qur'an 1-15

Qur’an 2:37 - Who was the first Muslim?

The Qur’an is telling us in Qur’an 2:37 that Abraham was the first Muslim. But in other Qur’an verses, Abraham, some Egyptians, Moses or Muhammad is the first Muslim.

1. The first Muslim is Adam - Qur’an 2:37
“Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Qur’an 2:37)
Adam was the first man and by saying that Adam is the first Muslim, although the Qur’an was compiled in 7th century AD by Muhammad. Therefore, it is a logical contradiction that Adam is the first Muslim. Only Muhammad can be the first Muslim. However the Qur’an says that Adam is the first Muslim.

2. The first Muslim is Abraham - Qur’an 2:127-133, 3:67, 6:161-163, 39:11-12
“Say (O Muhammad): Lo! I am commanded to worship Allah, making religion pure for Him (only). And I am commanded to be the first of those who are muslims (surrender unto Him).” (Qur’an 39:11-12 - Pickthall)
“Say: Lo! As for me, my Lord hath guided me unto a straight path, a right religion, the community of Abraham, the upright, who was no idolater. Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He hath no partner. This am I commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (unto Him).” (Qur’an 6:161-163 - Pickthall)
“Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Qur’an 2:128)
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists. (Qur’an 3:67)

3. The first Muslim are some Egyptians - Qur’an 26:51
“Indeed, we aspire that our Lord will forgive us our sins because we were the first of the believers.” (Qur’an 26:51)

4. The first Muslim is Moses - Qur’an 7:143
“….. and Moses fell unconscious. And when he awoke, he said, "Exalted are You! I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers …...” (Qur’an 7:143)

5. The first Muslim is Muhammad - Qur’an 6:14, 163
“….. Say, [O Muhammad], "Indeed, I have been commanded to be the first [among you] who submit [to Allah ] ….” (Qur’an 6:14)
Some Muslims say that it means that Muhammad is commanded to be the first Muslim “among” his people. There was no Islam before Muhammad. All content of the Qur’an can be traced into earlier Jewish, Christian and pagan Arab sources. So Muhammad was not the first Muslim in his region, but the first Muslim on the planet. We still have a contradiction between Muhammad as first Muslim and the previous four Qur’an verses who declare it was someone else who was the first Muslim.

6. Conclusion
The Qur’an shows five cases of “the first Muslim”. Only one can be the first. There is a contradiction in the Qur’an about the first Muslim.