In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
Nonie Darwish suggested in her book Cruel and Usual Punishment that a petition be presented to the American Congress “to require a disclaimer on all Muslim books sold in America; that includes every Qur’an, Hadith, or Sharia book and any text book that has verses or hadiths commanding the killing of apostates or non-Muslims. The disclaimer should read something like this:
“The calls for murder and violent jihad in this book are only metaphorical and should not be acted up against modern day Jews, Christians, atheists, or former Muslims. Any act of violence on the basis of such scriptures will be prosecuted under the law under the hate-crime laws of the United States of America.” (p. 228).
(For our response please see Nonie Darwish-Cruel and Usual Punishment item #209(136).
The Toronto Star, Sunday, February 21, 2010, in the article Schools try to lift veil of suspicion by Rick Westhead, (p. A 13) he wrote: “U.S. President Barack Obama was surely speaking for many when he said in a September 2008 speech that he worries, “the child who goes to a radical madrassa outside of Karachi can end up endangering the security of my daughters in Chicago.”” (Never mind the daughters [and sons] of others in the world that American foreign policy have endangered).
(While there is no terrorism in Islam). President Obama needs to use his head. It is not the child that goes to madrassa outside of Karachi that endangers his daughters in Chicago. It is the U.S. wresting Palestine from Muslims and giving it to Jews and supporting this occupation for more than sixty years and for wanting to run Muslim countries and control their oil that are “endangering the security of” his “daughters in Chicago.”
In the same publication Rick Westhead in his topic Public Schools not always tolerant, (p. A 13) noted from “Dr. Haroona Jatoi, a former official with the education ministry who was in charge of Pakistan’s public-school curriculum”:
“Jatoi said the text-book board recently told the World Bank and other funding agencies that a section quoting Surah At-Tawba, a section of the Qur’an, had been removed from ninth- and tenth-grade textbooks.
“Fight against those who believe not in Allāh nor the last day,” the Qur’an reads. Of Jews and Christians, it adds, “Allāh’s curse be on them; how they are deluded away from the truth!”
“They said it was removed, but really it was just moved to Grade 11 and 12 books,” Jatoi said.”
The statement about Jews and Christians in its full text (Qur’an 9:30) reads: “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allāh; and the Christians say: The Messiah (Jesus) is the son of Allāh. These are the words of their mouths. They imitate the saying of those (the Pagans) who disbelieved before. Allāh’s curse be on them. How they are turned away (or “deluded away from the truth”).
That Allāh says to “Fight against those who believe not in Allāh nor the last day,” refers only to those who first take up arms against Muslims. (For the full text of this verse and explanation please see ISLAM-INTOLERANCE).
Muslims are to study the Qur’an instead of trying to minimize it through ignorance. Muslims who advocate altering the Qur’an to pacify Western sentiments must know they are kindling their Hell-fire with their tongues.
-The Qur’an stresses the fulfilling of covenants, keeping of oaths and not to be deceptive (16:91-92); to speak justly (6:153); to be righteous (2:277-278; 6:152-154); to not let hatred for a people incite you to transgress (5:2); to render back trusts to whom they are due, and to judge justly (4:58); because Allah God loves those who judge in equity (5:45-47).
-The Qur’an admonishes against dealing unjustly with men (2:279, 5:8); and not to rob them of their dues (26:183); to give justice even if it be against one’s self or parents or kins or whether he be poor or rich (4:135), encourages the feeding of the needy and the poor, to free the captives, to help those in debt, to care for the orphans, the wayfarer, and to free the slaves (9:60, 2:177), not to act corruptly in the earth or to make mischief (26:183); not to be transgressors (2:190), not to help one another in sin and aggression (5:2), to restrain our anger and forgive others (3:133), to fight on behalf of the oppressed (4:75); because Allah God loves those who are just, and because He commands justice and the doing of good, and He forbids injustice (60:8, 16:90).
-The Qur’an forbids against helping one another in sin, and to not counsel one another in sin, but in goodness (5:2; 60:8-9); to avoid letting hatred of a people incite transgression (5:2); not to take a greater recompense than the injury suffered (2:194; 16:126; 42:40); that instead of retaliation, to make reconciliation, and to show patience and forgiveness (16:126; 42:39-43); to be merciful and forgiving (3:133); to fight only as long as there is persecution and oppression (2:193), and to make peace when the enemy desires peace (4:90, 8:61); because Allah God loves the doer of good, and the dutiful (2:195, 3:75).
-The Qur’an reveals that all men are created equal (95:4), that we are made into different tribes and nations that we may know one another (49:13), that we are to be judged not by our race, color or nationality but by our deeds (6:133), that angels ask forgiveness for all mankind (42:5), that the noblest ones are those who are righteous (49:13, 98:7), not to let hatred of a people incite you to transgress, and to help one another in righteousness and help not each other in sin and aggression (5:2), to return evil with that which is better (23:96), to give justice (4:58; 5:8); because Allah God loves those who judge in equity, and because Allah God is aware of what you do (5:45, 4:135). It cannot honestly be denied that the world today would benefit from a massive dose of such lofty and sublime Qur’anic doctrines.
The Qur’an is not a story-book. It does “not relate stories for the sake of giving information of the past, but for the lessons which they afford for the future guidance of man.”
Neither is the Qur’an “a book of laws, but essentially a book meant for the spiritual and moral advancement of man, and therefore the power, greatness, grandeur and glory of God is its chief theme, the principles of social laws enunciated therein being also meant to promote the moral and spiritual advance-ment of man,” says Muhammad Ali. (Comm. p. vi).
(Muhammad Ali has provided, which I have found to be, the most informative commentaries to his translation of the Qur’an. Also his preliminary notes to his trans-lation are invaluable. His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org
Abrogation and discrepancies in the Qur’an: The Prophet is the only person who could decide which verse is to be in the Qur’an; and when the Prophet never made any such declaration that one verse has been abrogated by another.
The Qur’an 16:101 and 2:106 is the basis for the supposed ab-rogation in the Qur’an. Qur’an 2:106 which reads: “Whatever message We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or one like it” does not refer to the Qur’anic verses. It refers to the Jewish law, as the context shows. The Jews “could not accept a new revelation which was not granted to an Israelite,” notes Muhammad Ali
“This is plainly stated in vv. 90 and 91. …Their objection was: Why was another revelation sent down to Muham-mad, and why was a law containing new commandments promulgated? …The answer is given partly in v. 105, and partly in the verse under discussion. In the former of these they are told that Allah chooses whom He pleases for His revelation. In the latter, that if one law (i.e. the Jewish law) was abrogated, one better than it was given through the Holy Prophet. It should be noted that the new law is here stated to be better than the one abrogated or like it. It is a fact that though the law of the Qur’an is decidedly superior to and more comprehensive than the previous laws in most respects, yet there are many points of likeness in the two. Hence the words one like it are added.
…the old law had been partly forgotten, and what re-mained was now abrogated to give place to one better and in certain matters one like it. It will thus be seen that the reference here is to the abrogation of the Jewish law, the statement being really an answer to the objection of the Jews.
That some of the Qur’anic verses were abrogated by others, though a generally accepted doctrine, is due to a misconception of the words of this verse. The word ayat occurring here has been wrongly understood to mean a verse of the Qur’an. Similar words occur elsewhere: “And when We change one message (ayat) for another message (ayat), and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say thou art only a forger” (16:101). This is a Makkan reve-lation and it is an undisputed fact, admitted by all uphold-ers of abrogation in the Qur’an, that there was no abro-gation at Makkah, because the details of the law were not revealed there. Therefore the word ayat, occurring there twice, could only mean a message or a communication from God, and the first message meant the previous scriptures and by the second message was meant the Qur’an.
The interpretation adopted by the commentators generally is not based on any saying of the Prophet; it is their own opinion. Nor is there a single report traceable to the Prophet that such and such a verse was abrogated. A companion’s opinion that he considered a certain verse to have been abrogated by another could not carry the least weight. It was the Prophet only on whose authority any verse was accepted as being a part of the Holy Qur’an, and it was he only on whose authority any verse could be considered as having been abrogated. But there is not a single hadith of the Prophet speaking of abrogation.
Another consideration which shows the erroneousness of the doctrine that any verse of the Qur’an was abrogated by another is the hopeless disagreement of the upholders of this view. In the first place there is no agreement as to the number of the verses which are alleged to have been abrogated; while some accept no more than five verses to be abrogated, others carry the number to hundreds. This shows that the view is based simply on conjecture. Secondly, if one commentator holds a certain verse to be abrogated, another calls this an erroneous view. In Bukhari especially do we find opposite views cited side by side. What happened really was this that when a commentator could not reconcile one verse with another, he held the verse to be abrogated by the other, but another who, giving deeper thought was able to effect a reconciliation between the two, rejected abrogation. This seems to be the basis on which the theory of abrogation of Qur’anic verses rests, and this basis is demolished by the Holy Qur’an when it says: “Do they not then meditate on the Qur’an? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy” (4:82). There are no discrepancies in the Qur’an, and it is want of meditation on it that is responsible for the theory of abrogation.”1
“The words “or cause to be forgotten”–(2:106), cannot refer to the Qur’an at all because no portion of it could be said to have been forgotten so as to require a new reve-lation in its place. There is no point in supposing that God should first make the prophet forget a verse and then reveal a new one in its place. Why not, if he really had forgotten a verse, remind him of the one forgotten? ….That the Pro-phet never forgot what was recited to him by the Holy Spirit is plainly stated in the Qur’an: “We shall make thee recite, so thou shalt not forget”–(87:6)…It was a miracle indeed that he never forgot any portion of the Qur’an, though other things he might forget, and it is to his forget-fulness in other things that the words except what Allah pleases, in the next verse (87:7), refer*. On the other hand, it is a fact that parts of the older revelations had been utter-ly lost and forgotten, and thus the Qur’an was needed to take the place of that which was abrogated, and that which had been forgotten by the world.”2
*(The Prophet’s forgetfulness in daily matters is not without its benefit. Two occasions of the Prophet’s forgetfulness that proved beneficial to Muslims
(1) Upon given the night in Ramadan when the first Revelation of the Qur’an came–known as the night of Qadr, and which Muslims observe as the 27th night–the Prophet came out to inform his followers but found two of them quarreling. Because of this the Prophet forgot the date and told the Muslims to search for this night in one of the odd night in the last ten days of Ramadan. This is a blessing in that Muslims instead of observing one night observes at least five [or the full ten].
(2) It was once pointed out to the Prophet that he offered one less rakah [sequence] in his prayer. To rectify this mistake the Prophet made two sijdahs [prostrations] and the usual two salaams [recitals to the right and left shoulders, respectively]. This is a blessing to Muslims.
But for the Prophet’s forgetfulness, Muslims making similar mistakes would have been at a loss as to how to correct their error of forgetfulness. Perhaps these instances of the Prophet’s forgetfulness are of Divine artistry for the benefit of Muslims).
The Qur’an speaking about abrogation and changing of mess-age refers to the replacing of laws/messages of Scriptures previous to the Qur’an. The following are some of the Biblical laws that the Qur’an has abrogated:
- (Apostasy): Those who “secretly” entice another to follow an unknown God are to be stoned to death–(Deut. 13:5-16; 17:2-5).
- A “stubborn and rebellious son” is to be stoned to death–(Deut. 21:18-21).
- (Honor killings): Married damsel without the “token of virginity” is to be stoned to death: “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you”–(Deut. 22:20-21).
- A virginal damsel who lies with a man other than her “betrothed,” both are to be stoned to death–(Deut. 22:23-24).
- A witch is to be put to death–(Exodus 22:18).
- Who curses his father or mother is to be put to death –(Lev. 20:9).
- Punishment for adultery is death–(Lev. 20:10-12; Deut. 22:22).
- Homosexuals are to be put to death–(Lev. 20:13).
- A man who takes a “wife and her mother,” both shall be burnt with fire–(Lev. 20:14).
- Who commits bestiality are to be put to death–(Lev. 20:15-16).
- (Blasphemy): “And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed….And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.…And he that blasphe-meth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death.” “And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the Lord commanded Moses”–(Lev. 24:11-16, 23).
- The adulteress is to be stoned–(John 8:3-5).
(Jesus may have said to turn the other cheek–(Luke 6:29), and that the one who is without sin to cast a stone at the adulteress–(John 8:3-7).
These sayings of Jesus do not abrogate the Mosaic teachings of an eye for an eye–(Exod. 21:24), and to stone those guilty of adultery–(Lev. 20:10/John 8:5). To turn the “other cheek” is not applicable to infractions against cardinal laws.
Jesus not only says that he came to fulfill the law–(Matt. 5:17-18), but he explicitly instructed his followers to “observe and do” what-ever the “scribes and Pharisees” bid them to do because they sit in Moses’ seat–(Matt. 23:2-3). And the Mosaic teachings are to take an eye for an eye, and to stone the adulterer/adulteress.
Jesus could not be said to have abrogated these Mosaic laws and yet tell his followers to observe them. It would be a contradiction.
To say that the law of stoning was abrogated because no man is without sin and therefore no one would be able to “cast a stone,” it would have been pointless for God to have given such a law that man could not have carried out.
It would have been interesting to note Jesus’ response if the Jews had said to him, since he, Jesus, was without sin, and as an upholder of the Judaic law, for him to first cast a stone at the woman. Notably, the woman did not deny the charge of adultery).
The claim that earlier Makkan “tolerance” was “abrogated by later Madinan “intolerance”” is baseless. Later Madinan revelations of “retribution” did not abrogate earlier Makkan revelations of “compassion.”
In the human sphere, a nation that is perceived as evil is first requested by the World body–the UN–to change its policy on its own. Failing to comply, the nation is subjected to the second step of sanctions. And followed, if need be, by the third stage of military action against it.
Allāh is Just; He does not punish a people for its evil without first sending a messenger, to admonish them to reform to good-ness: “And We destroyed no town but it had (its) warners–To remind. And We are never unjust”–(Qur’an 26:208-209. Also 28:59).
At Makkah the Idolaters not only rejected Prophet Moham-mad’s “compassion” with persecution but pursued him to Madi-nah to annihilate him. Hence, they entered the second phase of their war against peace–to be threatened with punishment. Yet, they were heedless. Therefore, the third phase–that of force–became necessary.
Makkan “compassion” did not change to Madinan “retribution”: the method of approach changed to suit the prevailing atmosphere. The Qur’anic message is both “compassion” and “retribution”–compassion to those who refrain from transgression and retribution against transgressors.
Parent’s have both “softness” and “hardness” of hearts: exercising one or the other depending upon the child’s behavior–whether the child is obedient or delinquent. One does not abrogate the other.
There are no “discrepancies” in the Qur’an, only a lack of meditating on it.
A jumble: “The Qur’an does not relate stories for the sake of giving information of the past, but for the lessons which they afford for the future guidance of man.”3
Abul A’la Mawdudi explains:
“The Qur’an is a complete and the most perfect code of life and provides humanbeing with a comprehensive and unerring intellectual and practical guidance. It offers the best way of life to be established here in this world and guarantee the success and affluence in the life Hereafter.”
“Unlike conventional books, the Qur’an does not con-tain information, ideas and arguments about specific themes arranged in a literary order. That is why a stranger to the Qur’an, on his first approach to it, is baffled when he does not find the inunciation of its theme or its division into chapters and sections or separate treatment of differ-ent topics and separate instructions for different aspects of life arranged in a serial order. …He finds that it deals with creeds, gives moral instructions, lays down laws, invites people to Islam, admonishes the disbelievers, draws les-sons from historical events, administers warnings gives good tidings, all blended together in a beautiful manner. The same subject is repeated in different ways and one topic follows the other without any apparent connection. Sometimes a new topic crops up in the middle of another without any apparent reason. The speaker and the addres-sees, and the direction of the address change without any notice. ”
“The reader may be saved from all these difficulties, if he is warned before-hand that “The Book he is going to study is the only book of its kind in the whole world: that its literary style is quite different from that of all other books: that it’s theme is unique and that his pre-conceived notion of a book cannot help him understand the Qur’an”.
“The SUBJECT it deals with is MAN: it discusses those aspects of his life that lead either to his real success or failure.
The CENTRAL THEME that runs throughout the Qur’an is the exposition of the Reality and the invitation to the Right Way based on it. It declares that Reality is the same that was revealed by Allah Himself to Adam at the time of his appointment as vicegerent, and to all the Mes-sengers after him, and the Right Way is the same that was taught by all the Messengers. It also points out that all theories contradictory to this Reality, invented by people about Allah, the universe, man and his relations with Allah and the rest of His creation, are all wrong and that all the ways of life based on them are erroneous and lead to ruinous consequences.
The AIM and OBJECT of the revelations is to invite man to that Right Way and to present clearly the Guidance which he has lost because of his negligence or has perverted by his wickedness.
If the reader keeps these three basic things in mind, he will find that in this Book there is no incongruity in the style, no gap in the continuity of the subject and no lack of interconnection between its various topics. As a matter of fact, this Book is not irrelevant anywhere with regard to its Subject, its Central Theme and its Aim. From its very beginning to its end, the different topics it deals with are so intimately connected with its Central Theme that they may be likened to the beautiful gems of the same neck-lace, despite their different colours and sizes. The Qur’an keeps the same object in view, whether it is relating the story of the creation of the earth or of the Heavens or of man or is referring to the manifestations in the universe or stating events from human history. As the aim of the Qur’an is to guide man and not to teach nature study or history or philosophy or any other science or art, it does not concern itself with these latter subjects. The only thing with which it is concerned is to expound the Reality, to remove misunderstandings and misconceptions about it, to impress the Truth upon the minds, to warn them of the consequences of wrong attitudes and to invite humanity to the Right Way. The same is true of the criticism of the creeds, of the moral systems, of the deeds of men and communities and of its discussions of the problems of meta-physics etc. That is why it states or discusses or cites a thing only to the extent relevant to its aims and objects and leaves out unnecessary and irrelevant details and turns over and over again to its Central Theme and to its invi-tation round which every other topic revolves. When the Qur’an is studied in this light, no doubt is left that the whole of it is a closely reasoned argument and there is continuity of subject throughout the Book.”4
(When one is forced to believe and is subjected to Judiciary for denying a thing the truth of such a thing becomes highly suspect.
If an event or doctrine is truth there is no necessity to legislate belief in it or to criminalize question or denial of it; proponents and opponents alike must provide proofs of their claim and let the public judge who is truthful and who is liar.
To institute a law against denial of a thing is an abomination and an insult to the intellectuals and to all members of society–it may be equated with tyranny; and may be an avenue to other such legislation(s).
Laws do not prevent people from being violated: laws can only bring violators to justice; laws do not sanctify or justify a claim: truth does.
Forcing people to not speak out only serves to silence voices: it does not change mentality. Such a law may bring more harm than benefit–it may attract more opposition to the “truth” it professes to protect.
It is a monumental disgrace that “civilized” society would allow such a law to be instituted. Such a law is repugnant to reason. And is to be repealed. Forth-with!
Be it history or theology Truth stands by itself; Falsehood needs to be propped up!)
The despots must be having a “laugh-a-rama” at this “democratic” law: ‘and they call us tyrants. Hah!’
Borrowed teachings in the Qur’an: “The Qur’anic Revelation has a history which is fundamentally different from the other two (i.e. The Old Testament and the Gospels). It spanned a period of some twenty years and, as soon as it was transmitted to Muhammad by Archangel Gabriel, believers learned it by heart. It was also written down during Muhammad’s life….(After the Prophet’s death) They had the advantage of being checked by people who already knew the text by heart, for they had learned it at the time of the Revelation itself and had subsequently recited it constantly. Since then, we know that the text has been scrupulously preserved. It does not give rise to any problems of authenticity.” (Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Qur’an, and Science, pp. 250-251)
Islam teaches that Allah raised prophets/messengers among all nations and gave them revelations. If all these religions–Zoroas-trianism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam–have simi-larities in doctrines, it could not be said that one have been “influenced” by the other; or that Mohammad (or the Qur’an) borrowed these teachings. A child who is given the same guide-lines as his older brother could not be said to have borrowed those instructions from the older brother.
In fact, Allāh informs us that the advent of the Prophet was foretold in ancient Scriptures and that He made it known through those prophets for their followers to believe in and help the Prophet Mohammad–(Qur’an 3:80; 26:196).
That Muhammad got his teachings from his fellow man, the following statements from the observation of Maurice Bucaille are sufficient to refute this piece of age-old foolhardiness which the critics of Islam have continued to make; Maurice Bucaille notes in his book The Bible, The Qur’an, and Science:
“More than a thousand years before our time, at a period when whimsical doctrines still prevailed, men had a knowledge of the Qur’an. The statements it contains express in simple terms truths of primordial importance which man has taken centuries to discover.” (p. 207).
“What initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text of this kind is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed: the Creation, astronomy, the explanation of certain matters concerning the earth, and the animal and vegetable kingdoms, human reproduction. Whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a single error in the Qur’an. I had to stop and ask myself: if a man was the author of the Qur’an, how could he have written facts in the Seventh century A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?” (p. 120).
(In the Qur’an) “statements are to be found in it (as has been shown) that are connected with science: and yet it is unthinkable that a man of Muhammad’s time could have been the author of them. Modern scientific knowledge therefore allows us to understand certain verses of the Qur’an which, until now, it has been impossible to interpret.” (p. 251).
“In view of the level of knowledge in Muhammad’s day, it is inconceivable that many of the statements in the Qur’an which are connected with science could have been the work of a man. It is, moreover, perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Qur’an as the expression of a Revelation, but also to award it a very special place, on account of the guarantee of authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements which, when studied today, appear as a challenge to explanation in human terms.” (pp. 251-252). (Emphasis/ color added).
That Mohammad copied the Bible, there is “an enormous difference between the Biblical description and the data in the Qur’an concerning the Creation,” wrote Mr. Bucaille. (Ibid. p. 148).
-The Bible says that Adam and Eve were given a life sentence of sorrow and hardship for eating of the forbidden tree–(Genesis 3:16-19). But the Qur’an says that Allāh forgave them–(Qur’an 2:37; 20:122).
-The Bible says woman is a ‘defiler’ of man–(Rev. 14:4). But the Qur’an says woman is the “twin-half” of man–(Qur’an 4:1; 7:189).
-The Bible says that man was not created for the woman, but that the woman was created for the man–(1 Cor. 11:9). But the Qur’an says that man and woman were created for each other–(Qur’an 2:187; 4:1; 7:189; 30:21).
-The Bible says that the Flood of Noah covered the entire earth. But Allah God reveals that only Noah’s people were destroyed–(Qur’an 25:37; 29:14; 71:25). Maurice Bucaille* has shown that this Flood of Noah could not have been a global occurrence. *(The Bible The Qur’an and Science, pp. 32-35).
(It may be asked, how then is the story of this Flood known in other cultures if it was not global? The answer is simple–Allāh, God, as Islam teaches, raised prophets among all peoples; thus, just as how God gave this revelation to the prophet of Israel and to the Prophet Mohammad,
God could also have given this knowledge to those prophets of other nations who taught it to their respective peoples. The erroneous belief that this deluge covered the entire world may have come from taking the “world” or “earth” of Noah’s environment to mean the entire world/earth).
The Qur’an explains that Iblis (Satan) vowed to lead man astray because he was cast down from grace for disobeying God, because he considered himself superior to man–(Qur’an 7:11-18). But the Bible does not give any motive for the serpent’s opposition to God and for tempting the woman (Eve)–(Genesis 3:1-13). As the serpent seemed to belong to the kingdom of thebeast–(Genesis 3:1), and must have been an animal/reptile, it could not then, not having any faculty of reasoning and no freedom of choice, beguile the woman.
(The serpent could not have been human. Adam and Eve were the only humans at that time. If the Devil had spoken through the serpent then the serpent was a helpless pawn and should not have been the one to be “cursed” to crawl upon his belly and eat dust all his life–(Gen. 3:14). One who is possessed by the Devil is not responsible for his/her actions).
If Mohammad wrote the Qur’an, it is remarkable that this mortal produced a Book that is superior to the Bible, which is claimed to be “Word of God.”
If humans taught Mohammad, he should have been in error just as they were.
If Mohammad copied the Bible he should have been in error just as the Bible.
These truth/knowledge (which scientists have confirmed) and the prophecies of the Qur’an (some of which have manifested) are sufficient to refute atheism, and to establish Mohammad as the Messenger of Allāh, God.
That the Qur’an “contains nothing new.” No other Scripture can show prophecies, scientific ideas, and events of the Dooms-day, materials on women, orphans and slavery, and descriptions of Paradise and Hell, as detailed in the Qur’an.
Collecting of the Qur’an: If the Qur’an had no “definitive text” till “the ninth century,” then, seeing that Muslims lived in different countries, there should be more than one version of the Qur’an. How then can one account for the universality of the one Qur’an?
(Muhammad Ali in his preliminary notes to his translation of the Qur’an has refuted all the objections against the authenticity of the Qur’an; including the “great disco-very” of “Dr. Mingana’s Leaves”.
Muhammad Ali has not only proved the authenticity of the Qur’an, but also the collecting of it; and that the arrangement and sequence of the chapters as they appeared in the Qur’an was established by the noble Messenger himself. The material on this matter is voluminous. I enter a few excerpts sufficient to establish the authenticity of the Qur’an, and an “Arabian origin for Islam”):
“The Qur’an was revealed piece-meal (25:32) during a period of 23 years. … The practice was, as will be shown later on, that when a chapter was revealed in parts, the Holy Prophet specified, under Divine guidan-ce, the place of the verse revealed, and thus the arrangement of verses in each chapter was entirely his work. Similarly, later on when a considerable portion had been revealed, the arrangement of the chapters was also the work of the Holy Prophet himself. It is in one of the earliest revelations that the Holy Qur’an speaks of its collection as well as its revelation as being a part of the Divine scheme: “On Us rests the collecting of it and the recitation of it” (75:17). The collection of the Holy Qur’an –which means the arrangement of its verses and chapters– was, therefore, a work which was performed by the Holy Prophet himself under Divine guidance, and it is a mistake to think that either Abu Bakr or ‘Uthman was the collector of the Qur’an, though both of them did important work in connection with the dissemination of the written copies of the sacred text. Abu Bakr made the first complete written copy, by arranging the manu-scripts written in the time of the Holy Prophet, in the order of the oral recitation of the Prophet’s time. ‘Uth-man’s work, on the other hand, was only the ordering of copies to be made from the written manuscript of Abu Bakr’s time and the placing of these copies in the various centres of Islamic learning, so that those who wrote the Holy Qur’an might be able to follow the standard copy. The text of the Holy Qur’an has thus been safeguarded from all alterations or corruptions in accordance with the Divine promise contained in one of the earliest revelations: “Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We are surely its Guardian” (15:9). The subject of the purity of the text of the Holy Qur’an has been fully discussed further on.” (p. ii)
“There are numerous anecdotes showing that when the Holy Prophet received a revelation, it was imme-diately reduced to writing. The general practice is thus described, by no less a personage than ‘Uthman, the third Caliph…. “It was customary with the Messenger of Allah that when portions of different chapters were revealed to him, and when any verse was revealed, he called one of those persons who used to write the Holy Qur’an and said to him, Write these verses in the chapter where such and such verses occur” (AD. 2:123). This report mentions, not what the Holy Prophet did on one occasion, but what he always used to do whenever any verse of the Holy Qur’an was revealed to him. Thus we have the clearest testimony that every verse of the Divine revelation was put into writing by the order and in the presence of the Holy Prophet, while additional care was taken by him to point out the place and chapter of a verse, when there were two or more unfinished chapters, so that the scribes might not confuse the verses of one chapter with those of another.” (p. xxvi-xxvii).
“Other reports of the highest authority support the evidence of ‘Uthman. Thus Bukhari narrates under the heading The Amanuenses of the Prophet: “When the verse….(4:95) was revealed, the Prophet (peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him!) said, ‘Bring Zaid to me, and let him bring the tablet and the inkstand’. Then he said to him (Zaid), ‘Write….(the verse revealed)” (B. 66:4).” (Muhammad Ali gave several more examples, then notes) “In fact as many as forty-two of the Com-panions are related to have acted as scribes for the Holy Prophet. The importance given to the writing down of the revelation as they came down to the Prophet was so great that in the historic Flight of the Prophet from Makkah to Madinah, pen, inkstand and writing material were among the essential necessities of the journey. ….Not only could men read and write, but even women were taught the art. Among the wives of the Holy Prophet, at least ‘Aishah and Hafsah could read and write, as many reliable reports show.”
“Every portion of the Qur’an was committed to memory as soon as it was revealed. With the Arabs memory was the safest of repositories.…We learn from numerous reports that whenever a passage was revealed, it was recited by the Holy Prophet to those who happened to be present at the time and many of his followers committed it to memory at once, others again learning it from those who heard it from the mouth of the Prophet. (p. xxix).
“Eagerness to commit the Holy Qur’an to memory and recite it frequently was in fact so great that the Prophet had to place a limit as to the number of days in which the whole Qur’an should be recited. …the mini-mum limit allowed was seven days. (Muhammad Ali notes several sayings of the Prophet) ….It is also clear from these reports that the whole of the Qur’an was committed to memory by many of the Companions, otherwise it could not be spoken of as being finished in a stated interval of time.” (p. xxxi).
“In fact, many persons are mentioned as being able to recite the whole of the Qur’an from memory in the life-time of the Holy Prophet, among these being the four Caliphs, viz., Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, and such renowned Companions as Talhah, Sa’d, Ibn Mas’-ud, Salim, Abu Hurairah, etc., while three women, viz., ‘Aishah, Hafsah and Umm Salamah are also named in the same category.” (p. xxxii).
“The entire Qur’an was revealed in the long period of twenty-three years, and if Muslim boys of the age of ten or twelve years can even now commit the whole Qur’an to memory within one or two years, the Arab possessors of wonderfully retentive memories, to whom the importance of the Qur’an was far greater than to any Muslim of a later age, would not find it difficult to memorize it within the long period of twenty three years, especially when it was given to them gradually.” (p. xxxiii).
“The assertion that no arrangement was followed in the case of single verses revealed at different times is so absurd on the very face of it that it hardly requires a refutation. How was it possible for anybody to commit the Holy Qur’an to memory, if there was no settled order in which the verses were read? (p. xxxvi.)
Regarding the Shia’s and the Qur’an:
“It is sometimes asserted that the Shi’ahs regard the Qur’an as incomplete. The following remarks from Muir’s Life of Muhammad, which has raised and answered this question, will be a sufficient answer: “Assuming, then, that we possessed unchanged the text of ‘Uthman’s recension, it remains to inquire whether the text was an honest reproduction of Zaid’s, with the simple reconcilement of unimportant variations. There is the fullest ground for believing that it was so. No early or trustworthy tradition throws suspicions upon ‘Uthman of tampering with the Qur’an in order to support his own claims. The Shiahs, indeed, of later times pretend that ‘Uthman left out certain surahs or passages which favoured ‘Ali. But this is incredible. When ‘Uthman’s edition was prepared, no open breach had taken place between the Omeyyads and the Alyites. The unity of Islam was still unthreatened. ‘Ali’s pretensions were as yet undeveloped. No sufficient object can, therefore, be assigned for the perpetration by ‘Uthman of an offence which Muslims would have regarded as one of the blackest dye. Again, at the time of the recension, there were still multitudes alive who had learnt the Qur’an by heart as they had heard it originally delivered; and copies of any passages favouring ‘Ali, if any such passages ever existed, must have been in the hands of his numerous adherents, both of which sources would have proved an effectual check upon any attempt at suppression. Further, the party of ‘Ali, immediately on ‘Uthman’s death, assumed an independent attitude, and raised him to the Caliphate. Is it conceivable that, when thus arrived at power, they would have tolerated a mutilated Qur’an, mutilated expressly to destroy their leader’s claim? Yet we find that they continued to use the same Qur’an as their opponents and raised no shadow of an objection against it.”
To this I would add a few words from a Shi’ah commentator of the Holy Qur’an, Mullah Muhsin, who says in his Tafsir Safi: “Certain men from among us and the Hashwiyah masses have reported that the Qur’an has suffered loss and alteration. But the true belief of our friends is against this, and such is the belief of the vast majority. For the Qur’an is a miracle of the Holy Prophet and the source of all knowledge relating to law and all religious injunctions, and the learned Muslims have taken the utmost pains for its protection, so that there is nothing relating to its vowel-points, its recital, its letters and its verses, which they do not know. With such strong measures of protection and such faithful preservation of the Holy Book (by the Muslims) it cannot be supposed that any alteration or loss could take place” (p. 14).
The learned author goes on to say: “Surely the Qur’an was collected and arranged in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet exactly as it is in our hands. This is inferred from the fact that the Qur’an was even then recited and committed to memory as a whole, and there was a body of the Companions whose duty it was to commit it to memory. It was also recited and read out as a whole to the Holy Prophet (by the angel).”” (pp. xlviii, xlix).
The verses of the Qur’an were arranged to the requirements of Allāh. The Qur’an was rehearsed annually by the Angel Gabriel with the Prophet; and rehearsed twice in the year of the Pro-phet’s death–(Vol. 1, #5; Vol. 3, #126; Vol. 4, #754, 819).
Allāh God says that He will guard the Qur’an from corruption –Qur’an 15:9; 56:77-80; 85:21-22; there are millions who know the Qur’an from memory, there cannot be alteration in the Qur’an.
Not only the Qur’an was written and memorized in the lifetime of the Prophet, but also some of his sayings. Muhammad Ali has noted in his comprehensive work The Religion of Islam that Abu Hurairah says:
“None of the Companions preserved more traditions than myself, but ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr is an exception, for he used to write and I did not” (Bukhari 3:39). Also, “Abu Hurairah is reported to have said: “The Prophet of God came to us while we were writing traditions and said: What is this that you are writing? We said: Say-ings which we hear from thee. He said: What! a book other than the Book of God?” Now the disapproval in this case clearly shows fear lest his sayings be mixed up with the revealed word of the Qur’an, though there was nothing essentially wrong in writing these down nor did the Prophet ever forbid this being done.” (p. 64)
Chronological order, Narrations in the Qur’an: The Qur’an is not a storybook. It “does not relate stories in all their details, and often omits a number of incidents which are not needed for its purpose.” (M. Ali Qur’anic comm. # 1540). Regarding the Qur’an repeating its verses. Abul A’la Mawdudi explains:
“The different portions of the Qur’an were revealed according to the requirements of the various phases of the (Islamic) Movement. …The Prophet was entrusted with a special mission and had to appeal both to the emotions and to the intellect; he had to deal with people of different mentalities and cope with different situations and various kinds of experiences during the course of his mission. …He has also to train and reform his followers and to imbue them with spirit and courage, and to refute the arguments of opponents and to expose their moral weaknesses and so on. That is why the style of the discourses that Allah sent down to His Messenger had to be what suited the requirements of a Movement. It is, therefore wrong to seek the style of a formal book or that of college lectures in the discourses of the Qur’an.
That also explains why the same things are repeated over and over again in the Qur’an. A mission and a movement naturally demand that only those things should be presented which are required at a particular stage and that nothing should be said about the require-ments of the next stage. That is why the same things are repeated over and over again as long as the movement remains in the same stage, no matter whether it remains there for months or for years. ….Moreover, it repeats at suitable places its basic creed and principles in order to keep the Movement strong at every stage. That is why those surahs which were revealed at a particular stage of the Movement generally deal with the same topics, though, of course, in different words and in various forms. Moreover, all the surahs of the Qur’an contain references to the basic creed, i.e., the Unity of Allah, His attributes, the Hereafter and accountability, punishment and reward, Prophethood, belief in the Book etc… They all teach piety, fortitude, endurance, faith and trust in Allah and the like, just because these virtues could not be neglected at any stage of the Movement. If any of these bases had been weakened at any stage even in the least, the Islamic Movement could not have made any progress in its true spirit.”5
Muhammad Ali has noted in his translation of the Qur’an:
“What, however, establishes the Qur’an’s claim to uniqueness even in the outward form, apart from its subject and the effect produced, is the permanent hold that it has kept on the Arabic language itself, the fact that it remains forever the standard by which the beauty of style and diction may be judged in Arabic literature. No other book in the world can be credited with even the achievement of keeping alive a language for thirteen centuries; the Qur’an has done this, attaining to the eminence of being the standard of eloquence for so long, and of retaining that position while the nation speaking it emerged from oblivion to become the leader of civilization in the world, leaving its home to settle in far distant lands where Arabic became either the spoken language of the masses or at least their literary lan-guage. Such is the incredible achievement of the Holy Qur’an. It is true that the Arabs had a literary language before the Qur’an–the language of poetry, which, not-withstanding slight dialectic differences, conformed to one standard–but the scope of that poetry was very limited. Their most eloquent themes rarely went be-yond the praise of wine or woman and horse or sword. In the condition in which Arabic was before the advent of Islam, it would soon have shared the fate of the sister languages of the Semitic group. It was the Qur’an which made it the language of a civilized world from the Oxus to the Atlantic. Whatever changes spoken Arabic, like any other language, may have undergone, literary Arabic is to this day the Arabic of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an remains its one masterpiece.”6
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din points out about the Qur’an: “The Book was couched in a language that is still living, and it remained proof against every change, while other languages in the world have been transformed completely.” (Full quote further on).
If anyone can prove that Mohammad knew by himself or was taught by some humans:
-that water is the producer of life–(Qur’an 21:30);
-the various stages of the development of the fetus and that we are covered in three layers of darkness in our mother’s womb–(22:5; 23:12-14; 39:6);
-that planets float in their own orbits–(21:33; 36:40); how cattle produce milk –(16:66);
-how bees make honey–(16:68-69); that there is something smaller than the atom–(10:61);
-that the moon is not a light but a reflector of the sun’s light–(10:5; 25:61; 71:16);
-the formation of rain clouds–(30:48; 35:9);
-that mountains are pegs/stabilizers for the earth–(31:10; 79:32);
-that all things are created in pairs–(13:3; 36:36; 51:49)
if any can prove that Mohammad knew these things by himself or that he was taught them by other humans fourteen hundred years ago, then, he/she would have proven that the Qur’an is “human and earthly” in origin.
If no one can prove it –and for a surety no one can– then it behoves you to accept the Qur’an as the Word of Allāh God.
If the Qur’an/Islam is Mohammad’s “concoction” then he has formulated the world’s perfect religion; composed the best Scripture in the history of religions; has produced a Book that is superior in all aspects–moral, social, spiritual, intellectual–to all those Books that claim Divine Revelation.
Different modes of recitation of the Qur’an: Muhammad Ali notes in his The Religion of Islam that when people of different tribes began to accept Islam in large numbers “it was found that they could not pronounce certain words in the idiom of the Quraish, being habituated from childhood to their own idiom, and it was then that the Prophet allowed them to pronounce a word according to their own peculiar idiom.” For example–“Hatta (meaning until) was pronounced ‘atta by the Hudhail; ta’lamun (meaning you know) was pronounced ti’la-mun by the Asad; the Tamim read hamzah one of the letters, whereas the Quraish did not”–(pp. 34-35).
Variant Readings in the Qur’an: There is no “variant versions” of the Qur’an. The Prophet, because of the “variety of dialects with differences of pronunciation” had “permitted these slight variations of pronunciation according to local dialects owing to lack of education among the people,” as Muhammad Ali has pointed out in his The Early Caliphate. But this permission was only “temporary” until the people became educated; and was “confined only to pronunciation. The script was to be the same everywhere.”
However, “varieties of pronunciation found their way into writing.” It was to stem this tide of variations that ‘Uthman had copies of the Qur’an made “from the standard volume prepared in Abu Bakr’s time,” and which was in the possession of Hafsah, the Prophet’s wife. Such copies were sent to other Islamic centers. It would have been “a half measure” to leave the “unauthentic versions” of the Qur’an with their “discrepancies” in circulation. They had to be “absolutely obliterated.” These were put into the fire. (pp. 145, 146).
However, it is possible that a stray copy or two may not have been collected, and may have found its way into the archives of today. It is likely that such a homemade copy having certain “curious features” may be present at the Azhar Library in Egypt.
Muslims have only one Qur’an. There are no different versions.
Points (dots) and vowels: Originally, the Qur’anic text “had neither dots nor vowel points,” says A’la Mawdudi. Points (dots) and vowels were added to the Arabic text for the benefit of those who do not know the Arabic language.
It is sheer nonsense to say that the absence of these dots and vowels resulted in a great many “variant readings.” The Qur’an was not only written down at the time of its revelation but was also memorized. It would have been necessary that those who would have taught it to others must themselves have been taught the correct recitation as the Prophet Mohammad recited it.
For example, if one was to attempt to read the written text “Mry hd lttl lmb” this would indeed proved difficult, since various vowels can be added to produce a reasonable statement. But if that person is instructed by one who has memorized the correct or original statement then the meaning can only be one: “Mary had (a) little lamb.” Mawdudi explains:
“Though the correctness of the Qur’anic text was ensured in the written form, the work of its propagation was done orally because of the general illiteracy and scarcity of paper. Little difficulty was, however, felt by the literate Arabs in deciphering this script. There were thousands of such persons who had learnt the whole of the Qur’an by heart from the Prophet (p.) himself and his Companions. They followed and taught the same reading that they had learnt from the Prophet (p.) and his Com-panions.”
“With the passage of time it was felt that there should be vowel points to preserve the correct reading of the Qur’an. Accordingly, at the instance of Zaid (b.) the Governor of Basrah (45 to 53 A.H.–After the Hijra, the prophet’s journey from Makkah to Madinah in 622 After Christ) dots were assigned for vowel points. Then during the reign of Abdul-Malik (65-85 A.H.) Hajjaj bin Yusuf appointed scholars to assign new symbols for vowel points and dots to distinguish between the similar letters. The same practice continues to the present time.”7
If the Qur’an suffered from any kind of weakness, “stylistic” or otherwise, it should not be difficult for the critics, and their help-ers, to meet the Qur’anic challenge and produce a chapter like it. This would put to end once for all its claim of being the Word of Allāh, God.
“And if you are in doubt as to that which We
have revealed to Our servant then produce a
chapter like it and call on your helpers (or
leaders) besides Allah if you are truthful”
(Qur’an 2:23. Also 10:38; 11:13; 17:88).
It has now been over fourteen hundred years; no one has met this challenge. No one can!
“I am Allah, the Seeing. (This is) a Book which
We have revealed to you (that you may) bring forth
men, by their Lord’s permission, from utter darkness
into light to the way of the Mighty, the praised One”
Is the Qur’an created or the eternal word of Allāh, God? Regarding the debate as to whether the Qur’an was “created and not eternal” or is the uncreated and eternal Word of Allah God.
Consider: People who are contemplating having children most likely have an idea about what they are going to teach their children and some of the things, like intimacy, they would explain, and also anticipate some questions that their children might ask. When the child reaches the different phases of his life and the parents begin to teach and explain, would (all) those words be spontaneous utterances or would they be latent thoughts (uncreated, so to speak) coming into existence?
As Allāh is the All-knower Who has all knowledge and full knowledge of all things, the words that He used to “address Moses” were uncreated: He being eternal, His words are eternal; only the circumstances to which it was revealed is temporal.
Reason: Allāh calls man to belief through reason arguments and examples, not through mystery, miracle or mythology.
(Muhammad Ali has dealt at length with this subject –Ijtihad– in his excellent work The Religion of Islam).
Ijtihad, “the third source from which the laws of Islam are drawn,” has its origin in the Qur’an itself, and in the Tradition of the Prophet. Allah calls on man in several places of the Qur’an to reflect, to understand, to be sensible. “Those who do not use their reasoning faculty are compared to animals, and spoken of as being deaf, dumb and blind”–(Qur’an 2:171; 7:179; 8:22); 25:44).” (The Religion Of Islam, p. 98)
“The exercise of judgment (ijtihad) is recognized in Tra-dition as the means by which a decision may be arrived at when there is no direction in the Qur’an or tradition. The following Tradition is regarded as the basis of Ijti-had in Islam: “On being appointed Governor of Yaman, Mu’adh was asked by the Prophet as to the rule by which he would abide. He replied, ‘By the law of the Qur’an.’ ‘But if you do not find direction therein,’ asked the Prophet. ‘Then I will act according to the practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet,’ was the reply. ‘But if you do not find any direction therein,’ he was again asked. ‘Then I will exercise my judgment (ajtahidu) and act on that,’ came the reply. The Prophet raised his hands and said: ‘Praise be to Allah who guides the messenger of His Apostle as he pleases,” (Abu Dawud, 23:11). This tradition shows not only that the Prophet approved of the exercise of judgment, but also that his Companions were well aware of the principle, and that reasoning or exer-cise of judgment by others was freely resorted to when necessary, even in the Prophet’s lifetime.” (Ibid. p. 99).
(During the rule of the Caliph ‘Umar) “When there was a difference of opinion, the decision of the majority was acted upon. Besides this council, there were great individual teachers, such as ‘Aishah, Ibn Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar and others whose opinion was highly revered. Decisions were given and laws made and promulgated subject only to the one condition that they were neither contrary to the Qur’an nor to the practice of the Prophet.” (Ibid. p. 100).
The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said “The differences of my people are a mercy”–(J.S. p. 11)” (Ibid. p. 110). (Sadly, Muslims have denigrated this blessing into a curse –polarizing ourselves into sects, and are engaged in internecine wars, etc).
“The impression prevailing in the Muslim world at present that no one has the right, even in the light of the new circumstances which a thousand years of the world’s progress have brought about, to differ with the four Imams, is entirely a mistaken one. The right to differ with the highest of men below the Prophet is a Muslims’ birth-right, and to take away that right is to stifle the very existence of Islam. …In fact, the closing of the door on the free exercise of judgment, and the tendency to stifle independence of thought which took hold of the Muslim world after the third century of Hijrah, was condemned by the Prophet himself who said: “The best of the gene-rations is my generation, then the second and then the third; then will come a people in which there is no good” –(KU. VI, 2068)”
(The three generations referred to in the tradition) “refer to three centuries, the first century being the century of the Companions, since the last of them died at the end of the first century after the Prophet and the second and the third being those of the next two generations known as Tabi’in and taba’ Tabi’in. As a matter of fact, we find that while independence of thought was freely ex-ercised in the first three centuries, and even Muhammad and Abu Yusuf, the immediate followers of Abu Hanifah, did not hesitate to differ with their great leader, rigidity became the rule thereafter with only rare exceptions. The time when independence of thought was not exercised is, therefore, denounced by the Prophet himself, as the time of a crooked company.” (Ibid. pp. 115-116).
Muhammad Husayn Haykal notes:
“Islam made reason the judge in everything, whether in religion or in conviction and faith itself. God said: “And the case of those who disbelieve is like that of a person who hears the sound of a call but who does not distinguish any word or idea. To talk to them is like talking to the deaf, dumb, and blind. Those who disbelieve simply do not use their reason, and neither do they understand”–(Qur’an 2:171). Commenting on this verse, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abduh wrote: “This verse clearly asserts that taqlid (Imitation of the ancestors, conservatism.–Tr.) without reason or guidance is the prerogative of the disbelievers, that man is not a convinced Muslim unless he has reasoned out his religion, known it in person, and become personally convinced of its truth and validity. Whoever, therefore, has been brought up so as to acquiesce without reason and to act without knowledge and wisdom–even though he may be virtuous–is not a convinced Muslim. Religious conviction does not have for its purpose the subjugation of man to the good as if he were an animal. Rather, its purpose is that man may, by the use of reason and the pursuit of knowledge, rise to the level where he will do the good because he fully knows that it is in itself good and acceptable to God, and avoid the evil because he fully knows its undesirable consequence and harm.
….The Qur’an has called upon men to look into the uni-verse and to discover its construction and structure. It commanded men to do so in the conviction that their investigation of the structure of the universe would lead them to the discovery of God as well as of His unicity–May He be adored!”
“Indeed, the call to look into the universe to discover its laws and to arrive at the conviction that God is its creator is repeated a hundred times in the various Surahs of the Qur’an. All these Qur’anic invitations are directed to man’s rational faculties in the expectation that he will consider, search for and discover the truth, so that his religious conviction might be rational and truly supported by the facts. The Qur’an constantly warns its readers not to adopt uncritically and blindly the ideas and principles of the fore-fathers, but to have faith in man’s personal capacity to reach the truth.” (The Life of Muhammad, pp. 522, 523, 524).
Allāh the Gracious revealed that He created everything in the heavens and the earth for our use (and whose subjection and utility can only be achieved through knowledge). And the Pro-phet Mohammad, the magnanimous, taught us, (quoting from memory):
‘The superiority of the learned scholar
over the pious worshipper is as
the superiority of the (full) moon
over the stars.’
If Muslims are not illuminated by this brilliant flame from the mighty Messenger of Allāh to explore the expanse of reason and progress, no other human being can brighten the density of our minds.
The Criterion: “No scripture of any religion was to be found in its original form and pristine purity at the time of the Holy Prophet’s advent, nor is one found today,” notes by Abdul Haque Vidyarthi in his book Muhammad in World Scriptures Vol; 1 (p. 6). Abdul Haque also points out:
“No scripture, writing or book has got so many people to its credit who learn it by heart, as the Holy Qur’an has. Religious scriptures underwent vicissitudes and had dark ages upon them, that their very contents and their existence became suspected. It was in this obscurity that the Vedas grew from one into four, and then from four to as many as 1131, there is a verse in Maha Bhashya which explains that there are one hundred and one shoots of Yajur-veda, one thousand of Sama-veda, twenty-one kinds of Rigveda and nine of Atharva-veda.
In these days we can see a dozen vedas published, in fact, which throws light on their vicissitudes.
The Masorah and Septuagint versions of the old Testament, the different authorized editions of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the apocryphal literature believed as part of inspired scriptures by some sects and rejected by others, the different versions of apocryphal Gospels, prove the credibility of the fact that no religious scripture was kept intact or properly maintained or committed to memory in the life-time of the prophet to whom it was revealed.”8
Religious beliefs are conflicting –there is reincarnation, whose “origin” and “development” are “very obscure;” Trinity, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement; resurrection and judgment.
The questions that spring to mind are: what materials were left out or went missing from these Scriptures that preceded the Qur’an? What was added to them? Are oral transmissions more reliable than written texts?
The Qur’an, which was both memorized and written down at the time of its revelation to the Prophet Mohammad, is the Criterion that Allāh, God, has given to us to distinguish between Truth and Falsehood in religions–(Qur’an 2:185; 25:1; 98:1-3).
Being the Last and Final Revelation from God, and the One that corrects the human element(s) that have entered Allāh’s, God’s, previous Scriptures, the Qur’an supersedes all previous Scriptures; and is the one to be followed.
In fact, Allāh, God, has said that He revealed the Qur’an (14:1; 39:23; 56:77-80), which is a perfect Book (18:1), full of wisdom (36:1-2; 10:1), free from discrepancies (4:82), a complete guide (10:37; 6:38; 16:89), and that it contains the best teachings (12:1-3; 39:27), and comprises of all the right Books (98:3), that it is for all mankind (6:19; 81:27), that it is free from falsehood (41:42), and that it guides to that which is most upright (17:9), and that it settles differences (16:64), that it is the Criterion to differentiate between Truth and Falsehood (2:185; 25:1; 98:1-3), and that He, Allah God, will guard it (the Qur’an) against cor-ruption (15:9. There are millions who know the Qur’an from memory, which is a safeguard against attempt(s) to ‘corrupt’ it).
No other revealed Scripture in the world has made the above claims.
The revolution effected by the Qur’an is unrivalled in the history of Religions. After the Qur’an there is no other Scripture that can give more information regarding the moral, social, spiritual and intellectual development of man; and of knowledge of nature, heaven and hell, the soul and life and death; the Resurrection; the Day of Judgment and the Unity of God.
The Qur’an consists of (the teachings of other Scriptures that are applicable for all time), exceeds, and supersedes all Scriptures. In what message after that will they believe? What reason have you that you believe not in Allah? (Qur’an 98:2-3; 77:50; 57:8).
Satanic verses in the Qur’an: See QUR’AN-SATANIC VERSES
Verses missing from the Qur’an: It is claimed in one quarter that there once existed in the Qur’an a “verse of stoning”, but which is now lost. This is in contradiction to the Qur’an which prescribes lashes. If there was no such “verse of stoning” why does Islamic law “decrees stoning” when the Qur’an “demands flogging”? That the early caliphs carried out stoning, Muhammad Ali writes:
“It is generally thought that while the Qur’an pre-scribes flogging as a punishment for fornication, i.e. when the guilty person is not married, stoning to death is the punishment for adultery, and that this is allegedly based on the Prophet’s practice. But the Qur’an plainly speaks of the punishment for adultery in the case of married slave-girls as being half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women (muhsanat), and therefore death or stoning to death cannot be conceived of as possible punishment in case of adultery as it cannot be halved, while imprisonment or flogging may be. Thus the Qur’an not only speaks of flogging and not death, as punishment for adultery, but it positively excludes death or stoning to death.”
“…stoning was the punishment of adultery in the Jewish law, and that it was in the case of Jewish offenders that this punishment was first resorted to by the Prophet when he came to Madinah. There are other reports which show that the same punishment was given in certain cases when the offenders were Muslims, but apparently this was before the revelation of the verse (24:2) which speaks of flogging as the punishment for both the adulterer and the adulteress, it being the practice of the Prophet to follow the earlier revealed law until he received a definite revelation on a point. A suggestion to that effect is contained in a tradition: “Shaibani says, I asked ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Aufa, Did the Holy Prophet stone to death? He said, Yes. I said, Was it before the chapter entitled the Light (ch. 24) was revealed or after it? The reply was, I do not know” (Bu. 86:21. [Vol. 8 # 804]). The chapter referred to is that which speaks of flogging as a punishment for adultery, and the question shows clearly that the practice of stoning for adultery was recognized as being against the plain injunction contained in that chapter. It is likely that some misunderstanding arose from the incidents which happened before the Qur’anic revelation on the point, and that that practice was taken as the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Khwarij, the earliest Muslim sect, entirely rejected stoning to death (rajm) as a punishment in Islam (RM. VI, p. 6.)
The question seems to have arisen early as to how an adulterer could be stoned, when the Qur’an prescribed flogging as the only punishment for adultery. ‘Umar is reported to have said that “there are people who say, What about stoning, for the punishment prescribed in the Book of Allah is flogging” (Ah. I, p. 50.) To such objector’s ‘Umar’s reply was: “In what Allah revealed, there was the verse of rajm (stoning); we read it and we understood it and we guarded it; the Prophet did stone (adulterers to death) and we also stoned after him, but I fear that when more time passes away, a sayer would say, We do not find the verse of rajm in the Book of Allah” (Bu. 86:31 [Vol. 8 # 816]). According to another version he is reported to have added: “Were it not that people would say that ‘Umar has added in the Book of Allah that which is not in it, I would have written it” (AD. 37:23). The argument attributed to ‘Umar is very unsound. He admitted that the Qur’an did not contain any verse prescribing the punishment of stoning for adulterers, and at the same time he is reported as stating that there was such a verse in what Allah revealed. In all probability what ‘Umar meant, if he ever spoke those words, was that the verse of stoning was to be found in the Jewish sacred book, the Torah, which was undoubtedly a Divine revelation, and that the Prophet stoned adulterers to death. The use of the words “Book of God” (Kitab Allah) for the Torah is common in the Qur’an itself, the Torah being again and again spoken of as Kitab Allah or the Book of God, or al-Kitab, i.e., the Book (Qur’an 2:213, etc.). In all likelihood ‘Umar only spoke of rajm as the punishment of adultery in the Mosaic law and he was misunderstood. At any rate he could not have spoken the words attributed to him. Had there been such a verse of the Qur’an, he would have brought it to the notice of other Companions of the Prophet, when a complete written copy was first prepared in the time of Abu Bakr at his own suggestion. The words, as attributed to him in some of these reports, are simply meaningless. How could he say that there was a verse of the Qur’an which he would have written down in the Qur’an, but he feared that people would say that he had made an addition to the Qur’an, that is to say, added to it what was not part of it? A verse could not be said to be a part of the Qur’an and not a part of the Qur’an at one and the same time.
There is further evidence in tradition itself that ‘Umar himself, at least in one reported case (and it is a reliable report), punished adultery with flogging as laid down in the Qur’an in 24:2, and not with stoning to death.””9
The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance. The Prophet governed only according to the Qur’an-(Qur’an 10:15).
The Qur’an unrivalled:
“That the Qur’an is a unique production of Arabic literature and has ever been regarded as the standard of the purity of that literature, goes without saying, but the chief characteristic of the Holy Book, in which no other book can claim equality with it, is the wonderful transformation which it accomplished, and it is to this characteristic that it lays claim in the very commencement when it says that this Book is a guide (2:2). That the transformation wrought by it is unparalleled in the history of the world is admitted on all hands, for if the Holy Prophet was the “most successful of all prophets and religious personalities” (En. Br. 11th ed., Art. Koran), this success was due to no other cause than the Qur’an. Its injunctions swept off the most deep-rooted evils, like idolatry and drunkenness, so as to leave no trace of them in the Arabian peninsula, welded the warring elements of Arabian society into one nation, and made an ignorant people the fore-most torchbearers of knowledge and science, and a politically down-trodden people the masters of the greatest empire of the world. Besides, every word of the Qur’an gives expression to Divine majesty and glory in a manner which is not approached by any other sacred book. The challenge (to produce a chapter like one of the Qur’an’s) remains unanswered to this day.”(M. Ali comm. # 36)
The Qur’an –“a necessity”: Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din wrote in his book Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an :
“Soon after the time of Jesus, an age of utter decline and decay settled down on the world…. The Divine Flame which he had kindled in the human breast in the valley of the Jordan began to smoulder…. While the Church in the West taught that man was a vile creature on God’s earth and that everything in the earth had been created to pamper the flesh and kill the spirit, Brahmanism, in the East, preached that man had no intrinsic worth at all, nor was there anything of good in him. His only salvation lay in separating himself from all worldly affairs and in leading the life of a recluse in the jungle. Such theologies and philosophies were fatal to progress. Absolute death –spiritual, moral and material– over-took the world, and dense clouds of wickedness and ignorance darkened its horizon. In this gloomiest epoch that had ever been known, a silver line appeared on the Arabian coast. ….It was a Message from on High, a message that was unique in its character even in the world of Revelation. All former Messages either spoke of tribal well-being –like that which came from Sinai or through the Vedas– or they alluded to personal favour, like that heard on the banks of the river Jordan. The Revelation in the cave of Mount Hira brought a Universal Gospel to humanity and revealed that the lowest of the low (for such had men become at that time) was destined to be greatest of the great.” (pp. 10-11).
“A creature like the man, who at that time had lowered himself to such a state of degradation as to be ready to worship every-thing he saw as his lord, was, all of a sudden, given these start-ling tidings that every other manifestation of Nature, including that greatest luminary, which had hitherto been worshipped as God all over the world, were his servants and ministers, and that it was his lot to act as their sovereign.” (pp. 12-13).
The “Qur’an announced as follows:
(a) The whole world was full of potentialities, (52:4; 2:22.)
(b) Everything in the universe was for a purpose, (3:190; 14:33)
(c) They all were for our service, use and benefit, (15:19-20)
(d) Not a single thing in the whole universe, however insignificant it might be, had been created without its proper use; they have been created to minister to us; and that everything we need is already provided, (3:190; 14:33)
(e) No labour is wasted, (29:58)
(f) Right actions would receive ample reward, 6:161; 7:170; 12:56; 18:30)
(g) Idleness should gain nothing, (94:7)
(h) Nothing in the universe is changeable in its nature, (30:30)
(i) The whole world is chained by the law. Everything in it follows certain laws, and we can turn everything in it to our advantage if we discover and use the said law. The laws of Nature are none other than the Will of the Most High, (3:82)
(j) The laws of Nature are unalterable, (17:77; 35:43)
(k) Knowledge and the discovery of new sciences will enable us to turn these things in Nature to our use, (2:31; 2:34; 96:5)
(l) Things in Nature stand in a complimentary relation to each other, (86:11-12)
(m) They combine with each other in a fixed proportion to create new things, (87:2-3)
(n) God’s blessings are open to all, (1:1)
(o) His ways are shown to him who seeks after them, (29:69)
(p) There are material treasures in the world for us to work upon. The word Rahman literally conveys this idea that they are open to all and ready to respond to our needs if properly approached, (1:1; 17:20; 67:3)
(q) Everything is already designed and comes to perfection under the principle of Evolution, (20:50)
(r) Man had not to create anything. Everything was already in existence. He had only to strive and use his limbs and he would have an ample reward, (53:39-40)
(s) Everything is for our good but its mishandling makes it evil, (4:79)
(t) Good or evil even in the least measure brings recompense, (7:8-9)
(u) No one will bear our burden, (17:15)
(v) The whole universe is in a measured order, and we have to observe it if we wish to invent other devices or things for our comfort, (15:21)
(w) There are limits and bounds for everything, their trespass entails loss.
(x) Human nature possesses the best of capabilities, but we need divine guidance for progress, (95:4)
(y) There are pitfalls in our ways, (95:5)
(z) True success only comes to him who exerts to excel others in his occupation of life, (79:1 to 5). (Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an, pp. 15-19).
With such a guide before them, it was not surprising that early Muslims should have become keenly interested in scientific research. ….They were the founders of a new civilization. Nay, further, they began to rule Nature, and through it, conquered the world. For centuries they continued supreme, but the riches they thus accumulated, subsequently made them slothful and wrought their ruin. Abuse, excess and self–indulgence shook the structure of their power to its foundations, leaving them an easy prey to others.
The early Muslims, however, bequeathed a vast heritage to their Western successors in the form of that learning which the latter have since pursued under the name of modern science.”
“Algebra, Statics, Conic Sections and other branches of applied mathematics are amongst Muslim discoveries.” (pp. 20-21).
“Muslims were admittedly the founders of modern culture. …It is also an admitted historical fact that there was nothing in pre-Islamic culture to inspire them for scientific research. The Qur’an came to advocate the acquisition of knowledge for the first time. The Holy Prophet bade his followers to go to far off countries in search of it. ….In short, while St. Paul deprecated the law and called it a curse to humanity, the Qur’an respected it and made the observance of it our religion, as Islam literally means “Obedience to the Law.” …..The formal Church had also to assert that sin was innate in human nature, since sin is a breach of the Law. The dictum that man is sinful by nature involves an assumption that he is incapable of observing the Law. It is a most despicable libel on our character to assert that we are criminal by nature. If sin is innate in our nature, it is an anomaly if legislation exists in Christian land. Parliament and all other legislative bodies are a mere infringement on our liberty. …..It was this principle, no doubt, that for centuries retarded all material progress in Christendom, which began to move forward only when the Church dogmas had lost their hold on the human mind.
Briefly, Law is the chief thing in the world and governs the world. The discovery of this principle and our observance of it brought us progress and success; but it was the Qur’an that first of all taught that obedience to the Law was the Religion from God. All the seven articles of faith in Islam pertained to the Law. They are as follows:-
(1) Allah -God, the Source of all Law.
(2) Angels -The first agents through whom the laws of Nature came to operation.
(3) Books -Revelations that came to man for the promulgation of the Law.
(4) The Messengers -Those through whom the Law was given.
(5) The Last Day -The day when we shall all be judged according to the Law.
(6) The Measures of Evil and Good –As already described, in other words, Law.
(7) The Coming Life -In which we shall be re-warded according to our observance of the Law.
In contradiction to the Church, the Qur’an announces that man comes into this world with a nature created to observe the Law:
“Then set your face upright for religion
in the right state
–the nature made by Allah in which He
has made man;
there is no altering of Allah’s creation:
that is the right religion,
but most people do not know”
Herein lies the chief difference between Christianity and Islam. While the former was bound to produce material retrogression in the human race, the latter’s aim is to set man on the right path to progress.
….All pre-Islamic religions dealt chiefly with a few doctrines of morality, ignoring other aspects of human nature….The Holy Book treats of all subjects –morality, spirituality, sociology, economics, politics and aesthetic matters. But the beauty of the Book lies in the fact that it does not separate one thing from the other. It creates a kind of agreement among them all, and works them out into one harmonious whole.
The Book promulgates certain principles that are broad enough to apply equally to every aspect of the question. For instance, it refers to the doctrine of Evolution and its aspects, while elucidating most of its salient truths. The principle of evolution, it should not be forgotten, was taught to the world for the first time in Islam. The Qur’an began with a chief Divine Attribute –Rabb-ul-‘Alamin. Though this Attribute, in the first place, means the Creator, the Maintainer and the Nourisher of the various worlds, the word Rabb itself is very rich in significance. Its English translation “Lord,” which we find in almost all English translations of the Qur’an, is not an adequate one. ….It also means the Originator of things and their Combiner to create new forms–(Qur’an 87:1-3)….Rabb also signifies One Who reposes all the faculties in things at their inception, and then brings them to perfection, to attain which they pass through various stages. (Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon). In short, the Arabic word conveys all that is connoted by Evolution, as well as every other thing necessary for its functioning. …There is no word in any other language to convey all the meanings of Rabb adequately.” (pp. 15-21, 23-27).
Qur’an –Arabic: As Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din points out
“no one of the languages of the world, excepting that of the Hedjaz, is spoken now in the form in which it existed at the time of the Holy Prophet. Even if other sacred Books had come to us in their original purity, we could hardly give to their teachings the precise meaning which attached to them in the days of their Revelation. In short, we cannot read the mind of their teachers on account of the change of language. But the Qur’an was given to us in a language which is still living and has remained unchanged and is unchangeable, and for this reason its message can be understood even to-day as conveying the same exact purport, expressed at the time of the first delivery. Arabic can, therefore, claim to be the only language for a Religion from God, since it does not change with the centuries.”*
And “almost all the words in the Arabic language possess such a wealth of meaning as cannot be found in any other tongue –a fact which renders valuable service to religion in explaining its truths.”
“Every word contains in it a reason for which it has been selected and does convey a particular idea.” (Ibid. pp. 61, 62, 63).
*Oldest language: It is said that Sanskrit is the oldest language. While Sanskrit may be the oldest known language, it cannot be proven that it is the oldest language.
To know which is the oldest language one has to know the first words uttered by the first man (Adam) created by Allāh, God. The first words uttered by this Adam [as related to me by my dear late brother, Ahmad Khan] may well be taken to be “Allahu Khaliq khalq wa ‘amr kullay haal, shukr alhamdo lil-laah!”–meaning: Allah the Creator Who creates all things by His command, thanks and praise be to Allāh!
While this is only conjecture, it is within reason to accept that these were the first words uttered by the first man. For, here, we have man whom Allāh, God, created “with both My hands”-(Qur’an 38:75), and in His “own image”-(Gen. 1:27) to “serve Me,” and is breathed with the spirit of God-(Qur’an 15:29)–his entire being instilled with the presence of God–it is in all likelihood that man’s first words would be that of thanks and praise to the Power that has produced him.
While there is force in the argument that these words of Adam could have been uttered in the tongue of any of the other Scriptural languages, but as Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din notes: “the Qur’an was given to us in a language which is still living and has remained unchanged and is unchangeable,” and can “therefore, claim to be the only language for a Religion from God, since it does not change with the centuries”; Arabic may very well then be the first language spoken by man and is therefore the oldest language).
The Finality of the Divine Message: Again, the panoramic pen of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, from his Introduction To The Study Of The Holy Qur’an: (The Qur’an)
“The last Book did not come to contradict former Revelations but to confirm them (Qur’an 5:48). It preached the same religion as that given to Noah and the rest of the prophets (Qur’an 4:163). But the Holy Qur’an was to complete it, and herein lies its finality (Qur’an 5:4). …If knowledge is the only water of life, and God the fountain thereof, the sooner the way to the fountain is shown to humanity the better. …But almost all the former Books have either disappeared or have suffered from human tampering. The Divine Will had to be announced once and for all at the advent of the Holy Prophet, and that announcement was final and free from corruption and interpolation.” (p. 65).
…all the Sacred Teachers spoke of the coming Messenger. No one among them declared that his message was the last. If Moses prophesied that God would raise up another prophet after him with a fiery law in his hands (Deut; 18:18), we cannot look for the fulfilment of the prophecy in the person of Jesus, since he brought no new laws, nor did he depart from the old code in any way (Matt; 5:17-18). He himself was looking for the Spirit of Truth (John 1:16-17; 16:7), who was to come to give the whole Truth. …Jesus admittedly could not himself give the whole truth (John 16:12-13). He looked for one who was to come to do so. The Church that passes under his name cannot claim to do the same, as she has failed to add even a scrap of knowledge to that which the world possessed at the departure of the Nazarene. Moreover, the promised Prophet was to bring the fiery law to complete the old one, as Jesus hoped, but the official Church has totally dispensed with it. The Bible has also prophesied that God would arise from Sinai and appear at Seir, but would shine fully at Mount Paran (Deut; 33:3). If Sinai and Seir refer to the Mosaic and Nazarene dispensations, Mount Paran is not found in any other country except Arabia, Makkah being located in its valley. But the Bible is not the only Scripture that speaks of the coming Prophet. Almost all other great Prophets of God including Krishna and Buddha have joyously referred to the illustrious advent of the last Great Prophet.” (pp. 65-67).
Logic: “The Qur’an sets forth its tenets in a way that appeal most readily to our intelligence: “Reason”–(Qur’an 4:175) being one of the names which the Qur’an takes to itself. We may be assertive in imparting wisdom and knowledge to the younger generation but when they reach the age of discretion nothing except logic and reason would be acceptable to them. Compulsion is of no avail when logic begins to rule the world. The Qur’an, therefore says the same when it lays down a golden principle in the matter of preaching religion. It says: “There is no compulsion in religion, truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error”–(2:256). (Ibid; p. 68).
Logic for every doctrine:
“There are many doctrines commonly taught by every faith, but no other revealed Book proves their validity on grounds of logic and reason, while the Qur’an frankly appeals to our reason before it asks us to accept them. For example, all sacred scriptures speak of God, Angels, Revelation, Messengership, the Hereafter and the Resurrection. They ask us to accept these as truths, but modern education in our days has given rise to scepticism because of the lack of any intelligent proof in pre-Islamic scriptures. The Muslims have escaped this pitfall. If education has prompted our reason to fight against our faith, the Qur’an has made use of the same weapon against unbelief.
….we bring no knowledge from the mother’s womb wherewith to cultivate our minds–(Qur’an 16:78). Knowledge must come to us from Above.” (Ibid. p. 69).
Resurrection and Life after death:
“No religion can live if its followers do not believe in the life to come.
…..A religion, therefore, should give us good reasons for our belief in the life after death, if it demands of us that we should lead a good life. Unfortunately, the Formal Church could not show any intelligent reason in support of its tenets. It was wont, instead, to harp continually on the dogma of faith, thereby naturally losing its hold on the Western mind as liberal education became more prevalent. Religion, in general, also began to decay at the same time, but spiritualism stepped in to save the situation. It revived Occidental faith in the life beyond the grave, but the cult is not without grave drawbacks. On the one hand, it believes in our accountability for our present actions in a future life, but, on the other, it does not give us any good code of life, like that in the Qur’an whereby we may make our future a brilliant one. Besides, Spiritualists are now taken up with what may be termed Spiritism. They are more concerned with receiving messages from departed spirits than in discovering means for securing happiness in the world to come.”
“Though all religions speak of it, they do not go beyond mak-ing mere assertions with little or no explanations. The Qur’an, however, is an exception. As with all its verities, so with this, it applies the soundest of logic to prove both the Resurrection and all that it entails. The Holy Book throws such a vivid light on the subject as to make it a reality beheld by mortal eye. It starts with the principle of evolution, and makes resurrection a necessary link of progress in our journey. It gives other reasons too. It refers to the same phenomenon of resurrection which take place every year in the vegetable world. Autumn comes to strip the trees of their raiment, foliage, fruit and flowers, which may soon become rotten and reduced to their elements. They in turn become scattered and diffused in the atmosphere. But the coming spring brings them back and gathers them again into the same organism which they left in the preceding autumn. The Qur’an gives a vivid description of this process and then concludes most emphatically: “Thus is the rising”–(Qur’an 50:11).
The composition of elements and their decomposition followed by recomposition is a daily phenomenon and a decisive proof of resurrection. But the mind of the sceptic fails to see in it any proof of the return of an individuality. Our body may be resolved into its disintegrated elements and composed into a new shape, but it does not show that our personality also has been restored. The contention, to me, seems hardly tenable. It evinces igno-rance of the fact that all different species in the vegetable king-dom are from the same substance and yet their original elements become individually specialized into various plants, trees, etc. As the man, the dog and the bird come from the same material –Nature giving individuality to each species– so trees and plants bearing different kinds of fruit and flowers, though they be of the same material and receive the same water for sustenance (Qur’an 13:4), yet each fruit differs from the other in taste, form and species. The Holy Book refers to this very operation of Nature and then says: “And if you would wonder, then wondrous is their saying, What! when we are dust, shall we certainly be a new creation?” (Qur’an 13:5). It is not, in fact, the substance but the difference in “magnitude and measure” (Qur’an 13:8) observed by Nature in combining the elements that creates variety of fruit and grain, while keeping their identity. …The Divine Spirit was breathed into us when we all were in the womb, and ought to display its full brilliance on leaving the body. …” (Ibid. pp. 71-73).
“The Holy Book gives another reason when proving the trans-ference of the particular consciousness from the deceased body into the new one with the same measure and quality which it possessed at the time of the separation of the soul from its last body. But if a most insignificant thing, like sperma and ovum, can impart to their offspring many of the traits of parental consciousness, they may follow the same course in the new form. Something may invisibly proceed from us at our death and remain in an embryonic condition in the new womb of nature and give birth to the new child in the life after death. So the Book says: “Says he: who will give life to bones when they are rotten? Say: He will give life to them Who brought them into existence first and He is cognizant of all creation–(Qur’an 36:78-79).” (Ibid. p. 74).
“The Book also refers to our own creation; and tells how various products of the earth became combined under various specializations to evolve the genital seed as her essence (Qur’an 23:12). It became located in the woman’s womb (Qur’an 23:13), where it passed through other seven stages of evolution and gave rise to a new creation (Qur’an 23:14). (Ibid. p. 76).
Why a particular Revelation for Guidance:
“It is said that we need not look to any new Revelation, nor need we stick to it in its particular form. There is material enough to guide us in the old Revelations and other books of wisdom. Truth, it is said, may be sifted out of them to meet our requirements. Some of the new-fangled churches of our days have adopted this attitude. But here, again, it is human judgment that is guiding our selection from the confused mass of past revelations. It was man that caused corruption and it is the same man who is now out for reform. If the beautiful of yesterday has become the ugly of to-day, our choice of to-day is not likely to meet the approbation of tomorrow. …the Qur’an devotes full two sections (Sections 8-9) in chapter called The Bee (Chapter 16), which deal with the subject of Revelation in all its phases. The section speaks first of the revelations before the Qur’an; it admits their Divine origin; but goes on to say that they are not the same as when they were originally given. A new revelation is needed. …Then the Book speaks of honey. …Time will corrupt all other mixture but it cannot affect honey. The Qur’an is the spiritual honey.” (Ibid. pp. 77, 78, 79, 80)
The Qur’an gives success: “O man, We have not revealed the Qur’an to thee that thou mayest be unsuccessful”-(Qur’an 20:1-2). Muhammad Ali explains:
“it could not be that the Prophet, to whom the Qur’an was revealed, should remain unsuccessful in bringing about the transformation for which it was revealed. It is a consolation, and at the same time a clear prophecy, that a mighty transformation will be brought about, not only in Arabia but in the whole world, for that was the object which the Holy Qur’an had set out to accomplish from the first.”
“The Qur’an cannot be a failure, because it is a manifestation of the will of Him Who holds sway over all.
The secret is that which a man hides in his heart, and what is yet more hidden is that which is in the sub-conscious mind. The conscious and the subconscious are all alike known to Allah.” (Comm; 1574, 1575, 1577).
For “two million years” since Manu spoke the Bhagavad-Gita10 and almost two billion years after the Vedas11 and for three thousand years after the Bible was revealed and for six hundred years after Christ man was yet running around with flint tools and torches. It was not until the revelation of the Qur’an that man saw light and began to harvest fruits:
“That the transformation wrought by it (the Qur’an) is unparalleled in the history of the world is admitted on all hands, for if the Holy Prophet was the “most successful of all prophets and religious personalities” (En. Br. 11th ed., Art. Koran), this success was due to no other cause than the Qur’an. Its injunctions swept off the most deep-rooted evils, like idolatry and drunkenness, so as to leave no trace of them in the Arabian peninsula, welded the warring elements of Arabian society into one nation, and made an ignorant people the foremost torch-bearers of knowledge and science, and a politically down-trodden people the masters of the greatest empire of the world. Besides, every word of the Qur’an gives expression to Divine majesty and glory in a manner which is not approached by any other sacred book.”12
““From time beyond memory, Mecca and the whole Peninsula had been steeped in spiritual torpor. The slight and transient influences of Judaism, Christianity, or philosophical inquiry upon the Arab mind had been but as the ruffling here and there of the surface of a quiet lake; all remained still and motionless below. The people were sunk in superstition, cruelty, and vice… Their religion was a gross idolatry; and their faith the dark superstitious dread of unseen things… Thirteen years before the Hejira, Mecca lay lifeless in this de-based state. What a change had these thirteen years now produced!…Jewish truth had long sounded in the ears of the men of Medina; but it was not until they heard the spirit-stirring strains of the Arabian Prophet that they too awoke from their slumber, and sprang suddenly into a new and earnest life””13.
“Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Zoroastrianism had long ceased to have any healthy effect on the lives of their votaries, and the followers of these religions had not only ceased to practise virtue, but, worst of all, they had begun to look upon vice as virtue, and many of them attributed indecent and im-moral practices to their sages and their gods. Christiani-ty, which was then the youngest of the religions of the world, had also lost its purity. “The Christianity of the seventh century was itself decrepit and corrupt,” is Muir’s verdict. Such widespread corruption had never previously existed in the world’s history. A recent writer, J.H. Denison, writes in “Emotion as the Basis of Civilization”: “In the fifth and sixth centuries, the civil-ized world stood on the verge of chaos. The old emo-tional cultures that had made civilization possible, since they had given to men a sense of unity and of reverence for their rulers, had broken down, and nothing had been found adequate to take their place…. It seemed then that the great civilization which it had taken four thousand years to construct was on the verge of disintegration, and that mankind was likely to return to that condition of barbarism where every tribe and sect was against the next and law and order were unknown…. Civilization like a gigantic tree whose foliage had over-reached the world….stood tottering….rotting to the core” (pp. 265-268). And then adds, speaking of Arabia: “It was among these people that the man was born who was to unite the whole known world of the east and south” (p. 269).
With the light of Islam, and through the torch of knowledge and civilization lit in Arabia, a new era daw-ned not only over Arabia, but also over other countries. Europe remained the longest in darkness, and it was only after the torch of knowledge had been lighted in Spain by the Muslims that both the Renaissance and the Reformation came.”14
This resplendent throne of celestial excellence is ever available for Muslims to ascend: “Allāh has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will surely make them rulers”–(Qur’an 24:55).
(Tragically, however, since the death of the Prophet we have thrown behind us the wisdom of Allāh to have military preparedness and protect one another–(Qur’an 3:199; 8:60; 8:72-73).
We have foolishly polarized ourselves into sects– in the face of all our urgent adversities we are yet quibbling over who should have succeeded the Prophet and whether Jesus had a father or not.
It is unGodly, tragic and disgraceful that Sunnis and Shi’as distrust and are even fearful of the other. We must visualize what countenance we will face Allāh and His noble Messenger on Judgment Day.
We are to uproot and incinerate the cancer of sectism ravaging the Ummah of Mohammad: “Be not of those who split up their religion and become parties; every sect rejoicing in that which is with it;” He, Allāh will make clear to you wherein you differ–(Qur’an 30:31-32; 16: 92; 39:46; 42:10: to foster sectism is to defy Allāh; as Allāh will show us the truth of the matter wherein we differ why are we polarizing ourselves and killing one another? And we expect Him to give us Jannah!); end internecine war: “Never should a Believer kill a Believer;” Muslims are of one Brotherhood; so make peace between your brothers; “After my death, do not become disbelievers by cutting the necks of one another”–(Qur’an 4:92; 21:92; 49:10; Bokhari Vol. 9,# 7); take to the text books and lab “and say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 20: 114).
The venerable Caliph, ‘Umar, reminds us: “God gave us honor and greatness through Islam, and if we seek it now in other ways than those enjoined by Islam, God will again bring us into disgrace.”15
Hijrah 1436 (year 2015) can be our reunification date. It is not a stupendous task for us to be united–we already are, under the Holy Kalimah. The tribes of 7th century Arabia had lascivity, poetry and idolatry: they united. We have Allāh, the Prophet and Qur’an–the invincible trio: Power, morality, spirituality. With Allāh, the Prophet and Qur’an we have the world at our feet and eternity in our arms: “certainly the remembrance of Allāh is the greatest (force)” “And trust in Allāh. And Allāh is enough as having charge (of affairs)” “Surely Allāh will not fail in (His) promise” “Allāh is the Friend of the dutiful”-(29:45; 33:3; 13:31; 45:19).
Muslims are destined to be successful, victorious, and triumphant. Let us embark on our destiny!).
THE QUR’AN: MIRACLE OF ALL MIRACLES: by Dr. Zakir Naik: Though the two videos are similar there is additional info in one; and also in the question and answer section).
For Christians trying to trap Muslims to convert to Christianity and Muslims response: See Christians try to trap Muslims to convert
1. Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm; 152. See also Malik Ghulam Farid’s Qur’anic comm; 132).
2. Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam, pp. 38, 39, 40.
3. Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm; 1259.
4. Abul A’la Mawdudi, An Introduction To The Qur’an, pp. Foreword, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7.
5. Ibid; pp. 11-12.
6. “Introduction” notes to his translation of the Qur’an, p. ix).
7. Abul A’la Mawdudi, An Introduction to the Qur’an, pp. 16, 17.
8. Abdul Haque Vidyarthi, Muhammad in World Scriptures, Vol. 1, p. 314-315.
9. Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam, pp. 730, 731, 733, 734, 735.
10. Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, p.
11. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light of Truth, p. 267.
12. Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm. # 36.
13. Muir’s, Life of Mahomet, ch., vii. Cited in M. Ali’s Trans; of the Qur’an, sec; World’s Greatest Spiritual Force, p. vii.
14. Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm; 1941.
15. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters To The Bishops of Salisbury & London, p. 100.
16. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an, See pp. 20-45.