Is the Qur'an the Word of God?

Discussion in 'Islam' started by maharaj, May 22, 2004.

  1. maharaj

    maharaj Member

    To all Muslim and Non-muslim viewers,

    This might be a very interesting article.

    Islam claims that the Qur'an is not only God's Word, but that it is the final revelation given to humanity. It comes from the "Mother of all books" according to sura 43:2-4. Muslims maintain that the Qur'an is an exact word-for-word copy of God's final revelation which is found on the original tablets that have always existed in heaven. They point to sura 85:21-22 which says, "Nay this is a glorious Qur'an, (inscribed) in a tablet preserved." Islamic scholars contend that this passage refers to the tablets which were never created. They believe that the Qur'an is an identical copy of the eternal heavenly book, even so far as the punctuation, titles and divisions of chapters are concerned.

    According to Muslim tradition, these revelations' began to be sent down (Tanzil or Nazil) (sura 17:85), to the lowest of the seven heavens in the month of Ramadan, during the night of power or destiny (lailat al Qadr) (Pfander, 1910:262). From there they were revealed to Muhammad in installments, as need arose, via the angel Gabriel (sura 25:32). Consequently, every letter and every word is free from any human influence, which gives the Qur'an an aura of authority, even holiness, and with such, its integrity.

    Most westerners have accepted these claims from Muslims at face value. They have never had the ability to argue their veracity, because the claims could neither be proved nor disproved, as their authority was derived solely from the Qur'an itself (dispelling any attempt to wrest from the pages of the Bible fulfilled prophecies of Deuteronomy 18, John 14, 16; and perhaps others).

    There has also been a reticence to question the Qur'an and the prophet due to the adverse response directed upon those who were brave enough to attempt it in the past. The fact is that for too long westerners have been content to assume that the Muslims had evidence and data to substantiate their claims.

    It is only now, as secular scholars of Islam (known as "Orientalists") re-examine the Islamic sources, that evidence is being uncovered which puts into question much of what we have been led to believe concerning Muhammad and his revelation,' the Qur'an.

    The findings of these scholars indicate that the Qur'an was not revealed to just one man, but was a compilation of later redactions (or editions) formulated by a group of men, over the course of a few hundred years (Rippin 1985:155; and 1990:3,25, 60). In other words, the Qur'an which we read today is not that which was in existence in the mid-seventh century, but was more than likely a product of the eighth and ninth centuries (Wansbrough 1977:160-163). It was at this time, the Orientalists say, particularly in the ninth century, that Islam took on its classical identity and became that which is recognizable today. Consequently, the formative stage of Islam, they contend, was not within the lifetime of Muhammad but evolved over a period of 200-300 years (Humphreys 1991:71, 83-89).

    Source material for this period, however, is sparse. Essentially the only sources which had been available to the historians were Muslim sources. What is more, outside the Qur'an,' the sources are all late. Prior to 750 A.D. we have no verifiable Muslim documents which can give us a window into this formative period of Islam (Wansbrough 1978:58-59). Nothing exists with which to corroborate Muslim Tradition' material (that is, Islamic history based on their traditions). Later documents simply draw upon earlier documents, which no longer exist today (if indeed they existed at all) (Crone 1987:225-226; Humphreys 1991:73). This classical period (around 800 A.D.) describes the earlier period, but from its own viewpoint, much like an adult, writing about their childhood will tend to remember those areas which were pleasant. Thus, the account is coloured, and biased, and as such cannot be accepted as authentic by historical scholars (refer to Crone's studies on the problems of the traditions,' especially those which were dependent on local storytellers, in Meccan Trade....1987, pp.203-230 and Slaves on Horses, 1980, pp. 3-17).

    Consequently, the demarcation line between what the historian will accept and that which Muslim Traditions maintain is growing further apart for the following reasons: Islam, according to orthodox Muslim scholars, gives complete credence to divine intervention for its revelation. Muslim Tradition asserts that Allah sent down his revelation to Muhammad via the angel Gabriel (Jibril) over a period of twenty-two years (610-632 A.D.), in which time many of the laws and traditions which delineate that which we define as Islam were formulated and worked out.

    Yet it is this scenario which secular historians are balking at today, as it presupposes that in the early seventh century, Islam, a religion of immense sophistication, of intricate laws and traditions was formulated in a backward' nomadic culture and became fully functional in only twenty two years.

    The Hijaz (central Arabia) before that time was hardly known in the civilized world. Even the later traditions refer to this period as Jahiliyya (or period of ignorance, implying its backwardness). Arabia before Muhammad did not have an urbanized culture, nor could it boast a sophisticated infrastructure needed to create, let alone maintain the scenario painted by the later traditions for the early period of Islam (Rippin 1990:3-4). So, how did it come together so neatly and so quickly? There is no historical precedence for such a scenario. One would expect such a degree of sophistication over a period of one or two centuries, provided there were other sources, such as neighbouring cultures from which traditions and laws could be borrowed, but certainly not within an unsophisticated desert environment, and certainly not within a period of a mere 22 years.

    Secular historians cannot simply accept the position posited by the later traditions that this all came about by divine revelation, as they maintain that all of history must be substantiated with historical evidence. They are forced to stand back and ask how we know what we know, where the information originates, and whether it stands up to an "unbiased" or neutral historical analysis.

    Historians had, therefore, been pushed into a dilemma. Due to their secular presuppositions they could not base their research on the existence of God, yet they could not throw out the Muslim Traditions (which naturally presuppose His existence), because they were the best and at times only documents available.

    That is, until recently.

    The new crop of historical experts on Islam (such as Dr. John Wansbrough, Michael Cook [both from SOAS], Patricia Crone formerly from Oxford, now lecturing at Cambridge, Yehuda Nevo from the University of Jerusalem, Andrew Rippin from Canada, and others), while admitting that there is a mystery concerning the question of divine intervention, are now looking more closely at other sources concerning the Qur'an to ascertain clues to its origins. It is these sources which are now beginning to reveal evidence for alternative explanations to the beginnings of a religion which today encompasses 1/5th of the world's population, and is growing faster then any other major religion.

    It is their work, therefore, that I would like to use, to understand better a possible origin for the Qur'an. It is their material, and others, which, I feel, Muslim apologists will need to face seriously in the years ahead, as much of this new data puts into serious doubt many of the claims forwarded by traditional Muslim scholars concerning their holy book, the Qur'an, and their prophet, Muhammad. Let us, then begin our analysis by taking a look at the sources for much of what we know concerning Islam, its prophet and its book.Below are the following sources:

    A.Problems with the Islamic Traditions
    B.Internal Critique of the Qur'an
    C.External Critique of the Qur'an
    D.Conclusion Non-Islamic Resources
  2. tom

    tom Member

    What you copy and pasted is nothing but garbage and lies. Moohammed was nothing but a good story teller, murderer, and child molester (all in the koran). I'm sorry that you've been sucked into his lies. If you want to real word of God, pick up the Bible.
  3. Brocktoon

    Brocktoon Banned

    Great Post Maharaj

    (Tom... I think the original post is asking if the Koran is trustworthy - not insisting it is. Please read again.)

    This is very signifigant because the Koran is about to be subjected to what the Bible was subjected to in recent decades.
    Then we called it 'Higher Critisism' although terms like 'Internal Critisism' are describing the same things.

    At first, it may appear as if many critical scholars have 'cornered' The Koran.

    Be patient.

    Christian scholars had a dilema when the first waves of 'Higher Critisism' crashed the gates of The Church.
    They had not only 'taken it for granted' but in many cases forgot what the original 'defenses' were.. and where they were!

    Although it appeared the critical scholars had a convincing argument (not that they were convincing but because Christians were 'speachless')
    Eventually it forced Biblical scholars to work on the problems and in many cases - find answers and evidence they would not otherwise have looked for and found.

    This will be hard on Islam and for the first few decades you will see a dramatic 'falling away' and many 'soft' Muslims begin to give only 'sentimental' devotion.

    New Mosques focusing on 'soft Islam' will become popular and probably teach that the Koran is just 'an allegory' or 'Poem' and not actual events and truths.

    I think you are already seeing the beginnings of this with Bin Laden and other 'Fundamentalists' lashing out.
    They saw what happened in the West to Christianity and they know it will come to the Middle East if Secular Democracy takes over.

    Im getting through some of the articles you linked - but - Let me say this:
    I intend to be as critical of the 'critical scholars' as they are of the Koran!

    In the West, very few people seem to question the questioners. They should.
  4. cabdirazzaq

    cabdirazzaq Member

    I'm quite suprised that these words come from people who call them self muslims. My advice to such people -who are ready to examine the quran and start doubting its faultness- is to first examine and understand the meaning of the word muslim as they call themselves. A muslim is one who submits, who gives him self over just like a slave would do, if you for example translate my name it would be something like: slave[servant]to the Provider which means that I shoul do as my lord commands without ever doubting his words.

    2.285: ... Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers." And they say: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys."

    This belief of mine which means that I'm ready to do every thing I'm commanded by Allah(may he be exalted) is found quite odd my disbelivers I've noticed. Now I ask you, why do you find it strange/weir/odd or even crazy that I do as I'm told? Let us say you would believe in Allah(may he be exatled) and his books without doubt, would you then still question the orders you receive? Most christians[not all] that are living nowadays do believe in God but they usually say no to things which they find not fitting their way of thinking. I must say that I find such a thing quite odd, if a doctor gives you a medicine , let's say for back pains would you start questioning the medicine and why one should take it in the morning and in the evening vice versa or do you submit and take the medicine as you were told? Then what about the All Knowing and All wise?
    Moreover atheists say that they don't belive in any God but I can't agree to that claim as they believe in what Allah(may he be exatled) describes in the quran:

    45:23 Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire?..
  5. maharaj

    maharaj Member

    Maharaj is just a name or label. It does not refer to particular ethnic or group of people who call themselves muslims or christians, etc. In this world I was born to be happy and to be the master in life not to be a slave. A true mentor(teacher), provider, or leader does NOT treat his people, disciples(students) or constituents to be a slave, igonorant and blindly follow his command rather he respect their inherent dignity and seek out to those people to develop their innate potentialities so that they may attain true happiness, to be inedependent and established oneself. Thereby, find the truth oneself.. This is the true path of life, the path of Oneness of Mentor and Disciple(follower).I am reminded one of the founder(teacher) of great religions whom i admired most.To the seekers of truth as well as How he treat his disciples(or followers) to be wise and not slaves, he says:

    "Do not accept anything on (mere) hearsay -- (i.e., thinking that thus have we heard it from a long time). Do not accept anything by mere tradition -- (i.e., thinking that it has thus been handed down through many generations). Do not accept anything on account of mere rumors -- (i.e., by believing what others say without any investigation). Do not accept anything just because it accords with your scriptures. Do not accept anything by mere suppositions. Do not accept anything by mere inference. Do not accept anything by merely considering the reasons. Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your pre-conceived notions. Do not accept anything merely because it seems acceptable -- (i.e., thinking that as the speaker seems to be a good person his words should be accepted). Do not accept anything thinking that the ascetic is respected by us (therefore it is right to accept his word).

    "But when you know for yourselves -- these things are immoral, these things are blameworthy, these things are censured by the wise, these things, when performed and undertaken conduce to ruin and sorrow -- then indeed do you reject them.

    "When you know for yourselves -- these things are moral, these things are blameless, these things are praised by the wise, these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to well-being and happiness -- then do you live acting accordingly." (Siddhartha Gautama)

    These are inspiring words.

    On ther hand, Religion if i may speak itself arose in order to ease humanity's fear and apprehensions about life and death. Yet most religions offer no more than a simple formula for belief in order to allow us to have confidence about the future and the afterlife. Many religions espouse the existence of an abosolute, controlling a deity or power, so that we may remove the burden of responsibility from ourselves for solving our most fundamental problems.In addition, most teach some kind of theory about what happens after we die,which people are exhorted to believe in.

    Nevertheless, belief alone might some confidence, but belief in and itself does NOT guarantte that what we believe is true. In order to truly undestand the nature of Life and death, and gain genuine confidence, what we need is Wisdom- penetrating insight rooted in the depths of Life itself.In addition, we need the internal power and fortitude to conquer our own weaknesses and fears, and to act confidently upon our beliefs, thus demonstrating their validity through our actions.In addition, we need the power of compassion and courage to enable others to transcend their own limitations and establish the true confidence and happiness in Life.
  6. LOL! Is the Bible really that much better?;)
  7. tom

    tom Member

    Yes. The Bible states the facts while the koran is one big fairy tale.
  8. They are all "stories" to me. If you want to know God then look at yourself, the stars, and the planet.
  9. cabdirazzaq

    cabdirazzaq Member

    I can agree with you when you say: If you want to know God then look at yourself, the stars, and the planet. But not when you say: They are all "stories" as if it never happend, by Allah these things did happen and Allah(may he be exalted) sended these mentionings to remind us and to teach us.
    Allah(may he be exalted) says (interpretation of the meaning):

    We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an: before this, thou too was among those who knew it not.[Yusuf 12:3]

    The heavens and the earth, the mountains and the seas, the stars, the sun and the moon are among the signs of Allah(may he be exalted)
    Allah(may he be exalted) says (interpretation of the meaning):

    Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o'er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds! [Al A´raf 7:54]

    Indeed there is a sign in all this for those who reflect. Different kinds of miracles have been discovered in the quran - and Allah knows best - recently, such as the formation of the mountains. Professor Emeritus Frank Press. He was the Science Advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter, and for 12 years was the President of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC says in his book entitled "earth" that mountains have underlying roots. These roots are deeply embedded in the ground, thus, mountains have a shape like a peg. See the picture below

    Allah(may he be exalted) says(interpretation of the meaning):

    Have We not made the earth as a bed
    And the mountains as pegs
    [Naba 78: 6-7]

    Further more the mountains hold the earth stable and keep it from shaking.
    Allah(may he be exalted) says(interpretation of the meaning):

    And He has driven firm standing mountains into the earth, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads, that you may guide yourselves. [Nahl 16:15]

    There are other things like this which I will mention some other time inshallah(If Allah wants to) but right now it´s soon time for the call of prayer.

    Allah(may he be exalted) says(interpretation of the meaning):
    Is then He, Who creates, the same as one who does not create Will you not then reflect)
    [Nahl 16:17]
  10. brothwood

    brothwood Member

    the bible states facts, are you kidding me? The Bible is a book of lies, and those original lies contradict each other and change through chinese whispers during the years. Many of the lies of the powers of God have being misproved such as the World creation and that we are made in Gods form which also has being proved we were not. How shallow and un-educated do you have to be to believe a Book can tell you how to live. God is a dictator if he/she/it is real at all
  11. tom

    tom Member

    Pick one and explain
  12. brothwood

    brothwood Member

    "the world was created in 7 days"- misproved because the world was around billions of years before humans so it could not happen all in 7 days.

    "Noahs Ark"- Were all of human beings wiped out besides noah and his animal friends. There is no proof at all that this occured.

    "Jesus died for all human sins/ everythink happensfor a reason in teh eyes of God"- so is tyhere a possible way we can go to hell if it is all happening because God wants it to and loves us all
    please ask if your would like me to continue
  13. brothwood

    brothwood Member

    and please don't respond by some stupid answer such as these are symbolic, becasue all of the Bible is symbolic and all made up stories to control us by a dictator you call God
  14. Christian

    Christian Member

    I have the belife that jesus was the messiah and muhammad was a prophet.
  15. brothwood

    brothwood Member

    Are you serious or just trying to wind me up?
    Jesus and Muhammad were very different and had very different beliefs so they couldn't of both came from the same "God". As much as I belief Jesus was a bored carpenter who wanted to create a bit of trouble, he had some good ideas if he did say what they claim he said. Muhmmad believed in fighting with other religions whilst Jesus quote- "Put your sword away. Those who will take the sword will die by the sword."
  16. Christian

    Christian Member

    The Quran speaks about tolerance of the three faiths.
  17. Kharakov

    Kharakov ShadowSpawn

    Really? God wouldn't create you with a similar form to educate you and make you feel comfortable in God's presence?
    Where have you gained your knowledge? Do you gain your knowledge from the world around you which includes a multitude of sources of information? One of which could be a certain book that describes a perspective of life higher than the mere physical manifestation of reality.

    Everyone starts out with a physical understanding of the universe, your spiritual understanding comes at a later point in life when you are ready for it. The bible is probably one of the easiest methods of gaining a better understanding of the fundamental spiritual realities of our universe. Maybe the koran would be better for you however- every child has slightly different needs because of the unique perspective they have been granted.
  18. Cloudminerva

    Cloudminerva Member

    I believe the Bible and the Quar'an contain words of God. I do believe that certain aspects of the Bible have been tampered with because there are a few misenterpretations and contradictions that I have found listening to my families own preacher. I also believe that certain aspects of the Quaran might be in the same condition and that certain truths have been lost forever because of misenterpretation and the many books of the Bible that were thrown away becuase of their "radical"nature. I believe in Jesus and I also believe that Allah is my God...different names but same God and same spirit. The Quaran speaks highly of Jesus anyway.

  19. xdianax

    xdianax Member

    For those of you who believe in the Bible and/or Qur'an, does your belief in these pieces of literature influence your feelings about Evolution and other Scientific theories?

    :) Namaste,

  20. brothwood

    brothwood Member

    God did not create us in his form because humans have evolved so therefore the very 1st cells that evolved to become animals which eventually became human beings and the image of God surelly, so God has either evoved as well, or he is a single cell! And to be frank, talking about my education is pretty contradictionary because as most of the World knows, America really does pressure the religious scene in many areas on their kids (very free). Could you not fathom for one second to take a step back and look at life with little interference from what others have told you. And further I do not need a book to tell me what to believe, if everyone was truly spiritual they wouldn't need a book as a guide. I trulely believe nothing I could stay could changer your mind with all the years of believing, i am a strong believer in logic, and logic stands that God is not real, and I strongely beleive 100% I am correct. You can't change my view and unfortunately I cann't change yours.

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