Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Introduction to the Qur'an

To aid you in defence of the Christian Faith, it is very useful to know about the Muslim scriptures. This article should give you a good overview of it and its inconsistencies.

The word Qur'an means 'recitation'. It was a word used in churches for the reading of the Bible in the time of Mohammed. They are verses that Mohammed recited while exhibiting behavior resembling seizures. His followers wrote the verses on any material that was at hand.

The Qur'an

As detailed earlier in this book, the respect for the Qur'an grew rapidly after Mohammed's escape to Medina. His followers believed that Mohammed was building on the credibility of the Bible. They revered him as a Biblical prophet equal to Abraham, Moses and David. They believed the content of the Qur'an to be lofty in its laws and so beautiful in its poetry that it surpassed the many poets among the idol worshipers.

Decades after Mohammed's death, many of those who claimed to have committed his verses to memory were dying fighting for Islam. Thinking that the verses would be lost, a committee gathered and compiled the first Qur'an but a problem developed after the Qur'an was copied and distributed. A successor to Mohammed, Caliph Uthman, discovered that the copies of the Qur'an did not agree. The fact that they were different was a scandal. Uthman had a committee of a few leaders establish a standardized copy. Uthman then attempted to have all other copies of the Qur'ans burned.

The collection of sixty-one verses in this chapter reveals several things. These verses, recited by Mohammed, made lofty claims about the Qur'an. The Qur'an purported to agree with the Bible, which had been completed for centuries before the Qur'an, and commanded Muslims to believe in both the Qur'an and the Bible. It claims to be perfect Arabic, a copy of an eternal tablet in heaven, without equal in literary style and without error. The Qur'an claims to reveal hidden details to astound mankind. For example, the Qur'an announced that nineteen angels guard Hell (74:26-31). This news was expected to amaze the Christians into believing in the Qur'an.

The reasons that many of Mohammed's contemporaries did not believe in the Qur'an can be found in the text of the Qur'an itself. For example, when certain 'revelations' were changed, it caused doubt about the perfect divine source of the verses. The direction for prayers was changed from Jerusalem to Mecca with the explanation given that Allah allowed this correction to be made to the Qur'an as a test to see who would still believe in a 'divine revelation' that needed to be altered. Another example would be the verses Mohammed recited which allowed for the veneration of the daughters of Allah. These were erased and replaced by other verses with the explanation that they were Satanic verses that Mohammed received and later had to retract. For a strategic moment in time, these 'satanic verses' appeased the idol worshipers.

The Qur'an reveals several other reasons the people of Mohammed's day rejected the Qur'an. Some rejected Islam because of the manner in which Mohammed recited the verses. It looked too much like the seizures of demon-possession or insanity. Others, who knew the Bible, realized that Mohammed was reciting Arab, Jewish and Christian fables as if they were actual Biblical history. These people rejected the Qur'an because of its content.

The Qur'an Says...

  1. Satanic Verses   Mohammed had spoken some verses to be a part of the Qur'an which really came from Satan, but this was not unusual since every prophet and apostle before him has had the same problem. The Satanic verses were removed. The purpose of Satanic verses is to test the unbelievers and divide them into sects which will be a sign that the Qur'an is true to those who believe (22:52,53). The Satanic verses were deleted and replaced by better verses or similar ones (2:106).
  2. Validity Questioned   When one of the verses, Mohammed had given as part of the Qur'an, was replaced by another verse, the non-Muslims decided that he was an impostor only claiming to be a prophet (16:101).
  3. Changes Cause Doubt   The foolish wonder why Mohammed's earlier instructions were replaced with different ones (in relation to which direction a Muslim should face when praying, Jerusalem or Mecca). The answer to these "foolish doubters" is that the first revelation was given as the first part of a tough test.  This change (in the Qur'an) was performed in order to see which followers would remain Muslims and which would defect as a result. It was a great test which true Muslims withstood (2:142,143).
  4. Verses Memorized and Forgotten   The verses Mohammed spoke were to be repeated by the Muslims so that they would not forget any of them except those which Allah wanted to be forgotten (87:6,7).
  5. Heavenly Tablet   The Qur'an is written on a preserved tablet (presumably on a stone tablet in heaven) (85:21,22).
  6. Detailed Exposition   The Qur'an confirms the Bible and gives all the details of everything which took place in history (or an explanation of all things) (12:111).
  7. Tutored   The unbeliever accused a specific person of helping Mohammed compose the Qur'an (16:103).
  8. Possessed   The non-Muslims glared at Mohammed with their eyes and said, 'No doubt, he is possessed' (68:51 25:8).
  9. False Prophet   The non-Muslims said that Mohammed invented his verses himself with the help of others (46:8, 52:33, 25:4).
  10. Insane   The non-Muslims said that Mohammed was insane (68:2). The idol worshipers said that since Mohammed performed no miracles they would not leave their gods just because of Mohammed's words. They decided that their gods had cursed him with madness (11:53-54).
  11. Fairy Tales   The non-Muslims objected to the content of the Qur'an because they recognized in it familiar old fables which were presented in the Qur'an as history. Someone, who spent a great deal of time helping Mohammed learn them, taught these tales to him (16:24, 25:5, 68:15, 83:13).
  12. Nineteen Angels   Nineteen angels guard Hell! This is such a startling revelation that those who believe in the Bible may now believe in the Qur'an as well and Muslims may be strengthened in faith. At the same time, the numbering of the angels will be a point of ridicule for the unbelievers. It is meant to sound stupid to unbelievers because Allah misleads some and guides others (74:26-31).
  13. Idolater's Challenged   Idol worshipers say that the Qur'an is invented. They are challenged to write one chapter like it with the help of their gods (10:38).
  14. Many Poets in Mohammed's Day   Poets are found walking aimlessly in every valley. They gathered followers who believe errors. The poets teach things they do not practice (26:224-226).
  15. Unchanged   No one can change Allah's words (18:27).
  16. Confirms the Bible   The Qur'an, written in Arabic, agrees with and confirms the Book of Moses which was revealed as a guide and blessing to all men (46:12). The stories in the Qur'an are not invented tales but validate and confirm the Bible (12:111). The Qur'an is from Allah and that is why it fully explains the Bible which came before it (10:37). "If you (Mohammed) doubt the reliability of the Qur'an, you should ask those who are reading the Bible, which was revealed prior to your life (10:94). There is nothing new in the Qur'an which was not revealed to former apostles (41:43).
  17. Qur'an in Heaven   The Qur'an is given in Arabic so that it may be easily understood and its Mother Book is in Allah's presence, highly exalted and full of wisdom (43:4).
  18. Never Finished   The writings of Allah's words could never be finished even if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea were ink with seven other seas to replenish it (31:27).
  19. Genies Kept Away   Genies are kept far away from hearing the reading of the Qur'an. It is impossible for them to hear it (26:212).
  20. Genies Converted   Some genies flew up to heaven and eavesdropped on the reading of the Qur'an taking place there. They saw the comets and flaming darts which are thrown at the genies to keep them away from hearing what is taking place in heaven. They heard the message that Allah is one and that he has no wife or children and believed the message. They became Muslims. Thus, some genies are believers in Islam. Others are the fuel for the fires of hell (72:1-15).
  21. Eye of a Needle   Those who deny the Qur'an will not get into the gates of Paradise until a camel passes through the eye of a needle (7:40).
  22. No Errors   The Qur'an is the best Scripture with no inconsistencies (39:23). It is written in Arabic free of all faults (39:28). It is free from all contradictions (4:82).
  23. Belief in Bible and Qur'an   True believers are those who believe in the Qur'an and the Bible (2:4).


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