Highway 9 church of Christ   

Problems With The Koran   

by Joel Hendon
Chapter 6 from his book WHILE THE EAGLE SLEPT

The Koran, the holy book of the Islamic religion, superior to the Holy Bible, whose contradictions of the biblical passages take precedence over them...these are some of the claims made by the followers of Islam. But how sound are these claims? And who says so? Let us examine some claims and facts that are known and some things that are unknown concerning this book.

Where did it come from? Islamic tradition tells us that it was given to Muhammad from Allah, via angel Gabriel, in sporadic episodes over the period of some twenty years. Muhammad, since he never learned to read or write, could only recite the words which he received and another would record them. They then tell us that these bits were not assembled until after his death. This is their effort to explain away the facts that there are no evidences of these writings until over one hundred years after his death.

"Apart from some fragments of obvious early origin which cannot be reliably dated, it appears that none of the early Qur'an manuscripts surviving, whether in whole codices or sizeable fragments, can be dated earlier than the late eighth century (over one hundred years after Muhammad's death). Virtually all the relevant texts surviving were written in a developed form of Kufic script or in one of the other scripts known to have developed some time after the early codification of the Qur'an text. None of them can be reliably dated earlier than the second half of the second century of the Islamic era. We shall proceed to analyse some of these scripts." (Answering Islam website: http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/Jam/chap7.html)

We learned in the last chapter that Muhammad, the proclaimed author of the Koran, died in 633 A.D. Yet, not one of the original sources of writings of the Koran can be found to have originated prior to about 750 A.D., and most of them much later than that. And the inconsistencies only start here. The writings have been revised and changed through the ages and the current existing Koran has several missing phrases contained in the earlier manuscripts. The Koran consists of 114 chapters (suras) with varying numbers of verses, three of the suras contain only three short verses each. There are very few verses which have continuity. Many are simple statements not referring to one another. They contain no story or theme and it is obvious that much of it would have no meaning to the illiterate or unlearned. In fact, they have little meaning to anyone other than as simple statements. Let us take for an example, the last sura of the Koran. It is titled “The People” and here are the six verses, In their entirety, contained therein translated into English:

1. Say I seek refuge in the Lord of men,

2. The King of men,

3. The God of men,

4. From the evil of the whisperings of the slinking (Shaitan, Satan),

5. Who whispers into the hearts of men,

6. From among the jinn (devils) and the men.

This chapter of course, is among the very short ones and the verses are among the very shortest ones, but with that said, the nonsensical message from this chapter is worthless in respect to doctrine and actually sounds as if it were from some mentally disturbed person.

These facts were so obvious in the early years of Islam, that it became necessary that explanations be made. Therefore there exists Sunnah, more text concerning Muhammad's sayings and his exemplary activities. This, however, is regarded as words and actions of his own and not of Allah. It seems that there are variant copies of Sunnah (and assuredly many variants of hadith) and much disagreement as to which if any are binding. Some Islamic scholars profess that it is of the same value and import as is the Koran. Others adamantly reject both Sunnah and hadiths (explanations of the Koran, somewhat akin to Christian commentaries) as works of Satan. Following is a statement from an Islamic website "IT-IS-TRUTH.org" :

“The hadeeth, which contains the teachings, sayings, approvals and actions of Prophet Muhammad meticulously reported and collected by his devoted companions, explains and elaborates on the Qur'aanic verses.”

This quote is completely inaccurate since these writings were “meticulously” formulated from the figment of the writers imaginations some 150-plus years after the death of Muhammad. Their creation by various uninspired writers centuries after the fact simply opens the door for any and all ideas and points of view. If Allah put those Koranic sayings in Muhammad’s mouth, why on earth would he have made them so vague and meaningless that uninspired scholars would later have to “explain them” when they, themselves, could not possibly get any verifiable meaning from them? And with the additions of these writings by authors who do not agree, the muddy waters have turned into mud. Let’s take a single hadith at random and see how much it clears things up:

'A'ishah's Hadith, may Allah be pleased with her

Abu Salamah bin 'Abdul-Rahman said: I went to 'A'ishah along with her foster-brother who asked her about the bath of the Messenger (may peace be upon him) because of sexual intercourse. She called for a vessel equal to a Sa' and she took a bath, and there was a curtain between us and her. She poured water on her head thrice. The reporter said: The wives of the Messenger (may peace be upon him) collected hair on their heads and these lopped up to ears.

"Hadith number in Sahih Muslim [Arabic only]: 481"

You can see that the hadith's intellectual void is as great as is the verses of the Koran. Any interpretation of the Koran makes a great difference when held by those with the authority over the people. Some people interpret it as a religion of love and compassion, while others interpret it as a call to jihad.

These variations in interpretation result in the extreme differences in ruling powers. Consider the Taliban who formerly ruled in Afghanistan. These people horribly abused and degraded their women. They virtually refused to have any religion taught or openly practiced within their midst. They pampered, supported and cooperated with the radical terrorists of Al Qaeda, under the guise of the Islam religion. And, there is little reason to believe that they were dishonest in their belief that they were following the word of Muhammad in doing so.

And this radical interpretation permeates the Islamic countries. It would be difficult to try and consider the percentage of Muslims who do follow this radical thought. But there is plenty of evidence that the percentage is quite high. Even in those countries which are considered moderate or conservative, you will find that much of the conservative thought is within the nation’s leadership rather than the rank and file. This is dramatically evident in countries like Saudi Arabia. The leaders are intelligent enough to know that they not only need the respect of, and trade with, other nations but indeed must have it to insure a viable economy. Yet, they are confronted with two major problems: (1) That of their own resentment and detestation for those who do not accept Islam. (2) The reaction of their own constituency toward the same thing. It is very likely that, if a completely free and honest election could be held for the entire Arabian peninsula, Usama bin Laden would win control by a landslide. This sort of thing would mean the complete destruction of the Middle East yet there are millions of uneducated, very poor people who feel that this would be the answer. And even among the more literate and affluent, untold thousands hold deep resentment and even hatred toward “unbelievers” which includes all outside of Islam.

For clarity, let's read a few selected passages from the Koran:

Sura 2 Verse 191: "And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers."

Sura 66 Verse 9: "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them; and their abode is hell; and evil is the resort."

Sura 17 Verse 4: “And We had made known to the children of Israel in the Book: Most certainly you will make mischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.”

Sura 58 Verse 5: "Surely those who act in opposition to Allah and His Apostle shall be laid down prostrate as those before them were laid down prostrate; and indeed We have revealed clear communications, and the unbelievers shall have an abasing chastisement".

Many scholars say, and I have little reason to question their conclusions, that these verses were written amidst times of war and persecution between the followers of Muhammad and the pagan worshippers of the time, and had reference to those pagans. Perhaps this is true, but with the confusion as to the doctrine of Muhammad that exists among his own followers, it causes much of the problems which have arisen from those teachings. One may stop on about any page of the Koran and find provocative statements such as you see above. And although most of the statements may not be wildly inflammatory, they do reflect an underlying bitterness or even hatred. Thus it becomes obvious that those people who are bitter or disgruntled with their lives are readily impressed with the religion. It soothes their conscience to think that their hatred and resentment toward others is approved by a religion.

All of these deep feelings are not the result of the Koran, but a lot of them are and a lot of them are enhanced by it. There are numerous verses within the Koran which provoke hatred toward others and some when taken alone, urge killing of the “unbelievers”. And the hadith do little to erase those views because they also are unclear and cannot be understood by the masses. Most of the religious beliefs carried by the Islamic masses, consist only in what they have been orally taught throughout life with little consistency between families, tribes, countries or areas. So what do we have?

A religion without a single credential, started by an illiterate man without a single credential, a book written by others, with no credentials, 150+ years after the death of the illiterate man who supposedly recited these sayings. Sayings that are largely unrelated ramblings with no internal, or external, evidence of their authenticity. Sayings that have no original views of morality or opposition to turpitude but are filled with resentment and urging followers to have nothing to do with unbelievers. Follow this book with the Sunnah which has no verifiable connection to the professed sayings or actions of Muhammad and which, although controversial even among Muslims, is regarded as authoritative as the Koran by many. Then add to that the hadeeth, explanations by various scholars of Islam, and you have a hopeless conglomeration of misleading views. Then, consider the years of misled followers who pass their own misconceptions to their progeny. There is no wonder that millions have the radical interpretation while many do not.

Read this defense of Islam taken from: Islam101
(http://islam101.com/terror/sbaptists.htm)

"When I spoke to a local Baptist about this, he said that the basis of Rev. Vines' comments are Hadith (Vol. 7, Book 62, number 65) which states "that the Prophet married her (Aisha) when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old." Other verses that call for believers to "Slay the idolators wherever you find them" (Sura 9:5) have been used to inappropriately justify murder, including the WTC.

This is the worst type of ignorance where things are taken out of context and without any basic knowledge of Islamic texts. First of all, statements on the age of Aisha (spiritual mother of all Muslims) do not appear in the Quran. Statements in Hadith are subject to classifications in various categories from authentic to false. Hadith books were written about two hundreds years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). There are at least three different conclusions on the age of honorable Aisha. Regardless of what age it was, her marriage was consumated only when she was an adult and not as a child. As far as the age of adulthood is concerned, it depends on what it was 1400 years ago in Arabia among Arabs and not what we have established today in America.
"

Notice this Islamic scholar’s statement, “Statements in Hadith are subject to classifications in various categories from authentic to false.” This is the exact thought that I have attempted to point out and yet this scholar calls this ignorance of the worst type. Tell me how non-Muslims are to be expected to know the difference in these authentic or false writings. Or even more, how did he gain such knowledge? All hadith were written by Islamic imam so far as I know and none of them were inspired of God, so how is one to determine the truth? This scholar disputes the assumption that Muhammad had intercourse with the young wife before she became an adult, in that age. How does he know that? I don’t know whether he did or not but I would like to know his source of knowledge. And not just his opinion that Muhammad would never do that. We know that he married up to 12 (some say 15) wives when his Koran teaches monogamy. And his reference to Solomon, and others, has no bearing on it whatsoever. Nobody that I know of reveres Solomon, or David.

I am perfectly willing to concede that Islam may be, in the minds of many, many Muslims, a loving and peaceful religion. That, however, does not excuse, or make acceptable the many facts concerning it that has created a state of fostering world wide terror, abuse of human rights, intolerance of other beliefs and such things. Many cry out that they cannot help those things occurring, and perhaps they cannot. But they can condemn them vocally. Governments can take a stand and root out the evil portions of their nations and put a stop to it. The spiritual leaders can teach their people those things. When Muslim leaders show the world that their religion is peaceful, you will see the end of this “war on terrorism”.

If a group of youngsters find a Hornet’s nest and one hits it with a stone, the Hornets assume that all are responsible and retaliate. Probably all will pay the price for the one stone thrower. It was a terrifying sight to watch the airliners plow into the World Trade Center towers. It is a normal reaction for people to blame an entire nation for the acts of a few, perhaps unjust but normal. But what placed a sickening feeling in this writer more than the planes and smoke and crumbling towers, was the videos from foreign nations of children and teens dancing and yelling, flashing victory signals and very obviously, overjoyed. Try and explain that away. These young people were elated over the harm of something they had been taught to hate! One may be assured that those videos had more to do with the current anti-Muslim, anti-Islam sentiment than did the planes.

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Parts of the Koran have been altered since it was first written. It once contained sayings that are no longer included because of extreme contradictions. These verses that are missing are denied by some and others contend that they were removed by Muhammad himself. They explain them away by insisting these phrases were put into his mouth by Satan and that Allah later advised him to remove them. Even those who have never read the book will recall the episode when an Indian Moslem, Salman Rushdie, wrote a book entitled “Satanic Verses” which infuriated the Ayatollah Khomeni to the extent that he issued a religious “fatwa” with a three million dollar reward for any Muslim who would kill Rushdie.

One of the “Satanic Verses” was purportedly found in the original Koran’s 53rd sura between the current 19th and 20th verses. "these are exalted females whose intercession is to be desired” The reference here is to the three female goddesses, of the pre-Islamic paganistic religion, named al-Lat, Manah and Uzza. Now, these were just three of the multiple gods and goddesses they worshipped before Muhammad introduced the Islamic one God, Allah. This simple verse could not remain as part of the Koran if it was to be held as infallible words of the prophet, Muhammad. Therefore it, and others similar to it, were removed. Their explanation of the words placed into Muhammad’s so-called infallible mind by Satan only to be ordered to be removed later by Allah, does not satisfy this writer’s questions.

There are also passages other than the Satanic verses, according to the Islamic scholars, that are missing from the Koran. Here is a quote from an early Islamic leader, Abdullah ibn Umar:

“It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said: "Let none of you say 'I have acquired the whole of the Qur'an'. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur'an has disappeared? Rather let him say 'I have acquired what has survived.'" (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.524).

There are other portions of the Koran that are questionable, even by followers of the religion. For instance sura 2, verse 106 states:

“Whatever communications we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, we bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?”

Numerous Muslims reject this verse as showing weakness of the textual accuracy of the Koran. But many others accept it as an authentic scripture. All of these instances show the problems of ever having a united doctrine from the uninspired ramblings of Muhammad and his followers.