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Is the Koran the real book of God?

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2008-08-14 22:17:52

The short answer is- no. In the opinion of renowned scholars and

professors of Islam, history, Arabic and many other fields, the

origins of the Qur'an are dubious. Among them - Dr. John

Wansbrough, Professor Joseph Schacht, Dr. Patricia Crone, R.

Stephen Humphreys and Professor Andrew Rippin. "Almost universally,

independent scholars studying the Qur'an and Hadith, have concluded

that the Islamic scripture was not revealed to just one man, but

was a compilation of later redactions and editions formulated by a

group of men, over the course of a few hundred years. The Qur'an

which we read today is not that which was in existence in the

mid-seventh century, but is a product of the eighth and ninth

centuries. It was not conceived in Mecca or Medina, but in Baghdad.

It was then and there that Islam took on its identity and became a

religion. Consequently, the formative stage of Islam was not within

the lifetime of Muhammad but evolved over a period of 300 years."

On the other hand, Gerd Puin, a German scholar and the world's

foremost authority on Qur'anic paleography, the study and scholarly

interpretation of ancient manuscripts, and a specialist in Arabic

calligraphy, believes: "My idea is that the Koran is a kind of

cocktail of texts that were not all understood even at the time of

Muhammad. Many of them may even be a hundred years older than Islam

itself. Even within the Islamic traditions there is a huge body of

contradictory information, including a significant Christian

substrate; one can derive a whole Islamic anti-history from them if

one wants. The Qur'an claims for itself that it is 'mubeen,' or

clear, but if you look at it, you will notice that every fifth

sentence or so simply doesn't make sense. Many Muslims will tell

you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the

Qur'anic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the

traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Qur'an is not

comprehensible, if it can't even be understood in Arabic, then it's

not translatable into any language. That is why Muslims are afraid.

Since the Qur'an claims repeatedly to be clear but is not-there is

an obvious and serious contradiction. Something else must be going

on." The Qur'an tells us that Muhammad's critics found traditions,

folklore and Jewish and Christian scripture: "We have heard this

(before): if we wished, we could say (words) like these: these are

nothing but tales of the ancients" (8:31)."Such things have been

promised to us and to our fathersbefore! They are nothing but tales

of the ancients!" (23:83)" According to historian W. St. Clair

Tisdall, who did pioneering work on these questions in his

monograph The Sources of Islam, which he later expanded into

a book, and in his other writings, "the books of the Zoroastrians

and Hindus... bear the most extraordinary likeness to what we find

in the Koran and Hadith. Thus in Paradise we are told of 'houris

having fine black eyes,' and again of 'houris with large black

eyes, resembling pearls hidden in their shells.'... The name houry

too is derived from an Avesta or Pehlavi Source, as well as jinn

for genii, and bihisht (Paradise), signifying in Avestic 'the

better land.' We also have very similar tales in the old Hindu

writings, of heavenly regions with their boys and girls resembling

the houris and ghilman of the Koran." Source: The Truth About

Muhammad by Robert Spencer (2006). There were different Qur'ans

in Muhammad's time. Islamic sources tell us that Muhammad's

followers would argue because Muhammad provided contradicting

versions of the Qur'an. A notable example appears in Bulhari's

Hadith: "Umar bin Khattab [the second Caliph] said, 'I heard Hisham

bin Hakim bin Hizam reciting Surat Al-Furqan ["Al-Furqan," the

title of the 25th surah, has no meaning in any language.] during

the lifetime of Allah's Apostle. I listened to his recitation and

noticed that he recited it in several ways which Allah's Apostle

had not taught me. So I was on the point of attacking him in the

prayer, but I waited till he finished, and then I seized him by the

collar. "Who taught you this Surah which I have heard you

reciting?" He replied, "Allah's Apostle taught it to me." I said,

"You are lying. Allah's Apostle taught me in a different way this

very Surah which I have heard you reciting." So I led him to

Muhammad. "O Allah's Apostle! I heard this person reciting

Surat-al-Furqan in a way that you did not teach me." The Prophet

said, "Hisham, recite!" So he recited in the same way as I heard

him recite it before. On that Allah's Apostle said, "It was

revealed to be recited in this way." Then the Prophet said,

"Recite, Umar!" So I recited it as he had taught me. Allah's

Apostle said, "It was revealed to be recited in this way, too." He

added, "The Qur'an has been revealed to be recited in several

different ways, so recite of it that which is easier for you."

(Bukhari:V6B61N561) == == One of the most common myths about the

Qur'an, is that the Quran was compiled by people that came after

Muhammad and as such Quran is not authentic and that it has been

edited several times. Let me explain that myth one by one. Prophet

Muhammad (pbuh) himself supervised and authenticated the written

texts of the Qur'an. Whenever the Prophet received a revelation, he

would first memorize it himself and later declare the revelation

and instruct his Companions (R.A. - Radhi Allahu Taala Anhu) - May

Allah be pleased with him who would also memorize it. The Prophet

would immediately ask the scribes to write down the revelation he

had received, and he would reconfirm and recheck it himself.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was an Ummi who could not read and write.

Therefore, after receiving each revelation, he would repeat it to

his Companions. They would write down the revelation, and he would

recheck by asking them to read what they had written. If there was

any mistake, the Prophet would immediately point it out and have it

corrected and rechecked. Similarly he would even recheck and

authenticate the portions of the Qur'an memorized by the

Companions. In this way, the complete Qur'an was written down under

the personal supervision of the prophet (pbuh). The complete Qur'an

was revealed over a period of 22½ years portion by portion, as and

when it was required. The Qur'an was not compiled by the Prophet in

the chronological order of revelation. The order and sequence of

the Qur'an too was Divinely inspired and was instructed to the

Prophet by Allah (swt) through archangel Jibraeel. Whenever a

revelation was conveyed to his companions, the Prophet would also

mention in which surah (chapter) and after which ayat (verse) this

new revelation should fit. Every Ramadhaan all the portions of the

Qur'an that had been revealed, including the order of the verses,

were revised and reconfirmed by the Prophet with archangel

Jibraeel. During the last Ramadhaan, before the demise of the

Prophet, the Qur'an was rechecked and reconfirmed twice. It is

therefore clearly evident that the Qur'an was compiled and

authenticated by the Prophet himself during his lifetime, both in

the written form as well as in the memory of several of his

Companions. Many Companions of the Prophet used to write down the

revelation of the Qur'an on their own whenever they heard it from

the lips of the Prophet. However what they wrote was not personally

verified by the Prophet and thus could contain mistakes. All the

verses revealed to the Prophet may not have been heard personally

by all the Companions. There were high possibilities of different

portions of the Qur'an being missed by different Companions. This

gave rise to disputes among Muslims regarding the different

contents of the Qur'an during the period of the third Caliph Usman

(r.a.). Usman (r.a.) borrowed the original manuscript of the

Qur'an, which was authorized by the beloved Prophet (pbuh), from

Hafsha (may Allah be pleased with her), the Prophet's wife. Usman

(r.a.) ordered four Companions who were among the scribes who wrote

the Qur'an when the Prophet dictated it, led by Zaid bin Thabit

(r.a.) to rewrite the script in several perfect copies. These were

sent by Usman (r.a.) to the main centres of Muslims. There were

other personal collections of the portions of the Qur'an that

people had with them. These might have been incomplete and with

mistakes. Usman (r.a.) only appealed to the people to destroy all

these copies which did not match the original manuscript of the

Qur'an in order to preserve the original text of the Qur'an. Two

such copies of the copied text of the original Qur'an authenticated

by the Prophet are present to this day, one at the museum in

Tashkent in erstwhile Soviet Union and the other at the Topkapi

Museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Allah has Himself promised to guard the

Qur'an. He has promised in the Qur'an : "We have, without doubt,

sent down the Message; and We will assuredly Guard it (from

corruption)." [Al-Qur'an 15:9] Thus it can be proved that the Quran

which is present is the same as that was revealed to Muhammad. The

subject material remains untouched and preserved to this day.

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