It is my own view, from Islamic perspective, that different
beliefs and different faiths are something only between people and
their God but they are all called to live in peace and love and to
cooperate for the benefit of mankind and the universe. However,
since the question asks about different opinions I will write down
the opinion from Islamic perspective.
Quran is God revelations to Prophet Mohamed (peace upon him). These revelations of Quran by God to Prophet Mohamed was through the Angel Gabriel and started in year 610 AD when prophet Mohamed was in Mecca (Makkah) and was by then 40 years old. The revelations continued since then and was completed by year 632 AD (year of death of the prophet).
The long period for full revelation of the Quran (around 22 years) allowed the Quran to be fully memorized and documented by many Muslims. It was recited in the mosque by prophet Mohamed during the daily five prayers without single letter change. Many Muslims since then until now are memorizing Quran fully without single letter difference. This explains why Quran remains by God will, and will remain by God will, without single letter change.
For those who are seeking the truth and are interested in the proofs behind Quran revelation by God and that Quran is not a human written text, they can refer to the related question below and the related link for more details.
However, it is enough to highlight few issues as follow:
1. Some historians claim that prophet Muhammad wrote the Quran by himself. Arguments against this claim are:
- Prophet Muhammad was an illiterate man who had no formal education in any science, language, religious or secular.
- Quran speaks about a variety of branches of science like: Astronomy, Embryology, Hydrology, Geology, Sociology, Psychology, Oceanography, Law etc. including lots of scientific statements tha were validated only recently and were not known in the time of the prophet.
It was not known about prophet Muhammad any scholarly tendencies or achievements until the age of forty (when he received the first verses of Quran). So, how this illiterate man suddenly brings about a book like the Quran including an ideological and religious revolution that changed history?
- Why prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), if he authored the Quran, honor the virgin Mary (May Allah be pleased with her), the mother of Jesus (peace be on him) as the best woman over all women on earth over all ages until day of judgment (an honor that even not offered by the bible) while not mentioning his own family members with a single word and even not mentioning any name of them.?
- If he had authored the Quran, why he didn't claim this authorship of Quran and consequently gaining higher prestige among his followers who may consider him as a God.
- Why he mentioned Quran verses that reprimand him (as that of chapter 33, verse 37 and chapter 80 verses 1-3) if he wrote Quran by himself?.
2. Some others claim that Prophet Muhammad copied the Quran from the Bible. Arguments against this claim are:
- No Arabic version of the Bible was available at the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The oldest Arabic version of the New Testament was published by Erpenius in 1616 AD (about one thousand years after Quran start of revelation)
- Quran included correct scientific information on some incidents that are scientifically incorrect in the bible (e.g. sun was created after the creation of earth Genesis 1:9-19 and vegetation was created before the Sun-Genesis 1:11-13, 14-19). had prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) copied the information from the Bible and corrected the mistakes before mentioning it in the Quran? In addition, Quran includes lots of other scientific statements, that currently proven as correct, and not mentioned in the Bible.
- How so many Jews and Christians, including many who were were scholars in their religion, converted to Islam if there was doubt that Prophet Muhammad was copying from their scriptures?
- If Quran has some preachings or tales that are similar to that in the Bible, then this is because all holy books came from a single source (God).
3. Some others claim that a person or group of persons taught Muhammad (peace be on him) on how to write the Quran. Arguments against this claim are:
- If this is true, then why not discovered a single teacher of them in the time of the prophet.
- Quran was revealed over 23 years and not at once. Is it logic that that someone or more taught prophet Muhammad over a period of without being known.
- Sometimes Quran revelations occurred in the presence of the people and they witnessed how the prophet receives the Quran revelation.
- Why the teacher, who taught Quran to the prophet, didn't claim it tand its credit to himself?
- Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was surrounded by his companions all the time and every minute detail of his life was recorded. How could Muhammad (peace be on him) make frequent secret visits to that mysterious teacher or teachers for 23 years without being caught even once?
- How could so many Jews and Christians convert to Islam [some of them were scholars in their religion] if Muhammad (peace be on him) was learning from their priests or rabbis?
Despite the clear evidences above that Quran is God revelation to Prophet Muhammad and since the question asks about different opinions, the following answer offers some, but to the scientific sincerity, some of these opinions can be viewed as personal views or mistaken conclusions that are lacking proofs.
Some Quranic experts attribute the Qur'an in its current form to post-7th Century alterations. The consensus is:
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.
This consensus is due to the dubious origins of Islam and the
Qur'an. This is the opinion of renowned scholars and professors of
Islam, history, Arabic and many other fields. Among them: Dr. John
Wansbrough (American historian who taught at London University's
School of Oriental and African Studies), Professor Joseph Schacht
(professor of Arabic and Islam at Columbia University in New York
and a leading Western scholar of Islamic law), Dr. Patricia Crone
(a scholar, author and historiographer of early Islamic history
working at the Institute for Advance Study), R. Stephen Humphreys
(professor of history and Islamic studies at the University of
California at Santa Barbara), and Professor Andrew Rippin
(professor of history and specialist in Islamic studies at the
University of Victoria, B.C., Canada).
Gerd Puin on Qur'anic IntegrityGerd Puin is a German scholar and the world's foremost authority on Qur'anic paleography, the study and scholarly interpretation of ancient manuscripts. He is a specialist in Arabic calligraphy:
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.
Imperfect Qur'anAnother reason why the Qur'an fails the criteria as "the word of a perfect God" is because of the imperfections within the Qur'an. The Qur'an is riddled with literary contradictions, scientific errors, and historical inaccuracies.
An imperfect literary style is used in the Qur'an.
On the whole, while many parts of the Qur'an undoubtedly have considerable rhetorical power, even over an unbelieving reader, the book, aesthetically considered, is by no means a first-rate performance. ...let us look at some of the more extended narratives. It has already been noticed how vehement and abrupt they are where they ought to be characterized by epic repose. Indispensable links, both in expression and in the sequence of events, are often omitted, so that to understand these histories is sometimes far easier for us than for those who learned them first, because we know most of them from better sources. Along with this, there is a great deal of superfluous verbiage; and nowhere do we find a steady advance in the narration. Contrast, in these respects, "the most beautiful tale," the history of Joseph (xii.), and its glaring improprieties, with the story in Genesis, so admirably executed in spite of some slight discrepancies. Similar faults are found in the non-narrative portions of the Qur'an. The connection of ideas is extremely loose, and even the syntax betrays great awkwardness. Anancloutha are of frequent occurrence, and cannot be explained as conscious literary devices. Many sentences begin with a "when" or "on the day when," which seem to hover in the air, so that the commentators are driven to supply a "think of this" or some ellipsis. Again, there is no great literary skill evinced in the frequent and needless harping on the same words and phrases; in xviii., for example, "till that" (hatta idha) occurs no fewer than eight times. Muhammad, in short, is not in any sense a master of style.
Nöldeke, Theodor. "The Qur'an," Sketches from Eastern History. Trans. J.S. Black. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1892.
Plagiarism in Muhammad's TimeThe Qur'an tells us that Muhammad's critics caught him plagiarizing traditions, folklore, and Jewish and Christian scripture. Examples:
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 fathers before! They are nothing but tales of the ancients!" (23:83)
In regard to the Islamic versions of heaven, a paradise,
plagiarism from non-Abrahamic beliefs is also evident.
None of this, of course, can be found in the Jewish or Christian Scriptures, but it is in the writings of the Zoroastrians of Persia, who were a considerable presence in the areas around the Persian Empire before the advent of Islam. 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)
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 ibn 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)
Devoid of Context
The Qur'an in itself as a source for anything is devoid of context and thus arbitrary. Being devoid of context and any understanding, how can it be understood as the word of God?
We do not have material in the Qur'an to compose a biography of Muhammad because the book is a disjointed discourse, a pastiche [imitation, parody] of divine monologues that can be assembled into a homily [lecture, sermon] or perhaps a catechism [snippets of dogma] but that reveals little or nothing about the life of Muhammad and his contemporaries.... The Qur'an give us no assurance that its words and sentiments are likely to be authentic in the light of the context they were delivered and in the manner of their transmission. There are no clues as to when or where or why these particular words were being uttered.... The Qur'an is of no use whatsoever as an independent source for reconstructing the life of Muhammad. The Qur'an is not terribly useful even for reconstructing the Meccan milieu much less the life of the man who uttered its words; it is a text without context.
Source: Jay Smith, "Is the Qur'an the Word of God?", 1995
- Al-Quran came from Allah, the one only God. It is sent down to humankind through angel Jibril to Muhammad the messenger of Allah, to be propagated, with the permission of Allah, contains glad tidings and warnings.
- Al-Quran is still believed, learned, followed, memorized, or just respected
- None of the words, not even a letter has been changed
- No one has been able to point out a mistake nor contradiction in it, nor anyone is able to produce something similar to it (ex. in beauty, structure, popularity, effect, the message and teaching, truth, etc.)
- Even more scientific data in it are able to be proved with modern human knowledge and technology (ex. that universe is expanding, mountains are like nail that keeps the earth layer from moving, the sequence of development of unborn child - please read the writings from Bucaille, Zakir Naik and Harun Yahya for more) which are not comprehensible in the desert in the 7th century.
- "None of the words, not even a letter has been changed." This statement is actually incorrect and shows an ignorance in regard to textual criticism of the Qur'an. No Qur'anic manuscript of antiquity exactly matches today's common version of the Qur'an (a 1924 Royal Cairo edition).
"Even more scientific data in it are able to be proved with
modern human knowledge and technology (ex. that universe is
expanding, mountains are like nail that keeps the earth layer from
moving, the sequence of development of unborn child - please read
the writings from Bucaille, Zakir Naik and Harun Yahya for more)
which are not comprehensible in the desert in the 7th
century." This argument is fallacious as to accept claimed
scientific foreknowledge would mean accepting all scientific
discrepancies such as the gross scientific errors in regard to
sperm production, embryology, etc.
Although a translation (which is human made) can not reveal all
the meaning of another language, one can nowadays easily find a
good translation of Al-Quran (ex. by sahih international, yusuf
ali, etc.) and find out for himself, is it human made, or Al-Quran
is from Allah, the only God.
"Qul la'enijtama'til inso wal jinno, 'ala ayyaatu bemislin,
haazal qur'aane laa yaatoona bemislehi", which means that if
all the mankind and the Jinn come together, even then they won't be
able to bring a single aayat (verse) - this Qur'an is unparalleled.
However, most academics agree that the nature of the Qur'an is far
surpassed by poetry, songs, and the Bible.
- Quran is truly the book of ALLAH (SWT). It was revealed on
Prophet Muhamamd PBUH. Quran reading has fascinating impact on
life. I would suggest you to start reading Quran with translation,
If you want to learn Quran online from your home using Internet see
www.alquranacademy.com for more details.
Who Wrote the Koran?
by Abul Kasem
This article delves into the very authorship of the Holy Qur'an. It is a new way of looking at the Holy Qur'an. An enquiry is made using logical reasoning and historical references on the authorship of the Qur'an. Thus, this methodology is totally opposed to the blind believers who accept the authenticity of the Qur'an unquestionably. By analysing, dissecting and carefully interpreting the contents of the Qur'an, the Ahadith (Muhammad's traditions) and Sirah (Muhammad's biography) the author has identified several parties who had undoubtedly contributed to the composition of the Qur'anic verses. It was not Allah who wrote the Qur'an; it was not even Muhammad alone who did this either. The Qur'an is not the creation of a single entity or a single person. There were several parties involved in the composition, scribing, amending, inserting and deleting the Qur'anic verses. The most important personalities involved in the creation of the Qur'an were: Imrul Qays, Zayd b. Amr, Hasan b. Thabit, Salman, Bahira, ibn Qumta, Waraqa and Ubayy b. Ka'b. Muhammad, himself, was involved in the make-up of a limited number of verses, but the most influential person who motivated Muhammad in the invention of Islam and the opus of the Qur'an, perhaps, was Zayd b. Amr who preached 'Hanifism'. Muhammad later metamorphosed Zayd's 'Hanifism' into Islam. Therefore, the assertion that Islam is not a new religion stands to be true. However, the important finding is that the Qur'an is definitely not the words of Allah-it is a human-made scripture which Muhammad simply passed off as Allah's final words to mankind. Another important aspect of this essay is that among the ancient religions that the writers of the Qur'an incorporated in it, perhaps the practices of the Sabeans is crucial. In fact, the rituals of 5 prayers and the 30-day fasting were actually adapted from the Sabeans. The Qur'an, thus, is a compilation of various religious books that existed during Muhammad's time. Muhammad, not Allah, simply adopted, picked and chose from various sources and created the Qur'an. While many parties contributed to the Qur'an, Muhammad became its chief editor-to say it plainly.
List of Co-Authors of the Koran:
- Imrul Qays-an ancient poet of Arabia who died a few decades before Muhammad's birth
- Zayd b. Amr b. Naufal-an 'apostate' of his time who preached and propagated Hanifism
- Labid-another poet
- Hasan b. Thabit-the official poet of Muhammad
- Salman, the Persian-Muhammad's confidante' and an advisor
- Bahira-a Nestorian Christian monk of the Syrian church
- Jabr-a Christian neighbour of Muhammad
- Ibn Qumta-a Christian slave
- Khadijah-Muhammad's first wife
- Waraqa-Khadijah's cousin brother
- Ubay b. Ka'b-Muhammad's secretary and a Qur'an scribe
- Muhammad himself
- There were other parties involved too. They were:
- The Sabeans
- Aisha-Muhammad's child bride
- Abdallah b. Salam b. al-Harith-a Jewish convert to Islam
- Mukhyariq-a Rabbi and another Jewish convert to Islam
Of course, this list of possible authors of the Qur'an is not
exhaustive. There may be many other parties involved whose names
are now forgotten or were suppressed. The above list should be
ample enough to confirm the considerable uncertainty as to the
What a shame that a civilized human claims lies to dead people
without proof, one can list as many names as he can, but a proof is
needed for every name, and what a shame that a civilized human
doesn't speak with respect about another human's religion, an
opposing opinion can be offered more politely.
To add to the shame, there are 3 verses in the Holy Quran that
meant the 1st name in the list,
224. As for poets, the erring follow them.
225. Hast thou not seen how they stray in every valley,
226. And how they say that which they do not ?
[Ash-shua'raa(The Poets) The Twenty-Sixth Surah of the Qur'aan, Meanings of the Glorious Quran, by Marmaduke Pickthall]
have you made a slight search before posting such names, you'd have found the commentary of these verses, mentioning the reason for their revelation.
Role of Muhammad's Scribes Ibn Qumta and Abi SarhReports written by pious Muslims concerning Muhammad's two main scribes, his slave Ibn Qumta and a free scribe named Abdallah b. Sa'd b Abi Sarh, reveal Muhammad relied upon literate men for both the content and style of the Koran.
One of the earliest Islamic historians, Wakidi, has the following sentence which suggests Abdallah b. Sa'd b. Abi Sarh, and a Christian slave, ibn Qumta, had considerable input in the content and wording of Muhammad's alleged revelations which he dictated to them. "And ibn Abi Sarh came back and said to the Quraish: "It was only a Christian slave who was teaching him (Muhammad); I used to write to him and change whatever I wanted."'
In other words, Ibn Sarh spontaneously composed and changed whatever he chose in the Koran and Muhammad did not object or even seem to notice. It was only after Ibn Sarh told others that Muhammad became concerned that his fraud was being exposed.
Because of the careless and casual way Muhammad allowed changes to the Supreme Being's revealed words, Abi Sarh became disgusted and publicly denounced Muhammad's "revelations" as an outright fraud and fled the cult. He reverted to Christianity and barely escaped assassination by Muhammad. The frank admission of Islamic "reporters" shows there was truth to the accusation.
But that same person, Abdallah b. Sa'd b Abi Sarh, later repented, regretted for what he said, and asked for forgiveness from God, and wished that Prophet Muhammad would pardon him, which indeed happened, after Prophet Muhammad died, Abdallah was emlpoyed as an army leader, he died while praying Dawn "Fajr" Prayer, and this is evident in history books.
Another viewGerard Puin is one of the foremost forensic scientists on the subject of the Koran. In an 1999 Atlantic Monthly article, he said:
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. -GP
Textual analysis shows the Koran to be a cocktail of dozens of texts from various sources jumbled together out of chronological order and used to validate the imperial ambitions of the caliphs and consolidate their sole control over the Islamic armies. The Koran appears to have been composed as a troop motivator. Over half of the Koran consists of speeches motivating mujahadin to slay unbelievers and describing the material and sensual rewards for doing so. While modern forensic, scholarly methods have been used to analyze the Bible, applying the same standard to the Koran has lagged behind due to fanatics who are willing to kill to prevent open scholarly research of the Koran. They really have nothing to fear, however, since if the Koran is flawless, research will show that to be true, but if it is shown by science to be flawed, they will be liberated from a merely human fabrication. Science has nothing to do with "hurting people's feelings". The purpose of science is to systematically search for verifiable facts.
- I don't think that Mamed (called prophet Mohammed pbuh) did
write a sentence of the Koran. To me it seems evident that the
"kalif" Uthman was the inventor and first writer of the koran. I
can not believe that a person who is friendly and related to the
deepest enemies of Mamed (like Abu Sufyan and others) has
reproduced faithfully the doctrine of Mamed. Uthman was a man of
power and an enemy of Mamed. He has invented a sacred book for
political goals. Everyone who disagreed was killed.
In my eyes the changing of the Qibla already marks an event in Islamic history. Its importance is not seen by western searchers. This event shows that Mamed has lost the control of his teaching and other people lead the Muslims by political goals.
The Koran is the final product of this process. It's a book that had to be produced in similarity to other holy books but with a clear political message.
This Koran of Uthman has much evolved by political interests. The edition Al-Azhar of 1924 is not the uthmanic one.
- It is a pity that a man's effort like Uthman's is now
considered an invention of the Holy Quran, it's so strange why a
reasonable effort like that Uthman Ibn Affan did is not placed in
its right frame, what Uthman Ibn Affan did was just collecting the
scriptures of the Holy Quran between two covers of a book, after it
was scattered here and there, carved on pieces of wood or bone, or
even palm leaves.
After all, looking into Uthman's life, we will find no improvement happened to him after he ruled Muslim affairs, he was already rich, and his wealth didn't increase, but decreased. No single Khalif before Umayyah had a single guard on his door, would he be that safe if he invented a whole book and claimed it was from Allah? this is not reasonable.
If someone hates some religion, it is his own business, but to claim lies on it, this is unacceptable. Another issue to be taken in mind is to respect human figures, specially when these figures mean much for a group of people, coz finally all are human beings and have rights of respect due to humanity, before all.
Considering the change of Quibla, if it showed really a loss of control, it no doubt would have lead to breakdown of the Muslim society in its early beginnings, which historically didn't happen, on the contrary, after this event, the Muslim society continued to grow and fluorish, and proved success in different aspects of life.
This has only one explanation, that all these orders came from
God, all Quiblas belong to God, and He has the power to order His
followers to pray to whatever direction, and as soon as someone
believes in his religion and its truthfulness he would then follow
all its orders without arguing.
Even Prophet Muhammad followed those orders though they were not what he wished, when he prayed facing the 1st Quibla, he was following that order faithfully, but wished deeply in his heart to follow the 2nd Quibla, which is the Ka'aba.
A Western Perspective
As seen from Western Eyes, the purpose of the Koran is to educate, but also to obfuscate. The Koran teaches peace, yet encourages war. Recounters violence with the voice of reason. Takes down the walls between nations, and build walls between brothers. Encourages one voice, one people, and one opinion. Discourages many voices, many peoples, and many opinions. The Koran is the antithesis to modern living. In a classical concept it molds itself into being similar to many other neo-classical religions, it even shares many things in common with Greek-Roman theology, but it departs from this rather quickly and beckons the call of the Indian Vedas, calls them Sutras, and quickly ends all of this with an orgy of violence we today call a Jihad.