John R. Houk
© April 27, 2012
Christianity’s Bible is considered the Word of God as the Spirit of God inspired human agents to write onto paper. Christianity respects the authority of Jews on Old Testament (that has different appellations in Judaism) Scripture. New Testament Scripture is compiled based on believed first hand association of Jesus Christ and the evaluation that the author was who he says he was. New Testament Canonization had some close calls on certain Scriptures that were considered authentic by many Christian theologians but barely missed the cut. And there are Canonized Scriptures that barely made the cut.
Critics of those Christians that believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God often denigrate the Bible for being authored by multiple people and ratified (i.e. Canonized) as holy by human agency thus questioning the Divine origin of the Word of God. I don’t know how Biblical believing theologians answer this criticism; however I have developed a simple matter of faith for the human agency criticism.
In answering the criticism I uphold the traditional Christian concept of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Triune God is three persons in perfection union as ONE Divine entity. The Word of God has been spoken and written down under the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit connecting with the human spirit. I also believe the Holy Spirit is the Hand of God guiding human agency determining which writing is to be read as the Word of God.
Now this post is a simplistic explanation of Christian Biblical faith to answer the criticism of Muslim Apologists that denigrate the Bible as written content that has stretched over thousands of years by various human authors and various human dialects. The Muslim claim is that the Quran is the true word of god (i.e. their Allah) from one dude that spoke one dialect which is Arabic.
The reality about the Quran though is that its formation is not as pure as a Muslim would have you believe. There were multiple Qurans compiled by many Mohammed Companions that had variations in them. One of the Rightly Guided Caliphs – Uthman (Othman, depending on who you read) the third one – gathered up all the other Qurans and made his version the authentic Quran while burning the alternative Qurans. There was no committee or council seeking the will of god collectively. Rather Uthman had his Quran assembled and proclaimed it Allah’s will and made sure no one else could dispute by eliminating the other Qurans.
Below are two essays that describe the process of how the Quran came to be.
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The Seven Qurans Allah Revealed to Muhammad
By Mirza Ghalib
2/19/2012 6:34 pm
In one of his Urdu TV programs, Dr. Zakir Naik answers the question, asked by the anchor, as to why Islam claims superiority over all other religions. Dr Naik argued that Islam teaches him the right path, to get the correct answer as 2+2=4, whereas the other religions lead one to wrong calculations. In this way, he jokingly entertains the questions from gullible Muslims on his programs. In fact, he and his master Ahmad Deedat have made aware countess Muslims about the supremacist nature of Islam. They didn’t bother to know about their religion before. Thanks to Deedat and Zakir!
7 QURANS IN 23 YEARS, ALL IN ARABIC
It may not be shocking to Muslims, but to non-Muslims, it will be shocking to know that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad in seven different modes – over the incredibly long period of twenty three years – and all the seven Qurans were compiled in book forms only after the death of Muhammad. After nearly 20 years of their compilations, Uthm’an, the third caliph, canonized the Quran into a singular codex out of 7 versions, and ordered the other six versions of the Quran be “BURNED” throughout the Islamic empire. So hundreds of Qurans of the 6 other versions were cremated without ceremony.
Do all Muslims know this fact?
How do Muslims react when they come to know that Allah’s books revealed to guide humankind – not one but six of them and each of them probably as important and “sacred” as the present Quran – were burned to ashes, leaving no trace of them?
EVIDENCE FOR 7 VERSIONS OF THE QURAN
The following ahadith are the evidence that the Quran was allegedly revealed to Muhammad in seven different versions and that it was not in a book form even after the death of Muhammad.
Sahih Al-bukhari Volume 3, Book 41, Number 601:
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: ‘………….When he recited it, Allah’s Apostle said, “It was revealed in this way.” He then asked me to recite it. When I recited it, he said, “It was revealed in this way. The Quran has been revealed in seven different ways, so recite it in the way that is easier for you.”
QURAN WAS NOT IN BOOK FORM
The next hadith is a proof that the Muhammad did not bother to compile his Quran into a book form during his life and not a single one from ‘the great Sahaba’ knew the Quran by heart completely, as today’s many ordinary Muslims do. By compiling the Quran in the book form, Muhammad’s “Rightly guided Caliphs” abrogated Muhammad’s principle.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 6:509:
Narrated by Zaid bin Thaabit:
Umar bin Khattab asked Abu Bakr to collect the Quran from different sources and compile it to a BOOK FORM. Then Abu Bakr replied to him, “How can you do something which Allah’s Messenger did not do?”……..
ALLAH LIES IN HIS QURAN
Whereas, Allah asserts at many instance in His Quran that He revealed the Quran to Muhammad in a BOOK form. Here are the two sample verses from the Quran.
1. “Recite what is sent of the BOOK by inspiration to thee and establish Regular Prayer. (Quran Al Ankabut 29:45).
2. “That which We have revealed to thee of the BOOK is the Truth confirming what was revealed before it. (Quran Al Fatir 35:31).
HOLY BURNING OF 6 VERSIONS OF THE HOLY QURAN
The following hadith narrates how Uthman burnt the 6 versions of the Quran allegedly given by Allah. It is very easy in Islam to abrogate Allah’s wish.
Sahih Al-Bukhari volume 6:510:
Narrated by Anas bin Malik: “…Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all other Quranic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt…”
The readers, who are interested to know more references about the seven versions of the Quran may refer to these hadiths: Sahih Al Bukhari Vol 4:442, Sahih Muslim 1787, Al-Tirmidhi 2215.
So, these hadiths confirm that Allah had revealed the Quran to Muhammad in 7 different modes; no Sahaba knew the Quran completely by heart; the Quran was not in the book form even after the death of Muhammad; and Uthman burnt the remaining 6 versions of the Quran after he, 20 years after the death of Muhammad, compiled a version of his own.
PERSPICUOUS ARABIC OF ALLAH
Allah on the other hand says in His Quran the following:
1. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an in order that ye may be learn wisdom. (Quran, Sura Yusuf 12:2).
2. Thus we sent this down an Arabic Quran. (Quran, Sura Ta Ha 20:113).
3. In the perspicuous Arabic tongue. (Quran, Sura Al Shu’ara 26:195)
4. It is a Quran in Arabic without any crookedness therein: in order that they may guard against Evil. (Quran, Sura Al Zumar 39:28).
5. A Book whereof the verses are explained in detail a Quran in Arabic for people who understand. (Quran, Sura Fussilat 41:3).
So, in these verses, Allah says that He revealed the Quran for guiding humanity in Arabic, because Arabic is a perspicuous and the best language for its easy and clear understanding.
If Allah’s Quranic Arabic language is so superior, then why did he borrow too many words from other languages into His Quran, such as Hebrew, Abyssinian, Persian, Syrian, Greek and so on?
Moreover, why did He send His Quran in 7 modes of Arabic language?
If Allah were bothered about the vast part of his creation living in other parts of world, then He would have sent the other 6 versions in their languages too.
How could Allah be so stupid to send seven versions of His Quran in the same language?
His followers are certainly not as stupid to follow His all 7 versions of the Quran. So, they, showing greater commonsense and intelligence, have selected just one Quran for themselves and burned the other 6 versions.
So, Dr. Zakir! 7=1 is what Islam truly teaches? Not quite the right calculations Islam teaches as you claim.
The Quranic inheritance law is another gross mathematical bungle of Allah (see videos). If a Muslim wants to follow the inheritance law mentioned in the Quran, he/she surely will go mad. Once again Muhammad, the author of the Quran – illiterate as he was – proved his idiocy by fabricating such stupid verses.
DISTORTION IN THE KORAN
The stage of collecting the Koran into a book was one of the most serious stages the Koranic text ever was subjected to. The Koran was revealed in seven ways (or dialects). Muslims sanctioned reciting it by the meaning and not necessarily verbatim.
"Companions" at first were opposed to the idea of collecting the Koran in one book, which they regarded as a heresy, which the Messenger did not do while he was still alive. But as soon as the idea was brought into existence, many copies were in circulation and each Companion had his own Mus-haf (copy of the Koran), for which he would not accept a substitute!
Ikrima reported that Ali Ibn Abi Taalib stayed at his home after the election of Abu Bakr, and it was told Abu Bakr that he resented his election! Therefore he sent for Ali saying, "Do you resent my election?" For which he answered, "No, by God!" Abu Bakr asked him, "What caused you to stay away from me?" He answered, "I saw the Book of God being added to, so I said to myself, 'I shall not wear my mantle, except (to go) to pray, till I have collected it.'" Abu Bakr said, "Such is a most wonderful thought."
As for the copy of Ubayy Ibn Ka'b, it was widespread in Syria. It differs from the copy of Othman in that it has two more Suras - Al-hafd and Al-Khal'. Al-Baihaqi reported that Omar Ibn Al-Khattaab prayed them, that Ali taught them to the people, and that people used to recite them before king Al-Malik Ibn Marwaan!! (That is till the Ommiad era.)
Also Ubayy's copy differs from other copies in that it combines Sura 105 and Sura 104, as well as Sura 93 and Sura 94, in one Sura. While in Othman's copy they are two separate Suras.
There is another copy named after Ibn Mas'uud, who was one of the leading reciters of the Koran recommended by Muhammad himself. Al-Suyuti reported, on the strength of Jaabir, that the prophet said, "Receive the Koran from four: Abdullaah Ibn Mas'uud, Mu'aaz Ibn Jabal, Saalim, and Ka'b."
The difference between Ibn Mas'uud's copy and the others' is that it does not contain Suras 1, 113, 114. It was also reported that he said, "The two charm-Suras (namely Suras 113, 114) are not of the Book of God."!
Zaid's copy, however, was collected and written down by an order from caliph Abu Bakr, after Omar Ibn Al-Khattaab's advice to him. Zaid collected it from what the Companions memorized, and from bones, tree-leaves, tree-bark, and palm-leaves!!
Othman between unification and distortion!
The stage of collecting the Koran had evident effects on the history of the written Koran. Many different and variant texts of the Koran were in evidence. Muslims were divided among themselves and each group held to a certain text. The disagreement came to the crunch when they started killing one another and claiming one another to be infidel. They exchanged different accusations, on top of which came the accusation of distortion.
Seeing what befell the Muslims, caliph Othman Ibn Affaan resolved to unify the dialects of the Koran into one dialect. Anas Ibn Maalik reported that the people disagreed concerning the Koran at the time of Othman, so that disciples and teachers killed one another. Othman heard about it and said, "Do you lie about it and commit solecisms in it (speaking of the Koran) in my presence? What about those who are far away from me? They surely tell more lies and commit more solecisms! Companions of Muhammad, gather yourselves and write a leader (i.e. the Koran) for the people."
After forming a committee to supervise the writing of the Koran, Othman commanded oil to be boiled and had the other copies that differed from his cast into it. This should arouse suspicion among the researchers about the creditability of the text, which we have in our hands. For Ali Ibn Abi Taalib bears witness that the Koran was added to! They say that Ali wrote in his copy of the Koran the abrogating and the abrogated verses, while Othman omitted the abrogated ones from his. Yet the copy we now have still has several abrogating and abrogated verses!
One of the historical facts, which will continue to arouse suspicion about the history of the written copy of the Koran, is the difference of Ibn Mas'uud's copy from those of the other Companions. He denies Sura 1, Sura 113, and Sura 114, and even declared anyone who considers them as belonging to the Book of God as infidels!! It's noteworthy that Ibn Mas'uud was one of the four people Muhammad recommended as trustworthy reciters of the Koran. It was reported that he claimed to know everything in the Koran, whether big or small. When Zaid was assigned to collect the Koran, and he was left out, he was so sullen and angry at the assignment of someone less than twenty years of age to such a mission, for which he was more qualified than anyone else. He repudiated the assignment of Zaid to collect the Koran and said, "By God, I have converted to Islam while he was yet in the groins of an infidel!" As for Ubayy's copy, it contains verses and Suras that are not in Othman's copy.
Why was there difference and disagreement, even though the people were still closely related to their leader's life?! We again wonder, why did those responsible for the collection of the Koran ignore the significant Companions, such as Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, Ubayy Ibn Abi Ka'b, Ibn Mas'uud, and Ibn Abbaas? We also have the right to ask, "why did Othman form a committee to collect and arrange the Koran, and removed the abrogated verses from it? Why didn't he or those with him accept the copy of Zaid, although Abu Bakr, Omar, Ali, and the senior Companions accepted it under Abu Bakr and Omar?
What Othman did to the Koran will always be under suspicion and accusation, since he burnt all the other copies that were existent at the time. Why were the copies prior to Othman's copy, which included Zaid's copy, destroyed, if they were consistent with the unified text of Othman? And if it was at variance with it and ought to be burnt, how can we trust Othman's copy, while he himself did not trust the work of Abu Bakr, Omar, and Ali?
The Shiites and the distortion of the Koran
All that we said previously represent the sayings and opinions of the reliable Sunni scholars, which call the impeccability of the Koran in question and accuse it, explicitly and implicitely, of being added to, taken from, changed, and substituted. The Shiite scholars, likewise, hold that the Koran has been added to and taken from. Their scholars of the Tradition and exposition, such as Ali Ibn Ibrahim, his disciple Al-Kalleeni, Al-Ayyaashi, and Al-Tubrusi, are of one opinion that the Koran circulated now between the hands of the Muslims is not the whole Koran!
Imam Muhammad Ibn Ja'far emphasized in his book "Al-Imamah" that God never said in the Koran, "The second of two, when the two were in the Cave, when he said to his companion, 'Sorrow not; surely God is with us.'" (Sura 9:40)!
There are many books written by the most significant leaders of the Shiite sect that confirm the fact that the Koranic texts were distorted. The most famous among them is "THE ABRIDGMENT ON THE DISTORTION OF THE BOOK OF THE LORD OF LORDS" by Imam Al-Nuri. The writer said in the preface, "This is a kind book and a creditable treatise, which proves the distortion of the Koran and brings to light the shameful deeds of the injurious and the unjust." The book consists of three introductions and two parts.
In his first introduction, the writer emphasizes the need to discard all that took place during the collection of the Koran, its collector, and the reason for collecting it. He touched upon the incompleteness and the differences in the Koran in relation to the way it was collected, supporting his argument by the reports of many Imams, among whom were Al-Saduuq, Al-Tubrusi, Al-Sighaar, Al-Kalleeni, Ibn Shahr Ashuub, Al-Ayyaashi, Al-Majlisi, and Al-Nu'maani. Here is a synopsis of these reports: Ali collected the Koran with neither adding a letter to it nor taking a letter from it, but he was refused and spurned. The three caliphs assigned the compilation and the composition of the Koran to whomever was in agreement with them against the holy men of God. So they omitted everything that implied eulogy to the Imams, as well as the manifest text concerning the office of the prince of the believers. Hence none, except the prince of the believers Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, can claim he collected the whole Koran. Imam Al-Nuri adds that "There were different collectors; the prince of the believers was the first among them, whose collection was at variance with all the other collectors. There are other three copies of the Koran collected by the caliphs, beside the copies of Ibn Ka'b, Ibn Mas'uud, which are four copies by themselves."
He then sums up what said by the following: "When these general and particular accounts are considered closely, we learn, from both their literal or suggested meaning, that the Koran now existing between the hands of the Muslims in the east and the west as it is bound by two jackets, and according to its collection and arrangement, was not so during the life of the Messenger."!
As for the second introduction of Imam Al-Nuri's book, it's written for the purpose of pointing out the groups of differences and changes that may have happened to the Koran. The examples of addition and reduction are numerous; the addition has been pointed out previously, and the reduction includes the Suras of Al-Hafd and Al-Khal'. As for the substitution, it includes that of words, letters, and vowels."
Imam Al-Nuri confirmed his argument by quotations from sayings of the Shiite scholars proving that the Koran was distorted and changed. He reported the sayings of more than twelve fundamentalist scholars who admit the distortion of the Koran, such as Al-Kalleeni and Al-Majlisi, in his book "THE MIRROR OF MINDS", Muhammad Ibn Hasan Al-Sairafi in his book "DISTORTION AND SUBSTITUTION", and Ahmad Ibn Muhammad in his book "THE DISTORTION".
In the first part of his book, Al-Nuri furnishes evidences indicating the occurrence of such changing and reduction in the Koran, supporting his evidences by reports and accounts:
1- There are accounts that denote the omission of many verses, such as the verse of Al-Rajm (stoning), as well as many Suras. For Sura 33 was as long as Sura 2, and Sura 98 once listed seventy persons from Kuraish, by their names and their fathers' names. It was also as long as Sura 2!
2- Ali Ibn Abi Taalib had a copy of the Koran, which he himself collected. This copy differs from that of Othman. It has verses not in Othman's copy, and vice versa. Among the verses it has, which are not in Othman's copy:
"Am I not your Lord, and Muhammad is My Messenger, and Ali the prince of the believers?"
"... and his parents were believers, while he was an unbeliever."
"... and We have sent before thee, neither a Messenger, nor a Prophet, nor a speech-carrier."
"... and their mothers' husbands, and he is a father unto them ..."
"Surely man is in a loss, and in it he shall remain till the end of the age ..."
3- There is a copy of the Koran named after Abdullaah Ibn Mas'uud that does not agree with the present copy. It is at variance also with the copy of Ali. Al-Nuri listed some of the verses that were found in Ibn Mas'uud's copy only:
"For surely God chose Adam, Noah, the house of Abraham, and the house of Muhammad above all beings."
"Did We not expand thy breast for thee and lifted from thee thy burden? Did We not exalt thy fame by Ali thy son-in-law?"
Here are some of the sixty places the Shiites believe have been distorted, according to the studies of Professor Muhammad Mallallaah. The phrases they consider as authentic, though not existent in the copies we have now, are enclosed between two parentheses.
Abi Baseer reported, on the strength of Ubayy Abdillaah: "Whosoever obeys God and His Messenger (in the rule of the Imams) has won a mighty triumph." (Sura 33:71). The Shiites believes that Muhammad's Companions omitted "in the rule of the Imams."
Abu Baseer reported, on the strength of Ubayy Ibn Abdillaah: "So We shall let the unbelievers (who forsook the rule of the prince of the believers) taste a terrible chastisement, and recompense them with the worst of what they were working." (41:27).
Al-Husain Ibn Mubaah reported that a man recited in the presence of Ubayy Ibn Abdillaah "Say: 'Work; and God will surely see your work, and His Messenger, and the believers.'" (9:105). For which Ubayy answered, "It is not so. it is rather "... and the trusted ones," which we are.
Abi Hamza reported, on the strength of Abi Ja'far: Gabriel, peace be upon him, revealed this verse after this manner - "Surely the unbelievers, who have done evil (by depriving the house of Muhammad from their right), God will not forgive them, neither guide them on any road but the road to Gehenna, therein dwelling for ever and ever." (Sura 4:168).
Abu Hamza also reported: "Yet most men refuse (the rule of Ali) all but unbelief." (Sura 17:89).
They also reported that Sura 2:106: "And for whatever verse We abrogate or cast into oblivion, We bring a better or the like of it" did not originally have "or the like of it."
What does the reader think about all what we have presented here?
The Bible is the Authentic Word of God
John R. Houk
© April 27, 2012
The Seven Qurans Allah Revealed to Muhammad
© 2012 FaithFreedom.org. All Rights Reserved.
DISTORTION IN THE KORAN