Bible vs Quran: A Dialogue (Part 2)

Abbas: The first compilation [of the Quran] was in done in the time of the Khalifa Abubakar. Of this compiled copies, one was kept in the house of the Prophet with one of his wives (Hafsat). Then the Muslim Ummah never had any disagreement about the Qur’an. Under the reign of Uthman Ibn Affan there arouse disagreement over the dialect to be used for the Qur’an.

So a lot of people were having variant Qur’an in dialects. So Huzaifah Ibn Yaman advised Uthman as the Khalifa, to wade in to restore unity among the Ummah. In response, Uthman Ibn Affan invited Zaid Ibn Thabit, Abdullahi Ibn Zubair, Said Ibn Alasy and Ibn Hisham to use the copy gotten from Hafsat to write copies of the Qur’an.

Uthman told the Qureishite among them to give preference to the Qureish dialect whenever they disagreed with Zaid Ibn Thabit. This they did and the copies in the hands of people were collected and burnt. ( See Usulun Fittafsir by Uthaimeen, @ page 93-95.)

As for the assertion that because the Bible conflicts with the Qur’an, the Bible ( being first in Time ) is to be given preference, this argument may be dangerous to the christian faith. The persistent denial by you and your co-religionists that the Bible is in versions can be adequately confuted.

It will equally interest you to know that the Bible has got several books whose authors are unknown to this day. Have you ever asked yourself the question : ‘ how reliable is the testimony of an anonymous witness? Read this link [Victor: the link was blank]

You will see…that the assumed authors of the Gospel never contemplated it to be the word of God but mere letters ( Epistles ) sent to churches to serve didactic purposes. It was only later that some thought it right to collate these letters, lump them up together and christen them the word of God. Indeed the Bible can’t claim to be the word of God.

Victor: First let me address the issue of the Bible. From all you have spouted so far, it is evident that you know absolutely nothing about its history or transmission, but rather than parroting your “apologists”, you should have given yourself the respect of not saying something you don’t know about.

Repeating patently false claims is closed-mindedness. It shows that you are not willing to learn. When an issue has been factually settled, be humble enough to accept it.

You said the Bible contains “several books whose authors are unknown.” You have no specific examples, so how am I supposed to address such vague balderdash? You think repeating a myth over and over will make it true?

The NT calls itself the “Scriptures” (2Pet. 3:16, 1Tim. 5:18) and these Scriptures were to be “read to all the holy brethren” (1Cor. 1:2), “read to all the churches” (1Thess. 5:27).

The apostles commended the Thessalonians for accepting what they brought as the “word of God” (1Thess 2:13). The Lord Jesus told John “what thou seeth write in a book, and send it to the seven churches”, and it is “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1, 11).

The NT also calls the Old Testament “the Scriptures” (Mt. 22:29, Acts 18:28), “the holy Scriptures” (Rom 1:2) “the holy writings” (2Tim 3:15), “the Law” (John 10:34).

Since both the OT and NT are called the Word of God/Scriptures, you can’t dismiss either as anything less. Your Quran calls the New Testament “the Gospel” (3:3) which “is guidance and light confirming what was before it of the Torah [OT]” (5:46).

It calls Christians “the People of the Gospel” who are to “judge [the Quran] by what Allah hath revealed therein” (5:50). So there are 3 things here:

1. Since your Quran appeals to the authenticity of the New Testament, you have no justification to reject it.

2. Since the Gospel was existing and authentic long before the Quran and during its time, you can’t tell us that the Gospel is now lost or “forged.”

3. Since Allah says we Christians must judge the Quran by the Gospel, it means, every time the Quran contradicts the Bible, we must go with the Bible as the older authority.

From early church writings, it has been proved that from the first century the Gospel has been accepted as the Word of God, long before your Muhammad and his Allah arose in Arabia.

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1979, vol. 1, 603):

“[N]ear the close of the first century; Clement bishop of Rome was acquainted with Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth. After him, the letters of both Ignatius bishop of Antioch and Polycarp bishop of Smyrna attest the dissemination of Pauline letters by the second decade of the 2nd century.”

Tatian’s work Diatessaron (160-175), was based on the 4 books of the gospel we have today.

Justin Martyr (100-180) makes references to the 4 gospels and quotes from the epistles and Revelation. Origen names all the books of the Bible. Athanasius of Alexandria in 326 also lists all the NT books. How many writings from the 7th-10th century mentions the Quran?

Concerning the Quran, majority of it were memorized, not written down. According to the Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam:

“One thing that is openly recognized by tradition, namely, that there was not in existence any collection of revelation in final form, because as long as he [Muhammad] was alive, new revelations were being added to the earlier ones” (p. 271).

Arthur Jeffery also stated: “Nothing is more certain than that when the Prophet died there was no collected, arranged, collated body of revelation. The earliest strata of tradition…make it quite certain that there was no Quran left ready as a heritage for the community. The Prophet had proclaimed his messages orally, and, except in the later period of his ministry, whether they were recorded or not was often a matter of chance” (Materials for the History of the Text of the Quran, 1952, 5-6).

Majority of the Quran was memorized by the early Muslims and most of them died at the battle of Yemama. This was what prompted the caliph to collate the Quran into a book.

The writer you copy-pasted said “The Muslim Ummah NEVER had any disagreement about the Qur’an” Oh dear, such ignorance is prevailing among Muslims. He even contradicted himself after a sentence: “there arose discrepancies.” So why did say there was never any disagreement?

In fact, when Zaid ibn Thabit was writing down the Quran into a book, the conflicting versions being recited by Muslims were so many that “He shunned recording any verse unless two witnesses attested to it. Umar came with the verse of the stoning but it was not recorded since he was the only witnesses to it” (Al-Suyuti, The Itqan, Part 1, p. 168).

Now tell me, why would Umar ibn Khattab (“the rightly guided caliph”) want to introduce a lie into Allah’s book?

The fact that his version was rejected showed the level of fraud and politics in the recording of the Quran. Little wonder Uthman was assassinated. He really messed up the Quran.

Let me give you another example:

“The companions of Abdullah (bin Masud) came to Abu Darda … Then he asked Alqama ‘how did you hear’ Abdullah bin Masud reciting Surat al-Lail (the Night). ‘Alqama recited ‘by the male and female’. Abu Darda said ‘I testify that I heard the Prophet reciting it likewise but these people want me to recite it ‘And by him who created male and female. But by Allah, I will not follow them” (Bukhari 6:60:468)

This was how your so-called “heavenly preserved” book was collated – based on hearsay and vain speculations!

Even the people reciting what they thought their prophet said were being pressured by some people to say what they believe he must have said. Why all these confusion if there was a standard text by which the Quran could be ascertained?

It’s so amusing to me that you guys who have such a slippery history of your book of lies will then turn around to make unfounded accusations against the Bible recorded by godly men who did “not followed cunningly devised fables…but were eye witnesses of His Majesty” (2Pet 1:16) and “which from the beginning were eyewitnesses” (Lk 1:2). Was the author of the Quran an eyewitness to anything he said?

Your hadiths also admit that the Quran is missing certain verses and that other verses have been abrogated (see Bukhari 4:57, 62, 69, 299, Vol 6, nos 510, 511).

The conflicting versions of the Quran was a subject of many books in the early days of Islam. Abi Yaquab al-Nadem, a librarian made a catalogue of books in 987 AD listing out the discrepancies in the Quran in Basra, Iraq and Hijaz such as:

1. Variations between the numbers of suras between 110 and 114.

2. The different orderings of the suras

3. Different verses with different numbers and even different words (Al-Nadim, The Fihrist of al-Nadem, A 10th Century Survey of Muslim Culture, 79).

I think it suits the purpose of Islam when your leaders distract you by keeping you busy with the alleged “revisions” of the Bible because they too are aware that you live in a world of myths.

Abbas: I have gone through all you have written but I can show you your lies as open as anything. The Qur’an was written at first instance on crude writing materials e. g Stones, animal skins e. t. c and it was equally memorised by the Companions. This was done to grantee it safety.

And to a day like this, Muslims all around the world do same. First of all Umar was not a scholar among the companions who should be conversant with the verses abrogated and taken out of the reading of the Qur’an and those which were not.

We Muslims have the rule of Abrogation in the science of the Qur’an. This Abrogation was either for the verse to be abrogated in its effect but retained in the Reading of the Qur’an ; or the verse is abrogated from the reading of the Qur’an but retained in effect e . g the verse on stoning ; or it’s abrogated in both situations.

This was why the verse brought by Umar couldn’t be accepted by the Zaid’s team when it was brought. But this verse has its effect subsisting to this day.

Victor: You said you “can show [me my] lies as open as anything.” Such nice words coming from someone who repeatedly dodges my questions, repeats the ones I have refuted, avoids the links sent and dismisses documented evidence.

Yes the Quran was written on crude materials which were not gathered until after the death of the prophet. Most of the Quran was “preserved” by being memorized (that’s why its called Quran – recitation – it wasn’t meant to be a written document initially).

And many of these materials were lost even before they could be gathered. For example, Aisha admitted that:

“The verse of stoning and of suckling an adult ten times were revealed and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my bed. When the Messenger of Allah expired and we were preoccupied with his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper” (Musnad Ahmad bin Itan bal 6:209).

Methinks God sent the goat to eat the Quran to let the people know that the book was false.

If the Quran of that time is the same as the one you carry about today, why don’t you present the original materials on which the Quran was written? Where are these crude materials hiding?

At least we have thousands of Bible manuscripts in different languages at different eras showing the harmony of the Bible. Where are the early manuscripts of your Quran?

The ones presented so far date to the 9th-10th centuries. Why are you guys not applying the hard rules you apply on the Bible on your Quran?

All your claims about Umar ibn Khattab as not been a scholar or that the verse of stoning was abrogated are based on your own private authority. They aren’t tenable.

You are saying your second caliph who fought wars so much for Islam that he was still crying that he didn’t do enough is not competent enough to relate what Muhammad taught? Why not take a pair or scissors and cut out all the parts of the hadiths narrated by Umar since he wasn’t a scholar?

Umar himself boasted that Allah agreed with him on three occasions where he would make a suggestion and the smart Muhammad would quickly recite them as if coming from Allah.

Abdullah ibn Masud who was named as one of the best reciters of the Quran by Muhammad himself was ignored during the compilation by Zaid. It’s all there in your hadiths and I shouldn’t be quoting all these for you.

The nasikh wa mansookh (the abrogator and the abrogated) was a pathetic “science” made up to hide the inconsistencies that mares the Quran.

Allah kept on abrogating and amending the Quran till Muhammad died. Who knows, if the prophet had lived longer, the Quran would probably have been a bigger book with a different content.

Why should I take the words of a changing Allah as the eternal Word of God? You guys falsely accuse the Bible of being changed by men, yet your Quran was so much changed by your Allah that it took volumes of hadiths – written by men – to even make sense of it. Seems like blind spot to me.

Produce A Sura Like It?

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Whenever we point out many of the blunders in the Quran to Muslims, their favourite reply is that their Quran is a divine book because no one can produce a book like it.

Sometimes when you ask them why this is so, they will respond, “Because the Quran says so!” Well, this is a fallacy of circular reasoning which proves nothing.

Such an assertion can only be accepted by those who have already assumed the divine origin of the Quran. Here is what the Quran itself says on the issue:

Sura 2:23 “And if you (Arab pagans, Jews and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e the Qur’an) to Our slave [Muhammad], then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) beside Allah…”

Sura 17:89 “If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an; they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.”

These were Muhammad’s “defenses” against the critics of his time and they are the same verses Muslims trot out today.

Demolish these “defenses” and the divine origin of the Quran along with the integrity of Muhammad go down the tubes. Now, this line of argument fails at least 3 major tests.

1. The Test of Logic

The claim that there can’t be a book like the Quran begs the question because every book is unique. Every human being is unique and different.

In fact, no two people are exactly the same. Even in writing or other abilities, each person’s style is different and unique.

For instance, there is a particular way I write, which could also be linked to the way I think. Even if you read what I read, you can’t write exactly like I do.

Therefore, the argument, “Until you write a book like the Quran you can’t beat it,” is puerile and silly. We don’t need to write a book like the Quran.

Muslims claim Al-Quran is beautiful and eloquent that no one can produce its like. This is a fallacy of irrelevance. First of all, beauty or elegance is subjective and cannot even be a measure of truth.

You can look at a book and call it beautiful while I see it as ugly. That is why we are unique.

If a man says, “Find a lady as beautiful as the one I love,” hardly can his challenge be met because his love for her blinds him to her defects. The same thing applies here.

Muslims have blindly believed the Quran as divinely inspired and have refused to see the many absurdities in it; they even call them “beauty.” In reality, no book can match the Quran in its confusion and negative influence.

2. The Test of Textual Stability.

When Muhammad was alive, the texts of the Quran he was reciting were anything but stable. He would recite a verse from Allah one day and edit or change it the next day. This raised the suspicions of many of his people, then ‘Allah’ explained:

When We (Allah) substitute (or change) one revelation for another (in place of another) – and Allah knows best what He reveals – They say ‘Thou art a forger’: But most of them understand not” (Sura 16:101).

Such of our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring (in place) one better or like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is able to do all things?” (Sura 2:106)

These verses indicate that Muhammad came under so much fire from the people that he had to find a way to excuse the constant changes in his recitations.

Notice that his listeners rightly dismissed him as a forger. Though they were illiterates, they refused to be taken for a ride. They knew that a supposed divine revelation that keeps changing must be fraudulent.

Muhammad had to do some damage control – “most of them understand not” – understand what? That God swallows His words?

He said they don’t know that “Allah is able to do all things” – Really? Changing verses like a failed redactor? What kind of a deity is that?

Wait a minute, why would the all-knowing God be bringing “a better verse?” Why didn’t Allah save us the confusion and lengthy explanations by giving a better verse from the start?

Obviously, if Muhammad had lived longer, with the way his “revelations” kept changing, the Quran wouldn’t be what it is today. Perhaps, it would have been a bigger book with a different content entirely.

Islamic biographers even recorded that Satan spoke some verses through Muhammad praising the pagan deities (daughters of Allah) mentioned in Sura 53:19-20 (see Bukhari 2:19:177 and Sirat, pp. 165-166).

If Satan can also produce a sura like the Quran, then the challenge has been met and that makes the Quran quite cheap.

3. The Test of originality.

There’s simply nothing new in the Quran. There’s nothing Allah ‘revealed’ in it that hadn’t been already known in older scriptures or religions. The only “new” thing the Quran said is that Muhammad is the prophet of God.

There is simply no shred of originality in the Quran. Much of the stories and ideas relayed in it were slight modifications of Pagan, Jewish and Christian legends and some stuff Muhammad gleaned from the Bible.

For example, the story of Abraham being thrown into the fire of a wicked king (Nimrod) in Sura 21:69-71 was an old Jewish legend found in Midrash Rabba.

The two angels “Harut and Marut” mentioned in Sura 2:102 were the very names of two idols mentioned in Talmudic fairy tales.

The idea of seven heavens and seven hells in Suras 15:44 and 17:44 was adopted from the Jewish Hagigah.

The story of the 7 sleepers in the cave which kept Allah at the guessing table, was an old Syrian Christian legend found in the writings of Jacob Sarug (d. 521 AD).

The idea of the bridge of Sirat over hell was stolen from Zoroastrianism. They called their bridge “Chinavad.”

The so-called “99 names of Allah” was a plagiarism of the “75 names of Ahura Mazda” in the Avesta.

The idea of balances weighing the works of the dead in Sura 101:5-6 was stolen from a Gnostic work called the Testament of Abraham and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Was it really hard work to collect old stories from different religions, modify them and use them to build your own fiction?

As if repeating something over and over magically makes it true, the editor of the hadith Mishkat’ul Masabih wrote:

“It [the Quran] repeatedly challenged the people of the world to bring a chapter like it, but they failed and the challenge remains unanswered up to this day…” (Vol. III, p. 664).

We cannot blame him for this mulish mentality. If the Quran is a challenge, why do Islamic leaders today get violent and issue death penalty whenever it is criticized or challenged? Is that not a sign of weakness?

Even after Muhammad told the people to write a sura like it, he quickly adds:

But if ye cannot and of a surety ye cannot [produce a sura like it]- then fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones – which is prepared for those who reject faith” (Sura 2:24).

On the one hand they were told to “produce a sura like it” and on the other, he said those who cannot do so must surely burn in Hell.

This was a psychological weapon because no one would want to “produce a sura like it” since Muhammad has attached a clause to it. Smart old Mo.

No, the Quran has never “repeatedly challenged” the people of the world. These are just empty, propagandist, cliches meant to psyche the naïve. Middle East scholar, Canon Sell says of the Quran:

“Men can produce its like in eloquence and arrangement. A man, named Nadir ibn Haritha, was bold enough to accept the challenge, and arranged some stories of the Persian kings in chapters and Suras and recited them” (Studies in Islam, Diocesan Press, London, 1928, p. 208).