Can You Believe in Islam? Examining the Evidence!
09 Jul, 2007
This article analyzes whether we can believe in Islam.
A Claim of Prophethood
What if I, widely known as a highly moral, kind, intelligent, well respected and honest person stated:
"The creator of the universe, the Almighty Himself spoke to me yesterday and commanded me to be His messenger. He said that he was tired of religious fighting between his people and wanted to eliminate the confusion about His Word that had resulted because of some false prophets. To avoid any errors, this time he was giving me an electronic read-only CD with versions of His Word in all major human languages. This read-only document could easily be made available to every nation and individual."
The miracle was that the document was in all major languages and different versions had exactly the same meaning. My family and community could attest that I have not known those foreign languages. Thus, it was God who had given it to me. Would you become a believer?
Now, let's add that the document had a marvelous message for humanity. It was simpler than and superior to the charter of the Human Rights Commission. There was nothing inhumane that would need excuses or justifications, nor any verse that was not self explanatory. Would you believe?
My guess is - Probably not. This, in spite of the fact that this message would be more logical, moral and clear than existing Holy books and so would be the prophet's character. The Almighty is so Great that believing anything to be from Him is no ordinary belief. The certainty of the proof to believe should transcend any mathematical, scientific or logical proof. It should almost surpass the proof our own existence in this world. God has given me my mind and my heart as evidence of Him. For someone to tell me something that supersedes or overrides these gifts to me from God, I would need greater proof of Him than these very gifts themselves which I live with. How can a claim of a human override what my God given gifts (mind and heart) tell me? When the proof of God in me makes me cry on seeing a helpless innocent old man being murdered (Bukhari Vol 2, Bk 19, N173) or protest when I am taught intolerance (Quran 5: 51) , how can I ignore and insult God's evidence in me. I cannot. And you cannot.
Therefore, my claim of being God's messenger just does not make the cut. It cannot rival God and my evidence cannot rival the human heart and mind.
This situation is akin to being a citizen of a town within a country. Assume that 2 people in the town have copies of 2 conflicting constitutions that each claims is true. Which am I to believe without confirming for myself with the supreme authority in the country? What if one of the copies is really well printed and looks authentic but is actually an impressive work of the Mafia and made to look authentic with a forged signature and seal of the country's President?
For the reasons above, nobody can say that you disrespect God by not believing my claimed prophethood. In fact you are only upholding evidence from God that is stronger than my word. You only have a higher expectation of God's Greatness and Perfection.
Now, let us assume that the person claiming prophethood was not me but Abraham Lincoln, Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, Florence Nightingale, Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr.
Nobody did more to end slavery once and for all than Lincoln; or to advance science than Aristotle, Newton or Einstein; or for wartime medical efforts than Nightingale; or for peace and non violence than Gandhi; or for civil rights than Martin L King Jr.
Would you believe them? Some of us may be tempted to. But for the most part, in spite of the impeccable characters of these individuals, we would probably take their advice but not blindly follow them or equate their word to God's Word.
Even seeing the evidence with your eyes, you would not believe me or my prophecy. How do we blindly follow the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then? Especially when neither his message is perfect nor is his character exemplary. (reference Quran and Sahih Bukhari or www.faithfreedom.org). Blind faith cannot defeat my God-given mind and heart.
Why we cannot believe in Islam?
I believe in God. But how can I disgrace Him by believing in Islam? How can I believe that God was so imperfect to have such an imperfect message? How can I believe an inhumane messenger was His? How can I believe that God is confused to have His message so full of abrogation and substitutions? How can I believe that God cannot explain His message better so that so many of his followers are not misguided?
We cannot just believe in Islam. We cannot compromise on the perfection of God. The Almighty has not given us a reason to believe Muhammad (pbuh). In fact he has given us several reasons to disbelieve him. The Quran is replete with logical fallacies, scientific errors, mathematical mistakes, superstitions, medical inaccuracies and heresy (Please refer to articles on www.faithfreedom.org).
The Evidence in the Quran
Muhammad (pbuh) abused the name of God. He did not have evidence from God and convinced people by using deceiving methods such as:
1. Praising God often in the Quran as evidence of divinity
An example is:
YUSUFALI: He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (Quran 003.006)
The above statement is obvious. It is not proof from God. Anyone can praise God.
2. Praising God's creations often in the Quran as evidence of divinity.
An example is:
YUSUFALI: And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance. (Quran 015.019)
This statement is also but obvious. Anyone can praise God's creation or nature. How is this statement evidence? Yet it is presented as proof by Muhammad of God’s word. Muhammad was describing what he observed. He saw the land spread like a carpet and he stated the mere obvious. Ironically, little did he know that as time progressed, mankind would learn that what looked like a carpet was really spherical. Even more ironically, people try to justify this statement today, but it is unfortunate that they are only letting their God given mind be defeated by a 7th century man's ignorance.
[Most verses touted as scientific fall under category 2 and a logical study of those verses reveal fallacies in the Quran. It is clear that they were based on what is known or apparent then (though we have already proved above that even if a scientific fact was unknown, but later proven, it would still be insufficient evidence. Individuals such as Newton and Einstein did so and are not prophet].
3. Repeating History, Mythology or past religions in the Quran and Sunnah as evidence of divinity
An example is:
YUSUFALI: We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): "Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs." (Quran 017.002)
(Excerpt from Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 5, Number 277) Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'The (people of) Bani Israel used to take bath naked (all together) looking at each other. So once Moses went out to take a bath and put his clothes over a stone and then that stone ran away with his clothes. Moses followed that stone. Moses took his clothes and began to beat the stone." Abu Huraira added, "By Allah! There are still six or seven marks present on the stone from that excessive beating."
Anyone can repeat known information. Repeating from history or religion is not evidence. We can each describe past facts or tales if we wish. The presence of Christians and Jews in Makkah and Medina would make the repetition of their beliefs’ concepts even easier. Of course, the repetition can be distorted by anyone also (This covers discrepancies in facts and is also necessary to prove that the original is corrupted). So repetition of the past or a distorted repetition of the past is no evidence as anyone can do so.
4. Using Circular Logic in the Quran as evidence of divinity
An example is:
YUSUFALI: This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah; (Quran 002.002)
Any book can self claim that it is the book of truth without doubt. Any person can self claim he is saying the truth. A rapist can self claim that he is innocent beyond doubt. Self claims are not valid because they are not evidence.
Another example is:
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak). (Quran 008.020)
Again, this is circular logic. Anyone can self claim to be God’s messenger, later recite a verse and claim it is from God and in the verse state that he is the messenger. This is not evidence because such logic does not prove anything as it goes in circles without authenticating any fact.
5. Using Imagination to create unverifiable claims in the Quran and Sunnah as evidence of divinity
An example is:
YUSUFALI: And the Jinn race, We had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind. Quran 015.027
This statement is imaginative and cannot be evidence. If I said that the Jinns wore pink shirts, can I use that as evidence? No, because anyone can let their imagination loose!
6. Making misleading pre-emptive statements to block people's minds to support methods used as false evidence of divinity
YUSUFALI: In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves). Quran 002.010
YUSUFALI: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). Quran 002.018
Anyone can pre-empt criticism. This cannot be used as evidence either. If a swindler was defrauding me in a scam that promised me riches, he would probably tell me early that I should ignore what critical advice people around me will give me. He would tell me that those people are not smart enough to see what I see, that they are stupid or that they will be jealous of me and therefore try to discourage me.
In this way, when even good people warn me of the impending scandal, I will ignore them, until I realize that I've been cheated and the swindler has tricked me. But by then it will be too late.
Since swindlers use this strategy too, this cannot be valid evidence.
7. Baseless descriptions of fear used as a last resort to supplement false evidence of divinity
An example is:
YUSUFALI: But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith. Quran 002.024
Fear is the supreme tool employed in the Quran. But fear can be created by anyone to force any belief.
If somebody wanted me to believe something wrong, what better way than to create fear in my mind? If the belief was right and genuine evidence produced, fear would not be needed.
If a thief wanted to steal a bank, what better way than to use fear to make the bank employees follow his orders to open the safe? If a legal withdrawal is being made, fear would not be needed.
If I am a good person and the mafia wanted to use me to kill a person, what better way than to threaten to kill me if I did not commit the murder? If the deed is to cheer up a woman in distress, why the need for a death threat?
Therefore fear cannot be the basis of proof for the Quran either. In fact, such fear and inhumanity are generally used in efforts that are anti-God.
The above categories cover all verses used as evidence in the Quran. As shown, such verses are meaningless and hold no value as proof to justify assuming that the Almighty is imperfect.
Muhammad did not have any evidence from God. He used our innocent beliefs and the name of God. We cannot believe him because we cannot take his baseless claims over God's evidence in our minds and hearts. We cannot be led by Muhammad because if we do so, we have given up on the perfect God. We cannot follow him to God. We can only follow Muhammad to the fiery Hell that he so well describes in the book he himself wrote in the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Next: Mankind’s most wanted
God has left clues for us in Islam's own most authentic and sacred books that explain what happened 1400 years ago. They are like a criminal's fingerprints on his own weapon. We will address those in the next article in this series.