Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Seven Myths About Islam

Islam is all about big lies and myths, this article sheds some light on seven of the most common of such lies and deceptions:

1. The myth: “Atheists cannot disprove the existence of God, which indicates that Islam is the correct religion”

The fact: There is no relation between Islam and God.

Atheists may not disprove the existence of God, but neither can Muslims prove His existence. The existence of God, to those who believe in God, does not indicate that Islam is correct. On the contrary it indicates that Islam is completely wrong. God is omnipotent, all knowledgeable and compassionate but the Quran describes a maliciously revengeful and uneducated or even illiterate god. In this sense, Islam is an offence to God. The poor language quality of the Quran, its inconsistency, its illogical reasoning and its unacceptable scientific mistakes make that book an insult to any writer never mind a god. A true believer in God should feel offended by the idea of relating a book with such an appalling standard to the omnipotent and merciful God. Muslims do it the other way; they turn their backs to God and glorify their book and justify its mistakes and claim it’s from god.

Of course, for those people who do not believe in God, Islam is not even worth considering.

2. The myth: “The essence of Mohammed’s message was to believe in Allah, which is Arabic for God”

The fact: The essence of Mohammed’s message was to believe in HIM not in Allah!

Muslims get shocked when they learn that the word ‘allah’ does not mean God but only a name for a god in the same way that Zeus, Apollo and Osiris are names of gods. Muslims get even more shocked when they learn that the pre Islamic Arabs already believed in God long before Mohammed was born, they even called their god Allah. Let us not forget that Mohammed’s father was named Abdu-Allah. Almost all Muslims have the misconception that the Pre Islamic Arabs used to worship stone sculptures, called ‘asnam’, which they believed to be their gods. This is not true even though some tribes carved stone sculptures to ‘represent’ their gods, but that doesn’t mean they worshiped stones. In Arabia in general, but in Mecca in particular, polytheistic religions were practiced freely alongside the monotheistic religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Sabeans and Ahnaf. Pre Islamic Arabia was an exemplary multicultural society with impressive religious tolerance (1). Freedom of religious practices was a treasured value in Arabia where all the Arab tribes lived in harmony and enjoyed mutual respect. It was Mohammed who introduced religious intolerance to Arabia and it was his followers who introduced it to all places they manage to control.

Mohammed imported the Islamic beliefs and rituals from the other religions in Arabia. Islamic prayers, Fasting and Pilgrimage with all its details, were copied from the existing religions. Mohammed also copied the Islamic sharia law from the existing practices in Arabia, this included practices like circumcision, cutting the hands of thieves and marriage laws. Understandably, Mohammed added his own flavour to those rituals and laws to suit his own personal taste. For example, Mohammed incorporated the Arabs’ tradition of forbidding the marriage between a man and his stepdaughter, but as Zainab, his adopted son’s wife, developed a nice sexy figure, he cancelled the entire tradition of adoption in order to add Zainab to his harem.

At this point, one cannot help but wonder: If Allah was already being worshiped, and if the Islamic rituals were already being practiced, and if the sharia law was already being implemented, what was new about Islam?

A legitimate question that has a simple answer: the only thing new about Islam was the addition of Mohammed’s name next to Allah!

3. The myth: “The Quran is the preserved word of Allah”

The fact: even during Mohammed’s time the Quran had undergone many changes.

This myth is based on the false assumption that the early Arabs had extraordinary memory, which is a myth in itself. The Quran was released over twenty-three years, most of it in Mecca with no scribes or facilities to write it. Even after Mohammed seized control of Medina, the Quran was not recorded in a systematic way. The Arabic script was still undeveloped, many letters and words shared the same appearance even though they had different meanings. Mohammed’s priority was not to write the Quran but to fight wars and subjugate the Arab tribes. Many ahadith indicate that Mohammed forgot some verses while others indicate that other verses (like the adultery verses) disappeared because they were eaten by a chicken or a goat!

The Quran reached us through history; Muslims who believe the above myth do so because they put their full trust in the Islamic history. I am afraid that it is the same Islamic history that casts doubts about the preservation of the Quran. An objective reading of the chapters about the collection of the Quran from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, considered by Muslims most authentic books after the Quran, highlights the unreliability of the collection process. The Islamic history also tells us that Muslims were divided after Caliph Othman ordered the writing of the four official copies of the Quran. Some of top Muslims disagreed on which verses to include in those copies. In addition, there were mistakes in those official copies, which were reported to the Caliph, who accepted their existence but did not think they were significant enough to justify rewriting the Quran.

Othman’s copies were also written in a primitive script that only works as a reminder of the Quran rather than a true writing. Such undeveloped script was useless in preserving any message, never mind a legal book. It took another hundred years for the Arabic language to develop a reliable writing style.

Even if we assume that Othman’s Quran was accurate, which it wasn’t, they were useless to most Muslims simply because they had no access to them. The fact is that Muslims, in the first few centuries of Islam, managed without a clearly written Quran. The early copies of the collected Quran seem to have disappeared from history without any trace. Today’s Muslims are very sensitive to this issue and do not allow any objective study of this part of the Islamic history. A proper dating and analysis of the two ancient copies found in Samarkand and Istanbul is strictly guarded by the Islamic authorities. The German team (2) who was studying the copy found in Sana’a, Yemen in the 1970s was stopped and denied access to the script once the authorities sensed that the study could reveal a different Quran!

The story of Abdulla Ibn Abi Al Sarh (3) is of remarkable significance to the issue of preservation of the Quran. Ibn Abi Al Sarh used to scribe the Quran for Mohammed. As all Muslims know, most of the verses in the Quran have common closing sentences such as aziz hakim ( mighty and wise) and aleem hakim( meaning with knowledge and wisdom) and many more.

Once, Ibn Abi AlSarh wrote a verse that had one of those closing sentences, say aziz hakeem, but to make sure it wasn’t aleem hakim, he asked Mohammed: was it aleem hakim? Mohammed said: yes, it was. This was repeated many times until Abdulla Ibn Abi AlSarh came to the conclusion that Mohammed was a liar and the Quran was not divine because he could change its words. Ibn Abi AlSarh left Islam and secretly made his way to Mecca where he told the Arabs about his experience. The scandal was embarrassing to Mohammed who vowed to kill Ibn Abi AlSarh no matter what happens.

After Mohammed conquered Mecca, Ibn Abi AlSarh, who also was a milk brother to Othman Ibn Affan, the main financier of Mohammed’s movement, was captured and was brought to Mohammed. Othman used his influence on Mohammed and asked for his brother to be forgiven. Mohammed, surprised by Othman’s interference, masked his anger and said nothing while Othman quickly took his brother and went away.

Mohammed was angry with his men because they did not kill Ibn Abi AlSarh, their excuse was that Mohammed did not give them a signal. Mohammed said: We prophets do not deal with signals. After Mohammed’s death, Al Sarh had a successful political career under the Umayyad dynasty.

We do not know how much Ibn Abi AlSarh changed in the Quran before his defection, but we do know that those early Muslims especially under the Umayyad rule were aware that Islam was a big lie, which they used to their advantage.

4. The myth: “The Quran challenged mankind to produce a chapter like it, and they all failed.”

The fact: There are many texts on the internet which are indistinguishable from the Quran.

Any Arab with enough courage and reasonable command of the Arabic language can meet the challenge and win, and that includes the devout Muslims who would say: “NO this is impossible!” It is easy to compose a text that is indistinguishable from to the Quran; it is even easier to include a number of language and scientific mistakes for a more honest imitation to the Quran. But sensible people do not risk their lives; we know how Muslims would react. The Arab Muslims do not even try because they know how Allah would react.

This reminds me with an incident that took place many years ago when I was a young Muslim. I was visiting a friend who was already arguing with one of his relatives about a verse in the Quran, they were trying to find to which sura the verse belongs. I happened to know that the verse was at the end of chapter 2 (sura Albakara), which was correct as my friend’s relative double checked it in the Quran. I was happy and proud with my knowledge, and both my friend and his relative were impressed. Still browsing through the Quran, my friend’s relative challenged me to locate the following verse:
يا أيها الناس اتقوا الله ربكم الذي خلقكم وسواكم ورزقكم لعلكم تتقون ان يشأ ينصرم ويدخلك جناته وإن يشأ يخسف بكم ألأرض فتصبحوا من بعدها علئ ما فعلتم نادمين

Q.115: 1 “O ye people! Fear Allah your Lord, who created you, and fashioned you (perfectly) and provided for you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness; If He so will, He can make you victorious…”

(I still remember by heart the first part of the ‘verse’, but not sure about the rest. The translation is mine)

I didn’t know, but I knew from the style that the verse had a Medina style and must belong to one of the big chapters in the Quran. Although I wasn’t sure, my answer was that the above verse also belongs to chapter 2 (sura albakara). My friend’s relative broke into laughter because the verse was not even in the Quran, it was made up. My happiness and pride instantly evaporated, but the practical joke unleashed the Islamic monster inside me. I became angry and insisted that the false verse was obviously of very low standard compared to the Quran and I blamed the Satan for my failure in spotting the difference.

Some Arabs must have produced works that mimicked the Quran, but those who were lucky to survive, were forced to condemn their own works, which eventually disappeared from history. The problem is that Muslims have already made a prejudgement not to believe that any work can match the Quran.

It is noteworthy that the great Arab poets like Almutanabbi and Al maarri composed their own Quranic texts, which of course disappeared from history. I am a fan of Almutanabbi and can imagine how powerful his Quran would have been compared to the existing one. Nowadays, interested Arab atheists frequently post their own imitations on the Internet (4) (5).

The idea of a competition between Allah and one of his creatures in a language issue is ridiculous and is enough, on its own, to damage Islam. The non Arabs should be able to sense some foul racist smell in this challenge because they have been totally excluded from this competition game; Allah seems to play only with the Arabs!

5. The myth: “The Quran foretold many scientific discoveries”

The fact: almost every time the Quran got it wrong on science.

The Quran did not say anything that is scientific. In fact the Quran was not up to date even to the seventh century’s science. The Greek philosophers described a globe Earth and calculated its radius about 400 BC. A thousand years later the Quran was still talking about a flat Earth!

The Quran got it wrong almost every time it touched on a scientific issue, which is hardly surprising considering that it is a book of myths rather than science (6). Current Muslims go to the extreme to play with the Arabic language by twisting it and distorting its rules and word meanings in order to save the Quran from its embarrassing scientific blunders.

The myth of scientific miracles in the Quran is the latest big lie of the Muslim scholars in their attempts to market Islam in the age of science. The Muslims made hundreds of claims but all of them are based on lies and twisting the language which reflects how desperate the Muslim scholars are.

It is important to note that the existence of one mistake in the Quran means that the book is not divine and the entire religion is false.

6. The myth: “The Quran described the big bang”

The fact: the Quran only echoed the ancient myths about the creation of the universe.

The Quran only reflected the seventh century ignorance. Ancient cultures believed that the sky and earth were joined together until god stepped in to separate them. Muslims who make the above claim usually refer to verse “Q.21: 30 Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together then we separated them..” in which the Quran makes the same mistake and claims that it was Allah who did the separation. This scientific misconception described in the Quran was common in ancient Arabia, which explains why the verse says do not the unbelievers see? (awalam yara) which is an Arabic expression that implies “yes they see”. It is a common Arabic usage that when you say to a person: “don’t you see that house?” you imply that the person can actually see the house. Therefore, the Quran was talking about something the Arabs already knew.

Contrary to what the verse suggests, according to the Big Bang theory there was nothing in the beginning, no earth and no sky (7).

7. The myth: “The Quran described the development of the Embryo”

The fact: the Quranic description of the development of the embryo is completely wrong.

Muslims usually refer to the following verses “(Q.23: 12-14) We created man from a product of wet earth, then placed him as a drop of seed in a safe lodging, then We fashioned the drop a clot, and of the clot, We fashioned a lump, and of the lump We fashioned bones, and We clothed the bones (with) meat.”

The above description of fetal development are what we would expect from the women of the seventh century Arabia, but not as we would expect from a doctor, prophet or a god. It is usual for the Quran to repeat the prevailing scientific mistakes of its time, but in the above verses it probably has gone beyond the limits. The suggestion that the skeletal system (bones) is first created then clothed with flesh is simply a lethal mistake.

When Muslims debate this issue they refer to scientific illustrations, articles and western doctors who have no clue what the Quran actually says in Arabic. I do not see the point in subjecting the above verses to scientific scrutiny because there is no science involved at all. The verses are simply a reflection of the prevailing ignorance on the subject.

The Arabs criticized Mohammed whenever he said something that looks absurd to them but on this occasion they accepted the verses without any criticism, which indicates that the verses were in parallel with the prevailing knowledge in the 7th century Arabia (8).

1. M A Khan, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery (p. 18-22)
3. Ali Dashti, 23 years, a study of prophetic career of Mohammed.

Mumin Salih is a Middle Eastern ex-Muslim.

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