Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Was Compilation of the Quran Free from Errors?

Muslims believe that the Quran---the heart, soul and life of Islam---contains Allah's words and that an exact of it has been kept by Allah in heaven. Allah himself promises to keep it free from errors, too. But Allah failed; even compilers of the Quran introduced errors into it...




The Quran is the heart, the soul and the life of Islam. To all Muslims, it is more precious than their own lives. It is so dear to them that for its sake, they can sacrifice not only their own lives, but the lives of their own parents, siblings, wives and daughters and other blood relatives. Its sanctity surpasses all the sacred relics of the world. Many people, both Muslims and non-Muslims, have already suffered death in the hands of the pious Muslims for desecrating their Holy Book. The entire wealth of the world, including its stockpile of gold and diamonds, is not worth a single word of the Quran!

The Quran earned its unprecedented respect and sanctity because of its supposed origin and authorship. It hints, and the Muslims believe, that it was written down by Allah before the creation of the universe, detailing in it all the events that were ordained by Him to take place from the time He created the universe to the day on which, He will destroy it in no time. This book also contains the fate of each and every human being, and the Jinn as well, who were born, following Adam and his wife’s creation in heaven, to the ones who will take birth on the day Allah will destroy all of His creations. The day on which the universe that consists, among others, of seven skies and an equal number of earths, will end is commonly known as the Day of Judgment.

Following the creation of the universe and the seven earths, Allah began sending His apostles and prophets to the same earth on which we live to guide men and Jinns to His righteous path with the help of revelations from the Quran. Adam was the first vicegerent on earth and he was supposed to rule over the whole of it from his seat of power in what is today known as Saudi Arabia, but he received no revelations, as far as we know. Those apostles and prophets who received Allah’s pre-recorded guidance either through inspirations or revelations were Moses, or Musa. After the Tenth Command He delivered to Moses on Mt. Sinai, Allah delivered the rest of the Torah’s contents to him at a time.

In keeping with the above belief of the Jews, Allah also deemed each of His revelations to be a book.[1] Though it makes no sense, yet Muslims take it to be a truth from their Omniscient Allah!

After Moses, Dawood or David also received revelations from Allah. To the Jews, David was a local king; to Allah, he was a prophet! The revelations he received from Allah were compiled into a book and it was called “Zabur,” or Psalms.[2]Presumably, it added to Torah what was missing from it. But the original version of Zabur, or scripture, became extinct a long time ago, though the Torah – it being older than Zabur – still exists!

Jesus Christ was third in line to receive inspirations from Allah. Like Muhammad, he was both an apostle and a prophet. Immediately after his birth, he began speaking to people, telling them that he received revelations from Allah as well as the mission with which he came to the earth, while he was in his mother’s womb![3] All those, who had heard Jesus speak immediately after his birth, must have died of heart attack, as it was the first and the last event that has ever taken place in the history of mankind!

Jesus’ followers compiled the inspirations into a book and called it Injil or Bible, as it also contains all the five chapters of the Torah, or the Old Testament.

None of the named books were complete, as Allah had revealed only portions of His celestial Quran to the named persons![4]

The last apostle and prophet to receive revelations and inspirations from Allah was Muhammad. He received the full text of the celestial Quran. Through him, Allah perfected the hitherto before imperfect and incomplete Islam. Allah also fully empowered him to bring the worshippers of idols to Islam by persuasion, cajoling and with the use of sword, whenever he felt like using it. With Allah’s permission and active participation, the great prophet of Islam butchered 700–900 Jewish men in a single day, as they had refused to accept Islam and were not prepared to hand over their wealth, and their women, to him and to his neo-Muslim followers.

But elsewhere in the Quran, Allah denies, perhaps unknowingly, the existence of a celestial Quran, saying that He would collect its contents from and around the place on earth He lived on and then promulgate them to the people for their guidance.[5] He also promised to explain the Quran’s contents He collected from the humans,[6] thereby making the earthly Quran a self-explanatory book that requires no explanation, or exegesis, from any human being!

One of the cardinal principles of Allah's only approved religion is to submit to His Will, hence the word "Islam", as well as to prostrate before Him without bothering whether or not He is present before the supplicants. Though, it is not known when Allah had wanted man to prostrate before Him, He forced the angels to bow down before Adam, the first man to have been created in heaven, before asking Adam to bow down before his Creator!

There are many Creators, but Muslims are not required to bow down before all of them, as Allah is the Best Among all the Creators,[7] hence His dominance over them! But at a time of rage, Allah forgot His position among other Creators and admitted that there is another Allah, who is more powerful than Him, hence his statement in the Quran:

27:91: “For me, I have been commanded to serve the Lord of this City, Him Who has sanctified it and to Whom (belong) all things: and I am commanded to be of those who bow in Islam to Allah’s Will, -”

Many of Allah’s actions and utterances amount to shirk, a sin that is unforgivable, no matter how hard you pray to the Supreme Allah for His forgiveness. The making of idols also began with Allah; He molded the idol of Adam with clay; had it dried under the sun and when it became hard, He breathed His soul into Adam’s statue, thus turning him into a breathing-and-talking human being!

We have descended from Adam and his wife, who remains un-named in the Quran. We carry his genes, but have no trace of any clay or earth in our bodies. How come? Has not the Quran claimed that we are made of the same material with which our original father was fashioned?

Many humans on earth emulated Allah and they, too, began making and worshiping idols. An idol of calf made with gold by the fleeing Hebrews of Egypt even lowed, as if it was a living creature, thus making the ungrateful Hebrews to feverishly worship it, instead of worshipping Allah, who took so much trouble to save them from the alleged tyranny of the Egyptian Pharaohs and to take them to Palestine via the rough Red Sea, which he parted into two so that the Hebrews could cross it without the help of any boats or ships.

Not only the Jews had proved intolerably ungrateful to Allah, they also changed many of His words in the Torah to suite their ways of life, thus deviating from the course He had chosen for them. They lost the status of His most “favored” people, and they remain without His favor till today.

Allah gave over 600 years to the Hebrews to change their ways and become pious, but they failed, whereupon, He sent amongst them Jesus Christ with a portion of the celestial Quran. Allah translated the Arabic into Greek and inspired it to him by Himself or through the good offices of the Archangel Gabriel.

The followers of Jesus failed to comply with all of His doctrines, all of which were enshrined in the Quran. The followers of Jesus Christ, who are now known as Christians, also lost Allah’s favor and while Allah lifted Christ to heaven from the Cross, He let the Christians to continue to follow the path they had chosen for themselves, thereby earning His displeasure. For this act of theirs, all the Christians will enter the Fire of Hell on the Day of Judgment. Allah gave immense wealth to some of them so that He can punish them on the Day of their Trial!

After Jesus’ disappearance from the Cross, Allah waited for almost seven hundred years before sending Muhammad to the people of Mecca, who worshipped many idols, to bring them to Islam. Since he was the last and the final prophet, Allah revealed and inspired in piecemeal the whole content of the celestial Quran in Arabic – the official language of Allah - as and when events unfolded in his life through angel Gabriel and completed it in 23 years. The Quran thus revealed and inspired to Muhammad is the true replica of the celestial Quran in Allah’s custody.

As the Quran infers, the people in whose midst Muhammad lived were literate and knew the art of writing. This is deducible from the fact that the Quran talks about pen, ink and parchment that were available in the Arabian peninsula in his time. My this belief is reinforced by the fact that “between AD 244 and 249 the emperor of Rome was Marcus Julius Philipus, a native of Arabia, born in Arabia, and known as Philip the Arabian.”[8] Had he not been a literate man, it would have been impossible for him to rule over such a large empire. But as it happened and it still happens even now in many societies of the world, Muhammad remained illiterate and he did not have the ability either to read or to write. Perhaps, he, like the Moghul Emperor Akbar of India, suffered from dyslexia!

But after the coming down of the first revelation to him in the cave of Hira, Muhammad suddenly became a literate man and he also gained the ability to write[9] with the help of Allah. Despite having gained the ability to write down whatever Allah revealed to him, Muhammad did not record them; instead, he left it to his Companions to record them in their memory. They did a great job and memorized even those revelations, which came to him, while he was in his bedroom in the company of his wives!

After Muhammad’s death, Muslim rulers needed Allah’s revelations to Muhammad in order to legitimize their rule and to frame and impose rules on their subjects in accordance with what Allah had told the Prophet. So they commissioned a group of people to collect the revelations from peoples’ memory and to commit them to writing. Once the revelations were compiled into a book i.e. the Quran, discrepancies were noted in it and many of its dictums were found not to be in tandem with the situations that had developed after Muhammad’ death, and with the passage of time.

To meet this challenge, the rulers of the time changed and revised the Quran many times. Its ‘text was finally fixed by two vizirs ibn Muqlah and ibn Isa in 933 with the help of the learned ibn Mujahid. Ibn Mujahid admitted seven readings, which had developed because of lack of vowel and diacritical marks, as canonical.’[10]

The final text of the Quran is believed by all Muslims not have any mistake or discrepancy in it. Since this text is the exact copy of the celestial Quran, they also believe it is impossible to find any factual or historical mistakes in it. This characteristic of the Quran makes it the most sacred book on earth and whosoever tempers with it or tries to dishonor it in any way will surely live in the Fire of Hell in their next life.

This article is not intended to point out mistakes or historical errors in the Quran. Rather, I am writing it to draw reader’s attention to one of the mistakes the compilers and the editors of the Quran had made at the time of finalizing its final text. The mistake I have in mind can be found in the following verse:

73:20: “Thy Lord doth know that thou standest forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night, half the night, or a third of the night, and so doth a party of those with thee. But Allah doth appoint Night and Day in due measure. He knoweth that ye are unable to keep count thereof. So He hath turned to you (in mercy): read ye, therefore, of the Quran as much as may be easy for you. He knoweth that there may be (some) among you in ill-health; others traveling through the land, seeking Allah’s bounty; yet others fighting in Allah’s Cause. Read ye, therefore, as much of the Quran as may be easy (for you); and establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity; and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan.” (Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

Sura Muzzammil, having the number 73, is believed to be the third Meccan Sura to have been revealed to Muhammad by Allah. Historians do not know the lapse in time between Sura 1 to 3, but a six months’ lapse is generally accepted by almost all the scholars of Islam to be a reasonable period.

If the above assumption is taken to be true, then we should have no hesitation in saying that during this six months’ time period, Muhammad could not have converted more than a few Pagans to Islam (the number of Pagans he converted to Islam in 13 years did not exceed one hundred!). The miniscule number of the neo-Muslims could not have the courage, or the strength, to fight a very large number of Pagans, who had been refusing to have anything to do with Islam and the preaching of its founder. In such a situation, why Allah said in the verse that some of the Muslims were not reading the Quran during the night, as they were busy fighting the Pagans in the cause of Allah?

A simple answer to the question is this: The compilers of the Quran goofed and they inserted this Medinese verse into the Meccan Sura. This assertion gets strength from the fact that the verse, quoted above, also speaks about Zakat, a charitable act only the Jews of Medina practiced at the time Islam was being founded by Muhammad. Due to this reason, Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes:

“This i.e. {yet others fighting}, refers to Jihad. The better opinion is that this particular verse was revealed in Medina, long after the great part of the Sura. The reference, further on, to canonical Prayers and regular Charity (Zakat), points to the same conclusion.”[11]

The King of Saudi Arabia has deleted, changed and amended Ali’s translation of the Quran before approving it to be closer to the original Arabic text, but he has left the above remark untouched, as it is true and no Muslim worth his salt can deny the fact that the word “Jihad” was mistakenly inserted in the verse of the Quran by its compilers.

This being the fact, a question naturally arises: How many more mistakes are in the Quran and what else has been added, deleted or omitted from this holy book of Islam?

If what I have said is true, then how can Muslims defend Allah’s declaration in which He has said?

15:9: “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).”

Evidently, Allah failed and He could not keep His promise. Should such a deity be revered, bowed down to and worshipped and for what purpose, when He could not defend His last Prophet from his two wives without the help of all the angels, including Gabriel, and all the believing Muslims put together?[12]

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[1] The Quran; 2:1 et al.

[2] The Quran; 21:105. Also see 4:163 & 17:55.

[3] Cf. The Quran; 19:29 & 30.

[4] The Quran; 3:23.

[5] The Quran; 75:17-18.

[6] The Quran; 75:19.

[7] Cf. The Quran; 37:123 to 125.

[8] Benjamin Walker in “Foundation of Islam,” p. 26.

[9] Cf. The Quran; 29:48.

[10] Phillip K. Hitti in History of the Arabs, pp. 123.

[11] The Holy Quran; vol. 2, p. 1637.

[12] Cf. The Quran; 66: 4.