Part 6: Conclusions We Must Draw On Islam
CHAPTER XXV: THE QUR’AN - FEAST OR FAMINE?
The Qur’an - A Bare Skeleton Without Any Meat
Having finished our examination of the Qur’an and Islam we can perceive that the average follower of Islam has been kept in ignorance as to the true state of the Qur’an, but at the same time is being taught it was "Perfect" and "Preserved" and providing ‘clear Guidance’.
In such a state of ignorance it was natural to be cajoled into fighting against the least manuscript discrepancy of the Bible or Gospels, even to make glaring comments about the least variation in English translations.
For those more knowledgeable, however, it has meant a deliberate cover-up. Imams have to be among this group, and many more. The ‘Permissible Lies’ seem to be in open use.
In fact, after all is said and done, it has been a ridiculous stand, not the least of reasons being that while they have been arguing for the ‘preservation’ of the Arabic text of the Qur’an [in fact only the graphic form of it], even if it had been ‘preserved’, the actual text gave them nothing.
Let us be certain of what we are speaking.
It is not merely that those who were claiming that the original graphic form of the Qur’an has been ‘preserved’ were wrong. Neither is it merely that these corrupt, incomplete texts only needed a vocalisation to be brought and the two only had to be fitted together to make something which would give ‘clear Guidance’.
No, it is far worse than this, for even when Islam has pieced together what it declares is the Qur’an, what it is found with is believed to be only "the Words of Allah" and not any of the detailed material that is required to give these "Words of Allah" life! These "Words of Allah" could not be in a more helpless state.
This is where we begin to identify the Qur’an as a text which is meaningless because it has no evidence in it by which it can be understood. The truth is that anyone who claims the Qur’an is a ‘Book’ is accusing God of failing to provide a witness.
All this is the result of the Qur’an being a lifeless text which seeks to be given life from Sources which themselves are lifeless because they are not single minded in their content and neither the Qur’an nor the Sources can function alone. A vicious circle is thus entered.
Thus Islam has attained meanings, not because it could derive them from one self evident Source, but instead through trying to give
meaning to dead "Words of Allah" (a dead text) by relying on a great confusion of testimony from uncertain Sources.
There is a great difference between such a text and one in which all the evidence is presented clearly and so it is self evident what the intent of the "Words of God" are in the midst of ‘the rest of the revelation’.
The result for Islam has been confusion!
In the end it is so bad that it has to be stated:
And yet what can one expect of a man who writes:
Further as a result of what has been said above, the Holy Qur’an claims that it came as a perfect revelation of Divine will:
"This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My
favour to you and chosen for you Islam as your religion" (5:3)
The finality of the Qur’anic revelation is, therefore based on its perfection. New Scriptures were revealed as long as they were needed, but when perfect light was cast on all essentials of religion in the Holy Qur’an, no prophet was needed after Muhammad." (Introduction, M. Ali, p. xi)
But no one who finds an empty tortoise shell ever cries out "Look I have found a living tortoise!" Rather they know that the tortoise died and that only the lifeless shell remains!! In fact they can stick their mouth to the opening and shout ‘hallo’ and hear the same ‘echo’ of emptiness come back.
So it is when the followers of Islam point to the shell of their "eternally
preserved Qur’an and religion" and cry "we have a living thing here!" - an empty ‘echo’ resounds.
Despite this, the followers of Islam have been trying to emphasise a comparison between the Qur’an and the Bible - even telling everyone that both ‘should’ only contain ‘the Words of God’ - thereby implying that the Qur’an’s content is somehow ‘superior’.
Instead we find that all along it knew that what it has claimed were "Words of Allah" were not only baffling but useless, not even able to be identified, let alone comprehended without much other materials - and still they are lifeless, without agreement on their intent.
This brings us to the real purpose of a true Scripture (‘Book’) - revealing
"the Word of God" i.e. the Will of God - this is the meat that gives the
"The Word of God Is Found In A Book Called The Qur’an"?
Some go to such lengths as to claim that the Qur’an is "the Word of Allah", a claim which, we must assume, is directed at those of ignorance for we noted that the ‘revelation’ is not believed to be there, and so the religion admittedly cannot even be known from such a text. However, it is in examining such a claim that the truth begins to dawn.
Mr. Deedat provides a good example of someone who makes a disproportionate claim for the Qur’an while striking out at the Bible:
We Muslims have no hesitation in acknowledging that in the Bible there are three different kinds of witnessing recognisable without any need of specialised training. These are:
1. You will be able to recognise in the Bible what may be described as "The Word of God."
2. You will also be able to discern what can be described as the Words of a Prophet."
3. And you will most readily observe that the bulk of the Bible is the records of eyewitnesses, or people writing from hearsay. As such they are the "Words of a Historian." (Is The Bible God’s Word?, p. 5; emphasis added)
First, Islam is not the "most fortunate". For, having its claimed "Books" separate [we note that Mr. Deedat acknowledges Islam needs more than one Book] has resulted in what we have just seen, the inability to agree on what the "Words of Allah" are supposed to mean - a shambles.
Secondly, we now recognise that Mr. Deedat’s assertion that Islam’s perspective is "THE WORD OF GOD - is found in a Book called The Holy Qur‘an." is just another ‘outwitting’, for Islam does not believe this.
Rather it believes most of its "Words of God" are there, but not its perceived "WORD OF GOD" (i.e. the ‘revelation’), which it believes is scattered throughout this vast array of materials some of which strangely Mr. Deedat declares were written by "some of high integrity, others of lesser trustworthiness".
The truth is that Islam believes that the Qur’an - after much assistance - could be considered as part of the "Word of Allah", while ‘the rest of the Word of Allah’ was in the other types of evidence. Thus it has had to give to the many differing, even late added Sunnah [to say nothing of the many ‘ijtihads which followed its attempt to create a ‘revelation’ out of the Companion disagreements, etc.] what Mr. Deedat terms "equal spiritual import and authority to all, and is thus unfortunate in this regard".
It cannot ignore one part of what it considers the "Word of Allah" (‘the revelation’) or the other part of the "Word of Allah" would admittedly be useless!
As we have also seen, there exists much in the extra-Qur’anic Sources which Deedat defines as:
concerning their religion and prophet! What this means is that Islam today continues to print such things as Mr. Deedat declares "a motley type of literature" as the Source for both parts of ‘the revelation’ ("the Word of Allah")!
Has Christianity had the same difficulty as Islam? Is there any reason to think that God intended that it should be in possession of something different than it possesses, something like what Islam has alleged it should have - something like the Qur’an?
The Qur’an - An Impossible "Word of God" - Incomplete, No ‘Witness’
As we turn from the Qur’an to examine what the ‘People of the Gospel’ possess, we need to consider a vital question. Should we think that the true God would leave the people of the world with such an uncertain ‘eternal’ witness as the Qur’an if their Eternity with God depends upon obeying Him?
We recall again the admissions of some, like Maududi, who find it wise to warn people about the general disarray of its content and the obvious inability to find ‘gems’ there:
Before the reader begins the study of the Qur’an, he must bear in mind the fact that it is a unique Book, quite different from the books one usually reads. Unlike conventional books, the Qur’an does not contain information, ideas and arguments about specific themes arranged in a literary order. That is why a stranger to the Qur’an, on his first approach to it, is baffled when he does not find the enunciation of its themes... Or separate treatment of different topics and separate instructions for different aspects of life arranged in a serial order. On the contrary there is something with which he has not been familiar before and which does not conform to his conception of a book. ... The same subject is repeated in different ways and one topic follows the other without any apparent connection. Sometimes a new topic crops up in the middle of another without any apparent reason. The speaker and the addressees, and the direction of the address change without any notice. ... Historical events are presented but not as in history books. ... Likewise it follows it own method of solving cultural, political, social and economic problems and deals with the principles and injunctions of law in a manner quite different from that of the sociologist, lawyers and jurists. Morality is taught in a way that has no parallel in the whole literature on the subject.
That is why the unwary reader is baffled and puzzled when he finds all these things contrary to his pre-conceived (sic) conception of a book. He begins to feel that the Qur’an is a book without any order or interconnection between its verses or continuity of its subject, or that it deals with the miscellaneous topics in an incoherent manner, or that it had been given the form of a continuous book though it was not a book in the commonly accepted
This happens when the reader does not take into consideration the fact that the Qur’an is a unique book. It does not, like other books, enunciate at the very beginning the subject it deals with and the object it intends to achieve. Its style and method of explaining things are also quite different from those of other books one commonly reads and it does not follow any bookish order. Above all it is not a book on "religion" in the sense this word is generally understood. That is why when a reader approaches the Qur’an with the common notions of a book, he is rather puzzled by its style and manner of presentation. He finds that many places the back-ground (sic) has not been mentioned and the circumstances under which a particular passage have been revealed have not been stated. As a result of these things, the ordinary reader is unable to benefit fully from the most precious treasures contained in the Qur’an, though occasionally he may succeed in discovering a few gems here and there. Only those people become victims of such doubts as are not acquainted with these distinctive features of the Qur’an. They seem to find miscellaneous topics scattered all over its pages and feels difficulties about its meanings. Nay, even those verses which are absolutely clear, appear to them to be quite irrelevant in the contexts they occur.
The reader may be saved from all these difficulties, if he is warned before-hand (sic) that the Book he is going to study is the only book of its kind in the whole world: that its literary style is quite different from that of all other books: that its theme is unique and that his pre-conceived (sic) notions of a book cannot help him understand the Qur’an. Nay, these may even become a hindrance. He should, therefore, first of all free his mind from preconceived notions and get acquainted with the distinctive features of this Book. Then alone can he understand it.
First of all, the reader should understand the real nature of the Qur’an. Whether one believes it to be a revealed book or not, one will have to consider, as a starting point, the claim that is put forward by itself and its bearer, Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him), that this is the Divine Guidance." (Introduction, p. xxi-xxiii)
Still, many have not had a chance to read the confusion in their own language and have only ever recited the Arabic text off by heart.
They, and others, have never seen what you have seen here concerning the Qur’an, nor its confusion and its absolute reliance upon materials other than itself. And so, having believed the Qur’an to be the ‘eternal and preserved final Word’, they have stood by its challenge to "Then bring a Scripture from the presence of Allah that gives clearer guidance." (Q28:49).
We can understand that it was easy for the Quraish, being unable to foresee all this, to believe that such a challenge was from the True God. But, for those who are not as they, how could the Qur’an possibly be claimed by some like Mr. Deedat, to be ‘the Last Testament’ when it does not bear the TESTIMONY that the word ‘TESTAMENT’ requires it must? Surely this is ‘Taqiyya of the self’.
Yet we have also seen that by Islam’s own admission the Qur’an is not only corrupt, but lacks guidance, besides saying both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in the same place - and ‘no’ when it should say ‘yes’, etc.. All this because it needs so much from outside itself to attempt to be understood, let alone require this other material to attempt to find what it perceives as ‘the rest of the revelation’. On all accounts it has failed.
Anyone can see how preposterous it is that it should be claimed to
be ‘eternal and preserved final Word’ let alone that its challenge to "bring
a Scripture... with clearer guidance" should be accepted as coming from
the True God. Did ‘God’ not realise that there was no clear guidance in
His ‘Book’? Did He not know that Islam was not only going to corrupt the
text but was not going to collect everything else it needed until long
after it began to get confused and that there would be no way for the followers
to know what was what?
How then could anyone seriously think that the Qur’an could be such a witness when it is admitted one might as well throw it away if one only has that text!?
Neither should anyone seriously consider that ‘the People of the Gospel’ should reject their Scripture for the Qur’an. Islam and the Qur’an are clearly not what they claim to be.
However, we believe that an honest examination of what ‘the People of
the Gospel’ possess will reveal plainly not only that it has "clearer guidance", but also the reason that such guidance must be accepted as being the last "Word of God".
For everyone, including the True God, knows that a Message cannot
be transmitted without all of the materials being set out by reliable witnesses
to their authenticity.
"Find Yourself A Religion"
Perhaps the hardest words for those who in Islam to hear applied to themselves are those attributed to one of four men who just prior to Muhammad’s day left the religion of their fathers in search of truth.
As those in Islam know, they parted from the idol-worshipping Quraish with the words related as follows:
It is significant to note exactly what that term ‘the religion of Abraham’ meant to the people just prior to Muhammad’s day, for we note what happened to three of the four just mentioned:
Muhammad b. Ja’far b. Al-Zubyr told me that when he had become a Christian ‘Ubaydullah as he passed the prophet’s companions who were there [in Abyssinia] used to say: ‘We see clearly, but your eyes are only half open,’ i.e. ‘We see, but you are only trying to see and cannot see yet.’ He used the word sa’sa’ because when a puppy tries to open its eyes to see, it only half sees.
... ‘Uthman b. Al-Huwayrith went to the Byzantine emperor and became
Zayd b. ‘Amr stayed as he was; he accepted neither Judaism nor Christianity....
Hisham b. ‘Urwa from his father on the authority of his mother Aasma’ d. Abu Bakr said that she saw Zayd as a very old man leaning his back on the Ka’ba and saying, ‘O Quraysh, By Him in whose hand is the soul of Zayd, not one of you follows the religion of Abraham, but I.’ Then he said: ‘O God, if I knew how you wished to be worshipped I would so worship you; but I do not know.’" (Sirah of Ibn Ishaq, p. 99f; emphasis added)
There was good reason why the evidence that was available brought these men to choose Christianity, and why, even when Muhammad came and Islam was in its infant state before all the confusion was self-evident, they chose to follow the Injil which we have.
Of the four just mentioned, only the last man did not recognise what the others did, and he died yearning for God but not finding Him.