Excerpts from the Qu'ran
In the Name of Allah…Praise be to Allah, Lord of worlds...the King of Judgment Day. Only You do we worship, and to You alone do we ask for help. Keep us on the straight and narrow path. The path of those You favor; not the path of those who anger You [the Jews] nor the path of those who go astray [the Christians]. ("The Exordium" Sura 1:1-5)
The Koran is only a tenth of the length of the Bible and is roughly the same length as the New Testament. It is a very difficult book to read. Edward Gibbon said that the Koran is "an endless incoherent rhapsody of fable and precept." Thomas Carlyle said that his reading of the Koran was "as toilsome reading as I ever undertook; a wearisome confused jumble, crude, incondite." According to Islamic historians, Muhammad was not able to read or write and was illiterate. Therefore, Mohammed did not write the Koran-he recited it to others. When you read the Koran it is obvious that Mohammed was illiterate. The Koran is the product of an unlearned mind. Mohammad died in the year 632 after the birth of Jesus. The Battle of Tours took place one hundred years after the death of Mohammad. The Qur'an was originally memorized by "professional remembrancers." Then certain texts were written on palm leaves and stone. During the caliphate of Omar, the second Kaliph, who reigned over the Islamic Empire from 644-656, all copies of the Koran were collected and an authorized version was made. All the earlier Korans with divergent and alternate reading were burned. However, certain variant readings are recognized by Muslims. A "Sura" is a chapter of the Koran. The sura is a "revelation" or a speech given though Muhammed in which Allah is the speaker. The Koran is organized basically with the longest Sura in the front and the shorter Suras in the back. Mohammed rambles on inherently throughout the Koran. It seems jumbled and repetitive. The Koran is a book full of anger and threats against non-believers. I have spoken to people who have read the Qur'an and think that it is similar to the Bible. The first thing that such a person needs to realize is that the blood-curdling cries for the death of the unbeliever applies to you-the non-Muslim. The text of the Koran is calling for your death or subjugation and your reduction to a state of persecution and humiliation as a non-Muslim. I think another problem is that many readers are not engaging the text. The Koran is so poorly written that it is easy to get lost in its sea of words and to read without comprehending. Such a reader, who is familiar with the Bible will notice the allusions to persons from the Holy Bible and be confused and uncertain about the rest of what he is reading. Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren wrote How to Read A Book which encourages readers to engage the text that they are reading. We know the different between hearing and listening. Sometimes we can hear someone speaking but our mind drifts off and we are not listening to what they are saying. Adler and Van Doren also note the difference between a superficial reader and an active reader who analyzes what the reader is reading. Since the Koran is so difficult to read, it is good to find a "user-friendly" version of the Koran. I recommend "An Abridged Koran." Center for the Study of Political Islam has published An Abridged Koran: Readable and Understandable (CSPI Publishing, 2006). (The same book, but with the entire text of the Koran, is entitled A Simple Koran.) According to the Center for the Study of Political Islam, "Islam is a political system, a culture, and a religion based upon the Koran, Sira¸ and Hadith. To understand Islam, know the Trilogy. The Center for the Study of Political Islam is dedicated to making the political doctrine or the Koran, Sira, and Hadith (the Trilogy) available to the world, establishing authoritative/verifiable fact-based knowledge-statements that can be confirmed by the use of reference numbers, and integrating knowledge-using primary sources to give the complete picture of Islam's political doctrine." The "Islamic Trilogy" is an eight volume series which includes "A Simple Koran" and "An Abridged Koran." The "Simple Koran" puts each of Mohammed's Suras in chronological order and explains the context of each of these so-called "revelations." Since there is a great amount of repetition in the Koran, "An Abridged Koran" that removes duplicate stories and verses found in the Koran is available. It also incorporates the biography of Muhammed into the text of the Koran. This is helpful because whenever any shocking and horrific verse from the Koran is brought up, Muslims claim that it is taken "out of context." This version of the Koran has the historical context referenced to authoritative Islamic texts incorporated into the text of the Koran. (The fonts clearly differentiate the Koran from the Islamic historical sources.) "An Abridged Koran" arranges the Suras (chapters) of the Koran chronologically and supplements it with historical and contextual information. There are two phases to Mohammed's career, Mecca and Medina. In Mecca Mohammed threatened damnations to anyone who refused to accept him as Allah's prophet. In Medina, the suras are mostly calls to wage Jihad ("fighting in Allah's cause") against unbelievers. Once you read the Koran in context, you can understand what motivates Moslems around the world to commit acts of violence against non-Muslims.
The Koran on Holy War and the Relations between Muslims and non-Muslims
Make war against those who have been given the Scripture [the Jews and the Christians] but do not believe in Allah nor in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and his Messenger had forbidden and they do not follow the way of truth. Fight against them until they pay the jizya tax in acknowledgement of the superiority of Islam and they are reduced to a state of humiliation. (Koran 9:29)
"Do not take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them." (Qur'an 3:28)
"O Believers! Take not the Jews or the Christians as friends. They are but one another's friends. If anyone of you taketh them for his friends, he surely is one of them? God will not guide the evil doers." (Koran 5:51)
"The unbelievers, both the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] and the polytheists, shall go into the fire of hell and abide there forever. Surely they are the vilest of creatures." (Qur'an 98:6)
"Make ready then against them what force ye can, and strong squadrons whereby ye may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy, and into others beside them whom ye know not, but whom God knoweth. All that you shall expend for the cause of God shall be repaid you; and ye shall not be wronged…O prophet! Stir up the faithful to the fight. Twenty of you who stand firm shall vanquish two hundred: and if there be an hundred of you they shall vanquish a thousand of the infidels, for they are a people devoid of understanding." (Qur'an 8:60-70)
"Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. Truly those who follow him are tender one to another, but are ruthless to the unbelievers." (Koran 48:29)
"Fight them until there is now more Fitna (disbelief and "polytheism," meaning all other religions besides Islam, such as Christianity), and the religion will be for Allah alone [in all of the world]." (Mohammad, Muslim 1:53)
"O Prophet! Strive hard (Arabic "jahidi") against the unbelievers, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, and evil refuge indeed." (Koran 9:73)
"When you meet the unbelievers in the field of battle, strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly." (Koran 47:4)
"Believers! Wage war against those of the infidels that are your neighbors and let them find in you a firmness and know that God is with those who fear him." (Koran 9:123)
Koran 5:55-64 Jews and Christians will be changed by Allah into "pigs and apes."
Other verses threatening/celebrating violence are found in Koran 9:29, 9:73, 9:88, 9:123,47:4
The Qur'an on John the Baptist
Koran 19:7 In the Bible, the child John the Baptist is named John, which is a name no one in his family ever had before. The Koran states that John is a name that did not exist before. According to the Koran, no one was named "John" before John the Baptist. However, the name is attested before. Important Johns existed such as John the brother of Judah Maccabee. The name is in the Old Testament. Was the Bible changed? But why would the Jews go back and insert the name John where it wasn't before? We also have other ancient and historical texts containing the name John that have been scientifically confirmed to pre-date John the Baptist. This seems like a minor point but it isn't. Moslems claim that the Koran is perfect and totally free from error. Many Moslems believe that God composed the Koran in heaven before he created the Universe. (Oddly, God was concerned with Mohammed's sex life before he created the world. See Sura 33:37.)
The Koran on Jesus Christ:
Muslims claim that they accept Jew as a prophet and yet the Koran contains many comments about Jesus that are from a Christian's point of view sacrilegious and blasphemous and from a historical perspective historically untrue.
"Infidels now are they who say, "Verily God is the Messiah Ibn Maryam (the Son of Mary)! SAY: And who could aught obtain from God, if he chose to destroy the Messiah Ibn Maryam, and his mother, and all who are on the earth together." (Sura 5:19). According to this passage God could have caused Jesus Christ and his mother Mary to cease to exist if he so chose. (Also note that according to this verse in the Koran, Christians are indeed infidels.) In the Koran, Jesus denies that He is God Incarnate, "And when God shall say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary: hast thou said unto mankind-"Take me and my mother as two Gods besides God"?" He shall say, "Glory be unto Thee! It is not from me to say that which I know to be not the truth; had I said that, verily thou wouldest have known it." (Sura 5:109). Here the Koran also claims that the Christian Trinity is God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Virgin Mary! (Koran 5:73-75, 116). Mohammed says the Christian Trinity is God, Jesus and Mary!
Denial of the Doctrine of the Fatherhood of God
"It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! When he decreeth a thing, He saith to it, Be, and it is." (Sura 19:36). The Sonship of Jesus Christ is denied in Sura 3:73 and in many other passages in the Koran. "O ye people of the Book! Overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God, speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, is only an Apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a spirit proceeded from himself. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not "Three:" (there is a Trinity)-Forbear-it will be better for you. God is only one God! Far be it from His glory that He should have a son." (Sura 4:169)
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ denied:
"And for their saying, "Verily we have slain the Messiah, Jesus the Son of Mary, an Apostle of God," Yet they did not slay him, neither did they crucify him, only one who resembled him…they did not really slay him, but God to him up to Himself." (Sura 4:156) This passage reads as if Muhammed was a Docetist, a believer in the heresy that the sufferings of Christ were an illusion that didn't actually occur. Muslims interpret this passage to mean that God took Jesus away before he could be tormented. Muslims either understand the Passion to have been an illusion or that God transformed Judas Iscariot to look like Jesus Christ and that it was actually Judas who was crucified and not Christ. This is the majority opinion of the Muslims. Koran 41:157 teaches Jesus was not crucified!
The Koran Teaches that Jesus Christ spoke from the Cradle
According to the Gospel of John, the first miracle Jesus performed was turning water to wine. In the second century, fantastical mythological stories about the Christ child developed. Some of these stories are found in the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas.
"O Jesus! Son of Mary! Call to mind my favor upon thee and upon thy mother, when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, that thou shouldest speak to men alike in the cradle, and when grown up" (Sura 5:109) In Sura 19:20-38, it states that Jesus was born under a palm tree and again it states that he spoke from the cradle, declaring Himself to be a prophet. In the Koran, Jesus makes a bird out of clay and it comes alive (Koran 5:110). These are unbiblical and untrue myths.
Mary the Mother of Jesus is the Sister of Moses?
In Arabic, the names "Mary" and "Miriam" are the same. Mohammad believed that Miriam the sister of Moses and Mary the mother of Jesus to be the same person. In Koran19:29, Mary is called "sister of Aaron." Aaron was the brother of Moses. According to Exodus 7:20, "Amram took for himself Jochabed…and she bore him Aaron and Moses." Sura 3 is entitled "The Family of Amram" and states that "the wife of Amram…brought forth a female…and named her Mary." This Sura specifically identifies Mary, the mother of Jesus, as the daughter of Amram and sister of Moses and Aaron (Sura 19:30-42). In reality, Moses and Jesus lived over one thousand years apart! J.M. Rodwell noted in his translation of the Koran, "This passage is one of the numerous anachronisms which abound in the Koran and prove the gross ignorance of the Arabian prophet." Koran 19:28, 66:12 Mary the mother of Jesus is the sister of Aaron and Moses as the daughter of their father Amran. This is another anachronism and case of identity confusion found in the Koran.
Mohammed Confused Gideon the Prophet with Saul the King
"And when Saul marched forth with his forces, he said, "God will test you by a river: He who drinketh of it shall not be of my band; but he who shall taste it, drinking a drink out of the hand excepted, shall be of my band." And, except a few of them, they drank of it" (Sura 2:240). According to the Bible, it was Gideon the Judge and not Saul the King who tested his men by the river (Judges 7:4-8).
A Samaritan at Mount Sinai
"The Samaritan had led them astray" (Koran 20:80-90). In the Koran, it is a Samaritan who compelled the Israelites to build the golden calf. According to the Bible, the Samaritan people did not emerge until long after the time of Moses or even David. An Israelite king named Omri established the city of Samaria from which the name "Samaritan" is derived. See 1 Kings 16:24. Koran 20:85-75: 95 states that Samaritan built the Golden Calf. Samaritans as a people didn't exist until after the time of King Solomon (centuries later).
Haman in Pharoah's court?
Haman is a vizier in Pharaoh's court in Sura 28:5, 29:38, 40:25 and 40:38. According to the Bible, Haman was an official who served in the court of King Xerxes after the time in which the Judeans were exiled from Israel and were settled in Babylonia (Esther 3:1). Haman lived centuries after the time of Moses. In Koran 40:36-37, Haman from the book of Esther is found in the court of Pharaoh of the Exodus-one thousand years previously. This is yet another anachronism.
Alexander the Great, the Flat Earth and the Pool in which the Sun sets:
"They will ask thee of Dhoulkarnain [Alexander the Great, the "two-horned one"]. SAY: I will recite to you an account of him. We established his power upon the earth, and made for him a way to everything. And a route he followed. Until when he reached the setting of the Sun, he found that it set into a muddy pool, and he found nearby a people (Sura 18:82-84) Thereafter he bound Gog and Magog behind a gigantic wall of Iron" (Sura 18:90-97). Many other verses in the Koran state that the earth is flat. These include Sura 36:38, 39:5, 13:2, and 21:33. These are not figures of speech. It is very clear from the precise language of the Koran, that Mohammed believed that the Earth is flat and that the Sun moves around the Earth. Koran 18:83-97 says that Alexander the Great (called in Arabic "Dhul-Qarnayn") was a prophet of Allah. Historically Alexander the Great worshipped many gods and was bisexual. Koran 18:86 Alexander arrives at the edge of earth and sees the sun setting in a pool of black mud! I have personally heard Muslim leaders argue that the world is flat and cite the Koran as evidence.
The Koran Teaches the Bible has been altered by Christians and Jews
The Koran quotes Jesus as saying that he is not the son of God. The Koran denies the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God. There are numerous contradictions between the Bible and the Koran. How do the Moslems respond to this? The Moslems react by saying that the Bible was altered by Christians and Jews. Originally, according to the Muslims, the Bible was in complete agreement with the Koranic revelation, which was "revealed" centuries after the Bible was completed. Moslem reference the Koran 2:75 and 4:46 to prove the Bible was "corrupted." The Koran actually commands Muslims to believe the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David and the Gospel of Jesus in Sura 5:44-48 and Sura 4:163-170. From the Muslim perspective, the Bible is at best, an incomplete revelation. To them, the Koran is the true and final revelation. So, from their perspective, the Bible is untrustworthy and whatever value it has, has been superseded by the Holy Koran, the ultimate and final revelation of God to man.
The Koran on Women:
"Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God of them hath been careful. But chide those whose disobedience you have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart and beat them: but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: Verily, God is High, Great!" (Sura 4: 34) A man may marry "women who seem good in your eyes, but marry two, or three or four" (Sura 4:3). The command for Muslims to beat their wives is found in Koran 4:34. Men superior to women according to Koran 2:228, 4:11, 2:282.
Mohammed steals his son's wife
Mohammed adopted a man named Zeid as his son. One day, he paid an unexpected visit to Zeid. Zeid was not home, however, his wife Zaynab was and she wasn't expecting visitors and Mohammed caught a glimpse of her unclothed. Soon, he received an oracle from Allah commanding him to add Zaynab to his harem. Now, this behavior was seen as degenerate. Many were offended by Mohammed's act of taking his son's wife as his own. Allah then gave Mohammed a new oracle stating that when a man adopts a son it isn't the same as making the adopted boy as his own son! But isn't that what adoption is all about? Also, in the New Testament, Paul uses adoption to explain how lost people become part of God's family. According to the Quran itself Allah caused Muhammad to have desires for another man's wife, namely his adopted son Zaid ibn Haritha's spouse Zaynab bint Jash. This led to his adopted son divorcing her so that Muhammad could marry her. The alleged reason why Allah commanded this to happen was so that Muhammad could set the example for others to emulate, making it permissible for adoptive fathers to marry their adopted children's divorcees:
And when you said to him to whom Allah had shown favor and to whom you had shown a favor: Keep your wife to yourself and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him. But when Zaid had accomplished his want of her, We gave her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished their want of them; and Allah's command shall be performed. There is no harm in the Prophet doing that which Allah has ordained for him; such has been the course of Allah with respect to those who have gone before; and the command of Allah is a decree that is made absolute: Sura 33:37-38
Note carefully what these references are actually saying. Muhammad was hiding within himself what Allah supposedly was to bring to light, namely that Muhammad was to marry his adopted son's wife. This means that even before the divorce occurred Allah had already caused Muhammad to desire a married woman and that it was Allah who caused Zaid to divorce his wife so that Muhammad could then marry her! Zeid and Zaynab were happily married and the only reason Zaid divorced her was that he knew that his father was consumed by lust for her. It is amazing that this wicked act committed by Mohammed is actually justified by Allah and is found in the Koran.