Origin of the Koran
by Lewis Loflin
What about revelation? Does Allah (the Arabic name for God) communicate with man? Why do Deists question the Koran or Bible or do we even believe in revelation at all? To quote Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason:
Revelation when applied to religion, means something communicated immediately from God to man. No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication if he pleases...It is a contradiction in terms and ideas to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication.
After this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner, for it was not a revelation made to me...When I am told that the Koran was written in Heaven, and brought to Mohammad by an angel, the account comes to near the same kind of hearsay evidence and second hand authority as the former. I did not see the angel myself, and therefore I have a right not to believe it...
While Mohammed at first seemed a decent man, he is still just a men. Not everything he ever said or did is always ordained by God/Allah. But assuming Muslim claims of Mohammed are true, he didn't write the Koran, and worse, there is nothing new but borrowed from other religions. Mohammad never wrote the Koran, it was assembled later by his followers from all kinds of notes and writings scattered around his residence. The Koran is an incoherent mess. It can't be read in chapters, many statements are disjointed jibberish. This is why they refer to the Hadiths and Sunnahs for Muslim Law or Sharia.
Collectively the Koran, Sunnahs, and Hadiths are 80 percent politics and ideology and 20 percent religion. And that ideology is fascist in that it all aspects of life personal and political are to be controlled by the Islamic state (there's no separation of religion and state) by whatever force is needed.
Nothing is known of Mohammed in his lifetime and the first written accounts were 120 years after his alleged death. This creates even larger problems than the Bible does for Jesus written decades after His death.
As Durant explains nearly everything Mohammed claimed that was brought to him by the Angel Gabriel could be taken from Talmud Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. There is nothing new at all. But the Prophet claimed the other scriptures had been corrupted, he as God's Messenger had come to correct it.
To me all have been corrupted through transmission and interpretation. I'm not claiming the Koran, Bible, or Torah are false, just to be careful with these things. Put reason at least on a par with revelation.
Deism for the most part relies on reason alone. Islam claims Christians and Jews corrupted Allah's teachings. Christians and Jews claim the same of each other. I claim all three are corrupted.
Ali Dashti (an Iranian rationalist) quoting his book Twenty-three Years on Mohammad and the Koran,
"contains nothing new in the sense of ideas not already expressed by others. All the moral precepts of the Koran are self-evident and generously acknowledged.
The stories in it are taken in identical or slightly modified forms from the lore of the Jews and Christians, whose rabbis and monks Muhammad had met and consulted on his journeys to Syria, and from memories conserved by the descendants of the peoples of Ad and Thamud...In the field of moral teachings, however, the Koran cannot be considered miraculous...
Many of the duties and rites of Islam are continuous practices which the pagan Arabs had adopted from the Jews."
Excerpts from Will Durant's The Age of Faith Pages 162-186 Pub. 1950
- Koran: Form by Will Durant
- The Sources of the Koran by Will Durant
- Mohammed in Mecca: 569-622 by Will Durant
- Mohammed in Medina: 622-30 by Will Durant
- Mohammed Victorious: 630-32 by Will Durant
He lived in Medina with its large Jewish population for eight years and that is where he picked up so much Judaism. He later turned on and murdered them. His wife Khadija's cousin Waraqab ibn Nawfal, "who knew the Scriptures of the Hebrews and the Christians" is where he also learned much about Judaism and Christianity. But even assuming the Koran does accurately reveal what Mohammed said, there are no originals and we can't be sure even of it that.
Mohammed was accused of fraud even in his own time, but anyone that questioned him in any manner were murdered. This brings up an important point. He was indeed it seemed a good man and honest at first.
He was loyal to his first wife Khadija and loved her very much. After her death he changed from a kind prophet and honest merchant to something else or so it seems. Every time he wanted a new wife, he had a convenient revelation from Allah. He broke treaties and had anyone that questioned him in any manner killed, etc.
To me these charges seem wrong. I think they were manufactured by later Muslims to justify their evil. These charges of fraud and altering texts aren't limited to the Koran, but also the Hadith and Sunna as well. Most of this history is drawn from the later writings, and I'm wary of it. I think a Muslim or even non-Muslim needs to view the Koran alone and not mix in other traditions.
But a few further words of caution on the Koran. First, it depicts the bloody civil wars of 7th century Arabia and are particular to that time. There is also proof of tampering in the Quran and questions of when it was finalized. Here is one I found: [30.2} The Romans are vanquished...
The only problem with this is the Romans were defeated at the Battle of Yarmouk and the Muslims entered Palestine in 637-8 five years after Mohammed's death. It clearly says the event happened in Mohammed's lifetime when it didn't.
Quoting Ibn Warraq, the earliest material on his (Mohammed) life that we possess was written by Ibn Ishaq in 750 C.E., in other words, a hundred twenty years after Muhammad's death. In this manner the Koran has the same problem as the Bible, being first an oral tradition, then written down by followers later.
Many of these followers were often converts and never knew the Prophet in person. (Same problem with Christians.) There is certainly elements of truth in the Bible and Koran is why the reader must be very careful in reading them. Some Deists often rejects all holy books in mass, which I believe is a mistake.
Muslims have disproportionately high rates of antisocial behavior, conduct disorder and violence. Because these deadly incidents are hidden under the guise of religion, little has been done to address the deviance-amplifying nature of Islamic Jihadi teachings...
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