[A], [B], [C]
This is the third and final installment in my rebuttal. Bravo continues:
After wasting our time with Thomas Carlyle, Sam decides to quote Noldeke, and this again exposes his hypocracy. Note the source he uses: "Ibn Warraq, Why I am not a Muslim" Ibn Warraq is an atheist! But of course, Sam can always hide behind the excuse that Warraq simply quotes Noldeke, that Sam is not quoting the words of Warraq. Noldeke was a German Orientalist. Again, he is not an authority on the Arabic language and most definately not an "Arabic grammarian"! The same goes for the next guy which Sam quotes, Richard Bell and Watt. In fact, the silly objections raised by these scholars have been answered in great detail in the following articles:
Grammatical Shift For The Rhetorical Purposes: Iltifât And Related Features In The Qur'ân by M A S Abdel Haleem
Sudden Changes In Person & Number: Neal Robinson On Iltifât
Bravo again is guilty of an ad hominem and of a genetic fallacy. Instead of dealing with the arguments, Bravo simply brushes them aside by attacking the authors' beliefs and backgrounds. It never seemed to dawn on Bravo that even atheists and Orientalists could speak the truth. As far as Noldeke, Bell and Watt are concerned, Bravo's claim that they are not authorities on the Arabic is simply nonsense. The fact that they are commenting on the ARABIC TEXT of the Quran indicates that they are quite familiar with Arabic grammar and syntax. Watt, along with M.V. McDonald, translated volume VI of The History of Al-Tabari, Muhammad at Mecca. How could he if he didn't know Arabic? This serves to expose Bravo's inability to deal with what these scholars have to say about the errors of the Quran, and so seeks to "poison the well" in order to prevent the readers from taking their claims seriously. But it won't work.
Interestingly, Bravo appeals to Neal Robinson, A NON-ARAB, to defend against the claims of Noldeke, Bell and Watt! Talk about hypocrisy!
Third, the following examples demonstrate the inadequacy of Haleem's and Robinson's attempts of explaining away the Quran's embarrassing grammatical structure:
Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He taketh care of all things. Vision comprehendeth Him not, but He comprehendeth (all) vision. He is the Subtile, the Aware. Proofs have come unto you from your Lord, so whoso seeth, it is for his own good, and whoso is blind is blind to his own hurt. And I am not a keeper over you. Thus do We display Our revelations that they may say (unto thee, Muhammad) : "Thou hast studied," and that We may make (it) clear for people who have knowledge." S. 6:102-105
Allah claims that he is not a keeper over man, implying that someone else is. That someone else must be God which means that either Allah is not God, or there is more than one God. Hence, the Quran is guilty of the sin of association, attributing the work and sustaining power of the Creator to someone other than Allah. Or worse still, the Quran might be suggesting that man has no keeper at all, implying that man must sustain himself!
"Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained? Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou of the waverers." S. 6:114
Here, Allah is asking whether he should seek some other judge besides Allah. Allah then shifts into the first person plural indicating that he is the one that revealed all the Scriptures.
"I am commanded only to serve the Lord of this land which He hath hallowed, and unto Whom all things belong. And I am commanded to be of those who surrender." S. 27:91
Again, Allah claims that he is commanded to worship the Lord of the land.
"We come not down save by commandment of thy Lord. Unto Him belongeth all that is before us and all that is behind us and all that is between those two, and thy Lord was never forgetful." S. 19:64
We have Allah only coming down at the command of Muhammad's Lord.
"Lo! verily, ye and that which ye worship, Ye cannot excite (anyone) against Him. Save him who is to burn in hell. There is not one of Us but hath his known position. Lo! We, even We are they who set the ranks, Lo! We, even We are They who hymn His praise." S. 37:161-166
This passage has Allah acknowledging his subjection and praise to another. Again:
"By no means! For We have created them out of the (base matter) they know! Now I do call to witness THE LORD OF ALL POINTS IN THE EAST AND THE WEST that WE can certainly Substitute for them better (men) than they; And WE are not to be defeated (in Our Plan)." S. 70:39-41
The Creator here swears by the Lord of all the points of the East and West. There is no break in the text to indicate that someone else is interspersing his comments with the words of the Creator. This means that there is more than one Lord and that Allah actually swears by this other Lord!
And as the final example ponder:
"Surely WE have truly sent THEE (Muhammad) as a witness, good tidings to bear, and warning, that YOU (Muhammad or Believers?!) may believe in God and HIS MESSENGER and succour HIM (Muhammad?!), and honor HIM (Muhammad?!), and that you may give Him (God or Muhammad?!) glory at the dawn and in evening." S. 48:8-9
The late Christian writer 'Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi writes:
"This sentence is disrupted because of a sudden shift from addressing Muhammad to addressing other people. Apart from this, the accusative pronoun in succour Him, and reverence Him refers, beyond doubt, to Muhammad, who was mentioned earlier, not to God as the English translator understood it. But give Him glory refers to God. The entire verse is chaotic. The reader cannot be expected to understand its true meaning from the arrangement of words. It is kufr (unbelief) to say succour Him, and reverence Him, and that you may give Him glory at the dawn and in the evening about Muhammad, since glory should be given to God alone. It is also kufr to make such a statement with reference to God, since God almighty is not in need for succour or help!" (Is the Qur'an Infallible? [Light of Life, PO Box 13, A-9503 Villach, Austria], pp. 182-183)
These passages should expose the nonsense in the Muslim explanations of these grammatical absurdities. One Muslim who acknowledges the inherent problem with these grammatical shifts is Farid Esack:
... This poses difficulties for those engaged in critical scholarship and these texts have been invoked IN SUPPORT OF THE NOTION THAT THE QUR'AN IS NOT ENTIRELY THE PRODUCT IF [sic] A SINGLE ENTITY. There are also several cases where the speaker alternates between singular and plural forms adding to the notion THAT THE QUR'AN WAS COMPILED IN AN INCOHERENT MANNER ...
Besides God, though, numerous ayat suggest that the Angels or the Prophet himself are the direct speakers AND IT IS ONLY THE INTERPOLATIONS OF TRANSLATORS OR THE COMMENTS OF THE EXEGETES THAT SUGGEST OTHERWISE. Ayat such as 19.64-65, for example, if read WITHOUT INTERPOLATION of the translator, clearly suggest that the Angels are the speakers...
In a few ayat, such as 27:91, the obvious speaker seem to be the Prophet and then a sudden switch occurs when he becomes the one being addressed ...
The fact that these ayat are often characterized BY A LATER ADDITION OF "SAY" (qul) suggests that the entire section MAY HAVE BEEN [Sam- In other words, pure conjecture] preceded by the unarticulated instruction "say". Muslims have always understood it in this manner. In other words, the fact that they are the direct words of the Prophet or of the Angels does not detract from the other-worldliness of the Qur'an. They were merely repeating words that in the first instance came from God. (The Qur'an - A Short Introduction, Oneworld Publications, Oxford 2002, pp. 74-75; bold and capital emphasis mine)
One wonders if these verses do not distract from the Quran's otherworldliness, then why bother giving an explanation in the first place?
So we see that this missionary has not quoted to us a single authority on the Arabic language. As for Noldeke, Watt and Bell, who are no authorities on the Arabic language, but nevertheless scholars, then their objections have already been responded to and answered in great detail in the above articles. Since this missionary has not bothered to quote us a single authority on the Arabic language, I thought why not quote some so that we can see what he is trying to hide.
Correction. I have alluded to several authorities on the Arabic, which Bravo has tried to brush aside by attacking their characters. Note that Bravo has to begrudgingly admit that Noldeke, Watt and Bell are indeed scholars. But scholars in what? You guessed it, Arabic and Islamic studies.
Furthermore, notice that Bravo will now quote certain authors who are not Arabs. Talk about hypocrisy! We have to say, quadruple shame on you Johnny.
I will omit most of Bravo's quotes since NONE of the citations claim that the Quran contains no grammatical mistakes. The citations simply highlight the eloquence and beauty of the Quran, something which I have never denied. Bravo seems to think that by citing authors that claim that the Quran is eloquent or an Arabic masterpiece will somehow prove that the Quran contains no grammatical mistakes. Bravo is guilty of building up a straw man and commiting the fallacy of non-sequitur.
As I will show below, the Quran contains several grammatical errors. I will also interact with the Muslim responses to these grammatical mistakes.
The Quran was revealed at a time when the Arabic language was at its most eloquence. The Quran issued numerous challanges to the pagans to produce 3 lines like it, but they all failed misrebly! Br. Abdurraheem Green, during his 1993 debate with missionary Joseph Smith, mentioned:
These are the sixteen al-Bihâr (literally "The Seas", so called because of the way the poem moves, according to its rhythmic patterns): at-Tawîl, al-Bassit, al-Wâfir, al-Kamîl, ar-Rajs, al-Khafîf, al-Hazaj, al-Muttakarib, al-Munsarih, al-Muktatab, al-Muktadarak, al-Madîd, al-Mujtath, al-Ramel, al-Khabab and as-Saria'. So the challenge is to produce in Arabic, three lines, that do not fall into one of these sixteen Bihâr, that is not rhyming prose, nor like the speech of soothsayers, and not normal speech, that it should contain at least a comprehensible meaning and rhetoric, i.e. not gobbledygook. Now I think at least the Christian's "Holy spirit" that makes you talk in tongues, part of your "Tri-Unity" of God should be able to inspire one of you with that!
The Quran's form did not fit into any of the above mentioned categories. It was this that made the Quran inimitable, and left the pagan Arabs at a loss as to how they might combat it as Alqama bin Abd al-Manaf confirmed when he addressed their leaders, the Quraysh:
Bravo commits the fallacy of begging the question, also known as circular reasoning. He has to assume his position in order to prove it. For example, how does he know that the Quran does not fall under the 16 categories of Al-Bihar? Because the Quran and Muslims deny that it falls under any one of these categories. Yet since we are debating the credibility of the Quran, Bravo cannot then appeal either to the Quran or Islam for proof.
Other scholars do not agree with the Quran's assessment of itself, nor did those who first heard it. The Quran testifies that many of the unbelievers claimed that it was nothing more than the work of a soothsayer or possessed poet and was simply a collection of ancient fables:
Of them there are some who (pretend to) listen to thee; but We have thrown veils on their hearts, So they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; if they saw every one of the Signs, they will not believe in them; in so much that when they come to thee, they (but) dispute with thee; the Unbelievers say: "These are nothing but TALES OF ANCIENTS." S. 6:25
"Do they not reflect? Their companion is not seized with madness: he is but a perspicuous warner." S. 7:184
When Our Signs are rehearsed to them, they say: "We have heard this (before): if we wished, we could say (words) like these: these are nothing but TALES OF ANCIENTS." S. 8:31
They say: "O thou to whom the Message is being revealed! truly thou art mad (or possessed)! "Why bringest thou not angels to us if it be that thou hast the Truth?" S. 15:6-7
When it is said to them, "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say, "TALES OF ANCIENTS!" S. 16:24
We know best what it is they listen, when they listen to thee; and when they meet in private, behold, the wicked say, "Ye follow none other than a man bewitched!" S. 17:47
"Nay," they say, "(these are) medleys of dream! - Nay, he forged it! - Nay, he is (but) a poet! Let him then bring us a Sign like the ones that were sent to (Prophets) of old!" S. 21:5
"Such things have been promised to us and to our fathers before! they are nothing but TALES OF ANCIENTS!" S. 23:83
And they say: "TALES OF ANCIENTS, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening." S. 25:5
"It is true we were promised this,- we and our fathers before (us): these are nothing but TALES OF ANCIENTS." S. 27:68
And say: "What! Shall we give up our gods for the sake of a Poet possessed?" S. 37:36
But (there is one) who says to his parents, "Fie on you! Do ye hold out the promise to me that I shall be raised up, even though generations have passed before me (without rising again)?" And they two seek Allah's aid, (and rebuke the son): "Woe to thee! Have faith! For the promise of Allah is true." But he says, "This is nothing but TALES OF ANCIENTS!" S. 46:17
Therefore remind: for by the Grace of thy Lord, thou art no soothsayer, nor possessed. Or do they say:- "A Poet! We await for him some calamity (hatched) by Time!" S. 52:29-30
"Thou art not, by the Grace of thy Lord, mad or possessed." S. 68:2
When to him are rehearsed Our Signs, "TALES OF ANCIENTS", he cries! S. 68:15
And the Unbelievers would almost trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the Message; and they say: "Surely he is possessed!" S. 68:51
It is not the word of a poet: little it is ye believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little admonition it is ye receive. S. 69:41-42
"And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed;" S. 81:22
When Our Signs are rehearsed to him, he says, "TALES OF ANCIENTS!" S. 83:15
That the Quran denies the unbelievers' accusations is not the same as proving that their accusations are false. The evidence thus far proves that the unbelievers were right.
Scholars that concur with the unbelievers' assessment include F L Beeston, T M Johnstone, R B Serjeant and G R Smith:
The Qur'an is written throughout in rhyming prose (saj'), and appears therefore, to a greater or lesser extent, artistically constructed and strongly rhetorical in comparison with ordinary prose. The individual parts of a sentence, the sentence or combination of sentences which end with a rhyme and are called verses (ayah, plural ayat) follow the rhyme scheme a-a, b-b, c-c. The same rhyme is repeated not only once but as often as the author pleases, e.g. a-a-a, b-b, c-c-c-c (surah ci). Short surahs sometimes have only one rhyme. Ideally, as in the earliest surahs, the rhymes follow in rapid succession at fairly equal intervals; this also seems to have been the case with the rhymes of the ancient Arabic soothsayers. (Presumably the Prophet in fact adopted the alternation of short rhyme sequences from the practice of these soothsayers...). In the surahs from the latter years of Muhammad's career the verses lengthen increasingly, and the rhymes no longer have the effect of rhetorically enlivening elements, but sound monotonous and often forced, as though they have been added later. (Beeston, Johnstone, Serjeant and Smith, editors, Arabic Literature To The End Of The Ummayad Period, [Cambridge University Press, 1983], pp. 196-197; bold italic emphasis mine)
A large number of early pronouncements in the Qur'an are introduced by strange oaths, or rather asseverations, a stylistic device which Muhammad in all probability copied from the old Arabic soothsayers. (Ibid., p. 198)
H.A.R. Gibb wrote:
In the earliest period of his preaching Mohammed's utterances were delivered in a sinewy oracular style cast into short rhymed phrases, often obscure and sometimes preceded by one or more formal oaths. This style is admittedly that of the ancient kahins or Arabian oracle-mongers, and it is not surprising that Mohammed's opponents should have charged him with being just another such kahin. For this and other reasons his style gradually loosened out into a simpler but still rhetorical prose; and as social denunciations and eschatological visions passed into historical narrative, and that in turn at Medina into legislation and topical addresses, little was left of its original stylistic features but a loose rhyme or assonance marking the end of each verse, now anything from ten to sixty words long. (Gibb, Mohammedanism; an historical survey [Oxford University Press, London, New York, 1953] p. 36; bold emphasis mine) (Source)
Lest Bravo object to our use of these scholars, we only need to remind him that these are the same individuals that his buddies at Islamic Awareness appealed to in their article regarding the Quran's inimitability:
Amazingly, there were actual Muslim leaders that did not believe in the inspiration of the Qur'an. Caliph Alwalid ibn Yazid, who ruled in the year 743 A.D. said:
Not everyone agrees that the Qur'an is the Word of God. Caliph Alwalid ibn Yazid, who ruled in the year 743 A.D. said:
Muhammad the Hashemite manipulated people by his claim that he was a prophet, without true inspiration or an inspired book. (The Islamic Caliphate, p. 59)
Caliph Abd Al-Malik ibn Marwan, who was a scholar of the Qur'an, after becoming the Caliph, folded the Qur'an and said:
"this is the last time I will ever use you." (The Islamic Caliphate, p. 173)
Finally, Bravo fails to inform his readers that the Quran also defends the inimitability of the Torah:
"But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses? Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: TWO KINDS OF SORCERY, EACH ASSISTING THE OTHER! And they say: For us, we reject all (such things)! Say: THEN BRING YE A BOOK FROM ALLAH, WHICH IS A BETTER GUIDE THAN EITHER OF THEM, that I may follow it! (Do), if ye are truthful!" S. 28:48-49
This passage states that the Torah, like the Quran, cannot be matched. This implies that Muhammad believed that the Torah of his day was equal in power and beauty to his Quran. That this passage is referring to the Torah is something which Muslims like Ibn Kathir readily admit:
<Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!>
Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that this refers to THE TAWRAH and the Qur'an, because Allah says next ...
<Say: "Then bring a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than these two that I may follow it.">
Allah often mentions the Tawrah and the Qur'an together, as in the Ayat ...
<Say: "Who then sent down the Book which Musa brought, a light and a guidance to mankind…"> until ...
<And this is a blessed Book which We have sent down.> (6:91-92)
And at the end of the same Surah, Allah says ...
<Then, We gave Musa the Book, to complete (Our favor) upon those who would do right> (6:154) ...
<And this is a blessed Book which We have sent down, so follow it and have Taqwa of Allah, that you may receive mercy> (6:155).
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Volume 7 (Surat An-Nur to Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 50), Abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; August 2000, first edition], p. 418; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Here is where Muhammad was wrong. The Torah is vastly superior to the Quran in every way, being the very revealed word of God whereas the Quran is not. In light of this verse, I now challenge Bravo to produce a book better than the Torah.
Now to respond to some more extremely silly comments made by this missionary:
Muslims claim that Muhammad had nothing to do with the revelation of the Quran, but simply conveyed its message to others and caused it to be written.
Muhammed(P) was the messenger of Allah, the Quran was revealed to him(P) and he ordered the scribes to write in down in his presence. Not only that, the Quran was memorised completely by the Sahabis (Companions).
We need to correct Bravo's lie that the Quran was completely memorized by the Companions. The fact of the matter is that the Companions were not in agreement over the exact number of chapters and verses in the Quran, or the precise reading of specific passages as the following links document: , , .
Hence, neither memorization nor written material managed to preserve the Quran in its exact form. I omit Bravo's explanation of the Preserved Tablet.
Thus far we have come accross a lot of ridiculous statements by this missionary, but I believe the following statement by him topis the list of his most ridiculous comment:
This means that Allah is to be blamed for all these grammatical mistakes, further implying that Allah is unable to speak Arabic correctly!
To begin with, this missionary has not presented to us a single example of an alleged grammatical error in the Quran. Furthermore, even though he claims he is quoting "Arabic grammarians", he has miserably failed to quote a single one to us thus far! Thereofre he is making arguments from the silence, he is just making one ridiculous comment after another without even bothering to back them up with some proof and evidence. The Quran does not contain any grammatical error. The Arabic grammar is based on the Quran! So to say that the Quran contradicts grammar or has grammatical errors is simply laughably ridiculous, as that would be anachronism on part of the missionary! Some Christian missionaries a while ago claimed there are grammatical errors in the Quran, but all those who know Arabic had a very good laugh at those downright ridiculous missionary claims. Here are the refutations to this silly missionary polemic:
Refutation by Mohammad Ghoniem: http://www.angelfire.com/mo/Alborhaan/Gram.html
Investigating Islam website: http://www.islamic.org.uk/grammar.html
Refutation by the Learner: http://www.brain.net.pk/~dsera/Geitq.htm
M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, Grammatical Shift For The Rhetorical Purposes: Iltifât And Related Features In The Qur'ân by
To quote from "The Learner's" article:
Thus, all the grammarians and other linguists of the Arabic language, without exception have accepted the Qur'an as a source of grammar and other linguistic sciences of the Arabic language. It is because of this reason that such well known grammarians and linguists as Al-Siibwayh, Al-Dhamakhshari, Ibn Hisham, Malik, Al-Akhfash, Al-Kasai, Al-Farazdaq, Al-Farra', Khalil, Al-Farahidi and innumerable others, while stating a particular grammatical or linguistic rule present wherever possible, as evidence supporting their claim not only poetical but also Qur'anic verses. It would be accurate to say that for them -- the fathers and founders of the compiled Arabic Grammar -- the Qur'an has always been the most dependable source for their work. All that is required to appreciate the importance that these people give to the Qur'an is to have a look at their works.
First, Bravo accuses me of not providing any examples of grammatical errors, while failing to provide a single example from the NT to support his claim that it is written in "Bad Greek." The word "hypocrite" comes to mind.
Second, here is the link that I promised: that article responds to Bravo's alleged "rebuttals" of the Quran's grammatical mistakes.
This link documents the lies and the deceptions made by Muslims in order to hide the grammatical errors of the Quran. Other responses include: , , , , .
These articles sufficiently refute Bravo's links and their alleged "responses" to the Quran's grammatical errors.
Third, since Bravo asks for grammatical mistakes I will now oblige his request. The following list of errors is taken and modified from Abdallah Abd al-Fadi's book Is the Qur'an Infallible, pp. 171-185 unless noted otherwise.
1. A Nominative Noun That Should Have Been Accusative
S. 5:69 reads: "Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Sabeans (Saabiuuna)..."
The word Sabeans has been wrongly declined. It should have been rendered in the accusative (Saabi'iina) like the rest of the nouns due to the word "Inna" which precedes it. Elsewhere, the author of the Quran got it right:
Those who believe (in the Qurán), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians (Saabi'iina),- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. S. 2:62
Those who believe (in the Qurán), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians (Saabi'iina), Christians, Magians, and Polytheists,- Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment: for Allah is witness of all things. S. 22:17
The Muslims have tried to respond to this grammatical mistake. One such response comes from the Learner:
As is clear from the above argument, the author has tried to establish that the two verses of the Qur'an: 2: 62 and 22: 17, are themselves an evidence that the word in the above verse should have been "Saabi'iina" rather than "saabi'uuna". The author, by quoting the two verses (2: 62 and 22: 17) has at least recognized the fact that whoever authored the Qur'an was not unaware of the "correct" declension of the word "saabi'uuna". But even after recognizing this fact, the author finds no option but to submit that such a deviation, of even someone who is fully aware of the general rule has to be called an "Error".
The most well known and acknowledged Grammarians of the Arabic language were also faced with the same situation. But they dealt with it differently and thus, drew a different conclusion. After looking at the Qur'an, they felt that there could be no doubting the fact that the author of the Qur'an was fully aware of the general rules of the language (and most certainly that of the declension of nouns after "inna"). Then they were also faced with the verse 5: 69. Now, rather than finding the easier way out by calling the deviation from the general rule an "Error", the Grammarians, on the presumption that a "person" as knowledgeable as the author of the Qur'an, could not commit such a trivial mistake in a book as important and as significant as the Qur'an, started looking for such deviations in other sources of the Arabic literature and grammar.... and found them. They collected all such deviations and tried to analyze them. They drew their conclusions and were thus now in a position to safely say that such deviations in the Qur'an were not "errors". No doubt, these were deviations from the normal usage, but such deviation could not be called "errors".
Thus, al-Dhmakhsharii in his commentary on the Qur'an, under the referred verse has alluded to a verse of one of the pre-Islamic poets. The alluded verse reads as follows:
the part "anna wa antum" of this verse, as per the argument presented by the author of the article, should have read "anna wa iyya kum", but we can see that there is a deviation here from the generally followed rule. This is adequate evidence that such deviations cannot be termed as "Grammatical Errors". As far as the meaning added by such a deviation is concerned, it is not a point of "Grammar" or "Grammatical Errors" and therefore, we leave it out of the folds of our discussion here.
The argument above, substantiates the fact that such deviations were and are known to be existent in the works of, at least the poets of the pre-Islamic era, and therefore cannot and could not have been termed as errors by anyone well versed with the language and its literature. It is thus difficult to accept that `Ayesha (RA) could have missed the existence of such deviations in the Arabic literature. Furthermore, even if someone as knowledgeable of Arabic literature as `Ayesha, could have missed such deviations, it is unlikely that even all the Arabs who heard `Ayesha's (RA) words could be so ignorant of their language that they did not correct her.
We are at least thankful that the Learner DOES ADMIT that the declension of Sabeans in S. 5:69 IS A DEVIATION from the known grammatical rule, even though he tries to justify this error by appealing to examples from other Arabic literature where similar deviations exist. All this simply proves is that both the Quran and these other sources are in error. It doesn't justify the error within the Quran. Furthermore, the Learner's claim that this deviation cannot be termed a grammatical error is purely wishful thinking, SINCE IT WAS THE MUSLIMS SUCH AS AISHA THAT DISCOVERED THE ERROR IN THE FIRST PLACE. Yet how could they have claimed that this was an error if the Learner's assertion that such deviations cannot be considered an error is correct? It seems that the Muslims such as Aisha weren't aware of the Learner's "rule."
Finally, the Learner doesn't explain why the author of the Quran correctly declined the term Sabeans in S. 2:62 and 22:17, but failed to do so in 5:69. What was the reason for this deviation especially when the author was aware of the correct declension of the term Sabeans when it follows the word "Inna"? The only explanation that makes sense is that the author of the Quran was an imperfect, fallible being who could make mistakes and did even though he mostly spoke correct Arabic. Just as most of us mostly speak our language correctly and still make mistakes occasionally. It is only the Learner's and Bravo's presupposition that the Quran is God's Word which precludes them from even seriously considering such an explanation. Take away that presupposition, and it becomes easy to see how such a mistake could have arisen.
2. The Subject Is Incorrectly Accusative
We are told in S. 2:124, "My covenant shall not reach the evildoers."
'Abd Al-Fadi writes:
This wrong and awkward translation is in fact a result of an unbelievable grammatical mistake in the Arabic Qur'an. The Qur'an meant to say, "The evildoers shall not attain to My covenant," but since the word ["the evildoers"] appears in the accusative rather than the correct nominative, the translator ended up saying that the covenant does not reach the evildoers, an image that is very foreign to the Arabic mind. In fact, the Qur'an should have said al-zalimun, and the problem would have been solved!
3. A Feminine Subject with a Masculine Predicate
"Surely the mercy of God is nigh ..." S. 7:56
Here is 'Abd Al-Fadi:
In this verse, the Arabic for "nigh" is qaribun. This predicate is masculine while the subject rahmah ("mercy") is feminine. Had the Qur'an preserved the agreement between the subject and the predicate, it would say, qaribatun.
One Muslim writer indirectly acknowledges that the word for mercy is wrongly declined here, but tries to justify the wrong use of the masculine on the basis that mercy refers to Muhammad!
"And My Mercy embraceth all things, therefore I shall ordain It for those who ward off (evil) and pay the poor due, and those who believe Our revelations" (7:156); and He said "truly the Mercy of Allah is near those who do good": "Inna rahmat Allahi qaribun min al-muhsinin" (7:56) without putting qaribun in the feminine (qaribatun) although rahma is feminine, because in reality that rahma is the Prophet (SAWS), as explicited in the verse: "wa ma arsalnaka illa rahmatan lil-`alamin": "And We did not send you (Muhammad) except as a Mercy to the worlds" (21:107); (G.F. Haddad, The Prophetic Title: "Best of Creation")
4. Wrong Gender and Incorrect Use of Plural
"And We cut them up into twelve tribes, nations." S. 7:160
The Arabic rendering of this verse reads: "Wa qatta'nahum ithnatay ashrata asbatan." There are two grammatical errors in this sentence; the first is the feminine number ithnatay ashrata, and the second is the plural noun asbatan. The word "tribe" is masculine and requires a masculine number; also a noun used in conjunction with a number above ten should be singular. Therefore the Qur'an should have said: "ithnay ashra sibtan."
5. An Incorrect Plural Verb and Pronoun
"These are two disputants who have disputed concerning their Lord." S. 22:19
This sentence reads in Arabic: "Hadsan khasman ikhtasamu fi rabbihim." The verb ikhtasamu ("disputed") is plural, and the possessive pronoun in the word rabbihim refers also to a plural antecedent. The Qur'an ought to have attached a dual ending to the verb and a dual possessive pronoun to the word rabb. The sentence should be: "Hadsan khasman ikhtasama fi rabbihima."
6. A Relative Pronoun in a Wrong Singular Form
S. 9:69 reads: "You have plunged as they have plunged."
Again, here is 'Abd Al-Fadi:
The Arabic pronoun alladhi, unlike our English "who" or "that", is subject to declension. That means it does not remain the same with every noun it refers to. It can receive a plural or a dual ending. The word "as" in this verse is actually the translation of the relative pronoun alladhi in the singular form. It should have been in the plural form since it refers to a plural pronoun. Thus the Arabic should read: "Khudhtum kalladhina (instead of alladhi) khadhu."
7. A Plural Pronoun Refers to a Singular Antecedent
"The likeness of them is as the likeness a man who has kindled a fire, and when it lit all about him God took away their light." S. 2:17
The Quran ought to have attached a singular possessive pronoun to the singular antecedent "man". Thus the verse should read: "... a man who has kindled a fire... God took away his light."
8. Accusative Instead of Nominative
In S. 4:162 we read:
"But those of them that are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers believing in what has been sent down to thee, and what was sent down before thee, that perform the prayer and pay alms, and those who believe in God and the Last Day - them We shall surely give a mighty wage."
'Abd Al-Fadi claims:
The Arabic word for "perform the prayer" is al-muqimina. The word is put in the accusative for no legitimate reason. It should have been al-muqimuna, for it is added to the nominative words tat preceded it, namely al-rasikhuna and al-mu'minuna, and should agree also with the nominative ones coming after it, namely al-mu'tuna and al-mu'minuna.
9. Governed Genetive Noun Is Accusative
"But if We let him taste prosperity after hardship that has visited him, he will say, The evils have gone from me; behold he is joyous, boastful." S. 11:10
In Arabic, nouns coming after ba'da (meaning "after") are supposed to be in an idafa construct (addition construct), and should have a kasra (an i vowel) at the end as a case indicator if they are singular or feminine. But in this verse the word dharra'a that comes after ba'da has a fatha (an a vowel) instead, as though the word is accusative! The word should have been spelled darra'i.
10. An Incorrect Plural of Multitude
S. 2:80 reads: "The fire shall not touch us save a number of days."
'Abd Al-Fadi notes:
The Arabic reads: "... illa ayyaman ma'duda." In the Arabic language there is a feature that is unique, namely the plural of multitude (which refers to great number of things or people) and the plural of paucity (which refers to a small number of things or people). The words in this verse were uttered by common folk who wanted to say that the days of their chastisement were numbered and few. Therefore the Qur'an should have used ma'dudat, which is the plural of paucity, rather than ma'duda, which is a plural of multitude.
11. A Wrong Plural Ending
"So also Elias was among those sent (by Us) ... Peace and salutation to such as Elias!" S. 37:123, 130
'Abd Al-Fadi writes:
The Arabic Qur'an has two spellings for Elias in this passage. The one in the beginning of the quotation is Ilyas, while the other is Ilyasin, as if it were plural! In fact the author of the Quran was so fond of rhyme that he often sacrificed the rules of grammar for the sake of it. He said in Sura al-Tin 95:1-3: "By the fig and the olive and the Mount Sinai and this land secure." In Arabic, he changed the word Sinai (sina') to its plural form (sinin) for the same reason!
12. A Diptote Receives the Nunnation
We read in S. 76:15: "And there shall be passed around vessels of silver, and goblets of crystal."
Again 'Abd Al-Fadi:
The Arabic word qawariran which was translated as "crystal" is in fact a diptote; that is, it has two cases only and cannot receive the final n that distinguishes the triptotes. But the Qur'an seems to have been unaware of this grammatical rule, or rather to have done violence to it, to maintain the rhyme!
The same error occurs in verse 4 of the same sura (al-Insan), where we read: "Surely We have prepared for the unbelievers chains, fetters, and a Blaze." Here the Arabic word for chains (salasilan) is given a final n in violation of the same rule.
13. A Singular Pronoun Instead of a Dual One
"But God and His Messenger - more right is it they should please Him." S. 9:62
Why wasn't the pronoun referring to God put in the dual form, since in this verse both God and the Messenger are to be pleased?
14. A Plural Noun Used in Place of a Dual One
"If you two repent to God, yet your hearts are inclined." S. 66:4
Al-Baidawi says that Hafsa and Aisha were being addressed with this verse. But in spite of this, the Arabic for "your hearts" (qulubukuma) is in the plural form! Can two people have more than two hearts?
15. Chaotic Structure Leads to a Confusion in Meaning
"Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)," S. 24:33 A.Y. Ali
"... Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful." Pickthall
"... and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world's life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." Shakir
Ali Dashti brings out the problem with the structure of this verse:
A humane and salutary injunction in verse 33 of sura 24 (on-Nur) shows that a cruel and immoral abuse was practiced at that time ... Obviously the verse prohibits the vile practice of slave-owners who prostituted female slaves and pocketed their proceeds, and no less obviously the words "God, after their coercion, is forgiving and merciful" mean that God pardons slave-girls for having unwillingly committed fornication. The outward form of the words, however, is such that they can be taken to mean that God is forgiving and compassionate to men who prostitue their female slaves. The sentence IS VAGUE and does not adequately express the humane intention. (Dashti, p. 50)
The final error includes S. 20:63:
"These two are certainly magicians"Inna haazaani la-saahiraani.
According to the rules of grammar, haazaani should have been haazayn due to the word "Inna". Some Muslims have responded by claiming that the Quran doesn't say "Inna" but rather "Inn." (see Bravo's links to the responses of the Learner and Mohammad Ghoniem)
Yet these Muslim authors fail to inform their readers that many Muslim scholars read "Inna", not "Inn", as Newton has shown in his response.
For instance, Newton documents that Al-Tabari read it as "Inna":
4. My fourth piece of evidence that it was "inna" comes from the commentry of Imam Tabari (224-310 H). This is the mother of all commentries and the earliest and closest to the source. Tabari wrote: "qad ikhtalafat al-qorra' fi qera'at qawlehi "inna hazani lasaherani" faqara'at-ho 'aamat qorra' al-'amsar inna hazani betashdeed inna wa bel-'alef fi hazani..." The readers differed in the reading (recitation) of inna hazani lasaherani. The masses of readers everywhere read it "inna hazani" by stressing the "n" in "inna" and by the "a" sound in haz-a-ni... According to Tabari's statement "inna" almoshadadah is the famous reading as Razi stated earlier. And remember Tabari was also aware of the reading of "in". Yet his statement is clear: "the populace of readers read it as "inna".
But that is not all. Tabari continues:
"Qal abu Ja'far wa as-sawab min al-qera'eati fi zaleka 'endana inna betashdeed nouneha wa hazani bel-'alef le'ijmaa' al-hojja min al-qorraa' 'aliah wa 'innahu kazalik howa fi khat al-Mus-haf." "Abu Ga'far said, 'the correct reading in our opinion is "inna" with stressed "n" [you can actually see the shaddah over the "n" in the text] and "hazani" with the "a" sound of "haz-a-ni" because of the consensus of the authoritative proof from the readers on that reading and that it is so written in the Mus-haf." Here is a testimony before the year 310 H that the famous (mashour) reading is "inna hazani". And that IT IS SO WRITTEN IN THE MUS-HAF. If it were not written so in the Mus-haf, Imam Tabari would have denied such testimony and corrected it as you did mine when I wrote "inna" but it is written "in" in the Masahef now.
Interestingly, Muhammad's wife Aisha also read it as "Inna":
Some of the above errors are not a new discovery by modern critics. They were known from the first century of Islam by the closest followers of Mohammad. It is reported that 'Uthman, after viewing the first standared copy of the Qur'an, said, I see grammatical errors in it, and the Arabs will read it correctly with their tongues. The Muslim scholar Ibn al-Khatib who quoted the above report in his book al-Furqan, went on to mention another report on the authority of 'Aa'isha, one of Mohammad's wives, saying, There are three grammatical errors in the Book of Allah, they are the fault of the scribe:
"Qaaluuu inna haazaani la-saahiraani..."
And in 5:69 ... (Source)
Hence, these Muslim citations prove that the reading found in today's Quran is a corrupt rendering, since the evidence indicates that the first Muslims read it as "Inna", not "Inn." This provides additional proof that the Quran has been tampered with, presumably to conceal its grammatical mistakes!
Ali Dashti writes:
In verse 66 of sura 20 (Taha), where Pharaoh's people say of Moses and his broter Aaron "These two are sorcerers", the word for "these two" (hadhane) is in the nominative case, whereas it ought to be in the accusative case (hadhayne) because it comes after an introductory particle of emphasis. 'Othman and 'A'esha are reported to have read as hadhayne. The comment of a Moslem scholar illustrates the fanaticism and intellectual ossification OF LATER TIMES: "Since in the unanimous opinion of the Moslem the pages bound in this volume and called the Qor'an are God's word, an since there can be no error in God's word, the report that 'Othman and 'A'esha read hadhayne instead of hadhane is wicked and false." The Tafsir ol-Jalalayn more temperately pretends that the dual suffix MAY BE ane in all three cases and does not have to be ayne in the accusative and genitive. Yet the great early Qor'an scholar and philologist Abu 'Amr b. ol-'Ala (d. ca. 154/770) read hadhayne, as 'Othman and 'A'esha had done. (Dashti, pp. 49-50)
Dashti's comments only demonstrate the all too great willingness on the part of Muslims to use deceptive exegesis, make up desperate grammatical hypotheses and/or corrupt the text in order to save the Quran from errors.
The Learner has tried to respond to the traditions regarding Uthman's and Aisha's admission that the Quran has grammatical errors:
The Saying Ascribed to `Uthman
The first among these narratives is ascribed to `Uthman (ra). According to this narrative, `Uthman is reported to have said that he could see (a few/many?) mistakes in the official standardized copy of the Qur'an, but was of the opinion that because the Arabs shall have no difficulty in finding these errors - appreciating them as "errors" - and shall be in a position to correct them, themselves, he, therefore, did not give such "errors" much importance.
Now, the first thing about this tradition is that even if we accept that the later generations were not aware of these errors (because of any reason), still it relates to a matter that concerns not a few but all the Muslims that were present during `Uthman's (ra) time. It thus relates to a matter, which, if it had really happened, should have been reported, not by one, two or a few people, but by hundreds and thousands of people. It should have become as well known a fact as, for instance the existence of a person called `Uthman is, but as we see, that is not the case. According to one of the principles of some of the Jurists, especially Abu Hanifah, if one, two, three or a few people report an incident that should logically be reported by hundreds or thousands of people, such traditions shall not be accepted. To understand this concept, let us consider an example of our everyday life. If someone declares that an earthquake in a neighboring country has killed thousands of people and that "someone" is the only person giving such a news, none of the newspapers or any other of the well known communication media is giving such a news, every reasonable person shall reject such a news on the same principle. Obviously, something as big, as significant and as well known cannot be accepted on the basis of a report of one, two or just a few people.
Furthermore, looking at this narrative closely, we are faced with another very serious question. If `Uthman (ra) had really known that there were mistakes in the text of the Qur'an, why did he not correct them immediately. It is generally believed that in his effort to standardize the reading of the Qur'an and to disseminate the official copy of the Qur'an, `Uthman ordered the burning of all the other copies of the Qur'an, which were in circulation at that time. If `Uthman could, as is generally believed, destroy all the copies of the Qur'an once, for the purpose of standardization, then why could he not do it a second time, for the purpose of correction? Obviously, the tradition does not answer this question. This simple, unanswered question leaves the tradition inconsistent with common sense. According to another one of the principles laid down by the Muhaddithin (the scholars of the Prophet's traditions), if a tradition is inconsistent with common sense, it shall not be accepted.
Then again, according to the cited narrative, `Uthman ignored the so-called 'mistakes' and 'errors' because he thought that the Arabs would have no problems in recognizing these 'errors' and, consequently, making emends in them. However, this narrative completely ignores the point that the original idea of the `Uthmanic compilation of the Qur'an - if it ever actually took place - was to standardize the style of writing and the recitation of the Qur'anic text, for the very purpose of making it possible for the newly conquered non-Arab territories (and peoples) to be able to read the Qur'anic text in a standardized manner. It seems quite ridiculous that even though the whole exercise of standardizing the Qur'an was undertaken for the purpose of making it easier for the newly converted non-Arabs to read the Qur'anic text in a standardized manner, yet the so-called 'errors' and 'mistakes' were so easily ignored on the presumption that the 'Arabs would have no problems in recognizing these errors'. The whole incident reported in the cited narrative is, obviously, an unfounded concoction of someone, whose intention were only to create doubts about the Qur'anic text in the minds of the subsequent generations.
Moreover, this tradition ascribed to `Uthman very seriously questions the correctness of the verbal tradition of the Qur'an. It, therefore, can be termed as a tradition against the Qur'an. Thus, according to yet another one of the principles laid down by the Muhaddithin any narrative, which is against the Qur'an or the established unanimously held beliefs or unanimously followed actions of the Muslims is not acceptable. The aforementioned principles of the Muhaddithin have been combined in a single statement, in one of the most well known and accepted books on the principles of the Muhaddithin relating to the acceptance of narratives. Khatib Baghdadi in his book "Kitab ul-Kifayah fi `ilm al-riwayah" writes:
No such narative reported by a few people shall be accepted, which is against common sense, or against an established ruling of the Qur'an or against a known Sunnah of the Prophet or against any thing accepted and followed by the Muslims as the Sunnah, or against logic.
Unless satisfactory answers are provided for these questions, this narrative cannot be taken as correctly ascribed to `Uthman (ra). The general acceptance of the vast Arab population of the Qur'an as an infallible piece of Arabic literature makes the content of such narratives highly questionable. If such was really the opinion of `Uthman, as is mentioned in this narrative, the Qur'an would obviously not have received such tremendous acceptance from, at least the Arabs. To the contrary, we see that it was none other than the Arabs themselves, who not only accepted the Qur'an to be infallible in language, literary style, grammar etc., but were also the primary source of propagation of this book in the whole world.
We gladly respond to the Learner's assertions. The Learner doesn't really present a logical reason why we should assume that if Uthman had known that there were grammatical errors, multitudes would have known this and have reported it. First, how does the Learner know that countless multitudes weren't aware of these said errors? We simply do not have any documentary evidence telling us whether the multitudes were aware of these errors or not, and hence the Learner is arguing from silence. Second, another possible reason why others may have not known about these mistakes is due to the variants that existed amongst the different Quranic codices. It is quite possible that other Muslims had noted these errors in their copies and had already corrected them.
Third, it is quite easy to understand why we would not expect to find myriads of reports regarding Uthman's comments on the Quran's grammatical errors. These traditions were collected centuries after the events, and by that time Muslims had come to view the Quran as being inimitable. The Learner himself admits that the vast majority of the Arabs accepted the Quran as an infallible piece of literature. Hence, it is not surprising that we do not find many reports critiquing the Quran's grammatical structure.
Fourth, the reason why Uthman may not have corrected these mistakes could be due to the fact that they were too few to call for another revision. Besides, Uthman may have thought it too time consuming to recall all the Qurans that had proliferated throughout the Muslim regions and make new copies, burning those that had already been distributed.
The Learner next tries to tackle the issue of Aisha:
The Saying Ascribed to `Ayesha (ra)
Now let us turn to the narrative ascribed to `Ayesha (ra).
Acceptance of this narrative again hangs on the answers to the following questions:
- Why were these so-called 'errors' not recognized and reported by a large number of Arabs, rather than just one or two of them? It is even more surprising that even after these 'errors' were pointed-out by two of the most well known personalities of Islamic history, the common Arabs remained oblivious of them. If such narratives had any truth in them, they would have gained the status of generally accepted public narratives, which, even if they were not reported in the various compilations of narratives, would most certainly have become well known through simple public transmission.
- Why did `Ayesha (ra) not take any step to correct these 'errors'? It must be kept in mind that `Ayesha (ra) is the person, who is said to have made a public appearance in a political matter after `Uthman's murder. Why did she not plan any action to correct the 'errors' that she knew were only a result of scribal and human mistakes? Why did she let these mistakes become so sacrosanct that even the possibility of retrieving the correct (original) words, in future, was reduced to non-existent?
- This narrative is against the Qur'an. Thus, according to the cited principles of the Muhaddithin it cannot be accepted.
Besides these reservations, there are also some other problems in accepting these narratives as correct. Some of these problems are given below:
- This narrative is reported by Abu Mu`awiyah Mohammad ibn Khazim al-Tamimi al-Dharir al-Kufi to Ibn Hamid or Ibn Humaid. According to Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, his father Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: Abu Muawiyah's narrations except those reported by Al-Aa`mash, are not reliable. Likewise, Abu Dawood states: I asked Ahmad ibn Hanbal: what do you think about the narratives of Hisham ibn `Urwah (another narrator in this narrative) that are reported by Abu Muawiyah? He replied: These narratives include such narratives that are not reliable. According to Ibn Kharrash, narratives reported by Abu Muawiyah are dependable if they come through Al-Aa`mash.
In answer to the Learner's first point, see our comments above. In answer to his second point, how does the Learner know that Aisha didn't try to correct the errors? The report doesn't tell us whether she did or didn't. Aisha may have in fact corrected them, but the copy containing these corrections may have later been burnt or simply perished. After all, the hadiths report that a sheet belonging to Aisha which contained Quranic verses was eaten by an animal!
Elsewhere Ibn Majah informs us that Aisha said:
"The verse of stoning and of sucking... came down... and its sheet was under my bed: when therefore the Apostle of God died, and we were occupied about his death, a tame animal came in and ate it." (Dr. William Campbell, The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of History & Science, Second Edition [Middle East Resources, 2002; ISBN 1-881085-03-01], p. 99; online here; bold emphasis mine)
The Learner demands that we need to know "Why did `Ayesha (ra) not take any step to correct these 'errors'?" before we can believe this report. As indicated above, she might indeed have done so, but it was subsequently lost. The question, however, seems to betray some ignorance of the historical situation at the time. Books on the history of early Islam like Sir William Muir's The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline, and Fall and Silas' series of articles on the Fruits of Islam document that the early Muslims were at the time very much occupied with killing each other, fighting for the power in the empire. Making a huge campaign regarding one minor scribal error would have been the last thing on their mind. The issue was who would gain the power and who is going to collect the huge booty made in the holy wars.
Furthermore, Muslim exegete ar-Razi presents evidence that there were several variant readings in the case of S. 20:63:
2. Razi (544-604 H) stated that:
"The famous reading is "inna hazani lasaheran". But some have rejected this reading. Other posibilities were mentioned by Razi. First: qara' 'Abou 'Amr wa 'Isa bn 'Amr (inna hazaini lasaheran) they argued that this was the reading of 'Uthman's, 'Aa'isha, Ibn az-Zubeir, Sa'eed bn Gabeer, and al-Hasan" (R.A.'A). 'Abou 'Amr wa 'Isa argued that Hisham bn 'Awra 'an abieh 'an 'Aa'isha (R.A.'A) that she was asked concerning (Inna hazani lasaheran) and as-sabe'ouna in Q. 5:69 and al-moqimiin in Q. 4:162. She replied: "O son of my brother, this is an error from the scribe." And it is reported 'an 'Uthman that he looked at the Mushaf and said I see mistakes (lahnan) in it but the Arabs will correct it with their tongues. And 'an Abi 'Amr that he said "I WOULD BE EMBARRASSED TO READ 'inna hazan lasaheran'" (see Razi) (Source)
This implies that these variants may have been attempts of correcting the text presumably in the interest of rectifying the grammatical mistake. This therefore supports the possibility that Aisha may have corrected these grammatical mistakes in her version of the Quran, as others had done with their copies. Since we do not have evidence that says she did or didn't, we again see that the Learner is arguing from silence. Interestingly, ar-Razi admits that variant and conflicting readings existed amongst the earliest copies of the Quran which further exposes Bravo's lie that the Quran was perfectly memorized and written down.
Note also that ar-Razi refers to Uthman's and Aisha's remarks regarding grammatical mistakes. Since ar-Razi is considered one of the greatest Muslim exegetes, this means that we have at least two Muslim sources that quote these traditions. Interestingly, in Bravo's link to Ghoniem's response we find this candid admission:
Regarding these verses, the grammatical answers are given above. According to RM, chapter 16, page 221 to 224, according to the great scholar Jalaal ud-deen as-soyooTy, the "isnaad" of this report FULFILLS THE CRITERION OF THE "ASH-SHAYKHAYN" ("THE TWO SCHOLARS"). However, he goes on confirming the opinion of Ibn Ashtah concerning this report: what is meant by "the fault of the scribes" is that they ought to choose different readings to be standardized for the Ummah. 3aa'ishah didn't mean that they made mistakes in the report itself because mistakes are not acceptable in this regard and, by no means, they can be agreed upon by the whole Ummah. (bold and capital emphasis mine)
Seeing that ar-Razi would cite these traditions without questioning their validity and that "the great scholar" Jalaal ud-deen as-Suyuti confirms the authenticity of the Aisha report only compounds the problem for both the Learner and Bravo.
Fourth, nothing in this report contradicts the Quran. Since the Quran does not claim to be written in perfect grammar, this report contradicts the later Muslim view of the Quran, not the Quran itself. After all, we have already seen that Muslims such as the Mutazilites denied that the syntax and arrangement of the Quran was miraculous.
Fifth, just because a person is known to narrate weak hadiths does not mean that all the hadiths narrated are weak or untrue. In light of the fact that these traditions undermine the perfect grammar of the Quran, this would serve as an argument for their authenticity. After all, why would a Muslim collect traditions criticizing the Quran? Hence, instead of shifting the burden of proof onto Newton or others, the Learner needs to tell us why these reports exist in the first place. He needs to explain why would Muslims narrate reports undermining the Quran's perfect structure. What reason would a Muslim have for fabricating such reports if in fact they were not based on historical reality?
Finally, in his zeal to refute these narrations the Learner overlooked one very important fact. That Muslims could notice that there were grammatical mistakes in the Quran undermines the Learner's (and Ghoniem's) argument that one cannot critique the Quran for grammatical mistakes since the Quran was used as a basis for the development of grammar. These Muslims evidently weren't aware of either the Learner's (or Ghoniem's) logic since they didn't hesitate to critique the Quran based on their knowledge of grammar. This means that the rules of grammar were already known prior to the "revelation" of the Quran.
Hence, it may be true that the Quran was ONE of the sources for the understanding of grammar, but it wasn't the only source as the Learner himself admits. Muslims were already versed enough in Arabic grammar, presumably due to the Arabic literature extant at the time, to know a mistake when they saw it.
Lastly, regarding the written Arabic language, then this has already been discussed in detail at
Qur'ânic Orthography: The Written Representation Of The Recited Text Of The Qur'ân by M A S Abdel Haleem
This concludes my rebuttal to Sam's second article. It is to be noted that Sam has basically agreed with me that his Bible is written in bad, poor, and in a stylistically imperfect Greek.
This concludes this section of responses to Bravo's alleged "rebuttal." I do recommend that the readers read Bravo's links and compare their responses with the ones given here, in order to see how weak the Muslim responses truly are.
For instance, you will notice that in the case of Ghoniem multiple explanations are often given for a specific error. Ghoniem also often asserts that certain verses omit certain words which are implied in order to explain away these errors. Yet had the Quran been written in perfect grammar there would have been no need for Muslims to try and explain these irregularities. The fact that explanations were made, and at times several conflicting explanations were given, only demonstrates that the Quran contains errors.
As time permits and by God's sovereign grace I will be responding to all of Bravo's claims, Lord Jesus willing. For now, these responses should be sufficient to show that Bravo hasn't said anything by way of an actual response. He only managed to write pages of irrelevant material that doesn't begin to address the points that I made in my rebuttals. But again, as I have indicated, this is typical of Muslim apologists.
To summarize, Bravo's criticism of the Greek NT does nothing to refute its inspiration or its inerrancy, but only misrepresents the Christian understating of inspiration and inerrancy. The Quran, on the other hand and despite the claims about it, is not a perfect masterpiece but contains grammatical errors, unfamiliar words and is poorly compiled. These are facts that Bravo has failed to refute, as these series of responses have sufficiently demonstrated.
In light of this, Bravo needs to renounce Islam and embrace Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior since this is the only hope left for him.
As for me, I will forever continue to remain in the service of the true God and eternal life Jesus Christ, by God's all-powerful grace. Amen. Come Lord Jesus, come. By your perfect grace, I will continue to love you forever and ever.
Responses to Bismikaallahuma
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page