Sam Shamoun

The following is an outline highlighting the difficulties in the Muslim belief that the Quran is the Word of God. We will basically be using the very same methodology that Shabir Ally uses throughout his debates to prove that the Holy Bible is not the Word of God.

Shabir's attack on the Holy Bible falls under several different categories, some of which include:

Instead of dealing with specific charges made by Ally against the Holy Bible, we will employ his very own method against the Quran and see if it passes Ally's test. We would like to state that the allegations against the Holy Bible have been answered and will provide links documenting this point.

We would further point out that Shabir's method against the Holy Bible serves to disprove the Quran as a credible witness. The reason being is that the Quran as well as the early Islamic traditions affirm the purity and preservation of the Bible. Hence, if Shabir thinks he has proven that the Bible is not the pure unadulterated Word of God, then he must also reject the Quran as a revealed text since it bears testimony that the Holy Bible is something that it actually is not, namely the preserved Word of God. For more on this subject, please read this article.

With this brief introduction, we proceed to the arguments.


Textual Variants of the Quran

Much like the Bible, the Quran has thousands of variants distributed throughout the extant MSS. This is a point that is admitted by Orientalists and Muslims alike. Muslim translator Muhammad Hamidullah states in the introduction to his French translation of the Quran:

"... Finally, a third source of variants comes from the Arabic writing of the first times before diacritical marks came into general use: it is then sometimes possible to read a word as an active or passive verb, as masculine or feminine, and the context sometimes allows several possibilities. For example yas'al (God) will ask, can be read: yus'al (it) will be asked - tus'al (she) will be asked. A small number of cases have been found, but in none of these cases does the meaning of the verse change, and one wonders if the discovery of such variants does not sometimes come from the ingenuity of exegetes. Even Bukhari gives some examples of this: (Arabic text here) instead of (Arabic text here) of the vulgate text (see Qur'an 2/259. Bukhari 65, sura 2, ch./44); or (Arabic text here) instead of (Arabic text here) of the vulgate text 7/57 (see Bukhari 65, sura 7, ch. 1). But there are cases, indeed very rare, which cannot be explained either by dialectal variability, or by intercalation of a gloss, or by an error in the deciphering to the text without diacritical marks made by a reader who later became a great teacher. Thus Bukhari (65, sura 92, stories 1 and 2) mention that in the Quran 92/3, great Companions like Abu'd-Darda' and Ibn Mas'ud insisted on reciting (Arabic text appears here) instead of (Arabic text appears here) of the vulgate text, and affirmed that it was the Prophet himself who had taught them thus. One cannot say that is is a revision of the style. One cannot say that God revises His style, nor that Gabriel, this "faithful Spirit", could make errors, even if he were to correct them later. One could not think that the human nature of the Prophet has some role to play in this. Was he absent-minded, did he forget? We can think of the Hadith mentioned by Bukhari (52/11/1 and 80/19/5), Muslim (6/224 no. 788), Ibn Hanbal (6/138) where the Prophet says: "God have mercy on this man who by his nightly recitation reminded me of such a verse which I had forgotten (or dropped) from such a sura." Or is it because when the divine things are revealed to him - not in writing, as with Moses' tablets, but - orally, sometimes some small shade of meaning escapes him? (Then during the yearly collections ('arda) of the month of Ramadan, when Gabriel is present, and the Prophet is momentarily transported again in a heavenly setting, he understands a more correct reading, and he "corrects" himself.) Let us remember that Abu'd-Darda' and Ibn Mas'ud are Muslims since the beginning of Islam, and sura 92 is chronologically No. 9. As for the annual collections by the Prophet, they seem to have begun in Medina only after the institution of the fast of Ramadan in 2 A.H. Hence the few divergences without importance, for example, between Abu'd-Darda' and Ibn Mas'ud on the one hand and Zaid ibn Thabit on the other, the veterans being unwilling to yield to a young man, even though he is the scribe of the Prophet, concerning the writing down of revelations of the Qur'an. There may be other and better explanations for this problem. I remain extremely hesitant." (From "The Problem of Variants" in LE SAINT CORAN, Traduction et commentaire de Muhammad Hamidullah, avec la collaboration de M. Léturmy, nouvelle édition 1989 corrigée et augmentée, pp. xxix-xxx).

Noted Eurpoean archaeologist Arthur Jeffery wrote a book, Material for the History of the Text of the Qur'an, documenting the variant readings between the competing codices in circulation prior to the Quran's standardization under Uthman. Jeffery claims that "when we come to the accounts of 'Uthman's recension, it quickly becomes clear that his work was no mere matter of removing dialectal peculiarities in reading [as many Muslims claim], but was a necessary stroke of policy to establish a standard text for the whole empire."

He continues, "there were wide divergences between the collections that had been digested into Codices in the great Metropolitan centres of Madina, Mecca, Basra, Kufa and Damascus." Thus, "Uthman's solution was to canonize the Madinan Codex and order all others to be destroyed." Jeffery then states, "there can be little doubt that the text canonized by 'Uthman was only one among several types of text in existence at the time." (Jeffery, pp. 7-8)

He concludes that "it is quite clear that the text which 'Uthman canonized was only one out of many rival text... [and] there is grave suspicion that 'Uthman may have seriously edited the text he canonized." (Ibid. ix-x)

The well-known scholar W. Montgomery Watt, commenting on the variant readings between the codices of Abdullah Ibn Masud and Ubay Ibn Kab, writes:

"No copies exist of any of the early codices, but the list of variant readings from the two just mentioned is extensive, running to a thousand or more items in both cases." (Watt, Bell's Introduction to the Qur'an [Edinbugh: Edinburgh University Press, 1970], p. 45)

British Scholar Sir Norman Anderson states:

"So, although it is true that today the Kufan text of Hafs is accepted almost everywhere in the Muslim world, the claim commonly made by Muslims that they have ipsissima verba of what Muhammad actually said, without any variant readings, rests upon an ignorance of the facts of history." (Anderson, Islam in the Modern World [Leicester: Apollos, 1990], p. 47)

Islamicist Alfred Guillaume notes that:

"The truth is that the textual history of the Qur'an is very similar to that of the Bible. Both books have been preserved remarkably well. Each is, in its basic structure and content, a very fair record of what was originally there. But neither book has been preserved totally without error or textual defect. Both have suffered here and there from variant readings in the early codices known to us but neither has in any way been corrupted. Sincere Christians and Muslims will honestly acknowledge these facts."

Guillaume continues:

"The only difference between the Qur'an and the Bible today is that the Christian Church in the interest of truth, carefully preserved the variant readings... whereas the Muslims at the time of Uthman deemed it expedient to destroy as far as possible all the evidences of different readings of the Qur'an in the cause of standardizing one text for the whole of the Muslim... These facts must also always be considered against the background of further evidence from the Hadith that the Qur'an today is still not complete." (Anderson, pp. 20-21)

L. Bevan Jones sums it up:

"... while it may be true that no other work has remained for twelve centuries with so pure a text, it is probably equally true that no other has suffered so drastic a purging." (Jones, The People of the Mosque [London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1932], p. 62)

1. Quran Is Incomplete

"Many (of the passages) of the Qur'an that were sent down were known by those who died on the day of Yamama ... but they were not known (by those who) survived them, nor were they written down, nor had Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman (by that time) collected the Qur'an, nor were they found with even one (person) after them." (Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif, p. 23).

According this source, portions of the Quran that had been memorized by those slain in the battle vanished, never to be found again.

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

'Umar said, Ubai was the best of us in the recitation (of the Qur'an) yet we leave some of what he recites.' Ubai says, 'I have taken it from the mouth of Allah's Apostle and will not leave for anything whatever.' But Allah said: None of Our revelations do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten but We substitute something better or similar (2.106)" (Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Number 527)

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

Umar said, "Our best Qur'an reciter is Ubai and our best judge is 'Ali; and in spite of this, we leave some of the statements of Ubai because Ubai says, 'I do not leave anything that I have heard from Allah's Apostle while Allah: "Whatever verse (Revelations) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten but We bring a better one or similar to it." (2.106) (Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 8)

These missing verses cannot be referring to abrogated parts of the Quran which were no longer essential since even the abrogated parts still form part of the text today.

This is why Ibn Umar would say:

It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said: "Let none of you say 'I have acquired the whole of the Qur'an'. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur'an has disappeared? Rather let him say 'I have acquired what has survived.'" (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.524).

2. Suras Added or Deleted

The Islamic traditions agree that certain Muslim reciters included extra suras not found in the present text of the Quran. For instance, Ubay Ibn Kabb was considered one of the best Muslim reciters, being dubbed "the Master of the Quranic Reciters." Yet, interestingly Kabb included two extra suras, which he claimed were part of the revelation:

"Written in the text of Ubayy ibn Ka'b were the Fatihal-kitab (the Opening Surah) and the Mu'awwi-thatayni (the Charm Surahs) and Allahumma innaa nasta'iinka (the opening words of Suratul-Khal' meaning 'O Allah, we seek your help') and Allahumma ayyaaka na'budu (the opening words of Suratul-Hafd meaning 'O Allah, we worship you')". (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.153).

Here are the two suras in their entirety:

Surat al-Hafd

You (alone) we worship, and to You (alone) we pray and lie prostrate, and to You (alone) we proceed and have descendants. We fear Your torture and hope for Your mercy. Truly Your torture will overtake the infidels.

Surat al-Khal'

O Allah, You (alone) we ask for help and forgiveness. We speak appreciatingly of Your goodness. Never do we disbelieve You. We repudiate and disbelieve anyone who follows immorality.

Interestingly, Ubay was not the only one who included these suras into his codex. According to al-Suyuti, both Ibn Abbass and Abu Musa also included them as part of their text. (Al-Itqan, p. 154)


Why are these suras not part of the Quran today seeing that Muslim reciters such as Ubay claimed that God revealed them as part of the text?

Another Muslim considered an authority in Quranic recitation was Abdullah Ibn Masud:

Narrated Masriq:

'Abdullah bin 'Amr mentioned 'Abdullah bin Masud and said, "I shall ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet saying, 'Take (learn) the Qur'an from four: 'Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu'adh and Ubai bin Ka'b." (Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Number 521)

Masud made the following claim:

Narrated 'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud): By Allah other than Whom none has the right to be worshipped! There is no Sura revealed in Allah's Book but I know at what place it was revealed; and there is no Verse revealed in Allah's Book but I know about whom it was revealed. And if I know that there is somebody who knows Allah's Book better than I, and he is at a place that camels can reach, I would go to him. (Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Number 524)

Yet, in spite of his claiming to know the exact place each Sura and verse was revealed, Masud not only rejected the two extra suras of Kabb but omitted three additional chapters from his codex as well!

Imam Fakhruddin said that the reports in some of the ancient books that Ibn Mas'ud denied that Suratul-Fatiha and the Mu'awwithatayni are part of the Qur'an are embarrassing in their implications... But the Qadi Abu Bakr said "It is not soundly reported from him that they are not part of the Qur'an and there is no record of such a statement from him. He omitted them from his manuscript as he did not approve of their being written. This does not mean he denied they were part of the Qur'an. In his view the Sunnah was that nothing should be inscribed in the text (mushaf) unless so commanded by the Prophet (saw) ... and he had not heard that it had been so commanded". (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.186).

"... Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani however, in his commentary on the Sahih of al-Bukhari (his famous Fath al-Baari), accepted these reports as sound, quoting authorities who stated that Ibn Mas'ud would not include the two "charm" surahs in his manuscript as Muhammad had, to his knowledge, only commanded that they be used as incantations against evil forces. He regarded the isnad (the chain of transmitters) for this record as totally sound and attempted to harmonise the conflicting records instead, suggesting that Ibn Mas'ud accepted the Fatiha and "charm" surahs as genuinely revealed but was reluctant to inscribe them in his written text." (John Gilchrist, Jam' Al-Qur'an: The Codification of the Qur'an Text, p. 68)

Hence, Masud excluded three Suras from his codex, implying that Masud's Quran only included 111 Suras. Interestingly, Bukhari records that Masud and Kabb were in disagreement over this very issue:

Narrated Zirr bin Hubaish:

I asked Ubai bin Ka'b, "O Abu AlMundhir! Your brother, Ibn Mas'ud said so-and-so (i.e., the two Mu'awwidh-at do not belong to the Quran)." Ubai said, "I asked Allah's Apostle about them, and he said, 'They have been revealed to me, and I have recited them (as a part of the Quran)," So Ubai added, "So we say as Allah's Apostle has said." (Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 501)


Whose testimony should we accept, that of Masud or that of Kabb? Do we agree that Allah only revealed 111 chapters or do we accept the 116 chapters of Kabb's codex? Furthermore, why is it that the Uthmanic text contains 114 chapters, three more than that of Masud and two short from that of Kabb?

3. Missing Verses

The hadiths also supply us with evidence that there are missing verses:

Missing Part On The Fatherhood Of Muhammad:

Yusuf Ali records that S. 33:6 in the text of Ubay read differently from the Uthmanic text. The Uthmanic text presently reads:

"The prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers."

Yet Ubay's codex read:

"The prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and he is a father to them, and his wives are their mothers."

Hence, Yusuf Ali states:

"In spiritual relationship the Prophet is entitled to more respect and consideration than blood-relations. The Believers should follow him rather than their fathers or mothers or brothers, where there is conflict of duties. He is even nearer - closer to our real interests - than our own selves. In some Qiraats, like that of Ubai ibn Ka'b, occur also the words 'and he is a father to them,' which imply his spiritual relationship and connect on with the words, 'and his wives are their mothers.' Thus his spiritual fatherhood would be contrasted pointedly with the repudiation of the vulgar superstition of calling any one like Zaid ibn Haritha by the appellation Zaid ibn Muhammad (xxxiii. 40): such an appellation is really disrespectful to the Prophet." (Ali, The Holy Qur'an, p. 1104, f. 3674)

Missing Part On Asr Prayer

Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam from al-Qaqa ibn Hakim that Abu Yunus, the mawla of A'isha, umm al-muminin said, "A'isha ordered me to write out a Qur'an for her. She said, 'When you reach this ayat, let me know, "Guard the prayers carefully and the middle prayer and stand obedient to Allah."' When I reached it I told her, and she dictated to me, 'Guard the prayers carefully and the middle prayer and the asr prayer and stand obedient to Allah.' A'isha said, 'I heard it from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'" (Malik's Muwatta, Book 8, Number 8.8.26)

Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam that Amr ibn Rafi said, "I was writing a Qur'an for Hafsa, umm al-muminin, and she said, 'When you reach this ayat, let me know, "Guard the prayers carefully and the middle prayer and stand obedient to Allah."' When I reached it I told her and she dictated to me, 'Guard the prayers carefully and the middle prayer and the asr prayer and stand obedient to Allah.'" (Malik's Muwatta, Book 8, Number 8.8.27)

Compare it with today's present text:

"Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah." S. 2:238 Pickthall

Missing Verse On Suckling

Narrated Aisha:

It had been revealed in the Qur'an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings and Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) died and it was before that time (found) in the Qur'an (and recited by the Muslims). (Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3421)

Missing Verse On Stoning

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

'Umar said, "I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, "We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book," and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession." Sufyan added, "I have memorized this narration in this way." 'Umar added, "Surely Allah's Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him." (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 816; See also: Vol. 8, No. 817 and Vol. 9, No. 424)

Missing Bismillah

Ibn 'Abbas asked `Uthman what possessed him to place surat al Anfal, one of the mathani, with Bara'a, one of the mi'in, join them with no bismillah between them and place them among the seven lengthy suras. `Uthman replied that often the Prophet received quite long revelations. He would call for one of the scribes and say, 'Put these verses in the sura in which so-and-so occurs.' Anfal was among the first of the Medina revelations and Bara'a among the last. Since its contents resembled those of Anfal, `Uthman took it to belong with it, for the Prophet had died without explaining that it was part of it. (p. 164, Jalal al Din `Abdul Rahman b. abi Bakr al Suyuti, al Itqan fi `ulum al Qur'an, Halabi, Cairo, 1935/1354, pt 1, p. 60)

Malik had a shorter explanation for the absence of this bismillah. The beginning of Bara'a fell out and its bismillah fell out with it. (p. 164-165, Jalal al Din `Abdul Rahman b. abi Bakr al Suyuti, al Itqan fi `ulum al Qur'an, Halabi, Cairo, 1935/1354, pt 1, p. 65)

Missing Part On "Valley of Riches"

Anas b. Malik reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If there were two valleys of gold for the son of Adam, he would long for another one, and his mouth will not be filled but with dust, and Allah returns to him who repents. (Sahih Muslim, Number 2284)

Ibn'Abbas reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If there were for the son of Adam a valley full of riches, he would long to possess another one like it, and Ibn Adam does not feel satiated but with dust. And Allah returns to him who returns (to Him). Ibn 'Abbas said: I do not know whether it is from the Qur'an or not; and in the narration transmitted by Zuhair it was said: I do not know whether it is from the Qur'an, and he made no mention of Ibn 'Abbas. (Sahih Muslim, Number 2285)

In light of the preceding evidence, can Shabir honestly claim that the Quran has been completely preserved?

4. Traditions Which Show Muslims Accusing Each Other Of Tampering With The Quran

Interestingly, both Muslims of the past and present have accused each other of adding or omitting portions from the Quran:

Hudhaifah therefore said to Othman: "Oh Commander of the Faithful, be careful of the people." He answered, "What is the problem?" Hudhaifah said, "I took part in the expedition against Armenia where there were Iraqis as well as Syrians. But the Syrians follow the reading of the Qur'an according to Ubai ibn Ka`b, and they say some things which the Iraqis have not heard, so the latter accuse them of unbelief. In the same way the Iraqis, who follow the reading of Ibn Mas`ud, read some things which the Syrians have not heard. and the Syrians accuse them of unbelief. Restrain this people before they differ in the book, as do the Jews and the Christians."

Accordingly Othman sent to Hafsa, saying, "Send us the sheets that we may copy them into the volumes. Then we shall return them to you." Hafsa therefore sent them to Othman. Then he commanded Zaid ibn Thabit and Abdullah ibn al Zubair and Said ibn al As and Abdullah ibn Harith ibn Hisham, and they copied them into the volumes. And Othman said to the company of the three Quraishites, "When you differ, you and Zaid ibn Thabit, in any portion of the Qur'an write it in the dialect of the Quraish, for verily it came down in their dialect." And they did so until, when they had copied the sheets into the volumes, Othman restored the sheets to Hafsa. And he sent to every region a volume from what they had copied, and commanded regarding everything of the Qur'an besides it, in every sheet and volume, that it should be burned. (Mishkat al-Masabih, trans. James Robson [Ashraf Lahore, 1963], p. 185 Bukhari transmitted from Anas bin Malik)

These traditions clearly affirm that the Syrians had readings not known to the Iraqis and vice-versa. These readings had nothing to do with dialectal variations since variations in dialect would not result in the parties not having heard verses contained in the other codices. Furthermore, who gave Uthman the right to burn codices written by eye and ear witnesses of Muhammad? One Muslim who refused to submit his codex to burning was Abdullah Ibn Masud:

Hudhaifah went on to say, "0 Abdullah ibn Qais, you were sent to the people of Basra as their governor (amir) and teacher and they have submitted to your rules, your idioms and your reading". He continued, "0 Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, you were sent to the people of Kufa as their teacher who have also submitted to your rules, idioms and reading". Abdullah said to him, "In that case I have not led them astray. There is no verse in the Book of Allah that I do not know where it was revealed and why it was revealed, and if I knew anyone more learned in the Book of Allah and I could be conveyed there, I would set out to him". (Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif, p.14).

"The people have been guilty of deceit in the reading of the Qur'an. I like it better to read according to the recitation of him (Prophet) whom I love more than that of Zayd Ibn Thabit. By Him besides Whom there is no god! I learnt more than seventy surahs from the lips of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, while Zayd Ibn Thabit was a youth, having two locks and playing with the youth". (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 2, p. 444)

Interestingly, the charge that Muslims have tampered with the text is not limited solely to the past. There are certain Shiite Muslims who hold to the belief that Uthman omitted portions of the Quran that spoke favorably of Ali. (W. St. Clair-Tisdall, A Manuel of the Leading Muhammedan Objections to Christianity [London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1904], p. 59; B. Todd Lawson, "Notes for the Study of a Shi'i Qur'an," in Journal of Semitic Studies [Autumn 1991], vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 279-96)

Furthermore, even today there are some Shiite Muslims that claim to have two genuine suras that forms part of their Quranic text:

Sura Al-Nurain

"O you who believe, believe in the two lights. He has revealed them unto you, warning you against the torture of the Great Day - two lights emanating from one another, for I am the All-Hearing and the All-Knowing. Truly those who fulfill Allah's pledge and his Apostle's verses shall be rewarded with Paradise. Those who disbelieve by breaking their covenant and what they have pledged to do before the Apostle shall be thrown into hell, for they did injustice to themselves and disobeyed the supporter of the Apostle. Therefore, they shall be caused to drink from the Hamim River in hell. Truly Allah is the light of heaven and the earth as he wills, and he has chosen his angels and apostles and made believers of those whom he created. All do whatever he wills. There is no god but him - the Merciful and the Compassionate. Those who came before them cheated their apostles, and so I have stricken them with my cunningness vehemently and painfully. O Apostle! Preach my admonition, for they shall know. Those who fulfill their pledge to you are likened to me to be rewarded by Paradise. Truly Ali is one of the pious. We have sent Moses and Aaron, being appointed his successor, yet they disobeyed Aaron. Be of good patience! They will become old. We have given you judgment, just as we did to other apostles before you. We have appointed a guardian to you from them, that they might return. Truly Ali is devout, lying prostrate at night, warning as regards the Last Day, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord. Say: "Should those who act unjustly be treated equally, while they know my torture?"

Source: Mohammad Azat Darwaza, Al-Qur'an al-Majid, page 60 and Mohammed Ahmed Maal Allah, Al Shi'a wa Tareef Al Quran; also see Theodor Nöldeke: Geschichte des Qorans Zweite Auflage, völlig umgearbeitet von Friedrich Schwally, Zweiter Teil: Die Sammlung des Qorans, Leipzig [Dieterich'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung] 1919, Seiten 102-103 (see also this article)

Sura Al-Wilaya

On the name of the all merciful God

You who are believers, believe in the prophet and the saint (patron, God-man) "which is Ali Bin Abi Taleb, Mohammed cousin" which we sent, they will guide you to the strait path.

A prophet and a saint "belong to" each other, and I am the all knowing, the experienced.

Those who do (obey) God's covenant they "deserve" comforting paradises.

And those who if it read to them our verses, they contradict it.

[Meaning: If somebody (unknown) were to read the verses (from the Qur'an) to them, they reject would it.]

They have a great (big) place in Hell, if they called in the day of judgement: where is the unfair, the contradictory for the messengers?!

The messengers don't leave them "without" the truth, and God "will not allow them" to win (appear, show) till a short time.

Praise your lord "and" thank "him", and Ali "Ali Bin Abi Taleb, Mohammed cousin" "one" from the witnesses.

Source: "ALThWRh AL'YARANYh FY MYzAN AL'sLAM" (The Iranian revolution in the balance of Islam), published in Egypt (see also this article )

The issue of whether these two suras are authentic is immaterial to our discussion. What is relevant to our discussion is the fact that these two suras prove that Muslims are not in agreement over the issue of whether the Quran has been perfectly preserved down through the ages without any omissions or additions.

Finally, Muslim followers of Rashad Khalifah claim that Sura 9:128-129 was not originally part of the Quranic text. This is why in their version of the Quran these two verses have been omitted. (See related articles: [1] and [2].

5. Some More Examples of Variant Readings

We present some more variant readings between the codices extant today:

Sura                   Hafs                  Warsh

2:132                  wawassa               wa'awsa

     (Al-Dani mentions that Abu `Ubayd saw wa'awsa 
       in the imam, the mushaf `Uthman)

3:133                  wasari'u              sari'u

5:54                   yartadda              yartadid

     (Al-Dani quotes that Abu `Ubayd saw yartadid in the imam)

3:81                   ataytukum             ataynakum

2:259                  nunshizuha            nunshiruha

2:140                  taquluna              yaquluna

2:125                  wattakhidhu           wattakhadhu

2:9b                   yakhda'una            yukhadi`una

2:214                  yaqula                yaqulu

3:37                   wakaffalaha           wakafalaha

20:63                  In hazayni            Inna hazani


6. The Myth Of Memorization As A Means Of Preservation

Ally assumes that memorization was the chief means of preserving the Quran. We have already seen how memorizers of the Quran were in disagreement over the contents of the Quran and that some memorizers died, taking with them portions of the Quran that only they had known.

Furthermore, the hadith provides evidence for the faulty memories of both Muhammad and his companions:

Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle heard a man reciting the Qur'an at night, and said, "May Allah bestow His Mercy on him, as he has reminded me of such-and-such Verses of such-and-such Suras, which I was caused to forget." (Bukhari, Volume 6, Book LXI, Number 558)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) offered prayer. The version of the narrator Ibrahim goes: I do not know whether he increased or decreased (the rak'ahs of prayer).

When he gave the salutation, he was asked: Has something new happened in the prayer, Apostle of Allah? He said: What is it? They said: You prayed so many and so many (rak'ahs). He then relented his foot and faced the Qiblah and made two prostrations. He then gave the salutation. When he turned away (finished the prayer), he turned his face to us and said: Had anything new happened in prayer, I would have informed you. I am only a human being and I forget just as you do; so when I forget, remind me, and when any of you is in doubt about his prayer he should aim at what is correct, and complete his prayer in that respect, then give the salutation and afterwards made two prostrations. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 3, Number 1015)

Narrated Abdullah: I recited before the Prophet 'Fahal-min-Mudhdhakir'. The Prophet said, "It is Fahal-min Muddakir." (Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 397)

Abu Harb b. Abu al-Aswad reported on the authority of his father that Abu Musa al-Ash'ari sent for the reciters of Basra. They came to him and they were three hundred in number. They recited the Qur'an and he said: You are the best among the inhabitants of Basra, for you are the reciters among them. So continue to recite it. (But bear in mind) that your reciting for a long time may not harden your hearts as were hardened the hearts of those before you. We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bar'at. I have forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it: "If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust." And we used so recite a surah which resembled one of the surahs of Musabbihat, and I have forgotten it, but remember (this much) out of it: "O people who believe, why do you say that which you do not practise: (lxi 2.) and "that is recorded in your necks as a witness (against you) and you would be asked about it on the Day of Resurrection" (xvii. 13) (Sahih Muslim, Book V, Number 2286)


Contradictions In The Quran

Before proceeding into this section, we again need to reiterate the point made earlier. We use this critical approach for the sole purpose of demonstrating the faulty methodology of Shabir Ally. As we had stated earlier, the very method of criticism employed by Shabir against the Holy Bible can be used more forcefully against the Quran. With that just said, let us proceed into the Quranic errors.

1. Geographical Errors

Olive Trees in Sinai

"Then We produced for you therewith gardens of palms and vines wherein are many fruits for you, and of them you eat, and a tree from the Mount of Sinai that bears oil and seasoning for all to eat." S. 23:19-20

As the late Christian scholar 'Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi rightly pointed out:

"Commentators said that the tree refers to olives, and the seasoning refers to the food eaten with bread (al-Tabari, Jami' a-Bayan 18:13).

We ask: Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to refer to Canaan, which is known for olives, and not Sinai, where God had to provide manna for the Israelites, owing to the barrenness of the land? In other words, the Sinai Desert is not know for its olives." (Al-Fadi, Is the Qur'an Infallible? [Light of Life PO Box 13 A-9503, Villach, Austria], p. 28)

So obvious is this error that Muhammad Asad tries to cover it up:

"... as well as a tree that issues from [the lands adjoining] Mount Sinai, yielding oil and relish for all to eat."

Asad comments:

"I.e., the olive tree, native to the lands around the eastern, Mediterranean, where so many pre-Quranic prophets (here symbolized- because of its sacred associations- by Mount Sinai) lived and preach." (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an [Dar al-Andalus Limited, 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar, rpt. 1993], p. 521, f. 8)

Abdullah Yusuf Ali notes:

"For Arabia the best olives grow round about Mount Sinai..." (Ali, The Holy Qur'an, p. 877, f. 2878)

It seems to not have dawned on Ali that an olive tree round about Sinai is not the same thing as saying that the tree is from Sinai. Hence, the error remains.

Rain In Egypt

"Then thereafter there shall come a year wherein the people will be succoured (yughathu) and press in season." S. 12:49

The context of the passage deals with the famine that was to hit Egypt during the time of Joseph. Al-Fadi comments:

"Here a reference is made to the drought that Egypt suffered for seven continual years during the time of Joseph, and to the surplus that would replace this barrenness. It says that in the year of plenty they will have rain [the word succored in Arabic means 'to be relieved by rain']; as if Egypt's fertility is based on rain. This contradicts reality, for rain is very scarce in Egypt, and it plays no role in that country's irrigation, which is obtained solely from the annual flooding of the Nile. How then can the fertility of Egypt be attributed to rain?" (Al-Fadi, p. 26)

2. Historical Errors

We had previously mentioned that the Quran affirms that the Holy Bible is the uncorrupt Word of God. This entails the fact that whenever there is disagreement between the two Books the Quran is wrong by virtue of it testifying to the authority and trustworthiness of the Holy Bible. With that in mind let us proceed to some of the historical problems of the Quran:

Abram or Abraham

The Holy Bible teaches that Abraham was originally called Abram. This name remained until he was 99 years old when God then changed his name to Abraham:

"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless... Abram fell facedown, and God said to him... No longer will you be called Abram, your name will be Abraham for I have made you father of many nations.'" Genesis 17:1, 3, 5

Yet, according to the Quran even while a youth Abraham's name remained the same:

"They said: "We heard of the youth talked of them: He is called Abraham." S. 21:60

John the Baptist's Name

According to S. 19:7, the name John was given to none before the Baptist:

"O Zachariah! Lo! We bring thee tidings of a son whose name is John; we have given the same name to none before (him)."

However, we read of a John (Hebrew- Johanan) in 1 Kings 25:23, 1 Chronicles 3:15, 24, 6:9, 10, Ezra 8:12, etc. In fact, there are 27 instances of the name "Johanan" mentioned in the Old Testament. The Hasmonean Dynasty ruled Palestine in the century before John the Baptist appeared on the scene. Palestine at that time was very Hellenized and Greek became the main language. One of the priest-king of the Hasmonean Dynasty was John Hyrcanus, well attested to in many historical and classical sources. Josephus talks about a John the Essene who served as a general of the rebel force in Timna (Jewish War, 2.125). 1 Maccabees 2:1 tells us of "Mattathias son of John son of Simeon". Mattathias also has a son called John (1 Maccebees 2:2). John's brother, Judas, led the Jews in rebellion against Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Simon also has a son named John (1 Maccebees 16:19). All these Johns lived before John the Baptist. John was indeed a very common name.

One Muslim apologist, Dr. Jamal Badawi, attempts to cover up this error by suggesting that the Quran is not emphasizing the uniqueness of the name per se, but that name here implies there would be none like John in his prophetic qualities. But even this won't work, since we discover that there is one exactly like John, namely Elijah. This is due to the fact that the Baptist came "in the spirit and power of Elijah," being the Elijah of Jesus' first coming. (Cf. Luke 1:17; Matthew 17:10-13)

Sacrifices Commanded Upon All?

The Quran claims that all believers were commanded to offer animal sacrifices:

"To every people did We Appoint rites (of sacrifice), That they might celebrate The name of God over The sustenance He gave them From the animals (fit for food). But your God is One God: Submit then your wills to Him (In Islam): and give thou The good news to those Who humble themselves" S. 22:34

There is only one problem, namely that Christians have never been commanded to offer sacrifices. Jesus is the Christian's only perfect and final sacrifice, having been delivered up for our sins once, never to be repeated.

Messengers to all Nations or from Abraham's Seed?

According to the Quran, God sent messengers to every nation:

"And verily We have raised among every people a messenger, (proclaiming): Serve Allah and shun false gods..." S. 16:36

Yet, this contradicts two other references, which seemingly imply that prophethood was placed solely amongst the seed of Abraham and that God has not willed that everyone should receive the guidance:

"And We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and We established the prophethood and the Scripture among his seed, and We gave him his reward in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he verily is among the righteous." S. 29:27


"And if We had so willed, We could have given every soul its guidance, but the word from Me concerning evildoers took effect: that I will fill hell with the jinn and mankind together." S. 32:13

Queen of Sheba and Sun Worship

The Quran claims that the Queen of Sheba and her people were sun worshipers:

"But he was not long in coming, and he said: I have found out (a thing) that thou apprehendest not, and I come unto thee from Sheba with sure tidings. Lo! I found a woman ruling over them, and she hath been given (abundance) of all things, and hers is a mighty throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah; and Satan maketh their works fairseeming unto them, and debarreth them from the way (of Truth), so that they go not aright..." S. 27:22-24

Yet, archaeology has proven this to be incorrect since moon worship was prevalent in this particular region:

"A measure of Muhammad's limited knowledge of the ancient traditions of the Arab deities is gained from the fact that the Qur'an states that the Queen of Sheba was converted to the true god from the sun-worship of her people (Pritchard 1974 14), while all the evidence at Marib suggests that the Moon God, the very source of the crescent of Islam, was always the predominant deity."

(The Lunar Passion and the Daughters of Allah)

3. Fables As History

According to the Quran, Solomon had animals under his control and actually would have conversations with them much like the way humans do:

"And there were gathered together unto Solomon his armies of the jinn and humankind, and of the birds, and they were set in battle order; Till, when they reached the Valley of the Ants, an ant exclaimed: O ants! Enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies crush you, unperceiving. And (Solomon) smiled, laughing at her speech, and said: My Lord, arouse me to be thankful for Thy favour wherewith Thou hast favoured me and my parents, and to do good that shall be pleasing unto Thee, and include me in (the number of) Thy righteous slaves. And he sought among the birds and said: How is it that I see not the hoopoe, or is he among the absent? I verily will punish him with hard punishment or I verily will slay him, or he verily shall bring me a plain excuse. But he was not long in coming, and he said: I have found out (a thing) that thou apprehendest not, and I come unto thee from Sheba with sure tidings. Lo! I found a woman ruling over them, and she hath been given (abundance) of all things, and hers is a mighty throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah; and Satan maketh their works fairseeming unto them, and debarreth them from the way (of Truth), so that they go not aright; So that they worship not Allah, Who bringeth forth the hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knoweth what ye hide and what ye proclaim..." S. 27:17-25

Muhammad Asad must allegorize this passage since he was seemingly aware of the difficulty in viewing this historically:

"In this instance, Solomon evidently refers to his own understanding and admiration of nature (cf. 38:31-33 and the corresponding notes) as well as to his loving compassion for the humblest of God's creatures, as a great divine blessing: and this is the Qur'anic moral of the LEGENDARY story of the ant." (Asad, p. 578, f. 17)

Now compare this fable with the credible historical version of the Holy Bible:

"God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite-wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom." 1 Kings 4:29-34

The Quran even claims that both the winds and jinns (demons) were subservient to Solomon:

"And to Solomon (We subjected) the wind strongly raging, running by his command towards the land which We had blessed. And of everything We are the All-Knower. And of the Shayâtin (devils) (from the jinns) were some who dived for him, and did other work besides that; and it was We Who guarded them." S. 21:81-82

"So, We subjected to him the wind, it blew gently to his order whithersoever he willed, And also the Shayâtin (devils) from the jinns (including) every kind of builder and diver, And also others bound in fetters. [Saying of Allâh to Solomon]: 'This is Our gift, so spend you or withhold, no account will be asked'." S. 38:36-39

Ibn Kathir in his commentary on Solomon's control over the winds states that Solomon was using the wind to travel by a flying carpet!

Muslim Alhassan Albasri claimed:

Solomon was traveling on his carpet from Damascus to have lunch in "Istcher", then he moved from there to Kabel to spend the night. Between Damascus and Istcher a month traveling for the one that is traveling fast. And between Istcher and Kabel a month traveling for the one who is traveling fast.

Muhammad Asad:

"In this as well as in several other passages relating to Solomon, the Qur'an alludes to many POETIC LEGENDS which were associated with his name since early antiquity and had become part and parcel of Judeo-Christian and Arabian lore long before the advent of Islam. Although it is undoubtedly possible to interpret such passages in a 'rationalistic' manner, I do not think that this is really necessary. Because they were so deeply ingrained in the imagination of the people to whom the Qur'an addressed itself in the first instance, these legendary accounts of Solomon's wisdom and magic powers had acquired a cultural reality of their own and were, therefore, eminently suited to serve as a medium for the parabolic exposition of certain ethical truths with which this book is concerned: and so, without denying or confirming their MYTHICAL character, the Qur'an uses them as a foil for the idea that God is the ultimate source of all human power and glory, and that all achievements of human ingenuity, even though they may sometimes border on the miraculous, are but an expression of His transcendental creativity." (Asad, p. 498, f. 77)

Another Quranic fable includes S. 18:9-23, 25-26 and the Story of the Sleepers of the Cave. According to this tale, several youths and their dog fled to a cave where according to one version of the story they slept for 309 years.

Once again, here is Asad:

"... We may, therefore, safely assume that the LEGEND of the Men of the Cave- stripped of its Christian garb and the superimposed Christian background- is, substantially, of Jewish origin... But whatever the source of this LEGEND, and irrespective of whether it is of Jewish or Christian origin, the fact remains that it is used in the Qur'an IN A PURELY PARABOLIC SENSE: namely, as an illustration of God's power to bring about death (or 'sleep') and resurrection (or 'awakening'); and, secondly, as an ALLEGORY of the piety that induces men to abandon a wicked or frivolous world in order to keep their faith unsullied, and of God's recognition of that faith by His bestowal of a spiritual awakening which transcends time and death." (Ibid., p. 439, f. 7)


"The future tense in sayaqulun points once again to the LEGENDARY character of the story as such, and implies that all speculation about its details is irrelevant to its parabolic, ethical purport." (Ibid., p. 442, f. 31)

Need we say more?

4. Parallel Accounts that Conflict

Shabir often complains that the parallel accounts of the Gospel often conflict in wording and detail. Yet, interestingly we find this same problem in the Quran. The Quran often retells the same story but with different wording and detail. One such example includes:

And remember We said: "Enter this town, and eat of the plenty therein As ye wish; but enter The gate with humility, In posture and in words, And We shall forgive you your faults And increase (the portion of) Those who do good." But the transgressors Changed the word from that Which had been given them; So we sent on the transgressors A plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly. [S. 2:58-59]


And remember it was said to them: "Dwell in this town And eat therein as you wish, But say The word of humility and enter the gate In a posture of humility: We shall forgive you Your faults; We shall increase (The portion of) those Who do good." But the transgressors among them Changed the word from that Which had Been given them So we sent on them a plague from heaven For that they repeatedly transgressed. [S. 7:161-162]

Of particular interest is A. Yusuf Ali's footnote:

These verse, 58-59, maybe compared to vii. 161-162. There are two verbal differences. Here (ii. 58) we have "enter the town" and in vii. 161 we have "dwell in the town." Again in ii. 59 here we have "infringed (Our command)," and in vii. 162, we have "transgressed." The verbal differences make no difference to the sense. (Ali, The Holy Quran-Translation and Commentary, p. 31, f. 72)

One Muslim historian noted:

"Among the mutashabih (things which resemble one another) verses are those which tell the story of Moses in many places of the Qur'an, and those, like them, which employ different words to express similar meanings. Some examples of these are: 'Let into it' and 'Carry in it [the Ark]', (Q. 23:27 and 11:40); 'Slip in your hand' and 'Enter your hand [O Moses into your bosom]', (Q. 28:32 and 27:12); and 'He [Moses] cast down his staff and, behold, it became a snake slithering' and 'He cast it down and, behold, it became an unmistakable serpent', (Q. 20:20 and 7:107). Ibn Zayd then comments, 'All this is in order to show God's judgment between the prophets and their peoples.' Ibn Zayd goes on, 'Anyone whom God wishes to test and cause to fall into error would say, "Why is this not like that, and why is that like this!"' (Tabari, VI, pp. 177-179)" (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Vol. II - The House of Imran [State University of New York Press, Albany; 1992], p. 23 bold emphasis ours)

(For more examples of conflicting parallel accounts see this article)

5. Scientific Errors

According to S. 41:9-12 God created the heavens and the earth in eight days. Yet, suras 7:54, 10:3, 11:7 and 25:59 state that it took God six days to create the universe.

In order to resolve this contradiction, Shabir assumes that the first two days of S. 41:9 are concurrent with the four days of 41:10 that it took God to create its nourishment. This would then total up to exactly six days.

The problem with Shabir's interpretation is that it neglects the earliest Muslim interpretation of these passages. When we look at these early traditions, some of which are attributed to Muhammad, we find that the contradiction sticks. Hence, it is the interpretation of Muhammad that leaves us with a contradiction. Muhammad personally believed that the heavens and the constellations were created after the earth had already been formed. The following traditions are taken entirely from The History of al-Tabari, Volume 1- General Introduction and from the Creation to the Flood (trans. Franz Rosenthal, State University of New York Press, Albany 1989), pp. 187-193:

"We have stated before that time is but hours of night and day and that the hours are but traversal by the sun and the moon of the degrees of the sphere. Now then, this being so, there is (also) a sound tradition from the Messenger of God told us by Hannad b. al-Sari, who also said that he read all of the hadith (to Abu Bakr)- Abu Bakr b. `Ayyash- Abu Sa'd al-Baqqal- `Ikrimah- Ibn Abbas: The Jews came to the Prophet and asked him about the creation of the heavens and the earth. He said: God created the earth on Sunday and Monday. He created the mountains and the uses they possess on Tuesday. On Wednesday, He created trees, water, cities and the cultivated barren land. These are four (days). He continued (citing the Qur'an): `Say: Do you really not believe in the One Who created the earth in two days, and set up others like Him? That is the Lord of the worlds. He made it firmly anchored (mountains) above it and blessed it and decreed that it contain the amount of food it provides, (all) in four days, equally for those asking'- for those who ask. On Thursday, He created heaven. On Friday, He created the stars, the sun, the moon, and the angels, until three hours remained. In the first of these three hours He created the terms (of human life), who would live and who would die. In the second, He cast harm upon everything that is useful for mankind. And in the third, (He created) Adam and had him dwell in Paradise. He commanded Iblis to prostrate himself before Adam, and He drove Adam out of Paradise at the end of the hour. When the Jews asked: What then, Muhammad? He said: `Then He sat straight upon the Throne.' The Jews said: You are right, if you had finished, they said, with: Then He rested. Whereupon the Prophet got very angry, and it was revealed: `We have created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days, and fatigue did not touch Us. Thus be patient with what you say.'"

According to this tradition from Ibn Abbas, Muhammad believed the earth and everything within it were created on the first four days whereas the heavens and the constellations were created afterwards on Thursday and Friday. This seems to agree with Shabir that the two days God fashioned the earth are concurrent with the four days it took God to supply its nourishment. Yet, we are still left with the problem of the heavens and constellations being created after the earth. This fact contradicts the following Sura which places the creation of the heavens before the formation of the earth:

"What, are you stronger in constitution or the heaven He built? He lifted up its vault, and leveled it, and darkened its night, and brought forth its forenoon; and the earth after that (ba'da) he spread it out, therefrom brought forth its waters and its pastures, and on the mountains He set firm." S. 79:27-32

Tabari comments on those who would try to translate the word ba'da to mean other than "after that":

Someone might say: You realize that a number of interpreters have considered God's word: "And it was the earth that He spread out thereafter, to mean: "He spread out simultaneously" (attributing to the preposition ba'da "after" the meaning of ma'a "together [simultaneous] with"). Now, what is your evidence for the soundness of your statement that we have here the meaning of "after", the opposite of "before"? The reply would be: The meaning of "after" generally known in Arabic speech, as we have said, is that of the opposite of "before," and not "simultaneous with." Now, word meanings considered applicable are those that are preponderant and generally known among speakers (of a language), and no others are. (Ibid., p. 216)

Tabari continues:

"According to al-Muthanna- al-Hajjaj- Hammad- `Ata' b. al-Sa'ib- `Ikrimah: The Jews asked the Prophet: What about Sunday? The Messenger of God replied: On it, God created the earth and spread it out. They asked about Monday, and he replied: On it, He created Adam. They asked about Tuesday, and he replied: On it, He created the mountains, water, and so on. They asked about Wednesday, and he replied: Food. They asked about Thursday, and he replied: He created the heavens. They asked about Friday, and he replied: God created night and day. Then, when they asked about Saturday and mentioned God's rest(ing on it), he exclaimed: God be praised! God then revealed: `We have created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days, and fatigue did not touch Us.'"

This tradition has Adam being created before God had even created food and vegetation. We also have the earth being formed on Sunday, whereas its provisions were only created a couple of days later on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Al-Tabari comments:

"The two reports transmitted by us from the Messenger of God have made it clear that the sun and the moon were created after God had created many things of His creation. That is because the hadith of Ibn Abbas on the authority of the Messenger of God indicates that God created the sun and the moon on Friday. If this is so, earth and heaven and what was in them, except the angels and Adam, had been created before God created the sun and the moon. All this (thus) existed while there was no light and no day, since night and day are but nouns designating hours known through the traversal by the sun and the moon of the course of the sphere. Now, if it is correct that the earth and the heaven and what was between them, except what we have mentioned, were in existence when there was no sun and no moon, the conclusion is that all existed when there was no night or day. The same (conclusion results from) the following hadith of Abu Hurayrah reported on the authority of the Messenger of God: God created light on Wednesday- meaning by `light' the sun, if God wills."

Hence, it is both Muhammad's and the early Muslim writers' interpretations of the Quran which leads to internal contradictions as well as conflict with modern scientific views on the origins of the universe.

Finally, the fact of the matter is that Shabir must presuppose that the Quran has no contradictions and therefore interprets every discrepancy in light of this belief. Hence, the real question is not whether if the Quran contains contradictions, but whether Shabir's presuppositions will allow him to admit that it does.

Shabir claims that the Quran is a scientific miracle, foretelling modern scientific facts that were only discovered recently. One such example is the Quran's alleged accurate description of the fetus' development in its different stages. He cites Dr. Keith Moore, former Professor of embryology at University of Toronto, as his authority.

We will examine the alleged scientific accuracy of the Quran and demonstrate that the description of the developing embryo is a gross scientific error. We will even appeal to Moore for proof!

"He makes you in the wombs of your mothers in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness." S. 39:6

Some Muslims see in the phrase, "three darkness," an allusion to: (l) the anterior abdominal wall; (2) the uterine wall; and (3) the amniochorionic membrane.

Besides this being a seemingly forced interpretation of the text, the fact is that this passage refers to the stages in which the developing embryo goes through. Yet, according to Dr. Moore's textbook, The Developing Human, there are thirteen stages, not three, in the development of the embryo. Why did the Quran not mention these other stages as well?

The other alleged miracle stems from the following Sura:

Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (Alaqa, a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh (Mudghah), then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators!" S. 23:13-14

According to one Muslim article:

This statement is from Sura 23:13. The drop or nutfah has been interpreted as the sperm or spermatozoon, but a more meaningful interpretation would be the zygote which divides to form a blastocyst which is implanted in the uterus ("a place of rest"). This interpretation is supported by another verse in the Qur'an which states that "a human being is created from a mixed drop." The zygote forms by the union of a mixture of the sperm and the ovum ("The mixed drop"). (Reference)

In order to arrive at the conclusion that the Quran accurately depicts the developing embryo, the author must propose a new meaning for the term Nutfah. Yet, even the author admits that the phrase has been interpreted as sperm or spermatozoon. This perhaps best demonstrates the willful attempts of Muslim apologists to devise entirely new meanings to already established Arabic words in order to arrive at their conclusions that the Quran is scientifically accurate. The late Muslim translator, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, noted:

"Every serious writer and thinker has a right to use all the knowledge and experience he possesses in the service of the Qur'an. But he must not mix up his own theories and conclusions, however reasonable, with the interpretation of the Text itself, which is usually perfectly perspicuous, as it claims to be. Our difficulties in interpretation often arise from various causes, of which I will mention just a few:

"(1) Arabic words in the Text have acquired other meanings than those which were understood by the Apostle and his Companions. All living languages undergo such transformations. The early Commentators and Philologists went into these matters with a very comprehensive grasp, and we must accept their conclusions. Where they are not unanimous, we must use our judgment and historic sense in adopting the interpretation of that authority which appeals to us most. We must not devise new verbal meanings." (Yusuf Ali as cited by Dr. William Campbell, The Qur'an and the Bible in the light of History and Science [Middle East Resources PO Box 96 Upper Darby PA 19082), pp. 9-10)

Furthermore, here is a sampling of Quranic verses in which the term Nutfah is used:

16:4 He created man from a drop of fluid (Pickthall)

16:4 He has created man from a sperm-drop

32:8 He made his seed from a quintessence of despised fluid

35:11 ...then from a little fluid (Pickthall)

53:46 (he created) from a drop of seed when it is poured forth (Pickthall)

53:46 From a sperm-drop when lodged (in its place)

56:58 Have ye seen that which ye emit (Pickthall)

56:58 Do you then see? The (human Seed) that ye emit

75:37 Was he not a drop of fluid which gushed forth (Pickthall)

75:37 Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)?

76:2 We create man from a drop of thickened fluid (Pickthall)

76:2 We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm

80:19 From a sperm-drop He hath created him

86:6-7 He is created from a drop emitted - proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.

Dr. Lactantius notes:

"In the verses listed above nutfah is used when describing the fluid which gushes out during sexual intercourse and clearly this can only refer to semen. However, Prof. Moore is keen to translate nutfah in sura 76:2 as 'mingled fluid' [3] and explains that this Arabic term refers to the male and female fluids which contain the gametes (male sperm and female egg). While it is true that the ancient Greeks would not have been able to see individual sperm or eggs, these only being visible through the microscope, the Qur'an emphatically does not mention sperm or eggs; it simply says nutfah. This can reasonably be translated semen, or at a push, germinal fluid - which was a term used as early as Hippocrates [4] who spoke of male and female reproductive fluids (but obviously could not have been aware of the cells contained in the fluids). If Moore wishes to translate nutfah as germinal fluid, he inadvertently reinforces that the Qur'an is borrowing this term from the Greeks." (Reference)

The Islamic article goes on to say:

"This statement is from Sura 23:14. The word "alaqah" refers to a leech or bloodsucker. This is an appropriate description of the human embryo from days 7-24 when it clings to the endometrium of the uterus, in the same way that a leech clings to the skin. Just as the leech derives blood from the host, the human embryo derives blood from the decidua or pregnant endometrium. It is remarkable how much the embryo of 23-24 days resembles a leech (Fig. 2). As there were no microscopes or lenses available in the 7th century, doctors would not have known that the human embryo had this leech-like appearance. In the early part of the fourth week, the embryo is just visible to the unaided eye because it is smaller than a kernel of wheat."

The word alaqa is only appropriate if one already presupposes that the term can carry the meaning of "leech." Yet, as we shall see this is another time where Muslims must give a completely different definition from the established meaning of the specific term in question. Notice the following meanings given by the following Islamic translations:

- un grumeau de sang (a small lump of blood) -- Kasimirski, 1948 (last Ed. during life of author was 1887)

- a leech-like clot -- Yusuf Ali, (translation of 1938) 1946

- a clot -- Pickthall, (translation of 1940) 1977

- a clot -- Maulana Muhammad Ali, 1951

- un caillot de sang -- Masson, 1967

- a clot -- Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, 1971

- de caillot de sang (clot of blood) -- Hamidullah, 1981


"The early Muslim commentators. Ibn Kathir wrote that when the drop of water (nutfah) settled in the womb it stayed there for forty days and then became a red clot (alaqa), staying there for another forty days before turning to mudghah, a piece of flesh without shape or form. Finally it began to take on a shape and form. Both ar-Razi and as-Suyuti [13] claimed that the dust referred both to Adam's creation and to the man's discharge; nutfah referred to the water from the male and alaqa was a solidified piece of blood clot. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (died about AD 1350) wrote that "the foetus is a living or dead babe animal which is sometimes found in the womb of a slaughtered animal, and its blood is congested" [14]. Another great physician, Ibn al-Quff wrote some 13 out of 60 chapters from "On Health Preservation" about embryology and pregnancy. He included a further stage of development one week after conception, the foam stage or raghwah. Up to 16 days the embryo was alaqa (clot) and after 27 to 30 days the clot turns into a lump of meat, mudghah [15]." (Reference)

Hence, these Muslims understood the term nutfah to mean the water gushing from the male (i.e. sperm) and alaqa to mean clot or congested blood. Yet, these established meanings leave gross scientific problems since at no point in time is the fetus a blood clot.

The Qamus al-Muheet, one of the most important Arabic dictionaries ever compiled, by Muhammed Ibn-Yaqub al-Firuzabadi (AD 1329-1415, Al Munjid fil Lugha wala'aam [Dar Al Mashreq sarl, Lebanon, 1987]) states alaqa has the same meaning as a clot of blood.

Dr. William Campbell comments:

"As every reader who has studied human reproduction will realize, there is no stage as a clot during the formation of a fetus so this is a very major scientific problem." (Campbell, p. 185)

Continuing further into the Muslim arguments, we are told:

"This statement is also from Sura 23:14. The Arabic word 'mudghah' means 'chewed substance or chewed lump.' Toward the end of the fourth week, the human embryo looks somewhat like a chewed lump of flesh (Fig. 3). The chewed appearance results from the somites which resemble teeth marks. The somites represent the beginnings or primordia of the vertebrae.

'Then We made out of the chewed lump, bones, and clothed the bones in flesh.'"

At the surface, these statements seem to be scientifically correct. Yet, when we go to the earliest Muslim sources, we find that Muhammad's interpretation leaves us with serious scientific errors:

"Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) who is the most truthful (of the human beings) and his being truthful (is a fact) said: Verily your creation is on this wise. The constituents of one of you are collected for forty days in his mother's womb in the form of blood, after which it becomes a clot of blood in another period of forty days. Then it becomes a lump of flesh and forty days later Allah sends His angel to it with instructions concerning four things, so the angel writes down his livelihood, his death, his deeds, his fortune and misfortune. By Him, besides Whom there is no god, that one amongst you acts like the people deserving Paradise until between him and Paradise there remains but the distance of a cubit, when suddenly the writing of destiny overcomes him and he begins to act like the denizens of Hell and thus enters Hell, and another one acts in the way of the denizens of Hell, until there remains between him and Hell a distance of a cubit that the writing of destiny overcomes him and then he begins to act like the people of Paradise and enters Paradise." (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6390)

"Anas b. Malik reported directly from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) that he said: Allah, the Exlated and Glorious, has appointed an angel as the caretaker of the womb, and he would say: My Lord, it is now a drop of semen; my Lord, It is now a clot of blood; my Lord, it has now become a lump of flesh, and when Allah decides to give it a final shape, the angel says: My Lord, would it be male or female or would he be an evil or a good person? What about his livelihood and his age? And it is all written as he is in the womb of his mother." (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6397)

Hence, Muhammad believed that the fetus went from a drop of sperm for the first forty days to a clot for an additional forty days. It then becomes chewed meet from day 80 till the 120th day.

These statements are in clear contradiction to what modern gynecological studies tell us:

"The drop of sperm remains a drop of sperm 40 days, then an 'alaqa' 40 days for a total of 80 days, then 'chewed meat' for 40 days for a total of 120 days. Modern gynecological studies have shown that sperm remain alive less than a week inside the female genital tract, and that at 70 days organ differentiation and maturation are well advanced, except for the brain and bones. This Hadith says that it doesn't even become 'chewed meat' until 80 days, a clear error. Dr. Bucaille also mentions this Hadith and concludes,

'This description of embryonic evolution does not agree with modern data.'" (Campbell, p. 191)

In fact, these statements from Muhammad contradict Keith Moore's book as documented in the very same Islamic article cited above! For instance, Moore claims that the fetus resembles a "leech" (i.e. clot) at the seventh day of post-fertilization and remains such until the 24th day. After that it starts to resemble chewed flesh from days 26-27. Hence, either Moore is right and Muhammad and the Quran is wrong or Keith Moore is wrong. Either way, we are left with difficulties.

Furthermore, the Hadith claims that the fetus' gender is only determined after the 120 days of its post-fertilization when it goes from sperm to clot to chewed flesh. This again is a gross error.

Finally, the talk of embryology is nothing new since discussion on the development of the embryo spans centuries before Muhammad ever came unto the scene. For instance, Greek physician Galen had written on the fetus long before the birth of Islam:

"But let us take the account back again to the first conformation of the animal, and in order to make our account orderly and clear, let us divide the creation of the foetus overall into four periods of time. The first is that in which, as is seen both in abortions and in dissection, the form of the semen prevails (Arabic nutfah). At this time, Hippocrates too, the all-marvelous, does not yet call the conformation of the animal a foetus; as we heard just now in the case of semen voided in the sixth day, he still calls it semen. But when it has been filled with blood (Arabic alaqa), and heart, brain and liver are still unarticulated and unshaped yet have by now a certain solidarity and considerable size, this is the second period; the substance of the foetus has the form of flesh and no longer the form of semen. Accordingly you would find that Hippocrates too no longer calls such a form semen but, as was said, foetus. The third period follows on this, when, as was said, it is possible to see the three ruling parts clearly and a kind of outline, a silhouette, as it were, of all the other parts (Arabic mudghah). You will see the conformation of the three ruling parts more clearly, that of the parts of the stomach more dimly, and much more still, that of the limbs. Later on they form "twigs", as Hippocrates expressed it, indicating by the term their similarity to branches. The fourth and final period is at the stage when all the parts in the limbs have been differentiated; and at this part Hippocrates the marvelous no longer calls the foetus an embryo only, but already a child, too when he says that it jerks and moves as an animal now fully formed (Arabic `a new creation')....

"...The time has come for nature to articulate the organs precisely and to bring all the parts to completion. Thus it caused flesh to grow on and around all the bones, and at the same time... it made at the ends of the bones ligaments that bind them to each other, and along their entire length it placed around them on all sides thin membranes, called periosteal, on which it caused flesh to grow." (Corpus Medicorum Graecorum: Galeni de Semine [Galen: On Semen] Greek text with English trans. Phillip de Lacy, Akademic Verlag, 1992 section I: 9:1-10 pp. 92-95, 101)

Dr. Lactantius comments:

"The account of the different stages in embryology as described by the Qur'an, ar-Razi and al-Quff is identical to that taught by Galen, writing in around AD 150 in Pergamum (Bergama in modern Turkey). Galen taught that the embryo developed in four stages as detailed below."


"The first stage, geniture, corresponds to [nutfah], the drop of semen; the second stage, a bloody vascularised foetus with unshaped brain, liver and heart ("when it has been filled with blood") corresponds to [alaqa], the blood clot; the third stage "has the form of flesh" and corresponds to [mudghah], the morsel of chewed flesh. The fourth and final stage, puer, was when all the organs were well formed, joints were freely moveable, and the foetus began to move [20]. If the reader is in any doubt about the clear link being described here between the Galenic and the Qur'anic stages, it may be pointed out that it was early Muslim doctors, including Ibn-Qayyim, who first spotted the similarity.

Basim Musallam, Director of the Centre of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge concludes

'The stages of development which the Qur'an and Hadith established for believers agreed perfectly with Galen's scientific account... There is no doubt that medieval thought appreciated this agreement between the Qur'an and Galen, for Arabic science employed the same Qur'anic terms to describe the Galenic stages' [21]." (Reference)

Hence, if anything, all this proves is that the one inspiring Muhammad was not God, but Greek physicians whose works had been translated into Arabic by Christian Nestorians. These writings were taught at Christian schools throughout Arabia during the time of Muhammad.

Muslims fast annually during the month called Ramadan. The fast entails that Muslims refrain from eating or drinking from the time of sunrise all the way till sunset:

"It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts). They are Lîbas [i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her - as in Verse 7:189) Tafsir At-Tabarî], for you and you are the same for them. Allâh knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allâh has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall. And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I'tikâf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allâh, so approach them not. Thus does Allâh make clear His Ayât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, verses, laws, legal and illegal things, Allâh's set limits, orders, etc.) to mankind that they may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious - see V.2:2)." S. 2:187

Narrated 'Adi b. Hâtim: I said: 'O Allah's Apostle! What is the meaning of the white thread distinct from the black thread? Are these two threads?' He said: 'You are not intelligent, if you watch the two threads'. He then added, 'No, it is the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the day'. (Reference)

The major problem with this command is that there are certain regions where the sun does not set at all. As Dr. Campbell points out:

"The Qur'an claims to be a guide and a light for the worlds and yet no person living above the arctic circle can be a Muslim!

"'That's not true,' you will say. 'Anyone can be a Muslim. All he has to do is believe and say the shahada-the statement of faith.'

"'Wrong,' I say. 'He has got to keep the fast of Ramadan, and during the arctic summer he will starve to death because there is no sunset to mark the end of the fast. While waiting several weeks for a sunset he will have to fast and fast and fast until he's dead."

"'Well then', you answer, 'Let him fast according to the hours of the Muslims in Stockholm or Mecca.'

"Yes that is a possibility, but many Muslims won't agree that this type of 'original thinking' is valid. Every year there is a big uncertainty in Morocco as to whether the new moon to end the fast of Ramadan will be seen on the 29th day of the lunar month or the 30th. In addition to the question of whether one must fast an extra day or not, people can't make a plane reservation because they don't know when their holidays start, etc. Seeing this inconvenience year after year I said to one friend, 'But this is the 20th century and we can calculate the time of the new moon. Why don't they calculate it and be done with all this uncertainty?' He replied, 'because the Qur'an says, "when one of you witnesses (personally) the new moon", and he pointed to his eye to emphasize that a human must see it.

"Tunisia does go by astronomical calculations, and if some of the Laplanders become Muslims, some type of decision will have to be made about when and how they will fast.

"A second example of this type of problem is the recent space voyage of a Saudi Arabian astronaut. At an altitude of 200 km (125 miles), the orbital velocity of the space craft is 29.000 km (18,000 miles) per hour and the period of orbit around the earth is 90 minutes. So now 20th century questions must be asked.

"Of the 18 daily voyages around the earth, each with a sunrise and sunset, which entrance into the earth's shadow should be used for the 'sunset' prayers? And how can the astronaut pray toward Mecca when, except for the rare course straight toward that town, the angle of direction would continually change even during the few minutes necessary for four rak`as of prayer?

"The Saudi Arabian religious leaders decided that the astronaut should attach his feet to the space ship and pray three times during a 24 hour day. This is a perfectly logical decision, but there is no place that prophesies this in the Qur'an." (Campbell, pp. 197-198)

In light of the above, we ask Shabir was God not aware of the fact that in certain regions the sun does not set at all? If so, then why command a fast that revolves around the rising and setting of the sun? Furthermore, did God not realize that praying five times a day towards Mecca would be an inconvenience for space travel? If so, then why command prayers directed towards Mecca? Was God unaware of the fact that in the future man would travel in space?

"And We have (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with lamps, and we have made such (Lamps as) missiles to drive away Satans..." S. 67:5

"We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars, (for beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious Satans. (So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side." S. 37:6-8 (see also Suras 15:16-18, 55:33-35 etc. which seem to speak about the same thing)

Are we to really believe that Allah created the stars/meteors as missiles to throw at the devils, preventing them from eavesdropping on the heavenly council? Does Shabir expect us to accept such statements as examples of scientific fact?

The Quran gives conflicting accounts on how man was created:

From the earth

11:61 It is He Who hath produced you from the earth

Out of dry clay (Arabic Salsaal)

15:26,28,33 We created man from sounding clay

17:61 ... Thou didst create from clay

32:7 He began the creation of man from clay

From nothing

19:67 We created him before out of nothing Not from nothing

52:35 Were they created of nothing?

From mud

23:12 We created man from a product of wet earth (loam) (Pickthall)

23:12 Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay)

38:71 I am about to create a mortal out of mire

From water

25:54 It is He Who has created man from water (see also 21:30, 24:45)

Out of dust

3:59 He created (Jesus) out of dust

30:20 He created you from dust

35:11 Allah did create you from dust...

Out of dead persons

30:19 It is He who brings out the living from the dead

39:6 He created you from a single Person (see also 4:1)

In his article, Dr. Lactantius makes the following observation:

"To resolve the considerable ambiguity about what exactly we are made of, it has been suggested that all of the above are complimentary accounts, in the same way that a loaf of bread could be said to be made of dough, flour, carbohydrate or molecules. This evades the issue however. The metaphorical description of God making man out of the dust of the earth is ancient and predates the Qur'an by thousands of years; it is found in the Bible in Genesis 2:7. If this was literal it would be in direct scientific conflict with evolutionists who maintain that life was created out of the oceans, but Muslims maintain that we were created both from the oceans and from earth."

The Quran contains many numerical discrepancies. This point is interesting since Shabir questions the integrity of the biblical text due to its alleged numerical discrepancies.

Yet, Shabir finds no problem with the Quranic text in spite of the fact that it also contains numerical errors! Some of the numerical errors contained in the Quran include:

Does Allah's day equal to 1,000 (Sura 22:47, 32:5) or 50,000 years (Sura 70:4)?

Observe how similar 32:5 and 70:4 are worded' "ascend unto him in a day the measure whereof is [fifty] thousand years [of your reckoning]."

This is due perhaps to the fact that the verses originally read "fifty thousand" in both and "fifty" dropped out during the transcription of the MSS? Or is the discrepancy possibly due to the work of corrupt scribes? Or does God just not know how to relate the length of days to human years?

Even Ibn Abbas, a Sahabah and Muhammad's cousin, was at a loss for words in trying to reconcile these conflicting accounts:

"When Ibn Abbas was asked about these two days he refrained from answering. Abu Ubaid has said: 'A certain man asked Ibn Abbas about a day whose measure was 50,000 years, to which he answered: "They were two days which Allah has mentioned in His Book. Allah alone knows what they are. I do not know what they are, and am afraid to say about them that which is not according to my knowledge."' Ibn Abi Mulaika has said: 'I struck the camel till I entered upon Said Ibn al-Musayyab. He was asked about this (matter), but he knew not what to say. Therefore I said to him: "Shouldn't I tell you what I heard Ibn Abbas say?" And I told him. So Ibn al-Musayyab said to the inquirer: "Behold Ibn Abbas, who is more knowledgeable than me, avoided to speak about it"' (al-Qurtubi on Sura al-Sajda 32:5 and al-Razi on Sura al-Ma'arij 70:4)." (True Guidance [Light of Life PO Box 13 A-9503 Villach, Austria], pp. 215-216)

Few of the Latter Believers or Many?

"(First) those on the right hand; what of those on the right hand?... Those are they who will be brought nigh In gardens of delight; A multitude of those of old And a FEW of those of later time." S. 56:8, 11-14


"For those on the right hand; A multitude of those of old And a MULTITUDE of those of later time." S. 56:38-40

How many Muslims does it take to defeat an army?

"O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you TWENTY steadfast they shall overcome TWO HUNDRED, and if there be of you a HUNDRED (steadfast) they shall overcome a THOUSAND of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence." S. 8:65

Yet the verse following immediately after contradicts the above given estimates:

"Now hath Allah lightened your burden, for He knoweth that there is weakness in you. So if there be of you a steadfast HUNDRED they shall overcome TWO HUNDRED, and if there be of you A THOUSAND (steadfast) they shall overcome TWO THOUSAND by permission of Allah. Allah is with the steadfast." S. 8:66

Let us break this down:

v. 65: Twenty Muslims can overtake two hundred of the opposition.

v. 66: A hundred Muslims can overtake two hundred of the opposition.

v. 65: A hundred Muslims can overtake a thousand of the opposition.

v. 66: A thousand Muslims can overtake two thousand of the opposition, which means it will now take five hundred Muslims, as opposed to the one hundred of v. 65, to overcome a thousand of the opposition.

How many gardens are there in paradise?

ONE: 39:73, 41:30 [the Garden], 57:21 [a Garden], 79:41 [the Garden], or

MANY: 18:31, 22:23, 35:33, 78:32 [each time: "Gardens"]?

The plural "Gardens" has to refer to at least three because if it/they were two, then the Arabic would use the dual form of the noun. Therefore this is a discrepancy of at least 200% from "one" to "several".

How many groups appear on the Judgment Day, 3 or 2?

S. 56:7 mentions three distinct groups of people for judgment. But 90:18-19, 99:6-8, etc. mention only two groups

There are conflicting views on who takes the souls at death.

S. 32:11 reads:

"Say: THE Angel of Death, put in charge over you, will (duly) take your souls. Then shall ye be brought back to your Lord." (i.e. on specific angel is in view)

S. 47:27 says:

"But how (will it be) when THE angels take their souls at death?"

This again presupposes their specific identity and a greater number than one. But then S. 39:42 doesn't speak of angels anymore at all:

"It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death."

Messengers sent to Pharaoh, 1 or 2?

S. 73:15-16 says that one messenger was sent to Pharaoh, while S. 10:75 speaks of two (Moses and Aaron).

In S. 73:15 we are told that only "a" (not a stress on "one") messenger has been sent to Pharaoh. The comparison of this messenger to Muhammad, who is sent just in the same way makes a strong point for the "one", since Muhammad undoubtedly was only one in his time. And verse 16 affirms this by saying "the" messenger. S. 73:15

S. 7:103 also speaks only of sending Moses.

Angels and Wings

The Qur'an states:

"Praise be to Allah, Who created (out of nothing) the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels, messengers with wings,- two, or three, or four (pairs): He adds to Creation as He pleases: for Allah has power over all things." S. 35:1

According to Sura 35:1 angels have 2, 3, or 4 pairs of wings. This is contradicted by several hadith which state that Gabriel had 600 wings. Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 455:

Narrated Abu Ishaq-Ash-Shaibani:

I asked Zir bin Hubaish regarding the Statement of Allah: "And was at a distance Of but two bow-lengths Or (even) nearer; So did (Allah) convey The Inspiration to His slave (Gabriel) and then he (Gabriel) Conveyed (that to Muhammad). (53.9-10) On that, Zir said, "Ibn Mas'ud informed us that the Prophet had seen Gabriel having 600 wings." (See also Volume 6, Book 60, Number 379 & 380)

(Note- For more on contradictions and errors of the Quran please click on this link)

False Prophecies

Shabir claims that the Holy Bible contains false prophecies. The reality is that it is not the Holy Bible that contains false predictions, but rather it is Ally's erroneous understanding of the nature of prophecy that is faulty. Using Shabir's fallible understanding of how prophecy works, we can demonstrate that both the Quran and Hadiths contain false prophecies as well.

"The Roman Empire has been defeated - in a land close by: But they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious - within a few years." S. 30:4

As the prophecy states the Romans did become victorious over the Persians who had at first defeated them. Yet again we are confronted with several problems:

  1. According to Yusuf Ali the Arabic word for "a few years," Bidh'un, signifies a period of three to nine years; yet according to some scholars the victory did not come until nearly twelve years later. The Persians defeated the Romans and captured Jerusalem at about A.D. 614 or 615. The Roman counter-offensive did not begin until A.D. 622 and the victory was not complete until A.D. 625, making it a period between ten to eleven years, not "a few years" alluded to in the Quran.
  2. The original Quranic text had no vowel marks. Thus, the Arabic word Sayaghlibuna, "they shall defeat," could easily have been rendered, with the change of two vowels, Sayughlabuna, "they (i.e. Romans) shall be defeated." Since vowel points were not added until some time after this event, it could have been quite possible for a scribe to deliberately tamper with the text, forcing it to become a prophetic statement.
  3. This fact is solidified by Muslim commentator al-Baidawi. C.G. Pfander mentions Baidawi's comments on the variant readings surrounding this passage:

    "But Al Baizawi shatters the whole argument of the Muslims by informing us of certain varied readings in these verses of Suratu'r Rum. He tells us that some read (Arabic text appears here) instead of the usual (Arabic text appears here) and (Arabic text appears here) instead of (Arabic text appears here). The rendering will then be: 'The Byzantines have conquered in the nearest part of the land, and they shall be defeated in a small number of years,' &c. If this be the correct reading, the whole story about Abu Bakr's bet with Ubai must be a fable, since Ubai was dead long before the Muslims began to defeat the Byzantines, and even long before the victories which Heraclius won over the Persians. This shows how unreliable such Traditions are. The explanation which Al Baizawi gives is, that the Byzantines became conquerors of 'the well-watered land of Syria' (Arabic text appears here) and that the passage predicted that the Muslims would soon overcome them. If this is the meaning, the Tradition which records the 'descent' of the verses about six years before the Hijrah must be wrong, and the passage must belong to A.H. 6 at earliest. It is clear that, as the vowel points were not used when the Qur-an was first written down in Cufic letters, no one can be certain which of the two readings is right. We have seen that there is so much uncertainty about (1) the date at which the verses were 'sent down', (2) the correct reading, and (3) the meaning, that it is quite impossible to show that the passage contains a prophecy which was fulfilled. Hence, it cannot be considered to be a proof of Muhammad's prophetic office." (C. G. Pfander, Mizan-ul-Haqq- The Balance of Truth, revised and enlarged by W. St. Clair Tisdall [Light of Life P.O. Box 18, A-9503 Villach, Austria], 279-280) [emphasis ours]

  4. It amazes us that a prophecy from God would not specify the exact time of the victory, seeing that God is all-knowing and all-wise, declaring the end from the beginning. For God to guess that the Romans would win in "a few years" as opposed to specifying the exact year, is inconsistent with the belief in an Omniscient, Omnipotent Being. Hence, it is unlikely that the true God would actually make such a prophecy.

Another false prophecy includes the following:

"Lo! Allah! With Him is knowledge of the Hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is in the wombs. No soul knoweth what it will earn to-morrow, and no soul knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware." S. 31:34

According to Muhammad's interpretation of the preceding passage, there are five things man will never know:

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar:

The Prophet said, "The keys of the Unseen are five." And then he recited:

'Verily, the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone).' (31.34)" (Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 301)

Narrated Ibn Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "The keys of Unseen are five which none knows but Allah: None knows what will happen tomorrow but Allah; NONE KNOWS WHAT IS IN THE WOMBS (A MALE CHILD OR A FEMALE) BUT ALLAH; none knows when it will rain but Allah; none knows at what place one will die; none knows when the Hour will be established but Allah." (See The Quran 31:34.)" (Bukhari, Volume 6. Book 60, Number 219)

Besides the rest of the difficulties, the statement that none will know what is in the mother's womb is false since we now are able to tell whether a child will be male or female long before the time of delivery.

Shabir also complains against the fact that certain Bible writers spoke of Christ as descending during their lifetime. Failing to appreciate the fact that Christ's return could transpire at any moment, Shabir presumes that this is an error in the Holy Bible.

Yet, Shabir forgets to mention the fact that Muhammad uses similar language when speaking of Christ's return. Seeing that the Quran has little to say about the manner in which Christ will return, we turn to the Muslim traditions for the details:

"Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Mary (may peace be upon him) WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE. He will break crosses, kill swine and abolish Jizya and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it." (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287)

Narrated Abu Hurayrah:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (peace_be_upon_him). He will descent (to the earth). When YOU see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310)

Using Shabir's logic, we are forced to conclude that Muhammad is a false prophet since the latter claimed that Jesus would descend during the lifetime of his companions and they would be able to recognize him. Nearly 14 centuries has transpired since then and the companions have died and Christ still has not returned.

Useless Words Of The Quran

We believe that God's Word should benefit mankind and have meaning behind it. We believe that it should be relevant either for the specific communities to which a specific revelation was given, as well as having meaning for the world today. It should not contain any useless aspects to it. Yet, we find that the Quran contains useless words that have no bearing on the life of a Muslim. They are:

The late Christian writer, 'Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi, wrote:

"Our question is: Considering that only God knows the meaning of these words, as Muslims claim, what do they benefit us? God never inspires a man with profitless words; His words are clear and His oracles are a guidance to the people." (Al-Fadi, Is the Qur'an Infallible? [Light of Life PO Box 13 A-9503 Villach, Austria], p. 297)

A. Yusuf Ali comments on Sura 10 and the meaning of Alif Lam Ra:

"As shown in Appendix I (Sipara 3), the Abbreviated Letters are mystic symbols, about whose meaning there is no authoritative explanation. If the theory advanced in n. 25 to ii 1 has any validity, and the present group A.L.R. is cognate to the group A.L.M., we have to consider and form some idea in our minds as to the probable meaning of the variation... But no one should be dogmatic in speculation about mystic Symbols." (Ali, The Holy Qur'an- Introduction to Sura X [Yunus], p. 481)

We are also told in Ali's footnote 25, p. 17, that the meaning A.L.M.:

"... Much has been written about the meaning of these letters, but most of it is pure conjecture. Some commentators are content to recognize them as some mystic symbols, of which it is unprofitable to discuss the meaning by mere verbal logic. In mysticism we accept symbols as such for a time being: their esoteric meaning comes from the inner light when we are ready for it..."

Muslim translator, Muhammad Asad, has a whole appendix that deals with this issue:

"About one-quarter of the Qur'anic suras are preceded by mysterious letter-symbols called muqatta'at ('disjointed letters') or, occasionally, fawatih ('openings') because they appear at the beginning of the relevant suras. Out of the twenty-eight letters of the Arabic alphabet, exactly one-half- that is, fourteen- occur in this position, either singly or in varying combinations of two, three, four, or five letters. They are always pronounced singly, by their designations and not as mere sounds- thus: alif lam mim, or ha mim, etc.

"The significance of these letter-symbols has perplexed the commentators from the earliest times. There is no evidence of the Prophet's having ever referred to them in any of his recorded utterances, nor any of his Companions having ever asked him for an explanation. None the less, it is established beyond any possibility of doubt that all the Companions- obviously following the example of the Prophet- regarded the muqatta'at as integral parts of the suras to which they are prefixed, and used to recite them accordingly: a fact which disposes effectively of the suggestion advanced by some Western orientalists that these letters may be no more than the initials of the scribes who wrote down the individual revelations at the Prophet's dictation, or of the Companions who recorded them at the time of the final codification of the Qur'an during the reign of the first three Caliphs.

"Some of the Companions as well as some of their immediate successors and later Qur'anic commentators were convinced that these letters are abbreviations of certain words or even phrases relating to God and His attributes, and tried to 'reconstruct' them with much ingenuity; but since the possible combinations are practically unlimited, all such interpretations are highly arbitrary and, therefore, devoid of any real usefulness..." (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an [Dar al-Andalus Limited, 3 Library Ramp Gibraltar, rpt. 1993], App. II, p. 992)

After summarizing several different interpretations, Asad concludes:

"... and so, in the last resort, we must content ourselves with the finding that a solution of this problem still remains beyond our grasp. This was apparently the view of the four Right-Guided Caliphs, summarized in these words of Abu Bakr: 'In every divine writ (kitab) there is [an element of] mystery- and the mystery of the Qur'an is [indicated] in the openings of [some of] the suras." (Ibid., p. 993)


Since Asad admits that there is no report suggesting that Muhammad spoke about these mysterious letters in his recorded utterances, where did the Companions come up with such a practice especially since these letters left them perplexed as to their meanings? Yet, no report has come down to us indicating that the Companions had inquired Muhammad on the meaning of these mysterious letters. This is indeed strange since had these letters been part of the original revelation why would the Companions not have asked about their meaning? This seems to suggest that scribes added these letters much later and hadiths were then forged to establish their authenticity.


"We have already mentioned that there are some chapters in the Qur'an whose names have no meaning. These chapters are: 20, 36, 38, 50, and 68. No one knows what Taha, Yasin, Sad, Qaf, or Nun mean. Mostly, they are mere letters and not words as to say, for instance, Chapter N, Chapter S, Chapter Y. Would that mean anything in English?

"All the Muslim scholars have indicated that they do not know the meanings of the names of these chapters. God only knows (refer to the Jalalan). On the other hand, the meanings of the names of the rest of the chapters are understood and familiar although there are very strange names linked to a mythical episode which is meaningless, as we will see.

"It should be noted that some of the Qur'anic chapters carry the names of insects or animals such as the chapters of the Cow, Ants, Spider, Elephant, Bee and the Cattle. We do not find in the Bible, for example, books with such names as 'The Book of the Lion' or 'The Bat' or 'The Buffalo' or 'The Book of the Serpent'. We also find in the Qur'an some chapters entitled, 'Chapter of the Afternoon', or 'The Dawn', or 'The Night', or 'Morning'."

"Moreover, there are strange stories which were the reasons behind these given names. Also, we are going to relate some stories recorded in the Qur'an which are only fit to be narrated by grandparents to children as part of folklore." (Behind the Veil, p.215-217 also found on the web here.

The authors produce an example of why some of these chapters were titled after insects and the like:

"In this chapter (i.e., Sura 27, Chapter of the Ants), the Qur'an says:

"'And there were gathered together unto Solomon his armies of the Jinn and humankind and of the birds and they were set in the battle order. Till, when they reached the valley of the Ants, an ant exclaimed, "O Ants! Enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies crush you." And Solomon smiled, laughing at her speech.'

"This is the reason why this chapter is entitled, 'The Ant'. All scholars (without exception) present this episode as it is recorded. They acknowledge that it is supernatural, yet it truly happened with Solomon, the Wise (refer to Baydawi, page 501; the Jalalan, p. 316, 317).

"When Qatada, one of Muhammad's companions, came to Iraq, he was surrounded by some Muslims who inquired of him about this episode. The Imam Abu Hanifa who was still a lad, asked him, 'Was the ant of Solomon male or female?' He answered, 'It was a female.' This is what Zamakhshari has recorded. He even mentioned that the ant which warned its friends was called Tahina and Solomon heard her when he was still three miles away." (Ibid. 216)

Perhaps Shabir can explain to us why he chooses to believe in the Quran in light of such stories.

Questionable Language Of The Quran

Another area of criticism against the Holy Bible is its metaphorical references to Israel as adulteresses who lusted after the genitalia of its lovers (Ezekiel 23), or the Song of Solomon and its constant references to the physical stature and shape of Solomon's lover etc. Despite the fact that these are poetic and metaphorical statements illustrating spiritual truths, Muslims still find offense with these writings.

The problem with such arguments is that it fails to note that the Quran itself speaks in similar language. Yet, the major difference between the Holy Bible and the Quran is that the latter is not speaking metaphorically or poetically, but literally. For instance, Quran teaches that men will be granted access to a paradise that is purely carnal:

As to the righteous, they will be in gardens and in happiness... (to them will be said,) "Eat and drink ye with profit and health, because of your (good) deeds." They will recline (with ease) on thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; and We shall join them (in the original: marry them) to companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes... And We shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they desire. S. 52:17, 19, 20, 22 (see also 4:57; 76:12-22; 55:54-56; 47:15)

Even more astonishing is this description:

"Surely for the godfearing awaits a place of security, gardens and vineyards, and maidens of SWELLING BREASTS (kawa'eb), like of age, and a cup overflowing." S. 78:33 Arberry (see also Dawood, Rodwell)

Ibn Kathir, one of Islam's premiere commentators, notes:

"Kawa'eb" - "SWELLING AND FIRM, NOT SAGGING." (Quoted from M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton, Place of Women in Pure in Islam, p. 30 – you can read it online.

To imagine that God would reveal such a verse, wherein he would actually say that in paradise one will find women who literally have firm breasts is incredulous.

The idea of having sexual relations in Paradise has led some Muslims to interpret these passages metaphorically. This in turn has prompted the assumption that the description is merely a poetic attempt to describe that which is indescribable.

Unfortunately for these scholars, Muhammad will not allow for such an interpretation. In Sahih Muslim, no. 6793 and 6794, we are told:

"In Paradise... every person would have two wives (so beautiful) that the marrow of their shanks would glimmer beneath the flesh and there would be none without a wife in Paradise."

According to Ibn Kathir's commentary on S. 56:35-37, a Muslim will be given seventy specially created females with two of his earthly wives, for a total of seventy-two maidens in Paradise.

In Mishkat Al-Masabih, Muhammad indicates:

"The believer will be given such and such strength in Paradise for sexual intercourse. It was questioned: O prophet of Allah! Can he do that? He said: 'He will be given the strength of one hundred persons.'" (Bk. IV, chp. XLII, Hadith no. 24; transmitted by Tirmizi who classified this Hadith as sound)

Even more amazing is this statement from Muhammad:

"The Prophet was asked: 'Do we have sex in Paradise?' He answered: 'Yes, by him who holds my soul in his hand, and it will be done dahman, dahman. And when it is finished she will return pure and virgin again.'" (Ibn Kathir's commentary on S. 56:35-37)

An editorial footnote to Ibn Kathir’s translation indicates that the word dahman means intercourse done with such "shove and disturbance." (Ibid.)

In fact, according to some Muslim scholars homosexuality will also be permitted in heaven! :

"Abul-Ala al-Maari said that homosexuality will be permissible in paradise. He based this opinion on Sura al-Waqi’a 56:17-23: ‘Round about them ARE MALE YOUTHS OF FRESHNESS... and there will be huris ("beautiful companions with large and lustrous eyes, like pearls well-guarded").’

"Abul-Ala said: ‘If wine is prohibited in this world and allowed in paradise, the same will happen with homosexuality’ (Risala al-ghufran by al-Maarri and Khawater Muslim fi al-mas’ala al-Jinsiyya by Muhammad Jalal Kishk)." (True Guidance, pt. 4, p. 122)

To say that this is incredulous would be a wild understatement!

Finally, the Quran speaks of women as tillage that one can plow into anyway they choose:

"Your women are a tillage for you, so go to your tillage as you will." S. 2:223

According to some Muslim sources, this verse was revealed to condone anal sex:

Narrated Jabir:

Jews used to say: "If one has sexual intercourse with his wife from the back, then she will deliver a squint-eyed child." So this Verse was revealed:-

"‘Your wives are a tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when or how you will.’ (2.223)" (Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 51)


"Ibn Abbas said, in question with this verse, that the Muslims from Medina had previously practiced a type of sexual relationship between husband and wife which they had learned from the Jews, in which the husband honours his wife with respect. When the Muslims from Mecca arrived, they brought a different standard of behaviour with them. This created a severe tension in the Islamic community. Muhammad answered it with the above verse and allowed men to behave as they wished. He allowed his followers anything that would satisfy their beastly lusts. (The full text of this hadith is not translated out of spiritual reservations).

"Ibn Abbas said: ‘Umar came to Muhammad and said: "I have perished." "Why?" Muhammad asked. "It is because I have altered the normal position of sex tonight."’ He meant to say that he had sexual intercourse away from his usual place. At first, Muhammad gave no reply, then he claimed that Allah gave him license. Muhammad and Umar were shameless and immodest. Muhammad should have guided Umar to God’s holiness and purity.

"Al-Bukhari narrated after Ibn Umar that al-Baqara 2:223 was revealed on the issue of having anal intercourse with women. Al-Tabarani narrated in Al-Aswat, with a reliable chain of traditions, that ‘Your women are a tillage for you’ was only revealed to license anal intercourse (Asbab al-Nuzul by al-Suyuti on Sura al-Baqara 2:223)." (True Guidance, pt. 5, pp. 48-49)

Interestingly, we find Bukhari’s Hadith on Ibn Umar’s comments to S. 2:223 yet with one added twist:

Narrated Nafi':

Whenever Ibn 'Umar recited the Qur'an, he would not speak to anyone till he had finished his recitation. Once I held the Qur'an and he recited Surat-al-Baqara from his memory and then stopped at a certain Verse and said, "Do you know in what connection this Verse was revealed?" I replied, "No." He said, "It was revealed in such-and-such connection." Ibn 'Umar then resumed his recitation. Nafi added regarding the Verse:--"So go to your tilth when or how you will" Ibn ‘Umar said said, "It means one should approach his wife in..." (Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 50)

According to Muhsin Khan the reason for the break in the quotation is due to the fact that, "Al-Bukhari left a blank space here because he was not sure of what Ibn ‘Umar had said." (Khan, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, p. 39)

We are left wondering as to why Bukhari decided to leave a blank space precisely at the point when Umar was about to explain S. 2:223? Could it be that Ibn Umar had in fact justified anal sex, leaving Bukhari too embarrassed to include this in his collection?

Interestingly, Ibn Kathir indirectly affirms that certain Muslims had concocted hadiths justifying anal intercourse:

"... However, is forbidden to have sex with one’s wife in the anus... Quoting his father, from his grand father, Amru Ibn Shu’aib narrated that the Prophet said: ‘Having sex with one’s wife in the anus is minor sodomy.’213 On the authority of Ali Ibn Talq, Imam Ahmad narrated: ‘’The Prophet has forbidden sexual intercourse with one’s wife in the anus, for Allah is not ashamed of the truth.’214 Quoting Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet said: ‘Allah will not look at whoever has sex with his wife in the anus.’215 Also, it was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: ‘Cursed is he who has sex with his wife in the anus.’ 216 Any Ahadith which allow such act are considered incorrect and they were all examined by our Sheikh al-Hafidh Abu Abdullah adh-Dhahabi in a volume which he compiled, and proved weak and false.

"It was narrated on the authority of IBN UMAR, Malik, ash-Shafi’i and at-Tahawi THAT IT IS LAWFUL but it is untrue. An-Nasr as-Sabbagh said: Ar-Rabi’ used to swear by Allah that Ibn Abdul Hakam had lied, when he had made allegations against ash-Shafi’i concerning the lawfulness of having sex with one’s wife in the anus. On the contrary, ash-Shafi’i mentioned the unlawfulness of having sex with one’s wife in the anus in six of his books, and Allah knows best. Also, Ibn Umar forbade it. On the authority of Sa’id Ibn Yasar abu al-Habbab, ad-Darami narrated: ‘I said to Ibn Umar: "What do you think of having sex with one’s wife in the anus?" Ibn Umar said: "Does anyone of the Muslims do that?"’ This is a good Isnad, and explicitly reveals the unlawfulness of such act, and anything attributed to him is rejected on the ground of the above Hadith.

"Ma’mar Ibn ‘Isa narrated that Malik considered having sex with one’s wife in the anus is unlawful. Quoting Isarel Ibn Rawh, Abu Bakr Ibn Zayyad an-Nisaburi narrated: ‘I asked Malik Ibn Anas’s opinion on having sex with one’s wife from the back, he said: "You are but Arabs, and can sowing be in a place other than that which has been ploughed? Do not go beyond the vagina." I said: "People claim that you say that?" He said: "It is a lie, it is a lie."’ Thus, this is what has been attributed to them, and it involved Abu Hanifa, ash-Shafi’I, Ahmed Ibn Hanbal and their companions, followers and other scholars from the Salaf. They entirely denied the allegation and some of them even believed that having sex with one’s wife in the anus is Kufr." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir-Part 2 Sura Al-Baqarah, ayat 142-252, Abridged By Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rifa’i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London 1998], pp. 191-192)

Ibn Kathir acknowledges that Muslims were circulating hadiths permitting anal sex, even appealing to the authority of Ibn Umar as evidence.

What is even more amazing is that one modern Muslim source has discredited the hadiths forbidding anal sex. According to the Learner, the hadiths that claim that anal sex is forbidden are questionable and do not conclusively disprove having sex in the anus.

After commenting on the said hadiths with their chains of transmission and the opinions of hadith Scholars, the article states:

Keeping in view the condition of these narratives, it should be quite obvious why I have not based my argument on these narratives. Though the referred narratives have been reported in some of the collections of hadith, yet I cannot call the contents of these narratives "directives of the Shari`ah". There are two reasons for this. Firstly because, as is pretty obvious from the discussion above that the sanad (chain of narrators) of these narratives is not reliable to qualify for ascription of the saying to the Prophet (pbuh). This weakness in sanad is actually a hindrance for me in ascribing something to the Prophet (pbuh) which has not reached us through unquestionably reliable sources. Secondly, because in my opinion, the nature of Khabr-e-wahid (hadith) is such that it does not allow us to base the directives of Shari`ah on it alone. It seems that even if the Prophet (pbuh) had said something about the prohibition of anal sex, it should be placed as a natural prohibition (as I have done in my referred answer) rather than a prohibition of the Shari`ah. Prohibitions mentioned in khabr-e-wahid (hadith) are those that are either natural prohibitions or clear corollaries of prohibitions mentioned in the Qur'an (Shari`ah). Unless a prohibition mentioned in a khabr-e-wahid (hadith) clearly relates to a natural prohibition or is clearly related to a prohibition mentioned in the Qur'an, the ascription of such khabr-e-wahid (hadith) to the Prophet (pbuh) becomes quite questionable.

In the referred case, although it is quite clear that prohibition of anal sex is a natural prohibition but the reason that I avoided quoting these narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) was that, in my opinion, the sanad of these narratives is not reliable enough to ascribe these to the Prophet (pbuh).

Moreover, we see that none of the three most accepted collections of the sayings ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh), that is the Sahih Bukhari, the Sahih Muslim and the Mu'atta Imaam Malik contain any of these narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh). This fact obviously, creates serious doubts regarding the ascription of such narratives to the Prophet (pbuh). (

Hence, we find arguments on both sides of the fence on whether anal sex is permitted or prohibited.

Another attack on Scripture relates to the biblical usage of "dogs" and "swine" in describing unbelievers and Gentiles (Cf. Matthew 7:6, 15:26; Philippians 3:2). Muslims claim that it is offensive to insinuate that prophets would actually use such descriptions in describing human beings. Hence, to ascribe such terminology to prophets is to accuse them of sin.

It is obvious to anyone reading the Bible that such terms are used metaphorically to show how depraved and corrupt man can be, and is, without the grace of God. Without the guidance of God, man is totally corrupt, doing things that even animals would not do.

Furthermore, the Quran itself uses such metaphors to describe evildoers:

Say: "Shall I point out To you something much worse Than this, (as judged) By the treatment it received From God? Those who incurred the curse of God And His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine..." S. 5:60

Relate to them the story Of the man to whom We sent Our Signs, But he passed them by: So Satan followed him up and he went astray. If it had been Our Will, We should have elevated him With Our Signs; but he Inclined to the earth, And followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog; if you attack Him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, He (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our Signs; So relate the story; Perchance they may reflect. S. 7:175-177

The similitude of those Who were charged With the (obligations of the) Mosaic Law, But who subsequently failed in those (obligations) is That of an ASS which carries huge tomes (But understands them not). Evil is the similitude of the people who falsify The Signs of God: And God guides not people who do wrong. S. 62:5

In light of these passages, will a Muslim now assume that God sinned (God forbid!) by using such metaphorical expressions to describe evildoers? If not, then to attack the Bible for using such metaphors is unwarranted.

Biblical Misquotations

Shabir also complains against the NT authors paraphrasing Old Testament passages. Shabir insists that if it is not a literal quote then it must be considered an error. Using Ally's method, the Quran is also guilty of misquoting the OT as the following examples prove:


"And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation. But whoso forgoeth it (in the way of charity) it shall be expiation for him. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers." S. 5:45


"But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." Exodus 21:23-25

"Anyone who takes the life of someone's animal must make restitution - life for life. If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death." Leviticus 24:18-21

"Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." Deuteronomy 19:21


"And verily we have written in the Psalms, after the Reminder: My righteous slaves will inherit the earth:" S. 21:105


"He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land." Psalm 25:13

"But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace... the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever." Psalm 37:11, 29

We are forced to conclude that because the Quran does not literally quote the OT word for word, but paraphrases it, it is therefore in error. Would Shabir accept this? He must if he is to remain consistent in his critical approach to the Holy Bible.

Claiming Statements and Prophecies In The Holy Bible That Do not Exist

The Quran asserts certain biblical facts and prophecies that do not exist in the Holy Bible. For instance, the Quran claims that it is IN the previous scriptures:

"It (the Qur'an) is indeed a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds, with it came down the spirit of truth Upon your heart so that you may be one of the warners in clear Arabic speech and indeed IT (the Qur'an) is in the writings of the earlier (prophets)." S. 26:192-195

We challenge Shabir to show us one place where the Quran is mentioned or where the Quran exists within previous scriptures.

The Quran also claims that there are prophecies of Muhammad when in reality there are absolutely none:

"... those who shall follow the Apostle, the unlettered Prophet whom they shall find described in the Torah THAT IS WITH THEM, AND IN THE GOSPEL..." S . 7:157

Interestingly, Ibn Ishaq quotes the Gospel of John as THAT Gospel that was given to Jesus and that also mentions Muhammad. Yet, Ishaq never even hints that this particular Gospel is inauthentic or corrupt:

"Among the things which have reached me about what Jesus the Son of Mary stated in the Gospel which he received from God for the followers of the Gospel, in applying a term to describe the apostle of God, is the following. It is extracted FROM WHAT JOHN THE APOSTLE SET DOWN FOR THEM WHEN HE WROTE THE GOSPEL FOR THEM FROM THE TESTAMENT OF JESUS SON OF MARY: 'He that hateth me hateth the Lord. And if I had not done in their presence works which none other before me did, they had not sin: but from now they are puffed up with pride and think that they will overcome me and also the Lord. But the word that is in the law must be fulfilled, 'They hated me without a cause' (i.e. without reason). But when the Comforter has come whom God will send to you from the Lord's presence, and the spirit of truth which will have gone forth from the Lord's presence he (shall bear) witness of me and ye also, because ye have been with me from the beginning. I have spoken unto you about this that ye should not be in doubt.'

"The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad; in Greek he is the paraclete." (Ishaq, Life Of Muhammad, trans. Alfred Guillaume, pp. 103-104)

First, it should be noted that this particular citation is taken from John 15:23-16:1. This implies that the Gospel of John was believed to be that Gospel conveyed by Jesus to his disciples. Secondly, Ishaq affirms that the apostle John wrote the fourth Gospel, debunking Shabir's attempts of trying to appeal to liberal scholarship to deny Johannine authorship. This indicates that Shabir is not even faithful to the testimony of his own Muslim sources that agree with conservative Biblical scholarship and the early Church on the authorship of certain NT books.

For instance, not only do the early Islamic traditions consider the Gospel of John to be authentic but certain statements made by the Apostle Paul are considered revelation from God as well. In fact, Paul is considered a legitimate representative of the teachings of Christ!:

"God has sent me (Muhammad) to all men, so take a message from me, God have mercy on you. Do not hang back from me as the disciples hung back from Jesus son of Mary. They asked how they hung back and he said, 'He called them to a task similar to that which I have called you. Those who had to go a short journey were pleased and accepted. Those who had a long journey before them were displeased and refused to go, and Jesus complained of them to God. (Tabari. From that very night) every one of them was able to speak the language of the people to whom he was sent.' (T. Jesus said, 'This is a thing that God has determined that you should do, so go.'

"Those whom Jesus son of Mary sent, both disciples and those who came after them, in the land were: Peter the disciple AND PAUL WITH HIM, (PAUL BELONGED TO THE FOLLOWERS AND WAS NOT A DISCIPLE) to Rome. Andrew and Matthew to the land of the cannibals; Thomas to the land of Babel, which is in the land of the east; Philip to Carthage and Africa; John to Ephesus the city of the young men of the cave; James to Jerusalem which is Aelia the city of the sanctuary; Bartholomew to Arabia which is the land of Hijaz; Simon to the land of Berbers; Judah who was not one of the disciples was put in place of Judas" (Guillaume, p. 653)

Furthermore, Bukhari even quotes a passage from a letter written by Paul and attributes it to God:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

the Prophet said, "ALLAH SAID, 'I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of.'" (Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 589)

According to this Hadith, Muhammad purportedly claims that Allah is the author of the preceding quotation. Compare what Allah is supposed to have revealed to Muhammad with what Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians:

"However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'" 1 Corinthians 2:9

Paul paraphrases the following citation from Isaiah:

"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." Isaiah 64:4

Hence, the Hadith implicitly affirms that the One who inspired Paul's saying, which Muhammad quotes virtually verbatim, is God Almighty!

This basically means that Shabir's liberal position against the conservative views of the Holy Bible cannot be maintained without this debunking both the Quran and the early Muslim sources. Seeing that Ibn Ishaq and Bukhari affirm that both John's Gospel and Paul's work originate from God and Christ, Shabir must either toss out his methodology or drop his belief in the Quran and Sunna.


Since the earliest Muslim sources on Muhammad's life document that Paul was a legitimate messenger of Christ's teaching and a companion of the Apostle Peter, how could you even question Paul's integrity when neither Muhammad nor his followers did so? Can you please provide documentation where Muhammad and his followers attacked Paul's integrity? Furthermore, can you document from the earliest traditions and biographies where anyone of the Sahabah questioned the Gospels as they existed in their time? I have quoted one Islamic source that claims the opposite of what you have tried to demonstrate in your writings and debates on the Apostle Paul and the conservative view on the authorship of certain NT books.

Returning back to our main argument, we provide the following links for the proof that Muhammad is not mentioned in the Holy Bible: [1], [2], [3].

Documentary Hypothesis And The Quran

Shabir also embraces the Liberal Documentary Hypothesis view on the origins of the Torah-Pentateuch. This view claims that four independent sources were compiled together to form the Pentateuch. These documents have been classified as J (Yahwist), E (Elohist), D (Deuteronomists), P (Priestly Editors).

The problem with this view is that both archaeology and the majority of biblical scholars have thoroughly debunked the Documentary Hypothesis completely.

Instead of quoting scholars and their evidence for debunking this theory, we will apply this method to the Quran and see how this also serves to discredit Shabir's methodology:

In Arabic the name for God "Allah" parallels the Hebrew Elohim and the name "Rabb" corresponds to the Hebrew Adonai (Lord) which the Jews used later to refer to Jehovah. When we examine the Qur'an we find that the name Rabb is never used in 11 Suras: 24, 48, 49, 58, 61, 62, 77, 88, 95, 104, and 112; and the name Allah is absent in 18 Suras: 54-56, 68, 75, 78, 83, 89, 92-94, 99, 100, 105, 106, 108, 113, and 114. In addition there are 10 very short Early Meccan Suras in which, like the Book of Esther in the Torah-Old Testament, the name of God is not mentioned at all. Below is an analysis of the use of Allah and Rabb in Suras 48 to 64. I have chosen these 17 Suras because 8 of them are in the above lists.

Sura 	Date of	      Times 	  Number      Times per   Times       Times		
Number 	Sura 	      Allah used  of Verses   Verse       Rabb Used   per Verse
48 	6 AH 	       19          29          .65         0            0. 
49 	9 AH 	       27          18         1.50         0            0. 
50 	Early Meccan	1          45          .02         2             .04 
51 	Early Meccan	3          60          .05         5             .08 
52 	Early Meccan	3          49          .06         6             .12 
53 	Early Meccan	6          62          .10         7             .11 
54 	Early Meccan	0          55           0.         1             .02 
55 	Early Meccan	0          78           0.        36             .46 
56 	Early Meccan	0          96           0.         3             .03 
57 	8 AH 	       32          29         1.10         3             .10 
58 	5-7 AH 	       40          22         1.81         0            0. 
59 	4 AH 	       29          24         1.21         1             .04 
60 	8 AH 	       21          13         1.61         4             .31 
61 	3 AH 	       17          14         1.21         0            0. 
62 	2-5 AH 	       12          11         1.09         0            0. 
63 	4-5 AH 	       14          11         1.27         1             .09 
64 	1 AH 	       20          18         1.11         1             .06

"When we look at this information we see that in Sura 55 the word Rabb was used 36 times - 31 of them along with the word `favors' (al-ala'). This word ala' is a rare word in the Qur'an being found only three other times - once in the Early Meccan Sura 53 and twice in the Late Meccan Sura 7. Furthermore, when we examine Sura 53:19-20, we find that it is the only Sura which mentions the three Goddesses Al-Llat, and Al-`Uzza, and Manat.

"A higher critic who believes in the `documentary hypothesis' would now say, `We see here that Allah is used much less often during the Meccan period, never more than once in every 10 verses. While in the Medina period this name is used at least once a verse except for Sura 48. In addition, the word ala' and the three idol goddesses are found only in these Meccan Suras. Therefore there must have been an early Meccan writer called `R' because he used `Rabb' as the name for God, but who was still interested in idols. Later there was a second writer called `A' who used `Allah' and wrote when pure monotheism had developed. It is true, of course, that in Sura 53, Manat, Al-Llat and Al-`Uzza are mentioned with disapproval, so these disapproving words must have been added at a later date by `Q' which stands for editing done by the `Qurra'.

"Next we find that there are four accounts in the Qur'an telling how the honored guests came to inform Abraham that he would have a son in his old age. The Early Meccan Sura 51:24-30 mentions how Abraham's wife didn't believe and said `a barren old woman'. This was obviously done by `R'. The Late Meccan Sura 15:51-56 tells how Abraham didn't believe the news and said, `Do you give me glad tidings that old age has seized me?' Since this is Late Meccan the `A' writer was starting to have an influence. In the Late Meccan Sura 11:69-74 the two stories have been worked together by one of the `Q' editors and the fact is added that Abraham's wife laughed.

Finally there is the early Mid-Meccan account in Sura 37:99-103 which is really concerned with Abraham's sacrifice of his son. Since sacrifices are mentioned this represents another document which we will call the `D' document for (al-dabiha) sacrifice. As the reader can see we easily made up a new four document theory for the origin of the Qur'an. We could call it the R,A,Q,D theory. Though this R,A,Q,D theory is completely fictitious it demonstrates the type of arbitrary reasoning used by the authors of the `documentary hypothesis', and shows what would have happened if they had applied the same type of analysis to the Qur'an. (Campbell, pp. 84-86)

If Shabir wants to embrace the critical results of liberal scholars, he must remain consistent and also accept the implication such theories have on the authenticity of the Quran.

This concludes our debate material. We dedicate this to the glory and honor of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ, our risen Lord of eternal Glory. May he be praised and highly exalted forever. Amen, Come Lord Jesus. We Love You.

Recommended Books And Web Links

For the serious student who wants to examine the thousands of variant readings between the different codices of the Quran we highly recommend the following colossal work available on the net titled:

A 'Perfect' Qur'an OR "So it was made to appear to them"?

We also highly recommend the following books and links:

Dr. William Campbell
The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of History & Science
343pp., Middle East Resources 1992
ISBN 1-881085-00-7

When Critics Ask - A Popular Handbook On Bible Difficulties
Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe
Victor Books, 1992 by SP Publications, Inc.
ISBN: 0-89693-698-8

Hard Sayings Of The Bible
Walter C. Kaiser Jr. & Peter H. Davids & F.F. Bruce & Manfred T. Brauch
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, ILL.
ISBN: 0-8308-1423-X

Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties
Dr. Gleason L. Archer
Zondervan Corporation, 1982, Grand Rapids

True Guidance - 5 Part Series
Light of Life - P.O. BOX 13
A-9503 Villach, Austria

(Note - These series of books were written to refute two Islamic writings against the Bible. One is titled Izhar ul-haqq [The Revelation of the Truth], a book that was written to refute C. G. Pfander's Mizan ul-Haqq. And the other being titled al-Sayf al-Hamidi al-Saqil [The Furbished Hamidi Sword]. Highly recommended.)

Answering Islam (

The most comprehensive web site dealing with Muslim issues. Do a web search for Bible contradictions and you will find some great answers and links to alleged biblical contradictions. Also see Answering-Islam's Bible section

Debate Site - 101 Cleared Up Contradictions

A paper responding to Muslim Apologist Shabir Ally's 101 Clear Contradictions of the Bible. It is both excellent and scholarly.

A Christian Think Tank

A site respected even by atheists. Perhaps the most comprehensive answers ever compiled on Bible difficulties. The answers are based primarily on a superb exegetical understanding of scripture, as well as an amazing knowledge of archaeology. Fantastic.

Tekton Apologetics

Another fantastic site refuting alleged Bible contradictions and arguments from Atheists.

Further articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page