Whether Sunnism, Sufism, Shi’itism, Wahhabism, Ahmadiyya, Bahai faith or any one of the one hundred and fifty sects of Islam the common denominator is Allah.
Much has been written and still is being written on the God of the Christians and the God of the Muslims. Initially, I found the question a little bit awkward and gauche but when I started studying the Koran and make comparisons with the Bible. It seems that there are lots of hidden but logical questions that demands clear and concise answers.
It is impossible to really practice a religion in a judicious manner without knowing the nitty gritties of how the religion functions. I have good Muslim friends and I’ve been living in their midst for almost 20 years. I love and respect their zeal, they are even more zealous than many professing Christians. Their lives has challenged me over the years but my sincere prayer is that each zealous Muslims will make this journey into the truth with me with lots of patience and prayers. If there are any areas which cause offence, I assure the reader that it is not intentional. We are in a learning process.
2 Timothy 2:7 “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”
One of the most dangerous religious attitude one can ever adopted is to ignore religious facts that seems confusing and disturbing. It is a very dangerous attitude especially when it concerns the salvation of one’s soul.
We shall be considering some hyper sensitive issues but it must be clear that, the intention is never to manifest bitterness or resentment against Muslims, None, it is a forum to express our deep love and concerns for our Muslim brothers.
WHO WROTE THE KORAN?
Generally, most Muslims believe that the Koran, their sacred book, came down from heaven and was given to the prophet as a book or sheets in stages. The book itself claims in many verse that it was actually sent down from Allah (Surah 3vs 3, Surah 4 vs 105, Surah 4 vs 113, Surah 31 vs 21, Surah 42 vs 17, Surah 76 vs 23) But if we are to take the Koran and itself to determine its authorship from its claims, we cannot come out with a definite answer. For example , Surah 26 vs 192-194 and Surah 16 vs 102 say that the prophet received the Quran from the Holy spirit , but in Surah 53vs 2-18and Surah 81 vs 19-24, we read that it was the « one Mighty in power « himself that personally delivered the inspiration to the prophet and that the prophet saw him. Elsewhere, we read again that it was Angel Gabriel who brought the Quran down to the prophet’s heart by Allah’s will in Surah 2 vs 97. Again in Surah 15vs 8 we are made to know that it wasn’t the really Allah himself or Angel Gabriel nor the Holy Spirit but actually “angels” (in plural). If you are a Muslim and you are confused at this junction, you have reasons enough to be so.
Some enlightened Muslims believe rather that it would be more reasonable to regard it as the written form of the verbal message given to the prophet and so a revelation. Reading through the comments of most Islamic scholars who translated the Quran, one easily sees that apart from the stereotypical romanticism, they too are not sure of the authorship of the book. All they can say is that it is the book of Allah.
A careful student who reads it either in the Arabic or in translation will see that apart from the direct quotes from reported events , while some parts of the narrative are in the third person plural , some are in the third person and then first person singular , and so on . There are places where Allah is being addressed by the writer. The writer seems to forget he should maintain the narrative as coming from Allah and suddenly changes the narrative. For example, when the speaker /writer says ‘’ for me, I have been commanded to serve the Lord in this city …..and I am commanded to be of those who bow in Islam to God’s will (Surah 27 vs 91) , one may begin to wonder who is speaking – Allah or a writer ? How could these statements have existed in a book in heaven before creation?
Some historians have attempted to prove that the Quran was not written by the prophet Mohammed nor even during his life. They say that the prophet was in fact an illiterate (an Ummi) Surah 7vs158. According to them, the book we call Quran today is a product of some zealots of Islam under the supervision of a caliph, who, after, the death of their master felt they must have a sacred book just as Christians and Jews have for their religion, and so, they tried to recollect what their leader was preaching before his death. Part of it is said to be from the parchment written and kept before the death of the prophet. According to the hadith, some of the fragments were collected from, tablets of stones, ribs of palm branches, camel’s shoulder blades and ribs, pieces of boards, and the breasts of men (that is from men’s memory).
The first attempt of compilation is said to have been made by the prophet’s daughter, Fatimah, who had to contest some of the facts with some of her father’s follower since different versions were being recited by the people. The prophet’s wife, Hafsa, also helped in the compilation. The final work however, is credited to Zaid ibn Thabit, whom some believe was merely the editor.
It is generally confessed by all Muslims that Islam has a full-fledged philosophy of religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence. But , careful study of the Quran and the Hadiths reveals that such philosophy is absent .The only place any Muslim can confidently point to in the Quran is Surat 2 vs 256 which says in part ‘’ let there be no compulsion in religion ‘’ but it must be clear that this statement was made at the early stage of the prophets mission, when he was just settling down in Yathrib (Medina) such an attitude was necessary in order to get the cooperation of the Jewish tribes and Christians who were in the majority in Yathrib. He said he believe in all the Jewish prophets, and that he had not brought any new religion but the very things that the old prophets of Israel had preached. At that time, he did not have enough people to wage any war. When, however, he had raised enough military manpower, he began to launch out against those he suspected did not believe in His religion.
Speaking as an oracle of Allah, the prophet commanded that all those who opposed his message be killed or they should be nailed on a tree or their hands and legs be cut off, or they be driven out of the land (Surah 5 vs 36)
In Surah 47 vs4, Muslims are commanded by Allah to smite the necks of all those who do not accept the teaching of Islam until they are thoroughly subdued , and according to verse 7 , they would be helping Allah by doing so ! Others could be arrested and released only after paying a ransom … Surah 2 vs 190-191, Surah 9 vs 19-22, 29, 41 and several others , command true Muslims to fight those who oppose them or do not believe in the message of Islam : ‘’ so , when you meet (in fight –Jihad in Allah cause ), those who disbelieve smite at their neck till when you have killed and wounded many of them , then bind a bond firmly (on them , i.e. take them as captives ). ‘’ (Surah 47 vs 4 Al Hilali)
It is very important to stress that much of our discussion on Islam is not from western Historians or researchers but from the Quran and Islamic traditions called the Hadiths and we suggest and advise that the reader check these references because most Muslims may want to accuse no Muslims writer of quoting the Quran out of context.
It is also important to stress that, even though there were many killings done by the Muslims when the religion came to Tathrib, one can say that that not all Muslims were intending initially to fight their fellow Meccan kinsmen or to loot their caravans in order to spread a religion. In Surah 4 vs 74-80, many Arabs Muslims protested the prophets’ call for Jihad. They protested ‘’ Our Lord, why hast thou ordered us to fight?’’ But the prophet convinced them that his command was directly from Allah.
The Quran says Jihad is, in fact, not just a religious duty but a commerce, a business! (Surah 61 vs 10-13) The Quran only promise spiritual rewards, but in the Hadiths (Mishkat Masabih vol 11 Page 253) Jihad is said to be ‘’ the best method of earning (blessings) both spiritual and temporal. If victory is won, there is enormous booty of a country, which cannot be equaled to any other source of income. If there is defeat or death, there is everlasting paradise ‘’ so we conclude that Jihad is NOT extremism, but normal in Islam.
It is forbidden for a child in a family to get converted to Christianity. Such child stand the risk of paying with his or her own life and the person doing the killing is not seeing it as a sin, rather a way to earn eternal paradise.