The Quran is the Word of God
This debate is about the authenticity of the Quran, of it being a genuine text revealed by God. The motion stands with the view that the Quran, which was revealed to Muhammad more than 1400 years ago with the intent of guiding all mankind, is in fact His Speech, untainted and perfectly preseved.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
The text of the Quran remains completely intact till today
The Book which was revealed during the period spanning 610 CE to 622 CE, remains untampered with today, in its pure and original form.
There are no multiple versions of the Quran, just one single book that has been passed down for ages and is now available all over the world, completely preserved.
The Institute for Koranforschung, in the University of Munich (Germany), collected over 42,000 complete or incomplete ancient copies of the Qur’an. After around fifty years of research, they reported that there was no variance between the various copies, except the occasional mistakes of the copyist which could easily be ascertained.
Ancient manuscripts from all periods of Islamic history found in the Library of Congress in Washington, the Chester Beatty Museum in Dublin (Ireland) and the London Museum have been compared with those in Tashkent, Turkey (which was a copy sent by Caliph Uthman, the Prophet Muhammad's companion) and Egypt (early manuscript on gazelle parchment in Dar al-Kutub as-Sultaniyyah), with results confirming that there have not been any changes in the text from its original time of writing.
God has promised in the Qur’an :
"We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption). [Al-Qur’an 15:9]
The promise of the Author has not been broken, the Quran remains true to its word. Therefore, the text of the Quran is a reliable document.
It is beyond argumentation that the other revealed books such as the Bible and Torah have been altered and have several different versions; making the Quran the only reliable source of Divine Guidance.
The text of Ian Rankin's novel "Fleshmarket Close" may remain unchanged in 2000 years. If Rankin and a band of his biggest fans claimed that the text was revealed by God, would that mean it was?
There were multiple versions of the Qu'ran, they were just dismissed as "inauthentic" and burned, much as some Christians would burn non King James bibles.
It is up for argument that the Bible and Torah were revealed at all.
The Quran cannot be the word of Muhammad
The fact that Muhammad could neither read nor write (Q.29:48) is well known and uncontested by even his non-Muslim contemporaries and present day historians. He had no schooling or teacher of any kind. He had never been known to compose oral poetry or prose. The Qur’an, with its all-embracing laws and freedom from all inconsistencies, has its greatness acknowledged even by non-Muslim scholars. Its contents treat social, economic, political and religious legislation, history, views of the universe, living things, thought, human transactions, war, peace, marriage, worship, business, and everything relating to life - with no contradicting principles. The Qur’an has never been edited or revised as it was never in need of any revision or correction. How were such vast subject areas expounded upon with such precision by a 7th century Arab with no formal education or even the ability to read what scant material there may have been in his environment on such topics? Where and when has history ever produced an illiterate and uneducated author of such a scripture?
I'm sorry, but if the Bible was created in the city of Nicaea, by the first Ecumenical council, which met there in A.D. 325, which means 293 years AFTER the death of Christ, then surely the same possibility can also happen with Muhammad and the Quran.
So the only evidence that Muhammad didn't write the Quran comes from the Quran itself.
And if Muhammad didn't write it, then how did it first come to exist as a text?
Muhammad was illiterate, scribes wrote/penned the Quran, He only recited it from memory and revelations in Cave Hira.
Does god have a signature?
Do all holy books have an esoteric mathematical enigma attached to them that makes them legitimate and perfect works of God?
How does one determine if something is written by God?
Doesn't God write everything , since everything is pre-written by most religions???
The Quran has facts that were unknown to men when it was revealed.
Within the Qur’an are recorded facts about ancient times that were unknown to Muhammad’s contemporaries and even to historians in the first half of the 20th century. In scores of verses, we also find references to scientific wonders, some only recently discovered or confirmed, regarding the universe, biology, embryology, astronomy, physics, geography, meteorology, medicine, history, oceanography, etc.
– The expanding universe (Qur'an 51:47)
By studying the galactic spectrum, scientists have recently established that the universe is expanding. In the Qur’an (51:47), we read: “The firmament, We have built it with power. Verily, We are expanding it.” The word “samaa‘a” means firmament or heaven in the sense of the extra-terrestrial world, and the word “musi‘un” is the present plural participle of the verb “awsa‘a”, which means “to widen, to extend, to expand.” This fact is confirmed in Stephen Hawking's classic book “A Brief History of Time” .
Professor Keith Moore a prominent scientist in the field of embryonic research is the person who first conjured the idea that the Quranic description of embryonic development is perfect and miraculous. None of your sources(even though , you have very conveniently not cited them) are not half as qualified as him in the field.
I would request the opponent the cite his/her sources, not only does s/he seems to be quoting "non-scientific" blogs and obscurely named websites like theprophetofdoom.com
A very prominent scientist(professor Keith Moore) in the field of embryology said the Quran was perfect in it's rendering of it , who are you and your non-scientist friends to question him? Where's your/their achievement in embryonic research?
– The Qur’anic description of the development of the human embryo
The Qur’an (23:12-14) describes the development of the embryo at a microscopic level inside the womb in the following manner: “Man We did fashion from a quintessence of clay. Then We placed him as (a drop of) seminal fluid in a place of rest firmly fixed. Then We fashioned the seminal fluid into a leech-like thing that clings (the word “alaq” is sometimes incorrectly translated as a blood-clot). Then We fashioned that leech-like thing that clings into a chewed-like lump. Then We fashioned the chewed-like lump into bones and We clothed the bones with flesh. Then We developed out of it another creature. So hallowed be Allah, the Best of Artisans”; Q.96:1-2: “...who fashioned man from a leech-like thing that clings”; and Q.22:5: “We fashioned you out of dust, then out of a drop of fluid, then out of a leech-like thing that clings, then out of a morsel of flesh - partly formed and partly unformed...” The incredible accuracy of these descriptions of the various stages of embryonic development are confirmed in Keith Moore and T.V.N. Presaud's 5th edition textbook “The Developing Human” and others.
- Creation of the universe from hot smoke
Scientists today are able to observe the formation of stars from a hot gas cloud. Formation from a warm mass of gas also applies to the creation of the universe. The creation of the universe as described in the Qur'an confirms this scientific discovery in the following verse:
He placed firmly embedded mountains on it, towering over it, and blessed it and measured out its nourishment in it, laid out for those who seek it-all in four days. Then He turned to heaven when it was SMOKE and said to it and to the earth, "Come willingly or unwillingly." They both said, "We come willingly." (Qur'an, 41:10-11)
More examples can be found here: [http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_index.html]]
The presence of such information in the Quran proves that it could not be written by a man at that time, for he posessed no such knowledge.
All the miracles purported here are false:
51:47 says the universe is vast and not “expanding”.
YUSUFALI: With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace.
PICKTHAL: We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof).
SHAKIR: And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample.
The definition of embryology in the Quran 23:12-14 is wrong. Nutfa (sperm) does not become embryo (which in the Qur'an is erroneously called Alaqa, a congealed clot of blood). The role of the female egg in Quranic embryology is missing. And bones are not formed before the flesh. Just to mention two of several errors in these verses.
Since the beginning of time man has been aware of the "seed" that is released from the penis during sexual intercourse. The Bible, a text much older than the Qur'an, tells a story of a man who was struck down by God for "spilling his seed on the ground" (Genesis 38:9-10).
The entire study of human life as mentioned in the Qur'an is not original at all. While Muslims try to claim that Muhammad made these statements before scientists discovered them, they are wrong. Theories of the formation of a child inside the womb was put forth by Aristotle nearly 1,000 years before the Qur'an was written. In fact Aristotle correctly described the function of the umbilical cord, something not mentioned in the Qur'an, showing that earlier philosophers were aware of such things mentioned by Muhammad and more. Every mention of human development in the Qur'an is similar to Roman and Greek theories. Consider the following verse referring to sperm:
He is created from a drop (of sperm) emitted-- Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs. (Qur'an 86:6-7)
Clearly this verse is incorrect, and clearly it has origins in earlier theories. First of all, for sperm to originate between the back and the ribs would mean that it comes from the kidneys! We now know that semen is produced in the testicles, but people in Muhammad's time did not know this. Eleven centuries before Muhammad, the Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that sperm passed through the kidneys into the penis. For centuries this was an accepted (and incorrect) belief of the origins of sperm.
There are those who claim Muhammad had no contact with Greeks or Romans. Pre-Islamic Arabia definitely had contact with Byzantium, Syria, Egypt, Persia, and Babylon. There were many Jews and Christians living in the area, and they were familiar with Greek or Roman philosophy. The Christians were connected to Rome. The Jews were connected to Babylon and Persia. It is easy to see how such theories regarding embryonic development may have reached Muhammad.
Finally, to touch back on the verses that spoke of the development of an unborn child, I will say they too are incorrect. The Qur'an stated that the blood clot was turned to bone and then God "clothed the bones with flesh" (Quran 23:13-14). It is scientific fact that living tissue forms first, and then bones grow at a later time, and continue to gain strength (by building calcium) for many years after birth. Therefore, this is one of many scientific inaccuracies in the Qur'an.
Smoke is defined as an unwanted by-product of fires. In order to burn, fires require oxygen, something space is devoid of. Smoke is hardly the term that can be used to describe this. Also, another translation says vapor, which is also wrong.
The verse says that the universe and earth were separated and then joined. Not only is this absurd, but it contradicts another verse which says the reverse:
Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?
PROF.KEITH MOORE(a prominent scientist in the field of embryonic research) was the first to claim that embryonic development is described perfectly and miraculously in the Quran. Given that, he added he would/did NOT convert to Islam.
The Sura like it challenge is a logical fallacy
The claim that the Quran is unique and no one can produce anything like it is a logical fallacy.
All books are unique. Each person is different and unique. You can’t find two people alike. No two finger prints are alike, no two voices are alike, no two minds are alike, etc. No one can think and write in the exact same way that I do just as no one can think and write in the exact same way that you do. Of course many people can write much better than me, but not like it. So the challenge to produce a sura like those written by Muhammad is nothing but a fallacy.
If the challenge was to produce a sura as beautiful as those in the Quran, it still would have been a fallacy. Aesthetic is subjective and it cannot be a measure of truth. If you tell me find a woman as beautiful as the one I love, this challenge can't be met because you love only that woman. She may not be the prettiest, but because you love her, you become blind to her defects. Beauty is in the eyes of beholder.
You read the Quran as a believer and remain in awe. You can’t see any errors in it because you are in love with it. I read the same book and find many errors in it. To me it is a tedious and an ugly book. Now you can say the translations are not good but the original in Arabic is very beautiful. Let us agree wit this assumption for now. The fact remains that a non-Arab speaking person cannot see that beauty. It is not the fault of people for being born non-Arabs, but because of this, they are deprived seeing the "beauty" of the Quran. One can conclude that God has been extremely unfair to billions of non-Arabs. They can’t see the beauty of the Quran because they do not speak Arabic and consequently will go to hell. Is this justice? To add insult to injury God chooses a language that according to Muslims is impossible to translate in any other language and therefore we can’t even see the beauty of his work in translation. Is it our fault for being born non-Arabs? Certainly not! God made us non-Arabs and thus deprived us of seeing the beauty of his word and now he wants to burn us for eternity for failing to see what he deprived us to see. What kind of justice is this? It is like I tell you something in a language that you do not understand and then punish you for not understanding what I told you. This is just absurd.
The next problem with Muhammad's challenge is that it is not sincere. Look what he said right after he issued that challenge:
"But if ye cannot - and of a surety ye cannot - then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith". Qur'an 2.24
This is like someone saying give a speech as eloquent as mine and if you cannot – and of a surety you cannot – I will shoot you. With that kind of clause who dares to talk? Forget about the punishment of Allah, Muslims will behead any person who tries to meet this challenge.
We recall Saddam Hussein used to hold “elections” where 99.98% of the population used to voted for him. The elections were held open. The question was: Do you want Saddam? Yes or No? If you responded "No" then you could be killed. This Challenge of the Quran is very much similar to Saddam’s elections. In fact Muhammad was no different from Saddam. He was a narcissist, like Hitler, Saddam, Idi Amin, Kim Jong-il or Stalin. All these monsters created personality cults around themselves and were loved by their foolhardy subjects. Muhammad had also claimed to be the messenger of God. As such he can also be compared to Shoko Asahara, Jim Jones and David Koresh.
However, there are some Arab-speaking non Muslims who say the Quran fails in grammar and aesthetic and they have produced several suras to meet this challenge. These suras are in comparison superior to the suras of the Quran (not my opinion, but the opinion of Arab ex-Muslims). I can see the content of these suras are better than those of Muhammad. Please take a look and tell me why you think the Suras of the Quran are superior to these.
If you can't, the challenge is met. The burden of proof is on you
First of all, you wrote your side of the debate on the wrong side. So I'm writing this in favor of the Quran.
1. Yes all books are unique, but how long do all books stay unique and special. Now days books such as To Kill a Mockingbird or The Catcher in the Rye are special and famous literature books. But I don't think that even those books are read by millions of people each day. The Quran has been read by millions of people for more than a thousand years.
2. True beauty is in the eyes of a beholder. But the same cannot be said if the beauty is appreciated by so many people.
3. The truth is I like many people have seen these so called "errors" in the Quran. What I soon found out is that these are not errors but things that contribute to the beauty of the Quran. I cannot properly explain this here but in the end I will tell where it can be explained.
4. The thing is non-arab people can see the beauty. Did you know that more than 90% of Muslims in America are Non-Arab?
"Islam is not a religion of the Arabs," said Rivera, a Puerto Rican and the group's leader. "It may have started as a religion of the Arabs. But we're just regular people, and we're not all Arab." This is a quote from a Hispanic Muslim women from this website: http://www.sptimes.com/2008/02/09/Hillsborough/America_s_Muslim_popu.shtml
And here is the greatest example of all the Non-arab's can see the beauty of the Quran: Abd us-Samad (Famous Quran Reciter) was asked to recite for some leaders of the Soviet party. He chose to recite Sura Ta-Ha, which is an important sura in Islamic history; it was the chapter of the Qur'an which had caused `Umar ibn al-Khattāb to become a Muslim upon listening to it. 'Abd us-Samad recounts that four to five of his listeners from the Communist Party were in tears, although they didn't understand what was being read, but were compelled to cry because of his recitation. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Basit
5. Muhummad did not threaten people. Did you know that he and his followers were persecuted and tortured for 13 years because of what they believed in? Do you know how much he suffured just to reveal the message? I don't think any phony would bleed head to toe so he could tell people the true message.
I suggest you study the Quran and Islam more deeply before criticizing it.
If I were to use your analogy of pretty women
then there can only be 2 types of people giving a honest opinion
the first is some one who has no knowledge of the matter reads and tell us what he/she thinks. They would give us an un biased opinion however in this there is a flaw as the person has no experience as has nothing to use a benchmark of comparison i.e. a bible etc
The second is what I would say ( and others ) is a true judge of whether something is good or not. THis person has read a wide vairiety of texts and therefore has a good measure of comparitives.
In your analogy you say that two men in love cant say their wife is more pretty as they are both in love. So the solution here is that a third man is introduced in to the party. He is one not in love with other women and has seen a great many other. Therefore only he out of the three ( 5 including the women) can judge which of the women are better looking. I can compare 2 women but not be in love.
I'd also like to point out that find something beautiful is a matter of subject to the reader. Most of the people I associate myself with link blue and jazz musix whilst I on the other hand listen to opera which I find more pleasing. I do listen to a wider variet of music so its not a matter of boyotting other types of music. It is just that death metal is the most appealing.
In the case of religous texts you can't ask a devout theist to compare his texts with another as the biased towards because " he is blind by love". In this case you cannot ask an islamic person to compare the koran and a bible. As I have mentioned earlier a third party memeber has to be the judge who is not affliated with either groups has to evaluate each piece and draw his / or her own conclusions
The bible IS one of the four books Muslims are Supposed to believe in. Aren't you biased against the Quran, how can you comment on something that you have not read in its entirety??
I've noticed the opposition quotes out of context(a clear indicator of never actually reading the entire text of The Quran) and interprets 'creatively' ( a direct and adverse result of quoting out of context).
I would request the opposition to responsibly cite its flaky sources:
sources that have never studied embryonic [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx434UE3SYw]]but maintain an authoritative stance on the subject, sources that interpret Surahs starkly differently from Islamic Ulemah and sources that are clearly not credible and are very biased.
Keith Moore never converted to Islam but is good, unbiased and moral enough to not let his strong beliefs, come in the way of appreciating others. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_L._Moore]]
God is a mythical figure, who does not exist
There is no evidence, for such a being ever existing, outside of fables told by word of mouth from bronze age nomads. There can be no credibility made in such claims. Even when these tales were written down they were given no factual citations. On the contrary, all monotheistic texts for Yahweh are composed almost entirely of stories. It is just ignorant superstition to believe that such a being exists, and therefore ignorant to believe that any book could be his message to the world. An analogy would be to claim that the Harry Potter books are from the word of Dumbledoor, himself, to the rest of mankind.
So you are saying, that you are willing to destroy centuries of the faith, established within countless families, just because you dont believe in God??
HORRIBLE PEOPLE!! YOU SPELT DUMBLEDORE WRONG!!!
The Harry Potter books were written by the perspetive of Harry Potter. DUH!!!!
There is variance in the copies
According to the first Yes point The Institute for Koranforschung in Münich reported that there "was no variance between the various copies, except the occasional mistakes of the copyist". So actually according to The Institute for Koranforschung there were "occasional mistakes of the copyist", which does amount to variance.
This means that the reliability of the text is not as high as is claimed, there is variance in the text and careful study is needed in order to find the most probable original form. And in historical study it is not realistical to aim for a 100% match, but a match _reliable enough_. In these respects, the Quran is an ancient text just like any other; variance in the manuscripts, with many versions. In this sense the Quran has no special place among historical texts; it has not been somehow divinely guarded against errors. In this sense it is just a text among others. So the claim that the miraculous inerrancy of the text would hint at it's divine status is not too strong, as the text, in fact, is not inerrant.
What do you think?