[Assam] Do people in Assam take any Holy book as from GOD without reservations? The HOLINESS of one BOOK is being put under very revealing scholarly scrutiny in the article pasted here. Part 1 of the article 2.
barttabistar at googlemail.com
Sat Sep 1 04:21:44 PDT 2007
*Who Authored the Qur'an?—an Enquiry*
*By Abul Kasem <http://www.mukto-mona.com/Articles/kasem/index.htm>*
*"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he
will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties"*—Francis
Bacon (1561-1626) [Quoted from *Milestones of Science* by Curt Suplee, p.70,
published by the National Geographic Society, 2000]
* **[A note of caution: The content of this article may offend some readers.
The writer will not take any responsibility in the event of hurt feeling or
damage caused as result of reading this essay. Read this article at your own
This article delves into the very authorship of the Holy Qur'an—a new way of
looking at the Holy Qur'an. An enquiry is made using logical reasoning and
historical references on the authorship of the Qur'an. Thus this methodology
is totally opposed to the blind believers who accept the authenticity of the
Qur'an unquestionably. By analysing, dissecting and carefully interpreting
the contents of the Qur'an, the *Ahadith*, Sirah (Muhammad's biography) the
author has identified several parties who had undoubtedly contributed to the
composition of the Qur'anic verses. It was not Allah who wrote the Qur'an;
it was not even Muhammad alone who did this either. The Qur'an is not the
creation of a single entity or a single person. There were several parties
involved in the composition, scribing, amending, inserting and deleting the
Qur'anic verses. The most important personalities involved in the creation
of the Qur'an were: Imrul Qays, Zayd b. Amr, Hasan b. Thabit, Salman,
Bahira, ibn Qumta, Waraqa and Ubayy b. Ka'b. Muhammad himself was involved
in the make-up of a limited number of verses, but the most influential
person who motivated Muhammad in the invention of Islam and the opus of the
Qur'an was, perhaps, Zayd b. Amr, who preached 'Hanifism'. Muhammad later
metamorphosed Zayd's 'Hanifism' into Islam. Therefore, the assertion that
Islam is not a new religion stands to be true. However, the important
finding is that the Qur'an is definitely not the words of Allah—it is a
human-made scripture which Muhammad simply passed up as Allah's final words
to mankind. Another important aspect of this essay is that among the ancient
religions that the writers of the Qur'an incorporated in it, perhaps the
practices of the Sabeans is crucial. In fact, the rituals of 5 prayers and
the 30 days fasting were actually adapted from the Sabeans. Qur'an, thus, is
a compilation of various religious books that existed during Muhammad's
time. Muhammad, not Allah, simply adopted, picked and chose from various
sources and created the Qur'an. While many parties contributed to the
Qur'an, Muhammad became its chief editor—to say it plainly.
According to Islam, questioning the Allah's absolute authorship of the
Qur'an is a serious blasphemy. A person may face death sentence simply for
nurturing an atom of doubt on Qur'an's authenticity. The Qur'an is above
all. Nothing in the creation of Allah is holier than the Qur'an. However,
human being what he is—ever inquisitive—I started doubting Qur'an's
authorship in my very childhood--when I was introduced in the recitation of
this Holy Scripture in a very formal manner. I spent a couple of years
learning a few introductory verses under the tutorship of a local 'Hujur'
(Islamic religion teacher) in the local mosque. This 'Hujur' taught the
Qur'an to a group of us by holding a rattan cane that looked quite shiny as
he used to oil the cane every day before his 'Murid' (learners) arrived in
the mosque. I can vouch that none of us ever liked to study the Qur'an—it
was the most boring and the most painful task during our childhood. We
simply memorised like parrots, certain verses without understanding a single
word of them The 'Hujur' also did not know the meanings of those verses.
Whenever we asked any question about any verse, the answer was a few stroke
of the cane from the 'Hujur'. The learning of the recitation of the Qur'an
became associated with corporeal punishment and child-abuse. Thus, we
developed a deep disdain towards the Qur'an recitation in particular a
dislike for the Mullahs in general.
Later, after I left my University and started working, a colleague of mine
presented me with a copy of the translation of the Holy Qur'an by Abdullah
Yusuf Ali. My colleague was a diehard 'Tabligi' (a religious proselytiser)
and exhorted me to read the translation carefully. He vouched that after I
had comprehended the true messages of the Holy Scripture my life will change
for ever—for the better, he insisted. Reluctantly, I started to read the
English translation—verse by verse, passage by passage. The more I read, the
more I was shocked, disturbed, astonished, bewildered and resentful. I could
not believe that a book which is supposed to be the handiwork of the most
compassionate, the most merciful and the most forgiving Allah could contain
such a terrible amount of hate, terror, call for murder, war, vengeance and
most of all a blanket plea for the destruction of all those who do not
subscribe to the Qur'anic view of the world. Of course, there were a few
verses which were very poetical, beautifully crafted, rhythmic and sometimes
rich in spirituality. Apart from those handful 'good' stuff I found the vast
part of the Qur'an simply nonsensical, and not-to-talk about the those
incriminating verses exhorting the believers to murder and wage an
unrelenting war (*Jihad*) against the unbelievers. I started questioning:
how could a merciful, compassionate Allah write such a cranky book that is
nothing more than a trash and a manual of terror, war and plunder? When my
'Tabligi' colleague asked how I was doing with the Qur'an, I simply told him
I was doing fine—elaborating further that I discovered plenty of new
astonishing materials in the Qur'an which I never thought existed in it. He
simply smiled and said, "The Qur'an is wonderful, isn't it?" I replied, "You
A few years later, I started to ponder deeply on the Qur'an. Using the
works of other translators, as well as the *Tafsirs* (explanation), I read
and re-read the Holy Scripture--several times to make sure that what they
translated and explained were absolutely correct. The more I learned about
the Qur'an the more I became distraught, disturbed and angry—angry because I
felt that I was utterly let down by a killer religion which was imposed on
me due to my birth. The stuff I read in the Qur'an jolted me so much that I
wanted to find the answer to my perennial question—who really authored the
Qur'an? It took me a long time and many years of painstaking work to arrive
at the answer of that question. This article tries to answer that question.
I had been planning this essay for a long time, and now, after writing it I
feel it is for you to ponder too—'Who authored the Qur'an?'
During my investigative phase I found that a lot of people were involved in
the compilation and the construction of the Qur'an. Unknown to the vast
majority of Muslims, and buried deep inside the Qur'an, *Ahadith* and Sirah
there are copious evidence to reject, out of hand, the contention that the
Qur'an is the creation of Allah. Making Allah the author of the Quran, I
think, is the prime lie perpetrated on mankind for more than a millennium.
We can, with certainty, say that it was not even Muhammad alone who authored
the Qur'an.In fact, the major part of the Qur'an was actually either
composed by or inspired and written by a few other individuals. Most notable
among them were:
· Imrul Qays—an ancient poet of Arabia who died a few decades before
· Zayd b. Amr b. Naufal—an 'apostate' of his time who preached and
· Labid—another poet
· Hasan b. Thabit—the official poet of Muhammad
· Salman, the Persian—Muhammad's confidante' and an advisor
· Bahira—a Nestoraian Christian monk of the Syrian church
· Jabr—a Christian neighbour of Muhammad
· Ibn Qumta—a Christian slave
· Khadijah—Muhammad's first wife
· Waraqa—Khadijah's cousin brother
· Ubay b. Ka'b—Muhammad's secretary and a Qur'an scribe
· Muhammad himself
There were other parties involved too. They were:
· The Sabeans
· Aisha—Muhammad's child bride
· Abdallah b. Salam b. al-Harith—a Jewish convert to Islam
· Mukhyariq—a Rabbi and another Jewish convert to Islam
Of course, my list of the possible authors of the Qur'an is not exhaustive.
There may be many other parties involved that I might not have even heard
of. But for a concise discussion the above list should be ample enough, I
guess. In this article I have simply enumerated the contribution of the
above sources in the authorship of the Qur'an.
Now, to understand the Qur'an and its writer/s, we must, first of all,
recognise the background of Muhammad, purportedly the ultimate and the best
creation of Allah.
*The Pagan origin of Muhammad*
It is an absolute fact that Muhammad was born of pagan parents. His father,
Abdullah and his mother, Amina were both pagans and they used to worship
many idols. His entire childhood (probably up to his teen) was spent in
paganism. To day, many Muslims will find it extremely hard to digest this
fact. However, Muhammad's pagan origin is disclosed by Hisham ibn al-Kalbi.
On page 17 of his important work, *Kitab al-Asnam * (The Book of Idols) he
writes (Hisham al-Kalbi, *Kitab al-Asnam*, p.17):
'We have been told that the Apostle of God once mentioned al-Uzza saying, "I
have offered a white sheep to al-'Uzza, while I was a follower of the
religion of my people." '
In the statement above Muhammad clearly admits his past adherence to
paganism—the then religion of the Quraysh.
Initially, Muhammad even eulogized the important gods (or idols) of the
pagans by agreeing with the Quraysh—at some point that these gods were the
intercessors of Allah. On the same page Hisham ibn al-Kalbi writes:
The Quraysh were wont to circumambulate the Ka'bah and say:
By Allat and al-'Uzza,
And Manah, the third idol besides.
Verily they are the most exalted females
Whose intercession is to be sought.
These were also called "the Daughters of Allah," and were supposed to
intercede before God. When the Apostle of God was sent god revealed unto him
[concerning them] the following:
*053.019 * Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza,
*053.020 * And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
* 053.021 * What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
*053.022 * Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!
* 053.023 * These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your
fathers,- for which Allah has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow
nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire!- Even though there
has already come to them Guidance from their Lord! (Hisham ibn al-Kalbi,
'Kitab al-Asnam,' p.17)
When Muhammad became an adult and started to attend the annual assembly of
poets at Ukaz he was deeply impressed and moved by the thoughts, eloquence,
sentiment, freethinking and humanism expounded by many of those poets. He
started questioning the idol-worshipping and began to start preaching a new
concept of one God, the creator—similar to the concepts of the Jews and the
Christians of that time. Nonetheless, he was confused as to which God ought
to be his God. Allah, a deity (a moon god--that is why the symbols placed at
every mosque is a crescent moon) at that time, was the supreme God of the
pagans. Their only fault was that besides Allah, they used to worship as the
intercessors for Allah, the supreme other smaller gods/goddesses like:
Hubal, Al-lat, Al-Uzza, Manat…etc. So, in the beginning of his new concept
of an almighty creator Allah was out of his mind. Besides, at that time the
magicians, the soothsayers, the sorcerers, and even the Satan worshippers
used to vow by Allah. Thus, Muhammad found it utterly despicable to make
Allah his God (ilah).
During those pagan days the people of Yemen used to worship another deity
whose name was Ar-Rahman. Muhammad, for a while, adopted the name Ar-Rahman
for God in place of Allah. Coincidentally, Ar-Rahman was also the Jewish
word *Rahmana* which was a name for God in the Talmudic period (Noldeke: *The
Koran*, *The* *Origins of the Koran*, p.53). Muhammad cleverly thought that
by using the word Ar-Rahman he ought to be able to attract to his new
'religion', the Jews as well as some pagans.
However, when he declared himself to be the messenger of Ar-Rahman, the
Meccans, too, were at a loss and confused. The Meccans did not know of any
Ar-Rahman other than the Ar-Rahman of al-Yamamah (some writers say Ar-Rahman
was at Yemen). To verify Muhammad's claim the Quraysh sent a delegation to
Medina Jews, as they thought that Ar-Rahman, truly, was a deity in Yemen or
Yamamah. Islamic Historian Ibn Sa'd (Ibn Sa'd, vol.i, pp.189-190) writes:
"The Quraysh sent al-Nadr Ibn al-Harith Ibn 'Alaqamah and 'Uqbah Ibn abi
Mu'ayt and others to the Jews of Yathrib and told them to ask them (Jews)
about Muhammad. They came to Medinah and said to them (Jews): We have come
to you because a great affair has taken place amidst us. There is a humble
orphan who makes a big claim, considering himself to be the messenger of
al-Rahman, while we do not know any al-Rahman except the Rahman of
al-Yamamah. They said: Give the description before us. They gave his
description, on which they asked them who were his followers. They said: The
lowly people among us. Thereupon a scholar of from them laughed and said: he
is the Prophet whose attributes we find mentioned in our Scriptures; we also
know that his people will be most inimical to him."
When we read, with an unbiased mind, the first 50 Suras (in chronological
order) of the Qur'an we note Muhammad's confusion regrading Lord, Allah and
Ar-Rahman. He was quite unsure of whom he should consider as his God (ilah).
Here is a summary of the first 50 Suras regarding Muhammad's idea of his
Only Lord—68, 92, 89, 94, 100, 108, 105, 114, 97, 106, 75 (11 Suras)
Ar-Rahman, Lord—55, 36 (2 Suras)
Ar-Rahman, Allah, Lord—20
Allah, Lord—96, 73, 74, 81, 87, 53, 85, 50, 38, 7, 72, 25, 35, 56, 26, 27,
28, 17 (18 Suras)
This demonstrates Muhammad's initial vacillation, confusion and ignorance of
the affairs of his God (ilah).
The Qur'an also confirms that when he started to preach his brand of faith
Muhammad was lost, confused and did not know much of religion. Here is what
the Qur'an writes:
Muhammad was lost, then Allah guided him 93:7
*093.007 * And He found thee wandering, and He gave thee guidance.
In the past Muhammad was heedless 12:3, 42:52
*012.003 * We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We
reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an: before this, thou too was among
those who knew it not.
*042.052 * And thus have We, by Our Command, sent inspiration to thee: thou
knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith; but We have
made the (Qur'an) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our servants as We
will; and verily thou dost guide (men) to the Straight Way,-
So, how did Muhammad learn the basics of his new religion? Enter Imrul Qais
and Zayd Ibn Amr.
In ancient Arabia poetry was a passion. Poets were highly regarded in
society, and the words of many accomplished poets were regarded as next to
god's words. In a desert land, bereft of much entertainment and natural
relaxation, the ancient Arabs used to find solace, peace, tranquillity and
even the raging emotion of war and revenge through the mesmerising words of
their poets. Poets supplied the Arabs with their mental food. Seven such
poets had their verses permanently posted on the walls of Ka'ba. These
verses were known as *Muallakat* or suspended.
*The Dictionary of Islam* (Hughe's Dictionary of Islam, p.460) writes that
those verses were also known as *Muzahhabat* or the golden poems because
they were written in gold. The authors of those poetical verses were:
Zuhair, Trafah, Imrul Qays, Amru ibn Kulsum, al-Haris, Antarah and Labid.
Among those seven immortal poets the most famous was Imrul Qays, the
undisputed 'king' or the legend of Arabic poetry. He was a prince as his
father was an Arab tribal king. Through his passionate devotion to love and
poetry he irked his father and was banished from the palace. Thereafter, he
lived a solitary life by tending the sheep and keeping alive his undying
dedication to poetry. Eventually, he became a wanderer and led a melancholic
life when his tribe was almost eliminated in a tribal war. He travelled
around and finally arrived at Constantinople. It is said that he was put to
death by the Roman ruler of Constantinople because he won the heart of a
Roman princess through love and poetry. He died around the year 530-540 A.D.,
before Muhammad's birth. His matchless verses were on the lips of many
Arabs, and surely Muhammad had memorised many of his superb works. Muhammad
is said to have declared Imrul Qais the greatest of Arab poets. No doubt
then that he was keenly motivated to emulate Imrul Qais in the very early
verses of the Qur'an.
The chroniclers' of the Qur'an usually list Sura al-Alaq (the clot, Sura 96)
as the first revelation of Allah to Muhammad. However, a systematic study of
the Qur'an may reveal that that may not be the case at all. In fact,
of Islam* (Hughes Dictionary of Islam, p.485), citing Islamic sources,
writes that some earliest Suras (before the first revelation, Sura 96) are
most likely to be:
99—az-Zalzalah (the Earthquake)
103—al-Asr (the Declining Day)
100—al-Adiyat (the Chargers)
1—al-Fatiha (the Opening)
Those Suras were, short, deep in spirituality and enthralling. It may be
worthwhile to examine two such short Suras; namely:
*Sura 99 (the Earthquake)*
*099.001 *When the earth is shaken to her (utmost) convulsion,
*099.002 *And the earth throws up her burdens (from within),
* 099.003 *And man cries (distressed): 'What is the matter with her?'-
*099.004 *On that Day will she declare her tidings:
*099.005 *For that thy Lord will have given her inspiration.
*099.006 *On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown
the deeds that they (had done).
*099.007 *Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it!
*099.008 *And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it
*Sura 103 (the Declining Day)*
*103.001 *By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),
*103.002 *Verily Man is in loss,
*103.003 *Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join
together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.
W. St. Calir-Tisdall, the author of the famous essay *The Origin of
Islam*(The Origins of the Koran,
pp.235-236), by comparing two passages from the *Sabaa Mu'allaqat,* finds
close similarity with the verses from the Qur'an. Some of these verses are:
*054.001 *The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.
*093.001 *By the Glorious Morning Light,
Commenting on verse 54.1 W. St. Clair-Tisdall writes:
'It was the custom of the time for and orators to hang up their compositions
upon the Ka'aba; and we know the seven *Mu'allaqat* were exposed. We are
told that Fatima, the Prophet's daughter, was one day repeating as she went
along the above verse. Just then she met the daughter of Imrul Qays, who
cried out, "O that's what your father has taken from one of my father's
poems, and calls it something that has come down to him out of heaven;" and
the story is commonly told amongst the Arabs until now.'
Thus, the relationship between Imrul Qays' poems and some of the early
verses of the Qur'an is pretty obvious. In this connection, W. St.
Clair-Tisdall elaborates (The Origins of the Koran, p.236) further:
"The connection between the poetry of Imra'ul Qays and the Koran is so
obvious that the Muslims cannot but hold that they existed with the latter
in the Heavenly table from all eternity! What then will he answer? That the
words were taken from the Koran and entered in the poem?—an impossibility.
Or that their writer was not really Imra'ul Qays, but some other who, after
the appearance of the Koran, had the audacity to quote them there as they
now appear?—rather a difficult thing to prove!"
In fact, the word Allah is found in *Muallaqat* as well as in the *Diwan *of
poet Labid. So when the Muslims claim the Qur'an to be the words of Allah,
do they mean Allah copied the Qur'anic verses from Imrul Qays?
We shall now briefly review the contribution of Zayd ibn Amr to the
authorship of the Holy Qur'an.
*"The Holy Qur'an*," the internet version of three English translations can
be read at: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/]<http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/%5D>
Ali, Abdullah, Yusuf, *"The Holy Qur'an: Translation and Commentary,"* Amana
Corp., Brentwood, Maryland, 1983.
al-Bukhari, Muhammad b. Ismail, *"Sahi Bukhari,"* translated in English by
Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan:
Muslim, Abu al-Hussain b. al-Hajjaj al-Qushairi, *"Sahi Muslim,"* translated
in English by Adul Hamid Siddiqui:
Hughes, Patrick Thomas, *"A Dictionary of Islam;"* first published in 1886;
latest reprint by Kazi Publications Inc,, Chicago, 1994.
*"The Origins of the Koran,*"edited by Ibn Warraq, Prometheus Books,
Amherst, New York, 1998.
Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad b. Yasr, *"Sirat Rasul Allah,"* translated in English
by A. Guillaume; first by published by Oxford University Press, London in
1955; fifteenth reprint by Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan, 2001.
Ibn Sa'd, Abu Abd Allah Muhammad, *"Kitab al-Tabaqat,"* vol i, translated in
English by S. Moinul Haq, Kitab Bhavan; 1784, Kalam Mahal, Daraya Ganj, New
Delhi, India, 1972.
Ibn Sa'd, Abu Abd Allah Muhammad, *"Kitab al-Tabaqat,"* vol ii, translated
in English by S. Moinul Haq, Kitab Bhavan; 1784, Kalam Mahal, Daraya Ganj,
New Delhi, India, 1972.
Ibn al-Kalbi, Hisham, *"The Book of Idols (Kitab Al-Asnam),"* translated in
English by Nabih Amin Faris, Princeton University Press, 1952. [
al-Misri, Ahmed ibn Naqib, *"Raliance of the Traveller ('Umdat
al-Salik),"*revised edition, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana
Bettsville, Maryland, 1999.
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