Showing posts with label Authenticity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Authenticity. Show all posts

Sunday 7 July 2019

What is the Authenticity of the Qur'an? (Scholars' Viewpoint)

Islam is the youngest of all the Divine religions, yet it is the fastest growing religion and many non-Muslims fear that soon Islam will overtake Christianity by 2050 in most of the European countries. Whether this assumption is true or not, or it is just to create a scare around the world that "Muslims are coming", a notion that has in recent times given birth to the notion: Islamophobia. 

But despite all cautions, more and more non-Muslims are reverting to Islam on their free will and finding much more peace after finding the truth as being Muslims. I have shared many accounts of reverts, which in fact was the basic theme of my blog when Is tarted it, and all claims point toward one thing: Truth that only Islam provides through the Divine Commandments contained in the Holy Quran and life and sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which elaborated the Divine Commandments as Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) told him on the sidelines of revelations contained in the Holy Quran. 

And when someone gets alarmed, one targets the very core concepts, and in case of Islam, the authenticity of the Divine Book, the Holy Qur'an. I have often come across allegations by non-Muslims who doubt the very basis of the Holy Qur'an and many of them believe, or have been made to believe, that Muhammad (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) is the writer of the Qur'an and the 'book' is all about Muhammad (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) and not the God. And one can come across very derogatory remarks and opinion about the last of the Prophets of Allah, which I purposely skip for it is beyond the dignity of a man to do so.

As for the disinformation about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), let me just quote one of the many "objections' by the Christians:
"The Quran tells us that Muhammad wrote down the Quran - Muhammad's contemporaries are quoted as saying, "These are tales from the past that he wrote down. They are being dictated to him day and night" (Quran 25:5)."
Now as can be seen this is a misquoted reference. The exact verse is as under:
"And they say, "Legends of the former peoples which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon." 
So, for those who say so, the next verse clears any doubt that anyone may have:
Say, [O Muhammad], "It has been revealed by He who knows [every] secret within the heavens and the earth. Indeed, He is ever Forgiving and Merciful."
Now coming to the authenticity of the Qur'an. Before I express my onion, though based on some authentic references, let me say a few words about the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament, the Bible:
  • As per one Christian website, The Bible is not just one book, but an entire library, with stories, songs, poetry, letters and history, as well as literature that might more obviously qualify as 'religious'.
  • The Christian Bible has two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the original Hebrew Bible, the sacred scriptures of the Jewish faith, written at different times between about 1200 and 165 BC. The New Testament books were written by Christians in the first century AD. [2]
Now just a few words about the above said history and contents of the Old and New Testaments:
  • The Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, which is revered by Jews, took some 800 years to be 'written.' The Word of God does not take centuries to be written for it contains commandments and not songs, poetry, letters (from whom, from God?) and literature that might qualify as religious.
  • it may be added that Prophet Moses lived between 1500 and 1300 BC, and the Old Testament started to be written even after 100 years of him from 1200 BC onward.
  • So it is safe to assume that while the Old Testament does contain the Divine Commandments, is not all about Divine Commandments. And that religious people of the time had been adding things other than the Divine Commandments for good about 800 years.
  • New Testament has 27 books, written between about 50 and 100 AD, and falling naturally into two sections: the Gospels, which tell the story of Jesus (written by four men, namely: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John); and the Letters (or epistles) - written by various Christian leaders to provide guidance for the earliest church communities. And it was 'written by Christians' who had never seen Prophet Eesa in their lives. What it means is that though New Testament may still contain words of God, it is not entirely the word of God. 
  • Like the Old Testament, the New Testament has been written by men and contains 'stories' about Jesus and letters written by Christian leaders to provide guidance for the earliest church communities.
  • So, it is safe to assume that many things other than the true word of God have been added to the New Testament as willed by the writers of the New Testament.
This really confuses an ordinary man as to how the so-called divine books by written much after the death of the prophets these are attributed to. And I would like to quote Dr. Laurence B. Brown, a Christian, who is author of the book "MisGod'ed." In his concluding remarks after comparing all Divine books including the Old and New Testaments and the Qur'an, the learned writer says: [7]
Despite Old and New Testament corruptions, despite all the additions, omissions and alterations, despite the forgery of entire books and the doctrinally motivated modifications of pre-existing texts, despite the fact that the authors of the New Testament gospels and half of Paul’s letters are anonymous, despite not knowing who wrote what, and precisely when, where or why, the argument can nonetheless be made that the word of God is still to be found in the Bible. This may be true! The problem is, a lot of questionable teachings are encountered as well. How, then, do we distinguish the word of God from the word of man? Some claim we can, others claim we can’t—only God can.
Here it is open admittance that Bible, despite containing words of God, has generally been corrupted and is liable to additions and omissions. There is even a long list of verses that are all completely removed from the New International Version (NIV) and most modern bibles. the bible was not corrupted? There are so many more verses that are removed, it's just to much to type. In one edition a verse is deleted and then a few years later another edition is back again?  [8]

This clearly vindicated the assertions of Dr Laurence B. Brown just quoted above. 

Now coming to the Holy Qur'an and its authenticity. In order to understand the authenticity of the Holy Qur'an the reader needs to know exactly how the Qur'an was revealed and how it was COMPILED and not Written as have been the Old and New Testaments, the NIV and the modern Bibles. Please read our earlier post "Brief History of the Compilation of the Holy Qur'an" for details, the gist is as under:
  • The verses of Holy Qur'an were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the trusted Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) in bits and pieces over a period of 23 years.
  • The Prophet of Allah would listen to Angel Gabriel, and then repeat the verses so revealed so as to remember these by heart. The Angel Gabriel would also explain the meaning added instructions on the sidelines which later became part of Hadith and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
  • Soon after when the Angel Gabriel used to be gone, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would call one or some of his trusted literate companions and read out the freshly revealed verses to them.  And would listen to them again and again until he was satisfied with the correctness of the verses. The learned listeners sometimes memorized these by heart and other time wrote those down on whatever means of writing were available.
  • While reading out the verses, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would also tell them the exact place of the new verses vis.a.vis the older one so that these were well placed as per the context.
  • After the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had embarked upon his heavenly journey, a large number of companions had memorized or written down the Qur'an directly learnt from the Prophet of Allah. 
  • However, during the many battles, especially the Battle of Yamama, which was fought in the time of the first caliph Abu Bakr to quelch the false prophets who had proclaimed prophecy, a large number of those who had memorized the Qur'an got martyred and a fear arose in the heart of Abu Bakr that if with that rate memorizers of Qur'an kept on getting martyred, there will be left no one to know the actual Quran.
  • So, he deputed a group of most trusted literate companions of the Prophet of Allah, under Zaid Ibn Thâbit the main scribe of the Prophet, who had memorized the Qur'an right under his supervision and guidance. Thus, the first "COMPILED" Quran came into being in hand written form. This was checked and rechecked and was found to be the authenticated Qur'an.
  • However, there were many others who too had memorized the Qur'an while listening to the Prophet of Allah, but had not been corrected or OK-eyed by the Prophet of Allah. These Muslims in good faith made their personal copies and these came into circulation not only in Makkah and Medina, but in distant lands.
  • The third caliph Othman feared that this unauthorized circulation may contain errors and may be misleading. So he again constituted a committee which checked the authenticity of the document produced under Abu Bakr which had remained in Abu Bakr's daughter Hafsa's possession until that time. The critical analysis of the authenticity of the text was carried out very rigorously. The agreement of the witnesses was deemed necessary before the slightest verse containing debatable material was retained.
  • Many copies from the final and authentic compiled Quran were then sent to all Islamic centers of the Muslim world by the Caliph Uthman. At the same time Uthman ordered all other copies which had been personally prepared and were in circulation were ordered to be burned so that one authentic Qur'an exists all over. 
  • The hand written final and authentic Qur'an is preserved in Istanbul. All printed copies of Qur'an all over the world are exact copies this hand written Qur'an.
  • And because of the compilation of the Quran done under exert care and scrutiny that even after more than 1400 years since, the present-day Qur'an is exactly true copy of the agreed upon version.
Thus, unlike other creeds and religions. Islam has only one book. It is called the Qur'an. There is only one version of it. The same one revealed to the prophet pbuh. The Qur'an is protected by Allah who promised:

“ إنا نحن نزلنا الذكر و إنا له لحافظون “

"The fact is that we have mentioned this Quran, and we are about to protect it" [Surah Al Hajj, Chapter 15 verse 9]

In this ayat, Allah promises that he will protect this book and hence it can never be altered. 

Now my question to all non-Muslims questioning the authenticity of the Qur'an: Is the Qur'an compiled within 20 years of death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) authentic or the Old and New Testaments written by men centuries after the death of Prophets Moses and Jesus?

Herein under you may listen to prominent Muslim scholar Dr Zakir A Naik answering a Christian brother's question of authenticity of the Qur'an:
May Allah help us to know the truth ourselves by reading authentic references / sources rather than misinformation fed to them by those with vested interests. Because truth cannot be hidden, especially in this age of technology and the Internet. And this is the reason why more and more non-Muslims, especially Christians, reverting to Islam for they have ultimately found the truth.

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is our duty to convey only to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video above are those of the scholar concerned. We have shared this view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 78 |
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