A Critical Study Under The Searchlight Of Truth And Logic
During an extensive and comprehensive debate (Ghamidi et. al, 2007. p. 52) between Ji, Khalid Zaheer and Ali Sina, the following comment was made
Ghamidi / Zaheer: “We have been informed in the Qur’an that the message of God Almighty comes to the messengers through angels”.
Ali Sina: “By whom? By the Qur’an itself? Isn’t this circular reasoning? How do you know this is true? If the Qur’an is a lie, then this claim is also a lie. We ask, what is the proof that Muhammad is a true messenger? You answer, it is written in the Qur’an.” We ask, how can we know that the Qur’an is the word of God? You say, because Muhammad said so. This is a logical fallacy, not proof”.
"The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, 'I do not know how to read.'
The above strange incident had happened inside a cave, without any eye-witness. Later on several times Gabriel visited Muhammad, but nobody else ever saw this supernatural creature. However, a doubt immediately rose in this author’s mind. Why did Gabriel not know that, Muhammad was illiterate? Why did Allah not tell him? Did Allah forget; is it possible for God to forget? How could Gabriel be aggressive to Muhammad repeatedly, the dearest messenger of Allah? Muhammad was so close to Allah that, even Allah showered praises on Muhammad and saluted him (Qur’an 33: 56).
The whole doctrine of Islam stands or falls with the truth or falsehood of two claims -- there is no God but Allah, the Creator of the universe; and Muhammad is the final spokesman of Allah, who through him passed on to mankind a series of messages assembled in the Qur’an. The first part is a theological claim which is common with some other monotheistic religions. But the second part is a truth claim about which we still have unfathomable doubts and no concrete evidence – i.e, Muhammad’s claim of having divine communication (the revelations) with God.
The idea of revelation is the idea of something being shown – more strictly unveiled or unfolded. In revelation God shows mankind what He is like and what He expects from us. But unfortunately, He does not do that by showing us what it is like to be God. He only makes Himself known through a chosen messenger; in this case Muhammad. It is for Allah to choose Muhammad as his last prophet and there could be no question about it. If onlywe had sufficient proof of Muhammad’s prophethood. On this particular point the God of Islam fails miserably.
In Allah’s revelation, the mystery is more at the very origin rather than in the substance of the communication - because; these revelations are not ‘revelations of Allah’, but ‘revelations from Allah’. These revelations had revealed nothing about Allah. We have to suppress our rational faculty to believe the genuineness of these revelations, which are beyond any external proof.
Lewis (1961, p. 228) has the same view:
“How do we know that the words which purport to tell us this are genuinely the words of God? What is the warrant for divine disclosure? What assurance do we have that it is God and not the man who is speaking, or if it the first place the word of a man, what enables us to say that God speaks to us through him?” How can we be so sure that Muhammad’s divine instructions from Allah are genuinely “a word of God”?
The problem is harder because there is no direct disclosure of Allah. If there were, and we could see Allah strictly as he is, and then there could have been in no doubt about him. His revelations would have carried an absolute guarantee that it is Allah who speaks. If it is Allah’s intention to confront us with his presence, his personal will and purpose, why has this not been done in an unambiguous manner; by some overwhelming manifestation of divine power and glory? As Lewis (1961, p. 228) concluded:
“If God wants to communicate with us in terms of what we understand as finite being, if He has to make Himself known within the human situation, how are men able to recognize the ways He does this, how does an occasion which is in substance a finite one carry with it some reference or overtone which is more than finite?”.
Caird (1956. p. 60) concluded firmly:
“A God who does not reveal Himself ceases to be God; and religious feelings, craving after a living relation to its object, refuses to be satisfied, with a mere initial and potential revelation of the mind and will of God – a God who speaks once for all, and then through the whole course of history ceases to reveal Himself.”
Why Allah did not disclose himself? As Sheikh (1998) wrote, “The cause of God, would have been served better if He were to show His face to mankind frequently for assuring them that He is there”. Is Allah too great to bother about what people think of him? The answer is simple. Allah did not disclose himself because he lacks one element of perfection – namely ‘existence’ and those Qur’anic revelations are actually a parody of Allah for his imperfection.
This is such an Islamic paradox – Muslims have to believe those revelations to keep their faith in Islam, but once they believe those revelations, they are in fact mocking Allah for his deficiency. So, those revelations are actually blasphemous to their God. It is also true the other way round. The central theme of Islam is blasphemous to the Islamic religion itself. The plain truth is that every part of Islam contradicts and hence blasphemes other parts if analyzed logically.
Sina (Ghamidi et. al, 2007. p. 211) commented, “No matter how you look at Islam it turns out to be a foolish religion.” ‘Stupidity’ is the only ‘qualification’ required for a Muslim to keep his faith. Truth and blind faith cannot go together. If truth is triumphant, it is blasphemous to blind faith. As Shaw (cited Sina, 2007d) concluded “All great truths begin as blasphemies”.
Can any divine disclosure be beyond any question and criticism as stated in verses 5:101, 5:102? This would be like asking ‘Why should I believe the truth?’ If something is true then we obviously believe it after confirming the fact by physical verifications or by reasons. There are likewise questions to ask about Qur’anic revelations. Why should I believe the Qu’ranic revelations, unless I am sure that they are true? As Lewis (1961. p. 231) argued:
“There are two sides to revelation. It involves man as well as God. And I do not see what a revelation could be like that does not involve the use of the faculties with which we are endued as human beings. ”
Where is the ‘divine’ verification for ‘divine’ revelations? If we accept the authority of Qur’an; then why not accept the authority of Hitler and his Nazi party, the notorious cult leaders and why not we put our trust in the communist party? What about taking Saddam Hussein as a prophet? Blind faith can be accepted up to certain extent but somewhere we should draw the line and must seek justification after that.
Right reason is the rule of true faith, and we have no problem in believing a religion if we see it is reasonable. As Abélard (1836. p. 15) wrote, “The first key to wisdom is assiduous and frequent questioning… For by doubting we come to inquiry, and by inquiry, we arrive at the truth… The faith should be founded in human reason and the contrary”. Clifford (1897, p. 186) was very right when he said:
“It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”
Sina (2007a) concluded, “…he [Muhammad] believed in his cause and was sincere in his claim…”. But unfortunately, his sincerity or belief does not prove that he really received God’s divine words. In mental hospitals and the cult scene we can find many such self-proclaimed prophets. Alston calls these M-beliefs (‘M’ stands for manifestation), which perfectly explains Islam from its roots. An M-belief is a basic belief, because it is not derived from any evidence or established truth, but directly reflects the cult-leader /prophet’s own religious experience. One example (Alston, 1987. p. 32-33) is like this:
“God is speaking to [Muhammad], comforting him, strengthening him, enlightening him, giving him courage, guiding him, pouring out God’s love or joy into him, sustaining him in being."
” This theory perfectly explains why Allah gave the revelations to Muhammad only and why Muhammad could see the angel Gabriel and no body else. Also, it is crystal clear to us, -- Why Allah always acted as Muhammad desired. As Sahih al-Bukhari, (Volume 6, Number 311) recorded Aisha’s comment “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires."
Another perfect example was the cult leader Jim Jones. Jim believed that he was divinely commanded to induce his followers to commit mass suicide in Jonestown in 1978. In the cult scene, there are many such horrible examples.
Caird (1956, p. 356) commented “When reason and faith are opposed to each other, there must be an umpire to decide between them, and that umpire is evidently reason itself which is nearer to us than external authority, and once reason becomes the umpire it is impossible to condemn itself and go over to the side of revelation.
” Blind faith or blind belief is something felt by the mind, which distinguishes judgment from the frictions of the imagination (Hume, 1992; p. 42).
Truth cannot be contrary to truth and reason. And since the study of philosophy does not merely to find out what others have thought, but what the truth of the matter is, truth cannot be contrary to philosophy also. Hence logically, there should be no disagreement between true revelation and philosophy. It is wrong to say that a proposition is false in philosophy and true in faith. Did the Qu’ranic teachings match the teachings of any single one great philosopher throughout the recorded history of mankind?
Muhammad’s teaching cannot conform to any other school of philosophical thought. Philosophy recognizes two ways in which human beings may come to know whatever there is to be known. One way through experience (stressed by empiricism) and the other is through reasoning (Hick, 1993, p. 68). Our experience says, Allah’s guidance and instructions through the Qur’anic revelations had failed miserably to improve Muslims’ lives. Also, Allah demands blind obedience (Qur’an 5:101, 5:102), hence reasoning out the revelations is impossible. Therefore either those revelations are actually fabrications without any divine touch or the whole theme of Philosophy is wrong.
Goodness and love are treated as two further attributes of God. If Allah is perfectly loving, then Allah must wish to abolish all evil; and if Allah is all-powerful, Allah must be able to abolish all evil. But evil exists (and more amongst the Muslims); therefore Allah cannot be both omnipotent and perfect loving. So when a revelation describes Allah as all powerful and merciful, the revelations must be false.
The eternal torment of hell (which is affirmed to be fate of a large proportion of human race) as mentioned in Qu’ran (4.14) cannot be true. It is unjust for Allah to burn a disbeliever in hell forever, as Kasem (2003) brings forward his argument – A disbeliever, being a finite being, can only commit a limited amount of sin in his entire life. Eternal torment of hell is an infinite punishment. It is unfair to punish for a finite amount of sin with Infinite torment. Hence, verse 4:14 cannot be from real God. Also, since such punishment would never end, what constructive purpose will it serve? Can this give any solution to the problem of evil? Why is Allah silent on this issue and why did he not send a suitable revelation to justify his divine decision? If eternal torment is Allah’s will, then on what basis he is ‘most gracious, most merciful’?
If God really punishes or rewards, then it is more justified to believe, “good conduct will be rewarded, and bad conduct punished, either here or in a life hereafter” (Durant & Durant, 1961. p. 187). This is again contradictory to the Qur’anic teachings.
Radhakrishnan (1970. p. 19) wrote, “We can believe only in a just God, who is impartial to the saint and the sinner even as the sun shines on those who shiver in cold or sweat in heat. God is not angered by neglect or placated by prayers. The wheels of His chariot turn unimpeded by pity or anger. God is not mocked.” Thomas (cited Durant, 1950. p. 969) had the same view when he wrote “The highest knowledge we can have of God in this life is to know that He is above all that we can think concerning Him”. If this is true then the five obligatory prayers, Hajj, Ramadan etc are useless. But Allah is Jealous, revengeful, hateful and proud. If Allah is the only God, then he is jealous of whom? Why he is so upset? Why he is suffering from an inferiority complex? Is Allah suffering from some kind of mental disease?
Are Allah’s revelations complete? Not at all. As per Sunaan ibn Majah, (3: 1944); during preparation of Muhammad’s funeral some verses were lost when a domestic goat entered the house and ate them. Since several Muslim scholars recorded this Hadith, it must be true. How can divine words be eaten by a goat and thus lost forever, when the Qur'an claims to have been revealed word by word and letter by letter?
The Qur’an (10:64) claims, ‘no change there can be in the words of God’. And again in 6:34, ‘there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of God’. Then how can the Qur’an teach the ‘doctrine of abrogation’ by which later revelations cancel previous ones? As Qur’an (2:106) confirms, ‘revelations… We abrogate or cause to be forgotten’ (cited Geisler & Saleeb, 2002. p. 202). Also, a Hadith (6:558) from Sahih Bukhari confirmed that Muhammad forgot many verses. How it could be possible, unless the above revelations are false?
Truth and logic are two biggest enemies of Islam. As Toland (cited Gunny, 1996. p. 168) wrote, `He [Muhammad] clearly saw that the spirit of inquiry would not favour him. This is how Islam maintained itself.’ Muhammad recommended blind faith without question and absolute obedience, because of his inability to teach the faith intelligibly. Dasti (cited Warraq, 1995. p.4) mentioned, “Belief can blunt human reason and common sense.” Since truth cannot be changed, Muslims changed their mindset to remain in Islam. A typical Muslim mindset is “I do not seek to understand in order to believe. I believe in order to understand. After we are confirmed of our Islamic faith, we should not aim to understand what we have believed” (Durant, 1950. p. 932, with slight modification by author).
This type of religious mindset can be explained by Durkheim’s sociological theory (Hick, 1993. p. 30). The theory (when applied to Islam) refers to this power when it suggests that Allah, whom the Muslims worship, is an imaginary being unconsciously fabricated by the society as instruments whereby society exercises control over the thoughts and behavior of the individual. Sociological theory works well for Islam and cults where the society demands unquestioning obedience and loyalty is required to be very strong.
With this mindset, the Muslims are so desperate, in their affirmation of Islamic faith, that they consider the absurdity of Qu’ranic revelations to be a merit. As Sina (2007b) commented, “They go to extra lengths to make sense out of the senseless and give esoteric meanings to the meaningless”. It’s a pity that the only ‘brilliant, undeniable, miraculous and out of this world’ evidence in support of the Qu’ranic revelations available ever since the birth of Islam, is that “Qu’ran is from God because Muhammad said so”.
Durant (1950. p. 932-3) lamented, “To such a man, whose faith was his life, doubt was impossible; faith must come long before understanding; and how could any finite mind expect ever to understand God”.
There is a strong relationship between ethics and religion. Most philosophers and freethinkers believe that religion and ethics are of great significance to each other. As Lewis (1965, p. 257) wrote, “If religion is true, we should expect religion and ethics to have much importance for one another… Religion is itself nothing but ethics – or ethics with relatively incidental accompaniment”. The moral teachings of the Hindu, Christian and Buddhist Holy Scriptures have enormous positive influence on the progress of the modern civilization. The teachings of the Qur’an had given mankind nothing except violence, misery, poverty, cruelty, death and destruction. The spiritual bankruptcy of these revelations is beyond any doubt. Let us ask a question to our Muslim brethren -- Can any good thing ever come out from Muhammad’s teaching? Was Pope Benedict XVI, far away from truth, when he quoted from Emperor Paleologus IV, “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached"?
Lewis (1965, p. 265) wrote, “It is in ethics that God comes nearest to us. The voice of God is above all the voice of consciences. It is a divine refinement of the working of conscience”. There are several highly offensive verses in Qur’an, which promote hate, call for violence and murder, allow deception, curse nonbelievers and prescribe severe punishment for them. These verses are highly unethical and if ‘it is in ethics that God comes nearest to us’, is true; then Islam is not that right path which can lead a person to the real God. As Gandhi (1961, p. 10) wrote, “One cannot reach truth by untruthfulness.”. Being guided by those absurd revelations, Muslims cannot reach the ultimate truth, i.e, God.
In fact, the Qur’an has no substantial message in it. As Sina (2007a) observed, “After 23 years of preaching, the core message of Muhammad remained the same. Islam’s main message is that Muhammad is a messenger and that people must obey him. Beyond that, there is no other message. Failure to recognize him as such entails punishment, both in this world and the next. Monotheism, which is now the main argument of Islam, was not originally part of the message of Muhammad”.
If Sina’s assertion is true, then those revelations had served only one purpose, i.e, to strengthen the career of Muhammad as a prophet and to confirm his authority on his followers in the name of God. It was not Muhammad who had served Allah but it was Allah who served Muhammad to boost up his career as prophet and always ready with a suitable revelation. Reality became a shadow and the shadow became reality. Did Muhammad consciously or subconsciously fabricate those revelations to claim prophethood and to have absolute authority on Muslims in the name of God ? This is a possibility that we cannot overlook because it justifies Allah’s intention to keep his identity hidden and why questioning and doubting of the Qur’an was not allowed. This also explains; why the Angel Gabriel was only visible to Muhammad and also, why the divine messages had stopped coming down after Muhammad’s death. It’s a pity that our Muslim brothers have no satisfactory argument about this. They are neither confused nor ignorant – they can see everything but do not have to courage to ask such questions for the fear of Allah’s wrath. As Sina (2008) wrote, “They [Muslims] make themselves stupid because they fear to use their brain. They fear that if they ask difficult questions from God who may not be able to answer, the creator of the Universe will be embarrassed and He will send them to Hell”. The present author is confused – Is Allah really that silly?
Muslims often talk about the miraculous nature of the Qur’an. Allah said (Qur’an 11: 20) “And if you are in doubt concerning that We (Allah) have sent down on our servant, then bring a Sura like it.” Muslims often take childish pleasure while quoting this verse. But the fact is, (Shahi Bukhari 4. 56.814) once Muhammad was challenged by a Christian convert who reverted back to Christianity by seeing that Muhammad was actually faking the Qur’anic revelations and declared, “Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him”.
Also, one of the Muhammad’s scribes; Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh, used to write down Allah’s revelations. When Abdullah suggested some changes to Muhammad's dictation, Muhammad readily agreed with Abdullah. This led Abdullah to suspect Muhammad's claim of reception of messages from God, apostatized and left Medina for Mecca. He then proclaimed that he (Abdullah) too could easily write the Qur'anic verses by being inspired by Allah (Kasem, n.d).
The above two incidents were recorded by authentic Muslim sources, which clearly proves that Muhammad was faking the Qur’an. Some very early Muslim scholars also openly acknowledged that arrangements and the syntax of the Qur’an are not miraculous and work of equal or greater value could be produced by other God-fearing persons (Warraq, 2005. p. 5). Dasti (cited Warraq, 2005. p. 5) concluded that the Qur’an was not the word of God, since it contains many instances, which confuse the identities of two speakers – Allah and Muhammad. Dasti also noted more than one hundred Qur’anic aberrations from the normal rules.
Hume referred to Muhammad as a ‘pretended prophet’ and wrote, “[The Qur’an is a] wild and absurd performance.” Also Hobbes concluded, “… [Muhammad] to set up his new religion, pretended to have conferences with the Holy Ghost in form of a dove. ” Also, Gibbon concluded that Muhammad’s claim that he was the apostle of God was ‘a necessary fiction’. Carlyle wrote, “His Qur’an has become a stupid piece of prolix absurdity; we do not believe like him that God wrote that” (Warraq, 2005. p. 10, 24).
Tisdall (cited Trifkovic, 2002, p. 75) concluded, “The Qur’an is a faithful mirror of the life and character of its author… It reveals the working of Muhammad’ own mind, and shows the gradual declension [deterioration] of his character as he passed … into the conscious impostor and open sensualist”.
Sina (2007a) wrote, “After reading the Qur’an, I was in shock. I was shocked to see the violence, hate, inaccuracies, scientific errors, mathematical mistakes, logical absurdities, grammatical solecisms and dubious ethical pronouncements in the book of God.” A belief must be shown to be sound in itself as well as in some consequences of holding it. Perhaps the biggest blunder Allah made in his Qur’an is the confirmation that ‘earth is flat’. There are still many orthodox Muslim scholars who believe that earth is flat, even in this twenty-first century, because the Qur’an said so.
Warraq (2005, p. 23), even goes this far to conclude, “The Historian [Carlyle] saw Islam as a confused form of Christianity, a ‘illegitimate’ [offensive word replaced by present author] kind of Christianity, shorn in its absurd details.”
So, undoubtedly, the Qur’anic revelations fail miserably if scrutinized under the searchlight of truth and logic. But again this leads to many questions - where did these revelations come from? Was the Qur’an written for any particular purpose? Was Muhammad a conscious fraud? Or, was it his subconscious mind which was at work?
Many critics talk about ghost possession, demons, Lucifer etc. But let us keep those arguments out of this -- either Muhammad was a conscious fraud or a subconscious fraud.
Will Durant, the world-famous scholar opined that Qu’ranic revelations were actually a conscious fabrication of Muhammad. He (1950; p. 176) wrote, “Muhammad felt that no moral code would win obedience adequate to the order and vigor of a society unless men believed the code to have come from God.” The ethics of the Qu’ran rests on the fear of Allah’s punishment, and the hope of reward, beyond the grave.
If Durant’s assertion is right then Muhammad created those revelations to play a mind control game with his followers to boost up his political carreer and to fulfill his personal desires. In fact Islam is more of a political movement and less of a religion. If we look at Muhammad’s twenty-three years of prophetic employment, we can see that he was more successful as a political leader with ambition for power and domination. As the famous historian Arnold Toynbee (1935. p. 469) concluded, “Muhammad’s preaching was manifestly, from the worldly point of view, an utter failure… As a result of thirteen years of propaganda he had won no more than a handful of converts.”
Toynbee (1935. p. 468) did not hide his doubt and raised his concern outspokenly, “Was Muhammad a vulgar imposter, who posed as a prophet with his eye upon a throne from the outset?” However, on the same treatise Toynbee concluded that Muhammad had a deep and genuine religious conviction, which proved his sincerity, “Muhammad actually thought that he was sacrificing his worldly prospects. He cannot have suspected that he was on the road to making his worldly fortune”. Elsewhere Toynbee (1979. p. 469) observed, “No doubt Muhammad reasoned with his conscious mind thus; and no doubt he was deceiving himself in yielding his own argument.”
Toynbee (1935, p. 470, 471) concluded that Muhammad succeeded in his prophetic mission because there was no powerful government to stop him. If Muhammad had been living under Roman rule, surely his mission would have resulted in losing his life and his religion would have been stamped out by strong military action.
The Holy Bible of Christian faith mentioned, "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” (Matthew 7:15-16). Ironically Muslims often say that Muhammad was foretold in Bible. Is he a false prophet?
Is there any Muslim scholar who can sincerely clarify the doubts raised on the Qu’ranic revelations in this article? Let this article be an open challenge to all the Muslim scholars. This author is sure that the challenge will remain unanswered. If unanswered, then let this article be an eye-opener to common Muslim folks. One point is very clear. Since, the authenticity of Qu’ranic revelations is still remained unproven even after 1400 years of its reception; the Qu’ran has no authority to control Muslims’ lives, even not for a single moment from cradle to grave and life thereafter, if any. An authority must produce its credentials and Qur’an has none. And, since there is no assurance regarding authenticity and authority of the Qur’an, it is safe to conclude that Allah has no responsibility for the welfare of the Muslims.
Without any authority and responsibility Islam is in shambles. It is like a madhouse. Under Islam, the life of a Muslim is same as that of a prisoner. Islam has made Muslims’ lives so wretched that sometimes death becomes a blessed escape from it.
Gandhi (1961, p. 29) said, “If we turn our eyes, to the time of which history has any record down to our own time, we shall find that man has been steadily progressing towards ‘Ahimsa’[non-violence]”. Gandhi’s observation was correct. The whole mankind is moving towards perfection, which is non-violence. Love, brotherhood and non-violence are the basic rules in the kingdom of God. Our ancestors of several thousand years ago were cannibals. Next came an instant, when men were ashamed to lead such a life and turned to animal hunting and ultimately towards agriculture. These days more and more people are turning towards a vegetarian diet. Today we talk about Human rights and condemn cruelty against animals. These are clear signs of progressive ‘Ahimsa’ and diminishing ‘Himsa’ (violence). Gandhi neither claimed prophethood nor was ever interested to start a new religion, but the real God of mankind has spoken through him, when this apostle of non- violence said, “When I search for truth, I find non-violence and when I look at non-violence, I find truth. Truth is my God; Non-violence is the means of realizing Him”.
Herrick (cited Lal, 1978. p. 112) wrote, “As Human society is now organized, the law of the jungle is now outmoded, and sooner we find this out, the better it will be for us”. Our experiences says, that the Muslims have committed more crimes and shed more blood in the name of Islam than all those of other religious faiths, atheists and skeptics altogether. This is because through those revelations, Muslims are told to fight the disbelievers (Qur’an 9:5). As Voltaire (cited Dawkins, 2006. p. 306) wrote, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”.
Today the whole world is slowly unveiling the great mystery of knowledge. This is essential for mankind’s journey to perfection as dreamed by Gandhi. It will not take much time for Muslims to realize that there is no divinity attached to those revelations and their beloved prophet, Muhammad was a shameless impostor. As Sina (2008) very optimistically concluded, “This is the day where truth will have victory over falsehood and lies are becoming exposed.” This day of enlightenment will be the real Judgment day. The basic rules of the kingdom of God will be followed, the earth will be a place better than the Islamic paradise and God will dwell amongst us. On that day, all of us will be able to see God and talk to Him.
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