Atheist Argument Against the Veracity of the Qur’an.

“And if anyone from the polytheists asks for your protection ˹O Prophet˺, grant it to them so they may hear the Word of Allah, then escort them to a place of safety, for they are a people who have no knowledge.” (Qur’an 9:6)

 

One of the things that the Atheist have used before against the Qur’an the following argument:

As Muslims we accept the Qur’an 100% as the words of Allah (swt).

Even though the words of Iblis (Satan) are in the Qur’an.

For example:

“He said: My Lord! Because You have sent me astray, I verily shall adorn the path of error for them in the earth, and shall mislead them every one….” (Qur’an 15:39)

Now when we as Muslims read this are we to understand that quote as the words of Allah (swt) or the words of Iblis?  or are they words of Allah (swt) quoting Iblis?

 

Is Allah (swt) quoting Iblis ad-verbatim or is Allah (swt) simply re-constructing what happened using His (Allah’s) own words? In other words not an exact account but simply the ‘gist’ of what happened?

There is dialogue and conversation between non believers and believers.

“And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fights against them. How perverse are they!” (Qur’an 9:30)

Now when we as Muslims read this are we to understand that quote as the words of Allah (swt) or the words of Unbelievers;  or are they words of Allah (swt) quoting Unbelievers?

Is Allah (swt) quoting Unbelievers ad-verbatim or is Allah (swt) simply re-constructing what happened using His (swt) own words? In other words not an exact account but simply the ‘gist’ of what happened?

 

There is dialogue of Prophets.

“But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried: Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We will be Allah’s helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear  witness that we have surrendered .” (Qur’an 3:52)

 

So here is where the dilemma comes in.

Now when we as Muslims read this are we to understand that quote as the words of Allah (swt) or the words of Jesus & his disciples;  or are they words of Allah (swt) quoting Jesus & his disciples?

Is Allah (swt) quoting Jesus & his disciples ad-verbatim or is Allah (swt) simply re-constructing what happened using His (swt) own words? In other words not an exact account but simply the ‘gist’ of what happened?

We have to ask ourselves are these actual quotations?  So here are our choices.

1) I Allah (swt) quoting these statements ad-verbatim?

2) Allah (swt) is not quoting ad-verbatim and thus giving us the ‘gist’ of what is said.

 

Here are possible solutions/problems with both option 1)  & option 2).

1) It does not seem that these are actual statements ad-verbatim.

Anyone who has studied the Qur’an; or even listen to it understands that there is a fluid, tonal , rhythmic melody that rhymes along the way.

Is it highly unlikely that this is the way that Iblis talked,  normal people talk or even the Prophets talk.

To give an example.  It is highly unlikely that the Prophets talked like this:

“And I give you glad tidings from your Lord, so share your wealth and do not hoard.  If you chase after vain desires you will be bored. You cannot simply do of your own accord.  This advise is to be taken and not to be ignored.”

So for example the Qur’an has this rhythmic cadence  ‘Qul huwallahu ahad.  Allahu Samad.  Lam yalid wa lam yulad. Walam yakul lahu kufuwan ahad.’

Hopefully some scholar of any of the Muslim groups could come forward and give convincing arguments that this is how…

Prophets spoke….

Iblis spoke….

or even the unbelievers as they engaged with believers.

 

2) Allah (swt) is not quoting ad-verbatim and thus giving us the ‘gist’ of what is said.  Or you could say giving us an account but not the actual speech or quotes.

If this is correct it sets forth an interesting precedent.  In that the Allah (swt) is not say that it is important for any of us to have the actual events of anything; but an approximation of those events.  The ‘gist’ if you will.

 

Also, this is further proof that the Qur’an cannot be the eternal speech which it is rather obvious to anyone that Allah (swt) is reformatting the words, sentence structure of what transpired in the past to conform to an Arabic grammatical and syntax structure that will be revealed in real time. 

If this is the case, than those who believe in lone narrator hadith will have room to maneuver.  As they do not believe that all the hadith reports are necessarily ad-verbatim transmitted, but transmitted faithfully enough so as to give the ‘gift’ of what the Blessed Messenger (saw) said.

Likewise the Christians would have considerable room to maneuver. Because now we would be presented with a theology that says  it would be possible for Allah (swt) to present the ‘gist’ of the message of Christianity through disparate manuscripts without them being an ‘actual’ or ‘ad-verbatim’ account.

I have no good answers to the over all assertions put forward. You can tell from the comment section below this post that many Muslims thought I was out of line for this discovery. 

I would simply say Wallahu ‘Alim  (Allah knows best)

 

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Atheist Argument Against the Veracity of the Qur’an.

  1. Jafar

    Salaam,

    I think you are overlooking a very obvious fact in all this: the Quran is in Arabic.
    Which of the Prophets (may Allah (swt) bless and honor them) before Muhammad (pbuh) spoke Meccan Arabic? Or any of the other individuals quoted in the Quran?

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say none of them did. I’m sure some scholar can go digging through records showing that the languages differed greatly. May Allah (swt) bless them for their diligence.

    So what does that mean that when we are giving quotes from these individuals in the Quran?

    The quotes are translated into Arabic through the Most Perfect and All-Knowing filter; the words are elevated, the meanings are preserved, the quotes are exact such that the original speaker would not deny them when translated back into their original languages. With this understanding, we can say confidently that the quotes are verbatim and provide the original intent of the speaker.

    Lastly, How is this an issue to debate in the first place?
    If the quotes are not verbatim and Allah The Omnipotent is providing the “gist” of their words Why would you prefer to hear the exact words of man ( which can be imbued with sarcasm, idioms, double meanings, etc…) rather than hearing the true meaning of the words from the Creator? Why would one prefer that which is inferior?

    Wallahu ‘Alim.

  2. Abdullah bin Amatullah

    I think there is a difference between Allah giving the jist and a mere human giving the jist. So I don’t think that lone-narrator hadiths would have much room to manoeuvre. Wa Allahu Alam.

  3. Salaam!

    Totally uncalled for post.

    An atheist who doesn’t believe in ALLAH has no right to question ALLAH unless he believes ALLAH. I am shocked why Muslims fall for their arguments like these which are baseless coming from a person who does not believe in ALLAH in the 1st place. If he doesn’t believe in ALLAH , how can he question what ALLAH Says or Does.

    Lets not confuse Satanism with Atheism. Shaytan didn’t like what ALLAH ordered him , so if this post has any kind of sense, it can be for a so called Satanist who believes in ALLAH but wrongly thinks that his opinion is better than ALLAH on some particular issue, like Shaytan, i.e. knowing the reality but not liking the reality or claiming his say on the reality is better and so becoming rebellious.

    How can he call himself atheist if he is questioning regarding ALLAH’s Words. If he questions, does he believe in ALLAH? If he doesn’t believe in ALLAH, this question is baseless coming from him. If he believes in ALLAH but doesn’t like something, he not an atheist.

    Definitely he has no right to have a post dedicated to him.

    This is a common trick, he doesn’t believe in ALLAH and instead of answering genuine questions like if he doesn’t believe in ALLAH then what does he believe has been for ever, i.e. someone or something must have been for ever, otherwise nothing would be here today. What does he say on that?

    Why not you make him answer also instead of playing with arguments which he himself doesn’t believe in the 1st place and just arguing for the sake of arguing or enjoying questioning other religions while not answering a single question regarding his religion?

    • Salaam!

      I believe that if we are going to be engaging Atheist, Christians, or fellow Muslims on issues that we need to do so in a way that is calm and collected and not emotional.

      For example you have stated:

      “Lets not confuse Satanism with Atheism. Shaytan didn’t like what ALLAH ordered him , so if this post has any kind of sense, it can be for a so called Satanist who believes in ALLAH but wrongly thinks that his opinion is better than ALLAH on some particular issue, like Shaytan, i.e. knowing the reality but not liking the reality or claiming his say on the reality is better and so becoming rebellious.”

      This paragraph will come across as frantic to many readers looking at the comment. I think what you have not taken into consideration is that Atheist all the time use what is called in Latin ‘Arguendo’ -or in the vernacular ‘for the sake of argument’.

      So getting emotional and saying this is a Satanist rather than an Atheist is the kind of response that only empowers Atheist and does not make us look even-tempered.

      “Definitely he has no right to have a post dedicated to him.”

      This is a rather alarming statement as well. It comes across as panicky. It is an uncomfortable post, there is no doubt about it.

      There are many post that are uncomfortable. There are many people who wish that allot of the subjects addressed at Prima-Qur’an are not addressed.

      I have noted that the Qur’anist have not engaged in post that refute their positions. Curious is it not?

      I understand where you are coming from. Often times these issues become a matter of ego and scoring points rather than the pursuit of truth.

      So for example the Atheist using ‘Arguendo’ is wanting to preclude the discussion about a divine being.

      You are wanting to approach the angle of , ‘Wait before we talk about the Bible or the Qur’an or any religious text we need to prove/disprove the existence of a Creator’.

      Why these seems logical you are going to run into problems.

      For example you claim to be a Muslim. I claim to be a Muslim. Thus, we believe in a divine being that interacts with Creation.

      On what basis do we believe this? It is a philosophical basis? Personal whim? Based upon revealed revelation? Dreams?

      It is doubtful though not improbable that your belief in a Creator that interacts with creation is asserted because of your supposition that the Holy Qur’an is revealed revelation.

      “Why not you make him answer also instead of playing with arguments which he himself doesn’t believe in the 1st place and just arguing for the sake of arguing or enjoying questioning other religions while not answering a single question regarding his religion?”

      Well, this assumes that I have not engaged the person on this matter. That I did not have questions of my own. There is much material to be covered at PrimaQuran and Allah-willing I will do my level best to cover an array of topics.

      Again, you have to keep in mind the intention behind this blog. This is a work in progress. This blog has a section called ’emendations, retractions, corrections’.

      Also, I am looking for a consistent methodology. So this particular post beyond questioning the veracity of the Holy Qur’an looks at the concept of ‘riwaya bil-ma’na’ -or transmission by general meaning.

      In other words if Allah (swt) did not relay the words exactly but through riwaya bil-ma’na’ than this is a good argument for Muslim brothers and sisters who believe the ahadith to be transmitted as such.

      Lastly, because this was the first time I have heard such an assertion and lastly as I have mentioned in the entry itself

      “I have no good answers to the over all assertions put forward.

      I would simply say Wallahu ‘Alim (Allah knows best)”

      So it is good to see fellow Muslims engage with this argument. I would caution against any response that is erratic respected brother.

      I hope this is helpful.

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