Answering Common Muslim Claims: “The Facts of the Quran Attest to Its Authenticity”
Often it is argued that the “facts” as found in the Quran are evidence that it is truly from God! Muslims will claim that these facts are in line with the God of the Jews and Christians (of course referring to a time before Jewish and Christian scriptures were "corrupted.")
“The Quran is clear!” “The Quran is plain and easy to understand.” This is what I’ve been told by my Muslim friends. In fact, they go out of their way to make sure that they are correct in their statements by appealing to the Quran itself for evidence:
Quran 11:1—This is a Book, whose verses have been made firm and free from imperfection and then they have been expounded in detail.
12:1—These are verses of the clear Book.
15:1—These are the verses of the Book and of a Quran that makes things clear.
24:46—Certainly We have revealed clear communications...
26:2—These are the verses of the Book that makes things clear.
27:1—These are verses of the Qur’an—a book that makes things clear.
28:2—These are verses of the Book that makes things clear.
57:9—He it is who sends down clear communications upon His servant, that he may bring you forth from utter darkness into light.
When I first began to read the Quran some years ago, my friend appealed to me that it is plain and simple, and that if I would read it, I would be able to understand it clearly. The aforementioned verses are all taken from the Quran and “prove” that the Quran is abundantly clear in its message and that it means what it says, plain and simple.
Allah’s message would be simple and plain, and it would mean what it said. I asked if I should read the Hadith, and she said, “just stay with the Quran, because the Quran is so plain, you cannot misunderstand its meaning.” And she stated that the Hadith sometimes, are a bit harder to understand. For that reason, I will simply list some "facts" from the Quran, absent from the Hadith, to allow it to speak clearly and plainly to you.
The Setting of the Sun
They will ask thee of Dhu'l-Qarneyn. Say: I shall recite unto you a remembrance of him. Lo! We made him strong in the land and gave him unto every thing a road. And he followed a road. Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness.
There were people who lived near this muddy spring, and the sun set into this muddy spring (other versions say "a spring of murky water").
It is clear! This man, Dhu’l-Qarneyn (whoever he was) was able to travel down a road that would lead him to the place where the sun set. The sun—according to the Quran—sets in a pool of muddy water, and there are people who live around the water where the sun sets.
This is the “plain teaching” of the Quran, and these are some of the “verses of the book that makes things clear.” Quran Fact #1: Dhu’l Qarneyn found the place where the sun sets, in a pool of muddy water.
When you see shooting stars, do you ever wonder what they really are? I mean, I know we think they are comets or meteors, and not stars at all. However, notice what Allah actually uses them for:
It is We Who have set out the zodiacal signs in the heavens, and made them fair-seeming to (all) beholders; And (moreover) We have guarded them from every evil spirit accursed: But any that gains a hearing by stealth, is pursued by a flaming fire, bright (to see).(Quran 15:16-18)
We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars, (For beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious evil spirits, (So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side, Repulsed, for they are under a perpetual penalty, Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they are pursued by a flaming fire, of piercing brightness.(37:6-10)
And we have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with Lamps, and We have made such (Lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones, and have prepared for them the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.(67:5)
(Demons are speaking)And we pried into the secrets of heaven; but we found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires. 'We used, indeed, to sit there in (hidden) stations, to (steal) a hearing; but any who listen now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush.(72:8-9)
So, the plain teaching of the Quran states that stars are burning in the sky, and as long as they are there, they are just on fire and burning. But their purpose is to stop the rebellious devils from listening in on the "exalted assembly" (whatever that is).
The demons pried into the "secrets of heaven" but now they fear the "stars" as flaming fires to ambush them if they are caught being sneaky. When Allah sees one of those devils trying to eavesdrop on the conversation of the exalted assembly, he throws the stars at those sneaky devils like missiles.
The Quran attests to itself that it is plain, and that these verses “make things clear.” So, Quran Fact #2: Stars are missiles to be thrown at sneaky demons.
We now turn our attention away from the "scientific facts" of the Quran to focus on two “moral facts” from the Quran.
Beating Rebellious Wives
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.(Quran 4:34)
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.
The Quran is clear! Men are in charge of women, and if a woman who you think might rebel seems to want to disobey (notice that she doesn't have to actually disobey; the man can punish her even if he thinks she might disobey), Allah says:
- Admonish her
- Forsake her in bed
- Beat her
Quran Fact #3: Beating your wife is acceptable, and approved by Allah.
Sex with Slaves is Approved
Successful indeed are the believers
Those who humble themselves in their prayers;
And who shun vain conversation,
Who are active in deeds of charity;
Who abstain from sex,
Save from their wives or the slaves that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy...
And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you…
Muhammad is explaining who the men could have sexual relations with. They could not have sex with anyone who was married, except for their own slaves. If they defeated an enemy in Jihad, they could take captives, and they had been given the right by Allah to force themselves upon (rape) their slave girls. These are the “clear teachings” of the book.
- The Quran is clear, and means exactly what it says, and is reliable in its own claim to clarity.
- The Quran is not clear, and does not mean exactly what it says, and is unreliable as to its claim to clarity.
If the second is true, then it is not a reliable source for salvation. If the first is true, we must conclude from these clear passages, that according to Muhammad:
- The sun sets in a "muddy spring."
- Stars were created for throwing at sneaky devils
- If a man thinks his wife might become rebellious, he may beat her
- If you have a slave, you may force yourself upon (rape) her
There are plenty of other "clear" passages in the Quran which give us pause as we consider whether or not the Quran is God’s Word. Perhaps these will suffice for this blog post.
Notice that we did not use a single passage from the Hadith. However, the argument could be made that if we are to understand these passages properly, we should turn to the Hadith (Life and Teachings of Muhammad). But my Muslim friends caution me against this, because when I turn to the Hadith to see their prophet’s actions, it only solidifies the fact that he truly believed and acted in accordance to this understanding of the Quran.
Friends, I would like to suggest that there is much in the "clear teachings" of the Quran that reveals to us the true nature of its author. And the nature of its author in comparison to the nature of the author of the New Testament are not remotely the same.