Islamic leaders tell us that the Quran is so eloquent that no mere human being could have written it. It has come to us directly from the lips of God to the ears of man. It is a book of such literary beauty that no other book on earth compares to it. It outshines them all as the sun outshines a candle.
I am convinced that most people who pick it up and read it through for the first time would not be impressed by its beautiful style and eloquence. It is a hard read. Those who say it is a book written by God have been told so by their Imams. To believe so is sheer propaganda. It proves the adage that if you say something foolish enough, long enough and it goes unchallenged long enough people will eventually believe it. It’s the 99-1 rule in operation. For example in the Quran the story of the Exodus of Israel leaving Egypt through the Red Sea is repeated at least eight times but the giving of the Ten Commandments is not mentioned once. That is the equivalent of an historian writing the history of America and never mentioning the Constitution. Would this not cause you to question the legitimacy of the historian himself.
The Quran’s apologists says that it has not changed in 1400 years. And the reason this belief is held by many of their sincere followers is because no literary experts challenged it in the last fourteen hundred years. To do so meant death, and it is a capital offense to this day in Muslim majority countries. But such a sharia law cannot be enforced in the West. Today in the West there are many David’s challenging this bully Goliath. Imams for centuries have boasted of how Christian missionaries have not been successful in converting many Islamists to Jesus Christ. And this true, but only because the Muslim society is a closed society and all progressive voices were quieted with the flashing of a terrible swift sword.
How things have changed. Modern day Islam has no such a monopoly on the minds and free speech of scholars in the West. The sunlight of truth is proving to be a great disinfectant. Thousands of Muslims are now unafraid to check the facts for themselves are see that the Quran is not a perfectly preserved book. It is imperfect in its science, history, social morality, and family practices. Not surprisingly, upon honest investigation many followers old, middle-aged and young are leaving Islam in droves.
Scholars in the West are not afraid of being beheaded for challenging Islam’s claims of possessing a perfect book and a perfect prophet. Like treasure hunters, investigators have scoured the eastern libraries for the oldest historical manuscripts; they have dug down deep into the archaeology sites of Islam’s ancient capitals, they have compared ancient maps, studied their geography, and tracked out their Qiblas. What they have uncovered and are still uncovering is sending shockwaves through the Islamic Crescent.
But what they are not discovering is equally disturbing. It is the one treasure trove that all Islam desires above all others. The original Manuscripts (652 AD) of Caliph Uthman’s five perfectly written, perfectly preserved Qurans. If they found but one this would send ovations and howls of delight sirening from the highest minaret throughout Islam. Eureka! It would compare to Islam’s capture of Constantinople in 1453. This find would be greater than all the treasures found in King Tut’s Tomb. But alas no Iman in any Mosque throughout the Muslim world can honestly claim he holds in his hand a perfectly preserved seventh century Quran.
How sad that God’s last revelation to man quoted by Gabriel to the world’s last and greatest prophet Mohammede is missing in action. Regrettably, the search has proven to be as futile as searching for King Arthur’s sword the Excalibur, Plato’s Atlantis. Scholars are still searching for just one perfectly preserved Quran as perfectly preserved word for word as the one in Allah’s heaven with all 114 chapters, that Gabriel personally quoted to Mohammed in a dark cave in Mecca. So far it has been an exercise in futility. For the sake of space I will mention just one more fatal stroke that like a bleeding Caesar is slowly bringing Mohammed collapsing to his trembling knees. It is Islam’s highrise capital city of Mecca. The sands of Mecca ought to be crying out, “Come and see the place where Abraham and Adam and Mohammed and a host of other great prophets once lived.” Any tourist can travel to Jerusalem and see the tombs of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Jesus and an endless array of archaeological evidence proving that ancient Judaism once thrived there. But no such archaeological evidence abounds in the sands of Mecca the holy city of Islam
No honest seeking Muslim can avoid asking the question any longer, Where? Show me the sites, Take me to your museum of artifacts. If the experts had the tangible evidence, I am sure they would have a first class museum exhibiting them to the world. The Pyramids in Egypt are a constant reminder that Egypt was one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Artifacts in the National Museum in Cairo verify the claim. Where in Mecca are the ancient foundation stones and roads, and market places, and grave yards, and orchards, wells and bones and coins. Does not Islam teach that Adam and Eve and Abraham and Ishmael and thousands of other people lived and thrived there for hundreds of years. Let the stones cry out. We’re listening! But no, the sands of time do not cry out. They stay mute, not a mumbling word. Ur Yes, Mecca No. Troy Yes, Mecca No. Hattusa (Hittites) Yes, Mecca No. Maya, Inca, Olmec and Aztec , Yes, Mecca, we’re still waiting.
Of Caliph Uthman’s five 652 AD manuscripts, from which copyists infallibly copied many other copies; no scholar can hold up for our curious eyes to gaze upon.
The evidence for the manuscripts of the seventh century must be held to a higher standard than the Bible for two reasons: One: The Quran repeatedly claimed for 1400 years that it was perfectly preserved. 2. The first official Qurans were not written on papyrus, the poor man’s paper which was cheap and plentiful, and deteriorated within one-hundred years. They written on parchment that lasts for thousands of years. 3. The Caliphs protected the Quran. Unlike the Caliphs who protected the Quran the Roman emperor Diocletian (d. 311 AD) sent out a decree demanding all Bibles confiscated and burned. Any church or person found even with a portion of the Bible and refused to give it up was martyred. Thousands of Biblical manuscripts were thrown into the flames. That is why we only have fragment like the John Ryland papyrus (125 AD), the Chester Beatty papyri (200 AD). Therefore, the Quran is to be held to a higher standard of Exacto. This is their boast; preserved exactly in every word and dot. But show me the mountain of manuscript evidemce, the stacks of perfectly preserved Qurans that ought to be standing five pillars high throughout the Middle East.
When Roman emperor Constantine legalized Christianity by the Edict of Milan in 313 AD everything changed. Money was suddenly no problem for the Church. Constantine ordered Bible manuscripts written on vellum. One vellum or calf skin properly prepared could cost a poor man a year’s wages, It took 50-60 vellums to write the complete Bible on the surviving Codex Sinaiticus. But seventh century Islam had no such problem with cost or papyrus or persecution from the get-go. So where are these preserved manuscripts, that do not degenerate with age and whose ink is legible for centuries and were copied by Secretary Zaid bin Thabit in perfect Arabic letters.
Secretary Zaid bin Thabit produced the first Quran between 632 – 634 under the watchful eye and expense of Islam’s first caliph and friend of Mohammed, Caliph Abu Bakr . The second Quran was also written on parchment by Secretary Zaid bin Thabit in 652 AD. This was under the watchful eye of the new caliph and underwriter Uthman, thus called the Uthman Quran. Five copies copied from this 652 copy were personally delivered to five major cities with pronouncers. One can safely assume they would be as carefully protected as we protect our Constitution. Again! Where are they?
An interesting side note here is that the earliest Quran manuscripts, which are all eighth century, and preserved in Istanbul, Paris, Uzbekistan, London, Cairo, and Sana’a are all written on parchment and not papyrus and not one of these has all 114 verses of the Quran. The truth can be such an inconvenient thing.
The Quran itself warns all readers that to make any change(s) with it will bring the judgment of God upon them.
Surah 10:15 warns, “And when Our clear revelations are recited unto them, they who look not for the meeting with Us say: Bring a Lecture other than this or change it. Say (O Muhammad): It is not for me to change it of my own accord. I only follow that which is inspired in me. Lo! If I disobey my Lord, I fear the retribution of an awful Day.”
Surah 15:9 tells us the reason is because you must not change that which is perfect and eternally preserved by Allah.
“Behold, it is We Ourselves who have bestowed from on high, step by step, this reminder: and behold, it is We who shall truly guard it [from all corruption].”
Surah 18:27 is equally emphatic, “And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge.” You may as well try to change 2+2 making five
Just as difficult as it is to believe that there are parents who believe their children can do no wrong in spite of the contrary evidence; So it is equally hard to believe there are leaders in Islam who believe that the Quran has never been wrong in spite of the overwhelming contrary evidence. In our Western culture where we have the right and responsibility to question preachers, popes, prime ministers, and professors of every stripe, so we have the right and responsibility to question the Quran and imams who make the incredible claim that it has come down to us perfecrly preserved. . We do not live in the fear of there terribly swift sword. The ninety-nine versus the one does not hold here.