August 18, 2016

Understanding Islam XXXIV: A Strange, Redacted, Illogical Qur’an, Part 2

The Qur’an, Allah’s supposed final revelation, according to Islam, is transcendent, and consequently, beyond the capacity for conjecture, or criticism. What this means is that the Qur'an which we possess today is and has always been final and pure, which prohibits any possibility for verification or falsification of the text…even though I can prove it is in error which I just did.

There are known variations of the Qur’an that are theologically contradicting to other Qur'an even though Uthman ibn Affan attempted to have nearly all the extant copies destroyed. The official stance of Islam is that the extant copies are either invalid or forgeries even though most Muslim scholars will acknowledge their existence and validity and claim to true Islamic truth. What the hadith show is that because of infighting in the first century after Muhammad's death, there was no written copies of the Qur'an immediately following Muhammad's passing but once they were written, two major versions existed within 100 years and they were radically different. Although there was a concerted effort to destroy the radically different extant copies were….That is why the printing of the Qur'an is now controlled governmentally. The last official printing that I am aware of is Egyptian from 1924.

We also know from Islamic documented accounts in the Hadith that some pieces of the Qur'an were lost because some of the sole people that remembered them were killed in skirmishes and battles following Muhammad's death. That is why extant copies were collected and made into the Qur'an by later leaders. When those that collected them tried to corroborate the texts and unify them there were a few that refused and they were summarily beaten to get them to try and give them up.

Furthermore there are Islamic palimpsest that exist that have distinct variations between earlier writings that have left indentations but were erased right on the vellum and the text on the face of the palimpsest. There is hard empirical and obvious editing under black light or ultraviolet light. Not corrections...but rather intentional editing or redaction. It was either done to cover and inconsistency or correct a previous error. Considering the Qur’an is supposed to be the eternal inerrant word of Allah, there is an inherent problem here for Muslims.

The irony is this. Most knowledgeable Islamic scholars and Imam are very aware of these issues. The Islamic commoner is not. Yet the official line is that the Qur’an as the perfect revelation of Allah is maintained…even when it is known there are redactions. What then are we to do with the problems which do exist in the Qur'an? If it is such a transcendent book, as Muslims claim, then it should stand up to any criticism. Yet, what are we to do with the many contradictions, the factual errors and bizarre claims it makes?

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