How Was The Qur’an Revealed to Muhammad?
There are, with in the Qur’an, three claims concerning how the Qur’an was revealed.
1, It was given to Muhammad in one night.
2. It was given to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan over 30 days.
3. It was given to Muhammad little bits over time.
This last one is where the concept of abrogation comes in. There were verses of Mecca and then verses of Medina.
Surah 44:1-7 says:
By the manifest book (the Qur’an), we sent it down one blessed night in the month of Ramadan.
From this we see that the Qur’an was sent down in one night. Surah 2:185 tells us:
Ramadan is the month in which we sent down the Qur’an to be a guide to mankind.
Now it is the whole month of Ramadan. It could be argued that this is the same thing as it coming down “one blessed in night the month of Ramadan.”
Surah 17:105 says:
We have revealed it by stages.
The next verse says it was gradually in stages. Either it was revealed in one night or over a period of years. Which was it? We can give a little grace over whether or not it was over a 30 day period, but one night or in gradual stages is a definite contradiction.
Surah 25:32 it says:
Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once?
This is a question asked by an unbeliever. It answered the question this way:
Thus it was sent down in part that we may strengthen your heart thereby and we have revealed it to you gradually in stages.
We have two passages that contradict earlier passages. In Surah 2 we learn about abrogation. It tells us that if something was given earlier, and something given later contradicts it, it is because that which is given later is better.
Remember the original revelations came while Muhammad was in Mecca. When he moved to Medina, the revelations changed, and he became a warlord. These revelations allowed him to steal, deceive, and kill those who would not submit to Islam. Allah abrogated (superseded) the verses from Mecca with the verses from Medina.
The behavior of Muhammad supports the fact that the Qur’an was given piece by piece over a long period of time. This is a contradiction in the Qur’an where we are told that it was given in one night. The earlier verses taught living in peace with others, and the later chapters, like Surah 9, taught the killing of anyone who did not submit to Islam.
The reason given for these changes and abrogation is that Allah changed his mind. You can’t abrogate the fact that the Qur’an teaches that it was given in one night by it being given over a period of time. This is not a case of Allah changing his mind.
I think you are beginning to see why Muslims are not allowed to ask questions. Questions cause doubt and if you question anything you are considered a troublemaker. Everyone knows what happens to troublemakers in Islam.
Other Contradictions In The Qur’an
Muslims believe that Allah is the creator. We have this in common with the Muslims. The Qur’an has a contradiction concerning how many days it took Allah to create everything.
There is absolutely no ambiguity in the Bible on this subject. God created everything in 6 days and rested on th 7th. I don’t know one Christian who would disagree that the Bible teaches a 6 day creation. They may allegorize it or change the meaning of day, but they all believe that the Bible teaches 6 days.
The Qur’an is not clear at all. In Surah 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, and 25:59 we are told that Allah created the heavens and the earth in 6 days. In Surah 41:9-12 we find the detailed description of the process of creation. When you add up the days, the total number of the days of creation is 8 days. If Allah is the creator, shouldn’t he know how many days it took?
I think you can see why Muslims are told not to question and encouraged not to study the Qur’an.
Another contradiction found in Surah 21:76 and 37:77. They say that all of Noah’s sons were saved in the flood. Surah 11:42-43 it says that one of the son’s drowned. You can’t abrogate this, either he was saved or he drowned.
In one passage Pharaoh didn’t drown in the Red Sea (Surah 10:90-92), but in Surah 17:102-103 he did.
The Qur’an is filled with so many contradictions that we can’t cover them all. We will leave it here. I am glad that the Bible doesn’t have contradictions.
One of the reason that Muslims have no guarantee of salvation other than martyrdom is that they can’t trust their holy book. Most Muslims, if they really spoke from their hearts, would admit that they have no assurance of salvation.
The internal contradictions we have mentioned are only one part of the contradictions found in the Qur’an. There are also external contradictions. There are scientific contradictions, historical contradictions, and contradictions with the Bible.
If some of you want to read the Qur’an for yourselves there are a couple of options. One is an online source, and it is an Islamic source so they can’t argue about the translation or interpretation. It is http://quran.com. It covers the 6 major translations that are accepted by Muslims. Yusuf Ali is considered the gold standard translation. Because this is a source accepted by Islam, those who you are dealing with cannot question it’s validity.
I also recommend Usama Dakdok’s translation of the Qur’an. He is an Arab born Christian from Egypt. Most of the translations are watered down a little so that the rudeness and roughness of the language is softened. For example, most translations translate kafr and the unbeliever. Dakdok translates its true meaning, the filth, the excrement. His purpose was to allow us to understand the horrors of the Qur’an and show us the realities of its teachings.
Dakdok speaks Arabic as his native language. This is important because one of the biggest attacks we receive is that you must speak Arabic to understand the Qur’an.
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