THE WISDOM FUND: Issues & Answers

Miracle Of The Quran

The Quran
It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). -- 3:3

This day [the day of the Prophet's 'Farewell Address' on which the last verse of the Quran was revealed] have I made perfect for you your religion, and have completed My favour towards you, and am satisfied with Islam for you as your religion. -- 5:3

In truth We have sent the Quran to you, confirming all the previous heavenly books that were revealed before you and bearing witness to them. -- 5:48

Meaning of Islam and Muslim

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Study Quran

Jerald F. Dirks, The Cross & The Crescent
Qur'an Torah Psalms Gospels
Single, unitary  Yes  No  No  No
Cut and paste  No  Yes  ?  Yes
Layered  No  Yes  Yes  Yes
Editorial Redaction  No  Yes  Yes  Yes
Attribution to "author"  Yes  No  No  No
Time lag end of revelation to initial compilation  1 yr  1,000 yrs  570 to 770 yrs  40 to 70 yrs
Variant versions  No  Yes  Yes  Yes
Time lag end of revelation to final compilation  1 yr  2,300 yrs  1,865 yrs  Uncertain
Provenance of revelation  Yes  No  No  No
Provenance of book  Yes  No  No  No

Table 5: The Books of Scripture -- p. 64

Also see "Scofield Study Bible Altered, Anti-Islam Text Inserted"

To prevent disputes about which verses should be considered divinely inspired, Othman had this definitive version compiled. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death.-- "Tashkent's hidden Islamic relic"

Roger du Pasquier, Unveiling Islam
The central miracle of Islam was, and remains the Quranic revelation. To this day no one has put forward a defensible explanation of how an unlettered caravan merchant of the early seventh century might have been able, by his own devices, to produce a text of such inimitable beauty, of such capacity to stir emotion, and which contained knowledge and wisdom which stood so far above ideas current among mankind at that time. The studies carried out in the West which try to determine the 'sources used by Muhammad', or to bring to light the psychological phenomenon which enabled him to draw inspiration from his 'subconcious', have demonstrated only one thing; the anti- Muslim prejudice of their authors. -- p. 53
We reveal to you as We revealed to Noah, and the prophets after him, and as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus, Job and Jonah, Aaron and Solomon, and as we imparted the Psalms unto David.

Messengers We have mentioned unto you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you. And God spoke unto Moses directly. (4:163-64)

Thus, by the revealed word of the Quran, is the mission of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, situated within the framework of the universal revelation. He came to remind men, always inclined to forget or distort it, of the eternal message of the divine Truth which had not changed since the Creation -- for that which changes cannot be Truth -- a message which God had from time to time reaffirmed in a way which permitted all people in every age and nation, without exception, to know of it.

But with Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets (xxxiii:40), the cycle of revelation came to an end. And sure enough, no major religion has been founded since his death, and no personality comparable to his has appeared in the annals of mankind. -- p. 33 to 34

Joseph Lumbard, Karen Armstrong, John Esposito, The Quran in the West Today

Gary Wills, What the Quran Meant

Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography Of The Prophet
The Quran came to Muhammad line by line, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. Sometimes the messages dealt with a particular situation in Mecca or Medina. In the Quran, God seems to answer some of Muhammad's critics; He explains the deeper significance of a battle or of a conflict within the Muslim community. As each new message was revealed to Muhammad (who, like many Arabs of the Hijaz, was said to be illiterate) he recited it aloud, the Muslims learned it by heart and those who could wrote it down. The Arabs found the Quran quite astonishing; it was unlike any other literature they had encountered before. Some, as we shall see, were converted immediately, believing that divine inspiration alone could account for this extraordinary language. Those who refused to convert were bewildered and did not know what to make of this disturbing revelation. Muslims still find the Quran profoundly moving. They say that when they listen to it they feel enveloped in a divine dimension of sound. . .

Western people find this difficult to understand. We have seen that even the likes of Gibbon and Carlyle, who were reasonably sympathetic to Islam, were baffled by the Quran. . .

In the case of the Quran there is also the problem of translation. The most beautiful lines of Shakespeare frequently sound banal in another language because little of the poetry can be conveyed in a foreign idiom; and Arabic is a language that is especially difficult to translate. . . Even Arabs who speak English fluently have said that when they read the Quran in an English translation, they feel that they are reading an entirely different book. -- p. 48 to 49

Thomas Cleary, The Essential Koran

The Qur'an is undeniably a book of great importance even to the non-Muslim, perhaps more today than ever, if that is possible. One aspect of Islam is unexpected and yet appealing to the post-Christian secular mind is the harmonious interplay of faith and reason. Islam does not demand unreasoned belief. Rather, it invites intelligent faith, growing from observation, reflection, and contemplation, beginning with nature and what is all around us. Accordingly, antagonism between religion and science such as that familiar to Westerners is foreign to Islam.

This connection between faith and reason enabled Islamic civilization to absorb and vivify useful knowledge, including that of ancient peoples, whereby it eventually nursed Europe out of Dark Ages, laying the foundation for the Renaissance. When Europe got on its cultural feet and expelled Islam, however, the European mind was rent by the inability of the Christian church to tolerate the indivisibility of the sacred and secular that characterized Islam and had enabled Islamic civilization to develop natural science and abstract art as well as philosophy and social science. The result was a painful, ill-fated divorce between science and religion in Europe, one whose consequences have adversely affected the entire world.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, What Is The Koran?

The main issue in "What Is the Koran?," by Toby Lester (January Atlantic) is not how one looks at the Koran as so-called historical text and analyzes it according to the principles of textual biblical criticism but, rather, how one conceives the very notion of revelation. What corresponds to Christ as the word of God in Christianity is not the Prophet Muhammad but the Koran in Islam.

The acceptance of the Koran as the word of God suggests that the so-called historical and textual study of the Koran is tantamount to questioning the historical existence of Jesus Christ, as some people in the West have claimed. The rules of biblical criticism do not apply to the Koran as God's revelation because what corresponds to the Bible is the hadith collection, which comprises the words and deeds of the Prophet of Islam as the Bible comprises the words and deeds of Jesus Christ. Both the hadith books and the Bible were compiled after the revelation, whereas the Koran has existed in its present form from the very beginning of Islamic revelation. To claim that the so-called history of the Koran undermines or casts doubt on its being a divine revelation is not only to misunderstand the nature of the Koran but also to go against the historical evidence.

Besides these fundamental points, the author confuses many issues. First of all, the so-called textual and historic study of the Koran does not entail the rejection of the Koran as God's word. Classical scholarship, especially the Sciences of Arabic grammar, lexicography and Koranic exegesis, is peerless. To claim that Muslims have not studied the historical and textual dimensions of the Koran is to admit an ignorance of Islam and Muslims - unless one intends to blame Muslims for taking their sacred book seriously. The author's mention of some modern Muslim thinkers as proof for his claim that the Koran is not the word of God is flawed and misleading. Although the historicist and modernist reading of the Koran represents only a small minority in the Islamic world, not even this perspective abrogates the divine origin of the Koran, as the author seems to imply. To claim to read the Koran from a certain historical point of view without denying its sacred character is one thing; to see the Koran as a text devoid of any divine substance and written by human beings - in the way many modern Westerners claim the Bible was written - is another. -- Atlantic Monthly, April 1999, Letters

Michael Sells, Approaching The Qur'an
Michael Sells has performed an invaluable service in making the beauty, spiritual energy, and compelling power of the Qur'an accessible to a Western audience for the first time. -- Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God

The book includes a CD containing recitations of Quranic verses and the call to prayer.

Khaleel Mohammed, Assessing English Translations of the Qur'an

Because the Qur'an stresses its Arabic nature, Muslim scholars believe that any translation cannot be more than an approximate interpretation, intended only as a tool for the study and understanding of the original Arabic text.

Lesley Hazleton, The Accidental Theologist

Lesley Hazleton, an agnostic Jew, explores the Quran and finds much that is quite different from what is reported in commonly cited accounts.

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel

Hence it may have been Africa that gave birth to the languages spoken by the authors of the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, the moral pillars of Western Civilization. -- p. 383

Ali S. Asani, "On Pluralism, Intolerance, and the Quran"

Quran Search

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