|With the Name of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
SCRUTINIZING THE QUR'AN
|Is it really necessary to remind anyone of the oppressive history of Christian authorities from the time of Emperor Theodosian (Constantine’s successor) to the Scope’s “Monkey” Trial in our own time. The man who first began translating the Bible into the English language, William Wycliffe, is still branded a “heretic” in the Catholic Encyclopedia. Did scholars feel free to examine the Bible during the centuries of burnings at the stake, inquisitions and witch-hunts?
Nowadays, many Muslims feel dominated by alien (i.e., European and American) forces. Part of the reaction to this is the establishment of an orthodoxy whose adherents are willing to kill in its defense. This is unfortunate, but it is not typical of the history of Muslim society. And, in particular, it is not representative of the beginnings of Muslim society.
One of the things I find most remarkable about the Atlantic Monthly article is its effort to create the impression that the beginning of the Muslim community is lost in the mists of legend. The origin and early history of the Muslim community is better documented than the early history of England. We have names and personal biographies of thousands of specific individual human beings who were witnesses and participants in the events of those times. This is not the stuff of legend.
|Most remarkably, the article mentions the compilation of the definitive edition of the Qur’an without mentioning that a complete copy of this 14-century-old Qur’an rests in a museum in Istanbul. This book is concrete proof that the Qur’an has not been changed in the 14 centuries since the death of the Prophet. This is the only edition of the Qur'an. I personally confirm this by comparing every Qur’an I encounter in a museum, however ancient, with the Qur’an I carry in my pocket.
One of the most recent in a long line of European Christian scholars to study the Qur’an is a French physician named Maurice Bucaille. (European scholars have been studying the Qur’an since the Middle Ages, which the article also fails to mention.) Mr. Bucaille wrote a book entitled, The Bible, the Qur’an, and Science, with the intention of comparing the content of the Bible and the Qur’an, on the one hand, with the findings of modern science, on the other. As you may know, we encounter many problems if we attempt to reconcile many statements in the Bible with the findings of modern science. Mr. Bucaille documents these contradictions, as well as the problems of multiple authorship, which arise upon close examination of the biblical texts. What astonished Mr. Bucaille was that, upon examining the Qur’an, he found no contradictions between the Qur’an and the findings of modern science. How is it possible for any human being or group of human beings to write a book in which no errors of fact will be found fourteen centuries later? This is the case with the Qur’an. There is nothing in the Atlantic Monthly article, which deals with this question. When The Atlantic Monthly stated that “scholars are scrutinizing the Koran” it would seem that they excluded scholars, such as Mr. Bucaille, who do not share their orthodoxy.
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Continued: Part Three
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