Birth of Islam
Source and Authority about the Birth of Islam
This page contains historical facts about the birth of Islam, of the religion called Islam. The facts come, some from Abdul Houssain Zarin Koub, some from Iliya Pavlovich Petrushevskii, “Islam and Iran in the 7-15th century,” and some from Maxime Rodinson. Zarin Koub was the foremost historian of Islam, as told to me by one of his grand nephews. Zarin Koub was the longtime head of the department of history, religion and philosophy, at the University of Tehran. He has also lectured at Columbia University and elsewhere. His book “History of Religion” has been translated into over 60 languages. Zarin Koub’s grandfather was one of the founders of Baghdad University.
During the Islamic revolution in Iran, Mr. Zarin Koub was left alone, to continue his professorship at the university in Tehran. That is a good indication of the respect he held as an Islamic scholar. Because many, many other intellectuals and literati in Iran at that time were promptly executed. Any of the mullahs now in power in Iran, if they have a college degree, had to have taken some classes from Mr. Zarin Koub.
Mr. Koub is certainly an authority on how the birth of Islam came about.
Zarin Koub says that Islam has always been a religion of violence. Not peace. From the very birth of Islam, its spread was accomplished through physical violence, bloodshed and war. Violence not only against non-Muslim infidels, but also against fellow Muslims. Much of Islam’s spread in the world was the result of traders and Sufi missionaries, this is true. Yet the weaponry- scimitars and sabres, all through the art and symbolism of Islam, makes violence and war a central theme of Islam. This cannot be denied. The Koran commands Muslims to make war, see below. In contrast, Jesus Christ taught meekness and pacifism, and also practised it. Muhammad on the other hand both taught and practised violence from the beginning. The Jewish scriptures show a censure of violence as well, even violence that had been ordered by God himself. For example, King David was not chosen to build the temple, but that task went rather to his son Solomon, because, the reason was given, that David had been a warrior and had shed blood.
Here is a current example of official sanctioned violence, and this in Afghanistan. Abdul Rahman is being prosecuted in Afghanistan for becoming a Christian, according to the Middle East Times. His relatives turned him in. By Afghan law, me must be executed. Because this case has gotten publicity and negative press, the Afghan government is trying to find some excuse to drop the charges, like declaring him mentally unfit for trial. But make no mistake, Islam is still the killing religion it has always been. ABC News link.
Jihad is taught in the Koran, the Hadith and Islamic tradition. It is the Allah-ordained duty of Muslims to fight (kill) until man-made law has been replaced by God’s law (Sharia).
The Koran (more properly, Qu’ran) commands Muslims to make war:
Surat 8, Al Anfal, “The Spoils of War, Booty,” verse 65:
[8.65] O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.
Surat 2, Al Baqarah, “The Cow,” verse 216:
[2.216] Warfare is ordained for you, and this an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.
Surat 2, Al Baqarah, “The Cow,” verse 244:
[2.244] And fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
Surat 9, Al Taouba, “Repentance; The Immunity-Dispensation,” verse 29:
[9.29] Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
This means that Islam must conquer Jews and Christians, and if after being conquered they do not convert to Islam, then they must pay a tribute (head tax). You would either have to convert, or pay an “infidel tax.”
It can accurately be said, that a Muslim who believes that Islam is a religion of peace not war, is not a true Muslim. Muslims are, however, supposed to SAY that it is a religion of peace, because part of being a good Muslim, at least a good Shia Muslim, is to lie to infidels. That is according to the practice of al-taqiyya.
Islam is a religion that demands that its followers conquer all Jews and Christians. It wants world conquest. President Bush says, “We are not making war on Islam.” Well, that is irrelevant, since Islam is initiating war in the first place. There is a war between Islam and those of us who are Jews or Christians, whether we “make” war or not. Islam perceives the USA as a Christian nation. (Like many abroad, they have wild misconceptions of America.) And of course, a liar believes that everyone else must surely be a liar like himself. So Muslims probably unconsciously believe that America is practising al-taqiyya when it says it is not making war on Islam. All lying, which is a denial of truth/reality, ultimately leads to insanity and evil, which are mal-adjustment to reality.
I have been accused by Muslims of taking the above verses “out of context.” The most important context is what Muslims actually do with such verses. Islam is the only religion today that I am aware of, that actually kills other human beings in the name of their God. No matter what they say, watch what they do. Some people like to say, “Oh, well, the Muslims who do such things are a tiny minority that have hijacked a good religion.” Yet every honest survey of the general populace in the Muslim world, finds that the average Muslim on the street applauds when Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein score some kind of victory against the infidels. It is not a tiny minority at all.
The two biggest causes of conflict between Muslims are, one, the many thousands of different versions of the Qu’ran, the Muslim scriptures, and two, the cultural, literary, and linguistic differences between Persians and Arabs. The latter is discussed later on this page. The reason for the thousands of versions of the Qu’ran is that each household produced their own copy by hand. The only reason any family member had the ambition to learn to read and write, was so that he could make the family a copy of the Qu’ran. And usually at the end of their copy of the Qu’ran was placed their family tree.
It should be noted that some of these “facts” of history are highly disputed, and there is no certainty possible at this time about some of it. I am in the process of studying the history of Islam, and of Arabic literature, and could change this page at any time. I am corresponding by email with many people around the world who seem to have an educated opinion on these matters. Come back for updates.
A Prophet, a Financier, a Scholar, a General, and an Assassin
Muhammad, the Prophet
Muhammad was born around 570 A.D., during the reign of Khusro Anosharwan, and died in the year 632 A.D. His father was of the Quraysh tribe (the name means ‘ shark ‘ and may have been derived from an ancient tribal emblem.) This tribe gained much power and influence, both because of their commercial activity in their hub at the city of Mecca, and because of their importation and custody of important idols at Mecca.
Muhammad’s father was ‘Abdallah, the son of ‘Abd al-Muttalib by Fatima bint ‘Amr of the Qurayshite clan of the Banu Makhzum. ‘Abdallah was reputed to be quite handsome. Marriages were strategically calculated for political and economic goals, and ‘Abd al-Muttalib was seeking an alliance with the Banu Zuhra clan. Thus he asked for the young Amina bint Wahb as a bride for his son ‘Abdallah.
There are two different, unconfirmed legends about how Muhammad was conceived. Here they are, from Maxime Rodinson’s book, “Muhammad,” Pantheon, (1980).
‘Abdallah went to the house of another wife he had besides Amina bint Wahb. He had been working in the clay on some land he possessed, and he still had some splashes of clay left on him. He made some advances to her, but she put him off on account of the clay that was on him. He left her and washed himself, and cleaned off the clay. Then he went out again, to go to Amina. He again passed by the other woman [wife], who called to him; but he put her off and went to Amina. He went in to her and possessed her. She then conceived Muhammad, may God’s blessing and peace be upon him. Then he went back to the other woman and asked her if she were willing; she said: ‘No. When you passed by me there was a white light between your eyes. I called to you and you rejected me. You went to Amina and she has taken away the light.’
Another version of the story makes this woman not another of ‘Abdallah’s wives but a sister of the hanif Waraqa ibn Nawfal, or another woman who, like Waraqa, was versed in the scriptures. Seeing the light of prophecy upon ‘Abdallah, she offered him a hundred camels to gain his favors. He refused her and, when he came away from Amina, the light had gone.”
Muhammad could not read and write. This is admitted by all Muslims, in that they claim that one of the miracles performed by Muhammad was that he was able to write the Qu’ran, “the pinnacle of beautiful majestic Arabic of all time”, even though he could not read or write. Muhammad was a shepherd. In Arabia at that time, a person was a shepherd for one of only two reasons: you were mentally deficient, or two, you were dangerous or otherwise in need of being separated from society. Islamic tradition says that Allah chose a shepherd, to demonstrate the importance of humility. (The humble shepherd prophet was already a theme in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.) Mohammed later was hired as a purchasing representative for a rich widow woman merchant who subsequently became his wife. You can read later on this page how she proposed to him. Muhammad, because of that marriage and the wealth he gained thereby, was later able to afford to retreat to solitude in the desert to think and pray.
Muhammad lived in the Arabian peninsula, in Mecca, which had an important well. Mecca’s religion was polytheistic and pagan. The Ka’bah (cube), the famous stone shrine in Mecca, 50 feet high and nearly 40 feet square, housed one idol for each day of the year. A cornerstone of this cube was a meteorite. (All Semitic peoples revered meteorites.) Muhammad most certainly practised the polytheistic idolatry of his countrymen, and there is at least one accepted account of him sacrificing a sheep to the goddess al- ‘Uzza.
(Saudi Arabia charges religious pilgrims a fee for visiting the Ka’bah. This money they collect at one point was more significant than their petroleum revenue. It would be interesting to compare.)
Muhammad’s exposure to the monotheistic religions Judaism and Christianity must have influenced him toward monotheism. He is said to have been severely rebuked once by a monotheist, for offering the man some meat that Muhammad had previously set before an idol. Monotheism became the primary tenet of Muhammad and of Islam. Muhammad’s use of the Arabic name for God, “Allah,” was actually a return to the God of the Bible, since this name is from the same Semitic root word as Elohim. The Aramaic name for the God of the Bible, Elah, was used dozens of times in the book of Ezra. Remember, part of the Bible was originally written in Aramaic, Ezra and parts of Daniel. The Arabs are cousins of the Jews, and they would naturally have cultural and linguistic memories of the true God.
During his lifetime, Muhammad became a powerful political and military leader. He had many visions and mystical experiences. Muhammad had 23 wives (plus concubines). His favorite wife (Aishah) was engaged to him when she was six, and married him when she was 9 years old. He had sex with her when she was 9, and he was 56 at the time at least.
Muhammad is said to been characterized by his love of three things: “Women, Perfume, and Fine Clothes”
Though Mohammed had been exposed to Judaism and Christianity, and showed familiarity with their scriptures, he ultimately called down a curse upon a group of 60 Christians from the Najran Valley in North Yemen that came to inquire of him. He tried to convert them, but they would not agree with him about Jesus Christ not having been crucified, and not being the son of God. So he said to them as follows:
Sura al-e-Imran 3:33-64
“Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!” Sura al-e-Imran 3:61
Muhammad’s beliefs about Jesus seem to have been influenced by the Nestorian sect of Christianity. Muhammad taught that Jesus would return in the future, and only then, be crucified and bring Islam (peace, health, wellbeing) to the world. Muslims misunderstand the New Testament passage Hebrews 5:7, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” (ESV) They think this means that Jesus prayed that he would not die physically, and that God answered his prayers and kept him from being crucified. When actually the real meaning is more along the lines of spiritual death and corruption. “You did not leave His soul in hell, nor did you allow your Holy One to see decay.” Psalm 16:10; 49:9; Acts 2:27; 2:31; 13:35.
The Qu’ran shows a laughable ignorance or distortion of true history. For example, it calls Mary the mother of Jesus, “sister of Aaron.” Well, Aaron’s sister did indeed have the same name, but that Mariam lived over a thousand years earlier than Mariam the mother of Jesus. Indeed, they were in completely different tribes, the sister of Aaron being of the tribe of Levi, and Mariam the mother of Jesus being of the tribe of Judah:
Surat 19, Marium, verse 28:
[19.28] O sister of Haroun! your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman.
Muhammad was known for a calm, deliberate, judicious temperament in all his decisions, and skill as a diplomat. Yet, underneath, he had a nervous and anxious longing for something much more than could normally be attained. His inner restlessness was in fact so severe, that he reputedly had nervous breakdowns. He was outwardly successful and respected, but inwardly restless, unhappy, and anxious.
One of the main sources of his unhappiness was that he had no male heir. This was a disgrace for all Semitic people, including Arabs. The Arab epithet for a man who had no male heir was “abtar.” This means something like “castrated” or “emasculated.”
Muhammad says that at the age of 40, in the year 610 A.D., after spending 6 months praying and meditating in a cave on Mount Hira, a vision came to him. The angel Gabriel came, he says, and recited to him the words of the Qu’ran. The words of Allah for all humankind.
The city of Mecca, however, did not welcome him as a prophet, or his message, because he condemned their polytheism and idolatry. Eventually, Muhammad and his followers had to flee to Medina, a city 250 miles to the north. The year of that flight, or Hijrah, became the first year of the Islamic calendar.
Then Muhammad and his followers started raiding the caravans of the Meccans, and they also became increasingly hostile toward the Jews. In the battle of Badr, his warriors soundly defeated the Meccans. There were the battles of Uhud and the Ditch, the massacre of 700 Jewish captives, and the selling of their wives and children into slavery. Muhammad’s Islamic army numbered at least 10,000.
Thronged by his followers, 62-year-old Muhammad led a glorious pilgrimage to the Ka’bah, no longer an idol shrine, but the focal point of Islamic worship.
There, in 632, he pronounced the perfection of the new religion. “I have completed my blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam for your religion,” was the message he said he had received from God concerning this achievement. Three months later, he died.
By the time of his death, Muhammad had imposed Islam on most of Arabia. His successor, Abu Bakr, however, had to re-subjugate the area and defend Medina against rebel forces. As Caliph (khalifa, “successor”), he united the conquered tribes by promising them the spoils of foreign conquests.
So in 634 they invaded Jerusalem. In 636 Syria fell. By 641, Egypt, Iran, and Iraq were conquered. Within 100 years of Muhammad’s death, Islam had spread to Spain in the west and India in the east and embraced more territory than did the Roman Empire.
Islam’s further advance in Europe was halted by the forces of Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in France in 732.
One of the greatest tragedies, is what the Islamic armies did in Persia (what is now Iran). They burned any and every written book or text or library they found in Persia. The motivation was to propagate the belief and law, that the only written texts allowed to be read by Muslims was the very speech of Allah, which could be found only in the Arabic language, in the Qu’ran. The belief is that the words of Allah can only be in Arabic. Any translation of the Qu’ran into another language is not and cannot be the words of Allah. Thus one essential ingredient of Islam was a declaration of war on other languages. This is not unusual in wars. So much of a society’s culture is its language, and its language its culture. An effective way to subjugate a people is to outlaw and wipe out its language. The Greek empire tried to do that to Israel. One of the good points about the Roman empire is that it did not forbid indigenous languages.
Khadija, the Financier
One of Muhammad’s wives, Khadija bint Khuwaylid, [Khuwalyid?] was rich, one of the most successful merchandise importers/exporters in Saudi Arabia. She was a widow, and 15 years older than he was, and she is the one who proposed marriage to him. This happened when she was 40 and he 25. Her wealth enabled him to devote all his time to his spiritual pursuits.
Her primary problem to solve as a trader, was the constant warring and raiding between the 200 tribes of the Arabian peninsula. She saw in Muhammad a young man with principles, equanimity and charisma, who might be able to unite the tribes and bring about peace and security for her caravans.
Khadija utilized Nafisa bint Munya as a go-between. Nafisa says, “Khadija sent me to Muhammad to sound out his feelings after he came back from Syria with his caravan.
I said to him: ‘Muhammad, is there any reason why you should not marry?’
He told me: ‘I possess nothing to marry on.’
I answered him: ‘ And suppose there was someone who had enough for two? And suppose you were summoned to beauty, wealth, and to a position of honour and ease, would you not accept ?’
‘Who is the woman?’
‘What must I do?’
‘I will attend to all.’
‘And I too will do my part.’
Khadija had a cousin who was a Christian. On page 82, 83 of Ibn Sa’d, it says about Muhammad’s marriage to Khadija. ……..
“Khadija had told Waraqa Naufal who was her cousin and a Christian who had studied the scriptures and was a scholar ……”
Khadija’s nephew bought a slave in Syria who was a Christian. She gave this slave to Muhammad as a gift. His name was Zayd, of the Kalb tribe, and Muhammad granted him his freedom, and adopted him as his son.
Salman the Parthian, the Scholar
The first convert to Islam was a Parthian (Persian), named Salman Parthi. (Arabs call him Salman Farsi or Salman Adjam. Adjam means “non-Arab.” Native Arabic speakers cannot say the sound “p,” so they say “Farsi” instead of Parthi.) The fact that Salman Farsi was the first convert to Islam, is without controversy, since the Qu’ran itself says so.
But the other true facts about Salman Farsi are some of the most taboo topics in the Islamic universe. In place of the truth about Salman Farsi, there are a great number of widely divergent accounts about his life. There is even a supposed “autobiography.” A historian’s job is to distil all the accounts into what is most likely the truth, and that is what Zarin Koub did.
Salman Farsi was born in Persia, and trained in the Zoroastrian/Zarothustrian religion. He was educated, literate, and inquisitive of mind, and also acquainted with the Jewish and Christian religions. In fact, he is purported to have been a Christian at one time. Salman was well versed in the Persian language and literature. He became a political dissident, against the Samani dynasty in Persia. (His supposed autobiography says he left in order to escape his over-controlling father.) He escaped to Saudi Arabia, with many adventures on the way, and was hiding out in a cave there. That cave is apparently where he met Muhammad. Muhammad came to use the cave as a meditation center, and Salman Farsi was his first convert.
Now here is one point from which springs some of the tension between Persians and Arabs. The Arabic language did not have a lot of written literature, and Arabs in general could not read or write. The Arabs were a people skilled at the bedouin lifestyle, but written literacy was not their thing at all. The fact is, there was not much Arabic-language written literature before the Qu’ran. Radical Muslims will react extremely vehemently to this assertion. I have been inquiring for months, asking anyone to name just one piece of Arabic language written literature written before the Quran, and only one person has offered me anything specific. There must have been some, because the Arabic language had a written alphabet prior to that time.
Muhammad could not read or write. Petrushevskii states that it was in fact Salman Farsi the philosopher and writer who wrote the Qu’ran. Among Muhammad’s group, only Salman Farsi could have written the Qu’ran. That would not mean necessarily that the words of the Qu’ran were not the words of Muhammad. Muhammad could have dictated the words to Salman, who acted as his scribe.
The ultimate authority on the Arabic language and literature, is the Al-Azhar University, in Cairo, Egypt.
Ali, the General
The first act of Islam was to attempt to convert the 200 or so tribes of Arabia. Mohammed declared a “jihad,” or holy war, against tribes that would not convert to Islam.
The second convert to Islam was Ali. Ali married a daughter of Mohammed. The popular myth about this man is that he was a “man of peace.” The reality is, that every drawing, portrait or image of this man shows him holding a sword, or a saber. He was the general of the Islamic army, and was known to have personally killed hundreds of people.
When the Islamic army had forcefully converted all of Saudi Arabia, they moved on to Persia. Persia comprised all or parts of what we know of today as Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan, Georgia, Daghestan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.
Omar, the Assassin
When they had conquered what is now known as Iraq, Mohammed was very old, and they began discussing who would succeed him as prophet. One of the other Islamic generals was named Omar. He became khalifa (successor governor) of Iraq. He and Ali were the frontrunning candidates to succeed Mohammed. Most people assumed that Ali was the natural successor.
Mohammed died, and during the period of mourning, Omar found Ali in a mosque and assassinated him. At that point, the two factions of Islam were born.
The followers of Ali are called Shi’ites, and the followers of Omar are called Sunni Muslims. Omar set up the first theocracy, as the khalifa, in Iraq. But the assassinated Ali had three sons, and they fought with the Sunnis for three centuries. The Shi’ites escaped to the north and eastern parts of what is now Iran. The Persian people took advantage of this conflict for the purpose of expelling the Arabs from Persia.
The Islamic Arab armies did not reach all of what is now known as Iran, and those parts are where the Shi’ites escaped to, as stated previously. For this reason, those parts of Iran are not considered as holy by Sunni Muslims. This is the kind of ethnic tension there is between Sunnis and Shi’ites. Perhaps the Sunnis feel inferior, and resent the fact that the Persian culture had a much richer history. This is stated emphatically as true by Persians, that the Persian culture contributed most all of the Islamic literature and art.
Another possible reason for the conflict between Arabs/Sunnis and the Shi’ites/Persians, is that Persia historically has not been as hostile to the Jews, as have been the Arabs. On the katibe (Arabic-katibat, a cylindrical meteorite stone on which inscriptions of decrees were made) issued by Cyrus king of Persia, one of the bills of rights was the freedom of religion, including specifically the right of Jews to practice their religion. This is the first known official governmental decree in world history, that mandated freedom of religion.
Since the Jews at one time were taken captive to Babylon, and subsequently Babylon was taken over by the Medes and the Persians, there has ever since, existed a Jewish population in Persia. Daniel the prophet was educated in the Zarothustran religion of Babylon and Persia. And Abraham, the Father of both Jews and Arabs, was originally from Mesopotamia.
Christianity has a Persian connection as well, the Magi. Also known as the Three Wise Men, or the Three Kings, they came into Jerusalem when Jesus Christ was about two years old, asking, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we saw his star rising (or, we saw his star in the East), and have come to worship him.”
This sent the Torah scholars of Israel scrambling, to figure out what the Magi were talking about. Apparently, the astrology or Zoroastrian system of the Magi informed the Three Wise Men better of the coming of this great event in world history, than did the Judaism of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
It could be that the Magi obtained their knowledge partly from the Book of Daniel, since Daniel was held in high esteem among the Magi as one of their own. It says in the Prophet Daniel, that Daniel was the Chief of the Magi.
Islam a Superfluous Religion
The Qu’ran itself teaches that (1) Muhammad could offer no miracles or signs that prophets of Judaism or Christianity did. (2) that Islam cannot keep anybody from hell; (3) that the Torah of Moses was already “the Book” that gave the guidance and light; (4) The God of Islam, Allah, speaks of himself in the plural, just like the 3-in-one Christian God.
1. The Qu’ran says that Muhammad could offer no miracles or signs that prophets of Judaism or Christianity did.
Surat 29, Al Ankabout- “The Spider,” verse 50
[29.50] And they say: Why are not signs sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: The signs are only with Allah,
and I am only a plain warner.
Whereas, in Christianity for example, one could not be considered an apostle or prophet without signs and miracles accompanying:
2 Corinthians 12:12
(Click this link to read it in Arabic)
“The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.” (ESV)
2. The Qu’ran says that Islam cannot keep anybody from hell.
Surat 19, Marium, verses 66-71
[19.66] And says man: What! when I am dead shall I truly be brought forth alive?
[19.67] Does not man remember that We created him before, when he was nothing?
[19.68] So by your Lord! We will most certainly gather them together and the Shaitans, then shall We certainly cause them
to be present round hell on their knees.
[19.69] Then We will most certainly draw forth from every sect of them him who is most exorbitantly rebellious against
the Beneficent God.
[19.70] Again We do certainly know best those who deserve most to be burned therein.
[19.71] And there is not one of you but shall come to it; this is an unavoidable decree of your Lord.
I am told that the teaching among young Muslims today is that the only way for them to bypass hell, is to be a suicide bomber.
3. The Qu’ran says that the Torah of Moses already was the Book that gave the guidance and light. And that Jews and Christians were “followers of the Book.”
Surat 5, Al Maeda (The Dinner Table), verses 43, 44:
[5.43] And how do they make you a judge and they have the Taurat wherein is Allah’s judgement? Yet they turn back after that, and these are not the believers.
[5.44] Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light; with it the prophets who submitted themselves
(to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews, and the masters of Divine knowledge and the doctors, because they
were required to guard (part) of the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses thereof; therefore fear not the people and
fear Me, and do not take a small price for My communications; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those
are they that are the unbelievers.
Surat #2, “The Cow,” verses 105-114:
[2.105] Those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book do not like, nor do the polytheists, that the good should be sent down to you from your Lord, and Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.
[2.106] Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?
[2.107] Do you not know that Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and that besides Allah you have no guardian or helper?
[2.108] Rather you wish to put questions to your Apostle, as Musa was questioned before; and whoever adopts unbelief instead of faith, he indeed has lost the right direction of the way.
[2.109] Many of the followers of the Book wish that they could turn you back into unbelievers after your faith, out of envy from themselves, (even) after the truth has become manifest to them; but pardon and forgive, so that Allah should bring about His command; surely Allah has power over all things.
[2.110] And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and whatever good you send before for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah; surely Allah sees what you do.
[2.111] And they say: None shall enter the garden (or paradise) except he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.
[2.112] Yes! whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good (to others) he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for him nor shall he grieve.
[2.113] And the Jews say: The Christians do not follow anything (good) and the Christians say: The Jews do not follow anything (good) while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like to what they say; so Allah shall judge between them on the day of resurrection in what they differ.
[2.114] And who is more unjust than he who prevents (men) from the masjids of Allah, that His name should be remembered in them, and strives to ruin them? (As for) these, it was not proper for them that they should have entered them except in fear; they shall meet with disgrace in this world, and they shall have great chastisement in the hereafter.
>(4) The God of Islam, Allah, speaks of himself in the plural, just like the 3-in-one Christian God.
Surat Marium, verses 7-13, where God is talking to Zakariya, father of Yahya (John the Baptizer)
[19.7] O Zakariya! surely We give you good news of a boy whose name shall be Yahya: We have not made before anyone his equal.
[19.8] He said: O my Lord! when shall I have a son, and my wife is barren, and I myself have reached indeed the extreme degree of old age?
[19.9] He said: So shall it be, your Lord says: It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing.
[19.10] He said: My Lord! give me a sign. He said: Your sign is that you will not be able to speak to the people three nights while in sound health.
[19.11] So he went forth to his people from his place of worship, then he made known to them that they should glorify (Allah) morning and evening.
[19.12] O Yahya! take hold of the Book with strength, and We granted him wisdom while yet a child
[19.13] And tenderness from Us and purity, and he was one who guarded (against evil),
As Dr. Labib says, Muslims would agree that Allah could and did, talk, love and hear before the time that he created mankind and angels So he asks, “Would you tell me, please, before God created angels and man, with whom was He talking? Yes, because God is a talking God, isn’t He? He gave us the ability to talk because He can talk. In the Quran God talked to Moses. It is a very plain verse. Well, again, God is love. He loves those people in the Quran, He loves those people who give to the poor, He loves those people who fight for His cause. He loves, then He is loved. He has this emotion of love. Before He created the angels and the man, whom did He love? Or wasn’t he able to love. If He was unable to love and He became able to love, then He is not perfect in himself, perfected by His creation. This is a heresy, this is not right. And He is a hearing God. Whom did He hear? God is not in need of His creation to practice His attributes. And He is a talking God, He is a loving God, He is a hearing God, He is a seeing God. Whom did He talk to, whom did He love, whom did He see, whom did He hear? But you see, if you believe in a Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then they can communicate, they can talk, they can love, they can see, they can hear, they can practice all their attributes. This is it. And this is the mystery of God. But so many Christians do not understand the issue of God, the Triune God. And because of that, when the Muslims challenge them with the oneness of God, they say, ‘We are the only religion, monotheistic religion,’ and because of their ignorance, they embrace Islam. You see, things like that make Christians embrace Islam.”
(5) Islam has more in common with Roman Catholicism than to the rest of Christianity.
Here is an interesting article that points out some ways that is so. One obvious example is the revering of Mary.
Here is an interesting little article, the main point of which is that radical Islam is the antidote to radical Islam.
Islam nevertheless is completely incompatible with Roman Catholicism or any branch of Christianity; indeed, Islam fits exactly the Bible’s definition of Antichrist.
The word “antichrist” is found only 3 times in the New Testament: 2 times in the First Epistle of John, and 1 time in the Second Epistle of John. I quote 1 John 2:22a – “Who is the liar, if not someone denying as follows, ‘Jesus is not the Anointed One’? This is antichrist, someone denying the Father and the Son.”
An exact example of such a denial is found in the Qu’ran: [9.30] And the Jews say: Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! [9.31] They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium (Mary) and they were enjoined that they should serve one God only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).
October 25th, 2001
On Arabic Literature. Fred Field said:
I went to the university where I worked on Wednesday and ran into a colleague (now an assistant dean). She’s a historical linguist, trained at UCLA by Raimo Antilla, a rather well-known Indo-European scholar. She said that there is no question at all that Arabic and Arabic script predated the Qur’an, perhaps by at least a thousand years. The Western Semitic alphabet, as I said, is undoubtedly the precursor of Arabic script (also known as Proto-sinaitic). It is undoubtedly the basis upon which the Greek (then Roman) and Cyrillic scripts as well. Each language adapted it and added symbols. This is the origin of our alpha-bet (from aleph-beth).
Flinders Petrie (circa 1904), an archaeologist, is credited with “discovering” this writing system in the Sinai (inscriptions and son on). There is a proposed link between the Egyptian hieratic writing systems and this proto-script and the Phoenicians (the intermediate stage for the European languages). Old Persian had a syllabary–a syllabic writing system perhaps derived from the Sumerians, something like the Egyptian system.
It is important to note that there is a progression, from logographic systems (e.g., hieroglyphs, symbols that represent words) to syllabic writing (word symbols represent syllables, not individual phonemes) to alphabetic systems (the first or prominent sound of the syllable only). So the Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic script are characteristically composed of consonants. The vowels are completely predictable by the readers because of the nature of the language. E.g., in Hebrew, verbs in present tense may have three consonants (l-m-d, the root or radical for the verb “learn”) and the vowels are always o-e yielding ani lomed (I learn). Past tense is always a-a, so lamad means “I learned”. The Semitic languages all share this characteristic.
In sum: the Semitic writing system comes from the Sinai Peninsula; it was probably derived from Egyptian syllabaries; it spread via the Phoenicians south and east to Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic (Semitic languages) and into the European languages northward via the Phoenicians (modern-day Lebanon).
My colleague, Prof. Angela della Volpe (firstname.lastname@example.org) says that samples of poetry, various inscriptions, and medical treatises have been found that predate the Qur’an by centuries. That should be the final word on whether a Persian invented Arabic script. I still say that the most likely scenario is that someone (perhaps Zalman Farsi) adapted the already extant Arabic writing system to modern Persian as a result of the spread of Islam into the region of Iran. Same thing for Iraq and the languages there, except Arabic did win out over local languages. Arabic script was used for centuries by Turkish, still is for other Turkish languages (to the North and East of Iran) in Turkmenstan, Tajikistan, Kirghistan, and so forth. It was the conquering Arabs who spread their writing systems. >>
August 24th, 2002
Stavros Macrakis, emailing from MIT, said:
<< You asked for names of pre-Islamic Arab literature. The Hamaasa was compiled in the 9th century AD, and includes works dating from the 6th to the 9th centuries. >>
About oral literature he says, << Of course, etymologically, “literature” relates to writing. However, a huge amount of important material — including Gilgamesh, Homer, Hesiod, the Old Testament (I don’t know about the New), Beowulf, etc. — was not originally composed in writing, was not even composed by an individual author, and was transmitted for generations before being recorded in writing. The accepted scholarly term for bodies of work like that is “oral literature”, and applies even after they are written down. Another name for it is “folk literature” (but that still includes the word “literature”) or “oral tradition”. The term “oral literature” was invented, I think, by Milman Perry in the 1920′s, and has been used since then. >>
Comments and Critique by author 16.07.12
First let us examine the credentials of the authors from which these facts have been purported to have been derived:
(1) Abdul Houssain Zarin Koub. Zarin Koub was the longtime head of the department of history, religion and philosophy, at the University of Tehran. He has also lectured at Columbia University and elsewhere. His book “History of Religion” has been translated into over 60 languages. Zarin Koub’s grandfather was one of the founders of Baghdad University. It can be assumed that he is a Shi’a Muslim Scholar of high standing in the Islamic world.
(2) Ilya Pavlovich Petrushevsky (1898–1977) was Professor of History of the Near East at the University of Leningrad for twenty years. “Islam in Iran” this book is a scholarly and authoritative history of the emergence and growth of Islam in Iran during the early and later medieval periods.Written from the Russian perspective in 1966, with Russia’s long contact with Iranian and Turkish Muslim neighbors, it provides a stimulating and salutary balance to the study of the Islamic world.
(3) Professor Maxime Rodinson, The French historian and sociologist Professor Maxime Rodinson, who has died aged 89, was a renowned specialist on Islam and the Arab world. His Marxism meant that he studied Islam in terms of economic and social history.
It is clear that all three authors were scholars of Islam from different perspectives and no axe to grind.
In order to gain a perspective on how Muhammad embarked on a ruthless way of gaining respect and influence in societies that were unfriendly to his new Islamic teachings we have to examine the early Timeline of Islamic history and examine how Islamic evolved into a domineering militant faith. It is my contention that Muhammad learned that deceit, ruthlessness, and Taqiyya (telling untruths in the furtherance of Islam) were weapons to be used against the infidels. To illustrate this I want to highlight Muhammad’s cunning and treachery at Medina in order to survive and gain dominance in that city.
As the topic is complex and detailed, I have started a new article to describe Muhammad’s Jizra and eventual dominance of the Jewish trading city of Medina: