The Pagan Sources of Islam


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GENERAL

            As Muhammad developed Islam he borrowed from the other regional religions present in the Mideast.  These religions include Judaism, Christianity, Sabeanism, Zoroastrianism, and forms of paganism.  Judaism is the largest contributor to Islam, followed by Christianity, then followed by the various pagan religions, and Muhammad’s mind.  These pagan borrowings constitute significant facets of Islam and this article details some of these pagan contributions.

1) PAGANISM IN ISLAM

            Islamic theology has some of its roots in various pagan beliefs.  Primary to Islam is it’s most holiest shrine:  the Kaba.

THE KABA

            The Kaba is now the most revered sanctuary of Islam.  It is located in Mecca.  Muslims throughout the world direct their prayers toward the Kaba.

PHYSICAL SHAPE

            The Kaba’s shape is somewhat cubical.  Of note in the Kaba’s structure is a black rock built into the wall in its eastern corner.  The black rock’s diameter is about 12 inches.  It is reddish black in color, and has red and yellow particles.  The black rock is kissed during the perambulation, (the circulation of the Muslims around the Kaba).  The Kaba is about 50 feet high, and the walls are about 40 feet long.  The facade contains the door, which starts at 7 feet off the ground, and faces N.E.. To enter the Kaba, a ladder must be used.  Also built in the eastern corner, is another stone called “lucky”.  This stone is only touched, not kissed.

KNOWN PAGAN HISTORY

            Apart from Muslim myths, little is really known about the history of the Kaba.  About 60 years before Christ, the Roman historian Diodorus Siculus commented that there was in Arabia a temple greatly revered by the Arabs.  It is probable that he had the Kaba in mind.  It was later mentioned to have existed in the 2nd century; Ptolemy, the geographer mentions it in his work, calling it the ‘macoraba’.  The Kaba was a sanctuary dedicated to one or more pagan deities.  The accounts of the campaigns of Abraha note that it was a place of pagan worship in the 6th century.  Information on the distribution of the offices among the sons of Kusayy show that the worship of the sanctuary had developed into a regulated cult several generations before Muhammad.

            One historian (Hurgronjes) said that sacred worship may have developed around the area because the Zamzam spring was found in this waterless place.

            Pre-Islamic history tells us that many Arabian tribes were stone worshippers.  This is also mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol 5, #661.  The Old Testament even talks about Mideast pagan groups that worshipped stones.  Muhammad incorporated the Kaba’s paganistic roots into Islam to give the Muslims a sense of identity, legitimacy, and uniqueness. He also wanted to ease the Arab’s strain of moving from paganism to Islam, by continuing the practices of their fathers.

PAGAN GODS AND RITUALS

            There were 360 idols around the Kaba.  The pilgrimages to the Kaba were all pagan pilgrimages, the ritual processions around the Kaba were part of pagan beliefs and custom, the white robes worn by the pilgrims were from pagan faiths, the veneration of the Kaba and black stone are derived from pagan rituals and beliefs.  Pagans called out the names of their pagan gods as they circled the Kaba, today, Muslims call out Allah’s name. Pagans ran between the nearby hills, Muhammad authorized Muslims to do that in the Quran, and probably ran between the hills himself.

            The chief pagan god worshipped there was Hubal, who could be called the god of Mecca and of the Kaba.  Hubal is not mentioned in the Quran. The goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat were also worshipped there and are mentioned in the Quran.

            It is thought that the Kaba was originally set up for astral worship.  Golden suns and moons are repeatedly mentioned as the votive gifts.  Some pagans regarded the Kaba as a temple devoted to the sun, moon, and 5 planets.

THE BLACK STONE

            The black stone played a prominent role in pagan worship.  The pagans offered animal sacrifices there.  But the idol of the black stone replaced the alter; on the black stone they smeared the blood of the sacrificed animals.

QURANIC MYTHS

            Muhammad made up historical references for the Kaba.  Muhammad claimed that Abraham and Ishmael laid the foundations of the Kaba (Q. 2:127). Muhammad claimed that God ordained the Kaba as a sacred house (Q. 5:97). Muhammad also claimed that it was the first temple ever built for mankind (Q. 3:97).

            Only Muhammad claimed that it was a place built by Abraham.  In looking in the O.T., we find no mention of Abraham traveling to Mecca to build a house of worship.

            Further, the late Taha Hussein, one of the most famous Egyptian professors of Arabic literature said that the Islamic myth of Abraham building the Kaba came into vogue just before the rise of Islam.  He comments:

            “The case of this episode is very obvious because it is of recent date, and came into vogue just before the rise of Islam.  Islam exploited it for religious reasons”.  Quoted in ‘Mizar al-Islam’ by Anwar al-Jundi.

THEOLOGICAL PROBLEMS

            Every man living in Mecca before and during Muhammad’s life had some relationship with the Kaba.  If the Kaba was the house of God, why did Muhammad order his followers to face Jerusalem?  Muhammad’s ‘revelation’ in the Quran says that when Allah had Muhammad change prayer directions, it was a test of the Muslims.  This sounds like a lame excuse on Muhammad’s part.  What’s the test?  Face another direction?  That does not appear to be such an incredible challenge!

            Probably the real answer is that through his early contacts with Christians and Jews, Muhammad knew that their faiths, centered in Jerusalem, where monotheistic.  Muhammad abhorred polytheistic worship, consequently he aligned himself with faiths that he believed were from the true God.  He selected Jerusalem as the direction of prayer.  He hoped that the Jews would receive him as a prophet.

            About a year and a half after the migration to Medina, after the Jews had thoroughly rejected him, he turned the direction of prayer to Mecca – the center of pagan worship in the Arabian peninsula (Q. 2:144).  Just as he had compromised with the pagan idol worshippers in Mecca, by sanctioning and worshipping the pagan goddesses Lat, Uzza, and Manat, so now he hoped to gain favor with the pagan Arab tribes that worshipped at the Kaba in Mecca.  He authenticated the pagan focus of attention.

            After Muhammad took Mecca, he cleansed the Kaba.  Inside the Kaba were many representations of the prophets.  When his men began to cleanse the Kaba, and wash out the representations, Muhammad placed his hands on the pictures of Jesus and Mary, and said “Wash out all except what is below my hands”.  Again, Muhammad went against his own principles, and sanctioned his definition of idolatry.

            Muhammad then sanctioned the pagan rituals concerning the Kaba, i.e. kissing the black stone, touching the Kaba, circling the structure, running between the two hills, etc.  Later, Umar said to the black stone “I know that you are a stone, that neither helps nor hurts, and if the messenger of god had not kissed you, I would not kiss you”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 2, #667).   But then he kissed the stone.  Like Umar, many other Muslims follow the prophet in their practice of veneration of a pagan idol.

            Before Muhammad, there was a group of people in Arabia who also abhorred idolatry.  They were known as the Hanifites.  Even the Hanifites saw that kissing the black stone was pagan idolatry.  During one of the pre-Islamic Eids, the Qurayshi were worshipping their idols, slaying sacrifices, praying, and making circuits around the Kaba.  Just as they did each year for this festival.  Some Hanifites saw them, and stood apart from them, and said:

            “By the Lord!, our people have nothing left of the faith of Abraham.  What is this stone that we should encircle it?  It can neither hear nor speak, neither hurt nor help.  O our people, look out for your souls, for by the Lord are you altogether wanting.”

     One of the Hanifites was Obeidallah… later he embraced Islam.  He immigrated to Abyssinia with other Muslims.  Later he became a Christian.  After his conversion, he said to his Muslim friends ‘We (Christians) see, but you are only blinking’ – that is, cannot see plainly.

            So, why then does Muhammad kiss the black stone?  Why did he incorporate paganism into his faith.  There is even the Quranic story of Abraham – how he chided those who worshipped idols sura 6, 21, etc., and said it was sinful in God’s sight.  Yet here we have Muhammad walking around the Kaba, just like the pagans, kissing the stone, just like the pagans.  Even Umar knew it was empty and false, yet he followed Muhammad in kissing the stone.

            It cannot be denied that an entire pagan theology and ritual, was adopted by Islam, after Muhammad had one of his convenient ‘revelations’ and made it ‘religiously’ correct.

            Another Muslim myth, concerning the Kaba, is that ‘anyone who prays under the Kaba’s water-pipe becomes as pure as on the day when his mother bore him’.  Muslims have a hard time accepting Christ’s atonement, but will allow for total forgiveness of sins by uttering a prayer under a spout!

POST MUHAMMAD HISTORY

            In one of the early Muslim civil wars (a.d. 683), al-Zubayr in Mecca was besieged by al-Husayn.  Husayn’s men used catapults and damaged the Kaba.  It looked like ‘the torn bosoms of mourning women’.  Zubayr and his men pitched their tents next to the Kaba, and a conflagration caught the Kaba on fire.  The Kaba was severely damaged, and the black stone was split into three pieces.

            A short time later, al-Hadjdjadj conquered Mecca and killed Zubayr.  He modified the Kaba’s structure.

            In 929, the Karmatians invaded Mecca and carried off the black stone!  20 years later it was returned.

            Other natural events (bad weather) have also caused the Kaba to need repair.

            Muslims erroneously claim that God has protected the Quran from corruption, yet their god was not able to protect his sacred house!

POST MUHAMMAD ISLAMIC MYTHOLOGY

            Later Muslim theologians invented a number of myths about Mecca and the Kaba.

            One Islamic tradition is – according to Ibn Abbas:  Muhammad said, ‘The black stone came from Paradise and at the time of its descent it was whiter than milk, but that the sins of the children of Adam have caused it to be black, by their touching it.  That on the Day of Resurrection, when it will have two eyes, by which it will see and know all those who touched it and kissed it, and when it will have a tongue to speak, it will give evidence in favor of those who touched and kissed it’!

            Muslim writers also said that the Kaba was first constructed in heaven, 2000 years before the creation of the world, where a model of it still remains.  Adam erected the first Kaba on earth exactly below the spot its perfect model occupies in heaven!  10,000 angels were appointed to guard Adam’s Kaba, but obviously they didn’t do a good job!  God then instructed Abraham to rebuild it.

            There are a number of other myths about the Kaba.  Among them are that Mecca is the navel of the world, that the Kaba was established at the creation of the world, destroyed during the flood, re-built by Abraham, that Gabriel provided the black stone.  There are also legends about the Zamzam water from the nearby well.

            Some Muslims say that there are references to the Kaba in the O.T.  Here are a few mistaken claims:

1)  Muslims hope that Gen 35:4, 14, 15 refer to the Kaba.  Since “Beth-El” = House of God, and that the Jewish temple wasn’t built until much later.  But as the Bible shows, Bethel is a town, in Palestine – Genesis chapter 12.  Also, Jacob built an altar, not a temple to God.  Abraham also built an altar to the Lord in Gen 12:7.

2)  Muslims claim that David mentions the Kaba in Psalm 84:6.  If ‘Baca’ was a location, it was not known where it existed in the Bible.  But a more correct interpretation, taken in context of the whole Psalm, is that since ‘baca’ means weeping, it means ‘valley of tears’.  David could be saying that he longs for the presence of God, and that even through difficult times (baca) God will be with him, and will turn his tears to joy.

3)  Muslims also think that Isaiah 60:7 “All the flocks of Kedar” refers to Arabian people worshipping at the Kaba.  Reading thru Isa 60:7, it shows that Kedar’s flocks are going to be sacrificed on the alter.  Are Muslims saying that Arabs were going to be human sacrifices?

4)  Some Muslims think that since the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation is cubic, it also resembles the Kaba and thus is a prophecy of the Kaba!  But the Kaba is not a perfect cube, not even close.  The structure is 50 ft high, with a sloping roof, the shorter walls are 35 feet long, and the facade is 40 ft. long.

SUMMARY FOR THE ISLAMIC RITES CENTERED ON THE KABA

            Every Muslim that makes the Hajj, every Muslim that runs between the hills, every Muslim that bestows a kiss on the black stone, is performing pagan rituals, founded on pagan superstitions, sanctioned by Muhammad himself.

            Muslims have accused Christianity of incorporating paganism, and to an extent, some exterior cultural aspects have been. But paganism is an integral root of Islam; paganism is part of it’s theology, history, ceremony, and veneration.

            My references for this section are from the original Hughes Dictionary of Islam (not the recent one that has been sanitized by a Muslim publisher), the Shorter Ency. of Islam, and the Ency. of Islam, pub. by E. J. Brill, and ‘The Sources of Islam’ by Tisdall.

MORE ISLAMIC PAGANISM

THE NIGHT JOURNEY

            The Night Journey describes Muhammad’s ascent into heaven.  It is briefly mentioned in sura 17:1, and described in Sahih al-Bukhari, in several of his volumes, notably in vol 1, #345.

            Muhammad’s story parallels a Zoroastrian story.  It is found in an old Pahlavi book known as “The Book of Arta Viraf”.  The Zoroastrian story describes the journey of a saintly priest (Arta Viraf), who went into a trance and his spirit went up to the heavens under the guidance of an angel named Sarosh.  He passed from one utopia (7 heavens?) to another until he reached the presence of Ormazd, the great deity of the whole universe. When Arta saw everything in heaven and that the inhabitants were very happy, Ormazd commanded him to return to earth as his ‘messenger’ and to tell the people all that he saw and heard.

            Also, the Zoroastrians taught, long before Islam, there was a marvelous tree in Paradise called ‘humaya’, which corresponds very closely to the ‘sidrah’, the lote tree of Islam.

            Finally, there is another Zoroastrian work the ‘Zerdashtnama’, which has a story of how Zoroaster himself ascended into the heavens and obtained permission to visit hell, where he found Ahriman, the Devil.

            All of these stories are paralleled in the Quran.  No doubt Muhammad heard these stories and decided to put himself on a level with Zoroaster and others.  So, now we have Muhammad copying the Zoroastrian stories and claiming to have these experiences.

     Again, while Muslims claim that paganism influenced Christianity, we see that paganism is part of the core of Islamic faith and theology.

AZAZIL – THE DEVIL

            In the Muslim Hadith, the Devil has a certain name – Azazil.

The name does not occur in the Quran.  The name may come from Leviticus 16:8, 10, 26 – the scapegoat in Hebrew is Azazil.  From another source it means ‘the demon of the desert’.

            There are Apocrypha Jewish books – Enoch and Apocalypse of Abraham, that mention Azazil.  Islamic traditions – Hadiths develop their story.  Muslims associate Azazil with the fallen angels Harut and Marut.  Ibn Abbas tradition has the strongest Islamic reference developing it as Satan’s name, before the fall of Adam.

Here is Tisdall’s view on it (taken from “The Sources of Islam”):

            Muslims take the name Azazil from the Jews, but put the Zoroastrian story behind the name.  Muslims believe that God created Azazil, who worshipped God for a 1000 years while he was in the 7th hell. Then he ascended a stage at a time, all the while worshipping God. Finally, he reached the earth.  Elsewhere, Muslim tradition says he stayed 3000 years by the gate of paradise, with hostile intentions against Adam and Eve.  He was very jealous of them.

            Compare the above with the Zoroastrian account:

            Ahriman (Azazil) remained in the abyss, there to commit hurt and injury, and mischief and darkness.  Ormazd (God) knew of his existence and plans.  It went on like this for 3000 years.  The evil spirit was ignorant of Ormazd’s existence, but eventually rising out of the pit, saw Ormazd’s light.  Then Ahriman was filled with hostility and envy, he set out to destroy.

THE SABEANS

            Who were the Sabeans?  Why did Muhammad regard them as believers in the true God?  The Sabeans are mentioned at least 3 times in the Quran:

1)  2:62 – “Believers, Jews, Christians, and Sabeans; whoever believes in God and the last day and does what is right, shall be rewarded by their Lord; they have nothing to fear or regret.”

2)  5:69 – “Believers, Jews, Sabeans and Christians; whoever believes in God and the last day and does what is right, shall have nothing to fear or to regret.”

3)  22:17 – “As for the true believers, the Jews, the Sabeans, the Christians, the Magians, and the pagans, God will judge them on the day of Resurrection.  God bears witness to all things.”

            Although what is known about the Sabeans is not comprehensive, enough has been written about them to determine a basic understanding of their practices and beliefs.  Most of the writings are from Islamic sources. Some of the writers are Ibn Hazm in ‘Fisal wa-Milal’, Ibn al-Nadim in the ‘Fihrist’, Shahrastani in ‘The Treaty on Sects’, and Masudi in ‘Muruj al-Dhahab.

            Ibn Hazm, writing in ‘Fisal wa-Milal’, identifies the people then known as ‘Harranians’ as the ‘Sabeans’ mentioned in the Quran.  Hazm writes that they honored the seven planets and the twelve constellations, they have 5 times of prayer, (the same times as the Muslims pray), they fast in Ramadan, they venerate and turn to the Kaba in prayer.  Hazm also says they also worshipped the stars and idols.  Hazm further claims that Allah sent Abraham to turn them away from pagan worship, but Abraham didn’t succeed.

            Comparing all the early writings on the Sabeans, we find that they inhabited Syria, and spread from there, they were definitely pagans, having a mixture of Babylonian and Helenic religion.  The ‘prophets’ they professed to follow were Hermes and Agathodaemon, who they identified in Shahrastani’s time with Seth and Idris (O.T. Enoch). Gods who were worshipped were the gods of the 7 week-days, the god of the Jinn, the lord of the Hour, the god who makes arrows fly, the god Tammuz (a variation of the one previously mentioned), Hamam the prince, the father of the gods, the god ‘North’, the lord ‘Fortune’, etc.  They also kept the Eid of their own.  Further, the Sabeans made star worship a chief characteristic of their system.

            So, did Islam get the 5 times a day prayer? –From the star worshipping Sabeans.  What about fasting during Ramadan? – from the Sabeans. The Eid? – from the Sabeans.

            It seems very odd to me that Muhammad, the man who’s central doctrine was the oneness of God, would include pagan worshippers as those who were believers in the true God.  If Muhammad were truly a prophet, how could he have made such a big mistake? How did astral worshippers get included into the Quran as those that worship the true God?  How could Muhammad’s ‘revelation’ be in such error?

            It is noteworthy that just as Muhammad incorporated the pagan veneration of the Kaba and black stone into Islam, so he incorporated the Sabean times of prayer, Eid, and fasting into Islam.

            Once again, Muhammad didn’t fully know the subject he was synthesizing into Islam.  I have read nothing about their doctrine that would have led Muhammad to include them as followers of the one true God he preached about.  Perhaps he learned a small portion about their religion, and believed it to be right.  Little did he know that under that veneer of words, lay many theological differences.

HOURIS

            The Quran mentions ‘houris’ several times 44:50, 52:20, 55:60, 56:20, 78:33.  Who or what are they?  They are ‘bashful virgins’, ‘fair as coral and ruby’, ‘dark eyed youths’, ‘high bosomed maidens (big breasted)’. In sum, they are creatures put in Paradise, primarily for men’s sexual pleasures.  Each man will have at least two of them.

            This concept is derived from the Zoroastrian sources.  In Zoroastrian writings they are referred to as ‘Faries’ – spirits in bright array and beautiful to captivate the heart of man.  The name ‘Houris’ comes from a Pehlavi source, as does the Islamic ‘Jinn’ for Genie.

CONCLUSION

            It’s not difficult to see how Muhammad heard various sacred religious stories, and incorporated them into Islam.  Perhaps he thought that parts of those religions contained truth, so he adopted what he thought to be correct.  But nevertheless, part of the foundation of Islam is paganism.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “The Pagan Sources of Islam

  1. ALLAH HAD ALZHEIMERS

    The deeper study of the Koran, Hadith, and Arab history led me to believe that Islam had been cleverly devised on the principle of divide and rule. And its purpose is to enable the Arabs to dominate the rest of the world. I have no doubt the Prophet wanted to raise himself to the same status as Allah. Muhammad loved Arabia and its culture, and his one desire was to create a strong, conquering Arab nation that believed in him and propagated his name. This could only be achieved by imperial dominance.

    – Mohammad Anwar Shaikh
    (Author)

    The Qur’an exists on a guarded tablet somewhere in the celestial realm (Quran.85:22) and therefore cannot be changed. Muslims pride themselves on the facts that there is supposedly no other book like it, it is unchanging and no contradictions can be found between its covers.

    If such a tablet did exist in heaven and was revealed to the messenger over a period of many years one would expect a consistent unchanging, logical unfurling of the divine recording. An interesting point to note here though is that God only had the technology to record his message on a media known to the men of those times. God’s message was not in any audio media format, or on film or even on a word processing document. God was only capable of producing what man could at the time, and that was stone tablets.

    Reading the Qur’an does not give any impression that this message was recorded based on consistent eternal, divine or material laws or concerned with the needs of all mankind. In reality the message of the Qur’an changes as the predicaments of its messenger changed.

    Qur’an 10:64 states “There is no changing the Words of Allah”.

    Qur’an 6:115 and Qur’an 18:27 convey the same message. However later on, we find that Allah deems it necessary to replace some revelations with others. Verse 16:101 states,

    “When We substitute one revelation for another, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not”.

    Another verse justifying the need to supercede one verse for another is Qur’an 2:106,

    “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar”.

    These verses clearly contradict one another, one saying Allah’s word cannot change and then the other saying Allah can substitute one message for another as he sees fit.

    Qur’an 16:101 was obviously revealed by Muhammad after being caught out by the skeptics of his religion, pointing out contradictions in so-called revelations from God. He was obviously called a forger and was required to defend his divine message by sanctioning God’s approval of substituting one revelation for another. If God’s message exists for eternity in heaven why would there be any need for changes to revelations, unless it was required to meet the changing needs of the Muhammad?

    Why would an eternal tablet in heaven need to sanction the marriage of the prophet to his daughter-in-law or endorse for him unlimited number of wives or eventually give permission to fight the unbelievers after years of unproductive preaching? The only reason is that the message is not anything eternal in heaven but a concoction from the mind of Muhammad that allowed him to pursue his goals with varying strategies that was supported by his God.

    As a result, contradictions abound in the Qur’an and this after it was compiled by the scribe Zayed many years after the death of Muhammad and again re-edited years later. In editing the many fragments of verses recorded, both in writing and from the memories of the first disciples, Zayed’s work would no doubt have involved a certain degree of sanitization of the manuscripts ensuring consistency and sense of divinity. However the final product failed on both counts.

    The creation of the earth and heavens is discussed in many places in the Qur’an. Muhammad dumfounded his audience with tales from the Old Testament portraying himself as a great cosmologist divining knowledge from Allah. In his description of the event in Qur’an chapter 79 we are told that the heavens are created prior to the earth. However in Qur’an 2 and 41 we are told the reverse.

    Qur’an79:27-30 “Are ye the harder to create, or is the heaven that He built? He raised the height thereof and ordered it. And after that He spread the earth…. So here we have the heaven being created then raised like a canopy and then the earth is spread out after. The following two verses tell the story differently”.

    Qur’an2:29 “He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens”.

    Qur’an 41:9-12 “Him Who created the earth in two Days. Then turned He to the heaven … Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days”.

    Ignoring the obvious primitive description of the creation of our universe, we see the mistake in Muhammad’s accounts which would be a travesty if recorded as such on the eternal tablet in heaven.

    But how long did this creation effort take? Qur’an 7:54 states

    “Your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days”.
    This is repeated in Qur’an 10:3, 11:7, 50:38 and 57:4. However in Qur’an 41:9-12 we are informed that it is eight days,

    “Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days … He placed therein firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured therein its sustenance in four Days …”

    Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days. So that’s earth 2 days, mountains and sustenance 4 days and then heaven 2 days, giving a grand total of 8 days. Muhammad, supposedly illiterate may not have been very good at simple mathematics but one would expect better from a God in heaven, etching this out on his tablet!

    It is quite obvious from the above that Muhammad was not aware of the vast extent of the universe. To be under the impression that the earth would take two days to create, the mountains and sustenance four days and the entire rest of the universe (which Muhammad would have considered to be heaven), with it billions of galaxies, only two days, is a clear sign of his seventh century understanding of cosmology.

    Muhammad claimed that the day of Allah was like many years to us humans. But how many? Qur’an chapters 22 and 32 tell us,

    “A Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon”.

    However Qur’an 70:4 has a different figure,

    “The angels ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years”.

    Here the Lord’s Day is fifty times greater than previously stated. An obvious case of the narrator forgetting what he previously stated.

    Muhammad seems confused about the original matter used to create man. Depending on his state of mind it can sometimes be clay, mud, dust, water or even mire.

    Qur’an 25:54 “And He it is Who hath created man from water”.

    Qur’an 96:1-2 “He created man from a clot”.

    Qur’an 15:26 “We created man of potter’s clay of black mud altered”.

    Qur’an 32:7 “He began the creation of man from clay”.

    Qur’an 38:71 “I am about to create a mortal out of mire”.

    Qur’an 30:20 “And of His signs is this: He created you of dust”.

    These are blatant contradictions. Though man could be made from all these elements, Muhammad does not state in one place, man was created from x, y and z.

    No! Throughout the Qur’an he consistently singles out different single ingredients as the originating component.

    The heavens and earth were supposedly created by Allah. However does he recollect how they were formed initially? Were they crafted as a whole and then split apart or vice versa?

    Qur’an 21:30 “Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one unit of creation, before we parted them”?

    From the above, clearly they were created as one unit and then ‘cloved asunder’. However in the next verse they are created separately and asked to come together!

    Qur’an 41:11 “Then He directed Himself to the heaven when it was smoke, so He said to it and to the earth: Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly. They both said: We come willingly”.

    Should one follow the behavior of Muhammad?

    Well Qur’an 33:21 certainly seems to tell those who seek refuge in Allah on the final day to model their life against the prophet’s,

    “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day”.

    In other words Muhammad is claiming that he is the best role model to be followed should one desire to be a Muslim.

    However in Qur’an 33:50 where Muhammad realizes that four wives would not be sufficient to satiate his sexual yearnings, he gets Allah to make changes to the maximum of four policy and sanction it only for himself. This verse in essence is saying,

    “Anyone who wishes to marry the prophet can do so but this clause in the Qur’an is only for him”.

    “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her; this only for thee, and not for the believers at large; We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee”.

    From that point on, Allah gave his messenger the rights to wed as many women, believers of course, as he wanted, including his cousins.

    This is a clear contradiction because in verse 33:21, Muhammad sets himself up to be the utmost among humans and a role model for all to follow. But when he wanted unlimited wives he realized that that would surpass the acceptance level in any society. Therefore he declares it not for believers at large.

    The Qur’an is littered with statements on how merciful Allah is.

    The very first verse attests to that fact,

    Qur’an 1:1 “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”.

    However, for every merciful declaration we can find there would be many more rather brutal recommendations against those not on agreeable terms with the Prophet. For instance,

    Qur’an 4:56 “Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment”.

    To claim to be merciful with one hand yet relish the burning of humans continually over and over again with the other, is a gross contradiction of character. No loving, merciful parent could possibly contemplate the savagery of burning their child repeatedly for not accepting their view, rules or restrictions. A God who could possibly dream up a fiery hellish abode could not possibly lay claim to being merciful.

    Although Allah makes distinction between believers and non believers, does he differentiate between the various prophets?

    Qur’an 2:285 “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.

    Qur’an 2:253 “Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while some of them He exalted above others in degree”.

    So here we have a contradiction in terms; messengers are made without distinction amongst them in one breath yet in the next, some are a degree above others.

    Muhammad was eager to show a familiarity with the Bible and Torah and related many a well known tale from those scriptures to convince the Jews and Christians of his apostleship. But did he consistently narrate these stories? In chapter eleven Muhammad says one of Noah’s sons died in the flood,

    Qur’an 11:42-43 “Noah cried unto his son and he was standing aloof – O my son! Come ride with us, and be not with the disbelievers. He said: I shall betake me to some mountain that will save me from the water. Noah said: This day there is none that saveth from the commandment of Allah save him on whom He hath had mercy. And the wave came in between them, so he was among the drowned”.

    Therefore according to Muhammad every person on earth, other than Noah and his family were disbelievers and Allah (Jehovah) had no mercy on any of those who did not believe and were therefore mercilessly drowned. Hence Allah’s mercy is plainly very selective and selfishly directed solely to believers. Allah did not even show mercy to the countless animals, plants and fish most of which would not have made it unto the ark and could not be considered as disbelievers, yet they were ruthlessly destroyed.

    (Note that even water dwelling creatures, in a flood of such proportions, taller than the highest mountain, would be out of their natural elements and would not survive; their habitats such as barrier reefs destroyed or now too deep and the mixing of fresh and salt water creating a mixture not suitable to sustain many life forms.)

    Qur’an 11:42-43 tell us that one of Noah’s sons did not believe and was not willing to get onto the ark, but preferred to go to a high mountain and was subsequently drowned.

    Qur’an 21:76 however informs us that Noah’s household which would obviously include his family were saved from the affliction,

    “And Noah, when he cried of old, We heard his prayer and saved him and his household from the great affliction.

    Qur’an 37:76-77 “And We saved him (Noah) and his household from the great distress, And made his seed the survivors”.

    This clearly states his seed, which would be his children, were made the survivors. Muhammad obviously got his revelations in a twist as he expounded on stories to get across the need to fear Allah or be destroyed.

    Muhammad also gave an account in the Qur’an of Mary and the conception of Jesus. In chapter 19 he speaks of one angel appearing before Mary,

    Qur’an 19:17-19 “We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man. She said: “I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious.” He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son”.

    However, in other verses of the Qur’an Muhammad repeats the story but with more than one angel appearing.

    Qur’an 3:42 “The angels said: “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee…

    And this is further confirmed a few verses later,

    Qur’an 3:45 “The angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus”.

    Muslim apologists counter this contradiction by stating that the Qur’an is referring to two separate visits to Mary; the first by a group of angels to prepare her for the news and the second by an angel, Gabriel, to fulfill the command. This argument however does not hold water because on the first instance she is surprised and asks,

    Qur’an 3:47 “How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me?”

    And somehow on the second instance she is still surprised and asks exactly the same question,

    Qur’an 19:20 “How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me…”.

    Also, after the so-called first visit, verses 3:50 onwards, the Qur’an speaks of Jesus being around without mention that there was a second visit before he came to be. The Qur’an often repeats the same stories, rules, punishments, etc throughout, hence based on the identical responses from Mary and the fact that the Qur’an does not in anyway state that Allah sent a group and thereafter another angel, there is no grounds to assume these were two separate visits.

    We also have contradictory retellings of the worshipping of the golden calf story when Moses ventures up the mountain to meet the burning bush and collect the Ten Commandments. In Qur’an 7:148-150 Muhammad states that the people repented for worshiping the golden calf before Moses returned. Conversely in Qur’an 20:88-91 we are told that the repenting takes place after Moses’ return.

    Do Christians and Jews go to Hell in the hereafter? Practically all verses dealing with this subject indicate that all who do not accept Allah and his messenger are destined for the fire:

    Qur’an 3:85 “And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers”.

    Qur’an 5:72 “Certainly they disbelieve who say: Allah is Christ, son of Mary; and Jesus said: O Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates others with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him Paradise, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the wrong-doers”.

    However Qur’an 2:62 seems to contradict these verses by claiming that certain religious groups other than Muslims, once they are righteous shall attain the heavenly abode:

    Qur’an 2:62 “Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve”.

    This contradiction is counteracted by apologists utilizing two possible interpretations not obvious from a cursory reading. Firstly the phrase “whoever believes in Allah and the Last day” is suppose to imply that only Jews, Christians and Sabians who also believed in Allah and the Day of Judgment will avoid hell fire. However, how could a Jew, Christian still be considered such if they were to believe in Allah? Another interpretation of this verse implies that Jews before Jesus, and Christians before Muhammad would have their reward in Paradise, but those who refrain from following the last prophet will not have the paradise option open to them.

    Allah in the Qur’an repeatedly refers to himself as the merciful and the benevolent. So does Allah forgive us for any transgressions we may commit?

    Qur’an 4:48 “Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.”

    (This is repeated for good measure in 4:116).

    However in Qur’an 4:153 we are told that Allah did forgive those who worshipped the calf during the time of Moses.

    Qur’an 4:153 “… Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority”

    Narrating the story of Pharaoh as he pursued the Israelites across the parted sea gets slightly different treatments in the two accounts provided by Allah in the Qur’an. In one account, in keeping with the bible, Pharaoh is killed by drowning:

    Qur’an 17:102-103 “Moses said, “Truly you know that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has sent down these as clear proof and most surely I believe you, O Firon, to be given over to perdition. So he desired to destroy them out of the earth, but We drowned him and those with him all together.”

    However in another account Allah tells us that he saves Pharaoh as a sign to others:

    Qur’an 10:90-92 “And We made the children of Israel to pass through the sea, then Firon and his hosts followed them for oppression and tyranny, until when drowning overtook him, he said: I believe that there is no Allah but He in Whom the children of Israel believe and I am of those who submit. …This day shall We save thee in the body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee!”

    As Pharaoh was drowning he submits to Allah who saves him as a sign to others. Muhammad changes the tale in this retelling probably as a threat to his followers that unless they submit to Allah they will not be saved in times of calamity.

    How many days did Allah need to destroy the people of Aad?

    Allah tells us in Qur’an 54 that he destroys them, essentially for not accepting Islam, with a violent wind in one day. However in Qur’an 41 we are informed it was days of disaster and in Qur’an 69 Allah is more specific in mentioning seven nights and eight days of exceedingly violent wind.

    Qur’an 54:18-19 “The ‘Ad (people) also rejected the Truth: then how terrible was My Penalty and My Warning? For We sent against them a furious wind, on a day of violent Disaster.”

    Qur’an 41:15-16 “Now the ‘Ad behaved arrogantly… What! did they not see that Allah, Who created them, was superior to them in strength? But they continued to reject Our Signs! So We sent against them a furious Wind through days of disaster, that We might give them a taste of a Penalty of humiliation in this life; but the Penalty of the Hereafter will be more humiliating still: and they will find no help”.

    Qur’an 69:6-7 “And the ‘Ad, they were destroyed by a furious wind, exceedingly violent; He made it rage against them seven nights and eight days in succession”

    During the battle of Badr Muhammad needed help to defeat the Quraish army. The merciful Allah reveals in the Qur’an that he provided assistance to his messenger in the form of fighting angels. However the number of these angels varies depending on the verse Allah reveals. In Qur’an 3:124 Allah states the number was 3,000. However in Qur’an 8:9 Allah needlessly repeats the story, this time only being able to muster 1,000 fighting angels.

    Qur’an 3:124 “Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: “Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels specially sent down?”

    Qur’an 8:9 “Remember ye implored the assistance of your Lord, and He answered you: “I will assist you with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks.”

    Allah provides vital information to mankind concerning who takes our soul at the time of death. Qur’an 32:11 states that it is the ‘Angel of Death’. In essence, a specific angel tasked with that job to return the soul to Allah.

    Qur’an 32:11 “Say: “The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall ye be brought back to your Lord.”

    Later on we are informed that angels (plural) in general take the souls. However, on this occasion the poor souls, the disbelievers, are beaten on their faces and backs.

    Qur’an 47:27 “But how will it be when the angels take their souls at death, and smite their faces and their backs?”

    Allah however seems confused about his job specification when he claims in Qur’an 39 that he himself is the reaper of souls.

    Qur’an 39:42 “Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep; then He withholds those on whom He has passed the decree of death and sends the others back till an appointed term; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect”.

    Allah often refers to the one garden that comprises paradise. For example,

    Qur’an 57:21 “Hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and to a garden the extensiveness of which is as the extensiveness of the heaven and the earth; it is prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers”.

    However in many other places we are told about the many gardens that await the believers, such as

    Qur’an22:23 “Allah will admit those who believe, to Gardens beneath which rivers flow”.

    Many more contradictions exist in the Qur’an. But let us end with trying to ascertain who the first Muslim was. Was it Muhammad? He does say so in:

    Qur’an 39:12 “And I am commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam”.

    Qur’an 7:143 “When Moses came, and his Lord addressed him, he said: “O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me.” Allah said: “Look upon the mount then shalt thou see Me.” When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: “Glory be to Thee! To Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe.”

    So here we have Moses being the first to believe in Allah. But was he? Maybe not, because in Qur’an 2:132 we have Abraham and his grandson Jacob having faith in Allah.

    Qur’an 2:132 “And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; “Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam.”

    Since Abraham and Jacob preceded Moses then they both would have worshipped Allah before Moses and Muhammad. Therefore all these verses contradict one another.

    From the time of its inception, the Qur’an has been mired in reports of errors and inconsistencies. It was not fully compiled into one document until twenty years after Muhammad’s death. Then it was subsequently revised years later with the earlier versions being recalled and burnt.

    One of Muhammad’s early scribes, Abdullah bin Sa’d, was weary of the many contradictions and errors as Muhammad revealed his messages from Allah. After years of corrections and improvements he realized the folly of the work and the apparent nature of Muhammad and consequently returned to Mecca where he re-adopted his previous religion. Not surprisingly though, he was on the list of those to be executed when Muhammad conquered Mecca.

  2. Much like the earliest depictions of the Madonna being Isis holding Baby Set not Mary holding Jesus. Earlier older ingrained stories, objects, icons or locations were converted from the past. My favorite one is St George of England who is plainly the Green man.

  3. Pingback: Pagans kiss | Upriverranch

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