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See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

Read: Background to the Project

List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013


August 18th, 2011

Issue 9

Issue 9 [@10:35] Robert Spencer – “The Quran occupies a place that has no parallels in the Western civilization. Quran is considered by Muslims in traditional Islamic theology to be dictated word for word by God Himself, Allah himself through the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. As a result every word of it is the words of God Himself. Every word of the Quran unless it is canceled by another section of the Quran itself is valid for all time and cannot be questioned, cannot be reformed, cannot be changed with in Islamic context. This means that moderate Muslims, peaceful Muslims if they are sincere have to reject entirely Quranic literalism. But to do so puts them outside the sphere of anything that has been considered orthodox Islam throughout history because to do so is to reject the very basic premise of Islam that this is a book that is dictated by God and is the perfect copy of a perfect book, the Umal-Kitab, the mother of the book, that has existed for ever with Allah in heaven”

Rebuttal 9: In this segment Robert Spencer touches upon various issues hence his statement needs a breakdown:
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Issue 9a: Robert Spencer asserts: “The Quran occupies a place that has no parallels in the Western civilization.”

Rebuttal 9a: This is a factual statement but in need of a minor correction i.e. now Islam too is part of Western civilization.

Still, there is implied self admission by him that there is no revealed book in the West, be it the Old or New testament, which despite many revisions to improve them, none enjoy a belief and reverence that Quran enjoys with the Muslims (of both East and the West).

Does his statement make West in less need of spirituality, morality and Divine guidance? No. Their only shortcoming is that while they have not yet discovered Quran, they over period of time were intellectually forced to discard their Scriptures for want of a something more pure, pristine and complete. This is the experience of the “West” with its Divine Scriptures, and it cannot imagine others having a different experience with their Scriptures.

Then, where is the solution? Interestingly, the answer is in their own Scriptures. West is not illiterate, it can read its own Scripture, where prophecy of advent of a Divinely appointed and his message is foretold by Jesus himself and before him Moses too mentioned it – compare the passages of New King James Version [non-italics] with corresponding verses of Quran [in italics] below:

16:12. I [-Jesus] still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
16:13. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, …

16:102. Say, `The Spirit of Holiness has brought this (Qur’ân) down from your Lord to suit the requirement of truth and wisdom, (Allâh has revealed it) so that He may strengthen those who believe in their faith and so that (this may serve as) a guidance and good tidings for Muslims.

Note: He implies Muhammad and/or Angel Gabriel and/or Quran.

16:13. …He will guide you into all truth;…

2:2. This is the only perfect Book, wanting in naught, containing nothing doubtful, harmful or destructive, there is no false charge in it…

2:185. …the Qur’ân … revealed as a guidance for the whole of mankind with its clear evidences (providing comprehensive) guidance and the Discrimination (between right and wrong)…

3:4. … And He has revealed (the Qur’ân as) the Criterion of judgment (between truth and falsehood)…

10:57. O mankind! there has come to you an exhortation (to do away with your weaknesses) from your Lord and a cure for whatever (disease) is in your hearts, and (a Book full of) excellent guidance and a mercy, (and full of blessings) to the believers (in the ultimate form of the Qur’ân).

14:1. …(This is) a great Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring mankind, by the leave of their Lord, out of different kinds of darkness into light, to the path of the All-Mighty, the Praiseworthy,

17:105. We revealed it (- the Qur’ân) to suit all the requirement of truth and wisdom and it has come down (to you) with truth and wisdom…

43:2. This perfect Book that makes (the truth) perspicuously clear bears witness (to the above truth).

43.3. Verily, We have made it a Qur’ân, such (a Scripture) as brings (the nations) together, and (a Scripture) eloquently expressive so that you may make use of your understanding.

76:29. Verily, this Qur’ân is a Reminder. So let him who wishes, take a way to his Lord.

16:13. …for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak;…

10:15. When Our clear verses are recited to them, those who fear not the meeting with Us, nor do they cherish any hope (for the same,) say, `Bring a Qur’ân other than this one or (at least) make some changes in it.’ Say (to them), `It is not for me to introduce changes in it of my own accord. I follow nothing but what is revealed to me. Truly if I disobey my Lord I fear the punishment of a great (dreadful) Day.’

42:52. (Prophet!) just so (as We sent revelations to other Prophets), We revealed to you the Word by Our command. (Before this revelation) you did not know what the Divine Book was nor (which of) the faith (it teaches), but We made it (- Our revelation to you) a light, whereby We guide such of our servants as We will. And truly you are guiding (mankind) on to the straight and right path,

35:23. You are only a Warner. 35:24. Verily, We have sent you with the lasting truth (as) a Bearer of glad-tidings and (as) a Warner (to them), for there has been no people but have (been warned by) a Warner (from God). 35:25. And if they cry you lies, (remember) their predecessors (also) cried lies (to their Messengers of God) though their Messengers had brought to them clear proofs, the Scriptures and the illuminating Book.

16:13. … and He will tell you things to come.

14:32. He has made the ships subservient to you to run their course in the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers [dams and irrigation projects] subservient to you.
14:33.And He has made subservient to you the sun [solar energy] and the moon [lunar landings and soon to be mined], pursuing their courses; and He has made subservient to you the night [night is no longer the dead and dark, it is part of a vibrant economy] and the day.
14:34. And He gives you of all that you ask of Him. And if you count Allah’s favours, you will not be able to number them. Surely man is very unjust, very ungrateful. [ – Muhammad Ali-Zahid Aziz]

81:1. When the sun be folded up and so darkened, [by air pollution and global warming? by sun becoming a red giant?]
81:2. And when the stars are obscured, [by light pollution at night? by expanding universe?]
81:3. And when the mountains are made to pass away, [by modern highways?]
81:4. And when the excellent she-camels will be discarded, [in favor of modern transport?]
81:5. And when the wild beast will be herded together, [in zoos? in safaris?]
81:6. And when the rivers will be drained away, [by irrigation projects? by global warming and loss of ice caps?]
81:7. And when (various) people will be united together, [by racial mixing? by globalization of economies? under United Nations Organization?]
81:8. And when the girl-child who is buried alive will be questioned about; [a pre-Islamic pagan Arab custom to preserve family dignity]
81:9. For what offence was she killed? [by establishment of women rights?]
81:10. And when books and papers will be spread abroad, [by dissemination of knowledge by modern electronic and print media?]
81:11. And when the heights will be discovered, [by/in science and technology? by modern mountaineering? by air and space travel? by space probes?]
81:12. And when the Hell-Fire will be set ablaze, [by “shock and awe” of destructive military power? by nuclear arms?]
81:13. And when the Paradise will be brought near, [by human development? by freedom of societies from occupations?]
81:14. Every soul will know then what (store of deeds) it has brought forward.[by internet data mining and public records of individuals and organizations? by accountability in modern democracies?]

16:14. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

3:3. He has revealed to you gradually this perfect Book (- the Qur’ân) which meets all your requirements, fulfilling that (prophecies in the Scriptures) which preceded it and which still remain. He revealed the Torah and the Evangel,
3:4. Before this, as a guidance of the people…

5:46. And We sent Jesus, son of Mary, in the footsteps of these (Prophets), fulfilling that which was (revealed) before him, of the Torah, and We gave him the Evangel which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was (revealed) before it, of the Torah, and was a (means of) guidance and an exhortation for those who guard against evil.

5:68. Say, `O People of the Scripture! you stand no where unless you observe the Torah and the Evangel and that (- Qur’ân) which has (now) been revealed to you from your Lord….

Note 1: In Quran there is no Old or New Testament. It only refers to the original Torah and Evangel.

Note 2: Quran has many verses where it glorifies Jesus personally in a real sense by removing from him all historical dross of pagan godliness, nonsensical virgin birth, nonsensical miracles, his alleged debased death on the cross and his final migration to lofty plateaus (Kashmir). Since it becomes a separate discussion, reader is encouraged to review “Jesus in Heaven on Earth” by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad.

Despite Muhammad fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Scriptures, there are likes of Robert Spencer who will reject their own Scriptures to deny the inevitability of Muhammad’s Message:

46:7. When Our clear Messages are recited to them, these disbelievers say with regard to the Truth when it comes to them, `This is an obvious sorcery.’

46:8. Do they say, `He himself has forged this (Qur’ân)?’ Say, `If I have forged it, you have no power to help me in anyway against Allâh, He knows what nonsensical talk you are indulging in. Sufficient is He for a witness between me and you. And He is the Great Protector, the Ever Merciful.’

46:9. Say, `I am no novel (Apostle) among the Messengers nor do I know what will be done to me (on your behalf) or to you. I simply follow what is revealed to me and I am nought but a plain Warner.’

46:10. Say, `Have you considered (that) if this (Qur’ân) is from Allâh and you do not believe in it (there will be no way of escape for you); (more so because) a witness (in the person of Moses) from among the Children of Israel has borne witness to (the advent of) his like. So, whereas he has believed (in those prophecies) but you turn away in disdain, (how should you fare then? Bear in mind) Allâh guides no unjust people (to success).

46:11. And those who disbelieve say of those who believe, `If these (- the Qur’ânic doctrines) were any good they would not have taken precedence over us in believing in it.’ Since they themselves have received no guidance from it they say (out of malice), `It is an old lie.’

46:12. Whereas the Scripture of Moses (which was) a guide and a mercy preceded it, this (Qur’ân) is a Book which fulfills (the prophecies contained in the previous Scriptures) making its meanings and significance eloquently clear. (It has been revealed) so that it may warn those who do wrong and give glad tidings to the doers of righteous deeds.

Robert Spencer, the Quran directly addresses you:

13:43. And those who disbelieve say, `You [Muhammad] are not a sent one (of God)’. Say, `Allâh suffices as a Witness between me and you, and (so are) those who possess knowledge of the Divine Book.’

This verse clearly implies that Robert Spencer may reject Quran but being a Christian, if he is that someone who possess knowledge of the Divine Book, i.e. his own Scriptures, he cannot deny the implications of passages below, which have been full filled in the person of Muhammad and his Message:

16:12. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
16:14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
16:15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. [New King James Version]

References:

New King James Version – BibleGateway.com
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
Jesus in Heaven on Earth – Khwaja Nazir Ahmad.
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz
Holy Quran – Nooruddin [all the above quoted verses, unless indicated otherwise]
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Issue 9b: Robert Spencer further states: “Quran is considered by Muslims in traditional Islamic theology to be dictated word for word by God Himself, Allah himself through the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. As a result every word of it is the words of God Himself.”

Rebuttal 9b: Besides, validating the previous scriptures, Quran distinctly stands apart from them in declaring – God Himself the source of the Book; its God as “Lord of the Mankind” and not of a particular race, region or religion; vivifies God by bringing to light His Attributes; removed the human-ness of god and instills godliness of humans; God for the benefit of man and not the ritualistic visa versa; God as the first observer of His own laws; God of action and not of slumber; Hearing, Seeing and speaking God etc.

Quran expounds itself with proofs based upon logic, reason, history, physical phenomenon, science, sociology etc. for all its claims of monotheism, human nature, equality and fraternity of man, sinless of soul, physical and moral states of man and the universe he lives in, nature subservient to man, purpose of man, virtue and sins, paths of salvation, emphasis on action rather than homilies, state of life after death, concept of hell and heaven, laundering of previous prophet from all smears, bringing morality-spirituality-physicality and science into an mutually complementary logic, divine guarding of its everlasting purity and free from adulteration and contradiction, open challenge to bring even a chapter matching that of Quran, divine origin of all monotheistic faiths, completion of religion etc.

These are some of the unique attributes which none of the previous Scriptures can claim for themselves. It is these features that make Quran the Last and Lasting Scripture. Reader is encouraged to peruse these books fully referenced from Quran in context of these claims i.e. “The Light of the Quran & Tabloid on Criterion for Religions” by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, “The Divine Origin of the Holy Quran” by Muhammad Ali and “Introduction to the Study of Holy Quran” by Khwaja Kamaluddin.

If the Old and New Testaments, Vedas (5 volumes), Zend-Avesta etc. can claim to be Divine Books, then Quran has even more merits to such a claim and for its followers to believe in the words of Robert Spencer “every word of it is the words of God Himself.”

References:

The Light of the Quran & Tabloid on Criterion for Religions – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
The Divine Origin of the Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali.
Introduction to the Study of Holy Quran – by Khwaja Kamaluddin.
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Issue 9c: He further asserts that Muslim understanding of Quran is: “Every word of the Quran unless it is canceled by another section of the Quran itself is valid for all time and cannot be questioned, cannot be reformed, cannot be changed with in Islamic context.”

Rebuttal 9c: Robert Spencer tries to keep his ridiculous assertions in the hope of unhinging the basis of Islam and this time brings out the gun powder of extra-Quranic concept Nasikh or abrogation of verses of Quran. What he fails to understand is the sheer nonsense of this term for which there is no room within the body of the Quran. Since the scholars of the movie under discussion frequently revert to this term – abrogation, a deeper analysis and refutation is given below.

This term of abrogation is fully dealt and destroyed in detail by Muhammad Ali in his landmark book “Religion of Islam” [pg 28-35]. But for brevity, an excerpt from “Jesus in Heaven on Earth” by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad is presented below:

There are two verses in the Holy Quran which are generally deemed by Christian critics to be the basis of this theory. The first of these two verses is:

And when We change one communication for (another) communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say you are only a forger” (The Holy Quran, 16: 101).

Now the theory of abrogation has been applied only to such verses as lay down the Islamic Law, which were revealed exclusively at Madina. But the chapter containing this verse was revealed at Makka. It stands to reason, therefore, that the Law which had yet to be introduced could not be abrogated by a previous revelation; nor could a verse earlier in time refer to any such future abrogation.

If we consider the context, it becomes apparent that this verse is dealing with the Holy Quran in its entirety and with the allegation of the opponents of the Holy Prophet: that he had forged the Holy Quran himself. The Book refutes it by asserting that because the communications received by earlier Prophets were, in fact, abrogated and another (the Holy Quran) was substituted in their place, non-believers alleged it to be a forgery. The next four verses make the position abundantly clear. The Holy Prophet is made to say:

The Holy Spirit has revealed it from your Lord with the truth, that it may establish those who believe, and as a guidance and good news for those who submit” (Ibid., 16: 102).
Only they forge the lie who do not believe in Allah’s communications, and these are the liars” (The Holy Quran, 16: 105).

The opponents of Islam did not style the Holy Prophet as a forger because certain verses had been abrogated, but because they alleged that someone else was teaching him (Ibid., 16: 103) and, in spite of this, he was representing it to be from God – a work of his own creation was being put forward as a Divine revelation. The Holy Quran controverts these allegations and points out that it is they who are liars, because God has abrogated the older communications, the Mosaic Law.

The second verse which is alleged to support this theory makes the matter still more clear. It reads:

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” (Ibid., 2 : 106).

Here again, we must read the verse in the light of the context (the previous two sections: specially verses 90-91) and in particular the preceding verse:

Those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book do not like, nor do the polytheists, that any good should be sent down (revealed) to you from your Lord, and Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy and Allah is the Lord of Mighty Grace” (Ibid., 2 : 105).

The Holy Quran is dealing here with the contention of the Jews that they could not accept the Holy Prophet or the Holy Quran because it had not been revealed to an Israelite and that they could not accept a new code which would replace their Law. In verse 105 they are told that Allah chooses whom He pleases-an Israelite or a nonIsraelite; and in the verse in question they are informed that Allah has abrogated the Mosaic Law and replaced it with a better communication. The succeeding verse (Ibid., 2 : 107) then, by way of illustration, explains that in accordance with the laws of Nature the old order must give way to the new: thereby implying that the Mosaic Law which was given to a particular people for a particular object and for a particular time has been abrogated and replaced by a new and universal law. The old law, having been partly lost and forgotten, was being replaced by “one better than it or like it” and whatever portion of it remained was now abrogated. To construe the verse as abrogating the Quranic law is to do violence to its plain language. The words “or cause to be forgotten” cannot possibly refer to the Holy Quran at all because, as I have already mentioned, every verse as soon as it was revealed was reduced to writing and, therefore, could not be forgotten. Further, why should a verse be abrogated if one like it had to be revealed again? Besides, the Holy Quran itself asserts that it shall not be forgotten (Ibid., 87 : 6). On the other hand, it is a notorious fact that a good deal of the Torah and the Gospels had been completely lost and forgotten. These were replaced by better verses or verses like them; and such portions as were in existence were abrogated and replaced by the Holy Quran.

It is worth noting that the only person who could really say that a particular verse of the Holy Quran had been abrogated was the Holy Prophet himself. He never said that any verse or any portion of the Holy Quran had become abrogated. On the other hand he, along with his Companions, continued to recite in prayers the whole of the Holy Quran as it exists today. It is clear, therefore, that he did not consider any verse of the Holy Quran as ever having been abrogated.

The theory of abrogation of certain verses of the Holy Quran is so exploded that I will not carry the matter any further. (For a further study of the subject, the reader is referred to Maulvi Muhammad Ali’s Religion of Islam, 28-35.

References:
Religion of Islam – Muhammad Ali
Jesus in Heaven on Earth – Khwaja Nazir
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Issue 9d: The statement of Robert Spencer continues with an inherent ridicule towards Muslims for whom: “Quran itself is valid for all time and cannot be questioned, cannot be reformed, cannot be changed with in Islamic context.”

Rebuttal 9d: Though unknowingly, Robert Spencer is absolutely correct while making this statement about Quran.

His thinking is product of his creed. His statements 9a, 9b and 9c coupled with above statement clearly reeks astonishment of Robert Spencer. He is baffled by as to why Muslims cannot change or challenge their Divine Book? His ridicule is based upon the experience of his “Western Civilization” that was either Christian or Jewish in the past (with emerging atheism now). They had no choice but over the period of centuries had to inevitably modify, abrogate or revise their Scriptures for the simple reason that neither their God took responsibility of preserving them, nor their intelligence can bear the burden to accept them prima facie.

He implicitly admits that his own Scriptures in present day are obsolete for dearth of logic and proofs, while abounding with contradictions. Actually they were obsolete almost two millenniums ago. What he is getting from them is not reconcilable with his intelligence. This expression is hidden in his own words i.e. his Scriptures “are not valid for all time, can be questioned, can be reformed and can be changed.” But, not so for Quran, for numerous reasons, which could be summarized as:

In the Arabic of Hedjaz in which Quran is revealed, the “Quranic words are too rich in their significations…we need not give them new meanings, nor reinterpret them to satisfy new demands of life. Their connotations are wide enough to denote every new concept…They may become amplified, but on the material already existing. [ Introduction to Study of The Holy Quran, by Khwaja Kamaluudin, pg 20-21]

Need for reform or revision for any book arises only if that book is time bound, has fundamental errors, new information comes to light, or has contradictions in it. That may be true of the old Scriptures, but not for Quran:

2:23. And if you have any doubt as to (the truthfulness of the Qur’ân) which We have revealed to Our servant from time to time, produce a single Sûrah (- Qur’ânic chapter) like any of (the chapters of) this, summoning (to your assistance) all your helpers (that you have) beside Allâh, if you are truthful (in your doubts),

4:82. Why do they not ponder over the Qur’ân? Had it been from anyone other than Allâh, they would surely have found a good deal of inconsistency therein.

41:53. We shall soon show these (disbelievers for their guidance) Our signs even in the remotest regions (of the earth) and in their own persons until it becomes quite manifest to them that this (Qur’ân) is the lasting truth infact. Is it not enough (for them) that your Lord indeed keeps watch over everything?

As to why Quran cannot be changed is for the mere fact that God, not man is its author. The following verses should suffice:

15:9. Verily, it was We, We Ourself Who have revealed this Reminder (- the Qur’ân); and it is We Who are, most certainly, its Guardian.

41:42. Falsehood cannot approach it (- the Qur’ân) neither from the front nor from behind. (It is) a revelation that proceeds portion by portion from One All-Wise, the Most Praiseworthy (God).

As regards to whether Quran can be questioned? Answer depends upon what is meant by the speaker. If the speaker means doubts, then Quran answers it:

10:37. This Qur’ân is not such as could have been devised (by anyone), besides Allâh. On the contrary (Allâh has revealed it as) a confirmation of all the previous Scriptures and is a clear and detailed explanation of the divine Law. It is wanting in nought, containing nothing doubtful, disturbing, harmful or destructive and there is no false charge in it. (It proceeds) from the Lord of the worlds.

But if the speaker means that can Quran be logically questioned? For that Quran is in agreement and actually encourages questioning:

13:03. Verily, in all this there are messages indeed for people who think[Muhammad Asad, emphasis added]

16:44. … We have revealed to you the Reminder that you may explain to mankind (the commandments) that have been sent down to them so that they may ponder and reflect (over it).[you implies Muhammad, but is not limited to him alone]

Note: It does not end there. On the reverse, Quran ridicules the non-use of one’s reason:

And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the people — they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. They are as cattle; rather, they are more astray. These are the heedless ones.[Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz]

Quran in fact is that very change and the reformation that “Western Civilization” and its intelligent mind is seeking for their own Scriptures. It is the latest and final edition of the same chain and source of Scriptures, including non-biblical ones as well.

References:

Holy Quran – Muhammad Asad
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz
Holy Quran – Nooruddin [all the above quoted verses, unless indicated otherwise]
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Issue 9e: Robert Spencer in his usual infinite wisdom draws the conclusion: “This means that moderate Muslims, peaceful Muslims if they are sincere have to reject entirely Quranic literalism. But to do so puts them outside the sphere of anything that has been considered orthodox Islam throughout history because to do so is to reject the very basic premise of Islam that this is a book that is dictated by God”

Rebuttal 9e: Answer is plain “No” because Spencer’s Orthodox violent Muslim minority is in fact the ones who are in gross violation of the Quran, whereas it is the overwhelming majority of peaceful and the liberal Muslims who are, in letter and spirit, following the Quranic unabrogated principles of peace and justice which will remain for ever unchanged. Robert Spencer has proved the point. In fact, Robert Spencer should be advocating non-abrogation, which is by the way, followed by the Muslims at large, if he is sincere in spreading peace in the world. Amen!

But, if Robert Spencer is thinking in terms of sectarianism in Islam, then unlike Christian and Judaic sects which are almost separate religions unto themselves, the sects in Islam are essentially difference of opinions on superficiality of issues without difference on articles of faith. Their differences are not to detriment of religion as expressed in Introduction section under the heading “Dissent in the Ummah” in Translation of Holy Quran by Nooruddin:

There is a famous saying of the Holy Prophet that the difference of opinion among the people of his community (Ummah) will bring many blessings in its wake. The importance of this dissension with regard to the preservation of the Holy Qur’ân can well be judged by the fact that the Muslims fell into parties soon after the demise of the Holy Prophet . Had one party only remained in power there was the possibility of their faith having faltered, which would have led them to bring about some changes and alterations in the Sacred Book to satisfy their ends and purposes. However, their mutual differences created a situation wherein the opposing groups kept a constant watch over one another. If one group had ever tried to effect a change in the Holy Qur’ân the other group was there to keep them in check. [pg 16-A]

The literalism or figurative aspects of Quran that Robert Spencer is pointing to have to be understood in light of Quran:

2:26. Indeed, Allâh does not disdain to cite a parable of (a thing) even (as small as) a gnat or (of something) smaller than that. (Be it as it may) those who have believed know that this is a true (parable) from their Lord. As for those who disbelieve say, `What could Allâh mean by (citing) such a parable?’ Many does He adjudge to be erring because of these (parables) and many does He guide through them. Yet it is only the transgressors whom He adjudges to be erring because of them.

3:7. He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive — they are the basis of the Book — and others are allegorical. Then those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead, and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation…[Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz]

Note: Jihadwatch.com – take note: Future issues in Quran are allegorical. So are your “seventy virgins” which by the way are not in Quran altogether.

Understanding the allegory and metaphors in Quran requires an unbiased analysis and intelligent exposition on the part of the reader. Every religion is in danger to fall into decay that emanates from literalism. Duncan Greenlee, as quoted by Ulfat Aziz-us-samad, had the following to say about the state of Christian thought at the time of the advent of Islam:

Art hardly existed, philosophy was banned as pagan, the beginnings of science ruthlessly smothered under weight of superstition and impossible dogma created out of the unintelligent reading of metaphor as literal history, and literature prostituted to cause of polemic had almost ceased to be.[The Great Religions of the World by Mrs. Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad, Dar-ul-Isha’at – Kutub-e-Islamia, Bombay, 1991, page 176 – quoting Duncan Greenlees in The Gospel of Islam, introduction., pp. xiii-xiv (Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras, 1948.]

Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad describes the practices of various major religions of the world at said time as follows:

…reduced to bundles of soul-destroying ceremonies and rituals…degenerated into lifeless rituals, idolatry, relic-worship and idle monkery…gross polytheism, elaborate ceremonies and sacrifices, caste system and obstructionist priesthood…given rise to a very powerful hierarchy of priests and invented a complicated eschatology and many lifeless rituals…the spirit had departed from the religion…[which had become] too formalistic and legalistic.
[The Great Religions of the World by Mrs. Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad, Dar-ul-Isha’at – Kutub-e-Islamia, Bombay, 1991, page 175]

Islam at least has the distinct advantage over other religions in that its God is a living God, and unlike others whose God spoke once upon on time, the God of Islam speaks even today. With a living book and living God and the Islamic tradition of an appointed revivalist in every century, Islam will not go into decay. Can any other religion make that claim. The Biblical ones are hoping against hope of the return of Jedi. Even if he appears in the future, their God did abandon them in the intervening millenniums. Now that is an unjust God.

At times, Christians pulpit does sound logical, but that is the logic of the speaker and hardly of their Books.

References:

The Great Religions of the World – Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz
Holy Quran – Nooruddin [all the above quoted verses, unless indicated otherwise]
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Issue 9f: The statement of Robert Spencer about Muslim belief with regards to Quran continues – that it: “is the perfect copy of a perfect book, the Umal-Kitab, the mother of the book, that has existed for ever with Allah in heaven”

Rebuttal 9f: Quran is a pre-existing full body of knowledge that in the words of Robert Spencer “that has existed for ever with Allah in heaven” – so true, revealed and enforced piecemeal over twenty-three years, so that it could be understood, assimilated and adopted by its audience according to their capacity and maturity:

25:32. And those who disbelieve say, `Why has not (the whole of) the Qur’ân been revealed to him all at once? (But We have revealed it) in this manner (- piece by piece out of necessity). And (inspite of the fact that it has not been revealed all at once,) We have arranged it in an excellent (form and order of) arrangement (and free of all contradictions) so that We may thereby lend strength to your heart.

The pre-existence of this whole body of logic is metaphorically referred to as:

85:21. This is also the truth that it is a glorious Qur’ân,

85:22. (Inscribed) in a Tablet well-guarded (against corruption, distortion and destruction). Note: this is not the last verse revealed, but Quran is referring to itself as a whole preexisting Book.

The following three verses refer to The Book – Ummal-Kitab, which alludes to the Divine Source of all knowledge that is God Himself, the Everlasting:

3:7. He it is Who has revealed to you this perfect Book, some of its verses are definite and decisive. They are the basic root (conveying the established meanings) of the Book (- Ummal Kitâb) and other (verses) are susceptible to various interpretations. As for those in whose hearts is perversity follow (verses) that are susceptible to different interpretations, seeking (to cause) dissension and seeking an interpretation (of their own choice). But no one knows its true interpretation except Allâh, and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge. They say, `We believe in it, it is all (- the basic and decisive verses as well as the allegorical ones) from our Lord.’ And none takes heed except those endowed with pure and clear understanding.

13:39. Allâh repeals (the law relating to punishment) what He will and He establishes and confirms (what He pleases) and with Him is the source and origin of all laws and commandments.

43:4. And it (- the Qur’ân) lies (safe) with Us in the Mother of the Book (which is the source of all knowledge), and (it is) indeed eminently sublime and full of wisdom.

Mr. Robert Spencer, this is how Muslims feel secured about their Book. Do you feel equally secure about yours?

References:

Holy Quran – Nooruddin

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