Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Standard of Hadith Criticisms

Edited by Zahid Ghadialy from the Book, The life of Muhammad- Haykal

Despite the great care and precision of the hadith scholars, much of what they regarded as true was later proved to be spurious.. In his commentary on the collection of Muslim, al Nawawi wrote: “A number of scholars discovered many hadiths in the collections of Muslim and Bukhari which do not fulfill the conditions of verification assumed by these men.” The collectors attach a greater weight to the trustworthiness of the narrators (a subjective criteria). Their criterion was certainly valuable, but it was not sufficient. In our opinion the criterion for hadith criticisms as well as standard for materials concerning the prophet life, is the one which prophet himself gave. He said: “After I am gone differences will arise among you. Compare whatever is reported to be mine with the book of God; that which agrees therewith you may accept as having come from me; that which disagrees you will reject as fabrication.” The great men of Islam right from the very beginning observe this valid standard. It continues to be the standard of thinkers today. Ibn Khaldun wrote: “I do not believe any hadith or report of a companion of the prophet to be true which differs from the common sense meaning of the Quran, no matter how trustworthy the narrators may have been. It is not impossible that a narrator appears to be trustworthy though he may be moved by ulterior motive. If hadiths were criticized for their textual contents as they were for the narrators who transmitted them, a great number would have been rejected. It is a recognized principle that a hadith could be declared spurious if it departs from the common sense meaning of the Quran from the recognized principles of Shariah, the rules of Logic, the evidence of sense, or any other self-evident truth.” This criterion given by prophet as well as ibn Khaldun, perfectly accords with modern scientific criticsm.

True, after Muhammad’s death the Muslims differed, and they fabricated thousands of hadiths and reports to support their various causes. From the day Abu Luluah, the servant of Mughirah, killed Umar ibn al Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan assumed caliphate, the old pre-Islamic enmity of Banu-Hashim and Banu-Ummayah reappeared. When, upon the murder of Uthman, civil war broke out between the Muslims, Aishah fought against Ali and Ali’s supporters consolidated themselves into a party, the fabrication of Hadiths spread to a point where “Ali ibn Abu Talib himself had to reject the practice and warn against it. He reportedly said: “We have no book and no writing to read except the Quran and this sheet which I have received from the Prophet of God in which he specified the duties prescribed by charity.” Apparently, this exhortation did not stop the hadith narrators from fabricating their stories either in support of a cause they advocated, or of a virtue or practice to which they exhorted the Muslims and which they thought would have more appeal if vested with prophetic authority. When Banu Ummayah firmly established themselves in power, their protagonists among their hadith narrators deprecated the prophetic traditions reported by the party of Ali ibn Abu talib and the later defended these traditions and propagated them with all the means at their disposal. Undoubtedly thy also deprecated the traditions reported by Aishah, “Mother of the Faithful.”

A humorous piece of reportage was given to us by ibn Asakir who wrote: “Abu Sa?d Ismail ibn al Muthanna al Istrabadhi was giving a sermon one day in Damascus when a man stood up and asked him what he thought about the hadith of the prophet: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.” Abu Sas pondered the question for a while and then replied: “Indeed! No one knows of this hadith except those who lived in the first century of Islam. What the Prophet had said was rather, I am the city of knowledge; Abu Bakr its foundation; Umar its walls; Uthman its ceiling; and Ali its Gate.” The audience was quite pleased with his reply and asked him to furnish them with the chain of narrators. Abu Sad could not furnish them with the chain of narrators and was embarrassed.” Thus hadiths were fabricated for political and other purposes. This wanton multiplication alarmed the Muslims because many ran counter to the book of God. The attempts to stop this wave of fabrication under the Umawis did not succeed. When the Abbasids took over, and al Mamun assumed the caliphate almost two centuries after the death of the Prophet, the fabricated hadiths numbered in thousands and Hundred of thousands and contained an unimaginable account of contradiction and variety. It was then that the collectors applied themselves to the task of putting the hadiths together and biographers of the prophet wrote his Biography. Al Waqidi, ibn Hisham and Al madaini lived and wrote their books in the days of al Mamun. They could not afford to contradict the caliphate and hence could not apply with the precesion due to
Prophet’s criterion that his traditions ought to be checked against the Quran and accepted only if they accorded therewith.

Had this criterion, which does not differ from the modern and scientific criticism, been applied with precision, the ancient masters would have altered much of their writing. Circumstances of history imposed upon them the application of it to some of their writings and not to others. The later generation inherited their method of treating the biography of the prophet without questioning it. Had they been true to history they would have applied this criterion in general as well as in detail. No reported events disagreeing with the Quran would have been spared, and none would have been confirmed but those that agreed with the book of the God as well as the laws of nature. Even so, these hadiths would have subject to strict analysis and established with valid proofs and incontestable evidence. This stand was taken by the great Muslim scholars of the Past as well as of the present. The grand shaykh of Al Azhar, Muhammad Mustafa al Maraghi, wrote in his foreword to the book, The life of Muhammad by Haykal: “Muhammad- may God’s peace and blessing be on him had only one irresistible miracle: the Quran. But it is not irrational. How eloquent is the verse of al Busayri: God did not try us with anything irrational. Thus, we fell under neither doubt nor illusion.?”

In his book, Al Islam wa al Nasraniyah, Muhammad Abduh, the great scholar and leader wrote: “Islam, therefore, and its demand for faith in God and his unity, depend only on the rational proof and common sense human thinking. Islam does not overwhelm the mind with the supernatural, confuse the understanding with the extraordinary, impose acquiescent silence by resorting to heavenly intervention, nor does it impede the movement of thought by any sudden cry of divinity. All the Muslims are agreed, except those hose opinions are insignificant, that faith in God is prior to faith in prophethood and that it is not possible to believe in the prophet except after one has come to believe in God. It is unreasonable to demand faith in God on the ground that the prophets or the revealed books has said so, for it is unreasonable to believe that any book has been revealed by God unless one already believed that God exists and that it is possible for him to reveal a Book and send a messenger.”

I am inclined to think that those who wrote Biographies of the Prophet agreed with this view. The earlier generation of them could not apply to it because of the historical circumstances in which they lived. The later generation of them suspended the principle deliberately on account of their belief that the more miraculous their portrayal of Prophet, the more faith this would engender among their audience. They assumed, quite naively, that the inclusion of these extraneous matters into his biography achieved a good purpose. Had they lived our day and seen how enemies of Islam had taken their arguments against Islam and its people, they would have followed the Quran more closely and agreed with al Ghazzali, Muhammad Abduh al Maraghi, and all other objective scholars. And had they livd our day and age, and witnessed how their stories have alienated many Muslim minds and hearts instead of confirming their faith, they would have satisfied with the indubitable profs and arguments of the Book of God.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who Authorized Bukhari?

By Layth (e-mail:

Imam Bukhari (died in 256H/870A.D), was well known for his compilation of Hadith/Sayings attributed to the prophet (peace be upon him). Al-Bukahri is considered by the majority of Muslims to be the 2nd source for Islam after the holy Book and is used by the majority to 'explain' the revelations of the Quran by showing what the prophet and his companions used to do/say.

When GOD says in His book: 'Obey GOD and obey the Messenger', the Muslims take GOD to be represented by the Quran and the Messenger to be represented by Bukhari and the Hadiths.

The prophet (peace be upon him) delivered to us the holy Quran by receiving its inspiration for many years.

"Say, 'Whose testimony is the greatest?' Say, 'GOD's. He is the witness between me and you that this Quran has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches. Indeed, you bear witness that there are other gods beside GOD.' Say, 'I do not testify as you do; there is only one god, and I disown your idolatry.' (6:19)

Some of the people around the prophet at the time of revelation were very disturbed by the words of the Quran and even asked the prophet to bring them sayings 'other' than the book:

"When our revelations are recited to them, those who do not expect to meet us say, 'Bring a Quran other than this, or change it!' Say, 'I cannot possibly change it on my own. I simply follow what is revealed to me. I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the retribution of an awesome day.' (10:15)

Yet, the prophet could not help these people by changing the words of the Quran to suite their desires...he could only deliver the message as it was inspired to him and to them, for the Quran is a book unlike any other:

"Say: If men and jinn should combine together to bring the like of this Quran, they could not bring the like of it, though some of them were aiders of others. " (17:88)

So, when the people of the time listened to the words 'obey GOD & obey the Messenger', they understood that the words of GOD were being revealed through the person of the Messenger, and that to accept and obey these words was to obey and accept GOD Himself!.

After all, the words of GOD were unlike anything they had heard of before...

"When you read the Quran, we place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier. We place shields around their minds, to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears. And when you preach your Lord, using the Quran alone, they run away in aversion." (17:45-46)

After the death of the prophet (peace be upon him), the people who had fought his message and the words of GOD saw that this was a 'no win' situation for them, and that the words of GOD would capture the hearts of every believing man and women filling them with justice, equality, tolerance, peace, and freedom.

Yet, even with the spreading of the message, GOD had predicted the inevitable:

"We have permitted the enemies of every prophet - human and alien devils - to inspire to each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such fabrications, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions. " (6:112-113)

Enter the 'Hadith' collectors and narrators...

These were people who could not be satisfied with the words of GOD Alone and were searching for new gods to replace those that Islam had destroyed.

Bukhari was one such person...

Being born 200 years after the prophet's death (peace be upon him), Bukhari went to perform a task that none of the native Arabs had dared to do...He collected the Hadiths under the guise of 'complementing' the Quran, when in reality his true mission was to undermine and destroy its message with those of his masters!.

Just like Paul (not Jesus) is the father of today's Christianity, so it is that Bukhari (and not the prophet) is the true head of what we call 'Islam' in its present form!.

It is time for Muslims to WAKE-UP and realize that their religion has been hijacked for the last 1,000 years by the enemies of the prophet, and that tyrannical and brutal regimes are a model image of what Bukhari and his colleagues had intended for Islam...They could not destroy the Quran, but they found another way to distort GOD's great message to mankind.

Will we continue to propagate these lies?.

Or will we take a stand against the idols that wish to discredit GOD & His Messenger's words?.

Below is a sample of what GOD's enemies have been propagating:

Narrated Hudayfh Ibn al-Yaman: Prophet said: "There will come rulers after me who do not guide to my guidance and do not practice my Sunnah, and the hearts of some them are the hearts of Satans but they are in the body of human." I said: "What should we do at that time?" Prophet (PBUH) said: "You should just listen to them and obey those rulers. No matter if the hurt you and take your wealth, you should follow them and obey them."

Reference: Sahih Muslim, Chapter of al-Imaarah (chapter 33 for the Arabic version), Section of necessity of joining the majority, 1980 Edition, Arabic version (Saudi Arabia), v3, p1476, Tradition #52.

Beware that our prophet's complaint on judgment day does not include you:

"And the messenger said, 'My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.' (25:30)


Why the row over the Anti-Hadith but silence over Quran illiteracy?

"excerpts from "Open Letter To The Nation’s Leaders And Intellectuals" written by Dr. Kassim Ahmad from Malaysia."

  • The time may have come for us to do a final reckoning with ourselves, our people, and the international community. Never in the history of mankind have we faced such total collapse as we do today.... Where has morality gone? Where on the face of this earth is a group or groups of moral human beings?... There is a limit to human endurance of suffering without protest; that limit has been passed!
  • When a group of our people in Malaysia wants to bring back the Quran to the hearts of the populace today, this is the significance and the implication. For a thousand years, Muslims have strayed so far away from God’s teachings and lived in such ignorance that they are powerless to destroy the evil perpetrated before their eyes. Western civilization too has strayed far away from the teachings of the prophets, including Moses and Jesus.... Both East and West must return to God’s teachings, particularly the Quran, His final, complete, perfect, and detailed scripture.
  • Alas, when Jema'ah Al-Quran Malaysia (Quranic Society of Malaysia or JAM) was formed precisely for this mission, a number of our leaders and intellectuals leapt up and protested. "Anti-Hadith group! Anti-Hadith group!" they screamed in accusation. What? Bringing the Quran to the people so that they would understand, this is anti-hadith? So, letting the people remain Quran illiterate, as in the past five hundred years in Malaysia, is acceptable?
  • I write this open letter to the nation’s leaders and intellectuals in all communities in the hope that we can study this matter calmly and rationally, without hurling accusations and threats and creating an atmosphere of animosity and tension. It is with a sense of responsibility and humility that I ask this, for it is not a matter involving religious ritual, but one of life and death for our people.
  • In 1986, this writer published a book, Hadis - Satu Penilaian Semula (its English translation, Prophetic Traditions, A Re-evaluation will also be published, God willing) with the intention stated above. Many of the hadith compiled by Bukhari, Muslim and others that we use today, according to this writer’s study, are in conflict with the teachings of the Quran. I give instances in three areas:
  • One, adulation of or unquestioning acceptance of the teachings of a leader. Since this principle was instilled, Muslims have feared others besides God; they have been afraid to question leaders. Hence they became slaves of the leaders, whereas the Quran exhorts us to free ourselves of all forms of subservience, except to the One God....
  • Two, prohibiting the use of the rational mind. Generally, Muslims are taught not to use their minds in religious matters. This teaching is spread through some false hadith. Purportedly, the use of the mind in religious matters would lead us astray. If the mind may not be used in religious matters, why may it be used in other matters? Are religious and secular matters to be kept separate? Indeed, this is what has paralyzed the intellects of Muslims in comparison with others. The minds of Muslims have been dead for a thousand years, killed by these false hadith. On the contrary, the teaching of the Quran give the mind a noble place. God deems human beings who do not use their minds worse than animals! (7:179) God bars those who do not use their minds from the fold of the faithful. (10:100)
  • Three, suppression of creativity. It is evident that for a long time, Muslims have not been creative. Since the thirteenth century when Islamic civilization began to decline, modern scientific discoveries and technological inventions have been made by others, particularly those who hold that human beings may know and may create progress. In the early days, Muslims were highly creative because they adhered to the Quran’s dynamic teachings, which urge Muslims to work and strive for success in this world and the next. But since they turned to the teachings of the hadith, their creativity declined, for these false hadith teach resignation to taqdir (divine pre-destination) or fatalism. Purportedly, good and evil are from God. The Malay proverb, "If you are fated to gain a cupak (a small measure of rice) you will not gain a gantang (a big measure of rice)," reflects this world-view.
  • All three teachings from certain false hadith are clearly in conflict with teachings in the Quran. The Islamic education system from the village pondok (rural religious seminary) right up to the Azhar university, based on rote learning and unquestioning acceptance, teaches that hadith cannot possibly be in conflict with the Quran. This would be true of hadith that are really from the Prophet. But history tells us that the hadith compilations by Bukhari and others were made between 200 and 250 years after the Prophet’s death. These compilations are the responsibility of Bukhari and others, not of the Prophet. The Prophet’s responsibility as God’s messenger was to convey the Quran....
  • Some religious leaders label as apostates those who adhere to the Quran, accusing them of being anti-hadith. According to certain hadith, apostates are punished by being put to death. Are they not aware that leaders of Christian Church during the Middle Ages in Europe also put to death apostates from Christianity? Thus, this is not punishment under God’s law, but one from the age of ignorance which entered the hadith through the Torah (Old Testament), which had been tampered with. (Refer to Deut. 13:5-10) Do our people know that according to the teachings of the Quran, one is given full freedom to choose one's religion? Thus, killing someone for religion is totally forbidden by God and is a great sin.
  • The study of the hadith has been developed into a complex one in Islam from the 9th to the 15th century. The early hadith scholars established a method of sifting out the weak hadith and retaining only the genuine ones. However, we must realize that knowledge develops, and one of the conditions for development is freedom to criticize. No philosopher, scientist or scholar is free of weaknesses, and one of the ways of overcoming weaknesses is through scientific criticism. We have seen the weaknesses of the method used by the early hadith scholars in the existence of many hadith which are in conflict with the Quran in Sahih Bukhari (Bukhari’s compilation of hadith that are regarded as genuine) and others.
  • Now we need to review the definition of sahih or authentic hadith. Does it mean confirmed as genuine only on the basis of isnad (chain of narrators) or also on the basis of matan (meaning of text)? Between isnad and matan, which is the more important? As we are talking about the sayings and doings of the Prophet, the term sahih must be based on matan which is in line with the Quran, for the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad could not possibly be in conflict with the teaching of the Quran.
  • It is clear why we need to do a re-evaluation. Every Muslim believes in the Quran and puts it above all other teachings. Our problem is the Quran-illiteracy of Muslims whose language is not Arabic, and of Arab Muslims whose language is Arabic. They do not know which of the hadith taught to them are in conflict with the teachings of the Quran and which are not. Many false teachings have been slipped into the hadith by foes of Islam in those days (the Jews, the Christians, the Persians) to undermine Islam from within. If Muslims wish to be great again, and surely they do wish it, re-evaluating the hadith on the basis of the Quran and understanding and practicing the teachings of the Quran are unavoidable conditions.
  • Certainly, when this re-evaluation is carried out, certain changes and adjustments will need to be made in our beliefs and practices. As these changes are made to correct and improve, we need not fear making them. In fact, we should welcome them. What we should fear is going on practicing wrong traditions after knowing them to be so.
  • But these few changes and adjustments involve major matters:
  • One, we must reject adulation of leaders. We must bow only to God. All human beings are equal--none higher or lower than the other. This will rekindle the spirit of jihad (struggling in God’s cause) among Muslims....
  • Two, we must reject taqlid (un-questioning acceptance of human authority). We must use our minds to gain knowledge. We read all books, but critically. We learn from all teachers, but without forgetting our critical faculty. In this way, we shall inherit only the good from our ancestors; the bad we shall cast aside. Thus will the Islamic intellect blossom again.
  • Three, we must reject fatalism. Our fates as individuals and as a nation is shaped by ourselves, not by taqdir (divine predestination). The law is: those who strive will attain; those who do not strive will not. Man cannot know his capacity until he tries. The Omniscient God knows everything from beginning to end, but man does not know what God knows. This change will revive the creativity of Muslims; and science, philosophy, art and technology will bloom again in the Islamic world.
  • These are the three major changes we must make as individuals and as a people when we re-evaluate the hadith on the basis of the Quran and when we return to the Quran. Is this impossible? I think not. The best ways of making these changes can be discussed and decided by our leaders and intellectuals.
  • As we have seen, the anti-hadith allegations hurled at us are the result of ignorance or misunderstanding on the part of the people and a handful of leaders who fear for their position and authority. These can be overcome through sincere and fair discussion. We all declare ourselves to be Muslims. What, then, prevents us from holding talks to find an amicable solution based on truth? If both sides are sincere, adhere to the spirit of brotherhood among the faithful, and base the talks on the Quran, as God commands, there is no reason why we cannot solve this problem.
  • We have no intention of toppling the ulama (religious scholars or leaders) or wresting away their positions. We only want the Muslims, including the leaders and the intellectuals, in our country to adhere truly to the Quran.
  • Some claim that this problem need not be re-opened as it was solved long ago. These people are like ostriches, burying their heads in the sand and saying there is nothing to worry about since they can see nothing! Islamic communities all over the world as well as in our country are bogged down with problems they cannot overcome. Why? Because we live in darkness. How could we see in the dark? We need to get out of the darkness by using a bright torch. That torch is the Quran.
  • As I stated in the beginning of this letter, the time has come for Muslims and mankind in general to return to God’s teachings. Our society, both national and international, is hit by crisis after crisis; the only way we can overcome these is by returning to the teachings of the Omniscient God, i.e., the Quran. Such is the importance of the Quran to us and to the world.

Conspiracy Against the Quranic Text

Chapter From the book "Conspiracies against the Qur'an" by Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud)

"Nay but it (the Quran) is indeed a message of instruction. Therefore let whoso will, keep it in rememberance that it is in papers held in great honour, exalted (in dignity), kept pure and holy, (written) by the hands of scribes, honourable, pious and just." (80:11-16)

"It is for us to assemble it and to promulgate it. And when we have promulgated it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated). Nay more, it is for us to explain it." (75:17-19)

"We have without doubt, sent down the message and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption.)" (15:9)

"Or do they say, 'he has forged it'? Say: "Bring then a Sura like unto it, or call (to your aid) any one you can, besides God, if you are truthful." (10:38)

Certain aspects of the conspiracies against the Quran described in the previous pages require further elucidation in the light of the Quranic teachings. One such conspiracy, as stated earlier, was about the very words of the Quran. This was an attempt to shake the Muslim belief that the words of the Quran and their sequence remained unchanged since they were revealed to the last messenger of God. Thus a propaganda was let loose to the effect that Muhammad did not leave the Quran with his followers in its present form and that the words of the Quran have been changing during the first century A.H.: and that some of the verses which were originally present in the Quran are no more there; and that some of the verses that are now present in the Quranic text, have been abrogated: and that because Muhammad himself did not know reading and writing it is not certain if the scribes, to whom he dictated, took notes correctly.

The basis of the Islamic social order, is the conviction that the code of life we received through Muhammad and which was meant to channelise the human activities in the right direction, is from God and God alone. A slight deviation from this belief razes the whole structure of the Islamic social order to ground. We Muslims, also believe that revelation came to Moses and Jesus Christ, the messengers of God, which basically brought the same message as is given in the Quran; On the other hand, we believe that the Quran remains absolutely unaltered. From beginning to end, it is exactly the same as it was revealed to Muhammad. If any-body has the slightest doubt about it, it no more remains the basis of 'Deen' (the Islamic social order) with him. Thus the conspiracy to create doubts about the Quranic words and their sequence was most pernicious. Let us recall our earlier statement that the non-Arab nations, who inspite of their overwhelming material superiority could not stand against the Arabian Muslims in the battle-field, decided to change their strategy. They apparently came into the fold of Islam but in fact they used their conversion as a means to shake Muslim conviction in the Quranic truth. Thus they succeeded in introducing a belief that 'Deen' (Islamic social order) is contained not only inside the Quran but also outside it. So it became easy to change the entire concept of the basic teachings of the Quran. They took advantage of the Muslim's love and devotion to their Rasool and introduced the idea that the Ahadis attributed to him are at par with the Quran. Having done that, they based the information regarding the sequence and the mode of assemblage of the Quranic verses on Ahadis. This paved the way to forge statements about the Quranic words and their sequence, although Allah took upon Himself the safety of the Quran.

Now let us examine dispassionately if it is possible to hold such Ahadis as genuine. We shall first describe the relevant Ahadis and then examine in the light of the Quran how far these are true. There is a book entitled "Kitab al Masahif" , written by Hafiz Abu Bakr Abdullah Ibne-Abi Daud Suleman Ibe-e-Ashat Sajistani, in which all traditions dealing with the compilation of the Quran are collected. This is used as a standard book of reference in this respect. The Ahadis quoted below are taken from this book.

(Contradictory and fictitious traditions about the subject)

That the Quran was compiled not by the Rasool himself but by Zaid Bin Sabit under instructions from Hazart Abu Bakr Siddiq:

Tradition (1) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Zaid Bin Sabit, on his own authority - When Ahl-e-Yammama were murdered in large number s Abu Bakr Siddiq (1st caliph) sent for me (Zaid). Omar was also there. Abu Bakr Siddique said that Qarees (those who learn Quran by heart) have been murdered in an enormously large number and it is feared that the Quran shall become extinct. I would advise that the Quran be compiled early. I replied that how could I do a thing which the Rasool himself did not do. But they continued insisting upon it till I agreed. Thus I began a search for the Quranic verses written on places of paper, on stones, on dried leaves of date-palm and also searched for those people who had learnt it by heart, until only one verse, which the Rasool often used to recite, was left and that was also found later.

Tradition (2) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Urwa Ibn Zubair, on his own authority, that when a large number of Q'areez were murdered, Abu Bakr Siddiq feared the loss of the Quran. He thus asked Omar and Zaud bin Sabit to sit at the door of the mosque and collect the Quranic verses from anybody who could produce two witnesses each in support their being genuine.

Tradition (3) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Abd Khair, on his own authority, that he heard Hazrat Ali saying that blessed be Abu Bakr Siddiq who assembled the Quranic verses.

The Quran was assembled by Abu Bakr Siddiq himself and Zaid Bin S'abit had only a second reading on it:

Tradition (4) Imam Ibn Abi Daood, relates from S'alam and Kharja, on his own authority, that Abu Bakr Siddiq had assembled the Quran on papers himself and had requested Zaid Bin S'abit to have a second reading on it. Zaid refused but he agreed on the insistence of Omar. The scriptures thus compiled remained with Hazart Abu Bakr Siddiq till his death, the possession being succeeded by Omar till he died, and again by Hafsa (wife of the Rasool and daughter of Omar). Osman, when he became Caliph, sent for the scriptures but Hafsa first refused to part with but later agreed on the promise that they shall be returned to her. Thus Osman returned the scriptures after he got them copied. These remained with Hafsa until Marwan, in his time, got them burnt.

The compilation of the Quran started by Hazrat Omar (not by Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq) and completed by Osman (III Caliph).

Tradition (5) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Yahya bin Abdur Rahman bin Hatab that Omar (II Caliph), determined to assemble the Quran, ordered all those who kept with them the Quranic verses which were earlier collected by them from the Rasool, to produce such verses before him based on evidence of two witnesses each. Thus he gathered all those pieces of papers, stones, wooden plates and date-palm leaves on which the Quran was written. Omar left the task of compilation of the Quran incomplete when he died and it was thus taken over by Osman (III Caliph) who followed the routine of his predecessor. During this period Khazima Ibn S'abit challenged Osman that he had missed two verses and these were ultimately taken over.

Alleged Differences on the Quranic Text during the Caliphate of Osman-

Tradition (6) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Yazdi bi Moaviya, on his own authority, a story that Abu Musa Ash ari and Abdulla bin Masood read the following Quranic verse diffenently - One reading as "wa atimu ul hajja wal umrata lil bayt" and the other reading as "wa atimu ul hajja wal umrata lilah" (2:196)

Abdulla Bin Masood disagreed with the appointment of Zaid bin S'abit as the scribe of the Quran.

Tradition (7) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Ibrahim Nakhie, on his own authority that Osman ordered the destruction of all Quranic versions except his own. On this Abdullah bin Masood said, "O people! Hide the versions of the Quran that you posess because any-body who hides it, shall bring it along with him on the day of judgemnet."

Tradition (8) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Abdulla bin Atba that Abdulla bin Masood disagreed with the appointment of Zaid bin S'abit as the scribe of the Quran and said, "O believers! I am being kept away from the task of scribing the Quranic text and this responsibility is entrusted to a person who was not even born to his infidel father at the time of my coming into the fold of Islam.

Just imagine the type of behaviour attributed to the companions of the Rasool whom the Quran describes as "rahuma-u-baynahum" (48:29) kind and affectionate towards one another.

Tradition (9) Imam Ibn Daood relates from Ibn Shahab Zahri in conjunction with Ans Ibn Malik Ansari that when Syrian and Iraqi Muslims met each other in the battle of Azarbijan and Armenia, differences arose in the respective versions of the Quranic text that the two people rehearsed and there was a danger of conflict between them. Hazifa Ibn Aliman Informed Caliph Osman that he heard that differences are likely to arise amongst the Muslims, regarding the Quranic text, like the ones present amongst the Jews and Christians regarding their own scriptures. Osman got perturbed over it and sent for the script which was written by Zaid bin S'abit under instructions from Abu Bakr Siddiq and got it copied for circulation in various parts of the country. But when Marwan became the chief of Madina, he sent for the same script from Hafsa with the intention of burning it so as to avoid differences amongst the Muslims. Hafsa refused to hand over but the task of burning was completed after the death of Hafsa.

How was the Quran compiled during the days of Caliph Osman

Tradition (10) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates, on his own authority, from Ayub who related from Abu Qalaba, that during the period of caliphate of Osman teachers of Quran differed from each other in the Quranic text, and the differences were thus carried to the pupils, so much so that Muslims began to call each other infidels on account of these differences. Osman warned them against this practice and advised them to unite on one version. Thus on very difference that arose, Osman often sent for a certain person who, he remembered, had collected the disputed verse from the Rasool directly. And on occasions, when such a person was away at some far off place, Osman noted the preceding and the following verses, leaving blank space for the disputed verse, which was filled up on his arrival. After the task was completed. Osman ordered the destruction of all other versions except the one compiled by himself.

The readers may please keep an eye on the contradictory statements and the suspicions that are being created, one after the other, regarding the Quranic text.

Tradition (11) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Masaab Ibn Saad, on his own authority, that Osman felt concerned on the people expressing doubts on the Quranic text only after 13 years of the death of the Rasool. He thus ordered them to braing to him all that they possessed regarding the Quran. They brought pieces of papers and hides on which the Quran was written. After the lot was collected. Osman sat inside inviting men individually, each stating each stating on oath that the material produced by him was the one collected by him from the Rasool directly. After the completion of this task, he enquired as to who was the best scribe amongst them and who was the person who knew the Arabic language best? They named Zaid bin S'abit and Saeed bin 'Aas respectively. Osman, thus, ordered Saeed to dictate and Zaid to write it down. This completed version of the Quran was criculated amongst the people.

The sequence of the Quranic verses was set by Osman.

Tradition (12) Imam Ibn Daood Relates from Ibn Abbas, on his own authority that he pointed out to Osman as to why did he place Sura 'Baraat' with Sura 'Anfal'. Osman replied that he thought Sura 'baraat' was a part of Sura 'Anfal', and that is why he (Ibn Abbas) did not point it out during the life time of the Rasool that it was not a part of Sura 'Anfal'.

Tradition (13) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from Abdul A'ala bin Abdulla bin Abdulla bin 'Aamir Qarshi, on his own authority, that after the script was completed Osman complemented his people by saying, "You have done well but there are some linguistic mistakes left but these the Arabs can correct themselves."

How fantastic that even after this some mistakes were left which Osman ignored.

Tradition (14) Imam Ibn Abi Daood relates from 'Akrama Tai, in his own authority, that when the script, after compilation, was brought before Osman, he noticed certain mistakes in it and remarked that if the one who dictated was from Banu Hanzil tribe and the scribe was from Banu Saqif tribe, these mistakes would not have occurred.

Tradition (15) It is related from Saeed Ibn Jabeer that there are four words which are not correct in the Quran:

1- "As-sabi-oona" (5:69) 2- "wal muqeemina" (4:62) 3- "fa assadaqa wa akun min as saliheen" (63:10) 4- "inna hazzane la sahiraane" (20:13)

Tradition (16) Urwa said that when he pointed out to Hazrat Aisha (Wife of the Rasool) about the four mistakes pointed out above, she replied, "My nephew! It is the scribes who made these mistakes."

Tradition (17) Zubair Ibn Khalid asked Aban Ibn Osman about certain verse and he replied that it had been wrongly written by te scribes.

Tradition (18) Khalid Ibn Ays bin Sakhra Abi Aljaham relates that he read the script compiled by Osman and pointed out to him that it differs from the scripts possessed by the people of Madina at 12 different points. In order to remove this difficulty Osman got prepared copies of his own version for distribution, but this also could not serve the purpose because as Imam Ibn Abi Daood has mentioned, on his own authority, that even the scripts which were copied for despatching to different cities were different from each other at several hundred points. Not even that, Imam Ibn Abi Daood points out that these differences were present not only during the lifetime of the Rasool but even after that and that the present script of the Quran is the one finally corrected by Hajaj Ibn Yousaf who made amendments in Osman's script at eleven places.

In short, these traditions tell us that the present version of the Quran that we possess today was neither compiled by the Rasool nor by his companions but it is the one finally amended by Hajaj Ibn Yousuf about a century after the death of the Rasool. This was the period when traditions began to be recorded. The crux of the whole matter is that the conspiracy wants to assert that the Quranic text and the Ahadis are both at par with each other, as far as their care, recording and finalisation is concerned, and if the purity and authenticty of the traditions is doubtful, the same may be said about the Quranic text. The conspiracy wants to impress that the present Quranic text is not the one dictated by the Rasool himself but, rather, it is the one finally corrected by Hajaj Ibn Yousaf.

This is only a brief extract from the book "Kitab al Masahif" written by Abu Bakr Abdullah Ibn Abi Daood of Baghdad (230-316 A.H.) who was held in great esteem by the traditionalists, the people and the Government of Baghdad. How far the traditions quoted above vary and contradict each other is apparent. That the Quran was compiled by Zaid bin S'abit under instructions from Abu Bakr siddiq (1st Caliph); that Abu Bakr Siddiq assembled himself and Zaid bin S'abit had a second look over it; that the assemblage of te Quran was started by Omar (II Caliph) and completed by Osman (III Caliph); that it was assembled during the caliphate of Osman only, by Zaid bin S'abit; that the sequence of the Quranic verses was arranged by Osman himself and so on.

All these self-contradictory traditions are attributed to the companions of the Rasool who, according to the Quran, were the most truthful people. One can well imagine the poison these traditions can inject into the minds of the readers against the Quran and how much suspicion they can raise against its purity and integrity. If such traditions are relied upon there is no difference left between the Quran and the present versions of torah and Bible which we believe are not in their original forms as revealed to Moses and Jesus Christ respectively. On the basis of these traditions, the non-Muslim Orientalists ask us today to explain as to how could the Quran be called a safe and unaltered book. Thus a learrned orientalist, Arthur Jaffery has collected all such diverse and contradictory traditions regarding the compilation of the Quran in his book entitled, Material for the History of the text of the Quran. He has particularly mentioned that it may not be taken in the spirit that his book has been compiled by a non-Muslim. The authority for it, he said, is no less than the famous book "Kitab al Masahif". Thus he has tried to challenge our claim that the Quran we possess today is exactly the same that was revealed to Muhammad.

This particular conspiracy against the Quran by the non-Arabs is very unfortunate indeed but fortunately the Quran itself stands as a witness against it and is sufficient by itself to explode the myth of this conspiracy. Still more unfortunate is the fact that our Mulla is holding these traditions as a sacred trust. When it is said that such traditions cannot form part of the basis of our 'Deen' because they were not given to Muslims by the Rasool, in the form of a safely compiled book, the reply comes from Mulla that the same is the case with the Quran, so that the Ahadis and the Quran are at par with each other as far as their safety and integrity is concerned. But, on the other hand, the verses of the Quran are so explicit, so logical and so dynamic that no argument by Mulla or anybody else can stand against it.

Now let us examine how far the Quran itself throws light on the subject under discussion-

The Quran has laid great stress on writing. The permanent records of speech can be kept only in a written form because the spoken words when uttered are lost for ever like the breath which carried them. As the divine message was to spread far and wide through time and space, and the message was not carried to individual human beings, written speech formed the nucleus for te spread of human knowledge and even by other messengers of God long before him. How much emphasis the Quran laid on writing is apparent from the fact that the very first revelation the came to Muhammad was in the following words:

"Proclaim that your sustainer is the bestower of greatness; He Who taught the
use of Pen; taught man that which he knew not." (96:3-5)

Again it is said:

"We bring into evidence the pen and that which they write." (68:1)

How much importance the Quran gave to writing and how freely the writing of documents was in practice during the period of quranic revelation is apparent from the following verse;

"O you who believel when you deal with each other in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing." (2:282)

It is further said in the same verse:

"Disdain not to reduce in writing (you contract) for a specific period, whether it be small or big." (2:282)

It can readily be inferred from the above that when it is not allowed to leave in doubt the matters related to ordinary mutual transactions, how could the writing of the Quran, the final message for the guidance of mankind, be ignored. That is why the first revelation that came to Muhammad impressed upon him the importance of reducing the verbal message into writing.

About the non-believers the Quran says:

"Or is it that the unseen is in their hands, so that they can write it down." (68:47)

The verse points out that the unseen is not within the knowledge of non-believers otherwise they could have written it down for their own guidance or for the guidance of others, as was being done in the case of Quran.

Secondly it is far from expectation that Muhammad did not learn writing after the first revelation instructed him to do so. In fact it is clear from the verse that follows that he remained unlettered only as long as the revelation did not come to him:

qablihi min kita_biw wa la_ tahut tuhu_ biyaminika izal lar ta_bal mubtilu_n

"And you were not able to recite a book before this (revelation), nor were you able to transcribe one with your right hand: in that case indeed those who follow falsehood have doubted." (29:48)

The word in this verse is significant which means "before this revelation came." Thus the Quran has put the record straight that Muhammad could read and write after the start of revelation.

Next comes the Quranic evidence that Muhammad himself used to write the revealed verses which he then dictated to others. Thus it is said:

ak tatabaha_ fahiya tumla_ alaihi bukrataw wa asila

"And they (non-believers) say (these are) the tales of the ancients which he (Muhammad) has written down and which are dictated before him morning and evening." (25:5)

Here the word "aktatab" is significant which means "to take notes especially when a second person is dictating."

Moreover the practice of keeping written records of revelation started centuries before the Quran was revealed. To reduce the verbal divine message into writing was not a new thing to start with.

Thus the Quran says:

"Mankind was one single nation and God sent messengers with glad tiding and warnings and with them He sent the book in truth, to judge between people in matters they differed." (2:213)

"We sent our messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the book and the balance." (57:25)

"And when there came to them a messenger from God confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the book, threw away the book of God (Quran) behind their backs, as if it had been something they did not know." (2:101)

The holy Quran has used the word 'book' for itself at so many places. Scattered written sheets of paper are never called a book. A book is a treatise written on a number of sheets which are fastened together. After 'Sura Fateha' the opening chapter, the Quranic text begins with the following verse-

"Here is the book, in it there is no ambiguity, uncertainty or psychological complex. It is a guidance to those who save themselves from the consequences of going against the Divine laws." (2:1)

At hundreds of other places the Quran has called itself a book in different contexts. The Quran is a book which is a collection of various "Sura" chapters. Thus in support of the truth contained therein, the Quran challenges the vain-glorious opponents of Muhammad who doubted the revelation of the Quran and said that he (Muhammad) composed the verses himself, in the following words:

'Or do they say, "He forged it"? Say: "Bring then a Sura like onto it." (10:38)

"Or they may say, "He forged it". Say, "Bring you then ten Suras forged like unto it." (11:13)

Again it is repeated:

""Say: "If the whole of mankind both civilised and uncivilised were to gather together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support." (17:88)

Thus the whole world is challenged to produce a book like this and it has not been able to produce one. Its beauty, standard and purity is a proof by itself that it is a book revealed by Allah and compiled by one to whom it was revealed.

The Quran is a book which was not only written but also rehearsed side by side with its gradual descent. Thus it is said:

"Recite from the book what has been revealed to you." (29:45)

"And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the book of thy Rabb: None can change His words." (18:27)

But in spite of all this, when the non-believers persisted in their opposition to the Quran, they were questioned in the following words:

"Is it not enough for them that We have sent down to thee the book which is rehearsed to them?" (29:51)

Again it is said:

"Or have you a book through which you learn?" (68:37)

It clearly indicates that Quran is a book which was written and compiled side by side with its revelation and that Muhammad and his companions used to read the book. The non-believers were asked whether they also get a revelation like this and whether they also write it down and then rehearse as is done by Muhammad and his companions. This also indicates that the verses of the book had a regular order and sequence, so thay could be rehearsed by the Rasool and his followers.

The Quran was composed in the from of a book which was absolutely safe from corruption and invention:

"Furthermore I call to witness the location of the heavenly bodies and that indeed is a mighty witness if you but know that this is indeed the Quran, which benefits humanity by raising its stature without lowering its dignity, in a book well guarded which none shall touch (or be benefited) but those who are clean (in body, mind, thought and attention); a revelation from the Sustainer of the universe." (56:75-80)

The sociological laws given to mankind through the messengers of God are the reflections of the fundamental laws that govern the organization of all matter at all levels which indicates that the law-giving authority is One. The stars follow courses, exactly computed, which are controlled by laws that are immutable.

So are the laws contained in the holy Quran for the guidance of mankind immutable, and if followed, produce results which never change. Thus the Quran is preserved in the form of a book which lies absolutely safe since it was revealed. But only those people can be benefited by it who have a clean and unbiased mind, free from prejudice and fixed notions.

Material used by Muhammad for writing the Quran-

The Quran points out that the book, the exactness of which is compared above with the controlled movement of the stars, was recorded by Muhammad and his companions, not on places of stones, nor on date-palm leaves, nor on pices of bones but on parchment paper.

In the verses given below five things are produced as a witness to support the truth that the way of life followed by non-believers shall bring destruction, and one of these five things is the Quran written on parchment scroll. Thus it is said:

Wa kita_bim mastu_r Fir raq qim manshu_r Wal baitil ma mu_r Was saqfil marfu_Wal bahril masju_r In na aza_ba rab bika lawa_qi

"By the mount (of Revelation), by the book inscribed on parchment unfolded, by the much-frequented house (Kaba), by the canopy of outer space raised high, by the ocean filled with swell; Verity, the doom of thy Lord will indeed come to pass." (52:1-7)

So far we have learnt from the verses described above that the Quran was present with Muhammad in the form of a written book, in a specific order and sequence, and that is was written on a parchment scroll.

The holy Quran describes further the distinctive marks of the scribes who used to write the Quran in the presence of Muhammad. Thus it is said:

"Look! This Quran is indeed a message of instruction, therefore let whoso will keep it in remembrance that it is in papers held in great honour, exalted (in dignity), kept pure and holy, (written) by the hands of scribes, honourable, pious and just." (80:11-16)

It is abundantly clear from the above verses that the Quran was dictated, as soon as it is was revealed to Muhammad, to the scribes who were honourable, pious and just. Thus the question of any addition, alteration or invention does not arise. This process of dictation, from the original text kept by Muhammad himself, continued day and night. How could it be possible, otherwise, for a book to remain a code of life for all future generations of mankind.

The practice of learning the Quran by heart was prevalent during the days of Muhammad and still continues from the last 14 centuries:-

We learn from the above description that the Quran laid great stress on writing and that the Rasool and his companions were devoted to the practice of recording the revealed message. But if we cast a glance at the history of the world and the revolution that took place in the past, we learn how the great treasures of knowledge had been destroyed. The Christians had the Bible in written form. The Jews took pain keep the Torah well protected, so much so that a copy if it was kept locked up in a box which was held in great honour. But the invasion of Bakht Nasr and the onslaught of Romans deprived both the people of their sacred books for ever. Similarly the great Egyptian civilization was razed to the ground by the Greeks. Thus even to keep the record of knowledge in written form is not enough. It becomes still more safe if certain thing is also learned by heart in succession. Both these safeguards for the preservation of knowledge, combined together, assure the greatest measure of safety.

We noticed above the measures adopted by the Rasool and his companions for keeping the written record of the Quran. Now let us turn the other aspect i.e. the learning of the Quran by heart. The Rasool was intructed, in the very begining of the period of revelation, in the following words:

"O the creature of harmony and single mindedness in the ranks of your followers! Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night; half of it or a little less, or a little more and recite the Quran in slow well arranged and integrated stages (so as to enable your companions to follow closely its sequences, deep meaning, significance, beauty proportion.)" (73:1-4)

Though it was the Rasool who was given this instruction in particular, in fact it was meant for the whole Muslim community who faithfully followed this practice. But as the volume of the Quranic text gradully increased and at the same time the responsibilities for the establishment and maintenance of Islamic Social Order increased, it was no longer possible to recite the whole of the Quran every night. So the Divine instructions for the recitation of the Quran were modified. Thus it is said in the last verses of the above -said chapter:

"Your Cherisher and Sustainer knows that you stand forth (to prayer) nigh two - thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night and so does a party of your companions. But Allah apoints the measures of day and night, and he knows that you are unable to keep count thereof. So He has turned to you (in benevolence): read you, therefore, of the Quran as much as may be easy for you." (73:20)

But history tells us that the practice of recitation of the whole of the Quran in one night continued and stills continues especially during the holy month of Ramazan. The result is that the learning of the Quran by heart has remained the practice amongst the Muslims for the last fourteen centuries. The number of 'Haffaz' (those who learned the Quran by heart) has been and is by no means small in every part of the Muslim population all over the wold. Thus it is said:

"Nay, this Quran is a collection of explicit verses contained in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge." (29:49)

There is yet another aspect of the Quran worth mentioning. The sequence of the Quranic verses and their assemblage in the form of a book were instructed by Allah by means of revelation:

"Move not thy tongue (concerning the Quran) to make haste therewith. (Rest assure) it is for Us to assemble it and to promulgate it. And when We hve promulgated it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated). Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (and make it clear)." (75:16-19)

Here it is impressed upon the Rasool not to be impatient in reciting a message before the revelation is firmly grasped by him, because Allah took upon Himself the collection, the correct recital and the explanation of the Quran.

Now let us recount the facts gathered so far, from the Quran itself, regarding the safety of the Quran-

1. In the very first revelation to Muhammed, the importance of writing was impressed upon him, as a written document is much more authentic and beyond suspicion.

2. Muhammed remained unlettered only till the time revelation came to him.

3. After the start of revelation, Muhammed used to dictate the revealed verses to his companions immediately after they were revealed and this become a regular practice.

4. The Quran has called itself a book at scores of places and it is apparent that scattered leaves are not called a book.

5. The Quran is a collection of various chapters.

6. The copies of Quran were present with the Muslims during the lifeime of Muhammed and they used to read it by sight.

7. The material used for writing the Quran was large pieces of unfolded parchment.* (i)

8. The scribes to whom the Rasool dictated the Quranic verses were most honourable, and pious men of great integrity.

9. The Rasool and his companions used to recite the whole Quran every night which indicates that the words of the Quran had a regular sequence.

10. Men and woman learnt the Quran by heart and thus it was safety preserved in the memory of a vast number of Muslims during the lifetime of the Rasool.

11. Allah took upon Himself the assemblage, the correct recital and the explanation of the Quranic verses, by presenting a subject in various ways and different contexts.

Then comes the great proclamation:

"We have, without doubt, sent down the message and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)." (15:9)

Again it is said:

<..wa in nahu_ lakita_bun aziz-La_ yatihil ba_tilu mim baini yasaihi wa la_ min khalif tanzilum min hakimin hamid

"..Indeed it is a book of exalted power (whose prescribed way of life is bound to dominate). No falsehood can approach it, from before or behind it (i.e., openly or secretly). It is sent down by One full of wisdom and worthy of praise." (41:41-42)

Thus the Quranic text has been guarded eternally from corruptions, inventions and accretions, even if the whole world is bent upon destroying it.

The Quran as viewed by non-Muslim Historians-

It is an established fact that the Quran which we processes today is exactly what was revealed to the last messenger of God, Muhammed. This view is held not only by those who believe in the Quran but also by those who have scrutinised this aspect of the Quran purely from the research point of view. The famous orientalist Caroness Margaret Von Strein writes:-

"Though all the Divine scriptures were revealed by God yet the Quran is the only scripture which has not undergone even the slightest alteration and is safe in its original form."

Hortwig Horchfeld writes in his book entitled: New Researches into the Composition and Exegeses of the Quran-

"The research workers of the modern age agree on the point that the present version of the Quran is the exact copy if the original script which was written by Zaid Bin Sabit abd its text is exactly the same as was given by Muhammed".

It is stated Encyclopedia Britannica, under the heading of Quran:-

"All efforts of the European research workers to prove later additions in the Quranic text have proved absolutely futile."

Sir William Muir writes in his book titled, Life of Muhammed:-

"Otherwise all sorts of external and internal evidence in there to prove that we have exactly the same Quranic text which Muhammed gave (to his followers) and used himself."

That the Quran remained absolutely safe and unaltered, since it was revealed, is thus a proved fact admitted even by the non-Muslim research scholars.

Above-described is the direct evidence in support of the safety of the Quran, from the Quran itself and also the views of the non-Muslim research workers.

The characteristics of the Quran as a Book-

Next we shall describe some of the verses in which the Quran calls itself a 'book'. The object being to illustrate the various characteristics of the book and the degree of its excellence, so that a reader may be able to judge himself, whether a book of this calibre which was to serve as a guide to mankind for all times to come, could be in a uncared for on pieces of stones, bones and leaves etc., without being complied in a regualr and orderly manner by one who was not its recipient but also a deliverer and whose responsibility also included the establishment of a social order subject to the Divine message. Thus it is said:

"This Quran is not such as can ever be originated by anybody other than Allah; But it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and is a detailed code wherein there is no doubt that is from the sustainer of the worlds." (10:37)

<Tanzilul kita_bi la_ raiba fihi mir rab bil a_lamin. Am yaqu_lu_naf tara_r bal huwal haq qu mir rab bika litunzira qaumam ma_ ata_hum min nazirim min qablika la al lahum yahtadu_n

"This is the gradual and systematic descent of the book in which there is no doubt that it is from the One Who brings up the universe from the point of its origin to the point of its final destination. Or will they say, "He (Muhammad) has forged it? Nay it is the finally established truth from the sustainer." (32:2-3)

The word "Tanzeel" in the verse significant. It means to place things in an orderly manner and in appropriate place respectively. It indicates that revelation of the Quran is not a subjective thing. It is not the product of Rasool's brain. But it was given to him objectively. It is not a thing that was discovered but, on the other hand, it was revealed. The word "Tanzeel" has occurred at so many other places in the Quran. As for example:

"The gradual and systematic descent of this book is from Allah power and wisdom are boundless." (39:1,45:2,46:2)

"A book which We have revealed unto thee, that it might lead mankind out of the depths of darkness into light so as to put them on the way planned by their Sustainer who is exalted in power and worthy of all praise." (14:1)

"And We sent down the book to thee for the express purpose that thou should make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and pattern of nourishment to those who believe." (16:64)

At several other places the Quran has been called, "Kitab un mubeen". A word with the root ("B"-"Y"-"N" ) which means 'to disclose what is hidden', To make things manifest and explicit. It is opposite of the word "katmun" which means 'to hide'. Thus the Quran is a book, a code of life, which discloses hidden realities.

"These are the verses of the book, the Quran that expresses itself clearly and explicity." (15:1, 27:1)

"These are the verses of the book that is explicit.

"We swear by the book that is explicit. (43:2, 44:2)

The Quran has been called "Kitab bil Haqq" which means it is a finally proved and established truth, a reality that cannot be challenged, a constructive code of life.

"That is because Allah sent the book with a finally proved and established truth gradually and orderly, (2:176)

"He has sent down to thee, step by step, the book with the reality that cannot be challenged, (3:3)

We have gradually sent down the constructive book,

"These are the signs from the book which has been sent down to thee from thy sustainer as a finally proved and established truth

The code of life given in the Quran has been called "Mubarak" A word with the root ("B"-"R"-"K") which means, "Preservation, stability, growth, development and manifestation." The word is characteristic of the phenomena relate to the origin of life on the earth. Thus it said:

"Here is the book, a code of life which We have gradually revealed to promote preservation, stability, development and manifestation of human potentialities (6:155)

"Here is the book which We have revealed to thee, providing preservation, stability, development and manifestation to human potentialities,

"This is the book whose verses are explained in detail (so that there remains no ambiguity); a Quran whose language is clear and explicit for men of knowledge." (41:3)

"Shall I seek for judge other than God? When it is He Who has sent unto you the book explained in detail." (6:114)

"We have explained to mankind by displaying different aspects of things in the Quran with every kind of similitude." (18:54)

"Allah has revealed the message from time in the from of a book such a way that it has reached its height in balance and proportion. It is consistent with itself (yet) repeating (its teaching displaying its various aspects)." (39:23)

The Quran is not a book which contains imaginary descriptions. It is rather a code of life.

"We have not instructed (Muhammad) in poetry (false, and imaginary descriptions). Nor does it suit a person (who has come with a revolutionary message). This is no less than a code of life and a Quran that makes things manifest and explicit." (39:69)

The Quran has been called "Kitab in Hakeem" A word with the root ("H"-"K"-"M") which means, "To harness, To place a thing in proper perspective and exact proportion."

Thus it is said:


"These are the verses of the book which places things (related to human problems) in their proper position and provide them the exact proportion." (10:1)

"These are the verses of the book which harnesses the human activities in the right direction and provides guidance and pattern to those who lead a life of balance and proportion." (31:2-3)

"This is the book the laws of which are based on permanent values, (11:1)

The Quran is the complete and the final code of life revealed by Allah. It provides guidance for the development of human personality as well as the smooth running of the human society as truly today as it did 1400 years ago and it shall remain as such for all times to come. Anything constructive that we find in the human world today is in consonance with this code; and anything positive, constructive and lasting, which man is in search of, shall be available from this very source. Anything repugnant to this code of life is bound to be negative. Destructive and pershable. Humanity is bound to adopt this code of life, may be willingly or after trails and errors:

"wa innahu la Kitabun Aziz"

"And indeed it is a book whose code of life is bound to dominate." (41:41)

Now let the reader judge for himself. Is it not fantastic to allege that the Quran, after it was revealed, was left uncared for, for a century or so, in a haphazard manner, scattered on pieces of stones, bones and leaves etc. Is it necessary to seek the help of the intriguers, conspirators and the Muslim priests to find out how and by whom the Quran was compiled in the form of a book? In the words of the Quran itself-

(1) It is not a forged book.

(2) It is a confirmation of the revelation which went before it and is a criterion of differentiation between right and wrong.

(3) It places things related to human problems in an orderly manner, in correct perspective and in exact proportion.

(4) It is a book which discloses hidden realities of life.

(5) It is a constructive book.

(6) It is a book whose code of life promotes preservation, stability, growth and manifestation of human personality as well as society.

(7) It is a book which explains itself.

(8) It is not poetry (false, futile, and imaginary description).

(9) It is a book whose laws are based on permanent values.

Can a revealed book of this standard which, according to the Quran itself, was dictated gradually and in bits, simultaneous with its revelation, to the most honourable and pious scribes who were men of great integrity: and then copied, learnt by heart and rehearsed daily by a large number of believers, and whose safety Allah took upon Himself, be said to have been left uncared for?

* (i) "Incidentally a friend of mine, who just had a glimpse of the proof of this chapter while under print, brought to my notice that a Christian Missionary often poses a question, "Where is that parchment paper, on which the Quran was dicated by Muhammed to his scribes?" I explained to him that after the publication of this book of mine, the manuscript on the writing of which I have put in great labour, shall lose its importance. After a few years probably I may not be able to find it out myself. Similarly after the Quran got circulated far and wide, through writing and through the memory of thousands of those who learnt it by heart in the presence of the Rasool, the preservation of the original parchment paper remained no more a matter of great significance. Moreover the companions of the Rasool being men of action, became more absorbed in putting the Quran into action, aftr they grasped it firmly in their memory as well as in a written form; and after the great proclamation the like of which, the world has never heard of:

"We have without doubt sent down the message and We will assuredly guard it." (15:9)

The material world is destructible but not the words of the Quran. After 1400 years, today, there is not a single copy of the Quran which is different from the other even in a small dot; and there is an uproar in the Muslim world if somebody recites or writes down a word of the Quran in a different way. I counter-pose the question, "Is that the case with the Bible or any other revealed book?" Such frivolous objections against the Quran are not new ones. Non-believers raised such objections even during the lifetime of the Rasool. Along with their ridiculous preconditions for the acceptance of the Quranic truth, such as:

"We shall not believe in thee until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth; or until thou have a garden of date-trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst carrying abundant water; or thou cause the sky to fall into pieces, as thou say shall happen against us; or thou bring God and angels before us face to face; or thou have a house adorned with gold; or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us (from above) a book that we can read." (17:90-93)

The above-said question raise by the Christian missionary is not an endeavour to find out the reality but is only a manifestation of the perverted mental outlook.

Note: The book, "Conspiracies against the Qur'an" by Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud" is available from Dost Associates, Al-Kareem Market, Urdu Bazar, Lahore 54000, Pakistan Tel/Fax: (92-42) 7122981, E-mail:,



Abdelouahed ELKEZIZ
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
October 2003

In the recent turn of events happening on the world stage the ummah has again come under the criticism and the scrutiny of the world in general and the West in particular.

After the tragic attacks of the September 11, 2001 the President of the United States Mr George Bush gave a televised speech where he chose to address the Muslim world directly. There was no accusation made against the Muslims of the world but it was clear that Mr Bush did not address any other faith or religion in his address. Then the call to be "either with us or you are against us" was made which sounded more of a threat and again aimed at the ummah.

After the event of the September 11th, there has been a very resurgent interest in Islam and the Muslim ummah but unfortunately not in a positive manner. There is a great interest now among the West and the world at large to look at Islam with a view to pinpoint at what is wrong with the Muslims.

The recent comment by the American Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Lieutenant General William G Boykins that the Muslims are worshippers of idols and that Muslims are violent terrorists only highlights the real feelings and attitudes of the Christian West towards the ummah.

I would like to take this opportunity to address the West and the whole world directly and provide some explanation which may help to allay the fears of the West. The gist of my message is that the ummah of today shares a common heritage with the Western world. And when I say the Western world I mean that part of the world which derives its philosophy from the Christian religion and the teachings of the Bible and the Scriptures.

Though it may not be fashionable to associate religion with anything in the West today, nevertheless the idea of Christian values, Christian virtues and Christian civilization is not fully out of vogue yet in the West.

I have chosen to call this message 'A Common Heritage: The Christian Kingdom of Saudi Arabia'. I must insist that I mean no disrespect to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or to any one else whether Muslim or Christian but merely to show that many of our beliefs and accepted teachings are from a common heritage. There is more that connects the largely Christian West and the Muslim ummah together than sets us apart.

The ?Muslim ummah? is also practicing Christian beliefs but derived largely from the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Christians and the West need not worry about "reactionary" Islam or now the more in vogue "terrorist Islam".

The West can and should actually embrace their brethren in the Muslim ummah and welcome us as brothers in faith. The religion practiced as Islam today has evolved much from the time of the Prophet Mohamed and it has changed a lot along the way to reach the shape it is now. In the beginning there was a very simple Islam that was revealed to the Prophet which was sufficiently encapsulated in just one book which is the Quran. But due to the close and very congenial relations between the early Muslims and the old Christians many acceptable beliefs from Christianity have been added to Islam.

Today what is often considered as part of Islam like the covering of the head for women, which has become a point of much discussion in the West, is actually not found in the Muslim holy book the Quran. It is therefore not part of the original teachings of the Prophet Mohamed. Rather it is taken from the Christian Bible and incorporated into the religion because we considered it as an acceptable belief.

Similarly many of the beliefs that are considered Islamic are actually derived from the Jewish scriptures and Christian scriptures. This happened after the time of the Prophet Mohamed. This is simply because after the Prophet Mohamed many Muslim scholars were converts from Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Religion was not used to divide but instead the scholars and doctors sought to seek common grounds between them. Hence they were allowed to incorporate their old beliefs from Christianity and Judaism into Islam. To such an extent that the practiced ?Islam? of today is often a verbatim manifestation of the Christian Bible and the Jewish scripture. None of these Biblical teachings were known to the Prophet Mohamed and they cannot be found in the Quran at all but I am happy to tell you that the scholars of Islam are unanimous in accepting these beliefs as part of our religion today.

Therefore our practices like the covering of the head for women should not be contentious at all. Other than the head covering for women, our other practices like ....

- circumcision of males
- punishment of stoning to death for adultery
- punishment of stoning to death for apostasy
- wearing of beards for men
- dietary prohibition of many types of food
- belief of displaying holy writings on the wall
- belief that woman is created from man
- collection of religious tithes or zakat
- injunction against graven images like statutes, sculptures, human and
animal life forms
- religious injunction that menstruating women are spiritually unclean
- ritualized blessing of "Amen" said in the mosques
- concept of "aqedah" as faith
- animal sacrifice "aqeqah" for the birth of children
- celebration of the festival of Eid at the end of Ramadan

.... are all derived from the Christian and Jewish scriptures. This list is only the beginning. It is not exhaustive. These beliefs are not found anywhere in the Quran which is in fact the earliest and only teaching of the Prophet Muhammad. But these teachings can be found in very exact detail in the Christian Bible and the Jewish scriptures.

The Christian West should therefore credit it to the great tolerance and absorption of the early scholars and generations of the Muslim ummah, many of whom were converts from Christianity and Judaism, that they were able to bring with them a vast spectrum of Christian and Jewish beliefs which were accepted and are practiced by Muslims as part of Islam today. Therefore there is no need for the Christian West or the Judeo-Christian world to be apprehensive about Islam.

As the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) I would like to take this opportunity to enlighten the Christian West and the Muslim ummah as well about our common heritage that should bind us together instead of dividing us.

I would like to begin with the issue of the wearing of the head covering for women. In light of the post September 11th events, this issue has been frequently highlighted in the Western media involving Muslim schoolgirls prohibited from wearing the head covering in France and elsewhere.


As I mentioned before the wearing of the head covering for women is not part of the Prophet?s teachings and is not found in the Quran. It is a belief and a practice that was taken by the early Muslim scholars from the Christian Bible. Again this clearly shows the great tolerance and acceptance of the Muslim scholars and the Muslim ummah towards the teachings taken from the Christian Bible.

The wearing of the head covering for women is from the Bible, 1st Corinthians, chapter 11 :

Revised Standard Version

[1Cor 11:5] but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head- it is the same as if her head were shaven.

[1Cor 11:6] For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil.

[1Cor 11:10] That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels.

[1Cor 11:13] Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

So the commandment for a woman to cover her head is in the Bible. This belief has seeped into the Muslim belief and has now become part and parcel of the practice of Islam today. The West has no problem with Catholicism putting its nuns in head cover. Surely Mother Theresa would not be considered a terrorist on account of her nun's habit. In Europe today Catholic schools still encourage young girls to take up the wearing of the Catholic head cover.

Unfortunately under the guise of modernity, a vast majority of Christians themselves today are not following the teachings of the Bible - the large majority of Christian women do not cover the head. Hence it is the Muslim ummah who are very good Christians because they still uphold these Bible teachings. As I have said the covering of the head for women is not found in the Quran.


Sunni and Shia ?Muslims? believe that circumcision is a part of their belief and practice circumcision widely. The truth is God and the Prophet never asked the Muslims to circumcise anyone. God says that He made the human in a perfect shape:

[Koran : Chapter 40:64 ] "Allah it is Who appointed for you the earth for a dwelling-place and the sky for a canopy, and fashioned you and perfected your shapes, and hath provided you with good things. Such is Allah, your Lord. Then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!"

Indeed God has made us perfect - including the foreskin on the male. There is no need for the human to improve on God's creation - even as an option or an exercise of freewill.

But where does the Muslim belief in circumcision come from ? Once again the answer lies in the Bible. The Covenant of Circumcision in the Bible states.

[Gen 17:14.13] Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

[Gen 17:24.16] Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

This is the Covenant of Circumcision. Later Muslims have found this belief acceptable and have incorporated it into their Muslim practises. Again this shows much similarity between Islam and Christianity and proves the tolerance of Islam in absorbing Christian teachings and values from the Bible.

It is the vogue now for the Christian West to raise the alarm about the so called 'Islamic State'. They should not really be afraid. Very often what these Islamic states are doing is implementing nothing more than what is already in the Christian Bible. Very often all the precepts and beliefs for the Islamic state particularly the Shariah Law is based almost entirely on the early Bible tecahings. They are not found in the Quran at all and therefore do not form part of the Prophet's teachings. An Islamic State under Shariah Law is an euphemism for a Biblical Theocracy. This reflects the tolerance of the Muslim faith in accepting and incorporating Biblical teachings into Islam.

Head cover for women, circumcision for converts and other beliefs are all ideas borrowed from the Christian Bible. What has happened is that over time the ideas from the Jewish and Christian theological texts has influenced the Muslim beliefs. In fact this event has also been foretold in the Quran :

[Al-Imran 3:100] O ye who believe! If ye obey a party of the people of the Book, they will make you disbelievers after your belief.

[Al-Imran 3:101] How can ye disbelieve, when it is ye unto whom Allah's revelations are recited, and His messenger is in your midst ? He who holdeth fast to Allah, he indeed is guided unto a right path.

God and the Prophet brought the Quran to the whole ummah. But it is a credit to the great tolerance and understanding of Islam that the Muslim ummah have picked up the Biblical teachings. The fervour to set up and Islamic State is nothing more than establishing the Biblical Theocracy. Let the Lord's Kingdom come.


The recent cases of stoning women to death for adultery in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are laws that are not from the Quran. God and the Prophet never taught the Muslims to stone anyone to death as part of the Shariah Law. The words Shariah Law are not even mentioned in the Quran. The truth is the law for stoning to death as punishment for adultery is taken from the Bible. It cannot be found in the Quran and does not form part of the Prophet's early teachings.

The Bible states explicitly:

[Deut 22:20 - 21] But if the thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has wrought folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father's house; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you.

This is also the Shariah Law of the Muslims today.

[Deut 22:22] "If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall purge the
evil from Israel.

[Deut 22:23 - 24] "If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you.

Hence the law of stoning people to death is Biblical which has been accepted by the Muslims who came after the Prophet as evidence of a great tolerance in Islam for absorbing and upholding Biblical teachings. The Christian West should not hold the Muslim ummah in disgust for upholding Biblical laws.

[Lev 20:10] "If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.

This is Biblical too. The Shariah Laws of Islam come from the Bible. What does the Quran say ?

[an-Nur 24:2] The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.

Indeed the Quran prescribes a punishment for adultery. But the punishment meted out is a scourge of 100 lashes. The Quran remains silent on the mode and intensity and leaves it to the good judgement of the future generations of mankind.


The United Nations Charter on Human Rights guarantees the freedom of religion. This right is also guaranteed in the Quran. God and the Prophet guarantee all humans that they have the right to believe or disbelieve as they choose. No man has the right to deny anyone his right to freedom of religion. But the human will be held accountable for whatever he chooses to believe.

The Biblical teachings however say that anyone who blasphemes or becomes an apostate from his faith must be punished with death. The following is clear from the Bible:

Leviticus 24:16

And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, [and] all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name [of the LORD], shall be put to death.

Included among those who must be put to death are those who bring teachings contrary to the accepted faith or who promote changing the religion. This would include the deviants. The Bible punishes them with death as follows:

Deuteronomy 13:5

And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn [you] away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Deuteronomy 13:6

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

Deuteronomy 13:7
[Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth;

Deuteronomy 13:8
Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

Deuteronomy 13:9
But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

Deuteronomy 13:10
And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Again it is the great tolerance and flexible nature of Islam today that these Biblical teachings have been absorbed and are practiced as part of the Islamic Shariah Law. In the Shariah Law of Islam, any Muslim who changes his religion, believes in other religions or even practises a faith different from the mainstream can be put to death. Under the Shariah Law anyone who changes his religion must be put to death. Although this is not part of the Prophet's teachings in the Quran, present day Muslims have absorbed such teachings from the Christian Bible to show their proximity to the Christian faith. Hence there should not be a cause for difference between Islam and the Christian West. We have much in common with each other.

The Prophet no doubt taught us in the Quran that anyone has the freedom to believe or disbelieve as they choose. The Quran is very clear.

[4.137] Surely (as for) those who believe then disbelieve, again believe and again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will not forgive them nor guide them in the (right) path.

Belief followed by disbelief followed by belief and then again followed by disbelief and further disbelief is a question of choice. God will decide what best to do with the individual and his choice of belief. There is no earthly punishmnet prescribed in the Quran for those who belief or disbelief.

The list is very long. I will not belabour you and take up too much of your valuable time. Just to give you a concise picture I will list some other beliefs that the Muslims practise today which are not found in the Quran but which are taken from the Christian Bible. Unfortunately because of the ignorance of the general ummah as well as the ordinary Christian people, these beliefs are manipulated by some clever people as excuses to create a rift between the West and Islam.


We all recall the huge hue and cry when the Taliban destroyed priceless ancient treasures in Bamiyan. Under the guise of religion, the Taliban insisted correctly that the statues of the Buddha were idols and had to be destroyed. The Taliban based their actions on Islamic beliefs that have actually been absorbed from the Christian Bible. The Prophet never taught Muslims in the Quran that statues must be destroyed. But it is Biblical teaching that graven images must be destroyed.

Deuteronomy 27
15 "Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol-a thing detestable to the LORD , the work of the craftsman's hands-and sets it up in secret."

Deuteronomy 4
16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.

The Muslims have absorbed these Biblical teachings which forbid the making of graven images from stone carvings and other forms. Again this reflects the immense capacity of Islam to tolerate and learn from the Christian Bible. The Quran does not say anywhere that statues or graven images are forbidden or that they must be destroyed. The Christian West has to take account of these truths and give the due credit to Islam for giving fresh life to the Biblical teachings. Islam's proximity to the Bible is much deeper than what the Christian West would like to acknowledge.


The Christian West has also been disturbed by the Islamic practise where men wear beards. After the event of the September 11th, many Muslim men with beards have been the subject of suspicion and summary searches by police and other law enforcement agencies throughout the West.

These are again not the teachings of the Prophet or the Quran. Instead the wearing of beards for men is taken again from the Christian Bible. Islam has deemed it fit that Muslim men should uphold this religious practise from the Bible. The Christian Bible makes it clear.

Leviticus 19
27 " 'Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

Leviticus 21
5 " 'Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies.

2 Samuel 10
5 When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, "Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back."

Hence the Taliban is not creating anything new when they insisted that men should wear beards. Such teachings are found in the Christian Bible. No doubt the Prophet and the Quran make no mention about the wearing of beards for men but it is the evolution of Islam after the Prophet that attests to Islam's greatness as a religion that has absorbed much from its neighbours, particularly the Christian Bible and the Jewish scriptures.

Muslim scholars over time have themselves debated if the Muslims should continue to uphold these Biblical teachings which are not found in the own Quran. Indeed they are bound by the restrictions in the Quran which are equally clear:

[Quran 2.120] And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.

The Muslims are told in the Quran that they should not follow the path of the Christians and the Jews. Despite such warning, it is to their great risk and adventurous tolerance that the Muslim scholars have decided to still accept and practise the teachings of the Christian Bible.

The Quran is explicit that the Muslims should not obey the Christians or the Jews:

[3.100] O you who believe! if you obey a party from among those who have been given the Book, they will turn you back as unbelievers after you have believed.

[3.101] But how can you disbelieve while it is you to whom the communications of Allah are

The risk in following the Christian Bible is compounded in the following teaching of the Quran:

[Quran 3.69] A party of the followers of the Book desire that they should lead you astray, and they lead not astray but themselves, and they do not perceive.

[Quran 3.70] O followers of the Book! Why do you disbelieve in the communications of Allah while you witness (them)?

[Quran 3.71] O followers of the Book! Why do you confound the truth with the falsehood and hide the truth while you know?

Despite such warnings, the Muslim scholars, in the interests of preserving harmony and peace with their Christian brothers and sisters have decided that the Biblical teachings are acceptable and should be closely upheld by good Muslims. Therefore the fear by the Christian West is misplaced and unfounded.

In conclusion and as the Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference which represents all the Muslim nations in the world, I would like to state that both Muslims and the Christian West should study and take cognisance of the vast area of similarity between the Muslim beliefs and Christian Biblical teachings.

In this age of high tensions, paranoia and fear of everything that is deemed Islamic, the Christian West should appreciate the fact that since a thousand years ago, the Muslim scholars have already shown a great tolerance towards Christianity by learning and absorbing many parts of the Christian Bible into their Islamic faith.

All the things that I have listed above that are taken from the Christian Bible cannot be found in the Muslim's own Quran. Even though the Quran has explicitly forbidden the Muslims from following anything in the Christian Bible the reality of everyday living and practical contacts with the Christians and the Jews have necessitated that Islam be flexible towards Biblical teachings.

This flexibility is evident in Islam until today. In this light I hope that all the Muslims all over the world will make the effort to show their Christian brothers the great amount of our Islamic faith that is drawn from the Christian Bible. At the same time I urge the Christian West too as well as the Jews to give Islam the due credit for basing much of its practical faith in their Christian Bible and Jewish scriptures. We have more that is common between us than actually divides us.