What they said about Islam & prophet Mohamed (pbuh)

What did some of the world greatest thinkers, writers, politicians and musicians say about Islam and prophet Muhammad (pbuh):

"People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same." Professor Jules Masserman

"Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason....When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt the only answer for me was the Qur'an and God had sent it to me." Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), former British pop star.

"I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today." George Bernard Shaw, THE GENUINE ISLAM, Vol. 1, No. 81936.

"The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue." --A.J. Toynbee, CIVILIZATION ON TRIAL, New York, 1948, p. 205.

"I have read the Sacred Scriptures of every religion; nowhere have I found what I encountered in Islam: perfection. The Holy Qur'an, compared to any other scripture I have read, is like the Sun compared to that of a match. I firmly believe that anybody who reads the Word of Allah with a mind that is not completely closed to Truth, will become a Muslim." Saifuddin Dirk Walter Mosig, U. S.A.

"The universal brotherhood of Islam, regardless of race, politics, color or country, has been brought home to me most keenly many times in my life -- and this is another feature which drew me towards the Faith." Col. Donald S. Rockwell, U.S.A. Poet, Critic and Author.

"It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’aan about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or 'Allah', because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of Allah." Professor Keith Moore , one of the world’s prominent scientists of anatomy and embryology. University of Toronto, Canada

Read more quotes here

Quran Manuscripts

The Quran is the most preserved Sacred Text amongst the world major religious texts. There exist numerous ancient manuscripts of the text of the Quran-some which date to the first century of Islam- all of which are identical (not similar but IDENTICAL).......

(article continues.... ) In addition to the written text, Muslims maintained a rigorous system of oral transmission, practiced not only by scholars, but also by thousands of lay people, who could recite the whole book from memory, down to the letters and accents. Wherever you go in the Islamic world, you can always find innumerable people who have memorised the whole Quran and have been taught the exact pronunciation of every word in the Book.
This oral tradition is unique to the Quran, as I did not come across non-Muslims who can recite their holy book from beginning to end from memory.

Even western scholars who were known for their animosity to Islam, acknowledge the fact that the Quran text read today is identical to the text recited by the Prophet and his companions.
I am providing a link to an article by Theodor Nöldeke, a fierce critic of Islam, but even he admits that the text we have today is the same as the one which existed 20 years (at most), after the death of Prophet Mohamed.

I will deal with his article in a separate post a sort of rebuttal to various charges and point to weaknesses in his arguments.

Details and photos of Quran manuscripts (including photo on main page of this blog are from website of professor Brannon Wheeler, a distinguished American scholar and expert on Islamic and Middle Eastern history.
more Quranic manuscripts can be found here

Muhammad Peace be upon him

The prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace be upon him was born in Mecca in 572 A.C.E.
He was 40 years old when he received the first Revelation from God, The Creator of heavens and earth, through the Angle Gabriel, who appeared to the Prophet in the Cave of Hira, located in a mountain in Mecca.
It was a habit of the Prophet to worship God in the Cave, away from the Idolatry environment which was prevailing in Mecca and the whole of Arabia at the time.

The following narration of the first encounter with the Angle Gabriel is extremely significant, and I will return to it again when discussing the Old Testament's prophecies concerning the Prophet of the Gentiles:....

In the Book of Bukhari, (1:1:3), Aisha, the Prophet's wife said:

("The commencement of the Divine Revelation to Allah's Messenger was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him.
He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.

The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied: "I do not know how to read.
The Prophet added, "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, 'I do not know how to read.' Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, 'I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?' Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said: , 'Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot'

The Quran: Words of GOD

There is only one book that says of itself, in no uncertain way, that it is purely composed of the literal "Words of God". This book is the Muslim holy book "The Quran". This book is read in the first person narrative with the speaker being God, exalted, .....

Read the following verses to get an idea of Quranic narrations:
(Quran [13: Thunder]: verse:1)
"Alif. Lam. Mim. Ra. These are verses of The Book. That which is revealed unto thee from thy Lord is the Truth, but most of mankind believe not.

(Quran [14: Abraham]: verse 1):
"Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad) that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of Praise."

Answering Theodor Nöldeke (1/2)

As promised, in my previous post, I will deal with points raised in the article by the harsh critic of Islam, Theodor Nöldeke.

An analysis of the background and motives of Nöldeke and others was written in a Cambridge University publication by Jane Dammen Mcauliffe of George Town University.

First, I will outline the major charges contained in the article and deal with them one by one. ......

The first charge is that the Quran contains within its texts discrepancies or different instructions and abrogations.
Now, discrepancies are not the same as abrogations. For any meaningful discussion of the matter, let us define both terms and explain what they mean before levelling accusations. I understand discrepancies as contradictory statements or verses speaking about the creation, the attributes of God, or the stories of previous prophets and people mentioned in the Quran. These statements are termed "Khabar" or "news" which means information about incidents that happened in the past or will happen in the future that are told to us by God in His own Words.

Now, I have not come across any one who pointed out accurately such a discrepancy in the Quran. Nöldeke himself fails to give any examples of these assumed discrepancies in his article.
Abrogations on the other hand are instructions and laws that have been changed by God at some point of time. Abrogations do exist in the Quran in a number of instances - the exact number is a matter of difference between Muslim and non Muslim scholars- but what most critics of Islam ignore, is the fact that abrogations do not in any way detract from the Divine source of the text. In fact, abrogations have occurred and are occurring throughout the history of mankind and in all revealed scriptures. I will give some examples to show that abrogations are simply a way in which God exercise his authority over his creation.

Detractors put forward the argument "How can the All Knowing, All Powerful God changes His mind about anything".
The Muslim doctrinal answer to the question is "If you believe in an All Knowing, All Powerful God, then do not object to His commands. submit to His will, and then try, and only try, to figure out the good that the new commands bring".

Now let us look at some instances of abrogations that occurred during the time of Moses and Jesus- Peace be upon them- and these are well documented in the respective scriptures.

Abrogations in the Jewish Bible:
  • In the Book of Exodus 32:7-14, it is said that the Lord said to Moses he will destroy his people for worshipping the calf, but after Moses prayed for them to be shown mercy, -Quote: "Yahweh repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people"

    This example is fact a discrepancy as well as an abrogation, since the word used to describe the Lord action in the Hebrew Bible and also in literal translations of the Greek Bible is "repented", indicating that God Almighty has "regretted" what he intended to do to his people. Some modern scribes have changed the translation of the word "repented" to "reconsidered" to hide the discrepancy.

  • Another example - again showing an abrogation and a discrepancy- is in Genesis :6, which states:
    "And the LORD repented that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
    So, according to this verse, the All Knowing God again repented an earlier deed.
A long list of inconsistencies in the Bible has been published by Donald Morgan.

Abrogations in the New Testament:
  • In the Book of Mathew 10:5-7, Jesus sends his disciples to the children of Israel, ordering them not to preach to the gentiles.
    (These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "5: Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6: Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7: As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near).
    This order is abrogated later on with Mathew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".
These examples of abrogations and inconsistencies are presented here, just to show that, abrogations are common in revealed scriptures-(though discrepancies are not and should not be present in any preserved revelation.)

//End of Part 1//

Melchizedek & the Dead Sea Scrolls

Melchizedek, a Messianic figure from the old testament is most probably a reference to the prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH). Many Christian scholars admit that the description of this great prophet does not point to Jesus, but rather, to another great and later day prophet who will banish idol worship. I have collected some resources on Melchizedek which can be seen in this article ...

The following quotation, from a piece by an American blogger, demonstrates the difficulties in classical interpretations which tend to associate the Melchizedek with Jesus:
"But what is Melchizedek Priesthood? Hebrews poses problems that scholars admit cannot be answered without more information. And now a new Dead Sea Scroll fragment makes it harder to argue that Melchizedek Priesthood is limited to Christ, for Melchizedek appears as a prominent latter-day figure, Elijah-like, with a continuing role in ushering in the day of "good tidings". (Read the full post containing this quotation)