The purpose with this blog is to expose the claim of modern Islamic apologists that the Qur'an is miracolous in its prediction of what they claim resembles modern science.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

A Response to the Muslim 'Hello' concerning the Qur'anic Plagiarizing of External Sources

This article is lengthy response to a 'Hello', a Muslim who has posted numerous rebuttals against me on this blog.

Unfortunately Hello resorts to insults of Christians and calls my articles poor and unscholarly, he also satisfies himself to heap up claim upon claim while he continually depends upon Islamic websites.

He even has the courage to contradict himself to suggest that I do not dare to respond back and if I do I will simply cite websites. As the reader will see, I dare to respond and my response is not depended upon websites.

Furthermore, Hello encourages me to utilize secular sources in my study of the Bible, which to his information, I have already done for years, however Hello laughs and despises the secular sources I have utilized upon the study of the Qur'an---yeah what type of a twisted mindset are we dealing with here.

(Hello has also challenged me to respond to a number of questions related to Bible integrity. I will respond to those elsewhere, I guess on the Apologetics blog, since this blog primarily focuses on the science in the Qur'an)

I would not say that Hello has written anything of significance, or at least anything that challenges the accuracy of my articles, hence my replies hardly require very detailed information.

Ok lets begin

Hello said...

Ok, can you name the Greek philosopher Muhammad(saw) interacted with? Can you produce a chapter like the Quran?

Hogan replies:

I never stated that a Greek Philosopher guided Muhammad in Qur’anic material, I quoted Bukhari one of your earliest and most reliable sources, in which a Christian who converted to Islam and helped Muhammad write the Qur’an later turned back to Christianity and stated that he and Muhammad fabricated the Qur’an together.

hello said...

“Greek philosophers guessed a lot of scientific details correctly–they anticipated atoms, other solar systems, evolution, the laws of thermodynamics, the rain cycle, you name it. That doesn’t make them supernaturally prescient…” I agree so when Darwin proposed the theory of evolution I suppose he was plagiarizing/borrowing from the Greeks? You need to re-asses your criticism"

Hogan replies:

You are absolutely right, they are not supernaturally revealed, and that is the main point of this blog that scientific discovery or guessing does not necessarily conclude divine influence. Furthermore, no, Darwin did not plagiarize the Greek philosphers, however the evolution theory was widely spread and considered in great details prior to Darwin and the era of Darwin and back to the fourteenth century included the Enlightenment Period and the Renaissance period, which were the revival of Greek thinking versus the Latin; many of the flourishing thoughts in Darwin’s days originated within this re-awakening of Greek philosophy.

Hello wrote:

Again produce a chapter like the Quran.

Hogan replies:

Sorry man, I do not read or write Arabic, exactly what logic are you following? Here we are arguing science and all you can ask me is to write a passage in Arabic language?

hello said...

You write
"Greek scientific ideas would also have been passed on to Muhammad by the Jewish community; in fact some of the scientific ideas of the Qur’an, both terminology and chronology, resemble the writings of the Talmud significantly/"

My response:

Babylonian Talmud & The Qur'an

There are only two places in Talmud where the story of Abraham and idols is mentioned:

1. When the wicked Nimrod cast our father Abraham into the fiery furnace, Gabriel said to the Holy One, blessed be He: "Sovereign of the Universe! Let me go down, cool it, and the deliver that righteous man from the fiery furnace.'" [Pesachim 118a]

2. Let Nimrod come and testify that Abraham did not (consent to) worship idols; [Avaodah Zarah 3a]

This is all that one reads in the Babylonian Talmud. The only similarity that one can see is that Abraham was saved from the fire, but there is no mention of the events leading unto the climax of the fire.

What is interesting is that there is no agreement between these "strikingly similar" sources concerning whether Abraham fled or was he put in to the fire.

Both Catena Severi and Jacob of Edessa's writings say that Terah and his family fled from Ur of Chaldees.

On the other hand, the Babylonian Talmud and Jerome's writings say that Abraham was put into the fire but was saved. Furthermore, what was it that Abraham refuse to worship? Was it the fire according to Jerome's version or was it the idols as mentioned in Catena Severi, the writings of Jacob of Edessa's and the Babylonian Talmud etc.?

In dept refutation to this absurd claim can be found here:

Hogan replies:

I do not want to move from the actual scientific purpose of this blog, there are a number of scientific statements found in the Qur’an that closely resemble the Talmud. For example, the seven heavens and the seven earths. The Qur’an refers to seven heavens and an equal number of earths (65: 12); this number follows in line with the Talmud; (see Aboth D ’Rabbi Nathan, chapter XXXVII, A, Cohen (ed.) The minor Tractates of the Talmud, Massektoth Ketannot, vol.2, London: The Soncino Press, 165, 185.)

Also consider the statement that everything in the universe is created in pairs and exists in pairs:

One the verse ‘Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one,’ the comment is made: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, ‘My children, everything that I created in the Universe is in pairs—e.g. heaven and earth, the sun and moon, Adam and Eve, this world and the World to Come; but I am one and alone in the Universe (Deut. R. II. 31)’ Dr. A. Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud, London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd: 1949: 4

Since Muhammad was surrounded by Jews and some of his followers were Jews, and so much of the Qur’an is Jewish it is not surprising that the authors of the Qur’an simply borrowed their ideas from the Jews...

hello said...

You mention

"The Bukhari indeed refers to a Christian convert to Islam, who helped narrating Muhammad revelations. Initially he left Islam and informed about his contribution to fabricate the Qur’an with Muhammad; Bukhari informs us that Allah caused him to die.["

Lets take a look at the hadith:

Narrated Anas:

There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat-al-Baqara and Al-Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet. Later on he returned to Christianity again and he used to say: "Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him." Then Allah caused him to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is the act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and took his body out of it because he had run away from them." They again dug the grave deeply for him, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is an act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and threw his body outside it, for he had run away from them." They dug the grave for him as deep as they could, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So they believed that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and had to leave him thrown (on the ground).

First of all He does not help Narrating, That is just an absurd claim. Second of all you refute yourself saying that he helped Muhammad saw to compose the Quran because the hadith translates he only wrote the revelations. Also the Quran was orally transmitted and Muhammad(saw) obviously memorized the Surat-al-Baqara and Al-Imran. Third he tries to take the credit when he returns to the christians and spreads his lies. Then he suffers a terrible faith. And if Muhammad(saw) fabricated the quran then i challenge you to produce a chapter like it.

Hogan replies:

Again, all Hello can do is to challenge me to write something in Arabic.

I don’t see how you have debunked my argument! Firstly, how do you know he did not help narrating and fabricating? Why is that an absurd claim? Do you think you have refuted this argument simply by calling it absurd, is that your argument?

Bukhari clarifies three things: this fellow was 1) closely associated with Muhammad; 2) wrote down the Qur’an; 3) claimed to have given the information to Muhammad.

So who am I to believe, the faction that fabricated such a bulk of material or a Christian who after adhering so closely to Muhammad actually waived Islam goodbye? In fact the Islamic source fails to clarify the accuracy of his claim, hence I am left with you, and you know nothing.

Furthermore, how do you know he only wrote revelations down, does the passage indicate that? No! This is what the passage says:

There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat-al-Baqara and Al-Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet.’

He read the information and the wrote the information!

I don’t see how your claim that the Qur’an was only oral refutes this argument. The very fact that he read the Suras and as he maintains: ‘Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him’ suggests that he and Muhammad together worded the material and that this Christian taught Muhammad the material, whether written or oral.

Also you claim that he simply took credit for the Qur’an---how do you know that? Why did he leave the prophet in the first place?

Also is it possible that he died due to assasination?

hello said...

Even classical polemicists such as J.M Rodwell and Alan Jones admit that the Prophet (P) was indeed illiterate.

Hogan replies:

I don’t get the point of your argument here. Firstly there are Muslims out there who do not believe that Muhammad was illiterate. But even if he was, it would hardly make him disfunctional anyway, many cultures applied memorization as a main method of preserving and passing on information. Particularly in educated circles memorization had been valued higher than literacy. Christians themselves practiced memorization so did the Jews. If you intend to claim that Muhammad was not able to deal with information due to his possible illiteracy, then you are approaching the matter with the highest ignorance.

Hello wrote:

You write:

These sects were connected to Christian factions to which science was greatly valued; who possessed schools which emphasised and propagated the Christian faith, including philosophy and science. Their contribution to translating literature e.g. into Syrian language and their knowledge was not only confined to monasteries but were transmitted to the communities."

First point:

Many scientific mistakes in the Bible are not copied over, such as World's creation, Noah Ark, World is Flat etc. If he copied over, how does he know which one is wrong and not to copy?

Hogan replies

Again I have no clue what you are on about! What do you mean by scientific mistakes in the Bible are not copied over? Exactly how does this claim fit into the context of our topic? And are you assuming that the Biblical creation account is wrong, are you saying that the earth and its heaven was not created in six days? Does not the Qur’an say the very same thing? Oh no it contradicts itself by 6 or 8 days. Are you referring to the light in verse 3? Exactly what is so mistaken about the passage? And what is the problem with the Ark of Noah? Do you doubt that God can send a global flood? And where does the Bible say that the earth is flat? If you are referring to the earth being spread out, then the same description is found in the Qur’an.

Hello wrote:

Muhammad recites the Qur'an for 22 years.

Whenever new verses are revealed, he immediately memorizes them and instructs the companions either to memorize or write down. Since he recites it, there is no 'editorial process', which means whatever being said cannot be taken back. Imagine the level of consistency that he has to maintain.

With over 600+ pages of verses over such long period, any mistake will be pointed out immediately by non-believers who are always denying him.

Hogan replies:

You are absolutely out of touch with your own religion and your own sources:

Narrated 'Abdullah: ... (Muhammad said) I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget remind me ... (Bukhari: volume 1, book 8, number 394, Khan)

Muhammad forgot and depended upon his followers to teach him, this actually happens several times in the Hadiths.

Even the Qur’an confirms that Muhammad forgot the Qur’an, yet the author of the Qur’an blamed this upon Allah himself:

By degrees shall we teach thee (Muhammad) to declare (the message), so thou shalt not forget, except as God wills ... (Sura 87:6-7, Yusuf Ali).

What is worse is, even the followers those assist and teach Muhammad began
forgetting the Qur’an:

Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, "Why does anyone of the people say, 'I have forgotten such-and-such Verses (of the Qur'an)?' He, in fact, is caused (by Allah) to forget." (Bukhari: volume 6, book 61, number 559, Khan)

Sahih Muslim confirms that Muhammad’s followers lost large portions of the Qur’an by failing to preserve it by memory:

It is recorded that 300 Qur’anic reciters forgot an entire chapter of the Qur’an, a chapter still missing (Muslim: book 5, number 2286)


It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said: "Let none of you say 'I have acquired the whole of the Qur'an'. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur'an has disappeared? Rather let him say 'I have acquired what has survived.'" (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.524).

The problem is, Gabrial sought to help Muhammad to remember the Qur’an while Allah made him forget it:

Fatima said: "The Prophet (saw) told me secretly, 'Gabriel used to recite the Qur'an to me and I to him once a year, but this year he recited the whole Qur'an with me twice. I don't think but that my death is approaching.'" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.485) (if Gabriel can’t help you remember who can).

In any case Gabrial failed to help Muhammad and Muhammad sought help from his own

Narrated 'Abdullah: ... (Muhammad said) I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget remind me ... (Bukhari: volume 1, book 8, number 394, Khan)

This only shows how fragile the early Islamic transmission was and that Muhammad and his followers totally failed to preserve it.

The situation was so bad that after the death of Muhammad the Muslims were left in utter chaos:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: Abu Bakr as-Siddiq sent for me when the people of Yamama had been killed. Then Abu Bakr said (to me): "You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle (saw). So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur'an and collect it (in one book)". By Allah! If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur'an. Then I said to Abu Bakr, "How will you do something which Allah's Apostle (saw) did not do?" Abu Bakr replied "By Allah, it is a good project". (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.477).

How could it be so difficult to collect the Qur’an if Muhammad and his followers had preserved it so effectively?

Hello wrote:

He didn't get any help.

Since he is the first Muslim, then nobody was there to help him. No-one was around him for the whole 22 years to assist him. Qur'an is in perfect Arabic language, so whoever taught him must be of Arabic mother-tongue with excellent knowledge in everything. So no proof of him getting outside help.

Hogan replies:

Hold it for a while, you are bring up such a loat of rubbish, desparate claims and speculation. Let assess your claims: you state that Muhammad had no one to assist him, we just looked at a passage in the Hadiths which stated that a Christian who had converted to Islam assisted him. Other Hadith passages actually reveal how Muhammad learned the Qur’an from others:

I said,"O Allah's Apostle, I wish we took the station of Abraham as our praying place (for some of our prayers). So came the Divine Inspiration: And take you (people) the station of Abraham as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers e.g. two Rakat of Tawaf of Ka'ba)". (Qur'an 2:125) Volume 6, Book 60, Number 117:

Seems as if Allah learned the Qur’an from human or that the Qur’an in heaven was influenced by human intelligence.

Narrated Al-Bara:
When the Verse:-- "Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home)" (4.95) was revealed, Allah Apostle called for Zaid who wrote it. In the meantime Ibn Um Maktum came and complained of his blindness, so Allah revealed: "Except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame..." etc.)

Seems that Allah forgot someone, or what?

Furthermore, Hello claims that the Qur’an is perfect Arabic. But the Qur’an is not perfect Arabic, it contains a number of foreign words. May I suggest that you study Arthur Jeffrey:

Jeffrey is a secular scholar and you keep urging me to study secular scholars, now be consistent, rather than attacking Jeffrey apply your own criteria upon Biblic critic upon yourself.

And also you assume that every Arab was ignorant and stupid, which is far from reality, in fact Waraqa, the cousin of Khahidja, Muhammad’s first wife was an Arab, lived in Meccah and was highly intelligent and obviously spent much time with Muhammad. Bukhari even records that Muhammad contemplated suicide when Waraqa died and that the revelation stopped:

...But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, "O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Apostle in truth" whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain…. [Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 111]

Notice here that the suicide attempts are related to the inspiration, could you please elaborate on this?

In fact the majority of Southern Arabs were educated, or at least grew up in an advanced society and many of these settled in the North prior to Muhammad’s era. It would only take on Arabic speaking intellectual to debunk your ignorant claim, and there were many such individuals. Also you seem to assume that Jews having settled in Arabia must have been entirely ignorant about Arabic, tell me then how did the converted Jew Abdullah Salim communicate with Muhammad and the other Arabic Muslims?

Hello wrote:

No, he didn't copy from Bible nor Torah.

Bible in arabic is non-existent at that time. In fact, he cannot read, no library, Internet or Y!A. In fact the content of Qur'an is obvious opposite with Bible, such as Jesus as God.

Hogan replies:

There where many Jews in Arabia, there where Christians in Arabia, there were even Christian Arabs. Waraqa even translated Gospel material into Arabic. No need of libraries or the internet. I know that the content of the Qur’an is different, but the Qur’an claims that the Injeel in Muhammad’s time (which we read today) was intact. Now that really debunks the credibility of the Qur’an.

hello said...

I'm actually surprised you would even use Arthur Jeffery as your reference.

You mention:

Arthur Jeffery suggest that a range of religious vocabulary in the Qur’an, such as Qur’an, Isa and Injil derives from the Syrian Christian faction. If this is true it reveals strong, intellectual interaction and borrowing, which Jeffery seems to suggest.

Here is an article exposing Jeffery & Missionaries. You'd have to be desperate to use him as a reference.

Hogan replies:

See my response above. You would be surprised that I have mainly used secular scholarship in my study of the Bible, do you Muslims dare to do the same with the Qur’an? Does not seem so!

When it comes to the Bible you Muslims urge us Christians to use atheist opinions and material but when it comes to the Qur’an we need to laugh at and despise such sources.

What a pick and choose mentality.

hello said...

You should do more research.

This story originated from the book of Al-Tabari. Here is what Al-Tabari said about his own book and writings:

"Let him who examines this book of mine know that I have relied, as regards everything I mention therein which I stipulate to be described by me, solely upon what has been transmitted to me by way of reports which I cite therein and traditions which I ascribe to their narrators, to the exclusion of what may be apprehended by rational argument or deduced by the human mind, except in very few cases. This is because knowledge of the reports of men of the past and of contemporaneous views of men of the present do not reach the one who has not witnessed them nor lived in their times except through the accounts of reporters and the transmission of transmitters, to the exclusion of rational deduction and mental inference. Hence, if I mention in this book a report about some men of the past, which the reader of listener finds objectionable or worthy of censure because he can see no aspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, let him know that this is not to be attributed to us but to those who transmitted it to us and we have merely passed this on as it has been passed on to us."

Hogan replies:

Funny you Muslims include Al-Tabari whenever you need him, also when you defend the Qur’an, but when Al-Tabari damages the credibility of the Qur’an we have to remember that not everything Tabari records is trustworthy? I wonder how much of the Islamic tradition is trustworthy? There appears to have been a high proliferation of written corruption within the Muslim community!

Also you will happily quote all the junk you can get hold on to attack the Bible, even modern atheist theories which equally question the Qur’an, but when we quote a early authoritative and respected source within Islamic scholarship we need to cherry pick through his material and reject what may damage the reliability of the Qur’an in favour of what may support it---yeah I really call that scholarship.

Hello wrote:


A poor attempt to convince a reader that the Quran borrowed from other cultures. Quran is error free.

Hogan replies:

Firstly you did not refute anything?

Secondly you reacted desperately to my article, insulted me and heaped up lots of claims.
I referred to secular source which according to you are essential and always correct, right? Or are we now to be cautious about secular sources since the credibility of the Qur’an is at stage?

I also referred to Islamic sources, the Qur’an, the Hadiths and the early Islamic commentators.

In fact this was everything but a poor attempt and I have effectively provided evidence that the authors of the Qur’an did fabricate and plagiarize and that the Qur’an is everything but error free.

Contrary to you I have utilized proper sources not websites, all you have given me so far are references from Islamic websites.