The Content of the Qur’an
In this part, we are going to discuss two issues, the mythical episodes and the religious teachings. We will be brief, otherwise we would need to write another book to deal with the strange, unacceptable things contained in the Qur’an which no sensible person believes. Our main aim is to remove this deceptive veil from the face of the Qur’an.
First: Some Names Of Qur’anic Chapters And Mythical Episodes
We have already mentioned that there are some chapters in the Qur’an whose names have no meaning. These chapters are: 20, 36, 38, 50, and 68. No one knows what Taha, Yasin, Sad, Qaf, or Nun mean. Mostly, they are mere letters and not words as to say, for instance, Chapter N, Chapter S, Chapter Y. Would that mean anything in English?
All the Muslim scholars have indicated that they do not know the meanings of the names of these chapters. God only knows (refer to the Jalalan). On the other hand, the meanings of the names of the rest of the chapters are understood and familiar although there are very strange names linked to a mythical episode which is meaningless, as we will see.
It should be noted that some of the Qur’anic chapters carry the names of insects or animals such as the chapters of the Cow, Ants, Spider, Elephant, Bee and the Cattle. We do not find in the Bible, for example, books with such names as “The Book of the Lion” or “The Bat” or “The Buffalo” or “The Book of the Serpent”. We also find in the Qur’an some chapters entitled, “Chapter of the Afternoon”, or “The Dawn”, or “The Night”, or “Morning”.
Moreover, there are strange stories which were the reasons behind these given names. Also, we are going to relate some stories recorded in the Qur’an which are only fit to be narrated by grandparents to children as part of folklore.
The Chapter Of The Ants (27:17-19)
In this chapter, the Qur’an says:
“And there were gathered together unto Solomon his armies of the Jinn and humankind and of the birds and they were set in the battle order. Till, when they reached the valley of the Ants, an ant exclaimed, ‘O Ants! Enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies crush you.’ And Solomon smiled, laughing at her speech.”
This is the reason why this chapter is entitled, “The Ant”. All scholars (without exception) present this episode as it is recorded. They acknowledge that it is supernatural, yet it truly happened with Solomon, the Wise (refer to Baydawi, page 501; the Jalalan, p. 316,317).
When Qatada, one of Muhammad’s companions, came to Iraq, he was surrounded by some Muslims who inquired of him about this episode. The Imam Abu Hanifa who was still a lad, asked him, “Was the ant of Solomon male or female?” He answered, “It was a female.” This is what Zamakh-shari has recorded. He even mentioned that the ant which warned its friends was called Tahina and Solomon heard her when he was still three miles away.
In order to have a fuller picture of the story, let us read the rest of the episode and see what happened to Solomon (chapter 27:20-22).
“And Solomon sought among the birds and said, ‘How is it that I see not the hoopoe, or is he among the absent? I verily will punish him with hard punishment or I verily will slay him or he verily shall give me a plain excuse.’ But he was not long in coming and he (the hoopoe) said to Solomon, ‘I have found out a thing that you apprehended not and I come unto you from Sheba with sure tidings.”’
So Solomon sent the hoopoe to the Queen of Sheba and her people to preach to them about the oneness of God. Muslim commentators (without exception) confirm this interpretation. Of course, the Bible records for us that the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon. After she observed the wisdom of Solomon and of his servants, she believed in the God of Israel, but there is no mention of a military battle between Solomon’s soldiers of vultures and Jinn and the kingdom of ants, or of the hoopoe, the teacher and the preacher!
The Chapter Of The Prophets (21:81, 82)
“And unto Solomon we subdued the wind in its raging. It set by his command toward the land which we had blessed. And of the evil ones (demons) subdued we unto him some who dived for pearls for him and did other works.”
All scholars agree on the interpretations of these verses. God utilized the winds to obey Solomon’s orders. Thus, they some- times blew smoothly and sometimes they raged like a strong storm whenever he wanted them to carry him fast for a long distance. God even utilized the demons to dive deep in the sea to bring forth treasures of precious stones. They were sometimes ordered to construct cities and palaces, and to invent some progressive handicrafts. These same words are recorded also in another place in the Qur’an. The expounders presented the same interpretation for these verses (refer to Baydawi, page 435; Jalalan, page 274; Zamakh-shari in The Kash-shaf, part 3, page 130).
Of course, the Azhar scholars along with the Saudi scholars agree with the former scholars concerning the subject of the ants, the hoopoe, and the exploitation of the wind and demons to serve Solomon. For example, Sheikh Sha’rawi (the most famous preacher in the Islamic world today) asserts that this story undoubtedly happened and that God subjected the Jinn to Solomon in order to refurbish the earth and for the benefit of the people (refer to the “Legal Opinions”, page 422).
The Chapter Of The Jinn Or Jan (17:1)
Since we have mentioned the Jinn, it is inevitable that we allude to the chapter of the Jinn.
“Say, O Muhammad, it is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn gave ear and they said, ‘Lo, it is a marvelous Qur’an.”’
All Muslim scholars, in the context of their exposition of those verses, say that God foretold this matter to Muhammad which was invisible to the eyes of Muhammad. As Muhammad was praying the morning prayer and reading the Qur’an beside a palm tree near Mecca, a party of Jinn (who were Satan’s soldiers) heard him. When they returned to their own people, they told them, “We have heard eloquent, well-styled words, and we have to repent and believe and never worship Satan again or be subservient to him.” They were between three and ten persons.
The Baydawi says that the Jinn are beings which are made mostly of fire or wind, or else they are mere spirits or human souls which departed from their bodies (refer to Baydawi, page 763; Jalalan, page 488; Zamakh-shari, part 4, page 623). The Bukhari assures us that they were demons who listened to the Qur’an being recited by Muhammad during the dawn prayer while he was on his way to Suq ’Ukadh. They were moved by what they heard, and recanted. This is the testimony of ibn ’Abbas himself (refer to the Sahih of the Bukhari, part 6, page 200).
This same story of the Jinn listening to Muhammad and repenting is found in the chapter of the Ahqaf. Both Kishk and Sheikh Sha’rawi agree with the former scholars and do not question their interpretation (refer to the “Legal Opinions” by Sheikh Kishk, part 1, page 20).
Chapter Of The Elephant
This chapter could have been called the chapter of the gravel or the vultures, but it was called the chapter of the Elephant simply because the vultures carried the gravel and threw it at the elephants and their riders who marched towards Mecca to invade the Ka’ba. We read in the Qur’an the following:
“Hast thou not seen how your lord dealt with the owners of the elephants? Did he not bring their stratagem to naught, and send against them swarms of flying creatures which pelted them with stones of baked clay.”
All Muslim scholars affirm that this event took place many years before the proclamation of Muhammad’s prophethood. Some said maybe during the time of his birth. What really happened was that Abraha, king of Yemen, constructed a church in San’a. An Arab man came and defiled the church and did some damage to it. Abraha decided to demolish the Ka’ba which was a sacred site for the heathen people of Quraysh and the site of their annual pilgrimage before Islam.
Abraha headed the invasion operation along with his generals who rode on elephants. It was said that there was a huge, strong elephant called Mahmud. God sent black or green birds to attack the invading army. Each bird carried one piece of gravel in his beak and two in his claws and hit the owners of the elephants. They claim that each piece of gravel penetrated the head of a man and exited from the backside (anus – lower opening of the rectum). On each piece of gravel was written the name of the victim. Abraha suffered a violent death (refer to the Zamakh-shari in the Kash-shaf, part 4, page 797; Baydawi, page 811;Jalalan, page 519; also the “Prophet’s Biography” by ibn Hisham, part 1, pages 38 and 39).
The Qur’an does not tell us why God sent these vultures to assist the heathens against the Christians. The Qur’an was content to record the episode of this battle between the vultures and the elephants. Thus, a chapter in the Qur’an was inspired under the title of Chapter of the Elephant.
The Chapter Of The Cave
Why was it called by this strange name? The answer is simple. Some lads (accompanied by their dog) entered a cave and slept for three hundred and nine years! The story is recorded in the Qur’an in seventeen verses (18:9-25).
The Qur’an clearly relates this story and all Muslim scholars agree on its interpretation. They said that God forbade the sun to hurt them, and he used to turn them from one side to the other so the ground would not erode their flesh. Their dog whose name was Qatmir, laid down stretching its legs. The lads who entered the cave were seven. Their names were Yamlikha, Makshalmina, Mashilmina, Martush, Darnush, Shadhinush, along with a shepherd They were from the city of Ephesus. (This information is related to us by the Baydawi, page 390; Jalalan, pp. 244, 245, and the Zamakh-shari in the “Kash-shaf”, part 2, page 703.) Contemporary scholars verify this information.
Before we conclude the episode of the chapter of the Cave, it is appropriate to allude to the story of Moses, the Whale, the ship and the lad. This strange story is also recorded in the chapter of the cave (l8:60-82) The gist of the story as it is stated in the Qur’an is that God disagreed with Moses who claimed that he was the most knowledgeable person. He told him that he has a servant “whose name is Khadr who is more knowledgeable than you. Take with you a whale and go to the confluence of the two seas. When the whale departs from you, you will find him (the man).”
Moses did so and found the man. Moses told him, “I will be submissive and obedient to you.” The Khadr took Moses and sailed in a ship which belonged to some poor people who toiled hard in the sea. This man, Khadr, caused the boat to spring a leak big enough to sink it. When Moses complained, the Khadr told him, “We had agreed that you would never complain. I will show you in the end that I am more knowledgeable than you are.” Moses kept silence.
Then they met a young boy who was playing with his friends. The Khadr seized him and violently killed him by smashing his head against the wall, the Zamakh-shari remarked. Moses objected to that, then he apologized to the Khadr. Later, the Khadr started to explain to Moses the implication of his behavior. He said, “I sank the ship because there was a wicked king who was intending to confiscate it by force. And I killed the lad because he was going to cause his righteous parents much hardship by his atheism.”
This strange story is meaningless, because this poor lad was guilty of no crime that he should be brutally killed by a man of whom God boasted. God said to Moses that the Khadr was “my righteous servant and he is more knowledgeable than you”. Did he foretell the future and know that this lad was going to create a lot of problems for his devout parents? Would this be a justification for his death or should it be a cause for his guidance and repentance?
This baffling issue made some people ask ibn ’Abbas, “Is it permissible for the Khadr to do that to the lad?” He answered that the apostle of God himself said, “Yes.” He also added that this is lawful to anyone if he can foretell what this lad is going to do in the future (refer to Baydawi, page 396; Bukhari, part 6, pp. 111, 112; Jalalan, page 250; and the Zamakh-shari in the “Kash-shaf”, part 2, page 736). The Bukhari insists that the Khadr seized the lad and pulled his head off, separating it from his body.
We have already discussed the story of Alexander the Great who had located the sun’s setting place which is recorded in this same chapter (the Cave).
The Chapter Of The Cow
In this lengthy chapter, there are at least four mythical stories recorded. We will briefly examine them as evidence of the lack of authenticity of the Qur’an.
Jews Transformed Into Apes
God transformed these Jews into apes because they disobeyed His commandment and went to catch fish on a Saturday. These Jews inhabited a coastal city (refer to Chapter 2:65). The Qur’an says:
“And you know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how we said unto them, ‘Be apes, despised and hated!”’
The interpretation of the expositors of the Qur’an is in full agreement with the content of these verses (refer to the Baydawi, page 14; Jalalan, pages 10, 11; Zamakh-shari, part 1, page 286). We also read the same incident in chapter 7:163-166 and in chapter 5:60 in which these Jews were transformed into apes and swine.
Two Angels Teach People Magic
This story is among the strangest episodes recorded in chapter 2. Who would believe that God would send two angels in order to tempt people to see whether they would be seduced into learning magic or not? Muslim scholars indicate that these two angels were called Harut and Marut and the incident took place in Babylon. They used to warn people not to learn magic “… because it is ungodly, but if this is your desire, then we will teach you.” Thus, people started to learn how to cause separation between a husband and wife by employing magic (refer to the commentary of the Jalalan, page 15; The Baydawi, page 21; Zamakh-shari in the “Kash-shaf”, part 1, page 301).
Contemporary scholar Sheikh Sha’rawi states in his “Legal Opinions” (part 1, page 42) that this incident of separation between a husband and wife really happened by the power of magic performed by these two angels. Sha’rawi says:
“One of the characteristics of the Jinn is the ability of transformation. It is possible for a Jinn to take the image of an ape (and superimpose) himself on the face of a woman. Thus, her husband would hate her. Also, Satan can transform himself into a beast (and superimpose) himself on the face of a husband which would make her turn against her husband.”
Should Angels Prostrate Themselves Before Man?
The Qur’an says yes, and God Himself commanded them to do so; therefore, they all prostrate themselves before man except Satan who refused to obey. We read in the Qur’an (2:34),
“And when we said unto the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam,’ they fell prostrate, all save Iblis (Satan). He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.”
The reason for all that is an obscure, meaningless story recorded in chapter 2:30-34:
“And he taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels saying, ‘Inform me of the names of these if you are truthful.’ They said, ‘Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou has taught us. Lo! Thou, only thou, are the Knower, the wise”’ (2:3 1 -32).
We wonder why it would be a crime if the angels did not know the names of the animals. What merit does Adam have if God secretly taught him these names? Does this justify God’s command to the angels to prostrate themselves to Adam? It is well known that the Bible teaches us that such worship should be only to God.
We do not believe this story and this dialogue between God and the angels, especially since the angels’ words proved to be true and they manifested their knowledge of the future. Man defiled the earth and shed blood since the time of Cain, son of Adam, who killed his brother. Adam himself disobeyed his Lord and did not deserve worship from the holy angels—no respect or adoration, but only reproach even though he knew all the names.
The Cow And The Dead Man.
This episode is clearly taught in the Qur’an (2:67-73). Muslim commentators indicate that a righteous Israeli old man had a son who was assassinated by his cousins in order to get his inheritance. They dumped his corpse at the city gate. No one knew who had killed him. God told Moses, “Slay a cow and hit the dead man by a part of it (its tongue, or thigh, or ear) as the scholars say.” When Moses did so, the deceased rose up and told them who had killed him, then he immediately died again (refer to the commentary of the Baydawi, pp. 14,15; the “Kash-shaf” by the Zamakh-shari, part 1, page 289; and the Jalalan, page 11). Indeed, we do not find this story in the biblical records of the Old Testament.
Chapter Of al-Hujarat (The Private Apartment)
There is no mythical story in this chapter, but the reason for naming it is somewhat amusing and does not entail the need to receive an inspired chapter under this title. Those who translated the Qur’an into English indicate that this name was given to this chapter because of the following verse:
“Lo those who call you (Muhammad) from behind the private apartments, most of them have no sense” (49:4).
Now, what is the interpretation of this verse? The Baydawi says (page 683),
“What is meant by ‘Private rooms,’ is ‘the women of the prophet Muhammad.’ It is tantamount to his being in seclusion with the women and their calling to him from within their private quarters. Either they came into them (private rooms) room by room or they (the women) scattered themselves among these rooms calling for him.”
We read the same words in the “Kash-shaf” of the Zamakh-shari (part 4, page 357), also in the commentary of the Jalalan (page 435). They said,
“Each one of his women called from behind (inside) her room in a voice filled with harshness and estrangement.”
These are the statements of the scholars who interpreted this verse. Does this personal, private, insignificant matter require that Gabriel inspire a chapter under the title, “The Private Rooms”; that is, the private rooms of Muhammad’s wives?
The Chapter Of Yunis
It is sufficient to quote verses 90 and 91 of this chapter. The Pharaoh, while he was sinking in the sea, said, “I have believed in God,” but God did not accept his repentance, and told him, “Do you say this now because you are drowning?” The commentators tell us that Muhammad’s companions, such as ibn ’Umar and ibn ’Abbas, have said that Muhammad himself told them:
“Gabriel told me, ‘I wish you had seen me taking mud from the sea to close up Pharaoh’s mouth lest he believe and be reached by God’s mercy’ (refer to Jalalan, page 179; Zamakh-shari, part 2, page 368, and others).
Undoubtedly, this story is mythical, because if Pharaoh intended to believe, God would have accepted his repentance immediately and there is no need for the angel Gabriel to hasten to take a handful of sea mud to close Pharaoh’s mouth so that he would not make a confession of faith and be pardoned. God does not send his angels to do such wicked things.
We believe Muhammad’s companions and ibn ’Abbas who claimed that Muhammad related that to them. They cannot lie in such matters, especially since Muhammad warned them that whoever “lies and claims things which I do not do, or says things which I did not say, will occupy his seat in hell”. We believe the companions in all that they convey to us on the authority of Muhammad, but we cannot believe Muhammad’s claim that Gabriel had told him that he closed Pharaoh’s mouth. The one who prevents people from believing is Satan—not an angel of God.
Second: God In The Qur’an
God in the Qur’an is not the God of love, the God of the Christian revelation and the Holy Gospel. It is as if God (six hundred years after the birth of Christ) has deteriorated. After He had been full of love and affection, He has become a relentless, wrathful God. You can search the heart of this God of Islam, but you will never find the flowing, loving feelings which were clearly manifest in Jesus Christ.
Let us now probe the most significant characteristics of God as they are revealed in the Qur’an. There us no doubt, the Qur’anic God differs from the God of the Gospel. The Gospel’s God is real while the other is illusive, non-existent. We have already alluded to God’s command recorded in the Qur’an when we discussed human rights and women’s status, non-Muslims classification and the enslavement of man to his fellow man.
Yet, here we would like to magnify a very salient concept; that is, the concept of love. The God of the Qur’an lacks the element of love. The Qur’an records ninety-nine attributes of God which do not include the attribute of love although among these attributes are some which repeatedly contain the same inference, but love is not one of them. Indeed, some of these attributes indicate that God is merciful, yet you do not find mercy expressed on the pages of the Qur’an, in the life of Muhammad or among his companions. If mercy had ever been practiced in Muhammad’s life or in the life of his companions, this would have been the exception and not the rule. The rule was the application of relentless brutality and barbarism.
There is no substitute for the word love. Love is stronger and richer than mercy. We do not say that a husband bestows mercy on his wife. We say he loves her. Likewise, we do not say (even when it is fitting to say) that a mother bestows her mercy on her children, but rather that she loves them. Love is a word rich with the meanings of sacrifice and giving. Love is a warm expression elevating human relationships to the highest summit of healthy growth. The Qur’an is empty of this word whether in its relationship to man or in the area of human relationships.
God (in the Qur’an) does not liken himself to a Father who loves His spiritual children, the believers, as stated in the Gospel, but rather as a fearful master. People are but mere slaves who must always live in fear of Him.
Now let us survey some Qur’anic verses and vivid samples from the lives of the most devout Muslim believers.
- In chapter “The Believers” (: 60), we read the following:
“And those who give that which they give with hearts afraid because they are about to return unto their lord.”
Muhammad himself spared us the trouble of interpreting this verse because he himself explained it. In Baydawi (page 457), Jalalan (page 288), and in the “Kash-shaf” of the Zamakh-shari (part 3, page 192), we read:
“A’isha said, ‘O, apostle of God, is the one who is afraid of God the one who commits adultery, steals, drinks wine, thus he is afraid of punishment?’ Muhammad told her, ‘No, O daughter of Sedik, he is the one who prays, fasts and gives alms, thus he is afraid that God may not accept these things from him.”’
We wonder where then is the sense of security and peace of mind. Where is the assurance and the guarantee concerning eternal life? How can peace fill the Muslim’s heart? How can his soul rejoice and his spirit be filled with joy if he does not know whether God is going to accept his acts of fasting, praying and his almsgiving or not? Therefore, all Muslims suffer from fear because whatever they do of good deeds, their hearts will constantly be subjected to fear, according to the Qur’anic text and the interpretation of Muhammad himself.
We do not find among the chapters of the Qur’an and their verses one clear verse which offers a life of joy. There is no love and joy. Of course, we do not hear melodies of rejoicing bursting out of the hearts and mouths of the Muslim worshippers who gather in the mosques, but rather you see grim faces, especially those who are the most devout and those who are the most acquainted with the fundamentals of their religion, the interpretation of the Qur’anic verses and Muhammad’s expositions. The reason is because they are not sure of what to expect after death. The future of their eternal life is obscure and their God does not guarantee them anything.
The first person we quote is Abu Bakr Al Sedik, who said that there is no certainty with God. Abu Bakr (the first Caliph) is regarded by all Muslims as one of the best Muslims if not the best. Even Muhammad acknowledged that Abu Bakr Al Sedik was the closest to him. Therefore, the Muslims elected him as caliph after the death of Muhammad. Abu Bakr always believed in Muhammad and in all that he uttered. He used to obey him blindly. When Muhammad suffered from a sickness which caused his death, he ordered Abu Bakr to lead the Muslims in prayer. What did Abu Bakr Al Sedik say about God?
“I swear to God that I do not feel safe from God’s cunning (deceitfulness) even if one of my feet is already inside paradise” (refer to the successors of the Apostle, Khalid Muhammad Khalid, page 114).
What a striking acknowledgment uttered by Abu Bakr the caliph of the Muslims and the father of A’isha, wife of Muhammad! “I do not feel safe from God’s cunning even if one of my feet is already inside paradise”. Maybe God would deceive him and push that foot outside of paradise because He changed His mind. There is no other meaning of this statement. This is not surprising, O, Abu Bakr, because the God of Islam and Muhammad as well as of the Qur’an, as you well know, does not bestow on the believer any assurance concerning eternity. He is not at all the God of the Christian revelation whom we know and experience, enjoying His love—with whom we have a personal relationship based on spiritual love because He is our heavenly father.
When we ponder the life of both Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya and Hasan al-Basri who both are renowned among Muslim circles so that students used to come from all of the Islamic world to learn from them and to receive instruction, we find that both of them lived in fear of God. Dr. Su’ad ’Abdul-Razzak says:
“Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya asked al-Hasan al-Basri and said to him, ‘What does a scholar say when asked, “If I die and the people are called in the day of resurrection (to be divided in two groups), one group to go to paradise and the other to be sent to hell, in which group will I be?” He said to her, “This is concealed, and nobody knows what is concealed except God””’ (p. 44).
On page 87, we also read that whenever death was mentioned in the presence of Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya, she would shiver and faint. On pages 84 and 85 of the same book, we read:
“Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya’s life bore the stamp of sadness and fear; and Hasan al-Basri was heading the group of the fearful devout. Sadness dominated his life. He increasingly (spent his time) in mourning. He made mourning a norm for all people. He used to believe that the Qur’an is the key to permanent sadness. He was accustomed to saying, ‘O, son of Adam, I swear to God, if you had read the Qur’an and believed in it, your sadness would have been prolonged, and your fear would have been stronger. You mourning in the world would have been excessive.’ The people of Basra said about him, ‘Every time we see him, he looks as if calamity has recently befallen him.”’
We have to remember that al-Hasan al-Basri received his religious education from the companions (refer to “Itqan”, part 4, page 21l). Those people understood Islam and they knew that the Qur’an is the key to abiding sadness. Whoever reads it and believes it will be subject to ever-increasing sadness, fear and mourning.
On the other hand, the word Gospel, which we will discuss later, means “glad tidings” and “good news” which makes people full of joy, happiness and abiding peace.
These are living examples drawn from the lives of Rabea al-’Adawiyya, al-Hasan al-Basri and Abu Bakr Al Sedik who said when resurrection, paradise, and hell were mentioned in his presence, “I wish I were a tree eaten by an animal; I wish I had never been born” (refer to Jalalan, page 45 1). This is the same Abu Bakr who remarked, “I do not feel safe from God’s cunning.”
But, there is more than that about God in the Qur’an. God is depicted in the Qur’an as if He purposed the destruction of all people. He says, for example, “I indeed will fill hell with both people and jinn.” In another verse, He indicates:
“And if your lord willed, all who are in the earth would have believed together” (Yunis: 99).
On the other hand, the Gospel declares clearly that God does will that all people be saved. God is not the cause for the eternal damnation of any man. He does not will that. God forbid! The only reason for man’s eternal damnation is his own rebellious will and his unrepentant heart. This fact is repeated dozens of times in the Gospel.
This is contrary to the Qur’an which indicates that God does not will the salvation of all people. Had He willed it, then all who inhabited the earth would have believed in Him. Such a God is not the God whom Jesus Christ proclaimed to us.
In addition to the above, the Qur’an presents God to us a God who plots against man to destroy him. If you do not believe it, turn with me to the Qur’an to read a quotation from the “Chapter of the Isra” (“The Night Journey”) 17:16:
“And when we would destroy a township, we send commandment to its folk who live a life of ease and afterwards they commit abomination therein, and so the word of doom has its effect and we annihilate with complete annihilation.”
The reader should notice that God did not eradicate the town because it was filled with so much wickedness that He found himself obliged to destroy it against His will. Rather the Compassionate, the Merciful God purposed and determined to annihilate it. Therefore, He laid down a very well planned plot. He ordered its sumptuous residents to live a licentious life, thus it becomes subject to damnation. He ordered its affluent residents to commit debauchery! What a holy order!
Lastly, we say that God has disclosed his heart’s desire when He referred to hell in the chapter Mariam: 71. He said, “Not one of you but will pass through it.” People asked whether this verse refers to the wicked or includes all men; and what does the phrase ‘passing through it’ mean? In “Itqan” (part 4, page 237), the Suyuti tells us that Muhammad himself has answered this question and said:
“There is no righteous or debaucher who would not enter hell.”
We do not understand the reasoning which causes God to send even the righteous to hell. Then the verse continues, “But we (God) shall save those who guarded against evil.”
Sheikh Kishk asserts Suyuti’s claim that Muhammad said that all people (the righteous and the debaucher) will “pass through it” or “enter it” (refer to “Legal Opinions”, part 6, page 41). This is the God of the Qur’an, my dear reader. He is indeed a fearful God who cannot be trusted; who wills and plans to annihilate people to fill hell with them. He is a God with whom nobody can feel safe, even the most devout person (like Abu Bakr) lest He does not accept him as Muhammad said. This is the acknowledgment of many great Muslims who experience this fear in their relationship with God and according to what they understood from Muhammad and the Qur’an.
What a difference between this God and the God of the Gospel which was said of Him:
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Third: Content of Paradise
Since we have alluded to eternal life, it is appropriate to examine the image of paradise in the Qur’an. What did Muhammad say about Paradise? How it was depicted in the Qur’an in clear verses? Paradise in the Qur’an is a place full of beautiful women and seducing virgins, grapes, and pomegranates. Yes, it is a place filled with fruits, meats, wine and honey for everlasting feasts. Also its inhabitants wear silk and splendid clothes. This is the picture of paradise which is presented to us by the Qur’an, Muhammad, and most of the former and later Muslim scholars.
It is feasible here to cite one example from among the dozens of Qur’anic verses which give us an accurate description of the Qur’anic paradise (refer to the following chapters and verses: 47:15, 87:31-33, 56:35-37, 56:22-23, 36:55-56, 55:56, 37:41-49).
Of course, the expounders agree on the interpretation of these verses. Refer, for instance, to the Jalalan (page 328), or any other commentary you like. In chapters 68:31-33 and 55:56, we are presented with the houris, who are assigned to fulfill men’s sexual pleasures. These houris are always virgins. Their sexual relationship with men does not affect their virginity. Every time men approach them, they find them always virgins. Their breasts are not hanging down loose. They are always firm. They do not age beyond thirty-three years of age. They are white with black, wide, charming eyes. Their skin is smooth. Women who died old on earth will be re-created virgins for the enjoyment of men. Read the following commentaries—Al Glalan (p. 328, pp. 451-453, p. 499), Al Baydawy (pp. 710, 711, 781), Al Zumakhary (part 4, pp. 690,453, 459-462).
This is Muhammad’ s own description of Paradise (refer to the commentary of the Baydawi, pp. 710, 711 and 781; the Zamakh-shari in ‘Kash-shaf’, part 4, pp. 453, 459-462, and 690; and the Jalalan, pp. 451-453, 499). You may also refer to any other major commentary because all Muslim expositors re-iterate the same thing. But as we read chapter Yasin: 55-56, we encounter some strange and shameful matters:
“Lo those who merit Paradise this day are happily employed (working) they and their wives, in pleasant shade, on thrones reclining.”
Ibn ’Abbas himself acknowledged that their ‘business’ is to deflower the virgins (refer to Zamakh-shari, part 4, page 21; Jalalan, page 372, and “Women of the Paradise” by Muhammad Abu al-’Abbas, page 54). This is the mission of the believers in paradise.
Is it any wonder that many people embrace Islam seeking to enjoy this imaginary paradise by which Muhammad deceived the Arabs, thus they entered God’s religion by groups? Arabs sought this alluring life in the desert. They missed the fruit, pure water, fresh milk, beautiful white women whose skin is not browned by the heat of the desert sun. This is paradise as it is depicted in the Qur’an.
In his book, “Legal Opinions”, Sheikh Sha’rawi exposed Islam and Muhammad when he said on page 36:
“The apostle of God was asked, ‘Will we have sexual intercourse in paradise?’ He said, ‘Yes, I swear by the One who holds my soul in His hand that it will be a vigorous intercourse, and as soon as the man departs from her (the houri) she will again become immaculate and virgin.”’
On page 148, the Sha’rawi says:
“The apostle of God, Muhammad, said, ‘Every morning one hundred virgins will be (the portion) of each man.”’
On page 448, he states that:
“The houris in paradise are white with big eyes.”
He also indicates on pp. 265 and 266:
“Her (the houri, the virgin) two breasts are like the cone; that is, they are not hanging loose.”
On page 191, the Sha’rawi says that if a woman got married to more than one man either because her husband died or she was divorced, she would be given the right in paradise to choose one of them. Yet a man in paradise has the right to have dozens of the houris. It is not a secret that the Lord Christ (to Him be all glory), when He was asked the same question, said:
“You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22).
In his “Legal Opinions” (part 6, page 42), Sheikh Kishk remarks:
But in the case of the houris, they are a blessed favor from God bestowed on his servants who sincerely worshipped Him. They are added to the man’s believing women for his enjoyment, as the texts record. But concerning women, Muhammad said, ‘Any woman who believed in God and died before she was married, God will marry her to the best of the devout.”’
When I singled out both Sheikh Sha’rawi and Sheikh Kishk, I did so because of their reputation as famous scholars whose knowledge in the fundamentals of Islam is highly recognized and trusted by millions of Muslims all around the world.
In his famous book, “The Women of The People of Paradise; their Classifications, and Beauty”, Muhammad ’Ali Abu al-’Abbas (a contemporary Muslim scholar) wrote about one hundred pages in which he specified these matters in detail. This book is a current book published in 1987. The author encourages young men to be practicing Muslims in order to acquire all the available women in paradise, food, drinks, and clothes. On page 33, he himself says,
“We pray to God that He may grant us the pleasure of virgin women of paradise because the virgin has a sweeter mouth, and is more desirable in bed, than the deflowered woman.”
On page 41, he says that Muhammad, the apostle of God, said:
“Every man of the people of paradise is given the power of a hundred men for eating, drinking, intercourse and sexual desire” (The Qurtubi in his book al-Tadhkira).
He also said that the apostle of God indicated that:
“Whoever wears silk on earth will never wear it in eternity; and whoever drinks wine on earth will never drink it in eternity” (page 40, also al-Qurtubi in the al-Tadhkira).
The Tirmadhi also mentioned (part 7, page 161 of his book) that the apostle of God said:
“The martyr will be married to seventy-two wives of the houris. He has the right to intercede for seventy of his relatives” (page 44).
Muhammad, the apostle of God, was asked about the meaning of the Qur’ans words, “good dwellings in paradise of Eden.” Muhammad replied, “The dwellings are palaces made of pearl. In each palace there are seventy mansions. In each mansion there are seventy houses. In each house there is a bed. On each bed there are seventy sheets of different colors. On each sheet there is a nymph wife (houri) and in each house there are seventy tables, and on each table there are seventy kinds of food” (Volume 4, page 537 of “The Revival of Religious Science”—The Ghazali).
These are quotations from Muhammad’s sayings and interpretations. No wonder, then, a Muslim wishes to fight against Christians and Jews (infidels) and die as a martyr in order to get married to seventy-two women.
In his Sahih (part 4, page 142; part 7, page 47, and part 9, page 50), the Bukhari records this incident in which Muhammad related to the Muslims that when he ascended to Paradise on the back of the Buraq, he saw a beautiful, young girl beside a palace. When he asked the angel about it, the angel answered, “The palace and the girl are for ’Umar ibn al-Khattab.” Muhammad turned away because he remembered ’Umar’s jealousy toward his women. When Muhammad related this incident to his companions, ’Umar started to cry, saying, “Would I feel jealous of you 0, the apostle of God!” This is Muhammad who deceived his Arab people and promised them they would be rewarded with houris (refer also to Sahih of Muslim, volume 5).
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This was submitted to The Debriefing in 2004. We aren’t sure of it’s origins