But how do you know that the Qu'ran is actually the word of God? People
claim all sorts of things, and while it's often easy to prove that they
*claimed* these things (although as you rightly point out, with many
religions, such as Christianity, even this is not a given), the point is to
prove that these things are *true*. The more incredible-sounding, the more
proof is needed. If I tell you I had a conversation with my mother last
night you would probably have no reason to demand proof, but if I tell you I
had a conversation with God or aliens or Elvis Presley, then you'd be
foolish to just accept it, even if it can be shown that I genuinely believe
what I am claiming.

Stathis Papaioannou


> On Feb 25, 2:06 am, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> > > Believing in Divine Destiny is one of the pillars of faith, and, in
> > > accordance with this belief, everything in the universe is determined
> > > by God, the All-Mighty. While there are countless absolute evidences
> > > of Destiny, it may be sufficient to make some introductory remarks to
> > > demonstrate how important a place this pillar of faith has for the
> > > whole of creation.
> >
> > > The Qur'an specifically explains that everything is predetermined, and
> > > then recorded after its coming into existence, as indicated in many
> > > verses like,
> >
> > > Nor anything green or withered except it is all in a Manifest Book.
> >
> > I guess the Koran's author hadn't heard about quantum randomness.
> >
> > Anyway that's not an explanation, it's just an assertion - and why
> should anyone credit assertions written without supporting evidence by a man
> who didn't even know that the Earth orbits the Sun.
> >
> > > This Quranic statement is confirmed by the universe,
> >
> > It's not only not confirmed, it would be impossible to confirm even if
> it were true.
> >
> > Brent Meeker
> There are hundreds of religions flourishing around the world:
> Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Bahaism,
> Babism, Zoroastrianism, Mormonism, Jehovas Witnesses, Jainism,
> Confucianism etc. And each of these religions claim that their
> scripture is preserved from the day it was revealed (written) until
> our time. A religious belief is as authentic as the authenticity of
> the scripture it follows. And for any scripture to be labeled as
> authentically preserved it should follow some concrete and rational
> criteria.
> Imagine this scenario:
> A professor gives a three hour lecture to his students. Imagine still
> that none of the students memorized this speech of the professor or
> wrote it down. Now forty years after that speech, if these same
> students decided to replicate professor's complete speech word for
> word, would they be able to do it? Obviously not. Because the only two
> modes of preservation historically is through writing and memory.
> Therefore, for any claimants to proclaim that their scripture is
> preserved in purity, they have to provide concrete evidence that the
> Scripture was written in its entirety AND memorized in its entirety
> from the time it was revealed to our time, in a continuous and
> unbroken chain. If the memorization part doesn't exist parallel to the
> written part to act as a check and balance for it, then there is a
> genuine possibility that the written scripture may loose its purity
> through unintentional and intentional interpolations due to scribal
> errors, corruption by the enemies, pages getting decomposed etc, and
> these errors would be concurrently incorporated into subsequent texts,
> ultimately loosing its purity through ages.
> Now, of all the religions mentioned above, does any one of them
> possess their scriptures in its entirety BOTH in writing AND in memory
> from the day of its revelation until our time.
> None of them fit this required criteria, except one: This unique
> scripture is the Qur'an - revelation bestowed to Prophet Muhammad
> (p.b.u.h) 1,418 years ago, as a guidance for all of humankind.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Lets analyze the claim of the preservation of the Quran...
> Memorization
> 'In the ancient times, when writing was scarcely used, memory and oral
> transmission was exercised and strengthened to a degree now almost
> unknown' relates Michael Zwettler.(1)
> Prophet Muhammad (S): The First Memorizer
> It was in this 'oral' society that Prophet Muhammad (S) was born in
> Mecca in the year 570 C.E. At the age of 40, he started receiving
> divine Revelations from the One God, Allah, through Archangel Gabriel.
> This process of divine revelations continued for about 22.5 years just
> before he passed away.
> Prophet Muhammad (S) miraculously memorized each revelation and used
> to proclaim it to his Companions. Angel Gabriel used to refresh the
> Quranic memory of the Prophet each year.
> 'The Prophet (S) was the most generous person, and he used to become
> more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan because
> Gabriel used to meet him every night of the month of Ramadan till it
> elapsed. Allah's Messenger (S) use to recite the Qur'an for him. When
> Gabriel met him, he use to become more generous than the fast wind in
> doing good'. (2)
> 'Gabriel used to repeat the recitation of the Qur'an with the Prophet
> (S) once a year, but he repeated it twice with him in the year he
> (Prophet) died'. (3)
> The Prophet himself use to stay up a greater part of the night in
> prayers and use to recite Quran from memory.
> Prophet's Companions: The First Generation Memorizers
> Prophet Muhammad (S) encouraged his companions to learn and teach the
> Quran:
> 'The most superior among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'an
> and teach it'. (4)
> 'Some of the companions who memorized the Quran were: 'Abu Bakr, Umar,
> Uthman, Ali, Ibn Masud, Abu Huraira, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin
> Amr bin al-As, Aisha, Hafsa, and Umm Salama'. (5)
> 'Abu Bakr, the first male Muslim to convert to Islam used to recite
> the Quran publicly in front of his house in Makka'. (6)
> The Prophet also listened to the recitation of the Qur'an by the
> Companions: 'Allah Apostle said to me (Abdullah bin Mas'ud): "Recite
> (of the Quran) to me". I said: "Shall I recite it to you although it
> had been revealed to you?!" He Said: "I like to hear (the Quran) from
> others". So I recited Sura-an-Nisa' till I reached: "How (will it be)
> then when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O
> Muhammad) as a witness against these people?"' (4:41) 'Then he said:
> "Stop!" Behold, his eyes were shedding tears then'. (7)
> Many Quranic memorizers (Qurra) were present during the lifetime of
> the Prophet and afterwards through out the then Muslim world.
> 'At the battle of Yamama, many memorizers of the Quran were martyred.
> 'Narrated Zaid bin Thabit al Ansari, who was one of those who use to
> write the Divine Revelations: Abu Bakr sent me after the (heavy)
> casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great
> number of Qurra were killed). Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said:
> "Umar has come to me and said, the people have suffered heavy
> casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that
> there will be some casualties among the Qurra (those who memorized the
> entire Quran) at other place..."' (8)
> 'Over the centuries of the Islamic Era, there have arisen throughout
> the various regions of the Islamic world literally thousands of
> schools devoted specially to the teaching of the Quran to children for
> the purpose of memorization. These are called, in Arabic, katatib
> (singular: Kuttab). It is said that the Caliph 'Umar (634-44) first
> ordered the construction of these schools in the age of the great
> expansion'. (9)
> Second Generation Memorizers:
> "...Quranic schools were set up everywhere. As an example to
> illustrate this I may refer to a great Muslim scholar, of the second
> Muslim generation, Ibn 'Amir, who was the judge of Damascus under the
> Caliph Umar Ibn 'Abd Al-Aziz. It is reported that in his school for
> teaching the Quran there were 400 disciples to teach in his absence".
> (10)
> Memorizers in Subsequent Generations:
> The Number of Katatib and similar schools in Cairo (Egypt) alone at
> one time exceeded two thousand. (11)
> Currently both in the Muslim and non-Muslim countries thousands of
> schools with each instructing tens of hundreds of students the art of
> memorizing the entire Quran. In the city of Chicago itself, there are
> close to 40+ Mosques, with many of them holding class for children
> instructing them the art of Quranic memorization.
> Further Points of Consideration:
> * Muslims recite Quran from their memory in all of their five daily
> prayers. * Once a year, during the month of Fasting (Ramadan), Muslims
> listen to the complete recitation of the Quran by a Hafiz (memorizer
> of the entire Quran) * It's a tradition among Muslims that before any
> speech or presentation, marriages, sermons, Quran is recited.
> Conclusion:
> Quran is the only book, religious or secular, on the face of this
> planet that has been completely memorized by millions. These
> memorizers range from ages 6 and up, both Arabic and non-Arabic
> speakers, blacks, whites, Orientals, poor and wealthy.
> Thus the process of memorization was continuous , from Prophet
> Muhammad's (S) time to ours with an unbroken chain.
> "The method of transmitting the Quran from one generation to the next
> by having he young memorize the oral recitation of their elders had
> mitigated somewhat from the beginning the worst perils of relying
> solely on written records..." relates John Burton (12)
> "This phenomenon of Quranic recital means that the text has traversed
> the centuries in an unbroken living sequence of devotion. It cannot,
> therefore, be handled as an antiquarian thing, nor as a historical
> document out of a distant past. The fact of hifz (Quranic
> Memorization) has made the Qur'an a present possession through all the
> lapse of Muslim time and given it a human currency in every generation
> never allowing its relegation to a bare authority for reference alone"
> reflects Kenneth Cragg (13)
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Written Text of the Quran
> Prophet's Time:
> Prophet Muhammad (S) was very vigilant in preserving the Quran in the
> written form from the very beginning up until the last revelation. The
> Prophet himself was unlettered, did not knew how to read and write,
> therefore he called upon his numerous scribes to write the revelation
> for him. Complete Quran thus existed in written form in the lifetime
> of the Prophet.
> Whenever a new revelation use to come to him, the Prophet would
> immediately call one of his scribes to write it down.
> 'Some people visited Zaid Ibn Thabit (one of the scribes of the
> Prophet) and asked him to tell them some stories about Allah's
> Messenger. He replied: "I was his (Prophet's) neighbor, and when the
> inspiration descended on him he sent for me and I went to him and
> wrote it down for him..." (14)
> Narrated by al-Bara': There was revealed 'Not equal are those
> believers who sit (home) and those who strive and fight in the cause
> of Allah' (4:95). The Prophet said: 'Call Zaid for me and let him
> bring the board, the ink pot and scapula bone.' Then he (Prophet)
> said: 'Write: Not equal are those believers...' (15)
> Zaid is reported to have said: 'We use to compile the Qur'an from
> small scraps in the presence of the Apostle'. (16)
> 'The Prophet, while in Madinah, had about 48 scribes who use to write
> for him'. (17)
> Abdullah Ibn 'Umar relates:... 'The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "Do
> not take the Qur'an on a journey with you, for I am afraid lest it
> should fall into the hands of the enemy"' (18)
> During the Prophet's last pilgrimage, he gave a sermon in which he
> said: 'I have left with you something which if you will hold fast t it
> you will never fall into error - a plain indication, the Book of God
> (Quran) and the practice of his Prophet...' (19)
> 'Besides the official manuscripts of the Quran kept with the Prophet,
> many of his companions use to possess their own written copies of the
> revelation'. (20)
> 'A list of Companions of whom it is related that they had their own
> written collections included the following: Ibn Mas'ud, Ubay bin Ka'b,
> Ali, Ibn Abbas, Abu Musa, Hafsa, Anas bin Malik, Umar, Zaid bin
> Thabit, Ibn Al-Zubair, Abdullah ibn Amr, Aisha, Salim, Umm Salama,
> Ubaid bin Umar'. (21)
> 'The best known among these (Prophet's Scribes) are: Ibn Masud, Ubay
> bin Kab and Zaid bin Thabit'. (22)
> 'Aisha and Hafsa, the wives of the Prophet had their own scripts
> written after the Prophet had died'. (23)
> Conclusion:
> The complete Quran was written down in front of the Prophet by several
> of his scribes and the companions possess their own copies of the
> Quran in the Prophet's lifetime. However the written material of the
> Quran in the Prophet's possession were not bounded between the two
> covers in the form of a book, because the period of revelation of the
> Qur'an continued up until just a few days before the Prophet's death.
> The task of collecting the Qur'an as a book was therefore undertaken
> by Abu Bakr, the first successor to the Prophet.
> Written Quran in First Generation:
> At the battle of Yamama (633 CE), six months after the death of the
> Prophet, a number of Muslims, who had memorized the Quran were killed.
> Hence it was feared that unless a written official copy of the Quran
> were prepared, a large part of revelation might be lost.
> Narrated Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari, one of the scribes of the
> Revelation: Abu Bakr sent for me after the casualties among the
> warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Qurra
> (memorizers of the Quran, were killed). Umar was present with Abu Bakr
> who said: "Umar has come to me and said, the people have suffered
> heavy casualties on the day of (the battle) of Yamama, and I am afraid
> that there will be some casualties among the Qurra at other places,
> whereby a large part of the Quran may be lost, unless you collect it
> (in one manuscript, or book)...so Abu Bakr said to me (Zaid bin
> Thabit): You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of
> telling lies or of forgetfulness) and you used to write the Divine
> Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur'an and
> collect it (in one manuscript)'...So I started locating the Quranic
> material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leafstalks of
> date palms and from the memories of men (who know it by
> heart)..." (24)
> Now, a committee was formed to under take the task of collecting the
> written Quranic material in the form of a book. The committee was
> headed by Zaid bin Thabit, the original scribe of the Prophet, who was
> also a memorizer of the complete Quran.
> '...Zaid bin Thabit had committed the entire Quran to memory...' (25)
> The compilers in this committee, in examining written material
> submitted to them, insisted on very stringent criteria as a safeguard
> against any errors.
> 1. The material must have been originally written down in the presence
> of the Prophet; nothing written down later on the basis of memory
> alone was to be accepted. (26) 2. The material must be confirmed by
> two witnesses, that is to say, by two trustworthy persons testifying
> that they themselves had heard the Prophet recite the passage in
> question. (27)
> 'The manuscript on which the Qur'an was collected, remained with Abu
> Bakr till Allah took him unto Him, and then with Umar (the second
> successor), till Allah took him unto Him, and finally it remained with
> Hafsa, 'Umar's daughter (and wife of the Prophet)'. (28)
> This copy of the Quran, prepared by the committee of competent
> companions of the Prophet (which included Memorizers of the Quran) was
> unanimous approved by the whole Muslim world. If they committee would
> have made a error even of a single alphabet in transcribing the Quran,
> the Qurra (memorizers of the Quran) which totaled in the tens of
> hundreds would have caught it right away and correct it. This is
> exactly where the neat check and balance system of preservation of the
> Quran comes into play, but which is lacking for any other scripture
> besides the Quran.
> Official written copy by Uthman
> The Quran was originally revealed in Quraishi dialect of Arabic. But
> to facilitate the people who speak other dialects, in their
> understanding and comprehension, Allah revealed the Quran finally in
> seven dialects of Arabic. During the period of Caliph Uthman (second
> successor to the Prophet) differences in reading the Quran among the
> various tribes became obvious, due to the various dialectical
> recitations. Dispute was arising, with each tribe calling its
> recitation as the correct one. This alarmed Uthman, who made a
> official copy in the Quraishi dialect, the dialect in which the Quran
> was revealed to the Prophet and was memorized by his companions. Thus
> this compilation by Uthman's Committee is not a different version of
> the Quran (like the Biblical versions) but the same original
> revelation given to the Prophet by One God, Allah.
> Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the
> time when the people of Sham (Syria) and the people of Iraq were
> waging war to conquer Armenia and Azherbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of
> their differences in the recitation of the Quran, so he said to
> Uthman, 'O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ
> about the Book (Quran) as Jews and Christians did before'. So Uthman
> sent a message to Hafsa saying, 'Send us the manuscripts of the Quran
> so that we may compile the Quranic materials in perfect copies and
> return the manuscripts to you'. Hafsa sent it to Uthman. 'Uthman then
> ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Said bin Al-As and
> Abdur Rahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in
> perfect copies. Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, 'In case you
> disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Quran, then write it
> in their (Quraishi) tongue'. They did so, and when they had written
> many copies, Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what
> they had copied and ordered that all the other Quranic materials
> whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be
> burnt..." (29)
> Again a very stringent criteria was set up by this Committee to
> prevent any alteration of the Revelation.
> 1. The earlier recension (Original copy prepared by Abu Bakr) was to
> serve as the principal basis of the new one. (30) 2. Any doubt that
> might be raised as to the phrasing of a particular passage in the
> written text was to be dispelled by summoning persons known to have
> learned the passage in question from the Prophet. (31) 3. Uthman
> himself was to supervise the work of the Council. (32)
> When the final recension was completed, Uthman sent a copy of it to
> each of the major cities of Makka, Damascus, Kufa, Basra and Madina.
> The action of Uthman to burn the other copies besides the final
> recension, though obviously drastic, was for the betterment and
> harmony of the whole community and was unanimously approved by the
> Companions of the Prophet.
> Zaid ibn Thabit is reported to have said: "I saw the Companions of
> Muhammad (going about) saying, 'By God, Uthman has done well! By God,
> Uthman has done well!" (33)
> Another esteemed Companion Musab ibn Sad ibn Abi Waqqas said: "I saw
> the people assemble in large number at Uthman's burning of the
> prescribed copies (of the Quran), and they were all pleased with his
> action; not a one spoke out against him". (34)
> Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousin of the Prophet and the fourth successor
> to the Prophet commented: "If I were in command in place of Uthman, I
> would have done the same". (35)
> Of the copies made by Uthman, two still exist to our day. One is in
> the city of Tashkent, (Uzbekistan) and the second one is in Istanbul
> (Turkey). Below is a brief account of both these copies:
> 1. The copy which Uthman sent to Madina was reportedly removed by the
> Turkish authorities to Istanbul, from where it came to Berlin during
> World War I. The Treaty of Versailles, which concluded World War I,
> contains the following clause:
> 'Article 246: Within six months from the coming into force of the
> present Treaty, Germany will restore to His Majesty, King of Hedjaz,
> the original Koran of Caliph Othman, which was removed from Madina by
> the Turkish authorities and is stated to have been presented to the ex-
> Emperor William II". (36)
> 'This manuscript then reached Istanbul, but not Madina (Where it now
> resides)'. (37)
> 2. The second copy in existence is kept in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 'It
> may be the Imam (master) manuscript or one of the other copies made at
> the time of Uthman'. (38)
> It Came to Samarkand in 890 Hijra (1485) and remained there till 1868.
> Then it was taken to St.Petersburg by the Russians in 1869. It
> remained there till 1917. A Russian orientalist gave a detailed
> description of it, saying that many pages were damaged and some were
> missing. A facsimile, some 50 copies, of this mushaf (copy) was
> produced by S.Pisareff in 1905. A copy was sent to the Ottoman Sultan
> 'Abdul Hamid, to the Shah of Iran, to the Amir of Bukhara, to
> Afghanistan, to Fas and some important Muslim personalities. One copy
> is now in the Columbia University Library (U.S.A.). (39)
> 'The Manuscript was afterwards returned to its former place and
> reached Tashkent in 1924, where it has remained since'. (40)
> Conclusion:
> 'Two of the copies of the Qur'an which were originally prepared in the
> time of Caliph Uthman, are still available to us today and their text
> and arrangement can be compared, by anyone who cares to do, with any
> other copy of the Quran, be it in print or handwritten, from any place
> or period of time. They will be found identical'. (41)
> It can now be proclaimed, through the evidences provided above, with
> full conviction and certainty that the Prophet memorized the entire
> Quran, had it written down in front of him through his scribes, many
> of his companions memorized the entire revelation and in turn possess
> their own private copies for recitation and contemplation. This
> process of dual preservation of the Quran in written and in the memory
> was carried in each subsequent generation till our time, without any
> deletion, interpolation or corruption of this Divine Book.
> Sir Williams Muir states, " There is otherwise every security,
> internal and external, that we possess the text which Muhammad himself
> gave forth and used". (42)
> Sir William Muir continues, "There is probably no other book in the
> world which has remained twelve centuries (now fourteen) with so pure
> a text". (43)
> This divine protection provided to the Quran, the Last Reveled Guide
> to Humanity, is proclaimed by One God in the Quran:
> We* (Allah) have, without doubt, send down the Message; and We will
> assuredly Guard it (from corruption)' (Quran - Chapter 15, Verse 9).
> *('We' is the plural of Majesty, and not the Christian plural of
> trinity)
> Compare this divine and historical preservation of the Quran with any
> literature, be it religious or secular and it becomes evident that
> none possess similar miraculous protection. And as states earlier, a
> belief is as authentic as the authenticity of its scripture. And if
> any scripture is not preserved, how can we be certain that the belief
> arising out of this scripture is divine or man made, and if we are not
> sure about the belief itself, then our salvation in the hereafter
> would be jeopardized. Thus this above evidence for the protection of
> the Quran from any corruption is a strong hint about its divine
> origin. We request all open hearted persons to read, understand and
> live the Quran, the 'Manual for Mankind'.
> >

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