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An Analysis

Donna Morley

        For years, I have heard about the controversial content of the Qur’an. Rather than simply repeat what others have said about it, I decided to go to the Qur'an myself, and read it in its entirety. I found more than I was expecting, and will, in the near future, write up a summary of each section of the Qur'an and put it on the Faith and Reason Forum website. For now, I’ll only hit on a few key points.

         I read Ahmed Ali’s translation of the Qur’an. I must admit, it was a disappointment. I would have much preferred reading the translation by N. Darwood (Penguin Classics). Perhaps my disappointment stems from the fact that it’s been water-downed tremendously. The question we must ask the Muslim who uses Ali’s version is, “Doesn’t this change the intention and the interpretation of the prophet Muhammed?


Case in point. Take a look at Darwood’s version of 4:34 in contrast with Ali’s:



"Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme."


Men are the support of women as God gives some more means than others, and because they spend of their wealth (to provide for them). So women who are virtuous are obedient to God and guard the hidden as God has guarded it. As for women you feel are averse, talk to them suasively;2 then leave them alone in bed (without molesting them) and go to bed with them (when they are willing). If they open out to you, do not seek an excuse for blaming them. Surely God is sublime and great.

         Notice that in Ali’s translation, “beat them” has been completely eliminated. Interestingly, one of the men who endorsed Ali’s translation said, “This translation of the Qur’an aims at doing something new....It...departs from traditional translations in that it gives more refined and differentiated shades of important concepts.” 3

         Indeed many of the verses I have read are refined, but still, clearly communicate unbiblical and even shocking teaching. In the Qur’an “Allah and the Prophet” must together be obeyed (72:23); and believed (5:10). Jesus is lessened to “only an Apostle” (4:171) and the Trinity has become distorted to being Jesus and his mother, along with God (5:16).

         Along with Christians, the Jewish people are referred to as “people of the Book” (4:47). The Jews are highly condemned and criticized. They are accused of breaking “the sanctity of the Sabbath” (2:65); of ignoring Moses (2:66-71); for killing a man and blaming each other (2:70); for their hearts being “hardened like rocks” (2:74) as they pervert the Word of God (2:75); they are, “lost in fantasies.” (2:65-78). The Jews are also accused of having obstructed people from “the way of God,” who practiced usury, for usurping others’ wealth unjustly (4:161). The Jewish people who believe what has been revealed to them, shall receive a great reward from Allah and the Prophet (4:160-162). Yet, these are very few people. On the whole, the Jewish people are condemned because their beliefs are “vile” (2:93) and as a people they are “covetous...more than other men, even more than those who practise (sic) idolatry” (2:96).


         Jewish people are apparently to be blamed for all the evils in the world, and the Qur’an seems to express the fact that it was Allah and the Prophet who wanted to make peace with the Jews. We are told that Allah and the Prophet actually made a covenant with the Jews. This covenant was based upon the Jews agreeing that they “will neither shed blood among you nor turn your people out of their homes....But you still kill one another” (2:83-85). If only terrorists and suicide bombers would read their own verses and apply them to their own lives!

         Christians do not escape unscathed from the words of Allah or the Prophet Mohammed. They are being accused of having not listened to the warning given to them. Thus, Allah and the Prophet “have caused enmity and hatred among them till the Day of the Resurrection,” when Allah “will inform them of what they were doing” (5:14). Christians are “surely infidels” for they say, “God is the Christ, son of Mary.” (5:72). The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle, and many apostles had (come and) gone before him....” (5:75). The Qur’an, as mentioned earlier, is identifying the Trinity as Jesus, Mary and God. Jesus and Mary are “two deities apart from God” (5:16). All unbelievers are those who say “The Messiah, son of Mary, is God” (5:17). It was Allah and the Prophet who sent Jesus, son of Mary (5:46).


         The Quar’an says that Jews and Christians be “damned by God: How perverse they are!” (9:30). It was Allah “who sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the true faith in order to make it (Islam) superior to other systems of believe” (9:33). For this reason, a