Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Contradictions In The Quran: Quran In The Earlier Books?

Question: Quran in the earlier books?
Sura 26: 192 It (the Qur'an) is indeed a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds,193 with it came down the spirit of truth194 Upon your heart so that you may be one of the warners195 in clear Arabic speech 196 and indeed IT (the Qur'an) is in the writings of the earlier (prophets).
A Muslim's comment (on the Islamic newsgroup)was: "YES! The Qur'an is IN them and they are complete IN the Qur'an. What does this tell you? They are identical!"
Now, I am not sure if how many Muslims hold to this opinion, but here are nevertheless two powerful self-contradictions in the verses 195-196.
One important reason for the revelation of the Qur'an in Arabic is that the earlier books were NOT in Arabic and therefore the Arabs could not understand them. Now even if the Qur'an and the earlier books are not identical [apart from translation in a different language] verse 196 does say that the Qur'an is contained in the earlier books.
Now we have the choice between two different lies in God's revelations. Either, because of verse 196, the verse "in clear Arabic speech" is contained in the earlier revelations. This is a lie, because they are not in Arabic.Therefore it cannot be in the earlier revelation. But then verse 196 becomes a lie in the Qur'an.
Maybe this situation can be saved by regarding "in clear Arabic speech" to be only belonging to "so that you (Muhammad) may be one of the warners" and NOT refering to the Qur'an (it) in verse 192. But then, what were the warnings of Muhammad in Arabic? The verses of the Qur'an...
But there are more such verses, for example 16:103 also claims that "this is Arabic pure and clear" which refers to the Qur'an without doubt.
But verse 196 is a jewel of contradiction just within itself. How many "earlier writings" were there? Finitely many or infinitely many? Have you ever written a computer program that went into an infinite loop? Well, you have before your very eyes a recursion without a condition for termination. And you are not allowed to change the program. Talk about the worst nightmare imaginable for a computer programmer.
Verse 196 is part of the Qur'an, and hence by its very statement also part of the earlier writings. Let say, it is in earlier writing A. Now, by the very same reason, there has to be an earlier writing B, containing this verse, and earlier writing C containing this verse, and .... without end and you need infinitely many earlier writings because you otherwise end up in the lie of verse 196 claiming to be contained in a non-existing earlier writing.
But infinitely many writings are physically impossible. Isn't that a most interesting contradiction / error / problem in just one verse?
But take heart, some of the best and most intelligent people have written programs with such errors. It is no shame for Muhammad to overlook that bug. The problem is not the bug, but that he decreed that nobody is allowed to correct the bugs. And since no provision was made to update and maintain the program, it sadly has to be abandoned. Nobody wants to be stuck in an infinite loop without being allowed to stop the program.
Verse 196 is indeed producing numerous problems. There are many things in the Qur'an which become utter non-sense if you imagine them to be in the Torah or the Gospel. The consequence would be that God gives foolish revelations and talks gibberish. This is obviously not true, so that we have to reject verse 196 as illogical.
Answer: the verses are very simple and straight forward:
26:191 And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful. وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ
26:192 Verily this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds: وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
26:193 With it came down the spirit of Faith and Truth (Gabril)- نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ
26:194 To thy heart and mind, that thou mayest admonish. عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ
26:195 In the perspicuous Arabic tongue. بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ
26:196 Without doubt it is (announced) in the mystic Books of former peoples. وَإِنَّهُ لَفِي زُبُرِ الْأَوَّلِينَ
26:197 Is it not a Sign to them that the Learned of the Children of Israel knew it (as true)?
أَوَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُمْ آيَةً أَن يَعْلَمَهُ عُلَمَاء بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ
I do not know what all these confusions about. The Quran is in Arabic tongue. If you compare many of the verses in the old testament and Quran you find the same the High lord, the straight path, the just God, the compassionate God, God's wrath, commandments----. The fact that some of the Rabbi who red well in the Quran felt that the God of the Quran is the same as the God of the old testament is a proof of this observation.