The word Quran means the Reading or the Recitation. Muhammad’s first claim of contact from the angel Gabriel was in 612 and this continued through to his death in 632. As Muhammad received his revelations, some were written down by scribes on various crude writing materials such as stones, bones or wood. However many were committed only to the memories of his companions and hence never physically recorded during the lifetime of Muhammad.

The Qur’an was revealed in two distinct phases; the first being in Mecca and the second in Medina. The Meccan suras (chapters) are basically peaceful and tolerant with the intent of convincing the Pagans, Jews and Christians of his apostleship.

However the suras he produced in Medina are quite the opposite, often times inciting hatred and warfare against the very pagans, Christians and Jews whom he attempted to woo in earlier years. Now the Jews were referred to as apes and pigs (Q5:60) the pagans were to be smited when the fasting month was past (Q9:5) and enmity was to be stirred up with the Christians for forgetting their covenant with Allah. (Q5:14).

After his death, many reciters of the Qur’an were slain in the Battle of Yamama. Umar therefore suggested to Abu Bakr, the then Caliph (Islamic leader), that all the suras of the Qur’an should be brought together into one book. 

Zayed, the chief scribe of Muhammad at the time of his death, was assigned the task of compiling the various sources that were either written or memorised, into one source. He sought out the fragments of the Qur’an from every quarter, gathering them together from palm leaves and tablets of white stone and from the memories of faithful men. This first edition of the Qur’an was completed twenty years after Muhammad’s death.

However during the rule of Uthman, Zayed was again commissioned, this time to create a revised version of the Qur’an. All copies of the first edition were called in from around the Islamic empire and burnt. This second edition therefore is the version now in use by Muslims and regarded as the word of Allah. Why Uthman should find it necessary to revise the original collection of assembled verses we may never know. And one wonders what changes were made that required the drastic action of recalling all previous copies to be destroyed?

The Qur’an is written in rhyming Arabic prose that consists of 6,200 verses (ayats) contained in 114 chapters (suras). There is no methodological arrangement of chapters in the book. Other than the very first chapter, the Qur’an is ordered from longest to shortest in terms of number of verses. There is no chronological sequence or subject matter continuity. Determining the order in which Allah felt it necessary to reveal his message is not possible for those unfamiliar with the history of the origins of Islam.

The first chapter aptly titled ‘The Opening’ is regarded by Muslims as the essence of the Qur’an and it is recited as a daily prayer.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds: 
The Benefi cent, the Merciful: Owner of the Day of Judgment. 
Thee alone we worship; Thee alone we ask for help. 
Show us the straight path: The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; 
Not the path of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.

That, the entire chapter one, exalts Allah as the only one to be worshipped who favours some by showing them the straight path. It goes on to plea with Allah not to lead the Muslims on the path that makes him angry or the path of those who go astray.

So what does it mean by these paths that make Allah angry or lead men astray? When we read the scriptures we get a clearer picture. Allah is consistently angry with the Jews for rejecting Muhammad as a prophet, and Muhammad often refers to the Christians as being led astray because of their insistence on associating partners, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, with God.

We get verification of this from Sahih Bukhari who informs us that Muhammad said believers will be forgiven of their sins by acknowledging and praising the phrase regarding those who make him angry or go astray and later confirming the Jews and Christians are the ones on the wrong path.

SB12:749 Allah’s Apostle said: Say Amen when the Imam says “not the path of those who earn Your Anger (such as Jews) nor of those who go astray (such as Christians)”; all the past sins of the person whose saying of Amen coincides with that of the angels, will be forgiven.

SB56:662 The Prophet said: You will follow the wrong ways, of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a mastigure {type of lizard}, you too will go there. We said, Do you mean the Jews and the Christians? He replied, Whom else? Meaning, of course, the Jews and the Christians.

What the opening chapter of the Qur’an is truly saying is “Allah you have favoured me to be on the correct path but do not lead me on the paths that are trodden by the Jews or Christians.”

The Qur’an itself borrows heavily on the stories found in the Old and New Testaments. However on many occasions we find Muhammad’s interpretations quite different from the original source. Muhammad picked up many of these biblical tales from his early travels, from Warraq (Khadija’s cousin) as well from the Jews in Medina who he would often ask when making a decision, “What does your Torah say about such and such?” prior to revealing his take on the matter.

As we shall see from going through the extracts of the Qur’an in this section, a high proportion of its content is directed at the non-believers. The terror that they will have to ensue in this life and horrors awaiting them in the next are graphically depicted.

The few Qur’anic verses that extol love and charity if taken in their true context, clearly apply solely within the brotherhood of Islam. Muhammad said that the non-believer should be converted to Islam, if they reject it they must pay the Jizya tax with submission, and if they refuse that then they must be killed.

Hence charity outside the Muslim ummah is an oxymoron in the context of Islamic ideology.

What follows is a selection of verses from relevant chapters that highlight the intolerance, hatred, misogyny and absurdities that can be found so readily in the Qur’an.

Authors: Islamic scripture unveiled/noislamonazis

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