Why Mohammad Cannot be the Author of the Koran

Ashfaq Bhai (Sheikh Ashfaq Ahmad) is a friend of mine and a relative. He is like an elder brother to me. As an educated and intelligent Muslim, he has always been interested in his religion. He sent me the following article authored by him which I thought was worth sharing with others. If you find the need to write to him, his email address is: windfall54@gmail.com

WHY MOHAMMAD CANNOT BE THE AUTHOR OF THE KORAN

It has been frequently asserted, usually by non-Muslim scholars, that the Koran is a piece of work by Mohammad himself. This thought also crosses the minds of many Muslims as well, at times when skepticism abounds for one reason or another. But Muslims seldom express it in public, preferring not to offend other Muslims. Similar doubts were entertained and openly alleged by the opponents of Mohammad during his lifetime and beyond.

A number of rebuttals of this allegation are found in the Koran itself. One such rebuttal is quite well known. The Koran challenges anyone to make up something similar if anyone suspects that the Koran was made up by Mohammad.  Although this is a pretty strong argument given the fact that no one has successfully taken up this challenge to date, but doubts still linger about the authorship of Koran in the modern minds for many reasons.

Perhaps the following will be appreciated by some of the open minded skeptics:

All those who are familiar with the process of creative writing will acknowledge without any hesitation that it takes many revisions and corrections to finalize a particular work. This is true whether one is writing verse or prose. This is also equally true whether the author is doing the writing himself or dictating his thoughts to a secretary or a ghost writer. Usually there is a first draft, a second draft and so on. Thus, a finished work of creative writing, when offered to the general public, has normally gone through many major or minor revisions and corrections done in private by the author.

Admittedly, sometimes poets do write a poem or two without changing a single word. But it happens very rarely. It is commonly referred to as “aamad” or revelation by creative writers, usually poets. However, this phenomenon is an exception to the general rule. Even great poets including Mir, Ghalib and Iqbal have never boasted that any particular collection of their works was entirely a product of a revelation-like experience. Even if they had claimed it, hardly any one in the literary community would have deemed it credible. The reason is simple. It is humanly impossible.

Mohammad, by his own admittance and by the Koranic testimony, was a regular human being. The Koran was dictated by Mohammad to his scribes who wrote it down or memorized it by heart or both. In this process, over a period of about 23 years, never once has there been a reported case of revision or correction that Mohammad had asked his scribes to make. Never once did he ask his listener(s) to change a word or two here and there either immediately after he had dictated the revelation or even after a few days or a few months.

This is a feat beyond the realm of human potential. Even from an exceptionally gifted creative writer, one can accept the claim of “aamad” for a couple of good days out of a month or two, but not for a continuous long period of 23 years.Thus Koran cannot be the work of a human being and it follows that Mohammad is not its author.

7 thoughts on “Why Mohammad Cannot be the Author of the Koran

  1. Aila Khan

    Thank you for sharing Ashfaq Sahib’s article with all of us. Indeed, his argument is convincing to all those who are familiar with writing activities.

    Some of my daughter’s non-muslim friends also question us regarding Quran’s content and its preservation. What proof do we have that in the past so many years, its never been altered? In fact, is there any copy of Quran which is different to the original one? Has anybody researched this aspect?

    Would appreciate your input on this topic.

  2. Khalid Zaheer

    Assalamo Alaikum

    I think we need to help our non-Muslim friends appreciate the fact the Qur’an couldn’t have been edited by familiarizing them with the living example of memorising of its text taking place even today. A large number of Muslims (hundreds and thousands of them) commit to memory the entire Qur’an and recite its various passages in the prayers. If while doing it, the Imam (the one leading the prayer)commits a mistake, a muqtadi (the one behind in prayer) corrects him. This happens because it is the same Qur’an that Muslims read and memorise. It is not imaginable that what was happening today could have been any different in the past. If the Qur’an was edited from time to time, there would have been various versions of it in the part of the Muslim world where it started getting memorised and recited from the beginning.

    Even though there were records of the written text of the Qur’an as well, but those records were not as convincing an evidence as the phenomenon of memorising of its text, which is simply unchallengeable. Probably, the non-Muslims can be helped by the example of memorising of poetry. While prose doesn’t lend itself easily to memorising, poetry resides in the memory of many in volumes.

    Khalid Zaheer

  3. Farhan

    Thank you for sharing the article. With all due respect to Mr. Ashfaq Ahmad, I find the logic kind of unconvincing to me. The writer says

    ” This is a feat beyond the realm of human potential. Even from an exceptionally gifted creative writer, one can accept the claim of “aamad” for a couple of good days out of a month or two, but not for a continuous long period of 23 years.Thus Koran cannot be the work of a human being and it follows that Mohammad is not its author. ”

    Skeptics and critics would ask, do we have any scientific evidance to justify this statement? On what basis can someone prove that the phenomenon of “aamad” cannot continue for a longer time period. I believe that science has a long way to go in discovering and understanding the potential of human brain. We have witnessed unbelievable works by people who never claimed to be divine, such as Einstein, Da Vinci, Newton etc.

  4. Umer Khan

    Assalam o alaikum

    Sorry to say, this is a very illogical article, or maybe I am illogical.

    Arcangel Gabriel alahisalam revised Qur’an every ramadan with our beloved Prophet s.a.w. And in the last year this revision was done twice. I know the above article is saying about the revision or correction by rasool ALLAH (s.a.w) in the material which was possessed by different scribes. Revisions were done on those materials as well, if my information is not wrong. Regardless of revisions or corrections, my point is about the above article, in which the author has tried to present some points about the argument whether Qur’an is divinely inspired or not, which was shared with Dr. Khalid sb and then he shared with us. If this article was directed for non-muslim, then sorry to say, I guess non muslim would call it nonsense. And if it was for the muslims, infact either for muslim or non-muslim, the author should have taken the name of the Prophet s.a.w. with respect adding atleast s.a.w after the name. Rasool ALLAH (s.a.w) was not an ordinary politician leader that we can dare take his name without respect. Adding s.a.w takes hardly 2 seconds. Eveery muslim know what it means.

    I shared what in my opinion was right, however I can be wrong too. I apologise if I hurt anyone.

    Umer

  5. Joe

    Yes, but is there a possibility that he revised his work before he revealed it to his scribes? After all, some revelations took quite a while to “appear” to him.

  6. Umer Khan

    Assalam o alaikum

    What Khalid sb has said in the comments section should have been a part of the answer of the question whether Prophet s.a.w. is the author of the Qur’an or not. Infact this should replace the article above. And I too go with the opinion of brother Farhan.

  7. Othman Safdar

    Dear Dr.Khalid Zaheer and Ashfaq bhai:

    Its an interesting article … by far the last paragraph is the most interesting one: “Never once did he ask his listener(s) to change a word or two here …. but not for a continuous long period of 23 years.” I find it very appealing but I am not sure if thats how skeptics would also feel.

    Although there are some points which I have failed to understand due to my ignorance, I don’t know if this is a right place to discuss them here. Let me know if there is time at your disposal, I shall write to you soon inshAllah.

    Wsalaam
    From Othman.

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