Infallible Allah's Learning Through Trials and Errors
20 Feb, 2007
During my days as a good Muslim, I used to read the Quran at least once every year, usually during the fasting month of Ramadan. By reading the same book again and again, one tends to develop special feelings towards different parts of the book. If you asked me then what my feeling was towards the Quran, I would probably answered with something like ‘I loved some verses, but I loved other verses even more’. After all, Muslims are not allowed to have any less glorifying feelings towards the Quran. I can tell you now, as a person with free mind that I may have liked some verses and hated others purely because of their rhyme, but the interesting thing is that I used to feel disappointed, or even embarrassed, by hundreds of verses purely because of their obvious lack of common sense. Whenever I approached such verses, I deliberately speeded up my recitation without allowing myself to think deeply about them. It is like reading some stupid and contradicting remarks made by your favourite hero.
In my deep mind, I was aware of the logical blunders contained in those verses, but I was not ready, or willing to come to the logical conclusion about them for the fear that the Quran was anything but divine. My Islamic mind has literally censored those real feelings and labelled as of satanic origin!
The following is an example of the Quranic blunders where the Quran emphasises an idea only to contradict it in some later verses. Every Muslim knows it is an essential Islamic belief that Allah’s absolute and perfect knowledge is second to none, and that He knows the details of all human actions, past and present, as well as their intentions and future actions. Allah keeps all the details in a book, or a tablet, called the preserved tablet or Allawhul Mahfouz. There is nothing that can happen in our lives unless it is written on that tablet. This basic Islamic belief has been repeatedly confirmed in the Quran as in the following verses:
Q.5: 99: Nothing is (incumbent) on the Messenger but to deliver (the message), and Allah knows what you do openly and what you hide.
Q.6: 3: And He is Allah in the heavens and in the earth; He knows your secret (thoughts) and your open (words), and He knows what you earn.
Q.9: 78: Do they not know that Allah knows their hidden thoughts and their secret counsels, and that Allah is the great Knower of the unseen things?
22: 70: Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and the earth? Surely this is in a book; surely this is easy to Allah.
Q.27: 74: And most surely your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they manifest.
This emphasis on the perfect knowledge of Allah was hardly surprising to the Arabs of Mecca or Medina, because they already believed in Allah as a creator of life. In fact, pre-Islamic Arabic poetry addressed the issues of Allah and the afterlife in a similar way. Therefore, this piece of information was not new to the minds of pre-Islamic Arabia; the Quran only confirmed it.
However, there is an obvious lack of consistency in the Quranic claims of a perfect knowledge. One can spot some difficult times when Allah didn’t seem to know what to do next. Even there were times when Allah had to wait to carry out some tests before making his decision. One can only conclude from such contradictions that the Quran was authored by human(s) whose own thoughts were reflected in those Quranic verses.
The following are examples of verses describing a totally different Allah from the one with perfect knowledge, an Allah who needed to learn or perform some tests to know the truth, just like humans do.
In the following verse from sura Al baqara, Allah wants Muslims to be witnesses on each other and experiments with qibla and makes an admission that the whole issue of qibla was made just to help Him to distinguish who is with Mohammed and who is not:
Q.2: 143: And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you; and We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Messenger from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people.
In the following verse from sura Al Imran, Allah explains to the defeated Muslims why He let them down during the battle of Ohud. According to the Quran, the whole thing appears to be an exercise to help Allah make his judgment on which ones really deserve to go to paradise. Q.3:142:
Do you think that you will enter the garden while Allah has not yet known those who strive hard from among you, and (He has not) known the patient. Those were true Muslims, who went to war for the sake of Allah, and totally confident in Him, but He lets them down because He was only testing!
In the following verse from sura Al Ana’am, Allah uses hunting as a test for Muslims:
Q.5: 94: O you who believe! Allah will certainly try you in respect of some game which your hands and your lances can reach, that Allah might know who fears Him in secret; but whoever exceeds the limit after this, he shall have a painful punishment.
And here is an endurance test, described in sura Al touba, to serve the same purpose Q.9: 16:
What! do you think that you will be left alone while Allah has not yet known those of you who have struggled hard and have not taken any one as an adherent besides Allah and His Messenger and the believers; and Allah is aware of what you do.
And this verse from sura Saba Q.34: 21:
"And he has no authority over them, but that We may distinguish him who believes in the hereafter from him who is in doubt concerning it; and your Lord is the Preserver of all things."
In the following verse from sura Mohammed, Allah makes it clear that he needs to carry out some trials in order for him to distinguish the good from the bad:
Q.47: 31: And most certainly We will try you until We have known those among you who exert themselves hard, and the patient, and made your case manifest.
There is no shortage of evidence to prove the Quran was a man made erroneous and ambiguous book. The above two sets of contradicting verses just add another one to the pile of evidence already available. In his work ‘Who Authored the Quran’ Abul Kasem rightly says: ‘Making Allah the author of the Quran, I think, is the prime lie perpetrated on mankind for more than a millennium’. A few ambitious and opportunistic persons, in the name of Allah gathered together under the tutelage of Muhammad to construct the Qur'an by adapting, amending and outright plagiarizing other scriptures and heresy of the time.