By George Mitrakos| Did you ever wonder if what you were told about Islam was true? Many claims get tossed around by those within the Muslim community for the cause of endorsing their faith. But how many of these are actually accurate? Here are 10 lies you were told about Islam.
- Muhammad was illiterate.
- The Quran has been perfectly preserved.
- Islam means peace.
- No one can meet the Quranic challenge.
- Islam is tolerant of other religions.
- The Quran contains scientific knowledge which we have only now come to discover.
- Muhammad was justified in marrying a child.
- The greater Jihad is “inner/spiritual struggle”.
- Islam promotes honestly.
- Islam respects the female gender.
1) Was Muhammad illiterate?
One of the claims Muslims make to support and exaggerate the miraculous nature of the Quran is that Muhammad was illiterate. In other words, how can a book as miraculous as the Quran, be forged and penned by a man who couldn’t even read or write? Now although endorsed by tradition, both the historical and the qur’anic narrative prove otherwise.
- Prior to prophet hood, Muhammad, as many know, worked as a merchant. Now obviously, anyone taking part in the business of selling, buying or trading would have to be familiar with the numerical system. However, the Arabic numerical system didn’t come into existence until the 7th-8th century, after the time of Muhamad. Prior to its creation, Arabs used letters to symbolize numbers. Hence, Muhamad would have HAD to know the Arabic letters if he was dealing with numbers. Let alone read and write transactions.
- The Muslim scholars derived the illiteracy concept for Muhammad from chapter 7:157-158 of the Quran. They say that the word ummy means illiterate. Now granted, in modern Arabic, this word can also mean illiterate. However, if we study the Quran, this word has always been in the context of gentiles vs the people of the scripture. This can be found in surah 3:20, 3:75, 62:2, 2:78-79. And interestingly, in surah 2 verse 79, Allah warns the ummi not to write distorted versions of the scriptures with their own hands, proving that they have the ability to write. Hence ummi, as we can see, does not mean illiterate in the Quran.
- The first Quranic revelation that came down to Muhammad is, “Read! In the name of your Lord.” (96:1). Furthermore, in surah 25:4-5, it says: “And those who disbelieve say, “This [Qur’an] is not except a falsehood he invented, and another people assisted him in it.” But they have committed an injustice and a lie.And they say, Legends of the former peoples which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.” Now although these were uttered by the unbelievers, it sheds some light on the literacy of Muhammad: That he was able to write.
Furthermore, in Iban ishaqs work (An 8th century historian) he recorded an instance in which Muhammad actually WROTE a letter to his contemporary who claimed to be a messenger of God:
Musaylima had written to the apostle (Prophet Muhammad): From Musaylima the apostle of God to Muhammad the apostle of God. Peace upon you. I have been made partner with you in authority. To us belongs half the land and to Quraysh half, but Quraysh are a hostile people…
Then he (Prophet Muhammad) wrote to Musaylima: From Muhammad the apostle of God to Musaylima the liar. Peace be upon him who follows the guidance. The earth is God’s. He lets whom He will of His creatures (to) inherit it and the result is to the pious…
Reference: Guillaume, A., The Life of Muhammad, a translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, Oxford, 1967, p. 649.
2) Has the Quran been perfectly preserved?
Another common statement uttered by the Muslim community is that their Quran has remained unchanged and perfectly preserved since the time of its inception. However, when one begins to look at Islamic sources, he will come to note that this is not the case.
- Islamic sources show that Muslims actually forgot parts of the Quran.
Abu Harb b. Abu al-Aswad reported on the authority of his father that Abu Musa al-Ash’ari sent for the reciters of Basra. They came to him and they were three hundred in number. They recited the Qur’an and he said:
“We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bara’at. I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it:”
If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust.” And we used so recite a surah which resembled one of the surahs of Musabbihat, and I have forgotten it, but remember (this much) out of it:” Oh people who believe, why do you say that which you do not practise” and” that is recorded in your necks as a witness (against you) and you would be asked about it on the Day of Resurrection” Sahih Muslim 2286
2. In surah 33 verse 6, the Quran says: The prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers. However, Yusuf ali, an Islamic scholar who’s translation of the quran into english is among one of the most prominent ones writes the following: In some qiras, like that of Ubay ibn Kab, occur also the words: And he is a father to them.
3. Islamic sources show that some verses of the Quran were forgotten by Muhammad’s wife because her sheep ate them.
It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:“The Verse of stoning and of breastfeeding an adult ten times was revealed1, and the paper was with me under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah died, we were preoccupied with his death, and a tame sheep came in and ate it.” Sunan Ibn Majah 1944.
3) Does the word Islam mean peace?
Many Muslim scholars and preachers, such as Yusuf Estes, have been spreading the idea that the term Islam, although meaning submission, also means peace. This is primarily due to the fact that Islam sounds very similar to salam, which in Arabic means peace, and that they share the same root: S L M.
But here is why they are false:
Many Arabic words are trilateral at the root, containing 3 consonants. And the way you create words is by adding vowels to these consonants. But many falsely assume that just because a word shares the same trilateral root with another, that this means that they must have a definitional connection. But this is not the case.
For instance, pertaining to S.L.M, we see that it also includes many unrelated words: salam (a variety of acacia) sullam (ladder), sulāmā (digital bone in the hand or foot), sulaymāni (mercury chloride), aslama (to betray).
So just because Islam (submission) sounds the same as Salama (peace) and shares the same root, this doesn’t mean that they are the same. I mean, if that’s the case, then why not say Islam means ladder, or betray? After all, they also share the same root. And if you ask me, Aslama ( betray) sounds more like Islam than salam ( peace) does.
But at the end of it all, the word Islam means one thing and one thing only: Submission.
4) Can anyone reproduce the Quran?
The Quran writes in Surah 10 verse 38: Or do they say: “He (Muhammad) has forged it?” Say: “Bring then a Surah (chapter) like unto it, and call upon whomsoever you can, besides Allah, if you are truthful!”
Now due to this verse, many Muslims claim that this challenge has yet to be even closely met, proving the Quran’s miraculous nature. But notice the dilemma found within this very statement, that is, how do we know when or if the challenge has ever been sufficiently met?
Surely Allah won’t come down and admit defeat by mere humans. So the whole argument in itself falls apart, because its intention is that the answer will always be that it hasn’t been met. But contrary to what Muslims say, the qur’anic challenge has been met. Here are a few examples:
“It is widely held that the blind Syrian poet Abu’l-`Ala ol-Ma’arri wrote his Ketab ol-fosul wa’ l-ghayat, of which a part survives, in imitation of the Qor’an.” (Ali Dashti, Twenty-Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, translated from Persian by F.R.C. Bagley [Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, CA 1994], p. 48)
“al-Nadr got up when he sat down, and said, ‘I can tell a better story than he, come to me.’ Then he began to tell them about the kings of Persia, Rustum and Isbandiyar, and then he would say, ‘In what respect is Muhammad a better story-teller than I?’ (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], pp. 135-136)
However, Muhammad had him killed after claiming to do so. (Ibid., pp. 308)
Moreover, there is a book called the true forqan that was penned by an Arabic Christian with the intent of matching the Quran in style and literacy, but maintaining a Christian message. As a matter of fact, many Muslims who heard this book being recited mistakenly confused it with the Quran itself.
Dr. Michael Licona also explains in an interview he did with Lee Strobel for his book, The Case For the Real Jesus:
“Some Muslims heard portions of it read and were convinced that it was the Qur’an! One scholar in Arabic dialects told me that some of the classical Arabic in The True Furqan was much more beautiful than anything he had read in the Qur’an.”
5) Is Islam tolerant of other religions?
Another common lie that is spread by the Islamic community is that Islam, essentially, is tolerant of other religions. This statement, in and of itself, is a lie. And here is the evidence.
Quran 8:38-39: “Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief) their past will be forgiven… And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.”
Quran 2:193: “And fight them until fitna is no more, and religion be only for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.”
Take note that within these 2 verses, the Muslims are commanded to fight until the religion of Allah prevails.
Qur’an 3:83: “Are they seeking a religion other than Allah’s, when every soul in the heavens and the earth has submitted to Him, willingly or by compulsion?”
Surah 3:83 is very interesting. Notice that Allah has revealed unto us that some have come to believe in Islam, not by mere willingness, but compulsion.
Sahih Muslim 1:33: The Messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer and pay zakat.
6) Is the Quran backed by science?
Another common tactic used by those within the Muslim community is that the Quran contains many scientific facts which, therefore, makes it truly miraculous. They claim that their scriptures contain certain scientific knowledge that we have only RECENTLY come to discover. Some of these supposed facts include:
- That the moon is not its own light, but borrowed light. (25:61,10:5,71:15-16)
- That the earth is spherical in shape. (79:30)
- That we are composed of water. (21:30)
Now please take note that some of these verses don’t actually speak to the relevant scientific facts. For example, surah 79:30 says that the earth is spread out. Yet Muslims say that in Arabic it means egg shaped. But for the sake of argument, let us assume that the Quran is spot on. So, what the Muslim community refuses to tell you, is that many of these so called miracles were known by ancient philosophers, way before the time of Muhammad.
- That the moon is not its own light, but borrowed light. (Anaxagoras 510-428 B.C) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anaxagoras/#SciAnaCos
- That the earth is spherical in shape. (Aristotle 384-322 B.C and Pythagoras 570-495 B.C) https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question54.html
- That we are composed of water. (Thales of Miletus 624-546 B.C) http://www.iep.utm.edu/thales/#H3
Furthermore, here is an article I wrote which contains some of the many scientific inaccuracies of the Quran. http://reasonsforjesus.com/6-big-reasons-why-islam-is-false/
7) Was Muhammad justified in marrying Aisha?
According to the Islamic narrative, Muhammad had sex with Aisha when she was only 9, and married her when she was 6, as the Islamic sources state:
Narrated ‘Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). Sahih Bukhari 7:62:64.
Yet, to not blemish their prophet with pedophilia, the Muslim community have conjured up some interesting justifications to support their religion. Here is the most prominent one.
“Girls hit puberty faster when in hot climates. Hence Aisha was of appropriate age when she was 6-9 years old seeing as she lived in the Middle East. “
Now, is there any evidence that’s suggests this is possible? I believe there is. However, according to star.com, 15 per cent of some 1,200 girls in the U.S. (colder climate) had breast development at age 7, a pubescent process that typically occurs one to four years later. And the cause of this, scientists believe, is due to obesity.
So my question is, if Muhammad lived in the US and Canada, where there is a much colder climate than in the Middle East, would Muhammad have been cleared of pedophilia charges if he married a 9 year old obese girl who hit puberty? Absolutely not.
Furthermore, if you read what the Islamic sources say, you see that:
Aisha was still playing with dolls. Sahih Bukhari 8:73:151
Aisha was still considered as a little girl of immature age. Sahih Bukhari 3:48:829
Muhammad was “screening” Aisha BEFORE she hit puberty. Sahih Bukhari 7:62:163
8) Can Jihad mean inner struggle?
Another popular statement proposed by the Islamic community is that the term Jihad, although meaning struggle, can also mean an inner spiritual struggle. In fact, they even call the inner struggle “the greater Jihad” whilst holy war is referred to as the “lesser” one. But is this the case?
If Jihad meant inner struggle, then why does the Quran exempt the disabled and elderly from Jihad in chapter 4:95? If it means inner struggle, then these people would have no problem taking part. However, if Jihad means war/combat to push forth the cause of Allah, then hindering the disabled and the elderly would make complete sense.
Furthermore, Muhammad calls the highest Jihad to be the spilling of blood, not an inner struggle.
A man asked Rasulullaah (s.a.w): “..and what is Jihad?” He (s.a.w) replied: “You fight against the disbelievers when you meet them (on the battlefield).” He asked again: “What kind of Jihad is the highest?” He (s.a.w) replied: “The person who is killed whilst spilling the last of his blood.” [Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad 4/114 – Hadith sahih (authentic). Al Haithami states: “Narrators upheld it.” Majmauz Zawaid 1/59].
9) Does Islam promote honesty?
Now one would think that as far as religion is concerned, integrity and honesty would be one of the top inherent values being endorsed within the pages of its scriptures. And when it comes to Islam, that is what we are told. That is, until we actually read what the Quran actually says.
Quran 3:54 “And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.”
The Arabic word used here for scheme (or plot) is makara, which literally means ‘deceit’. So even according to the Quran, Allah is the best of deceivers.
Quran 66:2 “Allah has already ordained for you the dissolution of your oaths.”
Quran 16:106 Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment.
Notice that there are circumstances that can “compel” a Muslim to tell a lie.
Quran 3:28 Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return.
This means that there are times when a Muslim may appear friendly to non-Muslims, even though they should not feel friendly.
10) Does Islam respect the female gender?
Almost every media outlet has attempted to paint Islam as a religion which promotes equality and respect for the female gender. However, when we read the Islamic sources, we come to realize that the story isn’t as truthful as they make it out to be.
Women are deficient: In the Quran, chapter 2:282 it insinuates that the testimony of 2 women is equal to that of one man, while Muhammad in Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301 says that women are intellectually deficient.
Muhammad stoned Women: In Sahih Muslim 17:4206 A woman who became pregnant confesses to Muhammad that she is guilty of adultery. Muhammad allows her to have the child, then has her stoned whilst in Sahih Muslim 17:4209 a woman confesses adultery and is stoned to death on Muhammad’s order.
Women and their social duties: Throughout the qur’anic narrative, we are told that women should reside within the home as stated in Surah 33:33. Furthermore, Muhammad’s command to his daughter Fatima was to stay home and take care of the household duties while her husband Ali took care of matters outside the home, according to Dhamrah bin Habib.
Females in heaven: Within Islam, there is a notion that in Jannah (Paradise) men will be provided with 72 virgins whose qualities are that of full grown, swelling and pear-shaped breasts. Majah, Zuhd (Book of Abstinence) 39. There is no indication of women inheriting male virgins.
Wife beating: The Quran does permit disobedient wives to be beaten by their husbands. This is found in the 4th chapter of the Quran, verse 34.
My full article on this topic can be seen here: http://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-vs-muhammad-their-views-about-women