Trinity in Quran wrongly explained?

One common claim that is made against the Quran by the Christians is that the Quran doesn’t understand the Trinity, that the Quran’s understanding of the Trinity is wrong, and ignorant.

Jesus Christ did not teach Trinity, Jesus Christ repeatedly preached to worship only God: “And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”(Luke;4:8). Much later based on St Paul’s concept of divinity of Jesus, the concept of Trinity was developed during three centuries. According to Encyclopedia Britannica: “The Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon; by excluding several extreme positions from the circle of orthodoxy, paved the way for the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity in the 4th century after Christ. The God is believed to be consisting of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Since 5th-century theologians were able to describe the relation between the divine and the human Christ by analogy to the relation between the Father and the Son in the Trinity. There were three divine persons in one divine essence; such was the outcome of the controversies in the 4th century. But there were also two natures, one of them divine and the other human, in the one person Jesus Christ. Over the relation between these two natures the theologians of the 5th century carried on their controversy. The abstract questions with which they sometimes dealt in that controversy, some of them almost unintelligible to a modern mind, must not be permitted to obscure the fact that a basic issue of the Christian faith was at stake: how can Jesus Christ be said to partake of both identity with God and brotherhood with humanity?’ Ultimately it was concluded that God literally became incarnate as a human in the form of Jesus. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia: “The three Persons (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are Co-Equal and Co-Eternal: all alike are Uncreated and Omnipotent (supreme).”

There is no clear verse in the bible which support the doctrine of ‘Trinity’, except 1John; 5:7,8; “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.” (in some volumes this changed as : “There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree”. In the foot not of this verse in ‘New International Version Bible’ it is written; ‘not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteen century. Dr C.I, Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.’s in a footnote to this verse opine: “It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted.”The fundamentalist Christians still retain this fabrication whereas; in all the modern translations including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) this pious deceit has been unceremoniously expunged. [More on Evolution of Trinity:].

The other verses from Bible, which have been interpreted by the Catholic and Protestant Churches to support the Divinity of Jesus Christ are vague. Critical analysis of these verses, reveals that, either their wordings are ambiguous, leaving them open to a number of different interpretations, or they are later additions not found in the early manuscripts of the Bible. Early Christianity had many sects with divergent views on monotheism and trinnity, the practice conntinued for centuries.[The most commonly quoted arguments have  being examined at: ]

The Christians make the claim that Islam believed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a member of the Trinity. For instance they quote the following verse:

And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, ‘Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, though I know not what in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden. [Qur’an 5:116]

So from this verse the Christian asserts that the Quran did not know what the Trinity was, as Mary is not in the Trinity, hence the Quran was wrong. For starters the Christians themselves have committed the mistake, not the Quran, if anyone reads Surah 5:116 (the above quoted verse) they will see that the verse says NOTHING about a Trinity. So we need to ask our Christian friends from where do they assert that this verse is mentioning the Trinity? The Christian has simply read what is not there.

In fact in the very same Surah, in passage 73, the Quran does mention the Trinity:

They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. (5:73)

In this passage the Quran does mention the Trinity, yet it says nothing about Mary being included in the Trinity of the Christians. The Quran also mentions the Trinity in another Surah:

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. (4:171)

Here again the Quran attacks the Trinity, yet again there is nothing about Mary. So already we can see a problem with the Christian argument, the Quran when it attacks the Trinity it mentions the Trinity quite clearly, and when it does so it says nothing about Mary being involved within the Trinity. Now when the Quran mentions Jesus and Mary being worshiped as gods it never mentions the Trinity at all!

So the burden of proof is now on the Christian, show us where the Quran says anything about Mary being in the Trinity, I have quoted two passages from the Quran which attack the Trinity, and neither of these two passages say that Mary is in the Trinity.

So the Quran attacks both the Trinity, as well as Christians who have wrongly raised Mary to such a high degree that she has become like a god. Here is the proof that some Christians have turned Mary into a godly figure

As a faithful Catholic, and later as a nun, I was devoted to Mary. The prayers and practices were so familiar. They were taught to me by sincere people. I prayed the rosary, including rosary novenas. I wore a Brown Scapular and a Miraculous Medal. (You can read about these things in the Glossary, which is Appendix C.) I visited shrines that honor Mary. I had beautiful statues of Mary. I attended special services where we prayed to Mary and recited a litany of titles honoring her. I read books about apparitions of Mary, and dreamed of visiting Lourdes and Fatima. I participated in processions honoring Mary. A statue of Mary was put on a platform that was decorated with flowers. There were poles on the platform, so that men could carry it. The men walked through the streets, carrying the statue on the platform. We walked behind the statue, singing songs in Mary’s honor.

When Pope John Paul II was shot, while the ambulance was rushing him to the hospital, the Pope was not praying to God or calling on the name of Jesus.He kept saying, over and over: “Mary, my mother!” Polish pilgrims placed a picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa on the throne where the Pope normally sat. People gathered around the picture. Vatican loudspeakers broadcasted the prayers of the rosary. When the Pope recovered, he gave Mary all the glory for saving his life, and he made a pilgrimage to Fatima to publicly thank her. (Note 4)

One popular prayer in Mary’s honor is the “Hail Holy Queen,” which is known in Latin as the “Salve Regina”. It is traditionally included as part of praying the rosary.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping, in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.”

Alfonsus de Liguori (1696-1787) was a principal proponent of the Marianist Movement, which glorifies Mary. He wrote a book entitled “The Glories of Mary” which is famous, influential and widely read. In this book, de Liguori says that Mary was given rulership over one half of the kingdom of God; Mary rules over the kingdom of mercy and Jesus rules over the kingdom of justice. De Liguori said that people should pray to Mary as a mediator and look to her as an object of trust for answered prayer. The book even says that there is no salvation outside of Mary. Some people suggest that these views are extreme and not representative of Catholic Church teaching. However, instead of silencing de Liguori as a heretic, the Catholic Church canonized him as a saint and declared him to be a “doctor of the Church” (a person whose teachings carry weight and authority). Furthermore, his book is openly and officially promoted by the Catholic Church, and his teachings have influenced popes. (Note 9)

Pope Benedict XV said of Mary that “[O]ne can justly say that with Christ, she herself redeemed mankind.” (Note 10) Pope Pius IX said: “Our salvation is based upon the holy Virgin… so that if there is any hope and spiritual healing for us we receive it solely and uniquely from her.” (Note 11)

Also from

Mary’s Divine motherhood

Mary’s Divine motherhood is based on the teaching of the Gospels, on the writings of the Fathers, and on the express definition of the Church. St. Matthew (1:25) testifies that Mary “brought forth her first-born son” and that He was called Jesus. According to St. John (1:15) Jesus is the Word made flesh, the Word Who assumed human nature in the womb of Mary. As Mary was truly the mother of Jesus, and as Jesus was truly God from the first moment of His conception, Mary is truly the mother of God. Even the earliest Fathers did not hesitate to draw this conclusion as may be seen in the writings of St. Ignatius [72], St. Irenaeus [73], and Tertullian [74]. The contention of Nestorius denying to Mary the title “Mother of God” [75] was followed by the teaching of the Council of Ephesus proclaiming Mary to be Theotokos in the true sense of the word. [76]

Early writings

For the attitude of the Churches of Asia Minor and of Lyons we may appeal to the words of St. Irenaeus, a pupil of St. John’s disciple Polycarp [145]; he calls Mary our most eminent advocate. St. Ignatius of Antioch, part of whose life reached back into apostolic times, wrote to the Ephesians (c. 18-19) in such a way as to connect the mysteries of Our Lord’s life more closely with those of the Virgin Mary. For instance, the virginity of Mary, and her childbirth, are enumerated with Christ’s death, as forming three mysteries unknown to the devil. The sub-apostolic author of the Epistle to Diognetus, writing to a pagan inquirer concerning the Christian mysteries, describes Mary as the great antithesis of Eve, and this idea of Our Lady occurs repeatedly in other writers even before the Council of Ephesus. We have repeatedly appealed to the words of St. Justin and Tertullian, both of whom wrote before the end of the second century.

As it is admitted that the praises of Mary grow with the growth of the Christian community, we may conclude in brief that the veneration of and devotion to Mary began even in the time of the Apostles.

So it is quite clear that many Christians did treat Mary as a divine godly being, hence the Quran condemned this practice, as well as condemning the Trinity, the Quran condemns both.

Addressing an Objection

Now some may say that if one reads the context of Surah 5:73, when the Quran attacks the Trinity, one will see that the context shows that the author of the Quran believed that Mary was part of the Trinity, we quote the context:

They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. Why turn they not to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (5:73-75)

So some Christians may assert from verse 76, where Mary is mentioned, that the Quran does believe that Mary was part of the Trinity. They will assert that since the Quran makes the point that both Mary and Jesus ate food, the Quran here is trying to disprove divinity from both Jesus and Mary, and with the Trinity being mentioned in verse 73, this must mean the author thought that Mary was in the Trinity.

As we saw above there are Christians who believe in Mary’s ?Divine Motherhood’ that she was the mother of God. Hence the Quran here is trying to show the fallacy in such a belief, how can there be a Trinity, and Mary having a divine motherhood due to giving birth to a supposedly divine Jesus, when Mary was a normal lady like every other lady, eating food and so on. In case Christians don’t get it, Jesus’ divinity and the Trinity itself is what makes Mary so special and given a divine status,  yet the Quran is arguing how such a thing possible in the first place, Mary was like other humans, she ate food and so on, so a lady like herself with never give birth to God in the first place, the very same God whom Christians claim to be a part of the Trinity.

The verse is also going on to show the complete humanity of Jesus which refutes the Trinity, by emphasizing the humanity of Mary, the Quran is trying to emphasize the humanity of Jesus as well, his mother was a normal human being like everyone else, hence why would she give birth to the almighty God and part of what is called the Trinity? It doesn’t add up at all, and this is precisely what The Quran is getting at, Mary was a normal lady, hence she doesn’t give birth to God or anything to do with divinity!

So the verse is not including Mary in the Trinity, rather it is attacking the very core and basis of the Trinity by pointing out that it is a complete fallacy for a normal lady who eats, to give birth to God himself, the very same God who supposedly makes up a Trinity.

So in conclusion Mary is never mentioned in the Trinity, when the Quran mentions the worship of Jesus and Mary, that same verse says nothing about a Trinity. The Quran does mention the Trinity in two other places, and Mary is never included within the Trinity itself, hence the Quran is not wrong, it is the Christian who is wrong, and it is the Christian who has mis-understood the Quran.

And Allah Knows Best!

By Sami Zaatari

Does Islam permit wife beating?

beat wives_no1

Question: Does the Quran say, “And beat your wives?” (refer to ayah #34 in Surah An-Nisa, chapter 4)

NOTE: It is a clear fact, Islam forbids any kind of oppression or violence against women (or men for that matter).
Yet, it cannot be denied that there are some Muslims who do not really follow Islam – and what is worse, there are those who try to justify their violent behavior toward women (and others) by giving incorrect interpretations to Islam’s teachings.

It is necessary, therefore, for us to explore what Islam really does say about these matters and then provide proofs for the believers to bring about correct understanding and better living for all of us.

Please Read This Special Update (and share it with others right away): Islam Forbids All Forms of Oppression
The Quran orders men to “Protect and Defend – ALL WOMEN

{..And ‘dharabah‘ them}
Bringing light to the Treatment of Women in Islam
— by yusuf estes

There is a word used in the Arabic that carries a much wider meaning than the word “hit” or “beat” in English. This word is often mistranslatedas “beat lightly” It would be better understood as the English term”percuss” (Percuss – a light tap or thump– an action doctors use while examining patients upper torso – light tapping while listening to their backs or chests.
(ref: explanation of surah An-Nisa, verse 34)


So many questions about treatment of women in Islam – and what Muslim men do with their wives.


What about the treatement of the women in Islam. Why does the Quran tell men to “wadhribu hunna” – “Does this mean to “beat their wives”(chapter 4, verse 34)

Answer: No, it does not. (read this answer slowly and carefully)

Statement – before we begin with this one: The prophet of Allah, Muhammad, peace be upon him, tells us Allah has said,
“Before the creation of the universe, I forbid that I would oppress and I hate when anyone oppresses.”


Let us consider a very basic understanding of the advent of Islam and the reason for it to be revealed in the time and place where it came. Here is a brief, yet clear statement of purpose with the coming of Islam:

Treatment in Relationships – in Islam, it is all about treatment; how you treat your Lord; how you treat His messenger; how you treat yourself; how you treat your family; how you treat others; how you treat your enviornment – it is always about treatement.

We must keep in mind the condition of the people who were without the guidance of Almighty God and how they had strayed far away from the message that came with Adam, Abraham, Moses and other great prophets, peace be upon them all.
The ignorant and selfish mentality the prevailed throughout the Arab lands did not allow women even the most basic of rights and the treatment of women was abhorent. Women were being treated as property, even less than the status of livestock. They were offered in trade or taken in marriage without consent or consideration for their feelings at all. The customs of the people at the time were far away from anything we might imagine today.

Statements in the Quran pertaining to the treatment of the women came to improve their condition and to raise their status to a level of balance alongside of men. Islam came to change the hearts of the people and show them the proper way to worship Allah and to interact with each other.

Now let us review the proper method of providing answers for Islam in general.

First we would say, “Thank you for asking about Islam. It is our committment to try our best to provide answers to questions to the best of our ability. However, sometimes we come across questions for which we do not have answers. In this case we will refer you to others who may be able to provide you with proper answers.”

Second, we remind ourselves and the one questioning Islam to be aware, we as Muslims, must never lie about anything, especially our religion.

Third, we do have the original text of the Quran and the preserved teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him. This enables us to verify exactly what was said, intended and taught by Muhammad, peace be upon him, as being the religion of Islam.

Fourth, I would like to remind myself and all who read this in the future that not all questions are purely questions. Some contain statements and implications, that may or may not be true.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind anytime we discover something in the answers to actually be better than what we already have, we should be committed to change our position and accept that which is true over that which is false and take that which is better for that which is inferior.

After taking all of the above into consideration, if we find that the answer to this question provides us with a better approach to understanding what Almighty God has provided us with as a way of life on this earth and in the Next Life, we should then make the logical decsion to begin to worship Him on His terms.

Having said that, let us now look to the particular verse in question in the original text (Arabic), followed by the phonetic sounds in Latin letters and then finally, followed by a translation of the meaning to the English language by experts in both Arabic and in Quranic meanings.

Ar-rejalu qawwa muna ‘alan-nisa’a bima fadhdhallahu ba’dhahum ‘ala bi’dhi wa bima anfaqu min amwalihim. Fas-saliHatu qaintat HafaTHatul-lilghaybi bimaa HafiTHal-lahu, wal-lati takhaafuna nushuza hunna fa’iTHuu hunnaa wa hjuruu hunna fiil-lmadhaa ji’i wadhribu hunna. Faa’in aTa’nakum flaa tabghuu ‘alayhinna sabiilan. Innal-laha kaana ‘aliyaan kabiira(n).

One Explanation (tafsir) given of this surahc (chapter 4:34) according to some scholars is:
“Men are the support of women as God gives some more means than others, and because they spend of their wealth (to provide for them). So women who are virtuous are obedient to God and guard the hidden as God has guarded it. As for women who are averse in behavior, talk to them suasively, leave them alone in bed and tap them (like a doctor would tap a patient – lightly), if they open out to you, do not seek an excuse for blaming them. Surely God is sublime and great.”

Meaning of the Words
For the three words fa’izuwahjaru, and wadribu in the original, translated here ‘talk to them suasively,’ ‘leave them alone (in bed – fi’l-madage’),’ and tap lightly (percuss them), respectively,

Fa’izu (to use persuasive speech or admonishment)
Fa’izu, implies the first step should be to make clear to them using straight talk, the position they are in and what is required to comply with the teaching of Islam. This approach may be repeated until it is established she has understood and is willing to comply and come back into line with the proper expected of a Muslim woman. (comentary provided by Yusuf Estes)

Hajara – Wahjaru (do not touch or moleste them)
Hajara, he says, means to separate body from body, and points out that the expression wahjaru hunna metaphorically means to refrain from touching or molesting them. Zamakhshari is more explicit in his Kshshaf when he says, ‘do not get inside their blankets.’

Daraba (tap lightly as ‘percuss’, not to beat)
daraba lightly tap them (women).’ This view is strengthened by the Prophet’s authentic hadith found in a number of authorities, including Bukhari and Muslim:

“Could any of you beat your wife as he would a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?”
There are other traditions in Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad bin Hanbal and others, to the effect that he forbade the beating of any woman, saying: “Never beat God’s handmaidens.”

Al-Qur’an: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali, Princeton University Press, 1988; pp78-79

In the past, some translators of this verse have mistakeningly used the word “beat” to represent the word “dhaaraba” in Arabic. This is not the opinion of all scholars especially Raghib and Zamakhshari as mentioned above and those who are well grounded in both Islam understanding and the English language.

Quran: (Surah An-Nisaa’ [The Women] 4:34)
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend from their means (to support the women). Therefore the righteous women are devout and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill­conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, go back to them (in intimacy), if they return to obedience and do not seek any means of annoyance against them. Certainly, Allah is Most High, Most Great.

Other translators have offered words such as, “tap” and “pat” to represent a physical type of admonisment. While definitely coming closer to what might be acceptable in many circles than such expressions as “hit” or “beat”, this still does not properly demonstrate the position and usage of such terms in relation to the first of the verse and the connection to the following passage, wherein the clear instructions deal with the women who do not come into compliance. Therefore, it likely be considered to mean: “tap lightly as a doctor would examine a patient”.

And Allah is the All-Knower. (commentary from Yusuf Estes)

We understand from this some of the translations are not properly representing the spirit of the meaning. Therefore, they cannot be considered to be the representation of what has been intended by Almighty God.

Now we can properly understand that Almighty God has commanded the men to provide for the women and allow them to keep all of their wealth, inheritance and income without demanding anything from them for support and maintenance. Additionally, if she should be guilty of lewd or indecent conduct, the husband is told to first, admonish her and then she should cease this lewdness. However, if she should continue in this indecency, then he should no longer share the bed with her, and this would continue for a period of time. Finally, if she would repent then he would take up sharing the bed with her again.

Dr. Jamal Badawi (St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia) is of the opinion these (three stages) are necessary steps prior to divorce. Instead of a man saying, “I divorce you” three times in a row, he should follow this procedure before acting hastily and thereby doing something unwise and displeasing to Allah. The first step would be as mentioned above, to give her a “good talking to” and then if she continued in such unpleasing behavior, to leave the bed (not have intercourse with her) for a period of time and then finally, the last straw would be to “pat” her on the arm (as you would stroke a sheep or animal) to signify to her this is the final straw and then if she still persisted in her bad way, he could divorce her.

beat wives_NO

Regardless of the various positions and opinions, there is no permission established through the teachings of the Quran or the Sunnah (way) of Muhammad, peace be upon him, wherein one person could “beat” another person at their own discretion.

Any translations of the Quran indicating women can be beaten or abused by men is totally out of touch with the message of Islam from the rest of the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him.

And Allah is All Knowing of the meanings of His ayahs (verses in Quran).

* percuss v.t. strike, tap, especially part of body in medical diagnosis.

The only form of “strking” allowed in Islam is: “Percuss: a light tap, similar to that used in examining patients.”
percuss or tap lightly
Meaning of “percuss” – a striking or tapping of the body done by an examiner while diagnosing a patient; a type of tapping done for examination reasons.

The following instructions are provided for making medical examinations using the technique of “percuss”:

“Method Of Examination Using Percuss”

Author: A. Chandrasekhar Taken from Loyola Medial Education Website [click]
  • Percuss the chest all around. Stand back, have the patient cross arms to shoulder. This maneuver will wing the scapula and expose the posterior thorax. Then, have the patient keep their hands over head and percuss axilla. Then move to the front and percuss anterior chest , clavicles and supraclavicular space.

    Percuss the lung fields, alternating, from top to bottom and comparing sides.

  • Percuss over the intercostal space and note the resonance and the feel of percussion.
  • Keep the middle finger firmly over the chest wall along intercostal space and tap chest over distal interphalangeal joint with middle finger of the opposite hand.
  • The movement of tapping should come from the wrist.
  • Tap 2-3 times in a row.
  • Do not leave the percussing finger on chest , otherwise you will dampen the sound.
  • Stand on one side and with your flat of hand, tap the chest from top to bottom and from side to side to compare. I use this method as a screening step to identify the area of abnormality.

NOTE: The statements regarding the type of “tapping” using the word “percuss” are from Loyola Medial

Read More: Women in Islam:

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Sana’a manuscript

“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message (Quran); and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption). (Quran, 5:9)”

“It is upon Us to collect and compile it (Quran) and to promulgate it: (Quran,75:17)”

The Qur’an consists of 114 chapters (sūrahs) of varying length, revealed in Arabic language. The Qur’an, comprising 6236 verses (ayah) is unrivalled in its recording and preservation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) not only orally passed the Qur’an to the people of Arabia, he also made elaborate arrangements to ensure that its contents are preserved. The companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) participated in this preservation process in large numbers, through writing and memorizing the text and safely transferring to the next generation.  During the period of 3rd Caliph (644-656 C.E) Uthman, a large number of non-Arabs also embraced Islam, who were found to be reciting Qur’an in varied dialects. Uthman in consultation with all the companions, got the copies of Qur’an written in accordance with the dialects and calligraphic style of the Quraysh, and these copies were placed in the major cities of the Muslim Caliphate, the expert reciters (Qari) to elucidate and teach the correct recitation were also made available. These copies served as the master copies for all the Muslims and numerous copies were prepared and circulated. Two of the master copies prepared by Uthman are still available in museums at Tashkent, and Istanbul, which are identical to any copy of Qur’an found in Indonesia, China, America, Australia, Morocco, France, Nigeria or any other part of the world. Thus the contribution of Uthman is not that he compiled the Qur’an for the first time, as is generally misunderstood, he in fact united the Muslims on one standard recitation of the Qur’an. …. keep reading >>>.

Was there something wrong with early Qur’anic fragments/specimens found in the great mosque of Sanaa in Yemen in 1972?

By Karim (He is a new convert to Islam, from the Netherlands)

Some christian missionaries quote Gerd Puin’s (old)  theory about the early quranic manuscripts found in the Sanaa mosque in Yemen, Gerd Puin assumed (not stated) that these found manuscripts differed from others quranic manuscripts , and therefore christian missionaries argue that the quran was changed in history etc. First i will quote the article about this issue commonly used by  some christian missionaries, after this i will give a response to this christian article.

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A Qur’an Palimpsest from the Sanaa Qur’ans

One of the big formate Hijazi Qur’ans, found in the Great Mosque in Sanaa, is a palimpsest from early 8th century. Here is a picture of one of its sheets:

Palimpsest of Codex Sanaa 01-27.1, Dâr al-MakhTûTât al-Yamanîya, Sanaa, (Photo: Gerd-Ruediger Puin; 1)

This codex is one of the Qur’an fragments/specimens which were found in 1972 in the loft of the Great Mosque in Sanaa, Yemen. [/b] These Yemeni Qur’ans were an object of scholarly research from 1980 onwards. Under the supervision of Dr. Albrecht Noth, Professor at the University of Hamburg, Dr. Gerd-Ruediger Puin was in charge of the scholarly as well as practical organization of the project from 1981 until 1985, when he was succeeded by his colleague Dr. Hans-Caspar Graf von Bothmer for another two years (2).

 The above piece of the palimpsest codex shows two layers of script. Both scripts are of the Hijazi type:

 Firstly, a dark brown script is part of surah 20:1-10 (surah Taahaa or al-kamiyl).

 Secondly, with some patience you will realize that under the darkbrown script traces of a light brown script are recognizable. This latter original script was washed off from the parchment so that it might be used again. The chess-boardlike pattern of the substrate is an artifact of the scanning procedure.

 Without applying special technical means the older script is not readable, but it is undoubtedly a Qur’anic text, too. This is to be seen easily by a peculiarity of both layers of writing: The washed off script as well as the second writing display verse separators, i.e. some simple geometrical point patterns. Even in the above small piece of the palimpsest one may recognize such separators in both layers of writing. Additionally at least one separator of surahs (two parallel lines crossing the page from right to left, again with some patterns between them) clearly can be recognized in the original script of the palimpsest codex (to be seen in the above piece). Such separators were used only in Qur’ans. There seems to be not any exception in non-Qur’anic texts within other early-Islamic writings.

 Why the older layer was wiped out cannot be said definitely untill it can be read in detail. But there is hardly any other explanation for this replacement of a Qur’anic text by another one conceivable than that the older text version might have scandalized theologians or other people in power or charge. This doesn’t necessarily imply an alteration of the very text, since the formative period of the Qur’anic text already may have been completed, when the first script was written. Most probably the arrangement of the surahs was altered. And this hypothesis is corroborated by the fact that amongst the findings in Sanaa there are indeed Qur’ans with an arrangement of surahs different from the transmitted Qur’an.


 1. Hans-Caspar Graf von Bothmer, Karl-Heinz Ohlig,  Gerd-Ruediger Puin:  “Neue Wege der Koranforschung”. magazin forschung (Universitaet des Saarlandes, Saarbruecken) 1/1999, p. 33-46; courtesy of Dr. Gerd-Ruediger Puin.

 2.  Gerd-Ruediger Puin  : “Observations on Early Qur’an Manuscripts in San’a'”. – Stefan Wild (ed.), The Qur’an As Text, Leiden/New York/Koeln (E. J. Brill) 1996, p. 107-111



As regard to the Sana’a Mss, there is nothing “shocking” about its discovery. At most, it is claimed that there is a fragment where the end of sura (chapter) 26 is followed by 37. But this amounts to nothing, since it is permissable to place suras in any order in a partial mushaf. So this is hardly “news” or a “shocking” discovery.

Moreover, after the publication of the Atlantic Monthly,  Puin wrote a letter in which he revealed:

“The important thing, thank God, is that these Yemeni Qur’anic fragments do not differ from those found in museums and libraries elsewhere, with the exception of details that do not touch the Qur’an itself, but are rather differences in the way words are spelled. This phenomenon is well-known, even in the Qur’an published in Cairo in which is written:

 Ibrhim next to Ibrhm

Quran next to Qrn

Simahum next to Simhum

 In the oldest Yemeni Qur’anic fragments, for example, the phenomenon of not writing the vowel alif is rather common.” 

Prof. Azami comments:

“This deflates the entire controversy, dusting away the webs of intrigue that were spun around Puin’s discoveries and making them a topic unworthy of further speculation.” 

Source: Puin’s letter and Prof. Azami’s comments cited from: M. M. Azami, The History of the Qur’anic Text from Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments, UK Islamic Academy, 2003 pp. 12

Some extra info:


Why would manuscripts have to be washed off or erased? What was wrong with them if the parchments were fit to be washed and then have the Quranic text rewritten upon them?


This was a common practice in ancient times. When enough of a manuscript’s writing wore off (ink does not bond to parchment like it does to paper), all of the writing was washed off to make the expensive parchment usable for a new text. This was an ancient way of recycling. The washing, fortunately for us, was not complete: that’s how earlier texts can be seen using ultraviolet light underneath newer texts. I believe a Christian manuscript (at St. Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai?) was examined a few years ago under ultraviolet light to reveal an earlier, lost Greek work.

Joh Bourdon:

What we have today in our hands is the Mushaf of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

source: J. Bourdon, The Collection Of The Qur’an, 1977, Cambridge University Press, pp. 239-240.

Recommended sites:



Watt, Bell and Hewer on the preservation of the Qur’an

William Montgommery Watt was a historian and Emeritus Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at Edinburgh University. Considered one of the most influential Western thinkers on Islam by non-Muslims and Muslims alike he was indeed a revered personality in the field of Islamic studies.

Richard Bell was a scholar of the Arabic language at Edinburgh University who was and remain as an important source of reference for those interested in the field of Qur’anic studies especially those who are in the business of critiquing the Qur’an.

Chris T. Hewer is grounded in Christian theology, Islamic studies and education. He is the St. Ethelburga Fellow in Christian-Muslim Relations in London.

The following are excerpts of views on the Qur’an by the above mentioned non-Muslim scholars two of whom(Watt & Bell) are very critical commentators on the Qur’an who do not shy from making critical remarks about it. None of them ever believed in the tenets of Islam. One can easily conclude that they had no hidden motives to promote Islam.

Is the Qur’an that we have today the Qur’an that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?

Watt & Bell: “The very fact that varying and even contradictory deliverances have been preserved is strong proof that, with perhaps minor exceptions, we have the whole of what was revealed to Muhammad“ [1] (emphasis added)

“On general grounds then, it may be concluded that the ‘Uthmanic revision was honestly carried out, and reproduced, as closely as was possible to the men in charge of it, what Muhammad had delivered.” [2]

So that means the Qur’an that we have was meticulously preserved in the time of Uthman?

Watt & Bell: “Whatever may have been the form of the Qur’an previously, it is certain that the book still in our hands is essentially the ‘Uthmanic Qur’an…the commission under Zayd must be adjudged to have achieved a wonderful piece of work.” [3]

Is the Qur’an well preserved?

Hewer: “The earliest manuscripts of the Qur’an, which probably date from the early eighth century, are preserved in museums in Tashkent, Sanaa and Istanbul. It must be emphasized repeatedly that the primary deposit of the Qur’an was and still is in the hearts of the memorizers, for whom any written form acted only as an aide memoire. This emphasis prevents any thoughts of discrepencies entering into the recited text. This process of memorization and compilation and compilation of the written form means that the science of manuscript criticism, which is central to New Testament scholarship, is almost non-existent in Islam, as almost no variant readings in ancient manuscripts exist.” [4]

Can the writing style of the Qur’an be imitated?

Hewer: “The Qur’an says of itself that God will preserve it intact without error for all time (Q. 15.9). This is regarded as the primary miracle of Islam. It also challenges those who doubt it, to bring forward ten verses of comparable eloquence of their own composition (Q. 2.23); 52.34). Scholars are agreed that this has not been done. The Qur’an is written in a style that is party poetic but truly unique and unlike any other form of literature in the Arabic language.” [5]

For more information on the preservation of the Qur’an please refer to our article on the subject Preservation and Reliability of the Qur’an


[1] Watt, W. M. (1970). Bell’s Introduction to the Qur’an. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 56

[2] Ibid. p. 51

[3] Ibid. p. 44

[4] Hewer, C. T. R. (2006). Understanding Islam: the First Ten Steps. London: SCM Press. p. 52

[5] Ibid.


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Rebuttal: Anti Islam Film “Innocence of Muslims”

On the pretext of freedom of speech USA and West allows the extremists to insult Islam, Quran and Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. They are well aware that this will hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims, the world over who can not bear any non sense on the pretext of freedom of speech. On the other side In order to please just 13.3 million Jews Holocaust denial is explicitly or implicitly illegal in 17 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland.
Rebuttal – Anti Islamic Film:
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Criticism:
Why can’t they care for sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims? Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not absolute; the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are excluded from the freedom of speech, and it has recognized that governments may enact reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions on speech. There are exceptions to these general protections, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, speech that incites imminent lawless action, protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons (restrictions on fighting words), or the use of untruths to harm others (slander). US ambassador and 3 people have died in Libyan protest, many more Muslims will die in the protests by police trying to control protesters in Muslim countries. [remember Danish caricature controversy, Salmon Rushdi’s blasphemous book].
One is inclined to conclude that such actions are preplanned to create hatred and violence, help the religious extremists for strong justification for violence. 
The European Union’s Framework decision on Racism and Xenophobia states that denying or grossly trivializing “crimes of genocide” should be made “punishable in all EU Member States”. Slovakia criminalized denial of fascist crimes in general in late 2001; in May 2005, the term “Holocaust” was explicitly adopted by the penal code and in 2009, it became illegal to deny any act regarded by an international criminal court as genocide. The Parliament of Hungary adopted the most recent legislation, which declared denial or trivialization of the Holocaust a crime punishable by up to three years imprisonment, in February 2010.
A number of deniers have been prosecuted under various countries’ denial laws. French literature professor Robert Faurisson, for example, was convicted and punished under the Gayssot Act in 1990. Some historians oppose such laws, among them Vidal-Naquet, an outspoken critic of Faurisson, on the grounds that denial legislation imposes “historical truth as legal truth.” Other academics favor criminalization. Holocaust denial, they contend, is “the worst form of racism and its most respectable version because it pretends to be a research.” In the Belgian Senate the Minister of Justice Laurette Onkelinx compared laws criminalizing Holocaust denial with those condemning incitement to ethnic or racial hatred in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
What should be done?
  • This appears to conspiracy to destabilise the newly established Islamic governments in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt etc and provided pretext for US /Western interference. Muslims should exercise restraints, protests should remain non violent, the extremists should not be allowed to exploit the situation in their favour. US has made ingress to these extremists, they are manipulated to act as US tool unwittingly acting as fools.  
  • The Muslim governments should launch official protests to US government and UNO, the OIC should be activated to play its role. They will not do it because most of them are US puppets, so only peaceful protests will force them.
  • Muslims demand from UN,  USA & West to make laws to respect the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims, as done for Jews on Holocaust Denial  & Antisemitism. 
  • If the US/West does not change their hostile attitude towards Muslims, then in the long term Muslims should consider use of economic power to pressurise USA and West i.e. boycott of some products/ restrict trade, use of alternate means instead of US $ in trade. Gradual withdrawal of money from US/Western banks. This cannot be expected from present rulers which should be gradually replaced through peaceful democratic protests / process. 
  • “LET NOT the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers – since he who does this cuts himself off from God in everything – unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way. But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys’ end.[Quran;3:28]
  • [But] it may well be that God will bring about [mutual] affection between you [O believers] and some of those whom you [now] face as enemies: for, God is all-powerful – and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably. God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of [your] faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid [others] in driving you forth: and as for those [from among you] who turn towards them in friendship; it is they, they who are truly wrongdoers! [Quran;60:7-8]
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Innocence of Muslims:

Previously called Innocence of Bin Laden [sic] (working title Desert Warrior), is an anti-Islam film, extracts of which were posted on YouTube. According to one of the consultants to the film it was a full-length feature film that was shown only once to the public—to an audience of about ten people at a rented theater in Hollywood, California. The film was allegedly produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian.

Film trailers or excerpts of about 14 minutes in length were uploaded to YouTube in July 2012,  with the titles The Real Life of Muhammad, and Muhammad Movie Trailer. Trailers dubbed in the Arabic language were uploaded in early September 2012 and spread by Egyptian-American blogger and Coptic Christian Morris Sadek. On September 8, 2012, an excerpt of the YouTube video was broadcast on Al-Nas TV, an Egyptian Islamist television station,  previously suspended for “promoting religious or sectarian hatred.” Violent protests against the film broke out on September 11 in Egypt and Libya. The protests spread to Yemen and other Arab and Muslim nations over the following days and included attacks on U.S. consulates and embassies. A military-style attack on September 11, 2012 on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, may not have been a spontaneous protest due to the film, but rather may have been planned in advance, according the U.S. and Libyan officials. Sky News said the trailer was “anti-Muslim” and “designed to enrage”. The New Republic said that the film “includes not a single artistically redeemable aspect at all.” The reviewer described the directing as “atrocious”; the sets “terrible”; the acting as consisting of “blank eyes and strained line readings”. The New York Daily News called it “obscenely inept vanity project” that is “far beneath any reasonable standard of movie-making.” Muslim filmmaker Kamran Pasha stated, “I am of the opinion that it is a film of questionable artistic merit, backed by a group of bitter bigots whose only agenda was to incite hatred and violence by smearing the character of Prophet Muhammad.” (peace be upon him) [Extract from]

Related Topics:

Refuting Arguments Against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)


Click here for >>> Refuting Arguments Against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

  1.  The Prophet of Mercy: Chapter 1: by Shaykh Jalal Abualrub
  2. – The Prophet of Mercy: Chapter 2: by Shaykh Jalal Abualrub
  3. – The Prophets Marriage to Aisha: by Dan_1988
  4. – The Prophet Prohibited The Killing of Women and Children: But What About Those Night Raids?
  5. – Does Prophet Muhammad’s Contemplation of Suicide Disprove His Prophethood, Assuming He Did?
  6. – Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Satanic Verses
  7. – Does the Prophet’s Death from Poison Disprove His Prophethood Or Was It An Honorable Death For Our Beloved Prophet?
  8. – Does the Quran Say That Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Did Not Perform Any Miracles?
  9. – Why Did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Have More Than Four Wives?
  10. – Was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) An Idol Worshipper?
  11. – Christian Missionaries On Surah 61:6
  12. – Was Wealth A Motive For the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) To Fabricate Islam?
  13. – Was Prophet Muhammad a Hypocrite?
  14. – Was Prophet Muhammad Uncertain of His Own Salvation?
  15. – Did Prophet Muhammad Legislate According to His Desire? by Shaykh Jalal Abualrub


Why Interfaith Dialogue?

Today’s world is highly diverse. There is not a single country in the world which is homogenous and without diversity. Though in the past too diversity existed but colonization, scientific progress and faster means of transpiration has increased diversity in the world and globalization has further added to its intensity. In the past generally people moved for better prospects within the country, today people seek jobs, even education, in far off countries or even across continents.

 Also, it is Allah’s will to create diversity among His creation. ALLAH SAYS IN Qur’an, “And if Allah had pleased He would have made you a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you. So vie one with another in virtuous deeds.” (5:48) Thus diversity is Allah’s will and it is trial for us if we can live in peace and harmony with each other despite this diversity. Also, Allah wants us not to assert our superiority but to vie one with another in good deeds.

 Also, if there is diversity there is likely to be misunderstandings and misconception about each other which often lead to conflict and breach of peace. These applies to both: interfaith and interfaith communities. Interfaith conflict is also widespread even within Muslims [between Shi’ahs and Sunnis or Bohra or non-Bohra Muslims or between Barelvis and Deobandis]. The only way to remove these misconceptions is to have dialogue with each other.

 Thus three days become quite important: democracy, diversity and dialogue. Democracy and diversity is complimentary to each other though many people think homogeneity is strength, it is not. Homogeneity can result in dictatorship whereas diversity becomes life-line for democracy. Experience shows that greater diversity results in stronger democracy.

 But diversity also poses a challenge and this challenge has to be met through proper understanding of each other though dialogue. Dialogue, it should be noted, is not a modern or contemporary concept including inter-religious dialogue. In medieval ages Sufis and yogis often used to have dialogue in India. Also, Sufis on one hand, and, Christian mystics and Jewish saints on the other, had mutual dialogue. Some of them spent years understanding others religious tradition. Dara Shikoh or MAZHAR Jan-i-Janan, for example, had thorough knowledge of Hindu traditions. Dara Shikoh even translated Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian and named it …I have seen its manuscript in Darul Musannifin, Azamgarh. He also wrote a book called Majma’ul Bahrayn (Co-mingling of Two Oceans). It is a great book of dialogue between Hinduism and Islam.

 However, there are some rules to be observed if dialogue has to succeed and produce required result. The very first requirement is that none participating in the dialogue should have attitude of superiority over the other. It goes against the very spirit of dialogue. Secondly, dialogue should be on certain concrete issues like women’s rights or war or non-violence and so on. Today there is breat misunderstanding a bout these issues. Most of the non-Muslims, especially westerners think that Islam gives no rights to women and subjugates them thanks to certain practices among Muslims like hijab or polygamy or honour killing and so on.

 Similarly, there is widespread misunderstanding about the concept of jihad thanks to certain fatwas or statements of Usama bin Laden justifying his attack on New York Towers as jihad. In fact there is great misconceptions among Muslims and Muslim Ulama about these issues like polygamy and Jihad. There is great need for dialogue with them too. And much more need to have dialogue with non-Muslims.

 The dialogue process should include religious functionaries, scholars who have in-depth knowledge of the issues, journalists (who write and spread misconceptions) and lay people as well as these people are often victims of misconceptions. Secondly one should have humility to learn rather than argue on the basis of ignorance rather than knowledge. But participants must have right to raise questions to remove doubts.

 Thirdly, one must be firmly rooted in ones own faith tradition and should be able to explain the reasons for certain practice orrationale of the teaching. Any doubt or ignorance may harm the spirit of the dialogue. Also one should be able to remove all the doubts raised during discussion through ones own thorough knowledge and conviction and clarity.

 Fourthly, one should have tremendous patience and capacity to listen and understand others situation and try to remove doubts express and not try to silence the other through debating skill or try to use polemics. It will destroy the very idea of having dialogue. There is fundamental difference between debate and dialogue.  

 Also while being firmly rooted in ones own faith tradition one also has to accept the other with his/her otherness without being critical of otherness. Dialogue is to promote understanding and not to reject other’s faith or finding fault in others faith. Dialogue should never be directed to convert the other but only to understand the other. Both or the multiple partners in dialogue should throw light on the concerned issue in the light of ones own faith tradition and handle the question with tact and delicacy they deserve.

 Dialogue so conducted can really work wonders and promote real understanding about ones own faith while understanding others faith. I have been a part of dialogue process for more than 40 years and can say with confidence that dialogue plays very important role in a diverse society. Knowledge, conviction and clarity and appreciation for others point of view are very useful tools for dialogue.

By Asghar Ali Engineer

Nigerians Want to Transcend Sectarian and Ethnic Violence

There are those who look at violence between Muslims and Christians with glee, such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. For them it is more fodder to smear Islam for the actions of some Muslims, while dismissing the same logic for Christian attacks on Muslims.

What boggles their mind however is when Muslims and Christians come together and oppose sectarianism and actively seek peace and reconciliation.

This is the case in Nigeria, where many want to transcend sectarian and ethnic violence(h/t: SK).

Here for example are pictures of recent protests in Nigeria showing solidarity and unity between Nigerians and Muslims:

Muslim and Christian Nigerians holding up their respective symbols Muslim and Christian Nigerians holding up their respective symbols
An Imam and a Pastor in a show of unity

Christians protesters protecting praying Muslim protesters (something we also saw in Egypt):

These are the forces and the voices who should be promoted. Yet extremists on both sides want to see violence in a push for power.

So Read More >>>>

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