CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 6, 2015 – Author and Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim has an interesting take on the recent discovery of parchment pages from the Quran that may be the oldest in history.
The essence of Ibrahim’s summation is this: “it’s not the age of the Quran but its contents that speak against its veracity.” Utilizing that consideration, Ibrahim demonstrates that the excitement by Quranic scholars regarding a “re-thinking” of Islamic traditions is not as much to get excited about as is the historical value of being the oldest pages in existence.
For starters, Ibrahim points out that the scriptures are believed to have been written somewhere between 610 and 645, which essentially provides no alteration factors whatsoever for Muslims because the prophet was having revelations up until his death in 632. Therefore, rather than the Quran’s being collated in 650, as many academics believe, it could have been written down slightly earlier.
As Ibrahim points out, such a development is “hardly a thing to rock the faith of most Muslims. In fact, there is very little that Western scholars and scientists can do or say about Islam that would have much influence on the Islamic mindset.”
Besides, opines Ibrahim, “in the West, if people come to believe that the Quran predates Muhammad, it won’t matter much: we will still be told to respect Islam since Muslims believe it.”
In other words, it is non-Muslims who believe the findings will impact Islamic faith because they desperately want it to be so. The ramifications will be far greater for Western ideals than Islamic beliefs.
“A book that calls for savagely killing all who do not submit to its authority; that calls for beheadings, crucifixions, and mutilations; that justifies theft, extortion, and the sexual enslavement of ‘infidel’ women and children; a book that calls for everything ungodly but claims to have been written by God is false on principle. Carbon dating is irrelevant,” writes Ibrahim.
Taking a jab at liberal perspectives, Ibrahim continues, “But of course, while Western academics, politicians, and media can openly discuss this issue of the Quran’s dating—after all, it’s ‘scientific’—criticizing the Quran from a moral point of view, which is what’s needed here, remains unthinkable (remember: morality is relative in the West).”
As examples of just how defiant Muslims can be in their interpretations of the Quran, Ibrahim points to two verses (suras or surahs) from the Islamic holy book that completely refute facts that even pre-school children in every country in the world know to be false.
Chapter 18:86 – “He journeyed on a certain road until he reached the West and saw the sun setting in a pool of black mud” (emphasis added).
Chapter 88:17–20 – “Do they never reflect on the camels and how they were created? The heaven, how it was raised on high? The mountains, how they were set down? The earth, how it was made flat?” (emphasis added).
Given these two simple contradictions, which are part of the Koran as it is recited and studied today, does anyone truly believe the discovery of some earlier pages of the Koran will alter the way Muslims embrace their religion?
The discovery in Birmingham, England, is significant from a historic perspective and should not be minimized. It could, indeed, provide further insights into the world and the Middle East as it existed in the seventh century.
But, as Raymond Ibrahim points out, it will change little, if anything, for the true believers of Islam.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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