Here now is the third and final post on the Qur’an by scholar of Early Islam and Ancient Christianity Stephen Shoemaker, Professor at the University of Oregon.  Stephen is an internationally-known scholar and his first two posts are highly informed and have been controversial among some of our blog members–as one would expect for someone whose research leads to conclusions different from what everyone has always said and assumed to be true!

In this post he addresses the question many of us have long had: when was the Qur’an actually produced and could the traditions it contains have been changed over the years before it was written?




Creating the Qur’an: The Formation of the Last Ancient Scripture


Hi again. Welcome to my final post, and I’d like to thank Bart for the opportunity to engage this lively forum and also all of its members for reading and considering my thoughts. In my two previous posts, you will recall, I noted some significant problems with prevailing understandings of how the Qur’an as we now have it came into existence. In my first post, I noted the rather uncritical manner in which most scholarship on early Islam has simply accepted the Islamic tradition’s own accounts of the Qur’an’s formation. Such acquiescence to tradition of course marks a sharp contrast with the rigorous skepticism that scholars of the bible and early Christianity (and early Judaism) bring to their respective objects of study and to traditional narratives of origins in particular.


This deference to traditional perspectives currently marks the sharpest divide between the study of early Islam and the formative histories of other religious traditions. I would also note that, if you look back over many of the comments to my earlier posts, those with the strongest objections tend to base their critiques in references to the authority of traditional Islamic materials – all of which were written much later than the period in question. In my second post, I also explained why radiocarbon dating, despite the enthusiastic hopes of many scholars, cannot solve the problem of the Qur’an’s origins by securing it an early date, leaving open many significant questions about the Qur’an’s early history.

So far, then, I’ve explained some of the major problems that have hindered critical study of early Islam and the formation of the Qur’an, but what I haven’t done is told you when, where, why, and how I am convinced the Qur’an as we now have it came into being. Therefore, to conclude this trilogy of posts, I thought I would describe how I understand the Qur’an’s formation from a historical-critical, rather than traditional, point of view.


Where did the Qur’an come from and how did the text come to be in the form that it has come down to us today? If one were to peruse the scholarly literature on the Qur’an from the last century and a half, one would find that the vast majority of scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, follow the (Sunni) Islamic tradition in ascribing the collection of the Qur’an as we have it today to the fourth Caliph (“successor” of Muhammad), Uthman (644-56). Since this particular tradition was included in an early and authoritative collection of Islamic religious traditions (al-Bukhari’s collection of hadith), it became the canonical account of the Qur’an’s formation for Muslims and, by consequence, for most scholars of Islamic studies.


The truth of the matter, however, is that this is not the only memory of the Qur’an’s origins that one will find in the Islamic historical tradition. Indeed, the Islamic evidence for the Qur’an’s collection and composition is itself a convoluted tangle of traditions. Of course, it is certainly understandable that the Islamic tradition would eventually settle on a particular narrative of the Qur’an’s origins chosen from among these various accounts. Nevertheless, the sheer diversity of information coming from the early Islamic tradition and its complexities regarding the matter of the Qur’an’s production should occasion far less certainty from modern scholars.


As it turns out, there is also a memory in the Islamic tradition that the canonical version of the Qur’an – the text that has come down to us today – was established in its final form much later: under the Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik, who reigned from the end of the seventh century into the beginning of the eighth (685-705). And judging from all the evidence available to us, if we take a true historical-critical and skeptical approach to the sources in question, this era in fact seems to present the most likely context for the Qur’an’s formation.


Although the evidence and arguments involved in reaching this conclusion are of course highly complex (as is so often the case: again, see my free book for further details), this tradition holds the most consistency with the full range of our available evidence. For instance, in purely historical terms, caliphal (Islamic) state at the time of Uthman does not seem to have been sufficiently organized that it could have established a stable, canonical Qur’an, as the tradition maintains. Only in the time of ‘Abd al-Malik, do we find evidence of a state apparatus that could actually achieve this. Yet even more importantly, the canonical Qur’an’s establishment under ‘Abd al-Malik is witnessed not only by the early Islamic tradition, but these reports are also confirmed by several non-Islamic sources that are almost contemporary with the events in question. Need I say, multiple independent attestation?


Nevertheless, let me be clear: I am not suggesting that the Qur’an was created out of whole cloth only at this relatively late point in time. Rather, it was under ‘Abd al-Malik that earlier collections of Islamic sacred traditions, both oral and written, were compiled into the final, canonical version of the Qur’an that we have today. Thus, the collective witness of the Islamic tradition and contemporary non-Islamic sources informs us. This means, that the content of the Qur’an was still in process and undergoing development until it reached this final stage when ‘Abd al-Malik established and imposed – with imperial coercion – the canonical version of the Qur’an. Indeed, through forceful intervention by the state, all versions of the Qur’an that deviated from this new standard were seized and destroyed.


Accordingly, we need to adopt an understanding of the Qur’an’s formation that envisions its development over a period of several decades, involving oral transmission from memory as well as, one imagines, the production of local written collections to aid with memory. One important consequence of adopting this perspective of the Qur’an is that it is no longer tenable to imagine its contents as having a singular origin in Muhammad’s teaching. Rather, the various components of the Qur’an must instead derive from a range of different historical contexts. These were then brought together by the early Islamic tradition into a single canonical text that was sanctioned as a new scripture for Muhammad’s followers around the close of the seventh century.


At the same time, I have no doubts whatsoever that many elements of the Qur’an have significant roots in the teaching of Muhammad to his followers in Mecca and Medina. Yet we must recognize that this material has been highly modified in the process of its transmission and has been supplemented significantly with new traditions that his followers encountered after invading and occupying the lands of the Roman and Sassanian Near East. Indeed, we must also bear in mind that as Muhammad’s followers shared their memories of sacred traditions with one another during these early decades, whether orally or in writing, they did so independently in pockets scattered across the vast empire that Muhammad’s followers had conquered and colonized.


Therefore, to briefly conclude, what we now have in the Qur’an is not in fact the exact words of an early seventh-century Arabian prophet, but a collection made by his early followers over many years after his death. The contents of this corpus were therefore shaped and reshaped by decades of oral (and eventually written) transmission, along with constant adoption and adaptation of new traditions learned from ongoing dialogue with the other religions and cultures of western Asia in late antiquity. In fact, many Qur’anic traditions, as other scholars have already noted, suppose an environmental, or economic, or cultural context that is simply not compatible with the conditions of central Hijaz during the early seventh century. Accordingly, numerous elements of the Qur’an make far better sense if we understand the collection as an evolving product of decades of memory work and oral transmission, much of which took place within the culturally diverse contexts of late ancient Syro-Palestine and Iraq in dialogue with other Abrahamic traditions.


Only through the direct intervention of the caliph ʿAbd al-Malik did this process finally come to an end around the turn of the eighth century. The result is the Qur’an that we have today: an imperially produced and enforced collection that brought uniformity and order to the diverse and diffuse sacred traditions that were circulating among Muhammad’s followers for decades after his death. And thanks to ʿAbd al-Malik’s highly effective exercise of raw political power, much that we would like to know about the complexity of Qur’an’s prior history remains shrouded in mystery. Accordingly, moving forward in our efforts to understand the Qur’an’s formation we must proceed cautiously and skeptically, guided always by the hermeneutics of suspicion, historical criticism, and the historical study of religions.

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2023-08-09T15:39:06-04:00August 8th, 2023|Public Forum|

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  1. SteveHouseworth August 8, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Interesting, authoritarian control of orthodoxy just as occurred to christian documents.
    I do have one question based on your statement: “caliphal (Islamic) state at the time of Uthman does not seem to have been sufficiently organized that it could have established a stable, canonical Qur’an, as the tradition maintains.”
    I have an interest in how alphabets and thus written language, text, traditions, etc. developed. Certainly, a stable state would be required to develop an alphabet. Most near-east alphabets were formed maturely by the time you describe. Do you have any references that could help provide information regarding the development of Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian, etc. alphabets? I would maintain that the 10 commandments could not have been written in Hebrew, if any stone tablets ever really existed, because the amount of time needed to develop Hebrew was far too short after the first alphabet developed about 1850 BCE.

  2. brenmcg August 8, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    There doesn’t seem to much politically motivated modifications made to the quran – as opposed to the hadith. Wouldn’t you expect more if it was being edited as late as 700?

  3. prompon August 8, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    Your problem is that you confuse a manuscript with a Book. Christian texts are written texts. Qur’an isn’t. Qur’an was transmitted doubly: monks and priests modified the Bible as they liked because it was never memorized and the flock were a gullible crowd “peacefully” doing whatever they were ordered.

    For example, in the Eucharist Catholics chew on baby Jesus without feeling odd or guilty because the priests told them that to be saved you have to bite on a sinless, living, actual human being. priests could change the Bible: until the Reformation, Christians almost worshipped their priests who forgave their sins. In Islam first scholars were also warriors. There are no priests.

    Muslims were warriors, and the Qur’an is recited every day openly in crowd. It takes total lack of critical thought, a gross failure of scholarship to fail to see that the Qur’an couldn’t have been modified like the Bible.

    Background matters: For example, a woman in the Middle East can’t start a career in pornography even if you pay a billion dollars. type of community does matter in assessing what is likely. Just because in the Christian world certain things are freely done doesn’t mean the same everywhere.

  4. GeoffClifton August 8, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you for your three fascinating posts, Stephen. Your ideas about how the Quran came into being certainly make a lot of sense to me. I have read books that suggest the Prophet Mohammed never actually existed; that Islam was created, after the fact, as a unifying religion for the extraordinarily successful Arab empire and that Mohammed was ‘invented’ as the instigator of the new faith. I guess this mirrors, to some extent, the Mythicist school of thought in Christianity. Do you have any thoughts on this approach to early Islamic history?

  5. Mustafa2 August 9, 2023 at 1:25 am

    I think we need to put your claims about the Qur’anic manuscript tradition in proper perspective with the extant Greek NT:

    – For the Qur’an, we have close to ~96.1% of the text from manuscripts attributable to the first century [Ref: ] As for the NT, we have 0%. In fact, we will have to rely on the Codex Sinaticus of the 4th Century CE to get a complete Greek NT.

    – The earliest manuscript of the Qur’an is the Birmingham manuscript
    [Ref: which has been radiocarbonated to between “568 and 645” ( no later than the early half of the 1st-century of the Islamic calendar) As for the NT, the earliest fragment we have is P52; dates ranging from the mid 2nd-century if not early 3rd-century CE (dates mind you obtained through palaeography and not radiocarbondating)

    -Which brings us to the third point: the vast majority (if not all) of the extant Qur’anic manuscripts have been radiocarbondated. As for the NT, I have yet to see one extant Greek NT fragment/manuscript which has been radiocarbondated and the results actually being published.

    Please let me know if any of these observations are incorrect.

  6. TomTerrific August 9, 2023 at 8:41 am

    Excellent trilogy. Thanks for posting it.

  7. fishician August 9, 2023 at 9:37 am

    I’m reading the Qur’an now. Interesting but it doesn’t seem well-organized. I will need to read your book. Thanks!

    • OmarRobb August 11, 2023 at 1:43 pm

      I would like to comment on the “not well-organized”. I am acknowledging your right to have this opinion, but I would rather prefer to highlight the opinion of the other side.

      Muhammed didn’t present the Quran as a single book from day one, but the verses of the Quran were presented through a duration of 23 years, and the verses in the Quran are not ordered according to the time of its presentation, but it was ordered and organized by Muhammed.

      I am aware of the argument that if the Quran was the word of God then the Quran should have been structured in an organized flow similar to the best history and law books available.

      But the above statement is based on taste and anthropomorphism. Therefore, it is not an independent claim, but it is a dependent claim linked to the believe system. So, non-Muslims would regard this claim to be wise while Muslims would regard it to be meaningless.


    • OmarRobb August 11, 2023 at 1:44 pm


      If you asked the Muslims about this structure, then they don’t exactly know the reason, but they might highlight some assumed wisdom for it: it would motivate the Muslims to think and discuss. If anyone read the Quran from any chapter or page then they will get the core message of the Quran, etc.

      But still, these claims are not independent, but they are dependent claims linked to the believe system: so, the Muslims might regard them to be wise while the non-Muslims would regard them to be meaningless.

      So, let us go out from the dependent claims to some independent claims. For example, the stories and laws in the Quran are distributed, so, are they consistent or inconsistent, how many textual contradictions are there in it, etc.

      The claims in this domain are independent and can be discussed by both Muslims and non-Muslims.

      • fishician August 12, 2023 at 1:57 pm

        I realize the term “well-organized” may be subjective, but if a book is said to be divine instruction intended to lead people to truth then I think such matters are relevant and worth discussing. And I’m not singling out the Qur’an – I see similar problems in books of the Bible as well. I guess I have certain expectations from the highest intelligence in the universe.

        • OmarRobb August 12, 2023 at 3:45 pm

          Fishician, as I have said, I acknowledge your right to form your own opinions in this matter, but in the same time, I truly think that this is a matter that might have been based on taste and anthropomorphism and not on logical deduction.

          I did receive two replies from you that reached my email box, but I have only seen here one, but still I rather prefer to clarify the following: You didn’t make a specific question directed to the author, but you made a general comment, and my comment here is not related to any specific questions, but it was a comment directed to this particular general comment!

          • fishician August 14, 2023 at 12:42 pm

            Omar, I made a comment but then thought I was being too sensitive and trashed it. I guess it went through to you anyway! Not to drag this out, but if communication of vital matters is the object then I don’t think it is just a matter of taste to consider things like organization of information and how it is going to be received by a large audience of people in various cultures. I will continue to read the Qur’an – we’ll see if my thoughts change any by the end!

          • OmarRobb August 14, 2023 at 1:20 pm

            No worries, Fishician.

            Let me just highlight to you a last thought related to this taste issue: if you are making a book of current modern parables and proverbs then you will start by collecting them. Then you might classify them into many chapters according to their subjects. But still this book would be consisted of multiple units in each chapter, and each unit is related to its chapter and to many other units in other chapters. This book would be regarded by many to be entertaining and useful though it doesn’t follow the current standard style of presenting books, and some might not like it, but still, this parable book would submit the information that required from it.

            Now, I don’t think we are arguing here whether the Quran did deliver its core messages (regardless of course of your assessments of these messages) as a new civilization was established on it from nothing in less than two decades and still the book is regarded as a guide and inspiration by many hundreds of millions.

            So, this is why I am saying that this matter is highly likely related to taste, which would be influenced by the believe system.

    • Mak22 August 11, 2023 at 3:13 pm

      That is because you are most likely reading the English translation of the meaning of the book not the Arabic version, the Quran original language. Unfortunately, even the best translation is mediocre at best. It is like driving a Ferrari with corolla engine and transmission. Unlike other books of scripture, the Quran text doesn’t contains any pros, but it is rather written in poetic language. The book’s structure not in chronological but rather circular structure in which most chapters contain multiple themes that are repeated across multiple chapters. Not only that, but each chapter itself is divided into multiple themes that address different issues. The repetitive concepts, themes, phrases, and words make it easy to enforce the message. It is also make very easy to memorize the Quran and minimize the possibility of transmission errors. There is actually an excellent article that explain one of the theories behind the Quran structure.
      This is the link to the article:

    • kt August 13, 2023 at 8:47 am

      I believe that some secular scholars might argue that its origins can some places be traced back to Christian and Jewish sources. Some of these origins may have been derived from Aramaic, which was a prominent academic language in the 6th and 7th centuries. I wouldn’t be surprised if they claimed that the Quran’s structure is due to it being a compilation of various materials.

      Even within Islamic sources, the well reputated scholars Al Bukhari and Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj, both of whom who came from either North Iran and Uzbekistan more than 200 years after Muhammad, discuss the different recitations and methods of reciting the Quran.

      • Mak22 August 18, 2023 at 4:58 pm

        Sorry for the late post.
        Actually most of the prominent Muslim scholars and scientists that came in the Islamic Golden age, 8-14 century, are not Arab. Still, not sure how that has anything to do with the Quran. As for the different readings (the seven letters or readings, which are actually different ways of receiving the Quran or pronouncing certain words), these are not textual variation as it is the case in the bible. They are simply different ways of reciting certain chapters and verses in the Quran.
        See this article, it will explain what are the 7 readings:

        The 7 readings are well known and recognized from the time of Muhammad. See Bukhari 4992:

        As a matter of fact, these 7 readings are still in use nowadays with many scholars specialized or lichened in these readings.

    • OmarRobb August 13, 2023 at 9:03 pm

      Mak22 has presented an interesting comment here, and I can present a suggestion based on it: If you are reading the Quran and you finished let us say Sura Maryam then just go to Youtube and type: Quran Maryam and listen to the reciting of it in Arabic, just feel the flow of it even if you don’t know Arabic.

      I did the same thing with the Psalms as it has been said that they were formed with a poetic structure. So, I searched for it in Hebrew, and I don’t know Hebrew, but I wanted to get a sense of the flow of the poetry. It was very interesting: There is a poetic art in Levant that is evident in Lebanon called ‘Zajal’ and after hearing the Psalms, I truly felt that the Zajal might probably have been a Canaanite inheritance as I sensed rethemes in the chanting of the Psalms that are similar to the chanting of the Zajal (this is just an initial impression).

      So, you can sense the flow of the Quran the same way. You might like it, or you might not, but it would still be part of the experience.

      This is just a suggestion.

  8. kt August 9, 2023 at 11:13 am

    According to accounts from Muslim sources, it’s suggested that it took a long time for Muslims to compile the religion, their texts (both Qur’an, Siras, Hadiths and the Tafsirs). They made revisions to the teachings of Abu Bakr and Uthman, based on verses collected by Zaid. He gathered these verses from sources such as “palm leaves, small white stones, and the recollections of people”. In this scenario, Muslim scholars had to work with a collection of materials. They claimed that some verses were:

    • Lost due to witnesses dying in the Battle of Yamama (Ibn Abi Dawud discussed this)
    • Disappeared (Al Suyuti)
    • Forgotten (Sahih Muslim)
    • Cancelled (Sahih al Bukhari)
    • Went missing (Sahih al Bukhari)
    • Overlooked (Ibn Abi Dawud)
    • Changed (Muwatta Iman Malik)
    • Modified (Ibn Abi Dawud)
    • Substituted (Sahih al Bukhari)
    • Eaten by sheep (Sunan Ibn Majah)

    In addition to that, Muslims frequently warns of “bell” which is Satans instrument and comes from Satan Even islams angles are afraid of it, warns about it, and are scared of it. Then,,,muslim scholars tells us that Muhammad received inspiration for the Qur’an through a bell (as mentioned in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim – see I really don’t understand what these muslim scholars tries to say.

    Additionally, their own Qur’an refers to Allah having daughters in sura 53: 19-23. Commentaries (Tafsirs) suggest a possible Satanic influence in this context (Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi). It is still in the Qur’an , and the Qur’an itself affirm that all of it is a word of Allah (Quran, 81:25).

    etc etc

    Well, I do not believe in these Muslim sources, muslim texts, and islamic scholars as referred to above. And find it difficult to comprehend them. I am more open to and welcome a more critical, historical, and secular scholarship begins to give another interesting aspects of this belief system.

    • OmarRobb August 12, 2023 at 9:33 am

      1# You highlighted that the Muslims took long time for them to compile their religion. But this is an ambiguous statement, because if you are referring to the grammar and commentaries then this much is true, but we aren’t discussing this, are we!

      Our discussion is about the Quran “today”, which the Muslims say that it was presented by Muhammed without alteration or modification. So, this is a very specific subject about the Quran that we have today, and whether it was modified or not.

      2# Can you highlight the statements of the Muslim Recognized Scholars who said that the Quran was changed, modified and substituted?

      3# I truly don’t know anything about “bell”, can you please give me more info about it?

      4# Please read again Quran 53-19-23: the verses are criticizing the pagans who didn’t like to have daughters and preferred male offspring, but they claimed that God have daughters.

      5# I did reply to you before about the sheep issue. This statement is related to two verses of the Quran and this statement is a single-chain narrative with one weak narrator in it, therefore, it was rejected by the majority of the Muslim Scholars.

      • kt August 12, 2023 at 12:50 pm

        The bell first:

        * This is how the bell is explained by the ancient scholars in relation to Satan etc. It is a multiple references in islamic litterature related to the bell.

        * This is a few verses from both from Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim supposedly told by Aisha (Muhammeds wife). It is worth to mention from my perspective and assessment on this , that both Bukhari and Muslim lived centuries later than Muhammed.

        Here Muhammed was inspired by the bell which the muslims think is the instrument of Satan, and all islamic angles are afraid of its present.

        As you know,, “” is where all the accpeted Hadith are collected, both in Arabic and translated to English.

        • Aloha August 27, 2023 at 8:31 am

          Like ringing bell and the bell is different.

      • kt August 12, 2023 at 1:19 pm

        Then what you wanted me to highlight where muslim sholars say it was changed, modified or substituted:

        Regarding verse changed:

        Abu Yunnus, freemdman of Aishah ordered him to write the verse “ Haftdhuu alaas-salaatti was-salaatil wastaa wa quumeuu lillaahi qaantin (2,238) He was ordered to change the verse. This was reported by Muwatta Iman Malik

        Regarding verses modified;

        Al Hajiaj Ibn Yusuf made eleven modification in the reading of the Uthmanic Text. …..In Al Baqarah (surah 2,259) it was originally read “Lam yatasanna waandhur” but was altered to “Lam yatasanna” Also in Al Ma’ida (surah 5,48) and a few others, like ibn Abi Dawud.

        Regarding substituted:

        Sahih al Bukhari (Volum 6, book 61, Number 527) refer to “But Allah said, “None of our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar.

      • kt August 13, 2023 at 7:36 am

        About Allah’s daughters in sura 53:

        Well, I am not convinced you are right. According to muslim sources, (Tafsirs) talking about these pagan godesses which some relates to Allah. It might be that these old pagan godessess had its sources from the old pagan, pre islamic , (Egyptian) “pagan” religion where their moon god (Al-Ilah who had the godess daughters. Anyway, in muslim Tafsirs it is explained that Muhammed sendt forces to destroy them. He even sendt some to destroy them,,,,and if you read it, these godessess are described VERY physical also when Khaild was sendt back to finish them.

        Khalid went back and when the custodians who were also its servants of Al-`Uzza saw him, they started invoking by calling Al-`Uzza! When Khalid approached it, he found a naked woman whose hair was untidy and who was throwing sand on her head. Khalid killed her with the sword and went back to the Messenger of Allah , who said to him,

        (That was Al-`Uzza!)” Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated, “Al-Lat belonged to the tribe of Thaqif in the area of At-Ta’if. Banu Mu`attib were the custodians of Al-Lat and its servants.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

        end of quote

        Se reference :

        • OmarRobb August 17, 2023 at 10:24 am

          There is an infinite number of unfair-claims related to the Quran and Hadith, as there are many people today who take verses, twist their meanings, and present them as objective claims.

          Now … I will be interested to investigate a claim if it was major or wide-spread. But if neither then there are these options:

          # If they were presented by recognized Scholars then these Scholars have a level of logic that they cannot compromise due to their professional pride. Therefore, their claims would be within a confined space and it might be fruitful to investigate them.

          # If they were presented by non-Scholars who seem to be respecting logic and genuinely doing proper homework, then it might be fruitful to investigate their claims.

          # If they were presented by non-Scholars who don’t have a problem in breaking the limits of logic and they don’t seem to spend genuine time in doing proper homework then it is better to ignore their claims.


          There are Muslim-Scholars that memorized the data and are able to respond to most claims without doing the investigation, and they do have sites and channels. But for me, I cannot cope with mixed claims drifting to infinity.


        • OmarRobb August 17, 2023 at 10:33 am


          However, I will respond to the new claims here:

          1# The Jewish Scholars acknowledge that “Allah” is a recognized name for the Mighty God, [check Youtube]. The same for the Coptic and Assyrian churches. “Allah” is an Arabic word that was derived many centuries before Islam from Aramaic, and the Aramaic name was derived from “El”. This matter is settled for me, “but” you have the right to form your views anyway and any shape you feel fit.

          2# Ibn-Ishaq is not an authoritative source for the life of Muhammed as it is based on Anonymous-Oral-Tradition, and I did discuss this matter many times now.

          3# You have claimed that God has daughters as mentioned in the Quranic verses 53:19-23. I did explain the meaning of these verses previously and I am not going to repeat things here, and the meaning of these verses are very clear without a Tafsir. But still, there is no Tafsir from any recognized Muslim Scholar that says that God has daughters as per these verses, or that God admit that he has daughters as per these verses.

          Therefore, I know without any shred of any doubt that your claims about these verses are totally false.

          • kt August 17, 2023 at 1:16 pm

            Thank you for the feedback. I, who do not believe in the god of Islam or its prophet, don’t think that today’s Muslims believe that Allah has three daughters, even though some accepted/unaccepted scholars have written stories in relation to this. I lack the in-depth knowledge that allows me to evaluate what Muslim scholars put forward. This also applies to everything written in the Hadiths, which in my view often present many unexpected stories about Muhammad, such as:

            * Muhammad receiving guests naked (see reference )

            * Muhammad jokingly poking a friend and asking him in public to remove his upper garments, and the other embraces and kisses Muhammad’s body (see reference )

            * A handsome man asking to come close to Muhammad and touching him on his knees (see reference )

            * Aisha recounting that Quranic verses tied to “stoning” and “Breastfeeding an adult 10 times” were eaten by a sheep (see reference )

            * Muhammad marrying a preschool girl at 6 years old (see reference

            * Muhammad’s attempt at suicide by throwing himself from a mountain after, according to Islamic tradition, he began receiving divine revelations (see reference )

            The “black stone” in the Kaaba that Muslims venerate can partly grant absolution of sins if they touch the black stone and Yamani corner and circle it 7 times. It will also be a witness with two eyes and a mouth (see reference and reference og referensen

            * Muhammad being under the influence of “magic” (see reference


          • kt August 17, 2023 at 1:17 pm


            Additionally, there are all the matters previously mentioned related to the Quran, including that verses have been replaced (abrogated, such as verse 2:178).

            I can understand an interest to take an apologetic stand, but for me, it is challenging to adopt an academic stance on this when the premise for Muslims is that the verses come directly from God, unchanged since before existence began (,,,,,,,,,,even before the Big Bang),,,,

            For me, these rather disturbing details as mentioned above (those are just a few of them) are mere observations that provide someone like me, a non-Muslim, with a better foundation to try to understand the background of the religion from a non-religious perspective. I find it VERY difficult to understand it from an islamic religious approach.

          • OmarRobb August 28, 2023 at 1:20 pm

            I will reply to your claims in a new thread just down below.

    • Mak22 August 17, 2023 at 10:47 am

      Hi Kt. I am not sure how you read the sources but you are way off. Chapter 52:21 is God addressing the idols worshipper who claim that their godets are daughter of God, “Do you ˹prefer to˺ have sons while ˹you attribute˺ to Him daughters?
      see this commentary:,do%20no%20one%20any%20good.
      2- ِAl ٍSuyuti is not reliable and not considered as one of the collector of traditions. No one cite him for that purpose.
      3-The goat story is a weak tradition that was attribute to someone name Ibn Is-Haqq, which was rejected by the hadeeth scholars, yet still find its way to one of the books. Notice that most of the peculiar tradition are involved A’isha.
      See the link:
      No one claims that everything in these books are 100%. You still اhave to use common sense. If Muhammad and thousands of his followers memorized the Quran and many written it down, a lost one page from one collection will make no dent in the corpus.
      As for some verses went missing, see Bukhari 780, page 280 and 1911, page 709 in which Bukhari speaks about the Angle of revelation review the Quran with Muhammad, which contradict the missing verses tradition.

      • kt August 24, 2023 at 7:38 am

        Sources,,,, my sources are from what I understand to be respected muslim sources, and for the chapter An Najm (chapter 53) explained in Tafsir Al Jalalayn, page 338, Ayah 22:52 – 22:55

        All those muslim hadiths about breastfeeding for adult is said recited from his wife A’isha but also others like :

        “that the Messenger of Allah said: “Breastfeeding once or twice, or suckling once or twice, does not make (marriage) unlawful.”

        My point is that I find it difficult to get a good understanding of the muslim religion just by reading muslim scriptures, its hadiths and the tafsirs (also the examples of respected muslim sources like linked here).

  9. ShahzebAli August 9, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    im no scholar so my opinion holds little weight if any but– how do we incorporate the manuscripts dated to the time of rashidun caliphship? Also Usman bin affan is 3rd Caliph not 4th. 4th is Ali ibn Abu Talib.
    Usman Caliphship – 644 – 656 AD
    Birmingham folios — between AD 568 and 645 with 95.4% accuracy.
    Sana palmescest lower text — between 578 CE and 669 CE with a 95% accuracy.

  10. OmarRobb August 9, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Stephen,

    My reply here is with the same frame as my replies in your previous two posts with some new points. It is a bit long, so I preferred to put it in a 2nd-pdf reply (as the 1st-pdf reply in the previous post). I hope I am allowed to do so in this particular subject because it is a tough subject.

    The 2nd-pdf reply:

    In a nutshell, I disagree with your methodology because it is not based on critical analysis (as claimed) but on personal judgments. To my understanding: critical research requires the establishment of clear criteria so that this criteria are the tool to be used to filter the data to true or false, otherwise, the research will be based on personal judgments and cherry-pickings.

    This exactly the process of critical approach of the scholarship for the analysis of the NT although the NT was based on Anonymous-Oral-Tradition (AOT) then documented by Anonymous-Authors.

    As I have clarified in your previous two posts and in this 2nd-pdf reply: I don’t think that you have established a clear criteria here, and most of your conclusions were based on your personal judgments, and to me, this is not critical analysis.

    • Askia2022 August 13, 2023 at 12:35 am

      It is so fascinating to me, how similar Christian and Iskamic believers defend their texts and faith

      • OmarRobb August 29, 2023 at 1:15 pm

        This is probably a late reply, but actually, your comment was released just recently.

        Why singling out Muslims and Christians?

        I think the Jews do defend their text with faith, don’t they?

        And how about the Atheists?

        It has been said that Atheists believe that: There is no God but Nature, and “Richard Dawkins” is her Prophet.

        Although the above was intended to be a funny line but it does contain a lot of weight:

        The total disbelief of something is a belief by itself. We can argue that Atheists do believe that God doesn’t exist, and everything is controlled by just the laws of nature.

        This is a belief that does impact the view about life, politics and social issues. So, Atheism is actually an ideology that depend on a belief system, and probably the difference between Atheism and religion is that Atheism doesn’t have praying and rituals.

        What is the practical difference between conviction and faith?

        I think the practical difference between them is just minimal.

        Don’t most Atheists defend their thoughts and ideas with conviction?

        I don’t think we could single out Muslims and Christians here.

        • dankoh August 29, 2023 at 3:01 pm

          It is a common fallacy that atheists “believe” that there is no God. This is incorrect; atheism is the absence of belief, not a belief system. It is based on the lack of evidence for the existence of God, and the plentitude of evidence that no God exists, particularly the God as described in the Bible. While the “New Atheists” may be as dogmatic in their way as the Christian fundamentalists, most atheists – certainly the ones I’ve read about and studied – will admit that they could change their minds if new, convincing, scientific evidence is found.

          So the difference between conviction and faith is that conviction relies on evidence and is open to correction, while faith relies on the “evidence of things not seen.”

          • OmarRobb August 29, 2023 at 3:55 pm

            I think this is your own opinion, which is not my understanding, and I think many Atheists would disagree. For example, if my memory and understanding to Bart Ehrman was accurate then I think he did explain his position as Agnostic Atheist. I think he explained Agnostic to be about knowledge and Atheist to be about belief, and I think he clearly said that he doesn’t believe that God exist.

            I think the idea that all the motions in the universe is just the laws of nature is by itself a belief.

            Also, I truly think you were inaccurate about “the plentitude of evidence that no God exists”. This is just your own opinion, which most of the people on earth regardless of their religion simply disagree. There are many of the “If this then Why is that” questions but these are not evidences, they are just questions that cannot be transformed into solid logical statements. Looking at the debates between Atheists and others, the most thing that they rely on is that they are not convinced with the current evidences of God, but Atheists don’t have solid logical statements that proves that God doesn’t exist.

          • dankoh August 29, 2023 at 5:41 pm

            Argument by numbers – the fallacy that something must be true because so many people believe it. For centuries, people believed the sun went around the earth, but that did not make it true. Also, it is not possible to prove that no god exists, just as it is not possible to prove that a god does exist, because it is not a falsifiable question. It is a question of faith, which does not depend on evidence.

            But is it possible to demonstrate that no evidence so far presented can prove that God exists, that in fact the evidence points against it (which is what I meant the “plenitude of evidence”). Thus, believing in God (especially the one that Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe in) means believing that the universe with its two trillion galaxies, each with on average a half-trillion stars, was all created for the benefit of a group of (supposedly) intelligent beings on one planet around a mediocre star on the outer limb of one of those galaxies. Oh, and it often expects a belief that this universe was all created a few thousand years ago. (cont’d)

          • dankoh August 29, 2023 at 5:48 pm

            Belief that this God exists also mandates that the Bible is accurate in all or most aspects, something else which has been shown to be incorrect (as any number of posts here have demonstrated). Note that I use “demonstrate” because, again, it is not possible to prove this in the religious sense of proof (which assumes the truth of the Bible a priori), but only in the historical or scientific sense (a posteriori). For example, if I say that the existence of dinosaur fossils contradicts Genesis, one response has been that “God created the fossils old as a test of our faith.” But that is an argument from faith made in the absence of evidence, and a circular one.

            If Bart said that he doesn’t believe that God exists (which I recall he has said), that, once again, is not belief. It is the absence of belief. You don’t seem to accept that, but that, as you often like to say, is just your opinion.disabledupes{0e2652a7053caef89e7ba37b630d08dd}disabledupes

          • OmarRobb August 30, 2023 at 3:58 am

            1# You are taking my lines out of its “clear” context! Where did I use the numbers to prove that you are wrong! I did use the numbers to show that “this is your opinion”, that I disagree with, and most of the people disagree with. If I want to prove you are wrong then I need to present the evidences for God, but I didn’t go there. I was clear in clarifying that “this is your opinion” and it is not a consensus one.

            2# The existence of God is a subject much before the bible. Showing that there are contradictions in the bible have no impact on this existence, it only proves that “there are contradictions in the bible”.

            3# I truly believe that there are lot of evidences for God. My analogy here is that there are lot of evidences for the spherical nature of Earth, but there is a good number of people who still believe that the earth is flat. This analogy is not for proving a point but for “clarifying” one.

            4# I acknowledge that the ideology of Atheism is an opinion that I favor, and I acknowledge your position of disagreeing with it.

          • dankoh August 30, 2023 at 10:25 am

            “Argument by numbers,” also known as “argumentum ad populum” (appeal to popularity), is a logical fallacy which claims that something is true because it is popular. Your statement “This is just your own opinion, which most of the people on earth regardless of their religion simply disagree.” is an example of that fallacy; you cite the popularity of a position as evidence of its validity.

            Nor it is just “my opinion.” I did several years of research examining the evidence before concluding that it was strong enough to demonstrate that the probability of the existence of God is so low that it is reasonable to say no god exists, and certainly not in the form that much of the West believes in. This is not a belief; it is a conclusion – meaning that I am willing to change my mind given sufficient evidence. (Believers are very unlikely to be that willing.)

            You will find my examination and conclusions in A God of Our Invention: How Religion Shaped the Western World (Apocryphile Press, 2023).

          • OmarRobb August 30, 2023 at 8:23 pm

            I am repeating myself here, and this is not right. If you have an unusual pen with an unusual color, and If I clarified this by referring to the normal pens that most people are generally using, then this is not about proving that your pen is true or false, but it is about showing that your pen is unusual.

            To me, this is very clear, and I truly prefer not to go further with this argument.

            I told you before in a previous post: the argument will continue to be fruitful until one is trying to impose their opinions in the argument, or when people start to repeat themselves. And I truly feel that you are trying to impose your own opinions, your own research, and your own conclusions in this argument and I totally disagree with you. And I started to repeat myself and I don’t like that.

            I acknowledge that you have all the rights to believe in your opinions, your research and your conclusions, but I disagree with you, and for me this argument has been concluded.

          • dankoh August 30, 2023 at 9:24 pm

            If you seriously think that offering one’s researched and reasoned conclusions in an argument is “imposing one’s opinion,” then I agree that there is no point in any further discussion.disabledupes{43aafe3b17f4962279c3ccf299167eb2}disabledupes

  11. Rysaro August 9, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Kinda sounds like it has many similarities in
    the way Christian doctrine developed.

  12. Stephen August 10, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    So it’s possible, even likely, that older traditions, even ones going back to the foundation of Islam, were destroyed because they didn’t jibe with the understandings of later editors?

  13. Mak22 August 10, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    One quick note, Uthman was the third successor of Muhammad, not the fourth. I have not read the book yet, which is highly celebrated by virtually every Christian apologetic/polemicist YouTube channel and website as the book that will finally debunk the myth of Islam. From what I have seen and read so far, it seems to me that Dr. Shoemaker follows the same pattern of virtually every other orientalist and apologist scholar who view the Quran and the Islamic traditions through biblical lenses. The Quran is entirely a different book and need to have completely different approach from that used in biblical studies. Under the claim of being a latter tradition, Dr. Shoemaker is quick to dismiss the Islamic traditions, which rely heavily on a reliable chain of transmission, something the Judeo-Christian traditions are severely lacking. Similarly, the claim of later tradition can be used to undermine virtually every historical, literary, and religious tradition, which leave us at the end with nothing if we want to take that rout.

  14. Mak22 August 10, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    Also, from the interviews that I have seen on YouTube, Dr. Shoemaker seems to rely on rather weak and isolated external and Muslim evidence or misconstrued ones to counter the primary Islamic narrative. (Based on the video interviews I have seen on YouTube). The Umayyad Khalifa Abd Al-Malik Bin Marwan, which Dr. Shoemaker believes that he canonized the text, has many great contributions to the state, including the diacritical and vowel marks to the qur’anic text; however, standardizing and canonizing the text is not one of them. It is no secret that the traditions surrounding the formation of the Quran differs between the Sunni and the Shiite Muslims in many details, but the core message of both traditions is the same, which state that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad in its entirety during his 23 years ministry. It was committed to memory by Muhammad and his followers as well as written down on verity of writing mediums of that time. Both traditions claims that the initial formalization of the Quranic text into a codex was done within a very short time after Muhammad’s death. Either way, I don’t think it has serious bearing on the text.

  15. Kirktrumb59 August 10, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    As with Jesus, there are Muhammad mythicists; i.e., those who posit that the person Muhammad never existed. Some are scholars.

    If the author cares to respond, I’m interested in his take.
    The phrases “…it is no longer tenable to imagine its contents as having a singular origin in Muhammad’s teaching” and “…the vast empire that Muhammad’s followers had conquered and colonized” indicate at least to me that Dr. Shoemaker accepts the reality of Mohammad as a historical person.

  16. Mak22 August 11, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Dr. Shoemakers uses a mistranslated saying attributed to the Umayyad Khalifah Abd Al-Malik to base one of his theories of the Quran codification, “The month in which I gathered together (Jama’tu (جمعت)) the Qurʾān” The word Jama’tu (جمعت), the possessive verb of the root “Jama’”(جَمَعَ), which means, among other thing, to collect or to memorize according to the Arabic dictionaries. We also find the similar derivative used in the Quran. For example, in chapter 75, verses 16-19, God tells Muhammad not to rush trying to memorize the verses, God will help him memorize and recite them, “Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation.” The word used is Jam’ahuw (جَمۡعَهُ ), which is a noun derived from the root verb Jama’. This is explained in the commentaries of Ibn Kathree, Al-Tabari, Ibn Masu’d and others. In the context of his speech, Abd Al-Malik was referring to memorizing or concluding the memorization of the Quran in the month of Ramadan, not codifying it. Codifying the Quran in one month will be an impossible task to accomplished in the 7th century, especially during the month of Ramadan.

    • sshoema August 17, 2023 at 2:12 pm

      Sorry to be late on this – I didn’t realize this had been posted. Actually, if you check the note, the translation is from Alfred-Luis de Premare, but I stand by it. He certainly knew Arabic well. For instance:

      de Premare, Alfred-Luis. _Dictionnaire arabe-français (langue et culture marocaines)_, 12 vol. (avec coll.), Paris, L’Harmattan, 1993-1999.

      Perhaps the problem here is English? Collect and gather together pretty much mean the same thing. So, I’m not really sure what the issue is. And collect – not just collect [in your heart] – is among the memories of this verbal form.

      • Aloha August 20, 2023 at 6:15 am

        Dr stephen…. But the problem is you don’t believe in Islamic tradition… regarding the children of Allah, if you mean the Koran which says Allah has children, this is strange. unless you say the Quraysh said that.

      • Aloha August 23, 2023 at 9:02 pm

        Dr Stephen…. But the problem is you don’t believe in Islamic tradition… about the child of Allah, if what you mean is the Koran which says Allah has children, this is strange, the Koran even refutes it. unless you say the Quraysh said so.

      • Aloha August 26, 2023 at 9:44 pm

        DR. Stephen, if the same and other meanings including memorizie. then the issue is that memorizing the Koran has something to do with the month of Ramadan in Islamic tradition…

  17. Juannifer August 11, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    The main problem I have is when people who attempt to study the Qur’an do so with preconceived notions about the Qur’an. They approach the Qur’an like they do the Bible. They also approach it using the baseline of what other’s have said about the Qur’an. They also don’t go to authentic Islamic sources they always use anti Islamic sources to test the credibilityof the Qur’an.
    Why don’t they learn from the authentic Islamic sources and then try to debunk the Qur’an?

  18. Juannifer August 11, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    You can’t discredit the Qur’an using the criteria of anti Islamic sources. If the Qur’an says the Jews and the Christians have written books with their own hands then it’s the person critiquing the Qur’an to check to see if this is true or false. But not many do this because of their preconceived notions come into play. I even heard Bart make a statement of Muhammad got stories from the Apocryphal. But had he really thought about it. He of all people knows the Apocryphal wasn’t in Arabic at the time of Muhammad and how would a man who couldn’t read nor write have gotten his hands on the Apocryphal? Was it in plain sight for anyone to just come and read it? This is what I mean when people who do research already have preconceived notions about something. Imagine Bart actually reading the Qur’an and using what he knows about the Bible then trying to put the pieces together historically. The Qur’an might just put a end to the conjecture about Jesus that Christians themselves have differed over ever since Jesus’s lifetime. But to many people are to busy not taking the Qur’an seriously.

  19. Pcrtje August 12, 2023 at 10:04 am

    “Accordingly, numerous elements of the Qur’an make far better sense if we understand the collection as an evolving product of decades of memory work and oral transmission, much of which took place within the culturally diverse contexts”.
    Q: Which soura’s/verses are the most obvious examples of this?

  20. AngeloB August 14, 2023 at 12:26 am

    I just finished reading your chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity Stephen. Very interesting, thank you for suggesting it! I will also read your free book using the link in your post above.

  21. GeoffClifton August 14, 2023 at 3:26 am

    These posts have clearly proved contentious. Reading the above comments (from Fishician and Omar), I have to say that I agree with Fishician. The ‘God moves in mysterious ways’ argument is one that smacks of special pleading. Using critical thinking, one surely cannot deny that communication that fails to communicate effectively is ineffective communication. If God doesn’t understand that, then we are all in trouble.

    • OmarRobb August 30, 2023 at 4:10 am

      This is probably a late reply, but actually, your comment was released recently.

      Taste might be difficult to be analyzed logically. But the effectiveness can be analyzed logically. Let us try this on the Quran:

      The first state of Islam was bout 622AD. In 10 years, Muhammed managed to establish a strong state by people who have no previous skills, knowledge or experience in large-state management, large-state warfare, large-state laws, large-state social orders, etc. Actually, these people were never united for at least 8000 years prior.

      10 years after that, these people managed to cripple one superpower and overcome the other and rule a vast number of people in the middle east. The Quran was at the center of these people, and all Muslims (the pure, the good, the normal, the bad, the awful) from that time until today are centered (in a way) around it, even the X-Muslims have dedicated their life to attack it. And it is just a book, which just contains words, which just counts for about 78k.

      So, regardless of taste and opinions, it does seem to me that it is a bit far from logic to say that this book wasn’t effective in communicating its core messages.

      • GeoffClifton August 30, 2023 at 10:42 am

        I’m sorry but I don’t see what military success has to do with the Qu’ran. It wasn’t a military manual and I suspect that very few of the Arab soldiers were Qu’ranic scholars or had even heard of it. The military success of the Arab armies was more to do with the power vacuum created by the weakening Byzantine and Sassanian Empires. Although I accept that their military achievement was impressive, it was in many ways comparable to the early conquests of the Achaemenid Persians and they were Zoroastrians, not Muslims.

        • OmarRobb September 2, 2023 at 5:13 pm

          I mentioned the large-scale management, the large-scale warfare, the large-scale social order,, and you only objected on the warfare bit.

          But it is OK … let us discuss warfare.

          I agree … the Quran has no military manual.

          However, when the Arabs hunted before Islam, they did master the trapping maneuvers. So, they were capable of understanding the process of tactics, and there were military leaders who were smart in these things, but this wasn’t a superior tactics and it just contributed with 1/5th of the victory.

          The 4/5th came from a very rare phenomenon: an army with an extreme discipline and an extreme well to fight (or more precisely: the extreme well to accept the suffering in the fight for the fight). The front line of the army was thin as it was required to cover the battlefield, However, this line was able to hold the enemy for sufficient time that enabled leaders to employ there plans and traps and win the day.

          This phenomenon was the secret for this miraculous expansion: The extreme discipline and the extreme well.


        • OmarRobb September 2, 2023 at 5:15 pm


          There is a dilemma in the normal warfare: the ordinary army is highly disciplined, but the army might not have the extreme well. The militia might have a high well, but they probably aren’t very disciplined. Some countries have decided to employ both, but this can backfire big time. The discipline even without the well is much better than the well without the discipline.

          Also, when two professional armies fight then the quick decisive victory can only be achieved by superior weaponries or superior tactics. But the Arabs at the first expansion didn’t have superior weaponries or tactics. But they had this rare phenomenon that I have discussed, which was installed by Muhammed and reinforced by the Quran.

          So, the first expansion of the Muslims was miraculous, but it wasn’t a miracle. The miracle (in my view) happened between 622 to 632AD with this dramatic miraculous paradigm shift transformation of the culture of the people there.

          After a few generations of the first expansion, the Muslims discipline and well came down to the normal level, and it fluctuated around this level through the years afterwards, but the Muslims at that time did accumulate the know-how of the large-scale warfare.

          • GeoffClifton September 3, 2023 at 2:07 pm

            The Arab armies were extremely successful but this was not unusual, given the historical circumstances. Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan were all equally successful. There are also other examples of men becoming talented generals late in life, with no previous experience of commanding large formations, eg. Julius Caesar and Oliver Cromwell. And how do you explain the fact that the Arab armies eventually ran out of steam, and failed to penetrate much beyond Spain or into central Asia? Their Spanish conquests were eventually lost and Europe remained Christian. Military success is usually the result of a number of factors but if you are saying that a religious book’s validity can be determinedg by the extent of its adherents’ territorial gains, then the Muslim empire was not the biggest empire and not the longest lived either.

        • OmarRobb September 5, 2023 at 1:33 pm

          1# First, there was an error in my previous comment: “well” should be “will”. English is not native to me, and I have no problems with some minor errors, but this wasn’t minor. So, sorry for that.

          2# This discussion was about the Quran if it did convey its core messages effectively. My argument was that Arabs were scattered and never united before, and in less than 20 years they managed to create a strong vast state in the middle east. I can also add here that 80 years after the first expansion, they managed to accumulate the knowledge around them (form the Greeks, Persians, and Indians) and they became the masters of knowledge at that time. So, from nothing to a vast state in 20 years and from nothing to masters in knowledge in 100 years. This isn’t very bad, is it! As all of this is centered around the Quran then at least I can say that the Quran did convey its core message effectively.

          3# You questioned why the steam stopped, but if the company was bankrupted then the business manual might be fault or maybe the people didn’t follow the manual properly.


        • OmarRobb September 5, 2023 at 1:35 pm


          So, the fault of the manual is not certain here. Same argument for the Quran.

          4# You concentrated on the warfare saying that the military success of the Muslims in the first expansion has nothing to do with the Quran, and I did say that the Muslims didn’t have superior weaponries or superior tactics, but they had an extreme discipline and extreme will, which were installed by Muhammed and reinforced by the Quran.

          5# Alexander inherited an efficient and well-trained fighting machine with superior tactics (The Macedonian phalanx). Hun are actually part of the Mongols and the Mongols always had superior tactics: They born on a horse, live on a horse, and die on a horse. They and horses are one. However, the Hun civilization evaporated 50 years after Attila, and the Mongol civilization evaporated 200 years after Genghis.

          6# However, I don’t have a problem if your opinion was that the establishment of the Greek civilization (or the Mongolians or others) are similar or near to the establishment of the Islamic civilization. But I would disagree with this opinion for the reasons that I have mentioned here.

          • GeoffClifton September 6, 2023 at 5:44 am

            I think we can argue this subject into the ground. I would say in conclusion that the Arabs did have previous good military experience. Their achievements were impressive but not unprecedented or unsurpassed and their failures were often due to an over reliance on cavalry, which are less manoeuvrable in broken and mountainous country, hence their inability to successfully conquer Spain and parts of Central Asia. If their conquests were divinely inspired, then one would have expected God to have pointed this out to them. The Byzantine and Persian Empires were declining when the Arabs conquered them and if they hadn’t, somebody else would.

          • OmarRobb September 11, 2023 at 11:44 am

            Yes, you are right; we could argue this subject for ages and probably not even have a slight convergence.

            However, I just want to highlight a point in your previous comment: I didn’t say that the first expansion was based on the inspiration of God, and even I don’t think that I have mentioned the word God or divine. I was discussing things from a logical perspective trying to explain the physics by the physics, and I did highlight that the secret of the first expansion was due to the extreme discipline and extreme will.

  22. Aloha August 20, 2023 at 6:00 am

    DR. Stephen, if the same and other meanings including memorizie. then the issue is that memorizing the Koran has something to do with the month of Ramadan in Islamic tradition…

  23. OmarRobb August 28, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    A reply to Kt regarding his comment dated: August 17, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Kt,

    I replied to all of your claims in the following pdf-reply:

    However, I don’t think I will investigate any of your Quranic claims after this comment; because I don’t think that are making any fact-checking before presenting these claims.

    If some people hated a book (any book) and they don’t have a problem in breaking the limits of logic and they don’t do any fact-checking, then they are able to generate an “infinite” number of unfair claims in just a very short time. And it doesn’t feel easy that many of these claims can be generated in less than 10 minutes while it would take long time to be investigated and replied.

    However, I did spend the time in writing the replies for your claims just to clarify and justify my above decision.

    Furthermore, you did highlight that I am presenting an apologetic work, but I truly don’t think that you are differentiating properly between apologetic and academic work and I did clarify this at the linked pdf-reply.

  24. Isaac9900 September 12, 2023 at 2:09 am

    Excellent trilogy. Thanks

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