Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Who Authored the Qur'an?: An Enquiry, Part 1

Labid

Labid was another poet whom Muhammad admired a lot. We will now briefly review the contribution of this poet towards the authorship of the Qur'an.
Labid was the son of Rabiah ibn Jafar al-Amiri. Dictionary of Islam [25] reports that Labid died at Kufah in Iraq at the age of 157. As told before, Labid was one of the 7 magnificent poets of Muallaqat. Islamic historians claim that Labid embraced Islam when he saw the first verse of Sura al-Bakara (Sura 2) posted up at Ka'ba; he withdrew his verses and embraced Islam. This claim, of course, cannot be true, as the first verse of Sura al-Bakara is simply: Alif. Lam. Mim - the cryptic message which even Muhammad claimed that only Allah knew their meaning. Labid's verse was: "Know that everything is vanity but God." Muhammad said the same to Labid - the truest poet.

Even if one accepts the assertion that Labid became a Muslim after reading Muhammad's verses then it is more palpable that it was indeed Labid who helped Muhammad to construct poetical verses that were, later, passed up as messages of Allah via Gabriel. Those verses which Labid wrote on behalf of Muhammad were mostly the verses dealing with piety, exhortation of good deeds, some narrations of Arab practices... etc.

In Ahadith we find references of Labid. Here are some examples:

Sahih Bukhari:

The most true words said by a poet was the words of Labid... 5.58.181

Volume 5, Book 58, Number 181:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "The most true words said by a poet was the words of Labid." He said, Verily, Everything except Allah is perishable and Umaiya bin As-Salt was about to be a Muslim (but he did not embrace Islam).

A true poetry testifies the indestructibility of Allah... 8.76.496

Volume 8, Book 76, Number 496:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "The truest poetic verse ever said by a poet, is: Indeed! Everything except Allah, is perishable."

This Hadis, of course, refers to the poetry of Labid.

Sahih Muslim

The true word in Arabic poetry is "Labid". Apart from Allah everything is vain... 28.5604

Book 028, Number 5604:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The truest word spoken by an Arab (pre-Islamic) in poetry is this verse of Labid:" Behold! apart from Allah everything is vain."

I think Muhammad, in the beginning, wanted to be a famous poet by simply mimicking the style, the vocabulary and the rhythm of the poets of his time. However, his illiteracy proved to be the major stumbling block, until he met Zayd ibn Amr and Labid - his mentors who would completely change his course.

In the beginning, and before his marriage to Khadijah, Muhammad was probably more inclined to be a poet. He deeply admired the above three personalities, two of them were poets and the third (Zayd b. Amr) a humanist in to-day's language. Nonetheless, after his marriage to Khadijah, and when he came in contact with several personalities related to her who were well-versed in religions other than paganism, Muhammad changed his mind. Now, he thought of introducing a new belief system. In fact, the Qur'an narrates that the Quraysh thought that Muhammad was trying to be a poet, but Allah scolded the Quraysh for their wrong assumption.

Here are some sample verses on the 'poetship' of Muhammad:

Some people thought that Muhammad was a poet...52:30

052.030 Or do they say:- "A Poet! we await for him some calamity (hatched) by Time!"

People thought that Muhammad was a dreaming poet; they wanted him to show them some miracles like the old prophets did...21:5

021.005 "Nay," they say, "(these are) medleys of dream! - Nay, He forged it! - Nay, He is (but) a poet! Let him then bring us a Sign like the ones that were sent to (Prophets) of old!"

Muhammad does not recite any poetry; the Qur'an is a clear message... 36:69

036.069 We have not instructed the (Prophet) in Poetry, nor is it meet for him: this is no less than a Message and a Qur'an making things clear:

Muhammad is not a poet possessed but he confirms the messages of apostles sent before him... 37:36-37

037.036 And say: "What! shall we give up our gods for the sake of a Poet possessed?"
 037.037 Nay! he has come with the (very) Truth, and he confirms (the Message of) the messengers (before him).

The Qur'an is neither the words of a poet nor that of a soothsayer...69:41-42

069.041 It is not the word of a poet: little it is ye believe!
069.042 Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little admonition it is ye receive.
 

Hasan b. Thabit

Hasan b. Thabit was Muhammad's own official poet. He wrote the Diwan, the anthology of ancient Arabian poetry. When Muhammad migrated to Medina he made Hasan b. Thabit his own poet. Nonetheless, Hasan b. Thabit had his idiosyncrasies. Even though he was the personal poet of Muhammad he had a deep dislike for the Muslims. On page xxviii of Sirat Rasul Allah, the translator, Professor Alfred Guillaume writes, "Hasan b. Thabit disliked the growing number of Muslims. He considered the vagrant Muslims as unmitigated nuisance. He did not house any of the Muhajirin, nor was a brother to one of them."

Most likely, Hasan b. Thabit was a hired poet (a kind of paid journalist) of Muhammad - paid to compose poetry as per Muhammad's specifications. This can be confirmed from Ahadith. Here are some examples:

From Sahih Bukhari:

Muhammad approved Hassan b. Thabit to recite poetry in a mosque... 4.54.434

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 434:

Narrated Sa'id bin Al-Musaiyab:

'Umar came to the Mosque while Hassan was reciting a poem. ('Umar disapproved of that). On that Hassan said, "I used to recite poetry in this very Mosque in the presence of one (i.e. the Prophet) who was better than you." Then he turned towards Abu Huraira and said (to him), "I ask you by Allah, did you hear Allah's Apostle saying (to me), "Retort on my behalf. O Allah! Support him (i.e. Hassan) with the Holy Spirit?" Abu Huraira said, "Yes."

This Hadi, unmistakably shows that Hasan used to construct poems for Muhammad to be recited in the mosque. Can those poems not be some of the Suras of the Qur'an?

Muhammad instructed Hassan, the poet to lampoon the pagans... 4.54.435

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 435:

Narrated Al Bara:

The Prophet said to Hassan, "Lampoon them (i.e. the pagans) and Gabriel is with you."

This Hadis demonstrates that Hasan b. Thabit used to compose poems as per Muhammad's likes and dislikes - just the way the Qur'an is composed of Allah's revelations via Gabriel.

Hassan b. Thabit lampooned the infidels excluding Muhammad... 4.56.731

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 731:

Narrated 'Aisha:

Once Hassan bin Thabit asked the permission of the Prophet to lampoon (i.e. compose satirical poetry defaming) the infidels. The Prophet said, "What about the fact that I have common descent with them?" Hassan replied, "I shall take you out of them as a hair is taken out of dough."

Narrated 'Urwa: I started abusing Hassan in front of 'Aisha, whereupon she said. "Don't abuse him, for he used to defend the Prophet (with his poetry)."

Here are further evidences that Hasan b. Thabit was a paid scribe - a Qur'an composer of Muhammad

Muhammad asked his poet Hassan to abuse the B. Qurayzah Jews through his poetry...Sahih Bukhari: 5.59.449

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 449:

Narrated Al-Bara:

The Prophet said to Hassan, "Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e, supports you)." (Through another group of sub narrators) Al-Bara bin Azib said, "On the day of Quraiza's (besiege), Allah's Apostle said to Hassan bin Thabit, 'Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e. supports you).' "

This Hadis demonstrates further that Muhammad commissioned Hasan b. Thabit to compose poems as per his stipulations.

Sahih Muslim

Abu Talha gave his valuable property to his relatives, viz. Hassan b. Thabit and Ubayy b. Ka'b... 5.2186

Book 005, Number 2186:

Anas reported that when this verse was revealed:" You will not attain righteousness till you give freely of what you love," Abu Talha said: I see that our Lord has demanded from us out of our property; so I make you a witness, Messenger of Allah. that I give my land known as Bairaha' for the sake of Allah. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Give that to your relatives. So he gave it to Hassan b. Thabit and Ubayy b. Ka'b.

That was how Muhammad rewarded Hasan b. Thabit for composing Qur'anic verses (via his poems, and helped by Gabriel) for Muhammad.

After Hassan b. Thabit went blind he used to spend time at Aisha's quarter. Aisha admired him as he used to write satirical rebuttal on behalf of Muhammad... 31.6077

Book 031, Number 6077:

Masruq reported: I visited 'A'isha when Hassin was sitting there and reciting verses from his compilation: She is chaste and prudent. There is no calumny against her and she rises up early in the morning without eating the meat of the un- mindful. 'A'isha said: But you are not so. Masruq said: I said to her: Why do you permit him to visit you, whereas Allah has said:" And as for him among them who took upon himself the main part thereof, he shall have a grievous punishment" (XXIV. ll)? Thereupon she said: What tornient can be more severe than this that he has become blind? He used to write satire as a rebuttal on behalf of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him).

That was how Hasan b. Thabit saved Muhammad and his Qur'an!

Here is another Hadis from Sahih Muslim which even claims that Hasan b. Thabit's poems were helped by divine power (Ruh-ul-Quddus) and were similar to certain Qur'anic verses!

Book 031, Number 6081:

'A'isha reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be uport him) said. Satirise against the (non-believing amongst the) Quraish, for (the satire) is more grievous to them than the hurt of an arrow. So he (the Holy Prophet) sent (someone) to Ibn Rawiha and asked him to satirise against them, and he composed a satire, but it did not appeal to him (to the Holy Prophet). He then sent (someone) to Ka'b b. Malik (to do the same, but what he composed did not appeal to the Holy Prophet). He then sent one to Hassan b. Thabit. As he got into his presence, Hassan said: Now you have called for this lion who strikes (the enemies) with his tail. He then brought out his tongue and began to move it and said: By Him Who has sent you with Truth, I shall tear them with my tongue as the leather is torn. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Don't be hasty; (let) Abu Bakr who has the best know- ledge of the lineage of the Quraish draw a distinction for you in regard to my lineage, as my lineage is thesame as theirs. Hassan then came to him (Abu Bakr) and after making inquiry (in regard to the lineage of the Holy Prophet) came back to him (the holy Prophet) and said: Allah's Messenger, he (Abu Bakr) has drawn a distinction in vour lineage (and that of the Quraish) By Him Who has sent you with Truth, I shall draw out from them (your name) as hair is drawn out from the flour. 'A'isha said: I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying to Hassin: Verily Ruh-ul- Qudus would continue to help you so long as you put up a defence on behalf of Allah and His Messenger. And she said: I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saying: Hassan satirised against them and gave satisfaction to the (Muslims) and disquieted (the non-Muslims).

You satirised Muhammad, but I replied on his behalf,

And there is reward with Allah for this.

You satirised Muhammad. virtuous, righteous,

The Apostle of Allah, whose nature is truthfulness.

So verily my father and his father and my honour

Are a protection to the honour of Muhammad;

May I lose my dear daughter, if you don't see her,

Wiping away the dust from the two sides of Kada',

They pull at the rein, going upward;

On their shoulders are spears thirsting (for the blood of the enemy) ;

our steeds are sweating-our women wipe them with their mantles.

If you had not interfered with us, we would have performed the 'Umra,

And (then) there was the Victory, and the darkness cleared away.

Otherwise wait for the fighting on the day in which Allah will honour whom He pleases.

And Allah said: I have sent a servant who says the Truth in which there is no ambiguity;

And Allah said: I have prepared an army-they are the Ansar whose object is fighting (the enemy),

There reaches every day from Ma'add abuse, or fighting or satire;

Whoever satirises the Apostle from amongst you, or praises him and helps it is all the same,

And Gabriel, the Apostle of Allah is among us, and the Holy Spirit who has no match.

Muhammad rewarded this mercenary poet of him by awarding him a pretty, young damsel Sirin, who, along with Marriyah Kibtia were presented to Muhammad by Muyaqis, the then governor of Alexandria. Muhammad kept Marriyah, the prettiest lass as his concubine and donated Sirin to Hasan b. Thabit to be used as his sex-slave. Ibn Ishaq writes that Sirin and Marriyah were sisters. [26]

Salman the Persian

Salman, the Persian was originally a devout Zoroastrian from Isfahan, Persia. Then he converted to Christianity. Later, he was sold as a slave to a B. Qurayza Jew of Medina. When Muhammad arrived at Medina Salman met him there. Some 3 years later, with the help of Muslims he purchased his freedom from his master and converted to Islam, becoming an ardent companion of Muhammad. During the battle of Ahzab (the battle of the ditch) the trench digging was his idea. He was well acquainted with the books of the Persians (i.e., Zoroastrianism), the Greeks and the Jews. Ali said about him (The Reliance of the Traveller, p.1093), "He was a man of us and for us, the line of prophetic house, and in relation to you as the sage Luqman, having learned the first knowledge and the last, read the first scripture and the last: an exhaustive sea." [27]

Undoubtedly, Muhammad had cleverly utilised Salman's extraordinary talent to compose many verses of the Qur'an that deal with historical tales of the ancient Egypt, the Greek, the Romans and the Persians. As Salman was formerly a Zoroastrian Muhammad learned, in detail many of their beliefs and practices and incorporated them in his Qur'an. Muhammad's description of Paradise and hell are stunningly similar to that of the Zoroastrians'.  So, those verses dealing with the punishment in Hell and the rewards in Paradise were surely contributed by Salman, the Persian. It is interesting to note that Salman became a close member of Muhammad's family. Aisha reports that Muhammad used to spend countless hours with him-- discussing various religious issues, so much so, that Aisha thought that Salman would spend the night with Muhammad.

Those who have read the Qur'an up close, many times will be profoundly surprised with Muhammad's absolute pre-occupation with the description of Paradise and hell. There are many verses in the Qura'an which, time after time, deal with this particular topic - that is, the purely sensual rewards of Paradise for the believers; the sadistic, odious punishment for the unbelievers. Most of these verses, no doubt, were inspired by Salman, the Persian, and later, written down by Muhammad's scribes at his dictate - passing them up as Allah's revelations. Here I am citing just a few of such verses. To save space I have cited only the main message in the verse. For details please refer to the verse number quoted.

The Qur'anic Paradise

If the believers do not commit the most heinous (major sin) of the forbidden (idolatry) then God will forgive other sins and admit them in Paradise...4:31

The believers will have easy life and will dwell in Paradise forever... 7:42

In Paradise there will be no jealousy, all will glorify God for guiding them... 7:43

The Paradise dwellers will enquire about the appalling condition of the hell dwellers... 7:44

God promises Paradise (beautiful mansions in the garden of Eden) to the believing men and women... 9:72

Gardens (many gardens in Paradise?) of eternity (Eden), beneath river flowing, adorned with bracelets of gold, green garments, fine silk; comfortable furnishing...18:31

God promises Paradise (beautiful mansions in the garden of Eden) to the believing men and women... 9:72

In Paradise there are two gardens of grape fruit surrounded by date palms and a corn field in between them...18:32

In Paradise there is no nonsense; only salutation of peace, sustenance in the morning and in the evening...19:62-63

Believers will be admitted to the gardens (many gardens in Paradise?) beneath which river flows; they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments will be of silk...2.23

People have no idea of how much joy and happiness God has reserved in Paradise for the believers... 32:17

The believers will be in gardens of eternity (many gardens in Paradise?); they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments will be of silk... 35:33

For the sincere and devoted servants of God there will be sustenance (in Paradise), fruits, honor, dignity, garden of felicity, they will face each other on thrones, pass around a cup from a clear flowing fountain, crystal white delicious drink, no headache, no intoxication, chaste women... 36:41-50

In Paradise there will be every kind of fruit and there will be peace and security...44:55

There will be no taste of death in Paradise for the believers except their first death...44:56

Slain Jihadists will be in Paradise... 47:6

God will readily offer Paradise to the believers... 50:31

Near the boundary of Lote tree is the Paradise... 53:15

Class3 Those nearest to God in the garden of bliss (upper Paradise)...56:11-12

The width of a garden in Paradise is the width of heaven and earth...57:21

If you repent then God will remove ills and send you to Paradise under which rivers flow; the believers' light will radiate in front of them and on to their right side...66:8

God will reward the righteous with a garden (Paradise) and garments of silk will be theirs for their patience...76:12

The believers will recline in garden (Paradise) on raised thrones, no excessive heat of the sun; no excessive cold of the moon...76:13

The residents of Paradise will enjoy wine mixed with Zaanzabil (zinger?)... 76:17

The fountain in Paradise is called Salsabil...76:18

Passed around will be vessels of silver and goblets of crystal; they will be served by youths (boys) of perpetual freshness like pearls...76:19

There will be peace and tranquillity everywhere in Paradise... 76:20

Green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, adorned with bracelets of silver; God will give everyone to drink a pure holy wine...76:21

And the Qur'anic Hell

The preachers of idolatry will be cut off from their followers and will be sent to hell...2:166

God casts terror in the hearts of unbelievers; they will reside in hell...3:151

Hell is a woeful refuge...3:162

The dwellers of hell will be covered with shame; there are no helpers for them...3:192

Hell is a burning fire; so is envy...4:55

Unbelievers will be cast in fire, their skins roasted often, skin changed often for more roasting...4:56

The unbelievers will drink boiling water in hell...6:70

Each new entrant of hell will blame his ancestors for leading him to hell; the penalty of hell fire is doubled for those who mislead others...7:38

Allah has made many men and Jinns for hell; they are worse than cattle...7:179

The unbelievers will burn in hell...14:29

There are seven gates in hell each of special class...15:44

Hell is a prison (dungeon) for the unbelievers...17:8

When someone wants material things, God will bestow this first; then He will gather them in Gehenna (hell) to be burnt forever)...17:18

Unbelievers will be lying face down, will be dumb and deaf on the judgment day; God will increase the fierceness of hell fire...17:97

Hell is an entertainment for the unbelievers...18:102

Those who are gathered in hell will lay face down...25:34

Zaqqum, the bitter tree in hell is for the unbelievers... 37:62

Zaqqum springs out of bottom of hell fire... 37:64

The unbelievers will be led to hell in crowds; gates will be opened, the keepers will ask questions regarding the messengers sent... 39:71

The people of Pharaoh will be brought in front of hellfire in the morning and in the evening...40:46

Those in hellfire will beg the keepers of hell to lighten the penalty at least for a day...40:49

The keepers of hell will admonish the inmates of hell for disobeying the messengers sent to them while they were in earth... 40:50

God will taunt the Christians in hell saying: Where are all my partners that you used to believe in?...40:73

The unbelievers will ask Malek, the keeper of hell to kill them with God's permission; but Malek will promise them to keep them in hell forever... 43:77

One day God will ask hell if it is full or not; the hell will ask more inmates in it...50:30

Unbelievers will be entertainment with boiling water and they will be burned in hellfire...56:93

The only food in hell will be bitter ones; filth and pus... 69:35-37

To escape hell fire, the sinners will offer to sacrifice their children, wives, brothers.....everything on earth; but these will not be acceptable to God, and the fire will be plucking out right to the skull...70:11-16

Non-Muslim Jinns and the idolaters will be the fuels of hell fire...72:15

Hellfire changes skin colour...74:27-29

For the disbelievers, God has prepared shackles, chains and a blazing hellfire... 76:4

No coolness and drink in hell (gehenna)...78:24

For brevity's sake I did not include the historical references in the Qur'an that were undoubtedly told to Muhammad by Salman. Please spend some time searching the Qur'an and you will surely discover that they were purely man-made stories - not the stories told by Allah.

Bahira

Bahira was a Nestorian Christian monk who lived in Sham (Syria). His Christian name was Sergius or Georgius. It is believed that he was expelled from the Syrian monastery for certain offences. To expiate it he set out on a mission to Arabia. In Mecca he met Muhammad, became intimate with him and stayed with him. He had confidential conversation with Muhammad in which he surely told Muhammad many facets of Christianity. Many verses in the Qur'an dealing with Christianity must have emanated from Bahira, the monk. Muhammad simply re-wrote them with the help of his Qur'an collectors or scribes.

It is believed that the Qur'anic verses on the Psalms of David were actually the contribution of Bahira. These verses are:

004.163 We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.

 

017.055 And it is your Lord that knoweth best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms.

021.105  Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth."
In fact, the Dictionary Islam (p.698) writes that the last quoted verse (21.105) is a direct quote from Psalm xxxvii.29

Here are some sample verses which most likely were contributed by Bahira:

Even when Muhammad confirms the previous scriptures, the Jews and the Christians reject him... 2:101

The Jews and the Christians quarrel with each other even though they study the same book; God will judge between them...2:113

The Islamic, the Jewish and the Christian God is the same God, do not argue on this; God will reward each group according to their deeds... 2:139

The Jews and the Christians are invited to believe in the Book of God to settle their disputes...3:23

Some Jews and Christians twisted their scriptures and passed them as God's messages... 3:78

Some Jews and Christians believe in baseless powers of mysteries and the powers of evil...4:51

Christians forgot a good part of the message; so, God condemned them to animosity and hatred among themselves...5:14

Some Christians follow Gospel correctly but most of them do not. If they followed the Gospel correctly they would have enjoyed happiness from every side...5:66

Jesus' believers (Christians) were Muslims and their religion was Islam (?)...5:111

Muhammad was to learn from the Jews and the Christians; the Qur'an contains the messages of these books...10:94-95

Some Jews and Christians are actually Muslims; they believed in the Qur'an... 28:53

Argue with the people of the Book only in a nice manner; Muslims are to believe in the Qur'an as well as in other books sent down by God; Muslim's God and Jews and Christian's God is the same... 29:46

God bestowed Gospel to Jesus and ordained compassion and mercy to his followers; God did not prescribe monasticism to the Christians...57:27

It is not clear why Bahira was expelled from the Syrian church. Could it be that he held views on Christianity that was blasphemous to the Nestorian church? Or could it be that he did some criminal act? No one knows for sure. Any way, Muhammad had a wealth of information on Christianity (apocryphal or main-stream) from this monk and thus created an eclectic Qur'an..

It is interesting to note that the Qur'an itself mentions that Muhammad was, in fact, taught by a foreigner but Allah tried to deny the truth by implying that the language of Muhammad and the language of the foreigner was different! This obviously, is completely untrue, as we note that Muhammad, during his trip to Sham (Syria) had met Bahira, and had no difficulty in communicating with him. Here is the verse that says that Muhammad was taught by a foreigner:

016.103 We know indeed that they say, "It is a man that teaches him." The tongue of him they wickedly point to is notably foreign, while this is Arabic, pure and clear.

Jabr

The Dictionary of Islam [28] writes that Jabr was one of the Ahlu-l-Kitab and was well-read in the Taurat and Injil, and Muhammad used to hear him read these books as he passed by his house. Muhammad must have learned from Jabr many of those Suras dealing with the traditions of the Christians and the Jews. Most likely, the verses on David and Solomon were composed by Jabr. Some of these verses are (only the main messages are shown here; for details read the entire verse):

David slew Goliath...2:251

Psalms was given to David...4:163

God is discriminatory; he prefers some prophets to others; he gave Psalms to David... 17:55

God witnessed the judgment of David and Solomon... 21:78

God gave Solomon the correct understanding; He made the mountains and the birds to serve David... 21:79

God taught David the skill of war-shield making... 21:80

Before the Qur'an, God sent messages in the Psalms of David...21:105

God gave knowledge to David and Solomon... 27:15

Solomon's father was David. Solomon was the heir of David; Solomon understood the speeches of birds, beasts and plants... 27:16

Solomon had control over Jinns; the Jinns and birds fought in Solomon's army... 27:17

God put the mountains under the command of David; taught him how to make weapons from iron... 34:10-11

God had put the mountains, birds for David's service and endowed him with wisdom and logic... 38:18-20

God forgave David's sins...38:25

God made David a ruler on earth and gave him the authority to issue fair judgment by God's laws and by his personal opinions... 38:26

Ibn Qumta

Ibn Qumta was a Christian slave who lived in Mecca. Muhammad learned about the apocryphal gospel of Christianity (such as The Gospel of Infancy and The Gospel of Barnabas) from him. The entire Sura on Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ (Sura 19) was probably written by this Christian slave. Sourcing from Wakidi, Alphonso Mingana, in his essay, The Transmission of the Koran writes: [29]

 'A more ancient historian, Wakidi, has the following sentence in which it is suggested that 'Abdallah b. Sa'd b. Abi Sarh, and a Christian slave, ibn Qumta, had something to do with the Koran. And ibn Abi Sarh came back and said to Quraish: "It was only a Christian slave who was teaching him (Muhammad); I used to write to him and change whatever I wanted."'

Please note that Abdallah b. Sa'd b Abi Sarh was Muhammad's trusted scribe. When Muhammad migrated to Medina Abdallah also followed him. Whenever Muhammad went into a trance he would dictate Abdallah to write down his utterances. When Abdallah suggested some changes to Muhammad's lisping, Muhammad readily agreed with Abdallah. An example is when Muhammad was dictating verse 23:12-14.

023.012 Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay);
023.013  Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed;
023.014 Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!

When Abdallah suggested some modifications to the last verse, Muhammad quickly agreed with Abdallah. This led Abdallah to suspect Muhammad's claim of reception of messages from Allah, apostatised and left Medina for Mecca. He then proclaimed that he (Abdallah) too could easily write the Qur'anic verses by being inspired by Allah.

Muhammad was furious and sought Allah's help. Allah promptly sent down verse 6:93 condemning anyone who claims to be inspired by Allah. Here is the verse:

006.093 Who can be more wicked than one who inventeth a lie against Allah, or saith, "I have received inspiration," when he hath received none, or (again) who saith, "I can reveal the like of what Allah hath revealed"? If thou couldst but see how the wicked (do fare) in the flood of confusion at death! - the angels stretch forth their hands, (saying),"Yield up your souls: this day shall ye receive your reward,- a penalty of shame, for that ye used to tell lies against Allah, and scornfully to reject of His signs!"

When Muhammad occupied Mecca he earmarked 8 (or 10 - 6 men, 4 women according to Ibn Sa'd [30]) people to be killed even if they were found in the precinct of Ka'ba. Abdallah was one of them.

Even Sahih Bukhari confirms that a Christian wrote parts of the Qur'an. This Christian writer of the Qur'an, without doubt, is none other than ibn Qumta. Here is the Hadis:

A Christian who converted to Islam wrote Muhammad's revelations; then he reverted back to Christianity and claimed that Muhammad knew nothing and he wrote the Quran for Muhammad; when this man died his body was repeatedly thrown out from the grave...4.56.814

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 814:

Narrated Anas:

There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat-al-Baqara and Al-Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet. Later on he returned to Christianity again and he used to say: "Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him." Then Allah caused him to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is the act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and took his body out of it because he had run away from them." They again dug the grave deeply for him, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is an act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and threw his body outside it, for he had run away from them." They dug the grave for him as deep as they could, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So they believed that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and had to leave him thrown (on the ground).

Please note that the text inside parenthesis, (e.g., the revelations) is the insertion by the translator.

Part 3 >>>

[ Part 1 - Part 3 - Appendix ]


Footnotes for Part 2

[25] Hughes Dictionary of Islam, p.282
[26] Ibn Ishaq, p.652
[27] The Reliance of the Traveller, p.1093
[28] Hughes Dictionary of Islam, p.223
[29] Alphonso Mingana, The Transmission of the Koran, The Origins of The Koran, p.103
[30] Ibn Sa'd vol. ii, p.165


Abul Kasem is an Bengali ex-Muslim and academic. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside and Why We Left Islam.. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of five e-Books: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted at [email protected].


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