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Defending Quran: specific defenses
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brainout
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:32 am    Post subject: Defending Quran: specific defenses  Reply with quote

I don't see Muslims defend against specific critiques against Qu'ran with sufficient thought in any forum anywhere on the internet;  so I'm going to add some specific defenses, here.  You all know I critique Qu'ran also; but there are also unfair attacks against it.  So this thread is about specific charges and answers to them.  I'll make a separate post for each one, and title its "Subject" in the post, so you can find them easily in any debate you have.  Not that anyone will necessarily agree to the defense I make, but at least it provides food for thought.

Please add to the posts, any defenses of your own.  Three rules:  post citations, keep a civil tongue (don't insult), and re-read what you write to test it for coherence.  You are honoring Allah here, so you should be careful what you say and how you say it.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:39 am    Post subject: Sura 5.32, that Qu'ran plagiarized from Talmud. Reply with quote

Sura 5.32, that Qu'ran plagiarized from Talmud.  The argument here presumes that if a section in another book is also in the Qu'ran, it MUST mean that it is plagiarized, copied, to make Qu'ran look as though it came from God.

Defense:  Allah would know how to quote something.  Allah would demonstrate omniscience and love by quoting humans.  Here, Allah quotes from the earlier Misha, not the later Talmud.  Bible does the same thing in Old Testament and New, and often.  All of Genesis is just such a quoting, for Moses wrote it in 1440-1400 BC, but the entire book details history from eternity past through the entry of Jacob and his progeny, into Egypt.

Doctrine taught via quoting humans:  that Allah is willing to talk to his creation in their own terms.

More can be said, I just wanted to demonstrate the pattern.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:45 am    Post subject: Sura 70.4, that angels require 50K years for travel Reply with quote

Sura 70.4, that angels require 50K years for travel:  the argument here presumes the text signifies that it takes angels 50,000 years to travel to heaven and back.  So how could Muhammed get his revelation over only 23 years with repeated angelic visits?  Unsaid, how could the Bible be repeatedly revealed by angels too (i.e., to Daniel)?  For the individual to receive revelation more than once from the same angel in the same lifetime, would be impossible, if the angel comes and goes.

Defense:  the text doesn't say how long it takes angels to travel to heaven.  It's talking about a span of history.  Whether that span of history is 50,000 literal years would have to be examined, as well as what is the starting point for the count (is it 50,000 years from the time the angels began fighting with Allah, or does it measure from Adam's fall, etc).

Second Defense:  if one reads the text to imply a 50,000 year span required per trip for angels, then clearly the angels are stuck here.  If they leave someone to whom they've given revelation, they aren't going back up to heaven, they just go somewhere else (maybe to someone else who also needs a message).

Again, more can be said, i'm just illustrating a pattern.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:57 am    Post subject: Sura 86 and "drop emitted", biologically wrong. Reply with quote

Sura 86 and "drop emitted", biologically wrong.  Here, translations vary much.  In each case, however, the claim is that the text is meant literally as some kind of proof that Allah knows science, and of course with such wording in ayahs 86.6-7, the 'proof' fails, if the text is meant literally.

Defense:  the text is figurative of creation in general, as ayahs 6-17, demonstrate.  There, human and all biological creation is depicted, panoramically.  Creation waiting to be born into eternity.  Parallel passage in Bible is Romans 8:11-27.  Both dramatise the waiting of creation, groaning as a woman in labor, for eternity to start and the purpose of God to be brought to fruition.  In literature this rhetorical style is known as "personification."  When we have cartoons of talking lions for children, that's personification, too.  Idea of making a non-human thing 'act' as if human, to convey an idea.  All good literature employs personification.  If Allah is Omniscient and Perfect, then Allah would be literary, too.  So would speak to us in literary fashion which we can understand and enjoyably remember.

I'm still investigating this sura exegetically, so the "Defense" above is very tentative.  The root contention is that figurative language in the Qu'ran is being misinterpreted as literal, being mistranslated (ergo all the many variant translations of 86.6-7), and then the mistranslation and misinterpretation are mocked.  Well, if the meaning isn't what the mockers contend, then the mocking is in error.

Update, 1/2008:  I broke with Apple Pie over this.  Just as he wants to turn Muhammed into a mere participle, so also he wants to claim all the 10-15 ayahs associated with AAalaqa into symbolism of the piercing of the spear on the Lord's body on the Cross.  The Hebrew word is the same as the Arabic, it means "leech", a perfect metaphor for "embryo", so I can't justify the idea that anything else but the physical act of creation is in view.

Now you can say what you want about it, but the Qu'ran never itself claims to be a scientific text.  So if it uses poetic language for creation and we moderns can't quite get right what "backbone" and "ribs" mean, well that doesn't mean the Qu'ran is wrong.  It's appalling how poetic text is lambasted as being wrong because it's not literal text.  Um, if it was meant as literal and scientific text, it wouldn't be poetic, k?

Bible gets the same kind of criticism, people misreading the mistranslated verses and then debunking based on a false idea of what the text says.

Bible uses poetic language to describe the heavens, creation, a wide number of things.  So it's not giving you a science lesson.  By contrast, when you read the dull accountings in Daniel 9 or Chronicles and Kings, the listings of the Levitical families -- then, you have literal text.  It's really a no-brainer.  So the Qu'ran which claims to update or correct Bible, would follow the same rhetorical patterns. So should be read as such.  If so done, then a lot of so-called contradictions, vanish.

If we criticise a holy book's text, we must first be sure what that text really says.  Else we are wasting our time, and make ourselves look foolish.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:19 am    Post subject: Multiple Persons speaking in the Qu'ran Reply with quote

Multiple persons speaking in the Qu'ran:  this is already a topic in the "19:36" thread, so here I'm just taking a position.

Defense:  that the Qu'ran is aping Bible rhetorical style, so is claiming the same type of inspiration;  that is, the EMPOWERMENT of Muhammed to write what he's given, not a literal dictation from God.  This empowerment includes the recording of events which of course predated his lifetime, and has depositionary elements of several speakers.  So to expect Qu'ran to have only one speaker recorded -- which it patently does not -- is not correct.

If you compare the speaking style of Bible's OT, you'll see it aped throughout the Qu'ran.  I submit this is deliberate.  That the Qu'ran might have been TAUGHT as a literal dictation is belied by the text itself.  So that's a misteaching problem, not a Qu'ran problem, maybe.

Again, this is a tentative conclusion.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Defending Quran: specific defenses Reply with quote

brainout wrote:
I don't see Muslims defend against specific critiques against Qu'ran with sufficient thought in any forum anywhere on the internet;  so I'm going to add some specific defenses, here.


Muslims do and do it well. You might have experienced that at polemic sites like FFI and CARM, etc. Many others and I have done it well on other sites.

brainout wrote:
 You all know I critique Qu'ran also; but there are also unfair attacks against it.  So this thread is about specific charges and answers to them.  I'll make a separate post for each one, and title its "Subject" in the post, so you can find them easily in any debate you have.  Not that anyone will necessarily agree to the defense I make, but at least it provides food for thought.


Personally, I  do not object to critique on Qur'aan by non-Muslims but it should be attempted by someone who at least has some knowledge of Arabic and one who has read and studied Qur'aan or many of the translations. Those who do critique using only translations will be told and taught what the original verses mean.

However, I cannot stand brainless polemics like Apple_Pie, who do not understand Arabic, copy and paste nonsense from WikiIslam of Ali Sina, who himself confessed to me that he does not know Arabic and that he reads translations, and come to tell us what Qur'aan means.

When Muslims see that the discussion is heading towards extreme polemics and mindless intellectual masturbation, they usually will leave the polemic in peace.  

I do appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Personally, I am gentle with every one and remain in "Jesus Mode" and I am slow to anger and rarely will go into "Torah Mode"  Wink

I will address your posts, one by one, when I have more time. Cheers

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sura 5.32, that Qu'ran plagiarized from Talmud.
[Jerusalem, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)]
defenseless. since it asserts; it is a creed to Israel. thus 'Allah' does not quoting.

nice try.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ygalg the Redeemed, would you mind elaborating?  I know you did it in the other thread, but here it won't migrate to the back page Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brainout wrote:
Ygalg the Redeemed, would you mind elaborating?  I know you did it in the other thread, but here it won't migrate to the back page Smile


I second that.  Smile

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ygalg wrote:
Quote:
Sura 5.32, that Qu'ran plagiarized from Talmud.
[Jerusalem, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)]
defenseless. since it asserts; it is a creed to Israel. thus 'Allah' does not quoting.

nice try.


Shocked and  Rolling Eyes

What is your point?

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