The Paper was addressed to Evelyn Hammond.
It was published November 16, 2001
THE DESIGN OF THE KORAN
One cannot peruse the Koran without recognizing that it was directed to people who were familiar with both the Old and New Testaments. The names of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmail, Moses, David, Zachariah, and such phrases as "the tribes," the children of Israel," "the prophets," "the apostles," and so on all reflect a heavy influence from the "Book," (the Bible).
Q7.43: And We will remove whatever of ill-feeling is in their breasts; the rivers shall flow beneath them and they shall say: All praise is due to Allah Who guided us to this, and we would not have found the way had it not been that Allah had guided us; certainly the apostles of our Lord brought the truth; and it shall be cried out to them that this is the garden of which you are made heirs for what you did.
Compare with passages from Isaiah:
O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea . . .
And the LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
One can easily discern the difference between the "revelations." This difference is not due merely to translation, but in the quality of the expressions, and the forms of the images invoked. We naturally wonder why the Old Testament was not good enough, with its more elevated expressions.
I shall show why.
The New Testament is also well represented. The Koran states:
Q2.46: Who know that they shall meet their Lord and that they shall return to Him.
Compare this with:
2 Th 2:1
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren . . .
. . . then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.
These passages show that the form of Christianity was already well-shaped, with a canonical text, by the time of Muhammad.
Consider other passages from the Koran that show the heavy influence of Judaism and Christianity upon Islamic teachings.
Q2.120: And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.
Jews and Christians are singled out from the rest of the world for condemnation. This exclusive selection would come about only if those religious influences were bothersome to Allah. They stood in his way. He might (mis)quote from the Old and New Testaments, implying those sources as worthy, but he directly rejects Christianity and the path to God that started with Jesus. Only Allah's guidance is the proper path.
Q2.135: And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.
(Hanif refers to Muslim monotheism.) Here Christians are lumped in with the pagan world. The idea of polytheists ( Al-Mushrikûûn) arises because Christians worship more than one God. They worship the Father, and they also worship Jesus, as the divine Son of God, our Creator.
Q5.14: And with those who say, We are Christians, We made a covenant, but they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of, therefore We excited among them enmity and hatred to the day of resurrection; and Allah will inform them of what they did.
Without question, enmity between Islam and the Judeo-Christian world is to be expected. Muslims are warned not to make friends of them. One of the tools of Allah is to excite hatred!
Q5.51: O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.
In this verse Muslims are specifically instructed to not make friends with Jews and Christians. Allah is not with people who disobey this instruction.
Q5.82: Certainly you will find the most violent of people in enmity for those who believe the Jews and those who are polytheists, and you will certainly find the nearest in friendship to those who believe (to be) those who say: We are Christians; this is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly.
This is a difficult verse. An alternate translation runs as follows:
Q5.82: Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikûûn, and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: "We are Christians." That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.
This seems to say that both Jews and Christians are enemies, but that among them are people who are not proud, i. e. people who can become friends with Muslims because they do not question the teachings of Allah.
Clearly Muhammad and his Arabic community were bothered by Judaism and Christianity. Allah then plays on this uncertainty. But inherently, in the exact teachings of Islam, we find basis for the enmity which exists today between Muslims and the Judeo-Christian world.
Why was the Bible misquoted? Why were Jews and Christians singled out for this condemnation? Because Islam was created as a vehicle to undermine and destroy the works of God. The reason so many biblical images are invoked is to draw attention to the condemnation focused upon them. A hidden purpose existed -- a purpose to persuade the world to abandon God's path.
This goal can be achieved only because those who espouse Islam are ignorant about the teachings of the prophets and Jesus. They do not know the contents of God's revelation. Hence they can be persuaded against it. Yet this fault lies at the feet of Jews and Christians, who espouse comfortable versions of those teachings, suitable to their expectations, but contrary to God's purpose. And so Jews and Christians have brought on their own judgment -- exactly as the Bible and the Koran say.
Although Islam exhibits the same care for man as found in Christianity and Judaism the emphasis is in reaction to the social and religious influences of the days of Muhammad, thus inherently limiting the scope of the vision presented in the Koran.
Often we find unbelievers assigned to hell.
Q7.41: They shall have a bed of hell-fire . . .
Since hell is an idea derived out of the New Testament, an idea that does not come from the Old Testament, (where only the word Sheol is used for the grave), the source of this influence is easily found.
Consider this passage, which many Muslims assign directly to the United States and the western nations:
Q8.12: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
Q8.13: This is because they acted adversely to Allah and His Apostle; and whoever acts adversely to Allah and His Apostle -- then surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil).
Q8.14: This -- taste it, and (know) that for the unbelievers is the chastisement of fire.
Q8.15: O you who believe! when you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, then turn not your backs to them.
Q8.16: And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day -- unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company -- then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah's wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be.
What more justification do some Muslims need to perform their deeds of terror?
From the fact that a chastisement of fire is specifically designated we would expect many Muslims to regard that punishment in the form of nuclear weapons.
THE KORAN ON JESUS
We can obtain a more certain idea of the origin of the Koran "revelation" by examining passages which deal with Jesus.
The Hebrew word is Yehoshua or Yeshua. The Greek form is Yesus. It is often written as Yesoun in the New Testament. The Greek name was transformed into Isa in the Koran.
Eleven passages designate Jesus as the Messiah. In fact, the word messiah is not applied to anyone else. The following passage seems to be a praise of Jesus, and his role as the Messiah.
Q3.45: When the angels said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the Messiah, Isa, son of Marium, worthy of honor in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah).
The parenthetical phrases are introduced by M. H. Shakir, the translator, to bring better sense, according to his ideas. Note the critical change that takes place if the phrase (of one) is omitted in good news with a Word from Him whose name is the Messiah. Then Jesus is the one who brings this Word.
Many channeled works employ a similar convolution of phrases to imply a communication, where one can take alternate senses, depending on how one looks upon it. This technique is the inspiration behind the layers of interpretation engaged by Muslims. One must open alternate layers to determine just what was intended.Other passages introduce a hidden deflection of this praise. Note the convolution of the following statement:
Q9.29: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book (Bible), until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
Q9.30: And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. These are the words of their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before. May Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!
Q9.31: They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one God only. There is no God but He; far from His glory is what they set up.
9:29 is an explicit exhortation to fight all those who do not believe in Allah, who do not believe in the "last days," who do not follow Allah's prohibitions, and who do not "follow the religion of truth." The last refers to the teachings of Islam. Note that all other persons (nonbelievers) must pay the Jizyah (head tax) when living under an Islamic government. Through this mechanism they will admit superiority to Islam, and they will become subject to Islam.
9:30 refers to those who merely repeat the words, without real belief in their hearts. Both nominal Jews and nominal Christians are here condemned. However, a condemnation of claiming Jesus as the Son of God (Allah) is also implied.
9:31 amplifies this suggestion. (Again omit the parenthetical word introduced by the translator.) Idolaters are those who put their faith in "doctors of law and monks for lords." That is, in biblical interpreters and priests. Idolaters have also taken the "Messiah son of Marium" when they should be serving only one God, Allah. This again is a direct condemnation of the worship of Jesus.
If Jesus is the Creator, if he is our God, then this passage is directing service exclusively to Allah, and away from Jesus. In other words, Allah, a pseudonym for Caligastia, is asking us to denounce devotion to our Creator and turn in devotion to him.
All of Islam now follows that instruction. They do not know Jesus except as another human being. They deny his divinity. The entire Muslim world is devoted to that Spirit Personality.
We should not be deceived.
Q4.157: And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they surely killed him not, for sure.
This passages denies that Jesus was crucified. Such teaching is contrary to all Christian belief, nominal or faithful. If Jesus was not crucified he could not rise from the dead to bring salvation to mankind. This is the basic tenet of all Christian teaching. Thus his power over death is denied.
Jesus is called an apostle of Allah, thus doing far more than reducing him to purely human status; our Creator now becomes subject to Allah, a fallen and rebellious divine Son. Even though he is identified as the Messiah, the identification is used in a manner to also deny the Messiah's role as a special heavenly agent in bringing salvation to the planet.
Thus Jesus is denied in his role as God, in his saving power over death, and in his salvation of the world.
Since Christians firmly believe that this Jesus is God, that he came to this world as God incarnate, and that he was commissioned by God the Father, there could be no stronger contest between Christian and Muslim. Would God deny his own Son? Would God betray the revelations of the Bible to here convey a contradictory revelation? When this denial is coupled with the teaching that a worship of Jesus is polytheism we have an overwhelming contest between God and this Spirit Personality who calls himself Allah.
This is a true spiritual battle, now working itself out on our planet.
Obviously, Allah cannot be God. He cannot be the Father in heaven. He is a rebel Spirit Personality.
The passage also tells us something of Arabic debate in 600 AD. Considerable contest must have existed over the exact role and history of Jesus. The Koran is then bringing correction to such confusion, as desired by Allah.
Christian students of the Koran have noted this ambiguity in understanding the role of Jesus. I quote:
One of the most puzzling contradictions inside the Qur'an is the subject of Jesus' death. The Qur'an writes of the day that Christ was to die, yet in the same book, teaches that He did not die on the cross. . . . A gap between Jesus' birth and the Ascension is evident. The Qur'an avoids the matter of Jesus, as a prophet, dying for man's sins, leaving it unresolved and with contradictory opinions.
Jesus receives the title Messiah (Christ) eleven times in the Qur'an, all in Medinan suras . . . While no explanation is offered of the title Messiah, and it is applied to Jesus at all periods of his life from birth to exaltation, yet it appears to have a particular sense.
. . . Jesus only receives this title after Muhammad had completed his twelve years of preaching at Mecca and had migrated to Medina. In none of the Meccan surahs is the name of Jesus qualified by the title Al-Masih.
The most plausible explanation is that Muhammad was unaware of the title until he moved to Medina and, as his contacts with Christians and Jews increased, so he came to learn of the unique appellation given to Jesus and, being unaware of its meaning but seeing no reason to reject it, simply adopted it and included it in the Qur'an without any further ado.
This leads to a major insight into the Koran. Muhammad's "revelations" were heavily restricted by his lack of personal knowledge. This Spirit Personality, who calls himself Allah, conditioned the form of the "revelations" to shape them according to Muhammad's understanding. Muhammad was not given revelations that might go above his head. This gave reassurance to Muhammad that he was Allah's true messenger.
On the other hand, true revelations many times were not understood by the Jewish prophets. Daniel said:
I heard but I did not understand. Then I said, "O my Lord, what shall be the issue of these things?" He said, "Go you way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.
In other words, God is providing revelations that have usefulness at some future time, even though the vehicle of those revelations may not be privy to their meaning.
The Apostle John also stated that we were not to understand until the final hours:
. . . but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God, as he announced to his servants the prophets, should be finished.
We can now recognize that the Spirit Personality took Muhammad along a path to control his mental images. The Koran evolved in a "revelatory" process conditioned by private limitations. This means that it is not true revelation; it is shaped by human thought.
The Koran was not designed to bring revelation; it was designed to influence Muhammad's thinking. Through Muhammad it could influence the thinking of those who accepted his teaching. Today it influences the thinking of hundreds of millions of people.
The Koran fundamentally alters the teachings of Judaism and Christianity. It had a goal to take people away from those teachings. It responded to teachings that already existed, to deny them.
The Koran was a reactionary "revelation."
The Koran was intended to pervert God's truth.
We can easily see that the Koran does not reveal detailed facts of God's administration and plans for this world. It merely offers bland generalities. Nowhere in the Koran will one find such passages as:
"And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls."
But this assessment also tells us something else. Muslims will always be subject to the traditions of Judaism and Christianity because their "Holy Book" is in reaction to those prior religions and revelations. Everything in the Koran is limited by the desire of the Spirit to condition thought. Such subjection must unconsciously simmer in the minds and the souls of Muslims. They cannot escape it.
That is why they feel a natural animosity toward Jews and Christians, deeper than the overt teachings of their faith. Their "Holy Book" is reactionary. It is not pure revelation. It is designed to "correct" and condemn the teachings of the Bible, subtly or blatantly. That is why it teaches enmity toward all those who derive from the Jewish and Christian faiths, all those unbelievers.
The Bible contains actual revelations from God, and from Jesus. The Koran denies such authorship.
Thus we have an unavoidable contest in religious belief and hope for the future of this world.
The Devil has done his work to set up the greatest religious/political contest of all time.
And such is the manner by which we have now become engaged in this great religious battle.
It will play on the world political stage.