Leaving Islam




The Sabeans  

W. St. Clair-Tisdall (W.St. Clair Tisdal, The Sources of Islam, The Orgins of the Koran, pp.236-237) writes that the Sabeans inhabited Syria . They were the followers of Seth and Idris. Sabeans fasted for 30 days from night to sunrise, observed Eid and prayed for the dead without prostration. Muhammad simply copied their system of fasting (only change made was fasting from dawn to dusk) and retained the celebration of Eid and the prayer for the dead in exactly the same fashion as the Sabeans. Thus the rules on fasting as prescribed in verses 2:183-187 were actually adapted from the Holy Scriptures of the Sabeans. In fact, the Qur’an confirms itself that the system of fasting was a copy-cat from other faith—of course, remaining coy about which religious scripture Muhammad copied from. Here is verse 2:183 that says that the Islamic system of fasting is the mimicry of the other faith (Sabeans, of course):  

002.183 O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-  

The Sabeans possessed a book called ‘Pages of Seth. They observed 7 prayers a day 5 of which were at the same hours as chosen by Muhammad. They also venerated Ka’ba. Muhammad, most likely, learned about the Holy Scripture of the Sabeans from Bahira, the monk and Salman, the Persian; because both of them had spent a considerable amount of time in Syria and were well aware about the sources, rituals and the religious doctrine of the Sabeans. Muhammad simply incorporated those in the Qur’an—passing them as Allah’s dicta.  

On the Sabeans, the Dictionary of Islam (Hughes Dictionary of Islam, p.551) writes that they worshipped the stars secretly but openly professed to be Christians. Others say that they were of the religion of Sabi, the son of Seth, the son of Adam. Some say they were of the religion of Noah. Their Qiblah was towards the south, from whence the wind blows.  

No doubt, after learning about the Sabeans Muhammad was profoundly impressed with their religion and hastened to incorporate some of their rituals in Islam. He regarded them as the true believers of Allah. In fact, the Dictionary Islam (ibid) writes that the Arabs used to call Muhammad as Sabi—he who has departed from the religion of the Quraysh. The Qur’an mentions them 3 times in the following verses:

 002.062 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

005.069 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

022.017 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians, Christians, Magians, and Polytheists,- Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment: for Allah is witness of all things.  

Note that those verses also contain the Jews, the Christians and the Magians (Zoroastrians).  


Khadijah, Waraqa and Ubydallah et. al.  

The Sirah (biography) of Muhammad does not mention about the religion of Khadijah, Muhammad’s first wife. However, it is difficult to believe that Khadijah was a 100% polytheist. She was probably deeply influenced by his cousin brother Waraqa, who, as mentioned before, was first a Jew, then converted to Christianity. He became a devout Christian and reportedly translated the Gospel in Arabic. His profound knowledge and understanding of the mainstream Christinity, as well as Judaism, must have had profound influence on Khadijah and Muhammad. So it will be quite reasonable to surmise that Khadijah, too, was a follower of Christianity—at least inwardly. We find no reference anywhere that Khadijah had ever prayed to any idol or had attended any polytheist religious ritual; instead, we note (as told previously) that Muhammad was, indeed, a polytheist when he married Khadijah. For 25 years Khadijah was Muhammad’s support (financially) and counsellor. It is most likely that Khadijah influenced Muhammad to change his religion—from polytheism to Christianity. Waraqa and Khadijah used to discuss lots of Christian and Jewish stuff with Muhammad that made him think deeply about his belief system at birth (i.e., paganism).  

We learn from Sahih Bukhari that Waraqa used to read the Gospel in Arabic. This confirms that the Arabic translation of the Gospel was available during Muhammad’s time.  

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 605:

Narrated 'Aisha:

The Prophet returned to Khadija while his heart was beating rapidly. She took him to Waraqa bin Naufal who was a Christian convert and used to read the Gospels in Arabic Waraqa asked (the Prophet), "What do you see?" When he told him, Waraqa said, "That is the same angel whom Allah sent to the Prophet) Moses. Should I live till you receive the Divine Message, I will support you strongly."

Not only that Waraqa read the Gospel in Arabic, he also translated Gospel in his own version in Arabic. Sahih Bukhari confirms this:  

Please note that this is quite a lengthy Hadis. I have quoted only the relevant part.  

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 478:

Narrated Aisha:

…….." Khadija then took him to Waraqa bin Naufil, the son of Khadija's paternal uncle. Waraqa had been converted to Christianity in the Pre-lslamic Period and used to write Arabic and write of the Gospel in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write……  

Waraqa even knew how to read and write in Hebrew! Sahih Bukhari confirms this:  

Please note that only the part germane to the subject is quoted here.  

Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3:

Narrated 'Aisha:

……Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza, who, during the PreIslamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write……  

The above information, especially those quotes from the Sahih Bukhari will leave one without any doubt that Waraqa, as well as Khadijah were big-time contributors to the compilation of the Qur’an-- especially those verses dealing with Christianity and Judaism.  

Then came along Ubaydallah, the grandson of Abd al-Muttalib and Muhammad’s cousin brother. As Ubaydallah was a Hanif, surely Muhammad had learned a lot of good materials on Hanifism from him. Muslim historians claim that Ubaydallah converted to Muhammad’s religion and migrated to Ethiopia , then he left Islam and embraced Christianity and died there as a Christian. So another contributor of the Christian and Hanif stuff in the Qur’an was definitely Ubaidallah. After Waraqa, Khadijah and Ubaydallah died Muhammad simply incorporated in the Qur’an what he had heard/learned from them.  

We need to mention here two other main contributors to the Qur’an. They were Abdullah b. Salam and Mukhayariq. According to Ibn Ishaq (Ibn Ishaq, p.239) Abdullah b. Salam b. al-Harith was a Jew from B. Qaynuqa who converted to Islam when Muhammad arrived at Medina . Mukhayariq, too, was a Jewish Rabbi from B. Thalaba and he also converted to Islam. Abdullah b. Salam was an authority on Torah, and had undoubtedly contributed to write in the Qur’an.the Jewish stuff--especially the Jewish laws.  

Here is a brief list of some of the materials in the Qur’an that Muhammad copied/adopted from the Christians, the Jews, the Armenians, the Hindus and the Magians (Zoroastrians):  

Tayammum ( 4:43 ): Copied from the Jewish Scripture the Talmud

Breathing life into birds (2:260, 3:49 , 5:110): Copied from the Coptic books.

Houris, Azazil (44:54): Learned from the foreigners in Mecca .

Harut amd Marut (2:102): From the Armenian books—Harut and Marut are in control of wind and rain.

Allah’s throne above water (11:7): From the Jewish tradition.

Malik, the ruler of Hell (43:77): From the Jews.

7 Heavens ( 2:29 , 41:12): Adopted from the Sanskrit Scripture of the Hindus.

Mary giving birth under the trunk of a tree ( 19:23 ): Copied from the Gospel of Infancy, an apocryphal Christian Gospel

Infant Jesus talking ( 3:46 , 19:30 -31, 19:33 ): Copied from the Gospel of Infancy.

Description of Paradise and Hell (there are many verses—see the section on Salman, the Persian: Copied from the Magians (Zoroastrians) and the Hindus.

Jesus not killed, Allah lifted up Jesus ( 3:55 , 4:157-158): Copied from the Gospel of Barnabas

The story of Joseph (Sura 12): Copied from the Midrash, a Jewish Scripture.

The story of Solomon and Sheba (21:78-82, 27:17-19, 27:22-23): Copied from the Haggada, a Jewish Scripture.

The original Qur’an is kept in Heaven (43:4, 85:21-22): The Talmud says it is a preserved tablet in Heaven.

Angel of death--Azrail or Azazil, Malaku’l Maut (6:61, 7:37 , 32:11): Adopted from the Jewish and the Magian (Zoroastrian) scriptures.  

Uncannily though, the Qur’an asserts itself that the infidels of Mecca knew that Muhammad had copied the Qur’an from various sources, especially from the Jewish Scriptures; and that was why Allah had to admonish the polytheists for calling Muhammad a copy-cat. This is revealed in verse 28:48  

028.048 But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?" Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: "Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!" And they say: "For us, we reject all (such things)!"  

For more examples of plagiarism in the Qur’an (and by Muhammad) one may refer to the books listed in the bibliography. 

Muhammad’s neighbour was An-Nadr b. al-Harith. He also used to write verses similar to the Qur’an. He was also a very good story-teller--especially of the ancient fables. Whenever, Muhammad gathered people to listen to his tales in the Qur’an an-Nadr would entice the audience of Muhammad with better stories than Muhammad. Due to An-Nadr’s excellent proficiency in narrating the anecdotes Muhammad saw his audience disappear. Muhammad considered al-Nadr’s act extremely loathsome and had his revenge taken by capturing An-Nadr in the battle of Badr and later beheading him.  

Here are references to some selected verses from the Qur’an that tell us that the pagans were very much aware that Muhammad used to tell them ancient stories that they had heard before—Muhammad did not narrated any new fable at all—he simply regurgitated what he had heard from his sources—passing them as Allah’s revelations to him.  

The unbelievers consider the Qur’an as the tales of the ancients… 8:31

The unbelievers said that the revelations to Muhammad were the tales from the past… 16:24

Many pagans had heard the story of resurrection from past tales…23:83

Disbelievers say 'the Qur’an is ancient tales which they had heard before'…25:5

The unbelievers insist that Qur’an is tales from the past…27:68

The unbelievers say the Qur’an is nothing but the tales of the ancients…46:17

The unbelievers termed Muhammad’s revelations as tales from the past…68:15


Ubayy b. Ka’b  

Ubay b. Ka’sb was the personal secretary of Muhammad and one of the six collectors of the Qur’an. The other five collectors of the Qur’an, according to ibn Sa’d (ibn sa’d, vol.i, p.457) were:  

Muadh ibn Jabal

Abu al-Darda

Zayd ibn Thabit

Sa’d ibn Ubayd

Abu Zayd  

Ubayy b. Ka’b was also known as Abu Mundhir. He took the 2nd pledge of Aqba along with other ansars from Medina and was one of the first persons in Medina to accept Islam. He was Muhammad’s greatest confidante’ and a saviour in troubled times. Whenever Muhammad would forget some verses of the Qur’an or he would want some explanation on some verses he would seek the help of Ubayy. This dependence of Muhammad on Ubayy reflects that he (Ubayy b. Ka’b) was the real writer of Muhammad’s dictations, and Ubayy wrote whatever he fancied—subject, of course to Muhammad’s approval. Residing in Medina , where a sizable thriving Jewish community lived, he was profoundly knowledgeable in Jewish scriptures and Jewish laws. Most likely, he wrote many of the Medina Suras that deal with Islamic legal provisions. These Medina Suras are not as poetically enchanting as the Meccan Suras. This is because Ubayy b. Ka’b was not really a poet but a politician and a scribe. In fact, he wrote his own version of the Qur’an which he refused to surrender when, during Uthman’s time, all versions of the Qur’an, except that of Hafsa’s were proscribed and burned. Ubayy b. Ka’b and ibn Masud refused to surrender their Mushaf (Qur’an written on leaves) and kept them in secret.  

From the above evidence we can safely surmise that many Medina Suras were actually written by Ubyy b. Ka’b with the assistance of other scribes of Muhammad.  

It is quite fascinating to note that although Gabriel purportedly brought the Qur’anic verses to Muhammad, he saw Gabriel only twice. This is confirmed from this Hadis in Sahih Bukhari:  

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 378:

Narrated Masruq:

I said to 'Aisha, "O Mother! Did Prophet Muhammad see his Lord?" Aisha said, "What you have said makes my hair stand on end ! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, he is a liar: Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord, is a liar." Then Aisha recited the Verse:

'No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Courteous Well-Acquainted with all things.' (6.103) 'It is not fitting for a human being that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil.' (42.51) 'Aisha further said, "And whoever tells you that the Prophet knows what is going to happen tomorrow, is a liar." She then recited:

'No soul can know what it will earn tomorrow.' (31.34) She added: "And whoever tell you that he concealed (some of Allah's orders), is a liar." Then she recited: 'O Apostle! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord..' (5.67) 'Aisha added. "But the Prophet saw Gabriel in his true form twice."

Of course, this Hadis is confusing and contradictory when we recall that in other ahadith Muhammad claimed that Gabriel visited him many times in the form other human beings (most notably, in the guise of Dhiya al-Kalbi). So what prevents him in saying that all those Qur’an scribes, including Ubayy b Ka’b, were in fact, Gabriel/s in various forms?

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