How sound are the arguments and conclusions presented in Harry Richardson’s “The Story of Muhammad – Islam Unveiled”?
It is important to point out a few things:
- The author claims “Muslims in general are very ignorant of the details of their religion, this is not an accident because most Muslims don’t speak Arabic,” yet the author has a gross misunderstanding of the Qur’an and the teachings of Islam himself.
- Many of the sources are questionable, such as Gatestone Institute.
- Some of it is just false or completely misquoted.
- He uses deceit in order to give a bad name to prophet Muhammad pbuh.
When people want to control a situation or even just to cause mass confusion it is through the exact methods used in the film “The Arrivals”. They take facts and twist them into what they would like people to believe so in that way it is easier to fool people.
You cannot really talk about Islam when you do not have understanding of the contexts and concrete evidences. Unfortunately, most people only know about Islam from what they learn off the Internet and media without understanding the context. A person’s criticism has no credibility if they do not know what they are talking about. Such instances are contingent on the fact that they are ignorant.
I am not going to address this book point by point, rather by relevance only, as I have already covered most of the verses in the Qur’an that have been referenced in this book in many of my previous articles.
A Muslim is someone who submits to the will of Allah. The Qur’an came to affirm the Torah and the Gospel and to complete Divine revelation for mankind through prophet Muhammad pbuh. It exposes the corruption of previous divine scriptures through changes made to the original texts.
I have written three articles on this: The Jews rejected Muhammed as a prophet and the Qur’an as the word of Allah, and Does the Qur’an teach that the Bible was corrupted over time ? and Are Christians and Jews meant to follow Prophet Muhammad according the Qur’an? these will hopefully address the main arguments cited by Harrison.
Muslims do not believe the prophets were Jewish, nor did Prophet Muhammed ensure that Islam could never be changed. Nor are Muslims forbidden from reading the Bible or Torah.
Allah promised to protect the Qur’an from the change and error that happened to earlier revealed revelations [Qur’an, 15:9] and so the truth that came with the Qur’an can never be corrupted.
If Muhammad ensured Islam could never be changed as a whole then there wouldn’t even be a single sect in Islam since it is forbidden.
The Qur’an declared that it is a mighty book that is full of power. It is not only uncorrupted, but also incorruptible since no evil or falsehood can ever approach it from any direction in order to corrupt it [Qur’an, 41:41-42].
For Muslims, this promise from Allah is enough to know that He will indeed protect the Qur’an from any errors and changes over time. For people who do not accept the authenticity of the Qur’an in the first place, however, clearly this verse cannot serve as proof of its authenticity, since it is in the Qur’an itself. It is from here that the academic discussion begins.
Not only is the Qur’an free from contradictions, but it proclaims that had it come from any source other than Allah, it would have been filled with contradictions [Qur’an, 4:82].
The Qur’an addressed those who received the previous revealed scriptures (the Torah), advising them to believe in this new scripture (the Qur’an) which confirmed what they had received in the scriptures sent down to them, and warned them not to be the first to disbelieve in it [Qur’an, 2:40-2].
Allah has sometimes changed the old law and replaced it with a new law for a new religious community, but the new law never differed from the old law. Rather, the new law was either similar or better than the old law. [Qur’an, 2:106]
This verse refers to cancellation of laws in previous scriptures and does not imply that any verse of the Qur’an has ever been abrogated, cancelled or forgotten.
No reasonable person would interpret, “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” [Qur’an 8:12] as a spiritual struggle. It means having fear instilled in their hearts i.e., being naturally afraid. You can read more about this here.
Firstly, Prophet Muhammed never claimed to be a Jewish prophet. In fact, in my article of the Jewish rejection of prophet Muhammed, we can learn that the Jews did indeed recognise Muhammed as a true prophet, as they would their own sons [Qur’an, 2:146].
Secondly, Muslims believe that the Israelites rewrote the (original) Torah to deliberately exclude Ishmael (as) from Allah’s covenant with the Patriarch Abraham (as) so that they could claim exclusive title to being the ‘chosen people’ of Allah.
The change of qibla was not ordered by Muhammed, and had absolutely nothing to do with hating Jews. The Qur’an says the Jews have the false belief that Jerusalem and its temple belong to the heart and center of faith. So the change of qibla was an attempt to correct the religious perspective of those who insisted that Jerusalem was the spiritual heart of the religion of Abraham. You can see my article, Why do Muslims Pray With Their Backs to Jerusalem if it’s Muslims Land?, to learn more about the change of qibla.
The Jews were not literally transformed into pigs either, you can read my rebuttal here. This refers to the group of Israelites who defiantly broke the Sabbath, so Allah cursed them in their conduct.
The verse about divorcing a wife has been addressed in my article Does the Qur’an and Islam Really Permit Child Marriage and Pedophilia?
The Qur’an forbids marrying a woman by compulsion [Qur’an, 4:19]. I have also addressed rape and wife beating in my article Does the Qur’an Really Permit Muslim Men to Beat and Rape Their Wives?
Interestingly, Islam teaches, much like the bible, that it is the Jews who are part of an ongoing strategy to rule the world. I highly recommend reading the free Ebook, Explaining Israel’s Mysterious Imperial Agenda, by Imran N. Hosein, available to download from his website, here.
Some assert that there are hundreds of verses in the Qur’an that encourage violence against innocent non-believers. The only way to get to the bottom of this issue is to individually investigate the Qur’anic verses and not to rely on the opinion of so-called ‘experts’ like Harry Richardson and Robert Spencer.
The question we want to address is whether the context supports the violent proposition that these isolated words seem to advocate. Are they meant to apply to all situations throughout history without limit or does the Qur’an restrict them to a specific historical context? I have written a rebuttal to this argument in my articles titled, What Is The Real Status of Christians and Jews In The Qur’an? and Does the Qur’an Really Sanction Violence Against ‘Unbelievers’?
The command to fight the unbelievers was limited to those Arabian tribes who had initially made peace treaties with the Muslims and later violated the treaty. Verse 9 speaks of the ‘pagans’ or ‘idolaters’ of the Arabian tribes who broke their oaths. It is a mistranslation of ‘Unbelievers’.
Permissions for Muslims to fight did not extend to all pagan tribes but only those who allied themselves with Islam’s enemies and launched attacks against the nascent Muslim Community.
To understand the issue of befriending the Jews, Christians or people of any other faith, we have to study all the concerned verses from the Qur’an collectively.
Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. [Qur’an, 60:8]
Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers. [Qur’an, 60:9]
O you who have believed, take not those who have taken your religion in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor the disbelievers as allies. And fear Allah, if you should [truly] be believers. [Qur’an, 5:57]
From the above verses, we learn that Muslims are only discouraged from befriending those who fight them because of their religion, or from among those who reject faith, as they could lead one astray.
Muslim men are only permitted to marry people from the book, i.e., Muslims, Christians and Jews. [Qur’an, 5:5]
And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you… Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. [Qur’an, 2:221]
Now it is clear to you that idol worshippers and any woman not from the ‘people of book’ cannot be approached for sexual intercourse unless they convert to Islam, and then marry before having any sexual relations. As long as they are following their religion they are forbidden for Muslim men to approach.
What sense would this verses make if they are permitted in marriage until they became believers if they were simply to be hated or slaughtered?
Since I live in France, I decided to set the record straight on Zus and our so-called ‘sharia police’ in the following articles The Myth of No-Go Zones in France, and The Myth of No-Go Zones in France Just Won’t Die, which completely exposes this fallacy of No-Go Zones in France for non-Muslims.