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As we continue with our blog post series, I’d like to tell our readers that if you have had to read any of our top ten passages more than once, don’t worry. Many native Arabic speakers have difficulty reading it in the original language, mainly because Muhammad wasn’t a great writer. The disorganized syntax he used generates constant problems for translators. This is why anyone picking up three or four translations of the Qur’an may very well read just as many different interpretations of the text (all quotations are taken from Quran.com).

#7 – Allah Will Tell You What You Believe!
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. (Surah 5:116)

Some of the most problematic verses in the Qur’an are those in which Allah demonstrates dishonorable qualities. In this passage, Allah reveals his ignorance by incorrectly defining the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. He indicates that Christians worship a triad of three gods that included Jesus and Mary (cf. Surah 4:171; 5:73). While numerous Trinitarian and Christological heresies circulated in the early church, scholars don’t know of a single instance of any tritheists who worshiped the trio of God the Father, Jesus, and Mary. Allah makes a spectacular blunder here. Besides, even if someone, somewhere, did teach this—and there’s no evidence that they ever did—why choose a fringe example to illustrate the Trinity? It seems Allah never heard of a “straw man argument.”

#6 – Lots of Luck with the Ladies
O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. You, [O Muhammad], may put aside whom you will of them or take to yourself whom you will. And any that you desire of those [wives] from whom you had [temporarily] separated – there is no blame upon you [in returning her]. That is more suitable that they should be content and not grieve and that they should be satisfied with what you have given them – all of them. And Allah knows what is in your hearts. And ever is Allah Knowing and Forbearing. (Sura 33:50-51)

Muhammad used this passage to grant himself more sexual partners than anyone else. It flows naturally from Surah 4:3, which gives men the right to have up to four wives. The reason why should be obvious to any mature adult (and can probably be guessed by most teenaged boys). The real issue here seems to be that Muhammad used revelations like this to justify his apparent hedonism. Muslim sources reference the Prophet’s unparalleled sexual prowess several times (e.g., Sahih al-Bukhari 7:62:6, 142). One passage claims he had enough stamina to visit eleven wives in a single evening (Sahih al-Bukhari 1:5:268). This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding Muhammad’s preoccupation with sex. Muslims have long used numerous passages in the Qur’an (Sura 4:24) and the hadith (Sahih Muslim 8:3371) to justify rape, which was used to a great extent by members of ISIS. The Bible does speak frankly about the pleasures of human sexuality (cf. Proverbs 5:19; Song of Songs 7:3, 7). And it includes instances of characters using “locker-room talk” (e.g., 1 Kings 1:10), but we don’t see it used to glorify godly figures. Outside of Christianity, new religious movements and cults often allow leaders to have plenty of sugar time with the ladies, thus exposing their true motivations. Muhammad seems to have been no different.

#5 Convert, or Else
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. (Surah 9:29)

In this verse, Allah commands Muslims to subjugate Jews and Christians violently. They can avoid a gruesome fate by paying the jizyah, a tax that permits them to continue to practice their religions in a state of humiliation as a dhimmi, or second-class human being.[1] You know, nothing communicates benevolence and generosity like a good old-fashioned protection racket.

Passages like this explain the last 14 centuries of conflict in the Middle East. Earlier in this chapter, v. 5—often referred to as the “Verse of the Sword”—encourages Muslims to fight the polytheists (including Christians, see #7 above) until they are subjugated and pay the zakat (an obligatory religious tax). In other words, Allah is history’s greatest extortionist. Move over Don Carleone; there’s a new guy in town selling fire insurance.

It’s only going to get better from here in our Top 10 list of verses from the Qur’an. Our next post will feature #2-4. After that, we’ll have a blog post dedicated solely to our number one verse. I’m looking forward to exploring these with you as we continue our look at Islam’s sacred text. For more information, see the video What Every Christian Must Know About Islam.

For more information, see the video What Every Christian Must Know About Islam.

[1] Although Internet sources frequently indicate that the dhimmi was a person who enjoyed freedom at the cost of a special tax, it is evident from Islamic sources that the dhimmi was considered vastly inferior to Muslim believers, did not enjoy the same privileges, and could expect condescension if not contempt. In some places, the protected status of an entire city could be revoked if a single person offended a Muslim. Such cases appear in the Muslim conquest of Spain (Al-Andalus) during the Medieval Period in the badly misnamed “Andalusian Paradise.”

Image courtesy of Lexi T / Unsplash.com