Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lies, manipulation and brainwashing - another day of dawah on the net

I recently posted a typical article from an Islamic site purporting to be nothing more than an attempt to reassure a Muslim who was having doubts about his faith. I accused the author of being less than honest with his readers and suggested this sort of insidious, mendacious propaganda was increasingly widespread on the net. Millions of people are being lied to on a daily basis in a blatant attempt to mislead and confuse.

Let me reiterate, ever since a close friend converted - apparently mainly because he had been convinced  (no doubt by some overtly devout b*gger who saw it as a chance of picking up extra points for more rewards in Paradise) that there were scientific miracles in the Qur'an - my gripe  has always been with those individuals who seek to lie to and manipulate others to either convert or keep them from questioning their faith.(If, however, you want to believe in any one of the pantheon of sky fairies we've invented for ourselves for purely spiritual reasons, and you leave the rest of us alone, then that's your affair and I have no right try to change your mind.)

Anyway, the article in question starts by dealing with the questioner's doubts regarding the incompatibility of a literal reading of the Qur'an with the Theory of Evolution.
You see they are supporters of Theory Of Evolution which is a baseless theory and Science itself doesn't approve (sic) it. They have not provided any evidences in support of Theory of Evolution, but they only say that "Holy Qur'an is incompatible with thesis of human evolution", Lolx this is no proof to say that Holy Qur'an has an error rather this theory is itself incompatible with science. There will be no Christianity, Judaism or Islam if you believe in Theory of Evolution. I think Atheists are the owners of this website.

Lie 1 - "Evolution is a baseless theory" . Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, have issued statements rejecting intelligent design and a petition supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners. See here for further discussion.
Lie 2 - "This theory is incompatible with science". See above ditto  
Lie 3 - "There will be no Christianity or Judaism if you believe in the Theory of Evolution" The Catholic Church and Conservative and Reform Jews accept Evolution guided by God. Christianity and Judaism have survived the advent of the theory of evolution because their mainstream adherents don't require a literal reading of their texts.

It then proceeds to reassure the reader regarding the fundamental Qur'anic tenet that God creates humans from clay.
 I must tell you it (sic) not only Islam but Christianity and Judaism also tells (sic) us that Human Being are created from Clay or Dust mixed with water and you will find many explanation in support of this from Christians as well and today Science proves this
Lie 4 "Christianity and Judaisism also tell us that Human Beings are created from clay". Well, their holy books certainly say this, but I'm afraid most Christian and Jewish theologians are grown-ups and long ago stopped attempting to interpret their texts literally.
Lie 5 "Science proves" man is made from clay. See here for an explanation why this is, for want of a better word, bollocks.

From here the author attempts to deal with the apparently troublesome verse in the Qur'an which describes the sun setting in a muddy pool.
Point to be noted here is that Holy Qur'an clearly states from the perspective of Zul-qarnain, that what Zul-qarnain saw from him (sic) eyes. Likewise when we go to a beach and during the sun-set when we see the Sun it looks like that the Sun is setting into the Sea but we all know that Sun doesn't set in Sea but our eyes see that Sun is setting into the Sea.
Lie 6 - What the author fails to tell his reader here is that Zul-qarnain doesn't just see the sun setting in a muddy pool, but he actually finds a people living by the pool and is (bizarrely) requested by God to either punish them or treat them with kindness
They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story. Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed. Until, when he reached the setting of the sunhe found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." 18:83-86.
It is thus less than honest to claim the Qur'anic verse is simply a turn of phrase, and draw an analogy with our experience of seeing the sun setting "in the sea". It becomes even clearer that we are expected to understand this literally when we read on, rather than taking the verses out of context:
Then followed he (another) way. Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun. 
How can we be sure the author of the Qur'an was not speaking figuratively? Because actually the whole section of the Qur'an dealing with of Zul-qarain (Alexander the Great) (18:83-97) is remarkably similar to a collection of legends about the exploits of Alexander circulating in the Middle East and Europe from the 3rd century BC, including finding a people by a muddy pond where the sun sets! This is something else the author of the article strangely fails to mention.

The article then deals with the old chestnut of Geo-centrism - the ancient belief that the Earth was the centre of the solar system which seems to be referred to in many verses of the Qur'an. The answer given is a classic...
If you read carefully they sub-consciously proved that Holy Qur'an is the word of God. Look they said "This is consistent with the beliefs that were prevalent prior to the 16th century that the Sun revolved around the Earth.", and we all know that Holy Qur'an was present 1400 years ago means 6th century so Holy Qur'an gave this information 10 centuries before which proves that Holy Qur'an is the word of God.
Not so much a lie as a willful misunderstanding of English: "prior to the 16th century" means any time before the 16th century. The Qur'an expresses beliefs that were common before the 16th century, before the discovery that the earth orbits the sun.
Secondly they said "but does not mention once that the Earth does too", I show you where Holy Qur'an says about the rotation of Earth even with the exact direction of rotation, Holy Qur’an says,And you see the mountains, thinking them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds. [It is] the work of Allah , who perfected all things. Indeed, He is Acquainted with that which you do. (Holy Qur’an 27:88)The above verse emphasizes how the mountains and therefore the Earth itself moves in the same way that clouds do. The direction of movement of the main cloud masses that some 4000 meters high is always from West to East, this direction is the same as that in which the Earth rotates around its own axes, therefore it is miraculously revealed in the verse that the earth moves from West to East the same direction as followed by the clouds and this was revealed in Holy Qur’an 1400 years ago at a time when people didn’t believe that the earth was round, that it revolves around its own axes and that it travels from West to East. 
I have dealt with this ridiculous, deceitful misreading of this verse beforeThe verse has NOTHING to do with telling mankind that the Earth rotates instead of being stationary.
How can we be so sure? Because if we look at the verse which comes immediately before this one, we can understand better the intentions of the author.
And on that Day the trumpet [of judgment] will be sounded, and all [creatures] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth will be stricken with terror, except such as God wills [to exempt]: and in utter lowliness all will come unto Him. 27:87
From this it becomes clear that the author is detailing what will happen on Judgement Day (hence the reference to "trumpet [of Judgement]". On Judgement Day frightening things happen.. like the seas boiling, the heavens opening and ... mountains flying around like clouds.

Let me now give one final piece of advice in the vein of those dawah/miracle seeker sites. 
if you face problem in understanding the meaning then take help from Mufti, Imam, Hafeez, Qari....scientists and those who aren't terrified of upsetting their imaginary God. You will get satisfied and believe that Quran is true  the work of a human author and you will be released from the daily torment of worrying you might end up in Hell for an eternity.



  1. He was convinced by scientific miracle claims? My area of interest. Perhaps I could chat with him on Skype?


    1. Hi Rationalizer,
      I shall suggest it to him but I am doubtful - he is pretty cagey now about discussing such things and I certainly can't see him (unfortunately) agreeing to have the conversation uploaded - he has a pretty high profile in his area of Islamic expertise and I suspect he will think he has too much to lose.
      Anyway, I'll mail him and let you know his response.

    2. I'm afraid, as suspected, he is unwilling to debate.

  2. I'm not a fan of looking for scientific miracles in the Quran, because science's view of the universe changes over time while the Quran remains perfect and the only thing that changes is our interpretations.

    The Quran says man was made from clay in certain verses, and that all living things were made from water in another verse. Is this a contradiction or is it possible life was created through a combination of clay and water?

    Years ago this would seem unlikely, but with what scientists know today, it turns out it IS possible. For more information read the following articles:

    NewScientist - Clay's matchmaking could have sparked life

    Scientific American - Study Suggests Clay Paved the Way for Evolution of Complex Animals

    MIT Technology Review - Life Could Have Evolved in Armoured Clay Bubbles

    So as it turns out, living things evolving out of clay (and water) is not only possibly but a great explanation for abiogenesis.

    So thats first... Second, obviously if we believe in God and we believe in miracles (such as the miracle birth of Jesus pbuh) then why would we not also believe that an all-powerful God who is capable of doing miracles could create us any which way he choses? And therefore would not be limited by the laws of our universe...

    Is there a naturalist explination for life evolving of clay (and water) compatible with evoluton? YES

    Is it possible it was a miracle of God and not a natural process designed by God through evolution? YES

    So regardless of whether you are Muslim and you believe in the theory or evolution or you believe creation was done in a miraculous way is irrelevant. What is important is that you believe in the One behind it all and fulfull your obligation as a Muslim.

    I think the reason a lot of Muslims are hesitant to accept the possibility of the theory of evolution is that they have been convinced, either by Richard Dawkins or by fellow Muslims, that believing in this theory amounts to not believing in God... Which couldn't be further from the truth!

    Therefore it is the human interpretation that is wrong and the Quran is perfect and without error.

  3. Yes - genetic material and cell membranes - could have been introduced to one another by clay. Thus scientists are suggesting that LIFE could have started USING clay.
    The Qur'an, however, suggests God used clay to make MAN and only MAN (like so many other religions have done). In the Qur'an, you remember,the devil refused to prostrate before MAN, God's special creation, because he was made of clay whereas Satan was made of fire. The Qur'an does NOT suggest ALL LIFE used clay otherwise MAN would not be special...would he?

    1. The Quran doesn't go into detail on how animals were created, except for to make the general statement "all living things came out of water".. So there is nothing there to suggest that clay was not involved in the creation of animals as well as humans. In this case, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence...

      In any case, as far as the Quran goes, creation from clay is certainly not exclusive to humans, nor is it what makes us special. Consider the following verse and you'll see what I mean:

      He will say: "I bring you a sign from your Lord. From clay I will make for you the likeness of a bird. I shall breath into it and, by God's leave, it shall become a living bird."
      (Sura 3:49)

      So again, there is no contradiction at all in the idea that God created all living thins out of clay and water. The ONLY question that remains is was it a natural process he designed and set into motion through abiogenesis, or was it a miraculous act such as in the verse above?

      No matter what happened, it makes no difference to my faith whatsover... Thefore, believing in the likelihood of evolution and being a Muslim is not be mutually exclusive. In fact, Muslims speculated on primitive theories of evolution long before Darwin. consider the following statement from Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun:

      "One should then take a look at the world of creation. It started out from the minerals and progressed, in an ingenious, gradual manner, to plants and animals. The last stage of minerals is connected with the first stage of plants, such as herbs and seedless plants. The last stage of plants, such as palms and vines, is connected with the first stage of animals, such as snails and shellfish which have only the power of touch. The word 'connection' with regard to these created things means that the last stage of each group is fully prepared to become the first stage of the newest group.

      The animal world then widens, its species become numerous, and, in a gradual process of creation, it finally leads to man, who is able to think and reflect. The higher stage of man is reached from the world of monkeys, in which both sagacity and perception are found, but which has not reached the stage of actual reflection and thinking. At this point we come to the first stage of man. This is as far as our (physical) observation extends"

      Ibn Khaldun - Muqaddimah - 1377

      So in conclusion, if Muslims nearly 700 years ago saw no conflict between religion and evolution, there is no reason why we should do so today...

      "(Quran 3:190) Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding."

  4. Hi MB,
    Verse 3:49 recounts how Jesus (not God) made birds out of clay then breathed on them and gave them life (just like the story told in one of the proto-Gospels which also included fire breathing dragons and lots of other exciting, incredible stuff to keep the illiterate faithful amused) I'm not sure that this proves anything.Are you equating Jesus with God? Surely only God can create life according to your beliefs.
    With regard to evolution, I am glad that there are Muslims who believe in it. I just wish such wisdom were widespread in the Islamic world.

  5. My point is simply that the Quran doesn`t talk about how animals were created, except to say ``God created out of water all living things.``.. This implies all living things come from the same origin. Therefore, the idea that clay was a part of that process is not out of the question, in fact its the most logical explanation. Quran goes into more detail about human creation and mentions clay because the story of Adam is central to the narrative.

    Regarding Jesus doing miracles like creating birds out of clay. Notice how the verse is very clear that even though Jesus was doing it, it was done by Allah`s permission like other miracles:

    He will say: "I bring you a sign from your Lord. From clay I will make for you the likeness of a bird. I shall breath into it and, by God's leave, it shall become a living bird."
    (Sura 3:49)

    It also shows that its not only humans that are made from clay, and that we are not special for being out of clay..

    But this is what differentiates Islam from Christianity... We don`t believe that if Jesus (peace be upon him) or any other prophet does a miracle it means they are God. If this was true, then Moses would also be God considering he did miracles like splitting the seas as well.

    Regarding more Muslims believing in evolution, it will happen with increased education in Quran and science. Atheists like Richard Dawkins and religious extremists certainly aren`t helping by projecting the false idea that evolution and religion are not compatible when there is no conflict at all.

    1. Hi - I disagree that the verse shows humans are not special for being made out of clay. Jesus performs a miracle bringing toy (clay) birds to life. I cannot see that this can be equated to God making man out of clay. One is God apparently explaining how he creates man, the other is a prophet performing a magic trick (miracle. The verse is certainly not suggesting this is how birds are normally created
      My point remains that the Qur'an repeats the same trope of mankind being fashioned out of clay by a creator-god that was so prevalent in all other creation myths. If we allow that Allah, in referring to clay, has proved his divinity,then we must also allow that every other god myth which says the same, has also proved its veracity. Why choose Islam? Why not worship Khnum, or Nuwa or Aruruor or Namu or Juok or Viracocha or... Prometheus? I could go on but you get the picture. Modelling man from clay is such an obvious idea that just about EVERY primitive religion has come up with it.