So I read it.
There were one or two moving passages but nothing to convince an impartial reader that this was God talking to Mankind for the final time. Indeed, there was much I found disturbing.
But more than that, there were certain verses which seemed to me were so obviously the product of a fallible human that I simply couldn't understand how anyone not schooled from childhood in Islam could possibly believe they were anything else. And then of course we all got sidetracked by the risible miracle claims (see the numerous entries in this blog and elsewhere on the net)
It's been a few years now since my correspondence with my Muslim friend started so I thought I'd reread the Koran. Once again I was struck by those verses.
Here then is the first in a series, going from the shortest to the longest surahs (ie reverse order to that found in the Koran)
Surah Prohibition (66). Herein God tells of how Mohammad chastises one of his wives who has divulged to another a secret told her by the prophet:
She said, "Who told you this?" He said, "The Wise One. The All-Knowing one told me"God then speaks directly to Hafsa and Ai'sha, the two wives concerned:
If you two turn to God in penitence [...] you shall be pardoned; but if you conspire against him, know that God is his protector, and Gabriel, and the righteous among the faithful. The angels too are his helpers.As an impartial, objective reader, looking for evidence to justify the astounding claim that the Koran contains the very words of the Almighty, I'm confused to find that He should have spent some of those precious words on what is...let's face it...a domestic. And it gets worse.
It may well be that, if he divorce you, his Lord will give him in your place better wives than yourselves, submissive to God and full of faith, obedient, penitent, devout, and given to fasting; both formerly wedded and virgins.Funny that. How God happens to threaten the recalcitrant wives of His prophet with being replaced by "better" ones just as His prophet was obviously having a bit of trouble with them.*
To finish, let me ask Muslims to imagine they are reading the Koran for the very first time, without any preconceptions or cultural demands being placed upon them. Is there anything here to convince you that this must be God's words?
*Note: There are plenty of other occasions when God reveals verses that "suit" the domestic situation of His prophet, as we shall find out later.