69 million page views

To Mr. Akhtar: "Koran/Sunnah/Hadith is not Islam".

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Bush Declares war on Radical Islam

Submitted by iasius (India), Nov 1, 2005 at 10:56

For Mr. Akhtar. It is hardly necessary to prove that Islam IS Quran/Hadith/Sunnah and Seerat (which last you omitted)! It is too obvious to need proof. What ‘other' source would you proffer to justify Islam? And I am not "bent upon" trying to prove what everyone knows. For instance, it would be a preposterous waste of time, wouldn't it, to set about proving to the world that the sun rises in the East?

If Muhammad (PBUH) did not organize the Quran in book form during his lifetime, it was probably due to several reasons other than the one you seem to suggest. We need to understand that he led a singularly hectic life (82 battles in 9 years from 624 to 632 CE; conquest of about 3 million square kilometers in 23 years). He (PBUH) himself was illiterate; a scholar lists just 17 Meccans in those days that could read and write (see page 86, "Muhammad Rasulullah: The Apostle of Mercy", Abu Hassan Ali Nadvi, Taj Publishers 1982). The process of Gabriel bringing him Allah's messages wasn't a one-time affair – it lasted about 22 years and 5 months from 610 to 632 CE, which means he received on an average about 5 Surahs, or 283 Ayats, per year. And they came without warning. With the system of loose-leaf folders not being in vogue for at least a thousand years after the advent of the Prophet (PBUH), it must have been rather difficult, don't you think, first to find someone to write things down. To store them properly and keep adding to them every time Gabriel came with a message was even more challenging. Tradition says that every time he got a message, he would recite what Gabriel was dictating and someone nearby would write it down on any object that could be written upon, or memorize it. Nevertheless, the Prophet (PBUH) apparently defined the order in which the Surahs were to be arranged [see p.86, "My Life a Fragment: M.Muhammad Ali" ed. Afzal Iqbal, Delhi], while the Quran states clearly that "We (Allah) have arranged the Quran in the right order" [HQ, 25:32]. Further, the Prophet (PBUH) had to recite the Quran to Gabriel once every year during Ramadan, and twice in the last year of his life [see p.332, "The Shade of Swords", M.J.Akbar, Delhi 2002]. And with a directive like, "…Lo! Upon Us (rests) the collecting and reciting thereof…" [HQ, 75:17], the Prophet (PBUH) could afford to have been not too meticulous about ‘book-keeping' but concentrate upon his principal agenda. This notwithstanding, it is said as many as 42 scribes were active in recording the Prophet's (PBUH) recitation [p.52, "The Reconstruction of Legal Thought in Islam", Dr. Riaz-ul-Hasan Gilani, Delhi].

So, THERE WAS SOME DEFINITE EFFORT, however tentative, to organize the Quran. What Mr. Akhtar says isn't correct.

Au contraire, I see that Mr.Akhtar is "bent upon" proving the existence of a distinction between the radical and moderate Muslim. But he is bound to fail in this exercise because that distinction is imaginary, as many on this forum have had the need to repeat ad nauseum. Nevertheless, I wish him luck in his quest!

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)