Islamic theology holds that the Qur'an, the uncreated, eternal tablets in heaven, were written by Allah himself. (Side note: If they are uncreated and eternal, how then could Allah have 'written' them?). The Qur'an Muslim hold today represent the literal words of Allah as dictated to Muhammad piecemeal over a period of twenty-three years. Allah wrote the Qur'an.
Muslims further believe Allah to be the all-knowing deity. There is nothing which escapes his notice, and nothing which he does not already know. "The All Knowing" is one of 99 names for Allah found multiple times in the Qur'an.
If Allah indeed is all-knowing, the creator of all, one who knows history, biology, geography, and the beliefs of different religious systems as they have appeared throughout history, we should then expect to be accurate when it addresses these areas of knowledge. However, what we do find is very troubling. For a god who knows everything, we find in the Qur'an some rather embarrassing details. Here is but a small sample.
Who actually wrote the Qur'an?
Mary Part of the Trinity?
Sura 5:116 - "And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): 'O Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: 'Worship me and my mother as two gods beside Allah?"
The Qur'an here suggests that Christians worship Mary as another god, equivalent to Jesus. In fact, this verse suggests Christians include Mary as part of the trinitarian Godhead: God, Jesus, and Mary.
Mary has never been included as part of the trinity. Never, not even among sects of Christianity considered heretical, much less mainstream orthodox Christianity.
Interestingly, the last part of verse 116 quoted above states, "You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen." If Allah indeed is the All-Knower, why did he not know there has never been a point in history, nor existed any sect of Christianity, which venerated Mary as part of the triune Godhead? Either Allah made a mistake, Allah is NOT all-knowing, or someone else wrote the Qur'an; someone entirely human.
Mary Had Sex with God?
Sura 6:101 - "To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: How can He have a son when He hath no consort?"
Sura 17:111 - "Praise be to Allah, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion."
Sura 18:4 - "... that He may worn those who say "(God) hath begotten a son."
Sura 19:88-89 - "They say, 'God Most Gracious has begotten a son!' Indeed, you have put forth a thing most monstrous!"
Sura 37:151-152 - Is it not that they say, from their own invention, 'God has begotten children?' But they are liars!
Sura 112:1-4 - "Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; God the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him."
A common theme that runs throughout the text of the Qur'an is that God cannot possible have a son. Far be it for God to have son. Christians who claim God has a son, or who call Jesus the 'Son of God' are but blasphemers.
But notice how the author of the Qur'an understands the term 'Son of God.' He is suggesting when Christians use that particular term, they intend to mean God came from heaven, had sexual relations with Mary, and produced Jesus as the offspring of this sexual union.
Is this the way Christians understand and use the term? Has there ever been a point in history, or a belief in any sect of Christianity, where anyone claiming the title 'Christian' used the term 'Son of God' to imply God had a sexual liaison with Mary to produce Jesus? Absolutely not. Yet this is what the author of the Qur'an believes to be the case.
Once again, the author of the Qur'an did not know what Christians believe, and accuses them of holding to something no Christian has ever accepted. In short, the author of the Qur'an was not all-knowing, again.
From Where Does Semen Originate?
Sura 86:5-7 - "Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a liquid gushing forth- proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs."
Various modern Islamic scholars have tried to maneuver around this rather embarrassing piece of errant biology in the Qur'an. None of their arguments, however, have been convincing. For examples, see this article on WikiIslam.
Hippocrates, in the 4th century BC, wrote a volume titled "On Semen Generation" in which he affirmed that both male and female produce their own sperm which, when they unite, creates a new thing. This semen is the product of the whole body ... At the moment of sexual intercourse, the humidity in the body becomes like effervescent foam, the semen is carried through the veins to the spinal cord and the kidneys, whence it makes its way to the testicles en route to the genital organ."
It seems the author of the Qur'an may have used Hippocrates' theory of semen production, and that may have been the common belief in the seventh century. But again, if the author of the Qur'an is a God who created us all, who should know biology as he is the author of biology, why was he not able to accurately describe this biological process? Why did he adopt an incorrect biological concept from the fourth century B.C., unless it was not an all-knowing deity who wrote the Qur'an but, in fact, a mere man?
We can accept such an error from a man, because scientific knowledge has advanced far from that of the seventh century. To state such a concept, based on knowledge available at that time, is understandable and forgivable. But not from an entity who should have known better.
A Flat Earth?
Sura 13:3 - "And it is He who spread out the earth ..."
Sura 15:19 - "And the earth We have spread out like a carpet ..."
Sura 20:53 - "He who had made for you the earth like a carpet spread out..."
There are at least a dozen more references which describe the earth as flat, spread out. And lest you think this is simply my interpretation of these verses, consider the following. In the April 2000 issue of Al Ahram, a weekly publication, Saudi Grand Mufti Shiekh Ibn Ba'az said, "The earth is flat and the sun revolves around it. Satellite images are a Western conspiracy."
And the author of this article personally became involved in a discussion on this topic a few years back. I was talking to a couple young Muslim men outside the Islamic Center of Detroit. We got on the topic of the scientific knowledge of the Qur'an, when I challenged them. I said, "So you believe the earth is flat as the Qur'an describes it?" Their response: "If the Qur'an says it, I believe it." In other words, they did not dispute the Qur'an describes the earth as flat.
Once again, this would have been the common knowledge of the day in the seventh century. Everybody at that time thought the earth was flat. But an all-knowing deity should have known better, and should not have made such a fool of himself. But we can forgive him if, in fact, he didn't write the Qur'an, but a mere man did so instead.
We must conclude, based on this small sample among many more in the Qur'an, that its author was not an all-knowing God. If it was written by some sort of god, he certainly is not all-knowing and thus not worthy of worship as Muslims claim Allah is worthy. More likely, however, is that the Qur'an was not written by any god, but by one singular man, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, plagiarized from many religious traditions prevalent in seventh century Arabia, and containing knowledge which would have been common to someone in that era; knowledge we now know to be in error.
Do not put your eternal security in such a book. If the Qur'an is wrong at the level of basic knowledge, it is certainly wrong in the things which affect our spiritual knowledge and eternal destiny. Abandon the Qur'an, and come to the Bible: a book which does not suffer these embarrassing episodes, a book which has been tested and tried through the ages and never found to be in error. And then meet the God of the Bible, who has the answers to questions that impact our eternal destiny.