I've Read the Koran: Have You?
by ROBERT REYTO, DDS
June 6, 2012
Muslim organizations repeatedly admonish us, "you don't understand our religion" or "you just misunderstood what you read in the Koran." Then they always say "we" need to explain to you what is in the Koran.
NO. No, thank you. I've read it myself. Several times. I also researched it, studied it and compared several translations. I read many related books and Googled articles on the internet. My Arabic speaking friends helped a great deal as well.
I should have read it sooner, because now I do understand Islamic distrust of all religions and Western civilization. I also understand their drive to dominate the world (8:39: "And fight with them until there is no more persecution [opposition] and religion should be only for Allah" or 9:29: "Fight those who believe not in Allah... until they pay the Jizya... and feel themselves subdued... " or 24:55: "Allah has promised to those of you who believe... that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth..." and others).
Islam claims that Jews and Christians "corrupted" their scriptures, so Allah sent down the last prophet with the last revelations and claimed that theirs is the only true religion, theirs is the only true God and only they know the truth. However, there is no explanation anywhere as to who corrupted them and when or what was corrupted. Yet Islam is so intolerant in its relationship to "infidels" that Muslims are urged not to be friends with anyone who is not Muslim (4:144, 5:57 and 5:51: "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends").
Reading the Koran is possible for me in the U.S., but people in many Islamic countries can't do it because illiteracy is high and education, especially for women, is quite limited. In addition, many Muslims don't even read Arabic. The Imams tell them only those parts or verses which they want them to know.
The Koran is a difficult read for several reasons. The contents of many verses are frequently and thus annoyingly, repeated. Very little is in chronological order. The verses are not in consecutive thoughts and the history, as well as many biblical stories they quote, are radically different from the way we know them. All this leads to confusion and questions.
Muhammed (570-632 AD) received his first revelation when he was 40 years old which, along with later revelations, were first saved in the memory of those people who were present. Scribes then copied them on whatever was available at that time and place such as thin, flat bones, leaves, leather or parchments. It worked for a while, because all the verses in the Koran were revealed over a 23-year-period, so there was plenty of time for memorization.
Many Muslims, however, who memorized those revelations died in the war of Yamamah after Mohammed's death. To preserve the Koran, the 1st Caliph Abu Bakr (reigned 632-634 AD) ordered Zayd bin Tabid to find all the fragments and collect the verses from the memory of those who were still living. Then the 3rd Caliph Uthman (reigned 644-656 AD) combined and collated them, ordered seven copies by four previous scribes and burned the rest. This project took over 25 years. There is, however, controversy and arguments amongst scholars about whether it took much longer than that and if verses were omitted or changed during the process. Since there are no outside sources other than Islam itself (Koran, Sira and the Hadiths), it is difficult to compare or evaluate the current Koran properly.
The Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible are based on love. God loves everything, people, animals, birds, plants, insects and He leads you to love Him. The overall effect is that God loves you and teaches you to love your neighbors as yourself.
Other than many verses from the early, peaceful Meccan period where Mohammed lived, I have found very little spiritual inspiration, pathos, piety, spiritual enlightenment, compassion, beauty or devotion in the Koran. In the later revelations from Medina, when Muhammed became a politician and a warlord, most verses seem like orders from Allah and are cold, rigid, intolerant and combative.
There is no ‘love' in the Koran the way we understand and interpret love today. Allah, of course, does not love the sinners or the unbelievers (2:190, 3:31). But Allah does not love the believers either, unless they love him (3:31-32), so "love" in the Koran is very conditional. In addition, he admits that he will lead people astray (14:27, 30:29) and will populate Hell with men (32:13). References of true adoration of Allah from one's heart are few and believers are urged in many verses to "fear Allah" (5:1-2, 2:194). This clearly shows that their perception of God is not the same as the perception of God of the Torah or the Bible.
Allah and Muhammed do not appreciate the life people have found and enjoy on this earth. According to them, it is the Hereafter that is the real life (29:64-69). The reason is that "God has purchased the Believer's person and their goods; for theirs in return is Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, and slay and are slain."(9:111).
Allah does not urge his believers to "do good work" in order to achieve peace or cooperate with their fellow man. There are no calls from Allah to serve and help people (other than those who are Muslims), to reduce suffering or spread harmony amongst people in different communities with dissimilar creed, color or religion. The verses clearly state that Islam's aim is to rule the world with only one religion for everybody: Islam (as shown above, 8:39, 9:29 and 24:55).
For this reason, those Jews, Christians or other naive, uneducated or misinformed people who truly believe that we must work with Islamists, and there are many of them, towards the noble idea of "Tikkun Olam" (repair the world) had better read the Koran first, because there is absolutely no reciprocity or cooperation in it.
On the contrary, there are numerous calls, commands, curses, excitements, admonishments, warnings and serious threats, repeated incessantly on many pages of the Koran, to wage war, fight, conquer, subjugate nonbelievers and spread Islam everywhere in the world. These commands are accompanied with no-nonsense, serious warnings for the "believers" to follow only Islamic laws, follow the "right way", the "only way", to believe in the "truth", which they believe exists nowhere else except in Islam, and especially, again, to "fear Allah".
Those who believe differently are reminded time and time again that they will experience "severe punishments". The numerous and various punishments both on Earth and in Hell are described in great and horrid detail many times for those who are in doubt.
Those punishments are carefully juxtaposed with the wonderful pleasures of Paradise for those who "do good" in the way of Islam. Water, which was hard to come by in the desert, various fruits and plenty of food will always be available there.
Interestingly, even though it was declared a "sin" and "Satan's work" by Mohammed (5:90, 5:91-92, 2:219), lots of wine will also be served (6:13-27, 6:1-12, 47:15, 83:25-26). In addition, there will be "numerous virgins" "whom no man has ever touched before" 52:1-28, 38:49-52, 23:23-25, 2:25, 78;31-40, 55:46) any time and all the time.
Of course all the above pleasures are only for those devout Muslim men who had either died in the name of Allah - martyrs - or did a lot of "good in their lifetime". The Koran, however, does not mention how much pleasure women will have in Paradise, or if they ever will get there. As a matter of fact, "The Prophet said: ‘I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women.'"(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.1, Chap. 2, No.28). After reading all the descriptions, Paradise seems to be nothing else but an all day-all night variation of human pleasures without sin, of course, but without the need for honor, wisdom, restraint, devotion, commitment, gratitude, service to Allah or any spiritual fulfillment either.
What is "good" and how much "good is enough" will be decided only by Allah himself, but only after a person's death, on Judgment Day. So basically until that day, Muslims do not know whether they will be allowed to enter Paradise at all. This is why Muslims say "Inshallah", God willing, frequently. Even a short, innocent sentence, like, "I am going to see you tomorrow" will usually be followed by "Inshallah" (18:240). They don't know whether they will be able to do it, because it is really up to Allah.
Those who disagree in any way with Islam are emphatically labeled an enemy by various names like "unbelievers", "hypocrites", "transgressors", "mushriken" or, especially, "kufars", which carries a more degrading and demeaning connotation than the ubiquitous "infidel".
While Muslim apologists want us to believe that "jihad" is only a spiritual struggle, in reality, Jihad actually means a holy war against all non-Muslims. Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) in 'Muqaddimah' noted that "holy war is religious duty...it is the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force". Sahih Muslim(817-874) said "Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war."(19:4294)
In closing, the Koran basically reflects life only in the 600s AD in the Arabian Peninsula. Not in the majority of the West, not in 2012, not in Europe (although Europe is becoming Islamicized) and especially not in the United States.
Islam's aim is to force us to forget our individuality and to submit our lives to an ancient political doctrine camouflaged and promoted as a religion. The United States has fought long and hard to achieve our individual and collective freedoms. We have been a haven for centuries for those who wanted to escape tyranny, oppression and poverty. In this country we will "submit" to no one because our free will was guaranteed by our Constitution. And with the help of our God we shall prevail.
Robert Reyto, DDS is a survivor of both Nazism and Communism and after 9/11 realized the new dangers threatening Western Civilization. For the past six years he has been studying Islam and speaking on the Myths and Realities of the Koran to draw attention to the misinformation disseminated by supporters of Islam. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.