There are contradictions in the Quran, claim some critics. On close scrutiny however, it turns out they have never really understood the Quran and base their conclusions on poor translations. Their nitpicking is a mischievous way to be antagonistic and create doubt amongst those who are sincere but unfamiliar with the Quran.


The translations generally used lack clarity and are unhelpful in resolving issues raised by the scaremongers, this may lend some support to their otherwise shaky claims. Add to this the reliance on the spurious hadiths and the evidence sways in favour of the adversaries.


For example, in the verse 39:12 the messenger is commanded to “be one of the first to submit.” As this is also said by other messengers, the question is then raised as to who really is the first to believe, since they cannot all be the first. What is perhaps deliberately overlooked is that this is just a turn of phrase to mean that they are amongst the foremost of believers.


The verses used as examples are cherry picked and used in isolation, often to shore up petty assertions. Other verses are also cobbled together making a perfectly reasonable decree seem horrifically medieval and brutal. One such verse that is frequently misquoted is 9:5 as follows:


“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful,” Yousaf Ali translation.


This verse is used to denigrate muslims as violent and vicious warmongers who convert by the thrust of the sword. They take no prisoners and are commanded to kill any non-muslim on sight.


It has to be confessed that if this verse is misunderstood by some critics, some sympathy can be extended to them because Yousaf Ali’s translation is quite inadequate. Here is the proper exposition of the verse:


Once the restricted months of the treaty are over and the mushrikeen still refuse to make peace, you may slay them wherever you encounter them; overcome and punish them and watch them carefully at every place. If they repent and observe their agreed commitments and keep them pure, then you shall give them freedom to move around. God is Protector, Most Merciful. New Millennium Exposition.


There are no pagans mentioned in the original Arabic text of this verse. The word used is ‘mushrikeen’ and to translate mushrikeen as pagans is like calling Guy Fawkes and his gang a group of entertainers putting on a fireworks display. Mushrik (singular) means traitor, an individual who commits high treason, and in this case those who are actively at war with the muslims.


Any community will, if they have the power, attack and kill their enemies; especially those who seek to slaughter them. So why should muslims wait like ‘sitting ducks’ to be wiped out? Good people defend themselves and always wage war on terror; countries are prepared to annihilate those who persistently threaten their peace and security. For example, the British government allegedly did this in Northern Ireland during the Troubles in Belfast. Years later BBC’s Panorama programme reported ex-soldiers who said there was a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy and IRA members were hunted down and executed, some of them unarmed. Many civilians are also said to have been killed in these incidents.


The verses in the Quran are about maintaining peace and security; they don’t advocate an open season to kill innocent bystanders, but to eliminate only those who take part in active terrorism. The instruction in the verse is to declare open warfare against them. Whether carried out as a covert or overt operation depends on the situation – but not to ‘cover up’ the killings as the British death squads are suspected to have done in Northern Ireland.


Reading the next verse will reveal that even in this combat scenario, those mushrikeen that seek help should be given aid when they ask for it. Quite a contrast to the picture painted by critics who use this verse to portray muslims as barbaric cut-throats. To get the full picture, all the verses that relate to this decree must be read together and not in isolation.


There are numerous such proddings and pokings by the detractors. But it is apparent that in the absence of any real discrepancies, critics, in their zeal to show inconsistencies fall over themselves to construe things that are simply not there.


There are other claims that Muhammad copied from the Bible. Had he done so then at least some, if not many of the errors in the Bible would have crept into the Quran. This includes the creation of light, which is evident from Biblical narrations as having been created on the first day, before the stars that produce this light. What the Quran does is confirm the truth, and at times this coincides with what may be found in the Bible.


Furthermore, had Muhammad, as claimed by some, written the Quran he would have had to have accurate knowledge of natural phenomena and scientific discoveries that have only been corroborated in recent history. No man living at the time the Quran was revealed would even have had an inkling of such things – let alone describe them in a way that would be generally understood and then confirmed in detail centuries later.