2. The second big lie: The Quran is praised by top Arab writers and poets, past and present
Let us see what did the top Arab writers and poets think of the Quran.
Freedom of expression in Pre-Islamic Arabia
The linguistic talent was the main cultural expression in pre Islamic Arabia and reached its
peak just before the rise of Islam. Indeed, the Arabs’ passion to poetry never waned
throughout history, and even today, their craze to this art has no equal. The immediate
influence of Islam on Arabic poetry, in other words on the Arab’s main cultural expression,
was dramatic- Islam killed the Arabs passion for poetry. It took over a century to revive the art of Arabic poetry to recover from the devastating blow of Islam.
Mohammed hated the poets because they attracted the Arabs’ attention and distracted them
from listening to his Quran. In addition, some poets produced works, called hijaa, which ridiculed Mohammed. In pre-Islamic Arabia, poetry had a status in th
e society similar to today’s free press; the
poets were the writers, journalists and chroniclers. Their poems were the testimonies of their fine culture, traditions and ethos. As far as my knowledge in history goes, that was the only time when the Arabs really enjoyed the real freedom of expression. It is ironic that Muslims
refer to that era as the era of ignorance or ‘jahylyia’! In such a climate of free expression, it was acceptable for poets to discuss the society’s current affairs and express their fre
e opinions. Poets frequently composed poetry to praise (called madeeh) or condemn (called hija) public personalities. It was traditional for those people who were the subjects of critical poetry (hija) to respond in kind by composing equally powerful poetry. The rich and famous used to employ professional bards to do it for them; otherwise they had to concede defeat.
When Mohammed was the subject of ‘hija’ he responded by composing some Quranic verses
(Q.26:224) that denounce poetry in general. This was a feeble response that reflected
weakness of Mohammed’s intellectual capability. With anger, Mohammed introduced to
Arabia, and through his followers to the whole world, the policy of assassinations to silence his current critics and intimidate any potential ones. Mohammed brutally murdered Asmaa Bint Marwan, a female poet, as she was nursing her baby at night. His response to Um
Quirfa’s poem was even more brutal; he ordered her to be tied to two camels and split her
apart. Mohammed also brutally murdered Ibn Afak and Ibn AlAshraf and many others. Eventually, Mohammed met a little known poet, called Hassan Ibn Thabit, who was willing to compose poetry in support of Mohammed. Hassan was not recognized as a credible poet
among the Arabs, even with Mohammed’s e
ndorsement. Needless to say, all poetry that did not honour Mohammed disappeared completely from the annals of Arabian poetry.
The Abbasid era
(750-1258 AD) It may come as s surprise to the reader, and certainly was a surprise to me, to learn that religious fervour as we know it today was far less prominent in the Islamic societies of the
past. Islam’s role was mainly highlighted and utilised during conflicts. Pure and true Islam, as