Holy texts were based on man's knowledge at that time
Stabroek News
November 23, 2001

Dear Editor,

There were many letters saying that Oliver Barclay's quotations (SN l5.ll.200l) [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] from the Quran are taken out of context, the most recent by Yusuf Khan (SN 21.ll.200l) [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ].

Like the Bible, the Quran was written based on man's knowledge and social interactions at the time it was written. Today many women choose not to marry and want equal rights. This was not a choice when the Quran was written. Today in most societies it is illegal for a fifty year old man to marry a nine year old girl, but this was the case with the Prophet Mohammed and Aishah, one of his 12 wives. Today we know that the moon does not generate light and is light years away from the stars, but when the Quran was written it was believed that Allah made the moon as a light for the seven heavens( 71:15). Today we know that the earth is a sphere that travels around the sun and night is when we are on the side of the earth not facing the sun, but when the Quran was written it was believed that the sun settled in a muddy spring at night (18:86).

Before trying to defend something written 1,500 years ago, one should first acknowledge how much our knowledge and social interactions have improved since then. This is not only a Muslim problem, but a problem of all religions that use texts written thousands of years ago. Equally absurd statements can be found in the Hebrew and Christian text. For example, today we believe God is spiritual, but when the Torah was written Jacob defeated God in a wrestling match (Genesis 32: 24-31). Likewise, today we believe in the Geneva Convention, but when the Torah was written Moses did as God commanded; killed all of his enemy except the 16,000 virgin girls which he divided up with his men and gave God the 32 he asked for (Numbers 31:32-40).

Yours faithfully,

Kingsley Harrop