The “Good” in the Koran Nov 13 2008 | by Bill Warner

Muslims tell us that Islam is the religion of peace, but the Koran is filled with violent words. In every case the violence is aimed at those human beings who don’t believe in Allah and his prophet Mohammed and, therefore, must be punished. These people are called kafirs.

On the other hand, Muslims and media/university/political apologists bring forth verses from the Koran that seem to speak well of humanity and Islam.
This seeming contradiction between benevolence and violence brings up a question: how much of the Koran represents good for humanity as a whole? What is the good Koran? This question turns out to have a simple answer based upon the scientific method. We need to examine the data, the “good verses” from the Koran.
The Koran addresses three audiences-Muslims, kafirs and humanity as a whole. In looking for the good, we cannot use verses that advocate good for Muslims, such as a Muslim should not kill another Muslim as kafirs are not Muslims.
Kafirs have many names-unbeliever, infidel, polytheist, agnostics, atheist, and apostate. Every verse that deals with kafirs is negative and/or violent. So we can’t use any verse that is about kafirs, since the Koran is violent towards kafirs. We are left with one category to examine-humanity as a whole.

Our method is very simple. Go through the Koran and pull out all of the verses that seem positive and good for humanity. But it is also important to consider the idea of context. Since verses are usually sentences, we need to not only take out the “good” verses but also examine enough of the chapter, sura in Arabic) to see the larger idea. This data is found on Since the data consists of 11,000 words, it is too large to include in this article.

Here is an example of morality that is practical and wise, taken from the data base of good verses. It equals to and joins with the other moral codes for humanity.

17:31 Do not kill your children because you fear poverty. We will provide for them as well as for you. Surely, killing them is a terrible sin.
17:32 Have nothing to do with adultery. It is a shameful act and an evil path that leads to other evils.
But read further for the next verse:

17:33 Do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden to be slain [a Muslim] unless it is for a just cause [apostasy, retribution for a killing]. Whoever is unjustly slain, We have given their heirs the authority to either forgive or demand retribution, but do not allow him to exceed limits in slaying because he will be helped by the law.

This is a violent shift in moral tone. How are we to understand it? It goes to the heart of the Koran and its foundational ideas. The Koran has its own unique logic, ethics and principles. The Koran can only be understood when its principles are understood. It is confusing and futile to try to understand the Koran based upon our ethical and logical standards. Once the Koranic principles are understood, the Koran is straightforward.


The Koran is the complete, perfect, universal and eternal exact words of the only god of the universe-Allah. Everything in it, the ideas, concepts, sentences, and words are the exact replica of the mind of Allah. Every part of the Koran is pure and absolute truth.
The Koran is based on two principles-submission and duality.
Submission: All of humanity must submit to the will of Allah and submit to Islam. Every human being must believe that Mohammed is the sacred pattern for every aspect of life.
Duality: those human beings that do not believe that all life (legal, moral, educational, art, literature, customs and …) should imitate Mohammed are kafirs. Kafirs can be murdered, enslaved, raped, robbed, deceived, tortured and more. Allah hates kafirs and plots against them. All of humanity is divided into kafir and Muslim. This is one form of dualism.
Kafirs are pure “other” and the Koran devotes the majority of its text to them. Indeed, 61% of the Koran is devoted to the kafir. Mohammed’s dying words were about the kafirs. Humanity is not one body, but is divided. This is part of the Koran’s dualism.

Another dualism of the Koran is politics and religion. The Koran cannot be understood without knowing Mohammed’s life. Without Mohammed there is no religion of Islam. The Koran does not give enough information to practice even one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The progress of Mohammed’s career as the messenger of Allah is what orders and gives a sense of time to the Koran.

Mohammed was a failure as a religious teacher in Mecca. In 13 years he garnered only 150 followers. Then in Medina he became a politician and warrior. When he died 10 years later he did not have a single enemy left standing. Mohammed, the jihadist, was involved in an event of violence on the average of every 6 weeks for 9 years. There are two Mohammeds-the preacher and the jihadist. Hence, the Koran is both a religious document and a political document; there are two Korans.

The dominant theme of the Koran is how Mohammed is right in all matters and how humanity is divided into those who believe Mohammed and those who do not, the kafirs. Kafirs must submit to Islam by submitting to Islamic culture and law. Violence may be used to force them to submit.

The ethics of the Koran are dualistic. There is one code of behavior for Muslims and another code for kafirs. The kafirs can be treated in two ways. They may be treated well or they may be treated as less than an animal. This is ethical dualism.

The Koran is fixated on kafirs. So the discussion of almost any topic involves them at some point. Now that we have the principles of the Koran, we can go back to verse 17:33:

“Do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden to be slain [a Muslim]”
Koranic ethics include that a Muslim does kill a Muslim. However, in many places the Koran advocates the killing of kafirs. This violates the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule says: Do unto others as you would have done to you. This means all others, without exception. We don’t always follow this unitary ethic, but we may be guided and judged by it. But the Koran says that there is an ethical division between kafir and Muslim. A Muslim has the option of treating a kafir as no Muslim would be treated.

The second moral principle is that there is a lack of freedom of thought and speech under Islam. An apostate is even lower than a kafir. Mohammed ordered kafirs killed, and his successor, Abu Bakr, the first ruler after Mohammed, killed apostates for three years after Mohammed died. So in 17:33:

“unless it is for a just cause [apostasy, retribution for a killing]”

Based upon dualism, there are no contradictions in these verses and there is no need to explain the contrast between the high moral speech of not killing children, but killing kafirs or apostates. This is part of the Koran’s integral structure of duality.

There is just one more principle in action-submission. Let us look at this wisdom:

56:63-64 Have you considered what you sow? Do you cause it to grow, or do We?
This is both poetic and cosmic. It directs our attention to how small we are in the universe and do not have real control over how life works.

But later in the same chapter:

56:92 But those who mistakenly treat the prophets as deceivers, their entertainment will be scalding water, and the broiling of Hellfire. Surely this is a certain truth. Therefore, praise the name of your Lord, the Great.
If you don’t believe Mohammed and submit to Allah, then you will suffer torture for eternity. The poetic language of scalding water and broiling are typical of the expansive language used to describe the torture of kafirs. The Koran’s most descriptive passages are used to picture the violence toward the kafirs and their suffering.
If the kafir does not choose to submit, then he may be crushed and physically made to submit to Islam. Kafirs must submit willingly or unwilling, but they must submit.
The “good” verses with high moral statements and cosmic language are followed by violence against those who do not accept Mohammed’s version of life. Again we have dualism. Is the high language the real Islam or is the violence against the kafir the real Islam? Dualism demands both sides of the contradiction be true at the same time. This establishes the Islamic dualistic logic. In Islam, contradiction is not a proof of falseness. Both high concepts and crude violence are the theme of the Koran and they cannot be separated.
Any attempt to argue one side is better than the other is a failure to understand the dualistic/submission nature of the Koran. It must be accepted upon its own unique nature, if it is to be understood.
Here is another example:

90:4 Certainly, We have created man to be tried by afflictions. Does he think that no one has power over him? He says, “I have wasted great wealth.” Does he think that no one sees him? Have we not given him eyes, and tongue, and lips, and guided him to the two highways?
90:11 But he did not attempt the steep road. Who will teach you what the steep road is? It is to free a slave, or to give food during famine to the orphan of a relative, or to the pauper who lies in the dust. It is also, to be a believer and to urge perseverance and compassion upon one another. These are the people of the right hand.
But after this high moral admonition we have in the next verse:

90:18 But those who reject Our signs [the Koran], they are the people of the left-hand. Hellfire will close around them.
Again, violence to the kafir is the result of not submitting (“rejecting Our signs”) to the Koran. The Koran is fixated with condemning kafirs for not submitting and punishing them.

This is the pattern of the “good” verses in the Koran. High ideals and cosmic language offer wisdom to humanity. Then the dualism and submission principles manifest and promise violence to all of those who reject the wisdom brought by Mohammed. If you don’t believe Mohammed, then you must be punished. There are two forms of punishment. The first is Allah’s which came in the ancient past and will come after Judgment Day. The other violence is by Muslims in jihad. But, the basic principle is to do violence to those who do not accept Mohammed’s wisdom.

Another example is:
73:10 Listen to what they [kafirs] say with patience, and leave them with dignity.
And then there is the violence:

73:11 Let me deal with the wealthy and those who deny the truth [kafirs]. Bear with them for a while, because We have strong shackles and a raging Fire and food that chokes and a painful punishment.
The Koran calls Christians and Jews, the People of the Book. It also claims that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all part of the Abrahamic religion and worship the same god. Since ministers, priests and rabbis are without real knowledge about Islam (there are no religious schools that teach the actual doctrine), they feel as if they well spoken of in the Koran.
A foundation of ignorance allows any fantasy to grow in abundance. Yes, any Christian is acceptable to Islam, if the Christian will deny the divinity of Christ, deny the Trinity and accept Mohammed as the final prophet for humanity. Christians must also accept the fact that the New Testament is corrupt and in error. Jews are acceptable to Islam if they agree that the Torah is corrupt and that Mohammed is the last of the Jewish line of prophets. None of the stories about Noah, Adam, Moses, David and Solomon are correct as found in the Jewish scriptures. Only the Koran tells the true story about those Jews, as well as the true story of Jesus.

3:113 Yet not all of them are the same. There are some among the People of the Book who are righteous and who recite Allah’s revelations throughout the night and worship Him. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and command what is right and forbid what is wrong and urge each other on to do good works. These are the righteous people. They will not be denied their reward for whatever good they do for Allah knows those who do good.
But Christians and Jews who believe in their own scriptures are despised kafirs.

3:116 As for the kafirs, neither their wealth nor their children will keep them from the wrath of Allah. They will be prisoners of the Fire where they will live forever. What they spend in this world is like an icy wind that blows over the fields and destroys the crops of a people who are also evil-doers. It is not Allah who does them wrong, but it is they who wrong themselves.
Here are more details about the Christian and Jewish kafirs:

98:6 The kafirs among the People of the Book and the idolaters will burn for eternity in the Fire of Hell. Of all the created beings, they are the most despicable. As for those who believe and do good works, they are the most noble of all created beings.
The Koran speaks to the Jews many times, and most of that language is condemning. The most famous insult is calling Jews “apes and pigs”. Here is a verse that apologists for Islam love:

29:46 Do not dispute with the followers of the Book [the Jews] except in the best way and unless it is they who have dealt wrongfully with you. Say: We believe in what has been sent down to us and has been sent down to you. Our Allah and your god are one, and to Him are we submitted.
Remarkably, in the rest of sura 29, there is no vilification of kafir Jews. So this verse is one of the few that is not followed by threatened violence later in the chapter. But this does not mean that the Jews are not condemned. Sura 29 was written in Mecca. Later, in Medina, not only does chapter after chapter castigate the Jews in the worst language, but Mohammed annihilates the Jews of Arabia. So, in this case we have to go beyond the context of the same chapter to the Koran as a whole.

If you go through the Koran and pick out every verse that seems to say something good about humanity as a whole, there are a total of 245 verses (Obviously, this is a judgment call. You may find the data base of selected verses, as well as the following verses that establish context at .) But almost all of the 245 verses have their “goodness” mitigated by later verses that require violence against kafirs for rejecting Mohammed.
If you go through and count the verses that do not have violence later in the chapter, then there are 6 verses (in addition to 29:46 about the Jews, 58 words) that are not poisoned by threatened violence later in the chapter.

109:1 Say: Oh you kafirs!
109:2-6 I do not worship what you worship, and you do not worship what I worship. I will never worship what you worship, and you will never worship what I worship. You to your religion, me to my religion.
So we have 0.07% of the Koran (101 words = 43+58 words) that does not condemn the kafirs in the same chapter. However, the tolerance in those 101 words written in Mecca is later denied in the Koran written in Medina. In the end, everything that seems good for kafirs is denied or abrogated later.

Westerners insist on trying to squeeze the Koran into our world-view of a pluralistic society based upon the true equality of humans with freedom of ideas and critical reasoning. The only way to do this is to use “verse picking” and isolation. That is, a verse or two is extracted from the Koran and held up to represent all of Islam. “See, here is a lofty verse, therefore, the Koran and Islam speak well of us.” This could be called micro-analysis, looking at Islam through a tiny hole.
Examine the ridiculous idea of using a verse to judge the Koran. A verse is usually only a sentence. Deciding to use isolated sentences to represent an entire book is absurd. For instance, in Mein Kamph only 6.8% of the paragraphs are about Jew hatred. That means that if you represent Mein Kamph by any of the remaining 93.7% of the paragraphs, you can prove that Hitler was not a Jew hater. Choose the right verses, and you can prove anything you want in the Koran, as well.
Verse picking is like looking at the balance sheet of a business and focusing on a few assets. The only way to know the health and situation in the business is to examine all the assets and all of the liabilities. We need the entire picture, not a sentence or two.

There is only one true measure of the Koran and that is to look at its principles, ideas and concepts. We must look at the “big picture” and connect the dots. We need a systemic analysis that examines the entire document-a macro-analysis. We must examine the entire meaning of the work as a whole, not bits and pieces.
Statistics, by necessity, take into account the entire work. There are 4,018 words in the verses that seem to offer goodness to all of humanity (there are 153,207 words in the Koran, this varies upon which translation). Of course, this goodness is denied later in the chapter, but even at that, we have only 2.6% of the Koran that speaks well of humanity initially. When we say that only 2.6% of the Koran is kind to kafirs at the first glance, we have taken into account the entire text.
A figure of 2.6% good verses is a different concept from pointing to a verse or two that promises good to kafirs.
However, when taken as a whole, there is no good in the Koran for kafirs and kafir civilization. Even the 2.6% vanishes under the threatened violence if kafirs don’t accept Islam’s offer of goodness. Violence and suffering are promised to 100%, of those who do not believe Mohammed.
Once we lift our eyes from the Koran and look at the Sunna (the perfect example of the sacred life of Mohammed) it too denies any good for kafirs. The Koran and the Sunna support each other.

Based upon a detailed analysis, there is no unmitigated benevolence toward or good for kafirs in the Koran. The Koran is a document of suffering and violence for those who do not submit to Islam. The history of Mohammed confirms this conclusion in every detail.
Critical analysis and simple statistics allow a clear understanding of Islam that does not indulge the modern apologetics of political correctness and multiculturalism. Islam can be judged by its own doctrine without the help of the experts and Muslims. We have a firm basis for making judgments–data.
All micro-analysis, verse picking, is a form of critical analysis that is in error since it fails to take into account the context of the verses. We must know the whole truth about the Koran and the Sunna and what they say about us, the kafirs.