Tuesday, 27 August 2013

QuranX.com feature list

As I have been adding features to QuranX I thought I'd maintain this post to document those features.

Displaying all hadiths related to a specific verse

No description required, it's very simple http://quranx.com/hadiths/54.1

Displaying all tafsirs for a specific verse

Again very simple http://quranx.com/tafsirs/54.1

Showing all translations

When linking to QuranX.com verses it is possible to ensure that all translations are displayed regardless of which translations the user has selected manually.  This ensures that when you cite a verse the translation you cite will be visible

Highlighting text

This is particularly useful when linking to QuranX.com from a blog when you wish to highlight a specific point.  This works in Quran verses, hadiths and tafsir texts.

  1. Single word hl=TheWord
  2. Multiple words hl=WordOne,WordTwo,WordThree
  3. Phrases can be highlighted by separating words like so hl=in+the+name
  4. You can even have multiples of words and phrases mixed
Note that modifiers after the question mark may be combined using the & sign, for example to show allTranslations of verse 1.1 and also highlight the word Allah you can do this http://quranx.com/1.1?hl=Allah&allTranslations=y

Displaying multiple verses

Again useful for linking to QuranX to illustrate a specific point.

  1. Single verse. Chapter 1 Verse 1
  2. Range of verses. Chapter 1 verses 3 to 5
  3. Non sequential verses separated by commas
A combination of single verse and verse ranges can be separated by commas, like so http://quranx.com/1.1,10.1-3,23.1

Searching for phrases

You may search for an exact phrase by encompassing it in quotes.  For example "In the name of Allah".

Searching for partial words

You may use an asterisk * to indicate any number of unknown characters.  For example searching for the word sex will only show exact results, whereas searching for sex* would also include matches for sexual, sexuality, sextuplets etc.

It is possible to use multiple asterisks in a single word, for example m*h*m*d would match both Muhammad and Mohammed.

Searching within a specific context

The search in the header of the site will look through all text on the website.  If you wish to search only the Quran, only tafsirs/hadiths, or a specific tafsir/hadith collection then click the Advanced Search link at the top of the page and select the context you wish to search within.

Search expressions

By default QuranX will search for all words entered, it is possible to use the conditional statements AND and OR by writing them in uppercase.  For example love AND mercy would show only matches with both words, whereas love AND (mercy OR compassion) would show matches where the word love exists but only when accompanied by either the word mercy or compassion.

iERA, Hamza Tzortzis, The Quran Project and those scientists

Having already blogged iERA changes stance on Quran miracle claims I had no intention of writing any more on the subject of Hamza's article rejecting miracle claims in the Quran.  However, this morning I read this blog post by Captain Spinoza and it reminded me of this Tweet.

In July 2012 it was announced that Hamza Tzortzis had joined the team at The Quran Project.  The Quran Project have a Quran which they distribute free of charge using charity donations.  In the back of this Quran there are (you guessed it) scientific miracle claims which are now rejected by Hamza.  Not only this but it also uses quotes from those scientists who in the 80's and 90's were tricked into making sound bite statements which incorrectly implied they thought the Quran was scientifically miraculous, the same scientists that Hamza now acknowledges were misrepresented and who's statements should not be used in proselytising. [See page 724 entitled "Scientific Miracles of the Qur'an" in their online Quran]

In June 2012, three months after being notified of their unintentional mistake, The Quran Project were trying to raise funds for the 5th print of their book and had already raised over £41,000.

A tweet announcing delivery of this 5th print run was posted on August 18th, 2012, five months after being notified of their unintentional mistake, which is obviously plenty of time to revise the print run or at the very least postpone the printing in order not to waste over £40,000 on a book containing a massive section of known fraudulent claims.  As you can see from the screen capture the print run went ahead anyway, and the response of QuranProjectOrg was effectively to stick their fingers in their ears by blocking me.

Hamza was aware of these interviews before he joined The Quran Project team in July 2012.  The Quran Project team also knew about these interviews before they ordered a new print of their fraudulent Quran.  I also phoned them to ensure they had seen the interviews and was told "Yes we know, so what do you want?"  Now nearly a year and a half later The Quran Project still have not updated even the downloadable PDF document on their website.

This all now raises these questions in addition to those asked by Captain Spinoza
  1. Hamza's article is on his personal website. Do iERA also intend to publish a statement on their official website?
  2. Has Hamza resigned from The Quran Project team for spreading untruth, which is explicitly forbidden in the Quran [2.42]?
  3. Will The Quran Project remove statements they now know to be deliberate deceptions from their downloadable PDF and also their next print run?
I suppose the primary question is:
Which is more important, making new Muslims and raising funds or being honest?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

iERA chances stance on Quran miracles

iERA sent a small delegation of proselytisers to the world atheist convention in Dublin 2011.  During this event claims were made for information in the Quran which pre-dated modern scientific discovery, including mountains stablising the Earth's crust via isostasy and microscopic level knowledge of the embryonic stages of human development.

Since then there has been a change in position.  In this article Hamza (chief researcher for iERA) states that he has since changed his position completely and no longer holds this view.  The persistent counter arguments from atheists to his claims worked their way into his head until he realised he could finally no longer hold that position, he has changed his mind and now emphatically states there are no scientific miracles in the Quran.

Realising you are wrong is the best way of being right, and it's great to see Hamza has been able to take that step.  Unfortunately it seems that Hamza has not yet quite mastered the art of admitting you are wrong without first finding a way to move the goalposts.  He suggests a "new approach" which should take the following form

  1. The Qur’ān allows multiple and multi-level meanings.
  2. Our understanding of natural phenomena and science changes and improves with time.
  3. The Qur’ān is not inaccurate or wrong.
  4. In the case of any irreconcilable difference between a Qur’ānic assertion and a scientific one, the following must be done:
  • Find meanings within the verse to correlate with the scientific conclusion.
  • If no words can match the scientific conclusion then science is to be improved.
  • Find a non-scientific meaning. The verse itself may be pertaining to non-physical things, such as the unseen, spiritual or existential realities.
Far from being a new approach this is the same old approach of
  1. Re-interpret the verse so that instead of being "outright wrong" it is instead "not exactly right but not wrong either" and assume we have only just come to understand the verse properly after 1400 years of trying.
  2. If that is not possible then accept that the Quran is outright wrong but only in the eyes of science, then wait until the science changes or you die....whichever comes first.

You are one step closer Hamza, but still a long way to go yet. Don't give up!