Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi


Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi : biography

865 – 925

Al-Razi believed that common people had originally been duped into belief by religious authority figures and by the status quo. He believed that these authority figures were able to continually deceive the common people "as a result of [religious people] being long accustomed to their religious denomination, as days passed and it became a habit. Because they were deluded by the beards of the goats, who sit in ranks in their councils, straining their throats in recounting lies, senseless myths and "so-and-so told us in the name of so-and-so…"

He believed that the existence of a large variety of religions was, in itself, evidence that they were all man made, saying, "Jesus claimed that he is the son of God, while Moses claimed that He had no son, and Muhammad claimed that he [Jesus] was created like the rest of humanity." and "Mani and Zoroaster contradicted Moses, Jesus and Muhammad regarding the Eternal One, the coming into being of the world, and the reasons for the [existence] of good and evil." In relation to the Hebrew’s God asking of sacrifices, he said that "This sounds like the words of the needy rather than of the Laudable Self-sufficient One."

On the Qur’an, Razi said: You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: "Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one." Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. … By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: "Produce something like it"‽Jennifer Michael Hecht, "Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson", pg. 227-230

The above is a translation of a quote from Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi’s now lost treatise, Mahariq al anbiya مخارق الانبياء (The Prophets’ Fraudulent Tricks), in Abu Hatim al-Razi’s refutation, A’lam al-Nubuwwah (Signs of Prophecy). Google books preview: Another, longer, translation of the same passage is also available. Google books preview:

From the beginning of the human history, all of those who claimed to be prophets were, in his worst assumption, tortuous and devious and with his best assumption had psychological problems.


The modern-day Razi Institute in Tehran, and Razi University in Kermanshah were named after him, and ‘Razi Day’ (‘Pharmacy Day’) is commemorated in Iran every August 27., Razi commemoration day