FIVE REASONS WHY THE QURAN
CLAIMS TO BE OF DIVINE ORIGIN
- There are no contradictions in the Quran
- "Do they not attentively consider the Quran? If it had been
from any besides Allah, they would certainly have found therein many
contradictions." (Sura 4:82, translation by George Sale).
- The Quran confirms and explains the Bible
- "This Quran could not have been composed by any except Allah;
but it is a confirmation of that which was revealed before it, and
an explanation of the scripture; there is no doubt thereof; sent down
from the Lord of all creatures." (Sura 10:37).
- The unsurpassed literary quality
- "Will they say, 'Muhammed hath forged it'? Answer: 'Bring
therefore a chapter like unto it, and call whom ye may to your
assistance, besides Allah, if ye speak truth.'" (Sura 10:38).
- This is amplified and underlined by the commentator of the Mishkat:
"The Quran is the greatest wonder among the wonders of the world. It
repeatedly challenged the people of the world to bring a chapter like
it, but they failed and the challenge remains unanswered up to this
day. ... This book is second to none in the world according to the
unanimous decision of the learned men in points of diction, style,
rhetoric, thoughts and soundness of laws and regulations to shape the
destinies of mankind." (Mishkat III, page 664). (An answer to this
challenge is given on pp. 72 ff.).
The Quran says: "If men and jinn (spirit) should combine together to
bring the like of this Quran, they cannot bring the like of this
Quran, they cannot bring the like of it, though some of them help
others. ... (Sura 17:88), (see also Sura 2:23).
- Literary quality was one of the earliest arguments for the divine
character of the Quran, and that is why Mohammed repeatedly challenged
his contemporaries "This Qur'an is not such as can be produced by
other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations)
that went before it and a fuller explanation of the Book wherein there
is no doubt from the Lord of the Worlds. Or do they say "He forged it"?
Say: "Bring then a Surah like unto it and call (to your aid) anyone
you can besides Allah if it be ye speak the truth!" (Sura 10:37-38)
(see also Suras 11:13 and 52:33-34).
In Sura 43:3 it is said that the Quran is in the "Mother of Books",
referring to the eternal heavenly tablets on which it is preserved.
Because of this it is also called glorious. (Sura 85:22).
In many Islamic writings, we are told that Islam and the Quran are
superior to the Bible and Christianity. This argument is substantiated
by pointing to "Christian society" or the "Christian world" of today,
where materialism, immorality and faithlessness are rampent. We
disregard this, because there is in reality no "Christian society",
or a "Christian world" to which one can point. In reply, we would ask
Muslims some questions: WHAT EXACTLY AND PRECISELY IN THE QURAN IS
SUPERIOR TO THE BIBLE? IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE QURAN THAT SHOULD HAVE
BEEN ADDED TO THE BIBLE? IN WHICH RESPECTS IS ISLAMIC MORALITY OR ITS
ETHICS SUPERIOR TO THE BIBLE'S?
- There are people alive who are able to quote the Quran
from memory. (Hafiz).
- Unlike the Bible the Quran has never been changed since it
was given to Mohammed.
The Christian answer to the above:
- The attestation by one witness of a revelation without objective
divine proof such as prophecy of divine signs, is unacceptable.
(Isaiah 41:21-23, Deuteronomy 18:21-22, Exodus 10:1-2, etc.).
Mohammed's coming was not accompanied by these (Suras 17:59, 88:93;
13:7,30; 6:37,109,124; 7:203; 2:87,99,118-119,151, 252; 3:183).
The Bible demands them as signs (Deuteronomy 18:22; Isaiah 41:21-24).
The contemporary Jews demanded such credentials for Mohammed's
prophethood - but he was unable to comply, as his reply to them shows:
"They said: 'Allah took our promise not to believe in an Apostle,
unless he showed us a sacrifice consumed by fire (from heaven)'. Say:
'There came to you Apostle before me with clear signs and even with
what you asked for. Why then, did you slay them if they speak the
truth? Then if they reject thee, so were rejected Apostles before
thee, who came with clear signs, books of dark prophecies, and the
Book of Enlightenment."
- If the message is the revelation from God (=nazil), it must contain
neither error, nor contradiction in the original text. Muslims claim
that the Quran has remained unchanged from its inception but it does
in fact contain both error and contradiction as we have seen.
It contains contradictions between it and the Bible, which in many
of the cases mentioned earlier are from Genesis and Exodus - books
that were written 2 000 years earlier than the Quran. This means that
the Biblical source is contemporary to the events or at least very
considerably closer to them, and consequently more trustworthy than
the Quran. In addition, the Quran contradicts itself as we have
One would, for example, turn to Caesar's "Gallic War" to discover the
history of that era rather than to a much later writer whose account
did not quote other sources and that differed widely from the "Gallic
- Where two "Books" i.e. the Bible and the Quran, both claim to be
final, sole, full and universal in their message, yet display strongly
contrasting standpoints, only internal and external evidence will
reveal which of the two is divine.
- The diacritical marks and vowel signs of the Arabic language were
introduced only after the Quran became widely known. Those marks can
change the meaning of words, and indeed, when introduced, there were
arguments about many a word. (See chapter "Collection of the Quran", pp. 44, 47-48, 57).
- The claim that the Quran is entire and complete is not acceptable.
(See chapter "Collection of the Quran").
- The Quran, according to most scholars, cannot be interpreted
(Tafsir) without consulting the tradition (Hadis) of the Prophet
Mohammed. Muslims consider the life of Mohammed to have been an
explanation and an interpretation of the Quran. The Hadis, as we shall
later see, by no means provides an accurate or conclusive picture of
Mohammed, since these traditions were collected and recorded about
two and a half centuries later, and the selection thereof (only 1 %
of all the collected traditions were selected by al-Bukhari) was
again entirely dependent on the judgement of one person.
- The emphasis on the total absence of variation in manuscripts (in
contrast with the Biblical manuscripts, which do vary, not in message,
but in some detail) can be adequately understood only if one remembers
that the third Khalif, Uthman, ordered the destruction of all
manuscripts after having compiled one version. (See chapter
"Collection of the Quran").
- Concerning the fine literary quality of the Quran (measured
obviously against other human pieces of literature): it is as
irrelevant as the statement that a Rolls Royce, being the best motor
car ever produced, is for that reason divine. In every written
language there must be a "best piece" of literature.
Regarding the content of the message we should like to ask whether
the Quran contains any information or has any qualities that were not
accessible or available in some form during the life of Mohammed.
- If the Quran is an eternally preexisting, divine revelation,
Muslims will have to explain the very apparent marks of man in it.
Large portions of the Quran are preoccupied with the personal and
political affairs of one man and his companions at one particular
stage in history. Most of these statements have no value to any other
generation in history. (See chapter "Sources
- There is what is called a photographic memory. This can easily
account for the memorization of the Quran. We are, however, also
aware of such faculty originating from spiritist sources.
- The last point is frequently met with strong emotional rejection
by Muslims. We must, therefore, apologize in advance for touching on
a matter that is most contentious. If we offend any religious feelings
here or elsewhere, it is not done from a sneering or superior attitude.
The reader will have to accept that we do not want to hurt him in any
way - except with a view to uncovering facts that might help him to
find the Truth of God and eternal life.
Christians and Muslims believe in good and bad, light and darkness,
God and the Devil. There is constant spiritual warfare between these
forces. Each man or woman; boy or girl living on earth is the prize
in this battle. God gives His rewards to His followers - and so does
the Devil. One of the main tasks of the Devil is betrayed by his biblical
name. He is called "diabolos" or "one who mixes up things." From
time immemorial we know first of primitive, but later developing,
forms of witchcraft and spiritism. This incorporates direct contact
with spirits and intelligent communication between a medium and a
spirit and vice versa. Fortune telling, which one may call the
"prophecy" of the devil, is one of the features that is inclined to
bring man into bondage.
Spiritism of any form is rejected by and forbidden in the Bible in no
uncertain terms (Deuteronomy 18:10:14, Leviticus 20:6 etc.).
"Whoever does these things is an abomination (disgust) to the
Lord....the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do."
This passage is immediately followed by the words:
"The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from among you....
I will put my words in his mouth, and he (in contrast to spirits)
shall speak to them all that I command Him."
It has been established ("Christians Answer Muslims", pp. 111ff.) that
this refers to Jesus. So we must not go to any other source but Him.
To ensure us of His trustworthiness and reliability, the prophets of
old foretold His coming and work in much detail. (ibid. pp. 48 ff.).
It lies in the nature of the diabolos, Satan, to confuse this. His
first words recorded in the Bible are "Should God have said....?" -
sowing doubt and distrust. Consequently, in the battle for mankind,
Satan has provided his revelations also. They are subtle, no doubt,
or else no-one would be tripped up thereby. So we Christians are
extremely careful not to accept anything as coming from God, which
is actualy from another source.
With this in mind we ask the question: Is the Jahveh Elohim (Lord God)
of the Bible really the same as al'illah of the Quran? Contrary to
the view of the Quran, the objective student must agree that -
although we may use the English term "God" for both - they are not
likely to be the same. Who is Allah then? He was not, of course, an
invention of Mohammed's. Al'illah was not unknown before the coming
of Mohammed. Allah is a form of "al'illah", which means "the God". We
note the article, "the". He was generally known before Mohammed's
time as can be seen in the name of Mohammed's father, for instance,
which was Abd-ullah (slave of Allah). His uncle's name was Obeidallah.
"The Quran itself bears out the fact that the old polytheism had
no real hold as a religion, and that Allah was in a sense
recognized as a supreme deity by the polytheists themselves....In
all the opposition to Muhammad we scarcely meet a defence of the
old religion which can be called an argument in its favour. The
Quran is quite frank in recording the objections raised by
opponents; but there is no reference to any defence of polytheism
which could be said to rest on a conviction of its truth....It is
inherently probable that the heathen themselves had some such idea
of the relation of their special gods to a supreme deity....They
will admit that Allah is the creator of the worlds....It seems
clear that the Arabs had the idea of a supreme God, in a sense
superior to their local deities, but only turned to in their times
of stress." ("The Origin of Islam in its Christian Environment" by
Richard Bell, pp. 55-57).
We also know of poets who used the name Allah before Mohammed.The
seven "Moallaqat" by Imra'ul Cays and the "Dewan" by Labid refer to
Allah. (For further information on pre-Islamic knowledge we refer to
the chapter "Sources of Islam" pp. 96 ff.)."
We are aware of the explanation by our Muslim friends, that over the
period of some 2 500 years since Abraham and Ishmael began worshipping
God to the time of Mohammed, Allah had gradually been degraded in
status to be placed, eventually, among the heathen deities of
idolatrous Arabia. This maybe so, but does not really convince us.
Also, we see no support for this view in the faith that the Hanifites
had in the God of Abraham. They must have been in contact with the Jews
and Christians in the Arabian Peninsula, who had knowledge of the
story of Abraham in the Bible. What confirms this is that of the six
contemporaries of Mohammed that are titled Hanif, half became
Christians and one confessed not to know the right way.
The following account is from the Sirat:
"The Coreish were once gathered together during their Eid beside
one of their idols, slaying sacrifices, praying and making circuits
around it, as they used to do at this festival every year. Just
then four friends stood apart, and spoke secretly to one another
in righteous terms. These were Waraca, Obeidallah grandson of
Abdul Mutalib. Othman and Zeid ibn Amr. They said: - 'By the Lord!
Our people have nothing left of the faith of Abraham. What is this
stone that we should encircle it? It can neither hear nor speak,
neither hurt nor help. O our people! Look out for your souls, for
by the Lord you are altogether wanting.' Then they separated, and
departed into various lands to find out the true faith of Abraham.
Waraca embraced the Christian religion, and studying the books of
its people, became fixed in their faith. Obeidallah remained in
his doubts, but at last embraced Islam; then with a party of the
Moslems he emigrated to Abyssinia along with his wife Omm Habibah,
daughter of Abu Sofian and also a believer. There, however, he
afterwards became a Christian, and perished. When he was converted
to Christianity, he said to his companions: - We see, but you are
only blinking' - this is, cannot see plainly, like a whelp trying
to open its eyes. The Prophet himself married his widow....Now as
to Othman, he repaired to the court of the Emperor of Byzantium,
where he obtained a high rank and embraced the Christian
faith....Last of all we come to Zeid, who stood fast, joining
neither the Jewish nor the Christian religion. He broke off from
his people's faith, and gave up idols, the eating of carrion,
blood, the slaughter of animals for the gods, and the putting of
daughters to death. He said: - I worship the God of Abraham; but
he blamed the people for having chosen evil ways....Zeid, then
very aged, leaning with his back on the Ka'aba....prayed: - O,
Lord! If I know what way was most pleasing unto thee, I would
worship thee in that manner, but I know it not.' " (Siratu'l
Rasool vs. 144 p. 99).
All these points on which we are to elaborate in this study show
justifiable reasons why Christians are so sceptical about Islam. We
find that the common belief of Muslims is not really based on
historical Islam and on the original theology of the Quran, the Hadis
and the theologians who understood Islam and its message in its
QUESTION: If you compare the evidences for the inspiration of the
Quran with those of the Bible, must you not honestly admit
that the Biblical evidences ("Christians Answer Muslims"
pp. 43ff., 105, 135) are incomparable?
Christians Ask Muslims: Table of Contents
Answering Islam Home Page