The Prostration to Adam — A Quranic Problem

Part 2

Sam Shamoun

Part 1When the Imam becomes confused ...

Part 2 — Appealing to the Bible for help? Consider the real sources!

The Shaykh who tried to do Biblical Exegesis ...

Jalal Abualrub mockingly titled his ‘rebuttal’ "When the Evangelist Becomes a Shaikh, the Angels Become Worshippers of Adam", and he pursued this mockery throughout his article (see this review).

The readers can see this for what it is, an ad hominem and a genetic fallacy. A person's background, for the most part, should be irrelevant when assessing whether the arguments presented are sound. After all, no one group has a monopoly on honestly assessing facts and presenting sound arguments and exegesis. It is true, of course, that a person's philosophical and/or theological presuppositions will influence one's reading or analysis of a given text or argument. But one must first analyze the arguments to see if this has occurred instead of simply brushing them aside, or discrediting them, on the basis of the person's theological and/or philosophical biases.

What makes this all the more ironic is that Abualrub thinks that, as a Muslim, he has the ability to quote and comment on the Holy Bible, whereas an Evangelist is attacked for seeking to interpret and understanding the Quran. Yet when a Muslim such as Abualrub tries his hands at critiquing or interpreting the Holy Bible, then it is all fair game. Abualrub is continually demonstrating his inconsistency.

Trying to further deny the charge that angels worshiped Adam in clear violation of Islamic monotheism, Abualrub turns to the Holy Bible for help. This is the very same Bible that Abualrub has been trying to discredit all throughout his rebuttal!

He writes:

Biblical Verses That Wail Hid From His Readers

Wail hid several ‘types of' Verses from his readers, including those from his own Bible, as follows.

Genesis 37 states this, "3. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children...4. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him...5. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more...9. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?"

Wail could have used these verses to conclude that the ‘bowing down' mentioned in them was in the context of worship. Then he may conclude that not only Joseph, but also Jacob, his wife and eleven children committed Shirk, since the Bible states this, Psalms 95: "6. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. 7. For he is our God", and, Exodus 20, "1. And God spake all these words, saying, 2. I am the Lord thy God...5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." Wail may also find further proof that the Bible promotes Shirk in the fact that several other Biblical verses mentioned bowing down that was performed to other than God, such as, Genesis 27, "22. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. he blessed him. 24. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25. And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank. 26...and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said...28. Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: 29. Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee", and, Genesis 49, "8. Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee." Thus, ‘Prophet' Isaac drank wine , while ‘Prophet' Jacob lied in a shameless manner to receive a blessing that was not intended for him; Isaac did not have a spare blessing to give to Esau who was cheated out of the only blessing Isaac could afford giving. We will revisit these false accounts attributed to Allah's Honorable Prophets in our book, The Prophet of Mercy , which is in response to Craig Winn's, The Prophet of Doom . The first two chapters of, The Prophet of Mercy , are posted online (WWW.IslamLife.Com).

Abualrub's argumentation is a subtle form of the fallacy of tu quoque, and the fallacy of false analogy. Taghlibi wasn't speaking of biblical practices or teachings, but of Islamic theology. Taghlibi's point was that from an Islamic perspective, the prostration to anyone besides Allah would be a violation of the pure worship of Allah, or of what is commonly referred to as tauhid al-uluhiyyah or ibadah.{1}

The Holy Bible nowhere condemns the custom of bowing before another besides God as a sign of respect and humility. In fact, the Holy Scriptures distinguish between the honor, obeisance, reverence given to persons, and the sacred, religious devotion and service that God alone receives.

For example, in the references cited by Abualrub, bow in Hebrew is shachah, kneel is barak (from where we get blessing), and serve is avad/abad, none of which are used exclusively for the worship due to God. Now, of course, none of these things can be given to false gods, to idols, but can, however, be given to men of respect and honor.

The Bible does use specific words in connection to the worship that God alone receives, namely the Aramaic pelach and Greek latreuo.

OT occurrences of the Aramaic word pelach

"We also inform you that it is not allowed to impose tax, tribute or toll on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of this house of God." Ezra 7:24

"'But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon-Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego-who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.' ... and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, 'Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?' ... 'If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.' ... Then Nebuchadnezzar said, Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.'" Daniel 3:12, 14, 17-18, 28

"So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, 'May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!'... When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, 'Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?'" Daniel 6:16, 20

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed... Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him." Daniel 7:13-14, 27

{Side note: Here, the prophet Daniel is given a vision in which he sees a divine Son of Man, whom the NT identifies as the Lord Jesus, receiving the worship which God alone receives!}

NT occurrences of the Greek word latreuo

"Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship (proskuneeseis) the Lord your God, and serve (latreuseis) him only.'" Matthew 4:10; cf. Luke 4:8

Notice that the Lord Jesus says that ONLY God is to receive latreuo (serve), but doesn't apply the qualifier "only" to the word proskuneuo (worship). The word latreuo is used throughout the NT in connection to the religious devotion that God alone receives:

"to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear." Luke 1:74

"and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers." Luke 2:37

"'And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.'" Acts 7:7 NKJV

"But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL?'" Acts 7:42

Here, God delivered Israel up to her enemies because they wrongly served, or gave latreuo, to creatures as opposed to the Creator.

"But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;" Acts 24:14

"the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews." Acts 26:7

"For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me," Acts 27:23

"God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you... They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen." Romans 1:9, 25

Again, man wrongly gives latreuo, or service, to created things when it is to God alone that they must render such service.

"for we are the circumcision, who by the Spirit are serving God, and glorying in Christ Jesus, and in flesh having no trust" Philippians 3:3 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

"I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers." 2 Timothy 1:3

"They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: 'See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.'" Hebrews 8:5

"which [is] a simile in regard to the present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which are not able, in regard to conscience, to make perfect him who is serving," Hebrews 9:9 YLT

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" Hebrews 9:14

"since, would they not have ceased to be offered, because of those serving having no more conscience of sins, having once been purified?" Hebrews 10:2 YLT

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;" Hebrews 12:28

"Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them." Revelation 7:15

"No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him." Revelation 22:3

As the preceding NT data shows, latreuo must be given to God alone.

From the foregoing examples we can see that the Scriptures prohibit anyone from receiving the worship due to God alone, such as prayers, praises (doxologies), invocations, sacrifices etc., and uses specific words to convey the kind of worship that only God receives.

Yet in what way does this help Abualrub's case? Was the Quran written in the same historical and cultural context of the Bible? No. Is the Quran in line with the theology of the previous Scriptures? No. To therefore cite the Holy Bible in defense of the Quran is misplaced since they do not originate from the same source or time period. The Quran does not accurately reflect the milieu of the Bible writers, but often distorts and garbles the cultural setting of the biblical period.

Abualrub also brings up the issue of abrogation, in order to justify the Quran's contradictions and errors, especially with the previous Scriptures. Abualrub once again ends up committing the fallacies of tu quoque and of false analogy.

Abualrub assumes that since the Holy Bible supposedly abrogates itself then this means it is acceptable for the Quran to do likewise. The problem is that Quranic abrogation is not at all similar to what is going on in the Holy Bible, therefore none of Abualrub's examples even prove his case. Hence, by raising up the issue of abrogation, Abualrub doesn't seem to realize that he ends up showing that the Quran does not accurately reflect the cultural and historical setting, as well as the practices, of the biblical period. He cannot simply appeal to the Bible when these two books do not agree in their theology or originate from the same historical setting.

Since we have already dealt with these issues in depth here:

we are simply going to summarize the points. To begin with, let us assume for argument's sake that the Bible does abrogate itself, this still wouldn't justify the abrogations of the Quran. Abrogation in both books would simply show that both Scriptures contain serious flaws and contradictions. After all, Abualrub himself accuses the Bible of lying against the prophets for saying that Isaac drank wine, Jacob lied etc., which means that Abualrub's appeal to alleged biblical abrogations, at best, proves that both the Bible and Quran are in error. If Abualrub can claim that the Bible has errors, then he must concede the possibility that biblical abrogation is a further indication of the Bible's errors, and therefore cannot appeal to this phenomenon to defend the Quran. (And we will eagerly be awaiting Abualrub's critique of what he calls the lies of the Bible, since it will be our pleasure to refute him on that issue as well.)

Another major problem with Abualrub's reasoning is that the Bible is a collection of books written by different authors and at different times, whereas the Quran is the result of one human agent (or so Muslims believe). Thus, it may be expected that different books authored by different inspired writers would contain abrogations, since circumstances change. Yet why would we expect this from a book which supposedly came through one human source over a twenty-three year period? Unless, of course, the book is not divine in origin, thereby accounting for the errors found within the book, since human authors are prone to make mistakes. Or, even worse, Allah has a habit of contradicting himself.

Thirdly, Abualrub obviously is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, by erroneously assuming that the Quran is revelation from God, and it is therefore legitimate for the Quran's author to abrogate previous customs and practices. But this is precisely where the debate hinges, whether the Quran is revelation or not, and Abualrub can't assume his conclusion without first proving it. The very fact that the Quran contradicts the Holy Bible is actually strong proof against it being a true revelation from the true God.

More importantly for Abualrub, where does the Quran ever say that the custom of prostrating before others, whether humans or angels, has been abrogated? It doesn't. Appealing to the narration where Muhammad forbade someone from bowing before him doesn't establish his point, as we already mentioned, since this only shows that the hadith contradicts the Quran.

Much more could be said about this issue but, again, for the sake of brevity we encourage the readers to go to the above links and read more.

Another Example of How the Quran Referencing Biblical Stories and Themes Backfires Against Islam

To further demonstrate how the author of the Quran cites biblical stories without realizing the serious contradictions this poses for Islamic theology, notice what the Quran says in regards to the making of statues:

And their Prophet said to them, 'The sign of his kingship is that the Ark will come to you, in it a Shechina from your Lord, and a remnant of what the folk of Moses and Aaron's folk left behind, the angels bearing it. Surely in that shall be a sign for you, if you are believers.' S. 2:248

And unto Solomon (We gave) the wind, whereof the morning course was a month's journey and the evening course a month's journey, and We caused the fount of copper to gush forth for him, and (We gave him) certain of the jinn who worked before him by permission of his Lord. And such of them as deviated from Our command, them We caused to taste the punishment of flaming Fire. They made for him what he willed: synagogues AND STATUES, basins like wells and boilers built into the ground. Give thanks, O House of David! Few of My bondmen are thankful." S. 34:12-13 Pickthall

Here, the Quran is alluding to the following biblical stories:

"They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding around it. You shall cast four gold rings for it and fasten them on its four feet, and two rings shall be on one side of it and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it. You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel." Exodus 25:10-22

"Now he made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits, and thirty cubits in circumference. Under its brim gourds went around encircling it ten to a cubit, completely surrounding the sea; the gourds were in two rows, cast with the rest. It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them, and all their rear parts turned inward. It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, as a lily blossom; it could hold two thousand baths. Then he made the ten stands of bronze; the length of each stand was four cubits and its width four cubits and its height three cubits. This was the design of the stands: they had borders, even borders between the frames, and on the borders which were between the frames were lions, oxen and cherubim; and on the frames there was a pedestal above, and beneath the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work... He engraved on the plates of its stays and on its borders, cherubim, lions and palm trees, according to the clear space on each, with wreaths all around... and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals which were on the tops of the pillars; and the ten stands with the ten basins on the stands; and the one sea and the twelve oxen under the sea;" 1 Kings 7:23-29, 36, 42-44

"Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold. There were six steps to the throne and a round top to the throne at its rear, and arms on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom." 1 Kings 10:18-20

As the above citations show, according to the Holy Bible images and statues are not sinful in and of themselves. Here is another example to support this point:

"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.' And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.'" Numbers 21:8-9

The Bible says that what is sinful is to actually worship such images and statues:

"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me," Exodus 20:4-5 cf. Deuteronomy 5:8-9

Thus, when an image which God had initially commissioned to be made was taken as an object of worship, that image was duly destroyed:

"He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan." 2 Kings 18:3-4

But according to Islam, such images of angels, lions etc. are completely forbidden, especially in the Mosque:

Narrated Abu Talha:
The Prophet said, "Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or there are pictures." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 833)

Narrated Salim's father:
Once Gabriel promised to visit the Prophet but he delayed and the Prophet got worried about that. At last he came out and found Gabriel and complained to him of his grief (for his delay). Gabriel said to him, "We do not enter a place in which there is a picture or a dog." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 843)

Narrated 'Aisha:
(the wife of the Prophet)
I bought a cushion having pictures on it. When Allah's Apostle saw it, he stopped at the gate and did not enter. I noticed the signs of hatred (for that) on his face! I said, "O Allah's Apostle! I turn to Allah and His Apostle in repentance! What sin have I committed?" He said, "What about this cushion?" I said, 'I bought it for you to sit on and recline on." Allah's Apostle said, "The makers of these pictures will be punished (severely) on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said to them, 'Make alive what you have created.'" He added, "Angels do not enter a house in which there are pictures." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 844)

Narrated 'Aisha:
The Prophet entered upon me while there was a curtain having pictures (of animals) in the house. His face got red with anger, and then he got hold of the curtain and tore it into pieces. The Prophet said, "Such people as paint these pictures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 130)

A renowned Muslim Jurist, Yusuf Qaradawi, states:

Islam has prohibited the keeping of statues in the Muslim home. By statues is meant complete, solid figures which have not been disfigured or otherwise defaced. Their presence in a house is considered sufficient to drive away the angels, who represent Allah's mercy and His pleasure. As the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said, "Assuredly the angels do not enter a house in which there are statues (or figures)." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim; the wording is from Muslim.)

According to the commentary of scholars, a person who keeps statues in his house is similar to unbelievers, whose practice it is to keep and venerate idols in their homes. The angels are repelled by this; they do not enter such a house and abandon it. (Source)

Thus, here is another time where the author of the Quran alludes to certain biblical stories and events, without realizing how this undermines his entire theology! Or, this may simply be a case where the supposed Sunnah of Muhammad contradicts the very book which Muslims believe to be the literal word of Allah. But this would then mean that Allah inspired Muhammad to contradict the very revelation he initially dictated to Muhammad! After all, here is what Abualrub says about Muhammad's Sunnah and of the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim:

The Prophet's Sunnah IS ALSO A DIVINE REVELATION INSPIRED BY ALLAH, but formed by the Prophet's own words, actions and practices, {Nor does he (Muhammad) speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation revealed}; [53:3-4].

THE TWO MOST AUTHENTIC BOOKS AFTER THE QURAN ARE THE HADITH COLLECTIONS OF AL-BUKHARI THEN MUSLIM [13] . They are called, "As-Sahihan", meaning, "The Two Authentic Collections". Al-Bukhari and Muslim gained this status among Hadeeth Collectors on account of their successful implementation of the tough conditions they set for any Hadeeth to be included in their books, not because they were the oldest, or the largest, or the "inspired" or the "official" collections. Then, there is no agreement among Muslim Scholars on which Sunnah books respectively come after these two books in authenticity. (The Prophet of Mercy, Chapter Two; source)


Allah said in the Quran, what translated means, {Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation revealed}; [53:3-4]. ‘He', referred to in this Quranic Ayah (Sentence) is Muhammad, son of, Abdullah, peace be upon him, Islam's Prophet, not Muhammad, son of Is`haq, author of the Seerah, may Allah grant him His Mercy. And in Islam, all types of revelation from heaven to earth ceased upon the death of Prophet Muhammad, who stated that there will be no Prophet after him; [al-Bukhari and Muslim reported this Hadeeth from Abu Hurairah, the Prophet's companion].

It is a fundamental aspect of the Islamic Creed that only the Prophets are immune from committing error in aspects of the religion and that they alone receive divine revelation or inspiration. Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said (Fatawa 35:121), "Except for the Prophets, everyone will have some of what they say either accepted or rejected. It is not required to obey anyone who is not a Prophet or a Messenger in everything they say, nor is it required from creation to imitate him or believe in all what he commands or all the news that he conveys...Allah Ta`ala (the Exalted) said, {O, you who believe! Obey Allh and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allh and to His Messenger, if you believe in Allh and in the Last Day}; [4:59]." Thus, the Book of Allah and the authentic Sunnah of His Messenger are the supreme authority in Islam and everyone and everything else is subservient to them. There are no exceptions.

We do not have ‘inspired' Muslim writers in Islam, not even al-Bukhari, whose collection of Prophetic Statements (Hadeeth) is second in authenticity only to the Quran. Allah gave success to al-Bukhari to accomplish this admirable fete, but his book is not ‘inspired' in the Christian sense of the word; it is his personal effort and he was not immune from error. The great Imam of Sunnah, Imam Ibn Taimiyyah (Fatawa 18:17) said that among the authentic Hadeeths that the community of Hadeeth scholars agreed upon accepting and approving are the majority of the Hadeeths collected by Bukhari and Muslim. He also stated that several scholars disputed some Hadeeths in Bukhari. He also stated that Bukhari had more knowledge in Hadeeth than Muslim and that Muslim collected some Hadeeths that other scholars rightfully considered weak.

Yet, the overwhelming majority of the Hadeeth collections of Bukhari and Muslim are not only well-established, BUT ARE ALSO REPRESENTATIVE OF A GOOD PART OF THE PROPHETIC SUNNAH. They do not contain all of the authentic Hadeeths, but what they contain is substantially accurate. Therefore, if Winn and his likes still wish to attack Islam, we, Muslims, direct them to reading al-Bukhari and Muslim. Then, they had better bring serious claims backed by scientific evidence and void of foul words of abuse, so as to support their claims and earn respect for their work. I look forward for serious challenge that requires hard work on my part to refute it. Winn's book is no such challenge: he does not have a clue as to which Islamic narration is just a story, and which narration establishes Islamic Legislation. (The Prophet of Mercy, Chapter Two; source; capital emphasis ours)

We, therefore, have an allegedly inspired Prophet making a ruling against something which was permitted, and even commanded, by God to other Prophets, and which even contradicts what the Quran says! Who knows, maybe Abualrub will try to pull out the abrogation card at this point, and claim that Muhammad's Sunnah abrogated what even the Quran said was permissible.

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain. For Abualrub to think that by appealing to biblical examples where people prostrated before others will somehow justify the angels prostrating before Adam is seriously misplaced, since within a biblical setting such practices are not wrong and do not violate the pure worship given to God alone. But within an Islamic context these practices do violate Islamic monotheism and worship. Abualrub is comparing apples and oranges at this point.

In fact, this further illustrates Abualrub’s confusion and inconsistency. In the following source, which Abualrub himself translated, the Muslim scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah wrote:

There is no dispute between the Imams that bowing before Shaikhs [or leaders] and kissing the ground before them, are impermissible acts. Even bending the back slightly for other than Allah is impermissible. In, al-Musnad (4038), and other books of ‘Hadith, there is a Hadith that states, "When Mu’adh ibn Jabal returned from as-Sham Area, he bowed down before the Prophet ... who said, ‘What is this, O, Mu’adh?’ He said, ‘O, Messenger of Allah! I saw the people in ash-Sham bowing down before their bishops and patriarchs, and they attributed this practice to their prophets.’ He said, ...

If I were to command any person to bow down before anyone, I will command the wife to bow down before her husband, because of his great right on her. O, Mu’adh! If you pass by my grave, would you bow down?’ Mu’adh said, ‘No.’ The Prophet, ... said, ‘True, do not do it.’"

Also, Allah’s Apostle, ... refused to allow the companions to stand up while he was sitting down, even though they were standing for prayer, so that it did not appear as though they were imitating those who stand up for their leaders. He, ... also stated that those who like people to stand up for them will be among the people of the Fire, ...

Consequently, what about those who like people to bend the back from the head before them, and like to have their hands kissed? ‘Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was Allah’s Caliph [the supreme leader o the Islamic State] on earth. Yet, he appointed aids who would prevent those who sought his audience from kissing the ground in front of him. He used to discipline those who indulged in such practices before him.

Therefore, standing up or sitting down, Ruku (bowing) and Sujud (prostrating) are, and should only be directed, at the only One Who deserves to be worshipped, the Creator of the heavens and earth. An exclusive right for Allah, such as vowing, for example, should not be given to anyone or thing, except Allah alone. The Messenger of Allah, ... said, ...

"He who intends to swear, let him swear by Allah or keep silent." He, ... also said, ...

"He who swears by other than Allah, will have committed Shirk.{2}"

Certainly, ALL acts of worship can only be directed at Allah, Alone without partners, ...

{And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat: and that is the right religion Allah}. ...

Hence, the Prophet ... forbade praying during these times, because praying then imitates the practice of the Mushriks, who perform Sujud to the sun. He, ... also stated Satan attends the sunset, so that in reality, Sujud is performed for him. Consequently, what about an even more clear Shirk and imitation of the Mushriks than this [such as bowing in front of religious or political leaders]? Allah, ... commanded His Messenger, ... to say, ...

{Say (O, Muhammad): "O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is right between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims"}. Allah, ... PROHIBITED PRACTICES OF THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, such as their taking each other as gods besides Allah... He who prefers the guidance of the likes of the Christians to the guidance of Allah’s Prophet ..., his companions and those who followed their lead with excellence, has abandoned what Allah ... and His Messenger ... commanded and ordained. (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, Zad-ul Ma'ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l 'Ibad [Provisions for the Hereafter Taken From the Guidance of Allah's Best Worshipper], translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando Florida; First edition, October 2001], Volume 4, pp. 318-320, 324-25; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Thus, according to the above source which Abualrub translated, Muslims are not to adopt the practices of Jews and Christians such as bowing before others, even though they had learned such a practice from the prophets. Yet Abualrub appeals to the very Scriptures of the Jews and Christians in order to justify the prostration of angels and prophets to creatures such as Adam and Joseph. At the same time, Abualrub argues that Muhammad has abrogated this practice despite the prophets having permitted it!

The Human Origin of the Quran: Tracing the Source of Islam's ‘Adam and Iblis’ Story

We now come to the heart of the matter, the very foundational point in this entire rebuttal, namely the origin of this story and the ramifications it has on the alleged inspiration of the Quran.

As our readers may already realize, this story of Adam and Satan is not something unique to the Quran. It is actually a fable taken over from Jewish and Christian sources and passed off as divine revelation.

The following quotes are taken and adapted from Wilson B. Bishai's article, "A Possible Coptic Source for a Quranic Text," reproduced in Ibn Warraq's What the Koran Really Says (Prometheus Books, October, 2002, Hardcover; ISBN: 157392945X), part 4.5, pp. 288-295. I have included some additional quotes from the online version of the Vitae Adae et Evae, which are not found in Bishai's paper.

In the Econium of Theodosius, Archbishop of Alexandria (d. 567 A.D.) regarding Michael the archangel, we read:

Adam saith,... He [God] breathed into my face a breath of life, He set me upon an exceedingly glorious throne, and He commanded all the hosts of heaven who were in truth under His power, saying, "Come ye, and worship the work of My Hands, My likeness and My image." And there was there [a hateful being], who was of the earlier creation, that is to say, Satanael, who is called the Devil, and he was an Archangel. Furthermore, when the command had issued from the mouth of God, Michael, the Archangel,... and his host came, and they bowed low in homage even as did Michael, and so likewise did all the hosts of angels, each rank in its proper order. Finally, the Master said unto Mastema, the interpretation of which is "hater," "Come thou also, and worship the work of My hands...." And Satanael answered boldly and said, "... far be it from Thee to make me worship this thing (of earth)!..."

And the compassionate God said unto him, "Satanael, harken unto me!..." And the Mastema said, "... Far be it from us to worship that which is inferior to us! Moreover, we are beings of spirit, but this creature is of the earth, ..."

And straightway God was angry and He commanded a mighty cherubim [sic] who smote him and reduced him to helplessness, ... and he cast him and all those who were with him forth from heaven. And the Good God cried unto Michael, "... I know that the Mastema will fight against My created being, wishing to cast him away from Me even as I cast Mastema forth from My Kingdom. But behold, I entrust My created beings unto thee.... (E.A. Wallis Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts [Oxford, 1915], pp. 904-06)

And when the prince of the lower order of angels saw what great majesty had been given to Adam, he was jealous of him from that day, and he did not wish to worship him. And he said unto his hosts, "Ye shall not worship him, and ye shall not praise him with the angels. It is meet that ye should worship me, because I am fire and spirit; and not that I should worship a thing of dust, which has been fashioned of fine dust." And the Rebel meditating these things would not render obedience to God, and of his own free will he asserted his independence and separated himself from God. But he was swept away out of heaven and fell. (Budge, The Book of the Cave of Treasures [London, 1927], pp. 55)

When thou wast formed. I was hurled out of the presence of God and banished from the company of the angels. When God blew into thee the breath of life and thy face and likeness was made in the image of God, Michael also brought thee and made (us) worship thee in the sight of God; and God the Lord spake: Here is Adam. I have made thee in our image and likeness.'

And Michael went out and called the angels saying:

"Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded."

And Michael kept urging me to worship; then he called me and said: "Worship the image of God the Lord." And I answered, "I have no [need] to worship Adam." And since Michael kept urging me to worship, I sad to him, "Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being [than I]. I am his senior in the Creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his duty to worship me."

When the angels who were under me, heard this, they refused to worship him. And Michael saith, "Worship the image of God, but if thou wilt not worship him, the Lord God will be wrath with thee." And I said, "If He be wrath with me, I will set my seat above the stars of heaven, and will be like the Highest." (R.H. Charles, "Vitae Adae et Evae," The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha [Oxford, 1963] Volume 2, p. 137; read The Life of Adam and Eve)

Here, the author places in the mouth of Satan the following words from Isaiah the prophet:

"You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'" Isaiah 14:13-14

The very fact that this document has a quotation from Isaiah shows that it couldn't have been written prior to the eighth century B.C. period. And none of the canonical Scriptures, either Old or New Testaments, even refer to this story of Satan's refusal to worship Adam, and the oldest sources which contain this story come from a period long after the time of Christ and his Apostles. As Bishai noted:

"Referring to these passages in the Qur'an, A. Guillaume stated that such a story about angels being ordered to worship man cannot be of Jewish origin, since man in Judaism is made a little lower than angels. Accordingly, another source, possibly Christian or gnostic Christian, is to be sought.

... [Rabbi Leo] Jung stipulates that the origin of the first story of Satan's objection to man's creation was Jewish and cites some examples for it. However, he maintains that the origin of the other story of Satan's refusal to worship Adam was basically Christian and non-Jewish. He asserts that in Islam, Muhammad, and those whom he calls "the fathers of Moslem traditions" confused the two accounts, and put emphasis on the idea that revenge was the reason the devil lurked for man and sought to beguile him..." (Ibid., 289)


"Since the Early Coptic Church (at least until the fifth century) was among the leading churches in early Christendom, it is not surprising to find that many of its apocryphal stories spread throughout the Christian Middle East. By way of Abyssinia, Coptic ideas could have spread into Arabia, at least during the Abyssinian occupation of Yemen between 525 and 571 C.E., if not before, due to trade and religious persecution. In pre-Islamic times, Arabia was a haven of refuge to all dissatisfied and persecuted Christians, especially the Copts after the Council of Chalcedon had ruled against them in 451 C.E. Muhammad must have come in contact with many of these Copts and listened to their stories. Muhammad's friendship to Christians of Coptic faith is reflected in many aspects of his life. He is known to have had cordial relations with the Negus of Abyssinia, as indicated by the fact that he advised his followers at a time of persecution to flee there. He married a Coptic wife named Mariya, and he is reported to have advised his followers to be especially kind to the Copts of Egypt, considering them his in-laws. Such friendly gestures to the Copts adds more credence to the possibility that Coptic was the most likely source of the Qur'anic account of the fall of Satan." (p. 294)

The late Abraham Geiger essentially agreed with the assessment of both Guillaume and Jung regarding the Quranic Adam and Satan story being Christian in origin, or at least having Christian influences:

... The corresponding Hebrew passage may be thus translated:1 "When the Holy One, blessed be He! would create man, he took counsel with the angels, and said to them: 'We will make man in our image;'2 then they said: 'What is man that thou art mindful of him?3 What will be his peculiarity?' He said: 'His wisdom is greater than yours.' Then He brought beasts, cattle, and birds before them, and asked for their names, but they knew them not. But when He had created man He caused the animals to pass before him and asked him for their names, and he replied: 'This is an ox, that an ass, this a horse and that a camel.' 'And what art thou called?' 'It is fitting that I should be called earthy, for I am formed of the earth.' And 'Thou art called LORD, for thou rulest all Thy creatures."3 From this arose the other legend1 that God, after the creation of man, commanded the angels to fall down before him, which they all did except Iblis,2 the devil. The legend bears unmistakeable marks of Christian development, in that Adam is represented in the beginning as the God-man, worthy of adoration, - which the Jews are far from asserting.3 It is true that in Jewish writings great honour is spoken of as shewn by the angels to Adam, but this never went so far as adoration; indeed when this was once about to take place in error, God frustrated the action. We find in Sanhedrin 29,4 "Adam sat in the Garden of Eden, and the angels roasted flesh for him, and prepared cooling wine"; and in another passage it is said,5 "After God had created man, the angels went astray in regard to him, and wanted to say before him, O Holy one! then God permitted sleep to fall on him, and all knew that he was of earth." In favour of the Christian origin of this narrative we must count the fact that the name used by Christians for the devil is the one used in all the passages referred to instead of the general Hebrew name.1 ... (Geiger, Judaism and Islam, "Stories borrowed from Judaism," Chapter Two, pp. 76-78: online edition; bold emphasis ours)

The late Quran translator J.M Rodwell comments on surah 2:34:

16 In the name Eblis (diabolos) and in the honour claimed for Adam as a kind of Godman, there are traces of a Christian original, as well as in the identification of the serpent with Satan. Comp. Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 6. The Talmudists also enlarge on the honour paid to Adam. "Adam sat in the garden and the Angels brought him flesh and cooling wine." Sanhedr. 29. "In the hour when the Holy One, Blessed be He, created man, the Angels went astray in regard to him, and essayed to say before him, 'O Holy One!' then God permitted sleep to fall on him, and all knew that he was of earth." Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 8. It is possible that the Arabic word balas, a profligate, wicked person, may have influenced Muhammad in the formation of the word Eblis. See note, p. 185. Eblis is used in the Arabic version of the New Testament, for the probable date of which, see Tischendorf, Prol. p. 78. (Source)

What this all basically means is that this story of God commanding the angels to worship Adam, with Satan refusing, originates from a period long after the time of Christ. This poses a major problem for Abualrub for several reasons.

First, the Quran and hadiths claim that the Torah, the Book given to Moses, is complete and lacks nothing:

"Then We gave Moses the Book, complete for him who does good, and distinguishing every thing, and as a guidance and a mercy; haply they would believe in the encounter with their Lord." S. 6:154

ALLAH said, ‘O Moses, I have chosen thee above the people of thy time by MY Messages and by MY Word. So take firm hold of that which I have given thee and be of the grateful.’ And WE wrote for him upon the Tablets about everything an admonition and an explanation of all things. ‘So hold them fast and bid thy people follow the best thereof. Soon shall I show you the abode of the transgressors.’ ... Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet, the Ummi whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel WHICH ARE WITH THEM... S. 7:144-145, 157 Sher Ali

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There was an argument between Adam and Moses (peace be upon both of them) in the presence of their Lord. Adam came the better of Moses. Moses said: Are you that Adam whom Allah created with His Hand and breathed into him His spirit, and commanded angels to fall in prostration before him and He made you live in Paradise with comfort and ease. Then you caused the people to get down to the earth because of your lapse. Adam said: Are you that Moses whom Allah selected for His Messengership and for His conversation with him and conferred upon you THE TABLETS, IN WHICH EVERYTHING WAS CLEARLY EXPLAINED and granted you the audience in order to have confidential talk with you. What is your opinion, how long Torah would have been written before I was created? Moses said: Forty years before. Adam said: Did you not see these words: Adam committed an error and he was enticed to (do so). He (Moses) said: Yes. Whereupon, he (Adam) said: Do you then blame me for an act which Allah had ordained for me forty years before He created me? Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: This is how Adam came the better of Moses. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6411)

These passages explicitly say that the Tablets, the Book given to Moses, are complete in their details. It even says that the Torah was available during Muhammad's time. That Book, that Torah, which God gave Moses contains a description of the creation of the cosmos and the fall of Adam. In fact, the above hadith even says that the story of Adam sinning was recorded within the Tablets, the very Torah, given to Moses. Thus, the Torah contains all the essential details regarding the creation and the fall of Adam, lacking nothing.

Second, according to the Holy Bible, the Lord Jesus confirmed the Hebrew Scriptures which were available to him:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." Matthew 5:17-18

"He said to them, 'How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?' And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." Luke 24:25-27

"He said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.' Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." Luke 24:44-45

"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life... But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" John 5:39-40, 45-47

The Quran also agrees that Christ came to confirm the Scriptures in his possession:

And He will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel,... Likewise confirming the truth of the Torah that is before me, and to make lawful to you certain things that before were forbidden unto you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord; so fear you God, and obey you me. S. 3:48, 50

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus son of Mary, confirming the Torah before him and We gave to him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light, and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition unto the godfearing. S. 5:46

And when Jesus son of Mary said, 'Children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger of God to you, confirming the Torah that IS before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.' Then, when he brought them the clear signs, they said, 'This is a manifest sorcery.' S. 61:6

The only Scriptures, the only Law of Moses, which the Lord Jesus confirmed, and which the Jews had in their possession, are the books of the Hebrew Bible. The Lord even quotes the Scriptures directly, giving us further indication of what those Scriptures were:

"When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?' 'Haven't you READ,' he replied, 'that at the beginning the Creator "made them male and female," and SAID, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh"? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.'" Matthew 19:1-6

The Lord quotes Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as the very speech of God, and even quotes the Genesis account of creation as true history. Here is another example of Christ citing the Torah as God's very own speech:

"But about the resurrection of the dead–have you not READ what God SAID TO YOU, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." Matthew 22:31-32

Christ was quoting from Exodus 3:6. Again, the Quran is in agreement with the New Testament at this point:

Surely We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; thereby the Prophets who had surrendered themselves gave judgment for those of Jewry, as did the masters and the rabbis, following such portion of God's Book as they were given to keep and were witnesses to. So fear not men, but fear you Me; and sell not My signs for a little price. Whoso judges not according to what God has sent down - they are the unbelievers. And therein We prescribed for them: 'A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds retaliation'; but whosoever forgoes it as a freewill offering, that shall be for him an expiation. Whoso judges not according to what God has sent down -- they are the evildoers. S. 5:44-45

The author appeals to a command found in the Torah, i.e. "Life for life, ..." (cf. Exodus 21:23-25, Leviticus 24:18-21, and Deuteronomy 19:21), affirming that the Torah can only be the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

Even Abualrub himself admits that there were uncorrupted copies of the Torah in existence during Muhammad's time. While commenting on a narration where the Torah is quoted, Abualrub writes:

[This indicates that there was a copy of the Torah during the time in which Abdullah ibn 'Amr read this statement. This 'Hadith is certainly authentic and true. Otherwise, the Jews of his time, who were then as they are now, sworn enemies of Islam and its Prophets, would have contradicted him. Further, this indicates that the process of changing, altering, corrupting, amending and rewriting the so-called divine books is a tradition that the present day Jews and Christians inherited from their forefathers.] (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, Zad-ul Ma'ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l 'Ibad [Provisions for the Hereafter, From the Guidance of Allah's Best Worshipper], translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando Florida; First edition, December 2000], Volume 1, p. 128, fn. 1; bold emphasis ours)

Therefore, historically speaking, we know what the Torah looked like during the times of both Jesus and Muhammad since we have MSS of the Scriptures, some of which date even before the time of Christ (i.e., the Dead Sea Scrolls). Thus, there can be no question that the Torah which the Lord Jesus confirmed, the Torah which the Quran speaks of, is the Pentateuch.

Yet here is where the problem begins for Abualrub. The story of Satan's refusal to worship Adam is not found in the very sources which the Lord Jesus, and the Jews, as well as the Christians, accept as the inspired Scriptures of God. Moreover, the Quran recognizes that the Book of Moses was complete, and the only account of creation we find, the only one which the Lord Jesus personally confirms, is that found in Genesis which says absolutely nothing about Satan refusing to worship Adam.

In fact, the story actually contradicts the Genesis account of creation. Notice what Genesis says after God finished creating the universe:

Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let THEM have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created THEM. And God blessed THEM, and God said to THEM, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.' And God said, 'Behold, I have given YOU every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; YOU shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.' And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, IT WAS VERY GOOD. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, AND ALL THEIR HOSTS. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." Genesis 1:26-31, 2:1-3

The word YOU in Hebrew is plural, indicating that God is addressing both the man and the woman. After creating the man and the woman, God looked at creation and said it was very good. Furthermore, according to the book of Job, all of God's angels were rejoicing when God laid the foundations of the earth:

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:4-7

To see who these sons of God were, and how Satan was among them, note the following texts:

"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them." Job 1:6

"Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD." Job 2:1

All this presupposes that right up to the point of the formation of the woman, when she was then brought to the first man Adam, everything was good in creation and there were no problems. But if Satan had fallen prior to the fashioning of the woman, then creation wouldn't have been very good since something had gone terribly wrong. In other words, Satan couldn't have fallen until sometime after the creation of the woman, right after God had said that the creation was very good!

There is another line of evidence to support this. We read in Ezekiel 28, regarding the king of Tyre:

"Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries;so I brought fire out from your midst; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever."'" Ezekiel 28:11-19

Now this seems to be referring to the human king in what would be deemed as hyperbolic or exaggerated speech, since the king obviously wasn't a cherub and didn't live in the Garden of God. That is, until we take into consideration the fact that, according to the Scriptures, human kings and human governments are actually controlled and empowered by spirit entities:

"'But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia'... Then he said, 'Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.'" Daniel 10:13, 20-21

"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued." Daniel 12:1

It is quite obvious that the kings of Persia and Greece whom the angel would engage in battle were spirits, or angels, since mere humans cannot fight or detain an angelic being for twenty-one days! And, Michael, an archangel, is called Israel's prince.

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this: 'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.'" Revelation 2:12-13

Satan was ruling at a time from Pergamom, which had become the capitol of emperor worship, and which housed a huge statue of Zeus.

An indication that one is influenced or possessed by Satan is that the person thinks, or proclaims, to be God or a god:

"The word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because your heart is proud, and you have said, "I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas," yet you are but a man, and no god, though you make your heart like the heart of a god - you are indeed wiser than Daniel; no secret is hidden from you; by your wisdom and your understanding you have made wealth for yourself, and have gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; by your great wisdom in your trade you have increased your wealth, and your heart has become proud in your wealth - therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you make your heart like the heart of a god, therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you, the most ruthless of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendor. They shall thrust you down into the pit, and you shall die the death of the slain in the heart of the seas. Will you still say, "I am a god," in the presence of those who kill you,though you are but a man, and no god, in the hands of those who slay you? You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of foreigners; for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD."'" Ezekiel 28:1-10

"Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10

"And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?' There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain." Revelation 13:1-8

In fact, Satan's lie to the first couple was that they could be like God:

"The serpent said to the woman, 'You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'" Genesis 3:4-5

The foregoing supports the position that Ezekiel 28 isn't simply speaking of the human king of Tyre, but is actually addressing the spirit empowering or possessing the king, namely Satan. If this is the case, then this shows that Satan was a righteous cherub, or spirit being, who was there in the Garden of Eden where the first man and woman lived:

"Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it... The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.' Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called "woman," for she was taken out of man.' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame." Genesis 2:8-15, 18-25

It is also interesting to note that, right after the first couple was banished from the Garden, God placed two cherubs to prevent man from eating from the tree of life:

"Then the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever'-- therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden. He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life." Genesis 3:22-24

What this all basically means is that the Quran is wrong and is contradicting, not only the previous Scriptures, but itself. The Quran claims to confirm the previous Scriptures, but then proceeds to quote a Jewish and Christian fable which actually contradicts those very Scriptures!

Here is a summary of the points:

  1. The Quran claims that Jesus confirmed the previous Scriptures.
  2. The Scriptures that Jesus confirmed are the OT books, such as the Pentateuch.
  3. The Quran even quotes the Pentateuch as revelation from God.
  4. Yet, neither the Old nor New Testaments say anything about Satan falling from favor because he refused to worship Adam.
  5. This story of Satan refusing to worship Adam come from Jewish and Christian sources which were written long after the time of Christ and his Apostles.
  6. The Quran, and ahadith, assert that the Torah and the Book of Moses are fully detailed, complete.
  7. The Torah includes a creation account which says that up to the creation of the woman, everything was good.
  8. The data from Ezekiel, if indeed referring to Satan, shows that the Devil, even while in the Garden of Eden, hadn't fallen yet, but was a righteous agent of God.
  9. These factors lead us to conclude that Satan only fell sometime after the formation of the woman.
  10. The Quran proceeds to quote a fable which contradicts all this, and even tries to pass it off as revelation from God!


An examination of Abualrub's rebuttal leads us to conclude that his arguments, far from resolving the problem, managed to complicate matters further. To begin with, the justification that the Quran gives for the worship of Adam (i.e. that Allah created him with his hands) is unconvincing since, as we saw in the first part, there were at least two others who were created similarly (i.e. Eve and Jesus). The Quran goes so far as to liken Jesus with Adam.

We also saw that Jesus, even from a Quranic perspective, is vastly superior to Adam and is therefore more deserving of the honor that was shown to Adam. And yet, neither Jesus nor Eve were given this honor of receiving prostration.

Furthermore, neither his appeal to the Bible nor to the Quran and Islamic narrations, proved the points he sought to establish. As far as the Quran is concerned, the data overwhelmingly shows that Sujud, or prostration, is given to Allah. The only two exceptions are incidents which were either taken from the Holy Bible, or from apocryphal stories and legends.

Regarding the teachings of the Holy Bible, prostrating before others is not a violation of the pure devotion and worship given to God and such acts are never condemned in the Scriptures. In fact, the Lord Jesus himself says that he will make those who think they are Jews, but are not, bow before true Christian believers:

"Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie - I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you." Revelation 3:9

Realizing all this, Abualrub must argue that these acts of prostrating before others have been abrogated with the advent of Muhammad. This assumption further complicates matters since it assumes that Muhammad was a true prophet and could therefore cancel out the teachings, practices, customs etc. of the previous Scriptures. Yet, the very fact that he must argue that these acts are now abrogated is an admission on his part that he sees the contradiction, and is trying to desperately resolve the matter at any cost.

To, therefore, appeal to the Bible in order to defend the Quran, when the two Books disagree on key issues, is quite disingenious to say the least, and only shows his inconsistency. For instance, imagine for a moment that the Quran hadn't mentioned that Joseph's family bowed before him, what would Abualrub's attitude have been towards the Bible at this point? In light of what he has written, we are certain that he would condemn the Holy Bible for slandering prophets by accusing them of either committing, or condoning, shirk since they are said to have either prostrated before others or allowed it to be done. But since the Quran references the story of Joseph, it is therefore no longer a violation of the worship of Allah!

Hence, whenever it is convenient and it serves his purpose, Abualrub will quote the Bible, but when the Bible happens to contradict the Quran, he will either say that the Bible is corrupted or that it has been abrogated

The other incident, the one regarding Adam and Satan, the one that Abualrub has tried so hard to defend, originates from Jewish-Christian myths and fables. This story is not in the very Books which the Quran itself testifies originate from God, i.e. the Torah, the Zabur (Psalm), and the Injil (Gospel). Since this story is found in sources written long after the time of Christ, Abualrub must either admit that Allah inspired people long after Christ's ascension with the knowledge of the unseen, which would contradict Muhammad's own words that there were no prophets between him and Jesus:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus)." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 651)

Or, he must believe that this story circulated orally for centuries until it was then written down, which contradicts the Muslim sources which say that Moses' writings were complete, fully detailed. Furthermore, this story also contradicts the revelation given to Moses as we saw above.

Or, he must conclude that the Quran is quoting a fable, a myth, which was then passed off as true history and revelation from God. But if he does admit this, then he agrees with the unbelievers who said:

The unbelievers say, ‘This is naught but a calumny he has forged, and other folk have helped him to it.’ So they have committed wrong and falsehood. They say, ‘Fairy-tales of the ancients that he has had written down, so that they are recited to him at the dawn and in the evening.’ Say: ‘He sent it down, who knows the secret in the heavens and earth; He is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.’ S. 25:4-6

Abualrub cannot opt for this last position, because for him to do so would mean that he has become an unbeliever. And this is the only real reason why he would even want to defend this story, namely, he has assumed that the Quran is the word of Allah. Hence, this fable must have actually transpired, since if it didn't then the Quran is a lie. But it can't be a lie, since Abualrub has assumed the Quran is revelation. Therefore, he must find a way of explaining how this Quranic story happens to be found in sources which were not written by inspired prophets and messengers. But for him to accept any other of the options we gave won't help his situation any.

We will let him try to solve this mess. As far as we are concerned, we agree with the unbelievers at this point, that this is nothing but a fable of the ancients which Muhammad caused to be written down.

Finally, Abualrub's smokescreens, red herrings, rabbit trails, etc., call it what you like, failed to address the main point of Taghlibi's entire paper. Taghlibi's paper wasn't intended to be an exhaustive study on the meaning of Sujud, and its applications. Nor was it intended to be an exhaustive look at Islamic monotheism, or its related branches such as the unity of the worship of Allah. Taghlibi's entire purpose was to show that it wasn't the first Adam who was worthy to be worshiped by angels. Rather, the Lord Jesus, the second Adam, is deserving of the worship of not just the angels, but of all creation. And at the end of the age, the Lord Jesus shall receive what is his due:

"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11

"And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne AND TO THE LAMB be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped." Revelation 5:9-14

And now that the dust has settled, Abualrub's rebuttal failed to refute this one fact.

By God's sovereign grace, we forever remain in the service and worship of the Second Adam, God's eternal Son, our blessed Savior and risen King, the glorious Lord Jesus. Come, risen Lord. We love you forever and ever. Amen.

Recommended Links

As we had promised in part 1, here are some articles and links documenting the inspiration and reliability of the Holy Bible:


{1} The Quran also contradicts itself, and later Islamic theology, on tauhid-al-rububiyyah, or the oneness of the Lordship of Allah, that Allah alone is Lord over all things.

The Quran states that there is no lord besides Allah, and that believers are not to take angels as lords:

"It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the Prophetic Office, should say to people: 'Be ye my worshippers rather than Allahs': On the contrary (he would say) 'Be ye worshippers of Him (Who is truly the Cherisher of all): For ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly.' Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons. What! would he bid you to unbelief after ye have bowed your will (to Allah in Islm)?" S. 3:79-80

But in other references, the Quran has believers addressing angelic creatures as their lord:

"There did Zakariya PRAY TO HIS LORD: 'O MY LORD! Grant unto me from Thee a progeny that is pure: for Thou art He that heareth prayer!' While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, THE ANGELS CALLED UNTO HIM: 'Allah doth give thee glad tidings of Yahy (John) witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet,- of the (goodly) company of the righteous.' HE SAID: 'O MY LORD! How shall I have a son, seeing I am very old, and my wife is barren?' 'Thus,' was the answer, 'Doth Allah accomplish what He willeth.' HE SAID: 'O MY LORD! Give me a Sign!' 'Thy Sign,' was the answer, 'Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three days but with signals. Then celebrate the praises of thy Lord again and again, and glorify Him in the evening and in the morning.' S. 3:38-41 Shakir

When he called upon his Lord in a low voice, He said: MY LORD! surely my bones are weakened and my head flares with hoariness, and, my Lord! I have never been unsuccessful in my prayer to Thee: And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir, Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased. O Zakariya! surely We give you good news of a boy whose name shall be Yahya: We have not made before anyone his equal. He said: O MY LORD! when shall I have a son, and my wife is barren, and I myself have reached indeed the extreme degree of old age? HE SAID: So shall it be, YOUR LORD SAYS: It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing. He said: My Lord! give me a sign. He said: Your sign is that you will not be able to speak to the people three nights while in sound health. S. 19:3-10 Shakir

These passages mention Zechariah's prayer to God for a son, the angels' response, and the subsequent discussion which allegedly took place between them. Zechariah addresses the angels, or one specific angel, as his lord! Here is a portion of the passage that makes this point clear:

He said, 'O my Lord, how shall I have a son, seeing my wife is barren, and I have attained to the declining of old age?' SAID HE, 'So it shall be; THY LORD says, "Easy is that for Me, seeing that I created thee aforetime, when thou wast nothing."' S. 19:8-9 Arberry

The person speaking refers to what Zechariah's lord had said, which makes it obvious that the one speaking to Zechariah could not be Allah. And yet, as is obvious from the passages, Zechariah was addressing the person speaking to him as his lord!

Mary is also depicted as addressing the angels or one of the angels as her lord:

"Behold! THE ANGELS SAID: 'O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee - chosen thee above the women of all nations. O Mary! worship thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.' This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Messenger) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with pens (or arrows), as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point). Behold! THE ANGELS SAID: 'O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.' She said: 'O MY LORD! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?' HE SAID: 'Even so; Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, "Be," and it is!'" S. 3:42-47

Thus, the Quran portrays prophets and believers as violating another aspect of Islamic monotheism! It does seem that Allah has bid some prophets and believers to unbelief after they had bowed to him.

{2} Al-Jauziyyah’s statement that Muslims are not to swear by anyone or anything besides Allah is another contradiction, since the Quran often swears by creation:

But nay! I swear by the stars, And the night when it departs, And the morning when it brightens, Most surely it is the Word of an honored apostle, S. 81:16-19 Shakir

But nay! I swear by the sunset redness, S. 84:16 Shakir

Thus, this is either Muhammad that is swearing, or Allah. If it is Muhammad, then he was guilty of committing shirk according to the definition given by al-Jauziyyah. And if Abualrub wishes to say that it is Allah who is swearing then this not only proves that he is inconsistent since he does the very thing which he forbids his worshipers from doing, but further shows that he is not the true God of the Holy Bible:

"For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself." Hebrews 6:13

For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Hebrews 6:16

"I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow..." Isaiah 45:23

"I swear by Myself, says the LORD." Jeremiah 22:5

Either position will leave Abualrub in a very difficult and awkward position. Unless, of course, Abualrub wants to claim that even this practice of God swearing only by himself has also been abrogated!

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