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Basic Worldview:
104 Why Christianity?


Evidentiary Religions - Islam Introduction

Evidentiary Religions - Islam Introduction
Koran and Judeo-Christian Apostles
Koran and Judeo-Christian Scriptures
Koran Contradicts Judeo-Christianity (Part 1)
Koran Contradicts Judeo-Christianity (Part 2)
Koran Contradicts Judeo-Christianity (Part 3)
Koran Contradicts Judeo-Christianity (Part 4)
Another Gospel and Explaining the Success of Islam (P. 1)
Explaining the Success of Islam (Part 2)
Explaining the Success of Islam (Part 3)
Islam Conclusions

Introduction
| Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3




Evidentiary Religions

Earlier we defined Evidentiary religions as belief systems, which offer objective evidence to support their claims. They ask their potential followers to accept the validity of their truth claims based upon an appeal to objectively verifiable evidence that they offer as proof of the accuracy of those claims.

While we studied more than 10 different forms of Propositional Mysticism, there are only three Evidentiary religions. All of which are also monotheistic. They are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Though several of the Propositional religions we looked at did borrow from these Evidentiary religions, they did not attempt to substantiate their claims with an appeal to objective evidence. This being the case, the first truly Evidentiary religion that we will look at is Islam.


Islam

As we have stated earlier in this series of articles, perhaps the most significant question we can ask of the religions of the world is this: How can we know that the claims of this religion are true and accurate representations of God? This section of the article series will apply that question to Mohammed and Islam.

Of course, any person, man or woman, can stand up and claim to have a message from God. But the question is how are the rest of us to know whether or not that individual is actually God's messenger of truth or if they are just pretending or delusional? What objective evidence or proofs are available to demonstrate that an individual is speaking as God's appointed messenger? What proofs does that individual messenger point to as evidence to substantiate their claims? We will now turn our attention to analyzing Islam in light of these questions.


Introduction to Islam

This section of our series will compare Islam to Judeo-Christianity. Before we get into our analysis, it is necessary that we cover some of the basics about the religion of Islam.

"Muhammad, prophet of Islam - [Arab.,= praised], 570?-632, the name of the Prophet of Islam, one of the great figures of history, b. Mecca." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Muhammad - born c. 570 , Mecca, Arabia [now in Saudi Arabia] died June 8, 632, Medina in full Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Mut talib ibn Hashim; founder of the religion of Islam and of the Muslim community." - Britannica.com

One of the first things that we can know about Islam is that it was founded by Mohammed, a man born in Mecca of Arabian descent, who lived in 570-632 AD.

"Islam - major world religion belonging to the Semitic family; it was promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century AD." - Britannica.com

"Islam - [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim [Arab.,=one who submits]." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

From the encyclopedia excerpts above, we can see that Islam was founded by Mohammed in the first half of the seventh century AD. This means that Islam arrives nearly 600 years after Christianity. And, as the Columbia Encyclopedia notes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam make up the world's 3 monotheistic religions. This is very significant to our current study.

Apart from Judeo-Christianity, Islam is the only other Evidentiary religion (the only other religion that actually offers and appeals to objective evidence to verify its claims.) So, if Islam is invalid for any reason that would lend favor to Judeo-Christianity as the most logical choice among world religions. (The relationship and comparison of Judaism and Christianity is covered later on in this study.)


Introduction to Analysis

It might be suggested that Islam and Christianity contain a basic harmony of belief, which allows them both to be true. In other words, some might suggest that Islam and Christianity are really in harmony with one another to a large extent. But such a suggestion is only possible for those who either stand in ignorance of these religions or who irresponsibly sweep over the details of each religion's claims and beliefs. So, as we begin to examine the unique claims and beliefs of Islam and Christianity, it will be necessary to establish the extent to which these are, in fact, competing religions. In short, we will need to examine and demonstrate the extent to which Islam and Christianity are fundamentally and inherently in contradiction of one another, despite the naive or wishful thinking of those who would suggest otherwise.

When analyzing the claims of two competing religions such as Islam and Christianity, the presumption might be that each religion simply denies the other, including the other's sacred texts. On such occasions where each religion denies the other, it would be necessary to uncover which religion's claims were true and which were false. Or perhaps both are false.

However, with regard to Islam and Christianity, this is not exactly the case, at least not in both directions. While a strong case will be made that Christianity and its sacred texts actually deny Islamic beliefs and Islamic sacred texts, this is not the case with Islam. Islam actually endorses and in fact relies upon the divine legitimacy of both Judaism and Christianity as religions established by God. We will demonstrate this point thoroughly by quotes from the Islamic sacred text, which is known as the Koran (also spelled "Qur'an.")

Islam's reliance upon the divine legitimacy of Judaism and Christianity can be examined in terms of their practical necessity within Islam and in terms of the actual endorsement of those religions made within the Koran.

In the Koran, Islam's dependence upon Judaism and Christianity comes primarily in two forms. First, the Koran constantly asserts that the apostles who founded Judaism and Christianity are God's apostles and of the same merit as Mohammed himself. Second, the Koran actually specifically and unequivocally affirms the God-inspired nature of both Jewish and Christian scriptures. As we establish these two forms of endorsement, we will also discuss the practical necessity, which motivates Islam to make such affirmations of Judeo-Christian apostles and scriptures.

But, the fact that Islam itself affirms the divine origin of Judeo-Christian apostles and sacred texts dramatically alters the dynamic of our analysis of the two religions. Instead of having a scenario in which each religion denies the other's claims and sacred texts, Islam actually endorses and relies upon the divine trueness of Judaism and Christianity. This simple fact shifts our examination.

So long as both religions declared each other to be false, we'd have to decide which of the two (if either) was true. But since Islam inherently and repeatedly relies on Judaism and Christianity being of divine origin, the claims and sacred texts of Judeo-Christianity would have to be compatible with Islam. If the sacred texts of Judeo-Christianity contradict Islam while Islam upholds their reliability and divine origin, then Islam is in contradiction of itself.

On the one hand Islam claims Judeo-Christianity and its sacred texts originate from God and from other apostles like Mohammed. But on the other hand, what if these religions and their sacred texts deny or contradict Islam? This would mean either one of two things.

First, Mohammed and Islam are in contradiction of what the Koran itself repeatedly declares to be God's apostles and God's scriptures. Or second, Judeo-Christianity and its sacred texts are incorrect on all points and issues where they contradict Islam. But if the Judeo-Christian apostles and scriptures, which the Koran affirms as God's work, are in error, then they cannot be God's work as the Koran claims. And that would mean that the Koran is in error for affirming them as God-given predecessors, in which case Islam would also be nullified.

In either case, if the Judeo-Christian beliefs and sacred texts contradict Islam and the Koran, then Islam is in error through contradiction, not just contradiction with Judeo-Christianity, but contradiction with itself because of the endorsement claims made by the Koran.

Now that we have laid out the course this section of articles will take, it is necessary to thoroughly establish all of these arguments, which we will now do extensively by quoting the Koran itself, Islam's sacred book.


Introduction to the Koran

As we begin this section we should say that it is our intent to give an overwhelming amount of quotes from both common reference sources as well as the Koran itself. Please forgive the large number of quotes, but we want to be sure to thoroughly establish our points using credible sources.

NOTE 1: All quotations from the Koran are identified in terms of page number, chapter, and verse as denoted in The Koran, translated by N.J. Dawood, Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA. 1999.

NOTE 2: The chapters of the Koran are organized from longest to shortest and, therefore, the chapter numbers do not in any way indicate which statements were given first.

Regarding NOTE 2, N.J. Dawood himself writes the following:

"In preparing the contents of the Koran for book-form its editor or editors followed no chronological sequence. Its chapters were arranged generally in order of length, the longest coming first and the shortest last. Attempts have been made by Noldeke, Grimme, Rodwell, and Bell to arrange the chapters in chronological order, but scholars are agreed that a strictly chronological arrangement is impossible without dissecting some of the chapters into scattered verses, owing to the inclusion of revelations spoken in Medina in chapters begun several years earlier in Mecca."

Before we begin our survey of quotes from the Koran, it is necessary to establish how the text of the Koran was compiled.

"Qur'an - After the Prophet's death, and especially after the battle of Yamamah (633), in which a great number of those who knew the Qur'an by heart had fallen, fear arose that the knowledge of the Qur'an might disappear. So it was decided to collect the revelations from all available written sources and, as Muslim tradition has it, "from the hearts [i.e., memories] of people." A companion of the Prophet, Zayd ibn Thabit, is said to have copied on sheets whatever he could find and to have handed it over to the caliph 'Umar. After 'Umar's death the collection was left in the care of his daughter Hafsah. Other copies of the Qur'an appear to have been written later, and different versions were used in different parts of the Muslim empire. So that there would be no doubt about the correct reading of the Qur'an, the caliph 'Uthman (644-656) is reported to have commissioned Zayd ibn Thabit and some other learned men to revise the Qur'an using the "sheets" of Hafsah, comparing them with whatever material was at hand, and consulting those who knew the Qur'an by heart. It was decided that in case of doubt about the pronunciation, the dialect of Quraysh, the Prophet's tribe, was to be given preference. Thus an authoritative text of the Qur'an (now known as the 'Uthmanic recension) was established." - Britannica.com

Koran translator N.J. Dawood states similarly.

"During Muhammed's lifetime verse were written on palm-leaves, stones, and any material that came to hand. Their collection was completed during the caliphate of 'Umar, the second Caliph, and an authorized version was established during the caliphate of 'Uthman, his successor (644-56)." (Koran, p. 2.)

As we can see, the collection of texts known as the Koran were not written by Mohammed, nor was it compiled in his lifetime. Instead, Mohammed is said to have spoken these revelations during his lifetime and after his death, the revelations were collected from memory and written portions held mostly by people who originally attended a particular recital session. This process of compiling the text was completed during the reign of caliph 'Uthman, who reigned from 644-656 AD, no sooner than 14 years after Mohammed's death.

Nevertheless, we should note that this is well within the historic standards established early on in this study for determining the historicity of a person and their teaching. As such, it is consistent with this standard to conclude that the teachings in the Koran are the historical teachings actually given by Mohammed.

Next, it is important to establish the central importance the Koran holds within Islam.

"Muhammad - About 610, as he reflected on such matters, Muhammad had a vision of a majestic being (later identified with the angel Gabriel) and heard a voice saying to him, "You are the Messenger of God." This marked the beginning of his career as messenger (or apostle) of God (rasul Alla H ), or Prophet (nabi )... About 650 they were collected and written in the Qur'an (or Koran, the sacred scriptures of Islam), in the form that has endured." - Britannica.com

"Islam - The Qur'an (literally, Reading, or Recitation) is regarded as the Word, or Speech, of God delivered to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. Divided into 114 surahs (chapters) of unequal length, it is the fundamental source of Islamic teaching." - Britannica.com

"Qur'an - The Qur'an is held in high esteem as the ultimate authority in all matters legal and religious and is generally regarded as infallible in all respects." - Britannica.com

Notice from the above quotes that the Koran is the sacred scripture of Islam and that it is considered to be the record of what God spoke and revealed to Mohammed. It is also regarded as not only "the fundamental source of Islamic teaching" but also as the "infallible" and "ultimate authority in all matters legal and religious."

The Koran itself attests repeatedly that is it is God's revelation. Keep in mind as you read these quotes from the Koran that the speaker is believed to be God himself whose words are merely being recited by Mohammed, as we will establish in greater detail below.

These are the verses of the Book. That which has been revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth, yet most men do not believe. (Koran, p. 175, 13:1.)

We have revealed to you this Book so that, by their Lord's will, you may lead mankind from darkness to the light; to the path of the Mighty, the Glorious One: the path of God, to whom belongs all that the heavens and the earth contain. (Koran, p. 179, 14:1, 1st Para. - 2nd Para.)

Say: 'This is the truth from your Lord. Let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.' (Koran, p. 208, 18:27, 3rd Para.)

A Scripture of Our own have We given you: those that reject it shall bear a heavy burden on the Day of Resurrection. (Koran, p. 225, 20:97, 3rd Para.)

We have revealed the Koran in clear verses. God gives guidance to whom He will. (Koran, p. 235, 22:14, 3rd Para.)

These are the revelations of the Koran, a Glorious Book; a guide and joyful tidings to true believers, who attend to their prayers and render the alms levy and firmly believe in the life to come. (p. 264, 27:1.)

In this Koran we have set forth for men all manner of arguments. (Koran, p. 288, 30:56, 3rd Para.)

These are the revelations of the Wise Book, a guide and a blessing to the righteous, who attend to their prayers, render the alms levy, and firmly believe in the life to come (Koran, p. 288, 31:1.)

This Book is beyond all doubt revealed by the Lord of the Universe. Do they say: 'He has invented it himself'? Surely it is the truth from your Lord, so that you may forewarn a nation whom none has warned before you, and that they may be rightly guided. (Koran, p. 291, 32:1, 1st Para. - 3rd Para.)

This Book is revealed by God, the Mighty, the Wise One. We have revealed to you the Book with Truth: therefore serve God and worship none but Him. (Koran, p. 321, 39:1.)

God has now revealed the best of scriptures, a Book uniform in style proclaiming promises and warnings. Those who fear their Lord tremble with awe at its revelations, and their skins and hearts melt at the remembrance of God. Such is God's guidance: He bestows it on whom He will. (Koran, p. 324, 39:23 - p. 325, 39:37.)

This Book is revealed by God, the Mighty One, the Wise One. (Koran, p. 350, 1:1, 1st Para. - p. 351, 2nd Para.)

And, as you may have noticed from the some of the references earlier, the Koran is believed to have been delivered to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. We will establish this point specifically now because it will become more important later on in this study.

"Muhammad - About 610, as he reflected on such matters, Muhammad had a vision of a majestic being (later identified with the angel Gabriel) and heard a voice saying to him, "You are the Messenger of God." This marked the beginning of his career as messenger (or apostle) of God (rasul Alla H ), or Prophet (nabi )." - Britannica.com

"Islam - The Qur'an (literally, Reading, or Recitation) is regarded as the Word, or Speech, of God delivered to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel." - Britannica.com

And, the Koran itself makes this same declaration.

Say: 'Whoever is an enemy of Gabriel' (who has by God's grace revealed to you the Koran as a guide and joyful tiding for the faithful, confirming previous scriptures) 'whoever is an enemy of God, His angels, or His apostles, or of Gabriel or Michael, will surely find that God is the enemy of the unbelievers.' (Koran, p. 19, 2:93, 6th Para. - 2:98.)

Additionally, the Koran is said to be a transcript of a book that exists in heaven.

"Islam - This phenomenon at the same time was accompanied by an unshakable conviction that the message was from God, and the Qur'an describes itself as the transcript of a heavenly 'Mother Book' written on a 'Preserved Tablet.'" - Britannica.com

"Qur'an - also spelled Koran: holy book of Islam, regarded by believers as the true word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. In its written form it is accepted as the earthly reproduction of an uncreated and eternal heavenly original, according to the general view referred to in the Qur'an itself as 'the well-preserved tablet' (al-lawh al-mahfu z ; Qur'an 85:22)." - Britannica.com

The Koran itself asserts that it is a transcript of a book that exists in heaven.

Have you not heard the story of the warriors of Pharaoh and of Thamud? Yet the unbelievers still deny it. God surrounds them all. Surely this is a glorious Koran, inscribed on an imperishable tablet. (Koran, p. 423, 85:10, 3rd Para. - 85:22.)

By the Glorious Book! We have revealed the Koran in the Arabic tongue that you may understand its meaning. It is a transcript of the eternal book in Our Keeping, sublime, and full of wisdom. (Koran, p. 343, 43:1, 1st Para. - 2nd Para.)

And not only is the Koran regarded as a transcript of a heavenly book, but it is also held to be a transcript of the very words of God himself. In fact, the word "Koran" actually means "recital."

"Islam - The Qur'an (literally, Reading, or Recitation) is regarded as the Word, or Speech, of God delivered to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel." - Britannica.com

"Qur'an- or Koran [Arab.,=reading, recitation], the sacred book of Islam. Revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad..." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

Consequently, in Islam the Koran is viewed as the "Word of God" in a way that is unique from the Judeo-Christian view of scripture. In Judeo-Christianity, scripture is viewed as having been written by men who were guided and kept from error by God as they wrote. In this way God inspired these men's writing and because God sanctioned and guided their works, their writings are regarded as the infallible instruction of God for all mankind. Only in the case of specific prophecies, particularly those exhibited by the Old Testament prophets, do we see God's Word recorded word for word as he gave a message to a particular prophet. But in Islam, the Koran is very directly believed to be the Word of God in the sense that God himself is said to be effectively speaking through Mohammed for the entire duration, with very few exceptions.

"Muhammad - From this time, at frequent intervals until his death, he received 'revelations' - that is, verbal messages that he believed came directly from God...Muslims believe the Qur'an is divine revelation, written in the words of God himself." - Britannica.com

"Qur'an - God in the Qur'an speaks in the first person...Being the verbatim Word of God, the text of the Qur'an is valid for religious purposes only in its original Arabic, cannot be modified, and is not translatable, although the necessity for non-Arabic interpretations is recognized." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Qur'an - The Qur'an generally appears as the speech of God, who mostly speaks in the first person plural ("we"). When the prophet Muhammad is speaking to his compatriots, his words are introduced by the command, "Say," thus emphasizing that he is speaking on divine injunction only." - Britannica.com

The Koran itself also declares that Mohammed is merely speaking or "reciting" the words that he is hearing spoken from God.

He does not speak out of his own fancy. This is an inspired revelation. He is taught by one who is powerful and mighty. (Koran, p. 371, 53:1, 2nd Para.)

(You need not move your tongue too fast to learn this revelation. We Ourself shall see to its collection and recital. When We read it, follow its words attentively; We shall Ourself explain its meaning.) Yet you love this fleeting life, and are heedless of the life to come. (Koran, p. 412, 75:1, 7th Para. - 75:21.)

When you have no verse to recite to them, they say: 'Have you not yet invented one?' Say: 'I follow only what is revealed to me by my Lord. This Book is a veritable proof from your Lord, a guide and a blessing to true believers.' When the Koran is recited, listen to it in silence so that you may be shown mercy. (Koran, p. 126, 7:199, 3rd Para. - 4th Para.)

We shall make you recite Our revelations, so that you shall forget none of them except as God pleases. He has knowledge of all that is manifest, and all that is hidden. (Koran, p. 424, 87:1, 2nd Para.)

And so, with good reason, in the Introduction for this edition of the Koran translator N.J. Dawood states the following:

"The Koran is the earliest and by far the finest work of Classical Arabic prose. For Muslims it is the infallible Word of God, a transcript of a tablet preserved in heaven, revealed to the Prophet Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel. Except in the opening verses and some few passages in which the Prophet or the Angel speaks in the first person, the speaker throughout is God." (Koran, Introduction, p. 1., 1st Para.)

So, while Judeo-Christian scriptures are called the Word of God because God is said to have inspired men to write them, the Koran is called the Word of God because God is said to have spoken it while Mohammed merely recited exactly what God spoke word for word, even as delivered to Mohammed through the angel Gabriel.

The point here is merely to demonstrate that for Islam, the Koran is the infallible Word of God, just as the Bible is viewed within Judeo-Christianity. Therefore, if the claims in the Koran are shown to be in contradiction with themselves, then the Koran is proved to be in error, in which case it cannot be the Word of God. And if the Koran is not the Word of God as Mohammed and Islam claim, then Mohammed is shown to be a false prophet, a man who falsely speaks for God, and Islam is shown to be a false religion.

Consequently, if Islam is a false religion, then it would provide no competition with Christianity. Instead of determining which of the two is correct, we would know that Islam is false because it contradicts itself by relying on a religion and set of sacred texts, which deny it. The result would be that Islam would be disproved by its own claims, and we would be left to examine the validity of Christianity on its own merits, without threat of competition from Islam. So, once we have established the self-contradiction within Islam, we will move on in the next section of this article series to examine the validity of Christianity in terms of its own merits and claims.

Lastly, we should point out that in the Koran, the phrase "People of the Book" is a reference to Jews and Christians because in the Koran the Jews and Christians are said to have received the scriptures before the Muslims. This is significant point to establish so that as we continue forward to survey quotes from the Koran, when we read the phrase "People of the Book," we will know that the Koran is speaking to Jews and Christians.

"Islam - Islamic law reserves a communal entity status for the ahl al-kitab, People of the Book, i.e., those with revealed religions, including Jews and Christians." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Islam - Jews and Christians were assigned a special status as communities possessing scriptures and called the "people of the Book" (ahl al-kitab) and, therefore, were allowed religious autonomy. They were, however, required to pay a per capita tax called jizyah, as opposed to pagans, who were required to either accept Islam or die." - Britannica.com

The Koran itself specifically expresses this fact.

We have revealed the Torah, in which there is guidance and light. By it the prophets who submitted to God judged the Jews, and so did the rabbis and the divines, according to God's Book which had been committed to their keeping and to which they themselves were witnesses. (Koran, p. 84, 5:41, 3rd Para. - 5:44, 1st Para.)

If the People of the Book accept the true faith and keep from evil, We will pardon them their sins and admit them to the gardens of delight. If they observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they shall enjoy abundance from above and from beneath. (Koran, p. 87, 5:65, 1st Para.)

Say: 'People of the Book, you will attain nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which has been revealed to you from your Lord.' (Koran, p. 87, 5:65, 3rd Para.)

Now that we know that the Koran provides the fundamental teaching of Islam and is regarded as the record of words spoken directly by God and recited by Mohammed, we can move on to examine the Koran's claims.


Mohammed as Part of a Tradition of God's Apostles

As promised earlier, we will now discuss the practical nature of the two following facts. First, the Koran places Mohammed as part of the line of God's apostles, which includes the main figures of both Judaism and Christianity. Second, the Koran affirms the sacred scriptures of Judeo-Christianity and asserts that Mohammed's words are confirmation of those scriptures. But what function does each of these two assertions serve?

In other words, why do Mohammed and the Koran need to be a part of previous scriptural and apostolic traditions?

Of course, as we've said repeatedly in this article series, anyone can stand up and claim to have a message from God or about God. But the question is, as people who sincerely want to know, how are we to determine whether or not someone is actually speaking the truth from God? How are we to know if they are speaking divine truths or if they are just pretending or delusional?

In light of these questions, let's consider for a moment what would happen if Mohammed and the Koran did not claim to be a part of previous scriptural and apostolic traditions. Essentially, there are only 2 choices. Mohammed can confirm previous scriptures and apostles and attempt to claim validity for himself by means of those past apostles and scriptures. Or, Mohammed can deny those previous scriptures and apostles and stand alone by himself as one voice speaking against them.

To understand the significance of this, we must understand that Mohammed admittedly performed no miracles (at least apart from the Koran itself, which is considered as miraculous.)

"Islam - He had no miracles except the Qur'an, the like of which no human can produce." - Britannica.com

The Koran itself affirms this quote from Britanica.com that the only miraculous sign given to Mohammed was said to be the Koran itself.

When you have no verse to recite to them, they say: 'Have you not yet invented one?' Say: 'I follow only what is revealed to me by my Lord. This Book is a veritable proof from your Lord, a guide and a blessing to true believers.' When the Koran is recited, listen to it in silence so that you may be shown mercy. (Koran, p. 126, 7:199, 3rd Para. - 4th Para.)

The fact that Mohammed himself performed no miracles to attest to his message is made even more ironic by the fact that according to the Koran some of the previous apostles, which the Koran appeals to for validation, did perform miracles.

"Islam - Prophethood is indivisible, and the Qur'an requires recognition of all prophets as such without discrimination. Yet they are not all equal, some of them being particularly outstanding in qualities of steadfastness and patience under trial. Abraham , Noah , Moses , and Jesus were such great prophets. As vindication of the truth of their mission, God often vests them with miracles: Abraham was saved from fire, Noah from the deluge, and Moses from the Pharaoh. Not only was Jesus born from the Virgin Mary, but God also saved him from crucifixion at the hands of the Jews." - Britannica.com

And the Koran itself often addresses this question of why Mohammed doesn't do miracles as other prophets and apostles have done before him. The fact that the Koran addresses this question demonstrates that it was an issue during Mohammed's own lifetime and one, which Mohammed was himself well aware of.

They ask: 'Why was no sign sent down to him from his Lord?' Say: 'God is well able to send down a sign.' But most of them are ignorant men. (Koran, p. 96, 6:36, 2nd Para. - 3rd Para.)

And they ask: 'Why has no sign been sent down to him by his Lord?' Say: 'God alone has knowledge of what is hidden. Wait if you will: I too am waiting.' (Koran, p. 149, 10:20, 1st Para. - 2nd Para.)

The unbelievers ask: 'Why has no sign been sent down to him by his Lord?' But you are only to give warning. Every nation has its mentor. (Koran, p. 175, 13:5, 4th Para.)

The unbelievers ask: 'Why has no sign been sent down to him by his Lord?' Say: 'God leaves in error whom He will, and guides to Himself those who repent and have faith; whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of God. Surely in the remembrance of God all hearts are comforted. Blessed are those who have faith and do good works; blissful is their end. (Koran, p. 177, 13:25, 4th Para.)

We sent forth other apostles before you and gave them wives and children. Yet none of them could work a miracle except by God's leave. Every age has a term decreed. God abrogates and confirms what He pleases. His is the Decree Eternal. (Koran, p. 178, 13:38 - p. 179, 13:39.)

Nothing hinders us from giving signs except that the ancients disbelieved them. To Thamud We gave the she-camel as a visible sign, yet they laid violent hands on her. We give signs only by way of warning. (Koran, p. 201, 17:58, 3rd Para.)

Some say: 'It (2) is but a medley of dreams.' Others: 'He has invented it himself,' And yet others: 'He is a poet: let him show us some sign, as did the apostles in days gone by.' [Yet though We showed them signs,] the communities whom We destroyed before them did not believe either. Will they believe? (Koran, p. 227, 21:1, 4th Para. - 21:6, 1st Para.)

They say: 'Why does he not bring us a sign from his Lord?' Have they not been given sufficient proof in previous scriptures? (Koran, p. 227, 20:132, 2nd Para.)

Notice from the last quote above that Mohammed's answer to the question "why can't you perform miracles?" is to assert that "previous scriptures" are the proof of his validity.

N.J. Dawood, in the introduction to his translation of the Koran, similarly states the following:

"Muhammed, who disclaimed power to perform miracles, firmly believed that he was the messenger of God, sent forth to confirm previous scriptures." (Koran, p. 2.)

Since Mohammed performed no miracles, if there was to be some independent confirmation that Mohammed was sent by God and not just making it up as he went along, the validation for his message would have to come in some other way. And for such independent corroboration, the Koran appeals to the previous apostles (prophets) and the previous scriptures. And herein lies the benefit to Mohammed for affirming and claiming a place among these other apostles and scriptures. Simply put, Mohammed's only method of validation that he was not just making things up came from his appeal to other known apostles and scriptures as confirmation of his own message. Without confirmation from other apostles and scriptures, Mohammed had no means or argument to defend himself from the accusation that he was inventing the Koran himself.

We should also add that the Koran itself records repeatedly that Mohammed was accused of making up the Koran himself.

When you have no verse to recite to them, they say: 'Have you not yet invented one?' Say: 'I follow only what is revealed to me by my Lord. This Book is a veritable proof from your Lord, a guide and a blessing to true believers.' When the Koran is recited, listen to it in silence so that you may be shown mercy. (Koran, p. 126, 7:199, 3rd Para. - 4th Para.)

Most of them follow nothing but mere conjecture. But conjecture is in no way a substitute for truth. God is cognizant of all their actions. This Koran could not have been devised by any but God. It confirms what was revealed before it and fully explains the Scriptures. It is beyond doubt from the Lord of the Universe. If they say: 'He invented it himself,' say: 'Bring me one chapter like it. Call on whom you may besides God to help you, if what you say be true!' (Koran, p. 150, 10:35, 3rd Para. - 5th Para.)

If they say: 'He has invented it (1) himself,' say to them: 'Produce ten invented chapters like it. Call on whom you will among your idols, if what you say be true. But if they fail you, know that it is revealed with God's knowledge, and that there is no god but Him. Will you then accept Islam?' (Koran, p. 157, 11:9, 4th Para.)

If they declare: 'He has invented it himself,' say: 'If I have indeed invented it, then may I be punished for my sin! I am innocent of yours.' (Koran, p. 159, 11:35, 1st Para.)

Some say: 'It (2) is but a medley of dreams.' Others: 'He has invented it himself,' And yet others: 'He is a poet: let him show us some sign, as did the apostles in days gone by.' [Yet though We showed them signs,] the communities whom We destroyed before them did not believe either. Will they believe? (Koran, p. 227, 21:1, 4th Para. - 21:6, 1st Para.)

This Book is beyond all doubt revealed by the Lord of the Universe. Do they say: 'He has invented it himself'? Surely it is the truth from your Lord, so that you may forewarn a nation whom none has warned before you, and that they may be rightly guided. (Koran, p. 291, 32:1, 1st Para. - 3rd Para.)

When Our revelations are recited to them, clear as they are, the unbelievers say: 'This is plain sorcery.' Such is their description of the truth when it is declared to them. Do they say: 'He has invented it himself'? Say: 'If I have indeed invented it, then there is nothing you can do to shield me from the wrath of God. He well knows what you say about it. Sufficient is He as my witness, and your witness. He is the Forgiving One, the Merciful.' (Koran, p. 353, 46:7, 1st Para. - 3rd Para.)

Do they say: 'He has invented it himself'? Indeed, they have no faith. Let them produce a scripture like it, if what they say be true! (Koran, p. 370, 52:25, 5th Para.)

This is no invented tale, but a confirmation of previous scriptures, an explanation of all things, a guide and a blessing to true believers. (Koran, p. 174, 12:111, 2nd Para.)

And notice again in the last quote above how part of Mohammed's defense against this accusation is to appeal to previous scriptures as the confirmation of his validity.

The fact that the Koran records the accusation that Mohammed was inventing the Koran himself again demonstrates that Mohammed was not only well aware of the accusation itself, but also of the need to answer it. And the answer Mohammed repeatedly offers as proof is his appeal to previous apostles and scriptures as confirmation of his own authenticity and message, which we will see exhaustibly below.

In our next section, we will use a large and varied assortment of quotes from the Koran in order to demonstrate that Mohammed does affirm Judeo-Christian apostles and scriptures. But as we close this section, we can clearly see the inescapable dilemma that Mohammed is in.

On the one hand, Mohammed performs no miracles. So, in order to demonstrate that he is not making up the Koran by himself, he must appeal to previous apostles and scriptures as confirmation of his validity. The frequency with which Mohammed does so itself demonstrates that it is absolutely necessary for him to do so and that he understands this necessity.

But, on the other hand, if Mohammed affirms previous apostles and scriptures as being sent from God in order to support his own authenticity, then Mohammed becomes subject to comparison with their teachings. If Mohammed would simply have denied previous apostles and scriptures, then the words of Judeo-Christian apostles and scripture could not necessarily be used to disprove Islam. But, since Mohammed himself necessarily affirms the divine origin of Judeo-Christian apostles and scriptures, we can thereby invalidate Mohammed's teaching (and all of Islam) if Mohammed's words in the Koran contradict the previous apostles and scriptures that he so frequently and necessarily affirms.


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