(All Koran quotations are taken from Pickthall’s translation of the Koran. All Bible quotations are taken from the American Standard Version of the Bible.)
The modern seeker of truth is often presented with overwhelming reasons to acknowledge either Christ or Mohammed as the final messenger of God. These reasons are not necessarily valid and factually presented. Nevertheless, many of them have made an enormous impact. Some seekers have accepted their respective hero of faith with little or no consideration of the documents available. As a result of limited expositions of the revered texts, many have been easily persuaded that a book as vile, corrupt and abhorrent as the Koran is God’s complete and final revelation to man. It is the intent of this study to present a brief examination of some evidences which expose the fallacies within the Islamic religion’s sacred book.
Some preliminary thoughts are in order for a proper examination of this topic:
- The Koran is accepted by Muslims as the complete and final revelation to man. The Old and New Testaments are considered to contain some of God’s revelation but do not contain a complete, uncorrupted record of God’s word. The words of the Koran were supposed to be delivered to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. The Hadiths (the sayings of Mohammed) are also accepted by Muslims as authoritative but not recognized as divinely inspired as is the Koran. In order to demonstrate the truthfulness of Christianity and the validity of the gospel accounts, a Muslim must be made aware of the fallibility of the Koran and the contrasting reliability of the Bible.
- According to the Koran, Jesus is a prophet lower than Mohammed. He was not the Son of God, God incarnate, or the fleshly propitiation for the sins of man. An imposter was crucified in his place to deceive the Jews. Correspondingly, he did not resurrect from the dead. In addition to a critical overview of the Koran, a deeper evaluation of these two revered spiritual leaders, Jesus and Mohammed, is appropriate for any seeker of truth. The facts demonstrate the polar dissimilarities between the two persons associated with these sacred books.
- There are many common beliefs cherished by people of both religions. The similarities of some teachings of the Bible and the Koran result in the appreciation of some similar virtues. Both will acknowledge a single God, though Islam rejects a plurality of manifestations in the Godhead. Both religious texts acknowledge the sovereignty of God, the problem of sin, the concept of spoken and written revelation, the resurrection of the dead, and a final judgment of man. Notably, the concept of atonement is nowhere to be found in Islam whereas it is a dominant theme in the Bible. The common ground matters of faith should assist in communicating properly with the seeker of truth of an Islamic background.
The Koran is filled with many scientific errors which reflect the primitive ideas of the time in which it was written. Contrastingly, the Bible was written hundreds and thousands of years before the Koran but is lacking scientific fallacies common to antiquity. The many inaccuracies reveal that the Koran is not of divine origin but a mere product of man’s primeval perspective of the universe.
Consider Surah 21:33, “And He it is who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit.” This was a common mistake that people of the sixth century would make concerning the movement of the cosmos. From the perspective of man, it seemed reasonable that the earth was the center of the universe, the sun and moon swimming in a course around it. An eternal deity, however, should have known better. Therefore, this honored document is certainly not the product of supernatural influence. The following passages further demonstrate this same perception of the material universe:
“Hast thou not seen how Allah causeth the night to pass into the day and causeth the day to pass into the night, and hath subdued the sun and the moon (to do their work), each running unto an appointed term; and that Allah is informed of what ye do?” (Surah 31:29)
“And the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise.” (Surah 36: 38 – 40)
“By the sun and his brightness, and the moon when she followeth him…” (Surah 91:1, 2)
It is further obvious that the authors of this text had a false view concerning the earth itself. The following passages demonstrate that the Koran’s authors believed the preposterous idea that the earth is flat.
“Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout.” (Surah 18:86)
“Who hath appointed the earth as a bed and hath threaded roads for you therein and hath sent down water from the sky and thereby we have brought forth divers kinds of vegetation.” (Surah 20:53)
Contrast these obvious cosmological errors with the Bible’s scientific accuracies. “It is he that sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers” (Isaiah 40:22). From the perspective of God, earth may properly be called a “circle” as the spherical shape gives that appearance from space. Man could not have had this perspective in ancient times. Job 26:7 states, “He stretcheth out the north over empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” Clearly, these words reflect a proper understanding of earth’s position in the solar system. The Bible reveals scientific facts concerning nature that no person of antiquity would be aware of. Notice these valuable passages:
“Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in the recesses of the deep?” (Job 38:16)
“The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas”. (Psalm 8:8)
Springs existing thousands of leagues under the sea and currents capable of carrying vessels through circular “paths” were not discovered until modern time. A divinely inspired author is assuredly responsible for the accuracy of these Bible texts. The Koran stands in blatant contrast with an absence of divine foreknowledge and an abundance of scientific blunders. These evidences demonstrate that, unlike the sixty-six books of the Bible, the Koran is not the revelation of God but merely a work of human invention. The aforesaid examples are but a fraction of the evidences of scientific errors in the Koran and the contrasting foreknowledge of the Bible.
Evidences of Violence
Although both the Christian and Muslim religions acknowledge the existence of God and the expectation that man would obey him, the standards of obedience are juxtaposed to one another by a differing code of ethics. The gospel teaches concerning the need for man to abstain from physical aggression and personal vengeance as his godly service. Consider these renowned words of Jesus Christ spoken during his ministry on earth:
“Ye have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matt 5:38 – 45)
Furthermore, as Jesus’ time of severe persecution approached, his disciple and friend, Simon Peter, drew his sword in defense of his Lord. He struck off the ear of the high priest’s servant with it. Notice the response of Jesus to this act of violence:
“Then saith Jesus unto him, ‘Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.’” (Matt 26:52)
What then may be said concerning the principles of the Christian religion pertaining to violence and aggression? Undoubtedly, Jesus was not in favor of attacking anyone who meant harm toward him. The movement of Christianity is not one which spread throughout the earth by force but was accepted by willing souls through the teaching of peace and forbearance. Christ’s words to Pilate prior to his crucifixion enlighten us to this very concept.
“My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (Jn 18:36)
The Heavenly origin of the Kingdom principles is not in accordance with the baser instincts of man’s sinful condition. Islam, however, promotes the basest of human mentalities. It may be easily concluded that the God of Islam is not the same God of Christ and the Apostles in view of the contrasting views concerning conflict. Consider the words of the Koran regarding the initiation of violence against persons holding conflicting beliefs:
“Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.” (Surah 9:29)
Is it not easily realized that these supposed commands from God are in accordance to human wisdom and would result merely in the perpetuation of conflict? Does not the student of religion effortlessly recognize why Islam has caused such massive destruction of human life throughout the world? The Koran is the source of a message which advocates uninhibited violence. The advancement of personal retribution is nowhere to be found, however, in the pages of the New Testament. The Messiah himself establishes a record of tolerance, love and respect for human life. Consider the fruit which emanates from God’s Spirit, as presented in the New Testament:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof. If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Gal 5:22 – 26)
The antagonistic elements which emanate from the fleshly, sinful heart of man are easily recognized within the pages of the Koran. Among those listed in the Bible, “strife” and “enmities” are condemned behaviors, unbecoming the character of a Christian (Gal 5:21, 22). Instead of being rejected, however, these behaviors are embraced as admirable traits in the Koran. These values are truly the reverse of the doctrine of Christ. Notice these passages from the Koran:
“And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.” (Surah 2:191)
“Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.” (Surah 2:116)
“Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” (Surah 4:74)
It is not merely the dogma of radicalism which has resulted in widespread warring, hatred, and terrorism throughout the world. The Koran itself advocates atrocities of the worst kind and those truly faithful to the Muslim message are those who execute the commands of such a repugnant literary work. These passages demonstrate that the source of the Koran is not divine but is far too depraved to represent a supremely good Deity.
Further evidences for the human origin of the Koran will be presented in the second part of this critique.