There are no contradictions in the Quran

"Do they not attentively consider the Quran? If it had been from any besides Allah, they would certainly have found therein many contradictions." (Sura 4:82, translation by George Sale).

The Quran confirms and explains the Bible

"This Quran could not have been composed by any except Allah; but it is a confirmation of that which was revealed before it, and an explanation of the scripture; there is no doubt thereof; sent down from the Lord of all creatures." (Sura 10:37).

The unsurpassed literary quality

"Will they say, 'Muhammed hath forged it'? Answer: 'Bring therefore a chapter like unto it, and call whom ye may to your assistance, besides Allah, if ye speak truth.'" (Sura 10:38).

This is amplified and underlined by the commentator of the Mishkat:

"The Quran is the greatest wonder among the wonders of the world. It repeatedly challenged the people of the world to bring a chapter like it, but they failed and the challenge remains unanswered up to this day. ... This book is second to none in the world according to the unanimous decision of the learned men in points of diction, style, rhetoric, thoughts and soundness of laws and regulations to shape the destinies of mankind." (Mishkat III, page 664). (An answer to this challenge is given on pp. 72 ff.).

The Quran says: "If men and jinn (spirit) should combine together to bring the like of this Quran, they cannot bring the like of this Quran, they cannot bring the like of it, though some of them help others. ... (Sura 17:88), (see also Sura 2:23).

Literary quality was one of the earliest arguments for the divine character of the Quran, and that is why Mohammed repeatedly challenged his contemporaries "This Qur'an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it and a fuller explanation of the Book wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the Worlds. Or do they say "He forged it"? Say: "Bring then a Surah like unto it and call (to your aid) anyone you can besides Allah if it be ye speak the truth!" (Sura 10:37-38) (see also Suras 11:13 and 52:33-34).

In Sura 43:3 it is said that the Quran is in the "Mother of Books", referring to the eternal heavenly tablets on which it is preserved. Because of this it is also called glorious. (Sura 85:22).

In many Islamic writings, we are told that Islam and the Quran are superior to the Bible and Christianity. This argument is substantiated by pointing to "Christian society" or the "Christian world" of today, where materialism, immorality and faithlessness are rampent. We disregard this, because there is in reality no "Christian society", or a "Christian world" to which one can point. In reply, we would ask Muslims some questions: WHAT EXACTLY AND PRECISELY IN THE QURAN IS SUPERIOR TO THE BIBLE? IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE QURAN THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE BIBLE? IN WHICH RESPECTS IS ISLAMIC MORALITY OR ITS ETHICS SUPERIOR TO THE BIBLE'S?

There are people alive who are able to quote the Quran from memory. (Hafiz).

Unlike the Bible the Quran has never been changed since it was given to Mohammed.

The Christian answer to the above:

  1. The attestation by one witness of a revelation without objective divine proof such as prophecy of divine signs, is unacceptable. (Isaiah 41:21-23, Deuteronomy 18:21-22, Exodus 10:1-2, etc.).

    Mohammed's coming was not accompanied by these (Suras 17:59, 88:93; 13:7,30; 6:37,109,124; 7:203; 2:87,99,118-119,151, 252; 3:183).

The Bible demands them as signs (Deuteronomy 18:22; Isaiah 41:21-24).

The contemporary Jews demanded such credentials for Mohammed's prophethood - but he was unable to comply, as his reply to them shows:

Sura 3:183:

  1. If the message is the revelation from God (=nazil), it must contain neither error, nor contradiction in the original text. Muslims claim that the Quran has remained unchanged from its inception but it does in fact contain both error and contradiction as we have seen.

    It contains contradictions between it and the Bible, which in many of the cases mentioned earlier are from Genesis and Exodus - books that were written 2 000 years earlier than the Quran. This means that the Biblical source is contemporary to the events or at least very considerably closer to them, and consequently more trustworthy than the Quran. In addition, the Quran contradicts itself as we have observed.

    One would, for example, turn to Caesar's "Gallic War" to discover the history of that era rather than to a much later writer whose account did not quote other sources and that differed widely from the "Gallic War".

  2. Where two "Books" i.e. the Bible and the Quran, both claim to be final, sole, full and universal in their message, yet display strongly contrasting standpoints, only internal and external evidence will reveal which of the two is divine.

  3. The diacritical marks and vowel signs of the Arabic language were introduced only after the Quran became widely known. Those marks can change the meaning of words, and indeed, when introduced, there were arguments about many a word. (See chapter "Collection of the Quran", pp. 44, 47-48, 57).

  4. The claim that the Quran is entire and complete is not acceptable. (See chapter "Collection of the Quran").

  5. The Quran, according to most scholars, cannot be interpreted (Tafsir) without consulting the tradition (Hadis) of the Prophet Mohammed. Muslims consider the life of Mohammed to have been an explanation and an interpretation of the Quran. The Hadis, as we shall later see, by no means provides an accurate or conclusive picture of Mohammed, since these traditions were collected and recorded about two and a half centuries later, and the selection thereof (only 1 % of all the collected traditions were selected by al-Bukhari) was again entirely dependent on the judgement of one person.

  6. The emphasis on the total absence of variation in manuscripts (in contrast with the Biblical manuscripts, which do vary, not in message, but in some detail) can be adequately understood only if one remembers that the third Khalif, Uthman, ordered the destruction of all manuscripts after having compiled one version. (See chapter "Collection of the Quran").

  7. Concerning the fine literary quality of the Quran (measured obviously against other human pieces of literature): it is as irrelevant as the statement that a Rolls Royce, being the best motor car ever produced, is for that reason divine. In every written language there must be a "best piece" of literature.

    Regarding the content of the message we should like to ask whether the Quran contains any information or has any qualities that were not accessible or available in some form during the life of Mohammed.

  8. If the Quran is an eternally preexisting, divine revelation, Muslims will have to explain the very apparent marks of man in it. Large portions of the Quran are preoccupied with the personal and political affairs of one man and his companions at one particular stage in history. Most of these statements have no value to any other generation in history. (See chapter "Sources of Islam").

  9. There is what is called a photographic memory. This can easily account for the memorization of the Quran. We are, however, also aware of such faculty originating from spiritist sources.

  10. The last point is frequently met with strong emotional rejection by Muslims. We must, therefore, apologize in advance for touching on a matter that is most contentious. If we offend any religious feelings here or elsewhere, it is not done from a sneering or superior attitude. The reader will have to accept that we do not want to hurt him in any way - except with a view to uncovering facts that might help him to find the Truth of God and eternal life.

Christians and Muslims believe in good and bad, light and darkness, God and the Devil. There is constant spiritual warfare between these forces. Each man or woman; boy or girl living on earth is the prize in this battle. God gives His rewards to His followers - and so does the Devil. One of the main tasks of the Devil is betrayed by his biblical name. He is called "diabolos" or "one who mixes up things." From time immemorial we know first of primitive, but later developing, forms of witchcraft and spiritism. This incorporates direct contact with spirits and intelligent communication between a medium and a spirit and vice versa. Fortune telling, which one may call the "prophecy" of the devil, is one of the features that is inclined to bring man into bondage.

Spiritism of any form is rejected by and forbidden in the Bible in no uncertain terms (Deuteronomy 18:10:14, Leviticus 20:6 etc.).

This passage is immediately followed by the words:

It has been established ("Christians Answer Muslims", pp. 111ff.) that this refers to Jesus. So we must not go to any other source but Him. To ensure us of His trustworthiness and reliability, the prophets of old foretold His coming and work in much detail. (ibid. pp. 48 ff.).

It lies in the nature of the diabolos, Satan, to confuse this. His first words recorded in the Bible are "Should God have said....?" - sowing doubt and distrust. Consequently, in the battle for mankind, Satan has provided his revelations also. They are subtle, no doubt, or else no-one would be tripped up thereby. So we Christians are extremely careful not to accept anything as coming from God, which is actualy from another source.

With this in mind we ask the question: Is the Jahveh Elohim (Lord God) of the Bible really the same as al'illah of the Quran? Contrary to the view of the Quran, the objective student must agree that - although we may use the English term "God" for both - they are not likely to be the same. Who is Allah then? He was not, of course, an invention of Mohammed's. Al'illah was not unknown before the coming of Mohammed. Allah is a form of "al'illah", which means "the God". We note the article, "the". He was generally known before Mohammed's time as can be seen in the name of Mohammed's father, for instance, which was Abd-ullah (slave of Allah). His uncle's name was Obeidallah.

We also know of poets who used the name Allah before Mohammed.The seven "Moallaqat" by Imra'ul Cays and the "Dewan" by Labid refer to Allah. (For further information on pre-Islamic knowledge we refer to the chapter "Sources of Islam" pp. 96 ff.)."

We are aware of the explanation by our Muslim friends, that over the period of some 2 500 years since Abraham and Ishmael began worshipping God to the time of Mohammed, Allah had gradually been degraded in status to be placed, eventually, among the heathen deities of idolatrous Arabia. This maybe so, but does not really convince us. Also, we see no support for this view in the faith that the Hanifites had in the God of Abraham. They must have been in contact with the Jews and Christians in the Arabian Peninsula, who had knowledge of the story of Abraham in the Bible. What confirms this is that of the six contemporaries of Mohammed that are titled Hanif, half became Christians and one confessed not to know the right way.

The following account is from the Sirat:

All these points on which we are to elaborate in this study show justifiable reasons why Christians are so sceptical about Islam. We find that the common belief of Muslims is not really based on historical Islam and on the original theology of the Quran, the Hadis and the theologians who understood Islam and its message in its original context.

QUESTION: If you compare the evidences for the inspiration of the Quran with those of the Bible, must you not honestly admit that the Biblical evidences ("Christians Answer Muslims" pp. 43ff., 105, 135) are incomparable?

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