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The Holy Bible Versus the Quran

The following was authored by the late Christian theologian and apologist Dr. Labib Mikhail. I post it here for the benefit of the readers.

THE HISTORY OF THE Quran
Chapter 7

THE HISTORY

The Quran is the Muslim’s Holy Book – they call it “The Glorious Quran” or Al-Mushaf Al-Shareef. It contains one hundred and fourteen suras (a surat is a chapter). The suras are not arranged chronologically but by length. As those who arranged the Quran put the longest suras first and the shortest at the end.

Strange Names

Many suras in the Quran are named after animals or small creatures or other objects. One surat is named after the jinn (evil spirits).

Surat Al-Baqarah (Number 2) The Cow
Surat Al-An’am (Number 6) The Cattle
Surat Al-Ra’d (Number 13)  The Thunder
Surat Al-Nahl (Number 16) The Bee
Surat Al-Kahf (Number 18) The Cave
Surat Al-Naml (Number 27) The Ant
Surat Al-’Ankabut (Number 29) The Spider
Surat Al-Dukhan (Number 44)  The Smoke
Surat Al-Tur (Number 52)  The Mount
Surat Al-Najm (Number 53) The Star
Surat Al-Qamar (Number 54) The Moon
Surat Al-Hadid (Number 57) The Iron
Surat Al-Qalam (Number 68) The Pen
Surat Al-Jinn (Number 72) The Jinn
Surat Al-Buruj (Number 85) The Mansions of the Stars
Surat Al-Fajr (Number 89) The Dawn
Surat Al-Shams (Number 92) The Night
Surat Al-Layl (Number 92) The Night
Surat Al-Duha (Number 93) The Morning Hours
Surat Al-Tin ( Number 95) The Fig
Surat Al-’Alaq (Number 96) the Clot
Surat Al-Asr (Number 103) The Declining Day
Surat Al-Fil (Number 105) The Elephant
Surat Al-Falaq (Number 113) The Day Break

These are strange names for section of a book which Muhammad claimed was the book of Allah. It is difficult to understand why Allah would name the chapters of his book.  The Cow, The Bee, The Ant, The Spider, The Star, The Sun, The Night, the Fig, The Elephant and even the Jinn.

How the Quran Was Written

Sheikh Abd El-Fatah El-Kady wrote in his book Al Mushaf Al-Shareef (The Quran – Its History and Tests), pages 14 and 55:

The Quran was not delivered to Muhammad all at once. It came piecemeal according to the events and occasions, as we read in the Quran. [It is] a Quran which we have divided [into parts from time to time], intervals: We have revealed it by stages
(Surat Al-Isra 17:106)

He continues:

The Quran was written during Muhammad’s like, on the branches of palm trees, on thin stones, on paper, on skin, on shoulders and side bones of animals.

All of the Quran was written during Muhammad’s life, but was not collected in one volume. Its suras were not organized.  It was scattered on the branches of palm trees, skin and in the memories or breasts of Muhammad’s “close friends” (Al-Sahaba in Arabic).

Not only were the Quranic writings disorganized, but there were seven different versions of them. The reason for these different versions of the Quran is that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad in seven different ways (Al-Mushaf Al-Shareef, page 64).
Muhammad said in the Hadith:

The Quran has been revealed to be recited in seven different ways, so recite of it that which is easier for you (Sahih-al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, page 510).

Tabari, the great expositor of the Quran, said that the difference between, the seven versions of the Quran (Al-Ahruf Al-Sabaa) was not in the meaning but in the words. To illustrate: A person can use the word grace, gracefulness. Or the work goods, possessions, or property. But the fact is that the difference in those seven versions were not purely of words but at times related to the basic content of the Quran’s text itself.

After Muhammad’s death, at the time of caliph Abu-Bakr, many of those who had memorized the Quran died while fighting the apostates in the battle of “Al-yamama,” Omar feared that the death of those men would result in the loss of a great portion of the Quran and suggested to Abu-Bakr that the Quran should be collected in one volume. Abu-Bakr was reluctant to do that, because Muhammad did not collect the Quran in one volume during his life. After much discussion Omar persuaded Abu-Bakr to order the collection of the Quran. Abu-Bark ordered Aid Bin Sabot to do the job (Al-Mushaf Al-Shareef, page 59,60).

By Allah!  If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Quran. Zaid Ibn Sabit said. Then I said to Abu-Bakr, ” How will you do something which Allah’s Apostle did not do?”
Abu-Bakr said “By Allah, it is a good thing.”
(Sahih-al-Bukhari, Part 6, page 477).

It is quite clear that the collection of the Quran is something which Muhammad did not do. It is also clear that the Quran was not completely written in one volume during Muhammad’s life. This is why Omar and Abu-Bakr feared the loss of great portions of the Quran, If the men who memorized it should die.

Therefore Zaid Ibn Sabit agreed to collect the various pieces of the Quran. However, when Islam became the religion of many countries, every country used the version of the Quran which was known among them: the Syrians read Abi Kaab’s version, the people of Kofa read Abdallah Ibn Massoud’s version, others read Abu Moussa Al-ashaby’s version and so on. When Caliph Uthman took the caliphate, he was confronted by such confusion and sedition concerning the reading of the Quran in the different Islamic countries that he ordered it to be rewritten.

 Uthaman ordered Zaid Ibn Sabit and three other men form Quraysh, Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubeer, Saeed Ibn El-Uss, and Abdelrahman Ibn Al-Harith Ibn Hesham, to rewrite the Quran.  It was Uthman’s order to the scribes ” If you disagree with Zaid Ibn Sabit in anything of the Quran, write it in the language of Quraysh, because the Quran was revealed in the language of Quraysh.”  They did.
(Al-Mushaf Al-Shareef, Pages 66,70).

After Uthman competed his Quran he forced all the Islamic countries to have one Quran – and banned all other codices. He finished the matter by burning all other codices of the Quran.

Dr. Taha Hussein, a well known author, college professor, and minister of education in Egypt, wrote in his book Al- Fitnato Al-Kobra (The Great Sedition):

The prophet Muhammad said: “The Quran was revealed in seven dialects all of them are right and perfect.” When Uthman banned whichever he banned from the Quran, and burned whichever he burned of it, he banned passages Allah has revealed and burned parts of the Quran which were given to the Muslims by the messenger of Allah. He appointed a small group of the Sahaba (close friends of Muhammad) to rewrite the Quran and left out those who heard the prophet and memorized what he said. This is why Ibn Massoud was angry, because he was one of the best men who memorized the Quran. He said that he took from the mouth of the prophet seventy suras of the Quran while Zaid Ibn Sabit was yet a young lad. When Ibn Massoud objected to the burning of the other codices of the Quran, Uthman took him out of the mosque with violence, and struck him to the ground, and broke one of his ribs (The Great Sedition, pages 160,161,181,182).

It is very clear that much of the original Quran was burned, while other parts were rewritten.  How can we reconcile these historical facts with the following words of the Quran?

 Nay, this is a Glorious Quran [ inscribed] in a Tablet preserved (Sarat Al-Buru  85:21,22).

 That this is indeed a Quran most honorable in a book well guarded ( Sarat  Al-Waqiah 56:77,78).

If the Quran was inscribed in “a tablet preserved,” and in “a book well-guarded,” why was it necessary for Utham to rewrite the Quran?  How could he burn the other codices?  Why were there other codices in the first place? These are very serious questions regarding a book said to be God’s word.

The Bible Is The Gold Standard

To rightly evaluate the Quran, we have to compare it with the Bible. The Bible is the gold standard by which we must evaluate the Quran. Even the Quran declares that the Bible is the absolute standard. When Mohammad doubted the revelations given to him by the spirit who appeared to him at the cave of Hira, Allah directed him to ask those who read the Bible before him

And if thou [Muhammad] art in doubt concerning that which we reveal unto thee, then question those who read the scripture [that was] before thee.
 (Surat Yunus 10:94MPT).

It is clear that the scripture that was before Muhammad is the Holy Bible. We have thousands of manuscripts of the Bible which were in existence before Muhammad.

The late Robert Chapman of England wrote the following statement concerning the Bible.

This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.  its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrims’ staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven is opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, test the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its sacred contents. (The Bible Has the Answer, page 31).

Contrary to the Quran, the Bible is arranged in chronological order. It begins with the Book of Genesis and ends with the Book of Revelation. Dr. Lehman Strauss wrote in the introduction of his book, The book of The Revelation, pages 17,18:

One careful reading of the Bible will convince anyone that this inspired volume forms a complete cycle. Genesis is the book of commencement; Revelation is the book of consummation. Revelation is an excellent finish to the divine library.

Genesis – The commencement of Heaven and earth (1:1)
 Revelation – The consummation of Heaven and earth (21:1)

 Genesis – The entrance of sin and the curse (3:1-19)
 Revelation – The end of sin and the curse (21:27; 22:3)

 Genesis – The dawn of Satan and his activities (3:1-7)
 Revelation – The doom of Satan and his activities (20:10)

 Genesis – The tree of life is relinquished (2:9; 3:24)
 Revelation – The tree of life is regained (22:2)

 Genesis – Death makes it extrance (2:17; 5:5)
 Revelation – Death makes its exit (21:4)

 Genesis – Sorrow begins (3:16)

 Revelation – Sorrow is banished (21:4)

The first book of the Bible knows no completion apart from the last book of the Bible, and all the rest of the sixty-four books in between are dependent upon each other. Not one book in the Bible is an independent contribution to be divorced from the other books.

This is not the case with the Quran. Its opening surat is a prayer which must be repeated five times a day by every Muslim, followed by Surat Al-Baqarah which contains many verses that were abrogated in other suras, and it ends with the following surat:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent , the Merciful Say: I seek refuge in the  Lord of mankind, the King of mankind, The God of mankind, from the evil  of the  sneaking whisperer, who whispereth in the hearts of mankind, of the  jinn of mankind. (Surat Al-Nas 114:1-6 MPT)

This is how the Quran ends, with fear of Jinn, fear of the sneaking whisperer, and of men, while the Bible ends with the hope of the second coming of Christ and with the grace of Christ on the believers (Revelation 22:20,21). The Quran is completely different from the Bible in its language, style, and setting. The Bible recounts the stories of the fall of Adam, of the call of Abraham, the stories of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses and other prophets and great men of God. These stories demonstrate the truthfulness and honesty of the Bible and the precious lessons from the life of those patriarchs. It also records how human begins got to speak different languages even though they are the descendants of one man, Adam, and one woman, Eve.

Contradiction Between the Bible and the Quran

The Quran mentions many stories and commandments written in the Bible with great distortions and contradiction. The following are a few examples:

  1. Noah’s Wife And Son

The Quran declares that Noah’s entered hell, and that one of his sons was drowned by the flood:

Allah cited an example for those who disbelieve: The wife of Noah and the wife of Lot, who were under two of our righteous slaves, yet betrayed them so that they [the husbands] availed them naught against Allah and it was  said [unto them]: Enter the fire along with those who enter  (Surat Al-Tahrim 66:10 MPT).

And it sailed [the ark] with them amid waves like mountains, and Noah cried unto his son and he was standing aloof – O my son! Come ride with us, and be not with the disbelievers. He said: I shall betake me to some mountain that will save me from the water, [Noah] said: This day there is none that saveth from the commandment of Allah save him on whom He hath had mercy.  And the wave came in between them, so he was among the drowned. (Surat Hud 11:42,43 MPT).

These Quranic verses contradict the Bible which says:

In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark (Genesis 7:13).

Whom should we believe, the Quran or the Bible? The Bible tells us that the human race descended after the flood from Shem. Ham and Japheth. Since none of them drowned, the Quran is in error.

  1. Miriam and Mary

In the Arabic Bible both Miriam, the sister of Aaron, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are named “ Maryam.” But the Quran we read that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the daughter of Imran, and the sister of Aaron.

And Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her virginity (literal translation, and we breathed into [her body] of our spirit (Surat Al-Tahrim 66:12).

O sister of Aaron! (Surat Maryam 19:28).

Read also verses 29-34 of the same surat.

The fact is that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not the daughter of Imran or the sister of Aaron. The difference in time between the two Marys is more than 1300 years. Besides, Mary the mother of Jesus, was from the tribe of Judah, Mary the sister of Aaron was from the tribe of Levi.

  1. The Planet Earth Circle Or Flat?

Hundreds of years before Copernicus and Galieo, the prophet Isaiah declared that the planet earth is a sphere, he wrote:

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22 NKJ).

Four times the Quran declares that the planet earth is flat:

Do they not consider … How the earth has been flattened out?  (Surat Al- Ghashiyah 88:20 T.B. Irving – The First American Version of the Quran)

Have We not made the earth as a side expanse, and the mountains as pegs?   (Surat Al-Naban 78:6).

And the earth and Him who spread (surat Al-Shams 91:6).

And the earth have we spread out (Surat Al-Hijr 15:19).

This is clear evidence that the Bible was inspired by God, while the Quran was not. If the Quran was inspired by God, the spirit who spoke to Mohammed would have told him that the planet earth is a sphere.
Moreover, the Bible declared, thousands of years before any scientific discoveries concerning the planet earth, that the planet earth is hanging on nothing:

He hangs the earth on nothing (Job 26:7).

This is how accurate the Bible is.

  1. The Throne Of God, Is It On Water Or In Heaven?

The Quran declared that the throne of God is upon water:

And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and his throne was upon the water (Surat Hud 11:7 MPT).

The Bible declares that the throne of God is in heaven:

Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne ( Matthew 5:34).

  1. How Are The Dead Resurrected?

In the Quran we read that Abraham asked to show him how He gives life to the dead:

Behold! Abraham said: “My Lord! show me how that givest life to the dead.” He said: “Dost thou not then believe?” he said: “Yea! but to satisfy my own heart. “He said: “Take four birds, tie them {cut them into pieces], then put a portion of them: on every hill, and call to them: they will come to thee [flying] with speed. Then know that Allah is exalted in power, wise” (Surat al-Baqarah: 2:260).

Chapter 8

Is the Quran A Miracle?

When a Christian asks a Muslim about the Quran, the Muslim’s answer is that “the Quran is the miracle of miracles.” Is the Quran really the miracle of miracles?

Definition of a Miracle

The definition of the word miracle according to the Reader’s Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary (page 1083) is:

(1) An event that appears unexplainable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.
(2) Broadly, any event that seems exceptionally fortunate:  It was a miracle she escaped unhurt.
(3) A person, thing, or event that excites admiring awe.

Is the Quran a miracle by any of these definitions?

Testimony of Mohammad’s Contemporaries

Muhammad’s contemporaries did not believe that the Quran was a miracle, rather they called Muhammad a poet possessed (Surat As-Saffat 37:36). they called the Quran tales of the ancients dictated to Muhammad (Surat Al-Furqan 25:5) and they called it magic derived from old and nothing but a word of a mortal (Surat Al-Mudathir 74:24, 25).

What the Caliphs Said

Caliph Alwaleed Ibn Yazid, who ruled the Muslims in the year 743 A.D., said about Muhammad and his Quran these Arabic words Talaaba be-inoboati Hashimeon bela wahion attaho wala kitabo which means in English that Muhammad the Hashemite manipulated people by his claim that he was a prophet, without true inspiration or an inspired book. Abd-Allah Ibn Al-Zaabari also denied the prophethood of Muhammad (The Islamic Caliphate, page 59).

It is said about Caliph Abd-Al-malik Ibn Marawan who was a Muslim cleric and a scholar of the Quran that the Quran was on his lap when he was appointed Caliph.  After he became a Caliph he folded the Quran and said “this is the last time I will ever use you (Islamic Caliphate, page 173).

The Teacher Who Corrected the Quran

Al-Hagaag Ibn Yousof Al-Thakafi, who lived in the years 660-714 A.D., was a teacher of Arabic language in the city of Taif. Then he joined the military and became the most powerful person during the reign of Caliph Abd-Elmalik Ibn Marawan and after him his son Al-Waleed Ibn Abd-El-malik. Because Al-Haagag taught Arabic, he gave himself the liberty to change several words of Caliph Uthman’s Quran, which is an indication that he did not believe that the Quran was verbally inspired or was inscribed in a “tablet preserved.” We will mention but a few of the words Al-Haagag Ibn Yousof Al-Thakafi changed:

(1) In Surat Yunus 10:22, he changed the word yanshorakom, which means “spread you,” to yousayerokom , which means “makes you to go on.”
(2) In Surat Ash-Shuara 26:116, he changed the word A[Mukhrageen, which means “the cast out,” to AI-Margoomeen which means “those who are to be stoned [to death].”
(3) In Surat Ash-Shuara 26:167, he changed the word Min AIMargoomeen,which means “those who are to be stoned to death,” to Al-Mukhrageen ,which means “those who will assuredly be cast out.”
(4) In Surat Muhammad 47:15, he changed the word yasen, which is poor Arabic to Asen, which means “unpolluted.”
(5) In Surat Al-Hadid 57:7, he changed the word wataqu, which means “feared Allah,” to Wa-anfaqu, which means “spend in charity.”

With all the changes Al-Haggag made, there are still grammatical errors in the Quran. Here are a few examples:

In Surat Ta Ha 20:63, the Arabic word “Hazani Lasaherani” should be “Hazaini Lasahirieni.”  In Surat Al-Maidah 5:69, the Arabic word “Alsabeoun” should be “Alsabieen.”  In Surat Al-Maidah 5:38, the Arabic word “Aidyahoma” should be “Yadihoma.” In Surat Al-Nisa 4:162, the Arabic word “Almukemeen” should be “Almukemoon.” In Surat Al-Munafiqun 63:10, the Arabic word “Akon” should be “Akoon.”

Muhammad claimed that the Quran was given to him in pure Arabic (Surat Al-Nahl 16:103), but with all these grammatical errors, how could it be pure Arabic? It is not appropriate to call any book a miracle.
If we think that any book could be a miracle then The Eliad, and The Odyssey written by the Creek poet Homer in the 8th century B.C., and the plays of William Shakespeare, the greatest English writer who lived in the 16th century A.D., are also miracles.

Can the Quran, which is full of scientific, historical, and grammatical errors, be considered a miracle? When the Quran is translated into any other language, it totally loses its poetic rhyme and becomes almost incomprehensible.

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