To the Muslim, the Quran is the very word of God, Almighty.
With these thoughts in mind, consider the following words of the apostle John: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 Jn. 4:1). It is the case that the Quran either is holy and heavenly in nature or is dangerous and deadly to the souls of mankind. John’s inspired command, then, requires the faithful follower of Christ to examine the claims and contents of the book under consideration and such stands as the purpose of this article.
The Quran — Of God or Man?
Like the Bible, the Quran claims that it is from God. For example, Sura 39:1 pronounces, “This Book is revealed by God, the Mighty, the Wise One.” Also, Sura 55:1 says, “It is the Merciful who has taught the Quran.” Additionally, Sura 53:79 claims the Quran is of heavenly origin: “It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.” While many more Quranic passages assert the divine inspiration of the Muslims holy book, these are sufficient to demonstrate its claims. More, however, needs to be said concerning the Quran’s chain of inspiration.
One pro-Islamic source maps out this sequence of inspiration as follows: “The Quran is a message from Allah to humanity. It was transmitted to us in a chain from the Almighty Himself to the angel Gabriel to the Prophet. This message was given to the Prophet in pieces over a period spanning approximately 23 years (A.D. 610 to A.D. 622). The Prophet was 40 years old when the Quran began to be revealed to him, and he was 63 when the revelation was completed” (www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/).
Concerning the Quran’s initial revelation, Paul Vaughn notes, “When Muhammad was 40 years old, idolatry in Mecca and the moral collapse of the people began to distress his concept of religion. It became the crux that forced him to seek true religion. Instead of going to the Bible, he chose to go to a cave on the side of Mount Hira about two or three miles from Mecca. In this cave he devoted himself to devotional exercises. While in the cave Muhammad believed he had visions from God delivered by the angel Gabriel” (71).
After the death of Muhammad, his revelations — made up of speeches, statements, and prayers — were gathered up and arranged according to length.
Having noted the claims of the Quran’s origin, one must admit that the nature and circumstances of its revelation are worthy of critical examination. Especially is this true when one believes that revelation ceased with the completion of the New Testament record (more than 500 years before Muhammad!) and that God now speaks to man by means of His Son whose words shall be the standard of judgment on the final day (cf. 1 Cor. 13:8-12; Heb. 1:1-2; Jn. 12:48). In light of such facts, the origin of the Islamic holy book is questionable to say the least!
For example, here is a book, the seed of a major world religion that is based completely on the private experiences of one man. In the words of another, Only one person allegedly saw the angel. Only one person allegedly heard a voice. Only one person allegedly saw the visions. The only way to become a Moslem, then, is to take this one mans word for it (Kippy Myers, 11). Of course, this is quite a contrast to the Bible. Some 40 different men penned the Scriptures upon which Christianity rests. The men lived and wrote over a period of 1600 years and they ranged in background from fishermen to kings. Some were educated while others were not. Various ones were contemporaries and acquainted with one another, while others were separated by hundreds of years and sometimes hundreds of miles. In spite of these challenges, the book they produced is a complete and harmonious volume, free from contradictions and filled with evidences of Divine inspiration. Such is a stark contrast to the Quran!
Additionally, when contemplating the origin of the Muslim’s sacred book and its numerous doctrinal oppositions to the Gospel, the Bible student cannot help but be reminded of Galatians 1:8: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Muhammad’s claims of receiving his message from the angel Gabriel rings of fraud much like the assertions of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism who also proclaimed his devilish doctrines came by an angelic messenger.
When the honest seeker of truth examines the Quran’s claims and contents of its origin, he must conclude that the revered volume of Islam came from the imagination of a man rather than the mind of God!
The Quran — Only a Part of the Whole
While the Muslim obviously exalts the Quran and believes it to be divine in origin, one must understand that it is not the only source of authority in matters of Islamic faith and practice. Besides the Quran, there are at least three additional sources of authority that make up Islamic law — called Shariah. They are the Sunna, Ijma, and Qiyas.
Jerry Murrell describes the Sunna as the records of the deeds and words of Muhammad (16). Each of these individual records is called a hadith. These binding traditions were recorded by the companions of Muhammad and help Muslims fill in the details of the Quran’s general principles. Concerning the Muslims third source of authority, Keith Mosher says, “Ijma or consensus is the term particularly applied to the consensus of the Muslim community as to the rightness or wrongness of certain things. Ijma, however, are also statements agreed upon by the leading companions of Muhammad according to some and thus a contradiction exists even here. Why? Because the community and the companions often do not agree” (231),
The fourth authoritative source of faith and practice in Islam is the Qiyas. The qiyas are conclusions relating to earlier decisions in Islam based on applications of teachings found in the Quran, Hadith (Sunna), and the Ijma (Mosher, 232).
Since not all doctrines of Islam come directly from the Quran, it is essential at least to know that these additional sources exist. Analyzing the religion of Muhammad requires the seeker of truth to consider all sources of Islamic law.
The Quran — Battling Against the Bible
A 2002 survey conducted by the Barna Research Group revealed that while 80 percent of all Americans call themselves Christians, 44 percent of this group proclaim that the Bible, Quran, and Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths. Such a position clearly shows that 44 percent of so-called Christians are clueless about the contents of these books. Consider a few areas in which the Quran stands in complete opposition to the Bible.
Doctrines about Deity.
The Bible plainly proclaims that there is only one God (cf. Deut. 6:4; Mk. 12:29; Is. 43:10-11; Rom. 3:30; 1 Tim. 2:5). The Bible also plainly proclaims that there are three Persons who possess Godhood: the Father (cf. 1 Cor. 8:6), the Son (cf. Col. 2:9), and the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 5:3-4). While the idea might be difficult for finite minds to completely comprehend, the inspired apostle John states the three in one concept of God as a fact: “…There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (1 Jn. 5:7).
The Quran opposes this biblical truth quite adamantly. For example, Sura 5:77-79 says, “They misbelieve who say, Verily, God is the third of three; for there is no God but one, and if they do not desist from what they say, there shall touch those who misbelieve amongst them grievous woe. Will they not turn again towards God and ask pardon of Him? For God is forgiving and merciful. The Messiah the son of Mary is only a prophet: prophets before him have passed away; and his mother was a confessor; they used both to eat food. See how we explain to them the signs, yet see how they turn aside!”
Along with denying the triune nature of God, one will also notice from the above text that the Quran accordingly denies the deity of Jesus, saying he was only a prophet. Another interesting text to note from the book under consideration is Sura 5:116 that misrepresents Christians as believing that Mary, the mother Jesus, is part of the Godhead! Such texts reveal serious shortcomings of the Quran and its doctrines on deity.
While the Quran acknowledges the existence and consequences of sin, it is minus any sort of atonement or redemptive plan for mankind; it calls for repentance, belief, and good works in hope of Allah’s forgiveness (cf. Sura 28:67). By the way, one enters the fold of Islam by merely declaring, there is no deity but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet. But all the good works in the world and all the professions of faith one can make, without the sacrificial substitution of Christ and the application of His blood to one’s heart (cf. Rev. 1:5; Rom. 6:3-4), not a single sin can be forgiven! Because the Quran denies the death (and the need for it) of Christ (cf. Sura 4:154-158), the revered book of the Muslim leaves man in his sins, without hope, without God, and without a Savior; without shedding of blood is no remission (Heb. 9:22).
Jerry C. Brewer notes, “Muhammad devised a religious system rooted in his lust for temporal gratification” (556). Besides Muhammad’s sanctioning polygamy, nowhere is this truth more evident than in the Quran’s picture of the faithful Muslim’s eternal reward. Sura 56:15ff, for example, depicts heaven as an eternal brothel where Muslim men can fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Brewer, 574). Consider the passage:
“On thrones decorated, Reclining on them, facing one another. Round about them shall go youths never altering in age, With goblets and ewers and a cup of pure drink; They shall not be affected with headache thereby, nor shall they get exhausted, And fruits such as they choose, And the flesh of fowl such as they desire. And pure, beautiful ones, The like of the hidden pearls: A reward for what they used to do. They shall not hear therein vain or sinful discourse, Except the word peace, peace. And the companions of the right hand; how happy are the companions of the right hand! Amid thornless lote-trees, And banana-trees (with fruits), one above another. And extended shade, And water flowing constantly, And abundant fruit, Neither intercepted nor forbidden, And exalted thrones. Surely We have made them to grow into a (new) growth, Then We have made them virgins, Loving, equals in age, For the sake of the companions of the right hand. A numerous company from among the first, And a numerous company from among the last.”
Curiously, even though the Quran forbids fornication in this world, it promises it in abundance in the next world! The Bible, on the other hand, pictures heaven as a place holiness and purity where the faithful reside and rejoice in the presence of God forever (Rev. 21:22-22:5). What a contrast!
Since doctrinal matters are under discussion in this section, it seems appropriate to list a few glaring discrepancies in the Muslims holy book — discrepancies that further prove the doctrines of the Quran to be false.
Sura 4:82 boasts of the reliability of the Quran: “Do they not ponder on the Quran? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.” And much therein have they found! For example, Sura 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, and 25:59 clearly state that God created “the heavens and the earth” in six days, while Sura 41:9-12 gives a detailed description of the creation that adds up to eight days. Still connected with the creation, Sura 96:1-2 says God made man from a blood clot, while Suras such as 21:30; 15:26; 3:59; 19:67; and 16:4 mention water, clay, dust, nothing, and a drop of thickened fluid! Another inconsistency arises concerning protectors. Sura 29:22 proclaims that “there is no patron besides Allah.” But in Sura 41:31 the angels themselves say: “We are your patrons.” And among other discrepancies, Sura 5:90 proclaims that wine is an abomination of Satan’s work, while Sura 47:15 says there are rivers of wine in paradise. One wonders how such Satanic abominations made their way into Allah’s perfect eternal abode. These kinds of problems exist throughout the Quran and again prove the book to be human in origin and filled with doctrines deadly in nature.
Upon examining these numerous oppositions between the Quran and the Bible, no sensible person can honestly believe that the two books are merely different expressions of the same spiritual truths. The venerated book of Islam battles against God’s Word, not with it.
While most Muslims consider critically analyzing the Quran and the religion to which it gave birth to be blasphemous, the God of heaven requires His creation to try the spirits whether they are of God. When one obeys God rather than men in this particular matter, he quickly discovers that the book under consideration falls terribly short of its purposes and accordingly stands in total opposition to Truth. The Quran demands that Islam is the only way to heaven (cf. Sura 3:85); the Bible proclaims that Jesus is the way (Jn. 14:6). Which do you choose: Christ or the Quran?
Brewer, Jerry C., “Islam’s Eschatology,” Islam — From God or Man? ed. David P. Brown (Spring, TX: Contending for the Faith, 2003), 556- 579.
Mosher, Keith, “Sources of Authority in Islam,” Islam — From God or Man? ed. David P. Brown (Spring, TX: Contending for the Faith, 2003), 222-238.
Murrell, Jerry, “Understanding Islam,” part 2, The Gospel Journal (Vol. 2, No. 11), 16-22.
Myers, Kippy, “Why Christianity? Why the Bible?,” Reason & Revelation, 14:9-14.
Vaughn, Paul, “Muhammad, A Biography,” Islam — From God or Man? ed. David P. Brown (Spring, TX: Contending for the Faith, 2003), 66- 81.