by Larry Rouse
Seeking to convince others to change their beliefs and, as a result, change their lives is a noble pursuit. The Apostle Paul converted many of the hearers that he reasoned with to become believers in Christ (Acts 14:1). Mr. Husain, a confessed Muslim, has attempted to convince me and others through an e-mail to accept his evidence and become a “true follower of only preserved divine revelation on the earth, Islam/Sunni.” So far we have examined the evidence he has used to attack the Bible and found it to be completely lacking. How does the Koran stand against the same kind of objections Mr. Husain brought against the Bible?
Do We Have the Original Manuscript of the Koran?
Mr Husain has asserted that the Koran is the “only purely original manuscript existing revelation on the face of earth for mercy and salvation.” Therefore the Koran could not have any problems with copyist errors. Asserting these things proves nothing, for anyone on earth that wishes to do so can test his claims. When we look at how the Koran came into being, a very different picture emerges from what our Muslim critic has said.
- The author of the Koran, Muhammad, could neither read nor write. He did not personally write one sentence of the Koran.
- What he spoke was both memorized and “written down on pieces of leather, on pieces of parchment, on bones, on palm leaves, on stones, on boards, and on other things.”
- After the death of Muhammad there was an effort made to collect and record his teachings in written form. At first, many were reluctant to do this because Muhammad never attempted to do this, nor did he give a commandment to have it done.
- There were many differences in the texts produced through these efforts.The different versions were ordered to be destroyed by fire by the Muslim Caliph Uthman and one final text was presented.
- No manuscript of the Koran from this period is in existence today. The earliest documents in existence are fragments that were written over 200 years after the final edition of the Koran.
- Therefore the Koran we posses in fact came to us through copyists who were also “fallible men.”
Why does our critic fail to mention these things? The same approach he used in his zeal to discredit the Bible would cast even greater doubts on the Koran! In truth the Koran itself would dispute his entire line of argumentation. Muhammad urged Jews to “hold fast by the Book” (Al A’râf 7:169-170), but how could the Jews “hold fast” if there was no reliable book available?
A Comparison of Jesus and Muhammad
Why not look at the New Testament and learn about the claims and teachings of Jesus and also look at the Koran and see exactly what was taught by Muhammad? Why is our Muslim critic and others like him so anxious to close the pages of the Bible to examination and only wish for you to read the Koran?
The Claims and Teachings of Jesus
The birth, life and death of Jesus were foretold in the writings of the Old Testament. How could such detail of His life be given hundreds of years in advance? Listen to the words of Jesus: “Then He said to them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory” (Luke 24:25-26)? “Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24: 44-45).
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and, as a result, freely accepted worship without rebuking the worshippers. When Jesus appeared to His disciples they “came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him” (Matthew 28:9-10). Jesus appeared to Thomas and challenged him to ““Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”” (John 20:27-29).
Jesus claimed that the sacrifice of Himself on the cross would provide the only path to God. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
The Claims and Teachings of Muhammad
- Muhammad claimed to be a prophet of God. “In the year 610 (believed to be the 26th of Ramadan), while in a cave on Mt. Hirah, Muhammad said that the angel Gabriel appeared to him and commanded him to recite (96:1-19). This recitation became the Qur’an.”
- Muhammad claimed to work no miracles.
- Muhammad claimed that the prophets of the Old and New Testament were from God and that that message had been put in writing.
- “He said that the Day of Judgment was coming and that a man’s works will be weighed on that day. Those whose good deeds out weigh their bad may, by Allah’s grace, be saved and enter Paradise which is full of sensual pleasures.”
How Can We Know What is true?
Jesus claimed that his identity would be known to all by the greatest of signs, His resurrection from the dead (John 2:20-22, Romans 1:3-4). When you weigh the evidence of the miracles in the ministry of Christ, the fulfilled prophecy of the Old Testament and the eyewitness testimony of the disciples (Acts 2:32, 36; I John 1:1-3), you can conclude that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.
What evidence has been presented by our critic to establish the credibility of Mohammad? There were no miracles worked by him, no fulfilled prophesies of him, he only claimed to have received a message from an angel. While he did affirm that the prophets of the Bible were genuine, those very prophets severely contradict the teachings of Muhammad. Why don’t you weigh the evidence and be the Judge?
A Final Warning
The God of heaven has given one message for mankind to submit to. Men have claimed that angels have spoken to them in every generation. Remember this warning: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).