The Alleged Divine Origin of the Qur’an - Part 2 | John Ankerberg Show

The Alleged Divine Origin of the Qur’an – Part 2

By: The John Ankerberg Show
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By: Dr. Norman Geisler; ©2004
Dr. Geisler presents and critiques a number of arguments often given in defense of the Qur’an, explaining that none of these arguments hold up to close scrutiny.

Origin of the Qur’an (continued)

Argument from Prophecies

Does the Qur’an contain predictive prophesies which prove its divine origin? This will be treated elsewhere, so we will not go into detail here. Points include :

Most of the predictions are really exhortations of a religious military leader to fight on and

God will give them the victory. The one substantive prediction was about the Roman victory over the Persian army at Issus (in sura 30:2-4[1]) did not come within the time period given by the prophecy of “within a few years” and was to be expected.

The only other notable prophecy is a reference to ten nights found in sura 89:2[2] that is inter­preted as a veiled prediction of the ten years of persecution suffered by early Muslims. This is a doubtful interpretation, since the line apparently speaks of pilgrimage.

Argument from Unity

Insisting that the Qur’an must be divine revelation because it is self-consistent and non-contradictory is also unconvincing. As noted, Muhammad’s revelations were sometimes changed, including the cited “satanic verses” where the original revelation permitted a certain tribe to worship pagan gods in sura 53:21-23.[3] This is a serious matter for a prophet who be­lieves polytheism is the ultimate sin.

The whole concept of abrogation (mansukh) where previous mistakes were corrected by later verses (called nasikh) reveals a lack of unity in the Qur’an. Sura 2:106 says, “Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?” For example, what is called “the sword verse” (sura 9:5[4]) supposedly annuls 124 verses which originally encouraged tolerance (cf. sura 2:256[5]). The Qur’an says emphatically “Let there be no compulsion In religions” (sura 2:256), yet in other places it urges Muslims to “Fight those who believe not” (sura 9:29) and “fight and slay The Pagans wherever ye find them” (sura 9:5). Nasikh is a contradiction in that the Qur’an claims that “No change there can be in the Words of God” (sura 10:64), which they say the Qur’an is. For “there is none That can alter the Words (and Decrees) of God” (sura 6:34). Yet the Qur’an teaches the doctrine of abrogation by which later revelations annul previ­ous ones.

As Gerhard Nehls keenly observed, “we should like to find out how a divine revelation can be improved. We would have excepted it to have been perfect and true right from the start.”[6] Some Muslims, like Ali, claim that abrogation is just “progressive revelation,” adapting God’s same message to different people living at different periods. “But Sura 2:106[7] [on abrogation] does not speak of culture or progressive revelation with reference to scriptures given prior to Mohammed, but to Quranic verses only!”[8] It makes sense that God would progressively reveal himself over 1500 years of time, as in the Bible. But the Bible brings to fulfillment and expands on earlier teaching, rather than making corrections, and certainly not within twenty years. This seems particularly true in view of the fact that the correction verses are often near the ones being corrected. What is more, there are verses that the Quranic abrogations apparently forgot to redact. In sura 7:54 (and 32:4)[9] we are told that the world was made in six days. But in sura 41:9-12[10] it says it took God a total of eight days to create the world (two plus four plus two). How can both be correct?

The Qur’an also claims humans are responsible for their own choices (sura 18:29[11]), yet it claims God has sealed the fate of all in advance, saying, “Every man’s fate We have fastened On his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out For him a scroll. Which he will see Spread open” (sura 17:13[12]; also see 10:99-100[13]).

Even if the Qur’an were consistent, unity or self-consistency is at best a negative test for truth, not a positive one. Of course, if a Book is from God who cannot err, then it won’t have any contradictions in it. However, just because a book has no contradictions does not mean God is the author. As John W. Montgomery insightfully observed, Euclid’s geometry is self-consistent, but this is not ground to call it divinely authoritative.[14]

Self-consistency is the kind of argument that others (including Christians) use for their holy books. But not all can be the inspired Word of God since they are mutually contradictory. Unity in itself does not prove divine authenticity, or all self-consistent but opposing holy books are all true. The Bible is at least as self-consistent as the Qur’an, but no Muslim would admit that it therefore is inspired of God.

Argument from Scientific Accuracy

This argument has gained popularity in recent times, primarily due to Maurice Bucaille’s book, The Bible, the Qur’an and Science, in which Christianity is attacked for holding back the progress of science, and the Qur’an is exalted as promoting science. Indeed, he insists that the Qur’an marvelously foreshadowed modern science in many of its statements, thus miraculously confirming its divine origin.

But Christianity, not Islam, was the mother of modern science. M. B. Foster, writing for the prestigious English philosophy journal Mind noted that the Christian doctrine of creation is the origin of modern science.[15] The founders of almost every area of modern science were Chris­tians working from their worldview. This includes men such as Nikolai Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, William Kelvin, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, James Clark Maxwell, and Louis Agassiz.

So while Islamic monotheism made many contributions to modern culture, it is an overstate­ment to claim credit for the origin of modern science. Muslim armies destroyed vast resources of knowledge. Pfander, for example, notes that under the Caliph Umar the Muslim soldiers destroyed the vast libraries at Alexandria and Persia. When the general asked Umar what he should do with the books, he is said to have replied: “Cast them into the rivers. For, if in these books there is guidance, then we have still better guidance in the Book of God. If, on the con­trary, there is in them that which will lead astray, then may God protect us from them.”[16]

Second, it is a mistake to assume that a book is inspired simply because it conforms with modern science. Muslim and Christian apologists have made the mistake of assuming the truth of a particular scientific knowledge system. Scientific knowledge changes. Then what appeared to be “harmony” can vanish. Embarrassing mistakes have been made by defenders attempting to see modern scientific theories in their Holy Book.

Even if perfect harmony could be demonstrated between the Qur’an and scientific fact, this would not prove the divine inspiration of the Qur’an. It would simply prove that the Qur’an made no scientific error. At best, scientific accuracy is a negative test for truth. If error were found, it would prove that it was not the Word of God. The same applies to the Bible or any other reli­gious book. Of course, if a book consistently and accurately anticipated by centuries what was only later discovered, then this could be used in a theistic context to indicate a supernatural source. But the Qur’an shows no evidence of supernatural predictions as does the Bible.

Some critics question just how scientifically accurate the Qur’an is. Take, for example, the Qur’an’s highly controversial statement that human beings are formed from a clot of blood. Surah 23:14 reads, “Then We made the sperm Into a clot of congealed blood; Then of that clot We made A (foetus) lump; then We Made out of that lump Bones and clothed the bones With flesh.” This is scarcely a scientific description of embryonic development. In order to avoid the problem, Bucaille retranslates the verse, rendering the Arabia word alaq (“blood clot”) as “the thing which clings.”[17] However, this is questionable. It is contrary to the work of recognized Islamic authorities who did the major English translations. And Bucaille himself recognized that “a majority of translations describe… man’s formation from a ‘blood clot’ or ‘adhesion’.”[18] This leaves the impression that his own home-made translation was generated to solve the problem, since he recognizes that “a statement of this kind is totally unacceptable to scientists specializ­ing in this field.”[19]

Likewise, other critics note that the Qur’an in sura 18:86 speaks of one traveling west “till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring.” But even in his attempt to explain this problem, Yusuf Ali admits this has “puzzled Commentators.” Nor does he really explain the problem, but simply asserts that this cannot be “the extreme west, for there is no such thing.”[20] Indeed, there is no extreme west, nor can anyone by traveling west come to the place eventually to the place where the sun sets. But this is what the text says, unscientific as it may be.

Others have observed that the so-called scientific foreshadowing of the Qur’an is highly questionable. Kenneth Cragg notes that “It has been frequently claimed by some Muslim ex­egetes of the Qur’an that modern inventions and scientific data, even nuclear fission, have been anticipated there and can now be detected in passages not hitherto appreciated for their pre­science. Meanings earlier unsuspected disclose themselves as science proceeds.” This conclu­sion, however, “is strongly repudiated by others as the kind of corroboration the Qur’an, as a ‘spiritual’ Scripture, neither needs nor approves.”[21]

Even if the Qur’an were proven to be scientifically accurate, it would not thereby be divinely authoritative. All accuracy would prove is that the Qur’an made no scientific blunders. This would not be unparalleled. Some Jewish scholars claim the same for the Torah and many Chris­tians claim exactly the same thing for the Bible, using very similar arguments. But Bucaille would not allow that this demonstrates that the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God.

Argument from Mathematical Structure

One popular proof for the Qur’an’s divine origin is its alleged miraculous basis in the number nineteen. Nineteen is the sum of the numerical value of all the letters in the word “one” (from the basic belief that God is one). Such an apologetic method does not find a great deal of accep­tance in scholarly circles for good reason. No Muslim would accept a message claiming to be from God if it taught idolatry or immorality. Certainly no message containing such claims would be accepted on mathematical grounds alone. So even if the Qur’an were a mathematical “miracle,” this would not be sufficient to prove that it was of God even to thinking Muslims.

Second, even if the odds are astronomic against the Qur’an having all these amazing combi­nations of the number 19, it proves nothing more than that there is a mathematical order behind the language of the Qur’an. Since language is an expression of the order of human thought and since this order can often be reduced to mathematical expression, it is not unusual that a math­ematical order can be found behind the language of a document. In fact, there is nothing so unusual about sentences having nineteen letters.

Further, the same kind of argument (based on the number seven) has been used to “prove” the inspiration of the Bible. Take the first verse of the Bible “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” G. Nehls points out that:

The verse consist of 7 Hebrew words and 28 letters (7 x 4). There are three nouns: “God, heavens, earth”, their total numeric value … is 777 (7 x 11). The verb “created” has the value 203 (7 x 29). The object is contained in the first three words—with 14 letters (7 x 2). The other four words contain the subject—also with 14 letters (7 x 2) [and so on].[22]

But no Muslim would allow this to count as an argument in favor of the divine inspiration of the Bible. At best the argument is esoteric and unconvincing. Even most Muslim scholars avoid using it.

Argument from Changed Lives

Apologists point to the transformation of lives and culture by the Qur’an as a proof of its divine origin. Such transformations should be expected. When one fervently believes something to be true they live by it. But this still leaves open the question as to whether it is the Word of God. Any set of ideas fervently believed and applied will transform believers and their culture. This is true whether the ideas are Buddhistic, Christian, Islamic, or Judaistic. What Muslim would accept the argument that Karl Marx’s Das Capital is inspired because it transformed millions of lives and many cultures?

Critics find it no surprise that so many converted to Islam when it is remembered what the promised reward was for those who did and the threatened punishment for those who did not. Those who “submitted” were promised Paradise with beautiful women (sura 2:25; 4:57[23]). But “The punishment of those Who wage war against God And His Apostle, and strive With might… Is: execution, or crucifixion. Or the cutting off of hands And feet from opposite sides. Or exile from the land” (sura 5:36). Islamic tradition reports that Muhammad gave the exhortation to his followers that: “The sword is the key of heaven and of hell; a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two month’s fasting and prayer. Whoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven at the day of judgment.”[24]

Human greed played a part. “Arab warriors were… entitled to four-fifths of all the booty they gathered in the form of movable goods and captives.”[25] It was of great advantage for the enemy to submit. Polytheists had two choices: submit or die. Christians and Jews had another alterna­tive: they could pay heavy taxes (sura 9:5, 29[26]). Also Islamic conquests were successful be­cause in some of the conquered lands the people were fed up with the maltreatment of their Roman rulers and willingly accepted Islam’s emphasis on equality and brotherhood.

Further, a Christian or Jewish person could argue for the truth of their religions on the same ground. It should not be surprising that sincere belief in God, his moral law, and a final day of judgment would change one’s life—things which all moral monotheists believe. But one cannot jump from this to prove Muhammad is the last and final prophet of God.

If it is possible to prove that changed lives in one religion are evidence of its unique divine origin, then in view of the transforming power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16), Christianity is equal, if not superior, to Islam. In his famous Evidences of Christianity, William Paley observes:

For what are we comparing? A Galilean peasant accompanied by a few fishermen with a conqueror at the head of his army. We compare Jesus, without force, without power, without support, without one external circumstance of attraction or influence, prevailing against the prejudices, the learning, the hierarchy, of his country, against the ancient religious opinions, the pompous religious rites, the philosophy, the wisdom, the authority, of the Roman empire, in the most polished and enlightened period of its existence,—with Mahomet making his way amongst Arabs; collecting followers in the mist of conquests and triumphs, in the darkest ages and countries of the world, and when success in arms not only operated by that command of men’s wills and persons which attend prosperous undertakings, but was considered as a sure testimony of Divine approbation. That multitudes, persuaded by this argument, should join the train of a victorious chief; that still greater multitudes should, without any argument, bow down before irresistible power—is a conduct in which we cannot see much to surprise us; in which we can see nothing that resembles the causes by which the establishment of Christianity was effected.[27]

Argument from the Rapid Spread of Islam

Some Muslim scholars point to the rapid spread of Islam as proof of its divine origin. Accord­ing to one Muslim apologist, “the rapid spread of Islam shows that God Most High sent it as His final revelation to men.”[28] Islam teaches that it is destined to be the universal religion. There are several serious problems with this reasoning. First, one could question both size and rapid growth as definitive tests for truth. The majority is not always right. Indeed, history has shown they are often wrong.

Even by its own test Islam is not the true religion, since Christianity has been and still is the largest religion in the world in number of adherents—a fact that is a great embarrassment to Muslims. Further, even if rapid growth is used as a test of the truth of a system, Christianity, not Islam, would prove to be the true religion. For it grew faster at the beginning by its simple mes­sage and under heavy persecution by the Romans than did Islam by force of arms. In fact, it not only gained thousands of immediate converts from its Jewish roots within days and weeks (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 5:14), but it conquered the Roman empire by spiritual force, within its first few centu­ries.

To be sure, Christian crusaders (twelfth-fourteenth centuries) also engaged in the use of the sword, which Jesus forbid his disciples to do to spread his message (Matt. 26:52). But this was long after Christianity had conquered the world without it. By contrast, Islam did not grow on the mere strength of its message but only later when it used the sword. Indeed, early Christianity grew the most when the Roman government was using the sword on Christians during the first three centuries.

There are perfectly natural reasons for Islam’s later rapid spread, says Shorrosh. Islam glorified Arabic people, customs, and language. It provided an incentive to conquer and plunder other lands. It utilized the ability to fight in the desert. It provided a heavenly reward for dying, and it absorbed many pre-Islamic practices in Arab culture. Even if one points to more positive reasons, such as moral, political, and cultural improvements, there seems to be no reason to posit anything but natural causes for the spread of Islam. Finally, there were natural incentives for the many converts. Soldiers were promised paradise as a reward for dying in the spread of Islam. And the people who did not submit were threatened with death, slavery, or taxation.

There is no need to appeal to the supernatural to account for growth of Islam under these condi­tions.

Islamic scholar, Wilfred Cantwell Smith pinpoints the Muslim dilemma. Muslims believe Islam is God-willed and destined to dominate the world, so its failure to do so must be an indication that God’s sovereign will is being frustrated. But Muslims deny that God’s will can be frustrated. Hence, logically they should conclude that it is not God-willed. Muhammad’s biographer, M. H. Haykal misses the point in his response that human beings are free, and any defeat or set­backs are to be attributed to them.[29] If in fact God has willed the supremacy of Islam, then his sovereign will has been frustrated, through human freedom or without it. For Islam is not and has not been since the time of its inception the enduring dominant religion of the world numeri­cally, spiritually, or culturally. Even if Islam should have a sudden burst of success and surpass all other religions, this would not prove it is of God. Logically, all that success proves is that it succeeded, not necessarily that it is true. For even after something succeeds we can still ask: Is it true or false?

Argument from God Speaking in First Person

Muslims appeal to the fact that God speaks in the first person as evidence that the Qur’an is the Word of God. In the Bible God is generally referred to in the second or third person, from a human point of view. However, not all the Qur’an speaks of God in the first person, so by this logic only those sections in the first person are inspired. No Muslim would willingly say that. Also, in much of the Bible God speaks in the first person yet Muslims do not admit that these passages are the words of God, especially when God blesses Israel, giving them the land of Palestine as an inheritance.

The truth is that both the Qur’an and the Bible have passages which speak of God in the first person and in the third person. So, Muslims can hardly use this as a unique proof of the divine origin of the Qur’an.

Evidence of a Human-Inspired Qur’an

Not only is evidence lacking for a divine origin of the Qur’an, but there is strong indications that its origin is not divine.

Fallibility

God cannot make mistakes or change his mind. Yet, as was shown above, the Qur’an re­flects such fallibility on many occasions.

Purely Human Sources

Based on the findings of reputable scholars of Islam, the content of the Qur’an can be traced to either Jewish or Christian works (often from Jewish or Christian apocrypha) or pagan sources. Arthur Jeffry, in his technical and scholarly volume. The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur’an, ably demonstrates that “not only the greater part of the religious vocabulary, but also most of the cultural vocabulary of the Qur’an is of non-Arabic origin.”[30] Some of the vocabulary sources include Abyssinian, Persian, Greek, Syriac, Hebrew, and Coptic.[31]

St. Clair-Tisdall, in The Sources of Islam, also reveals the direct dependence of certain Qur’anic stories from the Old Testament on the Jewish Talmud. The influence of the Talmud can be seen on the Qur’anic stories of Cain and Abel, Abraham and the idols, and the Queen of Sheba. The direct influence of Christian apocrypha can be seen in the story of seven sleepers and the childhood miracles of Jesus, and Zoroastrian doctrines appear in descriptions of the houris (virgins) in Paradise and the Sirat (the bridge between hell and paradise).[32] Muslim prac­tices of visiting the shrine of Ka’aba, and the many details of the ceremony of Ha]], including visits to the hills of Safa and Marwa, and the throwing of stones against a stone pillar symboliz­ing Satan, were all pre-Islamic practices of pagan Arabia.[33]

The Genius of Muhammad

As was noted above, Muhammad may not have been illiterate, and even if he had no formal training, he was a bright and talented person. There is no reason that such a creative mind could not have been the source of teachings in the Qur’an that have no known human anteced­ents.

Muhammad biographer Haykal identifies a possible source of Muhammad’s “revelations” in his description of the creative Arab imagination: “Living as he does under the vault of heaven and moving constantly in search of pasture or trade, and being constantly forced into the ex­cesses, exaggerations, and even lies which the life of trade usually entails, the Arab is given to the exercise of his imagination and cultivates it at all times whether for good or for ill, for peace or for war.”[34]

Possible Satanic Sources of the Qur’an

It is also possible that Muhammad could have received his revelations from an evil spirit. He himself at first believed that his “revelations” were coming from a demon but he was encour­aged by his wife Khadija and her cousin, Waraqah, to believe the revelation came from God. Whether by his own genius, other human sources, or finite evil spirits, there is nothing in the Qur’an that cannot be explained without divine revelation.

Conclusion

In spite of the above evidences against any divine origin of the Qur’an, it is interesting that Muslim authors have been most unwilling to address the issue of the human origins of the Qur’an, but have simply repeated their dogmatic assertions about its divine source. In fact, seldom does one find an acknowledgment of problems, let alone a defense, among Muslim scholars.

Notes

  1. Surah 30:2-4—2.The Roman Empire has been defeated- 3. In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious- 4. Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision, in the past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice-… [All Qur’an quotes in footnotes are from the Yusuf Ali translation.
  2. 89:2— By the Nights twice five;…
  3. Sura 53:19-23 originally read: 19. Did you consider al-hat and al-Uzza 20. And al-Manat, the third, the other? 21. Those are the swans exalted; 22. Their intercession is expected; 23. Their likes are not neglected. The “new” revelation reads: 53:19: “Have ye seen Lat. and ‘Uzza, 20 And another, the third (goddess), Manat? 21 “What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? 22 Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! 23 These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,- for which God has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire!- Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord!
  4. 9:5— But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
  5. 2:256— Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand- hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.
  6. Gerhard Nehls, Christians Ask Muslims (SIM International Life Challenge, 1987), p. 11.
  7. 2:106— None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that God Hath power over all things?
  8. Nehls, Christians Ask Muslims, p. 12.
  9. 7:54— Your Guardian-Lord is God, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o’er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, t he moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!

    32:4— It is God Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all between them, in six Days, and is firmly established on the Throne (of Authority): ye have none, besides Him, to protect or intercede (for you): will ye not then receive admonition?

  10. 41:9-12— 9. Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two Days? And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds. 10. He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance). 11. Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: “Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly.” They said: “We do come (together), in willing obedience.” 12. So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge.
  11. 18:29— Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong­doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief t hey will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!
  12. 17:13— Every man’s fate We have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open.
  13. 10:99-100—99. If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe! 100. No soul can believe, except by the will of God, and He will place doubt (or obscurity) on those who will not understand.
  14. John W. Montgomery, Faith Founded on Fact (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1978), p. 94.
  15. See M. B. Foster, “The Christian Doctrine of Creation and the Rise of Modern Science,” Mind 43 (1934), pp. 13- 14).
  16. C. G. Pfander, The Mizanu’l Haqq: The Balance of Truth (Austria: Light of Life, 1986), p. 365.
  17. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur’an and Science (Translated by Alastair D. Pannell and the author.) (Dehli, India: Taj, 1988), p. 204.
  18. Ibid., p. 198.
  19. Ibid.
  20. A. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Translation and Commentary (Damascus: Ouloom Alqur’an, 1934), p. 754, n. 2430.
  21. Kenneth Cragg, “Contemporary Trends in Islam,” in J. D. Woodberry, ed., Muslims and Christians on the Emmaus Road (Monrovia, 1989), , p. 42.
  22. Nehls, Christians Ask Muslims.
  23. 2:25— But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom, they say: “Why, this is what we were fed with before,” for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (for ever).

    4:57— But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal home: Therein shall they have companions pure and holy: We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening.

  24. Edward Gibbon (J. B. Burry, ed.), The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 5 (London: Methuen, 1898), pp. 360-61.
  25. John B. Noss, Man’s Religions (New York: Macmillan, 1956), p. 711.
  26. 9:5— But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    9:29— Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

  27. William Paley, Evidences of Christianity (London, 1851), p. 257.
  28. Pfander, The Mizanu’l Haqq, p. 226.
  29. Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad (Indianapolis: North America Trust), p. 605.
  30. Arthur Jeffry, ed., Islam: Muhammad and His Religion (Indianapolis/New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958), p. 2.
  31. Ibid., pp. 12-32.
  32. W. St. Clair-Tisdall, A Manual of the Leading Muhammedan Objections to Christianity (London: S. P. C. K., 1904), pp. 49-59, 74-91.
  33. Ali Dashti, Twenty-Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Muhammad (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1985), pp. 55, 93-94, 164.
  34. Ibid., p. 319.

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