I’ve been interacting with Muslim friends for a decade already and have lived for years in a Muslim-majority nation. But where I’ve heard the most about the teachings of the Quran has never been from my Muslim friends with whom I interact daily.
Rather, I have heard a lot about it from persons in the Seventh-day Adventist Church who seem to favor some sort of syncretism with the religion of Islam. From these persons, several of whom are also friends, I learned that the fundamental teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be taught from the Quran.
However, my own study of the book about ten years ago led me to a somewhat different conclusion. And in the intervening years, data has slowly accumulated in my mind that has reinforced my view that no rational syncretism is sensible.
Still, it was only in the last few months that I decided to read the entire Quran while taking copious notes. My aim was to make a systematic effort to know what the book teaches. I completed this reading and study in early November, 2018. And this article is the synthesis.
My purpose is to make you, the relevant members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, more accurately aware of how the teachings of the Quran compare and contrast to the teachings you hold dear.
The name Isaac Ismael Jacobs is a pseudonym. I am not ashamed of this document, but I do think it best to slow the aspiration of radical persons who might come across it.
Before getting to the data let me say that I have had remarkable success in sharing the teachings of the canonical prophets with persons of the Islamic faith. My approach has been to introduce myself as someone promoting holistic health, of mind, body and spirit. Then to say that the best information of this is found in those prophets recognized by all three of the religions known as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This method seems to allow me easily to start a friendship, get a social-media connection, and send studies designed to match this method.
But now to the data. In this document I will start with an area of teaching that is heavily emphasized by both the Quran and by Seventh-day Adventists, the topic of death and hell.
Death and Hell in the Quran
In the Quran, the fires of hell are a major source of motivation. The horrors of hell, often pictured, should dissuade you from doing wrong. Here are some details.
First, the fires of hell are eternal. They last billions and billions of years, and then billions more. They never end. This idea, of an eternally burning hell, is mentioned nearly 40 times in a book with 114 chapters. Want to read the references yourself? Here are most of them: See 2:39, 81, 167, 217, 257, 275; 3:88, 116, 198; 4:14; 7:36, 42; 9:17, 68; 10:27; 13:5; 14:17; 20:101; 21:98-102; 22:72; 23:11, 103; 32:14; 35:36; 40:75; 41:28; 43:74; 47:15; 58:17; 59:17; 64:10; 72:23; 98:6; 104:5-6;
Second, hell is for lying prophets. 2:81. For me, there is some irony in that.
Also, persons in the fire will ask for a reprieve, a lessening of the punishment, and that request will be denied. Persons will never emerge from the fire. And who will be in the fire? Those who die while in an apostate state-of-mind, or who charge interest on loans (2:275), or who reject the verses of the Quran (41:28).
Some persons near Mohammed were teaching annihilationism (that the lost are eventually destroyed, as Adventists teach), but the idea was repudiated (3:24). He taught that man was given a soul (rather than that he became one as per Genesis). (32:9. And this giving of the soul did not happen at conception.)
Still, the book several times states that “no injustice” will be done to those subjected to hell. So you have the teaching that a trillion years of continuous suffering is fair punishment for a short period of poor decision making (2:217; 21:47).
Hell is generally pictured as future. As to what happens at death, the Quran does appear to be a bit self-contradicting. On one hand, the dead are unconscious (16:21) and cannot be made to hear anything (35:22). On the other hand, the dead are alive, yet you perceive it not. (2:154). And one passage is just plain enigmatic on this topic (39:42). But the book does refer to our mortal death as the “first death” in a phrase very reminiscent of Revelation.
Hell is described with some detail. It is hard and “harsh” and “severe punishment.” (All those ideas are repeated scores of times in the Quran). Hell will be humiliating (33:57). As a person approaches hell, he will hear its roaring. Then he will be chained into a small place to suffer there. (25:12-13). But at the gate he will be asked by the gate keepers about why he didn’t listen to the messengers (39:68-72). The keepers talk to their inmates without any apparent sympathy. There are 19 angels in charge of the place, “harsh angels.” 74; 66:6.
Once there, the victim will drink scalding putrid water that will also melt his skin as it is poured over his head. He will be beat with a piece of iron. He will wear garments of fire cut out just for him. When he tries to escape he will be returned to suffer hearing the words, “taste the punishment.” 22:19-22, 38:57. There sufferers will find the Zaqqum tree, a plant bearing fruits that look like demon heads. 37:62-67. The sky there will be canopies of fire, so ‘be afraid.’ 39:16. And when the fires burn through a person’s skin, God will create a new skin and put it on them so that they may continue to feel the pain (!). 4:56. Jinn (read “evil spirits”) will also be suffering there with the men. The threats regarding hell are common (see 14:1-52). While a person is there he will be bound with a 30 meter long chain. (69:32).
Of more pleasant interest we will next consider what Paradise is like in the book.
Paradise in the Quran
Who gets to go to paradise? The good people do. This is in the Quran many times. Fear Allah and keep your commitments. Hold the book and establish prayers. Pray three times a day. You see, your bad deeds will be removed and you will be rewarded for your good deeds. 7:170. See appendix for more.
By what means are those bad deeds removed? This is important: “Good deeds do away with misdeeds.” 11:114. That is very similar to the Roman Catholic view of the same question. See also 61:11.
In that day, no other religion than Islam will be accepted. (3:85). (But there is a community among the people of the scripture that are serious about prayer and scripture quoting. They forbid bad things and enjoin good behavior. They (SDA?) are among the righteous. 3:113-114.)
It seems that martyrs get to go early. 3:169
What is Heaven Like?
Heaven in the Quran seems designed especially to please the tastes of a certain class of people. Can you figure out which class?
First, there most certainly will be marriage in heaven. No, not to your wife or wives that you married here! Rather, God will populate heaven with gorgeous newly-created women, all virgins, with large bosoms (78:3) and large eyes. The one for you will be created to match your age, and you will marry her there in paradise. (The Quran, speaking of these things, never addresses what will be given to believing women.) This idea of maids in paradise is a theme of the book. 13:23; 39:52; 44:54; 52; 55; 56.
Also, created for your paradise pleasure will be young boys who will remain eternally young to serve you. And you will be clothed in green silk and jewels. The silk clothes are often mentioned. 76:19; 18:31. Paradise will have fine carpets. 88.
And paradise will have fountains of never-spoiling milk, and of non-intoxicating wine, and of honey. 47:15. And there will be plenty of fowl to eat, and your preferred varieties. (Poor heavenly chickens, duck, turkey, quail.).
A tinge of sadness though: those in Paradise will communicate with those in hell and ask them how they got there, and will even laugh at their calamity. 83; 74:40-47.
Interestingly, the reason we owe God obedience is that He purchased our lives by creating this paradise. 9:111. This idea is alleged (by the Quran) to be also in the Torah and in the Gospel.
Allah in the Quran
I don’t mind calling our Father by the name of Allah. But please understand that the character of God found in the two key books differ. For one thing, in the Quran, Allah dislikes transgressors. He says that ‘they don’t even reason.’ They are like unto ‘livestock.’ He dislikes self-deluded and boastful persons especially. 2:190; 5:87; 13:8; 25:44; 30:45; 31:18. His relation to the lost could be described as “hate.” 40:10. This is more tragic when you consider the teaching of predestination (54:49; 113:2).
While other prophets seem to use similar words (“Esau have I hated”), it is apparent to me that they do not mean the same thing at all.
But positively, in the book, the fact is recognized that were it not for grace, we would all be dead already. 34:45; 16:61. This is why we were granted probation. And in a statement of truth, the book teaches that all deeds will be revealed on the Last Day. 18:49. That is when it would be well to have a clothing of righteousness. 7:26.
But how to get that needed clothing is not at all apparent in the book. We will look now at Jesus in the Quran.
Jesus and Satan in the Quran
Bible characters feature largely in the Quran. There is a large story line about such familiar characters as Noah and Abraham and Moses and David and Solomon. But before considering any of these, we should look at what the Quran teaches about Jesus.
First, it denies that Allah has ever had a son, or has ever taken a son with attributes of deity, or that He has any partners or associates. This denial is repeated a dozen times. 2:116; 4:171; 6:101; 10:68; 13:16; 18:4-5; 19:35, 90-94; 21:25-26; 23:91; 25:2; 39:4; 112.
Second, the story of Jesus differs from the very beginning. You see, from our understanding of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, we know that Lucifer was jealous of Christ. He did not want to worship Christ. And this arrogant refusal to honor Christ’s divinity resulted in Satan’s fall. Now a version of this story appears several times in the Quran, but in an opposite form that would nearly justify Satan’s rebellion. There, in the Quran, Allah commands all the angels to worship the newly created Adam. (In the Quran, the angels are only a few days old at this point). And Satan (Iblees) refuses. He claims to be too similar to Adam (as a created being) to worship him. And so Allah curses Satan and the sin problem begins in the universe.
Can you see how troublingly different these tales are? For the Quran version, see 2:30-38; 7:11-22; 15:29-31; 17L61; 18:50; 20:16; 38:72-82. And in these narratives we find Allah sending Satan to incite men to do evil (19:88.) He is told to deceive who he can (17:61-64) and says he will do so by Allah’s power (38:72-82).
Regarding Jesus, the Quran warns us not to worship the Messiah (9:31). So, angels were to worship man, but not man worship Jesus. And also, Jesus was created from dust (3:59) so has no pre-existence. Now, granted, Jesus is special in the Quran. He is the result of a miracle virgin birth (accomplished by Gabriel). Jesus breaths life into a hand-formed clay bird. He raises the dead. He is given the Gospel. 3:49; 5:46, 110; 21:91; 66:12.
He even speaks, astonishingly, from the cradle (19:25-30). But how does story this compare to the beautiful truth that He was “made in all things like His brethren”?
Regarding the death of Jesus, the Quran strangely has the child Jesus predicting his own future death and resurrection (19:33) yet it testifies that it was Jesus’ body double that was killed, not Jesus (4:157). This latter teaching counters the focal point of the New Testament.
In the Quran is also a story of Jesus where He clearly predicted the coming of Mohammed, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tiding of a messenger to come after me whose name is Ahmad.” 61:6. And there Jesus also appears vaguely as a warlord, dominating over unbelievers by God’s power in conflict. 61:14.
But in conclusion, the book teaches that there is no fundamental distinction between the various messengers/prophets. Jesus is not different than the rest of them: 2:87, 285. And only Allah is an intercessor. 6:70.
The Quran and Bible Stories
The Quran differs from our familiar Bible stories in some big ways and in many little ways. Zachariah, for example, was mute for only three days. Noah lost a son in the flood. Mary travailed in birth with Jesus while shaking a date palm.
Abraham saw four birds resurrected. He also established Mecca. He parted from his idolatrous father after a discussion where Terah says “leave or be stoned!” (In Genesis, Abram departed Haran after the death of his father Terah.) The story of Sodom’s destruction differs a bit with the city being destroyed by a rain of hard blocks of clay.
The stories of Abraham and Lot, and of Moses, Aaron and Pharaoh, are told so often in the Quran that, together, they make up a significant part of the book.
In one reading, Moses briefly becomes a follower of a God-trained Arab messenger (al-Khidh r) who killed a boy, sunk a boat, etc. 18:60-82. The key lesson in this novel-like story, for thoughtful readers, is that the end justifies the means.
The burning bush story has the leprous hand removed, but white “without disease.” Later, the magicians that opposed Moses before Pharaoh were converted to Islam by means of Moses’s snake-eating staff. (Paul mentions these men too, but not as converted. 2Timothy 3:8.) Pharaoh became a believer while drowning in the Red Sea.
Solomon had a curiously-formed army that included evil angels, jinn, and birds. Ants knew of him and talked (as men talk) about avoiding being trampled. The birds assembled for marching, but the Hoopoe bird was late because he had been spying on the Queen of Shiba. Solomon threatened to kill her (the bird) if she was lying. Solomon asked some evil spirits that worked for him (the jinn) to take the queen’s throne (located a thousand miles away in Yemen) and bring it to him, and they did so almost instantly. Solomon also had a spring of liquid copper.
Abel wanted Cain to be lost. Job knew Satan had caused his troubles.
And references to Goliath, Arafat, Jonah, Gog, Magog, Elijah, Elisha, Baal, Joshua, Caleb, and a camel through the eye of the needle, all get honorable mentions (not always by name). And the red-heifer sacrifice is a yellow-heifer sacrifice in the Quran.
The Quran and Sabbath and Health Regulations
The book several times mentions the Sabbath. It describes punishments on Sabbath-breakers including them being turned into apes. Other evildoers were turned into apes, pigs, and slaves of hell. 2:63-67; 4:154; 5:60; 7:163-166. But was the Sabbath for everyone? It was for those who argued about it. 16:124.
And the Torah’s reference to a mark “like frontlets between the eyes” (Deut 6:8) is explained as the marks from praying in prostration with one’s forehead on the ground or mat. 48:29. But in the real Bible Torah, the frontlets are a metaphorical reference to the law of God in the heart.
But positively, the Quran several times mentions that six days were used in making the earth. 25:59; 41:9; 57:4; 10:3; 7:54; 50:38; 32:4. But then again, an adjacent verse (32:5) says a “day is 1000 years for you who count.” Hmmm.
The health laws of Moses have been a blessing to Seventh-day Adventists. They have saved us from much illness and disease. But in the Quran we are told that some of these laws will be changed making permissible what was previously forbidden. Elsewhere we are told that Israel made for itself some of these health laws before the Torah was given. And finally, we are told that the dietary laws of the Jews were “punishment.” See 3:50, 93; 4:160; 6:146.
Of course, in the Torah we Adventists find that they are presented as anything but punishment. “I will put none of these diseases on you which I have brought upon the Egyptians…”
The notes I made for myself cover many other topics. These would take a very long article to fully address. I have concerns with the teachings of the book regarding violence. (A man may first talk to a disobedient wife, then may withhold intimacy from her, and if she yet disobeys, may beat her.) I am concerned that the readers are explicitly permitted to marry their first cousins, a potent cause of birth defects. And I am concerned with how the book permits the sexual abuse of female slaves in view of the fact of their being wholly-owned persons.
It is also interesting to me that the general belief of many Muslims differs significantly from the Quran on the topic of the Old and New Testament. Contrary to conventional wisdom of many Muslims who I have talked to, the Quran definitely presents itself as being similar to those sources rather than to being different from them. It honors them and speaks of ill of those who should have paid more attention to them. And the common arguments that the Quran is in written in Arabic because it was the best language for communicating truth….that argument doesn’t square with the book. Rather, the book explains that Arabic was chosen because that was the language of the intended audience, an admittingly difficult group (19:97).
The objections against the Quran that Mohammed met in his lifetime are addressed in the book. And when I compare its numerous Bible stories to their counterparts in Scripture, I am not surprised that the following allegation surfaced repeatedly: Many accused Mohammed of appropriating the legends of the former peoples. Mohammed counters this often (6:25; 8:31; 16:24; 23:83; 25:5; 27:68; 46:17; 68; 74:18-30). The latter two references are quite extended discussions of one man who was wealthy and prominent. He is even faulted for deliberating too much and for being skeptical. (My outside study has indicated some dependence in the Quran on the faulty Jubilees book.)
And I worry about the picture painted of Jinn. They seem crafty but underestimated. Some are converted by hearing the Quran. (Think about that in terms of the edge it gives to demons who leverage that idea.) And I fret over the idea that if Allah tells you to kill yourself, you should do it. 4:66. And if you disbelieve, hang yourself also. 22:15. And I dislike the truth that Islam grows fastest by conquest (110). Much of the book is about war, and courage in fighting, and is about handling of captives and booty. (That is the context in which you find most of the violence-enjoining passages, such as 2:191; 3:104; 4:89-90; 9:5, 30.)
I dislike that seeking personal vengeance is “blameless” in 42:41.
The suggested hermeneutic that ‘if a new prophet doesn’t disagree with past ones, you must believe him’ 3:81, I find juvenile. Many false prophets succeed in saying nothing but truth for quite some time.
The Quran also gives Allah the credit for all death and for placing criminals in every city. 3:145, 154-168; 6:123. And there are more issues regarding science and history. (See the appendix below for all notes).
I agree with some radical Muslim scholars that there is too little harmony between the Bible and the Quran. They and I disagree fundamentally on which of the two differing sources is reliable.
But I wish that we, as Seventh-day Adventists, would not be so worried about persecution that we would pretend to find benign the teachings of a book that is so strongly against our core beliefs.
Isaac Ishmael Jacobs (a pen-name).
Appendix – My Notes on Surahs 1-114, over 6000 verses and over 77,000 words.
These notes should serve as references rather than as quotes as the English translation of the Quran is heavily paraphrased often, and my own comments added routinely, including editorial reactions. In these notes, Q = Quran; M = Mohammed; A = Allah, OT = Old Testament. Words in double quotes (“word”) are from the translation of the Quran by Saheeh International as found in the android app “Qur’an English.” Words in single quotes, (‘word’) are a paraphrase of the translation. An exclamation in parenthesis (!) indicates my own reaction of amazement that such an idea would be expressed.
These notes are not organized on the basis of true and false statements. There are some notes on very good true things that the Quran says, such as “no compulsion in religion.” Mostly notes were taken on ideas that provided information of any type, especially if the information was not found in other passages.
Hell and the Day of Judgment
2:39, 81 Eternal hell is for lying prophets. 2:162 Suffering will not be lightened or reprieved. 2:167 Sufferers will never emerge from fire. 2:217 the eternal fire for those who die in an apostate condition. 2:257. 2:275 and for those charging interest on loans. 3:88, 116, 198; 4:14; 7:36, 42; 9:17, 68; 10:27; 13:5; 14.17; 20:101; 21:98-102; 22:72; 23:11; 23:103; 32:14; 35:36 no death for sufferers, so they suffer on. 40:75; 41:28 hell for rejection of Q verses. 43:74; 47:15; 58:17; 59:17; 64:10; 72:23; 98:6; 104:5-6.
3:24 Annihilation alleged by someone, denied by Q
2:154 The dead are alive, but you perceive it not
35:22 You can not make those in the graves hear you.
39:42 What A does with souls at death?
16:21 The dead are unconscious
44:56 "First death" mentioned implying second
21:47 No injustice in the Day. See also 40:17
22:1-4 At last day, pregnant and nursing mothers enter hell with their infants (neglected and aborted)
22:19-22 Scalding water poured on heads, melting skin. They are hit with “maces of iron.” Wear garments of fire cut out for them. When they try to get out, they are returned, hearing "taste the punishment"
33:57 Hell is humiliating punishment
37:62-67 Zaqqum hell tree again, sporting demon-head fruits
39:16 A threatens his servants with canopies of fire, so fear him(!)
39:57 Hell has scalding putrid water to drink
4:56 When hell fire burns through skin, God will create a new skin so they can continue feeling pain
11:119 Hell will be filled with men and jinn together
14:1-52 Many references to fire and punishment and threat of horror. None to love.
44:43-47 Tree of Zaqqum and hell. The lost are dragged in and taunted and tortured.
69:32 70-cubit chain for hell bound persons
74 For one person is Hell (saqar) where 19 angels manage it. These are “angels, harsh and severe”, 66:6.
89 Surah about punishment
102 More warnings of hell
Entrance to Hell
25:12-13 As you approach hell, hear its roaring. Then be chained in a small place.
39:68-72 On last day: Horn blows, they die. Blows again, they stand to face A, then judgment from records, then groups go to hell and gate keepers ask them about the messengers
40:50 Keepers of hell speak aloof, without pity, to its inhabitants.
8:16 Retreat in war leads to hell
19:72 Wrongdoers left on knees in hell
Day of Judgment
99 Day of final earthquake, all will know their moral weight
100 Look from grave to Day
101 Scales weigh us for judgment
Key Bible Characters
Fall of Satan, the Fall of Man, Adam, Eve
2:30-38 Adam learned animal names from God. Iblees won’t bow to Adam and so becomes Satan.
7:11-22 The story of the fall of Satan is in the Q many times, and sometimes also combined with the story of the fall of Adam and Eve. In all these stories here, God creates man and angels and then commands the angels to bow to Adam. Iblees (now known as Satan) refuses. Therefor he is cursed and begins negotiations regarding his curse. For more on the story, see 15:29-31; 17:61-74*; 18:50; 19:44, 83*; 20:16; 38:72-82. In the last of these, and in the two with an *, Satan is told to deceive who he can (17) and is sent to incite unbelievers to evil (19). He finally says, “by your might I will mislead them all.”
15:29-31 angels ordered to prostrate before Adam; iblees refused. Cursed, negotiations, believers immune
Noah and His Story
The story of Noah and the drowning of the world in a flood and the saving of the animals, is mentioned often in the Quran, but with few details in most cases. Most of the passages are here, some with key details they add: 7:59-62; 10:71-; 11:15-50 One son of his lost in flood, (Contrast Gen 6:8-10). 17:2; 21:76-77; 23:23-30; 25:37; 26:105-120 A saved Noah from stoning; 29:15 Noah lived to 950; 37:75-82; 40:5; 50:12 Thamud mentioned here and in many other of these passages as a prophet that followed Noah. 53:52; 54:9-11; 57:26; 66:10 Noah’s wife (like Lot’s) was told to “enter the fire”; 71 Noah prayer for no wicked survivors.
Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and Lot and Sodom
2:125-134 Abraham and Ishmael and Jacob
2:258 Abraham, (260 four birds resurrected)
3:95-96 Abraham and Mecca
4:125 Abraham was intimate friend of A
6:74 Abraham and his dad Azar
7:80-82 Lot, Sodom, homosexuality wrong
9:70 Abraham and Noah again
9:114 Abraham and Terah
11:70-86 Abraham and Sarah and Lot story and Jacob. Sodom destroyed with lumps of hard clay (one of many Surahs that mention this clay)
19:41-49 Abraham, Abraham vs Terah talk. Terah says 'leave or be stoned' so Abraham leaves and is given Isaac and Jacob. (contrast to Gen 11:31-12:1 where Abraham departs after Terah's death)
19:55 Ishmael was a prophet and Idrees
21:51-75 Abraham (young) talks to the idolaters. They burn him, but he is protected, and escapes with Lot.. Isaac and Jacob given as prophets righteous. Lot saved from Sodom
21:85 Ishmael and two other good guys
22:26 Abraham established [Mecca]
26:69-93 Abraham, regarding Terah unnamed
26:160 Lot and Sodom (165 homosexuality)
27:54-58 Lot and Sodom (55 homosexuality)
29:16-25 Abraham, they threatened to burn him or kill him. 26-35 Lot. 27 Isaac Jacob. 31 angels bring Abraham “good tidings” of Sodom's impending destruction. 32 Lot's wife predicted to be left behind.
37:83-109 Abraham offers his son in sacrifice, son saved by God. (which son not specified though Isaac is mentioned in 112-113)
37:133 Lot again
38:45 Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
43:26 Abraham again
54:34 Lot and Sodom and the rock/clay storm again
The story of Moses is mentioned more than 30 times in the Quran. In Surah’s 2, 7, 10, 18, 20, 26, 28, and 37 the story is told in considerable detail. Less informative passages include 21:48 (see “criterion”); 2:108; 3:11; 4:153; 8:52-54; 23:45-49; 27:7-14; 29:39; 33:69; 40:22-34 (Egyptian Haman to test deity of Moses; believer pleads with Pharaoh. Rumor Joseph is last messenger.); 8:52-54; 11:96; 17:2, 100-; 19:51; 41:45; 43:46-56; 54:41; 66:11 (Pharaoh’s wife was a believer); 69; 79; 85. Below are some details found in the more informative passages:
2:49-61 Story of Pharaoh, Moses, Red Sea, Golden Calf; some persons were killed and brought back to life (!). Allah told some to kill themselves. Then the story of the manna, quail; striking rock, complaining, wanting garlic, cucumbers.
26:10-68 Story of Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh, snakes, exodus. This passage has the same story of the magicians that opposed Moses before Pharaoh as found in the other parts of the Quran. These magicians are converted by the signs shown by Moses, angering Pharaoh who threatens them.
28:3-46. Story of Moses, Pharaoh, Haman (his minister), Jochabed, Miriam, Moses kills the Egyptian, exposed, flees to Midian, helps ladies, works 8-10 years for wife; burning bush, serpent, white hand, Aaron more fluent. Pharaoh and Haman drowned. Later in the chapter, Garun is from the people of Moses, but “he tyrannized them.”
37:114-122 Moses and Aaron were (117) given "explicit scripture,” meaning easily understandable.
7:105-154 Similar to 28. But adding regarding the Tables of the Ten Commandments. Contrast to Exodus 32-33. Find good material v. 152-154.
10:75-87 Adds instruction to Moses; ‘Make house face qiblah.’ Also, Pharaoh converted while drowning (!)
18:60-82 Odd story of Moses meeting Arab person who guides him through a living/killing parable of the end justifies the means. Moses learns.
20:9-85 Story of the burning <bush>, quite different, non-diseased white hand. Moses requests Aaron. Jochabed and the reed ark, Moses killed the Egyptian; Pharaoh asks “Who is the Lord?” (49). Magicians and their ‘serpents’, are converted and condemned by Pharaoh (70). The Red Sea, manna, quail, and a man named Samiri (not Aaron) makes the golden calf, and it makes a lowing sound (!).
David and Solomon Stories
Though not mentioned as often as Noah or Abraham or Moses, the greatest kings of Israel are still feature prominently in four passages (below) and are mentioned elsewhere.
2:102 Solomon’s reign troubled by two angels of Babylon, Harut and Marut. These angels, or their followers, teach bewitching magic that can split families. But the evil angels warn listeners that this is a test before proceeding to dupe them (!) and can only deceive with permission from Allah.
27:15-45 David mentioned; then Solomon who has (v. 17) three groups of troops: men, jinn, birds (?!). Ants speak. Solomon understands the ants. He then takes attendance of the birds, finds the hoopie missing, threatens slaughter against her if she is lying bird. She has been spying on the Queen of Sheba. (v. 38) after much story, Solomon asks the Jinn which will bring the queen’s throne. 44 The queen is converted after encountering a glass floor palace and her own throne miraculously carried by jinn.
34:10-15 David mentioned; then Solomon, who had (v. 12) obedient winds (!), springs of copper (!), employed jinn (!), by God’s permission, which jinn were threatened with hell if they were bad. The Jinn (14) were caught off card at Solomon’s death a ‘creature from the earth’ ate his staff.
38:17-26 David, who often repented, finds two men crawling over the wall into his bed-chamber that call themselves adversaries (of each other). They share Nathan’s parable about the ewe lamb, modified a bit. Next, David was given Solomon (v. 30) who killed his prized racing horses and prayed (v. 36) for the greatest kingdom.
Jesus and Mary and Zachariah and John
Of greatest interest to me, of course, is what the Quran teaches about Jesus.
Regarding the story, it begins with Mary’s father. Then it picks up with Zachariah (who cared for Mary) who asked for a sign and so was made mute for three days. Elizabeth gives birth to the prophet John the Baptist. With some variation from the Bible story you can find these stories in 3:34-40; 19:1-20; 21:89-91.
Mary has a virgin birth, being impregnated by the angel Gabriel blowing through her skirt (21:91; 38:50-51; 66:12; 43:57-65). When her time for delivery comes, she is counseled to grab a date palm and shake it and to eat the fruits that fall. She does. Jesus is born, and speaks like an adult immediately (!) defending his mom’s chastity. (19:21-32). Then Jesus predicts that he will die and be resurrected (19:33). But wait, and keep this in mind.
As a lad, Jesus forms a bird from clay and breathes life into it. He later raises the dead and cures the deaf. But in the Day of Judgment He will repudiate being a deity. 3:34-58. 5:110-116. See 5:72). This last point is very large. And consequently, we are forbidden to worship the Messiah (9:31) He was, the Quran says, created from dust. 3:59.
Jesus is given the gospel (5:46) and learned about the Torah and Gospel from Allah. 3:46-48. He had the “clear Spirit,” (2:253) also not divine. And the Quran maintains that he is like all other messengers, and not distinct from them. 2:87, 285; 3:84. And Jesus is pictured as domineering over opposers (!) by God’s power. (61:16). And Jesus is not an intercessor. (6:70).
To finish this section I will quote two verses from the Quran about Jesus, one of which relates to 19:33 mentioned above:
And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.” 4:157
And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmed.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.” 61:6
Other Bible People and Places and Stories
2:249-251 Goliath and (Gideon?)
2:246-248 Poor King Saul; Ark of the Covenant
21:83; 38:41 Job; who knows about Satan’s role in 38:41
21:87 Jonah unnamed.
37:139-148 Jonah. Lots drawn, thrown in ocean, big fish, gourd, more than 100,000 of 'his people' in [Nineveh] (added by translators)
21:96 Dam of Gog and Magog. See also 18:94
37:123-130 Elijah, Baal. Peace upon Elijah (as if dead?)
38:48 Elisha and more
4:163 List of many OT characters. See 6:84-86
5:23 Joshua and Caleb, not by name
5:29 Abel wanted Cain to be lost (!) (the boys not named)
7:40 A camel and the eye of a needle...becomes a threat…
14 All messages given in language of the audience
45:28 Every nation will kneel...
48:29 Curious reference to the seal of God in De 6:8. (As if it comes from your forehead touching the ground in prayer.)
48:29 Also a reference maybe to the tree of Romans 11.
Quran and Other Scriptures
39:23 Q is the best statement, a consistent book of reiterating
4:136 You should believe in M, Q, and Scripture sent before
5:104 Shame who just take religion of their fathers
6:154-156 Q supplements OT (NT) so Arabs are not disenfranchised
10:37 Q is a detailed explanation of what was previously revealed
10:99 Compel people to be believers??
10:94 ‘Mohammed, ask the scripture readers if you have doubt about anything.’
12:111 ‘this story is a confirmation of what went before’ [but it differs in many details, makes ancient Hebrews talk like Arabs, makes Jacob superstitious]
14.4 All messages in language of hearers. Allah works by predestination (15:12)
19:97 Quran in Arabic so you can warn a hard group in easy language
15:9 Preservation of q by God. Extension logically that all Scripture would be preserved.
16:36 Messengers were sent to every nation
41:44 What if Q had not been Arabic?
46:9 M is not something original among the messengers
33:40 M is the seal, or last, of the prophets (!)
46:12 Scripture of Moses given before; this Q now in Arabic to warn Arabs
75 One of many references found to "recitation" of the Quran
81 Quran not from the devil …
87:18-19 This is the former scripture of Abraham and Moses
109 When they ask, say "for you is your religion, for me is mine"
Changing/Perverting the Scripture
Rumors are strong in Islam that the Bible has been corrupted, particularly by the Jews, so as to be unreliable. But these rumors are, themselves, unreliable even if one takes the Quran as a source of truth. It teaches that by exaggeration, by forgetfulness, by distortion, and in speech, the words have been altered, but not in their original record. Here is what the Quran says about the Jews and the Scriptures.
2:59 Some changed God's words and were punished.
3:78 Some alter the Scripture with their tongues
6:34 None can alter the words of Allah
2:75 Some distort (in M’s day) after knowing it.
5:12-13 Jews distort meaning and have forgotten parts. Also 4:46, except some
2:78 Illiterate persons don't know the scriptures, but are only assuming
5:14 Christians forgot part of the Covenant
5:41 Jews distort words beyond proper usage
6:91 Jews concealed part of what was revealed
2:136-140 We believe in all given to all the prophets and make no distinction in any
22:78 Believers, Allah is identified in other prophets.
32:23 Moses given scripture for Israel. “explicit scripture” 37:117
40:53 Moses, and children of Israel inherited Scripture
3:3 Truth in Torah and gospel
3:64 Appeal to scripture believers that you are Muslim and [will remain so]
4:150 What about those who believe in some, not all messengers?
6:159 It is a shame to divide religion into sects
Objecting to the Quran
The Quran makes many references to persons who did not believe in it.
2:176 Those who argue about the book are extreme arguers
29:46 Don't argue with people of the book unless they commit injustice. Just make your statement of faith.
21:5 Some alleged M had false dreams, poetry, etc.
22:52 Satan makes misunderstanding of all prophet's writings
3:19 Jealousy (!) is the reason scripture people don't believe in the Q
4:114 This is one of several curious digs at "private conversation.” See also 58:10
9:107 Regarding setting up a mosque for teaching error
11:13-14 You should bring forth 10 similar surahs if you think this is contrived (this is one of many similar challenges)
17:88. Mankind and jinn together couldn't produce like the Q
57:9 Verses of clear evidence (one of many similar challenges)
59:14 Enemies of islam (some) are people ‘who do not reason’. (I have seen this kind of statement several times)
68:1-2 M has good mental health and an excellent character despite the claims to the contrary…
Legends of the Former Peoples
One of the common objections to the Quran, in Mohammed’s time, was that he was getting his material from ancient legends. This allegation might have more to it than people think.
23:83 Some say, ‘This is legends of the former peoples.’
25:5 ‘Legends of the former people,’ they say, he wrote down;
27:68 “Legends of the former prophets”
8:31 "legends of the former people.” See also 16:24.
46:17 A skeptical son thought, "former legends"
68 One of many negative references to wealthy persons with many children. He was a skeptic who saw in Q "legends of the former people"
6:25 See this on such legends
74:18-30 One rich man "thought and deliberated" regarding the verses of the Q. He will be punished for deliberating for concluding that the Q was copied and was of human origin. For him is Hell (saqar) where 19 harsh angels manage it. (66:6)
Curse on Sabbath-breakers
2:63-67 Old Covenant broken, Sabbath disrespected, Allah says "be ye apes", a "deterrent punishment"
4:47 The Sabbath breakers were cursed see 4:154
5:60 A made evil persons into apes, pigs, and slaves of taghut
7:160 Quail story; Moses struck the rock producing 12 fountains; cloud shade, Exodus stories
7:163 Fishing community tested on Sabbath by many fish coming that day only. Failed. 166 They became apes
16:124 Sabbath only for those who differed on it
2:124 Good: Abraham, his Covenant does not include the wrongdoers.
95 Connection between Mt Sinai and Day of Judgment
2:68-71 The slaughter of the "yellow" heifer story... Different
Six Days for Creation
25:59 Six days
32:4 Six days. But 32:5 day is 1000 years you count
24:1 This surah, the light, A made obligatory
53:19-21 The heathen gods....
2:62 Jews, Christians, Sabaens, prior to M will have paradise
2:111 Someone alleged only Jews and Christians will be in paradise
2:113 Jews and Christians both "recite" scripture
2:120 Jews and Christians won't approve M until he joins them
2:135 Don't say 'I am a Jew or a Christian, but I of religion of Abraham" Hmm. Ok.
2:142-145 Someone asked" when did Jews and Christians stop praying toward Qiblah"? More re Giblah
2:146-149 Seems to say that all religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) race to different Qiblahs, and this is ok.
22:16x Christians, Jews, Sabiens, Magians….
22:40 Synagogues, churches, mosques: places where A is often mentioned
3:65-70 Scripture people argue about Abraham who had neither Torah nor gospel, so was neither Jew nor Christian
3:72ish Christian said only believe Bible
3:100ish Complaints regarding Christians who discourage Muslims from believing
5:47 Let the people of the gospel judge by the gospel: 5:66-69 they should follow it, but woe to those who acknowledge Christ's divinity 72
5:51 Jews and Christians allies of each other, not of Muslims
98:6 Disbelievers among scripture holders and polytheism will burn eternally. They were divided after Q came
2:85 M saw Jewish hypocrisy
33:53 If you visit M, leave his home soon, he is shy to say “go!”
36:70 M not given knowledge of poetry
3:53 Believers followed Jesus and M
3:159 Someone gave M wisdom to handle a defeated army
7:157 Unlettered M made the Q, mentions OT, Gospel
10:94 Allah says, ‘M, ask the scripture readers if you have doubt about anything.’
17:1 M miraculously transported long distance and back home during one night (no observers)
59:1-4 Some scripture people opposed M and so A expelled them from their homes
66 Two of M’s wives had issues with him
73:16 M is like Moses before Pharaoh
80 M frowned at a blind man, and reproved by A
94 God removed M's burden and helped his reputation
2:74 Hard hearts are like stones
2:98 A's messengers, Gabriel and Michael (!)
2:106 Nothing from messengers forgotten except replaced with similar
2:109 Scripture people are envious
2:213 Origin of religions
22:47 A day is like a thousand years
5:43-44 In the Torah is the judgment of Allah
5:54 Allah loves those who revert from their religion to believe
9:35 Year is 12 lunar months
The Quran has one predictive prophecy. But it is more like a Nostradamus prediction than like a Daniel 2 one. It predicts a successful revenge attack by the Roman empire. And who would not have predicted that? It put the attack at an unspecified time in the then near future.
30:2 Byzantines have been defeated but 4 in "three to nine years" they will overcome
Allah Has No Son
One of the strongest points in the Quran, one not completely represented here, is that Allah has had no sons, has taken no sons, has no equals, and no associates, (and no daughters for that matter, either).
2:116 Regarding A taking a son
21:25-26 Think A took a son? All prophets were shown one God
23:91 A has no son, no other deities
25:2 No son, no partner
39:4 Against A having a son
5:17 Allah is not Christ
6:101 Against A having a son
10:68 Ahose who say A has taken a son (with attributes of deity) don't know what they are talking about
13:16 No creator with Allah
18:4-5 A grave ignorant lie to say Allah has taken a son
19:35 It is not befitting for A to take a son since he created by speaking
19:90-94 Nature aghast at claims A took son
112 God neither begets nor is born nor has equals
Salvation and Character
Perhaps the next most fundamental teaching of the prophets, after the teaching about Jesus and the atonement, is “What are the conditions for salvation?” A reading of the book shows a doctrine of righteousness that blows hot and cold, merit based and faith based.
Who Inherits Paradise?
2:177 Important, who are the righteous? Precisely defined list of good works, see 2:183, 189
21:105 ‘In Psalms we wrote righteous win paradise’
29:7 Believe and do good. Your bad deeds will be removed, and you rewarded for the good
3:76 To be accepted, fear A and keep your commitment
3:85 No other religion will be accepted but Islam
3:113 [SDA are righteous] OK, describes a class of righteous Scripture people…
7:170 Those who hold to the book and establish prayers will not be lost
11:114 Three prayer times enjoined, and (!) "good deeds do away with misdeeds"
13:11 When a man changes himself, God changes how He relates to him.
14.11 Story shows that before Noah, faith was not based on evidence.
61:11 A transaction to get to heaven? Believe in Allah and M
77 At great Day, rewards to both classes, to deniers and to righteous
92 Only most wretched burn
What is Heaven Like?
If you are an Arabic man hoping for peace and an ideal marriage and lots of children, heaven is for you. If you are a young servant boy, or a lady, the Quran doesn’t paint as pretty a picture for you. Here are my observations.
39:52 God will make for you women of equal age to be your spouse. Several other passages (perhaps 8?) say the same. (See 13:23)
3:169 Martyrs receive an immediate reward.
52 Those heavenly spouses will have large eyes. (See 44:54, and many other places) And they will be full-breasted (78:3!)
55 A's benefits include the fact that those women will be beautiful
76:19 There will be young boys who remain eternally young to serve you in paradise. Also, a wine fountain and silk clothing.
56 Paradise for three groups. Besides the boys and virgins, there will be plenty of ‘meat of fowl’ (!) of varieties they prefer
47:15 In Paradise are rivers of never-spoiling milk (!), of wine, of honey.
17:72 Whoever is blind in this life, blind also in the hereafter (but this is likely metaphorical…)
18:31 Saved are decked with jewels, wearing green silk
74:40-47 Paradise dwellers will ask hell dwellers "how did you get there?" (So must have some proximity)
83 Paradise includes sealed wine, the last of which is musk, so compete for this. Righteous will laugh at calamity of lost.
88 Heaven has nice carpets... (one of several statements)
Allah’s Feelings about Sinners
These statements need no comment.
2:190 A does not like transgressors, see 2:276; 3:32;3:57; 5:87
25:44 Idolaters don't reason, are like livestock (stronger of many similar verses)
30:45 A "does not like the disbelievers"
31:18 A does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful
13:8 God knows every miscarriage, but [no sympathy apparent]
40:10 Hatred of Allah for evildoers
Why or How People Become Evil
2:89-91 Believers become unbelievers when confronted with Q, which is a confirmation of previous Revelation. Jews believe only what is given them.
54:49 Everything by predestination
113:2 God creates evil
35:45 Good: If grace not extended, all creatures dead already
16:61 Similarly: Probation granted by A because if all were held accountable, no one would be alive
7:26 Mentions clothing of righteousness better than cloth
8:11 Literal water rain sent to purify hearts (?)
8:28-29 But with criterion, A will forgive and remove your misdeeds
9:111 A has purchased lives of believers with the future paradise, a true promise in Q, Torah, Gospel
18:49 Good on the book of records: all great and small recorded, revealed on that day
Shariah and Rules and Values
2:185 Fast during Ramadan because Q given then
2:187 Fast from sex too (197, also during Haj) 2:222 during menstruation
2:188 Bribery is sinful
2:196 Prescribed fasting for those who cannot afford a sacrificial animal
2:219 Wine and gambling have both sin and “benefits,” but “more sin”
2:221 Marriage to polytheists forbidden
2:223-238 Divorce policies and marriage policies
2:282 All business should be in writing with witnesses except transitory affairs
23:5-6 No blame from God for sex with slaves
24:2 Fornication punishment is 100 lashes, guilty cannot marry a believer except a fornicator (woman)
24:4 Give 80 lashes to false accusers, mute them. Four witnesses needed as evidence.
24:6-8 Regarding ‘him vs her’ accusations of adultery (and needed witnesses)
24:27 Don't enter a home unwelcomed and without greeting
24:31 Hide your privates and jewelry(?) from non-relatives
24:33 If your master compels you to prostitution, A will be merciful
24:36 A has ordered the raising of mosques as sources of light
24:60 Menopausal women may omit the outer cover, but still hide jewels(?)
33:50 You may marry your first cousins (!) and your owned slaves (!)
3:79 Don't take angels and prophets as Lord's
3:130 Against usury
4:3 Marry up to 4 women if you can be fair, (see v129 for more)
4:11 How your heirs will receive
4:15 Adultery punished with house arrest or Just forgive the couple if they soon repent:(4:25 slaves half punishment for adultery)
4:23 Various incest forbidden
4:24 Maybe ok to marry your servant’s wife if you own her
4:34 Punish disobedient wife with talk, then no sex, then beat her (!). But if she reforms, forgive her
4:43 Don't pray while drunk; use sand to wash if no water is available
4:92 Punishment for manslaughter of believer is pay a fee to survivors, and free a slave...
5:3 Laws for blood, offered to idols, strangled, etc. Swine
5:5 Wash to elbows, ankles, marriage to scripturists
5:33 Penalty to opposers of Q, crucifixion, hands, feet removed, death, banishment
5:38 Amputation of thief hands
5:90 Alcohol, gambling, idolatry forbidden
8:41 20% of booty for M, kin, orphans
58:1-4 After divorce, want to take her back? First free a slave, or fast 2 months, or feed poor
60:10 Divorce and remarriage acceptable for religious cause
65 On divorce, waiting periods except in case of immorality
General Morality and Courtesy
2:256 Super: No compulsion in religion
2:264 Warning against showy hypocrisy
29:8 Obedience to parents enjoining idolatry forbidden
31:19 Speak quietly, well-paced. Donkeys have least pleasant voices
3:31 Do you love Allah? Follow M
17:78 Prayer at dawn and dusk
41:34 Overcome evil with good, enemies with kindness implied
53:32 Regarding big sins and slight ones
57:11, 18 One of many references to giving Allah a loan
63 Give charity before you are at death’s door
90 Companions of the light are those who show mercy to the needy and miserable
93 Be good to orphans and foreigners (one of many similar regarding orphans)
4:66 if Allah tells you to kill yourself, do it and get a great reward
2:191 Kill unbelievers because unrest/rebellion is worse than killing.....
3:104 Make a Muslim nation
4:89 Seize and slay apostates
4:90 Make peace with peace lovers who don't want to fight their own
9:5 After sacred four months, kill, beseige, etc, the polytheists
9:30 ‘May God destroy the Jews and the Christians’
42:41 Seeking vengeance personally is ‘blameless’ (contrast, “avenge not yourselves.” Romans)
Changing Torah Rules
3:50 Q will make permissible some of what was forbidden by Torah
3:93 Israel made his own health laws before the Torah (unneeded)
4:160 Dietary laws of Jews were punishment (!). See also 6:146
Warfare and Refugees
4:77 Shame on those who are afraid to die fighting for A
4:97 The angels say “why didn't you emigrate from your oppressors? "
8:65-66 So 20 Muslims will beat 100, and 100 beat 1000, 1000 take 2000
8:70 Show graciousness to captives
16:41 Persecuted Muslim refugees will be settled nicely on this earth
47:1-8 War dead deeds remembered
47:20 Shame on fear-to-fight
60:8 God permits kindness to unbelievers if they do not fight
107 Woe to thoughtless prayer and failure to assist
110 Islam grows fast by conquest
2:259 Man was made to sleep 100 years, became a sign with donkey
26:155 The she-camel sign story (many times in Q)
29:38 Thamud and Aad again. (by far, most refs to these oft mentioned men are not noted by me)
3:124-125 3k-5k angels to be dispatched to help the war
3:183 Why were the earlier prophets killed?
5:97 A has made the kabah
7:78 the shriek (probably an earthquake) kills; see 7:91
11:94 2nd mention of "the shriek" that kills wrong doers in their home, laying them prone
18:11-22 Youth cursed to sleep for 309 years, then awakened (in the cave) don't argue about the number, God knows. Their dog...
18:33-45 Story or parable of two rich farmers, the unbeliever comes to naught
57:27 Monasticism, earlier than real, said to be permitted by A, not prescribed
70:4 A day of 50,000 years….
105 Reference to myth of rocks pelting elephant warriors, I read this story in a children's book
111 Abu and his wife will burn…
22:15 Hang yourself if you disbelieve
31:27 Words of A greater than held by forests turned to pens with seas of ink
3:81 (!) If a new prophet confirms past ones, you must believe him says A
3:145 All death is by divine decree, see 154!, 156 A makes death. 168
5:32 To kill or save one person is to kill or save the whole race (?)
6:123 ‘Thus we have placed the greatest criminals in every city.’
21:33 Heavenly bodies in an orbit are swimming. See 36:40
24:45 All creatures made from water, 25:54 a man?
24:61 Blind, lame, ill
29:41 Idolaters like spider that has 'weakest home' (if he only knew)
30:54 Stages of creation of a man: weakness, strength, weakness with white hair
33:50 you may marry your first cousins and your owned slaves.
8:22-23 worst are deaf and dumb retarded, made so because no good in them (metaphorical)
37:1-2 Closest heaven (of seven, 71:15) adorned with stars (!). See also 67:3
40:67 On fetal development: Sperm to clinging clot to baby; 22:1-5 add lump of flesh "formed and unformed" 23:14 adds skin, bones. See also 75:83. 86 adds that man made from fluid from “between the backbone and ribs.” My comment: the fluid is made much lower than that.
3:117 Wind containing frost
7:74 The ‘homes’ in the rocks (now known to be tombs)
9:97 Unkind words regarding Bedouins, (I observed much class stereotyping in Q)
17:7 Reference to AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem
41:9 World created in 2 days+4; which is six (57:4; 10:3; 7:54; 50:38)
42:50 God determines gender
46:15 Periods of male development, 30 months, 40 years. Honor your mom
67:19 Birds held aloft by A only. 16:79 also
35:1 Angels have wings, 2 or 3 or 4(!)
37:3-10 Angels fight demons with fire, etc
6:100 Alleged partners of A, often mentioned, are jinns, sons, daughters
6:112 A made for every prophet enemies (jinns, people)
15:26-27 Man from mud, Jinn from fire created (one of many similar)
18:51 Jinn did not witness the creation of the earth
19:64 Gabriel speaks of angels
42:5 Angels pray for forgiveness of people
46:28-32 Jinn listen to Q, become warners to their own, offering forgiveness from A
72 Jinn. :1-2, a group listening to Q were apparently converted (!)
96:18 Curious ref to "angels of hell" being called by God to punish
97:4 Angels and ‘Spirit’ have permission from ‘their Lord’
114:6 Gossip springs from Jinn and people
32:9 Breathed into him a created soul (not at conception) (Not, “he became a living soul”)