Imagine going to sleep on your bed and waking up on a boat.
What are the first questions you are going to ask those around you?
How did I get here?
What am I doing here?
Where am I going?
These are important questions to ask because you have been thrown onto the boat. The boat is moving forward, and you want to know where it is going. Your curiosity in this regard is valid.
You have been thrown into life. How did you get here? What are you doing here? Where are you going?
You are a child of your mother. She is a child of her mother. There cannot be an infinite regress of parents, otherwise there would be no children. Humans, like all animals, came from the earth. All life came from the earth. The earth is part of the universe. The universe had a beginning.
There could not have previously been an infinite number of causes preceding the universe, otherwise it would not have come into existence. Even if the universe did not have a ‘beginning’, it must have been dependent on something. There cannot be an infinite regress of dependent things, otherwise everything would depend on something else; an infinite number of dominoes all falling on one another.
Imagine a castle. A castle cannot float on thin air. If you saw a castle, you would assume it had a foundation. Existence is like the castle – it needs a foundation.
Imagine looking at a sea. You see water in the distance. You know it is being supported by the sea floor. You haven’t seen the sea floor, but you know it exists.
Unlike the base of the castle or the floor of the sea, the ultimate foundation of all reality cannot be dependent. Dependent things (like castle bases and sea floors) only exist because something else causes and sustains them.
Therefore, there is a requirement for an eternal uncaused first cause – a beginner of everything that exists, one which had no beginning in itself. An entity which all things depend on, which is itself not dependent. This is the only way to explain the existence of anything. You were ultimately caused by this independent and eternal entity.
This independent thing could not be the universe itself. Things that are made up of parts which can be broken up are dependent. The universe is made up of parts. Therefore, the universe is dependent.
You may be reading these words on a laptop or a phone. Consider the following: your device is not exploding. Why do you take this proposition for granted? Many things need to be in place in order for your device not to explode. The first and most important is the uniformity of nature. Nature must act in the same way in the present as it has in the past in order for us to predict anything ‘scientific’ or even do science. Nature needs to be stable.
Water boils at 100 degrees. This was the case yesterday, it is the case today, and will be the case tomorrow. Imagine a world where water boils at -100 degrees yesterday, 1 degree today, and a thousand degrees tomorrow. Could any science be done in such a world? Why is the universe not blowing up? Why is it staying stable and regulated? What is the explanation for this? Do laws of nature exist in the universe without a law-maker?
Not only is there uniformity of nature, but the universe is organised to the extent that it continues to exist and allows life to exist within it. Had the parameters of the universe been much different to the way they are, no life would exist in this universe. Imagine I have a bag of letters. I unload the letters out of the bag and they organise themselves into Shakespeare’s Macbeth. What are the chances this could happen without intelligent direction?
If the independent law-maker we have mentioned is responsible for this, then the independent one must have knowledge and will. The universe is one way and not another. This is evidence that there was a choice that was made on how the universe should be. Thus, the first cause must have will.
There are laws of nature. The first cause is ultimately responsible for them being in place, since without the first cause, nothing would exist.
So now you know where you came from. You came from the independent first cause who initiated everything and who is ultimately responsible for all things that exist. You did not come from ‘nothing’, because that is impossible. You did not create yourself, because that it also impossible.
There was no infinite regress of created or dependent things because that, too, is impossible.
Where are you going?
You are going to die. But what happens after that? When you lose consciousness, you have dreams.
You may be asleep, but you still experience a reality in your unconscious state. If this is the case, why do we assume that all realities will end when consciousness is ultimately lost? There can never be scientific evidence that disproves the continuation of experiences when consciousness is lost. In fact, all evidence points to the opposite. One thing is for sure, though: you will die.
What are you doing here?
You should be doing what everything else in nature is forced to do: comply with the rules of nature.
Unlike everything else in creation, you have a choice of whether to do so or not.
How do you comply with the rules of nature?
You must first know what they are and be given evidence that they are from the independent first cause who brought you into existence.
The first cause can only be one. The first cause must be independent and self-sufficient. This would negate the existence of two independents. Trinitarian and polytheistic notions are therefore invalid because they assume the existence of more than one independent. In the trinity, the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Spirit is almighty. Yet there are not three ‘almighties’ – the faulty theory goes – but one almighty. This is logically and linguistically impossible and contradictory. By definition, there cannot be many ‘almighties’. For the same reason, there cannot be more than one ultimate cause or creator. There cannot be more than one ultimate will, otherwise there would be cosmic chaos and no organisation. What if these ‘almighties’ compromise? If they do, it means that they are weak and not almighty, because an almighty entity does not need to compromise.
Many humans have claimed to receive divine guidance from the law-maker. These include Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Extra-Biblical historical evidence is present for many of these humans, such as David, Solomon, Jesus, and Muhammad. These prophets all claimed to be inspired by God and all worshipped one God. All of these prophets, according to the Bible and the Quran, claimed to be prophets for their time and people. The Prophet Muhammad claimed to be a messenger for all times and all people. What evidence is there of this?
At the age of 40, the Prophet Muhammad spent time in a cave in Mecca and claimed that an angel (Angel Gabriel) spoke to him. He claimed that the angel had told him: “Read in the name of your Lord who created; created the human from a clot. Read – your Lord is Most generous. He who taught the human being with the pen; taught him what he knew not” (Quran 96:1-5). The Prophet Muhammad claimed to be the final messenger for all of humankind. He affirmed the prophethood of Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jesus the Messiah. He called people to worship one God; the independent one, the one who is “one and only, the self-sufficient, the one who has no children and is not a child of anyone, and who nothing is comparable to” (Quran 112:1-4).
The Quran, which the Prophet Muhammad claimed is the final word of God, defines success and the ultimate purpose of life in the following way: “By Time, surely man is in a state of loss, except for those who believe and do good deeds and advise one another towards truth and advice one another towards patience” (Quran 103:1-3). But what evidence did Prophet Muhammad have for his prophethood?
The Divine Reality, Hamza Tzortzis
Kalam Cosmological Arguments, Mohammed Hijab
How Reason Can Lead to God, Joshua Rasmussen
Shumū‘ Al-Nahār – Sh. Abdullah al-Ujayri
Barāhīn Wujūd Allāh – Dr. Sami Amiri
Evidence 1 – Preservation of the Quran
The Quran says: “We have surely sent down the reminder (the Quran) and we will surely preserve it”
(Quran 15:9). If a book is meant to be for all of mankind, it is important that its primary recipients, as well as those who come after it, should have the same access to the book. The Quran is preserved orally through manuscripts as well as through the living Arabic language. Textual variants in manuscripts, as well as in recitation format, are explained by the fact that the Prophet Muhammad had select verses revealed in different modes called aḥruf.
The Quran is preserved through mass transmission from the time of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad until today. We know the names of all of the authorities who have memorised the Quran from the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Books such as Ṭabaqāt Al-Qurrā’, authored by the fourteenth century scholar Ibn al-Jazari, contain names and evidences of the authorities that received the Quran from the Prophet Muhammad. We also have other manuscripts such as the Topkapi manuscript in Turkey, which has been carbon dated to the time of Uthman (one of Prophet Muhmmad’s best friends).
In contrast, the Bible is not preserved. The books of the New Testament were first listed by Athanasius in the fourth century. He was not given authority from God. There is a difference of opinion in Christianity as to how many books are in the Biblical canon. Protestants say there are 66 books; Roman Catholics say 72; Ethiopian Orthodox Christians say 81. There are many manuscripts of the Old and New Testament, yet there is no method of harmonising the contradictory variants between the manuscripts. What is interesting to note is that although the Quran has variant dialectical readings, none of these readings are contradictory because all of them were legitimised by the Prophet Muhammad.
Some fundamental verses have recently been taken out of some versions of the Bible as an interpolation. These include, for example, the following verse: “For there are three that bear the record in heaven: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John, 5:7). If the guidance of God is meant for all people, there cannot be any confusion as to what constitutes the word of God.
The History of the Quranic Text, Muhammad Al-Azami.
Muqaddimah Tafsīr Al-Ṭabarī – Al-Tabari
Ṭayyibah Al-Nashr – Ibn al-Jazari
Evidence 2 – No Contradictions
The Quran says: “If this book was from other than God, they would have been able to find many
contradictions in it” (Quran 4:92). The Quran is the only religious book that directly challenges people to find contradictions within it.
By contrast, one notices contradictions in the very first page of the Bible. In the Genesis creation myth, the day and night were created in the first day, whereas the luminaries were created in the fourth. This has forced major ecumenical writers to reject a literal reading of the Bible. On this, Origen of Alexandria states:
Now, what man of intelligence will believe that the first, the second and third day existed, the evening and morning existed without the sun, the moon and the stars? And the first day; if we may so call it was even without a heaven? … I do not think anyone will doubt that these statements are made by scripture in a figurative manner in order that through them certain mystical truths may be indicated… (Origen, 2017:383-384)
Origen goes further to indicate that contradictory parts of the Bible may be human insertions: “Much effort and toil must therefore be exercised, so that each reader may in all reverence become aware that he is dealing with words that are divine and not human, inserted in the holy books” (Origen, 2017:395).
These shocking admissions demonstrate the vulnerability of the Bible compared to the Quran. This is because the foremost patristic authorities of the Bible identify contradictions of the plain reading of the text and can conceive of human insertion into the Bible. Such a discourse is unimaginable from an Islamic perspective.
Origen (2017) On First Principles. Translated by John Behr. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Evidence 3 – The Quran Challenge and the Arabic Language
The Quran says: “If you are in any doubt as to what we have sent to our slave, produce a chapter like it if you are truthful, and bring your witnesses from other than God if you are truthful” (Quran 2:27).
This challenge of producing something like the Quran was directed to the Arabs of the day, who were experts in language. Many tried, yet none were able to produce a text with any sociological impact whatsoever when compared with the Quran.
Though not all wonderous features of the Arabic language can be translated into English, much work has recently been done to allow non-Arabic speakers to appreciate why the recipient Arabs were so dumbstruck by the Quran that they accused it as being magic and the Prophet Muhammad as being a magician (see Quran 10:3). For example, speaking about the significance of a single letter (kāf) in Quran 42:11—which transforms the meaning from ‘nothing is equivalent to him (Allah)’ to ‘nothing is comparable to him’—Mohammed Abdullah Draz states: “If the Quranic verse were to simply say:
‘Nothing is like him’ then that would be a negation of equal likeness, or a being who is exactly like him… if the statement was limited to this then doubts might be raised that there could be a status which is not exactly the same as God’s but a level below it” (Draz, 2001:111). Draz considers this to be one of many examples of the Quran employing the broadest meaning and minimal wording.
Many examples of these linguistic nuances in Quranic expressions have been written and spoken of, and for more information, you may read and consult the following short and accessible books:
The Qur’an: An Eternal Challenge, Mohammad Abdullah Draz
Divine Speech, Nouman Ali Khan (both the book and the lecture series)
Lamasāt Bayāniyyah – Fadil al-Samarra’i (both the book and the television series)
Al-Ta‘bīr Al-Qur’ānī – Fadil al-Samarra’i Min I‘jāz Al-Qur’ān min A‘jami Al-Qur’ān – Mahmoud Raouf Abdul Hameed
Evidence 4 – Prophecies in Islam
The Quran and the Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad also inspired by God) made a number of predictions of the future. Some of these predictions include:
1 – The Roman Empire would defeat the Persian Empire at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, and that this would happen in 3-9 years. This materialised as stated in the Quran; see Quran 30:1-6.
2 – Warring Muslims will overtake the Arabian Peninsula. See Quran 24:55.
3 – Islam will spread eastward and westward (see the hadith of Thawban in Sahih Muslim).
4- The Prophet prophesied Muslims would conquer Persia, Yemen, and the Levant; he predicted this when in an intense state of weakness in the battle of Ahzab (Sunan al-Nasa’i).
5- The Prophet prophesied the conquest of Jerusalem (Sahih Bukhari).
6– There will be an increase in sexual immorality and, as a result, sexually transmitted diseases
(Sunan Ibn Majah).
6– Barefoot Arabs will compete to build tall buildings (see the hadith of Umar in Bukhari).
7- That usury will be so widespread that even if one does not consume it, one will not be able to ‘avoid its dust’ (Musnad Ahmad).
8- That markets will come close to one another (Musnad Ahmed).
9- Muslims, despite being many in number, will be weak and split up by enemy forces (Sunan Abi Dawood).
10 – Islam will be so widespread that it will reach ‘every home’ (Musnad Ahmad).
In addition to this, whenever the Quran or Hadith make a time-bound prediction (e.g. like example number 1 in the list above), it materialises at the predicted time. This is more than can be said of the Biblical discourse. Perhaps the clearest example of this is the Olivet Discourse, of which preterists, dispensationalists, a-millennialists, pre-millennialists, and post-millennialists all differ in its meaning.
The Bible states:
But in those days that follow distress, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give off its light; the stars will fall from the sky and heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and he will gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heaven. Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know the summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will never pass away. (Mark, 13.26-30) C S Lewis concedes that this is a false prophecy and ‘the most embarrassing verse in the Bible’:
“Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else… It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. (Lewis,1952:97)
Lewis, C.S (1960) The World’s Last Night And Other Essays. Harper One. London
For a more detailed explanation of Islamic prophecies, as well as a comparison with those of other religions, the book The Forbidden Prophecies can be downloaded for free from the iERA website.
Evidence 5 – The Quranic Cosmology
When compared to other Abrahamic religions, it is clear that the Quran is the only book that allows for a round Earth and expanding universe cosmology in its literal interpretation. The closest thing the Bible comes in reference to the roundness of the Earth is a reference to the ‘circle of the Earth’
(Isaiah 40:22; Psalms 75:3). It is clear, though, that this is referring to a flat Earth that may be supported by pillars. On this point, prominent Christian scholar John Walton concedes ‘one of the most common examples given by those who suggest there is a latent scientific consideration is that [Isaiah] 40.22 posits a spherical earth. This cannot be sustained because its terminology indicates a disk, not a sphere’ (Walton, 2009:174). Jewish commentators in the Midrashim seemed to only have one interpretation of the shape of the Earth and the universe, describing them as two metal plates:
The thickness of the firmament equals that of the earth: Compare, ‘it is he that sitteth above the (hug) circle of the earth’ (Isa 40.22) with ‘and he walketh in the circuit of the heaven (Job 22.14): the use of ‘hug’ in both verses teaches us they are alike. R. Aha said in R. Hanina’s name: [it is but as] thick as metal plate. R. Joshua and R. Nehemia said it is about two fingers in thickness. (Freedman & Simon, 1977:30)
Through direct interpretation, Quranic cosmology allows for a model of a round Earth and expanding universe. Literalist pre-modern scholars, such as Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ibn Hazm, interpreted the Quran as suggesting that the Earth is round based on Quran 39:5 – see Kitāb Al-Faṣl fī Al-Milal wa Al-Ahwā’ wa Al-Niḥal (2/78).
Commenting on the narrative where Jesus is taken to a high mountain and tempted by the Devil, Origen states: “How could it possibly have happened literally either that the Devil should have led Jesus up to unto a high mountain or that his fleshy eyes he should have shown all the kingdoms…” (Origen, 2017:385).
This level of allegorisation led Origen to deny some aspects of the crucifixion by saying: “The events recorded to have happened to Jesus do not possess the full view of the truth in the mere letter and history; for each recorded event is shown to be also a symbol of something else by those who read the Scripture more intelligently” (CC 2.69/SC 132, 446. 3-7) (Martens, 2012:64). Thus, Christians may decide to allegorise verses that fit a Mesopotamian cosmological world view, but this will have to contend with all of the historical verses being eligible for metaphorisation – including those relating to the crucifixion. Conversely, a Young Earth creationist Christian may decide to uphold the belief that the Earth exists in a 6,000-year-old universe (see The Chronology of the Old Testament by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones). This Christian may reject all historical, astronomical, and geological evidence to the contrary, insisting on an eternal punishment of hellfire for those who reject the historical event of the crucifixion of Jesus. Thus, the Biblical cosmology is self-contradictory and the Quranic cosmology is consistent with both itself and a cosmology of a round Earth and expanding universe.
Freedman, H. & Simon, M. (1977) Midrash Rabbah. London, Soncino Press.
Martens, P. W. (2013) ‘Origen Against History? Reconsidering the Critique of Allegory’. Modern
Theology. 28 (4), 635-656.
Origen (2017) On First Principles. Translated by John Behr. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Evidence 6 – Biology, Embryology, and the Multi-dimensional Approach
The Quran and authentic Hadith detail how a human develops in the womb of a mother. The terms used include nuṭfah amshāj (Quran 76:2), which means ‘a mixture of male and female emissions’, to indicate that both man and woman genetically contribute to the fertilisation process. The word ‘alaqah (clot), which literally means to cling on to something, is also used to describe the foetus. The Quran goes on to describe the muḍgha (chewed flesh) as a stage of development, and further stages that correspond to muscle and bone growth (Quran 23:14). Microscopic investigation of the early embryo reveals somites. In addition, the Prophet Muhammad states that the born child is ‘not from the entire fluid’ (Sahih Muslim), which indicates that not all of the mixed fluid is required for fertilisation. The Quran also mentions that all living things have been created from water (Quran 21:33). It is relatively easy to correlate these Quranic stages with scientific findings in the 20th and 21st century. This indicates that, unlike the Biblical discourse, the Quranic discourse is not confined to a seventh century Arabian setting, but is also applicable to us in our age.
It should be noted that some have taken this approach too far and have effectively superimposed scientific meaning into Quranic interpretation. This is problematic, as science is not meant to produce eternal truths. Theories and ‘facts’ of science are sometimes revised.
There is therefore no need for the Quran to perfectly correlate with 21st century scientific discourse, since the discourse is subject to change.
Masad Al-Tayar – Ijaaz al Quran, Ila Ayn?
Hind Shanaby – Al-Tafsir al Ilmi fey Al Quran
Evidence 7 – Structure of the Quran
Despite the fact that the Quran was revealed over 23 years in a piecemeal form, it has an incredible sense of being knitted together. The chapters of the Quran were not revealed in one go. Verses were revealed as a response to questions asked, for instance, ‘They ask you about the soul’ (Quran 17:85), and then a brief answer is given instantaneously. In other words, the Quranic surah (chapter) is connected from beginning to end, and the ending of one surah is connected to the beginning of the next surah. This lexical coat-tailing is an incredible feature of the Quranic style and is lexically provable through word construction.
One example of this is the second chapter of the Quran, which ends with a supplication. The third chapter of the Quran also starts and ends with a supplication.
Another brief example that has been quoted in the literature (see Farrin 2014:8) is that the same words referring to the attributes of God that can be found in the beginning of the Quran are also referenced in the end. In the first chapter, these words are God (Ilāh), Lord (Rabb), and King (Malik). In the final chapter, they are Rabb (Lord), Malik (King), and Ilāh (God). In addition to this, the first verse is connected to the last verse of the Quran, in particular, ‘lord of the worlds’ (1:1) and ‘from jinn and
mankind’ (114:6). In order for someone to have constructed these continuities themselves, they would have to have knowledge of the future, since Chapters 1 and 114 have completely different circumstances of revelation and were revealed with a wide time gap between each other.
In addition to conveying meaning, the Quran keeps a very meticulous rhythmic balance. Commenting on Chapter 104, Neal Robinson states:
‘The two sub-sections, v. 1-4 and v. 1-9 , are rhythmically balanced: the first has 46 syllables and the second 45, which increases to 46 in continued recitation of the Quran…’ (Robinson, 2003:146)
Going into more detail would de-scope the purpose of this short pamphlet, but if you are interested in this, you may read the following resources:
Structure and Qur’anic Interpretation, Raymond Farrin
A Qur’anic Apocalypse, Michel Cuypurs
How to Read the Qur’an, Carl Ernst
Discovering the Qur’an, Neal Robinson
The Qur’an: An Eternal Challenge, Mohammad Abdullah Draz
Coherence in the Qur’an, Mustansir Mir Tadabbur-e-Quran, Amin Islahi
Divine Speech, Nouman Ali Khan
Asrār Tartīb Al-Qur’ān – Al-Suyuti
Naẓm Al-Durrar – Al-Biqa’i
Evidence 8 – Numerical Precision
The Quran was revealed circumstantially, which means that the Prophet Muhammad could not predict what people were going to ask him. Nevertheless, the Quran has incredible precision when it comes to numerical mention of certain words. For example, when responding to the Christians (who made the case for the divinity of Jesus Christ based on his being conceived with no biological father), the Quran says: ‘Surely the similitude of Jesus is that of Adam. He (God) created him from dust and said: Be! And he was” (Quran 3:59). What is astonishing is that, to emphasise this point, both the names Adam and Jesus are mentioned exactly 25 times in the Quran. Up until this verse, both are also mentioned exactly the same number of times (seven times each). This is but one of many examples of Quranic precision that one could not contrive into the Quran.
It is important to note that while some people have made long lists of supposed mentions of selected words in the Quran, most of these lists do not have a consistent standard.
Evidence 9 – Historical Accuracy
Many of the stories of the Quran have similar figures and narratives to those of the Old Testament.
When one compares the stories, however, one finds that the Quran often mentions things that are not mentioned in the Old Testament or even historically corrective of the Old Testament. The following are three examples (of many that can be given) to demonstrate this point.
Example 1 – Deities Worshipped at the Time of Moses
The Quran states, ‘The chiefs of Pharaoh’s people protested, “Are you going to leave Moses and his people to free to spread corruption in the land and abandon you and your Gods?” He responded, “We will kill their sons and keep their women. We will completely dominate them”’ (Quran 7:127).
This is in addition to the fact that Pharaoh is depicted in the Quran as claiming divinity for himself (see Quran 79:24). It is well known now that ancient Egyptians would worship Gods like Horus, Isis, and Set, and that pharaohs would also claim divinity. It is not surprising considering all of this that the central message of Moses to the Egyptians in the Quran is to worship one God alone, and in the Old Testament it is to ‘let his people go’. It is important to note that the Prophet Muhammad could not have direct access to the hieroglyphics as they were only unlocked by the Rosetta Stone in 1799.
Example 2 – The Heaven and the Earth Weeping
Primary source material from the Pyramid Texts indicates that a common motif in Ancient Egypt was the personification of the heavens and the Earth. In particular, when pharaohs died, the heavens and the Earth would be depicted as weeping for them, as indicated in the following ‘utterance’:
‘The sky weeps for thee; the earth trembles for thee’ (Utterance 553:221)
This motif, although not in the Old Testament and other Jewish sources, can be found in the Quran.
The Quran states: ‘Neither the heaven nor the Earth wept over them, nor was their fate delayed’
Example 3 – Joseph of the Quran and Bible
The Quran has an entire chapter dedicated to the Prophet Joseph. The Bible mentions his story in Genesis. Biblical scholars and historians place Joseph’s entrance into Egypt in the period of the Middle Kingdom.
Other documents attest to the invasions of the Hyksos, a Semitic people who usurped political control of Egypt during a period from 1700 to 1550 B.C. It is possible that the Hyksos were more favourable to people like Joseph and his family, and it is also possible that the reference to a pharaoh “who did not know Joseph” (Exod. 1:8) recalls a period when the Hyksos leadership in Egypt was rejected in favour of a new dynasty of native Egyptian kings (Coats, 1992:980).
Interestingly, this was a time when the word ‘pharaoh’ was not used to refer to the rulers of Egypt.
Thus, historians criticise the Biblical use of the word ‘pharaoh’ and see it as evidence of human interpolation, as can be seen in the excerpt below.
The use of the title pharaoh in Genesis may be anachronistic in that Moses, in covering the events of the patriarchs in relation to Egypt, used the commonly accepted term “pharaoh” even though the title was not in use at the time of the patriarchs (cf. Gen 12:15-20)(Beitzel, 1988:1668-9)
Fascinatingly, the Quran precisely mentions the ruler of Egypt in Joseph’s time as ‘King’ (Malik in Arabic) throughout the chapter.
The historical vulnerability of the Bible is outlined by 20th century Christian scholar Karl Barth: Not for all ages and countries, but certainly for our own, it is part of the stumbling block that like all ancient literature the Old and New Testaments know nothing of the distinction of fact
and value which is so important to us, between history on the one hand, and saga and legend on the other.’ (Barth, 2004a:509)
Barth, K. (2004a) Church Dogmatics The Doctrine of the Word of God, Volume 1, Part 2: The Revelation of God; Holy Scripture: The Proclamation of the Church. London, Bloomsbury Publishing.
Coats, G.W. (1992) Joseph. In: Freedman, D. N., Herion, G. A. (eds.) Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York, Doubleday, p. 980.
Elwell, W. A., Beitzel, B. J., Buckwalter, H. D., Craigie, P. C., Douglas, J. D., Guelich, R., & Hearn, W. R. (1988). Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2). Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House, pp. 1668-1669.
Barāhīn Al-Nubuwwah – Dr. Sami Amiri
Min Al-Shakk ilā Al-Yaqīn – Dr. Fadil al-Samarra’i
Evidence 10 – Biblical Prophecy of Muhammad
Despite being somewhat corrupted, the Bible remains an interesting historical document with possible remnants of the word of God. The Bible says:
Let the desert and its towns praise God;
let the people of Kedar praise him!
Let those who live in the city of Sela shout for joy from the tops of the mountains! (Isaiah 42:11)
According to Genesis 25:13, the Kedar are the Arabs. Sela is a name of a mountain range in Medina, the city of the Prophet Muhammad. This could not have been about Jesus, since Jesus was sent neither to the Arabian Peninsula nor to the Arab people. Reading the whole chapter in context would indicate that this man was ‘a light to the Gentiles’ who went to war and triumphed over his enemies, and subsequently spread justice all over the world.
Adnan Rashid & Samuel Green – ‘Is Muhammad Foretold in the Bible’
Evidence 11 – The Physical Miracles of the Prophet Muhammad
Many Christians see the Resurrection as the primary evidence for the ‘truth’ of Christianity. That is to say that unlike people of other faiths, Christians premise their belief on a historical event. To put this in perspective, if you are a historical sceptic in relation to the Resurrection, many Christians will consider you as worthy of eternal damnation in the hellfire.
The Prophet Muhammad, like Jesus, is also narrated to have done many miraculous things in his lifetime. Despite this, Islam doesn’t have an unreasonable standard of proving itself using these miracles. That is because it is clear that those who saw the event will have an advantage in being able to assess the evidence than those who came after them. That is why the Quran is the main miracle of Islam, and some of the features we have covered in this pamphlet are the inimitable features that we all have at our disposal to assess or attempt to replicate. Many miracles of the Prophet will be known to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, including the Isra’, the splitting of the moon, and other such things. I will provide three examples from the Hadith of the physical miracles of the Prophet Muhammad
1- I saw the trace of a wound in Salama’s leg. I said to him, “O Abu Muslim! What is this wound?” He said, “This was inflicted on me on the day of Khaibar and the people said, ‘Salama has been wounded.’ Then I went to the Prophet and he puffed his saliva in [the wound] thrice, and since then I have not had any pain in it till this hour.” (Sunnah.com, Kitāb Al-Maghāzī)
2- Suraqah bin Malik attempted to kill the Prophet Muhammad as he was emigrating to Medina, at which point his horse sank into the sand. Suraqah identified this as a miracle, converted to Islam, and the Prophet Muhammad predicted that he would wear the bracelets of the Persian Kisrah. This materialised in the Caliphate of Umar. (Sahih Bukhari)
3- Jabir bin `Abdullah said, “The people became very thirsty on the day of [the treaty of] AlHudaibiya. A small pot containing some water was in front of the Prophet, and when he had finished the ablution, the people rushed towards him. He asked, ‘What is wrong with you?’
They replied, ‘We have no water either for performing ablution or for drinking except what is present in front of you.’ So he placed his hand in that pot and the water started flowing among his fingers like springs. We all drank and performed ablution (from it).” I asked Jabir, “How many were you?” He replied, “Even if we had been one hundred thousand, it would have been sufficient for us, but we were fifteen hundred.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book of Virtues and Merits of the Prophet)
Barāhīn Al-Nubuwwah – Dr. Sami Amiri
Min Al-Shakk ilā Al-Yaqīn – Dr. Fadil al-Samarra’i
Dalā’il Al-Nubuwwah – Al-Isfahani
Evidence 12 – The Prophet Muhammad’s Life and Character
Broadly speaking, the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad is divided into two periods: the Mekkan and Medinan period. Before the Prophet announced his prophethood, he was known to his people as al-Sadiq al-Ameen (the truthful and trustworthy one). When he was approached by the Angel Gabriel and was given the initial revelation, he immediately withdrew to his wife Khadijah, who comforted him by mentioning that God wouldn’t punish him because of his charitable and generous nature. Many events in the Prophet’s life are an evidence for his truthfulness, of which I will mention three:
1. Declaring that he was a prophet lowered the Prophet Muhammad’s quality of life considerably. Despite this, the Prophet Muhammad would not compromise on his fundamental message (Armstrong, 2007:44). The Mekkan period was characterised by economic boycott, physical torture, and abuse of both the Prophet and his companions.
2. Upon migrating to Medina, the Prophet Muhammad’s message of uncompromising monotheism led him into war many times, putting his own life in danger. Despite this, the Quran guarantees the physical protection of the Prophet until the message is complete: ‘O Messenger! Convey everything revealed to you from your Lord. If you do not, then you have not delivered His message. Allah will certainly protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the people who disbelieve’ (Quran 5:67).
3. The Prophet Muhammad had the most influence from all perspectives: military, political, economic, geo-political, sociological, and religious.
Armstong, K. (2007). Muhammad a Prophet for Our Time. Harper Perennial. London
Al-Mubarakpuri, S.H. (2011). The Sealed Nectar. Darrusalam. London
Upon review of the evidence, we can see that Islam fulfils both the necessary and sufficient conditions required for belief. On the basis of probability, it is highly unlikely that all of the evidence mentioned above could happen by coincidence or chance. Having said this, what I have outlined above have intended as taster evidences, I have given resources for more evidences. Above all, the monotheistic conception of Islam is the most logically and theologically consistent.
A Word on Islamic Teachings
Islam teaches that we should submit to God through good deeds such as the five daily prayers, fasting the month of Ramadan, being good to our parents, and giving charity. Islam also teaches jihād, a physical or metaphorical struggle against forces of evil like the Devil. The Quran does not say that we should force others to convert to the religion of Islam (see Quran 2:256). Instead, it gives humans the choice to make the right decision. If someone rejects Islam and does not care about the ultimate purpose of life, they will go to hell forever. If someone accepts Islam, they will be in heaven forever.
Allah is the Most Just and does not punish anyone unnecessarily.