The Quran: Islam’s Holy Book – Stewart Schnur

Muslims believe the Quran is the perfect word from God and its revelation is the ultimate miracle. They believe Allah sent the angel Gabriel to Muhammad over a period of 23 years to reveal the words of the Quran to him, first in a cave in Mecca during the month of Ramadan and later in Medina. Some Muslim clerics have memorized this book which is the size of our New Testament. The law “Shari’ah,” which makes the Quran the civil law, demands hands be cut off for stealing (Surah 5:38). The Quran allows a man to have up to four wives (Surah 4:3). Quranic law is superior to all civil law. (Christians feel the same way that if civil law goes against God’s law, God’s law must be followed.) They believe a woman should be veiled (24:31). Muhammad himself is not credited with any miracles and many Muslims believe Muhammad was illiterate, which to them validates the so called miracle of the Quran.

Most of us have not read any part of the Quran. The Quran is divided into 114 surahs or chapters. Each chapter consists of a number of ayets, or verses. Surah one consists of seven verses and is to be repeated to prove one is a Muslim. Surahs 2 through 114 are the longest to the shortest. Secular scholars are often critical of the Quran’s literary style and its lack of order. Its surahs or chapters cover various diverse themes.

Now let’s consider some of the major teachings of the Quran some upon which we may agree and many with which we will not agree.

Muhammad did bring the polytheistic pagans to the belief that monotheism or the belief in one God (Allah – Aramaic) as the correct understanding of God. The Quran also opposes the idea of the Godhead. They have no patience with the idea of three differing persons making up the Godhead.

Muhammad is perceived as the final prophet. Muhammad is the gift of grace to the world (28:46-47; 72:20-23). He is inspired by God (18:110). He is the model of moral conduct (33:21). Observe: it is the moral conduct of Muhammad to behead 700 Jewish men who surrendered to him. Obviously this is the logic some Muslims use today to justify their terror committed in the name of Allah. Muhammad’s work is said to be prophesied by Jesus (61:6). They go to passages which speak of the promised Holy Spirit and claim Jesus speaks of Muhammad.

The Quran claims of itself to be the true revelation of Allah. It is said to be an inspired message (6:19). The book is to be treated with humility and respect (59:21). Readers are not to entertain doubts about it (11:17). However if a Muslim is in doubt they need to speak to those who have been reading The Book (Bible) (10:94).

The hereafter is spoken of as Paradise or Hell. Paradise is a physical place with gardens and rivers (3:15). Believers will have many pleasures (43:69-71). The idea of each man having 72 virgins does not come from the Quran but is from the “Hadith.” The Hadith writings are the traditions of Muhammad.   The Quran has hundreds of verses about paradise and has fearful things to say about judgment and hell.

There are some passages in the Quran that could be stretched to promote terrorism in the name of Allah. Some passages speak of slaying opposition (2:190-191; 4:89, 91; 9:5; etc.).

There are some 289 ayets/verses which speak of “the people of the book.” These passages speak negatively of Jews and Christians. In Surah 5:51 it says, “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends…” This does of course instill prejudice against those who reject the Quran and accept the teachings of the Bible. These verses instill fear in Muslims where they are afraid to hear anything from “the Book.” Muslims believe the blessed lineage of God’s people is through Abraham’s first son born Ishmael.

Our Bible gives us forty authors over 1600 years and there are no discrepancies. The Quran has one author, Muhammad. Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15 tells us one witness is insufficient to prove a point. The law requires at least two or three witnesses. Our Bible has forty writing witnesses regarding the one true God and His word. When we share our faith with Muslims we need to respect their Quran and it would be helpful to them to know we have read some of it.

As we learn more of Islam which opposes the teachings of the Bible, let us not be perceived as bigoted or Islamaphobic. Yes, we will take a stand with Christ but we want not to be like others and be motivated by half-truths in opposing their errors. We want to truly understand what the Islamic person believes so we can help them see clearly their need for Christ.

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