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Contradictions and Inconsistencies of the Qur'an and Hadith

The debate continues to rage between Christianity on the one hand and Islam on the other.  Charges upon charges are leveled between the two groups, hoping to convince each other of the superiority of their respective religious positions.

Due to this, many Muslims have taken up the pen in the attempt to disprove the divine inspiration of the Bible by exposing the apparent contradictions contained therein. Volumes of books have been written on this very subject, hoping to demonstrate the fact that the Bible cannot be the inerrant word of God.

Although the charges leveled against the Bible have been refuted time and again, Muslims continue to consistently present these same arguments.  In this study we will not be dealing with the charges presented by Muslims against Christianity, but will deal specifically with the contradictions and inconsistencies contained within the Quranic revelation.

The object in doing so is to show Muslims the futility in presenting charges against the Bible which only hinders the Islamic position, since the very same accusations can be used against Muslims to disprove the Quran, Muhammad and Islam. The Quran, Hadith and Islamic expositors will be quoted at length here to emphasize the point more clearly that the Quran does contain contradictions, fables and historical inaccuracies within its pages.  (At the conclusion of our study we will present several book titles that deal primarily with answering the alleged contradictions presented against the Bible by both the secular and religious communities.)


Contradiction 1
The length of a day

S. 22:47:

"And surely a day with your Lord is a thousand years of your counting."
This passage contradicts S.70:4:

"To Him the angels and the Spirit mount up in a day whereof the measure is fifty thousand years."

Ibn Abbas, considered the premiere Islamic interpreter, was incapable of reconciling these passages together.

Abu Ubaid said "A certain man asked Ibn Abbas about a day whose measure was 50,000 years to which he answered:“‘They were two days which Allah has mentioned in His Book. Allah alone knows what they are.  I do not know what they are, and I am afraid to say about them that which is not according to my knowledge.’”

Ibn Abu Mulaika stated:

“I struck the camel till I entered upon Said ibn Al-Musayyab. He was asked about this (matter), but he knew not what to say. Therefore I said to him: ‘Should I not tell what I heard Ibn Abbas say?’ And I told him so Ibn Musayyab said to the inquirer : ' Behold Ibn Abbas, who is more knowledgeable than me avoided to speak about it.' “(1: pt.5, pp. 215, 216; citing Al-Qurtubi and Al-Razi)


Contradiction 2
The Day of Judgement
The Quran indicates that human beings will be questioned on the day of reckoning:
"So We shall question those unto whom message was sent, and We shall question the envoy”S 7:6  "And halt them, to be questioned.”S. 37:24

Yet S 55:39 contradicts these passages:

"On that day none will be questioned about his sin, neither man nor jinn."


Contradiction 3
The creation of the Heavens and Earth

S. 41:9-12:

“Say : Is it that ye deny Him who created the earth in two days... and bestowed blessings on the earth and measured there in all things to give them nourishment in due proportion in four days.. Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been a smoke: He said to it and to the earth : ‘Come ye together willingly or unwillingly’.. so He completed them as seven firmaments in two days."

These verses imply that God completed the heavens and the earth in eight days (2+4+2) and that the heavens were fashioned after the earth.  Yet other passages suggest that the heavens were created before the earth and that it took six, not eight, days to complete their formation:

"What are ye the more difficult to create or the heaven (above)? (God) hath constructed it on high. He raised its canopy, and He hath given it order and perfection... and the earth, moreover, hath He extended (to a wide expanse)”S. 79:27-28,30

“Your guardian - Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days. “

S. 7 :51

"Verily your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days.” S.10:3


Contradiction 4
Noah's family and the Flood

According to S 21:76, Noah and his family were saved from the flood:

"(Remember) Noah, when he cried (to us) aforetime: We listened to his (prayer) and delivered him and his family from great distress.”

S 21:76

"And Noah verily prayed unto Us and gracious was the Hearer of his prayer, and We saved him and his household from the great distress, and made his seed the survivors...”

S. 37:75-77

Yet, in S. 11 :42,43 and 66:10 we are told that Noah's wife and one of his sons did not survive:"...and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest) : 'O my son! embark with us, and be not with the unbelievers!'... and the waves came between them, and the son was among those overwhelmed in the flood."

"God sets forth, for an example to the unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: They were  (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were fake to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before God on their account, but were told: 'Enter ye the fire along with (others) that enter!'"

Yusef Ali in his translation, The Holy Quran, tries to explain:

“Evidently his (Noah) contemporary world had been so corrupt that it needed a great flood to purge it, 'None of thy people will believe except those who have believed already; so grieve no longer over their evil deeds.' 

But there were evil ones in his own family.  A foolish and undutiful son is mentioned in xi. 42-46. Poor Noah tried to save him and pray for him as one of his family, but the answer came: ' He is not of thy family: for his conduct is unrighteous.'  We might expect such a son to have a mother like him, and here we are told that it was; Noah's wife who was also false to the standards of her husband, and perished in this world and in the Hereafter.”(Ibid., p. 1573, ft. 5546)


Contradiction 5
The dwellers of Paradise

S. 56:11-14 states that few of the later believers will enter paradise:

“Those are they who will be brought nigh in gardens of delight; a multitude of those of old and a few of those of later time..."

This is contradicted by verses 39 and 40:

“... a multitude of those of old and a multitude of those of later time."


Contradiction 6
The Position of the Jews and Christians

S. 5:82,83  holds Jews as hostile enemies to the Muslims whereas Christians are held in the highest regard:

“Thou wilt find the most vehement of mankind in hostility of those who believe (to be) the Jews and idolators.  And thou wilt find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: ‘Lo! We are Christians.’ That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud..."

Yet verse 51 puts both Jews and Christians on the same list of people whom Muslims are to avoid:

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends.  They are friends one to another. He among you who take them for friends is one of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing  folk."

The question a Muslim must ask is whether Christians are their brethren or are they to be avoided at all costs, since a person does not avoid associating with his brother.
Fables and Inconsistencies

Throughout the Quran and Hadith we find fables reported as actual historical events and allegations brought up against prophets that would seem unbefitting to their characters. The latter part is interesting due to the fact that Muslims constantly attack the Bible for portraying prophets in a bad light. Muslims are often offended to read stories which attribute horrible sins to prophets (i.e., David's act of adultery, Lot committing incest etc.), while failing to mention the fact that both the Quran and Hadiths do likewise. A brief listing of some of the Prophets and their sins will be presented:

Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were the first sinners, disobeying God by eating from the forbidden tree which caused them to be expelled from Paradise.(S. 2:35-36; 7:19-25)

In spite of this, Adam and Eve were also the first to associate equals with God, making them associaters (mushrikun), a sin utterly detestable to God:

"It was He who created you from a single being. From that being He created his mate, so that he might find comfort in her. And when he had lain with her, she conceived, and for a time her burden was light. She carried it with ease, but when it grew heavy, they both cried to God their Lord: 'Grant us a goodly child and we will be truly thankful.'  "Yet when He had granted them a goodly child, they set up other gods besides Him in return for what he gave them. 

Exalted be God above their idols.!” S. 7:189-90 N.J. Dawood

According to Islamic expositors these verses are referring to the time when Adam and Eve listened to Satan's interjections who, appearing in the form of a man, deceived the two into naming their first son Abd Al-Harth, “the slave of Al- Harth,”Satan's angelic name.  After losing their first three sons, named Abdallah, Ubaidallah and Abd al-Rahman, they decided to name their fourth son Abd al-Harth, who lived.  Thus, they succumbed to Satan's wishes, disobeying the command of the true God to stay away from him. (1: pt.5, pp.130-31; citing Ibn Abbas and Al-Tabari).

The Quran and Hadiths accuse Abraham of being an idolator, deceiver and having doubts regarding God's ability to raise the dead:

"So also did we show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, that he might (with understanding) have certitude. When the night covered him over, he saw a star: He said, 'This is my Lord.'  But when it set, He said: ' I love not those that set.'

“When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said,’Is this my Lord?’ But when it set, he said: 'Unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray.' When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said, 'This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all).'  But when the sun set, he said ' O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to God.' “S. 6:75-78

(Note - To avoid charging Abraham with shirk [the association of partners with God which in Islam is the unpardonable sin] Muslims state that this occurred prior to Abraham'sknowledge of the true God.

This explanation is refuted by these same passages since the last verse records Abraham’s statement that he will not associate partners with God anymore, implying Abraham's knowledge of the true God.)

“Behold! Abraham said : ' My Lord! show me how thou givest life to the dead.'  He said, 'Dost thou not then believe?' He said ' Yea! but to satisfy my own heart!..'“S. 2:260
It is for this reason that Muhammad would say:
“We are more liable to be in doubt than Ibrahim (Abraham) when he said, 'My Lord! show me how you give life to the dead.'  He (Allah) said: ' Do you not believe?' He Ibrahim (Abraham) said: ' Yes, (I believe) but to be stronger in faith.'“Bukhari Vol. 4:591

Narrated Abu Huraira:

“Ibrahim (Abraham) did not tell lies except on three occasions. Twice for the sake of Allah when he said, ‘I am sick,’ and he said, '(I have not done this but) the big idol has done it.' The (third was) that while Ibrahim (Abraham) and Sarah (his wife) were going (on a journey) they passed by (the territory of) a tyrant from amongst the tyrants.  Someone said to the tyrant,' This man [i.e., Abraham] is accompanied by a very charming lady.' So, he sent for Ibrahim, and asked him about Sarah saying, 'Who is this lady? ' Ibrahim said, 'She is my sister'.....”Bukhari  Vol. 4:578 Imam Zain-ud-Din explains the nature of the first two lies:

“The idolaters invited Abraham to join them in their celebration outside the city, but he refused, claiming that he was sick. When he was left alone, he came to their idols and broke them into pieces. When the idolaters questioned him, he claimed that he had not destroyed their idols but the chief idol had, which Ibrahim left undisturbed and on whose shoulder he had put an axe to lay the accusation on it."
(2: p. 665, ft. 1)

The Quran accuses Joseph of lusting after the wife of Potiphar (named Aziz):

"And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We order) that We might turn away from him all evil and shameful deeds; for he was of Our servants, sincere and purified.”S. 12:24
The Bible on the other hand denies the idea that Joseph had lust in his heart, rejecting the maiden's advances by saying:

“Lo, having me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand; he is not greater in this house than I am; nor has kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?' “Gen. 39:8,9

Job is accused of punishing his wife with a band of grass. What makes it more astonishing is that the command to do so came from God himself:

“And finally We told him: Now take in thy hand a small bunch of grass, and strike therewith, and thou wilt not break thine oath!...”S. 38:44

Muhammad Asad in his Quranic translation notes: ".... according to the classic Quran- commentators, Job swore that, if God would restore him to health, he would punish her (his wife's) blasphemy with a hundred stripes.  But when he did recover, he bitterly regretted his hasty wrath, for he realized that his wife's blasphemy had been an outcome of her love and pity for him; and thereupon he was told in a revelation that he could fulfill his vow in a symbolic manner by striking her once ‘with a bunch of grass containing a hundred blades or more.’ “(3:  p.700, ft. 41)

Whether God told Job to hit his wife once or a hundred times is not the issue, but the fact that a merciful God would actually condone domestic violence is something which to the Christian is both an insult and an attack on the holiness of God, since the Bible portrays the Lord as a God who deals fairly with all his creatures, making no distinction between male or female, Jew or Greek (cf. Gal. 3:28; Col. 3.11)

Another example of stories attributing sins to prophets is the story of David and the two litigants:

“And yet, has the story of the litigants come within thy kin..? As they came upon David, and he shrank back in fear from them, they said: 'Fear not (we are but) two litigants.  One of us has wronged the other.. Behold, this is my brother he has ninety-nine ewes, whereas I have only one ewe and yet he said, ‘Make her over to me’, and forcibly prevailed against me in this our dispute.'

“Said David: ' He has certainly wronged thee by demanding that thy ewe be added to his ewes!.. and suddenly David understood that We tried him: and so he asked his Sustainer toforgive him his sin, and fell down in prostration, and turned unto him in repentance; and thereupon We forgave him that sin....”S. 3:21-25

This story is very similar to the Biblical account of Nathan's address to David where he too used an analogy of a rich man taking away the ewe of another in order to slaughter it for the rich man's guest. This story was told to expose David's sin who, like the rich man, had everything he could ask for and yet still took Bathsheba, the only wife of Uriah the Hittite, into his bed, impregnating her and committing adultery.

On top of this, David had Uriah killed to cover up this shame from the eyes of God and the Lord sent Nathan to rebuke David of his sin. After having his sin exposed, David cried out to Nathan and said, "I have sinned against the Lord. “Nathan replied,' The Lord has taken away your sin.”(2 Sam. 12:1-14)

The Muslims have consistently attacked this biblical passage as offensive and an insult to the prophethood and character of David, while failing to realize that the Quran itself bears witness to the truthfulness of this account.

Muhammad Asad's footnote is noteworthy:

“The story which, according to the oldest sources at our disposal, is alluded to in verses 21-26 affects the question as to whether God's elects, the prophets- all of whom were endowed, like David, with wisdom and sagacity in judgement- could or could not ever commit a sin. In other words, whether they, too, were originally subject to the weaknesses inherent in human nature as such or were a priori endowed with an essential purity of character which rendered each of them ' incapable of sinning '(masum).

“In the form in which it has been handed down from the earliest authorities (including, according to Tabari and Baghawi, companions like Abd Allah ibn Abbas and Anas ibn Malik, as well as several of the most prominent of their immediate successors), the story contradicts the doctrine- somewhat arbitrarily developed by Muslim theologians in the course of the centuries- that prophets cannot sin by virtue of their nature, and tends to show that their purity and subsequent sinlessness is a result of inner struggles and trials, and thus , represents in each case a moral achievement rather than an inborn quality.”(3: pp. 696-97 ft.22)

In other words, there is no Quranic support for the sinlessness of the Prophets since the Quran confirms, rather than denies, that the prophets were men who also succumbed to sinful passions and desires like everyone else.

Asad continues to say in regards to this Quranic narration:
“As narrated in some detail by Tabari and other early commentators, David fell in love with a beautiful woman whom he accidentally observed from his roof terrace. Upon inquiring, he was told that she was the wife of one of his officers, named Uriah. Impelled by his passion, David ordered his field-commander to place Uriah in a particularly exposed battle position, where he would be certain to be killed; and as soon as his order was fulfilled and Uriah died, David married the widow (who subsequently became the mother of Solomon). This story agrees more or less with the Old Testament, which gives the woman's name as Bathsheba (2 Samuel xi), barring the biblical allegation that David committed adultery with her before Uriah's allegation which has always been rejected by Muslims as highly offensive and slanderous...”(Ibid., ft.22)

Regardless of whether David killed Uriah before or after his act of adultery, this fact is certain; the earliest Quranic expositors believed that David did sleep with Bathsheba and that Uriah was murdered at the orders of David.

(It should be pointed out that according to the Bible David was already guilty of committing adultery in the eyes of God since he had lusted for her in his heart and according to Christ, Bathsheba was still married to Uriah regardless of death. [Mt. 5:27-28,31-32])

Finally, we find it interesting to state that the Quran itself bears witness that Muhammad, whom Muslims claim was perfect, was a sinner in need of forgiveness. A brief listing of verses affirms this point. (S. 40:55; 47:19; 48:1-2; 80:1-11)

Throughout the pages of the Quran, we find fables reported as actual historical events, and stories pertaining to prophets and nations that border on myth and superstition. Here are a few examples:

Israelites turned into apes and swines

“And well ye know those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: ‘Be ye apes, despised and rejected.’”S. 2:65; 7:166

“Say: 'Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from God? Those who incurred the curse of God and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine.'“S. 5:60

According to these verses, a group of Israelites were transformed into apes and swine as a result of disobedience to God's commandments, i.e. the transgression of the Sabbath. That this story is nothing more than an old Jewish fairytale is even admitted by A. Yusef Ali:

"...there must have been a Jewish tradition about a whole fishing community in a seaside town, which persisted in breaking the Sabbath and were turned into apes.”(4: p.34, ft.79)
Mt. Sinai’s covering over Israel

“When We shook the mount over them, as if it had been a canopy, and they thought it was going to fall on them (We said) : ' Hold firmly to what We have given you, and bring ever to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear God.'“S.7:171

"And remember We took your covenant and raised above you (the towering height) of mount (Sinai): (Saying): 'Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring ever to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear God.'“S. 2:63 (see also S. 4:154)

The idea that God would actually raise a mountain above the Israelites in order to put fear in their hearts is incredulous to say the least.

Islam's Al-Khazin states:

“Historians have said that when the children of Israel refused to receive the statutes of Torah (the Law of Moses), because of the burden of the commandments, Allah sent Gabriel who raised a huge mountain until it became like a canopy above their heads. Looking at it, they bowed down in worship. Everyone bowed down on his left cheek and eyebrow and began to look with his right eye at the mountain for fear it would fall on them. The Jews, therefore, worship only on the left side of their faces.”(1: pt. 5, p.129)

One should compare this tale with the Biblical account and read for themselves what actually took place (cf. Exodus 20:18)

Solomonic Fables
The Quran reports many fantastic details on the life of Solomon. For instance, Solomon was given power over the winds, had jinns (immaterial beings) and demons working underneath his supervision (S. 21:81-82; 38:36-38), spoke to ants and birds as one speaks to a friend, with the animals speaking back to him (S. 27:17-44), and had a lifeless body put upon his throne, forcing him to repent of his sins. (S.38:34-35)

Muhammad Asad was forced to admit to the mythical origins of these Quranic stories:
“In this as well as in several other passages relating to Solomon, the Quran alludes to the many poetic legends which were associated with his name since early antiquity and had become part and parcel of Judeo-Christian and Arabian lore long before the advent of Islam...these legendary accounts of Solomon's wisdom and magic powers had acquired a cultural reality of their own and were, therefore, eminently suited to serve as a medium for the parabolic exposition of certain ethical truths with which this book is concerned: and so, without denying or confirming their mythical character, the Quran uses them as a foil for the idea that God is the ultimate source of all human power and glory, and that all achievements of human ingenuity, even though they may border on the miraculous, are but an expression of his transcendental creativity.”(3: p. 498, ft. 77)

Asad's other notes are even more interesting. For example, he indicates within his notes that the idea that Solomon spoke to an ant and his threatening to kill the hoopoe in S. 27:17-22 must not be taken in the literal sense:

“In this instance with the ants Solomon evidently refers to his own understanding and admiration of nature as well as to his loving compassion for the humblest of God's creatures, as a great divine blessing: and this is the Qurnanic moral of the legendary story of the ant.”(Ibid., p. 579, ft.18)

Resurrection Fables
The Quran recounts tales of people who were put to death for hundreds of years, only to be brought back to life once more:

“Or take the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: 'Oh! how shall God bring it ever to life, after this its death?' But God caused him to die for a hundred years; then raised him up again. He said: 'How long didst thou tarry thus?' He said: '(perhaps) a day or part of a day.' “He said: 'Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey; and that We may make of thee a Sign unto the people, look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh.' When this was shown clearly to him, he said: ‘I know that God hath power over all things.’'' S. 2:259

Not only was the man, who according to Islamic tradition was Ezra (Uzair), resurrected but also his food, drink and donkey were preserved for one hundred years as well.
Another fantastic tale found in the Quran is the story of the sleepers of the cave who, upon fleeing persecution, ran into a cave with their dog where they fell asleep for over three hundred years. (S. 18:9-22.

Even more incredulous is the Quranic teaching that Allah put thousands of Israelites to death and then proceeded to raise them back to life:

''Didst thou not turn thy vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (in number), for fear of death? God said to them: ' Die'; then He restored them to life.  For God is full of bounty to mankind, but most of them are ungrateful.'' S. 2:243

''And remember ye said: ' O Moses! we shall never believe in thee until we see God manifestly, but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on. Then We raised you up after your death; ye had the chance to be grateful.'' S. 2:55-56

Although it is true that to see God in his essential glory means instantaneous death (Ex. 33:20), what the Israelites saw was a veiled manifestation of God in a cloud of thunder and fire which caused them to drop in fear and trembling. They did not die.(cf. Ex. 19:9-24, 20:18-2, 24:15-18; Dt. 5:22-30).  That this tale finds its roots partly in the Jewish oral tradition, the Talmud (a collection of uninspired writings containing many myths), is admitted by A Yusef Ali:

“We have hitherto had instances from the Jewish traditional Taurat (or Pentateuch). Now we have some instances from Jewish traditions in the Talmud, a body of exposition in the Jewish theological schools. They are based on the Jewish scriptures, but add many marvelous details and homilies.'' (4: p. 30, ft. 70)


Certain verses of the Quran contain statements which are inconsistent with historical places and events. For instance, the Quran mentions Abraham being thrown into fire due to his refusal to acknowledge the deities of the land and of the king. God then proceeds to cool the fire down so that Abraham comes out from the blaze unharmed. (cf. S. 21:51-70).

It is not Abraham's passage into the fire that is at question, but it is the identity of the king who tossed Abraham into the blaze that concerns us:

''... traditionally the fire incident is referred to a king called Nimrud... if Nimrud 's capital was in Assyria, near Ninevah (site near modern Mosul), we may suppose either that the king 's rule extended over the whole of Mesopotamia, or that Abraham wandered north through Babylonia to Assyria.'' (4: p.837, ft. 2725)
“In Arab tradition there is the story of Abraham. Nimrud tries to burn him to death, but on account of Abraham's faith the fire became a means of safety for Abraham ...Can we localize Nimrud? If local tradition can be relied upon, the king must have ruled over the tract which includes the modern Nimrud, on the Tigris, about twenty miles south of Mosul. This is the site of  the Assyrian ruins of great interest, but the rise of Assyria as an empire was of course much later than the time of Abraham. The Assyrian city Kalakh (Calah), and archaeological excavations carried out there have yielded valuable results, which are however irrelevant for our commentary.'' (Ibid., pp. 533, 1714, ff. 1565, 6055)
Nimrud, king of Babel/Assyria (i.e., Shinar /Sumer) whom Ali is alluding to lived centuries before Abraham, making it impossible for them to be contemporaries. This fact is confirmed by both the Bible and secular history. (cf. Gen. 10:6-12, 11:10-26)
Another example of this type deals with the idols that were worshipped at the time of Noah:

''And they (the people of Noah's day) said to each other, ‘Abandon not your gods: abandon neither Wa'dd nor Suwa, neither Yaquth nor Yauq, nor Nasr..’'' S. 71:23
The problem primarily arises with the names given to the idols of Noah's time. These are the names of the idols worshiped at the time of Muhammad in Mecca, nearly three thousand years later! How is it possible for Noah’s people to worship Arabic deities with Arabic titles several thousands years before these idols ever came into existence? The Muslims' attempts to reconcile this obvious anachronism have failed so far.

Also according to the Quran, Moses and the Israelites were to wait for the Gentile prophet (or the prophet of the Gentiles) to come, bringing salvation:

''And Moses chose seventy of his people for Our place of meeting: when they were seized with violent quaking, he prayed: 'O my Lord! if it had been Thy will Thou couldst have destroyed, long before, both them and me : wouldst Thou destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us? This is no more than Thy trial: by it Thou causest whom Thou wilt to stray, and Thou leadest whom Thou wilt into the right path. Thou art our Protector: so forgive us and give us Thy mercy; for Thou art the best of those who forgive. And ordain for us that which is good, in this life and in the hereafter: for we have turned unto Thee.'

“He said: with My punishment I visit whom I will but My mercy extendeth to all things.. That mercy I shall ordain for those who do right, and practice regular charity, and those who believe in Our signs. Those who follow the Apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they (i.e., Israelites) find mentioned in their own (scriptures)- in the Law and the Gospel; for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); he releases them fromthe yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honor him, help him and follow the light, which is sent down with him, it is they who will prosper.’'' S. 7:155-157
The obvious anachronism of the passage is the statement that the Israelites at the time of Moses were to await the coming of the Prophet of the Gentiles for guidance and salvation, whose advent was foretold in the Law and the Gospel. The question must be asked as to how it could have been possible for the Israelites to know of any prophecies of the Apostle to come within the pages of the Gospel, when the Gospel itself had not been revealed until fifteen hundred years after Moses and the Exodus?
The argument that the passage is referring to the descendents of the Israelites who were to receive the Gospel from Jesus Christ also fails to reconcile this anachronism due to the fact that the Israelites by and large have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the Gospels that have been handed down to us from the Apostles of Christ are devoid of any references to Muhammad whatsoever.

It should also be noted that Muhammad and Islam have been a constant threat and burden to both Jews and Christians alike. In a Hadith, Muhammad is reported to have said:
''Allah's messenger (Muhammad) may peace be upon him has commanded: Fight against the Jews and kill them. Pursue them until even a stone would say: Moslem, there is a Jew hiding himself behind me; kill him, kill him quickly.'' (5: p. 7)

Are we to believe that this is the salvation that God promised Israel would eventually come; 
the idea that the God of Moses would send an Apostle to slaughter them? Far from it!

Fuel for the Fire
The last inconsistency that we present before concluding this study is this passage from S. 21:98

“Surely you and what you worship besides Allah are fuel of Hell ; to it you will come.'' M. Muhammad Ali

At the surface level, there would seem to be no problem whatsoever with this verse until one realizes what the people of Mecca and the surrounding Arabian towns were worshiping. Astral worship was in vogue during that period as was Christianity and Judaism.
Notice that the verse states quite clearly that all which is worshiped i.e., the sun, the moon, the stars, Uzair (Ezra whom the Jews worshiped as the son of God according to S. 9:30), Mary and Jesus will  be cast into Hell-fire, an idea which is both foolish and blasphemous.
Hence, we have discovered that the Quran and Traditions do contain factual errors contrary to the widely held belief amongst Muslims that Islam’s holy book is devoid of any contradictions or mistakes.
What Muslims must now do to prove the Quran's inerrancy is to give positive evidence form history, archaeology, and science to refute the arguments presented within this study. In most instances, Muslims respond by committing what is known in logic as the fallacy of equivocation. What this basically means is that the Muslim response is to attack the Bible by presenting, in this case, source material from pagan civilizations prior to the writing of the Bible that contain stories which are similar in nature, i.e., the Babylonian flood and Creation epoch and the Code of Hammurabbi. 

This is an erroneous argument due to the simple fact that the biblical view of inspiration is different from the Muslim view.  The Bible was written by over forty different authors and over a fifteen hundred year period, whereas the Quran was written by one man over a twenty three year period.

According to Scripture, holy men of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the Bible within the context of the times, using the literary style of that period.
The discovery of similar stories or events within the tales of the pagan civilizations does not destroy the Bible’s authority but actually reinforces it.

That these nations also had stories of the flood and codes to govern oneself confirms the trustworthiness of the biblical events due to the fact that the other civilizations knew that these events had taken place and proceeded to adopt them within their tradition.  Furthermore, the similarities between the Mosaic law and Hammurabi’s codes or other documents, vindicate Mosaic authorship and the fifteenth century B.C. date, since the literary style does not fit in any other time period. 

This then sounds the death-knell on the documentary hypothesis theory, the idea that the Pentateuch is a post-exile editorial patchwork.

Yet the Quran denies any human source whatsoever, stating that God Almighty sent it down from heaven above. (S. 25:4-6) To find even one fable of the ancients recorded within the pages of the Quran would destroy Islam's foundation completely. This is clear from one Muslim writer’s statement in response to Surah 25:4-6:

''Apparently this is a weighty argument. For there can be no greater proof of the fraud ofprophethood than to specify its source. But it looks strange that no argument has been put forward to refute this charge except a mere denial, as if to say, 'Your charge is an impudent lie: you are cruel and unjust to bring such a false charge against our messenger; for the Quran is the word of Allah who knows all secrets of the heaven and the earth.’'' (6: vol. 3, pp.178-179) 

That the source has been specified is clear to anyone who reads this study, proving that the Quran is not the word of God.

To conclude, we must say that the Bible has better and superior manuscript, historical, archaeological and scientific evidence than the Quran, making it more reliable than any other religious book.  Hence, before Muslims try to attack the Bible’s credibility, they should first attempt to prove why we should believe in their religious text’s reliability and inspiration.


Appendix A
Fables of the Quran Identified

As noted, the Quran denies that it contains any tales from the ancients, and calls those who make such allegations liars:

"But the Misbelievers say: 'Naught is this a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him at it...' And they say, 'Tales of the ancients which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening.' '' S.25:4,5

The Quran responds:

''... In truth it is they who have put forward an iniquity ... Say, ‘It is sent down by Him who knows the mystery that is in the heavens and the earth: verily He is oft-forgiving, most merciful.''' S. 25:4,6

Yusef Ali elaborates:

''In their misguided arrogance they say: 'We have heard such things before: they are pretty tales which have come down from ancient times; they are good for amusement, but who takes them seriously?' When the beauty and power of the revelation are pointed out, and its miracles as coming from an unlearned man, they again hint at other men who wrote them, though they could not produce any one who could write anything like it.''

“The answer is that the Quran teaches spiritual knowledge which can only come from God, to whom alone is known the mystery of the whole creation.'“ (4: p. 927, ff. 3058, 3059)
(It is noteworthy that throughout his commentary, Ali identifies the fables and traditions of certain passages within the Quran, disproving the very thing he tries to prove; namely no fables to be found in the revelation. [see study])

Maulana Ali adds,

''In the previous verse, their allegation is that the Quran is a forgery; here they allege that the prophet had caused some stories of the ancients to be written down by some people who helped him and it was these stories which were recited to him and which he gave out as a revelation from on high. How could mere stories bring about the transformation which the Holy Quran was working in the hearts of men?..'' (7: pp. 697, 698; ft. 1771)
It has been clearly demonstrated throughout the study that the Quran does find root in the tales of the ancients and, contrary to what Muslims are saying , contains nothing which would lead one to believe that it came down from heaven above.

In this appendix, we will present two more factors from the Talmud that prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Muhammad was not being inspired but was in actuality receiving his information from different human sources.


“When Abraham saw the sun issuing in the morning from the east, he at first moved to think that it was God, and said, ‘This is the king that created me’; and worshiped it the whole day. In the evening when the sun went down and the moon commenced to shine, he said, 'Verily this rules over the orb which I worshiped the whole day, since the latter is darkened before it and does not shine anymore.'

“So he served the moon all that night. In the morning when he saw the darkness depart and the east grow light, he said, 'Of a surety there is a king who rules over all these orbs and orders them.'“Zohar, cen. 869


''So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth. That he might have certitude. When the night covered him over, he saw a star; he said , 'This is my Lord. But when it set, he said, ''I love not those who set.' When he saw the moon rising in splendor, he said, ’This is my Lord.’ But when the moon set, he said , ‘Unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray.' When he saw the sun rising in splendor, he said, ‘This is my lord; this is the greatest of all’; but when the sun set, he said , 'O my people I am indeed free from your error of ascribing partners to God. For me, I have set my face firmly and truly towards Him who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I ascribe partners to God.'' S. 6: 75-79 Pickhtall


''Only one single man Adam was created in the world to teach that , if any man has caused a single soul to perish, scripture imputes it to him as though he had caused the whole world to perish, and if any man saves a life, a single soul, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had saved the whole world.''
Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4.5


''Therefore We prescribed for the children of Israel that whoever kills a human being, except to retaliate for manslaughter or for corruption done in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all of human- kind; and who so saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind.'' S. 5:32


The striking similarities between the Talmudic and Quranic tales demonstrates the fact that one of Muhammad's sources of inspiration was a Jew who knew the oral traditions of the rabbis well.


Appendix B
The Drowning of Pharaoh In the Quran

Another fact often given by Muslims for the heavenly inspiration of Muhammad is the Quranic foreknowledge of Pharaoh's bodily preservation and its future discovery as a sign for unbelievers:

''And We brought the children of Israel over the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts followed them insolently and impetuously till, when the drowning over took him, he (Pharaoh) said, 'I believe that there is no god but He in whom the children of Israel believe; I am of those that surrender.' Now? and before thou didst rebel, being of those that did corruption. So today We shall deliver thee with thy body, that thou mayest be a sign to those after thee. Surely many men are heedless of our signs.''  S. 10: 90-91


Accordingly, Muslims argue that the body of the Pharaoh of the Exodus is believed to have been discovered by Loret at Thebes in the King's valley in 1898, nearly thirteen centuries after this Quranic verse was revealed.  This, they claim, gives irrefutable proof for Muhammad's prophethood since it is not possible for Muhammad to have known this apart from Divine revelation.

This argument once more reciprocates back against the Muslims, since we find this same tale proclaimed in the Talmudic fables of the Rabbis, again pointing to the fact that Muhammad was not a God-inspired Prophet:

''Perceive the great power of repentance! Pharaoh, king of Egypt, uttered very wicked words-'Who is the god whose voice I shall obey? (Exod. 5:2). Yet as he repented, saying. ' Who is like unto thee among the gods?' (Exod. 15 : 2). God saved him from death; for it saith; Almost had I stretched out my hands and destroyed; but God let him live, that he might declare his power and strength. ' '' (Pirke Rabbi Elieazer, xliii; Midrash Yalkut, ccxxxviii).
If the passage is an indication of inspiration then it is the Talmudic compilers, not Muhammad, who were being inspired, since it is again obvious as to where Muhammad received his ''Revelations.''

(Note- It must be pointed out that it is impossible for the Pharaoh’s body to have been discovered, since there is a difference of opinion amongst theologians as to his identity. Some scholars are of the opinion that the Exodus took pace in the 19th dynasty period of Egypt, making Seti 1 and Rameses 2 the Pharaohs of the oppression and Exodus.

Others, citing 1Kings 6:1 as evidence, believe that the Exodus took place in 1446 B.C. due to the statement in 1Kings that Israel's deliverance from Egypt took place 430 years before, ''The fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel'' (i.e. 966 B.C.). This would make Thutmose 3 and his son Amuhotep 2 the Pharaohs of that period.
This is a fact that Muhammad Asad himself admits in his footnote to this Quranic passage:

“Lit. ‘We shall save thee in thy body’: Probably an allusion to the ancient Egyptian custom of embalming the bodies of their kings and nobles and thus preserving them for posterity.  Some Egyptologists assume that the ‘evil Pharaoh’ of the Quran and the Bible was Ramses II (about 1324-1258 B.C.), while others identify him with his unlucky predecessor, Tut-ankh-amen, or even with Thotmes (or Thutmosis) III, who lived in the 15th century B.C.  However, all these ‘identifications’ are purely speculative and have no definitive historical value.  In this connection it should be remembered that the designation ‘Pharaoh’ (fir’awn in Arabic) is not a proper name but a title born by all the kings of ancient Egypt.” (3:p.306, f.112)

Even though the historical and archaeological evidence strongly suggests a 1446 B.C. date for the Exodus, the uncertainty amongst religious scholars should point out the wishful thinking on the part of some Muslims in their overzealous attempts to ''prove'' that Pharaoh's body has been found.)


The Listing of Christian Books:

· ·  Dr. Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan

· ·  Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe, When Critics Ask, Victor Books

· ·  Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F.F. Bruce, Manfred T. Brauch
Hard Sayings of the Bible, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois

· ·  Robert Morey, Islamic Invasion, Harvest House, Eugene, OR


1. The True Guidance - Comments on Quranic Verses

2. 2. Imam Zain-ud-Din bin Abdul-Lateef Az-Zubaidi:

3. 3. The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahi Al-Bukhari (Arabic - English)

4. 4. Muhammad Asad:  The Message of The Qur’an

5. 5. Yusuf Ali:  The Holy Qur’an - Translation and Commentary

6. 6. John Ankerberg & John Weldon:  The Facts on Islam

7. 7. Maududi:  The Meaning of the Quran

8. 8. Maulana Muhammad Ali:  Holy Quran

The word which is often translated as unlettered, ummi, is more correctly translated as ''People without scripture'' (i.e., the non-Jews and Christians) or '' Gentile'' as the Quran itself bears witness:

''... for they (i.e., Jews) say: 'We are not bound to keep faith with gentiles (Ummiyun)..''' S. 3:78 Dawood         ''It is He that has sent forth among the gentiles (Ummiyun) an apostle of their own to recite to them His revelation, to purify them, and to instruct them in the book and in wisdom, though they have hither to been in gross error, together with others of their own kin who have not yet followed them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.'' S. 62:2,3 Dawood
To assume that all the gentiles or Arabs were illiterate cannot be accepted, since history attests to the high level of literacy of the Arabs prior to and contemporary with Muhammad. This forces us to  conclude that the word Ummi, when applied to both Muhammad and his times simply meant people who were ''unlettered'' i.e., not in the sense of reading or writing but in the sense that they had no knowledge of inspired scriptures like the Bible.

The Talmud is a body of rabbinic teachings which were passed on orally and compiled in the second and third centuries, called the Mishnah and the Gemara. Within these traditions, one finds a variety of subjects ranging from agriculture to spiritual lessons. Also contained within these accounts are stories of the prophets and historical events which often diverge from the Biblical narratives, containing gross historical errors and anachronisms. That the Quran contains much in the way of Talmudic fables is indicative of its true source and worth.

©2003 Faith Defenders

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