Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Quran calls YOU ! Stop the Worry and Live Properly ! Part 1

In my years of experience in doing da'wah (calling people back to true religion of God), in many occasions, I met with people  and we will discuss and talk about religion, in particular. The Quran urges Muslim to SHARE their way of life with people who are nearest to them. The word here is SHARE. Sharing is something we do with all sincerity without expecting any returns. Zero expectation. So in these SHARING sessions I had the opportunity to talk with people from all walks of life. It also gave me an opportunity to understand their point of views. 

Personally, after reading the Quran, I became extremely TOLERANT of other people's paradigms. Truly. The Quran, if read as it should be read, with understanding, will make you a very tolerant person. You can be tolerant but at the same time politely hold on to your grounds.

I cant remember any incident that I argue vehemently with people of other religions. It is an amazing thing that during these SHARING sessions, never once I lost my temper nor did I argue for the sake of winning arguments. Nevertheless, I can see that people from all walks of life, they are also searching for the truth. This search for the truth is a normal quest for anyone. It urges them to ask question(s) ? It is their inborn nature. Some ask correct questions but demanded wrong answers. Some ask wrong questions and never bothered to evaluate all the answers given.  

I used to tell people that all of  us  have something of God, inside of us. That is what the Quran termed as Ruh in Arabic. This Ruh or soul as the Westerner calls it, is what that causes all of us to be alive. That substance is our very consciousness and it is pure. When a person commits sin(s), what they are actually doing is that, they are being unjust to themselves. The more sin(s) that are being committed, the more tormented the soul or Ruh within a person becomes. It  makes you very uncomfortable. You can pretend that everything is good. The truth that  is deep within your heart, is that,  there is no peace. This PEACE in the inner  self  is what humans crave for and we just don't know how to obtain it. 

The summary of the Quran is that there are three things that are very important in a person's life. These three things need to be sorted out first. They are ;

1. Good deeds that needs to be done in other words ORDER from GOD that needs to be obeyed.

2. Bad deeds that needs to be abstained from in other words PROHIBITIONS that needs to be abstained.

3. Life decree that needs to be accepted in other words GOD'S TEST that needs to be endured.

In your personal life, you need to take a look at the whole spectrum of your life and look into the question of righteousness. Are there any good deeds that your are doing CONSISTENTLY ? What are these goods deeds ? Why must we do good deeds ? Why is it so important ? It is the way we manage our spiritual selves. The physical world has many laws. Gravity. Magnetism. Thermal. Hydro. The list goes on and on. Within the physical world if we do not follow the physical laws, we will be in trouble. Simple analogy is the traffic light. If RED means stop, we must stop. That is the system we follow because it is good for traffic users to obey traffic rules for benefit of all users. In the spiritual world, these same laws operates. Since you have something of God in your inner self, as a person, if you are not expose to negative elements, it is natural that you are drawn to do good things. Doing good things are nourishment for your soul. The more your spiritual self receives these nourishments in terms of good things that you are doing, the stronger your inner self becomes. Your inner self  is just like a tree. How do you keep a tree healthy ? By giving it good nourishments through various fertilisers. Good cultivated soil. Exposure to sunlight. Water. But these things wont reach the tree if the tree itself doesn't have a mechanism to receive all these good things. So what is the answer ? The tree can only be nourished if it has strong ROOTS.  Doing good deeds  for human are actually like giving your inner self strong roots to receive blessings from GOD either in this world or in the hereafter. First thing in your life, you must be foremost in doing good deeds. To do good deeds, what will be your persuasion ? Your persuasion must come from principles that you upheld ? These are the good standards in life. Standards in life are actually made of GOOD WORDS. GOOD VALUES. We must stand on these good words in order to do good things in life and maintain doing it. The Quran mentioned this in Surah (Chapter) 14 (Ibrahim) ayah (verse) no 24 ; 

Have you not considered how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word (being) like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven,

People who governs their very lives in being foremost doing good deeds, develop strong spiritual roots. They  develop very strong inner selves. That gives them confidence. Lots of peace in their inner selves as there are zero guilty feeling. The point here is that what drives that conviction to do good things. It comes from a principle centred lifestyle  that are based on GOODS WORDS as their life's standards. They develop GOOD VALUE SYSTEMS. So in analysing your life no matter what is your age, there must be good deeds that needs to be done. The very best of good deeds is to obey ALL of God's  commandments. You must surround yourself with good people in order to do good things. If you hang around with bad company, you will not get good vibes from them. To serve the old, helpless, wayfarer and sickly are some of the things that you can do. It breaks your ego when you serve others and it gives you a feeling of  fulfilment and inner peace. You feel GOOD when you DO GOOD !

Further, we must look at all the sins that we are committing. All of these bad deeds will give the very opposite effects on a person's life. Naturally bad deeds comes from bad values, bad principles and bad words which we are exposed to. People don't naturally do bad deeds just like that. They did it after being exposed to it for a very long time. We normally resist bad deeds. After sometime, we get used to it and started doing it  once resistant towards bad deed  is broken. The first time you commit a bad deed, normally you will feel very bad about it. After some time when you keep on doing it, than it becomes a habit that will be very difficult to break free from. The Quran also mentioned about this in the same surah (Chapter) 14 - Ibrahim ayah (verse) no 26 - 

And the parable of an evil word is as an evil tree pulled up from the earth's surface; it has no stability.

Finally, once we have done what God wants us to do (good deeds) and abstain from what He forbids, only then we are able to endure life challenges that comes in our way. Normally, bad things do happen to good people. When bad things happen to good people, that is actually a good thing. They will be humbled. They will realised that there is no power except for God. At times, good things do happen to bad people. When good things happen to bad people, that is very bad indeed because that is God's way of telling them GOOD BYE ! 

Mankind in general have this tendency of wanting good things happening to them. When bad things happen, they will be asking God to give them relieve soonest. Once relieve is given, they forget everything and go back committing all these bad deeds all over again. 

If you are reading this BLOG, than - The Quran calls YOU ! 

Stop the Worry and Live Properly !

Surah Fussilat (Expounded) - Chapter 41 - ayats (verses) 49 to 51

 Man is never tired of praying for good, and if evil touch him, then he is despairing, hopeless.

And if We make him taste mercy from Us after distress that has touched him, he would most certainly say: This is of me, and I do not think the hour will come to pass, and if I am sent back to my Lord, I shall have with Him sure good; but We will most certainly inform those who disbelieved of what they did, and We will most certainly make them taste of hard chastisement.

And when We show favor to man, he turns aside and withdraws himself; and when evil touches him, he makes lengthy supplications.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Piligrimage in the Quran and Bible - Comparative Study

We have to start with the word itself, and its root h-j. The investigation of the original meaning of the root h-j goes no further than hypotheses. The Arabic lexicographers give the meaning to betake oneself to or towards an object of reverence; this would agree with pilgrimage although this meaning is clearly denominative. According to Genesis' A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, the Hebrew equivalent is hag . The verb means to make a pilgrimage or to keep a pilgrim-feast (see for example Moses in Exodus 5:1, 10:9). 

In the noun form it has the same meaning; additionally, the hag also refers to the Feast of Booths, to which we will come back later. It is also possible that the root hoog (Hebrew script here = to go around, to go in a circle) in North as well as South Semitic languages is connected with it. (One may recall that circumambulation, or tawaf - going around the Ka'ba, is an important part of the hajj). It is a common practice among the Jews to perform circling (hoog) in the temple's sanctuary during the hag.

It is interesting that the verb hag can also refer to circling in the sacred dance. Keeping in mind that Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic the scriptural languages of Abraham's descendants have a common Semitic root, we can easily see that the Arabic characters ha and jim are the equivalent of the Hebrew heth and gimel. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Arabic speaking Egyptians also make the same substitution. For example, they use `gabal' instead of the standard Arabic `jabal' for mountain; thus, they also say `hag' instead of `hajj.'

Let us compare the following passages, which contain the word `pilgrimage,' from the Quran and the Bible:

In the Quran - Moses's would be father in law (Prophet Shuayb) recognizes pilgrimage (Hajj) when he spoke to Prophet Moses....(May Allah give peace on all His prophets)....

He said (to Moses), I wish to offer one of my two daughters for you to marry, in return for your working for me for eight pilgrimages; if you make them ten, it will be voluntary on your part...

Quran : Surah Al-Qasas Chapter 28: verse 27

Note : The Arabic words used in this verse tsamaniya (eight) hijaj  (pilgrimages)....

In the Old Testament....

Pharaoh asked him, How old are you? And Jacob said to Pharaoh, the years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.

(Genesis 47:8-9, NIV Bible)

In both cases, the word `pilgrimage' alludes to the same meaning, i.e. years indicating a well known fact that pilgrimage is an annual event. Other translations of the Bible use the word `sojourning' and `wayfaring' in place of `pilgrimage' (The Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publication Society, 1916 and The New American Bible, Catholic Book Publishing, 1977 respectively). They may have kept the same understanding (i.e. `year') but in so doing, they have inadvertently obscured the fact that pilgrimage already was a well known annual event during the time of Jacob and the Pharaoh.

An Old Semitic Custom

According to E.J. Brill's First Encyclopedia of Islam, 1913-1916 (Vol.III, pp.199-200), pilgrimage to a sanctuary is an old Semitic custom, which is prescribed even in the older parts of the Pentateuch as an indispensable duty. Three times a year shall you celebrate for Me a hag is written in Exodus 23:14. The North Semitic autumnal festival (the Feast of Booths) in the Old Testament is often briefly called the hag (e.g. Judges 21:19, 1 Kings 8:2, 65), as has been mentioned earlier.

Another important part of the Muslim's hajj is the wukuf, or the standing in `Arafat. This has been compared with the stay of the Israelites on the foot of Mount Sinai. To prepare for this, the children of Israel had to purify their garments and refrain from sexual intercourse. Thus they waited upon God (Exodus 19:10-11, 14-15). In the same way (Quran 2:196-198), Muslims wear holy clothing, refrain from sexual intercourse and stand before the Lord at the foot of a sacred mountain. (Arabic script = Hebrew script = standing).

While performing the circumambulation of the Ka'ba (tawaf), the pilgrims glorify and praise the Name of God using an ancient formula that predates the Quran (labbayka Allaahumma labbayk = I have responded to You, my Lord, I have responded to You). The Arabic word labbayk (which literally means here I am ) was the same word used by Abraham and Moses in the Bible, when they responded to God's call (Genesis 22:1, 11, Exodus 3:4).

 In fact, a whole prayer was written around the very phrase here I am, solely to be said on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) which follows the hag.

In the Bible (Genesis 18:16-33), we read that Abraham had a conversation with God where he tried to understand God's forgiveness and mercy. The place where Abraham stood (Genesis 19:27) is called makom Abrahem in Hebrew. More specifically, the rabbinical understanding of makom Abrahem is that this is the same place in which Abraham was about to sacrifice his own son until God intervened (see Genesis 22:4, 9, 14). It was believed that on this place Solomon built the holiest of the Jewish shrine, the Temple of the Mount. (It was eventually destroyed by the king of Babylon; on this very same spot in what was already known as Jerusalem the Ummayad finally built Masjid Al-Aqsa, which is still standing today). The concept of maqam Ibrahim is also found in the Quran. The place inside the Ka'ba in Mecca where Abraham stood and prayed for guidance is called maqam Ibrahim or `the station of Abraham' in the Quran 3:96, as the following verses make clear:

And remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.

Quran : Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2: verse 127

"Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Quran : Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2: verse 128

Pilgrimage to Baca in the Bible

The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings:

Quran : Surah An-Nisa Chapter 3: verse 96

In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.

Quran : Surah An-Nisa Chapter 3: verse 97

For fourteen centuries, no one dared to `correct' the peculiar Quranic spelling of Becca in verse 3:96, the city that had been known as Mecca for as long as its people during prophet Muhammad's time could remember.  Some have argued that Becca was the ancient name for Mecca (see for example historian Ibn Ishaq's view, and editor Ibn Hisham's note, in A. Guillaume's translation The Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press, 1967, pp. 47, 708). 

Now we learn that this peculiar Quranic spelling may also shed some light on an obscure Biblical passage. That Becca is indeed the ancient name for Mecca, the city of pilgrimage in which Abraham founded its shrine, BAITULLAH, the house of God the Ka'ba. That this pilgrimage was known to the children of Israel of ancient times.

How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising You. Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with blessings.... 

(Psalm 84:1-6, NIV Bible)

This psalm is also known as the psalm of the pilgrimage. It seems to reflect the children of Israel's ancient longing for the House of God that their patriarch Abraham had built in Baca (Becca), and their ancient practice of making a pilgrimage there. In a sense, it confirms what historian Ibn Ishaq wrote in the 8th century AD about the ancient Jews who used to make a pilgrimage to their patriarch Abraham's temple in Mecca, centuries before Ibn Ishaq's time. They stopped the practice when the inhabitants of the city turned into unclean polytheists. Their setting up of idols around the Ka'ba, and the blood which they shed there, presented an insurmountable obstacle for them (Guillaume, op.cit., p.9).

The Holy Scriptures of the Jewish Publication Society retained the name Baca, but used the highways instead of pilgrimage (although still in the context of the road to pilgrimage). The crucial passage is now read: 

`Happy is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose hearts are the highways. Passing through the valley of Baca...' 

The New American Bible's 1977 edition of the Catholic church, on the other hand, kept the word pilgrimage but translated the proper name Baca using its secondary meaning the mastic tree. The passage read: `Happy the men whose strength you are! Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage. When they pass through the valley of the mastic trees,....' and its true meaning is irreparably lost.

Indeed, in Arabic and Hebrew, the word Becca/Baca also means `the mastic or the balsam tree.' Another meaning of the word is `the overflowing tears.' These two meanings fit the description of Mecca as well. Mecca is a place where these evergreen trees are found in abundance (the Meccan balsam is a well known name in pharmacopeia). Furthermore, the commemoration of God's Name, and God alone during hajj, truly brings tears to many a pilgrim's eyes.

Despite the many versions of the Bible's translation, a careful study by a sincere seeker will bring the true meaning of passages, verses or even a single word. God has also sent down His Final Testament - the Quran, to shed light on Biblical passages such as those quoted above.

And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that thou shouldst make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe.

Quran : Surah An-Nahl - Chapter 16 verse 64

Fasting in the Bible

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-
Quran : Surah Al-Baqarah - Chapter 2 verse 183

After discussing prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus approaches fasting. Again, he warns of hypocrisy rather than giving the details of fasting. This is again because the details of fasting were already known. Fasting is almost always mentioned in the Bible along with special prayers of petition. Examples of such fasting are in the time of Esther (Esther 4:3 and 9:31), in the experience of Daniel (Daniel 6:18 and 9:3), and in the advice of Jesus (Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29). The words of David especially connect fasting with prayer of petition: 

"While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again?" 2 Samuel 12:22-23.

In this text we see that fasting appears in the Bible along with weeping. Dressing in sackcloth, sitting in ashes, and not wearing perfume are also mentioned (Nehemiah 9:1; 1 Kings 21:27). Proclaiming a fast is often associated with a solemn assembly as well (Joel 1:14; 2:15 et al.). It appears that special months of fasting were instituted during the Babylonian captivity of Judah, probably in view of the crisis (Zechariah 8:19). "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace." This verse clearly suggests that these months of fasting would no longer be observed when the reason for their existence, the Babylonian captivity, disappeared.

But there is no specific legislation dealing with fasting. It is assumed in the Bible text that everyone already knows that fasting is a valid practice and how it should be done. This may indicate that some portions of the Torah have been lost, since legislation is assumed. In fact, the only fasting mentioned in the Torah or books of Moses is the forty-day fast of Moses (Exodus 34:28). 

"And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water." 

From this we can see that the fast of the Bible is not a partial one as in Christianity, but complete: absolutely nothing can be eaten or drunk. From the fast of Moses, of Elijah (1 Kings 19:8), and of Jesus (Matthew 4:2), we can see that on certain occasions a fast of forty days was required. The great length of this fast indicates that, since it is stated to be complete, it must have permitted some eating and drinking during the night.

Although many of the fasts mentioned in the Bible are certainly personal vows and not general practice, some general fasting practices are found. A specific fast day in mentioned in Jeremiah 36:6.

 "Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord's house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities." 

Here we find a definite practice of fasting. The following verses will show that this is not just a day of fasting, but precisely a month. More detail on this day of fasting is given in verse nine:

 "And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem." 

This is not a special fast proclaimed by a religious ruler, because this particular king was wicked. Nevertheless, he did follow the formality of what was practiced: the month of fasting. The time given for this fasting is stated to be the ninth month.

The season of the fast in this particular year, thought by many scholars to be 604 B.C., is stated to be in the winter. Jeremiah 36:22, 

"Now the king sat in the winter house in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him." 

Now the present Jewish calendar adds a thirteenth month from time to time to match the solar year, so that the ninth month of the civil year (used in the dates of kings' reigns) falls in May or June, summer in Palestine. If we project the lunar calendar presently used in the Middle East back in history, we find that the ninth month falls in November of the year 604 B.C. It appears that during Bible times a purely lunar calendar was used, and the ninth month was a month of fasting.

Bible fasting includes more than just not eating and drinking, however. Isaiah 58 is the great fasting chapter of the Bible. 

"Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? " Isaiah 58:3-7. 

From this we see that fasting includes avoiding certain pleasures on one hand, and doing acts of charity and justice on the other. That is, there are some other pleasures besides food and drink that must be avoided. Also, the central meaning of the fast has to do with feeling for the hunger of the hungry and doing something to alleviate it. In addition, especially the practice of using sackcloth and ashes seems to be condemned. We find the same condemnation, because of its connection with hypocrisy, mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 6.

So we find fasting a basic, though unlegislated, practice throughout the Bible, from Moses to Peter and Paul (Acts 10:30; 14:23; 27:33; and 1 Corinthians 7:5). In summary, we can say that Biblical fasting is the complete abstention from eating and drinking and some other pleasures during the daylight hours of the days of the ninth month of the lunar calendar. It includes acts of charity, alms and justice, and the especial avoidance of anger and quarreling.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Pilgrimage of Biblical Prophet Ezekiel to Mecca

Ezekiel (/ɨˈzki.əl/HebrewיְחֶזְקֵאלY'ḥez'qelHebrew pronunciation: [jəħezˈqel]), Arabic:حزقيال Hazqiyal, 'God will strengthen' (from חזקḥazaq[ħaˈzaq], literally 'to fasten upon,' figuratively 'strong,' and אלel[ʔel], literally 'God', and so figuratively 'The Almighty') is the central protagonist of the Book of Eziekel in the Hebrew Bible. Ezekiel is acknowledged as a Hebrew prophet. In Judaism and Christianity, he is also viewed as the author of the Book of Ezekiel that reveals prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and the Millennia Temple visions, or the Third Temple.

The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah and preceding the Book of the Twelve. (The order is somewhat different in the Christian Old Testament). It derives its name from, and records the visions of, the 6th century BC priest and prophet Ezekiel.

According to the book, the prophet, exiled in Babylon, experienced a series of seven visions during the 22 years from 593 to 571 BC, a period which spans the final destruction of Jerusalem in 586. The visions, and the book, are structured around three themes: (1) judgment on Israel (chapters 1-24); (2) judgment on the nations (chapters 25-32); and future blessings for Israel (chapters 33-48)

Explanation on Bekka / Valley of Baca / Mecca

How lovely is Your dwelling-place, O Lord of Hosts. I long, I yearn for the courts of the Lord; my body and soul shout for joy to the living God ... Happy are those who dwell in Your house; they forever praise You. Happy is the man who finds refuge in You, whose mind is on the [pilgrim] highways. They pass through the Valley of Baca, regarding it as a place of springs, as if the early rain had covered it with blessing ... Better one day in Your courts than a thousand [anywhere else]; I would rather stand at the threshold of God's house than dwell in the tents of the wicked

Psalms 84 - Old Testament


Quran : Chapter 3 verse 96

Bakkah (Arabic: بكة‎) is one of the ancient names for what we call today: Mecca [Makkah].  'Bakkah' refers to the Kaaba and the sacred site immediately surrounding it, while 'Mecca' is the name of the city in which they are both located.

In the Book of Ezekiel (Ch, 40-47) ;

The Biblical Prophet Ezekiel  tells us about a journey had been done for him by the Lord (or an Angel) in his vision.

1) The Place and Time:


 40:1 In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither.

40:2 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.

2) The shape of that Place:

Ezekiel describes to us the shape of that place in Chapters 40-43..:

42:15 Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about.

42:16 He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.

42:17 He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.

42:18 He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed.

42:19 He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.

42:20 He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.

According to this shape, this place is foursquare in shape ..!

3) The Sacred House: (Ka'aba):

41:4 So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place.

41:7 And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst.

 4) Going around the House & Zamzam water:

47:1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.

47:2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

47:3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.

47:4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.

47:5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

It's superabundant water coming down from under from the right side of the house and south of the altar.

"it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over"...Ezekiel in 47:5

*About the Altar:

41:22 The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD.

5) Pilgrims and Pilgrimage:

44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD.

44:16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.

44:17 And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.

44:18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.

44:19 And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments.

44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.

Quran and Basis of Religion

By Gary Miller

Dilemma of Applying Reason

Almost all of us have been faced with the questioning of a child by repeating one word over and over. He can be very frustrating to us as he asks Why? If you put a knife beyond his reach, he wants to know, Why? When you explain it is sharp, he asks "Why?" And so you explain, in order to cut fruit, and he asks, Why? And so it goes

It illustrates the dilemma of applying reason. What we have to do when we apply reason is first to set standards of proof. We decide for ourselves, "What will I be satisfied with if I find such and such and so and so that constitutes for me a final proof?" We have to decide on that first.

What happens though, is that on the really important issues, the philosophical matters, thinkers set standards and eventually they may arrive at their standards. They may arrive at the point which they say would constitute a proof. But then they ask for a proof of the proof.

Setting Standards

The key to avoiding this endless dissatisfaction is to satisfy ourselves about standards first; to satisfy ourselves that such and such are a list of criteria that constitute proof, satisfying proof, and then we test the subjects that we examine. In particular I will apply this to the Qur'an.

Ask a thoughtful Christian why he is Christian, and he will usually reply, "The miracle of Resurrection." The basis for his belief being that about two thousand years ago a man died and he was raised from the dead. That is his miracle, his 'touchstone', because all else depends on that.

Ask a Muslim, "Well, what is your miracle? Why are you a Muslim? Where is your miracle?" and the Muslim can go over and take his miracle off the shelf and hand it over to you because his miracle is still with us today. It is the Qur'an; it is his 'touchstone'.

Sign of God

While all the prophets have their signs, Moses had the competition with the magicians and the Pharaoh, Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead and so on, one sign was given to the last of the prophets. According to the Muslims, this is the Qur'an. And this one Sign is still with us. Does not that after all seem fair, that if prophethood is to end that the last prophet should bring something that stays with us so that, in fact, a Muslim who takes his religion seriously suffers no disadvantage to Muslims who lived fourteen centuries ago?

Those people who kept company with the Prophet had access to no more of the necessary information than we have today. They had the Qur'an. That was the sign for them. It is still a sign to us today, the same miracle.

Well, let us test the Qur'an. Suppose that if I say to a man, "I know your father." Probably he is going to examine the situation and see if it seems likely that I have met his father. If he is not convinced he will start asking me questions like: "You know my father, you say, is he a tall man? Does he have curly hair? Does he wear glasses?" and so on. If I keep giving him the right answers to all these questions, pretty soon he is going to be convinced. "Well I guess this man did meet my father like he said." You see the method

The Big Bang Theory

Here in the Qur'an we have a book which claims that is author is one who was present at the beginning of the universe, at the beginning of life. So, we have a right to address that author and say, "Well, tell me something prove to me that you were there when the world began, when life began." The Qur'an gives us an interesting statement. It reads:

" Have not the disbelievers seen that the Heavens and the Earth were one piece and we parted them and we made from water every living thing? Will they not believe? " (21:30)

There are three key points here. First of all, it is the disbelievers who are mentioned as being those who would see that the heavens and the earth were one piece and then parted and would see that all life came to be made from water.

As it happens the universally accepted theory of the origin of the universe is now the Big Bang theory. It maintains that at one time all of the heavens and the earth were one piece, the 'monoblock' as it is called. At a particular point in time, this 'monoblock' burst and it continues to expand. This gives us the universe we have today. This was a recent discovery, a recent confirmation.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded only a few years ago to those who confirmed the Big Bang origin of the universe. It was only about two hundred years ago that Leeuwnhoek and others perfected the microscope and discovered for the first time that living cells are composed of about eighty percent water.

Those Nobel Prize winners and the Dutchman who invented the microscope were not Muslims. And yet they confirmed the vital statement that at one time the universe was one piece, that life was made from water, just as this verse says:

" Have not the disbelievers seen that the Heavens and the Earth were one piece and we parted them and we made from water every living thing? Will they not believe? " (21:30)

Well, this sounds like an answer to the question we stated with when we ask the author: 
"Tell me something that shows me you were present when the universe began when life began?"

Taking a Stand

Everyone must be committed to something. You have to put your foot down some place. It is impossible to be neutral all time. There has to be a point of reference in the life of any thinking individual. You have to take a stand somewhere. The question, of course, is to put your foot down in the right place. Since there is no such thing as a proof of a proof and so on, in order to find the right place to put one's foot down, to take a stand, we have to search and find that place and it is by a method that I hope to illustrate here.

It is a question of finding a point of convergence. You see, we search for truth in many places and we begin to know that we are succeeding in finding the truth if all our different paths start to converge; they start to come together at the same point.

If we are examining a book, looking for evidence of divine origin, and we are led to Islam, this is one path. If at the same time we are examining the words of all those who were called prophets and we find ourselves led to Islam, we have a firmly grounded basis for belief. We started looking for truth in two different places and ground ourselves going down the path headed for the same destination.

No one ever proves all things. We have to stop at some point being satisfied with our standards as I have mentioned earlier. The point is, in order to take a stand and to be sure it is in the right place we want to examine all the evidence around us and see where does it lead us and anticipate this point of convergence; to say it looks like all things are pointing to this place. We go to that place and then look at the data around us to see if it fits into place. Dos it now make sense? Are we standing in the right place?

The Expanding Heavens

Let me first show more of our examination of the Qur'an, and then an examination of some words of prophets to find this point of convergence. In chapter fifty-one, verse forty seven, it is mentioned that the heavens are expanding. As I mentioned earlier, this is in connection with the 'Big Bang' origin of the universe, as it is usually called, and it was in 1973 that the Nobel Prize was awarded to three men who were confirming that, after all, the universe is expanding.

The comments of Muslims over the centuries on this verse which speaks of the heavens doing exactly that are very interesting. The wisest among them had stated that the words are very clear, that the heavens are expanding, but they could not imagine how that could be so. But they were content to leave the words as they were, to say: "Allah knows best"

The City of Iram

The Qur'an mentions a city by the name of Iram (89:7). The city of Iram has been unknown to history, so unknown that even some Muslim commentators, out of embarrassment for feeling apologetic for their religion, have commented on this mention of the city in the Qur'an as being perhaps figurative, that Iram was possibly a man and not a city.
In 1973 the excavation in Syria at the site of the ancient city of Eblus uncovered the largest collection of cuneiform writings on clay tablets ever assembles. In fact, the library discovered in Eblus contains more clay tablets that are more that four thousand years old than all other tablets combined from all the other sites.

Interestingly enough, you will find the details in the National Geographic of 1978 which confirms that in those tablets the city of Iram is mentioned. The people of Eblus used to do business with the people of Iram. So here in these comes confirmation of the fact that, after all, there really was an ancient city by that name, wherever it was. How did it find its way into the Qur'an, we might ask?

Those Muslims who may have offered their commentary trying to explain away this reference that they were uncomfortable with, were outsmarted by the author of the Qur'an. They would attempt it. Primarily their actions would involve trying to produce evidence that the author of this book had a primitive understanding of the world around us.

The Smallest Matter

For example, there is a word which is translated to usually in Arabic as zarrah. This is usually translated 'atom' and it is usually thought of in Arabic as being smallest item available at one time. Perhaps the Arab thought it was an ant or a grain of dust. Today the word usually translated as 'atom'.

Those who would outsmart the author of the Qur'an have insisted that, well, the atom is not after all the smallest piece of matter because in this century it has been discovered that even the atom is made of still smaller of matter. Is it then possible to outsmart the author who chose to use this word? Well, in chapter ten, there is an interesting verse sixty one, which speaks of items the size of a zarrah, (atom) or smaller. There is no possibility in this subject someone is going to say a new discovery has outdated the words of the Qur'an on the issue of the size of matter or the ultimate particles. The verse talks about items the size of a zarrah (atom) or smaller.


Speaking of outsmarting the author of the Qur'an, the Islamic point of view is that when a man embraces Islam, his past is forgiven from the very beginning. This has been the invitation to Islam: come to Islam and all is forgiven from the past.
But consider this. There is only one enemy of Muhammad, peace be upon him, who is mentioned by name in the Qur'an: one Abu Lahab. In a short chapter of this book, he is condemned to punishment for his sins.

As it happens, the man himself was alive for many years after this revelation. He could therefore have finished Islam very easily. He needed only to go to the Muslims to announce his conversion. They had in their hands the revelation which said that this man is doomed to punishment. He could have gone to Muslims and say: "I accept Islam, am I forgiven or not?"

He could have confused them so much as to finish this small movement because he would have been pointing out to them that they were now in confusion. The policy was instant forgiveness of the past, but their own revealed scripture announced that he was not forgiven. As it was, Abu Lahab died without accepting Islam.


In fact, the Qur'an confidently predicted a number of things only a few years before they came to pass. The fall of the Persian Empire, for example, was predicted in spite of the fact that it had just suffered a serious military victory. The evidence was all to the contrary. But in the chapter entitled Rom, the fall of the Persian Empire, who were recently victors over the Romans, was predicted.

When all the Muslims in the world could meet in one room (meaning, Muslims initially were very few in number), the revelations were already discussing their future successes. In confidence, they were planning for the day when they would be in charge of the city (Mecca) where they were forced at that time to hide for their very lives.

Evidence of Divine Origin

Some people may like to find any number of things in the Qur'an. But an honest method in examining this book, looking for evidence of the Divine origin, is to take things at their value, to look for things that are clear and to look in those places where we are invited to look. Remember the passage that I quoted earlier: "Have not the disbelievers seen..." This a common phrase of the Qur'an: "O Man, Have you not seen." The invitation is to examine the evidence in these places. We are doing the sensible thing if we examine the words used to look for the doubted meaning and to find evidence of the Divine origin.

Each one of us is an expert on something. One does not have to have a degree in a particular subject to decide that now, "I can take my expertise to the Qur'an and see what I can find." We all know something from our own experience and life.
I heard a story, several years ago in Toronto, of man who was given the Qur'an to read. 

The man was a member of the merchant marines who spent his life on the sea. When he read a verse in the Qur'an describing the wave on the ocean, "waves within waves and the darkness between," he was surprised because the description was just what he knew the situation to be. When he returned the Qur'an to the man who gave it to him to read, he asked him (because he was completely ignorant of the origins of Islam): "This Muhammad, was he a sailor?" Well, of course, he was quite surprised to know that the man spent his life in the desert. So he had to ask himself: "From where did he get this knowledge of what looks like on a stormy sea?"

We all know something that we can be confident of and if we can turn to the Qur'an to read what it says about that subject, we are asking for confirmation of our belief in the Divine origin of the book.

The Two Phenomena

A friend of mine from the University of Toronto, had experience of dealing with a man who was doing his doctorate in psychology. He chose as his subject: "The Efficiency of Group Discussion."

He suggested a number of criteria as to what constituted an efficient discussion. He graphed the process; that is achieved a measure of the efficiency of all groups in the discussions according to an index by his system., On his graph he indicated the progress made by the discussion groups of various sizes.

The interesting thing that happened which he did not expect to find when he began his project was that, while there were some difference between the size of an given group and how well they did in discussions, he was surprised to find that groups of two were completely off his scale. In other words, when two people sit down to discuss something, they were so much more efficient than any other size of group that it went completely off his scale of measurement.

When my friend heard about this, something went on at the back of his mind. My friend, being a Muslim, thought there was something familiar here about this idea. The psychology researcher was not a Muslim. He was debating with himself on changing the topic of his thesis. Should he call it 'The Phenomenon of Two' or 'The Two Phenomena'? He was so surprised at his discovery.

Meanwhile, my friend found that there is a verse in the Qur'an, and he found it for himself on the same night, which speaks on discussions and the size of groups and how efficient they are. And maybe we should not be surprised to find that it is the groups that are two in numbers that do the best in achieving results. The verse in the Qur'an reads, concerning discussion groups, that when discussing the Qur'an, one should sit alone and reflect on its meaning or discuss it in groups of two. 

Use and Mention of Words

For myself, as I said everyone knows something for sure or has an interest and experience in life; my interest is in mathematics and logic. There is a verse in the Qur'an which says:
"This a scripture whose verses are perfected and then expounded."(11:1)

Which tells me that there are no wasted words in the Qur'an; that each verse is perfected and then it is explained. It could not be in a better form. One could not use fewer words to say the same thing or if one uses more words one would only be adding superfluous information.

This directed my attention to a particular mathematical subject, a logical subject, and I examined the Qur'an to see if I could find something of what I knew to be the case.
A revolution in logic has occurred in the last one hundred years, primarily over the difference between use and mention of words. A structure of logic seemed to be in danger of collapsing about a hundred years ago because it came to the attention of the people who studied these matters that the structure was not quite sound. The issue involved 'self-reference' and the use and the mention of words which I will explain briefly.

Aristotle's law of the 'excluded middle' was the statement that every statement is either true false. About a hundred years ago, somebody pointed out that the law of the excluded middle is a statement and is therefore not a law after all. It could just as well be false as well as true.

This was a tangled knot for the logicians to untie until they came to understand the difference between the use and the mention of a word.

When we use a word, we consider its meaning. When we mention a word, we are discussing the word itself. If I said Toronto is a large city, I mean Toronto, that place, is a large city. If I say Toronto has seven letters, I am talking about the word 'Toronto'. In the first case I used the word and in the second I mentioned the word. You see distinction.

Jesus and Adam

Connecting these ideas and the idea that the Qur'an is composed of verses that are perfected and then expounded for us, consider the verse which says:

"The likeness of Jesus before Allah is as the likeness of Adam." (3:59)

It is very clear that what we have in the statement is an equation. This verse goes on to explain how that is true because they both came under unusual circumstances rather than having a mother and a father in the usual human reproductive way. But more than that, I got to consider the use of the mention of words.

The words are used clearly enough. Jesus is like Adam and by Jesus and Adam, we mean those two men. But what about the mention of the words? Was the author aware of the fact that if we were considering the words as words themselves, this sentence also read that 'Jesus' is something like 'Adam'. Well, they are not spelt with the same letters, how can they be alike in this revelation? The only answer came to me fairly quickly and I took a look at the index of the Qur'an.

The index of the Qur'an has been made available only since 1945. This book was the result of years of work by a man and his students who assembled a book which lists every word in the Qur'an and where it can be found.

So, when we look up the word Isa (Jesus), we find it in the Qur'an twenty-five times. When we look up Adam, we find it in the Qur'an twenty-five times. The point is that they are very much alike in this book. They are equated. So, following up on this idea, I continued to examine the index looking for every case where something was set up as an equation, where the likeness of something was said to be the likeness of some other thing. And in every case, it works. You have to example a verse which reads:

"The likeness of those who reject our signs is as the likeness of the dog." (7:176)

Well, the phrase is Arabic for 'the people who reject our signs' could be found in the Qur'an exactly five times. And so is the Arabic word for 'the dog' (al-kalb). And there are several instances of exactly the same occurrence.

It was some months after I found this for myself that a friend of mine, who is continuing this investigation with me, made a suggestion that there are also some places in the Qur'an where one thing is said to be not like another thing.

As soon as he mentioned this up to me, we both went for the index and had a quick look at several places where on thing is said to be not like another thing and counted their occurrence in the Qur'an. We were surprise, and maybe should not have been, to find that, after all, they do not match up. But an interesting thing does happen. For example, the Qur'an makes it very clear in the verse that “trade” is not like “interest (or usury)”. The two words will be found six times for one and seven for the other. And so it is in every other case.

When one thing is said to be not like another, they are over for a difference of one time. It would be five of one and four of the other, or seven of one and eight of another.

Good and Evil

There is one interesting verse which, I felt, spoke directly to me from right off the page. It mentions two words in Arabic, al-khabeeth (the evil), and al-taib (the good). The verse reads:

"Say, the evil and the good are not comparable, even though the abundance of evil will surprise you. So be mindful of your duty to Allah, O Man of understanding that you may succeed."(5:100)

Well, I had a look at those two words in Arabic, the evil and the good, and found in the Qur'an that they both occur seven times. Yet the verse here is saying that they are not comparable. I should not expect to find that they occur the same number of times. But what does the rest of this verse say?

"The evil and the good are not comparable. The abundance of the evil will surprise you" and it did for there were too many of them. But it continues:

"So be mindful of your duty to Allah, O Man of understanding, that you may succeed."

So press on. Use your understanding and you will succeed. That is what the verse said to me. Well, I found the answer in one verse further on where it reads:

"Allah separates the evil from the good. The evil HE piles one on top of the other, heaping them all together."

Here is the solution to the difficulty. While we have several occurrences of al-taib (the good), according to the principle of this verse, evil is separated from good and is piled one on top of the other and heaped all together. We can not count them as seven separate instances.

Occurrences of Words

A favorite difficulty, or supposed difficulty, which critics like to cite or have cited in the past years concerning the Qur'an is that, apparently to their thinking, the author of this book was ignorant because he advised the Muslims to follow the lunar instead of the solar year. The critics say the author was unaware of the difference in the length of years, that if one follows twelve lunar months, one loses eleven days every year.

The author of the Qur'an was well aware of the distinction between the length of the solar year and the lunar year. In chapter eighteen, verse nine, it mentions three-hundred years and gives their equivalent as three-hundred and nine years. As it happens, three hundred solar years is equal to three -hundred and nine lunar years.

Let us go back to my original scheme of the occurrence of words in the Qur'an. The Arabic word for 'month', “shahr”, will be found twelve times in the Qur'an. There are twelve months in a year. If we find twelve months, how many days should we expect to find? The word in Arabic is “yawm”, and as it happens you will find that the word occurs three-hundred and sixty five times in the Qur'an.

As a matter of fact, the original issue which had me interested in looking up the occurrence of months and days was this distinction between the solar year and the lunar year. Well, for twenty-five centuries, it has been known that the relative positions of the sun, moon and earth coincide every nineteen years. This was discovered by a Greek by the name of Meton, and it is called the 'Metonic' cycle. Knowing this, I looked again to the index for the word 'year', sanah and found, sure enough, that it occurs in the Qur'an nineteen times.

Perfect balance of Words

Now, what is the point of this perfect balance of words? For myself, it shows the author was well aware of the distinction between using words and mentioning words, a fine logical point. But more than that, it indicates the preservation of this book.

After giving a lecture on the subject of the Qur'an , I touched on some of these subjects and a questionnaire from the audience afterwards said: "How do we know we still have the original Qur'an. Maybe pieces of it have been lost or extra parts been added?" I pointed out to him that we had pretty well covered that point because since these items, the perfect balance of words in the Qur'an, have come to light only in this generation, anybody who would have lost the portion of this book, hidden some of it, or added some of their own would have been unaware of this carefully hidden code in the book. They would have destroyed this perfect balance.

It is interesting to note too that, well, such a thing might be possible to organize today by the use of a computer to coordinate all words so that whatever thought you might have as to a meaning of a sentence or however you might construe an equation out of a sentence, you could check for yourself and the book will always have the balance of words.
If that were possible today, if it were possible fourteen centuries ago, why would it be done and then left hidden and never drawn to the attention of those who first saw this book? Why it would be left with the hope of the author who contrived this, that maybe, in many centuries, someone will discover it and have a nice surprise? It is a scheme that does not make sense.

Best Explanation

We are told in the Qur'an that no questionnaire will come to the Muslims with the question for which a good answer has not been provided, and the best explanation for whatever his question. This verse says:

"For everything they say, say we are given something to go back to them and reply." (25:33)

We looked again to the index of the Qur'an and we found the word, qalu (they say), is found three hundred and thirty-two times. Now, what would be the natural counterpart? The Arabic word, qul, which is the command 'say' and you will find at the index it also occurs three hundred and thirty-two times.

Origin of the Qur'an

An interesting feature of the Qur'an is that it replies to critics as to its origin. That is, no one has yet come up with suggestion as to where this book came from which is not commented on within the book itself.

In fact, the new Catholic Encyclopedia, under the heading Qur'an, mentions that over the centuries, there has been many theories as to where this book came from. Their conclusion: today, no sensible person believes any of these theories. This leaves the Christians in some difficulty. You see, all the theories suggested so far , according to this encyclopedia, are not really acceptable to anyone sensible today.

Where did the book come from? Those who have not really examined the Qur'an usually dismissed it as being, they say, a collection of proverbs or aphorisms, saying that one man used to announce from time to time. They imagined that there was a man who, from time to time during the day, will think of some witty little saying and spit it out and those around him will quickly write it down, and eventually these were all collected and became the Qur'an.

Those who read the Qur'an will find that it is not anything like that at all. The collection of things said by the Prophet is the subject and the content of the Hadith. But the subjects and contents of the Qur'an are all in a form of a composition and explanation. I site as an example the chapter, Yusuf, which is an entire story in great detail about one particular episode of one portion of the life of one man. It is a composition.

It is for this reason that virtually all those who have actually examined the Qur'an usually refer to it as being the product of the authorship as attributed to Muhammad and his 'co-adjudicators'. These were supposed to be people who would sit with him and composed the Qur'an. You see, they imagined that the Qur'an was composed by a committee.

They acknowledged that there was too much information and it was too well composed for one man to have assembled. So, they imagined that a committee of men used to meet regularly, brought their various sources of information, composed something and then handed to this man and told him, "Go to the people tomorrow, this is your revelation." In other words, it was a fraud concocted by a group of people. But what do we know about fraud? The Qur'an reminds us as it says:

"Saw, now the truth has come, and falsehood neither invents anything nor restores anything." (34:49).

It is hard to translate it into English precisely, but what this verse is telling us is that falsehood is not the source of a new thing. A new and truthful thing cannot come from falsehood and falsehood does not restore, to our minds, the facts. Truth is in agreement with facts. Falsehood is something else. So falsehood is empty. If something is born fraud, it will never bring us new information. It will never endure; it will only collapse over a period of time.


Another interesting verse is a challenge which is addressed to those non-believers. It reads:

"Have they not considered the Qur'an, if it came, from other than Allah, surely they will find in it many inconsistencies."(4:82)

Here is a challenge to the reader. If you think you have an explanation where this book came from, have another look at the book. Surely, you will be able to uncover some inconsistencies to support your case.

Imagine a student submitting a term paper or a final exam and then writing at the bottom of the page a not to his teacher: "You will find no mistakes in this paper. There are no mistakes on this exam." Can you imagine the teacher letting that rest? The teacher would probably not sleep until uncovering some inconsistency after a challenge like that. It is not the way human beings speak. They do not offer challenges like that. But here we have it in the Qur'an, a direct challenge saying: "If you have a better idea as to where this book came from, here's all you need to do. Find some inconsistencies."

There are critics who make the attempt, critics who try to say the Qur'an contains inconsistencies. A publication that came to my attention recently suggested that the Qur'an was contradictory on the subject of marriage, because in one place, it says: "don't marry more than one wife unless you can provide for them all," and in another place it says: 

"Don't marry more than four." They see this as a contradiction. What they have is a counter-distinction. In one case, the qualification for marrying more than one has been given. In the other case, a limitation on how many may be married is given. There is no contradiction.

Critics are too quick to grab hold of something, give it an interpretation, and then offer it as an excuse to escape the reality of this document.

For critics who would attack the Qur'an and insist it contains mistakes, we can use the same method as in our reply to Christians who claim that Jesus is on record as claiming to be equal to God. Remember the three categories of evidence offered. The evidence offered was insufficient, ambiguous or impossible.

You see, if someone cites a verse from the Qur'an, trying to show that it is a mistake, we only need to show that the verse cited is insufficient to establish that there is a mistake or we need to show that the verse cited cannot possibly have the interpretation which the critic is giving it. It will always fall into one of these three categories.

Attributing it to the Devil

I had experience, on one occasion, describing some of the contents in the Qur'an to a man who did not know the book I was talking about. He sat next to me with the cover turned over. I just told him about the book, what it contained and told him it was not the Bible. His conclusion was, the book was miraculous. This man was a minister in a Christian Church. He said, "Yes, that book could not possible have originated with the man and therefore it must come from the devil, because it's not the Bible."

The Qur'an comments on this suggestion in chapter twenty-six, verse two-hundred and eleven, as to those who would suggest that the book came from the devil. It points out that it does not quite suit him, does it? Is this how the devil misleads people? He tells them, worship none but God, he insists that they fast, that they practice charity. Is this how the devil misleads people?

Compare the attitude of someone like this, to the attitude of the Jews who knew Jesus and opposed him until the very end. There is an episode reported in the Bible where Jesus raised a man from the dead, one Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. When Lazarus came out of the tomb, alive again those Jews who were watching, what did they do? Did they suddenly say that this man is a true prophet and become believers? No, the Bible says they immediately discussed among themselves that "since this man is working on his signs soon everyone will believe in him. We've got to find a way to kill him," and they attributed his miraculous powers to the devil. He raised that man by the power of the devil.

Now, the Christians who read that episode will feel very sorry for those Jews who had clear evidence right before their very eyes and attribute the miracles to the devil. Does it not appear that they may be doing the same thing when we illustrate what we have in the Qur'an and their final excuse is only: "It originated with the devil."

A Different Story

There are those who insist that the Qur'an was copied, that it originated in Christian and Jewish sources. As a matter of fact, a book published in recent years called Worshipping the Wrong God has stated, as though it were a fact, that after the first revelation of the Qur'an came to Muhammad, peace be upon him, that his wife died and so he quickly married a Jew and a Christian, and this is where he drew the rest of his sources for his book.

It was ten years after the first revelation of the Qur'an that his wife died, and it was another ten years after that when the Qur'an was virtually completed that he married a Jew and a Christian.

Did he copy from Jewish and Christian sources? In the Qur'an, the ruler of Egypt who opposed Moses is known as Fir'aun, not Pharaoh. The Jews and Christians have always said 'Pharaoh'. It is easy for an Arab to say 'Pharaoh'. But in the Qur'an, it is Fir'aun, with an 'n'. Why? Surely the Jews must have teased the Arabs about that and said: "You've got the word wrong. It's 'Pharaoh' and not Fir'aun." But they insisted on it and it continues that way in the Qur'an, Fir'aun.

As it happens, this historical writings of Herodotus, the Greek historian, exist to this day, and Herodotus comments on the ruler of Egypt, being in his day and in the centuries before him, one man who went by the title of Fir'aun.

Did the book copy from the Christians sources? The Qur'an insists that Jesus was not crucified, that this was only an illusion, but that the Jews who thought they crucified Jesus were mistaken because it was not really so. Christians would have no part of that. As it happens, the idea that Jesus was not really crucified is really very ancient and can be traced back to the first century. But Christians who believed that were eliminated as heretics within the first two-hundred years after the time of Jesus and they were not teaching this doctrine anywhere around the Arabian Peninsula fourteen centuries ago.

Could the author of the Qur'an have been copying from Christian sources when he says that Jesus spoke to man as a baby (3:46) and in later life? The Arabic word used indicates that he was still speaking to man and teaching to them in his forties. The Christians have always maintained that Jesus was gone by the time he was thirty-three. It indicates that there could have been no copying. In fact, a man would have to be stubborn and insists on the points as explained in the Qur'an in the face of Christian opposition who would have said: "No! No! I wasn't like that. We tell the story differently."

House Cleaning

Now, we go to the words of the prophets themselves, which represent another path that leads to Islam. In the Persian scriptures, which have been around for thousands of years, we read:

"When the Persians should sink so low in mortality, a man will be born in Arabia whose followers will upset their throne, religion and everything. The mighty stiff-necked ones will be overpowered. The house which was built and in which many idols have been placed will purged of idols and people will say their prayers facing towards it. His followers will capture the towns of the Farsi, Entaus and Balkh, and other big places round about. People will embroil with one another. The wise men of Persia and others will join his followers." (Desature no.14)

The Muslims recognize this very quickly because the Ka'bah, the building which all Muslims face in prayers everyday, was at one time filled with idols and it was part of the mission of Muhammad , peace be upon him, to purge the house of idols till today. It was in the next generation, after the time of the Prophet that the wise men of Persia and others did join his followers.

A Prophet Like Moses

In the Bible, in Deuteronomy chapter eighteen, we have the words of Moses who reports that God told him that there would raise up a prophet, from among the brothers of the Israelites, like Moses.

Christians wish to apply this to Jesus, to say he was the prophet like Moses. It is uncomfortable for them to recognize, however that Jesus was not very much like Moses and Jesus had no father, no wife, no children; he did not die of old age, and he did not lead a nation; all these things Moses had or did. But they say, well, Jesus will return; he will return as a victorious person, and so he will be more like Moses. Do they really expect he will return to also acquire a father and a wife and children and then die of old age? 

Moreover, Jesus was an Israelite. The passage of scripture says that this prophet that was foretold would be raised up among the brothers of the Israelites, not from the Israelites.

In the third chapter of Acts, the disciple Peter speaks to a crowd of people and explains that Jesus has been taken up and he is in heaven. He will remain in Heaven and he cannot 
return until all the things that were promised by God come to pass. So what are we still waiting for, does he tell the crowd? He quotes this very saying of Moses saying:

"For God will raise up a prophet from among the brothers of the Israelites like Moses..."
The point is very clear. Christians like to see this prophet as being Jesus. But read carefully Acts chapter three, what it says is that Jesus awaits a return. He cannot return until the fulfillment of this prophecy, that another prophet has to come.

Jesus spoke of it himself and the words survived, just barely, but they survived in the bible. Jesus spoke of God sending another 'Paraclete'.


There is a lot of argument over the meaning of this word 'Paraclete'. For now we can leave that aside. What is a 'Paraclete'? It does not matter. The first letter of John shows that Jesus was a 'Paraclete'. He is called a 'Paraclete' and we have Jesus promising another 'Paraclete' is going to be sent. We lose a lot by this word 'another' in English because it is ambiguous. 

If someone's car breaks down, and it is a Toyota, and I say, '" I'll go get you another car," maybe I mean, "I'll go and get you another Toyota because this one you have is broken," or maybe I mean, "Forget Toyota, they're no good; I'll go and get you a Datsun." It is an ambiguous word. But the Greeks had a word for it. When they meant 'another' of the same kind, they said “aloes”. When they meant another of a different kind, they said “heteroes”. The important thing there is that when Jesus, who was himself a Paraclete, said "God will send you another Paraclete" he used the word aloes, not heteroes.

Christians want to say that this other 'Paraclete' that has been sent was different from Jesus. It was not a man, it was a spirit. What Jesus said was: God will send you another one like me, another man." Muslims believe that Muhammad is the fulfillment of this prophecy by Jesus. The Qur'an says that this man is mentioned in the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians (see7:157).

Christians came to expect that the return of Jesus because of a Jewish misunderstanding. 'Messiah' and 'Son of Man' have been given special significance by the Jews, even though many people were called by this same name as in the Bible. The Jews came to expect a victorious leader. When Jesus did not turn out to be quite what many expected, they hatched the idea that he would return some day and fulfill all these prophecies.

Follower of Jesus

Suppose that someone observed Jesus two-thousand years ago, and he left this planet, or he went to sleep for two-thousand years and returned today to look for the followers of Jesus, who would he find? Who would he recognize? Christians?

I conclude with just this food for thought: the Bible says very clearly that Jesus used to fast. Do Christians fast? Muslims fast; it is obligatory on month every year.

The Bible says that Jesus prayed by touching his forehead to the ground. Do Christians pray in this manner? Muslims do. It is characteristic of their prayer and no one on earth is probably ignorant of that fact.

According to Jesus, he told his disciples to greet one another with the expression, "Peace be with you." Do the Christians do that? Muslims do, universally, whether they speak Arabic of not. The greeting for one to another is Assalamu' alaikum (peace be with you).
The brother of Jesus in the Book of James, stated that no man should suggest what he is about to do of highlight his plans for the next few days in anyway without adding the phrase "if God wills." Do not say "I will go here and there do this and that" without adding the phrase "if God wills." Do Christians do that? Muslims do, whether they speak Arabic or not. If they so much as suggest they are going downtown to pick up some groceries, they will add Insha-Allah, which in Arabic means, "If God wills."

These conclude my thoughts on this subject. 

May Allah guide us always closer to the truth.