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Is The Quran The Word of Satan?

To The Biblical Jesus, THAT'S ABSURD!
Bassam Zawadi

The Quran makes it clear that God is the author of the Quran...

Surah 55:1-2
The Most Beneficent (Allah)! Has taught (you mankind) the Qur'an (by His Mercy).

The Quran also makes it clear that Satan is not the author of the Quran:

Surah 26:210-212
The devils did not bring it (the Quran) down. It is not meet for them, nor is it in their power,
Lo! verily they are banished from the hearing.

The Quran opposes Satan as a staunch enemy...

Surah 2:168
O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the
footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.
Surah 7:200

And if a slander from the devil wound thee, then seek refuge in Allah. Lo! He is Hearer,
Surah 16:98
And when thou recitest the Qur'an, seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast.
Surah 36:60
Did I not charge you, O ye sons of Adam, that ye worship not the devil - Lo! he is your open
foe! -

Now anyone who studies the Quran and knows about its scientific miracles (*), prophecies (*),
falsification tests (*) etc. can do nothing but conclude that it came from a supernatural source.
Now Christian missionaries may (and some of them have) become desperate and claim that this

However, the Quran makes it clear that Satan is our enemy and commands believers to perform
righteous deeds. But the desperate Christian missionary may reply back by saying that Satan is
only disguising himself and pretending to attack himself only to deviate people from the true
path. Satan is being very tricky when telling the believers to perform good deeds so that he won't
expose himself. He would do anything to ensure that people won't believe that Jesus died for

However, if Jesus Christ heard this argument he would have refuted it just like how he refuted
the Pharisees who accused him of casting out Satan with the power of Satan...

Mark 3:22-26

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by
Beelzebub[c]! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."

So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? 24If a
kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25If a house is divided against itself,
that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his
end has come.

The story is repeated in the gospel of Matthew...

Matthew 12:24-26

But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub,[d] the prince of demons,
that this fellow drives out demons."

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be
ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26If Satan drives out
Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?

John Gill says in his commentary...

how can Satan cast out Satan?

or one devil cast out another? how unreasonable is it to suppose it? can it ever be thought that
such, whose interest it is to unite, would ever oppose and dispossess one another? if therefore, as
if he should say, I am Beelzebub, or have him, and he is in me, and I am in confederacy with
him; was this the case, can any think I should ever cast him out of others, as I do? (John Gill's
Exposition of the Bible, Commentary on Mark 3:23, Source)

how shall then his kingdom stand?

he will never be able to maintain his authority, and keep up the show of a government, as he
does: for these words suggest, that there is a form of government among the devils, who are
united in one body, under one head; and whose unity and concord are their greatest strength, as
in all other governments.Our Lord's argument, and which is his first, for others follow,
is, that since Satan, who is so cunning and crafty, can never be thought to act such an opposite
part to himself, subversive of his kingdom and government; and which would give so much
credit to Christ, and serve so much to strengthen his interest, as to assist him in the casting out of
devils; the weakness, and maliciousness of such a suggestion, must be clear and evident to
all. (John Gill's Exposition of the Bible, Commentary on Matthew 12:26, Source)

John Darby says in his commentary...

Jesus demonstrates the absurdity of what they had said. Satan would not destroy his own
kingdom(John Darby's Synopsis of the Bible, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew,
Chapter 12, Source)

In another commentary it also says...

26. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom
stand?--The argument here is irresistible. "No organized society can stand--whether kingdom,
city, or household--when turned against itself; such intestine war is suicidal: But the works I do
are destructive of Satan's kingdom: That I should be in league with Satan, therefore, is
incredible and absurd." (Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown, Commentary on Matthew
12:26, Source)

The Christian missionary will reply back and say that the author of the Quran is Satan and is only
deceiving people and making them think that he is attacking himself although he is only doing
this in order to trick the people and convince them even more that Satan is not the author of the
Quran while he really is and that the Quran is taking the people away from the truth of
Well if that is the case then I can easily argue back and claim that the devils were pretending to
go against themselves when they cast each other out of people's bodies. They would do this in
cooperation in order to make people think that the one casting out the devils is not Satan. Using
this argument, one could easily refute the Biblical Jesus' argument this way. But the Christian
will remain stubborn and will demand that Satan cannot be cast out by Satan just like the Biblical
Jesus said. Well then, if he believes that Satan cannot be cast out by Satan, then what does he
have to say about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) casting out Satan?

I present the following narrations:

Ya'laa ibn Murrah said:
I saw Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) do three things which no one before or
after me saw. I went with him on a trip. On the way, we passed by a woman sitting at the

roadside with a young boy. She called out, 'O Messenger of Allah, this boy is afflicted with a
trial, and from him we have also been afflicted with a trial. I don't know how many times per day
he is seized by fits.' He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: 'Give him to me.' So she lifted him up
to the Prophet.
He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) then placed the boy between himself and the middle of the
saddle, opened the boy's mouth and blew in it three times, saying, 'In the name of Allah, I am the
slave of Allah, get out, enemy of Allah!' Then he gave the boy back to her and said: 'Meet us on
our return at this same place and inform us how he has fared.' We then went. On our return, we
found her in the same place with three sheep. When he said to her, 'How has your son fared?' She
replied: 'By the One who sent you with the truth, we have not detected anything (unusual) in his
behavior up to this time... (Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad, 4/170. Sheikh Shu'ayb Al
Arna'ut declared this hadeeth to be authentic. This hadeeth is also reported in Al
Mustadrak for Al Hakim and Imam Al Dhahabi declared it to be authentic)
It is narrated that 'Uthman ibn Abi'l-'Aas said: "When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon
him) appointed me as a governor of Al-Taai'if, I started to experience problems with my prayer,
such that I did not know what I was doing in my prayer. When I noticed that, I went to the
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He said, 'The son of Abi'l-'Aas?' I said, 'Yes, O'
Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'What brings you here?' I said, 'O' Messenger of Allah, I am
experiencing problems with my prayers, so that I do not know what I am doing in my prayer.' He
said, 'That is the Shaytaan. Come closer.' So I came closer to him and squatted. He tapped me on
the chest three times with his hand and blew in my mouth, and said, 'Get out, enemy of Allah!'
He did that three times, then he said, 'Go and get on with your work."' (Sunan Ibn Maajah,
Hadith no. 3538, Source, Sheikh Albani declared this hadeeth to be authentic in Saheeh Ibn
Majah, Hadith no. 2858)
The Qur'an has also been found to be effective in exorcism. Ibn Taymiyyah said:
Innumerable people have found that it is effective in warding off the devils and neutralizing their
influence. It is also very effective in warding off the devils from the human soul and from the
one who is possessed, and from those whom the devils help, such as those who do wrong to
others, those who get angry, those who follow their whims and desires and those who perform
singing and music.(Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 19/55, cited in Umar S. Al Ashqar's book The
World of the Jinn and Devils,p. 206)

So we even see that in Islam we have the ability to cast out devils from people.
Now Christians are obliged to stop using this argument because this is the same argument which
Jesus refuted when the Pharisees tried to use it against him and showed them how absurd such a
statement was. If Christians don't stop using this argument then they are indirectly admitting that

the Biblical Jesus' logic is weak and that he was wrong and that he didn't use good reasoning
when he was defending himself. This argument can only lead to them "outsmarting" their own
false God.
It is impossible to conclude that Quran is the word of Satan and Christianity is the religion of
God. Because according to the Christian criteria, the Quran cannot be the word of Satan. We are
left with the conclusion that the only supernatural source that this Quran could be coming from is
indeed God Almighty.

Does the Quran Say That It Is Corrupted?

Bassam Zawadi

Some people might use this verse in order to show that the Quran claims that it is corrupted...

Surah 15:91
Yusuf Ali:

(So also on such) as have made Quran into shreds (as they please).
Sher Ali:
Who have pronounced the Qur'an to be so many lies
Those who made the Quran into shreds.
Those who break the Qur'an into parts.
who distinguished the Koran into different parts;
Muhammad Al-Hilali & Muhsin Khan:
Who have made the Quran into parts. (i.e. believed in a part and disbelieved in the other).
who dismember the Qur'an.
who have broken the Koran into fragments.
Who break up the Koran into parts:

There are various possible meanings for this verse. I will share only a few.

Ibn Abbas says...

(Those who break the Qur'an into parts) they said many different things about the Qur'an; some
said it was magic, others said it was poetry, others said it was a form of divination; some said it
was fables of the people of old while others said that it was mere lies invented by the
Prophet. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn 'Abbs, Commentary on Surah 15:91, Source)

Suyuti says in his commentary...

those who have reduced the Recitation, namely, those scriptures revealed to them, to parts,
believing in some and disbelieving in others. It is [alternatively] said that the individuals meant
here were those who 'divided up' among themselves the roads to Mecca, barring people from
Islam. Some of them said that the Qur'n was sorcery, some that it was soothsaying, and others
that it was poetry. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah
15:91, Source)

Ibn Kathir says...

Who have made the Qur'an into parts.) meaning, they have split up the Books that were revealed
to them, believing in parts of them and rejecting parts of them. Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn
`Abbas said,
(Who have made the Qur'an into parts.) "They are the People of the Book, who divided the Book
into parts, believing in some of it, and rejecting some of it.'' Some have said that Al-Mutaqasimin
refers to the Quraysh, that the Qur'an means this Qur'an [as opposed to the Scriptures of the
People of the Book], and that "made it into parts'' referred to what `Ata' said that some of them
said that he (the Prophet ) was a sorcerer, some said he was crazy, or a soothsayer. These various
allegations were the parts. This opinion was also reported from Ad-Dahhak and others.
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Ibn `Abbas that Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah - holding a noble
position among the people - rallied a group of Quraysh behind him when Al-Mawsim (the time
for pilgrims to meet in Makkah for Hajj) had come. He said to them, "O people of Quraysh! The
time of Al-Mawsim has come, and delegations of Arabs will come to you during this time. They
will have heard some things about this companion of yours (meaning the Prophet ), so agree on
one opinion, let there be no contradicting or denials of each other's sayings''. They said, "And
you, O Abu `Abd Shams, give us an opinion and we will say that.'' He said, "No, you make the
suggestions and I will listen.'' They said, "We say he is a soothsayer.'' He said, "He is not a

soothsayer.'' They said, "We say he is crazy.'' He said, "He is not crazy.'' They said, "We say he is
a poet.'' He said, "He is not a poet.'' They said, "We say he is a sorcerer.'' He said, "He is not a
sorcerer.'' They said, "So what should we say'' He said, "By Allah, what he says is as palatable [to
the average person] as something sweet, so you cannot say anything against it without it being
obviously false. Therefore the most appropriate thing you can say is that he is a sorcerer.'' So
they left having agreed upon that, and Allah revealed concerning them:
(Who have made the Qur'an into parts.) meaning, of different types, (Tafsir of Ibn
Kathir, Source)

So we see that the Qur'an is saying that there are people who disbelieve in parts of the Qur'an
while they believe in other parts. The Qur'an is not saying that it has been corrupted. How can it
be, when Allah has promised to guard it earlier in the same Surah (verse 9)?

Does the Quran Use Offensive Insults Against

Sinners Or Is It The Bible?
Bassam Zawadi

Many ignorant Christian missionaries run around Paltalk chat rooms claiming that the Quran
insults the disbelievers by calling them apes, monkeys, beasts etc. They claim that certain verses
of the Quran directly insult disbelievers in an offensive way, and therefore cannot be the word of
an Almighty and Perfect God. Let's take a look at some of the verses that they allude to:

Surah 2:65
And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to
them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."
Surah 5:60
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, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in
rank, and far more astray from the even path!"

Let's see who exactly was punished and why:

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Those who violated the sanctity of the Sabbath
were turned into monkeys, then they perished without offspring.'' Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn
`Abbas said, "Allah turned them into monkeys because of their sins. They only lived on the
earth for three days, for no transformed person ever lives more than three days. They did not eat,
drink or have offspring. Allah transformed their shapes into monkeys, and He does what He
wills, with whom He wills and He changes the shape of whomever He wills. On the other hand,
Allah created the monkeys, swines and the rest of the creation in the six days (of creation) that
He mentioned in His Book.'' (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir,Source)

Those Who breached the Sabbath were turned into Monkeys, but Those Who prohibited
Their Actions were saved
Allah said that the people of this village were divided into three groups, a group that committed
the prohibition, catching fish on the Sabbath, as we described in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah.

Another group prohibited them from transgression and avoided them. A third group neither
prohibited them, nor participated in their action. The third group said to the preachers,
("Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe
torment''). They said, `why do you forbid these people from evil, when you know that they are
destroyed and have earned Allah's punishment' Therefore, they said, there is no benefit in
forbidding them. The preachers replied,
("In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah),'') `for we were commanded to enjoin
righteousness and forbid evil,' r
("and perhaps they may fear Allah'') for on account of our advice, they might stop this evil and
repent to Allah. Certainly, if they repent to Allah, Allah will accept their repentance and grant
them His mercy.' Allah said,
(So when they forgot the reminder that had been given to them, ) when the evil doers refused the
(We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized who did wrong,) who committed the
(with a severe torment). Allah stated that those who enjoined good were saved, while those
who committed the transgression were destroyed, but He did not mention the end of those
who were passive (the third group), for the compensation is comparable to the deed. This type
did not do what would warrant praise, nor commit wrong so that they are admonished. `Ikrimah
said, "Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah: `I do not know whether or not the people were saved who
("Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy...'') So I continued discussing it
with him until I convinced him that they were. Then he gave me [the gift of] a garment.'' Allah
(and We seized those who did wrong with a Ba'is torment) indicating that those who remained
were saved. As for `Ba'is', it means `severe', according to Mujahid, or `painful', according to
Qatadah. These meanings are synonymous, and Allah knows best. Allah said next,
(despised), humiliated, disgraced and rejected.
(167. And (remember) when your Lord declared that He would certainly keep on sending against
them, till the Day of Resurrection, those who would afflict them with a humiliating torment.
Verily, your Lord is quick in retribution and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most
Merciful.) (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir,Source)

So as we see, God turned these criminals into monkeys and swine because they were behaving
more like animals in the first place. They had no dignity or honor and just lived their life based
on satisfying their instincts just like animals do. These people did not live as honorable human
beings, so God might as well have transformed them into animals. They lived for only three days
after this and then they died. It's not like these people lived forever. The ones who did not
participate in this sin were saved.

Plus read this article to see the gruesome punishments in the Bible.

Plus we should not forget that the Quran talks about those true believers from the People of the

Surah 2:62
Surely, those who believe and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians - whichever party
from among these truly believes in ALLAH and the Last Day and does good deeds, shall have
their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon then nor shall they grieve.

This is another verse which the ignorant missionaries use:

Surah 7:175-177
Relate to them the story of the man to whom We sent Our signs, but he passed them by: so Satan
followed him up, and he went astray. If it had been Our will, We should have elevated him with
Our signs; but he inclined to the earth, and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that
of a dog: if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out
his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our signs; So relate the story; perchance
they may reflect. Evil as an example are people who reject Our signs and wrong their own souls.

Here they say that the Quran insults disbelievers by comparing them to dogs. The verse does not
call the individual a dog but compares him to a dog...

And had We willed, We would have raised him up, to the ranks of the scholars, thereby, by
facilitating his way to [good] deeds; but he was disposed to, at peace [in], the earth - that is, this
world - and inclined to it, and followed his whims, by calling [others] to them, and so We abased
him. Therefore his likeness, his description, is as the likeness of a dog: if you attack it, by driving
it away or curbing it, it lolls its tongue out, and if you leave it, it lolls its tongue out, and no other
animal is like it in this way (both conditional sentences constitute a circumstantial qualifier, that
is to say, it has its tongue lolling out despicably in all circumstances. The purpose here is to
point out the similarity [between the one who follows his whims and a dog] in terms of
condition and vileness, judging by the [contextualising] f' [of fa-mathaluhu, 'therefore his
likeness'], which relates what comes after it to what came before it in the way of 'inclining
towards this world and following whims', and judging by God's saying: That, likeness, is the
likeness of those people who deny Our signs. So recount the tale, to the Jews, that they might
reflect, upon it and so believe. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah
7:176, Source)

Another verse that the ignorant missionaries use...

Surah 8:55
For the worst of beasts in the sight of God are those who reject Him: They will not believe.

The missionaries state that God is calling all disbelievers beasts. However, just read the verse
right after it...

Surah 8:56
They are those with whom thou didst make a covenant, but they break their covenant every time,
and they have not the fear (of God).

Imam Razi says in his commentary on this verse...

Ibn Abbass said: This is referring to the Qurayza because they broke the convenant with the
Messenger peace be upon him during the Battle of Badr by supplying the polytheists with
weapons. Then they said: "We have did wrong". So they made another covenant with the
Muslims and they broke it again during the Battle of the Ditch. (Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Tafsir alKabir, Commentary on Surah 8:55, Source)

So as we see, God is not calling ALL disbelievers beasts. It is only those who keep breaking their
covenants in order to do harm and cause mischief that are called beasts in the Quran. Truly such
people are nothing more than beasts anyway and if you are not one of these people then God is
not calling you a beast.

Finally, here is another verse which Christian missionaries bring up:

Surah 62:5
The similitude of those who were charged with the (obligations of the) Mosaic Law, but who
subsequently failed in those (obligations), is that of a donkey which carries huge tomes (but
understands them not). Evil is the similitude of people who falsify the Signs of God: and God
guides not people who do wrong.

Again referring to a specific group of people and God is not calling them donkeys but comparing
them to them...

The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Torah, those who were charged with
implementing it, then failed to uphold it, [then] failed to act in accordance with it, in what
pertains to the descriptions of the Prophet (s), and so did not believe in him, is as the likeness of
an ass carrying books, in that it does not benefit from them. Evil is the likeness of the people
who deny God's signs, those confirming the truth of the Prophet (s) - the object of rebuke is
omitted but is implied to be hdh'l-mathalu, 'this likeness'). And God does not guide the

evildoing folk, the disbelievers. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on
Surah 62:5, Source)

The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah, but did not carry it, is as the likeness
of a donkey which carries huge burdens of books. (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Source)

So in summary, the Quran does not use any offensive terms for disbelievers in general. It
compares certain evil sinners to the likes of animals in order to emphasize how inhumane the
actions which they commit are.
Now if Christian missionaries had problems with those Quranic verses then what do they say
about these following verses from the Bible?

Job 20:7
he will perish forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, 'Where is he?'
Psalms 59:5-6:15
O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no
mercy to wicked traitors. Selah They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the
city. They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied.
Proverbs 20:11
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. (If you read 2 Peter 2:22 he uses this
quote to talk about the false teachers during his time.)
Isaiah 19:14
The LORD has poured into them a spirit of dizziness; they make Egypt stagger in all that she
does, as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit.
Jeremiah 2:23-25
"How can you say, 'I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals'? See how you behaved in the
valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild
donkeyaccustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving-in her heat who can restrain

her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her. Do
not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, 'It's no use! I love foreign
gods, and I must go after them.'
Jeremiah 5:8
They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man's wife.
Jeremiah 25:33
And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end
of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon
the ground. (KJV Translation)
Ezekiel 23:20
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose
emission was like that of horses.
Zephaniah 1:17
And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned
against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the
dung. (KJV Translation)

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of
the heart the mouth speaks.
Matthew 16:23
Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do
not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

What's worse than being called Satan?

Philippians 3:2

Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.

Titus 1:12
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts,
slow bellies.
Revelation 22:15
Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the
idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

So whose scripture is more insulting to sinners?

Does The Qur'an Misrepresent Christian Beliefs?

Bassam Zawadi

It has become common for Christian polemicists to keep charging the Qur'an for misrepresenting
their beliefs. Sam Shamoun wrote a comprehensive article over here listing all the major
arguments. We will be addressing Shamoun's paper in this case.
Shamoun's first argument regarding the Qur'an teaching that the Trinity consists of Mary has
already been sufficiently refuted by Dr. Mohar Ali in his book The Biography of the Prophet and
the Orientalists, pp. 291-295 (pages 313-317 according to the acrobat reader).
We will be addressing the rest of Shamoun's arguments.
Shamoun quotes E.M. Wherry as saying:
The commentators Baidhawi, Jalaluddin, and Yahya agree in interpreting the three to
mean "God, Jesus, and Mary," in the relation of Father, Mother, and Son.
But E.M. Wherry failed to inform us that Jalaluddin clarified himself when he said:
They are indeed disbelievers those who say, 'God is the third of three', gods, that is, He is
one of them, the other two being Jesus and his mother, and they [who claim this] are a
Christian sect; when there is no god but the One God. If they do not desist from what
they say, when they declare a trinity, and profess His Oneness, those of them who
disbelieve, that is, [those] who are fixed upon unbelief, shall suffer a painful
chastisement, namely, the Fire. (Jalal ud-Din Siyutti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary
on Surah 5:73,Source)
Jalaluddin was talking about a specific Christian sect and not speaking generally about all
Christians. I checked the commentary on Baidhawi on 5:73 (*,*) and no where is the name
"Mary" even mentioned. I don't know how E.M. Wherry reached this conclusion regarding
Shamoun said:
Second, we have already indicated that the historic Christian teaching has never been
that God is three or the third of three, which would be tritheism (three separate gods
forming a unity) as opposed to Trinity (Tri-unity), ONE God who exists in Three distinct
yet inseparable Persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
The Qur'an said "third of three" and that is all. It does not say anything else. So it is possible that
it is saying "don't say that God is the third of three persons in the Godhead". No where does it
say "third of three Gods". "Third of three" simply means what Baidhawi, Suyuti and Qurtubi said
it means: "He is one of them".

If one were to read the commentaries of Ibn Kathir, Tabari, Suyuti and Qurtubi on this issue you
would see that there are a number of possible interpretations:
Shamoun on Surah 5:17 states:
Fifth, the Quran also distorts Christian beliefs regarding the Person of Christ when it
accuses Christians of saying that God, or Allah, is the Christ. The historic Christian
position is that Jesus is God, which is not the same as saying that God is Jesus. The
former implies that Christ is fully God in essence; that he has the entire essential
attributes of Deity and is all that God is, whereas the latter suggests that Christ is the
only one that is God. In other words, saying that God is Jesus means that the entire
Godhead is instantiated in Christ alone to the exclusion of the Father and the Holy
Spirit, or that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are nothing more than manifestations of a
single Divine Person. This latter understanding would imply that Christ is all three
manifestations, which is a form of an ancient heresy known as Sabellianism which was
condemned by the early Church.
This precision in theological language is not a modern invention or polemic, nor is it
simply a matter of splitting hairs, but an essential difference and position held by
orthodox Christians even before Muhammad's time. As Muslim author Neal Robinson
noted in reference to an ancient Nestorian reference:
. The text which dates from around 550 CE. concludes a discussion of the Trinity with the
words ?The Messiah is God but God is not the Messiah'. The Qur'an echoes only the
latter half of the statement. C. Schedl, Muhammad and Jesus (Vienna: Herder, 1978), p.
531. (Robinson, Christ In Islam and Christianity [State University of New York Press,
Albany 1991], p. 197; bold emphasis ours)

How does Shamoun know that the Qur'an isn't condemning Sabellianism? How does Shamoun
know that the Qur'an isn't condemning people like William Blake? Northrop Frye said:
"The final revelation of Christianity", observes William Blake, "is, therefore, not that
Jesus is God, but that "God is Jesus." (Northrop Frye, "The Religious Vision of
William Blake", in Toward a New Christianity, edited by Thomas J. J. Altizer,
Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., NY, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, 1967, page 40,
cited here)
It's interesting to note that verse 17 does not mention Christians as saying this while verses 15,
18, 19 mention Christians in its address. Though this isn't a strong point because even if the
Qur'an did mention Christians it wouldn't have necessarily been referring to orthodox Christians
but those who identify themselves as Christians (i.e. Sabellians), it might possibly be an
indication that the Qur'an recognizes the distinction. Only Allah knows.

It's also possible that the statement "God is Jesus" isn't a statement of identity, but a statement
of predication (using William Lane Craig's terminology). Just as the statement "God is love"(1
John 4:10) does not intend to say that God is an entity called love, but rather has the attribute of
love, similarly "God is Jesus" could mean to say that Jesus is an attribute of God.
Famed internet Christian apologist James Patrick Holding titles one of the subheadings in his
article Jesus As God's Wisdom, and the Trinity Doctrine as (bold emphasis mine):
Jesus, as God's Word and Wisdom, was and is eternally an attribute of God the Father.
Incase Shamoun objects, Holding insists:
It is not sufficient to object that because Jesus is a person, he cannot be an
"attribute" of the Father.Personhood is not incompatible with being an attribute of
another person. Moreover, we should not presume that our inability as humans to have
a personal attribute also means that God cannot have one.
Hence, even orthodox Christians like Holding believe that Jesus is an attribute of God.
Therefore, if someone has the intention of uttering a statement of predication stating "God is
Jesus" then he is well within his bounds of stating so. What Shamoun needs to prove is that
Allah's intention for saying "God is Jesus" isn't that of predication just like how Allah does in
other verses (e.g. Allah is Merciful, that doesn't mean Allah is an entity called Mercy, but rather
shares that attribute).
One may also refer to Imam Fakhr Al Din Ar-Razi's commentary on Surah 5:17 where he tries to
argue philosophically that the orthodox Christian belief "Jesus is God" and the concept of the
incarnation itself implies that "God is Jesus" whether Christians themselves like to acknowledge
that or not.
Shamoun states:
Finally, the Quran assumes that Jesus could only be the offspring of God and Mary if
God had physically sired him. The Quran's basic argument is that God cannot have a son
since he has no wife, which means Jesus could only be his Son if Mary was God's wife:
And they make the jinn associates with Allah, while He created them, and they falsely
attribute to Him sons and daughters without knowledge; glory be to Him, and highly
exalted is He above what they ascribe (to Him). Wonderful Originator of the heavens and
the earth! How could He have a son when He has no consort, and He (Himself) created
everything, and He is the Knower of all things. S. 6:100-101
The truth is that - exalted be the Majesty of our Lord - HE has taken unto Himself neither
wife nor son, S. 72:3

Anyone reading the Holy Bible and who has studied Christian teaching already knows
that this claim is just as blasphemous and insulting to Christians as it is to Muslims.
Christ's relationship with the Father has absolutely nothing to do with physical
procreation, but refers to an eternal and purely eternal spiritual relationship between
I've struggled to find out why Shamoun thinks that Surah 6:101 is necessarily a response to
Christians. How does Shamoun know that Allah isn't speaking about those polytheists who claim
that Allah has children (for example see Surah 21:26 and Ibn Kathir's commentary).
Surah 6:101 appears to be linked to the verse right before it, which states:
And they make the jinn associates with Allah, while He created them, and they falsely
attribute to Himsons and daughters without knowledge; glory be to Him, and highly
exalted is He above what they ascribe (to Him).
This doesn't seem to be talking about Christians since Christians don't "make the jinn associates
with Allah", nor do they ascribe "sons and daughters" literally to Allah. Allah understands the
distinction that Christians and Jews make when they use the term "son" (see Surah 5:18, for
Allah didn't condemn them for blasphemy for saying that they are sons, rather He condemned
them for their certainty of salvation) from those polytheists that understood it more literally in a
biological sense. Hence, here Allah is making a mockery of their beliefs basically stating "You
fools I don't even have a biological wife for me to even have biological children".
I don't see how one could make the case that the Qur'an is clearly speaking about Christians in
this passage. The most one could do is point out the faults of some commentators for thinking
that it does apply to orthodox Christians, but I don't believe anyone is justified for going forward
and extending that blame to the Qur'an as well.
In conclusion, none of the passages that Shamoun has presented clearly show that false beliefs
were ascribed to people. Here Shamoun may jump and say "Okay great, so that means that no
where does Islam condemn orthodox Trinitarian beliefs!" This is just ridiculous because no one
could deny that Islam teaches that Jesus isn't to be praised as God. That alone by itself is enough
to refute the Trinity. So let's not even try to stoop down to such stupid thoughts.

Did The Quran Plagiarize From The Infancy Gospel of

Bassam Zawadi

Several Christian polemicists keep putting forth this argument (*,*,*,*).

Yet the problem that many of these Christians don't realize is that they are employing double
standards. Christian apologists are continuously answering critics who claim that Christianity
was influenced by paganism and several of its myths. However, Christian apologists are either
replying back saying:

This is an act of Satan's deception: Many of the early church writers such as Irenaeus,
Justin Martyr and Tertullian claimed that the similarities between Christianity and
paganism were a Satanic attempt at "diabolical mimicry", which means that Satan
purposely ensured that stories similar to what would be included into the future Gospels
would be pre-recorded in pagan sources so that it appears that Christians copied from the
earlier pagan sources. They view this as some kind of pre-emptive strike from Satan
against Christianity. It's also possible that Satan's deception could be that he is whispering
into the ears of skeptics and tempting them to opt for the belief that Christianity was
influenced by pagan myths.

Similarity does not equal sameness: Christian apologists would claim that just because
there are similar features between one story and another that doesn't necessarily imply
that they are the same story, since it's very likely that a story told could be similar to
another story in certain aspects, yet not totally the same.

There is no evidence that pious Christians would have copied off pagan
sources: Christian apologist Sam Shamoun said (bold emphasis mine):

If Smith wants to prove that Christianity borrowed from these pagan religions, not
the other way, then he must establish the following:
He must provide some pre-Christian evidence, whether archaeological
inscriptions, artifacts etc., showing that these pagan stories existed before the time
of Jesus.
He must also show that such stories were not just in circulation, but that they
were circulating in first century Palestine.
He must then demonstrate that God-fearing, monotheistic Jews such as
Christ's followers would be interested in plagiarizing such myths in the first
place. (Sam Shamoun, The Alleged Pagan Origins of Christianity: Examining
More of Abdullah Smith's Continuing Intellectual Suicide Mission, Source)

They also have other responses such as appealing to chronology and trying to illustrate that it is
Christianity that influenced many of these pagan beliefs and not the other way around.
So Christian polemicists putting forth the claim that the Qur'an plagiarized from the Infancy
Gospel need to be consistent and:

Prove that this is not merely a Satanic attempt where Satan tried to ensure that the story
of Jesus eating in the cradle didn't find its way into any first century sources because he
knew that many historians in the future would adopt a historical method that would drive
them to say that this story is a forgery. Or that Satan is currently the one responsible
whispering into the ears of skeptics that the obvious conclusion to derive from a story
being found in both the Qur'an and Infancy Gospel is that the Qur'an plagiarized the

Prove that the story found in the Qur'an and Infancy Gospel are the same and not merely

Using Sam Shamoun's similar words: "Demonstrate that a God-fearing, monotheistic

believer such as Muhammad (peace be upon him) would be interested in plagiarizing
such myths in the first place."

It appears that Christians have no way of performing all the above three tasks, hence why do they
apply double standards?
For instance, let's look at the third point mentioned above regarding Shamoun's comment.
We know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a sincere person. Almost everyone who has
studied the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would non-hesitantly admit that
the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sincere. Regardless of whether he was sincerely right or

wrong or whether any another aspects of his character could be criticized, they would admit that
he was at least subjectively sincere and believed that he was receiving revelations from God.
W. Montgomery Watt states:
His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men
who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate
achievement - all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor
raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is
so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad. (W. Montgomery Watt,Mohammad at
Mecca, Oxford 1953, p. 52)
Sir William Muir said:
It is strongly corroborative of Mahomet's sincerity that the earliest converts to Islam
were not only of upright character, but his own bosom friends and people of his
household; who, intimately acquainted with his private life, could not fail otherwise to
have detected those discrepancies which ever more or less exist between the professions
of the hypocritical deceiver abroad and his actions at home. (Sir William Muir, The Life
of Mahomet, page 54)

I agree with Sprenger in considering 'the faith of Abu Bakr the greatest guarantee of the
sincerity of Mohammed in the beginning of his career' - and, indeed, in a modified
sense, throughout his life. (Ibid., page 56)
J.W.H. Stobart said:
Abu Bakr was a man of the purest character. His friendship for Mahomet, and
unwavering belief in his mission, are a strong testimony to the sincerity of the
prophet. (J.W.H. Stobart, Islam and its Founder, page 209)
Tor Andrae said:
The genuineness and sincerity of Mohammed's piety, and the honesty of his belief in
his religious call, are indisputable. (Tor Andrae, Mohammed: The Man and his Faith,
page 185)
John Gilchrist said:

We can safely reject the view that Muhammad was a deliberate

impostor. Throughout the twenty-three year period of his assumed ministry, he held to
the unflinching conviction that he was called to be a prophet and that the revelations he
was receiving were coming to him from above. (John Gilchrist, Muhammad and The
Religion of Islam, Chapter: A Study of Muhammad's Personality: An Assessment of
His Personality)
Arthur Glyn Leonard said:
If ever a man on this earth found God, if ever a man devoted his life to God's
service with a good and great motive, it is certain that the Prophet of Arabia
(Muhammad) is the man. Muhammad was not only the greatest but truest man that
humanity has ever produced. (Arthur Glyn Leonard, Islam, her moral and spiritual
value: A Rational and Psychological Study, pages 18-19)

Here we see that even non-Muslim critics of Muhammad (peace be upon him) had to at least
admit that he was sincere and believed he was receiving revelation from God. In that case, it is
difficult to imagine that the Prophet (peace be upon him) knowingly plagiarized material and
included it into the Qur'an.
Now citation of scholars isn't enough and it's important to also look at some evidence pointing to
the Prophet's (peace be upon him) sincerity. Let us see some highlights of the Prophet's (peace be
upon him) life, which make it clearly evident that he was truly sincere.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) bore a son by the name of Ibrahim. Approximately
a year and a half after his birth he died. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was very distressed by
the death of his son. The day the Prophet's (peace be upon him) son died there was an eclipse:

Saheeh Bukhari
Volume 2, Hadith no. 153
Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba:
"The sun eclipsed in the life-time of Allah's Apostle on the day when (his son) Ibrahim
died. So the people said that the sun had eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim. Allah's
Apostle said, "The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or life (i.e. birth)
of some-one. When you see the eclipse pray and invoke Allah."

Notice how the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) erroneously believed that the
sun had eclipsed due to the death of his son. If Muhammad (peace be upon him) were a false
prophet and insincere, he would have easily used the opportunity to take advantage of the
situation and affirmed what his companions were saying and that is that the sun was eclipsing
due to the death of his son. However, we see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was forthright
and denied that this was the case and that the sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the
death of anyone. Here, we see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sincerely speaking the
truth instead of using the chance to impress the people by affirming their statements.
Another instance occurred after the Prophet (peace be upon him) migrated
from Mecca to Medina. The Meccans were planning to assassinate the Prophet (peace be upon
him), thus the Prophet (peace be upon him) had bodyguards to guard him until Allah revealed the
following verse:
Surah 5:67
O Messenger! deliver what bas been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not,
then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the
people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.

After this verse was revealed the Prophet (peace be upon him) told his bodyguards to stop
guarding him for he received a promise from God that he would be protected. (See Sunan Al
Tirmidhi [Hadith Number 3046] Sheikh Al-Albani said it is authentic from the way of Aisha
in Saheeh Al-Tirmidhi under Hadith Number 3046; Al-Mustadrak fi al Saheehayn [Hadith
Number 3221]: Imam Al Dhahabi said it is authentic as well as Al-Hakim;U'mdat
Altafseer (an abridged commentary on Ibn Kathir's commentary) [Volume 1, page 710]:
Ahmad Shakir said the narration is authentic.)
If Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not sincerely believe that he was a Prophet of Allah
would he have ordered such a thing especially when he knew that his life was in actual danger
and shouldn't take any risks? The answer is no.
Allah Almighty revealed the following verse:
Surah 17:79
And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe
your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.

Ibn Abbaas states in his commentary.

(And some part of the night awake for it) to recite the Qur'an and to pray after sleeping a
little, (a largess for thee) a merit for you; it is also said that this means: you alone are
enjoined to do so. (Ibn Abbaas,Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn 'Abbs, Commentary
on Chapter 17, Verse 79)

My question is why would the Prophet (peace be upon him) make a prayer late into the night
compulsory upon himself in exclusion to the rest of the Muslims? Why would he do that to
himself? Doesn't this show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) sincerely believed in and
followed the revelation that he was receiving besides making them up?
Also an incident occurred with Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in
which she was falsely accused of committing adultery and she and the Prophet (peace be upon
him) had to wait in distress for the verse from the Qur'an to come down to vindicate Aisha of the
crime. (Read the story in Qur'anic commentaries under Chapter 24, Verse 11)
Now if the Prophet (peace be upon him) were the author of the Qur'an he would have quickly
(instead waiting for more than a month and causing distress for himself) made up a verse
vindicating his beloved wife and also saved himself from the distress of having people
suspecting his own wife for cheating on him. However, his sincerity shows that he did not make
up the Qur'an, but was waiting to receive revelation from Allah Almighty.
The Arabs were challenged to produce something like the Qur'an, then ten Surahs (chapters)
similar to it, and then one Surah similar to it:
Surah 2:23
And if ye are in doubt as to what we have revealed from time to time to our servant then
produce a surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any)
besides Allah if ye are truthful.
Surah 52: 33-34
Or do they say: "He fabricated the (message)" nay, they have no faith! Let them then
produce a saying like unto it, If (it be) they speak the truth!

The question I would like to ask is which insincere prophet would author a book and challenge
the best of Arab poets to find discrepancies in it? Would any sensible layman in mechanics
challenge the mechanics of BMW or Mercedes to critique him and expose him? Doesn't this
show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was so confident about the revelations he was

Yes, one may think that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sincerely wrong, however
the point that I am trying to make is that it is most reasonable to assume that he was at least
So wouldn't this then according to Christian standards serve as evidence that the Prophet (peace
be upon him) did not plagiarize?
Just because the Qur'an mentions stories about Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) or David
(peace be upon him), which are also found in the Bible does not necessarily imply that it was
copied from the Bible. It is very possible that those true stories were maintained in the Bible and
the Qur'an simply came to confirm their authenticity, especially when we take into consideration
that this is one of the functions of the Qur'an. (Surah 5:48). There is no reason to think otherwise
regarding the story of Jesus in the cradle.
The Christian might object and say that the Qur'an came to confirm the Gospel and Torah and
that the story of Jesus in the cradle or making a bird from clay is not found in the Bible, rather it
is found in an apocryphal book. However, as we have clearly clarified Islam teaches that the
Gospels that Christians adhere to today only contain some truth, while other truth is missing.
Hence, it's possible that the cradle story is true, yet hasn't found its way into the Bible.
The Christian would still insist that this story is not found in the Bible and that this is
problematic. In response to this we reply back by saying "lack of evidence does not necessarily
imply evidence of absence". The author of John's Gospel makes it clear that Jesus did many
things (possibly miracles as well) which weren't recorded (John 21:25), therefore there is a good
reason for us to believe that it's at least possible that this miracle of Jesus was also not recorded.
Someone might argue back that the Gospels teach that Jesus' ministry began later in life, while
the Qur'an seems to indicate that it happened shortly after he was born.
Well first of all, this begs the question that whatever the Gospels have said is true.
Secondly, it would be possible to harmonize between the two claims if it is necessary. Perhaps,
Jesus did this initially as a baby in order to vindicate his mother from the false accusations
levelled against her and show that his birth was indeed a miracle from God (if you can believe
that a baby can speak then why not believe in a virgin birth?) and then later on in the future Jesus
began preaching full time and this is what the Gospel authors were referring to.
Furthermore, just because the Infancy Gospel was authored in the second century that does not
exclude the possibility that it might have included stories circulating during the first century.
There is much doubt surrounding this book and where it has obtained its information from:

No final judgment about the original form and content is possible.

Even if the earliest version of this gospel

Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, page 311-312)


uncertain (Helmut

The individual stories themselves, however, may derive from the end of the first
century-though there is no possibility of proving so early an origin for any of them.
(F. Lapham, An Introduction to the New Testament Apocrypha, page 129)

If there is even a possibility that some of the stories contained in this book could have come from
the first century and be true, then Christians have no right to claim with a certainty that this story
of Jesus (peace be upon him) speaking in the cradle is a forgery.

Some Christians such as the early Islamic critic Tisdall tried to suggest that Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him) plagiarized the story from Mary-the Copt who back in Egypt had access to
the story of Jesus in the cradle, since it was either popular and she heard the story or she read the
Coptic translation from the Arabic version of the Infancy Gospel (Injil Al-Tufuliyyah). However,
this assertion is not convincing because:
1) Possibility does not equal probability.
2) No motive has been provided for Muhammad (peace be upon him) to plagiarize the story
and doesn't fit in with his overall character as a sincere person, for his sincerity is
recognized by almost all people who have studied his life (more on this below).
3) The Qur'anic verse about Jesus in the cradle was revealed in Mecca, while the Prophet
(peace be upon him) met Mary-the Copt only during the Medinan period.
Now the Christian may reply back and say:
"Obviously we cannot prove with 100% certainty that Muhammad plagiarized from the
Infancy Gospel, since when dealing with history we are forced to work with probabilities.
What we are saying is that the probability that Muhammad plagiarized from the Infancy
Gospel is so high that it is more reasonable to assume that he did than to suggest
otherwise. To suggest otherwise is to be prejudice"
I of course agree that we are only dealing with probabilities when it comes to history, however
probabilities are dependent upon certain variables. One could not say that something is probable
or improbable without working with some kind of background information. I contend that it is

more reasonable to state that it is probable that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not
plagiarize based on the convergence of the following points: 1) His sincerity and truthfulness; 2)
his illiteracy; 3) lack of ready access to Jewish and Christian documents; 4) improbability of the
presence of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in the Hijaz 5) The many striking differences between
the Quranic stories and the parallels in the Judeo-Christian documents, with a virtual lack of
verbal similarities; 6) and the many more differences between the Quranic story and the account
in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas
We need to bare in mind that similarity between a Qur'anic account and a Biblical (or nonBiblical) story is not proof of the former borrowing from the latter. They could have the same
source as well. Why could it not be that a certain event occurred and eventually came to be
recorded either in a Biblical or a non-Biblical writing and later Allah revealed to Muhammad
(peace be upon him) the story as well? If a priori we reject the possibility of Muhammad's (peace
be upon him) prophethood then we would have no choice but to look for a non-divine solution
(i.e. that Muhammad (peace be upon him) either directly or indirectly borrowed a certain story).
But if we are open to the possibility of revelation, miracles and Muhammad's (peace be upon
him) prophethood, then the mere fact that two stories are the same or similar does not by itself
negate the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) or that he received the information
through fresh revelation. Only by a priori denying the possibility of revelation and miracles can
we come to this conclusion. We need to ensure that we are not appealing to the fallacy of false
cause when examining this issue.
From a purely historical perspective, we cannot say with confidence that the story of Jesus
making a clay bird and miraculously giving it life is a fabrication. It could be that this story was
in circulation in the first century. Now, at the same time, neither could we say with confidence
and certainty that this story existed in the first century. From a purely historical perspective, we
would have to conclude: WE DON'T KNOW. May be it was in existence (either orally or in a
written form) in the first century, or it was not. There is no evidence to speak against its existence
(oral or written) in the first century, nor any positive evidence to "demonstrate" its existence in
the first century (oral or written). All we know is that it existed in a written form in the fifth/sixth
century (in a manuscript of the InfancyGospel of Thomas) and that there may be evidence of its
existence during the time of Ireaneus (180 AD).[1] Given the fact that oral traditions continued to
be valued and in circulation even after the writing of the canonical gospels, we cannot a priori
rule out the real possibility of authentic (and inauthentic/contaminated) oral traditions from the
first century finding their way into documents which were not included in the canonical list of
writings. Non-canonical documents may very well contain first century traditions, though
identifying these traditions and determining their extant is not historically possible. The
canonical documents cannot possibly consist of all or a big sample of traditions floating around
in the first century.
Also, Muslims do accept this story as a genuine miracle from the life of Jesus (peace be upon)
simply because the Quran says so. For the very same reason we accept the miracle of Jesus'
virgin birth and the miracle of his healing the sick and the miracle of raising the dead. Miracles

are accepted on faith. Christians ALSO accept the miracle of the virgin birth on faith, among
other miracles mentioned in the gospels.
Furthermore, Jesus making a clay bird and giving that bird life is not more "grand" than Jesus
actually raising dead men and walking on water. None of these stories are more "legendary" than
the other. Thus, on the face of it, there would appear to be no reason to suspect the story of Jesus
making a clay bird and miraculously giving it life. Just because it is found in a non-canonical
document does not by itself follow that this tradition could not go back to the first century.
If one wishes to dismiss this story of clay-bird miracle as a "legend," then how is Jesus' raising of
Third, modern scholars are far more cautious on the question of the "sources" of the Quran than
the earlier generation of scholars and writers, such as Tisdall and Geiger. The predominant stance
of modern scholars is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is unlikely to have had possession of
actual written documents, be it Biblical documents or non-canonical Judeo-Christian writings.
The reason being the lack of direct quotations from the latter in the Quran and the so many
differences between the Quranic stories and their Biblical (canonical and non-canonical)
counterparts. Instead, the common view is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) "must" have
been reliant upon Biblical and non-Biblical traditions orally, which he then altered and reshaped
to suit his own needs. Such a hypothesis is quite possible only if we a priori dismiss the
possibility of Muhammad (peace be upon him) receiving revelation from God.
In a recent essay on the question of Quranic sources, Gerhard Bowering (Professor of Islamic
Studies at YaleUniversity) writes (Essay: "Recent Research On The Construction of The Quran."
"No single collection of biblical writings, normative, apocryphal or midrashic,
however, has been identified as the major source in which the Qur'an may have
been rooted.1 To the best of our present knowledge, the Bible had not been translated
into Arabic by the time of Muhammad, either in its entirety or in the form of single
books.2 It is generally believed that Muhammad gathered his biblical knowledge
principally, if not exclusively, from oral sources.3 This oral lore was communicated
to Muhammad in his mother tongue, but its original forms were in Syriac, Aramaic,
Ethiopian and Hebrew materials, as evidenced by the vocabulary of foreign origin to be
found in the Arabic Qur'an.4 This foreign vocabulary formed an integral part of
Muhammad's proclamation and was understood by his audience in Mecca and Medina
whom he addressed in eloquent Arabic.5"
and (p. 83, bold mine):

"During his lifetime, Muhammad had a good number of his Qur'anic proclamations
copied down by scribes, but there is no evidence that he used foreign written source
materials for the composition of the Qur'an. Until the appearance of evidence to the
contrary, one has to support the position that it was oral information on which the
Qur'an drew directly, even if behind this oral information there was a core of
passages extracted from written traditions that were translated into Arabic from
one or the other of its sibling languages. This core, however, has not yet come to light
in a distinct form. The almost total absence in the Qur'an of direct parallels with the
normative, midrashic or apocryphal biblical traditions 60 makes it impossible to
argue for a direct dependence on written sources. Essential sections of the Qur'anic
message were received from the oral lore of a variety of religious communities who
were rooted in the widely dispersed and non-normative Jewish and Christian
traditions. Not a single written source, whether scriptural or liturgical, however, has
been identified that would satisfy the search for an underlying Ur-Qur'an, whether
postulated as a Christian hymnal or a Syro-Aramaic lectionary, that served as a
written source book for the Qur'an." [2]
As an example, we may actually point to Jesus' clay-bird miracle in the Infancy Gospel
of Thomas, which states:
When this boy, Jesus, was five years old, he was playing at the ford of a rushing stream.
(2) He was collecting the flowing water into ponds and made the water instantly pure. He
did this with a single command. (3) He then made soft clay and shaped it into twelve
sparrows. He did this on the sabbath day, and many other boys were playing with him.
(4)But when a Jew saw what Jesus was doing while playing on the sabbath day, he
immediately went off and told Joseph, Jesus' father: "See here, your boy is at the ford and
has taken mud and fashioned twelve birds with it, and so has violated the sabbath."
(5)So Joseph went there, and as soon as he spotted him he shouted, "Why are you doing
what's not permitted on the sabbath?"
(6)But Jesus simply clapped his hands and shouted to the sparrows: "Be off, fly away,
and remember me, you who are now alive!" And the sparrows took off and flew away
(7)The Jews watched with amazement, then left the scene to report to their leaders what
they had seen Jesus doing.
Compare the above with the Quranic account. In two locations the Quran mentions this miracle.
In Surah 3:49, we read:
"And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have
come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were,
the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave ...
Then in Surah 5:110 we read:

Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy
mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the
people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the
Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird,
by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave ...

If Muhammad (peace be upon him) was copying from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, or reliant
upon it even indirectly, why were its crucial details omitted? The Quran does not mention the
"soft" clay, the "twelve sparrows," Jesus' "clapping of hands" and his "crying" to the sparrows:
"Be off..." It does not mention Jesus (peace be upon him) asking the sparrows to remember him
and the sparrows noisily flying. In fact, the entire framework of the story is absent in the Quran
If the Quran was dependent upon the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, why would its Author omit so
much - He omitted everything except for mentioning the miracle of the clay-bird?
The Quran only states that Jesus made a bird from clay and it transformed into an actual bird
when he breathed into it. The Quran then emphasizes that this was God's miracle, done through
Jesus (peace be upon him). Thus, it is highly unlikely that Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a
copy of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in his lap and was copying directly from it.
Could it be that Muhammad (peace be upon him) acquired this story indirectly, as it was
circulating orally (with its ultimate source being the Infancy Gospel of Thomas)? This is
"possible." Though one wonders, is it likely that the written story would later transmit orally in
such a way that it was completely stripped from all the exciting details in its written form and a
total absence of its framework? That seems quite improbable.

We may also compare the story about Jesus (peace be upon him) speaking in the cradle where it
says in the Infancy Gospel:

"... Jesus spake when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother: "Mary, I am Jesus the
Son of God, the Word, which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the
angel Gabriel, and My Father hath sent me for the salvation of the world."

While in the Qur'an it states:

Surah 19:28-34

"O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot. Then
she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle? He
said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and has made me a
prophet. And has made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and has enjoined upon me
prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive, And (has made me) dutiful toward her
who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest. Peace on me the day I was born,
and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this
is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt.

Notice that in the Infancy Gospel Jesus tells his mother that he is the Son of God. That is absent
from the Qur'an. Christians may argue back that this is because Muhammad (peace be upon him)
did not agree with this label, however notice that in the Infancy Gospel Jesus also tells his
mother that he is the word. The Qur'an also refers to Jesus (peace be upon him) as a word from
Allah. There's no reason why Muhammad (peace be upon him) wouldn't have had Jesus saying to
his mother that he is a word from Allah if he was indeed plagiarizing, since that could be
possibly harmonized with the Qur'an. There's also no mention of angel Gabriel in the Qur'an.

Similarity between the Quranic account and the story in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas would
only be "problematic" for Muslims if the possibility of God's revelation is a priori dismissed. If it
is not a priori dismissed, then we have no problem. Muhammad (peace be upon him) did receive
this story, lacking all details added to it in the written Christian record, through revelation from
[1] But there is an earlier reference from Irenaeus, as Cameron notes:

In his citation, Irenaeus first quotes a non-canonical story that circulated about the
childhood of Jesus and then goes directly on to quote a passage from
the infancy narrative of the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:49). Since the Infancy Gospel
of Thomas records both of these stories, in relative close proximity to one another, it
is possible that the apocryphal writing cited by Irenaeus is, in fact, what is now
known as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Because of the complexities of the

manuscript tradition, however, there is no certainty as to when the stories of

the Infancy Gospel of Thomas began to be written down.(cited here)
[2] In a footnote, Bowering writes:
60 To stress again, only a very small number of Qur'anic verses parallels small
passages of the apocryphal gospels, and only one Qur'anic verse, Q 21:105, is a
direct quotation from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), namely Psalm 37:29. The
earliest known Muslim Arabic citation from the New Testament is the passage of
John 15:23-16:1 which is presented in summary form by Ibn Ishaq (d. 767 CE) in
Muhammad's biography, see F. Wstenfeld (ed.), Das Leben Muhammeds nach
Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, 1, 149-50. For the small harvest of parallels between
Qur'anic passages and the Syriac liturgy, see E. Graf, "Zu den christlichen
Einflssen im Koran," Festschrift Joseph Henninger: Studia Instituti
Anthropos Bonn, Al-Bahith 28, 1976, 121-44.

Recommended Reading


Shamoun responds over here.

Shamoun states:
On what basis does Muhammad's subjective sincerity constitute proof for the divine
origin of his teaching if the same conclusion does not hold for these other men?
This is nothing more than a red herring. I never argued that Muhammad's (peace be upon him)
sincerity constituted proof for the divine origin of his teaching. Rather, I said that this at least
illustrates that he didn't knowingly plagiarize something and attributed it directly to God as being
spoken by Him. This is what I said:
In that case, it is difficult to imagine that the Prophet (peace be upon him) knowingly
plagiarized material and included it into the Qur'an.

Yes, one may think that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sincerely wrong,
however the point that I am trying to make is that it is most reasonable to assume that he
was at least sincere.
So wouldn't this then according to Christian standards serve as evidence that the Prophet
(peace be upon him) did not plagiarize?
Even Shamoun is aware of this, for he said earlier in his article:
Nor does it follow that Muhammad's sincerity proves that the Quran is from God, as even
Zawadi realizes.
So Shamoun earlier in his article states that I realize that Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon
him) sincerity isn't proof that the Qur'an is the word of God. Then a few paragraphs later,
Shamoun asks:
On what basis does Muhammad's subjective sincerity constitute proof for the divine
origin of his teaching if the same conclusion does not hold for these other men?
This is extremely confusing! Why is Shamoun asking this question when he already
acknowledges that I never made this claim? Shamoun is very confused and needs to make up his
mind what he wants to argue!
Shamoun said:
Finally, the issue is not that Muhammad plagiarized the Arabic Infancy Gospel of
Thomas. Rather, the argument is that Muhammad heard Christians referring to this story
and therefore decided to include it in his Quran since he erroneously assumed that it was
an actual miracle performed by the historical Jesus.
But that is precisely the problem. If the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was truly
sincere then he couldn't have done that! The Qur'an is not like the Bible. If it was then someone
could argue that Muhammad (peace be upon him) sincerely believed that he was inspired to write
the contents of the Qur'an. But that is not the case. Rather, Islam teaches that the actual words in
the Qur'an were spoken by God. Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught this. If the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught that Allah spoke the Qur'an, but then he went ahead and
wrote it himself knowingly, then this just goes to show that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be
upon him) wasn't sincere. However, I have argued that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
him) was indeed sincere, hence we must rule plagiarism and knowingly writing the Qur'an
from his own mind out of the question. The critic would need to offer another explanation

Shamoun said:
There is actually no need to disprove this since in actuality it is not that Satan made sure
that the story of Jesus speaking in the cradle wasn't written in any first century
documents. Rather, my conviction is that Satan may have actually influenced Muhammad
to adopt fables such as this one from these Christian apocryphal sources in order to dupe
Christians of Muhammad's time to believe that the Quran acknowledges the miraculous
life and ministry of Jesus.
Shamoun is free to have his "convictions", but the point is that he cannot prove them nor could
he disprove the Biblical mimicry argument.
Shamoun mentions the story found in Ibn Ishaq:
The names of the fourteen principal men among the sixty riders were: 'Abdu'l-Masih the
'Aqib, al-Ayham the Sayyid; Abu Haritha b. 'Alqama brother of B. Bakr b. Wa'il; Aus; alHarith; Zayd; Qays; Yazid; Nubayh; Khuwaylid; 'Amr; Khalid; 'Amr; Khalid; 'Abdullah;
Johannes; of these the first three named above spoke to the apostle. They were Christians
according to the Byzantine rite, though they differed among themselves in some points,
saying He is God; and He is the son of God; and He is the third person of the Trinity,
which is the doctrine of Christianity. They argue that he is God because he used to raise
the dead, and heal the sick, AND DECLARE THE UNSEEN; AND MAKE CLAY
this was by the command of God Almighty, 'We will make him a sign to men.' They
argue that he is son of God in that they say he had no known father; AND HE SPOKE
IN THE CRADLE and this is something that no child of Adam has ever done. They
argue that he is the third of three in that God says: We have done, We have commanded,
We have created and We have decreed, and they say, If He were one he would have said I
have done, I have created, and so on, but He is He and Jesus and Mary. Concerning all
these assertions the Quran came down.
Ibn Ishaq said that Muhammad bin Ja'far bin Zubair bin Al Awaam told him the story, but
Muhammad bin Ja'far came a generation after the Prophet's death and we have not been informed
where Muhammad bin Ja'far got this story from and how accurate its wording really is.
Shamoun said:
The foregoing explains why Muhammad's version of this apocryphal fable lacks "the
exciting details" found in the "written form" and why "its framework" is missing.
Well, as I already stated this is technically speaking a "possibility":

Could it be that Muhammad (peace be upon him) acquired this story indirectly, as it was
circulating orally (with its ultimate source being the Infancy Gospel of Thomas)? This

is "possible."
Shamoun then says:
The problem that Zawadi faces is that the Islamic sources which were just cited
emphatically prove that Muhammad took the very exact story which he heard from this
Christian group and included it within the Quran. This explains why the Quran's story of
Jesus creating clay birds is identical to the version narrated by the Christians from
Najran, i.e. Muhammad acquired his information directly from the Christians who had
obviously derived it from the apocryphal Christian Gospels which they had either read or
"Emphatically prove"? This is where Shamoun's bias clearly kicks in, since he assumes that
Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a false prophet and isn't willing to grant the possibility that
the Qur'an revealed the story of Jesus in response to the Najrani Christians and would very likely
word it the same way the Najrani Christians would.
This is also assuming that the story is reliable. Furthermore, Ibn Ishaq is not presenting the
actual words of the Najrani Christians, but is ONLY SUMMARIZING what they said and
talked about with the Prophet. How could Shamoun say with any shred of confidence that "the
Quran's story of Jesus creating clay birds is identical to the version narrated by the Christians
from Najran"?
Shamoun proceeds on to the second part of his article, however I haven't seen Shamoun
presenting any real arguments with any measure of substance that would call for responding to
them. This is because Shamoun's arguments are based on the assumption that Muhammad (peace
be upon him) wasn't sincere and knowingly includes information into the Qur'an, while claiming
to the people that they are the direct words uttered by God. Unless, Shamoun illustrates that the
Prophet (peace be upon him) wasn't sincere I see no reason to interact with arguments based on
false assumption.