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- RABI-UL-AWWAL 
1425 H
APRIL
2004
Volume 17-0
4 No : 208
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Is the Quran God's Word? - Part 7

Is the Quran God's Word? - Part 7

In the previous articles in this series, we have analysed and refuted probabilities given by skeptics who allege that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) authored the Qur'an without claiming its authorship. In the preceding article, we scrutinized on logical grounds and responded partly to the skeptics who allege that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) copied the Qur'an from the Bible. Let us now compare both these scriptures on the basis of established scientific facts to further substantiate the truth that Qur'an is not copied from the Bible.

By Dr. Zakir Naik

SCIENTIFIC COMPARISION BETWEEN QUR'AN AND BIBLE:

CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE IN SIX DAYS:

According to the first book of Bible Genesis chapter no. 1, the universe was created in six days, and each day is defined as a twenty-four hours' period.

However, the Qur'an mentions that the universe was created in six 'Ayyaam'. 'Ayyaam' is the plural of 'Yaum' which has two meanings: firstly, a standard twenty-four hours' period i.e. a 'day' and secondly this Arabic word also means a stage, a period or an epoch consisting of a very long period of time. Here the Qur'an refers to the creation of the heavens and the earth in six long periods or epochs, which the scientists have no objection to. According to science, the creation of the universe has taken billions of years, which contradicts with the concept of creation given in the Bible, which states it took six earth days of twenty-four hours.

9. SUN CREATED AFTER THE DAY:

The Bible says in Genesis chapter 1 verses 3 to 5 that the phenomenon of day and night was created on the first day of creation.

The light circulating in the universe is the result of a complex reaction in the stars, which according to the Bible Genesis chapter 1 verses 14 to 19, was created on the fourth day. It is illogical to mention the result that is the light (the phenomenon of day and night) was created on the first day of Creation when the cause or source of the light was created three days later, as has been mentioned in the Bible. Moreover the existence of evening and morning as elements of a single day is only conceivable after the creation of the earth and its rotation around the sun.

However, the Qur'an does not give this unscientific sequence. To say that Muhammad (pbuh) copied the creation of the universe from the Bible and missed out copying this unscientific sequence is absurd.

10. CREATION OF THE EARTH, THE SUN AND THE MOON:

We are aware that the earth and the moon emanated from their original star, the sun. However, according to the Bible, in the book of Genesis chapter 1 verses 9 to 13, the earth was created on the third day of creation, and according to verses 14 to 19 the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day of creation. This biblical sequence of creation of the earth before the creation of the sun is contrary to the established idea about the formation of the solar system.

11.VEGETATION CREATED ON THE THIRD DAY AND SUN ON THE FOURTH:

According to the book of Genesis, Chapter 1 Verses 11 to 13, vegetation was created on the third day along with seed bearing grasses, plants and trees, and sun was created on the fourth day (verses 14-19). How is it scientifically possible for vegetation to have appeared on earth without the presence of the sun?

If Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was indeed the author of the Qur'an and he merely copied from the Bible, how did he manage to avoid the factual and scientific errors that the Bible contains?

The Qur'an does not contain any statements, which are incompatible with the scientific facts.

SUN AND THE MOON BOTH EMIT LIGHT?

According to the Bible, both the sun and the moon emit their own light. Genesis Chapter 1 verse 16 says "And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night."

Today, science tells us that the moon does not have its own light. This confirms the Qur'anic concept that the light of the moon is a reflected light. To say that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 1400 years ago corrected these scientific errors in the Bible and then copied the "corrected passages" onto the Qur'an is to state the impossible.

12. ADAM (PBUH), THE FIRST MAN ON EARTH, LIVED 5800 YEARS AGO:

If one studies the genealogy of the first man on earth i.e. Adam (pbuh), through to Abraham and Jesus (peace be upon them), as stated in the Bible, one would come to the conclusion that Adam (pbuh) appeared on the earth approximately 5800 years ago. Check it out for yourself:

i) 1948 years between Adam and Abraham (pbut)

ii) Approximately 1800 years between Abraham and Jesus (pbut)

iii) About 2000 years from Jesus (pbuh) till today.

These figures are further confirmed by the fact that the Jewish calendar is currently on or about 5800 years old.

There is sufficient evidence from archaeological and anthropological sources to suggest that the first human being on earth was present tens of thousands of years ago, and not merely 5,800 years ago as is suggested by the Bible.

While the Qur'an too speaks about Adam (pbuh) being the first man on earth, it does not suggest any date or time-frame for his appearance on earth, unlike passages from the Bible which are not compatible with science.

13. NOAH (PBUH) AND THE FLOOD:

The Biblical description of the flood in the book of Genesis chapters 6, 7 and 8 indicates that the deluge was universal and it destroyed every living being on earth, except those present with Noah (pbuh) in the ark. This description suggests that the event took place 1656 years after the creation of Adam (pbuh) or 292 years before the birth of Abraham (pbuh), when Noah (pbuh) was 600 years old. Thus the flood may have occurred in the 21st or 22nd century B.C.

This story of the flood conflicts with scientific evidence from archaeological sources. The eleventh dynasty in Egypt and the third dynasty in Babylonia were in existence without any break in civilization, and were unaffected by any major calamity which took place in the 21st century B.C. This is contrary to the biblical story that the whole world had been immersed in flood water.

The Qur'anic presentation of the story of the Noah (pbuh) and the flood does not conflict with scientific evidence or archaeological data because, firstly the Qur'an does not give any specific time frame to this event and secondly the Qur'an does not state that this flood was a universal phenomenon nor does it state that the flood destroyed all life on earth. The Qur'an specifically mentions that the flood was a localized event only involving the people of Noah (pbuh).

It is illogical to assume that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had borrowed this story of Noah (pbuh) and the flood from the Bible and corrected the mistakes before mentioning it in the Qur'an.

14. MOSES (PBUH) AND PHARAOH OF THE EXODUS:

The story of Moses (pbuh) and the Pharaoh of the exodus is very much similar in the Qur'an and the Bible. Both scriptures agree that the Pharaoh drowned when he tried to pursue Moses (pbuh) while leading the Israelites across a stretch of water that they crossed. What is important to note here is that the Qur'an gives an additional piece of information in Surah Yunus chapter 10 verse 92.

"So today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign. And indeed many among the people, of Our signs, are heedless." [Al-Qur'an 10:92]

Such a statement is not present in the Bible.

Dr. Maurice Bucaille, after a thorough research proved that although Ramses II was known to have persecuted the Israelites in the Bible, he died whilst Moses (pbuh) was taking refuge in Midian.

Ramses II's son Merneptah succeeded him as Pharaoh. It was Merneptah who drowned during the exodus. In 1898 the mummified body of Merneptah was found in the valley of Kings, in Egypt.

In 1975, Dr. Maurice Bucaille with other doctors received permission to examine the mummy of Merneptah, the findings of which proved that Merneptah probably died from drowning or a violent shock which immediately preceded the moment of drowning.

Thus the Qur'anic verse, that "we shall save his body as a sign", has been fulfilled by the pharaoh's body being kept at the Royal Mummies' room in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

This verse of the Qur'an compelled Dr. Maurice Bucaille, who was a Christian to study the Qur'an. He later wrote a book "The Bible, The Qur'an & Science" and confessed that the author of the Qur'an can be no one else besides God, the Creator and Originator of all Creation, and thus embraced Islam.

15. All this evidence is sufficient to conclude that the Qur'an was not copied from the Bible. On the contrary the Qur'an is the 'Furqaan' i.e. the Criterion to judge right from wrong and truth from error and falsehood. It is the Qur'an that should be used to determine which passage of the Bible may be considered to be the word of God.

"And We have revealed to you, (O Muhammad), the book (i.e., the Qur'an) in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth." [Al-Qur'an 5:48]

(To be continued)

The author, Dr. Zakir Naik, is a well-known orator and scholar of Comparative Religion. He is the President of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation. He may be reached at zakir@irf.net )

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