Here lies The big difference
Continuing from Part I
One died of sickness aggravated by poison. The other died on the cross for the sins of the world.
One worked no miracles. The other works many of them, even today.
He can perform no miracles, according to Allah’s own account of him in the Qur’an. However, in the hadith, his admirers have a strong motive to puff up their beloved prophet with miracle stories. But the Qur’an contradicts their accounts.
In the following Meccan verse in Sura 17, Muhammad answers the charge that he cannot work miracles. Allah commands his messenger to "say" the following to his critics.
17:93… Say, "Glory to my Lord. Am I anything but a mortal, a messenger?"… (Haleem)
In this next Meccan verse, people again question Muhammad about this inability to work miracles.
13:7 The disbelievers say: "Why has no miracle been sent down to him from his Lord?" But you [Muhammad] are only there to give warning… (Haleem)
It is an ironical fact that the Qur’an is clearer about Jesus’ miracles than it is about Muhammad’s (non) miracles: " And I [Jesus] heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring to life by Allah’s leave [permission]" (Sura 3:49, Hilali and Khan). Why did not the Qur’an explicitly and loudly and unambiguously declare Muhammad’s miracles, as it does about the miracles of Jesus?
After his death, two discouraged disciples matter-of-factly recount what they observed to a seeming stranger (the resurrected Jesus):
19 About Jesus of Nazareth, they replied: "He was a prophet powerful in word and deed before God and all the people." (Luke 24:19)
This one summary verse in Luke represents many that tell of his miracles. A very short list follows:
Healing lepers (Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-42; Luke 5:12-13, 17:11-19);
Healing the blind (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 8:22-26, 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43);
Calming the storm (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:37-41; Luke 8:22-25);
Walking on water (Matthew 14:25 and Mark 6:48-51);
Feeding 4,000 and 5,000 (Matthew 14:15-21; Mark 6:35-55, 8:1-9; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:6-13)
These two articles explain Muhammad’s inability to work miracles: here and here. They reply to Islamic polemics and cite more verses in the Qur’an.
10. Dealing with sexual sin
One ordered flogging and execution. The other offers forgiveness and restoration.
This verse, according to reliable traditions, concerns fornication or premarital sex. Note the insertions by the two translators. The Qur’an in Sura 24:2 says:
24:2 The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah’s law]. (Hilali and Khan; additions in parentheses and brackets are theirs).
This hadith represents others on Muhammad’s policy concerning adultery.
… Then the Prophet said, 'Take him away and stone him to death." Jabir bin 'Abdullah said: I was among the ones who participated in stoning him and we stoned him at the Musalla. When the stones troubled him, he fled, but we overtook him at Al-Harra [rocky place near Medina] and stoned him to death. (Bukhari)
This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death, her blood spurting:
… And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her…(Muslim no. 4206)
He zeros in on the root cause of adultery. In the famous Sermon on the Mount he says this about adultery and lust:
27 "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:27-28)
Immediately, this raises the stakes so high that all corporeal punishment is removed; otherwise, all of humanity would kill each other with legalized stoning. These two verses imply that sexual sin is no longer a civil crime or any kind of crime. As usual with Jesus, he goes to the heart of the sin. Adultery and other sexual sins begin in the mind, so the solution to them must also begin in the mind.
As for prostitutes, Jesus let them into his kingdom on their repentance. While in Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders, who were badgering him with antagonistic questions, confronted him. Jesus replies to them.
Jesus said to them, " I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you." (Matthew 21:31)
But first prostitutes have to be forgiven of their sins before they enter the kingdom of God. One day a certain Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus into his large house for dinner. Suddenly a "sinful woman" (read: local prostitute) crashed the dinner party and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them off with her hair, and poured oil on his feet. The Pharisee became indignant and said to himself that if Jesus really were a prophet, he would know who was touching him and not allow it, for she was unclean. Jesus pointed out to him that Simon had not offered him the customs of hospitality, but this sinful woman was doing this. "Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ [This is another New Testament hint of Jesus’ divinity.] Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’" (Luke 7:48-50).
This true account shows that Jesus did not order prostitutes and other sexual sinners to be hunted down and flogged or burned alive, even though this one was living in Israel, the Holy Land, and even though the Torah says specifically that a prostitute must be burned with fire (Leviticus 21:9). Instead, Jesus looks at the heart and sees a diamond in the rough. He knows that with his love and power, sexual sinners of all sorts can be changed. So the spiritual solution is forgiveness without condemnation. This is a long, long way from Jesus instituting the punishment of stoning sinners, or even their flogging, as Muhammad would like to reinstitute an old-new Qur’anic law.
This article explains Sura 24:2 more thoroughly, along with adultery. It also cites more hadiths and explores Islamic law, contrasting them with Christ’s new era of salvation.
Here is another back-up article on Muhammad’s punishment of homosexuality, analyzing the Qur’an, the hadith, and Islamic law. It also explains the Biblical position. Christ offers forgiveness and restoration.
11. Bible prophecy
One is not mentioned or prophesied in the Bible. The other fulfills Messianic prophecy.
In a verse in the Qur’an, two scholars insert some parenthetical comments that are not found in the original Arabic.
7:157 Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad) whom they find written in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii 15 [18:15]) and the Injil (Gospel) (John, xiv 16 [14:16]) with them…(Hilali and Khan) (cf. Suras 2:129, 159; 3:81, 164; 61:6)
Though Muhammad’s claim that he is found in the Bible is farfetched to begin with, the two translators take it for granted that the Biblical references from Deuteronomy and the Gospel of John mention or prophesy their prophet. This belief has circulated around the Muslim world for many years and has become "gospel truth." Further, Muslim propagandists have searched for clear references to Muhammad in the Torah and the Gospels (and the entire Bible). But have they been successful? Does this belief have any foundation in the Biblical texts?
Researchers have already easily demonstrated that Muhammad does not fit the profile of a Biblical prophet or any other saint mentioned or predicted in the Bible.
This mid-length chapter lists the basic arguments by Muslims and answers them point by point. It then lists the similarities between Moses and Christ. This means that Christ is the prophet predicted by Moses.
This mid-length article also lists the characteristics of Moses and Christ and demonstrates the match between the two. The similarities and the length of the list are remarkable. Muhammad is excluded.
The most thorough refutation of the claim that Muhammad is the Comforter in John 14 is found in this chapter. It even has an image of a Greek papyrus containing John 14:9-26 that shows the New Testament was not tampered with and that paraclêtos is the right word in the chapter, not periclytos ("much praise"; cf. Sura 61:6).
This article is a thorough refutation of a Muslim polemicist’s claim (and this polemicist is not alone) that Sura 61:6 says that Jesus prophesies the appearance of a certain "Ahmad" (meaning "Praise"). Islamic research on this issue is terribly confused and substandard.
These articles together consist of a thorough exegesis of Biblical texts, taking them in historical and literary contexts. Thus, the absence of any clear reference in the Bible to Muhammad as some sort of future spokesman for God is not surprising. Culturally and chronologically, he was too far removed from the Bible—he was not a Jew. He was also much too inaccurate about the Bible in matters of verifiable, textual facts.
The result of this quick study: Muhammad is absent from Bible prophecy and all other areas of the Bible.
Old Testament prophecy about himself as the Messiah was very important to Jesus.
After he was resurrected bodily, he appeared to many disciples. Two of them were walking down a road that led to a village called Emmaus. They recounted the recent events and their disappointment that Jesus had not redeemed Israel. But they were amazed that several of the disciples said that the tomb was empty and that Jesus had appeared to some of them. It was a surprise when a seeming stranger joined them in their journey. He asked them what they were talking about. They told him about their disappointment that Jesus was not everything that they had hoped for. Then Jesus (the seeming stranger) revealed himself and gave them a Bible lesson.
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
It is quite possible that Jesus discussed at least some of these verses listed in the Table of Messianic Prophecies. It cites nearly ninety prophecies that follow Jesus from his birth and infancy, to his death, resurrection, and ascension—and his reign in heaven.
12. The Spirit
One restricts and confuses the doctrine of the Spirit. The other freely offers the Spirit as a full Person.
He severely restricts the role and nature of the Spirit. The references to the Islamic spirit in the Qur’an are far, far fewer than those to the Spirit in the New Testament. In fact, the Qur’anic references, below, are complete (or nearly so).
The spirit in the Qur’an has similar functions as those in the Bible, but the Qur’anic spirit’s role is weaker and less defined. Examples follow. This spirit seems to be involved in creation (Suras 15:98; 32:7-9; 38:71-72). He helped Mary conceive Jesus (Suras 19:18-19; 21:91; 66:12). The spirit appeared in the form of a man to Mary (Sura 19:18-19). He strengthened Jesus (Suras 2:87; 2:253; 5:110), and the believers (Sura 58:22). Jesus is called a "spirit from God" (Sura 4:171; cf. 2:253). The spirit inspired and revealed the Qur’an (Sura 16:102; 17:85; 26:192-193; 97:4). Finally, he is a witness or participates in some way in the Last Day (Suras 70:4; 78:38), warning of impending judgment (Sura 40:15).
Thus, the Qur’an’s view of the Spirit overlaps somewhat with the Bible’s (creation, conception of Jesus, and inspiration), but in other ways the Qur’an is confused and deficient (Jesus is a spirit; the spirit appears as a man; his helping believers is mentioned only once). But none of this confusion and deficiency matters, because traditional Islam erroneously reduces the Spirit to the archangel Gabriel. Why? A fully developed pneumatology (doctrine of the Spirit) wreaks havoc on a strict unitarian doctrine of God.
Just before his resurrection and ascension, Jesus promises to send the Spirit to every believer who asks in his name (John 14:15-18; 16:5-15). He fulfills this promise in Acts 2:1-4. The Spirit fills the believers, and the church is formally created.
In an exhaustive concordance in which every word in the Bible is listed, the word "Spirit" or "spirit" of God or the Lord in the Old Testament takes up almost two columns. In the New Testament, the same words take over three columns. This gives us an idea of the importance of the Spirit in the New Testament. This is especially remarkable, since the Old Testament is much, much longer than the New. In the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit, as a full Person, lives in every believer to help him follow God and receive his love.
This long article (the readers may scroll down to "Who is the Spirit?") argues convincingly that the Spirit cannot be Gabriel without damaging other aspects of Islamic theology.
This article briefly discusses the Spirit in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur’an (scroll down to "Holy Spirit").
This one replies to Muslim polemics.
13. Their roles and natures
One is only human. The other is both fully human and fully divine.
He is strictly and only a mortal man, warner, announcer, prophet, and messenger. These are the number of times that the last four titles appear in the Meccan and Medinan suras in the Qur’an, when the titles apply to Muhammad. The Mecca suras were revealed before his Hijrah or emigration from there to Medina in AD 622. The Medinan ones were received after this date.
Warner: Mecca 58, Medina 7
Announcer: Mecca 22, Medina 13
Prophet: Mecca 2, Medina 33
Messenger: Mecca 20, Medina 167
The most important statistic is the title of prophet. It is used only two times in Mecca, and those occur in late verses (just before he immigrated to Medina). Evidently, Allah was reluctant to call him by that title for a long time. The Qur’an also drops the title of warner, almost out of sight, after Muhammad arrives in Medina.
But this is the unalterable fact: he is a mortal man like all of us. He is a human warner, a human announcer or bringer of news, a human prophet, and a human messenger. He never claimed divinity for himself.
His mortality is a major reason why he objects so strenuously to the divinity and Sonship of Christ (Suras 3:58-60; 4:171; 5:72-75, 116; 9:30; 19:33-34). If Muhammad is the best and last prophet and messenger, then how can Jesus surpass him, as the eternal Son of God? Muhammad also objects because of his odd belief that God must have physical relationsto produce a son, a notion that Christians reject.
Jesus Christ has multiple titles. Some portray him as a human before the crowds: Rabbi, Teacher, and Prophet. (Rabbi and Teacher are synonymous in the New Testament, but they are kept separate since the different words are used.) And other titles depict him as divine: the Christ, the Lord, Son of Man, Son of God, the "I am," and God incarnate or "God with us." Here is the number of times that his major titles appear in the Four Gospels. Some are close approximations.
Son of David: 10 (only others besides Jesus use this title about him)
The Lord: 140
Son of Man: 81 (only Jesus uses this about himself)
Son of God: 60
The "I Am": 20
This is Part One of Two, which goes into more detail on Muhammad’s roles and mortal nature.
Here is Part Two, which talks about the roles and natures of Jesus: He is fully human and fully divine.
This Appendix has four Tables that list all of the Qur’anic references to Muhammad’s roles as warner, announcer, prophet, and messenger.
14. Their deaths
Dying in the arms of his girl-bride Aisha, Muhammad asked Allah for forgiveness and mercy for his own soul just before he died, begging his deity to raise him up to the highest companions. He also cursed his enemies.
The prophet of Islam said: "O Allah! Forgive me, and bestow Your Mercy on me, and let me meet the companions." (Bukhari)
May Allah curse the Jews [and] Christians…(Bukhari)
He was destined by God to die for the sins of the world. It is unimaginable that Jesus would die from sickness and poison. He healed many with illnesses and even demon possession, in an atmosphere of faith. His mission was to set them free of ailments. Further, he forgave his crucifiers. He also prayed for a criminal and promised him that he would be in paradise. Jesus knew where he himself was going—back to heaven where he originally came from.
He said: " Father, forgive [the crucifiers], for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)
Jesus answered [the criminal], "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
See this article for more differences about their deaths.
This article affirms the actual and physical crucifixion of Christ and critiques the Qur’an’s odd assertion that Jesus merely appeared to have died (Sura 4:157-158).
This article explains that Muhammad likely picked up this strange belief about the non-crucifixion from Docetism, derived from a Greek word meaning "to seem" or "to appear" (scroll down to point no.
This article examines the crucifixion in light of Psalm 22.
Finally, this news report looks at the crucifixion and archaeology.
15. Occupied tomb, empty tomb
One still lies in his. The other was resurrected.
His body lies still in his grave. Anyone can claim that his soul will go to heaven, for no one can see a disembodied soul. This fatwa (legal decree) at a Muslim website clarifies a question posed by a Muslim on the death of Muhammad.
The Messenger…died and was buried in his grave; hence…Abu Bakr… said: "Whoever used to worship Muhammad, Muhammad has died, but whoever used to worship Allah, Allah is alive and will never die." (Source)
This page has a further link to an image of the prophet of Islam’s tomb, where Muslims may take an extra pilgrimage.
The earliest Christians said Jesus’ body was raised to life. The following passage comes from the Gospel of Mark.
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' " 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:1-8)
He has risen. The tomb is empty.
This article by William Lane Craig explains why, from Paul’s theology, Christ was raised bodily. His theology completely agrees with the Four Gospels.
This article by Craig affirms the historicity of the empty tomb. It is not a matter of blind faith.
Finally, this article by the same scholar narrows the focus on the disciples’ inspection of the empty tomb.
Two strategies seem to be at play in aggressive Islam. The first is to intimidate and terrorize. This is why we see violent protests and explosions. The second is theological and textual—to blur distinctions. "Come on," these whitewashers seem to say; "Islam is just like Christianity; in fact, Islam can complete it. Jesus and Muhammad are the same. So what’s all the fuss about?" But this list contradicts the second strategy. The Son of God and the warner from Mecca are profoundly different.
Clarity and truth are better than wishful thinking and whitewash. We may wish that all religions were the same, but they are not. Some polemicists may whitewash their own religion, but this is deceptive at best and dangerous at worst.
If or when Islam gains a foothold in a region, it may impose its harsh laws (see the Supplemental List, below). This would spell disaster for all freedom-loving people, everywhere. The Qur’an and Islamic law are harsh and restrictive. They impose external holiness and righteousness on everyone, and harshly punish anyone who refuses.
Christianity has been a blessing to the world, especially in the last three hundred years, and particularly in America. Gradually returning to its New Testament roots, today Christianity offers real freedom and true peace. In an environment influenced by Christianity, people can grow and live without harassment. They can work at their careers in freedom and become prosperous. They can develop new ideas leading to new technology that benefits humanity.
However, in this freedom, people may not walk the path of righteousness. They may adopt lifestyles that oppose the Bible. But when the Church became the government, it oppressed people. This is the lesson of history. The Church must allow people to go their own way. People vote with their feet. If the Church preaches a meaningful message, then people will come. If not, they must not be persecuted or harassed, but breathe the air of freedom. They are in God’s hands.
On the other side, many Islamic countries suppress free-speech and dissent. Rarely can anyone criticize the government, and death to anyone who questions the Qur’an and Islam itself. It is an observable fact that these nations have stagnated economically. Where is a steady progress of technology coming from this part of the world? Too often women are restricted, and this means half of the world’s brain power is locked up. Thus, throughout the past four hundred or more years, Islam has not been a blessing to societies.
Freedom is better than repression.
Jesus and Christianity offer the first, Muhammad and Islam the second.
Muslim polemicists and propagandists tell us that the Qur’an is God’s final revelation to humanity. Islam improves on Christianity, and their holy book corrects the Bible. These propagandists would like Islam to mediate between Judaism and Christianity. Implementing Islamic law or sharia is God’s will. However, the following legal decrees, policies, and practices contradict these mere verbal assertions and mental beliefs. Every one of them comes from the Qur’an itself, followed by chapter and verse.
1. The hands of male or female thieves should be cut off (5:38).
2. The hands and feet must be cut off for fighting and corrupting the land (5:33).
4. An injured plaintiff may exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye, literally (5:45).
5. Anyone who accuses someone else of sexual sins must bring four witnesses; if not, the accuser gets eighty lashes (24:4).
6. Husbands are a degree above their wives in status (2:228); reliable hadiths say the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women only because of their "harshness and ingratitude," not for any numerical majority around the globe.
7. A male gets a double share of the inheritance over that of a female (4:11).
8. A woman’s testimony counts half of a man’s testimony because she may "forget" (2:282). Reliable hadiths say this law is based on the "deficiency of a woman’s mind."
9. A man may divorce his wife merely if he says "I divorce you" three times (2:229). This verse is baffling because it does not say explicitly "three times." But Islamic law interprets it in this way.
10. A wife may remarry her ex-husband if and only if she marries another man, they have sex, and then this second man divorces her (2:230).
11. Husbands may hit their wife or wives (4:34).
12. Mature Muslim men may marry and consummate their marriage with prepubescent girls (65:4).
13. Slavery is endorsed: Muhammad himself traded in slaves and owned black slaves; and Muslim men may have sex with slave-girls (47:4; 4:24; 23:5-6; 70-29-30).
14. The Qur’an endorses the massacre of Jewish men and pubescent boys and the enslavement of the women and children (33:25-27).
This list is all about physical acts and practical policies here on earth, not about abstract doctrines. These policies and legal decrees can be measured and evaluated with our own eyes and sound reason, and how do they come out? Not very good, to say the least.
Further, it may be fairly asked: Did Jesus and his Apostles and the New Testament authors say or do these things? Not even close.
Thus, if the Qur’an is the last of God’s final revelation to humanity, then God must hate us, especially women. Truthfully, humanity can do a lot better than the Qur’an. We must leave it far behind us in the new millennium.
If the readers suspect that these verses have been taken out of context, they may click on the following articles that in turn have long and several supporting articles behind each item on the lists:
Why I don’t convert to Islam
Top ten reasons why Islam is not the religion of peace
Top ten reasons why Islamic law is bad for all societies
Top ten rules in the Qur’an that oppress women.
Does the Old Testament command some severe punishments? Yes, but go here to find out why they no longer apply in the New Testament.
Copyright by James Malcolm Arlandson and used by permission. Originally published at americanthinker.com, and later slightly edited for Answering Islam. Other articles by James Arlandson