Friday, March 20, 2009

The Qur'an (Koran) vs. The Bible

(The following article is a condensed and modified version from an author other than myself)

The Qur'an (Koran) vs. The Bible: Predictions of events show which one is truly from God


Catholics believe the Bible is truly scripture from God, however, Muslims also believe the Bible (as "originally given") was from God. This is a comparative analysis of both the Qur'an and the Bible, a logical evaluation of them both in order to determine which, if any, can lay legitimate claim to divine authorship.

A Measurable Standard:
It is very important for the purpose of this article, that there be a more objectively measurable standard by which to compare "prophetic" writings, which is:  Observe whether or not the predictions of future deeds of people in recorded history are accurately fulfilled. That is it quite clear and simple.

This is God's own standard, as scripture says:


Deuteronomy 18:22: "Thou shalt have this sign: Whatsoever that same prophet foretelleth in the name of the Lord, and it cometh not to pass: that thing the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath forged it by the pride of his mind: and therefore thou shalt not fear him."

If the predictions of any supposed 'prophet' do not occur and come true, that man's words would then be rejected as not truly coming from God or having God's authority and the man (who merely spoke on his own) would be considered a fake, and be rejected as a prophet. In addition, in the day when Moses wrote, if the people caught up with such a presumptuous and false "prophet", he was to be stoned to death. This was an effective way of weeding out false prophets.


God Gives a Challenge: to Predict


Most importantly, Isaias records that God says:


Isaias 42:8-9: "I the Lord, this is my name: I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things. The things that were first, behold they are come: and new things do I declare: before they spring forth, I will make you head them."

This declaration from God states that he announces what will occur in the future. God predicts history before it occurs. This is how God demonstrates his power and glory, and keeps it from being credited to pretenders and fakes and prediction proves that God's authority is in the words of a genuine prophet.

Such predictive ability displays God's unique power. In fact, God sets out the following strong challenge to false prophets and false gods (he even sarcastically mocks them) who cannot predict the future:

Isaias 41:22 Let them come, and tell us all things that are to come: tell us the former things what they were: and we will set our heart upon them, and shall know the latter end of them, and tell us the things that are to come. 23 shew the things that are to come hereafter, and we shall know that ye are gods. Do ye also good or evil, if you can: and let us speak, and see together.

And God lays out an equally tough challenge, when he says:

Isaias 44:7 7
Who is like to me? let him call and declare: and let him set before me the order, since I appointed the ancient people: and the things to come, and that shall be hereafter, let them shew unto them.

God describes the ability to predict the future as confirmation that He is the true God. God applies this criterion to Himself and also to His own prophets. And this criterion proves God's own scriptures to be the true scriptures.

I (who write this article) do not make this assertion myself, and actually, I have no power or authority to make it; but it is God alone who makes it. I, as a mere human writer, must bow to His authority and lordship.

God affirms that he is the only one with such predictive power and Jesus stated that He also had the same power of prediction, when he declared in Matthew 24:25, "Behold, I have told it to you beforehand". And again, as a demonstration of who he was, Jesus said in John 13:19, "At present I tell you, before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe that I am He."

Truly this ability to accurately predict is a tough standard to follow, so it makes sense to look for this ability, because only the true God knows the future (and reveals such knowledge through his true prophets), and he also controls and directs the course of history according to his almighty will. The ability to predict future events of human history is a crucially distinctive attribute of God's true scriptures, and the true prophets of God convey this distinctive from God. So, this attribute is the "lynch-pin" to identify true scripture, and is the ability of key importance to God himself. False prophets are unable to do such accurate predicting of human history.

That is how important the power to predict is. It is one of the very most important proofs and evidences of God's words.

We do not choose this criterion, but it is pushed on me by God's statements. And furthermore, since specifically fulfilled predictions are more measurable, this will be the criterion for this article to judge between the Qur'an and the Bible. This standard not only allows us to compare whether God's predictive power is present in the Qur'an or/and the Bible, but it would also determine whether Mohammed is a true prophet as compared to the prophets of the Bible and whether the Bible or/and the Qur'an can be trusted to give the true teaching about who God is and what God requires.


God's Challenge, In Short

This is basically God's challenge to the Qur'an:. . . Show that within the pages of the Qur'an there is even one fulfilled prediction of events of human history (as described in this article).

So, the ability to predict is God's challenge. It was not thought up and devised by the writer of this article, but it is stated by God himself.

I am aware that most speakers of Arabic (including Arab Christians) use 'Allah' as the noun for 'God' in a generic sense, and this is fine, but please allow us to use the two different names to maintain this distinction for the purposes of this article: 'Allah' in the Qur'an, and "YHWH" (often pronounced "Yahweh") in the Bible. This is for the reason that Islamic theology does not merely employ 'Allah' as a generic noun for 'God,' but it views the noun as the Muslim god's own personal name. As Muslims think of it, 'Allah' functions as the deity's proper name. So, here is the problem, because, the Holy Bible is quite clear that the only noun which functions as the true God's proper name is 'YHWH.' Therefore, this article will use 'Allah' in relation to the Qur'an, and 'YHWH' with respect to the Bible.


What we are NOT looking for (from both the Bible and Qur'an)

First of all, we are obviously not looking for 'predictions' which were made after the events, as this would not be prediction at all. It would be history.  We are not looking for easily made predictions, which are a 'sure bet' virtually guaranteed to happen such as a prediction that the Brazilian national soccer team will win a game during the next season.

We are also not looking for declarations of what humans (eg prophets, groups or combatants) plan, vow or promise to do themselves, because this is not prediction from God, but is merely human plans or promises (or threats!) which are then self-fulfilled. Therefore, if the prophet is alive at the time of (and after) the 'fulfillment' of a promise, his writing is very likely a record of history or self-fulfillment, and not a prediction at all.

We can not accept predictions which may likely have been copied from another source. This is evident when the writer predicts almost the exact same thing as earlier prediction which already existed in a different source, while the writer in question may well have known about that prior prediction.

We are not looking for declarations of what God, whether Allah or YHWH/God, will do to people after the people die, or at the end of world history, because such declarations are not yet verifiable from historical facts for us living today (though such statements may indeed be valid predictions).

We are also not looking for broadly general (or vague) predictions of events in which people, places and events are not fairly specifically named, because this also would not be clearly verifiable. It would not work, for example, to have broadly general references to large groups of people, such as "all mankind, or all men, people, or believers, non-believers, or infidels, Christians or Muslims." These are too general... and "all people" haven't yet lived. So, it's irrelevant. The continual back-and-forth conflicts and exchanges between such large groups is too continual to constitute a clear fulfillment of predictions about them before the end of time comes. These are the sorts of problems that occur in prophecies of Nostradamus: They are too vague, general and non-specific to be clearly verifiable and truly predictive. Such qualities are typical of false prophecy.

Since people bring it up so often, let us be clear that God's challenge is not looking for descriptions of nature or science facts, because such things are not predictions of human deeds in history. For example, we are not looking for Bible or Qur'an descriptions of science concepts like: cosmology, the origin of the universe, "Big Bang," astronomical phenomena, geology, rain cycles, origin of life, biology, genetics, embryology, anatomy, physics, or chemistry, etc.

People find such 'science facts' in both the Qur'an and the Bible, however, all such things are not relevant to God's challenge, which is: the power to predict people's actions. Again, we are not speaking about my challenge here, but I must remind that we are only putting forward God's challenge.

Giving a few facts of natural science is not part of the challenge which God gives (in the scriptures above) in order to expose the writing of false prophets ...since God's own predictions are the deeds of specific humans in history. God is not impressed with such nature and science facts, so it is not part of his challenge. Besides, the Bible and the Qur'an are somewhat equal in regard to natural science "facts," so this science category is basically useless. Also, we must realize that man's intellect routinely describes natural and scientific things apart from divine intervention and a non-miraculous science book or encyclopedia is much more full of such science facts than either the Bible or the Qur'an.

So, we must forget science fact 'trivia' as a significant criterion.

Finally, we are not looking for so-called 'miracles' which deal with mathematical calculations and number crunching. In both the Bible and the Qur'an, people have figured out various numerical values of letters and sums, and various such things (such as the middle chapter, or verse, etc.), and some people feel such calculations are demonstrations of the 'miraculous.'

However, such number-crunching is nothing compared to what God requires from a true prophet: he requires prediction of human deeds before they occur in history, with accurate fulfillment.

So, since God is not impressed with such number crunch 'miracles', we aren't looking for it here in this article either. It is not significant.


What we ARE looking for (from both the Bible and Qur'an):

The prediction must have been made well before the historical event which is supposed to fulfill that prediction, e.g., prediction which is months, or better yet years before the fulfillment. When the event happens in history, only then is the prediction 'fulfilled.

The prediction must involve human deeds in history carried out by people who are either not aware that they are fulfilling the prediction, OR the circumstances of the fulfillment must be almost totally outside of the predictor's personal control. This is necessary to rule out self-fulfilled predictions.

The predictions of people's deeds must have been given in fairly specific detail, with recognizable identities and/or names of people (like "Pharaoh" or "King Ahab") and/or places involved (like Syria, Israel, Rome or Mecca), and perhaps also including a fairly specific and clear description of the length of time (e.g. the number of years, like "70 years") involved until the fulfillment.

And of course the prediction must be accurately fulfilled because if it is not accurate or it is not fulfilled when the time passes, then it is clearly not prophecy from God, because it is false, and thus the prophet is also false.

With these qualifiers in mind, let us proceed to compare predictions from the Bible and the Qur'an.



For Reference:

You may read an Online Qur'an, or three parallel versions and an online Bible (please be warned that this Bible is located at a heretical, non-Catholic website which erroneously claims to be Catholic, while being subject to the Newchurch construct).



Predictions In The Bible:

Jeremias preached as a prophet in about 626 B.C., and YHWH (the God of the Bible) declared through Jeremias that, because of their sins, God would bring King Nabuchodonosor of Babylon against the southern kingdom of Judah to defeat and destroy their land, and to carry them off to captivity in Babylon (and in other nations) for 70 years; But when the 70 years were over, Babylon would be defeated (Jeremias 25:8-14), and then the Lord (YHWH) would bring the people of Judah out of Babylon (and out of those other nations) and back to their land (Jeremias 29:10-11).

These predictions qualify as the type of prophecy we are looking for, because it is not a declaration of Jeremias' own plans which he can self-fulfill. And further, there are six specific predictions listed here:

1) "King Nabuchodonosor of Babylon" would attack;
2) the people of "Judah";
3) the "defeat" of Judah by Babylon;
4) Judah's "captivity" in Babylon;
5) for a period of "70 years,";
6) Judah's restoration back into "their land."

Very importantly, concerning these predictions: The action of taking people captive (which is done by Nabuchodonosor), as well as the length of the captivity, would be outside the control of the prophet or of the people of Judah.


Fulfillment:

Archaeology and ancient history confirm the precise fulfillment of these six predictions of Jeremias, because in the year 606 B.C. (20 years after the prophecy), King Nabuchodonosor's armies subdued Judah, taking thousands of Jews captive to Babylon (and other nations). This captivity process continued (including the fall of Jerusalem in 605 B.C.) until virtually all of the people of Judah were taken captive. (By the way, here's another prophecy: In 595 B.C, Jeremias also foretold the fall of Babylon to the Medes in Jeremias 51:11,28). This Babylonian captivity of Judah lasted until Babylon fell to Medo-Persia (fulfilling Jeremias' prophecy of 595 B.C.). Then Cyrus the Persian King decreed in 536 B.C. that the Jews could return to their land, which many of them did though not all of them, as it was not promised that all of them would return at that time. Thus, the captivity lasted 70 years, precisely as foretold!

An archaeological find which verifies the historicity of the book of Jeremias in 606 BC, is the discovery of the Seal of Baruch in 1975. Baruch was the scribe or amanuensis who wrote down the prophecies of Jeremias.

The accurate fulfillment of this multi-faceted predictive prophecy demonstrates that Jeremias is a genuine prophet who wrote a book of genuine prophecy which gives God's words and that the God of Jeremias (YHWH) is truly God, who knows people's actions before they do them, and who guides the course of history.

This is one of many examples of fulfilled biblical predictions that could be given. There are many others involving specific events for various nations, and others involving the coming of the Messias.



'Predictions' In The Qur'an

In this area of study, a book called 'The Prophecies of the Holy Qur'an,' written by Q.I. Hingora, suggests 22 predictions in the Qur'an as generally, among Qur'anic scholars, there are said to be 22 predictive prophecies in the Qur'an. Note: A chapter in the Qur'an is called a 'Sura'. Those 22 predictions are cited as being found in: Sura 2:23-24; 3:10,106,107,144; 5:70; 8:7; 9:14; 15:9,96; 24:55; 28:85; 30:2-4; 41:42; 48:16-21, 27, 28; 54:44-48; 56:1-56; and Sura 110:1-2.

So, let's look at the first of those 22 predictions:

Sura (chapter) 2:23-24: "And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true. But if ye cannot -and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, -which is prepared for those who reject Faith."

In looking at this warning of fearful "Fire" for non-believers, there are similar warnings of eternal punishment in the Bible, such as:

St. Matthew 13:41-42: "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Now, both of the above passages (from Sura 2 and Matthew 13) are predictive, however, neither of them can be used today to determine whether either the Bible or the Qur'an are authored by God, because the fulfillment would occur at the time of the great judgment at the end of world history. Neither of these can be fulfilled yet. They are future.

Therefore, the above Qur'anic passage (as well as the Bible passage in Matthew) does not qualify as fulfilled prediction which would indicate that the Qur'an is truly inspired words from God, because it is a declaration of what Allah will ultimately do to people after they die, or after the end of world history. It is not now verifiable from facts of history available today.


More along these very same lines

Similar to the above two passages (from Sura 2 and Matthew 13), out of the 22 Qur'anic predictions cited above, most of them declare the ultimate/eternal destiny of non-believers (divine judgment and punishment) and/or the destiny of Muslim believers (divine reward and blessing) at the end of world history and in eternity; to be specific: Of the 22 predictions cited, the Qur'anic predictions of divine judgment and blessing at the end of history are found at: Sura 2:88-89; Sura 3:10, 106, 107, 144; Sura 8:7; Sura 9:14; Sura 28:85; Sura 48:16-21, 28; Sura 54:44-48; and Sura 56:1-56. Please look up each reference, and read each one carefully. These Qur'anic verses refer to events in the future from now (mostly at the final judgment at the end of history). So, they have not yet happened in history; therefore, they do not qualify as predictions which have been fulfilled.

In the same manner, there are similar predictions from the Bible (concerning not-yet-fulfilled judgment and blessing) which also do not yet qualify as historically fulfilled predictive prophecy. Some of these not-yet-fulfilled prophecies are found in Ezech. 38:1-39; Zach. 14:1-21; Matt. 12:36-37; 13:43; 24:14,31; 25:41-16; Jn. 3:36; 5:28-29; 6:39-40; Rom. 2:5-8, 16; 8:18-25; 2Cor. 5:10; 1 Thes. 4:14-17; 2 Thes. 1:9-10; 2:8; Heb. 10:27; 11:13-16; Apoc. 14:9-11; 20:10-15 and Apoc. 21:1-22:5.

These predictions refer to future events. So, these items do not yet verify that these writers of the Bible are true prophets, nor that the Bible is truly from God. We must look elsewhere.

The problem is this: None of these sorts of passages from the Qur'an or the Bible are any more adequate than the passages cited from Matthew 13 and Sura 2, because they are not yet fulfilled. Even if they supposedly will be true, the fulfillment is future to us today, and therefore, they do not (yet) verify the divine origin of the book they are in, either the Bible or the Qur'an. Such verses (from both the Bible and the Qur'an) are inadequate for the purpose of proving authorship by God. They do not (yet) demonstrate the working of divine power to predict events ahead of time, so as to indicate a divine origin for the book they are in. In light of such passages we cannot assume that either Allah or YHWH may have the power to do any such thing as judge, punish or reward people, unless there is demonstrable evidence of divine power to prophetically predict the deeds of specific people in specific places during a specified time-frame (like the Bible prophecy of Jeremias given above).


The Rest of the 22 Predictions

Sura 5:70: "We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them apostles, every time, there came to them an apostle with what they themselves desired not - some (of these) they called impostors, and some they (go so far as to) slay."

Sura 5:70 is a reference in which some people have said that a prediction is found. The problem here is: there is not even a future-tense verb in this sentence. So, it must be considered history, and thus, there is no prediction in it. This passage is very similar to one in the Bible:

St. Matthew 24:37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

This Bible verse is also history, without prediction in it. Despite the clear similarities of these two verses from the Qur'an and the Bible, neither one of them is predictive, and thus, neither one is useful for our purposes in trying to demonstrate the presence of the power of God to predict future events, which would be evidence that the speaker is a true prophet or that book is from God.





Sura 15:9 "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)."

Here we find a promise to guard the message of the Qur'an. This verse is fairly similar to the declaration of Jesus in Mat. 24:35, when he said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." With the clearly predictive nature of both of these passages, neither one can yet be said to be truly and completely fulfilled, since we have not yet reached the final consummation of history, where God finally confirms the eternal nature of his word, therefore neither passage can yet be said to be fulfilled, nor can they yet be cited as conclusively demonstrating the power of God to predict the future.




Sura 41:42: "No falsehood can approach it from before or behind it: It is sent down by One Full of Wisdom, Worthy of all Praise."

This statement (about the Qur'an and similar to another statement in 15:9) is also not predictive prophecy of a specific future event, but rather it is a theological assertion, and many of the very same sort of assertions are found in the Bible as well. For example:

Proverbs 30:5: "Every word of God is fire tried".

If the issue in these two verses is said to be the preservation of the writing from any corruption, then both Christians and Muslims have a good deal to say about the supposed corruption of each other's books therefore (for the purposes of this article) we must "call it equal" for now, and we must let the present form of both books (as found in the original languages of the Qur'an Arabic, and of the Bible Hebrew/Greek) speak for themselves. If either the Bible or the Qur'an are actually corrupted words of God, then they would manifest even less of God's power to be accurate and true, and a corrupt text would be less able (or unable) to predict the future. So, let's proceed.





Sura 15:96 is a warning against adopting another god besides Allah. Of course, this warning stands to reason, (assuming the Qur'an's Allah is truly God). However, the Bible has virtually the same sort of statements about YHWH, and neither statements in the Qur'an nor the Bible are predictive prophecy which shows the power of God to predict future events in human history, so, we must go on.





Sura 24:55 says that Allah has promised to bless (with land? and inheritance?) those who believe, and to establish the authority of their religion and give them security and peace. This "prediction" might seem to be fulfilled in some sense, but it is quite general, since it does not clearly or specifically name the person(s) who will be blessed nor the specific land-mass they will inherit: Is it every Muslim? What is the specific name of the land? How soon will they have peace and security, and how long will it last?

It is because of these unclear and non-specific qualities of this "prediction" in Sura 24 that it does not qualify as predictive prophecy which is specific enough that we can confirm it from history. The Bible has many such promises as well.

Besides, if you are just talking about the amount of land and wealth controlled by nations where a certain religious persuasion predominates, then Christianity comes out on top.



Sura 48:27 is thought to be a prediction that the "Prophet" (Mohammed) would enter the "Sacred Mosque" (the Ka'aba) to worship... however this "prediction" is conditional, using the phrase "if Allah wills." That is a very big "if." Whatever the result, it is "if" Allah wills.

Thus, it wouldn't matter whether Mohammed did or did not enter the Mosque to worship, one could say this is "prediction" is fulfilled either way, because that could be said to be what Allah willed. This makes it a failsafe prediction. It can't fail. It can't be proven false either way.

Therefore, Sura 48:27 is not true predictive prophecy, since it is so vague that it can't fail and therefore be shown to be false.


Sura 54:44-48 may be seen as a threatened militant action by one group of people against a group of "unbelievers," which some take to be the people of Quraish. If this happened in history, however, it would not be a prophecy, but an action which humans planned to do, and then carried out. This would be a self-fulfilling prediction (or threat), and not a predictive prophecy.

If we can call it predictive prophecy when militant leaders give "pep-talks" to their followers (or "threats" to their foes), then all military commanders who lead troops to conquer opposing armies are "prophets." But no, they are obviously not. There are probably more such declarations in the Qur'an, and there are similar human threats and statements in the Bible too, but such declarations are not clearly predictive prophecy in either book, so we must go on.



Sura 110:1-2 promises help and victory from Allah. Again, this promise may be seen as being generally fulfilled in many lives, but it is too general because it does not name specific people or nations or time-frames; and the Bible also has many such promises which could be cited... but neither in the Qur'an nor in the Bible do such promises qualify as specifically predictive prophecy to demonstrate that they are truly from God.





The Best Qur'anic Possibility:

Sura 30:2-3

Of the 22 claimed predictions presented by Hingora for acceptance, we are left with one last Qur'anic passage, Sura 30:2-3, which says:

"The Roman Empire has been defeated in a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious within a few years."

Now, of all the proffered predictions from the Qur'an, this one from Sura 30 comes the closest to being a specific prediction, because it nicely names the people involved (the "Roman Empire"), and what will happen (they will be victorious), and approximately when ("within a few years"). This passage refers to the time when the Persians (under Khusran Parvis) defeated the Byzantine Romans in Syria (in A.D. 615). However, there are a few problems which seem to disqualify this passage as a significant predictive prophecy:


FIRST: The initial problem may be that the statements in Sura 30 might be history which Mohammad was aware of, and not actually a prediction. This is possible because Mohammad was alive and still producing Qur'anic verses for several years after the time of the suggested Roman defeat and/or victory in history. We may not know the actual date when sura 30 was written.

We do know Mohammad was living at the time of the Roman victory of which he spoke, because Mohammad died in AD 632 at the age of 63. According to Al-Baizawi's commentary, the Byzantine Romans were evidently victorious over Persia in AD 628, and so, Mohammed was alive four years after that victory.

With regard to that Roman "victory," another account indicates that there may have been a Roman victory in AD 624, and in such a case, Mohammad would have had eight years in which to learn of the victory and then to dictate this part of Sura 30. Therefore, depending when it was written, this would not be a prediction in Sura 30, but a statement of history. Indeed, biographers indicate that Mohammad was still producing Qur'anic verses in the year 632 therefore, it is possible (perhaps likely) that these verses of Sura 30 may only be history, and not predictions at all.


SECOND: The most serious problem is, that it was a very safe bet to say that in "a few" years the Romans would be "victorious" in some battle (somewhere), since they were fighting several battles during every given year. At least one victory would seem almost 100% sure to happen within the space of eight or nine years. (Mohammad himself stated that what was meant by the "small number" or "a few years" is between three and nine years, according to Al-Baizawi in his commentary).

But, amazingly, although a few people say there was supposedly a victory within nine years, but this is doubtful, as Al-Bazawi's commentary indicates that a Byzantine Roman victory over Persia was actually in A.D. 628 (which was thirteen years later). Not only that, but (as was mentioned in the first point) Mohammad probably already knew about the Roman victory.

So, the problem is: the Sura 30 prediction is almost a sure bet. It is much like saying that the British soccer team will win a game during the next 4 seasons. This sort of "prediction" is also much like the mummification of a pharaoh, which is also virtually a sure bet, which Mohammad most likely already knew about. Surely, such a safe "prediction" is not actually significant. Why should anyone be impressed with it?

Therefore, Sura 30:2-3 may be history on the one hand, and on the other hand, it isn't a significant prediction to begin with because it basically is so assured of happening.



OTHER SUGGESTED QUR'ANIC PREDICTIONS

In other places, other predictions have been suggested, including the following:

Sura 4:120: "they shall slit the ears of the cattle, and most certainly I will bid them so that they shall alter Allah's creation" (Shakir Translation).

This is said to be a prediction of genetic engineering. In context, however, this verse is talking about slitting the ears of cattle and such defacing of nature (Yusufali Translation). But this is not nearly a description of "genetic engineering," but is the common actions of farmers. Actually, men have always altered and defaced nature, with activities such as branding, tattooing, tagging, cutting, stabbing, killing, butchering, burning and many such activities therefore, no clearly specific prediction is here in Sura 4:120. It doesn't mention "who" will act, or "when" something will occur. This verse only describes man's usual agricultural activities with animals since very ancient times.



Sura 10:92 is thought to be a fulfilled prediction in the 10th Sura of the Qur'an, which speaks about the Pharaoh who pursued Moses and the people of Israel (at the time of the biblical Exodus). In words spoken to that Pharaoh, Sura 10:92 states: "This day We save you in your body, that you may be a portent for those after you."

There are basically a couple of ways to understand this verse, which make a difference as to its possible fulfillment.

Many Qur'anic interpreters think that Sura 10:92 is saying that Pharaoh's body would be saved or preserved (mummified) for future generations.

This interpretation is very problematic, though, because if the prediction means that the Pharaoh's body was going to be (preserved) by mummification, then this is not significant prediction, because virtually all the bodies of Egyptian pharaohs were mummified. Such a prediction would be very safe to make, since it would have nearly a 100% chance of being fulfilled. It's a sure bet. Since Mohammad lived in Medina (in western Saudi Arabia) along a popular trade-route from Egypt, he surely knew about the practice of mummifying pharaohs.  This saving of a pharaoh's body through mummification would not even be a prediction, but the mere statement of an assured historical event.

In fact, I myself can safely make the same quality of 'prediction' right now by saying: "President John F. Kennedy, we save you in your body" ...and my 'prediction' is 'fulfilled' because the embalmed (mummified) body of John F. Kennedy now lies preserved (or saved) in it's grave and as a result, this 'prediction' of mine is just as significant as that of Sura 10:92.

Some Qur'anic interpreters think Sura 10:92 indicates that Pharaoh was 'saved' by not being drowned in his attempt to stop and capture the Israelites however, Suras 28:40, 17:103, and 43:55 contradict such an idea, indicating that Pharaoh was drowned, by stating: "Therefore We seized him and his hosts and abandoned them unto the sea... But We drowned him and those with him, all together... And [We] drowned them, everyone."

A related question is: The verse does not merely say that Pharaoh's body would be saved, but it says to Pharaoh that 'you' will be saved 'in your body'. This must mean that Pharaoh's 'self' or person or soul was going to be saved in his body on that day, but Suras 28:40, 17:103 and 43:55 clearly state that he was not saved on that day, but was drowned. So, the Qur'an says that, indeed, he was drowned.

Another View: The Cairo Museum (in Egypt) is in possession of a mummy which may be that of the Pharaoh Merneptah (the son of Ramesses II), and many Muslims think that the display of this mummy fulfills Sura 10:92. However, again, this is just another mummified Pharaoh among many that were made by Egyptians. It is not a significant prediction. And if the mummy in Cairo is the body of Merneptah, then that mummy is most probably not even the pharaoh of Moses' time at the Exodus anyway.

This is quite clear, since Merneptah's forces went up to "Canaan" to attack "Israel," which is stated in the last section of the Merneptah Stele. Some of the best scholarship today indicates that the exodus under Moses was some 50 years earlier than Merneptah, and that the pharaoh of Moses' day was actually Ramesses II. Nahum Sarna (professor emeritus of biblical studies at Brandeis University) says that the exodus story "cannot possibly be fictional," and since the Old Testament chronology may well be viewed as "schematized" round numbers, the exodus should most likely be placed in the days of Ramesses II, and there is good archaeological support for this (ref: "Is The Bible True?", by Jeffery Sheler, Zondervan, 1999).

For more about this, read about David Rohl's new Egyptian chronology.

In light of all the facts available, it does not appear that there is a fulfilled prediction in Sura 10:92. A totally safe prediction (such as the mummification of a pharaoh) is not a significant prediction.

Sura 16:8: "And (He made) horses and mules and asses that you might ride upon them and as an ornament; and He creates what you do not know" (Shakir Translation).

This is said by some to predict new 'transport systems' (such as cars and planes?).

This 'prediction' is a very general statement of what God does all the time in bringing about new things we don't yet know about (and it's not even stated in the future tense), however, it is not specific enough to qualify as a verifiable prediction for this article.



Sura 17:4-10
In this Sura, the Qur'an talks about 'the children of Israel', (v.4) which is obviously the Jews. The verses state that because of the evil done by the children of Israel, they were attacked by enemies, and their faces resultantly disfigured. This is history which is obviously true, as the Bible records many such instances, and the Jews don't deny this history either.



Sura 17:8: "but if ye (Israel) revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments)."

Now, this is a general sort of prediction, but it is the sort of predicted punishment which God (YHWH) in the Bible often threatened against Israel (as well as other people) if they were evil and refused to repent and obey God. Such consequences were threatened (and predicted) in Deuteronomy 28:15-26; Josue 23:15-16; and Malachias 2:2; and there are many more... but these sort of predictions are not specific enough to say that they have been clearly fulfilled. Likewise, the prediction in Sura 17:8 is also only general.

Some readers of the Qur'an say that this Sura 17 contains a prediction of Hitler's holocaust, but actually, if one reads what is directly stated, it is only "punishment" in general which is threatened, and this Qur'anic prediction is not a clearly identifiable prophecy in which we can see a time or a place here on earth, or a specifically named people (such as Hitler, or Nazis, or Germany) who will do the punishing. We couldn't pinpoint a specific fulfillment. We find no clearly specific prediction in Sura 17:8.



Sura 17:105: "And after him We said to the Children of Israel, Dwell Ye in the promised land; and when the time of the promise of the Latter Days come, We shall bring you together out of various people."

This is actually a good and valid prediction, because it specifically mentions who will be brought together (Israel), and to where they will be gathered (the promised land), and when it will happen (the Latter Days), and from where they will be gathered (out of various people).

However, the problem is: Basically this identical prediction had been made first by the Bible (in such places as Isaias 11:10-12; Jeremias 23:3-8; 30:3-11; Ezechiel 37:11-28; 38:8; and St. Luke 21:23-24), and Mohammed probably knew about this fact from the Bible, since he discussed the Bible extensively with both Jews and Christians in Medina. Therefore, this is not a prediction which can be credited to the Qur'an, but Mohammed was only repeating a prediction from the Bible which it repeats several times.

Besides all this, the reading for Sura 17:104 is not actually as clear as the translation given above, since this verse (as translated by Abdullah Yusufali) may be better translated to read: "And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, 'Dwell securely in the land (of promise)': but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd."

Suddenly the 'prediction' is a whole lot more murky and nebulous.



Sura 22:26-27: "Behold! We gave the site, To Abraham, of the (Sacred) House [That is the Kaaba that he built], (Saying): 'Associate not anything (In worship) with Me; And sanctify My House For those who compass it round, Or stand up, Or bow, or prostrate themselves (Therein in prayer). And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways."

(...the words in brackets and parentheses are added by Qur'anic interpreters).

These two verses from Sura 22 are thought to indicate that Mohammed predicted the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca to the Kaaba, and according to Sahih Bukhari the Kaaba was built by Abraham.

The problem with this whole picture is that there is no historical confirmation that Abraham ever went to Mecca or even into the Arabian Peninsula! Abraham originated from Ur of Chaldea (in today's Iraq), and he migrated to Canaan (today's Israel) in approximately the year 2000 B.C. no one has ever supplied credible evidence that Abraham was ever near Mecca. In fact, there is no evidence that the Kaaba even existed in 2000 B.C.! And also, in fact, the 'Kaaba' is not specifically mentioned by name in the Arabic text, but readers only imply that it is, which is why the Kaaba is only mentioned inside of the brackets: [Kaaba]. It is not in the original Arabic text.

So, in light of demonstrable historical facts, and in view of the actual Arabic text, there is no confirmation that the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca was correctly predicted (or predicted at all) in these verses.



Sura 30:42: "Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have wrought" (Shakir Translation).

This verse is said by some to predict 'pollution' (of the environment?). However, this probably refers to evil 'mischief' or moral 'corruption' of mankind which is done; it is not at all specific, and does not mention who does this, or when or how it is done. And since the verb is in the past tense, it cannot be a prediction anyway, but a commentary on historical behavior of men.



Sura 41:21: "Their skins will bear witness against them as to what they have been doing."

And some have suggested that this is a prediction of finger prints being used by government to identify people. However, the fuller context of this verse reveals what it is really about.

Sura 41:20-23: "And warn them of the day when the enemies of Allah will be gathered together and driven to the Fire, and they will be divided into groups;  Till when they reach it, their ears and their eyes and their skins will bear witness against them as to what they had been doing.  And they will say to their skins, 'Why have you borne witness against us?' They will say, 'Allah has made us speak as He has made everything else speak. And He it is Who created you the first time, and unto Him have you been brought back.  'And you did not apprehend, while committing sins, that your ears and your eyes and your skins would bear witness against you; nay, you thought that even Allah did not know much of what you used to do."

The more complete context here shows that a day of judgment is in view, and more importantly, we see that three things will bear witness against people: their ears, their eyes and their skins. How do "ears" bear witness? By what the ears hear. God knows what is heard, and so does the evil doer.  And how do the "eyes" bear witness? By what they have seen. God knows this too. And how do their skins bear witness? By what the skin has done when the person committed various evil actions.

No, this is not a prediction of biometric scanning of the eyes, nor of the ears. And it is not a prediction of people being caught by their fingerprints. It is a statement of God's power to convict people of the evil they've done. It concerns judgment in the end. But it is not actually a prediction of specifically 'who' will do 'what' and 'when' they will do it. So, we must look further.



Sura 42:30: "And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has power to gather them together when He wills" (Yusufali Translation).

This is said by some to predict encounters with extra-terrestrial life.

However, there has not only been no encounter with intelligent life from outer space, but there is no evidence that intelligent extra-terrestrial life even exists. In fact, it is contrary to the Bible that there is intelligent life living on planets somewhere else in the universe.

And more important than all this, this 30th verse only states what Allah has the power to do, it does not use the future tense to predict what will happen. It is not a prediction.



Sura 51:7 is one verse in which the prophet (or Allah) is avowing "by the Sky with (its) numerous Paths" (Yusufali Translation), and this is thought by some to predict modern air-traffic systems for airplanes.

However, it is not at all clear what these "paths" (or "tracks") in the sky (or "heavens") actually are. One might say they are migrational paths of various kinds of birds known to mankind for centuries. One might say that they are the paths of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars, all commonly known to mankind for millennia.

Besides all that, there is not a future tense verb in which an actual prediction is made, so we find none there.



Sura 54:1: "The Hour (of Judgement) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder."

It is said that this is a prediction that the moon would "split." There is discussion among Muslims about the meaning of this verse, and some say this verse speaks of the phases of the moon. IF it does indicate lunar phases (such as the quarter-moon and half-moon), then this is not prediction, but a mere description of the regularly occurring natural cycle of lunar motion. Anyone who is observant can make many such "predictions" any day, such as predictions about the setting of the sun or the tides or seasons.

Others say that this verse indicates a time when the moon will physically be split by means of a rock fault through the moon. Such an idea is debated, however, because since the time the Qur'an was written no one has ever shown that the moon has actually "split" by a rock-fault which passes through a large portion of the moon.

Finally, it is important to note, that the word "Judgment" (added in parenthesis) in the verse indicates the split will happen at the time of the Judgment, at the end of history.  Therefore, this prediction cannot yet be fulfilled, because the day of Judgment has not yet come.  At any rate, the moon has not yet split.



Sura 55:20-21: "He has made the two bodies of water flow. They will one day meet; Between them there is at present a barrier; they cannot encroach one upon the other."

Some people have suggested that this is a prediction of two oceans being "linked," or two other bodies of water.

As we read these verses in their context, we find that no statement is made to give us the clear identity of "the two bodies of water." We cannot say with any sureness their names or locations. In addition, we also do not know when this is supposed to happen. As a result, this prediction is too vague and unclear to say for sure if and when it will have been fulfilled.



Sura 25:54: "And He it is Who shall merge the two seas together. This palatable and sweet, that saltish and bitter. And between them He has (presently) placed a barrier and a massive partition."

Indeed, the two predictions do sound fairly similar, and it sounds very reasonable to say that the two may very well be talking about the same thing.

But the same problem continues to exist here, in which we still do not know the identity of the two seas or bodies of water, however, we do see that evidently one of the seas is fresh water (palatable and sweet), while the other one is "salt" water (and bitter). This may help to suggest some places where the two bodies of water are located near each other, but we still don't know for sure. In addition, we still don't know when this is supposed to happen, nor under what circumstances, therefore, this prediction is not specific enough to allow us to recognize a valid prediction's fulfillment. So, we must move on.



Sura 81:2-6: We see that it is actually about great and awesome events of upheaval and judgment at the end of world history (as we know it), when the "sun is folded up" (81:2), when the "stars fall" (81:3), and when the "mountains vanish (or move)" (81:4), and people (and animals) are "brought together" (81:6) or "sorted out" for a time of trouble and judgment. -- (By the way, the Bible predicted just these same sorts of things at the end-time judgment --including mountains being moved and "brought low" [Isaias 2:12,14], and Mohammed read and heard about such things first in the Bible before the Qur'an was written).



Sura 81 states that this will also be a time "when she-camels are abandoned" (81:4), in which some people want to maintain that this abandoning of camels is a prediction of the invention of "new transport systems" such as automobiles, trains and planes.

But such a prediction is not at all clear here, and it is a very unlikely way to understand verse 4. Very few would agree that this is what Mohammed intended in this verse. Rather, it must be saying that these earth-shaking and spectacular events at the end of the world will undoubtedly cause people to abandon prized possessions, such as herds and camels, etc. This is much more preferable, and sounds correct.

But the end of world history has not yet come and we cannot use these verses in Sura 81 to demonstrate the power of prediction in the Qur'an any more than we can use the very same sort of verses in the Bible.


Sura 81:8: "when various peoples are brought together,"

It is suggested by some that this is a prediction of modern communications systems through high technology such as satellite and telephones.  However, it should be easily obvious that this simple phrase of Sura 81:8 is more likely to be talking about the gathering together of people on the day of Judgment. Reading the previous verses of Sura 81 makes this fairly clear. Sura 81 is talking about the time when the heavens (stars) and the earth (and mountains) are shaken, and mankind is gathered together to face judgment. It is not likely at all that this is talking about modern communications technology.

Since Sura 81 is talking about judgment at the end of time (as we know it), this is not a prediction which has yet been fulfilled. So we must move on.



Sura 111 contains 5 verses which speak about a man named "Abu Lahab," who is predicted to "perish" and to wind up in the flames possibly the flames of hell? Or perhaps did this mean he would die in literal earthly flames?

The problem is this: The fact that a man will die (perish) is not a significant prediction, because everybody dies.

And then, the idea that a man has wound up in hell is not something that we can now prove or demonstrate as being true. Perhaps Abu Lahab is not in hell. Perhaps he is in hell. But who saw him there? At this point in history no man on earth can prove it one way or the other.

Therefore, Sura 111 does not contain a significant prediction which can demonstrate that there is predictive power in the Qur'an.



Muslims in Hell

Going beyond the discussion about Abu Lahab, the Qur'an actually says that all Muslims will go to hell, and further, it does not promise or guarantee than any of them will necessarily ever get out of it.  This is stated as follows:

Sura 19:71-72 "There will be no one of you who will not enter it (Hell).This was an inevitable decree of your Lord. Afterwards he may save some of the pious, God-fearing Muslims out of the burning fire."

So, perhaps some pious Muslims will escape hell. Maybe. But maybe not. Allah "may" leave every last one in eternal hell-fire.



CONCLUSIONS

It is fairly clear that the Bible manifests the attribute of having many specifically fulfilled prophetic predictions, which constitutes powerful evidence that the Bible truly originates from true prophets of the true almighty God. The Bible meets the challenge which God (YHWH) set out: To predict events of human history. In contrast, however, there is not a single specific prediction of human history in the Qur'an which is unique and original to the Qur'an and was not found in the Bible first (such as some end-time judgment concepts). This lack of predictive power is an announcement that the Qur'an does not clearly demonstrate God's power and authority within its pages. It fails to meet God's challenge.

What's more, when the Bible's predictive prophecies by comparison are pulled into the discussion, the failure of the Qur'an to demonstrate such power of truly being authored by the true God stands out even more. This situation is glaringly exhibited when one compares it to something like the amazing accuracy of the predictive prophecy of Jeremias cited above concerning the 70-year captivity of Judah in Babylon, which ended right at 70 years!

Similar to Jeremias' 70-year prophecy, the prophet Daniel accurately predicted the year in which the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, would be ministering- hundreds of years in advance!

Concerning the evident inaccuracy of the prediction in Sura 30:2-4, it seems to be very significant evidence which disqualifies Mohammed as a true prophet of God. It might be possible that Mohammed never actually intended to be considered a prophet, nor that the Qur'an was to be thought of as scripture, but that Mohammed just wanted to write commentary and human opinions about God, so that the Qur'an may be considered to be a history, or great prose and poetry, and a religious commentary, however, it cannot be said to be actual scripture with the true words of God.

Because of its fulfilled prophetic predictions, it is the Bible which stands high and exalted as truly originating from God, and it is YHWH of the Bible who distinguishes himself as being the true and living Almighty God! It is the Bible which can be trusted to describe who God truly is, what he is like, and what his requirements for salvation actually are. He is the one who sets out the challenge for anyone else to foretell the future.

I am aware that many speakers of the Arabic language, including Arab Christians, use "Allah" as the noun which means "God" in a generic sense, however, because of the absence of predictive prophecy in the Qur'an, we would have to say that the Qur'an does not give evidence of being able to accurately or fully reveal who "Allah" truly is, but instead one must go read the true prophets in the Bible in order to know who "Allah" really is. We must conclude that "Allah's" true personal name is "YHWH," the Triune God of the Bible.

If we consider that both the Qur'an and the Bible make claims to be protected and preserved from significant falsehood and corruption, we must rule in favor of the one book (the Bible) which repeatedly demonstrates the mighty power of God to predict specific events in the future, and therefore it would logically be the book which would also have God's power behind it to protect it from corruption!

The Qur'an does accept the Bible as being true revelation from God (and so it should), however, the Bible's standard rejects the Qur'an as revelation from God because the predictive power of God is not present there. So I commend to you, dear reader, the only true and tested Word of God: The Bible. Heaven and Earth may pass away, but the Word of God will never pass away (Mat. 24:35) and we can trust these words from Jesus, because he gave a prophetic prediction (among other predictions) that he would be resurrected after being dead for three days (Mat. 12:40, 16:21) and resurrected He is!



DIFFERENCES IN TEACHING

Now, when we compare the teachings of the Qur'an and the Bible, we encounter some significant differences and conflicts in teaching, such as the Qur'anic idea that Jesus of Nazareth did not die on the cross for people's sins, whereas the Bible clearly says that Jesus did die for the sins of those who trust and believe in him (Rom. 5:8).


People wonder which one to believe? The Qur'an or the Bible?

Well, after considering the determinations of fulfilled prophetic predictions outlined above, the rational thinker must clearly rule in favor of the Bible's teaching over anything else, and reject any unproven writing which contradicts the Bible, because the Bible is the only religious book on Earth which demonstrates the true prophetic power of God to accurately predict the future deeds of specific people in specific places during specific periods of time. YHWH said that we should not respect the authority or "fear" any supposed "prophet" who incorrectly predicts the future, but rather, we should reject that man, because he is a false prophet.

Now that we have established that the Qu'ran is a false work and not of divine origin, we must learn what the Bible says about how to properly worship God. The Catholic Church (not the Vatican II false church) teaches the proper meaning of Scripture, and you need to learn the true Catholic Faith, and convert to it, or you cannot attain salvation.

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