By J. Luis Dizon [1]

Seeing that both naturalism and the eastern religions fail the worldview test, the most viable worldview that a person may believe in is one that has a personal God – who not only created the world – but also interacts with it and communicates via divine revelation. There are quite a few holy books that claim to be this special revelation. One such book is the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. This book claims to be the final revelation from Allah. This, along with the corresponding traditions pertaining to the Prophet Muhammad’s life (Sunnah) as preserved in the various hadith collections, are considered the central foundations for the Islamic worldview. All Muslims are expected to order their beliefs and practices according to these sacred sources, and their worldview stands or falls upon the validity of these sources.

Upon examination of the Qur’an and Sunnah, however, we find that there are problems with taking these sources as valid. First of all, there is the fact that Muhammad is said to be the perfect example whom all of mankind is to follow (Surah 33:21). This is predicated upon the doctrine of ‘Isma, which states that all of the prophets were sinless. Yet the Qur’an teaches that Muhammad had to ask for forgiveness for his sins (Surahs 47:19 and 48:2), and at one point also had to be guided by Allah when he was found to be astray (Surah 93:7). How could he be the perfect example and yet at the same time have sins that he needed to repent and be forgiven of? Interestingly enough, the Qur’an records all of the prophets at one point or another falling into sin and being commanded by Allah to repent of those sins except for Jesus (something that will be important to bear in mind).

Another problem lies with the view that the Qur’an is the final revelation from Allah, and supersedes the books that came before it. The Qur’an states that it came to confirm that books that were between its hands (Surah 3:3 and 5:48). What then are we to make of the fact that the Qur’an conflicts with what is written in the Torah and Gospel? Recall the contradiction between Matthew 16:17 and Surah 9:30 mentioned earlier. There is also the denial of the crucifixion of Jesus, which is the central event in Christian teaching. Muslims say this is because the previous books have been corrupted, however this explanation does not make sense: Why would the Qur’an confirm a corrupted book? It also states that if one is in doubt about Allah’s revelations, one should ask those who have been reading the previous books (Surah 10:94), and one hadith records Muhammad placing a Torah on a cushion and declaring it to be from Allah (Sunan Abu Dawud 4434). None of these make sense if they have been corrupted. Hence we find self-contradiction at the foundation of the Islamic worldview.

Finally, a major problem emerges from the Qur’anic denial of the crucifixion. This belief is based on a single verse (Surah 4:157) which states that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified, but it was made to appear so. This verse is difficult to harmonize because other verses teach that Jesus did in fact die (Surahs 3:55 and 19:33). This has lead to the explanation that Jesus’ death is still in the future, after He returns to this world (although this explanation is nowhere found in the Qur’an). Also, while this verse is unclear (there is no hadith explaining this passage in any of the collections) and has spawned many interpretations, the most common is that another man who looked like Jesus was crucified in His place. But if it was made to appear that Jesus died, what about His disciples? Were they also fooled into thinking He died? If so, then we cannot fault them for writing in the Gospel accounts that Jesus died. In other words, according to this view, Allah inadvertently started Christianity by an act of deception.


[1] The contents of this article are a summary of a booklet I have written for E&AM, entitled The Islamic Worldview. For a more thorough treatment of this topic, I would highly recommend obtaining a copy of that booklet by requesting it via email, eamcanada@live.ca

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