The Sources of Islamic Doctrine: Qur’an and the Sunnah

Fortress of Faith Radio by Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian on the sources of Islamic doctrine and foundations for Islam.

Listen to the program HERE ( OR DOWLOAD THE MP3 HERE) and below are the “show notes” from this program, so their are typos, etc. 

There are two major sources of Islamic doctrine. Of course, the first of these is the Qur’an. Everyone has heard about the Qur’an, but sadly, most people think that is is all of the Islamic scriptures. There is another source which is almost as important to Muslims as the Qur’an for understanding the doctrine of Islam. This other source is the teaching of Muhammad. This body of works is called the Sunnah. The Sunnah is composed of the Sira and the Hadith. The Qur’an is one book, but the Sunnah is much larger. It takes up 9 volumes, and at that, it is an abridged version. It also includes a 10th book by Ibn Isaaq, which is a biography of Muhammad. Apparently the Prophet had more to say than the god.

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The Qur’an

Muslims are taught that they not only need to follow the Qur’an, but they must also follow the Prophet. He is, according to Islam, the perfect man and a good Muslim follows his example. Muslims are also taught not to question.

They are not allowed to just open the Qur’an and study it for themselves as Christians are taught to do with the Bible. We believe that the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to God’s truth if we study His Word, the Bible.

Muslims are to follow what the scholars say, and if there is a question concerning the meaning of the Qur’an, and there are many, you go to the Sunnah. They look at how Muhammad lived out the Qur’an.

The Qur’an has many problems, Islam claims the Qur’an was recited word for word to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.

Muhammad is the only one that received the revelation in the Qur’an. This contrasts with at least 40 men through whom the Bible was given. The revelations of the Qur’an were given only in the last 23 years of Muhammad’s life, while the Bible was given over some 1,5000 years.

According to Muhammad, he would routinely visit this cave to worship. On one evening, while he was meditating, he was visited by a spirit, or Jinn. A jinn could be a demon or an angel. Muhammad wasn’t sure which it was. He originally thought he was visited by a demon. It was his wife who convinced him that it was an angel, not just any angel, but the angel Gabriel.

The first major contradiction of the Qur’an concerns the fact that Muhammad could neither read nor write. The Qur’an refers to him as the “unlettered prophet.” This does not mean that he was dumb, but like many people in that region, he could neither read nor write. Things were passed down through oral traditions. The first book ever written in Arabia was the Qur’an.

At that time Arabia was a pagan, polytheistic region. In Mecca, Muhammad’s birth place, they worshiped 360 different gods. One of these pagan gods was Allah. Muhammad came along saying the Allah had revealed to him that there is only one god, Allah.

The contradiction here is that Allah, who is supposed to be all knowing, picked a man who could nether read nor write, and the first thing he said to him was that he was supposed to read what he put before him. Muhammad tells the spirit three times that he doesn’t know how to read. Supposedly, each time the spirit pressed him physically to read, and finally Muhammad breaks down and says, “I read.”

If Allah is supposed to be God, shouldn’t he know who he is selecting as a prophet to bring revelation of the very words of Heaven? Isn’t it a little strange that he chose someone who could not write it down?

This is a serious problem and Muslims don’t want us to talk about it. So, we won’t tell you that the supposed angel grabbed Muhammad and told him to read, when Muhammad couldn’t read.

The second problem is that once Muhammad had this encounter with the jinn, which was very traumatic, he went home to his wife and curled up in a blanket totally terrified. In the Bible we see many visitations of angels, and we see the people who see them tremble with fear, however, they don’t react as Muhammad did. Muhammad actually thought he was demon possessed.

In the Sira, section T1150 he said:

I thought, woe is me, poet or possessed, never shall the Quraish say this of me. I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest.

Muhammad thought he was possessed and wanted to kill himself. He didn’t want the Quraish, his tribal people, to say that he was possessed. The reason he said poet or prophet was that in pre-Islamic culture they believed that poetry was part of demonic worship. Muhammad was convinced that this visitation was demonic. The only way he saw to rid himself of the demon was to commit suicide.

Which prophet from the Bible wanted to commit suicide after being visited by an angel? The closest we can find is Jonah, and he was running away from what God told him to do.

Tradition tells us that it was his wife, his uncle, and a slave convinced him that it was not a demon, it was the angel Gabriel.

The revelation given to Muhammad was given as the final revelation, which meant that it was going to contradict every revelation that came before it, including the Torah, and the New Testament. According to this revelation, the entire Bible has been corrupted, and Allah was giving revelation to Muhammad to correct this.

I often hear that the Qur’an and the Bile have many common stories. There are some stories that are similar, but the entire purpose of the Qur’an was to refute every revelation that came before it.

It is important to note that all of the revelation given to Muhammad comes from a spirit that he first thought was a demon. Others had to convince him that it was the angel Gabriel. Every Muslim will acknowledge that the Qur’an came through this spirit. 

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Everything we have said thus far is critical because the foundation upon which a house is built will determine how solid the house is. A corrupt foundation will cause the house to crumble. If it was a demon that visited Muhammad, it means that the entire foundation of this religion is satanic. Even Muslims believe that demons come from Satan.

On the other side of the issue, if it was Gabriel, the revelation he gave should not contradict previous revelation from God. Gabriel is seen in both Testaments. It was the angel Gabriel that visited Mary to announce the birth of our Lord. He is the one who said the Jesus was Emmanuel, God come in the flesh.

There being no contradictions between the revelation of the Bible and the revelation of the Qur’an. Instead we see the exact opposite. The Qur’an contradicts every major tenant of the Bible. This means that if the Qur’an is correct, the Bible must be thrown in the garbage. This is exactly what Muslims believe.

If the Qur’an comes from a demon it should be rejected. If it truly comes from God, then all of us should become Muslims. If the Qur’an is from God, then it should agree with the Bible, but if it is from a demon there are certain tings we should expect to find.

The Devil wants to destroy mankind because we are made in the image of God. Every time he looks at man, Satan is reminded of God, of His power, and the judgment that will, one day, fall upon him. He hates mankind and everything that reminds him of this. The message of Islam is all about killing. Islam is a religion of death. It not only wants to kill all of those outside Islam, it kills Muslims who are not fundamental enough, and it teaches Muslims to kill themselves for Allah.

The Qur’an contradicts every major doctrine concerning Jesus Christ. It takes away His deity, His crucifixion, burial and resurrection, His shedding of His blood for our sins, etc. All of these are essential for the Gospel. You can see that the message of the Qur’an is a mastermind conceived by the Devil.

Some say that there are common stories in both the Bible and the Qur’an. They both talk about Adam, Abraham, and Moses. The first major difference is that, according to the Qur’an, these were all prophets of Allah, and they were all Muslims. The Jesus (Isa) of the Qur’an is a Muslim and only a prophet.

The stories of the Bible are distorted in the Qur’an. For example, the story of Abraham offering his son, Isaac, is changed to say that it was Ishmael, not Issac that was offered. Satan is a masterful deceiver, that is why the Bible calls him the father of lies. Satan takes a little bit of truth, and then perverts it. The bottom line is that Islam is either the only revelation, or it is demonic. There is no middle ground.

Good scholarly examination of the Qur’an and Islamic doctrine shows Islam for the false religion it its. There  has been, through the centuries, a thorough examination of the Bible. If the same were true of the Qur’an it would be found to be false. The Bible has stood the test of time and found to be reliable. This is why Muslims are told not to question or study things out for themselves. They are told that if they do, they can go to Hell. Muslims know very little about the Qur’an because to study it is discouraged.

How Was The Qur’an Revealed to Muhammad?

There are, with in the Qur’an, three claims concerning how the Qur’an was revealed.

  1. It was given to Muhammad in one night.
  2. It was given to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan over 30 days.
  3. It was given to Muhammad little bits over time.

This last one is where the concept of abrogation comes in. There were verses of Mecca and then verses of Medina.

Surah 44:1-7 says:

By the manifest book (the Qur’an), we sent it down one blessed night in the month of Ramadan.

From this we see that the Qur’an was sent down in one night. Surah 2:185 tells us:

Ramadan is the month in which we sent down the Qur’an to be a guide to mankind.

Now it is the whole month of Ramadan. It could be argued that this is the same thing as it coming down “one blessed in night the month of Ramadan.”

Surah 17:105 says:

We have revealed it by stages.

The next verse says it was gradually in stages. Either it was revealed in one night or over a period of years. Which was it? We can give a little grace over whether or not it was over a 30 day period, but one night or in gradual stages is a definite contradiction.

Surah 25:32 it says:

Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once?

This is a question asked by an unbeliever. It answered the question this way:

Thus it was sent down in part that we may strengthen your heart thereby and we have revealed it to you gradually in stages.

We have two passages that contradict earlier passages. In Surah 2 we learn about abrogation. It tells us that if something was given earlier, and something given later contradicts it, it is because that which is given later is better.

Remember the original revelations came while Muhammad was in Mecca. When he moved to Medina, the revelations changed, and he became a warlord. These revelations allowed him to steal, deceive, and kill those who would not submit to Islam. Allah abrogated (superseded) the verses from Mecca with the verses from Medina.

The behavior of Muhammad supports the fact that the Qur’an was given piece by piece over a long period of time. This is a contradiction in the Qur’an where we are told that it was given in one night. The earlier verses taught living in peace with others, and the later chapters, like Surah 9, taught the killing of anyone who did not submit to Islam.

The reason given for these changes and abrogation is that Allah changed his mind. You can’t abrogate the fact that the Qur’an teaches that it was given in one night by it being given over a period of time. This is not a case of Allah changing his mind.

I think you are beginning to see why Muslims are not allowed to ask questions. Questions cause doubt and if you question anything you are considered a troublemaker. Everyone knows what happens to troublemakers in Islam.

Other Contradictions In The Qur’an

Muslims believe that Allah is the creator. We have this in common with the Muslims. The Qur’an has a contradiction concerning how many days it took Allah to create everything.

There is absolutely no ambiguity in the Bible on this subject. God created everything in 6 days and rested on th 7th. I don’t know one Christian who would disagree that the Bible teaches a 6 day creation. They may allegorize it or change the meaning of day, but they all believe that the Bible teaches 6 days.

The Qur’an is not clear at all. In Surah 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, and 25:59 we are told that Allah created the heavens and the earth in 6 days. In Surah 41:9-12 we find the detailed description of the process of creation. When you add up the days, the total number of the days of creation is 8 days. If Allah is the creator, shouldn’t he know how many days it took?

I think you can see why Muslims are told not to question and encouraged not to study the Qur’an.

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Another contradiction found in Surah 21:76 and 37:77. They say that all of Noah’s sons were saved in the flood. Surah 11:42-43 it says that one of the son’s drowned. You can’t abrogate this, either he was saved or he drowned.

In one passage Pharaoh didn’t drown in the Red Sea (Surah 10:90-92), but in Surah 17:102-103 he did.

The Qur’an is filled with so many contradictions that we can’t cover them all. We will leave it here. I am glad that the Bible doesn’t have contradictions.

One of the reason that Muslims have no guarantee of salvation other than martyrdom is that they can’t trust their holy book. Most Muslims, if they really spoke from their hearts, would admit that they have no assurance of salvation.

The internal contradictions we have mentioned are only one part of the contradictions found in the Qur’an. There are also external contradictions. There are scientific contradictions, historical contradictions, and contradictions with the Bible.

If some of you want to read the Qur’an for yourselves there are a couple of options. One is an online source, and it is an Islamic source so they can’t argue about the translation or interpretation. It is http://quran.com. It covers the 6 major translations that are accepted by Muslims. Yusuf Ali is considered the gold standard translation. Because  this is a source accepted by Islam, those who you are dealing with cannot question it’s validity.

I also recommend Usama Dakdok’s translation of the Qur’an. He is an Arab born Christian from Egypt. Most of the translations are watered down a little so that the rudeness and roughness of the language is softened. For example, most translations translate kafr and the unbeliever. Dakdok translates its true meaning, the filth, the excrement. His purpose was to allow us to understand the horrors of the Qur’an and show us the realities of its teachings.

Dakdok speaks Arabic as his native language. This is important because one of the biggest attacks we receive is that you must speak Arabic to understand the Qur’an.

Manuscript Evidence For The Qur’an

There was only one witness to the revelations from Allah, Muhammad, and he couldn’t write down what he heard. This causes real problems with the manuscript evidence for the Qur’an. There is no original Qur’an dating back to the time of Muhammad that has ever been found. It is also true that we do not have the original manuscripts of the Bible either. The difference is that Muslims claim they do.

There are those who have tried to destroy the Bible through textual criticism and have failed. Since Islam has become so prominent in the West, the textual critics are now turning their efforts toward the Qur’an.

To answer the challenge, Muslims have put forth 2 texts. One is called the Topkapi. It is in Istanbul, Turkey. The other is the Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Neither of these manuscripts is of the time period claimed because of the script used. At the time they claim these manuscripts were written, the Arabic written script had not yet developed vowels. These manuscripts have them, and they are written in the kufic script, which is not from Arabia, it is from Persia. They were written at least 150 years after the dates claimed for them.

The Qur’an was not written down during the time of Muhammad. It was passed on through oral tradition by those who memorized it. It was supposedly first written down under the rule of Uthman. During Uthman’s reign there was a battle in which 40 of those who were charged with memorizing the Qur’an were killed. Out of fear that the Qur’an would be lost, Uthman ordered a compilation of whatever they had. When they did this, they found that there were actually 7 different versions of the Qur’an. Uthman order all of them destroyed except one, which he considered consistent with the tribe of Muhammad. This was the first time the entire Qur’an was put into writing.

Although we don’t have the original manuscripts of the Bible, we do have thousands copies dating back to near the time of their writing. These verify what is found in the Bible of our day. There is not a single copy of the Qur’an dating back even to Uthman, and certainly nothing dating back to Muhammad.

I ask you, does anyone have an excuse to burn the Qur’an? Would this be an offense to the Islamic mind? I would think so. The only ones who do this today are those who want to offend. Think of this in the light of Uthman’s having all of the fragments of 6 of the versions of the Qur’an of his day burned.

If you ask a Muslim if there is ever a reason to burn a Qur’an, they will always tell you that there is none, and the idea of so doing is horrifying to them. Then ask them what they would think if they learned that one of the caliphs ordered all of the  peripheral versions to be burned.

Muslims are ignorant of these things and that is why they don’t like us to bring them up. They show the weakness of the Qur’an as compared to the Bible. The more we show the truth of the lack of manuscript evidence and the lies they tell about having the originals, the more people will be disillusion by Islam.

The more you look at Islam and it’s scriptures, the more it falls apart.

Here is part of the official transcript of Uthman’s orders:

After they finished the job, after it was all completed, and they had the perfect Qur’an and perfect copies made, the main compiler confessed that he missed a verse.

So, even the supposed originals are missing a verse. It has been added in an amendment.

The Qur’an is a sinking ship, and it is the major source of Islamic doctrine.

Lord willing, next week we will be looking at the Sunnah, which includes the words and the actions of the Prophet of Islam.

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