Bible - Qur'an Comparison

[quote=BeeSweet!]… I’d like to give it a try to explain why the Bible is superior, I assume you mean to the Qur’an. The proof for this in my opinion can be found when **comparing similar elements of the two books. **The Qur’an is lacking in my opinion as compared to the same stories in the Bible, and it actually means very little in comparison without the Bible as it’s support (therefore making it in reality inferior to the Bible). There is so little character development in the Qur’an, so much of it seems to assume the reader and/or those listening, already knows the stories and characters. How would people already know of Adam, Noah, Abraham, et al… unless they had been already told of them in the Bible?
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Why should they know? Muslims know plenty about Adam, Noah, Abraham, et al just by reading the Qur’an.

What people tend to fail to understand about the Qur’an is that it is not a history book. It is a book of guidance, as I will further explain. As the Qur’an says in 2:2 This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;

When the Qur’an tells a story, it is for a reason. The same story will often appear numerous times, to teach a lesson. Sometimes to teach many lessons. The story of the creation of Adam for example appears 5 times, in different places. So if you were the read the Qur’an cover to cover (which is not the typical way of reading it) you would confront the same story five times in a different context. Many scholars believe that chapters are paired in the Qur’an, like 17 and 18–I give this example in regards to the story of Adam. The two chapters are approximately the same length, with similar formula, with one having subject matter concerning Jews, and the other with subject matter concerning Christians. The same story about Adam appears with a small difference.

While focusing more on the Children of Israel, chapter 17 includes the story that the angels were told to prostrate to Adam, but Iblees (Satan) refused–and then it says that he was arrogant. This is a lesson for the Jews who refused to accept Muhammad as a prophet because they said that they the Jews were better. Satan had a legitimate beef, he was made of fire but Adam made of clay, so he said he was better, and in refusing to bow disobeyed God’s command.

On the other hand, chapter 18 contains more themes which deal with Christianity, the same story appears in nearly the same place (mid-way through) in the chapter, and begins identically the same–word for word. But it changes, after saying the angels were told to bow but Satan didn’t, this version of the story says clearly that he was one of the jinn! The mistake Christians make about Satan is calling him a fallen angel–the Qur’an clears this misconception (as angels cannot disobey God) and says plainly that he was not an angel, he was a jinn.

So in a context for Jews, there is a lesson for Jews; in a context for Christians, a lesson for Christians–and the same goes on through the entire Qur’an. The stories are not history–they are lessons that the Muslims need to learn. :slight_smile:

(continued)

(continued from above)

[quote=BeeSweet!]I will try my best here to give examples from both the Bible and the Qur’an to explain what I mean. I have not read all of the Qur’an, and in fact I may not even have a very good translation, so feel welcome and encouraged to correct me.

Adam
Creation of Man in the Qur’an:

Quote:
Surah II
30 And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a vicegerent, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness" He said: Surely I know what you do not know.
31 And He taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right.
35 And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish and do not approach this tree, for then you will be of the unjust.
Surah XV
28 And when your Lord said to the angels: Surely I am going to create a mortal of the essence of black mud fashioned in shape.
29 So when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down making obeisance to him.

(I’m leaving out other references to the creation of Adam in the Qur’an, because they seem in my opinion to focus more on the fall of the angels and the emergence of satan).

Creation of Man in the Bible:

Quote:
Gen 1: 26-30
Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth."
Gen 2: 7, 15-24
the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.
The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The LORD God gave man this order: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.” The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
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I am first leaving the entire passage there for easy reading. But I will now respond to it.

The Bible verses say the following, in italics, and my replies follow.
Let us make man in our image, after our likenessThis does not appear in the Qur’an at all.

Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.

In 2:30, Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” This is saying basically the same, that the man He creates will have dominion over … the earth, all of it.

The rest of the 1 Genesis passage is redundant so I will not reply, except to say that the Qur’an does as well say that God created mankind as male and female, in pairs, just like other creations were made in pairs. (See 53:45)

the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.
The Qur’an also says man is created out of clay, in 6:2, 15:26. And that God “blew” a “breath” or “spirit” into him. The word for breath and spirit is the same in Arabic. (Probably in Hebrew as well.) Here is 15:28-29 Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man, **from sounding clay from mud **moulded into shape; “When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”

(continued)

*The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The LORD God gave man this order: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.” The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” *

And all this is in the Qur’an, 2:35 We said: “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.”

So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
The naming of the animals is also in the Qur’an. 2:31 And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: “Tell me the names of these if ye are right.” and 2:33 He said: “O Adam! Tell them their names.” When he had told them, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?”

The remainder does not appear in the Qur’an, which leaves Muslims in the position to neither confirm nor deny its truth.

I hope to revisit these examples of character development later, since I must rush off to bed now. But before I leave I wanted to touch on something I find extremely telling about the difference between the two books, that is the opening passages of each:

(continued)

(continued)

Quote:
Surah I
1 In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
2 All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
3 The Beneficent, the Merciful.
4 Master of the Day of Judgment.
5 Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
6 Keep us on the right path.
7 The path of those upon whom Thou hast brought favors, Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.

The above is undoubtedly a beautiful statement of faith, but it goes on to say:

Quote:
Surah II
1 Alif Lm Mim.
2 This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).
3 Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them.
4 And who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you and they are sure of the hereafter.
5 These are on a right course from their Lord and these it is that shall be successful.
6 Surely those who disbelieve it being alike to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, will not believe.
7 Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, and there is a great punishment for them.
8 And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and and they are not all believers.
9 They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive.
10 There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied.

Opening passage of the Bible

Quote:
Genesis 1: 1-5
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning followed–the first day.

Now, compare these two. Why is the Qur’an so quick to start judging people? Not even a single page passes of the Qur’an (and I’m looking at a small paperback version) before accusations of people being liars and deceivers are being made. It begins with a statement of faith, goes on to say it is without doubt, which I assume means without error. Then not barely a breath passes before it starts telling the reader the unbelievers will be punished, and unbelievers “desire to deceive Allah and those who believe”, and “there is a disease in their hearts”, and furthermore that God increases the unbeliever’s “disease” and that they are liars. The reader hasn’t even been told a single thing to believe yet, other than a thin description of God and the importance of prayer. This example illustrates two things: 1 some form of belief is presupposed, and 2 the God presented in the Qur’an is first a judge, not a creator. The Bible displays it’s superiority to the Qur’an in that it starts at the beginning.

Remember first that the Qur’an is not a book that was revealed in order, or at one time, but in pieces over decades. The very first passage revealed of the Qur’an reads like this:

*Read in the name of your Lord, who created; Created mankind from a hanging/clinging thing. Read, and your Lord is Most Bounteous, who taught by the pen, taught mankind what he did not know. *

So there is your point of God being Creator first. It is widely known that the Qur’an does not start “at the beginning,” but it’s hardly a flaw. Notice the wisdom in the opening passage (even if one does read from the beginning). Al-Fatihah contains the verse “Guide us to the straight path…” This is a request the reader makes to God–Guide us! So what do you find at the beginning of the next chapter? “This is the book with guidance!” Subhanallah–first you ask, then your request is answered. :slight_smile:

The opening passage is very strong, but you must realize above all that the beginning of chapter 2 is actually this:

ALIF LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM.

I have listened to a chattering crowd during fundraising silenced by this call. It resonates so beautifully.

ALIF LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM.

Point being? It really gets your attention. Who would think to begin a book with letters nobody even understands? Really! :thumbsup:

And then it goes on to say what the book is. It is telling you that you must go to it humbly. It is a book for people who believe. What about those who don’t believe? Well plainly, they won’t find what they are looking for. I know people personally who open the Qur’an and they literally cannot get past this passage of 20 verses or so. And to me, THAT is a miracle, that people who refuse to believe can’t seem to read on. But anyway, the point is that you have to go to the Book seriously and humbly and if you don’t, if you go with an ulterior motive or something, it’s not going to help you. In fact it’s really amazing to me that you brought this up. I want to go read the whole chapter again tonight. :slight_smile:

I hope and pray that I have not caused any offense by anything I’ve said above. If any of what I have extracted from the Qur’an is not a true translation, please correct me. I sincerely appreciate your participation in this dialog!

It was my pleasure to reply, I hope we can continue.

In essence the very core difference between the bible & quran is that…

The Bible is about Love (according to Jesus)

The Quran is about Submission

actually its more like…“what the hell was that?

Youve got to be joking. I cant get past 20 verses in the book of Mormons. And that is a miracle? :shrug:

If you were a woman, I would give you a big hug. I can’t think of anyone else on a forum who has ever flattered me with so much attention. :slight_smile: :tiphat:

heres a virtual hug hmmmmmm* :slight_smile:

I think submission to the law of God is at the very core of Christian thought, Christ even linked adherence to his commandments with love, "If you love me then you ill keep my commandments"John 20:20

But there is the difference in the type of submission. It is the submission of children to parents, one based on love and trust. Islam teaches that we are Slaves to God. Slaves exist only to please the master. Slaves live only because the master allows it. Christians understand that we should please God because he wants us to and because we love him, not because he will destroy us if we don’t.

The Qur’an was revealed over 23 years, but all that time Muhammed was gaining converts from the Jews, Christians and pagans. They all knew the faith traditions of each other, not in their full detail, but especially in Mecca with it’s mix of many many different faiths and cultures. They lived together and shared traditions and stories. Muhammad took what he knew of the OT and the NT, and some of the gnostic gospels and Jewish legends and put it together himself into a new faith. I’ll explain more on this later.

The same is true for the Bible, although it is structured in such a way as to make it more accessible for the reader, and provides much more detail and explanation.

The story of the emergence of Satan mentioned in the Qur’an is an acient Jewish legend:

THE FALL OF SATAN

The extraordinary qualities with which Adam was blessed, physical and spiritual as well, aroused the envy of the angels. They attempted to consume him with fire, and he would have perished, had not the protecting hand of God rested upon him, and established peace between him and the heavenly host. In particular, Satan was jealous of the first man, and his evil thoughts finally led to his fall. After Adam had been endowed with a soul, God invited all the angels to come and pay him reverence and homage. Satan, the greatest of the angels in heaven, with twelve wings, instead of six like all the others, refused to pay heed to the behest of God, saying, “Thou didst create us angels from the splendor of the Shekinah, and now Thou dost command us to cast ourselves down before the creature which Thou didst fashion out of the dust of the ground!” God answered, “Yet this dust of the ground has more wisdom and understanding than thou.” Satan demanded a trial of wit with Adam, and God assented thereto, saying: “I have created beasts, birds, and reptiles, I shall have them all come before thee and before Adam. If thou art able to give them names, I shall command Adam to show honor unto thee, and thou shalt rest next to the Shekinah of My glory. But if not, and Adam calls them by the names I have assigned to them, then thou wilt be subject to Adam, and he shall have a place in My garden, and cultivate it.” Thus spake God, and He betook Himself to Paradise, Satan following Him. When Adam beheld God, he said to his wife, “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Now Satan attempted to assign names to the animals. He failed with the first two that presented themselves, the ox and the cow. God led two others before him, the camel and the donkey, with the same result. Then God turned to Adam, and questioned him regarding the names of the same animals, framing His questions in such wise that the first letter of the first word was the same as the first letter of the name of the animal standing before him. Thus Adam divined the proper name, and Satan was forced to acknowledge the superiority of the first man. Nevertheless he broke out in wild outcries that reached the heavens, and he refused to do homage unto Adam as he had been bidden. The host of angels led by him did likewise, in spite of the urgent representations of Michael, who was the first to prostrate himself before Adam in order to show a good example to the other angels. Michael addressed Satan: “Give adoration to the image of God! But if thou doest it not, then the Lord God will break out in wrath against thee.” Satan replied: "If He breaks out in wrath against me, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will be like the Most High! “At once God flung Satan and his host out of heaven, down to the earth, and from that moment dates the enmity between Satan and man.”

source
It’s a lovely story, I LOVE the bit about Michael the Archangel!

I must rush off, and may not have another opportunity to dive into this again for a little while. I appreciate your time and attention, I hope to return soon. :smiley:

Salaam & Hello

There is NO COMPARISON between BIBLE & QURAN KAREEM. Both are from Allah/God came on Messenger/Prophet. Bible is not in its original form whereas Quran Kareem is in its original form. Bible safe-ness was not confirmed by Allah/God whereas Allah/God take responsibility for Quran Kareem & Kaabah(House of Allah/God). Thats all i wanna say about Bible and Quran Kareem Comparison. :slight_smile:

Tomshaikh, if that is your earnest opinion then I might advise you to stay clear of this thread which undoubtedly will challenge your opinion, all opinions stated in that last post.

I do not in entirety agree with your post and hope other contributors will not mistakenly confuse mine with yours. The purpose of the thread is merely to discuss content.

jazakumallahukhairan wassalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.

True!

but all that time Muhammed was gaining converts from the Jews, Christians and pagans.

There were no Christians or Jews in Mecca. (Except perhaps Waraqa who died only 2 years after Muhammad’s call to prophethood.)

They all knew the faith traditions of each other, not in their full detail, but especially in Mecca with it’s mix of many many different faiths and cultures.

Oh really? I would like to see evidence of this, not that it really matters either way. :slight_smile:

They lived together and shared traditions and stories. Muhammad took what he knew of the OT and the NT, and some of the gnostic gospels and Jewish legends and put it together himself into a new faith. I’ll explain more on this later.

This is actually really impressive. First of all, you are saying that Muhammad knew the OT, and the NT, and some gnostic gospels, and Jewish legends!!! That’s pretty impressive! Marvelously so. I wonder how you can make this claim at all though, considering that Muhammad was illiterate and none of those texts even existed in Arabic! So they could not have been known to the Arabs, and there was nobody to teach all this to Muhammad. Not to mention the impeccable Arabic speech in which all this is found.

Let me recount to you the story of the Jews who questioned Muhammad–the Quraysh were really bothered by Muhammad of course so they sent word to the Jewish rabbis in Yathrib (the city which became Medina). They told their envoys to describe Muhammad to them and ask their opinion–why? Their reasoning was that the Jews were the people of the first scripture (according to the Quraysh) and had knowledge of prophets that they (the Quraysh) didn’t have. The rabbis replied for them to ask Muhammad about 3 things–and they told the Quraysh that if he knew the answers that he was a true Prophet, and if not, that he was a liar. The first question was about some young men who secluded themselves, the second about a traveler, and the last about the spirit and what it is.

So they came back and asked Muhammad and he told them “Tomorrow I will tell you” so he would wait for revelation–but he did not say “if God wills…” so no answer came. And for 15 days no answer came–as did a reproach “And say not of anything: verily I shall do that tomorrow, except that you say if God wills.” 18:23-24. So why delay for so long when so much at stake? It doesn’t even make sense that he would–clearly the revelation was not in his control.

And the answers came–first about the sleepers of Ephesus, then about DhulQarnayn, and then about the spirit. To look just at the first example–it is a story the Jews knew some about, but yet none of the people of the Quraysh knew it. The revelation in the Qur’an not only had what the Jews already knew, but added to it details that could only be known by God.

The same is true for the Bible, although it is structured in such a way as to make it more accessible for the reader, and provides much more detail and explanation.

Once again let me remind you that the Qur’an is not a history book. People derive lessons form Biblical stories. But the stories only appear once, in only one context. Some stories in the Qur’an appear multiple times in a variety of contexts, each with different lessons to be gleaned. In some instances the Qur’an has more “detail” than the Bible, so what then? And of course explanation of the Qur’an is not limited to the text itself but is compounded by authentic narrations from Muhammad, who when asked about the Qur’an was able to explain its verses.

The book is supposed to be for guidance, right? Not history lessons–so sometimes details aren’t the point. Moreover, the Qur’an is a relatively short text compared to the Bible–it’s about the length of the New Testament. Muslims–men and women–they memorize it in its entirety. A text which is too lengthy, filled with details and explanations which you favor for “character development” in truth only offer more opportunities for people to distort the message. If Muhammad was making things up, then details in all cases would be impressive, no? Details can be very flowery. But the Qur’an is not that way, overburdened with details, but is actually very direct and powerful in conveying the message. If you read it to follow the stories your head will start to spin by how many there are–it’s not a book of just telling stories. It is so much more than that.

Let me give an example–the story of the sons of Adam appears in the Bible and in the Qur’an. In the Qur’an, they are not named, the details of their sacrifice is not given, the lesson is really about the injustice of the murder and there is more detail given to enhance it. On the other hand, the Biblical account obscures that part and commentators have focused on the sacrifice and why one was accepted and not the other–is that detail useful? Consider the Islamic position, that it only adds to the mistaken belief in sacrifices for salvation, in which case it might cause more confusion. :slight_smile:

The story of the emergence of Satan mentioned in the Qur’an is an acient Jewish legend:

That is truly amazing that you think Muhammad was capable of knowing in detail ancient Jewish legends which none of the people around him knew. :slight_smile:

I must rush off, and may not have another opportunity to dive into this again for a little while. I appreciate your time and attention, I hope to return soon. :smiley:

I hope you can return soon, and that the thread doesn’t stray from my original intent.

Well first of all i didn’t write my post to you i write it for other Non-Muslim. And as a Muslim brother i would like you to respect others religion and Great Prophet book. Instead of arguing about silly thread. You are the one who insist me to write about this thread. Which i donot like to discuss about. So Try to spend time praying five times and do zikr of Allah alot. I donot know if you are married or single. But talking to other guyz specially male didnot suit for one Muslim women. Whether she is married or not.Hope you understands. May Allah Guide Us To The Right Path.

** Why should they know? Muslims know plenty about Adam, Noah, Abraham, et al just by reading the Qur’an. **

**But they don’t know the truth. They only know the lies told by the demon pretending to be Gabriel that he said to Mahomet.

I confess there is no God but Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Jesus is God Incarnate!**

While we are discussing this, I have a question. According to another thread, Muslims beleive that Noah had two sons. The Bible says he had three. Why are they different?

Would you please cite historical evidence to support this claim? Pre-Islamic Mecca was not as it is today, with it’s many restrictions on travelers. Muhammad’s youthful pirating of caravans was done because there was a lot of trade going on in the area. Mecca was on an extremely important trade route, making it a commercial hub. The idols in the Kaaba which Muhammad destroyed were from many different faiths. Jews and Christians were not forbidden from living or trading in Mecca. In your original post on this particular thread you examined chapter 17 and 18 of the Qur’an and how they each appealed differently to Jews and Christians. There was not a mass immigration of Jews and Christians to the area which would suddenly necessitate their consideration after Muhammed started the recitation.

Consider this from the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris:

Mecca was not only a well-protected and unavoidable stopping-off point for the caravan trade, it also offered a welcome respite for the weary traveller. Lying on the roads between Yemen and Palestine and between Ethiopia and the Persian Gulf, the city witnessed the passage of caravans loaded with such precious goods as spices, incense, silken cloth, precious wood, weapons, pearls, ivory and slaves. Such were the treasures on which Mecca speculated, arriving from as far afield as China, Sudan or India and dispatched on to the Mediterranean, where an avid market was to be found.

Imagine the feverish activity, the fortunes made and lost, and the networks of contacts and trading partners generated by such commerce.

However intense its commercial activity, Mecca was at the same time the site of equally fervent prayer.

Pre-Islamic Mecca was already a major religious centre and a sanctuary, where Jews rubbed shoulders with Christians, polytheists with Zoroastrians. To describe it as religiously pluralistic is almost an understatement. At that time, neither Christianity nor Judaism spoke with one voice : both monotheistic religions contained a host of sects, which measured themseves against each other, sometimes fighting, sometimes borrowing ideas here and there. The polytheists were just as active, and numerous cases of syncretism occured. Religious D-I-Y was the order of the day.

Hence, the varied religious and ethnic panorama and the generalised quest for the meaning of life incited the inhabitants of Mecca to compare and contrast the host of different answers on offer - and, if not entirely convinced by one particular answer, to adopt several of them.

A traveller who wished to make an offering could choose between more idols than there were days in the year - up to 400. Some idols bore a strange resemblence to the gods of ancient Greece and others to Persian divinities, but one particular goddess was known as Allat and another deity as Allah (literally God). At this stage, however, Allah did not enjoy any preeminent status, and was not even held to have any offspring.

Many of the rituals later codified in the Muslim pilgrimage belong to this period. The Kaaba, a square building of grey Meccan stone with the famous Black Stone (probably a meteorite) lodged in one corner, was already held to be a holy place, and then as now believers walked around it seven times, anti-clockwise.

If you will not be convinced of the pre-Islamic cultural and religious plurality of Mecca, we will have to agree to disagree on this point, since historical evidence will not corroborate the supposition that Jews and Christians were not in Mecca at the time of Muhammad (unless you can offer some support). Indeed there are some reports of an icon image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus which adorned the inner walls of the Kaaba. (source). The presence of Waraqa himself is a good amount of evidence, since Christians for the most part live in community with one another. Doesn’t it seem unlikely to you that Waraqa was a lone Christian in the area?

I’m afraid that my position is not being understood. There were not Jews and Christians living in Mecca is more precisely what I meant. You aren’t talking about a man who has vague knowledge as an outsider to a religion, but one who knows in detail even the most obscure ancient traditions–that in itself is a marvelous feat which could not be accomplished by chatter with caravans in passing. Not to mention that His companions and the Quraysh did NOT have the knowledge which he had about the other religions. It’s not possible for him to acquire such knowledge by himself from Jews and Christians passing through. And yet that is your position.

Secondly you said “youthful pirating of caravans.” I consider that to be a slander against my Prophet,may the peace and blessings of God be upon him. You have provided no evidence of it, nor am I even aware of any half-baked evidence to suggest such a claim… therefore, slander.

And of course there was no mass immigration of Jews or Christians to Mecca. The Prophet himself migrated to Yathrib which was the home of some Jewish tribes with scholars in the Jewish tradition.

If you will not be convinced of the pre-Islamic cultural and religious plurality of Mecca, we will have to agree to disagree on this point, since historical evidence will not corroborate the supposition that Jews and Christians were not in Mecca at the time of Muhammad (unless you can offer some support).

There is no evidence at all that excluding Waraqa any Jews or Christians were living in Mecca–not any that I’m aware of. Was it a very diverse religious landscape? Of course it was. You realize that there were 360 idols in the Kaba? Not a handful, but 360. The Quraysh who ruled Mecca tried to derive benefit from the various forms of worship which passed through their town.

The presence of Waraqa himself is a good amount of evidence, since Christians for the most part live in community with one another. Doesn’t it seem unlikely to you that Waraqa was a lone Christian in the area?

Not really. There is another monk that we have traditions to verify Muhammad came in contact with–another Christian who was living alone. It was more common for people to live with their families and tribes, I think, than with co-religionists, and the presence of Waraqa as the only Christian in the area is not surprising at all.

I am not aware of an Islamic source which says that Noah had two or three or any number of sons. One was lost in the flood. The number of believers on the ark has been stated as 80, 72, and 10. So really we don’t know how many sons he had. At least, I don’t know and don’t even know where to find out.

I did find this though, there is a tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari that when Noah was dying he admonished his sons. Meaning there were at least two remaining. I don’t have the Arabic available to me so I can’t check if it was two or even more (there is a different way of saying 2 than 2+), but there had to be at least two in order for this english translation to say “sons,” wouldn’t there?

So I’m not sure where you got that there were only 2 sons or that Muslims believe that.

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