Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bible Compared to Quran

Based on transcripts of vairous lectures given by Yusuf Estes & Dr. Gary Miller

Introduction by Yusuf Estes - It should be stated at the outset of this work, that Muslims do not seek to put down or desecrete the Holy Bible. It is a matter critical matter of faith for Muslims to believe in the original revelations that came down to Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, just as it is is important for Muslims to believe in the revelation of the Quran that came to Muhammad, peace be upon him. The key word here however, is "original." As we all know the origin of the Bible is clouded with centuries of copying, translating and passing down information, now long lost with only copies of manuscripts remaining to remind us of what once was the Bible.

Additionally, it should be noted that Muslims do not seek to destroy the Christians or Jews belief in the Word of God, rather it is an obligation for Muslims to call to what is right and to halt that which is evil. Certainly, causing the "People of the Book" (as the Quran refers to Christians and Jews) to fall into disbelief and leave off any faith in God at all, is the very opposite of the direction Muslims should take in presenting any comparison between Islam and what has come down in the past from the Almighty God. We only seek to bring about more light to the people seeking guidance and pray for all of us to be successful with our Lord in this life and in the Next life and we ask His Guidance and Support in doing so, ameen.

[Yusuf Estes]

Old Testament
There exists today a number of different versions in the ancient Hebrew language of the Jewish Book called the Torah [Law] and this is usually referred to in Christianity as The Old Testament. Naturally, there have been many different translations to a great number of languages over the centuries and one could not expect them to be identical in text or meaning. What we have in English today still remains somewhat similar to large amounts of these older documents.
New Testament
There are also different versions of the Gospel or what is commonly called The New Testament in the Koine Greek language and Latin and these also have many translations to even other langugaes. Even amongst the English translations there are great differences. To mention two very clear differences for example; the Catholic Bible [c. 325 A.D] contains 73 books in total, while the Protestant Bible contains only 66 books, and although the newer (Protestant version) was taken from the Catholic Bible even then these books do not match completely with each other. There is no common denominator for any of the many different versions of the Bible.
Dead Sea Scrolls
There have been a number of scrolls and parchments found in places surrounding what we call the "Holy Land" over the centuries, not the least of which are those often referred to as the "Dead Sea Scrolls" or as they are known to the scholars "Wadi Qumran Scrolls." These were discovered in the last century around 1930 and have been proven to be very ancient and could well be older than any other extant manuscripts. Much of what has been translated from these scrolls is similar to some of the oldest manuscripts, but there are still very important differences worthy of note. We would like to recommend some important reading on this topic at the end of this paper.

[Yusuf Estes]

Quran Means "Recitation"
The word "Quran" means "that which is recited; or that which is dictated in memory form." As such, it is not a book, nor is it something that reaches us only in written form. The documentation in writting about the Quran has been preserved in museums thoughout the world, including the Topekopi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the museum in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and also in England. Keep in mind also, the Quran is only considered "Quran" while it is in the recitation form, not in the written or the book form. The word for what is written and held in the hand to be read by the eye is called "mus-haf" (meaning script or that which is written down).
Only One Version - Arabic
There are no different versions of the Quran in the Arabic language, only different translations and of course, none of these would be considered to hold the value and authenticity of the original Arabic Recitation. The Quran is divided up into 30 equal parts, called "Juz'" (parts) in the Arabic language. These are learned by Muslims from their very early beginnings as children.

Memorized by Millions - Entirely
The important thing to keep in mind about the Quran is the memorization and transmission of the actual "Rectiation" just as it came to Muhammad, peace be upon him, from the Angel Gabriel and was learned and memorized by his companions and they in turn, passed it down to their followers and continued in this way until we see today, over 10,000,000 (ten million) Muslims who have committed the entire Quran to memory. This is not a small feat. After all, how many other works of literary value have been memorized and passed down through so many generations, in the original language, without a single change in even one sentence?
Each Muslim Has "Quran" Memorized
All Muslims have memorzied a portion of the Quran in the Arabic language, as this is an important part of their daily prayers. Many Muslims have memorized large portions of the Quran from one tenth to one half to all of the entire Quran, and all in the original Arabic language. It should be noted, there are over one and a half billion (1,500,000,000) Muslims worldwide and only about 10% are Arab, all the rest are learing the Quran in Arabic as a second language.
God Speaks in First Person to Mankind in Quran
The Quran contains clear statements from Almighty God (Allah) and it is Him speaking to all of us in the first person. He tells of us our own creation, the creation of all that is the universe and what has happened to those before us and what is to become of us if we do not take heed of the warnings clearly spelled out in His Revelation. He speaks also to Muhammad, peace be upon him, to show that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is not making this up himself and even chastises Muhammad, peace be upon him, for making human assumptions rather than waiting for revelation in matters (ie.; surah At-Tahreem and surah Abasa).
Quran Mentions Itself
The Quran refers to itself as "The Quran" (The Recitation) and mentions that it is to all mankind and jinn (another creation of Allah, similar to humans in that they could make choices as to whether or not they would obey God's Commandments, and they existed before humans).
Quran Describes God's Nature Exactly
The Quran is clear on who God is and who He is not. There is no room left for doubt after reading the Quran in the Arabic languge: God is One. He is the only Creator, Sustainer and Owner of the Universe. He has no partners. He has no relatives; wives, children or offspring. He is not like His creation and He does not need it for His existance, while all the time the creation is totally dependent on Him. His attributes are clearly spelled out as the epitome of each and every one. He is for instance, the All-Knowing; the All-Hearing; the All-Seeing; the All-Forgiving; the All- Loving; the All-Merciful; the Only One God. There is never a contradiction to this found anywhere in the Quran.
Quran Challanges Readers
The Quran makes the clear challange, that if you are in doubt about it - then bring a book like it. Also, to bring ten chapters like it and then finally, to bring one single chapter like it. 1,400 years - and no one has been able to duplicate it's beauty, recitation, miracles and ease of memorization. Another challange for the unbelievers to consider; "If this (Quran) were from other than Allah, you would find within it many contradictions." And yet, another challange offered by Allah in the Quran is for the unbelievers to look around for evidences. Allah says He will show them His signs within themselves and on the farthest horizons.
Scientific Miracles in Quran
The scientific miracles of the Quran could not have been understood at that time, yet today we take for granted the many things included in the revelation of the Quran. Some include mentioning: The formation of embryo in the womb of the mother (surah 98); deep seas partitions; waters that do not mix; clouds and how they make rain and how lightning is caused by ice crystals; formation of the earth's mountains deep underground; orbits of planets and stars and moons - and even the mention of space travel (surah 55:33).

[Watch videos of world's top scientists commenting on the "Miracle of Science in Quran"]

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