Now a days, many Christian apologists, Ex-Muslims, and Critics of Islam claim that Qur’an has copied its sources from Old Testament and New Testament. But as usual, Islamic scholars need to defend Qur’an from being discredited of being a true Revelation from Almighty. In this article, we will see what evidences and proofs Islamic scholar bring to refute the claim, that Qur’an is being copied from Bible, also we will give a look into real sources of Qur’an if not OT & NT. So, lets start with what Islamic site say about it.
Closing their ears and minds from hearing and accepting the Qur’an, and being also ignorant of the Bible, the nearest forgery to proclaim was that the Qur’an was being borrowed from the Bible or some Biblical source. However, at that time, Christianity was almost totally out of the scene of Makkah. In the Arab Peninsula, Christian presence was confined to three locations: among the tribes of Al-Heerah in the northeast near Iraq, the Roman-occupied kingdom of Bani Ghassan in the northwest, and the Abyssinian reign of Yemen, far away from Makkah. Jewish presence was mainly in enclave settlements in and around Madinah.
Makkah being devoid of any real source of Biblical information, the pagans of the time could find no better candidate than a non-Arab Roman blacksmith boy earning his living there. They claimed that he was the source of the Qur’an, dictating it to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) out of his meagre Biblical education! The mockingly fabricated fallacy soon faded away among the pagans themselves. Years later, in the peak of the fierce hostilities of the Jewish tribes of Al-Madinah, and amidst their repeated attempts to defame the Prophet, spread rumors and work out plots to eradicate Islam, no such claim (i.e., that the Qur’an copied the Bible) was ever raised. [Source]
I have seen the first line of the above quote many a times, it actually refers to those who criticize Islam, or question Islam. Muslims hate people demanding evidences to prove authenticity of Qur’an and Muhammad’s prophet-hood. They give absurd examples in evidence to support their claim, and when the questioner is not convinced with their replies, Islamic scholars and common Muslims say, that their Hearts and Eyes are sealed, and they can’t see the truth. Even Allah replied people with same sentences, when Non-Muslims at the time of Muhammad, were not convinced with evidences of Muhammad’s prophet-hood and his message, see Quran 6:109-111. However, I agree that at the time of Muhammad, there were no Christians in Mecca, but this does not prove that Qur’an is not copied from Bible or Jewish sources, because I don’t have any Buddhist friend, nor any Buddhist lives in my neighbor and neither I have read much about Buddhism and its sources, still I know a lot about Buddha and his peaceful religion. This proves that we don’t need the subject to be with us to know about it, we can also learn through hearsay and fables. Later in this article, I’ll show how Muhammad came to know lots about Christianity and Judaism. The above source however accepts that Jews were present in Medina. As per the site, Meccans only blamed the Roman blacksmith was the only source of the Qur’an, which is obviously not true, and very soon I’ll show that too. So lets start searching the truth.
We don’t need to work very hard to prove that, whatever Muhammad was preaching was not new or unknown to his people. On one occasion Ibn Hisham records that Muhammad gathered an assembly, then he summoned them to God most High and read Qur’an there and reminded what would befall the nation that remained destitute of faith. Then Nadr Bin Al-Harith rose up and told them about Rustam the strong and about Isfandiyar and the kings of Persia. Then he said, “By God! Muhammad is not a good story-teller than I am and his discourse is nothing but tales of ancient.” For which Allah replied in Qur’an 25:5-6.
This incident proves well that Meccans were well aware with what Muhammad was teachings, so this gives us a slight hint that Muhammad must have copied his messages from other sources which were know to other Meccans too. But our issue at hand is to see whether Qur’an copies anything from Bible or not. It wont be wrong to say that very rarely we find any such message in Qur’an which is directly copied or incorporated from OT & NT , but yes, without a shadow of a doubt I can say, that Qur’an copies its sources from Jewish and Christian myths and fables, and Apocryphal Gospels.
Birth of Jesus Christ
Muhammad in Qur’an says that it was forbidden for Mother Mary to speak for 3 days, and Jesus was commanded to speak while in cradle. These stories are not in original Gospel, but is mentioned in Qur’an. See 3:41, which reads:-
He said, “My Lord, make for me a sign.” He Said, “Your sign is that you will not [be able to] speak to the people for three days except by gesture. And remember your Lord much and exalt [Him with praise] in the evening and the morning.”
And, Qur’an 19:29-31:-
So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?”[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive
To draw sources of this story, Tisdall quotes Arabic Gospel of Infancy, which is also known as Injilu’t Tuffuliyyah, in the first Chapter of that work we read:-
1 The following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas: 2 He relates, that Jesus spoke even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother: 3 Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which you brought out according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to you, and my father has sent me for the salvation of the world.
[Arabic Gospel of Infancy, Ch I, Verse I-III]
This account is identical with the above quoted Quranic verses, but this not the only one. Tisdall further says, that the the ‘Arabic Gospel of Infancy was translated into Arabic from Coptic in which it was composed. We all are well aware that Christian Governor of Egypt, sent Muhammad as a present two Coptic Girls, one of whom “Mary the Copt”, became his favorite concubine. Muhammad probably learned these legends from her. (1)
Apart from this copy, there is a literal copy from New Testament. As the Quranic verse 7:40 reads:-
Indeed, those who deny Our verses and are arrogant toward them – the gates of Heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise until a camel enters into the eye of a needle. And thus do We recompense the criminals.
Now compare it with Luke 18:25, which reads:-
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
and, Matthew 19:24, which reads:-
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Now the question is how Muhammad came to know these verses if Qur’an is not revealed by God himself. Ali Dashti in his book, gives answer to this question too. He says, “Muhammad in his childhood used to meet Christian Monks and priests in his Syrian Journeys. In Mecca itself he exchanged visits with followers of scriptural religion. He had sat for hours in Jabr’s shop near hill of Marwa, and was in constant touch with Khadija’s cousin Waraqa B. Nawfal, who is said to have translated some parts of New Testament into Arabic. (2)
Islamic scholars lastly claim that Qur’an is not copied from Bible, because Bible has internal contradictions and Scientific Errors, but Qur’an does not have those. But again, this claim is just another claim like Qur’an is Miraculous or Muhammad’s ascension to 7th Heaven. We see, there are thousands of contradiction and pseudoscience in Qur’an too. So if Qur’an has errors or contradictions, then it simply proves that Muhammad created it, with the help of Legends or Fables from Jewish-Christianity sources.
(1) Sources of Qur’an by Tisdall, Page – 169 – 170
(2) 23 years by Ali Dashti, Page – 22-23