A Brief Review of The Koran (1)

Leslie Diestelkamp
Lagos, Nigeria

It should be unnecessary to state reasons for this review. In view of the fact that there are over two-hundred million Moslems in the world today, and that the religion authorized by the Koran is the predominant one in many nations, this study should be worthwhile. Furthermore, it is justified because so many people of much of the world know almost nothing at all about this mighty system of religion. Some Christians are inclined to scoff at it, thinking that Mohammedanism is such a minor thing and so far removed that it deserves little attention, while others probably think it is a harmless superstition. All people everywhere need to see the great strength of this evil system and the wicked and ungodly features of it. Here, in much of the northern half, of Africa, it is the predominant religion and is said to growing faster than other systems.

Mohammed was an Arabian, born in Mecca about 570 A.D. The Koran is supposed to be the word of God, given through Mohammed. In early manhood Mohammed was a trader and in his travels he came in contact with Jews and those who claimed to follow Christ. Again and again the Koran makes reference to Bible incidents and characters. In my studies of this doctrine I have examined three English translations. Quotations in this, review are from the edition by Maulana Muhammad Ali, M.A., LL.B. This has been chosen because this edition is most conservative and the accompanying commentary is a complete endorsement and defense of the Koran. Occasionally I may insert a more liberal translation also and indicate its source to, emphasize differences that do exist, and to point out more clearly what many Moslems do believe.

The Koran is divided into one hundred fourteen chapters, varying in length from three verses to two hundred eighty six verses. The chapters are not in chronological order, but are supposed to, be the order given by Mohammed himself. The Koran claims to be the greatest spiritual force in the world and is intended to bring humanity to perfection.

Some Wholesome Words

It is not my intention to suggest that every word in the Koran is bad. Rather we find many, many worthwhile admonitions in it. For example, in 28:72, 73 we read, "Do you not see that if Allah (God-L.D.) were to make the day to continue incessantly on till the day of Resurrection, who is the God beside Allah that could bring you the night in which to take rest ?. . . . Out of His mercy He has made for you the night and the day." On moral issues we read (17:32-35), "And go not nigh to, fornication.... and kill not the soul which Allah has forbidden. . . . And draw not nigh to the orphan's property, except in a goodly way.... And give full measure out and weigh with a true balance."

But the weaknesses of the Koran are so many that books could be written about them. In this paper we shall point out only a few of them, but a sufficient number to enable the reader to see the true nature of the Koran.

Some Weaknesses Examined

The Koran contains many, many declarations of its own inspiration such as 39:1, "The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise. Surely we have revealed to, thee the Book with truth. . . ." Again and again it is said that Allah is speaking, either directly to Mohammed or through him to the people. But in spite of all these declarations, there is no internal evidence of inspiration such as the Bible contains. Many times we read such statements as, "Surely in this are signs for a people who hear" (10:67), but actually there are no prophecies and fulfillments, no scientific foreknowledge and no miraculous manifestations such as the Bible uses as proof. Over and over Mohammed is declared to be Allah's prophet or messenger or apostle, but no evidence beyond the assertion is given.

The Koran is a sharp critic of the Jews and of the professed followers of Christ because of their divisions and unbelief, yet it agrees that Christians and Jews may be saved (5:69) "Surely those who belive and those who are Jews and Sabeans and Christians-whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good-they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve."

One of the significant mistakes of the Moslems is that they fail to comprehend the incarnation of Jesus. They think that because he had a human body he could not have been God's Son. ""The Messiah, so of Mary, was only a messenger. . . . his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food." (5 :75). Because Jesus ate food like his mother, they think he could not have been the Son of God. Yet they agree he was born of a virgin: "She said, 'How can I have a son and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste?' He said, 'So it will be.' Then she conceived him." (19:20-22). But though you see that they agree Jesus was born without a human father, they say he was altogether mortal: "He was naught but a servant on whom We bestow favor" (43:59).

The Koran says Jesus did miracles. "O Jesus, son of Mary, remember when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit.... and thou didst heal the blind and the leprous,. . . . and when thou didst raise the dead by My permission" (5:11). (Note: the commentary tries to explain the miracles away but the quotation given is clear and plain). However in 17:90-94 it is explained that many desired signs from Mohammed, but that he was unable to perform them.

Reference is often made to some of the significant and beautiful stories of the Bible, but in every case they are so briefed and distorted that they are not only completely incomprehensible to one who does not know the original story in the Bible, but they have lost all of their beauty and have become drab and uninteresting. An example is the story of David and Goliath as follows: (2:250, 251) "And when they went out against Goliath and his forces, they said, Our Lord, pour out patience on us and make our steps firm and help us against the disbelieving people. So they put them to flight by Allah's permission. And David slew Goliath, and Allah gave him kingdom and wisdom and taught him of what He pleased. And were it not for Allah's repelling some men by others, the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder." Now if the reader will just turn and read the seventeenth chapter of first Samuel and observe the dramatic and thrilling words of the Bible story, he will quickly see an example of the weakness of the Koran and the strenth of the Bible.

The Koran And The Bible

The Koran claims to agree with the Bible completely and to be an infallible guide in clarifying the Scriptures: "And before it was the Book of Moses.... And this is a Book verifying it in the Arabic language. . . . They said: O our people. We have heard a Book revealed after Moses, verifying that which is before it, guiding to the truth and to, a right path" (46:12, 30). "And argue not with the people of the Book (Bible-L.D.) . . . but say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him we submit" (29:46). "And We indeed gave Moses the Book and We sent messengers after him one after another; and We gave Jesus the Son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit . . . there came to them a Book from Allah that which they have... And they deny what is beside that, while it is the Truth verifying that which they have" (2:87, 89, 91). "And this Koran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of that which is before it and a clear explanation of the Book (the Bible, L.D.)". (10:37).

In view of those strong declarations and assertions, it will be profitable to give our readers a few examples of the many contradictions between the Bible and the Koran. In article No. 2, to follow, we will present fourteen such disagreements which will be sufficient to forever show that the Koran does not follow, explain nor verify the Bible.

Note: in these reviews I am using the spelling "Koran" instead of the "Qur'an" as is used in the translation being reviewed. L.D.

Truth Magazine, V:2, pp. 12-13
November 1960