Channel: Jamal Badawi
© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.
Assalamu alaikum peace beyond you. We're back for another episode of Islam in focus, dealing with our current series on the sources of Islam. Today we'll be examining the topic of the Bible is a possible source of the Quran. I'm your host, Dr. Rashid and I have joined me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University, but the tomorrow Assalamu alaikum alaikum. Salaam. I wonder if I could have you very quickly highlight the main points that we touched on last week when we begin this examination of the Bible as a possible source of the of the Quran. Okay, what the first point we'll try to clarify last time is that any similarity between the Bible and the Quran or
any previous scripture for that matter, does not necessarily mean that the more recent copied from the one that is, that is older because both scriptures could have based this information on the same original source that in that case, the divine divination, both came to serve on God. Secondly, we indicated also the recency or relative recency of the Quran, in fact, is an advantage because as the Quran indicated, it can as the criterion for a revelation from God from Allah to supersede previous revelations, confirming what remained intact, collecting. interpretation that might have not been totally correct throughout history by followers and giving a comprehensive guidance to human life on
Earth. However, we said that if we wish to make any comparisons, or comparative study between the Bible and the Quran, we have to keep in mind that there are some essential differences that we discussed in some detail last time in terms of the weather, it's all revelation, partly revelation, partly human interpretation, when and how were these things written? are they available in the original language in which the Prophet uttered and so on.
And likewise, we check to point out to some of the common errors, which sometimes numbers are Muslims themselves, even making equating some of the Quranic terminology of previous scriptures like a double Torah and in jail with the
translation of the Psalms, Torah, or gospels, or even in some cases with Old Testament or New Testament and try to indicate that these are not necessarily identical. And that the Muslim obligation to believe in previous scriptures, or holy books, to this prophets, refers to the original revelation given to this prophets, not to biographies written by their followers, about what, what they taught.
So the main thing really, was to show the theme that what appeared in the Quran is quite independent as a set of revelation coming from a lot or God.
Both in terms of the Creed's contained in the Quran as well as matters of history.
Well, I'd like to focus on this program on the questions of on the question of grades that are contained in both of the books. Okay. First, I'd like to ask you, how the conception of Allah or God capital G, compares in both books and how this comparison confirms or disconfirms in your view, the claim that the Quran was influenced by the by the Bible. Okay. Well, let me start first with a basic point of similarity. Because of course, we don't want to over emphasize differences, nor do you want to brush them aside. But at least that much seem to be reasonably common
between the beliefs of Jews, Christians and Muslims, all biblical and Quranic type of approach.
And that is
universal, compassionate, Almighty, just creator and Sustainer of the universe, whether it's called an Arabic Allah, or whether some see that as God capital G. It's not that material anyway, even though the word the term Allah is more accurate. For reasons we explained in a different program.
But basically, there is that common ground to start from.
But also, to be honest and frank about it. There are also some points which are basically different. And the first thing that strikes in students of both scriptures,
at least the Muslim reader is the notion of anthropomorphism in the Bible, or, to put it in a simpler form, the way the Bible depicts God,
as if he were a man, sort of Superman or superhuman, if you will. And the evidences of that are quite plentiful. And be this point alone actually shows that the Quran could have never been influenced by the Bible, because there is no parallels like that.
For example, in the first book of Genesis in verse two, in chapter one, verse 26, we are told that God created man in his own image, or after his likeness. And that, of course, leaves the reader with the impression that God is just like a human because nothing is created in God's image. I remember, of course, that some may claim that image here, don't stretch your image, because God is not material.
But my feeling is that this is more of a apologetic or questionable response, because of at least three reasons.
One, the this statement of saying, God created man in his own image, is not only or does not only appear in the first book of Genesis or the first chapter, if at first as well, in chapter five, also, in the book of Genesis in the first verse, it repeats the same thing.
And interestingly enough, this is the same term or expression used to refer to the center of arrogance, Seth acth, because it also said that Adam got the child in his likeness after his image. So apparently, the image of the term seemed to imply the physical
A second genuine one, the notion of spiritual image is not really strong, or convincing responsibility
is that the notion of Allah or God looking or resembling humans, might have indeed contributed to the notion that emerged later on in the New Testament, of Jesus being the God incarnate or God in human form. And we all know that this type of interpretation has been influencing the thoughts of many Christians throughout history. The famous artist, Michelangelo, for example, depiction of God as an old man with Jesus as a younger man by his side, soon to show that this was the more common interpretation of what image really means. And the third reason is that in the other conditions that we may discuss or reflect, you will find that this notion of anthropomorphism or thinking of God in
human terms, is not only in the first book of Genesis, and in the first chapter of the book of Genesis, but it is repeated as well in many other contexts. So maybe perhaps we can take a few more that might show what exactly is the main difference?
For example, in the third chapter of the book of Genesis from the verses 11, to 12, sorry, from verses eight to 11. Particular,
we are told that when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, they hid themselves in the bush or the trees, and then they heard
the Lord walking are the voice of donors working in the freshness of the day in the garden. And they help themselves and of course, they started calling them and he taught them.
They said, We are naked, he said, How did you know that you are naked? Did you eat from the tree? Now, the implication here seems to be quite obvious. How could Adam and Eve hear the voice of the Lord walking in the garden unless the image of God here seem to be more of like a physical being moving around and making that noise.
A third related point is trying for example, about the story of Prophet Noah.
the ark settled on Mount Ararat,
and the book of Genesis in chapter eight, verse 21, we are told that he offered a brilliant offering.
And then it says that the Lord smelled the sweet savor that again,
Have an image to smell, for example, do not get roasted or don't.
get the impression also from reading the Bible that God is like a human who forgets, you might need someone to remind him. And he might have to move from one place to the other in order to find out what was going on. A quick reference to that, for example, is the ninth chapter of the book of Genesis, verses 14 to 16. When it talks about God, or about a bow in the cloud, so that God remember his covenant, or
Book of Genesis, chapter 18, verse 21, of God going to Sodom and Gomorrah to find out, you know, what people are doing?
assists related point, which is quite essential, I believe,
is the notion that God rests like we humans need.
For example, in the second chapter of the book of Genesis, in verse two, we are told that God created heaven and earth in six days, and then he rested. And that is the origin of the term Sabbath. And we'll come back later to the question, concept of service from the scientific standpoint. But that seems to be an indication again, of
superhuman, but still basically like men are men like type of God.
sixthly, before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we are in the 18th chapter of the book of Genesis in the beginning, that the Lord appears to Abraham. And he said, in the 10th, door, in the heat of the day, that against him to be more of a human and description. A seventh point is that there are times when the Muslim leaders, for example, good then Christian, from reading the Bible, that God is like a human who forgets and regrets and does not know what will happen in the future, and just get surprised at things happening. And this is clear, for example, shortly before the story of the flood, in Genesis six, verse six,
the same kind of motion was repeated, when God sought to punish the Israelites because of their infraction, as you find in the book of Exodus in chapter 32, in verse 14, and these seven examples I just gave to show this notion of anthropomorphic, anthropomorphic configuration of God or central human human form. In fact, there are others things that a Muslim leader may find, or notice in the Bible, which seems to indicate that God is not only a human like that, that is sometimes even his word,
as if he were competing with the power of the humans who sometimes even prevail over him.
Could you explain, explain this perhaps a little bit better, and other references which could be checked to examine that statement? Well, going back, for example, to the book of Genesis and the basic, famous story of Adam and Eve,
we are told, for example, in the second book of Genesis, the second chapter of the book of Genesis, verse nine, that the trimming, that was forbidden to Adam and Eve was the tree of knowledge, between our distinction between
right and wrong or good and evil.
And that we are told also that when they eat from that tree, one of the main reasons that God
didn't like their behavior was that he was afraid that the human may become one of us, quote, unquote, entity. For example, in the third chapter, in the book of Genesis, particularly verse 22. That
In other words, the human is just like that, now, because he knows right from from wrong, what as an aesthetic understanding, the knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil is inherent in human nature's, before eating from the tree. So eating from the tea was a reason or was a result of consequence of that human nature and not, not the reverse.
Not only this in the same chapter, chapter three in Genesis, in verses 22 through 24.
We are told also that God was worried that after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, they may move on and eat from the tree of life, and as such, live forever.
And it says there that God placed a flaming sword which moved in all directions
or every way in order to keep the way of the two of you
Such a projection, if you will.
Similarly, in the famous story of development of the Tower of Babel
that appears, for example, in Genesis, Genesis, chapter 11, verses five to nine, that God came to look down to look into what man has built. And he was worried or, more or less indicated that the humans now or the human race is one, that languages when, and now they can do everything, there's nothing that they want to do, will be there will be stripped from them. And then he decided to confound the languages and that's the source of the term verbal, he confirmed that the language is that they can't understand each other. What again, that might seem to indicate a source of worry in the mind of God that the human power may be competing with, with his mind. A third example, which is
actually the reason why Jacob was called Israel is the famous story depicted in Genesis chapter 32, especially from verses 22 on when it says that Jacob when he was alone, one night at a restaurant with a man. And then he realized later that this man he wrestled with was God Himself was was the Lord. And that actually, Jacob prevent over God in that restaurant, even though at one point,
God or that wrestler, the other wrestlers touch the holder of the thigh of Jacob and caused it to get out of joint. But in any case, Jacob seem to have come
chansons in this kind of wrestling match, and God bless him that night. And it was also indicated that God told him that from now on your name should not be Jacob, but Israel because we have power with men and with God. Well, I mean, this are three of the indicators, that the perception or conception, if you will, of God, and the biblical way of presenting it seemed to indicate a sort of human like nature, which is subject to the same basic limitations that other humans have, which is quite different.
In the answers to the last two questions, you gave numerous references from the Bible, how did the references that you've just been discussing compare with the Quran
as well as the Quran, before that point, the Quran emphasizes the individual intimate relationship between the human and the creator's
Nephilim There is also
an emphasis on the transcendence of the Creator, and his the similarity from everything that he himself
And in that sense, we can say that the concept of monotheism in the purest form called Toshi, and the Quranic terminology, and Islam is quite different. In some respects, some important aspects I should say, from the New Testament, the Old Testament, it's quite different from the notion common among Jews, or Christians, for that matter.
I can only give you some references to some just mentioned something different and perhaps analyze a few that perhaps might provide more material for those who wish to examine. The Quran, for example,
does not have any notion whatsoever of quote unquote, God incarnate or God becoming man, you find references to that in 913, in, in for 160, and 7677, in 1519, and numerous other places in the Quran, where the basic emphasis against that Jesus peace be upon him was a human being was a great messenger, and prophet of God, and the notion of Trinity or God become men is absolutely untraceable in the in the Quran.
But in addition to this, if you compare, for example, citations in the Quran, with some of the points that were raised, and they will find that first of all, the notion of anthropomorphic God, God, a human like form,
has no parallel at all, in the Quran. Indeed, to just to give a few differences in chapter 14, verse 11, in the Quran, it says,
There is absolutely nothing which can be compared or similar or resembles God. In chapter six verse one or three, again, it indicates that the
are thinking or thoughts cannot comprehend god but He comprehends on vision on thoughts in the 120 chapters in the Quran. So, Allah is the one and only Allah is the eternal is independent or self sustaining, he gets not, nor was he to get in and there is absolutely nothing or none that is comparable to him.
Notice again that this basic notion of the transcendence of the creators again, this is similar to any creature, human or otherwise, as consistent with either
citations in the Quran that shows that he does not need rest, or Smith, for example, in the second Surah in the Quran,
in two to 255 indicate that God does not take or get overtaken by slumber, or sleep.
In chapter 42, verse 11, the same kind of think emphasized that he created heavens and earth without, you know, feeling tired or having felt any exertion, which he assumed failed, but he doesn't.
There is no question at all in the Quran, or no problem, or any notion whatsoever of God being worried about the increasing power of the human. In 3682, for example, in the Quran, we are told that his command, if he went missing is simply to say to be, and it is. So how could the creator of humans on Earth be worried about power, or knowledge or strength of humans, it's totally nothing for him.
The question of the knowledge of God that he does not regret does not discover something. The Quran indicates that his knowledge includes the past, present and future. A couple of references that could be checked on that, for example, is two, five and six and six, that's sort of six, verse 59, these are all related to the same issue. Maybe we should add also here, a point that will be relevant when you make a comparative study
is that in the Old Testament, in the Bible, God is depicted many times as a terrible type of God. Yes, the God of Israel, for example, so much emphasis on that. In the Quran, from beginning to end, there is no single incident
where the Quran speaks about Allah, or God, as the goddess Pradesh, that is a tribal God for the Arabs as opposed, for example, the God of Israel,
the God of Arabs, or Muslims always speaks about God or Allah has the universal God of all, all humanity of all the universe, from the first surah in the Quran to the last surah, the same emphasis on him as Robben Island in Lord of the world, Japan is not of humankind, to be brief, just to conclude this series of citation, the main point that is being made here, and that there are fundamental differences in the concept of monotheism
in the Quran, as you compare it with either on or New Testament, and that these differences are not just casual differences that, you know, it's similar here and different there as if there is no consistency. In fact, the Quranic concept is presented with a great deal of consistency and tightness that shows that it's stuck and independent, in its structure and formulation, from either the old or new testament or
both of them together. It's perhaps the purest, most profound, yet simple conception about the Creator. That is, could be found anywhere.
But I'd like to shift to another aspect of belief, and that is the belief in in profits. What's the similarities and differences? Do you think they're really to the question of the Grand boring from the Bible? Okay. Well, let me start first, from the point of similarity. In the book did a Christian as well as Islamic view,
there is agreement that God or Allah chose certain human beings or individuals and reveal his wealth to them, structure and put them in charge of communicating that message to the rest of mankind. I think that much, perhaps would be
common, similar, you know, common ground if you will.
In the Quran, however, we find that unlike the Bible, the prophet is not presented as someone who simply has the power of prophecy, someone who can prophesied what will happen in the future this is regarded as a minor function really.
The Prophet is in charge of
Receiving the message of God, communicating it to people exemplifying the message also and showing people how to do it.
The other thing that strikes a person making a comparative study is that the concept of a prophet, or messenger in the Quran seems to stand between two extremes. The extreme that one find, for example, in the Old Testament,
by way of attributing major mortal sins, and even shaky creed and relief to the prophets, on one hand, and the other extreme that the Muslim leader may find in the New Testament, by exaggerating the importance of human being or prophets to the point of defining them or considering them as you know, God man type of worship.
And I consider that to be a significant and important difference.
Could you give some specific examples and as to why you can tell the difference is an important one.
Because two things are easily detectable by a Muslim leader, let's say of the Bible, one is that same prophet are accused of having some kind of compromise in the matter of belief, or faith in God.
And secondly, some prophets are accused of certain measures, moral sins, which one would not expect, even from an average reasonable individual.
And the examples of the first one is the famous story of Prophet Aaron, the brother of Jesus.
And we are taught in the book of Exodus in the beginning of chapter 32, that when Moses went to Sinai, to receive the Torah from God, that it was Aaron actually, who collected the gold from the woman and made it into a golden calf, the Quran say, you know, makes it clear that he's innocent of, of this kind of story.
In the case of Prophet Solomon was regarded in Islam as a prophet also, we are told in the first book of King of kings in chapter 11, verse four, that toward the towards the end of his life, his wives, made his heart being turned away from God, and somehow claimed to the gods,
the gods of his wives.
As far as the question of the moral sins attributed to prophets, which
does not accept is not mentioned at all.
Going, for example, to Prophet Abraham, we are told that he turned or claimed when he went in the pharaohs land, Egypt, that Sarah was his sister, resulting in the fact that Phil actually took her and was just about to, you know, consider her as concubine or something of that sort. And that appears, for example, in the 12th chapter of the book of Genesis, particularly verses 12, to 16. And the problem is that the same kind of behaviors is attributed to Prophet Abraham. And when he went to serve the kingdom of Gerard G, ar, ar, and that's again in the 20th chapters of the book of Genesis that again, he claimed, his wife to be his sister, and actually the king took her and, again, was
about to commit the same kind of problem mistake. One, the other example of this, a contemporary of Prophet Abraham prophet.
And again, his story with his two daughters is quite famous. I don't feel like going into details in a program like this, but anyone wishes to check that can read the book of Genesis chapter 19, verses 30 to 38, was a very major moral crime was attributed to note. It was attributed in the same chapter also that he gave his two daughters to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to do with them as they please just to save his guests.
The same thing was mentioned or similar, and modern infections were attributed to the Prophet David, and his story with the wife of Uriah, the hotel that he committed adultery with haven't used all kinds of deception to conceal it. That's found in the second book book of Samuel in chapter 12. And this is quite different really from the window for detect those great personalities in human history.
Another important issue which we may not have time to develop on today's program is the question of sin, human nature and how to overcome those and how does the Bible grow
Compare on this issue. One, perhaps maybe if we backtrack a little bit to the question of profits, because this might have some bearing on it,
it might also pave the way to properly understanding what the notion of centrally means in the Quran. And how does it compare with the Bible.
As compared with this kind of description that was given to this prophet to find that in the Quran, there's only all kinds of prayers for them as individuals who are steadfast in their firm belief in God, in terms of their high moral qualities that he possessed, just to give quick references for further examination in chapter three, for example, in the Quran, verses 33 on in chapter 19. In particular, there's beautiful depiction here about several prophets, from verses 41 to 59.
So that shows that from the Islamic standpoint, the prophet is really the best model for his people. And if the Prophet was a person who could compromise the matters of faith and belief, how could he be trusted by God, to communicate this message to mankind, if the Prophet 10 people do not commit adultery, do not stay, or lie or deceive, and then he's doing the same thing, then the teaching would not have any meaning or weight as far as his, you know, people are concerned. So the notion of profit here is, is considerably considerably different. And that's what's referred to actually, as the asthma called infallibility of the Prophet that the arguments are capable of committing small
mistakes. But to commit such major sins in matters of belief, or moral behavior, is something that's not really fitting for the profits and the role, the great role they played in human history, and present them as the Select of the Select, as we find in chapter six, for example, verse 6868, in chapter 21, verse 73, that the prophets are in the best models for humankind.
But you're back next week, and we'll continue with an examination of some historical issues in the Bible in the Quran. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be on to you