TestingWorldviews.com

"A faith that can not survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets" - Arthur C. Clarke


The Qur'an (Koran) vs. The Bible:
Predictions of human actions
show which one is truly from God

- by R. Totten, MDiv. - (c) 2002

* * *

Summary: This article compares the Qur'an and the Bible via their capacities to accurately predict specific events of specific humans in history.

Why is a comparison of the Qur'an (Koran) vs. the Bible an important topic? --Because the Qur'an and the Bible are both claimed as having originated from God, and so both are called "Scripture" by Muslims and Christians respectively. --In addition, the Qur'an and the Bible are adhered to by the two largest religious segments of mankind, making them by far the two most influential and widespread works of literature in the world --therefore, these two books will be compared in this present article.

Now, some Muslim leaders have expressed that if the Qur'an is attacked that this is a more serious matter than if the Bible is attacked, because the Qur'an is considered to be the actual words of Allah, but Muslims do not consider the Bible to be God's words, however, this Muslim view of the Bible is absolutely in error. --Throughout the Bible, there are hundreds of instances where when the prophets speak they say, "Thus says the LORD," which directly asserts that the words of the prophets are the acual words of God. Likewise, God is often said to speak through the true prophet, such as in the cases of the prophets Moses (see Deut. 18:15, 18), Elijah (2 Kings 9:36), Isaiah (Mat.4:14), Jeremiah (Jer. 37:2), Daniel (Mat.24:15) and others. And then, the apostle Paul referred to all of the Old Testament (OT) writings as being the actual words of God, as Paul says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." (2Tim.3:16)... where when Scripture is said to be "God-breathed," this means that the O.T. has been spoken by the mouth of God himself (even though the prophet or apostle has written it down). --And we see the same thing in the case of the New Testament, as the apostle Peter called all of Paul's writings "Scripture" too (2Peter 3:16). They are also directly from God. In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul quotes the words of Jesus in the gospels, and calls them "Scripture" as well. --It is clear that all the writings of the apostles, and the entire New Testament, is the actual Word of God, and should be respected and obeyed as such.

However, some people suppose the Bible does not prove to be the actual words of God, ...but that is what this article sets out to determine.

I know a number of Muslims personally, and I like them very much. I know that God loves them even much more than I do. I have also had some conversations with some dear Muslim friends, and I realize that the Qur'an and the Bible could be compared to each other using various criteria, such as the "eloquence," or the "ring of authority," or "powerful language," or the poetic "beauty" of the work. However, such criteria are quite subjective (much like saying, "this is the most beautiful work of art" or "that was the best poem"), and such comparisons would involve artistic, emotional and cultural preferences of "taste," rather than something that can actually be compared in a more measurable and logical fashion.

Now, I realize that many of my Muslim friends feel that the real miracle of the Qur'an --is the origin and existence of the Qur'an itself, because Mohammed was (supposedly) illiterate, and he was given the words of the Qur'an, which were later written down by others, and yet the Qur'an still turned out to be so powerful and beautiful! -- And, yes, we must surely acknowledge that it really is powerful and beautiful.

However, there is nothing that is truly miraculous in an arrangement where a literate person writes down what an illiterate person says, since such a thing has happened many times before in other works of literature. -- And it should also be remembered that a supernatural and miraculous origin is claimed for the Bible as well.

Thus, in an attempt to be unbiased, we must abandon a "poetic" or artistic approach, as well as any supposed "miraculous" origin of either book, and work to answer the question of whether the actual information in the Bible or the Qur'an (regardless of how it got written down) is truly words from God that demonstrate the power of God ...which is the purpose of this article to determine.

Note: As the author of this article, I must be up front with the fact that as a Christian I personally believe the Bible is truly scripture from God, however, Muslims also believe the Bible (as originally given) was from God, ...and I will attempt to analyze both the Qur'an and the Bible in as unbiased a way as I can. I will attempt to logically evaluate them both on an equal and fair basis.

A Measurable Standard:

It is very important for the purpose of this article, that there be a more objectively measurable standard by which to compare these two writings said to be from God, which is:

Observe whether or not the predictions of future deeds of people in recorded history are accurately fulfilled.

That is it. --Quite clear and simple.

And this is God's own standard, as Scripture says:

"If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD (YHWH) does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." - Deuteronomy 18:22

This means that if the predictions of any supposed spokesman for God do not occur and come true, that man's words would then be rejected as not truly coming from God or having God's authority ---and the man (who merely spoke on his own) would be considered a fake, and be rejected as a true spokesman. In addition, in the day when Moses wrote, if the people caught up with such a presumptuous and false "prophet", he was to be stoned to death (Deuteronomy 13:1-11). This was an effective way of "weeding out" false spokesmen.

God (YHWH) Gives a Challenge to Predict:

Most importantly, Isaiah records that God (YHWH) says:

"I am the LORD [Hebrew = "YHWH"]; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you" (Isa. 42:8-9).

This declaration from YHWH-God states that he announces what will occur in the future. God predicts human action in history before it occurs. This is how God demonstrates his power and glory, and keeps it from being credited to pretenders and fakes --and prediction proves that God's authority is in the words of a genuine spokesman for God.

Such predictive ability displays God's unique power. In fact, God sets out the following strong challenge to false spokesmen and false gods (he even sarcastically mocks them) who cannot predict people's actions in the future:

"Bring in your idols to tell us what is going to happen. ...declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods!" - Isaiah 41:22-23

And God (YHWH) lays out an equally tough challenge, when he says:

"Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare ...what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come!" - Isaiah 44:7

God (YHWH) repeats this challenge when he declares:

"I am God and there is none like me. I make known from ancient times ...what is still to come" (Isa. 44:9,10).

This is highly important:
. . . YHWH-God himself asserts that this power to predict proves he is the true God. -- God applies this criterion to himself and also to his own spokesmen. -- And this criterion proves God's own scriptures to be the true scriptures.

--I (who write this article) do not make this assertion myself, and actually, I have no power or authority to make it; ...but it is God alone who makes it. -- I, as a mere human writer, must bow to his authority and lordship.

God (YHWH) affirms that he is the only one with such predictive power,

-- and also Jesus stated that he had the same power to predict human actions, when he declared, "See, I have told you ahead of time" (Mat. 24:25). And again, as a demonstration of who he was, Jesus said in John 13:19, "I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He."
. . . and what did Jesus predict here? He predicted that one of his disciples would betray him (John 13:21,,26), and this is what happened (John 18:2,3).
Jesus also predicted that Peter would disown him (John 13:38), and this is what happened (John 18:25-27).
Jesus also predicted that in Jerusalem he would suffer under the religious authorities, and he would be put to death, and on the third day be raised to life (Matt. 16:21 and Mark 10:33,34 and Mark 18:31-33), and this is what was done to him (Matt. ch.26 -- ch.28).
Jesus also predicted many other actions of people, ...and they also occurred... which verifies Jesus as a spokesman from God.

Although this ability to accurately predict is a tough standard, it makes sense to look for this ability, because only the true God knows the future (and reveals such knowledge through his true prophets), and he also controls and directs the course of history according to his almighty will. The ability to predict future events of human history is a crucially distinctive attribute of God's true scriptures, and the true prophets of God convey this distinctive from God. --So, this attribute is the "lynch-pin" to identify true scripture, and is the ability of key importance to God himself. False prophets are unable to do such accurate predicting of human history.

--That is how important the power to predict is. ...It is one of the very most important proofs and evidences of God's words.

I (the present writer) do not choose this criterion, but it is pushed on me by God's statements. And furthermore, since specifically fulfilled predictions are more measurable, this will be the criterion for this article to judge between the Qur'an and the Bible. This standard not only allows us to compare whether God's predictive power is present in the Qur'an or/and the Bible, but it would also determine whether Mohammed is a true prophet as compared to the prophets of the Bible --and whether the Bible or/and the Qur'an can be trusted to give the true teaching about who God is and what God requires.

YHWH-God's Challenge, In Short

This is basically YHWH-God's challenge to the Qur'an:
. . . Show that within the pages of the Qur'an there is even one fulfilled prediction of events of human history (as described in this article).

--- And I would really take notice (would be very impressed) if the Qur'an had three such predictions of events done by humans in history.

So, the ability to predict is God's challenge. - -It was not thought up and devised by the writer of this article, but it is stated by God himself.

I am aware that most speakers of Arabic (including Arab Christians) use "Allah" as the noun for "God" in a generic sense, and this is fine, but please allow us to use the two different names to maintain this distinction for the purposes of this article: "Allah" in the Qur'an, and "YHWH" (often pronounced "Yah-Weh") in the Bible. This is for the reason that Islamic theology does not merely employ "Allah" as a generic noun for "God," but it views the noun as the Muslim god's own personal name. As Muslims think of it, "Allah" functions as the deity's proper name. So, here is the problem, because, the Holy Bible is quite clear that the only noun which functions as the true God's proper name is "YHWH." Therefore, this article will use "Allah" in relation to the Qur'an, and "YHWH" with respect to the Bible.

What we are not looking for (from both the Bible and Qur'an):

Therefore, concerning true predictions,

What we are looking for (from both the Bible and Qur'an):

With these qualifiers in mind, let us proceed to compare predictions from the Bible and the Qur'an.

For Reference:

(To read an Online Qur'an, click on http://islamicity.com/mosque/SURAI.HTM
or for three parallel versions click on http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/)

(To read an Online Bible (several versions), click on http://bible.gospelcom.net/)


Predictions In The BIBLE:

Jeremiah preached as a prophet in about 626 B.C., and YHWH (the God of the Bible) declared through Jeremiah that, because of their sins, God would bring King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon against the southern kingdom of Judah to defeat and destroy their land, and to carry them off to captivity in Babylon (and in other nations) for 70 years; But when the 70 years were over, Babylon would be defeated (Jeremiah 25:8-14), and then the Lord (YHWH) would bring the people of Judah out of Babylon (and out of those other nations) and back to their land (Jeremiah 29:10-11).

These predictions qualify as the type of prophecy we are looking for, because it is not a declaration of Jeremiah's own plans which he can self-fulfill. And further, there are six specific predictions listed here:

Very importantly, concerning these predictions: The action of taking people captive (which is done by Nebuchadnezzar), as well as the length of the captivity, would be outside the control of the prophet or of the people of Judah.

Fulfillment:

Archaeology and ancient history confirm the precise fulfillment of these six predictions of Jeremiah, because in the year 606 B.C. (20 years after the prophecy), King Nebuchadnezzar's armies subdued Judah, taking thousands of Jews captive to Babylon (and other nations). This captivity process continued (including the fall of Jerusalem in 605 B.C.) until virtually all of the people of Judah were taken captive. (By the way, here's another prophecy: In 595 B.C, Jeremiah also foretold the fall of Babylon to the Medes --in Jeremiah 51:11,28). This Babylonian captivity of Judah lasted until Babylon fell to Medo-Persia (fulfilling Jeremiah's prophecy of 595 B.C.). Then Cyrus the Persian King decreed in 536 B.C. that the Jews could return to their land, which many of them did --though not all of them, as it was not promised that all of them would return at that time. Thus, the captivity lasted 70 years --precisely as foretold!

An archaeological find which verifies the historicity of the book of Jeremiah in 606 BC, is the discovery of the Seal of Baruch in 1975. Baruch was the scribe or amanuensis who wrote down the prophecies of Jeremiah. Read more about the Seal of Baruch at: http://home.att.net/~kmpope/SealofBaruch.html

The accurate fulfillment of this multi-faceted predictive prophecy demonstrates that Jeremiah is a genuine prophet who wrote a book of genuine prophecy which gives God's words --and that the God of Jeremiah (YHWH) is truly God, who knows people's actions before they do them, and who manages the course of history.

This is one example of dozens of fulfilled biblical predictions that could be given. ---In fact, a number of additional fulfilled predictions from the Bible are described on this WorldView_3 website at:

Prophetic Predictions Prove the Bible's Authority

Please read the above article, and the many fulfilled predictions it describes.

NOTE about supposed "Bible Corruption":

If anyone is concerned about the idea of possible corruption of the text of the Bible, or the existence of so many versions of the Bible, please click on:

My Sympathy for Muslims

As an aside: I affirm to my Muslim friends, that if it were to become quite clear that the Qur'an demonstrates God's power to predict people's future actions (even one-tenth of what the Bible does), then I would feel compelled to consider that the Qur'an must be true scripture from God.


Predictions In The Qur'an

In this area of study, a book called "The Prophecies of the Holy Qur'an," written by Q.I. Hingora, suggests 22 predictions in the Qur'an --as generally, among Qur'anic scholars, there are said to be 22 predictive prophecies in the Qur'an. (Note: A chapter in the Qur'an is called a "Sura"). Those 22 predictions are cited as being found in: Sura 2:23-24; 3:10,106,107,144; 5:70; 8:7; 9:14; 15:9,96; 24:55; 28:85; 30:2-4; 41:42; 48:16-21, 27, 28; 54:44-48; 56:1-56; and Sura 110:1-2.

--So, let's look at the first of those 22 predictions:

Sura (chapter) 2:23-24 states:

"And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true. But if ye cannot -and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, -which is prepared for those who reject Faith."

In looking at this warning of fearful "Fire" for non-believers, there are similar warnings of eternal punishment in the Bible, such as the passage in Matthew 13:41-42 in which Jesus says, "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Now, both of the above passages (from Sura 2 and Matthew 13) are predictive, however, neither of them can be used today to determine whether either the Bible or the Qur'an are authored by God, because the fulfillment would occur at the time of the great judgment at the end of world history. -- Neither of these can be fulfilled yet. They are future.

----Therefore, the above Qur'anic passage (as well as the Bible passage in Matthew) does not qualify as fulfilled prediction which would indicate that the Qur'an is truly inspired words from God, because it is a declaration of what Allah will ultimately do to people after they die, or after the end of world history. It is not now verifiable from facts of history available today.

More of the 22 Predictions

Similar to the above two passages (from Sura 2 and Matthew 13), out of the 22 Qur'anic predictions cited above, most of them declare the ultimate/eternal destiny of non-believers (divine judgment and punishment) and/or the destiny of Muslim believers (divine reward and blessing) at the end of world history and in eternity...

...to be specific: Of the 22 predictions cited, the Qur'anic predictions of divine judgment and blessing at the end of history are found at: Sura 2:88-89; Sura 3:10, 106, 107, 144; Sura 8:7; Sura 9:14; Sura 28:85; Sura 48:16-21, 28; Sura 54:44-48; and Sura 56:1-56.
-- Please look up each reference, and read each one carefully.
--These Qur'anic verses refer to events in the future from now (mostly at the final judgment at the end of history). So, they have not yet happened in history; therefore, they do not qualify as predictions which have been fulfilled.

--In the same manner, there are similar predictions from the Bible (concerning not-yet-fulfilled judgment and blessing) which also do not yet qualify as historically fulfilled predictive prophecy. Some of these not-yet-fulfilled prophecies are found at: Psa. 9:7-8; 9:9-10; 96:13; Ezek. 38:1-39; Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 12:36-37; 13:43; 24:14,31; 25:41-16; Jn. 3:36; 5:28-29; 6:39-40; Rom. 2:5-8, 16; 8:18-25; 2Cor. 5:10; 1Thes. 4:14-17; 2Thes. 1:9-10; 2:8; Heb. 10:27; 11:13-16; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10-15 and Rev. 21:1-22:5. ---These predictions refer to future events. So, these items do not yet verify that these writers of the Bible are true, nor that the Bible is truly from God. -- We must look elsewhere.

The problem is this: None of these sorts of passages from the Qur'an or the Bible are any more adequate than the passages cited from Matthew 13 and Sura 2, because they are not yet fulfilled. Even if they will occur, the fulfillment is future to us today, and therefore, they do not yet verify the divine origin of the book they are in --either the Bible or the Qur'an. Such verses (from both the Bible and the Qur'an) are inadequate for our purpose here of proving authorship by God. They do not yet demonstrate the working of divine power to predict events ahead of time, so as to indicate a divine origin for the book they are in. In light of such passages we cannot assume that either Allah or YHWH may have the power to do any such thing as judge, punish or reward people, unless there is demonstrable evidence of divine power to prophetically predict the deeds of specific people in specific places during a specified time-frame (like the Bible prophecy of Jeremiah given above).

The Rest of the 22 Predictions

Sura 5:70 is a reference in which some people have said that a prediction is found. It states: "We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them apostles, every time, there came to them an apostle with what they themselves desired not - some (of these) they called impostors, and some they (go so far as to) slay."

--The problem here is: there is not even a future-tense verb in this sentence. So, it must be considered history, and thus, there is no prediction in it. --This passage is very similar to Matt. 24:37, where Jesus said: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." This Bible verse is also history, without prediction in it. ---Despite the clear similarities of these two verses from the Qur'an and the Bible, neither one of them is predictive, and thus, neither one is useful for our purposes in trying to demonstrate the presence of the power of God to predict future events, which would be evidence that the speaker is a true prophet or that book is from God.

Sura 15:9 says, "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)." --Here we find a promise to guard the message of the Qur'an. This verse is fairly similar to the declaration of Jesus in Mat. 24:35, when he said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." --With the clearly predictive nature of both of these passages, neither one can yet be said to be truly and completely fulfilled, since we have not yet reached the final consummation of history, where God finally confirms the eternal nature of his word --therefore neither passage can yet be said to be fulfilled, nor can they yet be cited as conclusively demonstrating the power of God to predict the future.

Going on... Sura 41:42 (which makes a statement about the Qur'an similar to Sura 15:9) says: "No falsehood can approach it from before or behind it: It is sent down by One Full of Wisdom, Worthy of all Praise."

This statement is also not predictive prophecy of a specific future event, but rather it is a theological assertion --and many of the very same sort of assertions are found in the Bible as well. - (For example, the Bible in Proverbs 30:5 says "Every word of God is flawless...").

If the issue in these two verses is said to be the preservation of the writing from any corruption, then both Christians and Muslims have a good deal to say about the supposed corruption of each other's books ---therefore (for the purposes of this article) we must "call it equal" for now, and we must let the present form of both books (as found in the original languages of the Qur'an --Arabic, and of the Bible --Hebrew/Greek) speak for themselves. If either the Bible or the Qur'an are actually corrupted words of God, then they would manifest even less of God's power to be accurate and true, and a corrupt text would be less able (or unable) to predict the future. --So, let's proceed.

Sura 15:96 is a warning against adopting another god besides Allah. Of course, this warning stands to reason, (assuming the Qur'an's Allah is truly God). However, the Bible has virtually the same sort of statements about YHWH-God ---and neither statements in the Qur'an nor the Bible are predictive prophecy which shows the power of God to predict future events in human history, so, we must go on.

Sura 24:55 says that Allah has promised to bless (with land? and inheritance?) those who believe, and to establish the authority of their religion and give them security and peace. --This "prediction" might seem to be fulfilled in some sense, but it is quite general, since it does not clearly or specifically name the person(s) who will be blessed nor the specific land-mass they will inherit: Is it every Muslim? What is the specific name of the land? How soon will they have peace and security, and how long will it last? --It is because of these unclear and non-specific qualities of this "prediction" in Sura 24, that therefore, it does not qualify as predictive prophecy which is specific enough that we can confirm it from history. --The Bible has many such promises as well.

--Besides, if you are just talking about the amount of land and wealth controlled by nations where a certain religious persuasion predominates, then Christianity comes out on top.

Sura 48:27 is thought to be a prediction that the "Prophet" (Mohammed) would enter the "Sacred Mosque" (the Ka'aba) to worship... however this "prediction" is conditional, using the phrase "if Allah wills." That is a very big "if." --Whatever the result, it is "if" Allah wills.

Thus, it wouldn't matter whether Mohammed did or did not enter the Mosque to worship, one could say this is "prediction" is fulfilled either way, because that could be said to be what Allah willed. This makes it a failsafe prediction. It can't fail. It can't be proven false either way.

In addition, whenever this "prediction" came through Mohammed, it would then be self-fulfilled if Mohammed did it.

Therefore, Sura 48:27 is not true predictive prophecy, since it can't fail either way.

Sura 54:44-48 may be seen as a threatened militant action by one group of people against a group of "unbelievers," which some take to be the people of Quraish. If this happened in history, however, it would not be a prophecy, but an action which humans planned to do, and then carried out. This would be a self-fulfilling prediction (or threat), and not a predictive prophecy.

If we can call it predictive prophecy when militant leaders give "pep-talks" to their followers (or "threats" to their foes), then all of the US Generals who led troops to conquer opposing armies in World War II, are "prophets." --But no. They are not. --There are probably more such declarations in the Qur'an, and there are similar human threats and statements in the Bible too, but such declarations are not clearly predictive prophecy either book, ...so, we must go on.

Similarly, Sura 110:1-2 promises help and victory from Allah. --And again, this promise may be seen as being generally fulfilled in many lives, but it is too general because it does not name specific people or nations or time-frames; and the Bible also has many such promises which could be cited... but neither in the Qur'an nor in the Bible do such promises qualify as specifically predictive prophecy to demonstrate that they are truly from God.

The Best Qur'anic Possibility:

Of the 22 predictions presented by Hingora for acceptance, we are left with one last Qur'anic passage, Sura 30:2-3, which says:

"The Roman Empire has been defeated in a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious within a few years."

---Now, of all the proffered predictions from the Qur'an, this one from Sura 30 comes the closest to being a specific prediction, because it nicely names the people involved (the "Roman Empire"), and what will happen (they will be victorious), and approximately when ("within a few years"). This passage refers to the time when the Persians (under Khusran Parvis) defeated the Byzantine Romans in Syria (in A.D. 615). However, there are a few problems which seem to disqualify this passage as a significant predictive prophecy:

OTHER SUGGESTED QUR'ANIC PREDICTIONS:

In other places, other predictions have been suggested:

SURA 4:120

This Sura states, "they shall slit the ears of the cattle, and most certainly I will bid them so that they shall alter Allah's creation" (Shakir Translation). -- This is said by some to be a prediction of genetic engineering.

In context, however, this verse is talking about "slitting the ears of cattle" and such "defacing of nature" (Yusufali Translation). --But this is not nearly a description of "genetic engineering," but is common activity of farmers.
---Actually, men have always "altered" and "defaced" nature, with activities such as branding, tattooing, tagging, cutting, stabbing, killing, butchering, burning and many such activities ---therefore, no clearly specific prediction is here in Sura 4:120. It doesn't mention "who" will act, or "when" something will occur. This verse only describes man's usual agricultural activities with animals since very ancient times. It's a fail-safe sure bet, not a prediction.

SURA 10:92

Some think there is a fulfilled prediction in the 10th Sura of the Qur'an, which speaks about the Pharaoh who pursued Moses and the people of Israel (at the time of the biblical Exodus). In words spoken to that Pharaoh, Sura 10:92 states: "This day We save you in your body, that you may be a portent for those after you."

There are basically three ways to understand this verse, which make a difference as to its possible fulfillment.

SURA 16:8

This Sura states: "And (He made) horses and mules and asses that you might ride upon them and as an ornament; and He creates what you do not know" (Shakir Translation). ---This is said by some to predict new "transport systems" (such as cars and planes?).

This "prediction" is a very general statement of what God does all the time in bringing about new things we don't yet know about (and it's not even stated in the future tense), however, it is not specific enough to qualify as a verifiable prediction for this article.

SURA 17:4-10

In this Sura, the Qur'an talks about "the children of Israel," (v.4) which is obviously the Jews. The verses state that because of the evil done by the children of Israel, they were attacked by enemies, and their faces resultantly disfigured. This is history which is obviously true, as the Bible records many such instances, and the Jews don't deny this history either.

Then, in Sura 17:8 it declares to Israel: "but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments)."

Now, this is a general sort of prediction ...but it is the sort of predicted punishment which God (YHWH) in the Bible often threatened against Israel (as well as other people) if they were evil and refused to repent and obey God. Such consequences were threatened (and predicted) in Deuteronomy 28:15-26; Joshua 23:15-16; and Malachi 2:2; and there are many more... but these sort of predictions are not specific enough to say that they have been clearly fulfilled. -- Likewise, the prediction in Sura 17:8 is also only general.

--- Some readers of the Qur'an say that this Sura 17 contains a prediction of Hitler's holocaust, but actually, if one reads what is directly stated, it is only "punishment" in general which is threatened, and this Qur'anic prediction is not a clearly identifiable prophecy in which we can see a time or a place here on earth, or a specifically named people (such as Hitler, or Nazis, or Germany) who will do the punishing. We couldn't pinpoint a specific fulfillment.
... We find no clearly specific prediction in Sura 17:8.

SURA 17:105

The Qur'an in Sura 17:105 states: "And after him We said to the Children of Israel, Dwell Ye in the promised land; and when the time of the promise of the Latter Days come, We shall bring you together out of various people."

This is actually a good and valid prediction, because it specifically mentions who will be brought together (Israel), and to where they will be gathered (the promised land), and when it will happen (the Latter Days), and from where they will be gathered (out of various people).

--However, the problem is: Basically this identical prediction had been made first by the Bible (in such places as Isaiah 11:10-12; Jeremiah 23:3-8; 30:3-11; Ezekiel 37:11-28; 38:8; and Luke 21:23-24), and Mohammed probably knew about this fact from the Bible, since he discussed the Bible extensively with both Jews and Christians in Medina. Therefore, this is not a prediction which can be credited to the Qur'an, but Mohammed was only repeating a prediction from the Bible which it repeats several times.

Besides all this, the reading for Sura 17:104 is not actually as clear as the translation given above, since this ic verse (as translated by Abdullah Yusufali) may be better translated to read: "And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, 'Dwell securely in the land (of promise)': but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd."

-- Suddenly the "prediction" is more murky and nebulous.

SURA 22:26-27

The words of the Qur'an in Sura 22:26-27 state:

"Behold! We gave the site, To Abraham, of the (Sacred) House [That is the Kaaba that he built], (Saying): 'Associate not anything (In worship) with Me; And sanctify My House For those who compass it round, Or stand up, Or bow, or prostrate themselves (Therein in prayer). And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways."

(...the words in brackets and parentheses are added by Qur'anic interpreters).

These two verses from Sura 22 are thought to indicate that Mohammed predicted the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca to the Kaaba, and according to Sahih Bukhari the Kaaba was built by Abraham (read Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 584.

The problem with this whole picture is that there is no historical confirmation that Abraham ever went to Mecca or even into the Arabian Peninsula! Abraham originated from Ur of Chaldea (in today's Iraq), and he migrated to Canaan (today's Israel) in approximately the year 2000 B.C. ---no one has ever supplied credible evidence that Abraham was ever near Mecca. In fact, there is no evidence that the Kaaba even existed in 2000 B.C.! . . . And also, in fact, the "Kaaba" is not specifically mentioned by name in the Arabic text, but readers only imply that it is, which is why the Kaaba is only mentioned inside of the brackets: [... Kaaba ...]. It is not in the original Arabic text.

So, in light of demonstrable historical facts, and in view of the actual Arabic text, there is no confirmation that the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca was correctly predicted (or predicted at all) in these verses.

SURA 30:42

This Sura states, "Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have wrought" (Shakir Translation).
---This verse is said by some to predict "pollution" (of the environment?).

However, this probably refers to evil "mischief" or moral "corruption" of mankind which is done; it is not specific, and does not mention who does this, or when it is done. And since the verb is in the past tense, it cannot be a prediction anyway, but a commentary on historical behavior of men.

SURA 41:21

This Sura states that, "Their skins will bear witness against them as to what they have been doing." -- And some have suggested that this is a prediction of finger prints being used by government to identify people.

However, the fuller context of this verse reveals what it is really about. The context states: "[v.20]And warn them of the day when the enemies of Allah will be gathered together and driven to the Fire, and they will be divided into groups; [v.21] Till when they reach it, their ears and their eyes and their skins will bear witness against them as to what they had been doing. [v.22] And they will say to their skins, 'Why have you borne witness against us?' They will say, 'Allah has made us speak as He has made everything else speak. And He it is Who created you the first time, and unto Him have you been brought back. [v.23] 'And you did not apprehend, while committing sins, that your ears and your eyes and your skins would bear witness against you; nay, you thought that even Allah did not know much of what you used to do."

The more complete context here shows that a day of judgment is in view, and more importantly, we see that three things will bear witness against people: their ears, their eyes and their skins. How do "ears" bear witness? ...by what the ears hear. God knows what is heard, and so does the evil doer. - And how do the "eyes" bear witness? ...by what they have seen. God knows this too. - And how do their "skins" bear witness? ...by what the skin has done when the person committed various evil actions.

No, this is not a prediction of biometric scanning of the eyes, nor of the ears. And it is not a prediction of people being caught by their fingerprints. -- It is a statement of God's power to convict people of the evil they've done. It concerns judgment in the end. -- But it is not actually a prediction of specifically "who" will do "what" and "when" they will do it. -- So, we must look further.

SURA 42:30

This Qur'anic verse states: "And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has power to gather them together when He wills" (Yusufali Translation).
---This is said by some to predict encounters with extra-terrestrial life.

However, there has been (as yet) no verified encounter with intelligent life from outer space, and if this is a true meaning of this Qur'anic verse, it has not happened.
---Not only that, but there is no evidence that intelligent extra-terrestrial life even exists. In fact, it is highly doubtful that there is intelligent life living on planets somewhere else in the universe ---nor is there yet even solid evidence that microbial life exists anywhere out in space.

And more important than all this, this 30th verse only states what Allah has the power to do ---it does not use the future tense to predict what will happen. --It is not a prediction.

SURA 51:7

This verse is one in which the prophet (or Allah) is avowing "by the Sky with (its) numerous Paths" (Yusufali Translation)
---and this is thought by some to predict modern air-traffic systems for airplanes.

However, it is not at all clear what these "paths" (or "tracks") in the sky (or "heavens") actually are. One might say they are migrational paths of various kinds of birds known to mankind for centuries. One might say that they are the paths of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars... all commonly known to mankind for millennia.

Besides all that, there is not a future tense verb in which an actual prediction is made ...so, we find none there.

SURA 54:1

We read the words: "The Hour (of Judgement) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder." (Sura 54:1).

It is said that this is a prediction that the moon would "split." There is discussion among Muslims about the meaning of this verse, and some say this verse speaks of the phases of the moon. --IF it does indicate lunar phases (such as the quarter-moon and half-moon), then this is not prediction, but a mere description of the regularly occurring natural cycle of lunar motion. Anyone who is observant can make many such "predictions" any day, such as predictions about earth rotation or the tides or seasons.

Others say that this verse indicates a time when the moon will physically be split by means of a rock fault through the moon. Such an idea is debated, however, because since the time the Qur'an was written no one has ever shown that the moon has actually "split" by a rock-fault which passes through a large portion of the moon.

Now, some have suggested that the retrieval of moon-rocks back to earth by human astronauts has "split" the moon, and fulfills this Qur'anic prediction ---however, such an idea is laughable, and seems to be a desperate attempt to look for almost anything which might be seen as a "fulfillment" of Sura 54:1. To pick up a rock off of the moon does not split the moon, any more than picking up a rock off the earth splits the earth.

Finally, it is important to note, that the word "Judgment" (added in parenthesis) in the verse indicates the split will happen at the time of the Judgment, at the end of history-- therefore, this prediction cannot yet be fulfilled, because the day of Judgment has not yet come.

---At any rate, the moon has not yet split.

SURA 55:20,21

In Sura 55:20,21 we read, "He has made the two bodies of water flow. They will one day meet; Between them there is at present a barrier; they cannot encroach one upon the other." -- Some people have suggested that this is a prediction of two oceans being "linked," or two other bodies of water.

As we read these verses in their context, we find that no statement is made to give us the clear identity of "the two bodies of water." We cannot say with any sureness their names or locations. - In addition, we also do not know when this is supposed to happen. -- as a result, this prediction is too vague and unclear to say for sure if and when it will have been fulfilled.

Sura 25:54 is also suggested to contribute to this same prophecy, because it states: "And He it is Who shall merge the two seas together. This palatable and sweet, that saltish and bitter. And between them He has (presently) placed a barrier and a massive partition." -- Indeed, the two predictions do sound fairly similar, and it sounds very reasonable to say that the two may very well be talking about the same thing.

But the same problem continues to exist here, in which we still do not know the identity of the two seas or bodies of water, . . .however, we do see that evidently one of the seas is fresh water (palatable and sweet), while the other one is "salt" water (and bitter). This may help to suggest some places where the two bodies of water are located near each other, but we still don't know for sure. - - - In addition, we still don't know when this is supposed to happen, nor under what circumstances, therefore, this prediction is not specific enough to allow us to recognize a valid prediction's fulfillment. -- So, we must move on.

SURA 81:2,3,4,5,6

As we read Sura 81, we see that it is actually about great and awesome events of upheaval and judgment at the end of world history (as we know it), when the "sun is folded up" (81:2), when the "stars fall" (81:3), and when the "mountains vanish (or move)" (81:4), and people (and animals) are "brought together" (81:6) or "sorted out" for a time of trouble and judgment. -- (By the way, the Bible predicted just these same sorts of things at the end-time judgment --including mountains being moved and "brought low" (Isaiah 2:12,14)--, and Mohammed read and heard about such things first in the Bible ...before the Qur'an was written).

Sura 81 states that this will also be a time "when she-camels are abandoned" (81:4), in which some people want to maintain that this abandoning of camels is a prediction of the invention of "new transport systems" such as automobiles, trains and planes.

But such a prediction is not at all clear here, and it is a very unlikely way to understand verse 4. Very few would agree that this is what Mohammed intended in this verse. --Rather, it must be saying that these earth-shaking and spectacular events at the end of the world will undoubtedly cause people to abandon prized possessions, such as herds and camels, etc. --This is much more preferable, and sounds correct.

But the end of world history has not yet come ...and we cannot use these verses in Sura 81 to demonstrate the power of prediction in the Qur'an ...any more than we can use the very same sort of verses in the Bible.

SURA 81:8

This sura speaks of a time "when various peoples are brought together," --- and it is suggested by some that this is a prediction of modern communications systems through high technology such as satellite and telephones.

However, it should be easily obvious that this simple phrase of Sura 81:8 is more likely to be talking about the gathering together of people on the day of Judgment. Reading the previous verses of Sura 81 makes this fairly clear. Sura 81 is talking about the time when the heavens (stars) and the earth (and mountains) are shaken, and mankind is gathered together to face judgment. -- It is not likely at all that this is talking about modern communications technology.

Since Sura 81 is talking about judgment at the end of time (as we know it), this is not a prediction which has yet been fulfilled. So we must move on.

SURA 111

Sura 111 contains 5 verses which speak about a man named "Abu Lahab," who is predicted to "perish" and to wind up in the flames --possibly the flames of hell? --or perhaps did this mean he would die in literal earthly flames?

The problem is this: The fact that a man will die (perish) is not a significant prediction, because everybody dies.

And then, the idea that a man has wound up in hell is not something that we can now prove or demonstrate as being true. --Perhaps Abu Lahab is not in hell. Perhaps he is in hell. But who saw him there? --At this point in history no man on Earth can prove it one way or the other.

Therefore, Sura 111 does not contain a significant prediction which can demonstrate that there is predictive power in the Qur'an.

Muslims in Hell

Going beyond the discussion about Abu Lahab, the Qur'an actually says that all Muslims will go to hell, and further, it does not promise or guarantee than any of them will necessarily ever get out of it. -- This is stated as follows:

There will be no one of you who will not enter it (Hell).
This was an inevitable decree of your Lord.
Afterwards he may save some of the pious, God-fearing Muslims out of the burning fire.
- - - Sura 19:71-72

So --according to the Qur'an-- perhaps some pious Muslims will escape hell. --Maybe. He "may save some." --But maybe not. Allah "may" leave every last one in eternal hell-fire. According to Sura 19:71-72 in the Qur'an, he may even leave every single God-fearing Muslim in the burning fire.

But there's a better deal available. --I, for my part, am delighted to have Jesus Christ as my great and powerful savior, because not one single person who truly trusts in him will ever experience any of hell. Not ever. And there are multiple guarantees that there is "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). -- There is no condemnation now, nor in the future, in hell. --Ever.

Why is this? Because Christians are such good people? No. --It is because Jesus was the sinless lamb of God, who paid the death-penalty for our sins, and rose from the dead to give us eternal life, so that any one who truly trusts in him personally (and loves and obeys him as his Lord and divine Authority) will never perish (nor go to hell), but will have eternal life with God in heaven (John 3:16).

That is such a great salvation! It is totally beyond compare!


Note: If anyone is aware of other Qur'anic references for a possible fulfilled predictions other than those discussed above, please let me know! ...I'll check into it with interest.

Another Note: Some people feel that there are statements in the Hadiths (Commentaries on the Qur'an) which are possibly fulfilled predictions, --however, the Hadiths are not considered to be actual Scripture from God, so the Hadiths will not come into consideration in this article.


CONCLUSIONS

It is quite clear that the Bible manifests the attribute of having many specifically fulfilled prophetic predictions, which constitutes powerful evidence that the Bible truly originates from true prophets of the true almighty God. The Bible meets the challenge which God (YHWH) set out: To predict events of human history. --- In contrast, however, there does not seem to be a single specific prediction of human history in the Qur'an which is unique and original to the Qur'an and was not found in the Bible first (such as some end-time judgment concepts). This lack of predictive power is an announcement that the Qur'an does not clearly demonstrate God's power and authority within its pages. It fails to meet God's challenge.

What's more, when the Bible's predictive prophecies by comparison are pulled into the discussion, the failure of the Qur'an to demonstrate such power of truly being authored by the true God stands out even more. --This situation is glaringly exhibited when one compares it to something like the amazing accuracy of the predictive prophecy of Jeremiah (cited above) concerning the 70-year captivity of Judah in Babylon, which ended right at 70 years!

Similar to Jeremiah's 70-year prophecy, the prophet Daniel accurately predicted the year (hundreds of years in advance) in which the Messiah (Jesus of Nazareth) would be ministering! --and if you want to study that particular prediction more in depth, as well as additional fulfilled predictions from the Bible, they can be found on a page on this website, entitled:

Prophetic Predictions Prove the Bible's Authority.

Concerning the evident inaccuracy of the prediction in Sura 30:2-4, it seems to be very significant evidence which disqualifies Mohammed as a true prophet of God. It might be possible that Mohammed never actually intended to be considered a prophet, nor that the Qur'an was to be thought of as scripture, but that Mohammed just wanted to write commentary and human opinions about God, so that the Qur'an may be considered to be a history, or great prose and poetry, and a religious commentary, however, it cannot be said to be actual scripture with the true words of God.

Because of its fulfilled prophetic predictions, it is the Bible which stands high and exalted as truly originating from God, and it is YHWH of the Bible who distinguishes himself as being the true and living Almighty God! It is the Bible which can be trusted to describe who God truly is, what he is like, and what his requirements for salvation actually are. He is the one who sets out the challenge for anyone else to foretell the future.

I am aware that many speakers of the Arabic language --including Arab Christians-- use "Allah" as the noun which means "God" in a generic sense, however, because of the absence of predictive prophecy in the Qur'an, we would have to say that the Qur'an does not give evidence of being able to accurately or fully reveal who "Allah" truly is, but instead one must go read the true prophets in the Bible in order to know who "Allah" really is. We must conclude that "Allah's" true personal name is "YHWH," the tri-une God of the Bible.

If we consider that both the Qur'an and the Bible make claims to be protected and preserved from significant falsehood and corruption, we must rule in favor of the one book (the Bible) which repeatedly demonstrates the mighty power of God to predict specific events in the future, and therefore it would logically be the book which would also have God's power behind it to protect it from corruption!

...The reader should consider that there is strong evidence of Variants in the Text of the Qur'an, and read about supposed Corruption of the Bible.

The Qur'an does accept the Bible as being true revelation from God (and so it should), however, the Bible's standard rejects the Qur'an as revelation from God because the predictive power of God is not present there.
---So I commend to you, dear reader, the only true and tested Word of God: The Bible. Heaven and Earth may pass away, but it will never pass away (Mat. 24:35) ...and we can trust these words from Jesus, because he gave a prophetic prediction (among other predictions) that he would be resurrected after being dead for three days (Mat. 12:40 + 16:21) ...and resurrect he did! (Click here to read evidence).

DIFFERENCES IN TEACHING

Now, when we compare the teachings of the Qur'an and the Bible, we encounter some significant differences and conflicts in teaching, such as the Qur'anic idea that Jesus of Nazareth did not die on the cross for people's sins, whereas the Bible clearly says that Jesus did die for the sins of those who trust and believe in him (Rom. 5:8).

People wonder which one to believe? --The Qur'an or the Bible?

Well, after considering the determinations of fulfilled prophetic predictions outlined above, the rational thinker must clearly rule in favor of the Bible's teaching over anything else, and reject any un-proven writing which contradicts the Bible, because the Bible is the only religious book on Earth which demonstrates the true prophetic power of God to accurately predict the future deeds of specific people in specific places during specific periods of time. YHWH-God said that we should not respect the authority or "fear" any supposed "prophet" who INcorrectly predicts the future, but rather, we should reject that man, because he is a false prophet.

A CHALLENGE:

In light of all of this (and in line with God's challenge at the beginning of this article) I offer a challenge anyone to give me from the Qur'an THREE fulfilled predictions that are comparable to the prediction in Jeremiah cited above (with fairly specific predictions as to person and/or place and time, as described in this web-page). The Bible has several dozen such fulfilled predictions, and I offer congratulations to the first person who can find three such fulfilled Qur'anic predictions... and I will definitely seriously re-consider whether the Qur'an may actually be from God.


--- (The first order of business must be the apparent false prophecy of Sura 30, which was not fulfilled within the time that Mohammed gave... unless Sura 30 is said to be history, and not prophecy at all.)

(For the time being, the only acceptable Qur'anic wording for this discussion will come from the three English translations of the Qur'an, which are linked to at the top of this article.)

* * *

REMEMBER: ...You, dear reader, are valuable and loved by God, and that's why Jesus Christ came! May God bless you and enable you to come to know his great love and forgiveness through God who took on a human body (Jesus), and then died for our sins (Romans 5:8 and 1Peter 3:18) to pay the death-penalty for sins which God requires (Romans 6:23), so that we could become honorary "adopted sons" of God, if we will only trust and believe in this wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus.


For many further discussions concerning Islam vs. Christianity
you may find help at: Answering-Islam.org

To read Dr. William Campbell's downloadable PDF article about
the Qur'an and the Bible in light of facts of History and Science,
click HERE.


* * *

Questions or Comments? :

* * *


Directory to TestingWorldviews.com

Home Page

Who is Jesus Christ?
Science Facts Confirm the Bible
Prophecy Proves the Bible's Authority
Archaeology Confirms Biblical History
The Reliability of the New Testament Text
The Foundation of Science is The Biblical Worldview
Christ's Resurrection ...Fact or Fiction?


The Worldview of Naturalism
The Worldview of Eastern Pantheism
The Worldview of Theism
Abiogenesis : Hopeful Distortions and Spontaneous Generation Redux
$1,000,000 Prize for Evolution Evidence
Creation vs Evolution: Articles and Discussion


How You Can Be Saved
Who We Are
What We Believe
Links to Other Biblical Apologetics Sites