Why does surah Fussilat say that the heavens
and the earth were created in eight days whereas other surahs say six
- It does not say eight days. The total
days given is six when you realize that the heavens and the earth were
created simultaneously during the first two days. These two days are
mentioned twice. If you count them twice then you get eight days, but
who wants to double count and count for a fool?
Why does surah Maryam say that Jesus died
when Surah Nisa says he did not die?
- Surah Maryam does not say he died. It
says he will die. The fact is that he will die when he returns.
Do Surah Ale Imran and Surah Maidah say that
- No. These surahs use a form of the verb
tawaffa which means to recall. This verb is also used as a euphemism
for death in the sense of God calling a person back. But note that God
can call a person back in a special circumstance without killing the
person, as he did with Isa alayhis salaam. Note also that Allah
used the same verb to describe his taking of individual souls during
sleep, retaining some in death and returning others.
Why does the Quran call Mary "sister
- Because she had a brother named Aaron.
People in the middle east have a tradition of naming their children
with the names of famous people. Since there were already a brother
and sister named Aaron and Mary, people who respected them felt it an
honor to name their sons and daughters with the same names.
Why does the Quran name Haman as the minister
of the Pharaoh when Haman is from a different time?
- First, the Quran does not call Haman
a minister of anyone. Second, the fact that the another religious writing
from a different faith names a Haman as living in a certain time does
not preclude the Quran from naming a Haman as living in another
time. Obviously there can be more than one human persons named Haman.
Third, where the Quran appears to differ with another religious
writing, the Quran should be taken as true. This is because more
than any other writing the Quran is demonstrably the very word
of God. When we have on the one hand the pure Word of God and on the
other hand the Word of God mixed up with the words of men, the choice
Why does the Quran say that the sun
sets in a muddy spring?
- It does not actually say that if you read
it carefully. It actually says that Dhul Qarnayn found it setting
in a muddy spring. This is a statement not about how the sun sets but
about how Dhul Qarnayn experienced the sunset. The question: "How
did you find . . . ." is not a question about how things are but
about how things are in your opinion. In a similar way the word see
is often used. Notice at the beginning of surah Hajj, for example that
it says that at the onset of the Day of Judgement you will see people
drunk although they will not be drunk but they will behave so due to
the terror of the Judgement. Obviously "see" here is used
not to denote fact but to denote ones perception of the facts.
So too with Dhul Qarnayn. The Quran was describing his experience,
not the motion of the sun.
Why does the Quran speak so well of
Alexander the Great who was not a monotheist?
- The Quran does not mention Alexander
the Great. Unfortunately Yusuf Alis commentary on the Quran
offered this name for possible identification with Dhul Qarnayn. If
this identification is incorrect then it is a mistake in the commentary,
not in the Quran itself.
Why does the Quran quote from apocryphal
- First, the Quran does not quote
from any book. The Quran is a direct revelation from God. The
Quran may repeat what God already revealed to other prophets previously.
Apocryphal means hidden. Hence apocryphal books are books which were
meant to be kept hidden from the public. Some of what some religious
authorities called apocryphal books may in fact contain some truth which
initially came from God and eventually got mixed up with untruths from
men. Whereas the Quran should be expected to disagree with the
untruths, it should be expected to agree with the truths. Remember that
apocryphal does not mean false. It simply means hidden. Nor does it
mean forever forgotten. Some hidden and forgotten truths the Quran
is now here to proclaim.
Questions About the Bible
Why does the Book of Moses describe the death
of Moses and the mourning of the people long after him? Does this mean
that the books of Moses were written by someone else after his death?
- It would seem that at least a part of
the book was written after his death. Today many commentaries on the
Bible admit that the Books of Moses were written not by any one person.
To account for duplications, contradictions, and peculiarities in the
narratives scholars came up with the documentary hypotheses. This holds
that the Books of Moses were put together from four strands of distinct
traditions. The writing reached its final form in the sixth century
B.C.E., more that six hundred years after Moses.
- Some conservative scholars deny this hypothesis
due to its implication for the status and authority of the books. However,
they themselves fail to offer a convincing alternative explanation for
the duplications, contradictions, and peculiarities in the narrative.
Why does the book of Jeremiah (8:8) say that
the Torah is corrupt?
- Because Jeremiah was aware that scribes
had written things into the book without authority. Thus they have so
changed the words of the Torah as to add substantial falsehood into
What is the significance of Jeremiahss
- The statement is very significant because
it forms part of the Bible. Since the Torah is part of the Bible, and
the book of Jeremiah is part of the Bible, and since the book of Jeremiah
says that the Torah is corrupt, it follows that the Bible says that
the Bible is corrupt.
Why does Paul say that a certain statement
in the Bible is not from the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:12)?
- Paul who wrote that into his letter knew
that he was writing on his own authority. He was so sure that it is
not a statement from God that he made sure to say exactly that.
What is the relevance of Pauls admission
for Muslim-Christian dialogue?
- When some people think that the entire
Bible is the Word of God it will be helpful to point out that according
to the said verse (1 Corinthians 7:12) at least this verse is not from
God. How much else is not from God the Bible does not say. But it remains
that one should no longer say that the entire Bible is from God.
Why is the ending to Marks gospel so
- Because the original ending of Marks
Gospel is lost, torn off, or deliberately destroyed. What we have in
its place are later writings which were appended to the gospel to end
it off nicely. Different individuals composed different endings. This
is why in some Bibles we have a long ending, in other Bibles we have
a short ending, and in yet other Bibles we have more than one endings.
But none of these endings is genuine.
Why was the original ending torn off?
- It may have been torn off through use.
Or it may have said something which someone saw fit to remove for the
benefit of later readers.
Why is the Trinity verse (1 John 5:7) no
longer in the Bible?
- It was found that the said verse is a
forgery worked into the Bible by later hands. The evidence against this
verse was so compelling that every honest translation done in the present
century had to remove it. Many translations, however, do not draw attention
to the fact that the verse is now removed. Sometimes they split the
previous verse to make two verses. In this way the total number of verses
remain the same although the forged verse has been removed.