Answering Islam

Clay birds

Mohammed reports this incident from the apocryphal Christian gospels:

  • "Remember when the angel said, 'O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God;
  • "And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he shall be one of the just.'
  • "She said, 'How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when man hath not touched me?' He said, 'Thus: God will create what He will; When He decreeth a thing, He only saith, "Be," and it is.'
  • "And he will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel; and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel. 'Now have I come,' he will say, 'to you with a sign from your Lord: Out of clay will I make for you, as it were, the figure of a bird: and I will breathe into it, and it shall become, by God's leave, a bird.  And I will heal the blind, and the leper; and by God's leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what ye eat, and what ye store up in your houses! Truly in this will be a sign for you, if ye are believers." (Sura 3:40-43).

This story comes from the apocryphal gospels:

"There are some great stories about the boy Jesus in the gnostic gospels, especially The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, in which a petulant Jesus flaunts his magical powers by bringing clay birds to life or striking dead neighborhood kids who fail to show him deference." (Reza Aslan, Zealot, p. 252).

Wasn't a bit subversive to let this apocryphal incident, of Jesus breathing life into clay birds, into the Koran? After all, it's God's prerogative to give life: "'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39). Nor does the Koran dispute the point: "His is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth; He maketh alive and killeth; and He hath power over all things!" (Sura 57:2, 23:82, 44:8). God quickens the dead: "This, for that God is the Truth, and that it is He who quickeneth the dead, and that He hath power over everything." (Koran Sura 22:6).

The false gods create nothing: "Have they taken gods from the earth who can quicken the dead?" (Koran Sura 21:21). "Verily, they on whom ye call beside God, cannot create a fly,  though they assemble for it; and if the fly carry away aught from them, they cannot take it away from it!" (Koran Sura 22:72). The dividing line between the gods by reputation and the true God runs right through creation: "Yet have they adopted gods beside Him which have created nothing, but were themselves created: And no power have they over themselves for evil or for good, nor have they  power of death, or of life, or of raising the dead." (Koran Sura 25:3-4). To sum up: "It is God who created you — then fed you — then will cause you to die — then will make you alive. Is there any of your companion gods who can do aught of these things?" (Koran Sura 30:39). Fake gods cannot create or give life. Jesus can! This story reveals more than the story-teller intended.

The Koran: Confirmatory of Prior Scripture?

The Bible versus the Koran

The Koran claims to confirm scripture previously handed down:

"And when it is said to them, 'Believe in what God hath sent down,' they say, 'In that which hath been sent down to us we believe:' but what hath since been sent down they disbelieve, although it be the truth confirmatory of their own Scriptures. Say: Why then have ye of old slain God's prophets, if ye are indeed believers?" (Sura 2:85).

"O ye to whom the Scriptures have been given! believe in what we have sent down confirmatory of the Scripture which is in your hands, ere we efface your features, and twist your head round backward, or curse you as we cursed the sabbath-breakers: and the command of God was carried into effect." (Sura 4:50).

"Moreover this Koran could not have been devised by any but God: but it confirmeth what was revealed before it, and is a clearing up of the Scriptures — there is no doubt thereof — from the Lord of all creatures." (Sura 10:38).

However, when you sit down and compare the Bible and the Koran side-by-side, far from being "confirmatory", the Koran is found to be so wide of the mark, that Mohammed was ultimately obliged to accuse the Jews and Christians of forgery — even though he says God's word can't be changed!: "Before thee have apostles already been charged with falsehood: but they bore the charge and the wrong with constancy, till our help came to them; — for none can change the words of God. But this history of His Sent Ones hath already reached thee." (Sura 6:34).

For example: Was Jesus crucified in fact or semblance? Does the Koran say what the Bible says?:


The Crux of the Matter: Who is Jesus?

Muslims and Christians agree that Jesus is prophet, priest and king. They disagree as to whether He is God incarnate. What saith the scriptures?:

  • "Infidels now are they who say, 'God is the Messiah, Son of Mary;' for the Messiah said, 'O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord.' Whoever shall join other gods with God, God shall forbid him the Garden, and his abode shall be the Fire; and the wicked shall have no helpers." (Sura 5:76)

Jesus Christ is God!

The Son is God:

Your Throne, O God
The Work of Your Hands
Let Angels Worship
True God
Express Image
Visible and Invisible
For Himself
Son of God
Kiss the Son
A Son is born
Honor the Son
Only-begotten God
Believe on the Son
Only Savior
The Dead were Judged
Everlasting to Everlasting

Jesus is Jehovah:

A Voice Crying
Temple Visitor
Stone of Stumbling
The Rock of Israel
The First and the Last
Lord of all
LORD our Righteousness
Holy, holy, holy
Captivity Captive
House of David
Answered prayers
With all His saints
Israel's Savior
Giver of Life
Every Knee Shall Bow
Pastoral Supply
I send you prophets
Who forgives sin
I am He
He is Lord
Call upon the Name
God with Us
Great Shepherd
You Only
Lawful worship
Moses' Veil
Wine Press
Lord Willing
Secret Things
Boasting Excluded
King of Israel
Fount of Living Waters
Searches the Heart
Till Death Do us Part
Angel of the LORD
Take Refuge
Has Reigned
On His Forehead
Me Whom they have Pierced
Stretched Out My Hands
Keeper of Israel
The Amen

Jesus Christ is God:

The Eyes of the Blind
Thought it not Robbery
Eternally Blessed God
Fulness of the Godhead
Great God and Savior
Faith in Him
King of Kings
Spirit of Christ
Destroyed by Serpents
Lord of Glory
Renewed in the Image
New Jerusalem's Lamp
Now is Christ risen
Upholding all Things
Light to the Gentiles
My Companion
Prosecutors' Indictment
Sun of Righteousness
Thirty Pieces
Testator's Death
Author of Life
The Blood of God
My Lord and My God
Mystery of godliness
God was in Christ
The Word was God
Shared Glory
Change Not
Yesterday, Today and Forever
Whose Hand?
Not of Man
Receive my Spirit
Believe in God
Only Holy
Sole Proprietor
Walk on the Water

"My Father is Greater than I":

In John 14:28, Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I:"

Humbled Himself
The Incarnation

When the original insight of 'confirmation' doesn't quite work out, Muslims fall back on the claim that the Jewish and Christian scriptures have been 'corrupted.' Is this so?

Beyond the question of the Koran's agreement, or lack thereof, with the Bible, is the question of the Koran's agreement with itself.

  • "Can they not consider the Koran? Were it from any other than God, they would surely have found in it many contradictions." (Sura 4:84).

The Koran points outside itself, to Mohammed's practice as recorded by tradition. Is Islam internally coherent?

Internal Consistency


  Day of Judgment


  Penalty for Adultery

  Every Which Way

  Did Pharaoh Drown?

  Family values

  Change or No Change?

  Jonah and the Whale

  Satanic Verses

  Only a Sinner

  Mind Cures

  The Hadith

  Works, Faith or Mercy


  Marriage to Christians

  No Warner

  Perspicuous or Not

  No Distinction

Misconceptions about Islam

Is Allah a pagan moon god? Did Mohammed believe the Trinity consists of God, Jesus and Mary?

Who is Allah?

Mary and the Trinity
Sola Scriptura

Nation of Islam

Atheist Sam Harris

The Sky is Falling

  • "And should they see a fragment of the heaven falling down, they would say, 'It is only a dense cloud.'" (Sura 52:44)

By Mohammed's day it had been known to science for hundreds of years that the earth was round. But like his contemporary Cosmas Indicopleustes, Mohammed would seem to have rejected the findings of Ptolemaic astronomy, if he was even aware of them in the first place. While each single one of these references can be shrugged off as poetic language, taken together they make a circumstantial case that Mohammed was a flat-earther. Pieces of the puzzle:

  Miry Fount

  Like a Carpet

  Level Earth

  Solid Heavens


  The Sky is Falling





Seven Heavens

What are the seven heavens of the Koran, Rabbinic literature, and Patristic Christian literature?

Points of Agreement

On one point the Bible and the Koran are agreed: there is one Judge who will judge all mankind:

"Not with me is that you seek to hasten; the judgment is God's alone." (Sura 6:57 Arberry).
"And call not upon another god with God; there is no god but He. All things perish, except His Face. His is the Judgment, and unto Him you shall be returned." (Sura 28:88 Arberry).
"There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?" (James 4:12 NRSV).

More particularly,

“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10-12).

Another point of agreement is God's attitude toward the wicked:

"But as for the believers, who do deeds of righteousness, He will pay them in full their wages: and God loves not the evildoers." (Sura 3:50).
"For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man." (Psalm 5:4-6).
"The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup." (Psalm 11:5).

Though self-flattery assures us this is a problem for others not ourselves, the Bible convicts all under sin:

How to restore the broken fellowship and become a friend of God?:

"Are not the friends of God, those on whom no fear shall come, nor shall they be put to grief?" (Sura 10:63).

The Koran has a happy ending, but lacks a plot to get there. There is no Friend of Sinners to come befriend us first, before we loved Him. There is no covering for sin, no lamb without spot to shed His blood. There is rather the ominous promise that wages will be paid as owed.

Hagia Sophia, Constantinople

Is Islam Tolerant?

"It turns out now that the Arabs were the most successful imperialists of all time, since to be conquered by them (and then to be like them) is still, in the minds of the faithful, to be saved." (V. S. Naipaul, Among the Believers, p. 142).

   May 29th

   On the One Hand

   On the Other Hand...

   Hobgoblin of Little Minds

   Holy Terror

   People of the Book

   The Wolf and the Lamb

   In the Arabian Peninsula

   Dead Poets Society

   Spanish Martyrs

   The Pot and the Kettle

   Danish Cartoons

   Embassy to Heraclius



   Pope Benedict

   Greek Independence

   General Betray-Us

May 29, 1453

"On the night of the twenty-eighth of May (1453), the Christian leaders attended services at St. Sophia's; Constantine himself prayed in a chapel alone, sharing with his God the last hours of the last Byzantine emperor. As his officers crowded around him, he asked forgiveness of any man he might have wronged. Then, his soul at peace, he rode back to the Lycus Valley walls to abide the assault he knew was coming. The city, about to die, was united.

"Then the garrison stood to their posts. Once the remnants of the outer wall were manned, the gates to the inner wall were closed and locked behind them. There would be no falling back; the Christians would stand or die.

"The storm broke just after midnight on the twenty-ninth of May. With a tremendous shout, with clashing cymbals and bleating trumpets and thundering drums, masses of Turkish infantry ran in out of the night and hurled themselves at the battered city wall. This time the attack came all along the wall; there could be no movement of men from one threatened place to another. Women, including nuns, worked to shore up the crumbling walls and stockade. Those who could not help at the walls crowded into the churches — if they could not fight or bolster the defenses, they could at least pray...

"The Christians met them with the fury of despair, fighting in a nightmare world of gloom, lit only by muzzle-flashes, the flare of torches, and a sinister moon that veiled its light behind scudding clouds. Amid a terrible din of roaring cannon and banging arquebuses, cheers, prayers, and screams of agony, the defenders fought on in a cloud of powder-smoke and dust. [...]

"And the city died in that moment. Now there was no holding the Turkish attack, which foamed over the outer wall, beat down the remaining defenders, and forced its way through the inner wall, into the heart of Constantinople...The emperor himself rode among the remnants of his men along the Lycus wall.  Even he could not rally them; they were exhausted, most of them were wounded, and they would not stand...Constantine decided. He would not survive the fall of his city to be a trophy for a heathen conqueror. The city has been taken,' he shouted, 'and I am still alive!'

"And so, with the others at his back, the last Byzantine emperor threw away his imperial regalia and pressed forward into the throngs of Janizaries, sword in hand.  He was never seen again. [...]

"Within the city there was no safety.  Blood ran down the gutters of the streets as the Turks killed everything that moved. Turkish law allowed three days of pillage in a conquered city, and the rampaging troops broke in everywhere to loot and destroy, rape and kill.  Gradually, as the bloodlust subsided, they began to take captives: The young and able-bodied, at least, had real value in the slave market. [...]

"Otherwise, Mehmet the Conqueror left a ruined, ghostly city; a shadow of the glory that had been, largely depopulated and desolate. The Muslim call to prayer echoed through the empty, weeping streets of ancient Byzantium. Where a thousand years of emperors had walked, there were now only shades of the past, ghosts who moved without sound, and vanished with the coming of the day."

(Robert Barr Smith, To the Last Cartridge, The End of a Thousand Years, pp. 15-32).

Mohammed the Slave-Owner

  Mary the Copt

  Kidnapping Raids

  The Kingdom

  Thy Right Hand

  The Good Side

  Black Slaves

  Naught But a Sinner

  Islamic History

The Word of God

The Koran admits that Jesus is the Word of God:

"The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from himself." (Sura 4:169).

Muslim orthodoxy, incidentally, teaches that the Word of God (the Koran) is eternal and uncreated. As the Bible teaches, the Word is God: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1).


A Koran Miscellany

  Favorite Uncle

  Profits of Banditry

  Scouted Apes

  Boiling Water

  Playboy Mansion

  Seven Sleepers

  Domestic Violence



  The Name Game

  The Messiah

  Native Tongue

  The Idol Juggernaut

  Old Age

Favorite Uncle

Mohammed bitterly resented ridicule and derision. In time he would silence dissent by police state means, but early on, he could only curse. His imprecation against Abu Lahab is preserved in the Koran for the edification of humankind. Abu Lahab was family:

"Let the hands of Abu Lahab perish, and let himself perish! His wealth and his gains shall avail him not. Burned shall he be at the fiery flame, and his wife laden with fire wood, — on her neck a rope of palm fibre." (Sura 111).

God gave Mohammed this very special message about his unbelieving uncle. Can the reader discern the hand of the same God who sketched out the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains in the petty vindictiveness of this verse?

Need a Koran? The Rev. J. M. Rodwell produced a poetic translation in the nineteenth century, George Sale's earlier translation is more prosaic:

Download Sale's translation of the Koran!

George Sale's
Translation of the Koran.

Rodwell's Koran

Rev. J. M. Rodwell's
Translation of the Koran.

Save time, download the entire Koran in Zip format:

Sale Translation Zip file:
Sale Translation Self-Extracting Archive:

Rodwell Translation Zip file:
Rodwell Self-Extracting Archive:

Reflections on the Fourth of July

After a horrific crime, a lynch mob looks, not to guilt or innocence, but to ease of targeting:

  • "Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq. ... We all said, 'but no, no. Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan,' recounts Clarke, 'and Rumsfeld said, "There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq."'" (Reuters, 'Ex-Advisor Says Bush Eyed Bombing of Iraq on 9/11,' Fri Mar 19, 7:20 PM.)

Even today, “... 85 percent [of the troops surveyed] believe a major reason they were sent into war was 'to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks.'” (Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes, March 1, 2006). How did the Bush administration convince them that Saddam played a "role in the Sept. 11 attacks"?:

Reflections on the Fourth of July

Furthering the Islamic Revolution

"Truthfulness is fidelity, and lying is treason." (Abu Bakr's inaugural speech).

The Wrong War

A New Birth of Colonialism

War on Terror

Destroy the Village


The Least of These

"Verily God will say on the Day of Judgment, 'O children of Adam! I was sick and ye did not visit Me.' And the sons of Adam will say, 'O our defender, how could we visit Thee? For Thou art the Lord of the Universe, and art free from sickness.' And God will say, 'O men! such a one was sick and you did not visit him.' And God will say, 'O children of Adam, I asked you for food, and ye gave it Me not?' And the children of Adam will say, 'O our patron, how could we give Thee food, seeing Thou art the cherisher of the Universe, and art free from hunger and eating?' And God will say, 'Such a one asked you for bread and you did not give it him.'" (The Sayings of Mohammed, Allama Sir Abdullah Al-Mamun Al-Suhrawardy, 197.)

Who is the Speaker?: "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?" And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." Then He will also say to those on the left hand, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me." Then they also will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?" Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me." And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.'" (Matthew 25:34-44).

Who is this King of Glory? "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left." (Matthew 25:31-33).

Favorite Muslim
Bible Verses


Falling Down

From Your Brethren

Corruption of the Text

Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani

Lord, Lord

Altogether Lovely

The Doctrine of the Trinity

On October 31, 2010, gunmen broke into a Catholic church in Baghdad. An organization called the "Islamic State of Iraq" immediately claimed responsibility. They explained their actions as an attack on a "den of polytheism." (Washington Post, '51 Iraqi worshipers, 7 troops killed in church siege,' November 1, 2010,

"They surely are Infidels who say, 'God is the third of three:' for there is no God but one God: and if they refrain not from what they say, a grievous chastisement shall light on such of them as are Infidels." (Sura 5:77)

Is this the doctrine of the Trinity: "God is the third of three"?:

Biblical Proof:

Only One GodThe Father is GodThe Son is GodThe Holy Spirit is God

Mohammed was distressed by the multiplicity of sects. His solution was to start another one:

Dante's portrayal of Mohammed as a Christian schismatic goes back to those Muslim writers who described him as a spiritual dilettante who, before reciting the Koran, had tried all existing sects: "In his Al Kamil fi al Tarikh, ibn Kathir reported some of the current views in answer to this question. Some claimed that Mohammed followed the law of Noah; others, the law of Ibrahim; others, the law of Moses, others the law of Jesus. Others claimed that Mohammed had followed every known law and observed it." (Muhammad H. Haykal, The Life of Mohammed, p. 72). Mohammed was in contact with Christians; his first wife's cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal is said to have translated part of the New Testament into Arabic (Haykal, p. 77): how competently is not stated. But describing Mohammed as a Christian apostate, with these Muslim biographers, does not help his case: "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8).

Much of the material in the Koran is generally familiar to the Christian reader, though not in the details. here did this material come from?:

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