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TROP is a non-political, fact-based site which examines the ideological threat that Islam poses to human dignity and freedom

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It's much easier to act as if critics of Islam have a problem with Muslims as people than it is to accept the uncomfortable truth that Islam is different


The Quran


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Myths of Islam

 The Quran is Islamic Counterpart to the Bible

The Myth:

The Quran is to Muslims what the Bible is to Christians (and the Torah to Jews).

The Truth:

Muslims claim that the Quran contains the literal words of Allah - and only that.  If Christians took the words of Jesus (the so-called red-letter verses), extracted them from all context and then randomly mixed them together... the product would be comparable to the Quran (which is arranged by size of chapter, with scant consistency).

By contrast, the Bible contains history and biographical detail.  For example, there is nothing in the Quran that details Muhammad's life, whereas the Bible contains four books that present all that is known about the biography of Jesus.  When verses in the Old Testament dictate a violent command, the intended target is explicitly defined within the passage, leaving little doubt that it is a recounting of history and not an open-ended directive for others to do the same.

Despite the rhapsody with which Muslims sing the Quran's praises, there is an obvious reason why few have actually bothered to delve deeply into it.  The random arrangement of verses and near absence of context makes it difficult to understand.  For this reason the Quran is rarely printed without voluminous commentary (that usually expresses the personal preferences of the translator).

The Muslim counterpart to the Bible is the Quran, Hadith and Sira combined.

The Hadith is a collection of anecdotes and historical snippets of Muhammad's life based on the relayed narrations of those who lived with him.  Authenticity varies, unfortunately.  The most reliable collections are agreed to be Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, followed by Abu Dawud. It is on the Hadith that Islamic law (Sharia) is based.

The Sira is the biography of Muhammad's life. Again, there are reliability issues which would appear somewhat bewildering to Christians, given that the gospels were well in place within the first few decades following the crucifixion - which preceded Muslim history by 600 years. 

The most reliable biography of Muhammad was compiled by Ibn Ishaq, who wrote about 150 years after his death.  His original work survives only in what was "edited" by a later translator (Ibn Hisham, who admitted that he filtered out several accounts that were of a distasteful nature).  Another respected biographer is Ibn Kathir, who relied on Ibn Ishaq and Hadith.

Further Reading

Myths of Islam Index

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