29 May 2024

Quran and Bible: similarities and differences

Quran and Bible: similarities and differences


mhussain (2)
Dr Musharraf Hussain is an Islamic scholar, CEO of Karimia Institute, and senior trustee of Muslim Hands. Formerly he was the chairman of the Christian Muslim forum (2008-2010), vice chair of the Association of Muslim Schools (2000-2003). He trained and worked as a research scientist before becoming a fulltime Imam and teacher. He has authored over 30 books.

Quran and Bible: similarities and differences

There are many differences and similarities between these two holy books. We won’t be able to cover all of them in this article but here are a few of them to give you an insight into this discussion.

Christians recognise the Holy Bible as God’s inerrant word, perfect as given to His people. The Quran is revered as holy by more than 1.6 billion Muslims who believe it is the final, perfect and infallible source of Divine revelation.

The Bible is a library of 66 ancient books written over 4000 years ago by different people in different settings. It contains the books which the Quran mentions, the books of Ibrahim, Torah of Musa, Injeel of Isa and Zabur of Daud (peace be on them).

The Quran comments on these books as being Divinely revealed, guidance, light and beneficial for their respective addressees. However, it also condemns their followers for changing them and not following their teachings.

The major change in the Bible is about the Prophets of Allah. The Bible acknowledges their role as Prophets and wise teachers but presents them as fallible, sinful people who committed enormous wrongs. For example, the Bible accuses Nuh of incest, Yaqub and several other Prophets of adultery and others of murder (May Allah protect us from such evil beliefs).

On the other hand, The Quran teaches that all the Prophets were infallible, sinless and perfect humans with strong character. Here is an example from Surat Yusuf. The Bible also tells the story of Yusuf in Genesis 37. The Biblical story in contrast has a different tone and tenor; it appears as an account of the brothers’ envy, Yusuf ’s youthful naiveté, romance and his triumph over his brothers.

It stresses the cleverness of a young Jewish bureaucrat against the Egyptians who take advantage of the famine and buys their cattle cheaply for the King. However, the Quranic story is free from such charges against Yusuf.

The other noticeable difference is how the Bible portrays God, with disrespect and mockery in some places.

For example, it talks about God wrestling with the prophet Yaqub. Furthermore, it portrays God as an angry avenger, ever ready to strike the enemy, and acts by whim, we regard such portrayal as blasphemous and unacceptable. This is what the Quran tells us to believe and think:

They say to you, “Become Jews…”, or “Become Christians, and you will be guided.” Tell them, “In fact, our religion is the religion of Ibrahim, who was a true Haneef, and not an idolater.” Say, “We believe in Allah and in what is revealed to us and to Ibrahim, Ismael, Ishaq, Yaqub and the Tribes; and in what was given to Musa and Isa; and in what was given to all the prophets from their Lord: we make no distinction between any one of them, we submit to Him.”

Baqarah: 135-136

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