An Analysis of the Primary Proofs of Islam
“O mankind! verily there hath come to you a convincing proof from your Lord: For We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest.”
Using logical analysis, let us examine the primary proofs used for Islam.
1) The Claim of Corruption in the Bible—Do Muslims offer proof supporting corruption in the Bible? Yes, they do. Where do they derive this proof? They derive it mainly from atheists whose aim in pointing out “contradictions” is to convince people that G-d does not exist. For someone who already believes in G-d’s existence, this should seem to be a rather questionable ethic. Secondly, Muslim apologists will sort through biblical archeology and biblical criticism, each of which range from both ends of the spectrum, from supporting the Bible 100% all the way to saying that the Bible is 100% fiction. Once having done that, they present the material that is best suited for their purposes, never telling anyone what a hot issue biblical criticism is, or that for every negative view, there is an equal and opposite positive view. Thirdly, the Qu’ran itself says that the word of G-d cannot be altered, all the while making the claim that the Bible was originally the word of G-d but corrupted by man. This is a contradiction in itself. If the Torah was the word of G-d, that means, according to the Qu’ran, that it is categorically impossible for man to change it. Hence, using Muslim logic, the Torah we have in our hands today is the same Torah that Moses handed down to the Jews at Mount Sinai.
2) Mohammed’s Illiteracy—Even when he lived, proving this would be problematic. The possibility that this is a lie exists, alongside the impossibility of proving that Mohammed was illiterate. Taken into account with the fact that the Qu’ran quotes from Jewish sources such as the Mishnah (the legal part of the Oral Torah, committed to writing around the year 170 CE) and the Midrash (a separate part of the Oral Torah, dealing with extra details of stories in biblical texts, committed to writing around the same time), this “proof” of Islam’s legitimacy wears somewhat thin.
3) Miracles—As with any religion, miracles are claimed. Islam claims some very famous miracles, such as the splitting of the moon. Realistically, had this happened, everyone on Arabia’s side of the planet would have seen it, yet no one else ever wrote anything about it. Less advanced peoples would likely have used this to start their own new religions! In speculation, the Catholic Church might have found some way of using it to reinforce Christianity in places distant from where Mohammed was. Since they are objectively unverifiable, the credibility of Islam’s claims of miracles is identical to Christianity, no more credible and no less credible.
4) The Arabic Language—The claim is made that if a person were to learn the Arabic language, and read the Qu’ran in the original tongue, the person would be totally convinced that it had a Divine author. There are problems with this proof as well. Firstly, this is far too subjective to use as reliable proof. What inspires one person might not inspire another. Secondly, this interferes with us explaining the creative genius of figures like Einstein in the sciences, or Michelangelo in the arts. Should we assume Judaism is true because Einstein was inexplicably brilliant and also a Jew? Should we assume Christianity is true because Michelangelo’s art was beautiful and he was a Christian? Of course not. Thirdly, less than one thousand years ago, Arabic was the most common language spoken by the Jewish people, replacing Aramaic, which had been their common language for approximately 1500 years, since the Babylonian Exile. Moses Maimonides (or Rambam, the acronym name by which he is known to the Jews) lived under Muslim rule and wrote his great works under Muslim rule. Among those works is the Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide for the Perplexed), which was written in Arabic to reach the largest possible audience. Maimonides had a brilliant mind, knew the entire Jewish Bible, the Talmud, and numerous other Jewish writings exceedingly well, in addition to being the personal physician of the sultan of Egypt. Jews have known Arabic, Jews have read the Qu’ran in the original tongue, and Jews such as Maimonides have been completely unimpressed by it (for reasons such as those listed at the end of item #2).
5) Rapid Conquest—Shortly after Islam began, Muslim armies conquered a great deal of the world in a rather short time. Muslims attribute this as proof that Islam is true. Is this proof? Alexander the Great conquered what he had thought was the entire world before he died. Alexander, by all contemporary accounts, was a pagan idol worshipper. Are we to attribute Alexander’s success to his gods (heaven forbid!)? Secondly, the book of Genesis tells us that G-d promised Abraham that Ishmael would become a great nation. The indoctrination of Islam into the Arab population and the subsequent conquest can surely be interpreted as a fulfillment of that prophecy.
So, when we examine these proofs with even a superficial eye, we see that they do not hold water. Even more so if we were to examine them under greater scrutiny.
The Islamic Claim on Deuteronomy 18
“And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?”
1 Kings 22:7 (KJV)
Claim: The Torah Itself Predicts Mohammed as a Prophet
Many Muslims will claim that the Torah itself (apparently the “uncorrupted” part) predicts the coming of their so-called prophet some time after the giving of the Torah. All Bible translations are directly from the Hebrew, all of them literal.
Where Did They Get That Idea?
The relevant verse of the Torah is as follows:
Deuteronomy 18:18 A prophet I will raise up for them from amongst their brethren like you and I will give my words into his lips and he will speak about them all that I command him.
We must ask the following: who is “I”, who is “you”, who is “them/their”? “I” is G-d, “you” is Moses, “them/their” refers to the Israelites.
So a paraphrase could be: G-d will raise up for the Israelites a prophet from the Israelites’ brethren some time in the future that will be like Moses and speak the words of G-d.
Having established that, what’s the connection?
The assertion is that “from amongst their brethren” refers to the Ishmaelites, and as Muslims assert many times, Mohammed is descended from Abraham through Ishmael.
In order to properly analyze this, I will not make a table comparing Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, as many do on both Christian and Muslim websites in order to pervert the meaning of this verse.
Instead, I will make a minor sidestep into the world of Jewish thought.
For those of us that do not have the presumption that the Torah is wrong and faulty, there is a list of thirteen basic rules on how to deduce meaning from the Torah. They are provided as the introduction to Sifre, and are recited in the preliminary portion of the daily morning prayers.
Just as in the Torah where there are laws that are obviously “just” and those that we cannot comprehend, a parallel applies here. Some rules make sense, and others are assertions of rules. I will make use of two rules that make a good deal of sense.
Rule number 2 states quite simply “mig’zerah shavah” which means “From a decree of equality”.
Rule number 12 is that “davar halamed m’inyano, v’davar halamed m’sofo” which is often translated like “An item is taught/clarified from it’s context, or from nearby verses.”
Why these two rules? Rule number 2 tells us that if we have a word in one location that is vague, and the same word elsewhere more clear, we can use one to clarify the other. The reason for the second rule will be evident shortly.
Just a chapter back, in Deuteronomy 17, we find a similar phrase, but the voice is different. This time Moses is delivering a message from G-d directly to the Israelites, speaking to the Israelites as a single group, instead of us hearing what G-d says to Moses.
Deuteronomy 17:15 You shall put (appoint) upon yourself a king that G-d will pick him; from amongst your brethren you shall appoint a king; you will not be able to give upon yourself a foreign man that is not your brother.
This verse, just a chapter behind the verse about the prophet is quite explicit. It uses the phrase “amongst (their/your) brethren” and then clarifies that a foreigner, which is definitely a non-Israelite, is not the Israelite’s brother.
For further explicitness of the term foreigner, let’s turn to Exodus 12.
Exodus 12:43 And G-d said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance of the Passover offering, every son of a foreigner shall not eat of it.
Since we can now see that a foreigner does not take part of something as central as the Passover celebration, which is incumbant on all Israelite males when the Temple stands, we can see that a foreigner is simply a non-Israelite, and it doesn’t matter their genealogy.
That being said, we have also shown that a foreigner is someone who is not from “amongst the brethren” of the Israelites.
This being said, it is an incredible leap of both faith and logic to assume that Mohammed the Ishmaelite is predicted by the Torah as coming as a new prophet of a new religion for the Jews.
Is Mohammed Mentioned in Song of Songs?
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a G-d of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
Deuteronomy 32:4 (KJV)
Claim: Mohammed Is Mentioned In Song of Songs
Another claim is made that in the book Song of Songs (Also called Song of Solomon), the coming of Mohammed is prophesied.
The verse in question (translation is the author’s) is as follows:
Song of Songs 5:16 His mouth is most sweet; and he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
The assertion is that chapter 5 is a prophecy of a prophet yet to come. But, if we take a look at a transliteration of the Hebrew text we will see what the real principle of the matter is:
Chiku mamtakim v’khulo machamadim zeh dodi v’zeh re’i b’not yerushalayim.
If you look at the word “machamadim” we can start to see the issue. Mohammed is a name that comes from the Hebrew root of “lovely” or “cute” or “desirable” and as such, Muslims try to use the word “lovely” in each instance to refer to Mohammed. These Muslims are making it so we can’t use our own language without it somehow being a prophecy.
But That’s Not The Word!
The word used is machamadim, the plural form of machamad.
If we follow the Muslim way of translating this sentence, we would produce the following:
His mouth is most sweet; and he is altogether Mohammeds. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
It doesn’t make any sense.
One who asserts that Mohammed is mentioned in the Song of Songs ignores the most simple reading of the text and has probably never even looked at the Hebrew of the text.
Copyright © Michael Levy, Gedalyah Yisrael for Messiah Truth. All rights reserved.