The Bible, The Quran and Science: sources for the Quran?

· Agnosticism, Islam

Dr. Maurice Bucaille

Many Christian writers and clergy claim that the Holy Quran is borrowed from the Bible. Allah refutes this allegation in the words, “The Quran has been revealed by Him Who knows every secret that is in the heavens and the earth.” The most effective proofs of this Quranic claim were to come after the scientific revolution. Dr. Maurice Bucaille’s book is indeed a landmark achievement in this regards. However, it needs to be understood that the Holy Quran is a book of ‘religion’ and not a ‘book of science’ and Bucaille’s book is a book of ‘metaphysics’ and not of science. Metaphysics is a term, which means literally ‘what comes after physics.’ So, it is a branch of philosophy that studies the ultimate structure and constitution of reality, correlating religion and science.

The Christian apologists often accuse that the Holy Quran is borrowed from the Bible. How can they be disabused of this self indulgence? This article or thread is dedicated to this issue.

This book by a French Surgeon, Maurice Bucaille has gained general popularity in the Muslim world. Today when I searched this title of the book on Google, I came up with more than half a million possible links. I want to start thisknol to compare and contrast the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible in light of science. Even today some Christian apologists have the audacity to suggest that the Holy Quran is copied from the Bible. Let this thread be a discussion and an international repository to disabuse them of such ideas.

Here I quote from the introduction section of Maurice Bucaille’s book:

“Another fundamental difference in the Scriptures of Christianity and Islam is the fact that Christianity does not have a text which is both revealed and written down. Islam, however, has the Quran which fits this description. The Quran is the expression of the Revelation made to Muhammad by the Archangel Gabriel, which was immediately taken down, and was memorized and recited by the faithful in their prayers, especially during the month of Ramadan. Muhammad himself arranged it into suras, and these were collected soon after the death of the Prophet, to form, under the rule of Caliph Uthman (12 to 24 years after the Prophet’s death), the text we know today. In contrast to this, the Christian Revelation is based on numerous indirect human accounts. We do not in fact have an eyewitness account from the life of Jesus, contrary to what many Christians imagine. The question of the authenticity of the Christian and Islamic texts has thus now been formulated. The confrontation between the texts of the Scriptures and scientific data has always provided man with food for thought. It was at first held that corroboration between the scriptures and science was a necessary element to the authenticity of the sacred text. Saint Augustine, in letter No. 82, which we shall quote later on, formally established this principle. As science progressed however it became clear that there were discrepancies between Biblical Scripture and science. It was therefore decided that comparison would no longer be made. Thus a situation arose which today, we are forced to admit, puts Biblical exegetes and scientists in opposition to one another. We cannot, after all, accept a divine Revelation making statements which are totally inaccurate. There was only one way of logically reconciling the two; it lay in not considering a passage containing unacceptable scientific data to be genuine. This solution was not adopted. Instead, the integrity of the text was stubbornly maintained and experts were obliged to adopt a position on the truth of the Biblical Scriptures which, for the scientist, is hardly tenable. Like Saint Augustine for the Bible, Islam has always assumed that the data contained in the Holy Scriptures were in agreement with scientific fact. A modern examination of the Islamic Revelation has not caused a change in this position. As we shall see later on, the Quran deals with many subjects of interest to science, far more in fact than the Bible. There is no comparison between the limited number of Biblical statements which lead to a confrontation With science, and the profusion of subjects mentioned in the Quran that are of a scientific nature. None of the latter can be contested from a scientific point of view. this is the basic fact that emerges from our study. We shall see at the end of this work that such is not the case for the Hadiths. These are collections of the Prophet’s sayings, set aside from the Quranic Revelation, certain of which are scientifically unacceptable. The Hadiths in question have been under study in accordance with the strict principles of the Quran which dictate that science and reason should always be referred to, if necessary to deprive them of any authenticity. These reflections on the scientifically acceptable or unacceptable nature of a certain Scripture need some explanation. It must be stressed that when scientific data are discussed here, what is meant is data definitely established. This consideration rules out any explanatory theories, once useful in illuminating a phenomenon and easily dispensed with to make way for further explanations more in keeping with scientific progress. What I intend to consider here are incontrovertible facts and even if science can only provide incomplete data, they will nevertheless be sufficiently well established to be used Without fear of error. Scientists do not, for example, have even an approximate date for man’s appearance on Earth. They have however discovered remains of human works which we can situate beyond a shadow of a doubt at before the tenth millenium B.C. Hence we cannot consider the Biblical reality on this subject to be compatible with science. In the Biblical text of Genesis, the dates and genealogies given would place man’s origins (i.e. the creation of Adam) at roughly thirty-seven centuries B.C. In the future, science may be able to provide us with data that are more precise than our present calculations, but we may rest assured that it will never tell us that man first appeared on Earth 6,786 years ago, as does the Hebraic calendar for 1976. The Biblical data concerning the antiquity of man are therefore inaccurate.”

Whereas the scriptures are books of religion, what Bucaille is writing or the theme of his book is ‘metaphysics.’ A certain amount of humility isin order to comprehend the distinction between religion, science and metaphysics. In the words of Sir Charles Darwin, as he quoted Francis Bacon from his book Advancement of learning in the later editions of

Origin of Speciesto establish the proper relationship between religion and natural science:

“To conclude, therefore, let no man out of weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well-studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficiency in both.” Review of the scriputures in light of science and appropriate commentaries by the initiated will leada casual but honest reader to truth.

The whole text of Bucaille’s book can be read at:

Now let me offer a detailed excerpt from the writings of the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, as he defends the Holy Quran against the allegation of plagiarism:

“The author of Yanabi-ul-Islam has tried to prove that the Holy Quran has been copied from certain accounts or books, but his effort is nothing compared to the effort made by a learned Jew to determine the authenticity of the Gospels. He has established, in his own estimation, that the moral teachings of the Gospels have been taken from the Jewish scripture Talmud and certain other books of the Israelites, and that this act of plagiary has been so blatant that whole paragraphs have been copied word for word. The scholar has proved that the Gospels are a collection of stolen material, and has gone so far as to prove that the ‘Sermon on the Mount’—in which Christians take such pride—has been copied verbatim from the Talmud. He has shown that the text has also been copied from various other books, and has thus astonished many people. European researchers are also taking a keen interest in this research. I recently came across a book written by a Hindu in which he, too, had tried to prove that the Gospels have been taken from the teachings of Buddha, and he cited Buddha’s moral teachings to establish this point. The story about the devil, who took Jesus (as) from place to place to tempt him, is also prevalent among the Buddhists. Everyone is, therefore, entitled to believe that the story has been copied in the Gospels with minor alterations. It is an established fact that Jesus (as) came to India and his grave is to be found in Srinagar, Kashmir, as I have proved with categorical evidence. And in this context, the detractors are further justified to believe that the existing Gospels are merely a sketch of Buddhism. The evidence in this regard is so overwhelming that it can no longer be concealed. Another incredible fact is that the ancient book of Yuz Asaf (which most English scholars believe to have been published before the birth of Jesus (as)), and which has been translated in all European countries, is so similar to the Gospels that many of their passages are identical. The parables used by the Gospels are also found word for word in this book. Even if the person reading it were so ignorant as to be practically blind, he would still be convinced that the Gospels have been borrowed from the same book. Some people, including some English scholars, believe that this book belongs to Gautama Buddha, and that it was originally in Sanskrit and was later translated into other languages. If this is true, the Gospels would lose all their credibility and Jesus (as) would be considered a plagiarist in all his teachings—God forbid. The book is available for everyone to see. My own opinion, however, is that this book is Jesus’ own Gospel which was written during his journey to India. I have proved with many arguments that it is indeed the Gospel of Jesus (as), and is purer and holier than the other Gospels. The English scholars who consider this book to be that of Buddha, call Jesus (as) a plagiarist by implication, and thus they dig their own grave. It should also be remembered that the clergy’s collection of scriptures is completely worthless and even embarrassing. They whimsically declare some books to be divine and others to be forged. They judge these four Gospels to be authentic and the rest—about fifty-six of them—forged. But this belief is based on mere guesswork and speculation, rather than on any concrete evidence. They have had to make these decisions by themselves, for there is a marked discrepancy between these and the other Gospels. Researchers, however, believe that it is not possible to determine which of them is actually forged and which is not. This is why, on the occasion of King Edward’s coronation, the Church fathers of London presented him with the books which they presume to be forged along with the four Gospels, all bound in one volume. I possess a copy of this Bible. Now, if these books had really been forged and were unholy, would it not be sinful to bind the holy and the unholy in a single volume? The fact is that these people are unable to say with any degree of conviction whether any of these books are authentic or forged, and everyone goes by their own opinion. Out of mere prejudice, they declare those Gospels to be fabricated which are in accord with the Holy Quran. Hence they have declared the Gospel of Barnabas to have been forged because it contains a clear prophecy about the Prophet of the Latter Days [the Holy Prophet]. Sale, in his commentary, has related the story of a Christian monk who was converted to Islam after reading this Gospel. Remember, these people declare a book to be false or fabricated for either of these two reasons: 1. If an account or a book contradicts the current Gospels. 2. If an account or a book has some similarity with the Holy Quran. Some mischievous and black-hearted people first try to establish the principle9 that these books are fabricated, and then claim that the Holy Quran contains stories taken out of them, and in this manner they try to deceive the ignorant. The fact is that only Divine revelation has the authority to prove the truth or falsity of past scriptures. Any account confirmed by Divine revelation has to be true, even though some ignorant ones declare it otherwise. Similarly, the account which Divine revelation rejects, has to be false, even though some people declare it to be true. To think that the Holy Quran is made up of such well known accounts, tales, books or gospels, is the height of ignorance and something to be ashamed of. Is there anything wrong with a book of God being in agreement with some past accounts? Many truths of the Vedas, which were not even known at the time, are to be found in the Holy Quran, but can we conclude from this that the Holy Prophet (saw) had studied the Vedas? The Gospels that have now become available—thanks to the printing press— were not known to anyone in Arabia, and the people of that land were simply unlettered. If there happened to be an odd Christian among them, he was not likely to know much about his own religion. It is therefore despicable to think that the Holy Prophet (saw) plagiarized from these books. The Holy Prophet (saw) was unlettered and could not even read Arabic, let alone Greek or Hebrew. It is now upon our opponents to produce any manuscript of that time from which these accounts are supposed to have been taken. If the Holy Quran contained material copied from other sources, the Christians of Arabia, who were bitter enemies of Islam, would at once have cried out that it has been taken from their own accounts. Remember, the Holy Quran is the only scripture in the world that proclaims itself to be a miracle. It forcefully asserts that its prophecies and narratives are from the realm of the unseen, it contains prophecies about the future down to the Last Day, and that it is a miracle in respect of its eloquence and beauty of expression. It would have been easy for the Christians of that time to produce the books from which passages were supposedly copied in the Holy Quran, thus dealing a severe blow to Islam. But now they only cry over spilled milk. It is unthinkable that the Christians of Arabia would have kept quiet despite being in possession of books—whether genuine or forged—from which they suspected the Holy Quran of having copied certain material. Thus there can be no doubt that the Holy Quran is totally composed of the revealed word of God, and that this revelation was a great miracle, for, no one could produce anything like it. Just consider, can a person dare to give such a challenge to the whole world, while being a plagiarist and having cooked the whole thing up on his own, and knowing full well that this knowledge has not come to him from the unseen, rather he has stolen it from such and such books, and to think that no one should be able to accept his challenge and expose him! The fact is that the Christians are extremely annoyed with the Holy Quran, for it has destroyed the very basis of their religion. It has refuted the concept of deifying a human being, shattered the doctrine of the cross, and proven beyond all doubt that the teachings of the Gospels—which the Christians are so proud of—are extremely flawed and ineffective. It was, therefore, only natural for their egoistic passions to have been aroused, and their imputations [against the Holy Quran] are quite understandable. The example of a Muslim who wishes to convert to Christianity is like a person who, having been born from his mother’s womb and having attained maturity, wishes to return to her womb and become a sperm once more. I wonder what the Christians are so proud of! If they have a ‘God’, he is the one who died long ago and lies buried in Mohalla Khanyar, Srinagar, Kashmir. And if he has any miracles to his name, they are no greater than those of other Prophets, indeed Prophet Elijah showed greater miracles than he ever did.”

This is from the book: Fountain of Christianity. Please see the actual book for some of the references cited and the footnotes.


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  1. Zia Shah

    Different Gospels are self contradictory — As we compare and contrast the Bible and the Holy Quran, let me share with you an excerpt from Robert Wright from his book ‘the Evolution of God’ that is particularly insightful in understanding the different books of the New Testament:”Hard evidence about the ‘historical Jesus’ is scanty. The Bible’s gospel accounts of Jesus’s life and words-the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – were written sometime between 65 and 100 CE, thirty-five to seventy years after his death. By that time, their raw material, stories then circulating about Jesus in oral or written form, had no doubt been shaped by the psychological and rhetorical needs of his followers. (The letters of Paul – New Testament books such as Philippians and Romans – were written earlier, beginning around twenty years after Jesus’s death. Unfortunately, they say almost nothing about Jesus’s life and very little about his words.)The book of Mark is generally considered the most factually reliable of the four gospels. It was written around 70 CE, roughly four decades after the Crucifixion. That’s a long lag, but it offers less time for the accrual of dubious information than the roughly five decades available for Matthew and Luke or the six or seven decades for John. What’s more, during Mark’s composition there would have been people sixty or seventy years old who as young adults had personally witnessed the doings and sayings of Jesus and knew his biographical details – and whose recollections may have constrained the author’s inventiveness. This population would shrink during the decade or more before other gospels took shape, expanding creative freedom.Certainly as we move through the gospels in the order of their composition, we can see the accumulation of more and more dubious information. Mark doesn’t give us anything like ‘the plain unvarnished truth,’ but his story is plainly less varnished than are later accounts. (The actual name and identity of the author of Mark, as with the other gospels, is unknown, but in all cases, for convenience, I’ll call the authors by the names of their books.)Consider the problem of Jesus being from a humble village, Nazareth. The Hebrew Bible had said that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David and, like David, would be born in Bethlehem. Mark never addresses the question of how ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ could have been born in Bethlehem. But by the time Matthew and Luke were written, an answer had emerged – two answers, even. Luke says Jesus’s parents went to Bethlehem for a census and returned to Nazareth after his birth. In Matthew’s version, Jesus’s parents just seem to live in Bethlehem. How then would Jesus wind up in Nazareth? Through an elaborate side story that has the family fleeing to Egypt under duress and then, upon leaving Egypt, deeming a return to Bethlehem dangerous, and settling in ‘a town called Nazareth.’ This contradiction between Luke and Matthew suggests that in this case, Mark, the earliest gospel, is the place to find the awkward truth: Jesus of Nazareth was Jesus of Nazareth. (Mathew 2:23) John (1:46-49) solves the Nazareth problem in yet another way….Indeed, by the time of John there has been a general change in the tenor of Jesus’s miracles. In Mark, Jesus didn’t do miracles ostentatiously, and sometimes he even took pains to perform them in private. (An answer to critics who .noted that few people other than Jesus’s followers claimed witness to his miracles?) In John, Jesus turns miracles into spectacles. Before raising Lazarus from the dead-something Jesus does in no other gospel-he says Lazarus’s illness was ‘for God’s glory, so that the son of God may be glorified through it.’ Moreover, the miracles are now explicitly symbolic. When Jesus heals a blind man, he says, ‘I am the light of the world.’ (Mark 5:37, Luke 8:51, John 11:4 & 9:5)A fairly immodest claim – but John’s Jesus is not a modest man. In no previous gospel does Jesus equate himself with God. But in John he says, ‘The Father and I are one.’ (John 10:30) Christian legend and theology have by this point had sixty or seventy years to evolve, and they are less obedient than ever to memories of the real, human Jesus.All of this suggests that if we are going to try to make a stab at reconstructing the ‘historical Jesus,’ even in broadest outlines, Mark, the earliest gospel, is the place to start. There, more than in any other account of Jesus’s life and sayings, the number of plainly awkward and barely varnished facts suggests at least some degree of factualness.”(Robert Wright. The Evolution of God. Little Brown and Company, 2009. Pages 249-254.)So, when we consider the allegation of the Christian apologists that the Quran is borrowed from the Bible, in the above light, truth becomes glaringly obvious. It would have been hard to copy from the self contradicting Bible. What to copy and what not to!

  2. Zia Shah

    Refuting the allegation that the Quran is borrowed from the Bible — The whole of the book by Dr. Maurice Bucaille, the Bible the Quran and the Science is a vindication of the Holy Quran against the accusation that the Holy Quran is borrowed from the Bible, but certain portions specifically address this issue; for example he writes in the chapter ‘The Creation of the Heavens and the Earth’:”Indisputably, resemblances do exist between narrations dealing with other subjects, particularly religious history, in the Bible and in the Qur’an. It is moreover interesting to note from this point of view how nobody holds against Jesus the fact that he takes up the same sort of facts and Biblical teachings. This does not, of course, stop people in the West from accusing Muhammad of referring to such facts in his teaching with the suggestion that he is an imposter because he presents them as a Revelation. As for the proof that Muhammad reproduced in the Qur’an what he had been told or dictated by the rabbis, it has no more substance than the statement that a Christian monk gave him a sound religious education. One would do well to re-read what R. Blachère in his book, The Problem of Muhammad (Le Problème de Mahomet), has to say about this ‘fable’.”At another place, in the section of ‘Qur’an and the modern science’ Maurice Bucaille in his book ‘the Bible the Quran and the Science’ is addressing the accusation that the Holy Quran is borrowed from the Bible:”At the end of this, the third section of the present work, the detailed results of the comparison between the Biblical and Qur’anic description of a single event are given, along with an account of how the passage fared when subjected to the scientific criticism of each description. An examination has, for example, been made in the case of the Creation and of the Flood. In each instance, the incompatibilities with science in the Biblical description have been made clear. Also to be seen is the complete agreement between science and the descriptions in the Qur’an referring to them. We shall note precisely those differences that make one description scientifically acceptable in the present day and the other unacceptable.This observation is of prime importance, since in the West, Jews, Christians and Atheists are unanimous in stating (without a scrap of evidence however) that Muhammad wrote the Qur’an or had it written as an imitation of the Bible. It is claimed that stories of religious history in the Qur’an resume Biblical stories. This attitude is as thoughtless as saying that Jesus Himself duped His contemporaries by drawing inspiration from the Old Testament during His preachings: the whole of Matthew’s Gospel is based on this continuation of the Old Testament, as we have indeed seen already. What expert in exegesis would dream of depriving Jesus of his status as God’s envoy for this reason? This is nevertheless the way that Muhammad is judged more often than not in the West: “all he did Was to copy the Bible”. It is a summary judgement that does not take account of the fact that the Qur’an and the Bible provide different versions of a single event. People prefer not to talk about the difference in the descriptions. They are pronounced to be the same and thus scientific knowledge need not be brought in. We shall enlarge on these problems when dealing with the description of the Creation and the Flood.”

  3. Zia Shah

    Absence of myth and legends in the Holy Quran — The non.Muslims are sometimes critical about what the Muslims have to write about the mention of accurate scientific facts in the Holy Quran. Another quick way to examine the Quran is to note the absence of myths lengends and inaccurate information that abounds in other religions, cultures and even in the Bible.Let me start my case with an example from the Bible. Stephen Hawking mentions in his book the Grand Design:”The idea that there are laws of nature brings up issues similar to that for which Galileo had been convicted of heresy. … For instance, the Bible tells the story of Joshua praying for the sun and moon to stop in their trajectories so he would have extra daylight to finish fighting the Amorites in Canaan. According to the book of Joshua, the sun stood still for about a day. Today we know that that would have meant that the earth stopped rotating. If the earth stopped, according to New¬ton’s laws anything not tied down would have remained in motion at the earth’s original speed (1000 miles per hour at the equator) a high price to pay for a delayed sunset. None of this bothered Newton himself, for as we’ve said, Newton believed that God could and did intervene in the workings of the universe.”Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 87.Again Stephen Hawking mentions in his book the Grand Design:”ACCORDING TO THE BOSHONGO PEOPLE of central Africa, in the beginning there was only darkness, water, and the great god Bumba. One day Bumba, in pain from a stom¬achache, vomited up the sun. In time the sun dried up some of the water, leaving land. But Bumba was still in pain, and vomited some more. Up came the moon, the stars, and then some animals: the leopard, the crocodile, the turtle, and finally man. The Mayans of Mexico and Central America tell of a similar time before cre¬ation when all that existed were the sea, the sky, and the Maker. In the Mayan legend the Maker, unhappy because there was no one to praise him, created the earth, mountains, trees, and most ani-mals. But the animals could not speak, and so he decided to create humans. First he made them of mud and earth, but they only spoke nonsense. He let them dissolve away and tried again, this time fashioning people from wood. Those people were dull. He decided to destroy them, but they escaped into the forest, sustaining damage along the way that altered them slightly, creating what we today know as monkeys. After that fiasco, the Maker finally came upon a formula that worked, and constructed the first humans from white and yellow corn. Today we make ethanol from corn, but so far haven’t matched the Maker’s feat of constructing the people who drink it.”Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 123.Additional stories to be quoted from:Michio Kaku. Parallel Worlds. Anchor Books, 2005. Page 4-5.

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