‘And they were knowing…’ – willing disobedience amongst the People of the Book

Our Muslim friends inform us that the scriptures of the People of the Book were corrupted long ago, and accordingly Christians go astray in believing fabricated doctrines such as Jesus’ atoning death and his divinity. We would therefore expect the main Qur’anic charge to be that the Jews and the Christians are deluded, deceived. However, […]

Do the ‘People of the Book’ recognise Al-Ṣafā and al-Marwah (Q 2:158-159)?

158 Safa and Marwa are among the rites of God, so for those who make major or minor pilgrimage to the House it is no offence to circulate between the two. Anyone who does good of his own accord will be rewarded, for God rewards good deeds, and knows everything. 159 As for those who […]

An untimely death? Q 3:55, Q 5:116-117 and the crucifixion of Jesus

Did Jesus’ die on the cross according to the Qur’an? Or did God raise him to heaven alive, as is the majority Muslim interpretation of Q 4:157? Though this blog post will not attempt to deal with this issue exhaustively, I want to highlight a couple of verses which I believe are of particular significance. […]

The ratio of ‘oral corruption’ to ‘textual corruption’ verses, and its significance

I was recently speaking to a Muslim friend with whom I have often debated whether the Qur’an teaches the textual corruption (textual taḥrīf) of the former scriptures (the Torah and the Gospel). He believes the Qur’an does teach textual taḥrīf, whereas I do not. As we were speaking recently he was describing the complexity of […]

‘Islam Critiqued’, Boiling Water and the Flood

I highly recommend the short, 4 minute video produced by Islam Critiqued, where he makes a strong case that the Qur’anic detail that the Flood included boiling water (Q 11:40, 23:37) derives from rather dubious Jewish exegesis in the Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 12a. I won’t repeat the argument, go and check out the video. […]

The wall and the living room

In recent conversations with a Muslim friend, I found the conversation becoming somewhat repetitive and confused as my friend and I struggled to interact with each other’s arguments while wearing different hats. These different hats are those of the ‘outsider’ and those of the ‘insider’, those of the allegedly objective outside observer and the self-confessedly […]

The ‘coincidence’ of the trees

One of my subsidiary arguments in response to Islam is that, in my opinion, it provides a less compelling ‘meta-narrative’ than the Bible. The Bible provides a richer overarching storyline of fall and redemption, which in the Qur’an is transformed into a repetitive cycle of homogenised prophetic cycles. Where the Qur’an gains simplicity, a feature […]

The Qur’anic Paternity Test: Attempting to Recognise our own Sons

Argument in a nutshell: Premise A) The Qur’an says that the People of the Book ‘recognise [something] as clearly as they recognise their own sons’ (Q 2:146, 6:20). This is because of what their Scriptures say. Premise B) The object of recognition could be the Prophethood of Muhammad, or the direction of prayer towards the […]