Allah said it?

Muslims sometimes (see footnote 1) make the claim:

We should read the Quran believing this is Allah speaking to us, because that is what it is. It is Allah talking to us directly.



Islam is unique among the Abrahamic religions in its understanding of sacred scripture. While the Hebrew and Christian scriptures contain an occasional direct quotation by the divinity (e.g., “And I heard the voice of the L-rd, saying, . . . ‘ Isaiah 6.8; “but [the Lord] said to me, . . . “ Galatians 12.9), these scriptures contain primarily narration, poetry, wisdom, sermon, instruction and epistle written in the third person. Only the Glorious Qur’an consists entirely of Allah speaking for himself in the first person. This direct identification of the Arabic words of the Qur’an with Allah has profound implications for communication and rhetoric in the Islamic world.


This kind of claims create serious problems from the very start of the Koran. Recall that the Koran begins with a chapter called “Al-Fatiha” (The Opening).

That chapter includes the following verse:

إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين

The translation of this is: “You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help”

Everyone who reads this recognizes that there are essentially two options:

1) These are the words of a man worshiping Allah; or

2) These are the words of Allah worshiping someone else.

Given the rest of Islamic theology (2) is wrong, and consequently (1) is really the only option. But if (1) is the option, then this is not the literal words of Allah, but the words of someone speaking to Allah. You might think (see footnote 2) that this would be readily admitted by everyone, but surprisingly I have observed this issue be disputed. The response given was “you can see it’s a prayer, you can see it’s a prayer,” which is not really a matter of any dispute.

It is alleged (though I have not been able to find confirmation of this) that some copies of the Koran inserted the word “say” at the beginning of this chapter, so that the words would be Allah’s words telling people how to praise him. No “say,” however, is found in the most popular edition of the Koran today.

It is also alleged that the entire surah “Al-Fatiha” (the Opening) is a later (yet pre-Uthmanic) addition to the Koran. Even if we left out “Al-Fatiha” from our consideration, one does find “Allah” speaking in the third person (not just the first person) in other places in the Koran, such as:

From Surah 2, “The Cow,”
243 Have you not considered those who went forth from their homes, for fear of death, and they were thousands, then Allah said to them, Die; again He gave them life; most surely Allah is Gracious to people, but most people are not grateful.

The Bible is superior to the Koran in many ways. One way is that it teaches that prophecy does not have its origins in man’s will, but yet it is the product of men speaking. As Scripture says:

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Where is any teaching like that in the Koran? Where is a proper understanding of the way by which God’s revelation is conveyed through the prophets?


Footnote 1: There are a very large number of Muslims. Some say 1 billion. There is simply no way that the positions identified above are held by all 1 billion of them.

Footnote 2: Most of the usual readers of my blog are not Muslims.

5 Responses to “Allah said it?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    It's time for islamit theologists to become scholastic in qur'an studies and admit the existence of textual variants of the qur'an and gather them in a textus receptus as biblical scholarship has treated its sacred writings. As long as the muslim world rejects scholarly scientific methods when it comes to their religion but hides behind taboos, they can and won't be taken seriously. It's really a shame that the existence of textual variants and the lack of a coherent transmission history is so blatantly denied by the islamic community.

  2. natamllc Says:

    If I might, I would say the Qu'ran is an "unvetted" work of man with some felonious extortion backing it's acceptance!Why is the Church communities so valuable to the newly converted Elect, Chosen of God? Because God welcomes the vetting process.For instance, He is the Only God I know, by His Own Hand, Who directs me to "test" or "vet" Him on matters pertaining to our common life!You would not get away with that in any religion of the world!Here are cited two examples:Joh 14:8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Joh 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. And then this most amazing admission:::>Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. Joh 16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. Joh 16:16 "A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me." Joh 16:17 So some of his disciples said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'; and, 'because I am going to the Father'?" Joh 16:18 So they were saying, "What does he mean by 'a little while'? We do not know what he is talking about." Joh 16:19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me'? Joh 16:20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. There simply is just no other pious Faith like the Faith Christ brought into the Light to be tested by with fire! None, none, none!Now, if you think, just because we have it on Good Counsel, our futures will hold prim roses and daffodils, you need to weigh carefully these Words too then:::>Mar 10:29 Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, Mar 10:30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. Mar 10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first." Hmmmmmm, persecutions? What??There is certainly a difference in dying for His Faith and entering into a just reward or dying to destroy others of a not so common faith all the while believing in rewards of vain deceit!

  3. Paijo Budi Says:

    Excellent TF,Can I borrow this argument? I just heard a popular Muslim apologist in Indonesia saying that "the Bible is not the Word of God because there are words of Satan there as well as there are words of man" in a recent debate with chritians. God bless you TFPaijo

  4. Turretinfan Says:

    Yes, of course. Any argument I use is only good to the extent it is the truth, and I cannot take any credit for just showing the truth.

  5. Joel Tay Says:


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