SCIENTIFIC COMPARISION BETWEEN QUR’AN AND BIBLE
By Dr Zakir Naik
If you glance through the Bible and the Qur’an you may find several points which appear to be exactly the same in both of them, but when you analyse them closely, you realise that there is a difference of ‘chalk and cheese’ between them. Only based on historical details it is difficult for someone who is neither conversant with Christianity or Islam to come to a firm decision as to which of the scriptures is true; however if you verify the relevant passages of both the scriptures against scientific knowledge, you will yourself realize the truth.
a. Creation of the Universe in Six Days
As per the Bible, in the first book of Genesis in Chapter On e, the universe was created in six days and each day is defined as a twenty-four hours period. Even though the Qur’an mentions that the universe was created in six ‘Ayyaams’, ‘Ayyaam’ is the plural of years; this word has two meanings: firstly, it means a standard twenty-four hours period i.e. a day, and secondly, it also means stage, period or epoch which is a very long period of time.
When the Qur’an mentions that the universe was created in six ‘Ayyaams’, it refers to the creation of the heavens and the earth in six long periods or epochs; scientists have no objection to this statement. The creation of the universe has taken billions of years, which proves false or contradicts the concept of the Bible which states that the creation of the Universe took six days of twenty-four hour durations each.
b. Sun Created After the Day
The Bible says in chapter 1, verses 3-5, of Genesis that the phenomenon of day and night was created on the first day of creation of the Universe by God. The light circulating in the universe is the result of a complex reaction in the stars; these stars were created according to the Bible (Genesis chapter 1 verse 14 to 19) on the fourth day. It is illogical to mention the result that is the light (the phenomenon of day and night) was created on the first day of Creation when the cause or source of the light was created three days later. Moreover the existence of evening and morning as elements of a single day is only conceivable after the creation of the earth and its rotation around the sun. In contrast with the contents of the Bible on this issue, the Qur’an does not give any unscientific sequence of Creation. Hence it is absolutely absurd to say that Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) copied the passages pertaining to the creation of the universe from the Bible but missed out this illogical and fantastic sequence of the Bible.
c. Creation of the Sun, The Earth and the Moon
According to the Bible, Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verses 9 to 13, the earth was created on the third day, and as per verses 14 to 19, the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day. The earth and the moon emanated, as we know, from their original star, the Sun. Hence to place the creation of the sun and the moon after the creation of the earth is contrary to the established idea about the formation of the solar system.
d. Vegetation Created on the third day and Sun on the fourth day
According to the Bible, Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verses 11-13, vegetation was created on the third day along with seed-bearing grasses, plants and trees; and further on as per verses 14-19, the sun was created on the fourth day. How is it scientifically possible for the vegetation to have appeared without the presence of the sun, as has been stated in the Bible?
If Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) was indeed the author of the Qur’an and had copied its contents from the Bible, how did he manage to avoid the factual errors that the Bible contains? The Qur’an does not contain any statements which are incompatible with scientific facts.
e. The Sun and the Moon both Emit light
According to the Bible both the sun and the moon emit their own light. In the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 16 says, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night”.
Science tells us today that the moon does not have its own light. This confirms the Qur’anic concept that the light of the moon is a reflected light. To think that 1400 years ago, Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) corrected these scientific errors in the Bible and then copied such corrected passages in the Qur’an is to think of something impossible.
f. Adam the First man on Earth, lived 5,800 years ago
As per the genealogy of Jesus Christ given in the Bible, from Jesus through Abraham (pbuh) to the first man on earth i.e. Adam (pbuh), Adam appeared on the earth approximately 5800 years ago:
i) 1948 years between Adam (pbuh) and Abraham (pbuh)
ii) Approximately 1800 years between Abraham (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh)
iii) 2000 years from Jesus (pbuh) till today
These figures are further confused by the fact that the Jewish calendar is currently on or about 5800 years old.
There is sufficient evidence from archaeological and anthropological sources to suggest that the first human being on earth was present tens of thousands of years ago and not merely 5,800 years ago as is suggested by the Bible.
The Qur’an too speaks about Adam (pbuh) as the first man on earth but it does not suggest any date or period of his life on earth, unlike the Bible – what the Bible says in this regard is totally incompatible with science.
g. Noah and the Flood
The Biblical description of the flood in Genesis chapter 6, 7 and 8 indicates that the deluge was universal and it destroyed every living thing on earth, except those present with Noah (pbuh) in the ark. The description suggests that the event took place 1656 years after the creation of Adam (pbuh) or 292 years before the birth of Abraham, at a time when Noah (pbuh) was 600 years old. Thus the flood may have occurred in the 21st or 22nd Century B.C.
This story of the flood, as given in the Bible, contradicts scientific evidence from archaelogical sources which indicate that the eleventh dynasty in Egypt and the third dynasty in Babylonia were in existence without any break in civilisation and in a manner totally unaffected by any major calamity which may have occurred in the 21st century B.C. This contradicts the Biblical story that the whole world had been immersed in the flood water. In contrast to this, the Qur’anic presentation of the story of Noah and the flood does not conflict with scientific evidence or archaeological data; firstly, the Qur’an does not indicate any specific date or year of the occurance of that event, and secondly, according to the Qur’an the flood was not a universal phenomenon which destroyed complete life on earth. In fact the Qur’an specifically mentions that the flood was a localised event only involving the people of Noah.
It is illogical to assume that Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) had borrowed the story of the flood from the Bible and corrected the mistakes before mentioning it in the Qur’an.
h. Moses and Pharaoh of the Exodus
The story of Moses (pbuh) and the Pharaoh of the Exodus are very much identical in the Qur’an and the Bible. Both scriptures agree that the Pharaoh drowned when he tried to pursue Moses (pbuh) and led the Israelites across a stretch of water that they crossed. The Qur’an gives an additional piece of information in Surah Yunus chapter 10 verse 92: “This day shall We save thee in thy body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee! But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!” [Al-Qur’an 10:92]
Dr. Maurice Bucaille, after a thorough research proved that although Rameses II was known to have persecuted the Israelites as per the Bible, he actually died while Moses (pbuh) was taking refuge in Median. Rameses II’s son Merneptah who succeeded him as Pharaoh drowned during the exodus. In 1898, the mummified body of Merneptah was found in the valley of Kings in Egypt. In 1975, Dr. Maurice Bucaille with other doctors received permission to examine the Mummy of Merneptah, the findings of which proved that Merneptah probably died from drowning or a violent shock which immediately preceeded the moment of drowning. Thus the Qur’anic verse that we shall save his body as a sign, has been fulfilled by the Pharaohs’ body being kept at the Royal Mummies room in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
This verse of the Qur’an compelled Dr. Maurice Bucaille, who was a Christian then, to study the Qur’an. He later wrote a book ‘The Bible, the Qur’an and Science’, and confessed that the author of the Qur’an can be no one else besides God Himself. Thus he embraced Islam.
i. Qur’an is a book of Allah
These evidences are sufficient to conclude that the Qur’an was not copied from the Bible, but that the Qur’an is the Furqaan – ‘the Criteria’ to judge right from wrong and it should be used to decipher which portion of the Bible may be considered as the Word of God.
The Qur’an itself testifies in Surah Sajda chapter 32 verse 1 to 3 Alif Laam Meem. (This is) the revelation of the Book in which there is no doubt – from the Lord of the Worlds.Or do they say, ‘He has forged it’? Nay, it is the Truth from thy Lord, that thou mayest admonish a people to whom no warner has come before thee: in order that they may receive guidance.” [Al-Qur’an 32:1-3]