Submission

a.k.a. "Islam" in Arabic

The Religion of Abraham Which Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad Followed

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And who is better in religion than one who … follows the religion of Abraham ... (Quran: 4:125)

Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the religion of Abraham ... (Quran: 16:123)

Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. ... (41:43)

He (God) has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein … (42:13)

Dedication

God expects you to use your God-given brain.

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ
Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use their brains to think. (8:22)

I dedicate this book to people who use their brain.

Author

David
David is an American Muslim living in Silicon Valley, California. He has lived in Indonesia and Egypt and has visited many other Islamic countries throughout the Middle East. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and holds a masters degree in computer science. David is also familiar with and has performed Quran-based Islamic exorcisms. Fascinated by the mystical powers of the Quran to expel evil jinn living in human bodies and surprised by the proliferation of victims of black magic, David began to examine the Quran. To his surprise, he discovered that much of what the majority of Muslims believe and practice either contradicts or is not even supported by the Quran. His books on Islam are the results of this discovery.

David has also written other Islamic books and created several Islamic resources which can be found at www.uncorruptedislam.com.

READ ME FIRST!

The information presented in this book may come as a surprise to most Muslims and probably Jews and Christians. At first glance, a reader might think of it as blasphemy. However, all Muslims, whether Sunni, Shiah, Druze, Alawi, Salafi, or whatever other sect, agree that the Quran is the truth. Therefore, the information provided in this book is purely based on the Quran with references to verses to prove each claim. After reading this book with an unbiased and open mind, Muslims may wonder why the global Muslim community, Islamic scholars, and they themselves never realized the truth that this book proves. I believe the primary reason for this stems from Quran chapter 47 verse 24.

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا
Then do they not study / think deeply about / understand the Qur'an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts? (47:24)

The key word here is "tadabbur" which means “study / think deeply about to understand”.

Most Muslims are non-Arabic speakers. They read the Quran but don’t understand what they are reading. They could read translations in their own language but for some reason, they seem to think it’s better to read the Arabic Quran without understanding the words. Since the Quran is not written the way today’s books are written, even Arabic-speaking readers have a hard time understanding the meaning of it. And anyone who reads the Quran in their own language will still not necessarily understand its meaning because most people don’t actually think deeply to understand (tadabbur) each verse.

The purpose of this book is to help the reader understand various topics about the religion of Submission (Arabic: Islam) and the Quran so that they can use valid and logical arguments to make better decisions about their beliefs. Before embarking on this journey to learn the truth, it is highly recommended that you prepare yourself in the following ways.

Proofs in this book that reference the Quran are shown in parentheses such as (16:123) which means Quran chapter 16 verse 123. All English translations are taken from Sahih International as I find them to be more accurate compared to others I’ve read and it tries to keep the word order more or less the same as the original Arabic text. However, the word Allah has been translated to God since Sahih International either forgot to or didn’t want to translate Allah to God even though they probably knew that Allah in Arabic means God in English.

Do not read this book with the intention to contradict and refute it, nor to believe and take it for granted, but to weigh and consider the proofs detailed herein. And most definitely, do not judge this book based on the length of my beard!

Sincerely,

David
San Francisco Bay Area, USA

The religion of Submission (Arabic: Islam)

Most people think that Islam is the universal name of a religion. However, Islam is a word in the Arabic language that has a meaning or a description. As such, it can be translated. In English, "Islam" translates to “Submission”. In Indonesian, “Islam” translates to “Penyerahan”. Therefore, Islam or Submission or Penyerahan is a religion where one believes in and submits to the one, true God. A person who submits to this God is called a “Muslim” which is also just a word in the Arabic language that means a person who follows Islam. The translation of the word “Muslim” is “Submitter” in English and “Penyerah” in Indonesian. Consequently, the word Islam is not the universal name of the religion. It is only the description of the religion in the Arabic language. As such, an English-speaking person can say that their religion is called “Submission” and an Indonesian-speaking person can say that their religion is called “Penyerahan” and, by definition, they have the same religion as an Arabic-speaking person who calls their religion “Islam”. Similarly, a “submitter” (English) and a “penyerah” (Indonesian) are also Muslim because those words simply translate to “Muslim” in the Arabic language. Regardless of what your language is, if you believe in and submit to the one, true God, then you are, by definition, a Muslim / Submitter / Penyerah, whether you want to call the name of your religion “Islam” or not.

Since this book is in English, I will call the religion "Submission (Islam)" and followers of the religion “Submitters (Muslims)”.

God’s religion is Submission (Arabic: Islam)

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ
Indeed, the religion in the sight of God is Submission (Islam). ... (3:19)

Submission (Arabic: Islam) is the only acceptable religion

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
And whoever desires other than Submission (Islam) as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. (3:85)

God

God’s name

"Allah" is not the universal name of God. “Allah” is a word in Arabic that means “God.” Therefore, Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians also call God “Allah.” For example, they would saya “Insha Allah” which means “God willing” even though they are Jewish or Christian. The Quran refers to God as “Allah” because the Quran is in Arabic. Logically, therefore, if the Quran were revealed in English, Allah would be called “God” and if the Quran were revealed in Indonesian, Allah would be called “Tuhan”, which is the Indonesian translation of the word “Allah.” However, translators of the Quran, for some reason, only translate all other Arabic words in the Quran and not the word “Allah”.

El, Yahweh, Allah

Prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew God as "El". Prophet Moses knew God as “Yahweh”. Prophet Muhammad knew God as “Allah”

"And God spoke to Moses and said to him, I am the Lord (Hebrew: Yahweh) and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty (Hebrew: 'El Shaddai') but I was not known to them by my name 'Yahweh'" (Exodus 6.2-3)

You can call God by any good name

قُلِ ادْعُوا اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمَٰنَ ۖ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ
"Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the most beautiful names. …." (17:110 part)

Prophets and messengers

Quranic List of Prophets and Messengers, Their People, and Scriptures

The list of names and scriptures below are based on the information available to use in the Quran. There may be more prophets and messengers that just weren't mentioned in the Quran.

  1. Adam
    • Adam is often regarded as the first prophet but the Quran never specifically says that he was a prophet. However, the Quran in verse 3:33 does mention that Adam was special similar to Noah and Abraham.
  2. Idris / Enoch
    • He was a prophet (19:56)
  3. Nuh / Noah
    • He was a prophet (6:89, 4:163) and a messenger (26:107)
    • He was sent to the people of Noah (26:105)
  4. Hud
    • He was a messenger (26:125)
    • He was sent to the people of Ad (7:65)
  5. Saleh
    • He was a messenger (26:143)
    • He was sent to the people of Thamud (7:73)
  6. Ibrahim / Abraham
    • He was a prophet (19:41, 4:163) and a messenger (9:70)
    • He was sent to the people of Abraham (22:43)
    • He was given the "Scrolls of Abraham" (87:19)
    • Ibrahim was not a Jew or a Christian (3:67)
  7. Lut / Lot
    • He was a prophet (6:85-89) and a messenger (37:133)
    • He was sent to the people of Lot (7:80)
  8. Ismail / Ishmael
    • He was a prophet (19:54, 4:163, 6:85-89) and a messenger (19:54)
  9. Is’haq / Isaac
    • He was a prophet (19:49, 4:163)
  10. Ya’kub / Jacob / Israel
    • He was a prophet (19:49, 4:163, 19:58)
  11. Yusuf / Joseph
    • He was a messenger (12:50)
  12. Ayyub / Job
    • He was a prophet (4:163)
  13. Shuaib / Jethro
    • He was a messenger (26:178)
    • He was sent to the people of Midian (7:85)
  14. Musa / Moses
    • He was a prophet (19:51) and a messenger (19:51)
    • He was sent to Pharoah and his establishment (43:46)
    • He was given the Torah (53:36)
  15. Harun / Aaron
    • He was a prophet (19:53, 4:163)
  16. Dhul-Kifl / Ezekiel
    • He was a prophet (21:85-86 chapter of the "prophets")
  17. Dawud / David
    • He was a prophet (17:55, 4:163) and a messenger (4:163)
    • He was given the Zabur (Psalms) (17:55)
  18. Sulaiman / Solomon
    • He was a messenger (4:163)
  19. Ilyas / Elijah
    • He was a messenger (37:123, 6:85-89)
    • He was sent to the people of Ilyas (37:124)
  20. Al Yasa / Elisha
    • He was a messenger (6:85-89)
  21. Yunus / Jonah
    • He was a prophet (6:85-89, 4:163) and a messenger (37:139)
    • He was sent to the people of Yunus (10:98)
  22. Zakariya / Zechariah
    • He was a prophet (6:85-89)
  23. Yahya / John
    • He was a prophet (3:39, 6:85-89)
  24. Isa / Jesus / The Messiah
    • He was a prophet (19:30, 4:163, 6:85-89) and a messenger (4:171)
    • He was sent to the Children of Israel (61:6)
    • He was given the Injil (Gospel) (57:27)
    • His other name was The Messiah (3:45)
  25. Muhammad / Ahmad
    • He was a prophet (33:40) and a messenger (33:40)
    • He was sent to the Arabs (42:7) for all of mankind (7:158)
    • His other name was "Ahmad" (61:6)
    • He was given the Quran (42:7)
    • The Quran was revealed in Arabic
      1. because God wanted to make it easy for Muhammad as an Arabic speaker (19:97)
      2. so that Muhammad could warn his local community of Arabs (42:7)
      3. because if it was in another language, the local Arabs would not believe in it (41:44)
    • The Arabic Quran was revealed to Arabs because if it was revealed to non-Arabs, they would not have believed in it (26:198-199)

Prophets and messengers are not the same thing

This is proven based on the wording used in verse 22:52.

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ وَلَا نَبِيٍّ ...
And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet ... (22:52)

What is a prophet?

In verse 2:213, it’s clear that prophets were given scriptures (books). Similar verses are 6:89, 3:79, and 3:81.

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ...
Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then God sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. ... (22:52)

What is a messenger?

Be definition, a messenger is someone who brings or shares a "message". In the context of the Quran, a messengers shares or relates the message of the Quran.

The role of a messenger

According to verse 6:48, a messengers job is to only "give good news" and to “warn”.

وَمَا نُرْسِلُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ ۖ فَمَنْ آمَنَ وَأَصْلَحَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
And We send not the messengers except as bringers of good tidings and warners. So whoever believes and reforms - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (14:4)

Each messenger was given the same message

The message that was revealed before the Quran is the same as what was revealed in the Quran. This is proven in verse 41:43.

مَّا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. Indeed, your Lord is a possessor of forgiveness and a possessor of painful penalty. (41:43)

Each messenger received a revelation to worship the one God

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, "There is no deity except Me, so worship Me." (21:25)

A messenger was sent to every community

Verse 16:36 indicates that messengers are sent to every community / nation. Since new communities / nations existed after Muhammad’s time, then there must be messengers after Muhammad died.

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ
And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], "Worship God and avoid Taghut." (16:36 part)

Each messenger spoke the language of his people

Verse 14:4 indicates that a messenger speaks the language of his people. Prophet Muhammad only spoke Arabic and he was sent as a messenger for his Arabic-speaking people. Since there are many other languages besides Arabic, there must be many other messengers besides Muhammad, both before and after Muhammad died.

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ
And We did not send any messenger but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly; …. (14:4)

Messengers relate God’s verses

In verse 7:35, God tells the Children of Adam (all of mankind) that there will be multiple messengers from among humans rehearsing God’s verses. There is no mention of an end of the messengers. Therefore, certain people who rehearse God’s verses after prophet Muhammad can be a messenger.

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ إِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي ۙ فَمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَأَصْلَحَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
O children of Adam, if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you My verses, then whoever fears God and reforms - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (23:51)

God gave some messengers higher ranks over others

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۘ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ...
We have made some of these messengers to excel the others among them are they to whom God spoke, and some of them He exalted by rank / degrees; and We gave clear miracles to Jesus son of Mary, and strengthened him with the Holy spirit. … (2:253)
وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۖ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا
And We have made some of the prophets exceed others [in various ways], and to David We gave the book [of Psalms]. (17:55)

However, believers in God and His messengers must consider all messengers equal.

Christians celebrate Prophet Jesus’ birthday and they consider him superior to all other prophets. Likewise, some of today’s Submitters (Muslims) celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and almost all Submitters (Muslims) consider Muhammad superior to all other prophets. Although God favored some messengers over others, God expects everyone to see all messengers as equal including Prophet Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
Say: We believe in God and that which had been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we do not make any distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him. (2:136)

Related verses: 2:285, 3:84, 4:152, 17:55

Multiple messengers have existed at the same time for the same community

In Quran verse 23:51, God tells multiple messengers to do right. By the use of the plural form of the word "messenger", this cannot refer to just prophet Muhammad. It also indicates that Muhammad had helpers around him who were messengers.

يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا ...
[God said], "O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. ... (23:51)

We also see plurality of messengers who came to other communities / nations.

"The people of Noah rejected the messengers" (26:105) “The Ad (people) rejected the messengers” (26:123) “The Thamud (people) rejected the messengers” (26:141) “The people of Lut rejected the messengers” (26:160)

Conclusion

Based on the analysis above, we can summarize as follows:

Scriptures (books)

Description Of scriptures / books

The Quran mentions various scriptures including

Torah (Arabic: Tawrah) a book which was communicated by God to Moses on Mount Sinai in 1280 BCE over the course of 40 days
Injeel / Gospels Injeel is likely wisdom given to Jesus which was later likely written by his apostles and became known as the Gospels
Psalms (Arabic: Zabuur) given to David
Quran a book which was communicated by God via the Holy Spirit Gabriel to Muhammad gradually from 610 CE when Muhammad was 40 years old until his death in 632 CE. The first revelation came when Muhammad was in a cave called Hira on the mountain Jabal Al-Noor near Mecca.

What scriptures Jews, Christians, and Muslims follow

Jews Jews follow the Jewish Bible. The Jewish Bible is also called the Tanakh which includes the Torah.
Christians Christians follow the Christian Bible. The Christian Bible consists of 2 parts:
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
The Old Testament includes the Jewish Bible / Tanakh and, depending on Christian denomination, some other books. The New Testament includes various books including the Injeel (Gospels).
Muslims Muslims follow the Quran.

Torah

The Torah is part of the Jewish Tanakh. The Tanakh is also the Christian Old Testament. Tanakh is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of the 3 subdivisions of the Masoretic texts which are

As such, Tanakh is often spelled as TaNaKh. Tanakh is also called “mikra” which means “that which is read”.

The 10 Commandments

The 10 Commandments are a set of principles followed by Jews and Christians. They appear twice in the Torah. They were also written on stone tablets which Moses had when he came down from spending 40 days on Mt. Sinai.

1 You shall have no other Gods but me.
2 You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
3 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4 You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
5 Respect your father and mother.
6 You must not commit murder.
7 You must not commit adultery.
8 You must not steal.
9 You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
10 You must not be envious of your neighbour's goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.

The 613 Commandments

There have been a many attempts to codify and enumerate the commandments contained in the Torah. The most popular enumeration is the 613 Commandments by Maimonides.

Tanakh

The Tanakh was mostly written in Hebrew. Following is the list of books in each subdivision of the Tanakh.

Torah (teaching) – 5 books
1 Genesis
2 Exodus
3 Leviticus
4 Numbers
5 Deuteronomy
Nevi’im (prophets) - 8 books
The former prophets
1 Joshua
2 Judges
3 Samuel
4 Kings
Latter Prophets
1 Isaiah
2 Jeremiah
3 Ezekiel
12 Minor Prophets (considered one book)
1 Hosea
2 Joel
3 Amos
4 Obadiah
5 Jonah
6 Micah
7 Nahum
8 Habakkuk
9 Zephaniah
10 Haggai
11 Zechariah
12 Malachi
Ketuvim(writings) – 11 books
Poetic books
1 Psalms
2 Book of Proverbs
3 Book of Job
Five Scrolls
1 Song of Songs or Song of Solomon (Passover)
2 Book of Ruth
3 Lamentations
4 Ecclesiastes
5 Book of Esther
Other Books
1 Book of Daniel
2 Book of Ezra—Book of Nehemiah
3 Chronicles

Old Testament

The Old Testament is the first part of the Christian Bible and mostly matches the Jewish Bible. It was written by various authors over a period of centuries.

New Testament

The New Testament is the second of two parts of the Christian Bible. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. It was written in Greek and completed before 120 AD. The books in the New Testament consist of 4 parts as follows.

Gospels (good news / glad tidings) – 4 books
Narratives of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus
1 The Gospel of Matthew
Ascribed to the Apostle Matthew. This gospel begins with a genealogy of Jesus and a story of his birth that includes a visit from magi and a flight into Egypt, and it ends with the commissioning of the disciples by the resurrected Jesus.
2 The Gospel of Mark
Ascribed to Mark the Evangelist. This gospel begins with the preaching of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus.
3 The Gospel of Luke
Ascribed to Luke the Evangelist, who was not one of the Twelve Apostles, but was mentioned as a companion of the Apostle Paul and as a physician.[17] This gospel begins with parallel stories of the birth and childhood of John the Baptist and Jesus and ends with appearances of the resurrected Jesus and his ascension into heaven.
4 The Gospel of John
Ascribed to John the Apostle. This gospel begins with a philosophical prologue and ends with appearances of the resurrected Jesus. It is about Jesus's miracles.
Acts of the Apostles
A narrative of the apostles' ministry and activity after Christ's death and resurrection, from which point it resumes and functions as a sequel to the Gospel of Luke.
Epistles– 21 letters
21 letters, often called "epistles" from Greek "epistole", written by various authors, and consisting of Christian doctrine, counsel, instruction, and conflict resolution;
Apocalypse (The Book of Revelation)
A book of prophecy, containing some instructions to seven local congregations of Asia Minor, but mostly containing prophetical symbology, about the end times.

Earliest Jewish Bible (Tanakh) manuscript

The Aleppo Codex (c. 920 CE) and Leningrad Codex (c. 1008 CE) were the oldest Hebrew language manuscripts of the Tanakh. In 1947 CE the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran pushed the manuscript history of the Tanakh back a millennium from the two earliest complete codices. Before this discovery, the earliest extant manuscripts of the Old Testament were in Greek in manuscripts such as Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Out of the roughly 800 manuscripts found at Qumran, 220 are from the Tanakh. Every book of the Tanakh is represented except for the Book of Esther; however, most are fragmentary. Notably, there are two scrolls of the Book of Isaiah, one complete (1QIsa), and one around 75% complete (1QIsb). These manuscripts generally date between 150 BCE to 70 CE.

Earliest Christian Old and New Testament manuscript

There are two manuscripts that are considered to be the oldest.

Codex Vaticanus
(The Vatican Book)
Text: Old and New Testament
Date: c. 300–325
Script: Greek
Found: At the Vatican

It lacks most of the book of Genesis, Hebrews 9:14 to the end, the Pastoral Epistles, and the book of Revelation.
Codex Sinaticus
(The Sinai Book)
Text: Old and New Testament
Date: c. 330–360
Script: Greek
Found: In Sinai in1844 at St. Catherine’s Monastery

About half of the Old Testament survived along with a complete New Testament. A digital copy is available online at http://www.codexsinaiticus.org.

Earliest Quran manuscript

One of the earliest Quran manuscripts is the Birmingham manuscript. It only contains parts of chapters 18 and 20. It was radiocarbon dated to 568 and 645. For comparison, prophet Muhammad lived from 570 to 632. Following is a part of the Birmingham manuscript on the right and the equivalent 21st century Quran on the left. The text matches almost perfectly.

However, notice also that the Birmingham manuscript doesn’t include short vowel markings or harakaat.

The 7 Laws of Noah (Noahide Laws)

These are a set of laws which, according to the Jewish Talmud, were given to Noah’s three sons for all of humanity (Children of Noah). They are similar to the 10 Commandments.

Quran: the last scripture (book)

Since prophets get scriptures (books) and Muhammad was the last prophet, therefore the Quran, which is the scripture (book) given to Muhammad must be the last scripture (book).

Like "Islam" which is an Arabic word that means “Submission”, the word “Quran” is an Arabic word that means “reading” or “recitation.” Based on Arabic grammar, some may argue that it means intense or continuous reading / recitation.

Oral tradition

Islamic Hadeeth

Many Muslims believe that the Quran must be supplemented by the hadeeth or oral sayings / tradition of the prophet Muhammad.

Ḥadīth is the Arabic word for speech, report, account, narrative. Unlike the Qur'an, not all Muslims believe Ahadith accounts (or at least not all ahadith) are divine revelation, and ahadith were not written down by Muhammad's followers immediately after his death but several generations later (at least 200 years later) when they were collected, collated and compiled into a great corpus of Islamic literature. A small minority of Muslims called Quranists reject all Ḥadīth.

Oral Torah and the Jewish Talmud

Similarly, Jews believe that the Torah consists of two parts, the written Torah which make up the 5 Books of Moses, and the oral Torah which are sayings of Moses.

According to Jewish tradition, the Oral Torah was passed down orally in an unbroken chain from generation to generation until its contents were finally committed to writing following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, when Jewish civilization was faced with an existential threat.

The major repositories of the Oral Torah are the Mishnah, compiled between 200–220 CE by Rabbi Yehudah haNasi, and the Gemara, a series of running commentaries and debates concerning the Mishnah, which together are the Talmud, the preeminent text of Rabbinic Judaism. In fact, two "versions" of the Talmud exist: one produced in Jerusalem c. 300–350 CE (the Jerusalem Talmud), and second, more extensive Talmud compiled in Babylonia and published c. 450–500 CE (the Babylonian Talmud).

Not all Jews recognize the Talmud.

Prophets Muhammad and Abraham

Abraham was the founding father of Submission (Islam)

Contrary to popular belief, the religion of Submission (Islam) did not begin with Muhammad but rather with Abraham.

مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَٰذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ ۚ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ
… [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. God named you "Submitters" ("Muslims") before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation (the Quran)] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to God. He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper. (22:78)

Prophet Muhammad was not original or any more special than the other messengers

قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ
Say (O’ Muhammad), "I am not something original among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner." (46:9)

Muhammad was specifically told to follow the religion of Abraham

ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
"Then we inspired you (O Muhammad) to follow the religion of Abraham, monotheism; never was he an idol-worshiper." (16:123)

Even followers of the Quran are told to follow the religion of Abraham

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ وَاتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۗ وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلًا
And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to God while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth? And God took Abraham as an intimate friend. (4:125)

Muhammad’s sole mission was to deliver the message (the Quran)

وَإِن مَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعْضَ الَّذِي نَعِدُهُمْ أَوْ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ
And whether We show you part of what We promise them or take you in death, upon you (O Muhammad) is only the [duty of] notification (of the Quran), and upon Us is the account. (13:40)
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَإِنَّا إِذَا أَذَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا ۖ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ كَفُورٌ
But if they turn away - then We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], over them as a guardian; upon you is only [the duty of] notification (of the Quran). And indeed, when We let man taste mercy from us, he rejoices in it; but if evil afflicts him for what his hands have put forth, then indeed, man is ungrateful. (42:48)
مَّا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ
Not upon the Messenger is [responsibility] except [for] notification (of the Quran). And God knows whatever you reveal and whatever you conceal.(5:99)

The Quran is complete in truth and justice

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا ۚ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
And the Word of your Lord is complete in truth and justice; there is none to change His Words; He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing. (6:115)
وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلَّا أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم ۚ مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ
And there is not an animal moving in the earth nor a bird flying on its wings, but they are a nation like you; We have left out nothing in this Book – then towards their Lord they will be raised. (6:38)

Since God says the Quran is "complete" and He “left out nothing”, then followers must accept this and not argue that it is incomplete and therefore the hadith are necessary.

Same religion, different ways and practices

Origin of names of religions

Many people nowadays think of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as three completely different religions that all originate from Abraham. However, Judaism and Christianity are actually just incorrectly modified versions of Islam (Submission).

Judaism is named as such because it originates from the Hebrew word Yehudah (Judah)". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism

Judah is the name of an ancient kingdom in present day southern Israel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Judah

Christianity is named as such because it is based on the name of its leader, Jesus Christ. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity

Christianity grew out of Judaism and began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity

Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam (Submission) is not named after a kingdom such as Saudi Arabia or a person such as Muhammad. If it did, it might be called Saudi Arabianism or Muhammadism.

As explained above,

The Quran always references Jews and Christians as

The Quran never mentions that the Jews follow a separate religion called Judaism and that the Christians follow a separate religion called Christianity.

Most Jews don’t believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and most Christians don’t believe that Muhammad is the final messenger of God. However, at the time of Muhammad, there were some Jews and Christians who did believe in Muhammad and the revelation to him (the Quran).

وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَاشِعِينَ ...
And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation to you (Muhammad), and in the revelation to them (Torah, Injil), bowing in humility to God …. (3:199)

Though Judaism and Christianity originally were no different than Abraham’s religion of Submission (Islam), they have changed a lot, e.g. Christians now believe that Jesus is the son of God, which is clearly a violation of Submission (Islam) as stated in the Quran (4:171)

The religion of Noah, Muhammad, Abraham, Moses and Jesus is the same

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ
He has ordained for you of religion (Arabic: Deen) what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein …. (42:13)

The message given to Noah, Muhammad, Abraham, Moses and Jesus was the same

مَّا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. Indeed, your Lord is a possessor of forgiveness and a possessor of painful penalty. (41:43)

Correct Jews, Christians and Muslims are all muslims who share the same God

وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ ۖ وَقُولُوا آمَنَّا بِالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَٰهُنَا وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him." (29:46)

"Deen" (religion) vs “millat” (ways / practices of a religion)

Many Muslims use verse 2:120 to infer that the Jews and Christians follow a different religion.

وَلَن تَرْضَىٰ عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۗ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۙ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ
And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their form of religion (Arabic: Millatahum). Say, "Indeed, the guidance of God is the [only] guidance." If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against God no protector or helper. (2:120)

However, you will see a difference between verse 42:13 and 2:120 in that 42:13 uses the word "deen" whereas verse 42:13 uses the word “millatahum”.

The word "deen" means “religion” whereas the word “millat”, in the context of verse 2:120, means “way of belief or form of religion.” According to the Edward Lanes Lexicon, we see this definition as follows:

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The word "millat" is also in verse 16:123 where prophet Muhammad was told to follow Abrahams “form of religion” (millat).

ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the form of religion (Arabic: millat) of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with God. (16:123)

Abraham’s "way" (millat) is the correct way of God’s religion

In other words, people can be part of the same "deen" (religion” but their way / form “millat” may be different. The correct way, according to verse 16:123, is the way of Prophet Abraham. This “way”, according to this verse, is to not join anything with God including partnerships, idols, and intercessors. This “way” applies to Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Religious sects

God tells people not to divide religion into sects

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects - you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to God; then He will inform them about what they used to do. (6:159)

The religion of Noah, Muhammad, Abraham, Moses and Jesus is the same so don’t be divided.

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ ...
He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein. ... (42:13)

There is supposed to only be one people / community who worships God but people (e.g. Jews, Christians, Muslims) divided their affairs

إِنَّ هَٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ وَتَقَطَّعُوا أَمْرَهُم بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ كُلٌّ إِلَيْنَا رَاجِعُونَ
Indeed this, your (religious) community, is one (religious) community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me. And [yet] they divided their affair among themselves, [but] all to Us will return. (21:92-93)

Despite the clear proof in the Quran, many Jews, Christians and Muslims divide their religion into groups and sects, e.g. Sunni, Shiah, Druze, Alawi, Salafi, etc.

Jews and Christians are to follow the Quran

Even though Jews and Christians are technically Submitters (Muslims) and that their books (Torah and Injil) were revelations from God, their books have been replaced by the Quran and they are told to believe in and follow the Quran.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ آمِنُوا بِمَا نَزَّلْنَا مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهًا فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهَا أَوْ نَلْعَنَهُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَّا أَصْحَابَ السَّبْتِ ۚ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولًا
O you who were given the Scripture, believe in what We have sent down [to Muhammad], confirming that which is with you, before We obliterate faces and turn them toward their backs or curse them as We cursed the sabbath-breakers. And ever is the decree of God accomplished. (4:47)
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ ۚ قَدْ جَاءَكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ
O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from God a light and a clear Book. (5:15)

This is similarly mentioned in verses 3:67-68.

مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلَا نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَٰكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَٰذَا النَّبِيُّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to God]. And he was not of the polytheists. Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to God] and this prophet (Muhammad), and those who believe [in his message]. And God is the ally of the believers. (3:67-68)

Sects in Submission (Arabic: Islam)

Most people understand 21st century Islam (the religion of Submission) to have multiple sects such as Sunnah, Shiah, Wahabi / Salafi, etc. These sects all have one thing in common which is that they are based on the Quran. With the information in previous chapters, we know that Islam is independent of the Quran and Islam began at least as early as Prophet Abraham. We also know that Moses and Jesus were Muslims (Submitters) and that they along with, at least some of, their followers practiced the form of Islam we are familiar with today, e.g. praying, fasting, etc. One key difference, however, between the followers of Moses (Jews) and the followers of Jesus (Christians / Nazarenes), is that almost all of them don’t believe in the Quran. Furthermore, most Christians have an very unusual understanding of God in that they think that Jesus is either the son of God or a third of God or God himself. Some denominations of Christianity that don’t believe in the doctrine of the Trinity are the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. In any case, one can argue, based on the fact that all of these groups originate from Abraham, who is arguably the founder of Islam (Submission) which all of these groups originate from, that all of these groups are sects or subsects of Islam. Therefore, one way of looking at Islam is as follows.

Judaism

Judaism is a sect of Submission (Islam). Its leader is Moses. Most followers only believe and follow the Torah (and some other books that make up the Jewish bible)

Christianity

Christianity is a sect of Judaism. Its leader is Jesus. Most followers only believe and follow the Torah and the Jewish bible (Old Testament) and the Injeel (New Testament)

Quran-Based Islam

Quran-based Islam is Submission (Islam) based on the Quran. Most people believe its leader to be Muhammad even though the Quran tells Muhammad and Muslims to follow Abraham. Followers believe in the Torah, Gospel and the Quran but only follow the Quran.

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Primary Sects (Denominations) in Christianity

Categories of people

The Quran describes different types of people as follows:

Idolater (Mushrik)

They are polytheists (people who worship more than one God). Mushrikeen comes from the Arabic word "shirk" which, in general, means “to share”. With respect to the Quran, “shirk” means sharing others as partners besides God.

Submitters (Muslims)

They are monotheists (people who submit to one, true God). They are not necessarily Believers as true belief may not have entered into their hearts yet. Being a submitter is a prerequisite to being a believer.

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا ۖ قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۖ وَإِن تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُم مِّنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
The desert Arabs say, "We believe!" Say, "Do not say you believe; but only say, 'We have submitted our wills to God (as Submitters / Muslims),' as belief has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey God and His Messenger, He will not deprive you anything of your deeds: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (49:14)

Believer (Mu’min)

They believe in God, His angels, His books, and His messengers and don’t differentiate between any of His messengers.

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ...
"The messenger believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believes in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. …. " (2:285)

Prophet Moses was a Submitter (Muslim) and after seeing a sign from God, he became a Believer (Mu’min)

وَلَمَّا جَاءَ مُوسَىٰ لِمِيقَاتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ ۚ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَٰكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي ۚ فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ مُوسَىٰ صَعِقًا ۚ فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
"And when Moses came to the place appointed by Us and his Lord spoke to him, He said: "O my Lord! show (Yourself) to me, that I may look upon You." God said: "By no means can you see Me; But look upon the mount; if it remains in its place, then shall you see Me." But when his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it crumble to dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon / unconscious. When he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to You! to You I turn in repentance and I am the first to believe." (7:143)

Disbeliever / Rejector (Kafir)

Disbelievers (Kafirs) are people who, after understanding the message of truth (worship the one, true God), deny the truth. They intentionally disbelieve in the one, true God. Kafir comes from the Arabic word "kufr" which means to hide. Kafirs hide the truth and refuse to accept it. They will go to Hell.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
"As for the Disbelievers, Whether you warn them or you warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. God has sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom" (2:6-7)

Even if Prophet Muhammad asks God to forgive disbelievers, God will not forgive them. They are walking dead because they’re just waiting to go to Hell.

اسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ أَوْ لَا تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ إِن تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً فَلَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
"Ask forgiveness for them (O Muhammad), or ask not forgiveness for them; though you ask forgiveness for them seventy times God will not forgive them. That is because they disbelieved in God and His messenger, and God guides not wrongdoing folk" (9:80)

Idolaters (Mushriks) are not automatically Disbelievers (Kafirs)

In verse 9:6, the idolaters were not branded as disbelievers because they did not know they were wrong. If an idolater wanted protection, Prophet Muhammad was instructed to protect them so that they could learn about Submission (Islam) and become a Submitter (Muslim). An idolater only becomes a disbeliever if they’ve seen the truth about the one and only God yet the still refuse to believe.

وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ اسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّىٰ يَسْمَعَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ
"And if anyone of the idolaters seeks thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the Word of God, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who do not know" (9:6)

The People of the Book (Ahl e-Kitaab)

They are people who received the former scriptures (Torah, Injil). They are Jews and Christians. Jews and Christians who submit to one, true God are Submitters (Muslim).

Some Jews and Christians are righteous.

لَيْسُوا سَوَاءً ۗ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
"Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand: They rehearse the verses of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten in good deeds: They are in the ranks of the righteous" (3:113-114)

Can Believers (Mu’mins) be friends / allies with Jews and Christians?

According verse 5:51, God instructs believers to not be allies with the Jews and Christians.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, God guides not the wrongdoing people.

However, when read in context, we see from verse 5:57 that the prohibition is only against being friends / allies with Jews and Christians who ridicule Islam.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَكُمْ هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
O you who have believed, take not those who have taken your religion in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor the disbelievers as allies. And fear God, if you should [truly] be believers.

At the time of Prophet Muhammad, some People of the Book (Jews and Christians) were Believers (Mu’mins) because they believed in the Quran and Prophet Muhammad.

وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَاشِعِينَ لِلَّهِ لَا يَشْتَرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
"And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book (Arabic: Ahli-l-kitabi), those who believe in God, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to God: They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account" (3:199)

Most people are Disbelievers (Kafirs)

As of 2018, despite Islam being the 2nd largest religion after Christianity and being projected to become the largest religion some time between 2051 and 3000, verse 12:103 indicates that most people may still call themselves Muslims (Submitters) or Believers (Mu’mins) when in reality they are actually disbelievers (kafirs).

وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
And most of the people, although you strive [for it], are not believers. (12:103)

It is possible, however, that verse 12:103 may mean that most people during the time of prophet Muhammad were disbelievers, rather than most people throughout life in this world. Nevertheless, verse 12:103 is in agreement with 17:62 whereby Satan says he will destroy all but a few of among mankind, even though 17:62 simply indicates what Satan said and doesn’t necessarily mean what he said will actually happen.

قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَكَ هَٰذَا الَّذِي كَرَّمْتَ عَلَيَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
[Iblees / Satan] said, "Do You see this one whom You have honored above me? If You delay me until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely destroy his descendants, except for a few." (17:62)

Verse 25:30, similarly, seems to indicate that most of Muhammad’s followers will have abandoned the Quran. This verse describes what Muhammad will say on the Day of Judgment.

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
And the Messenger has said, "O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur'an as [a thing] abandoned." (25:30)

As of 2018, it appears true that many people are indirectly abandoning the Quran by

Hypocrite (Munafiq)

They are people who say they are believers (Mu’mins) but they are lying.

إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُنَافِقُونَ قَالُوا نَشْهَدُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُهُ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لَكَاذِبُونَ
When the hypocrites come to you, [O Muhammad], they say, "We testify that you are the Messenger of God." And God knows that you are His Messenger, and God testifies that the hypocrites are liars. (63:1)

The hypocrites (Munafiqs) will be in the lowest depths of Hell

إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا
Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire - and never will you find for them a helper. (4/145)

The rituals of Submission (Arabic: Islam)

The 5 Pillars

The Quran doesn’t specifically say that there are 5 pillars but Submitters (Muslims) consider the following to represent the 5 pillars of Islam:

  1. Declare submission to the one, true God (Arabic: shahadah)
  2. Perform daily prayers (Arabic: salah)
  3. Pay dues (Arabic: zakah)
  4. Fast (Arabic: sawm)
  5. Perform the pilgrimage, if possible (Arabic: hajj)

God originally taught Abraham, not Muhammad, the rituals of Submission (Arabic: Islam)

Prophet Abraham asked God to teach him these pillars (2:128) and God taught them to him (21:73).

رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
(Abraham said) Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. (2:128)
وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ
And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us. (21:73)

Although Prophets before Abraham were Submitters (Muslims), there is no evidence that they had to perform these pillars except for pillar #1. Since God told Muhammad to follow the religion of Abraham (16:123, 22:78), it’s clear that the religion of Submission (Islam) with its five pillars began with Abraham, not with Muhammad. Muhammad was not told to follow the religion of Moses or Jesus as they were just followers of Abraham.

Later, we will see proof that people before Muhammad performed these pillars, or were at least instructed to.

Corrupted practices and their correction

The Quran points out how the Jews, Christians and others corrupted the correct way of performing the rituals of the religion of Submission (Islam). Therefore, the Quran corrected these incorrect practices by reminding people, via the Quran, how to perform them correctly.

وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۙ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe. (16:64)

Some of the corrupted practices that the Quran corrects are:

New practices allowed in the Quran

Some of the practices that were not part of the original practices taught to Abraham were subsequently allowed in the Quran such as:

Pillar 1: Testimony (Shahadah)

People who convert to Submission (Islam) are told to say the following sentence:

أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله
I bear witness that there is no god but God and I bear witness that Muhammad is God’s messenger.

While it is true that Muhammad was a messenger of God, we must not forget that he was not the only messenger of God and that all messengers of God are to be treated equally (2:136). Many Submitters (Muslims) today think of Muhammad exclusively or as a superior messenger compared to all other messengers. For example, in mosques you will often find Muhammad’s name next to God’s name and nowhere will you find the names of the other messengers including Abraham, the founder of Submission (Islam). When Submitters (Muslims) pray, near the end of the prayer they often ask for blessings on both Muhammad and Abraham. However, this too seems limiting considering that true believers must treat all messengers equally. According to verse 3:13, God tells us how to bear witness in submission to Him.

شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ ۚ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
God witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge - [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (3:18)

This verse doesn’t mention Muhammad. This makes sense since we know from 22:78 that Submitters (Muslims) existed before Muhammad existed, e.g. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and many of their followers.

In verse 27:44, we see an example of how the ruler of Sheba converted to Submission (Islam) and become a Submitter (Muslim). All she said was, “I submit to God, Lord of the Worlds.”

قِيلَ لَهَا ادْخُلِي الصَّرْحَ ۖ فَلَمَّا رَأَتْهُ حَسِبَتْهُ لُجَّةً وَكَشَفَتْ عَن سَاقَيْهَا ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُ صَرْحٌ مُّمَرَّدٌ مِّن قَوَارِيرَ ۗ قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي وَأَسْلَمْتُ مَعَ سُلَيْمَانَ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
She was told, "Enter the palace." But when she saw it, she thought it was a body of water and uncovered her shins [to wade through]. He said, "Indeed, it is a palace [whose floor is] made smooth with glass." She said, "My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I submit with Solomon to God, Lord of the worlds." (27:44)

We also know from 49:14 that one can be a Submitter (Muslim) before being a Believer (Mu’min).

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا ۖ قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۖ وَإِن تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُم مِّنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
The desert Arabs say, "We believe!" Say, "Do not say you believe; but only say, 'We have submitted our wills to God (as Submitters / Muslims),' as belief has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey God and His Messenger, He will not deprive you anything of your deeds: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (49:14)

Therefore, becoming a Submitter (Muslim) only requires belief in one God regardless of their belief in God’s angels, messengers, and scriptures. Verse 2:285 gives us the requirements for one to be a Believer (Mu’min).

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ...
"The messenger believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believes in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. …. " (2:285)

Therefore, better testimonies that don’t violate verses 2:136 and 2:285 are:

Testimony to be a Submitter (Muslim)

I bear witness that there is not god but God.

Testimony to be a Submitter (Muslim) and a Believer (Mu’min)

I bear witness that there is not god but God.
I bear witness to the existence of God’s angels.
I bear witness that God revealed scriptures including, but not limited to, the Torah, Injil, and the Quran.
I bear witness that Muhammad and many others before him including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, were messengers of God.

Submitters (Muslims) existed before Muhammad’s time

Many Muslims today believe that Muhammad was the first Muslim (submitter). However, below is proof that many people were Muslims (Submitters) way before Muhammad was even born.

Prophet Nuh (Noah) was a Submitter (Muslim)

وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ نُوحٍ ….. وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
And recite to them the news of Noah, when he said to his people, ... I have been commanded to be of the Submitters (Muslims)." (10:71-72)

Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Is’haq (Isaac), Ya’kub (Jacob) and Ya’kub’s sons were Submitters (Muslims)

And who would be averse to the religion of Abraham? … When his Lord said to him, "Submit", he said "I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds." And Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], "O my sons, indeed God has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims." Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, "What will you worship after me?" They said, "We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac - one God. And we are Submitters (Muslims) [in submission] to Him." (2:130 - 133)

Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) was a Submitter (Muslim)

قَالَ أَنَا يُوسُفُ …. أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ
…. I am Joseph, …... My Lord …. You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Submitter (Muslim) and join me with the righteous." (12:90-101)

Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) was a Submitter (Muslim)

…. وَأُوتِينَا الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهَا وَكُنَّا مُسْلِمِينَ
…. [Solomon said], "And we were given knowledge before her, and we have been Submitters (Muslims). (27:42)

Prophet Isa (Jesus) and his disciples were Submitters (Muslims)

فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, "Who are my supporters for [the cause of] God?" The disciples said," We are supporters for God. We have believed in God and testify that we are Submitters (Muslims). (3:52)

People who believed in the previous scriptures (Torah, Injil) were Submitters (Muslims)

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَإِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ
Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it - they are believers in it. And when it is recited to them, they say, "We have believed in it; indeed, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed we were, [even] before it, Submitters (Muslims)." (28:52-53)

God named people before Muhammad’s time Submitters (Muslims)

مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَٰذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ ۚ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ
… [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. God named you "Submitters" ("Muslims") before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation (the Quran)] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to God. He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper. (22:78)

Shema Yisrael (שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל)

The key part of testimony to be a submitter (Muslim) is "there is not god but God". Note that this statement regarding the oneness of God is often found in the Quran and matches the Shema Yisrael. The Shema Yisrael is found in the Torah in Deuteronomy 6:4.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד
Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one (Deuteronomy 6:4)

According to Wikipedia, the Shema is a centerpiece of morning and evening Jewish prayers. Observant Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the prayer service in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation as a mitzvah (religious commandment). It is traditional for Jews to say the Shema as their last words, and for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night.

Pillar 2: Prayer

People Prayed Before Muhammad’s Time

Many Muslims believe that the Islamic prayer began with Muhammad. However, below is proof that people prayed Islamically way before Muhammad was even born.

Additionally, many Muslims argue that the Quran is incomplete because it doesn’t explain how to pray and therefore the hadith are required. This argument is invalid because

  1. God says the Quran is complete (6:115) (6:38)
  2. God says the Quran is fully detailed of all things (6:114) (12:111) (41:3) (11:1)
  3. God says the Quran is clarification of all things (16:89)
  4. God taught Abraham how to pray (21:73). Ever since then, people already knew how to pray and therefore God didn’t need to explain in the Quran how to do it again.
  5. God told Muhammad to establish prayer and give zakah in Quran chapter 73. This is the 3rd chapter that was revealed to Muhammad. The first and second chapters that were revealed to Muhammad were chapters 96 and 68. Neither one of these three chapters explain to Muhammad how to pray. That makes sense because people at the time (and since prophet Abraham) already knew how to pray.

Prophet Ibrahim, Lot, Isaac and Jacob prayed

God said, "O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham." … And We delivered him (Abraham) and Lot to the land which We had blessed for the worlds. And We gave him Isaac and Jacob in addition, and all [of them] We made righteous. And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us. (21:69 - 21:73)

Prophet Ishmael instructed his people to pray

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ … وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
And mention in the Book, Ishmael. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakah and was to his Lord pleasing. (2:40 - 2:43)

The Children of Israel (Jews) prayed

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ … وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
O Children of Israel, … establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]. (2:40 - 2:43)

Maryam (Mary), Mother of Prophet Jesus, prayed

يَا مَرْيَمُ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
"O Mary! Be obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow down with those who bow down" (3:43)

The phrase "bow with those that bow" is clearly a reference to congregation prayer such as the Friday Dhuhr prayer.

Prophet Jesus prayed

وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا
And He has made me (Jesus) blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive. (19:31)

People prayed at the Kaaba

وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَن لَّا تُشْرِكْ بِي شَيْئًا وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ
And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House (Kaaba), [saying], "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. (22:26)

Many other people before Muhammad’s time prayed

In verses 19:58-59, we are told that God blessed many prophets before Muhammad and that after them, some generations stopped praying. This indicates that they did know how to pray.

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ آدَمَ وَمِمَّنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْرَائِيلَ وَمِمَّنْ هَدَيْنَا وَاجْتَبَيْنَا ۚ إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ خَرُّوا سُجَّدًا وَبُكِيًّا فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ ۖ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيًّا
Those were the ones upon whom God bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping. But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil. (19:58-59)

Example prayer form before Muhammad’s time

In 2:43, the Children of Israel (Jews) were told to pray. According to Hayim H. Donin in his book titled "To Pray As A Jew", we see diagrams as shown below describing the ancient way Jews prayed. Unsurprisingly, the way they prayed is very similar to how Muslims today pray, even though Jews today no longer pray the way ancient Jews prayed.

image alt text

It is interesting to learn from this book that Jews also wash before praying (like ablution / wudhu for Muslims) and have a call for prayer (like the adhan for Muslims).

People didn’t and don’t learn how to pray from the hadith

Many people argue that Islam originated with Muhammad and that the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad are necessary to explain the details of prayer which are missing from the Quran. However, as we have proven above,

Logically, God didn’t go into detail to describe how to pray because people already knew how to pray ever since Abraham’s time. Just like people nowadays learn to pray from the practice being passed on from generation to generation, that too happened since Abraham’s time. No one both past and present learn to pray by reading the hadith.

Did you learn to pray from reading the hadith or did you learn from your parents or teachers?

Quran-Follower (Muslim) Prayer

Submitters who follow the Quran (Muslims) are supposed to pray 5 times a day. Following is what they say.

Torah-Follower (Jewish) Prayer

Submitters who follow the Torah (Jews) usually pray 2 times a day. Following, known as the Shema, is what they say.

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד.
וְאָהַבְתָּ, אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ, וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ.
וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--עַל-לְבָבֶךָ.
וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ, וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם, בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ, וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ.
וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת, עַל-יָדֶךָ; וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת, בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ.
וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל-מְזֻזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ, וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ.

וְהָיָה, אִם-שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל-מִצְוֺתַי, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם, הַיּוֹם--לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, וּלְעָבְדוֹ, בְּכָל-לְבַבְכֶם, וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁכֶם.
וְנָתַתִּי מְטַר-אַרְצְכֶם בְּעִתּוֹ, יוֹרֶה וּמַלְקוֹשׁ; וְאָסַפְתָּ דְגָנֶךָ, וְתִירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ.
וְנָתַתִּי עֵשֶׂב בְּשָׂדְךָ, לִבְהֶמְתֶּךָ; וְאָכַלְתָּ, וְשָׂבָעְתָּ.
הִשָּׁמְרוּ לָכֶם, פֶּן יִפְתֶּה לְבַבְכֶם; וְסַרְתֶּם, וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתֶם, לָהֶם.
וְחָרָה אַף-יְהוָה בָּכֶם, וְעָצַר אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה מָטָר, וְהָאֲדָמָה, לֹא תִתֵּן אֶת-יְבוּלָהּ; וַאֲבַדְתֶּם מְהֵרָה, מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה, אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה, נֹתֵן לָכֶם.
וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֶת-דְּבָרַי אֵלֶּה, עַל-לְבַבְכֶם וְעַל-נַפְשְׁכֶם; וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם אֹתָם לְאוֹת עַל-יֶדְכֶם, וְהָיוּ לְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֵיכֶם.
וְלִמַּדְתֶּם אֹתָם אֶת-בְּנֵיכֶם, לְדַבֵּר בָּם, בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ, וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ.
וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל-מְזוּזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ, וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ.
לְמַעַן יִרְבּוּ יְמֵיכֶם, וִימֵי בְנֵיכֶם, עַל הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם לָתֵת לָהֶם--כִּימֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם, עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר.
דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, וְעָשׂוּ לָהֶם צִיצִת עַל-כַּנְפֵי בִגְדֵיהֶם, לְדֹרֹתָם; וְנָתְנוּ עַל-צִיצִת הַכָּנָף, פְּתִיל תְּכֵלֶת.
וְהָיָה לָכֶם, לְצִיצִת, וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ וּזְכַרְתֶּם אֶת-כָּל-מִצְוֺת יְהוָה, וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם; וְלֹא-תָתוּרוּ אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם, וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר-אַתֶּם זֹנִים, אַחֲרֵיהֶם.
לְמַעַן תִּזְכְּרוּ, וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֶת-כָּל-מִצְוֺתָי; וִהְיִיתֶם קְדֹשִׁים, לֵאלֹהֵיכֶם.
אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם, לֵאלֹהִים: אֲנִי, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם.
Deuteronomy 6:4–9
4 Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart;
7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.

Deuteronomy 11:13–21
13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
15 And I will give grass in thy fields for thy cattle, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied.
16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
17 and the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, so that there shall be no rain, and the ground shall not yield her fruit; and ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.
18 Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul; and ye shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.
19 And ye shall teach them your children, talking of them, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
20 And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates;
21 that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, upon the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth.

Numbers 15:37–41
37 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
38 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them throughout their generations fringes in the corners of their garments, and that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue.
39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray;
40 that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God.
41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.'

Pillar 3: Pay dues / tax (zakat)

People paid dues (zakat) before Muhammad’s time

Many Muslims believe that the paying of income tax / dues (zakat) began with Muhammad. However, below is proof that people paid zakat way before Muhammad was even born.

Prophet Ibrahim, Lot, Isaac and Jacob paid dues (zakah)

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ … وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً ۖ وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ
God said, "O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham." … And We delivered him (Abraham) and Lot to the land which We had blessed for the worlds. And We gave him Isaac and Jacob in addition, and all [of them] We made righteous. And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us. (21:69 - 21:73)

Prophet Ishmael instructed his people to paid dues (zakah)

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ … وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
And mention in the Book, Ishmael. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakah and was to his Lord pleasing. (2:40 - 2:43)

The Children of Israel (Jews) paid dues (zakah)

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ … وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
O Children of Israel, … establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]. (2:40 - 2:43)

Prophet Jesus paid dues (zakah)

وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا
And He has made me (Jesus) blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive. (19:31)

Pillar 4: Fasting

People fasted before Muhammad’s time

Many Muslims believe that fasting began with Muhammad. However, below is proof that people fasted way before Muhammad was even born. Obviously, since post-Quran Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan because Ramadan was the month in which the Quran was first revealed, pre-Quran Muslims may have fasted during a different month.

Verse 2:183 of the Quran proves that fasting was instructed upon people before the Quran

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. (2:183)

Pillar 5: Hajj Pilgrimage

People performed the Hajj before Muhammad’s time

Many Muslims believe that the hajj pilgrimage ritual began with Muhammad. However, below is proof that people performed the hajj way before Muhammad was even born.

People prayed and performed circumambulation (tawaf) at the Kaaba

وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَن لَّا تُشْرِكْ بِي شَيْئًا وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ
And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House (Kaaba), [saying], "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. (22:26)