Why Islam is no equal brother to Christianity

           One of the most important elements of any major monotheistic religion is the use of miracles to validate that religion.  After all, traditional monotheistic religions claim to be the one and only religion directly initiated by the one true God who created the entire universe, and therefore they require some form of tangible evidence to set them apart from other monotheistic religions that make the same claims.  Therefore all the major monotheistic religions claim that God sent strong proof of their authenticity in the form of miracles.

            But all such religions are not equal.  In this article I want to examine Islam and Christianity, mainly on the basis of what claims these religions make in regards to miracles.  The purpose of this article is not to prove which miracles actually happened or not.  I will leave that discussion for another time.

            Christianity, which came before Islam, claims to be the fulfillment of the Jewish scriptures.  According to the New Testament, Christ, like some of the Jewish prophets before Him, did many miracles.  But the Bible claims that Christ actually did many more than any of His fore-runners, and most of His famous ones were done in public in front of huge crowds.  Jesus raised people (other than Himself) from the dead at least three times, He cured innumerable diseases, especially, although not limited to, leprosy, lameness, blindness, and paralyzed bodies.  Perhaps His greatest miracle was when He rose from the dead days after being publicly executed.  While hanging on the cross His side was speared to prove that His blood had begun to break down chemically, which meant that he was definitely dead. However, according to the New Testament, He came back to life the following week and was seen alive by more than 500 people.  The apostle Paul, writing part of the New Testament decades later, claimed that most of these witnesses were still alive.  Other miracles done by Jesus include creating food out of nothing, casting out demons, walking on water, and turning water into wine.

            Mohammed, by comparison, is credited with fewer miracles of less astounding quality.  Nonetheless, Islamic tradition does have him performing several impressive miracles in front of large groups of people.  Perhaps the greatest one, in my opinion, is that He split the moon, although references as to what this actually looked like do not seem to be extremely detailed. Other miracles that he conducted in front of crowds include that He brought rain during a drought, He caused gallons of water to miraculous flow, he caused a tree-trunk to weep, and he invigorated a tired donkey.  Also, once when he was eating food, God miraculously revealed to him that the food was poisoned, after Mohammed had already taken a few bites.

            But one of Mohammed’s greatest miracles, according to Muslims, was his miraculous journey hundreds of miles to Jerusalem in one night, and from there, directly into heaven and back.  There are few if any witnesses to this event, but Mohammed proved it soon after by describing what Jerusalem looked like in front of people who had been there before.

            Finally, Mohammed’s greatest miracle of all, according to Islam, is the fact that he, an illiterate man, was used by God to deliver the Quran.

            Taken side by side, the miracles accredited to Jesus are clearly more numerous and greater.  Raising a man four days dead in front of thousands of witnesses trumps splitting the moon. Likewise, Jesus’ healing miracles trumps Mohammed’s few healing miracles in number and scope. Finally, the Islamic tradition has nothing to rival Jesus’ resurrection and final ascension into heaven.  Mohammed died just like any other man.

            The way that Muslims cope with the disparity between these two men, is to claim all the miracles of Christianity for themselves.  They claim that Christ, too, was a prophet. However, Islam is not just an extension of Christianity.  The Quran completely rejects several key tenets of the New Testament: That Jesus was the Son of God and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  Muslims claim, furthermore, that Jesus really did do a lot of the miracles that Christians claim He did, but that the Bible was later corrupted to include the parts that disagree with the Quran.

            But here’s the problem with this line of thinking.  Why would God, the all-powerful, all-knowing, send down His greatest miracles to Jesus, and then allow Jesus’ revelation to become “corrupted?”  Would this not be a sign of His impotence that He cannot save the documentation of the greatest miracle worker ever from being destroyed by the devil? Let’s put it another way.  The arrival of the New Testament was accompanied by many more miracles than the arrival of the Quran.  Which one do you think is more likely to be God’s true revelation to mankind?  Remember, Muslims themselves accept most of the miracles that accompanied the New Testament as being true!

            I think it’s clear from a cursory examination of the evidence that the Bible makes much greater claims of miracles than the Quran.  The Quran, for it’s part, manifests its own weakness in that it attempts to claim all the miracles of the Bible for itself, but only after contradicting the Bible’s main message.  If there really is One God who created the universe from scratch, it is much more likely that He revealed himself through the New Testament than the Quran.

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