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Critical Podium Dewanand



Sacrificer           unknown
Sacrifice code       wfor0252
Sacrifice date       25 march 2009


In many cases, the "sources" from which Muhammad plagiarized the Quran have
to be "dug out" through tedious research. In Quran 87:18-19, however, a source is actually identified!

YUSUFALI: And this is in the Books of the earliest (Revelation),-
PICKTHAL: Lo! This is in the former scrolls.
SHAKIR: Most surely this is in the earlier scriptures,


There is no CANONICAL "book" or "scripture" attributable to Abraham.
Indeed, Jewish tradition assigns authorship of the portion of the Old Testament
which gives account of Abraham's life - the Pentateuch - to MOSES. Critics
would assign even LATER authorship to these biblical works.

There is, however, an apocryphal work know as the "Testament of Abraham"

"[There is] good reason to believe that the work was originally written in
Egypt, that it was known to Origen, and that it was probably composed by a

[CE]. The book exists in two Greek recensions, and the language is much
modernised, in not a few places showing forms now used in modern Romaic. IT EXISTS ALSO IN AN ARABIC VERSION. After a very careful study of this apocryphal Testament of Abraham I am inclined to agree with him in his conclusions. The Egyptian origin of the work seems to be beyond dispute.

"The number of points of agreement between this book and Muhammadan
traditions is so great that it must be due to something more than a fortuitous
coincidence. Much that the Testament relates in connexion with Abraham is by
Muhammadan tradition referred to others, but the very fact that so many of the leading features of the tractate in question thus reappear, though in a confused and
fragmentary form, leads me to imagine that the book was known to Muhammad's
early followers, if not to the 'Prophet' himself. THE EXISTENCE OF AN ARABIC VERSION RENDERS THIS STILL MORE PROBABLE . . ."

W. St.Clair-Tisdall, "Religion of the Crescent," Appendix C,

Some key "points of agreement" are the following:

1. The Quran draws a picture of the afterlife in which souls of the
deceased are literally weighed in a balance and then the deceased is assigned
to heaven or hell based on the relative weights of good versus evil deeds. See Quran 7.8-9, 21.47, 23.102-103, 33.39, 42.17, 57.25, 101.6-11. The "Testament of Abraham" contains similar descriptions of the afterlife.

2. A key Islamic legend is the claim that Muhammad ascended to
heaven on a winged horse and chatted with previous prophets, and finally God. The "Testament of Abraham" claims a similar ascension to heaven by Abraham

St. Clair-Tisdall offers a number of other parallels between the "Testament
of Abraham" and Muslim traditions:

3. "The Archangel Michael, taking the place of the Angel of Death,
comes in human form to Abraham to deliver GOD'S message, summoning him away from this world (Test. Abr. A. and B. i. ii.) The Angel of Death came in human form on the same errand to the Prophet Idris (= Enoch), in Muhammadan Tradition
('Araisu't Tijan, p. 79; Qisasu'l Anbiya, p. 29)."

4. "In each case the heavenly messenger was for a time unrecognised.
Hospitality was offered, but the angel did not partake of it (ibid.), though
according to the Test. Abr. he pretended to do so."

5. "When the Angel delivered his message, Abraham refused to go with
him (Test. Abr. pp. 85, 95, 98, 101).So also when the Death-Angel was sent to
Moses to tell him that his Lord called him to Himself, Moses refused to die.
He even carried his refusal so far that he assaulted the Angel and struck out
one of his eyes (Mishkat, p. 499. Bombay Arabic edition)."

6. "The Angel was instructed to use polite language to Abraham and
endeavour to persuade him to obey the summons (Test. Abr. pp. 85, 96, 97, 117).
So also in the case of Moses. When Muhammad's time had come, the Angel was
obliged to ask his permission to take his soul (Mishkat)."

7. "Abraham requests permission of the Angel to see God's works,
Heaven and Hell and all the marvels of creation, before his death. This was
accorded him (Test. Abr. 87, 112).So also Idris asked the Angel to take him to
behold Hell and Paradise, and this was done ('Araish, p. 79; Qisas. p. 30)."

8. "A special conveyance, entitled a cherubic chariot, was sent from
Heaven to fetch Abraham, and this bore him to the place where he could see
souls being dragged off to Hell or entering Paradise (Test. Abr. p. 87).Muhammad,
when starting on the famous Mi'raj to visit the unseen world and to pass
through the seven Heavens, was mounted on Al Buraq, a heavenly steed larger than an ass but smaller than a camel (Mishkat, pp. 519 sqq.)"

9. "Abraham was without sin (Test. Abr. p. 88).So also are all the
Prophets, according to the universal belief of Muslims."

10. "Abraham, on entering 'the first gate of Heaven,' sees Adam weeping
when he looks at the souls of his descendants entering the broad gate, and
rejoicing when he sees others of them entering the narrow gate which leads to
Paradise (Test. Abr. pp. 89, 90, 112, 123, 134). When Muhammad entered 'the gate
of the first Heaven' he saw Adam sitting there and looking now on his left
hand and now on his right. When he looked on his left hand he saw the spirits of
those of his descendants who were doomed to hell-fire, and he wept bitterly.
But when he looked to the right and beheld those destined to eternal happiness
in Paradise, he laughed and rejoiced (Mishkat, pp. 521 sqq.)"

11. "There are two Recording Angels ready to note each deed that a man
does, good or bad (Test. Abr. p. 91).The Qur'an informs us that there are two
Receivers or Recording Angels seated on each man's right and left hand
respectively, to observe his every word and action and to record it (Qur'an, Surah 50 vv. 16, 17, 20[16,17,18])."

12. "Abraham sees two angels of terrible aspect dragging the souls
before the Judge for trial (Test. Abr. p. 90).The Qur'an tells us that with every
soul 'a driver and a witness' shall come before the Divine tribunal (Surah 50
v. 20[21])."

13. "Abraham saw that at the Judgment every soul and its actions were
weighed in an enormous balance (Test. Abr. p. 91). In case any soul's good
deeds were equal when weighed to its evil ones, it was admitted to neither Heaven
nor Hell, but was kept in a place midway between the two (Test. Abr. p.
114).In the Qur'an 'the Balance' is repeatedly mentioned (e.g. Surah xlii. 16[17];
ci. 5, 6[6,8], etc.), and commentators tell us that it is held by the Archangel
Gabriel. All things will be weighed in it on the Judgment Day. Its scales are
large enough to contain both earth and heaven, and they are suspended one
over Paradise and the other over hell-fire. If any man's balance is found heavy
with good deeds he shall be admitted to Paradise, 'but he whose balance shall
be light, his dwelling shall be the Abyss' (ci. 6[8]). If any one's good works
do not outweigh his evil deeds, but exactly balance them, he is to be placed
neither in Heaven nor in Hell, but in a place midway between them called Al
A'raf (Surah vii. 44, 46[46,47]). This agrees almost entirely with the traditions
of the Jews and Zoroastrians, from the latter of whom it was doubtless
originally borrowed."

14. "The Testament of Abraham tells us that each man's work is tried by
fire, and that if the fire burns up any man's work he is carried off to the
place of torture by the Angel who presides over fire. . . .The Qur'an (Surah 19
vv. 71-73[70-72]) tells us that all men must be cast into hell-fire, but that
while the pious shall after a time be delivered, the ungodly shall remain
there. Commentators explain that hell-fire will not hurt the just, and thus every
man will be tested by fire."

15. "When his hour for death had come, Abraham was bidden to kiss the
Death-Angel's hand. He did so, his soul adhered to the hand, and was thus drawn
forth from his body (Test. Abr. p. 103).When the Angel of Death comes to a
Muslim to summon him to return to his Lord, the Angel writes GOD'S Name on his
own hand and shows it to the believer. Thereupon, according to Muhammadan
tradition, the soul takes its leave from the body gladly and without any regret."

16. "According to the Testament, the angels all assemble in Heaven at
sunset to worship GOD (Test. Abr. p. 108).The Muhammadan account is that the
Angels who watch over the Faithful at their prayers relieve guard at dawn and at
sunset, and these are two of the most acceptable times of worship (Mishkat,
p. 54)."

17. "The Testament tells us that Death appears in a terrible shape to
the wicked, and in a charming aspect to the just.Muslims believe the same. The
Masnavi says: . . . 'Every man's death is of the same colour as himself: to
the enemy (of GOD, it appears) as an enemy, and to the friend (of GOD) as a
friend' (Lubb-i Libab, p. 236)."

18. "We are informed in the Testament that when the three Angels
visited Abraham at Mamre (Gen. xviii. 7), the calf on which they had feasted revived after the meal and returned to its mother in joy for nourishment. The Qur'
an informs us that on one occasion Abraham asked GOD how He would raise the
dead, and that as a proof of the Resurrection GOD told him to take four birds, to
divide them into fragments, to lay a piece of their flesh upon a number of
separate hills, and then to call them. When this was done the birds came back to
life and flew swiftly to Abraham (Qur'an, Surah 2 v. 262[260]: vide also
Jalalu'ddin's note)."

W. St.Clair-Tisdall, "Religion of the Crescent," Appendix C,

  • http://muhammadanism.org/Crescent/p242.htm

  • "The above are the principal coincidences that I have noticed between The
    Testament of Abraham and Muhammadan traditions and beliefs. There are some minor points of agreement which it would take too long to notice in detail. It may
    be remarked, however, that many of the Muhammadan fables which Muhammad
    (according to the Qur'an and tradition) handed down to his followers have been
    traced, as in the present instance, to an Egyptian source. It is unlikely that
    Muhammad ever read The Testament of Abraham or other apocryphal works which originated in Egypt. But it seems to me that a suggestion which Major Conder makes (in a note on my Lecture on 'Islam, its Origin, its Strength, and its Weakness,' published in vol. xxv. of the Journal of the Victoria Institute), viz. that
    Muhammad learnt many of these Egyptian legends viva voce from Mary the Copt,
    one of his concubines, is very likely to be correct. This removes the difficulty
    presented by the late character of the Arabic of the Arabic Gospel of the
    Infancy and that of the Arabic version of The Testament of Abraham."

    W. St.Clair-Tisdall, "Religion of the Crescent," Appendix C,
  • http://muhammadanism.org/Crescent/p242.htm
  • ***

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