It might be a surprise to many that the Bible and the Quran have a lot in common.
But it shouldn’t be a surprise since it is a basic belief in Islam that God sent prophets and messengers throughout human history. Some of these prophets (peace and blessings upon them all) were given revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel.
It is an article of faith for a Muslim to believe that the Torah was revealed to Moses, the Psalms were revealed to David, the Bible was revealed to Jesus, and that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad.
Each of these revelations were sent from God, the Creator, with the same message to human kind. God sent revelation, and the people after each prophet had died, changed in the message of God. Then God sent another prophet to correct the distortion made by man until the last revelation that God promised to protect– The Quran.
This is why Muslims respect the Bible. There are many beliefs that Muslims hold to be the foundation of their faith that can be found in the Bible.
Belief in God’s Oneness
The Quran declares without any doubt that God is One, without partner:
Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, The Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth […] (Quran 2:255)
And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah (God). But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else) […] (Quran 2:165)
This proclamation found in the Quran is not only echoed in the first commandment, it is also found elsewhere in the Bible:
(A teacher of the Law asked) “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: “Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. (Mark 11:28-30)
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
“For thus says Yahweh, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am Yahweh, and there is no other.’ (Isaiah 45:18)
Belief in the Angels
The Quran speaks of a creation that, unlike human beings, have no freewill. This creation of God is called the angels and they are given duties they fulfil without error.
[…] The angels exalt [God] with praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth […] (Quran 42:5)
Similarly, the Bible speaks of angels who have tasks given to them by God:
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God. (Revelations 7:11)
Belief in the Prophets
The Quran is full of stories of prophets who also appear in the Bible. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Salih, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Ezekiel, David, Solomon, Elias, Elisha, Jonah, Zachariah, Jesus, and John are all mentioned both in the Quran and the Bible.
Many might say that here is where the Bible and the Quran diverge since there is no mention in the Bible of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the final messenger in whom the Muslims believe to be the final Prophet. But Muslims would argue that this is not so.
The Bible, in several places, speaks of a messenger to come after Jesus (PBUH):
But I am telling you the truth: it is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I do go away, then I will send him to you. (John 16:7)
The Helper will come – the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God, and who comes from the Father. (John 15:26)
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. (John 14:16)
Belief in the Day of Judgment
Answering to our Creator for how we spent our lives is a strong theme in both the Bible and the Quran:
Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing). (Quran 3:185)
The Bible says of the Day of Judgment:
And you can be sure that on the Judgment Day everyone will have to give account of every useless word he has ever spoken. Your words will be used to judge you – to declare you either innocent or guilty. (Mathew 12:33)
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (…) (Mathew 5:12)
Belief in God’s Decree
God speaks about His overarching will in the Quran. It is God who decrees and we human beings have a limited free will that works within His decree:
He who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed […] (Quran 67:2)
If were Our will, We would send down to them from the sky a sign, to which they would bend their necks in humility. (Quran 26:4)
Similarly, the concept of God having knowledge and overarching control over all things, with human beings having limited free will, is spoken about in the Bible:
In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. (Ephesians 1:11)
Belief in the Revealed Texts
The Psalms of David:
And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to Dawud (David) We gave the Zabur (Psalms). (Quran 17:55)
Indeed, We gave the Book (Torah) to Musa (Moses)… (Quran 11:110)
Then, We sent after them Our Messengers, and We sent ‘Îsa (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary), and gave him the Injeel (Gospel)… (Quran 57:27)
Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand. (Quran 12:2)
In Islam, there are six pillars of belief: belief in the oneness of God, in the prophets, in the angels, in the Day of Judgment, in God’s decree, and in the revealed books- in which if one believes, they are considered Muslim.
It is interesting that five of the six beliefs that make one a Muslim are also mentioned in the Bible. The only pillar of faith that is not mentioned in the Bible is belief in the Quran.
But if one examines the Bible closely, one will find that indeed it speaks of a prophet to come after Jesus who will receive revelation.
Islam is only a continuation of God’s message to humankind. Its message can be found in former revelation and in it that which mankind corrupted is corrected.