Written by Jason Petersen
When anyone thinks of presuppositional apologetics, it is commonly thought of as an apologetic that is used against atheists. This is not so. The primary contention of the presuppositional apologetic is that all other worldviews other than Christianity will inevitably reduce to skepticism. The approach that one can take with Muslims(Which will be covered in this article) or any other is the same as dealing with an atheist. In order to resolve the conflicts of worldviews, the presuppositions of each worldview must be internally examined. If any inconsistency is found, then that worldview is irrational.
Allah is a Deceiver
Not only is Allah described as a deceiver, he is described as the greatest of all deceivers. The Qur’an says, “But they (the Jews) were deceptive, and Allah was deceptive, for Allah is the best of deceivers” (S.3:54). Certainly, this is in contrast to the Christian God. The God that is revealed through The Bible cannot lie. (Numbers 23:19.) Muslims scholars have attempted to respond by saying that S.3:54 is being misinterpreted. They will reword the verse to say “plot” instead of deceive, and then go on to say that Allah only plots against evil. They will then attempt to bring up the following verses from The Qur’an:
“We have always sent messengers who were proficient in the language of their people, so they could explain the matter clearly. Allah guides or leads astray whomever He pleases. He is the most Powerful, the Wisest! (S.14:4)”
“Had Allah wished, He would have created you all as a single nation. But He guides or leads astray whomever He pleases. And you would very definitely be interrogated regarding everything you used to do! (S.16:93)”
The most condemning issue with the Muslim’s response is that the Arabic in The Qur’an doesn’t translate to plotters, rather, it translates to deceiver. [acp footnote]1[/acp] It is also interesting that the verses that are quoted support our point that Allah is a deceiver. Of course, if Allah is the ultimate authority, then he is not accountable to anyone. This is something that Christians must accept because The Bible says the very same thing about God in Romans 9. It would not be wise for the Christian to attack the fact that Allah has the ability to lead people astray, rather, we must attack it from the angle that Allah does indeed lead people astray. We should not approach this issue from a moral standpoint, rather, we should approach it from an epistemological standpoint. In other words, the point that should be pressed is that if Allah does directly lead astray and deceive, then a major issue for Islamic epistemology arises. If Allah can and does deceive(unlike the Christian God), then according to the Qur’an, Allah’s revelation to the Islamic people cannot be considered trustworthy.
Second, there are other verses that support the notion that Allah, as defined by the Qur’an is a deceiver:
“And verily, those before them did deceive/scheme (makara), but all deception/scheming is Allah’s” (S. 13:42).
“Even so have we placed in every city, ringleaders of its wicked ones, to scheme therein : but only against themselves shall they scheme! and they know it not” (S.6:123).
Since Allah is deceptive, the purpose that is intended by the Muslim who is bringing up S.14:4 and S.16:93 is negated. These verses explain that even though people may think they can deceive Allah, but the thought that Allah can be deceived is a deception from Allah himself. The Muslim may respond by saying that the Qur’an teaches that Allah will not deceive anyone who is a devoted follower of Islam, but rather, only those who turn against Allah will be deceived by Allah. This apologetic from the Muslim leads to a very serious issue in Muslim epistemology.
The Soteriology of Islam Reduces to Skepticism
The Muslim might persist that our argument for Allah being a deceiver is invalid because Allah only plots/deceives against the wicked. The question that one might ask is, “How does Allah determine who is wicked and who is good?” We will see that as a judge, Allah is corrupt, and because he is corrupt, he is a deceiver.
First, it is imperative that any Christian who is going to press this antithesis has knowledge about salvation in the Muslim worldview. In the Islamic worldview, salvation isn’t guaranteed by Allah. The Qur’an teaches that both faith and works are necessary for salvation in Islam, “To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward” (S.5:9).
Such a notion by the Qur’an leads to a big issue in Muslim soteriology. If works are a necessary component of salvation, then what percentage of good works are needed for salvation? The Qur’an says that everyone’s good and evil deeds will be weighed. (S.21:47) If the good outweighs the bad, then the Muslim will be able to enter heaven. The Muslim will be considered “righteous” if 50.1% of their works are good works. However, someone who can only do 50.1% good works cannot be considered righteous. After all, anyone who scores 50.1% on a test has certainly failed that test. Allah lies by calling those righteous who are not righteous. It is like a corrupt judge in a government. If you do a few things for them, they will let you slide. This means that Allah is not a holy god. He is not a just god. Allah’s conception of morality is corrupt. This is because the evil deeds of the Muslim shall be overlooked due to the good things they did for Allah.
Based on all of this, Muslims cannot truly know if they are saved or not until after they die. One cannot simply keep a tally of all of the good things and bad things that they have done throughout every day of their life. Because of this, the Islamic soteriology collapses into skepticism, for the Mulsim cannot truly know if they are saved, for Allah does not guarantee salvation by faith. Further, the fact that Allah falsely calls Muslims righteous makes Allah a liar and a corrupt judge of what is Holy. This inference falls directly in line with the Arabic word used for “deceive” in S.3:54.
If the Qur’an is true, The Bible is true
According to the Qur’an, The Bible is the Word of God.(S. 2:40-42, 89,126; 3:3,71, 93; 4:47; 5:47-51, 69-72; 6:91; 7:157; 29:45,46; 35:31.) When The Qur’an references The Bible, the Qur’an calls it “The Book.” The Qur’an repeatedly tells Muslims that The Bible is trustworthy:
And believe in that I have sent down, confirming that which IS with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And sell not My signs for a little price; and fear you Me. S. 2:41
And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers. S. 2:89 Shakir
And when they were told, ‘Believe in that God has sent down,’ they said, ‘We believe in what was sent down on us’; and they disbelieve in what is beyond that, yet it is the truth confirming what IS with them. Say: ‘Why then were you slaying the Prophets of God in former time, if you were believers?’ S. 2:91
Say: Whoever is the enemy of Jibreel — for surely he revealed it to your heart by Allah’s command, verifying that which IS before it and guidance and good news for the believers. S. 2:97 Shakir
And when there came to them an Apostle from Allah verifying that which they have, a party of those who were given the Book threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew nothing. S. 2:101 Shakir
He sent down to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming all previous scriptures, and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel. S. 3:3 Khalifa
And when God took compact with the Prophets: ‘That I have given you of Book and Wisdom; then there shall come to you a Messenger confirming what IS with you — you shall believe in him and you shall help him; do you agree?’ He said. ‘And do you take My load on you on that condition?’ They said, ‘We do agree.’ God said, ‘Bear witness so, and I shall be with you among the witnesses.’ S. 3:81
You who have been given the Book, believe in what We have sent down, confirming what IS with you, before We obliterate faces, and turn them upon their backs, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-men, and God’s command is done. S. 4:47
And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what IS before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you; for every one of you did We appoint a law and a way, and if Allah had pleased He would have made you (all) a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore strive with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will let you know that in which you differed; S. 5:48 Shakir
And this is a Book We have revealed, blessed, verifying that which IS before it, and that you may warn the metropolis and those around her; and those who believe in the hereafter believe in it, and they attend to their prayers constantly. S. 6:92 Shakir
This Koran could not have been forged apart from God; but it is a confirmation of what IS before it, and a distinguishing of the Book, wherein is no doubt, from the Lord of all Being. S. 10:37
In their stories is surely a lesson to men possessed of minds; it is not a tale forged, but a confirmation of what IS before it, and a distinguishing of every thing, and a guidance, and a mercy to a people who believe. S. 12:111
And that We have revealed to thee of the Book is the truth, confirming what IS before it; God is aware of and sees His servants. S. 35:31
No indeed; but he brought the truth, and confirmed the Envoys. S. 37:37
Yet before it was the Book of Moses for a model and a mercy; and this is a Book confirming, in Arabic tongue, to warn the evildoers, and good tidings to the good-doers. S. 46:12
They said: O our people! we have listened to a Book revealed after Musa verifying that which IS before it, guiding to the truth and to a right path: S. 46:30
If the Qur’an is true, then The Bible must be true; therefore, the Muslim cannot reject the axiom of revelation, The Bible is the Word of God, for the Qur’an repeatedly says that The Bible is the Word of God. When the Muslim rejects scripture, they contradict the Qur’an.
If The Bible is true, The Qur’an is False
The Qur’an says that the Trinity in The Bible is God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary. Of course, the Trinity that is revealed in scripture is God the Father, God the Son(Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. The Qur’an also says that Christian worships three Gods.(Sura 5:73-75,116) Of course, this is not what The Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that there is one God that is revealed to us in three distinct persons.
Some Muslims will respond and say that the churches held Mary in great veneration and worshiped around statues of her holding Jesus. If this is true, it explains why Mohammed,the author of the Qur’an, would accuse Christians of worshiping Mary; however, if Mohammed had revelation from Allah about what the Christians believe and what The Bible says, as he claimed to have revelation from Allah on these matters, then he would have given the Biblical position and would not have said that Christians worship Mary. Instead, it appears that Mohammed appealed to observation(by his own or by others) of some church rituals. It should also be noted that Mohammed did not attempt to say that the Christians have turned their back on The Bible by worshiping Mary. This is yet another indicator that Mohammed was ignorant on what The Bible says about Mary. The Muslim might respond by asking, “Why is it that your church worshiped Mary?” The proper answer is that not all Churches are of God. The ultimate authority in Christianity is scripture, not tradition. If the Church says or does something that contradicts what scripture says, the Church is wrong. Just as some Churches have went astray in the time of the Apostle Paul, so too will other Churches go astray beyond the time of Paul. The actions of other Churches is simply not a valid objection to Christianity.
The Qur’an also claims that Jesus was not the Messiah, nor was he God, but rather, he was a messenger. This, of course, contradicts scripture. Jesus made it clear that he was God. The Qur’an says that The Bible is the Word of God, yet the Qur’an contradicts what The Bible teaches. Therefore, if what The Bible says is true, and what the Qur’an says concerning scripture is false, then the Qu’ran must be false.
Final Words on Islam
When the first principles and the presuppositions of Islam are taken into account, it is plain that at least two areas of Islam collapse into skepticism: soteriology and epistemology. The Muslim cannot know if they are saved, because they won’t know if they did enough good works to inherit eternal life. The epistemology of Islam is also called into question because the Qur’an repeatedly says that Allah is a deceiver. While the Muslim may object and say that Allah only deceives the wicked, we can also see that Allah deceives the Muslim because Allah falsely tells them that they are righteous. The Qur’an says that The Bible is God’s Word, yet the Qur’an contradicts The Bible. If the Qur’an is true, then The Bible must be true, but if the Bible is true, the Qur’an must be false.
1. Answering Islam, Allah: Truthful Or Deceiver? <http://answering-islam.org/authors/cornelius/makr.html> (14 March 2014).