Question from a Site Visitor:
another question I hope you will address, though a little
off-topic. The below passage from the Quran deals with the
birth story of Jesus and I would like your comments on its similarity
to that account we find in Luke. Surah 19. Maryam (Mary)
1. Kaf. Ha. Ya. 'Ain. Sad.
2. (This is) a recital of the Mercy of thy Lord to His servant Zakariya.
Behold! He cried to his Lord in secret,
Praying: "O my Lord! Infirm indeed are my bones, and the hair of my
head doth glisten with grey: but never am I unblessed, O my Lord, in my
prayer to Thee!
5. "Now I
fear (what) my relatives (and colleagues) (will do) after me: but my
wife is barren: so give me an heir as from thyself,
that) will (truly) represent me, and represent the posterity of Jacob;
and make him, O my Lord! One with whom Thou art well-pleased!"
prayer was answered): "O Zakariya! We give thee good news of a son: His
name shall be Yahya: on none by that name have we conferred distinction
said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son, when my wife is barren and I
have grown quite decrepit from old age?"
said: "So (it will be) thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for me: I did
indeed create thee before, when thou hadst been nothing!'"
(Zakariya) said: "O my Lord! Give me a Sign." "Thy Sign," was the
answer, "Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three nights,
although thou art not dumb."
Zakariya came out to his people from him chamber: He told them by signs
to celebrate Allah's praises in the morning and in the evening.
his son came the command): "O Yahya! Take hold of the Book with might":
and we gave him Wisdom even as a youth,
piety (for all creatures) as from us, and purity: He was devout,
kind to his parents, and he was not overbearing or rebellious.
Peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day
that he will be raised up to life (again)!
Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her
family to a place in the East.
placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then we sent her our
angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
said: "I seek refuge from thee to ((Allah)) Most Gracious: (come not
near) if thou dost fear Allah."
said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee
the gift of a holy son.
said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I
am not unchaste?"
said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for me: and (We
wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from us.' It is a
matter (so) decreed."
she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She
cried (in her anguish): "Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would
that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!"
(a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! For
thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee;
shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall
fresh ripe dates upon thee.
eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say,
'I have vowed a fast to ((Allah)) Most Gracious, and this day will I
enter into not talk with any human being'"
length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her
arms). They said: "O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!
sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a
she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a
child in the cradle?"
said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me revelation and
made me a prophet;"
He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me
Prayer and Charity as long as I live;"
hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;"
peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that
I shall be raised up to life (again)"!
(was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which
they (vainly) dispute.
35. It is
not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son.
Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be",
and it is.
Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: him therefore serve ye: this is
a Way that is straight.
the sects differ among themselves: and woe to the unbelievers because
of the (coming) Judgment of a Momentous Day!
plainly will they see and hear, the Day that they will appear before
us! But the unjust today are in error manifest!
warn them of the Day of Distress, when the matter will be determined:
for (behold,) they are negligent and they do not believe!
40. It is
we who will inherit the earth, and all beings thereon: to us will they
all be returned.
mention in the Book (the story of) Abraham: He was a man of Truth, a
Behold, he said to his father: "O my father! Why worship that which
heareth not and seeth not, and can profit thee nothing?
43. "O my
father! To me hath come knowledge which hath not reached thee: so
follow me: I will guide thee to a way that is even and straight.
44. "O my
father! Serve not Satan: for Satan is a rebel against ((Allah)) Most
45. "O my
father! I fear lest a Penalty afflict thee from ((Allah)) Most
Gracious, so that thou become to Satan a friend."
father) replied: "Dost thou hate my gods, O Abraham? If thou forbear
not, I will indeed stone thee: Now get away from me for a good long
Abraham said: "Peace be on thee: I will pray to my Lord for thy
forgiveness: for He is to me Most Gracious.
I will turn away from you (all) and from those whom ye invoke besides
Allah. I will call on my Lord: perhaps, by my prayer to my Lord, I
shall be not unblessed."
he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped
besides Allah, we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and each one of them
we made a prophet.
we bestowed of Our Mercy on them, and we granted them lofty honor on
the tongue of truth.
mention in the Book (the story of) Moses: for he was specially chosen,
and he was an apostle (and) a prophet.
we called him from the right side of Mount (Sinai), and made him draw
near to us, for mystic (converse).
out of Our Mercy, We gave him his brother Aaron, (also) a prophet.
mention in the Book (the story of) Isma'il: He was (strictly) true to
what he promised, and he was an apostle (and) a prophet.
used to enjoin on his people Prayer and Charity, and he was most
acceptable in the sight of his Lord.
mention in the Book the case of Idris: He was a man of truth (and
sincerity), (and) a prophet:
we raised him to a lofty station.
were some of the prophets on whom Allah did bestow His Grace, of the
posterity of Adam, and of those who we carried (in the Ark) with Noah,
and of the posterity of Abraham and Israel of those whom we guided and
chose. Whenever the Signs of ((Allah)) Most Gracious were rehearsed to
them, they would fall down in prostrate adoration and in tears.
after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed
after lusts soon, then, will they face Destruction,
Except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness: for these
will enter the Garden and will not be wronged in the least,
Gardens of Eternity, those which ((Allah)) Most Gracious has promised
to His servants in the Unseen: for His promise must (necessarily) come
will not there hear any vain discourse, but only salutations of Peace:
And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and evening.
is the Garden which we give as an inheritance to those of our servants
who guard against Evil.
angels say: "We descend not but by command of thy Lord: to Him
belongeth what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between:
and thy Lord never doth forget,"
of the heavens and of the earth, and of all that is between them; so
worship Him, and be constant and patient in His worship: knowest thou
of any who is worthy of the same Name as He?"
says: "What! When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive?"
does not man call to mind that we created him before out of nothing?
by thy Lord, without doubt, we shall gather them together, and (also)
the Evil Ones (with them); then shall we bring them forth on their
knees round about Hell;
shall we certainly drag out from every sect all those who were worst in
obstinate rebellion against ((Allah)) Most Gracious.
certainly we know best those who are most worthy of being burned
one of you but will pass over it: this is, with thy Lord, a Decree
which must be accomplished.
we shall save those who guarded against evil, and we shall leave the
wrong-doers therein, (humbled) to their knees.
Our Clear Signs are rehearsed to them, the Unbelievers say to those who
believe, "Which of the two sides is best in point of position? Which
makes the best show in council?"
how many (countless) generations before them have we destroyed, who
were even better in equipment and in glitter to the eye?
"If any men go astray, ((Allah)) Most Gracious extends (the rope) to
them, until, when they see the warning of Allah (being fulfilled) -
either in punishment or in (the approach of) the Hour, they will at
length realize who is worst in position, and (who) weakest in forces!
Allah doth advance in guidance those who seek guidance: and the things
that endure, Good Deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards,
and best in respect of (their) eventual return."
thou then seen the (sort of) man who rejects Our Signs, yet says: "I
shall certainly be given wealth and children?"
he penetrated to the Unseen, or has he taken a contract with ((Allah))
We shall record what he says, and we shall add and add to his
80. To us
shall return all that he talks of and he shall appear before us bare
they have taken (for worship) gods other than Allah, to give them power
Instead, they shall reject their worship, and become adversaries
thou not that we have set the Evil Ones on against the unbelievers, to
incite them with fury?
make no haste against them, for we but count out to them a (limited)
number (of days).
day we shall gather the righteous to ((Allah)) Most Gracious, like a
band presented before a king for honors,
we shall drive the sinners to Hell, like thirsty cattle driven down to
shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received
permission (or promise) from ((Allah)) Most Gracious.
say: "((Allah)) Most Gracious has begotten a son!"
Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!
90. At it
the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the
mountains to fall down in utter ruin,
they should invoke a son for ((Allah)) Most Gracious.
it is not consonant with the majesty of ((Allah)) Most Gracious that He
should beget a son.
one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to
((Allah)) Most Gracious as a servant.
does take an account of them (all), and hath numbered them (all)
every one of them will come to Him singly on the Day of Judgment.
those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will ((Allah)) Most
Gracious bestow love.
have we made the (Qur'an) easy in thine own tongue, that with it thou
mayest give Glad Tidings to the righteous, and warnings to people given
how many (countless) generations before them have we destroyed? Canst
thou find a single one of them (now) or hear (so much as) a whisper of
Response from Christian Data Resources:
1) The Birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah and Elizabeth:
There are enough similarities between the version in the Bible and that
in the Quran in order for one to tell that both are speaking of the
same historical account of the birth of John the Baptist. The
most obvious difference is in the sign given by God to Zachariah, as
follows: In the Quran, Zakariya is made unable to speak for
only three days. However, in the biblical version in Luke 1, Zechariah
was unable to speak for the entire duration of the pregnancy, and even
for eight days after the birth of his son.
2) The Birth of Jesus to JosEph. and Mary:
This story is hardly even recognizable between the Quran and the Bible, as follows:
- In the Quran, Mary withdrew from her family to a place in the
East. However, the Bible has no mention of this.
- In the Quran, Mary placed a screed to screen herself from the
angel. However, again, the Bible has no mention of this.
- In the Quran, Mary conceived and retired to a remote place.
Again, the Bible has no mention of this.
- In the Quran, the pains of Mary's childbirth drove her to the trunk
of a palm tree, where she shook the trunk of the tree, and fresh ripe
dates fell upon her from the tree. Again the Bible has no mention of this.
- After Mary's child was born, a prophet was apparently able to
communicate with the child in the cradle. Again, the Bible has no mention of this.
- To the contrary, in the Bible, this story includes an additional key
figure--that of Joseph, the man to whom Mary is engaged. Due
to a census mandated by the government, David had to take Mary to the
city of Jerusalem because that is where he had to register for the
census. It was during this trip that Jesus was born in the
town of Bethlehem. There was no room in the inn because all
of the boarding houses were full due to all of the people traveling to
register for the census. As a result, the might King of Kings was ironically born in a lowly manger.