Some resemblances between Islam and Mormonism (Part One)

Some resemblances between Islam and Mormonism (Part One) January 19, 2018

 

Sapporo's Temple
The Sapporo Japan Temple (LDS Media Library)

 

Continuing with a draft of my forthcoming book on Islam for a Latter-day Saint audience:

 

Some readers will already have noticed a number of similarities between the Qur’an and the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And, indeed, there are many. The present section will attempt to point some of them out. In this regard, perhaps the most obvious feature of the Qur’an is the fact that it contains many of the same stories and refers to many of the same historical figures that are familiar to the West from the pages of the Bible.

The Qur’an speaks, for instance, about the fall of Lucifer and the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve.[1] It is familiar with the story of Adam’s naming of the animals and the conflict between Cain and Abel.[2]  The story of Noah appears more than once.[3] Job is men­tioned, as is a figure called Idris, who is universally identified by Muslim commentators with Enoch.[4] Even Jonah is mentioned.[5]

Told often, and in considerable detail, are the stories of Abra­ham and his nephew Lot, including the miraculous annunciation of Isaac, Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.[6] The story of Abraham’s youthful renun­ciation of his idolatrous family and people is favored and referred to numerous times throughout the Qur’an.[7]  The Qur’anic retelling of the story, however, contains a number of interesting details which either do not occur in the Bible or are not emphasized at all. Abraham appears in the Qur’an as a watcher of the skies, much as he does in the third chapter of the book of Abraham. And the prayer for wisdom and righteousness that the Qur’anic Abraham offers seems to parallel his quest as recorded in Abraham 1:2. Some details are even amusing, as in the following dialogue between the patriarch and an unidentified royal idol worshiper:

Have you not heard of him who argued with Abraham about his Lord because He had bestowed upon him the Kingdom?

Abraham said: “My Lord is He who has power to give life and to cause death.”

“I, too,” replied the other, “have power to give life and to cause death.”

“God brings up the sun from the east,” said Abraham. “Bring it up yourself from the west.”[8]

 

[1] 2:30_39; 7:11-25; 15:26-44; 17:61-65; 20:115-23; 38:71-85.

[2] 2:31-33; 5:27-31.

[3] As at 10:71-73; 11:25-49.

[4] 21:83-84; 19:56-57, with perhaps a hint of his translation. Idris is pronounced with a hissing “s,” as Ih-DREES.

[5] 37:139-49; 68:48-50.

[6] 11:69-83; 17:50-77; 27:54-58; 29:28-35; 37:99-111, 113-38; 51:24-37; 54:33-40.

[7] For instance, at 6:74-79; 19:41-50; 21:51-72; 26:70-102; 37:83-98.

[8] 2:258.

 

***

 

Incidentally, I spoke on Islam last night to the Brigham Young Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers.  It was a good group, including a fair number of people whom I’ve known for many years.

 

 

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