The Fallacy of Comparing the Incarnation to the Quran

This is something which seems to be pervasive in Christian apologetics. It’s nothing to be proud of, it’s a fallacious argument.

Argument: Muslims believe in a similar concept to the incarnation concerning the Quran – ‘inlibration’ (the eternal words of God having two natures, a created nature and an uncreated nature).

This is a foundation stone claim where the Christian debater uses this argument to build his/her overall argument which generally is used in responses to arguments against the notion of a 100% finite and 100% infinite being. So here the argument is an equivocation between the Quran and the Christian incarnation belief concerning Jesus.

This is replete with fallacies. The obvious one; it’s a straw man argument. The argument actually misrepresents Muslim belief concerning the Quran due to their conflation between the Quran and the Mushaf. The two are not the same as we shall see later.

The incarnation is the belief God took on human flesh ( a human nature).The hypostatic union is a concept which expresses the belief he was fully God and fully human simultaneously (at the same time) and the two natures are inseparable.

We do not believe the act of scribing the Quran onto any object renders the said object as having two natures – regardless of whether the object is a book, stone or whatever else. The incarnation states a man (Jesus p) had two natures – a divine nature and a human nature (a created and uncreated nature).

The book (paper and ink) which the words of the Quran are scribed are called a Mushaf, it’s not the Quran.

Louay Fatoohi explains the difference:

In other words, the term “Qur’an” refers to the specific “revelation that was read to Prophet Muhammad” whereas the term “mushaf” denotes the “written form” of that revelation.

For those who are struggling to follow, the book we read the Quran from in our mosques is a Mushaf. We have many of these in the mosque. Nobody in the mosque says the ‘Qurans’ are over there but rather they say (or should say) the Mushafs (or use the Arabic plural Masahif) are over there.

The two aren’t the same – thus it’s a fallacy to even try to draw a comparison between the scribing of the Quran and the Incarnation belief.

Use common sense – are they saying a hafiz is a like their concept of Jesus too?

Think about it logically, are they saying your iPhone has a ‘phone nature’ and a ‘divine nature’ because you have the words of the Quran saved on it (either audio or written). What about a CD, are they saying the CD now has two natures too? What about a Hafiz (somebody who has memorised the Quran), are they saying these humans have two natures akin to the way Christians view Jesus?!
The argument is inconsistent, what of the Bible?

What about the Bible? Christians can testify themselves to the fallacy of this argument as they don’t view the Bible as having a dual nature nor do they view each book in the Bible in such a way. Christian theology teaches the words of God are eternal, I’ve not only heard this from a pastor but it’s actually written in the Psalms:

Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. [Psalm 119:89 NIV]

Would they say a person who has memorised the Bible, or even parts of it, is akin to their belief in Jesus – ie he/she has an eternal and human nature? Or their phone/PC which has the Bible stored on it has a created and uncreated nature?

I doubt it. The reason why, it’s a misrepresentation (a straw man) and the fallacy of false equivocation as the Christians recognise the book (paper and ink) is distinct from the words which they believe to be eternal.

Louay Fatoohi’s article on the Differences between the Mushaf and the Quran
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Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk

 

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