Alan emphasizes the importance of looking to Islam’s authoritative sources in order to know what Islam really teaches then explains a key teaching about the Qur'an.
And here’s what you’re going to discover—There is a critical distinction that I’m going to make right now that’ll be kind of a theme throughout all the material that we cover. And the distinction is this: What Muslims say often is different than what Islam teaches. There’s a distinction between what Muslims say and what authoritative sources in Islam teach. Cause Muslims can say a whole bunch of things, it doesn’t necessarily make it true or representative of what Islam actually teaches according to its authoritative sources. So let me then offer you what I believe are three key sources of authority that we can look to to determine, is this teaching truly Islamic or not. And these three sources, by the way, are what are often cited when I attend a Mosque and I go and hear the services, often times the person teaching will site the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Sunnah. These are the three sources of authority that I want you to become aware of right now. So the first source of authority is the Qur’an. The Qur’an is, according to Muslims, the written revelation of Allah. They believe it is the literal words of Allah. Notice I say “literal words of Allah” because in Christianity, we often say the Bible is the inspired word of God. And this is a different kind of claim than what Muslims are claiming about the Qur’an. So, the doctrine of inspiration of the Bible teaches that there’s of course God, and the Holy Spirit, who is God, has inspired human authors to write down certain things using their own personality, using their own grammar, using their own style, such that what these biblical authors were inspired to write by the Holy Spirit is exactly what God intended them to write down. That’s why we call it the inspired word of God. It is God’s word, but God used the Holy Spirit to inspire human authors to write down certain things, and what they eventually wrote down is exactly what God intended them to write down. This is not the claim of the Qur’an. Muslims claim that the Qur’an is the literal words of Allah, which means this: They believe that there is a book that exists in heaven with Allah, called the Qur’an. And the contents of this book have been dictated literally word by word by the angel Gabriel to a man named Mohammed who they believe was a prophet. And the contents of this book, the Qur’an were dictated to Mohammed from 610 AD to 632 AD. So Mohammed allegedly first started getting these revelations from the angel Gabriel at 610 AD and then when he died in 632 AD, that was when, allegedly, those revelations ceased to be given to Mohammed.