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The Quran VS The Testaments

It been widely propagated by certain world leaders and media at a large that Muslims are terrorists and Islam is a religion that preaches violence and killing of the non-believers. This mind set and media propagation took a hike especially after the 9/11 attacks and has been running amok spreading and cultivating this mindset amongst the people in the millions.

To understand a religion, it’s only logical to begin by examining its literature was the motto Tom Anderson and Co took up to spearhead the study. And indeed, extensive studies in a variety of academic disciplines are routinely conducted to scrutinize and compare the texts of the world’s great religions. The Quran has been set to scrutiny since centuries past and there is a direct challenge from Allah asking the people to produce a single chapter of the likes if they were indeed the truthful. You can read more on how the Quran was compiled here.

Now comes into the picture Tom H.C. Anderson whose OdinText is widely known for being at the top of the game when it comes to Data Mining. Data Mining is a very important strategy used in marketing and top companies so that a trend can be seen and worked upon to increase profits.

Without getting too technical we can summarize by saying that Tom Anderson put in the entire Quran along-with the Old and New Testament in his program and had it look for similar words and how many times they were repeated or spoken about. Tom Anderson got scientific proof of what our speakers like Ahmed Deedat and Dr.Zakir Naik have been approximating in the field of comparative religion for some time. Numbers talk in today’s world and that’s a fact.

When I read about this study being performed, it was like the waiting of the release of a new book in the series to find out what happens next. Hopefully this study would shut the mouth of those few who talk without opening a book in their lives.

“First off, it seemed sensible and appropriate to analyze the Old and New Testaments separately. (The Jewish Torah makes up the first five books of the Christian Old Testament, of course, while the New Testament is unique to Christianity.) The project was inspired by the ongoing public debate around whether or not terrorism connected with Islamic fundamentalism reflects something inherently and distinctly violent about Islam compared to other major religions.

Though all data (Old Testament, New Testament and Quran) were combined and read into OdinText as a single file, the Old Testament is the largest with over 23K verses and about 623K words, followed by the New Testament with just under 8K verses and 185K words, and then the Quran with just over 6K verses and less than 78K words.”

Truth sometimes doesn’t need the majority or large numbers. This is one of the beauties of the eloquence of the Quran that it delivers it message in such concise form yet appeals to different people living in different times with different conditions and will continue to do so till the end.

 

Tom Anderson started by looking at the top words mentioned in each source to understand what would be the main theme of the respective books.

3WayTextAnalyticsComparison

Further looking into the results of the study we find, the combined Old and New Testaments—the Bible—compared to the Quran reveals similarities and differences. The Bible and Quran are fairly uniform in ‘Surprise’, ‘Sadness’ and ‘Disgust’. But the Bible registers higher in ‘Anger’ and the Quran rates higher in ‘Joy’ but also in ‘Fear/Anxiety’ and ‘Trust’.

“The term “Jesus” is also mentioned a few times in the Quran, and, for obvious reasons, not mentioned at all in the Old Testament. But when “Jesus” is mentioned in the New Testament, terms that are more common in the Old Testament—such as “God” and “Lord”—often appear with his name; therefore the placement of “Jesus” on the map above, though definitely most closely associated with the New Testament, is still more closely related to the Old Testament than the Quran because these terms appear more often in the former.

Similarly, it may be surprising to some that “Israel” is mentioned more often in the Quran than the New Testament, and so the Quran and the Old Testament are more textually similar in this respect.”

 

So in the end it all boiled down to the main question. The very reason the study was conducted. Is the Quran really more violent than the Old and New Testaments?

In the words of Tom Anderson:

“A look into the verbatim text suggests that the content in the Quran is not more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts. In fact, of the three texts, the content in the Old Testament appears to be the most violent.

Killing and destruction are referenced slightly more often in the New Testament than in the Quran (2.8% vs. 2.1%), but the Old Testament clearly leads—more than twice that of the Quran—in mentions of destruction and killing (5.3%).

The concept of ‘Love’ is more often mentioned in the New Testament (3.0%) than either the Old Testament (1.9%) or the Quran (1.26%).

But the concept of ‘Forgiveness/Grace’ actually occurs more often in the Quran (6.3%) than the New Testament (2.9%) or the Old Testament (0.7%). This is partly because references to “Allah” in the Quran are frequently accompanied by “The Merciful.” Some might dismiss this as a tag or title, but we believe it’s meaningful because mercy was chosen above other attributes like “Almighty” that are arguably more closely associated with deities.”

 

Moving on from this the study also included a search on the three texts around the concept of ‘Faith/Belief’.

Here the Quran leads with references to ‘believing’ (7.6%), followed by the New Testament (4.8%) and the Old Testament a distant third (0.2%).That said, the concept of “Enemies” actually appears most often in the Old Testament (1.8%).

And while the concept of “Enemies” occurs more often in the Quran than in the New Testament (0.7% vs 0.5%, respectively), there is extremely little difference in how they are discussed (i.e., who and how to deal with them) with one exception: the Quran is slightly more likely than the New Testament to mention “the Devil” or “evil” as being an enemy (.2% vs 0.1%). This just goes onto show how important it is for us as Muslims to be on guard against our biggest enemy as Allah and his Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم have already informed us, Shaitan. We wage jihad against the nafs and at times it is the most difficult of jihad.

 

Tom Anderson continues by saying, “Those who have not read or are not fairly familiar with the content of all three texts may be surprised to learn that no, the Quran is not really more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts.

Personally, I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised that the concept of ‘Mercy’ was most prevalent in the Quran; I expected that the New Testament would rank highest there, as it did in the concept of ‘Love’.

Considering many people take at least a year to read just one of these texts, you may find it interesting that it took OdinText less than 120 seconds to read, parse and analyze all three texts at once! SubhanAllah! Allah inspired man to create and advance in such technologies. It is up to us to take it and benefit from it. At a time when many people are having doubts about their faith being violent and what not such studies will to an extent give an Iman boost.

I can only conclude by saying it is the Quran and the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم message that are infallible and free from any taint or corruption. The message should not/cannot be blamed for how those who claim to be its followers act on it due to some warped understanding away from established mainstream interpretations.

 

You can read more about the research and study here

This study was conducted on the translations and not the original language of the scriptures.

 

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Mohammad Zahid

About

Born Najdi, Bred Hijazi, Brought Up Nawabi. Founder - InkOfFaith.com Currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Islamic Studies as well as a Masters Degree in Information Technology at International Islamic University Malaysia. Studying Islamic Sciences under the guidance of Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu. An ardent interest in Islamic History especially the Seerah of our Beloved Prophet. Aims to rekindle the spark to read amongst the Muslim Youth through various projects and activities. An ever expanding appetite for books - Bibliophile. Life is just a transit and we pass away as strangers, a legacy left behind is all that matters.


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