I have been pursuing the recent debate going on in the Press about Ten Commandments. Quran claims to testify what had been revealed before it (Torah and Gospel). I give passages in Exodus 20 (3-17) and the parallel verses of the Quran to show that Islam also testifies the Ten Commandments (which are upheld by other religions also as Universal Code of conduct.)

 N.B. King James’ version is couched in old English. So I have chosen to quote from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton , Illinois , 1996


Verses of the Exodus Ch. 20


Parallel Verses of the Quran


3: “Do not worship any other gods besides me.”


“And your Lord has ordained that you should not worship anyone except Him” ( 17:23 )


4-6: “Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must not bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate Me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey their commands even for a thousand generations.”


“And shun unclean idols” ( 22:30 )


“When Abraham said, O my Lord,… and save me and my offspring from worshipping idols” ( 14:35 )


“When Abraham said to his father… do you adopt idols as your things of worship? I see you and your tribe in open error” (6:74)


“When (Abraham said to his father and tribe,”What are these images that you sit around? They said, “we found our ancestors worshipping them. (Abraham) said, “Verily, you and your ancestors were in open error” ( 21:52 -54)


7: Do not misuse the name of your LORD the God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name.


“And do not make Allah a target for your oaths for doing good or avoiding evil or reconciling people (2:224)


8-11: “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it Holy. Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work. But the seventh day is the day of rest, dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then He rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.


And We said to them, “Do not violate Sabbath, and We took from them a solemn Covenant” (4:154)



“He created the heavens and the Earth in six days, and then He settled down on the Throne to administer matters”. (10:3)


“Everyday He is busy in a new way” (55:29)


“Neither drowsiness nor sleep overcomes Him…He is not fatigued by taking care of both (Heavens and Earth)”. (2:255)


12: “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.


“And your Lord ordains that you do not worship anyone but only Him, and do good to your parents. If they reach old age before your eyes, any one of them or both, then do not say a word of criticism to them and do not scold them, rather speak kindly to them. And lean your wing of humility towards them and pray, ”O Lord, have mercy on them as they had brought me up since my childhood” ( 17:23 -24)

13: “Do not murder.


“And do not kill anybody that Allah has prohibited except when you have a right to kill” (6:151)


14: Do not commit adultery.


“And do not even go near adultery. It is open vice and bad way” ( 17:32 )


15: Do not steal.


“As to the thief (man or woman) let their hands be cut off, a retaliation for what they did, a punishment from Allah. ( 5:38 )


16:” Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.


“And They (Servants of God) do not testify falsely.” (25:72)


17: “Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife. Male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns.”


“And do not covet what Allah has favored some of you over others.( 4:32 )


“And do not stretch your eyes towards what We have provided some of them.” (15:88)



My comments:


Quran claims to attest the Holy Books (Torah and the Gospels) revealed before it. But it also says that it oversees them. This means that Quran points out the alterations made by vested interests in the Holy Words. The comparison between Biblical verses and Quranic verses has been made clear above. The contrast on some points needs to be made clear.


(a)     A jealous God: Bible says of God that He cannot tolerate sharing of our affection with others gods. Quran also says something similar,” Allah will not forgive (your) assigning Partners with Him, and may forgive lesser sins to whom He wishes” ( 4:48 ) “Verily, Polytheism is a great injustice” (31:13)


(b)     Punishing children for sins of parents. Bible says God will punish children for the sins of parents to the 3rd and 4th generations, but will shower His love on the obedient for thousand generations. Quran says, “No one does any deed but its burden is on him/her alone. No one will bear the burden of another”(6:161) According to Quran accountability for sins is personal and does not extend to children. However, it says, “He who brings one good deed will be awarded ten times, but he who brings one Evil deed will be awarded only for that (single) and they will not be done injustice” (6:160). This is out of His Mercy.


(c)     Sabbath: Bible orders Jews to hold Sabbath as a holiday (no work) just as God rested on the 7th day after creating the Universe for six days. Quran has a different view. Jews were ordered to observe certain restrictions on fishing on Sabbath day (as a test). But they violated God’s order, so were punished by God.

           Quran says, “He made the night for rest and the day for earning livelihood” (78:11). There is no concept of a ‘holy-day’ without work in Islam. Even on its sacred days (Fridays) Quran orders us to hasten for prayers but to disperse in the land for seeking livelihood after prayers are over. (62:9-10)   


(d)     God needs no rest: Bible says God rested on the 7th day after creating universe. Quran says: Allah is never fatigued by administrating matters of the Universe. He needs no sleep (or rest). Busy always.


(e)     Murder: Killing any one without right is prohibited both in Bible and Quran. Quran goes further, “We ordained for Children on Israel that He who kills one person (but for retaliation or terrorism in the land)) is like killing a whole mankind. ( 5:32 )


(f)      Adultery: Bible prohibits only the act of adultery. Quran prohibits even its preliminaries, i.e. any acts exiting lustful feelings. This is because once hormones are excited it is difficult to keep them under control. So why not nip the evil in the bud!


(g)     Stealing: Quran prescribes a rather harsh punishment for thieves (male or female). This has been criticized by Western critics as ‘barbarous’ punishment. But Quran does not care for criticism. It has public safety in view. Once a thief has his/her hands cut off it will be a most effective deterrent for others.


(h)     False evidence: Quran orders Muslims not to hide evidence, but to testify truth even if it goes against self or parents or relatives (4:135). Moreover, Quran extends this order for all Believers and does not restrict it to neighbors only (as in Bible).


(i)      Coveting: Bible limits coveting to neighbor’s property only. Quran goes further and extends the prohibition to all society.


Lastly let me add a sad comment. The present debate over Ten Commandments is limited to removal of a monument containing 10 engraved Commandments from one place to another. People don’t care to act on these Commandments. On the contrary, the present state of morals in society is nothing but ridiculing the Ten Commandments. Who will reform us?


by I.A. Arshed Ph.D.


Aug 26, 2003