Bible vs. Quran – Raising of Mount Sinai

We read in the Quran in the following passages that at some point in the history of the Children of Israel Mount Sinai was raised above them and the following commandments were given to them.

[Quran 7:171] We raised the mountain above them like an umbrella, and they thought it was going to fall on them: “You shall uphold what we have given you, strongly, and remember the contents thereof, that you may be saved.”

[Quran 2:63] We made a covenant with you, as we raised Mount Sinai above you: “You shall uphold what we have given you strongly, and remember its contents, that you may be saved.”

[Quran 2:93] We made a covenant with you, as we raised Mount Sinai above you, saying, “You shall uphold the commandments we have given you, strongly, and listen.” They said, “We hear, but we disobey.” Their hearts became filled with adoration for the calf, due to their disbelief. Say, “Miserable indeed is what your faith dictates upon you, if you do have any faith.”

[Quran 4:154] And we raised Mount Sinai above them, as we took their covenant. And we said to them, “Enter the gate humbly.” And we said to them, “Do not desecrate the Sabbath.” Indeed, we took from them a solemn covenant.

But where can we find this event in the Bible? In Exodus 19:17 we read about a similar event that contextually appears to match the account in the Quran, but according to most translations it seems to indicate that this event took place at the foot of the mountain as opposed to the mountain being lifted above the Children of Israel.

16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot (בְּתַחְתִּ֥ית / bə·ṯaḥ·tîṯ) of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

Exodus 19


We also see that Deuteronomy 4:11, appears to be describing the same event.

Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.” 11 You came near and stood at the foot (תַּ֣חַת / ta·ḥaṯ) of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

Deuteronomy 4


The Hebrew word that is translated as “at the foot” (of the mountain) in Exodus 19:7 comes from the Hebrew word תַּחְתִּי (tachti). This word has nineteen occurrences in the Bible and also means beneath, as well as lower or lowest.

We see this word used in the context of beneath three times in Chapter 31 of Ezekiel.

14 so that all the trees by the waters may not be exalted in their stature, nor set their top among the clouds, nor their well-watered mighty ones stand erect in their height. For they have all been given over to death, to the earth beneath (תַּחְתִּ֗ית / taḥ-tîṯ), among the sons of men, with those who go down to the pit.”

15 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day when it went down to Sheol I caused lamentations; I closed the deep over it and held back its rivers. And its many waters were stopped up, and I made Lebanon mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted away on account of it. 16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall when I made it go down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit; and all the well-watered trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, were comforted in the earth beneath (תַּחְתִּית֙ / taḥ-tîṯ). 17 They also went down with it to Sheol to those who were slain by the sword; and those who were its strength lived under its shade among the nations.

18 “To which among the trees of Eden are you thus equal in glory and greatness? Yet you will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth beneath (תַּחְתִּ֗ית / taḥ-tîṯ); you will lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those who were slain by the sword. So is Pharaoh and all his hordes!”’ declares the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 31


Additionally, Deuteronomy 4:11 provides additional support that the mountain was lifted over the heads of the Children of Israel as depicted in the Quran. When we look at the Hebrew word “at the foot” (of the mountain) in Deuteronomy 4:11 we see that the word that is used is תַּחַת / tachath. This word means: underneath, below, or instead of. This word occurs 504 times in the Bible, and is used to mean underneath or below (see: Genesis 1:7, 6:17, 7:19, 18:4, 18:8, 24:9, 35:4, 35:8…) as well as at the foot of.

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Why do some people think Bakka means weeping?

[3:96] The most important shrine established for the people is the one in Becca; a blessed beacon for all the people.

 إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ

The root fo the word بِبَكَّةَ used in 3:96 of the Quran is ب ك ك which has the following meanings:

crowding together of people; lacking water; and breaking of the neck.

These meanings are all associated with Mecca as this is where (1) people crowd together for Hajj, (2) aside from occasional rains that cause floods it is a desert and lacks water (3) anyone who attempts to lay siege on the Kaaba is not successful and thus breaks their neck e.g. The People of The Elephant.

Some have the false understanding the the word بِبَكَّةَ comes from the same word as “to weep”. This misunderstanding appears to have originated from the Greek translation of Hebrew of Psalms 84, where the early Greek translators translated the Hebrew word Bakka בכא (ba-k-a) which is a name to the similar-sounding word בכה (be-k-ha) which means “crying or weeping” and translated the mention of “valley of Bakka” in Psaml 84:6 as: ἐν τῇ κοιλάδι τοῦ κλαυθμῶνος “valley of mourning or weeping”. This is an inaccuate translaiton as בכא (ba-k-a) & בכה (be-k-ha) are two completely different words despite sounding similar.

Similarly, in Arabic the word for weeping is بَكَى‎ (ba-ka-ya) which is pronounced as baka, but again is a completely different word than بَكَّةَ (bakka) which is the name Bakka, the ancient name of Mecca.

To put this in perspective for English speakers, this would be equivalent to translating the word “blew” as the color “blue”. Despite sounding the same these words are fundamentally different.

If you are interested to know why God might have used two names for the same location then check out the following article

Image result for weeping

Bakka vs. Mecca – Why Two Names for The Same Location?

The name بِبَكَّةَ (Bakka or Becca) used in 3:96 is the ancient name for Mecca.

[3:96] The most important shrine established for the people is the one in Becca; a blessed beacon for all the people.

 إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ

We can confirm that by looking at the following verse which indicates that this is the location of Abraham’s shrine.

[3:97] In it are clear signs: the station of Abraham. Anyone who enters it shall be granted safe passage. The people owe it to God that they shall observe Hajj to this shrine, when they can afford it. As for those who disbelieve, God does not need anyone.

Additionally 48:24-25, further confirms that Bakka is the same location as Mecca, as this is where the prophet set out for in order to reach the Sacred Masjid to perform his Hajj pilgrimage.

[48:24] He is the One who withheld their hands of aggression against you, and withheld your hands of aggression against them in the valley of Mecca, after He had granted you victory over them. GOD is Seer of everything you do. [48:25] It is they who disbelieved and barred you from the Sacred Masjid, and even prevented your offerings from reaching their destination. There were believing men and women (within the enemy camp) whom you did not know, and you were about to hurt them, unknowingly. GOD thus admits into His mercy whomever He wills. If they persist, He will requite those among them who disbelieve with a painful retribution.

If there is still any doubt, the following verse solidifies that both Becca and Mecca we are to perform Hajj to the Sacred Masjid, and if there were actually to locations then it would create a contradictory understanding of the verses of the Quran.

[2:196] You shall observe the complete rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah for GOD. If you are prevented, you shall send an offering, and do not resume cutting your hair until your offering has reached its destination. If you are ill, or suffering a head injury (and you must cut your hair), you shall expiate by fasting, or giving to charity, or some other form of worship. During the normal Hajj, if you break the state of Ihraam (sanctity) between ‘Umrah and Hajj, you shall expiate by offering an animal sacrifice. If you cannot afford it, you shall fast three days during Hajj and seven when you return home—this completes ten—provided you do not live at the Sacred Mosque (Masjid). You shall observe GOD, and know that GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.

The Quran utilizing two names for the same location is not unique to Mecca and Becca. We see the Quran does the same thing for several other locations as well:

  • Medina (9:120) & Yathrib (33:13)
  • Thamud (11:67) & Al-Hijr (15:80)
  • Ad (41:15) & Erum (89:7) or Dunes (46:21)

God also does this for names of people as well:

  • Jacob (2:133) & Israel (2:40)
  • Iblees (7:11) & Satan (2:34)
  • Jonah (10:98) & Zan-Noon (The one with the N in his name) 21:87

One reason the Quran might have utilized two names for Mecca may be because some scholars attempted to irradiate any mention of Mecca, Hajj, or any religious practices they associated with Arab Muslims from the Bible, except they failed to realize that Mecca and Becca were the same location and left its mention intact in Psalm 84 in discussion about Hajj pilgrimage.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
    they make it a spring;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

*Note: despite being a desert the valley of Mecca does occasionally flood when the rain season comes.

Image result for mecca floods

**Also, some translations of Pslam 84:6 twist the translation to indicate that the Valley of Baka is a place of springs (plural), but if we look at the Hebrew the word for spring is singular, and this corresponds with the Zamzam spring in Mecca. Below is a word for word breakdown of the Hebrew:

Are Tattoos Prohibited in the Quran?

According to God, the only source of religious law we are to follow is stated in the Quran.

[6:114] Shall I seek other than GOD as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed? Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt. [6:115] The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

Regarding prohibitions in the Quran, a simple rule is that anything that is not prohibited in the Quran is by default permissible.

[6:150] Say, “Bring your witnesses who would testify that GOD has prohibited this or that.” If they testify, do not testify with them. Nor shall you follow the opinions of those who reject our revelations, and those who disbelieve in the Hereafter, and those who stray away from their Lord.

Some people abuse this principle to insinuate that many of the sins that are not specifically mentioned in the Quran are therefore permissible since they are not mentioned by name in the Quran. This argument is void, because God doesn’t need to mention every kind of sin by name in order to encompass them, but rather by condemning the general category it will constitute all derivatives of that sin.

For instance, according to 5:90, God informs us that intoxicants, gambling, and the altars of idols are abominations of the devil, and that we should avoid these things.

[5:90] O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.

Notice that by making such a statement it prohibits all forms of intoxicants, gambling and altars of idols. This does not mean that only certain kinds of intoxicants, gambling, or altars of idols are prohibited, but rather anything that can fall into one of these categories would be prohibited. By doing this, God didn’t need to specify all the multitude of things that would constitute one of these categories, and thus simplifying the religion for us.

In the following two verses, God informs us that His words are infinite, yet out of His mercy he reduced what is necessary for our salvation to these 114 Suras of the Quran.

[31:27] If all the trees on earth were made into pens, and the ocean supplied the ink, augmented by seven more oceans, the words of GOD would not run out. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

[18:109] Say, “If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply.”

So when it comes to tattoos there is no verse where the act is specifically prohibited, but I can think of two arguments that people can make attempting to prohibit the action.

Argument #1 – Best Design

In the following verse God informs us that He created the human being in the best design.

[95:4] We created man in the best design.

Some can argue that because of this verse, tattoos would be going against the intended design of man when one modifies their skin to something unnatural. If someone was to have such a hard stance based on this verse, then they would also have to prohibit many other things e.g. piercings, makeup, haircuts, or eyebrow grooming. Because of this I do not see this verse apply to tattoos.

Argument #2 – Distortion

The second argument is based on a claim that Satan made when getting kicked out of the High Society when he stated:

[4:119] “I will mislead them, I will entice them, I will command them to (forbid the eating of certain meats by) marking the ears of livestock, and I will command them to distort the creation of GOD.” Anyone who accepts the devil as a lord, instead of GOD, has incurred a profound loss.

Some have argued that tattoos fall under the distorting of the creation of God. I personally have trouble with this as again this can lead to a slippery slope of prohibitions. If one was to prohibit tattoos because they believe is distorts God’s creation, then they would also have to prohibit hair coloring, plastic surgery, botox, piercings, etc. as well.

Personally I do not see tattoos as prohibited and do not find either of these arguments convincing. That said, it is worth differentiating between something being prohibited and someone having a preference.

When we say something is prohibited we are insinuating that God commanded us not to conduct such acts and if one does they will be committing a sin. A preference on the other hand, does not mean one is committing a sin by choosing not to do an act. For instance, someone can choose not to eat fish, not because they think it is prohibited but because they don’t like the taste. That is fine, but if they are saying that if someone eats fish they will be committing a sin then they would be attributing lies to God.

There are many things we can choose not to do because of personal preferences, but once we say that the action is prohibited then we are saying that God commanded us not to partake in that act and if we do we will be earning sins against our souls.

[29:68] Who is more evil than one who fabricates lies and attributes them to GOD, or rejects the truth when it comes to him? Is Hell not a just retribution for the disbelievers?


			

Sura 19:31 & 19:94; Count of Y: How the Quran’s Mathematical Structure Preserves the Quranic Text

Sura 19, of the Quran begins with the initials كهيعص (K, H, Y, ‘A, S). This is the longest set of initials of the 14 set of Quranic initials. The letter “K / ك” in Sura 19 occurs 137 times, “H / ه” occurs 175 times, “Y / ى” occurs 343 times, “ `A / ع” occurs 117 times, and “S (Saad) / ص” occurs 26 times. Thus, the total occurrence of the five letters is 137+175+343+117+26 = 798 = 19×42.

In a book that I care not to promote, the author claims that this is inaccurate because according to his research he believes Sura 19 contains three additional ى’s in the Arabic text, making the total number of times “ى / Y” occurs in Sura 19: 346 and not 343. The author makes the following claim:

“There are two words that vary in spelling in current manuscripts, the correct spelling of the word “Ahsahum / أَحْصَاهُمْ” in verse 19:94 should have a Y, and the word “Awsani / وَأَوْصَانِي” in 19:31, should contain two Ys.”

Before addressing this claim, it’s worth noting a principle of the Quran, that it is our duty to investigate information before accepting it, especially if the source is coming from someone who is known not to be trustworthy.

[49:6] O you who believe, if a wicked person brings any news to you, you shall first investigate, lest you commit injustice towards some people, out of ignorance, then become sorry and remorseful for what you have done.

If we follow information from someone blindly then we will be just as guilty as they are.

[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.

Also, it is worth going over a little bit of background regarding Quranic manuscripts and Arabic text. When looking at the oldest manuscripts, or even in modern Quran scripts, it is not difficult to find variations in spelling with predominately three letters: waw, ya, and most notably alif. The reason is that sometimes these letters are consonants, as part of the word, and other times they are purely vowels that are added for clarity and pronunciation.

The reason for this is that for the first 200 years, the Quran manuscripts did not contain any vowels. This is because for the most part, up until that point the people who predominately accepted the Quran all spoke and understood Quranic Arabic and therefore there was no ambiguity to the meaning and pronunciation of the words in the text. But as the religion spread and time passed vowels were added to the script in order to preserve the original meaning and pronunciation of the text.

We can understand this using a modern day example. If you were to pick up a newspaper today in Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi, or Urdu the letters will not include vowels in the text. This is becuase the readers today are all familiar with the language and will not need these markings to understand and read the text. But this will not be the case after many years when the language, vocabulary, and meanings of that language change and someone attempting to read the newspaper 200 years in the future may mistake words, meanings, and pronunciations. So therefore the vowels help with this preservation and aid in reducing ambiguity for future readers.

So based on these variations in spelling between manuscripts how do we know which version is correct? This is where the mathematical structure of the Quran comes into play. The manuscript that would be correct is the one where the spelling preserves the mathematical structure of the Quran. If we have two manuscripts of the Quran, and one manuscript has several additional ى’s that causes an error in the mathematical structure of the Quran, and another manuscript that has spellings that maintains the mathematical structure of the Quran, then we know from that information alone which manuscript spelling is correct. 

That said, let’s look at the specific claim regarding وَأَوْصَانِي / awasani in 19:31 and أَحْصَاهُمْ / ahsahum in 19:94. As stated above, the author claimed that these two words should be written with two Y’s and one Y, respectively, based on early manuscripts that he has observed. So if we can show an early manuscript which has these words spelled with the proper counts of Y’s that preserves the mathematical integrity of the Quran then we can be certain that the correct spelling has been preserved.

Below are images of one of the earlier Quran manuscripts dated between 700 – 900AD from the Library of Berlin. In this text we see that وَأَوْصَانِي / awasani in 19:31 is written with a single Y, and that أَحْصَاهُمْ / ahsahum in 19:94 does not contain a Y. This matches what we find written in Quran’s today, and thus further confirms the immense blessing God has bestowed upon us via the mathematical miracle of the Quran.

Does this mean that there couldn’t be a manuscript written as claimed by the author? Sure, but all that proves is that since it does not correspond with the mathematical structure of the Quran then, therefore, that spelling is inaccurate. 

I speak Arabic therefore I understand the Quran

One of the most deceptive arguments native Arab speakers make when debating the Quran is the following: “I speak Arabic therefore I understand the Quran.”

This claim on its surface is erroneous on two levels. Firstly, God tells us in the Quran that the Quran is only accessible to those who are sincere. 

[56:79] None can grasp it except the sincere.

Ironically, most Arab speakers even misunderstand this verse to believe that the word “الْمُطَهَّرُونَ” in this context means to be physically clean. So many believe that they must have ablution before they touch a Quran, and that a menstruating women should not touch a Quran. The word الْمُطَهَّرُونَ comes from the root طهر (Ta-ha-ra) this root can mean to be physically clean but also to be in reference to spiritual cleanliness as in pure, righteous, or free from impurity. Notice that the verse is not a commandment, but rather a statement of fact. 

So therefore, regardless if someone is a scholar of Arabic, if they are not sincere they will not be able to access the Quran. 

[17:45] When you read the Quran, we place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier. [17:46] We place shields around their minds, to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears. And when you preach your Lord, using the Quran alone, they run away in aversion.

[41:44] If we made it a non-Arabic Quran they would have said, “Why did it come down in that language?” Whether it is Arabic or non-Arabic, say, “For those who believe, it is a guide and healing. As for those who disbelieve, they will be deaf and blind to it, as if they are being addressed from faraway.”

The second reason that the argument for a modern native Arab speaker to claim they understand the Quran because they know Arabic is deceptive is because the Quran is written in its own form of Arabic that is completely unique from the Arabic that is spoken today. It has its own grammar, syntax, and vocabulary that is vastly different than what is spoken by Arabs today. Even when we attempt to apply Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) to Quran we see numerous examples where the Quran follows its own standard let alone vocabulary that is not used in common day speech among native Arab speakers. This is because the MSA grammar was produced hundreds of years after the revelation of the Quran. This is a big reason to why the Quran has been so heavily misunderstood by millions for the last 1400 years despite being written in Arabic. 

The Quran was revealed 1400 years ago in perfect Arabic, but language is fluid but the Quran is not. Over 1400 years languages morph and change. Words are lost or transition to completely new meaning. Just because someone can read the letters and words does not mean that they understand the meaning of what’s being said. For example, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet over 400 years ago and most English speaking people today will not understand Shakespeare despite being able to read the words. Many of the words and phrases meant fundamentally different things at the time of Shakespeare, and if someone attempts to apply a modern filter to this classic work they will leave thinking they understand the material, but be completely mistaken. 

Now the Quran was written not 400 years ago, but 1400 years ago. In order to understand this text, one would have to know how the language was used back then and what the words meant at the time of the revelation. Obviously, this will not be accessible to the average Arab speaker today unless they have devoted to learning such material. To put this in perspective if we look at English from 1400 years ago the language would be almost unrecognizable to any modern-day speaker. The comparison would be like an English speaker attempting to understand Spanish or German. Yes, you will be able to read all the words and might be able to piece together the meaning, but unless you study the language you will have a false sense of understanding of the text. 

So the next time you hear someone make the claim that: they know Arabic and therefore they understand the Quran, know that they are most likely either being deceitful or ignorant.

Abraham’s Circumcision Covenant with God

In 53:36-37, God informs us, that even the one who turned away from the Quran was aware of the scripture of Moses and of what was fulfilled by Abraham.

[53:33] Have you noted the one who turned away? [53:34] Rarely did he give to charity, and then very little. [53:35] Did he possess knowledge of the future? Could he see it? [53:36] Was he not informed of the teachings in the scripture of Moses? [53:37] And Abraham who fulfilled?
53361أَمْOr
53362لَمْnot
53363يُنَبَّأْhe was informed
53364بِمَاin what
53365فِي(was) in
53366صُحُفِ(the) scriptures (of)
53367مُوسَىٰMoses,
53371وَإِبْرَاهِيمَAnd (of) Abraham,
53372الَّذِيthe one who
53373وَفَّىٰhe fulfilled?

What was it that Abraham fulfilled that even the one who turned away would be aware of?

We see in in 2:124 that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord through certain commands and he fulfilled them as part of God’s covenant with Abraham and his believing descendants.

[2:124] Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. (God) said, "I am appointing you an imam for the people." He said, "And also my descendants?" He said, "My covenant does not include the transgressors."

2:124 informs us that God put Abraham to the test with certain commands from God and he fulfilled them. And that for this God made Abraham an imam / leader for the people and that his covenant with God was also with Abraham’s believing descendants.

What were these commandments that Abraham fulfilled that is universally known even by disbelievers?

If we ask the average person who has any familiarity of Abraham, especially one who is aware of the teaching in the scripture of Moses per 53:36, “what do they recall that Abraham “fulfilled?” they will almost universally identify one of two things.

(1) the dream where Abraham had where he thought God wanted him to sacrifice his son, or
(2) the Covenant of Circumcision.

Could the fulfillment mentioned in reference to Abraham in 53:37 and 2:124 be in reference to the dream?

2:124 indicates that it was God who tested Abraham with certain commands, and not anyone else. The only time that God tests us directly is by giving us a commandment. When God commands us to do something it is a test to see if we fulfill His commandment or not. We see this in the example of Muhammad being commanded by God to marry the divorced wife of his adopted son.

[33:36] No believing man or believing woman, if GOD and His messenger issue any command, has any choice regarding that command. Anyone who disobeys GOD and His messenger has gone far astray. [33:37] Recall that you said to the one who was blessed by GOD, and blessed by you, "Keep your wife and reverence GOD," and you hid inside yourself what GOD wished to proclaim. Thus, you feared the people, when you were supposed to fear only GOD. When Zeid was completely through with his wife, we had you marry her, in order to establish the precedent that a man can marry the divorced wife of his adopted son. GOD's commands shall be done.

We see that God tested Satan by commanding him and the angels to prostrate before Adam.

[2:34] When we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam," they fell prostrate, except Satan; he refused, was too arrogant, and a disbeliever.

We see that God tested Adam in Paradise by commanding him not to approach the tree.

[7:19] "As for you, Adam, dwell with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom as you please, but do not approach this one tree, lest you fall in sin."

This is in contrast to the dream that Abraham had where he thought he was supposed to sacrifice his son. This dream was not from God, but instead it was from Satan. Additionally, God saved Abraham from fulfilling his dream. Therefore since this commandment did not come from God and Abraham did not fulfill his dream then therefore this could not be the fulfillment of the command referenced per 2:124 and 53:37.

Because of this, the only other option of a commandment from God that Abraham fulfilled that is universally recognized by even the non-believers is that of the Covenant of Circumcision.

Genesis 17 – The Covenant of Circumcision

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

Conclusion

Circumcision is universally accepted by all people of the book: Jews, Christian, and Muslims as part of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his future believing descendants. This is the “certain commands” that was given to Abraham by God per 2:214, and is universally recognized that Abraham fulfilled these commandments from God by even those who turn away from the message yet are aware of the teachings of the scripture of Moses per 53:36-37.

[53:33] Have you noted the one who turned away? [53:34] Rarely did he give to charity, and then very little. [53:35] Did he possess knowledge of the future? Could he see it? [53:36] Was he not informed of the teachings in the scripture of Moses? [53:37] And Abraham who fulfilled?

[2:124] Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. (God) said, "I am appointing you an imam for the people." He said, "And also my descendants?" He said, "My covenant does not include the transgressors."