The Koran and the Book of Mormon: Similarities in Content and Doctrine (Part I)

(Disclaimer: I know very little about the Muslim faith or the historical context of the Koran. This post is based on my personal reading and understanding of the Koran and the Book of Mormon.)

The following is part of a larger list of doctrinal and content similarities between the Koran and the Book of Mormon. These similarities are not presented in any particular order and I do not attempt to make any conclusions about the significance or insignificance of the similarities.

1. We reject Apostles and Prophets who tell us what we don’t want to hear.

“Moreover, to Moses gave we ‘the Book,’ and we raised up apostles after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission, and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit. So oft then as an apostle cometh to you with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as imposters, and slay others?” (Sura 2:81)

“If a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of way to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.” (Helaman 13:26-27)

2. It is unjust to attack your enemy first, but you are justified to fight those who fight against you.

“And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first: God loveth not such injustice.” (Sura 2:185)

“For the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.” (Alma 43:46)

3. Do not spend your riches on the vain things of the world

“Consume not your wealth among yourselves in vain things, nor present it to judges that ye may consume a part of other men’s wealth unjustly, while you know the sin which ye commit.” (Sura 2:204)

“Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.” (Alma 39:14)

4. The word of God is likened to a cord or rod that we must hold on to.

“And hold ye fast by the cord of God, all of you, and break not loose from it; and remember God’s goodness towards you, how that when ye were enemies, He united your hearts, and by his favour ye became brethren.” (Sura 3:98)

“And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree? And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.” (1 Nephi 15:23-24)

5. The creations of the earth are signs of the great Creator

“He causeth the dawn to appear and hath ordained the night for rest, and the sun and the moon for computing time! The ordinance of the Mighty, the Wise! And it is He who hath ordained the stars for you that ye may be guided thereby in the darknesses of the land and of the sea! clear have we made our signs to men of knowledge.” (Sura 6:96-97)

“But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets?…there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” (Alma 30:44)

6. You cannot wait until the judgment day to repent

“But no place of repentance shall there be for those who do evil, until, when death is close to one of them, he saith, ‘Now verily am I turned to God;’ nor to those who die unbelievers. These! we have made ready for them a grievous torment!” (Sura 4:22)

“Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God…For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his…” (Alma 34:34-35)

7. God created us to be weak and desires to lighten our burdens.

“God desireth thus to turn him unto you: but they who follow their own lusts, desire that with great swerving should ye swerve! God desireth to make your burden light: for man hath been created weak.” (Sura 4:32)

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)

8. All who do what is right, regardless of their status, will enter paradise. 

“But whoso doth the things that are right, whether male or female, and he or she a believer, –these shall enter Paradise, nor shall they be wronged the skin of a date stone.” (Sura 4:123)

“He inviteth them all to come unto him, and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” (2 Nephi 27:33)

9. Do not pray to be seen of men

“The hypocrites would deceive God, but He will deceive them! When they stand up for prayer, they stand carelessly, to be seen of men, and they remember God but little” (Sura 4:141)

“Do not pray as the Zoramites do, for ye have seen that they pray to be heard of men, and to be praised for their wisdom.” (Alma 38:13)

10. We must be chaste and virtuous

“And you are permitted to marry virtuous women who are believers, and virtuous women of those who have received the Scriptures before you, when you shall have provided them their portions, living chastely with them without fornication, and without taking concubines…” (Sura 5:7)

“Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Jacob 2:27-28)

11. The Koran (and the Book of Mormon) confirm previous scriptures.

“And to thee we have sent down the Book of the Koran with truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures, and their safeguard. Judge therefore between them by what God hath sent down, and follow not their desires by deserting the truth which hath come unto thee. To every one of you have we given a rule and a beaten track.” (Sura 5:52)

“Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another?…” (2 Nephi 29:8)

12. There will be a resurrection of the body

“To those only who shall lend an ear will He make answer: as for the dead, God will raise them up; then unto Him shall they return.” (Sura 6:36)

“Until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.” (Alma 40:21)

13. Chastisement is meant to humble us. We become prideful when we are not humbled.

“Nor did we ever send a prophet to any city without afflicting its people with adversity and trouble, that haply they might humble them. Then changed we their ill for good, until they waxed wealthy, and said, ‘Of old did troubles and blessings befall our fathers:’ therefore did we seize upon them suddenly when they were unaware.” (Sura 7:92-93)

“Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields…softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One–yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.” (Helaman 12:2)

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