Brigitte Gabriel claimed:
"Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) started borrowing a lot from the old testament, to make his religion more palpable to the Jews: To make it a lot similar. This is why you saw a lot of similarities between Judaism and Islam. For example: Jews don't eat pigs, Muslims don't eat pigs. Jews pray few times a day, Muslims pray few times a day. Jews fast on Yon-Kipper, Muslims fast on Ramadan."
The simple fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was illiterate, actually refutes her whole notion. However, let's examine this in more details:
Many critics allege that Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) learnt quran and/or adapted it from previous scriptures or revelations. This has been refuted by muslims; See this refutation by Zakir Naik, but now we will focus only on some points:
It is true that the Prophet did have religious discussions with the Jews but they took place in Madinah more than 13 years after the revelation of the Qur’an had started. The allegation that these Jews were the source is perverse, since in these discussions Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was performing the roles of a teacher and of a preacher while inviting them to embrace Islam and pointing out that they had deviated from their true teachings of Monotheism. Several of these Jews later embraced Islam.
All historical records available show that Muhummad (pbuh) had made only three trips outside Makkah before his Prophethood:
At the age of 9 he accompanied his mother to Madinah.
Between the age of 9 and 12, he accompanied his uncle Abu-Talib on a business trip to Syria.
At the age of 25 he led Khadija’s Caravan to Syria.
It is highly imaginary to assume that the Qur’an resulted from the occasional chats and meetings with the Christians or Jews from any of the above three trips.
The day-to-day life of the Prophet was an open book for all to see. In fact a revelation came asking people to give the Prophet (pbuh) privacy in his own home. If the Prophet had been meeting people who told him what to say as a revelation from God, this would not have been hidden for very long.
The extremely prominent Quraish nobles who followed the Prophet and accepted Islam were wise and intelligent men who would have easily noticed anything suspicious about the way in which the Prophet brought the revelations to them - more so since the Prophetic mission lasted 23 years.
The enemies of the Prophet kept a close watch on him in order to find proof for their claim that he was a liar - they could not point out even a single instance when the Prophet may have had a secret rendezvous with particular Jews.
It is inconceivable that any human author of the Qur’an would have accepted a situation in which he received no credit whatsoever for originating the Qur’an.
Thus, historically and logically it cannot be established that there was a human source for the Qur’an.
MUHUMMAD (PBUH) WAS AN ILLITERATE
The theory that Muhummad (pbuh) authored the Qur’an or copied from other sources can be disproved by the single historical fact that he was illiterate.
Allah testifies Himself in the Qur’an
In Surah Al-Ankabut chapter no.29 verse 48
"And thou was not (able) to recite a Book before this (Book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: in that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted."
Allah (swt) knew that many would doubt the authenticity of the Qur’an and would ascribe it to Prophet Muhummad (pbuh). Therefore Allah in His Divine Wisdom chose the last and final Messenger to be an ‘Ummi’, i.e. unlettered, so that the talkers of vanity would not then have the slightest justification to doubt the Prophet. The accusation of his enemies that he had copied the Qur’an from other sources and rehashed it all in a beautiful language might have carried some weight, but even this flimsy pretence has been deprived to the unbeliever and the cynic.
Allah reconfirms in the Qur’an in Surah Al A’raf chapter 7 verse 157:
"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (Scriptures) in the Law and the Gospel"
The prophecy of coming of the unlettered Prophet (pbuh) is also mentioned in the Bible in the book of Isaiah chapter 29 verse 12.
"And the book is delivered to him that is not learned."
The Qur’an testifies in no less than four different places that the Prophet (pbuh) was illiterate. It is also mentioned in Surah A’raf chapter 7 verse 158 and in Surah Al-Jumu’a chapter 62 verse 2.
SIMILARITIES IN THE QUR’AN AND OT ARE DUE TO COMMON SOURCE
Similarities between the Qur’an and the Bible does not necessarily mean that the former has been copied from the latter. In fact it gives evidence that both of them are based on a common third source; all divine revelations came from the same source - the one universal God. No matter what human changes were introduced into some of these Judeo-Christian and other older religious scriptures that had distorted their originality, there are some areas that have remained free from distortion and thus are common to many religions.
It is true that there are some similar parallels between the Qur’an and the Bible but this is not sufficient to accuse Muhummad (pbuh) of compiling or copying from the Bible. The same logic would then also be applicable to teachings of Christianity and Judaism and thus one could wrongly claim that Jesus (pbuh) was not a genuine Prophet (God forbid) and that he simply copied from the Old Testament.
The similarities between the two signify a common source that is one true God and the continuation of the basic message of monotheism and not that the later prophets have plagiarised from the previous prophets.
If someone copies during an examination he will surely not write in the answer sheet that he has copied from his neighbour or Mr. XYZ. Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) gave due respect and credit to all the previous prophets (pbut). The Qur’an also mentions the various revelations given by Almighty God to different prophets.
MUSLIMS BELIEVE IN THE TAURAH, ZABOOR, INJEEL AND QUR’AN
Four revelations of Allah (swt) are mentioned by name in the Qur’an: the Taurah, the Zaboor, the Injeel and the Qur’an.
Taurah, the revelation i.e. the Wahi given to Moosa (a. s.) i.e. Moses (pbuh).
Zaboor, the revelation i.e. the Wahi given to Dawood (a.s.) i.e. David (pbuh).
Injeel, the revelation i.e. the Wahi given to Isa (A.S.) ie. Jesus (pbuh).
‘Al-Qur’an’, the last and final Wahi i.e. revelation given to the last and final Messenger Muhammad (pbuh).
It is an article of faith for every Muslim to believe in all the Prophets of God and all revelations of God. However, the present day Bible has the first five books of the Old Testament attributed to Moses and the Psalms attributed to David. Moreover the New Testament or the four Gospels of the New Testament are not the Taurah, the Zaboor or the Injeel, which the Qur’an refers to. These books of the present day Bible may partly contain the word of God but these books are certainly not the exact, accurate and complete revelations given to the prophets.
The Qur’an presents all the different prophets of Allah as belonging to one single brotherhood; all had a similar prophetic mission and the same basic message. Because of this, the fundamental teachings of the major faiths cannot be contradictory, even if there has been a considerable passage of time between the different prophetic missions, because the source of these missions was one: Almighty God, Allah. This is why the Qur’an says that the differences which exist between various religions are not the responsibility of the prophets, but of the followers of these prophets who forgot part of what they had been taught, and furthermore, misinterpreted and changed the scriptures. The Qur’an cannot therefore be seen as a scripture which competes with the teachings of Moses, Jesus and the other prophets. On the contrary, it confirms, completes and perfects the messages that they brought to their people.
Another name for the Qur’an is the ‘The Furqan’ which means the criteria to judge the right from the wrong, and it is on the basis of the Qur’an that we can decipher which part of the previous scriptures can be considered to be the word of God.
QUR’AN IS A BOOK FROM ALLAH
These evidences are sufficient to conclude that the Qur’an was not copied from the Bible, but that the Qur’an is the Furqaan - ‘the Criteria’ to judge right from wrong and it should be used to decipher which portion of the Bible may be considered as the Word of God.
The Qur’an itself testifies in Surah Sajda chapter 32 verse 1 to 3
Alif Laam Meem.
(This is) the revelation of the Book in which there is no doubt – from the Lord of the Worlds.
Or do they say, ‘He has forged it’? Nay, it is the Truth from thy Lord, that thou mayest admonish a people to whom no warner has come before thee: in order that they may receive guidance." [Al-Qur’an 32:1-3]
More palatable to Jews ?!
Quran clearly states those who die while not believing that “There is no true god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God” or are not Muslim will lose Paradise forever and will be sent to Hellfire, as God has said:
" And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter. " (Quran, 3:85)
And as He has said:
" Those who have disbelieved and died in disbelief, the earth full of gold would not be accepted from any of them if it were offered as a ransom. They will have a painful punishment, and they will have no helpers. " (Quran, 3:91)
God is very clear in this aspect.