Common Logical Fallacies Made By Muslims
Dr. Robert Morey
Christians must be prepared to
answer the typical objections made against the Gospel. Most of the objections
are based on simple logical fallacies. The following is a list of some
of the most common fallacies used by Muslims.
Note: The average Muslim does
not know that his arguments are logically erroneous. He is sincere in his
beliefs. Thus you must be patient and kind in sharing with him why his
arguments are invalid.
1. The Fallacy of False Assumptions: In logic as well as in law,
"historical precedent" means that the burden of proof rests on
those who set forth new theories and not on those whose ideas have
already been verified. The old tests the new. The already established authority
judges any new claims to authority.
Since Islam came along many centuries
after Christianity, Islam has the burden of proof and not Christianity.
The Bible tests and judges the Qur'an. When the Bible and the Qur'an contradict
each other, the Bible must logically be given first place as the older
authority. The Qur'an is in error until it proves itself.
Some Muslims violate the principle
of historical precedent by asserting that Islam does not have the burden
of proof and that the Qur'an judges the Bible.
2. Arguing in a circle: If you have already assumed in your premise
what you are going to state in your conclusion, then you have ended where
you began and proven nothing.
If you end where you began, you got nowhere.
#1 Proving Allah by the Qur'an
and then proving the Qur'an by Allah.
#2 Proving Muhammad by the Qur'an
and then proving the Qur'an by Muhammad.
#3 Proving Islam by the Qur'an
and then proving the Qur'an by Islam.
3. False Analogy: Comparing two things as if they are parallel
when they are not really the same at all.
#1 Many Muslims erroneously assume
that Muslims and Christians share the same concepts of God, revelation,
inspiration, textual preservation, the Bible, prophethood, biblical history,
#2 Because a false analogy
is drawn between Islam and Christianity, some Muslims think that any argument
which refutes the Qur'an will likewise refute the Bible; any argument which
refutes Muhammad will also refute Jesus Christ, etc...
#3 For example, many Muslims claim
that Muhammad and all prophets were sinless. Thus when a Christian points
out all the wicked things that Muhammad did (mass murder, child abuse,
lying, etc.), the Muslims will say,
"If you are right, then you must also reject your biblical prophets
for doing wicked things as well."
What he is really saying is, "If
you reject my prophet, then you must reject your prophets as well. If Muhammad
was a false prophet, then your prophets are false as well."
4. The Fallacy of Irrelevance: When you introduce issues which
have no logical bearing on the subject under discussion, you are using
The root problem is that the Muslim
concept of prophethood is not the same as the Christian concept of prophethood.
We teach that prophets sin like anyone else. Thus while Islam is refuted
by the sins of Muhammad, Christianity is not jeopardized at all. The Muslim
is guilty of setting up a "false analogy."
Whenever a Muslim responds to
a Christian attack on the Qur'an, Muhammad, or Allah by flipping the argument
around and applying it to the Bible, Jesus or the Trinity as if Islam and
Christianity either stand or fall together, he is guilty of the fallacy
of false analogy. Islam can be false and Christianity be true at the same
#1 Some Muslims argue, "The
Qur'an is the Word of God because the text of the Qur'an has been preserved
perfectly." This argument is erroneous for two reasons:
a. Factually, the text
of the Qur'an has not been preserved perfectly. The text has additions,
deletions, conflicting manuscripts, and variant readings like any other
b. Logically, it is irrelevant
whether the text of the Qur'an has been preserved because preservation
does not logically imply inspiration. A book can be perfectly copied
without implying its inspiration.
#2 When Muslims attack the character
and motives of anyone who criticizes Islam, they are using irrelevant
arguments. The character of someone is no indication of whether he is telling
you the truth. Good people can lie and evil people can tell the truth.
Thus whenever a Muslim uses slurs such as "mean," "dishonest,"
"racist," "liar," "deceptive," etc., he is
not only committing a logical fallacy but also revealing that he cannot
intellectually defend his beliefs.
#3 When confronted with the pagan
origins of the Qur'an, some Muslims defend the Qur'an by answering, This
argument is erroneous for several reasons.
a. It is a false analogy
to parallel the pagan origins of the rites commanded in the Qur'an
with the present day holidays nowhere commanded in the Bible. What
some modern day Christians do on Dec. 25th has no logical bearing on what
the Qur'an commands Muslims to do (eg. the Pilgrimage, the Fast,
b. It is irrelevant that some
Christians choose to celebrate the birth of Christ. Since the Bible nowhere
commands it, it is a matter of personal freedom. But Muslims are commanded
in the Qur'an to believe and practice things many things which came from
the paganism of that day.
c. The Muslim by using this argument
is actually admitting that the Qur'an was not "sent down" but
fabricated from pagan sources. This means he has become an unbeliever (Surah
#4 Some Muslims argue that the
Qur'an is the Word of God because it contains some historically or scientifically
accurate statements. This argument is irrelevant. Just because a book is
correct on some historical or scientific point does not mean it is inspired
[Its worth mentioning however that on historical grounds the Qur'an is
very often mistaken - Ed]. You cannot take the attributes of a part and
apply it to the whole. A book can be a mixture of true and false statements.
Thus it is a logical fallacy to argue that the entire Qur'an is true if
it makes one true statement.
When a Muslim argues that history
or science "proves" the Qur'an, this actually means that he is
acknowledging that history and science can likewise refute the Qur'an.
If the Qur'an contains just one historical error or one scientific error,
then the Qur'an is not the Word of God. Verification and falsification
go hand in hand.
#5 The present meaning of a
word is irrelevant to what it meant in ancient times. The word "Allah"
is a good example. When confronted by the historical evidence that the
word was used by pagan Arabs in pre-Islamic times to refer to a high god
who was married to the sun-goddess and had three daughters, some Muslims
will quote dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. to prove (sic) that "Allah
means God." They are thus using modern definitions to define
what the word meant over a thousand years ago! What "Allah" means
now has no bearing on what it meant before Muhammad.
5. The Fallacy of Equivocation: If we assume that everyone has
the same definition of such words as God, Jesus, revelation, inspiration,
prophet, miracle, etc., we are committing a very simple logical fallacy.
#1 When a Muslim says, "Christians
and Muslims worship the same God," he is committing the fallacy of
equivocation. While Christians worship the Triune God of Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit, Muslims worship a Unitarian deity. Obviously, they are worshipping
#2 When a Muslim says, "We
believe in Jesus too," he is committing the fallacy of equivocation.
The "Jesus" of the Qur'an is not the Jesus of the Bible. Islam
preaches "another Jesus" (II Cor. 11:4). The Jesus of the Bible
is God the Son who died on the cross for our sins. But the "Jesus"
of the Qur'an is not God the Son and he did not die on the cross for our
sins. Thus it is erroneous for Muslims to tell Christians that they believe
in Jesus too.
#3 When a Muslim assumes that
Christians have the same concept of revelation as Muslims, he is guilty
of the fallacy of equivocation. According to Islam, the Qur'an was written
in heaven by Allah and has no earthly sources. When we prove that it comes
from earthly sources, this threatens the inspiration of the Qur'an.
On the other hand, the Bible does
not claim that it dropped out of heaven one day. It openly quotes from
earthly sources. It uses pre-existing sources without any difficulty whatsoever.
Thus while the Qur'an is threatened by historical sources, the Bible is
actually confirmed by them.
#4 When a Muslims tells you that
the word "Allah" has only one meaning: "the one, true, universal
God," he is assuming a fallacy. The word "allah" has many
a. It can be used as a generic
term like the English word "God." Thus it can be applied to any
god or goddess regardless if if a true or false god is in view. (ex. The
"Allahs" of Hinduism.)
b. The Nation of Islam uses it
to refer to Wallace Dodd Ford, Elijah Muhammad, and Louis Farrakhan as
"Allah" and teaches that all black people are "Allahs."
c. It has been used by some Christians
in Arabic speaking countries as a generic name for the Holy Trinity.
d. It was used in pre-Islamic
times by pagan Arabs to refer to the moon-god whowas the father of al-Lat,
al-Uzza and Manat.
e. It is used by Muslims to refer
to their god.
Islam and Christianity do not
worship the same God. The Christian worships the Holy Trinity while the
Muslim worships a unitarian deity.
6. The Fallacy Of Confusing Questions of Fact with Questions of
Relevance: Whether something is factually true is totally different
from the issue of whether you feel it is relevant. The two issues
must be kept separate.
#1 When a Christian argues that
some of the beliefs and rituals of the Qur'an came from pre-Islamic Arab
paganism, the Muslim will deny it at first. But as more and more evidence
is given, the Muslim will often do a flip-flop and begin arguing, "So
what! Didn't you Christians get Christmas from the pagans?" The Muslim
has now committed three fallacies:
a. The "So what!" argument
is dealing with the issue of relevance, not fact. You must
stop the Muslim at that point and ask him, "Since you are now dealing
with the issue of whether the pagan origins of the Qur'an are relevant,
does this mean that you are now agreeing to the fact of the pagan origins
b. The Muslim has also committed
the fallacy of equivocation. The Bible is not threatened by historical
sources. It freely refers to them and even quotes them (Acts 17: 28). But
the Qur'an denies that it has any earthly historical sources (Surah 25:4-6).
c. He also committed the fallacy
of false analogy. The Bible and the Qur'an are two totally different
books. The inspiration of the Bible does not depend upon the fate of the
Qur'an because what Muslims claim for the Qur'an is not what Christians
claim for the Bible.
7. Phonic Fallacies: The phonetic sound of a word should not
be used to twist its meaning. For example,
a. Some Muslims try to prove that
the word "Allah" is in the Greek New Testament because of the
Greek word alla. But while the word is pronounced "alla,"
it only means "but" in Greek. It has nothing to do with the Arabic
b. Some Muslims have claimed that
the word "Allah" is in the Bible because the Biblical word "Allelujah."
They then mispronounce the word as "Allah-lujah!" But "Allelujah"
is not a compound Arabic word with "Allah" being the first part
of the word. It is a Hebrew word with the name of God being "JAH"
(or Yahweh) and the verb "alle" meaning "praise to."
It means "praise to Yahweh." The Arabic word "Allah"
is not in the word.
c. The same error is found in
the Muslim argument that the word "Baca" (Psa. 84:6) really means
"Mecca." The valley of Baca is in northern Israel.
d. Some Muslims have tried to
go from "Amen" to "Ahmed" to "Muhammed!"
Such nonsense is beyond belief.
8. "Red Herring" Arguments: When a Muslim is asked
to defend the Qur'an, if he turns around and attacks the reliability of
the Bible, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the Crusades, etc., he is
introducing irrelevant issues that have no logical bearing on the
truthfulness of Islam. He is trying to divert attention from Islam to other
Furthermore, he is assuming
that if he can refute the Bible, then the Qur'an wins by default. If he
can refute the Trinity, then Allah wins by default. But this is logically
erroneous. You cannot prove your position by refuting someone else's position.
The Bible and the Qur'an could both be wrong. Muslims must prove their
9. Straw Man Arguments: When you put a false argument into the
mouth of your opponent and then proceed to knock it down, you have only
created a "straw man" argument. Muslims sometimes either misunderstand
or deliberately misquote the arguments Christians give them.
Some Muslims have built a "straw
man" argument that claims that we teach,
"The Qur'an teaches that Allah is the Moon-god and that Muslims
knowingly believe in and worship the Moon-god and his daughters."
They then knock down this "straw
man" argument and claim victory. Of course, we never said such nonsense.
What we have said is that while the Qur'an claims that Allah is God and
Muslims think they are worshipping the one true God, in reality they are
worshipping a false god preached by a false prophet according to a false
The average Muslim has been deceived by Muslim apologists who use such
logical fallacies without regard to reason, fact or honesty. But there
are many Muslims who want to be rational in their religion and thus have
an open mind to rational discourse. Once they see that their arguments
are based on logical fallacies, they will be open to the wonderful news
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for our sins on the cross.