ISLAM & MORMONISM:
REMARKABLE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE TWO
Dr. Paul J. Weathers, Th.B., M.A. Apol., Litt.D.
At first glance the religions of Islam and Mormonism
appear to be very different from each other. The
culture and doctrines are in sharp contrast to each
other. Islamic customs and attire are each very much
in line with what has been common in traditional
Islamic countries since the 7th century. 1 Conversely,
Mormons dress no differently than other westerners,
and their customs generally draw no unusual
attention.Islam believes in one God - Allah, 2 while
Mormons believe in many gods. 3
On the basis of these sharp differences, one might be
surprised and perhaps skeptical regarding the
assertion that there are remarkable parallels between
these two religions.While a casual observer will
notice few similarities between the customs and
doctrines of these two religions, the parallels become
abundantly clear upon a closer look.
Literature from both religions indicate that each were
started by a "prophet" who began his career searching
for the true religion. Both prophets were concerned
about the different sects or denominations within
Christianity. 4 In both cases, the founding "prophet"
wasn't educated. Mohammed is thought by many to
have been illiterate, 5 while Joseph Smith received
Both Islam and Mormonism were started by alleged
"angelic" revelation; in which there are conflicting
versions: four conflicting versions of Mohammed and
nine conflicting versions of Joseph Smith. The
official versions indicate that it was the angel
Gabriel who appeared to Mohammed, while the Mormon
prophet Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni
subsequent to his visit by God the Father and Jesus
In both cases these "prophets" received extra-biblical
revelation which clearly contradicted the Bible. Both
Mohammed and Joseph Smith taught the concept of a
total falling away from the truth. 8 InMohammed's
case, he was sent as the last prophet to redeem a
fallen people. 9 In Joseph Smith's case, he was
ordained as a prophet to restore the truth. 10
In sharp contrast to the paleographical evidence and
of textural critics, 11 Islam and Mormonism both teach
that the Bible as we accept it today has been
Both religions accept four books as scripture. Islam
accepts the Torah of Moses, The Psalms of David, the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Quran.13 Mormonism
accepts the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, The
Pearl of Great Price, and the Bible with the
stipulation, "insofar as it is correctly translated."
14 Both religions make very similar statements about
the credibility of their extra-biblical scripture
books [The Quran and the Book of Mormon]; in
particular the challenge to duplicate a book like
theirs - if it isn't scripture. 15 In both religions,
there is strong evidence which shows that portions of
their extra scripture books were copied from earlier
documents, 16 and in both religions their extra
scripture books contradict the Bible. 17
The founders of Islam and Mormonism also have much in
common. Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith were involved
in polygamy. 18 They were both involved in military
type activity; Mohammed known as the prophet with the
sword, and Joseph Smith once being the "Lieutenant
general" of a two thousand man militia. 19 Both
Mohammed and Joseph Smith gave prophecies which proved
to be false, and like many others having
extra-biblical revelation, both Mohammed and Joseph
Smith received revelations which contradicted previous
ones from time to time. 20
Even though many other parallels could be cited, the
aforementioned ones are presented here as evidence
that more than coincidence is at work in both Islam
Upon studying these uncanny parallels a reasonable
person might ask: Is it possible that both prophets
received their revelation from the same source? Is it
possible that both Mohammed and Joseph Smith
experienced what the apostle Paul warned about in many
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 "But I am afraid that just as
Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds
may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure
devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and
preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached , or
if you receive a different spirit from the one you
received, or a different gospel from the one you
accepted, you put up with it easily enough."
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 "And no wonder, for Satan
himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not
surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as
servants of righteousness. . . "
Galations 1:6-9 "I am astonished that you are so
quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace
of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -
which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some
people are throwing you into confusion and are trying
to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an
angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than
the one we preached to you, let him be eternally
condemned! As we have already said, so now I say
again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other
than what you accepted, let him be eternally
A VALID TEST TO DETERMINE
TRUTH FROM ERROR
It was the same apostle Paul who commanded the early
church to "Test everything" (1 Thess. 5:21); exactly
what is needed when one considers the assertions and
teachings of Mohammed and Joseph Smith. A valid and
consistent test or reference point is necessary in
order to determine truth from error, regardless of
what religion, doctrine, or prophet is the subject in
One cannot say that something is in error unless they
have an instrument, standard, or reference point from
which to determine truth first. Once truth is
established, the error becomes obvious! An impartial
jury cannot make an objective decision unless they
have a valid reference point from which to test the
evidence. They must be familiar with such pertinent
information as the law, what evidence is admissible,
and how to logically examine the facts. Without such a
valid reference point from which to determine truth
from error, nothing may be determined with any degree
of certainty. Those who attempt to determine truth
from error without a valid reference point are very
much like a person adrift on a boat in the sea and a
deep fog. They are lost because they have no valid
reference point from which to determine truth from
As we approach Islam and Mormonism with the
aforementioned information in mind, it is logical to
begin with the question; "What is this valid test,
reference point, or standard from which to determine
truth from error?"
Suppose we were on that above described boat which was
adrift in the sea and a deep fog. The valid test,
reference point, or standard needed in that situation
would be such things as a compass, a map, and some
knowledge of where on the map we might be. In
spiritual situations, we need something which is just
as dependable; a "spiritual" map and compass!
After examining the evidence, a logical and objective
person will conclude that the Bible meets the standard
for such dependability. The science of textural
criticism has provided conclusive evidence that the
Bible has been translated in a highly accurate manner.
The external evidences of fulfilled prophecy together
with scientific and historical consistency are also
factors in this conclusion.
In answer to the earlier question: The valid test,
reference point, and standard from which to determine
truth from error is the Bible; the inspired Word of
God! This is the major test in spiritual matters.
Other tests may also be used including the tests of
logic and internal consistency; tests which the God of
the universe would never object to.
The Bible antedates Mohammed and Joseph Smith. The
Bible antedates the Quran and the Book of Mormon. The
Bible also antedates many other books which are
considered by many to be scripture including, Science
& Health with Key to the Scriptures [Christian
Science], and The Divine Principal [Unification
Shouldn't the same valid tests be applied to any
supposed new revelation which was supposedly inspired
by the same God? Shouldn't we judge any new revelation
by what God has already said?
These valid questions were included at the historic
counsels of Hippo and Carthage at which time the
Church excluded from the canon of scripture any books
which failed these tests. With these factors in mind,
we should ask our Islamic and Mormon friends questions
like the following:
"Would the Quran or the book of Mormon pass the tests
required by the counsels of Carthage and Hippo?"23 "If
these books had been considered along with the
accepted New Testament books; Would they have been
excluded or included in the canon of scripture?"
TESTING ISLAM AND MORMONISM
Since the Bible is the word of God which has been
accurately translated and which antedates Islam and
Mormonism; it is logical to first test these religions
by scripture. Since each were supposedly founded upon
new revelations, these revelations must not contradict
the Bible which is the older revelation. This test is
as logical as it is scriptural.
In Jeremiah 28, the prophet Hananiah gave a prophecy
which contradicted earlier revelations. As a result of
this, he was immediately excluded as a true prophet of
God. This same test was used by the Bereans in Acts
17:11 and alluded to by Paul in 1 Thess. 5:21.
Another test is the logical test of evidence. If
Mohammed and Joseph Smith were representing the true
God - their revelation will be historically and
scientifically consistent, and their revelations will
not run contrary to the evidence.
As we apply these tests to Islam and Mormonism, we may
effectively witness to our Islamic and Mormon friends
since both religions may be examined and refuted by
the same methodology.
Before we begin testing Islam and Mormonism, an
important point must be emphasized. When witnessing to
our Islamic and Mormon friends, it isn't necessary to
discuss everything or to refute everything.
A sufficient amount of foundations must be refuted so
that the religion can no longer stand without them.
Once the religion in question has no basis upon which
to stand, it will fall regardless of whether or not
additional evidence is presented. In some cases only
one point needs to be demonstrated for an effective
When Mohammed and Joseph Smith are tested by
scripture, the same problem emerges very early in
their respective prophetic careers. They each began
their career with a revelation which directly
Mohammed taught that he was the last prophet sent to
redeem a fallen people; a doctrine which presupposed
that the true religion was lost and had to be
restored. Joseph Smith taught that there had been a
complete falling away from the true religion, which
consequently had to be restored.
In contrast to the doctrine of a total falling away
from the true religion, Jesus Christ taught that after
he established the true church, not even the gates of
hell would overcome it [Matthew 16:18]. He also taught
that his apostles would bear "fruit that would last."
Jude taught that the true religion had been "once and
for all entrusted to the saints" [Jude 3]. In other
words it would never be lost and need to be restored.
Jesus Christ, again in the Book of Revelation promised
the Church at Philadelphia that he had set before them
"an open door, and no one can shut it." [Revelation
3:8]. Clearly, the teachings of Mohammed and Joseph
Smith of a total falling away from the truth, and of
the need for a restoration are doctrines which are in
direct conflict with the Bible - the older revelation.
In addition to the problem of contradicting scripture,
the total apostacy & restoration doctrines of Islam
and Mormonism are also in direct conflict with church
history. While the record is abundant with apostacies
and heresies which were refuted by the church, the
record is clear that there was never a complete
Another problem relating to the restoration teachings
of Islam and Mormonism is this: If either Islam or
Mormonism is the true religion which once existed, was
lost and needed to be restored; there should be some
evidence that the religion in question once existed
somewhere in history prior to its' "restoration" by
either Mohammed or Joseph Smith. The historical record
is clear that prior to Mohammed and Joseph Smith,
neither of these religions existed as such.
In response our Muslim friends may point out that
there were worshipers of Allah during and prior to the
time of Mohammed, and our Mormon friends may point to
similarities between some ancient religions and modern
Our Muslim friends must recognize the fact that the
"Allah" [who was worshipped prior to, and during the
time of Mohammed] was the Moon God of Mecca rather
than the God of the Bible. Those who worshipped Allah
did so along with many other gods. While there is no
doubt that Mohammed derived many of his ideas from the
Allah worship of his day and before, there is no
evidence that the actual Islamic religion as founded
by Mohammed ever existed before the time of Mohammed.
Our Mormon friends must recognize that the
similarities between Mormonism and some ancient
religions are so general that they don't support the
conclusion that Mormonism ever existed prior to the
time of Joseph Smith. What Mormons really need to
support their position is evidence!
Where are the ruins of the ancient Mormon temples?
Where are the remains of the many great battles
described in the Book of Mormon, or the coins
described therein? [and, without attempting to
illogically "read into" the evidence] Where is the
evidence in general that Mormonism ever existed prior
to its founding by Joseph Smith? 26
The revelations of Islam and Mormonism have scientific
problems as well. An example from Islam is the
incident in which Alexander the Great followed the sun
until he found it setting in a muddy pond. 27
An example of scientific inaccuracy in Mormonism is
The Book of Mormon's claim that American Indians are
Jewish, ie: Mediterranean Caucasoid rather than
Mongoloid as anthropologists have classified them
using the genotypical and phenotypical criteria. 28
At this juncture both religions have the same
problems: The initial revelations upon which they were
founded are in contradiction to the Bible, and they
are both purporting to be a restoration of a religion
which never existed. A religion which never existed
cannot be "restored."
Islam and Mormonism teaches that the Bible has been
corrupted. In contrast, the evidence and science of
textural criticism demonstrates that the Bible wasn't
corrupted. On the contrary, the Bible has been
translated in a highly accurate manner. When compared
to other ancient works of antiquity, The New Testament
is the strongest attested document in history! 29
Surely, if Mohammed or Joseph Smith were true prophets
of God, they wouldn't have been wrong about such an
The evidence is strong that both Mohammed and Joseph
Smith copied and/or borrowed portions of older
documents to produce the Quran and the Book of Mormon.
In Mohammed's case these earlier documents included
portions of the Bible, Arabian fables, the Jewish
Talmud, and other pre-Islamic sources. 30 In the case
of Joseph Smith, the material in the Book of Mormon
included portions of: the Bible, the Apocrypha, the
Westminster Confession, and two novels by Ethen Smith
which antedated Mormonism: The Ten Tribes of Israel in
America, and View of the Hebrews. 31
It is one thing for a scripture book to quote another
scripture book such as the Bible does, but it is quite
another for the contents of such a book to contain
plagiarism from uninspired and in many cases,
If Mohammed and Joseph Smith are Biblical prophets,
they must pass the test of 100% accuracy as required
by Deuteronomy 18:20-22, but an examination of their
prophecies shows that they didn't!
Mohammed's "true" prophecies were primarily nothing
more than pre-battle pep talks. Like all leaders in
battle he would predict victory to his troops. On many
occasions his predictions turned out to be true, but
on other occasions his troops were defeated - one time
so badly that Mohammed was almost killed. 32
In Joseph Smith's case his "true" prophecies amount to
information which was in the newspapers at the time;
His "civil war" prophecy for example. In other cases
Smith went far out on a limb, prophesying that the New
Jerusalem would be established in Independence
Missouri within his generation, and that Jesus Christ
would return within 56 years. 33
Mohammed initially prophesied tolerance for other
religions, but later changed his prophecy to
intolerance. 34 Joseph Smith issued revelations which
contradicted previous ones. An example of this is his
revelation that there are many gods.
The Book of Mormon which he said was scripture teaches
that there is only one God. Smith also taught that
unless men practiced polygamy, they could not become a
god while his Book of Mormon condemned the practice of
Although many additional problems could be presented,
the aforementioned ones are more than sufficient to
merit the logical conclusion that neither Mohammed nor
Joseph Smith were Biblical prophets.
After examining the evidence, it cannot be honestly
said that either Islam or Mormonism are biblically
Key Issues to Discuss with our
Islamic and Mormon friends
Prior to meeting with a friend from either of these
religions, it is essential to do your homework first,
and to spend serious time in prayer for the salvation
of your friend. Your dialogue will be much more
effective if you make one subject a key issue.
When meeting with a Muslim, the issues of the
Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are key
issues. These are essential doctrines of Christianity
which are denied by Islam.
The Bible records both the Crucifixion and
Resurrection of Jesus Christ; events which are also
consistent with many historical documents. 36 Once it
is demonstrated that the crucifixion of Christ is an
established fact, our Muslim friends must deal with
the question of how Mohammed could be a prophet of God
and yet contradict scripture and historical evidence
by teaching that Jesus wasn't crucified.
When witnessing to a Mormon friend, the nature of God
is a key subject. Once it is established that the
Bible is the Word of God which has been correctly
translated, the Mormon must deal with the fact that
Joseph Smith taught [as does Mormonism] a completely
different concept of God as does the Bible. The Bible
teaches that there is only one God; that God is
eternal and not a man. The Bible also teaches that God
is "spirit," which according to Jesus Christ, does not
have "flesh and bone."
In contrast to this, Mormonism teaches that their
"God" is an exalted man, who has a body of flesh and
bone, who also had a beginning as a normal man.
Mormonism also teaches that there are many gods. 37
Our Mormon friends must deal with the question of how
Joseph Smith could be a prophet of God while at the
same time so boldly contradicting the Biblical
teaching on the one God.
Common Suggestions for Dialogue with your
Islamic and Mormon friends
When witnessing to your Islamic and Mormon friends,
always begin with establishing the valid tests to
determine truth from error. Establish and agree upon
two facts: (1) The Bible is the Word of God which has
been correctly translated, and (2) Any new revelation
inspired by the same God must not disagree with what
God has already said. Once these have been agreed
upon, begin your dialogue by using an example to
"test" which they can approach objectively.
When witnessing to a Mormon - use the prophet
Mohammed, Islam and the Quran as examples to "test,"
and conversely, when witnessing to a Muslim use Joseph
Smith, Mormonism, and the book of Mormon as an example
to test. It has been my experience that friends from
both religions will usually test the other religion
and discover how it fails the tests. Once they have
agreed that the tests are valid and that the other
religion has failed the test; simply ask: "Since you
have agreed on the validity of the tests and you can
see how this other religion failed these tests; Would
it be acceptable to you to apply these same tests to
your prophet/religion/scripture book?"
You may also be amazed how well these same tests work
when witnessing to friends involved in a variety of
other religions including Christian Science, The
Unification Church, The Way International, and others.
Truth never changes nor do the valid tests to
determine truth. *
FOOTNOTES ISLAM & MORMONISM:
REMARKABLE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE TWO
1 Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion
(Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1992
Edition), p. 22.
2 Josh McDowell & Don Stewart, Handbook of Today's
(Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1992 Edition), p. 389.
3 Dr. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults
(Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1985 Edition), pgs. 200-208.
4 Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed (Nashville,
Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1988 Edition) p.
Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price, 2:18, 19.
5 Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed ( Nashville,
Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1988 Edition) p.
6 George A. Mather and Larry A, Nichols,
Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult
(Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Zondervan, 1993 Edition) p. 186.
7 Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion , p.
76/Sandra Tanner, The Godmakers Documentary (Hemet,
Jeremiah Films, 1988).
Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed, p.
52-54/Joseph Smith, History, (Salt Lake City, Utah:
Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints) verses 1-75.
8 Dr. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults
(Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers,
9 Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed, p. 54.
10 Joseph Smith, History, verses 1-75.
11 Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense, (San Bernardino,
California: Here's Life Publishers. 1992 Edition) pgs.
12 Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion , p.
135/ Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 13:26-27.
Orson Pratt's Works, 1891, p. 218
13 Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed , p. 30.
14 Josh McDowell & Don Stewart, Handbook of Today's
Religions (Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson, 1992 Edition)
15 The Quran, Surah 10, p. 67; Surah 11, p.
132/Doctrine and Covenants 67:4, 6-8.
16 Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion , p.
148-151/Dr. Ruth Tucker, Another Gospel (Grand Rapids,
Zondervan, 1989 Edition) p. 56-57.
17 Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion , p.
Dr. Walter Martin, The Maze of Mormonism
audio tape (CRI, San Juan, Capistrano, California).
18 Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed , pgs.
61-66/Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, Second
(New York, NY: Borzoi Books, 1971 Edition)
19 Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed , p 77/Fawn
M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, pgs., 270-271.
20 Dr. Norman Geisler, audio tape: Is Mohammed a
Prophet of God? (Clayton, California: Powerhouse
Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion ,
Dr. Walter Martin, The Maze of Mormonism
audio tape (CRI, San Juan, Capistrano, California).
21 Angel of Light, video tape (Mars Hill
22 Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict,
Volumes 1 and 2
(San Bernardino, California: Here's Life
23 Eerdman's Handbook to the History of
Christianity (Grand Rapids, Michigan: 1977 Edition,
pgs. 89-95; 106, 197.
24 ibid , pgs. xi-xxiv
25 Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion ,
26 Sandra Tanner, The Godmakers Documentary,
27 The Koran: Sura 18:85-86
28 Dr. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults,
29 Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense, pgs 42-48.
30 Dr. Robert A. Morey, The Islamic Invasion ,
31 Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, pgs.
46-49; 58; 72.
Dr. Ruth Tucker, Another Gospel , p. 56-57.
32 Dr. Norman Geisler, audio tape: Is Mohammed a
Prophet of God?
33 Doctrine & Covenants, Section 87; 84:1-5,
31-33/Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, September
History of the Church 2:182.
34 Dr. Norman Geisler, audio tape: Is Mohammed a
Prophet of God?
35 Dr. Walter Martin, The Maze of Mormonism audio
36 Dr. Anis Shorrosh, Islam Revealed , pgs.
37 Joseph Smith, History of the Church
6:305-306; King Follett Discourse, as recorded in the
"Times and Seasons" on August 1, 1844.
Paul, we would like thank you for the above inforamation and your permission to post it.