“Islamic tradition paints a picture of Islam’s origins in a pagan environment, and Western scholars have often assumed that Mecca in the time of Muhammad was an outpost of decadent, polytheistic idolaters. Yet for its part the Qurʿan is more interested in the Bible than it is in paganism. The Qur’an refers to Jesus 25 times, to Abraham 69 times, and to Moses no fewer than 136 times. . . .”
IQSA’s co-directors, Professors Gabriel Reynolds and Emran Elbadawi, recently contributed an essay titled “Qur’an and the Syriac Bible” to Oxford Islamic Studies Online and Oxford Biblical Studies Online, the full text of which can be found here.  
In it, they discuss “two themes of religious exhortation which reflect the extraordinary dialogue between the Qurʿan and the biblical literature of late antiquity”: 1) prophets and messengers and 2) promises and threats.
© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2013. All rights reserved.