Evidence That Islam Teaches That There Was Textual Corruption of The Christian and Jewish Scriptures

 Article reposted from Call to Monotheism

Evidence That Islam Teaches That There Was Textual Corruption of The Christian and Jewish Scriptures

by

Bassam Zawadi

 

One of the most common arguments that Christian missionaries pose to the Muslims is that Islamic teachings allegedly affirm the authenticity and divine nature of the Bible that Christians follow today (I’m not sure if they are referring to the Protestant or Catholic version or both. I guess it depends on with which Christian you are debating.).

There seems to be a misconception amongst Christians. They think that Islam teaches that there once was an original Bible and then the Bible got corrupted. This is not what Islam teaches.

We don’t believe that there was an original book of Philippians or Corinthians, which then later on got corrupted. We don’t even believe that these books are divine in the first place.

What we believe is that parts of the original revelations sent down to Moses (Torah) and Jesus (Gospel) peace be upon them both still exist in the Bible today. We believe that people came and wrote things from their own and claimed that it was from God. They then went and mixed their own writings with the original revelations (Torah and Gospel) and removed and added to them.

The Arabic word most commonly used in the Qur’an and Hadith to state that the Christians and Jews distorted their books is Tahreef.  

The original meaning of the word Tahreef is “to lean from the pen in a certain direction” or ‘to twist words to correspond to one’s own desire.” (Ar-Raghib Al-Isfahani, Al-Mufradat Fi Gharib Al-Qur’an, ed., by M. Ahmad Khalaf Allah, (Cairo, al-Anjilo al-Misriyya, 1965), vol. 1, pp.122f, cited here))

Ash Shahrastani remarked that Tahreef means “changing the written word to an alternative to give it a corrupted meaning.” (Ash-Shahrastani, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 11; Mujahid, op. cit., pp. 140; see also Ibn Taymiyyah, Iqtida’ As-Sirat al-Mustaqim Mukhalafat Ashab Aj-Jahim, ed. by Muhammad ‘Ali as-Sabuni (Saudi Arabia, Matabi al-Majd, 1390 A.H.), p. 8 and ‘Abd as-Salam Harun, op. cit., pp. 262 and 360., cited here))

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah elaborates on the different usages of the word as well as its definition…

 

3.6.1 AT-TAHREEF

3.6.1.1 In the Language – to change or alter.

3.6.1.2 Technically here – to change the texts in wording or meaning. This is of 3 kinds.

3.6.1.2.1 Altering the words so the meaning changes: e.g. What some innovators do to the Saying of Allaah in (4):164 – changing the Dammah on the last letter of “Allaah” with a Fathah, in order to change the meaning to “Moosaa spoke to Allaah…”

 

3.6.1.2.2 Altering the words with no change of meaning: e.g. changing the Dammah on the last letter of “al Hamd” in (1):2, to a Fathah. This usually occurs out of ignorance.

 

3.6.1.2.3 Altering the Meaning: taking the meaning of the words away from their most apparent meaning without any proof. e.g. Saying Allaah’s Two Hands means “His Power” or “His Blessing”.(Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, Creed of Hamawiyyah – Chapter 3: The Way of Ahl us-Sunnah Concerning Allaah’s Attributes, Source)

 

Note how Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah in the first two kinds of Tahreef shows that the Tahreef could mean changing the letters of the statement (textual corruption) and in the third kind it is misinterpreting the meaning of the statement.

Al Baji says in his commentary on Muwatta’ Maalik.

 

íÑíÏ Ãäåã íÍÑÝæä Çáßáã Úä ãæÇÖÚå ßãÇ æÕÝåã Çááå ÓÈÍÇäå ÝíÞæáæä ãßÇä ” ÇáÓáÇã Úáíßã ” ÇáÓÇã

 

They (the Jews) wanted to distort (yuharrifoon) the words out of their places just as Allah the Most High described them, so instead of saying Assalamu Alaykum’ (peace be upon you), they say Assaam’ (poison) (Abû al-Walîd Sulaymân ibn Khalaf al-Bâjî, Al Muntaqaa Sharh Muwata’ Maalik, Kitab: Al Jaami’, Bab: Ma Jaa’a fi Al Salaam A’ala Al Yahoodi wal Nasraani, Commentary on Hadith no. 1514, Source)  

 

Here we see that Imam Baji is speaking about how the Jews used to say ‘Assaamu Alaykum’ (may poison be upon you) to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and then states that their changing of the letters is a kind oftahreef or distortion. So its not simply a matter of just misinterpreting a statement but actually changing the letters around by either deletion or addition.

So as we can see, the distortion could either be by interpretation or textual corruption.

What I will be doing in this article is presenting evidence from the Qur’an, authentic statements of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), statements of the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him, the early Muslims and prominent Muslim scholars to show that Islam does teach that the Christians and the Jews textually corrupted the revelations of God.

I urge the readers to remember that this is not about whether the Islamic claim of textual corruption is true or not, but whether Islam makes this claim or not.

The outline of my article will be as follows….

 

– Evidence from the Qur’an   

– Surah 2:79

Surah 4:157

– Evidence from the Statements of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

    – The Prophet’s Accusation of the Jews and Christians Distorting Their Books

    – Evidence From The Prophet’s Conversation With The Jews

    – The Description of the Prophet In The Torah and Gospel

– Evidence from the statements of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

– The View of Ibn Abbaas (d. 68 A.H.)

  – The View of Uthman Ibn ‘Affan (d. 34 A.H.)

– Evidence from the conversation of Umar ibn Al Khattab (d. 22 A.H.)

– Evidence from the statement of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (d. 32 A.H.)

– Evidence from the statement of Abdullah ibn Salam (d. 43 A.H.)

– Evidence from the statement of Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-‘Aass (d. 63 A.H.)

– Evidence From The Statements of The Early Muslims

    – Evidence from the statements of Ka’b al-Ahbar (d. 14 A.H.)

    – Evidence from the statement of Abul-`Aaliyah (d. 90 A.H.)

The View of Muqatil bin Sulaiman (d. 150 A.H.)

The View of Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Mahdi (d. 169 A.H.)

   – Evidence from the conversation of Abu Jafar al-Ma’mun ibn Harun (d. 218 A.H.)

The View of Abu ‘Uthman ‘Amr b. Bahr al-Fuqaymi al-Basri al-Jahiz (d. 255 A.H.)

– Evidence from the Statement of Sahl (d. ? A.H.)

– Evidence From The Statements of The Muslim Scholars

– The View of Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d. 310 A.H.)

    – The View of Az-Zajjaj (d. 311 A.H.)

    – The View of Al- Hasan ibn Ayyub (d. 378 A.H.)

– The View of  Abu Raihan Muhammad Al-Biruni (d. 440 A.H.)

– The View of Ibn Hazm (d. 456 A.H.)

– The View of Abu Muhammad Husayn b. Mas’ud ibn Muhammad al-Farra’ al-Baghawi (d. 516 A.H.)

– The View of Az-Zamakhshari (d. 538 A.H.)

The View of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d.  606 A.H.)

    – The View of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 A.H.)

– The View of al-Qurtubi (d. 671 A.H.)

 – The View of Sulaiman ibn Abdul-Qawi al-Tufi (d. 716 A.H.)

– The View of Ibn Kathir (d. 774 A.H.)

The View of Jalalayn (al-Mahilli d. 864 A.H.; as-Suyuti 911 A.H.)

 

 

Evidence from the Qur’an

 

The greatest source of religious authority in Islam is the glorious Qur’an, the verbatim Word of God. In this section I will only pose two verses as evidence. The reason for this is because it is clear from the verses themselves without need of interpretation that the Qur’an endorses textual corruption of the Christian and Jewish scriptures, while the other verses would need us to appeal to commentaries and see how the early Muslims understood those verses (will be discussed later on in the article). As for now, we will only look at the apparent meaning of the verses.

 

Surah 2:79

Allah says in the glorious Qur’an…

Surah 2:79

  Ýæíá ááÐíä íßÊÈæä ÇáßÊÇÈ ÈÇíÏíåã Ëã íÞæáæä åÐÇ ãä ÚäÏ Çááå áíÔÊÑæÇ Èå ËãäÇ ÞáíáÇ Ýæíá áåã ããÇ ßÊÈÊ ÇíÏíåã ææíá áåã ããÇ íßÓÈæä

Therefore woe be unto those who write the Book with their hands and then say, “This is from Allah,” that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby.

 

Here we clearly see that Allah is warning those (Jews) who wrote the scripture from their own selves and then claimed that it was from God. A clear charge of TEXTUAL corruption. The verse is clear is clearly stating that whatever the Jews wrote, they claimed it was from God.

Some Christians say that the Qur’an is only talking about a specific group of people and that else where in the Qur’an it speaks about the People of the Book positively…

Surah 3:113-114:

áíÓæÇ ÓæÇÁ ãä Çåá ÇáßÊÇÈ ÇãÉ ÞÇÆãÉ íÊáæä ÇíÇÊ Çááå ÇäÇÁ Çááíá æåã íÓÌÏæä

íÄãäæä ÈÇááå æÇáíæã ÇáÇÎÑ æíÇãÑæä ÈÇáãÚÑæÝ æíäåæä Úä ÇáãäßÑ æíÓÇÑÚæä Ýí ÇáÎíÑÇÊ æÇæáÆß ãä ÇáÕÇáÍíä

“Not all of them are alike. Some of the People of the Book are an upright people. They recite the signs (or verses) of God in the night season and they bow down worshipping. They believe in God and the last day. They command what is just, and forbid what is wrong and they hasten in good works, and they are of the righteous.

 

Surah 3:199

æÇä ãä Çåá ÇáßÊÇÈ áãä íÄãä ÈÇááå æãÇÇäÒá Çáíßã æãÇÇäÒá Çáíåã ÎÇÔÚíä ááå áÇíÔÊÑæä ÈÇíÇÊ Çááå ËãäÇ ÞáíáÇ ÇæáÆß áåã ÇÌÑåã ÚäÏ ÑÈåã Çä Çááå ÓÑíÚ ÇáÍÓÇÈ

“And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, and that which has been revealed to you, in that which has been revealed to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the signs of God for miserable gain. For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account.”

 

The People of the Book being spoken about in Surah 3:113-114 are referring to those that believed in the Prophethood of Muhammad peace be upon him and they recite the Qur’an at night. (See Tafsir ibn Kathir)

The People of the Book being spoken about in Surah 3:199 are referring to those that believed in the Prophethood of Muhammad peace be upon him and were not afraid to speak up about his descriptions in their scriptures for some material gain. (See Tafsir ibn Kathir and Tafsir Jalalayn)

In no way, do these verses suggest that the People of the Book that believed in the Prophethood of Muhammad peace be upon him had the complete correct text of the Torah with them. For all it shows is that they understood the text properly or were aware of what the true Torah contained by oral traditions (e.g. their rightly guided parents). The Qur’an is not stating that there was a Torah corrupted textually and a Torah not corrupted textually. Nor does it say that the righteous people of the People of the Book ever participated in the corruption of the Torah. It does not require that ALL of the People of the Book come to corrupt it. A few people with great authority and power (we will see this later under the Ibn Abbaas’s section) can achieve this task.

We can summarize the points as follows :-

– The Qur’an states that the Jews wrote ‘The Book’ with their own hands.

– ‘The Book’ referred to in the verse is ‘The Book’ being mentioned throughout several verses in the Qur’an in the possession of the Jews.

– The Qur’an states that the Jews after writing ‘The Book’ from their own selves, then claimed it was from God.

– Some try to argue back that the Jews only wrote their interpretations of the Torah such as the Talmud and then followed it. However, the Jews never claimed that the Talmud is scripture from God but is used to understand scripture. Rachmiel Frydland, a Talmudic scholar said…

We do not believe that the TALMUD is inspired by the RUACH HA KODESH (the Holy Spirit of God), or that it is the Word of God. The Talmud does not claim to be the Word of God, but rather an interpretation and an explanation of the Law of God, the TORAH. (Rachmiel Frydland, When Talmud is Right, Source)

– ‘The Book’ is clearly then referring to the Jewish scriptures that Jews state are from God (i.e. Old Testament).

Even if someone wants to go against the clear meaning of the verse, then the reader should continue reading this article and will see the various comments of the scholars regarding this verse and how they understood it to refer to textual corruption of the Torah.

 

Surah 4:157

Allah says in the glorious Qur’an…

Surah 4:157

   æÞæáåã ÇäÇ ÞÊáäÇ ÇáãÓíÍ ÚíÓì ÇÈä ãÑíã ÑÓæá Çááå æãÇÞÊáæå æãÇÕáÈæå æáßä ÔÈå áåã æÇä ÇáÐíä ÇÎÊáÝæÇ Ýíå áÝí Ôß ãäå ãÇáåã Èå ãä Úáã ÇáÇ ÇÊÈÇÚ ÇáÙä æãÇÞÊáæå íÞíäÇ

And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.

 

The verse is making it clear that the crucifixion of Jesus is conjecture or corruption. The crucifixion of Jesus is clearly taught in the Gospels that we have today, thus the Qur’an is clearly in an indirect way saying that this is corrupted.

It is hilarious how some Christians try to argue back that the author of the Qur’an probably did not know that the crucifixion was mentioned in the Gospel and if he had then he probably would not have denied it.

Are Christians seriously asking us to believe that none of the Muslims during the Prophet’s time knew that the gospels taught that Jesus was crucified yet at the same time believed that Islam told them to believe that the gospels in the possession of the Christians were pure and undistorted? Couldn’t the Prophet have easily been exposed by Christian converts to Islam such as Salmaan al Faarisi or Maryam the Coptic slave girl sent from Egypt to the Prophet peace be upon him who would have known that the gospels taught the crucifixion while at the same time believed that Islam taught them that the gospels were undistorted? How about being exposed Christians and Jews at the time who knew what the gospels contained and should have known that Islam taught their scriptures are uncorrupted (assuming Islam teaches this) and then go expose the Prophet? Why don’t we have any of these accusations from the Prophet’s enemies at that time? This is something truly ridiculous to believe and requires evidence by Christian missionaries who would issue such a response.

 

Evidence from the Statements of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

 

The Qur’an gives authority to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him to teach (3:164) and make clear (16:44) the Qur’an to us. To know more about the importance of the Sunnah in Islam, please refer to my section here.

We will look at some authentic Prophetic hadith that would attempt to shed some light regarding the topic.

 

 

The Prophet’s Accusation of the Jews and Christians Distorting Their Books

 

Al-Hakim related in Al-Mustadrak the following Hadith…
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah As-Saffar told us: Ahmad Ibn Mahdi Ibn Rustum Al-Asfahani told us: Mu’azh Ibn Hisham Ad-Distwani told us: my father told me: Al-Qasim Ibn ‘Awf Ash-Shaybani told me: Mu’azh Ibn Jabal – radiya Allahu ‘anhu – told us that he went to Sham and saw the Christians prostrate to their Bishops and priests and saw the Jews prostrate to their Rabbis and scholars. He said, “Why do you do this?” they answered, “This is the greeting of Prophets (peace be upon him)”. I said, “We better do this to our Prophet”. Allah’s Prophet – salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – said, “They lied about their Prophets just as they distorted their Book. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone, I would command woman to prostrate to her husband for his great right upon her. No woman will taste the sweetness of Faith till she does her husband’s rights even if he asks herself while she is on a Qutub” (Al-Hakim commented, “This hadith is authentic according to standards of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, but they did not relate it” This hadith was also related by At-Tabarani in “Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir” vol. 8, p.31 but it includes An-Nahhas Ibn Fahm who is a weak narrator. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal related it with a sound chain of transmission in his Musnad vol. 4, p. 381 (online source) with the following chain: ‘Abdullah told us: my father (Ibn Hanbal) told me: Mu’azh Ibn Hisham told us: my father told me: Al-Qasim Ibn ‘Awf – a man from Al-Kufa, one of Bani Murra Ibn Hammam – told me: Mu’azh Ibn Jabal – radiya Allahu ‘anhu – told us that .. and mentioned the hadith. This hadith has been authenticated by Ibn Hajar Al Haytami in his Majma’ Al Zawaaid, Volume 4, page 312. He said of the narrators in the chain ‘their men are men of authenticity’ ) 

 

Notice that the Prophet peace be upon him is saying that the Christians and Jews distorted their books JUST AS they lied about their Prophets. The context of the situation is that the Christians and Jews said that bowing down to their priests and rabbis was the greeting of the Prophets. This is a forgery and a lie. Thus if they were to corrupt their books in the same way they would have made up lies in the Torah and Gospel by introducing false statements into it.

 

The Prophet peace be upon him elaborates more…

Åä Èäí ÅÓÑÇÆíá ßÊÈæÇ ßÊÇÈÇ ÝÇÊÈÚæå, æ ÊÑßæÇ ÇáÊæÑÇÉ

The Bani Israel wrote a book, they followed it and left the Torah. (This hadith was reported in Tabarani’s Al Mu’jam Al Awsat and was authenticated by Sheikh Nasr Al Deen Al Albani in hisSilsila Al Ahaadeeth Al Saheeha, hadith no. 2832.)

 

The Prophet peace be upon him also said…

Åä Èäí ÅÓÑÇÆíá áãÇ ØÇá ÇáÃãÏ æ ÞÓÊ ÞáæÈåã ÇÎÊÑÚæÇ ßÊÇÈÇ ãä ÚäÏ ÃäÝÓåã , ÇÓÊåæÊå ÞáæÈåã æ ÇÓÊÍáÊå ÃáÓäÊåã

 

The Bani Israel as a long time passed and their hearts became hardened, they invented a book from themselves. It took over their hearts and their tongues. (This hadith was reported in Al Bayhaqi’sShu’b Al Eemaan, Volume 2, no.439. Sheikh Nasr Al Deen Al Albani has authenticated this hadith in his Silsila Al Ahaadeeth Al Saheeha, hadith no. 2694.)

 

So here we see that the Prophet peace be upon him is saying that the Israelites wrote their own book and started following it. Possible objections and responses to them are…

Objection: The Prophet was only referring to a certain group of the Israelites.

Response: The hadiths do not imply this, the Prophet peace be upon him made a general statement. If you want to limit the scope of the meaning of the statement then please provide objective evidence.

Objection: The Prophet only said that the Jews wrote a book and followed it, he doesn’t say that the Torah was corrupted.

Response: But what does the hadith imply? It implies that the Jews have stopped following the true revelation sent down to Moses and that is the Torah. Instead they followed their own books. Don’t the Jews of today follow the Pentateuch? Wouldn’t that therefore mean that according to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him most of the Pentateuch is what was written from the Jews themselves?

Objection: It is possible that Prophet Muhammad intended the term ‘Torah’ to mean Pentateuch and the book that the Jews wrote was the Talmud and it was possible that Prophet Muhammad intended to say that the Jews stopped following the Pentateuch and started following the Talmud only.

Response: That argument would be possible if it were true. The Jews refer to the Talmud in order to better understand the Pentateuch. They haven’t abandoned their Pentateuch. They still follow it. If the Prophet said that the Jews wrote a book and followed it along with the Torah, then you might be able to possibly argue that it is referring to the Talmud and Pentateuch in this hadith. However, that is not the case.

 

Evidence From The Prophet’s Conversation With The Jews

Let us read the following narration…
ÍÏËäÇ íÍíì Èä ãæÓì ÇáÈáÎí ËäÇ ÃÈæ ÃÓÇãÉ ÞÇá ãÌÇáÏ ÃÎÈÑäÇ Úä ÚÇãÑ Úä ÌÇÈÑ Èä ÚÈÏ Çááå ÞÇá: ÌÇÁÊ ÇáíåæÏ ÈÑÌá æÇãÑÃÉ ãäåã ÒäíÇ ÝÞÇá ÇÆÊæäí ÈÃÚáã ÑÌáíä ãäßã ÝÃÊæå ÈÇÈäí ÕæÑíÇ ÝäÔÏåãÇ ßíÝ ÊÌÏÇä ÃãÑ åÐíä Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ ÞÇáÇ äÌÏ Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ ÅÐÇ ÔåÏ ÃÑÈÚÉ Ãäåã ÑÃæÇ ÐßÑå Ýí ÝÑÌåÇ ãËá Çáãíá Ýí ÇáãßÍáÉ ÑÌãÇ ÞÇá ÝãÇ íãäÚßãÇ Ãä ÊÑÌãæåãÇ ÞÇáÇ ÐåÈ ÓáØÇääÇ ÝßÑåäÇ ÇáÞÊá ÝÏÚÇ ÑÓæá Çááå Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã ÈÇáÔåæÏ ÝÌÇÄæÇ ÈÃÑÈÚÉ ÝÔåÏæÇ Ãäåã ÑÃæÇ ÐßÑå Ýí ÝÑÌåÇ ãËá Çáãíá Ýí ÇáãßÍáÉ ÝÃãÑ ÑÓæá Çááå Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã ÈÑÌãåãÇ

 

 

The Jews brought [to the Prophet peace be upon him] a man and a woman among them who committed adultery. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “Bring the two most knowledgeable men from amongst you.”  The Jews brought the two sons of Suriyya, and the Prophet peace be upon him asked them, “What punishment do you find in the Torah regarding these two?” They said, “In the Torah, we find that if four men testify that they saw his male organ in her womb, similar to when the eyeliner is inserted inside the eyeliner container; in this case they are stoned.”  The Prophet peace be upon him said, “What made you stop stoning?” They said, “Our kingship (meaning Jewish) was taken from us and we hated killing.” The Messenger of Allah asked for four witnesses and they brought four men who testified that they saw his penis in her womb like the eyeliner is inserted in the eyeliner container. The Messenger of Allah ordered that the two [adulterers] are stoned. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith no. 3862, Source. Sheikh Albani declared this hadith authentic in Sunan Abu Dawud, hadith no.4452)

 

Indeed, we do find in the Old Testament today that adulterers are to be killed (Leviticus 20:10). But nowhere do we find anything about four witnesses (interestingly Islam teaches this) or any eyeliner.

This is indirect proof that this section of the Torah has been distorted with.

 

The Description of the Prophet In The Torah and Gospel

Narrated by Al Fultaan ibn A’asim:

ÃÊÔåÏ Ãäí ÑÓæá Çááå ¿ ¡ ÞÇá : áÇ ¡ ÞÇá : ÃÊÞÑà ÇáÊæÑÇÉ ¿ ¡ ÞÇá : äÚã ¡ ÞÇá : æÇáÅäÌíá ¿ ¡ ÞÇá : äÚã ¡ ÞÇá : æÇáÞÑÂä ¿ ¡ ÞÇá : æÇáÐí äÝÓí ÈíÏå áæ ÃÔÇÁ áÞÑÃÊå ¡ ÞÇá : Ëã äÔÏå ÞÇá : [ ãÇ ] ÊÌÏäí Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ æÇáÅäÌíá ¿ . ÞÇá : äÌÏ ãËáß æãËá ÃãÊß æãÎÑÌß ¡ æßäÇ äÑÌæ Ãä Êßæä ÝíäÇ ¡ ÝáãÇ ÎÑÌÊ ÊÎæÝäÇ Ãä Êßæä ÃäÊ ¡ ÝäÙÑäÇ ÝÅÐÇ áíÓ ÃäÊ åæ ¡ ÞÇá : æáã ÐÇß ¿ ¡ ÞÇá : Åä ãÚå ãä ÃãÊå ÓÈÚíä ÃáÝÇ áíÓ Úáíåã ÍÓÇÈ æáÇ ÚÞÇÈ ¡ æÅäãÇ ãÚß äÝÑ íÓíÑ ¿ ÞÇá : æÇáÐí äÝÓí ÈíÏå áÃäÇ åæ ¡ æÅäåÇ áÃãÊí ¡ æÅäåã áÃßËÑ ãä ÓÈÚíä ÃáÝÇ ¡ æÓÈÚíä ÃáÝÇ ¡ æÓÈÚíä ÃáÝÇ

Do you bear witness that I am the Messenger of Allah? He said: No. The Prophet peace be upon him said: Do you read the Torah? He replied back: Yes. Then the Prophet peace be upon him asked: and the Gospel? The man replied: Yes. The Prophet peace be upon him then asked: The Qur’an? The man replied back: No. The Prophet peace be upon him replied back: By He Whose Hand my soul lies, if I willed I would read it. Then the Prophet peace be upon him pulled the man and asked: Don’t you find me in the Torah and Gospel? The man replied back and said: We find someone who is similar to you and your Ummah (community) and from the place where you were brought up and we were hoping that you would be from amongst us. When you rose up (as a Prophet) we were afraid that it would be you. However, we looked and saw that it wasn’t you. The Prophet peace be upon him replied back asking: Why is that? The man said: From him will be 70,000 of his followers from his community who will have no judgment passed on them nor punishment but you have a simple number of men following you. The Prophet peace be upon him replied back: By He Whose Hand my soul lies it is me and it is referring to my Ummah (community). And they are more than 70 thousand, 70 thousand, 70 thousand. (This hadith has been declared authentic by Sheikh Albani in Saheeh Al Muwaarid,page or hadith no. 1765)

 

Note how the man informed the Prophet peace be upon him that one of the signs of the Prophet to come according to the Torah or Gospel is that the Prophet will have 70,000 followers who will enter paradise with no judgment passed on them. Where do we see this in today’s Torah or Gospel? Nowhere. Thus indicating that it has been removed from the text, which in turn implies textual corruption.

 

Evidence from the Statements of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

 

Muslims believe that no one understood Allah and His Messenger better than the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him. The companions of the Prophet peace be upon him were promised paradise in the Qur’an…

æÇáÓÇÈÞæä ÇáÇæáæä ãä ÇáãåÇÌÑíä æÇáÇäÕÇÑ æÇáÐíä ÇÊÈÚæåã ÈÇÍÓÇä ÑÖí Çááå Úäåã æÑÖæÇ Úäå æÇÚÏ áåã ÌäÇÊ ÊÌÑí ÊÍÊåÇ ÇáÇäåÇÑ ÎÇáÏíä ÝíåÇ ÇÈÏÇ Ðáß ÇáÝæÒ ÇáÚÙíã

 

Surah 9:100

And (as for) the foremost, the first of the Muhajirs and the Ansars, and those who followed them in goodness, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them forever; that is the mighty achievement.

 

The Muhajirs refer to the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him that migrated to Madina. The Ansar refer to those Muslims in Medina that welcomed the Muhajirs to come to their city.

 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said:
“Indeed the people of the Book before you split into seventy-two sects. And this nation will split into seventy-three sects, seventy-two are in the Fire and one in Paradise”. And in another narration, “All are in the Fire except one.” It was asked: Who is that one? He replied, “That which I and my Companions are upon” (Related by at-Tirmidhi (5/62) and al-Haakim (1/128). It has been authenticated by al-Haafidh al-Iraaqee in Takhreejul-Ihyaa (3/199) and al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.204), cited here)

 

So here we see that Islam teaches that the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him are the saved sect and were promised paradise. This is clearly because they understood and practiced Islam better than anyone else. They are a great authority to refer to. Obviously, this does not mean that the companions were individually infallible, however their consensus on a matter is.

Here, we will see some of the perspectives of the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him towards to the Christian and Jewish scriptures.

 

The View of Ibn Abbaas (d. 68 A.H.)

Ibn Abbaas is one of the greatest companions of the Prophet peace be upon him. He holds much authority as a Quranic interpreter, for the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him prayed to Allah to make Ibn Abbaas a great commentator of the Qur’an and scholar of Islam in general…

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 001, Book 003, Hadith Number 075.

Narated By Ibn ‘Abbaas : Once the Prophet embraced me and said, “O Allah! Bestow on him the knowledge of the Book (Qur’an).

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 145:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbaas:

Once the Prophet entered a lavatory and I placed water for his ablution. He asked, “Who placed it?” He was informed accordingly and so he said, “O Allah! Make him (Ibn ‘Abbaas) a learned scholar in religion (Islam).”  (See also Volume 005, Book 057, Hadith Numbers 100 & 101A)

 

Saheeh Muslim

Book 031, Hadith Number 6055.

Chapter : The merits of ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbaas (Allah be pleased with him).

Ibn ‘Abbaas reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) came to privy and I placed for him water for ablution, When he came out he said: Who placed it here? And in a version of Zuhair they (the Companions) said, and in the version of Abu Bakr (the words are): I said: It is Ibn ‘Abbaas (who has done that), whereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: May Allah grant him deep understanding of religion.

 

Based on this, we can clearly see that Ibn Abbaas holds much authority when he speaks about religion. Therefore, it would be interesting to see what Ibn Abbaas had to say regarding the scriptures of the Christians and Jews…

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 9, Book 93, Number 613:

Narrated ‘Ikrima:

Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “How can you ask the people of the Scriptures about their Books while you have Allah’s Book (the Qur’an) which is the most recent of the Books revealed by Allah, and you read it in its pure undistorted form?”

Volume 9, Book 93, Number 614:

Narrated ‘Ubaidullah bin ‘Abdullah:

‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas said, “O the group of Muslims! How can you ask the people of the Scriptures about anything while your Book which Allah has revealed to your Prophet contains the most recent news from Allah and is pure and not distorted? Allah has told you that the people of the Scriptures have changed some of Allah’s Books and distorted it and wrote something with their own hands and said, ‘This is from Allah, so as to have a minor gain for it. Won’t the knowledge that has come to you stop you from asking them? No, by Allah, we have never seen a man from them asking you about that (the Book Al-Qur’an ) which has been revealed to you.

 

Ibn Hazm describes the above narrations as…

The soundest Isnad (chain of transmission) or ascription to Ibn Abbaas, which is exactly our view. There is no difference between the companions on this matter. (Ibn Hazm, Al-Fasl fi’l Milal, Volume 2, p. 3, cited here) 

 

Here we see that Ibn Hazm reinforces the fact that Ibn Abbaas truly held this position and that even the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him held the same position as well. Thus, there was a consensus amongst the companions that the Christians and the Jews had textually corrupted their scriptures.

 

Ibn Abbaas said in his commentary on Surah 2:79…

(Therefore woe) severe punishment, and it is said this means: a valley in Hell (be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands) change the description and traits of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Book (and then say, ” This is) in the Book that has come (from Allah ” , that they may purchase) through changing and altering it (a small gain therewith) a small gain in terms of means of subsistence and surplus of property. (Woe unto them) theirs is a severe punishment (for what their hands have written) have altered (and woe unto them) and theirs is a severe punishment (for what they earn thereby) of unlawful earnings and bribes. (Ibn Abbaas, Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, Commentary on Surah 2:79, Source

 

Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Habib al-Mawardi (d. 450 A.H.) says in his commentary of the Qur’an An-Nukatu wal-‘Uyoon on Surah 2, Verse 79…

ÃÍÏåãÇ: Ãä ÇáÃõãøí: ÇáÐí áÇ íßÊÈ æáÇ íÞÑá æåæ Þæá ãÌÇåÏ æÃÙåÑõ ÊÃæíáå.

æÇáËÇäí: Ãäøó ÇáÃõãøííä: Þæã áã íÕÏÞæÇ ÑÓæáÇð ÃÑÓáå Çááå¡ æáÇ ßÊÇÈÇð ÃäÒáå Çááå¡æßÊÈæÇ ßÊÇÈÇð ÈÃíÏíåã¡ æÞÇá ÇáÌåÇá áÞæãåã: åÐÇ ãä ÚäÏ Çááå¡ æåÐÇ Þæá ÇÈä ÚÈÇÓ                                                              

Firstly: The word Ummi in the verse could refer to someone who does not know how to read or write, and this is the statement of Mujaahid and the more apparent interpretation.

Secondly: The word Ummi in the verse could refer to a people who did not believe in a Messenger that Allah has sent, and they also don’t believe in a book that Allah has sent, and they wrote a book with their own hands and told the ignorant people “This is from Allah”, and this is the view of Ibn Abbaas. (Source)

 

 

Imam Tabari elaborates on Ibn Abbaas’s position in his commentary on Surah 2:42…

{ æóáóÇ ÊóáúÈöÓõæÇ ÇáúÍóÞø ÈöÇáúÈóÇØöáö } ÞóÇáó : ÇáúÍóÞø : ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ ÇáøóÐöí ÃóäóÒóáó Çááøóå Úóáóì ãõæÓóì , æóÇáúÈóÇØöá : ÇáøóÐöí ßóÊóÈõæåõ ÈöÃóíúÏöíåöãú

 

 ÝóÑõæöíó Úóäú ÇöÈúä ÚóÈøóÇÓ æóÛóíúÑå áóÇ ÊóÎúáöØõæÇ ãóÇ ÚöäúÏßõãú ãöäú ÇáúÍóÞø Ýöí ÇáúßöÊóÇÈ ÈöÇáúÈóÇØöáö æóåõæó ÇáÊøóÛúíöíÑ æóÇáÊøóÈúÏöíá

 

Regarding the verse ‘Confound not truth with falsehood’: The truth: it is the Torah that Allah revealed to Moses. Falsehood: it is what they have written from their own hands…. It was reported that Ibn Abbaas and others said ‘Do not mix the truth of what you have in the Book with falsehood’ and that is the changing and substituting. (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami’ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 2:42, Source)

 

In his commentary on Surah 2:75 Imam Ar Razi quotes al-Qadi ‘Abd Al Jabbar (d. 415 A.H.) as affirming that Ibn Abbaas’s opinion towards the Christian and Jewish scriptures is that there have been additions and subtractions made to and from them. (Source) Again, clearly indicating that Ibn Abbas’s position is that the scriptures have been textually corrupted.

 

Another narration regarding Ibn Abbaas…

ßÇäÊ ãáæß ÈÚÏ ÚíÓì Èä ãÑíã Úáíå ÇáÕáÇÉ æÇáÓáÇã ÈÏáæÇ ÇáÊæÑÇÉ æÇáÅäÌíá æßÇä Ýíåã ãÄãäæä íÞÑÄæä ÇáÊæÑÇÉ Þíá áãáæßåã ãÇ äÌÏ ÔÊãÇ ÃÔÏ ãä ÔÊã íÔÊãæäÇ åÄáÇÁ Åäåã íÞÑÄæä { æãä áã íÍßã ÈãÇ ÃäÒá Çááå ÝÃæáÆß åã ÇáßÇÝÑæä } æåÄáÇÁ ÇáÂíÇÊ ãÚ ãÇ íÚíÈæäÇ Èå Ýí ÃÚãÇáäÇ Ýí ÞÑÇÁÊåã ÝÇÏÚåã ÝáíÞÑÄæÇ ßãÇ äÞÑà æáíÄãäæÇ ßãÇ ÂãäÇ ÝÏÚÇåã ÝÌãÚåãæÚÑÖ Úáíåã ÇáÞÊá Ãæ íÊÑßæÇ ÞÑÇÁÉ ÇáÊæÑÇÉ æÇáÅäÌíá ÅáÇ ãÇ ÈÏáæÇ ãäåÇ

 

Narrated by Sa’eed ibn Juabair: Ibn Abbaas said: The kings after the time of Jesus the son of Mary peace be upon him substituted the Torah and Gospel and there used to be amongst them believers who were reading the Torah. It was said to the kings: We do not find an insult greater than the insult of those that read “And those who do not rule by what Allah has revealed, they are disbelievers” and their recitation of these similar kind of verses which they shame us with in our daily activities. So tell them to read just as what we read and let them believe just as we believe.’ So the king summoned them and gathered them together. He proposed either death to them or that they leave the recitation of the Torah and Gospel except what they substitute in place of it. [(Sunan Al Nisaa’i, hadith no. 5305), Source, Sheikh Nasr Al Deen Al Albani authenticated this narration in Sunan Al Nisaa’i, hadith no. 5400]

 

So here we see that Ibn Abbaas talks about how the kings of the past used to force people to switch to their corrupted version of the scriptures. Clearly indicating that their scriptures contained writings, which were false, thus the scriptures that the masses were using were textually corrupted. Since the kings forced the people to switch to their scriptures or had them killed, this meant that the true uncorrupted scriptures became lost or possibly remained safe with a very few number of people, but it seems clear that the corrupted copies were distributed more widely.

 

 

Some Christians try to distort the position of Ibn Abbaas by quoting the following narration from him…

 

“By the Mount and an Inscribed Book” (52:1-2): Qatada said that “mastur” means “written”. “Yasturun” (68:1) means, “they inscribe”, and the Umm al-Kitab (43:4) is the whole of the Qur’an and its source. [He said that] “ma talfizu” (50:18) means: “He does not say anything but that it is written against him.” Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “Both good and evil are recorded,” and “yuharrufuna” (4:46) means, “they remove”. NO ONE REMOVES THE WORKS OF ONE OF THE BOOKS OF ALLAH ALMIGHTY, BUT THEY TWIST THEM, INTERPRETING THEM IMPROPERLY.Dirasatihim: (6:156) means “their recitation” “Wa’iyya” (69:12) is preserving, “ta’iha” (69:12) means to “preserve it”. “This Qur’an has been revealed to me by inspiration that I may warn you,” meaning the people of Makka, “and all whom it reaches”(6:19) meaning this Qur’an, so he is its warner.

 

This could be answered in more than one way.

 

First of all, WHERE IS THE FULL CHAIN OF TRANSMISSION? We can’t find any full chain of transmission for this statement attributed to Ibn Abbaas. Famous hadith scholar Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani said regarding this narration…

 

I did not find it with continuous chain of reporters (mawsoul) on authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas in spite of the fact that what is said before it is from his words as well as that is after it….

Many of our folks (ashabena) have explicitly declared that the Torah and the Gospel has been corrupted (hurrifat) in contradiction with what Al-Bukhari mentions here [on authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas] (Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, Fath-ul-Bari fe Sharh Sahih-el-Bukhari, Book of “Oneness of God”, Chapter 55, Number 6223)

 

and all scholars of hadith have agreed that you cannot judge a narration to be authentic unless you have the complete chain of transmission to examine and then conclude if it is authentic or not (unless it is mursal and has specific conditions being applied to it or if it has other corroborating evidence). Imam Tabari in his commentary just simply quotes Mujahid ibn Jabr Al Makhzumi (d. 104 A.H.) who then quotes the statement. However, there is a 200 hundred-year gap between Imam Tabari and Mujaahid! Where are the two or three people who should have come in the middle of the chain?

Secondly, it contradicts the authentic narrations and well-known position of Ibn Abbaas on the matter and that is that he believed that the Jews and Christians textually corrupted their scriptures.

 

 

Imam Al-Badr al-‘Aini notes in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari…

 

 

Al-Bukhari frequently relates reports and sayings of Sahaba and others without isnad (chain of transmission) (Al-Badr Al-‘Aini, Umdat-ul-Qari, Volume 1, page 9)

 

Here we can see that this alleged statement from Ibn Abbaas is one of those examples, therefore it must be rejected.

 

Thirdly, Ibn Abbaas’s statement could be reinterpreted in order to be reconciled with the other statements that he has made. And that is that Ibn Abbaas intended to say that they changed what was in their hands of the text which was with them, but they could not change the original true text which is with Allah on al-Lawh al-Mahfudh (preserved tablet) since the speech of Allah is uncreated and no one can ever make it go lost completely and removing the words from the books here on earth does not mean that God’s words have become totally lost but lost here on earth only.

Ibn Kathir says in his commentary of Surah 85, Verse 22…

(Nay! This is a Glorious Qur’an.) meaning, magnificent and noble.

(In Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz!) meaning, among the most high gathering, guarded from any increase, decrease, distortion, or change. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Source)

 

Here we see that the Qur’an is also preserved in the Preserved Tablet from being corrupted and this strongly raises the possibility that this is what Ibn Abbaas was referring to when he made (assuming that he did) that statement. His intention was to say that the speech of God is in the Preserved Tablet (including the original Torah and Gospel) and cannot be changed.

We must conclude by saying that the authentic narrations clearly indicate that Ibn Abbaas supported textual corruption and that one narration whose chain of transmission we cannot even examine should not be a cause for us to doubt that position of Ibn Abbaas.

 

 

The View of Uthman Ibn ‘Affan (d. 34 A.H.)

Ibn Kathir reports Uthman Ibn ‘Affan as saying…

áöÃóäøóåõãú ÍóÑøóÝõæÇ ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ ÒóÇÏõæÇ ÝöíåóÇ ãóÇ ÃóÍóÈøõæÇ æóãóÍóæúÇ ãöäúåóÇ ãóÇ íóßúÑóåõæäó æóãóÍóæúÇ ÇöÓúã ãõÍóãøóÏ – Õóáøóì Çááøóå Úóáóíúåö æóÓóáøóãó – ãöäú ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ æóáöÐóáößó ÛóÖöÈó Çááøóå

Because they (the Jews) distorted the Torah. They added to it what they liked and erased from it what they hated and they erased the name of Muhammad peace be upon him from the Torahand for that Allah became angry. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Commentary on Surah 2:79, Source)

 

Uthman’s position is crystal clear and needs no interpretation. He clearly supported the view that the Jews textually corrupted their scriptures.

 

 

Evidence From The Conversation of Umar ibn Al Khattab (d. 22 A.H.)

The following narration tells us about a conversation that Umar ibn Al Khattab once had with a Jew…

 

Çä ãÓáãÇ æíåæÏíÇ ÇÎÊÕãÇ Åáì ÚãÑ ÑÖì Çááå Úäå ÝÑÃì ÇáÍÞ ááíåæÏí ÝÞÖì áå ÚãÑ Èå ÝÞÇá áå ÇáíåæÏí æÇááå áÞÏ ÞÖíÊ ÈÇáÍÞ ÝÖÑÈå ÚãÑ ÈÇáÏÑÉ ÞÇá æãÇ íÏÑíß ÝÞÇá ÇáíåæÏí æÇááå ÅäÇ äÌÏ Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ áíÓ ÞÇÖí íÞÖí ÈÇáÍÞ ÅáÇ ßÇä Úä íãíäå ãáß æÚä ÔãÇáå ãáß íÓÏÏÇäå æíæÝÞÇäå ááÍÞ ãÇ ÏÇã ãÚ ÇáÍÞ ÚÑÌÇ æÊÑßÇå

 

Sa’eed ibn Al Museeb narrated that it happened that a Muslim and a Jew had a dispute so they went to Umar bin Al-Khattab to judge between them. Umar bin Al-khattab ruled in favor for the Jew, which upon the Jew said: “I swear by Allah, you have judged with the Truth”. Umar bin Al-khattab hit the man with a stick that has a small ball on the top of it when he heard him saying that. Then Umar bin Al-khattab asked the Jew, “How do you know that I judged with the truth?” The Jew replied, “We find in the Torah that whoever judges according to the truth two angels from his right and left sides assist him to find the truth. Yet, if he went astray from the truth, they will leave him. (Al Munzhiri declared this narration to be authentic in Al Targheeb Wal Tarheeb, Volume 3, p. 188)

 

The Jew spoke about the two angels on the sides of the human being. Where is this to be found in today’s Torah? It is not. This means it was removed. Thus indicating textual corruption.

 

 

Evidence from the statement of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (d. 32 A.H.)

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud is reported to have said…

Úä ÚÈÏ Çááå Èä ãÓÚæÏ ÑÖí Çááå Úäå ÞÇá íÄÊì ÇáÑÌá Ýí ÞÈÑå ÝíÄÊì ÑÌáÇå ÝÊÞæá áíÓ áßã Úáì ãÇ ÞÈáí ÓÈíá ßÇä íÞÑà ÓæÑÉ Çáãáß Ëã íÄÊì ãä ÞÈá ÕÏÑå Ãæ ÞÇá ÈØäå ÝíÞæá áíÓ áßã Úáì ãÇ ÞÈáí ÓÈíá ßÇä íÞÑà ÓæÑÉ Çáãáß Ëã íÄÊí ãä ÞÈá ÑÃÓå ÝíÞæá áíÓ áßã Úáì ãÇ ÞÈáí ÓÈíá ßÇä íÞÑà Ýí ÓæÑÉ Çáãáß Ýåí ÇáãÇäÚÉ ÊãäÚ ÚÐÇÈ ÇáÞÈÑ æåí Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ ÓæÑÉ Çáãáß ãä ÞÑÃåÇ Ýí áíáÉ ÝÞÏ ÃßËÑ æÃØíÈ ÇáÑÇæí

 

“While a person is in his grave, The first place to start with punishment is his feet yet his feet prevent this punishment from happening by saying: “You cannot punish me in anyway as this man always recited Sura Al-Mulk”. Thus, it (the punishment) approaches him from his chest (stomach) side yet his chest prevents the punishments from happening by saying: “You cannot harm or punish me as this man always recited Sura Al-Mulk.” Then the punishment of the grave turns to his head but his head prevents this punishment from happening and says: “You cannot punish me because this man always recited Sura Al-Mulk.” This Sura is indeed called the preventer that prevents the occurrence of punishment. It is stated in Torah that whoever recites Surah Al Mulk at night, he would be doing very good acts. (Hadith scholar, Al Munthiri declares this narration to be saheeh (authentic) or hasan (good) in his book Al Targheeb Wal Tarheeb, Volume 2, p. 320. Sheikh Albani also affirms the authenticity of this narration in Saheeh Al Targheeb, hadith no. 1475)

 

Here Abdullah ibn Mas’ud is saying that the Torah says that whoever recites Sura Al Mulk (Surah 67), it will protect him from the punishment of the grave. I and everyone reading this article know very well that nowhere is this found in today’s Torah. It means that it was removed, thus indicating textual corruption.

 

 

Evidence from the statement of Abdullah ibn Salam (d. 43 A.H.)

Now we have to bear in mind that Abdullah ibn Salam was a very learned Rabbi and a scholar of the Torah before he came a Muslim…

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 546:

Narrated Anas

When ‘Abdullah bin Salam heard the arrival of the Prophet at Medina, he came to him and said, “I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a prophet: What is the first portent of the Hour? What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle” Allah’s Apostle said, “Gabriel has just now told me of their answers.” ‘Abdullah said, “He (i.e. Gabriel), from amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews.” Allah’s Apostle said, “The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be Extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her.” On that ‘Abdullah bin Salam said, “I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah.” ‘Abdullah bin Salam further said, “O Allah’s Apostle! The Jews are liars, and if they should come to know about my conversion to Islam before you ask them (about me), they would tell a lie about me.” The Jews came to Allah’s Apostle and ‘Abdullah went inside the house. Allah’s Apostle asked (the Jews), “What kind of man is ‘Abdullah bin Salam amongst you?” They replied, “He is the most learned person amongst us, and the best amongst us, and the son of the best amongst us.”Allah’s Apostle said, “What do you think if he embraces Islam (will you do as he does)?” The Jews said, “May Allah save him from it.” Then ‘Abdullah bin Salam came out in front of them saying, “I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.” Thereupon they said, “He is the evilest among us, and the son of the evilest amongst us,” and continued talking badly of him.

 

 

Also in another narration…

 

ãÇ ßÇä Ííä ÝÊÍÊ äåÇæäÏ ÃÕÇÈ [ ÇáãÓáãæä ] ÓÈÇíÇ ãä ÇáíåæÏ ¡ ÝÃÞÈá ÑÃÓ ÇáÌÇáæÊ ÝÊáÞì ÓÈÇíÇ ÇáíåæÏ ¡ ÝÃÕÇÈ ÑÌá ãä ÇáãÓáãíä ÌÇÑíÉ æÖíÆÉ ÕÈíÍÉ ¡ ÝÞÇá áí : åá áß Ãä ÊãÔí ãÚí Åáì åÐÇ ÇáÅäÓÇä ÚÓì Ãä íËãä áí Ýí åÐå ÇáÌÇÑíÉ ¡ ÝÇäØáÞÊ ãÚå ÝÏÎáäÇ Úáì ÔíÎ ãÓÊßÈÑ áå ÊÑÌãÇä ÝÞÇá áÑÌá ãÚå : Óá åÐå ÇáÌÇÑíÉ åá æÞÚ ÚáíåÇ åÐÇ ÇáÚÑÈí ¿ æÑÃíÊ Ãäå ÛÇÑ Ííä ÑÃì ÍÓäåÇ ¡ ÝÑÇØäåÇ ÈáÓÇäå ÝÝåãÊ ÇáÐí ÞÇá ¡ [ ÞÇá ] : ÝÞáÊ áå : áÞÏ ÃËãÊ ÈãÇ ÊÌÏ Ýí ßÊÇÈß ÈÓÄÇáß åÐå ÇáÌÇÑíÉ ÚãÇ æÑÇÁ ËíÇÈåÇ . ÝÞÇá áí : ßÐÈÊ ¡ æãÇ íÏÑíß ãÇ Ýí ßÊÇÈí ¡ ÞÇá : ÞáÊ: ÃäÇ ÃÚáã ÈßÊÇÈß ãäß ¡ ÞÇá : ÃäÊ ÃÚáã ÈßÊÇÈí ãäí ¿ ! ÞáÊ : äÚã ¡ ÃäÇ ÃÚáã ÈßÊÇÈß ãäß ¡ ÞÇá : ãä åÐÇ ¿ ÞÇáæÇ : ÚÈÏ Çááå Èä ÓáÇã ¡ ÞÇá : ÝÇäÕÑÝÊ ãä ÚäÏå Ðáß Çáíæã ¡ ÝÃÑÓá Åáí ÑÓæáÇ : áÊÃÊíäí ÈÚÒãÉ æÈÚË Åáí ÈÏÇÈÉ ¡ ÞÇá : ÝÇäØáÞÊ Åáíå ÇÍÊÓÇÈÇ ÑÌÇÁ Ãä íÓáã ¡ ÝÍÈÓäí ÚäÏå ËáÇËÉ ÃíÇã ÃÞÑà Úáíå ÇáÊæÑÇÉ æíÈßí ¡ ÝÞáÊ áå : Åäå æÇááå áåæ ÇáäÈí ÇáÐí ÊÌÏæäå Ýí ßÊÇÈßã ¡ ÝÞÇá áí : ÝßíÝ ÃÕäÚ ÈÇáíåæÏ ¿ ÞÇá : ÞáÊ : Åä ÇáíåæÏ áä íÛäæÇ Úäß ãä Çááå ÔíÆÇ ¡ ÝÃÈì Ãä íÓáã ¡ æÛáÈ Úáíå ÇáÔÞÇÁ

 

At the time when the city of Nahwawnd had been had conquered by Muslims, female Jewish prisoners were captured. The head chief of the Jews arrived to free some of those prisoners. I was approached by a Muslim who captured a beautiful Jewish female prisoner and asked me to go with him hoping that someone would pay more to free this prisoner. So I walked with him until we entered on an old arrogant man who has a translator with him. The old man asked another man to ask the slave girl whether the Arab man slept with her or not. I noticed that he envied the Arab man for the beauty of the lady with him, so he talked with her with their own language, which I understood. Upon that I said to him “You have committed a sin and went against your book (Torah) by asking her about her body and what is behind her clothes”. He replied: “You are lying! What do you know about my book?” I said: “I know your book more than you do” The old man then replied: “You know it more than I do?” I replied saying: “Yes I do”. Then the old man asked about who I am so he was told that it is Abdullah bin Sallam. Then I left that old man later on that day. Then after a while that old man sent me massage asking me to visit him. So I agreed hoping that he enters Islam. I stayed with him for three days reciting Torah on him while he is crying and weeping. I said to him: “I swear by Allah, he is the prophet who you find his description in your book.” He replied: “What will I do if the Jews find out about me entering Islam.” I said: “The Jewish will not help you if Allah destines something for you.” So he refused to enter Islam after all that and he was meant to be doomed.(Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani declared this hadeeth authentic (saheeh mawquf) in Al Mataalib al ‘Aalyah, Volume 4, no. 218)

 

So as we can see, Abdullah ibn Salam was very learned of the Torah. The following narration says the story of how Abdullah ibn Salam accepted Islam…

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 7:
‘Abdullah bin Salam heard the news of the arrival of Allah’s Apostle (at Medina) while he was on a farm collecting its fruits. So he came to the Prophet and said, ‘I will ask you about three things which nobody knows unless he be a prophet. Firstly, what is the first portent of the Hour? What is the first meal of the people of Paradise? And what makes a baby look like its father or mother?’. The Prophet said, ‘Just now Gabriel has informed me about that.’

‘Abdullah said, ‘Gabriel?’ The Prophet said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Abdullah said, ‘He, among the angels is the enemy of the Jews.’ On that the Prophet recited this Holy Verse:– ‘Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel (let him die in his fury!) for he has brought it (i.e. Qur’an) down to your heart by Allah’s permission.’ (2.97) Then he added, ‘As for the first portent of the Hour, it will be a fire that will collect the people from the East to West. And as for the first meal of the people of Paradise, it will be the caudite (i.e. extra) lobe of the fish liver. And if a man’s discharge proceeded that of the woman, then the child resembles the father, and if the woman’s discharge proceeded that of the man, then the child resembles the mother.’

 

Now Abdullah ibn Salam was learned of the Torah and was convinced of the Prophethood of Muhammad peace be upon him after receiving the answers to those questions. Surely, Abdullah ibn Salam would only have known this from the Torah since he did not follow any other divine book. However, we don’t find the answers that the Prophet peace be upon him gave to Abdullah ibn Salam in the Bible today. Therefore, it must have been removed, thus indicating textual corruption.

Someone might argue back that the manuscripts that Christians have today in their possession predate the existence of Abdullah ibn Salam. But again, my argument does not imply that Abdullah ibn Salam had the true Torah with him. He could have received this information by oral traditions from the minority of righteous believers that knew the original contents of the Torah even though that they didn’t have it with them in textual form. This is a possibility.

Either way, the argument is not whether the Islamic claim is true or not. The argument is that when us Muslims examine our Islamic teachings we come to realize that the Torah has been textually tampered with.

 

Evidence from the statement of Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-‘Aass (d. 63 A.H.)

The following narration shows us what Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-‘Aass is reported to have said once during a conversation…

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 335:

Narrated Ata bin Yasar:

I met Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As and asked him, “Tell me about the description of Allah’s Apostle which is mentioned in Torah (i.e. Old Testament.”) He replied, ‘Yes. By Allah, he is described in Torah with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Quran as follows:

O Prophet ! We have sent you as a witness (for Allah’s True religion) And a giver of glad tidings (to the faithful believers), And a warner (to the unbelievers) And guardian of the illiterates. You are My slave and My messenger (i.e. Apostle). I have named you “Al-Mutawakkil” (who depends upon Allah). You are neither discourteous, harsh Nor a noise-maker in the markets And you do not do evil to those Who do evil to you, but you deal With them with forgiveness and kindness. Allah will not let him (the Prophet) Die till he makes straight the crooked people by making them say: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,” With which will be opened blind eyes And deaf ears and enveloped hearts.”

 

Here we see that Abdullah bin Amr, stated that the Torah once said that the Prophet would be a guardian of the illiterates. However, in today’s Bible we do not see this statement. This means that this statement was taken out, therefore indicating textual corruption.

 

Evidence from the Statements of the Early Muslims

The early Muslims are a very important source or religious authority to appeal to when it comes to understanding Islam. The Prophet peace be upon him described the early Muslim generations…

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 819:

Narrated Zahdam bin Mudrab:

I heard Imran bin Husain saying, “The Prophet said, ‘The best people are those living in my generation, then those coming after them, and then those coming after (the second generation).”

 

So we must appeal to the best of the Muslims and see how they understood Islam.

We will appeal to some of the early Muslims and see what their perspectives were regarding the Christian and Jewish scriptures.

 

Evidence from the statements of Ka’b Al Ahbar (d. 14 A.H.)

Ka’b Al Ahbar was a prominent Rabbi who converted to Islam some years after the Prophet’s death.

He is reported to have said in an authentic narration…

 

Ýí ÇáÓØÑ ÇáÃæá ‏ ‏ãÍãÏ ‏ ‏ÑÓæá Çááå ÚÈÏí ÇáãÎÊÇÑ áÇ ÝÙ æáÇ ÛáíÙ æáÇ ‏ ‏ÕÎÇÈ ‏ ‏Ýí ÇáÃÓæÇÞ æáÇ ‏ ‏íÌÒí ÈÇáÓíÆÉ ÇáÓíÆÉ æáßä íÚÝæ æíÛÝÑ ãæáÏå ‏ ‏ÈãßÉ ‏ ‏æåÌÑÊå ‏ ‏ÈØíÈÉ ‏ ‏æãáßå ‏ ‏ÈÇáÔÇã

‏ ‏æÝí ÇáÓØÑ ÇáËÇäí ‏ ‏ãÍãÏ ‏ ‏ÑÓæá Çááå ÃãÊå ÇáÍãÇÏæä íÍãÏæä Çááå Ýí ÇáÓÑÇÁ æÇáÖÑÇÁ íÍãÏæä Çááå Ýí ßá ãäÒáÉ æíßÈÑæä Úáì ßá ‏ ‏ÔÑÝ ‏ ‏ÑÚÇÉ ‏ ‏ÇáÔãÓ íÕáæä ÇáÕáÇÉ ÅÐÇ ÌÇÁ æÞÊåÇ æáæ ßÇäæÇ Úáì ÑÃÓ ‏ ‏ßäÇÓÉ ‏ ‏æíÃÊÒÑæä Úáì ÃæÓÇØåã æíæÖÆæä ÃØÑÇÝåã æÃÕæÇÊåã ÈÇááíá Ýí Ìæ ÇáÓãÇÁ ßÃÕæÇÊ ÇáäÍá

 

Ka’b Al-Ahbar said: “The first line – of the Torah – says: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and My chosen slave. Verily, he is neither rude nor harsh. And he is a man who would not yell or scream in markets. And he will never award an ill deed with an ill deed, on the contrary, he will, always award ill deeds with forgiveness. He is birth will take place in Mecca and his immigration will be to Taiba (one of the names of Madinah) and his dominion will be the Sham (what is now known as Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan).

The second line – of the Torah- says: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. His nation areconstantly praising, they praise Allah for whatever occurs to them whether it is good or bad. They praise and thank Allah in every situation and glorify Allah while they stand on a place that is higher than floor. They are people who always watch the sun (to know prayer times) and pray each prayer on its time even if they were in a filthy place. They wear Izaar that they wrap around their waists. And they wash and cleanse their parts at nights and their voices during the time of night are like that of bees (referring to their prayers). (Sunan Al Daarimi, Kitab: Al Muqadima (The Introduction), Bab: Sifat Salatul Nabi Salla Allahu A’layhi Wassallam fi Al Kutub Qabl Ba’thuhu (The Chapter on the Characteristics of the Prophet peace be upon him in the Books Before His Coming), hadith no. 7, Source, This narration was authenticated by Sheikh Nasr Al Deen Al Albani in one of his fatwas (verdicts) over here. A very similar narration can also be found in Al Haakim’s Mustadrak al Saheehayn, Volume 2, no. 614 and Ibn Asaakir also narrated it and Sheikh Nasr Al Deen Al Albani declared this narration to be sound in his Silsila Al Ahaadeeth Al Saheeha, hadith no. 2458)

 

Here we see that Ka’b ibn Al Ahbar is giving descriptions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him from the Torah that we cannot find in today’s Bibles. Some might argue that this narration is alluding to Isaiah 42, however if one compares the narration with the passage in Isaiah he would see that many traits are missing. (e.g. Ka’b mentions that the Prophets community will know how to pray by looking at the sun, yet this is not found in the Bible)

 

In another narration…

 

ÍÏËäÇ ‏ ‏ÚãÑæ Èä ÚÇÕã ‏ ‏ÍÏËäÇ ‏ ‏ÍãÇÏ Èä ÓáãÉ ‏ ‏Úä ‏ ‏ÚÇÕã Èä ÈåÏáÉ ‏ ‏Úä ‏ ‏ãÛíË ‏ ‏Úä ‏ ‏ßÚÈ ‏ ‏ÞÇá ‏
‏Úáíßã ÈÇáÞÑÂä ÝÅäå Ýåã ÇáÚÞá æäæÑ ÇáÍßãÉ æíäÇÈíÚ ÇáÚáã æÃÍÏË ÇáßÊÈ ÈÇáÑÍãä ÚåÏÇ æÞÇá Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ íÇ ‏ ‏ãÍãÏ ‏ ‏Åäí ãäÒá Úáíß ÊæÑÇÉ ÍÏíËÉ ÊÝÊÍ ÝíåÇ ÃÚíäÇ ÚãíÇ æÂÐÇäÇ ÕãÇ æÞáæÈÇ ‏ ‏ÛáÝÇ

 

Ka’b ibn Al Ahbar also states in one narration that God said in the Torah “O Muhammad, I am revealing to you a new Torah with which you will open the eyes of the blind, ears of the deaf and the sealed hearts. [(Sunan Al Daarimi, Hadith no. 3193, Source), Hadith scholar, Hussain Salim Asad al-Darani in his book on the evaluation of Musnad al Daarimi declared this narration’s chain of transmission to be Hasan (good). (See no. 3370, p. 2095)]

In another narration…

 

Úä ÇÈä ÚÈÇÓ Ãäå ÓÃá ßÚÈÇ : ßíÝ ÊÌÏ äÚÊ ÇáäÈí Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ ¿ ÞÇá ßÚÈ : äÌÏå ãÍãÏ Èä ÚÈÏ Çááå ¡ íæáÏ ÈãßÉ ¡ æíåÇÌÑ Åáì ØÇÈÉ ¡ æíßæä ãáßå ÈÇáÔÇã

Ibn Abbaas asked Ka`b, “How do you find the description of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, in the Torah? He said, “We find him as Muhammad Ibn `Abdullaah, he is born in Makkah, and he will migrate to Taabah (another name for Madeenah), and his kingdom will be in the Shaam”.(Ibn Rajab stated that this was narrated from Ka’b through many chains in Rasaa’il Ibn Rajab, 3/191)

 

In another narration…

 

ßÚÈ ÞÇá : ÃÌÏ Ýí ÇáÊæÑÇÉ Ãä ÕáÇÉ ÇáÌãÇÚÉ ÊÖÇÚÝ ÈÚÏÏ ÇáÑÌÇá ÏÑÌÉ ¡ Åä ßÇäæÇ ãÇÆÉ ÝãÇÆÉ ¡ æÅä ßÇäæÇ ÃáÝÇ ÝÃáÝ ÏÑÌÉ

“I find in the Torah that the congregational Salat (prayer) double by way of the number of men by a degree, if there were one hundred then [it doubles by] one-hundred, and if there were one-thousand then [it doubles by] one-thousand degrees.” (This hadeeth is authentic and could be found inFathul Baari, number or page 4)

 

Ka’b says that all the above things are in the Torah, yet we don’t find most of them in today’s Bible.

 

Here is a conversation that occurred between Ka’b and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him…

 

Sunan Abu Dawud

Book 3, Number 1041:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it Adam was created, on it he was expelled (from Paradise), on it his contrition was accepted, on it he died, and on it the Last Hour will take place. On Friday every beast is on the lookout from dawn to sunrise in fear of the Last Hour, but not jinn and men, and it contains a time at which no Muslim prays and asks anything from Allah but He will give it to him. Ka’b said: That is one day every year. So I said: It is on every Friday. Ka’b read the Torah and said: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has spoken the truth. AbuHurayrah said: I met Abdullah ibn Salam and told him of my meeting with Ka’b. Abdullah ibn Salam said: I know what time it is. AbuHurayrah said: I asked him to tell me about it. Abdullah ibn Salam said: It is at the very end of Friday. I asked: How can it be when the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has said: “No Muslim finds it while he is praying….” and this is the moment when no prayer is offered. Abdullah ibn Salam said: Has the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) not said: “If anyone is seated waiting for the prayer, he is engaged in the prayer until he observes it.” I said: Yes, it is so. (Sheikh Al Albani declared this hadith authentic in Sunan Abu Dawud, hadith no. 1046)

 

Notice, how Ka’b read the Torah and affirms that what the Prophet peace be upon him stated was true. Notice that the Prophet peace be upon him states that Adam was created on a Friday. This is true for if one reads the creation account in Genesis he will see that Adam was created on the sixth day (being Friday). However, where in the Bible today do we find the following…

“and it contains a time at which no Muslim prays and asks anything from Allah but He will give it to him.”

The Prophet peace be upon him said this regarding Friday. Where is this in the Bible?

Ka’b has stated several things about the Prophet peace be upon him that was or should have been in the Torah during their time and it is not in the Bible today.

This is an indirect proof that the Bible has been textually corrupted.

 

 

Evidence from the statement of Abul-`Aaliyah (d. 90 A.H.)

Abul-`Aaliyah was a great Imam of Tafseer during his time. Imam Tabari quotes Abul-`Aaliyah as saying…

 

åõæó ãóßúÊõæÈ ÚöäúÏåãú Ýöí ÇáúßöÊóÇÈ ÇáúÃóæøóá : íóÇ ÇÈúä ÂÏóã Úóáøöãú ãóÌøóÇäðÇ ßóãóÇ ÚõáøöãúÊ ãóÌøóÇäðÇ

 

It is written in the first book of their scripture (the Jews): “O son of Adam teach for free just as you have been taught for free.” (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami’ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 2:41, Source)

 

Abul-`Aaliyah is basically stating that the first book of the Jews says that particular statement about Adam. Well that statement is nowhere to be found in the Bible today (i.e. Genesis).

 

The View of Muqatil bin Sulaiman (d. 150 A.H.)

Early Qur’anic commentator Muqatil bin Sulaiman says in his commentary on Surah 2, Verse 79…

ÑÁæÓ ÇáíåæÏ ÈÇáãÏíäÉ ãÍæÇ äÚÊ ãÍãÏ Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã ãä ÇáÊæÑÇÉ¡ æßÊÈæÇ Óæì äÚÊå

The leaders of the Jews in Medina erased the descriptions and traits of Muhammad peace be upon him from the Torah, and they wrote other traits and descriptions (Source)

Here we have an early Muslim commentator of the Qur’an clearly speaking about textual corruption of the Torah. He states that the descriptions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him were erased from the Torah. This clearly shows that he believed that text from the Torah was removed. Then he states that the Jews wrote other descriptions, which indicates that text has been added to the Torah.

 

The View of Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Mahdi (d. 169 A.H.)

The Caliph Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Mahdi clearly told his critic, the patriarch Timothy, that the Bible had contained many prophecies about Muhammad but the People of the Book had corrupted their texts and they had removed the prophecies. (Timothy, p. 33 ff., cited here)

 

 

Evidence from the conversation of Abu Jafar al-Ma’mun ibn Harun (d. 218 A.H.)

Imam Al Qurtubi in his commentary on Surah 15, Verse 9 relates a lengthy story of how a Jew became a Muslim. This took place during the reign of Abu Jafar al-Ma’mun ibn Harun sometime in the early 800’s (C.E.).

The Jew was asked about how he became a Muslim. He said that he once bought three copies of each of the scriptures: Torah, Gospel and Qur’an.

He took each one of these books and began to remove and add some text to the books. He then stated that he went to the Jews and Christians and tried selling to them the distorted books and they bought it. He then stated that he went to the Muslims and attempted to sell them the distorted Qur’anic copies but they discovered the additions and deletions and refused to buy them. He then stated that he was sure that God had protected the Qur’an and reached the conclusion that Islam was the true religion.

He told this story to the Muslim ruler al-Ma’mun at that time whom then acknowledged and blessed his decision.

This shows that the early Muslims at that time believed that the scriptures of the Jews and Christians were textually corrupted and have not been preserved properly.

For the story, read Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Qurtubi’s, Tasfir al Jami’ li-ahkam al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 15:9, Source

 

 

The View of Abu ‘Uthman ‘Amr b. Bahr al-Fuqaymi al-Basri al-Jahiz (d. 255 A.H.)

Abu ‘Uthman ‘Amr b. Bahr al-Fuqaymi al-Basri al-Jahiz argues that both Christian transmission and exegesis are corrupt: “We are certain that he (Jesus) came with none except pure unity and monotheism – that is supported by reason – but not the Trinity. We know that the Christians are in error both on the side of transmission, and on the side of exegesis.” (Abu ‘Uthman Amru Ibn Bahr aj-Jahiz, Thalath Rasa’il, ed. by J. Finkel (Cairo, al-Salafiyya Press, 1926), p.143, cited here))

 

 

Evidence from the Statement of Sahl (d. ? A.H.)

 

Ñóæóì ÇÈäõ ÓóÚúÏò ÈöÓóäóÏò ÍÓäò Úóäú Óåáò ãæáì ÚÊÈÉ æóßóÇäó äÕÑÇäíÇð ÝÃÓáã æóÞóÇáó: Åäå ãßÊæÈ Ýöí ÇáÅäÌíá: “Åäå áÇ ÞÕíÑ æáÇ Øæíá¡ ÃÈíÖ¡ Ðæ ÖÝíÑíä¡ Èóíúäó ßÊÝíå ÎÇÊã¡ íßËÑ ÇáÇÍÊÈÇÁ¡ æáÇ íÞÈá áÕÏÞÉ¡ æíÑßÈ ÇáÍãÇÑ æÇáÈÚíÑ¡ æíÍÊáÈ ÇáÔÇÉ¡ æíáÈÓ ÇáÞãíÕ ãÑÞæÚÇð¡ æãä ÝóÚóáó Ðóáößó ÝóÞóÏú ÈÑÆ ãäó ÇáßÈÑö æóåõæó íóÝúÚóáõ Ðóáößó¡ æóåõæó ãöäú ÐÑíÉ ÅöÓúãóÇÚöíúá¡ ÇÓãå ÃÍúãóÏõ”.

 

 

Ibn Sa’d reported on the authority of Sahl the master of Utba and he was a Christian who converted to Islam and he said: It is written in the Gospel (regarding Prophet Muhammad): “He is neither short nor tall, he is white, he has two braided locks of hair, between his two shoulders is a seal, he used to often sit while withholding his legs close to his chest, he does not accept charity, he rides a donkey and camel, and milk the sheep and he wears his shirt sowed” and whoever does this saves himself from arrogance and he (Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) used to do this and he is from the lineage of Ishmael and his name is Ahmad. [This narration was authenticated by Sheikh Nasr Al Deen Al Albani in one of his fatwas (verdicts) over here by saying that the sanad (chain of transmission) was is hasan (good).]

 

Again I ask, where are these descriptions to be found in the Bible?

 

Evidence from the Statements of the Muslim Scholars

No doubt, no one understands this wonderful religion of Islam more than the scholars who dedicate their lives to studying it.

Abud-Dardaa (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: Whoever treads a path due to which he seeks knowledge, Allaah will make him tread one of the paths towards Paradise. And the angels lower their wings out of contentment for the seeker of knowledge. And verily all those in the heavens and in the earth, even the fish in the depths of the sea ask forgiveness for the scholar. And verily, the virtue of the scholar over the worshipper is like the virtue of the moon on the night of Al-Badr over all of the stars. Indeed, the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets, for the prophets do not leave behind a dinar or a dirham for inheritance,but rather, they leave behind knowledge. So whoever takes hold of it, has acquired a large share (i.e. of inheritance).'” (Reported by Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhee and Ibn Hibbaan, and this is the wording found in his collection, in abridged form. Al-Bukhaaree mentioned in his Saheeh Collection in his Book of Knowledge, Chapter: Knowledge precedes Speech and Action, the part from it: “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.”, cited here)

 

 

The scholars are the ‘inheritors of the Prophets’, they inherit knowledge. Thus they hold great religious authority for us to appeal to. We will therefore see what some of the greatest Islamic commentators said regarding their views towards the Christian and Jewish scriptures.

It is funny how some Christians are bold enough to misquote or misrepresent our scholars. Take for instance this Christian…

 

On the other hand, it would be quite unfair for us to suggest that all Muslim scholars in the past and present have followed this procedure and adopted this conclusion. Ibn Khaldun, Ar-Razi, al-Ghazzali, and Ibn Taymiyya have honoured the integrity of the text of the Bible. (Theophilus, Dear Abdullah: First Letter, Source)

In short, I suggest we will have to play by the same rules. Muslim doctors who propagate that the Bible was corrupted also overlook that most eminent Muslim theologians like at-Tabari (died AD 855), al-Bukhari (died AD 870), as well as al-Ghazzali (died AD 1111) believed in the authenticity of the (Greek) Gospel text. (Theophilus, Dear Abdullah: 2nd Letter, Source)

 

It is hilarious indeed that this Christian states that Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah was of the view that the Bible was not textuallycorrupted while Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah wrote a whole book talking about the corruption of the Christian and Jewish text. Ibn Taymiyyah is explicit on this matter. This will be shown later on below.

Imam Tabari and Imam Ar Razi are usual victims of the Christian missionaries who misrepresent their views. We will see more of this below.

As for Bukhari and Al Ghazaazali, I found no statements made by them that they supported the textual transmission of Bible. I also wasn’t able to find any statements from them regarding what their views were. However, since the Christians initiated their claim, the burden of proof is on them.

We will first begin with the view of Imam Tabari…

 

The View of Ibn Jarir al- Tabari (310 A.H.)

Imam Tabari says in his commentary on Surah 2:79…

íóÚúäöí ÈöÐóáößó : ÇáøóÐöíäó ÍóÑøóÝõæÇ ßöÊóÇÈ Çááøóå ãöäú íóåõæÏ Èóäöí ÅÓúÑóÇÆöíá , æóßóÊóÈõæÇ ßöÊóÇÈðÇ Úóáóì ãóÇ ÊóÃóæøóáõæåõ ãöäú ÊóÃúæöíáóÇÊåãú ãõÎóÇáöÝðÇ áöãóÇ ÃóäóÒóáó Çááøóå Úóáóì äóÈöíøå ãõæÓóì Õóáøóì Çááøóå Úóáóíúåö æóÓóáøóãó , Ëõãøó ÈóÇÚõæåõ ãöäú Þóæúã áóÇ Úöáúã áóåõãú ÈöåóÇ æóáóÇ ÈöãóÇ Ýöí ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ ÌõåøóÇá ÈöãóÇ Ýöí ßõÊõÈ Çááøóå    áöØóáóÈö ÚóÑúÖ ãöäú ÇáÏøõäúíóÇ ÎóÓöíÓ

What is meant by this: It is referring to those who distorted the book of Allah from the Jews of Bani Israel, and they wrote a book on which they put their interpretations in opposition to that which was revealed by Allah to his Prophet Moses peace be upon him, then they sold it to a people who have no knowledge of what is in it nor what is in the Torah and are ignorant of what is in the books of Allah in order to gain worthless materialistic benefits. (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami’ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 2:79, Source)

Imam Tabari also states in his commentary on Surah 5:13…

íõÍóÑøöÝõæäó ßóáóÇã ÑóÈøåãú ÇáøóÐöí ÃóäúÒóáóåõ Úóáóì äóÈöíøåãú ãõæÓóì Õóáøóì Çááøóå Úóáóíúåö æóÓóáøóãó , æóåõæó ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ , ÝóíõÈóÏøöáõæäóåõ æóíóßúÊõÈõæäó ÈöÃóíúÏöíåöãú ÛóíúÑ ÇáøóÐöí ÃóäúÒóáóåõ Çááøóå Ìóáøó æóÚóÒøó Úóáóì äóÈöíøåãú æóíóÞõæáõæäó áöÌõåøóÇáö ÇáäøóÇÓ : åóÐóÇ åõæó ßóáóÇã Çááøóå ÇáøóÐöí ÃóäúÒóáóåõ Úóáóì äóÈöíøå ãõæÓóì Õóáøóì Çááøóå Úóáóíúåö æóÓóáøóãó æóÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ ÇáøóÊöí ÃóæúÍóÇåóÇ Åöáóíúåö

They distort the speech of their Lord, which He sent down to their Prophet Moses peace be upon him, and that is the Torah, they substitute it and write from their own hands other than what Allah has revealed to their Prophet and they say to the ignorant ones of their people “This is the speech of Allah that He sent down to His Prophet Moses peace be upon him and the Torah that He revealed to him.” (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami’ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 5:13,Source)

 

Now here, someone might argue that Imam Tabari did not believe that the actual Torah was textually corrupted. But that the Jews only wrote books of their own interpretations (e.g. Talmud) and then claimed it was from God.

First of all, we already have shown above that the Jews don’t claim that the Talmud or any of their commentaries are from God.

Secondly, even if they did this doesn’t mean that Imam Tabari didn’t believe that the Jews also textually corrupted their Torah.

 

Imam Tabari elaborates more on his position in his commentary on Surah 2:42…

 

{ æóáóÇ ÊóáúÈöÓõæÇ ÇáúÍóÞø ÈöÇáúÈóÇØöáö } ÞóÇáó : ÇáúÍóÞø : ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ ÇáøóÐöí ÃóäóÒóáó Çááøóå Úóáóì ãõæÓóì , æóÇáúÈóÇØöá : ÇáøóÐöí ßóÊóÈõæåõ ÈöÃóíúÏöíåöãú          

 

ÇáúÍóÞø ÈöÇáúÈóÇØöáö ” ÝóÑõæöíó Úóäú ÇöÈúä ÚóÈøóÇÓ æóÛóíúÑå áóÇ ÊóÎúáöØõæÇ ãóÇ ÚöäúÏßõãú ãöäú ÇáúÍóÞø Ýöí ÇáúßöÊóÇÈ ÈöÇáúÈóÇØöáö æóåõæó ÇáÊøóÛúíöíÑ æóÇáÊøóÈúÏöíá , æóÞóÇáó ÃóÈõæ ÇáúÚóÇáöíóÉ ÞóÇáóÊú ÇáúíóåõæÏ ãõÍóãøóÏ ãóÈúÚõæË æóáóßöäú Åöáóì ÛóíúÑäóÇ ÝóÅöÞúÑóÇÑåãú ÈöÈóÚúËöåö ÍóÞø æóÌóÍúÏåãú Ãóäøóåõ ÈõÚöËó Åöáóíúåöãú ÈóÇØöá , æóÞóÇáó ÇöÈúä ÒóíúÏ :   ÇáúãõÑóÇÏ ÈöÇáúÍóÞøö ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ æóÇáúÈóÇØöá ãóÇ ÈóÏøóáõæÇ ÝöíåóÇ ãöäú ÐößúÑ ãõÍóãøóÏ Úóáóíúåö ÇáÓøóáóÇã æóÛóíúÑå æóÞóÇáó ãõÌóÇåöÏ áóÇ ÊóÎúáöØõæÇ ÇáúíóåõæÏöíøóÉ æóÇáäøóÕúÑóÇäöíøóÉ   ÈöÇáúÅöÓúáóÇãö , æóÞóÇáóåõ ÞóÊóÇÏóÉ , æóÞóÏú ÊóÞóÏøóãó ÞõáúÊ : æóÞóæúá ÇöÈúä ÚóÈøóÇÓ ÃóÕúæóÈ áöÃóäøóåõ ÚóÇãø ÝóíóÏúÎõá Ýöíåö ÌóãöíÚ ÇáúÃóÞúæóÇá æóÇóááøóå ÇáúãõÓúÊóÚóÇä

 

 

Regarding the verse ‘Confound not truth with falsehood’: The truth: it is the Torah that Allah revealed to Moses. Falsehood: it is what they have written from their own hands…. It was reported that Ibn Abbaas and others said ‘Do not mix the truth of what you have in the Book with falsehood’ and that is the changing and substituting.

And Abu Al A’alya said that the Jews said ‘Muhammad has arisen but not from amongst us’ so their acknowledgement of his arising is truth but their rejection of him is false, and Ibn Zayd said: What is intended by ‘truth’ is the Torah and ‘falsehood’ is what they substituted or changed from it from the mentioning of Muhammad peace be upon him and other issues. Mujahid said: Do not mix Judaism and Christianity with Islam, and Qutada said that as well. I say (Tabari): The statement of Ibn Abbaas is more correct because it is more general and applies to the rest of the statements and Allah is the source of all strength. (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami’ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 2:42, Source)

 

We have already established that Ibn Abbaas’s position is that he believed that the Jews and Christians textually corrupted their scriptures. We see above that Imam Tabari supports Ibn Abbaas’s position. Notice how Imam Tabari quotes Ibn Abbaas’s position as stating that the Jews mixed the truth of what is in the Torah with the falsehood that they have written from their own hands and that the Jews mixed them together. Clearly, speaking about textual corruption. Then notice at the end that Imam Tabari is in favour of Ibn Abbaas’s position. Thus, Imam Tabari supported textual corruption of the Jewish text.

Also, Ibn Kathir quotes Imam Tabari as saying…

Ibn Jarir said, “The Qur’an is trustworthy over the Books that preceded it. Therefore, whatever in these previous Books conforms to the Qur’an is true, and whatever disagrees with the Qur’an is false.”(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Source, You can also see Al Tabari saying this himself in his commentary on Surah 2:41)

 

Here we see that Imam Tabari is saying that the Qur’an is a criterion over the books before it (this includes the Christians and Jewish scriptures) and points out what is false and true in them. Clearly, Imam Tabari believed in the textual corruption of the books of the Christians and the Jews, otherwise he would not have uttered the last part of his statement ‘and whatever disagrees with the Qur’an is false.’

 

The View of Az-Zajjaj (d. 311 A.H.)

Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi (d. 373 A.H.), the well known Hanafi scholar in his commentary of the Qur’an known as Bahr al-‘Ulum on Surah 2, verse 79 quotes Az-Zajjaj as saying…

æÐáß Ãä ÑÄÓÇÁ ÇáíåæÏ ãÍæÇ äÚÊ ãÍãÏ – Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã – Ëã ßÊÈæÇ ÛíÑ äÚÊå¡

The leaders of the Jews erased the traits and descriptions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, then they wrote things besides his traits and descriptions.

 

Notice how the word ‘erased’ is used and then the same people ‘wrote’ different descriptions of the Prophet to come. Az-Zajjaj clearly believed in the textual corruption of the Torah.

 

 

The View of Al- Hasan ibn Ayyub (d. 378 A.H.)

Al- Hasan ibn Ayyub (d. 378 A.H.) said “We are in no doubt that the People of the Book have altered some of their words” (Ibn Taymiyyah, Aj-Jawab As-Sahih, vol. 2, p. 342, cited here))

 

 

The View of Abu Raihan Muhammad Al-Biruni (d. 440 A.H.)

Abu Raihan Muhammad Al-Biruni who is more of a historian then an Islamic scholar per se and a contemporary of Ibn Hazm, concerned himself with the dating of Biblical events especially in the context of the Old Testament. He, too, asserted that the scriptures had been misunderstood by Christians, and that material corruption of the genuine text had taken place. (Al-Biruni, Al-Athar Al-Baqiyah, pp. 13 ff and p. 32 f., cited here))

 

 

The View of Ibn Hazm (456 A.H.)

Ibn Hazm said…

We do not need to try hard to prove that the Gospels and all the books of the Christians did not come from God or from the Messiah (peace be upon him), as we needed to do with regard to the Torah and the books attributed to the Prophets that the Jews have, because the Jews claim that the Torah that they have was revealed from God to Moosa, so we needed to establish proof that this claim of theirs is false. With regard to the Christians, they have taken care of the issue themselves, because they do not believe that the Gospels were revealed from God to the Messiah, or that the Messiah brought them, rather all of them from first to last, peasants and kings, Nestorians, Jacobites, Maronites and Orthodox are all agreed that there are four historical accounts written by four known men at different times. The first of them is the account written by Matthew the Levite who was a disciple of the Messiah, nine years after the Messiah was taken up into heaven. He wrote it in Hebrew in Judaea in Palestine, and it filled approximately twenty-eight pages in a medium-sized script. The next account was written by Mark, a disciple of Simon ben Yuna, who was called Peter, twenty-two years after the Messiah was taken up into heaven. He wrote it in Greek in Antioch in the land of the Byzantines. They say that the Simon mentioned is the one who wrote it, and then he erased his name from the beginning of it and attributed it to his disciple Mark. It filled twenty-four pages written in a medium-sized script. This Simon was a disciple of the Messiah. The third account written was that of Luke, a physician of Antioch who was also a disciple of Simon Peter. He wrote it in Greek after Mark had written his account, and is similar in length to the Gospel of Matthew. The fourth account was written by John the son of Zebedee, another disciple of the Messiah, sixty-odd years after the Messiah has been taken up into heaven. He wrote it in Greek, and it filled twenty-four pages in a medium-sized script. (Ibn Hazm, Al-Fasl fi’l Milal, Volume 2, p. 2, cited here) 

 

Ibn Hazm further states in the same book…

 

With regard to the Christians, there is no dispute among them or anyone else that only one hundred and twenty men believed in the Messiah during his lifetime. and all of those who believed in him concealed themselves and were afraid during his lifetime and afterwards; they called people to his religion in secret and none of them disclosed himself or practiced his religion openly, because any of them who was caught was executed.

They continued in this manner, not showing themselves at all, and they had no place where they were safe for three hundred years after the Messiah was taken up into heaven.

During this time, the Gospel that had been revealed from Allaah disappeared, apart from a few verses, which Allaah preserved as proof against them and as a rebuke to them, as we have mentioned. Then when the Emperor Constantine became a Christian, then the Christians prevailed and started to practice their religion openly and assemble in safety.

If a religion is like this, with its followers practicing it in secret and living in constant fear of the sword, it is impossible for things to be transmitted soundly via a continuous chain of narrators and its followers cannot protect it or prevent it from being distorted. (Ibn Hazm, Al-Fasl fi’l Milal, Volume 2, p. 4-5, cited here) 

 

Ibn Hazm also states that both Christians and Jews necessarily have both truth and falsehood in their books. (Ibn Hazm, Al-Fasl fi’l Milal, vol.2, p. 11, cited here

 

Ibn Hazm’s perspective is clear and needs no elaboration.

 

The View of Abu Muhammad Husayn b. Mas’ud ibn Muhammad al-Farra’ al-Baghawi (d. 516 A.H.)

Al Baghawi in his famous Qur’anic commentary Ma’alim at-Tanzeel, while commenting on Surah 2, Verse 79 clearly talks about how there was a certain description of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in the Torah and then the Jews went and wrote something else besides it and changed his description. (See here)

This clearly shows that Al Baghawi believed that the Jews textually corrupted their scriptures by meddling with the description of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in the Torah.   

 

 

The View of Az-Zamakhshari (d. 538 A.H.)

Imam az-Zamakhshari said…

The Qur’an claims to be a confirmation, protector and touchstone of the Truth contained in the Torah and Gospel. (Az-Zamakhshari, op. cit., vol.2, p.575, cited here)

 

Notice how az-Zamakhshari states that one of the purposes of the Qur’an is to confirm and protect the Truth contained in the Torah and Gospel. Now, if Zamakhshari believed that the Torah and the Gospel were pure and uncorrupted, he would have simply stated that the Qur’an confirms the entire Torah and Gospel in the possession of the Christians and Jews. However, he wanted to clarify what is meant by the Quran’s confirmation and that is that it confirms the truth in the Torah and Gospel, which indicates that the Torah and Gospel contain falsehood. Thus, az-Zamakhshari makes it clear that he believes that the Torah and Gospels were textually distorted.

 

 

The View of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d.  606 A.H.)

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi has perhaps been the most misrepresented scholar on the issue by Christian missionaries. They quote him in many parts of his commentary in which he says that he doesn’t believe that the specific verse in question is not speaking about textual corruption of the scripture but only distorting its interpretation and then they falsely conclude that Imam ar-Razi did not support the idea of textual corruption at all.  What these missionaries forget to realize is that one must look at ALL of Imam Razi’s statements in his famous commentary on the Qur’an in order to see truly what his position was regarding the Christian and Jewish scriptures.

First of all we have to realize that Imam ar-Razi condemned certain parts of the Gospel…

Imam ar-Razi in his book Al-Matalib Al-‘Aliya in the section on Prophethood says: “The influence of the original teachings of Jesus was very limited because he never preached the doctrine which the Christians ascribe to him. The idea of Father and so and the notion of Trinity are the worst kind of atheism and polytheism and are certainly the result of ignorance. Such heretical teachings can’t be ascribed to a great prophet like Jesus who was free of all such sinful errors. We are therefore certain that Jesus could have not preached this impure doctrine. He originally taught monotheism but not Trinity as the Christians assert. These teachings of Jesus did not (widely) spread owing to many historical factors. His message thus remained very limited.” (Cited here)

 

Realize how Imam ar-Razi condemns the use of the word ‘Father’ that Christians use. But this is also used in the Gospel. This is an indirect condemnation from Imam ar-Razi on the present day Gospels.

Imam ar-Razi said else where…

 

As for the third evidence it is with reference to what is maintained in the Torah and gospels concerning the Prophethood of Muhammad. The objection to this evidence (on the Jewish and Christian side) is whether you (Muslims) say that the description of Muhammad was written in these books in detail; namely that Allah Almighty, made manifest that he shall come in the coming years and in such and such country, a person whose description shall be such and such, and so know you that he is my messenger. On the one hand; or they say: ‘No, but rather Allah has merely referred to him briefly, without specification due to time, place or personality.’ And so if you hold on to the first claim it false and faulty: (O, you Muslims.)”

That is because we (Jews and Christians) find that the T and the G are empty of such claims; and must not be said that the Jews and the Christians have compared two scriptures; because we (Jews and Christians) say that these two scriptures and well-known in the east and the west; and such as these books cannot, in any way be overtaken by corruption exactly as in the case of the Qur’an. Alternatively: If you (Muslims) hold on to the second claim, even if we suppose that you are right to hold that view, then this cannot be taken as a proof in support of Prophethood; or perhaps it may only allude the coming of a virtuous and noble person. Or even if it is alluding to a Prophethood, it is not necessarily indicating the Prophethood of Muhammad, since it may also foretell the advent of another messenger, other than Muhammad. (Fakhar ad-Din ar-Razi, Muhassal Afkar Al-Mutaqadimin Wal Mut’akhrin (Cairo, Maktabat al-Kuliyyat al-Azhariyya) p. 211 and Fakhr ar-Razi, Mafatih Al-Ghayb, Cairo, Dar al-Ghad al-‘Arabi, 1412 A.H. 1991 A.D. vol.3, pp.186 f, vol.9, 233, cited here)

 

Notice that Imam ar-Razi said…

 

it is with reference to what is maintained in the Torah and Gospels concerning the Prophethood of Muhammad.

 

If Imam ar-Razi truly believed that the text of the Torah and Gospels has been preserved then he wouldn’t have uttered that statement. The fact that he believes some parts of the Prophet Muhammad’s descriptions and traits were maintained in the Torah and Gospels actually shows that he doesn’t believe that all of them were. Thus he indirectly shows us that he believes that the Torah and Gospels were textually corrupted.

 

Imam ar-Razi in his commentary on Surah 4, verse 46 makes it crystal clear that he supported textual corruption of the previous scriptures…

{ íõÍóÑøÝõæäó ٱáúßóáöãó Úóä ãøóæٰÖöÚöåö } ãÚäÇå: Ãäåã íÐßÑæä ÇáÊÃæíáÇÊ ÇáÝÇÓÏÉ áÊáß ÇáäÕæÕ¡ æáíÓ Ýíå ÈíÇä Ãäåã íÎÑÌæä Êáß ÇááÝÙÉ ãä ÇáßÊÇÈ. æÃãÇ ÇáÂíÉ ÇáãÐßæÑÉ Ýí ÓæÑÉ ÇáãÇÆÏÉ¡ Ýåí ÏÇáÉ Úáì Ãäåã ÌãÚæÇ Èíä ÇáÃãÑíä¡ ÝßÇäæÇ íÐßÑæä ÇáÊÃæíáÇÊ ÇáÝÇÓÏÉ¡æßÇäæÇ íÎÑÌæä ÇááÝÙ ÃíÖÇ ãä ÇáßÊÇÈ¡ ÝÞæáå: { íõÍóÑøÝõæäó ٱáúßóáöãó } ÅÔÇÑÉ Åáì ÇáÊÃæíá ÇáÈÇØá æÞæáå: { ãöä ÈóÚúÏö ãóæٰÖöÚöåö } ÅÔÇÑÉ Åáì ÅÎÑÇÌå Úä ÇáßÊÇÈ

In regards to Allah’s statement “They pervert the words from their proper places” (Surah 4:46), it means that they mention the corrupted interpretations for those verses, and there is no proof that they take the actual statements out of the book.

And as for the verse in Surah 5:41, this is evidence that they have combined between the two (textual corruption and misinterpreting the text), they used to mention their corrupted interpretations, and they also used to remove the statements from the book. Allah’s statement “They pervert words” indicates misinterpreting the text and Allah’s statement “after their being put in their right places”indicates that the statements were removed from the book. (Fakhar ad-Din ar-Razi, Tafsir Al Kabir, Commentary on Surah 4:46, Source)

 

Imam ar-Razi has spoken and made it clear. Yes indeed, Imam ar-Razi at times has said that certain verses like Surah 4:46 does not indicate textual corruption but only misinterpreting the text. However, we must not forget that Imam ar-Razi has also stated that verses such as Surah 5:41 do teach that textual corruption has been made. Case closed.

 

The View of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 A.H.)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

With regard to the Gospels that the Christians have, there are four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are agreed that Luke and Mark did not see the Messiah; rather he was seen by Matthew and John. These four accounts that they call the Gospel, and they call each one of them a Gospel, were written by these men after the Messiah had been taken up into heaven. They did not say that they are the word of God or that the Messiah conveyed them from God, rather they narrated some of the words of the Messiah and some of his deeds and miracles. (Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Jawaab al-Saheeh, (3:21), cited here)

 

Ibn Kathir, the student/disciple of Ibn Taimiyyah, says:

 

Our Sheikh the notable Imam Abul-‘Abbas Ibn Taimiyyah said: As for those who argued that it [the Torah] is entirely corrupted from beginning to end without sparing one letter, they are mistaken. Also, those who argued that nothing has been corrupted are mistaken. The truth is that alteration and change had reached it and they [the Jews] manipulated its words with additions and omissions as they manipulated its meanings. This is well recognized on pondering and may be explained in another occasion, and Allah knows best….(Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, Volume 2, pages 152-153)

 

Clearly Ibn Taymiyyah does not believe that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the Gospels that were revealed by Allah. Thus believing that the original and true Gospel has been textually corrupted.

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s famous book al-Jawaab al-Saheeh in refuting the Christians could be read here.

 

The View of al-Qurtubi (d. 671 A.H.)

Imam al-Qurtubi states in his commentary on Surah 2:211…

áößóæúäöåöãú ÈóÏøóáõæÇ ãóÇ Ýöí ßõÊõÈåãú æóÌóÍóÏõæÇ ÃóãúÑ ãõÍóãøóÏ Õóáøóì Çááøóå Úóáóíúåö æóÓóáøóãó

For they have replaced what is in their books and abandoned the command of Muhammad peace be upon him. (Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurtubi’s, Tasfir al Jami’ li-ahkam al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 2:211, Source)

 

Imam al-Qurtubi also states in his commentary on Surah 5:13…

æóÞöíáó : ãóÚúäóÇåõ íõÈóÏøöáõæäó ÍõÑõæÝå

And it is said that they changed its letters. (Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurtubi’s, Tasfir al Jami’ li-ahkam al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 5:13, Source)

 

Imam al-Qurtubi says in one of his books…

The book which is in the hands of the Christians and which they call the Injil (Gospel) is not that of which God says, “And He Has Sent Down The Torah and Injil…” (Surah 3:3) (Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurtubi, Maqami Hamat As-Sulban Wa Marati Rawdat Al-Iman, ed. by Muhammad Abd al-Ghani Shama, (Cairo, al-Madani, n.d.), pp.183, cited here)

 

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah agrees with this position in his book al-Jawaab al-Saheeh, Vol.1, pp.5, cited here.

Also, Abu al-Fadl al-S’udi al-Maliki (d. 942 A.H.) agrees with this position as well in his book Al Muntakhab Al Jalil Min Takhjil Man Harrafa Al-Injil, (Cairo, al-Tamadun, 1322 A.H.), pp.14, cited here.

 

Imam Qurtubi explicitly states that the corruption was with the letters (indicating textual corruption) and states that the Gospel in the possession of the Christians is not the one in which Allah claims to have revealed in the Qur’an. Therefore, clearly stating that the text of the Gospel that the Christians have is not the same as what Allah has revealed. Thus, Imam Qurtubi is clearly stating that he believes that the text of the Gospel has been textually corrupted.

The View of Sulaiman ibn Abdul-Qawi al-Tufi (d. 716 A.H.)

Sulaiman ibn Abdul-Qawi al-Tufi, the student/disciple of Ibn Taimiyyah, notes:
Be acknowledged that these Scriptures [of Jews and Christians] are unreliable because we consider them corrupted and changed. Yes, alteration have not involved them entirely, but reached them after all. That is why our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: (( Do not believe the People of the Book and do not deny them. Say: “We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to you. Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted.”)).
He prohibited believing them for fear of that they may tell us something that is definitely corrupted, and disbelieving them for fear of that it may be not corrupted. (Sulaiman ibn Abdul-Qawi al-Tufi, Al-Intesarat Al-Islamiyyah, 1/230-232)
and says:
Moreover, the same way they [i.e., Jews and Christians] do not consider our Book reliable, we do not consider their Books reliable. This is actually prior because their Books are older and much subjected to mistranslation on the contrary of our Book. (Ibid., 1/232)
and says:
Additions and omissions do not reach it [the Qur’an] on the contrary of the Torah and the Injil as I have seen myself in the two Scriptures regarding contradiction and discrepency and noted in my commentary on the two Scriptures. (Ibid., 1/294)
and says:

 

We believe that the Qur’an is the truth, and the Torah whom you use against us, not the one given to Moses, is falsehood and fabrication. (Ibid., 1/341)
and says:
The general answer is lack of trust in these Scriptures due to their antiquity, translation from one language to another and suspicion in honesty of Jews and Christians [in preservation] especially regarding the Injil for I explained in my commentary on it our excuses of non-trust in it concerning difference and contradiction.(Ibid., 1/350)

 

The View of Ibn Kathir (d. 774 A.H.)

Ibn Kathir states in his commentary on Surah 5:15…

Now has come to you Our Messenger explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and passing over much.) So the Prophet explained where they altered, distorted, changed and lied about Allah. He also ignored much of what they changed, since it would not bring about any benefit if it was explained. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Source)

 

 

Ibn Kathir also says…

(but a confirmation of that which was before it) in reference to the previously revealed Divine Books,by which this Qur’an testifies to the true parts that remain in them and denies and refutes the forged parts that were added, changed and falsified by people. The Qur’an accepts or abrogates whatever Allah wills of these Books, (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Source)

 

Ibn Kathir also states the following regarding a certain aspect of the story of Adam in the Bible…

This story in the Old Testament is a falsification and deception. (Ibn Kathir, The Stories of the Prophets, Chapter on Prophet Adam, Source)

 

Ibn Kathir also said:

 

I [Ibn Kathir] say: As for the Arabic Torah in their hands, no sane person doubts its alteration, textual corruption, change of stories and words, additions and obvious clear omissions. Glaring lies and extreme errors are so abundant in it. As regards what they recite with their tongues and write with their pens, we have no access to, but it is assumed they are dishonest liars who frequently invent forgeries against Allah, His Messengers and Books.

As for Christians, their four Gospels on authority of Marks, Luke, Matthew and John are much more divergent and different by addition and omission than the Torah. They disobeyed the rulings of the Torah and the Injil in so many things they legalized for themselves. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, Volume 2, pages 152-153)

 

Ibn Kathir’s statements cannot get any clearer. He declared a story found in the Old Testament to be a forgery. Since the story is found in the text of the Old Testament and it is declared a forgery then clearly Ibn Kathir believed that the text of the Jewish scripture was corrupted.

The View of Jalalayn (al-Mahilli d. 864 A.H.; as-Suyuti 911 A.H.)

As-Suyuti says in his commentary on Surah 2:79…

æóåõãú ÇáúíóåõæÏ ÛóíøóÑõæÇ ÕöÝóÉ ÇáäøóÈöíø Ýöí ÇáÊøóæúÑóÇÉ æóÂíóÉ ÇáÑøóÌúã æóÛóíúÑåãóÇ æóßóÊóÈõæåóÇ Úóáóì ÎöáóÇÝ ãóÇ ÃõäúÒöáó

And they are the Jews who changed the traits and descriptions of the Prophet in the Torah and the verse on stoning. They changed them and wrote in contrast to what has been revealed. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 2:79, Source)

 

Clearly  as-Suyuti believed that the Jews meddled with the descriptions of the Prophet in the Torah and then wrote things in contrast to them. as- Suyuti is clearly speaking about textual corruption of the Torah by the Jews in regards to the Prophet’s traits and descriptions.

 

Conclusion

After appealing to the Qur’an, authentic traditions of the Prophet, his companions, early Muslims and greatest Muslim scholars we come to the conclusion that Islam does endorse directly and indirectly the textual corruption of the Torah and Gospel. There is no other source of religious Islamic authority one can go to. The issue is clear and Christian missionaries who are sincere and are truth seekers should stop using these out dated kind of arguments.

 

 

 

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Categories: Bible, Islam, Quran

5 replies

  1. Barak Allah feek

    Bassam Zawadi has dispersed from this field(i.e debating christians), Unfortunately!
    Where is he?
    We need someone like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Like all texts transmitted in antiquity, the Bible in its earliest stages of transmission was fluid. Scribes changed books that became part of the Bible accidentally and on purpose; this is now clear from evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

    – See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2014/11/seven-common-misconceptions-hebrew-bible/#sthash.25VbkDu0.dpuf

    Like

  3. It is a fact that we find many of the Bible characters and events in the Qur’an, even if the Qur’an differs a lot of details and stories. But the similarities are so great that many find it difficult not to suspect that Muhammad simply borrowed freely from Jews and Christians when he presented the Qur’an…

    Like

    • MarcusCalpurniusPiso

      We need evidence for that. At least some Jew or Christian at that time would have caught Prophet Mohammed learning the story of Moses from a Jew or the story of Mary and Jesus from a Christian.

      This evidence, no one can bring till eternity.

      Thanks.

      Like

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