It is a matter of serous implications when a ‘party of Muslims’ thinks and says evil about the Bible (Tavrat, Zaboor and Injee) while the Quran talks and refers to it a lot in a strikingly positive way. In this short article let us see what ‘some’ Muslims think about the Bible and what the Quran says about it and what are the stakes in this matter of mismatch, writes Prasanna.
It is a matter of serous implications when a ‘party of Muslims’ thinks and says evil about the Bible (Tavrat, Zaboor and Injee) while the Quran talks and refers to it a lot in a strikingly positive way. In this short article let us see what ‘some’ Muslims think about the Bible and what the Quran says about it and what are the stakes in this matter of mismatch.
Some Muslims think and believe about the Bible in the following way:
◊ The Bible (Tavrat, Zaboor and Injeel) was originally sent from Allah.
◊ However, later those books were tampered with by Jews and Christians.
◊ Therefore, the present Bible (Tavrat, Zaboor and Injeel) is a ‘corrupt’ book.This they do mainly because of…
◊Their hatred towards the Bible, Christians and God’s truth.
◊Their ignorance of their own book, Quran. They usually don’t study it by themselves and come to this conclusion rather they listen and believe blindly what the teachers of the Quran propagate against the message of the Bible.
◊The deception of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
◊The prophecy that has been foretold centuries before by the prophets of the true God (Isaiah 6:9-10; Mathew 13:14-15).
However, in contrast to the above misguided Muslim assertions the following is what the Quran says about the Bible:
◊ Some books were sent to Jews and Christians before the Quran (Sura 2:87, 45:16, 32:23-24, 4:54, 40:53-54): Muslims would agree with this without any objection.
◊ Those books were identified as Tavrat, Zaboor and Injeel (S 5:43-47, 21:105): Muslims would agree to this also, although they might have some reservations as to which ones.
◊ Muhammad is advised to ask those who read the previous books if he is in doubt (S 10:94; 21:7): Muslims would have hard time believing this. Therefore, they might try to explain it away with the help of ‘Islamic Logic’ (IL: Which is basically fallacious and self-made to save their version of Islam). This should tell Muslims that the previous books were reliable and cannot be discarded at least during the time that Muhammad was reciting the Quran to his followers.
◊ Allah says in the Quran that the Quran was sent to confirm (but not to correct or make obsolete) the previous books such as Tavrat, Zaboor and Injeel (S 2:40-41,89,91,101; 6:92; 5:51; 12:111; 26:192-195; 35:31): This shows us that the Quran is given to Muhammad in Arabic to warn his people (Arabs) while confirming the previous books, but not rejecting them. This could also show how Mohammad was trying his best to convince Jews and Christians of his message with the hope that they would accept him as the true prophet in the tradition of the Biblical prophets.
◊ Mekkans were told to consult those who read the previous books (S 21:7): Again, this implies that those previous books (Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel) were reliable and authentic. Otherwise, the Mekkans would not have been told to consult those who read the previous books.
◊ Muslims are commanded to believe in the books that had been sent to Jews and Christians before the Quran was sent to Muhammad (S 2:285; 3:84; 29:46; 2:136): Without dispute, ‘believing’ is not just a ‘lip-service.’ The Quran has this to say to those who merely say that we believe: ‘We believe,’ but their hearts believe not (Sura 5:41). In order to believe ‘something’ that ‘something’ should have existence in the first place. If some one believes ‘something’ he/she should respond to that in an appropriate manner.
◊ Muslims are threatened in the Quran not to discriminate one book from another which were sent by Allah (S 40:70-71): If they believe that the Quran is from Allah and therefore they respect and follow it, then, in the same way they need to believe, respect and follow even the previous books (Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel) that Allah had sent. If Muslims fail to do this they fail to do what Allah commanded them to do and as a result of that they will face the due punishment in hell.
◊ Jews and Christians are told to follow the books that were sent to them, namely, Tavrat, Zaboor and Injeel (S 5:43,47,50): This implies that those books exist and they are from Allah and they were not corrupt, but reliable during Muhammad’s time.
◊ Allah in the Quran affirms that his words cannot be changed (S 6:34, 116; 10:65, 15:9): It should be noted that Quran does not make any distinction between the previous books and the Quran while making this assertion. In addition, the Quran threatens with the punishment in hell for those who accuse Allah’s books with falsity. Those who reject the Book (Quran) and that (Tavrat, Zaboor and Injeel) with which WE sent Our Messengers. But soon will they come to know when the iron-collars will be round their necks, and chains too. And they will be dragged (S 40:70-71). Muslims do well to pay attentions to these verses of the Quran before they venture to talk ill about the previous books that Jews and Christians possess now.
◊ After Muhammad: If as the anti-Christian Muslim propagandists believe that the previous books (Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel) have all been corrupted by Jews and Christians after Muhammad had died and gone, then, the following are the insurmountable problems those Muslims face:
(a) How can Jews and Christians follow what the Quran advices to do with regard to those books in Sura 5:47,50,68?
(b) The manuscript copies of the previous books (Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel) in original languages that are now in extant predate Islam and Muhammad. If at all there is any change in those books it should have been done even hundreds of years before Muhammad. This only shows that Muhammad and Allah were ignorant of those changes, which is why they did not mention about it in the Quran
(c) In order to change the previous books (Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel) either during Muhammad’s time or after him all the Jews and Christians from everywhere should come to agree and collect all the manuscripts of those books and do the exact changes at the same time. This is simply impossible task and beyond any stretch of imagination
(d) Had these books were changed after Muhammad, Allah who is All-knowing would have warned about that future change of those books in the Quran so that after those changes these books could be rendered irrelevant
(e) The previous books (Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel) were sent by Allah. They are the words of Allah. If they were really changed or corrupted over time that proves beyond any sh
adow of doubt that the Quran is not from Allah because when it says, ‘The words of Allah cannot be changed’ (S 6:34, 116; 10:65) is not true!
However, there are few verses in the Quran which have been misused and abused by false teachers of the Quran to malign God’s word. Before looking into the meaning and implications of those verses it is noteworthy to remember that by the time Muhammad started preaching his message during the first half of the seventh century (610-632 AD) there were thousands of Greek, Syriac, Coptic, Latin, Armenian and Gothic manuscript copies of the ‘Injeel’ alone, in parts and full, most of which come from third and fourth centuries spread around on three different continents—Asia, Africa and Europe. With this in mind let us turn to the verses that some Muslims think imply changes in the previous books.
◊ Can ye (O ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you? Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of God, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it (Sura 2:75): Here the ‘Word of God’ could be referring to the previous books (Tavrat, Zaboor or Injeel) or the Quran. In any case, according to this verse a party of them, but not all of them, perverted the meaning of the words after hearing the words of God. This verse doesn’t say that they have changed the written words of their scripture.
◊ Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: We hear and we disobey (S 4:46): Here the verse is accusing of some Jews that they had changed the meaning of the words they heard. This too does not say or imply that those Jews went out and collected all the manuscripts of the previous books (Tavrat and Zaboor) and made changes in their writings.
◊ Because of their breaking the covenant, We have cursed them and made hard their hearts. They change words from their context and forget a part of that whereof they were admonished. Thou wilt not cease to discover treachery from all save a few of them. But bear with them and pardon them. Lo! God loveth the kindly (S 5:13): Here the verse indicates that most of the people who rejected Muhammad’s prophethood (Jews/Christians/Pagan Arabs) were misquoting either from their books or what Muhammad had recited before them earlier. However, it does not convey the meaning that those disbelievers went out and collected all the manuscripts of the previous books and literally changed the written words on those manuscripts, which is both illogical and impossible.
◊ O Messenger! Let not them grieve thee who vie one with another in the race to disbelief, of such as say with their mouths; ‘We believe,’ but their hearts believe not, and of the Jews: listeners for the sake of falsehood on behalf of other folk who come not unto thee, changing words from their context and saying: If this be given unto you, receive it, but if this be not given unto you, then beware! (S 5:41): Again, here too what the verse is saying is that the Jews who did not come to Muhammad were guilty of ‘misquoting’ the scripture, because they were changing the words from their context in their conversations when they spoke. This does not mean by any stretch of imagination that those Jews went out and collected all the manuscripts of the previous books (Tavrat and Injeel) from everywhere in the world and then corrupted them by changing their written words.
In the light of the discrepancies between what the Quran says about the Holy Bible and what some Muslims believe blindly, here are some serious questions to those Muslims:
◊ Are you ready to answer about this disobedience and hypocrisy before Allah when you face him and questioned about your unfounded belief about the Bible (Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel)?
◊ Are you aware that even if you make a distinction between the previous books (The Bible—Tavrat, Zaboor, Injeel) and the Quran or calling one of them as false/corrupt you will end up facing severe punishment in hell according to the Quran?
◊ In the light of the above facts what keeps you from reading the previous books and be blessed by Allah?