Did Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him really recognize the Bible as an error-free book?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
The sections of this article are:
1- Did Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him really recognize the Bible as an error-free book?
2- What about the Jews whom the Prophet punished according to their Mosaic Law?
Did Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him really recognize the Bible as an error-free book?
First, it is important to know that if the “Bibles” of today, with all their versions and differences in the quantity of their “books” and “gospels”, were in fact the Original Holy Word of GOD Almighty, then there would be no need for the Noble Quran. But since they are corrupt, then we obviously cannot consider them as GOD Almighty’s Holy and Divine Words.
The Noble Quran came to confirm Truth that exists in the Bible. Allah Almighty never claimed that the bible is fully and 100% Divine. Islam is a witness on the Bible. It filters out the truth from falsehood and corruption in the Bible. The Noble Quran only recognizes the Bible as a HISTORY BOOK with errors and man’s alteration in it. Anything that agrees 100% with Islam is valid, and anything else that has even the slightest disagreement with Islam is discarded:
Narrated Ubaidullah: “Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Why do you ask the people of the scripture about anything while your Book (Quran) which has been revealed to Allah’s Apostle is newer and the latest?
You read it pure, undistorted, and unchanged, and Allah has told you that the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) changed their scripture and distorted it and wrote the scripture with their own hands and said, ‘It is from Allah,’ to sell it for a little gain. Does not the knowledge which has come to you prevent you from asking them about anything? No, by Allah, we have never seen any man from them asking you regarding what has been revealed to you!” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461)”
Narrated Abu Namlah al-Ansari: “When he was sitting with the Apostle of Allah peace be upon him and a Jew was also with him, a funeral passed by him. He (the Jew) asked (Him): Muhammad, does this funeral speak? The Prophet peace be upon him said: Allah has more knowledge. The Jew said: It speaks.
The Apostle of Allah peace be upon him said: Whatever the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] tell you, do not verify them, nor falsify them, but say: We believe in Allah and His Apostle. If it is false, do not confirm it, and if it is right, do not falsify it. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Knowledge (Kitab Al-Ilm), Book 25, Number 3637)”
The following two Sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him were sent to me by Yusuf 65; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with him:
Narrated Ubaidullah: “Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘Why do you ask the people of the scripture about anything while your Book (Quran) which has been revealed to Allah’s Apostle is newer and the latest? You read it pure, undistorted, and unchanged, and Allah has told you that the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) changed their scripture and distorted it and wrote the scripture with their own hands and said, ‘It is from Allah,’ to sell it for a little gain.
Does not the knowledge which has come to you prevent you from asking them about anything? No, by Allah, we have never seen any man from them asking you regarding what has been revealed to you!’ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461)”
Narrated Abu Huraira: “The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. Allah’s Apostle said (to the Muslims). ‘Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, ‘We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.’ ‘ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 460)”
As we clearly see in the above Sayings of our beloved Prophet peace be upon him, we see that the source that the Jews and Christians use (i.e., the Bible or any other religious source such as their Popes’, Rabbis, or other religious people’s verdicts) must be ignored because it is not reliable. As we have seen in the above introduction, the man-made scribes (laws) had corrupted the Bible and turned it “into a lie” (Jeremiah 8:8).
What about the Jews whom the Prophet punished according to their Mosaic Law?
The Christian missionary argument is that Islamically the Bible is accurate because Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him ruled according to one of its laws. This is indeed incorrect. Christian Missionary after distorting dozens of verses from the Holy Quran and amazing his with his funny interpretations, informs his readers:
“Our usage of the Quran does not imply our belief in its authority nor its inspiration. We quote it solely for the sake of convincing the Muslims of the Bible’s authority and authenticity as a fact confirmed by their religious text.”
Precisely! Similarly, the ruling of stoning applied to the Jew and Jewess according to the Jewish scriptures also does not imply that the entire text of the Jewish Christian scriptures is authentic and pristine. Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him was *also* using it as his evidence against the Jews.
Yes, there were many addition and deletion in the Jewish scriptures, they were corrupted, but despite their corruption, they still contained enough truth in them to lead any person to Islam. Thus, had the Jews followed their own book, they would have had no other choice but to become Muslims because their book still contained enough truth therein to lead a person to Islam. The problem with the Jews was that they did not even bother to follow that which they themselves considered to be Divinely revealed by Allah.
The punishment for stoning for example is the authentic revelation from Allah which we find intact in even the present-day Jewish scriptures, but these Jews during the time of Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him did not bother to follow this Law revealed by Allah. Had they applied all the laws and commandments in their scriptures, never mind the corruption, they would have had no choice but to become Muslims.
Well known commentator Ibn Kathir, explains:
“These Hadith’s (Saying of Prophet Muhammad in Arabic) state that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him issued a decision that conforms with the ruling in the Tawrah=Torah, not to honour the Jews in what they believe in, for the Jews were commanded to follow the Law of Muhammad peace be upon him only. Rather, the Prophet peace be upon him did this because Allah commanded him to do so.
He asked them about the ruling of stoning in the Tawrah=Torah to make them admit to what the Tawrah (Torah) contains and what they collaborated to hide, deny, and exclude from implementing for all that time. They had to admit to what they did, although they did it while having knowledge of the correct ruling.
What made them go to the Prophet peace be upon him for judgement in this matter was their lusts and desires, hoping that the Prophet peace be upon him would agree with their opinion, not that they believed in the correctness of his judgement.“
[Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged. Volume 3. Pg. 182. Darussalam Publishers and Distributors. 2000]
Sheikh Abdurrahman Abdul-Khaaliq states:
“The Torah, the Old Testament, and the Gospel, the New testament, still contain some truth and guidance that can be evidence against Jews and Christians. If they implemented their laws, Jews and Christians would believe in the Prophet Muhammad’s message, confirming what was sent before him, and thus would follow the guidance and light.
Muhammad was sent down with clear evidence to his truthfulness and he followed the path of the Prophets before him, who were sent to the Jews and the Christians.”
[Sheikh Abdurrahman Abdul-Khaaliq. “The Bible’s Testimony that Jesus is the Slave-Servant, and Messenger of Allah.” pg. 8. The Daar of Islamic Heritage 1994]
So, there we go. It is worth noting that the Quran does not mention any “Bible” or “Mathew”, “Mark”, “Genesis”, “Numbers” etc. The Quran only mentions the Tauraat=Torah revealed to Musa (Moses) peace be upon him and the Injil (Gospel) revealed to Esa (Jesus) peace be upon him. Not any Gospel “according to Mathew” etc. The Quran is MUHAYMIN over the previous scriptures (5:48), meaning criteria, watcher-over, control, guardian, dominant, trustworthy, witness, rectifying etc.
So, whatever agrees with the Quran we accept that we reject whatever disagrees with the Quran. The present day Jewish Christian scriptures may contain truth in them, we do not deny that, however they also contain the words of man and errors, interpolations, and deletions. A Muslim is commanded to use the Quran as the judge (5:48) to separate the truth from falsehood.
Allah knows Best.
Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
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