It is a common misconception people have, both non-Muslims, and Muslims alike, that Muslims believe in the Bible we have today.
Let me explain how and why people tend to think this, and why it is an incorrect thought, easily proven by the Qur’an of their misunderstanding.
Since Muslims believe in the prophets of the Bible, people mistakenly assume we also believe in the Bible, which is not accurate.
Muslims believe in all the scriptures that were revealed to the messenger prophets such as those given to Moses, David, Abraham, Jesus, as well as Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
Does this mean we believe in the Bible scriptures? – No.
We believe in the original revelations that were given to them, and those scriptures were either lost, or corrupted.
Bible scholars have stated that the Bible is corrupted, and anyone that says otherwise is not an avid student of the Bible, because anyone that has studied the texts of the Bible would know and easily accept it to be corrupted.
I will explain many corruptions of the Bible in another article.
What are the scriptures Muslims believe in?
We believe in the following:
Torah (Tawrat) in its original form as revealed to Moses pbuh:
According to the Qur’an, the Torah was given to Moses pbuh, however, over time, scribes and editors have corrupted the text. Therefore; what is found in the Bible today, is not the original revelations as it was given to Moses pbuh.
While the Qur’an mentions that scripture was given to David pbuh, some of it is accepted by scholars, while it is understood that some may have been added later and not part of the divine revelation originally sent to him.
Scrolls of Abraham pbuh (Suhuf Ibrahim)
The Qur’an refers to scripture also sent to Abraham pbuh (Ibrahim in Arabic) in chapter (sura) 87 verse 19. They are often referred to as scrolls, but many translators have stated they are ‘books’ (suhuf in Arabic). However, they are considered lost entirely, or undiscovered rather than corrupted. Some scholars have identified them with the Testament of Abraham which is an apocalyptic writing that was available at the time of Muhammad pbuh.
Gospel of Jesus (Injil) (not to be confused with the New Testament gospels)
The Injil is the revelation that was given to Jesus pbuh according to the Qur’an. Muslims believe it was another scripture that was revelation given to him by God, and not the accounts of other people simply discussing it, as in the New Testament that exists today.
Today’s canonical Gospels are not divinely inspired and more or less merely the documents of the life of Jesus pbuh written by disciples, companions and others. While it contains some information that may be true, it holds a lot which is not the teachings of Jesus pbuh, but were the teachings of others instead.
Qur’an revealed to Muhammad pbuh
The Qur’an was the final revelation sent to mankind, revealed to Muhammad pbuh as a reminder of the original message that was sent prior, and rejecting the corruptions that the Christians and Jews had ascribed to their scriptures, as well as containing the final part of the message for mankind.
Why Does the Qur’an Say to ‘Ask the Christians and Jews’?
There are several passages in the Qur’an that say to ask the Christians and Jews when in doubt, which may cause confusion for those that haven’t read all the Qur’an to know that the Qur’an speaks of how the Bible is corrupted.
Let’s look at a few of them:
Qur’an 2:97 says: “To thee (Muhammad) We sent the scripture (Qur’an) in truth confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety. Say: Whoever is the enemy of Jibreel — for surely he revealed it to your heart by Allah’s command, verifying that which IS before it and guidance and good news for the believers.”
This verse is NOT ‘confirming’ that the today’s scriptures are ‘correct’, but the original scripture instead. It is simply stating that there was in fact revelations sent prior that confirmed truth (as in the message that was originally revealed before they corrupted it). It is stating that the Qur’an is guarded in safety.
The Qur’an also states in many other verses that it was corrupted, and is confirming the original message, and not what we have in today’s Bibles.
We see that in Qur’an 2:75-79:
“Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion inspite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah [the Old Testament (Torah)], then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it?
And when they (Jews) meet those who believe (Muslims), they say, “We believe”, but when they meet one another in private, they say, “Shall you (Jews) tell them (Muslims) what Allah has revealed to you [Jews, about the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him ,
that which are written in the Old Testament (Torah)] , that they (Muslims) may argue with you (Jews) about it before your Lord?” Have you (Jews) then no understanding? Know they (Jews) not that Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal? And there are among them (Jews) unlettered people, who know not the Book,
but they trust upon false desires and they but guess. So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.”
Another verse is Qur’an 5:46 which says:
“And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him (JESUS) the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.”
It is obvious the Gospel is not the four Gospels found in today’s Bible. It refers to the one given TO JESUS pbuh. The Bible today does not have a “Gospel according to Jesus”. Are any of the gospels in the Bible, narrated or written by Jesus (pbuh) himself? – No.
Looking at the current gospels, you will find that they were not even actually “inspired”, but were “claimed” to be “inspired”. They were not inspired, nor revealed by Jesus (pbuh), nor God for that matter. It is what MEN wrote ‘about it’, and it is not even dictation. It is merley men retelling their own stories and versions of what was given, adding incorrect info, which ironically doesn’t even match from one gospel to the other, bound within the same Bible.
We can also check what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
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 (Prophet Muhammad) 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!” (Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461)
Therefore, when verses of the Qur’an such as 2:97, 5:46-48, 10:94, and 42:15 are referring to what came before, it is not talking about the currently existing scriptures of the Bible, but instead, the originals before corruption was made to them.