Monday, October 25, 2010

The Truth of the Bible

What does the Qur'an say about it?

Muslims and Christians believe in the infallibility of the original biblical manuscripts. But many adherents of Islam think that today's Bible has undergone substantial changes with regard to its early manuscripts and their translated versions. However, the Qur'an does not support this claim unanimously! In fact, it makes it clear that the Bible, known as the Torah and the Injil, was found reliable in Muhammad's time, the sixth century. To prove that the twentieth century Bible is still authentic it only has to be compared with a copy from the sixth century.

The Testimony of the Qur'an about the Reliability of the Bible

"And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that) was before thee..." (10:94)

"Those who have been reading the book from before thee" are Jews and Christians who read the Torah and the Injil (Gospel)! If they were reading corrupted holy books, their minds would have been influenced by many misconceptions. It would therefore make no sense for Allah to command those who are in doubt to ask Jews and Christians who allegedly were misled by changed Scriptures! In order to follow the mandate in this verse it is absolutely necessary to believe that the Scriptures before Islam are uncorrupted!

Several verses in the Qur'an bear witness to the truth that the Torah was unchanged at the time of Jesus.

In Surah 19, Maryam, verse 12, Yahya, who lived at the time of Jesus was told "to take hold of the Book, (the Torah)."

Surah 3, Ali'Imran, verse 48 tells us that Jesus was also taught in the Torah.

Numerous verses, such as Surah 34, Saba, verse 31, Surah 35, Fatir, verse 31, attest to the truth that the Torah was uncorrupted in the time of Muhammad in the sixth century A.D. The Arabic phrase "bain yadaihi" which is used in these references to the Torah literally means "between his hands". Dr. W. Campbell writes in his book The Quran and the Bible in the Light of History and Science (Middle East Resources: 1994), page 37: "...usually it is an idiom for "in his presence", or "in his power", or "in his possession," or "at his disposal..." (see also Surah 34, Saba', verse 12)

One argument made by some against the accuracy of the Bible involves this verse:

"All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful for itself, before the Law (of Moses) was revealed. Say, 'Bring ye the Law and study it, if ye be men of truth.'" (Surah 3, Ali 'Imran, verse 93).

In this specific incident, the Jews are asked to bring their own Law, the Torah. They are commanded by God to study it in order to find the right answer to a particular question.

"But why do they come to thee for decision, when they have (their own) Law before them? -Therein is the (plain) command of Allah; yet even after that, they would turn away. For they are not (really) people of faith" (Surah 5, Al Ma'idah, verse 43).

This shows clearly that even corrupted Jews would never change the written Torah! They were only prepared to conceal the meaning of it. In spite of their wickedness, they did not dare to change the written form of the Torah! That is why, according to the Qur'an, Allah told them to look up their own law in which is the plain command of God!

"Let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel" (Surah 5, Al Ma'idah, verse 47).

This command is given to Muhammad's contemporaries. It is written in the "present" tense, which in the Arabic language can also refer to the future! If the Gospel (Injil) was corrupted at that time, then surely Allah would never have asked the people of the Gospel, the Christians, to believe in it!

"If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: But many of them follow a course that is evil" (Surah 5, Al Ma'idah, verse 68,69).

The fact that there were Jews and Christians "on the right course" in Muhammad's time confirms the Torah and the Gospel to be unchanged in the 6th century A.D.! Certainly, they could never have been described in such an honorable way if they had "stood fast" by corrupted Holy Books!

They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him). (Surah 3. Al-Imran, verse 113).

"Say: 'O People of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord...'" (Surah 5, Al Ma'idah, verse 68).

"No change can there be in the Words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme Felicity." (Surah 10, Yunus, verse 64).

No Muslim should doubt that the Torah and the Injil are words of Allah too! Therefore, it is impossible for man to change them. God has the power to watch over His word and to preserve it.

The passages above attest to the fact that the Bible, consisting of the Torah (Old Testament) and the Injil (New Testament) was unchanged and trustworthy in the time of Muhammad, that is in the 6th century A.D!

Is only part of the Bible trustworthy?

Many Muslims have the mistaken idea that parts of the Bible have been unchanged. Faith is only put in those statements which are supposed to confirm one's own opinions. Some Jews did the same in the days of Muhammad. The verse that was revealed to him on that occasion is still relevant for all those who make the same error:

"...Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life?--And on the Day of Judgement they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do" (Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 85).

Does the Qur'an declare that the Bible has changed?

First of all, it needs to be noted that the Qur'an nowhere explicitly states the Injil (Gospel) was changed!

But what about the Torah? History shows that whenever God revealed Himself, most of His people fell into disobedience after a period of time. So it was with the Jews. In spite of this sad fact, there were always, up to this very day, good Jews who remain true to the book God gave them:

"Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth" (Surah 7, Al A'raf, verse 159).

God's word is truth and good Jews surely would never have changed the meaning or even the words of their Holy Book! Let us now examine what bad Jews did to the Torah:

"There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (as they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, 'That is from Allah,' but it is not from Allah: It is they who tell a lie against Allah and (well) they know it!" (Surah 3, Ali 'Imran, verse 78).

In the verse quoted above, the Jews are reading parts of their Book wrongly, while the written words remain unchanged.

"But because of their breach of their Covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard: They change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the Message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them- barring a few- ever bent on (new) deceits: But forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): For God loveth those who are kind" (Surah 5, Al Ma'idah, verse 13).

The phrase, "They change the words from their (right) places" could mean, that the true meaning was distorted, not the text itself, (see also Surah 5, Ma'idah, verse 44) 

"Of the Jews there are those who distort the words out of context and say (in place of the right words): ‘we hear and do not obey . . . .” (Qur’an 4:46)

"How do you expect them to put their faith in you when you know that some among them heard the word of Allah and having understood perverted it knowingly." (Qur’an 02:75)

They heard the word of Allah and understood it but perverted it knowingly. They do not changed what Allah has said but they hear and do not obey; that means they do not changed the Bible but simply they do not obey  whats written in it. 

-The unchanged Torah was with the Jews of Muhammad's (pbuh) time. (Surah 5, Al Ma 'idah, verses 43,68)

-It was referred to by the Prophet in matters of dispute. (Surah 3, Ali 'Imran, verse 93)

In Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verses 75-79 (in verse 75, Jews are listening to the Qur'an being recited); Surah 4, Al Nisa, verse 46;, the Jews are accused of changing, writing down wrongly, what Muhammad said. After checking all these references it becomes clear that the Torah remained unchanged!

Here few verses from Qur’an CONFIRMING the Torah and the Gospel.

2:41. And believe in that which I reveal, CONFIRMING that which ye possess already (of the Scripture), and be not first to disbelieve therein, and part not with My revelations for a trifling price, and keep your duty unto Me.

2:91. And when it is said unto them. Believe in that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We believe in that which was revealed unto us. And they disbelieve in that which cometh after it, though it is the truth CONFIRMING that which they possess. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Why then slew ye the Prophets of Allah aforetime, if ye are (indeed) believers?

2:101. And when there cometh unto them a messenger from Allah, CONFIRMING that which they possess, a party of those who have received the Scripture fling the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they knew not,

3:3. He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, CONFIRMING that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel

5:48. To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, CONFIRMING the scripture that came before it, and GUARDING it in safety: …

6:92. And this is a blessed Scripture which We have revealed, CONFIRMING that which (was revealed) before it, that thou mayst warn the Mother of Villages and those around her. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe herein, and they are careful of their worship.

10:37. And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be invented in despite of Allah; but it is a CONFIRMATION of that which was before it and an exposition of that which is decreed for mankind. Therein is no doubt from the Lord of the Worlds.

12:111. In their history verily there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no invented story but a CONFIRMATION of the existing (Scripture) and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe.

16:102. Say: The holy Spirit hath revealed it from thy Lord with truth, that it may CONFIRM (the faith of) those who believe, and as guidance and good tidings for those who have surrendered (to Allah).

35:31. As for that which We inspire in thee of the Scripture, it is the Truth CONFIRMING that which was (revealed) before it. Lo! Allah is indeed Observer, Seer of his slaves.

46:12. When before it there was the Scripture of Moses, an example and a mercy; and this is a CONFIRMING Scripture in the Arabic language, that it may warn those who do wrong and bring good tidings for the righteous.

In every text I quote we find this word “CONFIRMING” why Allah would insist so much on this, that Quran confirming what was revealed before it if Allah knew and He is the all knowing one, if Allah knew that the Bible falsified or was to be falsified will He have said that over and over and over again? 

Muslims think that today's Bible has undergone substantial changes with regard to its early manuscripts and their translated versions. However, All I can say is:

Al-Saffat 37:157 then bring ye your book if ye be truthful!

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