AN OPEN CHALLENGE TO MUSLIMS CONCERNING THE BIBLE

The Quran emphatically testifies that one of its main functions is to confirm/bear witness to the textual reliability and authority of the very Scriptures that the Jews and Christians had with them during Muhammad’s time:

O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil your covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me. And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is WITH YOU, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone. And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is). And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (To practise it) yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand? S. 2:40-44 A. Yusuf Ali

And when there comes to them a Book from God, confirming what is WITH THEM, – although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith, – when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognised, they refuse to believe in it but the curse of God is on those without Faith. S. 2:89 Y. Ali

When it is said to them, “Believe in what God Hath sent down,” they say, “We believe in what was sent down to us:” yet they reject all besides, even if it be Truth confirming what is WITH THEM. Say: “Why then have ye slain the prophets of God in times gone by, if ye did indeed believe?” S. 2:91 Y. Ali

And when there came to them an apostle from God, confirming what was WITH THEM, a party of the people of the Book threw away the Book of God behind their backs, as if (it had been something) they did not know! S. 2:101 Y. Ali

O ye People of the Book! believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) WITH YOU, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of God Must be carried out. S. 4:47 Y. Ali

No one could have composed this Quran besides God. This confirms THE EXISTING BOOK (the Bible) and explains itself. There is no doubt that it is from the Lord of the Universe. S. 10:37 Muhammad Sarwar https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/10/st23.htm

Here is another rendering of the foregoing passage:

“… rather (it is) a verification and confirmation to what IS IN ITS TWO HANDS (walakin tasdeeqa allathee bayna yadayhi) and details to Al-Kitab [the word ‘Qur’an’ means some thing which is read by emitting words. When Allah’s Book is subjected to Qir’at, it confirms what is available in the written copies of the scripture already available anywhere in the world, and it also contains details to all the verdicts available in the Book]…” Dr. Kamal Omar https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/10/st48.htm

And:

Definitely, in their incidents is a lesson for men of understanding. (This Al-Kitâb) is not (a collection of) forged and concocted Hadees. Rather it is a confirmation to what IS IN ITS BOTH HANDS (i.e., already there [walakin tasdeeqa allathee bayna yadayhi]) and details to all things and Hudah and Rahmah for the nation who Believe. S. 12:111 Dr. Kamal Omar https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/12/st48.htm

Note the following translation of the above verse:

“… It (the Qur’an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of the Allah’s EXISTING BOOKS [the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allah]…” Hilali-Khan

And here is how a commentary attributed to Muhammad’s first cousin explains this particular reference:

(In their history) in their events, the event of Joseph and his brothers (verily there is a lesson) a sign (for men of understanding) for people endowed with intelligence. (It is no invented story) the Qur’an is not an invented story (but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture)) a confirmation of the Torah, the Gospel and all the others scriptures; it confirms the profession of monotheism and other legal rulings as well as the story of Joseph (and a detailed explanation of everything) a detailed explanation of the lawful and the unlawful, (and a guidance) from error (and a mercy) preventing from chastisement (for folk who believe) in Muhammad and in the Qur’an which was revealed to you from your Lord, and Allah knows the secrets of His Book’. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs https://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=12&tAyahNo=111&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Thus, according to these texts the original, uncorrupt Torah and Gospel existed at the time of Muhammad. More on this point later.

The Islamic scripture further exhorts Muhammad and his followers to believe in and bear witness to all the Books in the hands of the Jews and Christians:

The Messenger believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers; each one believes in God and His angels, and in His Books (wa-kutubihi) and His Messengers; we make no division between any one of His Messengers. They say, ‘We hear, and obey. Our Lord, grant us Thy forgiveness; unto Thee is the homecoming.’ S. 2:285 Arberry

And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).” S. 29:46 Y. Ali

He has ordained for you such religion as He enjoined on Noah, which We have now revealed to you; which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: ‘Observe the Religion and do not divide.’ Hard for the pagans is that to which you call them. God chooses for it whom He will, and guides to it those that repent. Yet they did not divide themselves, through their own wickedness, until knowledge was given them. And but for a word that had already gone forth from your Lord reprieving them for an appointed term, judgement would have surely been passed among them. And those who inherited the Scriptures after them have their grave doubts too. Therefore preach and keep to the straight path as you are commanded. Do not be led by their desires, but say: ‘I believe in all the Scriptures that God has revealed. I am commanded to exercise justice among you. God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our works and you have your works; let there be no argument between us. God will bring us all together, and to Him shall be the final return.’ S. 42:13-15 N. J. Dawood https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/42/st50.htm

This brings me to my next point. Both the Quran and ahadith testify that the true, uncorrupt Torah and Gospel were with the Jews and Christians:

Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him IN the Torah AND THE GOSPEL and the Qur’an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph. S. 9:111 Pickthall

“… A promise binding upon Him in truth; It IS IN the Torah [of Musa (Moses)], THE GOSPEL [of Isa (Jesus)], and the Quran (revealed to the Prophet Muhammad)…” Syed Vickar Ahamed https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/9/st28.htm

“… and their likeness IN the Gospel: as a seed that puts forth its shoot, and strengthens it, and it grows stout and rises straight upon its stalk, pleasing the sowers, that through them He may enrage the unbelievers. God has promised those of them who believe and do deeds of righteousness forgiveness and a mighty wage.” S. 48:29 Arberry

“those who follow the Messenger, ‘the Prophet of the common folk, whom they find written down WITH THEM in the Torah and the Gospel…’” S. 7:157 Arberry

Here is a different version of the above verse:

“Those who follow the Rasul, the Ummi (unlettered) Nabi (whose natural disposition has not been corrupted and original purity is preserved) who has been stated in the Torah and the Gospel IN THEIR HANDS…” Ahmed Hulusi https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/7/st63.htm

Now pay attention to the following narrations:

36 Tribulations

(26) Chapter: The disappearance of the Quran and Knowledge

It was narrated that Ziyad bin Labid said:

“The Prophet mentioned something and said: ‘That will be at the time when knowledge (of Qur’an) disappears.’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, how will knowledge disappear when we read the Qur’an and teach it to our children, until the Day of Resurrection?’ He said: ‘May your mother be bereft of you, Ziyad! I thought that you were the wisest man in Al- Madinah. Is it not the case that these Jews and Christians READ THE TAWRAH AND THE INJIL, but they do not act upon anything of what is in them?’”

Grade: Da’if (Darussalam

Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 4048

In-book reference: Book 36, Hadith 123

English translation: Vol. 5, Book 36, Hadith 4048 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/36/123; capital and underline emphasis ours)

41 Chapters on Knowledge

(5) Chapter: What Has Been Related About Knowledge Leaving

Narrated Jubair bin Nufair:

from Abu Ad-Darda who said: “We were with the Prophet when he raised his sight to the sky, then he said: ‘This is the time when knowledge is to be taken from the people, until what remains of it shall not amount to anything.” So Ziyad bin Labid Al-Ansari said: ‘How will it be taken from us while we recite the Qur’an. By Allah we recite it, and our women and children recite it?’ He said: ‘May you be bereaved of your mother O Ziyad! I used to consider you among the Fuqaha of the people of Al-Madinah. The Tawrah and Injil ARE WITH THE JEWS AND CHRISTIANS, but what do they avail of them?‘” Jubair said: “So I met ‘Ubadah bin As-Samit and said to him: ‘Have you not heard what your brother Abu Ad-Darda said?’ Then I informed him of what Abu Ad-Darda said. He said: ‘Abu Ad-Darda spoke the truth. If you wish, we shall narrated to you about the first knowledge to be removed from the people: It is Khushu’, soon you will enter the congregational Masjid, but not see any man in it with Khushu’.'”

Grade: SAHIH (Darussalam)

Reference: Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2653

In Book Reference: Book 41, Hadith 9

English translation: Vol. 5, Book 39, Hadith 2653 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/41/9; capital and underline emphasis ours)

With the foregoing in view, here is our challenge to all of the Muhammadan polemicists.

Please tell us what the Torah and Gospel that the Jews and Christians had and read from in Muhammad’s day. In fact, I want you to identify the Torah that Muhammad held, praised and even appealed to in order judge the Jews of his day, as the following commentary affirms:

… Malik reported that Nafi` said that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “The Jews came to Allah’s Messenger and mentioned that a man and a woman from them committed adultery. Allah’s Messenger said to them…

<<What do find of the ruling about stoning in the Tawrah>> They said, `We only find that they should be exposed and flogged.’ `Abdullah bin Salam said, `You lie. The Tawrah mentions stoning, so bring the Tawrah.’ They brought the Tawrah and opened it but one of them hid the verse about stoning with his hand and recited what is before and after that verse. `Abdullah bin Salam said to him, `Remove your hand,’ and he removed it, thus uncovering the verse about stoning. So they said, ‘He (`Abdullah bin Salam) has said the truth, ‘O Muhammad! It is the verse about stoning.’ The Messenger of Allah decided that the adulterers be stoned to death and his command was carried out. I saw that man shading the woman from the stones with his body.”… Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and invited him to go to the Quff area. So he went to the house of Al-Midras and they said, ‘O Abu Al-Qasim! A man from us committed adultery with a woman, so decide on their matter.’ They arranged a pillow for the Messenger of Allah and he sat on it and said…

<<Bring the Tawrah to me.>> He was brought the Tawrah and he removed the pillow from under him and placed the Tawrah on it, saying

<<I TRUST YOU and He Who revealed it to you.>>… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 5:41 http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=776&Itemid=60; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Now how could the Quran speak of what the Torah and Gospel contained if these Books did not exist at Muhammad’s time? And why did Muhammad praise a copy of the Torah and bear witness to his belief in its divine origin if the true, uncorrupt Torah no longer existed in pure, pristine form?

The answer is obvious. The Torah and Gospel that existed during Muhammad’s life are the very Books which the Jews and Christians read till this very day, since these are the only Scriptures that these respective communities have always possessed.

There is, therefore, no doubt on textual, historical grounds, that the Quran is confirming the Books of the Old and New Testaments as the uncorrupt revelations of God. This in turn means that the Quran is bearing witness to the Canonical Gospels, which the Christians have always possessed, as being the inscripturation of THE Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, a fact which the following verse confirms:

“… and their likeness IN the Gospel: as a seed that puts forth its shoot, and strengthens it, and it grows stout and rises straight upon its stalk, pleasing the sowers, that through them He may enrage the unbelievers. God has promised those of them who believe and do deeds of righteousness forgiveness and a mighty wage.” S. 48:29 Arberry

Now contrast this with what Mark wrote:

“He said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he does not know how. For the earth bears fruit by itself: first the blade, then the head, then the full seed in the head. But when the grain is ripe, immediately he applies the sickle because the harvest has come.’” Mark 4:26-29

That the Islamic scripture is quoting from Mark is a fact that Muslim scholars readily admit:

The similitude in the Gospel is about how the good seed is sown and grown gradually, even beyond the expectation of the sower: “the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the earth”; MARK, iv 27-28… (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Meaning and Translation, p. 1400, n. 4917; bold and capital emphasis mine)

This parable is found in a sermon of the Prophet Jesus that has been reported in the New Testament, thus:

And he said, So is the kingdom of God as if a man should east [sic] seed into the ground: And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come [This is taken from Mark 4:26-29]. And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it [This comes from Mark 4:30-32].”

The last portion of this sermon is also found in Matthew, 13:31-32. (S. Abul A’la Maududi, Meaning of the Qur’an, Volume V, English rendering by A.A. Kamal, M.A. [Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Limited, 13-E, Shahalam Market, Lahore-8 Pakistan], p. 67, fn. 56; underlined emphasis and comments within brackets ours)

Moreover, the earliest extant writing on the life of Muhammad cites John’s Gospel as the written account of the very Gospel which God gave Jesus to pass on to his followers:

“Among the things which have reached me about what Jesus the Son of Mary stated in the Gospel which he received from God for the followers of the Gospel, in applying a term to describe the apostle of God, is the following. It is extracted FROM WHAT JOHN THE APOSTLE SET DOWN FOR THEM WHEN HE WROTE THE GOSPEL FOR THEM FROM THE TESTAMENT OF JESUS SON OF MARY: ‘He that hateth me hateth the Lord. And if I had not done in their presence works which none other before me did, they had not sin: but from now they are puffed up with pride and think that they will overcome me and also the Lord. But the word that is in the law must be fulfilled, “They hated me without a cause” (i.e. without reason). But when the Comforter has come whom God will send to you from the Lord’s presence, and the spirit of truth which will have gone forth from the Lord’s presence he (shall bear) witness of me and ye also, because ye have been with me from the beginning. I have spoken unto you about this that ye should not be in doubt.’

“The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad; in Greek he is the paraclete. (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], pp. 103-104; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Ishaq quotes John 15:23-16:1 and unhesitatingly identifies this as the Gospel of Christ which John recorded for Jesus’ followers! Notice that Ibn Ishaq never hints at this particular Gospel being corrupted or unreliable, which is rather ironic since this happens to be the same Gospel that Muslim polemicists are constantly attacking, even shamefully citing liberal critics to cast doubt on its historical veracity.

Hence, Islam’s most authoritative sources confirm beyond any reasonable doubt that the Gospel of Jesus is that which has been preserved in the fourfold Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, since these are the only writings that the Christians of Muhammad’s day read and classified as the Gospel.

In light of the above, we have a further challenge for these Muslim polemicists.

Our challenge is quite simple. We want them to kindly educate us whether variant readings such as Mark’s longer ending, or John’s pericope of the woman caught in adultery (cf. John 7:53-8:11), are genuine by examining the manuscript tradition to see if such readings were part of the Gospels that the Christians were reading at Muhammad’s time.

After all, since Muhammad claimed that the Gospels that the Christians of his day possessed are the uncorrupt revelations of God, he basically confirmed whatever those copies of the Gospels contained. And if those copies included these variants, then this means that the Islamic scripture testifies that such readings are genuine revelations which God inspired to be part of the very Gospel that Muhammad affirmed was in the hands of the Christians of his day.

If you disagree that your own prophet believed in the authority and textual veracity of the Books of the Old and New Testaments, then you must provide some kind of textual, historical, archaeological proof that the Torah and the Gospel that the Jews and Christians read, and which Muhammad confirmed, are not the same as what these same communities possess till this very day, which are none other than the sacred writings that make up the Holy Bible.

I eagerly await your HONEST answers.

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “AN OPEN CHALLENGE TO MUSLIMS CONCERNING THE BIBLE

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