In reading the best English interpretations of the Qu’ran I see many
surahs honoring the Tawrat and the Injil, which Christians refer to as
the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example:
- “He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammed) the Scripture with truth, confirming
that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and
the Gospel aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the
Criterion (of right and wrong). Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations
of Allah, theirs will be heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the
Obviously then, since the Scriptures before the Qu’ran were revelations
from God, every muslim should take heed to also be aware of what the Scriptures
of the Bible say and believe them. Those who disbelieve in these revelations,
‘theirs will be heavy doom’, the Qu’ran warns us.
The Qu’ran speaks of itself in this way:
- “And lo! it is a revelation of the Lord of the Worlds, which the True
Spirit hath brought down upon thy heart, that thou mayest be one of the
warners, in plain Arabic speech. And lo, it is in the Scriptures of
the men of old. Is it not a token for them that the doctors of the
Children of Israel know it? (26:192-197).
According to the Qu’ran, the revelation God gave to Muhammed can be found
in the earlier Scriptures, those of the children of Israel. If this is
so, surely the Old Testament should be read by all muslims seeking further
confirmation of the truth of the Qu’ranic revelation. Regrettably however,
it is rare to meet a muslim who has actually read the Tawrat and the Injil.
Perhaps the reason for this is that many muslims feel that the Scriptures
of the Jews and Christians have now been corrupted. There is disagreement
as to when this happened amongst muslims. Some say the Injil (the Gospels)
was taken to heaven with Jesus. Others say it has been abrogated (i.e.
it no longer applies). Others believe that Christians changed it in order
to hide some important truths. But is this what the Qu’ran itself says?
The Qu’ran DOES reprimand Jews and Christians for hiding and not proclaiming
some of what was revealed to them.
- “And with those who say: “Lo! we are Christians”, We made a covenant,
but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore
We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection
when Allah will inform them of their handiwork.
“O People of the Scripture! Now hath Our messenger come unto you, expounding
unto you much of that which ye used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving
much. Now hath come unto you light from Allah and a plain Scripture.” (Surah
Here it says that the Christians forgot some of God’s warnings. It says
that the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) used to hide some
of the things revealed to them. Did they hide a corrupted or an uncorrupted
Scripture? Surely they would not be rebuked for hiding something that was
Should muslims be angry at Christians for proclaiming what God has revealed
to them through the Injil? Should we hide what our Lord has revealed to
Actually, historically it is true that by the time of Muhammed much
of the visible church had forgotten many of the basic teachings of the
Injil, and had become occupied with ornate furnishings, statues, various
forms of idolatry and the quest for more political power. Truly much of
the teaching, purity and power of the first century church life and doctrine
had been forgotten by the 7th century.
In another place, the Qu’ran says of Jews and Christians:
- Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right
reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they
who are the losers. (2:121).
How could they read the text with a right reading if the text itself was
corrupt? How could the Qu’ran confirm a corrupted text in their possession?
On the contrary, the weight of Qu’ranic evidence is in favor of the
proposition that the People of the Scriptures at the time of Muhammed had
the true Scriptures. This is interesting as we have today manuscripts of
the Tawrat and Injil that date to BEFORE the time of Muhammed. Therefore
our Holy Bibles should not be too readily dismissed by muslim seekers after
As one muslim said to me, ‘The Bible is really my book. I’m ashamed
that I’ve never read it.’
Surah 5:43 is interesting.
- How come they unto thee for judgement when they have the Torah, wherein
Allah hath delivered judgement (for them)? Yet even after that they turn
away. Such folks are not believers.
This verse implies that the Jews around Medina should have looked to their
own Torah (law) for judgement, but they did not believe it. Allah would
not have wanted the Jews to turn to a corrupted Torah for judgement. This
and other passages in the Qu’ran imply that the Jews had the right text,
but they were not honest in reading it, speaking it out truly.
According to the Qu’ran, there were some Jews who did corrupt the text
- Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands
and then say, “This is from Allah,” that they may purchase a small gain
therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto
them for that they earn thereby. (2:79).
By the time this Surah was written, the text of the Tawrat had been around
for many centuries, scattered throughout most of the known world in various
Jewish communities. Even if the Jews at Medina had corrupted some parts
of the Tawrat, this by no means implies that Jews all over the world had
conspired simultaneously to corrupt the Scriptures.
Normally jewish scribes took great pains to maintain the accuracy of
their manuscripts as they were copied. If they made one mistake they would
generally start again on a fresh scroll, such was their meticulous devotion
to precise transmission of their revelations from God. Even if some corrupt
Jews did misreport and even corrupt part of the Tawrat for profit, this
hardly implies a general corruption of the text throughout all nations
where the Jews were dispersed.
It is important not to read too much into the Qu’ran that it does not
actually say. There are many passages which imply that the text of the
Scriptures in the time of Muhammed was reliable.
The Qu’ran further assumes the existence of the other Scriptures in
that it appeals to the Arabs who deny the revelation of Muhammed to seek
confirmation for the validity of his message from the People of the Book.
- And lo, it is in the Scriptures of the men of old. Is it not a token
for them that the doctors of the Children of Israel know it? (26:196,197).
In the event of doubt Muhammed himself is to appeal to the Scriptures of
the people of the Book.
- And if thou (Muhammed) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal
unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before
thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not
thou of the waverers (10:95).
In the face of this evidence, it is difficult to see how a muslim faithful
to the Qu’ran and its teachings could really believe that the former Scriptures
had been abrogated, textually corrupted or taken into heaven. If something
like that was the case, how could the Qu’ran enjoin upon doubters and unbelievers,
indeed how could the Qu’ran enjoin upon Muhammed himself, if he were to
waver, to refer to the People of the Book or to the former Scriptures.
Clearly, the People of the Book can measure the validity of the Qu’ran
with true Scriptures only, not with corrupted Scriptures.
This is no small issue. The Qu’ran actually enjoins belief in the former
Scriptures to all true muslims. And we have seen that these Scriptures
were available in the time of Muhammed. We have texts from before that
time in the original hebrew and Greek. Therefore muslims must believe what
the Bible says.
A true muslim, faithful to the teaching of the Qu’ran has nothing to
lose by following the teaching of his own Scriptures in this matter of
believing the former Scriptures.
O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture
which He hath revealed aforetime. Whoseo disbelieveth in Allah
and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day,
he verily hath wandered far astray.
This article is therefore an urgent call to all
muslims to read and believe in the Tawrat and the Injil –
the Holy Bible. Read it and find the truth of the Lord therein.
For further reading: “The Integrity of the Bible according to the Quran
and Hadeeth”, Earnest Hahn MA; STM; Dr Gayasudeen Adelphi MA PhD.
Published by MARKAZ UL BISHARAH Manjeri – 676 121 Kerala, India