Meherally and the Taurat Revisited

In one of his responses to our article, Meherally makes the following erroneous claim:

The Book of Moses
In the Qur'an (5: 44), it is recorded that Allah (S.W.T.) had Himself Revealed / Bestowed "The Taurat" on Moses (peace be upon him), and therein was the Guidance and the Light. By its Standard the Jews were judged by their Prophets.

It is absolutely incorrect or rather a folly to claim that "The Taurat" refers to the collection of the 39 Books of "The Old Testament". It is an indisputable fact that this entire collection of 39 Books was not Revealed to Prophet Moses. Similarly, it is ALSO incorrect to assert that the First Five Books of the Old Testaments called "The Pentateuch" (lit. "The Five Books"), which are often erroneously declared as the "Five Books of Moses", were Revealed to Prophet Moses. (Source)

Meherally erroneously assumes that Taurat does not refer to the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament.

We have already demonstrated the problem with Meherally’s claim that Taurat refers to Moses’ revelation. He has no way of showing this from the Quran, since it utterly fails to tell us what exactly the Taurat is. As such Meherally is dependent upon the Holy Bible for his claim that the Taurat refers to the revelation given to Moses.

Furthermore, when we do turn to the Holy Bible we discover that even though Taurat/Torah in its strictest sense refers to the revelation given to Moses, it is also used in a broader sense to refer to either the entire Old Testament or to specific OT books. Note the following NT examples:

"Jesus answered them ‘Has it not been written in your LAW, I said you are gods?’" John 10:34

Jesus includes Psalm 82:6 as part of the Law (Taurat).

"The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the LAW that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, "The Son of Man must be lifted up?" Who is this Son of Man?’" John 12:34

There is no reference in Moses which states that the Christ remains forever. The only places one finds such a statement are Psalm 110:1,4, Isaiah 9:6-7 and Daniel 7:13-14. The Jews were evidently using "Law" (Taurat) to refer to the OT in general.

"But this is to fulfill what is written in their LAW: ‘They hated me without reason.’" John 15:25

Jesus calls Psalms 35:19 and 69:4 the Law.

In Romans 3:10-19 Paul quotes from Psalms 5:9, 10:7, 36:1, 14:1-3, 51:4, 53:1-3, 59:7-8, 140:3 and Ecclesiastes 7:20, calling it "the Law".

Our final example is:

"In the LAW it is written: ‘Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,’ says the Lord." 1 Corinthians 14:21

Paul calls Isaiah 28:11-12 the Law. This should sufficiently demonstrate that the term Law/Taurat was and is used in a broader sense to refer to the entire Hebrew Bible.

Secondly, according to certain Muslim exegetes, Muhammad’s companions called the scriptures of the Jews and Christians ‘the Taurat’. Al-Bukhari records:

Narrated Ata bin Yasar:

I met Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As and asked him, "Tell me about the description of Allah's Apostle which is mentioned IN THE TORAH (i.e. OLD TESTAMENT)." He replied, "Yes. By Allah, he is described IN TORAH with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Quran as follows:

‘O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness (for Allah's True religion) And a giver of glad tidings (to the faithful believers), And a warner (to the unbelievers) And guardian of the illiterates. You are My slave and My messenger (i.e. Apostle). I have named you "Al-Mutawakkil" (who depends upon Allah). You are neither discourteous, harsh nor a noise-maker in the markets. And you do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness. Allah will not let him (the Prophet) die till he makes straight the crooked people by making them say: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah," with which will be opened blind eyes and deaf ears and enveloped hearts.’" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 335;

Notice that the English translator of Al-Bukhari inserts the words Old Testament within parentheses. This shows that this translator had no problem admitting that Taurat could be used to refer to the entire OT revelation. Furthermore, the only citation which comes close to matching the above is Isaiah 42:1-3, 6-7. There isn’t a single place in the first five books of Moses containing such a description. This clearly demonstrates that the Muslims and the Jews of Muhammad’s time (in this Hadith at least) had no problem applying "Torah" to the other books of the Hebrew Bible.

Muslim exegete Ibn Kathir provides additional support for this view. In his commentary on a similar hadith, he writes:

"... Al-Bukhari recorded it from 'Abdullah bin 'Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari [up to the word] forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of 'Abdullah bin 'Amr then he said: ‘It was COMMON in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures AS THE TAWRAH, as some Hadiths concur. Allah knows best.’" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 4, (Surat Al-Ar'af to the end of Surah Yunus), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: May 2000], p. 179; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir says elsewhere:

And it should be recognized that many of our forebears used to apply the word "Torah" to the books of the peoples of the scriptures. These are in their view more comprehensive than those God revealed to Moses. This fact is attested from the hadith. (Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], Volume I, p. 237)

The following Muslim translator also agrees that Taurat can refer to the Old Testament as a whole:

We had Jesus, the son of Mary, follow in their footsteps in order to confirm what had come before him from the Torah and We gave him the Gospel which contains guidance and Light, to confirm what he already had in the Old Testament (al-Taurat), and as guidance and a lesson for those who do their duty. S. 5:46 T.B. Irving (

God has bought up their persons and their property from believers, so they may have the Garden [instead). They fight for God's sake; they kill and are killed as a rightful promise from Him [to be found] in the Old Testament (al-Taurat), the Gospel and the Quran. Who is more Trustworthy with His word than God?… S. 9:111 Irving (

So Jesus the son of Mary said: "Children of Israel, I am God's messenger to you, confirming whatever came before me in the Testament (al-Taurat) and announcing a messenger coming after me whose name will be Ahmad." Yet when he brought them explanations, they said: "This is sheer magic!" S. 61:6 Irving (

Those who are laden with the Old Testament (al-Taurat), yet do not carry it out may be compared to a donkey who is carrying scriptures. S. 62:5 Irving (

In his comments on S. 5:44, Rashad Khalifa wrote:

*5:44 The Torah is a collection OF ALL THE SCRIPTURES revealed through all the prophets of Israel prior to Jesus Christ, i.e., TODAY’S OLD TESTAMENT. Nowhere in the Quran do we find that the Torah was given to Moses. (Source:

In light of the foregoing, it is quite evident that Meherally’s assertion finds little support from his own Muslim "brothers".

Sam Shamoun

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