Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Quran confirms – The Two Testaments of the Holy Bible Are the Torah and Injil!

Exposing the false propaganda and misinformation of a Muslim Dawagandist Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

Here begins our thorough refutation of Jalal Abualrub’s reply to a Muslim in regard to what the Quran teaches concerning the textual veracity and preservation of the inspired Scriptures of God (*). We recommend that the readers carefully go through Jalal’s answer before reading our reply since our response will not follow the exact order of his arguments.

Jalal claims that the following reference proves that the original copies of the Torah and the Gospel have been corrupted:

The Quran clearly stated that the original copies of the Torah and the Injeel have been corrupted; {Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, “This is from Allâh,” to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby} [2:79].

There are a few problems with Jalal’s assertions. In the first place, Jalal tries to prove in this very same article that the Torah is not the five books of Moses or the Old Testament, and that the Gospel is not the New Testament. This means that the Torah and Gospel must refer to something other than what we possess today, and that these original documents simply vanished without a trace!

This leads us to the second problem with Jalal’s assertions. Jalal’s statements presuppose that he knows for certain and has firsthand knowledge of the contents of the original Torah and the Gospel; otherwise he couldn’t say that the original copies have been corrupted since he would have no possible way of knowing this. Yet he has never seen the originals, which means that he has no grounds to argue that the copies have been corrupted and his statements are therefore meaningless.

The third problem with Jalal’s argument is that he grossly distorts the context of Q. 2:79 in order to deceive the questioner into believing that this passage is referring to the Christians corrupting their holy Scriptures. However, according to the Muslim commentators Q. 2:75-79 is speaking of the Jews, not Christians:

There was little Hope that the Jews Who lived during the Time of the Prophet could have believed

Allah said…

<Do you covet> O believers…

<That they will believe in your religion> meaning, that these people would obey you. They are the deviant sect of Jews whose fathers witnessed the clear signs but their hearts became hard afterwards. Allah said next…

<In spite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah (the Tawrah), then they used to change it> meaning, distort its meaning…

<after they understood it>. They understood well, yet they used to defy the truth…

<knowingly>, being fully aware of their erroneous interpretations and corruption. This statement is similar to Allah's statement…

<So, because of their violation of their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their (right) places> (5:13).

Qatadah commented that Allah's statement …

<Then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it> "They are the Jews who used to hear Allah's Words and then alter them after they understood and comprehended them."' Also, Mujahid said, "Those who used to alter it and conceal its truths; they were their scholars." Also, Ibn Wahb said that Ibn Zayd commented…

<used to hear the Word of Allah (the Tawrah), then they used to change it> "They altered the Tawrah that Allah revealed to them, making it say that the lawful is unlawful and the prohibited is allowed, and that what is right is false and that what is false is right. So when a person seeking the truth comes to them with a bribe, they judge his case by the Book of Allah, but when a person comes to them seeking to do evil with a bribe, they take out the other (distorted) book, in which it is stated that he is in the right. When someone comes to them who is not seeking what is right, nor offering them bribe, then they enjoin righteousness on him. This is why Allah said to them …

<Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture (the Tawrah)! Have you then no sense> (2:44)" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 2:75-76; underline emphasis ours)


Woe unto Those Criminals among the Jews

Allah said…

<Then Waylun (woe) to those who write the book with their own hands and then say, "This is from Allah," to purchase with it a little price!>.

This is another category of people among the Jews who called to misguidance with falsehood and lies about Allah, thriving on unjustly amassing people's property. `Waylun (woe)' carries meanings of destruction and perishing, and it is a well-known word in the Arabic language. Az-Zuhri said that `Ubadydullah bin `Abdullah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "O Muslims! How could you ask the People of the Book about anything, while the Book of Allah (Qur'an) that He revealed to His Prophet is the most recent Book from Him and you still read it fresh and young Allah told you that the People of the Book altered the Book of Allah, changed it and wrote another book with their own hands. They then said, `This book is from Allah,' so that they acquired a small profit by it. Hasn't the knowledge that came to you prohibited you from asking them By Allah! We have not seen any of them asking you about what was revealed to you." This Hadith was also collected by Al-Bukhari. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "The little amount here means this life and all that it contains."

Allah's statement…

<Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby> means, “Woe to them because of what they have written with their own hands, the lies, falsehood and alterations. Woe to them because of the property that they unjustly acquired.” Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas commented…

<Woe to them>, "Means the torment will be theirs because of the lies that they wrote with their own hands…

<And woe to them for that they earn thereby>, which they unjustly acquired from people, be they commoners or otherwise." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 2:79; underline emphasis ours)

Thus, the only point that Jalal can derive from Q. 2:79 is that the Jews corrupted their own Scriptures, not that the Gospel or the New Testament writings have been changed. And this would only be applicable to their own copies of the Hebrew Bible, not to the copies in the possession of all the Christians who were scattered everywhere.

More importantly, the text itself says that it was only a group of the Jews who wrote a book with their own hands, not that all of them did so:

Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion in spite of the fact that A PARTY of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah [the Taurat (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 Taurat (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. Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, "This is from Allah," to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby. S. 2:75-79 Hilali-Khan

Hence, even if we were to assume that this is addressing textual corruption this would only be in respect to a group among the Jews who changed the text of God’s written Word. It nowhere says or even remotely implies that all the Jews everywhere were guilty of corrupting the Biblical manuscripts.

After all, during the time of Muhammad there were plenty of copies of the Hebrew Bible in various languages which were in circulation among both the Jews and the Christians all over the then known world. It would literally have required a miracle for the Jews to be able to corrupt all these copies and versions of these Scriptures seeing that they were in the hands of various groups at different locations, many of whom were not at all sympathetic to them.

In fact, the Quran itself testifies that there was a group among the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians) who recited the verses of God correctly, thereby implying that they did not change the text of their inspired Scriptures:

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. S. 2:121 Pickthall

Notice how the Muslim expositors explained Q. 2:121:

Allah then mentioned the believers from among the people of the Book: ‘Abdullah Ibn Salam and his companions, Bahirah the Monk and the Negus and his followers, saying: (Those unto whom We have given the Scripture) given knowledge of the Scripture, i.e. the Torah, (who read it with the right reading) describe it AS IT IS AND DO NOT ALTER IT: expositing what is lawful and unlawful, its commands and prohibitions to whomever asks them, and they further act according to what is clear and unambiguous and believe in that which is ambiguous therein, (those believe in it) in Muhammad and the Qur’an. (And who disbelieveth in it) in Muhammad and the Qur’an, (those are they who are losers) who are duped in that they loose both this world and the world to come. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)


(121) Wahidi relates on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, "This verse was sent down concerning the people of the ship who came [to Medina] with Ja'far ibn Abi Talib from Abyssinia. They were forty men, thirty-two from Abyssinia and eight of the monks of Syria. The monk Bahirah was said to be among them." In another tradition related on the authority of al-Dahhak, we are told, "The verse was sent down concerning those among the Jews who accepted faith [such as 'Abdallah ibn Sallam and others]." Still another tradition related on the authority of Qatadah and 'Ikrimah states, "It was sent down concerning the Companions of Muhammad" (Wahidi, p. 37; see also Ibn Kathir, I, pp. 286-287; Qurtubi, II, p. 95; Tabarsi, I, p. 448; and Shawkani, I, pp. 135-136)

Zamakhshari interprets the verse as follows: "'They to whom we have given the scriptures' are the faithful among the people of the Book who recite the scriptures in their true recitation, neither altering nor changing what they contain of the description of the Apostle of God [sic]. Those who have faith in their scriptures are contrasted with 'whosoever rejects faith in it [the scriptures],' that is, alterers. 'These shall be the losers' because they exchange guidance for error." (Zamakhshari, I, p. 308) (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Qur'an and its Interpreters [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany], Volume 1, pp. 149-150; bold emphasis ours)

How could the Jews and Christians recite their Scriptures correctly if the Biblical books were so corrupted to the extent that they no longer reflected the correct reading of the original revelations given through the prophets and apostles? And what’s the point in praising them for reciting corrupt Scriptures? What sense does that make?

The Quran further expressly testifies that there were many among the Jews and Christians who would not and did not corrupt their Holy Writings:

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). They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency, and vie one with another in good works. These are of the righteous. S. 3:113-114 Pickthall

And there are, certainly, among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. They do not sell the Verses of Allah for a little price, for them is a reward with their Lord. Surely, Allah is Swift in account. S. 3:199 Pickthall

Of the people of Moses there is a nation who guide by the truth, and by it act with justice… And there succeeded after them a succession who inherited the Book, taking the chance goods of this lower world, and saying, 'It will be forgiven us'; and if chance goods the like of them come to them, they will take them. Has not the compact of the Book been taken touching them, that they should say concerning God nothing but the truth? And they have studied what is in it; and the Last Abode is better for those who are godfearing. Do you not understand? And those who hold fast to the Book, and perform the prayer -- surely We leave not to waste the wage of those who set aright. S. 7:159, 169-170 Arberry

All of these passages conclusively prove that the author of the Quran believed that there were pious Jews and Christians who preserved their inspired Scriptures and would not allow their sacred Books to be tampered with.

More importantly, all of this is based on the misleading assumption that Q. 2:79 is suggesting that certain Jews corrupted their copies of the Holy Bible. However, that is not what the verse actually says:

Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: "This is from God," to traffic with it for miserable price! - Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby. Y. Ali

Pay attention to the fact that that the citation doesn’t claim that these particular Jews at the time of Muhammad were corrupting the Scriptures but that they were writing a book that they tried to pass off as inspired revelation. In other words, the reference does not state that these specific Jews changed the text of the inspired Scriptures which God gave them but wrote something with the intention of convincing others that it was God’s Word. Thus, the issue here is not one of tampering with the text of the Holy Bible but of adding to the Scriptures something which does not belong there.

This leads me to my final point. The immediate context says that it was the ummiyyun among them that were writing a book which they passed off as the Word of God. This specific term has been variously translated as “illiterate”, “unlettered”, “common folk”, “gentiles”. Here are two examples of how this term is translated:

And some there are of them that are common folk not knowing the Book, but only fancies and mere conjectures. S. 2:78 Arberry

Among them are gentiles who do not know the scripture, except through hearsay, then assume that they know it. Rashad Khalifa

By carefully examining the way the Quran employs this particular word it is evident that it is referring to individuals who had not been given inspired Scriptures, in contrast to the Jews and Christians. The author(s) of the Quran used this phrase to refer to groups or peoples who hadn’t received a revealed book and were therefore ignorant of what the sacred Books contained and said. By extension this would also refer to anyone who had no firsthand knowledge of the Holy Bible.

In light of this proposed understanding Q. 2:78-79 would then be saying that there were either some Gentile converts to Judaism or even Jews who didn’t know the Scriptures except what they heard orally – since they hadn’t read it and were therefore ignorant of their contents – who decided to write a book which they claimed to be from God in order to profit from it.

Muslim turned atheist Ibn Warraq sources renowned Muslim expositor and historian Al-Tabari’s quotation of Ibn Abbas’ explanation which supports this interpretation:

“Bell thinks 'ummiyyun means belonging to the 'ummah or community, while Blachere translates it as ‘Gentiles,’ in the sense of ‘pagan.’ For the French scholar it is clear that the word 'ummi designates pagan Arabs, who, unlike the Jews and Christians, had not received any revelation and were thus living in ignorance of the divine law. Tabari does indeed quote some traditions that give this sense to the word ummi: according to Ibn 'Abbas, 'ummiyyun (refers to) some people who did not believe in a prophet sent by God, nor in a scripture revealed by God; and they wrote a scripture with their own hands. Then they said to the ignorant, common people: "This is from God."’ However, Tabari himself does not accept this interpretation, instead gives a totally unconvincing and improbable account of the derivation of the word: ‘I am of the opinion that an illiterate person is called ummi, relating him in his lack of ability to write to his mother (umm), because writing was something which men, and not women, did, so that a man who could not write and form letters was linked to his mother, and not to his father, in his ignorance of writing.’" (Warraq, "Introduction," What the Koran Really Says, Language, Text & Commentary [Prometheus Books, 2002; ISBN: 157392945X], p. 44; underline emphasis ours)

Thus, Q. 2:78-79 cannot be referring to certain persons corrupting the Holy Bible since it expressly says that these individuals didn’t know the Scriptures:

Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. They but guess. 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. Pickthall

How, then, could they change the text of a Scripture that they had no knowledge of except from hearsay? They obviously couldn’t.

For more on the proper interpretation and context of Q. 2:79 we recommend the following article, Does Q. 2:77-79 speak of Bible Corruption?

Jalal selectively quotes the words of Ibn Abbas to prove that the Bible has been corrupted:

Abdullah Ibn Abbas affirmed this fact in a Hadeeth collected by Imam Bukhari. Abdullah Ibn `Abbas said, “O, Muslims? How do you ask the people of the Scriptures, though your Book (Qur'an) which was revealed to His Prophet is the most recent information from Allah and you recite it, the Book that has not been distorted? Allah has revealed to you that the people of the scriptures have changed with their own hands what was revealed to them and they have said (as regards their changed Scriptures): This is from Allah, in order to get some worldly benefit thereby.” Ibn `Abbas added, "Isn't the knowledge revealed to you sufficient to prevent you from asking them? By Allah I have never seen any one of them asking (Muslims) about what has been revealed to you.”

Jalal erroneously assumes that Ibn Abbas meant that the Jews and Christians changed the text of their Scriptures, as opposed to corrupting the meaning of their texts by faulty interpretation which the Jews did orally and/or through the production of uninspired writings such as the Talmud which they tried to pass off as revelation.

More to the point, Jalal’s understanding of Ibn Abbas’s statements directly contradict what he is reported to have said concerning the incorruptibility of the Books of God as recorded by al-Bukhari:

LV. The words of Allah Almighty, "It is indeed a Glorious Qur'an preserved on a Tablet." (85:21-22)

"By the Mount and an Inscribed Book" (52:1-2): Qatada said that "mastur" means "written". "Yasturun" (68:1) means "they inscribe", and the Umm al-Kitab (43:4) is the whole of the Qur'an and its source. [He said that] "ma talfizu" (50:18) means: "He does not say anything but that it is written against him." Ibn 'Abbas said, "Both good and evil are recorded," and "yuharrufuna" (4:46) means "they remove". NO ONE REMOVES THE WORDS OF ONE OF THE BOOKS OF ALLAH ALMIGHTY, BUT THEY TWIST THEM, INTERPRETING THEM IMPROPERLY. "Dirasatihim: (6:156) means "their recitation" "Wa'iyya" (69:12) is preserving, "ta'iha" (69:12) means to "preserve it". "This Qur'an has been revealed to me by inspiration that I may warn you," meaning the people of Makka, "and all whom it reaches"(6:19) meaning this Qur'an, so he is its warner. (Aisha Bewley, Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, 100. Book of Tawhid (the belief that Allah is One in His Essence, Attributes and Actions); capital and underline emphasis ours)

Al-Bukhari wasn't the only Muslim scholar that quoted this narrative from Ibn Abbas. There were others such as Ibn Atiyya:

… The Andalusian interpreter Ibn ‘Atiyya stated that Tahrif means “to change or transfer something from its original character to another” and that Ibn ‘Abbas held that the Jewish (and possibly the Christian, by implication) corruption and change was to be found in exegesis, the letter of the Torah surviving intact, although a second school of scholars maintained that the letters themselves had been changed on the basis that although the Jews had been asked to safeguard the Torah, unlike the Qur’an it was not safeguarded by God Himself. (Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, The Qur’an and the Gospels – A Comparative Study [Al-Falah Foundation for Translation, Publication & Distribution, Third edition, 2005], pp. 145-146; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Even one of Jalal’s premiere Salafi scholars and student of the so-called renowned Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, namely Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, mentioned this very same narration in Ighathat Al Lahfan, Volume 2, p. 351:

On the other side, another party of hadith and fiqh scholars said: these changes took place during its interpretation and not during the process of its revelation. This is the view of Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishmael Al-Bukhari who said in his hadith collection:

"No one can corrupt the text by removing any of Allah’s words from his Books, but they corrupted it by misinterpreting it."

Al-Razi also agrees with this opinion. In his commentary he said:

There is a difference of opinions regarding this matter among some of the respectable scholars. Some of these scholars said: the manuscript copies of the Torah were distributed everywhere and no one knows the exact number of these copies except Allah. It is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible. And when Allah told his messenger (Muhammad) to ask the Jews to bring their Torah and read it concerning the stoning command they were not able to change this command from their copies, that is why they covered up the stoning verse while they were reading it to the prophet. It was then when Abdullah Ibn Salam requested that they remove their hand so that the verse became clear. If they have changed or altered the Torah then this verse would have been one of the important verses to be altered by the Jews.

Also, whenever the prophet would ask them (the Jews) concerning the prophecies about him in the Torah they were not able to remove them either, and they would respond by stating that they are not about him and they are still waiting for the prophet in their Torah.

Abu Dawood narrated in his collection that Ibn Umar said:

A group of Jewish people invited the messenger of Allah to a house. When he came, they asked him: O Abu Qassim, one of our men committed adultery with a woman, what is your judgment against him? So they placed a pillow and asked the messenger of Allah to set on it. Then the messenger of Allah proceeded to say: bring me the Torah. When they brought it, he removed the pillow from underneath him and placed the Torah on it and said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you, then said: bring me one of you who have the most knowledge. So they brought him a young man who told him the story of the stoning.

The scholars said: if the Torah was corrupted he would not have placed it on the pillow and he would not have said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you. This group of scholars also said: Allah said:

"And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing."

And the Torah is Allah’s word. (Bold and underline emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir also quoted this tradition:

Mujahid, Ash-Sha'bi, Al-Hassan, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi' bin Anas said that,

<who distort the Book with their tongues.>

means, "They alter (Allah's Words)."

Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn 'Abbas said that the Ayah means they alter and add although none among Allah's creation can remove the words of Allah from His books, they alter and distort their apparent meanings.

Wahb bin Munabbih said, "The Tawrah and Injil remain as Allah revealed them, and no letter in them was removed. However, the people misguide others by addition and false interpretation, relying on books that they wrote themselves." Then,

<they say: "This is from Allah," but it is not from Allah;>

As for Allah's books, they are still preserved and cannot be changed." Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement. However, if Wahb meant the books that are currently in the hands of the People of the Book, then we should state that there is no doubt that they altered, distorted, added to and deleted from them. For instance, the Arabic versions of these books contain tremendous error, many additions and deletions and enormous misinterpretation. Those who rendered these translations have incorrect comprehension in most, rather, all of these translations. If Wahb meant the Books of Allah that He has with Him, then indeed, these Books are preserved and were never changed. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir – Abridged, Volume 2, Parts 3, 4 & 5, Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, verse 147 [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: March 2000], p. 196; source; bold emphasis ours)

Even though Ibn Kathir disagrees with both Wahb and Ibn Abbas he does admit that these Muslims believed that the previous Scriptures remained fully intact since no one could change the Words of God.

And yet what is the basis for Ibn Kathir’s disagreement? His basis is that Arabic versions of the Holy Bible showed textual tampering in the form of additions and deletions! This is equivalent to someone today claiming that the Quran has been corrupted due to the fact that there are additions and omissions among the various English versions (*) or that a specific English translation made by Rashad Khalifa omits Q. 9:128-129 (*)!

Ibn Kathir should have examined the original languages of the Holy Scriptures to see if the text remained intact. If this were to be carried out then a person will discover that the Holy Bible, much like the Quran (*), has come down to us with variant readings. However, these variants do not prove that wholesale corruption to the Biblical text has taken place since the great bulk of these readings are inconsequential and do not affect the meaning of the text. To claim otherwise would actually imply that not only the Holy Bible, but the Quran and all the other hand copied books have been completely corrupted seeing that all of these writings have come down to us with major textual variations.

The fact is that, after carefully examining the variant readings, textual scholars have been able to reconstruct roughly 99% of the original text of the Biblical text and it is therefore purely wishful thinking on the part of Muslims to claim that the original reading of the Biblical Books have been lost or corrupted beyond restoration.

Be that as it may, the testimony of Muslim scholars such as Ibn Abbas, Wahb bin Munabbih, al-Bukhari, and ar-Razi prove that the primary sources of Islam do not teach that the original Torah and the Gospel have been corrupted. Rather, the statements of these leading Muslim authorities indicate that both the Quran and the so-called authentic traditions clearly testify that the texts of God’s Books cannot be changed and that the Torah and the Gospel remain uncorrupt. Their comments further expose Jalal’s deliberate perversion of what the Islamic data actually teaches.

For more on Ibn Abbas’ views concerning the Holy Bible please consult the following articles and rebuttals:

Jalal denies that his prophet struggled with serious doubts concerning whether the “revelations” which came to him were from God:

As for Ayah 10:94, {So, if you (O Muhammad) are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, [i.e. that your name is written in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], then ask those who are reading the Book [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it)}, just read the text and tell me where it says that Prophet Muhammad had doubts about the Quran. Even in English, ‘If’, does not mean, ‘have’. The Ayah says ‘if’, the Christians cannot hear this word. They also did not hear that the Prophet was reported to have said, “I will neither ask nor doubt.

The first problem with Jalal’s blatant distortion of his own false scripture is that the very existence of this verse is evidence that there was doubt. If there had been no doubt at all, why would such a verse even be revealed, a verse without any application? The passage is proof that there was doubt in Muhammad’s mind and the citation therefore came to assuage those fears.

Second, Jalal erroneously assumes that the word “if” cannot convey the idea that Muhammad had doubts. To show why his explanation is nothing more than a desperate attempt to avoid admitting the obvious here is a text from the Quran where the word "if" is used:

Then they found one of Our servants unto whom We had given mercy from Us, and We had taught him knowledge proceeding from Us. Moses said to him, 'Shall I follow thee so that thou teachest me, of what thou hast been taught, right judgment?' Said he, 'Assuredly thou wilt not be able to bear with me patiently. And how shouldst thou bear patiently that thou hast never encompassed in thy knowledge?' He said, 'Yet thou shalt find me, if God will, patient; and I shall not rebel against thee in anything.' Said he, 'Then IF thou followest me, question me not on anything until I myself introduce the mention of it to thee.' S. 18:65-70

It is obvious that Moses’ guide didn’t doubt that the prophet wanted to accompany him since the latter already made his intention known that this is what he was seeking to do. This clearly shows that the "if" statement should be translated as since, i.e. "since you want to follow me then do not question me."

In a similar manner, we shouldn’t take the "if" in Q. 10:94 as a denial that Muhammad had doubts, especially when he is expressly told not to be among the doubters. We should rather see the "if" as an affirmation that Muhammad did indeed have fears and doubts. The text should therefore be translated in the following manner:

And SINCE you are in doubt concerning that which we revealed unto you, then question those who read the Scripture before you. Verily the Truth has come to you from your Lord. SO DO NOT BE OF THOSE WHO DOUBT.

Lest we be accused of grossly distorting or misunderstanding the passage we will let the following Islamic scholars substantiate our case:

4) Among his people, the Prophet was famously known for his truthfulness during the first forty years of his life; it logically follows, therefore, that he was also truthful with himself. So in studying the reality of revelation and what was happening to him he for sure realized that there was no need to doubt what he was experiencing was real. As for the INITIAL FEARS he had, the following Verse REFUTES THEM:

"So if you (O Muhammad) are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, [i.e. that your name is written in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] then ask those who are reading the Book [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it)." (Qur’an 10: 94)

It has been related that AFTER this Verse was revealed, the Prophet said, "I do not doubt, and I do not ask."

[1] Related by At-Tabaraanee (17906, 17908), with his chain from Qatadah. Also, refer to Tafseer Al-Qurtubi (8/340). (Dr. ‘Ali Muhammad As-Sallabee, The Noble Life of the Prophet, translated by Faisal Shafeeq [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition: October 2005], Volume 1, p. 140; bold and capital emphasis ours)


4) The Prophet’s honesty and integrity over a period of forty years and the reputation which he enjoyed among his people as a result of this required him to be truthful, first and foremost, with himself. Hence, he must, through his study of the revelatory event which he had experienced, have overcome any doubts which had come into his mind. The following verse seems to have been revealed in response to his initial self-examination in relation to the revelation he had received: “So if you are in doubt (O Muhammad), about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters” [Jonah 10:94]. It is related that following the descent of this verse, the Prophet said, “I do not doubt, nor do I question.” (Dr. M. Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, The Jurisprudence of the Prophetic Biography & A Brief History of the Orthodox Caliphate, translated by Nancy Roberts, revised by Anas al-Rifa’i [Dar al Fikr in Damascus, Reprinted 2006], p. 147; bold and underline emphasis ours)

It is apparent that, according to Jalal, these Muslim scholars also couldn’t hear even though one of them happens to belong to the same deviant group that Jalal belongs to, specifically the Salafi sect!

Aside from Jalal’s erroneous assertion, what makes the comments of these particular Muslim authors rather interesting is that not only do they both candidly admit that Muhammad did have uncertainties concerning his calling but they honestly admit that their prophet’s response that he will not doubt wasn’t an indication that he didn’t have any fears at all. Rather, Muhammad’s statements meant that he wouldn’t continue to have them anymore in light of the admonition of this verse! And in order to alleviate his fears and doubts Muhammad was expressly told to consult the previous Scriptures. As the late renowned Christian scholar and Islamist Sir William Muir stated:

"The Book revealed before Mahomet," is explained by Jelalooddeen to mean the Pentateuch; but there seems no reason to confine the reference to it. Here, as in many other passages, the word is obviously used in its widest sense, and intends the Scriptures in use among Christians as well as Jews.

The object of God, in referring Mahomet to that Scripture and its possessors, in order to be satisfied of the inspiration of the Corân, is explained by Baidhâwi thus: "for verily it (i.e. the Corân which We have revealed unto thee) is held as certain amongst them, proved in their books, in the same manner as that which We have revealed to thee. The object is to prove this, and to call in the testimony of the antecedent books."

فانه محقق عندهم ثابت في كتبهم على نحو ما القينا اليك والمراد تحقيق ذالك والإستشهاد بما في الكتب المتقدمة

"Ask those who read the book revealed before thee." Read, or "are reading," the Scripture. It is the present or imperfect tense, and has the signification of, "who are in the habit of reading" that Scripture. (Muir, The Corân: Its Composition and Teaching; And the Testimony It Bears To The Holy Scriptures, pp. 100-101)

This text raises additional problems for Jalal. Didn’t an all-knowing deity know that the Scriptures in the possession of the Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s time contradict the core, essential teachings of the Quran, thereby exposing Muhammad as a false prophet? And if these Scriptures were corrupted then why appeal to their witness in the first place? After all, how can a Book that has been changed serve as affirmation for the divine origin of the Muslim scripture?

Finally, notice how Jalal contradicts himself. Earlier he claimed that Q. 2:79 proves that the original copies of the Torah and the Gospel have been corrupted. Yet here he quotes an English version of Q. 10:94 which shows that the Jews and Christians at the time of Muhammad still had access to the Torah and the Gospel!

So if you (O Muhammad) are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, [i.e. that your name is written in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] then ask those who are reading the Book [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it). Hilali-Khan

So now what does Jalal actually believe. Does he believe that the original Torah and Gospel were corrupted? If so then he should have asked himself how could the Jews and Christians read the Torah and the Gospel if these revelations were corrupted or lost? Or does he hold to the position that there were genuine copies of these revelations in circulation at Muhammad’s time which supposedly contained prophecies of his coming? If that’s the case then how can he say that these revelations were corrupt or deny that we possess these inspired Scriptures when we have manuscript evidence proving that the Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s time were reading the same Books that we have today?

Jalal needs to make up his mind and come right out and tell us what his actual position is since he cannot have it both ways. He cannot have his cake and eat it too.

For more on the issue of Muhammad doubting his god we recommend the following articles:

Jalal proceeds to expose more of his ignorance and deception:

There is not a single Ayah in the Quran that mentions the book popularly known as ‘The Bible’; this is a Christian fantasy on which the comment you mentioned is based. Those who disagree should bring a single Ayah or Hadeeth that mentions the vast collection of fake and outrageous stories called ‘The Bible’ as being the Torah and the Injeel. The Torah is NOT the Old Testament of today. The Injeel is NOT the New Testament.

Allah revealed the Torah TO Prophet Moses; the Old Testament is not it, especially the books that were written AFTER Moses died. Moses did not write the 5 books in the Old Testament attributed to him. Even if he did, and he didn’t, the Torah Allah sent down to Moses was written by Allah, not by Moses or about Moses. Allah revealed the Injeel TO Prophet Jesus, who never saw the New Testament with his own eyes. It is absolute absurdity to equate the Injeel, a book Allah revealed TO Prophet Jesus, not written by Jesus or about Jesus, with the fabricated book called ‘The New Testament’.

Jalal’s comments overlook the fact that the term Bible comes from a Latin term Biblia, and simply means Book. Therefore, instead of expecting to find the Arabic Quran using a Latin word to denote the Scriptures which the Jews and Christians possessed we would rather expect that it would use the Arabic equivalent of Biblia, namely the term Kitab, which is exactly what we find:

The Jews say, “The Christians are not (founded) upon anything.” And the Christians say, “The Jews are not (founded) upon anything.” And yet they READ the Book (al-Kitab). S. 2:113

Thus, whenever the Quran speaks of the Kitab or the Book which the Jews and Christians possessed during Muhammad’s time it can only be referring to the Holy Bible since this is the only Book which they possessed. This is a fact which even some Muslim translators readily acknowledge as can be seen from the way they translate the word Kitab:

Those to whom We have given the Book (BIBLE) ... S. 2:146 Muhammad Sarwar (*; *)

Believers, have faith in God and His Messenger, the Book which is revealed to him, and THE BIBLE which has been revealed before. Whoever refuses to believe in God, His angels, Books, Messengers and the Day of Judgment, has gone far away from the right path. S. 4:136 Sarwar

… who have no relation with you and who distort certain words of THE BIBLE… S. 5:41 Sarwar

… Those to whom We have given THE BIBLE know that the Quran has been revealed to you from your Lord in all Truth… S. 6:114 Sarwar

… This confirms the existing Book (THE BIBLE) and explains itself… S. 10:37 Sarwar

(Some of) the followers of THE Bible believe in the Quran. S. 28:52

The unbelievers have said, “We shall never believe in this Quran nor in THE BIBLE.”… S. 34:31

… so that they will not be like the followers of THE BIBLE who lived before them… S. 57:16 Sarwar

… so that the followers of THE BIBLE will know that they can receive no reward from God… S. 57:29 Sarwar

It is He who drove the disbelievers among the followers of the BIBLE out of their homes (in the Arabian Peninsula) as the first time exiles… S. 59:2

And, behold, there are indeed some among them who distort THE BIBLE with their tongues, so as to make you think that [what they say] is from THE BIBLE, the while it is not from THE BIBLE… S. 3:78 (Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur'an [Dar Al-Andaulus, Gibraltar, rpt. 1994], p. 157)

O followers OF THE BIBLE!… O followers OF THE BIBLE!… S. 5:15, 19 (Asad, p. 144)

…. And so We have cast enmity and hatred among the followers OF THE BIBLE… If the followers OF THE BIBLE would but attain to [true] faith and God-consciousness, we should indeed efface their [previous] bad deeds, and indeed bring them into gardens of bliss; S. 5:64-65 (Asad, p. 157)

Say: "O followers OF THE BIBLE! You have no valid ground for your beliefs unless you [truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed on you by your Sustainer!" S. 5:68 (Asad, p. 158)

Asad also translated Kitab as Old Testament!

THE FOLLOWERS of THE OLD TESTAMENT demand of thee [O Prophet] that thou cause a revelation to be sent down to from heaven ... S. 4:153 (Asad, p. 133)

Unlike Jalal, these Muslims realized that the term Kitab must be a reference to the Bible since that is what the Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s day were reading.

Jalal’s assertion that the Torah does not include the Old Testament but only refers to the revelation which God gave to Moses goes against the teachings of the Salaf who believed otherwise:

“… 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 that:

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. (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; bold and underline emphasis ours)

These quotes from Ibn Kathir prove that Jalal is not a true Salafi since he contradicts the teachings of the Salaf. He only pays lip service to what the so-called rightly guided predecessors believed and practiced.

Thankfully, not all modern Muslims try to distort the truth like Jalal. The late Muslim translator T.B. Irving was honest enough to realize that the Torah could refer to more than the writings of Moses and even translated it as Old Testament in his version of the Quran:

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 (*; *)

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

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

The second part of the rebuttal takes a closer look at the assertion that the Torah is not the first five OT books or that the Gospel of Jesus does not include the New Testament.