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Offline Reader Questions

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Dear Brother Joseph Islam

Assalaamo Alaikum,

I am confused over a topic mentioned below. I 've read few places you make references from Old & new testament. ( previous books) also. So am assuming you also believe that previous scriptures are not "entirely" abrogated or corrupted.

Now most of the muslims outrightly say the previous books are corrupted and completely reject them whereas the core of Islamic belief calls us to believe in the previous books( torah, zaboor and Injeel). Question 1. How can we be asked to belief a thing which is corrupted? Are we actually believers if we deny the message in previous books? Question 2. Is it not tantamount to making distinction between the prophets? As the books revealed to Musa(p.b.u.h) & Isa(p.b.u.h) are looked down by many muslims. Why will Allah say that he would judge jews in what they got if the book they had is corrupted.

Many places(verses) it is mentioned that "the message" is protected. I fail to understand why the message(liz zikre) is referred to Quran only and not previous scriptures. Allah also mentioned among jews and christians are righteous people as well. How can their be righteous people if the very source of religious guidance to them previous books are corrupted as most muslim thinks.

Yes, I do agree certain practices and beliefs are corrupted like christians belief Jesus christ was crucified and will come back this has been clarified in the Quran, the son of god is clarified in the Quran in surah Ikhlaas not the case.

My question is does these corrections only apply to various beliefs/practices of jews and christians... I fail to understand this cannot tantamount to coming to the conclusion that the previous scriptures are wholly corrupted. If thats the case, I would ask which parts are abrogated? Is anyone aware of it? Why is it left to human beings to decide? Are the previous scriptures not the word of God the same logic that applies to its preservation is upon Allah only confined to Quran, indeed Quran is the criterion for us. the previous books were also referred to as criterion(Furqan).
If we disbelief previous scriptures claiming they are corrupt, it violates an important article of faith mentioned in Quran, Oh you who believe believe in previous messengers and previous scriptures.

In leviticus it say woman are unclean to go to a sanctuary, it isnt clearly mentioned they should not pray, but barred from religious place and anything she touches become unclean f i chose to pray am i violating what one source of word of god(Genesis) says being unsure about Quran doesnt reflect any clarity, it also calls it impurity only barring physical relations only during that time in all scriptures so i chose to pray.
Can I be argued on a ground what made you conclude that opinion when i said belief in previous scriptures too which clearly contradicts your assumption impurity isnt necessary a condition not to pray, whereas I also argue quran being the furqan says follow whats has being specifically said than our assumption i guess more clear message is believe the previous books... probably thats why the topic of menstruation isnt too elaborated in the Quran rather a line mentioned believe in previous messengers and books with other articles of faith.

Brother Joseph Islam I kindly request to clarify my doubt what to follow here with a rationale please. what is a right thing to do? God am so confused!!

Please help

Thanks & Regards
 
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another point Quran says follow the religion of Abraham...borther circumcision mentioned in previous books not mentioned in quran? what to follow belief in previous books or quran as a final criterion? when previous books are referred to as criterion too.
 
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woman while menstruating are barred from going to religious sanctuary as they are unclean for 7 days, now one can argue not explicitly mentioned u cant pray, and can be counter argued we go to religious sanctuary to pray/meditate what else? is there any other ppurpose of that place? barring from that place could imply do not pray during that unclean period so what to follow which final criterion without violating the basic belief that we are asked to believe in it , the previous books
 
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a big favor if you could respond

 

Offline Joseph Islam

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Dear sister,

Wa alaikum assalam

Please see my responses to your comments / questions in blue italics below.

Dear Brother Joseph Islam

Assalaamo Alaikum,

I am confused over a topic mentioned below. I 've read few places you make references from Old & new testament. (previous books) also. So am assuming you also believe that previous scriptures are not "entirely" abrogated or corrupted.


No, I do not believe that the previous scriptures are ‘entirely abrogated or corrupted’. In the link below, I humbly share:

“The Quran recognises aspects of the truth that was with the Jews and Christians at the time of Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) revelation in the late 6th and early 7th century Arabia. It confirms aspects of Biblical thought, expects a contingent of its audience to be familiar with its contents and clearly differs from certain theological interpretations that have resulted and have been 'read' into the text.” [1]

[1] ‘Lambasting the Bible’
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=146.msg370#msg370

The Quran also recognises that the followers of previous scriptures had different ‘laws’ (shariah) prescribed to them.

005.048 (part)
"...To each among you have We prescribed a law (Arabic: Shir-atan) and an open way (Arabic: waminhajan). If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He has given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute”

The religious law binding on believers are to be found in the Quran and not the previous scriptures. Although there will be overlaps (such as the prohibition of swine meat which the Quran confirms), there will also be differences. For example, the Children of Israel were prescribed the ‘Sabbath’ to observe, but it was not prescribed for believers in the Quran. The Children of Israel had more stringent food restrictions. These restrictions were not prescribed for believers.  Specific food restrictions imposed on the People of the Book can be noted in verse 6:146.

Fasting in the whole month of Ramadan is prescribed for believers, but it was not prescribed in the same exact manner for those of previous scriptures.

Therefore, the Quran stands alone as religious authority and ‘law’ for believers. However, this does not mean that the previous laws such as keeping the Sabbath have been dissolved for the Children of Israel. They must keep their law. The Quran does not intend to abolish the law for the People of the Book. Rather, the Quran instructs them to keep their law otherwise it would amount to 'kufr' (disbelief – 5:44). The Quran even questions why some came to the prophet when they had the Torah before them (5:43), underscoring the fact that they were (and are) expected to keep their law as part of the covenant they had (and have) with God.

Now most of the muslims outrightly say the previous books are corrupted and completely reject them whereas the core of Islamic belief calls us to believe in the previous books( torah, zaboor and Injeel).

Yes, you are correct that this thought is prevalent amongst many Muslims. However, as I shared in the link above entitled ‘Lambasting the Bible’, this sentiment is unwarranted from a Quran’s perspective.

Question 1. How can we be asked to belief a thing which is corrupted? Are we actually believers if we deny the message in previous books?

Your question is based on the unwarranted premise of popular thought of the Muslim masses that the Bible is corrupted. I have already respectfully shared that this is not the case. The Quran agrees with much of Biblical thought. However, it also recognises some alteration by scribes et al (2:79), that some of the guidance was concealed / suppressed and where the Quran deems it appropriate to pass over / forgive other areas.

005:015
"O People of the Book, surely there has come to you our Messenger, making clear to you much of what you used to conceal (Arabic: tukh'funa) of the scripture and overlooking / forgiving much (Arabic: wa-ya'fu an kathiran). Surely has come to you from God a light and a clear book"
 
The Arabic word 'tukh'funa' comes from the root KHA-FA-YA which carries the meaning of what is unapparent / has become imperceptible / has become dim to the sight / or suppressed, or obscured to the mind. It also carries the meaning of something which has become 'concealed'.
 
Therefore, the Quran within context of its Arabic usage clearly recognised that certain aspects of the previous scriptures had become gradually concealed and deemed it fit to expound on some of them. It was also not the intention of the Quran to deal with each and every narrative of the Bible hence the term 'wa-yafu an kathiran' (forgive, pardon, pass over, relinquish or remit a whole or part or indeed pardon much).

The Quran expects believers to put faith in the fact that previous communities were given scriptures by inspired messengers and that there were extant scriptures at the time of the Prophet’s ministry which were being read by the People of the Book.
[2]

[2] 'BETWEEN HIS HANDS' OR 'BEFORE IT' (MA BAYNA YADAYHI)
http://quransmessage.com/articles/between%20hands%20or%20before%20it%20FM3.htm

Indeed all the prophets were inspired the same umbrella religion of Islam (deen), where they were asked to remain steadfast.

042.013
"The same religion (Arabic: Deen) has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah and that which We have sent by inspiration to thee and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that you should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions in it: to those who worship other things than God, hard is the (way) to which you call them. God chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him)"
 
However, this is separate from the ‘laws’ (shariah) that governed different communities under the broad canopy of religion (Islam).

Question 2. Is it not tantamount to making distinction between the prophets? As the books revealed to Musa(p.b.u.h) & Isa(p.b.u.h) are looked down by many muslims. Why will Allah say that he would judge jews in what they got if the book they had is corrupted.

That is correct and as I have stated in my previous response, this question is based on an unwarranted premise of the masses.

Many places(verses) it is mentioned that "the message" is protected. I fail to understand why the message(liz zikre) is referred to Quran only and not previous scriptures. Allah also mentioned among jews and christians are righteous people as well. How can their be righteous people if the very source of religious guidance to them previous books are corrupted as most muslim thinks.

I trust that once again, my previous responses will suffice.

Yes, I do agree certain practices and beliefs are corrupted like christians belief Jesus christ was crucified and will come back this has been clarified in the Quran, the son of god is clarified in the Quran in surah Ikhlaas not the case.

It is noteworthy that there is a difference between scriptures and ‘doctrine’ of a people that claim to follow their scriptures. For example, there are many doctrines ‘read into’ scriptures by the Muslims. That does not mean that the ‘Scripture’ (The Quran) is at fault. It is the tradition of people that over time, often suffers from theological accretions. Arguably, this is no different for the followers of previous scriptures. Arguably, they had also ‘invented’ concepts and practices which were never prescribed. The Quran separated ‘unwarranted’ doctrine and practice from truth. ‘The begotten son of God’ is one such doctrine which the Quran unequivocally rejects. 'Monasticism' is a practice that God unequivocally states He never prescribed. (57:27).

My question is does these corrections only apply to various beliefs/practices of jews and christians... I fail to understand this cannot tantamount to coming to the conclusion that the previous scriptures are wholly corrupted. If thats the case, I would ask which parts are abrogated? Is anyone aware of it? Why is it left to human beings to decide? Are the previous scriptures not the word of God the same logic that applies to its preservation is upon Allah only confined to Quran, indeed Quran is the criterion for us. the previous books were also referred to as criterion(Furqan).

Once again, I trust my previous responses have answered all your questions.

If we disbelief previous scriptures claiming they are corrupt, it violates an important article of faith mentioned in Quran, Oh you who believe believe in previous messengers and previous scriptures.

Once again, I trust my previous responses have answered all your questions.

In leviticus it say woman are unclean to go to a sanctuary, it isnt clearly mentioned they should not pray, but barred from religious place and anything she touches become unclean f i chose to pray am i violating what one source of word of god(Genesis) says being unsure about Quran doesnt reflect any clarity, it also calls it impurity only barring physical relations only during that time in all scriptures so i chose to pray.
Can I be argued on a ground what made you conclude that opinion when i said belief in previous scriptures too which clearly contradicts your assumption impurity isnt necessary a condition not to pray, whereas I also argue quran being the furqan says follow whats has being specifically said than our assumption i guess more clear message is believe the previous books... probably thats why the topic of menstruation isnt too elaborated in the Quran rather a line mentioned believe in previous messengers and books with other articles of faith.


Although one should remain cognizant of Biblical guidance, and there is an expectation that the audience would have been familiar with certain practices, this does not mean that the law (shariah) of the Bible applies to believers. A careful distinction should be drawn.

For example, details of the form and utterance of ‘salaat’ (i.e. how to pray and what to say) is not specifically defined by the Quran. However, the Children of Israel were already praying before the prophet received inspiration (2:43 - "... and bow down your heads (Arabic: ir'ka'u) with those who bow down (Arabic: raki'een) (in worship)" ). Therefore the prayer method of the early Muslim communities may have been inspired by the worshipping methods of monotheistic communities such as the Jews and Christians. However, the Quran’s deliberate silence in prescribing a particular form, allows for some fluidity in prayer methods (i.e. how to place your hands, what to say in prayer etc). 

Please see below.

A Jewish Prayer in Complete Resonance with Quranic Verses on the Requirements of Prayer
http://quransmessage.com/articles/jewish%20prayer%20FM3.htm

However, the Quran makes it absolutely clear throughout the Quran that ‘salaat’ should be established. However, the Quran meticulously defines the ablution method (wudu) which is a precursor to prayer. (5:6; 4:43), thereby ‘clarifying’ the thresholds of what is required by believers. This can be argued as a change in ‘Shariah’ law which differentiates itself by the ablution methods of the previous followers of scripture.

Similarly, the Quran asks believers to eat of the lawful and good food He has provided. However, God has not informed believers how to eat. Therefore, one is arguably free to exercise choice and make use of best practice from traditions (e.g. eating with chopsticks, knife and fork, bare hands etc) as long as they are consuming food which is lawful and good.

As another example, the Quran also does not specifically mention the requirement of ‘circumcision’ for men. Therefore, in the absence of any explicit prescription (unlike the establishment of salaat which is explicitly mentioned), one can argue that the ritual of circumcision was never prescribed for believers. If circumcision is performed, it is performed out of choice.

Therefore, if one considers your point of whether or not to pray during one's monthly cycles, then one can argue on the basis that the Quran is not averse from prescribing conditions in which one cannot pray. Therefore, why did it not mention women in a state of monthly discharge not to go towards formal prayer in explicit text? For example, one cannot establish their formal prayers in a state of impurity until they have bathed (ghusl). This is clearly mentioned in the Quran in no uncertain terms (5:6; 4:43). Another example is given in verse 4:43, where believers are not to approach prayers in a state of disequilibrium (mind befogged) until they know what they utter (with clarity) - 4:43. These are undoubtedly clear examples. So why is the Quran silent when it comes to women's monthly discharges? One would be inclined to appeal to verses 39:18 and 39:55 with a view to follow the best meaning or interpretation from Quran that deem appropriate.

It is important to remember that many practices have been invented by those followers of the previous scriptures and like Muslims, they also have an oral law and secondary sources which are followed. It is not surprising therefore to note prophet Jesus's remarks:
 
  • THE GOSPEL OF MARK
    The 'Earliest' Synoptic Gospel (Based on consensus)
     
    MARK 7 Verses 1-9
     
    "The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders). When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles"
     
    So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"
     
    He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
     
    'These people honour me with their lips,  but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.
     
    You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
     
    And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”

Brother Joseph Islam I kindly request to clarify my doubt what to follow here with a rationale please. what is a right thing to do? God am so confused!!

Please help

Thanks & Regards


--------------------------------------------------------------

another point Quran says follow the religion of Abraham...borther circumcision mentioned in previous books not mentioned in quran? what to follow belief in previous books or quran as a final criterion? when previous books are referred to as criterion too.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I have answered this question in my previous comment.
   
woman while menstruating are barred from going to religious sanctuary as they are unclean for 7 days, now one can argue not explicitly mentioned u cant pray, and can be counter argued we go to religious sanctuary to pray/meditate what else? is there any other ppurpose of that place? barring from that place could imply do not pray during that unclean period so what to follow which final criterion without violating the basic belief that we are asked to believe in it , the previous books

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Again, believers must attempt to separate ‘law’ from ‘guidance’. Whereas the Scriptures of the previous communities provide guidance and instructions for them (including many traditions that they follow and some by arguable invention), the Quran remains the sole criterion for believers in matters of religion. Indeed, there will be overlap, but there will also be differences (as Shariah differs) and at times, some narratives which the Quran passes over and clearly distances itself from. This is arguably seen in the silence the Quran provides on certain matters.

As I have shared in a previous article:

THE QURAN CONFIRMS THE TRUTH OF THE PREVIOUS SCRIPTURES AND PASSES OVER OTHER AREAS

005:015
"O People of the Book, surely there has come to you our Messenger, making clear to you much of what you used to conceal (Arabic: tukh'funa) of the scripture and overlooking / forgiving much (Arabic: wa-ya'fu an kathiran). Surely has come to you from God a light and a clear book"
 
The Arabic word 'tukh'funa' comes from the root KHA-FA-YA which carries the meaning of what is unapparent / has become imperceptible / has become dim to the sight / or suppressed, or obscured to the mind. It also carries the meaning of something which has become 'concealed'.
 
Therefore, the Quran within context of its Arabic usage clearly recognised that certain aspects of the previous scriptures had become gradually concealed and deemed it fit to expound on some of them. It was also not the intention of the Quran to deal with each and every narrative of the Bible hence the term 'wa-yafu an kathiran' (forgive, pardon, pass over, relinquish or remit a whole or part or indeed pardon much).

 
However, in matters where the Quran remains silent, there is no harm in seeking ‘wisdom’ or ‘best practice’ from previous scriptures or the traditions of their followers. The Quran does not treat other sources of knowledge as an ‘anathema’ and neither does it intend to abolish the traditions of a people. Believers are expected to 'discern' with the Quran.

After all, these Scriptures also contain guidance. However, in the end, it must be remembered that only the Quran is the final criterion, judge and sole religious authority for believers.

I hope this helps, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] WAS THE ORIGINAL INJEEL LOST?
http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/injeel%20FM3.htm
[2] Does the Quran say that the Bible is Corrupted?
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=579.0
[3] ‘Lambasting the Bible’
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=146.msg370#msg370
[4] 'BETWEEN HIS HANDS' OR 'BEFORE IT' (MA BAYNA YADAYHI)
http://quransmessage.com/articles/between%20hands%20or%20before%20it%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell