Hello, Fellow Traveller!
What do I mean by addressing you like that? Well, a traveller is on his way from a point of departure to a destination. Perhaps more explicit, you and I and everybody else on this planet started out in life at some time and place – and travel on the course of life till the point of death.
I agree that is not a very pleasant thought, but that’s the way it is.
May I suppose that you have a goal in and for your life? Well, I have one. More than one, in fact. But one is excessively more important than all the others. I’m sure you know what I am talking about. I like to spend my eternity in the Presence of God. One calls that heaven. It doesn’t take much imagination to assume that you want the same.
Therefore the most important issue in our lives is to make sure we get there – never mind the cost! I am not talking about suicide bombing here, mind you. Shall we do it together?
You are a Muslim. I am a Christian. We do not follow the same route. In fact you probably think I am miles off course. The reason for that is – pardon for being so blunt – that you reject the Bible, the Book in which you are compelled to believe. Surah 2:177, the foundation of iman, demands that. I want to assume that you are not a hypocrite like so many who claim to believe and yet do not.
I think I know the answer to what you now think. You think: “I do believe in the taurat, the zabur and the injil, but not as they appear in today’s Bibles. These have been corrupted and changed!” Have they???
Muslims who propagate that the Bible was corrupted overlook expediently the fact that eminent Muslim theologians like al-Tabari (died AD 855), al-Bukhäri (died AD 870), as well as al-Ghazzali (died AD 1111) believed in the authenticity of the then existing (Greek) Gospel text. And that is the very message the Qur’an teaches:
“Say ye: We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses, and Jesus, and that given to all prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and another of them.” (Surah al-Baqara 2:136).
“It was We who revealed the Law (to Moses); therein was guidance and light . . . if any do fail to judge by the light of what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) unbelievers . . . We sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: Therein was guidance and light . . . a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by the light of what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. Judge what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires (Surah Mâ-ida 5:47, 49.50, 52).
“Say: we believe in the revelation which has come down to us and that which came down to you” (Surah al-Ankabût 29:46). (Read also Surah 3:2-3, 4:136 and 10:37 and 94).
It is quite clear that at the time when the Qur’an was written, nobody questioned the authenticity of the Bible. Anyone contradicting it now will not only contradict the Qur’an, but will also have to provide an answer to the following questions:
WHO changed or corrupted the Bible?
WHEN was the Bible corrupted?
WHERE is the original, or evidence that shows that there was such an original?
If the Bible would have been corrupted before or at the time of Muhammad, the Qur’an would hardly have spoken of the Bible in the way it does. Had the Bible been changed or corrupted afterwards, the many existing old manuscripts that predate Muhammad by hundreds of years would have given proof of that fact. As it is, the content of these manuscripts do not vary from the Bibles of our time.
We have just read from the Qur’an that the Bible is God’s Word. We should add, also from the Qur’an, that “no man can change the words of God” (Surah 6:34 and 10:64). So, what are Muslim critics of the Bible doing?
Some Muslims argue that the Qur’an does state that the Bible was distorted. They quote:
“Ye People of the Book Why do ye clothe truth with falsehood, and conceal the truth, while ye have knowledge?” (Surah Al-Imran 3:71).
“There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (as they read) you would think it is part of the Book, but it is not part of the Book” (Surah Al-Imran 78).
These passages say nothing more than that the Bible, rendered by the Jews in public, as the context suggests, was distorted with their tongues, not with their pens. Else the Qur’an would not suggest that Muslims should ask the People of the Book about the content of the Bible:
“Ask of those who possess the Message” (Surah al-Anbiyāa, 21:7).
We may well ask, why do so many Muslims believe that the Bible was corrupted, when history, archaeology and the Qur’an deny this?
Never heard about this? Well, you have now. And now you will have to decide whether you like to really enquire about God and what He revealed of Himself – or be a good hypocrite.