Scripture – Introduction

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Scripture

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Scripture

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْ هَاجًا وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَآ آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ سورة المائدة ٥‏: ٤٨

 

Al-Ma’idah 5:48

“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth,
confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety.”
 (Yusufali’s translation)
“And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, 
confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it
.”
(Pickthal’s translation)

The Qur’an states that Allah has guarded, watched over, and preserved  the Scriptures that were written before the Qur’an, Muslims claims that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are corrupted. Logically, from a Muslim’s perspective, it follows that Allah has failed to guard His own Holy Word. This is surprising, since the Qur’an clearly states the opposite.  Another translator wrote, 

46. Later, in the train (of the prophets), We sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah which had been (sent down) before him, and gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light, which corroborated the earlier Torah, a guidance and warning for those who preserve themselves from evil and follow the straight path. 
47. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what has been revealed in it by God. And those who do not judge in accordance with what God has revealed are transgressors. 
48. And to you We have revealed the Book containing the truth, confirming the earlier revelations, and preserving them (from change and corruption). So judge between them by what has been revealed by God, and do not follow their whims, side-stepping the truth that has reached you. To each of you We have given a law and a way and a pattern of life. If God had pleased He could surely have made you one people (professing one faith). But He wished to try and test you by that which He gave you. So try to excel in good deeds. To Him will you all return in the end, when He will tell you of what you were at variance. Al-Ma’idah 5:46-48 (Ahmed Ali’s translation)

As noted above, the Qur’an confirms that the prior scriptures were the words of Allah. And in Sura Yunus (Jonah), it states that the words of Allah cannot be changed. Yet, many Muslims claim that the Jews changed the words of the Old Testament scriptures. Apparently, these Muslims are kafirs and believe that Allah’s word can be altered and changed!

For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity. Sura Yunus 10:64 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)

لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَى فِي الْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الآخِرَةِ لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ سورة يونس ١٠:٦٤

 

Because Muslims believe that Allah failed to guard and preserve the Holy Scriptures, it is necessary to respond to Muslims and their skeptical challenges and rejection of the Old and New Testament writings of the ancient prophets and apostles.

Muslim writes:— “Even if the truth is bitter to swallow, Islam says it like it is. In this day and age of Internet and intellect, all the evidence one needs in this regard is available and accessible. There are tens of Christian/Western web sites which attack the Bible left, right and centre. What was accepted as God’s infallible word for centuries, is now being questioned and revised continually.”

Response:— Muslims praise the ancient prophets far and wide, but then join their critics and skeptics in their attack against what the prophets wrote. This is why a Muslim’s praise of the ancient prophets is empty and disingenuous. To praise the name of a prophet while rejecting the writings of the prophet is, in realty, to reject the prophet and to mock Allah who sent the prophet with his message. While it is appropriate to discredit a false prophet and his writings, it is hypocritical to praise a prophet of Allah and, then, to reject his message.  To do the latter is to engage in sinful unbelief and to deny the divine revelation from Allah. And this is exactly the hypocrisy of Muslims:— praising the prior prophets but rejecting their message.

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Mark 7:6 (NIV)

فَرَدَّ عَلَيْهِمْ قَائِلاً:« أَحْسَنَ إِشَعْيَاءُ إِذْ تَنَبَّأَ عَنْكُمْ أَيُّهَا الْمُرَاؤُونَ، كَمَا جَاءَ فِي الْكِتَابِ: هَذَا الشَّعْبُ يُكْرِمُنِي بِشَفَتَيْهِ، وَأَمَّا قَلْبُهُ فَبَعِيدٌ عَنِّي جِدّاً. مرقس ٧‏: ٦

 

The attacks upon the Old and New Testament are not a new phenomena that has emerged with “the age of Internet and intellect.” Classical Christianity has been answering objections for the last two thousand years. So, it is simply not true to claim that God’s infallible word has been accepted unquestioned for centuries. It is not surprising there are web sites attacking the Bible, attacks that have been on-going for centuries.

Equally deceptive is the expression, “Islam says it like it is.” There is no intellectual freedom “to say it like it is” within a Muslim nation. There is abundant freedom to attack Christianity within a Muslim country, but there is no intellectual freedom to question Islam, the Qur’an, or Muhammad. Muslims must accept Islam on blind faith. To question Muhammad and his message is life threatening, because the penalty for disbelief is execution and death for a Muslim. The sword of Shari’ah law hangs heavy over intellectual freedom and pursuit of the truth. The consensus of Muslim jurisprudence is summarized in the classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law, Reliance of the Traveller.

 

o8.0 Apostasy from Islam (Ridda)…..
o8.1 
When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.
o8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.
o8.4 There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (o: i.e. or an expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die).
Acts that entail leaving Islam
o8.7 
(2) to intend to commit unbelief, even if in the future. And the like intention is hesitating whether to do so or not: one thereby immediately commits unbelief.
(7) to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus (def: b7) belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it;
(20) or to deny that Allah intended the Prophet’s message (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be the religion followed by the entire world (dis: w4.3-4)(al-Hadiyya al-‘Ala’iyya (y4), 423-24).)
There are others, for the subject is nearly limitless. May Allah Most High save us and all Muslims from it.)

So, if a Muslim were to investigate impartially the claims of Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur’an, and, then deny some aspect of Islamic dogma, the Muslim would face execution under Islamic religious law.

From an Islamic perspective, a Muslim cannot pursue the truth in an unbiased intellectual manner. Such pursuit of the truth is not compatible with Islam and its intellectual bondage. A Muslim cannot “says it like it is.” A Muslim must view all reality in the shadow of Muhammad’s recitals and traditions. Hence, there are no Muslim institutions of critical religious thinking in any Muslim nation. So, while a Muslim may brag about web sites that attack the Bible in Western nations, their boasts are hollow, because there is no intellectual freedom to question the Qur’an or Muhammad in any Muslim nation on the face of the earth. Where are the web sites in Muslim countries that question the validity of the Qur’an or the moral behavior of Muhammad? Why are Muslims so afraid of religious liberty and critical thinking?

Last edited 11/10/2000

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