This is the first round of refutations. In this article, I will give answers to the extremists, enemies of Sunnah but appear as if they uphold the sunnah. In Nigeria, one of the leaders of these extremist groups is an Ilorin based ex-convict who leads a group of radical, rude and insolent youths that have no regard for Scholars and the renowned people of Sunnah, they condemn to hell.
Now, why do these people believe comparative religion is a bidi’ah that takes one to hell?
One of their arguments is that the prophet (pbuh) was not involved in comparative religion therefore no Muslim should do it since it has a rewarding act and every innovation in acts of ‘Ibaadah leads to hell.
As I have stated in the preamble, Comparative religion is defined thus;
“Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world’s religions. In general the comparative study of religion yields a deeper understanding of the fundamental philosophical concerns of religion such as ethics, metaphysics, and the nature and form of salvation. Studying such material is meant to give one a richer and more sophisticated understanding of human beliefs and practices regarding the sacred, numinous, spiritual and divine.
In the field of comparative religion, a common geographical classification of the main world religions includes Middle Eastern religions (including Zoroastrism and Iranian religions), Indian religions, East Asian religions, African religions, American religions, Oceanic religions, and classical Hellenistic religions.” (Source : Wikipedia)
Comparative Religion is categorized under education and also religion being that it is a field of study as regards the former and it is about religion as in the latter.
Therefore, Comparative religion is not a Muslim only thing. It is a field of study more like chemistry, physics or any other field of study. No sane comparator will say that Comparative religion is the only means acceptable to call to Islam.
This people do not have a problem if we study texts related to biology, chemistry, physics, law etc.
When as a Muslim, you make comparative analysis and someone wishes to embrace Islam, will you say, “NO, DON’T EMBRACE”?
In the world today, we cannot account how much we have gathered on social media to help people at certain points. These are rewarding acts and the prophet (pbuh) nor his companions did it, are we going to hell for this too?
If we agree with them, that means giving Da’wah in any language other than Arabic is bidi’ah that takes one to hell as none of the companions nor the prophet did it. It is unfortunate that these people dress, eat and do many things as regards means of transportation other than how prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did. They believe that eating with a spoon takes you to hell.
THE PROPHET (PBUH) FROWNED AT ‘UMAR FOR READING THE TORAH
This is also one of their arguments . Here is the hadith,
It was narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) with some written material he had got from one of the people of the Book. He read it to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and he got angry and said: “Are you confused (about your religion), O son of al-Khattaab? By the One in Whose hand is my soul, I have brought it (the message of Islam) to you clear and pure. Do not ask them about anything, lest they tell you something true and you disbelieve it, or they tell you something false and you believe it. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if Moosa were alive, he would have no option but to follow me.”
Narrated by Ahmad (14736); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 6/34
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said, after mentioning the isnaads of this hadith:
These are all the isnads of this hadith; even though it does not reach such a standard that it may be relied upon as evidence, when they are all taken into consideration, this implies that there is a basis for this report.
End quote from Fath al-Baari (13/525)
While I will not dwell on questioning its authenticity, I will take the hadith into scrutiny. Let us read the response of the prophet,
“Are you confused (about your religion), O son of al-Khattaab? By the One in Whose hand is my soul, I have brought it (the message of Islam) to you clear and pure. Do not ask them about anything, lest they tell you something true and you disbelieve it, or they tell you something false and you believe it. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if Moosa were alive, he would have no option but to follow me.”
Therefore, we can say the prophet feared that ‘Umar reading the torah for guidance different from what a comparator does. However, it is required for a comparator to be strong in faith and have knowledge about the religion. When one of these extremists called me to tell me comparative religion should be abstained from, I replied, “Don’t you think you should sensitize Saudi Arabia first as comparative religion is a course in Islamic University, Medina?”but to him, they are Kaafir.
I said to him again,” Which renowned Scholar of the Deen are you quoting or haven’t you read ANSWERING THOSE WHO ALTERED THE RELIGION OF JESUS CHRIST. By: Shaikhul- lslam Ibn Taimiyah? ” but to him, scholars are of no importance.
InnaliLlahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un
The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) are of the view that those who study these books – the books of the Jews and Christians – may be divided into two groups:
The first group is ordinary people, those who have no knowledge and those who are weak in faith. They are not allowed to study these books so that they will not be confused by that which has been introduced into them of falsehood, and so that they will not be distracted by something that is of no benefit.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to this matter, it is important to note that in the case of those who are not well-versed in knowledge and are lacking in faith, it is not permissible for them to read any of those books.
End quote from Fath al-Baari (13/525)
With regard to this group – ordinary people and those who come under the same heading, or those who seek to benefit in spiritual terms from those books – these are the ones who the scholars stated should not be allowed to read the Torah and Gospel.
It says in Mataalib Ooli an-Nuha (1/607):
It is not permissible to study the books of the people of the Book, based on textual evidence, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) got angry when he saw ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) carrying a page of the Torah. … And they should not read books that contain both truth and falsehood, or narrate what they learn from them, because that may be detrimental to belief. End quote.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The books of the Torah and Gospel are among the things that it is prohibited to seek benefit therein, because they changed and altered them.
End quote from Rawdat at-Taalibeen (10/259)
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Every Muslim is obliged to believe in them and that they (originally) came from Allah: the Torah, the Gospel and the Psalms (Zaboor). So he believes that Allah sent down the Books to the Prophets, and He sent down to them Scriptures containing commands and prohibitions, exhortation and reminders, stories of some events in the past, descriptions of Paradise and Hell, and so on. But he should not read them, because distortions, alterations and changes have been introduced into them. So he should not keep copies of the Torah, Gospel or Psalms, or read them, because doing that is risky, as it may lead to him disbelieving something that is true or believing something that is false. That is because these books have been distorted and changed, and those Jews, Christians and others have introduced alterations and distortions into them, changing the order of things in some cases. Allah has given us a great Book which means that we have no need of them, namely the Holy Qur’an.
End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (1/9)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:
is it permissible for a Muslim to keep a copy of the Gospel in order to find out what Allah said to His slave and Messenger ‘Eesa (peace be upon him)?
It is not permissible to keep anything of the Scriptures that came before the Qur’an, be it the Gospel, Torah or anything else, for two reasons:
1. because everything in them that is beneficial Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has explained it in the Holy Qur’an;
2. there is no need for any of these books because we have the Qur’an. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (Muhammad SAW) with truth, confirming what came before it” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:3] and “And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) the Book (this Quran) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhayminan (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge between them by what Allah has revealed” [al-Maa’idah 5:48]. Whatever of good there is in the previous scriptures is also to be found in the Qur’an.
With regard to the questioner saying that he wants to find out what Allah said to His slave and Messenger ‘Eesa, we can find what is most beneficial of that in what Allah has told us in the Qur’an, so there is no need to look elsewhere. Moreover, the Gospel as it exists at present has been distorted. The evidence for that is that there are four Gospels which differ from one another; there is not one single Gospel, therefore it cannot be relied upon.
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (1/32-33)
The second category of people is those who are well versed in knowledge, who use these books to debate with the Jews and Christians, and to establish proof against them.
In this case the fear of confusion is less, because the one who is well versed in knowledge has the ability to recognise the falsehood that has been introduced into these books and to be cautious of it, and to refute it and warn others against it. Moreover, by refuting the people of the Book and their falsehood, he is serving an important shar‘i interest that must be served.
Hence many scholars read these books for the purpose of debating with the Jews and Christians. Among the most famous of those who refuted the Jews and Christians by quoting their own books to them were: Ibn Taymiyah, in his book al-Jawaab as-Saheeh liman baddala Deen al-Maseeh (The Correct Response to those who altered the Religion of the Messiah); Ibn al-Qayyim in his book Hidaayat al-Hayaara fi Ajwibat al-Yahood wa’n-Nasaara (Guiding to the Confused in Refuting the Jews and Christians); Ibn Hazm in his book al-Fasl fi’l-Milal wa’l-Ahwa’ wa’n-Nahl(Discussion of the Views of Different Religions, Groups and Sects); al-Qurtubi in his book al-I‘laam bima fi Deen an-Nasaara min al-Fasaad wa’l-Awhaam (Highlighting what the Religion of the Christians contains of Corruption and Myths); and many others.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
… unlike the one who is well versed in knowledge. For him it is permissible to read in the Torah and Gospel, especially when he needs to refute an opponent. This is indicated by the fact that the imams (leading scholars), both in the past and more recently, quoted from the Torah to prove to the Jews that they should believe in Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on the basis of what they found in their book. If they did not believe that it was permissible to read it, they would not have done that and persisted in doing so, generation after generation.
End quote from Fath al-Baari (13/525-526)
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If it so happens that there are some of the people of the Book who convert to Islam, and they have knowledge of what they have in their language and can translate it to us in Arabic, that may be useful when debating with the Jews and Christians or talking to them, as ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam, Salmaan al-Faarisi, Ka‘b al-Ahbaar and others did; they transmitted what they had of knowledge. In that case we may quote what they have that is in harmony with what the Messenger brought, and that will be proof against them in some ways and against others in other ways, as we have explained elsewhere.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (4/109-110)
In Mataalib Ooli an-Nuha (1/607-608), which is a Hanbali book, it says:
The idea of it being permissible to read in the books of the innovators may be applicable for one who is well versed in the Qur’an and Sunnah, if he is also very steadfast, strong in faith, smart and alert, very intelligent, and able to derive evidence in order to refute them, discover their secrets and expose them, so that ignorant people will not be taken in by their deceiving arguments and thus become confused. This was done by leading scholars among the best of the Muslims, and they presented strong arguments against the innovators that the latter could not find an answer to. Similarly, they looked in the Torah and found in it mention of our Prophet in many locations; the permissibility of looking in their Book is also applicable in that case. End quote.
The Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas was asked: what is the ruling on reading the Gospel?
The earlier divinely revealed Books have been subjected to a great deal of distortion, additions and subtractions, as Allah has told us. Hence it is not permissible for the Muslim to read them and study them, unless he is one of those who are well versed in knowledge and wants to highlight the distortions and contradictions in those books.
End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah – vol. 1 (3/311)
REFERENCE : https://islamqa.info/en/209007
On this note, we ask those who go against comparative religion, Who are your scholars?
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman
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