Know Islam

Know Islam, Know Paradise

IZHARUL HAQ READING CONTINUED

June 18, 2018 Book Reading Events 0

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THE MUSLIM ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE GOSPELS 

From all that has preceded it is quite clear that we can claim without the fear
of being wrong that the original Pentateuch and the original Evangel have
disappeared and become extinct from the world. The books we have today
which go by these names are no more than historical accounts containing both
true and false accounts of past ages. We strictly deny that the original Torah
(Pentateuch) and the original Evangel existed at the time of the Prophet
Muhammad (peace is on him) and that they were not changed until later. As far
as the Epistles of Paul are concerned, even if we grant that they were really
written by him, they are still not acceptable to us because it is our well-founded
opinion that Paul was a traitor and a liar who introduced a completely new
concept of Christianity, absolutely different from what Jesus himself preached
24
As far as the disciples of Jesus who were living after the Ascension of Jesus
are concerned, they are held to be respectable and honest by the Muslims. They
are not, however, considered to be Prophets (and therefore able to have received
inspiration from God). They were ordinary human beings and not free from
human errors. Their teachings and their statements have lost validity through the
absence of authenticated historical verification: for instance, the absence of any
sign of the existence of the present gospels until the end of the second century
AD, the disappearance of the original Hebrew copy of Matthew’s gospel and the
unavailability even of the same of the translator of the remaining translation,
and the presence of accumulated errors and manipulations in the present text, As
far as Mark and Luke are concerned, they were not disciples of Jesus, and there
is no indication that they ever received inspiration from God
However we do solemnly believe that the Torah (Pentateuch) was the book
revealed to the Prophet Moses: The Holy Qur`an says 25
We gave Moses the Book (Torah)
And we also find in the Holy Qur’an in reference to Jesus son of Mary:
We gave him the Evangel

And the nineteenth chapter of the Holy Qur’an, called ’Maryam’ after Mary the
mother of Jesus, quotes Jesus as saying:
He hath given me the book (the Evangel 27)
The present gospels, chronicles and epistles are certainly not the Evangel
referred to by the Holy Qur`an and so they are not, as such, acceptable to the
Muslims. The Islamic teaching regarding the Pentateuch, the other books of the
Old Testament, and the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament is that any
biblical statements which are confirmed by the Qur’anic Revelation will be
accepted and respected by the Muslims and any statements rejected by the
Qur’an will be rejected by the Muslims. Any statements about which the Holy
Qur’an is silent, the Muslims too should remain silent about without rejecting or
accepting them.
Allah the Almighty addressed His Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on Him) in
the Holy Qur’an in these words:
To thee we sent the Book (Qur’an) in truth confirming what came before
it of the Book, and assuring its safety.28
The famous commentary on the Holy Qur’an, Ma’alim-u-Tanzeel, contains
the following comments on this verse:
According to Ibn al-Jurayj, the last phrase of this verse, ‘assuring its
safety’, signifies that any statement produced by the People of the Book (the
followers of Christianity and Judaism) will be accepted, subject to its
confirmation by The Holy Qur’an, otherwise that particular statement will be
considered as false and unacceptable. Saeed ibn Musayyab and Zihaq said
the word ”Muhaimin” in this verse signifies ”the one who judges”, while
‘Khalil’ gave its meaning as ”protector and guard”. These different shades of
meanings, however, do not change the general implication that any book or
statement confirmed by The Holy Qur`an should be considered as the word
of God; the rest are obviously excluded as not being the word of God.
What follows are the remarks on this matter from the commentary Tafseer-e-
Mazhari:

If The Holy Qur’an bears witness to it, you are bound to confirm it and if
it rejects or says it is false, it must be rejected by us. If The Holy Qur’an has
been silent, you too have to be silent because, in that case, the possibility of
truth and falsehood will be equal.
Imam al-Bukhari cited a tradition of the Holy Prophet, reported by Ibn
’Abbas, in his Kitabu’sh-Shahadat along with its chain of authorities then the
same hadith has been cited by him in Kitabu’l-I’tisam supported by a different
chain of reporters, and the same hadith was again quoted by him in his book
Kitabur Radd ’ala Jahmiyyah, reported by a different group of narrators.
Why do you go to the People of the Book, the Jews and the Christians, to
seek injunctions about the Shari’a while your Book, The Holy Qur’an,
revealed to Muhammad, the prophet of Allah, is the latest and freshest
revelation of God. You recite it in its original form. Allah Almighty has told
you that the the Jews, have changed the Pentateuch, the Book of Allah,
having written it with their own hands. They started saying that it was from
Allah, only to get a small amount of money in return. Does not your
knowledge prevent you from asking them questions.
The other version of this hadith as cited by al-Bukhari in Kitab-ur- Radd’al
Jahmiyyah is as follows:
O Muslims! Why do you ask the People of the Book questions regarding
anything when your own Book is the Word which God has revealed to your
Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be on Him). It is new and fresh, pure and
original, free from foreign touch. Allah has declared in His Book that the
People of the Book have changed and distorted their Books. They have
written them with their own hands and claimed that they come from God,
(they did so) only for a small amount of money. Does the knowledge which
has come to you not prevent you from seeking guidance from them? No, by
God.’ we have not seen them asking you about what has been sent to you.
Why then do you ask them knowing that their books have been distorted.
Kitabu’l-I’tisam contains the following statement of the companion
Mu’awiyah (may Allah be pleased with Him) regarding Ka’b al-Ahbar (an
expert on the Bible and a scholar of Islam):
Although he was one of the most truthful of those scholars of hadith who
sometimes report traditions from the People of the Book, we have
nevertheless found falsehood in them (in the reports of the Bible).

This implies that the falsehood found in those reports was due to the fact that
those books had been distorted, not Ka’b al-Ahbar’s misstatement, because he is
considered one of the righteous scholars of the Bible by the Companions of the
Prophet. The phrase, “We have found falsehood in them,” clearly denotes that
the Companions of the Prophet had the belief that all the Judaeo-Christian
books had been distorted.
Every Muslim scholar who has examined the Torah and the Evangel has
certainly refused to recognise the authenticity of these books. The author of the
book Takhjeel Man Harrafaal Injeel said in chapter two of his book regarding
the present gospels:
These gospels are not the true and genuine Gospel which was sent
through the Prophet (Jesus) and revealed by God.
Later in the same chapter he said:
And the true Evangel is only the one which was spoken by the tongue of
Christ.
Again in chapter nine he stated:
Paul through his clever deception deprived all the Christians of their
original faith, because he found their understanding so weak that he deluded
them quite easily into believing anything he wished. By this means he totally
abolished the original Pentateuch.
One of the Indian Scholars has written his judgment about the thesis of the
author of Meezan ul Haq and the speech made by me in the public debate held
in Delhi. ’This judgment has been added as a supplement to a Persian book
called Risalatu’l-Munazarah printed in 1270 AH in Delhi. He said that a certain
Protestant scholar, either because of a misunderstanding or perhaps through
misinformation, publicly claimed that the Muslims did not refute the present
Torah and Evangel. This scholar himself went to the scholars of Delhi to find
out whether this was true. He was told by the ‘Ulama’ (Muslim scholars) that
the collection of books called the New Testament was not acceptable as it was
not the same Evangel which had been revealed to the Prophet Jesus. He got this
judgment of the ’Ulama’ in writing and then made it part of his book. All the
Indian scholars of Islam have verified this judgment for the guidance of the
people.

 

THE OPINION OF MUSLIM SCHOLARS

THE OPINION OF IMAM AR-RAZI

Imam ar-Razi 29 said in his book ’Matlib ul-Aliya’ in the chapter on
Nubuwah (the prophethood) in the fourth section:
The effect of the original teaching of Jesus was very limited because he
never preached the faith which the Christians ascribe to him. The idea of
Father and son and the concept of trinity are the worst kind of atheism and
association and are certainly the product of ignorance. Such heretical
teachings cannot be ascribed to so great a Prophet as Jesus who was innocent
of all such crimes. We are therefore certain that Jesus could have not
preached this impure faith. He originally preached monotheism and not
tritheism as the Christians claim. But this teaching of Jesus did not spread
due to many historical factors. His message therefore remained very limited.

THE OPINION OF IMAM AL-QURTUBI

Imam al-Qurtubi said in his book Kitabul A’lam Bima Fi Deeni’n-, Nasara
Minal Fisadi Wal Awham:
The present gospels, which are called evangels, are not the same Evangel
which the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on Him) alluded to in the words:
And Allah revealed the Torah and the Evangel for the guidance of the
earlier people.’
Then al-Qurtubi put forward the argument that the disciples of Jesus were
not Prophets, hence not protected from impurity, and the miraculous events
ascribed to them have not been proved by an unbroken chain of reporters. There
are only statements made by isolated reporters, we also do not find any
indication that the copies of these gospels are free from serious manipulations.
They are wrong. If, for a moment, we accept that these reports are true, they are
still not an argument for proving the truth of all the wonders attributed to the
disciples, nor do they help in proving the claim of prophethood for them,
because they never made any claim to prophethood; on the contrary, they
solemnly confirmed that the Prophet Jesus was a preacher.
Al-Qurtubi also said: It is evident from the above discussion that the present gospels have not
been authenticated by means of an unbroken chain of transmission, nor is
there any indication that the copiers were protected from wrong action and
therefore the possibility of error and fault from them cannot be overlooked.
The presence of the above two factors deprives the gospels of their divine
character, authenticity and hence their reliability. The proven presence of
human manipulation within the text of these gospels is enough to prove their
unacceptability. We quote, however, some examples from these books to
show the carelessness of their copiers and blunders made by them.
After producing several examples he said:
These examples are sufficient to prove that the present gospels and the
Pentateuch cannot: be trusted and that neither of them is capable of
providing divine guidance to man, because no historical chain of
transmission can be adduced in favour of either in support of their
authenticity.
We have already cited several examples to show that these books have
been subject to great changes and distortions in their texts. The condition of
other books of the Christian theologians can well be imagined in the light of
the distorted texts of the Judaeo-Christian scriptures, books of such prime
importance to them.
This book of al-Qurtubi can be seen in the Topkapi Library in Istanbul.

THE OPINION OF IMAM AL-MAQRIZI

Al-Maqrizi was a great scholar of Islam in the eighth century AH. He said in
the first volume of his history:
The Jews think that the book which they have is true and original, free
from all corruption. The Christians, on the other hand, claim that the
Septuagint 30 version of the Bible which is with them is free from any
possible distortion and change, while the Jews deny this and contradict their
statement. The Samaritans consider their Pentateuch to be the only genuine
version as compared to all others. There is nothing with them to eliminate
the doubts about this difference of opinion among them.

The same difference of opinion is found among the Christians regarding
the Evangel. For the Christians have four versions of the Evangel which
have been combined together in a single book, The first version is of
Matthew, the second of Mark, the third of Luke and the fourth of John.
Each of them wrote his gospel according to his own preaching in his own
area with the help of his memory. There are innumerable contradictions,
incompatibilities and inconsistencies between their various accounts
regarding the attributes of Jesus, his message, the time of his Crucifixion and
his genealogy. The contradictions are irresolvable.
Alongside this the Marcionites and the Ebionites have their separate
version of the Evangels, each being different from the present canonical
gospels. The Manichaeans also claim to have an Evangel of their own totally
different from the current accepted gospels. They claim that this is the only
genuine Evangel precinct in the world and the rest are inauthentic. They have
another evangel called the Evangel of AD 70 (Septuagint) which is ascribed
to Ptolamaeus. The Christians in general do not recognize this gospel as
genuine.
In the presence of the above multifarious differences to be found within
the corpus of the Judaeo-Christian revelation, it is almost impossible for
them to sort out the truth.”
The author of Kashf az-Zunun said with regard to this matter that the
Evangel was a book which was revealed to Jesus, the son of Mary, and,
discussing the lack of authenticity and genuineness of the present gospels, he
said:
The Evangel which was in reality revealed to Jesus was a single book
which was absolutely free from contradictions and inconsistencies. It is the
Christians who have put the false blame on Allah and His Prophet (Jesus) by
ascribing the present gospel to them.
The author of Hidayatu’I-Hayara Fi Ajwibaru’l-Yahood wa’n- Nasara said
quite explicitly:
The present Torah (Pentateuch) owned by the Jews is much distorted and
defective, a fact known to every biblical reader. The Biblical scholars,
themselves, are certain and sure of the fact that the original Torah which was
revealed to Moses was genuine and totally free from the present distortions
and corruptions. There was no corruption present in the Evangel which was
originally revealed to Christ and which could not have included the event of
the crucifixion of Christ, or other events like his resurrection three days after
his death. These are, in fact additions inserted by their elders and have
nothing whatever to do with divine Truth.

He further said:
Several Islamic scholars have laboriously pointed out hundreds of
specific examples and passages showing contradictions, incompatibilities
and differences in the so-called Canonical Gospels. It is only to avoid an
unnecessary elongated discussion that we refrain from presenting more
examples.
The first two parts of this book should be more than enough to prove the
truth of this claim.

 

 

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