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Rebuttal to Farooq Ibrahim's Article

Is the Injeel less or more trustworthy than the Quran?

By Umar

[Part I] [Part II] [Part III]

 

 

 

The Article is located here at: http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Farooq_Ibrahim/trustworthy1.htm

 

He Wrote:

   Is the Injeel less or more trustworthy than the Quran?

Part 1 of 3

Farooq Ibrahim

 

Over the years, a number of Muslims and some non-Muslims have asked me why I had problems defending my Islamic faith. While a Muslim in the late 1980’s, and seeking the truth within Islam and also desiring to invite others to Islam, I was faced with a number of challenges to defending my faith. On many occasions while interacting with Christians, I claimed the Bible was corrupted and that the Quran supercedes it. But these Christians claimed that this argument was simply a Muslim position without proof and that the Bible was the word of God and it was not corrupted. Since I had not studied the topic myself, but simply repeated what I was taught, I decided to investigate the trustworthiness of the Bible, and focused my attention specifically on the Injeel, the New Testament of Christians. During this time I realized that I knew very little about how the Quran came into being. Growing up, I was taught by Muslim teachers that the Quran of today is the same as the Quran revealed to Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam and its wording is exactly the same letter for letter, even down to the dots and vowel marks as that which was recited to Mohammad by the angel Gabriel. I was also taught that Allah had guaranteed that He would protect the Quran from human tampering.

The purpose of writing this three-part response is to share with my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters the discoveries I made at that historical point in my journey of faith. During this time I was seeking to find the truth in defense of the Quran, and to prove the Injeel corrupted. In trying to grapple with this topic, I was armed primarily with the Quran, Hadith and Bible, along with supporting works by Muslim and non-Muslim authors. To that end, my first challenge was to determine how I was going to judge if the Quran is un-corrupted and that the Injeel is corrupted. The topics to address this include archeology, science, numerology, history, textual criticism, prophecy, etc. Many eminent scholars have spent years addressing them and others continue to do so. During that time, I did not have the time or the inclination to address the whole field. My goal was limited to making an assessment between the two – was the Quran or the Injeel more trustworthy? To that end, I restricted my study to the following three topics regarding the Quran and the Injeel:

        First, to understand what the Quran and the Injeel teach about what God says about communicating and protecting his message.

        Second, to investigate the history of how the early Quran and Injeel were compiled into the books that became the authoritative collection of God’s message from Mohammad and Isa.

        Third, to review what scholars say about the transmission of the Quran and Injeel manuscripts over the years, since their authoritative compilation.

In this article I will address only the first topic of the study. The other topics are covered in the second and third segments of the study.

 

 

My Response:

 

 

         Since Farooq Ibrahim has divided his article into 3 parts, we will also divide our article into 3 parts, and try our best to reply.

 

 

 

He Wrote:

 

Is there support within the Quran and Injeel that clearly state that God has spoken?

I started to check first into what the Quran and Injeel taught about God communicating and protecting his message. From the Quran it is clear that it claims that Mohammad was Allah’s messenger.

O Mankind! The Messenger hath come to you in truth from Allah: believe in him: It is best for you. But if ye reject Faith, to Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth: And Allah is All-knowing, All-wise. Surah 4:170

This was my understanding as that is part of the Shahada, the confession of faith — that Mohammad was Allah’s messenger and has brought to us his words. So next I started to look at what Allah said about inspiring other messengers. I was aware of the Muslim teaching that Moses and Isa were also inspired by Allah. That just as Mohammad received inspiration, the previous messengers were also inspired to express the words of God. This is confirmed in the ayah (verse) below.

We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not;- and to Moses Allah spoke direct; Surah 4:163-164

However I was very surprised to find that Allah states that he makes no distinction among these messages from him. That was a big surprise to me as I was taught that the Quran was superior to all of the other messages and that is why it was also the last and final revelation to come to mankind. But from the ayah below, Allah clearly states that all of them are equal.

We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them - Surah 3:84

When I started to study the Injeel to determine what it says about God’ message, I discovered that Isa said that the Jewish scriptures had full authority as the words of God. Note what Isa says about the message the Jews had in their possession. These words were spoken during the time when Isa was fasting in the wilderness and Satan came to tempt him. Note Isa’s response to Satan as he quotes from the Taurat (Torah):

‘But He answered and said, "It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’"’ Matthew 4:4

The words in upper case above are referencing the bolded ones below in the Torah.

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3

Regarding the Injeel, Isa makes the claim that his own words are God’s words and they are truth.

"...The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in me does his work." John 14:10

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. ....Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:14,17

Also note that in the Injeel, we see Apostle Peter bearing witness of what the Jewish and Christian scripture teach regarding the word of God. The words in upper case refer to quotes from the Jewish scripture.

for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER. And this is the word which was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:23-25

From this portion of my investigation, it became clear, both from the Quran and the Injeel that God had inspired messengers to speak on his behalf and the message they gave are to be considered to be from him. Since the Quran came later, it even goes further and states there was no distinction to be made between the Quran and the previous messages.

 

 

My Response:

 

         It is true that we are not supposed to make distinction between any of the messages, however, the people who received the message before, they threw this covenant behind their backs:

[003:187] And remember God took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made!

 

       This is what the Holy Qur'an says about the Jews who broke the covenant:

   [004:155] (They have incurred divine displeasure): In that they broke their covenant; that they rejected the signs of God; that they slew the Messengers in defiance of right; that they said, "Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve God's Word; We need no more)";- Nay, God hath set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy, and little is it they believe;-

     

        Also, read:

[005:012] God did aforetime take a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we appointed twelve captains among them. And God said: "I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers, practise regular charity, believe in my apostles, honour and assist them, and loan to God a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you, after this, resisteth faith, he hath truly wandered from the path or rectitude."

[005:013] But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them- barring a few - ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for God loveth those who are kind.

     

       The Holy Qur'an also speaks about the people who call themselves "Christians";

[005:014] From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will God show them what it is they have done.

 

         Also, the Christians considered Jesus as God, and Allah SWT speaks about this ;

[005:017] In blasphemy indeed are those that say that God is Christ the son of Mary. Say: "Who then hath the least power against God, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every - one that is on the earth? For to God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For God hath power over all things."

          And this is what the Holy Qur'an says about the Christians who commited excess in their religion:

[004:171] O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His apostles. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for God is one God: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs.

         Allah SWT tells us that the people who also believe that Jesus was crucified are full of doubts, and have no knowledge;

[004:156] That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge;

[004:157] That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) know ledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

[004:158] Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

 

        Also, here is what Prophet Muhammad (S) said about the Jews and Christians concerning the scriptures:

 Narrated Ubaidullah: "Ibn 'Abbas said, "Why do you ask the people of the scripture about anything while your Book (Quran) which has been revealed to Allah's Apostle is newer and the latest? You read it pure, undistorted and unchanged, and Allah has told you that the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) changed their scripture and distorted it, and wrote the scripture with their own hands and said, 'It is from Allah,' to sell it for a little gain. Does not the knowledge which has come to you prevent you from asking them about anything? No, by Allah, we have never seen any man from them asking you regarding what has been revealed to you!" (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur'an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461)"

 

          The Holy Qur'an confirms the previous revelations (see Sura 5:48) , and it came with a twofold purpose, after the corruption of the previous revelations:

1) To Confirm the true and original Message

2) To guard it, or act as a check to its interpretation

(Source: The Qur'an: Text, Translation, and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Footnote# 759)

The Muslims only agree with the parts of the Bible, that agree with the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an also tells us that there are some who wrote books which they called God's word, and trafficked it for miserable gains!

[002:079] Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from God," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.

And,

[004:044] Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? they traffic in error, and wish that ye should lose the right path.

 

Now, let us proceed with Farooq Ibrahim's article.

 

 

He Wrote:

 

              Are there claims in the Quran and Injeel that they contain the written words of God?

Next area of importance for me was if God has spoken to us through messengers, has this message been written down? Being a Muslim, I believed this of the Quran. Nevertheless, I checked the Quran to see what claims it makes regarding this.

This Quran is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds. Or do they say, "He forged it"? say: "Bring then a Sura like unto it, and call (to your aid) anyone you can besides Allah, if it be ye speak the truth!" Surah 10:37-38

Hence not only does the Quran make the claim that it is from Allah, but also challenges others to create a Surah of similar caliber. What surprised me though was that Allah states he has inspired other books – which implied these previous scriptures were written down. Therefore the Quran does acknowledge other written scriptures as can be seen below.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the Day of Judgement, hath gone far, far astray - Surah 4:136

When I started checking the Injeel, it claims that all written scripture, has been inspired by God.

"...and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:15-17

When looking specifically at the Injeel I found Isa claimed that his word is God’s word. In addition, he said that God’s word will be brought to the memory of the apostles, which are written in the Injeel.

"...and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me." John 14:24

"But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." John 14:26

My understanding was Mohammad had received revelation from Allah and that was directly made part of the Quran, while the other Scriptures were similar to the Hadith (Mohammad’s words or deeds), as it contained historical facts and quotes from other than Allah. But from the study of the Quran and Injeel, I was surprised that all scriptures have been written down and are from God, regardless of the format, whether in direct command form as most of the Quran is or multiple forms as in the Injeel and the Jewish scripture.

 

 

 

My Response:

 

       [004:136] O ye who believe! Believe in God and His Apostle, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth God, His angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray.

 

            No Muslim should deny that Allah SWT revealed the Torah to Moses, and no Muslim should deny that Jesus was given the Gospel. The Holy Qur'an, although says that the previous revelations have suffered corruption, that doesn't mean we wont recognize that there is still truth in it.

 

 

He Wrote:

 

     Is there support in the Quran or Injeel that the written scriptures are or can be corrupted?

This was an area of much discussion that I used to have with Christians. In the past, I understood from Muslim teachers that Allah had guaranteed to protect the Quran from human tampering, but the protection of the other Scriptures were given to Jews and Christians and that they had corrupted it. So I started again checking into the Quran regarding this topic, and it became very clear that Allah says that no one can change the words of God.

"There is none that can alter the words of Allah." Surah 6:34

"No change can there be in the words of Allah." Surah 10:64

The question was do the above ayahs restrict the protection only to the Quran? It became clear that this protection included the previous scriptures since Allah makes no distinction among them from Surah 3:84. But what about the Muslim teachers that kept telling me the Injeel and the Torah are corrupted. Where was that in the Quran? I kept looking and only found this type of teaching that says some Jews and Christians were hiding what was in their books. Note the following ayah:

"O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary): There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book," Surah 5:15

I was very disappointed. I was looking for the strong claim to corruption that I had been taught. But the above ayah does not claim that the Jewish or Christian scriptures are corrupted, only that the Christians and Jews were hiding things from the Muslims and that God has now revealed them in the Quran. I continued to look further, but did not find much to support corruption. Though, I was surprised to find that the Quran supports the authority of the Injeel by commanding the Christians to judge by what they have in their scripture. That is, from what they currently posses with them – which implied these are not corrupted, else Allah would not ask them to judge by it.

"We sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him. We sent him the Gospel... 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..." Surah 5:46-47

So, I turned my attention to see what was being said about corruption in the Injeel. Were perhaps the Jewish scriptures corrupted? Looking at the Injeel, it claims all Jewish and Christian scriptures will stand, even if heaven and earth pass away.

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished." Matthew 5:17-18

Note also the reference by Prophet David to God’s word and their relation to heaven and earth in the Psalms (Zabur),

Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants. Psalm 119:89-91

Further, Isa who speaks God’s word says the same about his words in the Injeel.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." Matthew 24:35

At this point, I was satisfied that the Quran and Injeel clearly state that the words of God will stand.

 

 

My Response:

 

First of all, Sura 6:34, was cut off, here is the full Ayat:

[006:034] Rejected were the apostles before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of God. Already hast thou received some account of those apostles.

 

Here is the Tafsir of Sura 6:34, since it is evident that the verse has been taken out of context:

(Verily, (many) Messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt, till Our help reached them,) This comforts the Prophet's concern for those who denied and rejected him. Allah also commands the Prophet to be patient, just as the mighty Messengers before him were. He also promised him victory, just as the previous Messengers were victorious and the good end was theirs, after the denial and harm their people placed on them. Then, victory came to them in this life, just as victory is theirs in the Hereafter. Allah said,

[????? ????????? ??????????? ???????]

(and none can alter the Words of Allah.) This refers to His decision that victory in this life and the Hereafter is for His believing servants. Allah said in other Ayat,

[???????? ???????? ??????????? ???????????? ?????????????? - ????????? ?????? ?????????????? - ??????? ???????? ?????? ????????????? ]

(And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our servants, the Messengers. That they verily would be made triumphant. And that Our hosts, they verily would be the victors.) [37:171-173], and,

(Source: http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=6&tid=15292 )

And here is the full Ayat of Sura 10:64;

[010:064] For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of God. This is indeed the supreme felicity.

And here is the Tafsir:

(Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah (alone),'' and then they stand straight and firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask. An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') (41:30-32) In the Hadith narrated by Al-Bara', the Prophet said:

????? ??????????? ????? ???????? ???????? ??????? ??????????? ????? ?????????? ????? ?????????? ?????????:???????? ?????????? ???????? ???????????? ????? ?????? ??????????? ?????? ?????? ?????????? ?????????? ???? ?????? ????? ??????? ??????????? ???? ???? ?????????

(When death approaches the believer, angels with white faces and white clothes come to him and say: "O good soul! Come out to comfort and provision and a Lord who is not angry.'' The soul then comes out of his mouth like a drop of water pouring out of a water skin.) Their good news in the Hereafter is as Allah said:

[??? ???????????? ????????? ??????????? ???????????????? ?????????????? ?????? ?????????? ??????? ??????? ?????????? ]

(The greatest terror (on the Day of Resurrection) will not grieve them, and the angels will meet them, (with the greeting:) "This is your Day which you were promised.'') (21:103), and,

[?????? ????? ?????????????? ???????????????? ??????? ???????? ?????? ??????????? ???????????????? ??????????? ????????? ???????? ??????? ??? ????????? ???????????? ?????????? ?????? ?????? ???? ????????? ?????????? ]

(On the Day you shall see the believing men and the believing women -- their light running forward before them and by their right hands. Glad tidings for you this Day! Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever! Truly, this is the great success!)(57:12) Allah then said:

[??? ????????? ??????????? ???????]

(No change can there be in the Words of Allah.) meaning, this promise doesn't change or breach or fall short. It is decreed and firm, and going to happen undoubtedly.

(Source: http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=10&tid=23001 )

Earlier above, I showed in the Holy Qur'an where it says the Bible is corrupted, so that has already been dealt with.

Matthew 5:17-18 talks about Jesus fulfilling the Law, so we wont even bother with that, Psalms 119:89-91 says that God's word is settled in heaven, and that is pretty much self-explanatory, but let's go to Matthew 24:35. Now, it is important to note that Jesus taught the oneness of God:

 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (Mark 12:29)

Similarly, the Quran says:

[002:163] And your God is One God: There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Jesus said there is a Day of Judgement;

But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. Mat 12:36

The Holy Qur'an says:

[003:025] How then will it be with them, when we shall gather them together at the day of judgement, of which there is no doubt; and every soul shall be paid that which it hath gained, neither shall they be treated unjustly?

Jesus said, to fear God:

"Be afraid of the ONE who can destroy both body and soul in hell" Mat 10:28

The Qur'an tells us to fear God:

[002:002] This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God;

[002:206] When it is said to him, "Fear God", He is led by arrogance to (more) crime. Enough for him is Hell;-An evil bed indeed (To lie on)!

But most importantly, Jesus taught the Oneness of God. He told everyone that there is only one LORD,  Jesus never called himself God, and Allah SWT says in the Holy Qur'an;

[005:116] And behold! God will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of God'?" He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.

So Jesus words did not pass away, his teachings are still here in the Holy Qur'an!

 

 

 

He Wrote:

 

        Conclusion

Therefore from study of the Quran and the Injeel I was able to come to the following conclusions:

        The Quran claims that it is the word of God given by inspiration.

        The Quran also claims that the previous scriptures given to Moses, David, Isa and other Messengers are the words of Allah and inspired by Him.

        The Quran challenges the Christians to judge by what is the Injeel during the time of Mohammad and makes no mention of them being corrupted.

        The Injeel gives the Jewish scriptures complete authority to be the word of God and that it stands forever.

        The Injeel also claims that all of Isa’s words are the words of God and that they will never pass away.

        The Injeel also claims that God’s Spirit will teach the apostles and bring to their memory all of Isa’s words. Thereby affirming the Injeel, though written by apostles to be inspired of God.

I had begun with the belief like my other Muslim brothers and sisters that Allah had guaranteed that He will protect the Quran from human tampering, but not the other scriptures. For that reason, I was surprised to learn that Allah had always taught the incorruptibility of scripture even in the Injeel. Protection by God of his message was not new to the Quran. The claim that no human can change the words of God is one made by both the Quran and the Injeel. In addition, nowhere did I find any warning in the Quran that the former Jewish or Christian scriptures had been corrupted. Instead the Quran clearly states that the Jewish and Christian scriptures are authoritative inspiration from God. Regarding the claim that the Injeel was more like the Hadith and contained non-inspired words was not supportable either from the Quran or from the Injeel. I was able to accept that God’s message and teaching can come to us in different forms; it does not always have to come in direct command or quotes from God. Hence based on the ayahs and verses from the Quran and Injeel, it was clear that each of the scriptures speak to itself as being God’s words and to be protected from change.

At this point I was satisfied that I had unjustly denied myself a serious study of the previous scriptures due to fear of corruption. I was now ready to take a serious look at them. It now made sense to me why the Christian Bible not only contains the Injeel but also all of the Jewish scriptures – they are all words of God. This caused in me a desire to study all of the words of God, not just what Mohammad had taught.

 

 

My Response:

 

      Thus we have ended Part 1, continue on to Part 2.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to My Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Responses to the so-called "Contradictions" in the Noble Quran.

Rebuttals by Umar.


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