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Is There Any Evidence That Previous Scriptures Were Corrupted?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is there any evidence from the Quran that the Jews and Christians altered the actual text of their own scriptures or any Hadith in which Muhammad called upon Jews or Christians to reject their scriptures?

Answer:Assalam alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for your questions.

There are many instances where the Qur’an mentions directly or implicitly the alteration of former scriptures (tahrif), in speech and the written word, while a brief search in the hadith corpus does not show any statements of the Prophet mentioning it.

Qur’an

Among the references to tahrif in the Qur’an, we find:

‘And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath … although a group of them used to hear the word of Allah, and then, having understood it, used to distort it knowingly’ [2:65-75]

‘So, woe to those who write the Book with their hands and then say, “This is from Allah”, so that they may gain thereby a trifling price. Then, woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn.’ [2:78]

‘Among them there is indeed a group who twist their tongues while (reading) the Book, so that you may deem it to be from the Book, while it is not from the Book. They say, “It is from Allah”, while it is not from Allah; and they tell lies about Allah knowingly.’ [3:78]

‘When Allah took a pledge from those who were given the Book: “You shall make it known to people, and you shall not conceal it,” they threw it away behind their backs, and acquired a small price for it. So, evil is what they acquire.’ [3:187]

‘They change words from their context and forget a part of that whereof they were admonished. Thou wilt not cease to discover treachery from all save a few of them. But bear with them and pardon them. Lo! Allah loveth the kindly.’ [5:12]

Hadith

In the hadith literature, we find the words of Abdullah bin `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them both) who said,

‘O the group of Muslims! How can you ask the people of the Scriptures about anything while your Book which Allah has revealed to your Prophet contains the most recent news from Allah and is pure and not distorted? Allah has told you that the people of the Scriptures have changed some of Allah’s Books and distorted it and wrote something with their own hands and said, ‘This is from Allah, so as to have a minor gain for it. Won’t the knowledge that has come to you stop you from asking them? No, by Allah, we have never seen a man from them asking you about that (the Qur’an ) which has been revealed to you.’ [al Bukhari]

Rejecting the validity of previous scriptures

In regards the Prophet ﷺ calling the People of the Book to reject previous scriptures and adopt the Qur’an, the following verses are explicit statements which affirm Islam as the final and only accepted religion for Mankind. The Qur’an invites the People of the Book to Islam by asking them to recognize the veracity of the Message which is a completion of their own texts. It does not however call to the universal validity of all faiths.
‘There are some who believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before Allah. They do not sell Allah’s Signs for a paltry price.
[3:199]

Those We gave the Book before this [the Qur’an] believe in it. And when it is recited to them they say, “We believe in it; it is the truth from our Lord. We were already Muslims before it came.’ [28:52-53]

But those of them [the Jews] who are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you. [4:162]

And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter [3:85]

I hope the above examples have answered your questions.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Muslim Convert: Could I still believe in Jesus as a Muslim?

Paris and her fiance planned on strengthening their faith as Christians but they became disillusioned by the churches they visited and reading the Bible created more questions than it answered. This search eventually led to both of them embracing Islam, with Paris converting first. Watch on to see how God guided her and helped her overcome her concerns.


If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

Resources for Seekers

The Interfaith Master – Ustadh Ali Ataie – Seekers Highlight

Ustadh Ali Ataie is undoubtedly one of the foremost leading scholars in comparative religions today.
He is currently a teacher and researcher of the Islamic Sciences and specializes in theology and biblical interpretation. Additionally he is also the President and Founder of Muslim Interfaith Council and has been heavily involved in interfaith activities for the past 15 years.

Seeker of Knowledge

During the year 2000 Ustadh Ali graduated from California Polytechnic State University where he earned his degree in Accounting. In the course of his time at University he severed as the President of the Muslim Students’ Association.
Soon after Ustadh Ali received his Masters’ Degree in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. It is important to note that he is the first Muslim seminarian to attain this Degree in a 143 year history of the school.
Currently he is working towards a PhD in Islamic Biblical Hermeneutics.
Nevertheless these above credentials aren’t all that make Ustadh Ali an astounding scholar.
He began his Islamic studies in the Bay Area, Northern California under highly esteemed teachers, one of them being Zaytuna College founder, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
Thereafter he went to the blessed land of Tarim, Yemen and graduated from the Badr Arabic Language Institute. He has been blessed to learn from some of the most eminent scholars in the world, including Habib Umar bin Hafiz amongst others.
He has continued his pursuit of knowledge at the prestigious Dar al-Mustafa where he obtained many other qualifications in the Islamic sciences.

Giver of Knowledge

He is Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies and World Religions at both Zaytuna College and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.
Ustadh Ali also teaches on SeekersGuidance, his course: The Bible Through a Muslim Lens.
This course seeks to introduce and teach the Christian Bible’s 3 Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John to Muslims. The course introduces students to the four gospels found in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and provides them with new insights and a more nuanced understanding of who Jesus (peace be upon him) was for the objective of calling others to the truth of Islam.
He has been both a guest lecturer and guest instructor at several colleges and universities such as Cal Poly State, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles and Cal State East Bay .
In addition he has also dialogued and debated with Christian scholars about such critical topics as the resurrection of Jesus and the Prophethood of Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings be upon them both).
Ustadh Ali is certified in Arabic, Hebrew, and Biblical Greek, and fluent in Farsi. Few match his comprehensive knowledge of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions.

Relevant resources:

COURSE: The Bible Through A Muslim Lens
Fasting has Abrahamic Roots – Ustadh Ali Ataie

Answers by Ustadh Ali Ataie

Pauline Christianity, the Prophet’s Access to the Bible, and Similarities in the Gospels
Should I Continue to Attend Religious Discussions That I Don’t Benefit From?
Did Christians Originally Gather for Worship on Saturday or Sunday?
Jesus’s Role as Messiah and Savior According to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism
Fitrah and What Happens to Children Who Die Before Puberty
Why Does Allah Refer to Himself as “We” in the Qur’an?
Can Those Who Aren’t Descendents of the Prophet or Companions Be Truly Close to Him?

Islam and the Other by Mohamed Ghilan

By Mohamed Ghilan
threefaithrsContrary to popular approach, the way Islam should be viewed in relation to Christianity, Judaism, or any other religious tradition for that matter is not as an opposing religion to all others. When engaged in interfaith dialogues and debates, there’s a strong tendency for many Muslims to refute the validity of beliefs upheld by non-Muslims. However, neither does the Quran nor the Sunnah of the Beloved, peace and blessings be upon, him support such an approach.
After the Opening Surah of the Quran where it ends with the request for guidance, the second Surah (The Cow) begins by describing the qualities of the believers. One of those qualities is that they believe in what was sent before what was revealed in the Quran [2:4]. This affirmation of the previous Revelation is not an affirmation of relative truths. Although God further confirms in the beginning of the third Surah (The Family of ‘Imran) that He’s the One who has revealed the Torah and the Gospel [3:3], in the Fifth Surah (The Feast) Allah qualifies this confirmation:

وأنزلنا إليك الكتب بالحق مصدقا لما بين يديه من الكتب ومهيمنا عليه فاحكم بينهم بما أنزل الله

We sent to you the Scripture with the Truth, confirming the Scriptures that came before it, and with final authority over them: so judge between them according to what God has sent down. – [The Feast 5:48]

According to the Quran, Islam begins by first confirming that which came before it. At the same time it acknowledges the presence of differences that can’t be reconciled, in which circumstance for a Muslim – the final judge is the Quran. This is highly significant from a psychological perspective. People don’t respond very well to being told they’re wrong, especially when their “wrong” is actually partly right. This is why the command in the Quran to Muslims when speaking with Christians or Jews is:

قل يأهل الكتب تعالوا إلى كلمة سواء بيننا وبينكم ألا نعبد إلا الله ولا نشرك به شيئا ولا يتخذ بعضنا بعضا أربابا من دون الله

Say, ‘People of the Book, let us arrive at a statement that is common to us all: we worship God and none of us takes others beside God as lords.’ – [The Family of ‘Imran 3:64]

The Arabic word used in this verse for arriving at a common statement literally means “elevate.” It’s an invitation to the higher calling. In fact, when calling to Islam, the command in the Quran given to Muslims is:

ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة وجدلهم بالتي هي أحسن إن ربك هو أعلم بمن ضل عن سبيله وهو أعلم بالمهتدين

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good teaching. Argue with them in the most courteous way, for your Lord knows best who has strayed from His way and who is rightly guided. – [The Bee 16:125]

Although many of these verses seem to speak about People of the Book, this is not to be understood as an exclusive address. It’s clarified in the Quran that not all Messengers have been mentioned [Ghafir 40:78]. Hence, the approach to non-Muslims that’s prescribed in the Quran is actually an approach to not just People of the Book, but to all people. It’s an approach that fulfills the command:

ولا تبخسوا الناس أشياءهم

Do not withhold from people things that are rightly theirs. – [Hud 11:85]

Similar to the Quran, the Sunnah is teaching the same message. The Beloved, peace and blessings be upon him, gave an analogy for how he should be viewed in relation to other Prophets:

مثلي ومثل الأنبياء من قبلي كمثل رجل ابتنى بيوتا، فأحسنها وأجملها وأكملها، إلا موضع لبنة من زاوية من زواياها، فجعل الناس يطوفون ويعجبهم البنيان، فيقولون: ألا وضعت هاهنا لبنة فتم بناؤه، فقال محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم: فأنا اللبنة

My likeness and the likeness of the Prophets that have come before me is the likeness of a man who built homes and beautified and adorned them, except for a spot missing a brick in one of the the corners. As people went around and admired the building they continued to say, “You should put a brick here to complete building it.” Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him said, “I am that brick.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

The approach Muslims are commanded to observe with regards to other traditions is an inclusive one. A Muslim is not ordered to respond to the claim that Jesus peace be upon him was the Messiah, Son of God by dismissively saying, “No! Jesus was just a Prophet.” Notwithstanding the disrespectful tone this reply carries, Jesus peace be upon him was not “just a Prophet.” He was more than that. He was Christ. The Messiah. Son of the Virgin Mary, peace be upon her. The same Virgin Mary who has a whole Surah in the Quran named after her. One could easily point to many qualities that set Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, apart from other Prophets and other human beings, while still maintaining his human nature. There’s no need to diminish his status or lower his rank because Christians elevate him beyond what Islam deems acceptable.
The Beloved, peace and blessings be upon him, said that every human being is born upon the Fitrah. We all share in a common innate dispensation towards the Truth. If a system of belief was wholly false it wouldn’t survive a generation, let alone thousands of years. Our Fitrah wouldn’t allow it. The Islamic perspective of other traditions is to acknowledge what’s consistent with Islamic teachings before pointing to the disagreements. Once that is done, the command in the Quran is not to continue arguing and debating about who’s right, but to let actions speak louder than words:

ولو شاء الله لجعلكم أمة واحدة ولكن ليبلوكم في ما ءاتىكم فاستبقوا الخيرات إلى الله مرجعكم جميعا فينبئكم بما كنتم فيه تختلفون

If God so willed, He would have made you one community, but He wanted to test you through that which He has given you, so race to do good: you will all return to God and He will make clear to you the matters you differed about. – [The Feast 5:48]

Imagine what kind of a world we would live in if instead of focusing on winning a debate about which religion is right, we focused on winning a competition of who educated and fed the most people. This, while at the same time acknowledging where we agree, accepting our theological disagreements, and leaving it all up to God to judge as He decreed. That’s the Islamic view of the other. It’s time to make it the Muslims’.
Mohamed Ghilan is a Canadian Muslim originally born in Saudi Arabia. In 2007 he began his full time studies in the Islamic Tradition and has been consistently traveling to study various aspects of the Islamic sciences. He has given lectures and taught courses on a variety of topics, including Maliki jurisprudence and Islamic theology (‘Aqeedah). He is currently pursuing a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Victoria.

Pauline Christianity, the Prophet’s Access to the Bible, and Similarities in the Gospels

Answered by Ustadh Ali Ataie

Question: Asssalamu alaikum. My wife is a Christian and she is currently exploring both Islam and Christianity.  She asked how is it possible for Paul to write that well, obviously with some flaws in the Bible, after our prophet Isiah (Jesus {peace and blessing be upon him}) departure many hundred years later? I know he cooperated with King Constantine and gave in to his demand for one Bible. Are his eleven Apostles right and correctly written in the Bible. Are David’s psalms correct?

Second, Did RasulUllah [saws, peace and blessing be upon him] have access to a Bible in anyway?

Third, How come Matthew, Mark and others are so similar?

Fourth, was Paul really inspired by Jesus [peace and blessing be upon him] to jot down all his statements in the Bible. How did he come to know so much of what to say in the Bible?

Answer: As-salam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well insha’Allah. You have raised many important issues and questions that deserve a lot of research and reflection. Here are a few quick answers. I hope you follow-up and investigate further.

Paul and our Master Jesus (peace be upon him)

First of all, Paul did not live “many hundred years” after our Master Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him); he was his contemporary but the two men never actually met each other during their historical lives. Paul did not meet Constantine as the latter lived three centuries later; and Constantine did not have anything to do with codifying the biblical text; he was mainly concerned with Christology, that is, the nature and function of Jesus Christ – was he equal (homoousian in Greek) with the Father or not. This was why he convened the infamous Council of Nicea in 325 CE. You noted that “Isaiah” is another name for Jesus. This is incorrect.

The Hebrew prophet Isaiah (d. 7th century BCE) is not mentioned in any definitive Muslim proof-text as far as I know. Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) is ‘Isa in the Qur’anic text or Yeshu’a in Syriac, meaning “saved by God” (see Psalm 20:6). According to the book of Acts as well as Paul’s own account in his various epistles canonized in the New Testament, Paul encountered a vision of the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus a short time after the ascension of Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) in which Christ commissioned Paul to admonish the Gentiles and build believing Christian congregations (Acts 9, 22, 26; Gal. 1-2).

Paul does not represent ‘Isa (as)

However, according to renown biblical scholars/philosophers F.C. Bauer, Walter Bauer, and Soren Kierkegaard, and others (even Thomas Jefferson), Paul is the initial corrupter of the rigidly monotheistic Gospel of the holy prophet Jesus Christ (peace and blessing be upon him). Paul fails to accurately quote Jesus even one time in his fourteen letters and epistles (actually seven [Romans, Galatians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon]; the other seven are viewed by the vast majority of New Testament scholars to be pseudonymous – forgeries attributed to Paul by Pauline elements).

By his own admission, Paul has fundamental differences of opinion with the Jerusalem apostolic leadership, namely James the Just, the brother of Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) and his successor (See the book of Galatians). Paul accuses Peter, James, and Barnabas of hypocrisy and condemns these eminent apostles as adhering to “another Gospel” (ετερον ευαγγελιον), Gal.1:6. Paul also admits that he does not possess a “letter of recommendation” (ijazah) from any authoritative apostle licensing him to teach the Gospel (2 Cor. 3:1)

Pauline Christianity is Today’s Christianity

Paul’s influence has led many scholars to conclude that he is the actual principal founder of the religion of Christianity; various dogmas such as vicarious atonement, incarnation, and divine sonship find clear origin in the Pauline corpus of the New Testament. The early believing community was split between Jamsonian Christianity, centered in Jerusalem and Semitic (Ebionite) in its theological orientation and Pauline Christianity, centered on Paul and his missions and proto-trinitarian in its theological (Christological) orientation.

The only two books of the New Testament that reflect the Jamsonian school are the books of James and Jude, both family members of Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him), the former labeled “a epistle of straw” by staunchly pro-Pauline theologian and spearhead of the Protestant Reformation Martin Luther (d. 1546 CE). There are several other writings that reflect the Jamsonian school of theology that did not make it into the New Testament due to their so-called heretical stances (the Clementine literature, the Didache, Liturgy of St. James, Gospel of the Ebionites, Gospel of the Hebrews, etc).

The Other Apostles and the Psalms

There are also other books in the New Testament that claim to have been written by apostles of Jesus (Matthew, John, and Peter), but almost all NT scholars believe that these books are pseudonymous as well. The practice of pseudonymity, or pious fraud/deception, was quite common in the Greco-Roman world at the time. With respect to the Psalms, the scholars of Islam say that indeed there are elements of truth in them, but even Old Testament biblical scholars of higher criticism do not maintain that the actual king David (peace and blessing be upon him) wrote the Pslams and have almost universally labeled the book “anonymous.”

Did our Master Muhammad (Peace and Blessing of Be Upon Him) have access to a Bible?

It is certainly conceivable that he did have access to a Bible, but we should remember that the Bible wasn’t actually translated into Arabic until the eighth century CE. That means, as some Orientalists have actually maintained, that he listened to stories about Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc., that were translated to him by learned Jews and Christians, and was then able to rehash those stories back into Arabic, in a style and beauty that remains unmatched to this day! The question then becomes, who were his human teachers that gave him these insights?

The hypocrisy of the Western Orientalist becomes apparent here due to the fact that when it comes to Jesus (who certainly had access to the OT in his own language) he employs a hermeneutic of acceptance; that is to say, that Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) was prima facie honest and truthful; but when it comes to Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) he employs a hermeneutic of suspicion; that is to say, the Prophet must have had an ulterior motive.

There were no Christian nor Jewish tribes living in Mecca at that time, only certain individuals. Waraqah b. Nawfal died in the Prophet’s second ministerial year; it is inconceivable that an unlettered Arab would have such specialized religious information at that time and place unless he was divinely inspired or raised as a student and rigorously trained in some seminary of some sort (such as a monastery or Yeshiva). With this said, the Prophet was dubbed Al-Saadiq al-Ameen by his people even before his prophecy.

Similarities between Matthew, Mark, and Luke

These gospels are similar because Matthew and Luke simply used Mark’s “skeleton” in the writing of their respective gospels. This is why these three gospels are called “synoptic,” meaning “one-eyed.” Mark wrote around 70 CE, Matthew around 85 CE, and Luke around 85-90 CE. This theory, known as the Two Source Theory, is the most widely held opinion by biblical scholars. However, at times Matthew and Luke will revise a Markan story or pericope due to linguistic or theological reasons.

The work of the great German scholars of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Bultmann and Strauss gave rise to the study of higher biblical criticism and includes redaction, source, and textual criticisms. See Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman for some incredible insights and information. John’s Gospel is vastly different than the synoptic tradition and scholars have different theories as to why that is.

Ali Ataie


Ali Ataie has been involved in interfaith activities for over fifteen years. He has been both a guest lecturer and guest instructor at several colleges and universities such as Cal Poly State , UC Davis , UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cal State East Bay, and others . He studied various Islamic sciences under local Bay Area scholars and has dialogued and debated with several Christian scholars on a variety of topics ranging from the historicity of the resurrection of Christ (upon whom be peace) and the Prophethood of Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings).

He is a graduate of the Badr Arabic Language Institute in Hadramawt, Yemen and studied at the prestigious Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most eminent scholars in the world. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, with emphasis upon the New Testament (the first Muslim seminarian in the 147 year history of the school to do so). He is certified in Arabic, Hebrew, and biblical Greek, and is fluent in Farsi. Currently he is working on a PhD in Islamic Biblical Hermeneutics at the GTU and is an adjunct professor of Islamic Studies and World Religions at the GTU and Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Ca.

What is the Islamic View on the Gospel of Barnabas?

Answered by Ustadh Ali Ataie

Question: As salamu alaykum,

I have heard about the Gospel of Barnabas for quite some years and even have a copy myself. I understand that the critics dismissed the document as being falsified, but what is the view of the ‘Ulema in regards to the genuineness of the document?

Answer: As-salam alaykum,

The vast majority of Muslim academics and scholars of comparative religion have deemed the so-called Gospel of Barnabas as pseudepigraphical, meaning that it is a forgery, probably a pious fraud, that was written for polemical reasons and dubiously attributed to the apostle Barnabas, the traveling companion of Paul according to the Book of Acts in the New Testament.

Textual Criticism

From the standpoint of textual criticism, there is no extant manuscript of the gospel that predates the sixteen century of the common era (CE); while the oldest extant manuscript dating from this period was written in Italian. The entire Italian manuscript was translated into English by Lonsdale and Laura Ragg in 1907 along with a lengthy introduction.

Although much of what is written in the gospel agrees with the Islamic theology/Christology, such as the presence of many clear predictions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as several denials of Christ’s divine sonship and deity, there are also several problems with the gospel.

Inaccuracies in the Gospel

First of all, the gospel denies the messiahship of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) thus putting itself into clear conflict with the Qur’an, a definitive proof-text; there are also many anachronisms found within the gospel which suggests a much later date of composition; such as the gospel’s claim that Jesus was born during the rule of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate or the reference to an annual “forty day fast,” – a apparent reference to Lent, a practice not attested before the fourth century CE.

That being said, we know that there was indeed a Gospel of Barnabas (Evangelium Barnabe) that was in circulation among Christian communities in the fifth and sixth centuries CE which prompted Pope Gelasius I to issue the Decretum Gelasianum listing the gospel as apocryphal (spurious). We do not know what this gospel actually contained, only that it was deemed heresy by the decree of papal authority.

The Gospel and the Epistle of Barnabas

Many Muslim scholars erroneously conflate the Gospel of Barnabas with the Epistle of Barnabas; the latter is found in the oldest complete Greek manuscript of the New Testament on earth called the Codex Sinaiticus (circa 375 CE). The Epistle of Barnabas is completely different than the so-called Gospel of Barnabas of the sixteen century CE Italian manuscript. Therefore, serious academic inquiry into the gospel reveals that Muslims should approach it with extreme caution as it certainly appears to be of very dubious origins.

And Allah knows best.

What Are the Scriptures of Ibrahim?

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: The Qur’an mentions the book of Abraham, but it doesn’t seem we know as much about it as the Bible and Torah.  Could you clarify this a bit?

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

May Allah reward you for your concern with learning about the details of your religion.

The Scriptures of Abraham (upon him peace)

As you noted, the scriptures of Abraham (upon him peace) are mentioned twice in the Qur’an:

“Or has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Moses and Abraham…” [53:36-37]

“Verily, this is in the earlier scriptures, the scriptures of Abraham and Moses” [87:18-19]

The reason we do not hear as much about the scriptures of Abraham (upon him peace) as we do about the Bible, Torah, or Psalms is because, unlike the others, very little is known about them, nor does any major religious community claim to have a copy of them. So all we do know about them comes from the Qur’an itself as well as a few isolated reports.

One such report claims that these scriptures contained educational parables, such as one wherein a tyrant king is rebuked by God for his amassing wealth, as well as general pieces of advice, such as the encouragement for people to divide their time between worship, remembrance and reflection, and worldly matters such as the acquisition of livelihood and fulfilling one’s needs [Uthmani, Ma`ariful Quran] It is also reported that this scripture was revealed on the first day of Ramadan. [Musnad Ahmad]

Aside from this, not much else appears to be known about this scripture.

Abrogated Revelations

While it is lamentable that we do not have much knowledge about this scripture, we should also remember that it, like all other scriptures prior to the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), were abrogated by the Qur’an. Furthermore, we believe that these other scriptures have been altered and distorted, so even the “surviving” and published copies of these scriptures cannot be taken to be reliable representations of the original scriptures brought by Jesus, Moses, and David (upon them peace).

However, what we do know is that all Prophets (upon them peace) come with a similar message, so we can imagine that the scripture that Abraham (upon him peace) brought was similar, at least in its messages, to the Qur’an. After all, this is what the Qur’an itself affirms when it says that these same messages are found in both the scriptures of Moses and Abraham (upon them peace). [87:18-19]

In other words, the messengers and scriptures may be different, but the central message – that of worshiping God and God alone – remains the same.

May Allah give us the tawfiq to follow the path of His Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, and our beloved messenger Muhammad, upon them be peace!

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,
-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Were the Other Revealed Books Such as the Bible Also Revealed in Ramadan?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I have heard that the other revealed books (i.e. Injeel or Zabur) were revealed in the blessed month of Ramadan. Is this a true statement?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray you are well, insha’Allah.

Yes, there are some weak reports, as noted by Imam Badr al-Din al-`Ayni in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, `Umdat al-Qari, that the other books, such as the Gospel (Injil), Psalms (Zabur) and Torah (Taurat), were revealed in the blessed month of Ramadan.

Imam Ahmad also narrates a hadith in his Musnad which also indicates that the Gospel (Injil) and the Torah (Taurat) were revealed in the month of Ramadan. However, Shaykh Shu`ayb Arna`ut, the verifier, notes that it, too, is a weak narration.

As a scholar once said, ‘This is all I have, and that which others have may well be much better’.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalaam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani