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Corruption of the Torah and Gospels

After just over, what seems like, four laborious months, Raghbir Singh Roudh finally got back to us with this overly long response to our first rebuttal. In terms of effort, we have to give him an A; in terms of execution: a very poor F. Unfortunately, he has not only been heavily reliant on the works of certain notorious Christian apologists for much of this “rebuttal”, but is consistently guilty of eisegesis.

Nevertheless, we have responded and responded with vigour. We hope that, for his sake and his time, he takes a serious lesson from this by rectifying his approach to debating Muslims.

We also ask readers to have patience trawling through this refutation and hope that it will help them better understand our religion.

We finally ask Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, to guide Roudh to the truth of al-Islam.

NOTE: Our original rebuttal is highlighted in Italics Bold.

Singh boasts, “the superiority that Muslims feel over the people of other faiths comes from … delusion”.

I will prove that Islam is a false religion.

Have they (the disbelievers) not considered the Qur’an with deep deliberation? Had it been from anyone other than Allah, then indeed they would have found in it many contradictions.   

And so they did, the Qur’an is so rife with contradictions it has a verse explaining how to deal with them.

(Qur’an 2:106) None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?

In the context of an all-powerful God sending divine revelations this is not only unacceptable but complete nonsense. We expect God to send the better revelation in the first place! Abrogating, substituting, causing revelations to be forgotten and replacing them with better ones, sounds much more human than divine.

Determining the divine origin of something based on how “human” it sounds is hardly an objective method. It is entirely subjective to use this approach in attempting to disprove the divine origin of the process where verses and/ or rulings can abrogate and supersede injunctions established by earlier ones.

Given that Roudh has failed to provide a single objection to, what we can call, The Law of Abrogation, his contention that contradictions would exist in the Qur’an if not for this law are baseless. Just dismissing things out of hand is neither an argument nor a proof.

Although this is not the subject of discussion, we intend to pre-empt any objections raised or arguments posed that may contend that an authentic case of abrogation is an example of a contradiction.

A contradiction is defined as follows:

Where A is a given proposition:
(A and ¬A) = false.

However, in the case of abrogation, the abrogated verse and/ or ruling is always different to its replacement verse and/ or ruling; to claim otherwise is a contradiction of the very definition of The Law of Abrogation. Hence, in order for the universal law of non-contradiction to be correctly applied in this case, no more than a single proposition is applicable. In regards to an-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (the Abrogating and the Abrogated), with the abrogated verse, by definition, being wholly different and distinct to the abrogating verse, two propositions exist and the law of non-contradiction is inapplicable.

Roudh, in fact, inadvertently recognises this crucial distinction when he states that “[w]e expect God to send the better revelation in the first place” (bold ours). If the argument is exclusively over whether these pair of verses vis-á-vis The Law of Abrogation are contradictory or not, then the notion of a verse being better or worse is irrelevant. And since Roudh accedes that a past revelatory verse has been replaced by a more current one, they cannot be one and the same thing and, therefore, cannot be represented as a single proposition. Hence, in the absence of a credible reason for rejecting The Law of Abrogation, genuine examples of abrogated verses can never be a contradiction.

Ironically, the correct interpretation of the verse Roudh quotes as evidence turns out to be a proof against him:

And when We change a verse in place of another – and Allah knows best what He reveals – they (the disbelievers) say: “You (O Muhammad) are but a forger.” Rather, most of them know not. (Qur’an 6:101)

The famous interpreter, Ibn Kathir, cites Mujahid (d.102 AH), the erudite student of the famous companion of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Ibn ‘Abbaas – upon whom the Prophet conferred the noble agnomen: The Commentator of the Qur’an (at-Tarjumaan al-Qur’an), as understanding this verse to mean:

We remove one and put another in its place.

In other words, the replacement is other than what it replaced.

Muhammad was saying one thing one day and another thing the next. To extricate himself from this difficulty the author of the Quran tries to convince the Meccans that the contradictory nature of his revelations is actually evidence of his omnipotence!

Ibid.

All the ‘proofs’ offered by the Quran in support of its divine credentials are similarly absurd.

Unsubstantiated claims are just as absurd and no more credible than the one who claims that the moon is made out of cheese!

The Meccans were not impressed and they knew that the contradictions in his recitals were a sure sign that he was bogus.

Firstly, it simply does not follow that the reaction of some of the people of Mecca against The Law of Abrogation is a proof of its contradictory nature. There is, as far as we can tell, nothing in the annals of history to suggest that they accused Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) of being contradictory (Arabic: mutanaqqid) in this respect. But even if, for arguments sake, such a charge had been levelled against him, it does not necessarily entail a contradiction.

Secondly, Roudh’s apparent inability in understanding and, more importantly, applying the universal law of non-contradiction begs us to demand that he demonstratively prove, and not just emptily claim, the alleged contradictory nature of any evidence he is prepared to cite.

(Qur’an 16:101) When We substitute one revelation for another,- and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),- they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.

Muhammad’s chopping and changing resulted in the charge of fabrication. Allah’s response to this “but most of them understand not” is so lame and feeble that it is difficult to believe that these are the words of an all-knowing God. Unable to defend this charge Allah simply blames the Meccans for their lack of understanding.

To the contrary, Allah’s response could not have been better put. If the charge against The Law of Abrogation was evidence of an internal contradiction in the Qur’an, as Roudh contends, then as we have clearly demonstrated, it is indeed Roudh and those like him that “understand not”. Alas, both he and the pagan Meccan’s of that time were incapable, or perhaps more accurately, unwilling to heed the warning issued by Allah that only those who lack correct understanding would end up forwarding such a “lame and feeble” charge.

The significant part of the verse reads: “…the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written of with them in the Torah and the Gospel …” Hence, it includes both the Torah and the Gospel; though Roudh intends to restrict it to the Torah only. 

It is natural that I should mention only that part of the verse upon which I intended to comment.

The problem with this argument is that it is too vague; what does Roudh mean by “mentioned” and “found” in the Torah vis-á-vis his interpretation of this ayah

What is vague is the evidence that Muslims present in their efforts to prove that Muhammad is mentioned in the Bible.

We have no reason to argue for or against the arguments of some Muslims vis-á-vis the verse 7:157; thus, this point is neither here nor there.

However what I said was that according to the Quran Muhammad is mentioned in the Torah. So what we need to determine is not what I but what the Quran means by this word.

Then Roudh should not have presupposed that we knew what he meant by the words “mentioned” and “found” in this context, but should have included this explanation in his initial correspondence, which he failed to do.

The word “mentioned” is used by some translators of the Quran i.e.

Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- (Yusuf Ali)

Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. (Pickthall).

(So. now mercy has been assigned to those) who follow this Messenger, the Ummi Prophet whose mention they shall find in the Torah and the Gospel with them. (Mawdudi)

The word “mentioned” is understood by many Muslims themselves as being a reference to at least one prophecy of Muhammad in the Torah. I believe that the majority of Muslims believe that this verse is a reference to the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18 (and perhaps to other verses of the Torah too).

“I believe”?! On what grounds does Roudh’s belief represent a valid argument? People believe in all sorts of nonsensical things; mere belief, gut feelings, strong suspicions have never been the basis for a valid argument. We certainly are not going to roll over and accept Roudh’s argument simply because he believes.

Worse still, Roudh has repeated the fallacious approach from his previous response by again appealing to numbers in support of his argument. Assuming that “majority of Muslims” do hold this view, is the sheer force of numbers going to somehow miraculously prove his point?

In his initial correspondence, he said that “Muslims claim that they have found prophecies of Muhammad in the Torah. The most frequently quoted ‘prophecy’ is in Deuteronomy 18:17-20”. In response we directed him to the fallacy of “appealing to authority, in this case: a number of unknown Muslims”. Even after all that, however, he has the temerity to again appeal to both numbers and these unknown authorities!

The word “found” is used in reference to Muslims identifying verse/s of the Torah in response to Quran 7:157

Ibid.

However, I have given compelling reasons previously as to why the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18 disqualifies Muhammad from being a true prophet. I appreciate that if your stance on this issue diverges significantly from the majority Muslim view then my comments on this issue may not be relevant to yourself. I will further comment on this later.

It would be better if Roudh did not comment at all. Firstly, it is merely conjecture to suggest that there exists a majority unless he has some statistical proof to support this. Secondly, the interpretation of certain Muslims that the Qur’anic verse 7:157 is a specific reference to Deut. 18:18 does not definitively prove his point. There would certainly be merit to his claim if he was able to furnish evidence that this is how some of the earliest generation of Muslims, i.e. the Pious Predecessors (as-Salaf as-Saalih), understood and interpreted it. However, as for those who succeeded the Pious Predecessors, then the validity of their interpretation is much more open to question. Unfortunately for Roudh, no evidence has been forwarded at all.

Does he mean explicitly by name, i.e. Muhammad, and if so, then in which Semitic language: Hebrew or Arabic?

The Quran does not specify in 7:157, how Muhammad is described in the Torah. Neither does it specify the language in which he is described although I suspect that the author of the Quran may have believed that this description would be in Hebrew since that is the language in which the Torah was written.

We were not asking what the Qur’an specifies since the Qur’an is not presenting the argument, Roudh is!

Or that he is mentioned descriptively?

This verse does not specify.

Or both?

As above.

If Roudh had the desire of putting forth a well researched and robust response, and God knows he’s had four months in which to do so, then turning to the various commentaries of the Qur’an would have helped him better understand this verse rather than employ guess work as he has successfully done thus far. The sad thing is that we even did his work for him in our initial response:

The first is from the angle of interpretation. According to the commentary of Ibn Kathir, the portion of the verse in question: “…the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written of with them in the Torah and the Gospel …” was understood to mean:

The characteristics and attributes (Arabic: sifah) [1] of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). [2] (bold ours)

Despite this, Roudh thick headedly reasserts that the verse does not specify this indicating that he intends to overlook the rules of Islamic exegesis for his own contrived interpretations (eisegesis). If this is the case, then we as Muslims are obliged to go by the interpretations of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) companions rather than an unknown Sikh internet contact in the twenty first century!

Perhaps the full quote from Ibn Kathir will jog Roudh into realising how far off the mark he is:

The characteristics and attributes of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are written in the Books revealed to previous Prophets. They informed their people of the coming of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and ordered them to follow him. Both rabbis and priests know of his description. Imam Ahmed narrated, on the authority of Abu Sakhr al-Aqili who said: “A man told me: ‘I brought some milk to Madinah to sell it. When I finished, I said to myself, “I shall meet this man (The Prophet) and hear from him.” I, then, met him walking with Abu Bakr and Omar Ibn al-Khattab. I followed them till they reached a Jew reading from the Torah to console himself because of his son who was dying. The Prophet said to him: “I adjure you by Allah who sent down the Torah, do you find in your book (Torah) my description and the time of my coming?” The Jew answered negatively. His son then said: “I swear by He Who sent down the Torah we find in our book your description and the time of your coming, and I testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.” The Prophet told his Companions, “Take this Jew from your brother (the Jew’s son),” then, he took charge of his funeral prayer.'” This is a Strong Hadith.

On the authority of Ata’ Ibn Yasar, al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih: “I met Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas and asked him, ‘Tell me about the description of Allah’s Messenger which is mentioned in Torah.’ He replied, ‘Yes. By Allah, he is described in Torah with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Qur’an as follows: “O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a giver of glad tidings, and a warner,” and guardian of the illiterate. You are My slave and My Messenger, and I have named you Al-Mutawakkil (one who depends upon Allah). You are neither hard-hearted nor of fierce character, nor one who shouts in the markets. You do not return evil for evil, but excuse and forgive. Allah will not take you unto Him till He guides through you a crocked (curved) nation on the right path by causing them to say: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.” With such a statement He will cause blind eyes, deaf ears and hardened hearts to open.'” [3]

These are the description and attributes of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in previous Books, and during all his life lie S enjoined good and forbad evil, as Abdullah Ibn Mas’oud had said: “if you hear Allah says, “O you who believe”, you should listen closely to it, for it is either something good which is made lawful to you, or something evil made unlawful to you. [4] (bold ours)

Is this argument premised on the assumption that the Torah has remained intact and uncorrupted since its revelation?

The question over whether this distortion took place before and/ or after the revelation of verse 7:157 also needs to be addressed.

With regards to the status of ‘previous scripture’ consider the following verses of the Quran:

How come they unto thee for judgment when they have the Torah, wherein Allah hath delivered judgment (for them)? Yet even after that they turn away. Such (folk) are not believers. Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the Prophets who surrendered (unto Allah) judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah’s Scripture as they were bidden to observe, and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers. (Pickthall 5:43,44). (bold mine).

The Jews are being asked to judge by the Torah, since their prophets did likewise. Muhammad is being asked as to why the Jews were coming to him for judgement when they have the Torah in which is Allah’s guidance and light. So the Jews are being told to seek guidance from their own scriptures. Since corrupted scriptures cannot be the source of sound judgement and guidance this passage assumes the reliability of the scriptures in the hands of the Jews.

In this instance, Roudh has regurgitated the same mistake of the Christians by committing the fallacy of isolation, i.e. quoting out of context. Although this verse is oft-cited in a desperate and contrived attempt in proving the incorruptible status of the Torah, the truth is that when taken in context, this serves as evidence against and not for the infallibility of the Torah.

If Roudh was academically rigorous, he would have read the preceding verses and noticed in verse 41 the following glaring rebuttal:

O Messenger; let not those who hurry to fall into disbelief grieve you, of such who say: ‘We believe’ with their mouths but their hearts have no faith. And of the Jews are men who listen to any lies – listen to others who have never come to you. They CHANGE THE WORDS from their places; they say, ‘If you are given this, take it, but if you are not given this, then beware!’ And whomsoever Allah wants to put in Al-Fitnah (error, because of his rejecting of faith), you can do nothing for him against Allah. Those are the ones whose hearts Allah will not purify (from disbelief and hypocrisy); for them there is a disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a great torment.

The context of this verse revolves around an incident that occurred after the great immigration and during Muhammad’s rule of al-Madinah involving the impending punishment facing a Jewish couple guilty of adultery. Again, the incident is recounted by Ibn Kathir:

“They change the words from their places”, that is, they misinterpret the words and alter them knowingly. Allah’s verse, “they say: ‘If you are given this, take it, but if you are not given this, then beware!'”, was revealed with regard to the two who committed Zinah (adultery). As usual, the Jews had already distorted the truth in their Scripture regarding the ruling of adultery. The Torah stipulates that a married man or woman who commit adultery should be stoned to death. However, they changed the legal punishment from stoning to death to a hundred lashes, blackening the face with coal and being ridden on an ass the other way round. The incident happened after the immigration of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to Madinah. The Jews said: ‘Let us go to Muhammad and ask him to judge between us.’ If he ordered that the man and woman be lashed, then we accepted his ruling and made it a proof between Allah and us that a Prophet of His had judged between us accordingly. But if he ruled that they should be stoned to death, then we would not obey him.

Several Ahadith have been reported with regard to this incident. On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Omar, Malik quoted Na’fi’: “The Jews came to Allah’s Messenger and told him that a man and a woman from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah’s Messenger said to them, ‘What do you find in the Torah (Old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?’ They replied, ‘We announce their crime and lash them.’ Abdullah Ibn Salam said, ‘You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Ar-Rajm.’ They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Ar-Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah Ibn Salam said to him, ‘Lift your hand.’ When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Ar-Rajm was written there. They said, ‘Abdullah Ibn Salam has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Ar-Rajm. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. (Abdullah Ibn Omar said, ‘I saw the man leaning over the woman to shelter her from the stones.'” [5] This is the wording of Al-Bukhari. Muslim, Abu Dawud, Imam Ahmed and Ibn Jarir reported the same Hadith.

However, the similarity between the ruling of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the one [that] existed in the Torah is not an honour to their belief. But, this is a special revelation from Allah to His Messenger, who asked the Jews about the ruling of adultery, in order to confirm their distortion and denial of the truth contained in Torah, and their abandonment of its laws for years. Their deliberate lie about the legal punishment of adultery, their deviation, obstinate behaviour and refusal to accept the ruling of the Torah and of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was but to follow their desire and opinion, and not to believe in what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) decided. For this reason, the Jews said, “they say: If you are given this”, that is, lashing and blackening the face with cool, “take it”, that is accept it. “But if you are not given this, then beware” meaning, do not accept or follow it. [6] (bold, underline ours)

This historical account is unsurprisingly lost on Roudh for if he knew of both its related context and correct interpretation it would have been inconceivable for him to have drawn the opposite conclusion.

Similar to Roudh, the Jews of yesteryear attempted to play fast and loose with the revelation of God vis-á-vis interpretation, but were thoroughly exposed for their nefarious efforts. Verse 42 states:

They [the Jews] like to listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden. So if they come to you (O Muhammad), either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least. And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Truly, Allah loves those who act justly.

Ibn Kathir explicates:

“[S]o if they come to you”, that is, if the Jews come to you seeking your judgement, “either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot harm you at all”, meaning: you do not have to judge between them because they do not intend to follow the truth … but to follow their whims and their vain desires. Ibn Abbas and a group of Ta’been said: the above verse is abrogated by Allah’s verse, “and so judge between them by what Allah has revealed” (Al-Ma’idah: 49), and “if you judge, judge between them in equity”, that is, with truth and justice, even if they were oppressors, because, “truly, Allah loves those who judge in equity”.

Allah then informs us that He disapproves of the Jews’ evil thoughts, perverted intention, and their abandonment of the truth in their Scripture, which they claim they should comply with. However, they have refused the ruling embodied in their Scripture, and followed their vain desires, which they knew for sure that they are false  and corrupt. Thus, Allah says, “but how do they come to you for judgement when they have the Torah, wherein is the plain Judgement of Allah? Yet even after that, they turn away. Such are not believers” [Qur’an 5:43]. [7]

In light of the above, Roudh’s claim that “Muhammad is being asked as to why the Jews were coming to him for judgement when they have the Torah in which is Allah’s guidance and light” is nothing short of a fantasy-driven narrative with no evidential grounding whatsoever.

Historically speaking, God exposed the Jews attempt at circumventing His judgement as yet another example of a general trend exhibited by them that would “confirm their distortion and denial of the truth contained in [the] Torah, and their abandonment of its Laws for years“. Hence, the Jews were not, as Roudh surmises, “being told to seek guidance from their own scriptures” per se, nor were they expected to confirm in toto the “reliability of the scriptures in the[ir] hands”, but rather to faithfully implement a specific “ruling embodied in their Scripture”, which was approved by Allah as the correct judgement for punishing adulterers. It is for this reason that Allah states: “[B]ut how do they come to you for judgement when they have the Torah, wherein is the plain Judgement of Allah?”

Moreover, Roudh’s assertion that “[t]he Jews are being asked to judge by the Torah, since their prophets did likewise” is again way short of the mark since verse 44, while speaking in the past tense, praises the Torah revealed to Moses sans corruption, thereby making a distinction between the original thousands of years earlier and the distorted version circulating at the time of the Prophet, as Ibn Kathir clarifies:

Afterwards, Allah praises the Torah, which He has sent down to His Servant and Messenger, Moses Ibn Imran, “Verily, We did send down the Torah, therein is guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah’s Will, judged the Jews”, meaning: they adhere to the laws and rulings of the Torah, and they do not alter, nor modify it. “And the Rabbis and the priests”, that is, the scholars and the servants of Allah, “for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book”, meaning that they were authorised to convey the Scripture and abide by its ruling. “And they were witnesses thereto. Therefore, fear not men but fear Me” and “sell not My Verses for a miserable price. And whosoever judges not by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Kaafirun [disbelievers]” …. [8] (bold, underline ours)

However, as we have shown, the Jews in Madinah in the context of the incident of the adulterers had already been accused by God of “chang[ing] the words from their places” (re. verse 41), and for having “already distorted the truth in their Scripture regarding the ruling of adultery”.

To drive the nail firmly into Roudh’s coffin, we move on to verses 46 and 47:

And in their footsteps, We sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah that had come before him, and We gave him the Gospel in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Torah that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for the pious.

Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed (then) such are rebellious i.e. disobedient.

Ibn Kathir explains that Jesus “told the Children of Israel, ‘and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you’ (3:50). Accordingly, scholars have said that the Gospel had abrogated some of Torah’s rulings” (bold ours). What is of significance, however, is the portion of verse 47 which reads: “Let the people of the Gospel judge by that which Allah has revealed therein”; Ibn Kathir expounds:

[T]he word ‘Liyahkuma’ (translated here as ‘judge by’) is recited with the final consonant pronounced with ‘a’. It means that Allah has sent the Gospel to Jesus in order that his people could judge by it during their times. (bold ours)

In other words, the use of the Gospel was for a particular period, not for all times; this is further made clear by Ibn Kathir:

Also they should believe in the glad tiding[s] of the Prophet Muhammad’s mission and follow him. Allah says, “Say: ‘O people of the Scripture! You have nothing till you act according to the Torah, the Gospel, and that which has been sent down to you from your Lord (the Qur’an)” (5:68). [9] (bold, underline ours)

Moving on to verse 48, Allah further clarifies this by saying:

And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (Qur’an) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and MUHAYMINAN over it (previous Scriptures). So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you. To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If Allah had willed, He would have made you one nation, except that (He) wishes to test you in what He has provided you; so compete in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to Allah; He will then inform you over what you differ over.

Hence, just as the Jews were expected to follow Jesus who was ordered to judge by the Gospel, which clarified the truth of the original Torah and abrogated portions of it, similarly, with the advent of the Qur’an, the Jews and Christians were expected to follow Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who was instructed to “judge between them by what Allah has revealed”, i.e. the Qur’an. Ibn Kathir confirms the “permissibility” of following the Torah in the past tense:

After Allah mentioned and praised the Torah, and ordered that it should be followed when it was permissible to follow it, and after He mentioned and praised the Gospel, and ordered the Christians to adhere to its rulings, He has started to talk about the Noble Qur’an, which He has sent down upon His Slave and Messenger, Muhammad. Allah says, “and We have sent down to you the Book with the truth”, that is, with indisputable truth that the Qur’an is from Allah. And “confirming the Scripture that came before it” means the previous Books which mentioned and praised the Qur’an, and confirmed that it would be revealed from Allah upon His Slave and Messenger Muhammad. The revelation of the Qur’an has confirmed that the previous Books made mention to it. Therefore, those who believed in the previous Books, adhered to Allah’s Command followed His Shari’ah and believed His Messengers, who had informed them of the Prophet’s coming, became more ceratin [sic] with the revelation of the Qur’an. [10] (bold ours)

While the transliterated word Muhayminan ultimately completes the picture:

As for Allah’s verse “and Muhayminan over it”, Ibn Abbas said: A witness over it. Ibn Abbas also interpreted it as: The Qur’an safeguards all the former Books. Ibn Jarih [sic] said: The Qur’an safeguards the former Books; it testifies the truth that is therein and falsifies the falsehood that is added therein. Ibn Abbas said “and Muhayminan over it” means it rules over the former Books. All these accounts have more or less the same meaning.

Allah has made the Noble Qur’an, which he has sent down the last, most perfect and most comprehensive of all Books. He has preserved within it all the good qualities and beauties of all the former Books, and added to it some perfections not contained in the other Books. Therefore, Allah has made it a witness over all the former Book[s], and one that safeguards and rules over them. For this reason, Allah has entrusted Himself to safeguard it, “Verily, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (the Qur’an) and surely, We will guard it” (Al-Hijr: 9).

The verse, “so judge between them by that which Allah has revealed”, is an order from Allah to His Messenger Muhammad to judge between all people by what Allah has revealed in the Noble Qur’an, and by the laws of the former Prophets, which He has not abrogated in the Islamic Shari’ah. On the authority of Ibn Abbas, Ibn Abu Hatim said, ‘The Prophet had the choice, either to judge between them or turn away from them. So he judged between them by their rulings. Then the verse “so judge between them by that which Allah has revealed, and follow not their desires” was revealed, and the Prophet was ordered to judge between them by the Laws of the Qur’an. [11]

This completely refutes Roudh’s claim that “[t]he Jews are being asked to judge by the Torah”, which he falsely understands to be uncorrupted. Allah allowed the Jews to rule by the Torah up to until Jesus was sent with the Gospel, which, along with its particularised addendums, might have also incorporated what was relevant for that age from what was left of the original and uncorrupted aspects of the Torah. At this time, Jesus was ordered to rule not by the Torah, but by its supersession: the Gospel. Of course, in respect to this commandment, there were some Jews who obeyed their Lord while many others chose not to.

The Qur’an then superseded the Gospel and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was ordered to judge by that exclusively. As stated earlier, the Jews transgression in the issue of the adulterous couple culminated in Allah revoking their privileges by ordering His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) not to judge by their law. For this reason, verses 49-50 were revealed emphatically declaring:

And so judge (O Muhammad) between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you. And if they turn away, then know that Allah’s Will is to punish them for some their sins. And truly, most of mankind are rebellious/ disobedient.

Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm Faith.

Allah described those Jews and Christians who persist in obstinately continuing to rule by the abrogated Torah and Gospel as “seek[ing] the judgement of (the days of) ignorance”.

(Qur’an 2:89) And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them,- although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith,- when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognised, they refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without Faith. (emphasis mine)

The Quran considers the original revelations granted to the Jews to be in their possession and at their disposal.

If Roudh is to make any real headway in constructing strong arguments, he has to understand that the explanation of the Qur’an involves more than just a cursory read of the texts followed by hasty evaluations. Such an approach may suffice in explaining Sri Guru Granth Sahib; but in relation to the Qur’an, it will invariably lead to instances of eisegesis culminating in misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

The science of at-Tafseer al-Qur’an, [12] or the Explanation of the Qur’an, requires knowledge of certain necessary disciplines and interrelated branches. For Roudh’s edification, therefore, let us summarise the principles of Tafseer. Imam as-Suyooti said:

The scholars have said: Whoever wishes to interpret the Qur’aan, he should first turn to the Qur’aan itself. This is because what has been narrated succinctly in one place might be expounded upon in another place, and what is summarized in one place might be explained in another…

If he has done that, then he turns to the Sunnah, for it is the explainer of the Qur’aan, and a clarifier to it. Imaam as-Shafi’ee said, ‘All that the Prophet said is based on his understanding of the Qur’aan.’ And Allah said, “Verily, We have revealed to you the Book, in truth, so that you may judge between mankind by that which Allah has shown you.” [4:105]

And the Prophet said, ‘Indeed, I have been given the Qur’aan, and something similar to it,’ [13] meaning the Sunnah.

If he does not find it (the tafseer) in the Sunnah, he turns to the statements of the Companions, for they are the most knowledgeable of it, since they witnessed the circumstances and situations the Qur’aan was revealed in, and since they were blessed with complete understanding, and true knowledge, and pious actions… [14]

This definition not only cites a verse (4:105) which again repeats that the Qur’an is to be taken as the only judge between humankind and their creator, but also provides a glimpse of the amount of prerequisite knowledge required to do justice in accurately interpreting the Qur’an.

In regards to interpreting the Qur’an by the Qur’an itself, one requires the following knowledge:

Included in the interpretation of the Qur’aan with the Qur’aan is the knowledge of asbaab an-nuzool, [15] the knowledge of makkee and madanee verses, [16] the naasikh and mansookh verses, [17] the various qira’aat, [18] and the knowledge of the different categories of verses (the muhkam and mutashaabih, [19] the ‘aam and the khaas, [20] the mutlaq and the muqqayad, [21] the mantooq and the mafhoom, [22] the haqeeqee and the majaazee, [23]  and other categories which were not discussed). This is because a general ruling (‘aam) in one verse might be specified (khaas) in another verse, and so forth. In addition, all the different qira’aat of a verse must be considered to arrive at a proper understanding of a verse. All the relevant verses must be taken into account to form a complete picture, as all the verses of the Qur’aan complement one another.

To conclude, it is essential that every verse of the Qur’aan be looked at in light of its sister verses …. [24] (bold ours)

With this brief summary in mind, has Roudh bothered to even attempt to take any of these aspects of the science of interpreting the Qur’an into account? Has he made recourse to the experts in this field to support his arguments and of verse 2:89? The answer is, sadly, no.

What we say in response is that even a cursory read of said verse provides absolutely no hint whatsoever in suggesting that the Qur’an recognises the Torah in the hands of the Jews at that time to be the original. Roudh’s assertion is an example of an incredibly poor case of eisegesis.

Ibn Kathir, who had complete mastery over the aforementioned prerequisite categories of the science of Tafseer, provides an explicit context which Roudh is either oblivious of or conveniently ignores. The context of this verse is again not “confirming” the Torah in toto, but rather restricting it to a particular supplication made by the Jews during a pre-Islamic period of history:

The sentence “though before they were asking for a victory over the disbelievers” means that before the coming of this Prophet [Muhammad] with His Book [Qur’an], they used to invoke Allah to send him, to gain victory over the polytheists. They (the Jews) told the polytheists that a Prophet would rise at the end of time and that, with his aid, they would kill them in the same way that ‘Ad and Iram were killed. … However, when he rose from the Arabs, they disbelieved and denied what they had said about him. … Hence, Mu`adh bin Jabal and Bishr bin Al-Bara’ bin Ma`rur and Dawud Ibn Salamah told the Jews “Fear Allah and submit to Him by following the religion of Islam. For you used to ask for victory over us with the help of Muhammad when we polytheists telling us that he would come and giving his description (as you have in your book)”. … This is why Allah said: “And now that a Scripture from Allah confirming their own (the Torah)…” (2:89). [25]

What is the confirmation of? Nothing more than a reminder to the Jews that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a confirmation of their invocations.

(Qur’an 2:41) And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone. (bold mine)

Surely Allah is not saying that his Quran confirms hopelessly corrupt scriptures? And to sell Allah’s verses one must have them first. This verse clearly assumes that the scriptures in the possession of the Jews of Muhammad’s time were original and reliable.

Again, in light of all the above that we have delineated, this confirmation is not in toto, but rather, as Ibn Kathir states, to “believe in the Qur’an which confirms belief in Allah and His Prophet, whom you find described in the Torah which commands you to believe in him, support him and follow the Qur’an which was revealed to him”. [26]

Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. (emphasis mine)

This merely reinforces the above understanding.

(So. now mercy has been assigned to those) who follow this Messenger, the Ummi Prophet whose mention they shall find in the Torah and the Gospel with them. (Mawdudi) emphasis mine.

Ibid.

This verse assumes that the Torah and the Gospel was in the possession of the Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s time. It says that the reference to Muhammad is to be found in the Torah and the Gospel which are with them. It does not say that the reference to Muhammad is described in the nonexistent Torah originally revealed to Moses before it was textually corrupted (not the extant Tanakh, Pentateuch or the Bible). Neither does it say that this reference is to be found in the hopelessly corrupted Torah which still may possibly contain some traces of truth. This is a presumption running contrary to the clear witness of the Quran, read into the text by Muslims who recognise that the natural and plain meaning of this verse destroys Islam’s credibility. To say that this reference was corrupted before Quran 7:157 was given would then clearly contradict the Quran.

As we have shown, and as we demonstrated in our first reply to Roudh, the context needs to be determined for every instance the words “Torah” and “Gospel” are mentioned in the Qur’an. Unfortunately for Roudh, not only has he failed in this regard, but it also seems as though he is incapable of doing so.

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16), (The Noble Quran 7:157) bold mine.

The Noble Quran even identifies this verse with the prophecy in Deuteronomy.

What nonsense! There is nothing in the Arabic text to say that the Qur’an suggests a reference to a prophecy found in the book of Deuteronomy. Given the parenthesised text in the above citation, i.e. “(Deut, xviii, 15)”, it is patently obvious that this amounts to nothing more than an explanatory addendum inserted by the translator.

Ishaq’s interpretation of certain verses of the Quran including Quran 2:41

Ishaq:250 “Fear Me and do not mingle truth with falsehood or hide the truth which you know. Do not conceal the knowledge which you have about My Messenger. You recognize what he has brought to you because you find it with you in the books that are in your hands. You are readers of scripture. Why do you forbid men to believe in the prophecy you have and in the covenant of the Torah. You must pronounce My Apostle to be true.”

According to this biographer the Jews recognise the message brought by Muhammad because they can find it in the books in their possession. The Jews read the scripture but they forbid men to believe in the prophecy of Muhammad and the covenant contained therein. In the light of the knowledge contained in their scriptures the Jews must pronounce Muhammad to be a true Apostle.

Consider also the following.

Ishaq: 252 “Have you no understanding? Why do you maintain that he is not a prophet since you know that Allah has made a Covenant with you that you should follow him? While he tells you that he is the prophet whom you are expecting, and that you will find him in Our book, you oppose him and do not recognize him. You reject his prophethood on mere opinion.”

“Our book” can only refer to original scripture”. To say that the prophecy of Muhammad was corrupted before Quran 7:157, was given would contradict the above also.

Since we have copies of the Torah that pre-date Muhammad and they are the same as the Torah we have today. The charge of corruption cannot explain away the absence of a reference to Muhammad. This may be the reason why Muslims (the majority I believe) have chosen to identify verse/s in the existing Bible in response to Quran 7:157.

Notice how Roudh mischievously attempts to shift the goalposts in this argument. At no stage, either in this rebuttal or the first one, have we said that a mention of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), be it by name or description, cannot be found in the extant copies of the Torah and/ or the Bible.

We made this point explicitly clear in our first rebuttal by stating:

Having said this, however, the textual corruption vis-á-vis Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) name and/ or description has not been expunged in toto. (bold, underline ours)

Perhaps Roudh does not know the meaning of the term “in toto”; it means: in totality.

It is, thus, a clear fallacy of shifting grounds to suggest that we are arguing for “the absence of a reference to Muhammad” in the Torah and/ or Bible on the basis of corruption. In fact, we concluded in our first rebuttal:

Both these reasons support the understanding that, despite the textual corruption of the Torah and Gospel, the Jews and Christians failed to completely purge the original of all references and allusions to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (bold, underline ours)

Since the Quran recognises the divine origin of the Bible whilst contradicting its message on almost every page, Muslims must rely on the unwarranted charge of corruption to legitimise their religion.

Ibid.

I will however only comment upon charges of corruption if they are relevant to the issues I have raised. In addition to this there are some other points you raise, i.e. the canon of the Bible which I feel do not affect the issues I presented so I will not address these either.

In regards to the claim that the Torah has been corrupted please consider the following.

These hadiths were quoted on a Christian website, the emphasis is theirs.

The apostle wrote to the Jews of Khaybar according to what a freedman of the family of Zayd b. Thabit told me from ‘Ikrima or from Sa’id b. Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas: ‘In the name of God the compassionate the merciful from Muhammad the apostle of God friend and brother of Moses WHO CONFIRMS WHAT MOSES BROUGHT. God says to you, O scripture folk, and you will find it in your scripture “Muhammad is the apostle of God; and those with him are severe against the unbelievers, merciful among themselves. Thou seest them bowing, falling prostrate seeking bounty and acceptance from God. The mark of their prostrations is on their foreheads. That is their likeness in the Torah and in the Gospel like a seed which sends forth its shoot and strengthens it and it becomes thick and rises straight upon its stalk delighting the sowers that He may anger the unbelievers with them. God has promised those who believe and do well forgiveness and a great reward.” I adjure you by God, AND BY WHAT HE HAS SENT DOWN TO YOU, by the manna and quails He gave as food to your tribes before you, and by His drying up the sea for your fathers when He delivered them from Pharaoh and his works, that you tell me, DO YOU FIND IN WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU that you should believe in Muhammad? IF YOU DO NOT FIND THAT IN YOUR SCRIPTURE THEN THERE IS NO COMPULSION UPON YOU. “The right path has become plainly distinguished from error” so I call you to God and His Prophet’ (313).

Assuming this quote is authentic, we refer you back to the meaning of the Arabic word Muhayminan for a correct understanding of what the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) meant by “confirming what Moses brought”. This agrees perfectly with what is supported by the exegetical evidence already cited before.

Please answer this question, what is the point of Muhammad asking the Jews:

DO YOU FIND IN WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU that you should believe in Muhammad?

If the Jews did not have in their possession what Muhammad refers to as “WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU”? How do the Jews find Muhammad or not find him in “WHAT HE SENT DOWNTO YOU” if they did not have “WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU”?

Muhammad’s question is completely meaningless unless the Jews had in their Possession what Muhammad calls “WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU”.

He also equates “WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU” with

“YOUR SCRIPTURE” when he says “IF YOU DO NOT FIND THAT IN YOUR SCRIPTURE THEN THERE IS NO COMPULSION UPON YOU”

Ibid.

So what if they do not find him in what he calls “WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU”? Then there is no compulsion on the Jews (or anyone else) to believe in him.

And that is a big “if”. As we stated in our original rebuttal to Roudh:

The second is that many Muslim academics and proselytisers, both in the past and in recent times, have argued that although an explicit mention of his name is no longer present in the Bible, there are to be found descriptions in both the Torah and the Gospels that strongly match the characteristics and/ or historical mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

And make no mistake

“WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU”

Can only refer to pristine scripture, not to some pathetic book that has been corrupted beyond recognition.

As we have shown, when we contextualise the verses Roudh has quoted and examine them holistically, i.e. in light of all the evidences related to this topic, they provide an understanding in contradistinction to Roudh’s.

Also,

And when he says “I adjure you by God, AND BY WHAT HE HAS SENT DOWN”- you can adjure someone by God or divine scripture but not by a book that is hopelessly corrupted!

Not necessarily; a person can adjure someone to recognise the elements of truth found in a corrupt book. Again, it is of paramount importance to understand the meaning of the Arabic word: Muhayminan, if one is to reach the truth in this context.

This hadith proves that Muhammad considered the scriptures in the hands of the Jews to be the genuine article.

A reference for the hadith would have helped immensely. Nevertheless, and as already shown, it is a proof against you and not for you.

Also consider this,

Abu Dawood narrated in his collection that Ibn Umar said:

A group of Jewish people invited the messenger of Allah to a house. When he came, they asked him: O Abu Qassim, one of our men committed adultery with a woman, what is your judgment against him? So they placed a pillow and asked the messenger of Allah to set on it. Then the messenger of Allah proceeded to say: bring me the Torah. When they brought it, he removed the pillow from underneath him and placed the Torah on it and said: I BELIEVE IN YOU AND IN THE ONE WHO REVEALED YOU, then said: bring me one of you who have the most knowledge. So they brought him a young man who told him the story of the stoning.

The scholars said: if the Torah was corrupted he would not have placed it on the pillow and he would not have said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you. This group of scholars also said: Allah said:

And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

And the Torah is Allah’s word. (Ighathat Al Lahfan, Volume 2, p. 351; bold and capital emphasis ours)

We are certain that the phrase: “The scholars said…” and everything thereafter is not part of the original hadith, but rather commentary. Hence, the question that arises is: who were these scholars? With no name having been presented, this, again, is an example of appealing to authority, which, in this case, is unknown.

However, even if, for arguments sake, this hadith was authentic, we could argue that it is referring to the only incident we know of concerning the story of the Jewish adulterer and adulteress cited before. In this regard, we showed that when Allah spoke about confirming the Torah, this was specifically restricted to confirming the punishment for adultery in the Torah, which the Qur’an confirmed, and not the Torah in toto. In the above cited account, given that the Jews come to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for arbitrational purposes regarding judgement over a case of adultery, the Prophet’s belief in the Torah could only have been restricted to this issue alone given the fact that he did not recognise the infallibility of the Torah in toto. This is made apparent in the following authentic traditions.

It was narrated that Abu’l-Darda’ said: “Umar brought some pages of the Torah to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, these are some pages of the Torah which I took from a brother of mine from Banu Zurayq.’ The expression of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) changed, and ‘Abdullaah ibn Zayd – who had been shown the Call to Prayer [adhaan in a dream] – said, ‘Has Allah taken away your mind? Do you not see the expression on the face of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?’ ‘Umar said, ‘We are pleased with Allah as our Lord and with Islam as our religion and with Muhammad as our Prophet and with the Qur’an as our guide.’ Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) relaxed and said, ‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if Moses were to come among you and you were to FOLLOW HIM and LEAVE ME, you would have gone far astray. You are my share among the nations and I am your share among the Prophets.” (Musnad Ahmad, 15437)

In fact, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) became angry when he saw ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab with scripture from the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) in his hands. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) warned:

Are you in doubt of it [the Qur’an], O son of al-Khattaab? By the One in whose hand is my soul, I have brought to you that which is white and pure, and by the One in whose hand is my soul, if Moses were alive today he could do nothing but follow me. [27]

The question that stands before us is that if the extant Torah had remained unchanged since its inception as Roudh argues, how could the hypothetical followers of Moses at the time of Muhammad be astray if they were being guided by the complete and unadulterated truth from Allah in the hands of Moses? If we were to apply Roudh’s logic, Moses would have to abandon following his “white and pure” scripture for the equally “white and pure” scripture of Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Hardly makes sense.

The same logic could be extended and applied to Jesus. If the Gospel has and will remain uncorrupted, why on his return nearing the end of time will Jesus establish the laws (Shari’ah) of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) [28] when the uncorrupted Gospel (and Torah) will presumably be available to him? What is more, part of the establishment of the Shari’ah will also include not only him breaking the symbol of Christianity, i.e. the cross, a public declaration of the falsity of Christianity, but will wage war against the Jews and Christians for the atrocities and excesses they shall be committing against the Muslims at that time. [29]

Moreover, Jesus will, on the Day of Judgment, free himself of the excesses and the disbelief of those who claim to follow him. [30] Why would he disassociate himself from those who claim to follow him if they were left upon a pristine guidance with uncorrupted scriptures?

In addition, Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

By the One is whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, not one from this nation, Jew or Christian, will hear of me and die without having believed in that with which I have been sent [Qur’an], but he will be one of the dwellers of Hell fire. (Muslim, 153)

Again, if the Jews and Christians have the complete truth in the form of the Torah and Gospel in their possession, why is the following of other than these scriptures being setup as a condition for salvation?

Furthermore, how will Roudh be able to reconcile his position with the explicit statements in the Qur’an stipulating that all other religions other than Islam will be rejected? Observe:

The only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam. (Qur’an 3:19)

Whoever follows a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him and in the hereafter he shall be from amongst the losers. (Qur’an 3:85)

If Allah recognises that the Jews and Christians have the unblemished truth in their midst, why is He instructing them that their current choice in religion and adherence to their scripture will amount to nothing?

And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the path of the believers, We shall keep him on the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what a terrible end! (Qur’an 4:115)

Once more, to contradict Muhammad and to follow a path other than his and the believers, i.e. the Muslims, is to be a non-Muslim who does not believe in nor follow the Qur’an. Given that the Jews and Christians fitted this description at the time of its revelation, why is Allah threatening them with eternal punishment in hell fire after presumably affirming the complete truth of their respective scriptures and asking them to continue abiding by them?

Finally, how about the verse in the Qur’an where Allah states in no uncertain terms:

But woe to those who write out the Book with their own hands and say ‘This is from Allah’; to buy therewith a little price. And woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they gain. (Qur’an 2:79)

In Tafseer Ibn Kathir, the following explanation is given:

Waylun (woe)’ carries meanings of destruction and perishing, and it is a well-known word in the Arabic language. Az-Zuhri said that ‘Ubadydullah bin ‘Abdullah narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “O Muslims! How could you ask the People of the Book about anything, while the Book of Allah (Qur’an) that He revealed to His Prophet is the most recent Book from Him and you still read it fresh and young? Allah told you that the People of the Book altered the Book of Allah, changed it and wrote another book with their own hands. They then said, ‘This book is from Allah,’ so that they acquired a small profit by it. Hasn’t the knowledge that came to you prohibited you from asking them? By Allah! We have not seen any of them asking you about what was revealed to you.” [31] This Hadith was also collected by Al-Bukhari. [32]

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn ‘Abbas commented, “Woe to them”, “Means the torment will be theirs because of the lies that they wrote with their own hands ….” [33] (bold, underline ours)

This emphatic explanation should effectively put this entire argument to bed. Ibn ‘Abbaas is instructing the companions not to consult the extant scriptures in the possession of the Jews and Christians because Allah confirmed their corruption.

All this effectively leaves Roudh in a rather sticky catch-22 situation. If he intransigently insists on defending his convoluted stance, he will have to reconcile this line of reasoning with those numerous occasions where the Jews and Christians are either threatened for continuing upon their religious path, which rests exclusively with them following these so-called pristine scriptures, or castigated for continuing to follow and believe corrupt scriptures that were deliberately changed by them and/ or their ancestors.

The simple solution to this conundrum is for Roudh to acknowledge that these scriptures have not remained uncorrupted from the time of their original revelation.

This hadith shows that Muhammad had the utmost respect for the Torah in the hands of the Jews. Also the scholars quoted above were not prepared to contradict him. They also applied there is none who can change His words to the Torah.

What scholars? No scholars have been quoted.

It is crystal clear from this that Muhammad assumes that the scriptures in the hands of the Jews were genuine and authentic. Again if Muhammad and the Quran had clearly taught for 23 years that the Torah was textually corrupted then this affirmation by early Muslim scholars that the Torah was textually sound is incomprehensible.

Ibid.

The reason why some Muslims are prepared to ignore the clear testimony of their own scriptures is because in the upside down world of Islam an unshakable imaan is considered far more precious than the dignity that comes from never relinquishing one’s intellectual integrity.

As we have shown, in the upside down mind of Roudh, day is night and night is day and if they are not then the twain shall always meet.

When Muslims refer to the Torah, they are certainly not referring to the extant Old Testament that comprises a number of works, by both known and unknown authors, which contain blasphemous and heretical theological beliefs and concepts. And when Muslims refer to the Gospel, they are certainly not referring to the extant New Testament and its 27 books comprising of works ascribed to authors unknown and Paul of Tarsus, whose apostleship Muslims reject. Thus, we reject the four Gospels ascribed to four pseudonymous authors since we believe in only a single Gospel revealed by God and disseminated by one man only: Jesus, son of Mary (who is not considered the Son of God nor part of the fictitiously illogical concept of a Triune God-head).

(Qur’an 5:66) If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: but many of them follow a course that is evil.

There he goes again with his eisegesis; and here we come with the correct exegesis. Ibn Kathir quotes Ibn ‘Abbaas as follows:

As for Allah’s verse, “and if only they had observed the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been sent down to them from their Lord”, Ibn Abbas said: it means the Qur’an. “They would surely have eaten from above them and from beneath their feet”, that is, if they had followed the Shari’ah ordained in their Books, as it had been revealed to their Prophets, WITHOUT modifying, altering or distorting the truth in them, they would surely have been guided to follow the truth and abide by the laws revealed to Muhammad from His Lord. Without doubt, their Books confirm the advent of Prophet Muhammad SI, belief and obedience of his Message. [34] (bold, underline, capitals ours)

Is there a pattern emerging here Roudh?

(Qur’an 5:68) Say: “O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.” It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow thou not over (these) people without Faith.

After all this, we could risk asking Roudh to take a wild guess as to what Allah means by the portion of the verse that reads “that which has been sent down to you from your Lord”, but we are afraid his answer may sorely disappoint everyone. And so we turn to Ibn Kathir who cites the student of Ibn ‘Abbaas:

And “that which has been sent down to you from your Lord”, that is, the Qur’an, as Mujahid said. [35] (bold ours)

The above verses urge the Jews and Christians to follow the guidance of their respective scriptures. So which scriptures were available to the Jews and Christians that the Quran was telling them to abide by?

Is it so difficult to see that the Qur’an is referring to Gospel in the singular and yet what the Christians hold in their hands are Gospels – four to be precise – written by pseudonymous and unknown authors? This simple argument is sufficient in refuting Roudh.

The Christians are being urged to follow the remnants of truth from the original source, i.e. the Gospel (in the singular), that remains in the extant Bible which the Qur’an came to witness over and testify to as explicated by Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Jarir.

If by the Gospel the Quran means:-

a single Gospel revealed by God and disseminated by one man only: Jesus, …

then this book was not in the hands of Muhammad’s Christian contemporaries, it would therefore render the Quran’s exhortation meaningless. Since the Quran can only be referring to a scripture that the Christians were able to access, we must determine which scripture this was.

Or, as we have argued, the Qur’an refers to the truth it witnesses over and testifies to.

Also it needs to be said that there is absolutely no evidence that a single Gospel revealed by God and disseminated by one man only: Jesus, … has ever existed. Muslims need to produce some evidence for this book as it is not credible that it has disappeared without trace.

The absence of such a source does not necessarily infer that no such source existed. To the contrary, New Testament scholars have inferred the existence of a hitherto undiscovered source for at least two Gospels, viz. Matthew and Luke, which they have called the “Gospel of Q” or “Q Source”. For example, renowned New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, states:

Although Q obviously no longer exists, there are good reasons for thinking that it was a real document-even if we cannot know for sure its complete contents. [36] (bold ours)

Ehrman elaborates elsewhere:

[S]ince the nineteenth century …. The German scholars who came up with this view called this other source Quelle, the German word for ‘source.’ This unknown additional “source” is called simply Q.

Q then is the source of material found in Matthew and Luke but not found in Mark. This material appears to have come from a lost Gospel accessible to the two later Gospel writers. We do not know everything that was in Q (or that was not in Q), but whenever Matthew and Luke agree word for word on a story not found in Mark, it is thought to came from Q. So Mark and Q are our two earliest sources. Matthew used one or more other written or oral sources for his Gospel, and these we call Matthean sources, or M. The sources for material special to Luke we call L. So prior to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke there were four available sources: Mark, Q, M, and L (both M and L are possibly multiple sources). These are our earliest materials for reconstructing the life of Jesus. [37] (bold, underline ours)

It is strange, though unsurprising given Roudh’s shoddy research efforts, that he could be so flippantly dismissive despite the existence of academic discussion and research within the circles of New Testament scholarship extending back to the nineteenth century. We would, therefore, invite him to further studies in this subject by suggesting the following website as a starting point to what scholars over the past century have said regarding The Lost Sayings Gospel Q.

Similarly we need to know which scripture the Quran is telling the Jews to follow. This cannot be the nonexistent Torah originally revealed to Moses before it was textually corrupted (not the extant Tanakh, Pentateuch or the Bible) because the Jews could not follow a book that did not exist.

As stated above, the remnants of truth from the original source found in the extant Torah which the Qur’an came to witness over and testify to as explicated by Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Jarir.

So what scriptures were available to the Jews and Christians in the seventh century? The historical records attest that the only scriptures available to these Jews and Christians were the Jewish Bible or the Torah and the New Testament. Since these can be the only scriptures that the Quran could be referring to, it confirms the scriptures in the possession of Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s time. This also means that the Quran confirmed the scriptures in the possession of Jews and Christians today.

Ibid.

You quote Muslim apologist Bassam Zawadi.

In addition, we can also confirm that there exists evidence in the historical tradition of Islam to suggest that the Torah in the hands of the Jewish community in Arabia during the time of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) must have gone through some textual corruption given that it differs to the Torah we have today.

Zawadi observes that “it is also possible that parts of the true Torah and Injeel [Gospel] existed until the 7th century [during Muhammad’s time] and are not found in the Bible today”. He supports this claim by citing five authentic Islamic traditions that point to references and injunctions apparently present in what the Jews in that area and epoch referred to as the Torah, but which “we don’t find … today with us in the Bible”, and “[t]herefore … must have been removed, thus indicating textual corruption”.

Islamic traditions cannot be given greater credence than the findings of independent and unbiased historians and scholars who have no theological axes to grind, regardless of how authentic these traditions are, or it would beg the question.

Given that there is no evidence to prove that the presence of bias resulted in Islamic sources being inaccurate or unfair when chronicling historical accounts and findings, this is nothing short of a cheap ad hominem attack.

With regards to the reliability of the Jewish Bible consider the following concerning The Dead Sea Scrolls:

In these scrolls we have the manuscripts of the Jewish bible which date to about a thousand years earlier (150 B.C.) than the other Jewish bible manuscripts in our possession (900 A.D.)

When compared it is clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes.

The fact that manuscripts separated by a thousand years are essentially the same indicates the incredible accuracy of the Jewish bible’s transmission. The full copy of Isaiah that was discovered was word for word identical with the standard Hebrew bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The 5 percent of variation consisted of obvious slips of the pen and spelling variations. (Ron Rhodes)

The alleged reliability of the Hebrew Bible dating back only 150 years before Jesus does not account for the remaining approximately 1400 years extending back to the time of the first book of the Torah, Genesis. It is a hasty generalisation to claim that because reliability allegedly exists from 150BC to 900AD that this is also true of the time between 150BC and 1400BC. Hence, there is no reason to say that corruption could not have occurred during this period of 1250 years.

As a side note, Ron Rhodes seems to dramatically exaggerate the import of the Dead Sea Scrolls vis-á-vis the argument of reliability. Although it is true that complete copies of Isaiah were found in Qumran, this is not the case with the rest of the books of the Hebrew Bible. For example, the Book of Esther was not present among the finds, while only fragments were found accounting for all the other remaining books. According to The Oxford Companion to Archaeology:

The biblical manuscripts from Qumran, which include at least fragments from every book of the Old Testament, except perhaps for the Book of Esther, provide a far older cross section of scriptural tradition than that available to scholars before. While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament, some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their astonishing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: of the Masoretic text, of the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Old Testament scripture was extremely fluid until its canonization around 100 CE. [38] (bold, underline ours)

Even looking to the book of Isaiah, to simplistically suggest that this book has arrived to us in its complete and unadulterated form directly from Prophet Isaiah is nothing but wishful thinking. The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls recognises the following under the Book of Isaiah:

Literary criticism has long since demonstrated that MOST of the books of the Hebrew scriptures are the product of a lengthy and complex compositional process, and the earliest extant textual evidence at times preserves documentation of the latter Stages of these processes. This general picture holds also for the Book of Isaiah in particular. It is a highly composite work, with a rich history of growth and development. Starting with a collection of oracles from the eighth-century bce prophet Isaiah of Jerusalem, the work served as a magnet for a rich and variegated heritage of prophetic materials. These range from the large collections of high theology expressed in lyric poetry by an unknown exilic author called Deutero-Isaiah in Babylon and the late-sixth-century follow-up in Trito-Isaiah in Jerusalem, to hundreds of minor insertions expressing divergent theological points over the passing centuries. [39] (bold, underline, capitals ours)

Hence, literary criticism has long since proved that the Book of Isaiah falsely attributed to the Prophet of the same name was, for centuries, incrementally added to and changed in response to whatever expediential theological points required inclusion. And this process was true for “most of the books of the Hebrew scriptures”.

Take the example of the Book of Psalms. In the Islamic tradition, the Psalms, known as the Zuboor in Arabic, were revealed exclusively to Prophet David (Dawood) and Prophet David alone. In the Hebrew scripture, however, the Book of Psalms comprises 150 songs many of which are written by anonymous authors while others are attributed to other than David.

German theologian, Johann Peter Lange, provided a tabulation of the songs which we have further broken down statistically:

Book 1:  Of the 41 books: four are anonymously authored.
Percentage of Davidic Psalms = 90%.

Book 2:  Of the 31 books: seven are Kohrite Psalms; one is an Asaphic Psalm; three are anonymous; one is a Psalm of Solomon.
Percentage of Davidic Psalms = 61%.

Book 3:  Of the 17 books: eleven are Psalms of Asaph; four Kohrite Psalms; closing with the Messianic Psalm of Ethan.
Percentage of Davidic Psalms = 6%.

Book 4:  Of the 17 books: begins with the prayer of Moses! 13 anonymous.
Percentage of Davidic Psalms = 17.5%.

Book 5:  Of the 44 books: 28 anonymous; one attributed to Solomon!
Percentage of Davidic Psalms = 34%. [40]

75 of the 150 songs in the Book of Psalms are non-Davidic, i.e. exactly half are not authored by David, while 48 of the 150 songs (32%) are anonymously authored, despite “[a]lmost half the psalms bear[ing] a headline including the name of David”.

If we bring into the fray the Dead Sea Scrolls, as Roudh has unsuccessfully attempted to do to bolster his stance, then “according to the large Qumran scroll (llQPsa col. 27) David ‘wrote’ and ‘spoke’ no less than 3,600 psalms … and 450 ‘songs’ …!” [41] Would Roudh like to venture an explanation as to what became of all these and whether they were ever part of the extant Torah?

By his overly ambitious reasoning, all the contents of the Psalms must be attributed to David; yet Biblical scholars have acknowledged that the Book of Psalms again shows the same signs of adultery and corruption as the rest of the Hebrew Bible. Roudh cannot have his cake and eat it.

Now if there were predictions of Muhammad then we would expect to find evidence for these in the writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Again, this is a strawman for we never denied the presence of said prophecies.

All the extant manuscripts of the Jewish bible which were written during and after the time of Jesus would contain traces of such prophecies since all of these manuscripts virtually read the same, and no variant reading questions the textual integrity of the Jewish bible.

Who says they do not? Again, this is a strawman.

Allegations in some Islamic traditions that the Torah contained references to Muhammad which were later corrupted are not only contradicted by other authentic traditions but by the Quran, early Muslim scholars and most importantly by the manuscript evidence.

The Old Testament, written originally in Hebrew (with a portion of Daniel in Aramaic), was translated into Greek about two hundred years before the time of Christ. The Septuagint (as this translation came to be known) was likewise widely disseminated. Its complete consistency with the Massoretic text of the Old Testament, right down to this day, testifies to the authenticity of the Old Testament centuries before the times of both Jesus and Muhammad. (John Gilchrist)

But, as we said, not all the way back to its origin.

We know what the Torah in the hands of the Arabian Jews looked like before Muhammad claimed to be a prophet as we have extant copies of the Torah written at various times and places, some of which predate Jesus as well as Muhammad.

This is a false argument unless Roudh can provide evidence for the existence of an extant manuscript from the period and locale of “the Arabian Jews”.

It does not logically follow that because certain manuscripts have survived from certain regions that this must also be true of all regions.

None of these copies contained the passages mentioned by the hadiths quoted by Zawadi. Since all the other copies of the Torah that existed throughout the then known world were the same it is not credible that the Arabian Jews had a “special” Torah which alone contained prophecies of Muhammad which they then corrupted.

Again, it is a hasty generalisation to claim that all the copies of the Torah of that time were the same by dismissing, without any credible and objective justification, historical evidence that suggests the opposite. Roudh’s desperate appeal to something not being possible is nothing more than an emotional one.

It is far more credible that these charges were drummed up by some Muslims who were unable to find prophecies for their prophet which they were misled into believing were there, or these “historical” traditions are fabrications concocted by dishonest Muslims to ‘prove’ that the Torah contained references to their prophet.

Credible because Roudh says it is? Where is the proof that the Muslims of that time attempted to search for these prophecies, but failed to do so? Could it not be possible that they simply did not bother wasting their precious time in search of said prophecies?

Ironically for Roudh, Muslims at a later date have forwarded examples from the Bible they believe to be accurate descriptions of their Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Even if we assume for arguments sake that the Arabian Jews removed these references to Muhammad from their Torah then how do you explain the absence of these references from the copies of the Torah which were in the possession of Jews and Christians in the rest of the world?  How do you explain the absence of these references from the copies of the Torah that predate Muhammad?

You cannot if you do not consider them to be absent! There is nothing in said hadiths to suggest that all the descriptions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from all the Torahs were removed. Although Roudh seems to have correctly acknowledged that these prophetic traditions are restricted to the Jews of Arabia, he then falsely attempts to over state his case by suggesting that they must have been absent from all others.

The Torah has been transmitted independently by Jews and Christians from well before the time of Muhammad and they are the same which means that we have the same Torah now which was in the possession of the Arabian Jews of Muhammad’s time.

Hasty generalisation!

It would not be possible for prophecies of Muhammad to have been removed since this would require that the Jews and Christians have access to all the Biblical manuscripts all over the then known world in order to remove these alleged predictions.

And here we come full circle: the false assumption that the Prophet’s description was expunged from all the Torahs.

This would further mean that the Jews and Christians would have to know of Muhammad beforehand and also agree to come together in order to corrupt their writings so as to remove any mention him. But their basic beliefs are so different this suggestion is not even worthy of consideration. To accomplish this without leaving any trace of evidence would have required a miracle.

Ibid.

It would have only been possible for the Jews to remove prophecies of Muhammad after they came to know him i.e. they did not like his message or because he was not a Jew etc.

That is the whole point; the Jews residing in Arabia, who were settled in Arabia for so long that they were independently autonomous and self-sufficient, attempted to expunge the descriptions from only the Torah in their possession.

But if they removed these references after coming to know him we could easily expose their corruption by comparing copies of the Torah that were written prior to the coming of Muhammad with those that were written after him.

This claim is predicated on the assumption that such copies have survived; otherwise we are effectively left with the historical accounts of Muslims which, as seen earlier, Roudh summarily dismisses simply because they are from the Muslims.

When comparing these copies what we find is that copies of the Jewish bible written before Muhammad are essentially the same and are almost identical to the copies that were written after him.

What copies?! If Roudh is hiding away an extant copy of the Torah belonging to the Jews of Madinah, now would be the time to reveal it to us and, more importantly, the rest of the world.

Since this proves that the Jews did not remove prophecies of Muhammad from their scriptures the references in Zawadi’s “historical” traditions contradict the evidence and must be rejected as forgeries.

Ibid.

The writers of the Christian scriptures (New Testament) also claimed that the Jewish Bible contains numerous verses that are prophecies of Jesus, but the Jews did not remove these verses from their Bible. With regards to this consider the following:

One of the great themes of the New Testament is that the covenant recorded in its pages which came through the revelation of Jesus Christ was foreshadowed in the Old Testament, the Scripture of the Jewish peoples which was completed at least four centuries before Jesus was born. The teaching of the New Testament that Jesus is the Son of God, for example, is constantly justified by quotes from the Old Testament. In Psalm 2.7 God speaks of his coming anointed one and says, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee” and, in 2 Samuel 7.14, when telling David that this same anointed one would be one of his own offspring, God said “I will be his father and he shall be my son”. Both these texts are quoted in Hebrews 1.5 to show that the coming of the Son of God as God’s anointed ruler and deliverer among men was foretold in the earlier scriptures.

To this day the relevant texts remain in the Old Testament, the cherished Scripture of the Jews, a people who no more believe that God has a Son than the Muslims do. The doctrine of Jesus as the Son of God is as vehemently rejected by the Jews as it is by the Muslims, even more so by the Jews as they do not believe in Jesus at all, whereas the Muslims at least acknowledge that he was a true prophet. Yet the very texts foretelling the coming of God’s Son into the world remain intact in the Jewish Scriptures. (John Gilchrist).

The fact that the Jews did not remove these texts also strongly argues against the charge that Jews removed references to Muhammad from their scriptures.

This fallacious reasoning is known as ‘Denying the Antecedent’, i.e. if A, then B; not A, then not B. It does not follow that because the Jews did not remove the Prophecies of Jesus, they had no reason to remove any prophecies of Muhammad.

A question for Roudh to ponder over is what purpose would it have served the Jews of Madinah to attempt to remove the prophecies of Jesus? Jesus’ legacy was virtually rejected by the Jews; they did not consider him to be the long awaited Messiah and they certainly could never accept him to be a divine person of the Trinity Doctrine. However, with the advent of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), they had every reason to attempt this extirpation. If a description of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were pointed out to them, they would have found very little excuse to reject him as a Prophet thereafter?

With regard to this issue consider also the following quotes that were taken from a Christian website. (any emphasis is theirs) in the words of Mahmoud Ayoub:

“Contrary to the general Islamic view, the Qur’an does not accuse Jews and Christians of altering the text of their scriptures, but rather of altering the truth which those scriptures contain. The people do this by concealing some of the sacred texts, by misapplying their precepts, or by `altering words from their right position” (4:26; 5:13,41; see also 2:75). However, this refers more to interpretation than to actual addition or deletion of words from the sacred books. The problem of alteration (tahrif) needs further study. (“Uzayr in the Qur’an and Muslim Tradition” in Studies in Islamic & Judaic Traditions, ed. W.M. Brenner and S.D. Ricks, The University of Denver, 1986, p. 5.)

And this from the Egyptian scholar, Muhammad ‘Abduh.

“(The) charge of corruption of the Biblical texts makes no sense at all. It would not have been possible for Jews and Christians everywhere to agree on changing the text. Even if those in Arabia had done it, the difference between their books and those of their brothers, let us say in Syria and Europe, would have been obvious.” (Jacques Jomier, Jesus, The Life of the Messiah, C.L.S., Madras, 1974, p. 216.)

These explanations directly contradict the explicit historical accounts that suggest otherwise. ‘Abduh’s argument is premised on the assumption that the obvious difference arising from such a change would have been sufficient in dissuading them. However, this again is a false assumption because there could have been any number of other plausible reasons for them to think otherwise. For example, perhaps they were willing to take the risk; perhaps they could not have cared less what their non-Arab coreligionists might have accused them of; perhaps the Torah being in the hands of their Rabbinical elite and, thus, not readily available to the lay, as was often the case with Jewish and Christian communities and their respective scriptures, made them believe they would not be exposed.

This final reason seems very plausible in light of Muqatil bin Sulaiman’s interpretation of the Qur’anic verse 2:79:

The leaders of the Jews in Medina erased the descriptions and traits of Muhammad peace be upon him from the Torah, and they wrote other traits and descriptions. [42]

With this in mind, it would be inconceivable to entertain the notion that the leaders of these Arab Jews were capable of conspiring to change all the Torahs of the world.

Al-Razi say’s in his commentary

There is a difference of opinions regarding this matter among some of the respectable scholars. Some of these scholars said: the manuscript copies of the Torah were distributed everywhere and no one knows the exact number of these copies except Allah. It is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible. And when Allah told his messenger (Muhammad) to ask the Jews to bring their Torah and read it concerning the stoning command they were not able to change this command from their copies, that is why they covered up the stoning verse while they were reading it to the prophet. It was then when Abdullah Ibn Salam requested that they remove their hand so that the verse became clear. If they have changed or altered the Torah then this verse would have been one of the important verses to be altered by the Jews.

Also, whenever the prophet would ask them (the Jews) concerning the prophecies about him in the Torah they were not able to remove them either, and they would respond by stating that they are not about him and they are still waiting for the prophet in their Torah. (emphasis theirs)

If anything, ar-Razi’s reasoning that “[i]t is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible” (bold, underline ours) further supports our contention that not only would such a task be near impossible to achieve, but also that the hadiths do not suggest that all the Torahs were altered, but only those in the possession of the Madinan Jews.

So again we find more Muslims scholars who were unable to believe that the Torah has been textually corrupted.

Appeal to numbers!

Zawadi’s claims are unsustainable because apart from contradicting the Quran, other authentic hadiths, and many Muslim scholars they contradict the manuscript evidence. Zawadi appears unable to allow for the possibility that the hadiths he quoted may have been fabricated despite the fact they contradict all the evidence.

He (Bassam Zawadi) then cites one of the leading interpreters of the Qur’an and a companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Ibn Abbaas

(Ibn Abbaas, Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas, Commentary on Surah 2:79, Source)

He also quotes “early Qur’anic commentator Muqatil bin Sulaiman” who says of the Qur’anic verse 2:79:

The leaders of the Jews in Medina erased the descriptions and traits of Muhammad peace be upon him from the Torah, and they wrote other traits and descriptions

(Qur’an 2:77-79) Know they not that Allah knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal? And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture. Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:”This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.

Quran 2:77-79 is aimed at only a section of the Jews and not all of them.

And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture

I fail to see how “illiterates, who know not the Book” could be referring to

The leaders of the Jews in Medina.

Astonishingly Muslim’s are asking us to believe that “illiterates, who know not the Book” corrupted the text of the Torah!!

There is nothing in the verse to imply that it was the illiterates who wrote the book with their own hands, i.e. changed it. In fact, when we take this issue in context, which, lo and behold, Roudh has again failed to do, we find the following to be the case.

Verse 75 reads:

Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion in spite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah (the Torah), then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it?

Ibn Kathir explains that “being fully aware of their erroneous interpretations and corruption. This statement is similar to Allah’s statement, ‘So, because of their violation of their covenant. We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their (right) places‘ (5:13)” (bold ours). He then quotes Mujahid as saying:

Those who used to alter it and conceal its truths; they were their scholars. [43] [44] (bold, underline ours)

It goes without saying that it was the literate scholars or leaders of the Jews who achieved this feat, not of course the illiterates. Evidence of this distinction between the literate and illiterate is apparent from how verse 79 begins: “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands,” (bold, underline ours), as Ibn Kathir clarifies:

This is another category of people among the Jews who called to misguidance with falsehood and lies about Allah, thriving on unjustly amassing people’s property. [45] (bold ours)

That is, another category of people other than the illiterate ones (Arabic: ummiyyoon) mentioned in the previous verse.

Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:”This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for miserable price!-

This verse is accusing a section of the Jews of fabricating verses for the purpose of selling them off as divine scripture. What it does not say is that they were corrupting the text of the Jewish Bible.

Ibid.

In addition the Quran also recognises righteous Jews who obviously would not corrupt their scriptures.

(Qur’an 7:159) Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth.

(Qur’an 3:199) And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah: They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account.

(Qur’an 3:113-114) Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.

Concerning the Quran’s charge of the Jews distorting the Torah with their tongues.

(Qur’an 3:78) There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, “That is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah: It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!

You cannot hide, distort, twist, misinterpret or even sell a book you no longer have access to. Why does Allah condemn the Jews for doing this to a book if it was already corrupted beyond recognition and not even worth reading? And why do the Jews need to distort, twist, conceal and misinterpret a book if it was already hopelessly corrupted?

Firstly, what makes Roudh believe that the Jews did not have access to their distorted scripture? There’s no explanation given for this.

We have already furnished evidence to show that the Jews came to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and attempted to cover with their hands the verses in reference to the punishment of adultery in their book. How can anyone physically cover up inaccessible scriptures?

Secondly, who said it was not worth reading for the Jews? More importantly, why does Roudh persistently insist on resorting to eisegesis in constructing his false arguments? As stated before, the Jewish scripture was not so hopelessly corrupted that it did not contain elements of truth, such as, descriptions of the Prophet or the punishment for adultery. Hence, the remnants of truth allows for the possibility of further corruption, such as the Madinan Jews attempt in expunging the descriptions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

If textual corruption is what Allah really wants to accuse them of then why beat about the bush, why not simply come out with it and state in unmistaken terms “the Jews have corrupted the text of the Torah beyond recognition and it can no longer be considered divine scripture and must be rejected”. Why make such a hard job of it? If this is what he was really trying to tell us then he has certainly managed to fool me, not to mention his prophet, many Muslim scholars and probably all of the non-Muslims who have studied this matter.

There is nothing difficult in this regard save for those who have very little understanding and consistently resort to eisegesis. If Roudh had bothered to ascertain the correct methodology of Islamic exegesis, rather than stumbling around blindly as he has done, he would not feel as though he has been fooled. As Allah says:

And that the foolish among us used to utter against Allah that which was an enormity in falsehood. (Qur’an 72:4)

After writing the above comment I came across this observation submitted by a reader of a Christian website:

Why is there no clear statement about Bible Corruption in the Qur’an?

Concerning what the Qur’an says about the Bible. Here is an argument which I have not seen on your site:

The Qur’an claims to be a book which is COMPLETE; a book fully DETAILED and an explanation of EVERYTHING, where NOTHING is omitted (Cf. Surahs 6:38; 6:114; 6:126; 10:37, 12:11; 16:89).

Consequently, we would expect to find a plain verse from the Qur’an saying explicitly that the text of the Torah and/or Gospel is/are falsified, since the Qur’an claims not to have omitted anything. However, we NEVER find such a verse in the entire Qur’an.

In fact, the Muslims have so far been unable to produce even one verse which clearly says that the text of the Torah and/or the Gospel are falsified. The Muslim propagandists speculate and extrapolate some verses such as 5:14; 5:48; 3:78; 2:75-79, which NEVER say in a way that is clear that the Torah and/ or the Gospel is/are falsified. Furthermore, these verses, once correctly read, actually prove to be a confirmation of the authenticity of the Torah and the Gospel.

A question for Muslims: Why did Allah fail to explicitly and clearly announce that the text of the Torah and Gospel have been falsified, especially when this is such an important topic of discussion in Muslim and Christian polemics?

Another question: Muslims often say at the end of their articles that Allah has more knowledge (i.e., “Allah knows best”). If this is the case, then why do you affirm with such fierceness a thing that Allah did not say at all in the Qur’an? Are you more erudite than Allah?

Rather than make exaggerated claims, and attribute things to Allah that he did not say, the Muslims should listen to what the Qur’an really says about the Torah and the Gospel. However, that would lead to the conclusion that the Qur’an is not from God.

David Tonnoir

To this I would like to add another point. For Islam to be true the Torah needs to have been corrupted beyond recognition. If the Torah has been corrupted beyond recognition then why does the Quran repeatedly testify that the Torah is genuine, reliable, original and authentic?

Suffice it to say that we have furnished clear evidence to show that when correctly understood in light of the Islamic methodology of exegesis, there can be no doubt that the Qur’an unquestionably charges the Jews and Christians with scriptural corruption.

Muslims are compelled to distort the clear testimony of the Quran in order to save their faith. One of the arguments that the Quran repeatedly puts forward as evidence of its divine origins is that it is in harmony with previous revelations. The unwarranted and unnatural meaning that the Quran is telling people that it is in agreement with the nonexistent Torah originally revealed to Moses before it was textually corrupted (not the extant Tanakh, Pentateuch or the Bible) is imposed on the text by Muslims who recognise the devastating implications of the plain meaning of these verses. I have never seen any evidence that during the 23 years of Muhammad’s recitals they were ever understood by anyone in this way.

“Knowledge of absence is not absence of knowledge”; meaning: just because Roudh has never seen them, which is unsurprising given the limited extent of his knowledge, does not mean its absence. Hopefully, we have now shown him otherwise.

In relation to Quran 2:79, also consider the following quote:-

” if we insist upon an actual corruption of the genuine text, would this not nullify other numerous references within the Qur’an regarding the genuineness of the Tawrat so that the Qur’an would become self-contradictory? Or further, assuming that an actual corruption of the manuscripts themselves took place, may it not be asked if all Jewry necessarily followed in the footsteps of those Jews here addressed? And if all Jews in the world joined in this corruption, did all the Christians of the world, who also possess the Tawrat, assent to these changes? To deduce thus a general corruption of the Tawrat among all Jewry and Christendom, for all subsequent ages, from one specific instance of corruption by a small colony of Jews in so remote a place as Madina, as is here assumed for the moment, is hardly a legitimate deduction.”

(Ernest Hahn: The Integrity of the Bible according to the Qur’an and the Hadith).

You quoted Ibn Abbas in an attempt to prove that one of the greatest Muslim scholars interpreted Quran 2:79 to mean that the Jews corrupted the Torah.

Let me give another quotation from Ibn Abbas. Reported by the famous hadith collector that you mentioned.

Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Ayah means they alter and add although none among Allah’s creation CAN REMOVE THE WORDS OF ALLAH FROM HIS BOOKS, THEY ALTER AND DISTORT THEIR APPARENT MEANINGS. Wahb bin Munabbih said, “The Tawrah and Injil REMAIN AS ALLAH REVEALED THEM, AND NO LETTER IN THEM WAS REMOVED. However, the people misguide others by addition and false interpretation, relying on books that they wrote themselves.” Then,

<they say: “This is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah;>

As for Allah’s books, THEY ARE STILL PRESERVED AND CANNOT BE CHANGED.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement … (Tafsir Ibn Kathir – Abridged, Volume 2, Parts 3, 4 & 5, Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, verse 147 [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: March 2000], p. 196; source;

(as quoted on a Christian website) emphasis theirs.

It is clear from this quote that Ibn Abbas and another respected scholar did not believe in the textual corruption of the Jewish or Christian scriptures. Ibn Abbas’ understanding            according to this quotation was that they corrupted the meanings of their scriptures. If the Quran and Muhammad had clearly taught for 23 years that the Bible was textually corrupted beyond recognition then this statement from an eminent Muslim scholar and a companion of your prophet is inexplicable.

This is a perfect example of why Roudh needs to at least attempt to conduct his own research rather than blindly rehash the efforts of Christians. Had Roudh only bothered to click on the source link, he would have noticed a typical example of distortion that some Christians often employ: selective quotation. What is conveniently clipped is the following:

However, if Wahb meant the books that are currently in the hands of the People of the Book, then we should state that there is no doubt that they altered, distorted, added to and deleted from them. For instance, the Arabic versions of these books contain tremendous error, many additions and deletions and enormous misinterpretation. Those who rendered these translations have incorrect comprehension in most, rather, all of these translations. If Wahb meant the Books of Allah that He [Allah] has with Him, then indeed, these Books are preserved and were never changed.

What Ibn Kathir perceptively highlights is what Ibn ‘Abbaas and Wahb actually meant by Allah’s Books being altered. Wahb makes an apparent distinction between “[t]he Tawrah [Torah] and the Injil [Gospel that] remain as Allah revealed them” and the “books that they [the Jews and Christians] wrote themselves”. If, as Roudh claims, “Ibn Abbas and another respected scholar [viz. Wahb] did not believe in the textual corruption of the Jewish or Christian scriptures”, why would Wahb explicitly state that the Jews and Christians rely on books “they wrote themselves”? The answer is obvious: they wrote these books themselves, thereby committing a form of textual corruption, and falsely claimed them to be divinely inspired.

So what does Wahb mean by “[t]he Tawrah [Torah] and the Injil [Gospel] remain as Allah revealed them”? Ibn Kathir correctly points out that the original Books of Allah can never be changed because they are “with Him”, meaning: with Allah. And this is what Wahb meant by: “As for Allah’s Books, they are still preserved and cannot be changed.”

The explanation of Wahb and the commentary of Ibn Kathir is precisely what Ibn ‘Abbaas also meant. Although the quoted link states that “Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said …”, the website fails to quote the relevant hadith from al-Bukhari. However, when one turns to a more extensive coverage of Ibn Kathir’s tafseer vis-á-vis verse 2:79, rather than the condensed one these Christians opportunistically link to, we find further clarification in the form of said hadith:

Az-Zuhri said that ‘Ubadydullah bin ‘Abdullah narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “… Allah told you that the People of the Book altered the Book of Allah, changed it and WROTE ANOTHER BOOK WITH THEIR OWN HANDS. They then said, ‘This book is from Allah,’ so that they acquired a small profit by it. Hasn’t the knowledge that came to you prohibited you from asking them? By Allah! We have not seen any of them asking you about what was revealed to you.” [46] This Hadith was also collected by AL-BUKHARI. [47] (bold, underline, capitals ours)

And:

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn ‘Abbas commented, “Woe to them”, “Means the torment will be theirs because of the lies that they WROTE with their own hands ….” [48] (bold, underline, capitals ours)

Given that Ibn ‘Abbaas affirmed the textual corruption of the previous scriptures, he, along with Wahb and all other Muslims for that matter, understood that when all is said and done no one could ultimately change the original Torah and Gospel for they were the Speech of Allah, which, in terms of its divine origin, is eternal and can never be subject to change.

This point is well delineated by Bassam Zawadi in his refutation of the notorious Sam Shamoun:

Surah 6:115

The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. S. 6:115 (bold, underline not ours)

Surah 18:27

And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him. S. 18:27(bold, underline not ours)

It seems quite clear just from reading the context alone that what is meant by “none change His words” is that no one could stop Allah’s promises from being fulfilled. Reading Surah 6:115 alone makes that very clear.

Imam Al Tabari in his commentary states:

“None can change His words”, He is saying that there is no one who could change what He has informed in His books about anything which is bound to happen during it’s time or has been postponed. It all happens as Allah says it would. (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami’ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 6:115, Source) (bold, underline not ours)

Imam Al-Qurtubi in his commentary states:

Al Ramaani narrated on the authority of Qataadah who said: There is no change in the judgment of God. Even if one were to change and substitute the words just as the people of the book did with the Torah and Gospel, God doesn’t consider this. (Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Qurtubi, Tasfir al Jami’ li-ahkam al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 6:115, Source) (bold, underline not ours)

This is a crucial point that is being made. Anyone could simply pick up a Qur’an and grab a pen and scribble out words and add his own, however that doesn’t mean that one is refuting the idea that none can change the words of Allah. Rather, changing the words of Allah in the passage means that one cannot change what He has promised would occur.

One could easily change and distort texts by picking up a book and a pen, but they could not change the original true texts and revelations which is with Allah on al-Lawh al-Mahfudh (preserved tablet) since the speech of Allah is uncreated and no one can ever make it go lost [sic] completely. Removing the words from the books here on earth does not mean that God’s words have become totally lost but lost here on earth only. … Furthermore, corrupting the texts of holy books here on earth does not mean that one has succeeded in totally erasing off the existence of God’s words since they are also preserved in the al-Lawh al-Mahfudh. … Allah on the other hand has made a promise that the Qur’an would be preserved for us (Surah 15:9). A unique claim NOT made for any other scripture. [49] (bold, underline, capitals ours)

In addition, Ibn ‘Abbaas’ statement that “they alter and distort their apparent meanings” does not necessarily imply a non-textual corruption of the scriptures since both a textual and/ or oral mode of distortion could result in the alteration of the apparent meanings of a scripture. Hence, Roudh is reading too much into Ibn ‘Abbaas’ words.

You mentioned the famous hadith collection of Imam al-Bukhari’s Jami’ as-Sahih: Let us see what this hadith collector’s view was on this issue.

On the other side, another party of hadith and fiqh scholars said: these changes took place during its interpretation and not during the process of its revelation. This is the view of Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishmael Al-Bukhari who said in his hadith collection:

“No one can corrupt the text by removing any of Allah’s words from his Books, but they corrupted it by misinterpreting it.”

Al Bukhari did not believe that the text of the Bible had been corrupted

We searched through Sahih al-Bukhari but could not find the above citation. From the point of view of research, providing a full or adequate reference for a citation usually helps!

From what seems apparent, however, is that Imam al-Bukhari is merely repeating the understanding of Ibn ‘Abbaas, Mujahid and Wahb ibn Munabbih as delineated above; and Allah knows best.

The accusation of the Quran is not that the Jews corrupt the text of their scriptures but they falsify them by misinterpreting them.

That is highly likely; but, as seen above, certainly not the only way.

In addition I have never seen any evidence from the Quran or Hadith where the Jews defend the charge of textual corruption. I find it absolutely astonishing that Muhammad could have for decades accused the Jews and yet from the Jewish side we do not come across a single reply to this charge.

In this instance, Roudh again argues from silence; he would do well to memorise the principle: “Absence of knowledge is not knowledge of absence.”

A proof already cited above is the Jewish boy who, on his deathbed and in the presence of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), contradicted his father’s untruthful claim of the Prophet’s description being absent from the Torah:

The Prophet said to him: “I adjure you by Allah who sent down the Torah, do you find in your book (Torah) my description and the time of my coming?” The Jew answered negatively. His son then said: “I swear by He Who sent down the Torah we find in our book your description and the time of your coming, and I testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.” … This is a Strong Hadith. [50]

As regards to the Christians, which would by default cover the Torah, there is an authentic narration of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) addressing a crowd during which he accuses the Jews and Christians of making forbidden what Allah had originally legislated as permissible and vice-versa:

Adi ibn Hatim narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah reciting the verse: “They (Jews and Christians) have taken their rabbis and monks to be as Lords besides Allah and (they also took as their lord) Messiah, son of Mary while they were commanded to worship none but one God. Praise and glory be to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).” (Qur’an 9:31) He (Adi Ibn Hatim) said: “We didn’t worship them.” The Messenger of Allah said: “Did they not make forbidden (haraam) what Allah made permissible (halaal) and you all made it forbidden (haraam), and they made permissible (halaal) what Allah made forbidden (haraam) and you all made it permissible (halaal)?” He replied “Indeed.” The Messenger of Allah said: “That is your worship to them.” [51]

Adi ibn Hatim was originally a Christian who converted to Islam and acknowledges that the Rabbis and Monks did indeed alter the original edicts of their scripture. This is consistent with the understanding that it was the religious scholars who changed their scripture.

Another proof is the famous encounter between the King of Rome, Heraclius, and Abu Sufyaan, the leader of the Arab Quraish and, thus by extension, the Meccans. As recounted in Sahih al-Bukhari, after learning of a man who calls himself a Prophet of God in Arabia, Heraclius summons Abu Sufyaan to his kingdom and quizzes him with a series of questions to know more about Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) call. After the long interrogation, Heraclius then gives an evaluation of the answers he receives from Abu Sufyaan. In his magnum opus, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani states the following in this regard:

These questions that Heraclius asked are not enough to prove the prophet hood. However as Heraclius himself said later, “I knew that he was going to appear but I did not expect that he would be from you (the arabs [sic])”, indicating that he already had proof of the emergence of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (bold ours)

It is for this reason that Heraclius is said to have converted to Islam, though in secret due to the negative reaction of his people, which eventually led Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to conduct the funeral prayer in absentia following the King’s death.

But since many verses in the Quran suggest that the Jews mocked Muhammad’s every word a total suspension of reason is required to believe this.

Ishaq: 239 “Jewish rabbis used to annoy the Apostle with questions, introducing confusion.”

Ishaq: 240 “These Jewish rabbis opposed the apostle, they asked questions and stirred up trouble against Islam trying to extinguish it.”

It is not credible that the Jews annoyed him with questions and tried to extinguish Islam yet never addressed ‘his charge of corruption’. Even from the hadith they do not come across as the sort of people who would let attacks upon the integrity of their scriptures pass without comment. The absence of debate concerning this ‘issue’ strongly indicates that the charge of textual corruption was not made by Muhammad and is a later development in the history of Islam.

We have cited two authentically narrated historical accounts where an objection was raised in defence of these scriptures and against the heinous charge of textual corruption. However, these were contested and shot down by people from that faith, viz. Adi ibn Haatim and the Jewish boy on his death bed.

Another possibility that Roudh would do well to ponder over is that, obversely speaking, such silence could even be understood to be an admission of guilt on their part. It is generally the trend for the innocent to contest any charges brought against them. However, despite the Prophet and his companions levelling such serious charges against them claiming that God Himself was implicating them, there are good grounds to postulate that such deafening silence could be understood as an admission of their guilt.

In relation to this consider this hadith.

“Rafi b. Haritha and Sallam b. Mishkam and Malik b. al-Sayf and Rafi b. Huraymila came to him and said: “Do you not allege that you follow the religion of Abraham AND BELIEVE IN THE TORAH WHICH WE HAVE AND TESTIFY THAT IT IS THE TRUTH FROM GOD?” He replied, “CERTAINLY, but you have sinned and broken the covenant contained therein and concealed what you were ordered to make plain to man, and I disassociate myself from your sin.” They said, “We hold by what we have. We live according to the guidance and the truth and we do not believe in you and we will not follow you.” So God sent down concerning them: “Say O Scripture folk, you have no standing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has been sent down to you from your Lord. What has been sent down to thee from thy Lord will assuredly increase many of them in error and unbelief. But be not sad because of the unbelieving people.” (Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 268) (Quote taken from a Christian website, emphasis theirs).

What a strange question “Do you not allege that you follow the religion of Abraham and believe in the Torah which we have and testify that it is the truth from God?” for the Jews to ask Muhammad, if for years he had been condemning them for corrupting their scriptures. One thing this question from the Jews proves categorically is that the Jews were completely unaware that Muhammad had ever accused them of textual corruption. The only explanation for this is that Muhammad never did (at least not to their knowledge).

This citation from Guillaume has been refuted well by Bassam Zawadi who said:

This problem arises because Alfred Guillaume did not translate a very crucial word properly.

After quoting the Arabic text he provides the following corrections in translation:

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him and Rafi b. Haritha, and Sallam b. Mishkam and Malik b. al-Sayf and Rafi b. Huraymila and they (the Jews) said to them: O Muhammad, do you not allege that you follow the way of Abraham and his religion, and believe in what we have from the Torah and testify that it is the truth from Allah? The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him replied: Yes, however you have innovated and broken the covenant contained therein and concealed what you were ordered to make clear to people, and I dissociate myself from your innovations. They said, ‘We hold by what we have. We live according to the guidance and the truth and we do not believe in you and we will not follow you.’

He then opines:

If this story does anything now, it only serves as evidence that the Jews have corrupted their scriptures. Notice how the crucial words “innovated” and “innovations” were not properly translated by Alfred Guillaume. He simply translated the words as “sinned” and “sins”.

The fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) accused the Jews of innovating shows that the Prophet (peace be upon him) accused them of adding to the religion things that did not belong there.

He continues:

Just by examining this narration alone, we can’t know what the Prophet’s intention was. The story is ambiguous when examined alone. Since it is ambiguous Christians have no right to use this story as a proof that the Prophet peace be upon him affirmed the textual purity of the Torah since the story allows for the possibility that the Prophet intended to say that the Jews textually corrupted their scriptures.

So the possible interpretation of the story is that when the Jews asked the Prophet if he believed that what they have in the Torah is the truth from God he said “Yes” because he believed that there was truth in it, however the Jews added their innovations to it. [52]

Muhammad in his reply confirms his belief in the Torah that was in their possession but accuses them of breaking the covenant i.e. not observing the Torah or not following its teachings “Say O Scripture folk, you have no standing until you observe the Torah”,

For Allah to say to the Jews “observe the Torah” takes for granted that the Jews had the Torah which was worth observing and not some pathetic book which was not even worth calling scripture.

He also accuses them of concealing what they were ordered to make plain to men. For the Jews to be told that they have concealed the truth assumes that they had the truth and reliable scriptures in the first place. You cannot conceal truths from people which you do not have access to yourself.

Ibid.

Also there is no charge of the textual corruption of the Torah in Muhammad’s reply so naturally there is no defence of this in the Jewish response. If Muhammad had been preaching for years that the Torah was hopelessly corrupt and yet the Jews (astonishingly) remained under the impression (that Muhammad was a big fan of the Torah that was in their hands, which is evident from their question) what a great opportunity for Muhammad now to clear things up for them (if even after years of Muhammad’s preaching the penny still had not dropped for the Jews, although this would require them to have been incredibly dumb) that the Torah in their possession was rubbish. But all he says in reply to their question is certainly I believe in your Torah as you say and testify that it is the truth from God but you have sinned because you are not following its teachings (you have broken the covenant) and you are concealing rather than making plain to people its message and I disassociate myself from your sin.

This Hadith proves that Muhammad believed that the Torah in the possession of the Jews was the original.

Ibid.

The fallacy in this instance is Roudh’s assumption that a premise can be valid by simply appealing to authority, in this case: a number of unknown Muslims. Further still, Roudh also begs the question by assuming that said verse is indeed a prophecy accepted by all Muslims, and thus citable as proof. The counter we throw in response is to simply ask how Roudh knows we here at Islam-Sikhism accept this verse to be a prophecy? If we do not, then poor Roudh has wasted his time arguing a strawman.

If it is assumed that Deuteronomy 18:15-20, is not a prophecy of Muhammad. Where then is the prophecy referred to by Quran 7:157?

What the description of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the Torah is is not the subject of debate, and neither will we be sidetracked by such red herrings.

Our aim is to prove that Roudh’s arguments in support of the infallibility of the previous scriptures are erroneous.

Although we could cite what we believe to be convincing arguments for the presence of such descriptive prophecies, we will suffice with leaving such apologetics to the reams of information already presented by other Muslims.

According to this verse the prophecy was in the Torah that existed at Muhammad’s time. Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. (emphasis mine).

So where in the Torah is this reference?

Ibid.

It is not always possible for me to know what every individual Muslim’s beliefs are. Nor should it be necessary for me to address only those issues which every single Muslim believes.

We would never assume something so ridiculous as expecting Roudh to know the view of over a billion Muslims! In spite of Roudh’s meek attempt at trying to brush this under the carpet, he nevertheless fallaciously presupposes that we consider said verse to be a prophecy.

What I have done is to address what I believed to be the majority view. If I intended to address a minority view then I would have made that clear beforehand. I will give a list of a few well known Muslims who have claimed this verse to be a prediction of Muhammad.

Dr. Zakir Naik

Jamal Badawi

Shabir Ally

Yusuf Ali

Ahmad Deedat

Mishaal Al Khadi

Osama Abdullah (The webmaster of the biggest Islamic site on the net that I am aware of)

I am sure there are many more.

Then we suggest Roudh contact them. However, if his intention is to forward an equally half-baked diatribe which he has sent us, then we would sincerely advise him to think twice, nay ten times, before doing so.

the titles: El, Eloah, Elohim, and Allah’im [9] used by Jews for God in the Tanakh bare a striking resemblance not only to the proper name Allah,

But as stated above, since languages differ grammatically, the name of God cannot, therefore, be the same, phonetically speaking, across the board. For example, the titles: El, Eloah, Elohim, and Allah’im  [9] used by Jews for God in the Tanakh bare a striking resemblance not only to the proper name Allah,

According to Jewish Bible God has only one name (YHWH) and it is His name for every generation and forever.

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, YHWH the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation. (Exodus 3:15)

According to YHWH his name is changeless.

Claiming the YHWH in the Hebrew scripture to be changeless because the Hebrew scripture says so is circular.

If the name of God in said scripture was uncorrupted, then Roudh would have already met the challenge we threw at him in our first reply by “provid[ing] the vowel points in order so that God’s name can be pronounced correctly”; and yet he has, thus far, failed to do so.

The Jews have never recognised El, Eloah, or Elohim, as a name for their God.

And neither did we claim such a thing. What we said was that the Jews used “the TITLES: El, Eloah, Elohim“.

The word “elohim” literally means “gods.” It is used in the Jewish bible with the meaning of pagan or false gods almost 200 times, therefore it could never be the name of the true God.

Ibid.

Furthermore, is Roudh seriously suggesting that the word Elohim has always, in every instance, referred only to “gods” and never to the true God? How does this square with the very first verse of the Bible:

“Bereshit bara’ ELOHIM et ha shamayim va et ha erets.”

“In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

Now which bona fide orthodox Jew or Christian, or well established translation of the Bible, has ever understood or translated the word Elohim as Gods in this verse? It would be an act of heresy for any Jew or Christian to believe that there is more than one God who created the heavens and the earth.

In fact, we are utterly astounded that such a nonsensical argument could be forwarded by anyone who has an iota of knowledge of Judaism/ Christianity. Roudh would do well to read the following article that cites no less than thirteen academic sources to prove that “the word Elohim when used for God, the Lord of Israel and the universe it is always understood as ONE without a plurality of persons of entities in whatever shape or form in that oneness”: [53] Elohim. One or Plural?,

Also since it is a plural it could not be related to Allah.

It seems that Roudh needs to be reminded of the argument at hand. Recall his argument vis-á-vis the alleged prophecy of Deut. 18:17-20:

Notice that Moses here speaks this prophecy in the name of his God YHWH i.e. “YHWH said to me” (not Allah). Moses wrote the name YHWH 1600 times in his Torah.
Moses gives no other name for God. The name Allah does not appear in the Torah once.

Our response was:

Roudh presupposes that the Arabic name of God: Allah, is immutable in the sense that it must be consistently used to address Him for all time and in all languages. But … since languages differ grammatically, the name of God cannot, therefore, be the same, phonetically speaking, across the board. For example, the titles: El, Eloah, Elohim, and Allah’im [9] used by Jews for God in the Tanakh bare a striking resemblance not only to the proper name Allah, but also the name, as suggested by Muslim scholars such as Ibn al-Qayyim et al., from which it was derived: al-Ilaah (the God). Similarly, Jesus is recorded in the Gospels to have called upon God in Aramaic: Eli and Eloi, which again sounds remarkably similar to Allah and al-Ilaah. Hence, Muslims would have no qualms in accepting the possibility that Allah could have revealed his name to other non-Arabic speaking nations that would be distinguished by an obvious difference in pronunciation.

Hence, the overall import of our response was not to show a phonetic similarity between the names, that was more a side point than anything else, but to clarify that we would have no problem in acknowledging that “Allah could have revealed his name to other non-Arabic speaking nations that would be distinguished by an obvious difference in pronunciation”.

Usage of Eloah

He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. (Daniel 11:37) bold mine.

He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.(Daniel 10:39) bold mine.

“Then they will sweep through {like} the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god.” [Habakkuk 1:11]

In all these verses Eloah is used to mean false gods so it could not be the name of the true God.

Usage of El

“Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? [Exodus 15:11] bold mine.

“Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. [Daniel 11:36] bold mine.

Since El is used to describe false gods and humans El cannot be a name for the true God.

We have already shown how Elohim (the plural for El and Eloah) was used as a title for the true God. If this is true of the plural noun, it follows that it must also certainly be true of its singular forms El and Eloah. And who better to put Roudh back in his place in corroborating this than the preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher, Moses ben-Maimon, or more famously known as Maimonides:

I must premise that every Hebrew knows that the term Elohim is a homonym, [54] and denotes God, angels, judges, and the rulers of countries. [55]

We must also consider the four different terms employed in expressing the relations of the heavens to God, bore (Creator), ‘oseh (Maker), koneh (Possessor), and el (God). [56]

In the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, we are told:

Yahweh (El, Eloah. elohim) is the source of justice; he is supreme plaintiff and judge, not only on behalf of his people Israel (Ps. 50:8,21; Isa. 1:18; Mic. 6:2) and individuals (Gen. 31:42; 1 Ch. 12:18[I7]; Job 13:10; 16:21; 22:4) but also on behalf of the nations of the world. [57]

The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible elaborates further:

Eloah occurs as a divine name most frequently in the book of Job, where that term, El, and Shadday are the standard words for ‘God’ in the poetic sections (Eloah forty one times. El fifty-five times, Shadday thirty-one times). The divine name Yahweh appears almost exclusively in the prose sections and in some transition indicators in dialogues. The other three terms are used much as Elohim or Yahweh are used in the rest of the Hebrew Bible (the plural form ‘elohim occurs only four times in the poetic sections of Job). Outside the book of Job, only in Ps 50:22. 139:19, and Prov 30:5 does the formulation clearly indicate that ‘eloah is being used as a divine name. [58] (bold, underline ours)

The Jewish bible gives and the Jews recognise only one name for their God. Like Allah in the Quran YHWH is never used to describe anyone other than the true God.

However, unlike Allah, or the title Elohim and Shaddai, YHWH does not have any vowel points. How can a noun devoid of its vowel points still be intelligibly used as a name for an object, let alone the supreme deity? Would Roudh or any other Jew or scholar wish to wager the correct pronunciation for this mysterious vowel-less name of God?

Imagine if the same were true of Sikhism where the Tetragrammaton’s equivalent for the name of God in Sikhism, Waheguru, was rendered: WHGR, and the titles: Ek, Satnam, or Karta Purakh, were used in its place as substitutes; would WHGR make sense to any Sikh as a proper name of God?

Muslims need to answer, why in the Jewish scriptures the God of Moses does not once say that his name is Allah? The answer is obvious, YHWH never was Allah.

We already have; it seems, however, that Roudh has selective vision and only sees what is in his best interests.

Muhammad simply took Allah the chief deity of the Meccans to whom they attributed three daughters and re-invented him as the one true God without partners. He then identified this deity with the God of the Jewish scriptures and in his hands this “deity” became a prop who not only endorsed all his claims but threatened all who rejected them.

And where is the evidence for this fanciful narrative?

To frighten the Arabs into believing and accepting him as the messenger of Allah, Muhammad threatened them with eternal hellfire, he seduced them with promises of virgins in Allah’s paradise and later he forced them to submit with jihad. But as a prophet, unable to perform any miracles and devoid of any convincing evidence for his claims, Muhammad failed miserably.

Ibid.

(Qur’an 17:59) And We refrain from sending the signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes, but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of terror (and warning from evil).

The Arabs turned hostile they mocked and ridiculed him mercilessly. The Quran is an expression of Muhammad’s burning hatred towards those who rejected his claims and the evils he wished upon them. The Quran must rank as one of the longest and most hateful rants ever written. His paradise was a reflection of his fantasies and his hell was a manifestation of the revenge he craved. The frequency of the Quran’s references to hell and its tortures are amazing but not surprising when we consider that representing an impotent deity and lacking any credible evidence to support his claim of divine selection all Muhammad could do was threaten.

It is obvious that at this stage, Roudh is seriously losing the plot. Plucking verses that have nothing to do with anything and making outlandish and unsubstantiated claims only reflects poorly on such a person.

(Qur’an 13:7) And the Unbelievers say: “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?” But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.

The message of the Quran can be summed up as follows: obey Muhammad or you will burn forever.

Let us return to the topic at hand shall we?

Nearly all the narratives of the Bible that are re-told in the Quran are re-worked (corrupted) by Muhammad to reflect his own situation. Muhammad writes himself in as a fellow prophet, the lead act in the line of Bible prophets and casts Allah in the role of YHWH. These stories are re-written to make the Meccan rejection of his own mission look prophetic. The characters in these narratives sound just like Muhammad and as one writer observed, if they are not Muhammad then they had the same speech writer.

We said, “Let us return back to the topic at hand shall we?”

Actually, what we have to throw in here is the fact that in terms of what all the Prophets of God taught, it was exactly the same call: to worship God alone and to eschew the worship of false Gods. It is inconsistent to suggest that Moses, and his fellow brethren Prophets thereafter, taught that Allah is one who could never become a weak and ineffectual mortal, only for a sect of the Christians to suddenly rise up and, in opposition to the true message of Jesus, contradict this infrangible rule by claiming that God had condescended to become a mortal who was the second person of the fictitious Trinity and the Divine Son of the Father. In this respect, yes, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to primarily rectify this awful heresy.

(We have clipped the rest of this emotional rant since it amounts to nothing except a red herring)

What Muhammad did not know and what exposes his fraud was that the God of the Jewish scriptures with whom he identified his deity had only one name and it was never Allah.

Finally Roudh comes back to his senses.

Some information in this section was taken from Alano Perez’s article: The name of God in the Bible and the Quran.

Roudh presupposes that the Arabic name of God: Allah, is immutable in the sense that it must be consistently used to address Him for all time and in all languages.

The point you may have over-looked is that the author of the Quran puts Allah into the mouths of the Israelites.

The story of Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush is narrated both in the Torah and the Quran. According to the Torah when Moses came to the burning bush God told him regarding His name:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of YHWH appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not burn up.” Exodus 3:1-3

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘YHWH the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation. Exodus 3:15

This story is retold in the Quran although differently. When Moses came to the burning bush God told him regarding His name:

(Qur’an 20:9) Has the story of Moses reached thee? 20:10 Behold, he saw a fire: So he said to his family, “Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand therefrom, or find some guidance at the fire.” 20:11 But when he came to the fire, a voice was heard: “O Moses! 20:12 “Verily I am thy Lord! therefore (in My presence) put off thy shoes: thou art in the sacred valley Tuwa. 20:13 “I have chosen thee: listen, then, to the inspiration (sent to thee) 20:14 “Verily, I am Allah: There is no god but I: So serve thou Me (only), and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise. Emphasis mine

According to the Torah at the burning bush God revealed to Moses that His name is YHWH the only name for God which Moses gives in his Torah.

Firstly, in the famous incident of the Burning Bush in Exodus 3:14-15, God does not reveal the YHWH, but rather states in Hebrew: “ehyeh asher ehyeh”, which translates as: “I Am that I Am.” In the book, The Jewish Bible, Pelc lucidly details:

Indeed, the name YHWH is a “non-name” name, a way of undermining the whole idea that God can have a name at all. Moses asks God for God’s name, and God replies, “I will be what I will be.” Thus this text, which seems to be about the revelation of God’s name, contains within it the concept that God cannot have a name at all. Admittedly, the midrash, the Zohar, and the source critics all seek to use the different names of God illustrated in the book of Exodus as a code by which to crack the meaning of the Bible. But there really is only one name of God-YHWHwhich is not a name at all but an expression of the namelessness of God. [59] (bold, underline ours)

In the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, it honestly concedes that “[t]he pronunciation of YHWH in the OT can never be certain, since the original Hebrew text used only consonants” (bold ours). Later though, it goes on to suggest that “the early Greek transliterations of the name by Clement of Alexandria and Theodore!, respectively iaoue and iabe [(b pronounced as an English v), have led scholars to the view that ‘Yahweh’ is probably the closest equivalent to the original pronunciation”. [60]

According to Agape Bible Study, although “Biblical scholars do not know how YHWH was originally pronounced because its original pronunciation, which was part of the sacred Oral Tradition of the Jews, was LOST when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD … The rendering of YHWH asYahweh’ is a modern conjecture (first suggested in the 16th century by biblical scholar Gilbert Genebrard, professor of Hebrew at the College Royal in Paris) but which has been accepted by biblical scholars today as the most likely rendering”. [61]

Though the rendering of “Yahweh” is being pushed mainly by the Christian contingent, unsurprisingly given the absurd ramifications of a “non-name” name of God, it is far from conclusive. For example, the Handbook of Biblical Criticism reveals:

Yahweh is a scholarly reconstruction of the vocalized Tetragrammaton current chiefly among Christian academicians since the early 19th cent. Though still current in biblical scholarship, it has scant basis in Christian liturgical life and none at all in Jewish, and indeed is regarded as distasteful or offensive by many Jews. In recent years many writers (including the authors of this book) have discontinued its use in favor of the unvocalized form of the name, YHWH. [62] (bold, underline ours)

What is, therefore, apparent is that although modern scholars have forwarded suggestions, the reality is that no concrete evidence exists to substantiate the correct pronunciation of this “no-name” name. Hence, although “[s]ome translations, though not Jewish ones, have claimed that the evidence points to the pronunciation of the Name as Yahveh … there is no certainty in the matter”. [63]

Secondly, if for arguments sake Roudh was correct, then what we have is Moses asking for God’s name and Him revealing to Moses an unpronounceable name?! If someone asked Roudh what his name was and he replied: “RDH,” how would anyone pronounce that in the English language? You cannot even use the name to make a meaningful call.

Consider for one moment the Lord of the heavens and the earth contacting mankind and calling on them to worship Him and CALL upon Him by His proper name during times of worship, distress, help, need, etc., yet failing to provide a meaningful name. As time went by, His followers resorted, for one reason or another, to using secondary names (titles), such as, Elohim and Shaddai in its place. If ever there was evidence of scriptural corruption, it is in the example of this fancifully named Tetragrammaton.

According to the Quran at the burning bush God revealed to Moses that His name is Allah the Arabic name for God a name by which Moses in his Torah never calls his God.

As we explained in our original article, there is an obvious difference between the Arabic and Hebrew language; thus, a Muslim, or anyone else for that matter, who understands and acknowledges this obvious difference would never expect the Prophets from the non-Arab line of Isaac to call upon God using a name in a language other than their own.

Either God revealed his name to Moses as Allah or as YHWH. Either the Quran is correct or the Torah is correct.

The answer to that we thought would have been obvious given that Roudh in this entire tract has failed both to give us the vowel points for correctly pronouncing this unpronounceable name, as well as a genuine reason why and how they were lost to begin with.

If God had revealed to Moses that his name is Allah then we would expect to find Allah given as God’s name numerous times in the Torah and the rest of the Jewish scriptures. What we actually find is that YHWH is given as God’s one and only name 1,600 times in Moses’ Torah and the name Allah is never found once. If God told Moses “Verily, I am Allah” then why does Moses not call his God by the name Allah even once and why does he give YHWH as God’s only name in the Torah?  The name YHWH is found in the Jewish scriptures nearly 7,000 times and the name Allah is not mentioned once. There is no evidence in either the Jewish scriptures or Jewish history that the Israelites ever recognised Allah as a name for God. This proves without any doubt whatsoever that Quran 20:14 is a lie, but Exodus 3:15 is supported by the evidence. This fact alone is sufficient to totally annihilate Islam’s credibility.

If one were to continue Roudh’s line of reasoning, one would also be forced to conclude that since this mysterious Tetragrammaton is not to be found anywhere in the New Testament Jesus, and by extension the so-called Apostle St. Paul, were both false emissaries of God.

In fact, on this basis, could an argument not be forwarded against the Sikhs who all, without exception, call upon their God by the name Waheguru knowing full well that this word is nowhere to be found in their holy book: Sri Guru Granth Sahib?

It proves that all the narratives in the Quran where the Israelites call upon God as Allah are fictitious. Not knowing any better the author of the Quran simply put his own name for deity into the mouths of the Israelites. This evidence proves that the Quran cannot be a divine revelation and Muhammad was a fake. It proves that the author of the Quran fabricated verses and passed them off as divine scripture.

The evidence proves that the author of the Quran was a complete and utter fraud. The Meccans were right all along when they said “Thou art but a forger”.

A forgery, i.e. the Qur’an, which no Meccan and no person from time immemorial has been able to emulate, let alone surpass, in terms of eloquence and structure as defined in the Arabic language. All these doubters had to do back then, if the Qur’an was a cheap forgery and the imaginings of an illiterate, was take the falsification test, which we have covered in detail in our article: Ragmala Controversy, and emulate or surpassing the eloquence of the shortest chapter of the Qur’an comprising of only three short lines.

One would have expected the best poets, orators, or masters of the Arabic language to do better than the efforts of an illiterate (Muhammad); and yet they failed.

Despite the fact that the author of the Quran repeatedly accuses all who disbelieve his Quran as being liars, the evidence proves that his Quran is the biggest lie of all.

My presupposition is not that the Arabic name of God: Allah, is immutable in the sense that it must be consistently used to address Him for all time and in all languages. My point is that according to YHWH his name is changeless:

“This (YHWH) is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation. (Exodus 3:15)

I believe that the point you are making is that contrary to “my presupposition”, God could have revealed himself to the Israelites by a different name i.e. YHWH and not necessarily Allah since this name is not immutable. The problem with this argument is that according to the Quran, God revealed to Moses from the burning bush that his name was Allah and not YHWH!

Just as God has revealed the equivalence of His proper name in both Hebrew and Aramaic, respectively, there is nothing peculiar or problematic in Him doing the same for Arabic, which He did. Roudh’s argument would only be applicable if Allah contended that He has always been known by a certain name across all languages and all times, which, to our knowledge, He has never done.

Also the Quran quotes the Israelites as calling upon God by many names including Allah but never by the name YHWH, the only name for deity which they recognised.

That is because the YHWH is not a name, not in the proper sense anyway!

Similarly regarding your statement:

Muslims would have no qualms in accepting the possibility that Allah could have revealed his name to other non-Arabic speaking nations that would be distinguished by an obvious difference in pronunciation

Well Allah could have revealed his name to other non-Arabic speaking nations that would be distinguished by an obvious difference in pronunciation (but I do not know of any nations to whom he did) but not the Israelites, because again if we are to believe the Quran, he told them “Verily, I am Allah”.

Since Allah is conveying an historical account to an Arabic speaking people, He would naturally use His name in this language for such a purpose. After all, it would not make much sense now would it for Him to use an unpronounceable “no-name” name?

As for the proper name YHWH in the Tanakh, then we wish to ask Roudh to provide the vowel points in order so that God’s name can be pronounced correctly. If the author of the Quran was God, He would have quoted the Israelites correctly by putting into their mouths the only name for God that the Tanakh gives then we would have had the correct pronunciation of the proper name YHWH in the Tanakh.

Is Roudh conceding here that the correct pronunciation is lost to the Israelites, and that Allah should have rectified this mistake for them? If he is, then the Torah is corrupt. If he is not, then the conundrum still stands for Roudh to solve.

Jesus is recorded in the Gospels to have called upon God in Aramaic: Eli and Eloi, which again sounds remarkably similar to Allah and al-Ilaah.

If, as the Quran states, God revealed his name as Allah to Moses and the Israelites, then why did Jesus not call upon God as Allah?

This narrow minded fixation on the name “Allah” is turning into an act of desperation on Roudh’s part.

Firstly, Jesus did not speak Arabic. Why would God expect a non-Arab speaking Prophet sent to non-Arabs to call upon Him by a name that would only make sense in the Arabic language? It is more reasonable to assume that an all-Wise Creator who is revealing the clarity of Truth would facilitate ease in guiding His people by revealing to them His name – of course with the vowel points included – in their own language.

Secondly, Jesus, it seems, did call on God by the Aramaic equivalent of the derivative of the name Allah: ilah.

If he could miraculously call upon God as Allah from the cradle then why not later when he became an adult when no miracle was required? Why did Jesus later only manage to call upon God as Eli or Eloi which again sounds remarkably similar to Allah and al-Ilaah and not Allah?

What Roudh is trying hard not to accept is that the name of God in Arabic, Allah, can also be found as equivalent cognates – words that have a common etymological origin – in other Semitic languages, proving that these names of God existed both independently of and concurrently to the pre-Islamic Arabs. For example, the equivalent cognate to Allah in Biblical Aramaic is Elaha while in Syriac it is Alaha, as delineated on The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon website for the search term “God”.

According to the Introduction to the Semitic Languages, the proper name of God in Old Aramaic [64] and Biblical Aramaic [65] is elaha; and in Syriac it is allaha. [66]

Prof Helmer Ringgren elaborates more fully:

Notwithstanding the vast difference in the number of occurrences of Yahweh and Adonai in the OT as it now stands (over 6700 occurrences of Yahweh, and approximately 450 of Adonai), up until ca. 300 B.C. the divine names of Yahweh and Adonai, at least to a great extent, were on equal footing and appear side by side. But beginning ca. 300, Adonai gradually came to be used more than Yahweh until finally it completely displaced it, in any case in spoken language. The consonants of the Tetragrammaton came to be pronounced ‘adhonai, or if yhvh was preceded by ‘adhonai, it was pronounced ‘elohim …. In this period, the book of Chronicles often replaces the yhvh of the book of Kings, which was its earlier model, by ‘elohim, and a similar change takes place in Pss. 42-87. … Ecclesiastes uses ‘elohim exclusively, while the book of Daniel (apart from ‘adhonai in 1:2 and several occurrences of yhvh and ‘adhonai in chap. 9, which for the most part is spurious) uses only ‘elohim and its Aramaic counterpart ‘elaha’. [67] (bold, underline ours)

Hence, Elohim came to be used in place of the unpronounceable Tetragrammaton, thereby serving as a replacement to the proper name of God, such as in the book of Ecclesiastes. Its Aramaic equivalent, Elaha, is similar to the name Allah; whilst the Syriac equivalent Allaha is even more so.

D.B. Macdonald is quoted by Islamic-Awareness as suggesting that the Arabic term for deity, “ilah is certainly identical with eloah and represents an expanded form of an element -l- (il, el) common to the semitic languages”. [68] The website then quotes Alfred Guillaume (Roudh may remember this man’s name for a long time to come) who declares:

The OLDEST NAME for God used in the Semitic word consists of but two letters, the consonant ‘l’ preceded by a smooth breathing, which was pronounced as ‘Il’ in ancient Babylonia, ‘El’ in ancient Israel. The relation of this name, which in Babylonia and Assyria became a generic term simply meaning ‘god’, to the Arabian Ilah familiar to us in the form Allah, which is compounded of al, the definite article, and Ilah by eliding the vowel ‘i’, is not clear. Some scholars trace the name of the South Arabian Ilah, a title of the Moon god, but this is a matter of antiquarian interest. In Arabia Allāh was known from Jewish and Christian sources as the one god, and there can be no doubt whatever that he was known to pagan Arabs of Mecca as the supreme being. Were this not so, the Qur’an would have been unintelligible to the Meccans; moreover it is clear from Nabataean and other inscriptions that Allah means ‘the god’. [69] [70] (bold, underline, capitals ours)

We could carry on smashing Roudh with quote after quote, including names of pre-Islamic Arab Jews and Christians whose names incorporated the name “Allah”, but, God Willing, this will suffice.

If Allah told Moses “Verily, I am Allah” then why do we have to wait 1,500 years to find a Jew who calls upon God by the name Eli or Eloi which again sounds remarkably similar to Allah and al-Ilaah? Since Allah is never found anywhere in Jewish scripture as a name for God, Muslims have little choice but to find ‘evidence’ for Allah in the Bible through words like Eli or Eloi which simply mean My God? If Islam is the true religion why do Muslim need to resort to such desperate arguments to defend their religion?

Or it could be possible that instead Roudh is the desperate one clutching to any straws he can find to stay afloat.

The fact that there is no evidence that Jesus or his Jewish contemporaries ever recognised Eli, Eloi or Allah as a name for God, proves the Quran to be a lie.

Matthew 27:46 (New International Version)

46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b]

Mark 15:34 (New International Version)

34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[a]

I should mention that Jesus either used the word Eli or Eloi as both these verses report one and the same incident. The Hebrew word Eli and the Aramaic Eloi both mean My God. There will be a term for My God in Arabic (My ilah (?)) but I am sure it is not Allah.

Although that is the case, the point already covered above is that the derivative for the word Eli and Eloi in both Aramaic and Hebrew, respectively, is related to the same derivative of the name Allah: ilah.

Whatever that term is it cannot be said to be the name of God even if it were to sound remarkably similar to Allah and al-Ilaah. So how can a similar term in Hebrew or Aramaic be said to be a name for God. Neither Eli nor Eloi were ever recognised by either the Jews or Christians as names of God.

But the terms elaha and alaha were recognised as names of God, as evidenced above.

The fact that Muslim’s desperately need to find evidence for Allah in the Bible, in order to legitimise their religion, cannot turn Eli or Eloi into a name for God.

There’s nothing to be desperate about. In fact, we could not care less about this particular issue. The only reason we are arguing our corner is because we are confronted by a person who is disposed to forwarding arguments that are often based on either misconstrued evidences or, worse still, no evidences at all.

The reason why Muslim’s must link these words to Allah is the total lack of evidence in the Bible that the name of the God of the Jews was ever Allah. Since the evidence proves that the Israelites recognised only one name for their God and it was not Allah, the Quran’s baseless claim to the contrary proves that it is not a divine revelation.

Jesus would have known that the only name of his God was YHWH and not a word which meant My God. In fact the divine name is included in Jesus’ Hebrew name Yeshua (this is closer to his real name than Jesus) which is a shortened version of Yehoshua, which means YHWH is salvation or salvation is from YHWH.

This is nothing more than a desperate attempt on Roudh’s part at saving face and pre-empting perhaps what he already knows, and that is: no where in the entire New Testament is the YHWH mentioned. If this is the proper (“no-name”) name of God and as important as Roudh is eagerly attempting to show, then one would think that this grand name would be inherited by Jesus and the early Christian writers and mentioned at least once even as a token gesture of its recognition. But instead there is nothing; absolute silence; as if the ancient name was not important enough to warrant a place as part of the so-called new covenant.

If it is that important, should it not be present without desperately searching for other words that are derived from the same root letters? In fact, Roudh could have done better by referring to John 8:58 where Jesus allegedly states to the Jews: “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am (eigo emi),” which Christians claim is equivalent to what God apparently revealed in Exodus 3:14.

Nowhere in the Jewish bible, Jewish literature or the New Testament is Eli or Eloi ever recognised as a name for God. The Christians and Jews have themselves never recognised Eli or Eloi as a name for God. In fact to my knowledge no one recognises Eli or Eloi as a name for God except Muslim apologists!

Not only has he grabbed a hold of the wrong end of the stick, but his knowledge in this regard hardly inspires admiration. In our original article, all we said was that “Jesus is recorded in the Gospels to have called upon God in Aramaic: Eli and Eloi, which again sounds remarkably similar to Allah and al-Ilaah.” We used this example to show that it is possible that God could have revealed his name or, to clarify our position further, a name(s) in other languages that necessarily differs, given that Semitic languages differ grammatically, to the name Allah, which we would have no qualms about.

As we said before, Jesus uses a name of God in Aramaic and Hebrew to call upon Him; that much is without doubt. And as we pointed out, it sounds remarkably similar to the name Allah or, more precisely, its derivative al-ilah. It seems reasonable to say that it is completely understandable why Jesus did not to use the unpronounceable “no-name” name: YHWH.

There are no depths to which these apologists are not prepared to sink in their efforts to find Allah in the Bible and legitimise their religion. This is the plight of those who try rescue the Quran from the gross errors its author has made. Since the Jewish scriptures give and the Jews recognised only one name for their God it is not credible that Jesus called his God by any of these ‘names’.

Jesus certainly never called God by the Tetragrammaton and it is impossible for Roudh to produce evidence to counter this assertion since no evidence exists. This is a point that Roudh will do well to accept, rather than thick headedly argue on.

Your observation that the loss of pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton came about due to the nonsensical ancient Judaic rule that it was forbidden to pronounce His name outside the Temple in Jerusalem indicates the extent to which this name was revered by the Jews.

One can either shake one’s head in utter disbelief or throw it back in fits of laughter. To quote Roudh himself: “There are no depths to which these apologists are not prepared to sink in their efforts.”

Yes; it was revered so much that the true pronunciation of the greatest name of God, which Roudh believes to be “changeless”, from a book that Roudh claims to be unchanged and uncorrupted, has been lost. So much for the name being changeless and revered and the book being uncorrupted; it could not even preserve the greatest name of God.

No other name was revered in this way because no other name was considered to be the name of God. In view of this it would not have been possible for Jesus to recognise Eli or Eloi as a name for God? Muslims need to understand that for a first century Palestinian Jew to claim that Eli , Eloi or Allah for that matter was a name for God is not only inconceivable but would have meant death by stoning. This again proves that the author of the Quran lies when in some of his narratives he puts Allah into Jesus’ mouth.

The Arabic word ilah which means god does not become the name of God just because it sounds like Allah. Just as the Hebrew word for oak (tree) alah does not become a name for God just because it sounds very much like Allah the Arabic name for God. So why must Eli or Eloi become a name for God just because they may sound like Allah? We know perfectly well what Eli and Eloi meant in Hebrew and Aramaic and they were never recognised as names for God.

Now, unless Roudh is an expert in Hebrew and Aramaic, or unless he produces evidence to counter what we have furnished, his words are no more weightier than the one who claims that the moon is made out of cheese!

If the loss of pronunciation of the name YHWH was due to “the nonsensical ancient Judaic rule”, how do you explain the fact that according to the Gospels even Jesus himself never dared to utter this divine name? Why did ‘Isa’ not condemn the scriptural corruption of this name, and refuse to follow “the nonsensical ancient Judaic rule”, by calling upon God as YHWH?

Roudh should be given credit for his attempts at pussyfooting around this issue. Notice that, thus far, he has not revealed whether he believes this name to have been lost to posterity. One cannot blame him for trying. Instead, he attempts to shift the goal post with red herrings. Roudh must know, and if he does not then let us make it plainly evident, that if the YHWH’s true pronunciation is unknown, then the Torah, which he has been gallantly attempting to defend, is corrupt and his entire argument falls flat on its face.

Roudh has miserably failed throughout this entire response to provide the vowel points for the Tetragrammaton as we initially asked, and has miserably failed to rebut our contention, which we have subsequently strengthened in this response by providing further evidence, that its true pronunciation is not just unknown, but will never be known.

Roudh has greater problems to contend with than asking why Jesus did not utter this name like answering why he and the rest of the Gospel writers, both known and anonymous, failed to make a single mention of the YHWH?

Why is it that Allah never once addresses or condemns “the nonsensical ancient Judaic rule” and the extremely serious charge of the scriptural corruption of ‘his’ name in the Quran? The answer is simple: the author of the Quran was completely ignorant of the divine name as given in Jewish scripture.

John 20:17 “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’

The only conclusion one can draw based on the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is that if the Creator has implicated the People of the Book of scriptural corruption and we know that the corruption of God’s name falls under this general category, then this general charge of corruption encompasses this and all other instances of corruption.

Besides, apart from increasing the volume and size of the Qur’an, Allah’s highlighting every single instance of corruption would not strengthen the overall charge itself. It is the charge itself that matters, not a collation of every single detail that makes up the charge. In this respect, Allah said of the Jews and Christians:

O people of the Book! Now has our Messenger come to you to expound to you much of what you used to hide in the Book, and forgiving (or abolishing) much. Now has come to you light from Allah, and a perspicuous Book. (Qur’an 5:15)

Now, hearken to the commentary of Ibn Kathir who explains:

Allah states that He sent His Messenger Muhammad with the guidance and the religion of truth to all the people of the earth, the Arabs and non-Arabs, lettered and unlettered. Allah also states that He sent Muhammad with clear evidences and the distinction between truth and falsehood. … So the Prophet explained where they altered, distorted, changed and lied about Allah. He also ignored much of what they changed, since it would not bring about any benefit if it was explained. [71]

The above verse also provides evidence, in a general sense, of Allah’s general charge of corruption against them. He also says that they concealed and hid the truth. Recall the verse:

They change the words from their (right) places. (5:13)

And Mujahid’s interpretation:

Those who used to alter it and conceal its truths; they were their scholars. [72] [73] (bold, underline ours)

In terms of the clarity of truth and guidance that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought for humankind in general, and the Jews in particular, what could be better for them in this case than revealing not just the true name of God in Arabic, which in essence goes back to their forefather Abraham and his eldest son Ishmael, but also the Truth in the absolute sense?

In the above bold part of Jesus’ words if we substitute Eli for God we will get the following

To my Eli and your Eli

This results in the following absurdity

I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my My God and your My God.

This was a particularly desperate attempt to locate Allah in the Bible.

Would Roudh care to point out the Greek or, more appropriately, the original Aramaic word that Jesus used in this instance or is he again expecting us to do the research for him?

In Greek, the word for “my” in Jn. 20:17 is “mou” while the word for “God” is “theon”. [74]

The Hebrew Bible has the word “elahi” as its equivalence for “mou theon”, which means “My God” and not just “God”. Hence, in Hebrew (the same is also true of Arabic: rabbee), the word “my” in the phrase “my God” does not, as Roudh ignorantly claims, stand separately from the word “God” as it does in English. Instead, they are combined as a conjugation. The phrase “my God” is also found in Mark 15:34 where Jesus allegedly cries out at the ninth hour: “elahi elahi lama sabaqtani – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The Hebrew word for “God” by itself is, therefore, “elah” as we have already shown above, and the Aramaic equivalent is “alah”.

As for the proper name YHWH in the Tanakh, then we wish to ask Roudh to provide the vowel points in order so that God’s name can be pronounced correctly.

I being a mere mortal cannot do for “his” name what the ‘mighty’ Allah himself failed to do for it in his Quran. By failing to confirm “his” eternal name by which he wanted to be known by every generation and forever, and by failing to restore its pronunciation, Allah revealed he was nothing more than an impotent, delusional, ignorant, fictitious and fraudulent pagan deity whom Muhammad tried to pass off as YHWH the God of the Jewish bible.

What a cop out! This merely proves that it is Roudh who, in reality, is the “impotent, delusional, ignorant … and fraudulent” miscreant who, when push comes to shove, is as easy to refute and expose as the falsehood of the Attributeless, Nirgun-Sargun concept of Sikhism’s deity: Waheguru. If only Roudh had enough guts, fortitude and love to defend his own religion as he has done with Judaism.

As we have shown, the Qur’an does not contradict the Torah in this regard precisely because it does not “confirm” it in toto. Hence, Roudh is correct this time round in recognising that “[t]he two books could not be further apart”

(Qur’an 46:10) Say: “See ye? If (this teaching) be from Allah, and ye reject it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel testifies to its similarity (with earlier scripture), and has believed while ye are arrogant, (how unjust ye are!) truly, Allah guides not a people unjust.”

Allah cites the above as evidence to unbelieving Arabs in support of the Quran’s divine origins i.e. a certain Jew has testified that the Quran and Torah are similar and has believed!

Let us look at another translation

(Qur’an 46:10) Say: “Tell me! If this (Qur’an) is from Allah, and you deny it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel (‘Abdullah bin Salam ) testifies that this Qur’an is from Allah [like the Taurat (Torah)], so he believed (embraced Islam) while you are too proud (to believe).” Verily! Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, disbelievers and wrong-doing).

Because most of the Arabs probably could not read Arabic, let alone Hebrew, they could not verify the Quran’s claim to confirm previous scripture. So what Allah is saying to them is look this Jew who is able to verify my claim has testified that the Quran and the Torah are similar and has as a result accepted that the Quran has been revealed by Allah and accepted Islam. In other words by saying that the Quran and Torah are similar and accepting Islam this Jew has verified the Quran’s claim to confirm the Torah, and yet you are denying the Quran when his testimony should be sufficient evidence for you to believe. Therefore you now have no good reason for not believing and it is only your pride and arrogance which is preventing you.

It really does not matter how many translations Roudh cites, the outcome, if he persists in eisegesis, will always be the same: a complete and thorough dismantlement of his arguments and an exposition of his ignorance.

Ibn Kathir records that “Ibn ‘Abbas … Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ikrimah, Yusuf bin ‘Abdullah bin Salam, Hilal bin Yasaf, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri, Malik bin Anas and Ibn Zayd” understood this certain Jew to be none other than ‘Abdullah ibn Salam.

Unlike Roudh’s preposterous exegetical attempt in claiming that ‘Abdullah ibn Salam “verified the Quran’s claim to confirm the Torah”, Ibn Kathir explains the correct interpretation and understanding of what Allah intended by “testified to something similar”:

The previous Scriptures that were revealed to the Prophets before me all testify to its [Qur’an’s] truthfulness and authenticity. They have prophesised, well in advance, about things similar to that which this Qur’an informs of.

Concerning Allah’s statement: “and believed”, this person who testified to its truthfulness from the Children of Israel, due to his realization that it was the truth.
“while you rejected (the truth)!”

Whereas you have arrogantly refused to follow it.’ Masruq said: That witness believed in his Prophet and Book, while you disbelieved in your Prophet and Book. [75] (bold, underline ours)

Hence, the previous scriptures testified to the truthfulness and authenticity of the Qur’an and prophesied similar things found therein, such as, the description of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

As for how ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam “believed”, then we cite from Sahih al-Bukhari the following tradition linked to said verse: [76]

‘Abdullah ibn Salaam came and said: “I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah and that you have brought the truth. The Jews know that I am the best of them and the son of the best of them, and I am the most knowledgeable of them and the son of the most knowledgeable of them, so call them and ask them about me before they know that I have become Muslim, for if they know that I have become a Muslim, they will say things about me that are not true.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent for them and they came to him. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to them: “O Jews, woe to you! Fear Allah, by Allah besides Whom there is no other god, you know that I am truly the Messenger of Allah and that I come to you with the truth, so become Muslim.”
They said: “We know nothing about that.” He said it three times… He said: “What kind of man is ‘Abdullaah ibn Salaam among you?”
They said: “He is the best of us and the son of the best of us; he is the most knowledgeable of us and the son of the most knowledgeable among us.
He said: “What would you think if he became Muslim?”
They said: “May Allah protect him from that! He would never become Muslim.”
He said: “What would you think if he became Muslim?”
They said: “May Allah protect him from that! He would never become Muslim.”
He said: “What would you think if he became Muslim?”
They said: “May Allah protect him from that! He would never become Muslim.”
He said: “O son of Salaam, come out to them.” He [‘Abdullaah] came out and said: “O Jews, fear Allah! By Allah besides Whom there is no other god, you know that he is the Messenger of Allah and that he has come with the truth.”
They said: “You are lying!” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told them to leave. [77]

Hence, the verse is not in any way, shape or form suggesting that ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam was confirming the Torah in toto, but rather testifying to what the Torah indelibly pointed to and convinced him of that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a true Prophet of God.

Hence, Roudh is correct this time round in recognising that “[t]he two books could not be further apart”

It helps me to know that I have got something right, but Allah’s ‘proof’ (Quran and Torah are similar) and what I said “the two books could not be further apart” could not be further apart. So by saying that I am correct on this point you have inadvertently contradicted Allah.

Ibid.

The Jewish scripture that Quran 46:10. alludes to can only be referring to the Torah that existed in the seventh century. It is not credible that Allah was saying to these Arabs that they must accept, as undeniable evidence for the Quran, Abdullah bin Salam’s testimony that the Quran is similar to the nonexistent (!) Torah originally revealed to Moses before it was textually corrupted (not the extant Tanakh, Pentateuch or the Bible).

However Allah confirms not only his own but also Abdullah bin Salam’s ignorance, the Quran’s hellish rant is the polar opposite of Moses’ Torah.

Since Allah’s “proof” assumes an authentic Torah thereby annihilating Islam’s credibility, Muslim’s must distort the clear meaning of this verse to save their religion from it.

But Roudh has not seen any of our counter arguments (unless he is referring to other Muslims, which would render this a strawman). Now unless he’s a closet seer of some sort, how has he reached the premature conclusion that we will invariably “distort the clear meaning” of said verse?

Both Al Kadhi’s and Roudh’s fault here is to assume that Deut 18:18 was part of the original Torah revealed to Moses. Until Roudh addresses the four questions vis-á-vis verse 7:157 we posed above, his entire line of argumentation is flawed.

You have not presented any evidence that questions the authenticity of these verses. Verses cannot be rejected simply because they annihilate our cherished beliefs.

“Annihilate”?! Roudh certainly likes to exaggerate his position.

We have no reason to question the authenticity of this prophecy or any other. From our perspective we believe we have argued convincingly and presented enough evidence to show that the Torah, as the Qur’an rightfully states, has been corrupted. As for said prophecies, then they certainly existed in clear and explicit terms without any ambiguity in the original Torah. However, following its corruption, we believe that these now exist as general descriptions of our Prophet.

It seems somewhat disjointed for Roudh to readily affirm that the Tetragrammaton’s correct pronunciation has been lost to Judaism, and yet find fault with Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for being ignorant of a name lost to posterity centuries before. As stated earlier, this lost knowledge would come under the classification of scriptural corruption.

You need to understand it is not I but the God of Moses that finds fault with your prophet. It is the Torah (Deuteronomy 18:17-20) that the Quran claims to confirm that finds fault with your prophet. The pronunciation of this name was lost to later generations of Jews but it was never lost to the Jewish prophets, if YHWH could reveal his name to Moses then why not Muhammad?

Once again, Roudh attempts, albeit deludingly, to skirt around the crux of the argument, which is that the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton has been lost. Hence, given that the YHWH has been lost, and there are no Prophets coming to remind us of its correct pronunciation, ergo, the Torah is corrupt and Roudh’s overall argument has been falsified.

After all, is this not the name, according to the books of Moses, by which God wanted to be known by every generation and forever?

No because as we have shown this name has been corrupted along with the scripture it belongs to.

It is the author of the Quran who is guilty of scriptural corruption when he puts the Arabic name Allah into the mouths of the Israelites when the evidence proves that they only recognised YHWH as a name for their God!

As recorded in the Law of Moses all true prophets must speak in this name. Any prophet who did not speak in this name the Israelites were ordered to execute.

It would have been impossible anyway to speak in a name whose pronunciation was not known. What remains to be said is how a true Prophet would be able to prove his prophethood by attempting to speak with a name whose pronunciation was unknown?

Muslims need to understand that if a prophet had arisen amongst the Israelites who spoke in the name of Allah he would have been executed for speaking in the name of a false god! The other criteria given by Moses for judging a prophet is that all his prophecies must come true. In other words the prophet must never fail to predict the future correctly. But no amount of fulfilled prophecies or miracles could make him a true prophet if he did not speak in YHWH’s name!

A “no-name” name?!

The Jews knew that YHWH’s name was revealed as the source of their scriptures nearly 7,000 times. Allah’s name was never mentioned. This is one of the reasons why when engaging the Jews, Muhammad who was ignorant of this divine name was on a mission impossible.

Muslims need to understand that for the Jews, Allah is as much a name for their God as is Rama, Shiva, Hubal or Zod. Once this point is understood, Muslims will realise the futility of trying to locate Allah in the Bible through words like Elohim, Eli, Eloah etc because none of these words are the name of the deity of the Jewish Bible.

We have refuted all this above.

The Jews were not prepared to reject the entire witness of their own scriptures and history in favour of one ignorant and illiterate man’s testimony to the contrary.

The best of the Jews of Madinah, ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam, did.

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘YHWHd] the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation. Exodus 3:15

The Jews believed that YHWH was the one and only name of the true God and this was his name forever and every generation. If Allah was an all-knowing God he would have known that this is what the Torah teaches. How then did then did he expect the Jews to believe in a god who identified himself as Allah along with many other names but never YHWH? Allah’s total incompetence in dealing with the Jews proves that he cannot be God.

I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name (YHWH). Deuteronomy 18:19

If Allah was an all-knowing God he would have known that according to the Torah all true prophets must speak in the name of YHWH. Why then did Allah ask the Jews to believe in Muhammad who never spoke in YHWH’s name? This proves that Allah was too foolish to be God.

This is all repetition. Repeating things does not make the argument any stronger.

But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death. Deuteronomy 18:20

Any prophet who did not speak in YHWH’s name the Israelites were ordered to execute, because a god with a name other than YHWH could only be false. If Allah was an all-knowing God he would have known that this is what the Torah teaches. How then did the author of the Quran expect the Jews to believe in Muhammad who spoke to them in the name of a god other than YHWH? How can a god as incompetent as Allah be God?

How could the Jews believe that Muhammad’s god was YHWH when the Quran was clearly contradicting the Torah’s teachings? Did Allah not tell them to observe the Torah?

Ibid.

(Qur’an 5:66) If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side.

Dawood – 5:68 – 69

Say:  “People of the Book, you will attain nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord”…

So when they did observe the Torah which compelled them to reject Muhammad and his message why did Allah condemn them?

Ibid.

The Torah taught that YHWH is God’s only name for every generation and forever, but the Quran not only contradicts the Torah by naming its deity as Allah instead of YHWH but also gives him an additional 98 names. Since the Quran was blatantly contradicting their scriptures did the Jews have any choice but to reject it? The only way that these Jews could accept Muhammad was by abandoning the Torah, a book which Allah keeps urging the Jews to follow. If Allah was an all knowing God then why did he never address the Jews on these crucial issues? The fact that Allah never addresses Exodus 3:15 and many other important teachings of the Torah which contradict the Quran and yet condemns the Jews for rejecting Muhammad proves that he cannot be an all-knowing and just God. One of the problems was that whilst the author of the Quran knew that the Jewish scriptures teach that there is only one God, he did not know that they also teach that he has only one name.

Repeating things does not make the argument any stronger.

And how did Allah expect the Jews to follow the Torah and the Quran at the same time when they contradicted each other?

How could the Jews believe in a prophet who was not only ignorant of their God’s one and only eternal name but also spoke to them in the name of a Meccan high god, Lord of the pagan Kaaba complete with its 360 idols and the daddy of three daughters?

These are unsubstantiated claims void of proof.

Just because Muhammad came along and claimed that this Allah (who could perform no miracles, could not any provide any evidence for his divinity and was the most ignorant and foolish god ever presented to mankind) was the God of the Torah could not make him so.

Poor old Roudh; he cannot help himself in continuously resorting to making false or unsubstantiated claims.

In regards to the subject of miracles, then there were many performed during Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) tenure, such as, the splitting of the moon.

In a way Allah was for the Jews what Ar Rahman was for the Meccans:

(Qur’an 25:60) When it is said to them, “Adore ye (Allah) Most Gracious!”, they say, “And what is (Allah) Most Gracious? Shall we adore that which thou commandest us?”…

Like the Jews the Meccans were not prepared to worship just any deity Muhammad presented to them. As far as the Meccans were concerned just because Muhammad said Rahman and Allah were the same it did not make them so.

Again a case of eisegesis leading again to a false interpretation. We would correct this man, but since this has nothing to do with the debate, we have no reason to.

Given the irreconcilable differences between the Quran and the Torah the Jews told Muhammad:

“‘For our part we don’t see how your Qur’an recitals are arranged anything like our Torah is.’  Ishaq: 269

This can only be a response to Muhammad’s unfounded and shameless contention that his Quran confirmed the Torah in the hands of the Jews.  It is evident from their comment that these Jews did not have an inkling that Muhammad was claiming that the Quran was arranged like the nonexistent Torah originally revealed to Moses  before it was textually corrupted (not the extant Tanakh, Pentateuch or the Bible).

To the contrary, after all this, it is beyond reasonable doubt that Roudh has very little inkling of what it means to formulate well thought out and well researched arguments. He would do well to rectify this character flaw if he has any shame and self-respect.

If Allah is the God of the Torah then is it not extremely odd that he revealed YHWH as his name 7,000 times in the Jewish Bible and then never mentions this name or this fact even once in the Quran? Even when narrating the story of Moses and the burning bush he claims, contrary to all the evidence, that he told Moses that his name is Allah and not YHWH.  Muslims need to understand that for these Jews this re-telling of their story could not be anything but complete non-sense and that would be putting it mildly! How could the Jews believe that God told Moses Verily, I am Allah when Moses never mentions the name Allah once in his Torah? Allah is never recognised as the name of their God anywhere in Jewish literature religious or otherwise.  In the light of this how Allah did expect the Jews of seventh century Arabia to reject Exodus 3:15 in favour of Quran 20:14? Whilst telling them to abide by the Torah did Allah not know that the Torah also contained Exodus 3:15? This proves beyond any doubt that Allah was far too ignorant, incompetent and unjust to be God?

Why is this man repeating himself over and over like a broken record?

If God told Moses Verily, I am Allah then why did Israelites revere the name YHWH so much that they made its pronunciation punishable by death? If God told Moses Verily, I am Allah then why did the Israelites not revere the name Allah so much that they made its pronunciation punishable by death?  If God told Moses Verily, I am Allah then why is the nonsensical ancient Judaic rule that it was forbidden to pronounce His name outside the Temple in Jerusalem about the name YHWH? Why is it not about the name Allah?

These are all just simply begging the question.

Why is it that when addressing the Jews the author of the Quran invariably fails to mention the only name which they recognised for the true God. What was the point of the author of the Quran telling the Jews that he was Allah when the Jews considered this to be the name of a pagan god? Does this not prove that the author of the Quran was far too foolish and clueless to be an all-knowing God? It is not surprising that the Jews said to him,

‘O Muhammad, you have not brought us anything we recognize and God has not sent down to you any sign that we should follow you’.

In other words you have produced zero evidence for your claims, you are clueless about many of the basic teachings of our faith and you speak in the name of a pagan god.

And yet the best of them, ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam, converted to Islam!

It does not follow that a claim to truth is falsified on the basis of a certain number of people deciding not to accept it unless it is objectively proven to be false; thus, Roudh’s argument is fallacious.

He could have told them to “Produce a Surah like it” but it would not have cut any ice with these Jews because YHWH had already given them their criteria for judging a prophet, and he had said nothing about “producing a Surah like it” (Deuteronomy 18:21,22).

Plus the fact that the Torah was originally revealed in Hebrew while the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic. Has Roudh actually seriously sat down to think through these arguments?

Since Allah had told them to observe the Torah how then did he expect the Jews to abandon the criteria given in Deuteronomy for judging a prophet and replace it with “produce a Surah like it”. This again proves that Allah was not YHWH and the Jews were right to reject him. Muhammad though, did have the last word with these Jews as they paid dearly for their disbelief because Allah did not take kindly to those who rejected his prophet.

Ibid.

The following verse contradicts the teaching of the Jewish Bible which gives only one name for God.

(Qur’an 17:110) “Say: Call upon “Allah or call upon “Rahman”; By whatever name ye call upon Him (it is well): for to Him belong the most beautiful names.”

The Meccans had a problem with the name “Rahman” that Muhammad was calling his god. In some of the earliest Surahs the name Ar-Rahman is used more often for God than the name Allah. The Meccans obviously recognised Allah since he was their highest deity but they wanted nothing to do with Muhammad’s “Ar-Rahman”, and when they were told to worship him they refused.

(Qur’an 21:36) When the Unbelievers see thee, they treat thee not except with ridicule. “Is this,” (they say), “the one who talks of your gods?” and they blaspheme at the mention of (Allah) Most Gracious! (alrrahmani)

(Qur’an 25:60) When it is said to them, “Adore ye (Allah) Most Gracious!”,( alrrahmani) they say, “And what is (Allah) Most Gracious? (alrrahmanu)  Shall we adore that which thou commandest us?” And it increases their flight (from the Truth).

The translators have added Allah in brackets to indicate their belief (contrary to what the Meccans believed) that Allah and Ar-Rahman are the same deity. But the translation can be misleading, the Meccans were neither questioning Allah’s identity nor blaspheming him since he was their chief deity, it was Ar-Rahman whom they did not recognise, that they were blaspheming and rejecting (i.e. when it is said to them ‘adore ye alrrahmanu’ they ask ‘and what is alrrahmanu’?).

Roudh must have worked out by now what our response is going to be to this bizarre interpretation. Correct; eisegesis.

Before we provide a holistic breakdown of the history surrounding this subject, we wish to pose a simple question: is it possible that the pagan Arabs rejection of “ar-Rahmaan” was predicated on it being used as a name as opposed to some altogether separate deity from the one they recognised to be “their highest deity”: Allah? After all, there was no disagreement between Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), his fellow Muslims and the pagan Arabs over who the supreme deity of all things was:

Say: ‘Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein, if you know?’ They will say: ‘It is Allah’s.’ Say: ‘Will you not then remember?’ Say: ‘Who is (the) Lord of the seven heavens, and (the) Lord of the Great Throne?’ They will say: ‘Allah.’ Say: ‘Will you not then fear Allah.’ Say: ‘In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything? He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector, if you know?’ They will say: ‘(All that belongs) to Allah.’ Say: ‘How then are you deceived and have turned away from the truth?’ Nay, but We have brought them the truth, and verily, they (disbelievers) are liars. (Qur’an 23:84-90)

If both parties, Muslims and the pagan disbelievers, were agreed that Allah is the supreme deity, the only point of disagreement was that Allah is the only true deity worthy of all worship. Hence, did it not seem incredulous for Roudh to understand these verses to mean that the pagans rejected this hitherto unknown third deity introduced by the Prophet?

The problem with this bizarre approach is that even Margoliouth, whom Roudh quotes below, hints at “ar-Rahmaan” being an “identification” and “a title”, not a deity in and of itself.

When we turn to Tafseer Ibn Kathir, we discover that what the pagans implied by raising the rhetorical question “And what is Ar-Rahman?” was that “[t]hey did not like to call Allah by His Name Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious)” (bold ours). Why?

[T]hey objected on the day of (the treaty of) Al-Hudaybiyyah, when the Prophet told the scribe: “Write: In the Name of Allah, Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), Ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful).”
They said, “We do not know Ar-Rahman or Ar-Rahim. Write what you used to write: Bismika Allahumma (in Your NAME, O Allah).” So Allah revealed the words:

“Say: ‘Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman, by whatever NAME you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names’.” (17:110).

meaning, He is Allah and He is the Most Gracious. And in this Ayah [verse], Allah said:

“And when it is said to them: ‘Prostrate yourselves to Ar-Rahman!’ They say: ‘And what is the Ar-Rahman?’.”

meaning: we do not know or approve of this Name. [78] (bold, underline, capitals ours)

The following hadith is further evidence:

“Abu Jahl met the Apostle and said, ‘by Allah, Muhammad, you will either stop cursing our gods or we will curse the god you serve’ (Ishaq:162).

Where is the proof in this citation that Abu Jahl is making a distinction between Allah and ar-Rahmaan? Does he make a mention of ar-Rahmaan? Since he does not, how is this “further evidence” that the Meccans did not recognise this alleged second deity?

Given that no mention is made, Roudh has once again read too much into an evidence, thus, misapplying it.

It would certainly be more reasonable and accurate to say that what Abu Jahl meant is his rejection of the foundational concept that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was articulating, i.e. the 360 gods wrongly housed in the Ka’bah are false, their worship forbidden, and that only Allah is the one true God worthy of all worship.

(Abu Jahl seems to distinguish between Allah and Muhammad’s god).

The great God Allah was already regarded as Lord of the Ka’aba by the Meccans and the shrine was known as al-baitullah – the house of Allah. Apart from the repudiation of idols it appears that the Quraysh had yet other reasons for opposing Muhammad’s preaching:

From some texts and traditions we should gather that the Meccan objection was not to the glorification of Allah but to the identification of their familiar deity with him whom the Jews called Rahman (the Merciful), a title applied to pagan deities also. (Margoliouth, Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, p. 143).

Ibid.

Then the Apostle summoned `Ali and told him to write ‘In the Name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful’. Suhayl said “I do not recognise this; but write ‘In thy Name, O Allah'”. The Apostle told him to write the latter and he did so.
(Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.504)

Incredible! A clue staring Roudh square in the face and he still missed it: “In thy Name, O Allah”.

The Meccans appear to distinguish between Allah and Ar-Rahman so the Quran tries to persuade the Meccans that Rahman is not an ilah besides Allah.

(Qur’an 17:110) “Say: Call upon “Allah or call upon “Rahman”; By whatever name ye call upon Him (it is well): for to Him belong the most beautiful names.”

Ibid.

The Meccans did not recognise Muhammad’s “Rahman” as a name for god, just as the Jews did not recognise Allah as a name for their God.

Truly astonishing to witness this man’s jumbled and confused state of reasoning.

Roudh was at first arguing against “[t]he translators” for having “added Allah in brackets to indicate their belief (contrary to what the Meccans believed) that Allah and Ar-Rahman are the same deity”. So what is it going to be Roudh: are you siding with the pagan Meccans by arguing that Allah and Ar-Rahmaan are two separate deities, or are you arguing that they did not recognise this to be “a name for god”, or both?

Whatever the case, these pagans never objected to Allah as a deity, nor had they ever come close to suggesting that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had introduced a hitherto unknown second deity called ar-Rahmaan, but rather an objection based on nothing save falsehood (they were pagan worshippers after all) against two specific names: ar-Rahmaan and ar-Raheem.

What is bizarre is that these pagans denied the attribute of mercy by rejecting these two divine names, which, incidentally, the Jews and Christians acknowledge a priori. However, Allah provides a reason for this counterintuitive position.

Ibn Kathir states in relation to verse 21:36:

Allah tells his Prophet:

“And when those who disbelieved see you,”

meaning, the disbelievers of the Quraysh, such as Abu Jahl and his like.

“they take you not except for mockery,”

means, they make fun of you and insult you, saying,

“Is this the one who talks about your gods!”

meaning, is this the one who insults your gods and ridicules your intelligence!

Allah says:

“While they disbelieve at the mention of the Most Gracious. While they disbelieve at the mention of the Most Gracious.”

meaning, they disbelieve in Allah and yet they mock the Messenger of Allah. As Allah says:

“And when they see you, they treat you only in mockery (saying): ‘Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger? He would have nearly misled us from our gods had it not been that we were patient and constant in their worship!’ And they will know, when they see the torment who it is that is most astray from the path!” (25:41-42) [79]

Hence, this approach was not grounded on any rational basis, but only used for yet another excuse, knowing that they could not defeat him from an intellectual and objective standpoint (as is the case with Roudh), to unjustifiably mock and ridicule the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon). As a matter of fact, from an intellectual perspective, Allah refutes this approach stating:

“Say” O Muhammad, to these idolators who deny that Allah possesses the attribute of mercy and refuse to call Him Ar-Rahman,

“lnvoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names.” [17:110]

meaning, there is no difference between calling on Him as Allah or calling on Him as Ar-Rahman, because He has the Most Beautiful Names, as He says:

“He is Allah, beside Whom none has the right to be worshipped but He, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” (59:22) [80]

We wonder how serious a Jew or Christian would have taken an argument predicated on the idea that the supreme deity did not possess the attributes of mercy!

With regards to this consider the following.

(Qur’an 2:245) Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan, which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is Allah that giveth (you) want or plenty, and to Him shall be your return.

Ishaq:263 “Abu Bakr went into a Jewish school and found many pupils gathered around Finhas, a learned rabbi. Bakr told the Jews to fear Allah and submit. He told them that they would find that Muhammad was an Apostle written in the Torah and Gospels. (Abu Bakr does not seem to know (!) that the Jews would not have cared whether Muhammad was written in the Gospel/s or not) “Finhas replied, ‘We are rich compared to Allah. We do not humble ourselves to Allah. He humbles himself to us. We are independent of him, while he needs us. Why does your god ask us to lend him money as your master pretends.’  Bakr was enraged and hit Finhas hard in the face. Were it not for the treaty between us I would cut off your head, you enemy of Allah. So Allah said, ‘They will taste Our punishment of burning.'”

It is clear from Rabbi Finhas’ disparaging remarks that for him, Allah was nothing more than a pagan deity, whom Muhammad pretended was asking the Jews for a beautiful loan. Rabbi Finhas was completely unaware that his God had told Moses at the burning bush “Verily, I am Allah”.

Ibid.

But can we blame Finhas for thinking that Allah was a pagan deity?

(Qur’an 53:19-20) Have ye seen Lat. and ‘Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat?

(Qur’an 53:23) These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,-

Just like the name Allah that the Meccans and their fathers had also devised for the daddy of these goddesses, long before Muhammad came along and claimed that he was the only true God without partners.

How does verse 53:19-23 prove that Allah was a pagan deity or that the name was invented by the pagans? Does the verse state that Allah was “devised” by the pagans?

Roudh is firing off verses and making assertions without reasoning through his arguments. There is nothing here except unsubstantiated claims.

There is a reason why unlike the prophets of the Jewish Bible Muhammad joins his own name to that of his deity i.e.

(Qur’an 4:136) “Obey Allah and His Messenger” (2:32) and “Believe in Allah and His Messenger.”

For a false prophet it is of paramount importance that his prey not just accept his deity but also the prophet himself. After all this is the primary purpose of his charade. The Meccans believed in Allah because they had invented him, it was Muhammad whom they rejected, so they are repeatedly told to believe and obey both.

Unsubstantiated claims.

(We have clipped the rest of this diatribe including the opinion of Margoliouth since it has nothing to do with the subject matter)

Despite the fact that Allah could not perform any miracles or provide any credible evidence for his divinity, the Quran continuously and repeatedly claims that he is all-powerful and all-knowing. This attempt to counter the obvious is based on the principal that if you tell a lie often enough and long enough in time it will come to be perceived as truth.

Repetition. Covered above.

Even if the pronunciation of the name had become lost, an all-powerful God could easily have restored it by sending a new revelation so Allah was without excuse. If YHWH had been sending revelations to Muhammad for 23 years he would have restored the pronunciation of his name.

Ibid.

Regarding scriptural corruption of this name, because this name remains exactly as Moses wrote it in his Torah that is why its pronunciation has been lost. Most other words in the Torah (also in the Quran I believe) have been changed by adding vowels and other grammatical marks but this is one word which has remained unchanged. In other words the lost knowledge of this name has resulted because unlike many other words in the Torah nothing has been added to this name. It remains just as it was written on the stone tablets.

Ibid.

Hence, Roudh is mistaken to say that Allah is the “God of the Jewish scriptures”. This assertion may reveal why Roudh’s entire line of reasoning is so jumbled and absurd. If he understood that Allah is the God of the Torah originally revealed to Moses before it was textually corrupted (not the extant Tanakh, Pentateuch or the Bible), then perhaps he might have saved himself all this trouble.

I did not say that Allah is the God of the Jewish scriptures. What I actually said was that it was Muhammad who claimed that he received his revelation from the God of the Jewish scriptures.

Roudh is correct and we retract this oversight and will remove it immediately from the original article as per our rules of debate, i.e. Islam-Sikhism will remove from its website anything refuted and shown to be false.

It is Muhammad who identified Allah with the God of the Jewish scriptures. He tried to pass off the primary deity of his tribe the Quraysh, the Lord of the pagan Kaaba as the God of the Jewish scriptures.

The Ka’bah, as acknowledged by the pagans, was originally built by the Prophets Abraham and his son Ishmael. Abraham was the forefather of the Israelites and the Arabs; both he and his sons were certainly not pagans. It was the Arabs who later transformed the House of Allah, which was originally established for his true worship, into a place for pagan worship. This is historically attested in the biography of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by Ibn Ishaaq:

Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. al-Harith al-Tamimi told methat Abu Salih al-Samman told him that he heard Abu Hurayra say: I heard the apostle of God saying to Aktham b. al-Jaun al-Khuza’i, ‘O Aktham I saw ‘Amr b. Luhayy b. Qam’a b. Khindif dragging his intestines in hell, and never did I see two men so much alike as you and he!’ ‘Will this resemblance injure me?’ asked Aktham. ‘No,’ said the apostle ‘for you are a believer and he is an infidel. He was the first to change the religion of Ishmael, to set up idols, and institute the custom of the bahira, sa’iba, wasila, and hami.

They say that the beginning of stone worship among the sons of Ishmael was when Mecca became too small for them and they wanted more room in the country. Everyone who left the town took with him a stone from the sacred area to do honour to it. Wherever they settled they set it up and walked round it as they went round the Ka’ba. This led them to worship what stones they pleased and those which made an impression on them. Thus as generations passed they forgot their primitive faith and adopted another religion for that of Abraham and Ishmael. They worshipped idols and adopted the same errors as the peoples before them. Yet they retained and held fast practices going back to the time of Abraham, such as honouring the temple and going round it, the great and little pilgrimage, and the standing on ‘Arafa and Muzdalifa, sacrificing the victims, and the pilgrim cry at the great and little pilgrimage, while introducing elements which I had no place in the religion of Abraham. Thus, Kinana and Quraysh used the pilgrim cry: ‘At Thy service, O God, at Thy service! At Thy service, Thou without an associate but the associate Thou hast. Thou ownest him and what he owns.’ They used to acknowledge his unity in their cry [but] and then include their idols with God, putting the ownership of them in His hand. [81] (bold, underline ours)

It is, thus, not the Ka’bah that was pagan, but the ignorant ones later through the eons who transformed it into a place of false worship. Nonetheless, it was later restored back to its original status by the brother of Abraham, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaaah be upon him).

He managed to fool some of the illiterate Arabs but not the learned Jews.

Again this is untrue since the most learned of them in Madina, ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam, converted to Islam after sincerely recognising the truth.

The overwhelming testimony of the Quran is that the scriptures in the possession of the Jews and Christians in the seventh century were authentic. The notion that “Allah is the God of the Torah originally revealed to Moses before it was textually corrupted (not the extant Tanakh, Pentateuch or the Bible)” is nowhere found in the Quran. The Quran never distinguishes between a nonexistent pure and original Torah and the one which existed in Muhammad’s time. Since the only book known to historians and scholars that has ever been called the Torah by the Jews is the one in their possession today, Muslims need to produce some evidence of the ‘once existent’ pure and original book that supposedly went by this name.

Repetition and thoroughly refuted above.

If the author of the Quran believed that the Bible had been corrupted then we would have expected this to have been one of the most dominant and repeated themes of the Quran, because if the Bible has not been corrupted then Islam cannot be true.

This convoluted argument makes no sense. Roudh is contending that the level of belief of the Qur’an’s author over the corruption of the Bible is dependent upon the frequency with which this theme appears in the Qur’an. In other words, the more it is mentioned, the greater the belief in said accusation?! Stating something once is not enough in the irrational world of Roudh. Perhaps this is the reason why he has been repeating his arguments over and over to convince us or, perhaps as the case more accurately maybe, himself that he truly believes them.

But what we find is the exact opposite.

Who would have guessed?!

Muslims are pressed hard to find verses which teach the textual corruption of the Bible, but there are many verses which teach the opposite. The few (ambiguous) verses upon which Muslims must rely to support their charge of corruption are used to interpret the many clear verses that teach otherwise. The opposite ought to happen but that would destroy Islam’s credibility. The Muslim charge of corruption is not based upon a scholarly assessment of the evidence, it has resulted from the necessary presupposition required to maintain the validity of the Quran.

Ibid.

If we, for arguments sake, reject the testimony of the Quran, many hadiths, early Muslim scholars, manuscript evidence etc, and assume that the Bible has been textually corrupted, then one question does come to mind. Since Allah says we must accept all of his revelations and not just a part of them, why did Allah if he was an all powerful God only safeguard part of his revelations and not all of them?

We have been instructed by our Lord to accept the truth found therein, not to just accept them blindly; and there is no evidence to say that Allah ordered acceptance of all scriptures in toto. After all, if this was the case, one would be spoiled for choice given the existence of the huge number of apocryphal books and, not to mention, the difference of opinion that exists, for example, between the Roman Catholics and Protestants over how many books to include in their canon: 73 or 66.

Our sincere advice to Roudh would be to not only thoroughly familiarise himself with Islaam, if he truly intends on living up to the boast of disproving its superiority, but also Judaism.

I hope it can be seen that to a considerable extent I have used the Islamic sources themselves to show that they expose Islam to be a false religion.

He has used them and greatly abused them at the same time.

I do however recognise that Islam is probably the world’s fastest growing religion and it could become the world’s largest religion. Impressive though this may seem, I also recognise that if this were to happen, it would be despite the evidence and not because of it.

Based on Roudh’s knowledge of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, we are not surprised by his final conclusion. We pray that we have done enough, however, to dispel his ignorance, much of which sadly may be of a compounded nature; but we hope, as we always do for our fellow brothers and sisters in humanity, that Allah make them sincere towards the truth and guide them towards accepting it.

Finally, what we would urge Roudh, and Sikhs like him, not to do is be overly reliant on the efforts of the Christians. If Roudh believes that this is a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, then he will be in store for a rude awakening every time. If there are Christians known for having notoriously misrepresented Sikhism, as some Sikh scholars have recognised through the ages, is Roudh somehow under the false illusion that Islam is an exception to their nefarious approach? Roudh’s attempt in dressing these arguments up with his own rhetoric is not fooling anyone and neither should he delude himself into thinking that. What he should consider is that the inherent problem in uncritically repeating such errant arguments is that not only will he be perpetuating their mistakes, but also exposing himself to being thoroughly refuted and embarrassed.

[1] For the Arabic text: Quran.al-Islam.com.
[2] Abridged M. N. ar-Rafa’i (2001), Tafsir Ibn Kathir – Part 9, (Al-Firdous Ltd, London), pp. 84-5.
[3] Fn.12: Tafseer at-Tabari: Vol.13, p. 164 and Sahih al-Bukhari: Vol.4, p. 342.
[4] Abridged M. N. ar-Rafa’i (2001), op. cit., pp. 84-5.
[5] Fn. 90: “Muwatta’ Malik Maa Tanweer alHawalik”, Vol.3, p.38, Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.8, p.224, Sahih Muslim, Vol.3, p. 1326.
[6] Abridged M. N. ar-Rafa’i (2001), op. cit., pp. 168-9.
[7] Ibid., p. 169.
[8] Ibid., pp. 169-70.
[9] Ibid., p. 178.
[10] Ibid., p. 180.
[11] Ibid., p.181.
[12] A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’aan, (al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution), p. 289:

As Suyooti’s definition of Tafseer is:

The science by which the Qur’aan is understood, its meanings explained, and its ruling derived.
– Fn.591: as-Suyootee, v.2, p.233.

[13] Fn.612: Reported by Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee and an-Nasaa’ee.
[14] Qadhi 2003, op. cit., pp. 299-300.
[15] Asbaab an-Nuzool:

[T]he event or occurrence that was the direct cause of revelation of a particular verse or soorah of the Qur’aan.
– A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), op. cit., p.107.

[16] Makkee and Madanee: Dividing the verses into the time and place of revelation, in this case: dividing the verses into the Meccan and Madinan periods.
[17] An-Naasikh wal-Mansook:

The abrogation of a ruling by a ruling that was revealed after it.
– A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), op. cit., p. 232.

This can only be achieved if one has knowledge of both categories of verses.
[18] Qira’aat:

[T]he various ways and manners of reciting the Qur’aan that are in existence today. As Imaam az-Zarkashee stated, the Qur’aan is the revelation that was given to Muhammad, and the qira’aat are the variations in the words and pronunciations of this revelation. Thus the qiraa’at are the verbalisation of the Qur’aan, and the Qur’aan is preserved in the qira’aat.
(A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), op. cit., p.184)

[19] Al-Muhkam wal-Mutashaabih:

Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.671 A.H.) said, “The muhkam is the (phrase or word) whose interpretation is known, its meaning understood and its exposition clear.” (Fn. 468: Ubaydaat, p.197.) …

‘Mutashaabih’ has two meanings, the first one is ‘resembling,’ and the second ‘unclear.’ The second meaning is related to the first, since those objects which resemble one another are difficult to distinguish, hence ‘unclear.’

[T]he muhkam verse are those that are clear in meaning, and cannot be distorted or misunderstood, whereas the mutashaabih verses are those verses that are not clear in meaning by themselves, and in order to properly understand the mutashaabih verse, it is necessary to look at them in light of the muhkam verses.
– A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), op. cit., pp. 207, 208, 211.

 

[20] Al-‘Aam wal-Khaas:

The Qur’aan might give a general ruling [‘aam] in one place, yet another verse of hadeeth may specify [khaas] that rule not to apply in certain circumstances.
– A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), op. cit., p. 229.

[21] Al-Mutlaq Wal-Muqqayad:

A mutlaq (lit., ‘unconditional’) verse is one that is absolute in its scope, not limited to what it applies. It differs from the ‘aam in that the ‘aam applies to all members that are included in its meanings simultaneously without exception, whereas the mutlaq can only apply to one member of its meaning. In other words, ‘aam applies to all the members of a specific set, whereas mutlaq only applies to any one member of that set. …

The muqayyad (lit., ‘qualified’) occurs when a mutlaq is specified by an adjective.
Ibid.

[22] Al-Mantooq wal-Mafhoom:

The mantooq of a verse is the apparent meaning that can be understood directly from the words in the sentence. …

The mafhoom of a verse, on the other hand, is an understanding of the verse that is not explicit in the words of the sentence.
– A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), op. cit., p. 230.

[23] Al-Haqeeqee wal-Majaazee:

If a word is used in its literal sense – in other words, its original and primary intent – then this is referred to as its haqeeqee meaning. …

On the other hand, if a word is used in a metaphorical sense – in other words, a meaning or connotation that is not the primary use of the word – then this is the majaazee meaning.
– (A. A. Y. Qadhi (2003), op. cit., p. 224.

[24] Ibid., p. 302.
[25] Abridged M. N. ar-Rafa’i (1996), op. cit. – Part 1, pp. 151-2.
[26] Ibid., p. 92.
[27] Musnad Ahmad (14736); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’ 6/34.
[28] Narrated Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah said “How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the Law of the Quran and not by the law of Gospel. (Fateh-ul Bari, Vol. 7, pp.304-5)

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (peace  and blessings of Allah be upon him) observed: “What would you do when the son of Mary would descend amongst you and would lead you as one amongst you? Ibn Abi Dhi’b on the authority of Abu Huraira narrated: Your leader amongst you. Ibn Abi Dhi’b said: Do you know what the words:” He would lead as one amongst you” mean? I said: Explain these to me. He said: He would lead you according to the Book of your: Lord (hallowed be He and most exalted) and the Sunnah of your Prophet (peace  and blessings of Allah be upon him).” (Sahih Muslim 1/292)

Imam an-Nawawi stated:

The scholars said: In this hadith there is proof that when Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) descends down to earth during the end times he will be coming down as a ruler and judge from amongst the rulers and judges of this Ummah and rule and judge by the Shariah of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He won’t be coming as a Prophet. (Imam Al Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, Kitab: Fadaa’il Al Sahaabah, Bab: Min Fadaa’il ‘Ali bin Abi Taalib Radiya Allahu ‘Anhu, Commentary on Hadith no. 4418, Source)

[29] Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, 37/4310)
[30] And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?” He will say: “Glory be to you! It was not for me to say that which I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen. Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a witness to all things.”  (Qur’an 5:116-7)

Ibn Kathir explicates:

Allah will also speak to His servant and Messenger, Isa son of Maryam, peace be upon him, saying to him on the Day of Resurrection in the presence of those who worshipped Isa and his mother as gods besides Allah … This Ayah also shows the crime of the Christians who invented a lie against Allah and His Messenger, thus making a rival, wife and son for Allah. Allah is glorified in that He is far above what they attribute to Him. (S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged, Volume 3, (Darussalam), pp.303-4.)

[31] Fn.4: Ibn Abi Hatim 1:245.
[32] Fn.5: Fath Al-Bari 5:244, 13:345 & 555.
[33] S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged, Volume 1, (Darussalam), pp. 273-4.
[34] Abridged M. N. ar-Rafa’i (2000), op. cit. – Part 6, p. 200.
[35] Ibid., pp. 205-6.
[36] B D. Ehrman (2005), Misquoting Jesus, The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, (HarperCollins Publishers), p. 220.
[37] B D. Ehrman (2009), Jesus, Interrupted, Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know About Them), (HarperCollins e-books), p. 152-3.
[38] B. M. Fagan, C. Beck (1996), The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, (Oxford University Press), p. 170.
[39] L. H. Schiffman, J. C. VanderKam (2000), Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, (Oxford University Press), pp. 385-6.
[40] J. P. Lange (1872), A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Psalms, (C. Scribner & Co.), p. 9.
[41] P. W. Flint, P. D. Miller, A. Brunell (2005), The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception, (Brill Academic Publishers), p. 53.
[42] B. Zawadi, Evidence That Islam Teaches That There Was Textual Corruption of The Christian and Jewish Scriptures, (Call-to-Monotheism).
[43] Fn.1: At-Tabari 2:245.
[44] S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), op. cit., Volume 1, pp. 268-9.
[45] Ibid., p. 273.
[46] Fn.4: Ibn Abi Hatim 1:245.
[47] Fn.5: Fath Al-Bari 5:244, 13:345 & 555.
[48] S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), op. cit., pp. 273-4.
[49] B. Zawadi (2011), Refuting The Argument Regarding “Allah’s Words Do Not Change”,(Call-to-Monotheism, 11 Mar.)
[50] Fn.12: Tafseer at-Tabari: Vol.13, p.164 and Sahih al-Bukhari: Vol.4, p. 342.
[51] Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 3/247.
[52] B. Zawadi (2007), Refuting the Argument That The Prophet Claimed That The Corrupted Torah Was Revealed From God, (call-to-monotheism).
[53] Ibn Anwar, Elohim. One or Plural?, (Muslim Responses).
[54] Homonym: is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings.
[55] M. Maimonides, M. F. (2009), The Guide for the Perplexed, (Digireads.com Publishing), p.64.
[56] Ibid., p. 245.
[57] G. J. Botterweck, H. Ringgren (1990), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Volume 6, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing), p. 68.
[58] K. van der Toorn, B. Becking, P. W. van der Horst (1999), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing), p. 287.
[59] J. Pelc (2008), The Jewish Bible, (Jewish Publication Society), pp. 118-9.
[60] G. W. Bromiley (1982), International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E-J, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing), p. 502.
[61] M. Hunt (2003), The Many Names of God, (Agape Bible Study).
[62] R. N. Soulen, R. K. Soulen (2002), Handbook of Biblical Criticism, (James Clarke & Co), p. 188.
[63] M. Baker (2001), Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, (Routledge), p. 272.
[64] G. Bergstrasser, P. T. Daniels (1983), Introduction to the Semitic Languages: Text Specimens and Grammatical Sketches, (Eisenbrauns), p. 80.
[65] Ibid., p. 93.
[66] Ibid., p. 80.
[67] H. Ringgren (1974), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Volume 10, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing), p. 71.
[68] Fn.115: D. B. Macdonald, “Ilah” in B. Lewis, V. L. Menage, Ch. Pellat and J. Schacht (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Islam (New Edition), 1971, Volume III, E. J. Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), p. 1093.
[69] Fn.128: A. Guillaume, Islam, 1956, Penguin Books: London, p. 7.
[70] M. S. M. Saifullah, M. E. N. Juferi, A. David (2006), Reply To Robert Morey’s Moon-God Allah Myth: A Look At The Archaeological Evidence, (Islamic Awareness; last modified: 15 Sept. 2007).
[71] S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), op. cit., Volume 3, p. 131.
[72] Fn.1: At-Tabari 2:245.
[73] S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), op. cit., Volume 1, pp. 268-9.
[74] Biblos.com, Text Analysis, (John 20:17).
[75] S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), op. cit., Volume 9, pp. 52-3.
[76] Imam al-Bukhari records the following tradition where the companion Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas said:

I never heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying to any man who walked on the face of the earth that he would be one of the people of Paradise except for ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam. Concerning him, the verse: ‘… and a witness from among the Children of Israel testifies that this Qur’an is from Allah…’ [46:10] was revealed. (vol.5, book:58, no.157)

[77] Sahih al-Bukhaari, 3621.
[78] S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri (2003), op. cit., Volume 7, p. 192.
[79] Ibid., Volume 6, pp. 446-7.
[80] Ibid., p. 104.
[81] A. Guillaume (2011), The Life of Muhammad – A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, (Oxford University Press, Pakistan), pp. 35-6.

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