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What Does the Holy Qur’an Say About the Holy Bible?


Does the Qur’an speak about the Bible? Indeed, it does! And since one of the main pillars of the Islamic faith is belief in the holy books, it is extremely important to know what the Qur’an says about this topic. You might be pleasantly surprised by what it actually says! Most are aware that the Qur’an instructs the People of the Book (Christians) to follow the teachings of the Tawrat, Zabur, and Injil, as stated in Surah Al-Maidah 5:69:

“Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein” (Surah Al-Maidah 5:69).

But there are a few more important facts about these books that you may have not heard before… let us look together to see what the Qur’an says about the revelations sent down to the People of the Book.

According to the Qur’an, which Holy books were revealed to mankind?

The Qur’an teaches that Allah revealed that four books were given by revelation from Allah: the Tawrat, Zabur, Injil and Qur’an.

“It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed to Allah’s will... If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers” (Surat Al-Maidah 5:44).

The Tawrat contained the law of Allah, and the Jews had its light and guidance for thousands of years. The Qur’an also confirms that Allah revealed the Zabur (to Prophet Daud, Surah 4:163; 17:55) and the Injil to Jesus.

“And in their footsteps, We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah” (Surah Al-Maidah 5:46).

Did the “People of the Book” change their Scriptures?

Early Muslim believers observed the lifestyle of Western Christians and saw some things that were wrong (eating pork, creating and worshipping saints, drinking alcohol, etc). Since those practices were condemned in the Holy Books, Islamic scholars concluded that Christians must have changed the Bible! They also noticed that many Christians were keeping Sunday as the Holy Day even though the correct day of worship for the People of the Book, according to all four of the holy books, was Saturday.

History confirms that the change from Saturday to Sunday as the day of worship took place on March 7321 CE. This occurred when Constantine I, Rome’s first Christian Emperor, decreed that Sunday would be observed as the Roman day of rest. The change was man-made because the Bible still affirms that the Holy Day is Saturday.

As we can see, there have been many cases of variance between the behaviour of the People of the Book and the reality of what is written in their Scriptures.

The behaviour of the faithful and unfaithful:

The Qur’an alleges that a faction of the People of the Book were misinterpreting their Scriptures. It does not accuse them (the Jews and the Christians) of changing the Bible but of misinterpreting its meaning when sharing it. It likewise says that Allah’s Word cannot be changed:

“No change is there in the words of Allah. This is his great achievement.” (Surah Yunus 10:64) (see also 6:115; 6:34)

The Qur’an distinguishes between faithful and unfaithful People of the Book (Christians and Jews). It says that those who are unfaithful:

• Conceal the truth of the Scriptures (Surat Al-Baqara 2:140)

• Forget what they were admonished (Surat Al-Maidah 5:13)

• Do not care to follow the Scriptures (Surah Al-Imran 3:187)

The Qur’an says that the faithful Christians obey their Scriptures:

“Not all of them are alike: of the People of the book are a portion that stand (for the right)… they are among the righteous… Whatever good they do – never will it be removed from them” (Surah Al-Imran 3:113-115).

“Those who believe in Allah and the last day and do right among the Christians and Jews will have their reward with their Lord” (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:62).

Should Muslim believers accept the previous Scriptures (The Bible)?

Since the Qur’an confirms that the Scriptures (the holy books) are given by Allah, it also validates that we can only understand the message of Allah when we read all of His revelation.

“Say ye: ‘We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them…’ (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:136).

It is clear that as believers we are not to regard one holy book as superior to others. The principles of Allah’s Word are the same for all people for all time. The Qur’an calls the Bible the Word of Allah (kalam Allah) in Surah 2:75, the Book of Allah (kitab Allah) in Surah 2:101; 3:23; 5:44; 28;49, and the enlightening book (Kitab Al-Munir) in Surah 3:184.

What does the Qur’an say about those who deny any of Allah’s Holy Books?

“O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed before this. Whoever does not believe in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray” (Surah An-Nisa 4:136).

The Qur’an does not say that the Bible has been corrupted. It recognizes that unfaithful believers have, at times, misrepresented the books by their behaviour, have twisted words out of context, and have misapplied its truths to their lives. But nowhere does the Qur’an state that the actual contents of these books have been changed. Rather, it reiterates that Muslim believers should not deny any Holy Book of Allah because the Qur’an has confirmed them.

“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed …” (Surah Al-Maidah 5:48)

Should Christians forget their Bible and believe in the Qur’an only?

Instead of asking the People of the Book to abandon their previous Scriptures (the Bible), the Qur’an encourages Christians to judge by what Allah revealed to them already. They are encouraged to follow the truth sent down in these books:

“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…” (Surah Al-Maidah 5:68).

What does Allah ask Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about the previous Scriptures (the Bible)?

“If you (Oh Muhammad) are in doubt about that which we revealed to you, then go to the People of the Book, who are reading the Book from before you. The truth has indeed been revealed to you, so do not be of the doubters” (Surah Yunus 10:94).

If Allah encourages the prophet (pbuh) to “go to the People of the Book who are reading the Book” (the Bible), then surely it could not have been corrupted or changed. If the Bible was corrupted by the Christians, then Allah would not tell the prophet (pbuh) to go and ask them. And if it is okay for the prophet (pbuh) to go back to the previous Scriptures of the Christians, then surely you or me, as average believers, would not be condemned for reading it either.

The Qur’an’s argument is very consistent. The People of the Book have the unchanged Word of Allah and many faithful Christians follow its teachings, but many unfaithful Christians have dishonoured God by disobeying and misrepresenting His revelations.

If I, as a Muslim believer, say with my mouth that I believe in the Tawrat, Zabur and Injil, (Bible) but refuse to accept it or read it, then I am not following the Qur’an. I am only following the arguments of people. If the Qur’an is Allah’s revelation, then I can trust Allah and read the Bible. Allah will bless me if I read the Bible, because denying any of Allah’s books makes me an unbeliever (Surah 4:136).

Many people have questioned the validity of the Bible, but according to the Qur’an a faithful Muslim is encouraged to read the Bible as it continues to be a source of detailed instruction from God.


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