Sunday, 11 October 2009

Has the Injeel been corrupted: A challenge to Etheshaam

This is mainly a response to Gulam Etheshaam and a refutation of his response to my previous thread. In my previous thread I considered three foundational answers to a muslim who claimed that the Injeel is corrupt. Etheshaam replies back in the comments as a response to my third answer, in which I stated that the Qur'an itself does not include the idea that the Injeel has been changed and was in fact intact in Muhammad's own time.

Etheshaam replies:

"if the Injeel is corrupt, how will the Muslim respond to his own book, the Qur'an, which does not state that the Injeel was corrupted, but rather attests to its preservation and accuracy Muhammad's era. "I don't know how many times I Have to say it, The Quran 4:157-- clearly says the New Testament is corrupt. The Quran is talking about the Gospel of Jesus (which We don't have) not the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John or Paul.

Hogan Elijah replies:

Firstly, lets consider what the Qur'an truly says:

“If you Muhammad are in doubt regarding that which we have revealed to thee, ask THOSE who READ the BOOK from BEFORE YOU” (Sura 10:94).

In this passage Muhammad is to approach those who read the previous revealation and consult with them if he is in doubt. Now elaborate on this for a while: Muhammad has received and is receiving the superior book, the Qur'an (according to the muslim view), why does he need to consult those who follow a corrupted book? Unless of course, the previous book is not corrupted.

...whom they find written in the Torah and the Gospel that IS WITH THEM (Sura 7:156-157)

In this passage we find the claim that Muhammad is found in the Torah and the Gospel. In fact he is found in neither of these, but we know which passages the Qur'an is referring to. The passage of greatest interest is John 14: 16, which refers to the paraclete, the comforter, which in its Aramaic wording was used for a councellor or an advocate but also for the Holy Spirit.

What is interesting here is that the Qur'an is here referring to the fourth Gospel, the Christological and Trinitarian Gospel, the Gospel that Muslims hate the most. This blows away completely the Muslim view that there was a gradual corruption in line with some source critical theories, in which the muslim argues that the Gospel of Jesus was corrupted into Mark's Gospel and then embellished into Matthew and Luke, which then implies that the virgin birth is a corruption and hence debunks the Qur'an, and which finally led to the fabrication of John's Gospel, which the Qur'an actually refers to as the Word of God. Perhaps Etheshaam can be consistent here and explain to us why the Paraclete is not found in Mark's Gospel or why the Qur'an is referring to John not Mark.

In fact, this answers Etheshaam's question: 'where is the Gospel of Jesus', well the Qur'an is quite explicit here, the Gospel of Jesus is the particular Gospel which supposedly predicts the comming of Muhammad, in other words, the Gospel of John; how more simple can it be.

Sura 7: 156-7 clearly says: ...the Gospel that is With them

Hence a Gospel that the Christians possessed and used in Muhammad's time. This clearly confirms that the Gospel of John is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Say, O people of the book! You are not founded on anything until you PERFORM the TORAH and the GOSPEL, and what was revealed to you from your Lord” (Sura 5:68-71)

This implies, that I a Christian am to follow my book, the Injeel and if a Jew, I am to follow the Torah. Why would Allah reveal anything near this line of reasoning if the Injeel was corrupted? Would Allah not rather warn us clearly to throw the previous revelation in the bin, rather than revealing something like this?

We find nothing the Qur'an that warns us against the Injeel or states that the written Injeel is corrupted, what we find are passage like these that confirm its reliability and preservation.

Here the Qur'an urges me to follow my book. Now consider this: am I to listen to Allah or Ethesham?

Be courteous when you argue with People of the Book except with those among them who do evil. Say: “ We believe in that which is revealed to us and which was revealed to you. Our God and your God is one”. (29:46)

This Sura 29: 46 is for the Muslim, it basically instructs and commands the Muslim to believe in the Injeel as it is read in Muhammad's time. Notice that according to this passage Etheshaam and other muslims are being disobedient to their own book and the command of Allah when they argue with the Christians and disbelieve the previous revelations.

Thus this attempt of muslims to attack previous revelations and the book of the Christians is a clear violation of the command of Allah, these are disobedient Muslims who do not understand nor follow their own book.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and his Messenger, and the SCRIPTURE WHICH HE SENT TO HIS MESSENGER, AND the SCRIPTURE WHICH HE SENT TO THOSE BEFORE (HIM). Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His BOOKS, His messengers, and the day of judgement, hath gone fare astray (Sura 4:136)

Can it be more simple, a Muslim who doubts the previous revelations, has gone astray. How am I to understand this? I can only conclude either that Muslim like Etheshaam are either not Muslims or are deceived Muslims.

If I am wrong about these passages, I want Etheshaam to prove to me from the Qur'an or from the words of Muhammad himself, not Abbas, Tabari or any other scholar, but from the Qur'an or Muhammad's own words how these verses are to be understood otherwise, but it has to be a clear rejection (from the Qur'anic context) of the clarity of these passages.

Ethesham brought up Sura 4: 157 which reads:

That they say in boast “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary the apostle of Allah”; but they killed him not nor crucified him, but so it was made appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no certain knowledge but only conjecture to follow for of a surety they killed him not (4: 157-159).

Etheshaam concludes that this passage proves that the Injeel is corrupted, however where does the passage say that? It says that Christians follow conjecture when they say this, yet it does not imply that their book is corrupted.

There are a number of problems here:

Where in this passage does it imply that that the Injeel is corrupted?

If this implied Bible corruption, would that not contradict all the previous passages?

It seems much more likely that the author of the Qur'an considers this to be an idea that flourished among the Christians but not a doctrine included in their revelation, otherwise the passages I quoted earlier are deceptive and are bound to lead both Christians and Muslims to hell.

In other words, the author of the Qur'an is being inconsistent here and limited in knowledge; this is an error that clearly reveals that the author of the Qur'an was a human being.

I want to challenge Etheshaam to present to us a passage from the Qur'an that clearly and explicitly says something like: the Injeel on a universal level has been corrupted by writing

If he fails to do so, Etheshaam has simply lost in this matter.


Ehteshaam Gulam said...

We must read everything in its context. When one sees the clear evidence that Islam teaches that the text of the Christian and Jewish scriptures of today is corrupt, he or she then must attempt to harmonize and understand what the other verses are speaking about. When all verses are looked at together, the problem will go away.

The main problem with Christians who put forth these arguments is that they fail to identify and understand how the Qur'an uses the terms 'Torah' and 'Gospel' in the Qur'an. When the Qur'an talks about the Torah and Gospel, one of its intentions is to speak about the original revelations sent to Moses and Jesus peace be upon them both respectively. Sometimes the Qur'an or authentic hadith might appear to be speaking about the Torah and Gospel, which Jews and Christians refer to.

For example, when I debate the topic 'Did Jesus Claim Divinity' with Christians, I usually issue this challenge 'Show me where Jesus claimed divinity in the Gospel'. Now, my intention here is that I am referring to the Gospel referred to by Christians and that is the combined four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. However, my intention is not to state that this is the actual Gospel that God revealed to Jesus peace be upon him. So the word is used in different contexts and Christians fail to identify this when it comes to studying the Qur'an and authentic hadith.

Now Christian missionaries pose the verses above in order to try and show that the Qur'an informs the Christians and Jews to abide by their scriptures and that this allegedly indicates that the scriptures that they possess are uncorrupted. However, is that what the verses are actually saying?

How do we understand those verses in light of other verses in the Qur'an that state the Torah was a meant as a guide in the past prior to the Qur'an and not before...

We see that the Torah was meant as a guide for the people of Prophet Moses's (peace be upon him) time. However, now it is the Qur'an, which is the guide that all mankind must follow...

Surah 2:185

The month of Ramadaan is that in which the Qur'an was revealed as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever is present at home in this month let him fast therein. But whoso is temporarily sick or on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days, ALLAH desires ease for you and HE desires not hardship for you, and HE desires that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt ALLAH for HIS having guided you and that you may be grateful.

Surah 18:54

And, surely, WE have explained in various ways in this Qur'an for the good of mankind all manner of similitudes, but of all things man is most contentious.

Surah 30:58

Verily We have coined for mankind in this Qur'an all kinds of similitudes; and indeed if thou camest unto them with a miracle, those who disbelieve would verily exclaim: Ye are but tricksters!

Surah 39:27

And, indeed, WE have set forth for mankind all manner of parables in this Qur'an that they may take heed.

The Qur'an makes it clear that it is for all mankind. There is no exclusion of the people of the book in this regard.

The Qur'an states that it is also meant for the children of Israel...

Surah 27:76-77

Verily, this Qur'an explains to the Children of Israel most of that concerning which they differ. And verily it is a guidance and a mercy for the believers.

Let's look at the first verse posed...

Surah 5:43

How come they (come) unto thee (Muhammad) for judgment when they have the Torah, wherein Allah hath delivered judgment (for them)?

Ehteshaam Gulam said...

I will give a brief background regarding the context of this verse's revelation. What happened is that one time there was an adulterer from amongst the Jews whom the Jews had to punish. They went to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) seeking advice as to what they should do with the man. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied back that they should judge this man according to their own Law and that was stoning the adulterer. They tried to hide the verse from the Prophet (peace be upon him) but the Prophet's companion Abdullah ibn Salam who was familiar with the scriptures pointed out the verse and exposed the Jews deception. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) had that man stoned in accordance with the law found in the Torah.

Allah then revealed Surah 5:43 in order to criticize the Jews who did this.

Imam Jalal ud-Din Siyuti says in his commentary on this verse...

But how is it that they make you their judge when they have the Torah, wherein is God's judgment, of stoning: the interrogative here is for [provoking] amazement, in other words, they were not seeking thereby [by making you their judge] to discover the truth but a lighter punishment for them; and then they turn away, [and then] they reject your ruling of stoning, which accords with what is in their Scripture, after that, request [to you] for arbitration? Such are not believers. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 5:43, Source)

Ibn Kathir states...

Allah then chastises the Jews for their false ideas and deviant desires to abandon what they believe is true in their Book, and which they claim is their eternal Law that they are always commanded to adhere to. Yet, they do not adhere to the Tawrah, but they prefer other laws over it, although they believe that these other laws are not correct and do not apply to them. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Source)

How is it, that you Jews seek the judgment of the Prophet peace be upon him while you reject his Prophethood and declare it to be false, and you leave the ruling of God which you believe to be true for your selves and compulsory on you and it is brought to you from Moses from Allah? (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami' al-bayan fi ta'wil al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 5:43, Source)

So here we can clearly see that Allah is simply pointing out the inconsistent stance of the Jews in regards to their beliefs. They believe that what they have is from God and reject the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Yet, they leave what they believe is from God but go to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for guidance. Truly this is inconsistent and ridiculous and the Qur'an is merely pointing it out.

Ehteshaam Gulam said...

This verse refers to the Gospel, which is not distorted and altered. Allah is referring in these verses to the commands He stated in the original Gospel so that all the verses are about the unchanged or unaltered commands of Allah in the Gospel.

Allah commands the Christians to judge by the revealed Book, not by the New Testament which is a collection of books written by a wide variety of authors. In this case, Christians are unable to judge by these Books except through the Holy Qur'an and acceptance of Prophet Muhammad's message. This is the only possible way to judge by the Gospel because the Qur'an was sent down affirming its original message and is a protector over it. This is emphasized in verse 48...

Surah 5:48

And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you; for every one of you did We appoint a law and a way, and if Allah had pleased He would have made you (all) a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore strive with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will let you know that in which you differed;

Ibn Kathir quotes well known Qur'anic commentator Ibn Jarir Al Tabari as saying...

Ibn Jarir said, "The Qur'an is trustworthy over the Books that preceded it. Therefore, whatever in these previous Books conforms to the Qur'an is true, and whatever disagrees with the Qur'an is false.'' (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Source, You can also see Al Tabari saying this himself in his commentary on Surah 2:41)

Imam al-Tabari relates from the eminent Jurist Ibn Juraij (80-150 AH/699-767 CE) that if the people of the book quote something from their Bible that disagrees with the Qur'an then we reject it but if it agrees with the Qur'an then we accept it. (Source) Imam al-Bahgawi also quotes the opinion of Ibn Juraij in his commentary. (Tafsir Al Baghawi, 1/65)

The Qur'an is the protector of the Gospel and Torah. But which Gospel and Torah? It is the original revelations sent to Jesus and Moses (peace be upon them) both and whatever of it survives today (e.g. prophecies of Muhammad peace be upon him to come) in the scriptures of the Christians and Jews today.

So, what is meant here by the Gospel is the original revealed Book before it got corrupted and altered. And there is no way to judge by it except by conferring the Qur'an which is a protector over it; for it bears witness to what Allah has revealed in it and exposes what people falsely entered into and removed from it.

Other commentators have stated that if the Christians judge by the Gospel then they are in a way accepting the Prophecies of Muhammad peace be upon him in the Gospel, which in turn leads them to accepting Islam.

The verses from the Qur'an, which command the Jews and Christians to judge by the Torah and Gospel respectively actually means that they must judge by the Qur'an since this is the only way to really judge by the Torah and Gospel sent to Moses and Jesus peace be upon them both respectively. For those original revelations taught the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Therefore, to judge by them means that you must accept the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), which in turn means that you must then accept the Qur'an as the word of God and judge by it.

Ehteshaam Gulam said...

The Quran says this:

Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper." (Quran 7:157)

NOWHERE DOES IT SAY THE TORAH AND GOSPEL IS WITH THEM! Wow, even Sam Shamoun wouldn't do this deceptive adding into the text.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Hi again Ethesham, I will respond to you later, need to get my studies done for day.

However, this will be very easy to refute, also you hardly answered my questions and challenges and you committed all the errors I urged you to avoid in dealing with me.

As to Sura 7: 157 concerning the Torah and the Gospel which is with them, I have this from the translation of Mohammad Marmaduke Pickthall, who is very well respected among those who understand the Arabic. However, I will look into a Qur'anic interliner and consult an Arabic speaking person to translate it directly.

Best wishes and God bless


Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

And not to forget, it is very early in the morning in the USA, why are you not sleeping?

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

I find it funny though that you cannot defend your case without the use the later commentaries, hence your view is not based upon the Qur'an or Muhammad (who actually disagree with you) but upon human beings who were not inspired from above.

And then again if I were to use your argument here, e.g. in proving from the Biblical context that Jesus is divine, you would reject my explanation from the context (as you are enforcing upon me now) and demand a clear passage in which Jesus confirms his divinity.

Yet here you do exactly what you might accuse me off: 1) you bring up some passages elsewhere in the Qur'an that prove nothing,2) you are unable to point out a single verse in the Qur'an that states that the Injeel is corrupted, and 3) then you turn to later commentators to prove your point.

I have not even begun exposing you, and you have lost this debate already.

I am therefore gona challenge you once more, can you show me one passage from the Qur'an, that clearly says that the Injeel has universally been corrupted by writing.

It is a simple and easy challenge if the Qur'an truly teaches the corruption of the Injeel!

I would like to see that. Unless you can do that all your other attempts are gona prove futile.

Obviously if the Injeel was corrupted we would expect God himself to say so, not Kathir or any other later islamic lawyer who even contradicts the Qur'an he is supposed to follow.

I have to say it again Etheshaam, have never met a muslim who is a muslim according to the Qur'an.

I have to conclude that there are no muslims in this world.

The only Muslims are the Christian who correctly believe in the previous revelation, at least that is what I understand from the Qur'an. You Muslims who do not believe in the Injeel or the Gospel of John which the Qur'an refers to, have according to the words of Allah, gone astray.

Hence, no offence Ethesham as I see it you are not a muslim, but someone walking on a very confused path alongside many others. I don't need the Bible to prove it, the Qur'an proves it.

Ehteshaam Gulam said...

"Hence, no offence Ethesham as I see it you are not a muslim, but someone walking on a very confused path alongside many others. "

No I am a Muslim. I am not a confused Christian-- worshipping a crucified and resurrected pagan deity Osrisis, Inanna and Attis-- oh I am sorry the paganized Jesus.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Interesting, firstly could you provide the passages from primary sources?

You do realise (I hope) that based upon your methods, approach and scholarship Attis was born by a virgin? Are you then applying that Christians borrowed the virgin birth?

However, before you accuse me of worshipping a pagan deity (and you need to prove this with primary sources), keep in mind you are the one bowing toward a pagan temple and a pagan black meteorite five times a day.

A response and challenge to those who oppose the Christian faith.