Does the Quran Affirm the Bible?
By Sami Zaatari
We continue our rebuttal series to Sam Shamoun's own series of articles where he seeks to try and prove that the Quran confirms the authenticity and authority of the modern day Bible.
The missionary's comments will be in green followed by my responses in black.
"THAT is the Book, wherein is no doubt, a guidance to the godfearing..." A.J. Arberry
Although many Muslim scholars claim that the phrase "that book" refers to the Quran, this seems to be more of a desperate attempt of avoiding the obvious implications of this passage, namely that the Muslims were to have no doubt about the authority and inspiration of the Holy Bible available at the time of Muhammad.
Since Shamoun knows he has no case with Surah 2 verse 2 which reads:
YUSUFALI: This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;
Shamoun is hilariously trying to argue that this verse refers to the Bible! Indeed he is so pathetic enough to even claim that Muslim scholars claimed that the verse was not referring to the Bible because they were ?scared' of the ramifications of it referring to the Bible. In fact Shamoun is lying now, because Shamoun always argues that he is looking at what the first Muslims believed about the Quranic verses regarding the Bible, as Shamoun says "I go to the early Muslims!" Well let us see what the early Muslims had to say regarding Surah 2 verse 2:
The Book, is the Qur'an, and Rayb means doubt. As-Suddi said that Abu Malik and Abu Salih narrated from Ibn `Abbas, and Murrah Al-Hamadani narrated from Ibn Mas`ud and several other Companions of the Messenger of Allah that,
(In which there is no Rayb), means about which there is no doubt. Abu Ad-Darda', Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Malik, Nafi` `Ata', Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Isma`il bin Abi Khalid said similarly. In addition, Ibn Abi Hatim said, "I do not know of any disagreement over this explanation.'' The meaning of this is that the Book, the Qur'an, is without a doubt revealed from Allah. Similarly, Allah said in Surat As- Sajdah,
This is from Ibn Kathir's tafsir, as you can see the "early Muslims" believed that this verse was referring to the Quran. So Sam, what happened now? Are the early Muslims not good enough for you anymore since they debunk and bankrupt your cheap and weak arguments?
Notice how pathetic this missionary is, he is very much like a child in fact, when early Muslims and scholars seem to support his position he will jump all over them screaming that they prove he is correct, however so when early Muslims completely crush and destroy his feeble arguments he starts crying like a little baby complaining that they are wrong and have an agenda! How can you dialog with such people?
Shamoun gets even more pathetic when he writes:
Finally, even some Muslim scholars understood S. 2:2 as referring to the Holy Bible as that book in which there is no doubt. Ibn Kathir acknowledges the fact that some viewed the phrase 'that book' as referring to the Bible:
<This is The Book in which there is no doubt> has been interpreted by some as the Torah and the Gospel, which is highly unlikely and useless elaboration on a matter about which they know nothing. The correct interpretation is that it refers to the Qur'an." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Part 1 Surah Al-Fatiah Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 1 to 141, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 1998 Second Edition], p. 57; bold italic emphasis ours)
Notice how Shamouns very own source of Ibn Kathir refutes him, notice Shamoun does not quote Ibn Kathirs tafsir where he quotes the early Muslims, Shamoun simply quotes Ibn Kathirs part where he says that some people interpreted the verse as referring to the Torah, yet Ibn Kathir goes on to say that the people who hold this view actually no nothing much and the point is very weak! But why didn't Shamoun quote the other part of Ibn Kathir's tafsir? Shamoun couldn't have missed it since it's on the same page and same verse! As usual this missionary never ceases to expose his deceit.
Shamoun then goes on to try to use Ibn Kathir in his favor, which as usual does not work, the missionary writes:
Ibn Kathir on S. 3:71-73:
O People of the Scripture! Why do you mix truth with falsehood and CONCEAL THE TRUTH WHILE YOU KNOW? And a party of the People of the Scriptures say: "Believe in the morning in that which is revealed to the believers, and reject it at the end of the day, so that they may turn back. And believe no one except the one who follows your religion." Say (O Prophet): "Verily right guidance is the guidance of Allah." (And they say): "Do not believe that anyone can receive like that which you have received, otherwise they would engage you in agreement before your Lord." Say: "All the bounty is in the Hand of Allah; He grants to whom He wills, And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.
We would like to first note that the only way for the People of the Scriptures to conceal truth knowingly, IS IF THEY IN FACT HAD THE TRUTH IN THEIR POSSESION!
See folks when you have no argument, you resort to something called straw man, which is miss-interpreting your opponents claims and arguments, and then you attack from there, this is exactly what Shamoun is doing.
Shamoun's argument would hold some water IF WE MUSLIMS BELIEVED THAT THE PRESENT DAY TORAH WAS COMPLETELY CORRUPTED. Yet no Muslim believes that the present day Torah is FULLY corrupted, hence when Shamoun says that there is truth in the Torah which the present day Jews have we say YES WE KNOW THAT! However so we say that even though there is still some truth in the books, they are not ORIGINAL and they have been tampered with and corrupted! Hence why is Shamoun screaming about the fact that we Muslims believe and are taught to believe that the present day Torah has some truth in it? Did we Muslims ever say the entire Bible was corrupt? Did we? No, we did not, this is a figment of Shamoun's own imagination, hence is attacks straw man, and then he thinks he has a victory.
So therefore let me clarify things again incase this missionary and his people don't understand us, we say the present day Torah is corrupt, however so we also say that there is still some truth in it, and that the book is not fully corrupt from front to back, hence if you find Quran, the hadiths, the tafsir, and Muslims saying there is truth in the Torah, this is not affirming its authenticity as a whole, rather it simply affirming the specific truth that still remains in the book. Had we Muslims believed that the Torah was fully corrupt, and had the Quran claimed that the Torah was fully corrupt, then you and Shamoun could scream and jump around claiming victory because we say there is some truth in the book, however so too bad for you and Shamoun is that we never say that the Torah is fully corrupted, hence all you just did was create a straw man and broke it down, how nice.
Shamoun continues to attack straw man when he goes on to write:
Ibn Kathir states:
<Say: (O Prophet) "Verily, right guidance is the guidance of Allah.">
Allah guides the hearts of the faithful to the perfect faith through the clear Ayat, plain proofs and unequivocal evidence that He has sent down to His servant and Messenger Muhammad. This occurs, O you Jews, even though you hide the description of Muhammad the unlettered Prophet whom you find IN YOUR BOOKS, THAT YOU RECEIVED FROM THE EARLIER PROPHETS... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Abridged Volume 2, Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, verse 147, parts 3-5, p. 188)
Ibn Kathir claims that the Jews in the time of Muhammad had the books of the prophets in their possession.
It beats me as to where Shamoun is getting his thoughts and arguments from, whoever said that the Jews did not have books or guidance from previous prophets? Really, I want to know who said that, can someone inform me of this. Because this is something new to me, very new to me, I never knew that us Muslims deny that the Jews had some sort of truthful book or books in their hands; I never knew we denied such a thing. Now why didn't I know such a thing? It's because we Muslims NEVER BELIEVED IN SUCH A THING! Once again Shamoun is attacking straw man, again I have to repeat myself, we Muslims do not believe or say that the Jews had no whatsoever truthful piece of guidance on paper, we say no such thing, we say that yes the Jews do have some truth, however so they don't have the full truth, they have truth which is mixed with falsehood, this is what the Quran even says:
YUSUFALI: Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe Truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth, while ye have knowledge?
So as you can see they clothe truth with falsehood and lies, and this is what we say concerning the Torah of the present day, that it does have truth, but not the whole truth since it has been tampered with. It seems all Shamoun can do is attack straw man!
The missionary goes on to write:
Furthermore, the Quran clearly speaks of learned Jews and Christians who knew scripture and would not sell it for gain:
"And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, and that which has been revealed to you, in that which has been revealed to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the signs of God for miserable gain. For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account." S. 3:199
"NOT ALL OF THEM ARE ALIKE. Some of the People of the Book are an upright people. They recite the signs (or verses) of God in the night season and they bow down worshipping. They believe in God and the last day. They command what is just, and forbid what is wrong and they hasten in good works, and they are of the righteous." S. 3:113-114
Another straw man argument, whoever said that it took all the Jews and Christians to corrupt their book? It does not take a large group of people to corrupt a text; it seems Shamoun wants to play ignorant and dumb with us now concerning his own Bible's history. It seems Shamoun is ignorant of the fact that the Torah which the Jews used to have was not actually available in every house-hold, it isn't like today where we have the printing press and you can go easily make copies. There were no large scale copies of the Torah, or the Gospels etc, the books were always kept with the religious elders, the top people, and the rich, hence the books were very few in number, and on top of that people hadn't memorized these books neither. Hence it would have been very easy for one scholar or Rabbi to start writing his own book, with his own false interpretations and then present it to the people as the Torah, they would have no way of verifying whether the book he gave to them and taught them was authentic from God or not!
This is the same thing with the Gospel of Jesus, it wasn't available everywhere, nor was it made into copies to be widely distributed etc. Hence it is actually very easy for a few men to have corrupted the original Torah and Gospel, so Shamoun's argument and the verses he quotes actually work against him! Since had the Quran said a large group of the Jews and Christians worked to corrupt their texts then that would have actually been hard to conceive, the fact it says that the majority didn't do it, and that it is restricted to a minority makes it all the more conceivable and correct since that's how the books would have been corrupted back then!
With that said we conclude part 1C of our rebuttal to Shamoun.
And Allah Knows Best!