For an intro to this topic see LORD GOD VS. ALLAH: THE SAMENESS ILLUSION
THE LOGICAL TWIST – THE SAME AND NOT THE SAME, AT THE SAME TIME!
Now let’s go deeper with the “sameness” façade, or illusion, because it is this protected aura as articulated in the Qur’an, “…our Allah and your Allah is one (the same)…”, which veils and protects the hidden identity of the true Allah from scrutiny.
Ironically, it is also this aura of “sameness” – when Qur’anic claims are not found to be substantiated within the pages of the Bible – that necessitates and facilitates Islamic charges of “corruption” against the “People of the Book”, the Jews and the Christians. Having thus allegedly tampered with Allah’s words, they are declared guilty of blasphemy, and therefore justifiably deserving of Allah’s eternal wrath!
In the following two sections we provide the basis for this convoluted reasoning:
- First, the roots of the “sameness” claims in the Qur’an.
- Then, how this initial “sameness” claim at some point, inevitably necessitates the further Islamic claim of “Biblical corruption”.
Later on, in the section on Biblical corruption, we provide illustrations that are used by Islam in attempts to support and justify this logic.
You might want to skip if you are out of time…. this is a long read
THE ROOTS OF THE “SAMENESS” ILLUSION
As earlier stated, the source of the sameness claims being rooted from the outset in the Qur’an itself, upon further scrutiny can be seen to extend and penetrate both directly and indirectly past the Allah / Lord God dichotomy as an attempt to undermine the doctrinal depths of Biblical Christianity.
The direct claims to sameness made in the Qur’an in the following select verses (Ayahs), at face value, give the distinct appearance of validating the Biblical account, as we see below in the first two phrases of Surah 29:46,
“And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, ‘We believe in that which has come down to us and had come down to you; our Ilah (Allah) and your Ilah (God) is One’ …”
However, the true and full meaning of this complete passage becomes clearer in the third and final phrase of that Surah—which puts this claim of “sameness” within proper Islamic context:
“…and to him we have submitted (as Muslims).”
Another translation of the same Ayah puts it this way, giving a better perspective of the implications of what is really being said—that rather than being an affirmation, it is a direct challenge:
“And dispute not with the People of the Book, except with means better than mere argument, unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong, but say, ‘We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to him we bow (in Islam).’”
The official Islamic commentary (Tafsir Al-Jalalayn) draws out these implications explicitly. It states,
“And do not dispute with the People of the Scripture unless it be in that manner of disputation, bettering the most virtuous way, such as calling [them] to Allah by [reference to] His signs and pointing out His arguments; except [in the case of] those of them who have done wrong, by waging war and refusing to accept [to pay] the jizya-tax: dispute with these using the sword, until such time as they submit or pay the jizya-tax; and say, to those who have accepted [the imposition upon them of] the jizya-tax, should they inform you of something stated in their Scriptures: ‘We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you — and neither believe nor disbelieve them in that [which they tell you] — our Allah and your God is one [and the same], and to Him we submit as Muslims’.”
In other words, this commentary explains that this passage, rather than being an affirmation, on the contrary is actually an explicit challenge to the “People of the Book” to search their scriptures, whereby they would discover that indeed, Allah and the God of their Bible are the same.
Note that this verse (Ayah) goes far beyond the single claim to the alleged “sameness” of Allah and the Lord God, to further infer that the entire textual content of the Biblical “revelation” is also the same as the textual content of the Qur’an.
The following two Surah’s (among many others) explicitly confirm and establish the assertion of textual identity between the Qur’an and the Judeo-Christian scriptures:
Meccean Surah 10:37, “And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah, but it is a confirmation of which was before it, and a full explanation of the Book – wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the worlds (i.e. all that Allah has created, such as the angels, Jinn and humans).”
Medina Surah 3:3, “It is he (Allah) who has sent down the Book to you (i.e. Muhammad) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Tawrat and the Injeel.”
But it doesn’t stop there, according to the earlier passage in Surah 29:46, which is repeated here for emphasis and clarity:
“… ‘We believe in that which has been revealed to us and has been revealed to you; our Ilah (Allah) and your Ilah (God) is One’, with the completing phrase“…and to Him we have submitted as Muslims.”
Therefore, this key Surah represents not one or two, but a virtual set of claims which, each in turn encompass the entire scope of the Judeo-Christian scriptures, including the full range of revelations, from general to special. The effect is to counter Biblical accounts of the Creator and His creation; the nature of humankind and their relationship to the Creator; the prophets/messengers and their roles; the historical/doctrinal narrative; the Biblical message, and finally, the ultimate salvific/apocalyptic outcome.
In other words, this one sentence in Surah 29:46 (as confirmed in Surah’s 10:37 and 3:3), encapsulates and reflects the sweeping Qur’anic claim to counter the whole counsel of the Judeo-Christian scriptures – point by point.
Hence, we need to meticulously examine every aspect and nuance of each of the stated or inferred Qur’anic claims to sameness, starting with “…Our Allah and your Allah is one…”
The Qur’anic Call “Back” to “Islamic Monotheism”
This Qur’anic “call” claims to hark back in history to “affirm” and “correct” previous revelations as we saw in Surah 29:46 earlier, and now also in the first part of Surah 3:84 to follow:
“…Say, (Muhammad), ‘we have believed in Allah and what came down to us, and what came down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismaeel (Ishmael), Is-haq (Isaac), Yacoub (Jacob), and the tribes, and in what was given to Moosa (Moses) and Issa (Jesus), and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction amongst them, and to him (Allah) we are Muslims”.
Once more we see that while initially giving the appearance of “affirming” the Biblical record in the first part of the verse above, the concluding phrase of that verse, i.e. “… and to him (Allah) we are Muslims,” amends the identity of all these Biblical prophets/messengers to have been Muslims.
So here we see another example that the Qur’an both “affirms”, and modifies (or corrects) the Biblical account simultaneously. To sum up, we have seen an emerging motif of:
- The repeating claim to sameness between the Allah of the Qur’an and the Lord God of the Bible.
- The repeating claim of the sameness of the prophets and their messages.
- The repeating claim to sameness between the texts.
Next we go into the details of the claims of the sameness of the texts.
Claim to Textual Sameness Expressed Visually in the Eternal Tablet
As one can see, this claim to textual identity is rooted in the Qur’an and visually expressed in the “Eternal Tablet”, i.e. the “Mother of the book”, the original Qur’an, as mentioned in the above verse, all revealed scriptures (including the Tawrat, the Zaboor, and the Injeel)“came down” from the same source.
The Islamic doctrine that different portions of the “Eternal Tablet” were given incrementally over time to various prophets starting with the Biblical characters/prophets and culminating with Muhammad as the “Seal of the Prophets”.
Now, it is claimed that the first 100 books have been lifted back up and the relevant material that remains applicable and needed by humankind has been incorporated into the current Qur’an. So the 100 books of the 104 on the Tablet in this illustration are untraceable. However, the remaining three (i.e. Tawrat, Zaboor and Injeel) out of four, are said to have been left behind as these three allegedly still speak of Muhammad in a detailed manner—and therefore serve as a current form of “testimony” to the validity of Muhammad.
Consequently, with the coming of the current Qur’an all of the earlier books have become irrelevant. Their only purpose was (and is) to attest to the announcement of the message and mission of Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets. As such—as having now been superseded—their content is irrelevant to a Muslim.
The concept of “lifting up” or “taking back” is related to the absolute authority of Allah as the author and possessor of the Mother of the book, meaning the “Eternal Tablet”. Hence, the concept of “for every age or period, there is a book”. According to Surah 13:38-39,
“We did send messengers before you, and appointed for them wives and children: and it was never the part of a messenger to bring a sign except with Allah’s permission. For each period is a Book. Allah blots out and establishes what he wishes, and with him is the Mother of the Book, (i.e. the Eternal Tablet/Qur’an).”
Content of the 104 “Books” that “Came Down”
The Qur’anic reference to the actual content of other scriptures/revelations, or “books” which “came down” from the Tablet to messengers or prophets from Adam to Issa (Books 1-103), prior to Muhammad’s “call” (resulting in the current Qur’an, Book 104) is scanty regarding events, or their mission and purposes other than by inference —with the following critical exceptions—which themselves include considerable further embedded enigmatic “inferences”, when read carefully, all “bearing witness” to the following:
1. Muhammad’s “coming” and mission: All the 103 books and the prophets preceding Muhammad are claimed to have borne witness to Allah’s imposed “covenant”, termed “The Covenant of the Prophets”. This imposed covenant announced the future “coming” of the “expected one”, i.e. Muhammad, as well as a specific definition of his mission “to confirm what you have” (meaning in particular, the Tawrat, Zaboor, and Injil).
Surah 3:81 states, “Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: ‘I give you a book and wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do you believe in him and render him help.’ Allah said: ‘Do you agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you?’ They said: ‘We agree.’ He said: ‘Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.’”
Although the term “covenant” is frequently used in the Qur’an it is not a covenant in the Biblical sense. Instead it conveys a unilateral imposition by Allah with no reciprocity.
Hence the “Covenant of the Prophets” in Surah 3:81 is an imposed “covenant” requiring no obligations on the part of Allah toward his creation, but simply announcing and instituting the terms of “submission” which were required of all the prophets in regard to the predicted future “coming” of Muhammad—that they would expect him, and that they would “agree” in advance to accept him, to “believe him” and to “aid him” when he comes and with Allah acting as a “witness” to his own imposition.
2. The prophets/messengers all bore witness of their own identity as being “Muslim”.
3. The prophets/messengers all bore witness as having personally preached “Islam” to their respective peoples.
Following are some key examples confirming these three points:
Surah 2:136, “Say (O Muslims), ‘We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismaeel (Ishmael), Is-haq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to the Tribes, and that which has been given to Moosa (Moses) and Issa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to him (i.e. Allah) we are Muslims.’”
Surah 3:84, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismaeel (Ishmael), Is-haq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob) and the tribes, and what was given to Moosa (Moses), Issa (Jesus) and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between them and to him we are Muslims.’”
Surah 10:72, “And if you turn away then no payment have I asked of you. My reward is only from Allah, and I (i.e. Nooh) have been commanded to be of the Muslims.”
Surah 3:67, “Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a Hanafi Muslim. And he was not of the polytheists.”
Surah 2:130, “And who would be averse to the religion of Ibrahim (i.e. Islam) except one who makes a fool of himself …”
Surah 2:131, “When his Lord said to him (i.e. Ibrahim), ‘Submit as a Muslim’, he said ‘I have submitted in Islam to the Lord of the worlds.’”
Surah 2:133, “Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya’qub (Jacob), when he said to his sons, ‘Who will you worship after me?’ They said, ‘We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismaeel and Is-haq- one god. And to him we are Muslims.’”
Surah 10:84, “And Moosa said, ‘O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then rely upon him, if you are Muslims.’”
Surah 12:101, “My Lord, You have given me (i.e. Yusuf) sovereignty and taught me of the interpretation of dreams. Creator of the heavens and earth, you are my protector in this world and in the hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim…”
Surah 5:111, “And as I inspired the disciples (of Issa), ‘Believe in me and in my messenger Issa.’ They said, ‘We have believed, so bear witness that indeed we are Muslims.’”
Note carefully the wording of the above key Qur’anic Surahs, claiming a “Muslim” identity with/for all of the Biblical prophets (as well as the disciples of Jesus), and thus inferring that the entire text itself has been “sent down” from the Eternal Tablet.
Below are the listings of the specific “books” that were allegedly “sent down” to each of the presumably Muslim prophets:
Biblical Adam: Muslim name is also Adam. Given 10 books that “came down” from the tablet, but only one prophecy – the coming of Muhammad!
Biblical Seth: Muslim name is Bashit. Given 50 books that “came down” from the tablet, but only one prophecy – the coming of Muhammad!
Biblical Enoch: Muslim name is Idris. Given 30 books that “came down” from the tablet, but only one prophecy – the coming of Muhammad!
Biblical Abraham: Muslim name is Ibrahim. Given 10 books that “came down” from the tablet, but only one prophecy – the coming of Muhammad!
Biblical Moses: Muslim name is Moosa. Given one book, the (Torah) Tawrat that “came down” from the tablet, but only one prophecy – the coming of Muhammad!
Biblical David: Muslim name is Dawood. Given one book, the (Psalms) Zaboor that “came down” from the tablet, but only one prophecy – the coming of Muhammad!
Biblical Jesus: Muslim name is Issa. Given one book, the (Gospel) Injeel that “came down” from the tablet, but only one prophecy – the coming of Muhammad!
In short, all the reconstructed Biblical characters mentioned in the Qur’an – without exception – testified to being “Muslim”, preaching “Islam”, and each one prophesied only a single prophecy, which is: “The promise of the “good tidings” of the “expected one” Ahmad (one of Muhammad’s names).”
Surah 61:6, “And as, Issa, the son of Maryam, said: ‘O Children of Israel, I am the messenger of Allah sent to you, confirming the Tawrat (Torah, or Law) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad …’”
THE SAMENESS CLAIM DOES DOUBLE DUTY: IT MASKS PROFOUND “DIFFERENCES” AND NECESSITATES THE CHARGES OF BIBLICAL CORRUPTION.
What Happens When Texts Do Not Match?
The underlying assumption of the foregoing issue of sameness relates to the Islamic assertion that the original texts of the Torah (Tawrat), Psalms (Zaboor) and Gospel (Injeel) should contain the same textual content as is found in the Qur’an—as all these books have allegedly emanated from the “Eternal Tablet” (i.e. the Qur’an), and hence from the same deity.
However, in reality the Judeo-Christian scriptures stand, in content and concept, completely different and contradictory to the Qur’an, including facts, events, doctrines, as well as the entire narrative and its theological implications.
Hence, the Islamic position towards what we have in our hands as the “Bible” is that it is nothing but a tampered with and corrupted version of what originally “came down” from the Eternal Tablet.
These Qur’anic assertions underline and bolster the supremacy of Muhammad and his alleged role as a fulfilment of various prophecies within the Judeo-Christian scriptures. Neither Muhammad nor any of his followers, nor anyone anywhere, ever produced or claimed to produce original texts to substantiate this claim. Yet, the undisputed doctrinal position of the Qur’an is that the Bible has been tampered with by the Jews and the Christians, so as to render it corrupted and no longer reliable, as affirmed unanimously by Muslim scholars.
Despite this, many Christians assert that the Qur’an itself does not claim Biblical corruption—but that it is just the Muslim scholars who do so. They are wrong on both counts, as we shall demonstrate.
Islamic Positions on Biblical Corruption
As a result, we are compelled to cover this issue in two parts.
First, we demonstrate that those Christians who take the position that the Qur’an does not claim the corruption of the Bible have misunderstood some of the central doctrines (Aqeedas) of Islam regarding the “content” of the earlier revelations (i.e. the Tawrat and Injeel) on this issue.
Second, we detail and classify the full scope of Islamic doctrines on Biblical corruption as reported throughout the Qur’an.
How Could the Qur’an Possibly “Validate” the Judeo-Christian Scriptures?
Christian Scholars’ Position
Even with the above undisputed position of the Islamic scholars in view, many Christian scholars still maintain the incorrect position that the Qur’an does NOT claim Biblical corruption, but instead go further to erroneously conclude that the Qur’an actually affirms the authenticity of the Biblical text.
Due to the expediency policy of Muhammad to appease his audience, he would claim a revelation and then appropriately abrogate it in due time. Being unaware of what is abrogated and what is not, one tends to read the Qur’an at face value. Hence, this argument against “Biblical corruption” in the Qur’an is accepted and used in the development of missiological methodologies to attract Muslims to the Biblical scriptures. Aside from being based on wrong missiological assumptions, Muslims who are given such arguments can easily inquire of their Imams and scholars as to the reality behind such Qur’anic interpretations. The missionary who is given instructions to use such arguments enters as a result into a double bind: (a) Showing ignorance of Qur’anic concepts/teachings which will inevitably be corrected by the Imam, and (b) as a consequence causing the Muslims to further mistrust the missionary.
To substantiate the Christian scholars’ position, the following select Qur’anic Surahs are cited, but out of context: 10:94, 5:44, 5:46 and 5:68 among others. Taking these Surahs on face value without being aware of contextual considerations to be detailed below, one can see how such misconceptions could arise.
Surah 10:94, “So if you (Muhammad) are in doubt concerning that which we have revealed unto you, then ask those who are reading the Book before you. The truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt.”
Surah 5:44, “Indeed, we sent down the Tawrat (Torah), in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto….”
Surah 5:46, “And we sent, following in their footsteps, Issa son of Maryam, confirming that which came before him in the Tawrat; and we gave him the Injeel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Tawrat as guidance and instruction for the righteous.”
Surah 5:68, “Say (Muhammad): ‘O People of the Book, you have no ground to stand upon unless you stand fast by the Tawrat, the Injeel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.’ It is the revelation that comes to you from your Lord, that increases in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow not (O Muhammad) over people who are without faith.”
Before delving into the specifics of the contextual considerations in regard to the above Surahs, we need to step back and explain their exegesis as stated and expounded by Muslim scholars themselves within the discipline of Islamic interpretation of the Qur’an, termed “Tafsir”.
How Some Christian Scholars Missed the Central Point
In the attempts by these Christian scholars to use such Surahs as 10:94, 5:44, 5:46 and 5:68 (as quoted above), at apparent “face value” in the Western sense, they have missed the actual meaning.
Consider Surah 10:94 which states,
“So if you (Muhammad) are in doubt concerning that which we have revealed unto you, then ask those who are reading the book before you, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt.”
These Christian scholars have used this verse to base their argument on the superficial assumption that Muhammad must have had some doubts regarding the validity of the Qur’anic revelations which he claimed to be receiving, and that he was then directed by Allah himself (through Islamic inspiration, called Wahy) to verify the validity of his mission by seeking the confirmation from those of the Jews and Christians who knew their own scriptures well. This would, to them, then apparently provide ample evidence that Muhammad fully trusted the Judeo-Christian scriptures and found no reason to doubt their correctness and validity. But the truth of the matter is quite to the contrary!
It is the undisputed fact that all Muslim scholars and expositors of the Qur’an across the full spectrum maintain that Muhammad is recorded, predicted and prophesied throughout the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
Therefore, rather than affirming the Biblical text as a standard, this passage in Surah 10:94 is held by all Muslim scholars without exception as directing Muhammad to ask and enquire of the “People of the Book” regarding these prophecies confirming himself as the expected one and fulfillment of their scriptures.7 In other words, this passage is seen as a strong admonition to Muhammad by Allah to hold the Christians and Jews accountable for these alleged prophecies.
In fact, Muhammad acted many times on the above admonition to confront and hold the “People of the Book” accountable for these assumed “prophecies within their own scriptures” about himself. Many such instances occurred while still in Mecca, but his first known application of this principle with physical consequences occurred in Medina when he faced down the first Jewish tribe (Banu Qaynuqa8) causing them to be expelled following a series of disagreements when he finally put them to the test by insisting that they acknowledge the existence of detailed prophecies about himself as the fulfilment of their scriptures.
This precedent was applied further in his dealing with the remaining Jews in Medina and beyond, and later the Christians of greater Arabia—up to the point when he developed and instituted a legal system whereby the “People of the Book” could remain in their “religion”, but under severe constraints spelled out in a strict legal code known as “People of Obligation”, i.e. Dhimmitude. However, the principle expressed in the Surah above that Christians and Jews must always be held accountable for the prophecies about Muhammad that they allegedly have in their own scriptures remains looming in the background to this day—whether or not it is acted upon physically or politically, especially when Christian and Jewish populations are under the auspices of an Islamic government and/or Islamic systems.
Now, in the next Surah 5:44 Christian scholars have assumed (reasonably enough) that the “Tawrat” that is being referenced is nothing but the Pentateuch of the Old Testament and that Muhammad is directing his people to follow its teachings. But taken within Qur’anic context, this is far from being the case.
Surah 5:44 states, “Indeed, we sent down the Tawrat, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted, judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto ….”
Regarding the English translation aspect, a direct word-for-word translation is not sufficient, since the intended meaning by the Qur’anic texts require professional Islamic exegesis. Remember that, as stated earlier, the same or similar terms as those in the Bible are used in the Qur’an but with different meanings. Therefore, a translation which is consistent with the exegesis (Tafsir) of the Muslim scholars, would look like this (with their summary explanations between parentheses and in bold):
Surah 5:44 with explanatory phrases from the Tafsir: “Indeed, we sent down the Tawrat (the earlier limited version of the Qur’an from the Eternal Tablet), in which was guidance and light (i.e. Islam). The prophets who became Muslims judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah (i.e. whatever they received from the Eternal Tablet), and they were witnesses thereto….”
Note the following: The “Tawrat” being referred to herein is the “earlier limited version of the Qur’an from the Eternal Tablet.” The term “guidance and light” is unanimously interpreted by Muslim scholars as referring to “Islam”, even during the time of the (Islamised) Patriarchs before Muhammad arrived on the scene. The earlier (Islamised) prophets who used the “Tawrat” to judge were already “Muslims”. The exact Arabic here is “Wa Aslamu” – i.e. they had embraced Islam. And, finally, the “Scripture of Allah” which they bore witness to was “from the Eternal Tablet”—i.e. the earlier limited version of the Qur’an as previously referenced.
To explain the position of Muslim scholars regarding the mission of Issa (the Qur’anic version of Jesus) in Surah 5:46, we have inserted (in bold) explanatory phrases which reflect the intended meanings:
Surah 5:46, “And we sent, following in their footsteps, Issa son of Maryam, confirming that which came before him in the Tawrat (the earlier limited version of the Qur’an from the Eternal Tablet); and we gave him the Injeel (the later limited version of the Qur’an from the Eternal Tablet), in which was guidance and light (i.e. Islam) and confirming that which preceded it of the Tawrat as guidance and instruction for the righteous (pious).”
What the Qur’an is actually saying, is that the mission of Issa was to confirm the “Tawrat” which is seen as the “earlier limited version of the Qur’an”, and was given the Injeel, which is then seen as the “later limited version of the Qur’an”, both having emanated from the Eternal Tablet, and thus being “guidance and light” of Islam.
As for the “reasons of the revelation”9 aspect of 5:46, it was revealed as a definitive answer to the purported “false claims” of both the Jews and the Christians of Muhammad’s time. Muhammad said that all the prophets were Muslims. The Jews said, “No, they were not. They were Jews.” While the Christians said that although the prophets were ethnically Jews, technically they were Christians, as they were all seen to be forerunners of Christ pointing to Christ. However, Allah “revealed” to Muhammad that they were neither, but that they were all Muslims and thus all witnesses of Muhammad.
According to the Islamic discipline of interpretation (Tafsir), Surahs 10:94, 5:44, 5:46, and 5:68, formulate and substantiate an Islamic doctrine (i.e. Aqeedah). As such, all of these Surahs are regarded as fundamental (i.e. Muhkamat). The doctrine being that the revelations given before (Tawrat and Injeel) were at the time and should be today completely compatible with what was given to Muhammad. The implication is that should it differ, then it must have been tampered with—pointing to Biblical corruption, and hence cannot be used.
But, surprisingly some Christian theologians refer in particular to Surah 5:68 as a conclusive proof of the endorsement and acceptability of the validity of the Judeo-Christian scriptures by the Qur’an. However, with a closer look at Surah 5:68, it becomes clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not what the Surah is stating.
Surah 5:68 states, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘O People of the Book you have no ground to stand upon unless you stand fast by the Tawrat, the Injeel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.’ It is the revelation that comes to you from your Lord, that increases in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But do not sorrow (O Muhammad) over the blasphemous people”.
Let’s examine this verse from the Islamic position, by understanding the exegesis and the exposition of it by the Muslim scholars themselves. It is thus necessary to look at context and to break down this verse into phrases to comprehend its message and meaning:
(a) The context is that the Jews and the Christians are saying to Muhammad that their scriptures are valid. He, meaning Allah, responded by declaring, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘O People of the Book you have no ground to stand on.’” Meaning: your claims and defenses of your scripture are futile and you have no ground to stand on, i.e. until you establish what has been revealed to you in the Tawrat and the Injeel (referring to the prophecies and predictions about Muhammad which had been recorded by name in your scriptures, to embrace him, to follow him, and to honour him).
(b) “… that increases in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy….” Meaning: cease from rebellion and quit from being blasphemers.
(c) “… But do not sorrow (O Muhammad) over the blasphemous people…”: Meaning, O Muhammad, let their rebellion and apostasy sadden you not.
Even more explicitly, Tafsir Al-Jalalayn gives this equivalent interpretation of Surah 5:68:
“Say: ‘O People of the Scripture, you have no basis, in religion, on which to rely, until you observe the Tawrat and the Injeel and what was revealed to you from your Lord’, by implementing what is therein, including believing in me [Muhammad]. And what has been revealed to you from your Lord, of the Qur’an, will surely increase many of them in insolence and disbelief, because of their disbelief in it; so do not grieve for the disbelieving folk, if they do not believe in you, in other words, do not be concerned with them.”
Summary Regarding the Position of Some Christian Scholars
In short, the Islamic interpretation is that the “People of the Book” must stand by the original Tawrat and the Injeel which came down from the Eternal Tablet in accepting Muhammad, accepting his teachings and accepting the totality of Islam.
This is a stern rebuke and warning to the People of the Book to abide by the teachings of Islam, by accepting him (Muhammad) as the “expected prophet” as per their scriptures and to cease and desist from adding anything to their scriptures as given to them originally from the Eternal Tablet (rejection of which is considered total blasphemy [Kufr]).
So, these verses are definitively not proof of the Qur’an having testified to the validity and soundness of the Judeo-Christian scriptures – as held by some Christian theologians – whereas in fact, they are testifying to the exact opposite.
Hence according to Islam, the Bible as we have it in our hands is characterised within the Qur’an as being corrupt, unreliable and untrustworthy.
The Qur’anic Charges of Definitive Corruption of the Biblical Scriptures: “Tahreef”
Having addressed the misguided position of some Christian scholars that the Qur’an affirms the Biblical text, we turn our attention in more detail to the official Islamic position on Biblical corruption.
The official Islamic position has a name, and that name represents a central doctrine of core Islam—it is called the “Doctrine of Tahreef”.
Tahreef comes from the root word “Harf”. Harf simply means letter. Harrafa means distorted or when a letter is misplaced or substituted deliberately. So Tahreef is the act of misplacing or substituting letters to obscure, confuse or change the meaning.
Tahreef is a Qur’anic concept expressed as an Islamic doctrine. This doctrine goes hand in hand with the doctrine of “Wahy” (Islamic inspiration) and the “infallibility of the Qur’an,” as per Surah 15:9, “It is we who have revealed the remembrance (Dhikr, i.e. Qur’an), and assuredly we will preserve it (eternally from corruption).” According to Muslim scholars this protection is exclusively applied to the Qur’an —hence, its application is eternal.
The numerous Qur’anic charges/allegations against the Bible came in varying degrees, both explicit and implicit—some by inference, others by deduction—with the foundational charge being a melding, or combination of direct, indirect, and inferential.
For the sake of clarity we have grouped these allegations into five categories. The first four are easier to demonstrate, so that an understanding of what they mean and how they were applied is necessary in order to grasp the wider scope of the fifth, or foundational, charge from which they all emanate. Interestingly, it is this final charge that has been severely misunderstood and misapplied as being a limited and simplistic form of verbal distortion which would not affect the text, although in reality it is this charge that validates and upholds the other charges. These five charges are:
- Corruption through omission and concealment;
- Corruption through falsification of events and doctrines;
- Corruption through making false claims about Allah and his prophets;
- Corruption by rewriting their own book and claiming or attributing its authorship to Allah;
- Corruption through distortion of the book and twisting of the tongue.
These are now discussed in some detail with illustrations from the Qur’an itself.
1. Corruption through Omission and Concealment
The foundational charge of the omission and concealment accusations against the Bible by the Qur’an is that Muhammad is said to have been predicted and prophesied throughout the Biblical scriptures stating his name, as well as detailed descriptions of his person, and character. Since in reality there is no mention whatsoever of Muhammad in the Biblical scriptures, Muslims the world over believe without question the Qur’anic claim that the Bible has been tampered with.
A Muslim will ask such typical questions as: “Is Muhammad mentioned or prophesied in your Bible?” Or, “Is his description mentioned?”
Here are some instances of explicit charges:
(a) Corruption by omission:
- Surah 61:6, “And (remember) when Issa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: ‘O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Tawrat (Torah) which came before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad …’”
- Surah 7:157, “Those who follow the messenger, the illiterate prophet (i.e. Muhammad) whom they find written with them in the Tawrat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)…”
(b) Corruption by explicit concealment:
- Surah 2:146 “Those to whom we gave the scripture (Jews and Christians) …. But a party of them conceal the truth while they know it.”
- Surah 6:20 “Those to whom we have given the scripture (Jews and Christians) recognize him (i.e. Muhammad) as they recognize their own sons…”
2. Corruption through Falsification of Events and Doctrines
To comprehend this section, one would need to bear in mind that the order is in reverse, such that the Qur’an first “corrects” the Biblical accounts of events, doctrines, people, and places, and in so doing “recasts” them. Having changed the Biblical scriptures under the guise of “correction”—it then brings a charge against the Bible itself—a charge of “falsification by default”, since it is clear that now the two accounts do not match.
These “corrections” are not random, but each and every one of them has an objective behind it. The overall objective is bigger than the variations in its details, for the sum of it all is a dual and simultaneous process to undo the knowability of God, the mission of Judeo-Christian scriptures as a whole, and particularly its culmination through Christ Jesus, the Word incarnate. The ultimate aim is to substantiate the authority and the finality of Muhammad as the “Seal of the Prophets” and Islam as the religion of Allah. But as these “corrected” verses are scattered all over the Qur’an with no chronological order, this process is somewhat veiled, and thus not immediately evident. Nevertheless it is there.
Hence we see that Muhammad did bring something “new”. Through the process of “correction”, as explained above, he brought a “new narrative” with “new doctrines”, “new goals” and “new outcomes”—all in the expressed intent of “going back” to the “original” Islamic monotheism that was “brought down” to the Christians and Jews from the Eternal Tablet. And then in charging the Christians and Jews with “corruption” because of his own “corrections”, he deflected and gave the impression that he was “restoring” what was “lost” through “unfaithful stewards”.
Typically, a Muslim would ask, Was Jesus crucified? Is Jesus God? Did man sin? Did the devil tempt Jesus (especially since in Islam every child is pricked in his right rib by the devil at birth, and hence everyone would be tempted by the devil, with the exception of Issa).
In this section we record examples of events whereby the Qur’anic version is at complete variance with the Biblical one. Although the Qur’an came on the scene many hundreds of years after the Bible, we are told that the Qur’anic version of events is true and the Biblical one is false.
The Qur’an claims to be a “divine revelation” whereby Muhammad’s own claim was that his recitation of the Qur’an, attested to his calling. This is according to Surah 12:3:
“We relate to you [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what we have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware.”
Also Surah, 4:163-164:
“Indeed, we have revealed to you [O Muhammad], as we revealed to Nooh (Noah) and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismaeel (Ishmael), Is-haaq (Isaac), Ya’qoub (Jacob), the descendants, Issa (Jesus), Ayyub (Job), Yunus (Jonah), Haroon (Aaron), and Suleyman (Solomon), and to Dawood (David) we gave the book [of Psalms (Zaboor)]. And sent messengers about whom we have related their stories to you before and messengers about whom we did not….”
Here is a limited sampling of Qur’anic versions of Biblical events which have been “corrected” to support Islamic doctrines, thus becoming at variance with the Bible:
(a) Denial of the crucifixion of Issa (Jesus). The Qur’an vehemently attacks the very idea of the crucifixion of Issa as per Surah 4:157, “And because of their saying, ‘We killed Messiah Issa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the messenger of Allah’ – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it was made to appear to them to be so…”
(b) The birth of Issa (Jesus) under a palm tree and not in a manger, as reported in the Bible. Surah 19:23 provides the text, “And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said: ‘Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!’”
(c) Maryam (Mary) mother of Issa (Jesus) lived in the “Mihrab” under the care of Zakariya (Zechariah) with no mention of Joseph, her legal husband. Surah 3:37 states, “So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariya. Every time he entered Al-Mihrab, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: ‘O Maryam, from where have you got this?’ She said, ‘This is from Allah.’ Allah provides sustenance to whom he wills, without limit.”
(d) The Islamic Feast of Sacrifice (Eid Al-Adha) celebrated annually and integrated with pilgrimage rites, gives the impression that Islam proclaims some form of redemption/atonement. However, this is not the case at all. In point of fact, the concepts of redemption, and atonement through substitutional blood sacrifice are both anathemas and thus are anti-Islamic according to Surahs 6:164, 17:15 and 53:38; “…no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another….” Zabeh (slaughter) in the specific sense of “sacrifice” occurs only once in the Qur’an in Surah 37:107, and then in regard to Ibrahim’s “sacrifice” of Ismaeel. The notion of this usage is strict obedience to Allah, and has no redemptive implications whatsoever. Though the Qur’an doesn’t mention Ismaeel (Ishmael) by name, it is a universally held belief by Muslims that it was Ismaeel that Ibrahim (Muslim name of Abraham) offered up when tested by Allah.
(e) Ibrahim and his son Ismaeel rebuilding the central shrine in Mecca, the Kaaba; Surah 2:127 states, “And when Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismaeel (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the house (i.e. the Kaaba)…’”
(f) The rites of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca as the fifth pillar [obligation] of Islam) established by Ibrahim, as per Surah 3:96-97, 96: “The first house (i.e. the Kaaba) appointed for humankind was that at Bakkah (Mecca), full of blessing, and a guidance for all creation (Angels, Jinns and humankind) 97…and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) to the House (Kaaba) is a duty that humankind owes to Allah…”
The above points are examples of a re-directed and re-cast Biblical time frame and narrative which starts out with a different definition of “God”, and proceeds to support this new direction by altering each event, and character and doctrine to point to a new and completely different outcome.
3. Corruption through Making False Claims about Allah and his Prophets
As a continuation of the previous charges of corruption through “falsification of events and doctrines”, the Qur’an presents doctrinal counter arguments to the known Biblical doctrines as explicit “denials”, but in the form of “corrections”.
Typically a Muslim would ask, “How can God become a man?” “How can Allah have a son?” “How is three equal to one?” “How come the Bible shows that the prophets make so many blunders and sins: e.g. Did Lot really sleep with his daughters?” “How was it possible for Noah to get drunk?” “Did Abraham lie to Pharaoh?”
Here are some Qur’anic illustrations of these “corrections”:
(a) Allah is not knowable: Surah 42:11 declares, “…there is nothing whatever like unto Him …”
(b) Allah is NOT a trinity: Surah 5:73, “They have disbelieved (blasphemed) who say, ‘Allah is the third of three.’ And there is no god except one God. If they do not desist from their blasphemy, a grievous penalty will befall them.”
(c) Allah NEVER reveals himself: Surah 42:52, “It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or that he sends a messenger to reveal what he wills by his leave…”
(d) Issa is NOT Lord (God incarnate): Surah 5:72, “They have certainly blasphemed who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Maryam’ while the Messiah has said, ‘O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him paradise, and his refuge is the fire…”
(e) Issa is NOT the Son of God:
(i) Surah 2:116, “And they say: Allah has begotten a son. Glory be to him. To him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth, and all surrender with obedience to him.”
(ii) Surah 5:17, “Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary). Say (O Muhammad): ‘Who then has the least power against Allah, if he were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), his mother, and all those who are on the earth together?’ And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what he wills. And Allah is able to do all things.”
(iii) Surah 9:30, “… the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the disbelievers of old. Allah’s curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth…”
(iv) Surah 4:172, “Never would the Messiah disdain to be a slave of Allah, nor would the angels near to him. And whoever disdains his worship and is arrogant – he will gather them to himself all together.”
Other counter arguments according to the Qur’an are:
Misrepresentations of the Biblical account of the Triune God:
(i) Surah 72:3, “And exalted be the majesty of our Lord, he has taken neither a wife, nor a son.”
(ii) Surah 4:171, “O People of the Scripture, do not commit excesses in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Issa, the son of Maryam, was but a messenger of Allah and his word, which he conveyed unto Maryam, and a spirit from him. So believe in Allah and his messengers. And do not say, “three”, desist, it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one god. Exalted is he above having a son…”
(iii) Surah, 5:116, “And recall when Allah will say on the day of resurrection: ‘O Issa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), did you say to the people, ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’’”
In the foregoing, having demonstrated the alleged false claims which were said to have been made by Jews and Christians about Allah, now we turn our attention to show how Muhammad himself is injected into the Biblical framework through the correction and recasting of the Biblical prophets, presenting them as Muslims and with a mission to propagate Islam. Hence, the logical implication is that the Biblical narrative of these prophets pointing to Christ is a fabrication, and thus fraudulent. Therefore, forging an airtight charge of corruption.
(a) Instead of Biblical covenants and prophets pointing to Christ, Islam claims that all “prophets” point to Muhammad through the “Covenant of the Prophets”:
(i) Surah 3:81, “And when Allah imposed a covenanton the prophets: ‘Certainly what I have given you of the book and wisdom; then a messenger (i.e. Muhammad) comes to you verifying that which is with you, you must believe in him, and you must aid him.’ Allah said: ‘Do you affirm and accept my covenant in this?’ They said: ‘We do affirm.’ He said: ‘Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.’”
(ii) Surah 33:7, “And when we took from the prophets their covenant, and from you (O Muhammad), and from Nooh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), and Issa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), we took from them a strong covenant.”
(b) Muhammad was the first Muslim, even before Adam:
(i) Surah 39:12, “And I have been commanded to be the first of the Muslims.”
(ii) Surah 6:14, “…I am commanded to be the first who declared his Islam…”
(b) Muhammad was the final messenger and “Seal of the Prophets”: Surah 33:40, “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets…”
(c) All “prophets and messengers” were Muslims:
(i) Surah 2:136, “Say (O Muslims), ‘We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismaeel (Ishmael), Is-haq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to the Tribes, and that which has been given to Moosa (Moses) and Issa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to him (Allah) we are Muslims’”
(ii) Surah 3:84, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismaeel (Ishmael), Is-haq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), the Tribes and what was given to Moosa (Moses), Issa (Jesus) and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to him (Allah) we are Muslims.’”
4. Corruption by Rewriting Own Book and Claiming or Attributing its Authorship to Allah
The following is a further illustration whereby there is a direct charge of corrupting the original text that came from the Eternal Tablet.
Typically a Muslim would ask, “You have so many different versions and translations of the Bible, which one can we trust?”
Here are some illustrations from the Qur’an regarding this charge:
(a) Surah 2:79 “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ to purchase with it a little price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby.”
(b) Surah 2:75-78, “75 Do you covet that they would believe you while a party of them used to hear the words of Allah and then distort them knowingly? 76 And when they meet the believers, they say, ‘We believed’; but when they are alone with one another, they say, ‘Do you talk to them about what Allah has revealed to you so they can argue with you about it before your Lord?’ Then will you not reason? 77But do they not know that Allah knows what they conceal and what they proclaim? 78 And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, and they but guess.”
5. Corruption through Distortion of the Book and Twisting of the Tongue
Having sidestepped the unanimous position of Muslim scholars regarding this charge, many Christian theologians and missiologists have opined that the distortion based on the “the twisting of the tongues”, was:
(a) Only verbal;
(b) Limited to the time period of Muhammad’s life;
(c) Only an oral exercise that had no impact on the text itself.
Hence they claim that the Qur’anic view of the Judeo-Christian scriptures is that they are intact. This charge does not stand.
However, the Muslim scholars’ position is clear, as evidenced in the discussion below, and of course supported by authoritative Fatwas.
This charge is given in three Surahs: 5:13; 3:78; and 4:46. We will examine each separately and relate it to the four initial charges, as per the opinions expressed by the Muslim scholars themselves:
Surah 5:13 “So for their breaking of the covenant we cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few….”
This quotation reflects the following accusations:
(a) Breaking of the covenant (see for example, Surah 3:81 regarding the covenant of the prophets);
(b) Distorting words (implies redefinition of actual text);
(c) Forgetting or ignoring a portion (implies textual omission);
(d) Deceit and forgery (in rewriting, redefining, and replacing).
The above four items (a-d) are a summary of the initial four charges. That is to say: corruption by omission and concealment (a and d above); by falsifying events and doctrines (c and d above); making false claims about Allah and his prophets (a, b, c, and d above); and rewriting their own scriptures (c and d above).
As for the phrase “except a few of them” the unanimous Islamic commentary is that this passage refers to those Jews and Christians who embraced Islam and thus were not considered deceitful.
Surah 3:78, “And indeed, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture. And they say, ‘This is from Allah,’ but it is not from Allah. And they speak untruth about Allah while they know.”
This quotation reflects the following accusations:
(a) Altering the scripture with their tongues;
(b) Saying, “this is from Allah”; and,
(c) Speaking untruth about Allah knowingly.
Although this gives the appearance of referring only to the “verbal” redefinitions and omissions as discussed earlier, it must be taken within the full context of Qur’anic references to Biblical corruption as documented in Charges 1-4 above. Instead, most Christian scholars have chosen to put the focus literally on “the altering of the scriptures with their own tongues”, and thus out of context.
Another aspect of the full context that is being ignored by some Christian scholars is the language in which the Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s day were reciting these “altered scriptures”. However, the assumption by Muslim scholars is that these recitations were in Arabic, so it would follow that the Jews and Christians were knowingly tampering with the written text as well as their oral recitation.
This is then illustrated in:
Surah 4:46, “Among those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right places and say: ‘We hear your word (O Muhammad) and disobey,’ and ‘Hear and let you (O Muhammad) hear nothing.’ And ra’ina with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion (Islam). And if only they had said: ‘We hear and obey’, and ‘Do make us understand,’ it would have been better for them, and more proper, but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, except a few.”
This reflects the following accusations:
(a) Displacing words from their right places (infers textual change, i.e. Tahreef);
(b) Hearing and disobeying;
(c) Making mockery of the religion “with the twist of their tongues”;
Hence, Allah has cursed them. So it can be seen that the twisting of the tongue charge had as much to do with charges of the Jews’ play on words—whereby they pretended to honour and respect Muhammad, while covertly ridiculing him—as it does to the process of verbal obfuscation which would impact the text.
FURTHER AFFIRMATIONS OF BIBLICAL CORRUPTION BY INFERENCE
The above are the most egregious five charges of Biblical corruption, but the Qur’an abounds in less obvious inferences in support of these, as per the following Surahs:
Surah 3:19, “The religion before Allah is Islam: Nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account.”
Surah 3:85, “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of the losers.”
Surah 33:7, “And remember we took from the prophets their covenant: As (we did) from you (Muhammad): from Nooh, Ibrahim, Moosa, and Issa the son of Maryam: We took from them a solemn covenant.”
Surah 3:81, “Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: ‘I give you a book and wisdom; then comes to you an apostle (i.e. Muhammad), confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help.’ Allah said: ‘Do you agree, and take this my covenant as binding on you?’ They said: ‘We agree.’ He said: ‘Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.’”
Surah 10:94, “So, if you (Muhammad) are in doubt concerning what we have revealed to you, then question those who read the scripture before you. The truth from your Lord has come to you; so do not be of the ones who waver.”
Surah 9:33, “He it is who has sent his messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that he may manifest it over every religion, even though the disbelievers be averse.”
Surah 48:28, “It is he who has sent his messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that he may make it prevail over all religion. And Allah suffices as witness.”
Surah 48:29, “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and those who are with him are ruthless against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating. They seek bounty from Allah. Their mark on their foreheads is from the effect of prostration. That is their description in the Tawrat and in the Injeel…”
Surah 3:110, “You are the best community (i.e. Ummah) brought forth to all humans, enjoining Islamic monotheism (Tawheed), and forbidding blasphemy (Kufr), and believing in Allah. Had the People of the Scripture believed, it would have been better for them; some of them are believers; but most of them are wicked.”
VERDICT OF CORRUPTION CHARGES
“Sameness” relates to the foundational Islamic claim and supporting narrative that all previous scriptures were nothing but earlier and limited “editions” of the Qur’an with its central doctrine of “Tawheed” (Islamic Monotheism), thus countering every single doctrine of Biblical Christianity, and by implication necessitating the charge of Biblical corruption.
This “sameness” claim has served Islam on two fronts:
(a) It has provided the rationale for linking Islam to the Biblical narrative as being the “same”, while simultaneously claiming corruption and thus the need for “correction”.
(b) It then accomplished this “correction” of the Biblical revelation through the construction of a counter narrative, claiming it to be the true original that is consistent with Islamic monotheism (Tawheed) as well as the line of prophecies predicting the coming of Muhammad as the seal of all the prophets, with the final corrected message for all creation and for all time.
We amply demonstrated from the pages of the Qur’an and the disciplines of interpretation by Muslim scholars that the Islamic claims of “sameness” and its assertions are clear statements to declare that all previous scriptures that “came down” to the prophets and messengers, such as the Tawrat, the Zaboor, and the Injeel, were nothing more than limited earlier editions of the Qur’an as they all emanated from the Eternal Tablet, the Mother of the Book.
Even those Qur’anic Ayahs that on their face value gave credence to the Tawrat, Zaboor, and the Injeel, were seen as clear affirmations of the Muslimhood of the previous prophets (like Abraham, Moses and Jesus). Furthermore, not only does the Qur’an claim Biblical corruption, but that this corruption is affirmed in so many ways. Our attempt to group the corruption charges into five categories is but a limited effort in providing an initial understanding of the many other claims inherent in this central Islamic doctrine of Biblical corruption.
Thus, we state that this “sameness” claim is nothing but a veiled ploy that served to build the legitimacy of Muhammad’s mission (i.e. prophethood) while at the same time, countering and denying the foundational Biblical narrative and the provable historical timeline, affecting each and every Biblical doctrine.