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Questions and Answers on Islamic Doctrine

Chapter 3: Belief in the Divine Scriptures

Question 18: You always say that the Old and New Testaments contain fabrications.  Why then do you sometimes use them as references when it is convenient for you?

Answer 18: I would like to clarify that Muslims believe that books were revealed by God to His prophets; and among these are the Torah, the Gospels, David’s Psalms, and the Qur’an and accounts of prophet Abraham’s life.  Their belief in these reveations is a fundamental aspect of islamic teachings.  Therefore, the Muslims believe that, generally speaking, the Torah and the Gospels are divinely revealed.  But people who follow these revelations have introduced fabrications in them.  God has revealed this fact to us in the Qur’an.  Therefore not all of the Bible is fabricated.  And not all that Jews and Christians claim to be true of the Bible is wholly from God.  As a result Islamic scholars have articulated a sound position regarding these books which can be summerized as follows:

1. Whatever is in acordance with the Qur’an, we believe in and quote for the benefit of those who follow these scriptures.

2. Whatever contradicts the Qur’an, we reject, knowing that it is a fabrication.  We do not quote it, and do not believe in it.

3. We maintain silence over what neither agrees nor contradicts Qur’anic teachings.  This is due to our fear of refuting what may be well true or accepting what might be false.

The latter attitude is imposed by the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh), who said: “Do not give credence to what the people of the Book (Jews and Christians); and do not refute it outright.”  Therefore, when we quote the Bible, we are in fact quoting what finds support in the Qur’an, and not arbitrarily.

(To be continued)