Yet Another Follow Up Response to a Muslim's Continuing Denial
Regarding the Quran's Confirmation of the Holy Bible

Sam Shamoun

Mr. Yahya Sulaiman has again decided to try his hand at refuting our response to his claim that the Quran does not confirm the entirety of the Holy Bible. His response can be accessed here.

The author begins with an introduction:


I wrote an article listing six reasons why "the Law" (al-Taurat) and "the Gospel" (al-Injeel) are not the Old and New Testaments in the Koran. Sam Shamoun of Answering Islam responded to it, I responded in turn, and he has responded again. The title of the most recent article by Shamoun betrays the open-mindedness and civility you’ll find in the paper. That title is "Some Muslims Never Learn: A Follow Up Response to a Muslim’s Denial Regarding the Quran’s Confirmation of the Holy Bible", and this article can be found [here].

In this article, after openly refusing to comment on my accounts of how he’s been behaving (take note of that—especially for later), he talks about how if I am "truly interested in God’s truth and learning facts" then I "shouldn’t care about the length of our response." Apparently Shamoun has not learned the value of being concise. Take note, dear reader, that I’m doing my best to show you that value in this debate as well as on this site in general.


Much like his earlier response, the Muslim author seeks to appeal to the sympathy of his readers, trying to play on their emotions, in an obvious attempt of trying to sidetrack them from focusing on the real issues. His focus on my behaviour is nothing more than a smokescreen, and an implicit form of ad hominem. Instead of dealing with the issues, he chooses to spend time on my personality. I will have more to say about this issue near the end of this present rebuttal.

His comments make it rather obvious that he again didn’t bother reading my response carefully since I addressed his comments on my personality and behavior in the addendum. This means that either the author ignored that particular section, or wrote the introduction section of his response even before having read my rebuttal all the way through.

Since the author has indirectly accused me of an ad hominem, let me briefly comment on what an ad hominem is and what it isn’t. Better yet, let me quote from an online source which explains when an ad hominem has been committed:

Argumentum ad hominem

Argumentum ad hominem literally means "argument directed at the man"; there are two varieties.

The first is the abusive form. If you refuse to accept a statement, and justify your refusal by criticizing the person who made the statement, then you are guilty of abusive argumentum ad hominem. For example:

"You claim that atheists can be moral -- yet I happen to know that you abandoned your wife and children."

This is a fallacy because the truth of an assertion doesn't depend on the virtues of the person asserting it. A less blatant argumentum ad hominem is to reject a proposition based on the fact that it was also asserted by some other easily criticized person. For example:

"Therefore we should close down the church? Hitler and Stalin would have agreed with you."

A second form of argumentum ad hominem is to try and persuade someone to accept a statement you make, by referring to that person's particular circumstances. For example:

"Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to kill animals for food. I hope you won't argue otherwise, given that you're quite happy to wear leather shoes."

This is known as circumstantial argumentum ad hominem. The fallacy can also be used as an excuse to reject a particular conclusion. For example:

"Of course you'd argue that positive discrimination is a bad thing. You're white."

This particular form of Argumentum ad Hominem, when you allege that someone is rationalizing a conclusion for selfish reasons, is also known as "poisoning the well".

IT'S NOT ALWAYS INVALID TO REFER TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS MAKING A CLAIM. IF SOMEONE IS A KNOWN PERJURER OR LIAR, THAT FACT WILL REDUCE THEIR CREDIBILITY AS A WITNESS. It won't, however, prove that their testimony is false in this case. It also won't alter the soundness of any logical arguments they may make. (Source; capital emphasis ours)

One Muslim writer put it this way:

It may prove helpful at this point if I further explain what is an ad hominem fallacy and what is not. One commits the ad hominem fallacy when one attacks the person instead of refuting his ideas. It is not ad hominem if in addition to pointing out the errors in the ideas one also shows how the person arrived at those incorrect ideas in the first place. If this means exposing the deceptive tactics such as the use of misquotes, then this reflects not on the expositor, but on the deceiver. It is also useful and legitimate for a debater to show that whereas his opponent poses as a scholar on a given subject, he has in fact proved inadequate or incompetent in dealing with the subject; or, worse yet, that he has proved dishonest in dealing with the subject. This of course does not prove that everything he says is wrong, since even the devil speaks the truth sometimes. But it does establish the need for caution before accepting everything he says -- hook line and sinker. (Source; bold emphasis ours)

Hence, it is not at all an ad hominem or a personal attack to highlight when a person has failed to address the arguments, or is evading the issues, or stubbornly refusing to admit mistakes. If these assertions are true then they can’t be considered an attack. Thus far, the author hasn’t shown that our charges against him are wrong.

If anything, it is the author who has committed this fallacy since he seeks to poison the well by addressing my personality so as to cause his readers to react emotionally in order to prevent them from even seriously considering the arguments I set forth.

The author again complains about the length of my rebuttal, and managed to introduce an ad hominem in the process. As if it hasn’t become obvious by now, we are constantly in the need of repeating ourselves. It doesn’t take much to write a paper full of errors, logical fallacies, textual distortions, misinterpretation etc. Yet, responding to these gross distortions and exposing the errors may require a lengthy rebuttal. Thus, the author can afford to be concise since, as we shall see again, he hasn’t managed to set forth a valid refutation of my points.

Sadly, because the author essentially ignored or misrepresented my points, we have been forced to once again provide another lengthy response. Take note, dear reader, that we’re doing our best to show you the value in this debate by exposing the red herrings, straw men and the other logical fallacies committed by Muslims such as Mr. Sulaiman.

He continues:

I pointed out in my last article how the Koran’s stated purpose is to confirm as well as correct the scriptures that came before it. The references I gave were Koran 10:37 and Koran 5:15. Rather than actually respond to this point, Shamoun simply left us five links. I am not here to respond to six articles; I am here to respond to one article. I offer links to support my arguments sometimes, but I never replace arguments with links to other entire articles. I suggest that Shamoun do the same. After all, it is arguments that make a debate. Instead, I will simply refer you to the verses in question again, and look at them with you, dear reader:


To begin with, we do agree that he was able to show that the Quran confirms the Holy Bible, but where he failed was proving that the Quran corrects the previous revelation. In fact, even his formulation is contradictory:

  1. The Quran confirms the Scriptures.
  2. The Quran corrects the Scriptures.

These two claims are mutually contradictory. How can the Quran correct the very Scriptures it has come to confirm? Either you confirm a statement, a theory, or a book, or you correct it, but it cannot be both at the same time. Now, it is possible that the Quran comes to confirm the Scriptures while also superseding or consummating some of the Bible’s specific teachings. But, as the author’s argument stands, he is clearly contradicting himself in the space of one sentence!

The author again proves that he hasn’t read my response carefully. He claims that I didn’t actually respond to his point, and then asserts that I listed five links. It should have dawned on the author that the whole purpose in giving those links was to draw his attention to my responses to the passages he claims that I didn’t address in order to make my rebuttal shorter. After all, the author has been complaining about the length of my rebuttal, and yet when I try to provide links that thoroughly address the issues he raises he then complains that I am not dealing with his points!

Since he wants me to explicitly answer his references in my response to him – instead of referring to earlier articles in which I had already answered the very same questions –, I will be only too glad to oblige his request. But the author shouldn’t complain that I have written another lengthy rebuttal, that my responses are too long. See the next section.

The author says:

This Koran could not have been forged apart from God; but it is a confirmation of what is before it, and a distinguishing of the Book, wherein is no doubt, from the Lord of all Being.

(- 5:15 -)
Noble Quran

{Note- This is a side issue and not related to the topic at hand. Notice how Arberry has rendered the Arabic. He has the text saying that God forged the Quran! In other words, the passage is not denying that the Quran has been forged, but it is only denying that someone other than God forged it!}

People of the Book, now there has come to you Our Messenger, making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book, and effacing many things. There has come to you from God a light, and a Book Manifest whereby God guides whosoever follows His good pleasure in the ways of peace, and brings them forth from the shadows into a light by His leave; and He guides them to a straight path.

(- 10:37 -)
Noble Quran

As for the first verse, as you can see, it speaks of "the Book". We’ve been over how that phrase, in the Koran, can variously mean itself or the Bible. Quite obviously the Koran does not distinguish itself! So of course it’s the Bible being referred to. (Some translations of the Koran replace the phrase "the Book" with the phrase "the scripture", but in that case the same principle applies anyway.) Shamoun goes on at this point to talk about the circumstances of the Koranic text being officialized by Uthman to the corruption of the Bible, and then say:

Had this been said of the previous Scriptures, the Muslim author would no doubt have used this to prove that the Quran doesn’t confirm the entire Bible. Since this is said of the Muslim scripture, we wonder if the author will be consistent and argue that the Quran has been corrupted as well. We won’t be holding our breath to find out.


A really quick note at this point. The author has given the wrong surah numbers here. The first quote is actually surah 10:37, while the second one is 5:15. The author in haste reversed the surah numbers.

We are so thankful for the author admitting that surah 10:37 is referring to the Holy Bible, since he again proves our point. As far as the debate is concerned, that the Quran confirms the Holy Bible, the author has basically given it to me. The author was trying so hard to deny that the Quran confirms the Holy Bible, since he kept saying that the Quran confirms only the Torah, the Psalms of David and the Gospel. So the author is only managing to constantly contradict himself from one rebuttal to the next. Notice his two contradictory positions:

  1. The Quran confirms the Holy Bible, which means that it confirms all the Books contained within it.
  2. The Quran only confirms Abraham’s writings, the Torah, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel of Jesus, which means that it doesn’t confirm the entire Bible. It only confirms specific parts of it.

But even here the author is inconsistent since to him, neither the Torah of the Bible nor the Gospels are the original Torah and Gospel spoken of by the Quran.

And now, here is our answer to the author’s misuse of surah 5:15 taken from one of those very links which we had supplied:

1. The Quran presumes that the Previous Revelation was available during Muhammad’s time

Before providing the Islamic evidence supporting the authority, authenticity and preservation of the Holy Bible, we need to first address the following passage that Muslims often bring up:

"Allah made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We raised among them twelve chieftains, and Allah said: Lo! I am with you. If ye establish worship and pay the poor-due, and believe in My messengers and support them, and lend unto Allah a kindly loan, surely I shall remit your sins, and surely I shall bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow. Whoso among you disbelieveth after this will go astray from a plain road. And because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them and made hard their hearts. They change words from their context and forget a part of that whereof they were admonished. Thou wilt not cease to discover treachery from all save a few of them. But bear with them and pardon them. Lo! Allah loveth the kindly. And with those who say: ‘Lo! we are Christians,’ We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork. O People of the Scripture! Now hath Our messenger come unto you, expounding unto you much of that which ye used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Now hath come unto you light from Allah and plain Scripture," S. 5:12-15 Pickthall

It is assumed that "changing words from their context" implies that the previous scriptures have been tampered with. Several responses are in order. First, even if this were the case this would only be referring to the Jews, and even then, not all of the Jews. The Quran testifies that there were many from the People of the Book who wouldn’t deal falsely with God’s Word:

"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

"Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth ... After them succeeded an (evil) generation: They inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the vanities of this world, saying (for excuse): ‘(Everything) will be forgiven us.’ (Even so), if similar vanities came their way, they would (again) seize them. Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them, that they would not ascribe to Allah anything but the truth? AND THEY STUDY WHAT IS IN THE BOOK. But best for the righteous is the home in the Hereafter. Will ye not understand? As to those WHO HOLD FAST BY THE BOOK and establish regular prayer, - never shall We suffer the reward of the righteous to perish." S. 7:159, 169-170 A. Yusuf Ali

Secondly, the passage says nothing about changing words from the text of Scripture. In fact, when we consult the earliest Muslim views we soon discover that the Jews were accused of changing words by misinterpreting the text. In the words of early Muslim exegete Ibn Kathir, taken from his comments on S. 5:13,15:

Then Allah informs us of the punishment He inflicted upon them when they violated His Covenant. Allah says, <because of their breach of their covenant, We have cursed them>, that is, because they broke their pact, Allah expelled them from His Guidance. And <made their hearts grow hard> so they will not accept their guilt. The verse, <they change the words from their context> means THAT THEY MISINTERPRETED THE VERSES OF ALLAH, according to their own desires, and fabricated lies against Him. We ask Allah to save us from that ...

Allah informs us that He has sent His messenger Muhammad with the guidance and the religion of truth for all the people of the earth; Arabs and non-Arabs, illiterate and literate ... the Prophet has come to explain that which they have altered, misinterpreted and distorted and to ignore most of their unnecessary alterations. Al-Hakim reported in his Mustadrak, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, "Whoever disbelieves in stoning to death (Rajm) in Islam has indeed disbelieved the Qur’an and has no appreciation of Allah’s verse, <O people of the Scripture! Now has our Messenger come to you, expounding to you much of that which you used to hide in the Scripture>; therefore, stoning to death is that which the People of the Scripture concealed." Al-Hakim said that the Isnad of this Hadith is Good. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Part 6 Surat An-Nisa’, ayat 148 to 176 Surah Al-Ma’idah, ayat 1 to 181, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 2000 first edition], p. 128, 130-131; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Commenting on the same expression in 5:41, Ibn Kathir repeats:

<They change the words from their places> that is, THEY MISINTERPRET THE WORDS AND ALTER THEM KNOWINGLY… (Ibid., p. 167; capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir’s comments on S. 3:78 are also pertinent to this very issue:

Mujahid, Ash-Sha'bi, Al-Hassan, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi' bin Anas said that,

<who distort the Book with their tongues.>

means, "They alter (Allah's Words)."

Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn 'Abbas said that the Ayah means they alter and add although none among Allah's creation CAN REMOVE THE WORDS OF ALLAH FROM HIS BOOKS, THEY ALTER AND DISTORT THEIR APPARENT MEANINGS. Wahb bin Munabbih said, "The Tawrah and Injil REMAIN AS ALLAH REVEALED THEM, AND NO LETTER IN THEM WAS REMOVED. However, the people misguide others by addition and false interpretation, relying on books that they wrote themselves." Then,

<they say: "This is from Allah," but it is not from Allah;>

As for Allah's books, THEY ARE STILL PRESERVED AND CANNOT BE CHANGED." Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement ... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir – Abridged, Volume 2, Parts 3, 4 & 5, Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, verse 147, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: March 2000], p. 196; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This is confirmed by Imam Al-Bukhari. In Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitaab Al-Tawheed, Baab Qawlu Allah Ta'ala, "Bal Huwa Qur'aanun Majeed, fi lawhin Mahfooth" (i.e. in Sahih al-Bukhari, Book "The Oneness of God", the Chapter on Surat Al-Borooj (no. 85), Verses 21, 22 saying, "Nay this is a Glorious Qur'an, (Inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved.") we find in a footnote between 9.642 and 643:

"They corrupt the word" means "they alter or change its meaning." Yet no one is able to change even a single word from any Book of God. The meaning is that they interpret the word wrongly. [... and he continues to speak about how the Qur'an is preserved ...] (Source:


The author tries to defend Uthman’s wholesale destruction of the Quran:

The two things can’t compare, since the Koran is a single book, a single writing, whereas the Bible is a volume of different writings bound together in the form of one book. Uthman’s purpose was to have the Koran gathered and deviant variants removed, and so the different parts were put together into one book, all of the parts having been from the same man. (Think of it as something vaguely like a serial.) The differing manuscripts of the Bible have been differing all along (as far as we know), ranging throughout centuries and centuries and centuries, and kept on even after the Bible was compiled (c.f. the medieval 1 John 5:7 interpolation).


Let me highlight the author’s own words since he essentially admits that the Quran was corrupted:

Uthman’s purpose WAS TO HAVE THE KORAN GATHERED AND DEVIANT VARIANTS REMOVED, and so the different parts were put together into one book, all of the parts having been from the same man.

Notice the implications of the author’s candid admission:

  1. Uthman gathered the Quran, which means that until that time the Quran hadn’t been gathered into one volume.
  2. Uthman destroyed variant Quranic readings, which presupposes that there was more than one version of the Quran in circulation, that there were several conflicting recensions of the Quran.
  3. The author calls these variant readings deviant, meaning that there were Muslims who were corrupting and mutilating the text of the Quran.

Thus, the author has essentially admitted that the Quran was standardized not by Muhammad, but by another fallible human source. This fallible human agent decided to destroy what he considered to be inauthentic readings of the Quran. Obviously, the other Muslims didn’t think that the other Qurans contained deviant readings, since what Muslim would knowingly read a corrupted version of his so-called holy book?

As far as the textual history of the Holy Bible is concerned, its transmission is vastly superior to any other book of its time, and even superior to the Quran’s transmission. Indeed, it is true that the Bible contains variant readings, but this is true of all ancient documents and is especially true of the Quran with all of its thousands of variant readings. Here is a list of links to articles documenting the preservation and transmission of the Holy Bible, and the textual corruption of the Quran:

Indeed, the two things cannot be compared. The Holy Bible is a collection of writings written over a 1500-year period, whereas the Quran is supposedly the work of one man. And yet, despite it being the result of one man, the Quran’s compilation and textual transmission is one big mass of confusion, with even the Muslim sources admitting that its arrangement and codification was all garbled up.

The author resumes the discussion:

Shamoun next points out references to make the case that since the Koran speaks of "the Book" being corrupted, that somehow means that the Koran is corrupted as well as the Bible just because they are referred to sometimes by the same title of "the Book". As I’ve already said, the context of 2:75-79, where the corruption of the Bible is spoken of, occurs right after verses talking about the Jews, and so the "they" in 2:75 (the passage going on to speak of "them" corrupting their scriptures), if any grammatical sense is to be read into the verse, could be no one else but the Jews. Ergo, the Bible (or at least the Tanakh, but the phrase "the Book" can also be translated "the Bible") is the Book that has been corrupted. As for 5:15 and 10:37, they are addressed to the "People of the Bible" (or "People of the Book"—i.e. Christians and/or Jews) and speaking of what is before the Koran, and so obviously the Koran isn’t claiming to be a revision of itself. After all, the term "the Book" can’t mean two things at once.


The author is badly misrepresenting me. Where did I say that since the Quran speaks of the Book being corrupted this therefore means that the Quran must have been corrupted as well? I have actually denied that the Quran teaches that God’s Book, his true Word, The Holy Bible, has been corrupted. I used surah 15:90-91 to show that the Quran says that if any book has been corrupted, it isn’t the Holy Bible, but rather the Quran.

Furthermore, the author erroneously assumes that surah 2:75 refers to the Jews corrupting the Holy Bible. This is wrong for several reasons. First, the text doesn’t speak of corruption to a book, but the changing of words by distorting their meanings:

Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you? - Seeing that A PARTY OF THEM HEARD the Word of God, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it. Y. Ali

Notice that they perverted the Word after hearing it, implying that this was a verbal distortion to the meaning of the text. It says nothing about perverting the actual text itself. This verse is similar to the following passage:

And lo! there is A PARTY of them who distort the Scripture WITH THEIR TONGUES, that ye may think that what they say is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture. And they say: It is from Allah, when it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie concerning Allah knowingly. S. 3:78 Pickthall

Second, the verse quite expressly says that only a party of the Jews did this, not all the Jews; nor does it say anything about Christians perverting God’s Word. Thus, the most this passage proves is that some (many?) Jews perverted the meaning of God’s Word after hearing it, which presupposes that there was another party that didn’t do so.

Third, there is actually a parallel passage which helps shed light on the meaning of Word in this context:

Hast thou not regarded those who were given a share of the Book purchasing error, and desiring that you should also err from the way? God knows well your enemies; God suffices as a protector, God suffices as a helper. Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings saying, 'We have heard and we disobey' and 'Hear, and be thou not given to hear' and 'Observe us,' twisting with their tongues and traducing religion. If they had said, 'We have heard and obey' and 'Hear' and 'Regard us,' it would have been better for them, and more upright; but God has cursed them for their unbelief so they believe not except a few. S. 4:44-46

Quite clearly the words that the Jews were perverting weren’t those found in the Holy Bible, but Muhammad’s words, i.e. the Quran.

Here is another passage which speaks of the Jews perverting the teachings of Muhammad:

O Messenger, let them not grieve thee that vie with one another in unbelief, such men as say with their mouths 'We believe' but their hearts believe not; and the Jews who listen to falsehood, listen to other folk, who have not come to thee, PERVERTING WORDS FROM THEIR MEANINGS, saying, 'If you are given this, then take it; if you are not given it, beware!' Whomsoever God desires to try, thou canst not avail him anything with God. Those are they whose hearts God desired not to purify; for them is degradation in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement; S. 5:41 Arberry

Thus, it is quite plausible that surah 2:75, much like the above citations, is referring to the Jews perverting the words which they heard from Muhammad. In fact, when we add the verses right after it, it then becomes evident that surah 2:75 is referring to the Quran, not to the Holy Bible:

CAN YOU, then, hope that they will believe in what you are preaching - seeing that a good many of them were wont to listen to the word of God and then, after having understood it, to pervert it knowingly? For, when they meet those who have attained to faith, they say, "We believe [as you believe]" - but when they find themselves alone with one another, they say: "Do you inform them of what God has disclosed to you, so that they might use it in argument against you, quoting the words of your Sustainer? Will you not, then, use your reason?" Do they not know, then, that God is aware of all that they would conceal as well as of all that they bring into the open? S. 2:75-77 Muhammad Asad (Source)

Hence, if the logic of the author is to be applied consistently then we must conclude that the Jews also corrupted the text of the Quran.

For more on this passage, we recommend that our readers consult the following article:

We will have more to say about the meaning of surah 2:75-79 a little later.

The Muslim author comments on my appeal to surah 2:136:

Yes, this is part of the basic parts of our faith, found in the closest thing to a creed we have (and taken straight from the Sunnah)—and this creed of sorts is a great way of explaining the meaning of the above passage. It is that we believe in Allah, His prophets, His angels, His books and Judgment Day. Now think about this: believing in the other four things means having faith in their existence, so evidently it means the same thing to believe in the books in question. Similarly, the "believing in" of 2:136 begins with "believing in God", which of course means believing in His existence. Remember that the phrase is "believing in" and not just "believing".


The author claims that this passage establishes a part of his faith as a Muslim, but failed to note why I cited this. This is one of the many passages which I presented to establish my point that the Quran commands its followers to believe in all of the Books, not just some. I used these passages to further show that the Quran presupposes that there are many other Books besides Abraham’s scrolls, the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel which Muslims are required to believe in. Case in point, after quoting surah 2:4, I quoted the following Muslim source:

The following Muslim commentary says of this passage:

(In this verse three more stipulations are set out for us for the consummation of our faith : (i) Believing in the Qur’aan (ii) believing in the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel revealed before it, including other Revelations inspired in His messengers by Allah, whether or not they were referred to; and (iii) being firmly convinced of the Hereafter, which implies an unconditional acceptance of the Day of Resurrection when the whole of mankind would be gathered before Allah for the Rendition of their accounts, leading us either into the Garden or into the Fire, both everlasting and both depending upon what we had sent ahead of us and what we have brought along with us). (Source; bold emphasis ours)

Let me repeat a part of the above Muslim quote, this time with even more emphasis:

(i) Believing in the Qur’aan (ii) believing in the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel revealed before it, INCLUDING OTHER REVELATIONS INSPIRED IN HIS MESSENGERS BY ALLAH, WHETHER OR NOT THEY WERE REFERRED TO;

The above Muslim realizes, unlike Mr. Sulaiman, that the Quran binds Muslims to believe in all the divinely inspired Books even if those Books are not explicitly mentioned by name. Here is further evidence that the author of the Quran truly believed that God had revealed more Books than just the writings of Abraham, the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel:

(All) people are a single nation; so Allah raised PROPHETS as bearers of good news and as warners, and He revealed WITH THEM THE BOOK WITH TRUTH, that it might judge between people in that in which they differed; and none but the very people who were given it differed about it after clear arguments had come to them, revolting among themselves; so Allah has guided by His will those who believe to the truth about which they differed and Allah guides whom He pleases to the right path. S. 2:213 Shakir

It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given THE BOOK, and Wisdom, AND THE PROPHETIC OFFICE, should say to people: "Be ye my worshippers rather than God's": on the contrary (He would say) "Be ye worshippers of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: For ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly." S. 3:79 Y. Ali

Behold! God took the covenant of the prophets, saying: "I give you A BOOK and Wisdom; then comes to you an apostle, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help." God said: "Do ye 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." S. 3:81 Y. Ali

The preceding passages unambiguously say that all the prophets received Scriptures. The Quran mentions a whole slew of prophets:

So We were showing Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and earth, that he might be of those having sure faith… And We gave to him Isaac and Jacob -- each one We guided, And Noah We guided before; and of his seed David and Solomon, Job and Joseph, Moses and Aaron -- even so We recompense the good-doers -- Zachariah and John, Jesus and Elias; each was of the righteous; Ishmael and Elisha, Jonah and Lot-each one We preferred above all beings; and of their fathers, and of their seed, and of their brethren; and We elected them, and We guided them to a straight path. That is God's guidance; He guides by it whom He will of His servants; had they been idolaters, it would have failed them, the things they did. THOSE ARE THEY TO WHOM WE GAVE THE BOOK, the Judgment, THE PROPHETHOOD; so if these disbelieve in it, We have already entrusted it to a people who do not disbelieve in it. Those are they whom God has guided; so follow their guidance. Say: 'I ask of you no wage for it; it is but a reminder unto all beings.' S. 6:73, 84-90 Arberry

He said, 'Lo, I am God's servant; God has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet… That is Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth, concerning which they are doubting… And mention in the Book Abraham; surely he was a true man, a Prophet… So, when he went apart from them and that they were serving, apart from God, We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and each We made a Prophet; and We gave them of Our mercy, and We appointed unto them a tongue of truthfulness, sublime. And mention in the Book Moses; he was devoted, and he was a Messenger, a Prophet. We called to him from the right side Of the Mount, and We brought him near in communion. And We gave him his brother Aaron, of Our mercy, a Prophet. And mention in the Book Ishmael; he was true to his promise, and he was a Messenger, a Prophet. He bade his people to pray and to give the alms, and he was pleasing to his Lord. And mention in the Book Idris; he was a true man, a Prophet. We raised him up to a high place. These are they whom God has blessed among the Prophets of the seed of Adam, and of those We bore with Noah, and of the seed of Abraham and Israel, and of those We guided and chose. When the signs of the All-merciful were recited to them, they fell down prostrate, weeping. S. 19:30, 34, 41, 49-58

Here, the Quran lists at least nineteen Prophets by name, which implies that God allegedly sent down at least nineteen Books through them. (We say allegedly since we do not agree that all these men like Ishmael were prophets, or that a prophet must receive a Book). Now when we take into consideration that the Quran refers to many other prophets not listed in the above citations this then raises the number of Books that God sent down to mankind. Hence, if the Quran is right then Mr. Sulaiman is wrong for asserting that the Quran only confirms the scrolls of Abraham, the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel.

Mr. Sulaiman says that surah 2:136 commands him, and the other Muslims, to believe in the existence of the Books of Allah. In reality, however, he actually opposes the Quran at this point, since he repeatedly rejects the evidence which demonstrates that the Quran commands belief in all of the Books in the hands of the Jews and Christians, not just those it mentions explicitly by name. Thus, Mr. Sulaiman has essentially become a kafir, a rejecter or disbeliever, for refusing to follow the express orders of his own religious scriptures! He neither believes nor believes in (to use his distinction of terms) the existence of ALL the Books of God.

The author tries to dissect my arguments section by section. He writes:

While I have called these things into question in the past, it was elsewhere on this site, except for that brief reference I made to "St. Paul the Innovator", which was an expression of personal opinion as part of an offhand comment (probably a pointless offhand comment too, now that I think of it). And these articles here are about whether "the Law" and "the Gospel" mean "the Old Testament" and "the New Testament" in the Koran.

There can be no biblical evidence for something in the Koran, and an appeal to a historical authority is still an appeal to authority, a logical fallacy. And the issue here (why must I keep reminding Shamoun of the issue??) is not whether the Torah or Law can refer to the entire Old Testament canon in the speech of non-Koranic sources, but whether it does in the Koran.


First, it seems that we are in the need of constantly, repeatedly reminding the author that the Quran doesn’t simply confirm the Torah, but ALL THE OTHER BOOKS that were in the possession of the Jews and Christians. Hence, we weren’t trying to argue that the Quran uses the term Torah to mean the entire Old Testament canon, but that Muslim sources are in agreement with the Holy Bible that it can refer to more than just the five Books of Moses.

Second, the author further ignored my challenge to him. I had mentioned in my previous rebuttals that the Quran NOWHERE says that the Torah was given to Moses, a fact which even the author will admit is correct a little later in his rebuttal. The Quran says that Moses received a Book, and was given Tablets from God, but never explicitly states that the Book and the Tablets are the Torah. The only way for the author to know whether the Torah refers to the revelation given to Moses is to either consult the Holy Bible or the very Islamic traditions which he has been constantly calling into question. Yet, to appeal to either source ends up proving my point that the Torah in a broader sense can, and does, refer to the entire OT canon!

Third, the author constantly accuses us of committing logical fallacies, all the while showing that he doesn’t know what a genuine logical fallacy is. We will help him understand why I didn’t commit the fallacy of appealing to authority when I appealed to his own Muslim sources:

Argumentum ad verecundiam

The Appeal to Authority uses admiration of a famous person to try and win support for an assertion. For example:

"Isaac Newton was a genius and he believed in God."

This line of argument ISN’T ALWAYS completely bogus when used in an inductive argument; for example, it may be relevant to refer to a widely-regarded authority in a particular field, if you're discussing that subject. For example, we can distinguish quite clearly between:

"Hawking has concluded that black holes give off radiation"


"Penrose has concluded that it is impossible to build an intelligent computer"

Hawking is a physicist, and so we can reasonably expect his opinions on black hole radiation to be informed. Penrose is a mathematician, so it is questionable whether he is well-qualified to speak on the subject of machine intelligence. (Source; bold and capital emphasis ours)


Sometimes, an appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. This is the case when a person presenting a position on a subject mentions some authority who also holds that position, but who is not an authority in that area. For instance, the statement "Arthur C. Clarke recently released a report showing it is necessary to floss three times daily" should not convince many people of anything about flossing, as Arthur C. Clarke is not an expert on dental hygiene. Much advertising relies on this logical fallacy; for example when Michael Winner promotes car insurance, despite having no expertise in the field of car insurance.

Citing a person who is an authority in the relevant field should carry more weight, but given the possibility of mistake, should not be compelling. In the Middle Ages, roughly from the 12th century to the 15th century, the philosophy of Aristotle became firmly established dogma, and using the beliefs of Aristotle was an important part of many debates. Aristotle's thought became so central to the philosophy of the late Middle Ages that he became known in Latin as Ille Philosophus, "the philosopher," and quotations from Aristotle became known as ipse dixits ("He, himself, has spoken."). In this case, Aristotle is an example of someone who is an authority in philosophy, but philosophy is an area where direct evidence is less readily available, and therefore, Aristotle's ideas carry weight, but are not the final word. On the other hand, arguing that all astronomers believe that the planet Neptune exists - and therefore, that serves as evidence of the planet's existence - is a more compelling argument because astronomers are knowledgable in the relevant field and are in a position to readily prove or disprove the existence of the planet (direct experience). However, it is still better to argue from evidence than from what astronomers believe.

Authoritarian ethics is the ethical theory by which one attains ethical knowledge from an authority, for example from a God or from the law. The bandwagon fallacy can be viewed as a special case of an appeal to authority, where the authority is public opinion.


Conditions for a legitimate argument from authority

  1. The authority must have competence in an area, not just glamour, prestige, rank or popularity.
  2. The judgement must be within the authority's field of competence.
  3. The authority must be interpreted correctly.
  4. Direct evidence must be available, at least in principle.
  5. The expert should be reasonably unbiased (not unduly influenced by other factors, such as money, political considerations, or religious beliefs).
  6. The judgement must be representative of expert opinions on the issue (as opposed to an unrepresentative sample).
  7. A technique is needed to adjudicate disagreements among equally qualified authorities.
  8. The argument must be valid in its own right i.e. without needing to appeal to authority at all - except of course to its own authority as entirely valid. (This last point ought to dissuade any who might consider an argument legitimate from authority alone - even if that argument is about the legitimacy of itself as an argument from authority. And, has serious implications for the relevancy of the argument from authority portion - even if valid in its own right - of a greater argument in the first place.)

(Source; underline emphasis ours)

Since I didn’t appeal to persons who were not experts in the particular field of study which I was addressing, and since I provided direct evidence as well as arguments which were valid in their own right, I did not commit any fallacy of appealing to authority. What makes this all the more ironic is that I was appealing to persons and sources which the author himself deems authoritative, or at least should view them authoritatively, and yet he calls this a logical fallacy! The author believes that Muhammad was God’s prophet, he believes that the Quran is God’s word, he believes that Muhammad’s companions were rightly guided by God (or so I assume since you can never tell about the author). These are the very persons and sources which I appealed to in order to establish my case against him. Who else should I have appealed to in order to show the author that his own authoritative sources do not support his erroneous assumptions regarding the Holy Bible? Buddhist or Taoist monks and priests?

To make matters worse, the author also ends up contradicting the Quran once again by his assertion that there is no biblical or historical evidence for something in the Quran. First off, my statement wasn’t made in regards to the Quran, but in relation to the data establishing the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus, as well as the authenticity and legitimacy of Paul’s mission and writings. Second, the Quran itself commands Muslims to consult the Holy Bible for evidence and verification (Cf. surahs 10:94; 16:43; 17:101; 21:7). Hence, contrary to what the author claims one can look to the biblical and historical evidence to see if whether certain things stated within the Quran are true or not. Unfortunately for the author, both the biblical and historical data exposes the Quran as an uninspired, fallible book.

The author denies my accusation against him:

As if things weren’t bad enough, now he’s putting words in my mouth. I never said that he "presented only one Islamic citation". I spoke only of scriptural citations (meaning Islamic, scriptural citations).


It doesn’t, and I never said it did. The point is invalid for the reasons I stated.


Here is the author’s initial claim, with added emphasis:

After going off on tangents (containing a huge pile of links) about St. Paul and what some Christians regard as evidence of the Resurrection (neither one of these tangents being the subject at hand), he finally addresses the issue of the Torah meaning the Old Testament as a whole, referring us to a link which contains nothing but appeals to authority, support for the claim that Christians, not Muslims, referred to the Old Testament as the Law, AND ONLY ONE CITATION from Islamic scripture in which the notion of the earliest Muslims using the term Torah or Law to mean the Old Testament, A HADITH which merely refers to the people of the two scriptures, easily be the Torah and the unknown true Gospel, both of which the Koran endorses. The article quotes a hadith in which Muhammad (on whom be peace) speaks of a verse from the Torah which is nowhere to be found in the Torah, which should not even raise an eyebrow with us Muslims, because as I just established, the Koran does speak of the corruption of the previous scriptures. (Source)

We post that specific section again, just in case the author decides to ignore it:

... AND ONLY ONE CITATION from Islamic scripture in which the notion of the earliest Muslims using the term Torah or Law to mean the Old Testament, A HADITH which merely refers to the people of the two scriptures, ...

Here is another denial:

In the midst of more appeals to authority about "what Muslims say", and after responding to a point I never made about the Torah being corrupted because of a passage from Sahih Bukhari not being found in it, Shamoun says: …


Here, again, is what the author said:

… The article quotes a hadith in which Muhammad (on whom be peace) speaks of a verse from the Torah WHICH IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE TORAH, which should not even raise an eyebrow with us Muslims, BECAUSE AS I JUST ESTABLISHED, THE KORAN DOES SPEAK OF THE CORRUPTION OF THE PREVIOUS SCRIPTURES. (bold and capital emphasis ours)

Now what could the author’s comments possibly mean if not that the hadith provides evidence for his position that the Bible has been corrupted? Furthermore, I didn’t say that the author mentioned a hadith from Bukhari, but asked if whether the author had Bukhari in mind since he didn’t specify which hadith he was referring to.

In response to the Salafis using the word Torah to mean more than the Books of Moses, the author states:

I’m sorry, Shamoun, but pointing out a reference to "the people of the two scriptures" in no way establishes that the word "Torah" can refer to more than the Law given to Moses (on whom be peace). Next Shamoun follows his non-sequitur with:


The author again ignores my point, so let me present my argument one more time:

"... Al-Bukhari recorded it from 'Abdullah bin 'Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari [up to the word] forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of 'Abdullah bin 'Amr then he said: ‘It was COMMON in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures AS THE TAWRAH, as some Hadiths concur. Allah knows best.’" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 4, (Surat Al-Ar'af to the end of Surah Yunus), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: May 2000], p. 179; online edition-; bold and capital emphasis ours) (


The author somehow thinks that he can avoid my statement that the Salafis applied the word Torah for both Scriptures by arguing that they could have been referring to the Torah and the Gospel. The author failed to note that the reason why I mentioned this was to establish the fact that the word Torah can refer to more than the Law given to Moses, which means that even if the Salafis were referring to the Torah and the Gospel this still proves my point! It is rather unfortunate that the author didn't see how his response only proved the point I was seeking to make. (

The author contradicts himself yet again since here he denies that the Torah refers to more than the Law of Moses. Yet, in his initial response to my citation from the Salafis the author had this to say:

… and only once citation from Islamic scripture in which the notion of the earliest Muslims using the term Torah or Law to mean the Old Testament, a hadith which merely refers to the people of the two scriptures, EASILY BE THE TORAH AND THE UNKNOWN TRUE GOSPEL, both of which the Koran endorses… (capital emphasis ours)

Thus, the author argues in one place that Torah can refer to more than the Law, since here he wishes to say that the Salafs used the term to refer to the Torah AND THE GOSPEL, whereas he now says that the Torah doesn’t refer to anything other than Moses’ Law!

How can the author claim that my reference doesn’t establish that the term Torah can refer to more than just the Law of Moses when the very citation that I presented explicitly says that it does? Is this not another example of the author’s inability of actually addressing the issues? And should we be accused of ad hominem for bringing this out?

After having said that the Salafis’ statements couldn’t be limited to just the Torah and the Gospel, but must include all the Books in the possession of the Jews and Christians, the author retorts with:

It must? Could it just be that the books of these people of the two scriptures (in Arabic there are no capital letters) are the two scriptures? After all, it doesn’t say "the only books". Doesn’t this just make sense? The Koran refers to Christians as "People of the Injeel/Gospel" (5:47) and to Jews as those "charged with the Taurat/Law" (62:5).


The author is constantly proving my point, even though he thinks he is refuting it. First, the Quran doesn’t say that the Jews were ONLY charged with the Taurat/Law, but also plainly says that they were given the Prophethood and the Book as well:

We have given the Children of Israel the scripture, wisdom, and prophethood, and provided them with good provisions; we bestowed upon them more blessings than any other people. We have given them herein clear commandments. Ironically, they did not dispute this until the knowledge had come to them. This is due to jealousy on their part. Surely, your Lord will judge them on the Day of Resurrection regarding everything they have disputed. S. 45:16-17 Khalifa

That the Scripture which Israel was given is more than the Torah can be easily seen by remembering that the prophets all received Books according to the Quran. And here we are told that Israel was entrusted with prophethood. Furthermore, oftentimes the Quran links the words Scripture and Wisdom together, distinguishing them both from the Torah and the Gospel respectively:

And He will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, S. 3:48 Arberry

When God said, 'Jesus Son of Mary, remember My blessing upon thee and upon thy mother, when I confirmed thee with the Holy Spirit, to speak to men in the cradle, and of age; and when I taught thee the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel; … S. 5:110 Arberry

The difference at this point is that surah 45:16 makes no mention of the Torah and the Gospel, which leads us to assume that the Quran is using the term Scripture in a more comprehensive sense to include all the revelations from God, i.e. the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel etc. This becomes more evident when we read the following passage:

Or are they jealous of the people for the bounty that God has given them? Yet We gave the people of Abraham the Book and the Wisdom, and We gave them a mighty kingdom. S. 4:54 Arberry

Speaking of the prophets which descended from Abraham’s line, the Quran states:

These are they to whom We gave the book and the wisdom and the prophecy; therefore if these disbelieve in it We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. S. 6:89 Shakir

The people of Abraham, i.e. his descendants were given more than the Torah and the Gospel, lending further evidence that the Book which surah 45:16 speaks of includes all of the Books revealed by God. Thus, the Israelites weren’t simply entrusted with the Torah but with the entire canonical Scriptures.

Third, the only way for the author to know what were those Books which the Salafis had access to is by taking a look at the historical data to see what exactly did the Jews and Christians have in their possessions. This would further entail analyzing the data in order to assess what were the precise contents of the Torah and the Gospel which the Jews and Christians preserved. Yet, in assessing the historical data the author will have no other choice but to accept that "the Books of these People of the two Scriptures" during the time of Muhammad were the very Books found in both the Old and New Testaments. The historical evidence shows that the Torah which was in the possession of both the Jews and Christians is actually the first five Books of the Hebrew Bible, and the Gospel of the Christians is none other than the fourfold Gospel record of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We also presented evidence to show that the word Gospel could even be applied in a broader sense to the entire New Testament canon.

Finally, the author doesn’t know what he wants to argue. I had said that the Quran itself shows that God had sent down more than just the Torah and the Gospel, since it refers to the Psalms which were given through David and the other messengers. This means that the expression "the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures" must necessarily be referring to more than the Torah and the Gospel. Again, note my line of argumentation:

  1. The Salafis referred to the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures as the Torah.
  2. The Quran refers to several Books that God gave the People of the Book, i.e. the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel.
  3. Therefore, the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures must be a reference to the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel at the very least.

Here the author says that since the Quran refers to the Christians as the People of the Gospel with the Jews being those charged with the Torah, this therefore means that the Salafis only had these two Books in view. This argument essentially ignores the fact that 1) during Muhammad’s time the Jews and Christians had many more Books than just the two, and 2) that even the Quran acknowledges that God had revealed more than the Torah and the Gospel. The author is basically refuting his own religious scripture as well as the historical sources, but to no avail.

We conclude the first part at this point and will pick the argument up in the second part of this rebuttal.

The Qur'an About the Bible
Articles by Sam Shamoun
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