Sam Shamoun Examines Meherally's LIES AND DECEPTION:
A LOOK AT MEHERALLY'S CRITIQUE OF SILAS' "MUHAMMAD AND THE BIBLE"
Sam Shamoun Examines
Meherally's LIES AND DECEPTION:
The Injeel/Gospel bestowed on Jesus Christ
Meherally tries to pull a fast one upon his readers. He quotes S. 5:46, but fails to quote the verse that follows right after:
Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath REVEALED THEREIN. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. S. 5:47
This verse is directed to Christians of Muhammad's time. They are told to judge by what Allah has revealed in the Gospel. This presumes that an uncorrupt Gospel was available during Muhammad's time, otherwise how could Christians judge by it? The Muslim traditions affirm this point:
Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza, who, during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from THE GOSPEL in Hebrew as much AS ALLAH WISHED HIM TO WRITE ... (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)
... Khadija then took him to Waraqa bin Naufil, the son of Khadija's paternal uncle. Waraqa had been converted to Christianity in the Pre-lslamic Period and used to write Arabic and write of THE GOSPEL in Arabic as much AS ALLAH WISHED HIM TO WRITE ... (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 478)
According to these citations Waraqa knew the Gospel and translated it into Hebrew and Arabic, and this was the will of Allah for him to do so. Why would Allah want Waraqa to translate a corrupt Gospel in the language of the people which would only end up misleading them?
The following tradition is found in Mishkat al-Masabih, translated by James Robson, Ashraf, Lahore, 1963, Book II, ch. I, pp. 62,63:
Ziyad b. Labid said: The Prophet mentioned a matter, saying, "that will be at the time when knowledge departs." I asked, "How can knowledge depart when we recite the Qur'an and teach it to our children and they will teach it to their children up till the Day of Resurrection?" He replied, "I am astonished at you, Ziyad. I thought you were the most learned man in Medina. Do not these Jews and Christians READ THE TORAH AND THE INJIL without knowing a thing about their contents?" Ahmad and Ibn Majah transmitted it, Tirmidhi transmitted something similar from him, as did Darimi from Abu Umama.
Muhammad claims that the Jews and Christians of his day were actually reading the Taurat and the Injil/Gospel. He says nothing about textual corruption. This again presumes that uncorrupt copies of the Taurat and Gospel were available at that time. Otherwise it would not have been possible for the Jews and Christians to be reading something they did not possess.
Since Meherally rejects the four Gospels as the Gospel of Jesus Christ he is going to have to explain what were the contents of the Gospel that was in existence at the time of Muhammad, and what happened to it? Why did the Muslims fail to preserve this Gospel seeing that it was the very Gospel which the Quran claims was sent down to Jesus?
This leads me to my second point. Meherally falsely asserts that the Quran does not accept the four Gospels as the Gospel of Jesus. Again, Meherally is obviously uninformed about what the Quran and Muslim traditions say about this issue. Note the following passage:
"Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude IN THE TAURAT; and their similitude IN THE GOSPEL IS: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward." S. 48:29
This passage presumes that uncorrupt copies of both the Taurat and the Gospel were available during the time of Muhammad. What is even more significant is that the Quran quotes Mark 4:27-28 and calls it the Gospel! Abdullah Yusuf Ali notes:
... The similitude in the Gospel is about how the good seed is sown and grown gradually, even beyond the expectation of the sower: "the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the earth"; MARK, iv 27-28 ... (Ali, The Holy Qur'an - Meaning and Translation, p. 1400, n. 4917; bold and capital emphasis mine)
Furthermore, Ibn Ishaq quotes the Gospel of John as the very same Gospel given to Jesus:
"Among the things which have reached me about what Jesus the Son of Mary stated in the Gospel which he received from God for the followers of the Gospel, in applying a term to describe the apostle of God, is the following. It is extracted FROM WHAT JOHN THE APOSTLE SET DOWN FOR THEM WHEN HE WROTE THE GOSPEL FOR THEM FROM THE TESTAMENT OF JESUS SON OF MARY: He that hateth me hateth the Lord. And if I had not done in their presence works which none other before me did, they had not sin: but from now they are puffed up with pride and think that they will overcome me and also the Lord. But the word that is in the law must be fulfilled, 'They hated me without a cause' (i.e. without reason). But when the Comforter has come whom God will send to you from the Lord's presence, and the spirit of truth which will have gone forth from the Lord's presence he (shall bear) witness of me and ye also, because ye have been with me from the beginning. I have spoken unto you about this that ye should not be in doubt.
"The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad; in Greek he is the paraclete." (Ishaq, Life Of Muhammad, trans. Alfred Guillaume, pp. 103-104; bold and capital emphasis ours)
According to Hisham (b. Muhammad al-Kalbi) - one of his colleagues - Amr b. Abi al-Miqdam - Amr b. Ikrimah: We spent the morning of the day on which Husayn was killed in Medina. One of our mawali told us,
"Yesterday I heard a voice calling out:
O men who have rashly killed Husayn, do expect torture and chastisement. All the people of heaven, prophets, angels, and tribes prosecute you. You have been cursed by the tongue of the son of David, and of Moses, AND OF THE BRINGER OF THE GOSPELS."
According to Hisham (b. Muhammad al-Kalbi) - Umar b. Hazum al-Kalbi said that his father had heard that voice. (The History of Tabari, The Caliphate of Yazid B. Mu-Awiyah, trans. I. K. A. Howard [State University of New York Press], Volume 19, pp. 178-179)
Ahmad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Salam [also] said:
I have translated the beginning of this book, and the Torah, THE GOSPELS, and THE BOOKS OF THE PROPHETS and disciples from Hebrew, Greek, and Sabian, which are the languages of the people of each book, in Arabic, letter for letter ... (Abu 'l-Faraj Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Nadim, The Fihrist - A 10th Century AD Survey of Islamic Culture, edited and translated by Bayard Dodge [Great Books of the Islamic World, Inc., Columbia University Press, 1970], p. 42; bold and capital emphasis ours)
These citations demonstrate that the four Gospels are the authentic inspired records of THE GOSPEL that Jesus preached to his followers. Hence, they are not four different Gospels, but four perspectives on THE ONE TRUE GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. In fact, by the start of the second century the term Gospel was used by the early church to refer to the fourfold Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The late noted scholar F. F. Bruce explains:
"At a very early date it appears that the four Gospels were united in one collection. They must have been brought together very soon after the writing of the Gospel according to John. This fourfold collection was known originally as The Gospel singular, not The Gospels in the plural; there was only one Gospel, narrated in four records, distinguished as according to Matthew, according to Mark, and so on. About A.D. 115 Ignatius, bishop, of Antioch, refers to The Gospel as an authoritative writing, and as he knew more than one of the four Gospels it may well be that by The Gospel sans phrase he means the fourfold collection which went by that name." (Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? [Intervarsity Press; Downers Grove Il., rpt. 1992], p. 23; bold emphasis ours)
Bruce goes on to cite another church father:
"By the time of Irenaeus, who, though, a native of Asia Minor, was bishop of Lyons in Gaul about A.D. 180, the idea of a fourfold Gospel had become so axiomatic in the Church at large that he can refer to it as an established and recognized fact as obvious as the four cardinal points or the four winds:
For as there are four quarters of the world in which we live, and four universal winds, and as the Church is dispersed over all the earth, and the gospel is the pillar and base of the Church and the breath of life, so it is natural that it should have four pillars, breathing immortality from every quarter and kindling the life of men anew. Whence it is manifest that the Word, the architect of all things, who sits upon the cherubim and holds all things together, having been made manifested to men, have given us THE GOSPEL in fourfold form, but held together by one Spirit." (Ibid., p. 24; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Interestingly, the English translations of Sahih Al-Bukhari implicitly concur with Bruce and the early Fathers since they translate the singular word Injil in the following Hadiths as Gospels (plural)
... Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the GOSPELS in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write... (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 111)
The Prophet returned to Khadija while his heart was beating rapidly. She took him to Waraqa bin Naufal who was a Christian convert and used to read the GOSPELS in Arabic... (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 605)
So much for Meherally's assertions.
The Book given to David
Presumably, Meherally is implying that the Quran does not confirm all the Psalms as inspired revelation, but only those written by David. It seems that Meherally has not read the Quran carefully, since if he had he would have found that the Quran refers to the PSALMS (ZUBUR) that Allah gave to his MESSENGERS:
"And if they deny thee, even so did they deny MESSENGERS who were before thee, who came with miracles and with the PSALMS (Zuburi) and with the Scripture giving light." S. 3:184"Without doubt it is (announced) in the revealed Books (Zubur) of former peoples." S. 26:196
And if they reject thee, so did their predecessors, to whom came THEIR MESSENGERS with Clear Signs, PSALMS (Zuburi), and the Book illuminating. S. 35:25"Are your Unbelievers, (O Quraish), better than they? Or have ye an immunity in the Sacred Books (Zubur)?" S. 54:43
These passages demonstrate that God didn't just reveal the Psalms to David, but also to other prophets and messengers as well. Therefore, Meherally has no Quranic basis for accepting only some of the 150 Psalms of the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God.
The Books sent to the earlier Prophets
Say ye: "We believe in Allah and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismai'l, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord we make no difference between one and another of them and we bow to Allah (in Islam)."2: 136 Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
In the Bible there are no books written by or ascribed to the prophets
Abraham (Ibrahim), Ishmael (Isma'il), Isaac (Is-haq) and/or Jacob (Ya'qub).
As we have already noted, this is an argument against the Quran, not against the Holy Bible. Since the Quran confirms that the Holy Bible that existed in the time of Jesus and Muhammad is the Word of God, and since the Holy Bible makes no reference to books given to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, the Quran is therefore wrong.
Second, Meherally equivocates on the meaning of terms. He assumes that "revelation" refers to divine books but gives us no proof that this is necessarily the case. Revelation can simply be referring to God having spoken and revealed his will to these men. This may or may not entail the giving of a divine book.
IS THE "THE TRUTH" OR "ANOTHER DECEIT" BY SILAS?
In his article under the rebuttal, Silas writes the following:
Many Muslims today say the Bible is corrupted.But there is nothing in the Quran that supports this. There is not one word in the Quran that teaches that the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians have been perverted by man. Instead, the opposite is true. The Quran supports the Bible.
READ THE QUR'ANIC VERSES AND YOU BE THE JUDGE...
Allah did aforetime take a Covenant from the Children of Israel and We appointed twelve captains among them and Allah said: "I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers practice regular charity believe in My apostles honor and assist them and loan to Allah a beautiful loan verily I will wipe out from you your evils and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you after this resisteth faith he hath truly wandered from the path of rectitude."5: 12
But because of their breach of their Covenant We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard:they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the Message that was sent them nor wilt thou cease to find them barring a few ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind. Glorious Qur'an 5: 13 Translation by Yusuf Ali
If changing of"the words from their (right) places" within "the Message that was sent them" is not considered "the corruption of the Scriptures" what is it???
Yes, do read these verses IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CONTEXTS and decide for yourselves whether they support Meherally's assertions. Meherally conveniently forgot to quote what follows. Here is the context:
But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard: they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them BARRING A FEW- ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind. From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so We stirred up enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the Day of Judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done. O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that ye used to HIDE in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary): There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book,- S. 5:13-15
The context clearly shows that the Jews and Christians (supposedly) changed words from their right places by misinterpreting, ignoring and/or hiding passages which went against their views. That this is the intended meaning can be seen from what is said elsewhere in the chapter:
"But why do they come to thee for decision, WHEN THEY HAVE THEIR OWN TORAH BEFORE THEM? - therein is the (plain) command of Allah; yet even after that, they would turn away. For they are not (really) People of Faith. It was We who revealed the Torah (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islám) to Allah's will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear Me, and sell not My signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are unbelievers. We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal. But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are wrong-doers. And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, CONFIRMING THE TORAH THAT CAME BEFORE HIM: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, AND CONFIRMATION OF THE TORAH THAT HAD COME BEFORE HIM: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel." S. 5:46-47
These verses state that uncorrupt copies of the Taurat of Moses, as well as the Gospel, were available during the time of Jesus and Muhammad. Note what Ibn Kathir says:
"<'Isa, son of Maryam, confirming the Tawrah that had come before him,> meaning, he believed in it AND RULED BY IT ...
<and confirmation of the Tawrah that had come before it,> meaning, HE ADHERED TO THE TAWRAH, except for the few instances that clarified the truth where the Children of Israel differed. Allah states in another Ayah that 'Isa said to the Children of Israel, ... <... and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you.>
So the scholars say that the Injil abrogated some of the rulings of the Tawrah ..." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 3, Parts 6, 7 & 8, Surat An-Nisa, Verse 148 to the end of Surat Al-An'am, Abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; January 2000, first edition], pp. 193-194; bold and capital emphasis ours)
How could Jesus confirm and rule by a corrupted book? The fact is Jesus didn't confirm a corrupted book since the Quran denies that the Taurat has been corrupted!
Finally, note Ibn Abbas' interpretation of what "changing words from their right places" really mean:
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 [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: March 2000], p. 196; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Thus far, nothing Meherally has said or quoted proves his case.
We certainly gave the Book to Mosesbut differences arose therein: had it not been that a Word had gone forth before from thy Lord the matter would have been decided between them: but they are in suspicious doubt concerning it. Glorious Qur'an 11: 110
Commentaries #1613 and # 1614 by translator Yusuf Ali to 11: 110:
# 1613 Cf. x. 19. Previous revelations are not to be denied or dishonoured because those who nominally go by them have corrupted and deprived them of spiritual value by their vain controversies and disputes. It was possible to settle such disputes under the flag, as it were, of the old Revelations, but Allah's Plan was to revive and rejuvenate His Message through Islam, amongst a newer and younger people, unhampered by the burden of age long prejudices.
# 1614 Cf. xi. 62. There is always in human affairs the conflict between the old and the new, -the worn-out system of our ancestors, and the fresh living spring of Allah's inspiration fitting in with new times and new surroundings. The advocates of the former look upon this latter not only with intellectual doubt but with moral suspicion, as did the People of the Book upon Islam, with its fresh outlook and vigorous realistic way of looking at things.
Again, Meherally equivocates since he assumes that differences refer to textual corruptions. It never seemed to dawn on Meherally that the differences refer to varying interpretations, not to textual corruption. Even Yusuf Ali agrees with this since he speaks of "the vain controversies and disputes" of the People of the Book. Yet, Meherally didn't take note of what Yusuf Ali also said:
"... It was possible to settle such disputes under the flag, as it were, OF THE OLD REVELATIONS ..."
Again, how could corrupted Scriptures settle the disputes of the Jews and Christians? They couldn't, which affirms that the previous Scriptures have not been corrupted.
Meherally concludes with:
The Ark of the Covenant
Meherally selectively quotes verses that seem to support his position. Anyone reading the verses in context would soon realize that although the original Law was to be kept in the Ark, Moses had commanded that copies of the Law be made and taught to the people:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you - a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant-then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." Deuteronomy 6:4-12
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:18-21
"When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll A COPY OF THIS LAW, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel." Deuteronomy 17:18-20
"Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses-an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua copied on stones the law of Moses, which he had written. All Israel, aliens and citizens alike, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD , facing those who carried it-the priests, who were Levites. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel. Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law-the blessings and the curses-just as it is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them. Joshua 8:30-35
Joshua makes a copy of the Book of Moses before the people. This is why even though the Ark eventually got lost the people could still read the Taurat of God, since copies of the Taurat had circulated amongst the people:
"Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth." Daniel 9:11b-13
In order for Daniel to appeal to what was written in the Law of Moses presupposes that an uncorrupt Taurat was available during the time of Daniel.
"They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read ... On the second day ... they gathered around Ezra the scribe to give attention to the words of the Law. They found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded through Moses, that Day after day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God " Nehemiah 8:13-14,18
This occurred approximately 430 BC. Again, in order for Ezra the scribe to be able to both read from the Law of Moses and expound it presupposes that a true, uncorrupt copy of the Taurat was available at that time.
This should put to rest Meherally's claim regarding the loss of the Ark and its significance on the preservation of the Taurat.
In conclusion, we would like to say that nothing Meherally has written begins to refute Silas' arguments. Meherally chose to selectively quote sources and passages in order to support his false and deceptive claims. This is common in Meherally's articles.
As the Lord Jesus permits, we will be exposing the rest of Meherally's shoddy articles such as his attacks on the Deity of Christ and his misinformation regarding John's Gospel.
Until then, we continue to remain in the service of the true God and eternal Life, Jesus Christ our risen Lord forever. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. We love you forever.
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