Muslim views on the relationship between the Koran and Torah/Old Testament

Discussion in 'Islam in General' started by godf, May 23, 2008.

  1. godf

    godf <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    Hi there. This is my first post, and feel a bit bad for starting with something that may be controversial... but it may not be.

    In the Torah/OT it talks about Arabs as having descended from Abraham's illegitimate child, and then goes onto a rather racist description of them. I know the Qur'an has many similarities to the torrah, and also sees Abraham as an important prophet.

    Does the Qur'an have a similar story about the descendants of Abraham? Is Abraham seen as ethnically Jewish? Is there any Muslim religious story relating to the division between Arab and Jewish people? Is the torah seen as divinely inspired? - If so, why the differences? - If not, why the similarities when it predates the Qur'an?

    If anyone knows what the 'mainstream' Islamic position for these issues is, I'd like to know. If not, all your personal ideas would be great too. I'm completely ignorant on the matter, and google has failed me.

    Some of these threads seem to get rather heated, so sorry if I'm stepping on any toes, it's just a matter that's grabbed my attention.


    edit: Most people here seem to use Qur'an over Koran. Does this matter?
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  2. Salahadeen

    Salahadeen Ahl at-Tawheed

    Hi there,

    Please visit and click on the box entitled LIVE CHAT so you can talk to people whose job is to answer EXACTLY such questions.

    You will always get a response within a couple days (usually within 1 day), and there are a few hours every day where you can just ask questions live.

    Muslims do not believe that Prophet Abraham [as] was a Jew at all. The term "Jew" comes from the term "Judah". According to the Bible, "Judah" was the name of one of Prophet Jacob's sons. And then an area in Palestine was named "Judah" after this son. And then the term "Jewish" originated from that.

    All of this occurred way after Prophet Abraham [as] died. Linguistically, the term "Jew" did NOT EXIST in time of Prophet Abraham [as]. This is not conspiracy theory. It is FACT!

    The Quran says:

    "O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Abraham, while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense? Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim (worshiper of none but Allah alone) and he joined none in worship with Allah." (Quran, 3:65-67)

    The term "Muslim" is just the Arabic term for "submittor", which refers to the one who submits to God. So Abraham [as] was one of those who submitted to God, and he was a haneef (monotheist).

    As for the division of Bani Israel (i.e. the Jews) and the Arabs, then the Islamic belief is that Bani Israel descended from Prophet Isaac [as], and Arabs descended from Prophet Ishmael [as]. Both were great prophets, and so there is no shame in being from either one of them.

    In regards to the Torah, then we believe that it was initially revealed by God Almighty and we thus recognize it as a holy book. However, over the years, the Torah has become corrupted, as the Jewish rabbis manipulated the text, adding and deleting words as they pleased.

    So the Torah we have today has some truth in it (from God) and some falsehood added into it (from the Jewish rabbis). The Quran is the only book which is not corrupted and remains 100% the Uncorrupted Word of God.

    The Torah is in the Old Testament, the Gospels are included in the New Testament, and the Quran is the FINAL TESTAMENT. The reason for any similarities between the Old, New, and Final Testament comes from the fact that they all originated from God.

    God Almighty promised to prevent the Quran from corruption, and therefore Muslims rely on the Quran, the Final Testament, as opposed to the two earlier scriptures which have been since corrupted by men.

    As for the spelling of "Quran", then yes, we prefer Quran as opposed to "koran".
  3. godf

    godf <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    Ah. Thanks, that was very helpful.

    Your link didn't seem to work, but I think you covered my questions anyway, or at least led me to the right things to look up myself.
  4. tawheedullah

    tawheedullah <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    Abraham was not a Jew. This is evidenced by the Bible:

    Of Abraham's descendants, the Bible speaks of the Ishmaelites (descendents of Ishmael), Edomites (descendants of Isaac's son Esau), and the Israelites (descendants of Isaac's son Jacob). Only the descendants of Jacob were ever considered Jews. If Abraham, the progenitor of all these groups, was a Jew, wouldn't all of his descendants be considered Jews (ethnically speaking)?
  5. godf

    godf <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    I guess ethnicity is a necessarily confused area, that seems based largely on out-dated asssumptions anyway. I was unsure if Muslims thought the Jewish people (so much as such a group can be idenitified) were direct descendants of Abraham or not.
  6. Sawtul Islam

    Sawtul Islam <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    "Qur'an" is closer to the Arabic because we dont use the Arabic "K" for the word, but we use a different letter that does not exist in English, which is a bit similar to "Q".

    It's to do with the pronounciation. If you are speaking in Arabic to someone and say "Koran" then no one would know you are talking about the holy book of Islam.
  7. Suhaib Jobst

    Suhaib Jobst 'Amal Ahl al-Madina

    First of all, we don't believe the Prophets had "illegitimate" children. Concubinage (the act of taking a concubine) was an accepted practice in nearly all cultures, including the Semitic. Not to mention that it is not proper to accuse a noble prophet of such sins.

    Second, the jews and christians who use this to attack Islam and the Muslims, seem not to have read their own Bible which makes clear the traditional rights of the first-born son are not affected by the social or marital status of the mother:

    Deuteronomy 21
    15. "If a man with two wives loves one and dislikes the other; and if both bear him sons, but the first-born is of her whom he dislikes:
    16. When he comes to bequeath his property to his sons he may not consider as his first-born the son of the wife whom he dislikes.
    17. On the contrary, he shall recognize as his first-born the son of her whom he dislikes, giving him a double share of whatever he happens to own, since he is the first fruit of his manhood, and to him belong the rights of the first-born."

    So we see that in these verses, the rights of the first-born exist irregardless of the marital status of the parents. So we see that the historic misconception of Muslims as "Saracens" (rejected by Sarah), are false even from their own biblical perspective, or should we say their failure to follow even their own books (which lend testimony to Islam).

    Certainly the Arabs and ancient Hebrews were regarded as brethren, since both were Semitic. However, it is important to separate the ancient Israelites from the modern Jews, the vast majority of whom have little if any Semitic ancestry.

    The answer to both questions: The Taurat (Torah) was a Book which Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) revealed to His prophet Musa (Moses), peace be upon him. However, with time it became distorted and corrupted, as the rabbis or scribes - even anonymous writers in many cases - added, deleted or modified certain verses.

    This is true merely by reading the Old Testament, which contains a number of contradictions. Here are a few:

    - Did David take with him 700 horsemen (II Samuel 8:4) or 7000 horsemen (I Chronicles 18:4)?

    - Or perhaps did he slay 700 Syrian chariots (II Samuel 10:18) or 7000 chariots (I Chronicles 19:18)?

    - When the flood began, was Noah 500 years old (Genesis 5:32) or 600 years old (Genesis 7:6)?

    - Was Ahaziah 22 years old (II Kings 8:26) or 42 years old (II Chronicles 22:2) when he began his reign?

    - Who told David to number Israel, was it the Lord (II Samuel 24:1) or Satan (I Chronicles 21:1)?

    - Was Michal childless (II Samuel 6:23) or did he have five sons (II Samuel 21:8)?


    So it is very clear that the Bible has been distorted by human hands. The authors often contradicted themselves in the course of the same book. I ask you to reflect upon the implications, and compare this to the Holy Qur'an, which has been preserved. The Qur'an which Muslims possess now is the exact same one which existed from the beginning, there were absolutely no changes therein.
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  8. Salahadeen

    Salahadeen Ahl at-Tawheed

    Don't some say that Hagar was Prophet Ibrahim's wife, not concubine?
  9. godf

    godf <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    I don't actually see the OT as true, and always thought the description as to the descent of Arabs was a rather crude racial slur, and a sign of the OT's tribalist nature.

    But I am interested in the view Islam has of the Torah/OT. Is there any consensus as to when it started to be corrupted? Was it seriously corrupted while genuine divine revelation was ongoing? Or was there a point where divine revelation stopped, and corruption/ false revelation began? And when would that point be?

    Judaism seems to view the other Abrahamic religions as distortions. Christianity views Judaism as having been divinely accurate at the time, but that the revelations of Jesus changed man's relationship with God from that point on. Islam's relationship with the others seems more complicated.

    I realise my questions might require a strong knowledge of the Torah/OT as well as Islam, but any further help would be appreciated.

    re Moses: Is the Promised Land seen as promised to Muslims then? I just read:

    “In the Qur'an 005:020, 21 (Ahmed Ali) it is written that the Jews are ordained to have Jerusalem as their home [not the line of Ismael as many claim]: "Remember when Moses said to his people: "O my people, remember the favors that God bestowed on you when He appointed apostles from among you, and made you kings and gave you what had never been given to any one in the world. Enter then, my people, the Holy Land that God has ordained from you, and do not turn back, or you will suffer."”

    If Jerusalem is seen as rightfully Jewish... why is that? Or is the above just wrong (I had trouble tracking it's sources)?

    I'd always thought the Muslim claim to Palestine/Israel was historical. Or do Muslims actually see themselves as the true heirs of the land promised to Moses?

  10. Abu Nihla

    Abu Nihla New Member

    Using Bible to prove Islam

    Some Muslims are of the opinion that Bible contains bits of authentic texts which can be used to invite Non-Muslims to Islam and this particular style of dawah(invitation to Islam) has become popular because very high profile personalities such as Dr.Zakir Naik has utilised this style and gained massive popularity amongst common people. According to Dr.Naik the Bible prophesises the prophethood of Muhammad. This approach to proving the validity of Muhammad's(sallalahu alaihi wassallam) Prophethood is extremely problematic and riddled with contradictions.

    1.First of all,we cant say for sure that there are certain texts in bible which are more authentic than others.There is no basis upon which we can make such a judgment.And saying that 'we believe in some parts of Bible' is a mistake too.The belief in the existence of a Creator,the belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad and the belief that Quran is the miracle bestowed upon Muhammad constitute the Aqeedah or the foundation of belief.In the realm of aqeedah,there is no such thing as 'sometimes we believe and sometimes we dont'.This is a bit like the thinking method of the Maldivian politicians(including the Islamists) who can brazenly make a statement and make a complete u-turn on the next day.Before discussing any subject matter on Aqeedah,it is highly advisable that we get rid ourselves of the 'drug addiction' mode of thinking(more on this later) which we have become used to.The starting point for discussing Aqeedah requires rational thinking,but the Islamists politicians have made Islam appear as irrational a Machiavellian politics.

    2.The Quran is the only proof which can prove which validity of Islamic aqeedah.When we say 'Quran' we are not referring to any specific verse or its meaning,but specific characteristics of the Arabic language manifest in Quran which which makes it stand out from all other literatures.This inimitable characteristic is not found in the Bible and therefore its not a source for us.For example,the meaning of a certain verse in Quran may stress the importance of 'being kind to neighbours' and maybe there is a text in the bible which renders a similar meaning.Again this does not mean there is a similarity between Quran and Bible? As mentioned earlier,the Quranic verse on the issue of being 'kind to neighbours' is composed in a specific style of Arabic language which is inimitable.The inimitable aspect of Quran is the proof of its miracle.There is no such miracle to support the validity of bible.

    3.On the level of Aqeedah,we are not concerned with the meaning of this or that verse or whether a verse mentions about this issue or that issue.On the level of Aqeedah,we should determine which scripture constitute the words of Allah(swt).Once that is established we can look into the meanings of the verses in order to perform our actions or to determine whether a verse is talking about prayer or fasting. Since the Bible didnt pass this test,we are not concerned about the meaning of a specific text contained in it.This is the method of rational thinking.If someone does not believe that 'Addu' exists,there is no point of talking about 'going to Addu'.

    4. Some people think that showing the contradictions contained in the Bible is a good style to invite Christians to Islam.Contradictions in the bible does not constitute the proof of the validity of Islam.A future version of the Bible might even mention 'Muhammad' specifically.So,in order to build our belief on a rock solid foundation,we should do an independent study using conclusive evidence.By the way,scientific findings are not conclusive and therefore cannot be used to measure the validity of Islam.Those who become fascinated with this so called scientific facts in the Quran may claim that they believe in Quran,but reject Hadith because it contradicts science.

    Its always better to use Islam to prove Islam. How can you believe a lie can bring-forth the truth? We with our limited minds cannot know what is true in the Bible. Some Muslims have gone to the extend of saying they believe in some parts of the Bible and disbelieve in some parts. What's this???
  11. Sawtul Islam

    Sawtul Islam <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    From what I've read it seems the Torah was corrupted and then corrected by Ezra, but then corrupted again.

    The texts were corrupted as they were being compiled, written down and copied from text to text by scribes.

    The verse itself refers to the time of Moses (pbuh), it was in that time that the Holy land belonged to them.
    in fact at that time the "Jews" were actually Muslims, we believe Moses (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh) were Muslims as were their original followers, it was only after future generations corrupted the religion by adding things to the religion and changing their Holy books that Judaism and Christianity came into existance.

    If you read the Old Testament or the works of religious Jewish Rabbis, they themselves say that they were expelled from the holy land and that they can only return there once the Messiah appears.

    So even in the beliefs of Orthodox Judaism, Jews should not return to the Holy land for now.

    Zionism was invented during the 19th century by irreligious Jews in Europe and though it appears Jewish, their beliefs have little to do with the Old Testament, and even those Zionists who claim to believe in the Old Testament interpret it using pagan books such as the Kabbalah.
  12. Salahadeen

    Salahadeen Ahl at-Tawheed

    I humbly disagree brother.

    We must show Christians how Islam is the logical conclusion and natural progression. We do this by showing the links between our religion and theirs.

    But dawah carriers like Dr. Zakir Naik *should* make it clear that these are only well founded theories, not irrefutable fact.
  13. godf

    godf <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    @ Abu Nihla: Thanks for you post.

    Thanks for mentioning Ezra. That led to some interesting reading. It seems most Islamic scholars do consider him to be a prophet. So does that mean that, were the writings of Ezra to be found and authenticated (they were quite recent), that they would be likely to be adopted as Islamic texts? (This might tie into another debate I was reading on here as to whether the Qur’an should be seen as ‘complete’ or not?) Is there much Islamic research into earlier versions of the Torah? – Or is the ingrained uncertainty Abu Nihla mentioned thought to make any such research futile?

    Does that mean that they viewed themselves as explicitly distinct from Judaism? Or does it mean they saw themselves as part of ‘true Judaism’, which became known as ‘Islam’ following Mohammed’s revelations? Are they seen as Jewish by lineage? Or Arab, or unknown?

    Yes, I understand that. But do Muslims think that Jerusalem is rightfully Jewish according to Islamic teaching? As the quote I posted said. I’m sure you can understand why I was surprised to read that, and was wondering if it was true, as I had trouble following the quote’s sources.

    Oh yes… back to Ishmael: why do Muslims think Abraham sent him out into the dessert? Did Allah command him to? Why? Is there any sense that this was an injustice?

  14. Sawtul Islam

    Sawtul Islam <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    According to Sunan Abu Dawoud, Prophet Mohammad (saw) said that he did not know whether Uzair (Ezra) was a Prophet or not, and the Qur'an also does not recall him a Prophet.

    According to some commentaries on the Qur'an, this man mentioned in this verse of the Qur'an was Ezra:

    Or like the one who passed by a town and it had tumbled over its roofs. He said: "Oh! How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death?" So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long did you remain (dead)?" He (the man) said: "(Perhaps) I remained (dead) a day or part of a day". He said: "Nay, you have remained (dead) for a hundred years, look at your food and your drink, they show no change and look at your donkey! And thus We have made of you a sign for the people. Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh ". When this was clearly shown to him, he said, I know (now) that Allah is Able to do all things". (Al-Baqarah, 259)

    So one possiblity is that after he died the Torah was corrupted and then when he was resurrected he having memorised the Torah recited to the people the original, and Allah knows best.

    The Qur'an actually calls some Israelite Prophets "Muslim". As far as the word Muslim is concerned it means one who submits to Allah.

    The followers of Moses (pbuh) were Israelites and their religion was Islam, as for whether or not they called themselves Muslims or Yahud(Jew) or both, I am not sure.

    As I said, it belonged to them at that time. Now the land belongs to Muslims, it doesn't matter if you are Arab, Israelite, Black or white, it belongs to those who follow the religion of Islam. So it belongs to those Israelites who do not reject the Messiah (Jesus) and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), as well as other Muslims,
  15. Suhaib Jobst

    Suhaib Jobst 'Amal Ahl al-Madina

    I would add to the point made by brother Sawtul Islam, whose every word was based upon the truth, masha'Allah. And I would add that even if it could be decisively proved the Torah was returned to its original foundations, this was only for a brief time and the revelation of the Qur'an abrogated those books.

    The Qur'an is a universal message, which completed the earlier messages and Allah Most High said He would protect it from any corruptions. And indeed, no one has been able to produce anything like it, not even a verse.

    Did you know that Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was prophesied in the Bible? Read the description of the Prophet to come, as was revealed to Moses in Deuteronomy 18:18. Then read about Jesus' prediction about the Paraclete (Comforter), in at least four different places throughout the book of John (chapters 14-16).

    The Holy Qur'an confirms this (61:6), and the alternate name of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) - AHMAD - is an exact translation of the Paraclete. Jesus (peace be upon him) confirmed that this prophet would come with a revelation that would both confirm and culminate these earlier messages, that he would not speak of his own mouth but rather speak what has been revealed to him.

    So I would ask you to consider the preceding evidences, as one who was a former christian and who essentially found Islam contained in these morsels of wisdom from the Bible. Indeed, if you read the Qur'an you will find it answers all the weaknesses and contradictory doctrines of the distorted Bible, and it confirms the statements of truth.
  16. Layth

    Layth Abu Shawarma

    Brother Yousuf al Khattab could be very helpful in answering these questions since he himself comes from a Jewish background.
  17. godf

    godf <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    Okay, great. I might PM Yousuf al Khattab and see if he has anything else to add.

    Thanks for your help.
  18. William Wurkmun Fosterr

    William Wurkmun Fosterr Jihaad Against violence

    Please Forgive Us

    We Are Trying To Correct crazy mistakes that occurred perhaps Five Thousand Years Ago. No One should have been excluded, Much Less cursed. No One should have been isolated or ostracized. 'There Ain't No good guys. There Ain't no bad guys. There's Just You And Me And We Just Disagree.'
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  19. morbius

    morbius <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    I’ve already explained in great length that this nonsense is a result of exaggerations, deliberate misinterpretations and bad translation from Greek, yet you put it up again.
  20. morbius

    morbius <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    People, grow up! You have no immediate common ancestry with Jews. Hebrew and Arabic are drastically different languages and even at casual glance it is obvious that Arabs and Jews have different racial features.
    For instance, Indo-Europeans separated into different groups of nations 30 000 years ago at least, yet their languages up to this day kept some common features, for instance word for “wolf” is similar in almost all of them.

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