Refutation: Does Allah Preserve His Words? [Francis Turretin]


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

What is most interesting is that James White’s, “friend”, tried very ecstatically to only in vain, end up poorly refuting the arguments presented in my earlier response to his inanity, located here. Strikingly, the most profound statement that the Alpha and Omega Ministry’s blog took offense with, was the application of the title of “deceit and ignorance” being attributed to the pseudo-scholar James White:

Since I am on James White’s blogging team, and am friends with him, I was sure to carefully read an article posted with the alarming title, “Exposing James White’s Deceit and Ignorance of Islamic Scripture,” from the “Calling Christians” website.

However, the author goes on to actually prove that the statement was indeed valid, as we read, he instead brushes off his mistakes by labeling them, “differences of opinion while clearly as expected, perverting my own words. There is no difference of opinion when it comes to the asma wa sifaat of Allaah, especially when it concerns His Kalamullah (Words) being able to become corrupted. This was covered extensively in my earlier post on this very topic, therefore I suggest if anyone was to actually attempt to respond to it, that they should have made it a priority to actually read the content:

The title wasn’t supported by the body of the piece. “Deceit and Ignorance” turned out to be, at most, a difference of opinion between the author of the piece and my friend, Dr. White.

It’s easy for undereducated Christians to make a folly of Islamic ‘aqida, as it’s common for them to perpetuate such intellectual fraud among their own circles. What I suggest for Mr. TurretinFan is that he should have atleast read some primer materials on ‘aqidah before undertaking the task of “refuting me”. To begin with, he incorrectly identifies the Old and New Testaments as the scriptures being spoken of in the Qur’an:

There is a lot of baggage mixed in there, but the author of the piece is correct that we think that it is inconsistent to hold to the ideas that (1) Allah preserves his word, (2) the Old and New Testaments are the word of Allah, and (3) the Old and New Testaments are corrupt.

I never made the assertion (and if they would like to prove me wrong, they are free to quote me), whether explicitly or implicitly, that the Old and New Testaments are the revealed Words of Allaah, to the contrary, I made it a significant point to indicate that they are mutually exclusive of being the Words of Allaah:

Corruption of Scripture: Textual Alterations:
However, now we’ve arrived at the crux of the matter, textual corruption. As Muslims we assert that God’s message is preserved by God (as seen above, contextually), but what about textually? We read earlier that God protects His message in totality, that is, textually and contextually (meanings, interpretations). However as Muslims, we also do say that we do not believe in the Old Testaments of the Jews and Christians nor do we believe in the New Testaments of the Christians as being valid, because we assert they are not the words of God. Since they are not the words of God, they can indeed become corrupted and God did not promise to guard the works of man, but only His words.

For example, in the case of the Old Testament, where missionary zealots such as Sam Shamoun and James White try to propose, that their Torah is the Torah from Allaah, we have to correct that appeal to ignorance. The Qur’an does not say that the Old Testament is the word of God, in fact, we read above (5:13) where the Qur’an calls the Torah/ Old Testament of the Jews and Christians as being interpolations from the tongues and minds of men. It is in this regard that the Islamic belief is not that God’s word was corrupted, but that people wrote words and then claimed them to be God’s:

فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَـٰذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّـهِ لِيَشْتَرُ‌وا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ
So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.  – Qur’an : Suratul Baqarah (2) : 79.

With that being said, we must come to the understanding that when the Qur’an says that the message became corrupted, that is textually, it refers to those who put aside God’s revelation and in its stead, replaced the void with their own sayings, beliefs and propaganda. One example is of the Christian New Testament. The Qur’an says that a scripture (Injil) was given to Jesus (Issa, may God be pleased with him):

وَقَفَّيْنَا عَلَىٰ آثَارِ‌هِمْ بِعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْ‌يَمَ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَ‌اةِ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْإِنْجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ‌ وَمُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَ‌اةِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةً لِلْمُتَّقِي
And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. – Qur’an : 5: 46.

However Christians by themselves prove the Islamic belief of textual corruption as displayed above:

(1) Muslims believe that Jesus (Issa, may God be pleased with him) was given a revelation by God called the Injil.
(2) Christians believe that inspired scripture about Jesus originated with the apostles of Christ.

Therefore the Christian argument in reality disproves itself. They have now failed on two fronts. Firstly, the premise that Muslims contradict themselves when they say the Bible is corrupted is proven false as we do not believe the Bible is the word of God. We don’t believe it is the word of God for namely two reasons:

(1) Christians assert it’s from the apostles and not from the Prophet Jesus (may God be pleased with him).
(2)
Christians assert the revelation (wahy) isn’t revelation verbatim from God, which is what Muslims believe, but that the Bible is an inspired word from God, through the words of men.

It must have been either one of two consequential actions:

(1) Either the AO blog, misread my statements on the Testaments.
(2) Or, they purposefully ignored them.

Nowhere, had they attempted in any way, shape and or form, to actually refute the points given above, they never touched upon the clear contradiction in their narratives. For example, while we hold that ‘Isa (alayhi as salaam) had a wahy (revelation) with him, they believe in words inspired to men, decades later (Paul’s Epistles, Pastorials, Synoptic Gospels). What they’ve instead tried to do, was to generalize statements and act as if I agreed with them on many areas:

Thus, this particular author has made a more general statement, akin to our (1) above.

So far, the author seems to have provided a reasonable presentation of the position he is arguing against, although we would say “God’s word” rather than “God’s words.”

This is not the case, I have to indicate that this is poor scholarship, on what modus operandi, do you possibly function on, that it is deemed acceptable to purposefully mislead and twist the words of your intellectual opponent? As displayed above, we do not agree, nor do I accept your appeals to the fallacy of hasty generalization, to cover your appeal to ignorance towards Islamic ‘aqidah. Take note sir, dishonest scholarship, is no scholarship. Following his trail of perpetual deceit, we read:

We are aware that the way Muslims attempt to hold these two ideas is by limiting (1) to simply saying that Allah preserves some portion (or all) of the Qur’an and/or by denying that the Old and New Testaments correspond to the Torah and Injeel.

No Muslim, nor myself in my writings have ever indicated that Allaah limits the preservation of the Qur’aan in any way. We hold is true to be that the Qur’an is the Kalamullah (Word of Allaah) and that it has always been whether directly (Allaah sending Angel Jibra’eel during Ramadhan) or indirectly (Huffaz) His promise to protect it in its entirety. I would like to see where I have ever indicated otherwise.

Secondly, we in ourselves do not deny that the Old and New Testaments correspond to the Torah and Injeel, rather, it is the Christians who make the claim that the Torah is the Old Testament and the Injeel is the New Testament, therefore the onus is upon you to prove this. However, when they make this claim, as aforementioned, they are appealing to a contradiction in their narrative:

However Christians by themselves prove the Islamic belief of textual corruption as displayed above:

(1) Muslims believe that Jesus (Issa, may God be pleased with him) was given a revelation by God called the Injil.
(2) Christians believe that inspired scripture about Jesus originated with the apostles of Christ.

Therefore the Christian argument in reality disproves itself. They have now failed on two fronts. Firstly, the premise that Muslims contradict themselves when they say the Bible is corrupted is proven false as we do not believe the Bible is the word of God. We don’t believe it is the word of God for namely two reasons:

(1) Christians assert it’s from the apostles and not from the Prophet Jesus (may God be pleased with him).
(2)
Christians assert the revelation (wahy) isn’t revelation verbatim from God, which is what Muslims believe, but that the Bible is an inspired word from God, through the words of men.

If they author of that blog post, actually took time to have read my refutation of James White’s ignorance, he would have atleast attempted to not expose his own. What is worse is that the deceit from our Christian brethren does not cease there:

Clearly, the author has misunderstood Dr. White’s point. Dr. White was not arguing for corruption of God’s word, but simply noting a contradiction within Islamic views.

There was no contradiction in the Islamic view, which is why I indicating that James White was wrong. It was not my intention to misunderstand anything Mr. White had stated, rather it was my intention to demonstrate that he did not properly understand Islamic ‘aqidah when it comes to the Word of Allaah, which is why I wrote this:

Therefore we must correct James’ assertion that we believe God’s words can be corrupted by man, the Qur’an is clear that God would not allow this. It is the belief of all Muslims and if one did not know this belief (you now kn0w) that it is impermissible for a Muslim to believe that God’s words can become corrupted.

As my previous post would have mentioned, we do not hold that God’s word was corrupted, rather words were written by men and attributed to God:

For example, in the case of the Old Testament, where missionary zealots such as Sam Shamoun and James White try to propose, that their Torah is the Torah from Allaah, we have to correct that appeal to ignorance. The Qur’an does not say that the Old Testament is the word of God, in fact, we read above (5:13) where the Qur’an calls the Torah/ Old Testament of the Jews and Christians as being interpolations from the tongues and minds of men. It is in this regard that the Islamic belief is not that God’s word was corrupted, but that people wrote words and then claimed them to be God’s:

فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَـٰذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّـهِ لِيَشْتَرُ‌وا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ
So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.  – Qur’an : Suratul Baqarah (2) : 79.

With that being said, we must come to the understanding that when the Qur’an says that the message became corrupted, that is textually, it refers to those who put aside God’s revelation and in its stead, replaced the void with their own sayings, beliefs and propaganda. One example is of the Christian New Testament.

The author then proceeds to what I must say, is to quote me, then say I did not provide evidence for my quote, which infact, he himself did quote, that is just to demonstrate the poor scholarship at the AO Ministry:

Regarding the author’s conclusion, the solution he is offering is a qualification on the protection of “until newer revelation was sent.” That solution is not actually found in the materials he has identified.  In other words, the context has not substantiated his charge.

Yet he quoted it right here, from my own article:

So as we can see, the Qur’an is correct, God did protect the meaning of His message, until newer revelation was sent. For example the Qur’an abrogates the Injil as the Injil abrogated the Tawrah, and if the case arose where persons were distorting the meaning of a scripture or Prophet’s message, we read that God sent apostles, messengers, Prophets in some instances to correct the people (see 36:14 above).

It was then nonsensical for the author to have made this point, if it had only been taken into consideration of the verses which I quoted and cited:

It seems that (for part of the argument) the author is trying to argue that the Qur’an’s references to corruption relate to attempted corruption of the meaning, but that this attempted corruption was essentially ineffective. This approach might make sense, but would imply that the meaning remains intact.

The Qur’an itself satiates those claims, that the meaning was indeed kept intact by the messengers sent to correct the people (read: 36:14). He continues to make the claim that I believe the Torah and Injil are the Old and New Testaments:

That solution implies that the Old and New Testaments are intact in their meaning (within the context of Dr. White’s criticism).

I never implied this, nor stated this explicitly, rather I demonstrated above (if the author had only cared to read), that their narrative is self contradictory. He then proceeds to actually prove himself wrong, first he states:

This is the approach mentioned above of denying that the Old and New Testaments correspond to the Torah and Injeel. But is this feasible? Let’s consider how the author of the article tries to defend this approach:

Then he states:

As for the last argument, this argument is only relevant to the Gospels, not to the Torah or the Zabur (Psalter, book of Psalms).

He begins his refutation by immediately ignoring the examples of Old Testament corruption and implying that my arguments can only be applied to the New Testament, this is incorrect as I specifically quoted and cited verses and commentary on other verses which demonstrate Old Testament corruption from the Qur’an, see 2:79, 4:46, 3:78 . I would like to point out to the author, that ignoring my points and misleading his readers is not a refutation, but a mockery of his own futility. Then he goes on to really prove his ignorance of Islamic teachings:

Moreover, this argument presupposes that it is true that the Injil was given as a revelation to Jesus. However, this assertion itself is not correct. Indeed, it is simply another error of Mohamed’s teaching.

This argument, presupposes that the true Injeel is the one which came after Jesus, this is not a correct assumption, as the Messengers of God (Moses, David) accompanied their scripture, and as this is a response to the ignorance of James White on Islamic teachings, then it is absurd to think that I authored my article under the assumption that the New Testament was God’s word. Indeed, an appeal to wishful thinking. His lack of reading and on Islamic teachings is then made further extant:

This point is also something of a red herring. Even if there were a different book called the Injil that was allegedly given to Jesus, where has this been preserved at all? In other words, the situation is much worse for the Muslim who tries to avail himself of this particular argument. Instead of simply small textual variants in the New Testament, now the Muslim must account for the seeming complete destruction of the whole book and any record of its existence. After all, there is no record before Mohammed of any book given to Jesus. There is a similar problem with respect to the argument about the Torah. So, the Muslim is claiming that the Torah which has been preserved is not the Torah referenced in the Qur’an. But then the lack of preservation is much worse than the Muslim has contended – the original Torah is completely gone if the one we have is not the original Torah but some new fake Torah.

He is operating under the belief that supposedly the words of God cannot become lost or damned to history, when in fact, we read from the Jewish Encyclopedia, that for over 23 years, the words of God had been lost:

High priest in the reign of Josiah (II Kings xxii. 4 et seq.). It is probable that he was the Hilkiah ben Shallum who figures in the genealogy of high priests in I Chron. v. 39 (A. V. vi. 13), and that he was, consequently, father of Azariah and great-grandfather of Ezra the Scribe (ib.; Ezra vii. 1). Ḳimḥi and Abravanel (to Jer. i. 1), however, give his father’s name as “Shaphan.”Josiah commissioned Hilkiah to superintend the repairs of the Temple; and it was when the latter took the silver from the Temple treasury that he found the scroll of the Law (II Kings xxii. 4-8; II Chron. xxxiv. 9-14). Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan the Scribe; the latter read it before the king, who, terrified by the divine warnings, sent Hilkiah with four other high officials to consult the prophetess Huldah (II Chron. xxxiv. 20 et seq.). The finding of the scroll was the cause of the great reformation effected by King Josiah.The question as to the nature of the scroll and the cause of the impression it made on Josiah, which has evoked so much higher criticism, is answered in a very simple manner by the Jewish commentators Rashi, Ḳimḥi, and many others. They say that when Ahaz burned the scrolls of the Law the priests of Yhwh hid one copy in the Temple, and that Hilkiah found it while searching for the silver. The scroll happened to be open at the passage Deut. xxviii. 36; and it was this that terrified Josiah. Kennicott (“Heb. Text,” ii. 299) tries to infer from II Chron. xxxiv. 14 that Hilkiah found the original autograph copy of Moses.- The Jewish Encyclopedia, Priest Hilkiah.

Therefore his argument has been thoroughly refuted, proof by contradiction, as seen above. We clearly have an instance of an entire codex of the word of God being lost by the Jews, what is worse is that I can even present the case of the tablets of which the 10 commandments were originally recorded upon. Where are those tablets? In fact, if it is that Priest Hilkiah on one hand found the original manuscripts of Moses’ writing of the Torah, can he present that for me, rather than the Masoretic Text or the Greek Septuagint? No! Therefore he has refuted himself. He then continues to misrepresent the Qur’an:

Moreover, there is another problem, the Koran seems to suggest that the Torah and Injil are in the possession of the people of Mohammed’s day: وَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ كِتَابٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ وَكَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ يَسْتَفْتِحُونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُم مَّا عَرَفُوا كَفَرُوا بِهِ ۚ فَلَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them,- although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith,- when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognised, they refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without Faith. Qur’an 2:89 (Yusuf Ali translation)

However, this has been completely refuted and demonstrated as baseless in my responses to Sam Shamoun, see Part 1 and Part 2, this is merely a copy pasted argument from James’ friends. I must request that the author desist from eisegesis on the Qur’an, as he would become upset if I were to reinterpret and misrepresent his own scripture, therefore in the nature of academic honesty, I request that he corrects his mistake and apologize for the abuse towards scripture, it is indeed very insulting to see Christians having to become this dishonest in their workings. May God indeed, guide you from such horrendous decorum. He furthers his rant, by saying:

If the Torah and Injil are something that were with Christians and Jews in the 7th century, then they weren’t destroyed. Moreover, we know what the Old and New Testaments looked like in the 7th century – in fact we have even older copies than that.

The Qur’an never makes the assertion that the Torah and Injeel that existed in 7 C.E. were the revealed words of Allaah, rather, they were interpolated works, ascribed to Allaah (much like the homonymous writings of the New Testament). I really do suggest that the author read on the response to Sam Shamoun, linked above, it covers the arguments for and against, with many references and citations with numerous areas of research to have a comprehensive and holistic response. What was indeed funny, was his accepting that the Injeel as the Qur’an states, was given to ‘Isa (alayhi as salaam) is not the New Testament:

We do not believe that only the ideas but not the words are inspired. Our view of the mechanism of inspiration may differ from that of Muslims (we don’t believe that the words simply are spoken, as it were, in the ears of the prophets), but that difference seems to be irrelevant to this particular argument.

Therefore, he proved my point above, that the Injeel which the Qur’an refers to and the New Testament do not correspond to each other, i.e. they are not the same but mutually exclusive. He has therefore, proved that his argument was false and misleading. He continues:

The Torah and Injil are now not merely somehow obscured through textual variation, but instead are completely destroyed. Under this theory, they are preserved much worse than if the Old and New Testaments are the Torah and Injil.

This is a bit funny, as below he would eventually come to this conclusion:

As for the fallacy of ad ignorantium, it has not been substantiated by the author of the article, and so we may leave our response at that.

Yet, he thinks it is fanciful, that the Torah could have been lost, yet this was satiated by the Jewish Encyclopedia above, there were three instances in history where the Torah and other religious scripture were completely lost for a number of years or damned from history entirely:

(1) The scrolls of Antiochus.
(2) When Ahaz burned the Torah.
(3) When Josiah son of Ammon ruled, for 23 years.

It’s worse for him, because above we read that the Priest had rediscovered the original manuscripts of Moses, yet can the author link us to them? Can he show us where they are? No. All he can show us are manuscripts from the Masoretes and the from the Septuagint, centuries after. Therefore he has again, disproved himself.

In conclusion, the author over at the AO Ministry Blog, has not refuted a single point within my original article, but what he has done is demonstrate to us his inability to read, his appeal to ignorance, his disdain for realising his contradicting arguments and his willingness to pervert and distort my words. I do hope, that if he does have any self respect, shame or even honesty that he removes that horrendous article of complete absurdity and at a later date, possibly recompense himself with a proper attempt at a refutation.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]