Tag Archives: Refuting Shabir Ally on the Preservation of the Bible

Refutation: Refuting Shabir Ally on the Preservation of the Bible

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

In a recent showing of, ‘The Jesus or Muhammad Show‘ (there’s no either or, we love and follow both as Muslims), David Wood and Pastor Joseph tried very comically to demonstrate that the Qur’an validates the Bible. As a Muslim who is familiar with Christian deception and missionary work, within 1 minute and 41 seconds I had no choice but to feel embarrassed for the show’s hosts who were clearly arguing beyond their means. They quoted the Qur’an which says:

“Say, “We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him.” – Qur’aan 3:84.

Here’s a quick question for the self proclaimed ‘Pastor’ and the Muslim phobic David Wood, the very verse you used states that a scripture was given to Jesus. This is what we believe, that a scripture was given to Jesus, not in a ‘scripture’ which was authored decades later which eventually through the Ecumenical Council of Carthage in 397 CE was deemed to be ‘scripture’. They progressed to mention (without evidence) that the Qur’an does the following:

  • Confirms the Inspiration of the Bible.
  • Denies the Preservation of the Bible.
  • Denies the Authority of the Bible.

The problem with this is that the Qur’an actually:

  • Confirms the Inspiration of the Injil to Jesus.
  • Confirms that God’s word is not changed but that men wrote other words and then claimed it to be God’s (2:79).
  • Confirms the Authority of the Inspired Scripture revealed to Jesus known as the Injil.

They confused themselves by thinking that what the verse speaks of is the New Testament, but no Christian in his right mind (for David and his Pastor could be differently minded) believes that the New Testament originated with Jesus and was sent to Jesus from God in a complete rendition. Therefore Muslims and Christians are referring to two distinct scriptures where one originates with Christ and where one is alluded to Christ decades after by unknown scribes with unknown authority. As for when we say we make no distinction between the scriptures, we mean that we do not distinguish between God’s revelations. Since Christians confirm that the New Testament did not originate during Christ’s time, then it is an explicit acknowledgement that it is not what Allaah revealed to Christ, thus we can distinguish it as non-canonical ‘scripture’ to Muslims and as a consequence, it cannot be considered to be inspired by Allaah.

They then went on to quote the following ayats:

“He has sent down upon you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. Before, as guidance for the people. And He revealed the Qur’an. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the verses of Allah will have a severe punishment, and Allah is exalted in Might, the Owner of Retribution.” – Qur’an 3:3-4.

David then said that we believe in the inspiration, but not the preservation or authority of the New Testament due to the above verse. The problem with this egregious thinking as I outlined above is that we Muslims make a distinction to what was physically in Jesus’ hand as a scripture, versus something written decades after and validated only in 4th century CE. Therefore we affirm God’s inspiration of scripture, preservation of scripture and authority, we however do not affirm that God inspired the New Testament which did not exist at Jesus’ time. David then presents what he claims to be the ‘Muslim reasoning’:

  1. The Qur’aan confirms the inspiration of the Christian scriptures.
  2. Muslims open the Bible, realise it doesn’t line up with the Qur’aan and then claim corruption.

Let me correct David’s infantile simplification, rather we believe:

  1. The Qur’aan confirms the inspiration and revelation of a scripture given to Christ Jesus.
  2. The Qur’aan does not confirm the inspiration of a scripture written decades after Jesus and validated in a 4th century Catholic Council.

After all, David himself knows that he cannot validate his claims without first and foremost, significantly misrepresenting the Muslim position, how else would he make money? In further deluding himself, he references another ayah of the Qur’aan:

“Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.” – Qur’aan 7:157.

David’s argument is that this verse refers to the Christians and Jews of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) time and it implies that the current Bible is what would have existed at that time. The problem with this thinking is that not all Christians at his time, nor all Jews would follow the same Soteriology, Christology or scripture.  For David to claim that the same ‘scripture’ was used by Arabian Jews and Christians, would have to mean that he has some explicit, empirical evidence for what the Christians and Jews in Arabia would have used as scripture. Since he does not, then he is simply appealing to wishful thinking. A simple example from before Jesus’ time and sometime after, would be the scrolls of the Jerusalem Jews versus that of the Essenes in Qumran. Both are Jews, but the Essenes had a radically different corpus of scrolls such as the War Scroll, the Community Rule, the Rule of Blessing and the Pesher on Habbakuk. We also know that Christians themselves had different canons and codices, one of the easiest examples is the 7 Deutero-canonical books of the Catholics. Therefore, who is to say that all Christians and Jews had the same scripture? This is wishful thinking and not based on scholarly research or study. They then progressed to another verse which reads:

So if (فَإِن) you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.” – Qur’aan 10:94.

David begins his rabid diatribe by claiming that Muhammad (peace be upon is having doubts), the problem with this is that David’s Church has not taught him how to read properly. The verse begins with saying “So if“, thus, it is not a declaration of doubt, rather it is a choice, an option. For example what if I said:

“If David was sexually abused by Pastor Joseph…”

Does this mean I am claiming with absolute certainty that David was sexually abused? According to David, the answer to this would be yes. Since this is the case, I personally am taking this opportunity to implore David to take up a reading and comprehension course at any vocational school, as his Church study seems to have rendered him deficient in the mind. David goes on to present a false dichotomy, he says there are only two views, either the revelation of the Christ has been corrupted or it hasn’t. Well it’s neither of those options as the Qur’aan in 10:94 is not referring to what was written by unknown Greek men decades after Jesus, but what was given to Jesus himself. Therefore David’s dichotomy is both irrelevant and nonsensical.

David then switches gears to claim once again that when the Qur’aan refers to the Torah and Injil (Gospel), that it is referring to the present Christian and Jewish writings, as a consequence the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament have therefore, never been altered. He used the following quote to ‘validate’ his claim:

“And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge.” – Qur’aan 18:27.

To correct David, the verse is not referring to the Jewish Old Testament written some 3000 years after Moses as is presented in the current oldest codex known as the Qumran scrolls as written by the Essenes, nor is it referring to the earliest Christian codices as is presented in Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, some 4 centuries after Christ. Rather, as I have said before and as I would say again, this verse is speaking in relation to the books revealed directly to Moses and Jesus the Christ, not to the renditions of ‘scripture’ presented to us, yet are dated to be centuries after both personalities. He went on to mention one of Sam’s argument where the Qur’aan mentions ‘what is between his hands‘, Christians fondly misinterpret this to mean it is referring to the previous scriptures:

And We descended to you The Book with the truth, confirming to WHAT (IS) BETWEEN HIS HANDS from The Book (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi)

Initially the ayat says that Allaah sent a book to Muhammad {saw}, a revelation. This revelation is confirming what is between Muhammad’s {saw} hands [The Qur’aan] from the previous revelation [Injil]. Since David is a bit dense, I shall break this down step by step for him:

(1) Allaah says He revealed scripture to Muhammad {saw}.
(2) He says this scripture, that He has revealed which Muhammad {saw} has (presently) in his hands (possession – the Qur’aan) confirms the previous scripture.
(3) The previous scripture’s message is confirmed in what is in Muhammad’s {saw} book now, (1) – the Qur’aan.

Notice his provided translation says what is between his hands from the book. The ayat presents the case of two books being revealed, but one is presently in the hands of Muhammad {saw} and that is the one Allaah has revealed. This book presently in Muhammad’s {saw} hands confirm what was from the book, previously revealed. Let’s see what Shaykh Rafi Uthmani [db] had to say on this ayat:

In the fifth (48) and sixth (49) verse, the address is to the Holy Prophet Muhammad {saw} saying that to him Allaah has revealed the Qur’aan which confirms the Torah and Injil, Books previous to it, and is their custodian as well. This is because, after the people of the Torah altered the Torah and the people of the Injil made changes in the Injil, it was the Qur’an alone which turned out to be the overseer and protector which exposed the alterations made by them, lit up truth and reality in their proper persepctive. Even today, the true teachings of the Torah and Injil still survive through the Qur’aan, while those who inherited them and those who claim to follow them have disfigured them to the extent that it has become impossible to distinguish truth from untruth. – Tafsir Maar’iful Qur’aan, Mufti Rafi Uthman, page 181.

To make sense of David’s argument, if we take his understanding into consideration we get the following:

(1) Allaah has revealed a book to Muhammad {saw}.
(2) Forget (1) for now.
(3) The book in your hands, which is not (1) confirms…
(4) What was from another book previously revealed.

So then, the question begs itself, if it’s confirming a previous scripture (لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ – that which preceded it), then what currently is in Muhammad’s {saw} hands? What is in his hands now that’s confirming the previous revelation? David is saying the answer to this, is the previous revelation. If that makes no senseto you, as much as it does to us, then we’re on the right track. How exactly can the verse be saying that God has presently sent confirmation and that the confirmation He has sent is currently in Muhammad’s {saw} hands but the confirmation is the previous scripturenot the scripture God currently revealed to Muhammad {saw}? That leads us into a circular argument, more academically, to the fallacy of circular thinking:

David is saying the previous revelation is the book in Muhammad’s {saw} hands and it refers to itself as a previous revelation being confirmed by God.

How exactly David, is the previous revelation referring to itself as “previous”, shouldn’t it be…..current? Shouldn’t it, logically speaking, refer to itself as the current revelation to make complete sense of the ayat? Essentially, his argument is based upon a world play upon the word study fallacy and does not it into the context of the ayat (verse). The explanation which he proposes ignores rational thought, edifies non-sequitur arguments, i.e. it does not logically follow through, to be true. They then progressed to another misinterpreted verse:

And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.” – Qur’aan 5:47.

This once again needs to be contextualised with the verse directly preceding it, which reads:

“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’aan 5:46.

The Qur’aan is telling the Christians to follow the law as given to Jesus. Not to follow a corpus of writings originating decades after the man himself. In addition to this, what did Allaah ask them to judge by? What judgement was He referring to? In the verse directly preceding the aforementioned verses we are told what exactly it is, He was commanding the people of the Gospel to judge by what Allaah revealed and not to judge by their whims and fancies, in reference to the law of Qisas:

“And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” – Qur’aan 5:45.

If David wanted to be honest, and if he wanted to present an accurate study of what the verse was saying, then all he had to do was read the verses directly preceding the one he quoted (5:47), rather he isolated a verse and wholly misrepresented it to delude himself and the 5 people that tune in to watch his ranting and raving.  David and Pastor Joseph then stated the following:

  • We have the text that was before Muhammad (peace be upon him), during his time and the text which was after him, thus 5:47 must be referring to the Bible we as Christians have today.

The problem with this, is that the Qur’aan in 5:47 tells the Christians to judge by what God revealed and then God mentioned what He revealed in 5:46 and 5:45, which was the law of Qisas. Since this is the case, for the New Testament to be what 5:47 was referring to, then it must contain the law of Qisas as is found in 5:45, since it does not and by using the logical law methodology of proof by contradiction, the New Testament cannot be considered to be what 5:47 was referring to. A simple counter example would be to ask David and Pastor Joseph if 2 Timothy 3:16 includes in its intended scope the 7 Deutero-canonical books of the Catholics and the Community Scroll of the Essenes. If not, then David and Joseph are not being honest and fair with their interpretation and study of the Qur’aanic ayat and have thus conceded to abusing the true meaning of the verses presented.

Lastly, David runs to misinterpret another verse in a mad dash to establish some credibility in hopes of conveying his perverse message:

“Say, “O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. So do not grieve over the disbelieving people.” – Qur’aan 5:68.

This ayah in particular follows the same formula as the one above, we must read the preceding verse which states:

“O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.” – Qur’aan 5:67.

Verse 68 is commanding Jews and Christians to follow the Torah and the Gospel by following what was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him)! The verse is simply saying that if the Christians and the Jews who want to uphold the Torah and the Gospel, then they can only do so by following the Qur’aan. This verse does not validate the Bible as the Christians and Jews developed after Moses and Jesus respectively. Rather it is referring to the scriptures given to Moses and Jesus directly and since both Christians and Jews do not possess any of the above, it is therefore wishful thinking and confirmation bias to read into the Qur’aan their rendition of scripture, as opposed to what those two great and mighty Prophets of Allaah possessed.

In some parting advice for David and Joseph, in as much as you want to pervert the Qur’aan with your inane rants, know that us Muslims are far more educated in what you hope to use against us and that any arguments you can bring forth can be easily dismissed and corrected.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.