Correspondence: The Bible & the Quran
by Muhammad Manzur Ilahi
The Light (Pakistan), 16th July 1922 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 15, p. 3)
A Christian correspondent of the Epiphany quotes some verses from the Holy Quran, which in his opinion admit that among the Jews there were some truthful men, but from the verse quoted it never appears that among the Jews there are some truthful men, and who can deny that there were truthful people among all religions.
In 5:44–47 [The Holy Quran], there are two statements regarding the Torah and the Injil [Gospels]. The first statement made is that the Torah was a Divine revelation containing light and guidance, which statement no Muslim denies. What is denied is that light and guidance were kept intact throughout the ages.
It is further denied that these two books were meant for the whole world and for all ages. They certainly contained light and guidance, but only for one people — the Israelites — and for a limited time. The Christian critics forget that, notwithstanding the light and guidance contained in Torah and Injil, these were sent down for the Israelite people.
As regards urging Jews and Christians “in the strongest terms to follow and obey them,” one finds no such verse in Surat-ul Maida [Chapter 5 of the Holy Quran]. The words “lam-yahkum” signify those who did not judge by what Allah revealed are unbelievers and transgressors: “And there is no doubt that the people for whom the Torah and the Injil were meant, could not be called believers in them if they did not judge matters according to them.” The adoption of words “Bima anza lallahu” (By what Allah has revealed) instead of Torah and Injil in the verses quoted shows that the whole of the Torah and the Injil, as existing at the time of the Holy Prophet [pbuh], were not looked upon as being Divine revelation, otherwise the Quran, speaking of the Torah and the Injil, would have ended the verse with the statement “whoever judges not by the Torah and the Injil” instead of what we actually have: “whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed”; the difference leading to the clear conclusion that the Quran considered the Torah and the Injil to contain something which was not revealed by Allah.
In 10:94 [The Holy Quran), the Holy Prophet [pbuh] was ordered to ask the Israelites whether the previous revelation does not contain clear prophecies of the advent of the Prophet.
In 3:23 [The Holy Quran], it is written,
“have you not considered those who are given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah that it might decide between them, then a part of them turn back and they withdraw.”
Here it is clearly laid down that the Jews were given a portion of the Book because much of it was lost long before this period. The Book of Allah spoken of here is the Holy Quran, which had given the true judgement and the truth of which was ever manifest from the scattered prophecies met with in the pages of the corrupted Bible.
The Holy Prophet [pbuh] testifying the truth of God’s revelations to all peoples through their prophets clearly invites them all to the Book of Allah (the Holy Quran) that it might decide between them; that is, the broad principles of religion regarding which Jews and Christians differ.
Regarding the verse (6:34),
“and certainly apostles before thee were rejected but they were patient on being rejected and persecuted until Our help came to them, and there is none to change the words of Allah; and certainly there has come to thee some information about the messengers,”
the context shows clearly that by the “words of Allah” are meant the prophecies promising assistance to His apostles, and not that the Torah and the Injil will not be changed.
Now, where in the Holy Quran is Jesus [AS] called the “Son of God”; [or is] his “Virgin Birth” or that “he is still alive in his material body in heaven” [mentioned]? The only thing which is repeatedly mentioned in the Holy Book is his and his mother’s purity from “a grievous calumny” brought against them by the Jews. But defending a righteous person from the calumnies of his enemies does not mean that he is the greatest of all the prophets, because the greatness of the prophets is judged by the effect of their preaching in their ministry and not by the words.
On what was the effect of Jesus’ [AS] preaching over his twelve disciples, one need turn up the pages of the New Testament rather than seek shelter under the Holy Quran.
Md. [Muhammad] Manzur Ilahi