Allah’s Promise to Preserve the Bible

A Reminder to One Muslim Dawagandist

Sam Shamoun

This is a response to Bassam Zawadi’s denial that Allah’s promise in Q. 15:9 to preserve the Reminder includes with it the promise to protect the previous Books such as the Torah and Gospel since the Quran calls these specific Scriptures the Reminder. We encourage the readers to carefully go through Zawadi’s entire article before reading our response.

Zawadi begins his "rebuttal" by mentioning my argument concerning Q. 15:9:

I haven't really seen anyone put forth this argument except Sam Shamoun, one of the authors of www.answering-islam.org.

His argument is paraphrased as follows...

The Qur'an says that God promises to preserve the Remembrance in Surah 15, Verse 9. Also we see that the Torah and Gospel were referred to as Remembrance and this is supported by appealing to Surah 16:43, 21:7, 21:48, 21:105 and 40:53-54. Therefore, Surah 15:9 is indirectly, yet clearly stating that the Torah and Gospel have also been preserved.

Yes, the Torah, Gospel and Qur'an are all Remembrances since they were revelations from God to remind the people to worship Him. However, one needs to look at context to know whether the word Remembrance in a specific verse is talking about all of the revelations of God or a specific one.

After citing Q. 21:48 and 40:53-54 Zawadi says that,

So context denotes the exact meaning of the word.

To which we completely agree and is the very reason why Zawadi is wrong for assuming that Q. 15:9 is only referring to the Quran as we shall show.

Zawadi quotes my statements in my debate with Shabir Ally to prove his case:

Now even Sam Shamoun himself in his debate with Shabir Ally, which could be downloaded here in part 1 of the debate, 4th minute, 26th second admits that the context of Surah 15:9 shows that the word Reminder is referring to the Qur'an...

The first verse is Chapter 15, Verse 9 of the Qur'an. It says this: 'We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).'

Now interestingly most Muslims feel that this is referring to the protection of the Qur'an and in its immediate context it is referring to the Qur'an. I have no arguments with that.

Sam Shamoun then goes on to quote several verses to try and show that books such as the Torah and Gospel could also be referred to as Remembrance. Yet, he doesn't realize that he refuted himself already by saying that the context of Surah 15:9 is talking about the Qur'an. Where does the context allow it to mean that it is also talking about the Torah and Gospel? He hasn't proven this assertion.

Shamoun is right; the context makes it obvious that it is referring to the Qur'an...

Surah 15:2-9

Often will those who disbelieve wish that they had been Muslims. Leave them that they may eat and enjoy themselves and (that) hope may beguile them, for they will soon know. And never did We destroy a town but it had a term made known. No people can hasten on their doom nor can they postpone (it). And they say: O you to whom the Reminder has been revealed! you are most surely insane: Why do you not bring to us the angels if you are of the truthful ones? We do not send the angels but with truth, and then they would not be respited. Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian.

Anyone can clearly see that this is a response to Prophet Muhammad's contemporaries. Also, his contemporaries' referral to the Reminder in verse 6 clearly shows that it is only referring to the Qu'ran. Hence the response in verse 9.

At this point Zawadi shows that he not only can’t read clearly but he doesn’t listen very well. Note carefully what I said:

Now interestingly MOST MUSLIMS FEEL that this is referring to the protection of the Qur'an and in its immediate context it is referring to the Qur'an. I HAVE NO ARGUMENTS WITH THAT.

As the readers can tell for themselves, I was saying that Muslims believe that Q. 15:9 refers to the Quran which I have no problem acknowledging. Yet, as I went on to show, the promise of Q. 15:9 is not limited to the Quran but encompasses all of the Books that God sent down. Here, I will establish my case from the very context of the verse itself.

To begin with, note the marked difference in the phraseology between Q. 15:6:

And they say: O YOU whom the Reminder has been revealed! you are most surely insane: Shakir

And Q. 15:9 (vv. 10-11 added for the context):

Lo! We, even We, reveal THE Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian. We verily sent (messengers) before thee (arsalna min qablika) among the factions of the men of old. And never came there unto them a messenger but they did mock him. Pickthall

The reader can plainly see that the above reference does not repeat the precise wording of Q. 15:6, which is highly significant, i.e. Q. 15:9 does not say that Allah is going to protect "the reminder which was revealed TO YOU [i.e. Muhammad]," nor does it say that he will protect "THIS reminder." Either of these expressions would leave absolutely no doubt that Reminder here can only be referring to the Muslim scripture. Instead, the citation mentions THE Reminder, an inclusive statement which cannot be limited to just the Quran.

The verses which immediately follow afterwards provide further substantiation that Reminder here is referring to more than just the Quran. The author refers to those that Allah sent and who were mocked like Muhammad, messengers who experienced trials similar to Muhammad. The reference to these apostles suggests that Allah’s promise to save the Reminder includes the Revelation which he gave those who were sent before Muhammad.

To put this in simple terms, the context supports the view that the author of the Quran wanted to highlight the point of Allah protecting the entire Revelation which he gave to all his prophets, to the detriment of the unbelievers who mocked and slandered his messengers and who wanted nothing more than to destroy their Message.

It shouldn’t be hard for Zawadi to fathom that the word Reminder can be used in more than one sense or have a change in referent even within a couple of verses in the same chapter, since this is precisely what we find in the following citation:

And We did not send before you (arsalna min qablika) any but men to whom We sent revelation -- so ask the followers of the Reminder (thikri) if you do not know -- With clear arguments and scriptures; and We have revealed TO YOU the Reminder (thikra) that you may make clear to men what has been revealed to them, and that haply they may reflect. S. 16:43-44 Shakir

Notice how the exegetes interpreted Q. 16:43-44:

And We did not send before you anything other than men, to whom We revealed, and [sent] not angels: 'So ask the followers of the Remembrance, those knowledgeable in the Torah and the Gospels; if you do not know', that, then they know it, and you are more likely to believe them than the believers are to believe Muhammad (s), (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

[We sent them] with clear signs (bi'l-bayyinat is semantically connected to an omitted [verb], namely, We sent them with clear arguments, and the Books and We have revealed to you the Remembrance, the Qur'an, that you may make clear to mankind what has been revealed to them, therein, in the way of [what is] lawful and unlawful, and that perhaps they might reflect, upon this and take heed. (Source; bold and emphasis ours)

(And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee) O Muhammad (other than men) human beings like you (whom We inspired) with commands and prohibitions and signs. (Ask the followers of the Remembrance) the followers of the Torah and the Gospel (if ye know not!) that Allah always sent human messengers. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

(With clear proofs) with commands, prohibitions and signs (and writings) the events of the scriptures of the people of old; (and We have revealed unto thee the Remembrance) We have sent Gabriel with the Qur'an (that thou mayst explain to mankind that which hath been revealed for them) that with which they were commanded in the Qur'an, (and that haply they may reflect) upon what they were commanded in the Qur'an. (Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Here is another Quranic citation:

Or have they taken for worship (other) aliha (gods) besides Him? Say: "Bring your proof:" This (the Qur'an) is the Reminder for those with me and the Reminder (wa thikru) for those before me. But most of them know not the Truth, so they are averse. S. 21:24 Hilali-Khan

Al-Jalalayn explain that:

Or have they chosen besides Him, exalted be He, other than Him, gods? (herein is an interrogative meant as a rebuke). Say: 'Bring your proof, for this - but such a thing is impossible. This is the Remembrance of those with me, namely, my community, and that [Remembrance] is the Qur'an, and the Remembrance of those before me, of communities, namely, the Torah and the Gospel and other Books of God, not a single one of which contains the statement that with God there exists another god, in the way that they claim - exalted be He above such a thing. Nay, but most of them do not know the truth, the affirmation of God's Oneness, and so they are disregardful', of that discernment that leads to [knowledge of] it. (Tafsir Al-Jalalayn: Source; bold and italic emphasis ours)

And just in case Zawadi thinks that we are making too much of a big deal because of the difference in the language note what his fellow colleague Jalal Abularub, the gentleman who runs the www.islamlife.com website where Zawadi is an administrator, wrote in response to Osama Abdallah concerning Q. 15:9:

  1. Here is a question to ask of Osama: Since Allah called the Torah ‘Dhikr,’ then, WHAT EVIDENCE DOES HE HAVE THAT AYAH 15:9 [Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will guard it], IS EVEN ABOUT THE QURAN RATHER THAN THE TORAH?
    1. Read Ayah 15:9 TO TRY AND FIND DIRECT EVIDENCE IN THAT IT IS ABOUT THE QURAN. (Jalal Abualrub, If You Love Allah, Then Follow Muhammad, p. 42; source; capital emphasis ours)

As Abualrub correctly noted, there is nothing in the immediate context which rules out that Reminder here may actually be referring to the Torah; and yet there is every indication that it does include a promise to preserve all of the Scriptures which God revealed through those whom he sent.

Abualrub provides additional support that Q. 15:9 isn’t speaking only of the Quran since he uses this very reference to prove that Allah will also preserve the Sunna:

Thirty-Sixth: Allah promised to protect the Dhikr from corruption, by protecting every letter of the Quran in addition to its Bayan (meaning; explanation; implication).

Allah said…

{Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e., the Qur’an) and surely, We shall guard it (from corruption)} (15:9).

Thirsty-Seventh: Dhikr compromises of the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah, the Qur’an’s practical Bayan. (Introduction to: Muhammad The Prophet of Mercy – Muhammad’s Role in Islam, by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke [Madinah Publishers and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], p. 53; underline emphasis ours)

Even though Abualrub defines Dhikr in Q. 15:9 as the Quran he still feels that this passage also includes the promise to protect Muhammad’s Sunna.

The problem with his assertion is that the Quran never explicitly mentions the Sunna of Muhammad (despite Abualrub’s claims to the contrary), but only the Sunna of Allah:

(Such was Our) Sunna (Sunnata) in the case of those whom We sent before thee (to mankind), and thou wilt not find for Our Sunna (li-sunnatina) aught of power to change. S. 17:77

behaving proudly in the land and in planning evil; and the evil plans shall not beset any save the authors of it. Then should they wait for aught except the sunna of the former people? For you shall not find any alteration in the sunna of Allah (li-sunnati Allahi); and you shall not find any change in the sunna of Allah (li-sunnati Allahi). S. 35:43

And even claims that the Muslim scripture is the best and only hadith:

… Which Hadith, beside this, do they believe in? S. 7:185 Khalifa

Among the people, there are those who uphold baseless Hadith, and thus divert others from the path of GOD without knowledge, and take it in vain. These have incurred a shameful retribution. S. 31:6 Khalifa

GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD's message. Such is GOD's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them. S. 39:23 Khalifa

These are GOD's revelations that we recite to you truthfully. In which Hadith other than GOD and His revelations do they believe? S. 45:6 Khalifa

Let them produce a Hadith like this, if they are truthful. S. 52:34 Khalifa

Therefore, let Me deal with those who reject this Hadith; we will lead them on whence they never perceive. S. 68:44 Khalifa

Which Hadith, other than this, do they uphold? S. 77:50 Khalifa

Nor does the Muslim scripture ever identify Muhammad’s Sunna as the Reminder, whereas it does apply this term to the Books of the Jews and Christians.

Thus, if Abualrub believes that Q. 15:9 includes a promise to preserve Muhammad’s Sunna even though it is never mentioned anywhere in the Muslim scripture then how much more does this promise apply to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures which the Quran explicitly calls the Reminder?

With the foregoing in perspective we must say that Zawadi has failed once again to refute our points.

It is apparent that Zawadi loves false analogies.

Imagine I tell someone that I traveled to Canada a month ago. Then based on that he concludes that I visited Calgary, since it is in Canada. However, it might actually be that I only visited Toronto. Just because I visited Canada, that doesn't mean that I visited all of Canada.

Here is a better analogy.

Imagine I tell someone that I traveled to Canada a month ago without specifying which parts of Canada I actually visited. Imagine that in other conversations I talked about just how wonderful and beautiful Calgary happens to be. Now wouldn’t the person listening in on these conversations naturally assume that Calgary was one of the places I actually visited when I went to Canada a month earlier? Is it his fault, or my fault, that he assumed that I went to Calgary during this time when in fact I was referring to a different trip since I have visited Canada on several occasions (this, of course, assumes that I didn’t actually go to Calgary a month earlier)? Doesn’t this prove that I am a rather poor communicator since I failed to express myself clearly enough so as to prevent the person from wrongly assuming that I went to Calgary when I visited Canada a month earlier?

Applying this analogy to Q. 15:9, is it the readers’ fault or Muhammad’s that the citation doesn’t limit the promise of preserving the Reminder to the Muslim scripture itself? Is it our fault that the promise of protection is written in such a way as to include all the Books which Allah sent down as his Reminder?

Doesn’t this simply provide another example of Zawadi wanting to read into his sources his a priori belief that the Quran doesn’t confirm the authenticity and preservation of the previous Scriptures? Doesn’t Zawadi’s unwillingness to concede the possibility that Q. 15:9 includes the previous Scriptures indicate that he will pretty much distort and interpret any Islamic text which confirms the authority of the Holy Bible to agree with his erroneous and unsubstantiated presupposition that it doesn’t?

Zawadi admits as much when he candidly writes:

"… My position is that I accept ALL the narrations that speak about Bible corruption and harmonize those verses that are abused by missionaries, while they (missionaries) can't harmonize everything together." (Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Did Muhammad Confirm the Torah?: Addressing the Smokescreens of a Muslim Polemicist"; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

And:

Thirdly, Ibn Abbaas's statement COULD BE REINTEPREPTED in order to be reconciled with the other statements that he has made… (Evidence That Islam Endorses Textual Corruption of The Christian and Jewish Scriptures; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Hence, Zawadi’s position in a nutshell is, "I have made up my mind already, so please don’t confuse me with the facts."

Zawadi provides further evidence that he will force any text or narrative to agree with his unwarranted assumption since he goes on to write:

We can easily knock out choices 2,4,6 and 7 (regarding Torah) since God mentions in...

Surah 5:44

Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light; with it the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews, and the masters of Divine knowledge and the doctors, because they were required to guard (part) of the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses thereof; therefore fear not the people and fear Me, and do not take a small price for My communications; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers.

that the Rabbis and scribes were entrusted with the protection of the Torah. It wasn't God that entrusted its protection as He states regarding the Qur'an in Surah 15:9. Obviously, the protection of the Torah failed since it was entrusted to people and the same goes for the Gospel (see here)

Several comments are necessary in order expose Zawadi’s gross distortion of the meaning of this passage. First, the citation says absolutely nothing about the Jews failing to preserve their scripture; Zawadi is reading this erroneous assumption into the text. All it says is that God entrusted the Jews with his Book. It never dawned on Zawadi that the way God preserved his Scriptures is through human agents such as the Jewish rabbis and scribes who faithfully transmitted the Revelation generation after generation.

This leads us to the second problem with Zawadi’s claim. The Quran itself was compiled and transcribed by imperfect, fallible human beings. Zawadi himself knows this since he doesn’t believe that Allah personally came down and gave the Muslim community a compiled Quranic manuscript in its exact order. Rather, as Zawadi knows full well, fallible Muslims collected, compiled and arranged the Quran, transcribing it from generation to generation. In other words, imperfect men through imperfect means collected and arranged the Muslim scripture in the form we find it today.

Zawadi may erroneously believe that these men were able to do this perfectly, but this is not supported by the facts. Both the Muslim traditions and the extant Quranic manuscripts demonstrate that the Muslim scripture has been transmitted with literally thousands of variant readings along with additions and omissions.

Amazingly, the Quran itself refers to persons who were corrupting the Muslim scripture:

Like as We sent down on the dividers Those who made the Quran INTO SHREDS. So, by your Lord, We would most certainly question them all, As to what they did. S. 15:90-93 Shakir

Scholar in Islamic studies Alphonse Mingana commented on this passage by noting:

"Finally, if we understand correctly the following verse of Suratul-Hijr (xv. 90-91): 'As we sent down upon (punished) the dividers (of the Scripture?) who broke up the Koran into parts,' we are tempted to state that even when the Prophet was alive, some changes were noticed in the recital of certain verses of his sacred book. There is nothing very surprising in this fact, since Muhammad could not read or write, and was at the mercy of friends for the writing of his revelations, or, more frequently, of some mercenary amanuenses." (Mingana, "Three Ancient Korans", The Origins of the Koran - Classic Essays on Islam's Holy Book, ed. by Ibn Warraq [Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, 1998], p. 84; bold emphasis ours)

Mingana records the Muslim reaction to Uthman b. Affan's burning and wholesale destruction of primary, competing Quranic codices:

"The book, drawn up by this method, continued to be authoritative and the standard text till 29-30 A.H. under the caliphate of 'Uthman. At this time the wonderful faithfulness of Arab memory was defective, and according to a general weakness of human nature, the Believers have been heard reciting the verses of the Koran in a different way. This fact was due specially, it is said, to the hundreds of dialects used in Arabia. Zaid was again asked to put an end to these variations which had begun to scandalize the votaries of the Prophet. That indefatigable compiler, assisted by three men from the tribe of Quraish, started to do what he had already done more than fifteen years before. The previous copies made from the first one written under Abu Bakr were all destroyed by special order of the caliph: the revelation sent down from heaven was one, and the book containing this revelation must be one. The critic remarks that the only guarantee of the authenticity of the Koran is the testimony of Zaid; and for this reason, a scholar who doubts whether a given word has been really used by Muhammad, or whether it has been only employed by Zaid on his own authority, or on the meagre testimony of some Arab reciters, does not transgress the strict laws of high criticism. If the memory of the followers of the Prophet has been found defective from the year 15 to 30 A.H. when Islam was proclaimed over all Arabia, why may it not have been defective from 612 to 632 C.E. when the Prophet was often obliged to defend his own life against terrible aggressors? And if the first recension of Zaid contained always the actual words of Muhammad, why was this compiler not content with re-establishing it in its entirety, and why was the want of a new recension felt by 'Uthman? How can it be that in the short space of fifteen years such wonderful variants could have crept into the few copies preceding the reign of the third caliph that he found himself bound to destroy all those he could find? If 'Uthman was certainly inspired only by religious purposes, why did his enemies call him ‘THE TEARER OF THE BOOKS’ and why did they fasten on him the following stigma: 'He found the Korans many and left one; HE TORE UP THE BOOK’?…" (Ibn Warraq, p. 84-85; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Mingana, in his article The Transmission of the Koran, cites Muslim historian al-Tabari:

"… ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, and ‘Uthman b. Affan wrote the Revelation to the Prophet; but in their absence it was Ubai b. Ka'b and Zaid b. Thabit who wrote it.' He informs us, too, that the people said to 'Uthman: ‘The Koran was in many books, and thou discreditedst them all but one’; and after the Prophet's death, ‘People gave him as successor Abu Bakr, who in turn was succeeded by ‘Umar; and both of them acted according to the Book and the Sunnah of the Apostle of God- and praise be to God the Lord of the worlds; then people elected ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan WHO… TORE UP THE BOOK.’" (Ibn Warraq, p. 102; bold and capital emphasis ours)

In the same article Mingana sources another ancient writer regarding the compilation of the Quran. The author, a Christian apologist named Abd al-Masih al-Kindi, wrote an apology titled The Apology of Al-Kindi at the Court of al-Mamun circa A.D.830 (*), approximately forty years before al-Bukhari compiled his hadith collection. Al-Kindi mentions the Muslim reaction to the conflicting readings that existed amongst the different Quranic codices that circulated shortly after Muhammad's death:

"… Then the people fell to variance in their reading; some read according to the version of 'Ali, which they follow to the present day; some read according to the collection of which we have made mention; one party read according to the text of ibn Mas'ud, and another according to that of Ubai ibn Ka'b. When 'Uthman came to power, and people everywhere differed in their reading, 'Ali sought grounds of accusation against him. One man would read verse one way, and another man another way; and there was change and interpolation, some copies having more and some less. When this was represented to 'Uthman, and the danger urged of division, strife, and apostasy, he thereupon caused to be collected together all the leaves and scraps that he could, together with the copy that was written out at the first. But they did not interfere with that which was in the hands of 'Ali, or of those who followed his reading. Ubai was dead by this time, as for Ibn Mas'ud, they demanded his exemplar, but he refused to give it up. Then they commanded Zaid ibn Thabit, and with him 'Abdallah ibn 'Abbas, to revise and correct the text, eliminating all that was corrupt; they were instructed, when they differed on any reading, word, or name, or to follow the dialect of the Quraish.

"When the recension was completed, four exemplars were written out in large text; one was sent to Mecca, and another to Medina; the third was dispatched to Syria, and is to this day at Malatya; the fourth was deposited in Kufa. People say that this last copy is still extant at Kufa, but this is not case, for it was lost in the insurrection of Mukhtar (A.H. 67). The copy of Mecca remained there till the city was stormed by Abu Sarayah (A.H. 200); he did not carry it away; but it is supposed to have been burned in the conflagration. The Medina exemplar was lost in the reign of terror, that is, in the days of Yazid b. Mu'awiah (A.H. 60-64).

"After what we have related above, 'Uthman called in all the former leaves and copies, and destroyed them, threatening those held any portion back; and so only some scattered remains, concealed here and there, survived. Ibn Mas'ud, however, retained his exemplar in his own hands, and it was inherited by his posterity, as it is this day; and likewise the collection of 'Ali has descended in his family.

"Then followed the business of Hajjaj b. Yusuf, who gathered together every single copy he could lay hold of, and caused to be omitted from the text a great many passages. Among these, they say, were verses revealed concerning the House of the Umayyah with names of certain persons, and concerning the House of 'Abbas also with names. Six copies of the text thus revised were distributed to Egypt, Syria, Medina, Mecca, Kufa, and Basra. After that he called in and destroyed all the preceding copies, even as 'Uthman had done before him. The enmity subsisting between 'Ali and Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman is well known; how each of these entered in the text whatever favored his own claims, and left out what was otherwise. How, then, can we distinguish between the genuine and the counterfeit? And what about the losses caused by Hajjaj? The kind of faith that this tyrant held in other matters is well-known; how can we make an arbiter as to the Book of God a man who never ceased play into the hands of the Umayyads whenever he found opportunity?" (Ibn Warraq, pp. 108-109; bold emphasis ours)

Mingana concludes:

"Then al-Kindi, addressing his Muslim friend, says: ‘All that I have said is drawn from your own authorities, and no single argument has been advanced but what is based on evidence accepted by yourselves; in proof thereof, we have the Kur'an itself, which is a confused heap, with neither system nor order.’" (Ibn Warraq, pp. 109-110; bold emphasis ours)

Muslim sources are in agreement with the claims made by al-Tabari and al-Kindi regarding the irreparable loss of passages and the corrupt state of the Quran. For instance, Ibn Abi Dawud wrote:

"Many (of the passages) of the Qur'an that were sent down were known by those who died on the day of Yamama… but they were not known (by those who) survived them, nor were they written down, nor had Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman (by that time) collected the Qur'an, nor were they found with even one (person) after them." (Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif, p. 23; source; bold emphasis ours)

He is backed up by al-Bukhari at this point since the latter collected the following narrations which candidly admit that Muhammad failed to compile the Quran in one manuscript and that Muslims were accusing each other of corrupting their scripture:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me when the people of Yamama had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet's Companions who fought against Musailama). (I went to him) and found 'Umar bin Al-Khattab sitting with him. Abu Bakr then said (to me), "Umar has come to me and said: ‘Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the! Qur'an (i.e. those who knew the Quran by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yamama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur'an be collected.’ I said to 'Umar, ‘How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?’ 'Umar said, ‘By Allah, that is a good project.’ ‘Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which 'Umar had realized." Then Abu Bakr said (to me), "You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur'an and collect it in one book)." By Allah! If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur'an. Then I said to Abu Bakr, "How will you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" Abu Bakr replied, "By Allah, it is a good project." Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and 'Umar. So I started looking for the Qur'an and collecting it from (what was written on) palmed stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart, till I found the last Verse of Surat At-Tauba (Repentance) with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The Verse is:

'Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty… (till the end of Surat-Baraa' (At-Tauba) (9.128-129). Then the complete manuscripts (copy) of the Qur'an remained with Abu Bakr till he died, then with 'Umar till the end of his life, and then with Hafsa, the daughter of 'Umar. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 509)

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa WAS AFRAID of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to 'Uthman, "O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before." So 'Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts of the Qur'an so that we may compile the Qur'anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you." Hafsa sent it to 'Uthman. 'Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Said bin Al-As and 'AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. 'Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, "In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur'an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur'an was revealed in their tongue." They did so, and when they had written many copies, 'Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. 'Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur'anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, BE BURNT. Sa’id bin Thabit added, "A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur'an and I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): 'Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.' (33.23) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510)

Here is a different translation of the above narratives:

III: The Collection of the Qur'an

4702. It is related that Zayd ibn Thabit said, "After the slaughter of people in the Battle of Yamama, Abu Bakr sent for me. 'Umar was with him. Abu Bakr said, ''Umar came to me and said, "Many Qur'an reciters were killed in the Battle of Yamama, and I fear that heavy casualties will be inflicted on the Qur'an reciters in other places and therefore much of the Qur'an will be lost. I think that you should collect the Qur'an together."' Abu Bakr said, 'I said to 'Umar, "How can I do something which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not do?" 'Umar said, "By Allah, it is better." 'Umar kept at me about it until Allah opened my breast to that. I think what 'Umar thinks about that.'"...

4703. Anas ibn Malik reported that Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman came to 'Uthman while the people of Syria were conquering Armenia and Azerbaijan with the people of Iraq. Hudhayfa was ALARMED by the difference in their recitation. Hudhayfa said to 'Uthman, "Amir al-Mu'minin! Deliver this Community before they disagree about the Book as the Jews and Christians differed!" So 'Uthman sent a message to Hafsa, saying, "Send us the pages in your possession and we will copy them and then return them to you." So Hafsa sent them to 'Uthman. He ordered Zayd ibn Thabit, 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, Sa'id ibn al-'As, and 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn al-Harith ibn Hisham to transcribe copies. 'Uthman said to the group of the three Qurashis, "When you and Zayd ibn Thabit disagree about any of the Qur'an, write it in the dialect of Quraysh. It was revealed in their language." They did that. When they had copied it out, 'Uthman returned the pages to Hafsa and he sent a copy of what they had copied out to every region and commanded that every sheet or copy which had any other form of the Qur'an should be burned. (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 69. Book of the Virtues of the Qur'an; source; capital and italic emphasis ours)

Another Islamic source writes:

"If it is asked what was the point of ‘Uthman unifying people under a single copy of the Qur’an when Abu Bakr had already achieved that, then the response is that the aim of ‘Uthman was not to gather people in order to compile the Qur’an. Do you not see that he sent to Hafsa to ask her to give him the copy of the Qur’an so that it could be copied out and then returned to her? ‘Uthman did that BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE DISAGREEING ABOUT THE VARIOUS RECITATIONS owing to the fact that the Companions had spread to different areas AND HAD BEGUN TO STRONGLY DISAGREE, such as the conflict that took place between the people of Iraq and the people of Syria according to Hudhayfa.

"They joined an expedition to Armenia and each group recited what had been transmitted to them. They disagreed and quarrelled AND SOME OF THEM CALLED THE OTHERS UNBELIEVERS, RENOUNCING THEM COMPLETELY, CURSING ONE ANOTHER. Hudhayfa WAS ALARMED at what he saw. As soon as he arrived back to Medina, according al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi, before returning to his house he went to ‘Uthman and said, ‘This Community has reached the stage where it will be destroyed!’ ‘Why?’ asked ‘Uthman. He said, ‘It is about the Book of Allah. I was on this expedition and some of the people of Iraq, Syria and the Hijaz came together.’ Then he described what had happened and said, ‘I fear that they will differ about their Book as the Jews and Christians differed.’

"This is the evidence of the falseness of those who say that the seven ahruf are the seven present readings, because there is no disagreement about them. Suwayd ibn Ghafala reported from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib that ‘Uthman said, ‘What do you think about the copies of the Qur’an? The people have disagreed about the reciters until a man says, "My reading is better than your reading. My reading is better is more excellent than your reading." This is equivalent to disbelief.’ He replied, ‘What is your view, Amr al-Mu’minin?’ He said, ‘I think that we people should agree on one reading. If you differ today, those after you will disagree more strongly.’ ‘Ali said, ‘The correct opinion is yours, Amr al-Mu’minin.’… ‘Uthman returned the pages to Hafsa and he sent a copy of what they had copied out to every region and commanded of what sheet or copy which had any form of the Qur’an should be burned. ‘Uthman did this after gathering the Muhajirin and Ansar and a group of Muslims and consulting them about it…

"Ibn Shihab said that he was told by ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Abdullah that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud disliked Zayd ibn Thabit copying out the Qur’an and said, ‘Company of Muslims, withdraw from making copies and entrusting it to one man. By Allah, I became Muslim while he was in the loins of an unbelieving father!’ meaning Zayd ibn Thabit. That is why ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud said, ‘People of Iraq, CONCEAL THE COPIES OF THE QUR’AN YOU HAVE AND CONCEAL THEM. Allah says, "Those who misappropriate will arrive on the Day of Rising with what they have misappropriated."’ (Tafsir al-Qurtubi: Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, translated by Aisha Bewley [Dar Al-Taqwa Ltd. 2003], Volume I, Introduction: ‘Uthmani Codex, pp. 52-53; capital and underline emphasis ours)

There are several interesting points to glean from the above reference. First, the variations of the Quran were so great that Muslims started attacking each other and accusing one another of disbelief. This refutes the notion that the differences were minor, or merely dialectal in nature.

Second, Hudhayfa comparing the Muslim situation with the disagreement between Jews and Christians regarding their Book is rather interesting since the main difference between them centers on the number of inspired Books. The Jews do not accept the NT Books which Christians believe are inspired and therefore part of the Biblical canon. This suggests that the competing and conflicting Quranic copies which different Muslim groups were using were not uniform in their number of chapters and verses, e.g. some Qurans had more chapters and verses than some others. No wonder Uthman decided to burn copies of the Quran which were written by Muhammad’s companions! He had to get rid of the evidence which conclusively proved that the memory of the Muslims miserably failed to fully preserve the original wording of the Quran.

Finally, notice that ‘Uthman decided to get rid of six of the seven ahruf or modes of the Quran, even though the hadith claims that Allah revealed all of them to Muhammad!

Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab:

I heard Hisham bin Hakim reciting Surat-al-Furqan during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle, I listened to his recitation and noticed that he was reciting in a way that Allah's Apostle had not taught me. I was about to jump over him while he was still in prayer, but I waited patiently and when he finished his prayer, I put my sheet round his neck (and pulled him) and said, "Who has taught you this Sura which I have heard you reciting?" Hisham said, "Allah's Apostle taught it to me." I said, "You are telling a lie, for he taught it to me in a way different from the way you have recited it!" Then I started leading (dragged) him to Allah's Apostle and said (to the Prophet), "I have heard this man reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way that you have not taught me." The Prophet said: "(O 'Umar) release him! Recite, O Hisham." Hisham recited in the way I heard him reciting. Allah's Apostle said, "It was REVEALED like this." Then Allah's Apostle said, "Recite, O 'Umar!" I recited in the way he had taught me, whereupon he said, "It was REVEALED like this," and added, "The Quran has been REVEALED to be recited in seven different ways, so recite of it whichever is easy for you." (See Hadith No. 514, Vol. 6) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 640)

The obvious question to ask is what gave ‘Uthman, and the other Muslims who agreed with him, the right to destroy these various modes which Allah (supposedly) revealed to his (alleged) prophet when ‘Uthman wasn’t an inspired messenger and therefore didn’t receive any revelation to do so? We will wait for Zawadi to provide a satisfactory answer to this major dilemma.

Another Muslim named Ibn Khaldun commented on the incompetence of the Arabic scribes:

"Arabic writing at the beginning of Islam was, therefore, not of the best quality nor of the greatest accuracy and excellence. It was not (even) of medium quality, because the Arabs possessed the savage desert attitude and were not familiar with crafts. One may compare what happened to the orthography of the Qur'an on account of this situation. The men around Muhammad wrote the Qur'an in their own script which was not of a firmly established, good quality. Most of the letters were in contradiction to the orthography required by persons versed in the craft of writing… Consequently, (the Qur'anic orthography of the men around Muhammad was followed and became established, and the scholars acquainted with it have called attention to passages where (this is noticeable). No attention should be paid in this connection with those incompetent (scholars) that (the men around Muhammad) knew well the art of writing and that the alleged discrepancies between their writing and the principles of orthography are not discrepancies, as has been alleged, but have a reason. For instance, they explain the addition of the alif in la 'adhbahannahU 'I shall indeed slaughter him' as indication that the slaughtering did not take place (lA 'adhbahannahU). The addition of the ya in bi-ayydin 'with hands (power),' they explain as an indication that the divine power is perfect. There are similar things based on nothing but purely arbitrary assumptions. The only reason that caused them to (assume such things) is their belief that (their explanations) would free the men around Muhammad from the suspicion of deficiency, in the sense that they were not able to write well. They think that good writing is perfection. Thus, they do not admit the fact that the men around Muhammad were deficient in writing." (Muqqadimah, Ibn Khaldun, volume 2, p. 382; bold emphasis ours)

With this in perspective it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find Ibn 'Umar making the following candid admission:

It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said: "Let none of you say ‘I have acquired the whole of the Qur'an’. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur'an has disappeared? Rather let him say ‘I have acquired what has survived.’" (As-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p. 524; source; bold emphasis ours)

Yet despite all of this evidence Zawadi will still choose to blindly believe and propagate the lie that the Quran has been perfectly preserved.

Be that as it may, the foregoing clearly shows that Zawadi must accept the fact that Allah (supposedly) preserved and collected the Quran by using fallible men since Muhammad didn’t receive a complete manuscript from heaven which he passed on to his followers. Similarly, we also believe that the true God Yahweh sovereignly used fallible agents to preserve and transmit his infallible truth, the Holy Bible. And we have much better historical, archaeological and textual evidence supporting our position than do the Muslims.

For more on the corruption of the text of the Quran please consult the articles in this section: http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Text/index.html

Third, even if we assume that Q. 5:44 somehow implies that the people failed to preserve God's Word this would only be in reference to the Jewish Scriptures which were in the hands of the Jews, just as Zawadi admits. It would not be referring to the Christian Scriptures since the passage says absolutely nothing about Christians failing to preserve their Revelation. Nor does the Quran ever say that Allah entrusted the protection of the Gospel to the Christians. Hence, the most that Zawadi can prove from this verse is that Jews, not Christians, failed to preserve their Scriptures.

This leads us to our next point. The verses immediately before and after Q. 5:44 actually refute Zawadi’s assertion. The surrounding passages presume the existence of an uncorrupt Torah that was available during the time of both Jesus and Muhammad:

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. S. 5:43

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." S. 5:45

These references refer to the instructions contained within the Torah, even citing from it, which the Jews of Muhammad's time needed to judge by. The natural question to ask is how could the Quran claim that the Jews had the Torah wherein is God's plain command if in fact the Torah had been tampered with? The passage does not say that the Jews had a corrupted version of the Torah. This assertion must be read into the text.

Interestingly, this very command of the Torah is actually used to establish the law of retaliation:

… Yahya said that Malik said, "The best of what I have heard on the interpretation of this ayat, the word of Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, 'The free man for the free man and the slave for the slave - these are men and the woman for the woman,' (Sura 2 ayat 178) is that retaliation is between women as it is between men. The free woman is killed for the free woman as the free man is killed for the free man. The slave-girl is slain for the slave-girl as the slave is slain for the slave. Retaliation is between women as it is between men. That is because Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'We have written for them in it that it is a life for a life and an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds there is retaliation.' (Sura 5 ayat 48) Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, mentioned that it is a life for a life. It is the life of a free woman for the life of a free man, and her injury for his injury." … (Malik's Muwatta, Book 43, Number 43.21.15a)

How amazing. Muslims implement a ruling derived from a corrupted Book!

Continuing further:

And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, CONFIRMING THE TORAH THAT IS BETWEEN HIS HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina al-tawrat): We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, AND CONFIRMATION OF THE TORAH THAT IS BETWEEN HIS HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina al-tawrat): 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

Here we are told that Jesus and his Gospel confirmed the Torah which he held in his hands, or had access to, a point reiterated in the following references:

And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, THE TORAH and the Gospel, And (appoint him) as a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I bring the dead into life, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe; (I have come to you), TO ATTEST THE TORAH WHICH IS BETWEEN MY HANDS (Wa musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya mina al-tawrat). And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me." S. 3:48-50

And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, CONFIRMING THE TORAH THAT IS BETWEEN MY HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya mina al-tawrat), and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad." But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, "This is evident sorcery!" S. 61:6

Lest Zawadi accuse us of distorting the meaning of the verses note what Ibn Kathir wrote concerning Q. 5:46-47:

<'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; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

And this is what he said regarding Q. 3:48-50:

<the Tawrah and the Injil>. The Tawrah is the Book THAT ALLAH SENT DOWN TO MUSA, son of Imran, while the Injil is what Allah sent down to Isa, son of Maryam, peace be upon them, AND ISA MEMORIZED BOTH BOOKS…

<If you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawrah,> affirming the Tawrah AND UPHOLDING IT," (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 2, parts 3,4 & 5, Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147 [March 2000], pp. 163, 165; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Finally, here is what he stated in reference to Q. 61:6:

"'Isa said, 'The Tawrah conveyed the glad tidings of my coming, and my coming CONFIRMS THE TRUTH OF THE TAWRAH…'" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 9, Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun [September 2000, first edition], p. 617; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Due to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, along with Jesus' extensive use of the OT Scriptures as documented in the pages of the New Testament, we know what these Scriptures looked like; they are virtually identical to what is found in our modern Bibles. This solidifies the case that the Torah has not been corrupted since Jesus basically confirmed the authority of the same Scriptures we possess today.

These passages further imply that the Jews were not the only ones entrusted with the Torah's protection, but Christ’s disciples were also transcribing the Jewish Scriptures. The reason why they did this is precisely because their risen Lord and Master, along with the Apostles, testified that the entire Hebrew Bible is God's revealed Word that ultimately points to Jesus the Christ:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished." Matthew 5:17-18

"And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living." Matthew 22:31-32

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life… Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" John 5:39-40, 45-47

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord," Romans 1:1-4

The Lord Jesus is not the only one who confirmed the authority and preservation of the Hebrew Bible. Muhammad did as well:

But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?" Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: "TWO KINDS OF SORCERY, EACH ASSISTING THE OTHER!" And they say: "For us, we reject all (such things)!" Say: "Then bring ye a Book from Allah, which is a better guide THAN EITHER OF THEM, that I may follow it! (Do), if ye are truthful!" S. 28:48-49

In Ibn Kathir's commentary we find:

<Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!>

‘Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-‘Awfi reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that this refers to THE TAWRAH and the Qur‘an, because Allah says next ...

<Say: "Then bring a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than these two that I may follow it.">

Allah often mentions the Tawrah and the Qur‘an together, as in the Ayat ...

<Say: "Who then sent down the Book which Musa brought, a light and a guidance to mankind…"> until ...

<And this is a blessed Book which We have sent down.> (6:91-92)

And at the end of the same Surah, Allah says ...

<Then, We gave Musa the Book, to complete (Our favor) upon those who would do right> (6:154) ...

<And this is a blessed Book which We have sent down, so follow it and have Taqwa of Allah, that you may receive mercy> (6:155).

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Volume 7 (Surat An-Nur to Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 50), First Edition, August 2000, p. 418; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Two main points stick out from this passage. First, the unbelievers claimed that both the Torah and the Quran assisted each other. This implies that the Torah must have been available for examination; otherwise the unbelievers would not have been able to know whether the two books agreed with each other. Their statement further shows that the Quran did not come to expose corruption to the Torah but rather its function was/is to verify and assist it.

Secondly, Muhammad challenges the unbelievers to produce a book containing better guidance than either the Torah or the Quran. This would have been a very foolish request on Muhammad's part if in fact the Torah had been tampered with. Defending a book that was no longer the pure word of God, but contained additions or deletions, having the words of fallible men mixed in with God's Words, would only have discredited him. It would have proven to the unbelievers that, much like the Torah, the Quran was nothing more than the words of Muhammad combined with preexisting Biblical and mythical stories. Such a book could be easily matched and refuted. Yet, the fact that Muhammad defends the Torah in his possession simply reaffirms the point that the Quran does not teach Biblical textual corruption.

Fifthly, Zawadi’s position that Q. 15:9 refers to the preservation of Quran will come back to work against him and prove that the Bible cannot be corrupted if we are to believe what the Muslim scripture says. The reason being that the Quran claims that it is contained in the previous Books:

And indeed it is a revelation of the Lord of the worlds - brought down by the trustworthy spirit – upon your heart, so that you be one of the warners – [revealed] in a clear Arabic dialect - and indeed it IS [also] IN the scriptures (Arabic- Zubur) of old. Is it no evidence for them that the scholars of the Israelites know him [to be a true prophet]? 26:192-197

Another interesting point is that the hadiths actually apply the title Quran to the Psalms of David:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'The recitation of the Quran was made light and easy for David that he used to have his riding animal be saddled while he would finish the recitation of the Quran before the servant had saddled it.' (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 237)

And:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'The reciting of the Zabur (i.e. Psalms) was made easy for David. He used to order that his riding animals be saddled, and would finish reciting the Zabur before they were saddled. And he would never eat except from the earnings of his manual work." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 628)

The foregoing examples indicate that the term Quran can be used in a broader sense to refer to any of the revealed Books which the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians) read or recite since the term itself means "Reading/Recitation."

Thus, since the Quran is contained in the previous Scriptures, and since the previous Scriptures are also called the Quran, this means that Allah’s promise to protect the Quran also includes the preservation of the Holy Bible. Otherwise, to claim that the Holy Bible has been tampered with implies that the Quran has also been changed and that Allah therefore failed to preserve it from corruption.

Let us break this down step by step so that Zawadi does not try to escape the necessary conclusion imposed upon him by the logic employed by his own scripture (as false as this text is):

  1. Allah has promised to preserve the Reminder given to Muhammad.
  2. The Reminder is the Quran.
  3. Allah claims that the Quran is in the previous Scriptures, i.e. the Holy Bible.
  4. The previous Books like the Psalms are even called Quran.
  5. Therefore, the Holy Bible, which supposedly contains and is called the Quran, has also been preserved.
  6. To claim otherwise means that Allah failed to preserve the entire Quran since the Scriptures that are called the Quran and which also contain it have been corrupted.(1)

Another text which refutes Zawadi is the following:

And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of thy Lord. There is none who can change His words, and thou wilt find no refuge beside Him. S. 18:27 Pickthall

The above passage specifically states that none can change the words of God, which in this context refers to the Scriptures, to the inscripturated revelation given by God. This obviously includes the Revelation which God entrusted to the Children of Israel since it is specifically called the Scripture of Allah. Note once again what Q. 5:44 says:

Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the prophets who surrendered (unto Allah) judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah's Scripture as they were bidden to observe, and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers. Pickthall

When we combine the two texts together we end up with the following conclusion:

  1. None can change the inscripturated words of Allah, the words which are recorded in God's Books.
  2. The Torah/Old Testament is explicitly called the Book of Allah.
  3. Therefore, none can change the Torah/Old Testament (and by extension the Gospel/New Testament Books since these too are the Words of God).

This being the case on what basis does Zawadi claim that the previous Revelation has been corrupted?

Finally, Zawadi fails to realize that citing Q. 5:44 does absolutely nothing to establish his case that the promise made in Q. 15:9 regarding Allah preserving the Reminder doesn’t include the Torah. All this merely proves is that the Quran is contradicting itself since in one place it says that Allah would preserve the Reminder, which includes the Torah, but then Allah forgot what he had said since he asserts elsewhere that the protection of the Torah was entrusted to the Jews.

With the above in mind, it is quite clear that Zawadi is guilty of misapplying this specific text on two counts. He first reads Bible corruption into the passage even though it is not mentioned. He then fails to realize that even if this verse proved that Allah entrusted the preservation of the Torah to the Jews this still wouldn’t mean that the Torah had been corrupted. The Christians have also been copying and studying the Hebrew Bible ever since the time of Christ and would obviously not allow the Jews to tamper with their copies.

Zawadi next does what he slanderously accuses me of doing in some of his "rebuttals":

All major commentators of the Qur'an are in agreement that Surah 15:9 is referring to the Qur'an.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Al Jalalayn
Tafsir Tabari
Tafsir Qurtubi (go the section of Qurtubi here)
Tafsir Ibn Abbaas
Tafsir Zamakshari (he emphasizes the fact that the previous revelations were entrusted to scribes and not God)
Tafsir Al Tabarisi
Al Samarqandi

I am not going to waste my time going to the rest of the 20 other commentaries, since it is pretty obvious what it is that they say.

You would think that Zawadi would have learned by now to stop providing us with evidence for his blatant hypocrisy and inconsistency. Note what he says in the following "response":

Here comes Shamoun's second fallacy, which is that of appeal to authority and his second act of desperation… (Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Did Muhammad Confirm the Torah?: Addressing the Smokescreens of a Muslim Polemicist"; source)

Not only does Zawadi have no clue what the fallacy of appealing to authority truly is, as I shall be demonstrating in my future response to his so called rebuttal, but here he actually does the very thing he falsely accuses me of doing!(2)

Moreover, it doesn’t surprise us that the bulk of Muslim scholars believe that Q. 15:9 refers to the Muslim book since these commentators were fully aware of the implications of admitting that this passage includes the promise to preserve the previous inspired Scriptures. If the former Books have been preserved then this means that the Holy Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God since this is the Scripture which the Jews and Christians have upheld as the Revelations which God gave through the prophets and apostles. Yet if the Bible is the preserved Word of God then the Quran is a false book and Muhammad is a false prophet since the Muslim scripture contradicts the core, essential, doctrines of the Holy Bible. Does it therefore come as a surprise that very few Muslims, if any, would want to admit that the promise to preserve the Reminder includes the Holy Bible?

We end our rebuttal by adapting and modifying Zawadi’s own concluding remarks.

Bassam Zawadi needs to stop making assertions and refrain from committing one logical fallacy after another (in fact he needs to learn what a logical fallacy is since he keeps falsely accusing others of committing them when in reality he is the one constantly doing so). He also needs to start proving his points. So far, he has miserably failed to prove his case.

Endnotes

(1) The assertion of the Quran that it is contained in the previous Scriptures throws another monkey wrench into Zawadi’s position. We post the comments of Ibn Kathir since they will help explain what we mean:

The Qur'an was mentioned in the Previous Scriptures

Allah says: this Qur'an was mentioned and referred to in the previous Scriptures that were left behind by their Prophets who foretold it in ancient times and more recently. Allah took a covenant from them that they would follow it, and the last of them stood and addressed his people with the good news of Ahmad...

Zubur here refers to Books; Zubur is the plural of Az-Zabur, which is also the name used to refer to the Book given to Dawud...

<Is it not a sign to them that the learned scholars of the Children of Israel knew it?> meaning, is it not a sufficient witness to the truth for them that the scholars of the Children of Israel found this Qur'an mentioned in the Scriptures which THEY STUDY? The meaning is: the fair-minded among them admitted that the attributes of Muhammad and his mission and his Ummah were mentioned in their Books, as was stated by those among them who believed, such as 'Abdullah bin Salam, Salman Al-Farisi and others who met the Prophet. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 7, Surat An-Nur to Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 50 [August 2000, first edition], pp. 276-277; source; bold italics and capital emphasis ours)

According to Ibn Kathir, the Scriptures of old containing the description of Muhammad and the Quran were available during the time of Muhammad, an assertion which poses serious problems for Zawadi’s claims for at least two reasons. First, this refutes the assertion made by Zawadi and specific sources that he references which claim that the Jews expunged prophecies of Muhammad. This very passage testifies against this since it asserts that such alleged prophecies could still be found in the Bible that was extant during that time.

Second, seeing that there are no clear, unambiguous references to either Muhammad or the Quran this means that the author of the Muslim scripture was wrong and ignorant about the contents of the Holy Bible. S/he erroneously assumed that the Jewish-Christian Scriptures mentioned Muhammad and the Quran and thought that by appealing to such citations he could convince the Jews and Christians to become Muslims. Little did s/he realize that his/her appeal to the Bible would be his/her undoing since the Books of old which the Jews and Christians had in their possession at that time, which are virtually identical to what we possess today, are void of any mention of Muhammad and his book. In fact, the teachings found in these Books actually prove that Muhammad was a false prophet and the Quran a false book.

(2) What makes this all the more amazing, as well as ironic, is that Zawadi goes on to commit this very same fallacy in the very next paragraph!

Here WE HAVE A BIG BUNCH OF SCHOLARS casting doubt on one of the narrators in the chain of transmission.

When there is a doubt like this, how can we simply ignore it, turn a blind eye and say it is authentic? (Emphasis ours)

Truly amazing. If the Lord Jesus permits, in our forthcoming rebuttals we will have more to say about Zawadi’s logical fallacies and his gross misunderstanding of when a logical fallacy has actually been committed.


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