Those Who Have Strayed or the Guided Ones?
Sam Shamoun & Jochen Katz
The Quran opens with an invocation, which Muslims recite daily in their payers, asking the Creator to guide the faithful on the straight path and to prevent them from following the way of those who have gone astray and incurred his anger:
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being, the All-merciful, the All-compassionate, the Master of the Day of Doom. Thee only we serve; to Thee alone we pray for succour. Guide us in the straight path (Ihdina al-sirata al-mustaqeema), the path of those whom Thou hast blessed (Sirata allatheena anaamta), not of those against whom Thou art wrathful, nor of those who are astray. S. 1:1-7
What many non-Muslims may not realize is that Islamic tradition has understood verse 7 to be referring to the Jews as those with whom Allah is angry and to the Christians as the people that have gone astray. This view is reflected in the following English version of the Quran:
The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians). S. 1:7 Hilali-Khan
Lest a Muslim object and claim that this is nothing more than a sectarian or isolated interpretation note what the following Islamic sources state:
Narrated Adi bin Hatim: I asked Allahs Messenger about the Statement of Allah: "Gharil maghdubi alaihim [not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger]," he replied: "They are the Jews". And 2: "Walad dallin (nor of those who went astray)," he replied: "The Christians, and they are the ones who went astray". [This Hadith is quoted by At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]. (Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Quran in the English Language with Comments from Tafsir At-Tabari, Tafsir Al-Qurtubi and Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Ahadith from Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and other Ahadith books [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Lahore, Houston, New York], Part 1: From Surah 1 to 5, p. 30; underline emphasis ours)
the path of those whom You have favoured, with guidance (from alladhina together with its relative clause is substituted by [ghayri l-maghdubi 'alayhim]) not [the path] of those against whom there is wrath, namely, the Jews, and nor of those who are astray, namely, the Christians. The subtle meaning implied by this substitution is that the guided ones are neither the Jews nor the Christians. But God knows best what is right, and to Him is the Return and the [final] Resort. May God bless our lord Muhammad (s), his family and companions and grant them everlasting peace. Sufficient is God for us; an excellent Guardian is He. There is no power and no strength save in God, the High, the Tremendous. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; underline emphasis ours)
(The path of those whom Thou hast favoured), the Religion of those whom You have blessed with the Religion and who are the followers of Moses, before the blessings of Allah deserted them, in that He shaded them with a white cloud and sent down on them honey and quails when they were in the wilderness. It is also said that (the path of those whom Thou hast favoured) refers to the prophets. (Not of those who earn Thine anger), not the religion of the Jews who earned Your anger, whom You forsook and whose hearts You did not protect until they became complaisant. (Nor of those who go astray), nor the religion of the Christians who erred from Islam. Amen: thus shall be its custodians; it is also said that Amen means let it be so. It is also said that it means: O our Lord! Do with us as we have requested You. And Allah knows best'. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn Abbâs; source; underline emphasis ours)
Here is another source:
<Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray> meaning guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom you have bestowed Your grace, that is, the people of guidance, sincerity and obedience to Allah and His Messengers. They are the people who adhere to Allah's commandments and refrain from committing what He has prohibited. But, help us to avoid the path of those whom Allah is angry with, whose intentions are corrupt, who know the truth, yet deviate from it. Also, help us avoid the path of those who were led astray, who lost the true knowledge and, as a result, are wandering in misguidance, unable to find the correct path. Allah asserted that the two paths He described here are both misguided when He repeated the negation `not'. These two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why `anger' descended upon the Jews, while being described as `led astray' is more appropriate of the Christians. Those who know, but avoid implementing the truth, deserve the anger, unlike those who are ignorant. The Christians want to seek the true knowledge, but are unable to find it because they did not seek it from its proper resources.
This is why they were led astray. We should also mention that both the Christians and the Jews have earned the anger and are led astray, but the anger is one of the attributes more particular of the Jews. Allah said about the Jews
<Those (Jews) who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath> (5:60).
The attribute that the Christians deserve most is that of being led astray, just as Allah said about them
<Who went astray before and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the right path> (5:77).
There are several Hadiths and reports from the Salaf on this subject and he [Muhammad] said
<<Those who have earned the anger are the Jews and those who are led astray are the Christians.>>
This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi who said that it is Hasan Gharib.
Also, when Zayd bin `Amr bin Nufayl went with some of his friends before Islam to Ash-Sham seeking the true religion, the Jews said to him, "You will not become a Jew unless you carry a share of the anger of Allah that we have earned." He said, "I am seeking to escape Allah's anger." Also, the Christians said to him, "If you become one of us you will carry a share in Allah's discontent." He said, "I cannot bear it." So he remained in his pure nature and avoided worshipping the idols and the polytheistic practices. He became neither a Jew, nor Christian. As for his companions, they became Christians because they found it more pure than Judaism. Waraqah bin Nawfal was among these people until Allah guided him by the hand of His Prophet, when he was sent as Prophet, and Waraqah believed in the revelation that was sent to the Prophet may Allah be pleased with him. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; source; underline emphasis ours)
In fact, according to Salafi scholar Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips this has been the unanimous explanation of the first three generations of Muslims, including Muhammad:
... The tafseer scholar Jalaalud-Din as-Suyootee (d. 1505 CE/910 AH) noted the following:
I have seen approximately ten different opinions concerning the tafseer of the verse ...
“Not the path of those on whom is [Your] anger nor those who have gone astray,”
in spite of the fact that the Prophet and his companions (sahaabah) and their students (taabioon) all related that the verse referred to none other than the Jews and Christians. And (one of the early scholars) Ibn Abee Haatim said concerning the verse, “I know of no disagreement among the scholars of tafseer about it.” (Philips, 1. Tafseer Of The Qur’an, Transmission of Tafseer, p. 12; sources: 1, 2)
Needless to say there are a few problems with the assertion that Christians have gone astray, or at least that those who affirm and hold to the historic Christian faith as defined by the creeds such as the Apostles Creed (1; 2), the Nicene Creed (1; 2), the Athanasian Creed (1; 2) etc., have fallen from the straight path.
The Quran confirms the authority of the Holy Bible
In the first place, the Quran claims to confirm the authority of the previous Scriptures and further states that Muhammad had access to both the Torah and the Gospel of Jesus:
He has sent down upon you the Book with the truth, confirming what is between its/his hands (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi), and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel before this, as guidance to the people, and He sent down the Salvation/Criterion (al-Furqan). As for those who disbelieve in God's signs, for them awaits a terrible chastisement; God is All-mighty, the Avenger. S. 3:3-4 our translation
And he will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, to be an apostle to the Children of Israel, "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by Allahs leave. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by Allahs leave. I will inform you of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. And I confirm the Torah that is between my hands (Wa musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya mina al-tawrati), and to make lawful to you certain things that before were forbidden unto you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord; so fear you God, and obey you me. S. 3:48-50 our translation
And in their footsteps we sent Jesus son of Mary confirming the Torah between his hands (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina al-tawrati) and we gave to him the Gospel, wherein IS guidance and light, and confirming the Torah between his hands (wa musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina al-tawrati), as a guidance and an admonition to the pious. Let the People of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down therein. Whoever does not judge according to what God has sent down, such are the rebellious. S. 5:46-47 our translation
those who follow the Messenger, 'the Prophet of the common folk, whom they find written down with them in the Torah and the Gospel, bidding them to honour, and forbidding them dishonour, making lawful for them the good things and making unlawful for them the corrupt things, and relieving them of their loads, and the fetters that were upon them. Those who believe in him and succour him and help him, and follow the light that has been sent down with him -- they are the prosperers.' S. 7:157
The foregoing calls for an historical investigation in order to see what that Torah and Gospel looked like during Muhammads time. Yet such an examination of the historical data inevitably leads to the conclusion that Muhammad had access to and was basically confirming the Old and New Testaments that we have today since this is what the Jews and Christians possessed at his time.
This is where the problem lies for the traditional exegesis of Q. 1:7. Gods Word, the Holy Bible, expressly teaches all of the essential truths hammered out in the Christian creeds, e.g. the Deity and humanity of Christ, his vicarious death on the cross for sinners, his physical bodily resurrection on the third day, the Divine Personhood of the Holy Spirit etc.
Jesus as the only way or straight path to God
Furthermore, the Judeo-Christian Scriptures emphatically proclaim that salvation is centered in and upon the work and Person of Christ, that faith in Jesus is the straight path to God.
For instance, the Hebrew Old Testament speaks of God guiding people to the only way or path of salvation:
"And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it." Isaiah 35:8
According to the Christian Greek Scriptures Jesus came to show us this way which the Prophets had announced:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to him, Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:1-6
Christ claims to be Gods Way to heaven, being that exclusive path to life which comes as a result of placing faith and having personal trust in him. It is therefore not surprising that his followers were identified as followers of the Way:
"Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved. She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her! At that moment the spirit left her." Acts 16:16-18
"However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:14-16 cf. 22:4
The Quran itself agrees that obedience to Jesus is the straight path:
And when Jesus came with the clear signs he said, 'I have come to you with wisdom, and that I may make clear to you some of that whereon you are at variance; so fear you God and obey you me. Assuredly God is my Lord and your Lord; therefore serve Him; this is a straight path (hatha siratun mustaqeemun).' S. 43:63-64
Jesus as Gods Unique Son and Savior
Yet, as we noted earlier, this is where the main problem lies since the New Testament says that true faith in Jesus is to believe that he is Gods Divine Son who came to lay his life down as a ransom for sinners.
In other words, in order to embark on the straight path which leads to God one must believe that Jesus is the unique Son of God and the Savior of the world:
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
"He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:44-47
"Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:14-18
"I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:47-51
"Therefore Jesus said again, I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Fatherand I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my lifeonly to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." John 10:7-18
"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:19-22
Jesus as the Conduit of Gods Grace and Blessing
Moreover, the NT stresses the point that all of Gods graces and mercies come through the Lord Jesus, as a result of his perfect life of obedience to Gods will which included his atoning death, and that the only way a person can experience these spiritual blessings is to be united to Christ by faith:
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known." John 1:14, 16-18
"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:18-19
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillmentto bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ." Ephesians 1:3-10
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionsit is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:1-9
"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him," Philippians 1:29
"Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him." Hebrews 5:8-9
"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:" 2 Peter 1:1
Thus, true Christians who hold to historic Christian distinctives are not those who have gone astray but those who experience the fullness of Gods favors and blessings.
To put it simply, it is faith in the historical Jesus of the NT, not the Muslim Isa of the Quran, which brings everlasting salvation:
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
True Christianity Prevails
This leads us to the final problem with the traditional exegesis of Q. 1:7. The Quran asserts that Allah caused the true followers of Christ to prevail over against the unbelievers and promised that they would be dominant or uppermost till the day of resurrection:
When God said, 'Jesus, I will take thee to Me and will raise thee to Me and I will purify thee of those who believe not. I will set thy followers above the unbelievers till the Resurrection Day. Then unto Me shall you return, and I will decide between you, as to what you were at variance on. S. 3:55
O believers, be you God's helpers, as Jesus, Mary's son, said to the Apostles. 'Who will be my helpers unto God?' The Apostles said, 'We will be helpers of God.' And a party of the Children of Israel believed, and a party disbelieved. So We confirmed those who believed against their enemy, and they became masters. S. 61:14
Another version reads:
O you who believe! Be you helpers (in the Cause) of Allah as said 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), to Al-Hawariun (the disciples): "Who are my helpers (in the Cause) of Allah?" Al-Hawarieen (the disciples) said: "We are Allah's helpers" (i.e. we will strive in His Cause!). Then a group of the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved. So We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they became the uppermost. Hilali-Khan
History testifies that the Christians who flourished, the followers of Jesus who became uppermost even till this day, are those who hold to the orthodox Christian faith as defined and articulated in the aforementioned creeds.
Thus, if the promise of the Quran is true then "Pauline" or Trinitarian Christianity is the true message of Jesus as given to him by God since this is the brand of Christianity that has dominated and prevailed till this very day.
A Muslim Denies the Obvious
Realizing the dilemma with the foregoing, i.e. that the Quran affirms the authority of the Holy Bible, Muslims have sought and continue to desperately seek for an explanation which would undermine these points.
Mr. Ebrahim Saifuddin is one such Muslim since he wrote a somewhat lengthy article interacting with our claims regarding the Quran confirming the Bibles authority and textual veracity.
Mr. Saifuddin asserts that the passages which say that the Quran is a confirmation of the Holy Bible do not imply that the Muslim scripture fully endorses the entirety of the Jewish-Christian Scriptures. Here is what he thinks the word for confirmation actually means:
The word Saddaqa means:
To say (tell, speak) the truth; to be true, truthful, sincere. [Al Mawrid Arabic to English Dictionary, pg 691]
So here we see that the Quran is speaking the truth about the previous revelations. What the Christians had with themselves in those days was corrupted and the Quran is speaking the truth regarding those scriptures. In almost all the verses it is stated that the Quran is confirming the previous revelations. So it confirms that which was revealed previously by speaking the truth regarding it. The Quran verifies that which is preserved in the Bible to be true. It is truthful and sincere to the previous revelations by Allah (swt) and not to the corruptions made by man. An analysis of all these verses will show that the Quran only confirms that which was revealed not that which is corruption. By confirming that which was revealed then Quran by default exposes the corruption.(Ebrahim Saifuddin, Refuting Christian Claim that Quran testifies the Bible to be Uncorrupted; source)
The Meaning of Saddaqa in the Quran
We will examine the way the Quran uses the word saddaqa in order to see whether Mr. Saifuddins points hold any real weight. We begin by analyzing the following text which uses this specific term in reference to John the Baptist being sent as a forerunner to Jesus:
And the angels called to him, standing in the Sanctuary at worship, 'Lo, God gives thee good tidings of John, who shall confirm a Word of God (musaddiqan bikalimatin mina Allahi), a chief, and chaste, a Prophet, righteous.' S. 3:39
According to the Muslim expositors the Word that John came to confirm is Jesus Christ:
And the angels, namely, Gabriel, called to him, standing in the sanctuary, in the temple, at worship that (anna, means bi-anna; a variant reading has inna, implying a direct speech statement) 'God gives you good tidings (read yubashshiruka, or yubshiruka) of John, who shall confirm a Word, being, from God, namely, Jesus, that he is God's Spirit; he is referred to as [God's] 'Word', because he was created through the word kun, 'Be'; a lord, with a following, and one chaste, forbidden from women, and a prophet of the righteous': it is said that he never sinned and never so intended. (Tafsir Al-Jalalayn; source; underline emphasis ours)
Here is what Saifuddin says regarding this passage:
Basically this verse has nothing to do with whether the Quran testifies that the entire Bible is in its pristine form or not. However Christians use this verse to state that the word Saddaqa in this verse means to confirm and thus they try to derive a conclusion that the Quran confirms the entire Bible.
Let us apply the same explanation which I have been giving regarding this root word Saddaqa to this verse and see if the meaning of this verse changes. Yahya (as) or John the Baptist as the Christians call him was supposed to confirm the truth of a Word from Allah. So he was supposed to confirm the truth not the falsehood just as Quran confirms the truth and not the falsehood in the Bible.
The writer completely misses the point of why Christians use this text to prove their case. We are not trying to establish from this passage that John confirmed the Holy Bible, but rather that saddaqa cannot mean (at least in this particular context) what Mr. Saifuddin wishes it meant. For instance, if the reasoning of this author is valid then this suggests that John didnt confirm Jesus mission in its totality or testify to his complete integrity, but only pointed to those aspects of Jesus teachings which were correct and exposed all of Jesus errors in theology and/or his interpretation of the previous books! This John did despite the fact that Allah claimed to have personally taught Jesus the books and wisdom:
And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel, S. 3:48 Pickthall
When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic; S. 5:110 Pickthall
Allah must have made mistakes in his instructions to Jesus, errors which were subsequently corrected by the Baptist!
The Quran also uses variations of this word to convey the same idea of belief and confirmation:
And Mary, Imran's daughter, who guarded her virginity, so We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and she confirmed (saddaqat) the Words of her Lord and His Books, and became one of the obedient. S. 66:12
(And Mary, daughter of Imran, whose body was chaste, therefore We breathed therein something of Our Spirit) and so Gabriel breathed inside her garment and she became pregnant with Jesus. (And she put faith in the words of her Lord) she believed in what Gabriel told her that he was the Messenger of Allah entrusted with giving her a holy son (and His Scriptures) and she also believed in His Scriptures: the Torah, the Gospel and all other Scriptures; it is also said this means: she believed in the words of her Lord that Jesus the son of Mary will come into being by Allah saying "Be!" and he became a human being, and she also believed in His Scripture: the Gospel, (and was of the obedient) in times of hardship and comfort; and it is also said that this means: and she was obedient to He Who is far transcendent and majestic'. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn Abbâs; source; bold and italic emphasis ours)
Again, if this Muslim authors logic were sound then Mary only believed a part of Allahs words to her concerning her son!
thou hast confirmed (saddaqta) the vision; even so We recompense the good-doers. S. 37:105
Abrahams willingness to sacrifice his son is his way of demonstrating his absolute faith that the vision he received was from God. In other words, his actions demonstrated that he truly believed that God had spoken to him in a dream. This is the point that the author of the Quran was making regarding the Holy Bible, namely, that s/he completely trusted the Judeo-Christian Scriptures and believed that these texts are Gods inspired Word. The author didnt believe that only some parts of it are inspired but that all of it is divine revelation.
saying, 'What, shall we forsake our gods for a poet possessed?' No indeed; but he brought the truth, and confirmed (wa saddaqa) the Envoys. S. 37:36-37
It would be purely nonsensical to say that this reference means that Muhammad merely confirmed only parts of the message of the prophets, but not all of it since not all that they said was true. After all, Muhammad is commanded to say that he believes in all of Allahs messengers, even those that are not mentioned in the Quran:
The Messenger believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers; each one believes in God and His angels, and in His Books and His Messengers; we make no division between any one of His Messengers. They say, 'We hear, and obey. Our Lord, grant us Thy forgiveness; unto Thee is the homecoming.' S. 2:285
We have revealed to thee as We revealed to Noah, and the Prophets after him, and We revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, Jesus and Job, Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and We gave to David Psalms, and Messengers We have already told thee of before, and Messengers We have not told thee of; and unto Moses God spoke directly -- S. 4:163-164
Hence, confirm here can only mean that Muhammad completely believed in the prophets that God sent beforehand and that his Quran supposedly confirms their messages as being fully reliable.
And he who has come with the very truth and confirms (saddaqa) it, those they are the godfearing. S. 39:33
And he who brings the truth - and that is the Prophet (s) - and [those] who confirm it, namely, the believers (here alladhi, 'he who', has the significance of alladhina, 'those who') those, they are the ones who guard themselves, against idolatry. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; underline emphasis ours)
And whoso bringeth the Truth) the Qur'an and the profession of Allah's divine Oneness, i.e. Muhammad (pbuh) (and believeth therein) and those who believe in him, i.e. Abu Bakr and his fellow believers. (Such are the dutiful) such are those who ward off disbelief, idolatry and indecent acts. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn Abbâs; source; underline emphasis ours)
No Muslim would say that this means that they are called to believe or confirm only a portion of the truth brought by Muhammad, or that their belief in the Quran somehow makes it true. Rather, they confirm it in the sense of agreeing that the Quran is the truth from Allah (as mistaken as that confirmation actually happens to be).
who confirm (yusaddiqoona) the Day of Doom and go in fear of the chastisement of their Lord S. 70:26-27
This obviously cannot mean that Muslims are to believe only certain aspects of the Qurans teachings regarding the Day of Judgment, but that they are to have full faith in all that it says regarding this subject:
and who affirm the truth of the Day of Judgement, [of] Requital, (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source)
The word is also used for the person who fails to confirm Allahs message:
upon that day unto thy Lord shall be the driving. For he confirmed (saddaqa) it not, and did not pray, but he cried it lies, and he turned away, S. 75:30-32
What the foregoing examples all prove is that just as John had absolute belief in Jesus person and mission, just as Mary believed all of Gods words, just as Abraham confirmed the vision he received by believing that it was from God, just as Muhammad believed in all of Gods prophets, without making a distinction between any of them, and just as Muslims are called to fully affirm their faith in the last day and in the Qurans message, the Quran likewise confirms the absolute veracity and textual integrity of the Holy Bible. In other words, the word saddaqa does not mean what this Muslim wishes or wants it to mean.
And just in case all of these examples are still not good enough to convince Mr. Saifuddin that he has grossly misunderstood the meaning of saddaqa then this next example should show him more clearly why he is grossly mistaken:
When Allah made (His) covenant with the prophets, (He said): Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterward there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him. He said: Do ye agree, and will ye take up My burden (which I lay upon you) in this (matter)? They answered: We agree. He said: Then bear ye witness. I will be a witness with you. S. 3:81 Pickthall
Here, Allah is supposedly informing the prophets that a messenger is going to come to confirm what they possessed, which in this context refers to their Scriptures.
Now doesnt this clearly show that by confirming Muhammad meant embracing the previous Scriptures as being fully authoritative and completely reliable? Or are we to really assume that what this citation is actually saying is that the messenger would come to the prophets and confirm only those parts of their Scriptures which remained intact, which would essentially mean that the prophets failed to preserve the Scriptures that God had given them?
Doesnt this reference demonstrate just how desperate and untenable Mr. Saifuddins case truly is? Doesnt this further indicate that he is trying so desperately to deny the plain and obvious meaning of all the passages which speak of the Muslim scripture confirming the Holy Bible?
And it is obvious why he is trying to deny what his own book teaches regarding the authority of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. He knows that if he accepts what the Quran teaches about the previous Books he will then be forced to reject Muhammad as a true prophet for contradicting the essential message and teaching of those very Scriptures which he expressly confirmed as the preserved Word of God.
Muhammad and the Torah
To further support our position that the Quran fully embraces the absolute authority and authenticity of the Holy Bible we present here certain Islamic narratives which give us an idea of Muhammads view of the Torah which was in his possession:
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar:
A group of Jews came and invited the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) to Quff. So he visited them in their school.
They said: AbulQasim, one of our men has committed fornication with a woman; so pronounce judgment upon them. They placed a cushion for the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) who sat on it and said: Bring the Torah. IT WAS THEN BROUGHT. He then withdrew the cushion from beneath him and placed the Torah on it saying: I BELIEVED IN THEE and in Him Who revealed thee.
He then said: Bring me one who is learned among you. Then a young man was brought. The transmitter then mentioned the rest of the tradition of stoning similar to the one transmitted by Malik from Nafi' (No. 4431)." (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, Number 4434)
Here was a golden opportunity for Muhammad to have stated his belief in the Torah clearly if he didnt fully embrace its preservation and authority. What he did say emphatically shows that he truly believed that the Torah in his hands was a faithful reproduction of what God originally sent down to Moses.
The apostle wrote to the Jews of Khaybar according to what a freedman of the family of Zayd b. Thabit told me from Ikrima or from Said b. Jubayr from Ibn Abbas: In the name of God the compassionate the merciful from Muhammad the apostle of God friend and brother of Moses WHO CONFIRMS WHAT MOSES BROUGHT. God says to you O scripture folk, and you will find it in your scripture "Muhammad is the apostle of God; and those with him are severe against the unbelievers, merciful among themselves. Thou seest them bowing, falling prostrate seeking bounty and acceptance from God. The mark of their prostrations is on their foreheads. That is their likeness in the Torah and in the Gospel like a seed which sends forth its shoot and strengthens it and it becomes thick and rises straight upon its stalk delighting the sowers that He may anger the unbelievers with them. God has promised those who believe and do well forgiveness and a great reward." I adjure you by God, AND BY WHAT HE HAS SENT DOWN TO YOU, by the manna and quails He gave as food to your tribes before you, and by His drying up the sea for your fathers when He delivered them from Pharaoh and his works, that you tell me, DO YOU FIND IN WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU that you should believe in Muhammad? IF YOU DO NOT FIND THAT IN YOUR SCRIPTURE THEN THERE IS NO COMPULSION UPON YOU. "The right path has become plainly distinguished from error" so I call you to God and His Prophet (313). (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaqs Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], p. 256; capital emphasis ours)
According to what I heard from Ikrima, freedman of Ibn Abbas or from Said b. Jubayr from Ibn Abbas, Jews used to hope that the apostle would be a help to them against Aus and Khazraj before his mission began; and when God sent him from among the Arabs they disbelieved in him and contradicted what they had formerly said about him. Muadh b. Jabal and Bishr b. al-Bara b. Marur brother of B. Salama said to them: O Jews, fear God and become Muslims, for you used to hope for Muhammads help against us when we were polytheists and to tell us that he would be sent and describe him to us. Salam b. Mishkam, one of the B. al-Nadir, said, He has not brought us anything we recognize and he is not the one we spoke of to you. So God sent down about that saying of theirs: And when a book comes to them from God CONFIRMING what they have, though beforehand they were asking for help against those who disbelieve, when there came to them what they knew, they disbelieved in it, so Gods curse rests on the unbelievers.
Malik b. al-Sayf said when the apostle had been sent and they were reminded of the condition that had been imposed on them and what God had covenanted with them concerning him, No covenant was ever made with us about Muhammad. So God sent down concerning him: Is it not that whenever they make a covenant a party of them set it aside? Nay most of them do not believe.
Abu Saluba al-Fityuni said to the apostle: O Muhammad, you have not brought us anything we recognize and God has not sent down to you any sign that we should follow you. So God sent concerning his words, We have sent down to thee plain signs and only evildoers disbelieve in them. (P. 257; bold, capital and italic emphasis ours)
The foregoing provides a further example of what Muhammad actually meant when he said in the Quran that his scripture confirms the Books in the possession of the Jews and Christians. By confirmation he didnt intend to convey the notion that the Quran accepts only certain parts of the Judeo-Christian texts, but rather that it testifies that these Scriptures are completely reliable and fully authoritative. Once again, had Muhammad believed that the Jewish-Christian Scriptures were corrupted he could have stated it here by simply telling the Jews that he didnt fully believe that the Torah which they had was completely reliable. He, instead, confirms his belief in its authenticity and textual accuracy.
This leads us to our final quote:
Rafi b. Haritha and Sallam b. Mishkam and Malik b. al-Sayf and Rafi b. Huraymila came to him [Muhammad] and said: Do you not allege that you follow the religion of Abraham and believe in the Torah WHICH WE HAVE and testify that it is the truth from God? He replied, CERTAINLY, but you have sinned and broken the covenant CONTAINED THEREIN and concealed what you were ordered to make plain to men, and I dissociate myself from your sin. They said, We hold by WHAT WE HAVE. We live according to the guidance and the truth and we do not believe in you and we will not follow you. So God sent down concerning them: Say, O Scripture folk, you have no standing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has been sent down from your Lord. What has been sent down to thee from they Lord will assuredly increase many of them in error and unbelief. But be not sad because of the unbelieving people. (Ibid., p. 268; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Now does this sound like a man who denied the authority and absolute textual reliability of the previous scriptures?
Jesus View of the Torah
The Muslim writer also tries to disprove that, according to the Quran, Jesus confirmed the Torah that we have in our possession today:
Taking verse 46 into consideration we see that Allah (swt) only talks about Jesus (pbuh) being sent as a prophet. This verse itself does not prove that the Bible is uncorrupted. However the Christian missionaries say that they have same Torah today as it was during the time of Jesus and the evidence they give is the existence of the Septuagint. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
"The three most celebrated manuscripts of the Septuagint known are the Vatican, "Codex Vaticanus"(fourth century); the Alexandrian, "Codex Alexandrinus" (fifth century), now in the British Museum, London; and that of Sinai, "Codex Sinaiticus" (fourth century), found by Tischendorf in the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, in 1844 and 1849, now part at Leipzig and in part in St. Petersburg; they are all written in uncials."
Hence we see that the Septuagint today is not from during the time of Jesus. The earliest manuscript dates to the fourth century some 300 years after Jesus. Thus no Christian can claim that the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers) which they have today in the Bible is the same as to what was present in the Septuagint during the time of Jesus.
The readers should spot the fallacy in this authors logic. Just because the extant manuscripts (MSS) of the Septuagint postdate the time of Christ doesnt mean that they do not accurately reflect the text of the Septuagint which Jesus had access to, especially when we have manuscript (MS) portions of this version that were written before and during Christs time. Archaeologists have discovered 2nd century BC fragments of Leviticus and Deuteronomy (Rahlfs nos. 801, 819, and 957), and 1st century BC fragments of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and the Minor Prophets (Rahlfs nos. 802, 803, 805, 848, 942, and 943). These small portions substantially agree with the later copies of the Septuagint, providing evidence that Jesus would have been basically reading the same form of the Hebrew Bible that we find today.
Moreover, the author conveniently forgot to mention the Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered in 1947 which contained copies of all of the OT books with the exception of Esther. He further forgets that Jesus, in the NT, extensively quotes the OT books as the inspired and authoritative Word of God. Hence, there is absolutely no doubt that the text of the Torah used by first century Jews is virtually identical to what is found in modern Bibles today.
Furthermore, if the author is to remain consistent he would therefore have to doubt whether the Quran in his possession today is identical to what Muhammad had since there are no extant Quranic MSS (or at least substantial portions of it) which come from his prophets time.
He further says regarding Q. 3:50 and 61:6 that:
This verse again has nothing to do with the Quran confirming anything. However the Christians quote it due to the same root word Saddaqa in it. Once again if we use the same application of the word Saddaqa in this verse, it only means that Jesus (as) was confirming the truth which came before him and not the falsehood, if any, in the Torah at that time.
Due to the usage of the root word Saddaqa the Christian missionaries try to use this verse as a support for their misinterpretation of the Quran. By Jesus saying that he is here to confirm the Law, it does not mean that everything is true. By confirming again we see that it means that Jesus is speaking the truth regarding what was revealed to Moses. Hence let us assume that the Torah was uncorrupted at that time. If so, Jesus would speak that which was revealed in the Torah and it would naturally confirm what was in the scriptures. If now we assume that the Torah was corrupted, Jesus would still speak that which was revealed during the time of Moses, thus confirming what was revealed to Moses and by default exposing the falsehood.
We have already analyzed his claim regarding the meaning of saddaqa and demonstrated that he is plainly wrong, so there is no need to repeat ourselves at this point.
Since our friend is fond of quoting exegetes such as Ibn Kathir here is what this renowned commentator stated regarding these very same references:
<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 Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147, Abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; March 2000, first edition], Volume 2, Parts 3, 4 & 5, pp. 163, 165; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Jesus, according to Ibn Kathir, memorized and upheld the Torah that God taught him even though in reality this was a corrupted Torah! And:
<'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 Surat An-Nisa, Verse 148 to the end of Surat Al-An'am [January 2000, first edition], Volume 3, Parts 6, 7 & 8, pp. 193-194; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Applying the logic of Mr. Saifuddin this means that Jesus ruled by and adhered to a corrupted Torah, one taught to him by Allah! Finally:
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)
According to Ibn Kathir, Jesus didnt merely confirm what is true in the Torah but testified that the entire Torah in his possession is the truth from God.
If, for arguments sake, we assume that the Torah of the Jews at the time of Jesus was corrupted, then there are two possibilities. Either Jesus was learning and teaching the same "corrupted" Torah as all other Jews of his time, or he had the pure Torah which was different from the corrupted version used by the Jews around him. As we have seen in the above discussion, the Quranic statements make no sense if we assume the former. However, there is absolutely no evidence for the latter either. There simply is no record neither in Islamic sources nor in Christian sources that the version of the Torah that Jesus taught was in conflict with the version of the Torah that was used by the other Jews at the time. If they had been different, one would expect that great arguments and discussions would arise on whose version was right. Although there are arguments over what the text means and how it is to be applied, there is no report of the Jews accusing Jesus of having a different Torah, and in particular no report of Jesus accusing the Jews of having a corrupted text of the Torah. Jesus did not do it, and neither are Christians leveling the accusation against the Jews that their Scriptures are corrupted. We are using the very same Scriptures precisely because Jesus and the Apostles were using them as authoritative. Every text we have is based on the understanding that the Torah of the Jews and the Torah of Jesus is the same. For example, when Jesus goes to the synagogue and is handed Scripture to read from, he does so without any objection that what is handed to him is corrupted:
"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:16-21
Christ also believed that the Torah was the speech of God, that whenever someone reads the Hebrew Scripture they were actually listening to the voice of God:
"Jesus replied, You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the deadhave you not READ what God SAID TO YOU, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob"? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." Matthew 22:29-32
He further claimed that his mission was to fulfill the Torah and the prophetic writings:
"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. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." Matthew 5:17-18
Note that the time when "everything is accomplished" is in the future. In particular, Judgment Day is one of the things that will have to be accomplished. Thus, this is a clear statement by Jesus himself that the Law (the Torah of Moses) is still authentic at his time, and will remain uncorrupted until the very end.
The Biblical data are conclusive and unambiguous on this issue.
Moreover, the Quran teaches that Jesus came to make lawful what was formerly not lawful for the Jews:
Likewise confirming the truth of the Torah that is before me, and to make lawful to you certain things that before were forbidden unto you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord; so fear you God, and obey you me. S. 3:50
The formulation in the Quran is also clear. Jesus is abrogating/changing the law in this respect. He is not correcting a wrong version found in the Jewish Torah in order to restore the original. No, up to that point it was indeed unlawful for the Jews, and now Jesus is making some things lawful, replacing one divine law by another. Thus, even in those cases where Jesus brings something that is contrary to what has been believed so far, the way he does it assumes the integrity of the earlier law.
This shows that both "possibilities" mentioned above are actually not possible. They are totally unsupported by any evidence and have no credibility. Thus, the conclusion has to be that the Torah of the Jews and of Jesus was the same and therefore authentic.
The Final Nail in the Coffin
To drive the point home regarding the Quran confirming that the Holy Bible is Gods preserved Word note what the following commentaries say in reference to Q. 2:121:
Allah then mentioned the believers from among the people of the Book: Abdullah Ibn Salam and his companions, Bahirah the Monk and the Negus and his followers, saying: (Those unto whom We have given the Scripture) given knowledge of the Scripture, i.e. the Torah, (who read it with the right reading) describe it AS IT IS AND DO NOT ALTER IT: expositing what is lawful and unlawful, its commands and prohibitions to whomever asks them, and they further act according to what is clear and unambiguous and believe in that which is ambiguous therein, (those believe in it) in Muhammad and the Quran. (And who disbelieveth in it) in Muhammad and the Quran, (those are they who are losers) who are duped in that they loose both this world and the world to come. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn Abbâs; source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
(121) Wahidi relates on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, "This verse was sent down concerning the people of the ship who came [to Medina] with Ja'far ibn Abi Talib from Abyssinia. They were forty men, thirty-two from Abyssinia and eight of the monks of Syria. The monk Bahirah was said to be among them." In another tradition related on the authority of al-Dahhak, we are told, "The verse was sent down concerning those among the Jews who accepted faith [such as 'Abdallah ibn Sallam and others]." Still another tradition related on the authority of Qatadah and 'Ikrimah states, "It was sent down concerning the Companions of Muhammad" (Wahidi, p. 37; see also Ibn Kathir, I, pp. 286-287; Qurtubi, II, p. 95; Tabarsi, I, p. 448; and Shawkani, I, pp. 135-136)
Zamakhshari interprets the verse as follows: "'They to whom we have given the scriptures' are the faithful among the people of the Book who recite the scriptures IN THEIR TRUE RECITATION, neither altering nor changing what they contain of the description of the Apostle of God. Those who have faith in their scriptures are contrasted with 'whosoever rejects faith in it [the scriptures],' that is, alterers. 'These shall be the losers' because they exchange guidance for error." (Zamakhshari, I, p. 308) (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Qur'an and its Interpreters [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany], Volume 1, pp. 149-150; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Since the only Scriptures that the Jews and Christians have been reciting are those which we possess today it is quite obvious that these are the Books which the Quran is confirming to be Gods true Word.
Lord Jesus permitting, we will address the rest of Mr. Saifuddins points in a future rebuttal.
Our examination here demonstrates the vast problem with the traditional interpretation of Q. 1:7. If the Christians are those who have gone astray then the Quran is contradicting itself in that it asserts elsewhere that Jesus true followers would dominate over the unbelievers and prevail till the day of resurrection. Yet the Christianity which has prevailed and continues to dominate is that which Muslims mockingly call "Pauline" or Trinitarian Christianity.
The Quran further says that God preserved the revelations of the prophets and of Jesus and that Muhammad had access to them. The archaeological and textual evidences indicate that the Quran is essentially confirming that the Holy Bible that we have in our possession is that revelation which God gave, and is therefore fully reliable and completely authoritative, since this is the Scripture that Muhammad would have seen in the possession of the Jews and Christians.
Yet it is these very same Scriptures which prove that "Pauline" Christianity, the Christianity that is defined within the historic creeds of Christendom, is the true message of God and that all the Christians who have and continue to embrace it are actually on the straight path and therefore the objects of Gods saving grace. It is those who reject this historic Christian faith which are on the path of destruction and wrath.
And this is where the problem lies for the Muslims who believe in the Quran. Even though the Muslim scripture confirms the trustworthiness/integrity/reliability of the earlier revelations, yet when we examine the content of these previous Scriptures and compare it with the content of the Quran it becomes glaringly obvious just how much the Islamic text contradicts the message given through these prophets.
The Muslims who believe that the Quran is from God must contend with the fact that their scripture gives the divine stamp of approval to the earlier messages. Hence, the Holy Bible has an outside confirmation, whereas the Quran does not. And since it contradicts the content of that which is already approved, it is the Quran that has to go.
What this basically means is that anyone who embraces Muhammad and his teachings has gone astray and comes under the righteous anger of God since the message of Islam contradicts the true doctrine of God as found in the Person and work of the historical Jesus who is the biblical Christ, not the Muslim Isa. Hence if a Muslim is sincerely asking God to guide him to the path of his favor and mercy, and to keep him away from the road which leads to Gods anger and destruction, then it is inevitable for such a person to abandon Muhammads religion and embrace historic Christianity as taught in the pages of the NT.
To put it bluntly, it is the religion of Islam which arouses Gods anger and which causes people to stray from the only way to eternal glory, personal faith and trust in Gods beloved and unique Son, the resurrected Lord of glory.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 14:12 cf. 16:25
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21
"Jesus answered, I am THE WAY and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
"Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were Gods enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:9-11
"for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:9
All Biblical quotations taken from the New International Version (NIV).
Unless stated otherwise, all Quranic quotations taken from the Arthur J. Arberry version.
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page