“Where is the Injeel?”: a Christian asks.
Answered by Ibn Issam:
“The four Gospels and Christian scriptures are clearly not the Injeel. They make numerous unhistorical claims about Jesus which cannot possibly be true. The Injeel is a revelation given by God to Jesus Quran 5:46, it is this that is the Injeel and not the fabricated and clearly uninspired books written by your unknown pseudepigraphal authors who wrote forgeries and attributed them back to the names of Patriarchs who had long since passed and could not defend their good names from such lies.
The Injeel most surely contained the core teaching that is also in Qur’an and Torah that is there is only One God, absolute and unique in his oneness, we should worship only that God, live good lives doing good deeds, repent when we make mistakes, and find salvation through the forgiveness of that One true God. The Qur’an acknowledges that parts of this core message are found in existing scripture but that it is not coterminous with Qur’an.
Regretfully, the fullness of the Injeel was lost, because of short sighted Christians like yourself, who rather than focusing on that core message and the oneness of God, focused instead on worshipping a mortal man, and were then forced to innovate false doctrines like Trinity, blood sacrifice, atonement by the cross, resurrection etc. in order to justify their own misinterpretations and misunderstandings which they had become entrenched in even up until this day. While they were focused on the religion which they had created about Jesus, they failed to develop a methodology to preserve and maintain the original revelation of Injeel which Jesus had received from God. Now all that remains are questionable stories about Jesus teachings, which may or may not be true.
The Religion OF Jesus became the Religion ABOUT Jesus.
So in asking your questions about where is the lost Injeel, Christians have no one to blame but themselves for losing it. Don’t point fingers and blame Muslims for by the Grace, blessing and Promise of Allah – we PRESERVED the text which we received.”
Short answer: nowhere
Christians have no one to blame but themselves for losing it.
Oh dear. “And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein.”
yes they should!
They can not! They dont have it!
Q. 5:48 dumb dumb.
‘And unto thee [O Prophet] have We vouchsafed this divine writ, setting forth the truth, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations and determining what is true therein. Judge, then, between the followers of earlier revelation in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high, and do not follow their errant views, forsaking the truth that has come unto thee. Unto every one of you have We appointed a [different] law and way of life. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.’
They will be judged by a book they don’t have access and their corrupt book.
Read Qur’an 5:48 again.
What about it?
@ Paul Williams
We have discussed this issue before and I accept that in your understanding this aya talks about the now corrupted state of the previously revealed scriptures of the Christians and Jews.
However, to my mind the translation of Assad, quoted above, states explicitly, what is not in the Arabic text and what is at best implicit in the text. For example, one cannot easily find the following with reference to the scriptures in the Arabic text of 5:48 “…confirming the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations…”
Accordingly I do not think this translation is a good point of departure, for a discussion on the corruption of previous scriptures.
If one looks solely at the first part of this aya I think the point of corruption is at best implicit (I personally do not think that this verse implies corruption – quite to the contrary but let us not get into that now).
It hinges on the understand the word “muhayman” usually rendered “protector”, “guardian” or similar but I have also seen it translated as “final authority” or “criterion”. The word occurs only once more in the Quran in 59:23, with similar meaning (in reference to God).
I am not taking sides here; if one understands this word in the senses of “corrector”, “criterion” which may imply that there is something wrong with the previous scriptures and that the Quran is the new criterion, then in my mind this is a much better point of departure. I would simply ask that an argument for this understanding of “muhayman” be presented. I do not consider the Assad translation a starting point and hope we at least might agree on that.
Still ignoring the abundance of passages that explicitly state corruption and focusing on ambiguity I see.
I was commenting on this aya specifically as it is the only verse quoted (approvingly according to M. Asad’s version) in the comments section.
I read your article (linked to in your post) with great interest. It seems to me that explicit talk of textual corruption, in the material discussed by you, is found only outside of the Quran. I have never questioned that this view is found outside the Quran. Only whether this is explicit in the Quran itself.
You also give the below version of the first part of Q 5:48:
“I have sent this Book to you with a purpose and the Truth, verifying the Scriptures that came before it, and it is a witness and Safeguarder to forever dominate over them, so judge between them according to what God has sent down…. “
May I ask which version this is taken from? Could you also please quote, very specifically, the Arabic which is rendered “…it is a witness and Safeguarder to forever dominate over them…”?
I do not have a problem to discuss other ayas. The strongest case, for textual corruption, (I never talked about oral corruption) in the exchanges I feel was 2:79 (which you did not discuss in the article). And even in this case I do not consider it particularly clear what was being discussed.
The Assad version is clearly a paraphrase of the meaning of the Quran not a word for word translation. It is nonetheless perfectly faithful to the text.
You disagree which is your right. I just note that the majority of western specialists on the Qur’an and a majority of Islamic scholars would disagree with you.
Thanks for your reply Paul.
1) I would disagree that the Asad version is “perfectly faithful to the text”. As I see it, he is actually articulating a particular Islamic understanding of the text that crystalized outside the Quran. I give my below literal translation of the first part of Q 5:48 and invite readers to compare it with the Asad version. “And we have revealed to you the book in truth confirming what is between his hands from the book and a “muheyman” over it…”
2) I assume you mean that most western specialists believe that the Quran teaches textual corruption of the previous scriptures (but if you meant they agree with the Asad version, please correct me). Let me quote a part of Yafeh’s entry, Tahrif, in the Encyclopaedia of Islam which, according to Dr. Saleh, expresses the consensus or majority view of western scholars:
“The Ḳurʾān accepts the Tawrāt and Ind̲j̲īl [q.vv.] as genuine divine revelations taken from the same Guarded Tablets as the Ḳurʾān itself and brought by true messengers to both Jews and Christians respectively. Those, however, did not adhere to their Law, but tampered with their own Scriptures (III, 78, with the verb lawā V, 15, 45). The Ḳurʾān does not state explicitly how this was done and when, but later commentaries give various explanations. Some relate it to the times of Moses (see commentaries to II, 58-9, wherein the Banū Isrāʾīl are accused of having changed (orally?) the word hiṭṭa ). Later authors accuse Israelite Kings or Priests, especially Ezra the Scribe (see below) or Byzantine rulers, etc. The accusation that Jewish contemporaries of Muḥammad concealed ( kitmān ) Biblical material, e.g. the punishment (stoning) for adultery or the Biblical prediction of Muḥammad’s prophecy (see the commentaries on V, 42-9, and Ibn His̲h̲ām, ii, 382 ff., 393-5) is also considered to be taḥrīf.
The accusation of forgery was a widespread polemical motif, already in pre-Islamic times used by pagan, Samaritan and Christian authors to discredit their opponents and Scriptures. In the Medinan sūras it is a central theme, apparently used to explain away the contradictions between the Bible and the Ḳurʾān and to establish that the coming of the Prophet and the rise of Islam had indeed been predicted in the “true” Bible.”
Thus, on this view, the Quran is not explicit about when and how the scriptures were corrupted (oral or textual) – the view I actually argued. On this “non explicit” basis she then proceeds to create a hypothetical sitz im leben for the accusation (“apparently” explaining away contradictions etc.) of which there is – again – no explicit evidence neither in the Quran nor to my knowledge in any contemporary historical documents of the time.
Would I be fair if I characterized this view as expressed by Yafeh – consensus or not – as not entirely unproblematic?
“And we have revealed to you the book in truth confirming what is between his hands from the book and a “muheyman” over it…”
I am not aware of any published mainstream translation that would agree with this.
Also, your interpretation clashes with the very first Muslims who knew from Muhammad how the Qur’an was to be correctly interpreted:
Volume 9, Book 93, Number 613: Narrated ‘Ikrima:
Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “How can you ask the people of the Scriptures about their Books while you have Allah’s Book (the Qur’an) which is the most recent of the Books revealed by Allah, and you read it in its pure undistorted form?”
Volume 9, Book 93, Number 614: Narrated ‘Ubaidullah bin ‘Abdullah:
‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas said, “O the group of Muslims! How can you ask the people of the Scriptures about anything while your Book which Allah has revealed to your Prophet contains the most recent news from Allah and is pure and not distorted? Allah has told you that the people of the Scriptures have changed some of Allah’s Books and distorted it and wrote something with their own hands and said, ‘This is from Allah, so as to have a minor gain for it. Won’t the knowledge that has come to you stop you from asking them? No, by Allah, we have never seen a man from them asking you about that (the Book Al-Qur’an ) which has been revealed to you.
I would suggest you read again as this is ALL Quran . Your lack of understanding comes from reading comprehension so I’ll post these again for the 3rd time with emphasis so you’re not confused:
2:75. Now do you ˹really˺ hope that a people such as this will believe in you, when some of them used to hear God’s words and then CHANGE OR TWIST it, even though they understood them?
2:76. When they meet those who believe, they say: “We’ve believed!” But when they’re alone in secret, ˹they˺ say: “Are you telling them about what God has ˹revealed to us previously˺, so that they can make a case against you, with your Lord? Don’t you have any type of common sense or understanding?”
2:77. Do they not understand that God knows what they’re HIDING and what they’re SHOWING?
2:78. Among them as well are the ‘illiterate’ ones who don’t know the Scripture except for wishful thinking. They’re only making guesses and assuming.
2:79. May damnation be unleashed on those who WRITE THE SCRIPTURE WITH THEIR OWN HANDS, THEN SAY: “This is from God,” in order to sell it for a worthless price. May damnation be on them for what their HANDS HAVE WRITTEN and may damnation be on them for what they’re earning.
6:91. They did not value God as he deserves to be valued when they said: “God hasn’t revealed anything to a human being.” Ask them: “Who was it then who sent down the Scripture, which Moses brought as a light and guide to the people, which you SEPARATED and made into these exotic and expensive scrolls, SHOWING some but making sure to HIDE many? And now you’ve TAUGHT SOMETHING WHICH NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR FATHERS KNEW .” ˹Help them out and˺ say: “God…” and then leave them there amusing themselves and running their mouths with useless talk.
5:12. God had taken a Covenant from the Children of Israel…
5:13. But they broke their promise, so I cursed them and made their hearts hard. They CHANGED THE WORDS FROM THEIR ORIGINAL PLACES AND HAVE FORGOTTEN A HUGE PORTION OF WHAT THEY WERE TOLD REPEATEDLY TO REMEMBER, so you will continue to find treachery against you or cheats from a few of them. Overlook this and forgive them because God loves those who excel in doing good.
5:14. I had also took a Covenant from those who say: “We’re Christians,” but they TOO FORGOT WHAT THEY WERE TOLD TO REMEMBER. So I released animosity and hatred among themselves until the Day of Judgement, when God will tell them what they used to manufacture.
5:15. People of the Scripture! My Messenger has come to you; CLARIFYING WHAT YOU USED TO KEEP HIDDEN OF THE SCRIPTURE AND WHO OVERLOOKS MUCH ˹of what you changed˺. A light has now come to you from God, along with a Scripture MAKING THINGS CLEAR,
5:16. which God uses to guide to the ways of peace, all who are looking to follow what pleases Him. Leading them from their various shades of darkness into the Light, by His will, and onto one straight path.
4:44. Haven’t you seen the ones who were given A PART of the Scripture, buying misguidance and wishing you too would lose the way?
4:51. Haven’t you seen those who were given A PART of the Scripture, believing in superstitions and anything that calls to rebellion ˹against God˺, say about the disbelievers: “Even they’re better guided than these ‘believers’ to what the right path is ˹to follow˺?”
Notice they do not have the complete book.
98:1. Those who disbelieved among the followers of the People of the Scripture and the pagans would’ve never stopped until clear proof came to them.
98:2. A Messenger from God, reading and following PURIFIED scriptures,
98:3. which contain upstanding teachings and laws in it.
Prophet Muhammad(saw) and his purified Scripture coming means theirs is not and they would have never stopped using the wrong they were doing.
5:48. I have sent this Scripture to you with a purpose and the Truth, verifying the books that came before it, and it is a witness and SAFEGUARDER over them, so judge between them according to what God has sent down. Do not follow their empty whims and desires, which deviate from the Truth that has come to you. I have assigned a law and a path for you all, and if God had desired, He could’ve made you one community, but He wanted to test you through what He’s given you. So race to do good, you will all return to God and He will make it clear to you about the matters which you argued about.
Again what is it “safeguarding”? But yeah there is no mention of textual corruption lol.
As for translation it is from yours truly. Muhyman takes on the meaning of safeguarding and domination see ibn Kathir’s commentary from Ibn Abbas(ra) on 5:48. You may also go to Islamawakened.com and see pretty much every translation into English. Again WE DO NOT EVEN NEED THIS VERSE in light of the ABUNDANCE of text. This is not ambiguous by any means and is illogical. There is more evidence Quranically of the corruption of previous text then there is for abrogation which is agreed upon by pretty much everybody. Deviants and kuffar “professors” are just trying to twist the text and focus on ambiguity.
I guess we went full circle so..
Still ignoring the abundance of passages that explicitly state corruption and focusing on ambiguity I see.
You can quote WHOEVER you want but as you saw the PRIMARY text being discussed clearly states otherwise and in one fell swoop its been shown a bunch of j@ck@$$e$ who don’t know what they’re talking about got together in a circle jerk of ignorance and wrote a book.
I am sorry you feel that way. I was actually engaging with Paul’s point about western scholarship.
I think we have both at this point stated our positions so perhaps it’s best to agree to disagree?
@ Paul: it was a literal “translation” – what part is in your opinion incorrect?. l left “muhayman” untranslated as in my opinion this is on what it all depends. What do you think of my question about western scholarship?
I will try and respond briefly to your explicit verses later this week, then. I doubt though we will come to agree 😄
I have demonstrated that your interpretation clashes with the very first Muslims who knew from Muhammad how the Qur’an was to be correctly interpreted.
This fatally undermines your view. Agree?
Sounds good God willing see you then.👍
I agree with you that textual corruption is indeed expressed in the Islamic tradition that subsequently developed. I stated this from the outset and, if I recall correctly, I have quoted western scholars to this effect at least twice.
In my estimate, to prove your point, from a philological and historical-critical methodology you would need to produce historical documents, that can be empirically dated to the time of (or around) the Sahaba, explicitly testifying to the view of textual corruption. Alternatively, if you could produce documents, explicitly testifying to the view of textual corruption, that scholars agree date back to the time of the Sahaba, using the same philological and historical-critical tools (despite lack of empirical evidence), then I think you would have a strong argument. (There might be other options I can’t think of others this time of night).
As far as I know, these conditions do not obtain. But again, I am prepared to be corrected if you could provide references that discusses this.
Told you they were full of it. Allow me
I’m sorry younmust have us confused with Christianity this opinion nfirst off comes fromnthe mans stidwnts secomdly Inwould suggest you look more into ahadith as they are superior textually to any of your joke you call “historical critical method” which is glorified guessing.
My apologies texting and not paying attention
I’m sorry you must have us confused with Christianity. This opinion comes authentically through his students. Secondly I would suggest you look more into ahadith as they are superior textually to any of the joke you called “historical critical method” which is just glorified inne minnie mine mo. We are under no obligation to prove our text as it is authoritative you have to dispreove this is not from Ibn Abbas(ra) or the dozens of other refrences aren’t. Nice try though.
Just so everybody can stop desperatly twisting “rule according to the gospel” instead of talking from our butts lets read in a magical thing called “context”:
Final note the Injeel is more than lilely the parables
Which is more than likely Jewish Apocalypticism than Islam
Dont see how. Especially considering the weakness of the position. Again the few times in the Quran when the Injeel is quoted from it was one of the parables. Combine this with the fact that early Christians believed the parables to be revelation and that uts common between all the sects and this has a decent chance of being the Gospel.
Of course we can agree the Quran is explicit im this topic why would you think otherwise?
Simply counter the clear above passages mentioning textual corruption and I’ll shift my position. Muslims aren’t complex. But when your only proof is “Pppp.. Proffessor Jake said” don’t find it weird. Let me tell you a couple more highlights about Islam fron these people Ive heard over the years
1. Islam has a trinity of Ali(ra), Gabriel and Muhammad(saw)
2. In Islam Muslim women can’t go to heaven or the text isn’t clear
Yep… So would you like to explain the above passages I took time out of my day to quote to you?
Whooo boy you’re nicer than me. I say for argument sake let’s throw that verse tp the side and look at the rest. I quoted. What are we disputing?
Maybe we should show this guy to that one hadith rejectors so they can see how desperate they are to get rid of ahadith so they can play and twist the Quran? Two birds with one stone as they say.
“(A)re you saying that in the 7th Century CE, the Christians and Jews of Medina might have had authentic scriptures, but since that time, the scriptures they had in Medina were lost or corrupted?”
No. I am saying what is historically fact that no manuscripts of the Bible in Arabic exist from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) but, rather, the earliest appeared hundreds of years later. All of the manuscripts and codices date to the 9th Century CE.
What existed among the Jews and Christians of the Arabian Peninsula was an amalgam of oral and sparsely documented tradition that was largely gnostic and heretical. In historical record it appears that the Christians were the most heretical, whereas, the Jews were less so. The 3 questions that Rabbi Abdullah bin Salam asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) are found in the Old Testament, the Targumim, and the Talmud.
So what the Christians and Jews had in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sparse fragmentary material and their religious life was mostly dictated by clergy and not individuals studying the texts. Historically, Jews did not allow the laity to handle the scripture.
@ Mr. Heathcliff
“What existed among the Jews and Christians of the Arabian Peninsula was an amalgam of oral and sparsely documented tradition that was largely gnostic and heretical.”
Personally I would say thats an over simplification. The Christians appear to be regular ones (definitely the one’s of Najran) the Jews from studies shown appear to have portions of mayne 2 targum, the Talmud etc. While they definitely had oral traditions, some extra books (we can see this when Sahaba(ra) quote from them) and some different laws from Rabbinical Judaism (for example the Jews of Medina priest marrying his daughters to pagans) I see no reason to think these people were “heretics” any diffrent from the ones nowaday.