Do the Hadith teach the textual corruption of the previous scriptures?


Happy to discuss the topic further either here or on the blog site 🙂 I’m responding in particular to a certain Bukhari hadith, which is often appealed to in order to settle the issue of whether the Qur’an teaches that the previous scriptures have been textually corrupted.


Categories: Islam

20 replies

    • I’ve read some of the most relevant articles here before, and didn’t consider it persuasive, but that’s a longer story.

      I tried to highlight at the beginning that different hadith potentially point in different issues on this broader issue. But even if one completely dismisses any hadith I appeal to in favour of the reliability of the previous scriptures, this is only a fraction of my article. Which is fine, I don’t expect the whole article to be responded to – but I wouldn’t want someone who reads your comment ‘The whole list answered’ to misunderstand and think the whole article is about those initial few hadith which I briefly mention.

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    • Just to add, you will actually notice that one of the articles on this site (by Bassam Zawadi) is cited in my article!

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    • I actually can’t find on this site a response to the Tirmidhi hadith I quoted. If you’ve seen it there, could you please point it out for me?

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      • The collective consciousness of the Islamic world is consistent on this point: the previous scriptures have been corrupted and are not reliable. For many centuries the scholars of the religion have taught this fundamental principle to little children. This alone proves that Islam clearly considers the previous scriptures corrupted. And what is this consciousness based on? The fact that the Quran clearly refers to itself as superior to other scriptures and contradicts the common narrative of the previous religions like the deity of Christ.

        And when we analyse the hadith literature in conjunction with the Quran verses (that directly allude to corruption and indirectly by contradicting the previous narrative etc) and the opinions of the scholars and this collective consciousness of the Muslims it is clear that Islam considers the corruption of the previous scriptures to be as true and as important to believe as the belief in One True God. It is obvious to see, which is why I am confused why your camp is devoting such resources in terms of time to attempting to debunking this?

        Maybe your faith is not as sure in your version of Christ as you pretend that it is?

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      • The Quran definitely shows 3 or 4 ways that the People of the Book corrupted their materials. That is to some extent. However, the big DEAL that seemingly is never mentioned is that notion we get from the Quran and explained in hadith lit. concerning Ati bin Hatim (?) based on the Quranic verse ‘They take their priests and anchorites…’
        No where in the Ingeel is Jesus (pbh) stated to be Devine. That comes from ‘their’ take on the meaning of words expressed.
        Paul who didn’t believe in the ‘physical crucifixion of Jesus on a wooden cross’ is a great example of certain words causing mass confusion! But that was on purpose due to the ‘Battle Plans’ employed by Jesus (pbh) in the way to spread the truth. That is common sense from the notion that all prophets would teach their followers what the approach would be in spreading the ‘religion’.
        Islamically speaking, the hadiths concerning Mu’adh bin Jabaal give the ‘Battle Plans’ in how to spread Islam. And so Paul is correct to say WE and not I preach Christ crucified as a Stumbling Block to the Jews (being really hard for them to wrap around that thought! and as FOOLISHNESS (Stupidity) to the NON-Jew or Greeks with all their fantasy legends of gods and goddesses.
        Now how are you going to take this concept of ‘Christ being crucified’. If one is patient that will be explained but if one is not, then the ‘trap’ is well laid! And both Paul and the writer of Hebrews express dismay at the ‘dullness’ of those who can’t comprehend and have to feed them milk instead of meat.
        Furthermore, the Presbyter John in one of his letters tells of ‘anti-christs’ who actually were with the ‘group’ breaking off to do very bad things one would imagine about corrupting the ‘faithful’ and the religion for personal gain no doubt!
        One has to remember that the current New Testament is equivalent to a Readers Digest book that has been reduced from 400 pages to 40 pages and this forces the reader to do what the Quran says and that is to study the records as they should be studied!
        For more information concerning these things, interested parties should go to my Website called islamtheway.org

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      • @Dr.Collins

        Thank you for your comment.

        A number of scholars disagree with you, and argue that the Islamic world has not been consistent on this point, but that (if we look at the earliest sources), we can see the position has changed. Christian faith asserts the divinity of Christ, but this does not stop critical historians from wondering whether this was the earliest Christian belief. The fact that a belief has crystallised and become dogma for 1200 or 1900 years does not mean it was in fact the earliest belief. I discuss in my article why such a change may have taken place – the Qur’an could have preached one position (the earlier scriptures are reliable), but such a position quickly revealed itself to be untenable once the early Muslims were in frequent contact with Jews and Christians outside of Arabia with whom they dialogues.

        ‘It is obvious to see, which is why I am confused why your camp is devoting such resources in terms of time to attempting to debunking this?’ I cannot speak for ‘my camp’, which includes different people with different perspectives, but I can only speak for myself that I am not intellectually convinced that the Qur’an teaches the corruption of the previous scriptures – precisely the opposite in my view. If I can be convinced of otherwise, then very well.

        ‘Maybe your faith is not as sure in your version of Christ as you pretend that it is?’ – Thank you, but not relevant to this discussion. Why when I wish to discuss topics, am I so often responded to with questions of motive? I don’t think this is fruitful.

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      • Richard, I have a request for you:

        Could you write something on how the Quran does not contradict the doctrine of the Trinity? And something on how the Shema does not contradict the Trinity?

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      • Hi Mark,

        Thank you for your comment 🙂

        As for whether or not the Qur’an contradicts the doctrine of the Trinity, it clearly does say ‘Do not say Three’, and it clearly does deny the divinity of Jesus… But it is interesting that Q 5:73, where we are told that God is not ‘one of three’, is so shortly followed by Q 5:75, where we are told that both Jesus and his mother ate food, thus refuting the divinity of either. Is Mary part of the Trinity envisaged by the Qur’an? (Cf. also Q 5:116). Maybe, but it’s not clear…

        As for how the Shema does not contradict the Trinity – yeah this is a good request, I’ll have to look into it and see if a good article on this has already been done. I know certain videos have addressed it

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      • Hello to whoever is reading this in reply to something about the so-called Trinity? The Old Testament (I’m telling the truth!) declares that the Quran is 100% legitament. Ok! so I’m a Muslim and I don’t have to fall for the old scam that says: ‘You would say that because you are a Muslim.’ Of course the Quran says that it is free from corruption so there is that! And if you can read the Quran, then you can answer your own question with confidence!

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  1. Having read the article, I’m convinced Richard knows more about Islam than any of the Sahaba, especially Ibn Abbas, ever did.

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  2. The Protestant, The Catholic, and if you consider The Mormon, The Jehovah Witnesses as Christian, all of them have different Bible that they believe The Word of God.

    So which Bible is the true word of God?

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    • Thank you for your comment, but as I do not feel it is strictly related to this post, I will choose not to answer it here. I prefer to write blog posts on specific topics, otherwise I have the same conversation many times over. Perhaps one day I will do a blog post on the question of canonicity 🙂

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    • Fair enough, it is an offshoot of the same topic (the Bible), but I suppose I distinguish it somewhat from how the Qur’an views the Bible. It is quite possible that there is real debate as to what books are or are not canonical, but that the Qur’an is unaware of, not concerned with, or just chooses to sidestep such an entire discussion.

      Thank you for your understanding that I won’t be answering it here – but perhaps on another blog post.

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      • Richardzetter – “As for how the Shema does not contradict the Trinity” short answer, the Shema does contradict the trinity. There are no 3 distinct divine persons that collectively form the God in the Shema.

        In the book of Deuteronomy He, the One God of Israel, is one divine person that form’s His one personal divine being. There are no 3 distinct divine persons that forms one divine personal God Richard, Surely you must see this truth clearly? Jesus certainly did 🙂

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      • Thanks PurpleRain – maybe I’ll do a post on this one day 🙂

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