Belief in the scriptures

4 Apr

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

This article of faith refers to belief in all the scriptures revealed in their original form by Allah to His messengers. Revealed scriptures form the enlightenment which the messengers received to show the right path of Allah to their people. All the revealed books call to the worship of Allah alone and forbid the worship of anything other than Him or besides Him. They contain guidance for humankind in all aspects of life. They define right and wrong, and offer human beings a complete system of beliefs and practices governing all their affairs. The Creator alone knows best what is beneficial for His creation and what is not. Thus, the divine laws contained in those scriptures command and prohibit various acts and substances to protect the human spirit, the human body, and
human society from harm.

Human beings definitely need to abide by His commandments documented in His revealed books in order to fulfil their potential by living a righteous life. The original texts of revealed books do not differ from each other in their main doctrinal principles. However, due to the differences between nations in time and space, there were some differences in the practical teachings (laws) of the scriptures, according to the wisdom of Allah. Their basic message, however, remains the same.

Muslims believe in the previous books as mentioned in the Qur’an: the Scripture of Abraham (peace be upon him), the Torah of Moses (peace be upon him), the Psalms of David (peace be upon him) and the Gospel of Jesus (peace be upon him). The following verse from the noble Qur’an emphasizes the fact that belief in all the previous scriptures sent by Allah is an integral part of the Islamic belief system: {Say, [O believers]: We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.} (Qur’an 2: 136)

However, long before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), all these scriptures had been either lost or irretrievably corrupted by later generations over the centuries with myths, superstitions, idolatry and irrational philosophical beliefs, carrying contradicting thoughts. Hence, the existing forms of those scriptures cannot be described as Allah’s revelation.

The Bible for example, is one of the remaining books in the hands of its followers. Ever since it was revealed to Jesus (peace be upon him), it has undergone so many changes that today, there are four well-known Bibles instead of one: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John comprise the Bible (The New Testament), along with other documents. These were written between 40 and 115 years after Jesus (peace be upon him) had left and are based on documents that have been lost. The Gospel according to Mark, was the first one written in Rome, at least 40 years after the disappearance of Jesus (peace be upon him). The Gospel according to Matthew was written in the Greek Language about 90 years after Christ.

The Gospel according to Luke was written in Greece approximately 80 years after Christ. These three Gospels are called Synoptic because they originate from the same lost document and they have a lot in common. The Gospel according to John, on the other hand, has deep differences with the Synoptic Gospels. It is in this Gospel of John where the Divinity and preexistence of Jesus (peace be upon him) was mentioned, even though Jesus himself never claimed this. This Gospel was written between 110 and 115 years CE.19 Analysis of these Gospels reveals the following:

1. During the lifetime of Jesus (peace be upon him), there was no written document containing his sayings, acts or lectures.

2. The first records of the sayings of Jesus (peace be upon him), which were made close to the time of his disappearance, have been lost.

3. The Gospels were written between 40 and 115 years after Jesus’ ‘disappearance’, and were based on lost documents. As a consequence, there was a loose manipulation of the content.

4. None of the Gospel writers knew, saw or heard Jesus (peace be upon him).

5. The Gospels were written in Greek while Jesus (peace be upon him) spoke Aramaic.

6. For at least one hundred years after the Gospels were written, they did not have any canonical authority, and were changed by the writers of the different sects in order to adapt them to their own needs.

7. The present Gospels, seen as a whole, are full of contradictions.20

These factors have been brought up here in order to demonstrate that the Gospel of Jesus (peace be upon him), his original message that was revealed by Allah, has not reached us in its original form. In this way, it can be affirmed that the four Gospels, included in today’s Bible, cannot be considered similar or equivalent to the inspired Gospel of Jesus (peace be upon him).

notes:
19 Abdul Razak, Study Guide, Comparative Study – Islam and
Christianity.

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