Does the Qur’an say that the Bible is corrupted?

The Qur’an did not say that the Holy Injil was corrupted. Christians were not accused of distorting their Injil, and not all of the Qur’anic texts that the critics rely upon to argue for the corruption of the Injil pertain to it. We will discuss some of these texts:

1 – “Do you covet [the hope, O believers], that they would believe for you while a party of them used to hear the words of Allah and then distort the words after they had understood it while they were knowing?” (Al-Baqarah 2:75).

2 – “Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] usages and say, ‘We hear and disobey’ and ‘Hear but be not heard’ and ‘Ra’ina,’ twisting their tongues and defaming the religion. And if they had said [instead], ‘We hear and obey’ and ‘Wait for us,’ it would have been better for them and more suitable. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few” (Al-Nisa 4:46).

3 – “And Allah had already taken a covenant from the Children of Israel… So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded…” (Al-Maida 5:12-13).

4 – “O Messenger, let them not grieve you who hasten into disbelief of those who say, ‘We believe’ with their mouths, but their hearts believe not, and from among the Jews. [They are] avid listeners to falsehood, listening to another people who have not come to you. They distort words beyond their usages, saying ‘If you are given this, take it; but if you are not given it, then beware.’ But he for whom Allah intends fitnah – never will you possess [power to do] for him a thing against Allah. Those are the ones for whom Allah does not intend to purify their hearts. For them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment” (Al-Maida 5:41).

Here are some of the comments on these verses:

These texts are directed to the Jews. Therefore, the Qur’an says: “and from among the Jews,” so there is no mention of the Christians or the Bible.

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi says in his commentary on Al-Maida 5:13, “The intention of corruption is to cast false resemblance and corrupt interpretations, and to divert the word from its true meaning to a meaning that is false by using verbal tricks, as the people of innovations today do to the verses that do not fit with their beliefs—this is the explanation of corruption.”

Al-Baydawi said in an explanation on (al-Ma’ida 5:41), “They sent them (from Zinya) from a group to Bani Qurethah, to ask the Messenger of Allah, and Ibn Suria judged between them. So, he told him, ‘I ask you by the name of Allah… who handed down this book to you with its teachings of what is lawful and unlawful, do you find in it stoning of the immune?’ He said ‘Yes,’ and they jumped on him, and he said, ‘I was afraid that if I make him out to be a liar, that will bring down the torment.’ Therefore, the Messenger of Allah ordered the adulterers to be stoned at the door of the mosque.”

Al-Tabari said in his commentary (Al-Nisa 4: 45), “The Jews insulted Muhammad with the ugliest words, and said to him, ‘Hear from us deafness’ as someone saying to the man, ‘May God let you not hear.’ The word Ra’ina was interpreted by the attribution of Ibn Wahab as that which is wrong to speak.”

Yusuf Durra Al-Haddad comments on these texts, saying:

1- “First we see that there is no mention of the Christians and the Gospel at all. We challenge anyone to prove in the Qur’an that it was intended for the Christians and their Gospel. How do they accuse the Qur’an by accusing the Christians of distorting the Bible? Or how do they call the Bible corrupted?

2 – “In all places, the Qur’an was referring to a group of Jews, and it is mentioned that the other team do not approve them in their work; there is no room for corruption.

3 – “The corruption that is mentioned is the interpretation of the text, not the alteration, as evidenced by the fact that they are a group of ‘he Scripture follow it, as it ought to be followed’ (Al-Baqarah 2:121). There is no fear of the corruption of the text nor its correct interpretation.

4 – “It is not the whole book that is dealt with, nor the whole Torah, or all of its regulations, but the meaning of the stoning in the Torah, and some commentators add the attribute of Muhammad, ‘the Unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel in their possession’ (Al-Aaraf 7:157). The whole idea is only about one or two verses of the Torah.”

The question that arises is how the Qur’an attests to a distorted book:

1 – “He has sent down upon you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel” (Al-Imran 3: 3).

2 – “And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous” (Al-Maida 5:46).

3 – “And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient” (Al-Maida 5:47).

4 – “And if only they upheld [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them are a moderate community, but many of them – evil is that which they do” (Al-Maida 5:66).

5 – “Say, O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord” (Al-Maida 5:68).

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