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Switch to Forum Live View The Koranic View of the Torah
3 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2012 - 10:31AM #1
ffb
Posts: 2,259
Sorry to intrude -- just a simple question. Is there a summarizable view of the Koranic (or Muslim, if it is different) opinion on the veracity and accuracy of the text of the written Tanach (the 5 books of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings) as it appears now in Hebrew texts which I can buy at my local book store?

On the Discuss Judaism board there has been discussion about whether textual Muslim criticism is aimed at the Torah text or those who (mis)teach it so I'm wondering where the shift is.

I ask because I know that there is a major difference of opinion about which son of Abraham's was raised up as an offering. The Hebrew text explicitly names Isaac. If there is a tradition via the version of the events in Surah 37 that the son to be offerred was Ishmael then that would be a simple claim that the written Torah text which now exists has been changed; this, though, might be an effect of Islamic scholarly criticism and not an explicit Surah based claim to any textual corruption.

Please help me understand this -- thanks.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 3:25PM #2
BDboy
Posts: 6,301

The short version says, Moses, Aaron, Jacob, Joseph, Solomon, David.....were messenges of God. They were rightous men who obeyed God's wishes and shared their knowledge with their people.


No one with knowledge of Islam disputes the "History". However we (Muslims) feel the revelation came many thousand year ago and part of them were not preserved properly. So the noble Qur'an (The final revelation) conformed the authenticity of previous books (Jews and Christians are known as "People of the book" or "Ahl-al-Kitab") and "perfected" the messege and God said He will preserve this book till the last day.


For more scholarly information, I am refering you to a scholar from Harvard school of Divinity..


Click here to see his works and start reading. :-)


 


You also collect the following book by Karen Armstrong..


 


A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam


If you have more questions, feel free to ask.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 9:01PM #3
ffb
Posts: 2,259

Thanks for the reply but it seemed to sidestep the question (and I was hoping for a general statement of principle that didn't require that I start reading loads of books and wade through scholarly explanation).


You wrote, "part of them were not preserved properly. So the noble Qur'an (The final revelation) conformed the authenticity of previous books (Jews and Christians are known as "People of the book" or "Ahl-al-Kitab") and "perfected" the messege and God said He will preserve this book till the last day"


Your first part seems to mean that there was a pre-Mosaic Torah which was given to him but he did not "preserve" it properly, meaning that in his transcription he introduced errors. So the second part of that selection would say that the revelation of the Koran "fixes" the Torah text to replace erroneous sections with a corrected versions. Thus, the text which the Jews have and use is the text with errors in it as Jews have not accepted the corrected versions as revealed through Islam?


Or do you mean that Moses wrote the text properly but since his time the people have either changed the words (and the Koran is reminding people of the actual text which Moses received and intended but which later people changed) or have not "preserved" the obedience of the law -- if so, how does this relate to the actual text?


Thanks.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2012 - 9:10AM #4
Ibn
Posts: 5,015

Apr 18, 2012 -- 10:31AM, ffb wrote:

Sorry to intrude -- just a simple question.


Welcome to the Discuss Islam board. You are not intruding.  


Apr 18, 2012 -- 10:31AM, ffb wrote:

Is there a summarizable view of the Koranic (or Muslim, if it is different) opinion on the veracity and accuracy of the text of the written Tanach (the 5 books of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings) as it appears now in Hebrew texts which I can buy at my local book store?


It is genarall believed that the 5 books of Moses (if these are the Revelations to Moses called "Taurat" in the Arabic Qur'an) are accurate in terms of Divine Words. The Qur'an directs the Jews of Madina (when the Qur'an was being revealed), to "keep up with the Taurat" as well as believe in the Revelation of the Qur'an.

Apr 18, 2012 -- 10:31AM, ffb wrote:

On the Discuss Judaism board there has been discussion about whether textual Muslim criticism is aimed at the Torah text or those who (mis)teach it so I'm wondering where the shift is.


The major part of the criticism in the Qur'an is to do with what was being said by the Jews at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an. Some criticism is directed at the "books" written by men that are not the revelation to Moses and the prophets but are being claimed to be the revelation to Moses. There is a hint of words being changed from their places but it is not explicit stated as to wherefrom. In general, as for as the Divine Word and the Commands are concerned for spiritual enlightenment of man, and judging by whatever I have read so far (and I have not read all of it), present Torah (the 5 books) is pretty good and I can't claim that it is corrupted even if it is not the word by word account of pre-Babylonian captivity Torah.  

Apr 18, 2012 -- 10:31AM, ffb wrote:

I ask because I know that there is a major difference of opinion about which son of Abraham's was raised up as an offering. The Hebrew text explicitly names Isaac.


We do not know whether this is accurate or not. There is doubt in Islamic circles that "your son Isaac, the only son" is accurate as it is not expressed for Ishmael the same way in the Qur'an. At no time was Isaac "the only son" of Abraham whereas Ishmael was for for several years "the only son" of Abraham.


The above topic was discussed at a great length a few years ago. JAstor had started the thread and participated in it. He had explained that Isaac was the only spiritual son at the time and, therefore, the account in Genesis 22 is correct. Most Muslims are not willing to accept this explanation because G-d required Abraham to sacrifice "his son" or "the only son" rather than his only spiritual son. Ishmael is recognised in the Torah as Abraham's son. Nowhere I read that he was not Abraham's son. 


Apr 18, 2012 -- 10:31AM, ffb wrote:

If there is a tradition via the version of the events in Surah 37 that the son to be offerred was Ishmael then that would be a simple claim that the written Torah text which now exists has been changed; this, though, might be an effect of Islamic scholarly criticism and not an explicit Surah based claim to any textual corruption.


First of all, it does not say explicitly in the Qur'an that the subject of sacrifice was Ishmael. The more we read of the story in the Qur'an the more we think that it was Ishmael rather than Isaac but Islam does not depend on one or the other son being subject of the sacrifice. The reason for that is that the spiritual lesson learnt from the event will be just as good for Muslims as if it was Isaac being the subject of the sacrifice. The story in the Qur'an concentrates on the strength of the faith of Abraham and that is the lesson we learn in Islam from this story. We believe that it was Ishmael but it won't matter at all if it was Isaac. This is not the case for Judaism. The consequences for Judaism of Ishmael being the real subject of the sacrifice are horrendous as Judaism depends on Isaac being the promised son and the son of the covenant. To us Ishmael is the son of the covenant between G-d and Abraham at their circumcision and it was the blood of Abraham and his son Ishmael that the covenant was signed and sealed.  

I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion.
(Chris Matthews)
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2012 - 9:43AM #5
ffb
Posts: 2,259

"It is genarall believed that the 5 books of Moses (if these are the Revelations to Moses called "Taurat" in the Arabic Qur'an) are accurate in terms of Divine Words."


But does this mean that the words which Moses wrote down are the accurate words or was there a disconnect there? If Jewish tradition dictates that what I use now is the same as what Moses wrote then there would be no question about the current Torah's accuracy. But there seems to be just that question.


"what was being said by the Jews at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an. Some criticism is directed at the "books" written by men that are not the revelation to Moses and the prophets but are being claimed to be the revelation to Moses. "


This seems, then to be a rejection of the oral Torah not as a corruption but as an a priori invalid and non-divine code.


"There is a hint of words being changed from their places but it is not explicit stated as to wherefrom. In general, as for as the Divine Word and the Commands are concerned for spiritual enlightenment of man, and judging by whatever I have read so far (and I have not read all of it), present Torah (the 5 books) is pretty good and I can't claim that it is corrupted even if it is not the word by word account of pre-Babylonian captivity Torah."


So the concern would be on isolated words if anything and, in your opinion, the current written text is complete and accurate.


"We do not know whether this is accurate or not. There is doubt in Islamic circles that "your son Isaac, the only son" is accurate as it is not expressed for Ishmael the same way in the Qur'an. At no time was Isaac "the only son" of Abraham whereas Ishmael was for for several years "the only son" of Abraham."


So this isn't about particular words but about an entire passage if not logical unit being inaccurate potentially. If, through explication and exegesis, the accuracy is questioned, then what would explain the words in the current Torah text as accepted by Judaism (Gen 22:1 explicitly names Isaac as the one to be raised up as an offering)? Must it not, then, be a result of textual corruption?


" We believe that it was Ishmael but it won't matter at all if it was Isaac."


But your belief can be sourced in only one of two things:


a. blind belief with no basis other than a wish to validate Ishmael as central and important religious figure


b. textual support (explicit or implicit) which would comndemn the Jewish biblical text as being inaccurate.


If the Jewish Torah text IS accurate, then why would there be any reason to believe that Ishmael was offered, especially if, as you say, it would not matter if it was Isaac?


 


But my real question isn't about the particulars of theological evolution and Isaac or Ishmael, but about the notion that the text has been changed. How can it be that you feel that the written text as is used today is "pretty good" but Islam argues that a (for Judaism) pivotal point of text is actually incorrect?

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2012 - 9:46AM #6
BDboy
Posts: 6,301

Apr 19, 2012 -- 9:01PM, ffb wrote:


Thanks for the reply but it seemed to sidestep the question (and I was hoping for a general statement of principle that didn't require that I start reading loads of books and wade through scholarly explanation).


You wrote, "part of them were not preserved properly. So the noble Qur'an (The final revelation) conformed the authenticity of previous books (Jews and Christians are known as "People of the book" or "Ahl-al-Kitab") and "perfected" the messege and God said He will preserve this book till the last day"


Your first part seems to mean that there was a pre-Mosaic Torah which was given to him but he did not "preserve" it properly, meaning that in his transcription he introduced errors. So the second part of that selection would say that the revelation of the Koran "fixes" the Torah text to replace erroneous sections with a corrected versions. Thus, the text which the Jews have and use is the text with errors in it as Jews have not accepted the corrected versions as revealed through Islam?


Or do you mean that Moses wrote the text properly but since his time the people have either changed the words (and the Koran is reminding people of the actual text which Moses received and intended but which later people changed) or have not "preserved" the obedience of the law -- if so, how does this relate to the actual text?


Thanks.




>>>>>>>>> The last para is the closed of what I wanted to say. Moses (PBUH) did receive the Authentic revelation from God and this message was intended to guide his people (Children of Israel or Bani Israel in Arabic). Since it was a very long time ago and record keeping was not very good. SOME of it were changed by others.


The noble Qur'an confirms all most all Biblical messengers of God (PBUT) and mentioned that, every nation and tribes received messengers/reminders from our Maker.


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the LAST messenger of God and his book (Al Qur'an) was meant for all of humanity. It also "Prefected" and "Completed" the process of revelation until the "Last day" on earth. It also corrected some misunderstandings (About God) by Jews and Christians (Ahl-al Kitab).


It is important to note, the noble Qur'an speaks a lot about history of Jews and Christians. NOT to criticise them (Some people misunderstand and distort it at times) but to encourage us to learn from history (Past mistakes etc).


For example the name Muhammad (PBUH) appreaded only 4 times in the Qur'an. The name "Moses" was mentioned more than 120 times. The name "Jesus son of Mary" was mentioned 25 times. So the lesson from previous messenges (PBUT) is important for Muslims and as per Islamic teachings, if any Muslim deny existance of previous messenges, he/she ceases to be a Muslim anymore. It is one of our articles of faith.


If you have more questions, I'll try to answer them.


Here is one more link with less reading...


PROPHET MUHAMMAD'S
CHARTER OF PRIVILEGES TO CHRISTIANS
LETTER TO THE MONKS OF ST. CATHERINE MONASTERY




One more link, click here


 


In simple words, it is like windows system. Jews and Christians were win95 and win XP and Islam is the untimate last windows edition with no need to update anymore until the last day.


Hope I made some sense to you.


Peace.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2012 - 9:49AM #7
ffb
Posts: 2,259

Thanks -- you wrote


"Since it was a very long time ago and record keeping was not very good. SOME of it were changed by others"


without trying then to apply this to other texts from a very long time ago, it seems that on its surface, this statement reflects the belief that the current written Torah which Jews use has been altered, either intentionally or because over time, humans make mistakes. Is that correct?

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2012 - 10:13AM #8
BDboy
Posts: 6,301

Apr 20, 2012 -- 9:49AM, ffb wrote:


Thanks -- you wrote


"Since it was a very long time ago and record keeping was not very good. SOME of it were changed by others"


without trying then to apply this to other texts from a very long time ago, it seems that on its surface, this statement reflects the belief that the current written Torah which Jews use has been altered, either intentionally or because over time, humans make mistakes. Is that correct?




 


>>>>>> yes, SOME of it has been changed. Muslims aren't the only one with that view. Many scholars of the Bible holds similar view.


Muslims also feel that, Jesus son of Mary (PBUH) was ALSO a messenger of God (Not son of God!) who came to "Update" Jews about God's vision for them but many of his own people (Jews) rejected his message. The "Final update" was revaled to Muhammad (PBUH) which came with an universal message for all.


Click here to learn about a Muslim scholar's take on it.


 


one more


 


Bible Compared to Quran
Based on transcripts of vairous lectures given by Yusuf Estes & Dr. Gary Miller

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2012 - 10:22AM #9
BDboy
Posts: 6,301

Apr 20, 2012 -- 9:49AM, ffb wrote:


Thanks -- you wrote


"Since it was a very long time ago and record keeping was not very good. SOME of it were changed by others"


without trying then to apply this to other texts from a very long time ago, it seems that on its surface, this statement reflects the belief that the current written Torah which Jews use has been altered, either intentionally or because over time, humans make mistakes. Is that correct?




 


>>>>>>>> As per Islamic view, the Torah is not in it's original form (Has some alterations). The noble Qur'an confirms the parts which has not been changed (Some we have loads of similarities with Jews and Christians) and "Corrected" where it was changed.


My knowledge of the OT and NT is not there to tell you for sure, if those changes were "Intentional" or "Human mistakes". My best guess is some of both!!


Specifically in case of NT, the "Interpretation" of the Bible is VERY different from the text itself (Even at it's current form).


There are SOME obvious "Contradictions" in the OT as well and they cannot come from our Maker. If you wish to explore, I'll try to give you some web based sources.


Peace.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2012 - 11:27AM #10
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,788

Let me see if I understand this


1. The Qur'an which is 1400 years old and for which no original examples are available is believed to be  complete and unchanged in any way from the original.


2. The Torah which is far older than the Qur'an and for which we have (at least partial)  examples which are older than 1400 years and which are exactly the same as the Torah used today is believed to be incomplete and altered. 


I have no problems with the above as a statement of faith and belief. However, it is impossible to support the position as a statements of fact. 


As a statement of faith and belief it is part of the explanation as to why the Qur'an was written and why Mohammed's prophecy was necessary. All religious traditions have and need a reason for their starting point (or if one insists their "continuity" point). However, as a statement of faith and belief it also sets up an irreconcilable disagreement with Judaism (and since the same argument is made concerning the Gospels, with Christianity) This irreconcilable difference has had any number of historic and contemporary consequences. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a forum in B'Net which is equipped to or desigend to discuss that aspect of the question.



   

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