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Category Archives: Islam

American Astronaut Neil Armstrong Became A Muslim

My Muslim friend recently told me that American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, became a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

This is totally untrue. It is simply a Muslim myth.

Neil Armstrong did not become a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

Neil Armstrong is not a Muslim at all.

Neil Armstrong has never been a Muslim.

Armstrong himself repudiates this story in his own biography. Here is an excerpt:

I have found that many organizations claim me as a member, for which I am not a member, and a lot of different families — Armstrong families and others — make connections, many of which don’t exist. So many people identify with the success of Apollo. The claim about my becoming a Muslim is just an extreme version of people inevitably telling me they know somebody whom I might know

The myth that Armstrong became a Muslim is in fact denied in a Fatwa authourised  by the Muslim scholar Shaykh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid and published on his website, Islam Q&A.

Shaykh Al-Munajjid makes the obvious point that if Neil Armstrong became a Muslim after hearing the Islamic Call To Prayer on The Moon then he would go around telling everyone all about it and that they should become Muslims too. Since Neil Armstrong has  does none of these things it is obvious that he never became a Muslim or heard the call To Prayer on The Moon.

Here is the Fatwa:

The story about Neil Armstrong, who they say was the first man to step onto the surface of the moon, becoming a Muslim is one of the stories that are passed around among people. We have researched this story and we did not find any reliable source for it.

We have got used to hearing stories like that which then turn out to false, and it seems that this is a deliberate attempt to shake the faith of the ordinary Muslims[…]

If the story of such a famous person becoming Muslim was really true, you would see him calling people to Islam and you would see the scholars and daa’iyahs and the Islamic media meeting him and talking to him, none of which happened in this case.

If you compare the story of Armstrong supposedly becoming Muslim with the story of Yusuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens, the famous British singer), you will see the difference between lies and truth, imagination and reality.

You can read all about the Armstrong Myth here:

First Astronaut To The Moon Worshiped Jesus

In fact, what Armstrong did on the Moon was respectfully watch his crew-mate Buzz Aldrin worship Jesus. As the link above states:

Before Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. stepped out of the lunar module, the Apollo they observed a moment of silence whilst Aldrin read from the New Testament and administered Communion to himself. The Christian ceremony is described in an article by Aldrin in a 1970 copy of Guideposts magazine:

It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements which celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus and which are symbolically eaten in an act of worship to Jesus.

Summary

Neil Armstrong did not become a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

Neil Armstrong is not a Muslim at all.

Neil Armstrong has never been a Muslim.

Muslim scholars agree that Neil Armstrong is not and never has been a Muslim.

Muslim scholars describe the story of Armstrong becoming a Muslim as ‘lies’, ‘false’, ‘imagination’, ‘unreliable’ and a story designed to stop Muslims believing in Islam.

The first act of worship on the Moon was actually a Christian worship service in honour of   Jesus Christ.

Holy Light From The Ka’aba

A Muslim friend recently told me that Holy Light coming out of The Kaaba is visible from outer space. Because of this, my friend said, humanity can know for sure that Islam is the true religion of God.

The source of his assertion appears to be the comments of some Russian cosmonauts on You Tube who saw Mecca from space and apparently said that the light from Mecca was cleaner and brighter than the light coming from European cities such as Paris

The comments of the Russian cosmonauts do not prove that Mecca has purer or brighter light than other cities of the world. In fact, the video shows a rotating Earth with all of the cities lit just as brightly or brighter than Mecca.

Also, it is obvious from the You Tube video that the light coming from Mecca is simply electrical light, the same as any other city in the world. There is no extra light coming from the Ka’aba.  In fact, no light at all comes from the Ka’aba because it is not supplied with electrical lighting.

Why should anyone be surprised that light from electrical lamps located in Mecca, identical to that which exists in every other city in the world, emanates into outer space ?

According to the text written under the You Tube video, the cosmonaut says that the superior,  pure quality of the light from Mecca was only evident when he took photographs of Mecca.  It would be interesting to see if his result could be repeated by other people or if it could be explained by various settings on his camera such as exposure times, filters, angle of the picture or other camera settings or by relative levels of air pollution above these cities.

I would also note that the video is completely in Russian. It would be useful if the video could be translated and have subtitles so that the comments of the cosmonaut can be verified and understood in context.

I also note that the Cosmonaut who took these pictures,  Anton Schkaplerov, was born in the Crimea, which has a significant Muslim population. Is he a Muslim and if so, is he simply providing an Islamically-sourced expectation of what he hoped to see rather than an objective account of what he really did see ?

Finally, if Holy Light really is streaming out of The Kaaba, why isn’t it visible from Mecca itself or any other place on Earth ? Why can’t people standing next to The Ka’aba see light streaming out of it ?

Apparently the Holy Light streaming from the Ka’aba must be invisible when standing next to it in Mecca, invisible from Saudi Arabia, invisible from The Middle East, invisible from any place on Earth, invisible even from Outer Space, but only when someone takes a picture of Mecca from Outer Space, then the Holy Light becomes visible in the photographs.

Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that Holy Light is continuously streaming out of the roof of The Vatican but that this light not visible from Italy or indeed any place on Earth and that this light is not visible from outer space either, but that an American Christian astronaut had taken a picture of The Vatican from space and that it was only visible in this picture. Furthermore no-one else had ever taken such a picture. And again furthermore, the picture of this light from The Vatican shows only the normal electrical lights and no special light coming from St. Peter’s Church itself or from any other place in The Vatican.

Would my Muslim friends then believe me that Holy Light is streaming out of The Vatican and that therefore Christianity is the true religion of God ?

Of course not.

In summary,

  • No light at all is emitted from The Ka’aba
  • Mecca emits electrical light, not Holy light.
  • The same kind of light is emitted by every other city in the world
  • Other cities are just as brightly lit as Mecca

 

Ka’aba Emits  An Infinite Amount Of Short-Wave Radiation

Another variation of the story that pure and holy light streams from the Ka’aba is described by Dr. Abd Al-Baset Sayyid of the Egyptian National Research Centre and shown on Saudi TV in January 2005.

Dr. Sayyid said that NASA has proven that The Ka’aba emits a gigantic amount of Short-Wave radiation which streams to an infinite distance from The Ka’aba. Dr. Sayyid said that NASA had observed this phenomenon during a Mars mission.

Unfortunately Dr.Sayyid gives absolutely no evidence for this assertion. Dr.Sayyid says that NASA put this information up on their website put then mysteriously pulled it down again after 21 days. Dr Sayyid does not provide any hard-copy of the report or, indeed, any evidence at all for this supposed NASA report.

Why should anyone believe him ? Quite simply, no light or radiation comes from The Ka’aba at all.

Since Dr. Sayyid does not provide any evidence for his assertion that The Ka’aba emits an infinite amount of short-wave radiation there is no evidence for anyone to believe. He is quite simply making up the story from his own imagination.

Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that The Vatican emits an infinite amount of Short-Wave radiation and that this was proven by Muslim scientists from the Egyptian National Research Centre during the first moon sighting of Ramadan of 2005. I then say that The ENRC put this report up on their website but then pulled it down 21 days later to try and conceal the fact that Christianity is the true religion of God. I then tell them that I have no hard-copy of the ENRC report and in fact no evidence at all.

What would my Muslim friends say to me ? Would they believe me ?

Of course not.

Muslims are eager to assert that Mecca is located in the center of the Earth. Mecca is, of course, of paramount importance to Muslims, being the location of the Ka’aba which is the large cubic structure which all Muslims face while reciting their five daily prayers.

The Ka’aba is highly venerated in Islamic thinking, for example said to be located directly under a heavenly Ka’aba at which uncounted thousands of Angels worship, also that the Ka’aba was created 2000 years before the rest of the Earth was created and that the city of Mecca was the first city on Earth which was created, the rest of the Earth spreading itself out from there as the process of creation took effect.

Proof via The Golden Mean

One way  that Muslims like to assert that Mecca is the center of the Earth is to say that the ratio of the distance from Mecca to the South Pole as compared to the distance from Mecca to the North Pole is exactly 1.618.

This ratio, 1.618, is a special number in Mathematics known as The Golden Mean, which appears many times in nature. For this reason, some people call The Golden Mean ‘The Divine Mean’ showing that God the Creator is the source of whatever object displays this ratio. For example, Flowers, sea-shells, pineapples, and even honeycombs all exhibit this ratio in their proportions.

Since the Golden Mean is observed in the ratio of Mecca’s distance between the Poles this, Muslims say, is proof that Allah created Mecca as the perfectly located and holy city, first of all cities and the so-called Navel Of The Earth.

Unfortunately for Muslims, the ratio of Mecca’s distance to the poles is not the Golden Mean. It is close, but not exact, being approximately 20 kilometers distant from the Golden Mean point. Since Muslims like to claim that the location of Mecca is a miraculous location exactly exhibiting the Golden Mean, it is not good enough for Mecca to be actually 20 km distant from this point. If the ratio is supposed to miraculous and exact, then let it be miraculous and exact.

Unfortunately Mecca’s location is not exactly on the Golden Mean, so it is not miraculous by that criteria.

Provably, There is no miracle in the location of Mecca. Mecca does not lie on a Golden Mean ratio point between the North and South Poles.

Detailed Proof

The fact that Mecca does not lie on the Golden Mean point is only the beginning of the problems with the Islamic assertion of a miracle in the location of Mecca.

Firstly, because the Earth is a sphere, all cities on the same latitude as Mecca are also on the Golden Mean point, especially allowing for the plus or minus 20km error exhibited by Mecca. So, in the Northern Hemisphere, cities such as Honolulu in Hawaii and Cancún in Mexico also satisfy the Golden Mean Ratio within the same error tolerance as Mecca. This means that all these cities are equally miraculous in their location, or in fact, equally non-miraculous.

Secondly, since the Earth has both a Northern and a Southern Hemisphere, then there are cities in the Southern Hemisphere which also satisfy the Golden Mean Ratio within the same error tolerance as Mecca. Francistown in Botswana is one such city.

Do Muslims accept that the location of Honolulu, Cancun and Francistown are also miraculous since they satisfy the Golden Mean ratio just as well as Mecca does ?

Finally, a moment’s thought shows that there are actually an infinite number of points on the Earth’s surface which satisfy the Golden Point Ratio, these points being all points  on the Earth’s circumference on the same Northern or Southern Latitudes as Mecca.

Do Muslims accept that there are an infinite number of miraculous locations on the earth’s surface of equal miraculous validity as Mecca ? If not, why not ?

Doubly-Miraculous Proof

If the Golden Mean point of Latitude is miraculous, then the Golden Mean Point of Longitude is also miraculous. Since the Earth has both an Eastern and Western Hemisphere, there are two Golden Mean points of Longitude in the Northern Hemisphere, one East of zero degrees Longitude and one West of zero degrees Longitude.

These doubly-miraculous points, exhibiting the Golden Mean in both Latitude and Longitude are far away from Mecca, the closest one being some 277 kilometres distant from Mecca.

Of course, there are also two more doubly-miraculous locations exhibiting the Golden Mean in both Latitude and Longitude in the Southern Hemisphere. Examining these, we find the city of Rio De Janeiro in Brazil is closer to the doubly-miraculous Golden Mean location than is Mecca. The most prominent feature in Rio De Janeiro is a huge statue of Jesus. This in combination with its doubly-miraculous location must indicate that Rio De Janeiro is the holiest place on earth and that the true religion of God is Christianity.

Jerusalem Is The Center Of The Earth

Muslims are obliged to accept the authority of The Tawrat since the Qu’ran tells them to believe that The Tawrat was written by God.

The Tawrat says that Jerusalem is the Center Of The Earth, hence Muslims are obliged to believe this. Here is the scripture which states Jerusalem’s centrality in the Earth:

Ezekiel 5:5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 

By inspection of any map, you can see that Israel lies at the intersection of four significant land masses –  Africa, Asia, Europe and Arabia – and acts as a bridge or crossing point between all of them. This ideal location made Jerusalem a perfect launching point for the propagation of God’s final and completed message, the Injeel of Jesus.

Jesus, in the The Injeel, spoke of the centrality of Jerusalem as follows:

In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! (Jesus, Luke 13:33, Holy Injeel)

Muslims also recognise the high significance of Jerusalem. Mu’awiyah, the first Umayyad caliph, for example, proclaimed himself caliph in Jerusalem, rather than in Damascus, his capital. Why did he not proclaim his caliphate in Mecca when he controlled both Jerusalem and Mecca ? Obviously the proclamation of the caliphate had to be done in the city he judged to be most significant on The Earth.

Mohammed himself said that the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem is a sign of the last day and many Muslims believe that Jerusalem will become the capital of the final Islamic caliphate. This being the case, a more important city than Jerusalem cannot be imagined.

Jerusalem, City Of The Great King

As it happens, Muslims are correct that Jerusalem will be the seat of God’s eternal Kingdom and that therefore Jerusalem will be the capital city of The Earth and the center of the world, the focus and destiny of all nations.

But the Kingdom that will be established in Jerusalem and Israel will not be an Islamic Caliphate but the Kingdom Of Jesus Christ, Messiah and Lord, King Of The Jews and Gentiles. This Kingdom will be ruled according to the principles of The Bible, not The Qu’ran.

There are many Bible prophecies which associate the Messiah as King ruling from Jerusalem in Zion and many scriptures which identify Jesus as this King. Good examples are Psalm 2:2-6 and Psalm 132:13-18, though there are many more in addition to these.

Psalm 2:2-26 says:

The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his Messiah, saying,
 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

Psalm 132:13-18 Speaks of God’s fulfillment of the God’s promises to David. When the Messiah,“anointed one…the horn of David” who “reigns from Zion:. God says
“His crown will shine, and He will make Zion His “resting place forever”for He will dwell there. This Psalm and prophecy is especially significant because the Messiah is identified as The Lord God Himself.

The New Testament identifies Jesus as this Messiah, who (by definition) is the promised ruler from David’s line who will establish the eternal kingdom of God in Zion (Jerusalem). Since Jesus is The Messiah, then He obviously fulfills all the attributes of The Messiah which means that Jesus Messiah is God Himself.
Here is Luke 1:31-33, just one place in the New Testament where Jesus is identified as The Messiah who rules God’s eternal kingdom. In this scripture, the angel Gabriel is describing to Mary that she has found great favour with God and will give birth to The Messiah:
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
So, the Tawrat and Injeel testify that Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Earth, the city of God, Lord, King and Messiah whose name is Jesus. Jesus will rule all nations from Jerusalem and all nations will worship and serve Him there.
Conclusion
Just to recap, one of the ways that Muslims wish to assert that Mecca is the center of The Earth is to state that Mecca lies at the Golden Mean ratio point of Latitude between the North and South Poles.
But it doesn’t. Mecca is 20 kilometers distant from the Golden Mean point.
So there is no miracle whatsoever in the location of Mecca.
If Muslims insist that Mecca is miraculously located because of its proximity to the Golden Mean point they must also accept that Honolulu in Hawaii, Cancun and Francistown in Botswana all share the shame proximity to the Golden Mean point and are equally (non-) miraculous in their location.
Similarly, Rio De Janeiro in Brazil should be considered to have greater credentials as the holiest city on Earth as it is the city closest to the doubly-miraculous Golden Mean of both Latitude and Longitude.
Finally, Islamic scholars point to Jerusalem as the city which will host the final Islamic Caliphate. Surely this makes Jerusalem the holiest city on Earth. The identity of Jerusalem as the spiritual center of Earth would bring Muslims in line with the true books of God, the Old and New Testaments of The Bible which clearly state that Jerusalem is the center of the Earth and the capital of God’s Earthly Kingdom from which His Messiah, Jesus, will reign forever.
As Isaiah 9:6-7 puts it:
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.

Muslims often assert that Christians corrupted The Bible at The Council Of Nicea in 325 AD

Sometimes Muslims assert that, at this Council, Christians were in hopeless confusion about what Gospels should be included in The Bible, there being dozens or hundreds of conflicting Gospels in their possession at that time. In order to select the true Gospels of Jesus, say these opponents of Christianity, the Niceans resorted to throwing the contending Gospels on or under the main table in the debating hall of The Council, then prayed to God that the true Gospels would  overnight miraculously move to the top of this hopelessly confused mess of hopelessly confused books.

The ultimate source of this story, told in several colourful variants,  is a document known as the Synodicon Vetus, an anonymous document written in about 900 AD. The Synodicon Vetus gives a one chapter summary of every major Council and Synod of the Christian Church up until 887 AD.

The Synodicon Vetus says of The Council Of Nicea

The canonical and apocryphal books it distinguished in the following manner: in the house of God the books were placed down by the holy altar; then the council asked the Lord in prayer that the inspired works be found on top and–as in fact happened–the spurious on the bottom. (Synodicon Vetus, 35)

Unfortunately for Muslims, the Synodicon Vetus is an unreliable document and is not considered trustworthy by historians. In addition, Synodicon Vetus also fails the  tests of reliability required by Islamic Sciences.

The flaws of the Synodicon Vetus are many. They are:

  • It is anonymous
  • It is written many centuries after the early Councils
  • It gives a different account of Councils than witness accounts and records written at much earlier times
  • It references Councils that never took place
  • It includes events considered doubtful and even imaginary
  • It uses documents known to be forged and considers them to be factual.

 

While the Synodicon Vetus does contain some information which is verified by earlier historical accounts and its information about the later Councils is often sound, its major drawbacks mean that it cannot be used as an authoritative source. Its recount of the earlier Councils, including the Council of Nicea are very often unreliable. For this reason the Synodicon Vetus is described variously as pseudo-historical, not to be trusted for Councils prior to the 7th Century unless corroborated by better sources, containing information which is doubtful or imaginary, the product of careless research…containing numerous errors and depending in part on forged documents.

The account in the Synodicon Vetus of the four accepted Gospels floating to the top of a huge pile of forgeries in response to prayer is not mentioned in any document prior to the Synodicon Vetus itself. Since the SV was written about 570 years after the Council Of Nicea and the account of the miraculously appearing Gospels is not mentioned by any other source including the several records from very close to the time of Nicea, then this alone is enough to dismiss the SV’s account of Nicea as a fanciful invention and not at all based in fact.

In fact, the proceedings of The Council Of Nicea are well-known and the decisions and the agenda of the Council are common knowledge. Contrary to myths believed by Muslims and other opponents of Christianity, the canon of scripture (i.e. what Books should or should not be in The Bible) was not decided at Nicea, nor was Nicea called for the purpose of discussing the Canon of Scripture. The list of accepted Gospels and Letters in The Bible was exactly the same after Nicea as before Nicea. The church leaders that disagreed with the decisions of Nicea used the same Bible as those that agreed with Nicea.

The reason Nicea was called was to discuss the meaning of Jesus’s title as Son Of God, not to determine the contents of The Bible.

The Unmentioned Miracle

An astonishing miracle such as the True Gospels selecting, discarding, declaring and elevating themselves would surely be recorded as the major event of the Council, but no such miracle or decision is recorded. Again, this alone is proof that the story of miraculously appearing Gospels as stated by the Synodicon Vetus simply never happened.

You can read many accounts of the proceedings of Nicea from the Histories listed on this site (here’s a short summary), the statement of faith produced at Nicea here and a list of the other decisions of Nicea here. There is simply no mention of any discussion about which books should be in The Bible nor is there any decision taken regarding The Bible. This is because the Biblical Canon (what books and letters should be in The Bible) was well-known by both sides well before Nicea. It was simply not in dispute.

Synodicon Vetus Invalid According To Islamic Sciences

The willingness of Muslims to accept a myth based on the Synodicon Vetus is actually opposed to Islamic Sciences of evaluating reliable traditions and history. First, the SV is anonymous. The first principle of authenticity in Islamic Sciences is that the author of the text be fully identified and be known as a trustworthy witness.

The fact that the SV is anonymous disqualifies it immediately from being considered reliable or authentic by Muslims. Muslims are obliged to reject the SV on this basis alone. As Shabbir Ally explains in relation to The Gospel Of Barnabas (which he rejects) a document or tradition which appears suddenly and anonymously centuries after the event it is supposed to describe and which has no chain of narration back to eyewitnesses of the event is simply invalid and must be rejected by Muslims. This is why Shabbir Ally does not consider The Gospel Of Barnabas valid. He would reject the Synodicon Vetus for the same reason.

In passing, other respected Islamic Scholars also reject the Gospel Of Barnabas. For example: Yusuf Estes says simply ‘There was no Gospel Of Barnabas…If you think there was such a Gospel you are deluded…’ Estes goes on to infer that the Gospel Of Barnabas is somehow the product of drunkenness and leaves no doubt that he does not consider the Gospel Of Barnabas of value to either Muslims or Christians.

Use Of Forged Sources

Returning again to the Synodicon Vetus, the document is severely compromised by its use of sources known to be forged. The forgeries in question are known as the Seven Forged Letters of Peter The Fuller. These letters owe their production to a theological debate of the 5th Century. You can read all about it here. Since SV references forged documents as if they are true then there is no way that SV should be considered reliable.

The Qu’ran Was Recited By 114 Heavenly Eagles

Imagine if I told Muslims that the Qu’ran was put into its current form by 114 Heavenly Eagles which appeared to Mohammed on the night before his death and recited each of the 114 true Surahs in turn in order to verify to Mohammed that his own recitation of the Qu’ran was correct. Imagine if I told Muslims that this was necessary because Mohammed had accumulated over 1000 Surahs and had no idea which ones were valid and which ones were forgeries. Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that the Eagles had appeared in response to a desperate prayer from Mohammed to Allah in order to help him determine which Surahs of the Qu’ran were forged and which were real.

My Muslim friends would laugh at this story and demand proof for my assertion.

Imagine if I told them that this proof was contained in a anonymous Hadith contained in a book of Hadith assembled by an anonymous authour who had also assembled Hadith using sources which were known forgeries and that my anonymous source wrote down his Hadith in the year 1420 AD, 570 years after Imam Bukhari had made his Sahih collection of trusted and authenticated Hadith and that my account was not accepted by or known to any other Islamic Scholar.

I then tell my Muslim friends that they should reject the Hadith of Bukhari and accept my anonymous, forged, and obviously fanciful account of the Recitation Of The Heavenly Eagles, written 800 years after the death of Mohammed  even though it is in complete contradiction to reputable Islamic history.

Their response would be: Why should we accept such rubbish ?

And yet some Muslims ask Christians to accept the myths of the Synodicon Vetus.

Irredeemable

The major flaws in the SV render it irredeemable. It cannot be judged to be authoritative for Christians in any way. The story of the floating Gospels which miraculously appear at the top of the pile of competing Gospels is an obvious fabrication and a myth, one which is rejected by reputable scholarship.

Muslims assert that Christians have deliberately corrupted The Bible, changing the original teaching of Jesus so as to obscure the original Islamic message that He supposedly bought.

In order to prove this allegation, Muslims need to bring the supposed original Islamic Bible, or a copy of it, so that we can compare the supposedly Islamic original Bible with the supposedly corrupted version that exists today.

Unfortunately for Muslims there is no evidence that an original Islamic Bible ever existed. There are approximately 25,000 ancient manuscripts and fragments of The Bible dating back to 125 AD, 500 years before the coming of Islam. All of these ancient manuscripts support the text of the current Bible and not one of them is a copy or fragment of the supposed original Islamic Bible.

Muslims thus have no proof, no evidence at all, that an Islamic Bible ever existed. On the contrary, all proof of the ancient manuscripts, which amounts to more than 2.6 million pages of text, is for the current Bible.

What Was Changed, Exactly ?

But what exactly do Muslim scholars claim was removed from or added to the supposed original Islamic Bible ? The website Islamic Q&A gives a specific answer to this. It says

they erased everything from their Books that foretold the coming of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and they concealed what knowledge they had of this matter.

IslamQ&A goes on to say:

Al-Baghawi (an Islamic scholar ) said the rabbis of the Jews were afraid of losing their livelihood and position of leadership, when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madeenah. So they tried to prevent the Jews from believing in him. They went to his description in the Torah, where he is described as having a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and being of average height, and they changed it, writing instead: Tall, blue, with straight hair.

When their foolish ones asked them about the description of the Prophet, they read what they had written and said that he was different from this description, so they disbelieved him and rejected him. So Allah said (interpretation of the meaning): “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands” [al-Baqarah 2:79].

Thus IslamQ&A provides us with a time and place when the Bible was supposedly changed, giving even a general idea of the place where the text was changed (The Torah) and details of exactly what was changed, this being details of the physical description of Mohammed.

Mohammed arrived in Medinah in 622 AD. This means that according to the scholar Al-Baghawi, who is apparently reliable enough to be quoted as an authority by IslamQ&A, that the original supposed Islamic Bible was in existence prior to 622 AD and said that the prophet to come would have a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and would be of average height and that the current Bible says that the prophet to come would be Tall, blue (presumably blue-eyed) , with straight hair.

Bibles Ancient And Modern

Unfortunately for IslamQ&A and Al-Baghawi we possess virtually complete Bibles from prior to 622 AD and they all support the text of the current Bible. I speak specifically here of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus written in approximately 330 AD in different parts of the ancient Near East. The small part of the Torah missing from Codex Vaticanus is supplied by numerous other ancient Bible manuscripts and Christian writings of the period. The portions of the Torah missing from Codex Sinaiticus are supplied by Codex Vaticanus.

So the manuscript evidence is contrary to the claim of IslamQ&A and Al-Baghawi that the Bible was changed in 622 AD. Al-Baghawi has quite simply made things up out of his own mind or repeated erroneous teaching that he has received from his own predecessors. IslamQ&A has repeated these errors of Al-Baghawi without bothering to check his scholarship.

Secondly, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam records a prophet to come who has a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and who would be of average height. So there is no evidence whatsoever for a change in The Bible as decscribed by Al-Baghwai.

Furthermore, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam records a prophet to come who is tall, blue-eyed with fair hair. The current Bible does not say what Al-Baghawi says it does. What is this man talking about ? He is obviously in complete ignorance on his subject. It is amazing that IslamQ&A would choose to relay such arrant nonsense to their readership.

Same Error In Reverse

Even more embarrassing for IslamQ&A is that they then go on to record the opinion of another Islamic scholar, Al-Qurturbi, who says that The Bible was altered in more or less  the exact opposite manner to that described by Al-Baghawi.

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Ibn Ishaaq and al-Kalbi said: The description of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in their Book said that he was of average height and white, but they changed it to say that he was dark with long, straight hair, and they said to their companions and followers: Look at the description of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) who will be sent at the end of time; he does not resemble this one.

Again, to the detriment of Al-Qurtubi, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam says that the prophet to come would be white and of average height and neither does any manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam says that the prophet to come will be dark with long, straight hair.

As with Al-Baghawi, the current Bible does not say what Al-Qurturbi says it does. These scholars are simply inventing untrue assertions about supposed changes in The Bible or passing on baseless rumour that they themselves have received from their predecessors.

Thus, these scholars, supposedly among the best of Islamic history, simply have no idea what they are talking about in relation to supposed corruption of The Bible. How can the scholars of Islam state that The Bible has been corrupted when they don’t even know what The Bible says ?

How can the scholars of Islam be believed about ‘what The Bible says’ when the things they say are written in The Bible are simply not there ? Who could believe or trust or follow such blind and ignorant guides ?

It is clear that the scholars of Islam have no certain knowledge of their subject and follow nothing but conjecture. They are in the same hopeless position as that described by their own scripture, that of simply repeating baseless rumour.

And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] 4:157 Hilal-Khan Translation

This grasping onto rumour, conjecture and invention of falsehood is demonstrated by Islamic scholars not only in relation to supposed corruption of The Bible but also in Islamic accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus which you can read here.

Muslims Have Changed The Qu’ran

It is not sufficient for Muslims to simply state without evidence that Christians have changed The Bible. Anyone can spout baseless accusation like that. What if I told my Muslim friends that the original Qu’ran had been changed to conceal the divinity of Jesus and that the original Qu’ran contained a description of Jesus to the effect that he would be a tall old man with straight white hair and that the current Qu’ran had been changed in the city of Petra in the year 833 AD to say that Jesus would be short with green eyes and curly red hair ?

Muslims would of course laugh at such ludicrous statements and demand that I bring proof. Yet their own scholars are making, and continue to make, equally ridiculous claims in regard to The Bible.

Change Must Be In Accordance With Prediction

Furthermore, for Muslims to prove their allegations of corruption of The Bible they must demonstrate corruptions corresponding to the way they say it has changed. It is not sufficient to demonstrate any supposed change at all and say that therefore the Bible has been changed in order to eliminate Islamic belief.

For example, if Muslims say that there are multiple different versions of The Bible and that therefore The Bible has been corrupted to conceal the coming of Mohammed, they must demonstrate that these supposed different versions show the elimination of  Islamic belief. That requires production of originals which contain the Islamic beliefs so that comparisons can be made with the supposed different versions. Spelling or copyists errors and other trivial manuscript variants are proof of nothing.

That is why the IslamicQ&A article is so instructive. It contains descriptions by Islamic scholars of the supposed changes to The Bible and gives a specific time and place where these changes were supposed to have been made. But as we have seen, the changes described by Islamic scholars do not exist and neither do any copies of the supposed Islamic originals, despite the existence of many thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts from both before and after the time of Islam.

Quite simply, Muslims have no evidence at all to support their oft-repeated assertion that The Bible has been corrupted.

On the contrary, all evidence, of which there is mountainous quantities, is for the current Bible.

Many Muslims state that the true Injeel (Gospel as taught by Jesus) is found in The Gospel of Barnabas which was later excluded from The Bible by Christian leaders who wished to put fake and corrupt teaching into The Bible. You can read a Muslim making that claim here.

The Gospel Of Barnabas is not the true Injeel. Rather, it is an obvious forgery.

In fact, unfortunately for Muslims who insist that the The Gospel Of Barnabas is the true word of God,  The Gospel was Barnabas contradicts Islam and the Qu’ran. It states that Jesus was not the Messiah when the Qu’ran says that Jesus is The Messiah. The Gospel Of Barnabas says that Maryam suffered pain in childbirth whereas the Qu’ran says Maryam did not suffer pain during childbirth. The Gospel Of Baranbas says that men are limited to one wife whereas the Qu’ran permits Muslims to four wives. Finally the Gospel Of Barnabas says there are nine heavens whereas the Qu’ran says there are seven heavens.

Muslim Scholars Reject The Gospel Of Barnabas 

Muslims may be surprised to learn that prominent Islamic scholars have rejected The Gospel Of Barnabas.

Shabir Ally makes the point that The so-called Gospel Of Barnabas carries no internal authentication and thus is not acceptable as a Holy Text as its source cannot be proven according to the Islamic scholarly methods which are used to authenticate Hadith and other religious traditions.

Specifically Shabbir Ally says:

the chain of authorities for The Gospel Of Barnabas is missing…for centuries The Gospel Of Barnabas was not seen anywhere but then suddenly it turned up in The Middle Ages

What Shabbir Ally is saying is that in the same way that a Hadith without a chain of authorities (Isnad) is instantly rejected as unreliable and has no status as a Holy Text so also The Gospel Of Barnabas lacks any chain of authorities and therefore has no status as a Holy Text and must be rejected by Muslims.

The question then arises ‘Which Christian Gospels DO have a reliable chain of authorities which connect them down through the centuries all the way to Jesus Himself ? And the answer to that is that the Gospels of the current Bible, including the writings of Paul have exactly that chain of authority.

The  current Bible has internal authentication which connects it to Jesus, then authentication in the second and third generation of Christian believers and then in all subsequent Church Councils down to the present day.

If Shabbir Ally or any Muslim wishes to know which are The Gospels of Jesus that are connected by an unbroken chain of authority all the way to Jesus, then those Gospels are the Gospels contained in the current Bible. That chain of authority includes Mohammed and The Qu’ran both of whom gave unqualified support and validation to the truth of the Bible. You can find proof of that here.

Another well-known Muslim scholar who rejects the so-called Gospel Of Barnabas is Yusuf Estes. Estes is quoted on the Islamic web-site Islamic Newsroom dismissing The Gospel Of Barnabas as  a sad joke, a trick, and a fake as follows:

[The Gospel Of Barnabas] is a sad joke on many Muslims. Some have been tricked into believing this has something to do with the New Testament and it is more or less the “Lost Gospel” … But that is all  nonsense, because the so-called “Gospel of Barnabas” is “Bogabas” (fake).

Estes then gives a description of the reasons that The Gospel Of Barnabas is a fake, most of which accords exactly with reliable scholarship. Muslims who accept the Gospel Of Barnabas are violating their own scholarly rules. In any case the obvious errors, contradictions and violations of both Islamic and Christian doctrines prove that the so-called Gospel Of Barnabas is an obvious fraud.

In another video, Yusuf Estes says simply ‘There was no Gospel Of Barnabas…If you think there was such a Gospel you are deluded…’ Estes goes on to infer that the Gospel Of Barnabas is somehow the product of drunkenness and leaves no doubt that he does not consider the Gospel Of Barnabas of value to either Muslims or Christians

The fact that both Shabbir Ally and Yusuf Estes reject The Gospel Of Barnabas is significant. These two are highly prominent as anti-Christian polemecists this being something of their speciality. Their engagement with Christian Scholars on this issue has exposed them to the fraudulent nature of The Gospel Of Barnabas and enabled them to reject it both as irrelevant to Islamic belief and a forgery of the true teachings of Jesus.

You can learn more about The Gospel Of Barnabas here

Some Muslims believe that the supposed original Islamic Bible was discovered in the year 2000 in Turkey. The basis for this belief is a story published on Feb. 23 2012  by the National Turkish news service. You can read the report, which describes a 1500-2000 year old Bible seized from smugglers by Turkish police here.

This supposed ‘Bible’ is an obvious fake.

Firstly, the document was not written 1500 years ago. The document itself says it was written in the year 1500 A.D. which would make it about 500 years old, not 1500 years old. We know that the document was written in 1500 AD because it says so on the front cover. The text on the front cover has appeared in many photographs and is easily read in the Modern Assyrian language.

But the fact that the document was written in Modern Assyrian proves that the document is actually less than 200 years old. The language Modern Assyrian, was standardized in the 1840s. The first bible in Modern Assyrian was produced in 1848. If this book were written in 1500 A.D. it would have been written in Classical Assyrian, not Modern Assyrian.

More to the point, a document written in 1840 cannot possibly be said to predict the coming of Mohammed in 610 AD.

From this alone, the language that the document was written in, we therefore know that this document is an obvious fake.

Secondly, this document has been rejected as a fake by Islamic scholars. The Islamic website Islamic NewsRoom describes how the document contradicts The Qu’ran as follows (see http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/1800-ancient-bible-proves-muhammad

In late 2012 the Turkish culture and tourism minister Ertugrul Gunay quoted from the book saying that in it,  Jesus says, “How shall the Messsiah be called? Muhammad is his Blessed name”.

 Yet, The Qu’ran says that Messiah is the name of Jesus, NOT the name of Mohammed.

The Islamic article goes on to describe other contradictions between the document and The Qu’ran and then closes with a quote from Yusuf Estes, the well-known Islamic scholar, who rejects the document as follows:

I’m sorry for those who believe this book is the authentic written word of Jesus, peace be upon him. The most I can say about this book other than being an ancient manuscript of somebody’s writing – it should not be seriously considered as anything more than another discovery of ancient rubbish.

http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/1800-pope-read-ancient-bible-a-quit-why

No wonder the Turkish Theology professor Omer Faruk Harman told said the Turkish Newspaper Today’s Zaman, “Muslims may be disappointed to see that this copy does not include things they would like to see and it might have no relation with the content of the Gospel of Barnabas“.

Muslims sometimes allege that The Bible became corrupted at the Council Of Nicea in 325 AD. The Council Of Nicea was an important Council of Church leaders held in what is now the Turkish city Iznik. Here is an example of a Muslim who thinks The Bible was corrupted At Nicea.

Sometimes Muslims specify that it was wicked Romans, specifically Emperor Constantine who corrupted The Bible at this Council.

The Council Of Nicea did not corrupt The Bible. In fact, The Canon (i.e. list of accepted books) of The Bible was not even discussed at Nicea. The main purpose of Nicea was to define exactly what is meant by Jesus being called Son Of God.

Since The Canon was not discussed at this Council,  it is impossible that this Council corrupted The Bible. You can find an overview of the proceedings of the Council Of Nicea here. The Canon was not altered by The Council Of Nicea. All Bishops that attended the conference used the same Bible that we have today, whether or not they supported the position that Jesus is God or whether they thought Jesus was not God

We have about sixty Bible manuscripts which predate The Council Of Nicea. These ancient manuscripts all support the current Bible. We also have witness accounts of The Council Of Nicea which tells us what was said and done. These proves that The Council Of Nicea did not change The Bible.

Finally, the fact that The Council Of Nicea was called to discuss what is meant by Jesus being the Son Of God proves that the Bible of pre-Nicea and pre-Islamic times said that Jesus was the Son Of God. Obviously, this means that The Bible contained the assertion that Jesus is The Son Of God prior to Nicea and that the Council Of Nicea did not invent this title for Jesus.

So, the Council Of Nicea was essentially a debate over what was meant by Jesus being called The Son Of God. The heretical Bishop Arius, who believed that Jesus was NOT God, but a kind of semi-divine singular creation, used the same gospels and epistles (the ones that are in the Bible now) to argue his case.  The two sides did not disagree on what the scriptural documents stated, nor did they disagree on which documents should be ‘in’ the Bible.  They disagreed, with heated debate, merely on the interpretation of these same scriptures.

In fact, many of the Church leaders present at the Council of Nicea had been tortured by The Roman Emperors for their belief that Jesus is God. They attended with eyes gouged out, fingers hacked off, horrific scarring from being whipped to the point of death and with the muscles of their legs cut through so they could not walk properly. Of course, many many other Bishops and leaders had been killed by the Romans for believing and teaching that Jesus is God. They and the early Church had all believed Jesus that Jesus is God well before Nicea.

If Romans corrupted The Bible to say that Jesus is God, as believed by some Muslims, then why were Romans toturing and killing church leaders for saying that Jesus is God. So we see that the Muslim accusations are in ignorance of history and logic.

The subject matter of the Council Of Nicea proves that the early church believed that Jesus is The Son Of God and that The Bible said that Jesus is The Son Of God centuries before Islam and Nicea arrived.

The Council of Nicea did not invent or state anything new about Jesus. It merely affirmed those truths about Jesus already held by Christians since the time of Jesus and his companions. Specifically, Nicea did not discard or select Gospels or in any way modify the Bible nor did the Council even discuss The Bible.

Muslims sometimes assert that The Emporer Constantine, who presided at The Council Of Nicea,  forced his personal belief that Jesus is God on to the church, and therefore claim that the belief that Jesus is God was created by a corrupt Christian Roman Caliph.

This assertion is untrue.

In fact, Constantine wavered between views and for the most part of his reign after Nicea favoured the view that Jesus was not God. Constantine died in 337 AD and his successor Constantine II was firmly opposed to the idea that Jesus is God. This Emporer was an opponent of the doctrinal decisions of Nicea and persecuted the leading Nicean Bishop, Athanasius, driving him into exile.

The next Emporer after Constantine II, Emperor Valens, was also opposed to the doctrines of Nicea.

Therefore the view that Jesus is God has always been believed by God’s people even under hostility, persecution and penalty of death from the most powerful Roman Caliphs for the first 300 years after Jesus and despite rejection or ambivalence of this view from Emperor Constantine and his two next successors for the next fifty years following The Council Of Nicea

You can find some more information about Nicea here.

Some Muslims point out that Christian scholars have recorded 400,000 variations within the ancient manuscripts of The Bible. These Muslims say that this constitutes undeniable proof that The Bible has been corrupted and is completely unusable as a Holy Book. The sheer volume of Manuscript Variations in the ancient texts, these Muslims say, prove the total corruption of the whole text

Some Muslims go on to say that certain famous Bible Scholars have said that the original text of The Bible can no longer be determined since there are so many Manuscript Variants and the original Bible manuscripts have been lost. In this latter claim, that it is impossible to determine what The Bible originally said, certain Muslims quote the Bible Scholar, Bart Ehrman who said:

For practical reasons, New Testament scholars proceed as if we do actually know what [was in The original Bible. My view is]  we can probably get close to what the author wrote. But the dim reality is that we really don’t have any way to know for sure.

Sheer Volume

 Turning first to the claim that 400,000 manuscript variants prove that the text of The Bible has been completely lost, this claim is based on ignorance of what constitutes a Manuscript Variant.

A Manuscript Variant is defined as any variant in the text in any Manuscript such as spelling errors and  duplication of  words by copyists. Almost every single Manuscript Variant in the ancient manuscripts of The Bible fall into this category of trivial difference – differences with absolutely no effect on the meaning of the text. Of those differences which are actually real differences in wording, none of them affect the teaching or message of The Bible in any way.

As often noted, we have almost 25,000 ancient manuscripts of The Bible. If each of these Manuscripts contained 20 spelling errors we would have 500,000 Manuscript Variants, but not one of these would affect the meaning of the text in any way.

For purposes of comparison, since The Qu’ran was not originally written with vowelisation and diacritical marks, but modern editions are, this means that the entire Qu’ran, almost every single letter within it, is subject to Manuscript Variation.

Since the entire text of The Qu’ran is subject to Manuscript Variation does this prove that the Qu’ran has been tampered with and falsified in order to conceal the truth about the Deity Of Jesus or that the meaning of The Qu’ran has been completely lost without any hope of recovery ? Of course not. Why then do Muslims insist that Manuscript Variations in The Bible prove that The Bible has been corrupted and its meaning lost forever ?

Bart Ehrman

Turning now to Bart Ehrman’s statement, Muslims will be disappointed to learn that even though Bart Ehrman believes that the exact original wording of The Bible cannot now be determined, he also believes that the teaching of The Bible has never changed.

Ehrman, like the vast majority of Bible scholars, believes that no essential teaching of the Christian faith is compromised by Manuscript Variation i.e. Ehrman believes that John and Paul have always taught that Jesus is God, that the Bible has always taught that Jesus died on the cross, that Jesus is the final prophet and that The Bible has never said that a prophet named Mohammed would come after Jesus.

Ehrman does not believe that The Bible was originally Islamic or that it has been changed in order to falsify and conceal Islamic teachings or to present a false picture about Jesus or that any teaching contained in the The Bible text has been compromised, invented, concealed or fabricated.

In short, Ehrman believes in what is known technically as The Orthodoxy Of The Variants  that no Manuscript Variant changes the message or teaching of The Bible.

Says Daniel Wallace, a Bible scholar who has debated Ehrman several times:

For more than two centuries, most biblical scholars have declared that no essential affirmation has been affected by the variants. Even Ehrman has conceded this point in the three debates I have had with him. (For those interested, they can order the DVD of our second debate, held at the campus of Southern Methodist University. It’s available here.

Islamic Hadith Variants

Finally, Muslims concede that there is variation in wording of Hadith, but state, sensibly, that this variation in wording of Hadith has no affect on meaning and has no effect on the revelatory status of those Hadith with variant narrations. All Sahih Hadith are considered Wahy (direct revelation from God) even if there are minor errors in the narration of The Hadith.

From the Islamic website Islam Question and Answer:

The existence of different versions does not represent a fault in the hadeeth if the meaning is the same

The most important thing, says IslamQ&A, is meaning, not wording. Multiple narrations of the same Hadith are unimportant even if there are differences of wording between them. These Hadith are still regarded as Wahy, direct revelation from Allah

What matters in transmission of a hadeeth is that the meaning be conveyed. As for the wording, it is not the matter of worship as is the case with the Qur’aan.
For example, the hadeeth “Actions are but by intentions” is also narrated as “Action is by intention” and “Actions are but by intention” and “actions are by intention.” The reason for these multiple versions is that the meaning was narrated. The source of the hadeeth is one, namely Yahya ibn Sa’eed from Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem from ‘Alqamah from ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him). It may be noted that the meaning that is understood from these sentences is the same, so what does it matter if there are multiple reports? 

Islam Question and Answer tells us that mistakes in narration do not invalidate a Hadith since it is possible to identify the mistake by comparing one narration with another. This is exactly what Bible scholars do when comparing ancient manuscripts of The Bible. Why should a copyist error invalidate a verse in a Bible manuscript if a narration error does not invalidate a Hadith ?

One of the narrators may have made a mistake, so he narrated the hadeeth in a way that it was not narrated by others. It is possible to spot the mistake by comparing the reports with one another. This is what was done by the scholars in the books of Sunnah… Allaah guaranteed that there would always be in this ummah those who would explain it and highlight evidence against the errors of those who err and the lies of those who lie. This ummah will not agree on misguidance

So, Muslim scholars and Christian scholars agree. Mistakes in narration that do not affect the meaning of the text do not invalidate the revelation of The Holy Book.

Muslims note that The Bible used by Catholic Christians has extra books than the one used by Protestant Christians. They then claim that the inclusion of these extra books by Catholics constitute proof that the message The Bible has been corrupted. Specifically Muslims state that Christians have deliberately altered The Bible in order to conceal the truth about the supreme prophethood of Mohammed and to fabricate claims about The Deity of Jesus.

We will discuss the extra books added by The Catholics below. But, first,  Muslims have their own issues with extra and different books being accepted by the different major branches of their faith. This problem lies with the different books of Hadith Collections that are accepted by the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam.

Does the existence of different and extra books among the two major branches of Islam constitute proof that Islamic scholars have tampered with the religion of Islam in order to conceal the truth about the Deity of Jesus ? Of course not. Then why should the acceptance of extra books by The Catholics constitute proof that The Bible has been tampered with in order to conceal the truth about the prophethood of Islam ?

What Are The Hadith ?

The Hadith are collections of narrations about what Mohammed said and did and provide essential context to understanding and application of The Qu’ran. Indeed, it is impossible to practice Islam without The Hadith since it is The Hadith which describe exactly how and when to perform Salat (Ritual Prayer: five times a day for Sunni and three times a day for Shia) and all the specific instructions on how to carry out the other Pillars of Islamic faith and life.

Salat Prayer is the core of Islamic religious practice. You cannot perform Salat correctly without The Hadith. Which means that you cannot be a true Muslim without The Hadith. Yet the Shia Hadith describe the performance of Salat in a different manner to the Sunni as well as condensing the times of prayer to three instead of five. Which is correct ? Who are the real Muslims ?

Without religious knowledge derived from The Hadith it would be impossible for Muslims to accrue the necessary religious merit required to enter Paradise, since merit is only awarded by Allah for religious actions performed in exact accordance with Allah’s instructions. These instructions are found in The Hadith.

The Hadith can be summarized as What Mohammed did whereas The Qu’ran can be summarized as What Mohammed said

The Hadith Collections have the status of Holy Books in Islam. Like The Qu’ran, The Hadith are thought to originate with Allah. Both The Qu’ran and The Hadith are regarded as revelation of a kind called Wahy or direct revelation of Allah. There is no higher form of revelation in Islam. The Qu’ran is only regarded as superior by virtue of being a verbatim word-for-word revelation of Allah’s speech.

Thus, the extra and different collections of Hadith constitute extra and different sets of Holy Books used in different branches of Islam. Does this mean that Islam has been tampered with in order to conceal the truth from humanity and falsify the position of Mohammed ? If not, why should Muslims consider the extra Holy Books accepted by Catholics as proof that Christians have falsified The Bible in order to falsify the position of Jesus ?

Extra Books

While it is true that Catholics added extra books to The Bible in the year 1546 at The Roman Catholic Council Of Trent, this is not proof that the message of The Bible has been corrupted.

First, the books added by Catholics are extra books. They did not change or remove any existing books. This means the message of the existing books was never changed. All these books testify that Jesus is God and that His teaching the final revelation to humanity. None of them give any status to Mohammed whatsoever.

Specifically, there is no attempt by Catholics to conceal or remove Islamic content from the Bible. They did not remove any prophecy of Mohammed or any regulations pertaining to Salat or Hajj or Fasting; they did not invent or fabricate any teaching that Jesus is God or invent or fabricate any teaching about Jesus’ death on the cross or about receiving forgiveness by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, or invent or fabricate any teaching about His resurrection, teaching or His ascension to heaven. In other words, the specific Christian doctrines which Muslims object to in the Injeel are not affected in any way by the inclusion or exclusion by the books added to The Bible by Catholics in 1546. Nor were any Islamic doctrines excluded or concealed by Catholics when adding these books.

Catholics believed that Jesus is The Son Of God both before and after the extra books were added in 1546.

Catholics believed that Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity both before and after the extra books were added in 1546.

Catholics rejected Mohammed as a prophet both before and after the extra books were added in 1546

In short the extra books of The Catholics offer no support to the Muslim claim that The Bible has been altered in order to conceal Islamic beliefs or falsify or invent Christian beliefs.

Secondly, the extra books of the Catholics were added in 1546, 1500 years after Jesus finished teaching. This makes it obvious that the extra books are not authentic teachings of Jesus.

Extra Books, Extra Hadith

For purposes of comparison, let’s consider the Hadith of Bukhari first published by him in 850 AD. At that time Bukhari rejected a huge number of Hadith as forged or unreliable, that number being either 297,00 or 597,000 depending on which tradition you accept. This means at least 98% of Hadith were considered by Bukhari to be forged or unreliable.

Now imagine if this year, which is more than 1150 years after Bukhari, I bought to Muslims a set of Hadith rejected by him more than 1000 years ago. I then say that Muslims should accept these forged or inauthentic traditions. Would they do so ? Of course not. They are obviously not valid traditions, even if they were accepted by some Muslims in previous times. Furthermore, does the existence of forged or inauthentic traditions call the validity or reliability of the authentic traditions into question ? Of course not.

Again furthermore, what if some Islamic group wished to accept the forged or inauthentic teachings ? Can we then say that all the Hadith have been corrupted and should be rejected based on the ignorance or poor decisions of the group that accepts forgeries ? Of course not.

For this same reason the extra books added by Catholics do not invalidate The Bible even if Catholics choose to accept the extra books.

Thirdly, the extra books pertain to The Old Testament only. The specific doctrines about Jesus rejected by Muslims are New Testament doctrines located in The Injeel. They are not described in these extra books added by Catholics.

Fourthly, these extra books were never referenced by Jesus or the ancient Jewish prophets or scholars. Some also contain obvious errors, such as a command to use magic. There is simply no reason to accept the extra books added by the Catholics.

Extra Books In Islam 

Returning to the comparison with Islamic Hadith we note that Sunni, Shia and Ibadi Muslims keep entirely different sets of Hadith collections. Another certain sect of  Muslims do not accept any Hadith whatsoever. Do Muslims acknowledge therefore, that the different Holy Books accepted by various Islamic groups prove that Islamic belief has been corrupted in order to conceal the fact that Jesus is God and to invent a spurious claim that Mohammed is the final prophet of Allah ? Of course not. Why then should Muslims require Christians to accept that Christian belief has been falsified based on the acceptance of extra Old Testament books by Catholics ?

Sunni Hadith

Sunni Muslims highly respect six Hadith collections and accord special status to two of them (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim). This certification process was completed in the 11th Century by Ibn Al-Qiasarani. Yet a further seventh collection is accepted by a certain school of reputable Islamic scholars as superior in status to the sixth (I speak here of the Hadith Collections of Ibn Majah and Muwatta Malik). In addition to these seven, there are an additional sixteen other Hadith collections respected by Sunnis. Thirteen of which were completed prior to 1500 AD.

Hadith are essential for the practice of Islam, describing exactly how to carry out the Five Pillars of Faith and so obtain entry to Paradise. What is the non-Islamic world to make of sixteen competing collections of Traditions, each of which is apparently guided by Allah ? What are we to make of a system of Major, Minor and Tertiary Holy Books existing alongside The Qu’ran, without which the Qu’ran cannot be implementedor understood and each of which has disputed status and competing usage ? There are even statements supposedly by Allah which are not in the Qu’ran but which appear in the Hadith collections and which are given an additional prestige above other Hadith.These are the so-called Qudsi or Royal Hadith).

Why aren’t all the sayings of Allah in The Qu’ran ? Why do Muslims need additional Holy Books beyond the Qu’ran at all ? Isn’t Allah capable of describing religious practice in The Qu’ran ? If religious practice is of supreme importance then why isn’t it described in The Qu’ran ? Isn’t this multiplication of traditions proof that Muslism have been tampering with their religion for centuries, especially since even the greatest Hadith scholar, Imam Bukhari admits to discovering hundreds of thousands of forged and inauthentic traditions ?

On what basis can a person like Imam Bukhari, who is not a prophet, become authoritative in deciding which practices are authentically Islamic and which are not ? Surely that authority properly belongs with prophet. How can a person who is not a prophet become authoritative for determining what is Islamic practice and belief and what is not ?

Shia Hadith

When we come to Shia Hadith we find that the Shi’a maintain an entirely different set of Hadith to the Sunni. Though Shia do accept some of Bukhari’s work they reject the majority of it and explicitly state that Bukhari’s acceptance of unreliable narrators has corrupted Islam. Here is an example of a Bukhari Hadith rejected by Shi’a. Both Sunni and Shia regard each other’s Hadiths (extra Holy Books) as morally unacceptable, full of false doctrine and perversions of the true nature of Islam.

The most highly regarded Shi’a Hadith comprise four Collections (Al-Kafi, Man La Yahduruhu Al-Faqi, Tahdhib Al-Ahkam and Al-Istibsar). There are twelve additional Shia collections having a secondary status, six of them completed before 1500 AD.

The Ibadis have a further two Hadith collections. These are entirely distinct from the collections of the Shi’a and Sunni.

Between these three branches of Islam we note a total of thirty books of Hadith, none of which are entirely acceptable to the other branches and most of which are regarded as mutually and totally unacceptable and false.

No Muslim would agree that Islam has become corrupted on the basis of competing Hadith Collections, even though these differing Hadith lead to distinctly different expressions of Islam. In particular, no Muslim would agree that Muslims have tampered with their collections in order to conceal the fact that Jesus is God or to fabricate the position of Mohammed within Islam.

Why then do Muslims insist that the extra books accepted by Catholics prove falsification and concealment of the persons and teaching of Jesus and Mohammed when it comes to the teaching of Christianity ?

Extra Biographies

But the problem of competing Islamic Holy Books does not end with the Hadith. Muslims also use Biographies (Seerah) of Mohammed in order to understand and apply the Qu’ran. An important third-generation Muslim, Ali bin Hussain, the grandson of Imam Ali who was the fourth Sunni caliph) would say

We were taught the Seerah of Rasool Allah like we were taught Qur-aan.

That is how important Seerah is for Muslims. They would study it like they studied Qu’ran. But there is more than one ancient Biography which is authentic for Sunni Muslims and their details do not always agree. In fact, it is freely admitted by Muslims that material of doubtful authenticity is included the ancient biographies of Mohammed as often there are no conclusive accounts of events in ancient Islamic times.

Says Abu Aamar Yasir Qadhi, a Saudi-educated scholar,

the narrations used [in the Seerah] include all the authentic and acceptable ones, along with ones with weaknesses. The reason for including these weaker narrations is in order to fill in gapes or holes in the story.

But Shi’a maintain different Seerah of Mohammed than do Sunnis and also accept additional Seerah to the Sunni, these being the Seerah of the Twelve Imams directly descended from Mohammed, beginning with Imam Ali, the son-in-law of Mohammed plus Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed. These thirteen persons (plus Mohammed) are considered by Shi’a to be infallible.

As the Shi’a website Al-Islam.org puts it in relation to differences between Sunni and Shia:

The Shi’a bind themselves to refer to Ahlul-Bayt [i.e. the household of Mohammed] for deriving the Sunnah of Prophet (S) [whereas Sunni Muslims do not].

Islamic biographies of Mohammed are used by Muslims to understand and apply the Qu’ran. Sunni and Shia use differing biographies while the Shia additionally use biographies of The Twelve Imams and Fatima. These are rejected by Sunnis and constitute a further set of differering Holy Books between the two major branches of Islam.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Shunni and Shia maintain different books of Hadith and Seerah while rejecting the Collections of the other. Yet no Muslim would agree that Islam has become corrupted on the basis of competing Holy Books and Biographies even though these differing Holy Books lead to distinctly different expressions of Islam. In particular, no Muslim would agree that Muslims have tampered with their collections in order to conceal the fact that Jesus Is God or to fabricate the position of Mohammed within Islam.

Why then do Muslims insist that the extra books accepted by Catholics prove falsification and concealment of the persons and teaching of Jesus in Mohammed when it comes to the teaching of Christianity ?