Most Christians don’t have a right understanding about what Muslims believe regarding the Bible; some think that we fully deny it, while others think that we believe in it. Here I’ll try to answer five questions to explain what we believe regarding the Bible with an important note at the end.
1- Do Muslims believe in the Bible?
Well, to answer this question shortly, Muslims do believe in the Bible, just not the same way that Christians do.
It is a core aspect in our belief to believe in all the prophets of Allah (God) and all their books, as it is stated in the start of the Quran:
“And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].
Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.” Quran (2:4-5)
It’s stated in many other places as well, but as I said, it’s not the same way Christians believe in it.
2- In which way do Muslims believe in the previous books?
Muslims believe in the original books that came down to different prophets. However, most of them are not the ones we have today because they were altered and changed later after their prophets had passed away.
The Quran and the previous books have the same creed and basics, but not the same rules or laws as each prophet was sent by the rules that were suitable to his people at their time, while the Quran came to be suitable for all mankind from the time of Prophet Muhammad, the last Prophet, till the the Day of Resurrection.
3- Why do Muslims believe that the books before the Quran were changed?
This isn’t just a claim by Muslims, Christian scholars actually say the same thing, that what we have today isn’t the original text. From an objective perspective, after studying the Bible, any one will end up with this same conclusion. This is known by simply studying the Bible and its history; there’s evidence of manipulation (adding and removing). Besides, there is no proof for it being the original in the first place.
So, objective facts and evidence support this Muslims’ belief. For more details on this matter you can read the book “Hunting for the Word of God” by Prof. Sami Ameri.
4- What are the criteria that Muslims have to distinguish between the original revelation of God and what has been altered later?
As God’s message is always one (same creed and basics), and since we have the final revelation from Allah (God) to mankind which not even a single letter or sound of it was altered, we use it as a base to compare to. So, whatever the Quran confirms, even figuratively, we confirm, whatever the Quran denies, we deny, and whatever isn’t mentioned in it we stay neutral to it; because it might be true so we don’t deny it, or it might be man-made so we don’t accept it, and what it says is insignificant now if it isn’t mentioned in the final message.
5-But why would God let the previous messages be tainted?
Before answering this, you need to understand that this question is for both Muslims and Christians together because it’s a question about a proven fact that we already know had happened. The answer is because Allah, the All-Wise, the All-Knowing, is testing people by this and everyone will choose what path to follow. Also take into consideration that those previous messages were local messages for certain times and certain people, and if people went astray from them, God would send another prophet to get the people back to the right track. However, the final message that came with the last Prophet is the universal one that was sent to everyone until the Day of Judgement, and that is the Quran that was revealed to the Last Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), and that is why it was the one that was preserved as Allah (God) promised. As God’s message is always one, God’s message is and will always be on Earth.
This concludes our questions. Note, however, that what I talked about was Muslims’ general belief in all the previous books, including the Bible, not just the Bible, since the Bible is just the selection of certain books among a lot of different varieties of books by no means that can be said to be objective or divine, and some of the books in the Bible are actually quoting and referring to other books outside the Bible and ones that have been lost.
One more note is that regarding the Muslims’ belief in prophets, we follow the same rule; we believe in all prophets from Adam to Muhammad. Some of them were mentioned in the Qur’an; and regarding those who were not mentioned in the Qur’an, if they come with a message different from all the other prophets’ creed and basics, then we reject them because in this case they are just false prophets.
To conclude this article, I thank you for reading to the end and encourage seeking knowledge to understand. Please do read more and read the Qur’an to see its message and what it is calling for.