For Plato and the corruption of the Bible
Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 15, 2007 at 19:31
Very good question. The mother lode of this polemic is Qur'an 7:157 where we have the following:
al-rasul al-nabi al-ummmi al-ladhi yajidonahu maktuban 3anduhum fi al-tawrat wa al-injeel
1. al-rasul or the prophet
2. al-nabi or the prophet but notice that the word nabi is a loan word from Hebrew for prophet. So it is a bit strange that Muhammad is described as "the prophet the prophet" as in the Qur'an and in exegesis the word nabi was reserved for Biblical anbiya (nabi s.) or prophets.
3. al-ummi was read by the 3Ulama as the uneducated. However, a more appropriate transaltion of the word ummi is more likely: gentile or non-Jewish and this fits very nicely with the word nabi. So Muhammad is the _gentile_ or non Jewish prophet.
4. al-ladhi or he who
5. Yajidunahu or they find him
6. maktuban or written
8. 3anduhum or at them
9. fi or in
10. al-tawrat or the Torah but notice that the Qur'an does not really define what is really the Torah?
11. wa al-injeel or and the Gospel but notice also that the Qur'an never defines neither what is really the Torah and what is really the injeel.
So the above aya says:
the uneducated/gentile prophet (notice the nabi/rasul dicotomy) about whom they find written reference in the al-tawart wa al-injeel (I left both untranslated as we really do not know what is really the Tawrat or the Injeel for this matter)
There you go. what it really says here is that Muhammad was "prognosticated" (see QS) in al-Tawrat and al-Injeel (Or if you wish the Gospel and the Torah) and that the Jews and Christians deleted or harafu or corrupted such reference to him in either book. But his does not explain why do we still have the Biblical Paraclete.
Now enter the Sira and in Ibn Hisham's recension of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat rasul Allah we have the following:
The name of Abul Qasim (this is Muhammad's Konya) in the Qur'an on four occasions he is called Muhammad and on one occasion he is called Ahmad.and from the Bible we have the Paraclete of John 15:23-16:1 and the the Torah we have Genesis 17:20 and Deuteronomy 18:15, 33:2 ( and for refutation of this polemic see Maimonides).
Now there is much more to this polemic than 7:157 and for more technical details of the polemic please see Wansbrough's Quranic studies (see Emblems of prophethood pages 52-82 but you must have great command of Arabic so if you need any help after reading it just let me know) and Sectrian Milieu ( read "Historiography" pages 1-49 with a stress on reading pages 16-17 and the exegesis of Q2:113 in page 17 where the stress of the 3Ulma was on the concept of Biblical "tahrif" or corruption/falsification by the Jews and Christians).
This is just scratching the surface of this very interesting polemic.
Notice that ignorant Muslims and Pakistanis in particular understand this polemic as: there are many different translations of the Bible v. only one Qur'an! This is as stupid as it can get. But this is very far from what this polemic is all about.
I hope I helped.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (2108) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes