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Bible Correspondence Course

6. The Abiding Word

Muslim friends acknowledge that the Tawrat, the Zabur, the Injil and the books of the prophets have been given by God. However, some say that these books, which are all found in the Bible, are now abrogated or cancelled “mansukh”. They claim that the Prophet of Islam’s message, the Qur’an, has replaced them all, including the Gospel of Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam, and that the Qur’an’s message will not be replaced until the day of judgement. It is important to note that there is not a single word in the Qur’an to support this.

Neither does the Bible say that the Law or Tawrat was replaced by the Zabur. In fact we see quite the opposite. Hazrat Dawud says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.’[1] Thus the Zabur plainly confirms the Tawrat.

Did Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam (His peace be upon us) claim that the earlier revelations were abrogated? We find Him saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”[2] Is it possible for the Injil to be abrogated? Sayyidna Isa Kalimu'llah says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”[3] It is then, no wonder that the New Testament clearly reminds us, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”[4]

So there is no replacement of one message by another, only a constant unfolding of what has gone before.

1) The Testimony of the Qur’an

There is no indication in the Qur’an that it has annulled the Bible. In fact, the only two places where the verb “nasakha” (to annul) is used refers to certain verses of the Qur’an and not to the Bible.[5]

In fact we find verses in the Qur’an which confirm the earlier Scripture – the Bible, and which ask Jews and Christians to abide by what is revealed in it. “It was We who revealed The Law (to Moses): therein Was guidance and light.”[6] “And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the Son of Mary, confirming The Law that had come Before Him: We sent him The Gospel: therein Was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law” (Surah 5:49). Therefore, the Qur’an tells us to abide by what we read in the Bible. The words of Sayyidna Kalimu'llah will never pass away. Sayyidna spoke truth to humanity in His day and that same truth still applies today.

2) Objections raised

Some people ask the question, “If the Christ’s teaching upholds the Tawrat, then why don’t the Christians offer any sacrifices to God, keep the Sabbath rest, or circumcise their children according to God’s commandments in the Tawrat?”

Sacrifice

The Old Testament tells us that after Hazrat Adam and Hawa (Eve) sinned and had to leave God’s presence, sacrifices were offered when people wanted to be accepted by Him. We see that Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Musa, Hazrat Dawud and many others offered such sacrifices. These sacrifices were a foretaste of the one final sacrifice to be offered by the promised Al-Masih, the Saviour Sayyidna Isa. Details concerning His coming are prophesied in many of the earlier parts of the Bible. We will study these further in a later lesson.

In the Zabur, Hazrat Dawud prophesied, “burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require… Here I am, I have come… I desire to do Your will.”[7] In the New Testament we see that Sayyidna Isa al-Masih fulfilled this prophecy by offering Himself for us.[8] Payments on account are only needed until the whole bill is settled and paid for. Likewise, these animal sacrifices were only needed until the sacrifice of Sayyidna Isa al-Masih had been offered. He has suffered once for all to bring us near to God.[9]

Therefore, once you become a follower of Sayyidna Isa al-Masih, the sacrifices that God then seeks from His people are those of praise, love for one another, thanksgiving and worship.[10] The sacrifices, Sabbath rests, and circumcision laws have not been abrogated but fulfilled in Sayyidna Isa.

3) Sayyidna Isa Al-Masih: The fulfilment

Sabbath

The Sabbath was appointed as a day of rest for man to remember the fact that God completed the work of creation in six days. After becoming a follower of Sayyidna, a Christian becomes a new creature or a new creation. So, the day upon which this was made possible is also an important day. This is the first day of the week, the day on which Sayyidna Isa al-Masih was raised. Thus it is on this day that followers of Sayyidna Isa rest and rejoice, gathering to worship and praise God.

Circumcision

Circumcision was the sign of the covenant God made with Hazrat Ibrahim. Hazrat Musa made its spiritual meaning clearer when he said, “the Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendents, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”[11] Centuries later, God said through the Prophet Jeremiah, “The time is coming… when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel… It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers… This is the covenant that I will make… I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”[12] This new covenant is recorded in the New Testament. This inner circumcision of the heart is the experience of every true follower of Sayyidna Isa.

We see that the fullness of God’s truth was not revealed to humankind all at once but, as the Bible puts it, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these days He has spoken to us by His Son.”[13] Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam came to complete God’s mission once and for all. This message of God is not abrogated; it is everlasting.

4) The People of God

Let us look at some eternal truths which Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah taught us. Open your Bible at the New Testament and find the stories of the life of Sayyidna Isa in Matthew’s Gospel. Turn to chapter 5:1; these beautiful verses show the way to true life and blessing. They have been called “The Beatitudes” for this reason.

Sayyidna Isa taught that heaven does not await the proud or arrogant, but those who humbly confess that they are poor in spirit and need God to teach them (verse 3).

God reaches out not to those who claim to know everything and delight in their own goodness, but to those who mourn their own weaknesses and weep for their own failings (verse 4).

It is the meek or humble who will inherit the Lord’s favour, not the proud and boastful (verse 5).

Sayyidna Isa al-Masih says that a merciful heart receives mercy from God (verse 7).

Purity begins in the heart and when a man’s heart is pure he shall see God (verse 8).

It is not through hatred, anger and violence that we become the people of God, but through making peace with ourselves, with those around us, and with our Holy Creator. These wonderful teachings found in the Injil are eternal, revealing eternal truth and bringing life.

Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah gives us assurance so we can be certain of our relationship to God. Instead of striving to please God, we please Him eternally by accepting Sayyidna Isa Al-Masih as our Salvation.

Recommended Reading:

  • Steven Masood, The Bible and The Qur’an (Cumbria, Authentic Media, 2002)
  • Amy Orr-Ewing, Why Trust the Bible? (Leicester, IVP, 2005)

References:

  1. [1] Psalm 19:7
  2. [2] Matthew 5:17
  3. [3] Matthew 24:35
  4. [4] 1 Peter 1:24-25
  5. [5] Qur’an 2:106,16:101
  6. [6] Qur’an 5:47
  7. [7] Psalm 40:6-8
  8. [8] Hebrews 10:6-10
  9. [9] 1 Peter 3:18
  10. [10] Hebrews 13:15-16, Romans 12:1-2
  11. [11] Deuteronomy 30:6
  12. [12] Jeremiah 31:31-33
  13. [13] Hebrews 1:1-2

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