Friday 21 June 2024

Responding to Misinterpretation of Qur'an: (Prophet) Mohammed (ﷺ) asked Muslims to turn to Christians to get the truth

There is no limit to raise objections about Islam by misinterpreting verses of Qur'an and twisting the facts by non Muslims, specially the people of the Book (that is Torah and the Gospel). I recently came across a post in which a Muslims has been quoted as saying that he adopted Christianity for a number of reasons, one being the topic of our post today. One of the reason he quoted for his conversion to Christianity is:

Mohammed is asking the Muslims to turn to Christians to get the truth (as mentioned in Surah 10 Yunus, verse 94)

I am amazed to hear this from a "former" Muslims for the reason that he seems as naïve about Qur'an, specially the above quoted verse. And at the same time the one who consolidated his "reasons" without himself reading the post with reference to the context and publishing it as a point scoring over Muslims.

Before I give the counter comments, let me make one thing very clear right from the outset. Qur'an is one book of merely six to seven hundred pages encompassing events from expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Paradise, going over mentions of all major prophets including Noah, Moses, Abraham, Eesa and civilizations like Ad and Thamud, and related anecdotes in mere summary form. It is for this reason that details of accounts are skipped for these have been discussed and mentioned in previous unadulterated scriptures. Now if Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has been mentioned in Qur'an to consult the People of the Book, it is only as far the historical references, anecdotes and parables. and IN NO WAY to accept the teachings of prophets that have been written in a much later timeframe by people who were no way near to the earlier prophets. Thus whatever is written, specially in the Bible, is about Jesus and not the revelation from one true God.

Now coming over to the 94th verse of Surah 10. Yunus:

Quran 10:94 reads: "So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters."

The idea that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) asked Muslims to turn to Christians for the truth is not supported by any authentic Islamic texts. Instead, Islamic teachings emphasize that Muslims should seek guidance primarily from the Quran and the Sunnah (the teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad). Rather there are instances in the Quran where it is mentioned that the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had knowledge of previous revelations and that some among them were aware of the coming of a new prophet, and yet the hide it for it would have underscored their faith. Remember, the chain of Divine Scriptures and commandments continued from Prophet Adam, and with each Book, the same theme was carried forward with amendments and add on for the Divine Commandments were gradually revealed. 

However, when it comes to mention of a prophet who was yet to come, the priests and religious scholars suppressed such information to uphold their faith as final. Quran mentions in Quran 2:146:

"Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it]."

There are many such verses in Qur'an that indicate that people of the previous scriptures had knowledge that could recognize the truth in the message brought by the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). However, this is not an instruction for Muslims to seek the truth from them, but rather it acknowledges that the previous scriptures contained prophecies and signs about the coming of Muhammad (ﷺ).

While Muslims are encouraged to understand the messages of previous prophets and respect the People of the Book, the primary sources of truth and guidance in Islam remain the Quran and the Sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) did not direct Muslims to seek religious truth from Christians or Jews, but rather to acknowledge the shared heritage and to follow the final revelation given in the Quran.

Now let us specifically decipher the verse of Qur'an that "led a Muslim to accept Christianity:"

Explanation of Quran 10:94
This verse is addressed primarily to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) but also has a broader implication for all believers. Here are some key points to understand this verse:
Context and Background:
This verse is part of Surah Yunus (Jonah), which deals with themes of divine guidance, the truth of the Quran, and the consequences of accepting or rejecting that guidance. The verse addresses the idea of doubt and reassurance of the truth of the Quran.
Addressing Doubt:
The verse acknowledges the possibility of doubt, which is a natural human experience. However, it reassures that the revelation given to Muhammad (ﷺ) is true and from Allah.
It suggests that if there is any doubt, one should refer to those who have knowledge of previous scriptures (i.e., the Torah and the Gospel) because the Quran confirms the core messages found in those earlier revelations.
Consulting the People of the Book:
"Ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you" implies that people knowledgeable about the Torah and the Gospel could verify that the Quran's message aligns with the prophecies and teachings found in earlier scriptures.
This serves to confirm that the Quran is part of the same divine tradition and is consistent with previous revelations.
Reassurance of Truth:
The verse reassures the Prophet and believers that the truth has come from Allah. It emphasizes that the revelation of the Quran is certain and should not be doubted.
The mention of doubt is not to suggest that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) himself doubted, but it serves as a general principle for believers who might encounter doubts.

Broader Implications for Believers
  • Affirmation of Faith: The verse encourages believers to seek confirmation of their faith by understanding the continuity and consistency of divine messages throughout history.
  • Respect for Previous Scriptures
    • It emphasizes respect for the Torah and the Gospel and acknowledges the shared heritage between Islam and the previous Abrahamic faiths.
    • Muslims are encouraged to recognize the connections and confirmatory nature of the Quran with previous scriptures.
  • Addressing Doubts: The verse provides a method for addressing doubts by seeking knowledge and understanding, reinforcing the importance of knowledge in strengthening faith.
In view of the above explanation, Quran in fact reassures the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and all believers of the truth of the Quran, highlighting its consistency with previous scriptures and encouraging the seeking of knowledge to resolve doubts. It underscores the importance of understanding the continuity of divine revelation and strengthens the believer’s conviction in the truth of the Islamic message. 

Thus the concept that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) asked Muslims to turn to Christians for the truth is a misunderstanding. Islamic teachings emphasize that the Quran and Sunnah are the ultimate sources of truth and guidance for Muslims. Respect for previous revelations and prophets is integral to Islam, but the final and complete guidance is found in the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

Remember brothers and sisters in Islam, many of us do not have in depth knowledge of Qur'an nor we have ever read any authentic exegesis / tafsir of Qur'an and Hadith to brush our knowledge about Islam not only to be better Muslims, but also to responded to observations / lies about Islam and misinterpretation of Qur'an. The number of reasons listed by that some ex Muslim seems factious in the first place. But at the same time, such change of faith may occur when someone has a weak faith founded on Qur'anic and Hadith illiteracy. Such believers are easy targets for the well read missionaries who with their articulation and jugglery of words can mislead such believers of illiterate Muslims.

Let us know Islam well and let no one deceive about Islam by lies, misinformation and disinformation. Islam provides the easiest access to Allah without any intermediary to speak to Him, repent one's sins and seek forgiveness.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may read more posts on countering / responding to lies / misinformation and disinformation about Islam: The Rebuttal: Countering disinformation being spread about Islam (Reference Page)

You may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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