Question: Jews claim that Torah is not altered by presenting Al-Ma'ida/ The Feast, 5: 43-44. We cannot answer back to this claim. However we know that in Torah, there are imputations about Prophets which are certainly unacceptable. What can you tell us about this manner?
Al-Ma’ida/ The Feast, 43. and 44. verses don’t completely refer to Torah being preserved. These verses are:
“How do they appoint you a judge and then they turn away when they have the Torah with them, in which is Allah’s judgment? The fact is, they are not believers.
We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and light, by which the Prophets who submitted themselves to Allah judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the scholars judged by the preserved (judgments) of Allah’s Book as they were witnesses unto it. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judged not by that which Allah has revealed are those who conceal.” (Al-Ma’ida/The Feast, 5:43-44)
If we pay close attention, in the 43rd verse it is stated “in which is Allah’s judgment” and in the 44th verse “wherein is guidance and light”. According to these verses, there are still accurate rulings in it even though there may be some words which do not belong to God in the Torah. Similar statements exist in the 46th verse about the Bible, as well. However, the Quran as a whole is stated to be “a clear light” and “a clear Book” in the following verses: Al-Ma’ida/ The Feast, 5: 15 and An-Nisa/ The Women, 4:174. These statements are not the same. The verses which explain that there is also some wrong information in them make this evident.
Allah the Almighty asked Jews to follow Torah. However, they didn’t comply. If they had truly followed the Torah, they would have believed in the Quran and Prophet Muhammad, too. Allah the Almighty commands:
“Say, “Oh People of the Book, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” And that which has been revealed to you (Qur’an) from your Lord will surely aggravate transgression and disbelief in many of them. So do not grieve over the people who conceal (their faith).” (Al-Ma’ida/The Feast, 5:68)
The following verses point out that they are not just responsible to believe in the Torah but in the Quran and in Prophet Muhammad, too. Otherwise, Allah wouldn’t accept them as rightly guided:
“They say, “Be Jews or Christians so you will be rightly guided.” Say: “Nay, we should follow only the right way of Ibrahim (Abraham). He was not of the polytheists.”
Say, “We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us. We have believed in what was revealed to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob) and his Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and in what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them. We have submitted ourselves to Allah.”
Then if they believe the way you have believed, they have the right guidance. If they turn away from this, they will only be in dissension. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is The All Hearing, The All Knowing.” (Al-Baqarah/ The Cow, 2: 135-137).
Quran has a say in Torah and Bible too, and it is a measure of them. If the rulings in these holy books agree with the Quran, then we can accept them. But if they disagree with the Quran then we do not accept them. There are verses which point out that Quran rules over other holy books:
“Then We revealed the Book to you with Truth, confirming whatever of the Book was revealed before, and protecting and guarding over it. Judge, then, between them in accordance by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their desires in disregard of the Truth which has come to you. For each of you, We have appointed a Law and a way of life. And had Allah commanded, He would surely have made you one single community; instead, (He gave each of you a Law and a way of life) in order to test you by what He gave you. Vie, then, one with another in good works. Unto Allah is the return of all of you, and He will then inform you concerning that on which you disagreed.” (Al-Ma’ida/ The Feast, 5:48).