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TAHRIF

corruption, used with respect to corrupting scrptures, especially those before the Qur'an. see also TAHRIF-I-MANAWI and TAHRIF-I-LAFZI.

Most Muslims believe the the Bible in the hands of the Christians and the Jews have been corrupted from its original. For example, Yusuf Ali in his commentary of 16.44 says:

``As the people of the Book had received "clear signs" and inspired books before, so also Allah's message came to the prophet Mohammad through the Quran, which superseded the earlier revelations, already corrupted in the hands of their followers.''
One of the "evidences" cited is that since the Qur'an says that Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible (al-A`raf 7:157), and there is no trace of him in the Bible, therefore the Bible must have been changed. This viewpoint, however, contradicts the Qur'an, historical events and the views of early Muslims.

``The word `Tahrif' [corruption] signifies to change a thing from its original nature; and there is no man who could corrupt a single word of what proceeds from God, so that the Jews and Christians could corrupt only by misrepresenting the meanings of the word of God.'' (Ibn Abbas as recorded by Iman Bukhari, quoted in Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p.62)

``That they have it on the authority of Ibn Muniyah, that the Taurat and the Injil are in the same state of purity in which they were sent down from heaven and no alteration had been made in them, but that the Jews were wont to deceive the people by unsound arguments, and by wrestling the sense of Scripture.'' (Ibn Mazar and Abu Hatim in the commentary Tafsir Durr-I-Mansur, quoted by Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p.62)

Iman Fakhar al-Din Razi in his commentary on Surah al-Imran 3:78 speaks of Jews induling in "Tahrif-I-Manwai" only and goes on to maintain that it does not mean that they altered the text. (ibid, p.62)

Al-Ghazali (d.1111) wrote a treatise on the Trinity in which he quoted many passages from the Bible, without ever questioning the trustworthiness of the text. (Colin Chapman, You Go and Do the Same, p. 53)

The accusation that Jews and Christians had tampered with text of their Scriptures first appeared in the writings of Muslim apologists from the 12th century onwards. It was probably developed to explain the many discrepencies between the Bible and the Qur'an. (Colin Chapman, You Go and Do the Same, p. 53)
* If the Bible had indeed been corrupted as Muslim alleges, a follow up question will be, when was it corrupted? Is it before or after Muhammad?


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