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Meaning of Verse: {And ask those We sent before you of Our messengers}

 
Question:
assalam alikum in 10:94 it says to ask those who have read the book before thee meaning christions and jews about story of noah and moses but the storys in the bible of noah and moses are different than the storys in the quran like bible says ark landed on mount arat but quran says mount judi and bible says noah was a drunk but quran says no
Answer:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

There is no doubt that the Torah and the Gospel, in their current form, are distorted and altered. Allah, The Almighty, informs us in the Quran that the People of the Book write the scripture with their own hands and then claim it to be revealed by Allah, The Exalted, in order to exchange it for a small price (i.e., make a worldly gain). However, this does not necessarily mean that the whole original content of the Torah or the Gospel has been distorted and altered. Rather, there is still some truth to their content, conforming with our Sharee‘ah, as evidenced by the fact that Allah, The Almighty, commanded the People of the Book in the Quran to judge (among themselves) with what was revealed in the Torah and Gospel and informed us that they (Torah and Gospel) contained His Judgment. These scriptures include some truthful content, even though they include false and untruthful content as well. Original, intact copies of the Torah and the Gospel existed at the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “The correct view is the third view, which is that there were authentic copies of the Torah and Gospel (free of distortion and alteration) that survived until the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but (at the same time) many other copies were altered and distorted. Whoever claims that nothing of the copies of the Torah and the Gospel has undergone any distortion has denied what cannot be denied, and whoever claims that all copies of the Torah and Gospel after the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, were distorted has said what he knows to be wrong. The Quran commands them (the People of the Book) to judge (among themselves) in accordance with what Allah has revealed in the Torah and the Gospel and informs us that His Judgment is included in them. Moreover, there is nothing in the Quran to indicate that they altered all copies (of the Torah and the Gospel in their totality).” [End of quote]

Knowing that, dear sister, you come to realize that there is no problematic aspect to asking those who read the Scripture because what is meant by the Scripture here is the original copies of the Torah and the Gospel that Allah, The Exalted, revealed to His Messengers Moosa (Moses) and ‘Eesa (Jesus), may Allaah exalt their mention, respectively. Moreover, the verse does not say, “then read the Scriptures of the People of the Book,” but rather says, “then ask those who read the Scripture…” There is a difference between referring to the Scripture directly and asking those who read it.

Also, those whom Muslims are commanded to ask – if they wish to ask – are not any of the People of the Book in general, but, rather, those among them who believed (in Islam) and those who were truthful. When ‘Abdullaah ibn Salaam, may Allaah be pleased with him, who was formerly Jewish, reverted to Islam, he stated that the Torah and the Gospel included glad tidings about the coming of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and that he was truly the Prophet of Allah. Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said in Zaad Al-Maseer: “As for those whom he was commanded to ask, there are two opinions in this regard: First, it refers to those who believed (and reverted to Islam) among them, like ‘Abdullaah ibn Salaam, and this was the opinion of Ibn ‘Abbaas, Mujaahid, and others. Second, it refers to the truthful ones among them, and this was the opinion of Adh-Dhahhaak. In fact, the second opinion leads back to the first because the truthful among them would only be those who believed (and reverted to Islam).” [End of quote]

Moreover, the content of the Scriptures is not confined to distorted stories (of the past Prophets of Allah with their peoples). Rather, its meaning is broader and includes many things, as underlined by Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in his statement: “What is meant is that the People of the Book have evidence proving the truth of the matters which were revealed to you (Muhammad) but were denied by the disbelievers, and this is true in several respects:

First, the previous Scriptures state that Prophet Moosa, may Allaah exalt his mention, and other Prophets of Allah called their peoples to the worship of Allah, The Exalted, alone and forbade them from Shirk (associating partners with Allah). Thus, the evidence is established against whoever thinks that Shirk is a religion. This is similar to the statement of Allah, The Almighty (which means): {And ask those We sent before you of Our messengers; have We made besides the Most Merciful deities to be worshipped?} [Quran 43:45]

Second, the People of the Book know that Allah, The Exalted, sent human beings as Messengers to humankind and did not send angels, as there were among the disbelievers those who alleged that Allah only sends angels as Messengers or humans accompanied by angels. They found it strange that a human would be sent who was not evidently accompanied by an angel […]

Third, Muslims may ask the People of the Book about what happened to the Messengers of Allah with their peoples, the fate of those who believed in them, and the fate of those who disbelieved.

Fourth, they ask the People of the Book about the nature of the one true religion with which Allah, The Exalted, sent all His messengers, namely Islam, upon which all the Messengers of Allah agreed […]

Fifth, they ask them about the description that the Messengers gave of their Lord and whether or not it conformed to the description given by Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, of Allah, The Exalted […] They also ask about the glad tidings and testimonies they have to the truth of the Prophethood of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam…” [End of quote]

We advise you to read what Shaykh As-Si‘di, may Allaah have mercy upon him, wrote in his interpretation of this verse, as it includes additional information that refutes the misconception you mentioned.

Allah Knows best.

 

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