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Did Jesus Change The Law?



Reply Date

Dec 23, 2016


In the Gospel of Matthew, it reads that Jesus (PBUH) said he did not come to change the law. But in the Quran, Jesus is quoted as saying that he made part of the prohibited lawful. So, it this a contradiction? Which is correct?



Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:


Safiyyah Ally: Okay, Brother Shabir, this is a question about a possible contradiction between the Bible and the Quran on a particular subject. So, the subject is on the laws, and so, it seems like what the Bible is saying, according to this individual, in Matthew 5:17 and 5:19 is that the law should not be changed or abolished.

But the Quran in verse 50 in chapter 3, seems to say that the law can be change and part of it is lawful and part of it is not. So, the questioner is asking, what’s going on here. Is there a contradiction? So, perhaps you can comment on that.

Dr. Shabir Ally: And often, if one finds that there is such a contradiction …

Safiyyah Ally: How do we reconcile that?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Yes, well, what the Quran specifically says is that Jesus was sent to the people of Israel. And this was his message to them. And then in depicting that message we come the verse 50 in chapter three where Jesus says:

‘wa li’uhilla lakum ba’dal lazi hurrima ‘alaikum’: ‘and so, that I should make lawful for you some of that which was made unlawful for you.’

So, Jesus is said to be doing two things here. One is that he is confirming the book that was revealed, the Torah, prior to him. And he is also making some of the laws, probably the laws of the Torah, some of those prohibitions he’s now making lawful, whether in the Torah or outside the Torah.

So, how does that fit, then, with Matthew’s Gospel which depicts Jesus as saying:

Do not think I’ve come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Therefore, whoever keeps one of the smallest of these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever breaks one of the smallest of these commandments will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven.

So, because of that Matthew verse, or passage, would seem to indicate that Jesus wanted all of the laws to be kept right down to be letter. Yet, we know that from the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus was bringing out a new spirit in some of the laws.

And saying, okay, you’ve heard it said that like that, but I say to you this way. And he’s bringing out a greater spiritual, more depth, in the specific laws.

Safiyyah Ally: Do scholars generally agree that Jesus did both?

Dr. Shabir Ally: This is a difficult question for scholars to answer because of the nature of the detail of Jesus’ life. But the [inaudible] Biblical commentary is a scholarly work, and it says that the Gospels depict Jesus in different ways.

Matthew’s Gospel takes one view that Jesus did not abolish anything at all. But other Gospels show that he did abolish some things.

I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Jesus in the Quran

The Spirit of the Law

What Would Jesus Do?

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