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Why Didn’t God Preserve The Previous Books?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Nov 27, 2018

Question

He sent the first book, he couldn't protect it because it was corrupted by his own creation. He sent a second book, same thing happened again. Now he has sent a third book.... If he could protect the third book from corruption, why did He fail to protect the first two books?

Consultant

Answer


Books

Short Answer: Previous prophets were sent to a particular group of people and their message was supposed to be followed for a particular time period. Since previous revelations were time-bound, God did not preserve them Himself. Muslims believe that the Quran cannot be compared with the previous Scriptures. The Quran is unique in many aspects. It is the final revelation to mankind. Previous scriptures were sent to their respective people only. The Quran is universal.

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Salam dear questioner,

Thank you for your interesting question.

Muslims’ Belief About Divine Revelations

Muslims accept the original unaltered Torah (as revealed to Prophet Moses, peace be upon him). Muslims also accept the original unaltered Bible (as revealed to Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him). These original scriptures were revealed by God (Allah).

Muslims believe that none of these scriptures exist today in their original form or in their entirety.

Muslims believe that The Quran is the final preserved Word of God. Muslims do not believe that the Quran was written by Muhammad (peace be upon him); rather it was revealed to him through the Archangel Gabriel over a period of 23 years.

Muslims believe that the Quran we have today is the same Quran revealed to Prophet Muhammad more than 1400 years. It was neither altered nor corrupted. The Quran contains no mistakes or contradictions.

Time-Bound Revelations

Previous prophets were sent to a particular group of people and their message was supposed to be followed for a particular time period.

Jesus said to his people:

*{And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel…}* (Quran 3:49)

In the Bible, we read:

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Mathew 10:5-8, King James Version)

Elsewhere we read:

“But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mathew 15:24, King James Version)

Since previous revelations were time-bound, God did not preserve them Himself.

Final Revelation

Muslims believe that since Prophet Muhammad is the final prophet, he was not sent to Muslims nor the Arabs only, but he was sent to the whole of mankind. Indeed, there is no Prophet that will come after him.

We read in the Quran what gives the meaning of:

*{And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.}* (Quran 21:107)

Therefore, God preserved the Quran Himself and did not leave the preservation process to the Arabs or Muslims as He entrusted the rabbis and the scholars of the previous nations to preserve their scriptures.

The Quran and Previous Books

Muslims believe that the Quran cannot be compared with the previous Scriptures. The Quran is unique in many aspects. It is the final revelation to mankind. Previous scriptures were sent to their respective people only. The Quran is universal.

The previous scriptures did not contain everything as the Quran does. The Quran is miraculous, and God challenged the Arabs to produce the like of it, but they could not.   

The Bible the Christians have today is not the complete word of God. Christian scholars maintain that the Bible is a mixture. It contains the word of God and the word of the Prophets. It also contains history and it contains even pornography.  There are many contradictions in the Bible and there are many scientific errors in it. Therefore, Muslims accept only that part of the Bible which is in consistency with the teachings of the Quran.

Preservation of The Previous Revelations

We read in the Quran what means:

*{Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah ] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto. So, do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers.}* (Quran 5:44)

Muhammad Asad comments on this verse saying:

“The Law of Moses (the Torah) was intended only for the Children of Israel, and was never meant to have universal validity. The expression “some of God’s writ (kitab)” implies that the Torah did not exhaust the whole of God’s revelation, and that more was yet to be revealed. The “messages” referred to in this verse relate to the Qur’an as well as to the Biblical prophecies concerning the advent of Muhammad.” (Message of the Qur’an, 221)

The people of the previous nations were tested with preserving their scriptures, but they failed the test. We read in the Quran what means:

*{So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.}* (Quran 2:79)

Previous books were corrected and fixed by later prophets and books. But as Islam is the final revelation, its book, the Quran, was not followed by other books. There is no religion after Islam and there is no revelation after the Quran.

Preservation of The Quran

Therefore, it is normal that God himself shouldered the responsibility of the preservation process of the Quran.

We read in the Quran:

*{Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.}* (Quran 15:9}*

*{And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So, judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.}* (Quran 5:48)

Based on the above, there was no need for the previous Books to be preserved, especially since the time of the Quran was close to the time of the Gospel, and there were only six hundred years between them. 

The Muslims themselves were very keen on preserving their final book through oral and written transmission. Indeed, the Quran is so easy to be memorized that children learn it by heart and even non-Arabs find it easy to memorize.

We hope this answers your query.

And Allah knows best.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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

The Bible: What Changes Were Made? Part 1

How the Quran Differs From the Bible

Is Prophet Muhammad Mentioned in The Torah?

 

 

 




About Dr. Mohsen Haredy

Dr. Mohsen Haredy: former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait

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