Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Responding to your question, Dr. Hatem Al-Hajj, Dean of Shari`ah Academy of America, states:
Distortion does not mean complete change, but rather it means additions and subtractions.
Then, after that (distortion) there remain some of the words of Allah existent in these books. Hence, it is not permissible to belittle it altogether in this manner. And consider our stance in the Shari`ah with regard to believing or belying… it has come (in Islamic law) that our responsibility is to not to testify to the truth of the People of the Book, nor to testify to their falsehood, so as not to call falsehood truth nor call truth falsehood.
So, as we refrain from believing or belying it because it contains some of the words of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, alongside additions and human distortions, likewise it is not permissible to belittle it altogether for the same reason.
This is so not to belittle Allah’s words amidst what we belittle!
As for the enmity of some of the foolish to the book of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, in this manner, then Allah, the Royal and High, will defend His book from those who transgress against it. And Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of our affairs.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.