Why Weren’t Previous Scriptures Preserved?

Question:

As-salamu `alayum. Why didn’t Allah choose to preserve the earlier messages (Torah, Gospel, etc.) the way He took upon Himself the task of preserving the accuracy and authenticity of the Qur’an?

Mufti:

`Abdul-Majeed Subh

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi 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.

Dear questioner, thank you for contacting us and for the trust you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

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It is to be noted that the Qur’an contains the pure word of Allah. Not a single word of it is not divine. Not a single word has been deleted from its text. The Book has been handed down to our age in its complete and original form since the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

From the time the Book began to be revealed, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) dictated its text to scribes, and thus it was committed to writing as well as memory.

The Qur’an is the only scripture that is preserved in its entirety both in writing and in memory from the day of its revelation until our time—1436 years ago.

Now, the question remains to be answered: Why didn’t Allah choose to preserve the earlier messages (Torah, Gospel, etc.) the way He took upon Himself the task of preserving the Qur’an?

In his response to the question in point, Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Al-Azhar scholar, states,

As for the claim that Allah did not preserve Divine Books (such as Torah, Gospel, etc.) or allowed them to be tainted and corrupted, this is not true. This is because Allah entrusted the People of the Book with the task of preserving and guarding their Books from any corruption but they disobeyed Him and failed to do so.

This is stated in the Qur’an, “It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah’s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book, and they were witnesses thereto…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:44)

That is why Allah took upon Himself to guard the Qur’an. Almighty Allah says, “Lo! We, even We, reveal the Reminder (Qur’an), and lo! We verily are its Guardian.” (Al-Hijr 15:9)

Allah Almighty knows best.