In part (1) of this article, it has been mentioned that two different words apparently having same meanings but actually having different meanings have been used in Quran in the verses describing protection (or non-protection) of Allah’s words: one word is ‘tabdeel’ and the other word is ‘tehreef’. Whenever word ‘tabdeel’ is used in such verses, such verses do not mean that Allah’s words cannot be structurally changed; rather such verses mean Allah fulfills / will fulfill His words. Whenever word ‘tehreef’ is used in such verses, such verses mean Allah’s words can be changed structurally. we have seen in details that all such verses which describe the idea of protection of Allah's words through the word ' tabdeel'/ or other words derived from same roots actually do not suggest that Allah's words cannot be changed structurally; actually all such verses suggest that “no change/ 'tabdeeli' in Allah's words” means Allah's fulfils/ will fulfill His words. Therefore, about protection of Bible, scholars' view which is based on Quranic verses containing words “no change/ ‘tabdeeli' in Allah's words” is baseless.
In the succeeding lines, we would elaborate the use of word ‘tehreef’ in the verses relating to non-protection of Allah’s words (i.e. previously revealed Books). Such verses are following:
“Do you covet [the hope, O believers], that they (non-believers) would believe for you while a section of them (i.e. people of the previously revealed Books) used to hear the words of Allah and then change Allah’s words (‘yuharrifunahu’) after they had understood it while they were knowing? (al-baqra-75).
In this verse, Quran declares that people of previously revealed Books had actually modified those Books. Quran has also described various methods through which people of Bible have modified Bible. One such method was to use Allah’s words out of their context. Quran says:
“O Messenger (s.a.w.w), let them not grieve you who hasten into disbelief of those who say, "We believe" with their mouths, but their hearts believe not, and from among the Jews. [They are] avid listeners to falsehood, listening to another people who have not come to you. They change/ ‘yuharrifuna’ the words (of Allah) from their (right) times and places……..” (al-maidah-41).
This verse clearly states about Jews who used to change the words (of Allah) from their proper context.
“Among the Jews are those who modify/ ‘yuharrifuna’ words (of Allah) from their proper context…….” (al-maidah-46).
This above stated verse also states about Jews who used to change Allah’s words from their proper context.
Another method/way of changing Allah’s words was to omit Allah’s words from the Book.
“So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They change words (of Allah) from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them…..” (al-maidah-13).
This verse is stating about bane Israel. It states that they not only change words (of Allah) but also forgot a portion (of wahi) with which they were reminded. In other words, bane Israel have not only changed the wahi but also have omitted a portion of wahi from the Books.
From the verses given above, it becomes clear that Allah’s words which were revealed to people of Bible are not protected. The Bible as we have it today or had it in the age of our Nabi (s.a.w.w) is and was not found in original form; the Bible’s words have not only been changed from their proper context but also a portion of original ‘wahi’ is omitted from the Bible. But it does not mean that whole Bible is corrupted. Of course the process of making changes in the Bible had started before the age of our Nabi (s.a.w.w) and it was still continued in the age of our Nabi (s.a.w.w), as is clear from the verses quoted above (these verses are in the present as well as in the past tenses; it means process of making changes in Bible had started before the age of our Nabi [s.a.w.w] and was still continued in the age of our Nabi [s.a.w.w]). But Bible still had some original portion (and it has some original portion even today) and it was that original portion which has been referred to in Quran in some verses.
The second argument of propagators of protection of the Bible is that some Quranic verses testify the truthfulness of the Bible. In the succeeding lines we would see that such Quranic verses do not testify the previous Books possessed by the people at that time; however Quranic verses do testify whatever original has been found in those previous Books. These Quranic verses are discussed in the following.
“And We have revealed to you the Book (Quran) with the truth, verifying what is before it from the Book (previous Book) and a guardian over it (the previous Book), therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed….”(al-maidah-48).
Because the previous Book has been corrupted, this verse is not verifying the previous Book possessed by the people; this verse is verifying from the previous Book only that which was originally revealed. Because the previous Book has been corrupted, Quran has been declared as guardian over the previous Book; it means only such portions of the previous Book will be testified which are in line with the Quran.
Another such verse quoted by the supporters of protection of the Bible states:
“Those who follow the Messenger (Muhammad [s.a.w.w]), the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them” (al-ar’af-157).
This verse also does not testify the previous Books possessed by the people; this verse is stating that whatever Bible (i.e. collection of previous Books) the people had at that time, that Bible contained the mention of our Nabi (s.a.w.w).
Another such verse states:
وَلَمَّا جَاءهُمْ كِتَابٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ ِ
“And when there came to them (people of the previous Books) a Book (the Quran) from Allah confirming that which was with them…..” (al-baqra-89).
This above quoted verse is not testifying truthfulness of the previous Books i.e. Bible possessed by the people. This verse is testifying only such part of previous ‘wahi’ which is with the people in original.
Another such verse states:
“And it was not [possible] for this Qur'an to be produced by other than Allah, but [it is] a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the [former] Scripture…..” (yunus-37).
This verse states that Quran is an explanation of former Book. It means only such portion of former Book will be acknowledged which will be in line with explanation given by the Quran; it means this verse also is not testifying the previous Book; it is testifying only what has been found in original in the previous Book. Similarly all such Quranic verses which refer to the previous Books actually do not testify the previous Books possessed by the people; such verses testify only such portions of the previous Books, which are found in original in the previous Books.
We may conclude that Bible has been changed not only by changing the words from their proper place and time but also by deleting a portion from the Bible. No Quranic verse testifies the previous Books possessed by the people; Quranic verses testify from the previous Books only such portions which are found in original in the previous Books. The criterion to ascertain what is original in the previous Books is what is in line with Quran is original and what is not in line with Quran is not original (continued).