A Moderate Muslim’s View of the Bible

Sam Shamoun

Once and awhile a Muslim comes along who, as a result of trying to break free from Islamic propaganda and prejudices, is not afraid to make certain statements which cut against the grain of the usual Islamic opinion. One such Muslim is Dr. Nader Pourhassan, formerly a Shiite Muslim who has now abandoned it for a more moderate approach to Islam. Dr. Pourhassan has adopted a Quran only mentality where he tries to follow only those injunctions found within the Quran. His desire is to have Muslims read the Quran apart from the interpretations of Islamic traditions and opinions of Muslim scholars. He feels that Islam has been corrupted because of the traditions and views of Muslim clergy who have failed to uphold the commands of the Quran, thereby perverting its message.

Dr. Pourhassan has written a book documenting his position, titled The Corruption of Moslem Minds, Barbed Wire Publishing, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 2002 (ISBN #0-9711930-7-X). You can purchase his book from the website of the publisher.

The above link gives this information about Dr. Pourhassan:

The inspiration behind Dr. Pourhassan's studies was his desire to discover the truth about Islam as it is taught in the Koran, instead of the version of Islam taught by Moslem clerics - the version that has shaped the Moslem world today.

A student in the United States, Dr. Pourhassan married a Catholic American woman. Their struggle to find common ground led to tension now and again - but was also one of the factors that prompted him to read the Koran for the first time. There he learned that most of the rules that he had been taught from childhood had nothing at all to do with the Koran, the prophet Mohammed, or God. Continuing his studies, he further learned that the Koran explicitly states God's love of Jews and Christians.

"In the Koran, it clearly states that ordinary men and women should read the Koran, and learn God's law," Dr. Pourhassan says, "but generations of corrupt Moslem leaders have destroyed its original message--the same message as that contained in the Bible and the Torah--and taught a perverse form of Islam intended chiefly to serve their own interests. At first, I was amazed to find out that the Koran says nothing about Moslem superiority, female inferiority or the use of aggression in the name of God--not to mention the many positive references it contains to Judaism and Christianity."

In his book, Dr. Pourhassan has lots to say about the Holy Bible, some of which we would like to present here. Dr. Pourhassan basically admits that the Quran does not speak of the Bible being corrupted, but that the Quran agrees with the Bible and even commands Jews and Christians to follow it. He also candidly admits that the Torah and the Gospel that the Quran mentions are actually the Old and New Testaments.

The following quotes are taken from his book. All comments within {} will be ours, and all underline emphasis is ours.

The author tells us what he means by Torah and Bible:

… Please note that the terms "Torah" and "Old Testament" are interchangeable, while I most commonly use the word "Bible" to refer to the New Testament. (p. 9)

The Koran makes it clear that it was sent to confirm the books that had already been revealed - the Torah and the Bible.

"He [God] sent down the book to you with truth to confirm whatever existed before it. He sent down the Torah and the New Testament." {Q. 3:3} (p. 33)

"O followers of the book [Bible and Torah]! Indeed Our messenger has come to you making clear to you much of what you concealed of the book and to forgive a great many; indeed, there has come to you light and a clear book from God." {Q. 5:15}

"O followers of the book [Bible and Torah]! Indeed our messenger has come to you explaining to you after a certain period of time from messengers before, lest you say: There came not to us a giver of good news or a warner, so indeed there has come to you a giver of good news and a warner; and God has power over all things." {Q. 5:19} (p. 34)

Religious leaders claim that the Koran can only be understood by ordinary people when highly trained clerics interpret it for them. They also say that it is superior to both the Bible and the Torah. My studies have shown me that the Koran is not superior to the books that receded it, nor a completion of their message, but the reiteration of the message, and that it is a powerful book which should not be adulterated wit the views given by mean… (p. 73)

Once again, there is a clear disparity between that which is said by Moslem religious leaders, and what the Koran has to say about itself. In the Koran, the Torah and the Bible are only spoken about in the most respectful of tones… (p. 74)

It is also made clear that the Koran is intended to complement, rather than replace or succeed, the Bible and the Torah… (p. 75)

All of the information contained in the Koran about the corruption of Jewish and Christian religious authorities is of utmost importance, as it enlightens us as to the later corruption of Islam by its religious leaders. In the extracts from the Koran quoted below, it is clear that the laws of the Koran are the very same as those in the Bible and the Torah. They are God’s laws, and God’s laws, quite simply, do not change. (p. 97)

5:50 {Q. 5:46} We had Jesus the son of Mary, follow in their footsteps in order to confirm what had come before him from the Torah and We gave him the Bible which contains guidance and Light, to confirm what He already had in the Torah [the Old Testament], and a guidance and a lesson for those who do their duty.

5:51 {Q. 5:47} Let the people of the Bible judge by what God has sent down in it; those who do not judge by what God has sent down are perverts!

Here again we read that God seeks to judge each of His believers according to His book. In the case of the Christians, this is the Bible. In the case of the Jews, it is the Torah.

5:52-53 {Q. 5:48-49} We have sent you down the book with the truth, to confirm what was already there from the previous books, and to safeguard it… (p. 107)

5:71 {Q. 5:66} If they had only kept up the Torah and the Bible [the New Testament], and whatever was sent down to them by their Lord, they would have eaten anything above them and from beneath their feet. Some of them form a moderate community, while many of them act badly in anything they do.

The verses above teach us that if Jews, Christians and Moslems had all followed the teachings of their respective books, they would have lived in unity. However, as these messages became corrupted by man, the believers drifted apart and enmity developed between them.

5:72 {Q. 5:68} Say: "People of the book, you will not make any point until you keep up the Torah and the Bible, as well as anything that has been sent down to by your Lord." What has been sent down to you by your Lord increases many of them in arrogance and disbelief, yet do not despair about disbelieving folk.

The Koran is sent from the same source as the Torah and the Bible. (p. 108)

The author’s comments basically reiterate what we have been saying for so many years. The Quran confirms the inspiration, authenticity and preservation of the Holy Bible in the possession of Jews and Christians. Contrary to the popular Muslim opinion, the Quran does not claim that the Holy Scriptures of the Jews and Christians are corrupted.

Sadly, despite the author admitting that the Quran confirms and upholds the Holy Bible, he still believes it has been tampered with as the next quotes show:

… While the Bible has been altered throughout history, resulting in a situation whereby Christians and Jews cannot always be sure that they are following God’s original message, the Koran has remained unchanged since it was revealed to Muhammad… (p. 40)

Of the three major religious which dominate the world stage today - Islam, Judaism and Christianity - Islam is the only one based upon a book which remains true to its original content (the Torah and the Bible have undergone many changes over time, resulting in many different translations)… (p. 123)

In the Koran, we learn that the Bible was from God and should be believed, with the exception of those parts that say that Jesus is the son o God or is God himself (See chapter 9, section 7, above). (p. 162)

It seems that the author hasn’t carefully pondered over his statements. He apparently doesn’t realize that his position is inconsistent with what he himself admits to be the Quran’s position regarding the Bible. Since the Quran confirms the Holy Bible, and since the author believers that the Holy Bible has been changed, this therefore leads to the conclusion that the Quran confirms a corrupted book.

Or the author maybe saying that the Bible was corrupted after the Quran had been revealed to Muhammad, and that prior to that time the Bible remained intact. If this is what the author is saying, then all one needs to do is to point to biblical MSS written before Muhammad to show that these texts are virtually identical to the Bibles in our possession today. Thus, by confirming the Bible available during Muhammad’s time, the Quran is essentially confirming the Bible as we have it today since the Bible of that time is virtually identical to what we now have in our possession.

Or the author may be arguing that the Quran is wrong regarding the Bible being preserved. After all, it is quite plausible that the Bible has been corrupted beyond restoration despite what the Quran has to say about its preservation. Yet if this is what the author believes then he is no longer a Muslim since he basically is saying that the Quran is in error. The author doesn’t have many options at this point.

To make it easier, we set forth the options that Dr. Pourhassan has to choose from:

  1. The Quran can claim that the Bible has remained intact and yet the Bible still be corrupted. This would only prove that the Quran is in error regarding the accurate transmission of the Bible.
  2. The Quran can claim that the Bible has been corrupted, and yet the Bible itself as well as the MSS evidence and the analysis of the variant readings show that it has been preserved. This would only prove that the Quran is in error regarding the transmission of the Bible.
  3. The Bible, the Quran and the MSS evidence can all be in agreement that the Bible has been preserved intact, despite variant readings.
  4. The Bible, the Quran and the MSS evidence can all be in agreement that the Bible has been corrupted, and therefore cannot be completely trusted.

Dr. Pourhassan has admitted that the Quran confirms the Holy Bible, but has also stated that the Bible has been corrupted. This means that he is only left with the first option. But the first option means that the Quran is wrong, and if it is wrong then it cannot be from God as the Quran itself says:

What, do they not ponder the Koran? If it had been from other than God surely they would have found in it much inconsistency. S. 4:82 Arberry

Dr. Pourhassan believes that the Quran is not wrong and that it is divine revelation. This means that he can only embrace the third option. But to accept option 3 would also lead to the conclusion that the Quran is wrong, as we will now show.

The author has assumed that since the Quran denies the Sonship and Deity of Christ, this therefore implies that those biblical passages that speak of Christ being God and God’s Son are corrupted or interpolated. The problem with this position is that it takes for granted that the Quran is revelation from God, as opposed to it being merely the fallible record of one assuming or claiming revelation.

The truth is that the Quran’s denial of the Sonship and Deity of Christ despite confirming that the Bible (especially the New Testament) is true revelation proves that the Quran cannot be divine in origin. As Dr. Pourhassan himself realizes, the Quran’s author believed that the Holy Bible is indeed the revealed and preserved Word of God, and yet he contradicted its core essential teachings. By so doing, the Quran’s author exposed the Quran as a false book.

To make this point more clear we present the problem in the form of a syllogism:

Hopefully, Dr. Pourhassan will continue his research and see how his admission that the Quran confirms the Holy Bible proves that the Quran cannot be revelation from the true God. We pray that his studies will lead him to embrace Christ as his Lord and Savior, and to believe that the Holy Bible is the only inspired Scripture which God has given to an erring and dying world.

In conclusion, we would like to say that it is truly refreshing to see a Muslim admitting what should be obvious to anyone who reads the Quran. The Quran does uphold the integrity and authority of the entire Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments. The Quran does not say that the Bible has been corrupted, nor does it only confirm a few, specific books of the Bible such as the Torah, the Psalms of David and the Gospel of Jesus.

The readers may also be interested in reading the author’s online debate with Dr. Ali Sina of Faith Freedom:


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