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Following previous prophets and scriptures

Fatwaa ID: 1659

Asalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh Respected Mufti Sahab,

How do we answer a non muslim on these questions?

When we say that all the prophets brought the same message, so they ask can we follow any of the prophets, why should we only follow Prophet Muhammad(SAW)? For example, Christians want to follow only Isa(AS) as he is the most honored from their point of view.
When we say that all the other holy scriptures were changed by people according to their desires except the Holy Quran, so they ask how can you prove that other holy books have been changed and the Quran has not been changed? If Quran, being a holy book has been protected by God, then why God didnot protect the other holy books?
JazakAllahu Khairan

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

  1. We believe that the core teachings of all the prophets were the same as they were sent by Allaah Ta’aala. The same goes with the scriptures. As Allaah Ta’aala sent them all, we belive in them all. However, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was sent as the last prophet with the Qur’aan, thereby abrogating the previous teachings and scriptures. The previous scriptures such as the Torah and the Injil make mention of the coming of the final prophet. Thus, the other nations too are commanded to follow Prophet Muhammad ﷺ should they meet his time and after. Accordingly, we follow the previous prophets in that injunction as well as that of tawheed. As for the other teachings, it is illogical to follow them as they have been abrogated. Once a law changes or is abrogated, it is no longer in effect.
  2. Observe the previous books. It is a known fact that the Bible is changed and continues to be changed. There are dozens of versions available even today. Furthermore, there is no proof that the Bible or Torah present today are from their respective prophets. As for the Qur’aan, there are no versions or changes made. The Qur’aan has been preserved through memory via the Isnad system, i.e., unbroken successive documented chains of transmissions taking us back to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. You can get rid of all the copies of the Qur’aan today and it will make no difference to us. We can write it back letter for letter, with all its diacritics. Millions have committed the Qur’aan to memory. This is not the case with the other scriptures.

In terms of being protected by God, the previous scriptures were protected so long as their respective prophets remained. Thereafter, the burden of preservation was given to the people. As it was to be abrogated later, there was no need for universal protection. In terms of the Qur’aan, its message is universal and final. It will remain in vogue until the end of the world. Hence, Allaah Ta’aala promised to preserve it until the end. This preservation is done through the people, whether it be in terms of words, meanings and teachings or even orthography.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

02/01/1445 AH – 08/18/2023 CE | 568

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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