Ruling on Reading the Bible (Tawrah and Injeel) – Various Scholars

Q: What is the ruling on reading the Bible?

A: The Divine Books revealed before the Qur’an now include many distortions, alterations, and omissions, as Allah says in the Qur’an.

Therefore, it is not permissible for Muslims to read any of these Books, unless they have deep-rooted knowledge of the Din (religion) and want to explain the distortions and inconsistencies in these books.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
`Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz ,`Abdul-Razzaq `Afify , `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , `Abdullah ibn Qa`ud

Q: What is the ruling on a Muslim who reads the Bible or swears by it?

A: It is not permissible for a Muslim to read the Bible as it has almost entirely undergone interpolation. Even the parts of the Bible that have undergone no interpolation are needless as the Qur’an replaces them. This ruling is not applicable to scholars who need to read it in order to refute the claims of the People of the Book.

It is not permissible either to swear by the Bible in its present form as it has undergone partial interpolation and distortion, and thus cannot be the words of Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted).

Excerpt from

Ruling on Reading the Tawrah and the Injil by Shaykh Ibn Baz rahimahullah

Q – Is it permissible for me as a Muslim to leaf through the Injil (Gospel) and read in it, just to have a look, and not for any other purpose? Does believing in the Divine Books mean believing in their being revealed by Allah or believing in their content? Please enlighten me, may Allah enlighten you!

A: Every Muslim should believe that these books: the Tawrah (Torah), the Injil (Gospel), and the Zabur (Psalms), were revealed by Allah, and that Allah revealed them to His Prophets. Included in these Books were: commands, prohibitions, admonitions, warnings, stories of ancient events, information on Paradise and Hell, and other matters. However, Muslims should not use these books as they have been distorted and altered, and they should not own copies of them, or read in them. They pose a danger in that they may lead Muslims to deny a truth or believe in a falsehood, because they have been distorted, altered, and falsified by the Jews, the Christians and others; whereas Allah has made us stand in no need of them, by the great Book He revealed: the Noble Qurýan.

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saw a portion of the Tawrah in the hands of “Umar, so he became angry and said: Are you confused about it, O Ibn Al-Khattab? By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I brought it to you white and pure. And he added, ”By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if Musa (Moses) were alive, he could not but follow me. ‘

We just want to advise you, and others, not to take anything from the Tawrah, the Injil, and the Zabur, not to acquire copies of them, and not to read in them.

Rather, if you have any of them, bury or burn it, because the truth that was in them has been given, instead, in the Qurýan; they are now so mixed with changes and distortions, which are all condemned and false. Therefore, the believer must be on his guard against this, and beware of reading these books for they may lead to belief in a falsehood or denial of a truth. To be safe, it is better to just dispose of these books, either by burying or burning them.

Knowledgeable Muslim scholars are permitted to look at these books to refute the allegations of the opponents of Islam from among the Jews and the Christians. This was what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did when the Jews denied that stoning of adulterers was the punishment prescribed in the Tawrah, so he asked for a copy of the Tawrah until they finally acknowledged it.

The reason for this is that the scholars, who are knowledgeable about the Shariýah (Islamic law), may need to read the Tawrah, the Injil, and the Zabur for the sake of Islam, to refute allegations from the opponents of Allah and show the merits of the Qurýan and the truth and guidance it contains. As for ordinary people, they do not need to do this. So, if they have any of these books, they should bury them in a pure place or burn them to avoid misleading anyone through them.

Nur ‘Ala Al-Darb Fatwa

Q: Is it permissible for Muslims to  read the Injil (Gospel) to know how far it is distorted?

A: It is not permissible for a believer to read the Tawrah (Torah) and Injil, even though they were distorted and changed and Allah (may He be Glorified) has given Muslims what is best, which is the Noble Qur’an that has been preserved from any change or distortion. Moreover, the Shari`ah (Islamic law) has abrogated all other earlier laws, and it is the perfect, the greatest, and the most useful to the Servants of Allah. Allah (may He be Exalted) states:Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5: 3 This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islým as your religion.

Allah (may He be Glorified) addressed His Prophet (peace be upon him) stating:Surah Al-Jathiyah, 45: 18 Then We have put you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) on a (plain) way of (Our) commandment [like the one which We commanded Our Messengers before you (i.e. legal ways and laws of the Islýmic Monotheism)]. So follow you that (Islýmic Monotheism and its laws), and follow not the desires of those who know not. (Tafsir At-Tabarý). It was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he saw `Umar ibn Al-Khattab holding some pages of the Tawrah. He, thus, became angry and said: Are you doubtful regarding it (Islam) O Ibn Al-Khattab? By Him in Whose Hand is my life, I have brought it to you plain and pure… By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if Musa (Moses) was alive he would have followed me. (Related by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (Hadith compilation)).

We, thus, advise you to increase your recitation of the Qur’an, take care of it, and act according to its teachings, for it will definitely suffice you from reading the earlier books revealed by Allah.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ fatwas Group 2, Vol. 3,Page No. 123