According to Muslims, there is only one trustworthy Holy Scripture, the Qur’an. Many prophets before Muhammad were also given Allah’s Word, among them Musa (Moses), who was given the Taurat (Torah), Dawud (David), who was given the Zabur (Psalms), and Isa (Jesus), who was given the Injil (Gospel). However, Muslims are taught that all these writings were corrupted. Allah appointed Muhammad to receive the Qur’an in order to correct this corruption.
How did Muslims get the Qur’an? According to Islam, in AD 610, Allah sent the angel Gabriel to Muhammad in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Over the next 22 years, Gabriel revealed suras (chapters) to Muhammad with the command to recite it to others. Shortly after Muhammad’s death in AD 632, his followers gathered the suras into the Qur’an. The third caliph, Uthman, had scholars compile an official Qur’an, in written form, and had all other variant texts burned.
The Qur’an today is considered divine in its original Arabic form, and Muslims memorize and recite it only in this pure language.
As a comparison, how did Christians get the Bible? Followers of Jesus believe the Bible is the authoritative, inspired Word of God, composed of 66 different books, transmitted through at least 40 prophets, apostles, and holy men. The first 39 books, written before the coming of Christ, are called the Old Testament. The Old Testament was written over many centuries by various authors, in diverse cultures, using the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. The remaining 27 books after Christ are called the New Testament. They were written in Greek, the dominant language of the first century. The New Testament contains collections of eyewitness reports of the life and teachings of Jesus, followed by a history of His disciples over the next 50 years, including letters from His apostles and a vision of the end times called the “Revelation.”
The Christian view of inspiration is that God “breathed” His Word through many people. Therefore, the Bible reflects cultures as diverse as Abraham’s nomadic lifestyle, to the royal court of King David. The result is the Book of beautiful human diversity, interwoven with divine unity.
Muslims feel sorry that Christians follow a corrupted book, and most Muslims avoid the Bible. Even among Western-educated Muslims, the great diversity of Bible versions and translations adds to their belief that the Bible is corrupted.
Muhammad, however, did not question the accuracy of the Bible. The accusation that the Bible had been corrupted came centuries after Muhammad, at a time when Muslim scholars realized there were contradictions between the Qur’an and the Bible. Yet, the Qur’an points to the Bible as truth over 120 times. The text of the Bible is better preserved than the writings of Plato and Aristotle. Furthermore, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the reliability of the Bible.
To a Muslim, it is impossible to think that any man could corrupt the actual Word of God, and diminish God. By His reputation, God is committed to protect His Word. In the Bible, in the book of Psalms, chapter 138, verse 2, it says: “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” For Muslims, the best defense of the Bible’s integrity is the nature, power and reputation of God.