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Bible

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Bible

    The Islamic tradition considers the Jewish and Christian scriptures to be divinely revealed, and the Quran refers frequently to the Hebrew scriptures (tawrat) and the Gospels (injil). The text and/or the interpretation of these scriptures is, however, held to have become “distorted” or “corrupted” (the doctrine of tahrif), finally to be superseded by the Quran. In debates with Christian missionaries, polemicists such as the Indian Rahmat Allah Kayranawi (d. 1891 ) drew on modern Western biblical criticism to further bolster ideas of tahrif in the Bible, contrasting this with the textual integrity of the Quran. A contemporary of Kayranawi, the Indian modernist Sayyid Ahmad Khan (d. 1898 ), rejected the idea (as had some premodern Muslim scholars) of textual corruption in the Bible, and he remains exceptional among Muslim scholars for undertaking an ambitious commentary on the Bible, Tabyin al-kalam (The Mahomedan commentary on the Holy Bible), which, however, remained incomplete.

    See also Christianity and Islam; Judaism and Islam; Torah

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