Shabir Ally vs. David Wood
It always amazes me when I watch Muslim debaters and their quoting of the Bible (especially the New Testament) to bolster Islamic arguments. After all, Islam teaches that the Scriptures (revelations) given to both Jewish and Christian prophets have been perverted over time and thus cannot be trusted.
Dr. Jamal Badawi lays out the Islamic position:
I’d like to raise another issue as well. When the Quran speaks of confirming any previous scriptures, it is conditional and indicates in no uncertain terms that the Quran and the Quran alone as the last well preserved revelation is the final judge and the criterion to sift through any previous scripture to discern what is the word of God and what is the word of humans; which parts remained intact and which parts might have gone through some changes throughout history. The term muhaymen, which appears in the Quran, in surah number 5 and verses 48 through 51, deals specifically with this issue of the Quran being muhaymen. This word, muhaymen in Arabic, as Mawlana Mawdudi explains in his Commentary on the Quran, means to uphold, to safe guard or preserve, to watch over and to stand witness. All of these definitions apply to the Quran in its relationship to previous scriptures. First of all, the Quran safeguards and preserves the teachings of previous prophets. It watches over the revelations that God sent before by explaining their true meanings to negate any confusion, misunderstanding or misinterpretation that has arisen throughout history. It stands witness because it bears witness, as Mawdudi says, to the word of God contained in those previous scriptures and helps sort it out from interpretations and commentaries that were later added to them.
It is very convenient that Allah told Muhammad that he should judge previous writings by the Quran (which of course was revealed to Muhammad alone). It alone can tell us which part of the New Testament (for example) can be trusted and what cannot be trusted – if it agrees with the Quran it can be trusted! This allows Muslim scholars like Shabir Ally to accept or reject the contents of the Christian Gospels – and to give an Islamic interpretation on any part of the Bible that Muslim scholars wish to give. The question is how does Shabir Ally know for sure what part of the Bible can be trusted and which part cannot be trusted?