Fatwa n°: 30
Category: Fatwas about Aqîda (Creed) and Tauhîd (monotheism)
The ruling concerning reading the Gospel and the Torah
What is the ruling about reading the Gospel and the Torah and what about the authenticity of the suspicion attributed to Sheikh Al-Islâm that he used to read them?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
It is not permissible to read the books in which truth and falsehood are mingled in order to avoid any evil which could be resulted from reading them and which can affect the faith of the Muslims. People seeking the truth will find it in the two trusty and sure references which are: the Book and the Sunna, as truth cannot be out of these.
Besides, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم warned against the books of People of the Book (The Jews and the Christians) as in the story of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattâb رضي الله عنه who came to the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم with a book he brought from some People of the Book, so the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم got angry and said: “Are you in doubt of it, O Ibn Al-Khattâb? By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I have brought to you that which is white and pure. Do not ask People of the Book, lest they inform you about something true but that you will deny or something false that you will believe. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if Mûssa عليه السلام (Moses) were alive, he would have definitely followed me”(1).
Besides, if someone has knowledge of the Book and the Sunna and needs to make the religion triumphant and make the Word (Islam) of Allah to be superior by studying deeply the books of deviant and innovator people who follow their desires and the scholastics with the aim of criticizing them, unwrapping their errors and showing their contradictions; in such case, this is permissible for the erudite scholar as Sheikh Al-Islâm Ibn Taymiyya رحمه الله did, by refuting the books of logicians and philosophers, he also studied the books of the Rafidites (Ar-Râfida) of the Shiite sect and criticized them in his book: “Minhâj As-Sunna An-Nabawiyya”. Moreover, Ibn Taymiyya رحمه الله showed the contradictions of the different Gospels and the deviance of Christians as regards their creed.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers, Rabî` Al-Awwal 14th,1426H.
Corresponding to: April 23rd, 2005.
(1) Reported by Ahmad (hadith 15546), Ad-Dârimi (1/115) from the hadith of Jâbir رضي الله عنه.This hadith is judged Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Dhilâl Al-Jana” (1/27), he said: “The chain’s narrators are trustworthy except Mujâlid who is Ibn Sa`îd, his hadith is considered weak but this hadith is judged Hassan (good) when considering its various ways which I mentioned in “Al-Mishkât” then I reported some of them in “Al-Irwâ'” (hadith 1589)”.