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The Torah: Revealed or Inspired?

Mansur Bakhtiari

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

اللهم صل علی محمد وال وعجل فرجهم والعن عادائهم

السلام علیکم

Ok, so as you probably know, I started reading Maurice Bucaille's book, The Quran, The Bible and Science about 2 weeks ago. Alhamdulillah I've found it very interesting, I am finished the first 3 parts of the book, with the section on ahadith the only remaining part. However, one of my first observations while reading was that I remembered and someone agreed with the comment of brother @hasanhh on my first blog post on this topic, which criticised the book for being too simplistic. His study on the Torah was only a criticism of the book of Genesis for its scientific flaws in regards to the stages of the creation of the earth and how the authenticity could have been altered over time. Still, I will comment on that part.

Now, on page 2 I think he highlights a fundamental flaw in the thinking of most Christians. Many (though I think SC Christians might be a little more knowledgeable) Christians have no idea that multiple copies of the Torah existed. Around 300 BC (The book l'ancien Testament by Professor Edmund Jacob is quoted on this page) 3 copies eisted of the Hebrew text. Unfortunately it's hard to compare to figure out which text is the original as our oldest Hebrew texts date to around the 9th Century AD (page 3). 

Now here's the thing. The Torah, as a Holy text, has been collected (along with the Gospels) as an oral tradition at first. The Jewish people would sing these traditions which are recorded in the Bible. In Christian theology (and this is also a subject of discussion in Christian-Muslim debates conducted by polemicists such as Shabir Ally and Zakir Naik) that the Bible was not a revealed text. It's a text inspired by the Holy Spirit, to those Prophets who wrote them down. There are also collections of hymn's like the Book of Proverbs. I think it would be beneficial actually for a knowledgeable Christian like @LeftCoastMom to comment on this. Back to the subject of its authenticity, just like ahadith, since it's an oral tradition being passed on to compilers (Priests, in this case) if the compiler or the person passing on this tradition to the compiler is corrupt (like Abu Hurairah for example) then it's not hard for this collection to become a corrupt one.Let's refer to the Quran and see what it says in regards to the Bible, which I'm sure most are familiar with,

Sura 5:68 (Al-Maida)

"Say: 'People of the Book (Christians and Jews), you stand for nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord."

The word used in the Quran is inzila, from the root nzl. Different from the word for inspiration, which is from the root wahy. So the Quran recognizes that the Bible was revealed, just like the Quran, not inspired as Christian theology dictates.

I personally find this an interesting topic, whether or not the Torah is revealed or inspired. If we can get some Christians to engage in discussion with us in the comments that would be great and it would definitely be a good intellectual discussion for this website (happy @Jebreil???). 

So, let us have a discussion on this. Was the Torah revealed or inspired. Bring proofs via verses of the Torah and Gospels, and Inshallah it'll be a good debate in the comments! I will add some of my findings onto my next blog post Inshallah Ta'ala, and also that post will be revolving around the Gospels

note: I will be out of the country from the 18th to 27th of July, so there may not be any update on this for a while. Inshallah I will be able to do some writing though.



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"Inspired", as you wrote in paragraph 3, line 4, is one of those really undefined words that suggest there is some truth in imaginings. Your emotional response to this is supposed to be floating and anticipatory. Floatacious.  Like the Quran reveals, most people use religion as entertainment.

The Old and New Testaments are a collection of stories, altered, revised and politically oriented for their time of transcription. Easy example is in Genesis. Yusuf -a.s. gets into his chariot, but chariots didn't exist for about another two millennium. Another same thing is the William Houston Hypothesis which says the Bible has a "missing thousand years" is one portion of its narrative because it little correlates with the archeological record.

You are also miss-reading Sura Maida. The Testaments both have adherence to the 1st and 2nd Commandments even though this is usually glossed over. You also have the problem of "cannot the same story be 'inspired' the same way twice?"

Referring to the Bible has another problem: as Qur'an reveals 5:41 people distorted Quran as well as their own Books. Proverbs 30:6 (also note what was added in verse 4 in the KJV) and Amos 2:4  are two examples.

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19 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

You also have the problem of "cannot the same story be 'inspired' the same way twice?".

Yeah, seen that in a Shabir Ally debate. Thats a pretty good proof of Bibilical distortion.

21 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

"Inspired", as you wrote in paragraph 3, line 4, is one of those really undefined words that suggest there is some truth in imaginings. Your emotional response to this is supposed to be floating and anticipatory. Floatacious.  Like the Quran reveals, most people use religion as entertainment.

Inspired is a vague word, you're right, and if Allah swt only "inspired" a Holy book, that would mean that the Bible can not even really be considered a book of God. It also confuses me how clear jurisprudential laws could come from a "inspired" holy text.

However the point I wanted to make in that part of my entry is that the Quran makes it clear the Bible was not inspired, but revealed. If Mr. Bucaille had touched on this, that would have been great but unfortunately that didn't happen. Kind of like how Shia scholars prove Tashayyu through Sunni books, can our view on the inzila of the Torah be proven through the Torah itself?

27 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

Referring to the Bible has another problem: as Qur'an reveals 5:41 people distorted Quran as well as their own Books. Proverbs 30:6 (also note what was added in verse 4 in the KJV) and Amos 2:4  are two examples.

5:41

O Messenger, let them not grieve you who hasten into disbelief of those who say, "We believe" with their mouths, but their hearts believe not, and from among the Jews. [They are] avid listeners to falsehood, listening to another people who have not come to you. They distort words beyond their [proper] usages, saying "If you are given this, take it; but if you are not given it, then beware." But he for whom Allah intends fitnah - never will you possess [power to do] for him a thing against Allah . Those are the ones for whom Allah does not intend to purify their hearts. For them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment

I know its been pretty well established that there has been no Tahreef of Quran, as Allah promised to protect it. Though I do see the connection between this and what you said. "They distort words beyond their proper usages," could refer to those who cherrypick verses to promote terrorism and violence, people like that.

Proverbs 30 6

Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar

Somewhat that is actually happening today, with more openness in the Christian world and critical studies of Bibilical authenticity being conducted, no?

So in theory by exposing the distorters of the Bible this prophecy is technically coming true :)

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7 minutes ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

 

However the point I wanted to make in that part of my entry is that the Quran makes it clear the Bible was not inspired, but revealed. ...

Kept for emphasis:

So in theory by exposing the distorters of the Bible this prophecy is technically coming true :)

The Quran uses more than one verb with Musa-a.s.  In 6:91 it is "revealed", but in other Ayats within the Qur'an the verb "given" is used. [See //corpus.quran.com/wordbyword... which is a good lexicographic source.]

l reiterate that the Bible is an edited collection of stories. Some like Yusuf-a.s. is nearly exact as revealed in Quran; the essential elements of the Exodus are the same; and some things that happened during Isa-a.s. time were too famous to be ignored in the next two centuries. ln summation there are some anecdotal accuracies in the Testaments

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As far as I understand, in the 3rd century Common Era the "Bible" as we know it today was compiled on the Order of Constantine in a convening of Christian Clerics called "The council of Nicaea. However there are many theories as to what actually happened at this council'  "http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html

Whether the Quran states that the Bible is revealed or inspired is interesting. Thank you for bringing this subject forward for the rest of us simple ones to learn from.

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16 hours ago, hasanhh said:

The Quran uses more than one verb with Musa-a.s.  In 6:91 it is "revealed", but in other Ayats within the Qur'an the verb "given" is used. [See //corpus.quran.com/wordbyword... which is a good lexicographic source.]

l reiterate that the Bible is an edited collection of stories. Some like Yusuf-a.s. is nearly exact as revealed in Quran; the essential elements of the Exodus are the same; and some things that happened during Isa-a.s. time were too famous to be ignored in the next two centuries. ln summation there are some anecdotal accuracies in the Testaments

Given, revealed.... it still supports the concept that its a book, if you want to say "written," by Allah. It's not that Allah simply gives the ideas and the stories to the Prophet to write, rather that Allah sends it down to the Prophet, and he memorizes/copies it down word for word. In Arabic there seems to be a clear distinction between inspiration (why) and revelation (nzl), which is enough to say that the Islamic view on the Bible is against what Christian Theologians say.

I think that's 100% true, the second paragraph. There are some inaccuracies and also you can't forget that people may have had political motivations for distortion.

@MariyahLalehgoing to look into that link Inshallah!

Edited by Mansur Bakhtiari

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14 hours ago, MariyahLaleh said:

As far as I understand, in the 3rd century Common Era the "Bible" as we know it today was compiled on the Order of Constantine in a convening of Christian Clerics called "The council of Nicaea. However there are many theories as to what actually happened at this council'  "http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html

See: Eusebius, History of the Church, 4th Century. The edition l have has a lousy index so keep your own notes when you read it.

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13 hours ago, yasahebalzaman.313 said:

If the quran says it was revealed then simply put it was not inspired.To me the quran is sufficient as evidence.

Yes but in terms of Christian theology. Can it be proven from Christian sources what the Quran says just as Shiism can be proven from Sunni books.

I love Ilm ul Kalaam :)

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6 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

Yes but in terms of Christian theology. Can it be proven from Christian sources what the Quran says just as Shiism can be proven from Sunni books.

I love Ilm ul Kalaam :)

Interesting. I have an English Torah That has been re-translated to the English by The Jewish society of America. I will need to read parts of this volume of the five books of Moses (Musa)  to assess what was written about the account of Moses and get back to you. Why would it be important if the Christian Theology States whether or not if the Books of the Torah were revealed or inspired as the Torah is referring to  Musa of the Levite  tribe of Israel and was not written originally by any Christians? Paul in the Greek Scriptures of the Bible (New Testament) stated : Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2Timothy 3:16)

I have a duo translation of the "new testament" in the new english  side by side with  modern Standard Arabic if anyone is interested in me posting pics of the writings in this arabic.

 

https://bible.org/seriespage/5-bible-inspired-revelation-god

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On 16/07/2017 at 2:20 AM, MariyahLaleh said:

An easy internet source on the opinion of some Christians on how the Bible is a "inspired work revealed by God"

https://bible.org/seriespage/5-bible-inspired-revelation-god

hmmm the article seems kind of vague. For example:

In its theological usage inspiration is derived from the Latin Vulgate Bible where the verb inspire is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21. The word inspiration is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 to translate qeopneustos, a word that occurs only here. Qeopneustos is derived from qeos, “God,” and pnew, “to breath.” Literally, it means “God-breathed” and expresses the concept of exhalation by God. More accurately, it emphasizes that Scripture is the product of the breath of God. The Scriptures are not something breathed into by God, rather, the Scriptures have been breathed out by God.

For me that sounds similar to the Qur'an which says Allah sent down or had given the Quran to mankind.

The following represent a few of the definitions of prominent evangelical theologians:

Those also seem pretty useless. Maurice Bucaille already mentioned in his book how so many Christian scholars already reject the full authenticity and trustworthiness of the Bible. The opinions of those scholars seem to have no Bibilical basis.

There are several important elements that belong in a proper definition of inspiration: (1) the divine element—God the Holy Spirit superintended the writers, ensuring the accuracy of the writing; (2) the human element—human authors wrote according to their individual styles and personalities; (3) the result of the divine-human authorship is the recording of God’s truth without error; (4) inspiration extends to the selection of words by the writers; (5) inspiration relates to the original manuscripts

Still very vague, but think about the last part. The original manuscripts are long lost to the bad motives of others. 

There appears to be some Bibilical proof for inspiration

2) The extent of Inspiration. This is stated in the words, “All Scripture is inspired.” The term “Scripture,” the Greek grafh, is used exclusively in the New Testament of the sacred writings, of some portion of the Bible—sometimes of the whole Old Testament (Matt. 22:29; Mark 14:49; Luke 24:45; John 10:35), and sometimes of a specific passage (Matt. 12:10; Luke 4:21; John 13:8).

Though ny the logic that only the original Bibilical manuscripts are inspired by God, then technically we don't know the authenticity of the majority of the Bible.

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On 7/17/2017 at 8:47 AM, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

hmmm the article seems kind of vague. For example:

In its theological usage inspiration is derived from the Latin Vulgate Bible where the verb inspire is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21. The word inspiration is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 to translate qeopneustos, a word that occurs only here. Qeopneustos is derived from qeos, “God,” and pnew, “to breath.” Literally, it means “God-breathed” and expresses the concept of exhalation by God. More accurately, it emphasizes that Scripture is the product of the breath of God. The Scriptures are not something breathed into by God, rather, the Scriptures have been breathed out by God.

For me that sounds similar to the Qur'an which says Allah sent down or had given the Quran to mankind.

The following represent a few of the definitions of prominent evangelical theologians:

Those also seem pretty useless. Maurice Bucaille already mentioned in his book how so many Christian scholars already reject the full authenticity and trustworthiness of the Bible. The opinions of those scholars seem to have no Bibilical basis.

There are several important elements that belong in a proper definition of inspiration: (1) the divine element—God the Holy Spirit superintended the writers, ensuring the accuracy of the writing; (2) the human element—human authors wrote according to their individual styles and personalities; (3) the result of the divine-human authorship is the recording of God’s truth without error; (4) inspiration extends to the selection of words by the writers; (5) inspiration relates to the original manuscripts

Still very vague, but think about the last part. The original manuscripts are long lost to the bad motives of others. 

There appears to be some Bibilical proof for inspiration

2) The extent of Inspiration. This is stated in the words, “All Scripture is inspired.” The term “Scripture,” the Greek grafh, is used exclusively in the New Testament of the sacred writings, of some portion of the Bible—sometimes of the whole Old Testament (Matt. 22:29; Mark 14:49; Luke 24:45; John 10:35), and sometimes of a specific passage (Matt. 12:10; Luke 4:21; John 13:8).

Though ny the logic that only the original Bibilical manuscripts are inspired by God, then technically we don't know the authenticity of the majority of the Bible.

I have to concur with your conclusion. Most of the sources available to us today are not verifiable. According to various (and often conflicting)  historical accounts of the activities of the Council of Nicaea, Certain manuscript were retained because they had values that corresponded with the beliefs of the sect in power; works provided by the gnostics (followers of Arius, who insisted the person of Jesus the Christ was not divine) were discarded, more than likely burned.  My uncle (dayi) has tried to access works locally in Instanbul and has recommended the following publication available online, i just have not signed up for this site yet.

http://www.worldlibrary.org/eBooks/WPLBN0001027053-Origin-and-History-of-the-Books-of-the-Bible-Both-the-Canonical-and-the-Apocryphal-Designed-to-by-Stowe-Calvin-Ellis.aspx?&Words=blble manuscripts

Edited by MariyahLaleh

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On 7/21/2017 at 11:15 AM, MariyahLaleh said:

I have to concur with your conclusion. Most of the sources available to us today are not verifiable. According to various (and often conflicting)  historical accounts of the activities of the Council of Nicaea, Certain manuscript were retained because they had values that corresponded with the beliefs of the sect in power; works provided by the gnostics (followers of Arius, who insisted the person of Jesus the Christ was not divine) were discarded, more than likely burned.  My uncle (dayi) has tried to access works locally in Instanbul and has recommended the following publication available online, i just have not signed up for this site yet.

http://www.worldlibrary.org/eBooks/WPLBN0001027053-Origin-and-History-of-the-Books-of-the-Bible-Both-the-Canonical-and-the-Apocryphal-Designed-to-by-Stowe-Calvin-Ellis.aspx?&Words=blble manuscripts

Yeah, it seems that sectarianism caused much of the Bible to be lost unfortunately. Its also mentioned in Maurice Bucaille's book that certain religious practices of the Jews (like the Sabbath) could have been fabricated by the Jewish clergy for one reason or another (he didn't elaborate much on the Torah, which really dissapointed me. Though reading the comments on here reminded me....

On 7/17/2017 at 11:47 AM, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

2) The extent of Inspiration. This is stated in the words, “All Scripture is inspired.” The term “Scripture,” the Greek grafh, is used exclusively in the New Testament of the sacred writings, of some portion of the Bible—sometimes of the whole Old Testament (Matt. 22:29; Mark 14:49; Luke 24:45; John 10:35), and sometimes of a specific passage (Matt. 12:10; Luke 4:21; John 13:8).

I wonder if it's mentioned in the Torah, and how Jewish theologians view this......

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To be clear, I do not speak or read Arabic. Unfortunately, I am at this point mono-lingual. I've read through an English translation Qur'an maybe three times over the years. I remember being surprised by reading a verse, I think it was in the fourth chapter/Sura, that mentioned the Torah and the Injeel being given as a guidance and a light. When people say that the Gospels were "corrupted" or changed, are they referring to copies of the Injeel before the writing of the Qur'an or after?

 

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Fascinating post.

I personally subscribe to the "maculate Torah" theory - namely the idea that a Revelation occurred at Mt. Sinai to Moses and the children of Israel, but that over time, that Revelation was corrupted.  To my mind, the most likely scenario for this is that whatever was from Moses was lost to us, either in the time of the wicked kings and queens or after the fall of the first Temple.  As the Israelites returned to the land under Persian rule and began rebuilding the Temple, a scribe (most likely Ezra) or group of scribes began to edit together the sources that they had on hand as an attempt to faithfully reconstruct the text.

I'm willing to take the leap that it's Ezra for a few reasons.  

A.) Ezra is the author attributed to Chronicles.  In Chronicles, there's a story of how the scroll of the Law was rediscovered in the Temple (seemingly out of nowhere with the entire Israelite population completely ignorant of its existence) and brought to King Josiah.  King Josiah has the whole people listen as the scroll of the Law is read to them, then they recommit to the covenant.  In spite of this, God still destroys Jerusalem and scatters Israel due to their years of ignorance of His covenant.

Ezra is in the position of providing unity and a spiritual vision to his people.  It's a little too convenient that he does exactly what Josiah did - namely listen to the book of the law, which has authority, not just because it's attributed to God, but because if the Israelites don't follow Ezra, God will destroy them, too.  

It's also just flat out odd that the Revelation given to Moses would simply be sitting in a scroll in the Temple with everyone unaware of its existence.  If people knew about Moses and the Exodus and the founding of their nation and their entire reason for having a Temple in the first place, then part of that story is that God spoke to Moses and gave the people a covenant.  Wouldn't someone ask,"Oh wait, where's that Covenant?"  Instead, this story seems to simply provide credibility to Ezra's redacted Torah or proto-Torah and course of action.

B.) There are definite hints of this in rabbinic tradition.

"Moses received the Torah at Sinai and conveyed it to Joshua, Joshua gave it to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly".

The Great Assembly was the group that began building what we know as Judaism today after the fall of the First Temple.  The Great Assembly is the group which codifies the Tanakh - giving the Torah its form, deciding which Prophetic writings were genuinely inspired, determining which historical writings gave necessary context to tell the full story of the Jewish people and their covenant with God.

Oh yeah, and they were convened by Ezra, who acts as a nexus figure.  By tradition, Ezra isn't just a scribe, he's also Malachi (literally "My Messenger" - just as easily a title or pseudonym) - the last of the Jewish prophets. He's literally the hand off point in the chain of Torah transmission, the one who delivers Torah to Judaism on behalf of Moses. 

Rabbinic tradition says that had Moses not existed, Ezra would've been worthy to receive the Torah.

Anyway, it's just conjecture, but it's reasonable conjecture, and is in response to the simple fact that the Torah is riddled with contradiction and seems clearly to be cobbled together from different sources.  And I say that as a faithful, observant Jew.

And Allah knows best, right?

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On 8/6/2017 at 4:48 PM, Joy-Elizabeth said:

To be clear, I do not speak or read Arabic. Unfortunately, I am at this point mono-lingual. I've read through an English translation Qur'an maybe three times over the years. I remember being surprised by reading a verse, I think it was in the fourth chapter/Sura, that mentioned the Torah and the Injeel being given as a guidance and a light. When people say that the Gospels were "corrupted" or changed, are they referring to copies of the Injeel before the writing of the Qur'an or after?

 

hmmm, I'm guessing it's referring to corruption before, because of course at the time the Quran was revealed the Torah and Injeel were considered corrupt books. I think even before the advent of Jesus Christ, there was corruption in the Bible. In the Bible, Quran and Science book I remember it mentioning how the sabbath and other religious rites could have been invented, though I don't remember much of it. But yeah, I think it refers to prior to the revelation of the quran.

2 hours ago, Ibn Maymun said:

Fascinating post.

I personally subscribe to the "maculate Torah" theory - namely the idea that a Revelation occurred at Mt. Sinai to Moses and the children of Israel, but that over time, that Revelation was corrupted.  To my mind, the most likely scenario for this is that whatever was from Moses was lost to us, either in the time of the wicked kings and queens or after the fall of the first Temple.  As the Israelites returned to the land under Persian rule and began rebuilding the Temple, a scribe (most likely Ezra) or group of scribes began to edit together the sources that they had on hand as an attempt to faithfully reconstruct the text.

I'm willing to take the leap that it's Ezra for a few reasons.  

A.) Ezra is the author attributed to Chronicles.  In Chronicles, there's a story of how the scroll of the Law was rediscovered in the Temple (seemingly out of nowhere with the entire Israelite population completely ignorant of its existence) and brought to King Josiah.  King Josiah has the whole people listen as the scroll of the Law is read to them, then they recommit to the covenant.  In spite of this, God still destroys Jerusalem and scatters Israel due to their years of ignorance of His covenant.

Ezra is in the position of providing unity and a spiritual vision to his people.  It's a little too convenient that he does exactly what Josiah did - namely listen to the book of the law, which has authority, not just because it's attributed to God, but because if the Israelites don't follow Ezra, God will destroy them, too.  

It's also just flat out odd that the Revelation given to Moses would simply be sitting in a scroll in the Temple with everyone unaware of its existence.  If people knew about Moses and the Exodus and the founding of their nation and their entire reason for having a Temple in the first place, then part of that story is that God spoke to Moses and gave the people a covenant.  Wouldn't someone ask,"Oh wait, where's that Covenant?"  Instead, this story seems to simply provide credibility to Ezra's redacted Torah or proto-Torah and course of action.

B.) There are definite hints of this in rabbinic tradition.

"Moses received the Torah at Sinai and conveyed it to Joshua, Joshua gave it to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly".

The Great Assembly was the group that began building what we know as Judaism today after the fall of the First Temple.  The Great Assembly is the group which codifies the Tanakh - giving the Torah its form, deciding which Prophetic writings were genuinely inspired, determining which historical writings gave necessary context to tell the full story of the Jewish people and their covenant with God.

Oh yeah, and they were convened by Ezra, who acts as a nexus figure.  By tradition, Ezra isn't just a scribe, he's also Malachi (literally "My Messenger" - just as easily a title or pseudonym) - the last of the Jewish prophets. He's literally the hand off point in the chain of Torah transmission, the one who delivers Torah to Judaism on behalf of Moses. 

Rabbinic tradition says that had Moses not existed, Ezra would've been worthy to receive the Torah.

Anyway, it's just conjecture, but it's reasonable conjecture, and is in response to the simple fact that the Torah is riddled with contradiction and seems clearly to be cobbled together from different sources.  And I say that as a faithful, observant Jew.

And Allah knows best, right?

Wow, thats well detailed, thanks for that. Do you know of any Bibliical verses where it's mentioned that the Bible was revealed to Moses as opposed to being inspired?

2 hours ago, Ibn Maymun said:

Rabbinic tradition says that had Moses not existed, Ezra would've been worthy to receive the Torah

huh, sounds like

Imam Ahmad (17405), at-Tirmidhi (3686) and al-Haakim (4495) narrated via Mishrah ibn Haa ‘aan, from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “If there were to be a Prophet after me, it would be ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab.”

And yeah, Allah knows best :)

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@Mansur Bakhtiari

The above person focused on the question of the Torah, whether it was corrupted before the Qur'an. You seem to make the case that the Injeel was changed. May I ask on what evidence have you researched that this is the case?

Joy-Elizabeth

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Mansur,

20 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

hmmm, I'm guessing it's referring to corruption before, because of course at the time the Quran was revealed the Torah and Injeel were considered corrupt books. I think even before the advent of Jesus Christ, there was corruption in the Bible. In the Bible, Quran and Science book I remember it mentioning how the sabbath and other religious rites could have been invented, though I don't remember much of it. But yeah, I think it refers to prior to the revelation of the quran.

Wow, thats well detailed, thanks for that. Do you know of any Bibliical verses where it's mentioned that the Bible was revealed to Moses as opposed to being inspired?

Sure.  I think the clearest example of this is Exodus 33:11 where the Torah claims that God spoke to Moses "face to face" (literally "faces to faces").  Exodus 31:18 makes the claim that the Ten Commandments were written "by the finger of God".

The Torah is riddled with the phrase "And the Lord said to Moses..." followed by a a commandment or a teaching.  Their relationship has a level of intimacy unmatched by all of our later prophets, part of that being a direct self-disclosure by God about Who He is and what He wants out of Israel.  That's pretty much what revelation is...

And if you want an example of contradiction cobbled together, start with Exodus 33:10 and read through to verse 20.

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Actually reflecting on it further, I'm not sure that your original question is an either/or.  The Torah (that we have today) is a mixture of revelation and inspiration.  

Something definitely happened at Sinai - God initiated a relationship with the children of Israel, disclosing some deeper sense of His reality to Moses than could simply be grasped with the senses and providing guidance to Israel.  The notion that nothing of that is preserved in the Torah we have today seems farfetched.

That said, the Torah is not as it was given to Moses.  Ezra and the Great Assembly redacted and arranged the sources that they already had on hand.  God brought clarity to their minds to preserve the essential meaning, if not the exact text delivered to Moses "by the finger of God". 

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On 8/11/2017 at 0:07 AM, Joy-Elizabeth said:

@Mansur Bakhtiari

The above person focused on the question of the Torah, whether it was corrupted before the Qur'an. You seem to make the case that the Injeel was changed. May I ask on what evidence have you researched that this is the case?

Joy-Elizabeth

I haven't researched this much, actually reading Maurice Bucaille's book has been the first look into the bible in comparison to Islam other that skimming some articles and debates by sketchy "dawah" guys on youtube, though Inshallah Ta'ala this won't be my last as I'm very interested in this.

In the book, it mentioned a lot of doubts over whether the writers of the Gospels were disciples of Jesus. It only mentions John as being an eyewitness, doesn't mention the status of Luke, but says Mark and Matthew are no longer considered disciples of Jesus by Christian scholars. I'm unsure if the Gospels have chains of narrations like Muslim ahadith, but I do know that there are a lot of pointers to the authenticity of shia hadith, especially in the fact that we had the twelve Imams to preserve the message of Islam. 

How do you verify the authenticity of the Gospels?

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  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By Qa'im in Imamology
         1

      Freedom!

      Western fixation on freedom has a long, crystallizing history. In 1215, the Magna Carta was signed in England, which ended the unilateral authority of the King. The King was imposing heavy taxes on the barons, who were wealthy aristocratic men, to fight a failed war. The barons rebelled against the King, and demanded that a committee of barons be established. The King would need to consult this committee before introducing new taxes. Certain legal rights were also introduced to the barons. This was the first big step towards freedom.

      Fast forward to the 1500s; a new continent was "discovered" (i.e. Europeans found out about it). A major motivation for men to risk the high seas and migrate to an entirely New World was to avoid taxation and government overreach. They were able to seize vast, fertile properties without much nuisance. Freedom.

      Around the same time, the Protestant Reformation was taking place, and most North-Western Europeans were using it as an opportunity to break away from church tithes and indulgences. Freedom.

      Fast forward to the 1700s. The American Colonies rebel against the British because of "taxation without representation." Freedom.

      Then in the 1800s. The Confederates rebel against the Union to prevent the North from intervening in their textile industry. The Union abolishes slavery. Freedom.

      Here, we see a crystallization of yeomanry in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, which peaks in the American South. They have a strong distrust in government, public programs, and taxation. There is a strong "what's mine is mine" culture, where clichés like "the only things you can't avoid is death and taxes" thrive. "Conservative" to them mostly means "smaller government, lower taxes". In short, they believe that the freer they are, the happier they will be. Debates in American politics, from abortion to gay marriage to taxes, are all based on conceptions of freedom. It is also the theme of so many Hollywood films.

      Feminism is rooted in the same freedom-seeking individualist liberalist mindset. Whatever gets in the way of women's liberation - even if it is God Himself - must be cast aside.

      Freedom in Islamic literature would be "huriyya", which is really just a legal technicality - you are either a slave, or you are "free". Otherwise, our books do not take much stock in the concept. We do have treatises on "huquq", which is often translated as "rights", but a more accurate translation is "responsibilities towards". For example, the haq of a woman is the responsibilities of an Islamic society towards that woman. It is an onus.

      Responsibility and duty often fly in direct contradiction to freedom. Yes, we have free will, but Islam legislates things that we *should* and *ought* to do, and there are consequences to not fulfilling those responsibilities.

      Does freedom lead to happiness? It is actually our responsibilities that often make us happy. There is no growth in a care-free life with no schedule, no family, no commitments, and no work. These things tie us down, but they also build us up, fulfill us, and make us better people. No pain, no gain. Likewise, despite the fact that women's rights have increased over the past few decades, women's happiness has decreased according to many studies. Individualism teaches us that self-sufficiency is the key to happiness, when in actuality, success is sometimes found in submission.

      Islam literally means Submission, because it is the recognition that we are all imperfect servants. We do not choose which family we are born into, nor our race, nor our health, nor our age, nor our genes, and often, not even our social conditions. None of us are truly free, and the most free of us is not necessarily the happiest. Rather, true, heartfelt contentment is in knowing God. We are born to look for Perfection; we seek it in our looks, our grades, our power, our status, our spouse, our children; but we all - sooner or later - realize that Perfection lies only in Him alone. Trust in Him gives you that true contentment, the ability to let go of the wheel, fear nothing but Him and accept all that He allots for you. Contentment.

      If you are a believer, then your worldview should reflect your belief. We cannot import a cultural ideology that convolutes our belief. In many respects, jahiliyya represented what many of us today consider to be "freedom". But the Prophet Muhammad (s) came with accountability, and that turned the entire world around.
       
    • By Qa'im in Imamology
         3

      If Islam is measured with liberal democratic criteria, it will not be fully consistent.

      Western colonial powers reached a point of hegemony in the 19th and 20th centuries. Through hard power (direct intervention) and soft power (media influence), they imposed their standard of morality onto the rest of the world. This moral framework is not Christianity, it is Western Individualism.

      Secularism, humanism, and feminism are all just logical conclusions of Individualism. They are branches from the same tree. But to what extent can we say that Individualism is the objective truth? Did the original philosophers of this ideology even intend for it to be the objective truth? Go through Hobbes or John Stuart Mill, they don't claim that Individualism is an objective universal truth, but rather that they are experiments of freedom that are most practical. So measuring Islam by this would be like measuring an object with a stretchy ruler - you'll never get a precise measurement.

      Just a few years ago, gay marriage was illegal in America, and now there is all this noise about homophobia and transphobia. Just a few years ago, marijuana was taboo, but it is now gradually being legalized. Some bite-the-bullet secularists are even questioning whether incest should be illegal, because certain forms of incest are not "directly harmful". Of course Islam will not be compatible with a measurement that is constantly fluid, changing, and in flux. Liberalism does not even attempt to falsify itself, rather it is focused on falsifying others. It salvages aspects of Greco-Roman civilization and Christianity that is consistent with individualism, and it discards everything else.

      The liberal thesis prioritizes the human being above everything else. The Islamic thesis prioritizes Allah.

      So what is the root of this tree of Individualism? Funny enough, it actually may be the Christian concept of Imago Dei - that man was created in the image of God. It is this idea that makes the individual the centre of the universe, whose will is sanctified above everything else. Hence, you have the concept of human rights, which itself is a contradiction, because rights are bestowed onto people by a higher power, not arrogated by the same people onto themselves. Humanism itself is a quasi worship of the human being, because everything including God Himself is cast aside in the name of human rights, liberty, democracy, and freedom.

      This is why I always say that secular humanism actually grew out of the carcass of Western Christianity. It uses Christian concepts of the soul and the divinity of personhood to build an entirely new moral framework that discards its root. It is a paradox.

      The identity of man in Islam is that he is a created servant. This is the same identity as all biotic and abiotic elements around us. We are a part of the ayah that is the great ayah of the creation. All is fleeting and all will perish but the face of Allah (28:88), which is simultaneously everywhere that we turn (2:115). He is recognized everywhere and behind everything, for He is the Apparent (al-Thahir) and the Hidden (al-Batin). The cosmological Creator, the everlasting Sustainer, and the ontological Perfection that we are all after. The individual is powerless on his own, and is only empowered by the Powerful.

      أعوذ بالله من كلمة أنا
      I seek refuge in Allah from the word "me".
    • By shadow_of_light in From Earth to Heaven
         0
      هر کجای این جهان آشوب و جنگ
      آه مظلومان زند بر قلب چنگ
      آن که بنیان ستم باشد از او
      مرگ بر او, ننگ بر او, نفرین بر او
      ....
      ....
      *"شیعه یعنی لا فتی الا علی"
      پیروی از حق و بیعت با ولی
      از نوای نخل و شیونهای چاه
      سرخ رنگ میگردد فلک هر بامگاه
      ترک کن این قوم بی فرهنگ را
      این سرای ننگ پر نیرنگ را
      یاد کن محراب خونین رنگ را
      بوسه ی سرخ سروش مرگ را
      پیکر بی سر, گلوی پاره را
      شام تلخ مردم آواره را
      اشک لیلا, ناله ی شبگیر را
      دست و پای در غل و زنجیر را
      ....
      ....
      شیعه یعنی انتظار و صبر و درد
      خالقان عشق, مردان نبرد
      کربلا, عاشوریان بی قرار
      شیعه یعنی شور رفتن سوی یار
      ای تو هارون رهنمای راه راست
      سامری آمد بگو موسی کجاست
      سامری بدعت به دین انداختست
      گر نباشی کار مردم ساختست
      تا به ظهر آمدن در التهاب
      در تب و تاب ظهور آفتاب
      چون به فردا آید آن شاه وزین
      جهل را راند از روی زمین

      میکشد آن که ضعیفان را بکشت
      ابلیس را, آنکه بر حق کرد پشت

      آنکه بشکست حرمت ناموس را
      واپسین فرزند دقیانوس را

      پرده برمیدارد از رازی گران
      فاش میگردد حقیقت بر جهان
      شهسوارا! مردمان مستت شوند
      همچو مومی نرم در دستت شوند
      ...
      ای خیال شوم ابلیس لعین
      نایب الشیطان بر روی زمین
      ای به رنگ خون, انگشتان تو
      استخوان مردمان بر خوان تو
      کرده پر از خون, هوس, جام تو را
      شوم میبینم فرجام تو را
      از چه لذت میبری؟ از سرکشی؟
      از خیانت, ظلم, نامردی, حق کشی؟
      بر ضعیفان و یتیمان تاختن؟
      پرچم حق را به زیر انداختن؟
      رایت ظلم و ستم افراشتن؟
      کیسه ها از مال خلق انباشتن؟
      کاخ خود را روی کوخی ساختن؟
      یا که از روی هوس, دل باختن؟
      ...
      ای خداوند جهان بیکران
      ای فراتر از مکان و از زمان

      ای خداوند رحیم و رحمدوست
      ای که افسار جهان در دست اوست

      بارالها طاقت دنیا کم است
      روزگارش مملو از درد و غم است

      پرده افکن از رخ خورشید شرق
      تا بیاندازد به دلها نور و برق
      زود گردان ای خدا دیدار را
      برشکن فرهنگ استکبار را
       
      * مصرع عاریتی
       
    • By Sisterfatima1 in Fatima
         0
      I’m sorry today that your father wouldn’t let you talk to your sister 
      it broke my heart and I cried for you 
      I know you didn’t deserve it today and you are not strong enough to speak out 
      i will always be your voice and I will not stop fighting for your rights 
    • By shadow_of_light in From Earth to Heaven
         0
      St.12.   Part3
      عصایی و سنگی و فلاخنی و بتی شکسته و سبدی خالی که روان است بر روی آب
      خودش نیست تا بتوان او را دید
      ولی ردپایش که هست تا بتوان به دنبالش رفت.
      ....
      I had forgotten God, but He never did. During the time when I was in that mansion, God sent hoopoe there everyday to remind me of my rendezvouz. Hoopoe came, sat at the window and waited for me to pay attention to it. But I was so busy that I didnt see it. It pecked the window, but the song of the statue prevented me from hearing it.
      Whenever hoope returned hopelessly, God scolded it for not trying more.
      Hoopoe itself, to whom God taught my language as a reward, later narrated it to me.
       
      Finally,...
       
    • By Islamic Salvation in A Marginalia to Mu'jam
         1
      يقول لك جعفر بن محمد: ما حملك على أن رددت شهادة رجل أعرف بأحكام الله منك و أعلم بسيرة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم منك 
      Ja’far b. Muhammad says to you - what made you reject the witness of a man [i.e. Muhammad b. Muslim] who is more aware of the Ahkam of Allah than you and more knowledgeable about the Sirah of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم than you!? [Imam al-Sadiq challenging Ibn Abi Layla who was the Qadhi of Kufa]
      فما يمنعك من محمد بن مسلم الثقفي فإنه قد سمع من أبي و كان عنده وجيها
      What prevents you from [going to] Muhammad b. Muslim al-Thaqafi - for he had heard [narrations] from my father and had a most favorable position with him [Imam al-Sadiq answering Abdallah b. Abi Ya’fur who had asked for a reference point to ask questions to when he cannot meet the Imam directly]
      فقال: الثقفي الطويل اللحية ؟ فقلنا: نعم قال: أما إنه لقد كان مأمونا على الحديث و لكن كانوا يقولون إنه خشبي
      He said: al-Thaqafi - the one with the long beard? We said: Yes. He said: as for him - then - he was trusted in the matter of Hadith, but they used to say that he is a Khashshabi (derogatory term for Shi’as) [Sharik voices his opinion of Muhammad b. Muslim inadvertently revealing the size of his beard]
       
      The Greatest Companion of the Two Imams
      If someone were to ask the question: Who was the greatest companion of the two Imams al-Baqir and al-Sadiq? What would be the answer?
       
      The Big Four
      The starting point has to be four individuals.
      حمدويه، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، عن سليمان بن خالد الأقطع قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: ما أحد أحيا ذكرنا و أحاديث أبي عليه السلام إلا زرارة و أبو بصير ليث المرادي و محمد بن مسلم و بريد بن معاوية العجلي و لو لا هؤلاء ما كان أحد يستنبط هذا، هؤلاء حفاظ الدين و أمناء أبي عليه السلام على حلال الله و حرامه، و هم السابقون إلينا في الدنيا و السابقون إلينا في الآخرة
      Sulayman b. Khalid al-Aqta said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: There is no one who has enlivened our remembrance and the narrations of my father عليه السلام except for Zurara, Abu Basir Layth al-Muradi, Muhammad b. Muslim and Burayd b. Muawiya al-Ijli.  If it wasn’t for them then there wouldn’t be anyone who could derive these [i.e. the Ahkam]. They are the protectors of the religion and the trustees of my father عليه السلام upon the Halal of Allah and His Haram. They are the foremost to us in this world, and the foremost to us in the hereafter.
      حمدويه بن نصير، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن جميل بن دراج قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: بشر المخبتين بالجنة بريد بن معاوية العجلي و أبو بصير ليث بن البختري المرادي و محمد بن مسلم و زرارة، أربعة نجباء أمناء الله على حلاله و حرامه، لو لا هؤلاء انقطعت آثار النبوة و اندرست
      Jamil b. Darraj said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام say: Give glad tidings of paradise to the humble - Burayd b. Muawiya al-Ijli, Abu Basir Layth b. al-Bukhtari al-Muradi, Muhammad b. Muslim and Zurara. Four noble-ones and trustees of Allah upon his Halal and Haram. If it wasn’t for them the traces of prophethood would have perished and been destroyed.
      حمدويه، عن محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد و يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن أبي العباس البقباق عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام أنه قال: أربعة أحب الناس إلي أحياء و أمواتا، بريد بن معاوية العجلي و زرارة بن أعين و محمد بن مسلم و أبو جعفر الأحول، أحب الناس إلي أحياء و أمواتا
      Imam al-Sadiq عليه السلام said: The most beloved persons to me - whether alive or dead - are four: Burayd b. Muawiya al-Ijli, Zurara b. A’yan, Muhammad b. Muslim and Abu Ja’far al-Ahwal. They are the most beloved persons to me - alive or dead.
       
      Knowledge Elevates
      If one wishes to narrow it down further then it has to be between Zurara and Muhammad b. Muslim. This is because of their prodigious scholarly output.
      With close to two thousand reports quoted on his authority in the four main collections of Shi‘ite Hadıth and many more in others, Muhammad b. Muslim was one of the most prolific transmitters of Shi‘ite Hadıth. This is why he was unanimously considered as one of the Ashab al-Ijma [‘People about whom there is consensus’].
      قال أبو أحمد: فسمعت عبد الرحمن بن الحجاج و حماد بن عثمان يقولان: ما كان أحد من الشيعة أفقه من محمد بن مسلم
      Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj and Hammad b. Uthman said: there was no one from the Shia more knowledgeable (in the Diin) than Muhammad b. Muslim.
      His knowledge was not of the theoretical type, which in any case is not true knowledge, but of the type which is translated into action.
      وقيل: إنه كان من العباد في زمانه
      It is said that he was one of the greatest worshippers of his time.  
       
      Biographical Details
      His full name was Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Muslim b. Rabah (d. 150 AH, when he was about seventy years old). From Kufa. A Miller. The Client of Thaqif [a tribe based in Ta’if]. He was One-eyed.
      al-Najashi says about him:
      وجه أصحابنا بالكوفة، فقيه، ورع، صحب أبا جعفر وأبا عبد الله عليهما السلام، وروى عنهما، وكان من أوثق الناس
      The eminent head of our companions in Kufa. Jurisprudent. Pious. He attached himself to Aba Ja’far and Aba Abdillah  عليهما السلامand narrated from them. He was the most trustworthy of people.
       
      Long Period of Study
      Muhammad b. Muslim says about his tutelage under the Imams:
      حدثني حمدويه بن نصير، قال: حدثنا محمد بن عيسى، عن ياسين الضرير البصري، عن حريز، عن محمد بن مسلم قال: ما شجر في رأيي شئ قط إلا سألت عنه أبا جعفر عليه السلام، حتى سألته عن ثلاثين ألف حديث، وسألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن ستة عشر ألف حديث
      Nothing crossed my mind except that I asked Aba Ja’far عليه السلام  about it, until I had asked him about thirty thousand narrations. I also asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about sixteen thousand narrations.
      قال محمد بن مسعود، حدثني علي بن محمد، قال حدثني محمد بن أحمد، عن عبد الله بن أحمد الرازي، عن بكر بن صالح، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، قال: أقام محمد بن مسلم بالمدينة أربع سنين يدخل على أبي جعفر عليه السلام يسأله، ثم كان يدخل على جعفر بن محمد يسأله 
      Hisham bin Salim said: Muhammad b. Muslim stayed in Madina for four years entering upon Abi Ja’far عليه السلام  and asking him questions, then he used to enter upon Ja'far b. Muhammad عليه السلام  to ask him.
       
      Why Choose to be a Miller?
      Muhammad b. Muslim chose the lowly profession of a miller not because of any material need, but because of the Imam’s command to ‘humble himself’. The Imam advised him to do this because he knew that his great knowledge combined with affluence could make him arrogant.
      قال أبو النضر: سألت عبد الله بن محمد بن خالد عن محمد بن مسلم فقال: كان رجلا شريفا موسرا، فقال له أبو جعفر عليه السلام: تواضع يا محمد، فلما انصرف إلى الكوفة أخذ قوصرة من تمر مع الميزان، وجلس على باب المسجد الجامع، وصار (جعل) ينادي عليه، فأتاه قومه فقالوا له: فضحتنا، فقال: إن مولاي أمرني بأمر فلن أخالفه ولن أبرح حتى أفرغ من بيع ما في هذه القوصرة، فقال له قومه: إذا أبيت إلا أن تشتغل ببيع وشراء فاقعد في الطحانين، فهيأ رحا وجملا وجعل يطحن
      Abu al-Nadhr said: I asked Abdallah b. Muhammad b. Khalid [al-Tayalisi] about Muhammad b. Muslim - he said: He was a noble and wealthy man so Abu Ja’far عليه السلام  said to him: ‘humble yourself O Muhammad’, so when he returned to Kufa he took a date-basket and a weighing scale and sat down at the door of the central mosque and began calling out [for people to come buy]. His tribesmen came to him and said to him: You have disgraced us! He said: My master has ordered me [to do something] so I will not disobey him nor will I depart until I finish selling what is in this basket. His tribesmen said to him: If you refuse giving up buying and selling then at least sit together with the millers [a more respectable profession], so he prepared a mill-stone and a camel and began grinding.
    • By shadow_of_light in From Earth to Heaven
         0
      St. 12/ part 1
      پناه میبرم به پروردگاری که شکافنده آسمانهاست
      پناه میبرم به او از شر وسوسه گرانی که در تاریکیها به گمراه کردن خلایق میپردازند
      از شر تاریکیهای نفسانی ام که نور ایمانم را خاموش میکند
       و از شر حسودانی که ایمان داشتن مرا برنمیتابند

      I seek refuge in the Lord who is the creator of the daylight.
      I seek refuge in Him from the evil of the tempters who deceive the creatures in the dark of the night.
      From the evil which is inside myself, which tries to turn out the light of my faith.
      And from Satan and his followers and anyone else who is jealous of believers' devotedness.
       
      No one annoyed me as much as Satan did. He never ignored me and always laid his traps along my path.

      Sometimes, he used the same trick in different situations and sometimes, he tried a new trick.
      He was very diligent and never got disappointed.
      One day, I was sitting under the shade of a ziziphus tree and watching a hoopoe that was walking on the ground.
      Gabriel appeared and told me that You were going to allow me to return to You.
      He told me that I had to wait for 40 days and then, on the 40th day, before sunset, I had to return there, under the ziziphus tree. If I avoided committing any sin during those days, I could return to You.
      Just forty days...and then, I would be with You for ever!
      Gabriel went and Satan came.
      He said:..
       
      Footnotes:
      *hoopoe: هدهد
      *ziziphus: سدر
       
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