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You Are Here: Knowledge Base Aqeedah (Pillars of Faith) Kufr (Disbelief) and its types

Studying the books of the ahlul-Kitaab, and teaching them to seekers of knowledge for comparing it to Islam.

All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Seal of all prophets. To proceed:

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has reviewed the question submitted to His Eminence the Grand Mufty (Islamic scholar qualified to issue legal opinions), from his Excellency the Director General of the Worldwide Association for introducing Islam Mr. Muhammad Hussayn Dhul-Qarnayn which was referred to the Committee from the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars with the No. 492, dated 22/1/1420 A.H. The question is as follows:

The present Holy Books, which include what is called the Holy Bible and others contain falsehood, aberrance, and lies such as crucifixion and divinity of Jesus, and the Trinity. However, they give glad tidings of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Collecting and publishing such information leads to great benefits, such as:

- Calling the Christians to Islam through showing them the inconsistency and the weakness of their beliefs and presenting the merits of Islam on the other hand.

- Resisting the Christian missionary activity. Showing the feebleness and the voidance of Christianity through evidence taken from their books is the strongest and most effective way to repel the attempts of Christianizing the weak and the poor Muslims or the atheists and the pagans.

Undoubtedly, collecting and documenting such information needs analytical, close, and deliberate study of the books which are circulated among the Christians, so that the Du`ah (callers to Islam) can establish documented and strong proofs.

However, the Worldwide Association for introducing Islam have referred to some Du`ah who said that it is not Mashru` (Islamically permissible) to study the Injil (Gospel) or quote from it during discussionswith the Christians.

Likewise, it is not Mashru` to study comparative religion, because this is all Bidah (innovation in religion) and the Du'aat should call the People of the Book only through the Qur'an and the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet).

The Association replied that the Noble Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah contradict the Christian beliefs.

The Qur'an calls the People of the Book to Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah/ monotheism), which is a common matter between them and Muslims, but it argues with them over their other beliefs and asks them to provide evidence.

Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: Say (O Muhammad SAW): "O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims."

And: And they say, "None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian." These are their own desires. Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), "Produce your proof if you are truthful."

And: All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful for himself before the Taurat (Torah) was revealed. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Bring here the Taurat (Torah) and recite it, if you are truthful."

It was reported on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Jews came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and mentioned to him that a man and woman from among them had committed Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked them: "What do you find in the Tawrah (Torah) about stoning? (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The question which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) directed to them was to force them to admit the evidence which they know from their book and which is in conformity to the Shari`ah (Islamic law) and to demonstrate the truth mentioned in the Book of Allah (i.e. Tawrah), which they concealed, distorted, and altered. Thus, they did not want to apply the Tawrah laws but Allah (Exalted be He) exposed them.

(Manhaj Al-Rasul fi Dawat Ahlul-Kitab, by Muhammad ibn Sidy ibn Al-Habib Al-Shinqity, first edition, vol. 1, Amin Muhammad Ahmad Salim Library, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah).

Besides, many Imams and scholars such as: Imam Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, Imam Muhammad Al-Ghazaly, and Imam ibn Hazm (may Allah be merciful to them) discussed these different creeds and religions and compared them to Islam. Many books were also written in this regard to disclose the aberrance and falsehood of these religions such as Izhhar Al-Haqq by Shaykh Rahmat Allah Kairanawy Al-Hindy. These books proved its importance and benefits, Your Eminence.

The question is: Is it permissible to study the books of the Christians for the mentioned reasons and for quoting them when necessary? Is it permissible to teach comparative religion at the Da`wah institutions and for the knowledge seekers in the countries of Islamic minorities? Please advise us.


After the Committee had reviewed the question, it replied that it is not permissible for anyone to read the books of the People of the Book that contradict Islam except for the scholars to refute the falsehood of these books.

On the other hand, it is not permissible for those who are not qualified to read such books, so that they don't influence them.

It is also not permissible to teach these books to seekers of knowledge out of comparing it to Islam.

Seekers of Knowledge should only study Islamic books as they include refutation of their falsehood and nullification of their claims.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

Member Member Member Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd Salih Al-Fawzan `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah Al Al-Shaykh

Fatwas of Permanent Committee > Group 2 > Volume 11: Jihad - Miscellaneous Fatwas > Knowledge > Reading the books of the People of the Book / Fatwa no. 20784