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

Ruling on possessing and reading the Torah and Injil (Gospel)

Q: Am I permitted to read the Injil (Gospel) if I have access to it? If it is permitted, where can I find it?

A: With regard to the Tawrah (Torah) and Injil they should not be read or acquired except by a seeker of knowledge who wants to refute the false claims and lies they contain.

The Tawrah and Injil are no longer authentic; many parts have been changed and distorted by stray people from among the Jews and the Christians.

These two books are not permitted to be acquired by us, because a person may be confused by reading them which will, in turn, affect their religion. As for a learner who needs to acquire knowledge of them to clear a misconception, or refute falsehood, or prove a truth, or answer the Jews and the Christians, there is no offense in doing so, if the person is from the people of sound Islamic knowledge. They may take from them what is necessary when they need to refute something false or wrong, as many of the scholars have done before (may Allah have mercy on them).

As for laypeople, there is no need for them to do so or to acquire or have access to them anywhere.

The Glorious Qur'an dispenses with any need for all previous books - all praise be to Allah. Therefore, we have no reason to read them; rather, we should devote our attention to the Qur'an and ponder the meanings of its Words, for that is sufficient.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) disapproved when he saw `Umar holding some parts - of the Tawrah - and he (peace be upon him) said: Are you in doubt of it, O Ibn Al-Khattab? By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I have brought to you that which is white and pure, and by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) were alive, he could do nothing but follow me.

The point that is made here is that the Tawrah and Injil are of no need for us, nor do we need to acquire them or refer to them, especially so for laypeople.

As for Muslim scholars, they may need to read them sometimes in order to refute allegations made by the Christians, the Jews, or others, or to answer claims of people who use them as evidence or say 'the Tawrah or Injil says such and such.'

The aim of a seeker of knowledge is to clarify the matter and stop their false claims, similar to when the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked for the Tawrah when the Jews appealed to him (peace be upon him) as a judge in the case of stoning. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked for the Tawrah to be brought, and they brought it and he found the Ayah (verse) of stoning in it to use as proof against them.

To sum up, it is not permissible for the common Muslims to buy it, acquire it or study it. This is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Shari`ah and Muslims of sound intellect) as far as they are concerned. Sufficient is the Book of Allah which contains information about the nations that preceded us and the laws to apply. It is the greatest and best book - all praise be to Allah. As for seekers of knowledge, they may need to refer to some of this material; however they have their reasons for that.

Fatwas of Nur `Ala Al-Darb>Volume 1>Chapter on `Aqidah>Chapter on calling people to testify that "La ilaha illa Allah">Ruling on possessing and reading the Tawrah and Injil