Does the narration forbidding Umar (raa) copying the book of Ahle-Kitaab contradict the narration of narrating from Ahle-KitaabQ 2: A man once came to …Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), so he asked him, ’Are you so-and-so, the son of so-and-so?“ The man said, ’Yes.“ So …Umar beat him with a stick. The man asked, ’What have I done, O Amir Al-Mu‘minun (Commander of the Believers)?“
So …Umar recited (what means): ’In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Alif-Lām-Rā. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur‘ān, and none but Allāh (Alone) knows their meanings]. These are the Verses of the Clear Book (the Qur‘ān that makes clear the legal and illegal things, laws, a guidance and a blessing). Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur‘ān in order that you may understand. We relate unto you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) up to: among those who knew nothing about it (the Qur‘ān)." [Soorah Yusuf 12:1-3]
…Umar recited these Ayahs (Qur‘anic verses) three times and beat
the man three times.
The man asked, ’What have I done?“ …Umar said,
’You copied the books of Daniel.“ The man said, ’Tell me what to do and I
shall do it.“
Umar said, ’Go and erase it, and do not read it nor let
anyone read it. If I hear that you have read it or anyone else has read
it, I will punish you severely again.“
He added, ’I once copied a book
belonging to the People of the Book and went to the Messenger of Allah
(peace be upon him) saying, …I copied this book to increase our
The Prophet (peace be upon him) became angry and called for
congregational Salah (prayer), and gave a Khutbah (sermon) saying, …O
people! I have been given Jawami… Al-Kalim (the most concise expressions
carrying the widest meanings) and they were gathered and made concise
for me. I have brought them to you pure white (without any distortion),
so do not be confused (about them) or tempted by those who are
He (peace be upon him) said to
…Do not ask them (the People of the Book) about something about
which they would tell you the truth but you would belie them, or they
would tell you lies and you believe them. By Him in Whose Hand my soul
is, if Musa (Moses) were alive, he could not but follow me.‘“
Another Hadith reported by Ibn Mas…ud has the same meaning, in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) added: ’If it is inevitable for you to ask them (the People of the Book), then examine (what they tell you) and take what agrees with the Book of Allah and disregard what contradicts it.“
Is there a contradiction between these two Hadith and the Hadith: ’Narrate from the Children of Israel, as there is no sin in this“?
These Hadith are quoted in volume three of: ’Hayat Al-Sahabah: Fadl Al-…Ilm“ (Lives of the Companions: The Excellence of Knowledge)
It may appear that what is related in this regard is contradictory. However,
explained this in the introduction of his Tafsir (exegesis
of the meanings of the Qur‘an) and gave a clarification to it, saying,
Israelite narrations (reported from the Jews) were just
mentioned as quotes, not to be taken as evidence.
They are divided into
Narrations we become certain of their authenticity through the
evidence that we have in our hands that testifies to their truthfulness.
Such narrations are authentic.
Narrations we become certain of their falsity through the evidence that we have, which contradicts them.
Narrations which do not fall under either of the two previous
categories, which we should neither believe in them nor belie them, but
it is permissible to relate them for the above-mentioned reasons. In
fact, there is no benefit to the Din (religion) in most of these
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!
Fatwas of Permanent Committee>Group 1>Volume 4: Tafsir>Tafsir>Sunnah>Hadith whose meanings were asked about>Useless knowledge, harmless ignorance, and the story of copying the book of Daniel