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Permissibility on the use of Israeliyyat traditions(Judeo-Christian Traditions)


1. Abu Hurairah r.a. says that the Jews used to read the Torah in Hebrew and interpret it in Arabic for Muslims, whereupon the Prophet s.a.w. instructed: “Don’t endorse the statements of the people of scripture nor reject them”
(Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Al-Tafsir, Hadith No. 4485)



2. Abdullah Bin Amr B Al-As says that the Prophet s.a.w. said: “Convey to others what I say even though one message. And report from the Bani israel, there is no problem in it. But beware that one who attributes something wrongly to me will certainly get his abode in the hell-fire.”
(Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Al-Anbiya, Hadith No. 3461)



3. Jabir Bin Abdullah reports that once Umar Bin al-Khattab read a book, which he had received from a Jew, to the Prophet who got angry and said: “O the son of al-Khattab, ar you embarrased? By the One in whose hands is my life, I have brought to you something which is pure and immaculate. Don’t ask them(the Jews) anything. There is a possibility that they tell you the truth and you refute it, or they tell you the false and you confirm it. By the One in whose hands is my life, even if Musa were alive today he would have followed me.”
(Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Hadith no. 4736)




EXPLAINATION :




Amir Al-Mu’mineen Fil Hadith, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani r.a. explains the issue in light of what 

Imam Al-Shafi’e r.a. said:
“It is a known fact that the Prophet s.a.w. does not allow false reporting. In this light the Prophet’s hadith about Israelites sources means that the information which do not appear false could be narrated.”

(Al-Dhahabi, Muhammad Hussain, Al-Tafsir wal Mufassirun, vol. 1, pg. 17)

The third hadith according to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani is confined to the time prior to the perfection and completion of Islamic rulings and fundamental maxims or principles of divine revelation in reference to the scheme of life. After that period of time was over when the sahabah were already truly grounded in Islam the application of the prophet’s instruction found in the third hadith became null and void. Apart from that the Prophet’s ban does not include Judaic information which conform to what is found in Islam on the accounts of previous people.
(Al-Dhahabi, Muhammad Hussain, Al-Tafsir wal Mufassirun, vol. 1, pg. 172)


Sources for Israeliyyat traditions in Tafsir


Israeliyyat traditions applied in Tafsir are mainly quoted from four persons:

1. Abdullah Bin Salam r.a.
2. Ka’b Al-Ahbar r.a.
3. Wahb Bin Munabbih r.a.
4. Ibn Juraij r.a.


1. Abdullah Bin Salam r.a. was a Jewish scholar who held an esteemed position among his Jewish people prior to his conersion to Islam under the Prophet s.a.w. himself, almost immediately after he came to Madinah.
Mu’adh B. Jabal reported to have said, “Behold, the knowledge and the fith are with four people, Abu Al-Darda, Salman Al-Farsi, Abdullah Bin Mas’ud and Abdullah Bin Salam.”
(Al-Dhahabi, Muhammad Hussain, Al-Tafsir wal Mufassirun, vol. 1, pg. 186)

Further more, several Quranic verses e.g. Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:10 nd Al-Ra’d 13:430 are reported to have been revealed in his honour.
(Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib Al-Ansar, hadith No. 3812 and Al-Tabari Jami’ Al-Bayan, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, vol. 7, pg. 409)

2. Ka’b Al-Ahbar is Ka’b Bin Mati’ al-Himyari r.a.. He embraced Islam either in Abu Bakr’s r.a. or Umar’s r.a. caliphate. Prior to that he was a Jew from Yemen. He has reported from several major sahabah such as Suhaib Al-Rumi r.a. , Umar r.a., and Aishah r.a. Such sahabah as Mu’awiyya r.a., Abu Hurairah r.a. and Abdullan ibn Abbas have all reported from him. Imam Muslim, Imam Abi Daud, Imam Al-Tirmidhi and Imam Al-Nasai accept his reports as authentic.

3. Wahb Bin Munabbid r.a. was a Persian. His father, Munabbih accepted Islam during the Prophet’s s.a.w. life but did not get the chance to meet the Rasullullah s.a.w. Wahb Bin Munbbih is considered belonging to the most famous tabi’een scholars. Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Al-Nasai, Imam Al-Tiridhi and Imam Abi Daud have ll used him as a reliable source.

4. Ibn Juraij r.a. is Abdul Malik Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Juraij r.a. He comes from a Christian family and was a freed slave of the Umayyah tribe of the Quraisy. He was considered an authority on Judeo-Christian traditions in the period of the tabi’een.
(Al-Dhahabi, Muhammad Hussain, Al-Tafsir wal Mufassirun, pg. 198 )

Imam Al-Tabari reports most of the traditions related to Quranic verses that deal with Christians on the authority of Ibn Juraij 
ra.