Friday, August 24, 2007

Today's Sesame Street is brought to you by the number 2, the letter B, and the word "Tahrif"

From Wikipedia with the usual caveats:
Tahrif (Arabic: تحريف "corruption, forgery"; the stem-II verbal noun of the consonantal root ḥrf, "to make oblique") is an Arabic term used by Muslims with regard to words, and more specifically with regard to what Islamic tradition supposes Jews and Christians to have done to their respective Scriptures. Most Muslims believe that Jews and Christians have deliberately changed the text of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible, through altering words from their proper meaning, changing words in form, or substituting words or letters for others. This is considered by Islam to be a deliberate change which distorted the word of God, and which thus necessitated the giving of the Quran to Mohammed, to correct this perceived distortion . . .

The doctrine is accepted by most Muslims, excepting groups such as the Mu'tazili and Ismaili sects (who account for a fairly small percentage of the total Muslim population), as well as a few Islamic scholars and members of various liberal movements within Islam . . .

Muslim tradition reads the Quran as accusing the Jews of having deliberately altered the Torah and the rest of Hebrew Bible, and Christians of deliberately altering the New Testament.[citation needed] The Qur'an does not specify exactly which parts are meant, however they are usually considered to be the places where the Qur'an and the Bible differ.

Relevant verses on which the doctrine of tahrif is based are (Yusuf Ali translation):

* 3:78. There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, "That is from Allah," but it is not from Allah. It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!
* 4:46. Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not Heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: "We hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but God hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.[...]
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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