Yusuf asks himself ...
The Injeel ...
Yusuf: “Should I read it?”
“Should I read it or should I not?” A question asked not only by Yusuf but by many Muslims of different cultures, languages, confessions and age groups. So, if you are asking yourself the same question, these ideas will help you find the answer. “I often find myself,” says Yusuf, “caught up between two contradictory opinions about the Injeel: The first is the testimony of the Qur‘an about the Injeel. The Qur‘an teaches Muslims that the Injeel is a revealed book, a guide to mankind, a light, and a confirmation of the Torah. The second is the opinion of many Ulama who discourage us from reading it and at the same time encourage us to criticize it. They say it has been corrupted, changed, and contains immoral stories and that the Qur‘an has abrogated its message.”Before embarking on a journey to prove what is right and what is wrong, you should read through the following five points carefully …
Yusuf: “What is the Injeel?”
The original Greek word for Injeel is ‘Evangelion’, meaning good news. ‘Evangelion’ was used to announce a victory or other important events that took place in the Greek culture.
Likewise, Jesus’ birth as a saviour (Yashu = Saviour, Salvation) was announced by the angel as the Good News of God, Jesus was both – God’s Good News to mankind, and the messenger who announced the Good News of God. Consequently, Good News is used as a technical term to refer to the collection of the twenty-seven books that constitute the Injeel. The original expression used for the Injeel is, the ‘New Testament’. The word ‘Testament’ is to be understood as ‘Covenant’. New Testament or New Covenant is the fulfilment of God’s Torah given to Moses, which was at the centre of the Old Covenant or Old Testament.
Yusuf: “Was the Injeel corrupted?”
“Although the Qur’an says that the Injeel is a revealed book, a guidance to mankind, a light, and a confirmation of the Torah, I (Yusuf) find it impossible to explain why there are many great differences between the teaching of the Injeel in the Qur’an, as we know it, and the teaching of the Injeel or the Gospel which the Christians have. To explain these differences, our Ulama and Madrasa teachers taught us that the original Injeel was destroyed by Christians and replaced by the Injeel they made. Somehow I cannot reconcile their teaching with the teaching of the Qur’an that says, ‘No change can there be in the Words of Allah’ and ‘There is none that can alter the Words of Allah’. Should the Injeel be corrupted,” continues Yusuf, “how come that none of those who advocate its corruption manage to give a single evidence with regard to when, how, by whom and for what reason the Injeel was corrupted? Was it before or after the Qur’an? If before, why then did Allah say to Muhhammad when he was in doubt, ‘If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee.’ How could he have been asked to seek advice concerning the Qur’an from people who have changed and corrupted their book? If the corruption took place after the Qur’an, how can we explain the thousands of manuscripts of the Injeel that are much older than theQur’an itself?”
Yusuf: “Was the Injeel revealed?”
This time Yusuf asks his Christian friend Dauda “Muslims believe that the Injeel was given, revealed, and taught to Isa. What do
you Christians believe in?”
Dauda: “Contrary to the Muslims’ beliefs, the Injeel is not a book that was given, revealed or taught to Jesus. Jesus did not dictate His message, nor did He command any of His followers to write down or memorize His words. The disciples who followed Him the day He called them did not sit together and try to formulate or reconstruct what they had heard and witnessed in order to produce an Injeel. Before His death and resurrection, Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit who would dwell in them and fill them, teach them all things and remind them of everything Jesus had done and said to them. Jesus’ promise was fulfilled the day the Holy Spirit dwelled in them. Thus, the Injeel of Jesus is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God who not only taught and reminded the disciples, but also revealed God’s mind to them, causing them to write down the Injeel.”
Yusuf: “Is what christians say true?”
“I am a simple person,” says Yusuf, “I am not a scholar in religious matters to get to the bottom of this difficult issue. All that I am interested in is the truth. What harm does it do to me if I read the Injeel/ Gospel? How can I see for myself whether or not the Injeel is the Word of God unless I read it? If what Christians say about the Injeel is wrong, then I lose nothing by being a Muslim. If what Christians say about the Injeel is true, what can I gain by being a Muslim? The issue of truth is not a matter of different opinions but a question of eternal life. I cannot leave it to others to decide for me. Surely the Almighty God, who wants what is good for mankind, does not reveal Himself in two different ways to confuse His people. Why should I not read the Injeel and compare its teaching with the teaching of the Qur’an on matters such as eternal life, forgiveness of sin, Jesus Christ, etc.”
Yusuf: “How can I read the Injeel?”
“How do I read the Injeel?” asks Yusuf, “I have never read it before.”
Dauda: Dear Yusuf, the following are the necessary steps that will help you read and understand the Injeel:
- Get a translation of the Injeel in the language you understand best.
- Choose the time and place where you can read without disturbance.
- Ask the Holy Spirit, who revealed the Injeel to the Disciples, to reveal its meaning to you. Ask Him to open your eyes, mind and heart.
- The Injeel is divided into twenty-seven books (book = Sure). Each book is divided into chapters and each chapter into verses (verse = Aya). For example Jn. 6:35 refers to the book of John, chapter 6 and verse 35.
- Read at least one chapter at a time in order to have a better understanding of the context.
- When you read something that draws your attention, allow yourself some time for meditation.
- If you have any question concerning the Injeel in general or any specific truth in it, please feel free to mail your question to the address given here.