Letter 2: Is sincerity all that matters?

Ibn-Khazem (died AD 1064) ruled the South of Spain for some time as the vizier (vice regent) of the caliph. When reading the Qur’an he came across a verse that referred to Jesus speaking of Good News of an Apostle who was to come after him and whose name should be Ahmad (Surah 61:6). The meaning of this Arabic word is similar to the meaning of the name ‘Muhammad’. He must also have read about “the unlettered prophet (i.e. Muhammad) whom they find mentioned in their own (Scriptures); in the law and the Gospel” (Surah 7:157). So he began to search the Bible for these clues about Muhammad. Probably to his surprise he did not find them. What he did find, however, was a number of contradictions between the two Books, both of which were assumed to have come from the same divine source. We can see the problem ibn-Khazem was facing. Both the Bible and the Qur’an are stated to be Word of God – and they contradict each other.


Ibn-Khazem’s decision was not to question the integrity of the Qur’an. He rather assumed that since the Gospel should agree with the Qur’an, and because Muhammad had spoken so highly of it, the existing Gospel text must have been falsified by the Jews and Christians. This assumption may display his zeal for the Qur’an, but it is not based on historical facts.


Since then Muslims have questioned the integrity of the Bible. Their argument is not only contradicted by the Qur’an, but also by the ever increasing strong archaeological and historical arguments, which support the genuineness of the Bible. Besides, why should anyone, for any reason, attempt to change the Word of God?