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Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. Vol. 3. No.

1 (2016)
eISSN: 2289-9944

“…AND NARRATE FROM THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AND THERE IS NO HARM…”:
MAKING SENSE OF THE USE OF ISRĀ’ĪLIYYĀT IN MUSLIM SCHOLARSHIPi

Wan Mohd Fazrul Azdi Wan Razalii, Ahmad Yunus Mohd Noorii & Jaffary Awangiii
i (Corresponding author). Akidah and Religion Studies Program, Faculty of Leadership and Management,
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. wmfazrul@usim.edu.my
ii Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

a_yunus@ukm.edu.my
iii Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

jaffary@ukm.edu.my
___________________________________________________________________

Abstract
Islam has a relationship with the other Abrahamic faiths, namely Judaism and Christianity,
through the concept of Wiḥdah al-Dīn. This concept affects Islam in many ways. Not only it
affects in the principal matters of faith, such as the belief in the other prophets, but it also
affects belief in the previous sacred revelations, such as the Tawrāh, Zabūr and Injīl. From this
belief in the previous sacred revelations, some Muslims resort to the Isrā’īliyyāt to understand
Islam. Nevertheless, to use sources from other religions to understand Islam, specifically in
this case of Isrā’īliyyāt, seems confusing and perplexing. Chronologically, polemic on the use
of Isrā’īliyyāt had begun since the age of the Prophet Muhammad. This issue is not only
restricted to the Muslim circle, but it also prompts questions from the Jews and the Christians
as to why Muslims would source the Torah and the Bible to understand Islam. This paper
highlights issues related to the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship by exposing some
positions in the Islamic rulings and the sharīcah justifications for these positions. These
positions in the Islamic rulings and its sharīcah justifications are extracted through the use of
textual analysis methodology. It is suggested that from understanding these justifications that
one can make sense of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim Scholarship. It is also suggested that
from this principal understanding of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship, the Biblical
interpretation in the Islamic contexts should be developed and discussed by the present and
future scholars of Muslim-Christian studies.

Keywords: Isrā’īliyyāt, Wiḥdah al-Dīn, Children of Israel, Muslim Scholarship and Comparative
Study of Religions.
___________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION
Islam has a relationship with the other Abrahamic faiths, namely Judaism and Christianity,
through the concept of wiḥdah al-dīn or unity of religion. In Islam, the concept of wiḥdah al-dīn
is described in the al-Quran, al-Sunnah and the words of prominent Muslim scholars (Sūrah
al-Aḥqāf 46: verse 9, al-Nisa’ 4: verse 163-165, al-Shūrā 42: verse 15, al-Bukhāriyy, 1998,
Hadith no. 6442 & Hadith no. 3534; Ibn Kathīr, 2002, Vol. 2; al-Nadwiyy, 1974; cAbd Al-Razzāq
Raḥīm, 2001 and Al-Zuḥayliyy, 1422H, vol. 3).
This concept affects Islam in many ways, including in the principal matters of faith such
as the belief in the other prophets and the belief in the previous sacred revelations, such as
the Tawrāh, Zabūr and Injīl. From this belief in the previous sacred revelations, some Muslims
resort to the Isrā’īliyyāt to understand Islam. Nevertheless, to use sources from other religions
to understand Islam, specifically in this case of Isrā’īliyyāt, seems confusing and perplexing. It
is questionable as how can Islam, as an established religion which is affiliated by the second
largest population of the world, sources out another religion to understand itself? In similar
way, can Judaism or Christianity be understood through the lenses of Islam?

iThis paper was originally presented at the International Conference on Biblical Interpretation in the Islamic
Contexts, organized by The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford, on 1 – 3 September 2015 at St. Stephen’s
House, Oxford, UK. The authors would like to acknowledge with many thanks to the Department of Public Service,
Malaysia and Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia for sponsoring this research.

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www.al-qanatir.com

1898. this matter is sometimes overlooked by Muslims or non-Muslims. the concept of wiḥdah al-dīn is regarded as among the principal matters that are taught by the Revelations. especially in understanding Islam. side by side reading (Lodahl. due to a number of reasons. knows none” (Muller. Evidently. and to Musa. polemics on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt had begun since the age of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 3. and the prophets after him. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 Chronologically. and Isa and Ayub and Yunus and Harun and Sulaiman and We gave to Daud.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. propagates the Wiḥdah al-Dīn or the unity of religion. 2010) or as a subtext (Reynolds. shown and taught by the Prophet (peace be upon him) to his companions (may Allah be satisfied with them). it says: ِ ‫او وْ ع ُبوو و ْاَََب‬ ِ ‫ال‬ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ‫وح والنابِي‬ ‫اط‬ َ ْ َ َ ْ َ َ َ ‫يو َوإ َْ َق‬ َ َ ٍ ُ‫ك َك َما أ َْو َحْي نَا إِ ََل ن‬ َ َ‫ني م ْن بَ ْعده َوأ َْو َحْي نَا إ ََل إبْ َراه َيم َوإ ْس‬ َ ‫إِ اَّن أ َْو َحْي نَا إِلَْي‬ ‫ص ُُ ْم‬ ِ َ ‫و ِليسى وأَُّْوو وْونُس وهارو َن وَلَيما َن وآتَي نَا داوود زبورا ورَ ًًل قَ ْد قَصصنَاهم للَي‬ ْ‫ص‬ ُ ‫ك م ْن قَ ْب ُو َوُر َُ ًًل َْ نَ ْب‬ ْ َ ُْ ْ َ ُ ُ َ ً َُ َ ُ َ ْ َ َ ْ ُ َ ُ َ َ َ ُ َ َ َ َ َ ِ‫ااِ للَى ا‬ ِ ِ ‫اَّلل موَى تَكْلِيما رَ ًًل مب ِش ِرْن ومْن ِذ ِر‬ ‫اَّللُ َل ِز ًْزا‬ ‫الر َُ ِو َوَكا َن ا‬ ُّ ‫اَّلل ُح اجةٌ بَ ْع َد‬ َ ِ ‫ْن لئَ اًل َْ ُكو َن للن‬ َ ُ َ َ َُ ُ ُ ً َ ُ ُ‫ك َوَكلا َم ا‬ َ ‫َللَْي‬ ‫يما‬ ِ ً ‫َحك‬ Which means. 1986). And (We sent) messengers We have mentioned to you before and messengers we have not mentioned to you. does this affect any issue of authority and authenticity in Islamic epistemology? What is the taxonomy applied in the categorization of Isrā’īliyyāt. 1900. beginning from the earliest prophethood to the final message of the Quran. Zwemer. these aforementioned verses were revealed to eradicate confusion and doubt among people on the chain of the prophethood. WIḤDAH AL-DĪN AND ITS IMPLICATIONS IN THE ISLAMIC STUDIES In Islam. In the al-Quran. who knows one. which welcomes the whole Isrā’īliyyāt into Islamic sciences? This paper highlights these issues from the aforementioned questions. especially in making sense of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. 1971 & Noldeke et. 2003 & Robins and Newby 2003). where diverse stands were taken. but it also prompts questions from the Jews and the Christians as to why Muslims would source the Torah and the Bible to understand Islam. According to Ibn Kathīr (701-774H) in his Quranic exegesis.al-qanatir. whereas it was foretold in the previous sacred revelations that there will be successors among the prophets until the final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (Ibn Kathīr. If Isrā’īliyyāt could be used in Muslim Scholarship. al. so that people should not have a plea against Allah after the (coming of) messengers. No. which refutes the whole Isrā’īliyyāt in toto or pluralist. 2013). Vol. As to quote from Friedrich Max Muller (1823-1900): “He. These tribes thought that there will be no more revelations from Allah after the death of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).com . Nevertheless. speaking (to him): (We sent) messengers as the givers of good news and as warners. and We revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yacqub and the tribes. to all mankind. the sabab al-Nuzūl (reason for revelation) of these verses is to refute the previous tribes of Sukayn and cAdiyy ibn Yazīd. which relate to the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. & 1907. namely exclusivist. “Surely We have revealed to you as We revealed to Nuh. intertextual exercise (Firestone. 2010). to avoid from any two extremes in Islamic religious thought. al-Nisa’ 4: 163-165). whether as borrowing (Geiger. This chain of prophethood. Furthermore. Goldziher. A sufficient and systematically constructed understanding on these issues could pave the way for better interreligious dialogue between the Abrahamic religions. 2002). Wise” (al-Quran. This is evident from the popularly muttafaq calayh narrated Jibrīl (Peace be upon him) Hadith. this issue is not only restricted to the Muslim circle. Allah addressed His Word. which says: 24 www. and Allah is Mighty. 1882 & Sharpe. in its essence as a principle of Islamic faith and belief. The discussions which have been raised and analyzed here are presented with the purpose of knowing the religious others from an Islamic comparative study of religions.

. In the same vein. the Shari’ah is a Divine Law similar in many ways to Talmudic law. as well as the other ancient Hebrew prophets. this concept of wiḥdah al-dīn or the unity of religion propagates mankind to return to the message of One God. The people of the book know this relation. No.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. “And hence. the everlasting rule).‫بعثة آدم إَل أن ْرثه هللا اَرض ومن لليُا‬ . namely: Judaism and Christianity. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty. both the good and the bad of it” (Hadith.al-qanatir. Christ and Moses. 1997). His sacred books.‫لليُم صًلة هللا وًَلمه‬ Which means. His Angels. Ultimately. No. transcendental unity of religions or sanatana dharma (namely. His Messengers and the Last Day.. which borrowed from and influenced by the previous religions of man. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. 1999). but not borrowed from it or based upon it. This concept of wiḥdah al-dīn in Islam is not to be understood as theological pluralism. The latter is. but say: “Would that this brick be put in its place!' So I am that brick. "My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me.‫ وْعلمون وحدة الدْن‬،‫ وأهو الكتاو ْعلمون هذه العًلقة‬. 1994). and that you believe in the Decree. al-Bukhāriyy. and I am the last of the Prophets” (Hadith. we are actually learning those realities. Islam is not a composite religion. Nevertheless. which is debated by scholars from many religions (Mohamed Rifai Mohamed Ameen. play a part in Islam independently of any possible historical borrowing from Judaism and Christianity” (Seyyed Hossein Nasr. “Narrated by Jabir: Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said. In the words of Seyyed Hossein Nasr (born 1933): “However there is no question of historical borrowing here as some orientalists have sought to show.‫ااِ َْ ْد ُخلُونَ َُا َوَْتَ َع اجبُو َن ِمْن َُا َوَْ ُبولُو َن لَ ْواَ َم ْو ِِ َُ اللابِنَ ِة‬ ُ ‫فَ َج َع َو الن‬ ِ ُ ‫ت فَ َختَ ْم‬ ِِ َ‫ت اََنْبيَاء‬ ُ ‫اللابِنَة جْئ‬ Which means. 1). The late Professor Dr. 1998. Christ plays a very important role in Islam. 3. 3535). 1998. especially the Abrahamic or heavenly religions. which Allah had obligated upon His servants to believe and to trust into since He sent Adam (peace be upon him) until the Day He inherited the earth and all its dwellers. but this is not a distortion of the Christian conception of Christ. the late Shaykh Professor Dr Muhammad Sacid Ramadan al-Būṭiyy (1929- 2013) in his Kubrā Al-Yaqīniyyāt Al-Kawniyyah: ‫ إمنا ندرِ تلك احلبائق اليت ألزم هللا لباده ابإلميان واالتباد هبا منذ‬،‫ ف نقن حينما ندرِ العبيدة وبراهينُا‬،‫وإذن‬ ‫ وتلك هي العًلقة بني العبيدة اإلًَلمية وكو ما جاء به اَنبياء والرَو‬. No. 2008. a part of the Islamic religious view. 50 & Muslim. Anis Malik Thoha. when we are learning the Islamic creed and its proofs. is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully. 2005. this concept is best defined in the words of one of the most prominent scholars of Islam. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 “Faith is that you believe in Allah. independently of Christianity. This is the relation between the Islamic creed and all that were brought by the previous prophets and messengers (peace be upon them). 1999 & Adnan Aslan. 1998. al-Bukhariyy. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) brilliantly exemplified this concept as follows: ‫ َمثَلِى َوَمثَ ُو اََنْبِيَ ِاء َك َمثَ ِو َر ُج ٍو بَ ََن َد ًارا فَأََتاَُا َوأَ ْك َملَ َُا إِاا َم ْو ِِ ََ لَبِنَ ٍة‬:‫ال‬َ َ‫اب صلى هللا لليه وَلم ق‬ ِ ِ‫َل ْن َجابِ ٍر َل ِن الن‬ َُ ِِ ‫ فَأَ ََّن َم ْو‬:‫اَّلل صلى هللا لليه وَلم‬ ِ‫ول ا‬ ُ َُ ‫ال َر‬َ َ‫ ق‬. and know this unity of religion (or wiḥdah al-dīn)” (al-Butiyy. No. Wahbah al-Zuḥayliyy (1932-2015) describes in interpreting Sūrah al-Shūrā 42: verse 15: 25 www. God of all messengers and all sacred revelations.com . except for a place of one brick in a corner. Vol. The position of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) among all other prophets of Islam is a depiction of the wiḥdah al-dīn or the unity of religion as taught and preached in Islam.

Evidently. Vol. 3. in the process of spiritual growth. 1422H). )‫(وإَرال‬ Which means. namely Isrāl: . has a physical struggle with God. 2007). which functions as a relative or relational adjective (al-Nisbah) and genitive construction (al-Iḍāfah) to the word Isrā’īl. According to al-Zabīdiyy (1965). Jacob’s name is changed to Yisrael. He satisfies with His servants (to follow) what are agreed upon to his Noble messengers.‫ وهو ْعبوو لليه السًلم‬،‫ قاله البيضاوي‬،‫ لبد هللا‬:‫ ومعناه صفوة هللا وقيو‬،‫وهو خمفف لن إَرائيو‬. Al-Bayḍāwiyy says: He is Yacqūb Alayh al-Salam”. which highlights three main categories of Isrā’īliyyāt as proposed by majority Muslim scholars. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 ‫ ووحدة‬،‫ أمر هللا نبيه ابلدلوة إَل مبدأ التوحيد‬،‫ وأَباو البعد لنه‬،‫بعد أن أابن هللا تعاَل مبدأ وحدة الدْن احلق‬ ‫ وقد ارتضى لعباده ما اتفبت لليه‬،‫ وإمنا واَِ الدْن هو هللا جو جًلله‬،‫ فليس الدْن ملكا َحد‬،‫الرَاات اإلهلية‬ ‫ اما ْوج‬،‫ إَل خا م النبيني محمد بن لبد هللا صلوات هللا وًَلمه لليه‬،‫ بدءا من آدم لليه السًلم‬،‫الرَو الكرام‬ . Muslim scholarship in religious studies is vibrant and pervasive. and reasons people are stepping away from it. From here.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies.com . but also include citations from the Tawrāh. Isrā’īliyyāt is the plural form for Isrā’īliyyah. the discussion will focus on the debates on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. It is vibrant and pervasive because of its predestined and forever engagement with the sources of other religions such as references from the people of the book or ahl al-kitāb. The Rabbis taught that the Israelites descended from the best that was within Jacob. Islam relates to Isrā’īliyyāt through this Islamic principle of wiḥdah al-dīn. “And Isrāl…is the lighter form of the term Isrā’īl. or Israel. from which obligates a faith to all sacred books revealed by Allah. For this religion is not a person’s belonging. justice and balance” (Al-Zuḥayliyy. “After Allah the Most High explained the true principle of wiḥdah al-dīn. In the next section. Isrā’īliyyah.” The struggle itself becomes the spiritual marker by which the Jews identify themselves. this paper elucidates the concept and use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Islamic contexts. the Children of Israel. Due to the unique concept of wiḥdah al-dīn. beginning from Adam (peace be upon him) to the final prophet Muhammad ibn cAbdillah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). stand on (the principles) of truth. if one is to segregate between both the Jews (Isrā’īliyyāt) and the Christians (Naṣrāniyyāt) sources. In the same way. the spiritual charge of the Israelites. and the unity of Godly messages. It all begins from the firm belief in the previous prophethood and their sacred messages to the whole mankind. In the Hebrew language. and then of the Jewish people. Injured in this struggle. These sources include Isrā’īliyyāt or Naṣrāniyyāt. No. THE CONCEPT AND USE OF ISRĀ’ĪLIYYĀT IN ISLAMIC CONTEXTS In Muslim scholarship.al-qanatir. which also refers to Yacqūb or Jacob in the context of Judaism (Goldenberg. for these books present glad tidings of goodness and happiness. whereas Allah the Most Exalted is the founder of this religion. translated “the one who struggles with God. Isrā’īl is also called as Yisrael.. Thus. Isrā’īliyyāt literally derives from the Arabic word Isrā’īliyyah. Isrā’īliyyāt are not only restricted to the sayings of the Jews and Christians. These three main categories of Isrā’īliyyāt could be utilized as a basis for a deeper and greater understanding of the Biblical interpretation in Islamic contexts. was to be 26 www. whereby Isrā’īliyyah is an infinitive (maṣdar). which means Allah’s chosen servant or it is said as Allah’s servant.. etymologically derives from the word Isrā’īl. Zabūr and also the Injīl. The Torah most often refers to the Israelites as Bnei Yisrael.‫ قائمة للى احلق والعدل وامليزان‬،‫ َهنا مبشرات ابخلري والسعادة‬،‫اإلميان مبا أنزل هللا تعاَل من الكت كلُا‬ Which means. It is said: Jacob. Next. Allah commanded His prophet to propagate the principle of al-Tawḥīd. They are the spiritual ancestors of the modern Jewish people. it is understood that the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in the Muslim scholarship is not something which happens without any possible reasons. Isrā’īl is also known in its lighter form of word.

2006). the term Isrā’īliyyāt with particular meaning as in the context of this paper was not discussed thoroughly as a subject of study by the early scholars of Islam (1970. Thy name shall be called no more Jacob. These sources include both news from the Jews (Isrā’īliyyāt) and the Christians (Naṣrāniyyāt) sources. Israel is also used to represent the whole Jews and in 1948 to represent a modern Jewish state. only modern scholars of Islam. According to Ramzī Nacnācah. Interestingly. only in the modern period. Some of the earliest writings on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship could be referred to cUbayd ibn Shariyah’s (d. The reason for this change of name from Jacob to Israel is due to his victory in his struggle with an angel. who discuss about this issue by using the term isrā’īliyyāt. Subsequently. (The Blackwell Dictionary of Judaica. Isrā’īliyyāt refers to the stories and narratives from the Jewish sources (Al-Dhahabiyy. 1997). Muhammad Muhammad Abu Shahbah’s words (1408H): ،‫ ومن تناَلوا منُم فيما بعد‬،‫ أبناء ْعبوو‬:‫ وبنو إَرائيو هم‬،‫ أي لبد هللا‬-‫لليه السًلم‬. This name is later used for the descendants of Jacob. There are many general reasons why Muslims use Isrā’īliyyāt. which could be found in their writings. Based on some authentic hadiths. 2012 & Ibn Qutaybah. This is best illustrated by referring to Professor Dr. In the days of the Prophet Muhammad. which cover Zoroastrian. these reasons could be linked to the close geographical and political relations between the Arabs and the People of the Book.com . Zabūr and Injīl. And c Banu Isrā’īl are those Children of Yacqūb and those begotten from them afterwards. chapter 32: verse 28). especially in the discipline of Quranic exegesis (cilm al-Tafsīr) and Islamic history (cilm al-Tārīkh) (Mun’im Sirry. Isrā’īliyyāt here are not only restricted to the sources from the Jews. Near Eastern and other foreign elements in the Quranic exegesis (Albayrak.‫ ْعبوو‬:‫وإَرائيو هو‬ ‫ وحىت لُد نبينا محمد صلى هللا لليه‬-‫ حىت لُد ليسى –لليه السًلم‬،‫إَل لُد موَى ومن جاء بعده من اَنبياء‬ . there is no disagreement that the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship could be dated since the day of Prophet Muhammad (circa 600 CE). observe the moral and ethical mandates by their own choice (Karesh & Hurvitz. No. until the day of Musa and also those Prophets after him. Zabūr and also the Injīl. Nevertheless. akhbār al-Naṣrāniyyah. riwāyat ahl al-Kitāb and many more. whereby some of them are citations from the Tawrāh. 67AH / 686CE) al-Mulūk Wa Akhbār al-Maḍīn as identified by Ibn Qutaybah’s (213AH / 828CE – 276AH / 885CE) Ta’wīl Mukhtalif al-Ḥadīth (Vajda. Genesis. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 like Jacob/Israel—to struggle with God and.al-qanatir. Nevertheless. 3. Until the day of Isa Alayh al-Salam and until the day of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). G. namely the Jews and the Christians.‫وَلم‬ Which means. Due to that. Vol. in the end. which means the Servant of Allah. Genesis. which will be presented below. the concept of Isrā’īliyyāt includes Jewish and Christian sources and also news from the Tawrāh. Further information on the historical use on the meaning of the term Isrā’īliyyāt has been analyzed by Ismail Albayrak (2000) in his PhD thesis. According to Ibn Khaldun (732-808 CE): 27 www. the term Isrā’īliyyāt was popularly taken as a specific subject of study in the Islamic or oriental studies. but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men. 1990). (King James Bible. While some other scholars would restrict Isrā’īliyyāt to only sources from the people of the book or Ahl al-Kitāb. “And Isrā’īl is Ya qūb Alayh al-Salam. 2000). Whereas the classical scholars of Islam used the substitute terms for Isrā’īliyyāt such as al-aḥādīth al-Isrā’īliyyah. but they also include sources from the Christians. riwāyāt al- Yahūd. In the context of this paper. 1992 and Dictionary of Jewish lore and Legend. Therefore. akhbār banū Isrā’īl. 1999). 2014). 72-73). and hast prevailed” (King James Bible. some scholars have taken the term Isrā’īliyyāt to be understood as inclusive of other non-Muslim elements. Chapter 32: verse 24-29) where it reads: “And he said.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies.

‫اليُودْة‬ ‫ وهؤاء مثو كع اَحبار ووه بن منبه ولبد هللا بن ًَلم‬. No. When they became Muslims. Wahb ibn Munabbih. ritual and spiritual teachings. they consulted the earlier People of the Book about it and got their information from them. The desert attitude and illiteracy prevailed among them.‫ وهم أهو التوراة من اليُود ومن تبَ دْنُم من النصارى‬،‫وْستفيدونه منُم‬ ‫ ومعظمُم من محري الذْن أخذوا بدْن‬،‫ وا ْعرفون من ذلك إا ما تعرفه العامة من أهو الكتاو‬،‫ابدْة مثلُم‬ ‫ مثو أخبار بدء‬،‫ اما ا تعلق له ابَحكام الشرلية اليت حيتاطون هلا‬،‫ فلما أَلموا ببوا للى ما كان لندهم‬. And the fourth source is as follows: َ‫ وذلك أن البرآن الكرمي ْتفق م‬. Scholarly opinions for this first reason could be referred to the words of the late Dr. “The early scholars had already made complete compilations on the subject (namely tafsīr naqli). what could be deduced from analyzing Waardenburg’s Muslim Studies of Other Religions. to understand Islam. Now. Such men were Kacb al-Aḥbār. accepted and rejected statements. the beginning of creation. Vol. This paper will only limit to the first reason to further explore the reason for the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. “The fourth source for tafsīr in the days of the companions were the People of the Book from the Jews and the Christians.‫ وإمنا غلبت لليُم البداوة واَمية‬،‫يف ذلك أن العرو َ ْكونوا أهو كتاو وا للم‬ ‫ فإمنا ْسألون لنه أهو الكتاو قبلُم‬،‫ وأَرار الوجود‬،‫ وبدء اخلليبة‬،‫تتشوو إليه النفوِ البشرْة يف أَباو املكوَّنت‬ ‫ وأهو التوراة الذْن بني العرو ْومئذ‬.‫اخلليبة وما ْرجَ إَل احلداثن واملًلحم وأمثال ذلك‬ . which had no connection with the religious laws as they were very wary of it. Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Dhahabiyy (1915-1977). These general reasons too can be linked to the principle of wiḥdah al-dīn or the unity of religion. and the Christians who followed the religion of the Jews. However. This is due to the fact that the Holy Quran agrees 28 www. which includes researching their theological.‫املصدر الرابَ للتفسري ىف لُد الصقابة هم أهو الكتاو من اليُود والنصارى‬ َِ‫ وكذلك ْشتمو البرآن للى موا‬،‫ وما ْتعلق ابَمم الغابرة‬،‫ وابَخص ىف قصص اَنبياء‬،‫التوراة ىف بعض املسائو‬ . 1960 & 1967). cAbd Allāh ibn Salām. However.‫وأمثاهلم‬ Which means.‫ إا أن كتبُم ومنبواهتم تشتمو للى الغث والسمني واملببول واملردود‬،‫وقد مجَ املتبدمون يف ذلك وأولوا‬ ‫ فإذا تشوقوا إَل معرفة شيء اما‬. namely: first. and similar people” (Ibn Khaldun. predictions and their equivalence. The majority of those Jews were Himyarites who had adopted Judaism. second to understand the People of the Book. They knew only as much about these matters as is known to ordinary People of the Book. such as the reasons for the existing things. scriptural.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. The reason is that the Arabs had no books or scholarship. and third. which is rooted in the teachings of Islam. their works and the information they transmit contain side by side important and unimportant matters.com . 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 ‫ والسب‬. It is from this principle that Muslims embark their way toward better understanding of Islam from the People of the Book. The People of the Book were the Jews who had the Torah. he highlighted that the companions referred to the Quran. the people of the Torah who lived among the Arabs at that time were themselves Bedouins.al-qanatir. (1999) specific reasons for the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship could be divided into three main categories.‫ ومعجزاته لليه السًلم‬،‫وردت ىف اإلجنيو كبصة ميًلد ليسى ابن مرمي‬ Which means. is to criticize the People of the Book. 3. When they wanted to know certain things that human beings are usually curious to know. as explained previously. they clung to the information they possessed. Sunnah and ijtihād for their sources. In delineating the sources for the companions in interpreting the al-Quran. where the second and third reasons will not be explored here in this paper. These information include the beginning of creation and information of the type of forecasts. and the secrets of existence.

com . In other words. As the mind always desires for things to be explained completely and at length.al-qanatir. but summarizes things only for lesson purpose. in the Muslim scholarship. which differs from the approach of the Tawrāh and the Injīl. Here. These hungry and inquisitive minds of Muslim scholars desire for thorough explanations and descriptions of some stories of the Prophets and the previous nations. there is a difference between the Quran and the Isrā’īliyyāt in expanding and describing these stories of the prophet and the previous nation. These criteria will be described in the next subtopic. which specifically in the stories of the prophets. No. where according to both. Nevertheless. Kacb al-Aḥbār and others from the scholars of Judaism and Christianity” (al-Dhahabiyy. Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabariyy’s (224-310 AH / 839-923 CE) tafsīr (2001) and Tārīkh (2007). 2000). the Quran applied an approach. and stories related to the previous nations. for example the story of the birth of cIsā ibn Maryam peace be upon him and his miracles” (al-Dhahabiyy. Ibn Kathīr’s tafsīr (2000) and Tārīkh (1997) and many more. DEBATES ON THE USE OF ISRĀ’ĪLIYYĀT IN MUSLIM SCHOLARSHIP The debates and polemics that emerged from this issue are actually epistemological in nature. It is clear from the previous paragraph that Isrā’īliyyāt was regarded as the fourth source for Quranic interpretation by the companions of the prophet. namely the Quran and the Isrā’īliyyāt. the Quran comprises of topics. which refers to the scope of knowledge and its sources as promulgated by Islamic teachings.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. biblical interpretation in the Islamic contexts could be addressed and explained through these specific criteria and perspectives. especially in the works of the early scholars such as Ibn Abbas’ (3-68 AH / 619-687 CE) exegesis (2007). it is clear that the reason for the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship is to seek for explanation and description on the stories of the prophets and the previous nations. As such. The same position was also taken by Ibn Taimiyyah (661-728AH / 1263-1328 CE) and Ibn Kathīr (701-774 AH / 1301- 1373 CE). the Isrā’īliyyāt is also taken as the source for tafsīr for its examples. biblical interpretation in Islamic contexts is specifically used to satisfy the hungry and inquisitive minds of Muslim scholars.‫ بو اقتصر من ذلك للى موَِ العربة فبط‬،‫البصة من مجيَ نواحيُا‬ ‫ ْرجعون ىف اَتيفاء هذه البصص الىت َ ْتعرض‬. this had caused some of the companions – may Allah satisfy with them – to refer things which are not completely described in the Quran to the Muslim converts from the People of the Book such as: cAbdullāh ibn Salām. It is worth mentioning here that these criteria itself are developed from the polemics and debates on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. which are also mentioned in the Injīl. renowned Muslim scholars of Quranic interpretation. 2000). 3. Many examples of these Isrā’īliyyāt could be found in their works of exegesis and history. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 with a few matters in the Tawrāh. especially in the disciplines of tafsīr and tārīkh. It (the Quran) does not explain things into details. and it does not complete a story from its many aspects. 29 www. “In different way.‫ رِى هللا لنُم أمجعني‬. However. And in the same manner. but not to be used to strengthen any Quranic verses or claims (Li al-Istishhād Wa La Li al-Ictiqād aw al-Ictiḍād) (1982 & 2000). which were briefly mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah. There are underlying criteria that must be met for the acceptance or rejection of any Isrā’īliyyāt.‫ جعو بعض الصقابة‬،‫وااَتبصاء‬ ‫ وغريهم‬،‫ وكع اَحبار‬،‫ كعبد هللا بن ًَلم‬،‫هلا البرآن من مجيَ نواحيُا إَل َمن دخو ىف دْنُم من أهو الكتاو‬ . Shaykh al-Dhahabiyy explains this difference as follows: ‫ وَ ْستوف‬،‫ فلم ْتعرض لتفاصيو جزئيات املسائو‬،‫غري أن البرآن الكرمي اختذ منُجاً خيالف منُج التوراة واإلجنيو‬ ‫ وملا كانت العبول دائماً تيو إَل ااَتيفاء‬. This is due to the similarities that could be found in both sources. this does not mean that all Isrā’īliyyāt are to be accepted. Vol.‫من للماء اليُود والنصارى‬ Which means.

the use of Isrā’īliyyāt can affect negatively on Islam and can harm Muslim faith. the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship can affect the issue of authority and authenticity in Islamic epistemology. Ibn Kathīr. Before the Law (of Moses). if ye be men of truth” (al-Quran. according to Ramzī Nacnācah. No. Ali cImran. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 As it had been addressed previously.820). Ka’b al-Quraẓī. 2008). “All food was lawful To the Children of Israel. there are also some reports that permit Muslims to refer the Isrā’īliyyāt. Ibn Khaldūn and many more. These were primarily materials derived from Jewish converts to Islam. according to Watt (1909-2006): Another aspect of this attitude towards what is not Islamic is to be seen in the gradual rejection of Isrā’īliyyāt. namely: methodology of tafsīr. 1991a). both classical and modern. Say: Was revealed “Bring ye the Law And study it. however. These information were understood as an attitude of rejecting the Isrā’īliyyāt and other non-Muslim information from being accessible by the Muslims (Watt. it cannot be used to describe and interpret the Quran (al-Khālidiyy. which to welcome the whole Isrā’īliyyāt into Islamic sciences? From one point of view. the sole reason for these debates could be traced to the different positions shown and taught by the Prophet and the Companions on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. ‫ك فًَل تَ ُكونَ ان ِم َن‬ ِ ِ ‫ك ِاماا أَنْزلْنا إِلَيك فَ ِ ا‬ َ ِ‫احلَ ُّق ِم ْن َرب‬ َ ‫او ِم ْن قَ ْبل‬ ْ ََ َ‫ك لََب ْد َجاء‬ ِ َ َ‫ْن َْ ْبَرءُو َن الْكت‬ َ ‫اَأَل الذ‬ ْ َ ْ ََ ٍ ‫فَِإ ْن ُكْنت ِيف َش‬ َ ‫ْن‬ ِ َ ‫الْ ُم ْم ََت‬ 30 www. Evidently. namely exclusivist. and it was generally held that they were to be avoided (Watt. this act of sourcing out to other religions to understand Islam is considered as a potential threat and a possible cause for confusion among Muslims. objection was taken to the Isrā’īliyyāt. There are some Quranic verses including reports from the Prophet and the Companions that forbid from referring to the Isrā’īliyyāt. and there is a hadis. 93). 3. traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) until today’s textbooks of Islamic studies. 1991b). For instance. Ibn c Abbās. except what Israel Made unlawful for itself. Notwithstanding the previously mentioned negative views. in which Muhammad said that there was no objection to transmitting stories from the Banū Isrā’īl. This could be seen from many dimensions of Islam. Likewise.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. which refutes the whole Isrā’īliyyāt in toto or pluralist. quoted by al-Shāfi’ī (d. For this reason. such as Ka’b al-Aḥbār and Muhammad b. these debates relate to some of these questions as follows: does the use of Isrā’īliyyāt affect any issue of authority and authenticity in Islamic epistemology? What is the taxonomy applied in the categorization of Isrā’īliyyāt. Generally. to avoid from any two extremes in Islamic religious thought. though ancient material was sometimes included. who happened to discern this debates and polemics in the Quranic verses. With this questionable position of the Isrā’īliyyāt. majority Muslim scholars uphold the view that the use of Isrā’īliyyāt is no longer necessary. In the Muslims circle. especially in the books of exegesis and history. Whilst in the view of Dr. Some of these reports are as follows: ِ ِ ِِ َ ُ‫يو َللَى نَ ْفسه م ْن قَ ْب ِو أَ ْن تُنَ ازَل الت ْاوَراةُ قُ ْو فَأْتُوا ِابلت ْاوَراة فَاتْ ل‬ ‫وها‬ ِ ِ ‫ُك ُّو الطا َع ِام َكا َن ِحًلًّ لِبَِِن إِ ََْرائِ ِ ا‬ ُ ‫يو إا َما َحارَم إ ََْرائ‬ َ ‫ني‬ ِ ِ ‫إِ ْن ُكْن تم‬ َ ‫صادق‬ َ ُْ Which means. Vol.com . al-Ṭabariyy. 428-429). These reports have been discussed by many Muslim scholars. Such view was also understood by the non-Muslims. This is proven from the narrations of these stories in the works of the previous scholars of Islam. Ṣalāḥ cAbd al- Fattāḥ al-Khālidiyy (born 1947). there are many scholars who utilized the Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. In course of time.al-qanatir. the use of Isrā’īliyyāt can only confuse the Muslims because one can never be so sure of the accuracy of the narratives from the People of the Book. At first this material had been acceptable. methodology of narrating a tradition and acknowledging the main sources for Islamic beliefs (1970. These narrations could be traced to the early works of Ibn Shariyah al-Jurhūmiyy.

Allah guides not a people unjust” (al- Quran. َُ ِ‫اِعِ ِه َونَ ُسوا َحظًّا ِاماا ذُكِ ُروا بِِه َواَ تَ َز ُال تَطال‬ ِ ‫اَيةً ُحي ِرفُو َن الْ َكلِم لن مو‬ ََ ْ َ َ ِ َ َ َ‫ااه ْم َو َج َع ْلنَا قُلُوبَ ُُ ْم ق‬ ِ ِ ُ ‫فَبِ َما نَ ْبض ُِ ْم ميثَاقَ ُُ ْم لَ َعن‬ ِ ‫اَّلل ُِحي ُّ الْمق ِسنِ ِ ا‬ ِ ‫َخ ْذ ََّن‬ َ ‫ص َارى أ‬ َ َ‫ْن قَالُوا إِ اَّن ن‬ َ ‫ني َوم َن الذ‬ َ ُْ ِ ْ ‫ف َلْن ُُم و‬ َ‫اص َف ْح إ ان ا‬ َ ْ ُ ‫ال‬ ْ َ‫َللَى َخائِنَ ٍة ِمْن ُُ ْم إِاا قَليًلً ِمْن ُُ ْم ف‬ ‫صنَ عُو َن‬ ِ ‫ف ْ نَ بِئُُم ا‬ ِ ِ ِ ِ ‫ِميثَاقَُم فَنَسوا حظًّا ِاماا ذُكِروا بِِه فَأَ ْغرْ نَا ب ي نَ ُم الْع َداوَة والْب ْغ‬ ْ َْ ‫اَّللُ مبَا َكانُوا‬ ُ ُ ُ َ ‫ضاءَ إ ََل َْ ْوم الْبيَ َامة َو ََ ْو‬ َ َ َ َ َ ُ ُ َْ ْ َ ُ َ ُ ُْ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ َ‫َي أ َْهو الْ ِكت‬ ‫ور‬ ٌ ُ‫اَّلل ن‬ ُ ِ َ‫او قَ ْد َجاءَ ُك ْم َر َُولُنَا ُْب‬ ‫ني لَ ُك ْم َكث ًريا اماا ُكْن تُ ْم ُختْ ُفو َن م َن الْكتَاو َوَْ ْع ُفو َل ْن َكث ٍري قَ ْد َجاءَ ُك ْم م َن ا‬ َ َ ِ ٌ ِ‫او ُمب‬ ‫ني‬ ٌ َ‫َوكت‬ Which means. ‫اَّللَ اَ َْ ُْ ِدي‬ ‫اَتَكْبَ ْرُْ م إِ ان ا‬ ْ ‫مم َن َو‬ ِِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِِ ِ‫قُو أَرأَْ تم إِ ْن َكا َن ِمن ِلْن ِد ا‬ َ ‫اَّلل َوَك َف ْرُْ م به َو َشُ َد َشاه ٌد م ْن بَِِن إ ََْرائ‬ َ َ‫يو َللَى مثْله ف‬ ْ ْ ُْ َ ْ ِِ َ ‫الْ َب ْوَم الظاالم‬ ‫ني‬ Which means. There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book” (al- Quran. and made their hearts grow hard. “If ye are given this. Al-Ma’idah. Al-Racd. but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them. (how unjust ye are!) truly. revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book. who race each other into unbelief: (whether it be) among those who say “We believe” with their lips but whose hearts have no faith. “But because of their breach of their covenant. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.will listen even to others who have never so much as come to thee. “Say: “See ye? If (this teaching) be from Allah. take it.. let not those grieve thee. For such . too. and a witness from among the Children of Israel testifies to its similarity (with earlier scripture).Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. “If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee.. and passing over much (that is now unnecessary). 3. ِ‫ِ ا‬ ِ ِِ ِ ِ‫ِ ا‬ ِ ِ ِ ‫ول اَ َحيزنْ ا‬ ‫ادوا‬ ُ ‫ْن َه‬ َ ‫ْن قَالُوا َآمناا ِبَفْ َواهُ ْم َوَْ تُ ْؤم ْن قُلُوبُ ُُ ْم َوم َن الذ‬ َ ‫ْن ُْ َسارلُو َن يف الْ ُك ْف ِر م َن الذ‬َ ‫ك الذ‬ َ ُ ْ ُ َُ ‫ََي أَُّْ َُا الار‬ ِ ِِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ٍ ِ ِ ِ َْ ‫وَ ُحيَ ِرفُو َن الْ َكل َم م ْن بَ ْعد َم َواِعه َْ ُبولُو َن إِ ْن أُوتيتُ ْم َه َذا فَ ُخ ُذوهُ َوإِ ْن‬ َ ‫َساالُو َن ل ْل َكذ ِو َساالُو َن ل َب ْوم‬ َ ‫آخ ِر‬ َ ُ‫ْن َْ ََيْت‬ ‫ك الا ِذْ َن َْ ُِْرِد ا‬ ‫اَّللُ أَ ْن ُْطَ َُِر قُلُوبَ ُُ ْم َهلُْم ِيف الدُّنْيَا‬ ِ‫اَّلل فِْت ن ته فَلَن تَْلِك لَه ِمن ا‬ َ ِ‫اَّلل َشْي ئًا أُولَئ‬ ِ َ ُ َ ْ ُ َ َ ُ‫اح َذ ُروا َوَم ْن ُِْرد ا‬ ْ َ‫تُ ْؤتَ ْوهُ ف‬ ِ ِ ِ ‫يم‬ ٌ ‫ي َوَهلُْم ِيف اآلخَرِة َل َذ‬ ٌ ‫او َلظ‬ ٌ ‫خ ْز‬ Which means. who call themselves Christians. They change the words from their (right) times and places: they say. Vol. or it be among the Jews.barring a few . We cursed them. 13-15).it is not Allah’s will 31 www. beware!” If any one's trial is intended by Allah. No. with enmity and hatred between the one and the other. and has believed while ye are arrogant. and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind. but if not. thou hast no authority in the least for him against Allah.com . nor wilt thou cease to find them. O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger. 43).” Say: “Enough for a witness between me and you is Allah.ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them. 94). and ye reject it. Yunus. to the Day of Judgment. From those. then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt” (al-Quran.al-qanatir. “The Unbelievers say: “No apostle art thou. ِ َ‫يدا ب ْي ِِن وب ْي نَ ُكم ومن ِلْن َده ِل ْلم الْ ِكت‬ ِ ِ ِ ِ ‫وْ ُب ُ ا‬ ‫او‬ ُ ُ ْ َ َ ْ َ َ َ ً ُ‫ت ُم ْر ًََلًّ قُ ْو َك َفى اب اَّلل َش‬ َ ‫ْن َك َف ُروا لَ ْس‬ َ ‫ول الذ‬ ََ Which means. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 Which means. We did take a covenant. Al-Ahqaf. 10).men who will listen to any lie. and such as have knowledge of the Book” (al-Quran. they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them. O Messenger.

which agrees with what I was-telling. they will tell you something true and you will disbelieve it. ِ ُ‫ض أ َْه ِو الْ ُكت‬ ِ ‫َصابَهُ ِم ْن بَ ْع‬ ٍ ِِ ِ ‫اخلَطا‬ ِ‫لن جابِ ِر ب ِن لب ِد ا‬ ْ ‫اَّلل أَ ان لُ َمَر بْ َن‬ َ ‫اب صلى هللا لليه وَلم بكتَاو أ‬ ‫او أَتَى النِ ا‬ َْ ْ َ ْ َ ‫او َوالا ِذى نَ ْف ِسى بِيَ ِدهِ لََب ْد ِجْئ تُ ُك ْم‬ ِ ‫اخلَطا‬ْ ‫ أ َُمتَ َُ ِوُكو َن فِ َيُا ََي ابْ َن‬:‫ال‬ َ َ‫ض َ َوق‬ ِ َ‫اب صلى هللا لليه وَلم فَغ‬ ِ ِ‫فَ َبَرأَهُ َللَى الن‬ ‫ص ِدقُوا بِِه َوالا ِذى نَ ْف ِسى بِيَ ِد ِه لَ ْو أَ ان‬ ِ ِ ِِ ِ ِ ِ ٍ ِ ِ َ ُ‫وه ْم َل ْن َش ْىء فَيُ ْخربُوُك ْم ِبَ ٍق فَتُ َكذبُوا به أ َْو ببَاط ٍو فَت‬ ُ ُ‫ضاءَ نَبياةً اَ تَ ْسأَل‬ َ ‫هبَا بَْي‬ ‫وَى صلى هللا لليه وَلم َكا َن َحيًّا َما َو َِ َعهُ إِاا أَ ْن َْتابِ َع َِن‬ َ ‫ُم‬ Which means. Muslim. On that Allah's Apostle said. 1998. “Narrated by Abu Hurairah: The people of the Scripture (Jews) used to recite the Torah in Hebrew and they used to explain it in Arabic to the Muslims.” Say: “(Allah) (sent it down)”: Then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling” (al-Quran. they were brought to you white and pure.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. No.a light and guidance to man: But ye make it into (separate) sheets for show. “He said: By Allah. and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment” (al-Quran.com .al-qanatir. al-Bukhāriyy. 91). 4485). ،‫ َوُْ َف ِس ُرونَ َُا ِابلْ َعَربِيا ِة َ َْه ِو ا ِإل ًَْلَِم‬،‫او َْ ْبَرءُو َن الت ْاوَرا َة ِابلْعِْب َرانِيا ِة‬ ِ َ‫ َكا َن أ َْهو الْ ِكت‬:‫ال‬ ُ َ َ‫َل ْن أَِِب ُهَرْْ َرَة رِى هللا لنه ق‬ َ‫ َوقُولُوا (آ َمناا ِاب اَّللِ َوَما أُنْ ِزَل) اآلَْة‬،‫وه ْم‬ ِ ِ َ‫ «اَ تُص ِدقُوا أ َْهو الْ ِكت‬-‫صلى هللا لليه وَلم‬. will surely take his place in the hell” (Hadith. Al-Ma’idah. “From Jabir ibn Abdillah. 1998. Al-Ancam.136)” (Hadith. he who tells a lie intentionally on my authority. 3461). No. ِ ِ ِ ِ َ َ‫اَّللِ ب ِن لم ٍرو أَ ان النِاب صلى هللا لليه وَلم ق‬ ِ َ ‫ َو َحدثُوا َل ْن بََِن إ ََْرائ‬،ً‫ بَلغُوا َل َِن َولَ ْو آَْة‬:‫ال‬ ‫ َوَم ْن‬،‫يو َواَ َحَر َج‬ ‫ا‬ ْ َ ْ ‫َل ْن َلْبد ا‬ ‫و َللَ اى ُمتَ َع ِم ًدا فَ ْليَ تَ بَ اوأْ َم ْب َع َدهُ ِم َن الناا ِر‬َ ‫َك َذ‬ Which means. while ye conceal much (of its contents): therein were ye taught that which ye knew not. a Christian. but I have detained you here. “No just estimate of Allah do they make when they say: “Nothing doth Allah send down to man (by way of revelation)” Say: “Who then sent down the Book which Moses brought? . do not ask them (people of the Book) about anything. “From Abdullah ibn cAmrū: the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Transmit from me. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 to purify their hearts. The Prophet said to him: “Are you all amazed about them (of the book) O Ibn al- Khattab? By God. I have not made you assemble for exhortation or for a warning. Umar ibn al-Khattab came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) carrying a book from the People of the Book and read it to the Prophet (peace be upon him). told me something. 1998. and narrate from the Children of Israel and there is no harm (in that).ِ‫اَّلل‬ ُ ُ‫او َواَ تُ َكذب‬ َ َ ‫ول ا‬ ُ َُ ‫ال َر‬َ ‫فَ َب‬ Which means. 2942). you about the Dajjāl” (Hadith.neither ye nor your fathers. al-Bukhāriyy. No. for Tamim al-Dari. No. “Do not believe the people of the Scripture or disbelieve them. ِ َ‫ى َكا َن رجًلً ن‬ ‫يما الداا ِر ا‬ِ ِ ٍ ِ ٍ ِ ِ‫ إِِّن و ا‬:‫ال‬ ‫ََلَ َم‬ ْ ‫صَرانيًّا فَ َجاءَ فَبَاَْ ََ َوأ‬ ْ َُ ً ‫اَّلل َما َمجَ ْعتُ ُك ْم لَر ْغبَة َواَ لَرْهبَة َولَك ْن َمجَ ْعتُ ُك ْم ََ ان َت‬ َ َ َ‫ق‬ ‫يح ال اد اج ِال‬ِ ‫ُح ِدثُ ُك ْم َل ْن َم ِس‬ َ‫تأ‬ ِ ِ ُ ‫َو َح ادثََِن َحدْثًا َوافَ َق الاذى ُكْن‬ Which means. be it even one verse. Vol. or something 32 www. ِِ ِ ِ ٍ ِ ‫اَّللَ َح اق قَ ْد ِرهِ إِ ْذ قَالُوا َما أَنْ َزَل ا‬ ‫ورا‬ ً ُ‫وَى ن‬ َ ‫او الاذي َجاءَ به ُم‬ َ َ‫اَّللُ َللَى بَ َش ٍر م ْن َش ْيء قُ ْو َم ْن أَنْ َزَل الْكت‬ ‫َوَما قَ َد ُروا ا‬ ‫اَّللُ ُُا َذ ْرُه ْم ِيف َخ ْو ِِ ُِ ْم‬ ‫آابُُك ْم قُ ِو ا‬ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ َ َ‫يس تُْب ُدونَ َُا َوُختْ ُفو َن َكث ًريا َولُل ْمتُ ْم َما َْ تَ ْعلَ ُموا أَنْتُ ْم َوا‬ َ ‫َوُه ًدى للنااِ ََْت َعلُونَهُ قَ َراط‬ ‫َْْل َعبُو َن‬ Which means. For them there is disgrace in this world. 3. but say: “We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us” (2. 41). who came and accepted Islam.

As a result. in the history of Islam (n. This categorization of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship has been discussed extensively by many early scholars. 'It is from Allah. No. By God. Muslim scholars had moderated between the negative and the positive views. nothing would be open for him but to follow me” (Hadith. this categorization of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship could also be used to understand Biblical interpretation in Islamic contexts. and Allah has told you that the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) changed their scripture and distorted it.al-qanatir. 3. Imām Muḥammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāficiyy has discussed briefly on the hadith “wa ḥaddithū c an banī Isrā’īl wa lā ḥaraj. 2685). Examples of these scholars are: Imām Muḥammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāficiyy (150-204 AH / 767-820 AD). 1998.' to sell it for a little gain. Does not the knowledge which has come to you prevent you from asking them about anything? No. which was the earliest text in the Uṣūl al-Fiqh or the study of Islamic principles of jurisprudence.” (Which means. Ibn Ḥajar al-cAsqalāniyy (773-852 AH / 1372-1449 AD). Vol. in term of its use in the Muslim scholarship. This brief discussion by Imām al-Shāficiyy has possibly been taken as a platform by many other Muslim scholars to develop the three main categories of Isrā’īliyyāt. No. Aḥmad. From the above Quranic verses and reports. Muslim scholars had ruled that there are three main categories of Isrā’īliyyāt.ُ‫ َما َلل ْمنَا َكذبَهُ ِمبَا ِلْن َد ََّن اماا ُخيَال ُفه‬:‫ااِن‬ ِ ‫ والث‬. even if Moses (peace be upon him) was alive.d. 15223).‫ك‬ َ ‫ْث ِم ْن ا ِإل ْذ ِن ِيف َذل‬ ِ َْ ‫ث مْن ُُ َما مبَا فَ ُِ َمهُ م ْن َه َذا‬ َ ِ َ‫الْ ِكت‬ َ‫لص ْد ِو فَ َذ َا‬ِ ‫ ما للِمنَا ِص اقتَه ِاماا ِِبَْ ِدْنَا ِاماا ْ ْشُ ُد لَه ِاب‬:‫ أَح ُدها‬:‫لًِلَتِ ْشُ ِاد ا لًِل ْلتِ َب ِاد فَِإناُا للَى ثًَلثَِة أَقْس ٍام‬ ُ َ َ ْ ُ َْ َ َ َ َ َ َ َ ْ ‫وت َلْنهُ ا ِم ْن َه َذا الْ َببِ ِيو َوا ِم ْن َه َذا‬ ِ ِ ِ ِ ِ ٌ ‫ َما ُه َو َم ْس ُك‬:‫ث‬ ُ ‫ والثاال‬. Muhammad Ḥusayn Al-Dhahabiyy (1915-1977) and Ṣalāḥ cAbd al-Fattāḥ al- Khālidiyy (born 1947). Ibn Kathīr (701 – 774 AH / 1301-1373 CE). why do you ask the people of the scripture about anything while your Book (Quran) which has been revealed to Allah's Apostle is newer and the latest? You read it pure. 397-400).‫يح‬ ٌ ‫صق‬ ِ َ ٍِ ‫ود َإَل أ َْم ٍر ِد‬ ‫ِْن‬ ِِ ِ ِ ِ‫ و َغالِ َذل‬،‫الْببِ ِيو فًَل ن ؤِمن بِِه وا ن َك ِذبه وََتوز ِح َكاْ ته لِما ت بدام‬ ُ ُ‫ك اماا ا فَائ َد َة فيه تَع‬ َ ُ َ َ َ َ َ ُ َُ ُ ُ َ ُُ ُ َ ُ ْ ُ َ 33 www.” in his Muqaddimah Fī Uṣūl al-Tafsīr (Introduction to the Principles of Quranic Exegesis) as follows: ٍ ‫ اب ِن مسع‬:‫ني‬ ِ ِ ِ ِ ْ ‫وِهل َذا َغالِ ما ْ رِو ِْه‬ ،ِ‫ا‬ ٍ ‫ود َوابْ ِن َلبا‬ ُ ْ َ ْ ِ ْ َ‫يو بْ ُن َلْبد الار ْمحَ ِن السدي الْ َكبِ ُري ِيف تَ ْفس ِريه َل ْن َه َذْْ ِن الار ُجل‬ ُ ‫إسَال‬ َْ َ ُ ََ ‫اَّللِ صلى هللا لليه وَلم‬ ‫ول ا‬ ُ َُ ‫او الاِيت أ ََاب َح َُا َر‬ِ َ‫ان ْ ْن ُبو َلْن ُم ما َْحي ُكونَهُ ِمن أَقَا ِو ِْو أ َْه ِو الْ ِكت‬ ْ َ ْ ُ ُ َ َ‫ض اََ ْحي‬ ِ ِ ‫َولَ ِك ْن ِيف بَ ْع‬ "‫و َللَ اي ُمتَ َع ِم ًدا فَ ْليَ تَ بَ اوأْ َم ْب َع َدهُ ِم ْن الناا ِر‬ ِ ‫ "ب لِغُوا ل ِِن ولَو آْ ًة وح ِدثُوا لن ب ِِن‬:‫ال‬ َ ‫يو َوا َحَر َج َوَم ْن َك َذ‬ َ ‫إََرائ‬ْ َ ْ َ َ َ َ ْ َ َ َ َ َ‫ث ق‬ ُ ‫َحْي‬ ‫ني ِم ْن ُكتُ ِ أ َْه ِو‬ ِ ْ َ‫وَ َز ِاملَت‬ ِ ‫اَّلل بن لم ٍرو قَ ْد أَصاو ْ وم الْي رم‬ ِ ِ ِ‫ي لن لب ِد ا‬ َُْ َ َْ َ َ ْ َ ُ ْ ‫ َوهلََذا َكا َن َلْب ُد ا‬،‫اَّلل بْ ِن َل ْم ٍرو‬ َْ ْ َ ُّ ‫َرَواهُ الْبُ َخا ِر‬ ِ ِِ ِ ِ ‫احل ِد‬ ِ ِ ُ ‫او فَ َكا َن ُحي ِد‬ ‫ْث اإلَرائيلية تُ ْذ َك ُر‬ َ ‫ َولَ ِك ان َهذه اََ َحاد‬. we have never seen any man from them asking you regarding what has been revealed to you!” (Hadith.com . or ratiocinated between both. Ibn Taimiyyah described the hadith “wa ḥaddithū can banī Isrā’īl wa lā ḥaraj. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 false and you will believe it. both classical and modern.. in term of its use in the Muslim scholarship. “Ibn Abbas said. “O all Muslims. and wrote the scripture with their own hands and said. and narrate from the Children of Israel and there is no harm). ‫ َوكِتَابُ ُك ُم الا ِذى أُنْ ِزَل َللَى نَبِيِ ِه‬،‫او‬ ِ َ‫ف تَسأَلُو َن أ َْهو الْ ِكت‬ َ ْ َ ‫ َكْي‬،‫ني‬ ِِ َ ‫ ََي َم ْع َشَر الْ ُم ْسلم‬:‫ال‬ َ َ‫اِ رِى هللا لنُما ق‬ ٍ ‫َل ِن ابْ ِن َلبا‬ ِ َ‫اَّلل أَ ان أ َْهو الْ ِكت‬ ِ ِ ‫او بَ ادلُوا َما َكتَ َ ا‬ ُ‫اَّلل‬ َ ُ‫ َوقَ ْد َح ادثَ ُك ُم ا‬، ْ ‫ تَ ْبَرءُونَهُ َْ ُْ َش‬،‫َخبَا ِر اب اَّلل‬ ْ َ‫ث ا‬ ُ ‫َح َد‬ْ ‫صلى هللا لليه وَلم أ‬ ،‫ لِيَ ْشتَ ُروا بِِه ََثَنًا قَلِيًلً أَفًَلَ َْْن َُا ُك ْم َما َجاءَ ُك ْم ِم َن الْعِْل ِم َل ْن ُم َساءَلَتِ ُِ ْم‬،ِ‫اَّلل‬ ‫ فَ َبالُوا ُه َو ِم ْن ِلْن ِد ا‬،‫او‬ ِ ِ َ َ‫َو َغيا ُروا ِِبَْْدْ ُِ ُم الْكت‬ )‫ط َْ ْسأَلُ ُك ْم َل ِن الا ِذى أُنْ ِزَل َللَْي ُك ْم (رواه البخاري‬ ُّ َ‫اَّللِ َما َرأَْْنَا ِمْن ُُ ْم َر ُجًلً ق‬ ‫َواَ َو ا‬ Which means. Interestingly. by Allah. No. 1998. Ibn Taimiyyah (661-728AH / 1263-1328 CE). Ramzī Nacnācah. For instance. al-Bukhāriyy.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. undistorted and unchanged. in his al-Risālah. the permissive and prohibitive commands.

he will take his place in Hell. where we can neither judge it to be authentic nor inauthentic.com . which says: And 34 www. which is highly stressed in the Muslim scholarship is learned from the wisdom of the verse 36 in the Sūrah al-Isrā’. For example. namely al-Quran and al-Sunnah. Mardūd (refuted) and lastly. is authentic as attested by our own sources. the death of Jesus by crucifixion and other reports that conflict with the principal teachings of Islam. al-Suddiyy narrated from them sayings of the People of the Book.al-qanatir. Objectively. namely al-Quran and al-Sunnah. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 Which means. iii. Vol. by the revelations of Islam. is false as attested by our own sources.” Narrated by al-Bukhāriyy from c Abdullāh ibn cAmrū. the Concept of Jesus as Son of God. Descriptions on the definitions and examples of these three main categories of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship are as follows: i. This is why when cAbdullāh ibn cAmrū came into possession of two loads of books from the People of the Book on the Day of Yarmūk. 1990. this moderate and middle-way position of Islam vis-à-vis the Isrā’īliyyāt is justified from establishing a ruling on every Isrā’īliyyāt. al-cAsqalāniyy. The unknown status of narrations of the People of the Book or the maskūt canhu are defined as those narrations that are neither authenticated nor refuted by the revelations of Islam. which synchronize to the reports of the Quran and Hadith. If all traditions from the People of the Book. For instance. Maqbūl (accepted). and narrate from the Children of Israel and there is no harm in that. For instance. does not fall within two previous categories. but whosoever intentionally ascribes lies to me. if they are all to be refuted or taken as mardūd. these traditions are neither authenticated nor refuted. the concept of Original Sin. As it has been aforementioned. Sometimes. On the other hand. types of birds in the story of Prophet Ibrahim. From this categorization of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. the colour of their dog. to be accepted as maqbūl. then there will be no different at all between Islam and the other religions. 3. Furthermore. However these Israeli traditions are quoted as supporting evidences and not as primary sources. 2007). as well as traditions from other religions. Albayrak. which the Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed in his statement: “Convey from me even if it is a verse. Nuh. Second. which is by referring to the revelations of Islam. and majority of these Israeli traditions are contained in matters with no immediate Islamic religious benefit” (Ibn Taimiyyah 1994 & Ibn Kathīr. it is clear that neither all narrations from the People of the Book are to be rejected nor they are to be taken as authentic from the viewpoint of Islamic ruling. namely al-Quran and al-Sunnah. these include the names of the prophets. the names of the people of the cave (Aṣḥāb al-Kahf). namely al-Quran and al-Sunnah.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. Islam provides the third category of Isrā’īliyyāt. The accepted narrations of the People of the Book or the maqbūl are defined as those narrations that are proven to be in line and confirmed by the revelations of Islam. Maskūt cAnhu (unknown status of neither accepted nor refuted) (al-Dhahabiyy. brief stories of prophets such as Adam. ii. secondly. he would narrate from them due to the permissibility stated in the previous hadith. namely the Maskūt cAnhu or the traditions with unknown status. whereby religious syncretism emerged. 2000. These Israeli traditions are of three types: first. This objective and impartial attitude. 2001 & al-Khālidiyy. these include the majority descriptions in the Isrā’īliyyāt such as the name of the forbidden tree. In short. due to the unavailability of some narrations from the People of the Book in the sources of Islam. Musa and Isa. then Islam has neglected the principle of wiḥdah al-dīn or the unity of religion as taught and preached in Islam. No. And third. “It is for this reason that the majority of what Ismācīl ibn cAbd al-Raḥmān al- Suddiyy the Senior relates in his tafsir come from these two scholars: Ibn Mascūd and Ibn c Abbās. The mardūd or the refuted narrations of the People of the Book are defined as those narrations that are proven to be not in line and in conflict with the revelations of Islam. One is allowed to quote from this third type as justified previously above. these three categories of Isrā’īliyyāt are: first. in principle or in details. and many others which are not able to be authenticated nor refuted by the revelations of Islam. 2000). namely al-Quran and al-Sunnah.

3. In short. or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). No. the issue on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship could be summarized as in Figure 1 below. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge.com . Vol.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. for every act of hearing. 35 www.al-qanatir.

No.com . 3. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 From Torah From Injil The Use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim Intertwined Scholarship Biblical Sources of Islamic Rulings Non-Biblical Origin Specific Reasons for 1) Maqbūl or Accepted From Christians From Jews Use 2) Maskūt cAnhu or To understand Islam 3) Mardūd or Rejected Unknown status To criticize other religions To understand other religions Figure 1: The Use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim Scholarship 36 www. Vol.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies.al-qanatir.

licensed by the utterance haddithu 'an bani isra’il became part and parcel of Muslim literature as is abundantly reflected in the literature of the tafsir. second is Mardūd (refuted) and lastly. To conclude. No. it is clear that neither all narrations from the People of the Book are to be rejected nor they are to be taken as authentic from the viewpoint of Islamic ruling. Zabūr and Injīl. The Prophet said: “Believe in the Torah. This is due to the similarities that could be found in both sources. Evidently. zuhd and adab” (Meir J. Likewise. There are some verses and reports from the Prophet and the Companions that forbid from referring to the Isrā’īliyyāt. maskūt canhu (unknown status of neither accepted nor refuted). It is important to note that Muslims understanding of the narrations from People of the Book is determined by the Qur'an and the Prophetic traditions (Albayrak. enabled indeed the transmission of Jewish and Christian tradition. namely the Quran and the Isrā’īliyyāt.” This formula. 1972). Vol. the sole reason for the debates and polemics on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship is originally epistemological and could be traced to the different positions shown and taught by the Prophet and the Companions on the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. It all begins from the firm belief in the previous prophethood and their sacred messages to the whole mankind.Al-Qanatir International Journal of Islamic Studies. 1 (2016) eISSN: 2289-9944 CONCLUSION Islam relates to Isrā’īliyyāt through the Islamic principle of wiḥdah al-dīn or the unity of religion. Kister.al-qanatir. Maqbūl (accepted). it is from this principal understanding of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship that biblical interpretation in the Islamic contexts should be developed and discussed by the present and future scholars of Muslim-Christian studies. 37 www. Isrā’īliyyāt includes Jewish and Christian sources and also news from the Tawrāh. From this categorization of the use of Isrā’īliyyāt in Muslim scholarship. Kister’s (1914-2010) words: “The orthodox solution was that a Muslim had to believe in the Torah and the Gospel. In Meir J. in term of its use in the Muslim scholarship. Isrā’īliyyāt was also regarded as the fourth source for Quranic interpretation by the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). 2008). 3. In Muslim scholarship. the Zabur and the Evangel. which are: first. from these different reports.com . which breathes an air of compromise. the scholars had ruled that there are three main categories of Isrā’īliyyāt. However. This tradition. but the Qur'an should suffice you. but not to observe the practices enjoined in these Books. there are also some verses and reports that permit Muslims to refer to the Isrā’īliyyāt.

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