The Story of the Jewish Scribe with Al-Ma’mun

04 Jan

By karkooshy

A story found in Dal’ail Al-Nubuwa by Imam Al-Bayhaqi (beginning Volume 7, page 159 of Al-Shamela’s version of the book). I came to know of this story from a video of Sheikh Saleh Al-Maghamsi narrating another version of it.

The translation is a holistic one. Anything in square brackets “[ ]” is not based in the original text, and is just there to expound on the story.

The Story:

Al-Ma’mun [one of the Abbasid Caliphs] headed a court for debate. One day, a Jewish man entered the court. The man was handsome, adorned with luxurious clothes, wore good perfume, and spoke eloquently. After the debate session was over, Al-Ma’mun called the man to him. Al-Ma’mun asked: “Are you a Jew?”

The man answered: “Yes.”

[After observing the skill of this Jewish man, Al-Ma’mun attempted to persuade him to convert to Islam] Al-Ma’mun offered: “accept Islam, and I will reward you.”

Refusing, the Jewish man responded: “Judaism is my religion, and the religion of my forefathers”. Then the Jew left, and did not return for some time.

A year later, the same man entered the debate court again, only this time he was a Muslim! And once again, he spoke eloquently during the debate session. After the session was over, Al-Ma’mun called the man to him and asked: “Were you not our friend from before?”

The man answered: “Yes.”

Al-Ma’mun then asked: “How did you accept Islam?” [Al-Ma’mun was pleasantly surprised that the man accepted the faith, despite his refusal a year ago alongside the offer of reward. There must have been some amazing reason which provoked this man to change his mind].

The man answered with his story: “After leaving your court I wanted to test these religions, and as you can see I am a skilled scribe.

So I wrote three beautiful copies of the Torah, and three beautiful copies of the Gospel. Except that I had inserted fabrications in each copy, and removed parts of the text. I offered the copies to the church, and they bought them from me.

I then went on to test the Quran. I wrote three beautiful copies of the Quran, except that I had inserted fabrications in each copy, and removed parts of the text. I attempted to sell it to Muslim scribes who traded in books and manuscripts. The Muslims examined the copies, and when they found my interpolations they threw the copies away and refused to buy them from me. At that moment, I knew this book was protected, and this is how I came to accept Islam.”

Yahya Ibn Aktham [the original narrator of this story] said: I went to Hajj and met Sufyan Ibn U’yayna on that year. I told Sufyan this story, and he told me: “This is in accordance with what Allah has told us in His book”

I replied: “where?”

He said: “In the saying of Allah when describing the Torah and the Gospel {as they [the Jews and Christians] were bidden to protect the book of Allah} [Quran 5:44]. Allah gave the responsibility to the Jews and Christians to protect their scripture, so their scripture was lost. And Allah says {Verily We revealed the Reminder, and verily We are its Protector} [Quran 15:9]. Instead, Allah is protecting the Quran for us, so it was not lost.”

Imam Al-Bayhaqi concludes: And in the book and the narrations of the predecessors, is evidence for this. When the previous nations would want to change their religion, they would first change their books despite believing it is the truth. Then after some time, they would begin following their own desires, and justify this by citing their own perversions to scripture.

As for this Ummah, Allah has protected His Book, and the Sunnah of His prophet ﷺ. He has made this Ummah firm upon its beliefs, not changing anything from it – even if some might say so out of desire or ignorance. Praise be to Allah for protecting His religion, and for what He has guided us with. We ask that He keep us firm until death, and we ask that He forgive us on the Day of Resurrection, the God who Hears our supplications, the One who does what He wills. And peace and blessings upon His Prophet Muhammed ﷺ.

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Posted by on January 4, 2017 in Relax, Truth & evidence


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