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I already have studied the Torah (Old Testament) and I'm now studying the New Testament and The Holy Quran.

I have a question regarding prophets.

How come Muslims believe in prophets after Malachi since in the Torah it's said that in Yehoshua 23:6:

וַחֲזַקְתֶּם מְאֹד--לִשְׁמֹר וְלַעֲשׂוֹת, אֵת כָּל-הַכָּתוּב בְּסֵפֶר תּוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה: לְבִלְתִּי סוּר-מִמֶּנּוּ, יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול

Be very strong to protect and do everything that is written in Moshe's Torah. Do not deviate from it to the right or to the left.

In Deuteronomy 4:2 :

... לֹא תֹסִפוּ, עַל-הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם, וְלֹא תִגְרְעוּ, מִמֶּנּוּ

Do not add onto what I am commanding to you, and do not detract from it...

Proverbs 30:6 :

אַל-תּוֹסְףְּ עַל-דְּבָרָיו: פֶּן-יוֹכִיחַ בְּךָ וְנִכְזָבְתָּ

Do not add onto [God's] words, lest he test you and you be found to be a liar.

Rambam writes in his Mishneh Torah about it :

לפיכך אם יעמוד איש בין מן האומות בין מישראל ויעשה אות ומופת ויאמר שה' שלחו להוסיף מצוה או לגרוע מצוה או לפרש במצוה מן המצות פירוש שלא שמענו ממשה או שאמר שאותן המצות שנצטוו בהן ישראל אינן לעולם ולדורי דורות אלא מצות לפי זמן היו הרי זה נביא שקר שהרי בא להכחיש נבואתו של משה ומיתתו בחנק על שהזיד לדבר בשם ה' אשר לא צוהו

Therefore, if a person will arise, whether Jew or gentile, and perform a sign or wonder and say that God sent him to:

a) add a mitzvah,

b) withdraw a mitzvah

c) explain a mitzvah in a manner which differs from the tradition received from Moses, or

d) if he says that the mitzvot commanded to the Jews are not forever, but rather were given for a limited time,

he is a false prophet. He comes to deny the prophecy of Moses and should be executed by strangulation, because he dared to make statements in God's name which God never made.

All these sources, from original holy scripture but also from commentaries express that nothing may be added or subtracted from the Torah. Even someone who claims to be a prophet may never do so, and to attempt to do so will show him to be a false prophet. So how come Muslims believe in the Torah/Old Testament but also believe in prophets such as Jesus (pbuh) and Muhammad (pbuh)?

Thank you for your help and guidance.

  • We, Muslims, believe that the original Torah has been altered by the people. So, we don't know whether the parts you are quoting is of original source or from the parts that have been added later. We believe that the original Torah was Holy book, but not the contemporary one. – ozbek Oct 11 '15 at 14:02
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    Do you have evidences/references of it? Because with the way Torah scrolls are produced and managed since the beginning (you can check on Wikipedia or somewhere else), it's unlikely to happen, they are always the same exact copy, letter by letter. Pick one scholar study on Torah's accuracy on Google and read about it. Another proof demonstrating that the Torah didn't changed are the dead-sea scrolls where almost the entire Torah was found as today. They are about 2,500 years old, that's about 1000 years before Muhammad (pbuh) was born. Can easily be checked via scientific studies/researches. – TruthSeeker Oct 11 '15 at 14:45
  • Also, is it the only argument which should invalid my point? If yes, why should we follow some points of the Torah and avoid others? – TruthSeeker Oct 11 '15 at 14:47
  • Your question is based on the assumption that Muslims believe in the contemporary Torah, but that is not the case. We don't follow Torah entirely. We don't follow any part of it as we don't know which part is genuine and which part is fabricated. – ozbek Oct 11 '15 at 15:08
  • So what muslims do follow besides the Holy Quran? – TruthSeeker Oct 11 '15 at 15:19
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The question, as currently worded, isn't very meaningful because the simple answer is that both Christians and Muslims received a Prophet and they believed in him. Faith came first, then the scripture and neither Jesus (pbuh) nor Muhammad (pbuh) intended to destroy the Mosaic Law nor the theological foundations thereof. For the sake of meaningful discussion a better question would be to ask: How do the Muslims interpret the Mitzvot from Torah quoted in question?

To begin with, Joshua and Proverbs are respectively from Nevi'im and Ketuvim, and even the Jews recognize these to be collations of divine inspirations and neither the writings of Moses (pbuh) nor the word of God. None of these are technically the Mitzvot, but rather elaborations thereof. However, all these converge to "All this word which I command you, that shall ye observe to do; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."

But does that preclude the possibility that God Himself will not give any further Mitzvot? Historically, divine inspirations of the sages, let alone prophets have found their way into Judaism, but still, is there any reference in the Torah to the fact that God may issue further commands? Let's analyze this

One of the 613 Mitzvot listed in Mishneh Torah clearly commands "to listen to the prophet speaking in His Name," which is based on

A prophet will the LORD thy God raise up unto thee, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Deut. 18:15)

It is interesting to note that Rambam does not derive a separate Mitzvah from Deut. 18:18, suggesting that 18:15, had been understood to mean the same as:

I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. (Deut. 18:18)

In contradistinction, two things are very clear from this verse.

  1. God will put his word in the mouth of a prophet, which in the literal sense implies the very word of God and not a mere inspiration.
  2. His word will be commands from God just as the words of Moses (pbuh) were commands from God, i.e. Mitzvot

The possibility of continuity of Mitzvot is clearly explained in this verse. It is difficult to understand how a clear Mitzvah of the Torah could go unnoticed.

Obviously, Jews don't interpret the verse as such, even though after Moses (pbuh) there has not been any major or minor prophet raised in them who claimed a revelation that is the literal word of God, but they are and were still bound by a clear Mitvah to listen to the prophet who speaks in the name of God and another Mitzvah that commands not to listen to a false prophet.

What does the Torah tell us about a false prophet? We have in Deutronomy 13

  1. If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams--and he give thee a sign or a wonder,
  2. and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee--saying: 'Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them';
  3. thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God putteth you to proof, to know whether ye do love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

"Let us go after other gods," defines a false prophet. Listening to Jesus (pbuh) and Muhammad (pbuh) was therefore a binding on them as none of them changed God. In fact, Rambam himself strongly put forth the view that Muslims were not idolaters. Rambam (Musa Ibn Maimun) was raised and flourished in Muslim Spain and its hard to discern whether the characterization of the "false prophet" that he has detailed in his magnum opus is not itself an act of "adding to the word of God" and a defensive mechanism against Islam.

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