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The following Hadith has often been cited by many people to prove that the Jewish Torah has not been corrupted:-

He (the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was given the Torah and he took away the pillow from beneath him and then he put the Torah on it and then he said: “I believe in you [Torah] and in the One Who had sent you down.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 4449)

Many people believe that since Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu'alayhiwassalam) said, "I believed in thee and in Him Who revealed thee", this proves that the Torah that was in front of him was not corrupted. This is something contrary to the Muslim claim that the Torah in its present form has been corrupted.

Question: What is the truth behind this narration? Is this narration even authentic? It has been cited in Ibn Kathir's Abridged version of commentary.

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    "this proves that the Torah that was in front of him was not corrupted" Why? It's clear he was referring to the Torah as a whole which does contain the revelation, not its corruption. It doesn't prove the book didn't have corruptions in it. – The Z Apr 2 at 13:28
  • @TheZ - I am still waiting for any knowledgeable Muslim person to answer this. I have investigated this narration but my investigation is inconclusive. – Ren Apr 3 at 0:38
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The hadith has been classed as Daeef by some such as al-Arnaa’oot in his grading of Sunan Abu Dawud and has been classed as Hasan by others such as by al-Albani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel.

Within its chain, a transmitter of interest is Hisham bin Sa'd al-Madni - he has been weakened by a group of the Imams including Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Ma'in, Nasa'i, Abu Hatim, Ibn Saad, Ibn Hibban etc. However some have accepted his narrations on the condition that they be corroborated by others, so for example Imam Muslim has cited reports from him when they are supported by other evidence.

In this case, the main content of the hadith (the event of stoning of the adulterous Jews) is supported by several other sahih narrations, however the specific statement of the Prophet ﷺ regarding the written copy of the Torah is unique to this one.

Does the hadith say that Torah Has Not Been Corrupted?

One must understand what is meant by the Islamic creed of تحريف (distortion) the Torah. There are multiple madhabs on this, two major ones being:

  • The text of the Torah has been changed. This means that a fraction of the text has been corrupted while a fraction has not.

  • The text is still preserved. However its interpretation has been changed.

The hadith does not conflict with either madhab. It is obvious how it is compatible with the second madhab, as for the first one:

The Prophet's saying:

آمنت بك وبمن أنزلك

I believed in thee and in Him Who revealed thee

Is directed towards the Torah, which was written inside the mushaf. Specifically to the lines on the law of Rajm. There may also be other text written elsewhere inside the mushaf but the Prophet ignored that and addressed the significant part. This is no different from the verses of the Quran which relate to the Torah such as:

وكيف يحكمونك وعندهم التوراة فيها حكم الله

But how is it that they come to you for judgement while they have the Torah, in which is the judgement of Allah?

Quran 5:43

قل فأتوا بالتوراة فاتلوها إن كنتم صادقين

Say, [O Muhammad], "So bring the Torah and recite it, if you should be truthful."

Quran 3:93


Ref:

وقد استدل به بعضهم على أنهم لم يسقطوا شيئا من ألفاظها كما يأتي تقريره في كتاب التوحيد والاستدلال به لذلك غير واضح لاحتمال خصوص ذلك بهذه الواقعة فلا يدل على التعميم وكذا من استدل به على أن التوراة التي أحضرت حينئذ كانت كلها صحيحة سالمة من التبديل لأنه يطرقه هذا الاحتمال بعينه ولا يرده قوله آمنت بك وبمن أنزلك لأن المراد أصل التوراة

Fath al-Bari

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  • Brother, where can we download English version of Fath al-Bari (pdf format)? Can you give a link? – Muslim Apr 3 at 12:28
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    I doubt that an english version of Fath al-Bari exists yet. – UmH Apr 3 at 12:30
  • @UmH - I think UmH is a sister, not a brother. – Ren Apr 3 at 20:43
  • @UmH - "However some have accepted his narrations on the condition that they be corroborated by others, so for example Imam Muslim has cited reports from him when they are supported by other evidence." Kindly can you please tell me what is the source of this claim? – Ren Apr 3 at 21:05
  • @UmH - Secondly is it Hisham bin Sa'd Al-Madani or Hisham bin Sa'd Qureishi? Are these both the same narrators? – Ren Apr 3 at 22:07

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