I am wondering whether there was a Bible in the Prophet Muhammad (saws)'s time, and if there was, what did he say about it?

Is there a hadith about what he said about the Injil which is in the hands of Christians?

The bible was written 300 years or so after Jesus (pbuh) so it means there was a Bible. I want know what the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said about it. Was it changed, corrupted, follow it, dont follow it, ...

  • Check this fatwa (in arabic language) <islamweb.net/fatwa/…> Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 22:03
  • As Mark in his answer pointed out what you refer to as the bible is the new testament the Bible itself is much older.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 12:43

4 Answers 4


The Christian Bible has no single date of authorship. Much of the Bible is the Old Testament: i.e. pre-Christian Jewish scripture. This clearly existed long before the time of Muhammad. The various books of the New Testament also have different dates. Re:

The bible was written 300 years or so after Jesus (pbuh)

That is an over-simplification; even the First Council of Nicaea (which is, I suspect, where that date is coming from) only went some way to standardize the books of the New Testament, with a standard text commissioned by Constantine, but most of the NT content exists in written form from earlier dates in the first few centuries CE. The earliest complete copy of a text that still exists is the Codex Sinaiticus, from about 350 - but this has various minor copy differences, as indeed do various other texts. There are certainly ongoing discussions about whether certain parts of texts have been amended, extended, etc.


whether there was a Bible in the Prophet Muhammad (saws)'s time

Yes, there certainly was. However, oral tradition would be the "main" way that most religions would be known to all but the relatively-few literate people.

  • the bible was writen hundreds of years after jesus(pbuh)
    – Samir
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 12:05
  • 9
    @Samir no, it was formally compiled later, but the individual books were written much earlier than that. Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 14:49

According to the Quran, the Jewish and Christian tribes in the Arabian Peninsula did not have the compilation of scriptures known as the Bible in any form. What they did have were 2 scrolls; the Torah and the Injil. The Torah is a scroll of laws revealed to Musa (as) and the Injil (one injil) contained the revelations to Isa (as). Allah (swt) mentions that Dawood was given Psalms but it does not mention that these Psalms were in the possession of any of these tribes. None of these scrolls available to the tribes in the Arabian peninsula have survived. What we do know about them is that the Injil scroll available to the Christian tribes was similar to the Torah available to the Jewish tribes (Quran 61:6):

And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One. Yet when he hath come unto them with clear proofs, they say: This is mere magic.

We also know that both of these scrolls were similar to the Quran:

He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. (Q 3:3).

In addition, we also know that some of the stories concerning the biographies of Musa and Isa (as) were available as they are also mentioned in the Quran. Similarities to these stories can be found in the canonized Old and New Testaments as well as the Nag Hamadi scriptures. These biographical narratives would not be considered as either part of the Torah scroll or the Injil scroll as they are not the words spoken to these prophets by Allah (swt). However, the biographical narratives of the prophets in the Quran are revelation as the correct biographical information regarding the prophets was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh). It seems that the Jewish and Christian tribes had portions of revelation which they considered sacred. However, the Jewish and Christian tribes rejected each other's scriptures. Allah (swt) re-integrated these scriptures along with the corrected biographical narratives in the Quran, while adding new revelation given to the Prophet. Allah (swt) then sealed the Book, so that the corruption which plagued all previous scripture would be permanently excluded. In conclusion, the Quran does not refer to the scriptures canonized by Christian and Jewish authorities. The Quran refers to the revelations given to these prophets and not the narratives one finds in the present day Bible.

And Allah (swt) knows best!


I think I found an answer after long searching

The correctness of the Bible according to the Ahadeeth

We have seen in the previous chapter, that there are about 100 verses in the Quran concerning the Tourat and the Injeel. So it is not strange that the Hadeeth has mention about them.

The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon Him) said: There will be in the end of time charlatan liars coming to you with narrations that you nor your fathers heard, so beware of them lest they misguide you and cause you tribulations. Muslim

Abu Huraira Said: The people of the Scripture (Jews) used to recite the Torah in Hebrew and they used to explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. On that Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Do not believe the people of the Scripture or disbelieve them, but say:-- "We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us." (2.136)

It is clear that Muhammad did not support nor fight against the tafseer/explanation of the people of the book to their book, nor did He make any comments on the text. And the Muslimeen of the time did not know whether the explanation of the Jews on the Tourat, actually agrees with the text itself or is not in accordance with the text.

Abu Hurara narrated, that the Prophet said to Ubai bin Ka'b: how do you read in salat? So He read Surat Al Fatihah/The Mother of the book so the Messanger said: By the one who has my soul in His hands, nothing came down in the Tourat, the Injeel, the Zaboor, nor the Quran like it, and it is the Sab'ul Mathani and the Qur'anul Adheem that was given to me.

Mishkah, Hadith 2142, Narrated by Attirmidhi

Narrated by Jaabir, that Ummar binul Khattab cam to the Prophet with a copy of the Tourat and sid: O messenger this is a copy of the Tourat. The Messenger remained silent. So ummar started to read while the Prophet's face started to change. So Abu Bakr said: Your women have lost you (unsure translation, original is: ثكلتك الثواكل) Do not you see the change in expression of the face of the Prophet? So Ummat looked and said: I seek refuge in Allah from His Anger and his messenger's(anger). We have accepted Allah as our lord and Islam as our way and Muhammad as our prophet. So the Prophet said: by the one who has my soul in His hands, if you were to follow Musa/Moses and leave me, you would lose your way, and if, and If Musa/Moses were to be Alive in my time, He would follow me.

Misha't, Hadith 195, narrated by Addarmy

Narrated by Salman: I read in the Tawrah that the blessing for food is in the Wudu' after it. So I mentioned that to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam), telling him what I read in the Tawrah. So the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: 'The food's blessing is in the Wudu' before it and the Wudu' after it.'"

Narrated by both Abu Dawood and Attirmidhy, the grade of the Hadith is weak.

here Muhammad does not forbid the reading of the Tourat nor does He refute their existence. And His silence is proof for their existence. Let us meditate on the following Hadith:

Narrated by Khaithama bin Abi Sbra: I came to Madinah and I asked Allah for a righteous companion, so He pointed me to Aba Hurayra, so I sat and told Him: i asked Allah to make it easy for me to find a righteous companion فوُفّقتَ لي . H said to me, from where did you come from? I said: From Koofah, I came looking got good and ask for it. So Abu Hrairah said: Don't you have among you Sa'd bin Malik the one who's Du'a is accepted? and Ibn Mas'ood صاحب طهور رسول الله ونعليه ? and Hudhaifah the companion of the secret of the Prophet? And Ammar the one Allah saved from the Shaitan on the tongue of the Prophet(وعمار الذي أجاره الله من الشيطان على لسان نبيه)? And Salman the owner of the two books (meaning the Injeel and the Quran).

Mishkat, Hadith 6424, Narrated by Attirmidhy

It is clear that the above Hadith makes known that the two books are the Injeel and the Quran, not the Tourat and the Injeel. And this makes certain that at the time of the early Muslims, there was a correct Injeel that they read.

Narrated by Ziad bin Lubaid: The Prophet recalled something and said: That is the time when the knowledge goes. I asked: and how would the knowledge go when we read the Quran and we teach it to our children and our children read it until judgement day? The messenger replied: Oh Ziad, Your mother has lost you! I saw you from among the most understanding men in Madinah, don't the Jews and Christians read the Tourat and the Injeel and don't understand what is in it?

Mishkat, Hadith 277, Nrrated by Ahmad and Ibn Majah

And this Hadith makes clear that Muhammad said that the Jews and Christians read their Book, but don't understand, He did not say that they were interpolated or copied, And maybe this points to the Arab christians and Jews that they don't understand the Language of the tourat which is Hebrew, and the Language of the Injeel which is Greek. So we ask, how many did read and understand the Bible?

So what about the Hadith of the starting of revelation, where in Khadija takes Muhammad to Her cousin, and He was a christian, and He wrote The Bible in Greek, so He wrote from the Injeel in Greek whatever God Willed Him to write, and He was a very old and has gone blind.

Bukari, book 1, page 2

This means that the Bible was known to the Arab

We can say, that the bible in the time of the Prophet was not interpolated.

Source (Arabic)

  • This is a one side evidence list there are many ahadith and the qur'an itself shows first that reading the Thora or New Testament was disliked if not forbidden to some of the shabah and the qur'an shows that both are and have been corrupted.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 6:47

Yes, both the Hadith and the Quran say that their were Christian Bibles(Injil) at the Prophet's time and the Quran confirms "That which was in their hands(biYadaihi)". These were physical scrolls/books being read in the Churches. In all likelihood they are the Syriac Peshita. It was canonized by the 4th Cen. and was in Arabia by the 6th. Every biblical name in the Quran is a Syriac translation, as well as a few words.

Is there a hadith about what he said about the Injil which is in the hands of Christians? There are quite a few and they range in opinion. It appears that different companions(or sub-nararators) inserted their own opinion on the Bible into the hadith. For example: -Omar bought the Taurat to Muhammad, he got red-faced and stayed quiet in the Mosque. -The Prophet put his hand on the Bible and said "I will follow thee." -Abu Hurairah quotes Torah verses left and right(which no one seems to catch).

As you can see, they are conflicting opinions. It is very hard to figure out Muhammad's opinion on the Bible from the Ahadith. The Quran never says the Bible is corrupted, only that the Rabbi's "misplace" or misinterpret the verses. After all, how can anyone corrupt God's word?

The bible was written 300 years or so after Jesus (pbuh) so it means there was a Bible. I want know what the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said about it. Was it changed, corrupted, follow it, dont follow it,

The earliest biblical manuscript is a first century piece of John's Gospel in Rylands library, Britain.

Muhammad never said it was corrupted as far as I know. The Quran, EXPLICITLY, tells the Christians to follow the Injil(full of guidance and light) who were living near the Prophet!

  • yes it saids in quran that its corrupted look here(البقرة79),(المائدة41), (المائدة13) ,(النساء46),... and more here the link
    – Samir
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 11:45

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