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Judaism - The Taurah - Talmud

The Îsâwî (Nazarene) religion is a continuation of the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. It will therefore be useful to give some information about Jews and their Holy Book. First, we shall present a brief history of Judaism:

Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm’ is one of those Prophets who are called Ulul-azm. He was neither a Jew, nor a Christian. He was a true Muslim. Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm’ is the forefather of the Israelites, that is, Jews, and of the Arabs. He is at the same time one of the grandfathers of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’.

The capital of Chaldea was Babylon. Their kings were called Nemrûd (Nimrod). At that time Chaldeans worshipped the moon, the sun and stars. They had made various idols to represent these celestial beings. Nimrods, too, were among these idols. Allâhu ta’âlâ sent forth Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm’ as a Prophet to them. Yet they would not have îmân. They wanted to burn that blessed Prophet in a fire, but Allâhu ta’âlâ made the fire salvation for him. This fire, which they made after piling up wood for many days, became a verdure for him. Although they saw this miracle, most of them would still not have îmân. Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm’ went to Egypt. Then, commanded by Allâhu ta’âlâ, he returned to Palestine. After Ibrâhîm’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ death, his son, Is-haq (Isaac) ‘alaihis-salâm’, became the Prophet, and after Is-haq ‘alaihis-salâm’ prophethood was granted to his son, Ya’qûb (Jacob) ‘alaihis-salâm’. Another name of Ya’qûb ‘alaihis-salâm’ was Isrâîl (Israel). Therefore, people descending from the twelve sons of Ya’qûb ‘alaihis-salâm’ are called (Benî Isrâîl), which means ‘the sons of Isrâîl’, (or Iraelites). Yûsuf (Joseph) ‘alaihis-salâm’, one of Ya’qûb’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ sons, was envied by his brothers. They threw him into a well and lied to Ya’qûb ‘alaihis-salâm’, saying that he was dead. Then he was saved by some travellers going by the well. They took him out of the well, took him along to Egypt, and sold him as a slave there. His purchaser was Azîz (Potiphar), Egypt’s Minister of the Exchequer. He took Yûsuf ‘alaihis-salâm’ to his home. His wife, Zelîha, fell in love with him. But when Yûsuf ‘alaihis-salâm’ refused her, she slandered him. Upon this slander, Yûsuf ‘alaihis-salâm’ was imprisoned in a dungeon. Later, when he interpreted a dream of Pharaoh, the Egyptian Ruler, he was taken out of the dungeon and was made Egypt’s Minister of the Exchequer by the Pharaoh. Yûsuf ‘alaihis-salâm’ brought his father Ya’qûb ‘alaihis-salâm’ and his brothers to Egypt from Canaan, that is, from (today’s) Palestine. The Pharaoh treated Ya’qûb ‘alaihis-salâm’ and his children with respect and deep interest. Thus the Israelites settled in Egypt, where they led a comfortable life for a while. Later, however, they were subjected to countless torments and persecutions and were reduced to slavery. Who saved them from these troubles and took them to the (Ard-i-Maw’ûd), that is, to the Promised Land [Palestine], was Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’.

Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was raised in Pharaoh’s palace and by Pharaoh himself. When he reached forty years of age, he left the palace and began to live with his kin, especially with his elder brother Hârûn (Aaron).

One day he saw an Egyptian unbeliever [a gypsy] bullying an Israelite. As he tried to rescue him, the gypsy died. Being frightened, Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ fled to the Median city (Midian) in the vicinity of Tebuk.[93] There, he married the daughter of Shu’ayb (Jethro) ‘alaihis-salâm’, and served him ten years. Then he left for Egypt. On the way, on Mount Tûr (Sinai), he spoke with Allâhu ta’âlâ. When he arrived in Egypt, he invited the Pharaoh to the religion of Allâhu ta’âlâ. He asked him to grant freedom to the Israelites. The Pharaoh refused it and said, “Moses is a powerful magician. He wants to cheat us out of our country.” He asked his viziers what they thought. They advised him to convene the magicians to outvie him. The magicians came and, as the Egyptians watched, they dropped the ropes they were holding in their hands on to the ground. Each of the ropes changed into a snake and began to crawl towards Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. Upon this, Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ left his rod to the ground. It became a gigantic serpent and swallowed (all) the snakes. Bewildered, the magicians became Believers. The Pharaoh became angry and said, “So he was your master. I shall have your hands and feet cut off and hang you all on date branches.” They said, “We believe Mûsâ. We trust ourselves to his Rabb (Allah). Him, alone, do we beg for forgiveness and mercy.” The water which the unbelievers had been using became blood. It rained frogs. Cutaneous diseases broke out and spread. Darkness fell and the whole country remained in darkness for three days. Awed by these miracles, the Pharaoh permitted the Israelites to leave Egypt. However, as Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ and the Israelites were on their way to Jerusalem, the Pharaoh repented having let them go and, rallying his army, fell to follow them. The Suez Isthmus opened and the Believers walked to the other side. As the Pharaoh, too, was passing to the other side, the sea closed in, drowning him and his army. The Israelites saw people worshipping an ox on their way, and said to Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, “We wish to have a god like this.” Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ answered them. “There is no god other than Allâhu ta’âlâ. Allâhu ta’âlâ saved you.” Then they fell into a wilderness called Tîh, where they lost their way and suffered dire deprivation of food and drink. (Menn) and (Selva), that is, manna and meat, rained down from heaven. They ate these. When he tapped the ground with his rod, water came out. And they drank this water. They hurt Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ by saying. “We are tired of manna and meat. We wish other things such as broad-beans and onions.” For this reason they remained in the wilderness for forty years. Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, leaving Hârûn ‘alaihis-salâm’ for his place, went to Mount Tûr (Sinai), where he prayed for forty days. He heard the Word of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Allâhu ta’âlâ sent down the Holy Book (Taurah) and the Ten Commandments inscribed on two tablets. A munafîq (hypocrite) named Sâmirî collected gold wares and ornaments from the people, melted them, and made a gold calf. He said, “This is Moses’ god. Worship this.” So they began to worship it. They would not listen to Hârûn’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ remonstrations. When Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ came back and saw their practices, he was very angry. He cursed Sâmirî. He held his elder brother’s beard and reproached him. They repented and begged him for forgiveness. Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ preached them the Taurah and the Ten Commandments. They began to perform their worships as prescibed in the Taurah. Afterwards, they deviated from the right course again and finally parted into seventy-one sects.

Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ and his ummat went to the region south of the Dead Sea. He made war against a king named Ûj bin Ûnq (King of Bashan). He captured the land east of the Sharî’a River. He climbed the mountain opposite Erîha City. He saw the land of Canaan from the distance. Then, leaving his place to Yûshâ (Joshua) ‘alaihis-salâm’, he passed away there, according to a narrative, 1605 years before the birth of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, when he was one hundred and twenty (120) years old. Yûshâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ captured Erîha City, and then Jerusalem, from the Amalekites, who were heathens.

Some time later, Dâwûd (David) ‘alaihis-salâm’ became the king. He recaptured Jerusalem. Thus the most prosperous period in the Jewish history commenced. Afterwards, Suleymân (Solomon) ‘alaihis-salâm’, (who succeeded Dâwûd ‘alaihis-salâm’), had the renowned temple, that is, the Mesjîd-i Aqsâ (Al-Aqsâ) built on the site which had been reserved and prepared by his father. Suleymân ‘alaihis-salâm’ had the (Tâbût-i-sekîna), that is, the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the Taurah and the other keepsakes such as the Ten Commandments and the tablets whereon the Ten Commandments (Decalogue) were written, placed in a room of the temple.

The Jewish nation, who were composed of twelve tribes, parted into two disparate kingdoms after Suleymân’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ death. Ten tribes made up the Israelite Kingdom, (established by Jeroboam), and the remaining two tribes, (namely Judah and Benjamen), formed the Judah Kingdom. Later, indulging in their passions for excess, they swerved from the right way, plunged into depravities, and eventually incurred the Divine Wrath. The Israelite Kingdom was demolished by the Assyrians in 721 B.C., and later the Judah Kingdom was abolished by the Babylonians, in 586 B.C. The Assyrians invaded Babylonia. In 587, the Assyrian King Buht-un-nasar (Nebuchadnezzar) burned and devastated Jerusalem. He killed most of the Jews and exiled the rest to Babylon. During these tumults the heavenly Book, Taurah, was burned. This original Taurah was a huge Book. In other words, it was composed of forty parts. Each part was made up of a thousand sûras (chapters), and each sûra contained a thousand âyats (verses). No one but Uzeyr (Ezra or Esdras) ‘alaihis-salâm’ had memorized this colossal Book. He taught the Taurah to the Jews again. In the course of time, however, it was mostly forgotten, and largely interpolated. Various people wrote whatever they remembered of its verses, and thus a variety of books appeared in the name of Taurah. A rabbi named Azrâ (Ezra) who lived some four hundred years before the birth of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, compiled them and wrote today’s Taurah, which is called the Old Testament. When the Iranian king Shîreveyh routed the Assyrians, he permitted the Jews to go back to Jerusalem. After 520 B.C. the Jews restored the Mesjîd-i-Aqsâ. For some time they lived under Persian domination, then the Macedonians took them under their sway. In 63 B.C. Jerusalem was captured by the Roman General Pompey.[94] He burned and destroyed the Mesjîd-i-Aqsâ. Thus the Jews went under the Romans’ dominance. In 20 B.C. Herod, the Romans’ Jewish governor in Palestine, had the temple rebuilt. Later the Jews revolted against the Roman domination. Yet, in A.D. 70, the Roman general Titus[95] thoroughly burned and destroyed Jerusalem. He turned the city into a pile of ruins. Beyt-i-muqaddes was burned, too, and only its Western wall remained standing. This wall is now called (Wailing Wall). This wall has maintained the national and religious esprit de corps in the Jewish community alive for years. Belief in a promised Messiah is another contribution to the prolonged survival of this feeling. The wall was specially protected and the temple was restored by the Byzantines, and then by the Umayyads, and finally by the Ottomans.

After Titus’ massacres and cruelties, the Jews left Palestine in groups. They were expelled from Jerusalem and its territories. The Jewish slaves were sent to Egypt, where they were ruled as slaves by the Romans. It was an epoch when the Jews spread all over the world.

Jewry has adopted two disparate sources of commandments for Judaism: 1- Written Commandments; 2- Oral Commandments.

According to Jews, Torah and Talmud are the two basic Holy Books. The former contains the written commandments, and the latter includes the oral commandments.

The book Torah is called the Old Testament by Christians. Jews have divided Torah into three sections: 1- Taurah, or Torah (Law, Pentateuch); 2- Neviim, or the Prophets; 3- Ketûbîm, or the Scriptures (Hagiographa).

Torah is an acronym formed by the initial letters of the Hebrew counterparts of the three words given above. Neviim (the Prophets) is composed of two subdivisions; the Major Prophets, which consists of six[96] books; the Minor Prophets, made up of fifteen books. Ketûbîm, that is, the Scriptures (Writings), is composed of eleven books according to Jews, and fifteen books in Christians’ belief.

Jews believe that the five books which they call Taurah have been sent by Allâhu ta’âlâ down to Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. These five books are (Genesis), (Exodus), (Leviticus), (Numbers), (Deuteronomy). It is written about the old age and death of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, how old he was and how he was buried when he was dead and how the Jews mourned for him in Deuteronomy [Deut: 34]. How does it happen that these reports, which are about the events that are supposed to have taken place after Mûsâ’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ death, are written in a book which is alleged to have been revealed to Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’? This factual hiatus is one of the clear proofs testifying to the fact that the existing Taurah is not in its pristine purity as it was revealed by Allâhu ta’âlâ and taught by Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’.

As it is stated in the book (History of the Jews) by H.Hirch Graetzin, a Jewish clergyman, Jews established the (Assembly of the Seventies) in order to keep their community strictly obedient to the Pentateuchal commandments, and called the head of this assembly (Chief Rabbi). Jewish theologians who teach young Jewish people their religion in schools and preach the Taurah are called (Scribes). Some of their explanations and amendments of the Taurah have been inserted into the copies of the Taurah written afterwards. These are the scribes mentioned in the Gospels. Another task of these people is to make Jews obedient to the Taurah.

There is yet another version of the Taurah, and it is rejected by most Jews. It is called (Tora ha-Shomranim). Believers of this Torah have always been opposed to the explanations and additions made by these scribes to the Taurah, even if it were a change of one letter. It is reported that there are some six thousand differences between the Taurah possessed by Jews and the Taurah Shomranim.

Christians use the term Old Testament (Ahd-i-Atîk) for the book Torah. Jews reject this term.

There is no doubt that the book they call Taurah today is not the genuine Taurah revealed to Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ by Allâhu ta’âlâ. There is a duration of two thousand years between the time when the earliest of these copies of the Taurah was written and the time when Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ lived. Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ advised the scholars of his ummat to preserve the Taurah in the Tâbût-i-sekîna (Ark of the Covenant). When Suleymân ‘alaihis-salâm’ built the (Mesjîd-i-Aqsâ), he had the ark put in the temple and had it opened. When the ark was opened, it was seen that it contained only the two tablets on which the Awâmir-i-Ashere (Ten Commandments) were written.

A book titled (Who Wrote The Torah), published in 1987 by Elliot Friedman, a professor in the University of California in U.S.A., stirred up the Jewish and Christian worlds. Professor Friedman explains that the five books composing the Taurah were written by five different theologians and that they were in no way comparable to the original copy of the Taurah revealed to Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. In the same book, Professor Friedman states that the (Old) and (New) (Testaments) of the (Holy Bible) are in contradiction with each other, and gives examples. Moreover, Professor Friedman points out that there are inconsistencies in the books, and even in the chapters, making up the Taurah, and adds that a book of that sort could by no means be called a (heavenly Book). There is also a vast stylistic textual difference in the five books making up the Taurah.

According to Prof. Friedman, today’s Taurah was written by five rabbis who lived several centuries after Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ and later another rabbi named Ezra gathered them together and published them in the name of the original version of the Old Testament. Historian Prof. Friedman’s conclusive remarks can be briefly paraphrased as follows:

There are three versions of the Taurah today: The Hebrew version accepted by Jews and Protestants; the Greek version accepted by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches; the Samaritan Pentateuch accepted by the Samaritans.[97] These versions are known as the oldest and the most dependable versions of the Taurah, yet there are innumerable contradictions, both within the versions and between the versions. They contain suggestions of cruelty to people and extremely ugly and unbecoming imputations to Prophets. The real Taurah could by no means be said to have contained these inconsistencies.”

Richard Simon, a French clergyman, says in his book (Historia Critique du Vieux Testament) that (today’s) Taurah is not the original Taurah revealed to Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ and that it is a compilation of various books written in different times. The clergyman’s book was seized and he was excommunicated.

Dr. Jean Astruc says in his book (Conjectures il parait que Mouse s’est Servi pour composer le livre de la Genese) that each of the five books of the Pentateuch is a different book compiled from various sources. He points out also that the same names in one section are changed and repeated at one or two other places.

It is written in the eleventh and later verses of the first chapter of Genesis that plants were created before mankind. On the other hand, it is written in the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth verses of the second chapter that man was created and at that time there were no plants on the earth and that plants were created after the creation of man. On account of his disclosure of contradictions such as this and many other grave errors, Jean Astruc was proclaimed a heretic.

Gottfried Eichhorn published a book in 1775. In this book he says that the five books, including Genesis, are different both in dates and in styles of language. However, Eichhorn and his books were excommunicated.

Herden, a German poet and philosopher, writes in his work titled (Von Geiste den hebraischen Poesie) that the poems in the book (Psalms) of the Old Testament were written by different Hebrew poets in different times and that they were compiled afterwards. He states also that the (Song of Solomon) is only a book of carnal and obscene love songs and that the poems in it could not be attributed to such an exaltedProphet as Suleymân ‘alaihis-salâm’. Those who are interested should only take a look at the (Song of Solomon).

Owing to the improvements in the studies carried on in the Hebrew language in the nineteenth century, it was proved that the five books included in the Taurah did not belong to Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ and that these Pentateuchal books were compiled in different times. Very many European historians, priests and bishops published works on this subject.

Dr. Graham Scroggie of the Mood Bible Institute confesses in the book (Is the Bible the Word of God?) that neither the (Old Testament) nor the (New Testament) is the Word of Allah.

Dr. Stroggie states, “Genesis is full of genealogies. Who was born from whom, how he was born, etc. It always gives information of this sort. Why should these things interest me? What do these things have to do with worships, with loving Allâhu ta’âlâ? How can one be a good person? What is the day of Judgement? Who will call us to account, and how? What should one do to become a pious person? These things have very little reference. For the most part, various fables are related. Before daytime is defined, it begins to tell about the night.” How could a book of this kind ever be the Word of Allah?

Today a person who reads the books called (Torah) by Jews and the (Old Testament) by Christians will think he is reading a book of sexology teaching ways of indecency, obscenity and immorality, instead of a heavenly book revealed by Allâhu ta’âlâ. Many Western priests and scientists, realizing that these books are not the Word of Allah, have published innumerable books and tried to inform everyone of the fact. The capacity of our book would not let us mention them (all) here.