As per the Qur'an, Muslims are expected to "believe in what has been revealed to you, and what was revealed before you."

Even though the previous scriptures were provided for a specific people at a specific time, and a lot therein has been abrogated by the Qur'an, there remains in them much wisdom and knowledge that may still be valuable to current Muslims.

So I lay this question out to the community at large: Should questions and answers which draw on the corpus of knowledge in (and derived from) the previous scriptures be considered in scope? If so, what should the limits be?

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    I would say they're ok as a weak reference, along the lines of a daif hadith. Something that supports an answer or acts as a "different opinion", but shouldn't be the end of the story.
    – Muz
    Mar 4, 2013 at 6:43

3 Answers 3


In brief, if the questions or answers to them depend critically on material in previous scriptures, then no, because extant editions of those scriptures have no isnad, or disputed isnad.


In general, I would say that they should be allowed, as long as they are used and interpreted in the context of Islam. We, as Muslims, believe in the previous revelations; even if they are no longer relevant in matters of fiqh — and even if they are corrupted as many modern Muslims believe — there is still much wisdom, knowledge and history therein that is otherwise unavailable.

Much of the Qur'an was explicitly revealed to confirm the previous revelations, and Isra'iliyyat has significant historic precedent of use in non-Fiqh purposes. Understanding the previous scriptures, and the stories of ahl-ul kitab, can still be of significant value in understanding Islam.


Jabir Bin ‘Abdullah narrated that when Umar came to Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.), he said: “We hear the narration from the Jews, which sounds pleasing to us, so should we not write some of them?” Whereupon he (s.a.w.) said: “Do you want to be baffled as the Jews and the Christians were baffled? I have brought to you (guidance) bright and pure and if Moses were alive now there would have been no alternative left for him but to follow me.” (Tirmidhi 177)

Jabir Bin ‘Abdullah narrated that Umar Bin al-Khattab brought to Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) a copy of the Torah and said: “Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.), this is a copy of the Torah.” He (Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) kept quiet and he (Umar) began to read it. The (color) of the face of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) underwent a change. Abu Bakr said, “Would that your mother mourns you, don’t you see the face of Allah’s Messenger?” Umar saw the face of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) and said, “I seek refuge with Allah from the wrath of Allah and the wrath of His Messenger (s.a.w.). We are well pleased with Allah as Rabb, with Islam as religion, and with Muhammad (s.a.w.) as Prophet.” Whereupon Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) said: “By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, even if Moses were to appear before you and you were to follow him, leaving me aside, you would certainly stray into error. If (Moses) were alive (now), and he found my prophethood, he would have definitely followed me.” (Tirmidhi 194, Darimi and Mishkat 1/20)

[Not so sure about the authenticity of this Hadith. There's a more reliable similar one that I couldn't find.]

The Prophet SAWS frowned upon those who read the previous books. The Qur'an is meant as the final word of Allah, overriding the previous scriptures. While they are not worthless, they rank quite poorly.

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