I wish to marry a Christian lady of good moral. I am meeting opposition from my friends who say this is not permitted to me. They tell me that even though Holy Qur’an tells me that it is permissible this refers to Christians and Jews at the time of the Prophet (PBUH) and that modern Christians and Jews do not follows ‘the Books’ but different books and, “People of the Books” refers to the “followers” of the religions who received God’s message in the form of teachings by Prophet Moses (AS) and Prophet Jesus (AS) before Islam. However, the term “people of Books” by no mean refers to the present Torah or Pentateuch or The Bible which were written by various authors decades and centuries after their respective Prophets. The term “Books” therefore does NOT affirm in any manner the validity of the present Bible (canonized in 325 AC) or Torah (written over an uncertain period est. 1500-1350 BCE??) as God’s message as their followers vehemently argue and would like Muslims to take the term “Book” for their Bible or Torah. So where is the true Injeel and what is is and as the Torah was written before the time of the Prophet PBUH and accepted in Qur’an how can this not be accepted now as it has not been changed? I am very confused.
The People of the Book in reference, generally speaking, are Christians and Jews of all time. In some contexts it is specific to a certain matter but overall the term is, without a doubt, in relation to all Christians and Jews. These are the people that follow the same books that have existed before the Qur’an was written. Therefore, even that basic understanding should reveal that “the Book” is in reference to the Old Testament and New Testament before and after the Qur’an was revealed. In fact, these are still the same books even if we consider that there were interpolations then and now. Nevertheless, their teachings can still be found in those books. “People of the Book” in the Qur’an simply means people who are adherent to (their understanding of) the religious guidance of Abrahamic religions, which practically means Jews and Christians. Which version of the book they were following and how reliable that was, is not an issue. The claim that “People of the Book does not refer to the Torah or Pentateuch or the Bible” is patently false.
[Thus, Prophet] He has revealed upon you this book with the Truth, confirming the prophesies that preceded it – and [for the same purpose] He had revealed the Torah and the Gospels before it. – Ala ‘Imran 3:3
Clearly, the Qur’an mentions both books by name, which were in vogue during the time the Qur’an was revealed.
The term “Books” therefore does NOT affirm in any manner the validity of the present Bible (canonized in 325 AC) or Torah (written over an uncertain period est. 1500-1350 BCE??)
If the New Testament was canonized in 325 C.E., then how can one argue that the Qur’an was not referring to it when the Qur’an was completed 300 years later? What else would it be referring to if it calls it by the very name used then and now? The simple fact is the Qur’an explicitly mentions these books and identifies them as adherents of their respective faiths.
…as their followers vehemently argue and would like Muslims to take the term “Book” for their Bible or Torah.
It is not “followers” that want to take the term, it is established by the Almighty Himself in His book that states this fact. Besides, what would the “followers” of another faith care whether “Book” refers to them or their scriptures or otherwise in the Qur’an?
So where is the true Injeel and what is is and as the Torah was written before the time of the Prophet PBUH and accepted in Qur’an how can this not be accepted now as it has not been changed?
The Injeel (Gospel) is the cumulative teachings of Jesus Christ (pbuh), which has been recorded in book form. The Torah also includes teachings of various prophets. Regardless of the additions/subtractions we believe has taken place in those books, the fact is that they are the books of those followers – before and after – and the Qur’an refers to them as such. What we accept to be the truth of them is through the filter of the Qur’an.
It is clear that your friends are doing a disservice in misinforming you. While they seem to have your best interest at heart they are wrong in their assessment. It should be advised that they could do more harm than good when offering up religious advice when they clearly do not have the proper understanding of the subject.
I hope this helps.
God knows best.