Sura 6:74-90 is a passage full of factual errors, logical contradictions and other problems. The first part, S. 6:74-82, narrates how Abraham became a believer. The article, Abraham and the Sun, discusses a number of problems found in that section. The main topic of the second section, S. 6:83-90, is that Allah gave Abraham righteous descendents, many of them also being prophets. It presents a list of 17 names of descendants about whom certain statements are made. A first group of problematic aspects in this second part is discussed in the article, Abraham's Progeny?
In this present article I want to highlight one of the further erroneous claims made by the author of the Qur'an in the second part of this passage. Here is the text:
83 That is Our argument, which We bestowed upon Abraham as against his people. We raise up in degrees whom We will; surely thy Lord is All-wise, All-knowing. 84 And We gave to him Isaac and Jacob -- each one We guided, And Noah We guided before; and of his seed David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron -- even so We recompense the good-doers -- 85 Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias; each was of the righteous; 86 Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot -- each one We preferred above all beings; 87 and of their fathers, and of their seed, and of their brethren; and We elected them, and We guided them to a straight path. 88 That is God's guidance; He guides by it whom He will of His servants; had they been idolaters, it would have failed them, the things they did. 89 Those are they to whom We gave the Book and the Judgment and the Prophethood; so if these disbelieve in it, We have already entrusted it to a people who do not disbelieve in it. 90 Those are they whom God has guided; so follow their guidance. Say: 'I ask of you no wage for it; it is but a reminder unto all beings.'
There is no doubt that the statement "Those are they to whom We gave the Book (al-kitab)" (6:89) refers to the names listed in verses 83-86. This statement, however, poses serious problems for the credibility of the Qur'an because this claim is wrong, and it is wrong for several reasons.
Summary of the problems:
In this article I will present a detailed discussion of these three errors.
The first problem and obvious error is the definite article. It says "THE Book". The Qur'an does not say that "those are they to whom We gave (various) books" or "to each of them We gave a book", i.e. different books of revelation. It says al-kitab ("the book"), which means that the author of the Qur'an is thinking of only one book, one specific book, called "THE book", and the claim is that all of these people received this same book.
That is wrong and contradicts both the Bible and the Qur'an. Looking at the Bible, we see that the Torah of Moses is very different from the Psalms of David. These two books are not opposed to each other. They clearly speak of the same God, and their message agrees, but these books are very different in many ways. Just read them. [To mention only one major difference: The Torah consists mostly of historical narrative and legal texts. The Psalms are a collection of prayers.]
Muslims believe that Allah gave the Torah to Moses, the Zabur (Psalms) to David and the Injil (Gospel) to Jesus, and these books have different names, because they are different books. The following verses from the Qur'an also establish that the Torah and the Injil are different:
And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). S. 5:46 Arberry
When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; ... S. 5:110 Arberry
Jesus was taught the Torah AND the Gospel, an expression that would make little sense if the two are identical. It does not say, he was taught the Torah which is also called the Gospel. It says the Torah and the Gospel, because it assumes these two to be different books. Moreover, S. 5:46 claims that one of the functions of the Gospel is to confirm the teaching of the Torah. However, only an independent witness can confirm. Bringing a second copy of the same is not a confirmation.
[Illustration: A Muslim may give me a Qur'an and say that this is the true message of God. If I were to ask him to bring me evidence confirming that the message of the Qur'an is the truth, it would hardly be convincing if he provided me with a second copy of the Qur'an.]
According to the Qur'an, the Torah and the Injil are different books. This becomes even more obvious in another verse speaking of Jesus saying:
And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Taurat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me. S. 3:50 Al-Hilali & Khan
This means: Although, in principle, the message of Jesus (the Injil, the Gospel) is confirming the Torah, it also has differences. Some things that were forbidden before are now lawful. Therefore, the Injil is different from the Torah. It is not the same book. These are two books, not one book that is known by two different names.
This establishes a logical contradiction in the Qur'an. Sura 6:83-86 and 89 speaks of Moses and Jesus (and many more prophets) receiving "the book", i.e. the same book. On the other hand, several other passages of the Qur'an testify to the fact that the Torah and the Injil are different books.
Yet another verse makes clear that the book (allegedly) given to Abraham is understood to be different from the Torah and the Gospel:
O People of the Book, why do you dispute about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Do you not understand? S. 3:65 Maulana Muhammad Ali
The Qur'an also states:
All food was lawful to the Children of Israel save what Israel forbade for himself before the Torah was sent down. Say: 'Bring you the Torah now, and recite it, if you are truthful.' S. 3:93 Arberry
There are plenty of laws in the Torah which make certain foods unlawful to the people of Israel. This verse says that no such laws existed before the Torah was given. This means, these laws were not part of the (alleged) book(s) given to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thus, the Torah is different than all those books given before the time of Moses.
Probably, one can find many more verses in the Qur'an that imply that the revelation(s) / book(s) given to the various prophets must have been different, i.e. that they cannot be the same book. The Qur'an is clearly in error.
Nevertheless, let's ponder this issue further. What would have been the content of such a book, "the book" common to all prophets? If it had any similarity to the Torah (or even the Qur'an for that matter), it will also contain the stories and teachings of the various prophets. However, would the book of Noah contain the life and teaching of Moses, including the exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt and the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, a thousand years before the event, at a time when there was not even a people of Israel? Or the story of David and Solomon, and of Zachariah and John, and the life and teaching of Jesus? Would Noah have received a book of which a large part consisted of stories of people that had not yet lived? Would it have contained a long section about the life of Joseph (like it is found in both the Torah and the Qur'an)? Would Noah have made sense to his people to whom he preached the book of God, if he had told them mostly "science fiction" stories?
It makes sense that the book contains stories of former prophets, so that believers may learn lessons from how God dealt with people in the past. The Bible contains many prophecies, but it does not contain life stories of future believers the same way it contains the stories of past believers, and neither does the Qur'an.
Common sense demands to conclude that all these prophets, living more than 2000 years apart, could not possibly have had the same book. As it stands, the statement in S. 6:89 makes no sense.
Could we understand this as referring to different books for different prophets?
This is not the end of problems with this passage. Even if Muslims could somehow fudge the issue of the definite article, turning "the book" into "many different books" — "a book" for each of the people listed in those verses — they still have to deal with the following difficulty.
There is simply no record that Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Aaron, Zachariah and John, Ishmael or Lot received any book at all. All of these people are mentioned in various books of the Bible (e.g. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Aaron are spoken about in the Torah, Zachariah and John are mentioned in the Gospels), but these people were not recipients of books. An additional problem is that Ishmael and Lot are not even prophets; they did not receive "the prophethood", another false statement made in S. 6:89.
The claim that all these people received a book, let alone all of them receiving the same book, is a further a contradiction to the Bible. However, the Qur'an is not only at odds with the Bible. As far as I know, there is no mention of books of Ishmael or Lot or Zachariah outside of the Bible either — at least not before the time of Muhammad.
A possible objection considered
Some Muslims may want to claim that since the Qur'an speaks of those books, they certainly existed although they were apparently lost. Having no knowledge of these books does not mean they never existed.
That is hardly credible. Such a theory may be possible if we were talking about only one or two prophets whose book was lost, but we are talking about a lot of books here — regardless of whether they are all identical or different. How can they all have disappeared without a trace? Such a desperate attempt at defending the teaching of the Qur'an is also destroyed by further statements made in this very passage.
How could these books get lost? If the people to whom they were given were not interested in them, or even opposed to their teachings. However, in Sura 6:89-90, the verses following directly after the problematic claim about "the book", the Qur'an says explicitly:
89 Those are they to whom We gave the Book and the Judgment and the Prophethood; so if these disbelieve in it, We have already entrusted it to a people who do not disbelieve in it. 90 Those are they whom God has guided; so follow their guidance. Say: 'I ask of you no wage for it; it is but a reminder unto all beings.'
Knowing full well that there may be disbelievers, people who reject the message and people who simply do not care, Allah tells Muhammad (and all of us) that he has taken care of the problem: he already entrusted the book to a people who do not disbelieve in it, i.e. who believe in it, and would therefore not loose it. Note also the pronoun "it". The second part of verse 89 again speaks of the book in the singular, not of a multiplicity of books.
Furthermore, in verse 90, Muhammad is specifically told to "follow their guidance" which presumes that "their guidance" is still available. Where could that guidance be found, if not in "the book" which was given to them, and which as been entrusted by Allah to people who value it?
Moreover, in the second line of verse 90, Muhammad is commanded to say, "No reward I ask of you for this (the Quran). It is only a reminder for the Alameen (mankind and jinns)." (Al-Hilali & Khan) One can only remind people of something they already know. One can inform but not remind a person of something that he never heard before. Thus, the Qur'an can only be a reminder if is a repetition of what people already know from another source. This formulation again presumes that "the book" that was given to all these prophets is still available.
Conclusion: The theory that "the book" simply got lost a long time ago is very much at odds with S. 6:89-90 and must be abandoned.
Rescuing the Qur'an by corrupting its text?
Many Muslims will respond: You got this all wrong. The explanation is very easy. There is only one book with Allah, that is why it is called "THE Book". All of these prophets received various parts of this one book. Each prophet simply received those parts that were necessary for him and the community which he was sent to. These parts differed among each other — as one would expect.
At first glance, that explanation sounds quite good, and would make sense in regard to some of the issues involved. The problem is, that is not what the text says. It does not say, "Those are they to whom We gave PARTS OF the Book". The Qur'an does not speak of parts or portions or pieces or sections or fragments or excerpts here. It says that Allah gave them "the book", and since no qualification is attached to it, that means the whole book. If the author meant "a part of the book" but said "the book" then he failed to communicate, and his message cannot be called "most eloquent". However, the Qur'an insists to be a miracle of eloquence (as documented and discussed in these articles). This claim of unsurpassed and even miraculous eloquence also demands to take the text serious as it is, and not to assume we can improve on it or need to add words to it in order to make it better understood.
In effect, these Muslims want to replace the actual text with this new version of verse 89:
Those are they to whom We gave PARTS OF the Book and the Judgment and the Prophethood; so if these disbelieve in THOSE PARTS, We have already entrusted THOSE PARTS, to a people who do not disbelieve in THEM.
Actually, while we are at it, why not correct both problems together? After all, we still have the embarrassing error that many of these people have not received any book at all. So, let's adjust the text further:
AMONG those are they to whom We gave PARTS OF the Book and the Judgment and the Prophethood; so if these disbelieve in THOSE PARTS, We have already entrusted THOSE PARTS, to a people who do not disbelieve in THEM.
Without doubt, if the author of the Qur'an had wanted to say this, he could easily have done it that way, or by using other formulations that communicate the same idea. There are plenty of verses in the Qur'an in which similar statements are made. For example, formulations like "among them are" or "some of them are" are found in dozens of verses. To quote just a few of those:
Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. They but guess. S. 2:78 Pickthall
Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty) and We supported him with the holy Spirit. And if Allah had so willed it, those who followed after them would not have fought one with another after the clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed, some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another; but Allah doeth what He will. S. 2:253 Pickthall
O ye who believe! If ye listen to a faction among the People of the Book, they would (indeed) render you apostates after ye have believed! S. 3:100 Yusuf Ali
Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. S. 3:110 Yusuf Ali
Yet they are not all alike; some of the People of the Book are a nation upstanding, that recite God's signs in the watches of the night, bowing themselves, S. 3:113 Arberry
And some there are of the People of the Book who believe in God, and what has been sent down unto you, and what has been sent down unto them, men humble to God, not selling the signs of God for a small price; those -- their wage is with their Lord; God is swift at the reckoning. S. 3:199 Arberry
Among those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right places and say: ... S. 4:64 Al-Hilali & Khan
If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct. S. 5:66 Pickthall
And of them there are some who listen to you; ... S. 6:25 Al-Hilali & Khan
We broke them up into sections on this earth. There are among them some that are the righteous, and some that are the opposite. We have tried them with both prosperity and adversity: In order that they might turn (to us). S. 7:168 Yusuf Ali
And among them are those who find fault with thee with respect to the division of alms. ... S. 9:58 Sher Ali
And of them are some who made a covenant with Allah (saying): ... S. 9:75 Al-Hilali & Khan
In fact, in the very same passage, just two verses before the problematic statement of 6:89, we find an appropriate selective formulation:
and of their fathers, and of their seed, and of their brethren; and We elected them, and We guided them to a straight path. S. 6:87 Arberry
Not all the fathers, descendants and brothers of those mentioned in 84-86, but only some or many OF them. Here are two more translations of this verse that make the selectivity of the formulation even clearer:
And from among their fathers and their descendants and their brethren, and We chose them and guided them into the right way. ShakirAnd also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethren, We chose them, and We guided them to a Straight Path. Al-Hilali & Khan
In this case, the Qur'an is consistent, since it states that Abraham's father was an idolater, that one of Noah's sons was disobedient, etc. And some of these people did not even have descendants or brothers. All that is not a problem, because in verse 87 the claim is made that the statement holds only for (a certain number) of the group mentioned.
Clearly, the author of the Qur'an was able to distinguish whether a statement refers to all members of a certain group or to only some of them. In S. 6:89, however, he did not mention any restriction and thus the statement refers to the whole of the group of people mentioned in that text.
Similarly, the author of the Qur'an is able to express that he is referring to "a part" or "parts" or "a portion" of the book, as can be seen in these verses:
Then there you are killing one another, and expelling a party of you from their habitations, conspiring against them in sin and enmity; and if they come to you as captives, you ransom them; yet their expulsion was forbidden you. What, do you believe in part of the Book, and disbelieve in part? What shall be the recompense of those of you who do that, but degradation in the present life, and on the Day of Resurrection to be returned unto the most terrible of chastisement? And God is not heedless of the things you do. S. 2:85 Arberry
Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who have been given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of God, to settle their dispute, but a party of them turn back and decline (the arbitration). S. 3:23 Yusuf Ali
There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, "That is from God," but it is not from God: It is they who tell a lie against God, and (well) they know it! S. 3:78 Yusuf Ali
Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the book (the Jews), purchasing the wrong path, and wish that you should go astray from the Right Path. S. 4:44 Al-Hilali & Khan
Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? they believe in sorcery and Evil, and say to the Unbelievers that they are better guided in the (right) way Than the believers! S. 4:51 Yusuf Ali
So perchance you (Muhammad SAW) may give up a part of what is revealed unto you, ... S. 11:12 Al-Hilali & Khan
And those to whom We have given the Book rejoice in that which has been revealed to you, and of the confederates are some who deny a part of it. Say: I am only commanded that I should serve Allah and not associate anything with Him, to Him do I invite (you) and to Him is my return. S. 13:36 Shakir
Those who break the Qur'an into parts. S. 15:91 Pickthall
And WE have divided the Qur'an in parts that thou mayest read it to mankind slowly and at intervals and WE have sent it down piecemeal. S. 17:106 Sher Ali
And those who disbelieve say: "Why is not the Quran revealed to him all at once?" Thus (it is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. (It was revealed to the Prophet SAW in years.). S. 25:32 Al-Hilali & Khan
Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book (this Quran), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He Guides therewith whom He pleases and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. S. 39:23 Al-Hilali & Khan
Obviously, there are plenty of passages where the author of the Qur'an speaks of a part or a portion of a book. There is no reason that he could not have used a similar formulation in S. 6:89 if that had been his intention.
Side note: Though the Quran is said to have been revealed in parts, it is never said that the complete Quran is only a part of "the book", but the Qur'an itself is also called "the book" in many places (e.g. in S. 3:3; we will pursue this matter further in another article).
Conclusion: In regard to the above mentioned possible objection and suggestion, I simply respond that the issue is not what some Muslims would wish the meaning of the verse to be, but the matter of discussion is what the text actually says. In S. 6:89 the text neither contains a restriction like "some of ..." nor a qualification like "parts of" (the book).
As we have seen in so many examples, the author of the Qur'an could easily have formulated differently. If he formulated the statement this way, we need to deal with what it says. Yes, another formulation may be better, in fact, another formulation would definitely be better. But that is the whole point. The text as it stands is wrong and in need of improvement and correction. Therefore, it is highly questionable that this text was composed by God Himself. S. 6:89 contains a serious error about God's earlier revelations. God could hardly been ignorant about this matter. The human being Muhammad, on the other hand, was both ignorant about much of the earlier revelations, and he was definitely very careless in the formulation of this verse.
Books for Noah, Lot and Zachariah?
Back to the problem that most of the people whose names are listed in S. 6:83-86 never got any book at all. This list is too long to discuss every name. For the purpose of this article, I will look at only three of them. According to the Bible there is no question that Noah, Lot and Zachariah did not receive books of revelation. What about the Qur'an? The stories of Noah, Lot and Zachariah (and his son, John the Baptist) are told in various places in the Qur'an. Do the passages that report their stories make any mention of a book?
Without question, when God gives a book of revelation, that is a matter of utmost importance. Under that premise, it is no surprise that the Qur'an repeats again and again that Moses was given "the book" (al-kitab). This is stated in at least these verses: 2:53, 87, 6:91, 154, 11:110, 17:2, 23:49, 25:35, 28:43, 32:23, 37:114-117, 41:45. Moreover, "the book of Moses" or "the Torah" is referred to in many more passages: 11:17, 40:53, 46:12, 3:3,48,50, 5:43-44,66,68, 7:157, 9:111, 48:29, 61:6, etc.
What about Zachariah? Apart from the mere inclusion of his name in the above passage (in verse 85), the Qur'an narrates the story of Zachariah in Sura 3:37-41, 19:2-15, and 21:89-90. None of these three passages mentions that Zachariah was given a book from God. Recognizing the Qur'an's great emphasis upon "the book" that was given to Moses, this is rather astonishing if Zachariah was also given "the book". If "the book" is so important, why does it not play any role in the reports about Zachariah's life?
A similar observation can be made about Lot. Lot's story is narrated in multiple versions and in many more passages than the story of Zachariah. Moreover, it is said about Lot that he actually sent to and preached to his people, something that is not mentioned in regard to Zachariah. Nevertheless, none of these passages mention that he received a book. Here are the passages about Lot: 7:80-84, 11:70-83, 15:57-77, 21:74-75, 26:160-175, 27:54-58, 29:26-35, 37:133-138, 51:31-37, 54:33-39, 66:10.
The verses in Sura 21 are particularly relevant here, because they are similar to the passage from Sura 6 which is under discussion here.
And Lot — to him We gave judgment and knowledge; and we delivered him from the city that had been doing deeds of corruption; they were an evil people, truly ungodly; and We admitted him into Our mercy; he was of the righteous. S. 21:74-75 Arberry
These two verses are a summary of the life of Lot. It starts with a statement of what was given to him (compare S. 6:85), but there is no mention of a book.
Noah is another prophet whose story is told in great detail and in many passages: 7:59-64, 9:70, 10:71-73, 11:25-49, 21:76-77, 23:23-30, 25:37, 26:105-122, 29:14-15, 36:41, 37:75-82, 51:46, 54:9-15, 69:11-12, 71:1-28, 66:10. These passages add up to more than 100 verses about Noah, but we observe again: Not once in all these passages is there a book mentioned, neither "the book" nor even "a book".
Conclusion: When the author of the Qur'an speaks about individual prophets and recounts their stories, or summarizes their life individually, he is more careful and does (in most cases) not ascribe books to prophets who did not get books. However, in the summary statement about the prophets among the descendents of Abraham in Sura 6:83-90, he got carried away and claimed that all of them were given "the book", a clear error.
1. The text of S. 6:83-90, quoted at the beginning, is taken from Arthur J. Arberry's classic English translation, The Koran Interpreted, but with a couple of minor changes in order to bring the translation closer to the Arabic original. Arrangement and emphasis are mine.
2. A variant of this argument is the following possible claim: The statement, "Those are they to whom We gave the Book", is a collective statement. It does not mean that everyone got the whole book but they together, as a group, got the whole book. That each of them received (only) a part or some parts is implied and does not need to be stated explicitly.
This explanation also fails for several reasons. Had this passage been the only place in the Qur'an where "the book" is said to be given to a group of people, this might have been a possible explanation. But there are many other such passages, and they do not fit together with this proposed understanding.
First, individual members of this group are also said to have received "the book". In particular, Moses is said to have been given the book: 2:53,87, 6:91,154, 11:110, 17:2, 23:49, 25:35, 28:43, 32:23, 37:114-117, 41:45. And not once in all these passages does it say "part of the Book". To quote just a couple of them:
And We gave to Moses the Book, ... S. 2:87 Arberry
... Say: 'Who sent down the Book that Moses brought as a light and a guidance to men? ... S. 6:91 Arberry
And We gave Moses the Book, and made it a guidance to the Children of Israel: 'Take not unto yourselves any guardian apart from Me.' S. 17:2 Arberry
Indeed, We gave Moses the Book; so be not in doubt concerning the encounter with him; and We appointed it for a guidance to the Children of Israel. S. 32:23 Arberry
There is one obvious question after seeing these verses: What point is there to give pieces of the same book to the prophets after Moses, when all of "the book" was already available since the time of Moses?
Jesus was given the book:
He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; S. 19:30 Shakir
Thus, the Book is given to both Moses and Jesus individually, not only collectively. And with that observation we are back to the various problems dealt with in this article.
Moreover, the family of Abraham was given the book:
Or do they envy men (Muhammad SAW and his followers) for what Allah has given them of His Bounty? Then We had already given the family of Ibrahim (Abraham) the Book and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah - Divine Inspiration to those Prophets not written in the form of a book), and conferred upon them a great kingdom. S. 4:54 Al-Hilali & Khan
What does that mean? How far does "family" extend? His immediate household, i.e. those who lived with him, like his son Isaac and grandson Jacob? All of his descendants throughout history?
Finally, and most importantly, according to the Qur'an, there is at least one other prophet outside of this group of prophets mentioned in S. 6:84-86 who also received the book, Muhammad: 3:3, 3:7, 4:105, 18:1, 39:2, 39:41, etc. Again, just a couple of verses will be quoted:
It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) to you (Muhammad SAW) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel). S. 3:3 Al-Hilali & Khan
Surely We have sent down to thee the Book with the truth, so that thou mayest judge between the people by that God has shown thee. So be not an advocate for the traitors; S. 4:105 Arberry
Surely We have sent down upon thee the Book for mankind with the truth. Whosoever is guided, is only guided to his own gain, and whosoever goes astray, it is only to his own loss; thou art not a guardian over them. S. 39:41 Arberry
Thus, even if the group in S. 6:84-86 had received the whole book only collectively, this would again result in the same problems since Muhammad, a prophet outside of this group, is also said to have received "the Book". What is the exact relationship of Muhammad's book to the earlier book?
Contradictions in the Qur'an
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