The Jews of Madeenah read the Torah in Hebrew
Fatwa No: 297895

Question

AslamualakaumI heard that many people say that the complete bible was not in arbic in the time of the Prophet, it was only tranlsated after. So, in light of this, the hadith of ayah that talk about the jews (in the Madina) reffering themselves to the torah etc. how do we understand this. Is it that they had part of the bible not complete

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

We do not know which verse the questioner is referring to. In any case, there is nothing problematic about this in the first place. The Torah is the divine book that Allaah revealed to His Prophet Moosa (Moses)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention and the Jews were his people. The Torah was the Divine Scripture of the Jews and the ancient Jews spoke Hebrew; therefore, the Torah that they possessed was in the Hebrew language. Please refer to Fatwa 126061.

We cannot decisively state whether there was a complete translation of the Torah into Arabic during the lifetime of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, we know with certainty that some parts of the Torah were translated into Arabic at that time. It was narrated that ʻUmar ibn Al-Khattaab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with a book that he received from some of the People of the Book. When ʻUmar read it, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, became angry and said, “O Ibn Al-Khattaab, are you uncertain about it (your religion)? By the One in whose Hand my soul is, I have conveyed to you the message white and pure.” [Ahmad]

Allaah Knows best.

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