‘Produce your proof if you are telling the truth’ (Q 2:111)

Q 2:111 – ‘They [i.e. the People of the Book] also say, ‘No one will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.’ This is their own wishful thinking. [Prophet], say, ‘Produce your evidence, if you are telling the truth.’ (Abdel Haleem)

This is a rather curious passage. We are told that the exclusivism of the People of the Book is due to ‘their own wishful thinking’ (ʾamāniyyuhum), and they are instructed to ‘Produce your evidence’. This is a rather odd statement and challenge, given that a Christian would simply respond by pointing to numerous passages in the Gospels, such as John 14:6: ‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

Although the Qur’an repeatedly affirms the reliability of the Bible, most modern Muslims do not believe this. They believe that the Qur’an teaches the corruption of the Bible. But does it not make one pause that this verse does not say:

  • ‘They also say, ‘No one will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.’ This is the teaching of their corrupted scripture. You cannot appeal to your Scriptures as evidence, because they are corrupted.’

Instead it says:

  • ‘They [i.e. the People of the Book] also say, ‘No one will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.’ This is their own wishful thinking. [Prophet], say, ‘Produce your evidence, if you are telling the truth.’ (Abdel Haleem)

Can scriptural corruption in the past really be described as the present tense ‘wishful thinking’ of Jews and Christians? Why are they commanded to produce evidence? ‘if you are telling the truth’ suggests that they are being deceptive and that, even from their worldview and their scriptures, they have no leg to stand upon. They know the truth, and are being deceptive. It is not that they are honestly following a scripture corrupted long ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *