Narrating From the Jews
In the Name of Allaah, the Ever Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy…
This is a very interesting discussion maa shaa. Allaah:
حدثوا عن بني إسرائيل ولا حرج
“…Narrate what you hear from the people of the Book for it is not sinful to do so.”
This falls under three categories:
The first case is when something from the bible* has reached you and it is exactly in line with the teachings of Muhammad ﷺ, so you accept it and affirm it as the haqq because the Qur`aan or the Sunnah have affirmed it.**
The second case is when something is attributed to the people of the book or the previous prophets, and there is something in the Qur`aan or Sunnah that negates it and proves its falsehood. (In this case) you reject it, identify it as falsehood and you may not narrate it***
The third case is when something is mentioned as an action or statement from the previous prophets (e.g. Jesus) and there is a word of wisdom mentioned that does not have a bad meaning and is not contradictory to anything mentioned in the Qur`aan or Sunnah. It is also not supported and there is no evidence to provide that it is actually the speech of Jesus or any of the previous prophets.
In this case, we make tawaquf, meaning, we refrain from affirming it or rejecting it. We are allowed to narrate and relate it. But when we do so, we do not say, ‘Jesus said this…’
So if you know a bible verse, for example, and you quote it, you do not say, ‘Jesus said that…’ Rather you say, ‘It has been narrated that Jesus said that…’ or ‘it is in the bible that Jesus said that…’ or ‘The Christians saythat Jesus said such and such.’
This is the meaning of the aforementioned statement of the Messenger (1)
* This is not meant to encourage you to read the Bible or the like.
** For example, from amongst the obligations that the Jews claim to have conveyed to Moosaa (`alayhi ssalaam) are not to set up partners with God, not to steal nor to commit adultery with the neighbors wife, etc. These are things that have been affirmed and confirmed in the Book of Allaah and in the Sunnah of His Messenger ﷺ. So we affirm them as the haqq and we do not deny them. And Allaah (ta`aala) knows best.
*** From what I recall, Ustaadh Moosaa furthered or clarified this statement by saying: “(…we should identify (the statement or action) as falsehood, negate it and) narrate it only to warn against it.”
(1) Source: Class 04: Explanation of Kitaab at-Tawheed by Ustaadh Moosaa Richardson (may Allaah preserve him) based on the commentary of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaahu ta`aala).