Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics

(Jacob Rumans) #1

scribes toward the Name of God (Yahweh, a word related to
the designation ‘‘I Am who Am’’ in Ex 3:14) indicates the
respect in which they held Scripture. They were in such awe
of God that they would not pronounce His Name, so that
ultimately the vowels were lost: the Hebrew alphabet
contained only consonants. Even today pious English
speaking Jews write ‘‘Gd’’ rather than ‘‘God.’’ This
reverence makes it outlandish to think that they would have
dared to corrupt the Scriptures on such a grand scale as
Muslims envision. Yet despite the absence of proof and the
logical difficulties involved with the idea that the Jewish and
Christian Scriptures were corrupted, Muslims continue to
insist that they were. The chief reason given in the Koran for
why Jews and Christians changed the Scriptures is a desire
for material gain: ‘‘Woe to them that write the Scriptures
with their own hands and then declare, ‘This is from Allah’
in order to gain some paltry end’’ (Sura 2:79). This text
suggests that Jews and Christians would invent ‘‘Scripture’’
in order to sell it for a profit.

[ 1 ]Besides Mecca and its Ka’aba,

Muslims revere Medina, the city where

Muhammad fled from the pagan

Quraysh in his native Mecca. It was in

Medina where he established the first

Islamic community. Muslim pilgrims

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