What is the ruling on reading the books of the Jews and Christians called the Old and New Testament. I read these books and benefit. My faith has increased that Islam is the true religion without doubt.
Has Islam become so dependent that we need to read these books? The Quran is sufficient in establishing that these books have been altered and tampered. It is not allowed for the Muslim to read the Tawrat and Injeel except if he wishes to refute them and quote their statements to expose them. As for simply benefiting from them, then what is greater than what is included (i.e. from them) in the Noble Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam?”
Shaikh Bin Baz said rahimahullah:
ونحو ذلك، لكن ليس له أن يستعملها؛ لأنها دخلها التحريف والتبديل والتغيير، فليس له أن يقتني التوراة أو الإنجيل أو الزبر أو يقرأ فيها؛ لأن في هذا خطراً
“And the like of that and it is not for him to use it because distortion, substitution, and change has entered it. So it is not for him to own the Torah or Injeel or Zabur or read what is in it because in that is danger…”
Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:
“As for a student of knowledge who has knowledge and is capable of knowing the truth from the falsehood, then there is no harm in him knowing it in order to refute the falsehood in it and establish the proof upon its believers”
The proof for not reading the torah or injeel in general is the following:
أن عمر بن الخطاب أتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بكتاب أصابه من بعض أهل الكتب فقرأه فغضب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: ” أمتهوكون فيها يا بن الخطاب والذي نفسي بيده لقد جئتكم بها بيضاء نقية لا تسألوهم عن شيء فيخبروكم بحق فتكذبوا به أو بباطل فتصدقوا به والذي نفسي بيده لو أن موسى صلى الله عليه وسلم كان حيا ما وسعه إلا أن يتبعني
On the authority of Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallahu anhu that he came to the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam with a book that he got from the People of the Book. So he read it and the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said: “Have you lost your mind oh Ibn al-Khattab! By the One in whose hand is my soul, I have come with the white, pure [religion/path]. Do not ask the people of the book anything. So if they narrate to you the truth, you may deny it, or falsehood, and you may affirm it. By the One in whose hand is my soul, if Musa alayhi salam was alive, he would follow me.
[Graded Hasan by al-Albani in Irwaa no. 1589]
The majority of the Scholars are of this opinion that only a learned Scholar or Student of Knowledge can read the Torah and Injeel in order to refute them. As for laymen, then he should not read it let alone use it as evidence. Shaikh Bin Baz rahimahullah said:
“As for a lay folk and those like him, then they do not anything in that [i.e. of reading the book]”
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan