Islamic holy books

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Islamic holy books are the texts which Muslims believe were authored by God to various prophets throughout humanity's history. All these books, in Muslim belief, promulgated the code and laws that God ordained for those people.

Muslims believe the Quran to be the final revelation of God to man, and a completion and confirmation of previous scriptures.[1] Despite the primacy that Muslims place upon the Quran as God's final word, Islam speaks of respecting all the previous scriptures, and belief in all the revealed books is an article of faith in Islam.

Among the books considered to be revealed, the four mentioned by name in the Quran are the Tawrat revealed to Musa, the Zabur revealed to Dawud, the Injil revealed to Jesus, and the Quran revealed to Muhammad.

Major books[edit]

The Quran mentions by name at least three main Islamic scriptures which came before the Quran.

  • Tawrāt or Torah: According to the Quran, the Torah was revealed to Musa [2] but Muslims believe that the current Torah, although it retains the main message,[citation needed] has suffered corruption over the years, and is no longer reliable. Moses and his brother Aaron (Hārūn) used the Torah to preach the message to the Israelites (Banu Isrā’īl). The Quran implies that the Torah is the longest-used scripture, with the Jewish people still using the Torah today, and that all the Hebrew prophets would warn the people of any corruptions that were in the scripture.[3]
  • Zabūr: The Quran mentions the Zabur, often interpreted as being the Book of Psalms, as being the holy scripture revealed to King David. Scholars have often understood the Psalms to have been holy songs of praise.[4] The current Psalms are still praised by many Muslim scholars,[5][6] but Muslims generally assume that some of the current Psalms were written later and are not divinely revealed.[citation needed]
  • Injīl or Gospel: The Injil was the holy book revealed to Jesus, according to the Quran. Although many lay Muslims believe the Injil refers to the entire New Testament, scholars have pointed out that it refers not to the New Testament but to an original Gospel, given to Jesus as the word of God.[7] Therefore, according to Muslim belief, the Gospel was the message that Jesus, being divinely inspired, preached to the Children of Israel. The current canonical Gospels, in the belief of Muslim scholars, are not divinely revealed but rather are documents of the life of Jesus, as written by various contemporaries, disciples and companions. These Gospels, in Muslim belief, contain portions of the teachings of Jesus, but neither represent nor contain the original Gospel written by God, which has been corrupted and/or lost.[8]

Other texts of the prophets[edit]

The Quran also mentions two ancient scrolls and another possible book:

  • Scrolls of Abraham (Ṣuḥuf Ibrāhīm): The Scrolls of Abraham are believed to have been one of the earliest bodies of scripture, which were vouchsafed to Abraham (Ibrāhīm),[9] and later used by Ishmael (Ismā‘īl) and Isaac (Isḥāq). Although usually referred to as "scrolls", many translators have translated the Arabic suhuf as "books".[5][10] The Scrolls of Abraham are now considered lost rather than corrupted, although some scholars have identified them with the Testament of Abraham, an apocalyptic piece of literature available in Arabic at the time of Muhammad.
  • Book of John the Baptist (Kitāb Yaḥyā): There is an allusion to a Book (Kitāb) of John the Baptist (Yaḥyā).[11] It is possible that portions of its text appear in some of the Mandaean scriptures such as the Ginza Rba or the Draša ḏ-Iahia "The Book of John the Baptist". Yahya is revered by the Mandaeans and by the Sabians.
  • Scrolls of Moses (Ṣuḥuf Mūsā): These scrolls, containing the revelations of Moses, which were perhaps written down later by Moses, Aaron and Joshua, are understood by Muslims to refer not to the Torah but to revelations aside from the Torah. Some scholars have stated that they could possibly refer to the Book of the Wars of the Lord,[5] a lost text spoken of in the Old Testament or Tanakh in the Book of Numbers.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Cyril Glasse, Holy Books
  2. ^ Quran 53:36
  3. ^ Quran 5:44
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, Psalms
  5. ^ a b c Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary[page needed]
  6. ^ Martin Lings, Mecca; Abdul Malik, In Thy Seed
  7. ^ Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary, Appendix: On the Injil
  8. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, Injil
  9. ^ Quran 87:19
  10. ^ Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran
  11. ^ Quran 19:12
  12. ^ Numbers 21:14