As Muslims, we believe that Allah ﷻ has sent us guidance since the dawn of humanity. However, because written language is only a very recent phenomena – only a few prophets were sent with a scripture. And the problem with scripture is that it’s easily prone to revision and change. So, which books do Muslims believe?
Islam is unique because it is the only religion with a preserved text. The oldest Quran dating back to the time of Uthman Ibn Affaan, a direct companion of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is still the same Quran 1400 years later!
However, the Quran not only replaces but also informs us about the scriptures of the past. Let’s find out more about these past revelations!
The Suhuf were a set of scrolls which were sent with Ibrahim (as).
According to the scholars, they were exhortations, wisdom stories and parables for the believers. The Quran mentions these scriptures in numerous places.
“This is certainly mentioned in the earlier scriptures, the scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa”Quran 87:18-19
The renowned scholar, ‘Allamah al-Ameen al-Shanqeeti, said about the Suhuf:
“… and what was sent down to Ibrahim”: it is not explained here what this was that was sent down to Ibrahim, but it is explained in Surat al-A’ala that it was Scriptures, and that among what it said in those Scriptures was: “Nay, you prefer the life of this world, although the Hereafter is better and more lasting”.
The Torah is a revelation that was sent to Musa (as). It is made up of the first five books of the hebrew bible – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The Torah contains numerous stories about the lives of earlier prophets as well as the complete set of laws for Jews to follow.
Allah ﷻ describes the Torah as having been a guidance for the previous generations
“Indeed, We revealed the Torah, containing guidance and light, by which the prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah, made judgments for Jews…”Quran 5:44
However, over time the Torah was altered by a group amongst the Jews who sold their faith to gain from the Dunya.
“So woe to those who distort the Scripture with their own hands then say, “This is from Allah”—seeking a fleeting gain! So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they have earned.”Quran 2:79
The Zabur is a scripture that was revealed to Dawud (as). It is called the “Psalms” in the Bible and contains a list of hymns praising and giving thanks to Allah ﷻ. The Quran mentions the Zabur in three different places and mentions specifically:
“Surely, following the ˹heavenly˺ Record, We decreed in the Scriptures: “My righteous servants shall inherit the land.”Quran 21:105
This is in reference to the 29th verse of Psalm 37 which says: “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.”
The Injeel was the scripture that was sent with Isa(as).
The term is derived from the Greek word “Evangelion” from where we get the Old English word “Gospel”, both meaning “Good News”.
However, as muslims we reject that the Injeel refers to the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Rather, it refers to a true gospel that was bestowed upon Isa (as) by Allah ﷻ . Although this gospel is now lost, fragments of its message survives in the canonical gospels of the Church as well as in other non-canonical gospels.
In summary, the rich tapestry of divine guidance through scriptures unveils a profound historical journey. From the Suhuf of Ibrahim to the Torah of Musa, the Zabur of Dawud, and the Injeel of Isa, these revelations served as beacons of light and wisdom for their respective communities. Yet, the Quran, a timeless and unaltered text, stands as a testament to the preservation of God’s word in Islam. While some of these earlier scriptures may have faced alterations and revisions over time, the essence of their messages endures through the Quran.