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's word to man, and a completion and confirmation of previous scriptures.[1] Despite the primacy that Muslims place upon the Qur'an 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 Qur'an are the Torah (revealed to Moses), the Psalms (Zabur) (revealed to David), the Injil (Gospel) (revealed to Jesus), and the Qur'an itself.

Major books

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

  • Taurat (at-Taurāt): According to Qur'an, the Taurat was revealed to Moses,[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 (Harun) used the Torah to preach the message to the Banu-Isra'il (Children of Israel). 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]
  • Zabur (az-Zabur): 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]
  • Injeel (al-Injeel): The Injeel 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 (Isa) as the word of God (Arabic الله Allah).[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, which has been corrupted and/or lost, which was a single book written not by a human but by God.[8]

Other texts of the prophets

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

  • Kitab of Yahya: There is an allusion to a Kitab or Book of Yahya[11] (who is also known as 'John the Baptist'). It is possible that portions of its text appear in some of the Mandaean scriptures such as the Genzā Rabbā or the Draša d-Iahia "The Book of John the Baptist". Yahya is revered by the Mandaeans and by the Sabians.

See also


  1. Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Cyril Glasse, Holy Books
  2. Quran 53:36
  3. Quran 5:44
  4. Encyclopaedia of Islam, Psalms
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary[page needed]
  6. Martin Lings, Mecca; Abdul Malik, In Thy Seed
  7. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, 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 Qur'an
  11. Quran 19:12
  12. Numbers 21:14