Islam is divine religion based on wisdom and a set of beliefs. Belief in Islam is based on six articles of faith. These are Belief in the oneness of God, Belief in the angels of God, 4 holy Books of God, believing in all the prophets of God, Belief in the Day of Judgement and the divine decree, i.e. fate. Therefore, it’s crucial for all believing men and women to wholeheartedly be convinced to adhere to this set of beliefs.
However, it’s important to point here that the 6 major beliefs in Islam are different from the 5 pillars of Islam and should not be confused. The 5 pillars of Islam are fundamental “practices in Islam”. They are a declaration of faith (shahada), salah, zakat, fasting and Hajj(pilgrimage). Here we will throw light on one of the basic beliefs in Islam: 4 Holy Books in Islam and everything you need to know about these books.
What are the 4 Holy Books?
As mentioned, Belief in the divine books is the third article of faith in the religion Islam. Therefore, to believe in earlier revelations and the Prophets that came before Muhammad (PBUH) are of utmost importance.
The 4 Holy Books of Allah are Zabur (revealed to Dawud A.S), Tawrat (revealed to Musa a.s), Injeel (revealed to Isa a.s) and Holy Quran (revealed to Muhammad (PBUH).
All these four books, though sent on different Prophets and nations, share basic values. They all focus on One God as the Supreme Power and guidance sent by God for common people to live their lives accordingly. These books also discuss the principle of heaven and hell.
Moreover, the three scriptures that came before the Holy Quran does not, unfortunately, remain in their original form and have been tampered with from time to time according to the desires of their followers.
1 – Holy Book: The Tawrat
Tawrat was revealed to Musa (A.S). Many associate the Towrat with the Jewish faith’s Torah or Christianity’s Old Testament. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the Quranic verse, the religious scholars of those religions sold the verses (this is altered the verses or excluded them from the original text) in exchange for their desires and worldly benefits.
The Tawrat contains the Ten Commandments for the Children of Israel. It was given to Prophet Musa at mount Sinai. It was much needed as the Israelites started to worship the gold calf, thus indulging in Shirk. Musa (A.S) delivered the true guidance of Allah through The Tawrat. Tawrat was revealed in the Hebrew language, which is considered to be the Jews oldest language.
There are currently over seventy versions of the Torah Bible all over the globe. The believers of the Jewish faith usually read it at the start of the Jewish New Year.
2 – Holy Book: The Zabur
The Zabur is the Arabic word for psalms. Revealed to Prophet Dawud (A.S), it was an inscription on palm leaves as heard by most people. It is also said that the revelations used to come to Prophet Dawud (A.S) in the form of chants or songs.
Prophet Dawud, who was also honored to be the king, would sing the verses from Zabur instead of mere recitation. In the Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira (RAA), Zabur was made easy for Prophet Dawud. The original text also is not available to us at the current time as it was also tampered with by the Jewish Holy men. Zabur is mentioned three times in the Holy Quran. It is constructed of 150 chapters and is divided into 5 sections.
So who are the readers/users of psalms? It is used by Jews and traditional Eastern and Western Christians. The Quranic verse mentions that Allah has previously mentioned Paradise in the book of psalms. Thus the broad guidelines of the authentic text of the book seem to be similar to Quranic teaching, i.e. mentioning reward in the form of eternal Paradise.
3 – Holy Book: The Injeel
Also known as The Gospel, The Injeel was revealed to Prophet Isa (A.S). Much to the dismay, the book’s original meaning, too, has been changed over a period of time. Many Muslims hold the belief that the original text of Injeel revealed the coming of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Injeel occurs 12 times in the Holy Quran.
The Injeel mentioned in the Quran is not the New Testament. Instead, it mentions the authentic and single Gospel that was revealed to Jesus and which teaching he imparted to his nation.
The Muslim scholar from Algeria, Tahir al-Jaza’iri from the era of 1900, has interesting insight into the Injeel. He explains according to his study:
- Injeel explains truth
- Calls humanity to profess the Oneness of the Creator
- To cancel some specific secondary laws of the Towrat
- To announce the coming of Prophet Muhammad (PHUB), the seal of Prophets.
4 – The Holy Quran:
The Holy Quran was revealed on the last Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW). While all the 3 books mentioned above were revealed to the people of a specific era and geographic locations, Quran targets the entire mankind. Irrespective of time, era, caste, creed or any other differences, Quran is universal. Each and every word of the Quran remain in its original form today.
Quran was revealed over the period of 23 years through angel Jibrail. Companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) memorized the Quran as it was revealed and later wrote it down. Quran has a total of 114 chapters. 86 of which are about the Makkah life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), while 28 chapters of The Quran are about the Prophet(PBUH) migration to Madinah.
Allah sent down his books through His chosen Messengers to guide their people. Islam negates the corruption and tampering made in the original scriptures of the previous books. Thus reading them to adapt to their teaching is forbidden. However, the scholars of Islam have been consulting these books for comparative religion knowledge and to settle queries of the differences amongst these religions with wisdom.
The true word of Allah that remains to date is The Holy Quran. We hope you were able to assess comprehensive understanding in this ‘Everything You Need to Know About The 4 Holy Books in Islam’ guide. May Allah give us guidance and wisdom to explore more about Islam.