According to Peacetv, revelations to the Great Prophets (Ibrahim, Musa, Daud, ‘Isa and Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) are recorded in books for the purpose of dissemination to the people who believed. In Islam, those who receive the teaching of the revelations from the Prophets and are adherent to the faiths of these scriptures are called People of the Book or Ahlul Kitab (أهل الكتاب ).
The Books revealed to the different Messengers are as follows:
- Taurat (توراة), or Torah, was revealed to Musa عليه السلام , or Moses for the Bani Israel/Israelites.
- Zabur (زبور), or Psalm, was revealed to Daud عليه السلام , or David, also for the Bani Israel/Israelites.
- Injil or the Bible/Gospel was revealed to ‘Isa عليه السلام , or Jesus, also for the Bani Israel/Israelites.
- Al-Quran was revealed to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, for all of Mankind.
While the above are the Great Books, other prophets do receive revelation and pen them down. These are called suhuf or scrolls. Examples in include:
- Suhuf Ibrahim (صحف إبراهيم)
- Suhufi Musa
The belief in all the above compilations of the revelations is an article of faith in Islam.
Muslims believe that Qur’an, the final Book and Scripture, was sent down and superceded all the other books. This is so for at least 3 reasons:
- It is the most recent and the only book for which the recording is systematically done under the guidance of the Prophet. Each time Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم gets a revelation, he would ask his Companions to pen these down and recite back to him (checks and balances). It is not without reason that during the time of Muhammad, the Arabs are experts and masters in literature and memorisation and this further ensures the integrity of the contents of the Quran. The contents of the Quran, unlike the content of some of the scriptures above, are open to all and not limited to a few. This further makes checks and verifications more valid. The contention is the validity and accuracy of the preceding Books. While originally true, these Books are believed to have been either inaccurately replicated or contents modified (added, subtracted or totally changed) because of various reasons. Thus, their genuineness cannot be ascertained, unlike the Quran. When you study about how the Gospels were chosen for the New Testament and how political issues were embedded in it, you will realise that the Book is no longer in its original form.
- Note that the first 3 Great Books are meant for Bani Israel. Quran, on the other hand, is meant for all of mankind. Even though it is in Arabic (it only makes sense that the Quran is in Arabic since the Messenger is an Arab), the content is universal and doesn’t just refer to one particular tribe or group of people. For historical purposes, Bani Israel refused to accept the Quran simply because they believed that the Great Favour by God should only fall to their people. This elitism is not consistent with a Fair God and we Muslims do not subscribe to this. In fact, one of the reasons why there was a shift was because the Bani Israelis were never thankful and never protected the Word of God, that the Word of God is now revealed to another group of people. Note also that despite the Quran acknowledging the other Books, the Quran is not accepted by either the Jews or the Christians, thus ridding them of the status of People of the Book.
- The Quran is in fact the final version of all the preceding Books. Remember that the Books are meant for a small subset of people (Bani Israelites). It is thus not surprising that the teachings of the Quran look somewhat similar to some of the preceding teachings. There may be changes but only so as to universalise the teachings for all of Mankind. It only makes sense because our One God, Allah, will send down consistent message through the ages. It may vary but the main Messages remain clear: One God to be worshiped and a code of conduct in life. As such, gross deviations (such as Trinity, in Christianity) is definitely wrong (why would God change a message that relates to faith?).