Injil (Arabic: إنجيل, romanizedʾInjīl, alternative spellings: Ingil or Injeel) is the Arabic name for the Gospel of Jesus (Isa). This Injil is described by the Quran as one of the four Islamic holy books which was revealed by God, the others being the Zabur (possibly the Psalms), the Tawrat (the Torah), and the Quran itself. The word Injil is also used in the Quran, the Hadith and early Muslim documents to refer to both a book and revelations made by Allah to prophet Isa.


The Arabic word Injil (إنجيل) as found in Islamic texts, and now used also by Muslim non-Arabs and Arab non-Muslims, is derived from the Syriac Aramaic word awongaleeyoon (ܐܘܢܓܠܝܘܢ) found in the Peshitta (Syriac translation of the Bible),[1] which in turn derives from the Greek word euangelion (Εὐαγγέλιον)[2] of the originally Greek language New Testament, where it means "good news" (from Greek "Εὐ αγγέλιον"; Old English "gōdspel"; Modern English "gospel", or "evangel" as an archaism, cf. e.g. Spanish "evangelio") The word Injil occurs twelve times in the Quran.[citation needed]


Muslim scholars have resisted identifying the Injil with the New Testament Gospels. Some have suggested the Injil may be the Gospel of Barnabas or Gospel of Thomas.[3] More commonly, Muslim scholars have argued that the Injil refers to a text now lost or hopelessly corrupted. For example, Abdullah Yusuf Ali wrote:

The Injil (Greek, Evangel equals Gospel) spoken of by the Qur'an is not the New Testament. It is not the four Gospels now received as canonical. It is the single Gospel which, Islam teaches, was revealed to Jesus, and which he taught. Fragments of it survive in the received canonical Gospels and in some others, of which traces survive (e.g., the Gospel of Childhood or the Nativity, the Gospel of St. Barnabas, etc.)."[4]

Several verses in the Quran have been understood by some non-Muslim scholars to be problematic to this view, such as:

And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel [Injil] wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). Let the People of the Gospel [Injil] judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein".

— Quran, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayah 46, 47a[5]

While Muslim scholars interpret this verse as God warning the Christians not to enforce the law contrary to the law sent by God,[6] other scholars see it as affirming the preservation of the New Testament Gospels:

Thus if the Qu'ran speaks against certain Christians, it speaks in support of the Gospel, and moreover assumes that the valid Christian revelation is still at hand in its day.[7]

Gabriel Said Reynolds also argued in his research that several words used in the verses that indicate distortion were meant for interpretation of the Gospel, instead of alteration.[8]


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Regardless of scholarly disagreement, Muslims commonly believe that Injil refers to a true Gospel, bestowed upon Jesus by God. Many Muslims believe that the Injil was revealed by God to Jesus in a manner comparable to the way the Quran was revealed to Muhammad; as presumed from passages in the Quran stating the gospel was a received message, such as (tr. Pickthall):

Then We caused Our messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow, and gave him the Gospel, and placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him."

Muslims reject the view that Jesus or any other person wrote the Injil, instead crediting its authorship to God. Many Muslim scholars continue to believe that the Biblical Gospel has undergone alteration, that the words and the meaning of the words have been distorted, with some passages suppressed and others added. A key Islamic principle of oneness (Tawhid) and wholeness of God's divinity means that in their view it is impossible for Jesus to be God incarnate or the Son of God, and claims to the contrary within the Biblical Gospels must be due to later additions. Nevertheless, the Bible has been used by Muslims as a historical source.[10] It is said in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):

(O Muslims) do you still fancy that they will believe you, although a group of them used to hear the word of Allah, and then, having understood it, used to distort it knowingly?

So woe to those who write the "scripture" with their own hands, then say, "This is from Allah," in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.

They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

According to a hadith collected by al-Bukhari:

The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said (to the Muslims). "Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, 'We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.' "

— Sahih al-Bukhari Book 96, Hadith 89[14]

See also


  1. ^ Peshitta (Mark 1:1) - "Literal Aramaic idiomatic (Lit. Ar. id.) name: "Awon-galee-yoon," or He Reveals."
  2. ^ Muhammad in world scriptures Abdul Haque Vidyarthi - 1997 "It is derived from the Greek term evangelion which means gospel, good news and happy tidings."
  3. ^ Oliver Leaman The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia Taylor & Francis 2006 ISBN 978-0-415-32639-1 page 298
  4. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1938). The Holy Qur-an: Text, Translation & Commentary (3rd ed.). Kashmiri Bazar, Lahore: Shaik Muhammad Ashraf. p. 287.
  5. ^ Quran 47a 5:46, 47a
  6. ^ Deobandi, Muhammad (1964–1969). Ma'ariful Qur'an. p. 176.
  7. ^ Reynolds, Gabriel Said (April–June 2010). "On the Qurʾanic Accusation of Scriptural Falsification (taḥrīf) and Christian Anti-Jewish Polemic". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 130 (2): 189–202. page 195
  8. ^ Reynolds, Gabriel Said (April–June 2010). "On the Qurʾanic Accusation of Scriptural Falsification (taḥrīf) and Christian Anti-Jewish Polemic". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 130 (2): 189–202.
  9. ^ Quran 57:27
  10. ^ Camilla Adang Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm BRILL 1996 ISBN 978-9-004-10034-3 page 251
  11. ^ Quran 2:75 (Translated by Muhammad Taqi Usmani)
  12. ^ Quran 2:79 (Translated by Sahih International)
  13. ^ Quran 5:73 (Translated by Sahih International)
  14. ^ "Hadith - Book of Holding Fast to the Qur'an and Sunnah - Sahih al-Bukhari - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Retrieved 2018-05-25.