Islamic holy books are the texts which Muslims believe were authored by Allah through 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 to mankind, and a completion and confirmation of previous scriptures.[1] Despite the primacy that Muslims place upon the Quran 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 three mentioned by name in the Quran are the Tawrat (Torah or the Law) revealed to Musa (Moses), the Zabur (Psalms) revealed to Dawud (David) and the Injil (the Gospel) revealed to Isa (Jesus).

Major books


Main article: Quran

The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Arabic: الله, Allah).[2] The Quran is divided into chapters (surah), which are then divided into verses (ayah). Muslims believe the Quran was verbally revealed by Allah to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel (Jibril),[3][4] gradually over a period of approximately 23 years, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 63, the year of his death.[2][5][6] Muslims regard the Quran as the most important miracle of Muhammad, a proof of his prophethood,[7] and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam and ended with Muhammad. It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature.[8][9][10][11]


Main article: Torah in Islam

According to the Quran, the Torah was revealed to Moses (Musa)[12] but Muslims argue that the current Torah has suffered corruption over the years, and is no longer reliable.[13] Moses and his brother Aaron (Hārūn) used the Torah to preach the message to the Israelites (Banu Isrā’īl, lit. "Children of Israel").


Main article: Zabur

The Quran mentions the Zabur, often interpreted as being the Book of Psalms,[14] as being the holy scripture revealed to King David (Dawud). Scholars have often understood the Psalms to have been holy songs of praise, and not a book administering law.[15] The current Psalms are still praised by many Muslim scholars,[16][17] but Muslims generally assume that some of the current Psalms were written later and are not divinely revealed.[citation needed] Quran 21:105 and Psalm 37:29 are direct counterparts.[18]


Main article: Gospel in Islam

The Injil was the holy book revealed to Jesus (Isa), according to the Quran. Although some lay Muslims believe the Injil refers to the entire New Testament, most scholars and Muslims believe that it refers not to the New Testament but to an original Gospel, given to Jesus as the word of Allah.[19] 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 from Allah, which has been corrupted and/or lost.[20]

Additional scrolls and texts

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

Scrolls of Abraham

The Scrolls of Abraham (Arabic: صحف إبراهيم‎, Ṣuḥuf ʾIbrāhīm)[21] are believed to have been one of the earliest bodies of scripture, which were given to Abraham (Ibrāhīm),[22] and later used by Ishmael (Ismā‘īl) and Isaac (Isḥāq).[citation needed] Although usually referred to as "scrolls", many translators have translated the Arabic suhuf as "books".[16][23] The Scrolls of Abraham are now considered lost rather than corrupted, although some scholars have identified them with the Testament of Abraham, an apocalyptic piece of literature available in Arabic at the time of Muhammad.[citation needed] The verse mentioning the "Scriptures" is in Quran 87:18-19 where they are referred to, alongside the Scrolls of Moses, to have been "Books of Earlier Revelation".

Scrolls of Moses

The Scrolls of Moses (Arabic: صُحُفِ مُوسَىٰ, Ṣuḥuf Mūsā), containing some of the revelation of Moses, are understood by Muslims to refer not to the Torah but to revelations aside from the Torah. Some scholars have stated that they could possibly refer to the Book of the Wars of the Lord,[16] a lost text spoken of in the Old Testament or Tanakh in the Book of Numbers.[24] The verse mentioning the "Scriptures" is in Quran 87:18-19 where they are referred to, alongside the Scrolls of Abraham, to have been "Books of Earlier Revelation".

Book of John the Baptist

Book of John the Baptist (Arabic: كتاب يحيى, Kitāb Yaḥyā), is a scripture that is alluded[according to whom?] to in Qur'an 19:12:[original research?]

(To his son came the command): "O Yahya (John)! take hold of the Book with might": and We gave him Wisdom even as a youth.

See also


  1. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Cyril Glasse, Holy Books
  2. ^ a b Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). "Qurʼān". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-11-04.
  3. ^ Lambert, Gray (2013). The Leaders Are Coming!. WestBow Press. p. 287. ISBN 9781449760137.
  4. ^ Roy H. Williams; Michael R. Drew (2012). Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future. Vanguard Press. p. 143. ISBN 9781593157067.
  5. ^ Living Religions: An Encyclopaedia of the World's Faiths, Mary Pat Fisher, 1997, page 338, I.B. Tauris Publishers.
  6. ^ Quran 17:106
  7. ^ Peters, F.E. (2003). The Words and Will of Allah. Princeton University Press. pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-691-11461-7.
  8. ^ Margot Patterson, Islam Considered: A Christian View, Liturgical Press, 2008 p.10.
  9. ^ Mir Sajjad Ali, Zainab Rahman, Islam and Indian Muslims, Guan Publishing House 2010 p.24, citing N. J. Dawood's judgement.
  10. ^ Alan Jones, The Koran, London 1994, ISBN 1842126091, opening page.

    "Its outstanding literary merit should also be noted: it is by far, the finest work of Arabic prose in existence."

  11. ^ Arthur Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, London 1956, ISBN 0684825074, p. 191.

    "It may be affirmed that within the literature of the Arabs, wide and fecund as it is both in poetry and in elevated prose, there is nothing to compare with it."

  12. ^ Quran 53:36
  13. ^ "Torah - Oxford Islamic Studies Online". Retrieved 2018-07-26. Arabic tawrat. Mentioned in the Quran eighteen times as true revelation that preceded the Gospels and the Quran. Confirmed by the Quran (5:46, 61:6), it is described as a source of wisdom (3:48, 5:110) and guidance (5:46). Muslims believe that the Torah, unlike the Quran, has not been preserved in its original, true, and complete form.
  14. ^ "Zabur - Oxford Islamic Studies Online". Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  15. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, Psalms
  16. ^ a b c Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary[page needed]
  17. ^ Martin Lings, Mecca; Abdul Malik, In Thy Seed
  18. ^ "Psalms - Oxford Islamic Studies Online". Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  19. ^ Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary, Appendix: On the Injil
  20. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, Injil
  21. ^ Alternatives: Arabic: صُحُفِ إِبْرَاهِيم Ṣuḥufi ʾIbrāhīm and/or الصُّحُفِ ٱلْأُولَىٰ Aṣ-Ṣuḥufi 'l-Ūlā - "Books of the Earliest Revelation"
  22. ^ Quran 87:19
  23. ^ Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran
  24. ^ Numbers 21:14