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Open Torah case with scroll.
Open Torah case with scroll.

The Tawrat (Arabic: توراة), also romanized as Tawrah or Taurat, is the Arabic-language name for the Torah within its context as an Islamic holy book believed by Muslims to have been given by God to the prophets and messengers amongst the Children of Israel. When referring to traditions from the Tawrat, Muslims have not only identified it with the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses), but also with the other books of the Hebrew Bible as well as with Talmudic and Midrashim writings.[1]

Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to God] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of God, and they were witnesses thereto. So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price [i.e., worldly gain]. And whoever does not judge by what God has revealed - then it is those who are the disbelievers.

In the Quran

The word Tawrat occurs eighteen times in the Quran and the name of Musa is mentioned 136 times in the Quran; nowhere in the Quran is it written that Moses alone has been given the Tawrat, but on the contrary it is written in the Quran that the prophets governed with the Tawrat.[2]

As per Quran, the governing ayats containing an order of God is the Tawrat.

But how do they come to you for decision while they have the Tawrat (Torah), in which is the (plain) Decision of Allah; yet even after that, they turn away. For they are not (really) believers.

— Quran, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayat 43[3]

The Law mentioned in the Quran (5:45):

And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

— Quran, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayat 45[4]

Similarly it is mentioned in Exodus:

And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

— Bible, Book of Exodus, chapter 21, verses 23-25[5]

According to 7:157, Muhammad is written about in both the Injil (Gospel), revelations to Jesus (Isa) and the Tawrat,

Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful.

— Quran, sura 7 (Al-A'raf), ayah 157[6]

The Tawrat is mentioned as being known by Isa in 5:110.

[The Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, "This is not but obvious magic."

— Quran, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayah 110[7]

Some quotations are repeated from other books of the Hebrew Bible. An example of this is 48:29,

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.

— Quran, sura 48 (Al-Fath), ayah 29[8]

This could be repeated from Psalms:

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

— Bible, Psalms, chapter 1, verse 3[9]

There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

— Bible, Psalms, chapter 72, verse 16[10]

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

— Bible, Psalms, chapter 92, verse 14[11]

The Torah is also described as a work that supported the Qur'an, and a guide from Allah.[12]

But when the truth came to them from Us, they said, “If only he was given the like of what Moses had been given.” Did they not deny what had been given to Moses earlier? They claimed, “Both ˹Scriptures˺ are works of magic, supporting each other!” Adding, “We truly deny both." Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Bring then a scripture from Allah which is a better guide than these two so I may follow it, if your claim is true.”

— Qur'an, 28:48-49

In the hadith

Muhammad referenced the Torah heavily. He did say that Moses was one of the few prophets to receive a revelation directly from God, that is, without an intervening angel. On one occasion, it is recorded that some Jews wanted Muhammad to decide how to deal with their brethren who had committed adultery. Abu Dawood recorded:

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar:
A group of Jews came and invited the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) to Quff. So he visited them in their school.
They said: Abul Qasim, one of our men has committed fornication with a woman; so pronounce judgment upon them. They placed a cushion for the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) who sat on it and said: Bring the Torah. It was then brought. He then withdrew the cushion from beneath him and placed the Torah on it saying: I believed in thee and in Him Who revealed thee.
He then said: Bring me one who is learned among you ... Then a young man was brought. The transmitter then mentioned the rest of the tradition of stoning similar to the one transmitted by Malik from Nafi' (No. 4431).

— Abu Dawood, Sunan Abu Dawood[13]


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There is some ambiguity among English-speaking Muslims on the use of Tawrat versus Torah. The Arabic of the Quran and hadith have only one word, Tawrat. Generally, in English, they are used interchangeably. However, some Muslims prefer to reserve Tawrat to refer only to the original revelation of God to Moses which some Muslims believe was later corrupted, possibly through the Babylonian captivity, and the rewriting of Ezra (Uzair) (and the men of the Great Assembly). However it is not possible to state without any authentic sources as to where, when, and by whom the Torah was changed. Since the Quran mentions Uzair by name in chapter 9 verse 30, and does not say that he corrupted the Torah in this verse, it cannot be said that Uzair did so.

Importance of the Torah

The word Torah occurs eighteen times and the name of Moses is mentioned 136 times in the Quran. Nowhere in the Quran is it written that Moses alone taught by the Torah as all succeeding Hebrew prophets and seers, including Harun, used the Law for preaching. The Quran states that the Torah did have words of wisdom in it, and all subsequent prophets, priest, rabbis and sages in Israel used its Law for guidance for prophets in plural and not only for Moses alone.[2]

The Quran mentions that the basic aspects of Islamic law are evident in the earliest scriptures, including that of Moses. He mentions that it contains the information about the Last Day and about the concepts of Paradise (Jannah) and Hell (Jahannam).[14] The Torah is also mentioned as being known by Jesus.[15]

See also


  1. ^ Isabel Lang Intertextualität als hermeneutischer Zugang zur Auslegung des Korans: Eine Betrachtung am Beispiel der Verwendung von Israiliyyat in der Rezeption der Davidserzählung in Sure 38: 21-25 Logos Verlag Berlin GmbH, 31.12.2015 ISBN 9783832541514 p. 98 (German)
  2. ^ a b c Quran 5:44
  3. ^ Quran 5:43
  4. ^ Quran 5:45
  5. ^ Exodus 21:23–25
  6. ^ Quran 7:157
  7. ^ Quran 5:110
  8. ^ Quran 48:29
  9. ^ Psalms 1:3
  10. ^ Psalms 72:16
  11. ^ Psalms 92:14
  12. ^ "Qur'an 28:49".((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 38:4434
  14. ^ Quran 87:19
  15. ^ Quran 5:111