Understanding Islam

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You are here: Q & A Sources of Islam The Words 'Torat', Injeel (Gospel), Zaboor (Book of Psalms) and Aadam (pbuh) in the Qur'an

The Words 'Torat', Injeel (Gospel), Zaboor (Book of Psalms) and Aadam (pbuh) in the Qur'an


I am reading the Qur'an  since the last three months in a madrassah[1] here. I find some new things, which are confusing me a lot. For instance, they say everything that has to be followed is in the Qur'an  and don't follow hadith because they say that hadith are written by man and Qur'an  is the only book from god for hadaya [guidance] they also say: Everything is mentioned in the Qur'an  Surah 10 ayah 61

Qur'an  is the only book that exists from the very first day Torah means law, ZABOOR means PIECES and INJEEL means good news. These are all attributes of the Qur'an  not the names of other books, like FURQAN, BURHAN, NOOR, HADAYAH, HIKMAA and many others.

The word Torah is mentioned 18 times in Qur'an  but not mentioned with Hadhrat Moosa [Moses] (pbuh).

Hadhrat Adam did not exist as a single man but Adam is the brand or mark or as a symbol (like Toyota is a car or Honda). They say the person with kalamat of Allah is ADAM. They say that Hawwaa[2] never existed because the word Hawwaa or the word eve comes from the Bible. Also a tree which Adam eats as mentioned in Surah 2 ayat 30 to 39 is they say is mentioned in Surah IBHRAHIM AYAH 24 AND 25.

Sir I would be very glad if you answer all these questions.

Question from Pakistan

My opinion on the issues you have pointed out follow respectively:

  • The Arabic words, in the referred verse (Yunus 10: 61) may be translated as:

"Whatever affair [O Prophet ,] you engage in and whatever you recite from the Qur'an  and whatever act [O people,] you commit, We are a witness on all of you, while you are engaged in it. Not a particle in the earth or the heavens is hidden from your Lord, nor any object smaller or greater [than a particle], but it is recorded in a clear book".

As should be obvious, the words that have been taken by your 'teachers' to refer to the Qur'an  in the above verse are "a clear book". Any person with a good sense of language would immediately declare that the indefinite article ("a" clear book) does not allow these words in this sentence, to be taken to refer to the Qur'an . 'A clear book' in this sentence seems to refer to a book with God, which has all things recorded in it.

The implication of the verse is quite simple. The verse declares that every affair of man, whether big or small, which is known to God. Everything and action is witnessed by Him. Not only is everything and every action witnessed by Him, it is also being recorded in a clear book. Nothing escapes from this process of recording, be it as insignificant as a particle or greater or smaller than a particle.

If you consider the above explanation in the light of the words of the Qur'an , you shall see that it is obvious that the words "a clear book" in this verse cannot refer to the Qur'an  or any other book that is revealed by God. It simply refers to the record of human actions that is maintained by God, which shall be given to man on the Day of Judgment.

The Qur'an , it should be remembered, is guidance for mankind, not a bank of information that is irrelevant to man's guidance. The Qur'an shows the path of eternal success to man. Moreover, the fact of the matter is that Qur'an  has actually not recorded all things and actions whether equal to, greater than or smaller than a particle.

  • The second point not only refutes established human knowledge and history but is also an excellent example of one's lack of understanding of the common mechanisms of a language. At the moment I would refrain from commenting on the meanings ascribed to the words "Torah" and "Injeel", as I do not think these meanings are of any significance. I would just like to stress a few simple points:

  • The word "Torah", originally, is not an Arabic word. It is a Ta`reeb (conversion and adoption into the Arabic language) of a Hebrew word. The meaning ascribed to the word "Torah" (i.e. "law") is its meaning in the Hebrew language. In the Arabic language, however, the word "Torah" is rarely, if ever, used to signify "law". On the contrary, in the Arabic language, the word is only used as a proper noun to refer to the book revealed to Moses (pbuh). "Torah" has been a common word among the Arabs since pre-Islamic times, however its usage has been limited to refer to the book of Moses (pbuh). In fact, I would be surprised if your teachers can quote even a single verse from pre-Islamic, Islamic or even modern-day poetry in which the word "Torah" has been used in the meaning of "law", yet dozens of citations can be given for the word in the Arabic poetry in which it is used as the name of the book of Moses.

  • The case of the word "Injeel" is exactly the same as that of the word "Torah". "Injeel" like "Torah" is a Ta`reeb of a foreign word. "Injeel" is the Ta`reeb of an originally Greek word. The meaning of that original word in the Greek language is reported to be "Good News" or "Glad Tidings". However, in the Arabic language, the word is used only to refer to the book revealed to Jesus (pbuh). Like the word "Torah", the word "Injeel" is not used in its literal meaning (good news) in the Arabic language.

  • Like "Torah" and "Injeel" the Arabs, as is clear from references in their literature, commonly held that "Zaboor" was revealed to David (pbuh). This belief is supported by the Qur'an , when it declares in Al-Nisaa 4: 163 and Al-Israa 17: 55 that God gave Zaboor to David.

  • If the Arabs were wrong in ascribing the Torah to Moses (pbuh), the Injeel to Jesus (pbuh) and the Zaboor to David (pbuh) then the Qur'an  should have clearly refuted and corrected this belief of the Arabs. Even if the Qur'an  had remained silent in this respect, its silence would have amounted to a silent approval of this belief of the Arabs. Thus, we see that even though the Qur'an  has never mentioned the name of the particular prophet on whom the Torah was revealed, yet it has silently approved the commonly held belief that the Torah was revealed on Moses (pbuh). As far as the Injeel and the Zaboor are concerned, the Qur'an  has clearly referred that the Injeel was revealed to Jesus (Al-Maaidah 5: 46, Al-Hadeed 57: 27) and the Zaboor to David (Al-Nisaa 4: 163, Al-Israa 17: 55).

  • The following verses of the Qur'an  clearly refer to the fact that God revealed the Torah, the Injeel and the Zaboor before the Qur'an :

  • Aal Imraan 3: 3 - 4

  • Aal Imraan 3: 48

  • Al-Anbiaa 21: 105

  • The Qur'an  clearly states that the Torah was revealed before Jesus (Aal Imraan 3: 50, Al-Saff 61: 6) and after Abraham (Aal Imraan 3: 65) and Jacob (Aal Imraan 3: 93).

In the light of the above noted facts, it would be the responsibility of any one who believes that the Torah, the Injeel and the Zaboor are not names of books but attributes of the Qur'an  to give his arguments to the effect that:

  1. How were these words adopted in the Arabic language?

  2. Why did the Qur'an  use foreign words, rarely used in the Arabic language in their original literal meaning as attributes of the Qur'an ?

  3. What, in the context and content of the Qur'anic  verses in which these names (Torah, Zaboor and Injeel) have been used hinders us from taking these words to be names of books, as has always been held by Muslims as well as by the non-Muslims?

  4. How did these words come in vogue in world literature and history (Muslims as well as non-Muslim) to signify books revealed by God? Who originated this conspiracy and when was it affected?

  5. Why did the Qur'an  not correct the Arabs, the Jews and the Christians regarding their belief that these are names of books revealed by God?

  • The third point has been covered in my comments on the second point.

  • The fourth point seems to be an interesting claim. However, I would only be able to comment on it in any meaningful way if I know the basis or the arguments presented by your teachers in favor of this claim. I would be interested in finding out what, in the context and content of the particular verses of the Qur'an  that refer to the creation of Adam (pbuh) hinders us from taking the word 'Adam' to refer to a particular individual. Moreover, what is the basis of holding that because the name Eve has been mentioned primarily in the Bible it, therefore, has to be rejected? Where does the Qur'an  reject it? I would only be able to comment on this point after the bases of this argument have been clearly explained.

I hope this helps.

24th December 1999

[1]  Generally used for a school for religious education.

[2]  i.e. Eve.

Answer published by Moiz Amjad