Transcribed by Editorial Staff
This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with New Muslim Bites. And this is session number five in which (in Sha’ Allah) we’re going to be talking about the Article of Faith which is the belief in the Books of Allah, all the Books of the One God.
Now, there are several of the books of Allah mentioned in the Quran. Of course, we have the Quran itself which is mentioned in the Quran obviously, but we also have others. So, for example, the Torah which is the Book of Moses or Musa (‘Alaihi as-salam), the Zabur which is the Book of Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam)and the Injil which is the Book of ‘Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him).
Now, I’m going to go through each one in turn, give you a little bit of information. It’s very important in order for us to understand our Deen that we understand that the Quran is the end product and a perfected product, a perfected way of life. But this message that has gone through to mankind throughout the other books is the same mental message essentially. And the message, of course, is that we would believe in the One God, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and worship Him only.
So, the Torah! It’s mentioned 18 times in the Quran. And in Surah 5, verse 44, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,
We revealed the Torah which is a guidance and a light. (Quran 5:44)
And this was actually revealed for the Jews, for the Jewish community through Musa (‘Alaihi as-salam). And actually, it’s very interesting that even at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), there was a point where the Jewish community actually approached him for some advice on a matter. A man and woman had been committing fornication, or zina in Arabic. And the Jews came to him to ask him for advice on the matter as regards what they should do with religious, the religious area. So, they asked him to go and judge in this matter.
So, he said, “Yes, I’ll go and judge”. And they gave him a cushion to sit on and the Prophet (peace be upon him) sat on the cushion and then asked them to bring the Torah to him.
So, subhan Allah, he asked them to bring their own Book to him and he removed the cushion from under himself and put it down and actually put the Torah on top of the cushion and said to the Torah, “I believed in you and in Him who revealed you”.
So, he was then affirming… and it was amazing Da’wah that he was affirming to the Jews that it’s part of the Islamic faith as well to believe in the Torah. And he actually then called them to bring one of their people of knowledge to help with judging, and somebody had the knowledge of the Torah. And (he) decided it between these two people using that, using something that they knew and they could relate to.
The Zabur, the Psalms
Now, the Zabur! It’s sometimes known… those of us who have been to church in the past and Sunday schools and stuff. It’s known as the Psalms, the Psalms of David, or Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam)
Some say that that’s what the Zabur actually is. And now the word Zabur comes from the Hebrew zimrah which actually means ‘song’ which links in with the Psalms because the Psalms are actually the songs. It’s mentioned three times in the Quran. In surah 17, verse 55, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,
We gave to David (the gift of) the Zabur. (Quran 17:55)
And there’s a hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions that the reciting of the Zabur was made easy for Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam) to the extent that from the time it took him to ask his servants to saddle up the riding animals, the horses, camels, etc. to the time that the riding animals were actually saddled. If he started reciting at the beginning then he would continue and he would have finished reciting the Zabur when the saddles were on the animals, when they were ready to travel. So quite a short! It was made easy on him, may Allah be pleased with him!
Now the Injil, sometimes known as the New Testament! Again for those of us who’ve been brought up as Christians. Of course, that was revealed to the prophet ‘Isa (‘Alaihi as-salam). And that is actually mentioned 12 times in the Quran.
Now, in Surah 5, verse 46, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,
And in their footsteps, We sent ‘Isa (or Jesus), son of Mary, confirming the law that came before him. We sent him the Injil in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the law that had come before him. (Quran 5:46)
So, this is a confirmation in the Quran that, again, the same as the Torah. It is mentioned as a guidance and as a light. And also that, adding on that, it came to confirm what was before it. So, it came to confirm for Jews that the Torah was the Word of Allah. And this is what they should be following because the Jews at this point, the community, needed another prophet and a reminder of the laws that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) had sent to them.
The Scrolls of Abraham and the Books of Yahya
Now, there’s a very brief mention of the Scrolls of Ibrahim (‘Alaihi as-salam), or Abraham, and also a brief mention of the Books of Yahya. And the people who followed him were called the Sabians.
Now, we don’t have any real knowledge of where those books are now. They’re considered to be lost unfortunately.
The Belief in the Books of Allah
Now, as Muslims, we have to believe in all these Books. But we, of course, believe them in their original form. Now the people who believe in these books and follow these books are the Christians and the Jews and Sabians if there are any. And they are considered and mentioned in the Quran as Ahl al-Kitab, Ahl al-Kitab meaning the People of the Book. And they are very revered and put in a very high position in Islam and very, very respected and also protected under Islam.
Now, the Quran of course! How can we not speak about this book of Allah? This is the final and protected and perfected Book of Allah and is actually protected by Allah from change and corruption. And Allah challenges people in the Quran saying bring even a verse like it! Bring in even a small verse like the Quran. And from men till now, nobody has been able to do this, and this stands right up until the Day of Judgment, this challenge.
Now, the things different about the Quran, of course, is that it’s perfected but also that it contains many miracles. We have the miracle of the science; we have the miracle of linguistics, of mathematics.
You can go online and you can look up all these things. There are books that you can read about. This is absolutely amazing! That proves that the Quran is the Word of Allah. That is also the fact that it is unchanged.
The Quran is Preserved
The Quran was revealed 1500 hundred years ago to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was essentially a guy living in a desert, who was illiterate. He didn’t have knowledge of these areas. He couldn’t even know how to read or write. Yet, the Quran which was this amazing linguistic miracle and scientific miracle was revealed to him.
It’s also preserved in its original language. Muslims across the world whether they’re English like myself or from China or Pakistan or an Arab country, we all read the Quran in Arabic.
Of course we read the translation, but the translation is a translation of the Quran. It’s not actually the original Quran. We always go back to the Arabic for this original meaning and this preserves it.
Now, the Quran and these other books of Allah share a lot of similarities one of which is that we all believe in the same God. I remember when I was being brought up and was introduced to Muslims, I used to think, “What’s this Allah, what’s this God?” And it was a big revelation to me when I realized that it’s the same God. Allah is God. God is Allah. It’s the same thing, like I said in one of my earlier sessions.
So this is the same message. The message essentially is of Tawheed, believing in the Oneness of Allah.
How should we approach the Quran?
Now, how should we approach the Quran is a totally different matter. We should approach it with an attitude that’s called Ikhlas. Ikhlas means that we have purity, a pure attitude towards it; we have a pure intention that we’re doing this for guidance and to read the Book of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), knowing and believing that this is the word of Allah. In surah 6, verse 115, Allah says,
Perfect are the words of your Lord in truth and justice. (Quran 6:115)
Now, the attitude is that we are approaching the Quran for guidance but also to change ourselves. Allah says in the Quran,
He will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves. (Quran 13:11)
which, of course, is the heart, the actions, the deeds, the intentions. So, we don’t just approach the Quran as a storybook or tales of all. You should accept the Quran like Allah is speaking directly to you.
Sources of Knowledge in Islam
Now, in Islam, we have different sources of knowledge. The Quran, of course, is the foundation of knowledge and is the basis of all our knowledge. However, we also have two other areas which bring more context and more details of the verses of the Quran and chapters of the Quran. We have the hadith which is the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which you do need to be very careful with. And make sure if you’re going to read a hadith, read it in the context of the Sunnah which is the practice and all the things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) actually did.
The Importance of Sunnah and Hadith
So, we have the Quran, the Sunnah and the hadith which are a triangle of knowledge. Usually, when people make mistakes or get things wrong or get extreme and things like that, they’re doing it because they have taken something out of context. So, maybe they’ve taken a verse from the Quran and they’ve put an incorrect interpretation. But if then they look at the context, what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in these particular situation, it changes the meaning completely.
So, you must be very, very careful on how you approach the Quran and make sure that you don’t take it as a black and white source. You have to take in the context of what it’s about or you might misunderstand what it’s saying to you.
Now, the Prophet (peace be upon him), of course… the reason why we have the Quran and the Sunnah and the hadith is because he was essentially the walking Quran. He was the embodiment of the Quran.
And this is something that we’re going to talk about next time, in sha’ Allah, when we talk about the belief in the prophets of Allah. And so, until next time, in the next session,
As-Salam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.