What do Muslims believe about past prophets and scriptures?
Muslims believe that all past prophets were sent by God and that the scriptures were Divine revelations in their original form and thus all taught the absolute unity of God. Two of the six articles of faith for a Muslim are:
- To believe in the Prophets of God
- To believe in the Divine Scriptures
Islam teaches that these Prophets and Holy Books were true at their source and were sent by the same one God who sent Muhammad(sa) as a Prophet and revealed to him the Quran.
According to the Quran, God has sent His Messengers to every nation:
There is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent. (Ch.35: V.25)
And for every people there is a Messenger. (Ch.10: V.48)
Some prophets have been mentioned in the Quran itself, such as Adam, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus and of course Muhammad (peace be on them all). Other prophets (not mentioned in the Quran) include Zoroaster, Krishna and Confucius (peace be on them all) to name but a few.
As mentioned above Muslims not only believe in all the earlier prophets but also in the revelations and Scriptures given to those Prophets by God. In the Holy Quran itself, reference is made to four revealed books other than the Quran:
SUHUF (Scrolls) of Abraham (Ch.87: V.20).
Of the Scriptures of Abraham(as), nothing is known today. These scriptures were probably never recorded in writing.
TAURAT (Torah) of Moses (Ch.3:V.4)
The Taurat or Torah of Moses(as) comprises the first five books of the Hebrew Bible and contains the complete Law for the Israelites. These five books are, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Together, these five books are known as the Pentateuch. The Torah was passed down the generations by the word of mouth and was finally recorded in writing some hundreds of years after Moses(as). The Hebrew Bible is a collection of 24 books, including the five books of the Torah.
ZABUR (Psalms of David) (Ch.4: V.164).
Very little is known today of Zabur, or the revelations of Prophet David(as). In the Hebrew Bible there are many psalms (sacred songs or hymns) attributed to David(as) which may constitute part of the Zabur.
INJEEL (Gospel) of Jesus Christ (Ch.5: V.47)
The Injeel or Gospel was revealed to the Prophet Jesus(as) but was not recorded during his lifetime. After his death, attempts were made to record his teachings in writing. Of the many such narratives, four were selected by the early Church as official accounts of the teachings of Jesus(as). These four versions of the Gospel are known today as: Gospels of Matthew, Luke, Mark and John. However there are other gospels (that are not included in the Bible) that also contain important information about the life and teachings of Jesus(as).
With the exception of the Quran none of the revealed books retained their original form.