Believing in Divine Books of revelation is the third article of the six principles of faith in Islam, which are: Belief in Allah (Creator of heavens and earth), His angels, His Divine Books, His Prophets, The Day of Judgment and Destiny good or bad. Faith is entirely belief in the unseen.
THE MESSENGER (MUHAMMAD) BELIEVES IN WHAT HAS BEEN SENT DOWN TO HIM FROM HIS LORD, AND (SO DO) THE BELIEVERS. EACH ONE BELIEVES IN ALLAH, HIS ANGELS, HIS BOOKS, AND HIS MESSENGERS. THEY SAY, “WE MAKE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN ONE ANOTHER OF HIS MESSENGERS” – AND THEY SAY, “WE HEAR, AND WE OBEY. (WE SEEK) YOUR FORGIVENESS, OUR LORD, AND TO YOU IS THE RETURN (OF ALL).” (Quran.com/2/285)
To fully understand and know about Divine Books we need to clarify these points:
- What is a Divine revelation?
- Types of Divine revelation?
- Core and content of those Books.
Divine revelation: It is what God revealed to his prophets, and ordered them to convey His words onto their people ”Allah’s servants”, to worship only Him and live righteously.
Types of Divine Revelation: We are informed by Allah that there have been two types of Divine revelation: Suhuf and Books.
“Suhuf” or in English it’s “Pages”: They are booklets that are small in volume and that cannot be called as books. The prophets that were sent down pages: Adam, Shet (Seth), Idris (Enoch) and Ibrahim (Abraham). Prophet Adam was sent down 10 pages, Shet 50 pages, Idris 30 pages and Ibrahim 10 pages. They are 100 pages in total. (Ad-Durrul-Mansur VIII/489; Alusi, Ruhu’l-maani, XV, 141-142)
We do not have any documents remaining from those pages or what was their precise content, only some referral in Quran.
“Books”: They are substantial books of revelations to Prophets of Allah. The first of which is the Torah, was sent to Prophet Musa (Moses) (Quran.com/5/44); then the Psalms to Prophet Dawud (David) (Quran.com/17/55), the Gospel (Bible) to Prophet Eesa (Jesus Christ) (Quran.com/5/46), and finally “The Quran” was sent down to our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Core and content of those Books:
While the Book of Abraham has been entirely lost, the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel, according to Islam, are no longer in their original state. They have been added to, cannot be traced directly to their prophets, or were simply altered. Only the Quran has been preserved in its original state, exactly as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Believing in all those books in their original form is an essential part of the Islamic creed.
Quran acknowledges and affirms the previous Revelations:
SAY: “WE BELIEVE IN ALLAH, AND THE REVELATION GIVEN TO US, AND TO IBRAHIM, ISMA’IL, ISHAQ, YACOUB AND THE TRIBES, AND THAT GIVEN TO MUSA AND EISA, AND THAT GIVEN TO ALL PROPHETS FROM THEIR LORD. WE MAKE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONE AND ANOTHER OF THEM AND WE SUBMIT TO ALLAH” (Quran.com/2/136)
Quran also affirms the core message present in all former books. It acknowledges that each contained divine guidance and elaborates upon their content and beliefs. At the same time, Quran points out the modifications and alterations that exist within them now.
In other words, The Quran, the final revelation for all of humankind until Judgment Day, was sent down to confirm, explain, complete and to an extent, correct (after man’s manipulation) the books that already existed:
WE SENT JESUS, SON OF MARY, IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS, TO CONFIRM THE TORAH THAT HAD BEEN SENT BEFORE HIM: WE GAVE HIM THE GOSPEL WITH GUIDANCE, LIGHT, AND CONFIRMATION OF THE TORAH ALREADY REVEALED – A GUIDE AND LESSON FOR THOSE WHO TAKE HEED OF GOD. … WE SENT TO YOU [MUHAMMAD] THE SCRIPTURE WITH THE TRUTH, CONFIRMING THE SCRIPTURES THAT CAME BEFORE IT AND WITH FINAL AUTHORITY OVER THEM” (QURAN.com/5/46, 48)
Despite evident differences, core beliefs in all Divine books are the same. They each state that there is only One God, He sends Prophets as messengers to teach people how to live their lives in accordance to God’s instructions and will, affirm that all will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment, and that, eventually, everyone will end up in either hell or paradise.