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The divine revealed scriptures

Publishing Date : 19 November, 2019

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM


When  writing this column I had expressed to readers that my personal acceptance and philosophy in life was that ‘I may say two plus two are four; on the other hand others will say three plus one is four, eight divided by two is four, or even the square root of sixteen is four or many other combinations; we may use different approaches, do things in a different manner and maybe interpret things differently but the bottom line is that we all come up with and have the ‘same’ answer.



Over the time span of writing for this column I have made frequent references to Qur’anic and Biblical verses that relay similar guidance and messages. However there are many of the actions, beliefs and practices in Islam that have a similarity with those in the Bible and other religious scriptures. Some readers may have been surprised at the parallels, yet on the other hand, there may be some who may have wondered if there is any real connection or linkages between them as I had alluded to.


These parallels and similarities exist because as Muslims we believe in the previous Scriptures revealed in their original form and text. These similarities signify that the Revealed Books have a common Divine source and the continuation of the basic message of a belief on one God.  Many people think of the Quran as a radically different book from the Bible. Moreover, according to this view, even though Muslims and Christians (and Jews) all believe in the same God, these religions are different in a way and have distinct traditions.


An argument can be made, however, that the similarities between the Bible and the Quran are actually much more intimate than one might think, and that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are closer to being different interpretations of a shared religious culture than totally distinct traditions. The fact is that Muslims and Christian all believe in one true God, and not the concept of Trinity.


The Quran says: ‘Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. Quran 112:1-4 
‘And your God is One God. There is no God but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.’ Quran 2:163
The Bible says: “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord, and the Lord your God is to be loved with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5


“Which law is the first of all?” Jesus said in answer, “The first is, Give ear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you are to have love for the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:28-30
Many people may wonder what Muslims have to do with the Bible, given the view that the Bible is the Holy book of the Christians and Islam is a ‘different’ religion altogether. The truth however is that Muslims and Christians share a great deal in common and share many beliefs like; the belief in One God, His Messengers and Prophets, the Divine Revelations sent to them, the Day of Judgement, Heaven and hell and other beliefs.


Most of the teachings, guidance, events and stories bear the virtually the same basic message but at times there may be a slight difference in their emphasis and interpretation because these Divine Books were revealed in their original languages; the Torah in Hebrew, The Bible in Aramaic, and the Qur’an in Arabic; these languages share common roots of the different languages of the middle East.     


The four revelations from Allah mentioned in the Qur’an are: the Torah, the Law of Moses; the Zaboor, the Psalms of David; the Injeel , the Good News revealed to Jesus; and the final Message to humanity, as the seal of the revealed Divine scriptures, the Qur’an revealed to Prophet Muhammad, (May peace be upon them all). It is an article of faith for every Muslim to believe in all the Prophets of Allah / God and all the Revelations of sent down to us. The Qur’an confirms the revelation of these Scriptures in the following verses:


‘And before this was the Scripture of Moses as a guide and a mercy, And the Qur’an confirms it in the Arabic tongue, to warn wrongdoers and as a glad tiding to those who do good’. (Qur’an 46:12) ‘And in their footsteps we sent Jesus the son of Mary….. we gave him the Injeel (the Gospel) therein was a guidance and a light and confirmation of what is in hand of the Taurat (Torah), a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah’. (Quran 5:46)


‘It is He who revealed to thee (Muhammad) the Scripture (the Qur’an). Confirming what went before it (of the Scriptures). And He revealed the Taurat and the Injeel before this as a guidance to mankind. And He revealed the Criterion (of judgement between what is right and wrong)’…(Quran 3: 3-4). As can be seen from these verses of the Qur’an confirming the Messages given to the various Prophets contain Allah’s guidance to mankind in the form of revealed books or scriptures that formed the basis of and for the teachings of the Great Prophets of Allah.


Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the final revelation that confirms and seals the Divine Message to all Humanity. ’O ye who Believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle, and the Scripture which He has sent to His Apostle and the Scripture which He sent to those before him, and whoso denies Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles and the Day of Judgement has gone far, far astray’ (Quran 4:136).Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the final Book and that there will be no new Divine revelations thereafter.


With this in mind it is therefore no surprise to find that in the Qur’an there are various teachings and incidents that have a significant resemblance to those contained in the Revealed Books as mentioned above. The teachings of the Prophets professed the same message; that all mankind must submit to the One and Only, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Hearing, All-Mighty Allah, God, Modimo or whatever people call their God in the language of choice. As a result we find that many of the Prophets mentioned in the Bible and the Torah are also mentioned in the Qur’an.


The Qur’an mentions twenty six such Biblical Prophets among them (in no particular order); Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Aaron, Elias, David, Solomon, Job, Jonah, John, and Jesus (May Peace and Blessings be upon them All). The Qur’an echoes many of their messages and also some of their trials and tribulations, including notable events like the parting of the sea (Moses), the flood (Noah), the events in the Garden of Eden (Adam and Eve), Jonah (and the whale), the trial of Abraham (when he was ready to sacrifice his son), Lot (and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah), the story of Joseph and many others (May peace and Blessings be upon them all).


Many readers may be surprised to learn that in the Qur’an contains verses on the miraculous birth of Jesus including the miracles performed by Jesus (PBUH). Today over two billion Muslims in the world, love, respect and revere this great Messenger of Allah. So it goes without saying that Muslims and Christians have the same set of beliefs but regrettably some of us tend to look at the slight differences rather than the similarities.

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