Belief in the scriptures revealed by God is the third article of Islamic faith.We can identify four main reasons for the revelation of scriptures:(1) The scripture revealed to a prophet is a point of reference to learn the religion and obligations towards God and fellow human beings. God reveals Himself and explains the purpose of human creation through revealed scriptures.
(2) By referring to it, ‘disputes and differences between its followers in matter of religious belief and practice or in matters of social practice could be settled.
(3) The scriptures are meant to keep the religion safe from corruption and deterioration, at least for some time after the death of the prophet. At the present time, the Quran revealed to our Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, is the only scripture to remain safe from corruption.
(4) It is God’s proof against human beings. They are not allowed to oppose or overstep it.
A Muslim firmly believes that divinely revealed books were actually revealed by the Compassionate God to His prophets to guide mankind. The Quran is not the only spoken Word of God, but God also spoke to prophets before Prophet Muhammad.
“…and to Moses God spoke directly.” (Quran 4:164)
God describes true believers are those who:
“…believe in what has been sent down to you (Muhammad) and what has been sent down before you…” (Quran 2:4)
The most important and central message of all scriptures was to worship God and God alone.
“And we sent never a prophet before you except that we revealed to him, saying, ‘there is no God but I, so worship Me.’” (Quran 21:25)
Islam is more inclusive in the holy revelations it affirms than any other heavenly religion in its present form.
Muslims uphold and respect the following scriptures:
(i) The Quran itself, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
(ii) The Torah (Tawrah in Arabic) revealed to the Prophet Moses (different from the Old Testament read today).
(iii) The Gospel (Injeel in Arabic) revealed to Prophet Jesus (different from the New Testament read in churches today).
(iv) The Psalms (Zaboor in Arabic) of David.
(v) The Scrolls (Suhuf in Arabic) of Moses and Abraham.
Third, Muslims believe whatever is true in them and has neither been altered or deliberately misconstrued.
Fourth, Islam affirms that God revealed the Quran as a witness over the previous scriptures and confirmation of them, because He says therein:
“And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (the Quran) in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it and trustworthy in highness and a witness over it (the collection of old scriptures)…” (Quran 5:48)
Meaning the Quran confirms whatever is true in previous scriptures and rejects whatever alterations and changes human hands have made to them.
Original Scriptures and the Bible
We must distinguish between two matters: the original Torah, Gospel, and Psalms and the present day Bible. The originals were God’s revelation, but thepresent day Bible does not have the exact original scripture.
No divine scripture exists today in the original language it was revealed in, except the Quran. The Bible was not revealed in English. Different books of today’s Bible are at best tertiary translations and different versions exist. These multiple translations were done by people whose knowledge, skill, or honesty is not known. As a result, some bibles are larger than others and have contradictions and internal inconsistencies! No originals exist. The Quran, on the other hand, is the only scripture in existence today in its original language and words. Not one letter of the Quran has been changed since its revelation. It is internally consistent with no contradictions. It is today as it was revealed 1400 years ago, transmitted by a rock-solid tradition of memorization and writing. Unlike other sacred texts, the entire Quran has been memorized by almost every Islamic scholar and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Muslims, generation after generation!
The previous scriptures essentially consist of:
(i) Stories of man’s creation and earlier nations, prophesies of what was to come like signs before the Judgment Day, appearance of new prophets, and other news.
The stories, prophecies, and news in the Bible read in churches and synagogues today are partly true and partly false. These books consist of some translated fragments of the original scripture revealed by God, words of some prophets, mixed with explanations of scholars, errors of scribes, and outright malicious insertions and deletions. Quran, the final and trustworthy scripture, helps us sort out fact from fiction. For a Muslim, it is the criterion to judge the truth from the falsehood in these stories. For example, the Bible still contains some clear passages pointing to God’s unity. Also, some prophecies regarding the Prophet Muhammad are found in the Bible as well. Yet, there are passages, even whole books, almost entirely recognized to be forgeries and the handiwork of men.
(ii) Law and rulings, the allowed and prohibited, like the Law of Moses.
If we were to assume the law, that is the lawful and the prohibited, contained in the previous books did not suffer corruption, the Quran still abrogates those rulings, it cancels the old law which was suitable for its time and is no longer applicable today. For example, the old laws pertaining to diet, ritual prayer, fasting, inheritance, marriage and divorce have been cancelled (or, in many cases, reaffirmed) by the Islamic Law.
The Holy Quran
The Quran is different from other scriptures in the following respects:
(1) The Quran is miraculous and inimitable. Nothing similar to it can be produced by human beings.
(2) After the Quran, no more scriptures will be revealed by God. Just as the Prophet Muhammad is the last prophet, the Quran is the last scripture.
(3) God has taken it upon Himself to protect the Quran from alteration, to safeguard it from corruption, and to preserve it from distortion. On the other hand, previous scriptures suffered alteration and distortion and do not remain in their originally revealed form.
(4) The Quran, for one, confirms early scriptures and, for another, is a trustworthy witness over them.
(5) The Quran abrogates them, meaning it cancels the rulings of the previous scriptures and renders them inapplicable. The Law of the old scriptures is no longer applicable; the previous rulings have been abrogated with the new Law of Islam.
 For example the declaration of Moses: “Hear, O Israel The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4) and the announcement of Jesus: “…The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29).
 Refer to (Deuteronomy 18:18), (Deuteronomy 33:1-2), (Isaiah 28:11), (Isaiah 42:1-13), (Habakkuk 3:3), (John 16:13), (John 1:19-21), (Matthew 21:42-43), and more.
 For example, refer to books of the Apocrypha.
By Editorial Staff
Alphonse de Lamartine
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was the best example in worship and conduct. All good manners and virtues were ideally manifest in him. Indeed, it suffices him that Almighty Allah hails His noble character in the Qur’an:
And indeed, you are of a great moral character. (Al-Qalam 68:4)
Also, he is loved and appreciated by countless numbers of believers. Yet when the testimony for his greatness comes from a non-believer in his message, it has a different meaning. Here we quote what the French poet Alphonse de Lamartine said about him:
“Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God’s name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.
“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.
“On the basis of a Book, every letter which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blend together peoples of every tongue and race. He has left the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason.
“The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it’s utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revelings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen… This dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
“Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs…. The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
The original text in French:
“Jamais homme ne se proposa volontairement où involontairement un but plus sublime puisque ce but était surhumain : saper les superstitions interposées entre la créature et le Créateur, rendre Dieu à l’homme et l’homme à Dieu, restaurer l’idée rationnelle et sainte de la divinité dans ce chaos de dieux matériels et défigurés de l’idolâtrie.
Jamais homme n’accomplit en moins de temps une si immense et durable révolution dans le monde, puisque moins de deux siècles après sa prédication, l’Islamisme, prêché et armé, régnait sur les trois Arabies, conquérait à l’unité de Dieu, la Perse, le Korassan, la Transoxiane, l’Inde Occidentale, la Syrie, l’Egypte, l’Ethiopie, tout le continent connu de l’Afrique septentrionale, plusieurs îles de la Méditerranée, l’Espagne et une partie de la Gaule.
“Si la grandeur du dessein, la petitesse des moyens, l’immensité de la réussite sont les trois mesures du génie de l’homme, qui osera comparer humainement un grand homme de l’histoire moderne à Mohammad ? Les plus fameux n’ont remué que des armes, des lois, des empires ; ils n’ont fondé (quand ils ont fondé quelque chose) que des puissances matérielles qui s’écroulèrent souvent avant eux. Celui-là a remué des armées, des législations, des empires, des peuples, des dynasties, des millions d’hommes sur un tiers du globe habité mais il a remué de plus des autels, des dieux, des religions, des idées, des croyances, des âmes… Sa patience dans la victoire, son ambition toute d’idée, nullement d’empire, sa prière sans fin, son triomphe après le tombeau attestent plus qu’une imposture, une conviction. Ce fut cette conviction qui lui donna la puissance de restaurer un dogme. ce dogme était double, l’unicité de Dieu et l’immatérialité de Dieu; l’un disant ce que Dieu est, l’autre disant ce qu’il n’est pas: l’un renversant avec le sabre des dieux mensongers, l’autre inaugurant avec la parole une idée ! “Philosophe, orateur, apôtre, législateur, guerrier, conquérant d’idées, restaurateur de dogmes rationnels, d’un culte sans images, fondateur de vingt empires terrestres et d’un empire spirituel, voilà Mohammad !` à toutes les échelles ou l’on mesure la grandeur humaine, quel homme fut le plus grand?” Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie, Paris, 1854. Tome 1 et Livre 1, p. 280.
Lamartine was born in Mâcon, Burgundy on 21 October 1790. His family was part of the French provincial nobility, and he spent his youth at the family estate at Milly-Lamartine. He is famous for his partly autobiographical poem, “Le Lac” (“The Lake”), which describes in retrospect the fervent love shared by a couple from the point of view of the bereaved man. Lamartine was masterly in his use of French poetic forms. Raised a devout Catholic, Lamartine became a pantheist, writing Jocelyn and La Chute d’un ange. He wrote Histoire des Girondins in 1847 in praise of the Girondists. Lamartine ended his life in poverty, publishing monthly installments of the Cours familier de littérature to support himself. He died in Paris in 1869.
It is known that (2:255) which is called Ayat Al-Kursi (The Verse of the Seat of Divinity) is the greatest verse of the Gracious Quran. Muslims are even recommended to recite it after every obligatory prayer. We should pay attention, memorize and learn it for the many virtues it has. In the following video, there is a stunning commentary on this verse taken from a lecture called: “The Final Miracle” by Nouman Ali Khan
Translation of Ayat Al-Kursi
God! There is no God but Him, the All-Living, the Self-Subsisting (All-Sustaining One). Slumber does not overtake Him, nor does sleep. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Who is it that shall intercede with Him, except by His permission? He knows what lies before them and what lies behind them. And they do not comprehend anything of His knowledge except that which He wills. His Seat (of Divinity) encompasses the heavens and the earth, and preserving them does not fatigue Him. For He is the Ever-Exalted, the Magnificent. (Quran 2:255)
Transliteration Ayat Al-Kursi
Allahu la ilaha illa huwa alhayyu alqayyoomu la ta’khuthuhu sinatun wala nawmun lahu ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi man tha allathee yashfaAAu AAindahu illa bi-ithnihi yaAAlamu ma bayna aydeehim wama khalfahum wala yuheetoona bishay-in min AAilmihi illa bima shaa wasiAAa kursiyyuhu alssamawati waal-arda wala yaooduhu hifthuhuma wahuwa alAAaliyyu alAAatheemu