By Ejaz Naqvi
June 2, 2018
Contrary to the popular belief, the Qur’an holds the Torah and Gospel in high esteem. Muslims are well aware that the Qur’an calls itself ‘guidance’ and ‘light’ (Nur) and Al-Furqan (the criterion between right and wrong). But did you know the Qur’an refers to Torah and Gospel in the same way?
It should really not be surprising because the same God sent down all of them.
The Qur’an has a clear view of the prior Abrahamic Scriptures: The Scriptures, as set down to Moses and Jesus and other prophets, are sacred and to be respected. Muslims are commanded to “believe” in all Scriptures. The Qur’an is considered a continuation of the revelations from the same God.
This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who are God-conscious. Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them. And who believe in that which has been revealed to you [meaning Muhammad] and that which was revealed before you and they are sure of the hereafter. 2:2–4
This Qur’an is not such as can be produced by other than God; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book—wherein there is no doubt—from the Lord of the worlds. 10:37
So if you thought the references to ‘what was sent before’ were vague, the Qur’an leaves no doubt by mentioning Torah and Gospel (Injil) repeatedly. In the following set of verses, the Qur’an confirms the divine source of the Torah, the Gospel, and “the Book” (meaning the Qur’an). The Qur’an declares that the Torah and the Gospel were “guidance and light.” The following is a small sample:
The Quran on the Torah
It was We who revealed the law [Torah] (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to God’s will, by the Rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of God’s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God has revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers. We ordained therein for them:
‘Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.’ But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. 5:44–45
Other Passages on the Torah: A Criterion, Light, and Mercy
And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the [Furqan] Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright. 2:53
In the past We granted to Moses and Aaron the Furqan and a Light and a Message for those who would guard against evil. 21:4
Not only Furqan is used for Torah, as it has for itself, Torah is described as a guide for the “Muttaqeen” (bolded above), another word often used for believing, pious Muslims, meaning those who guard against evil.
And certainly We gave the Book to Musa, so be not in doubt concerning the receiving of it, and We made it a guide for the children of Israel. 32:23
And We gave Musa the Book and made it a guidance to the children of Israel, saying: Do not take a protector besides Me.” 17:2
And before this, was the Book of Moses as a guide and a mercy: And this Book [meaning the Quran] confirms (it) in the Arabic tongue; to admonish the unjust, and as Glad Tidings to the righteous. 46:12
The following verses do indeed refer to the Torah being a more detailed description of the laws:
Moreover, We gave Moses the Book, completing (Our favour) to those who would do right, and explaining all things in detail, and a guide and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord. 6:154
And We ordained for him [referring to Moses] in the tablets admonition of every kind and clear explanation of all things; so take hold of them with firmness and enjoin your people to take hold of what is best thereof; I will show you the abode of the transgressors. 7:145
Quran on Gospel (Injil): Guidance and Light
In the verses preceding the one quoted below, the Quran makes references to the Torah and the prophets that followed Moses and the rabbis who protected the Torah, followed by Jesus being given the Injil and that it was a guidance for the Muttaqeen (God conscious, or in awe of God).
And We sent after them in their footsteps Jesus, son of Mary, verifying what was before him of the Torah and We gave him the Gospel in which was guidance and light, and verifying what was before it of the Torah and a guidance and an admonition for Muttaqeen. And the followers of the Gospel should have judged by what God revealed in it; and whoever did not judge by what God revealed, those are they that are the transgressors. 5:46–47
Other Passages on the Gospel
In the first verse quoted below, the Quran addresses Mary in reference to Jesus Christ and says that he was born with the knowledge of the prior Scriptures, including the Torah:
And He [God] will teach him [Jesus] the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel. 3:48
When Allah will say: O Jesus son of Mary! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, when I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit, you spoke to the people in the cradle and when of old age, and when I taught you the Book and the wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel. 5:110
It is He Who sent down to you (step by step), in truth, the Book [meaning the Quran], confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) [Torah] and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). 3:3
Not only was Injil (Gospel) mercy and guidance, the Qur’an proclaims that God endowed those who followed him with kindness and mercy.
Then We made Our messengers to follow in their footsteps, and We sent Jesus son of Mary afterwards, and We gave him the Gospel and We put in the hearts of those who followed him kindness and mercy. 57:27
It is also of note that the Qur’an proclaims the Scriptures we see now are in an altered state without indicating how ‘original” they are. However, this does not distract from their sacred sources or the commandments to believe in them as referenced in numerous verses, some of which are quoted above.
This is an adaptation from my book, The Three Abrahamic Testaments: How the Torah, Gospel and the Qur’an Hold the Keys to Healing Our Fears