What is belief in the books of Allah?
From Adam (a.s), the first man and the first prophet and onwards, Allah has sent His commandments and prohibitions through revelation, first in the form of pages (scrolls) and later in the form of books since more guidance was needed as society expanded and problems increased. There are four major holy books: the Taurat (Torah), the Zabur (Psalms), the Injil (Gospel), and the Qur’an. Adam was given 10 pages (or scrolls); Seth was given 50 pages; Idris (Enoch) was given 30 pages; and Abraham was given 10 pages. As for the major books, the Taurat was given to Moses; the Zabur was sent to David; the Injil was sent to Jesus, and finally the Qur’an was sent to Muhammad (J), the sultan of the universe.
Holy books are like letters from Allah to His servants. They deal with how humans should spend their lives and provide a prescription for eternal happiness. They are reflections of Allah’s attribute of the eternally pre-existent Word of Allah to the world and perception of human beings. So, the holy books also present a miracle of the word as well as the message they contain.
The Qur’an, which is the last holy book, abrogated the previous ones. The reasons for this were twofold. Firstly, long before the revelation of the Qur’an, the holy books in their original form had either been lost or corrupted or verses had been concealed. Secondly, changing human needs required a new, complete and final message. However, the original and the primary message of all the scrolls and books regarding the cardinal principles of faith are the same. A poet puts this fact into words very nicely.
The meaning of four books is
There is no god but Allah
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“To every people have We appointed rites and ceremonies which they must follow: Let them not then dispute with you on the matter…” (Hajj, 22:67).
The great characteristic of the heavenly religions is that they are without doubt based on Divine revelation. However, today this feature remains only with Islam since the books of the religions previous to Islam were exposed to human error in preservation and through interpolation and distortion of the original meaning. As a matter of fact, Islam was sent primarily due to this distortion. At the same time, the Qur’an, as the final revelation, covers the essence of the previous ones and it is the perfection and completion of what humanity needs for peace and happiness here and in the Hereafter. As it is the final one, it is under the protection and authority of Allah. The Qur’an puts forward the challenge that it will never be distorted or replaced:
“If you are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true.” (Baqara, 2:23).
As this verse states, the Qur’an has remained unaltered through the centuries. It covers the guiding principles for our salvation as follows:
- 1. Fundamentals of faith and pious deeds.
- The nature of the life of man: Stages of creation; birth, life, and finally death. And also man’s nature: immature drives of the ego; mature drives of the spirit; and methods of purification of the ego.
- The complex system of the universe: Seven layers of the heavens; sun, moon, stars, natural events, rain, alternation of the day and night, creation between the earth and the sky and their features.
- Historical information: Positive and negative status of nations both in the world and in the Hereafter; Divine vengeance; the lessons from prophets and their peoples; and lessons from the past.
- An ocean of contemplation and remembrance that proceeds from pre-eternity to future eternity.
Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, ISLAM SPIRIT AND FORM, Erkam Publications