Belief in the Revealed Books
God has sent His messages through His messengers the prophets to every people (Qur'an 16:36).
Muslims believe in four existing principle books, which were given by God. The fifth book, called the book of Abraham, has been lost. The four books are:
- The Torah was revealed to Moses (Qur’an, 3:3; 5:44)
- The Psalms (Zabur) was revealed to David (Qur’an, 17:55)
- The Gospel (Injil) was revealed to Jesus (Qur’an, 5:46; 57:27)
- The Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad (Qur’an, 2:1-4). The Qur’an is the very word of God transmitted word for word to Muhammad. It is the final and complete revelation, which confirms the previous revelations of the Torah, Zabur, Injil (3:3, 84; 5:46; 17:55; 2:53; 213; 87:19).
Discussions Concerning Adventist and Muslim Understanding
Belief in God’s Books
When Adventists read, “all Scripture is inspired by God” (Bible, 1 Timothy 3:16), they think of the Old Testament in the Bible, which they understand includes the books of Moses and the Psalms of David, and the New Testament in the Bible, which includes the Gospel of Jesus.
Belief in God’s Revelation of Himself
Adventists believe that God revealed Himself in order to save us, that is to lead us to a fullness of life, free from the bonds of sin both in this world and in the world to come. According to Islam, on the other hand, revelation is not for the purpose of redemption, but for the sake of “guidance”. That is, God’s revelation is meant to provide guidance for living in this world. Of course, the one who chooses to follow that “straight path” will receive the reward of Paradise.
Adventists believe revelation is mediated. They believe that the Bible is the Word of God, but do not believe that God mechanically transmitted it word for word. They hold that the Bible was written by human beings under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God inspired them to say and write the right and correct things about Him and His plan. The divine revelation was thus “filtered” through a human lens and written in human words and in the context of human history. That is why the scriptures refer to historical circumstances; it describes, not some mystical, non-historical revelation of God, but rather God’s wonderful intervention in human history.
In Islam, on the other hand, the Qur’an and the “Books which were before” (Torah, Zabur, and Injil) are considered the “unmediated” word of God. For example, Islam stresses very strongly that in receiving his revelation, Muhammad was illiterate (ummi) and hence completely passive. He simply recited what was put into his mouth, without any input of his own. (“Qur’an" means "recitation.") The Qur’an, which is seen as eternally existing in heaven, simply descended and was expressed through Muhammad as a passive instrument of revelation. This is also true of the other prophets and their messages.
In summary it could be said that in Islam, “…the word became a book.” While Adventists would say, “…and the Word became flesh – Jesus Christ.”