Gospel in Islam

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Injil (Arabic: إنجيل‎, translit. ʾInjīl, alternative spellings: Ingil or Injeel) is the Arabic name for what Muslims believe to have been the original Gospel of Jesus (Isa). This Injil is described by the Qur'an as one of the four Islamic holy books which was revealed by God, the others being the Zabur (possibly the Psalms), the Tawrat (the Torah), and the Qur'an itself.

The Arabic word Injil (إنجيل) as found in Islamic texts, and now used also by Muslim non-Arabs and Arab non-Muslims, is derived from the Syriac Aramaic word awongaleeyoon (ܐܘܢܓܠܝܘܢ) found in the Peshitta (Syriac translation of the Bible),[1] which in turn derives from the Greek word euangelion (Εὐαγγέλιον)[2] of the originally Greek language New Testament, where it means "good news" (from Greek "Εὐ αγγέλιον"; Old English "gōdspel"; Modern English "gospel", or "evangel" as an archaism, cf. e.g. Spanish "evangelio")


Muslims believe that the Injil was revealed by God to Jesus in a manner comparable to the way the Quran was revealed to Muhammad; as stated in the Quran (tr. Pickthall): "And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the [Injil] wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah ..." (5:46); and "... We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow, and gave him the Injil..." (57:27). They believe that the Injil (the Gospel-of-Jesus, commonly translated ambiguously as "the" Gospel, including by Pickthall) has been lost, and what Christians now call the Gospel, i.e. the Gospels of the Apostle Matthew and the Evangelists Mark, Luke, and John, the first four books of the New Testament), is not the Injil. Some scholars have suggested the original Gospel may be the Gospel of Barnabas or Gospel of Thomas.[3] Still, the Bible has been used as an historical source.[4]

In the Quran

The word Injil occurs twelve times in the Quran and refers to the book given to Jesus. Muslim scholars[who?] generally agree that Injil refers to the true Gospel, bestowed upon Jesus by God. The word Injil is used in the Quran, the Hadith and early Muslim documents to refer specifically to the revelations made by God to Jesus. Muslims reject that Jesus or any other person wrote the Injil, instead crediting its authorship to God. Many Muslim scholars believe that the Gospel has undergone alteration, that the words and the meaning of the words have been distorted, with some passages suppressed and others added. The Islamic principle of the oneness (Tawhid) and wholeness of God's divinity means that in their view it is impossible for Jesus to be God incarnate or the Son of God, and that the worship of Jesus by Christians is due to later additions. The Quran says of the Gospel:

And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.

— Quran, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayah 46[5]

The Quran further describes the followers of the Gospel, that is the Christians, in a highly positive allegory, saying:

Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Torah; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward.

— Quran, sura 48 (Al-Fath), ayah 29[6]

See also


  1. ^ Peshitta (Mark 1:1) - "Literal Aramaic idiomatic (Lit. Ar. id.) name: "Awon-galee-yoon," or He Reveals."
  2. ^ Muhammad in world scriptures Abdul Haque Vidyarthi - 1997 "It is derived from the Greek term evangelion which means gospel, good news and happy tidings. But in the New Testament it has nowhere been given the name of any book."
  3. ^ Oliver Leaman The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia Taylor & Francis 2006 ISBN 978-0-415-32639-1 page 298
  4. ^ Camilla Adang Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm BRILL 1996 ISBN 978-9-004-10034-3 page 251
  5. ^ Quran 5:46
  6. ^ Quran 48:29

External links

  • A discussion of the Injil and some other scriptures
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