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Zabur ( ) is the holy book of the Sabians ( , ) and, according to Islam, one of the holy books revealed by God before the Qur'an (the others being the Tawrat (Torah) and the Injil (New Testament)).

Some scholars equate the Zabur with the biblical book of Psalms. The term zabur is the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew zimra, meaning "song, music." It, along with zamir ("song") and mizmor ("psalm"), is a derivative of zamar, meaning "sing, sing praise, make music."


The Zabur is a collection of ancient hymns and spiritual songs. They were originally written to be sung, not just to be recited or read. According to Islamic tradition, the Zabur was the worship book used in Solomon's Templemarker in Jerusalemmarker. It is often called Dawud's Zabur (or the Psalms of David). This is not intended to imply that David wrote all of the Zabur, because Islamic scholarship sees several prophets and holy men as having contributed to the Zabur. More of the Zabur is attributed to David than to anyone else. Others to whom parts of the Zabur are attributed include Musa (Moses), Uzair (Ezra), Sulayman (Solomon), Ethan, Heman and Asaph. Many of the chapters state at the beginning who wrote that particular chapter. The Zabur contains 150 chapters or songs which are broken down into 5 sections as follows:

First Section—chapters 1 to 41Second Section—chapters 42 to 72Third Section—chapters 73 to 89Fourth Section—chapters 90 to 106Fifth Section—chapters 107 to 150

Mention of Zabur in the Quran

In the Quran, the Zabur is mentioned by name only three times. The Quran itself says nothing about the Zabur specifically, except that it was revealed to David, king of Israel and that in Zabur is written "My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth". Used translation Yusuf-Ali:

Parallel of Ayat 21:105 with Psalms

The last reference is of interest because of the quotation from Psalm 37 verse 29 which says, "The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein for ever". (King James Version)

According to Ahrens (1930) the last reference is quoted from Psalms. He says that the verse in Qur'an reads "We have written in the Zabur after the reminder that My righteous servants shall inherit the earth." His conclusion is that this verse represents a close and rare linguistic parallel with the Hebrew Bible and more pointedly, with Psalm 37 ascribed specifically to David (see verses 9, 11, 29 which refer to the meek, the righteous or “those who wait upon the Lord” as they who shall inherit the earth).

Many Muslims scholars think that it also has reference to Exodus 32:13, which reads "Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swearest by thine own self and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed and they shall inherit it for ever" (KJV)

Zabur in Hadith

One hadith, considered valid by Bukhari, says:Narrated Abu Huraira, Muhammad said,
"The reciting of the Zabur was made easy for David. He used to order that his riding animals be saddled, and would finish reciting the Zabur before they were saddled. And he would never eat but from the earnings of his manual work."

Zabur and Kethubim

A well-known Christian apologist, C. G. Pfander went as far to say that the Qur'an's reference to the Psalms is actually a reference to the third division of the Hebrew Scriptures, known as the Writings or Kethubim.

External links

See also


 Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 1, pg. 245.

K. Ahrens, Christliches im Qoran, in ZDMG , lxxxiv (1930), 29
C. G. Pfander, The Balance of Truth, pg. 51

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