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Bismi Allahi er-rahmaan er-raheem December 2007 - Thw al-Hijjah 1428 A.H.

Sacred books

By Soumy Ana

Holy books are the inspired books on which each religion bases its doctrine and laws. Some religions that are founded by individuals have one book that summarizes the philosophies of the founder or something similar from the disciple's perspective and so on. This religious book defines the boundaries of the religion, and the followers would be expected to strictly abide by that holy book.

If you wish to read the Sacred books online, go to this library: The Internet Sacred Text Archive

The Qur'n (Arabic: al-qur'n, literally "the recitation"; also spelled Koran) is the Holy book of Muslims, who believe it is the literal word of God (Allah), revealed to Muhammad over a period of 23 years. Muslims view the Qur'an as God's final revelation to humanity at the culmination of a series of divine messages: Suhuf-Ibrahim (Scrolls of prophet Abraham), Tawrat (Jewish Torah revealed to prophet Moses), Zabur (the Psalms revealed to prophet David), and Injil (the Gospel revealed to prophet Jesus). The Qur'anic text assumes familiarity with many events from the Jewish and Christian scriptures, retelling some of these events in distinctive ways, and barely referring to others.



For Christians, the Bible refers to the Old Testament (same as the Hebrew Tanakh) and the New Testament (added after Jesus' death). The Protestant's Old Testament is largely identical to what Jews call the Bible. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Old Testament (adhered to by some protestants as well) is based on the prevailing first century Greek translation of the Jewish Bible, the Septuagint.



The Jewish or Hebrew Bible is called Tanakh. It includes 3 books: Torah (the Pentateuch or first five books of the Old Testament), Nevi'im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). The Tanakh contains the 39 books found in the Christian Bible, and is called the "Old Testament." The Jewish Talmud is considered even more important than the Tanakh. The Mishnah is a book of reference containing added laws in order to fit the contemporary time in the 2nd CE.



In Hinduism there exists no particular text that a follower must abide by. However, the Vedas are the common holy scriptures. In fact, they gave Hinduism the name vaidika dharma, one of its old names. The Vedic texts were compiled between c. 1000 B.C. and c. 500 B.C. Vedas are the sum of knowledge heard by the sages in their spiritual domain, and passed across as it is as mantras (words of super-power that produce grand effects when chanted or used as spells.) Vedas have four parts - samhita, brAhmaNa, Aranyaka & upanishat. The samhitas are the core part of Vedas; they are full of mantras. BrAhmaNas help in the application /interpretation of the vedic samhitas. Aranyakas and upanishats are the philosophical parts. Upanishats cover a spectrum of analyses of God and relation to It for the soul.



Tao-te-ching (The Way and Its Power) (Pinyin: Dào Dé Jng ) is the basic text of the Chinese philosophy and religion known as Taoism. It is made up of 81 short chapters or poems that describe a way of life marked by quiet effortlessness and freedom from desire. This is thought to be achieved by following the creative, spontaneous life force of the universe, called the Tao. The book is attributed to Lao-tzu (6th C. BCE), but it was probably a compilation by a number of writers over a long period of time.

Picture taken from Wikimedia Commons



Sri Guru Granth Sahib (a.k.a. Adi Granth, `First Book') is the most sacred book of the Sikh religion; it was completed in 1604. There are a number of other Sikh religious scriptures that are also considered to be important. These include the works of Bhai Gurdas and Nand Lal Goya. There are also the Janam Sakhis, the rahit-namas, and the gur-bilas. Another important reference is the Sikh Reht Maryada. This details the codes of conduct and conventions that all Khalsa Sikhs should strive to live up to.

Adi Granth


Baha'u'llah's Kitab-i Iqan The Book of Certitude (Kitab-i Iqan) is the preeminent doctrinal work of the Baha'i Faith. Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), the author, later designated the Iqan as the "Lord of all books".

Kitab-i Iqan


The Analects (Chinese: is a short collection of ) Confucius' discussions with his disciples, compiled posthumously. These contain an overview of his teachings. Confucius presents himself as a transmitter who invented nothing, and his greatest emphasis may be on study, the Chinese character that opens the book. In this respect, he is seen by Chinese people as the Greatest Master. Far from trying to build a systematic theory of life and society, he wanted his disciples to think deeply for themselves, and relentlessly study the outside world. For almost two thousand years, Analects had also been the fundamental course of study for any Chinese scholar, for a man was not considered morally upright or enlightened if he did not study Confucius' works.



Accounts of Gautama Buddha's life, discourses, and monastic rules were summarized after his death and memorized by the Sangha (monks). Passed down by oral tradition, the Tripitaka, the collection of discourses attributed to Gautama, was committed to writing about 400 years later. The Tripitaka was written down in 300 BC.

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