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16. Who Started Islam: Abraham or the Arabs?
Chapter 2. Where did Abraham live?

2.1. What are the "Suhuf Ibrahim"?

The Koran does not give us specific and precise information about the places, where Abraham came from or where he lived or where he was buried after he died. And since the Koran is also not clear about the meaning of Abraham being referred to as a Muslim, we need to find additional information about Abraham from other sources.

In the Koran we read the following: "Truly, this (teaching) is (found) in the first Suhuf (scripture pages), the Suhuf Ibrahim (scripture pages of Abraham) and of Musa (Moses)." (Sura al-A'la 87:18-19) Muslims understand this as meaning that the message given to Muhammad in this Sura al-A'la (Sura Nr. 87 in the Koran) can be found in the pages of inspired scripture, which Abraham and Moses received. Note that the Koran does not use the word "kitab" here, meaning "book", a word which appears frequently in the Koran. Rather it refers to "suhuf" (the plural of "sahifat", meaning a leaf or page in a book of scripture). About Moses, we know that he brought the Kitab (book) of the Tawrat (Torah). This is available to us, because the Jews and Christians honor it and have kept it intact. But what about the Suhuf Ibrahim (the scripture pages of Abraham) and the Suhuf Musa (the scripture pages) of Moses? Muslims are not able to give us these Suhuf (scripture pages). So, we must search somewhere else.

The book of Moses, the Hebrew Tawrat (Torah), includes 137 chapters about Moses (Exodus 1 to Deuteronomy 34). For us these are the Suhuf Musa (the scripture pages of Moses), constituting the major part of the Torah. In these Hebrew Suhuf Musa you find details about the birth and death of Moses, about the whole history of how Moses liberated the sons of Jacob from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt, leading them through the desert of Sinai to the eastern part of the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and how the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Moses revealed his will to the Sons of Jacob in the desert of Sinai constituting the Shariat Musa (Law of Moses).

In addition, this Kitab (book) of Moses, the Hebrew Tawrat (Torah), also includes 14 chapters about Abraham (Genesis 11 to 25). For us these are the Suhuf Ibrahim (scripture pages of Abraham), constituting an important part of the Hebrew Kitab (book) of the Tawrat (Torah).

NOTE: Today there are three other texts available from antiquity, which deal with Abraham. These however were written much later, after the Torah of Moses or the Gospel of Christ had come into existence. They were composed by adherents of other religions, like heretical Jewish sects, heretical Christians sects, Gnostics and Mystics. Neither orthodox Jews nor Christians regard them as coming from God. Therefore, they are useless for us. But to be complete, we list them here:
-- The Apocalypse of Abraham (32 chapters), written by an unknown author probably around the end of the first century or the beginning of the second century after the birth of Christ. This book survived to our days in an ancient Russian translation (in the Slavonic language).
-- The Testament of Abraham (available today in a longer version with 20 chapters and in a shorter version with 14 chapters), written by an unknown author probably between the first and second century after the birth of Christ. In its longer version this book has survived to our days in ancient Greek manuscripts as well as in an old Rumanian translation. The shorter version of this book has survived to our days in ancient Greek manuscripts as well as in old Romanian, Coptic, Arabic and Ethiopic translations.
-- The Sefer Yetzirah (5 or 6 short chapters). This very small text does not name an author, but has been attributed by Jewish Mystics to Abraham as having written it. Four versions of this text are available today in Hebrew manuscripts, all of them dated after the 11th century after the birth of Christ. This book has strongly influenced Jewish Mysticism (the Kabbala).

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