I Guds namn, Den Barmhärtigaste, Den Nådigaste

The Psalms

Notis: Det följande är en reproduktion av artiklen ”The Psalms” i Juli-upplagan 2001 av Submitters Perspective, den månatliga bulletinen av United Submitters International.

Proclaim, ”Believe in it, or do not believe in it.” Those who possess knowledge from the previous scriptures, when it is recited to them, they fall down to their chins, prostrating. [17:107]

We have revealed to you this scripture, and those whom we blessed with the previous scripture will believe in it. Also, some of your people will believe in it. Indeed, those who disregard our revelations are the real disbelievers. [29:47]

… Did they not make a covenant to uphold the scripture, and not to say about GOD except the truth? Did they not study the scripture?… (7:169)

We are told in many places in the Quran that we should study the previous scripture. We cannot have knowledge of something unless we read it and study it. We know absolutely that the Quran is the final scripture, that it is complete and fully detailed, and that it supercedes all previous scripture. What we revealed to you in this scripture is the truth, consummating all previous scriptures. God is fully Cognizant of His servants, Seer. (35:31) Therefore, if any discrepancies occur between the Bible and the Quran we know that the Quran is the truth. But we also know that the Bible is based on the truth, that it contains God’s word, and that it is full of beautiful passages. None more beautiful that the Psalms.

God truly blessed David when he gave him the Psalms, and He tells us that in the Quran.

Your Lord is the best knower of everyone in the heavens and the earth. In accordance with this knowledge, we preferred some prophets over others. For example, we gave David the Psalms. (17:55) (also 4:163)

Most of the Psalms are short, 5-20 verses, but a few are quite long. All are beautiful in their praise of God. Some are very well known, such as the 23rd Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.*

The traditional number of Psalms is placed at 150, but it is recognized that over the centuries some Psalms were broken into two or more separate ones while two or more originally independent songs were made into a single Psalm. Therefore, it’s easy to imagine that the original number of Psalms, given by God to David, was perhaps a total divisible by 19.

Since we know that the Psalms come from God it’s not surprising that much contained therein is similar to the Quran. Even the titles of the Psalms remind us of the basic tenets of the one true religion: True Happiness (1), Joyful Confidence in God (4), Prayer for Guidance and Help (25), Security under God’s Protection (91), The Greatness and Goodness of the True God (115), and several which mention Trust in God (3, 27, 56, 146, et. al.).

I’d like to offer a few interesting comparisons:

Psalm 7, verse 2: O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and rescue me.

Quran 113:1-5: Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak. From the evils among His creations. From the evils of darkness as it falls. From the evils of the troublemakers. From the evils of the envious when they envy.” (also sura 114, 7:200, 11:47, 23:97-8 and many others)

Psalm 33, verses 8-12: Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all who dwell in the world revere him. For he spoke, and it was made; he commanded, and it stood forth. The Lord brings to naught the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the Lord stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations.

Quran 8:30: The disbelievers plot and scheme to neutralize you, or kill you, or banish you. However, they plot and scheme, but so does God. And God is the best schemer.

Quran 2:117: The Initiator of the heavens and the earth: to have anything done, He simply says to it, “Be,” and it is.

Psalm 49, entitled The Vanity of Worldly Riches, verses 7-10: They trust in their wealth; the abundance of their riches is their boast. Yet in no way can a man redeem himself, or pay his own ransom to God; Too high is the price to redeem one’s life; he would never have enough to remain alive always and not see destruction.

Quran 5:36: Certainly, those who disbelieved, if they possessed everything on earth, even twice as much, and offered it as ransom to spare them the retribution on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them, they have incurred a painful retribution. (also 3:91, 6:70, 57:15, 70:10-14)

Quran 3:77: As for those who trade away God’s covenant, and their obligations for a cheap price, they receive no share in the Hereafter. God will not speak to them, nor look at them, on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. They have incurred a painful retribution.

Quran 57:20: Know that this worldly life is no more than play and games, and boasting among you, and hoarding of money and children….This worldly life is no more than a temporary illusion. (also 2:212, 11:15, 29:64 and many others)

Psalm 115, verses 4-7: Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men. They have mouths but speak not; they have eyes but see not; they have ears but hear not; they have noses but smell not; they have hands but feel not; they have feet but walk not; they utter no sound from their throat.

Quran 37:91-96: He then turned on their idols, saying, “Would you like to eat? Why do you not speak?” He then destroyed them. They went to him in a great rage. He said, “How can you worship what you carve? When God has created you, and everything you make!” (the same story in 21:52-67, including the people admitting “You know full well that these cannot speak.”)

Quran 21:105 We have decreed in the Psalms, as well as in other scriptures, that the earth shall be inherited by My righteous worshipers. Indeed, it does say this in the Psalms, such as 37:29 The just shall possess the land and dwell in it forever.

In Psalm 136 every other line is: for his mercy endures forever. Verses 4-9:

Who alone does great wonders,
For his mercy endures forever;

Who made the heavens in wisdom,
For his mercy endures forever;

Who spread out the earth upon the waters,
For his mercy endures forever;

Who made the great lights,
For his mercy endures forever;

The sun to rule over the day,
For his mercy endures forever;

The moon and the stars to rule over the night,
For his mercy endures forever.

We have a similar narration in sura 55 where almost every other line is: Which of your Lord’s marvels can you deny? Verses 17-21:

Lord of the two easts and the two wests.

Which of your Lord’s marvels can you deny?

He separates the two seas where they meet.

Which of your Lord’s marvels can you deny?

A barrier is placed between them, to prevent them from transgressing.

Which of your Lord’s marvels can you deny?

There is also one interesting Psalm that seems to be coded. Psalm 119 has 22 sections of eight verses each. Each section is headed by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and each verse within that section begins with that letter.

I wish there were room to quote more Psalms. They are quite beautiful. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to study God’s revelations. Here are the first and the last of the Psalms.

Psalm 1: True Happiness

Happy the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked

Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent,

But delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.

He is like a tree planted near running water,

That yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves never fade. [Whatever he does, prospers.]

Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Therefore in judgment the wicked shall not stand, nor shall sinners, in the assembly of the just.

For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.

Psalm 150: Final Doxology with Full Orchestra


Praise the Lord in his sanctuary,

Praise him in the firmament of his strength.

Praise him for his mighty deeds,

Praise him for his sovereign majesty.

Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,

Praise him with lyre and harp,

Praise him with timbrel and dance,

Praise him with strings and pipe.

Praise him with sounding cymbals,

Praise him with clanging cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

* [Psalm 23 was quoted from the King James Version, all other Psalms were taken from The New American Bible]