PSALMS OF DAVID
pl. Zubur. Also zubar, pl. of zibr.
From the Hebrew zimrah
Before this We wrote in the Psalms (fi 'z-zaburi), after the Message (zikr) (given to Moses): My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth." (al-Anbiya' 21:105, Yusuf Ali's translation)
Both Sale and Rodwell take this last to be a quotation from Psa xxxvii.29 (it appears to be the only direct quotation from either the Old or the New Testament in the whole of the Qur'an), and they have both translated the Arabic zikr "the law", meaning of course, the Taurat. Amongst the Muslim commentators, there is considerable difference of opinion as to what is meant in this verse by zikr and zabur.
The commentator al-Baizawi says there are three views. Said ibn Jubair and Mujaiyid explained the word zabur to mean all inspired books, and that by zikr was meant the Preserved Tablet (al-Lauhu 'l-Mahfuz). Ibn `Abbas and az-Zahhak said by zabur was meant the Taurat, and by zikr those books which came after. And Sha`bi said that zabur was the Book of David, and the zikr that of Moses.
Al-Baghawi and al-Jalalan decide in favour of the first interpretation, Husain decides in favour of the third, whilest al-Baizawi leaves it an open questions.
Jalalu'd-din as-Suyuti gives the word zabur as one of the fifty-five titles of the Qur'an. (Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p. 698)
Use of the word in the Qur'an:
"zaboor" is singular, "zubur" plural. Nevertheless, the "zaboor" collectively means "David's psalms", "psalter". For the plural "zubur" my dictionary gives no special meaning, in the following I tentatively translate "scriptures".
4:163 wa-aataynaa Daawooda zabooran and we gave David a psalter 17:55 wa-aataynaa Daawooda zabooran and we gave David a psalter 21:105 wa-la-qad katabnaa fee z-zaboori min ba`di dh-dhikri: and we already have written in the psalter after the reminder: (follows a quote from Ps. 37:29)
3:184 bi-l-bayyinaati wa-z-zuburi wa-l-kitaabi l-muneeri with the clear signs and the scriptures and the illuminating book 16:44 bi-l-bayyinaati wa-z-zuburi with the clear signs and the scriptures 35:25 bi-l-bayyinaati wa-bi-z-zuburi wa-bi-l-kitaabi l-muneeri with the clear signs and with the scriptures and with the illuminating book
Rudi Paret, Der Koran. Kommentar und Konkordanz, Stuttgart 1971, p. 111, gives the following comment:
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