Muslim View of the Ten Commandments

Religious Issues in the Ten Commandments

Moral compass with Ten Commandments
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Islam does not accept the absolute authority of the Bible, teaching that it has become corrupted over the years, and therefore it does not accept the authority of the listing of the Ten Commandments that appears in the Bible. Islam does, however, accept the status of both Moses and Jesus as prophets, which means that the commandments are not completely ignored, either.

One verse in the Quran makes what is probably a very general reference to the Ten Commandments:

  • "And We ordained laws for him in the tablets in all matters, both commanding and explaining all things, (and said): 'Take and hold these with firmness, and enjoin thy people to hold fast by the best in the precepts'..." 007.145

There is also a section of the Quran where several commands very similar to the Ten Commandments can be found:

  • Say, come, I will recite what God has made a sacred duty for you: Ascribe nothing as equal with God;
  • Be good to your parents;
  • You shall not kill your children on a plea of want; we provide sustenance for you and for them;
  • You shall not approach lewd behavior whether open or in secret,
  • You shall not take life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does God command you, that you may learn wisdom.
  • And you shall not approach the property of the orphan, except to improve it, until he attains the age of maturity.
  • Give full measure and weight, in justice; no burden should be placed on any soul but that which it can bear.
  • And if you give your word, do it justice, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill your obligations before God. Thus does God command you, that you may remember.
  • Verily, this is my straight path: follow it, and do not follow other paths which will separate you from God's path. Thus does God command you, that you may be righteous. (6:151-153)

Thus, while Islam doesn’t exactly have its own "Ten Commandments," it does have its own versions of many of the basic prohibitions given in the Ten Commandments. Because they accept the Bible as an earlier revelation of God they don’t object to things like displays of the commandments in public spaces. At the same time, though, they aren’t likely to see such displays as a religious duty or necessity because as described above they don’t accept the absolute authority of the Bible.