pl. zubur. Also zubur, pl. of zibr. From the Heb. zimrah, “a psalm or chant” (Psa. lxxxi. 2, xcviii. 5). The title given to the Psalms of David in the Qur’an, where it occurs only three times.
Suratu ‘n-Nisa’ (iv.) 161: “And to David we gave Psalms (zaburan).”
Suratu ‘I-Mir’aj (xvii.) 67: “And Psalms (zaburan) we gave to David.”
Suratu ‘l-Ambiya’ (xxi.) 105; “And now, since the exhortation (zikr) was given, have we written in the Psalms (fi ‘z-zaburi) that my servants the righteous shall inherit the earth.”
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 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 Muslim commentators, there is considerable difference of opinion as to what is meant in this verse by zikr and zabur.
The commentator al-Baiziwi says there are three views. Said Ibn Jubair and Mujaiyid explained the word zabar to mean all inspired books, and that by zikr was meant the Preserved Tablet (al-Lauhu ‘l-Mahfuz). lbn ‘Abbas and az-Zahhak said by zabur was meant the Taurat, and by zikr those books which came after. And Sha’bi said the zabur was the Rook 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, whilst al-Baiziwi leaves it an open question.
Jalilu ‘d-din as-Suyuti gives the word zabur as one of the fifty-five titles of the Qur’an.
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam