What is the Qur'an?

 

 

Sources:

·        "Islam in Brief" by Mahmoud Murad

·        "Understanding Islam and Muslims"

·        "Your Way to Islam" by Dr. Muhammad S. Al.Ashqar

 

 

The word “Qur’an” is understood in its general connotation to mean the uncreated speech of Allah.

 

The Qur’an is the real word of Allah, which was delivered by the angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Him).

 

Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Him) memorized the verses he received and recited them to his companions who happened to be with him, and ordered them to write the verses down immediately.

 

The Qur’an is the last of Allah’s Scriptures and Allah revealed it in installments over a period of 23 years [i.e. little by little according to the events and conditions].

 

It is divided into 114 surahs (chapters) of unequal length, and is one of the fundamentals sources of the Islamic teachings.

 

Some of its surahs and verses were revealed at Makkah, and the rest at Al-Madinah.

 

The Makkan Surahs and verses are concerned mainly with the issues of Tawhid, i.e. the belief in the Oneness of Allah, the signs of the existence of Allah, Resurrection, the life after death.

 

The Surahs revealed at Al-Madinah at a later period of the life of the Messenger of Allah (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Him), are concerned with legislation, rites of worship, and transactions related to all aspects of life.

 

 

The Authenticity of the Qur’an

 

 

There has been no nation which cared about, and preserved its Divine Scripture as the Muslim nation cared about the Qur’an.

 

Unlike the divine Scriptures which preceded it, the Qur’an is not kept in the hands of a particular group or clan of Muslims so that one may suspect it to be tampered with or altered (changed); rather it was within the reach of all Muslims.

 

The Muslims are commanded to recite it in their prayer and refer to it in all their disputes for final Judgement.

 

The Qur’an was compiled into one book at a time when those who had committed it to memory were still alive.

 

Allah revealed the Qur’an in Arabic and has promised to preserve it from corruption and change until the Day of Judgement.

 

The Muslims today read and recite the same Qur’anic texts that were read and recited during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions, no letter has been added to the Qur’an or deleted from it.

 

There are authentic copies of Qur’ans from the time of  Uthmans still kept in museums around the world (e.g. Topkapi Palace-Istanbul); you can compare them and you’ll find that all the copies of the Qur’an are the same all over the world.

 

Miraculosity of the Qur’an

 

 

Allah the Exalted has challenged the Arabs and non-Arabs to produce a Qur’an similar to the Divine one.

 

The challenge was then reduced to ten surahs (chapters), and yet they failed to do so.  Finally Allah challenged them to produce a single surah comparable to any of His.  Although they were masters of eloquence and rhetoric during that period, the Arabs were still incapable of taking up the challenge. They realized that it could never be from anyone other than Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

 

All the Muslims recite the Qur’an in Arabic, whether they are from western countries, from the far east, or Arabs, they all recite the Qur’an in Arabic, there is no version of Qur’an in other than Arabic language.  This also indicates the Universality of the Qur’an, while you can find other Scriptures written in every nation’s language.

 

The fact that the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic does not mean it’s just for the Arabs.  There is no one universal language, and Arabic is unique because it is very rich and very descriptive, and one word can have many meanings.

 

Comment:  There are many translations of the meaning of the Qur’an, but they aren’t considered to be Allah’s word.

 

In addition, you can notice that the Qur’an is without a writer or an author, if you compare it with the scriptures like the Old and the New Testament, there is Luke, Matthew, John, Mark, and Gospel of Barnabas, etc., these are all supposedly the authors of what is called holy books.

 

The difference between miracles of the previous Messengers, which proved their veracity (truth, authenticity), and those of the Messenger of Allah (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Him), is that their previous miracles were effective during the lifetime of everyone of them only, [e.g. the magic for Moses, and healing of sickness and giving life to the dead by Jesus, etc.]; by their (the prophet’s) death and being raised, the miracles have no more effect, whereas the miracle of the Qur’an remains effective, everlasting and unchallenged until the Day of Judgement.

 

 

What is the Qur’an about?

 

 

The Qur’an, the last revealed word of Allah, is the prime source of every Muslim’s faith and practice.

 

The Qur’an is comprehensive because it includes law, moral principles, and the creed to which every Muslim subscribes.

 

The Qur’an deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings. It provides the laws that govern all acts, public or private duties towards Allah, and duties towards man, and at the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system. You can find laws concerning marriage, divorce, inheritance, limits and punishments, business, what is lawful and unlawful of drinks, dress, food, etc.

 

Man-made laws are subject to alteration and are based on theories; whenever a new body or new theory appears, the laws are changed accordingly. 

 

The Divine Laws, on the other hand, are unalterable and perpetual because the One who made them is the Ever-living and Everlasting God.  He created mankind and ordained for them what suits them till the end of time.

 

For this reason, the Qur’an, being the last revealed to the last of Prophets and Messengers, abrogates all previous Scriptures.

 

Many Prophesies (forecasting- what will happen in the future) in the Qur’an are fulfilled to the letter, e.g. the Qur’an foretold the victory of the Romans over the Persians [this is found in chapter 30 entitled “Ar-Rum” (Surat Al-Rum, the Romans). Allah says: “The Romans have been defeated, in the land nearby, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious.” This refers to the battle which took place between the Persians and the Romans in 614 A.D. When the Romans were defeated, eight years after that, the Romans defeated the Persians, and the Prophecy in the Qur’an was fulfilled to the letter.  This is due to the fact that who revealed them is the One Who pre-decreed all events until the Day of Judgement.

 

 

The Science and the Qur’an

 

 

Along with the fact that Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Him) was illiterate; (he could neither read nor write), he grew up in Makkah where there were no schools, and he was far away from the scientific circles which existed in Syria, Alexandria, Athens and Rome. Moreover, the scientific facts mentioned in the Qur’an were not known in the seventh century.

 

If the man himself was the author of the Qur’an, how could he have written facts in the seventh century A.D., which only recently have been shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?

 

There are many scientific facts that are mentioned in the Qur’an, such as the creation of the Universe, and other topics including astronomy, animals and plant Kingdoms, human reproduction and other related issues.

 

The complexities of human reproduction were decoded and understood only after the invention of the microscope which was hundreds of years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Him).  However, the Qur’an refers to the stages of development that human embryo undergoes.

 

Allah says: And indeed we created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth).  Then we made him (the offspring of Adam) as a “Nutfah” (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) [and lodged it] in a safe lodging (womb of the woman).  Then we made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then we made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then we made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then we clothed the bones with flesh, and then we brought it forth as another creation.  So blessed be Allah the Best of Creators.”(Surat Al-Mu'minoon 23:12-14)

 

As has been scientifically proven, the stages of human reproduction are:

 

1.  Fertilization of an ovum which takes place in the Fallopian tubes; the fertilizing agent is the male sperm.

2.  The implantation of the fertilized egg which takes place at a precise spot in the female reproductive system:

 

 

It descends into the uterus and lodges in the body of the uterus. Once an embryo begins to be observable to the naked eye, it looks like a small mass of flesh.  It grows there in progressive stages which are very well known today; they lead to the bone structure, the muscles, the nervous system the circulation and the viscera etc.

 

The Prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Him), who didn’t speak of his own desire and it was only an inspiration that was inspired to him, also said in an authentic narration that: “Every one of you remains in the form of a sperm drop in the womb of his mother for 40 days and then as a clot for next 40 days, and then again as a lump of flesh for another 40 days, and lastly an angel is sent who breathes the soul into it... ” [Bukhari]