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Taking Stock
Vicious noise
By Rizwan Ullah

Rizwan UllahSadi, the great Persian sage wondered:
khafta ra khufta kai kunad bedar!
(How can a sleeper wake up another sleeper!) 

A similar case we are observing here in India. The ignorant are trying to wake up others in deeper slumber of ignorance. Some vicious voices have been raised calling for deletion of certain passages from the holy Quran. It would be better to overlook it with the contempt it deserves. But believing that the people who have no knowledge about their own scriptures and are ignorant of their own culture must be completely unaware of the people of other faiths around them, they should be provided with necessary information. This is the reason why I have been insisting on the need for continuous dialogue at every level of contact. When the people in general get some basic knowledge about others they will form an informed opinion and their judgement will be based on that informed opinion. Another reason for this response is to satisfy our own selves that we need not bother, agitate or be stirred over such vicious noise raised by miscreants.

However, those who are raising such issues must be plainly told that they are asking for an impossibility. Far from dropping a few sentences or making a few amendments in Quranic verses, it is not possible to slightly change a vowel sign or its pronunciation. Pouring of all the bounties of paradise over people sunk deeply in corruption cannot buy the slightest change in the vowel signs or their sounds. Similarly, all the fury of hell cannot enforce the will to amend. In view of the atrocities Muslims have been subjected to, it may be believed to be possible to raze all the Muslim places of worship to the ground. One need not go too far to find an example. It may be believed to be possible to eliminate all Muslims, burn all scriptures to ashes, but it will never be possible to make the slightest difference in Quranic verses. If all the hands are chopped off, so that they cannot write, if all the eyes are gouged out so that they cannot see, even then the satanic intent cannot be carried out. It is such a great impossibility. The ignorant may not believe it, as in the words of the holy Quran: Allah hath set a seal on their hearts, and on their hearing and on their eyes is a veil. Great is the penalty (they incur). 2:7

They may believe that my claim is an exaggerated exposition of a blind believer, but some of them may have their eyes and ears still open. They must be told that the holy Quran is saved and secure in the depth of the heart and it has permeated the soul. The hafizs who memorise and learn it by heart are countless in the Muslim communities all over the world. The hafizs are not the products of madrasahs only, many of them memorise the holy Quran in their homes or in nearby mosques. Many students of various branches of knowledge learn it and recite it in their free time and take a long period of time to complete it. Thenceforth they keep reciting it wherever they may be.

The interested persons must be told that the holy Quran is recited in the course of long nightly prayers, called taraveeh, during the holy month of Ramadan. They may be told that such recitation of the holy Quran in the Kaaba at Makkaah is telecast on TV channels. It is open to all to see lakhs of Muslims coming from all parts of the world fasting during the day and, quietly and in a disciplined manner, participating in the long nightly prayer. Those who are interested may be shown a video tape of those scenes. 

They may be taken to mosques here in India to see for themselves. These things should form part of a quiet and continuous dialogue. Even otherwise certain things are obvious. The holy Quran is the only book which is printed and recited in all parts of the world by the people speaking languages as varied as those spoken in Timbuktu and HoChi Minh City. And through the past fifteen hundred years the whole text remains as intact as ever, everywhere. Those who have some knowledge of books and texts must be aware of the fact that they are likely to undergo changes with the passage of time and place. That is the reason why most important manuscripts are prone to variations which creep into them. The holy Quran is the only exception. It is free from any variations.

Mathematically speaking, the book is a miracle. It is for the man today with open eyes and ears to comprehend. The book was revealed upon the holy Prophet (PBUH) and through time it was given to the people of the world fifteen hundred years ago in a part of the world which was in total darkness of ignorance but it continues to be perfectly sound mathematical formulations. Let me give a few examples: the opening sentence, "In the name of Allah, most gracious, most beneficent", contains nineteen Arabic letters. This figure of 19 is an odd integer but the total number of Surahs, that is section in the holy Quran is 114, which is a perfect multiple of 19. The total number of letters in Holy Quran is 344413, this umber too is a perfect multiple of 19. There are some other mind-boggling mathematical formulations and facts. 

There are Surahs which begin with a single alphabet or with three or five alphabets (again odd numbers) the real meanings of which are still a mystery. Perhaps the human mind has not yet reached that level of maturity as to be able to explain or decode it. There is nothing very unusual in this statement for despite so much scientific progress there are natural phenomena which are manifest and obvious but still remain unexplained. 

However, with most advanced computers it may be possible to achieve deeper insight into Quranic mysteries. It is in fact happening. Islamic scholars and technicians are synergising their efforts at various places in various Muslim countries under different research projects. The world may only wait for some more time to see more mysteries to be divulged. In the meanwhile the sane and perceptive people must be working towards raising the standard of their own rational understanding instead of letting themselves to be dragged by forces of darkness.
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