Islamic Perspectives

The Quran: An Everlasting Miracle of Allah for Mankind

Numerous Prophets and messengers were sent by Allah for the guidance of humankind in various regions and times. The first one was Adam (pbuh). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last in this long chain of prophets who brought to mankind the message of Allah. After him no prophet will come. He is the seal or the last of the Prophets.

Each Prophet and messenger had come for the salvation and guidance of his people with the exception of the Last Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He was sent for the whole mankind and for all times to come. The Holy Quran says: "We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures" (21:107). Allah bestowed upon some Prophets Divine, or Revealed, Books. Almighty God says: "We verily sent our messengers with clean proofs and revealed to them the scriptures…" (57:25). Four such books are quite prominent, viz., (1) Zabur revealed to Prophet Daud (David); (2) Taurat (Bible) revealed to Hazrat Musa (Moses), (3) Injeel (New Testament) to Hazrat Isa Masih (Jesus Christ), and (4) The Quran revealed to the last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh).

Unfortunately none of these books now exist in their original form except the Holy Quran. This is because Almighty God Himself is its Protector and Saviour. He says in the Qur'an: "Verily We It is who has revealed the Admonition and We are its guardians" (15:9).

The recent incident of burning of Holy Qur'an by Pastor Wayne Sapp in a Florida church is not new thing. Earlier too such desecration of the Qur'an was done by US Army men in Guantanamo Bay. Such incidents occurred in the past also. They cannot destroy this revealed book even if they burnt the very last printed copy because millions of Muslims in every age and time memorized it by heart. Almighty Allah has kept its values and norms intact since the very day it was revealed. No doubt, despite all sorts of desecrations and sacrileges of the Holy Quran, it holds its own status in the world of books. It is a clear evidence that the Qur'an is no ordinary book but it is the book of the Almighty Allah. In addition, it is not for one person or one age but it offers guidance to all mankind in varied conditions of life and time. The scope of its moral teaching is as wide as humanity and time itself.

It goes without saying that at the time when the Prophet was born, the literary talent and eloquence of the Arabs was at its zenith. Therefore, Allah bestowed upon His Prophet the biggest miracle in the form of the Quran. It is said that diamond cuts diamond. The Quran met all challenges of the Arabs and issued a universal challenge saying: "Were all mankind to come together and wish to produce the like of this Quran, they would never succeed, however much they aided each other" (17:88). In fact, Arabs failed to present like of the Quran despite numerous attempts in history. The Holy Quran repeated this challenge in another form saying: "Do people imagine that is not from us, and that you, O' Prophet, are falsely attributing it to Us? Tell them that if they are speaking truly, they should produce ten surahs (chapters) resembling the Quran, and that they are free to call on the help of anyone but God is so doing" (11:13) Arabs were not able to produce like the Quran all these fifteen centuries.

The holy Quran further reduced this challenge in another place asking the rejectors to produce even a single surah resembling the Quran. It says: "O People if you doubt the heavenly origin of this book which We have sent down to Our slave, the Prophet, produce one surah like this" (2:23). Again, Arabs could not meet the challenge of the Quran.

In the end Arabs accepted that it is nothing but the words of Allah, revealed to the last Prophet through Gibrael the Trustworthy. This is how right from the beginning till now innumerable persons embraced Islam merely by getting impressed by the Quranic contents.

It is true that no other book in the world is so widely read and taught as the Quran. We may also observe that there is a good number of institutions in the world wherein nothing is taught but the Holy Quran. An Egyptian Mufti, Shaikh Abduh, and an Egyptian commentator Shaikh Tantawi Jauhari illustrated so many points that indicate the beauty of the Quran. A few of them as follows: (a) Literary beauty; (b) Magnificence of nature as showing forth God's handiwork; (c) the relation of the study of physical science to true spiritual insight; (d) Unity of God's design in the widest diversity of nature; (e) The goodness of God in making nature subserve to Man's needs; (f) His wisdom in making the various parts of nature subservient to each other's needs.

In this context it is apt to make a reference to Shah Waliullah. He writes in his book, Al-Fauzul Kabir, that the Holy Quran is covered by a set of five sciences:
  1. The science of injunctions (Ahkam): This includes the incumbent, the recommended, the approved, the disapproved, and the forbidden, covering worships, social dealings, household economy, and state politics. The interpretation of these sections is the responsibility of jurists.
  2. The science of disputation (Mukhasimah). This deals with the four misguided sects, the Jews, the Christians, the polytheists and the hypocrites, and its discussion and analysis falls within the jurisdiction of dialecticians.
  3. The science of Divine Favours covers explanations of the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, of the perfect attributes of God and the guidance which the people received about necessities of life.
  4. The fourth is the science covering the important events which God caused to take place, favouring the obedient and punishing the disobedient.
  5. The fifth is the science which reminds human beings of Death and that which will follow it, the Resurrection, the gathering, the Reckoning, the balance, the Paradise, and the Hell.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali says: "The Beauties of the Holy Qur'an, that the Holy Qur'an is not only the Supreme Book in the Arabic language but its place is high in world literature. It is deservedly classed among the world's hundred best books. It is one of the greatest books in all literature because it fearlessly tackles the biggest questions of life. It is so simple, so plain that any man can understand the ordinary meaning and yet so profound, so full of wisdom, that though thousands of books have been written about it, no one has yet fully explored its depths".

In a nutshell, the Holy Qur'an is an everlasting miracle of God to all mankind in every place and time. Smith writes in his book, Muhammad and Islam, "Thanks to the teachings of the Quran and its emphasis on the cultivation of knowledge, countless scholars made their appearance and wrote innumerable books. Different scientific disciplines were derived from the Quran and spread across the world by Muslim thinkers. The world was illuminated with the light of the Quran and culture of Islam."
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi
Teacher, Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2011 on page no. 29

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