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Tilawah of the Qur’an: Meaning and Blessings

reading Qur'an

As the tongue recites and words flow from the lips, the mind ponders, the heart reflects, the soul absorbs, tears well up in the eyes, the heart quakes and trembles.

Tilawah is the word that the Qur’an uses to describe the act of its reading. No single word in English can convey its full meaning. ‘To follow’ is closest to its primary meaning. To read is only secondary, for in reading too, words follow each other, one closely behind the other, in an orderly and meaningful sequence. If one word does not follow the other, or if the sequence and order is not observed, the meaning is destroyed.

So, primarily, tilawah means, move closely behind, to go forward, to flow in a sequence, let go in pursuit, to take as a guide, leader, master, a model, to accept the authority, to espouse the cause, to act upon, walk after, practice a way of life, to understand, to follow the train of thought – or to follow.

Hence, reading the Qur’an, understanding the Qur’an, following the Qur’an – that is how those who have any right to claim faith in it relate themselves to it.

All-Inclusive Act

Tilawah or recitation is an act in which your whole person, soul, heart, mind, tongue and body, participates. In short your whole existence becomes involved.

In reading the Qur’an, mind and body, reason and feeling lose their distinction; they become fused. As the tongue recites and words flow from the lips, the mind ponders, the heart reflects, the soul absorbs, tears well up in the eyes, the heart quakes and trembles, the skin shivers and softens just as the heart does, there no longer remains any duality between the two, even your hair may stand on end.

And ”so he walks in a light from his Lord”  (Az-Zumar 39:22) “that is God’s guidance, whereby He guides whomsoever He will.” (Az-Zumar 39:23)

To read the Qur’an thus, as it deserves to be read, is not a light task; but nor is it too difficult or impossible.

Otherwise the Qur’an could not have been meant for laymen like us, nor could it be the mercy and the guidance that it surely is. But obviously it does entail much travail of heart and mind, soul and intellect, spirit and body, and requires that certain conditions be observed and obligations be fulfilled – some inwardly, some outwardly. You should know them all, now, and endeavour to observe them before you enter the glorious world of the Qur’an.

Matchless Blessing

Only then will you reap the full harvest of blessings that await you in the Qur’an. Only then will the Qur’an open its doors to you. Only then will it let you dwell inside it and dwell inside you. Nine months spent in the womb of your mother have transformed a drop of water into ‘you’ – hearing, seeing and thinking.

Can you imagine what a lifetime spent with the Qur’an – seeking, hearing, seeing, thinking, striving – can do for you?

It can make you into an entirely new ‘being’ – before whom even angels will feel proud to kneel. Ascending at every step taken within the Qur’an and every moment spent therein, you will reach towering heights. You will be gripped by the power and beauty that breathe and move within the Qur’an.

From `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas: The Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be on him) said: “The companion of the Qur’an will be told: recite and ascend, ascend with facility as you used to recite with facility in the world. Your final abode is the height you reach at the last verse you recite”. (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and An-Nasa’i).

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The article is excerpted from the author’s book “Way to the Qur’an”.

 

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The Qur’an: To Start from the Beginning

By Haya Muhammad Eid

Al-fatihah

Short and concise as it is, Al-Fatihah adroitly contains the totality of the Islamic creed

Reading the Qur’an gives the feeling that the speaker is all around, seeing and hearing everything; all-knowing of us – every feeling, every thought, every memory, every good or evil tendency; all-knowing of the heavens and earth – every atom, every breath of air, every grain of sand, every fruit on every tree; and all-knowing of the past, present, and future – every moment, every event, every detail:

He knows what enters into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the sky and what ascends to it. He is with you wherever you may be. And Allah  is the All-Seer of what you do. (Al-Hadid 57:4-6)

The tone is that of supreme authority, full lordship, and absolute sufficiency:

Allah, there is no god except Him, the Ever Living, the Self-Sufficient Master Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

Despite its grandeur and majesty, the Qur’an does not evoke a sense of distance or strangeness, but rather affinity with the divine words because of their familiarity with human nature, its needs, its fears, its pains, and its desires:

Indeed, We (Allah) have created the human, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Qaf 50:16)

Reading and rereading it, each time with more purpose and focus, eventually forms a rope safely tying us to our Creator, as depicted by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

“Truly, this Qur’an is a rope; one end of it is in Allah’s Hand and the other end is in yours. Hold fast to it. Indeed, you will never go astray or be ruined after it (after holding on to it).”  (Ibn Hibban)

Al-Fatihah

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of existence, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful, the Owner (Master) of the Day of Judgment. It is You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help. Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not the path of those who have incurred Your Anger, nor of those who have gone astray. (Al-Fatihah 1:1-7)

Al-Fatihah (the Opening) is so named because it is the chapter with which the Qur’an begins. It is also named Umm Al-Qur’an (the Mother of the Qur’an) and As-Sab`-ul-Mathani (Seven Oft-recited Verses).

Short and concise as it is, this Qur’anic chapter adroitly contains the totality of the Islamic creed, which reveals the wisdom behind the divine ruling that Al-Fatihah be recited in every unit of salah (prayer) and the invalidity of salah without it.

“In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful.”

The start of anything, as Allah guides, should be in His name; everything in this universe is in His name and happens by His will and permission. Starting any action with Allah’s Name means taking Him as one’s helper and supporter in that action.

The mention of Allah’s name is accompanied by His two sublime Attributes, the All-Merciful and the Ever-Merciful, as a constant reminder of the open doors of His mercy; thus, no one should feel unwelcome.

“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of existence.”

Coming into existence out of nothing is a bounty from the Lord of existence, Who gives to all, and takes nothing for Himself. With every breath, His endless and continuous blessings flow by day and night, which can render the tongue speechless, at a loss for the right words. But Allah teaches that thanking Him is done with only two words, “Alhamdu lillah” (Praise be to Allah). This is a favor in itself.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) expressed the human inability to fully thank our Creator, when he said: “I cannot praise You enough. You are as You have praised Yourself.” (Muslim)

“The Owner (Master) of the Day of Judgment.”

This is what gives balance to the whole world. Without it, the world would be a jungle. Without it, human life could not be elevated. Only through belief in the Day of Judgment can hearts find rest; what humans receive in this world is not their final portion. There is a world to come that is worth striving for, unrestricted by the limits of a lifetime or the scope of this earth.

Believers and disbelievers in this Day are not the same in their emotions, thoughts, behavior, or actions. Their attitude towards it splits them into two totally different types of people. Believers rarely lose sight of their inevitable meeting with Allah and retain Him in their thoughts and actions, for they know they will be judged. Disbelievers do not have Allah in any of their thoughts or actions. About them, Allah says:

As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it to be nothing. Instead he finds Allah before him, Who will pay him in full his due. And Allah is swift in account. (An-Nur 24:39)

“It is You we worship, and You we ask for help.”

As long as people worship only their Creator and seek only His Help, they are free and immune to subjugation by regimes, circumstances, or other humans. They will not fall prey to superstitions, myths, or fancies. Filled with feelings of submission to and reliance on Allah alone, Muslims live in this world free, with no fear of – or for – anything. They bow to Allah (Exalted be He) with humility and stand with their heads raised before everything else.

“Guide us to the Straight Path.”

This is the first and most important supplication a believer can pray for to continue to adhere to and practice Allah’s true religion, Islam, to attain happiness in this life and the next.

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The article is excerpted from the Book “A Brief Tour through the Qur’an” by Haya Muhammad Eid, edited by Emily Richardson. To read or download the book click here.

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Our Relationship with the Qur’an & Its Effect on Our Lives

Qur'an

The Qur’an is the source of every good: it will give whatever and as much as you ask from it.

Muslims are the only people in the world today fortunate enough to possess the word of God preserved in its original form, free from all distortions, and precisely in the wording in which it was sent down upon the Prophet (blessings and peace be on him).

Paradoxically, these same Muslims suffer the misfortune of being denied the countless blessings and benefits which the word of God must give to those who believe in it. The Qur’an was sent to them, for them to read it, understand it, act upon it, and, with its help, establish on God’s earth the rule of His law.

The Qur’an came to grant them dignity and power. It came to make them true vicegerents of God on earth. And history shows that whenever they acted according to its guidance, it did make them the leaders of the world.

Irreverence and Misuse

But now the Qur’an’s usefulness, for many Muslims, consists only in keeping it in their houses to drive away jinns and ghosts, in writing its verses on amulets to hang round their necks or washing those amulets with water and then drinking it, or in reading its contents without comprehending their meaning in the hope of receiving some reward.

No longer do they seek guidance from it for their lives. No longer do they ask it to tell them what should be their beliefs, morals and actions, nor how they should conduct transactions, what principles they should observe while dealing with enemies and friends, what the rights are of their fellow beings and of their own selves. Nor do they turn to it to find what is true and what is false, whom they should obey and whom disobey, who their friends are and who their enemies, where honor, well-being and benefit are to be found and where disgrace, failure and loss.

We Muslims have given up looking for answers to these important questions in the Qur’an. Instead, we now ask kafirs (unbelievers), idolaters, misguided, selfish people, even our own ego and desires and follow what they advise.

What invariably happens to those who ignore Allah and follow the precepts of others has happened to us too. We are reaping only what we have sown everywhere in the world in Palestine, the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia and many other places.

The Qur’an is the source of every good: it will give whatever and as much as you ask from it. If you seek from it such trivial, frivolous and spurious things as how to scare away jinns and ghosts, how to cure coughs and fevers, how to succeed in litigation and find a job – then you may get them, but only them. If you seek supremacy on earth and the power to rule the world you may get that too. And if you wish to reach near God’s throne (`arsh), the Qur’an will take you there.

If you receive only a few drops from the ocean, do not blame the Qur’an, blame yourselves. For the whole ocean is there waiting for him who knows how to take it.

Incomprehensible Contradictions

The cruel jokes, brothers, which we Muslims play with the Book of Allah are so inane that if we saw someone else doing such things in any other sphere of life, we would mock them and even brand them as lunatics.

Tell me, what would you say if somebody got a doctor’s prescription and hung it round his neck after wrapping it in a piece of cloth or washed it in water and drank it? Would you not laugh at him and call him a fool?

Yet this is the very treatment being given before your eyes to the matchless prescription written by the greatest of all doctors to provide a cure for all your ailments – and nobody laughs! No one even reflects that a prescription is not meant to be hung round the neck nor are its words to be washed in water and drunk.

Tell me, what would you think if someone who was ill picked up a book on medicine and began to read it, believing, thinking that this would cure him? Would you not say that he was deranged? Yet this is how we treat the Book which the Supreme Healer has sent for the cure of our diseases.

We think that just by flicking through all its pages, our diseases will disappear without our following the directions given in them or abstaining from the things which they pronounce harmful. Are we not in the same situation as the man who considers that reading a book on medicine will cure his illness?

If you receive a business letter in a language you do not know, you go to a man who knows the language to find out what it says. You remain anxious and restless until you have found out what the letter says, even though it will bring only some paltry worldly profit.

But the letter sent to you by the Lord of the worlds which can bring you all the benefits of this-world and the eternal life is carelessly set aside. You do not show any uneasiness at not understanding its contents. Is this not astonishing?

I am not trying to make you laugh. Reflect for a while on these facts and your hearts will tell you that the greatest possible injustice is being done to the Book of Allah.

Ironically, the culprits are the very people who proclaim their faith in it and proclaim their readiness to sacrifice their lives for it. No doubt they do have faith in it and love it more than their lives, but the pity is that it is they, more than anyone else, who treat it outrageously.

reading qur'an at mosque

Qur’an is the matchless prescription written by the greatest of all doctors to provide a cure for all your ailments.

And the consequences of such treatment are quite plain to see.

The Consequences

Understand fully that Allah’s word does not come to bring misery, disgrace and suffering to man:

We have not sent down the Qur’an upon you that you be wretched. (Ta-Ha 20:1-2)

On the contrary, the Qur’an is the source of happiness and success. It is impossible for a people to possess God’s word and yet suffer disgrace and ignominy, live under subjugation, be trampled on and kicked around, and carry the yoke of slavery on their necks, being led by the nose like animals. People meet this fate only when they do injustice to the word of God.

Look at the fate of the Israelites. They were given the Tawrah and the Injeel, and were told:

ad they established the Torah and the Gospel and what was sent down to them by their Lord, they would surely have partaken of all the blessings from above them (heaven) and beneath their feet (earth). (Al-Ma’idah 5:66)

But they adopted a wrong attitude towards these Books of Allah, and reaped the consequences:

An ignominy and helplessness were laid upon them, and they were laden with the burden of God’s anger. That, because they used to disbelieve God’s messages and slay the Prophets against all right; that, because they disobeyed and were transgressors. (Al-Baqarah 2:61)

If people possess Allah’s Book and still live in disgrace and subjugation, they are surely being punished for doing injustice to Allah’s word. The only way to save yourselves from

Allah’s anger is to turn back from this grave sin and start trying to render His Book its due. Until you do, your condition will never change – even if you open colleges in each and every village, all your children graduate from universities, and you amass millions through unscrupulous means.

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The article is an excerpt from Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi’s book “Let Us Be Muslims”. 

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The Qur’an: From the Preserved Tablet to Humankind

The Qur’an: From the Preserved Tablet to Humankind

And thus, We have sent to you O Muhammad a revelation, and a mercy of Our Command.  You knew not what the Book is, nor what is Faith?  But We have made it (this Qur’an) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will.  And verily, you O Muhammad are indeed guiding (humankind) to the Straight Path.  (Ash-Shura 42:52)

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, the final Messenger from God, received the Qur’an, in two stages.  These perfect words of God were sent down to guide humankind out of the darkness and into the light; they are guidance and a mercy.

The Qur’an – the words of God are perfect words, from a perfect God, to His Creation.  On the night known as the ‘Night of Decree’, in the Islamic month of Ramadan, the Qur’an descended, from the Preserved Tablet[1] to the Lowest Heaven.  It then descended from the heavens to the earth in small stages.

The revelation was delivered to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel.[2] When Prophet Muhammad was around forty years of age he started to spend time in deep reflection.  According to his beloved wife `A’ishah (Al-Bukhari) the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him via vivid good dreams.  He would go to the cave known as Hira’ to worship the One God and contemplate life, the universe, and his place in the world.

One night during Ramadan an angel came to him and asked him to read.  The Prophet, who was unable to read or write, replied ‘I do not know how to read’.  The angel then held him forcibly and pressed his chest so hard that he could not bear the pressure.  The angel then released Muhammad and asked him once more to read.  Again he replied “but I do not know how to read”.  The angel held him forcibly three times and Muhammad responded each time that he did not know how to read (or asked what shall I read).  The angel then related to him the first words of Qur’an.[4]

Read!  In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists).  He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read!  And your Lord is the Most Generous, Who has taught by the pen, He has taught man that which he knew not.  (Al-`Alaq 96:1-5)

After this first revelation, which Muhammad found frightening; he was not visited by the angel Gabriel again for an undetermined amount of time.  The next time he encountered him (the angel) he was walking alone.  Prophet Muhammad heard a voice from the heavens.  When he looked up he saw the angel sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth.  Muhammad was afraid and ran home seeking comfort and asking to be wrapped in blankets.  The second revelation occurred at this time.

O you covered in garments arise and warn the people of a severe punishment…  (Al-Muddaththir 74:1-5)

Over the next 23 years until shortly before Prophet Muhammad’s death, the Qur’an was revealed in stages. Several reasons have been suggested for this.  Some say that it was revealed slowly to offer Prophet Muhammad support and address issues as they arose.

Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, narrates that when asked about how the divine inspiration was revealed Prophet Muhammad replied, “Sometimes it is like the ringing of a bell, this form of inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes after I have grasped what is inspired.  Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says”. (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn `Abbas described Prophet Muhammad as bearing the revelation “with great trouble and moving his lips quickly”.(Al-Bukhari) As the words of Qur’an were revealed to Prophet Muhammad he began to commit them to memory.

Memorization was considered important and was widely practiced even in the early years of Islam.  Prophet Muhammad requested that his companions memorize Qur’an and used various measures to assure that the revelation was preserved in their memories.  According to ibn Ishaq, compiler of one of the first biographies of Prophet Muhammad, `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud was the first man, after Muhammad, to recite the Qur’an publicly and on this occasion was severely beaten.  Prophet Muhammad’s closest companion Abu Bakr was also known to recite Qur’an outside his home in Mecca. (Al-Bukhari)

Qur’an was memorized by the companions during Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime and this tradition has continued through the following generations.  Even today Muslims unable to read Arabic memorize the exact same words that were memorized by the Arabs of the 7th century CE.  The majority of the Arabs were unlettered, including Prophet Muhammad; however the importance of the written word was well understood.

Preserving the divine revelation was paramount; therefore trustworthy and knowledgeable people memorized and wrote down the words of Qur’an.  These included the four men destined to follow Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim nation and a man named Zaid ibn Thabit, who would be instrumental in the preservation of Qur’an for the many generations to follow.

Writing materials were difficult to obtain and in these very early days portions of Qur’an were written onto animal skins, thin light colored stones, bones, and even bark.  The companions would write down the words of revelation and Prophet Muhammad would listen to the men recite from the written word to make sure there were no mistakes.  It could be said that the Qur’an was written down under the direct supervision of Prophet Muhammad.  The Qur’an was not revealed in order, however the Angel Gabriel instructed Prophet Muhammad on how to compile the Qur’an in the divinely inspired correct sequence.

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Footnotes:

[1] Lauh Al-Mahfuz (the preserved tablet) is the book in which God wrote the divine decrees and the destiny of all of creation.  It was with God before the creation.

[2] Suyuti’ in Al Itqan Fi Ulum Al Quran, Beirut, 1973, Vol.  I pp. 39-40 based on three reports from ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas, in Hakim, Baihaqi and Nasa’i.

 

 

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Status of the Sunnah in Islam

Status of the Sunnah in Islam

Salem Al-`Amry talks on a very important subject that every muslim needs to know; that is the Status of Sunnah in Islam. He sheds light on the meaning of the Sunnah, and he further explains why we should follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) closely just as we are to follow the noble Qur’an.

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Qur’an: Matchless Perfection

Qur’an: Matchless Perfection

 

Copy of the Qur'an

Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the word of Allah.

 

The authenticity of any scripture is considered from two significant aspects; the first is its authenticity with regard to its divine origin, and the other is its preservation in its original form.

Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the word of Almighty Allah revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and that it has retained its purity throughout history. Therefore, today, after centuries of turmoil, it remains the only divine book that has been protected from any form of corruption.

What is Meant by the “Qur’an?

First, it should be emphasized that, by the Qur’an, we do not mean its translation into any other language, but we mean the original Arabic scripture. This is, for instance, in contrast with the Christian point of view considering any translation of the Bible as the Word of God.

Most Christians are not concerned about the original language of the scriptures of the Bible as long as they have a translation in their own language. Muslims, on the other hand, would never call a translation of the Qur’an “The Qur’an.” To them the Qur’an is that in the original Arabic which was revealed fourteen centuries ago to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

It was, beyond any doubt, revealed to him in Arabic and it is still read in the same way as the Prophet recited it to his Companions. Almighty Allah says,

Thus we have revealed it as an Arabic Qur’an, and have displayed therein certain threats, that peradventure they may keep from evil or that it may cause them to take heed. (Ta-Ha 20: 113)

The Qur’an and its Translation

It is known that a translator chooses words and phrases from the vocabulary of the target language to express what he understands of the original text. He may not fully succeed in expressing what he wants to convey, nor can he rule out the possibility of a different choice and order of words and phrases by another translator.

In the course of translation, the first casualty is always the typical idiom of the source language. Even in the best translation, much of the power and appeal of the original text is, somehow, lost.
This leads us to the fact that the Qur’an, as the Word of Allah, maintains perfect harmony between its content and language. One may understand the meaning of the Qur’anic text from a translation, preferably with sufficient explanation. However, the beauty, appeal and influence of its language, could hardly be convoyed to non-Arabic speaking people.

The foregoing is meant only to point out the limitations of translation. This is not meant to decry the use of translation in general, as it is essential for non-Arabs.
It is noteworthy that the Qur’an came to Arabia at a time when Arabic poetry had reached its peak; but the master-poets of that day could not equal the Qur’anic richness in diction, style or beauty.

Moreover, the Qur’an challenged the Arabs – the commanders of language, eloquence and fluency – to invent ten surahs or even one surah like the Qur’an but they could not. Almighty Allah says,

Say: “If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support. (Al-Israa’ 17: 88)

He, the Almighty, also says,

Or they say: He has invented it. Say: Then bring ten surahs, the like thereof, invented, and call on everyone you can beside Allah, if ye are truthful! (Hud 11: 13)

The Qur’an’s Effects on Language and Society

The Qur’an was able to hold the Arabic language in thrall from the moment it was revealed. Indeed, its haunting rhythms rocked the whole of Arabia from Sudan to Syria and from Morocco to Oman.
While the languages of most of the other scriptures had become dead, the Qur’an continues to occupy the top position as an abiding model for literary Arabic. In fact, Arabic has defied the usual norms of the evolution of languages throughout history.

The French scholar, Ernest Renan (1823-1894), who carried out extensive research on Semitic languages, said about Arabic:

“The Arabic language is the most astonishing event of human history. Unknown during the classical period, it suddenly emerged as a complete language. After this, it did not undergo any noticeable changes, so one cannot define for it an early or a late stage. It is just the same today as it was when it first appeared.”

In acknowledging this “astonishing event of human history” the French Orientalist, was in fact, acknowledging the miraculous nature of the Qur’an. It was the Qur’an’s phenomenal literary style which preserved the Arabic language from alteration that other languages have undergone.

There is no other book in human history that has molded, and continues to mold, the lives of generations of people as the Qur’an. It has reformed and refined all the aspects of the lives of Muslims.

The Qur’an has been miraculous to all human beings. It is the book that:

  • Reformed and refined the lives of thousands of Bedouins who had not thought of anything beyond the confines of their clans,
  • Transformed the shepherds of Arabia into Caliphs and judges “Qadis“,
  • Brought into being the renowned universities and centers of learning that awakened a new enlightenment in the world that no other civilization of the world could match.

This was indeed a brilliant and lasting miracle of Almighty Allah reflected through the Qur’an, because Prophet Muhammad’s only source of inspiration for the revolution he brought about was the Qur’an. With Allah’s Book in hand, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) formed a model of the nucleus of a universal society in Arabia.

This society was formed out of those scattered and cantankerous desert tribes who had very little scientific knowledge or material resources. Their initiation into a stable Islamic cultural order was effected independent of all the socio-political systems or powers existing in the world at that time.

The Qur’an was the backbone of this unique spiritual revolution which has shone throughout history. The verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) over 23 years of his life. As soon as the Prophet received these verses, he dictated them to his Companions who not only wrote them down, but also learned them by heart.

There were so many people who had memorized the Qur’an, that from the first day of its revelation, the Qur’an was in the hands and hearts of the people. You cannot say this about the Bible or about any other scripture.

Before the death of the Prophet, the entire Qur’an had been written down, examined and verified by the Prophet himself. From that time onwards, it has remained intact; safe from any corruption as several of its copies were in the possession of Muslims.

So, it was impracticable, even impossible, to make any changes to its verses even if someone had strongly intended to do so. Moreover, distorting the Qur’an was impossible as Allah Almighty has promised to protect it, He says,

Surely We have revealed the Reminder (Qur’an) and We will assuredly guard it “from corruption” (Al-Hijr 15: 9)

At the time of the Prophet’s death, a number of his Companions had already compiled the portions of the Qur’an into one volume. During the reign of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), a leading scholar and scribe of the Prophet, Zayd ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him), was appointed to compile an official version. After meticulous work, he prepared the official collection (mushaf ).

An Everlasting Miracle

One of the foremost reasons for the Qur’an’s continuing incorruptibility is that it has been preserved in Arabic, its original language, unlike the Bible. Thus, we can see that the Qur’an we have today is the same Qur’an that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) received from Almighty Allah. Its authenticity and genuineness therefore, is unimpeachable. Almighty Allah says,

And say: The truth has come and the falsehood has vanished; surely falsehood is a vanishing “thing”. (Al-Israa’ 17: 81)

He, the Almighty also says,

If there were a Qur’an with which mountains were moved, or the earth was cloven asunder, or the dead were made to speak, “it would be this one!” (Ar-Ra`d 13: 31)

One of the miracles of the Qur’an, which was revealed 14 centuries ago, is that it can be read and understood by the Arabic-speakers living today. Every language undergoes changes as time passes, and a period of one or two hundred years is long enough for a language to undergo substantial changes.

Thus, anyone who knows the rudiments of the history of languages knows that logically, it would be impossible for Arabic-speakers of today to read and understand a book that is fourteen centuries old.

Yet, every day, every hour, every minute, in fact every second of the 24 hours of the 365 days in every year of the past centuries have been alive with reading and studying the Qur’anic verses. That, certainly, will go on forever.

The volume and scope of the Qur’an increase in every imaginable way with the coming of multimedia. This had started at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and it has continued unceasingly till the present day, making this the ever-present miracle of Prophet Muhammad, rivaling all other miracles so far.

Even the invaders who ravaged the Islamic lands and triumphed over the Muslims, owing to their military superiority, lost their dominance in the end when they were confronted with the spiritual power of Islam, and eventually, most of them adopted the religion of the people they had conquered.

Almighty Allah says:

This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. (Al-Baqarah2: 2)

The foregoing inevitably leads us to the conclusion that the Qur’an is undoubtedly the word of Allah the Almighty.

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Source: Taken with slight modifications from onislam.net.

 

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