Aug 28, 2009

What is Holy Quran


It cannot be disputed that Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) was a Prophet and Messenger of God. He had the characteristics of the Prophets and Messengers as well as miracles. One of the miracles of Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) that is still present today is the Qur’an. The Qur’an may be read and heard today as it was given by Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor).

The Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) over a period of twenty-three years. It contains information about the past which Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) had no way of knowing before it was revealed to him, since he could neither read nor write, and he did not live among historians to know this information. It was written in such a way that the Arabs, when challenged to write something like the shortest Surah (the larger division of the Qur’an) of the Qur'an, they were unable to, even though it was revealed in the “Golden Age of Arabic Literature.”

One can be sure that the Qur’an is truly a miracle and from God if one notes these points. First the Qur’an is in Arabic, and Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) could neither read nor write Arabic, which is a well known historical fact. Second, the Qur’an was revealed during what is regarded as the “Golden Age of Arabic Literature.” Though those whom opposed Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) were challenged to do so, no one could match in literary excellence even the shortest Surah, which is only a few Ayahs (the smaller divisions of the Qur’an). Since the best Arabic writers of the time could not compose the equivalent of a single Surah, it is obvious that the Qur’an could not have been from the Arabs. Third the Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty three years there was not someone else writing the Qur’an over this time period we only have the Prophet (may Allah increase his honor) receiving this revelation during this time period. So the span of time over which the Qur’an was revealed eliminates the possibility that the Qur’an could have come from anyone else since at times no one was with him when he received the revelations.

Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) was illiterate. If he wanted power or fame he could have said the Qur’an was from himself, but he never claimed it was from himself. Besides that, Muhammad’s sayings were different than the Qur’an. This means that the Qur’an could only have come from God, having eliminated what some people might say were other possibilities.

The Qur’an is the major source for knowing about Islam, it contains information about the proper belief in God. It tells about some of the Prophets and gives some specific rules of the religion. Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) was the person most knowledgeable about the meaning of the Qur'an. He taught his followers, who in turn taught their followers, and so on until this knowledge reached the Muslim scholars of today. We need to rely on these scholars who learned what Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) taught to understand the meaning of the Qur’an. Because Islam is not according to opinion, and one is not allowed to explain the Qur'an according to his opinion.

Even though the Qur’an is in Arabic, very few Arabic speaking people today can understand all of it correctly, much less non-Arabic speaking people. Therefore, anyone wanting to understand the Qur’an should go to a true Islamic scholar for explanation, whether the one seeking knowledge knows Arabic or not. The reason for this is that the Qur’an has different types of Ayah. For example, one type has only one meaning which is obvious, and the other type may have multiple meanings when based on a translation of the Arabic language, rather than on correct Islamic religious knowledge. Some of these meanings are correct while others are completely unacceptable Islamically. To be able to explain the Qur'an requires a huge body of knowledge. We rely on scholars to explain the Qur'an.

The problem is that those who try to explain the Qur’an or to translate it are usually not discriminating in this matter. They make mistakes that give contradictions between Ayahs when it is known that there is no contradiction. If they say something that is contradictory that shows their ignorance of the different types of ayah. Some on the ayah of the Quran can be classified as Nasiq and mansuq. The ayah which is mansuq was revealed in time before the ayah which is nasiq. The ayah which is nasqiq supercedes the meaning of the one which is mansuq, however they both remain in the Quran. They are not considered contradictory since one supercedes the other. The other classifications of ayah as mentioned above are those with an obvious meaning are clear and Mutashabiha , those ayah that in language may appear to have more than one meaning. Ignorance of this has led many to mistranslated.

An example of such a mistranslating is when someone has translated an Ayah as meaning, “God is the light of the Heavens and Earth.” This is in direct contradiction of an Ayah which has a single meaning, that God does not resemble any of His creations. Therefore, God is not light, because He created light. But the person who translated the other Ayah as meaning God is light, either did not keep this Ayah in mind or did not search for the true meaning of the other Ayah. Consequently, he gave an incorrect and completely unacceptable translation due to his ignorance. Not only did he give a completely unacceptable translation, but he became a non-Muslim by contradicting the Qur’an and the basic belief in God. Furthermore, anyone who believed this erroneous translation is not Muslim because it goes against the basic belief of Islam.

Anyone who believes properly in God believes that God does not resemble any of His creations. The person who translated this Ayah as mentioned above is not even Muslim and obviously not qualified to explain the Qur’an. To understand or explain the Qur’an takes a broad understanding of the Arabic language, and an expertise in the Islamic religion, the sayings (Hadith), of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor), his actions and Taqryr (things done in Muhammad's presence which Muhammad did not oppose) .

Running into this type of mistake of mistranslating is the danger of trying to learn Islam from books or unqualified persons. They make mistakes and mislead people, and by presenting incorrect information prevent people from being Muslim. That is why the most important thing in Islam is to know the meaning of the Creedal Statement and have the proper belief in God, since that is what Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) first taught. The Creedal Statement is, “I firmly believe that there exists only one Creator, His name is Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet and Messenger.” The Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years. Not all Muslims knew all the Qur’an before they died. It is not a requirement for all Muslims to know and understand the entire Qur’an to be Muslim.

Some people try to negate the miracle of the Qur'an by saying it is just a book of history or culture, morals or social structure. But when one realizes that the Qur’an mentions all these things along with the point as to its origin, as previously mentioned, together with the fact that its literary form is not found in books written by men and cannot be imitated nor duplicated, one cannot refuse that the Qur’an is a miracle.

For those who maintain that Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) simply took existing religions and merged them to form a new religion, the Qur’an contains proof that this could not be the case, for the Qur’an contains information about the past that was not widely spread. For example, it is mentioned in the Qur’an that as a baby, 'Aysa spoke one time. This is a miracle of 'Aysa that is not known by most Christians, but Muslims know about this miracle from the Qur’an.

Not only were things of the past revealed, but also things that would happen in the future, both things of this life as well as the next. If the Qur’an was not from the Creator, at the time, how could anyone have known what would happen in the future? The Qur’an is truly a miracle. For how could this information which was not available to Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor) have been recorded at that time?

No matter how one looks at the Qur’an in terms of history, literature or culture, there are things in the Qur’an which prove beyond a doubt that it is no mere book, but a miracle given by God, because it cannot be imitated nor duplicated, and the knowledge level of all the people of the time combined could not have produced such a book, much less a single man.

Therefore, one has to conclude that the Qur’an is a miracle from God to Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor). Knowing this, one has no choice but to believe in it. Believing in it includes believing in God and His Messengers, the last being Muhammad (may Allah increase his honor). To save oneself in the next life, one must be Muslim. For God does not accept good deeds except from Muslims, because only Muslims truly believe in God.

While others might admit there is a Creator, they do not fulfill the requirements to be believers. To be a believer one must believe and say, “I firmly believe that there exists only one Creator, His name is Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet and Messenger,” with the intent in one’s heart to become Muslim and leave all things contradictory to this belief. It is required to believe in all Prophets from Adam to Muhammad (may Allah increase their honor). These include Nuh (Noah), Ibraheem (Abraham), Musa (Moses), and 'Aysa (Jesus), (may Allah increase their honor). This is how one becomes Muslim and saves himself from eternal suffering in the next life.
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