Friday, May 8, 2009

Al-Qur'an Karīm

Al-Qur'an Karīm
Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Tuwaijri

In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, May Allāh blessings and peace be upon His Messenger.

What is the Qur'an?

Al-Qur'an is Kalam Allāh (The Words of Allāh) is the source for the Last Religion as guidance for mankind to bring mankind forth from darkness into light. Allāh says:

“It is He Who sends down manifest Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) to His slave (Muhammad) that He may bring you out from darkness into light

[Al-Hadid, 57:9]

Allāh, the Lord of al-'alameen revealed Al-Qur'an to His Final Prophet, Muhammad  (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), to be the Final of the Heavenly Books. Its revelation was a turning point for humanity; it was the power that changed the world, shifted the flow of history, saved and reformed humanity, so much so that the entire existence appeared as if it had been recreated anew.

The Qur'an is the strongest evidence in support of Prophet Muhammad  (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)and his greatest sign. It is the proof of his prophethood and trustworthiness. Allāh, the Exalted Says:

“They (unbelievers) want to extinguish Allāh’s light with their mouths. But Allāh will perfect His light, even though the unbelievers may detest it. It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, so that he may exalt it over all religions, much as the pagans may dislike it.”

 [As-Saff, 61:8-9]

The Qur'an is the guidance for the mankind to achieve freedom, happiness and success, in this life and the Hereafter.

Al-Qur'an is a comprehensive Book.

It deals with the issues man needs, not only for salvation in the Hereafter, but also to achieve peace, justice and prosperity in this world. These issues are discussed in the Qur'an in three main categories: Theology, Fables and Wisdom, Islamic Law (or Shari’ah). Thus, it provides the basic principles, vision and knowledge necessary for planning and leading a good life. All this is packaged in a very comprehensive approach to living that combines the pursuit of worldly affairs as well as those of the Hereafter. Allāh Almighty Says in the Qur'an:

“And seek by the wealth provided for you by Allāh the eternal abode (the Hereafter) but do not forget and (and forsake) your share of this world. Be kind and good (to others) just as Allāh was kind and good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allāh does not like corrupters.”

 [Al-Qasas, 28:77]

Al-Quran is inimitable.

The Qur'an has an inimitable style and format that has never been seen or experienced in any other book or methodology. The richness of its text and the discourse it offers are unprecedented and unmatched in their eloquence, proficiency, fluency, conformance and harmony. Not only is the Qur’an a linguistic masterpiece and magnum opus par excellence, it is indeed a miracle in the fullest sense of the word. Those reciting it never become weary of it and those who ponder upon its meanings do not doubt it; rather, they always discover fresh insights and knowledge. It guides those seeking guidance and increases those who believe in it in faith. Its first parts resemble its latter parts and it can only be likened to itself in its unparalleled beauty.

Al-Qur'an is Free from Contradictions.

The Qur'an is free from contradictions and those who understand the Arabic language and contemplate upon its chapters and verses will find harmony between its various parts. Allāh, the Most High, Says:

“Why do not they contemplate the Qur'an? And if it were from other than Allāh, they would have found in it numerous discrepancies.”

 [An-Nisaa’, 4:82]

Indeed, every time the disbelievers tried to raise issues of contradictions in the Qur'an, Muslim scholars proved beyond doubt that no part of the Qur'an belies or contradicts another. The reason is that what may appear as a 'contradiction' in the Qur’an is actually what the Qur'an calls Muhkam (clear) and Mutashābih (unclear) verse. This is actually a part of the Qur'an’s textual strength and miraculous composition

An Exposition of Everything

Allāh has told us in the Qur'an the stories of the earlier and later generations and the creation of the heavens and the earth. He has explained in detail what is halal and what is haram, the basics of good manners and morals, the rulings of worship and dealings with others, the lives of the Prophets and the righteous, and the reward and punishment of the believers and disbelievers. He has described Paradise, the abode of the believers, and He has described Hell, the abode of the disbelievers. He has made it (the Qur'an) an explanation of all things:

“And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur'an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allāh as Muslims)”

 [Al-Nahl, 16:89 ]

The Qur'an explains the names and attributes of Allāh and what He has created. It calls us to believe in Allāh, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day:

“The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allāh, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) ‘We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers’ — and they say, ‘We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all)’”

 [Al-Baqarah, 2:285]

The Qur'an describes the Day of Judgement and what will occur after death – the resurrection, the gathering, the judgement and being brought to account. It describes the Cistern, the Siraat (bridge over Hell), the weighing scale in which deeds will be weighed, the blessings and torment, and the gathering of mankind on that great Day:

“Allāh! Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt. And who is truer in statement than Allāh?

 [Al-Nisa’, 4:87]

The Qur'an calls us to examine and ponder the signs of Allāh in the universe and the verses of the Qur'an:

“Say: ‘Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth’”

 [Yunus, 10:101]

“Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?”

[Muhammad, 47:24]

Book of Allāh for all of mankind.

Allāh Says: “Verily, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Quran) for mankind in truth. So whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for his own self; and whosoever goes astray, he goes astray only for his (own) loss. And you (O Muhammad) are not a Wakil (trustee or disposer of affairs, or guardian) over them”

 [Al-Zumar, 39:41]

The Qur’an confirms the Books which came before it, the Tawrat (Torah), Zabur, and Injil (Gospel), and it is a witness over them, as Allāh says:

“And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Quran) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures)”

 [Al-Ma’idah, 5:48]

After the Qur'an was revealed, it became the Book for all of mankind until the Hour begins. Whoever does not believe in it is a kafir that will be punished with torment on the Day of Resurrection, as Allāh says:

“But those who reject Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), the torment will touch them for their disbelief (and for their belying the Message of Muhammad)”

[Al-An’aam, 6:49]

Because of the greatness of the Qur'an and the signs, miracles, parables and lessons contained therein, in addition to its eloquence and beautiful style, Allāh says:

“Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allāh. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect”

[Al-Hashr, 58:21]

Allāh has challenged mankind and the jinn to produce something like it, even one surah or one ayah, but they could not do that and will never be able to do that, as Allāh says:

“Say: ‘If the mankind and the jinn were together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another’”

 [Al-Israa’ ,17:88]

Because the Qur'an is the greatest of the heavenly Books, the most complete, the most perfect and the last of them, Allāh commanded His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to convey it to all of mankind, as He says :

“O Messenger (Muhammad)! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allāh will protect you from mankind”

[Al-Ma'idah, 5:67]

Because of the importance of this book and the ummah’s need for it, Allāh has honoured us with it. He sent it down to us and has guaranteed to preserve it. Allāh says:

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the dzikir (i.e. the Qur'an) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”

 [Al-Hijr, 15:9]

[Excerpted with modification from Usul al-Deen al-Islami by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Tuwaijri]

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