Miracle of Allah and Final Testament to Humankind
Allah has descended many sacred books over His Prophets so that they can teach their followers about the rules of the faith (Islam). There are 104 renewed, small and big, sacred books but irrespective of their number, it is compulsory for every Muslim to bring faith over all. And there are four big and famous sacred books are:
Throat: Descended upon Prophet Moses (As).
Zaboor: Descended upon Prophet David (As).
Injeel (Bible): Descended upon Prophet Jesus (As).
Quran : Descended upon Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihiwa Sallam.
Note: Quran is the last and complete and final book which supersedes all other sacred books. Now no sacred book will descend till the Dooms Day. Till the end of this world the same rules and orders prescribed in the koran will be valid.
“What is Quran: literally, “that which is often recited.” A web of rhythm and meaning, the words of which throb through Muslim worship and which, at every point in the believer’s life, break surface, sanctifying existence with the scent of eternity.” [Abdul Waded Shalabi in “Islam – Religion of Life”]
The Quran represents the fountainhead of Divine guidance for every Muslim. Its revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and his practical implementation of the revelation, completed God’s blessing for humanity, in providing us with a belief and value system that is valid for all times.
The Quran confirms the revelations given to earlier Prophets, though these might not be accessible to us, in the form they were originally revealed. The most sublime poetry in any language, and a rational message that directly appeals to the human heart, have caused this Divine book to move nations and civilizations. It will continue to guide those who turn to God with a sincere heart, for all times.
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Q: Dr. Jamal Badawi, please can you start introducing the Quran and what you feel is the message of the Quran to Muslims?
Dr. Badawi: Well, first of all, I wish to thank you and the organizers for your kind invitation, and to greet all viewers with the traditional Islamic greeting, the greeting of all of the prophets: Asslamau`alaikum (peace be with you all).
As far as your question on what the koran is and what it means to Muslims, I will explain that first briefly from the Quranic perspective, from a Muslim perspective, and try to connect that also with other fellow believers in God like Jews and Christians; the Bible mainly.
For a Muslim, the Quran is the word of God; literal word of God communicated to His last Prophet and Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), through Angel Gabriel. For a Muslim, this is the ultimate source of authority because it’s not only revelation or inspiration of God, its verbatim word or revelation of God.
Now as we compare that so that our respected audience from the Jewish or Christian background can at least relate to this understanding, this is not unusual. In fact, In Islam, Judaism and Christianity there is this notion of God revealing His will to humankind. I believe that there are other religions as well who depend as authority on scriptures also that they believe have some form of revealed nature. But let me focus on the three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam that seem to share more of this concept.
Comparing the Quran (koran) and Bible
If we look into the Bible, we will find that there are instances or statements that appear to be also sort of verbatim word of God, or the closest thing to that. For example, the Ten Commandments when God said to Moses Thou shall do this, or Thou shall not do this, it doesn’t come in a form where God says I inspired Moses or Moses says God revealed this to me. It appeared to be verbatim word of God. So that comes the closest to the concept of revelation of the Quran to Muslims.
The only difference perhaps I can see is that in the Bible there are like I said sections which appear to have been direct word of God, not just inspiration, but the Bible does contain also biography about prophets, writings by their followers, reports of their particular religious experiences, so these are all intermingling.
Many of my Christian brothers and sisters, as well as Jewish brothers and sisters, when we get into dialogue you hear them also saying that from their perspective also there is another form of revelation which is more of an inspiration. You read in the Hebrew scripture God inspired His servant so and so. So it implies that the revelation is not exactly word for word what God revealed, like what could be the case with the Ten Commandments.
But mainly it’s more of an inspiration, and in Islamic tradition we have a parallel to that also and that is in the so-called Hadith, or the words and actions of the Prophet of Islam, because Hadith or the sayings of the Prophet are believed by Muslims also to be inspired by God, but it is not exactly word for word because the Prophet used his own words to express or communicate those messages. That might be to some extent parallel to what can be found in the Bible.
So in that sense it does not appear to me really that Muslims’ understanding about the Quran is that vastly different from the basic notion of revelation, especially in revealed religions of the People of the Book, as the koran called them, in that sense and in terms of its authority and what it means to Muslims.
Muslims perhaps are more confident about the revelatory nature of the Quran as word for word revelation. This is a basic article of faith in Islam without which a Muslim cannot claim really to be a Muslim. So we can’t compare apples and oranges when you get some kinds of scriptures for example that may combine the word of God and interpretation of humans, it would not from the Muslim perspective have the same authority as a book like the koran which is A to Z nothing but the verbatim word of God.
Q: Thank you. So, can you tell us Dr. Badawi a little bit about what the Quran means for everyday Muslims. What kinds of topics are covered within the Quraan? What is the overall message of the koran? What does a Muslim take away from the Quran in terms of his everyday life?
Dr. Badawi: The overall message of the koran is the same overall message that God revealed to all of the prophets from Adam down to the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the Quran seems to affirm that. If I were to summarize it in a succinct manner, the topic of the Quraan is the human and his or her relationship with the Creator, and also the relationship with other creatures of God, whether humans or others. That’s the topic and the focus of the koran.
The Quran’s (koran) Core Message
In essence, the message of the Quran is to bring to our attention that we were not created in vain, and that we will be held responsible for our conduct on this earth. In the koran, God indicates that He created the human to be His trustee on earth. This is actually an honor given by God to the human being, dignity to be the trustee of God even though He doesn’t need our worship and our obedience. It is for our own benefit.
The message of the Quran is to say or believe that guidance that is coming from the Creator of the universe is the ultimate guidance, for God has the ultimate wisdom, power, and knowledge. And God alone is the ultimate authority and should be obeyed without qualification, obedience that is based not just on fear or reward but on the love of God.
It indicates again that one should look forward, like you mentioned for example in terms of daily life, one should look after the Quran for guidance. The koran generally gives broader guidance in most aspects within concepts, and there are some details there, but normally to the broader guidance so as to conduct our lives according to the will of God. And the Quraan finally indicates that since a human being is a free agent, he or she can choose to obey God or disobey, to believe or reject faith.
Then that kind of privilege has a responsibility that goes with it because ultimately we have a responsibility to return back to God. There will be resurrection. There will be life after death in which people would be rewarded, or otherwise, according to their conduct.
So that in a way can be put as a capsule or a capsulized nature or summary on the Quran, because it is in my humble belief as a Muslim that all prophets of God have taught this exact same core message as the koran taught.
Origin Of the Quran (koran)
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The Quran is the holy book which Muslims recite and turn to for guidance in all aspects of their lives. Its verses have remained intact since their original revelation by God in the 7th century. This brochure explains the divine origin of the koran by elaborating upon its preservation, authenticity and miracles. It also discusses the Quranic message which has universal appeal and is relevant for all times.
The Quran is the last testament in a series of divine revelations from God (Allah in Arabic). It consists of the unaltered and direct words of God, which were revealed through the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad (PBUH), the final prophet of Islam, more than 1400 years ago.
Islam is a continuation of the message received by previous prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, David, Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them all. Therefore, the Quran maintains the pure teachings of previous revelations, including the Torah and the Gospel. The koran describes that all the prophets taught people to believe in the One God, the Creator. The messengers also instructed them to spend their lives with God-consciousness, doing good deeds and avoiding sins. Moreover, they warned their fellow humans of accountability in the afterlife, a subject which the Quraan returns to again and again.
Since its revelation, the Quran (also spelled ‘Koran’) has remained preserved in its exact, primary text. While numerous translations of the Quraan exist, they are all based on the single, original Arabic script, making the koran unique from previous scriptures in its pure authenticity.
The distinctive approach of the Quran is that its spiritual message includes practical injunctions aimed at the general welfare of individuals, society and the environment in which we live.
The Quran’s message is eternal and universal, transcending our differences in race, color, ethnicity and nationality. It provides guidance on every facet of human life – from economics and the ethics of trade to marriage, divorce, parenting, gender issues and inheritance.
Monotheism is a prominent theme of the koran, affirming that God is One without any partners. In a concisely-worded Quraanic chapter, God commands, “Say, ‘He is God the One, God the eternal. He begot no one nor was He begotten. No one is comparable to Him’” (112:1-4).
A foundational message in the Quran is its emphasis on righteous conduct built on firm belief and love for God. The koran acknowledges human desires while reminding individuals to cultivate their souls. In addition, God calls on humans to use their intellect and reflect on the world around them. The Quraan encourages humankind to recognize the signs of God’s existence in the precise order of the universe and the careful placement of every object in the total scheme of creation.
As Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), former British pop star, has expressed, “Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Quran; it asks you to reflect and reason… When I read the koran further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt the only answer for me was the Quraan and God had sent it to me.”
Muslims believe that God sent many revelations to humanity throughout history, and over time they underwent changes from their original form. However, God chose to preserve His message to humanity in His final revelation, the Quran. Yet, one might wonder, which evidence supports the claim that the koran has never been modified?
The Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) over a period of 23 years. The unique rhythmic style of the Quran made it easy to memorize, which has been the main source of its preservation. Moreover, since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) could not read or write, he appointed scribes to record the koran as it was being revealed to him. Thus, the complete Quraan was not only memorized by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and many of his companions, but it also existed in its entirety in written form during his lifetime.
Within a year after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) death, a manuscript of the entire Quran was assembled by a committee led by his chief scribe, who followed stringent criteria to safeguard against any errors. This copy was approved unanimously by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s companions, including hundreds that had memorized the entire koran. Eventually, several copies of the Quraan were compiled in book form and distributed to the major Muslim cities. One such copy is currently at the museum in Tashkent and a facsimile of it, produced in 1905, is available in the Columbia University Library.
The process of memorization began during Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) life and is still emphasized by Muslims to this day. In his book, An Introduction to Hadith, John Burton explains that oral transmission through the generations aids preservation by diminishing reliance solely on written records. Manuscripts which are not protected through memorization can be altered, edited or lost overtime. However, a book that is committed to memory by millions of people across the world over centuries cannot be changed due to the amount of people who know it word-for-word.
God promises in the Quran, “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)” (15:9).
Many people mistakenly believe that the Quran was authored by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In fact, the koran is the preserved speech of God. At the same time, one might ask, which proofs indicate that the Quraan is the Word of God and not the writings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?
In the Quran, God addresses Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), “You never recited any Scripture before We revealed this one to you; you never wrote one down with your hand” (29:48). In other words, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was known to be illiterate, neither read any previous scriptures nor wrote the koran .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was greatly regarded in his society for his superior character and exceptional manners, earning him the title of the ‘Truthful One.’ Even after his prophethood, the elite of Mecca were ready to make him their leader, so long as he allowed them to continue their pagan lifestyles. Yet, he was willing to forego all worldly glory in order to fulfill his mission. As a result, he suffered patiently through persecution and exile before ultimately succeeding in revolutionizing the entire Arabian Peninsula.
Through it all, God kept on revealing the Quran to him piecemeal. Occasionally, the revelations stopped temporarily, reminding him and others that he had no control over them. Once, when two envoys posed some questions to him, he replied, “Tomorrow I will tell you.” He expected God will inspire the answers in him through revelation and he waited for Angel Gabriel. However, revelation did not come during the next few weeks even as Meccans taunted him. Finally, God sent him the response while admonishing him, “Do not say of anything, ‘I will do that tomorrow,’ without adding, ‘God willing’ (Quran, 18:23-24).
The Quran was revealed at a time when the Arabs excelled in oral poetry. However, despite his intelligence, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was not skilled in composing poetry. Yet, when the Quraanic verses were recited, they stunned even the most acclaimed poets in the society. Deeply moved by the rhythmic tone, literary merit and penetrating wisdom of the koran, many converted to Islam. Indeed, the science of Arabic grammar was developed after the revelation of the Quran, using the koran as a basis for devising its rules.
There are many miracles in the Quran which themselves attest to the fact that this truly is a divine scripture.
The Quran mentions phenomena that were unknown at the time. In fact, many were only recently discovered by modern science.
For example, God describes the stages of human development in the womb:
We created man from an essence of clay, then We placed him as a drop of fluid in a safe place, then We made that drop into a clinging form, and We made that form into a lump of flesh, and We made that lump into bones, and We clothed those bones with flesh, and later We made him into other forms glory be to God, the best of creators! (Quran, 23:12-14)
Professor Keith Moore, a prominent scientist of anatomy and embryology at the University of Toronto, Canada, has stated, “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God. because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later.”
The koran also describes the expansion of the universe: “And it is We who have built the universe with (Our creative) power; and verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it” (51:47). It was not until 1925, when Edwin Hubble provided evidence of receding galaxies, that the expanding universe came to be accepted as a scientific fact.
Professor Alfred Kroner, a world-famous geologist, explained: “Thinking about many of these questions and thinking where Muhammad came from, he was after all a Bedouin, I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case.”
“This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God, who believe in the unseen. (Quran, 2:2-3).
The Quranic message is relevant to every nation and era – another proof that the koran is truly the Word of God. Intending for this Book to remain a source of guidance, inspiration, wisdom and healing for all of humanity, God designed its message to transcend the bounds of time.
The Quran’s divine message applies to all aspects of life and rises above the superficial differences among humans. Its teachings guide the spiritual, social and intellectual needs of humanity. It encourages us to remember God often, to humble ourselves before Him, to fulfill our promises, to work together as a community and to remain patient and perseverant in times of hardship. Quraanic stories teach us the importance of placing our trust in God, speaking the truth in the face of injustice and dealing with fellow humans with mercy.
In a world starved of love and compassion, the koran’s universal message provides the solution to the collective despair of the human condition. We invite you to open it and receive the great benefit this book has to offer.
This is a blessed Book which We sent down to you [Muhammad], for people to ponder over its message, and for those with understanding to be reminded. (Quran, 38:29)
Being a Muslim it is must to spread saying (Ahadith) of Prophet (PBUH) to each and every one for which one will be rewarded both in this world and life hereafter.