“Do you not see how Allah has set forth a parable of a meaningful ‘WORD’ like a fruitful tree which roots are firmly planted in the fertile yoke of the earth while its lofty stem carries its sprouting foliages magnificently into the firmament of the sky, yielding nourishing fruits every season by Allah’s grace? Allah speaks in parables to men (of reason) that they may constantly ponder over His uniqueness and be mindful (of His unquestionable ability to do whatever H e wishes) ” (Q. 14: 24).
It is rather ironic that even in this age of sophisticated technology and evidential knowledge, some people, including ignorant Muslims, still perceive Islam as a mere dogma, like some other religions, in which stories, rituals and superstitions thrive. This is quite far from the reality of the unique comprehensiveness of the divine religion called ISLAM. Such people do not even take into consideration, the unprecedentedly massive empowerment and inexhaustible market of buying and selling, for billions of people, which this great religion has provided for mankind. Without Islam, what would have happened to the lives of those billions in terms of economy and social life? Just as there could not have been anything called Islam without the Qur’an, so could not have been anything called harmony without Islam in the contemporary world.
It is not surprising, however, that such parochial people are still in existence even in the 21st century. After all, it takes only people with functional eyes to perceive the light from the dungeon of darkness. This further confirms that ignorance is a chronic disease which only knowledge can heal permanently in man.
Since the creation of Adam, man has continuously enjoyed the guidance of Allah in one form or another, through the divinely appointed Messengers that have been sent to various societies with various tongues. It is through those divinely revealed Books that the deeply dark world of man came to be illuminated for mankind. In those Books, particularly the Qur’an, parables are used with references drawn from the past, while warnings, as well as admonitions, are divinely issued with practical lessons, such as the great deluge, the cataclysm of Sodom and Gomorrah, the defeat of Jalut (Goliath) by Prophet Daud (David), the doom of the tyrannical Pharaoh, and, most recently, the waterloo of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the vanquish of Adolf Hitler of Germany. All these have come to man as lessons by which he can re-assess and reform himself.
All these and many other similar occurrences are mentioned by Allah, to remind mankind of their mortality and to serve as the guidance in his ephemeral life’s odyssey. But, unfortunately, man has always been blind to that genuine, divine guidance. Consequently, he has been deaf to warnings and resistant to reasoning as much as he is insensitive to rightly guided thoughts even while he remains inflexible to blissful ideas. Thus, in his choice to form freemasonry with the custodian of ruins and deception called Satan, man has ignorantly strayed into a quagmire of irredeemable sorrow through the millennia.
Today, as in the past, by taking Satan for his best friend, man refuses to use the long spoon with which he is provided by Allah, to dine with the damned Lucifer. This was the situation until 610 CE when Allah decided to chronicle the activities of man from the very beginning of human existence and make it an eternally concrete ‘MIRROR’ through which the descendants of Adam can continue to see life in its past, its present and its near and far future. This ‘MIRROR’ is the Qur’an, the visionary anecdote that heals man’s blindness, the sanitizer that purifies human hearts and the greatest treasure in possession of mankind.
FEATURES OF THE QUR’AN
For the rightly guided minds, Qur’an is the eye with which to see, the ear with which to hear, the sense with which to reason, the bridge with which to cross the dangerous valleys of life, the insurance against any satanic damnation and the passport with which to obtain the valid visa to salvation. Indeed, the Qur’an is the only reliable redeemer of man from the shackles of this ephemeral world.
This sacred Book called the Qur’an leaves no aspect of life untouched. It leaves no privacy unprotected and no secret unexposed. This wonderful Book is the repository of problems and solutions; history and lessons; crimes and penalties; justice and righteousness; discipline and rule of law; courage and truth; friendship and trust; governance and policies; victory and magnanimity; marriage and divorce; widowhood and orphanage; childhood and inheritance; richness and poverty; politics and economy; reasoning and opinion; facts and figures; darkness and light; life and death war and peace; leadership and power; Angels and man; heavens and the earth. All these and many other matters form the subjects of discussions and guidance in the ‘Divine Diary of Life called ‘Al- Qur’an’.
For people on the right path, therefore, life begins and ends with the Qur’an, Allah’s own tradition and the only authentic fountain from which man can draw wisdom with which to solve any problem. The sense that reasons with the Qur’an makes no mistake. The mind that thinks with the Qur’an is never bedevilled. The eye that sees with the Qur’an incurs no sore. The tongue that talks with the Qur’an never stammers. The power that rules with the Qur’an never falls. And, the Almighty Allah warns in the Qur’an thus: “But whosoever deviates from My tradition, verily for him/her is life of subjugation and We shall raise him blind on the Day of Judgment” (Q. 20: 124).
PROOF OF QUR’ANIC REVELATIONS
Some religious charlatans who perceive Islam through the conducts of malfeasant Muslims and see that sacred path of Allah as a dogma continue to ask for the proof of the genuineness of Qur’anic revelation as if other revelations before it do not require proof. In reason and logic, asking for the proof of the Qur’an is like asking the sun to prove the vividness of its rays. Can anybody reasonably ask for the proof of the hair growing on his head? It is the nature and character of unbelievers to deny the truth and refute the manifest. But does it ever bother the sun in any way that some blind men or women deny the well being of its rays? Or can a brook be affected in any way if some herds boycott its water?
To Muslims who deeply understand the tenets of Islam, all the genuine Prophets and Messengers of Allah are from Allah and all the revealed ‘BOOKS’ are series of the same ‘MESSAGE’. This fact has been firmly established in the Qur’an and that is why Muslims are not known for maligning any Prophet or revealed ‘BOOK’.
Right from its very first day of revelation, the Qur’an has come with undeniable proof. But it takes only a divinely cleansed heart to acknowledge such proof. Qur’an itself is the proof of all other celestial messages that preceded it. It is the only divine revelation which has no human interference or human tampering. Neither Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who brought that ‘MESSAGE’ to mankind nor any of his companion had a say in it. It contains no chapters or verses according to anybody. And it is the only divine Book that is easily memorisable despite its voluminous contents. No other acclaimed Book has ever or can be memorised word by word like the Qur’an. That alone is a clear attestation to its sacredness as a revealed Book.
THE SIMILITUDE OF THE QUR’AN
The Qur’an is like gold, the value of which everybody seeks directly or indirectly because of its immeasurable quality but which only a few can recognize in its raw form. It takes geologists to identify the soil in which gold is buried. It takes miners to mine it out just as it takes smelters to smelt it before the goldsmith can transform it into a beautiful ornament. In the same manner, it takes categories of pious intellectuals to pursue the recitation, exposition and interpretation of the Qur’an to a loftily appreciable level.
LANGUAGE OF THE QUR’AN
That the Qur’an is the only revealed ‘BOOK’ in the world today which retains the originality of its language and contents for about 1500 years so far, is enough a testimony to the proof of its divine origin. That also confirms Arabic as one of the oldest languages in the world today.
If the proof of the Qur’an is not seen in the social, economic and political context of its exegeses, it must be seen in its scientific hypotheses through which Europe came in contact with civilization. It is from those hypotheses that the modern world zoomed into technological advancement through the adoption of ‘Al-Jibrau (called Algebra), Al-Kaymiyau (called Chemistry), Al-Fisiyau (called Physics) as well as the introduction of ‘ZERO’ into numerals which led to the replacement of Roman figures, in the 13th century, with Arabic numerals that brought about decimal system and paved way for scientific breakthrough. It should be recalled that the numerals used in schools today are called Arabic numerals as in refence to their origin. Before adopting the Arabic numerals, Europe had relied so much upon the clumsy system of Roman numerals which called for enormous expenditure of time and labour.
For instance, while the Arabic numerals make it easy for the world to write such date as 1948 in only four figures within a second, it takes the same number to be written in eleven figures in Roman numerals thus: MDCCCXLVIII. Even if Islam has contributed nothing more than the decimal system to the modern civilization it has done much more than any other creed. And what is more, the idea of what is called UNIVERSITY today originated from that divine religion. The very first University in the world (University of Cordoba) was established by the Muslims in Spain based on Qur’anic guidance. And the three oldest existing Universities in the world today were established by Muslims in the 10th century as offshoots of the University of Cordaba. Those Universities are Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt; QarawiyyinUniversity in Fes, Morocco and Zaytuniyyah University in Tunis, Tunisia. Yet, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who brought that wonderful ‘MESSAGE’ (the Qur’an) to humanity was unlettered. However, despite his unlettered status he remains the greatest human being that ever lived throughout the history of man.
It was in reference to this non-such Islamic contribution to human civilization that the renowned French historian of the 20th century, Gustav Le Bon wrote in his book thus: ‘The Civilization of the Arabs’ thus: “At an epoch when the rest of Europe was plunged in darkest barbarism, Baghdad and Cordoba, the two great cities where Islam held sway, were centres of civilization which illumined the whole world with the light of their brilliance”.
THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSENGER
Through the writing of Prophet Muhammad’s biography, some people have zoomed into undreamed fame. Others have sunk into permanent oblivion. No other Prophet’s biography has attracted as many writers from believers and non-believers, from friends and foes alike as that of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Every aspect of his life including the dresses he wore, the food he ate, the way he spoke and the wives he married has come to form chapters in his biography. In short, next to the Qur’an, no book is as much read daily in the world today as the biography of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in one form or another. Given all these, one can imagine what the world would have been without the Qur’an. Please read more about the Qur’an in this column in the foreseeable future. God bless you.
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