What is the Qur’an?
The Word of God
The Qur’an is the literal word of God, The Almighty (Allah in Arabic), revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the Angel Gabriel.
“The revelation of The Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.” Qur’an 39:1
Guidance for Mankind
The Qur’an is “a guidance for mankind… and the distinction (between right and wrong).” Qur’an 2:185 It provides direction to help mankind judge between right and wrong, without which, man would surely be in loss.
The Final Revelation
The Qur’an is the last scripture revealed by Almighty Allah (God), confirming what little truth remains in parts of previous scriptures and refuting and correcting fabrications and additions which have crept into current day versions of such scriptures.
“O you who have been given the Scripture! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is (already) with you…” Qur’an 4:47
How was the Qur’an Revealed?
The Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and exists only in the language in which it was revealed – Arabic. However, the translation of the meaning of the Qur’an is available in many languages.
The Qur’an was not sent down as a complete book in one revelation; rather, the revelation spanned over a period of 23 years.
For this reason, it is essential to know in what circumstances the verses were revealed, in order to have a proper understanding of the Qur’an; otherwise, its teachings could be misunderstood.
How do I know that it is from God?
The Qur’an is the only religious sacred text that has been in circulation for a lengthy period, and yet remains as pure as the day it was revealed. Nothing has been added, removed or modified from it, since its revelation over 1400 years ago.
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will certainly guard it (from corruption).” Qur’an 15:09
Not only has the Qur’an been preserved in written form, but also in the hearts of men, children and women. Today, millions of people have memorised the Qur’an from cover to cover.
The Qur’an does not contradict modern science but rather, supports it. One of the most remarkable aspects about the Qur’an is that it contains many verses which accurately describe natural phenomenon in various fields such as embryology, meteorology, astronomy, geology and oceanography. Scientists have found its descriptions incredibly accurate for a book dating back to the 7th century.
“We shall show them Our Signs in the Universe and within their own selves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth.” Qur’an 41:53
In fact, many of the scientific miracles mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered only recently, through the modern advancement of technological equipment. Consider the following:
- The Qur’an gives a detailed description of the development of the human embryo. These details were unknown to the scientific community until recent times.
- The Qur’an states that the astronomical objects (stars, planets, moons etc…) were all formed from clouds of dust. Previously unknown, this fact has now become an undisputed principle of modern cosmology.
- Modern science has discovered the existence of barriers that allow two seas to meet yet maintain their own temperature, density and salinity.
These signs of God were clearly stated in the Qur’an more than 1400 years ago.
Ever since its revelation, no person has been able to produce a single chapter like that of the Qur’an in its beauty, eloquence, splendour, wisdom, prophecies, and other perfect attributes.
“And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.” Qur’an 2:23
The people that rejected Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) failed this challenge, eventhough they were extremely eloquent in the language of the Qur’an. This challenge remains unanswered to this very day.
When people write, they are bound to make mistakes such as spelling and grammar, contradictory statements, incorrect facts, omission of information, and other various errors.
“Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely, have found in it (the Qur’an) many contradictions.” Qur’an 4:82
The Qur’an has no contradictions whatsoever – be it in scientific explanations of the water cycle, embryology, geology and cosmology; historical facts and events; or prophecies.
Couldn’t Muhammad have authored it?
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known in history to be illiterate; he could not read nor write. He was not educated in any field that could account for neither the scientific and historical accuracy, nor the literary beauty of this magnificent Book. The precision of historical recounts of previous peoples and civilisations mentioned in the Qur’an is also too great to be authored by any man.
“And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah.” Qur’an 10:37
Purpose of Revelation
To Believe in One True God
“And your god is One God. There is no god but He, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” Qur’an 2:163
The most important topic mentioned throughout the Qur’an is the belief in the One, True God. God informs us that He has no partner, no son, no equal, and that none has the right to be worshipped except Him alone. Nothing is comparable to God and none of His creation resembles Him. The Qur’an also rejects the notion of attributing human qualities and limitations to God.
To Reject All False Gods
“And worship Allah and associate none with Him.” Qur’an 4:36
Since Allah alone is the only One worthy of worship, false deities and false gods must be rejected. The Qur’an also rejects the notion of attributing divine qualities to anyone or anything other than Allah.
To Narrate the Stories from the Past
The Qur’an contains many narratives with beneficial lessons, including the true stories of previous Prophets such as, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus and Moses. Of these stories, Allah says,
“Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.” Qur’an 12:111
To Remind us of the Day of Judgement
This Noble Book reminds us that everyone will taste death and will be held accountable for all their actions and sayings:
“We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least…” Qur’an 21:47
To Fulfil the Intended Way of Life
Importantly, the Qur’an teaches that the purpose of life is to worship God alone, and live one’s life according to the way of life prescribed by Him. In Islam, worship is a comprehensive term that includes all actions and sayings (whether private or public) that Allah loves and is pleased with. Therefore, by doing what Allah commands, a Muslim is worshipping God and fulfilling his purpose in life. The following are examples of worship from the Qur’an:
“O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord, that you may succeed.” Qur’an 22:77
“…And spend, it is better for your souls; and whoever is saved from the greediness of his soul, these it is that are the successful.” Qur’an 64:16
To be honest:
“Cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when you know (what it is).” Qur’an 2:42
To be modest:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.” Qur’an 24:30-31
To be thankful:
“And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers– you did not know anything– and He gave you hearing and sight and hearts that you may give thanks.” Qur’an 16:78
To be just:
“O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor…” Qur’an 4:135
To be patient:
“And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.” Qur’an 11:115
To do good:
“Allah has promised to those who believe and do good deeds (that) they shall have forgiveness and a mighty reward.” Qur’an 5:9
In summary, the Qur’an teaches mankind how to worship the One True God, hence fulfilling their true purpose in life, and attaining success in both this world and the next.
“Verily, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book 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.” Qur’an 39:41
Don’t you owe it to yourself to at least read this Noble Book?