Magnificence of the Quran
As Muslims, we believe with deep conviction that Allah has sent down to the humanity his Holy Book as a great graciousness. It is why the Quran addresses the whole human race, without discrimination, with the words: O People! However, only those having some element of abstinence (Taqwa) will be able to benefit from the treasure of the Book. (Al baqara 2). We celebrate the month of Ramadan as the month of the revelation of the Quran every year when this month sets in. Allah says, “Ramadan is the month in which Quran was revealed…..” (185:2).In the write-up three very basic facts about the Holy Book will be discussed which make essential part of our belief. The first fact is that the Quran is the Word of Allah. The second fact is that it was revealed to the Last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The 3rd fact is that it is secure for ever as Allah has Himself guaranteed its overall security.
The fact that it is the Word of Allah has been established very categorically by the Quran itself. It says, “And if anyone of the idolaters seeks the protection, protect him till he hears the Word of Allah, then send him to his place of safety, that is because they are the people who do not know” (6:9) This verse should be seen in the context of the first 6 verses of the Surat al Tauba (9) wherein the idolaters of the Arab had been warned that they had 4 months time to decide to revert to Islam or action would be started against them. It is with this ultimatum that the Prophet (SAW) is being informed to make all arrangement for safe return to his place if any of the idolaters comes to him to hear the KALAM of Allah. Being the Word of Allah, we believe that it is the Attribute of Allah and is therefore one of His (SWT) manifestations. Allama Iqbal (r.a) describes this fact in his Persian poetry as, “Fash goyam aanche dar dil muzmir ast. Een kitabe neest cheez-e-digar ast. Misle Haq pinhan wa hum pedast woo. Zinda wa painda wa goyast woo”. In these verses Allama makes a reference to the 3rd Aya of the Suratul Hadid, where these attributes of Allah have been mentioned. He (Allah is the First, He is the Last, He is Al Zahir and He is Al Batin). Allama says same attributes are owned by the Quran as well. The fact that the Quran is the word of God can best be understood from two places in the Book itself. In the 21st Aya of Suratul Hashr (59) Allah says, “ If We had caused this Quran to descend on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbled and split asunder, out of the fear of Allah. And these are the examples which we put forward to mankind that they may ponder upon.” The same subject we find in the Sura Aaraf where there is a mention of the dialogue between Prophet Moses and Allah when Allah had called Hazrat Moses when he was to receive the Book Tawrat. As a result of dialogue with Allah, the Prophet Moses got more inspired and He requested Allah to allow him to see Him (Allah SWT). Aya no 143 of Sura al Aaraf describes it as, “ And when Moses came at our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, Moses said, “ O my Lord show me (Your Exalted Being) so that I may look at you.” Allah said, “You cannot see me but look at the mountain; if it remains firm in its place then you shall see Me.” When his Lord manifested Himself on the mountain, it broke into pieces and Moses fell down senseless. And when he recovered, he said, “Holy are You, I repent to You, and I am the first of the believers.” (143:7). It is evident here that the spark of Being of Allah on the mountain had the same effect which Allah (SWT) describes for the Quran if it had been descended on the mountain it would have split into pieces as mentioned in the (21: 59) above. This amply clarifies that the effect of the illuminations of the Divine Being are the same as that of the Quran, being the Word of Allah.
Allah has glorified us (the Muslims) by having made us the custodians of His Word (Kalam). As such He has also made us responsible for rendering our obligations we owe to the Quran. Allama Iqbal says, “Neest Mumkin Juz ba Quran zeestan”. (Without Quran, it is impossible to live as Muslim). The holy month of Ramadan is an opportunity for us to remind to ourselves that we have to struggle for the performance of the obligations we have about the Book. If we, the Muslim connect ourselves to this Rope of Allah, we will unite together and gain the strength as Umma as has been mentioned in the Holy Quran (102: 3). Our clinging to the Quran will give an end to the specter of sectarianism which is badly eroding the solidarity of the Muslims, being at present at the lowest ebb because of our indifference to the Divine Guidance. Here I quote a portion from a somewhat lengthy Hadith of the Prophet (SWA) as narrated by Hazrat (Ali R.A). Hazrat Ali says, “I had heard the Prophet as saying, “Be warned a great turbulence (fitna) is likely to occur”. “ I (Hazrat Ali) then requested, “What is the way out of that great turbulence?” The Prophet replied, “The Book of Allah. It contains the events of the gone-by ummas, it gives information about the future. There is solution in it for the disputes which may arise amongst you. It is a decisive Word and has nothing superfluous. Allah will break those into pieces who turn it down out of their arrogance and false egoism………….One who invites others to the Quran, he himself is guided to the right path”.
Now let us see that this Word of God has been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and we call him as Sahib-e-Quran. Allama Iqbal says that the Prophet as a blessing to the universe is the bearer of this Word of our Lord. The Quran has been revealed to the Prophet in two phases. The first phase was its bringing down to the down sky in a very bountiful night of great magnificence called Lailatul Qadr, in the month of Ramadan. This Scripture was exactly the same as the one resting in a secure position in the Lawhe Mahfooz as mentioned in the Quran itself. (21, 22: 85 al BURUJ). This Word of Allah was then revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in a span of 23 years through the very exalted Angel, Hazrat Gibrael (A.S.W.S). This gradual revelation to the humankind has a great significance that the teachings of the Quran are sufficiently absorbed by the believers and that its revelation is done in pieces according to the arising situation needing Divine Guidance. Allama Iqbal describes this phenomenon of gradual penetration of the Quranic teachings to change the whole inner-self of the man. His Persian poetry is “Choon ba jan dar raft jan digar shawad. Jan cho digar shud jahan digar shawad”. Historically we know that the period in which the Quran was revealed is 22 years starting 610 and ending 632 A.D. On Lunar Calendar it becomes 23 years. Geographically, the land of revelation of the Quran is the land of Hijaz, comprising the cities of Mekka, Medina, Taif, and the adjoining areas. However, the revelation of two verses, the last of the ‘Suratul baqara’ were given to the Prophet (SAW) during his ascendance to Miraj, along with five time obligatory prayers a day. Except these two Ayas, the rest of the whole Quran has been revealed to the Prophet on the land of Hijjaz. The very important thing about the Quran is our collective belief that it has come down to the Prophet (SAW) as verbal revelation. It is the Word of Allah given to the most respected Angel Gabriel who has revealed it onto to the heart of Muhammad (SAW) and it has reached humanity from the mouth of the Last Prophet (SAW).
The 3rd fact about the Quran is that it is secure to the most perfection as we the Muslims believe that it is the Book that Allah Himself has guaranteed its security. In verse 16 to 19 of Suratul Qiama, Allah addresses His Prophet in these words, “Do not move your tongue (O Prophet) with it (Quran) to make haste with it. Surely, upon us rests is collection and its recital. So when We recite it, follow its recitation. Then it is for Us to make it explain to you”. Since the whole responsibility of the security of the Quran has been taken by Allah Himself, therefore it is the basis of our belief that the Book is secure for ever and not an iota in its words has changed, nor will it change in future and there is no possibility that some thing will be added to or subtracted from it. Allah says in the verse 9 of Suratul Hijr, “In fact We have revealed the Reminder (Quran) and We are certainly its Guardian.” Allama Iqbal has transformed the idea in his poetry like this. “HARFE WOO RA RAIB NE TABDEEL NE. AYAASH SHARMINDA-E-TAWEEL NE”. It means that nothing can be changed in its text; nothing can be added to it or subtracted from it and no alteration is possible in it meanings. Quran describes at different places the highest security it has been guaranteed with by Allah Himself. Thus we have the firm belief that this Quran is the most secure amongst the Divine Scriptures and will remain secure forever. Having understood the three basic facts about the Quran we should now gird up our loin, in this month of Ramadan to renew our pledge with the Holy Book and try to render our obligations to it to the best of our efforts. At this juncture it is reminded here that we as believers have five obligations to the Quran. 1. We have the conviction and belief that it is the Kalam of Allah. 2. We should recite it frequently with all the formalities of recitation. 3. We should learn its text as well as meaning. 4. We should preach it to our fellow men. 5. We should struggle for its domination to give to it its proper place as the Law of the Land.
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