The Holy Quran: God’s Final Revelation to Mankind
To help humanity navigate to Him, God the Almighty sent down Books with His Prophets to teach and show humankind how to live their lives pleasingly in His eyes — a way of life that comes with contentment in this world and the next while avoiding punishment in the afterlife and attaining Paradise. These Books sent by God are study guides and instructional manuals on how one’s life should be lived. Through his Revelations to humanity delivered with Prophets, God reveals His Wisdom, Laws, and Instructions.
The Holy Quran says that in every age, a Book is revealed. God has sent forth a number of them in the past, but with the last and final Revelation arrives the Glorious Quran, as revealed to the latest and final Prophet, Muhammad PBUH. The Holy Quran is meant to be the Book of Guidance for people living today until the end of time, whereas past Scriptures were meant only for past nations; therefore, they no longer need to be preserved. Muslims believe that the Holy Quran has abrogated all previous Scriptures before it, meaning the book cancels the rulings of the earlier Scriptures and renders them inapplicable going forward — since these preceding Scriptures were meant for earlier nations, not for us. In His infinite Wisdom, God did not feel fit to send down the Holy Quran at the time of previous nations. Although different Revelations came to various Prophets and nations with slight differences in law (what is allowed and prohibited), the general message and theology remained the same: worship God alone and follow His Commandments.
The Holy Quran is a guide or instructional manual teaching how to live one’s life. It was revealed to guide humanity through every aspect of life. The Holy Quran is a personal guide to navigating a person through daily struggles. Just as when you buy a computer or any electronic device, the machine comes with an instructional manual dictating how it should operate. One is advised to read the instructional manual of life, the Holy Quran, and live as our Creator has commanded. How else would man know his role and the purpose of his existence unless he receives clear and practical instructions regarding what God wants from him? If one follows the guidelines carefully, he shall be rewarded with a better life here in this world and the Hereafter. If you disobey God and go against His commands, you will face the consequences in this world and the Hereafter.
The Holy Quran is the primary source of Islam for all Muslims. The Book is and always has been written in Arabic. The Holy Quran is so unique in content and style that it cannot be translated; therefore, any translation is to be taken only to interpret its meanings. Distinctions must be drawn between the Holy Quran and its translations. Any translations of the Holy Quran are not the Holy Quran in its true and pure form; they are merely explanations of the Original Masterwork authored by the Almighty. A translation of the Holy Quran is not the Word of God. Different translations are intended to help non-Arabic-speaking audiences comprehend its meaning. Since each translation is not the original work and is only human-made in content, it is an imperfect translation bound to contain errors. Some translations may be superior to others in their linguistic style or interpretations. Still and all, there is only one version of this timeless Book, and it contains the exact Arabic words spoken by God, as revealed to Prophet Muhammad PBUH by the Angel Gabriel.
Unlike other Scriptures of God, not one letter of the Holy Quran has been changed since its Revelation. Everything found in the Holy Quran is true, with no evidence of contradictions or falsehood, and the truth of the book will remain so for eternity.
If a Muslim in Asia reads a verse of the Holy Quran, one can be sure that another Muslim is reciting the exact words in faraway Africa. No differences will exist between the two reciting. God has promised to preserve the Holy Quran, protecting His Book from anyone who attempts to modify or change its Text or Message. This means that God will guard His Book against any human-made modifications, distortions, additions, subtractions, or tampering in any form. God states in the Quran:
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an, and indeed, We will be its Guardian” (Quran 15:9)
The Holy Quran was not sent in the form of a book; instead, the Revelation from God was sent down orally. The word Quran linguistically translates to “recitation,” meaning recitation of the words of God, the Glorious, via the Angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Then the Prophet PBUH recited these exact words to the people.
The Holy Quran was first revealed in the Holy Month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. The remainder of its message was revealed bit by bit for the next 23 years. Each passage was revealed in the wake of a significant event in the life of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Finally, the book was put together as a whole in his lifetime.
The Holy Quran is a widely known and memorized document. It was designed to be easy to understand and memorize. The Holy Quran is the only Book memorized by millions of people of all ages, languages, and backgrounds worldwide. It is the most widely and frequently read Book globally and over the last millennium. Even without the benefit of a photographic memory, children and adults in Asia, Africa, Europe, and worldwide have memorized this Book word for word in more than 600 pages. Almost every Muslim has memorized some portion of the Holy Quran to read in their prayers. This ease of memorizing the Holy Quran is due to Allah’s promise.
“And in truth, We have made the Quran easy to remember; who, then, is willing to take it to heart?” (Quran 54:17)
God commanded Prophet Muhammad PBUH to convey the contents of the Holy Quran to the people. This was a tremendous responsibility that weighed heavily upon him.
“And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe” (Quran 16:64)
The Holy Quran deals with all subjects concerning human beings, such as doctrine, wisdom, worship, law, transactions, and more. Its central theme is the relationship between God and His creation. The Holy Quran also teaches the art of living. The Holy Quran contains guidelines and teachings for both individuals and society. The Holy Quran contains guidelines and instructions for proper human conduct, a fair economic system, ritual worship, ethics and moral behavior, business, government, etc., are presented in this monumental text.
The Holy Quran contains signs of God’s Greatness, miracles, parables, and lessons. It explains the concept of God, His Names, and Attributes. It details what is permissible and what is forbidden. It teaches the basics of good manners and morals and contains rulings and guidelines on how to worship God. The Holy Quran also describes the appearance and characteristics of Paradise and Hell. The Holy Quran calls upon humanity to believe in God, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and the divine decree. The Holy Quran contains stories of past nations and their mistakes to teach us lessons and educate us against making the same mistakes. These stories aim to teach from our past’s excellent role models and bad examples.
The Holy Quran is like no other book because it serves as an infinite source of intellectual wisdom and spiritual elevation. It cleanses the heart. The Holy Quran teaches that one should be truthful and never lie or cheat. The Holy Quran teaches us to give charity to the poor and be kind to our parents, neighbors, family, and friends.
Despite what you may have heard of the Holy Quran, the Holy Book does not teach hate, violence, or killing. The Holy Quran is based on love, compassion, faith, and goodwill. The Quran calls for:”
“…The ways of peace” (Quran 5:16)
“…reconciliation as the best policy” (Quran 4:128)
The Quran states that:
“…God abhors any disturbance of peace” (Quran 2:205)
Many verses throughout the Quran demonstrate God’s love for peace and good, and he commands humanity to:
“Speak kindly” (Quran 2:83)
“Speak Politely” (Quran 17:53)
“Speak Justice” (Quran 6:152)
“Speak the truth” (Quran 3:17)
“Speak no lie” (Quran 22:30)
“Speak not in vain” (Quran 22:30)
“Speak graciously” (Quran 17:23)
“Speak fairly” (Quran 17:28)
God reminds us of His love, compassion, and mercy in introducing 113 of his 114 chapters in His Holy Book with the statement, In the name of God, the Most Gracious/Loving, the Most Merciful. If you peruse the pages of the Holy Quran, you will see endless examples of God’s love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and justice for all His creations. The Holy Quran is also a Book of hope. God reminds humankind not to give in to despair. No matter what sins one may have committed, those who turn to God with regret while seeking forgiveness will be forgiven, and their salvation assured.
Contrary to popular belief, the Holy Quran forces no one to turn to Islam and live by Islamic morals against their will. While the conveying and teaching of God and the morals of the Holy Quran to others is a duty of Muslims, the Book calls people to the path of God only with kindness and love and never forces them to do anything. God states in His book:
“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So, whoever disbelieves in false deities and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it, And Allah is Hearing and Knowing” (Quran 2:256)
The values of the Holy Quran hold a Muslim responsible for treating all people justly, fairly, kindly, whether Muslim or not. The Holy Quran teaches the importance of protecting and caring for the needy, orphans, and the innocent. It warns of the spreading of mischief, unlawful killing, fraud, envy, intoxicants, and the mistreatment of humans, animals, and plants. God states:
“And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption” (Quran 2:205)
Islam has two primary sources, the Holy Quran and the authentic traditions/sayings of the final Prophet, Muhammad PBUH, that explain and sometimes expand upon the concepts presented in the Holy Quran.
The Holy Quran is meant to be read aloud in a melodious tone. The Book is composed of 114 units or chapters, called surahs in Arabic, and each verse of the Holy Quran is called an aaya, which translates to mean a sign, as each verse in the Holy Quran is a sign that God exists. The Holy Quran was not meant to tell a chronological story and thus should not be viewed as a sequential narrative like the Book of Genesis.
Prophet Muhammad PBUH did not author the Book. He did not know how to read or write. The Holy Quran was sent down to an unlettered Prophet who did not read, write or calculate and had no education, proving that he did not author the Holy Text. The Holy Quran challenges anyone who doubts the Book’s Divine origins to produce another sacred text equal in merit. Any document that claims to include the Word of God bears a heavy burden. Without clear evidence or with the presence of one contradiction within the Book, the apparent Word of God would be proven false. The Holy Quran is devoid of contradictions and does not contain information confirmed to be incorrect.
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