Saturday, September 24, 2005

Quran - The Eternal Miracle

In the Name of Allah, most Compassionate, most Merciful.

What is the Quran ?
It is the last Book of Allah sent for the guidance of humanity through the last Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH).
Why is the Quran important? Allah [SWT] exhorted the followers of truth to make Al-Quran as their only guide. It is the complete and best guide for living one's life and seeking Allah's pleasure.

Is it applicable to Arabs only?
The teachings of the Quran are universal, addressed to all people throughout the world regardless of their creed and color. They enlighten man's soul, purify his morals, condemn all wrongs, order good deeds and call for the establishment of justice and fraternity through obeying Allah as the supreme authority.

What does the Quran teach us?
The Quran provides the regulations that create the proper relations between man and Allah and man and man. It leads man to understand his role in this world, encourages him to think and ponder, and guides him in the usage of natural resources. In short, the Quran provides all the guidance that humanity needs. Without the guidance of the Quran, humanity would still be groping in the darkness of ignorance.

How is it revealed to humanity?
The Quran was revealed piecemeal throughout a period of about 23 years.
The Prophet (PBUH) received the first revelation in 610CE, in the Hira cave in the "Mountain of Light", Jabale-Noor, 2 1/2 miles from the "House of Allah" in Makkah, Arabia.

What is the first revelation?
It was the first 5 verses of Surah Al-Alaq:

Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Read, for your Lord is most Generous, Who teaches by means of the pen, teaches man what he does not know." (96: 1-5)

What then is the last revelation?
It was the 3rd verse of Surah Al-Maidah:

Today I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor to you and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your religion." (5 3)

What is contained in the Quran?
Al-Quran is divided into 30 equal divisions, which has 114 chapters with 6666 verses containing 336 233 letters.

What is the longest chapter?
It is Surah Al-Baqarah with 286 verses.

What then is the shortest chapter?
It is Surah Al-Kawthar with only three verses.

What is Makkan?
It is the chapters revealed before the migration of the Prophet to Madina. The topics stress the Unity and Majesty of Allah, the Most Exalted, Most High (SWT), denounce idle worship, promise paradise for the righteous and warn wrongdoers of their punishment in Hellfire, confirm the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH), and remind humanity of the past prophets and events of their time.

What is Madinan?
It is the chapters revealed after the migration to Madina. The topics outline ritualistic aspects of Islam such as Zakah, Fasting, and Hajj, lay down moral and ethical codes, criminal laws, social, economic, and state policies, give guidelines for foreign relations, rules and regulations for battle and the captives of war. They also contain descriptions of some of the early battles of Islam, condemnation of hypocrites, emphasis on the unified basic message of all the past prophets, and confirmation that the process of prophethood and revelation is complete, so that no Prophet will come after Muhammad [PBUH], no new book will be revealed, and Allah's religion is complete through Al-Quran.

How was the Quran compiled?
The Quran was revealed piecemeal, according to the needs of the time. Angel Jibrail [PBUH] brought it to the Prophet [PBUH] who would memorize it. Afterwards, it was preserved in two ways:-

Memorization: A number of early Muslims would memorize each revelation as soon as it was revealed and thus had the whole Quran memorized at the time of the final revelation. The tradition of memorizing the entire Quran still continues, and a person who does so is called a 'Hafize Quran'.

Writing: Whenever any revelation took place, it was written at once on tablets, palm branches, shorn of leaves, or animal skin. This was done primarily by Zaid bin Thabit, who was the main scribe out of the 42 scribes of the revelation. The Prophet [PBUH] set the order of the chapters under the guidance of Angel Jibrail [PBUH] and ordered his companions to maintain that order.

Who compiled the Quran?
Abu Bakr, the first caliph of Islam, compiled the Quran, and Uthman, the third caliph, made numerous copies and sent one copy to each state capital.

Did you know...

  • Al-Quran is the only ever living miracle.
  • Today no other miracle of any prophet exists.
  • A survey noted that there is more than 10 million Huffaz (persons who have memorized the whole Quran) today.
  • Millions of editions/copies were printed/handwritten in almost every part of the world.
  • They were also translated into most of the languages of mankind.
  • During the period of over 1400 years since the Quran was revealed, not a single letter was changed, Subhan Allah! (as Allah has promised that he will protect the Quran)

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