Friday, 11 January 2013

THE HOLY QUR’AN: A Written Text

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Question: Can anyone produce a Book like the Holy Qur’an?


Answer: No one can produce a Book like the Holy Qur’an. The Merciful Lord gave to mankind a challenge; and that is: Produce a Chapter like unto it; and take help from anyone you can besides Allah; if it be that you speak the truth. (10:38)

The Holy Qur’an is special, and cannot be produced by any creature, including man for the following reasons:

1.     It is the last of the Revealed Sacred Scriptures from the Lord of the Worlds. It was revealed in the Arabic Language. Allah says:  We have sent it down (revealed it), as an Arabic Qur’an; in order that you may learn wisdom. (12:2). It is only the Book in the Arabic Language that is considered to be the Qur’an. Translations are not the Qur’an, for many reasons. Some of these are as follows:
(a) The Arabic words have many meanings; and in the translations, only one meaning is put, e.g. the word sabr when used in the Qur’an is normally translated as patience; but this word has the following meanings: thoroughness (i.e. not hasty), perseverance; constancy; steadfastness; firmness of purpose; systematic; resignation and understanding in sorrow, defeat or suffering (as opposed to murmuring and rebellion) but saved from mere passivity, …. (A.Y.Ali: Translation of the Holy Qur’an; Fn. 61). So when Allah says: Do you think that you would enter Paradise without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (in His Cause) and those who manifested sabr? (normally translated as patience) (3:142) It could mean many more things than mere patience.
(b) The Arabic sentences (verses of the Chapters) are so constructed that many meanings can be deduced from each one of them; and one meaning will not contradict the other. The experts of Commentaries of this Great Book can narrate endless examples of the numerous meanings in the verses.
2.    The Qur’an accurately records events and history of the past; and what will happen in the future; e.g. when the Prophet (pboh) was questioned about Joseph, the son of Jacob, Allah revealed the whole Chapter about him, i.e. Chapter 12; and to the surprise of the Questioners, what is contained in that Chapter about Joseph is more than what they ever knew about him.
3.    The Holy Qur’an has drawn the attention of man to the process of knowing more about himself and the universe, through scientific and philosophical methodologies; but all the time keeping in mind the fact that these processes are based on conjectures, and conjectures cannot arrive at the whole truth, i.e. to know much about Allah or to define Who He is. Some of the verses are:
Soon We will show them Our Signs in the cosmos and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. (41:53)
They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth. Therefore shun those who turn away from Our Message, and desire nothing but the life of this world. This is as far as (their) knowledge will reach them. (53:28-30)  In other words, the finite will not be able to grasp perfect knowledge of the Infinite through investigative means.
4.    Besides the literal and spiritual meanings contained in the Words of the Holy Qur’an, there are also vibrations which can be used in many ways. For example, Allah says:
Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would have seen it cleave asunder (in other words it would have become dust) (59:21)
We sent down in the Qur’an, that which is a healing and a mercy. (17:82)
5.    Unlike the other “Sacred Texts” which were originally revealed but cannot be found today, i.e. the original revealed texts, the Holy Qur’an does not contain a single defect, in expression, grammar, punctuation, intonation, etc. Allah says: Praises are for Allah Who has revealed to His Slave the Book in which you cannot find any defects. (18:1)  This is so different from the Holy Bible, for example, in which you will find: Unfulfilled Promises, Broken Promises, Atrocities, Contradictions, Illogical Statements, etc. (See Christianity According to Islamic Beliefs, by Dr. Waffie Mohammed).
6.    Because the Qur’an is the “unadulterated word of Allah”,  there is the universal challenge for all times to come, i.e. If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of the Qur’an, they could not have produced something like it, even if they were to back up each other with help and support. (17:88)
7.    The Qur’an does not have any variations, any versions, or any editions. All Muslims all over the world, since the time of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) until this day and up to the end of the world read the same text and will continue to read and recite the Original Text that was revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad (pboh). This is because Allah gives mankind the undertaking that it is He Who revealed it, and He will protect it from any form of adulteration. He says: Verily, We have revealed the Message (i.e. the Qur’an); and verily, We will guard it (from all types of corruptions). (15:9)
8.    Even the intonation and pronunciation of the words were taught to Prophet Muhammad (pboh) by Allah through the angel Gabriel. In this connection Allah orders all Believers to recite the Qur’an as was revealed. He says:
Recite the Qur’an in slow, measured, rhythmic tones. (73:4)
It is He (Allah) Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a Messenger from amongst themselves, to recite to them His Verses (i.e. the Qur’an); to sanctify them and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom. (62:2)
9.   There are verses of the Holy Qur’an that contain laws and principles for correct guidance. These are called Ayaati Muhkamaat). And there are verses of the Holy Book in which the meanings will always be understood with the discovery of new knowledge. These are called Ayaati Mutashaabihaat. (i.e. the meanings are not clear to the reader, scientists, philosophers, etc. at any particular time). Take for example, the word zarra, was translated as mustard seed, and later on it was translated as atom. Ch. 99:7-8)
10. There are words called Huruufi muqata-at, (sometimes known as signs and symbols) with powerful meanings, and vibrations which the ordinary people will not know. Only those endued with special knowledge know something about the meanings and messages contained in these words which are written only as letters of the Arabic alphabet. In reference to such people Allah calls them Raasikhuna fil ilm, and uulul albaab.
11. The Original Text of the Holy Qur’an is always preserved in the Divine Tablet.  In this connection Allah says: Nay, this is a Glorious Qur’an, (which is) in a Tablet preserved. (85:21-22)
12.One of the attributes of the Holy Qur’an is Al Furqaan which is normally translated as the Criterion. It points the mistakes now found in the present texts of previous Scriptures that were revealed to some of the Messengers before Prophet Muhammad (pboh).
From what we have discussed you will know that Dr. Christian Henkel and others like him do not really know much about this Holy Book; and they base their opinions from translations they may have read. We need to keep in mind one important thing and that is the Qur’an explains itself, and so, there may be a particular text found in one Chapter, and the explanation of it will be found in another Chapter.  No one is permitted to give a personal opinion or meaning of any verse of the Qur’an.
All are invited to study and understand this Great Revelation, as it truly is, with sincerity of purpose and intention; and the Merciful Lord will bestow on them wisdom.
May Allah bless and guide us all.

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