The word ‘Quran’, its Meaning & Origin
Hazrat Imam Fakhrudeen Razi – May Allah have mercy upon him – has mentioned that the word “Quran” is extracted from three possible root words:
The meaning of which is to gather or combine. Hence, it would imply such a book which combines the knowledge of the entire universe. This is why it is sometimes said that:
جَمِیْعُ الْعِلْمِ فِیْ الْقُرْاٰنِ لٰکِنْ تَقَاصَرَ عَنْہُ اَفْھَامُ الرِّجَالِ
“The Quran is a book which contains all knowledge, but people do not have the capability of comprehending it.
The Quran itself has explained that it is a book in which there is clear explanation of all things:
وَ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَیۡکَ الْکِتٰبَ تِبْیٰنًا لِّکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ
And We have sent down this Quran on you in which everything is clearly explained.
In this book, various chapters and verses have been combined. It is also a book which brought many communities and nations together.
If we look at the peoples of the world, they have different languages, different cultures, different manners of behaviour, however the Quran was able to combine of all them into one single nation as “Muslims”:
ہُوَ سَمّٰىکُمُ الْمُسْلِمِیۡنَ ۬
He (Allah) has named you Muslims.
In the same way, if we look at nectar, we will find that it comes from all types of plants and has different qualities and colours, yet, then they are combined and brought together by a honey bee, the end result is honey. Such has been the miracle of the Quran in that it was able to bring different peoples together which has never been achieved by any other book.
At the same time, we can say that it also managed to combine both the worlds as well. Prior to the Quran, those who had passed away seem separate from those who are living. Yet, the Quran has eliminated this gap as well. In other words, when a person reads the Quran as a means of Esaale Thawaab, he is connecting with the person in the next world.
Through the recital of the Quran, the vices of the person in the next world are pardoned and his status is elevated.
The meaning of which is to read or recite. If we look at this word in its objective state, it would signify something which was read or recited. It could also mean a book which is recited in abundance. It could also signify the fact that all previous books which came to other Prophets were books which were recorded and then sent to those Prophets while the Quran is a book which was revealed in the form of recitation. At the same time, it is a book which has been recited so abundantly in the world from the time of its revelation that no other book can be compared to it. However, the Quran has been recited in all generations and on various occasions.
There is a story that there was a Hindu priest named Ram Chandar and he claimed to have memorized fourteen paras of the Quran. He also asked the eminent scholar Hadrat Moulana Naeemudeen Muradabadi – May Allah have mercy upon him – how many chapters of Vedas he knew by memory. The great scholar replied that there was no need for him to memorize any part of the Vedas because the miracle of the Quran is such, in that it has also entered the hearts of even those who do not believe in it.
However, the weakness of the Vedas is such in that it has not even penetrated the hearts of those who actually believe in it! We see that even a small child is able to memorize the Quran while in the previous Ummahs, only the Prophet of that era was able to memorize the revealed book and no other follower of that Prophet was capable of its memorization. Another miracle of the Quran is that besides the people in this world, even the people in the grave have been heard reciting the Quran.
Hazrat Imam Yaafe’i – May Allah have mercy upon him – maintains that we have also learnt the answers to the questions which would be asked in the grave from the Quran itself,
If we accept this as the root word, then it would signify “joining or uniting”. In other words, the Quran is a book which is always with those who recite its verses. It would accompany a person in his grave, at the moment of Hashr and it is also a book which joins or unites. This is a book which enables a person to meet His Creator and enables a follower to meet his Prophet. When everyone leaves a person, the Quran would continue to be with him. Truth and guidance is always with it. On the day of Hashr, it would accompany him and would be a source of light and guidance as he moves forward in his joureny.
Some have said the word Quran is taken from the word “Qaraa’in”. In other words, certain verses substantiate other verses and certain verses are similar to other verses. Some have said that the word is derived from Qar’un which signifies a description. In this regard, it would signify the collection of something. Like how the lake or dam collects the water, in like manner, the Quran is a collection of all knowledge pertaining to this world and the next and is a vast ocean of knowledge which encompasses all faculties of knowledge.
All of these explanations have been derived from Tafseer Al-Kabeer and Al-Itqan.
In the Quran, the word “Al-Quran” has appeared 58 times.
The names of Quran from the Quran itself:
- Kitab – as found in Surah Baqarah verse 2:
ذٰلِکَ الْکِتٰبُ لَا رَیۡبَ
That high rankered Book (Quran) whereof there is no place of doubt in it.
- Zikr – as found in Surah Al Hajr verse 9:
اِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّکْرَ وَ اِنَّا لَہٗ لَحٰفِظُوۡنَ ﴿۹﴾
No doubt, We have sent down this Quran, and We most surely are its Guardian.
- Nur – as found in Surah Nisa, Verse 174:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَکُمۡ بُرْہٰنٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمْ وَاَنۡزَلْنَاۤ اِلَیۡکُمْ نُوۡرًا مُّبِیۡنًا ﴿۱۷۴﴾
‘O people! Undoubtedly, a manifest argument has come to you from Allah and We sent down to you a manifest light.
- Quran – As found in Surah Al Waaqi’ah 77 and also in surah Buruj, verse 77, 78:
اِنَّہٗ لَقُرْاٰنٌ کَرِیۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۷۷﴾
Undoubtedly, this is an Honourable Quran.
The word Majeed is derived from the word “Majd” which signifies something which is lofty and elevated. In other words, from the moment it came from the Baitul Ma’mur, it became the most lofty and elevated revealed book of all previous books. At the same time, the Angel who delivered this book, namely Jibraeel Ameen is considered as the most lofty of all Angels. In other words, we will have to include that in whichever time it came that time, is the most lofty, in whichever generation it came, that is the best of generations, in which heart it descended, that is the most lofty of hearts, in which night it appeared, that is the most lofty of nights and in which month it appeared, that is the most lofty of months.
بَلْ ہُوَ قُرْاٰنٌ مَّجِیۡدٌ ﴿ۙ۲۱﴾
But it is a glorious Quran.
- Furqan – This name is mentioned in surah Furqan verse 1:
تَبَارَکَ الَّذِیۡ نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلٰی عَبْدِہٖ لِیَکُوۡنَ لِلْعٰلَمِیۡنَ نَذِیۡرَۨا﴿۱﴾ۙ
Immencely Blessed is He Who has sent down the Quran to His Bondman that he may be a warner to the entire world.
- Musaddiq – It is a book which substantiates all previous revelation. This is mentioned in Surah Al Ma’idah verse 48:
وَ اَنۡزَلْنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ الْکِتٰبَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَیۡنَ یَدَیۡہِ مِنَ الْکِتٰبِ وَمُہَیۡمِنًا عَلَیۡہ
And O beloved Prophet! We have sent down to you the true Book confirming the Books preceding it and as a protector and witness over them.
- Bushra – In other words, glad tidings for the believers. This is mentioned in Surah Baqarah 97:
وَہُدًی وَّبُشْرٰی لِلْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ﴿۹۷﴾
And there is guidance and glad tidings to Muslims’.
- Al Haqq – A book of eternal truth. Mentioned in Surah Baqarah verse 91:
وَہُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَہُمْ
it is the truth confirming what is with them.
- Mo-izah – A book which explains the outcome of action and the results therewith. As explained in Surah Yunus verse 57:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَتْکُمۡ مَّوْعِظَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمْ
‘O people! there has come an admonition to you from your Lord
- Al Ilm – A book which contains the Divine Knowledge of the Almighty and something which encompasses the reality of all things. Surah Baqarah verse 145:
وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ اَہۡوَآءَہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَکَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِۙ اِنَّکَ اِذًا لَّمِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ﴿۱۴۵﴾ۘ
And (O listner, whoever he may be) if you should follow their desires after the knowledge that has been given to you, then at that time, you shall surely be of the transgressors.
- Burhaan – A solid proof or evidence in Surah Nisa, Verse 174:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَکُمۡ بُرْہٰنٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمْ
‘O people! Undoubtedly, a manifest argument has come to you from Allah.
- Mubaarak – A book which not only testifies to itself but to other forms of knowledge and truth. As found in Surah Al An’am, verse 92:
وَ ہٰذَا کِتٰبٌ اَنۡزَلْنٰہُ مُبٰرَکٌ
And this is a blessed Book that We have sent down.
- Faslun – Something which is able to clearly distinguish between right and wrong. As found in Surah Taariq, verse 13:
اِنَّہٗ لَقَوْلٌ فَصْلٌ ﴿ۙ۱۳﴾
Undoubtedly, Quran is necessarily a decisive word.
- Rahmatun – Something which eliminates faults and defects and is a means of grace in the hereafter. As found in Surah Yunus verse 57:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَتْکُمۡ مَّوْعِظَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمْ وَشِفَآءٌ لِّمَا فِی الصُّدُوۡرِ۬ۙ وَہُدًی وَّرَحْمَۃٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾
‘O people! there has come an admonition to you from your Lord, and healing of hearts, and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.
- Basaa’ir – something which gives insight into the true reality of things. As found in surah Jaathiyah verse 20:
ہٰذَا بَصٰٓئِرُ لِلنَّاسِ وَ ہُدًی وَّ رَحْمَۃٌ لِّقَوْمٍ یُّوۡقِنُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰﴾
This opens the eyes of the people and is a guidance and mercy for a people believing.
- Hikmatun – Being able to make a proper decision based on wisdom and truth. As found in Surah Qamar verse 5:
حِکْمَۃٌۢ بٰلِغَۃٌ فَمَا تُغْنِ النُّذُرُ ۙ﴿۵﴾
Perfect wisdom, but warners profit them not.
- Shifa – A remedy for all ills whether it be spiritual, physical etc.
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَتْکُمۡ مَّوْعِظَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمْ وَشِفَآءٌ لِّمَا فِی الصُّدُوۡرِ۬ۙ وَہُدًی وَّرَحْمَۃٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾
‘O people! there has come an admonition to you from your Lord, and healing of hearts, and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.
- Azeem – Something which is mighty and powerful. Surah Al Hajr verse 87:
وَلَقَدْ اٰتَیۡنٰکَ سَبْعًا مِّنَ الْمَثَانِیۡ وَ الْقُرْاٰنَ الْعَظِیۡمَ ﴿۸۷﴾
And no doubt, We gave you seven verses, which are repeated, and the Grand Quran.
- Khayrun – Something which is advantageous and beneficial. As found in Surah An Nisa verse 59:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِیۡعُوا اللہَ وَاَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ اُولِی الۡاَمْرِ مِنۡکُمْ ۚ فَاِنۡ تَنٰزَعْتُمْ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ فَرُدُّوۡہُ اِلَی اللہِ وَالرَّسُوۡلِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمْ تُؤْمِنُوۡنَ بِاللہِ وَالْیَوْمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ خَیۡرٌ وَّ اَحْسَنُ تَاۡوِیۡلًا ﴿٪۵۹﴾
‘O believers! obey Allah and obey the messenger, and those who have power of command amongst you, then again if there may arise any difference amongst you, refer it to Allah and His messenger, if you have faith in Allah and the Last Day. This is better, and its end is best.
- Ahsanul Hadith – A most beautiful explanation. As found in Surah Al Zumur verse 23:
اَللہُ نَزَّلَ اَحْسَنَ الْحَدِیۡثِ کِتٰبًا مُّتَشٰبِہًا مَّثَانِیَ ٭ۖ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْہُ جُلُوۡدُ الَّذِیۡنَ یَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّہُمْ ۚ ثُمَّ تَلِیۡنُ جُلُوۡدُہُمْ وَ قُلُوۡبُہُمْ اِلٰی ذِکْرِ اللہِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ ہُدَی اللہِ یَہۡدِیۡ بِہٖ مَنْ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّضْلِلِ اللہُ فَمَا لَہٗ مِنْ ہَادٍ ﴿۲۳﴾
Allah has sent the best Book that from beginning to the end is alike (in beauty and fairness), having two fold descriptions (promise of reward and threat of punishment) at which do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then their skins and hearts soften inclining towards the remembrance of God. This is the guidance of Allah He guides therewith whom He pleases. And he whom Allah causes to go astray, there is none to guide him.
- Azeez – A book of immense power. As found in Surah Haa Meem Sajdah verse 41:
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِالذِّکْرِ لَمَّا جَآءَہُمْ ۚ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَکِتٰبٌ عَزِیۡزٌ ﴿ۙ۴۱﴾
Undoubtedly, those who denied the reminder when it came to them, (ask not the condition of their misery), and undoubtedly it is an esteemed Book.
- Mizaan – A scale which determines the existence of a person based on equality and justice. As found in Surah Al Hadeed, verse 25:
لَقَدْ اَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَیِّنٰتِ وَ اَنۡزَلْنَا مَعَہُمُ الْکِتٰبَ وَ الْمِیۡزَانَ لِیَقُوۡمَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ ۚ وَ اَنۡزَلْنَا الْحَدِیۡدَ فِیۡہِ بَاۡسٌ شَدِیۡدٌ وَّ مَنٰفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَ لِیَعْلَمَ اللہُ مَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُہٗ وَ رُسُلَہٗ بِالْغَیۡبِ ؕ اِنَّ اللہَ قَوِیٌّ عَزِیۡزٌ ﴿٪۲۵﴾
Verily We have sent Messengers with arguments and have sent down with them the Book and the Balance of justice, so that men might uphold justice And We have sent down iron, wherein is great strength and uses for mankind. And in order that’ Allah may see him who helps. Him and His Messengers without seeings. Surely, Allah is Powerful Dominant.
There are also many other descriptions of the Quran; such as, Tanzeel, Hakam, Hakeem, Muhkam, Siraat Mustaqeem, Ruh, Qasas, Bayaan, Tibyaan. Nujum, Mathaani, Ni’mah, Basheer, Nazeer, Huda, Kareem, Azeem etc. Each name is different and has different implications and greatness.
(Tafseer Kabeer, Azeezi)
Mus-haf – This is referred to as something which encompasses various explanations, advises and commands. This was also one of the names which was decided by Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him in consultation with the other blessed Ashaab.
(Gharaa’ibul Quran. 1/25).
Allama Jalaaludeen Suyuti May Allah have mercy upon him records from Jaahiz that there was a custom among the Arabs to name certain sections of their writings with different names. The Quran came with completely different names for each section. The Almighty kept the name of this special revelation, the Quran while the Arabs kept the name of their complete piece of work as Diwaan. Various chapters in the Quran have been termed as Surahs while certain chapters of the Diwaan are called Qaseedah. Some parts of the surahs have been named Ayaat while Arabs kept the name of certain parts of the qaseedah as bayat. The last part of the Quranic verse has been called Faasilah while the Arabs kept the name of the last part of the bayat as qaafiyah.
(Al Itqan Vol. 1, Naw’ 17 – Ref. Hashiya Muqaddimah Sharh Al-Mukhillaati p. 111).
The greatness of Quran’s revelation:
The Quran clearly explains that this is a book which was revealed by the Lord of the worlds as found in Surah Al Haaqqah. That Divine Being who is All Wise and All Praised as found in Surah Haa Meem Sajdah. At the same time, all Praise belongs to that Divine Being who sent this to His special servant.
The night in which it arrived
The Quran was revealed over a period of 22 years, 5 months and 14 days. The occasion on which it was revealed at once from the Baitul Ma’mur to the heavens, that is referred to as “Inzaal” and which mentioned in Surah Qadr:
اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلْنٰہُ فِیۡ لَیۡلَۃِ الْقَدْرِ﴿۱﴾ۚۖ
Undoubtedly, We sent it down in the blessed and valuable night.
The speed of the Quran been sent to the heavens from the Baitul Ma’mur can be compared to the speed of Jibraeel Ameen when he was sent to earth on certain specific occasions.
Imagine the speed of Jibraeel when he was commanded by the Almighty to save Nabi Yusuf Peace be upon him who fell into the well and before he reach the bottom of the well, Jibraeel Ameen was there to cushion his fall. Or imagine the speed of Jibraeel Ameen when he was commanded to replace Nabi Ismail Peace be upon him with a ram from under the shadow of the knife while the knife was still moving. This was the speed in which the Quran was sent from the Baitul Ma’mur to the heavens and from there over the years as and when the need arose.
The Nuzul or revelation of the Quran:
Since the meaning of Nuzul (Revelation) implies something which comes from the top to the bottom and this is not possible in a speech because this is only applicable in a solid body, hence when we use the word Nuzul to describe the manner in which the Quran was revealed, there can only be three ways in which this could have occurred.
- It was recorded on something and this object was sent down. This was done with previous books and Saheefahs. In other words, they were recorded on a tablet and then brought down by the Angels to the Prophets of that era. In the Quran, it is mentioned that this is how the Taurah was revealed to Nabi Moosa (peace be upon him). It is mentioned in Surah A’raf.
- It was revealed via someone as a message.
- It was revealed without any medium of messenger. In other words, from the Almighty to the creation. This was the case with the Holy Prophet on the night of Meraj.
We know that the Quran was revealed in the second and third manner. Jibraeel Ameen used to deliver the message of the Quran, and during the night of Meraj, the last part of Surah Baqarah was given to the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – by the Almighty directly. Hence, we can see that the Quran and its revelations is completely different from all the previous revelations. It must also be borne in mind that sometimes; one word can have different connotations while something which is spoken is also clearly understood.
The Quran was revealed in two stages:
- The first part of the revelation of the Quran occurred during the night of Qadr. This was revealed all at once to the heavens. Allamah Sakhaawi – May Allah have mercy upon him – explains that the reason for this was to prove to the Angels the immense status and stature of mankind. The wisdom for it to be sent to the first heaven was so that it would be near man itself and man would be able to enjoy the blessing of its revelation and the Divine Grace would also descend on the heart of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him.
- The second stage of the Quran revelation occurred over a twenty-three-year period. The word “Tanzeel” signifies something which is revealed slowly or gradually.
How did the revelation commence?
Hadrat Sayyidah Ayesha – May Allah have mercy upon her – narrates that the first signs of revelation received by the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – was through true dreams. There is also a difference of opinion whether this was actual revelation. Whatever he used to see used to appear as the truth in the morning. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – began to seek more and more seclusion. He used to spend his nights in the cave of Hira in devotion. He never came home and also did not eat any food. Whenever he did come home, Hadrat Sayyidah Khatijah – May Allah have mercy upon her – used to prepare extra food for his extended stay in the cave.
Finally, the Quran was revealed upon him whilst he was still in the cave. Obviously, everyone knows that the first revelation was the verses beginning with the word “Iqra” the Angel persuaded him to read but he kept saying that he was not to read.
After embracing the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – tightly for the third time the angel insisted him to read this verse:
اِقْرَاۡ بِاسْمِ رَبِّکَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ ۚ﴿۱﴾
Recite with the name of your Lord Who created,
خَلَقَ الْاِنۡسٰنَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ ۚ﴿۲﴾
He made man from the clot of blood,
اِقْرَاۡ وَ رَبُّکَ الْاَکْرَمُ ۙ﴿۳﴾
Recite, for your Lord is the Most Generous,
)Al-‘Alaq 96, Verse 1-3)
After this incident, he rushed home bearing this speech in his heart and requested his blessed wife to place a shawl over him. He also mentioned that he felt extreme awe during this time and out of concern, she took him to Waraqah bin Nufal who was also the paternal cousin of his blessed wife. Waraqah had accepted Christianity during the days of ignorance and he could write in Hebrew but he was losing his vision due to old age.
When the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him explained his experience, he swore that this was the same type of revelation which appeared to Nabi Esa – peace be upon him. He also made dua that he be alive when the nation of the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – expels him from his city. Waraqah mentioned that whenever someone received revelation as described by the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him, their nation always expelled them from their place of residence and the people also became enemies of this person. He made a wish that he is still living when this happens so that he could help. However, this was not to be and very soon after that he died.
(Bukhari shareef. Chapter on Wahi).
The Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – also mentions that he had experienced immense awe when he received the first revelation, and bear in mind that this was that revelation which if it was revealed on a mountain, the mountain would crumble to sand and dust. At the same time, he did not have any doubt about what was been revealed but his purpose of visiting Waraqah was to place his blessed wife at ease.
At the same time, the Divine Wisdom behind him going to Waraqah was so that the greatest scholar in Mecca at that time would also bear testimony to his Prophethood. There is no doubt that he did not go to Waraqah to find out about whether he was a Prophet or not and something which he already knew before this occasion. It is mentioned that when he was returning home after receiving revelation every tree and stone greeted him as the Prophet of Allah. When that is the case, why would someone go to someone else to verify this when he is being given clear indication by everything around him. As we have already said, the first was to put his blessed wife at ease and the second was to make one of the greatest scholars in Mecca bear testimony to his station of Prophet hood.
(Dalaalilun Nubuwah. Abu Naeem. Musnad Abu Daud).
The manner of these revelations.
As we have mentioned, at first this appeared as dreams. In other words, whatever he saw in a dream it became a reality or was made apparent. This continued for six months prior to him announcing his Prophethood. He has also mentioned that true dreams are like a fortieth share of Prophethood. At times, it was like he was hearing bells. This was considered as one of the most testing of all. At times Jibraeel Ameen appeared in the shape of a human.
The first example of revelation is narrated by Hadrat Sayyiduna Ya’la bin Umayyah – May Allah have mercy upon him – who narrates, “I also had the wish to see the state of the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – when revelation came to him.”
Once in a place called Ja’raniyah, a shawl covered the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – while he sat. There was a person who approached him whose clothes were wet with sweet scent. This person then asked, “O Prophet of Allah, if a person’s jubba is soaked with fragrance and he makes the niyah of putting on the Ihraam, what is the ruling on him?” (In other words, would it be proper for him to adorn the Ihraam?)
At that moment, Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar – May Allah have mercy upon him – indicated to Hadrat Sayyiduna Ya’la – May Allah have mercy upon him – to come forward and see the state of revelation. When he approached the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – he peered under the shawl and he noticed that the blessed face of the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – was extremely red. After the revelation, the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – asked, “Where is the person who had just asked about Ihram for Umrah?” After that person had been found and presented to him, he answered, “Whatever fragrance is on you, you should rinse it three times removing the clothing, after that do the same for Umrah as you do for Hajj.”
According to the Ulama, revelation was also sent in different ways as well. At times, Jibraeel Ameen inspired Divine Messages directly to his blessed heart. At times, Jibraeel Ameen revealed himself in his original Nuri state and at the times, the Almighty spoke directly to him.
(Al Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyah. Madaarijun Nubuwah, Umdatul Qari etc).
The Sequence of the Verses and Surah
The entire Ummah is unanimous in the fact that the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – himself personally guided people on the correct sequence of the various verses and surahs. This is the same as is found in the Lawh Mahfuz. It must also be borne in mind that during the time when the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – was in this physical world, there were thousands of Huffaz among the blessed companions who used to recite the Quran in the same manner in which it is recited today:
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Waasilah bin Asqa – May Allah have mercy upon him – narrates that the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – has stated that, “I have been given seven lengthy Surahs like in the Taurah, surahs which contain more than one hundred verses like in the Injeel and surahs which are Mathani like in the Zabur and the Mufassal which has been added.”
(Musnad Abu Daud)
Bear in mind that from Surah Baqarah until Surah Anfal are considered the seven lengthy surahs. Surah after this until Surah Nahl are considered as the surahs which contain more than a hundred verses. After that is the Mathani and from Surah Qaf until the end of the Quran is considered as Mufassal. All of this merely proves that the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – was fully aware of the sequence of the Surahs.
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Aus bin Huzaifah – May Allah have mercy upon him – states, “We were in the delegation from Thaqeef and spent a few nights with the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him. He used to address us every night after the Esha. One night he came late and informed us, ‘I was competing the Manzil of the Quran and that is why I was delayed. I did not think it proper that I leave it before completing the manzil’.” Hadrat Sayyiduna Aus May Allah have mercy upon him continues, “I then asked the blessed companions as to how they make these Manzils or Sections? They replied that they do this by dividing it into the first three surahs, then five surahs, then seven, then nine surahs, then eleven surahs, then thirteen surahs and the Mufassal is made into one manzil.”
(Musnad Imam Ahmed).
From this we come to know that the blessed companions used to complete the Quran in seven days. The amount of surahs in each day is the same as described above. Obviously, Surah Fatiha was recited every day. This again merely substantiates that during the time of the Holy Prophet – peace and salutations be upon him – the blessed Ashaab were already reading the Quran in the manner in which Muslims do today in the same sequence.
There is no doubt that this was taught to them by none other than the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him! He was also informed about this by the Almighty. The manner in which the Quran exist in the Lawh Mahfuz, that is the manner in which the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him taught the blessed Ashaab. As a matter of fact, this is clearly seen from the reports of the Ashaab. When a certain verse was revealed, the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him used to inform the companions to record this after a certain verse or before a certain verse.
These ahadith are also mentioned in the Abu Daud, the Nisaa’i, the Mustadrak, Tafseer Tabari etc. As these verses were revealed, certain specific surahs were completed, and finally, in this fashion, the Quran was completed.
The Compilation of Quran in the blessed reign of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr – May Allah be pleased with him.
It is mentioned that when any verse was revealed, the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him used to instruct the companion present at that time to record this. However, there was no one single book present at the time. At times, this verse or verses were recorded on whatever was available at the time such as a piece of cloth, a piece of paper, a stone etc. This was then saved, however, since this was recorded by many people, they were not kept in one single place but was with those who had first recorded it. In fact, there was no need to compile all of this into one book because there were thousands of Ashaab that were already Huffaz of the Quran.
Prior to the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him leaving this world, again there were numerous Ashaab that knew the Quran by memory. However, the moment he left the world, a few mischief makers and certain fitnah reared its ugly head. One of them were those who refused to pay the Zakah, there were others who refused to believe in him being the Last and Final Prophet. On the other side of the world, the Emperor of Rome was trying his level best to obliterate the religion of Islam. However, such was the eminence of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him at this time, that he managed to steady the ship of Islam through these troubled waters and reminded the Ashaab of the importance of compiling the Quran into one single book. This became even more important after the battle of Yamaamah when nearly seventy or seven hundred Huffaz were martyred. This is explained as follows.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Thabit May Allah have mercy upon him narrates, “While the battle of Yamaamah was in progress. I was called by Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him. When I arrived there, I noticed that Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him was also present. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him then mentioned to me, ‘Umar has approached me and informed me that during the battle of Yamaamah many of the Qurrah (Huffaz) of the Quran have been martyred and he has fear that this would also happen again in future battles where the Qurrah will be martyred. He also has a fear that if this continues in this manner, then much of the Quran will be lost. I believe that the Quran should be compiled (in one book form).’
I then asked him how could he do something which was not done in the time of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him. However, he swore in the Name of the Almighty there would be benefit in this. Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him also continued to encourage me in this issue and my chest was also expanded in this manner as well and my opinion became the same as that of Umar.” Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him informed him, “O Zaid! you are young and intelligent, please gather the various recordings of the Quran.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that if they had commanded him to move a mountain, it would have been easier than what they had commanded him to do. I again asked why would they do something which was not done in the time of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him and again I was informed that there would be benefit in this and again, the Almighty expanded my chest and I also agreed with the both of them. After that, I continued to gather the various recordings of the Quran and only found the recording of verses 128,129 from Surah Taubah with Hadrat Sayyiduna Khuzaymah Ansari May Allah have mercy upon him. All of this was then collected and handed to Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him. This was then given to Hadrat Umar May Allah have mercy upon him and after his passing it was handed to his daughter, the mother of the faithful, Hadrat Sayyidah Hafsah May Allah have mercy upon her. (Bukhari shareef).
It must also be remembered that Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Thabit May Allah have mercy upon him was also one of those who had recorded certain parts of the Quran in the presence of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him. Every verse was then testified to two of the blessed companions.
However, the miracle of the verses in Surah Taubah is that it only existed with Hadrat Sayyiduna Khuzaymah May Allah have mercy upon him and if you remember this was that companion whose single testimony was considered as equal to two males! (Sunan Bahiqi). All of this material was then placed and sealed in one place.
Responding to an Objection:
Why did the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him not compile all of the Quran in one single book form and why was it recorded in different material. The answer is what we have already mentioned before. The Quran was revealed little by little. Certain verses were revealed and then abrogated, others came after etc. It was extremely difficult to place all of this in one single book at that time.
Hadrat Moulana Mufti Ahmed Yaar Khan Naeemi May Allah have mercy upon him – has presented a beautiful explanation in this regard. We will present this explanation.
Compilation of the Quran and its Arrangement
We all know that at the beginning, the Quran was in the Lawh Mahfuz. This is mentioned in the Quran as well. After that it came to the first heaven and after that over a period of nearly twenty-three years it was sent to the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him. However, the manner in which it was revealed was not the manner in which we find the Quran today. As we have said, certain verses were revealed as per the need of that moment. When we look at the issue of alcohol, if it was prohibited at the beginning, it would have been extremely difficult for certain people in Arabia. The reason is that alcohol consumption was quite common among people. In this manner, we can understand all the other verses and laws as well.
At the same time, since the blessed vision of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him was always on the Lawh Mahfuz, he used to know which verses were to be placed in which part of the Surah and into which Surah. From the very beginning, the Quran was placed as per its sequence in the Lawh Mahfuz. There were also many people who recorded the Quranic verses as they were been revealed such as Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Thabit May Allah have mercy upon him etc.
Compilation of The Holy Quran in a book form:
As we have said, this was recorded on bones of camels, leaves from date trees and various other items. All of these recordings were kept with the blessed Ashaab, but they relied on their memory. Bear in mind that most of the blessed Ashaab were already Huffaz of the Quran. However, as we have said, the reason that it was not compiled in one single book at that time was based on three reasons. The first is that most of the Ashaab were Huffaz and it was also Fard to read the Quran in salah, hence there was no danger at the time that it would become lost.
The second reason is because it must be remembered that this was a busy period in Islam and most time was taken up with Jihad, therefore, there was hardly any time left in the day to complete this task. The third reason is because the complete Quran had not yet been revealed and the complete revelation of the Quran was only complete a few days before the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him left this mundane world. This is some of the reasons that it was not completed during the time of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him. However, the sequence was already in place but the actual collation and compilation was completed in the period of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him. The reasons for this has already been explained.
Another important point which comes to mind is that the very compilation of the Quran proves the law of Bid’ah. As we have said already, this set of recordings were kept by Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, then by Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar and then by his daughter, Hadrat Sayyidah Hafsah May Allah have mercy upon them.
However, during the era of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him when Hadrat Sayyiduna Huzayfah ibn Yamaan May Allah have mercy upon him was fighting in Armenia and Azerbaijan, after these expeditions, a very great confusion occurred. He then approached Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him and said to him, “There is now a difference of opinion which has started among people about the Quran. If this confusion continues, then we will also end up like the Jews and Christians. Please resolve this as soon as possible.”
The reason that this confusion arose is because there were a few people who had recordings of the Quranic Tafseer with them which had been explained by the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him earlier and people thought that this was also part of the Quran even though this was not the case. This would include such recordings as the Mus-haf of Ibn Mas’ud May Allah have mercy upon him etc. Therefore, only one copy was not enough. After this incident, again Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Thabit May Allah have mercy upon him was called forward and he was supported by Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Zubair, Hadrat Sayyiduna Saeed bin Al Aas and Hadrat Sayyiduna Haarith bin Hishaam May Allah have mercy upon them to record extra copies of the original Quran.
They then recorded six or seven copies from the original and these were sent to places such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt etc. The original copy was then handed back to the mother of the faithful. All other copies which existed with certain companions were recalled and burnt. Obviously this was done to completely eliminate all future fitna. The Quran we have today, is the same which is in the original copy. As we have said, during the time of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him since revelation continued, it could not be placed in one book but could only be completed after he left this world. At the same time, the sequence was dictated by him and this was followed by the blessed Ashaab. The first people to order the recording of the Quran into one single book was Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him and after him, Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him. This is one of the reasons that the third leader of the Muslims is called Jaam’iul Quran.
Important point in reference to Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him.
We all know that when the Baitur Ridwaan took place, at that time, Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him was not present. He was busy negotiating with the Meccans. However, the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him took his left hand and placing it on his right hand, mentioned that this was the hand of Uthman Ghani and then took the allegiance of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him in this manner.
In other words, the hand of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him became the hand of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him. At the same time, the Almighty has described the hand of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him as His ‘hand”. Therefore, when we look at this incident, we can safely say that the Quran was completed though the Divine Instruction of the Almighty, through the hand of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him and finally through the hand of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him. In other words, the blessed companion was specifically chosen years earlier for this specific task.
During that period, the Quran was divided in two ways. The first was through the Surahs and the second was through the manzils. The manzils were seven in number and it meant that a person could complete the Quran in one week. These manzil are abbreviated in the words, “Famaa bi Shoukin” which signifies that its starts with Surah Fatiha, the second manzil starts with Surah Ma’idah. The third with Surah Yunus, the fourth with Surah Bani Israel, the fifth with Surah Shu’arah, the sixth with As Saaffaat and the seventh with Surah Qaaf. In the same manner, the Quran was then divided into thirty parts which was called thirty paras.
The purpose was so that a person would complete the Quran in one month or thirty days. The next problem was to place the harakaat on the letters, in other words the zer, zabar, pesh etc. The reason is that the non-Arabs and even some of the Arabs were finding it difficult to pronounce. It is known that this was undertaken through the instruction of Hujjaj bin Yusuf. He is also said to have kept the names of the Surahs. Prior to this, these names were not present.
(Tafseer Khazaa’inul Irfaan)
In the Tafseer Ruhul Bayaan, it is mentioned that in the copy of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him, there were no dots on the letters, no harakaat, no ruku or paras. It is said that the person responsible for adding the harakat was Abu Aswad who did this at the instruction of Hujjaj bin Yusuf.
After him, Khalil bin Ahmed Faraa’idi added the signs of Madd and Waqaf. A person called Ya’rab bin Qahtaan wrote it in a specific Arabic script. Some say that the various signs indicating various sections of the Quran was done in the period of Mamun Abbasi and the sign indicating a Ruku was also done in this period. In other words, the sign of Ruku with the letter Ain was indicating where Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him used to stop when reading the Taraweeh. Some say this this indicates to someone called Amar. Some say that it indicates to the name Uthman. However, the more accepted view is that it merely indicates to the sign of a ruku so that it becomes easier when people recite the Quran.
(Muqaddimah Tafseer Naeemi).
The compilation of the Quran in the time of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani – May Allah have mercy upon him
How was the Quran compiled in the time of the blessed leader; before we explain this, the following points need to be remembered:
- The Quran was revealed in seven Qira’ah or modes of recitations. The pronunciation was also different. If we look at the word “Wad Duha” we will see that there is an upright zabar. Another example is the word “Maaliki Yaumid Deen”. Some wrote the letter Meem with an Alif and others merely placed an upright zabar on the Meem. All of these Qirah were also read in the time of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him and is still read until the present day, hence we are not allowed to reject any of them. Some people read one type of Qirah which was not known to others.
However, as the Quran spread around the world, the issue of which Qirah it should it be recorded arose. The idea was also to make sure that this itself does not become a source of fitna in the Muslim world.
- Until now, the issue of recording it did not arise. All of the Quran was merely complied in different forms of material and kept in one place. However, soon the question arose of writing all of this down and placing it between two covers. This was completed under the instruction of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him. How did this come about? This is explained from the hadith of Hadrat Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik May Allah have mercy upon him who admits that Hadrat Sayyiduna Huzayfah bin Yamaan May Allah have mercy upon him approached the third khalifah in his era and he had been involved in the conquest of Syria Armenia, Iraq, Azerbaijan etc. He noticed that different people recited different Qirah in various regions. He became extremely afraid of this and he mentioned to Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him that he should protect the Ummah at this time before they start to fight and argue as the Jews and Christians fight and argue about the Torah and Injeel. When he heard this, he immediately asked for the original copy from the mother of the faithful so that he could record further copies.
He then commanded Zaid bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Zubair and Saeed bin Al Aas and Abdur Rahman bin Haarith bin Hishaam May Allah have mercy upon them that they should record seven copies. He also informed them that if there was any dispute in the form of writing then this should be recorded in the Quraish form of writing. When all of this was completed, he returned the original copy to the mother of the faithful. These copies were then sent to different parts of the Muslim world so that other copies could also be prepared. He also gave strict instruction that all other copies in existence besides the ones he had sent should be destroyed. (Bukhari shareef).
The Seven Copies of the Original Manuscript of the Quran:
He then kept one of these copies in Madina shareef and sent one to Mecca shareef, one copy to Kufah, one copy to Basrah, one to Syria, one to Yemen and one to Bahrain. The Quran which we find in the world today is a recording of the same seven copies which were prepared under the direction of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him.
- As we have said, during the time of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr May Allah have mercy upon him they were merely compiled and kept away. There was no sequence in surahs or verses. However, in the time of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him this was properly compiled in its proper sequence in regards to the surahs and verses. As we have mentioned, this had already been mentioned by the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him.
- Although he himself was a Haafiz of the Quran, the blessed leader of the Muslims made sure that he record the Quran in the manner which was prevalent in the time of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him.
The writing of the Quran is non-conventional and inspired:
It is unlike any other book written in Arabic. We will find that when the words “As saalihaat” is written, it is written with an upright zabbar and not with an Alif after the letter Saad but again, using an upright zabar. If we look at the word “La’natallaah” we will find that the letter Taa is written with a common form of the letter Taa while the Arabs write the letter Taa Marbootah in a round format. Hence, even though this is different from the normal form of Arabic as written by Arabs, we are not allowed to move away from the written format as adopted during the time of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him. The format adopted during this time is actually under the instruction of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him which is a separate faculty of knowledge itself.
During the initial recording, the harakat and dots were not added so that it does not exclude the seven forms of Qira’ah.
The Harakaat and Dots:
Obviously, things such as harakat, in other words, zer, zabar etc. or even dots were not included in the original manuscript by Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him because he did not want to eliminate the other seven Qirah. At the same time in the early stages, the Arabs did not find difficulty reading Arabic without these signs. However, those copies of the Quran which were sent to other parts of the world, special people were sent to educate people on the proper method of recitation.
However, when this became difficult and a lot of non-Arabs were entering the folds of Islam, the need for harakaats and dots grew stronger. There were also not many teachers that could go around educating people on the proper method of recitation. Another important reason for the need of these things was that certain heretics who were well versed in Arabic started to take advantage and started to change the meaning of the Quran with a slight twist of the tongue.
However, who was responsible for placing the dots and harakaat initially is also something which is arguable subject on its own. There is a view that it was done under the instruction of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon him who ordered Abul Aswad Duwali to perform this task.
Abu Isfahan is under the impression that this instruction was given by Ziyad bin Abi Sufyan to Abul Aswad.
Some are under the impression that the first person to add this in his writing was Imam ibn Sayyidain in his Mus-haf and was performed by Yahya bin Ya’mar. This is also a famous Taabaa’e and also recorded ahadith from Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman and Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon them.
(Kitaabul Nuqtah by Imam Abi Umar)
Protection of the Quran:
Torah, Injeel and other books were sent for a specific time and for a specific nation. This is the reason that it was not promised protection as the Quran has been given this promise. When the previous Prophets left the world, very quickly, the original books of those Prophets became extinct. However, the Quran came to the entire universe and to all people. This is why the Almighty has promised to safeguard and protect this Zikr.
The Quran clearly states that:
اِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّکْرَ وَ اِنَّا لَہٗ لَحٰفِظُوۡنَ ﴿۹﴾
No doubt, We have sent down this Quran, and We most surely are its Guardian.
(Al-Hajar 15, Verse 14)
Such has been the Divine Promise of the Almighty that over a thousand years have gone by and yet, not even a zabar or zer has been changed in the Quran. One of the reasons is that the Quran is not only recorded on paper, but it is also recorded in the hearts of people. Such is the miracle of the Quran that if there is someone reciting the Quran and there is a slight mistake in the recitation and there is a Haafiz of the Quran present, even though he maybe a little boy, he will immediately stand up and correct the person reading. At the same time, in every generation, there have been thousands of Huffaz. The status of the Quran can be explained in the following manner:
When a child goes to school since he does not understand the real value of books, he is given small books. This child sometimes reads a few words and also as time goes on, he also destroys this book. However, as he grows older, he does not tear the book, but he starts to write on the book. Again, he does not understand the full value of the book. However, when he becomes fully mature and grows older, he starts to understand the value of the book and he does not write on the book and certainly does not tear the book. In fact, he treats the book with utmost respect.
The same can be explained about the first revealed books which came to certain nations. The first nations were still little in their understanding and since they could not understand the value of these books, they tore them up. Then the Torah and Injeel were sent and since man had become a little more mature, he did not tear these books but started to write on these as and when the fancy took him. None of these books like the Injeel or Torah exist in their original form. What we see today as the Injeel or Torah are merely made up stories which was passed on from people to people. There is no proper evidence on most of these stories which is why there are so many versions of Injeel and Torah. When the original books are not present in their original language, how will we be able to find the actual Injeel or Torah?
The Quran however, is a book which was revealed in Arabic and is still found until the present day in its original language. The Ibrani language in which the Injeel and Torah was revealed in; is not found in the world today. In fact, even in those countries in which this language was spoken, in those countries also, the Arabic language has become the official language of the people. Even in the mission schools of these people, the Ibrani and Suryani language is not even known by those who preach this religion.
Even the manner of pronouncing each letter in the Arabic language has become a separate faculty of knowledge itself. Little children from all parts of the globe are taught how to pronounce these letters so that they can read the Quran in a proper manner. In other words, Tajweed itself has become a separate department of education. Even the manner of how the Arabic language should be written has also become a speciality. Another miracle of the Quran is that even though there may be certain words or letters which seem to oppose the norm of grammar laws, yet, we are instructed to write and records these words from the Quran as we find them.
Some Objections and their Answers:
Individuals such as Abdul Maseeh, Ram Chandar and the priest Amaadudeen have asked certain questions in various magazines and articles and we have decided to answer all of them in a point format.
Question 1: When Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani May Allah have mercy upon him asked for all the previous copies to be burnt after one single copy was prepared, this proves the present copy of the Quran cannot be considered as the original Quran which came from the heavens. In fact, the original copy was burnt.
Answer: The reason that these copies were burnt was to eliminate all confusion among the Muslims. As we have already explained, these were copies of the Quran on which there were also recorded certain explanations as a Tafseer. We can see that if these copies remained, certainly, it would have created immense fitna in the Muslim ummah. Looking at this question and the in-depth answer which we have presented clearly proves that this is a useless question and something which merely hopes to create mischief and fitnah.
Question 2: In the Tafseer Al Atqan and Bukhari shareef, Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid May Allah have mercy upon him admits that the last part of one surah was also found in the possession of Hadrat Sayyiduna Khuzaymah Ansari May Allah have mercy upon him and no one else. This also proves that other verses could have also disappeared. Hadrat Sayyidah Ayesha May Allah have mercy upon her also admits that one of her goats eat one verse which she had with her. This again proves that other verses could have also disappeared or was lost.
Answer: If we accept that this actually happened or even an entire surah was destroyed, still the Quran was constantly being preserved in the hearts of the Muslims. This is unlike the Injeel and Torah which was recorded and then altered. Yes, an animal can destroy a certain recording but what is in the heart of someone cannot be destroyed by any animal. That was the blessed generation of the Ashaab. Even today, which is not considered as lofty and eminent as that generation yet, still too, if all the copies of the Quran are destroyed, a small child who is a Haafiz of the Quran can still be able to recite the complete Quran to you.
Question 3: Even Muslims know that many verses of the Quran were abrogated. In fact, Surah Yaseen was as lengthy as Surah Baqarah, however, due to the amount of the verses which were abrogated, it became much shorter. This proves that this is not the same Quran which came from the heavens because many things have been changed in it.
Answer. The meaning of Tahreef or alteration is when someone changes the word or writing of someone else without the permission of the original writer. However, if the person who actually recorded these words changes all of these words, no idiot will say that these are deliberate or intentional changes. Let us look at the example of a doctor or physician. If he writes a prescription and the patient changes the contents of the prescription, everyone will call the patient mad or insane. However if the physician changes the prescription himself after careful deliberation, no one can say that this is baseless alteration. The physician has a right to change this. The same happened with the Quran, the Divine Being sent certain laws and then changed these laws. This was His Divine Option. He had the right to do so. Yes, if you change it as you wish, this would be called deliberate and false alteration.
Question: There are certain groups like the Shia who claim that certain parts of the Quran had been lessoned or removed. They say these included surahs like Surah Ali, Surah Faatimah, Surah Hasnain etc. They say that they have no idea where these surahs disappeared to. If this is the case, how can you say that this is the original Quran?
Answer: This must have been said by some low level shia. In fact, their elders or so called “great” scholars have completely excused themselves from these accusations. Such individuals as Mullah Saadiq in the sharah Kulayni, Mohammed ibn Hasan Aamili, Shaikh Suduq Abu Jafer Mohammed bin Ali Babuyah have completely excused themselves from this. And why not. In fact merely accepting this would become a nightmare for them in itself. If they accepted this, the questions presented to them would be; then how come the Ahle Bayt continued to read this Quran in their salah? How come they continued to follow the laws of the Quran? Why did the Ahle Bait remain silent? Why did the Ahle Bayt not come out in the open and protect the Quran? If they did this, the entire Muslim nation would have supported them. Even if the Muslims did not support them the Almighty would have supported them! And if they did not succeed, they would have been martyred in support of the Quran.
If a war could break out between Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon him and Hadrat Ameer Mu’awiyah May Allah have mercy upon him on the issue of the martyrdom of Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman May Allah have mercy upon him, surely there would have been a war about the Quran been changed! Another important thing to remember is that Hadrat Ali May Allah have mercy upon him was the last Khalifah. There was no one to stop him from inserting these surahs which the shia claim is missing. But none of these things happened. This clearly proves that by them remaining silent in all of these years, clearly proves that they also accepted the present Quran as the true Quran. If one wants more explanation to this, he can refer to Tafseer Fathul Minaan.
10 Special Characteristics of the Quran
There are numerous facts and excellences of the Quran which clearly distinguish it from the other revealed books. However, due to space, will only enumerate ten of them.
- The Most Read Book in the world.
There is no doubt in this fact. One of the proofs is that there are five daily salah in which the Quran is recited. This is done on a twenty-four-hour basis. When we look at the world, we will see that in every part of the world, Salah is being read at any given time. It may be Fajr in the US, Esha in India, Maghrib in Pakistan, Zohr in Malaysia etc. Yet, every Muslim who is reading the Salah at that time, is also reciting the Quran. In other words, the Quran is being read on a twenty-four-hour basis.
If we multiply this by the number of people in each country who are reading Salah at that precise moment, it would equal millions and millions of Muslims who are reading the Quran at that time. This also proves the reality of the root word Qiraa’atun which signifies something which is recited and recited in abundance.
- The Easiest Book to Memorize:
There is no other book in the world which has become so simple and easy to memorize than the Quran. In Surah Al Qamar this has been clearly mentioned. Even a small child of ten years can easily memorize the entire Quran. If we look at the Muslim population in the world today, we can safely say that in every one hundred Muslims, there is one Haafiz of the Quran. If we had to multiply this by the millions of Muslims in the world, the number of Huffaz would also equal millions. Show us one book in the world where you would find so many people that have memorized one single book. However, such is the miracle of the Quran that you will never find any book in the world that possesses this attribute.
- A book which creates the greatest spiritual effect:
There is also no doubt that we can safely say that no other book in the world can create so much of effect on its listeners than the Quran.
This would include those who understand what is being recited and even those who do not understand what is being recited. When the Quran was recited, the Arabs were completely stunned by its eloquence and beauty. The most hardened enemy of Islam had no choice but to obey the message of the Quran. We will present a few examples in this regard.
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Tufail bin Amar Dousi May Allah have mercy upon him.
He was also someone who heard the Quran and became a Muslim. He narrates, “When I arrived in Mecca shareef, the rich and powerful of Mecca called me to one side and mentioned that the person (Mohammed) had created a major obstacle on their path. They also mentioned that this person had divided their nation. He had divided family members and they also mentioned that I should not listen to his words, or else, I will also be affected by the words of the Quran”. He continues, “I was also considered a good poet but I also made the intention that I will not meet him or listen to any of his words. I then entered the Haram and went and stood near where he stood next to the Kaba. I then heard him recite the Quran and because I was a poet, I felt that I was listening to an amazing message.
I also made up my mind that I will listen to his words. If I did not like it, I will ignore it. I then waited from him and after completing his salah, he walked back to his residence and I also followed him. When I approached him, I remarked, “O Mohammed! your nation has mentioned certain things about you and I had also covered my ears so that I could not listen to your words, however, by the Divine Grace of the Almighty I had managed to hear some of your words. I was highly impressed by what I had heard. Therefore, I would kindly request you to mention a few more words of the Quran. When I heard more words of the Quran, I was so awe struck that I immediately accepted Islam and also recited the Kalimah.
- Farouk Azam hears the Quran and accepts Islam.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas May Allah have mercy upon him explains the manner in which Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him accepted Islam. Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him explained, “One day someone informed me that my sister and brother in law had accepted Islam. There was no controlling my anger. I then went to their house and heard something being recited. I then banged the door and when I entered, I demanded to know what they were reading. I then began to beat them until even my brother in law fell to the ground.
However, my sister grabbed me from behind and when I saw the blood all around, I began to feel a little ashamed. I then asked them to read the words which they were reading earlier. My sister mentioned that I should first make proper ghusal and after doing this, I was allowed to listen to the Quran. My sister then began to recite verses 1 to 15 from Surah Taha:
مَاۤ اَنۡزَلْنَا عَلَیۡکَ الْقُرْاٰنَ لِتَشْقٰۤی ۙ﴿۲﴾
‘O beloved! We sent not this Quran upon you that you may be put to trouble.
اِلَّا تَذْکِرَۃً لِّمَنۡ یَّخْشٰی ۙ﴿۳﴾
Yes, as an admonition to him who fears.
تَنۡزِیۡلًا مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْاَرْضَ وَالسَّمٰوٰتِ الْعُلٰی ؕ﴿۴﴾
A sent down by Him Who has made the earth and the high heavens.
اَلرَّحْمٰنُ عَلَی الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوٰی ﴿۵﴾
He, the Most Affectionate, established on the Throne (Befitting to His Dignity).
لَہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِی الْاَرْضِ وَمَا بَیۡنَہُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرٰی ﴿۶﴾
His is whatever is in heavens and whatever is in earth and whatever is in between and whatever is beneath the wet soil.
وَ اِنۡ تَجْہَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَاِنَّہٗ یَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَاَخْفٰی ﴿۷﴾
And if you speak the word loudly, then He knows the secret and that which is more hidden than this.
اَللہُ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ؕ لَہٗ الْاَسْمَآءُ الْحُسْنٰی ﴿۸﴾
Allah-none to be worshipped but He. His are all good names.
وَ ہَلْ اَتٰىکَ حَدِیۡثُ مُوۡسٰی ۘ﴿۹﴾
And has there come to you the story of Musa?
اِذْ رَاٰ نَارًا فَقَالَ لِاَہۡلِہِ امْکُثُوۡۤا اِنِّیۡۤ اٰنَسْتُ نَارًا لَّعَلِّیۡۤ اٰتِیۡکُمۡ مِّنْہَا بِقَبَسٍ اَوْ اَجِدُ عَلَی النَّارِ ہُدًی ﴿۱۰﴾
When he saw a fire, then said to his wife, ‘Stay, I have seen a fire, haply I may bring for you a brand of fire or find a way at the fire.
فَلَمَّاۤ اَتٰىہَا نُوۡدِیَ یٰمُوۡسٰی ﴿ؕ۱۱﴾
Then when he came to the fire, a call was made, O Musa!
اِنِّیۡۤ اَنَا رَبُّکَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَیۡکَ ۚ اِنَّکَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًی ﴿ؕ۱۲﴾
Verily, I am your Lord, then take off your shoes, undoubtedly, you are in the sacred valley Tuwa.
وَ اَنَا اخْتَرْتُکَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا یُوۡحٰی ﴿۱۳﴾
And l have chosen you, now listen carefully to what is revealed to you.
اِنَّنِیۡۤ اَنَا اللہُ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّاۤ اَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِیۡ ۙ وَ اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوۃَ لِذِکْرِیۡ ﴿۱۴﴾
Verily I am Allah there is none to be worshipped save me. So worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.
اِنَّ السَّاعَۃَ اٰتِیَۃٌ اَکَادُ اُخْفِیۡہَا لِتُجْزٰی کُلُّ نَفْسٍۭ بِمَا تَسْعٰی ﴿۱۵﴾
Undoubtedly, the Hour is to come. It was near that I should conceal it from all, that every soul may be recompensed for its endeavor.
He mentions that there were also a few verses after this which was recited. He also mentions that the words of the Quran was so awe inspiring that it completely transformed his heart. I then asked, “Are these the words from which the Quraish run?” He further explains that after this, the Almighty expanded his chest for the acceptance of Islam.
- The King of Abyssinia accepts Islam listening to the Quran.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Urwah bin Zubair May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that when Hadrat Sayyiduna Jafer Tayyar May Allah have mercy upon him and his band of Muslims reached Abyssinia, two people from the Quraish, namely Ammarah bin Waleed and Amar bin Al Aas also followed them into the country.
Obviously they were sent by Quraish. They then approached Najaasi and informed him that a few of their countrymen had entered his country who have a new religion and their purpose was to create fitna and mischief. He continued, “We are certainly your well wishers and we also wish to inform you that these people do not believe that Nabi Esa Peace be upon him is the son of God. At the same time, you will see that when they enter your court, they will not prostrate to you.” Najaasi then called the Muslims into his court and when they entered they did not prostrate themselves to him. Again Amar bin Al Aas reminded him that he had already warned that these people will not prostrate. Najaasi was obviously very angry with the Muslims and he asked them, “Why have you people entered this country?
You are not traders and you seek nothing, what therefore is your purpose of coming here and who is this Prophet that you speak about.” Hadrat Sayyiduna Jafer Tayyar May Allah have mercy upon him then stood up and he was the spokesperson for the Muslims. He began to say, “O king of Abyssinia! Prior to this we followed the satan and used to worship idols. The Almighty however sent a Prophet to us who stopped us from worshipping idols and taught us to worship one Creator.” Hadrat Sayyiduna Ummul Mo’mineen Sayyidah Umme Salmah May Allah have mercy upon her also mentioned that they were a people who were ignorant, idol worshippers and used to cheat and rob others and the Almighty had sent a Prophet to us who prohibited us from doing these things and because of this, out nation had turned against us. Najaashi then requested to listen to a few words from the Quran.
After this Hadrat Sayyiduna Jafer Tayyar May Allah have mercy upon him then began to recite Surah Maryam. When they heard the words of the Quran, Najaasi and his close aids went into a state of spiritual ecstasy and they wept so much that the books near them also became wet with their tears. Najaasi then declared, “I swear by Allah that these words are the same which were revealed upon Nabi Moosa Peace be upon him. There is no difference in these words.” Another companion also narrates that Najaasi mentioned that if he was not burdened with the duties of kinship, he would walk towards the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him and kiss his feet. All of this is explained in Dalaa’ilun Nubuwah.
- One Does Not Feel Exhausted due to Quran Recitation:
We see that when someone reads a book once, he does not feel like reading it a second time no matter how interesting the book may be. In fact, if there is someone who continues to read one book, people will even accuse him of being insane. They will also tell him that he is wasting his time. However, the Quran is filled with such sweetness that no matter how many times a person recites the Quran he never tires of it. At the same time, the heart never gets tired listening to the words of the Quran. Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him has stated that, “There is a book among you which contains knowledge of the past and news of the future.
It is a book which gives the final decision and there is no joke in it. Whoever turns away from it, will be destroyed and whosoever seeks guidance from another book besides it, he will be misguided. This is the strong rope of Allah. Its Nur is apparent and its command is clear”. The Ulama do not tire of it and pious also. Even to continue reciting it does tire one of reading it. When the Jinns heard this book, they mentioned that they had indeed heard a most amazing zikr. He who has the knowledge of the Quran and he who speaks on the basis of the Quran, he is truthful. He who judges through the Quran, he has given a correct judgement. He who practises upon it, will receive reward and he who calls towards the Quran, has attained the right path and one should bear these thoughts in mind. (Tafseer Qurtabi from Tirmidi shareef).
- Revealed Little at a Time.
There are certain distinct differences between the Quran and the other revealed books. As we have already said, previous books were revealed all at once, but we have seen that the Quran was revealed a little at a time over a period of nearly twenty-three years.
One of the reasons is so that people would find it easier to practice upon. The example is that of alcohol. At first, the evil of this was explained. The times of Salah was then presented and then alcohol was prohibited. At the beginning, it was permissible to speak in Salah, thereafter, it was prohibited. When we look at the Torah, it was revealed all at once and we see that the Bani Israeel rebelled against it.
At first, strict and severe commands were sent about a certain action and later, much softer commands were revealed. This made people more grateful to the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him and also more readily prepared to practice upon the Quran. The example is the period of iddat. At the beginning this was one year and later it became four months and ten days. The same was applicable with the performance of fasting and the times applicable to it.
At the same time, with it being sent a little at a time, also enabled people to memorize and remember it easier. With the result that by the time the Quran was fully revealed, hundreds of people had memorized it. As we have said, if it was revealed all at once, it would have been extremely difficult on people because people were not in the habit of memorizing an entire book.
Another important point to bear in mind is that the Quran also educates us about the immense stature and greatness of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him. Where he used to be, that is where the Quran was revealed. In whichever place, locality or area he found himself in, at that place, the Quran descended upon him. This is unlike other Prophets who had to go to a specific place to receive the Divine Message of the Almighty. This also clearly proves that he is indeed the Habeeb of Allah and the status of a Habeeb is certainly different from any other creation.
- Quran is Guidance for the Entire Universe:
As we have said, previous books were for a specific period, a specific nation and for a specific Prophet. However, the Quran was revealed for all of creation.
In Surah Baqarah, the Quran explains that this is a Quran which was revealed in the month of Ramadan as a guidance for (all of) mankind. The same message is given in Surah Furqan which had mentioned that this Quran and the person upon whom it was revealed is a Nazeer for all of mankind. In Surah Takweer, it is mentioned that this is an advice for all of the universe. This is the reason that after the Quran, no other book was revealed. Therefore, those who claim to have received Divine Revelation are certainly liars in their claim such as Ghulam Ahmed of Qadian etc. The Quran has encompassed in its message guidance for everyone until the day of Judgement. And this also proves that there is no need for another Prophet.
- If Quran Revealed on a Mountain It Would Crumble:
In surah Hashr, this fact is clearly mentioned. In other words, in front of the Divine Greatness of the Almighty and His Divine Message, the mountain in fear and awe would crumble into sand and dust. However, imagine the greatness and power which had been given to the heart of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him that his blessed heart was able to withstand the revelation of the Quran directly on it while the mountain did not have this power and might. This proves that at the beginning the Almighty had first given the blessed heart more power and might than a mountain, and only then had He revealed the Quran on the blessed heart of the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him. This proves the greatness of his Prophet hood. It is mentioned that once while on a camel, revelation came to him and it was so immense, that very soon, the camel appeared as if its legs would break.
- The Language of the Quran is Arabic.
The Quran was revealed on a Prophet who spoke Arabic and the first people addressed were the Arabs. Hence, if the Quran is read in another language, it would not be considered as the Quran but merely a translation.
At the same time, when someone reads the translation, he does not achieve the same reward as when he recites the Quran where he receives ten reward for reciting every single letter and obviously, a person is not allowed to read the translation in his salah. However, the jurists have also mentioned that even if one reads the translation, he is prohibited to read this without Wudu because it has a connection with the Quran.
In Surah Yusuf, the Quran explains that it has been revealed in Arabic so that people would understand. The types of message has been presented in Surah Haa Meem Sajdah. There are also other verses of the Quran where it is mentioned that the Quran has been revealed in the Arabic language.
In the Usul of Quran, it has been mentioned that the Quran in Arabic is a combination of both meaning and words.
One of the greatness of the Quran is that by it being revealed in Arabic and by it remaining in Arabic has proven one of its greatest fault barriers. In fact, merely this fact has made sure that it has remained unadulterated and unchanged. If this was not the case, then the same thing would have happened to the Quran as happened with other revealed books. Look at the Torah, at first it was in the Ibraani (Hebrew) language, it was then translated into the Siryani (Syriac) language and the meaning of certain words were changed to suit the fancy needs of people.
From there it was changed into the English language and again, the meaning of certain words were changed and again it was translated into the Arabic language and various other languages and all the time, the meaning of certain words were changed to suit the fancy beliefs of a certain few. Hence, no original copy of the Torah or the Injeel is found in the world today. However, the Quran has been protected from the very beginning in that it was revealed in the Arabic language and has remained in the Arabic language. If it appears in any other language, it is nothing but a translation and when a person is confused by any translation, he can always refer back to the original unlike the other revealed books. This has made certain that not one letter or word of the Quran has been changed or altered.
- The Knowledge of Everything is in the Quran:
In surah An’am, it is mentioned that everything wet or dry is mentioned in the Quran. In Surah Saba it is mentioned that nothing is hidden from the Almighty in either the heavens or the earth and nothing small or large exists, but it is mentioned in the Quran. Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon him has stated that, “Every branch of knowledge is to be found in the Quran, however, the intellect of people are unable to grasp all of it. A person’s intellect can only grasp so much of knowledge from the Quran as his intellect allows him or as much as the Almighty would allow him. It is can be compared to a bucket which a person holds in his hand standing near a river. He can only retrieve so much of water as the bucket allows and nothing more. Hence, if the bucket of a person is small, he cannot blame the ocean and say that the ocean is little and if he does this, this would be his ignorance.
- Quran is the Active Miracle of the Beloved Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – until the Day of Judgement.
Past miracles given to the Prophets were miracles that were for that moment and time only. After that, it remained in the pages of history and nothing else. However, the Almighty in His Infinite Grace has given the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him a miracle in the form of the Quran which will last forever. The miracle of the Quran is such that no one has been able to answer its challenge and no one will be able to answer its challenge until the day of Judgement. In fact, such is the vast ocean of knowledge which is found in the Quran that every person has found his own answers in the Quran. It is such a vast ocean that the deeper a person delves into the ocean of knowledge which is the Quran, the more he returns to the surface more amazed all the time. In fact, in front of the Quran, everyone has remained amazed and speechless.
Proof of It Being a Miracle from the Quran Itself.
- In Surah Nisa, verse 82, the Quran declares:
اَ فَلَا یَتَدَبَّرُوۡنَ الْقُرْاٰنَ ؕ وَلَوْ کَانَ مِنْ عِنۡدِ غَیۡرِ اللہِ لَوَجَدُوۡا فِیۡہِ اخْتِلٰفًا کَثِیۡرًا ﴿۸۲﴾
So do they not ponder about the Qur’an? And had it been from anyone besides Allah, they would certainly find much contradiction in it.
When we look at a person who writes a certain speech, a certain poem, a certain book etc, we will find that there are many times when a person chops and change. When he reads it again, he then asks the opinion of others and again, it is back to the drawing board and again he seeks the opinion of another. This sequence never ceases. In fact, even when this material comes into print, still a person cannot say that he is fully satisfied.
At the same time, there are others who will have their own opinion about what has been written and prepared. However, when we look at the Quran, one becomes speechless in front of it. If you try to substitute another letter or word in the Quran, you would fail and the Arabic language itself would fail to help you. This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that this is indeed a miracle and something which is beyond human comprehension or power to be able to achieve. Bear in mind that this was a book presented by the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him to the world at that too, by someone who people were certain had not received any formal education.
- In Surah Shu’arah, verse 192 to 195, the Quran declares:
وَ اِنَّہٗ لَتَنۡزِیۡلُ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۲﴾ؕ
And undoubtedly, this Quran has been sent down by the Lord of the worlds.
نَزَلَ بِہِ الرُّوۡحُ الْاَمِیۡنُ ﴿۱۹۳﴾ۙ
The Trusted spirit has descended with it.
عَلٰی قَلْبِکَ لِتَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الْمُنۡذِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۴﴾ۙ
On your heart that you may warn.
بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِیٍّ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۹۵﴾ؕ
In bright Arabic language.
Imam Tabari May Allah have mercy upon him writes, “In the Torah there was only advice and parables. In the Zabur, there was only the Divine Praise of the Almighty and in the Injeel, there were only examples and comparisons. However, the Holy Quran contains all of this. Whatever special quality was found in all the previous revelation, all of this is to be found in the Quran. In fact, in the Quran such laws, regulations and guidance are to be found which would suffice creation until the day of Judgement.
- In Surah Baqarah, verse 23, the Quran declares:
وَ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمْ فِیۡ رَیۡبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلٰی عَبْدِنَا فَاۡتُوۡا بِسُوۡرَۃٍ مِّنۡ مِّثْلِہٖ ۪ وَادْعُوۡا شُہَدَآءَکُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللہِ اِنْ کُنْتُمْ صٰدِقِیۡنَ﴿۲۳﴾
And if you are in some doubt, concerning what We sent down upon Our special devotee, then bring one chapter like it, and call upon all your helpers beside Allah, if you are truthful.
- In Surah Hud, verse 13, the Quran declares:
اَمْ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ افْتَرٰىہُ ؕ قُلْ فَاۡتُوۡا بِعَشْرِ سُوَرٍ مِّثْلِہٖ مُفْتَرَیٰتٍ وَّ ادْعُوۡا مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللہِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمْ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳﴾
Do they say this; ‘He has fabricated it?’ Say you, bring then ten verses the like of it. And call all those whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.’
In the first verse a challenge is made to bring one verse like the Quran and in the second verse, a challenge is made to bring ten verses like it.
- In Surah Bani Israeel, verse 88, the Quran declares:
قُلۡ لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الۡاِنۡسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلٰۤی اَنۡ یَّاۡتُوۡا بِمِثْلِ ہٰذَا الْقُرْاٰنِ لَا یَاۡتُوۡنَ بِمِثْلِہٖ وَلَوْ کَانَ بَعْضُہُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَہِیۡرًا ﴿۸۸﴾
Proclaim, “If all mankind and jinns agree to bring an equivalent to the Qur’an, they will not be able to bring its equal – even if they were to help each other.”
- In Surah Tur, verse 34, it is declared:
فَلْیَاۡتُوۡا بِحَدِیۡثٍ مِّثْلِہٖۤ اِنۡ کَانُوۡا صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۳۴﴾
Then let them bring a single discourse like this, if they are truthful.
- In Surah Baqarah, verse 24, it is mentioned:
فَاِنۡ لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوۡا وَلَنۡ تَفْعَلُوۡا فَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِیۡ وَقُوۡدُہَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَۃُ ۚۖ اُعِدَّتْ لِلْکٰفِرِیۡنَ﴿۲۴﴾
Then if you cannot bring and We declare that you can never bring, hence dread the fire whose fuel is men and stones, is prepared for the disbelievers.
The Challenge of Quran remains…
Over a thousand years have elapsed and many generations have come and gone. Some of the best brains in the world have also come and gone, yet, the challenge of the Quran has remained unanswered. No matter how much resources people have, yet mankind has never been able to answer the challenge of the Quran. In fact, Sayyidi Ala Hadrat May Allah have mercy upon him has mentioned that besides having no tongues, they do not even have life in their bodies to be able to answer this challenge.
It is mentioned that when the three verses of Surah Kauther were revealed, the Holy Prophet peace and salutations be upon him placed this on the wall of the Kaba. This was also one of the methods adopted by the earlier Arabs when they were of the opinion that they had composed or written something which others would not be able to challenge. The same has mentioned by the famous set of poems which have been referred to as “As Sab’ul Mu’allaqaat”. When the disbelievers saw this, they tried their level best but failed to answer the challenge of only three lines of the Quran. All they could say was that this is indeed not the words of an ordinary human.
The same example has been mentioned about Imam Asma’i which we have mentioned earlier. While in a jungle, he mentioned the words that the Almighty is All Merciful and All Beneficent after reciting the verse pertaining to cutting off the hands of a thief. However, an ordinary villager who was sitting nearby corrected him merely by listening to these words. And when the learned Imam heard this and then pondered on what he was reading, he released that he had indeed made a mistake. In other words, the miracle of the Quran is such that each word and letter, each sentence before and after has an amazing connection with each other.
When we look at the words of a human or any of his writing, we will find that sometimes he writes or composes a sentence or passage which should only be mentioned on a happy occasion.
Sometimes people write a passage which should be mentioned on a sad occasion. However, such is the miracle of the Quran that when it is recited on a joyous occasion, the joy of people doubles and increases. When it is recited on a sad occasion, the sadness of people disappears and the entire atmosphere becomes one of Nur upon Nur.
Divine Protection only for the Quran
There is no doubt that all the previous revealed books were sent by the Almighty but only the Quran has been promised Divine Protection. This fact is mentioned in Surah Al Hajr. This is the reason that other revealed books have been completely changed and altered and who knows from what to what people have changed these books into. However, even a little zer and zabbar of the Quran has been protected. It is guarded in the Lawh Mahfuz, in the hearts of people and in numerous other ways.
If there is a slight change in the zer or zabbar, immediately, there is someone there to correct you. If a certain institute prints a certain Quranic verse incorrectly, there is massive protestation on the streets and via different media platforms. Even the language in which the previous books came in have disappeared from the face of the earth. But the language of the Quran remains. When we understand all of this, imagine the stupidity of saying that the goat of someone consumed certain verses or chapters of the Quran. In fact, this is not insult to the Quran but a direct insult to the Almighty who has promised to protect the Quran. The stupidity of people leads them from where to where?
Even when the first Arabs heard the Quran, they had no option but to accept that this was not the words of a human. They also concluded that this was indeed a mighty miracle. Most of them had to accept Islam and there were some who remained firm on their kufr because of their enmity for Islam. But they harmed no one except themselves.
Some went as far as saying that the Quran is nothing but a fable or a set of poems. However, those who were to accept Islam did so. Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him accepted Islam by merely listening to a few sentences from Surah Taha. In like manner, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Zarr May Allah have mercy upon him listening to a few words from Surah Haa Meem prompted him to accept Islam.
Even the Kuffar accepted it as a miracle!
Uqbah bin Waleed accepted the miracle of the Quran and its amazing eloquence, yet, in his stubbornness, he remained firm on kufr. Allamah Imam Abul Hayyan Andalusi May Allah have mercy upon him narrates, “One day, Waleed bin Mughayrah mentioned to the Bani Makhzum, ‘Today I have listened to such words from Mohammed which can never be the words of a human or a jinn. These words are sweeter than honey and is like the ocean when it flows. Its might is like the mountain and its depth is like a lake. These words are above all other words and the most supreme and mighty. No one can overpower these words.” However, this ignoramus in spite of admitting these words, remained firm in his kufr and in a fit of jealousy, he admitted as mentioned in Surah Muddatthir verses 24,25 that:
فَقَالَ اِنْ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا سِحْرٌ یُّؤْثَرُ ﴿ۙ۲۴﴾
And said, ‘this is the same magic learnt from old ones.
اِنْ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا قَوْلُ الْبَشَرِ ﴿ؕ۲۵﴾
‘This is not but the word of man.
In fact, by virtue of the fact that there is nothing short or extra in the Quran is in itself its greatest miracle. One of the greatest miracle of the Quran was that whatever prediction appeared in its pages happened exactly like it mentioned. When we look at the various subjects described in the Quran, all of these have been a source of amazement to people every century. Whether it pertains to the sun, the moon, the stars, what is to be found in the womb of a female, the creation of a child and its progress within the womb, the both oceans and how they remain separate etc. all of these have amazed people over the years and yet all of them have been mentioned in the Quran. One has to merely refer to the book, “The Bible, the Quran and science” to understand this better. No doubt Maurice Bucallie has done a splendid job even though he was a non Muslim. But such is the miracle of the Quran that even the non Muslims are forced to accept its message as a miracle. Some do so happily while others do so grudgingly.
In fact one of the miracles of the Quran is the separation of the oceans even though there seems to be no apparent obstacle from joining each other. When the verse of Surah Ar Rahman was presented to experts in the field of ocean science, some of them accepted Islam.
Again this is only one example of the miracle of the Quran. Allamah Imam Qurtabi May Allah have mercy upon him has mentioned many of these miracles which we will explain later on. However, we will present a few examples from Tafseer Tabayyinaatul Quran first.