History of the Holy Quran
In this Book, the Holy Prophet’s life, the history of the Arabs and the events which occurred during the period of the revelation of the Quran have not been mingled with the Divine Verses, as is the case with the Bible. The Quran is the pure word of God. Not one word therein is not divine. Not a single word has been deleted from its text.
The Book has been handed down to our age in its complete and original form since the time of Prophet Muhammad. From the time the Book began to be revealed, the Holy Prophet had dictated its text to the scribes. Whenever some Divine Message was revealed, the Holy Prophet would call a scribe and dictate its words to him. The written text was then read out to the Holy Prophet, who, having satisfied himself that the scribe has committed no error of recording, would put the manuscript in safe custody. The Holy Prophet used to instruct the scribe about the sequence in which a revealed message was to be placed in a particular Surah (chapter). In this manner, the Holy Prophet continued to arrange the text of the Quran in systematic order till the end of the chain of revelations. Again, it was ordained from the beginning of Islam that a recitation of the Holy Quran must be an integral part of worship. Hence the illustrious Companions would commit the Divine verses to memory as soon as they were revealed. Many of them learned the whole text and a far larger number had memorized different portions of it.
Method of preservations of the Quran during the Prophet’s time
Besides, those of the Companions (pbut) who were literate used to keep a written record of several portions of the Holy Qur’an. In this manner, the text of the Holy Qur’an had been preserved in four different ways during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH):
- The Holy Prophet (PBUH) had the whole text of the Divine
Messages from the beginning to the end committed to writing
by the scribes of revelations.
- Many of the Companions learned the whole text of the
Qur’an, every syllable of it, by heart.
- All the illustrious Companions, without an exception,
had memorized at least some portions of the Holy Qur’an,
for the simple reason that it was obligatory for them to
recite it during worship. An estimate of the number of the
illustrious Companions may be obtained from the fact that
one hundred and forty thousands Companions had participated
in the Last Pilgrimage performed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
- A considerable number of the literate Companions kept
a private record of the text of the Qur’an and satisfied
themselves as to the purity of their record by reading it
out to the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Method of preservations of the Quran after the demise of the Prophet
It is an incontrovertible historical truth that the text of the Holy Qur’an extant today is, syllable for syllable, exactly the same as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had offered to the world as the Word of God. After the demise of the Holy Prophet, the first Caliph Hadhrat Abu Bakr (PBUH) assembled all the Huffaz and the written records of the Holy Qur’an and with their help had the whole text written in Book form. In the time of Hadhrat ‘Uthman (PBUH) copies of this original version were made and officially dispatched to the Capitals of the Islamic World. Two Of these copies exist in the world today, one in Istanbul and the other in Tashkent. Whosoever is so inclined may compare any printed text of the Holy Qur’an with those two copies, he shall find no variation. And how can one expect any discrepancy, when there have existed several million Huffaz in every generation since the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and in our own time? Should anyone alter a syllable of the original text of the Qur’an, these Huffaz would at once expose the mistake. In the last century, an Institute of Munich University in Germany collected FORTY-TWO THOUSAND copies of the Holy Qur’an including manuscripts and printed texts produced in each period in the various parts of the Islamic World. Research work was carried out on these texts for half a century, at the end of which the researchers concluded that apart from copying mistakes, there was no discrepancy in the text of these forty-two thousand copies, even though they belonged to the period between the 1st Century Hijra to 14th Century Hijra and had been procured from all parts of the world. This Institute, alas! perished in the bombing attacks on Germany during World War II, but the findings of its research project survived. Another point that must be kept in view is that the word in which the Qur’an was revealed is a living language in our own time. It is still current as the mother tongue of about a hundred million people from Iraq to Morocco. In the non-Arab world too, hundreds of thousands of people study and teach this language.
The grammar of the Arabic language, its lexicon, its phonetic system and its phraseology, have remained intact for fourteen hundred years.
A modern Arabic-speaking person can comprehend the Holy Qur’an with as much proficiency as did the Arabs of fourteen centuries ago. This, then, is an important attribute of Muhammad (PBUH), which is shared by no other Prophet or Leader of Religion. The Book which God revealed to Him for the guidance of mankind is today’s in its original language without the slightest alteration in its vocabulary.
QUR’AN ON QUR’AN
“Hence, indeed, We made this Qur’an easy to bear in mind: who, then is willing to take it to heart?” –Chapter 54: Verses 17, 22, 32, 40 (self-repeating)
“Will they then not meditate on the Qur’an, or are there locks on their hearts?” –Chapter 47: Verse 24
“Surely this Qur’an guides to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good works that they shall have a great reward.” –Chapter 17: Verse 9
“Surely We have revealed the reminder (Qur’an) and We will most certainly guard it (from corruption).” –Chapter 15: Verse 9
“Praise be to Allah Who has revealed the Book (Qur’an) to His slave (Muhammad) and has not placed therein any crookedness.” –Chapter 18: Verse 1
“Will they not then ponder on the Qur’an? If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much discrepancy.” Chapter 4: Verse 82
“And certainly We have explained in this Qur’an every kind of example; and man is most of all given to contention. And nothing prevents men from believing when the guidance comes to them, and asking forgiveness of their Lord, except that what happened to the ancients should overtake them, or that the chastisement should come face to face with them.” –Chapter 18: Verses 54-55
“And We reveal (stage by stage) of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy for believers, and to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.” –Chapter 17: Verse 82
“And if you are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad) then produce a surah (chapter) of the like thereof, and call your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.” –Chapter 2: Verse 23
“And this Qur’an is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification (of revelations) that went before it and a fuller explanation of the Book – there is no doubt – from the Lord of the Worlds.” –Chapter 10: Verse 37
“So when you recite the Qur’an, seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast.” –Chapter 16: Verse 98.
What is the Qur’an?
It is beyond man’s power to comprehend, or to describe, the greatness and importance of what the Qur’an holds for him. Yet, to begin with, you must have some idea of what it is and what it means to you , and such that you are inspired to immerse the whole of yourself in the Qur’an, in total commitment, complete dedication and ceaseless pursuit, as it demands. The Qur’an is Allah’s greatest blessing or you . It is the fulfillment of His promise to Adam and his descendants: ‘there shall come to you guidance from Me, and whatsoever follows My Guidance no fear shall e on them, neither shall they sorrow'(al Baqarah 2:38). It is the only weapon your frail existence as you struggle against the forces of evil and temptation in this world. It is the only means to overpower your fear and anxiety. It is the only ‘light’ (nur) , as you grope in the darkness, with which to find your way to success and salvation. It is the only healing (shifa) for your inner sickness, as well as the social ills that may surround you. It is the constant reminder (dhikr) of your true nature and destiny, of your station, your duties, your rew. It was brought down by one who is powerful and trustworthy in the heavens the heart of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him. to your Creator. It tells you of Him, of His attributes, of how He rules o to you, and how you should relate to Him, to yourself, to your fellow meny other existence. The rewards that await you here are surely many, incrng manifold and the hereafter, but what awaits you at the end of the road promises allah in the Hadith qudsi, the eye has seen not, nor the ear heard, nor the heart of man ever conceived and, adds Abu Hurayra’no human being can imagine what joys are being kept hidden for them in d or all that they did'(Bukhari, Muslim)
Qur’an As Living Constitution
Can the Qur’an again, be living, relevant force, as powerful for us now 1400 years away, as it was then? This is the most crucial question that we must answer if we wish to shape our destiny afresh under the guidance of the Qur’an.
There appear, however, to be some difficulties. Not least of which has to do with the fact that Qur’an was revealed at a certain point in time. Since then we have traveled a long way, made gigantic leaps in technological know-how, and seen considerable social changes take place in human society. Moreover, most of the followers of the Qur’an today do not know Arabic, and many who do have little idea of the ‘living’ language of the Qur’an.
They cannot be expected to absorbs its idioms and metaphor, so essential to exploring and absorbing the depths of the Qur’anic meaning. Yet its guidance, by its own claim, has an eternal relevance for all people, being the word of the Eternal God. For the truth of its claim, it seems to me, it must be possible for us to receive, experience, and understand the Qur’an as it’s first recipients did, at least in some measure and to some degree. We seem to almost have a right to this possibility of receiving God’s guidance in its fullness and with all its riches and joys. In other words despite historical incidence of the revelation in a particular language at that particular time and place, we should be capable of receiving the Qur’an now (because its message is eternal), capable of making its message as much a real part of our lives as it was for the first believers and with the same urgent and profound relevance for all our present concerns and experiences.
But how do we do this? To put it very forthrightly, only by entering the world of the Qur’an as if Allah were speaking to us through it now and today, and by fulfilling the necessary conditions for such an encounter. Firstly, then, we must realize what Qur’an as the word of God is and means to us, and bring all the reverence, love, longing and will to act that this realization demands. Secondly, we must read it as it asks to be read, as Allah’s Messenger instructed us, as his Companions read it. Thirdly, we must bring each word of the Qur’an to bear upon our own realities and concerns by transcending the barriers of time, culture and change.
For the first addressees, the Qur’an was a contemporary event. Its language and style, its eloquence and a rationale, its idiom and metaphor, its symbols and parables, its moments and events were all rooted in their own setting. These people were both witnesses to and in a sense, participants in the whole act of revelation as it unfolded over a period of their own time. We do not have the same privilege; yet, in some measures, the same ought to be true for us. By understanding and obeying the Qur’an in our own setting, we will find it, as far as possible, as much a contemporary event for ourselves as it was then. For the essence of man has not changed; it is immutable. Only man’s externalities- the forms, the modes, the technologies – have changed. The pagans of Makka may be no more, nor the Jews of Yathrib, nor the Christians of Najran, nor even the ‘faithful’ and the ‘unfaithful’ of the community of Madina; but the same characters exist all around us. We are humans being exactly as the first recipients were, even though may find it extremely difficult to grapple with the deep implications of this very simple truth. Once you realize the truths and follow them, once you come to the Qur’an as first believers did, it may reveal to you as it did to them, make partners of you as it did of them. And only then, instead of being a mere revered book, a sacred fossil, or a source of magic-like blessing, it will change into a mighty force, impinging, stirring, moving and guiding us deeper and higher achievements, just as it did before.
Key Aspects of the Holy Quran
Quran has been revealed for the guidance of mankind and invites the people of wisdom to read into its pages to enhance human knowledge about the universe and Creator, and to create environments where man could live in peace and harmony with the fellow human beings and with the Nature.
Quran is a part of the Knowledge – which is limitless, and therefore it encapsules the stages of human development. It also contains the solutions of issues and problems which mankind faces and specifies a complete Islamic system ie the system which facilitates living in peace – where there is no oppression, insecurity, fear and inequality. Quran commands authority and leadership and thus declares that if anyone has any doubts about the truth of the Book which has been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), then they should try to make even one passage which could match the Book, and poses the challenge that despite the knowledge and resources that man has , he will not be able to do so (re: Al-Baqra 2:23-24). This challenge has not been met to-date.
The language, the poetic element and the continuity of the Quran can only be fully appreciated by those who have the knowledge and command of Arabic language, though people of RAemanS who have no or little knowledge of the language get a wealth of satisfaction by reciting Quran or listening to its recitation. Translation of Quran in other languages can not reproduce the true meanings or the appropriate sense, therefore those who know no or little Arabic and would really like to understand Quran, should learn the language first. Perhaps it would be interesting to point out that enemies of Islam attack Quran mostly by using its translation or analysing its passages which are taken out of context.
Where the reader can easily extract the lessons from what he reads. In this respect the Quran is very easy to understand for those who have some language skills. Allah says that the Quran was made easy in order to benefit and guide human (re: Murryam 19:97; Qamar 17:54; Dukhan 44:58).
Where the reader has to think through, analyse the concepts and deduce conclusions. It is this aspect of Quran which is most difficult since it goes right into the philosophy, knowledge and higher level of understanding. To highlight this point let me give a few examples. Abdulllah ibni Omar (son of Omar ibni Khattab) was a sahabi (companion of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w) and therefore was in the era in which the Quran was revealed, he was a thinker and researcher who had a total command of the Arabic language, and yet it took him approximately 8 years to interpret and document one surah ie Al-Baqra (this work was done well after the Prophet).
Imam Razi was a philosopher and researcher, had a command of Islamic thoughts and interpreted Quran in 36 volumes. But when it came to interpret and explain Aya 2 and 3 of Al-Huded (57) which says that He is the first and He is the last and that He is most overt and most covert, Imam Razi wrote R this is very deep, very difficult. It is impossible to explain in words.
I hope the serious readers, believers or otherwise, would find this article helpful and would be able to appreciate that the Quran represents social, economic and political code for improving the quality of life. If people, Muslim or non-Muslim, do not practice the code, it is they who are the losers and not the Islam or the Quran.
Translating the Qur’an
Please keep in mind all ANY translation (interpretation) of the Qur’an will most definitely contain errors In its natural language (Arabic), the Qur’an is the direct Word of Allah (God) to mankind through the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Any translation of the Qur’an no longer retains that ‘official’ and perfect status, however it can be tremendously helpful to beginning students wanting to learn more about Islam.
We would strongly encourage those want to learn about Islam to purchase a hardcopy of the Qur’an but with the following conditions: get one with commentary (tafseer) make sure the tafseer is scholarly (e.g. references to reasons behind a verse, references to hadith and sunnah, etc.)
Unfortunately, this interpretation presented here does NOT meet this simple conditions. To the best of our knowledge, an excellent English translation and commentary of the Qur’an is Maududi’s recently published work “The Meaning of the Qur’an”. This work took more than forty years to complete, and was published beginning in the mid to late 1980’s. Maududi’s introduction to each chapter of the Qur’an is included at the moment, but the complete commentary is not online (yet!).
RECITATION OF HOLY QURAN
- Do not give up the habit of reciting the holy quran even if you are unable to recite it properly. go on reciting as in that case the reward is double one for the recitation and the other for learning it.
- If you have learnt or memorised the holy quran, do not let it be forgotten as it is a major sin to forget after learning it. so continue its recitation regularly.
- The holy quran should be recited attentively and with fear of ALLAH in mind.
- do not swear by the holy quran or anything else except ALLAH.
- If anyone asks you to recte some verse or part of the holy quran to see how you recite, it is natural that you will be very cautious and you will recite it very correctly and carefully. Remember that ALLAH has enjoined the recitation of holy quran and he sees how you do it. so should be more careful and attentive while reciting the holy quran. while reciting it we should bear in mind that ALLAH is seeing and listening our recitation. thus our recitation of holy quran will be clear, correct and attentive also.
- If one cannot recite it easily, the effort should not be given up in disgust. he wshould go on reciting . this will be doubly rewarded.
PROSTRATION IS TO BE MADE WHEN RECITING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING VERSES.
SAJDA NUMBER 1
SURAH NUMBER 7 VERSE NUMBER 206
SAJDA NUMBER 2
SURAH NUMBER 13 VERSE NUMBER 15
SAJDA NUMBER 3
SURAH NUMBER 16 VERSE NUMBER 49
SAJDA NUMBER 4
SURAH NUMBER 17 VERSE NUMBER 107
SAJDA NUMBER 5
SURAH NUMBER 19 VERSE NUMBER 58
SAJDA NUMBER 6
SURAH NUMBER 22 VERSE NUMBER 18
SAJDA NUMBER 7
SURAH NUMBER 25 VERSE NUMBER 60
SAJDA NUMBER 8
SURAH NUMBER 27 VERSE NUMBER 25
SAJDA NUMBER 9
SURAH NUMBER 32 VERSE NUMBER 15
SAJDA NUMBER 10
SURAH NUMBER 38 VERSE NUMBER 24
SAJDA NUMBER 11
SURAH NUMBER 41 VERSE NUMBER 37
SAJDA NUMBER 12
SURAH NUMBER 53 VERSE NUMBER 62
SAJDA NUMBER 13
SURAH NUMBER 84 VERSE NUMBER 21
SAJDA NUMBER 14
SURAH NUMBER 96 VERSE NUMBER 19