Among the Suras in which
Allah pointed out His blessings to mankind is the Surah of al-Rahman,
The whole Surah is devoted to presenting the numerous favours
which Allah has given us in this world and intends to give in
the world to come. Allah pointed out the main aspects of His mercy
which He manifests to us in many ways. On the top of the list
in surah ar-Rahman and the first to be mentioned after His name
is His making known the Qur'an:
Ar-Rahman, allama al-Qur'an, khalaqa al-insaan-
The Beneficent One, He has taught the Qur'an He has created Man.
This making known or teaching the Qur'an comes
even before mentioning the creation of Man and his ability to
understand and to learn the Qur'an. It is indeed the greatest
favour which both Mankind and Jinn have received from Allah. For,
from the Qur'an only can they both find the straight path, the
path of happiness in both worlds-this one and the world to come.
"Surely this Quran' guides to the way that
is straightest and gives good tidings to the believers who do
deeds of righteousness, that theirs shall be a great reward.'
(17 : 11)
.... And We sent down, of the Qur'an, that
which is a healing and mercy to the believers . . . .' (17 : 82)
But, although it is at our disposal, we still
need to exert effort before we can enjoy its fruits -those of
this life or of the real ones in Paradise. This effort that we
should make is an easy one; we merely have to understand this
Qur'an, to think of the great mercy which it contains, and to
act righteously according to it. One and perhaps the most important
blessings given us by Allah, is making the Qur'an easy for us
to read, understand, and follow; Allah says,
'We have made the Qur'an easy for Remembrance;
is there any that will remember?' (54: 17)
The real loss to mankind is to forget the Qur'an,
or to neglect its guidance. That was the attitude of the unbelievers
when it was first revealed in Meccah;
"The unbelievers say: 'Do not give ear
to this Qur'an, and talk idly about it: so that you will gain
The answer to this as was given by Allah, is;
'So We shall let the unbelievers taste
a terrible chastisement, and shall recompense them with the worst
of what they were working. That is the recompense of God's enemies-the
Fire, wherein they shall have the abode of eternity as a recompense,
because they denied Our signs.' (41: 26)
That is indeed the reward for their denial and
neglect of the signs of Allah and their abandon of the Qur'an.
Such a recompense was not only promised to those unbelievers at
the time the Qur'an was first revealed, but the same holds true
for those who follow their steps .... they are walking blindly
to the Hell.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, had complained
to Allah of this great sin of mankind, that is, their shunning
of the truth and the revelation of Allah. The Messenger says,
'0 my Lord, behold, my people have taken
this Qur'an as a thing to be shunned . . .'
It is those people who neglect the Qur'an and
abandon it whom Allah described as being enemies of his Messengers
and said about them,
'Those who shall be mustered to Hell (Jahannam)
upon their faces -they shall be worse in place, and gone further
astray from the way". (25;30)
When we think about the Qur'an, as the very word
of Allah, sent down through Jibril to the last Messenger Muhammad,
peace be upon him, we feel the greatness of the words of the Qur'an,
and the great favour which Allah has given us-the words which
Allah describes as follows,
"if we had sent down this Qur'an upon a
mountain, thou wouldst have seen it humbled, split asunder out
of the fear of Allah'. (59, 21)
These are not words of a poet who imagines things,
but the words of Allah who knows the truth of everything - mountains,
rocks, sands, every thing:
"The seven heavens and the Earth, and whosoever
in them is, extol Him; nothing is that does not proclaim His praise,
but you do not understand their extolling . . ." (17 : 44)
This is what the Qur'an is; it is not just another
book on the shelf, but it is the words of Allah to everyone of
us. It is the direct contact of each of us with Allah Himself.
This is what we all should remember when we read the Qur'an or
think about it.
It is well to remember the words of the great
poet of Islam Muhammad lqbal, in which he said that his father
taught him that he should read the Qur'an as if it was revealed
unto him. When some Muslims asked Hasan al-Banna about the best
Mufassir, his answer was simply:
'It is your heart'.
Unless Muslims feel this very close attachment
to the Qur'an, they will never feel its greatness or discover
its wealthy treasures.
There are three facts which are to be taken into
account when speaking about the Qur'an:
al-'Uluhiyah, i.e. Divine power which has entire
control of the all Being, which also organised and decided the
fate of all Being, this power as being of Allah alone.
Secondly, the purpose of the creation of Mankind
which is, in Islam, to live in this world and worship Allah alone
and live according to His laws, and thirdly, the Qur'an as the
law of Mankind which guides him in his life and organises his
relations with his Creator, his fellowmen, and his life on this
earth. The message of the Qur'an is to be understood in this context.
And the following points are to be considered when trying to understand
the Message of the Qur'an.
The Qur'an is the final word from Allah to mankind,
therefore it is for all mankind. It is also a continuation of
the light which was sent down by Allah through His Prophets to
"And We have sent down to thee the Book
with the truth, confirming the Book that was before it, and assuring
So the truth and final judgement in any case which
is alone the judgement of Allah is that of the Qur'an, and all
other Books are not valid any more after the revelation of the
Qur'an and they in any form they exist today do not represent
the true Message of Allah.
Allah had promised that He will keep the Qur'an
and preserve it from any human change or alteration. So as long
as earth and heavens exist the Qur'an will exist as it was revealed.
"it is We who have sent down the Qur'an
and We watch over it." (15:9)
The Qur'an is a system of life; a complete system
which should be adopted altogether as a whole. Dropping or neglecting
any part of it is infidelity, and denying any letter of it is
plain shirk. It is the everlasting system according to which human
existence on this earth is to be formed. In Islam the divine system
builds the community, and not human experience which organises
and lays down the system. In this respect the example of the Prophet
and the community which he established with the care and the guidance
of Allah is the model.
In fact, the changes which took place in the course
of human civilisation affected the material side in some ways
only, and nothing of it contradicted the system of the Qur'an,
or will contradict it at any time.
The Qur'an was revealed in Arabic, so it is to
be interpreted according to the rules and the nature of the Arabic
language. Being revealed in the language of Arabs it does not
give any advantage to Arabs or impose on them any responsibility
which is not imposed on other Muslims. For, since the moment in
which the Qur'an was revealed, Arabic became the language of all
Muslims. The example designed and took place in the first community
of Islam provides us with such men as Suhaib al-Rumi (the Greek),
Bilai al-Habashi (the Abyssinian) and Salman al-Farisi (the Persian),may
Allah be pleased with them all, who mastered the language of the
Qur'an and carried the burden of teaching it to Arabs and non-Arabs.
May their example be upheld and carried forth
with faith, enthusiasm, understanding and vigour.
January - February 1971