By Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, October 2002
Human understanding, perception and comprehension are very limited. The most perfect, flawless and faultless entity is only Allah (the glorified). If the human intellect were complete and perfect then one would never make any mistakes and thus perpetrate wrongdoings. However even the most intelligent and shrewd slip and go astray. This is why till now man has not been able to produce a complete code of life for himself. Nevertheless, he has tested his nature and skills in the field of life but failed to reach his destination. On the contrary, in this struggle and strive many nations destroyed themselves to an extent where their sign and trace were wiped out.
In view of this fundamental human weakness, the Creator of the universe revealed many heavenly books for the welfare, guidance and success of the nations of the world so that they can commence on the right path of life. However, every nation sooner or later ignored and neglected these divine teachings. The distortion of these heavenly teachings by the hands of man was to such an extent that their originality and truth became hidden and concealed.
Eventually the holy Qur’an was revealed. Allah (the glorified) took upon himself the responsibility of protecting it and declared it an unchangeable and unalterable code of life for all times and places. Today, fourteen centuries have passed and yet the glorious Qur’an is still perfectly safe, unchanged and preserved just like the first day. If the preservation of the blessed Qur’an was our responsibility then Surat al-Baqarah (chapter of the cow) would have been eaten by the cow and Surat an-Naml (chapter of the ant) would have been eaten by an ant. This is why Allah, the most wise and all knowing, did not leave its protection to us. Moreover, He did not announce the protection of Zabur, Torah and Injil. This is because these divine revelations came for a certain time and specific place but the blessings of the holy Qur’an are free from periodic and generational bounds and limitations.
The holy Qur’an openly announces that all people come from one root and they have been created from one nafs, one soul. The glorious Qur’an is widely revealing to that person who wishes to attain guidance from it. The religion it preaches is not the monopoly and domination of any sect. This is a path of life and the call to walk on it is open to all. A man of any age, any background, any generation, any nation and any state can adopt this path of life. The beauty in the manner and eloquence of the holy Qur’an is that a common man, a scholar or a man of any level and standard can benefit from it according to his personal level of understanding and perception. A common man according to his need can get the required teachings of aqidah and amal, belief and practice. On the other hand, for a scholar and men of understanding, everlasting and countless fountains of knowledge are continuously flowing. Every word is full of wisdom and is a treasure of meanings and secrets, whose capital is never to finish.
The holy Qur’an’s manner of speech is comprehensive of all manners of speech, yet it is not one of them. It is not poetry yet it contains the magic of poetry. It is not oration yet it is flourishing with the enthusiasm, excitement and power of oration. It is not prose yet it is rich in eloquence and beauty of expression. In short, it is not bound to any one of these categories but is enriched with the qualities and beauties of each category. During the course of study of the Qur’an we find ourselves conversing with the Omnipotent Lord, Allah (the glorified). A unique, ecstatic and elated state arises within us. Chains of meaningless thought suddenly fall apart. Blood begins to boil with the hatred of false gods and man becomes forced in accepting the reality of the presence of the one and only Creator, Allah (the glorified).
Hidden within every piece of written work is the personality of the one writing it. Although the vision of the common man may not be able to grasp it but a man of great vision, deep understanding and critical ability is able to perceive the complete personality of the author. Similarly, through the study of the holy Qur’an the majesty, glory and beauty of the Creator of the worlds becomes prominent. Every verse of the Qur’an declares that it is not the speech of any man but, in fact, it is the word of God, the Almighty. If any one is in doubt then the challenge of the Qur’an is still present today;
“fa’tu bi suratin min mithlih”
that if you are truthful in your claim then
produce a surah like it!
Fourteen centuries have passed yet this challenge is still continuously echoing in the midst of all challenges. No rival has had the courage to accept this open challenge. The silence of the enemies still remains today. Some false prophets stood up, they even made revelations to misguide and deceive the people. Nevertheless, the status of their revelation could not go beyond complete and utter nonsense.
The basic and fundamental teachings of previous revelations and books have all been included in the glorious Qur’an. The realities of all heavenly books are present and preserved in this book. This is the Muhaymin, the guardian, the witness, the custodian and the protector of all previously revealed books and it guarantees the future success of mankind.
This book is comprehensive of all the guidelines, rules and regulations required to live a successful life, which have no equivalent. From a drop to an ocean, spec of dust to a desert, worshipper to the worshipped, life to death and issues concerning the hereafter all can be found in the holy Qur’an.
Once an English man asked Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (May Allah be pleased with him), “You people claim that everything is in the Qur’an then tell me where is the prescription of chemistry?” He replied, “Bring me some copper.” He then recited a verse and blew on the copper; it turned to gold. The man then said, “Now someone else recite it and turn it to gold.” Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (May Allah be pleased with him) replied, “There is no difference in the effectiveness of the holy Qur’an, the difference is only the tongues reciting it.” (A collection of particulars of the family of ‘Aziz, volume 1, page 21)
Allah, the Almighty, explains the comprehensiveness of the Qur’an in the following verses:
1. “And We have sent down to you this Book explaining in detail everything.” (Qur’an 16:89)
2. “… and a detailed explanation of everything.” (Qur’an 12:111)
3. “And there is not a grain in the dark recesses of the earth, nor anything wet or dry, but it is written in a Luminous Book.” (Qur’an 6:59)
The Companion of the Prophet, Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) used to say that even if the aqal (A cord used for hobbling the feet of a camel) of his camel went missing he would find it in the book of Allah (the glorified). (al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, volume 4, page 26)
Imam ash-Shafi’i (May Allah be pleased with him) once said, “Ask me about what ever you wish, I will inform you about it from the book of Allah.” (al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, volume 4, page 25)
Now I present you, briefly, some points that show the comprehensiveness of the blessed Qur’an so that the reasons for the excellence of the Qur’an can clearly be seen.
1. The holy Qur’an today is before us in the same language it was revealed in. There has been neither change nor alteration in it, not even a single vowel point has been eliminated nor added.
2. Even the non-Muslims bear witness to the authenticity of its text that there is no other book on the face of the earth whose text is still preserved.
3. From the beginning to the end there is nothing that opposes manners and etiquettes. In the whole book there is not one word that falls below the standard of decency and benevolence. Although the story of Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) and the love of the Egyptian king’s wife for him is very lengthy and detailed yet the rules of haya’ and modesty are neither broken nor twisted.
4. Its entire teachings are completely in accordance with the human nature.
5. The Qur’anic guidance is for all, the individual as well as the society. It provides a complete practical constitution for all aspects of life; beliefs and doctrines, worship and also business and behaviour.
6. No book has refuted the concept of polytheism (shirk) and verified the oneness of God greater than the glorious Qur’an.
7. The holy Qur’an has freed the world from diseases of superstitions, worship of remains, idolatry and worship of man.
8. There are no literal or meaningful contradictions in it. Although having numerous meanings yet, from beginning to the end, there is no diversity and difference but rather there is an elegant relation and harmony throughout the book.
9. The blessed Qur’an gives mankind a way of thinking, rules of etiquettes and a constitution of political sciences. It also provides a complete way of living and a code of life.
10. The holy Qur’an declares man to be khalifat Allah ‘ala al-ard, the caliph of Allah (the glorified) on earth and declares the universe to be the servant of man so that he can utilize it to reach his desired destination.
11. The Qur’an has brought in front of man the reality that the objective of war is to establish peace and harmony not to fulfil the desires of the world.
12. The Qur’an is the first to permit the use of intellect in religion and religious affairs. It has informed us that there is no misunderstanding, disparity and contradiction between religion and intellect.
In short, the glorious Qur’an is such a comprehensive collection that complete guidance in all walks of life can easily be attained from it. This is why Allah (the glorified) asks in the Qur’an;
“Fa hal min Muddakir”,
Is there anyone seeking advice?
This article first appeared in
Diya-e Haram Monthly Journal, October 1972.