The Holy Quran has a collection of several stories related to different Prophets, communities, and societies. As a matter of fact, all these stories contain a set of lessons of guidance and knowledge for human beings. This is how the Holy Quran has introduced itself as a book of specific guidance to the pious and general guidance to the entire humanity. The Quran, as a divine holy book, is protected by Allah (Jalla Jalaluhu) and thus it has been kept intact since the time of its revelation and will remain in this state until the end of time. Allah says:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Say: If you should love Allah, then follow me. Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for Allah is forgiving and merciful.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:31)
If the Holy Quran is a book of guidance for humanity, then each and everything inside it is for guidance only and has no other objective. The Holy Quran itself says that it is a book of guidance. Every generation of mankind unveils a layer or more of scientific knowledge according to the state of science in their time. Allah stated in the Quran that He shall protect it from being lost or corrupted. Allah says:
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ
“The month of Ramazan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:185)
The Holy Quran is a book of guidance and it contains guidance in itself. The purpose of associating rewards with the Quran is related to the purpose of creation, whereby Allah (s.w.t.) wants us to acquire guidance, acquire spirituality and be disciplined. Allah says:
كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
“A book We have sent down to thee, blessed, that men possessed of mind may ponder its signs end so remember..” (Quran 38:29)
Holy Quran is the means to acquire these essential things for our lives and hence there is a reward associated with its recitation, so that if not explicitly for the ·sake of guidance, but at least for the sake of getting rewards we will come near to the Holy Quran. Allah says:
وَإِنَّهُ لَكِتَابٌ عَزِيزٌ لَا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
“And there is no doubt that it is a mighty scripture. Falsehood can reach it neither from in front of it nor from behind it. It is a revelation from a wise and glorious God.” (Quran, 41:41-42)
Being a Muslim it is our belief that Allah Almighty sent down divine holy books for the guidance of mankind on different Prophets. Allah Almighty revealed these holy books on His messengers in order to convey the message of Allah to mankind.
Qur’an Describes Itself: Let us start by reflecting upon what Qur’an has to say about itself. Allah says:
“The Quran introduces itself as guidance for the worlds.” (Quran 3:96)
According to Qur’an, Allah has laid down the solution of every human problem in the Qur’an very clearly. Qur’an says: “And We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything.” (Quran 16:89)
Also, He has described the Qur’an in these words: Allah says:“ ……. guidance for mankind and clear evidence of guidance and discrimination (between wrong).” (Quran 2:185)
The Qur’an is, accordingly, guidance, evidence, discrimination between right and wrong and a manifest light for the people to guide them aright and help them in all their needs. Is it imaginable that it would not guide them aright in its own matter, while it is their most important need? Allah says:
“And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them onto Our ways.” (Quran 29:69)
The Holy Qur’an is a book which by sound reasoning bestows insight upon man. It shows the right path to man by giving the accounts of the Prophets and the nations. It motivates him through parables, exhortations, and admonitions. Allah says:
“Such are some of the stories of the unseen, which We have revealed unto you, before this neither you nor your people knew them. So persevere patiently, for the end is for those who are righteous.” (Quran 11:49)
Only Allah knows the complete and absolute meanings of each and every verse of the Quran. The Quran is the last holy book revealed from Allah to mankind as guidance and as an everlasting miracle. The Qur’an describes its other function as the presentation of the Prophetic mission, which is aimed at the guidance of humanity, by delivering it from darkness and leading it towards the light:
The Quran is a source of guidance, the ultimate manifestation of God’s grace for man, the ultimate wisdom, and the ultimate beauty of expression:
- Quran informed about humans and described our Lord
- Quran told us about His attributes, names, and deeds
- Quran teaches forgive those who did wrong to you
- Quran subject matter is vast and comprehensive
- Quran is the most widely read book in the world
- Quran has a specific characteristic, superiority
- Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadhan
- Quran is accomplished by dint of knowledge
- Quran read and recited daily called ‘tilawat’
- Quran is a piece of knowledge and lessons
- Quran translated the book of the universe
- Quran revealed directly into the heart
- Quran is the Holy Book of glad tidings
- Quran is a pearl of the book wisdom
- Quran is the Holy Book of guidance
- Quran is the word of Allah directly
- Quran is ‘Huda’, the guiding light
- Quran is the last Holy Book
- Quran give yourself a reward
- Quran is the Holy Book of mercy
- Quran contains all kinds of principles
- Quran is a material and spiritual guide
- Quran contains all creed, deeds, and ethics
- Quran separating thereby the right from the wrong
- Quran focuses divine light on each and every object
- Quran is a miracle in terms of its words and meaning
- Qur’an is the last scripture revealed by Almighty Allah
- Quran is the whole of not only meaning but also words
- Quran was revealed into the heart of the Prophet (PBUH)
- Quranic context, knowledge, carries a great significance
The Word of God: The Qur’an is the literal word of God, The Almighty (Allah in Arabic), revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the Angel Gabriel.
Guidance for Mankind: It provides direction to help mankind judge between right and wrong, without which, man would surely be in loss.
The Final Revelation: The Quran is the last scripture revealed by Almighty Allah (God), confirming what little truth remains in parts of previous scriptures and refuting and correcting fabrications and additions which have crept into current-day versions of such scriptures. Allah says:
“O you who have been given the Scripture! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is (already) with you…” (Quran 4:47)
How was the Qur’an Revealed?: The Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and exists only in the language in which it was revealed – Arabic. However, the translation of the meaning of the Qur’an is available in many languages. The Qur’an was not sent down as a complete book in one revelation; rather, the revelation spanned over a period of 23 years. For this reason, it is essential to know in what circumstances the verses were revealed, in order to have a proper understanding of the Qur’an; otherwise, its teachings could be misunderstood. Allah says:
وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“We have revealed to you the Reminder that you may make clear to men what has been revealed to them … “ (Quran 16:44)
How do I know that it is from God?
Preservation: The Qur’an is the only religious sacred text that has been in circulation for a lengthy period and yet remains as pure as the day it was revealed. Nothing has been added, removed or modified from it, since its revelation over 1400 years ago. Allah says:
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will certainly guard it (from corruption).” (Quran 15:09)
Not only has the Qur’an been preserved in written form, but also in the hearts of men, children, and women. Today, millions of people have memorized the Qur’an from cover to cover.
Scientific Miracles: The Qur’an does not contradict modern science but rather, supports it. One of the most remarkable aspects of the Qur’an is that it contains many verses that accurately describe the natural phenomenon in various fields such as embryology, meteorology, astronomy, geology, and oceanography. Scientists have found its descriptions incredibly accurate for a book dating back to the 7th century. Allah says:
“We shall show them Our Signs in the Universe and within their own selves until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth.” (Quran 41:53)
In fact, many of the scientific miracles mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered only recently, through the modern advancement of technological equipment. Consider the following:
- The Qur’an gives a detailed description of the development of the human embryo. These details were unknown to the scientific community until recent times.
- The Qur’an states that the astronomical objects (stars, planets, moons, etc…) were all formed from clouds of dust. Previously unknown, this fact has now become an undisputed principle of modern cosmology.
- Modern science has discovered the existence of barriers that allow two seas to meet yet maintain their own temperature, density, and salinity.
Uniqueness: These signs of God were clearly stated in the Qur’an more than 1400 years ago. One of the most important characteristics of the Quran is that it remains today, the only holy book which has never changed; it has remained free from any and all adulterations. Sir William Muir noted, “There is probably in the world no other book which has remained (fourteen) centuries with so pure a text.” Allah says:
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message, and We will assuredly guard it against corruption.” (Quran 15:9)
The Quran was written down during the lifetime and under the supervision of the Prophet, who himself was illiterate, and it was canonized shortly after his death by a rigorous method that scrutinized both written and oral traditions. Allah says:
“A Book We have sent down to you so that you may bring forth mankind from the darkness into the light……” (Quran 14:1)
Thus its authenticity is unblemished and is its preservation is seen as the fulfillment of God’s promise. Ever since its revelation, no person has been able to produce a single chapter like that of the Qur’an in its beauty, eloquence, splendor, wisdom, prophecies, and other perfect attributes. Allah says:
“And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.” (Quran 2:23)
The people that rejected Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) failed this challenge, even though they were extremely eloquent in the language of the Qur’an. This challenge remains unanswered to this very day. The Quran is a book which provides the human being the spiritual and intellectual nourishment he/she craves.
No Contradictions: When people write, they are bound to make mistakes such as spelling and grammar, contradictory statements, incorrect facts, the omission of information, and other various errors. Allah says:
The Qur’an has no contradictions whatsoever – be it in scientific explanations of the water cycle, embryology, geology, and cosmology; historical facts and events; or prophecies.
Couldn’t Muhammad have authored it?: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known in history to be illiterate; he could not read nor write. He was not educated in any field that could account for neither the scientific and historical accuracy nor the literary beauty of this magnificent Book. The precision of historical recounts of previous peoples and civilizations mentioned in the Qur’an is also too great to be authored by any man.
Purpose of Revelation: The Quran is the unbreakable bond of connection with God; it is the remembrance full of wisdom and the straight path. The Quran does not become distorted by tongues, nor can it be deviated by caprices; it never dulls from repeated study; scholars will always want more of it. The wonders of the Quran are never-ending. Whoever speaks from it will speak the truth, whoever rules with it will be just, and whoever holds fast to it will be guided to the straight path.
To Believe in One True God: The most important topic mentioned throughout the Qur’an is the belief in the One, True God. God informs us that He has no partner, no son, no equal and that none has the right to be worshipped except Him alone. Nothing is comparable to God and none of His creation resembles Him. The Qur’an also rejects the notion of attributing human qualities and limitations to God.
To Reject All False Gods: Since Allah alone is the only One worthy of worship, false deities, and false gods must be rejected. The Qur’an also rejects the notion of attributing divine qualities to anyone or anything other than Allah.
To Narrate the Stories from the Past: The Qur’an contains many narratives with beneficial lessons, including the true stories of previous Prophets.
To remind us of the Day of Judgement: This Noble Book reminds us that everyone will taste death and will be held accountable for all their actions and sayings.
To Fulfil the Intended Way of Life: Importantly, the Qur’an teaches that the purpose of life is to worship God alone and live one’s life according to the way of life prescribed by Him. In Islam, worship is a comprehensive term that includes all actions and sayings (whether private or public) that Allah loves and is pleased with. Therefore, by doing what Allah commands, a Muslim is worshipping God and fulfilling his purpose in life.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran describes itself as under:
- “And worship Allah and associate none with Him.” (Quran 4:36)
- “These are the verses of the book that make things clear.” (Quran 26:2)
- “They are invited to the book of Allah to settle their dispute.” (Quran 3:23)
- “The revelation of The Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.” (Quran 39:1)
- “Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.” (Qur’an 12:111)
- “And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah.” (Quran 10:37)
- “This is the book, in it is a guidance for sure without a doubt, to those who fear Allah.” (Quran 2:2)
- “… A book which We have sent down unto you with full of blessings so that they may meditate on its signs and that man of understanding may receive admonition.” (Quran 38:29)
- “Verily We have revealed the book to you in truth for instructing mankind. He that receives guidance benefits his own soul, but he that strays injures his own soul.” (Quran 39:41)
- “A book revealed unto you, so that your heart be not in any difficulty on that account, (so that) with it you may warn (the sinful) and teach the believers.” (Quran 7:2)
- “And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads; that ye may guide yourselves.” (Surah An-Nahl, 15)
- “This Qur’an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah, on the contrary, it is a confirmation of (revelations) that were sent before it, and a full explanation of the book, wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the worlds.” (Quran 10:37)
- “And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing, so follow it and be righteous, that you may receive mercy.” (Quran 6:155)
- “And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember; then is there anyone that will receive admonition?” (Quran 54:17)
- “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least…” (Quran 21:47)
- “We have revealed for you (O men) a book in which there is a message for you, will you then not understand.” (Quran 21:10)
- “We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) in truth so that you might judge between men as guided by Allah.” (Quran 4:105)
- “Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely, have found in it (the Qur’an) many contradictions.” (Qur’an 4:82)
- “And We sent down the book to you for the express purpose that you should make clear to them those things in which they differ, and so that it should be a guide and mercy to those who believe.” (Quran 16:64)
- “And your God is One God. There is no god but He, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” (Quran 2:163)
- “The Quran is a guidance for mankind… and the distinction (between right and wrong).” (Qur’an 2:185)
The ultimate manifestation of God’s grace for man, the ultimate wisdom, and the ultimate beauty of expression: in short, the word of God. If one were to ask any Muslim to depict it, most likely they would offer similar words. The Quran, to the Muslim, is the irrefutable, inimitable Word of God. It was revealed by God Almighty, through the instrument of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The following are examples of worship from the Quran:
- To pray: “O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord, that you may succeed.” (Quran 22:77)
- To give charity: “…And spend, it is better for your souls; and whoever is saved from the greediness of his soul, these it is that are successful.” (Quran 64:16)
- To be honest: “Cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when you know (what it is).” (Quran 2:42)
- To be modest: “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.” (Quran 24:30-31)
- To be thankful: “And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers– you did not know anything– and He gave you hearing and sight and hearts that you may give thanks.” (Quran 16:78)
- To be just: “O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor…” (Quran 4:135)
- To be patient: “And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.” (Qur’an 11:115)
- To do good: “Allah has promised those who believe and do good deeds (that) they shall have forgiveness and a mighty reward.” (Qur’an 5:9)
In summary, the Qur’an teaches mankind how to worship the One True God, hence fulfilling their true purpose in life, and attaining success in both this world and the next. Allah says:
“Verily, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book for mankind in truth. So whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for his own self; and whosoever goes astray, he goes astray only for his own loss.” (Quran 39:41)
Our approach towards the Holy Quran is to just open it and read it for the sake of rewards but not with the purpose of getting guidance from it. The Book of Guidance without understanding it is of no use, but a book of rewards whether you understand it or not, you still get rewards. So it is up to us to decide how we want to treat the Quran as, a book of guidance or a book of rewards. If as a book of guidance, then we need to ponder over its verses and these stories to understand it. Allah says:
“If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell,- what an evil refuge!” (Surah An-Nisa, 115)
Quran has everything inside it related to our life, but we give more importance to the Quran only after death. If someone cannot achieve something from the Quran during his life, for sure he will not gain anything from this book after his death also. We have selected a few chapters like Yaseen and Rahman which have more rewards; we read it regularly just to earn those rewards.