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TowardsbetterUnderstandingoftheQuran Author:ShaikhMuslimBhanji Introduction Chapter1:QuranDescribesItself Chapter2:TheExcellenceofQuranaccordingtoMasoomeen(a.s.) Chapter3:QuransPowerofAttraction Chapter4:QuranasaMiracle Chapter5:TheIllustrativeThemesoftheQuran Chapter6:TheCentralThemeoftheHolyQuran Chapter7:MethodsusedbytheQuraninTrainingHumanbeing Chapter8:RevolutionaryTransformationintheSocietythroughtheQuran Chapter9:TheEssentialityoftheStudyoftheQuran Chapter10:IsQur'anUnderstandable?

Introduction
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AllpraiseisforAllahWhosentdowntheQur'antoHisservantandmessengerProphet Muhammad(saww)sothathemaybeawarnertotheworlds.BlessingsbeonProphet Muhammad(saww)whowassentasawitness,andabearerofgoodnewsandawarner,and

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asoneinvitingtoAllahbyHispermission,andasalightgivingtorchthroughQuran.Blessings beonhisprogeny(Ahlulbayt),fromwhomAllahkeptawaytheuncleanlinessandwhomHe purifiedathoroughpurifying,andwhomAllahmadethetrueinterpretersoftheGlorious QuranaftertheProphet(saww). HolyQuranisacompletecodeoflife TheQuraneMajidistheWordofAllah(swt)asrevealedtoHisProphetMuhammad(saww) formansguidance.TheQur'ancomprehendsthecompletecodefromtheAlmightyCreator, forthehumanbeingstoliveagood,chaste,abundantandrewardinglifeinobediencetothe commandmentsofAllah,inthislifeandtogainsalvationinthenext.Itisindeedthe"chartof life"foreveryman,anditisthe"constitution"oftheKingdomofHeavenonEarth. Quranisformankind,a"compass"intheturbulentvoyageoflife,asithasexplaineditselfin thefollowingverses: ...Indeed,therehascometoyoulightandaclearbookfromAllah;WithitAllahguideshim whofillfollowHispleasureintothewaysofsafetyandbringsthemoutofutterdarknessinto lightbyhiswillandguidesthemtotherightpath.(5:1516). Historically,itisQur'anwhichtransformedthesimpleshepherdsandwanderingBedouinsof Arabiaintothefoundersofempires,thebuildersofcities,thecollectorsoflibraries.Ifa systemofreligiousteachingsisevaluatedbythechangeswhichitintroducesintothewayof life,thecustomsandbeliefsofitsfollower,thenQur'anasacodeoflifeissecondtonone.It isnotstrangethen,thatmorestudiesonQuranictopics,translationsandmorecommentaries oftheHolyQur'anhavebeenpublished,thanthatofanyotherbookclaimedtobetheDivine Revelation. WhatisQuran? However,beforedealingwithanyothertopicsintheQuranicstudies,e.g.itsauthenticityas thewordofGod,itisofparamountimportancetohaveaglimpsetowardsbetter understandingofthebookitself:TheGloriousQuran.WhatisQuran?Whatisthisbook about?Whatareitscontents?Howisitamiracle?Whymillionsofbelieversstilltakethis14 centuriesoldbookastheirsourceofguideandsalvationintheirlives?Howisitdifferentfrom anyotherthousandsofbookspennedbydifferentauthors?WhatissouniqueaboutQuran? IstheQuranabookofhistory,orofpoetry?Orisitabookaboutscienceandnatural phenomena?IsitabookaboutSocialmannersandspiritualityorabookaboutGods Creation?IsitabookofLaw?Whatisitsgeneraltheme?

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$$Section[QuranDescribesItself] Chapter1:QuranDescribesItself LetusstartbyreflectinguponwhatQuranhastosayaboutitself. TheQur'anintroducesitselfastheguidancefortheworlds(3:96);andthemanifestlight(4:174). AccordingtoQuran,AllahhaslaiddownsolutionofeveryhumanproblemintheQuranvery clearly.Quransays:andWehaverevealedtheBooktoyouexplainingclearlyeverything(16:89). AlsoHehasdescribedtheQur'aninthesewords:.......aguidanceformankindandclear evidenceofguidanceanddiscrimination(betweenwrong).(2:185). TheQur'anis,accordingly,aguidance,anevidence,adiscriminationbetweenrightandwrongand amanifestlightforthepeopletoguidethemarightandhelptheminalltheirneeds.Isit imaginablethatitwouldnotguidethemarightinitsownmatter,whileitistheirmostimportant need? AgainAllahsays:And(asfor)thosewhostrivehardforUs,Wewillmostcertainlyguidethem ontoOurways.(29:69).WhichstrivingisgreaterthantheendeavortounderstandHisBook?And whichwayismorestraightthantheQur'an? Lo!thisQuranguidestothatwhichismostupright.(17:9) TheHolyQuranisabookwhichbysoundreasoningbestowsinsightuponman.Itshowstheright pathtomanbygivingtheaccountsoftheProphetsandthenations.Itmotivateshimthrough parables,exhortationsandadmonitions. Sucharesomeofthestoriesoftheunseen,whichWehaverevealeduntoyou,beforethis neitheryounoryourpeopleknewthem.Soperseverepatiently,fortheendisforthosewhoare righteous.(11:49). TheQur'andescribesitsotherfunctionasthepresentationofthePropheticmission,whichis aimedatguidanceofhumanity,bydeliveringitfromdarknessandleadingittowardslight: Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

ABookWehavesentdowntoyousothatyoumaybringforthmankindfromthedarknessinto thelight.......(14:1) Whatisthemeaningofdarknessmentionedintheaboveayah?Withoutdoubtthedarknessof ignoranceisoneofthevicesfromwhichtheQur'anemancipateshumanityandleadsittowards thelightofknowledgeandwisdom.However,ifmerelyignorancewereregardedasdarkness, thenthephilosopherscouldhaveaccomplishedthisjob.Butthereexistotherevilsmore dangerousthantheviceofignorance,andtosubduethemisbeyondthepowerofsheer knowledge.Amongthemarethevicesofworshipofmaterialbenefits,egoism,enslavementto desires,andgreed,whichareconsideredtobepersonalandmoralvices.Socialviceslike oppressionanddiscriminationmanifestthespiritualdarknessofasociety.InArabic,theword zulm(injusticeandoppression)isderivedfromthesamerootaszulmah(darkness),whichshows thatinjusticeisaformofsocialandspiritualdarkness.Tostruggleagainstsuchformsofdarkness istheresponsibilityandmissionoftheQur'anandotherheavenlybooks.AddressingProphet Musa(as),theQur'ansays: Thatyoumaybringforthyourpeoplefromthedarknessintothelight...(14:5) Thisdarkness,thisshadow,isthedarknessofFiraunsoppressionandinjusticeandthatofhis clique.Thelightisthelightofjusticeandfreedom. TheexegetistsoftheQur'anemphasizethepointthatwhenevertheQur'anmentionsdarkness,it alwaysusesitinthepluralformalthoughitalwaysuseslightinitssingularform.Thismeansthat theworddarknessincludesallsortsofdarkness,alloftheevilwaysthatleadtowardsdarkness, andthatlightsignifiesonesinglerightpaththepathofrighteousness,whereasthewaysof deviationandperversionaremany.InSuuratalBaqarah,theQur'ansays: GodistheProtectorofthebelievers;Hebringsthemforthfromthedarknessintothelight.And theunbelieverstheirprotectorsaretaghut,thatbringthemforthfromthelightintothe darkness...(2:257) ThustheQur'andeterminesitsgoaltobethebreakingofthechainsofignorance,misguidance, moralandsocialcorruptionanddestruction,orinotherwords,todissipateallsortsofdarkness andtoguidehumanityinthedirectionofjustice,goodnessandlight. Thisisadeclarationforhumankind,aguidanceandadmonitiontothosewhowardoff(evil). (3:138) Inotherplaces,theQurandescribesitselfasunder: Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Thisisthebook,initisguidanceforsurewithoutdoubt,tothosewhofearAllah.(2:2) TheyareinvitedtothebookofAllahtosettletheirdispute.(3:23) Wehavesentdowntoyou(OMuhammad)intruthsothatyoumightjudgebetweenmenas guidedbyAllah.(4:105). AndthisisabookwhichWehaverevealedasablessing,sofollowitandberighteous,thatyou mayreceivemercy.(6:155). Abookrevealeduntoyou,sothatyourheartbenotinanydifficultyonthataccount,(sothat) withityoumaywarn(thesinful)andteachthebelievers.(7:2). ThisQuranisnotsuchascanbeproducedbyotherthanAllah,onthecontraryitisa confirmationof(revelations)thatweresentbeforeit,andafullexplanationofthebook,wherein thereisnotdoubtfromtheLordoftheworlds.(10:37) AndWesentdownthebooktoyoufortheexpresspurposethatyoushouldmakecleartothem thosethingsinwhichtheydiffer,andsothatitshouldbeaguideandmercytothosewho believe.(16:64). Wehaverevealedforyou(Omen)abookinwhichthereisamessageforyou,willyouthennot understand.(21:10). Thesearetheversesofthebookthatmakethingsclear.(26:2). ...AbookwhichWehavesentdownuntoyouwithfullofblessingssothattheymaymeditateon itssignsandthatmanofunderstandingmayreceiveadmonition.(38:29). VerilyWehaverevealedthebooktoyouintruthforinstructingmankind.Hethatreceives guidancebenefitshisownsoul,buthethatstraysinjureshisownsoul.(39:41). $$Section[TheExcellenceofQuranaccordingtoMasoomeen(a.s.)] NopeniscapableofdescribingtheexcellenceandmagnificenceoftheGloriousQuran.This statementisabsolutelycorrect,becausewhiledescribingtheHolyQuran,ProphetMuhammad (saww)himselfsaid:ThesuperiorityoftheSpeechofGodoverotherspeechesislikethe superiorityofGodoverHiscreatures. Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Chapter2:TheExcellenceofQuranaccordingtoMasoomeen(a.s.) AyatullahAlMarjaMarhumSyedAlKhui(r.a.)said:Whatcanapersonsayindescribingthe eminenceoftheQurananditsglory?Whatcanhesaytoexplainitsexcellenceandsublimity? HowcanacontingentbeingperceivethegreatnessofthespeechoftheAbsoluteBeing?What cananauthorwriteaboutthissubjectandwhatcanaspeakersay?Canalimitedbeingdescribe anythingthatisunlimited? ItissufficientgreatnessfortheQuran,andsufficienteminenceandglory,thatitisthespeechof theAlmightyGod,andthemiracleofHisnobleProphet(saww),andthatitsversesarethe guaranteefortheguidanceofhumanbeingsinalltheirconcernsandcircumstancesandatall times.Thisistheirguaranteetoreachthefinalgoalandthegreathappinessnowandlateron. Indeed,itisbettertohandovertheelucidationoftheexcellenceoftheQurantothose comparabletotheQuran.TheyareProphetMuhammad(saww)andAHLULBAYT.Theyarethe personsmostknowledgeableaboutitsstatus,andthebestabletopointoutitsloftyprestige,and theyareitspeersinexcellenceanditsassociatesinguidance. Absolutelytrue!LetusleavetheMasoomeen(as)toexplaintoustheexcellenceoftheQuranas theyaretheteachersoftheQuran.Allah(swt)taughttheQur'antoHisProphetandappointed himastheteacheroftheBook: TheFaithfulSpirithasdescendedwithituponyourheartthatyoumaybeofthewarners,inplain Arabiclanguage(26:1934);andWehaverevealedtoyoutheReminderthatyoumaymakeclear tomenwhathasbeenrevealedtothem,andthathaplytheymayreflect(16:44);...anApostle. ..whorecitestothemHiscommunicationsandpurifiesthem,andteachesthemtheBookandthe Wisdom(62:2). Prophet(saw)describesQuran Therefore,letusponderandreflectuponwhattheProphet(saww),theteacheroftheQuran, saidabouttheexcellenceoftheHolyQuran.Hesaidaboutitinasermonthus: Y""...Therefore,whenmischiefcometoconfuseyoulikethesegmentsofdarkenednight,then holdfasttotheQur'an; Y"asitistheintercessorwhoseintercessionshallbegranted; Y"anditisacredibleadvocate; Y"andwhoeverkeepsitbeforehim,itwillleadhimtotheGarden; Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Y"andwhoeverkeepsitbehind,itwilldrivehimtotheFire; Y"anditistheguidethatguidestothebestpath; Y"anditisabookinwhichthereisexplanation,particularizationandrecapitulation; Y"anditisadecisive(word),andnotajoke; Y"andthereisinitamanifest(meaning)andanesoteric(one); Y"thusitsapparent(meaning)isfirm,anditsesoteric(one)isknowledge; Y"itsexterioriselegantanditsinteriordeep; Y"ithas(many)boundaries,anditsboundarieshave(many)boundaries; Y"itswondersshallnotcease,andits(unexpected)marvelsshallnotbeold. Y"Thereareinitthelampsofguidanceandthebeaconofwisdom,andguidetoknowledgefor himwhoknowstheattributes. Y"Therefore,oneshouldextendhissight;andshouldlethiseyesreachtheattribute;sothatone whoisinperditionmaygetdeliverance,andonewhoisentangledmaygetfree; Y"becausemeditationisthelifeoftheheartoftheonewhosees,astheonehavingalight(easily) walksindarkness;therefore,youmustseekgooddeliveranceand(that)withlittlewaiting. Afterhisdeath,theProphetappointedhisprogenyAhlulbayttocarryonthisworkafterhimto explainthetruemeaningofQurantothepeople.Itisclearfromhisunanimouslyaccepted tradition: Iamleavingbehindamongyoutwopreciousthings;aslongasyouholdfasttothemyouwill nevergoastrayafterme:TheBookofAllahandmyprogeny,myfamilymembers;andthesetwo shallneverseparatefromeachotheruntiltheyreachme(on)thefountain. AndAllahhasconfirmed,inthefollowingtwoverses,thisdeclarationoftheProphetthathis progenyhadtherealknowledgeoftheBook: Allahonlydesirestokeepawaytheuncleanlinessfromyou,OpeopleoftheHouse!andtopurify youa(thorough)purifying(33:33);MostsurelyitisanhonouredQur'an,inaBookthatishidden; Nonedotouchitsavethepurifiedones(56:7779). NowletusseewhatAhlulbaythavesaidabouttheexcellenceofQuran: AllamaMajlisiinvolume19ofhismultivolumeworkBiharalAnwarhasreportedthat:AlHarith alHamadanirelatedthefollowing: Ienteredthemosqueandsomepersonswereindeepcontroversyaboutsomehadithtraditions. IwenttoAlibinAbiTalibandsaid:Areyouawarethatpeopleatthemosqueareindisputeover hadith?Hesaid,Sotheyhavedoneit!Isaid,Yes. Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

He(as)said,IhaveindeedheardfromtheProphet(saw)saying,Thereshallbesedition(fitna) afterme.Iasked:Howdoweavoidthat? He(theProphet,saw)said:TheBookofGod,theBookofGod. Y"Initistheinformationaboutthosewhowerebeforeyouandwhatwillcomeafteryou,andit willbethejudgeamongyou. Y"Itisthefinaldecisionandnotajest.(86:1314) Y"ItisthatwhichnoteventhemightcouldforsakewithoutbeingshatteredbyGod. Y"Whoeverseeksguidanceinanythingotherthanit,Godwillleadhimastray. Y"ItisthefirmropeofGod. Y"Itisthewiseremembrance(3:58). Y"Itisthestraightpath. Y"Withit,heartswillneverdeviate,norwillthetonguesutterconfusion. Y"Scholarswillneverhavetheirfullofit;itwillnotwearoutfromconstantuse,norwillits wondersbeexhausted. Y"Itisthatwhichwhenthejinnsheardit,theycouldnothelpsaying:Weheardamarvelous Quran(recitation).(7:21) Y"Whoeveruttersitspeaksthetruth,whoeverrulesbyitisjust;whoeverabidesbyitwillreceive hisjustreward;andwhoevercallsforitshallbeguidedtothestraightpath.Followit. ImamAliDescribesQuran Inanotherplace,theCommanderoftheFaithfulAliibnAbiTalibdescribestheQuranasfollows: ThenGodrevealedtohim(theProphets.a.w.w.)theBook. Y"Itisalightwhoseradianceshallnotbeextinguished; Y"Alampwhoseflameshallnotdie; Y"Anoceanwhosedepthshallnotbefathomed; Y"Apathwhichshallnotleadastray; Y"Ablazewhosebrillianceshallnotbedarkened; Y"Acriterionwhoseevidenceshallnotbesuppressed; Y"Anelucidationwhosecornerstonesshallnotbedemolished; Y"Acurewithwhichthereisnofearofailments; Y"Apowerwhosesupporterscannotbedefeated; Y"Atruthwhosehelperswillnotbeforsaken. Y"Thus,itisthesourceoffaithanditsprosperity; Y"Itisthefountainheadofknowledgeanditsvastness; Y"Themeadowofjusticeanditsflowingstreams; Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Y"ThesupportofIslamanditsfoundation; Y"Thevalleysofthetruthanditsfields; Y"Anoceanthatshallnotbedrainedbythosewhodrawuponit; Y"Aspringthatshallnotbeexhaustedbythosewhodrawfromit; Y"Awateringplacethatshallnotbedepletedbythosewhocometoit; Y"Astationwhoseroadthetravelersdonotmiss; Y"Asignpostwhichthewayfarerswillalwayssee; Y"Thehilltopsthatcannotbebypassedbythosewhoseekthem. Y"Godhasmadeitthequencherofthethirstofscholars, Y"Avernalseasonfortheheartsofthejurists, Y"Adestinationforthepathoftherighteous, Y"Acureafterwhichthereisnomalady, Y"Alightwhichdoesnotalternatewithdarkness, Y"Aropewhoseknotsarefirm, Y"Astrongholdwhosepeakisimpregnable. Y"Itispowerforwhoevercultivatesit, Y"Peaceforwhoeverdwellsonit, Y"Aguidanceforwhoeverfollowsit, Y"Alaudableactforwhoeverembracesit, Y"Anargumentforwhoeverspeaksforit, Y"Awitnessforwhoeverfightsforit, Y"Asharpinstrumentforwhoeverbaseshisargumentsonit, Y"Asupportforwhoeversupportsit, Y"Ameansofdeliveranceforwhoeveremploysit, Y"Asignforthediscriminating,ashelterforwhoeverseekshealing, Y"Asourceofknowledgeforwhoeverhassense, Y"Andthebestnarrativeforitstransmitters, Y"Andameansfortheonewhositsinjudgment. Subhaanallah!Thisbrilliantorationreviewsmanyimportantpointswhichcallforcareful reflection.Forinstance,bysayingthattheQuranisalampwhoseflameshallnotdie,ImamAli (as)means,ashedoesinmanyotherstatementsinthisoration,thattheQuranisabookwhose significationshallnotbeexhausted.ItwillremainfreshandnewuntiltheDayofResurrection.A versemayhavebeensentdownregardingaspecificoccasionorcommunity,yetitsrelevanceis notlimitedtothatoccasion,person,orcommunity;rather,itssignificationandapplicabilityare general. RegardingtheverseForeverypeoplethereisaguide(13:7),alAyyashireportsthefollowing discussionwithAbuJafar(ImamalBaqir(as): Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

TheImamsaid,Aliistheguide,andtheguideisalwaysoneofus. Isaid,Thenyouforwhommaymylifebeasacrificearenowtheguide. Youareright,saidtheImam(as).TheQuranlivesandwillnotdie;theversesliveandwillnot die.Ifaverseweretodiewiththedeathofthepersonsconcerningwhomitcamedown,thenthe Quranwouldhavedefinitelydied.Rather,suchaversewouldcontinuetoapplytothosewhoare aliveasitdidtothosewhodied. AnothertraditionreportsthatImamalSadiq(as)said,Certainly,theQuranlives,andhasnot died;anditisexistentjustasthedayandthenightandthesunandthemoonareexistent.Andit willexistforthelastamongusasithasexistedforthefirst. $$Section[QuransPowerofAttraction] Chapter3:QuransPowerofAttraction AnotheraspectoftheQuranwhichservestoindicateitsuniqueandexceptionalnatureisthe remarkableandinexhaustibleattractionthatitexerts. Today,morethanfourteencenturiesaftertherevelationoftheQuran,thecaptivatingsoundof therecitationoftheQurancanstillbeheardinallthedifferentpartsoftheworld,leavingits impressiononheartsandminds,andtransformingthespiritsofallwholistentoit. Itsappealoverwhelmsthesoulandbringstearsflowingfromtheeyesandmakestheheart tremble. ThosetowhomWegavetheBookbeforethis,believeinit,and,whenitisrecitedtothem,they say,'Webelieveinit;surelyitistheTruthfromourLord;evenbeforeitwewereofthosewho surrender.(28:5253) Thisayahdescribesagroupofpeoplewhoundergoastateofvenerationandawewhenthe Qur'anisrecitedbeforethem.TheyaffirmfaithinallthecontentsoftheBook,declareeverything inittobenothingbuttruthandtheirvenerationofitcontinuestoincrease. Theninanotherverse,agroupofChristianswhobelievedandbecameMuslimsonhearingthe Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Qur'anaredescribedinthesewords: AndwhentheyhearwhathasbeensentdowntotheMessenger,youseetheireyesoverflow withtears,becauseofthetruththeyrecognize.Theysay,"OurLordwebelieve;sodoYouwriteus downamongthewitnesses."(5:83) Inanotherplace,whiledescribingthebelievers,theQur'ansays: Godhassentdownthefairestdiscourseasabook,consimilarinitsoftrepeatedparts,whereat shivertheskinsofthosewhofeartheirLord;thentheirskinsandtheirheartssoftentothe remembranceofGod...(39:23) TheraysofattractionexertedbytheQuranwasnotconfinedtoMecca,itsbirthplace,butspread outwardsfromMeccatogetherwiththemovementoftheMuslims.Tomentionsomeexamples: theraysofQuranshoneintheheartofKingNajjashi,intheChristiancourtofEthiopia,thanksto therecitationofJafarbinAbitalib,despitetheunfavorablesituationprevailingthereandthe pressurebroughttobearbytheopponentsofislam. EquallytheyshoneinMadina,thebasefortheformationofanewSociety,wheretheQuranwas recitedbyMusabbinUmayr. IbnHishamwritesinhislifeoftheProphet:Sostrongwastheheartfeltdesireofthepeopleto heartheQuranthatevensomeoftheunbelieversoftheQurayshwouldsecretlygonearthe Prophetshouseatnight,remainingthereuntildawn,inordertolistenthroughoutthenightto thepleasingmelodyoftheQuranasrecitedbytheMessengerofGod.Thishappenedmany times.(SiratIbnHisham,Vol.I,p.386) SothatthepeoplewouldnotfallundertheinfluenceofQuranseloquenceandpowertoattract, thenonbelieverswouldinstructagroupofpeopletogoandmakeanoise,towhistleandclap theirhands,whiletheProphetwasrecitingtheversesofQuran. Thepolytheistssaid:DonotlistentotheversesoftheQuran,andmakeanoisewhiletheyare beingrecited,perhapsyouwillthustriumph.(41:26) $$Section[QuranasaMiracle] Chapter4:QuranasaMiracle

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ToeveryProphet,Allahgavesomemiracles,butgonearetheProphetsandtheirmiracles.The HolyProphetMuhammad(saww)isthelastprophetandAllahgavehimatimelessmiracle,and thatmiracleistheHolyQuran. IthasoftenbeenarguedthattheQur'anisnotonlythefirstbook,andthehighestlinguistic achievement,oftheArabiclanguage,butthatitisalsoProphetMuhammad'sstrongestargument againstthosewhodoubtedhisMessage.Thequestionthatneedstobeaddressedhereconcerns thereasonwhyaholybook,acompositionoflanguage,shouldbehailedasIslam's(andProphet Muhammad's)strongestmiracleandargument.Thepointhassometimesbeenmadethatother prophetshadmoretangiblemiracles.InthecaseofMuhammad,however,themiraclewasnot comparabletoProphetMussasstafforProphetIssashealingpowers,butwasmorethanthat. TheHolyQuranisindeedamiracleinmanyaspects,someofwhicharedescribedherebelow: A)TheExclusiveeloquenceoftheQuran. B)TheInimitableQualityoftheQuran. C)TheScientificMiracleoftheQuran. D)TheAccuracyoftheHistoricalRecordsintheQuran. E)ThePredictionsintheQuran. F)TheChallengeoftheQuran. SincetheabovepointsalsoconstituteevidencesontheauthenticityoftheQuranasthewordof Allah(swt),theyarediscussedindetailintheQuranResourcePaperno.2,underthetitleof AuthenticityoftheHolyQuran. $$Section[TheIllustrativeThemesoftheQuran] Chapter5:TheIllustrativeThemesoftheQuran AnotheraspectofthenoveltyoftheQur'anlanguagehastodowithitsthemes.Thesethemes andtopicsrepresentacleardeparturefromthosewhichhadbeenhithertofamiliartotheArabs. AsTahaHusaynexplained: Itdoesnotdealwithanysuchthingsasruins,camels,orlongjourneysinthedesert;nordoesit Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

describelongingforthebeloved,love,oreulogy,topicsmostfamiliartopreIslamicArabs.But ratherittalkstotheArabsaboutsuchthingsastheonenessofGod,Hislimitlesspower,His knowledge,whichisunattainable,Hiswill,whichisunstoppable,andHiscreationofheavenand earth. ThispassageunderscoresyetanotherinnovativeaspectoftheQur'an,namelythepresentationof novelthemesthroughanabundanceofexamplesallaimedatillustrationandpersuasion.Theuse ofillustrationisoneofthemosteffectivestylistictechniquesoftheQur'an.Onecanhardlyreada versewithoutexperiencingtheimpactofthistechnique. TheartofnarrativestylerepresentsanotherinnovativeaspectoftheQur'an.Itrelatesin astoundingdetailthestoriesofProphetNuh,Ibrahim,Yusuf,Musa,andIssa,amongothers.It presentsthedialoguesthattookplaceinsuchstoriesandtheclaimsandcounterclaimsmadeby eachoftheopposingparties.StorytellingmaynothavebeentotallynovelinpreIslamicArabia giventhesignificantquantityofparables,epics,andmythsthatwereinheritedfromthatperiod. Whatwasnovel;however,wasthetypeofintegrated,elaboratestoryinvolvingsuchessential itemsastheme,plot,welldevelopedcharacters,anddenouementwhicharetobefoundinthe Quran,whichrefersitselftothebenefitintellingsuchstories: Wedorelateuntoyouthemostbeautifulstories,inthatWerevealuntoyouthis[portionofthe] Qur'an.Beforethisyoutoowereamongthosewhoknewitnot.(1:3) $$Section[TheCentralThemeoftheHolyQuran] Chapter6:TheCentralThemeoftheHolyQuran WhatisthecentralthemeofQuran? SincetheadventofIslamandtherevelationoftheQur'anintheearlyyearsoftheseventh century AD,theMuslimHolyBookhasbeenthesubjectofmanyextensiveanalyticalstudies.The focusofthegreatmajorityofthesestudieshasbeenthetheologicalandlegislativeaspectsofthe HolyBook,fortheQur'anprovidesMuslimswithdetailedguidanceontheireverydayproblems. Togetherwiththesayings,actions,andrecommendationsofMuhammad,theQur'anhasbeen theultimatesourceoflegalauthorityforMuslimsoverthepastfourteencenturies. Muslimscholarshavealsopainstakinglyexamined,analyzedandinterpretedthevariousversesof Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

theHolyBook,detailingtherequirementstheQur'animposesonMuslimsinorderforthemto achievespiritualpurity.Thus,inadditiontoitslegislativeandtheologicalvalue,theQur'anhas alsoservedasasourceofspiritualguidanceforthefollowersofIslam. HolyQuranisacompletecodeoflife However,wecannotclaimthattheCentralThemeoftheHolyQuranisonlylegislationand spirituality;ashumanlifeismorecomplexandmultidimensional.SinceIslamisacompleteway ofhumanlifeandQuranbeingitssourceofguidance,toascribetheQurantobejustthebookof legislationandspiritualityonlywillbemisleading,becausetheQur'anhasdealtwithavastrange ofsubjects. ContrarytotheopinionofsomepeoplewhoconsidertheHolyQurantobeofspiritualbenefit only,ortobeconfinedtoworship,prayersandmorals,weshouldpointoutthatonyonetwelfth (500verses)relatestoproblemsofJurisprudence;whilethelargerpartofitdealswithmatters pertainingtovariousissuesincludingsocial,political,administrative,historical,cultural,faithand otherrelatedmatters. AmongtherecurringthemesoftheQur'anisabouttheuniverseitselfanditsCreator.Another themetreatedbytheQur'anisthepurposeoftheuniverseanditscreation.Amongtheother generalissuesdealtbytheQur'anisthequestionabouthumanbeing:Ismanadespicable creature,orapersonalitywithnobilityanddignityetc.? TheothersubjectdealtwithintheQur'anistheissueofhumansociety:Isthesocietyconsidered tobeprimaryandtheindividualassecondary,orwhetheritsubordinatesthesocietytothe individual?Aresocieties,accordingtotheQur'an,subjecttolawsgoverningtheirlifeanddeath, theirriseanddecline,oraretheseconditionsapplicabletoindividualsalone? TheQur'andealswithnumerousotherissues.OneofthemisthepointofviewoftheQur'an aboutitself.TheotherissueisrelatedtotheProphet(saww)anditsmannerofintroducingand addressinghim.Anotherissueisitsdefinitionofabeliever(mu'min)andhischaracteristicsandso on. Furthermore,eachofthesegeneralissuespossessesvariousbranchesanddivisions.Forexample, whendiscussingmankindanditssituation,itisnaturaltospeakaboutmorality.Or,when speakingaboutsociety,theproblemofhumanrelationshipsalsounavoidablyentersthe discussion.Thesameistrueofsuchnotionsas"enjoininggoodandforbiddingevil,"andthe problemofsocialclasses. Nowthequestionis:WhatisthentheQuransgeneraltheme?Ifpondereduponthemultifaceted Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

contentsinsidetheQuran,onecansafelyreachtotheconclusionthatthecentralthemeandaim pursuedbytheQuranisthetrainingofthehumanbeingasabeingconsciousofhisduties.The mainaimoftheQuranisthereforetoreinforceandacceleratethespiritualascension,together withallthequalitiesofhumanbeing,towardastateoftrueloftinessandthedignityofwhichthe humanbeingisworthy. Inanotherwords,wecansaythatthemainpurposeofQuranistoexpoundtruthsthatare relevanttothelifeofthehumanbeingandtheexaltationofhisbeingandconducivetohis attainingalifeoftruehappiness. ImamAmirulMuminiinAlibinAbitalib(as)narratedthefollowingdua,fromwhichwecanderive veryclearlythattheHolyQuranisthechartoflifeforman.Heprayed:OAllah!expandmy breastwithQuran,actuatemybodywithQuran,enlightenmysightwithQuran,liberatemy tonguebyQuran,andhelpmetomouldmylifeaccordingtoQuran,solongasYoumakemelive. $$Section[MethodsusedbytheQuraninTrainingHumanbeing] Chapter7:MethodsusedbytheQuraninTrainingHumanbeing Assaidearlier,theaimpursuedbytheQuranisthetrainingofthehumanbeingasabeing consciousofhisduties.Now,theemergenceofsuchabeingrequiresacomprehensivereformof thehumanbeing,involvingvariouschangessuchasthenegationoffalsevaluesandmeaningless criteria,andfosteringofacreativeenergeticspiritwithinhim.TheQurancanthusbesaidtomelt thespiritofhumanbeingsandpourthemintoanewmould,wheretheyacquireadifferent,richer andmorevaluableform. AlthoughthismaybesaidtobetheprincipalaimoftheQuran,itsummonsthehumanbeing insistently,attheverysametime,toreflectandtoponder,andtoacquirearealisticviewofthe world;itguideshimontothepathofthought,ofteachingandlearning. ThemethodusedbytheQuranintraininghumanbeingisthatofInductiveMethod,i.e.the processofderivinggeneralprinciplesoflifebyusinglogic,reasonandfacts.AccordingtoQuran, therearefoursourcesofhumanknowledgethroughwhicheternaltruthcanbederived,andthey are: 1)Reasonandlogic. Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

2)Experience. 3)StudyofNature. 4)History. Alltheotherformsofsciencesareoffshootsoftheabovefoursources,andtheprincipaladvances anddevelopmentsinthenaturalsciencesareallduethesepremises.AllamaIqbal,thefamous IndoMuslimthinkersays:ThebirthofIslam,asIhopetobeablepresentlytoprovetoyour satisfaction,isthebirthofinductiveintellect......TheconstantappealtoREASONandEXPERIENCE intheQuran,andtheemphasisthatitlaysonNATUREandHISTORYassourcesofhuman knowledge,arealldifferentaspectsofthesameideaoffinality. Ofcourse,therearetraditionsnarratedfromtheProphetandtheImamsofAhlulbayt(as)saying forexample:"VerilytheQur'anhasanexteriorandaninterior,anditsinteriorhasaninteriorupto seven(oraccordingtoaversion,seventy)interiors..."AndtheProphetandtheImamsgave importancetoitsexteriorasmuchastoitsinterior;theywereasmuchconcernedwithits revelationastheywerewithitsinterpretation.ThatiswhytheQurandeservestobeevaluated fromdifferentpointsofview. SomeofthetopicswhichcallforexaminationintheQuranare: 1)TheartisticandverbalbeautyoftheQurananditsstylewhichisneitherpoetrynorprose. 2)TheintellectualandscientificcontentoftheQuran. 3)Thereinforcementofthespiritualdimensionsofman. 4)Theappealtoreflectandponder. 5)Theappealtothestudyofnature. 6)Thetappingofthehistoricalincidentsforevaluation. 7)Theexpoundingofthemysteriesofthecreation. 8)Thementioningofseriesoftruthsandprinciplesthatgovernthehumanlife,i.e.Sociology, Economics,Government,etc. $$Section[RevolutionaryTransformationintheSocietythroughtheQuran] Chapter8:RevolutionaryTransformationintheSocietythroughtheQuran AnotheraspectofthemiraculousnessoftheQuranwhichhashadagreateffectisthe revolutionarytransformationitbroughtaboutinhumancivilization.Amattercallingforserious attentioninthestudyofIslamisthefactthatitreceivednoassistancefromfactorsexternalto Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

itselfwhenitbegantocreatethenucleusofauniversalsocietyoutofascatteredanddisunited peoplethatlackedallscienceandfreethoughtanddidnotevenseektounifyitsconstituent tribes;andwhenitbegan,moreover,tofoundauniquely,vastandspiritualcivilization. Allthefactorsforchangingtheworld,forputtingforwardaninternationallawwiththesloganof unityamongraces,peoples,andsocialclasses,forcreatingamovementfortheliberationof thoughtandtheennoblingofknowledge,werederivedfromtheverytextoftheQuran,fromthe culturethatemergedfromtheQuranandfromtheIslamicorder.Islamneverreliedona governmentorapowersituatedoutsidethesocietyithaditselfbroughtintobeing. Eventheaggressors,forexampletheMongols,whoattackedtheIslamiclandsandtriumphed overtheMuslims,thankstotheirmilitarysuperiority,losttheirdominanceintheendwhenthey wereconfrontedwiththespiritualpowerofIslam,andtheyadoptedthereligionofthepeople theyhadconquered.Thishistoryofnationsdoesnotrecordanyotherexampleofavictorious aggressoradoptingthereligionofthepeopleithaddefeated. HolyQurancanshapethedestinyofthehumanraceasawhole Therefore,Quranisspeciallyessentialforthosescholarswhoareinterestedinthestudyofman andsociety,sincethisbookhasbeeneffectivelyinstrumentalnotonlyinmouldingthedestinies ofIslamicsocieties,butalsoinshapingthedestinyofthehumanraceasawhole. Abriefglanceoverhistorywouldbeenoughtoprovidesufficientproofoftheclaimthattherehas beennosuchbookthathaseverinfluencedhumansocietiestothemagnitudeoftheQur'an.Itis forthesamereasonthattheQur'anautomaticallystepsintotheprecinctsofsociological discussions,andbecomestheelementalconstituentofthesubjectsofresearchinthisdiscipline. Thismeansthatanydeepstudyandprofoundresearchinthefieldofworldhistoryofthelast fourteenhundredyears,isimpossiblewithouttheknowledgeoftheQur'an. SmithwritesinhisMuhammadandIslam:TheteachingsoftheQuran,whichmentions knowledgeandthepeninitsopeningverses,broughtaboutatremendoustransformation.Islam proclaimedstudytobeareligiousduty,andmadetheblankinkofthescribeandthescholartobe superiortotheredbloodofthemartyr. ThankstotheteachingsoftheQurananditsemphasisonthecultivationofknowledge,countless scholarsmadetheirappearanceandwroteinnumerablebooks.Differentscientificdisciplines werederivedfromtheQuranandspreadacrosstheworldbyMuslimthinkers.Theworldwas illuminedwiththelightoftheQuranandcultureofIslam. $$Section[TheEssentialityoftheStudyoftheQuran] Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Chapter9:TheEssentialityoftheStudyoftheQuran ThestudyandknowledgeoftheQur'anisessentialnotonlyforScholarsandPhilosophers,butfor everyone:anordinaryperson,astudent,aworker,atrader,alearnedpersonaswellasforall faithfulbelievers. ThestudyoftheQur'anisessentialforeverycommittedMuslim,sinceitisthemainsourceand foundationofthereligiousthoughtandfaith.Whatsoevergivesmeaning,essenceandsanctityto hisexistenceliesintheHolyQur'an. TheQur'anisnotjustlikeotherreligiousbookswhicharecontenttodiscusstheproblemsof existenceofGodandcreationincryptictones,orlikethosewhichmerelyconveyaseriesof simplemoraladviceandcounsels,sothatthosewhobelieveinthemarehopelesslylefttosearch forguidanceinothersources.Itisabookwhereallessentialingredientsoflifecanbefound. Unlikeotherbooks,theQur'andiscussesandformulatesalltheideasandviewsthatareessential foramanslife,besidecommunicatingthetenetsoffaith.SincetheQuranisbookoflife,italso laysdownalltheprinciplesoflifeincludingthatofmoralandethicalvaluesforthepurposeof individual,socialandfamilialexistence.Unfortunately,thestudyofQuranhasbeenleftfor Scholarsandlearnedpeopleonly. $$Section[IsQur'anUnderstandable?] Chapter10:IsQur'anUnderstandable? ButtheimportantquestionwhichisoftenaskediswhethertheQuranisunderstandablebyan ordinaryreader,oritrequiresscholarlybackgroundtocomprehenditsmeaning? Hasthisbookbeenintroducedforthepurposeofstudyingandunderstandingit,orwhetheritis justforreadingandrecitingandobtainingrewardandblessing?ThestudentofQuran,possibly, maywonderatraisingofsuchaquestion.TohimitmayappearbeyonddoubtthattheQur'anis meantforthepurposeofknowingandunderstandingit. Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Nevertheless,inviewofvariousundesirablecurrents,whichduetonumerousreasonscameinto existenceintheMuslimworldregardingthequestionofunderstandingoftheQur'an,andwhich hadanimportantroleinbringingaboutthedeclineofMuslims,Ishalldiscussthenecessityof studyingandunderstandingtheQuraninbrief. IsthepurposeofQurantoobtainthawabonly? TherearesomepeoplewhothinkthattheQur'anistobereadmerelyforthepurposeof obtainingspiritualreward(thawab)withoutneedofunderstandinganythingofitscontents.They continuouslyrecitetheQur'an,butiftheyareevenonceasked:"Doyouunderstandthemeaning ofwhatyouarereading?"theycannotanswer.TorecitetheQur'anisessentialandgood,being regardedasthefirststepnecessaryforcomprehendingitscontents;andnotmerelyasameans forgainingDivinereward. Regrettably,therootsofthosedegenerateanddangerousnotionsstillpersistinoursocieties.SoI consideritnecessarytoelaborateonthistopic. Qur'anmustbereadandstudiedwiththeintentionofeducatingoneself.TheQur'anitself clarifiesthispoint: AbookWehavesentdowntoyou,blessed,thatmenpossessedofmindmayponderitssigns endsoremember.(38:29) OneofthefunctionsoftheQur'anistoinstructandtoteach.Forthispurpose,theQur'an addresseshumanreasonandspeaksinlogicalanddemonstrativeterms. Infact,notonlythebelieversandthefaithful,buteventheinfidelsareinvitedbyittocontemplate overitsverses.TheQur'andemandsthatitversesshouldbefirstcontemplatedover,before forminganyadverseopinionagainstthem.Addressingtheopponents,itsays,whytheydon't ponderovertheQur'an,whatsortofheartstheypossess,theyareasifshutcloseandsealed: What,dotheynotpondertheQur'an?Orisitthattherearelocksupontheirhearts?(47:24) TheQur'analsosaysinoneofitsverses: (Thisis)aBookWehaverevealedtoyouaboundingingood,thattheymayponderuponthe verses. Thatis,WehavenotsenttheQur'antobekissed,embracedandputonthenichetogatherdust, Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

butformentoreadandtocontemplateaboutitscontents: Thatthoseendowedwithunderstandingmayponderitssignsandsoremember.(38:29) AyatullahMurtadhaMutahharisays:ScoresofversesinQuranemphasizetheimportanceof contemplationintheQur'anandinterpretationoftheQur'anicverses,althoughnotan interpretationbasedonpersonalcapricesandbias,butajust,truthfulandbalanced interpretationfreeofalltracesofselfishinterests. IfwetrytocomprehendtheQur'aninanhonestandunbiasedway,itisnotatallnecessaryto solveallproblemsthatwefindinit.InthisregardtheQur'anissimilartoNature.InNature,too,a numberofmysterieshaveneitherbeensolvedyet,norcantheybesolvedinpresentconditions, yetarelikelytobesolvedinthefuture.Moreover,instudyingandunderstandingnature,manhas totailorhisideasinaccordancewithNatureitself.HeisforcedtointerpretNatureinaccordance withitsreality.HecannotdefineNatureintermsofhisowncapricesandinclinations. TheQur'an,likethebookofNature,isabookthathasnotbeensentforaspecificageandtime. Haditbeenotherwise,allthesecretsoftheQur'anwouldhavebeendiscoveredinthepast;this heavenlyBookwouldnothavepresenteditscharm,freshnessandvitality.Butweseethatthe possibilityofcontemplation,reflectionanddiscoveryofnewdimensionsisinexhaustibleinthe caseofthisHolyBook. ThisisapointthathasamplybeenemphasizedandclarifiedbytheProphetandtheImams.Ina tradition,itisrelatedfromtheProphet(saww)thattheQur'an,likethesunandthemoon,will presentitsmovementandcontinuity;thatis,theQur'anisnotstaticormonotonous. In'UyunakhbaralRida,fromImamRidha(as),itisquotedthatImamJa'farSadiq(as)wasasked aboutthesecretofitthatasthetimepassesandthemoreitisreadandrecited,theQur'an increasesinitsnoveltyandfreshnessdaybyday.TheImamSadiq(as)answered:Becausethe Qur'anisnotforanexclusiveageorforanexclusivepeople. TheQuranisforallthelearnedaswellastheordinaryperson TheQur'anhasbeensentforallagesandforallhumanbeings.Itissocomposedthatinspiteof changesinknowledge,outlookandapproachthroughvarioustimesandages,itsurpassesall learningandknowledgeinallages.Whileitencompassesmysteriesandabstruseintricaciesfor thereaderofeveryage,atthesametimeitpresentsagreatfeastofmeaningsandideasthatcan satiatetheneedsofeveryoneandeverytimeinaccordancewiththecapacityofthatparticular age. Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

ThustheQuranisforall:thelearnedaswellastheordinaryreader.Tomakethisconceptclear, wecancomparetheQurantoanocean.Thelessearned,likechildren,collectpebblesandshells fromitsshores.TheScholarsandthinkers,likepearldivers,bringoutfromitthehighest philosophy,wisdomandrulesofperfectwayofliving. SelectedReferences: HolyQuran,TranslatedbyM.H.Shakir(AnsariyanPublications) TafseerAlMizan,ByAllamahMuhammadHusseinTabatabai. TheHolyQuran:Text,TranslationandCommentarybyS.V.MirAhmedAli(TahrikeTarsileQuran) TheSealoftheProphetsandhisMessage,ByMujtabaMusaviLari,TranslatedbyHamidAlgar. LessonsfromQuran,ByMuhsinQaraati(IslamicSeminaryPublications) TheBible,TheQuranandScience,ByDr.MauriceBucaille. AuthenticityoftheQuran,ByIslamicEducationPanel,Tanzania. UnderstandingtheUniquenessoftheQuran,ByAllamaMurtudhaMutahhari Islam,theQuranandtheArabicLiterature,ByElsayedM.H.Omran.

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