What is the Quran and what does it teach?
The Quran (Qur’an or Koran), in Arabic, it literally means “The Recitation” – The Quran contains the words of Allah (SWT) which were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), through Arch Angel Gibreel (Gabriel – Peace Be Upon Him) over a period of 23 years when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was 40 years old.
The Quran – The Finest Piece
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam – Every Muslim believes the Quran to be a revelation from Allah (SWT) and not written by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We see the Quran as to be the finest piece of literature.
In the Noble Quran, the chapters are called ‘Suras’, and the verses are called ‘Ayat’. ‘Aya’, or ‘verse’ literally means ‘sign’, or ‘evidence’, and sometimes ‘proof’ depending on the context!
There are 114 Suras (chapters), and 6,236 Ayat (or verses) if we do not count the Basmala. If we count the Basmala, there are 6,666 verses in the Holy Quran.
The Noble Quran as a Miracle
As Muslims, we believe that the Noble Quran is a Miracle in itself! We regard the Holy Book to be a series of divine messages, from Allah (SWT), to all mankind!
We Muslims believe that the divine messages of Allah (SWT) did not start with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) but with the first Prophet – Prophet Adam (PBUH), then ended with the last Prophet – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The word ‘Quran’ appears 70 times in the Quranic texts, but sometimes, you will see it referred to as ‘Al-Qitab’, or ‘The Book’. One of the many Miracles of the Noble Quran is that Allah (SWT) made it easy to memorize.
Even though the Allah (SWT) made it easy to remember, the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were responsible to write down the revelations.
Did Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Write The Holy Quran?
Some believe that the Holy Quran was written by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), thus the author was not God himself (Allah – SWT)!
Let us show you that the idea that the Holy Book (Quran) was written by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is plainly impossible:
- Everyone (including authors of various books about the Prophet Muhammad – PBUH) state that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was illiterate, did not know how to read, nor write and was not formally educated
- The Holy Quran itself states that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was unlettered, in the sense that he couldn’t read nor write. “Believe, then, in God and His Messenger – the unlettered Prophet who believes in God and His words – and follow him, so that you might find guidance!” (Quran 7:158)
- Whenever a problem arose and he was not able to find a solution right there and then, thus he waited until a revelation, the answer or solution, was revealed to him through the Arch Angel Gibreel (PBUH).
- The Quraish leaders one time asked the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) questions about the ‘Seven Sleepers’, Dul-Qarnain, and so on – The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would not answer the questions for weeks, thus, the Quraish leaders started calling him a liar, but then Allah (SWT) revealed a Sura (Chapter) called ‘The Cave’ – Chapter 18 of the Holy Quran which answered all the questions the Quraish leaders asked.
- The Noble Quran remains today, the only holy book which has never been changed and this is because its Author, Allah (SWT) has promised its protection and preservation (Quran 15:9). Sir William Muir noted, “There is probably in the world no other book which has remained (fourteen) centuries with so pure a text.”
The Quran is The Final Revelation from Allah (SWT) to All Mankind, and NOT Just Muslims
The Quran – The Best source of Guidance to mankind
The Quran is not only a source of spiritual guidance, but also intellectual nourishment for anyone looking for God, and a way to live a peaceful and happy life.
Have you ever been asked, or did you ever ask yourself what is the purpose of life, or why you are here and where are you going? Well, the Quran gives you the answer to every question you can imagine, and why is that, because it is coming from God, Allah (SWT).
Allah (SWT) created you and when he did, he did not let you all alone wondering on this earth without a guide!
If you are reading the Quran right now, as we speak, know that you have something in your hand that will hear any sickness you might have, teach you how to deal with other people, whether Muslim or not, how to make a living and how to spend that money you’ve earned. It even tells you what you should expect, in the hereafter, if you please Allah (SWT).
The Quran and Science
The Quran goes beyond and above the call of duty in explaining the world around you! If you are a scientist, the Quran will explain everything about the Big Bang, biology, embryology, astronomy, etc…
Whether you want to know about how a baby is conceived, how to do business, how to social with others, how to better spend your money, who is your creator and how to worship him, the Quran has the answer for you!
By reading and understanding the Quran, you will come to realize that it soothes the heart, the soul and the mind! The Quran wisdom never stops, the more you read it and understand it, the more you learn.
Understanding Islam through the Quran
Again, the Quran contains the divine words of Allah (SWT) that were revealed in the Arabic language to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through the Arch Angel Gibreel (Gabriel).
If you want to learn about Islam, there is nothing better than getting the information from the Quran, or from the sayings (Ahadeets) of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), instead of getting your information from the news media, or websites that talk about the Quran but are very biased.
Remember, the Quran is written in Arabic and we understand that Arabic might not be your mother language but the excuse of not reading the Quran because of the language barrier will be an excuse when you meet your Creator on Judgment day.
There are many Quran Translations available to help you understand Islam but the one we recommend the English translation by by M. Pickthall(The Holy Qur’an: Transliteration in Roman Script and English Translation with Arabic Text).
Can the Holy Quran be Translated though?
Arabic, just like Aramaic, is a Semitic language! The Quran is the only Holy Book that stayed in its Original language, Arabic and will never change! How do I know that the Quran will never change (or be changed)? Well, because I got my information from an Authentic Author and this Author is Allah (SWT).
Semitic languages are languages that cannot be translated (or extremely difficult) without loosing the meaning of the message during the translation!
Remember, a translation is just a commentary of what the translator understand from reading the Quran, or the Bible, and not the actual words and that is why, in order to understand the Quran, or its meaning, it is better to learn Arabic.
The Quran’s original text is Arabic and still remains till this day! Isa (Jesus – Peace Be upon Him) spoke Western Aramaic and never English! Ponder over that!
My recommendations – You have a question about a verse in the Quran (no matter how bad you think the verse is compared to what you believe a good religion should be), visit a Mesjid (Mosque) and ask to speak to an Imam who is fluent in the language you speak, and Insha-Allah, your misunderstanding cease to exist!
Can you disagree with the Quran? Yes you can and it is your God’s (Allah – SWT) given right! You can go to an Imam and tell him about your disagreement with the Quran, Islam, and so on but you have to do it in a civilized and ethical manner.
- Ask the Imam to explain the verse to you in a way you understand
- Ask him when was the verse revealed and where (Mecca or Medina)
- Ask him who was the verse revealed for and under which circumstance
And Insha-Allah, you will find out that your previous misunderstanding of Islam, the Quran or anything about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was either due to the media and its biased information about Islam, or simply, you did not take the time and effort to learn about the Quran.
Note: When reading the Holy Quran, remember that verses and chapters were sent during a specific time and for a specific reason! Thus you have to understand what is implied in the verse or chapter and ask an Imam for further explanation of the verse or chapter you are reading!
Also – The translation of the Quran you are reading is just someone’s understanding the Quran, and commenting about It!
Teaching of Islam