What does it take to understand the Qur`an?

Category: Faith & Spirituality Topics: Quran Views: 1211

What does it take to understand the Qur'an was the most frequently asked question during the Open House sessions for the guests at various Mosques and Islamic Centers. After the Sep. 11 tragedy these Open Houses were scheduled not only at the Mosques, but also at various Churches and Synagogues. It enabled people to get to know each other, and ask questions about their respective faiths.

Ramadan is the month in which the Qur'an was first revealed in Arabic to Prophet Muhammad 1400 years ago. The language of Qur'an is unique and its style is exceptional. Although the Arabs at the time of its revelation were at the peak of literary excellence, the Qur'an proved to be a great challenge to them.

None were able to produce anything similar - not even a short chapter. In the Qur'an it is categorically stated that they would never be able to do it. But why the challenge, and why the failure ? This stems from the fact that the Qur'an uses the same unique and elegant language to explain a variety of basic topics eg, faith (Imaan), theology (Kalaam), acts of worship (Ibada), etc. as well as complex legal issues as family laws, and the civil and criminal penal code.

The Qur'an addresses such topics with both simplicity and degrees of sophistication. But the language is always the same: a beautiful classical Arabic language styled in poetry cum prose. This made it possible for the entire book to be memorized by millions, including those whose native language is not Arabic.

Many scholars, Muslims and non-Muslims who are fluent in Arabic maintain that the Qur'an is a literary miracle ( Mojeza). Even today, the more the person becomes fluent in Arabic the more they can appreciate the beautiful rhythm, which often brings joy to the hearts. A skilled reciter of the Qur'an (called Qari in Arabic) often brings an Arabic-speaking audience to emotional tears.

Professor H.A.R. Gibb puts it : "No man in fifteen hundred years has ever played on that deep toned instrument with such power, such boldness, and such range of emotional effect." The literary miracle of the Qur'an is one of several, which include the mention of future events and scientific principles. These were later confirmed - a French author Maurice Bucaille writes on this subject in his book: " The Bible, The Qur'an, and Science." Any claims or accusations against the Qur'an do not offend Muslims as the Qur'an states that the free choice of faith is a God-given human quality which must be respected. Dr. William Baker, President of CAMP (Christians and Muslims for Peace), in his book: More in common than you think, writes that "Christians are quite surprised to learn of the extensive list of Biblical subjects considered vital to the Christian faith, which are likewise important to the Muslim faith".

As an example, Qur'an gives high esteem to Mary, mother of Jesus, and confirms the virgin birth of Jesus. Words of Jesus in defense of his mother's innocence are spelled out in the Qur'an in Chapter 19, Verses 16-40. The Qur'an has much to say regarding many of the pertinent theological and doctrinal subjects of Christianity such as: 1. Angels (Malaik in Qur'an), 2. Heaven, hell, and eternity (Jannah, Naar, and Akhira), 3. Day of Judgment (Qiamah), etc.

In the final analysis the Qur'an has its roots in the Bible, and also gives importance to the Torah or Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible). President Jimmie Carter after leaving the Whitehouse spent considerable time researching the Qur'an and made a comparative study with the Bible. He has written an excellent book on this subject "The Three Abrahamic Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam" linking the three faiths to the Patriarch Prophet Abraham.

  Category: Faith & Spirituality
  Topics: Quran
Views: 1211

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Older Comments:
I really loved this article. I had a similar conversation with one of my Step-Moms. She's serious Christian and she shares the same veiws ans I and this article. Alhamdulilla