Allah, The Almighty, revealed the Qur’an to be His last, all-embracing Scripture containing the final manifestation of the Divine Law. This necessitates that it has to be safeguarded from the mischievous hands of men and from all corruption. This protection has been a reality from the time the Qur’an was revealed until today and will remain so forever. It contains no additions or deletions. It has reached us by so many chains of transmission that it is impossible for them to have conspired on a lie. It has been recorded and memorised innumerable times.
There has been no change in its text over time, not even in a single letter. Some of those who have committed it to memory cannot speak Arabic; nevertheless, they recite it exactly as it was revealed.
Allah has guaranteed the preservation of the Qur’anic text, as He, the Most Exalted, Says (what means): “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [Qur’an 15:9]
Allah also Says (what means): “And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” [Qur’an 6: 115]
As for the previous Scriptures, they were for a limited duration of time. Allah gave human beings the responsibility of preserving them, and they lost them through corruption, alteration, and concealment. Allah Says (what means):
“Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto.” [Qur’an 5:44]
In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty informs us that the Torah was changed; He Says (what means):
“So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.” [Qur’an 2:79]
Being the final, all-encompassing and preserved against any change, the Islamic Law abrogated all the previous Scriptures which sustained human interpolations. Abrogation generally takes place with regards to secondary matters of law. As for fundamental principles, like the Oneness of Allah, The Most Exalted, the prohibition of idolatry, and the fundamentals of worship – matters that form the basic call of all the Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention, they are not subject to abrogation.
The Law that came with Prophet ‘Eesa (Jesus), may Allah exalt his mention, abrogated part of the Law that came with Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention. Relating the words of Prophet ‘Eesa to the Children of Israel, Almighty Allah Says (what means): “And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Torah and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you…” [Qur’an 3:50]
The Islamic Law is lasting, remaining suitable for every place and time, and embracing the goodness of the previous manifestations of the Law. Allah Says (what means): “And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it.” [Qur’an 5:48]
The Qur’an is different from the previous Scriptures in the following respects:
(1) The Qur’an is miraculous and inimitable. Nothing similar to it can be produced by human beings. Allah challenged both humans and jinn to produce the like of the Qur’an, as in the verse (which means): “Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.” [Qur’an 17:88]
He, The Almighty, further challenged the disbelievers among the Arabs to produce even one chapter similar to the Qur’anic chapters, Saying (what means): “And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a chapter the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful.” [Qur’an 2:23]
(2) After the Qur’an, no more Scriptures will be revealed by Allah. Just as the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), is the last Prophet, the Qur’an is the last Scripture.
(3) Allah has taken it upon Himself to protect the Qur’an from alteration, to safeguard it from corruption, and to preserve it from distortion (as stated in the meaning of [Qur’an 15:9] previously quoted. On the other hand, the previous Scriptures suffered alteration and distortion and did not remain in their originally revealed form (as mentioned above in [Qur’an 4:46]).
(4) The Qur’an, for one, confirms early Scriptures and, for another, is a trustworthy witness over them [Qur’an 5:48].
(5) The Qur’an abrogates them, meaning it cancels the rulings of the previous Scriptures and renders them inapplicable. The Law of the old Scriptures is no longer applicable; the previous rulings have been abrogated with the new Law of Islam.
Accordingly, Allah does not accept any religion except Islam as a way to His Pleasure, as He Says (what means):
“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” [Qur’an 3:85]
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
History of the Noble Qur’an
The Qur’an is the backbone of Islam. On this Sacred Book of Allah depends the Islamic call, state, society and the civilisation of the Muslim world. It is the last Divine revelation, which was sent down to Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), the last and final of all Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention. His task was to convey the message of worshipping the One God, Allah, without ascribing any partners to Him. The Noble Qur’an, which is the source of guidance and mercy to mankind, is divided into 114 Surahs (chapters) of varying lengths. Ninety-three chapters were revealed in Makkah, while the remaining 21 were revealed in Madinah.
The first revelation that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, received was Surat Al-’Alaq, which was in Makkah where Surat An-Najm was to later became the first to be recited openly to the people. In Madinah, Surat Al-Mutaffifeen was the first one revealed after the Hijrah (migration). The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, had to flee to Madinah to save his own life and the lives of his followers, upon the command of Allah.
The last verse sent down to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was the saying of Allah which means: “…This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion...” [Qur’an: 5:3]
Some chapters in the Qur’an focus on the call to Islam as guidance for humanity. They focus upon monotheism and the fight against polytheism and idolatry. Thus, stress is laid on all that is related to faith. In other chapters, attention is given to legislation, acts of worship, relationships among people and the laws that regulate matters within the Muslim community, government, and family.
A number of chapters inform about Resurrection, the Hereafter and the unseen; others relate the stories of various prophets and their calls to their people to return to Allah. We see how the previous nations were severely punished when they disobeyed Allah and denied the messages of previous prophets, may Allah exalt their mention.
In addition, several chapters focus on the story of creation and the development of human life. In fact, Makkan revelations made the Muslims’ faith in Allah firmly established. On the other hand, Madinan revelations were meant to translate the faith into action and give details of the Divine Law.
Allah will forever preserve the Qur’an against all attempts to destroy or corrupt it. Being guarded by Allah, it will always remain pure. There does not exist a single copy with any variation from the recognised text.
Any attempt of alteration has resulted in failure.
Upon the command of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, his Companions would write down what was revealed of the Noble Qur’an. They used, for this purpose, palm branches stripped of leaves, parchments, shoulder bones, stone tablets, etc. About forty people were involved in this task. Among them was Zayd Ibn Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, who showed his work to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Thus, the Qur’an was correctly arranged during the Prophet’s life, but it was not yet compiled into one book. In the meantime, most of the Prophet’s Companions memorised the Qur’an.
When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, became Caliph after the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, died, a large number of the Companions were killed during the War of Apostasy. ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, went to the Caliph and discussed the idea of compiling the Qur’an into one volume. He was disturbed, as most of those who memorised it had died. Then, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, called for Zayd and commissioned him to collect the Qur’an into one book, which became known as the Mus-haf.
After Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, accomplished this great task and organised the Qur’an into one book, he submitted the precious collection to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, who kept it in his possession until the end of his life. During the caliphate of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, it was kept with his daughter Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, who was also a wife of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
During the Caliphate of ‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him, Islam reached many countries, and readers began to recite the Qur’an in different ways (dialects). ‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him, then had various copies made and sent them out to the different Muslim lands, lest these dialects would cause alterations to the Qur’an, and kept the original copy with Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her. Thus, the Qur’an remained preserved and the Caliph was very much pleased with his achievement.
Today, every copy of the Qur’an conforms with the standard copy of ‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him. In fact, Muslims over the ages excelled in producing the best manuscripts of the Noble Qur’an in the most wonderful handwriting. With the introduction of printing, more and more editions of the Noble Qur’an became available all over the world.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
The Qur’an and what it means to Muslims
The Qur’an is Allah’s speech, not a created thing that may perish nor is it an attribute of any created thing. It is an absolute fact that Allah Himself is not created but rather He is the Creator. One of His attributes which He has informed us about through His Book is that He speaks and speech is of course with words. It is precisely because the speech and words in the Qur’an are from Allah that the Qur’an itself is not created.
One should not be confused between this and the fact that the Words of Allah can be expressed in writing and bound within the pages of a book that human beings can read and recite. Allah states: And if anyone of the mushrikeen (polytheists) seeks your protection, then grant him protection, so that he may hear the word of Allah (the Qur’an). [Qur’an 9:6]
The Qur’an was brought down by Jibreel (Gabriel) to Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and over a period of 23 years it was revealed in portions and piecemeal as circumstances warranted. Allah states: And truly this (the Qur’an) is a revelation from the Lord of the ‘aalamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists) which the trustworthy Ruh (Gabriel) has brought down [Qur’an 26: 192-193.] And He said: And those who disbelieved say: ‘Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once?’. Thus (it is sent down in parts) that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. Qur’an 25:32
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, would memorise the verses he received and recite them to the companions and ordered them to write them down immediately. Whatever those expert scribes and appointed recorders wrote was checked by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, himself. The Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, had no formal schooling and he is referred to by Allah as being ummee or illiterate. This adds to the miraculous nature of the Qur’an and the Prophet’s own statements which could not have been uttered by one such as he without divine intervention.
The Qur’an is the last of Allah’s scriptures divided into 114 Surahs (chapters) of unequal length. It starts with Surah Al-Faatiha (The Opening) and ends with Surah An-Nas (Mankind). It is one of the fundamental sources of Islamic teachings. It guards the previous revelations and reinforces the eternal truth of monotheism. The Qur’an stands today as it first came down and it always will be. To it there has never been any addition, from it there is no omission, and in it there has occurred no corruption. Allah said: Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah they would surely have found therein much contradictions. [Qur’an 4:82]
Islam and fortune-telling
By Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
There are among mankind people who claim knowledge of the unseen and the future. They are known by various names, among which are: fortune-tellers, soothsayers, foreseers, augurs, magicians, prognosticators, oracles, astrologers, palmists, etc. Fortune-tellers use various methods and mediums from which they claim to extract their information, among which are: reading tea-leaves, drawing lines, writing numbers, palm-reading, casting horoscopes, crystal ball gazing, rattling bones, throwing sticks, etc. Practitioners of occult arts, who claim to reveal the unseen and predict the future, can be divided into two main categories:
1. Those who have no real knowledge or secrets but depend on telling their customers about general incidences which happen to most people. They often go through a series of meaningless rituals, and then make calculated general guesses. Some of their guesses, due to their generality, may come true. Most people tend to remember the few predictions that come true and quickly forget the many which do not. This tendency is a result of the fact that after some time, all the predictions tend to become half-forgotten thoughts in the subconscious until something happens to trigger their recall. For example, it has become common practice in North America to publish, at the beginning of each year, the various predictions of famous fortune-tellers. When a survey was taken of the various predictions for the year 1980CE, it was found that the most accurate fortune-teller among them was only 24% accurate in her predictions!
2. The second group are those who have made contact with the Jinn. This group is of most importance because it usually involves the grave sin of Shirk (associating others with Allah), and those involved often tend to be fairly accurate in their information and thus present a real Fitnah (trial and temptation) for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Not only is the practice of astrology Haraam (forbidden by Islamic Law), but so are visiting an astrologist and listening to his predictions, buying books on astrology and reading one’s horoscope. Since astrology is mainly used for predicting the future, those who practice it are considered fortune-tellers. Consequently, one who seeks his horoscope comes under the ruling contained in the Prophet’s statement: “The daily prayers of whoever approaches a fortune-teller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for forty days and nights.” [Muslim]
The punishment in this Hadith is simply for approaching and asking the astrologist, even if one is in doubt about the truth of his statements. When one is in doubt about the truth or falsehood of astrological information, this entails that he is in doubt about whether or not others know the unseen and the future besides Allah. This is a form of Shirk, because Allah has clearly stated (what means): “And with Him [i.e., Allah] are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him.” [Qur’an 6:59] As well as (what means): “Say (O Muhammad): ‘None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah…’” [Qur’an: 27:65]
If, however, one believes in the predictions of their horoscopes, whether spoken by an astrologist or written in books of astrology, he falls directly into Kufr (disbelief) as stated by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention): “Whoever approaches an oracle or fortune-teller and believes in what he says, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” [Ahmad & Abu Daawood]
Like the previous narration, this one literally refers to the fortune-teller and it is just as applicable to the astrologist. Both claim knowledge of the future. The astrologist’s claim is just as opposed to Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) as the ordinary fortune-teller. He claims that people’s personalities are determined by the stars, and their future actions and the events of their lives are written in the stars. The ordinary fortune-teller claims that the formation of tea leaves at the bottom of a cup, or lines in a palm, tell him the same thing. In both cases, individuals claim the ability to read in the physical formation of created objects, knowledge of the unseen.
Belief in astrology and the casting of horoscopes are in clear opposition to the letter and spirit of Islam. It is really the empty soul, which has not tasted real Eemaan (belief) that seeks out these paths. Essentially these paths represent a vain attempt to escape Qadar (fate).
These ignorant believe that if they know what is in store for them tomorrow, they can prepare from today. In that way, they may avoid the bad and ensure the good. Yet, Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was told by Allah to say (what means): “…If I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of glad tidings to a people who believe.” [Qur’an 7:188]
True Muslims are, therefore, obliged to stay far away from these areas. Thus, rings, chains, etc., which have the signs of the Zodiac on them should not be worn, even if one does not believe in them. They are part and parcel of a fabricated system which propagates Kufr and should be done away with entirely. No believing Muslim should ask another what his star-sign is, or attempt to guess what it is. Nor should he or she read horoscope columns in newspapers or listen to them being read. Any Muslim who allows astrological predictions to determine his actions should seek Allah’s forgiveness and renew his Islam.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
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