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Pondering on the Qur’ān
Harun Yahya


It is We Who have created you: why will you not witness the truth? Do you then see the [human seed] that you throw out? Is it you who create it, or are We the Creators? We have decreed death to be your common lot, and We are not to be frustrated. And you certainly know already the first form of creation: why then do you not celebrate His praises? See you the seed that you sow in the ground? Is it you that cause it to grow, or are We the cause? Were it Our will, We could crumble it to dry powder, and you would be left in wonderment. See you the water which you drink? Do you bring it down [in rain] from the cloud or do We? Were it Our will, We could make it salt [and unpalatable]: then why do you not give thanks? See you the Fire which you kindle? Is it you who grow the tree which feeds the fire, or do We grow it? Then celebrate with praises the name of thy Lord, the Supreme! That this is indeed a Qur’ān Most Honourable, in a Book well-guarded, which none shall touch but those who are clean: A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. Is it such a Message that you would hold in light esteem? (56:57-81)

What do you know about the Qur’ān?

In most of the Middle Eastern countries where Muslims are in majority, many of the  people who can be considered as ‘average citizens’ would answer this question as: ‘The Qur’ān is the holy book of our religion.’ Yet, they know very little about the content of the Qur’ān. In fact, it is used for many purposes which are far away from its real revealed purpose. It is usually hung on walls of houses within a decorative cover and read usually by elder people from time to time. People read it in Arabic, but as they only know how to read Arabic letters without understanding the meaning, they, most of the time do not have a clue about what they have been reading and about the content of the Qur’ān either.

The Qur’ān is also supposed to have some very interesting benefits to people. After reading it and performing some weird rituals like blowing hard on another person’s face, it is believed to protect that person and his close relatives from a possible future ‘accident or misfortune’. The Qur’ān is believed to be some sort of amulet that includes words having talisman and protects people against bad luck. The Qur’ān is also believed to have a frightening power. Because, it smites people if they tell lies! At graveyards, it is read for the deceased without knowing what is being read. It can even be used for telling fortune.

Only a small percentage of Muslims know the content of the Qur’ān and ponder on the Qur’ān as required. As a result, people who are ignorant of the real message of the Qur’ān, attribute different meanings to it. Many people believe some traditions to have their origin from the Qur’ān, although they may be contradictory in the very nature of the Qur’ānic message. For example, there are many people who believe that a blue bead, which is believed to possess power to avert the devil’s eye, is recommended in the Qur’ān.

The question then is: What is the true nature of the Qur’ān? The answer must be derived from the Qur’ān itself, as it has the real answer in it.

Here is a Message for mankind: Let them take warning therefrom, and let them know that He is [no other than] One Allah: let men of understanding take heed. (14:52)

And We have indeed made the Qur’ān appropriate to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition? (54:32)

There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it,-- a detailed exposition of all things, and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe. (12:111)

This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. (2:2)

These verses and many other verses emphasise that the real purpose of the revelation of the Qur’ān is to encourage people to ponder on such crucial issues as creation and purpose of life, make them know about Allah Who has created them, and show them the right way as a guide. The Qur’ān is a book that is needed by people with an open mind and soul.

Many rituals, believed to have originated from the Qur’ān, and that are being practised by many people, are in fact not from the Qur’ān. On the contrary, they contradict the Qur’ānic message. This shows that there is a huge difference between the true religion as explained in the Qur’ān and the concept of religion prevalent among the common public. This difference has been caused by abandoning the real source, the Qur’ān. The Qur’ān informs us about this fact as follows:

Then the Messenger will say: ‘O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’ān for just foolish nonsense.’ (25:30)

Therefore, what is needed to be done in the first place is to correct the wrong point of view about the Qur’ān and make people understand that the Qur’ān is not a book which is addressed only to the Prophet (sws) but to all people who consider themselves Muslims. Any person who utters this statement: ‘I’m a Muslim, alhamdulillāh’ must read the Qur’ān and try to understand the meaning of the verses. In the Qur’ān, the importance of learning verses and reciting them are especially emphasised:

And recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the Signs of Allah and His wisdom: for Allah understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted [with them]. (33:33)

Because of not doing what is ordered in the Qur’ān, and not learning the religion from its original source, countless prejudices which take their roots from social traditions have been introduced into religion.

Some people believe that the Qur’ān addresses only Muslims of the 7th century and some other think that only a small part of the verses addresses people other than the Muslims of the 7th century. A person having such an approach gets satisfied with reading the Qur’ān and thinks he fulfils his religious duties by doing so. However, this is not only a matter of learning what is inside of the Qur’ān, but also putting them into practice, fulfilling the duties ordered in the Qur’ān, adapting moral standards explained in the Qur’ān; briefly, bringing the Qur’ān into one’s own everyday life.

Those who claim that the Qur’ān has become outdated and needs to be revised according to new age, cannot realise the fact that the Qur’ān is not confined to chains of time but it covers all ages and societies as it has been revealed from Allah, Who has the knowledge of everything, the past and the future. When a person reads the Qur’ān with a sincere heart and an open mind, he sees that the models of people and societies described in the Qur’ān existed at every age in history including today and the Qur’ān explains the current state of people and societies. All disorder, perversion and mistakes made by a society which is away from true religious values have been clearly stated in the Qur’ān. The reactions of the people of these societies towards religion have been described with detailed character analyses. These descriptions and analyses completely fit into the world of today and demonstrate the ‘sociological miracle’ of the Qur’ān.

When a person starts reading the Qur’ān and tries to implement it in his daily life, he can be considered to be on his way to become a real Muslim as described in the Qur’ān. He amazingly begins to see how the Qur’ān covers every moment of his life. Many events that a person will come up against have been mentioned in the Qur’ān and the proper reactions of a Muslim have also been explained in detail.

Being satisfied with reading and knowing the Qur’ān without practising it, may lead to some displeasing consequences. Allah describes Jews as an example of such kind of people and uses the analogy of ‘a donkey which carries huge tomes’ for them.

The similitude of those who were charged with the [obligations of the] Mosaic Law, but who subsequently failed in those [obligations] is that of a donkey which carries huge tomes [but understands them not]. Evil is the similitude of people who falsify the Signs of Allah: and Allah guides not people who do wrong. (62:5)


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