The Holy Quran
The Sacred Scripture of Islam
The Holy Quran is a compilation of the verbal revelations given to the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa over a period of twenty three years. The Holy Quran is the Holy Book of the Muslims. It lays down for them the law and commandments, codes for their social and moral behaviour, and contains a comprehensive religious philosophy. The language of the Quran is Arabic.
Besides its proper name, the Quran is also known by the following names: Al-Kitab (The Book), Al-Furqan (The Discrimination), Al-Dhikr (The Exposition), Al-Bayan (The Explanation), Al-Burhan (The Argument), Al-Haq (The Truth), At-Tanzil (The Revelation), Al-Hikmat (The Wisdom), Al-Huda (The Guide), Al-Hukm (The Judgment), Al-Mau’izah (The Admonition), Ar-Rahmat (The Mercy), An-Noor (The Light), Ar-Rooh (The Word).
Contents of the Holy Quran
To Muslims, the Quran is the Word of God and contains complete guidance for mankind. The Quran presents the perfect image of God, His attributes and explains man’s relationship with Him. It also contains directives for man, commandments regarding his mutual interactions with his fellow-creatures, historical accounts of certain prophets and peoples, information regarding the afterlife etc. Broadly speaking, the contents of the Holy Quran fall into five main categories: Nature of the spiritual world, law and commandments, historical accounts, wisdom, and prophecies.
The Holy Quran is divided into 114 chapters called Surahs, and each chapter consists of individual verses known as Ayaat. There are in total 6,348 verses in the Holy Quran. The chapters are of varying lengths, some consisting of a few lines while others run for many pages. Surah al-Baqarah is the longest chapter comprising 287 verses while Surah al-Kausar is the shortest with only four verses.
A universal message
From time immemorial, it has been the Divine practice that whenever man abandons the path of righteousness and advance in wrongdoings, a Divine Messenger is commissioned by God to reform him who would take him out of the pit of moral darkness and guide him to the spiritual light. Hence, He has sent his chosen prophets to all nations who carried the Divine message to their respective people.
However, these prophets and the laws they introduced were such that they addressed a particular nation or people and were meant for a specific time. But, when human experience increased and the concept of universality developed among man, a perfect and everlasting law became necessary, which should not be confined to any section of mankind with respect to time or place. Such is the message of the Holy Quran, which included in it all the necessary teachings of the past religions – adding new injunctions to keep up with the pace of human progress, omitting such principles which were of a purely local or temporary character and retaining such commandments which were of universal in nature and were still required by man.
Preservation of the Holy Quran
The text of the Holy Quran has remained unchanged over the past 1400 years. This is not strange since God says in the Holy Quran that He Himself will guard this book:
Surely it is We Who have revealed the Exposition, and surely it is We Who are its guardians
Holy Quran 15:10
From the very outset, the Prophetsa employed two independent but mutually complementary methods for preserving the Quranic revelations. The two methods used for this purpose were memorisation and inscription. Besides ensuring independently the transmission of the revelation, the two methods also served as internal checks, thus ensuring its accurate preservation.
The fact that the Holy Quran remains the same unchanged and unaltered Book which was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa is admitted even by many staunch opponents of Islam.
There is otherwise every security, internal and external, that we possess the text which Mohamet himself gave forth and used.
The Life of Mahomet by Sir William Muir p. 561
The efforts of European scholars to prove the existence of later interpolations in the Quran have failed.
Prof. Noldeke in Encyclopaedia Britannica; 9th edition, under Quran
This fact has also been corroborated by yet other independent researchers and can be verified today through comparison with many early manuscripts of the Holy Quran such as the Birmingham manuscript, Tübingen manuscript etc.
The Promised Messiah and the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community states:
The Holy Quran is a rare pearl. Its outside is light and its inside is light and its above is light and its below is light and there is light in every word of it. It is a spiritual garden whose clustered fruits are within easy reach and through which streams flow. Every fruit of good fortune is found in it and every torch is lit from it. Its light has penetrated to my heart and I could not have acquired it by any other means. And Allah is my Witness that if there had been no Qur’an I would have found no delight in life.
Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, v. 5, pp. 545-546
Hence, the Holy Quran draws its true follower to itself through its spiritual effect and its inherent light and illumines his heart, and then, by displaying great signs, creates such a strong relationship with God as cannot be cut asunder by a sharp sword.