By Dr. Mozammel Haque
Allah says that the Last Revelation of His was sent down in the month of Ramadan on the Night of Power Lailatul Qadr. (Qur’an, 91:1-3.) It is the month of Ramadan that Allah has honoured it by revealing the Qur’an. Because of this strong relation between the Qur’an and the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to read the Qur’an to Archangel Jibreel every Ramadan.
Therefore it is the right place to discuss the purpose and objective of the revelation of the Qur’an, its importance, the various hostile campaigns against it and the do’s and don’ts of the Qur’an.First of all, Allah the Most High, created man and gave him the gift of expression. For the guidance of mankind Allah sent Prophets to every single community.
It is stated in the Qur’an, which means that there has been no community to which God’s Messengers have not come and that Muslims should make no distinction between Allah’s Messengers. So it is the duty of a Muslim to honour all the Prophets equally.The Qur’an represents the culmination of all earlier Revealed Books. It is the last of the Revealed Books sent down by Allah for the guidance of mankind.
The Qur’an is the only scripture, which requires the belief in other revelations, as part of the Islamic Faith. This Sacred Book was revealed to the last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the month of Ramadan as Allah Himself said in the Qur’an: “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).” (2:185) Allah the Most High has especially mentioned the exact date and month of the revelation: “We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power.” (97:1)
So the purpose of the revelation of the Qur’an was to provide true guidance to mankind.The Qur’an is emphatic in proclaiming that Islam is the religion of all Prophets: the religion of Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon him). It stresses that Prophets Moses, Jesus and all others were not Jews but Muslims. “Surely those who believe (in that which is revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabaeans – whoever believes in Allah, and the Last Day and does good, surely their reward is with their Lord, and there is no fear for them nor shall they grieve.” (2:62). “A Guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and judgement (between right and wrong),” is the most important characteristic of the Qur’an, the Book that Allah has revealed to His last Messenger to serve as the only Book of man’s guidance till the Day of Judgment.
It is guidance for mankind having clear proof of judgement between right and wrong in all matters of human life.Before the revelation of the Qur’an, it was preserved and guarded from every kind of corruption in the “Mother of the Book.” Allah Himself said: “Nay this is a Glorious Qur’an (inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved” (85:21-22). When Allah wanted to give this Trust to someone, the heavens, the earth, and the mountains, i.e. other creatures of Allah, besides man, shirked from shouldering this Trust or responsibility.
They preferred to submit their will entirely to Allah’s Will, which is All-Wise and Perfect, and which would give them far more happiness than a faculty of choice, with their imperfect knowledge. Allah says in the Qur’an: “We did indeed offer the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains; but they declined to bear it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it: He was indeed unjust and ignorant of its results.” (33-72).So it was the man who took the responsibility of the Trust without realizing its importance and consequences. The Qur’an is the revealed book of God which has been in existence for more than 14 hundred years and the Word of Allah is preserved in its original form.
There has not been an iota of change in this unique Divine revelation. Its originality and authenticity has been guaranteed by no other than Allah the Almighty who challenges in the Qur’an itself on various occasions.Allah said, “This Qur’an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah: on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelation) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the Worlds.” (Qur’an, 10:37).
In another verse of the Qur’an Allah challenges, “Or do they say, “He forged it?” Say: “Bring then a Surah like unto it; and call (to your aid) anyone who can, beside Allah if it be you speak the truth!” (Qur’an,10:38) “Or they may say, “He forged it.” Say, “Bring you then ten Suras forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever you can, other than Allah! – if you speak the truth!” (Qur’an,11:13)Allah said in the Qur’an, “And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant then produce a Sura like thereunto, and call your witnesses and helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if your are truthful.” (Qur’an, 2:23)
People in every age have been challenged to produce a Book like it and they were unable to produce one. It is the only Revealed Book whose text stands pure and uncorrupted today. Allah said, “Say: “if the whole of mankind and jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.” (Qur’an, 17:88)
Since the revelation of the Qur’an, the enemies of Islam have been trying to distort its life-giving messages. Firstly, they said, it is not Allah’s revelation, it has been dictated to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by someone. Then they started attacking its authenticity and originality. In spite of their conspiracies, the Qur’an has been preserved in its original form.The Qur’an is the only Divine revelation which has remained for the past 14 centuries uncorrupted and pure without any human interpolation or change and will remain so till the Last Day as Allah has guaranteed its purity. (Qur’an,15:9).
The purity, preservation and propagation of the Qur’an was maintained by two methods: memorization of the Qur’an in the Qur’anic schools and the recitation of the complete Qur’an in Ramadan. In the month of Ramadan every year the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) would Qur’an with Archangel Jibreel. Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet used to repeat the recitation of the Qur’an with Jibreel once a year, but he repeated it twice with him in the year the Prophet (peace be upon him) died. The Qur’an was recited in the Taraweeh for the first time during the era of Caliph Omar (may Allah be pleased with him).Though many Huffaz and Islamic scholars were killed in the different parts of the world at different times, still there is no dearth of Islamic scholars who can recite the complete Qur’an from memory.
Severe campaigns have been launched against the Qur’anic schools, which teach the study, recitation and memorization of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the main Book of the Muslims and it is the duty of the Muslims to learn the Qur’an, which contains their code of life and ethical values whose benefits have been experienced by mankind throughout the ages.We have discussed the objectives and importance of the Qur’an and how its originality and purity have been maintained.
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions dedicated their whole lives to the worship of Allah. Their lives revolved completely around the Book of Allah, the Qur’an, reciting it in and out of Salah.The Qur’an is the basis of the religion of Islam, and on the preservation and propagation of Allah’s Book depends the very existence of this Faith. Hence the virtues of learning and teaching the Qur’an are self-evident and do not need further elucidation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best amongst you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Bukhari, Daud and Tirmidhi).