Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Main Theme of the Quran


By: Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

Not only is the Quran unique among books today in its origin and purity, but it is also unique in the way it presents its subject matter. It is not a book in the usual sense of the word wherein there is an introduction, explanation of the subject, followed by a conclusion. Neither is it restricted to only a presentation of historical events, problems of philosophy, facts of science or social laws, though all may be found woven together in it without any apparent connection and links.

Subjects are introduced without background information, historical events are not presented in chronological order, new topics sometimes crop up in the middle of another for no apparent reason, and the speaker and those spoken to change direction without the slightest forewarning. The reader who is unaware of the Quran's uniqueness is often puzzled when he finds it contrary to his understanding of a book in general and a "religious" book in particular. Hence, the Quran may seem disorganized and haphazard to him. However, to those who understand its subject matter, aim and its central theme, the Quran is exactly the opposite.

The subject matter of the Quran is essentially man: man in relation to his Lord and Creator, Allah; man in relation to himself; and man in relation to the rest of creation. The aim and object of the revelations is to invite man to the right way of dealing with his Lord, with himself, and with creation. Hence, the main theme that runs throughout the Quran is that God alone deserves worship and, thus, man should submit to God's laws in his personal life and in his relationships with creation in general. Or, in other words, the main theme is a call to the belief in Allah and the doing of righteous deeds as defined by Allah.

If the reader keeps these basic facts in mind, he will find that, from beginning to end, the Quran's topics are all closely connected to its main theme and that the whole book is a well-reasoned and cohesive argument for its theme. The Quran keeps the same object in view, whether it is describing the creation of man and the universe or events from human history. Since the aim of the Quran is to guide man, it states or discusses things only to the extent relevant to this aim and leaves out unnecessary and irrelevant details. It also repeats its main theme over and over again in the presentation of each new topic.

No comments: