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Quran

It is believed that Prophet Muhammad had received revelations from Allah for 23 years. At first, these revelations were preached by the prophet verbally. Later Muhammad's teachings were set down in a book called the Quran (Koran). After Muhammad's death all the teachings of Muhammad were compiled under the direction of the first Sunni Caliph Abu Bakr. The work was completed about 1,400 years ago.

Composed in 114 verses or surah(s) of varying lengths, the Quran covers a wide range of subjects. Quran has been revealed for the guidance of mankind and invites the people of wisdom to read into its pages to enhance human knowledge about the universe and Creator, and to create environments where man could live in peace and harmony with the fellow human beings and with the Nature. It puts a special emphasis on the concept of oneness of god and his concern about the spiritual and worldly welfare of man. The holy scripture also enlightens on the creation of the world, specially, of man; of good and evil spirits; man's responsibility for his actions; the Day of Judgement; the final account; and rewards and punishments.

The book also contains rules and regulations regarding worship and the life of the community, the laws of the family: like marriage, divorce and inheritance. Since the Quran is said to be the very word of god, it is untranslatable. Nevertheless, for those who don't understand Arabic, the Quran has been explained and translated into almost all world languages. Still, every Muslim is expected to learn the Arabic script to be able to read the original text, even if he does not understand its meaning in Arabic.
Quran is a part of the Knowledge - which is limitless, and therefore it encapsules the stages of human development. It also contains the solutions of issues and problems which mankind faces and specifies a complete Islamic system ie the system which facilitates living in peace - where there is no oppression, insecurity, fear and inequality. Quran commands authority and leadership and thus declares that if anyone has any doubts about the truth of the Book which has been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), then they should try to make even one passage which could match the Book, and poses the challenge that despite the knowledge and resources that man has , he will not be able to do so (re: Al-Baqra 2:23-24). This challenge has not been met to-date.

We have outlined few basic but key aspects of the Quran:

Literary aspect:
The language, the poetic element and the continuity of the Quran can only be fully appreciated by those who have the knowledge and command of Arabic language, though people who have no or little knowledge of the language get a wealth of satisfaction by reciting Quran or listening to its recitation. Translation of Quran in other languages can not reproduce the true meanings or the appropriate sense, therefore those who know no or little Arabic and would really like to understand Quran, should learn the language first. Perhaps it would be interesting to point out that enemies of Islam attack Quran mostly by using its translation or analysing its passages which are taken out of context.

Al-Zikir:
Where the reader can easily extract the lessons from what he reads. In this respect the Quran is very easy to understand for those who have some language skills. Allah says that the Quran was made easy in order to benefit and guide human (re: Murryam 19:97; Qamar 17:54; Dukhan 44:58).
Al-Taddabur:
Where the reader has to think through, analyse the concepts and deduce conclusions. It is this aspect of Quran which is most difficult since it goes right into the philosophy, knowledge and higher level of understanding. To highlight this point let me give a few examples. Abdulllah ibni Omar (son of Omar ibni Khattab) was a sahabi (companion of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w) and therefore was in the era in which the Quran was revealed, he was a thinker and researcher who had a total command of the Arabic language, and yet it took him approximately 8 years to interpret and document one surah ie Al-Baqra (this work was done well after the Prophet).

Imam Razi was a philosopher and researcher, had a command of Islamic thoughts and interpreted Quran in 36 volumes. But when it came to interpret and explain Aya 2 and 3 of Al-Huded (57) which says that He is the first and He is the last and that He is most overt and most covert, Imam Razi wrote R this is very deep, very difficult. It is impossible to explain in words.

We hope that the serious readers would be able to appreciate that the Quran represents social, economic and political code for improving the quality of life. If people, Muslim or non-Muslim, do not practice the code, it is they who are the losers and not the Islam or the Quran.
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