THUS SPEAKS THE QURAN
Shabbir Ahmed, M.D.
WHAT IS THE QURAN?
According to Muslim belief, the Quran is a book revealed by the Almighty to the exalted Prophet Muhammad of Arabia between 610-622 CE. It is a guide of conduct for all humanity. Unbiased reflection tells any reader that the Book is indeed matchless in the wisdom, knowledge, benevolence and guidance it enshrines. The Quran, the Last Message of God to mankind, is a much smaller book than the Bible.
Prophet Muhammad (570-632 CE) was the last in the long chain of prophets, messengers and apostles of God who were raised to guide people in all parts of the world. He was the last prophet since the Message delivered to him is for all humanity and it is complete, unaltered, and God Himself guarantees its protection for all times.
It sounds strange that most people have no hesitation in accepting the fact that God revealed His messages to the exalted prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others, but suddenly fall into skepticism when it comes to Muhammad (S). TSQ (Thus Speaks the Quran) will let the reader see the superb quality of the Final Message of God to mankind.
21:10 The Quran is all about you humans and it will give you eminence, if you follow it.
Let us not be disappointed or distracted by the deplorable actions of the so-called Muslims today. We know that a tree is known by the fruit it bears. Unfortunately, the Muslims are getting their fruit from a bad tree. They have forsaken the Quran in favor of the Mullah’s writings and preaching. This Counterfeit, “Imamist”, Tradition-based, Alien, Ritualistic, Fatalistic, Superstitious, 73 Virgin-oriented and non-Quranic “Islam” has wrought misery to humanity in general and humiliation to Muslims in particular, and it is destined to be routed. God willing, with efforts like ours, the world is about to witness and experience the benevolent, Quran-based Islam soon.
WHAT IS TSQ?
Although the entire Quran is full of wisdom, knowledge, benevolence and guidance for mankind, “Thus Speaks the Quran” (TSQ) briefly presents the fundamentals of the Divine Message. It is intended to be simple and reader-friendly for all, especially for those on the go.
For simplicity and brevity, I have paraphrased the central themes of the Quranic verses. Particular care has been taken to preserve the original meanings. This work is NOT a literal translation.
Undue bias in the West keeps people from enriching their lives with the Supreme Quranic wisdom. The objective of TSQ is not trying to defend the Quran which, I believe, needs no defense. For details, the reader may check one of my books, “Islam As I Understand” or “Who Wrote The Quran?” In addition to hard copies, they are available online at www.ourbeacon.com.
It is our sincere and fervent desire that no human being should remain deprived of the unique Beacon of Light, Al-Quran. We see quotes from every Tom, Dick & Harry in print and electronic media, but, according to Murad Hoffman, "Mentioning the Quran in the West is like quoting Satan." I wish to effectively change this unfortunate perception since the Quran is an unparalleled guidance for all humanity. Muslims have no exclusive rights to it. Rather, it is they who have abandoned it in favor of books written by “Imams” and Mullahs. However, since Muslims are thought to be the custodians of the Quran, their deplorable actions naturally alienate non-Muslims from this Treasure of treasures. We cannot blame the westerners for preemptively rejecting the Benevolent Quran since they have been made to think of it as a demonic book. Here is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to conveniently check the reality first hand.
Note: Surah means Chapter and Ayah means verse. References may be given within brackets. For example, 2:31 written as [2:31] will mean Chapter 2, verse 31. Muhammad (S) or the Prophet (S) indicates ‘our salutes to him’.
The What & Why Of The Universe:
It is often said that great minds think alike. Quite a few brilliant minds in the West, at the height of their intellectual inquiry, seem to come close to the glorious concepts, principles, and ideals of Divine intelligence given in the Quran. For example:
“I think, therefore I am.”
– Rene Descartes (1590 to 1650, French philosopher)
Descartes’ ability to think proved to him and others that his existence was real. Most simply, this demolishes the false dogmas of "Wahdat al-Wujud" (Unity of being), Mysticism, Pantheism, and Sufism all of which deny the real existence of everything but God.
Plato thought of the Universe as ‘a reflection of ideas', “The real existence is only of the World of Ideas. All that we see around us is an image of that World.”
Great Hindu philosophers thought of the Universe as God’s dream, “Lord Brahma is dreaming in a deep slumber. The dream is this Universe and the day He wakes up, it would be the end of the show.” Some thought of God as “Nut Rajan”, the Great Player: “The Universe is a toy and Lord Rama is playing with it.” Said a little differently by philosopher Manu, “The Cosmos is Ramji’s ‘leela’ (doll) and Ramji is playing with her.” [Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sir William Muir, the governor of UP during the 1860s, Dr. W. W. Hunter, a British research scholar in Bengal in the 1870s and Sarojini Naidu, the Nightingale of India, in the first half of the 20th century]
The Quran states that the entire Universe, including mankind, has a real existence. It has been created for a definite purpose, not in mere play. And it runs according to permanent, immutable Divine laws. So, water flows down-stream, gravity pulls, fire is hot, ice is cold, things float on water or sink in accordance with their specific gravity, planets revolve in their assigned orbits, all living beings face death, night and day alternate, opposite poles attract, like poles repel, actions have reactions, metals are good conductors of heat and electricity while non-metals are not, magnet will pull iron and leave aside wood, elements will always have fixed densities and boiling and freezing points, heat expands, cold contracts, all things are made of atoms, and so on.
When we discover any of such laws, we call it science. If the physical laws in Nature were to keep changing, no science would have been possible.
God creates His laws in the World of Command as He wills. Then He implements these laws in the World of Creation (Universe or Nature). Although the all Powerful God can change these laws, He never does. Therefore, nothing ‘supra-natural’, ‘supra-rational’ or ‘supernatural’ happens in the Universe. What is called ‘chance’, something incredible, unexplainable, or a ‘miracle’ today, becomes easily comprehensible tomorrow as we advance in knowledge.
[“One who disbelieves in miracles, is an infidel; one who believes in them, is a fool.” - Talmud]
The Universe is an absolute reality …. It has been created for a definite purpose …. Not for mere play …. It has been designed such that everything in it must become what it is meant to be …. And that every action gets a just recompense …. Universal laws never change or deviate.
10:5 …. God has created the Universe as the absolute reality and for a definite purpose. …
35:43 No change you will ever find in the laws of God, and no deviation you will ever find in them ….. [6:34, 6:116, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23]
7:54 …. Remember! To Him belongs the World of Creation, and to Him belongs the World of Command. Exalted is God, the Lord of the Worlds. [10:3, 11:7, 13:2, 25:59, 50:38, 57:4, See 41:10]
18:27 …. None can alter His Words …. [His laws in Theory (Kalimaatillah), and His laws in Practice as implemented in the Universe (Sunnatillah), never change. 6:34, 6:116, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 40:85, 48:23]
21:16 We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in mere play, without purpose. [11:7, 45:22, 53:31]
45:22 God has created the heavens and earth with a definite purpose, and every ‘self’ shall be compensated for what it has earned. And no injustice will be done to them.
Just as the Divine laws govern the Universe, they also govern our physical bodies.
Why Not Let The Divine Laws Govern Our Conduct As Well? Guess What? That Is What Islam Is.
This is another beauty of the Quran: It rationally negates all superstitions and false dogmas of the past, present and future. There is not a single intellectual inquiry that the brightest human mind could raise and its answer is not already given in the Book.
Another very significant factor has been playing its role almost unnoticed. The Quran has been, perceptibly and imperceptibly, making a Universal impact on human civilization during the last fourteen centuries. The celebrated French surgeon, thinker and historian, Robert Briffault (1876-1978), has very convincingly elaborated this fact in his remarkable work, "The Making of Humanity."
The Quran Is On The March
“The ideas that inspired the French Revolution and the Declaration of Rights that guided the framing of the American Constitution and inflamed the struggle for independence in the Latin American countries [and elsewhere] were not inventions of the West. They find their ultimate inspiration and source in the Holy Koran.” ….“The Renaissance of Europe did not take place in the 15th century. Rather it began when Europe learned from the culture of the Arabs. The cradle of European awakening is not Italy. It is the Muslim Spain.” (Robert Briffault, The Making of Humanity)
1. Despotism: At the time of the advent of Islam in 610 CE, kings and tyrants were ruling countries, nations, and tribes. There was no idea of human liberty, equality, and rule of law. The Quran uprooted tyranny with one stroke of pen:
No person has the right to command obedience of people even though he is a messenger of God. [3:79]
Command belongs to God alone and all His commands are given in the Quran. [6:57] So, a truly Islamic government will not rule, it will only implement those laws.
Now, look at recent history. Isn't the world moving away from despotism, kingdoms and autocracies?
2. Democracy: It is often claimed that Bacon, Rousseau, Locke and other European thinkers laid down the foundations of modern democracy. But the Quran had decreed fourteen centuries ago:
The affairs of the believers are a matter of counsel. [42:38]
Muslim rulers were elected and then obtained allegiance of the masses. (Ironically, autocratic rule today is seen mostly among countries that call themselves Muslim. This is another instance of the Muslims' departure from the Quran).
3. Human worship: The exalted Messenger broke the idols of personalities. The greatest man who ever walked this earth kept repeating,
"I am but a mortal like you.” [18:110]
Since the exalted Messenger's advent, human worship has been dwindling throughout the world.
4. Racism: Fourteen centuries ago, the whole world was drenched in racism. Aristotle taught around 500 BC that the Greeks were superior to all nations. He ‘owned’ 40 slaves and brought 40 kinds of logic in support of slavery. The Romans divided their own people among classes. There were about eight slaves per Roman elite. India demonstrated racism to an extreme degree; a newborn's whole life depended on whether he was born into a Brahman (priest), Khatri (soldier), Vaish (business), or Shudra (untouchable) family.
Muhammad (S) toppled the world of false traditions, "There is no superiority of a black over a white or a white over a black. All of you belong to the same single stock. The best among you is the one who is best in conduct." [Farewell Address, 49:13]
Who is the considered the greatest leader of these times? It is Nelson Mandela, who fought and won the battle against apartheid.
5. Human Rights: Here I suggest that the reader examine three most celebrated documents on human rights:
• The British Magna Carta (1215 CE)
• The American Constitution (1787 CE)
• The United Nations Charter of Human Rights (1945)
Then study only the brief "Farewell Sermon" of the exalted Messenger Muhammad and compare. The intelligently written human documents seem to pale in comparison to just one sermon of Muhammad (S).
The Quran had declared in the 7th century, "Indeed, We have conferred dignity on all children of Adam” (regardless of where the child is born). [17:70]
6. The Caste System: The exalted Messenger declared and established human brotherhood and equality by personal example. He belonged to the noblest of tribes and families. Yet, he humbly repeated "I am a mortal just like you." He further advised his closest family members that being a relative of Muhammad will be of no avail to them. He established that the only criterion of superiority among men and women will be their character (or conduct). Color, creed, family, gender or wealth would not impart honor to any individual.
Now which way is the world moving?
7. Slavery: The exalted Messenger shook up the so-called masters of men: "Their mothers had born them free. How could you enslave them? What if you were made their slaves and they were made your masters!"
The Quran, while explicitly pronouncing equality and brotherhood of all humans, ordered to "Free all captives and slaves for ransom or better as kindness." There is no third option. [47:4] The emancipation of slaves (male and female) took place without shedding a drop of blood. It was a noble revolution in the hearts of people. Without the Divine Light, the 19th century America, even under the great leadership of Abraham Lincoln, had to sacrifice one million dead and wounded attempting to abolish slavery!
8. Priesthood: At the dawn of Islam, priesthood was the worst oppressor of humanity. They were considered to possess infinite occult powers. They enjoyed greater authority than the kings did. They could condemn the "Children of God" to be hanged, crucified or burnt alive!
The Quran proclaimed that God is the only Knower of the Unseen. [72:26] There is no medium between man and God because He is “closer to him than the Vena Cava." [50:16]
9. Womens' Rights: In the times when women were considered the property of men and were treated worse than slaves; when "Eve" and "evil" were considered synonymous and a woman was a "shameful load of sin", when Christian conferences were discussing questions such as
- Does woman have a soul? - Is she human? - Will she be resurrected?
The Quran declared:
“… All of you, men and women, belong to the same single stock.” [49:13]
The believers, both men and women, are colleagues one of another. [9:71]
"Women have rights unto you as you have rights unto them." [2:187]
"Every person will be rewarded according to one's actions, male or female." [4:32]
And the exalted Prophet taught:
"Paradise lies at the feet of your mothers."
"The best among you is the one who is best to his wife."
"O Men! You will be questioned about your treatment of women."
On the other hand, the New Testament still teaches: "Let the woman learn in silence . . . She is to keep silent . . . Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (Timothy 2:11-15).
"The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband … for if a woman will not veil herself then she should have her head shaved … woman [was created] for man" (Corinthians 11:3-10).
It is interesting to note that women gained the right to vote in 1920 in the USA. When did Muslim women attain it? In the 7th century!
10. Science: While Europe was struggling through the Dark Ages, Muslims were performing scientific miracles under the Quranic teaching that natural laws had been made subservient to man. 2:34] Here is one of the scores of amazing scientific facts given in the Quran in the seventh century that were unknown to mankind even in the 1900s: The sun was always thought to be stationary in the center of the solar system. The Quran had, however, revealed 1400 years ago, "The sun is moving along toward its appointed destination." [36:38]. Only in the 20th century, science discovered that the sun is moving toward a specific destination at 43,200 miles per hour!
“Roger Bacon owed his illumination to the Muslim Moors of Spain. The great figures of European Renaissance could see further because they stood on the shoulders of the giants of the Muslim world. …. Those achievements represent what the Muslim world has been in the past. They also point to what it could become in the future.” (Richard Nixon - Nixon's Ten Commandments)
11. Nationalism: Arnold Toynbee in his celebrated 1952 work, “The World and the West”, called nationalism a form of idol worship. In his writings and lectures he repeatedly urged the world leadership to break this idol. After all, who is unaware of the devastation caused to our planet by the World Wars I and II? Nationalism was the obvious root cause of this massive trauma to humanity.
Years before Toynbee, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, on the authority of the Quran, called nationalism "the modern idol that mankind has sculpted". Fourteen hundred years ago, the Quran had ordained all mankind to be one nation. [2:213, 10:19 and many more verses] That announcement left no room for manmade geographical boundaries.
12. Pragmatism: At the dawn of Islam, Greeks were the torchbearers of knowledge in the world but the Greek knowledge rested on theory and logic. Experimentation had no place in their system of learning. Aristotle had written that women were deficient in intellect because they had only 28 teeth. He never even bothered to look! He also stated that an egg would perpetually float in the ocean! It was only Islam that taught mankind of the necessity of testing a theory or ideology by way of experimentation.
17:36 And you shall not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning.
Moral Code of the Quran:
a. Equal human dignity by birth. (17:70, 95:4)
b. Gender equity. (4:32, 33:35)
c. Superiority by character only. (49:13, 46:19)
d. Rule of law, not of individuals. (3:79)
e. Full compensation of work. (53:39, 53:41, 39:70, 37:39)
f. Provision of basic needs. (20:118-119)
g. Security of faith, life, mind, honor, and property. (6:109, 6:152, 2:269, 17:36, 24:2, 22:40, 6:152, 5:90, 2:195, 5:32, 17:32, 17:35, 17:29, 83:1)
h. Choice of spouse. (4:3, 4:19)
i. Freedom of religion. (2:148, 2:193, 2:256, 4:88, 5:48, 6:104, 6:107-108, 7:177-178, 10:99, 12:108, 18:29, 22:39-40, 27:80-81, 39:41, 56:79, 73:19)
j. Freedom of expression. (2:42, 3:71)
k. Redress of grievances. (4:148)
l. Right to privacy. (33:53, 24:27)
m. Care of the handicapped. (4:36, 70:24)
n. Presumption of innocence. (49:6)
o. Sanctity of name and lineage. (49:11, 33:4)
p. Right to residence. (4:100, 2:85, 6:41)
q. Aesthetic choice. (18:31, 76:13-15)
r. Protection of chastity. (17:32, 24:2)
s. Race, color, gender, lineage, wealth, nothing, nothing but good conduct, is the only criterion of honor. (49:13)
t. Degrees of people according to their deeds. (2:212, 3:163, 6:132)
It is noteworthy that human rights outlined in the Quran are not subject to the whims of nations or individuals as in the manmade documents.
Let Us Continue: