Saturday, April 12, 2014

Divine Books

Allah sent Messengers to mankind and supported them with miracles that proved the authenticity of their prophethood. Allah also sent down Divine Books which contained divine legislations and teachings that benefit people and help them achieve happiness in this life and the Hereafter.
All Divine Books call for worshipping Allah Alone, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and Creator of this great universe.           
A Muslim believes in all the Divine Books sent down by Allah to His Prophets and Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention, as mentioned in the Quran.  
One such Book is the Torah that was revealed to Prophet Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention. Allah Says (what means): {Verily, We did send down the Tawraah (Torah) [to Moosaa (Moses)], therein was guidance and light.}  [Quran 5:44]
The Torah and the Old Testament: 
Allah sent down the Torah to His Prophet Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, to be a source of legislation for the Jews of the 'Children of Israel'.
The Prophet Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, received the Torah from Allah, the Almighty, on Mount Tur in Sinai. Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, wrote it down with his own hands. Later, he ordered that this version should be put in the Ark of the Covenant. This version of the Torah was lost and in 600 B.C. a Jewish monk claimed he had found it. However, this version was also lost when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. This indicated the advent of the "Old Testament" when a group of Jewish monks attempted to re-written the Torah, but there were many distortions and falsifications to the original and the truth was mixed with falsehood. This all was stated in The Old Testament that is used nowadays by the Jews and the Christians.
It is well known that the oldest manuscript of the Torah dates back to the fourth century after the birth of ‘Easaa, may Allah exalt his mention, while the Prophet Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, lived in the fourteenth century before the birth of ‘Eesaa, may Allah exalt his mention. The last Prophet sent to the Children  of Israel (aside from ‘Eesaa, may Allah exalt his mention) lived in the fourth century B.C. 
The Injeel and the New Testament:
The Injeel (Gospels) is the Book of Allah sent down to Prophet 'Eesaa, may Allah exalt his mention, to be conveyed to the Christians of the Children of Israel who believed in him and supported him.
The word "Injeel" is derived from the old Greek word euangelion meaning "good news" or "glad tidings".
The original text of the Injeel was lost due to the oppression from which the followers of 'Eesaa suffered on the hands of the Romans, and what the Christians have now is the New Testament. The texts of the Injeel and the letters that comprise the New Testament are ascribed to a number of writers who belonged to the first and second generations of the original Christians. Some of them were the disciples of 'Eesaa (Jesus), may Allah exalt his mention, such as Matthew, John, and Peter. Some embraced Christianity after his death and never met him such as Paul and Mark. Some of them embraced Christianity at the hands of a person who himself did not meet ‘Easaa, may Allah exalt his mention, such as Luke.
Many of the letters (in the New Testament) can not be authentically attributed to their claimed authors due to the lack of sound chains of narrators that trace back to them.
The original manuscripts of the Gospels were written in Greek except for the Gospel version of Matthew which was written in Hebrew. Neither of them were the native language of ‘Eesaa, may Allah exalt his mention, who used to speak Syriac.
The earliest manuscript of the Gospel dates back to 350 A.C. while the original copy from which that manuscript was taken does not exist.
The Quran:
The Quran is the Book The Quran is the Book x down to His
Prophet Muhammad, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, the last of all Prophets and Messengers, to be an eternal miracle for all times.
It is the last message sent down from heaven to mankind. That is why its teachings are valid for all times and all places, in order that all mankind may attain happiness. 
The Quran is the Word of Allah which has been preserved and guarded against any change in its text or wording. It is the only Book in the world that Allah preserved, throughout the centuries, against any distortion or change. Allah Says (what means): {Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e. the Quran] and indeed, We will be its guardian.}  [Quran15:9]
The Quran has many names such as: the Quran, the Book, the Revelation, the Light, the Criterion, the Remedy, the Remembrance, the Straight Path, the Clarification, the Reminder, the Good News, and the Warner.
The first chapter, Al-`Alaq [Quran 96], was revealed in Makkah while the last one, At-Tawbah [Quran 9], was revealed in Madeenah. The longest chapter in the Quran is Al-Baqarah [Quran2] while the shortest is Al-Kawthar [Quran 108].
The total number of chapters is 114, comprised into 30 parts.  There are 60 sections, 240 quarters, 6,236 verses, and 77,845 words in the Quran.
Memorization and Compilation of the Quran:
The angel Jibreel used to come down with the verses of the Quran to The Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, who would then memorize by heart and would command the companions to note it down.
He, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, used to recite it before Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention, who, in turn, used to instruct him to the order of its verses. A large number of companions also memorized the Quran such as Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, `Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, `Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, `Abdullaah Ibn `Abbaass, Mu`aath Ibn Jabal, Ubayy Ibn K`ab, Zayd Ibn Thaabit, `Ubaadah Ibn As-Saamit, `Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood, `Aa'ishah Bint Abu Bakr, Hafsah Bint `Umar, and Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with them.
The Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, paid utmost attention to the writing of the Quran. When a verse or some verses were revealed, he, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, would command the scribes of revelation to write them down on parchments, scapula, or the leaf-stalks of date palms. Among such scribes were `Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, Ubayy Ibn Ka`b, Zayd Ibn Thaabit, and Mu`aawyah Ibn Abu Sufyaan, may Allah be pleased with them.
These scribes wrote down the Quran in the same form as it is today. The Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, approved of their writing and hence the Quran was not prone to any change or distortion.
The Compilation of the Quran:
After the death of the Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, his successor, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, may Allah be pleased with them,  saw that a large number of Quran memorizers had died. He was afraid that the Quran might be lost because of their death, so he commanded Zayd Ibn Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, to compile it into one manuscript as he was known for his honesty and ambition. The Quran was written down on parchments, scapula, leaf-stalks of date palms. Zayd Ibn Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, shouldered this great responsibility and he was assisted by a number of companions, may Allah be pleased with them, under the supervision of the caliph Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq. Once the task was completed, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, may Allah be pleased with him, kept this copy and after  his death it was taken by the second caliph 'Umar , and after his death it was kept in the house of the Mother of the Believers, Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her.
When Islam spread in different areas during the caliphate of `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, may Allah be pleased with him, the Muslims wrote down many copies relying on the original manuscript and sent them to the various Muslim regions, and it was inscribed exactly as it is found nowadays. Ever since, the Quran has been recited and written down in the same form that it had been compiled by the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, who, in turn, took it from the Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, who received it from Allah through the angel Jibreel (Gabriel).
The Quran is a Miracle for All Times:
 The Quran contains many miraculous aspects proving that it was not written by a human being but that it is the word of the Wise Creator. Among such miracles are:
Linguistic and Rhetorical Inimitability:
The Quran was revealed in Arabic in an eloquent Arab environment. It has a distinctively elegant and eloquent style and it has a miraculous accuracy of expression. Allah challenged the Arabs to compose a book like it, but of course they failed. He then challenged them to compose just one chapter like its chapters and they again failed. The Quran remained as a prime example of rhetoric and eloquence of all times.
True Prophecy of the Unseen:
The Quran addressed many matters of the unseen which came true afterwards. An example for this is that when Islam first emerged, there were two superpowers controlling the world: the Persian Empire and the Roman Empire, and the Persians were able to defeat the Romans and destroy their power. Nonetheless, the Quran foretold that, in spite of their defeat, the Romans would shortly after be victorious over the Persians again in less than ten years of their defeat, which is exactly what had happened.
Allah Says (what means): {AlifLaamMeem. (These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings) The Romans have been defeated. In the nearer land (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine), and they, after their defeat, will be victorious. Within few years (three to nine). The decision of the matter, before and after (these events) is only with Allah, (before the defeat of Romans by the Persians, and after, i.e. the defeat of the Persians by the Romans). And on that Day, the believers (i.e. Muslims) will rejoice (at the victory given by Allah to the Romans against the Persians). With the help of Allah, He helps whom He wills, and He is the AllMighty, the Most Merciful. } [Quran 30:1-5]
The Quran also mentioned many unseen events that happened a long time before and the Arabs had never heard about them, like the story of the People of the Cave and the story of Thul-Qarnayn.
The Scientific Inimitability of the Quran:
The Quran stated a number of scientific facts that have only recently been discovered by modern scientific techniques. For example:
The Creation of the Embryo:
More than 1400 years ago, the Quran pointed out the different phases of the creation of man and the development of the embryo. This fact was discovered by modern science only about one hundred years ago. Before this, the predominant idea was that the embryo is created in its complete but minimized form starting from the very first day, and that it grows in its mother's womb until it is born. Allah Says (what means): {And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Aadam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.} [Quran 23:12-14]