A brief description of the book of Allah ﷻ
In Islam, every word has a relationship to its meaning and so does the Arabic word Qur’an or Quran. It comes from the verbal noun qara’a that means ‘he recited’ or ‘he read’ and this is why we call it the Quran because we are supposed to recite it in our daily prayers (salaah), throughout the day and rest of our lives, as much as we can.
Allah ﷻ referred to Quran as Zikr (Al Quran15:09) which means ‘remembrance’ and one of the purpose of the Quran is to give us reminders on the purpose of our existence so we may not forget as humankind’s nature is forgetful and this world and its distractions make us forget. Quran is also called Furqan (Al Quran 3:04) which means to ‘distinguish between right and wrong’. Since Quran is the criteria to judge between right and wrong, it guides the believers in making moral and ethical choices. The Quran is also referred to as the Nur (Al Quran 45:52) which means ‘light’ therefore just as a light helps us see in darkness so does Quran assist us with spiritual light to remove the darkness of ignorance and sins covering our hearts and minds and improve our innerself. Quran is also referred to as Shifa (Al Quran 17:82), which means ‘cure’, and ‘healer’. It helps cure physical, psychological and spiritual diseases when we recite and ponder over the divine speech of Allah ﷻ and act on its meanings. Quran is Hablillahi (Al Quran 3:103) which means 'unbreakable rope of Allah' that if we hold on to tightly will help us to reach our blessed destination at the end of our life's journey. Quran is also referred to as Rahmah (Al Quran 17:82), which means ‘mercy’ and ‘grace’ and in the Quran Allah ﷻ compares His rahmah to rain. Hence the speech of the Most Merciful is similar to rain. Just as rain gives life by falling on barren land so does the words of Quran give life to the hearts that have become barren due to misguidance and unmindfulness.
Allah ﷻ gives various parables in the Quran to teach us lessons. He gave two parables that teach us very important lesson about the influence of the Quran throughout humankind history. Allah ﷻ says: (Al Quran 18:109) “Say [Prophet], ‘If the whole ocean were ink for writing the words of my Lord, it would run dry before those words were exhausted’- even if We were to add another ocean to it.” The earth's oceans are huge bodies of water and estimated hundreds of meters deep, a geological fact. Many parts are in fact five to ten miles deep that no humans can reach and even fish do not exist there! Any one observing an oceans with a naked eye, without the use of necessary technology, would make estimates far from facts especially if they are inexperienced. Therefore, in the parable of the endless oceans, Allah ﷻ is pointing towards the immeasurable greatness and depth of His knowledge. Additionally rain comes from the clouds produced by the evaporation that takes place on the ocean surface. It is due to the oceans that sweet water evaporates and showers on earth and produces trees and life. The ink, a source of reading and writing, symbolizes as the rain that comes from the oceans of His infinite knowledge, transcribes His divine words, the Quran where in lies the knowledge that gives life. In another parable, Allah ﷻ compares His divine words to a tree: (Al Quran 14:24) “Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded.” The Quran belongs to the ocean of His immeasurable knowledge and His divine words in the book are compared to strong-rooted trees whose branches spread out wide, reaching great heights while producing all kinds of fruits.
Thousands of pious, truthful, saints, scholars, philosophers, scientists, symbolized as the fruits, produced by the words of Quran, symbolized as trees, in each century for the past fifteen centuries and which it continues to produce. A fruits taste and sweetness confirms the strength and indicates life of the tree hence each expert and scholar became renown in their own field based on the strength of guidance they received from the Quran. These great-learned men of each century in turn produced hundreds of great minds just as each fruit carries several seeds that carry life and grow more. Fruits such as great Islamic philosophers like Al Kindi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Rush (Averroes), Al Razi etc. Fruits such as great Islamic saints the world has ever known such as Al Gilani, Bayazid Bistami, Al Shaadhili, Rumi, Al Tijani, Al Rifai, etc. Fruits such as great Islamic Scientists whose developments world still makes use of such as Ulug Begh, Al Tusi, Al Battani, Taqia’ldin, Al Khwarizmi (Al Gorithm) etc. Fruits such as great Islamic scholars whose works are still read and learned throughout the world such as Imam Al Ghazzali, Allama Suyuti, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Al Qayyim Al Jawzi etc. The works of these legends are still read and learned and in fact became the basis of further development in their respective fields, which the world continues to benefit. The shades, colors and pleasing view of those (words symbolized as) trees are the beautiful effects produced by the Quran such as discernment (furqan), healing (shifa’a), light of knowledge (nur) and spiritual connection with the Creator (through zikr & rahmah), which are all sources of everlasting peace for discerning hearts and minds that ponder over the Book of Allah ﷻ. The height and size of these trees symbolizes as the influence that spread throughout the world and revolutionized humankind history.
Al Quran 15:09
Al Quran 3:04
Al Quran 17:82
Al Quran 3:103
Al Quran 17:82
Al Quran 18:109
Al Quran 14:24
Sheikh Al Nursi Bediuzzaman, the great Turkish sage (born as a Kurd but Turkish by nationality), known for struggling with his pen against the materialistic and atheist philosophies penetrating the young minds of Turks in the early 20th century mentions in his work Risali Nur Collection, the following verse: (Al Quran 6:59) "Not a thing, fresh or withered, wet or dry, but it is in a Manifest Book" – He says “according to one interpretation, the Manifest Book is the Quran. This verse states that everything is found in it. However, we must realize that things are found at different levels, seeds, summaries, signs, explicitly or implicitly, allusively, vaguely or suggestively. For example, progress in science and industry has resulted in air planes, electricity, motorized transportation, radio, telecommunications and so on. As the Quran addresses humanity at all times, it does not ignore these developments.”
The Sheikh further states that “Prophets were sent to humans as leaders of spiritual and moral progress, He also endowed them with certain wonders and miracles and made them masters and forerunners of humanity’s material progress. By relating their spiritual and moral perfections, the Quran encourages us to imitate and benefit from them. By relating their miracles, it encourages us to achieve something similar through science. It may even be said that, like moral and spiritual attainments, material attainments and wonders were first given to humanity as gifts through Prophetic miracles such as Prophet Nuh (alaihi salaam) was the first to build ships, thus the ship was a prophet's miracle.” Sheikh Al Nursi teaches that by relating these prophetic achievements or miracles the Quran shows the ultimate goal of scientific and technological developments, their final aim, which is always guidance and instruction i.e. to guide us morally and ethically on how to make use of these technological achievements. He gives the following examples from the Quran for this narrative:
(Al Quran 34:12) "AND TO Solomon (We made subservient] the wind: its morning course [covered the distance of] a month's journey, and its evening course, a month's journey." – By mentioning this verse Allah ﷻ is teaching humans the possibility to travel through the air that will cut a month’s journey in to hours, something that has become possible through airplane technology, despite how superstitious these verses may have sound before the invention of such technology. While revealing the human potential to travel in such manner, the main lesson to derive from this incident is that Allah ﷻ blessed Prophet Suleiman (alaihi salaam) with such knowledge and abilities due to his high spiritual and moral standing, and that he was grateful servant.
(Al Quran 2:60) "And [remember] when Moses prayed for water for his people and We replied, "Strike the rock with your staff!" - whereupon twelve springs gushed forth from it, so that all the people knew where to drink. [And Moses said:] "Eat and drink the sustenance provided by God, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption." – This taught humanity that simple tools can unlock the hidden treasures of Allah ﷻ beneath the earth, even something very simple but the most important thing that sustains life is water, can be found under earth’s surface, something that scientists have now discovered to obtain with modern technology. However, by revealing this secret of nature, the Quran warns the powerful against using the water as a tool to dominate lesser people, something very common in our times.
(Al Quran 3:49) "I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead by God’s leave" – The Quran advises humans to follow Isa (Jesus), son of Mary (alaihis alaam) morality and through his life incidents also implies possibility of current breakthrough in medical sciences that gave humanity the hope of possibility to be healed from severe illnesses. By advising humans on possibility of finding cures for illnesses it advises them never to forget that their achievements were as a result of Allah’s help. Always be grateful and not be ungrateful by assigning their accomplishments, solely to their own efforts, or worst exploiting this knowledge for personal benefits such as hoarding wealth, quite commonly done by pharmaceutical industry in our age.
(Al Quran 34:10) "We made iron supple for him; (Al Quran 34:10) We gave him (David) wisdom and sound judgment in speech and decision; (Al Quran 34:12) and We caused the fount of copper to gush forth with him (Suleiman)" – The extracting of minerals such as metals from rocks through mining which became the basis for industrialization and industries. While teaching these future facts about how iron, copper and similar metals can be extracted for building and development, it reminds especially the political leaders, how honest, Godfearing, wise leadership of Suleiman (alaihi salaam) & Dawud (alaihi salaam) used it to serve Allah ﷻ and His creation and did not commit injustice through their material power.
Hence all this conforms to the primary purpose of the Quran that it is a book of guidance. It alludes in many verses to the scientific age and modern world we’re experiencing today and it very well does to a lot more still hidden or what lies in the future. But its primary emphasis is not the revelation of the age and its discoveries as per se, it is to morally guide the progress in that age. Instead of simply employing the scientific yard stick to measure the Quran i.e. finding "scientific miracles" in the Quran quite commonly done by modern Muslims, we should also employ the Quran as a yardstick to confirm the modern world and its progress, while emphasizing on utmost necessity for this progress to be guided by universal principles of morals and ethics as per Quran guidance. This is how a Quran-Centric world view can be achieved.
 The Risale-i-Nur Collection, The Words - The Reconstruction of Islamic Belief and Thought - Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Twentieth Word pg. 259
The title and content of this article is based on the book called "Quran and Its Impact on Human History" written by Allah Bukhsh Brohi, a leading Pakistani Scholar, Lawyer and Statesman. In his address delivered on the occasion of the fourteen hundredth anniversary celebration of the revelation of the Quran, Brohi said: “One way of demonstrating the indispensability of the message contained in the Quran to the modern world is to take up, one by one, standards of excellence – that is ideals and values which are accepted and upheld by enlightened section of contemporary humanity and to ask question: What is the genesis of those values and ideals? Whence they have come? And in particular then ask ourselves whether such standards and values were commended or enjoined by any pre-Islamic religious teachings? If we were to reach the conclusion that all such present day set of ideals and values which is considered worthy for a civilized nation to adopt and accept were for the first time revealed in Islam, then we should come to the conclusion that the Islamic ideals are still alive, even though they were given to the world 1400 years back which then proves that Quran is even today the acceptable Gospel.”
Quran teaches us values and ideals such as right to education, tolerance of Non-Muslim minorities mainly Jews and Christians, the rights of Women, strong Judicial system, a just Economic Order, the ethics of warfare, including fair treatment to war prisoners, discouraging slavery and kind treatment towards them. The first people to adopt all of them in humankind’s history were Muslims. They learned these ideals and standards of excellence from the Quran which made them civilized in the true definition of this term. Today it is exactly these same standards which are universally accepted by any civilized and enlightened section of our contemporary societies.
1. The Necessity of Education for all, men and women: "Read in the name of your Lord Who created man from a blood-clot. Read and your Lord is most generous who taught man by the pen.’" (Al Quran, 96:1-4) These were the first verses revealed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ emphasizing the importance of education. When Allah ﷻ created Adam (alaihi salaam), He taught him words and names, after which Angels were commanded to prostrate before Adam (a.s) (Al Quran 2:30-34). It is our ability to read, write, learn and think that made them prostrate our father and which makes us a unique creation of Allah ﷻ due to which we have been commanded to shoulder the responsibility of becoming Allah’s representatives on Earth. No other creature of Allah ﷻ has been granted such capacity. In the 1100 CE, there were 75 madrasas (educational universities) in Cairo, 51 in Damascus, and 44 in Aleppo. There were hundreds more in Muslim Spain at this time as well. A Madrassa was an educational institute where students were taught religious sciences along with secular subjects the purpose of which was to integrate faith with knowledge. It was these educational havens in which suppressed Western minds of dark ages sought refuge from their Church.
2. Scientific Enquiry - Quranic Verses such as these inspired Muslim minds to explore Allah’s creation: "Verily in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and in the succession of the night and of the day, are signs for men of understanding, who standing sitting and reclining, bear God in mind and reflect on the creation of heaven and earth; and say ‘O Our Lord! You have not created this in vain. (Al Quran 3:190-191)" Islam does not separate religion from science, they both complement each other. From medicine to mathematics to philosophy to art to physics, Muslims were at the forefront of almost all sciences, making new discoveries and building on earlier ones. Names like Ibn Sina, Ibn al-Haytham, Ibn Khaldun, and al-Farabi come to mind when people think of the giants of Islamic science. An independent inquiry in to the lives of these great personalities prove that the basis of greatest scientific discoveries of our time, lie in their efforts. However the question remains for us as to how do we guide such discoveries, to corrupt and destroy like the cold war warriors or benefit humankind?
3. Rights of Women (Al Quran 2:228-229, 4:34) - Women have always been treated as a shame of the society in many pagan cultures of the past. The Arabs in the Jahilliya (pre-Islamic ignorance) period used to insult their mothers and bury their daughters alive for the fear of shame that they believed daughters brought to them. The women never had any share in inheritance when the father or the husband died, till the Quran was revealed. The right to inheritance, education and teaching, their upbringing, marriage and their right to even seek divorce was given by the Quran, something which never existed before in that society. The Church, in Christian Europe had always taught that it was Eve who tempted Adam to eat from the forbidden tree which kept her image tarnished throughout the medieval era. That negative effect even continued post Renaissance till late 19th century. The 1632 English Law declared "That which the husband hath is his own and that which the wife hath is the husbands." Worse she had no right to get out of a miserable marriage. Until 1857, divorce was obtainable through the passage of an Act of Parliament.
4. Just Economic Order - The Quran commands us to give full measure, do not deprive others what is rightfully theirs and not to spread corruption (Al Quran 26:183). The freeing of slave is the highest point of honour to which Quran invites man (Al Quran 90:13). Islam discourages slavery and condemns all forms of economic exploitation. It is important to mention here that even though there is no official institute of slavery that exists today, yet slavery prevails in our age through the unjust economic order based on Capitalism, which sustains itself on Usury, condemned by Allah ﷻ in the Quran in the harshest terms like no other (Al Quran 2:274-275). As the famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy puts it "Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave." Tolstoy refers to the printing of paper money and debt based economy invented by Capitalism. This modern economic system results in inflation and deflation which is the main cause of the depletion of people’s wealth making them vulnerable to all sorts of exploitation.
5. Religious Tolerance: Revile not those whom they call on besides God, lest they, in their ignorance, despitefully revile Him. We have so fashioned the nature of man that they like the deeds they do. After all they shall return to their Lord and He will declare to them what their actions have been (Al Quran 6:109). It would be sufficient just to mention that the Golden period of Jews during their Diaspora is referred by them to the time when they were living under Muslim rule in Spain and other parts of the Caliphate. It was during that same time when their coreligionists in the Christian Europe were being persecuted and later in modern Europe through something called "pogroms". It was this religious tolerance as taught by Quran that guided the Muslim Caliphs. An echo of this same tolerance can now be found in the various charters of the Secular countries which accept minority rights.
6. Ethics of warfare in Quran - The War in Islam is commanded to be fought in self defense and not in aggression (Al Quran 2:190). Islam is against fighting for personal gains. Fight to stop the oppression and to defend those who cannot defend themselves is taught by the Quran (Al Quran 4:75). Allah ﷻ in the Quran does not only permit Muslims to defend themselves in the face of religious persecution but it also permits those who worship Him in their churches, synagogues, temples & monasteries to defend themselves in the face of similar persecution (Al Quran 22:40). The thin line which a man in his weakness while fighting his enemies can cross at anytime is distinguished clearly by the light of Quran. The effect of that light was seen in the life of Ali (r.a), a close companion and a son in law of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, who through this one incident set an example for all as to what Jihad (Struggle) in the way of Allah ﷻ truly is. He while fighting his opponent during a battle, was about to chop his head off, when his opponent spat on him, as a reaction of which Ali (r.a) threw his sword and walked away. When asked as to why he did not kill him, to which he strangely replied that his anger took over his mind while he fought purely for the sake of Allah ﷻ.
7. Rejection of arrogance and pride based on racism - The Quran teaches cultural diversity, rejects chosen people concept (Al Quran 2:124) and emphasizes that all are equal in the sight of God and the best among you is not the one who has a particular color, belongs to a certain race or ethnic background, in fact the best among you is the one who is most pious & righteous (Al Quran 49:13, 30:22). An echo of this teaching can be found in the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ who said that a white does not have any superiority over a black and neither does a black have over a white, an Arab does not have over a non-Arab and vice versa. The Prophet ﷺ taught that all of us have been been descended from Adam (alaihi salaam) and he was created of earth thus reminding us of our true origin.
If we can somehow prove that all the above universal values accepted in the modern world were applied by an individual pre-Islamic civilization then it can be proven that Quran is not the first one to teach them. And if it can also be proven that the accepted standards of excellence came to be acquired only by modern civilizations and Quran never taught them, only then it can be certainly argued that this book is out of date.
 Islam Its Meaning And Message, 3rd Edition.Published by Islamic Foundation.
Part II - Pg. 81 - The Quran and Its Impact on Human History - Allahbukhsh K. Brohi.
Quran mentions other nations, Prophets as well as saintly personalities which are not mentioned in the Bible. Please note that the purpose of the Quran is always brief and to the point to get the message across to those who seek guidance and not get them involved in identification details of the personalities, unnecessary details about nations and their stories unless there is some important lesson to learn therefrom. Quran is very concise and to the point. Unlike Bible which consists of 67 something books, Quran is only a single book with 6000 and some verses.
Quranic Prophets not mentioned in the Bible
Ancient Arabian Prophets such as Prophet Hud (a.s) are mentioned in the Quran but not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. There is also mentioned Prophet Salih (a.s) who is not mentioned in the Bible. He was sent to the people of the Mada'in Saleh, a region in the Hejaz area of present day Saudi Arabia (Image below - Al-Hijr or Mada'in Salih in Hejaz, modern day Saudi Arabia):
(Al Quran 7:74) "and settled you firmly on earth, so that you [are able to] build for yourselves castles on its plains and hew out mountains [to serve you] as dwellings: remember, then, God's blessings, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption."
Reference to Prophet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra), who is absent from the Bible, is referred to in the Quran. According to many Islamic scholars he is referred in the following verse: (Al Quran 2:17) "The likeness of them is as the likeness of one who set to kindle a fire; so, as soon as it illuminated whatever is around him, Allah went away with their light, (i.e., took away their light) and left them in darkness (where) they do not behold (anything)." In the Parsi (Persian Religious) scriptures he is said to have light fire when taking pledge from the Persians as a symbol that would keep them as a reminder of obedience to Allah ﷻ but they were misled and started to worship the fire instead of their Creator.
Quranic nations not mentioned in the Bible
Many nations are mentioned in the Quran to whom Allah ﷻ sent Prophets with revelation and only the name of that nation is mentioned such as: (Al Quran 25:38) "And [remember how We punished the tribes of] 'Ad and Thamud, and the people of Ar-Rass," (Al Quran 44:37) "Are they, then, better than the people of Tubba', and those before them, whom We destroyed because they were truly lost in [the same) sin?" As per famous 20th century Islamic scholar Muhammad Assad, Ar-Rass is a town of that exists to this day in the Central-Arabian province of Al-Qasim; in the ancient times it seems to have been inhabited by descendants of the Nabataean tribe of Thamud, the nation to whom was sent Prophet Salih (alaihi salaam). Their descendants were also sent a Prophet and punished for their wrongdoings but their details are not mentioned as its not necessary as long as the point is made clear. Ar Rass means wells of water and some scholars say this may be reference to Indus Valley civilizations that created wells that Arabs referred to in the ancient times as "people of Ar Rass". Qaumun Tubban (people of Tubba) is a reference to the nation that were ruled by a long succession of Himyari Kings of Yemen whose people were disobedient to Allah ﷻ and were subsequently vanished from the pages of history with time.
Saintly Quranic personalities not mentioned in the Bible
In Surah Kahf the brief account of young men and the cave is mentioned who are not mentioned in the Bible, some references are found to them in Christian tradition as ‘seven sleepers’ but not all Christians accept that as they are not mentioned anywhere in Gospel or New Testament (of Bible). They separated themselves for the sake of Allah ﷻ from their misguided and materialistic environment. References are made to Luqman al Hakim (The Sage), who some scholars equate him to Greek Aesop, who teaches his son the characteristics of a believer something all believers can learn from. Mention has been made about Khidr (alaihi salaam) whose a mystic that carries sacred knowledge which is beyond the apparent that majority carry. His location at the conjunction of the two seas (Al Quran 18:60) may have been somewhere between the conjunction of Atlantic ocean with Mediterranean or Mediterranean with Black Sea. Quran also mentions Dhul Qarnayn (alaihi salaam), a Prophet King who ruled with justice, punishing those who oppress and exploit while protecting those who are good. He built a wall in Central Asia, the historic lands of the Turks, to prevent Gog and Magog tribes from plundering and destroying the weaker tribes. The Bible mentions Gog and Magog but does not mentioned Dhul Qarnayn (alaihi salaam).
References to Prophets & nations in the Hadith/Sunnah literature
The following verses was revealed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the first instance: (Al Quran 40:78) "And, indeed, [O Muhammad,] We sent forth Messengers before your time; some of them We have mentioned to you, and some of them We have not mentioned to you." The meaning of this verse can be found in an authentic hadith when the Prophet was inquired of how many prophets lived in the past to which he replied "Allah sent 124000 Prophets out of which 313 were messengers." This hadith informs us that Prophet was aware of many personalities and their names in addition to those mentioned in the Quran and of many he was unaware unless Allah taught him. The hadith literature includes plenty references of such personalities, some are mentioned by name and others are not. For instance Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying: "An ant bit a Prophet amongst the Prophets, and he ordered that the place of the ants be burnt. So, Allah inspired to him, 'It is because one ant bit you that you burnt a nation amongst the nations that glorify Allah?" (Sahih Al Bukhari - Source Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) Who was this Prophet is not of concern but the ethical lesson being taught of how to treat creatures of Allah ﷻ, even as little as ant, is of concern. Where these personalities dwelt or lived, their details, is of no concern to a believer as long as we learn lessons from their accounts.
For a Mumin (believer) faith cannot be constituted based only on khaauf or fear of Allah's punishments. In Islam, faith or imaan is like a scale which can only be balanced if hope of Allah's mercy and fear of His punishments weigh equally on both sides. If one of them is heavier than the other it will cause one’s faith to become imbalanced. People have a natural tendency to cling on to Allah's mercy without making efforts to do good or they might fear Him to the point where they’ll have no love and respect for Him. Both are contrary to the purpose of Quran's message for humanity. Hence one finds statements mentioned throughout the Quran that give warning of His punishment while simultaneously giving good news of His mercy and grace in the hereafter for the sake of creating the balance of imaan (faith) in our hearts. Such as Allah ﷻ says: (Al Quran 42:21–22) "The evildoers will have a grievous punishment. you will see them fearful because of what they have done: punishment is bound to fall on them- but those who believe and do good deeds will be in the flowering meadows of the Gardens. They will have whatever they wish from their Lord: this is the great bounty."
One can find in Quran many statements which make reference to promises of His mercy and rewards for the good alongside threats of punishment and hell fire for the evil. Allah ﷻ refers to them in the Quran as mathani which means "paired statements" or "repeating statements": (Al Quran 39:23) "God has sent down the most beautiful of all teachings: a Scripture that is consistent and which repeats its contents in manifold forms (mathani); that causes the skins of those in awe of their Lord to shiver. Then their skins and their hearts soften at the mention of God: such is God’s guidance. He guides with it whoever He will; no one can guide those God leaves to stray." In Al Quran 39:23 Allah ﷻ very clearly informs us that such statements are there to generate fear but at the same time promises of hope for His mercy and His remembrance (zikr) are sources of calmness and provide peace to our hearts. Therefore, when addressing a reader, the Quran does not single out a threat for sinners without having mentioned mercy for the good unless the verse is strictly addressing warning only for the evildoers and disbelievers.
However an important thing to mention here is that besides the fact that Allah ﷻ mentions punishment and mercy throughout the Quran, He does hint in a few places that His mercy is greater than His punishment and this is a good news for disbelievers & believers: (Al Quran 7:156) "…..[God] answered: "With My chastisement do I afflict whom I will - but My grace overspreads everything: and so I shall confer it on those who are conscious of Me and spend in charity, and who believe in Our messages."
The Quran is not recited in the chronological order it was revealed, it is recited in the order that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ memorized himself and made his companions memorize and that is the order in which we have the Quran today. Archangel Gabriel (alaihi salaam) not only brought revelation to the Prophet but also made him memorize in this same format as we see it compiled because of Divine Order from Allah ﷻ.
The answer to why this happened can only be understood by those who recite and ponder over the Quran and who study the traditions of the Prophet ﷺ and the delve in to the wisdom behind each verse of this book. For instance if we open the book and recite the very 1st verse in the beginning of the Quran, it begins in the following words:
Tranliterated as "Bismillah ir-Rahmanir Raheeem" which means "With the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful." If we ask ourselves why Allah ﷻ begins the Quran by mentioning 2 of His attributes out of the 99 attributes mentioned throughout the Quran. Then the answer to this would be that these 2 of His attributes are related to His Mercy and it is an expression of these 2 attributes is why He created the entire universe, just as told by the Prophet ﷺ: “Verily, Allah when He created the creation, He wrote with His Hand concerning Himself, that: 'My Mercy prevails over My wrath.’" Therefore since the beginning of the creation was due to Mercy of Allah, that is precisely why Allah ﷻ begins the Quran also by mentioning those attributes of His that relate to His Grace & Mercy.
Similarly we notice the same thing with the 1st Chapter of the Quran called Surah Al Fatiha (The Opening). Even though, in the chronological order this Surah was revealed much later yet it was placed in the opening of the Quran because "Fatiha" means "To Open". In other words "Fatiha" also means the "Entrance". When one enters a place, it is only through the entrance where you enter and obviously don’t jump over the wall or sneak in through the window. If Surah Fatiha was to be placed somewhere within the Quran, not beginning, then it would not have made sense to place the entrance somewhere else other than where it belongs.
Similarly we also learn divine wisdom when reading beginning verse of the 2nd chapter called Surah Al Baqara (The Cow). Before the reader commences his or her journey through the Quran the first thing they are informed is that purpose of Quran is to give you guidance, its not a book of history, science or any other subject that may occur to your mind: "This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God." Thus it perfectly makes sense why this verse has been placed in its absolute beginning even though the Surah it belongs to was revealed 10 years after Prophet’s declaration of prophethood. Then the upcoming immediate verses mention the most basics of Islam and Imaan (Faith) which is obviously very essential part within a message of Islam that everyone needs to know such as spending & charity/zakah, salaah (5 times prayers), belief in unseen (Hell, Paradise, Angels etc) and in the hereafter: "who believe in the unseen, keep up the prayer (salaah), and give out of what We have provided for them (charity/zakah); those who believe in the revelation sent down to you [Muhammad], and in what was sent before you (previous prophets/books), those who have firm faith in the Hereafter (meeting with Allah, angels, Judgment day)." These basics listed at the beginning make absolute sense, for every beginner must understand what is required from them from the beginning in their journey on the path of Islam. In fact even the name of the Surah is called "Baqara" meaning "Cow" because of the incident from time of Children of Israel mentioned in verse 67–73 when they made a legal case difficult due to unnecessary questioning to Prophet Musa (Moses) (alaihi salaam). Since Surah Baqara pertains to several legal ordinances for Muslims at the basic level therefore it has been named thus to remind Muslims from repeating the mistakes of Jews and make ordinances and rules difficult as they try to learn from this Surah.
As for all other upcoming verses of Quran, not only do they explain the reader why Allah ﷻ mentioned them in this sequence but also they complement all other verses that are mentioned throughout the Quran and that is the beauty of this book.
 Jami At Tirmidhi, Vol. 6, Book 45, Hadith 3543 - Sunnah.com
 Al Quran 2:02 - Quran.com
 Al Quran 2:3-5 - Quran.com
What is Halaal (Permissible) & What is Haraam (Forbidden) in Islam?
Allah ﷻ says in the Quran: “Say: Lawful to you are all the good things of life (at-tayyibat)…”. Muhammad Asad comments on this verse: “The implication is, firstly, that what has been forbidden does not belong to the category of "the good things of life" (at-tayyibat), and, secondly, that all that has not been expressly forbidden is allowed. It is to be noted that the Qur'an forbids only those things or actions which are injurious to man physically, morally or socially.” What has been explicitly forbidden in Islam is clearly mentioned in the Quran and the prophetic hadith, the two major sources of guidance in Islam. Hence, everything is halaal (legal) in Islam except what has been explicitly declared haram (illegal). Allah ﷻ further elaborates in the same Surah on the good things of life (at-tayyibat) that provides insight how we should act even in regards to the permissible: “O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not deprive yourselves of the good things of life, which God has made lawful to you, but do not transgress the bounds of what is right: verily, God does not love those who transgress the bounds of what is right. Thus, partake of the lawful, good things which God grants you as sustenance, and be conscious of God, in whom you believe.” Chances are that overindulgence in what is halaal can be also detrimental therefore a believer needs to be careful when treading his or her path in this life within the legal boundaries as reminded to us in the wording “do not transgress the bounds of what is right” & “and be conscious of God”. Just as sugar is halaal but excess can cause diabetes or spending on oneself and others on necessary things is halaal but overspending on unnecessary makes one overindulgent. As the saying goes, “an atom of a prevention is better than tons of cure.” A believer lives best with a preventive attitude in life, which is the key to success in this world and the hereafter. This attitude is best explained in the following conversation of the Prophet’s companion Umar ibn al Khatttab (r.a): Umar (r.a) asked Ubbay ibn Kaab (r.a), “What is the meaning of Taqwa (God consciousness)?” Ubbay ibn Kaab said, “O Amir ul Mumineen (leader of the believers), have you walked on a field that had a lot of thorny plants?” Umar said, “Yes” Ubbay ibn Kaab said, “So what did you do?” Umar replied, “I lifted up my clothes and I was very careful,” Ubbay ibn Kaab said, “That is Taqwa.” This teaches that not only does a believer walk on the path within specified boundaries of halaal and make sure they do not cross them but they also remain cautious from being pricked by the thorns of overindulgence.
 Al Quran 5:04
 Asad, Muhammad. 1980. Message of the Quran - Surah Al-Ma'idah (The Repast) - The Fifth Surah. Great Britain: Dar Al-Andalus.
 Al Quran 5:87-88
Jihad means striving and struggle in the way of Allah ﷻ. Jihad does not mean to kill. Qitaal means to kill. The majority of Verses on Jihad mentioned in the Quran are not associated with Qitaal. The only Surah that mentions Jihad with Qitaal is Surah Taubah (chapter 9) and that also in regards to lawful defensive war and not aggression. Sheikh Irshad Soofi Siddiqui Chishti of South Africa, in his book Madinah to Karbala, mentions the following facts about Jihad and its revelation in the Quran: “There are 35 verses of the Holy Quran which contain the word Jihad ﺟﻬﺎﺩ or its derivatives. Of the 35 verses of the Holy Quran which contain the word Jihad ﺟﻬﺎﺩ or its derivatives, not a single verse contain Jihad ﺟﻬﺎﺩ as suggesting aggressive fighting and killing. Not a single verse combines the word Jihad ﺟﻬﺎﺩ with qitaal (killing) fighting or warfare. This is with regard to the text of the Holy Quran. Putting the 35 verses which deals with Jihad ﺟﻬﺎﺩ into context, 30+ verses have no context or connection with fighting or warfare. There are only few verses which mention the word Jihad with Qitaal. They possess the context of lawful defensive warfare and they all appear in one chapter (Surah). They are in the 9th Surah, at-Tawbah (Repentance) and they refer to a lawful defensive war.”
Many Quranic verses that contain the word Jihad were revealed in Makkah during the 1st ten years of Prophet’s preaching, and in Makkah the Prophet and His Companions never engaged in any combats. In fact they bore the persecution patiently. For example the following Verses revealed in Makkah contain the word Jihad and the context in which they were revealed has nothing to do with fighting or Qitaal. In the following Verse Allah ﷻ advises the believers to strive with the Quran (i.e. using knowledge as your weapon) and even refers to such struggle as Jihad Kabeera i.e. Great Struggle: … but strive hard against them, by means of this [Quran], with utmost striving (Jihad Kabeera)." In the following Verse Allah ﷻ mentions that doing good and righteous deeds are a Jihad (struggle) His path: "...But We shall be sure to guide to Our ways those who strive hard (jahadoo) for Our cause: God is with those who do good.."[3[ Similar verses that mention Jihad (struggle), majority of them in the Quran are not in reference to Qitaal or killing, but inspire the believers to struggle in the way of righteousness and keep patience at what they experience when struggling, because suffering brings them spiritually closer to Allah ﷻ and impacts their enemies by making them realize their own errors. However, as a last resort if the enemy is hell bent on eliminating the believers and Islam, then in such extreme scenario there is room to Jihad (struggle) and fight the enemy for the sake of defending one's honor and faith.
 Chishti, Irshad Soofi Siddiqui. 2010. Madinah to Karbala Holy Blood on Unholy Hands Volume One. Abd al-Qadir Soofi Publications - (Chishti 2010)
 Al Quran 25:52 - Asad Translation
 Al Quran 29:69 - www.Quran.com
The most knowledgeable among the Prophet’s companion, Abdullah ibn Abbas (r.a), said “One must believe in the ambiguous but one need not act in accordance with them.” What is required by Allah ﷻ from a believer i.e. what he needs to act upon is not included in the ambiguous or ayah (verses) of the Quran. The major concern for him required for his success lies in acting upon the clear ayah (verses) of Quran. The only thing we need to do is to believe in the ambiguous parts as is, without wasting time in attempting to find its final meaning.
The Quran contains ambiguous ayah (verses) as well as clear ayah (verses) but the latter are the core and consist of larger part of the Quran than the former. Allah ﷻ takes an oath by the Quran and claims that He made the Quran clear to understand: (Al Quran 43:02) By the Scripture that makes things clear - The purpose of the Quran is to deliver a message of guidance that is clear and easy to accept and follow, not to make human mind accept unclear dogmas that results in confusion about our faith. In fact Allah ﷻ Himself mentions in the Quran that majority verses of this book are clear and very few are ambiguous so that we do not waste our time in discovering the final meaning of those parts because their final meaning only rests in the knowledge of Allah ﷻ: "It is He Who has revealed the Book to you. In it are verses absolutely clear and lucid, and these are the core of the Book. Others are unclear. Those in whose hearts there is perversity, always go about the part which is unclear, seeking mischief and seeking to arrive at its meaning arbitrarily, although none knows their true meaning except Allah. On the contrary, those firmly rooted in knowledge say: 'We believe in it; it is all from our Lord alone.' No one derives true admonition from anything except the men of understanding."
Hence as one recites the Quran and attempts to understand its meaning, it becomes evident that clear verses are easy to understand and major concern for a believer’s success because he has to act on them so he busies himself with it. For instance the following verses related to prohibitions & commandments are clear without ambiguity on which we are required to act: "Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents…..Give relatives their due right, and the needy, and travellers- do not squander your wealth wastefully…but if, while seeking some bounty that you expect from your Lord, you turn them (relatives, needy, travellers) down, then at least speak some word of comfort to them…Do not be tight-fisted, nor so open-handed (with your wealth) that you end up blamed and overwhelmed with regret…Do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide sustenance to them and to you, too. Killing them is a great sin indeed…And do not go anywhere near adultery: it is an outrage, and an evil path…Do not take life, which God has made sacred, except by right: if anyone is killed wrongfully, We have given authority to the defender of his rights, but he should not be excessive in taking life…Do not go near the orphan’s property, except with the best [intentions], until he reaches the age of maturity. Honour your pledges: you will be questioned about your pledges…." (..and the list goes on)
No one can argue that above set of ayah (verses), require a metaphorical explanations. They are absolutely clear to anyone, even who does not know Arabic! Now as for the unclear verses of the Quran they are matters for which any one with a sound mind and comprehension especially those who have knowledge of Islam, would not spend time arguing nor concern with it too much because just by reading one realizes that their final meaning could not be known. Such as matters of the day of judgment, how will they be or what date or day or month or year it will take place. Matter of understanding the final meaning of the disjointed letters that are usually found in the beginning of many Surahs (chapters): Alif Laam Mim, Alif Laam Raa, Taa Haa, Yaa Sin, Nuun etc. No one knows their final meaning, even though scholars share many meanings that come to their knowledge and all could be true. Or matters such as the number of angels carrying the throne of Allah ﷻ or the parable of 19 angels guarding hell, mentioned in the following verses: "…and, on that Day, eight of them will bear the throne of your Lord above them." "….there are nineteen in charge of it (hell)…none other than angels appointed by Us to guard Hellfire…and so that those ˹hypocrites˺ with sickness in their hearts and the disbelievers will argue, “What does Allah mean by such a number?” Such matters are part of Imaan (Faith) in Islam and not related to anything that we are required to act upon, hence as long as we believe and say “We believe in it; it is all from our Lord alone.” we are not concerned with arriving at its final meaning, therefore we are safe.
 Al Muqaddimah - Ibn Khaldun - An exposition of ambiguity in the Qur'an and the Sunnah and of the resulting dogmatic schools among both the orthodox and the innovators - Translated by Franz Rosenthal.
 Al Quran 3:07
 Al Quran 17:23–37
 Al Quran 69:17
 Al Quran 74:30
Difference between "Slavery" and the Quran's "Ma Malakat Aymanukum"
Traditionally, slavery is a global institution defined as a systematic capture and enslavement of individuals, mainly during wars or raids, with the aim to sell them in to someone's ownership, like a master. In our times "slavery" is considered a derogatory term, especially when studying from the viewpoint of Western secular education system that permeates majority of the universities, schools and colleges across the globe including the Eastern part of the world, post colonization. The term brings to mind the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, an enterprise initiated by European Colonization of the African continent and the transportation of mainly black slaves to the Americas. A brutal chapter of world's slave history.
However, when we talk of slaves or slavery from the perspective of the Quran and Islamic teachings and history, it is not considered evil and abhorrent where all types of exploitation is permitted by the owners. The relationship expected between a slave or a servant with his or her master or mistress is more like a son's or a daughter's relationship with their guardian who acts like a parent. The relationship is that of an individual under the care of someone who is obligated to provide them food, shelter, clothes, financial assistance, emotional care and by doing so in return expects and deserves that individual's assistance, cooperation, trust, respect. It is a relationship of a family member living under a house where one has more authority over an another.
What is most important to note is that the term "slaves" or "slavery" in not the correct translation of what is referred to in the Quran. The term used in the Quran for ownership of an individual by their master is "ma malakat aymanukum" correctly translated as "those whom your right hand possess" or "those whom you rightfully possess". According to modern history the term "slave" comes from slavs (saqaliba in Arabic), a people that inhabited the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia or Eurasia, captured in large numbers and sold in Europe during medieval age, considered as most precious captives by the ruling states of the time. Both terms, "ma malakat aymanukum" and "slave" do not have anything in common except for the basic meaning of someone under captivity. The Quranic Arabic term has a much more comprehensive meaning because it defines the relationship between the owner and his captive and expresses their rights and obligations towards each other.
Are the Quran Verses of Ma Malakat Aymanukum Still Applicable in our Times?
With Islamophobia at its peak, Muslims are inquired many questions on Islam including questions on slavery because Islamic history too has its own long chapter of dealing with male, female and young children as captives. Questions such as "how are Quran verses still applicable in our times when there is no slavery?" express extreme ignorance of the persons inquiring. Either they are ignorant of the lie that "slavery does not exist anymore" or just choosing to deceive themselves. This is because in our times, slavery has assumed the disguise of something called Human Trafficking. As the UN marked the World Day Against Trafficking, news agency Al Jazeera reported that Human trafficking has become a multibillion-dollar industry, affecting nearly every country in the world! Millions of men, women and children are trafficked to other countries or within their own. From households, farms, factories, on the seas, in mines and on the streets, providing cheap labour for mining, agriculture, food, entertainment, and commercial sex industries. They may also be subject to abuse, forced into crime, or recruited for conflict. Sounds like medieval age? Its not, its the reality of our "modern and enlightened" 21st century!
Those who claim that "slavery ended" blindly accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), an old piece of paper from 1948 whose articles prohibit only in writing, slavery, sexual exploitation, child labour. etc. Despite the fact of this declaration slavery is not only active around the globe but in fact is being practiced today in the worst forms than it ever has in humankind history because there is no legislation that can regulate it. This is all because in absence of government supervision and laws to regulate the process of sale and purchase, the organized criminals have filled the vacuum and the trafficked persons are completely at their mercy. Had there been legal markets like medieval Islamic era, where government officers and law enforcement present, the exploitation would not be as such.
World leaders and champions of human and women rights that stand on UN and EU podiums, do nothing more than pay lip service to eradicating slavery and exploitation. In fact many of them are directly and indirectly, behind the scenes, involved and gain from this lucrative black market of human trafficking. According to the latest estimates as reported by the UN Human Rights news, today over 40 million people are victims of slavery.
With slavery still being active global phenomena, it is a blessing that there is book on earth that Allah ﷻ, the Creator of all humankind, delivered almost 15 centuries back that guides towards rights and obligations between owner and his captive, it clarifies what is prohibited and what is permitted, with constant reminders to be conscious of accountability before Him on Judgment Day. Today we notice the divine wisdom of those verses because despite all international agreements under the aegis of the world's powerful countries like USA, Russia, China and the West (the permanent UN security council members), who are not Muslim, the world has failed to stop the exploitation of powerful over the weak. Hence we are proud that not only does the Quran stipulate guidelines for owners on how to treat "those whom their right hand possess" but also blessed us with the example of His beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who treated his servants better than his ownself. Notice that I used the term "servant" because if owner treats his subordinate better than his ownself, then its best to avoid derogatory term "slave" for those under his authority. Zayd ibn Harith (r.a) was captured and sold in Makkah and came under ownership of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. When Zayd’s family came to know of his presence in Makkah and they wanted to purchase him back, the Prophet ﷺ did not want any price and instead decided to free him. But Zayd (r.a) rejected and preferred to live with the Prophet ﷺ . He said “for I have seen something in this man, and I am not the kind of person who would ever choose anyone in preference to him.” Who wants to reject his own family for his owner? Umm Ayman was a freed servant of the Prophet ﷺ. She was like his mother and due to his kindness continued to serve even after she had been freed. Anas ibn Malik (r.a) served as a servant of the Prophet ﷺ for ten years, said "By Allah, he never even said to me, “Uff! (Ugh)” He never said harshly for anything, “Why did you do that?” or, “Why did you not do that?”" The world should learn, especially in this age of extreme exploitation, from Prophet Muhammad's example on how to deal mercifully with those under their authority (Al Quran 33:21).
The war ravaged countries in Africa, Middle East, and their weak economies as a result of corruption is causing young men and women to escape to other stable countries and turn towards Europe. When champions of human rights and democracy put economic sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s pushing them in to poverty and then declared illegal war on the country in 2003, it descended in to civil war which caused thousands of young Iraqis to flee in to Syria and other parts of Middle East. Estimates say about 50,000 Iraqi women were forced into prostitution, women whose husbands or fathers had been killed. After the war in Syria in 2011, thousands of women were lured by traffickers in to Lebanon and other parts of Middle East to become prostitutes. Same goes for women from Americas or African countries that escape to Europe, like Nigerian women in Italy, Spain etc. These women are exploited, abused, raped because they became public property. If given the opportunity they would immediately flee from that disgusting lifestyle. According to UNDOC the most targeted for trafficking are female - 72 percent of victims are women and girls - while sexual exploitation remains the most detected reason for trafficking. Had these women, like those in the medieval Islamic history, were allowed to be purchased by men to join their families in to private homes, they would be clothed, fed, honored, and have rights almost the same as a wife (Al Quran 4:25, 4:36, 23:6). In fact they can be entitled to their owners estate and wealth, and if gave birth to children, would be as equal as a wife, the child would be the owners legal heir (Al Quran 16:71). They could even marry their owner and become a wife as the Prophet ﷺ blessed "a slave who discharges properly the duties towards Allah and towards his master; and a man who possesses a slave-girl and teaches her manners, educates her well, and frees her and then marries her.'' Alternatively they could also be purchased for employment as they did during Ottoman era, such as maids, personal attendants (Al Quran 24:58), nannies, washerwomen, cooks, or similar domestic responsibilities such as assisting women of that family (Al Quran 24:30, 24:58). Hence in Islamic history the role of female slaves was not always intimate relations with men. Similarly young men that are fleeing these conflict or corruption ridden territories are forced in to exploited labor force, crime or becoming mercenaries. Had they been allowed through a legal channel to be purchased by wealthy men and women, they could be part of their family, get education (Al Quran 4:36), learn skills for self sufficiency or even become business partners (Al Quran 24:33) especially if their owners do not have sons of their own. If the captives cannot buy their freedom by repayment of their purchase price then masters are encouraged to forgive their debt as per several Quran verses (Al Quran 2:280) because the Prophet ﷺ said "your debtor is your captive; be, therefore, truly kind to your captive"
Since global institutions like United Nations and international political powers have failed in eradicating the slavery and all forms of exploitations linked to slavery, it would be fair to say that Quran verses on rights and obligations between an owner and their slave are very much applicable today including Prophet Muhammad's practical example on how to treat them.
 Online Etymology Dictionary - slave (n.)
 World Day Against Human Trafficking: Must-Watch Documentaries - 30 Jul 2019 12:46 GMT - https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2019/07/world-day-human-trafficking-watch-documentaries-190723065154146.html
 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 3 - 5
 Over 40 million people still victims of slavery - 2 December 2018
 Zayd ibn Haritha (r.a) & Umm Ayman (r.a)
 Jami at-Tirmidhi 2015 - Sunnah.com
 '50,000 Iraqi refugees' forced into prostitution, By Nihal Hassan in Damascus
Sunday 24 June 2007
 The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon, by Daniela Sala
11 Feb 2020
 Spanish police break up Nigerian sex trafficking gang, By Sam Piranty BBC News, 23 March 2018
 UNODC - Global Report on Trafficking In Persons 2018
 Sahih al-Bukhari 2547 - Sunnah.com
 Message of the Quran - Asad Translation & Commentary, Surah Al Insaan (76th Chapter), Note 11.