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."