What is the Quran?
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
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