The Protection of the Qura’n
By: Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi
God Said in the holy Qur’an:
“We sent it down in the Night of Glory. What will explain to you what that Night of Glory is? The Night of Glory is better than a thousand months; on that night the angels and the Spirit descend again and again with their Lord’s permission on every task; (there is) peace that night until the break of dawn.” Qur’an 97:1-5
“We have sent down the Qur’an Ourselves, and We Ourselves will guard it.” Qur’an 15:9The Qur’an is the Book of Allah. Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him- received the Qur’an’s first revelation in the month of Ramadan in a glorious night and it continued for about 23 years at different times until it was complete. This Qur’an is with us as it was revealed without any change or corruption. This is a miraculous book of Allah. Its wonders will never be exhausted and its charm and power will not go away by the passage of time. Millions of people around the world memorize and read the Qur’an every day.
Why the Qur’an is so protected and so powerful? It is mentioned in a Hadith that Allah said to Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him, “I shall give you a Book that water cannot wash away and fire cannot burn.” (Sahih Muslim and Sunan al-Darmi). The great commentator of the Qur’an Ibn Kathir said, “This is because the Qur’an is preserved in the chests of human beings; it is easy on their tongues and it has possessed their hearts. It is miraculous in its words and meaning.”
Allah has said in the Qur’an:
“But it is clear revelations (preserved) in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge. No one refuses to acknowledge Our revelations but the evildoers.” Qur’an 29:49
It is so sad that a Christian pastor in Florida has announced to make September 11, 2010 an international day of burning the Book of Allah. We condemn this announcement and we urge him not to do that. There are many other sensible people in this country – Christians and Jews- who have asked him to refrain from this desecration of a sacred scripture. I urge Muslims here and everywhere not to react in anger but use this opportunity to spread the message of the Qur’an to others. We are not worried about the Qur’an, because Allah Himself has promised that He will protect His book, but we are worried about those who abuse it. They are going to harm themselves by desecrating Allah’s word. They should know that if they burn the Qur’an they will be burning the name of God, the names of Jesus and Mary, the names of many prophets of God. I pray to Allah to guide them and bring them to the right path.
This is a sad moment for us and we are deeply hurt. We never thought that in this country of religious freedom and tolerance some people will behave with such intolerance to our faith. This is, however, a teaching moment for us. We should use this opportunity to explain the message of the Qur’an to our fellow Americans. Those who want to burn the Qur’an may not listen but I am confident that many others will be curious to know what the Qur’an teaches and what is its basic message.
We should emphasize that the Qur’an teaches belief in One Universal God of all humanity. God has beautiful names and attributes. Those who want to know what Muslims say about God should read the 99 Beautiful Names of God in Islam in order to get some understanding of our faith. We should emphasize that the Qur’an teaches the belief in all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah. The Qur’an has mentioned 25 prophets by name and most of them are the same mentioned in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
The following ten points should be emphasized as the core moral and ethical message of the Qur’an.
1. True Piety: “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity, to fulfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.” Qur’an 2:177
2. Religious Freedom: “Let there be no compulsion in religion…” Qur’an 2:256. “To you We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that has come to you. To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single People, but (His plan is) to test you in what He has given you; so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which you dispute.” Qur’an 5:48
3. Universal human family: “O mankind! Reverence your Lord, who created you from a single Person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from both of them spread out countless men and women… “Qur’an 4:1
4. Justice even to those who show hate and animosity: “O you who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety…” Qur’an 5:8
5. Protection and safety of every human’s life: “…. if anyone kills a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed the whole humanity: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole humanity…” Qur’an 5:32
6. Justice, benevolence, kindness to relatives and prohibition of evil, indecency and aggression: “Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, injustice and aggression He instructs you, that you may receive admonition.” Qur’an 16:90
7. Honoring all human beings: “We have honored the children of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of Our Creation.” Qur’an 17:70
8. Overcome evil with good and make your enemies your friends: “Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and you was hatred become as it were your friend and intimate!” Qur’an 41:34
9. Pluralism: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is the one who is the most righteous of you. And God has full Knowledge and is well-acquainted (with all things).” Qur’an 49:13
10. Good relations with the people of other faiths: “God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loves those who are just. God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out, of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). Those who turn to them (in these circumstances) do wrong.” Qur’an 60:8-9
Let us read the Qur’an regularly and each one of us give its message to others. May Allah bless us and bless all those who honor His Book. Ameen.
The monastery was under the protection of the Prophet Mohammed, Arab and Turkish leaders and Napoleon, which helped to preserve it virtually undameged. In the walled compound there is a Fatimid mosque built next to the Orthodox church, a rare coexistence of religions in today’s World.