The Book that shaped the world!

The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down as guidance for mankind, with clear signs containing guidance and criterion…. (Al-Qur’an 2:185).

At a time when the world sank to its lowest and humanity deviated from its elevated position of Allah’s vice-regents into the slavery of countless gods, one fateful night in the month of Ramadan determined the course of history 1400 years ago. At a time when cruelty and tyranny exceeded all limits, human beings were enslaved by the arrogant kings and emperors, women lost their dignity on earth, Allah, our Lord, decided to bring back human dignity by positioning them again as His emissary or steward on earth. That was the night of power, lailatul qadr, the night when Archangel Jibrail made an eternal link between the heaven and the earth, a night that shaped the destiny of man.

The revelation is a reminder (dhikr), guidance (huda) and the word (kalam) of Allah. For the next 23 years Allah had showered His mercy, the guidance, on humanity.

This is the Book whereof there is no doubt, a guidance for those who ward off (Al-Qur’an 2:2)

Has anybody ever come across a book that contains a preface where its author mentions about its infallibility from any error? Has anyone ever heard of any author who talks with such confidence and such authority? This is the Al-Qur’an, revealed to one human being named Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him), and its Author is Allah, the Lord and Sustainer of the universe.

That was the Qur’an that transformed a nation stooped in anarchy and ignorance. They were the Arabs, who were on the verge of self-destruction because of their lawlessness, crudeness, stupidity and, to use the Qur’anic terminology, because of their Ignorance (Jahiliyah). They were the people despised by the then two super powers, the Persians in the east and the Romans in the west, to the extent that neither of them were even interested in taking over these barbaric and lawless people. That was the Qur’an that revolutionised them and elevated them to the peak of human excellence. That was the Qur’an that changed people’s hearts, moulded their character, cleansed them of their ignorance and reconstructed their society in the noblest and most divine fashion.

Yet the Qur’an was revealed to them to prove that Allah can easily change the fate of a nation if He so wishes. But Allah’s sunnah or principle is not simply to help a community without any reason, rather they have to acquire it with their persevered action. Only then does Allah’s favour descend on them.

Say, ‘O Allah! Master of the Kingdom! You give sovereignty to whoever You will, You take sovereignty from whoever You will. You exalt whoever You will, You abase whoever You will. All good is in Your hand. You have power over all things. (Al-Qur’an:26)

The revelation has been termed as a guidance (huda), clear sign of the guidance (baiyinah), criterion to discern the true from the false (furqan), clear explanation (baiyan) and admonition (mau’idhah).

The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down as guidance for mankind, with clear signs containing guidance and criterion…. (Al-Qur’an 2:185).

This is a clear explanation for all mankind, and guidance and admonition for those who ward off evil. …. (Al-Qur’an 3:138).

Allah showered His mercy on humanity in the form of direct communication with His messenger for 23 years in the barren Arab land. Within ten years the tiny oasis of Madinah became the blessed land where a comprehensive guidance of life evolved from nothing. Madinah became the centre of a new civilisation, a centre of inspiration for humanity. It is all because of Al-Qur’an’s miracle and the unique person that received it in his heart, the last and the noblest of the messengers (peace be upon all of them). The heart that received the full weight of divine mercy led the ignorant humanity according to the universal message of Al-Qur’an. It was the weight that no other creation had ever dared to bear.

If We had sent down this Qur’an onto a mountain, you should have seen it humbled, crushed to pieces out of fear of Allah. (Al-Qur’an 59:21)

The Qur’an, meaning ‘read again and again’, elevated the Arabs who produced a miracle within a generation. The Arab hearts expanded to such an extent that those barbaric people grasped the true meaning of the message and learnt how to live as the ‘best community’ on earth. The fountain of love and universal brotherhood motivated and inspired them to serve humanity.

You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. You enjoin the right, forbid the wrong and you believe in Allah. (Al-Qur’an 3:110)

Al-Qur’an created a world where a young woman could travel alone between two distant places of Arabia without any fear of losing her chastity. Al-Qur’an created minds that willingly surrendered to Allah to such an extent, that a sinner rushed to the prophet to be punished in the world rather than suffer in the Hereafter. Al-Qur’an created compassionate hearts that cared for other living things and the natural world.

The Qur’an promises prosperity and victory for those who live by it. The generations that grew up with Al-Qur’an in their hearts made mountains and oceans move in their fight to establish a just world order. The Qur’anic generation left behind a legacy that shone for more than a thousand years.

Al-Qur’an is still there, but where are those people who are willing to die for others rather than live for themselves? Why are those who profess to be Muslims still the historic underdogs in the international community? Passionate Muslims over centuries lamented on our pathetic dealing with the Qur’an. Even some prominent non-Muslims were afflicted with the Muslim apathy with their own Holy Book. I will quote here the late Dr. Pandit Shanker Dayal Sharma, ex-President of the Republic of India who wrote a powerful poem on this, which reads:

The Book of Action Was changed to a Book of Supplication. The Book that was for Study Became a Book of Recitation. The Constitution for the Living Changed into a Permit for the Dead. The Book that contained Knowledge Came into the hands of the Ignorant. It came to teach how to Rule the World Became a mere Course in the Madrasah. Dead Nations it came to revive Salvation of the Dead is all you prescribe. O Muslims, see what you have done to it? Will you not spare a Thought for it!

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/khabor/message/36839)

The shining Qur’an is still alive and looking for people who would live by it and change the fate of the world. What a marvel! While other religious books are either lost or corrupted, Al-Qur’an is still preserved in its pristine form.

It is We Who have sent down the Reminder (Qur’an) and We Who will preserve it. (Al-Qur’an 15:9)

The spiritual harvest awaits us in the month of Ramadan. The fateful night is visiting us again. The powerful night is calling us to challenge the ignorance of our time.

The night of power is better than a thousand months (Al-Qadr 97:3)

Al-Qur’an is here to rekindle the hearts of millions with demands for action. Every time we recite from it Allah speaks to us. Allah reminds us to think, to reflect and to look for His signs in and around us, to learn from the past, to follow His guidance, to serve humanity and to look after His creations. Do we understand Him, His call and His message? Even if we do understand, do we respond? Even if we do respond, do we have the moral fibre to act by it wholeheartedly?