The Glorious Qur'an, Self Illuminating: Important Questions Answered By the Munificent Qura'an

Introduction to Exegesis

The object of this chapter is to discover how the Miraculous Qur'an itself answers some of the...

The object of this chapter is to discover how the Miraculous Qur'an itself answers some of the questions raised by those who are curious about this Magnificent Book. This exercise is obviously limited to an introductory level, as the title of this book suggests:

1. Who revealed the Book?

And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing. So follow it and be righteous, that you may receive mercy.﴿ VI:155

Quite clearly the Holy Qur'an asserts to be the revelation from God. In another phrase:

1 The revelation of this Book is from Allah, the exalted in Power, full of Wisdom. 2 Verily, it is We Who have revealed the Book to thee, in Truth. So serve Allah offering Him sincere devotion.﴿ XXXIX:1 & 2 and XLVI:2

This is a very important matter. There are many so called divine books among people who cannot substantiate the divinity of their Scriptures. The majority of such people believe this only because they were told so. But God reminds us repeatedly in the Glorious Qur'an that these ayat are bestowed upon us only by Him. As we shall see later, this Divine assertion is earnestly backed up by many features of the Glorious Qur'an such as its consistency, perfection, style, the authoritative inclusion of the Absolute and Eternal Knowledge about everything, its unique language, etc.

The name Allah has been used by God's prophets since The Prophet Adam (PBUH). This name comes from the combination of two Arabic expressions, Al (The) and Ilah (God), meaning "The God". For example, the Hebrew word Eloha (meaning the Creator) is the same as Allah. However, the Jews use the plural form, Elohim, which denotes more than one God. The Aramaic word, Alaha, for God, used by The Prophet Jesus Christ (PBUH), sounds even closer to Allah. Therefore, even though this name may sound strange to non Muslims, it was a familiar name to the previous prophets of God and their followers. Let us now examine if there is any difference between the two words, Allah and God.

The Supreme Being, the Creator, is free from being associated with part¬ners or gender. He is unique and pure. Unfortunately, the word "God" has lost its uniqueness and purity. Unless we say "the God" it does not denote a unique being any more. And so long as we use words such as gods and goddesses, and follow duality, trinity, and multi god worship, we have lost the purity of His name by associating gender and partners with Him. The word Allah (Al Ilah), The God, is devoid of any association while it denotes the needed uniqueness. Moreover, it honours the integrity of the Unity of the Almighty God's religion from the very beginning, as other messengers of Allah the Exalted used the same word throughout. Now that we can appreciate this great difference between these two words, I would feel obliged to use the name Allah, not out of prejudice, but in order to reflect appropriately what is meant to be expressed.

2. How does the Precious Qur'an describe God the Exalted?

Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, declares the Praises and Glory of Allah; for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. It is He Who gives Life and Death; and He has Power over all things. He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent (Hidden). And He has the full knowledge of all things. He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days (stages, long periods, or ages), then He established Himself on the Throne. He knows what enters within the earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what ascends up to it. And He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah sees well all that you do. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. And all affairs go back to Allah. He merges Night into Day and He merges Day into Night. And He has the full Knowledge of the secrets of (all) hearts.﴿ LVII:1 6


Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god; Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He, the Gracious, the Merciful. Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god; the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, (and Perfection) the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme. Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Originator, the Bestower of forms and colours. To Him belong the Most Glorious Names. Whatever is in the heavens and on earth doth declare His Praises and Glory. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.﴿ LIX:22 24


Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Everliving (and causing life), the Eternal Self subsisting by Whom all subsist. No slumber can overtake him nor sleep. All things in the heavens and on earth belong to Him. Who is he who can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them, nor shall they grasp any matter of His knowledge except for what He pleases. His Throne extends over the heavens and earth, and the preservation of them tires Him not. And He is the High, the Supreme.﴿ II:255


Say: He Allah is One. Allah is the Absolute Self Sufficient. He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is not a single one to equate with Him.﴿ CXll

There are many more ayat describing the attributes of Allah the Almighty but these few may be sufficient to ask ourselves how we can consider a God who falls short of the qualities extracted from these four ayat. This would mean one who:

* is not being praised and glorified by all beings in the heavens and on earth,
* has no control over the dominion of the heavens and earth (cannot induce rain, earthquake, movement of the celestial bodies, etc.),
* cannot give life and death,
* has no power over all things,
* did not exist from "the Beginning" nor shall last to "the End",
* is indistinct and affected,
* does not have full Knowledge of all things,
* cannot create the heavens and earth,
* does not know the inflow and outflow of the heavens and earth,
* cannot be with you wheresoever you may be,
* does not see what you do,
* cannot receive all affairs; or all affairs do not go back to him,
* has no power over the emergence of day and night,
* has no knowledge of the secrets of all hearts,
* is not the Absolute Sovereign,
* cannot create nor originate,
* is not everliving,
* is not the Self subsisting, and the Absolute Needless,
* gets tired and drowsy, or slumbers,
* is not One (the Only),
* is not the Absolute Self sufficient (on Whom all others depend),
* begets or is begotten,
* is like others (taking spouse, having companions and colleagues).

This list can grow rapidly if one uses more ayat which describe Allah's attributes. It is obvious that one who is affected by a tiny insect and escapes from it cannot be considered The Almighty, no matter what names misguided and misdirected people may assign to him to justify their own belief, and perhaps to deceive and mislead others.

3. To whom was the Noble Qur'an revealed?

"And (as for) those who believe and perform acts of righteousness, and believe in the (revelation) sent down to Muhammad, which it is the Truth from their Lord, He will remove from them their ills and improve their condition." XLVII:2

4. Who is Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household)?

And certainly, thou hast an exalted character.﴿ LXVIII:4

Verily We have sent thee, in truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner But of thee no question shall be asked of the companions of the Blazing Fire.﴿ II:119

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the rasul1 of Allah, and the seal of the nabiys2 and Allah has the full Knowledge of all things.

Therefore, the message is quite clear that Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household), was the rasul and the nabiy of Almighty Allah and that he was the last nabiy. These two words have been much misused and misinterpreted by Muslims and non¬Muslims alike. Therefore, it is important to define them for clarity:

Rasul:3 The Arabic root for this word is "R S L", which denotes ideas such as message, letter, mission, delivering, and many others. Various words have been derived from this root. Two of these words are important in the context of our work:

* Risalah, meaning Mission, Apostleship, Message, Letter, Epistle, and
* Rasul, meaning Envoy, Messenger, Apostle.

Nabiy:4 The Arabic root is "N B 'A", which denotes the idea of infor¬mation and news. There are many words derived from this root, and all of them have to do with news and information; a few examples are: to announce (news) to anyone, to inform one another of, to prophesy, to enquire, the giver of news or information etc. In particular, there are three words which are important in the context of this work:

* nubuwwah, meaning Prophecy,
* nably (plural: anbiya'), meaning Prophet,
* nabawiyy, meaning Prophetic.

Therefore, a nabiy is one with whom Allah, the Exalted, has established a divine link. Ordinary pious people can also be inspired by Almighty Allah, but a nabiy, at a much higher level, can bring back Divine information (news) on what people have questioned.

A rasul, on the other hand, is commissioned with a major task, and is the Almighty Allah's ambassador and envoy to establish the "principles" of the way of life (dins). Therefore, nubuwwah (the ability to communicate with Allah) is a prerequisite for Risalah (being commissioned, Apostleship), and any rasul is automatically a nabiy (Prophet) by definition. But not all nabiys are, necessarily, rasals. It is maintained that there have been some 124,000 nabiys and about 313 rasuls of Allah.

The word "seal" in this ayah asserts the completion of The Divine Message. When a document is sealed it is complete; no further additions, deletions, substitutions, or modifications can be made. Allah's guidance is and will always be continuous but there is no need for further nabiys to do so. The Final Divine Message is complete, according to this ayah, and no additional Prophecies are to be expected. Until the manifestation of Imam Al Mahdi (A.F.), people will need thinkers and religious leaders but not a new nabiy to explore the truth already revealed in the Glorious Qur'an and the ahadith. This is not an arbitrary matter. It is a decree full of Divine Knowledge and Wisdom, as the above ayah says "and Allah has the full Knowledge of all things" immediately after asserting the completion of The Divine Message.

In order to bypass the above ayah and gain legitimacy for post Islamic religious groups, some people argue that, unlike Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household), who was a rasul and a nabiy, their religious leader is at a higher level, and need not claim to be a nabiy. They say their rasul could communicate with Allah, the Exalted, at his position of Risalah without being a nabiy, thus the above ayah and the seal of nubuwwah do not apply to their leader. They forget the element of interdependency (one entity being the prerequi¬site to another). Nubuwwah (being a nabiy) is a prerequisite for Risalah (being a rasul).

To do away with the above reasoning, they use a different terminology, instead of rasul. They make use of expressions such as "the Manifestation of God" or "the Reformer", and so on. The fact remains that the Miracu¬lous Qur'an cannot be tricked. How can the Reformer, the Manifestation, or the Messenger in any name or terminology, perform God's mission without being in communication with Him? This is the beauty of the powerful language of the Glorious Qur'an, full of absolute wisdom.

These examples are given to illustrate why the position of a rasul is much higher than that of a nabiy. Such a clear distinction does not exist in the English language and much confusion and misunderstanding are ex¬perienced when one talks about apostles, prophets, messengers, saints, disciples, and so forth. For example, in English, the word apostle is used even for saints, such as St Paul, St John, and other disciples. This lack of clarity can also deceive people into the creed of a few post Islamic "religious" groups which contradict the universal and eternal ayat of Allah the Exalted (as presented above).

5. Does the rasul (apostle of God) have Divine authority?

...Say: Divine Signs (ayat) are indeed with Allah. And most certainly, I am only a clear warner!﴿ XXIX:50

Say: 1 have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me. 1 am but a warner and bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith.﴿ Vll:188

These ayat elucidate that in the din of Allah, only He, the Almighty has the Divine power and authority. In some religions, their leaders are thought to have this Divine authority to abrogate, select and change Allah's Message without His authorisation.

6. How was the Glorious Qur'an revealed?

It is We Who have sent down the Qur’an to thee by stages.﴿ LXXVI:23

(It is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts from time to time), in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals. We have revealed it by stages.﴿ XVIL:106

Therefore, it is now clear that the Holy Qur'an was revealed stage by stage for the use of humankind. Why was it not all revealed at one time?

32Those who reject Faith say: `Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once?' Such (it is revealed) that We may strengthen thy heart thereby, and We have rehearsed it to thee in slow and well¬ arranged stages, gradually. 33 And no question do they bring to thee but We reveal to thee the truth and the best explanation (thereof).﴿ XXV:32 & 33

It should be borne in mind that this gradual revelation over some 23 years relates to the Divine revelation to humankind, through Gabriel (PBUH) and Muhammad (SA), which is thought to be the second stage of revelation. The first stage, in contrast, was all at once from the level of the "Mother Book", (Umm ul Kitab), before Allah, to that of the "scribe angels" in the heavens of the world, in one night.6 Please consider the following ayah from the Glorious Qur'an:

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in The Grand Night.﴿ XCVVII:1

There is more Divine significance about The Grand Night, not known to humankind as yet:

And what will make you comprehend what The Grand Night is?﴿ XCVII:2

The date of this Excellent Night is also a mystery. Several nights in the blessed month of Ramadan have been suggested with the 27th being the most widely accepted date. All we know confidently is that the Grand Night is in this blessed month, according to the Glorious Qur'an:

The month of Ramadan, in which was sent down the Qur’an, a guide for humankind, and Clear Signs of guidance and distinction (between virtue and vice).﴿ II:185

7. What is the Mother of the Book (or the Mother Book)?

3 We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that you may be able to understand. 4 And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book, in Our Presence, high (in dignity), full of wisdom.﴿ XLIII:3 & 4

Allah doth obliterate (blot out) or confirm what He pleaseth. With Him is the Mother of the Book.﴿ XIII:39

The term "Mother of the Book" (or the Mother Book) is believed to represent the Full Knowledge, the essence of all Divine revelations without regard to time and space, the codes known to Him but not understandable by us. It does not necessarily represent a physical book. The following ayat may explain better. It should be clear that this subject is a very large one on which volumes of deep discussions have been rendered, with various points of view. Therefore, no claim is made in this brief writing that this interpretation is the only one or the true one:

Say to whoever is an enemy to Jibril: for certain he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by Allah's will, a confirmation of what went before, and a (book of) guidance and glad tidings for the believers.﴿ II:97

It is not but wahy that is revealed.﴿ LIII:4

Thus doth (Allah) send wahy to thee as (He did) to those before thee, Allah exalted in Power, full of Wsdom.﴿ XLII:3

Say: I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the wahy has come to me, that your Allah is one Allah ....﴿ XVIII:110

51 It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by wahy, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a rasul to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills. For He is most High, Most Wise. 52 And thus have We, by Our command, sent inspiration to thee. Thou knowest not what was Revelation, and what was Faith. But We have made (the Qur’an) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our obedient as We will. And verily thou dost guide to the Straight Path.﴿ XLII:51 52

Almighty Allah tells us explicitly that there are three ways in which He bestows His revelation on mankind:

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