In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his companions, his family and his followers until the date of the last judgment.
The Holy Quran
Allah says: ‘And We have revealed to you the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it’ (Quran 5:48).
Over the years, Allah, the Almighty, exalted be Him, sent several messengers to humanity, revealing to them sacred Scriptures to serve as a guide to humankind, teaching them how to live successfully and in full harmony, as well as how to adore Allah. It is an essential part of the Muslim faith to believe in the prophets and in the sacred books revealed to them. Allah, the Almighty, said:
*O you who believe, do believe in Allah and His Messenger and in the Book He has revealed to His Messenger and in the Books He has revealed earlier. Whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and the Last Day has indeed gone far astray.* (Quran 4:136).
We have the Quran as a final message from Allah for the humankind, a reaffirmation of the eternal message and a summary of all that happened before. The Quran mentions the revelation of Torah to Moses (Peace be upon him), the revelation of the Gospel to Jesus (Peace be upon him), and says: ‘Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. He has sent down upon you, (O Muhammad), the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. Before, as guidance for the people. And He revealed the Quran. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the verses of Allah will have a severe punishment, and Allah is exalted in Might, the Owner of Retribution.* (Quran 3:2-4)
The Quran is addressed to the whole humankind, without distinction regarding race, color, region or time. Allah says: *Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner * (Quran 25:1)
It guides people in all fields of their lives: spiritually, materially, individually and collectively. It has guidelines for the conduct of the Head of State, as well as for the common people; for rich and poor, for women and men.
The Quran has magnificent style and diction, proper for its divine quality. Its recitation moves the spirit, even of those who just listen without understanding it. In the Quran, Allah Himself says: *Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray – for him there is no guide.* (Quran 39:23).
The Quran, the live and eternal miracle of Muhammad’s prophecy (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Him), recited and memorized by Muslims, contains the guidance the humankind needs, the answer for everything Allah, the Almighty, kept hidden and incognito from the humankind. It contains the salvation preached by all messengers sent by Him. According to Allah, the Almighty, as the Quran was preserved: *We revealed the message, and we are its Preververs.*
The Holy Quran is defined as ‘The Book of Allah revealed to His messenger Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) through the angel Jibreel (Peace be upon him), which we read in the Musshaf. It starts with the Surah Al-Fatiha and is closed with the Surah An-Nass.’
We believe Allah revealed other Books before the Quran revelation. Allah says: *The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], ‘We make no distinction between any of His messengers.’ And they say, ‘We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination’.* (Quran 2:285).
And several other verses mention Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and the scriptures of Abraham (Peace be upon him), as well as the names of the messengers who brought such scriptures as a guidance for their people. We believe the Quran is the last message of Allah to the geniuses and human beings: * Muhammad [Lord’s peace and blessings be upon him] is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets.* (Quran 33:40).
Let’s see below how the Quran reached us.
1. Allah, the Almighty, says: *The month of Ramadan, month in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance for humankind.*
Some scholars say: The commencement of the revelation took place in the month of Ramadan. And others say: Allah sent down the whole Quran to the first heaven in the ‘honored house’ (baitul-izzah). Thus, subsequently, the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) for 23 years, in accordance with the happenings. The Prophet was illiterate, could not read nor write, as were the Arabs in the past, an illiterate people, as qualified by Allah in the Holy Quran: *It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error.* (Quran 62:2).
They were an illiterate people; however, they had a great memory and intelligence.
1. During the revelation of the Quran, it was memorized by God’s messenger, who would recite the verses revealed to him to his companions, who would memorize them as well and write them on the writing resources they had at the time – they would write on date palm leaves, on rocks, and leathers, memorizing them in their minds and hearts. The Messenger had companions that are known as the scribes of the revelation, among them: Zaid ibn Sabit (whom Al Bukhari named the ‘scribe of the Prophet’, Abdullah ibn Masuud, and Ubi ibn Kaab. The verse was revealed to the Prophet, then, he would tell his scribes: write such verse(s) in such place, after or before that other verse, in such Surah).
2. The Prophet Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings be upon him) died, and the Quran remained thus preserved. It was only in the time of Abu Bakr that the companions of the Prophet decided to reunite the Quran. Umar noticed that too many memorizers of the Quran died at the al Yamamah (11-hijra) battle (approx. 70) and for this reason he went to Abu Bakr and told him: ‘O, amir al muninin, reunite the Book of Allah, because I fear it will get lost with the loss of the memorizers’. Abu Bakr told him: How can I do something the Messenger did not do? And Umar kept insisting until Abu Bakr said: ‘And Allah dilated my chest for what He dilated the chest of Umar’, and ordered Zaid ibn Thabet to search all Quran writings and to reunite all Muslims. Abu Bakr said: ‘O, Zaid, you are a young, intelligent man, we have no suspicions on you, we ask you to reunite the Quran for us’. Zaid ibn Thabet said: ‘If you had ordered me to transport one of the mountains from its place, it would not be heavier for me than to reunite the Quran’.
Thus, Zaid searched for the Quran among the companions of the Prophet, their minds and the writings they had, reuniting these writings, which remained under Abu Bakr’s possession. After his death, they remained with Umar, and after Umar’s death, they remained with Hafssah (daughter of Umar).
3. At the time of the khalifa Uthman, Huzaifah asked him to register the Quran in a single book. He came before Uthman and told him: ‘O, amir al muninin, reach people before they diverge on the reading of the Book of Allah as the divergence of Jews and Christians’. Uthman said to him: ‘How?’. He answered: ‘I arrived in Armenia and Azerbaijan and saw the companions of the Prophet diverging in the interpretation of the Quran. Such divergence is accepted, however, each companion learnt to read in a particular way, and did not know the other interpretation when listening the one who learnt other reading. The people in Assyria would recite the reading of Ubai ibn Kaab, the people from Iraq would recite the reading of Abdillah ibn Massuud. Then, Uthman ordered the scriptures to be brought from the house of Hafssah in order to write this Quran in a single book (al musshaf) and send this musshaf to all regions, preventing any kind of divergence. Afterwards, he returned the scriptures to Hafssah. These are the three stages of the writing of the Quran.
Thus, Allah wanted to preserve His book, about which He said: *We reveal the message and are Preserved by it.*
Such preservation took place because it is a Book for all humankind, and because it is the last Book, what did not happen to the previous Books, which Allah says to us He gave to the law makers for their preservation, saying in the Quran: * Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto.* (Quran 5:44).
That is the reason for the alteration, as historically and religiously known. Allah revealed in the Quran: * Do you covet [the hope, O believers], that they would believe in you while a part of them used to hear the words of Allah and then distort the Torah after they had understood it while they were knowing?* (Quran 2:75).
And He further said: * So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, ‘This is from Allah’, in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.* (Quran 2:79).
The writing, memorization and preservation of the Quran are merits of Allah, who is the original source of such words and Who established the Quran as the great miracle of the last of His messengers.
2. As the Quran is constituted as the live miracle of the Prophet Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings be upon him).
The source of the Quran is the proof of its miracle and challenge. We have this live miracle to the end of times; we have the Quran as the pure, original and intact word of Allah, recited and memorized by millions of people. This miracle started back in its revelation. Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet and Messenger of Allah, his family, his companions and followers to the Day of the Resurrection.