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Harun Yahya - General Knowledge From The Qur'an
General Knowledge From The Qur'an
   


INTRODUCTION

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE QUR'AN?

Most people would answer this question as follows: 'The Qur'an is the holy book of Islam.' This is certainly true but in the essence it is a book which Allah has revealed to people and made them responsible with. So, people need to know everything about the content, commands, advices and decrees of the Qur'an. Yet, we encounter an important deficiency at this point. A great many of people do not have much idea about the content of the Qur'an.

There are many superstitions about the Qur'an that are prevalent among people. It is usually hung on the walls of houses within a decorative cover and read usually by older people from time to time. People read it in Arabic, but as they only know how to read Arabic letters without understanding the meaning, most of the time they have no idea of what they have been reading about, and so have no grasp of the content of the Qur'an.

According to these superstitions, the Qur'an is also supposed to afford some very interesting benefits to people. After reading it and performing some strange rituals like breathing hard on another person's face, the reader and his close relatives are believed to be protected from a possible future 'accident or calamity'. The Qur'an is credited with being some sort of amulet that includes talismanic words which protect people.

Some people believe some traditions to have their origin in the Qur'an, although they may be contradictory to the very nature of the Qur'anic message.

Then what is the true nature of the Qur'an? The answer must be derived from the Qur'an itself, as that is where the truth is to be found.

This is a communication to be transmitted to mankind so that they may be warned by it and so that they will know that He is One God and so that people of intelligence will pay heed. (Surah Ibrahim, 52)

We have made the Qur'an easy to remember. But is there any rememberer there? (Surat al-Qamar, 32)

There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence. This is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe. (Surah Yusuf, 111)

That is the Book, without any doubt. It contains guidance for those who guard against evil. (Surat al-Baqara, 2)

These verses and many others emphasise that the real purpose of the revelation of the Qur'an is to encourage people to ponder on such crucial issues as the creation and purpose of life, to inform them about Allah, Who has created them, and to guide them to the right way. The Qur'an is a book that is needed by people with an open mind and soul. Therefore, what is needed in the first place is to correct this wrong point of view about the Qur'an and make people understand that the Qur'an is not a book which is addressed only to the apostle but to all people who consider themselves Muslims. Any person who says: "I'm a Muslim" must read the Qur'an and try to understand the meaning of the verses. Allah has stated its importance with His verse 'and recite the Qur'an distinctly.' (Surat al-Muzzammil, 4) Allah especially stated the importance of reflecting upon verses in the Qur'an as follows:

Will they not ponder the Qur'an? (Surat an-Nisa', 82)

We have made the Qur'an easy to remember. But is there any rememberer there? (Surat al-Qamar, 17)

Because of not doing what is ordered in the Qur'an, and not learning the religion from its original source, countless prejudices which stem from traditions, have been introduced into Islam. Of course, learning the Qur'an is only an introductory step, since application should follow it. Some people think that they fulfil their religious duties by reading the Qur'an. However, it is not only a matter of learning what is in the Qur'an, but also of putting it into practice and fulfilling the duties ordered in the Qur'an, in short applying the Qur'an to one's own everyday life. As Allah states in His verse; 'I only created jinn and man to worship Me' (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 56), He created all people in the life of this world to worship Him. He revealed the Qur'an as guidance for those who worship Him:

It is a Book We have sent down to you, full of blessing, so let people of intelligence ponder its Signs and take heed. (Surah Sd, 29)

The Qur'an contains all information that is needed for one's salvation, both in this world and in the hereafter. It informs Allah's commands. We learn the good morals which He is pleased with, the attitudes which deserve punishment, all the facts pertaining to the life of this world and the hereafter, all types of human characters we may encounter, fear of Allah, love of Allah, in short everything we need, from the Qur'an. This book, in which Allah's words are written, describes everything for which we look for an answer. Yet, some people avoid practising, even learning this book which would bring them to life, from "the darkness to the light". However, Allah's commands in the Qur'an show the only way to salvation for all humanity, both in this world and in the hereafter.

It is necessary for a Muslim who has realised the importance of the Qur'an to have a good knowledge of the Qur'an in order to serve Allah as due and to live all his life according to the Qur'an. This book has been prepared to enhance the Qur'anic knowledge of those who aim to honour Allah with the honour that is due to Him, to fulfil their religious duties perfectly as His servants, and to attain His consent, mercy and Paradise.

 

STORIES OF THE PROPHETS IN THE QUR'AN

Allah has sent all communities throughout history prophets to communicate them His religion. As Allah emphasises in the Qur'an, all acts and moral qualities of these prophets set an example for believers. Allah has advised believers to take prophets as their role models:

You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (Surat al-Ahzab, 21)

For that reason every believer should carefully examine all the information given in the Qur'an about the prophets, learn about their lives, their practice of moral excellence and the deep devotion they showed to Allah. In this way he can seek the high morality of the most worthy people who ever lived on the face of the earth...

In addition, every event Allah narrates in the Qur'an regarding the prophets is surely enlightening and instructive for the lives of all believers. That is because believers who follow the prophets will go through similar experiences to what the prophets and their followers went through, as Allah stated in His verse 'or did you suppose that you would enter the Garden without facing the same as those who came before you?...'. (Surat al-Baqara, 214)

Therefore a careful examination of the life styles of the prophets Allah narrates in the Qur'an will benefit believers. Allah states in the Qur'an that there are lessons in the stories of the prophets for 'people of intelligence':

There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence. This is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe. (Surah Yusuf, 111)

 

A MESSENGER HAS BEEN SENT TO EVERY COMMUNITY

We have sent you with the truth bringing good news and giving warning. There is no community to which a warner has not come. (Surah Fatir, 24)

We sent a Messenger among every people saying: 'Worship Allah and keep clear of all false gods.' Among them were some whom Allah guided but others received the misguidance they deserved. Travel about the earth and see the final fate of the deniers. (Surat an-Nahl, 36)

We have never destroyed a city without giving it prior warning. (Surat ash-Shu'ara', 208)

 

EVERY COMMUNITY HAS BEEN SENT A MESSENGER
SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF ITS PEOPLE

We have not sent any Messenger except with the language of his people so he can make things clear to them. Allah misguides anyone He wills and guides anyone He wills. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surah Ibrahim, 4)

 

THE PURPOSE OF SENDING PROPHETS

We do not send the Messengers except to bring good news and to give warning. As for those who believe and put things right, they will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-An'am, 48)

That was because their Lord would never have destroyed the cities unjustly while their people were unaware. (Surat al-An'am, 131)

We only sent you for the whole of mankind, bringing good news and giving warning. But most of mankind do not know it. (Surah Saba', 28)

Messengers bringing good news and giving warning, so that people will have no argument against Allah after the coming of the Messengers. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nisa', 165)

 

OBEDIENCE TO PROPHETS AND ITs REWARD

You who believe! Have fear of Allah and believe in His Messenger. He will give you a double portion of His mercy and grant you a Light by which to walk and forgive you. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hadid, 28)

Obey Allah and the Messenger so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surah Al 'Imran, 132)

... Allah has sent down a reminder to you, a Messenger reciting Allah's Clear Signs to you to bring those who believe and do right actions out of the darkness into the Light. Whoever believes in Allah and acts rightly, We will admit him into Gardens with rivers flowing under them remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. Allah has provided for him excellently! (Surat at-Talaq, 10-11)

The reply of the believers when they are summoned to Allah and His Messenger so that he can judge between them, is to say, 'We hear and we obey.' They are ones who are successful. All who obey Allah and His Messenger and have awe of Allah and heed Him, they are the ones who are victorious. (Surat an-Nur, 51-52)

Children of Adam! If Messengers come to you from among yourselves, recounting My Signs to you, those who guard against evil and put things right, will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-A'raf, 35)

Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be with those whom Allah has blessed: the Prophets and the loyal persons, the martyrs and the righteous. What excellent company such people are! (Surat an-Nisa', 69)

 

OBEDIENCE TO THE PROPHET IS
OBEDIENCE TO ALLAH

Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah. If anyone turns away, we did not send you to them as their keeper. (Surat an-Nisa', 80)

 

THE PROPHETS DID NOT ASK PEOPLE
FOR ANY recompense

They are the ones Allah has guided, so be guided by their guidance. Say, 'I do not ask you for any wage for it. It is simply a reminder to all beings.' (Surat al-An'am, 90)

But most people, for all your eagerness, are not believers. You do not ask them for any wage for it. It is only a reminder to all beings. (Surah Yusuf, 103-104)

A man came running from the far side of the city, saying, "My people! Follow the Messengers! Follow those who do not ask you for any wage and who have received guidance." (Surah Ya Sin, 20-21)

We sent you only to bring good news and to give warning. Say: 'I do not ask you for any wage for it - only that anyone who wants to should make his way towards his Lord.' (Surat al-Furqan, 56-57)

Say: "I exhort you to do one thing alone: to stand before Allah in pairs and on your own and then reflect. Your companion is not possessed. He is only a warner come to you ahead of a terrible punishment." Say: "Whatever reward I might have asked of you is yours. My reward is the affair of Allah only. He is witness over all things." (Surah Saba', 46-47)

 

VERSES ADVISING THE PROPHETS TO BE
STEADFAST IN THE FACE OF THE DIFFICULTIES
THEY ENCOUNTER

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. If you want to retaliate, retaliate to the same degree as the injury done to you. But if you are patient, it is better to be patient. Be patient. But your patience is only by Allah. Do not be grieved by them and do not be constricted by the plots they hatch. (Surat an-Nahl, 125-127)

Perhaps you may destroy yourself with grief, chasing after them, if they do not believe in these words. (Surat al-Kahf, 6)

And were it not for a prior word from your Lord, and a specified term, it would inevitably have already taken place. So be steadfast in the face of what they say and glorify your Lord with praise before the rising of the sun and before its setting. And glorify Him during part of the night and at both ends of the day, so that hopefully you will be pleased. (Surah Ta Ha, 129-130)

So do not let their words distress you. We know what they keep secret and what they divulge. (Surah Ya Sin, 76)

We know that what they say distresses you. It is not that they are calling you a liar; the wrongdoers are just denying Allah's Signs. (Surat al-An'am, 33)

Do not grieve over them and do not let the plots they make distress you. (Surat an-Naml, 70)

So put your trust in Allah. You are clearly on a path of truth. You will not make dead men hear and you will not make deaf men hear the call when they turn their backs in flight. You will not guide blind men out of their error. You will not make anyone hear except for those who believe in Our Signs and so are Muslims. (Surat an-Naml, 79-81)

Those are the Signs of the Clear Book. Perhaps you will destroy yourself with grief because they will not become believers. If We wished We could send down a Sign to them from heaven, before which their heads would be bowed low in subjection. (Surat ash-Shu'ara', 2-4)

O Messenger! Do not be grieved by those who rush headlong into disbelief among those who say 'We believe' with their tongues when their hearts contain no faith. And among the Jews are those who listen to lies, listening to other people who have not come to you, distorting words from their proper meanings, saying, 'If you are given this, then take it. If you are not given it, then beware!' If Allah desires misguidance for someone, you cannot help him against Allah in any way. Those are the people whose hearts Allah does not want to purify. They will have disgrace in this world and in the hereafter they will have a terrible punishment. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 41)

Be steadfast in the face of what they say and cut yourself off from them - but courteously. (Surat al-Muzzammil, 10)

Proclaim what you have been ordered to and turn away from the idolaters. We are enough for you against the mockers, those who set up another god beside Allah. They will soon know! We know that your breast is constricted by what they say. So glorify your Lord with praise and be one of the prostrators. And worship your Lord until what is Certain comes to you. (Surat al-Hijr, 94-99)

 

DISOBEDIENCE to the PROPHETS AND ITS PENALTY

Those who reject Allah and His Messengers and desire to cause division between Allah and His Messengers, saying, "We believe in some and reject the others," wanting to take a pathway in between, such people are the true disbelievers. We have prepared a humiliating punishment for the disbelievers. (Surat an-Nisa', 150-151)

Those who oppose Allah and His Messenger will be subdued and overcome as those before them were also subdued and overcome. We have sent down Clear Signs. The disbelievers will have a humiliating punishment. (Surat al-Mujadala, 5)

How many cities spurned their Lord's command and His Messengers! And so We called them harshly to account and punished them with a terrible punishment. (Surat at-Talaq, 8)

As for those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and overstep His limits, We will admit them into a Fire, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. They will have a humiliating punishment. (Surat an-Nisa', 14)

Then We sent Our Messengers one after another, at intervals. Each time its Messenger came to a community they called him a liar so We made them follow one another too and turned them into myths and legends. Away with the people who do not believe! (Surat al-Mu'minun, 44)