by Dr. Khurram Murad
The New World that Awaits You
As you come to the Quran, you come to a new world. No other
venture in your life can be so momentous and crucial, so blissful and rewarding, as your
journey to and through the Quran. It is a journey that will take you through the endless
joys and riches of the words that your Creator and Lord has sent to you and all mankind.
Here you will find a world of untold treasures of knowledge and wisdom to guide you on the
pathways of life, to mould your thoughts and actions. In it you will find deep insights to
enrich you and steer you along the right course. From it you will receive a radiant light
to illumine the deeper reaches of your soul. Here you will encounter profound emotions, a
warmth to melt your heart and bring tears running down your cheeks. It is crucial for you
because, as you travel through the Quran, at every step you will summoned to choose, and
to commit to Allah. To read the Quran is nothing less than to live the Quran willingly,
sincerely, devotedly, and totally. The outcome of your entire life depends on how you heed
the call given by Allah. The journey is therefore decisive for your existence, for
mankind, for the future of human civilization. A hundred new worlds lie in its verses.
Whole centuries are involved in its moments. Know, then, that it is the Quran, and only
the Quran, which can lead you on and on to success and glory in this world and in the
world to come.
What is the Quran?
It is beyond man's power to comprehend, or to describe, the
greatness and importance of what the Quran holds for him. Yet, to begin with, you must
have some idea of what it is and what it means to you , and such that you are inspired to
immerse the whole of yourself in the Quran, in total commitment, complete dedication and
ceaseless pursuit, as it demands. The Quran is Allah's greatest blessing or you . It is
the fulfillment of His promise to Adam and his descendants: 'there shall come to you
guidance from Me, and whatsoever follows My Guidance no fear shall e on them, neither
shall they sorrow' (al Baqarah 2:38). It is the only weapon your frail existence as you
struggle against the forces of evil and temptation in this world. It is the only means to
overpower your fear and anxiety. It is the only 'light' (nur) , as you grope in the
darkness, with which to find your way to success and salvation. It is the only healing
(shifa) for your inner sickness, as well as the social ills that may surround you. It is
the constant reminder (dhikr) of your true nature and destiny, of your station, your
duties, your rew. It was brought down by one who is powerful and trustworthy in the
heavens the heart of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him. to your Creator.
It tells you of Him, of His attributes, of how He rules o to you, and how you should
relate to Him, to yourself, to your fellow men other existence. The rewards that await
you here are surely many, increasing manifold and the hereafter, but what awaits you at the
end of the road promises Allah in the Hadith qudsi, the eye has seen not, nor the ear
heard, nor the heart of man ever conceived and, adds Abu Hurayra 'no human being can
imagine what joys are being kept hidden for them in d or all that they
Quran As Living Constitution
Can the Quran again, be living, relevant force, as powerful for us
now 1400 years away, as it was then? This is the most crucial question that we must answer
if we wish to shape our destiny afresh under the guidance of the Quran.
There appear, however, to be some difficulties. Not least of which
has to do with the fact that Quran was revealed at a certain point in time. Since then we
have traveled a long way, made gigantic leaps in technological know-how, and seen
considerable social changes take place in human society. Moreover, most of the followers
of the Quran today do not know Arabic, and many who do have little idea of the 'living'
language of the Quran.
They cannot be expected to absorbs its idioms and metaphor, so
essential to exploring and absorbing the depths of the Quranic meaning. Yet its guidance,
by its own claim, has an eternal relevance for all people, being the word of the Eternal
God. For the truth of its claim, it seems to me, it must be possible for us to receive,
experience, and understand the Quran as it's first recipients did, at least in some
measure and to some degree. We seem to almost have a right to this possibility of
receiving God's guidance in its fullness and with all its riches and joys. In other words
despite historical incidence of the revelation in a particular language at that particular
time and place, we should be capable of receiving the Quran now (because its message is
eternal), capable of making its message as much a real part of our lives as it was for the
first believers and with the same urgent and profound relevance for all our present
concerns and experiences.
But how do we do this? To put it very forthrightly, only by entering
the world of the Quran as if Allah were speaking to us through it now and today, and by
fulfilling the necessary conditions for such an encounter. Firstly, then, we must realize
what Quran as the word of God is and means to us, and bring all the reverence, love,
longing and will to act that this realization demands. Secondly, we must read it as it
asks to be read, as Allah's Messenger instructed us, as his Companions read it. Thirdly,
we must bring each word of the Quran to bear upon our own realities and concerns by
transcending the barriers of time, culture and change.
For the first addressees, the Quran was a contemporary event. Its
language and style, its eloquence and a rationale, its idiom and metaphor, its symbols and
parables, its moments and events were all rooted in their own setting. These people were
both witnesses to and in a sense, participants in the whole act of revelation as it
unfolded over a period of their own time. We do not have the same privilege; yet, in some
measures, the same ought to be true for us. By understanding and obeying the Quran
own setting, we will find it, as far as possible, as much a contemporary event for
ourselves as it was then. For the essence of man has not changed; it is immutable. Only
man's externalities- the forms, the modes, the technologies - have changed. The pagans of
Makka may be no more, nor the Jews of Yathrib, nor the Christians of Najran, nor even the
'faithful' and the 'unfaithful' of the community of Madina; but the same characters exist
all around us. We are humans being exactly as the first recipients were, even though may
find it extremely difficult to grapple with the deep implications of this very simple
truth. Once you realize the truths and follow them, once you come to the Quran as first
believers did, it may reveal to you as it did to them, make partners of you as it did of
them. And only then, instead of being a mere revered book, a sacred fossil, or a source of
magic-like blessing, it will change into a mighty force, impinging, stirring, moving and
guiding us deeper and higher achievements, just as it did before.