For those who heard it for the first time from the lips of the Prophet, the Qur’an was a living reality. They had absolutely no doubt that, through him, God was speaking to them. Their hearts and minds were therefore seized by it. Their eyes overflowed with tears and their bodies shivered. They found each word of it deeply relevant to their concerns and experiences, and integrated it fully into their lives. They were completely transformed by it both as individuals and as a nation – into a totally new, alive and life-giving entity. Those who grazed sheep, herded camels and traded petty merchandise became the leaders of mankind.
As we come to the Quran, we come to a new world. Each verse (ayat) is a sign of God – informing us of His infinite mercy, power and knowledge. No other venture in our lives can be so momentous and crucial, so blissful and rewarding, as our journey to and through the Quran. It is a journey that will take us through the endless joys and riches of the words that our Creator and Lord has sent to us and all mankind. Here we will find a world of untold treasures of knowledge and wisdom to guide us on the pathways of life, to mould our thoughts and actions. In it we will find deep insights to enrich us and steer us along the right course. From it you will receive a radiant light to illumine the deeper reaches of your soul. Here we will encounter profound emotions, warmth to melt our hearts and bring tears running down our cheeks.
It is beyond man’s power to fully comprehend, or to describe, the greatness and importance of what the Qur’an holds for him. It is God’s greatest blessing for him. It is the fulfillment of His promise to Adam and his descendants: ‘..when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear upon them, nor will they grieve’ (2:38). It is the only weapon to help our frail existence as we struggle against the forces of evil and temptation in this world. It is the only means to overpower our fears and anxieties. It is the only light (nur), as we wonder in the darkness, with which to find our way to success and salvation. It is the only healing (shifa) for our inner sicknesses, as well as the social ills that may surround us. It is the constant reminder (dhikr) of our true nature and destiny, of our station, our duties, our rewards and our perils.
God – the Greatest
The Quran was brought down by the one who is powerful and trustworthy in the heavens the angel Gabriel. Its first abode was the pure and sublime heart, the like of which no man has ever had – the heart of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him. More than anything, it is the only way to come nearer and closer to our Creator. It tells us of Him, of His attributes, of how He rules over the cosmos and history, of how He relates Himself to us, and how we should relate to Him and to ourselves.
Most important is to remember that what we read in the Quran is the word of God which He has conveyed to us in a human language, only because of His mercy and care and providence for us. ‘The Most-merciful, [He has] taught the Qur’an’ (55:1-2), and in another verse ‘As a mercy from your Lord…’ (44:6). The majesty of the Qur’än, is so overpowering that no human being can truly comprehend it. So much so, that God says, ‘If We had sent down this Quran upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and split asunder from fear of God.’ (59:21). This act of Divine mercy and majesty is enough to awe and overwhelm us, to inspire us to ever-greater heights of gratitude, yearning and endeavour to enter the world of the Quran. Indeed, no treasure is more valuable and precious for us than the Qur’ân, as God says of His generosity, ‘O mankind, there has come to you an admonition from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the Believers:
The outcome of our entire life depends on how we heed the call given by God. The journey is therefore decisive for our existence, for mankind, for the future of human civilisation. A hundred new worlds lie in its verses. Whole centuries are involved in its moments. Know, in that case, that it is the Qur’an, and only the Qur’an, which can lead us towards success and glory in this world and in the world to come.