In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Concept of Kitab in the Quran
- Yusuf Estes Accepts Understandings From Dr. Bilal Philips
MISTAKE? YES! - IT WAS DEFINITELY A MISTAKE - Late last August (Ramadan) this website (Islam Newsroom) had a big mistake posted on one of the 2,000 pages we have.
And we do thank our brothers and sisters who pointed out the error in an article posted at the end of Ramadan (Aug 24-25) - We removed it the next day, as soon as we discovered it and now it is replaced with this article [below].
But for sure it should not have happened, it was a mistake and certainly not a teaching we hold and we hope it never happens again.
Also, we have hold no ill feelings toward anyone who is sincerely helping us to do better in our effort to project the correct message of Islam in simple English terms. We truly say, without any hard feelings at all, "We do love you all for the sake of Allah".
Please keep in mind, as scholars and teachers of the past have said,
"If you find anything in our teaching which does not comply with the Quran and the Sunnah of our prophet, peace be upon him, then take what you find from the Quran and the sunnah and throw away whatever you have found from us" - all of the 4 great imams said similar to this.
Note: Most of our articles and videos are directed to non-Muslims who have been attacking the Islam, Quran, Allah and our prophet, peace be upon him.
Their misunderstanding of Quran is based on comparisions of what they know about the Bible and its problems, and from some deviants who have tried to confuse peope as to what the Quran really is all about - IN ENGLISH.
We hope this will help clear up any misunderstandings caused from our side, inshallah. And we ask Allah's forgiveness and guidance, ameen.
What do most people think about the words:
KITAB - QURAN - SHARIAH?
Does the Word QURAN mean 'Book'? *(kitab - in Arabic) - answer: Yes. Both are correct.
Does the Word KITAB mean 'Read'? (Iqra' - in Arabic) answer: No. Iqra' (from same root as Quran) means to read.
Quran (Divine Book)
The Revelations of the Quran
Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
According to Allah's statements in His Book, there were two distinct revelations of the Quran which took place. It is important that these two revelations be understood in order to clear up the apparent contradictions in the various terms used in the Quran and Sunnah to describe the Quran's revelation. On one hand, the Quran is referred to as having been revealed in its totality in Ramadan or on Laylatul-Qadr, the Night of Decree; while on the other hand, it is referred to as having been continuously revealed in segments up until just before the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Allah caused the Quran to descend from the Protected Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuth) on which it was written to the lowest heaven. In this revelation all of the Quran was sent down at one time to a station in the lowest heaven referred to as "Bayt al-'Izzah" (The House of Honor or Power). The blessed night on which this descent took place is called "Laylatul-Qadr" (The Night of Decree), one of the odd-numbered nights in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. Allah referred to this initial revelation as follows:
From the lowest heaven sections of the Quran were then taken down by the angel Jibril to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This process of revelation continued over the twenty-three years of his prophethood. This revelation began with the first five verses of Surah al-'Alaq. These verses were revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he was on a spiritual retreat in the cave of Hira' near Makkah. However, the first complete Surah to be revealed was Surah al-Fatihah. The revelation of this portion of Quran marked the beginning of the final phase of prophethood. The last Surah to be revealed was Surah an-Nasr. This Surah was brought down in Mina during the Farewell Hajj of the Prophet (peace be upon him), which took place at the end of the tenth year after the Hijrah. According to Ibn 'Abbas, the last verse to be revealed was verse 281 in Surah al-Baqarah, the last of a series of verses dealing with interest. Allah has referred to the second revelation in the following way:
"And if the Quran is recited, you should listen to it and be silent, that you may receive mercy." [Noble Quran 7:204]
The Book has also been referred to by other names; for example, the Furqan (The Distinction):
The Quran could be defined as Allah's words which were revealed in Arabic in a rhythmical form to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Its recitation is used in acts of worship and its smallest chapter (Surah) is of a miraculous nature.
The Prophet's divinely inspired statements which were recorded by his followers are generally referred to as hadiths. For example, the Prophet's companion (sahabi), 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, reported that he once said, "Verily, deeds are (judged) by their intentions."
However, in some of his statements, the Prophet (peace be upon him) attributed what he said to Allah; for example, another sahabi, Abu Hurayrah, reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allah, Most High, says, 'I am as My slave thinks of Me and I am with him when he remembers me. So if he remembers Me to himself, I will remember him to Myself and if he remembers Me in a group, I will remember him in a better group.' "
In order to distinguish this type of hadith from the previous type, it is referred to as hadith qudsi (sacred hadith) and the former referred to as hadith nabawi (prophetic hadith).
The Quran, however, is not the same as hadith qudsi for a number of reasons.
First, the Quran is from Allah both in its wording and in its meaning, while in the case of hadith qudsi, its meaning is from Allah but its wording was the Prophet's (peace be upon him).
Second, Allah challenged the Arabs and mankind in general to produce even a chapter equivalent to one of the Quran's chapters, and their inability to do so proves its miraculous nature. This is not so in the case of hadith qudsi.
Third, the recitation of the Quran is used in salah and is itself considered a form of worship. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "Whoever reads a letter from the book of Allah, the Most High, will get a good deed (recorded for him), and each good deed is worth ten times its value. I am not only saying that Alif Laam Meem is a letter, but I am also saying that Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter."
However, the recitation of hadith qudsi does not carry these properties.
The Main Theme of the Quran
Not only is the Quran unique among books today in its origin and purity, but it is also unique in the way it presents its subject matter.
It is not a book in the usual sense of the word wherein there is an introduction, explanation of the subject, followed by a conclusion. Neither is it restricted to only a presentation of historical events, problems of philosophy, facts of science or social laws, though all may be found woven together in it without any apparent connection and links. Subjects are introduced without background information, historical events are not presented in chronological order, new topics sometimes crop up in the middle of another for no apparent reason, and the speaker and those spoken to change direction without the slightest forewarning.
The reader who is unaware of the Quran's uniqueness is often puzzled when he finds it contrary to his understanding of a book in general and a "religious" book in particular. Hence, the Quran may seem disorganized and haphazard to him. However, to those who understand its subject matter, aim and its central theme, the Quran is exactly the opposite.
The subject matter of the Quran is essentially man: man in relation to his Lord and Creator, Allah; man in relation to himself; and man in relation to the rest of creation. The aim and object of the revelations is to invite man to the right way of dealing with his Lord, with himself, and with creation. Hence, the main theme that runs throughout the Quran is that God alone deserves worship and, thus, man should submit to God's laws in his personal life and in his relationships with creation in general. Or, in other words, the main theme is a call to the belief in Allah and the doing of righteous deeds as defined by Allah.
Now, if you, the reader keep these basic facts in mind, you will likely find that, from beginning to end, the Quran's topics are all closely connected to its main theme and that the whole book is a well-reasoned and cohesive argument for its theme. The Quran keeps the same object in view, whether it is describing the creation of man and the universe or events from human history. Since the aim of the Quran is to guide man, it states or discusses things only to the extent relevant to this aim and leaves out unnecessary and irrelevant details. It also repeats its main theme over and over again in the presentation of each new topic.
Significance of the Quran's Preservation
Allah promised in the Quran that He would take on the responsibility of protecting His final word from loss. He said, "Verily I have revealed the Reminder (Quran), and verily I shall preserve it." (Surah al-Hijr (15):9)
Thus, the Quran has been preserved in both the oral as well as written form in a way no other religious book in history has.
Why did Allah preserve the Quran and allow His earlier books of divine revelation to be changed or lost?
The answer to that question lies in the following three facts:
The earlier prophets and their books were sent to a particular people in particular periods of history. Once the period ended, a new prophet was sent with a new book to replace the previous book. So, it was not necessary that these books be preserved by Allah. The preservation of the earlier books was left up to the people as a test for them. Thus, when the people went astray, they changed what was written in the books which their prophets brought in order to make allowable the things which were forbidden to them. In that way, all of the earlier books of revelation became either changed or lost.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last prophet whom Allah sent, and he was not sent to a particular people or a particular time. He was sent to all of mankind until the end of the world. Allah said in the Quran:
"I have only sent you (Muhammad) as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most men do not understand." [Noble Quran 34:28]
Some of the Magnificent Characteristics of the Quran
Allah has described the Noble Quran with a number of magnificent characteristics of which Ibn Qudamah mentioned eight in points 27 - 30 of Lum'atul-I'tiqad.
They are as follows:
That it is clear (mubin) and makes clear the laws and reports which it contains.
That it is Allah's firm rope (Hablullah), that is, it is the solid contract which Allah made a reason for reaching Himself and the attainment of success by His Grace.
That it consists of distinct chapters (muhkamat), each distinct from the other, perfected and preserved from any flaws or contradictions.
That it consists of clear verses (ayat bayyinat) which are clear and obvious signs indicating Allah's unique unity, the perfection of His attributes, and the goodness of His laws.
That it contains clear and obscure verses (ayat muhkamat wa mutashabihat); the clear being that whose meaning is clear and the obscure being those whose meaning is hidden. And this does not contradict point number three above because the clarity there refers to perfection and protection from flaws and contradiction, while here it refers to clarity of meaning. If the obscure is referred back to the clear, all of it will become clear.
That it is the truth (haqq) that cannot be affected by falsehood from any direction.
That it is free from its description by the disbelievers as being poetry, magic or human speech.
That it is a miracle that no one can imitate even with the help of others.
Question: Does the word 'kitab' when used in the Quran ever refer to itself (as being the Quran)?
Another meaning of the word Kitab is the Quran itself.
As it is known, the Quran is a Recitation in Divine revelation, in the form of a scripture (from the Book with Allah - "Kitab Allah").
Quran calls itself Quran, because it is recited.
And Quran calls itself Kitab, because it is written or scripted, in the Book with Allah.
So, both Quran and Kitab are used for this Revelation.
Question: Where is the Quran of Allah? [CLICK for answer in this article]
The following verses signify these names: "God it is Who has sent down the Book with the Truth, and also the Balance." (42: 17)
"By the Clear Book, behold,We have made it an Arabic Qur'an; haply you will understand.." (43:12)
“That is the Book, wherein is no doubt.." (2: 2)
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Last Updated (Saturday, 11 May 2013 15:06)
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