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WHY DO WE READ QURAN, EVEN IF WE CAN'T UNDERSTAND A SINGLE ARABIC WORD?

Scattered Pearls
This is a beautiful story An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Qur'an. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could. One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Qur'an just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Qur'an do?" The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Ta ke this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water." The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again. At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would Leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See Grandpa, it's useless!" "So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket." The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out. "Son, that's what happens when you read the Qur'an. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Allah in our lives." If you feel this is worth reading, please forward to your contacts/friends. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says: "The one who guides to good will be rewarded equally"

ANSWER TO 3 INTRICATE QUESTIONS


There was a young who went overseas to study for quite a long time. When he returned, he asked his parents to find him a religious scholar or any expert who could answer his 3 Questions. Finally, his parents were able to find a Muslim scholar. Young man: Who are you? Can you answer my questions? Scholar: I am one of Allah (SubHana Wa Ta`ala )'s slaves and Insha-Allah (God willing), I will be able to answer your questions. Young man: Are you sure? A lot of Professors and experts were not able to answer my questions. Scholar: I will try my best, with the help of Allah(SubHana Wa Ta`ala). Young Man: I have 3 questions: 1. Does God exist? If so, show me His shape. 2. What is thaqdir (fate)? 3. If shaitan (Devil) was created from the fire, why at the end he will be thrown to hell that is also created from fire. It certainly will not hurt him at all, since Shaitan (Devil) and the hell were created from fire. Did God not think of it this far? Suddenly, the Scholar slapped the young man's face very hard. Young Man (feeling pain): Why do you get angry at me? Scholar: I am not angry. The slap is my answer to your three questions. Young Man: I really don't understand. Scholar: How do you feel after I slapped you? Young Man: Of course, I felt the pain. Scholar: So do you believe that pain exists? Young Man: Yes. Scholar: Show me the shape of the pain!

Young Man: I cannot. Scholar: That is my first answer. All of us feel God's existence without being able to see His shape... Last night, did you dream that you will be slapped by me? Young Man: No. Scholar: Did you ever think that you will get a slap from me, today? Young Man: No. Scholar: That is takdir (fate) my second answer........ My hand that I used to slap you, what is it created from? Young Man: It is created from flesh. Scholar: How about your face, what is it created from? Young Man: Flesh. Scholar: How do you feel after I slapped you? Young Man: In pain. Scholar: Thats it. this is my third answer, Even though Shaitan (Devil) and also the hell were created from the fire, if Allah wants, insha-Allah (God willing), the hell will become a very painful place for Shaitan Allah (swt) said: "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you." If you are not ashamed, pass this message on...only if you believe. "Yes, I love Allah. Allah is my fountain of Life and My Savior. Allah keeps me going day & night. Without Allah, I am no one. But with Allah, I can do everything. Allah is my strength." May Allah help us all to succeed... Ameen

JUST SAY, "THANK YOU, GOD."


This is one of the nicest mails I have seen and is so true: I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received." I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world. Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section. The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth. Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section," My angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed "How is it that? There's no work going on here?" I asked. "So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked. "Simple," the angel answered."Just say, "Thank you, God." "What blessings should they acknowledge?I asked. "If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world." If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy. "And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity." Also "If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the many that will not even survive this day.If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation. You are ahead of 700 million people in the world. "If you can attend a prayer meeting without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.If your parents are still alive and still married you are very rare. If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you're unique to all those in doubt and despair."Ok, what now? How can I start? If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all. Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you want, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are. Attn: Acknowledgment Dept: Thank You God! Thank you God, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people to share it with".

EXISTANCE OF GOD--- FAITH


An atheist Professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and..... Professor: So you believe in God? Student: Absolutely, sir. Professor: Is God good? Student: Sure. Professor: Is God all-powerful? Student: Yes. Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm? Student: (Student is silent.) Professor: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good? Student: Yes. Professor: Is Satan good? Student: No. Professor: Where does Satan come from? Student: From...God... Professor: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world? Student: Yes. Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct? Student: Yes. Professor: So who created evil? Student: (Student does not answer.) Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they? Student: Yes, sir. Professor: So, who created them? Student: (Student has no answer.)

Professor: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God? Student: No, sir. Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your God? Student: No , sir. Professor: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter? Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't. Professor: Yet you still believe in Him? Student: Yes. Professor: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son? Student: Nothing. I only have my faith. Professor: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has. Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat? Professor: Yes. Student: And is there such a thing as cold? Professor: Yes. Student: No sir. There isn't. (The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.) Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it. (There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.) Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness? Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness? Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you? Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man? Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed? Can you explain how? Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey? Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do. Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir? Professor: (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.) Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? Professor: (The class is in uproar.) Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain? Professor: (The class breaks out into laughter.)> Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?.....No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir? Professor: (The room is silent. The Professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.) Professor: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son. Student: That is it sir.. The link between man & God is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive. NB: I believe you have enjoyed the conversation...and if so...you'll probably want your friends/colleagues to enjoy the same...won't you?...forward them to increase their knowledge...

IMAN: THE ARTICLES OF FAITH


"It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof." (Saying of the Prophet, pbuh) Iman is the state in which the heart accepts the Truth and lives by it. It is to believe in its six 'pillars' such that, the lips and tongue make the profession of the truth, and the limbs execute what is required of them by the truth. It is important to recognise that the first of the Prophet Muhammad's titles - his 'titles of Glory' - is not 'Messenger' or 'Prophet' but 'slave' ( abd ). For man must be a slave to the truth before he can be its messenger, and the slave is, by definition, one who submits body and soul to his master, claiming no rights, asking no questions and owning nothing that he can call his own. It is for the master, if he will, to raise him to a higher status. A great deal of misunderstanding has surrounded these images of submission. Partly from prejudice, but partly also from the genuine difficulty that one culture has in grasping the deepest motivations of another, the West has often pictured the Muslim as cringing before a tyrant Lord and submitting as a beast submits to its incomprehensible fate. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Muslim fears God because he is a realist; he knows that there are things to be feared and that all things - the bitter and the sweet - have but one Creator. He submits because he believes that there exists a divine pattern or scheme of things which is both intelligent and beautiful, and he wishes to find his place in this pattern and conform to it; he knows that he cannot do so without instructions - which must be followed meticulously in view of their sacred origin. He does not simply resign himself to the Divine Will; he seeks it eagerly and, when he finds it, delights in it.

The Articles of Faith


"Say: 'He Allah, is One! Allah, the eternally Besought! He has not begotten, nor been begotten, and equal to Him there is none." Quran, Sincerity 112:1-4 In order to have Iman the Muslim has to believe in:

1. Allah, the One and Only God


Allah, the Arabic word for the One True God, is unique in that it can have no plural or gender connotation. A Muslim believes in one, unique, incomparable God, Who has no son, nor partner, and that none has the right to be worshipped but Him alone. God alone is the Almighty, the Most Merciful, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Sustainer of the universe and what lies beyond it. He is the Eternal. He manages all affairs. He stands in need of none of His creation, yet all creation are in need of Him. He alone is Independent. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, and

the All-Knowing. To Him alone belongs Perfection and His alone are the most Magnificent names and the perfect attributes. His knowledge encompasses all things.

2. His Angels
Muslims believe in the existence of angels created by Allah. They are created of light, created incapable of rebellion against God's will, for their purpose is to carry it out. This is why Islam sees man as potentially superior to the angels, for he may freely choose to serve God and to believe in His prophets, whereas the angels, who are at all times in the presence of God, cannot fail to obey Him and to sing His praises at all times. By the same token, man can be lower than the angels, and lower even than the animals, should they refuse to worship his Creator and thank Him for the gift of life and the blessings showered upon him in this world and, we are given to hope, the next. We are told of eight in particular: Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation; Mikael, who brings God's prosperity and bounty to man; Israfil, responsible for blowing the Last Trump signifying the impending Day of Judgement; Azreal, the Angel of Death, who takes man's soul when his lifespan ends; Malek, the Angel supervising Hell; and Radwan, who is respnsible for Paradise. The two angels we shall encounter shortly after death. These are Munkar and Nakir, who question the newly dead regarding their lives and beliefs. "Say: [O Muslims]: 'We believe in Allah and that which is sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes; what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the Prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered ourselves.'" Quran The Cow, 2:136

3. His revealed books


A Muslim believes in all scriptures and revelations of God as they were revealed in their in original form. Messengers were sent to people of all ages and all walks of life. All scriptures sought to invite man back to the belief and worship of the One True God and thus to recognise the Primordial covenant. Essentially the message of all the prophets was the same, reaffirming the oneness of God. The Quran is the last scripture of guidance revealed to man and sent down for all humanity. For the Muslim, God's Book is much more than a source of liturgical and social rules; indeed, such topics occupy less than one tenth of the Quranic text; and it is more even than a revelatory declaration of man's origin and his fate, an exposition of the truths of man's spiritual nature and of judgement. The Quran is-oft recited, at the most profound possible level, because it is of God. Its text reveals God's will for His creation, but it is also a revelation of Himself. It is uncreated, timeless, a dimension of God's pre-existent attribute of speech, communication: it is the Logos, which is the interface between the Absolute and the contingent realms. Unlike all other scriptures sent before, it is Divinely protected against corruption and is thus the only authentic and complete book of Allah which has remained unchanged since its was revelation to the Prophet (pbuh) through the angel Gabriel. It was revealed over a period of 23 years. It contains 114 Surahs (chapters) and over 6000 verses.

4. His Messengers
A Muslim believes in all the Messengers and Prophets of God without any discrimination. All messengers were mortals, human beings, honoured with conveying the Divine revelations to mankind. The Holy Quran mentions the names of 25 messengers and prophets but according to tradition some 124,000 prophets are believed to be sent. These include Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. "When the sun is darkened, and when the stars fall, and when the mountains are moved... and when the records of men's deeds are laid open, and when the sky is torn away, and when the hell is set blazing, and when the Garden is brought near, then every soul shall know what it has brought." Quran, The Darkening 81: 1-3,10-14

5. The Day of Judgement


A Muslim believes in the Day of the Judgement. This world as we know it will come to an end, and man will rise to stand for their final and fair judgement. On that day, the whole of humanity will be resurrected and await reckoning. Every action is being accounted for and kept in an accurate record by the angels and on that Day the consequences of those actions will be brought to light. They are brought up on the Day of Judgement. The people with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to Allah's Heaven. People with bad records will be fairly punished and cast into Hell. The real nature of Heaven and Hell are known to Allah only, but they are described by Allah in man's familiar terms in the Quran. If some good deeds are seen not to get full appreciation and credit in this life, they will receive full compensation and be widely acknowledged on the Day of Judgement. If some people who commit sins, neglect Allah and indulge in immoral activities, seem superficially successful and prosperous in this life, absolute justice will be done to them on the Day of Judgement. The time of the Day of Judgement is only known to Allah and Allah alone. "No soul dies without the permission of Allah, and at a term appointed. He who desires the reward of this world We shall give it to him; and he who desires the reward of the Hereafter We shall give it to him. We will surely reward the thankful." Quran, The Family of Imran 3:145

6. Destiny, its good and evil


A Muslim believes in al-Qadar which is predestination, believing that God has knowledge of all that has and will happen, all that has taken place and is yet to take place, and that whatever He wills, shall take place and whatever He wills not, shall not. Destiny is a title for Divine Knowledge. God's Knowledge comprehends everything within and beyond time and space. This is not to say, however, that humans do not have freewill. For all humans have the power of choice and ultimately Allah is aware of the course of action each shall follow. Man is given a free will, according to which he acts in his life. He will be held responsible on the day of judgement for whatever option, whether good or bad, that he adopted. It is a prescribed way of Allah that He makes the path of doing good easier for a person if the person opts for this path. Similarly if the man chooses the path of evil, Allah makes following this path easier for him.

QURAN (THE FINAL REVELATION)


Introduction to Qur'an
The Qur'an is the final Message from Allah to humanity. It was transmitted to us in a chain starting from the Almighty Himself through the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) to the Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him). This message was given to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in parts over a period spanning approximately 23 years, from when the Prophet was 40 till the time of his demise (610 CE to 633 CE). The language of The Message is Arabic, from which it has been translated into many other languages. The Qur'an is the Divine book for the Muslims and its authority is unchallengeable. For the basis of Islam, it constitutes the foundation, as it is the direct word of Allah, the remaining building of which is the Sunnah (the example) of the Prophet (peace be upon him), which although from the Prophet, is what Allah has preferred for the Muslims. The unchallengeable authority of the Quran is due to it being unchanged and remaining its original form, which is unique in all the divine books. See for yourselves the beauty of the Quran by reading it, listening to it and pondering over its meaning. It must be emphasized that the translations presented will always have a degree of interpretation added to them. These interpretations more often than not are correct, but at times can confuse those who wish to read the literal meaning.

ORGANISATION OF THE QURAN


Location of revelation and contents:
Qur'an is organized with respect to the location of revelation of verses, whether in Makkah or Madinah. The part of the Qur'an that was revealed in Makkah, almost two-third, carries the title, Makki and remainder carries the title Madani. Makki part emphasizes belief of Tawheed (Islamic monotheism), Risalah (guidance of mankind through Allah's selected prophets and messengers) and Aakhira (destruction of this world and the life hereafter that includes physical and spiritual resurrection of humankind, the day of judgment and the life of paradise or hell) whereas the Madani part emphasizes Ibadat (servitude to Allah) andMu'amilat (all aspects of relationship with other beings). Many scholars look at the content of verses and can speculate whether it was revealed in Makkah or Madinah. For example, qital (one aspect of jihad) was ordained in Madinah whereas in the Makki period emphasis was on keeping the hands tied in face of adversity and persecution. Similarly, orders of Zakat (wealth cleansing tax), Hudood (legally defined crimes and their punishment) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) were revealed in Madinah.

Structure of the Qur'an:


Qur'an has words, ayahs (verses) and Surahs (chapters). Scholars have taken the time to count the number of letters and words but it is not relevant to our study. Those who are interested can find information about letters and words in the books about the Qur'an.

Aayat (verses):
The Qur'an is divided into Ayahs or signs, commonly translated as verses. An ayah may consist of a full sentence more than one sentence or part of a sentence. What makes an ayah is revealed knowledge not a decision of the Prophet Muhammad or any scholar. The sequence of appearance of ayat is also revealed knowledge. Ayahs may be Makki or Madani but in the opinion of some scholars, some ayah may consist of a part Madani and another part Makki; an example is the last verse of Surah Muzammil. The Qur'an has approximately 6,300 ayat. Due to various conventions used there is a slight discrepancy in counting the total number of ayat. For example, according to one convention Surah Al-Fatiha has seven ayahs that includes Bismillah and another convention the seven ayat excludes Bismillah. One convention includes 113 Bismillah as part of chapters and the other convention excludes it.

Surahs (chapters):
A group of ayat has been declared to make up a Surah. Surahs vary in length, shortest ones have only three ayahs and the longest one has 286. There are 114 Surahs in the Qur'an numbered from 1 to 114. Surah means something divided or walled from both sides. All Surahs begin with Bismillah except Surah No. 9 called At-Taubah or the Repentance. All Surahs have been divided into Makki and Madani but a Makki Surah may contain a few verses revealed in Madinah and vice versa. There are some differences of opinion among the scholars of the Qur'an regarding the place of revelation of a few verses and their inclusion into a given Surah. All Surahs have been given names but not titles. A title is a brief, one word or two words description of the contents but name is not a description. For example, the name John or Yahya does not describe anything about this person but Dr. Yahya has a title Doctor describing his education. Similarly, names of Surahs like Al-Baqarah (the Cow) or Al-Ankaboot (the Spider) are not titles of those Surahs but only names. If they were titles, the Surah would be about the cow and spider, respectively. However, in some rare cases a name of a Surah may also be its title, such as Surah Yusuf.

Referring to the Qur'anic words and ayat:


The most scientific method is the one given to us by the Prophet Muhammad, that is Surah and verse. Since all Surahs and ayat within them are numbered, the most scientific method is to provide the Surah and ayah number. For example Ayat al-Kursi is 2:255, that is Surah 2 (AlBaqarah) and ayah 255. Some scholars prefer the reference Al-Baqarah 255 or Al-Baqarah (2): 255. The organization of ayat and Surah and their order is revealed by Allah to His Prophet. Scholars after the Prophet have done additional division of the Qur'an for the convenience of recitation of the whole Qur'an in a set period like one week, one month or two months and so on.

Manazil (stations):
The Qur'an is divided into seven approximately equal parts for the convenience of reciting the whole Qur'an in one week. Each of the seven parts is called Manzil or station or the plural is Manazil or stations. There is some indication that Prophet Muhammad may have suggested such a division but there is no definite proof of it. A Manzil (singular of Manazil) consists of a number of whole Surahs as given below. If we take Surah 1 as preface of the Qur'an and exclude it from the seven Manazil, the division of Manazil follows: Manzil No. 1. Surahs 2, 3 and 4. Manzil No. 2. Surahs 5 to 9. Manzil No. 3. Surahs 10 to 16. Manzil No. 4. Surahs 17 to 25.

Manzil No. 5. Surahs 26 to 36. Manzil No. 6. Surahs 37 to 49. Manzil No. 7. Surahs 50 to 114.

Juz (Part):
In South Asia, Juz is also called Para. The Qur'an was equally divided into thirty parts, perhaps based on the number of pages disregarding content or Surah. This was done for the convenience of reciting the whole Qur'an in thirty days or one month. Each Juz is also divided into four quarters or four ruba. The Qur'an copies printed anywhere in the world have Juz and quarter markings as ruba' (first quarter), nusf (one-half) and al-thulatha (three-quarter). This gives 120 quarter-parts of the Qur'an giving the flexibility of reciting the whole Qur'an in equal parts in 30, 60 or 120 days. This type of partitioning of the Qur'an is used very much in South Asia whereas the Arab world does not make much use of it. Even referring to Qur'anic verses South Asians would talk in terms of Para number as they carry numbers from 1 to 30 for each Juz. This kind of referring to the Qur'an verses is very unscientific because it does not provide precise location of the verse. If someone says that a verse is in 15th Para , it is not precise enough to find it easily.

Hizb (group):
According to this system each Juz is further divided into two Hizbs and each Hizb is further divided into four quarters. It means that a Juz has two Hizbs and eight Hizb-quarters or each Juzquarter has two Hizb-quarters. The whole Qur'an is divided into 240 Hizb-quarters. This allows a person to recite the Qur'an in small groups of verses and complete the recitation in one-month to eight-month period. In addition, Hizb partitioning of the Qur'an allows a Muqri (Qur'an reciter) to recite one Hizb in each Raka'ah of Salat at-Traweeh and finish one Juz every night in eight Raka'hs thereby completing the whole Qur'an in 30 nights of Ramadan. Partitioning of the Qur'an in Hizb is not found in the copies printed in South Asia .

Ruku' (bowing or section):


Some Muslims prefer to do 20 raka'ah every night for Salat At-Taraweeh during the month of Ramadan, that is, recite a section and go to ruku' (bowing). They had to find markers to recite a portion of the Qur'an in each Raka'ah while completing a topic. In South Asia the tradition is to complete recitation of the whole Qur'an in 27 nights. This required partitioning of the Qur'an in 27 x 20 = 540 sections excepting the Surah al-Fatiha. When such partitioning was done they ended up with 556 (+1 for Surat al-Fatiha) sections. Evidently, they did not go back to redo the partitioning to come with 540 sections. The Qur'an copies printed in South Asia have Ruku' or Section markings showing number of the ruku' within the Surah, within the Juz and ayah number within the ruku'. Traditionally, South Asian Muslims may give reference of a ayahs from the Qur'an by referring to the ruku' number and Juz number but such system is unscientific and it is not universally acceptable. Qur'an copies printed in the Arab world do not include ruku' markings.

Groups of Surahs:
Some Qur'an scholars talk in terms of groups of Surah or complementary couples of Surahs. These complementary groups or couples are based on the themes and like contents. For example, there is a group of Musabbihat, five Surahs that begin with glorification of Allah ( Sabbah lillahi or Yusabbihu lillahi ). There are many other groups of Surahs that have been suggested. Also, there are twins or complementary couples, such as Surahs 2 and 3 make a couple, Surahs 91 and 92 is another couple. According to such scholars most of the Qur'an consists of complementary couples.

AL-QURAN, THE MIRACLE OF MIRACLES


Ahmed Deedat
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Al-Quran Say: If the whole of mankind and jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.

What is a miracle?
I think it is necessary that we have a clear picture of what we mean by a miracle. Here are some definitions:"An event that appears so inexplicable by the laws of nature, that it is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God." "A person, thing or event that excites admiring awe." "An act beyond human power, an impossibility." It is logical that greater the impossibility, greater the miracle. For example, should a person expire before our very eyes and is certified dead by a qualiified medical man, yet later on a mystic or a saint commands the corpse to arise!, and to everybodys astonishment the person gets up and walks away , we would label that as a miracle. But if the resurrection of the dead took place after the corpse had been in the mortuary for three days, then we would acclaim this as a greater miracle. And if the dead was made to arise from the grave, decades or centuries after the body had decomposed and rotted away, then in that case we would label it the greatest miracle of them all!

A Common Trait:
It has been a common trait of mankind since time immemorial that whenever a guide from God appeared to redirect their steps into the will and plan of God; they demanded supernatural proofs from these men of God, instead of accepting message on its merit. For example, when Jesus Christ (pbuh) began to preach to his people - "the children of Israel" to mend their ways and to refrain from mere legalistic formalism and imbibe the true spirit of the laws and commandments of god, his people demanded miracles from him to prove his bona fides ( his authenicity , his genuineness), as recorded in the christian scriptures: Then certain of the scribes and the phairsees answered, saying master, we would have a sign ( miracle ) from thee. But he answered and said unto them, "an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign (miracle) and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas ( matthew 12:38-39 holy bible) Though on the face of it, Jesus (pbuh) refuses to pamper the jews here, in actual fact, he did perform many miracles as we learn from the gospel narratives. The holy bible is full of supernatural events accredited to the prophets from their lord. In reality all those signs and wonders and miracles were acts of God, but since those miracles were worked through his human agents, we describe them as the miracles of prophets (i.e. Moses or Jesus (pbuh) by those hands they were performed).

Quirk Continues:
Some six hundred years after the birth of Jesus(pbuh), Muhammad (pbuh) the messenger of God was born in Makkah in arabia. When he proclaimed his mission at the age of forty, his fellow countrymen, the mushriks of makkah made an identical request for miracles, as had the jews, from their promised Messiah. Text book style, it was as if the arabs had taken a leaf from the christian records. History has a habit of repeating itself! And they say: why are not signs sent down to him from his lord? (holy Quran 29:50)

SIGNS! WHAT SIGNS!!


"Miracles ? Cries he, what miracles would you have? Are not you yourselves there? God made you shaped you out of a little clay. Ye were small once; a few years ago ye were not at all. Ye have beauty, strength, thoughts, ye have compassion on one another. Old age comes-on you, and grey hairs; your strength fades into feebleness: ye sink down, and again are not. Ye have compassion on one another: This struck me much: Allah might have made you having no compassion on one another, how had it been then! this is a great direct though, a glance at firsthand into the very fact of things...." "(On heroes hero-worship and the heroic in history,")by Thomas Carlyle.

"This Struck Me Much"


This, that "ye have compassion on one another", impressed thomas carlyle most from his perusal of an English translation. I persume, there verse that motivated this sentiment is: 1. And among his signs is this, that he created for you mates from amonng yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them. and he has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are signs for those who reflect. (emphasis added) Translation by A Yusuf ALi (Quran 30:21) 2. And one of his signs it is, that he hath created wives for you of your own species that ye may dwell with them, and hath put love and tenderness between you. herein truly are signs for those who reflect (emphasis added) Translation by Rev. J.M. Rodwell(M.A.) 3. By another sign he gave you wives from among yourselves, that ye might live in joy with them, and planted love and kindness into your hearts. surely there are signs in this for thinking men(emphasis added) Translation by N.J. Dawood. The first example is from the translation by Yusuf Ali, a muslim. The second is by a christian priest the rev. Rodwell and the last example is by an iraqi Jew, N.J. Dawood. Unfortunately Thomas Carlyle had no access to any one of these because none of them had seen the light of day in his time. The only one available to him in 1840 was as he said on page 85 of his book under referance - "We also can read the Koran; our translation of it, by sale, is known to be a very fair one."

Taint Is In The Motive:


Carlyle is very charitable to his fellow countryman. The motives of george sale, who pioneered an English translation of the Holy Quran, were suspect. He makes no secret of his antagonism to the holy book of Islam. In his preface to his translation in 1734 he made it known that it was his avowed intention to expose the man Mohammad and his forgery. He records: "who can apprehend any danger from so manifest a forgery?... The protestants alone are able to attack the koran with success; and for them, I trust, providence has reserved the glory of its overthrow." George Sale, And he set to work with his prejudiced translation. You will be able to judge how fair and scholarly george sale was from the very verse which struck (carlyle) much! Compare it with the three example already given by a muslim, a christian and a jew: And of his signs another is, that he had created you , out of yourselves, wives that ye may cohabit with them, and hath put love and compassion between you . I dont think that george sale was a a male chauvinist pig of his day to describe our mates, wives or spouses as sexual objects. He was only keeping to his promise, which carlyle overlooked. The arabic word which he (sale) perverted is li-tas-kunoo which means to find peace, consolation, composure or tranquility; and not cohabit meaning to live together in a sexual relationship when not legally married (the readers digest universal dictionary.)

Every word of the Quranic text is meticulously chosen, chiselled and placed by the All-Wise himself. They carry Gods fingerprint, and are signs of God. And yet, the spirtually jaundiced....

Ask For A Sign:


What signs?? They mean some special kinds of signs or miracles such as their own foolish minds dictate. Everything is possible for God, but God is not going to humour the follies of men or listen to their false demands. He has sent his messenger to explain his signs clearly, and to warn them of the consequences of rejection. Is that not enough? The trend of their demand is generally as follows: In specific terms they asked that he - Muhammad (pbuh) - Put a ladder up to heaven an bring down a book from God in their very sight - "Then we would believe," they said. Or "ye see the mountain yonder, turn it into gold - "then we would believe." or make streams to gush out in the desert - "then we would believe." Now listen to the soft, sweet reasoning of Muhammad(pbuh) against the unreasonable and sceptical demands of the mushriks - "Do I say to you, verily I am an angel? Do I say to you, verily in my hands are the treasures of God? Only, what is revealed to me do I follow." Listen further to the most dignified reply he is commanded by his Lord to give the unbelievers. Say (O Muhammad): The signs (miracles) are indeed with Allah: And most certainly I am only a clear warner.! In the following ayah the holy prophet is made to point to the holy Quran itself as an answer to their hypocritical demand for some special kind of sign of miracle for which their foolish pagan mentality craved. For indeed all miracles are signs; and it is their disbelief, their scepticism, their lack of faith which motivates their request for a sign. They are asked to - look at the Quran and again, look at the Quran! It is not enough for them that we have sent down to thee (O Muhammad) the book(al-Quran) which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it (this perspicuous book) is a mercy and reminder to those who believe. (Quran 29:51).

Two Proofs:
As a proof of the divine authorship and the miraculous nature of the Quran, two arguments are advanced by the almighty Himself: 1. that we (God Almighty) have revealed to you (O muhammed!) the book to you who art absolutely an unlearned person. An ummi prophet. One who cannot read or write. One who cannot sign his own name. Let thomas carlyle testify regarding the educational qualifications of Muhammad -

one other circumstance we must not forget: that he had no school learnin; of the thing we call school-learning none at all. Moreoever the divine author(God Almighty) himself testifies to the veracity of Muhammed s(pbuh) claim that he could never have composed the contents of the holy Quran; he could not have been its author: And thou (O Muhammad) was not (able) to recite a book before this (book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted (Quran 29:48). The author of the Quran is reasoning with us, that had Muhammad(pbuh) been a learned man, and had he been able to read or write, then in that case the babblers in the market places might have had some justification to doubt his claim that the holy quran is Gods word. In the event of Muhammed(pbuh) being a literate person, the accusation of his enemies that he had probably copied his book (Quran) from the writings of the jews and christians, or that perhaps he had been studying aristotle and plato, or that he must have browsed through the Torat, the Zabur and the Injeel and had rehashed it all in a beautiful language, might have carried some weight. Then, the talkers of vanities might have had a poiint. But even this flimsy pretence has been denied to the unbeliever and the cynic: a point hardly big enough to hang a fly upon! 2. The book? Yes, the book itself, carries its own evidence proving its divine authorship. Study the book from any angel. Scrutinize it. Why not take up the authors challenge if your doubts are genuine? Do they not consider the quran(with care) had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.

Consistency:
It is inconceivable that any human author would remain consistent in this teachings and his preachings for a period of over two decades. From the age of forty, when Muhammad (pbuh) recieved his first call from heaven to the age sixty-three when he breathed his last, for twentythree years the holy prophet practised and preached Islam. In those twenty-three years, he passed through the most conflicting vicissitudes of life. Any man, during the course of such a mission, would be forced by circumstances to make honourable compromises, and cannot help contradicting himself. No man can ever write the same always, as the message of the holy quran is: consistent with itself, throughout! Or is it that the unbelievers objections are merely argumentive, refractory, against their own better light and judgement.? Furthermore, the holy qur an contains or mentions many matters relating to the nature of the universe which were unknown to man before but which subsequently through evolution and discoveries of Science have fully confirmed - a field where an untutored mind would have most certainly lost in wild and contradictory speculations!

Self-Evident Proof:
Again and again when miracles are demanded from the prophet of God by the cynical and frivolous few, he is made to point to the quran - message from high - as the miracle. The miracle or miracles! And men of wisdom, people with literary and spiritual insight, who were honest enough to themselves, recognised and accepted al-quran as an a genuine miracle. Says the holy Quran: Nay here are signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: And none but the unjust reject our signs. (quran 29:49).