The Spirit Of Islam
Dr Tauseef A Parray
THE Holy Quran, the Word of Allah, the supreme authority in Islam—is Allah’s last revelation, intended and envisioned, for all times and all places to guide mankind both in esoteric and exoteric domains of life. Holy Quran is the ultimate, decisive, supreme, and paramount source of all Islamic commands, directives, and teachings, covering areas such as the faith, beliefs, rituals, ethics, laws, and what not. The guidance of the Holy Quran, indeed, covers all aspects of human life, individual and collective—religious, moral, ethical, spiritual, social, political, economic, cultural, aesthetic, material, legal, intellectual, etc. That is, beyond any doubt, the Holy Quran—the best, most excellent, complete, and comprehensive Book—contains guidelines and message, rules and guiding principles of Truth, regarding human life in entirety, ranging from socio-cultural and political, economic and material, moral and legal, to national and international.
The Holy Quran—essentially the Book of guidance par excellence for all times and places—possesses many ‘unmatchable’ supreme features in terms of—as a scholar puts it—its ‘vocabulary, usage, idioms, figurative language, literary devices, narrative strategies, textual cohesion and coherence and stylistic features’. It is a work par excellence in its literary splendor and majesty. The unique characters of the Holy Quran—among its numerous miraculous features—such as being timeless and ‘relevant for all humanity till the end of time’, its perfect coherence and cohesion, unity of thought and singleness of purpose, its amazingly scheme of things (which is thematically an indivisible whole), make it an essentially Book of “guidance for mankind” (Q. 2: 185) containing guidance for every conceivable situation.
The Holy Quran, in fact, stimulates, inspires, motivates, and encourages mankind to study the Universe (cosmos) in its various facets and aspects. A copious number of Quranic verses insist, assert and urge the believers to study nature, to make best use of ‘Aql (reason/ intellect) in their search and to make acquisition of knowledge and scientific comprehension, as there are ‘Signs’ of Allah’s Power, Supremacy and Authority, for “men of understanding” (Q. 3: 190). In numerous verses, the Holy Quran directly invites mankind to think and reflect, ponder and contemplate, to use intellect and rational faculty, to perceive, see and observe the ‘Signs’ of Allah—signs, symbols, and secrets present in the whole cosmos, nature, history, and in human self as well. The Holy Quran serves for mankind as a complete and comprehensive constitution, explained fully, and “on the basis of true knowledge”, making it “guidance and mercy for those who believe” (Q. 7: 52). The Book that ‘differentiates’ between right and wrong, the Holy Quran is the basis of Islamic law and theology; and the entire religious life of the Muslims, around the globe, is built around the Text of the Holy Quran.
The Holy Quran is a Book fully explained to mankind, a clear proof, and a Word that separates the Truth from Falsehood. There are various Quranic verses which describe and illustrate clearly and evidently these qualities and characteristics of Holy Quran. For example, it is a Book fully explained to mankind (Q. 6: 98) and a clear proof (Q. 41: 3). The Holy Quran is the Last Revelation of the Religion of Islam—which by its very definition means Peace. The message and memorandum of Islam is peace and compassion. The Quran emphasizes much on peace, love, mercy, kindness, compassion, and a number of other such concepts and values. The very first verse placed before every Surah of the Holy Quran (except the ninth), and repeated at the beginning of every act by the Muslim, dedicating his life to Allah, and whose hope is in His Mercy, reads as: “In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful”. Moreover, many of the verses of the Quran end with these words: “Allah is Oft-forgiving, most Merciful”.
— The writer presently teaches Islamic Studies at Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora, Kashmir, India.