What is the importance of the Quran; how can you describe the Quran?

The Quran is the last holy book that Allah sent down to people. The Quran was sent down to the Prophet Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) through Gabriel (Jibril) and then it reached today through being written down and reported.

The Quran is a material and spiritual guide for individuals and the community, all classes of people living in any place or time and for the whole life of man. Everybody, from the president to the man in the street, finds the things that are about them in the Quran. They take the knowledge and lessons that are necessary for peace and tranquility both in the world and the hereafter. 

The virtues and characteristics of the Quran are stated as follows in verses and hadiths:

* "And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy."(al-Anam, 6/155).

* "And this is a Book which We have sent down, bringing blessings and confirming (the revelations) which came before it: that thou mayest warn the Mother of Cities and all around her. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in this (Book), and they are constant in guarding their prayers."(al-Anam, 6/92).

* "Do they not ponder on the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy." (an-Nisa, 4/82).

* "The Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong)..."(al-Baqara, 2/185).

* "The Quran is guidance and glad tidings for those who believe."(al-Baqara, 2/97).

* "This Quran is a guidance and glad tidings for those who believe."(Sad, 38/29).

* The following is reported from Harith bin Awar: Once, Hz. Ali said:

"I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

'Behold! A dissension will come.' Thereupon, I asked,

'O Messenger of Allah! What is the way out of it?' He said,

'It is to obey the Book of Allah.'(Then Hz. Prophet explained the characteristics of the Quran as follows:

'It contains all information about what has happened to those communities before you, news of dissensions and tumults that will happen after you and signs of Doomsday. It is the distinguisher between the truth and the falsehood. If anyone seeks guidance elsewhere Allah will lead him astray. It is the strong rope of Allah. It is the reminder with wisdom, and it is the straightest path. It protects souls who obey it from being ruined and misguidance and tongues that recite it from ambiguity.

Scholars of the Qur’an always crave more from it. Reading it again and again never bores its reader; neither does the reader lose any taste by reading it over and over again. Its magnificent wonders that astonish the mankind never end, "They said `We have really heard a wonderful Recital." (al-Jinn 1). He who utters it, speaks the truth. He who acts according to it, will be rewarded. He who pronounces judgment according to it, will be just. He who invites people to it, will guide them to a straight path.'" (Tirmidhi, Thawabu"l-Qur'an 14, 2908)

* "The Quran is a clear light, wise dhikr and the true way."

* "The Quran is a rope of Allah extended onto the earth from the sky."

* "The superiority of the Quran to other words is like the superiority of ar-Rahman to His creatures."

* "If a person reads a verse from the Book of Allah, it will be a luminous light for him on the Day of Judgment."

* "Make your houses luminous by performing prayers and reading the Quran."

The Quran was revealed into the heart of the Prophet (pbuh) in terms of not only its meaning but also its words. That is why, the Quran is called wahy al-matluww (the recited revelation). Therefore, the Quran is the whole of not only meaning but also words. The Quran was not sent down to the Prophet (pbuh) as a whole; it was sent down verse by verse and chapter by chapter.

The Miracle of the Quran

The Quran contains all kinds of principles of creed, deeds and ethics that will make man attain real bliss. It is a great literary miracle in terms of its words and meaning. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following regarding the issue:

"Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection."(Bukhari, Fadailu'l-Qur'an, 1)

In fact, the miracles of the other prophets ended as their time passed. The miracle of the Quran will exist until Doomsday. In various verses of the Quran, it is insistently stated that the Quran is a miracle:

"Say: "If the whole of mankind and Jinn were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support...."(al-Isra, 17/88).

As a matter of fact, nobody has been able and will be able to produce a verse similar to the verses of the Quran in terms of style and eloquence. The Quran is a miracle in terms of its words and meaning. The Prophet (pbuh) could not read and write. He did not learn anything from anybody. Therefore, he was regarded to be illiterate. However, the book he brought contained great realities and informed about many scientific truths that science and experience managed to find in fourteen hundred years. This proves that the Quran is the word of Allah directly. For instance, the fact that the sun rotates around itself and moves toward a fixed point along with the other planets dependent on it, the opening of the pyramids and the mummified bodies of the Pharaohs were discovered in the last century.

However, the Quran informed us about them and similar realities many centuries ago. No matter how much science develops, it cannot contradict the Quran. On the contrary, the development in science will make it easier for the Quran to be interpreted and explained. As Badiuzzaman Said Nursi puts it,

"As time gets older, the Quran gets younger; the realities it contains become apparent more brightly."

Another miraculous aspect of the Quran is that it prophesied many events that took place later. Whatever it prophesied happened exactly.

Some of the definitions and description of the Quran are as follows:

- The All-Wise Qur'an, which makes known to us our Sustainer, is the pre-eternal translator of the great Book of the Universe...

This universe is likened to a great book written by the pen of power. In a booklet, the phrase signs of creation (ayat at-takwiniyya) is used for the beings in the world. Sign of creation means what is created based on the command "be" (kun), what shows the existence, oneness, names and attributes of Allah and what serves as evidence for them. The verses (signs) in the Quran come from the attribute of Allah called speech and the signs in the universe come from His attribute called power (qudrah). 

This book of the universe makes Allah known with all of its signs but humans have not been able to read it and evaluate it correctly. That is, they did not understand the language of the book.The All-Wise Quran translated the book of the universe, informed humans about it and described our Lord, who is the writer of this book, to us. It told us about His attributes, names and deeds.

- the discloser of the treasures of the Divine Names concealed in the pages of the earth and the heavens...

Concealed means veiled, covered, that has become invisible and unknown. Thanks to the Quran, translating the book of the universe, the manifestations of the names of Allah that had been concealed in the world and in the sky started to be read. In this sentence, the names of Allah are likened to treasures. For instance, the name al-Khaliq (the Creator) is a treasure; all creatures are like the jewels of that treasure. The name al-Muhyi (the Giver of Life) is a separate treasure; all lives come from the treasure.

- the key to the truths hidden beneath these lines of events...

In this book of the universe, every event, like every creature, is like a word or line. It is necessary to read them correctly. The truths that are concealed under events can be read correctly only by the guidance and instruction of the Quran.

Night and day, health and illness, joy and sorrow, old age and death are all truths written in this book. The most important event for men among them is death. Those who regard death as "non-being, non-existence, entering into grave and disappearing" cannot understand the reality of death and misevaluate that important event. The reality of death is understood with the guidance of the Quran. Birth means to come to the world from the wound; similarly, death means to go to the realm of barzakh from the world. Then, another birth called ba'th will follow it; people will go to the Gathering Place from the realm of grave through it.

There are very detailed explanations about the reality of death in Risale-i Nur Collection. Let us remember some of them: Death is “a change of residence, a rest from duty,the liberation of the spirit”. The grave is “the gate of a realm that is better than this world.”

- the treasury of the favors of the Most Merciful and pre-eternal addresses, which come forth from the World of the Unseen beyond the veil of this Manifest World...

The phrase the world of unseen mentioned above can be understood as the great throne where this visible realm is controlled and administered, as the realm of similitude where the examples of everything are taken, and as the unknown realms like the Preserved Tablet (Lawh al-Mahfuz) where everything is recorded and preserved.
The words favor and addressing complete each other and point to the same target. Being addressed by Allah Almighty is a great favor for His servants. Being informed about His commands and prohibitions, attaining His consent, and being shown the ways of going to Paradise are a great grace and grant of Allah.

- the sun, foundation, and plan of the spiritual world of Islam...

The source of all beauties, virtues, merits and high ethics, primarily belief, is the sun of the Quran. The foundation of our religion is the realities of the Quran. A building of guidance and stability that will continue forever was built by hadiths, which are the first interpreters of the Quran, on this foundation.    

The word plan can be interpreted as the ijtihads and fatwas produced under the light of the Quran and hadiths in order to answer the new needs that arise in the growing building of Islam.

- and the map of the worlds of the hereafter...

In the Quran, the road map of the life in the hereafter that starts with going to the Gathering Place and continues as “standing, scales (Mizan), bridge (Sirat) and Paradise or Hell" is drawn; the nice aspects of Paradise and the tortures of Hell are also shown to the man like photographs.

- the distinct expounder, lucid exposition, articulate proof, and clear translator of the Divine Essence, attributes, and deeds...

The only source of sound information about the essence, attributes, and deeds of Allah is the Quran. Human mind and imagination cannot do anything about these unknown and eternal realities. Since Allah makes Himself known in the Quran, there is no need for man's groundless guesses and invalid thoughts.  

We learn from the verses of the Quran and our authorized scholars the following reality and similar ones: “Allah’s existence is necessary; He is pre-eternal and post-eternal; He is free from time and space; He has endless attributes; no change or decrease will take place in these attributes no matter how many creatures He creates; His existence and attributes, His mercy and wrath, His compassion and jealousy and all of His other deeds cannot be compared to the states and abilities of His creatures.

The beings in the universe declare the existence of Allah and His attributes with their states but people generally ignore these spiritual expressions or misunderstand them. Therefore, burhan an-natiq (articulate proof) is necessary.  (When the phrase burhan an-natiq is used for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), it means the one who conveys the message of the Quran to people.)   

The phrase clear translator means the Quran translates the words of the book of the universe to the people who do not understand them; it has a similar meaning to the phrase articulate proof.

the instructor, true wisdom, guide, and leader of the world of humanity...

The Quran was sent down in order to train the spirits of people, to perfect their hearts through belief and their minds through science and knowledge, to teach them true wisdom, to dissuade people from the wrong paths and to show them the way of guidance. True wisdom, that is, the real information about the purpose of the creation of both human beings and other creatures and their duties can be learned from the Quran because the verses of the Quran are the words of the Creator who created those beings. 

As it is known, the word "wisdom" is also used for philosophy. The adjective "true" used here indicates that philosophy is not true wisdom.  

Wisdom has several definitions. One of them is "deeds together with knowledge" (practicing what one knows and learns) That is, if an idea makes man do good deeds, it has wisdom. Ideas that are only talked about but not practiced are personal ideas; they cannot be a means of guidance for people.  

it is both a book of wisdom and law, and a book of prayer and worship, and a book of command and summons, and a book of invocation and Divine knowledge - it is book for all spiritual needs; and it is a sacred library offering books appropriate to the ways of all the saints and veracious, the purified and the scholars, whose ways and paths are all different...

The Quran is a book wisdom because it teaches man the purpose and duties of all beings; it is a book of shari'ah (law) because it informs man of the commands and prohibitions regarding both individual and social life.

It also contains "prayer, worshipping, commands and calls", which are essentials of shrai'ah, with all aspects.

The Quran is a book of dhikr which makes man gain at least ten rewards for its one letter when he reads it; it is also a book of knowledge in that it makes Allah known with His names and attributes.

The essentials of all true ways and paths are present in the Quran. Every fruit tree perceives a different fruit based on their structure in the universe; similarly, every tafsir scholar perceives different meanings in the Quran, finds doors of different knowledge, becomes exposed to the manifestations of different names of Allah and presents a different way of guidance. With this aspect, the Quran serves like a library though it is a single book. (see Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Sözler (Words) , Yirmi Beşinci Söz (Twenty-Fifth Word)

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