Why are stories about unbelievers and Pharaohs narrated in the Quran? Do we have to read them up to the Day of Judgment?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Quran was not sent down for only Muslims to read; it was sent down for all humans to take lessons. The Quran is universal and there are lessons in it to be taken in every age. The struggle between the good and the bad will continue until the Day of Judgment and there will be unbelievers and Pharaohs until then; therefore, their stories being told in the Quran are exemplary lessons for people.    

It expresses a gleam of the miraculousness of the repetitions in the Quran in six points.

First Point:

The Quran is a book of invocation, prayer and invitation; therefore, its repetition is nice, rhetorical and necessary because invocations and prayers are repeated; invitation is strengthened. Repeated invocations bring spiritual enlightenment; repeated prayers bring satisfaction and peace; and invitations are strengthened through repetition

Second Point:

The Quran is an address to and cure for the diseases of people of all levels from the most pious ones to the worst ones, from those who work for the hereafter seriously by getting rid of the attraction of the world to the lazy people who are deceived by the world.

Not everyone can recite the Quran, which is a cure for everybody at all times, from beginning to end. To make it easy, Allah, who is the All-Wise and All-Compassionate, included most of the Quran’s purposes in most of its chapters, especially the long ones. It encourages people by addressing them as follows:

“And We have indeed made the Qur´an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?” (al-Qamar, 54/17)

Third Point:

Bodily needs of man vary. Air is always needed; water is needed only when one is thirsty or hot. Food is needed daily; light is needed once a week; medicine is needed once a year.

In the same way, man’s spiritual needs vary. Some Quranic words and verses, like “Hu” (He) and “Allah” are always needed; others, such as “bismillah” (in the Name of Allah), are needed regularly; and still others, such as “Lailaha illallah” (There is no deity but Allah), are needed frequently.

Thus the repetition of certain verses and words indicates the repetition of our need for them and the severity of the need; it reminds us of this need and urges us to feel the need for a certain spiritual sustenance.

Fourth Point:

The Quran has established the principles of this strong and great religion. It has made radical revolutions in man’s social life and changes. Repetitions are necessary to establish and reinforce those principles.

The Quran also answers repeated questions asked by various levels of people with their tongues and states. This necessitates repetition.

Fifth Point:

The Quran mentions great matters and calls hearts to believe in them. It speaks of subtle truths and invites reason or intellect to gain knowledge of them. Then, settling them in hearts and reinforcing them in the minds of people require repetition in different styles and contexts.

Sixth Point:

Every verse of the Quran has inner and outer meanings, dimensions and places. There are many aspects, degrees, benefits and aims for every purpose. Therefore, something is mentioned with one aspect in a verse and with another aspect in another verse. An issue is explained with one issue in a chapter and with another issue in another chapter. Accordingly, there is no repetition in reality, but in appearance.

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Questions on Islam
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