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There are four basic functions of the Holy Qur'an, as a divinely revealed Scripture:

1-      To invite man towards the right path: the path of righteousness, peace and brotherhood.

2-      To present clearly the necessary guidance for Man's happiness and success in this transitory life and salvation in the eternal life in the hereafter.

3-      To expound Reality and Truth in order to understand the purpose of life.

4-      To warn Man against the consequence of evil deeds, disobedience to Divine Commandments and wrong attitudes.

 

METHOD OF PRESENTATION:

 

The Holy Qur'an has a distinctive divine method by which it fulfills its functions:

1-      First and foremost, it appeals to the hearts of men, constantly hinting at the need for reflection, planning and organising in one's life as the life-span of each person is prescribed and limited.

2-      It then presents clearly the moral, intellectual and spiritual basis of the Islamic way of life and attitude.

3-      Objectively it encourages and inspires the evolution of the Islamic Community dedicated to the service of humanity, social justice and brotherhood, all based on the love of the Almighty Creator and His Prophets.

4-      Basically, the Holy Qur'an calls for practice, endeavour, struggle and constant improvement of the quality of life. The inspiring Spirit of the Holy Qur'an can only be grasped when its principles of living are actualy implemented in life.

 

CONTENTS OF THE HOLY QUR'AN:

 

Basically, the Holy Qur'an may be divided into four categories relating to its teachings:

First and foremost:

1-      The Doctrine of Monotheism:

Monotheism is the basic and fundamental teachings of the Qur'an, i.e. the exclusive worship of GOD ALMIGHTY, the One and Only Creator, Sustainer and Ever-present, Protector and the source of all Blessings. The Holy Qur'an constantly invites our attention to eternal existence of GOD ALMIGHTY and encourages us to observe physical phenomena and reflect over the immaculate functions of His creation as the manifestatioin of His Presence, Benevolence and Glory.

2-      Then it presents reminiscence of the Divine Order of Rewards and Punishments in the history of past nations. Co-related to this universal order of comprehensive description of the Hereafter is given as a consequencce to the Divine Order.

3-      The Holy Qur'an enunciates the Divine Commandments, Laws and Injuctions as guiding principles towards beneficial and purposeful living. Under this category all embracing principles for individual, social and national application are enunciated. There are just over five hundred verses that deal with such laws and regulations for the guidandce of Mankind. As a point of interest, the Holy Qur'an contains 6236 verses within 114 chapters of various lengths.

4-      The Holy Qur'an also gives narrative accounts of former Prophets, twenty-five of whom are mentioned, their basic Message and Mission, particularly of the Great and Prominent Prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus (Christ) peace be upon them all. The holy Qur'an is a plain book. Its teachings are according to the laws of nature. Everyone can get out of it plain guidance according to one's capacity for spiritual understanding. It has an inimitable style and symphony the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy. Its study makes one understand nature, understand oneself and know GOD his Creator through his wondrous signs and learn to glorify Him Almighty in truth, reverence and unity. It is a guide divinely revealed for all men, irrespective of term and clime.

 

The BASIC TEACHINGS OF the Holy Qur'an could be summarized as follows:

1-      The doctrine of the oneness of God Almighty is beautifully portrayed in the Qur'an. The concept of God is purified from elements of polytheism. HE alone is the Possessor of the Perfect Attributes. HE is One, Invisible, Indivisible, Beneficent, Almighty, Just, Loving and Forgiving. There is no worthy of worship but Him Almighty.

2-      There is life after death. Every individual will be answerable for his or her action in life. The present physical world will come to an end on the Last Day after which there will be a general resurrection of the dead for the reckoning and judgment. The righteous will be rewarded with eternal bliss whereas evildoers will suffer the consequences of their deeds.

3-      The Holy Qur'an emphatically teaches that all Prophets were chosen by the One God for the guidance of Mankind. Whereas each Prophet was chosen to guide his respective tribe, clan or nation, the Last Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was chosen to guide the entire humanity. The Prophets, of whom twenty-five are named in the Qur'an, form one brotherhood. Their Message was one, their religion and teachings were also one. They all served the One Eternal God. They all came with the one basic Divine Message: "Serve GOD ALMIGHTY, obey His Commandments, refrain from sins, engage in righteous acts and believe in the abstract reality of the unseen as expounded by the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be on them)".

 

Beginning with Adam as the first Prophet, the Qur'an traces the brief history of the Prophets Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Soloman, Zakariya and Jesus Christ and a number of other Prophets. It declares Prophet Muhammad as the Seal of Prophethood implying there is no Prophet as such after him, there will however always be reformers and revivers among men whom GOD shall inspire and guide. The last Prophet's distinguished feature was that he confirmed the Truth preached by all Prophets that preceded him. He is described as a warner to the sinners, a bringer of good news to the faithful and a man of exemplary character with a beautiful pattern of conduct to be followed by the Faithful.      

 

The Holy Qur'an prescribes Regulations of Conduct:

Among injuctions in the Qur'an the foremost concern acts of devotion which are enjoined on all Muslims after the age of puberty.

(i)      Prayer is prescribed at specific times five times daily with prescribed ablutions before every prayer. The Qur'an proclaims:

"Establish regular prayers, for the prayer restrains one from shameful and unjust deeds; remembrance of GOD ALMIGHTY is the greatest act in life." [29:45]

(ii)     Alms-giving in the form of an annual distribution of the poor-due to the destitute by the well-to-do is enjoined. A specific portion of ones saving is specified for this purpose.

(iii)    Fasting during the whole month of Ramadhan is prescribed. Abstinence from drink, food and sexual pleasures during the days of that month is stipulated (from dawn to dusk) as an exercise in controlling desires and developing sympathy and kindness for the poor.

(iv)    Pilgrimage to the sacred Mosque of Makkah in a specific month is enjoined on those who are able to. Muslims from all over the world unite in faith and brotherhood annually in obedience to the Common Creator.

(v)     Jihaad, i.e. to struggle in the Cause of GOD to establish peace, brotherhood, justice, truth and righteousness on the earth is enjoined on all Believers.

 

AS FOR PROHIBITIONS:

(i)      The Qur'an categorically prohibits all intoxicants; it reveals:

"They ask you concerning intoxicants and gambling, say: In them is great sin; and some profit for men, but the sin is greater than the profit." [2:219]

The reason for this total prohibition is beautifully explained:

"Satan's plan is but to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God and from prayer: Will you not then abstain?" [5:91]

(ii)     Gambling is totally prohibited in all its forms as games of chance.

(iii)    Strictly prohibited is the consuming of blood, the flesh of swine and whatever dies of itself or is slain without the mention of God's name, or strangled or killed by a blow. Only abnormal circumstances when life is at stake such may be consumed only to save life.

(iv)    Usury or interest on money is not allowed as also unjust profiteering.

 

CIVIL LAWS OF INHERITANCE:

The principals of inheritance are clearly laid down in broad outline in the Qur'an. Specific portions are given to wife, parents, sons, daughters and relatives as the case may be after the death of a Muslim.

 

DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LAWS:

The Holy Qur'an teaches that women should be held in honour and their rights recognised in marriage, property and inheritance. The sexes must honour eachother. Sacred are family relationships that arise through marriage. Mothers must ever have our reverence. Divorce is permitted under unbearable conditions. The Prophet described it as "Out of all things permitted the most hateful to God is divorce."

Divorce proceedings are clearly stipulated in the Qur'an with the frequent mention of separating in dignity and honour. Both the husband as well as the wife have the right to call for the dissolution of the marriage.

 

Concerning SEX MORALITY:

The Holy Qur'an advocates modesty and dignity in the relationship between the sexes. It reveals:

"Say to the Believing men that they lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that will make for greater purity for them ….. And say to the Believing women that they lower their gaze and guard their modesty …." [24:30-31]

The Holy Qur'an recommends the confining of the activities of women in the sphere of their respective homes as mothers and wives and not to go out indiscriminately to exhibit their charms and beauty.

 

Holy Qur'an portrays REFINEMENT in human behaviour:

(i)      Kindness to parents:

"We have enjoined upon Man to be good to his parents …. Show gratitude to Me and to your parents." [31:14]

(ii)     Good Manners:

"Be moderate in your pace and lower your voice …" [31:19]

"Hold to forgiveness, command what is right and avoid the company of the ignorant." [7:199]

"Kind words and covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury." [2:263]

"Enter not houses other than your own until you have asked permission and saluted those in them." [24:27]

 

 

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