We are carrying on from the reminders prior to Ramadan and they were on the pillars of Islam and articles of faith. We had discussed the belief in the angels and today’s reminder is in the belief of the books of Allah SWT.
As Muslims, we believe that messengers came before Prophet Muhammed SAWS and that they also had a divine message to deliver from Allah SWT. This is a fact of Islam and anyone who disagrees with this is in danger of falling into disbelief of our faith.
However, there is believing in the books of Allah SWT and then there is believing in why the Quran is the last and final testament of Allah SWT.
Firstly, the messengers that came before Prophet Muhammed SAWS were many and we as Muslims specifically are informed about four books that have come from Allah SWT as is mentioned in the Quran.
We have the Tawrat or Torah that was revealed to Prophet Musa or Moses, we have Zabur or book of Psalms revealed to Prophet Dawd or David, we have the Injil or Gospel that was revealed to Prophet Isa or Jesus and finally we have the Quran revealed to Prophet Muhammed. May Allah SWT send His immeasurable peace and blessings upon them all.
So the first question that arises is that why is it that we do not simply follow the instructions that are given in these books instead? Why is it that we can’t chop and change amongst these holy scriptures?
The answer lies in the Quran itself and the imam referenced it in todays reminder. Sura Baqara, ayat 75 is translated to say:
Do you, O Believers, still hope that they will believe in what you say, when some of them have already heard the word of Allah and perverted it knowingly after they understood it?
Dear brothers and sisters, if we analyse, we can see that Allah SWT is advising us on the practice of man previous to the final testament and what therefore came of these holy scriptures.
As Muslims we must believe that the holy books were all from Allah SWT originally but were distorted by man and so no longer carry the intact message of Allah SWT. This is not to say that they are completely fabricated, but they have been compromised whereas the final testament has remained intact.
Allah SWT speaks of the miracle of the Quran in numerous places and speaks of this book being protected, guarded and for the whole of mankind going forward. We can demonstrate this through the miracle of this book and one which even the staunchest of advisories against Islam cannot explain.
The atheists argument is that if all holy scriptures were destroyed in a fire today and all scientific books were also destroyed in a fire, within a few years we would have scientific books again but the holy books would be lost forever.
This is partly true. Every single holy book would indeed be lost forever. Every one except the Holy Quran. This fact or miracle is the demonstration of this Final Testament being both a divine book and a book for these times and a book for all people.
The number of people who have memorized the Quran is in the millions. And they span all over the globe, in varying ages and most with little understanding of spoken Arabic. Try memorizing a few pages, letter by letter, of a book in a language you know and the miracle soon becomes apparent. What it also means is the challenge presented the celebrity would be completed within a day by Muslims all over the world and only for this book of Allah SWT. Non-Muslim academics confirm that because of this miracle, this book is proven to be unaltered since it was first revealed.
Our difference between Quran and other books only lies in the parts of those scriptures that differ in the Quran. Allah SWT speaks of this in the Quran and the imam reminded us of this from Sura Al-Maidah, ayat 48 which says:
And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.
And so, with this being said, we conclude with 3 pieces of advice we can take away from today’s reminder.
- We should respect followers of other faiths and their holy books. Our responsibility is not to cast any judgement on them for what they believe or follow, it is our responsibility to acknowledge that each of the scriptures mention earlier have common themes and beliefs and so we ought to focus on what unites us, not what divides us. This makes for a tolerant society in which we can all co-exist.
- We should inform those who follow the other scriptures of the similarity between our scriptures. Specifically the imam reminded us of the following hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which he said:
“Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.”
- And finally, we ought to learn the miracle of our own scripture so that we are able to relay it to others. Know for example, that the Quran is also a book of science as well as a book of signs. Know for example the explanation of the Human Life Cycle, the Weather Cycle and other facts which were simply impossible to have been known to someone 1400 years ago, may Allah SWT’s peace and blessing be upon him.
Dear brothers and sisters, today’s reminder allows us to understand not only where we are as Muslims but where this Ummah is in relation to the many nations that came before it. Only then can we truly appreciate the blessing of this Ummah as well as have respect for those that came before it.