Qur'an is the last scripture that has been revealed to
mankind by the Lord Creator and Protector. It was through
the last messenger, Muhammad (pbuh), that the world first
heard of it. It certainly the Divine scripture that is to
be accepted by all, up to the very last man. The term 'Qur'an'
has the meanings of 'the recitation', or 'that which is to
be recited' and of 'that which is recited.' Indeed, the
Qur'an itself has employed the connotation 'the scripture
that is recited' in connection with this term (13:31).
Unlike the earlier scriptures, the Qur'an is never a
compilation of legal pronouncements or code of laws (Taurat),
or hymns (Zaboor) or a collection of Gospel of good news (Injeel).
It is highly probable that the Qur'an has been named as
the last scripture because each one of its words is to be
repeatedly read by thousands upon thousands of its
believers and is to be so etched into their hearts as to
mould their very lives according to its guidelines. As for
the actual reason, it is the Lord Who sent it Who knows
the answer thereof.
As far as its believers are concerned, the Qur'an is but
the criterion to distinguish truth from falsehood. They
understand that all that has been commanded therein
constitute the good and all that has been prohibited
therein constitute evil. In fact, the Qur'an introduces
itself as Furqaan (2:53, 2:185, 3:4, 25:1) which means
'the criterion to distinguish between truth and
falsehood.' The Qur'an also describes itself as Kitab
(book), Dhikr (guidance), Burhaan (evidence), Shifa
(cure), Kayyim (that which is pure), Muhaymin (that which
preserves the previous scriptures) and the like. Through
these attributes the reader of the Qur'an is exposed to
the clear picture of the morality enshrined within.
The theme of the Qur'an is the salvation of man. As the
only creation capable of independent action, man is to
follow certain laws for his very survival and progress.
All things in the universe follow the Divine laws of their
own accord. Indeed, they do not possess the option of
straying from this set course. In fact, the systemic
functioning of the human body itself compulsorily follows
the Divine laws. However, man has been granted freedom of
action in certain limited domains. Even in these spheres
he can attain salvation if, and only if, he obeys the
It is to mankind that the Qur'an speaks. It is to his
salvation that the Qur'an beckons. It convinces him of the
existence of the Lord Creator by turning his attention to
the varied and incredible phenomena of nature. It speaks
to him of the impermanence of the life of this world and
of the utter meaninglessness of wasting an entire lifetime
in pursuit of the comforts herein. It makes clear to him
the path which must be followed in order that he be of
that blessed group which becomes worthy of the entry into
Paradise as of the safety from the confines of Hell.
It invites his attention to the history of those who
purchased the punishment of Hell in exchange for the
comforts of this world. It tells him of those who were
granted the entry into Paradise for having led a life of
Briefly put, the Qur'an prepares man for attaining
salvation both in this world and the next through
obedience to the Divine commandments.
The Qur'an contains within itself the words of the Lord
Creator. Mankind is the subject of its exhortation and
address. It is not the discursive style of the other
ordinary books which the Qur'an adopts. The style the
Qur'an does adopt is not merely the assertive style of
scientific books or the discursive style of the history
books or the expressive style of the books of literature.
However, the Qur'an does accept all of these styles. The
Qur'an does not assert the required point by elaborating
on the branches and sub-branches of a selected central
topic. The Qur'an's has not been a method in which the
subject is first determined on the foundations of which is
then divided the various chapters and sub-tittles. It is
in a very haphazard manner that a varied assortment of
subjects are dealt within its pages.
It can be safely said that the style of the Qur'an is one
by which it successfully communicates with those who are
being addressed by it. The Qur'an teaches man the path of
salvation. To that end, it does employ the lessons of
science and history. Glad tidings as well as stern
warnings - both find their way in between its other
verses. It convinces one of the reward which is to be had
in following the true path and of the dire consequences
that ensue from going against it. It calls for man's
recognition of the truth of its message by way of his
casting his eyes over his surroundings and of employing
the faculties of his intelligence and reasoning. It is in
an entirely mixed form that all of these injunctions have
come together. It is in the interest of those who are
addressed that the Lord Himself has adopted this style.
Indeed, this style has proved effective in making its
appeal felt within the human society which consists of
both the intellectuals as well as the ordinary people. To
approach the Qur'an as one would a book of science or
history, without proper appreciation of this special and
particular style, would be to do little justice to the
satisfactory comprehension of its contents.
Chapters And Wordings
The Qur'an consists of 114 chapters. A chapter is called a
Surah. Each chapter has been given a different name. The
first wordings of certain chapters have been used to name
the chapter itself. Other surahs derive their name from a
particular reference somewhere in its middle portion.
There are yet other surahs which are named after the main
theme therein. Some other surahs have names which
highlight the basic issue discussed in them.
There is also much difference in the size of each surah.
Indeed, there are surahs which vary in length from three
small verses to lengthy surahs which have nearly three
Each verse of the surahs is called an aayath. In the
length of the aayaths, too, there exists much disparity.
The aayaths range from very short ones, which comprise a
combination of a few sounds, to very lengthy ones indeed.
Many aayaths are in themselves complete words. Then there
are other aayaths which form full sentences only if put
together. Similarly, there are aayaths which are a
combination of complete words. The structure and length of
the aayaths have all been decided by God Almighty Himself.
Given below is a list of some of the evidences in support
of the Divine nature of the Qur'an:
1. It , itself, declares that it is a Divine Scripture
2. It remains unchanged up to the Last Day.
3. The path of right conduct that it prescribes is
4. It is practicable.
5. The history that it teaches is unadulterated and
6. Its literature is incomparable.
7. The prophecies made in it can be seen to have come
8. The references in it to the varied phenomena of nature,
as representing the signs of God, are free of
9. There is no reference, whatsoever, of an unscientific
nature in it.
10. It is free of all contradictions.
11. None has been able to face the challenge it poses when
it calls forth all, and any, to produce an equivalent of
at least one of its chapters.
12. The person who was appointed with it in the world was
himself of a truthful and selfless nature.