ARA 240 Arab-Islamic Culture and Civilization Assess the significance and status of the Qur’an and Hadith in the Islamic tradition. What is Islam? How important is the Qur’an and Hadith? How did it inspire learning among people after the revelations? Islam The word Islam has been derived from the Arabic verb Aslama, which means “to accept or surrender. ” Thus Islam means the acceptance of God or surrender to the will of one God, Allah. It is based on the concept of Tawhid or monotheism declaring that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet.
The four main rituals compulsory on the faithful Muslims are offering salah five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadan, performing the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime, paying the Zakat, and believing in the notion of shahadah came to be known as the five pillars of Islam. Alongwith following these rituals, a Muslim is also expected to read the Qur’an everyday and follow it (Islam, 2010).
What is Qur’an? The Quran is written in a beautiful writing style that continues to be wondered over by the experts of the Arabic language.
But it is not just Arabic literature par excellence. It consists of scientific details that fascinate scientists of all fields. But it is not a book of science. It also mentions people and places of the past and with vivid details. But it is not just a book of history. So then what is Qur’an? The Qur’an is a revelation (wahy) from the Creator of this world to all human beings.
Almost 1400 years ago, a man named Muhammad, the trustworthy, received the Word of God and such was the power of this Word that he felt as though his ribs were crushed in the Angel Gabriel’s embrace. The command “Read! shook him and he felt his inability and responded, “But I cannot. ” Gabriel repeated the command of His Lord: “Read! ” In the name of Your Sustainer Who creates, creates man from a clot: “Read! ” And your Sustainer is the Most Generous, He Who teaches by the use of the pen, teaches man that which he knew not! The Word burst with such a forceful light within the heart of Muhammad that it had to be shared as guidance and mercy to all mankind. The Prophet continued to receive revelations throughout his life, which after his death were compiled into the holy book, Qur’an by his companions.
After these revelations ended, Allah said that “On this day I have perfected your religion for you. ” The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, and over the years, it has been translated in many languages, but they are considered only interpretations. Muslims learn Arabic to recite the Qur’an precisely as the Angel Gabriel had recited it to the Prophet. The Qur’an, in its absolute form, consists of 114 surahs which are divided into a number of ayats—more than 6,200 in all (Helminski, 1998). Importance of the Qur’an The Qur’an holds a significant position for numerous reasons.
To begin with, it is one of the most high-ranking books in human history; it has been read, memorized and accepted as a moral and practical guide to life by billions of people. The Qur’an introduces itself as a guide for entire humanity: “It is the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, which is the Guidance for humankind, and has all clear signs for guidance and is a criterion to judge between right and wrong. ” It enforces upon people the notion of only one God (Tawhid). It also offers facts of the structure of reality and the purpose of human life. Moreover, the Qur’an is considered the foremost miracle of Islam. Ali, a close companion of the Prophet and one of the first believers in the message of the Qur’an, said: Learn the Qur’an, for it is the fairest of discourses, and Understand it thoroughly for it is the best blossoming of hearts. Seek remedy within its light, for it is the cure for hearts. And recite beautifully, for it is the most beautiful narration (Helminski, 1998). Furthermore, the Qur’an is inimitable in the sense that nobody can produce anything like it. There is a challenge in the Qur’an regarding this and nobody has been able to meet it, and nobody will because it is the word of God.
People have tried to find mistakes in it, but have not been able to. An American scholar, Dorman, in his book ‘Toward understanding Islam’, pp 3, said: “The Qur’an is a literal revelation of Allah. It is an ever-present miracle witnessing to itself and to Muhammad [PBUH], the Prophet of Allah. Its miraculous quality resides partly in its style, so perfect and lofty that neither men nor Jinn could produce a single chapter to compare with its briefest chapter, and partly in its content of teachings, prophecies about the future, and amazingly accurate information such as Muhammad [PBUH] could never have gathered of his own accord. Hence, the Qur’an is a complete way of life which covers all spheres of human activity – the social, economic, political, educational as well as the spiritual. What is Hadith and its Importance? “A man’s mirror is his actions, not his words,” said Ziya Pasha, a nineteenth century Ottoman poet. Hadith are the actions, sayings and tacit approvals of the Prophet Muhammad on which Muslims rely upon as a guide to proper behavior. In other words, Hadith are a reflection of the Prophet’s personality in the sense of how he behaved and his physical attributes.
Thus, it was upon the Prophet to impart wisdom and the believers had to obey him. The Qur’an mentions that in the messenger of God we have a good example and that we should accept whatever the Prophet gives us. There is another concept of Hadith Qudsi or Sacred Hadith, which as-Sayyid ash-Shareef al Jurjaani defines as Hadith which Allah the Almighty has communicated to the Prophet through revelation. The importance of Hadith should not be underestimated because without it one cannot fully understand the Qur’an and Islam or be able to apply it to one’s life and practice.
The Qur’an generally deals with broad principles of religion, while the Hadith supplies the details on how a ruling should be executed. If we reject the Hadith, we may misread the Qur’an, so Hadith is central to a proper understanding of the Qur’an. The Hadith literature is the second source of Islam after the Qur’an. The Prophet said: “I have been given the Qur’an and something like it with it”, meaning that he brought not only the Qur’an with him but also himself in the form of his hadith. According to Dr.
Hamidullah, the importance of Hadith is increased for Muslims because the Prophet not only taught but also took the opportunity to put his teachings into practice in all walks of his life (Hamidullah, 1969, pp 3). How did the Qur’an and Hadith inspire learning? Islam has always placed a high premium on education and has enjoyed a rich intellectual tradition. ‘Ilm or knowledge holds a major position within Islam and Islamic education is influenced by the Qur’an and is thus in that sense unique.
An important theme of the Qur’an is legal guidance about how the Muslim community should conduct itself. To individuals, it gave the laws of Salah (prayer), fasting and Hajj, and to the society, it gave laws regarding marriage, divorce and punishments. During the Abbasid period, also known as the golden age of learning, Muslim scholars made major contributions to science and arts. Furthermore, Islamic philosophy also appeared in this period and it derives its principles, inspiration and many of the questions with which it has been concerned from the sources of Islamic revelation.
So basically, the Qur’an and Hadith provide the framework for Islamic philosophy (Nasr, 2003). The first word that was revealed was “read”. This reflects the importance of reading and learning according to Islam. The Qur’an repeatedly calls on its believers to seek knowledge. It encourages Muslims to use intellect and urges people to think, observe and analyze. By doing so it aims to awaken man’s perception to distinguish and learn the patterns of God in nature and to teach them to others, so that they can reach a moral and spiritual consciousness, leading to faith and moral action.
There are hadiths in which the Prophet directs Muslims to seek knowledge: “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave” (FSTC Limited, 2002). The Prophet also urged his companions to use their own judgment if they faced problems to which there was no specific solution in the Qur’an or Hadith. This encouragement of free judgment is a green signal that stimulates people to think, but without going against the principles of Islam. In the Pre-Islamic and Islamic period, poetry and literature had an important position, which at present is enjoyed by science and technology.
The Qur’an bears proof that whatever part of science exists today, it was forecasted by Allah and recorded in the Holy Book. Out of around 6200 ayats, 1000 deal with the subject of science. The Qur’an encourages the study of botany with the verse: “It is He Who sends down water from the sky from which We bring forth growth of every kind, and from that We bring forth the green shoots and from them We bring forth close-packed seeds, and from the date palm date clusters hanging down, and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, both similar and dissimilar.
Look at their fruits as they bear fruit and ripen. There are Signs in that for people who believe. ” The Islamic world created the greatest legacy of scientific knowledge seen in history. The sciences of medicine, geometry, algebra and astronomy were developed systematically for the first time. Great centres of religious learning were also centres of knowledge and scientific development during the Abbasid period when thousands of mosque schools were established. It was in the tenth century that the formal concept of the Madarsah was developed in Baghdad.
All this was possible through the knowledge provided by/in the Qur’an. Moreover, both the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet provide Muslims with a new outlook of the world which overcomes the cultural barriers. The Qur’an in one of its verse states that “Both East and West belong to Allah,” thus, indicating that Muslims should view the people as their brother/sister. Even a hadith says that Muslims should take wisdom wherever they find it. And this has indeed proved true because the contributions in the literary field were combined efforts of the Muslims with Jews and Christians.
In the field of Astronomy, the Qur’an states regarding the origin of the universe: “Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth Were joined together (as one Unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder? ” (Al Quran 21:30). According to the astronomers of today, this theory is known as the Big Bang Theory – the world was one big mass but then it divided to form galaxies. Additionally, for centuries people believed that the earth is flat. But in 1597, it was proved that the earth is spherical.
The Qur’an contains the following verse regarding the spherical shape of the earth: “And the earth, moreover, Hath He made egg shaped” (Al-Quran 79:30). The believed notion is that the earth was flat when the Qur’an was revealed, then how did it describe accurately the spherical shape of the earth. Not only in the field of astronomy, but also geography, geology, physics, biology, medicine, etc. , the Qur’an contains verses of the scientific phenomenon that the scientists are discovering now, thus proving that Allah is All-Knowing, that He is the Creator of the universe (Naik, 2007). Conclusion
God created the entire universe, and the whole of creation shows humanity these signs. To think of the Qur’an containing all the scientific facts as a coincidence would be foolishness because no human could have predicted all this 1400 years ago. The existence of these scientific facts in the Qur’an proves that it is indeed the Book of Allah. Hence, the Qur’an serves as an all-inclusive blueprint for individuals as well as society and as the primary source of knowledge and complimenting it is the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad without which the Qur’an would have been misunderstood.
The Qur’an states: “Deaf, dumb and blind, they will not return to the path” – for those people who do not believe in the power of Allah or His Messenger even after all the proofs and signs. Bibliography Dorman, H. G. (1948). Toward Understanding Islam. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University. Hamidullah, M. (1969). Introduction to Islam. Pakistan: Darul Ishaat. Helminski, C. A. (1998). The Light of Dawn. Vermont: Threshold Books. Islam. (2010). In Encyclop? dia Britannica. Retrieved July 1, 2010, from Encyclop? dia Britannica. Limited, FTSC. 2002). Quran, Hadith and Knowledge (Muslim Heritage). Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://www. muslimheritage. com/topics/default. cfm? TaxonomyTypeID=106;TaxonomySubTypeID=121;TaxonomyThirdLevelID=-1;ArticleID=249 Naik, Z. (2007). The Qur’an and Modern Science: Compatible or Incompatible?. Riyadh: Darussalam. Nasr, S. H. (2003, August 20). The Qur’an and Hadith as source and inspiration of Islamic philosophy. Message posted to Muslim Philosophy, archived at http://muslimphilosophy. com/ip/nasr-ip2. htm ——————————————–