By Anwer Mehmood Khan, USA
One of the great characteristics of the Holy Quran is the fact that the reader’s heart is welled up with awe and reverence the very first time one reads and reflects. This state, in turn, then invites one to read further, and as one continues this course one is submerged in the ocean of faith and total conviction. It has happened to numerous souls who are led to Islam by a close reflection of various verses of this Holy Book. Several scholars cite rationality, logic, reasoning, practicality, and preservation of the text as the main attributes of this Holy Book that convinced them. Dr. Jamaluddin Zarabozo is one such scholar whose first impression of the veracity of the Holy Quran resulted from a reflection of Surah 15 verse ten as follows:
Indeed, We Ourselves have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.
This verse of the Holy Quran is so powerful that even the strongest opponents of Islam refer to the preservation of the Holy Quran, as a key characteristic of the Quran. Invariably all of them are convinced in their minds that all the verses that are contained in the present book are those which were revealed to the Prophet of Islam or at least presented by him some fifteen centuries ago.
In the Five volumes, commentary of the Holy Quran by Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad cites the following non-Muslim writers of the Holy Quran:
Sir William Muir, the well-known critic of Islam says about the Quran, in the introduction of his book, Life of Muhammad:
We may, upon the strongest presumption, affirm that every verse in the Quran is the genuine and unaltered composition of Muhammad himself.’ Again, ‘there is otherwise every security, internal and external, which we possess the text which Mohammad himself gave forth and used.’ Again, ‘To compare (as the Muslims are fond of doing) their pure text with the various readings of our Scriptures is to compare things between which there is no analogy.
Prof. Noldeke, the great German Orientalist, writes as follows:
Slight clerical errors there may have been, but the Quran of Othman contains none but genuine elements, though sometimes in very strange order. Efforts of European scholars to prove the existence of later interpolations in the Quran has failed. (Enc. Brit.)
Professor Nicholson, says in his book, Literary History of the Arabs:
Here in the Quran we have materials of unique and incontestable authority of tracing the origin and early development of Islam–such materials as do not exist in the case of Buddhism or Christianity or any other ancient religion.
The following story is taken from his book entitled: The Miraculous Quran. This 60-page book is available online and contains several attributes of The Holy Quran and its miraculous nature. The tenth verse of the chapter Al-Hijr impressed him at the outset, and he began deep reflection on the entire text. He not only accepted Islam through the Holy Quran but also wrote this amazing booklet describing these incredible miracles contained in the Holy Quran. Incidentally, in his counting this is verse number 9 of Sura Al-Hijr or the 15th chapter of the Holy Quran.
During the pursuit of his studies of finding the true religion, his mind created a few questions or parameters of evaluating the veracity of a religion. The first parameter he outlined was that a true religion’s sacred book must be from God. Describing this he writes:
My First Parameter: If it is God’s Religion I am Looking for, the Sacred Scripture Must be From God. In my study of other religions, one of my goals was to read each religion’s sacred scriptures directly, in order to understand directly from the source what the religion was all about, this is obviously what piqued my curiosity in the Quran.
Elaborating further he says:
Thus, the first parameter states that the religion originates with God. However, This is not sufficient. The second parameter is that the teachings from God must be preserved in their original form.
The logic behind this point should be obvious. If the original revelation came from God but was then later tampered and distorted by humans, one now has a mixture of God’s religion and human interpolation. This is no longer God’s pure religion. Although this may seem like an obvious premise, it is amazing to see many people who have not even considered this point, blindly following scriptures or teachings that cannot be historically authenticated.
The First Miraculous Aspect of the Quran: Its Detailed Preservation
In fact, this is one of the first things that impressed me concerning the Quran. Even those who were clearly anti-Islam in their writings, such as Sir William Muir, would admit that the Quran that we have today was preserved since the time of the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.
In Chapter 4 of the same booklet, he explains further the concept of preservation of the Holy Scriptures thus:
The Quran’s Promise that it Shall be Preserved. In any case, it caught my eye that the Quran says about itself:
‘We have revealed the Reminder and We shall preserve it.’ (Quran 15:9)
This was interesting to me because within the Quran there is a clear reference as to how the previous peoples fail to preserve completely the message that they received. Hence, in the light of what the Quran was saying about previous Revelations, this was a very bold statement. And, incidentally, it can be considered one of the prophecies of the Quran- coming from a Judeo-Christian perspective, prophecies were somewhat important to me. If they did not come to pass, they would be very damaging in my eyes while if they did come to pass, I would consider that a very good sign.
Once again, the history of Islam presents a different scenario than that of the earlier revelations. The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, lived just over 1400 years ago. He is the most ‘historical’ of the various prophets. Thus, the history of the Quran is known and documented. The Quran was preserved with meticulous care. The Quran describes itself as both ‘reading’ (Quran) and a book (Kitab). In fact, it was via both of these means that the Quran was meticulously preserved.
The Quran, which is not a large book, was also preserved in memory as well as written form from the time of the Prophet Muhammad himself. Many of the Companions of the Prophet had memorized the entire Quran and, fearing what had happened to earlier religious communities, they took the necessary steps to protect it from any form of adulteration. The Quran continues to be memorized today—another amazing aspect of the Quran. In fact, God says about the Quran: ‘And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember…’ (Quran 54:17)
To this day, millions of Muslims have the Quran memorized. If Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 were to be a reality today and all the books were to be burned to ashes, the Quran would still survive. Muslims would be able to rewrite the entire Quran from memory. Soon after the death of the Prophet, the Quran was all compiled together and shortly afterward, official copies were sent to the distant lands to ensure that the text was pure. To this day, one can travel to any part of the world and pick up a copy of the Quran and find that it is the same throughout the world. Even the language of the Quran, which is essential to keeping a true understanding of the text, has been preserved.
Such cannot be said for earlier prophets such as Moses and Jesus, whose Hebrew and Aramaic no longer exist.
This booklet by Dr. Zarabozo is not only his spiritual biography, but, essentially becomes a commentary of the verse of the Holy Quran under discussion: ‘Indeed, We Ourselves have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.’ He concludes on the last page of his book thus:
The Quran demanded a decision on my part—as it actually demands a decision on everybody’s part. The signs pointing to its miraculous nature and that it must be a true revelation from God was simply overwhelming to me.
None of the theories opposing the Quran or denying the sincerity of the Prophet was strong enough or logical enough to convince me otherwise. Hence, I, via the Quran, embraced Islam, and all praise and thanks are due to God.
For references and detailed reading, please go to Dr. Jamaluddin Zarabozo’s booklet online.
Now, we link a lecture by him about the Holy Quran:
Articles about the Holy Quran by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo:
— The Muslim Times (@The_MuslimTimes) July 26, 2015