Unique Guidance Book

Qur’an is not a Normal but The Unique Book of Divine Guidance:

Before the reader begins the study of the Qur’an, he /she must bear in mind the fact that it is a unique Book, quite different from the books one usually reads. Unlike conventional books, the Qur’an does not contain information, ideas and arguments about specific themes arranged in a approach to it, one is baffled when he does not find the enunciation of its theme or its division into chapters and sections or separate treatment of different topics and separate instructions for different aspects of life arranged in a serial order. On the contrary there is something with which the reader has not been familiar before and which does not conform to the normal conception of a book. He finds that it deals with creeds, gives moral instructions, lays down laws, invite; people to surrender their will to God [Islam], admonishes the disbelievers, draws lessons from historical event, administers warnings, give good tidings, all blended together in a beautiful manner. The same subject is repeated in different ways and one topic follows the other without any apparent connection. Sometimes a new topic crops up in the middle of another without any apparent reason. The speaker and the addressees, and the direction of the address change without any notice. There is no sign of chapters and divisions anywhere. Historical events are presented but not as in history books. The problems of Philosophy and Metaphysics are treated in manner different form the textbooks on the subjects.  Man and the Universe are mentioned in a language different from the natural sciences. Likewise it follows its own method of solving cultural, political, social and economic problems and deals with the principles and injunctions of law in a manner quite different from that of the sociologists, lawyers and jurists. Morality is taught in a way that has no parallel in the whole literature on the subject.

That is why the unwary reader is baffled and puzzled when he finds all these things contrary to his pre-conceived conception of a book. He begins to feel that the Qur’an is a book without any order or interconnection between its verses or continuity of its subject, or that it deals with miscellaneous topics in an incoherent manner, or that it had been given the form of a continuous book though it was not a book in the commonly accepted sense of the word. As a result of this, its opponents raise strange objections against the Qur’an and its modern followers adopt strange devices to ward off doubts and objections. They either resort to escapism or put forward strange interpretations to ease their minds. Sometimes they try to create artificial connections between the verses to explain away the apparent incoherencies and as a last resort, they even accept the theory that the Qur’an deals with miscellaneous topics without any order or coherence. Consequently verses are isolated form their context and confusion is produced in the meanings.

This happens when the reader does not take into consideration the fact that the Qur’an is a unique book. It does not, like other books, enunciate at the very beginning the subject it deals with and the object it intends to achieve. Its style and method of explaining things are also quite different from those of other books one commonly reads and it does not follow any bookish order. Above all it is not a book on religion in the sense this word is generally understood. That is why when a reader approaches the Qur’an with the common notions of a book, he is rather puzzled by its style and presentation. He finds that at many places the background has not been mentioned and the circumstances under which a particular passage was revealed have not been stated. As a result of these things, the ordinary reader is unable to benefit fully from the most precious treasures contained in the Qur’an, though occasionally he may succeed in discovering a few gems here and there. Only those people become victims of such doubts who are not acquainted with these distinctive features of lie Qur’an. They seem to find miscellaneous topics scattered all over its pages and feel difficulties about its meanings. Nay, even those verses, which are absolutely clear, appear to them to be quite irrelevant in the contexts they occur.

The reader may be saved from all these difficulties, if he is warned beforehand that;

The Book he is going w study is the only book of its kind in the whole world: that its literary style is quite different form that of all other books: that its theme is unique and that his preconceived notions of a book cannot help him understand the Qur’an.

Nay these may even become a hindrance. He should, therefore, firs! of all free his mind from preconceived notions and get acquainted with the distinctive features of this Book. Then and then alone can he understand it.

In order to understand the Qur’an thoroughly it is essential to know the nature of this Book, its central idea and its aim and object. The reader should also be well acquainted with its style, the terms it uses and the method it adopts to explain things. He should also keep in view the background and circumstances under ‘Which a certain passage was revealed.

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