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The Qur’an: There is No Other Book Like It

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The Qur’an: There is No Other Book Like It

There is no other book, religious or otherwise, which has
been memorized on this scale in recorded history. The Qur’aan
is about four-fifths the length of the New Testament of the
Christians, yet not a single person in recorded history is known
to have memorized the New Testament completely. In fact, if
all of the books in the world were somehow destroyed, the only
book which could be rewritten, word for word, without a single
mistake is the Glorious Qur’aan.
 
 
One of the leading orientalists, Kenneth Cragg, said the
following regarding the memorization and preservation of the
Qur’aanic text, “This phenomenon of Qur’anic recital means
that the text has traversed the centuries in an unbroken living
sequence of devotion.
 
 It cannot, therefore, be handled as an
antiquarian thing, nor as a historical document out of a distant
past.”329 Another orientalist scholar, William Graham, wrote:
“For countless millions of Muslims over more than fourteen
centuries of Islamic history, ‘scripture’, al-kitab, has been a
book learned, read and passed on by vocal repetition and
memorisation. 
 
The written Qur’an may ‘fix’ visibly the authoritative
text of the Divine Word in a way unknown in history, but
the authoritativeness of the Qur’anic book is only realised in its
fullness and perfection when it is correctly recited.”330 Yet
another, John Burton, stated: “The method of transmitting the
Qur’an from one generation to the next by having the young
memorise the oral tradition of their elders had mitigated
somewhat from the beginning the worst perils of relying solely
on written records…”
 
At the end of a voluminous work on the
Qur’aan’s collection, Burton stated that the text of the Qur’aan
available today is “the text which has come down to us in the
form in which it was organised and approved by the
Prophet….What we have today in our hands is the mus-haf332 of
Muhammad.
 
Significance of the Qur’aan’s Preservation
Allaah promised in the Qur’aan that He would take on
the responsibility of protecting His final word from loss. He
said,
 
“Verily I have revealed the Reminder (Qur’aan), and
verily I shall preserve it.”
 
Thus, the Qur’aan has been preserved in both the oral as well as
written form in a way no other religious book in history has.
Why did Allaah preserve the Qur’aan and allow His
earlier books of divine revelation to be changed or lost? The
answer to that question lies in the following three facts:
 
1. The earlier prophets and their books were sent to a particular
people in particular periods of history. Once the period ended,
a new prophet was sent with a new book to replace the
previous book. So, it was not necessary that these books be
preserved by Allaah. The preservation of the earlier books
was left up to the people as a test for them. Thus, when the
people went astray, they changed what was written in the
books which their prophets brought in order to make
allowable the things which were forbidden to them. In that
way, all of the earlier books of revelation became either
changed or lost.
 
2. Prophet Muhammad (ρ) was the last prophet whom Allaah
sent, and he was not sent to a particular people or a particular
time. He was sent to all of mankind until the end of the
world. Allaah said in the Qur’aan,
 
“I have only sent you (Muhammad) as a giver of glad
tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most men do
not understand.”
 
Thus, his book of revelation, the Qur’aan, had to be specially
preserved from any form of change or loss so that it would be
available to all the generations of man until the last day of the
world.
 
3. The Qur’aan was the main miracle given to Prophet
Muhammad (ρ) to prove that he was a true prophet of Allaah
and not an imposter. So, the Qur’aan had to be saved to prove
to the later generations that Muhammad (ρ) was really the last
prophet of Allaah. All of the false prophets who came after
Prophet Muhammad (ρ) brought books which they claimed to
be revealed from Allaah, but none of them have the
miraculous ability to be memorized by thousands, nor have
they improved on the message of the Qur’aan.
 
The significance of the Qur’aan’s preservation is that
Islaam has been kept in its original purity because of it.
Humanity can always return to the sources of Islaam no matter
what people may have added or forgotten in time. All of the
essential principles of Islaam are to be found in the Qur’aan.
Consequently, the preservation of the Qur’aan meant the
preservation of Islaam in its final form. The loss of the Gospel of
Jesus means that Christians can never return to the true
teachings of Prophet Jesus except by accepting Islaam.336
 
Similarly, the original Torah was lost when Solomon’s Temple
in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians.337 Thus, the
Jews cannot return to the pure teachings of Prophet Moses
except by following Islaam.
 
It is only in Islaam that the pure teachings of the prophets
have been preserved without any change. That is why Allaah
said in the Qur’aan,
 
“Verily, the only acceptable religion to God is
Islaam(Peaceful Submission to the will of God).” Quran
(Usool At-Tafseer)