The Qur’an is the holy scripture that was revealed, verse by verse, to the Prophet of Islam (pbuh). It is a unique compilation including human rights, wisdom and guidance on day to day activities, and scientific facts. The Arabic verses radiate with poetic elegance, and literary perfection. Unfortunately, the verses of this book have been taken out of their original context, misinterpreted and portrayed as negative and “barbaric” in today’s mainstream media. It is worthwhile to read and reflect upon the contents of this unique book through first-hand and reliable sources, to attain an unbiased perspective of Islam and the teachings within the Qur’an.
Human Rights, Equality, and Justice:
One of the many astonishing things about the Qur’an is that it introduced human rights and justice in a society devoid of such moral principles. Cast systems, slavery, and racism were rampant; female infanticide was commonplace. In this social climate, the Qur’an denounced discrimination based on race, wealth or gender, by asserting that only piety is an appropriate measure of one’s accomplishments: “O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-wary among you…”1.
Bill of rights and the rule of law:
Another novel quality about the Qur’an is that it outlines the rights of individuals from various strata of society, including family members, neighbours, orphans and many more. Additionally, this book outlines rights and laws which are highly regarded in modern societies, such as the right to privacy, rules of warfare, and rules for maintaining societal and communal harmony.
The Qur’an is that it outlines the rights of individuals from various strata of society, including family members and neighbours, to orphans and the oppressed. In particular, the Qur’an defines the rights of a woman as a member of a society. These rights were revealed as verses of the Qur’an at a time when a woman’s value was reduced to being subhuman. Some of the rights outlined are those concerning education, inheritance, and property ownership, which have long been fought for by women around the world. In fact, one of the chapters of the Qur’an is devoted to women, entitled An-Nisa’ (The Women). The verses pertaining to women repeatedly emphasize that women must be regarded as human beings with rights and responsibilities, which provided women with rights centuries before societies of the modern era were able to do so.
Rights of minorities and other religious groups:
The Qur’an strictly prohibits forceful conversion to the religion of Islam, thus affording protections to non-Muslims living under Islamic Rule. It even goes as far as making it an obligation for Muslims to protect all “monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques in which God’s Name is much invoked”2. In recognizing differences on the basis of ethnicity, race, culture, and creed, the Qur’an addresses Muslims: “For each [community] among you We had appointed a code [of law] and a path, and had Allah wished He would have made you one community, but [His purposes required] that He should test you in respect to what He has given you. So take the lead in all good works”3.
Islam strictly forbids attacking the innocent, and attributes punishments for those who spread terror, regardless of their motivation. The Qur’an clearly states: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress. Indeed Allah does not like transgressors”4. As indicated earlier, the Qur’an affords protections to non-Muslims and their places of worship, unlike some current terrorist organizations which masquerade as Muslims, killing and terrorising people, in the name of Islam. The Qur’an enshrines the right to life and forbids the taking of life without due process of the law: “…whoever kills a soul, without [its being guilty of] manslaughter or corruption on the earth, is as though he had killed all mankind, and whoever saves a life is as though he had saved all mankind…”5.
The Developing Human Embryo:
Biological facts regarding human development, including phases as early as fertilization and implantation, are mentioned in the Qur’an. It speaks about the three distinct development phases of the embryo: “… He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold darkness…”6. It is quite astonishing that this information was available in the Qur’an, centuries before medical scientists made these discoveries.
Facts about the Universe:
Nicholas Copernicus theorized that our solar system was centered around a motionless Sun, and that the planets revolved around it. This belief was commonly held amongst astronomers until the 20th century, when advances in Astronomy confirmed the opposite to be the case, namely that the Sun is moving in an orbit around the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. But the Qur’an, which was revealed even centuries before the time of Copernicus, says, “It is He who created the night and the day, the sun and the moon, each swimming in an orbit”7. It is worth pondering over how this could have been known to anyone back in the 6th century.
These are only a few of the many issues discussed in the Holy Qur’an. This book is revered by millions of people around the world, and has stood the test of time; clearly, it boasts some exceptional qualities. It is important for anyone who has heard about the Qur’an through unauthentic and biased sources to explore the truth for themselves.