Page 12 - Islam In Focus

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Holy Qur’ an mention the names of twenty five of them, and the Muslim believes in
them all and accepts them as authorized messengers of God. They were, with the
exception of Muhammad, known as “ national” or local messengers. But their
message, their religion, was basically the same and was called ISLAM, because it
came from One and the Same Source, namely, God, to serve one and the same
purpose, and that is to guide humanity to the Straight Path of God. All the messengers
with no exception whatsoever were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine
revelations and appointed by God to perform certain tasks. Among them Muhammad
stands as the Last Messenger and the crowning glory of the foundation of
prophethood. This is not an arbitrary attitude, nor is it just a convenient belief. Like all
the other Islamic beliefs, it is an authentic and logical truth. Also, it may be useful to
mention here the names of some of the great messengers like Noah and Abraham,
Ishmael and Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be
upon them all. The Qur'an commands the Muslims thus:
We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac,
Jacob and the Tribes; and that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and that which
was given to all prophets from their Lord. We make no discrimination between one
and another of them, and we bow to God (2:136, cf. 3:84; 4:163-165; 6:84-87).
3. The true Muslim believes, as a result of article two, in all the scriptures and
revelations of God. They were the guiding light which the messengers received to
show their respective peoples the Right Path of God. In the Qur’ an a special reference
is made to the books of Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. But long before the
revelation of the Qur’ an to Muhammad some of those books and revelations had been
lost or corrupted, others forgotten, neglected, or concealed. The only authentic and
complete book of God in existence today is the Qur’ an. In principle, the Muslim
believes in the previous books and revelations. But where are their complete and
original versions? They could be still at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and there may be
more Scrolls to be discovered. Or perhaps more information about them will become
available when the Christian and Jewish archaeologists reveal to the public the
complete original findings of their continued excavations in the Holy Land. For the
Muslim, there is no problem of that kind. The Qur’ an is in his hand complete and
authentic. Nothing of it is missing and no more of it is expected. Its authenticity is
beyond doubt, and no serious scholar or thinker has ventured to question its
genuineness. The Qur’ an was made so by God Who revealed it and made it
incumbent upon Himself to protect it against interpolation and corruption of all kinds.
Thus it is given to the Muslims as the standard or criterion by which all the other
books are judged. So whatever agrees with the Qur’ an is accepted as Divine truth, and
whatever differs from the Qur'an is either rejected or suspended. God says: ‘Verily
We have, without doubt, sent down the Qur’ an; and We will assuredly guard it’ (15:9;
cf. 2:75-79; 5:13-14, 41, 45, 47; 6:91; 41:43).
Good literary works cannot be fully translated into any other language. This is more
so in the case of the Qur’ an, the book that challenged (and still does) the native
masters of the Arabic Language and literature and proved their inability to produce
anything even remotely similar to the shortest chapter of the Book. It is impossible,
therefore, to reproduce the meaning, beauty, and fascination of the Qur’ an in any
other form. What appears here, then, is not the Qur’ an proper or its perfect translation
even if such were possible. Rather it is a human interpretation in a different language