We have sent down to you the Book for humanity with truth. So whoever is guided is guided to his own good and whoever is misguided, it is to his detriment. You are not set over them as a guardian.
(Surat al-Zumar: 41)
The Qur'an: Our Prophet's (saas) Greatest Miracle
Our Prophet's (saas) greatest miracle is the Qur'an, which Allah revealed fourteen centuries ago as a guide for humanity and called everyone to obey to attain salvation:
But it is nothing less than a Reminder to all the worlds. (Surat al-Qalam: 52)
Since that time, the Qur'an's language has been easily understandable by people of every era:
We have made the Qur'an easy to remember. (Surat al-Qamar: 22)
At the same time, its excellent and incomparable literary style, as well as the superior wisdom it contains, are definite proofs that it is the Divine word. Many other miraculous aspects also attest that it is the word of Allah. For example, some scientific facts could only be "discovered" with the aid of modern technology; but their essence was revealed in the Qur'an some 1,400 years ago. Since it was impossible to discover these facts scientifically when the Qur'an was being revealed, it is clear that the Qur'an is Allah's word to humanity.
When the Qur'an was revealed in the seventh century, the Arabs had innumerable myths about what we would consider scientific matters. Lacking the technology to investigate the universe and the world of nature, they believed in myths and legends passed down from generation to generation. For example, they thought that the sky was held up by mountains: Earth was flat, and high mountains located on its two sides acted as columns supporting the vault of the heavens. All of these myths were eradicated with the coming of the Qur'an. For example, the verse reading "Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any support…" (Surat al-Ra'd: 2) invalidated that particular superstition.
Important knowledge about this and many other matters unknown at that time are given in the Qur'an. When it was sent down, human beings knew very little about astronomy, physics and biology. And yet it contained important knowledge about the creation of the universe and human beings, the components of the atmosphere, and the balance in nature. (For a detailed discussion, see Harun Yahya, The Miracles of the Qur'an, Toronto: Al-Attique Publishers Inc., 2001)
Allah created the universe from nothing and knows all things. The Qur'an, which has a plain and clear style that everyone can understand, was revealed so that people would read and understand it, know the Creator, and know how to serve Him. Allah then elucidated the verses with numerous examples and stories, for "We have not omitted anything from the Book" (Surat al-An'am: 38). The Qur'an is perfect and thus contains much detailed knowledge about both worlds, which it explains in wise terms: "We have sent down to you a Book containing your Reminder. So will you not use your intellect?" (Surat al-Anbiya': 10).
One of the Qur'an's most important aspects is that its original text has remained intact since its revelation: "We have sent down the Reminder and We will preserve it" (Surat al-Hijr: 9). The scriptures revealed before the Qur'an were altered, for various people added, changed, or deleted certain parts. But when a revelation came to our Prophet (saas), Allah miraculously enabled him to memorize it. Immediately afterwards, it was written down by the "recorders of revelation." During Abu Bakr's (ra) reign, the Qur'an became one volume; during Uthman's (ra) reign, copies were made and sent to the major cities of the empire.
The Qur'an Contains Advice for All Humanity
The Qur'an is the last Divine book that was revealed to advise humanity; therefore, its decrees remain valid for all people, regardless of their particular time or location, until the Day of Judgment. The Qur'an shows human beings the right path and reminds them about certain things pertaining to their eternal life. For example:
It is certainly a reminder to you and to your people, and you will be questioned. (Surat al-Zukhruf: 44)
The supreme wisdom it contains, the truth it reveals about the past and the future, and its style that dispels ignorance and unawareness make the Qur'an unique and without equal. Its miraculous character applies to all people who will ever live, and its validity began on the day it was revealed and will continue until the Day of Judgment.
All people are responsible for serving Allah properly. This is possible only if they believe in Him sincerely and are guided by the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas). Allah reveals how wonderful the Qur'an is and how important it is to adopt it as one's guide:
If We had sent down this Qur'an to a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, crushed to pieces out of fear of Allah. We make such examples for people so that, hopefully, they will reflect. (Surat al-Hashr: 21)
Everything Has Been Explained in the Qur'an
Allah explains clearly in the Qur'an what is right and wrong, allowed and forbidden. Therefore, it is an easy matter for believers who listen to the voice of their conscience and avoid the selfish promoting of their lower selves to find the truth. The Qur'an contains advice that is full of wisdom. Its wisdom and the goodness enjoined in its verses are clear. Sincere believers whom Allah has put on the right path can understand it without difficulty and implement its truths in their attitudes and ideas, for the Qur'an is "guidance for humanity, with clear signs containing guidance and discrimination" (Surat al-Baqarah: 185).
However, only those who fear and respect Allah, abide by His decrees, submit to Him in their heart, and choose the next world to this one can consider its advice:
We did not send down the Qur'an to you to make you miserable, but only as a reminder for those who have fear [and respect for Allah]. (Surah Ta Ha: 2-3)
This is a major secret of the Qur'an. It does not take a high intellect, a broad culture, or any special ability to understand the Qur'an; it is only necessary to have sincerity. Allah reveals the truth to His sincere servants and brings them to salvation. The Qur'an has been sent to humanity, but is the way to the right path only for those who fear and respect Him and believe in the Last Day:
Those are the signs of the Wise Book – guidance and mercy for those who do good. (Surah Luqman: 2-3)
O humanity, admonition has come to you from your Lord, and also healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers. (Surah Yunus: 57)
Given the above, we can see that the Qur'an contains advice for everyone and guides the observant and generous Muslims to the right path. As the great Islamic thinker Bediuzzaman Said Nursi said: "The All-Wise Qur'an is the leader to the aware and the conscious, the guide of jinn and men, the teacher of those attaining to perfection, and instructor of those seeking reality." 7 In order to bring humanity out of its darkness and into the light, Allah revealed the answer to every question to those who seek it in their conscience:
We have sent down the Book to you making all things clear and as guidance and mercy and good news for the Muslims. (Surat an-Nahl: 89)
…We have not omitted anything from the Book – then they will be gathered to their Lord. (Surat al-An'am: 38)
This is a manifestation of Allah's mercy toward His servants.
Moreover, Allah lets us know something about Him through the Qur'an. For example, He reveals that He created the universe from nothing, rich beyond need of any being, is beyond defect, knows everything, and sees and hears every secret. Besides this, He revealed why and how human beings were created; what kind of life will win His approval; the existence of the Day of Judgment, Paradise, and Hell; taught human beings how to pray and be good, how to be sound in body and spirit, and what to do in times of difficulty and unexpected situations; and described the various kinds of human character. But He has also revealed far more than just these things, for some verses point to scientific truths and knowledge as well as how to solve personal and social problems. In other words, the Qur'an contains all of the basic knowledge necessary for every moment of a person's life:
In this way We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an and have given various warnings in it so that, hopefully, they will have fear of Allah or that it will spur them to remembrance. (Surah Ta Ha: 113)
We have spread throughout this Qur'an all kinds of examples for people, but most people spurn anything but unbelief. (Surat al-Isra': 89)
We have spread throughout this Qur'an all kinds of examples for people, but, more than anything else, humanity is argumentative. (Surat al-Kahf: 54)
Allah tells people to obey His decrees absolutely, to take Him as their only friend and guardian, and that the only purpose of life is to win His approval and mercy and thereby reach Paradise. The only criterion for living is the Qur'an, and the only way to follow is the way of Prophet Muhammad (saas).
Allah, Who was pleased to choose Islam as the religion for His servants, revealed the Qur'an as a guide to which they could refer and made the life of our Prophet (saas) an example for them. All other paths are errant and false, based only on myths, heresy, and opinion. Therefore, people can hope for a reward from Allah only if they take the Qur'an and the Prophet's (saas) Sunnah as their measure of judgment, obey Allah's commands fully by always doing good works to win His approval, and take the Prophet's (saas) moral character as their example.
As Allah revealed in the Qur'an, His words are "perfect" and people can only reach the truth by following the Qur'an and the Prophet's (saas) Sunnah, for:
"Am I to desire someone other than Allah as a judge when it is He Who has sent down the Book to you clarifying everything?" Those to whom We have given the Book know it has been sent down from your Lord with truth, so on no account be among the doubters. The Words of your Lord are perfect in truthfulness and justice. No one can change His Words. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surat al-An'am: 114-115)
The Qur'an's Literary Excellence
Allah proclaims: "We have made the Qur'an easy to remember" (Surat al-Qamar: 22).
In spite of the fact that it has an easily understandable style, it cannot be compared in any way with another book. This is one of Allah's great miracles. Those who doubted, in spite of clear proofs, slandered the Prophet (saas), and so Allah revealed:
Do they say: "He has invented it"? Say: "Then produce a surah like it and call upon anyone you can, besides Allah, if you are telling the truth." (Surah Yunus: 38)
So, at a time when eloquence and style were well developed, Allah revealed the Qur'an to our Prophet (saas). It was not long before these literary individuals, even though their inner arrogance and conceit made them persist in their rebelliousness, noticed that the Qur'an was, in literary terms, a miracle.
The Qur'an includes incidents that are means of guidance for people, allows people to recognize their own lower selves, gives information about the past and the future. Its richness is infinite and incomparable. In fact, this miracle is so great that Allah told the Prophet (saas) to proclaim to those who were too arrogant to listen to it:
Say: "If both humanity and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could never produce anything like it, even if they backed each other up." We have spread throughout this Qur'an all kinds of examples for people, but most people spurn anything but unbelief. (Surat al-Isra': 88-89)
Or do they say: "He has invented it"? Say: "Then produce ten invented surahs like this and call upon anyone you can besides Allah, if you are telling the truth." If they do not respond to you, then know that it has been sent down with Allah's knowledge and that there is no deity but Him. So will you not become believers? (Surah Hud: 13-14)
Do they say: "He has invented it"? Say: "Then produce a surah like it and call on anyone you can besides Allah, if you are telling the truth." No, the fact is that they have denied something that their knowledge does not embrace and the meaning of which has not yet reached them. In the same way, those before them also denied the truth. See the final fate of those who do wrong! (Surah Yunus: 38-39)
Unbelievers remain weak and powerless in relation to the Qur'an's excellence. No one has ever produced anything like it, and no one ever will. All the unbelievers' traps and ruses designed to discredit the Prophet (saas) and prevent him from delivering his message were, as a blessing from Allah, rendered ineffective.
From the literary point of view, with the Qur'an, our Prophet (saas) gave the wisest response to his people's powerful and elaborate rhetoric, to their most famous poets and finest orators. Besides this, he proved himself superior to all literary people. No doubt this was one of the effects of the Qur'an's incomparable literary quality and wisdom. In response to the verses that the Prophet (saas) recited, the Meccan polytheists were amazed. But in spite of their own certainty about them, some of them rebelled because of their pride:
If you have doubts about what We have sent down to Our servant, produce another surah equal to it and call your witnesses, besides Allah, if you are telling the truth. If you do not do that – and you will not do it – then fear the Fire whose fuel is people and stones, made ready for the unbelievers. (Surat al-Baqarah: 23-24)
The great scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi interprets these verses in this way:
The revelation of an extraordinary book to the Prophet (saas), who had lived among them all his life, amazed the arrogant people and led them to hate him without cause. As a result, they did their best to harm him in every possible way. Although they saw that he was good both in his life and moral character, they conspired against him:
Those who slandered this good and blessed man were personal witnesses to his moral superiority. With their own eyes they saw the Prophet Muhammad's (saas) faithfulness to his promises, loyalty, justice, honesty, truthfulness, kindness to orphans and those in need, generosity, and interest in others. His excellent character and moral qualities always caught everyone's attention, and he was everyone's most trusted, beloved, and respected friend.
Our Prophet's (saas) moral character could not be denied or ignored. His moral character, as described in the Qur'an, was pleasing to Allah, Who made him an example and guide to all people. According to Islamic sources, Nadr ibn al-Haris attempted to harm the Prophet (saas) with his words; later on, he met with the idolaters' leaders and told them:
7. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, "The Letters: The Twenty-sixth Letter, The First Topic," www.risale-inur.com.tr/rnk/eng/words/15th_word.htm.
8. "Mu'allaqat," www.britannica.com/eb/article-9054111.
9. Ahmet Cevdet Paşa, Muallim Mahir iz, Peygamber Efendimiz (sav) (Our Prophet [saas]) (Hediye Kitaplar), 55-56.
10. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, "The Letters: The Nineteenth Letter, Eighteenth Sign, Second Remark," www.risale-inur.com.tr/rnk/eng/letters/19letter.html
11. As-Suyuti, Tahdhib al-Khasa'is al-Nabawiyyah al-Kubra (The Awesome Characteristics of the Prophet [saas] (Istanbul: Iz Publications, 2003), p.286.