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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Is Quran the Word of God?

Is Quran the word of God (Allah)? This article provides information and facts to learn, discover and believe that Quran is the word of God. The Quran is widely regarded as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language.
Muslims hold that the Qur’an is the verbal divine guidance and moral direction for mankind. Muslims also consider the original Arabic verbal text to be the final revelation of God.

 Muslims believe that the Qur’an was repeatedly revealed from Allah to Muhammad verbally through the angel Jibr?l (Gabriel) over a period of approximately twenty-three years, beginning in 610 CE, when he was forty, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death. Followers of Islam further believe that the Qur’an was memorized, recited and written down by Muhammad's companions after every revelation dictated by Muhammad. Most of Muhammad's tens of thousands of companions, called Sahabas, learned the Qur’an by heart, repeatedly recited in front of Muhammad for his approval or the approval of other Sahabas.

Muhammad(PBUH) approved these recitations and also compiled the Qur'an in written form while he was alive. Muslim tradition agrees that although the Qur’an was authentically memorized completely by tens of thousands verbally, the Qur’an was still established textually into a single book form shortly after Prophet Muhammad's(PBUH) demise by order of the first Caliph Abu Bakr suggested by his future successor Umar.

When we study the Quran even superficially from the viewpoint of its wording, styles, and meaning, we will certainly conclude that it is completely different from all the other books in the world. So, in rank and worth it is either below all of them-even Satan cannot claim this, nor does he conceive of it-or above them. Since it is above all of them, it must be the Word of God.

The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(Peace be upon him) in a period of over 23 years at two different locations, Makka and Madinah. Whenever a Ayah was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad he would have a scribe or a companion write it down on different kinds of materials ranging from Shoulder blades of Camels to, Palm tree leaves, Stones, etc. It's important to note that there was no paper in Arabia at that time.
Quran says it is from Allah: The revelation of the Book (Quran) is from the Lord of the worlds (21:2)

Challenges: More qualities of The Quran:

The Quran is beyond compare from the viewpoint of its styles and eloquence. All the sentences, words and even letters used in the Quran form such a miraculous harmony that, with respect to rhythm, music, and even geometric proportions and mathematical measures, and with respect to how many times each is used in the whole of the Quran, each is in the exact place it must be and interwoven and interrelated with others. The literary masterpiece of no one, including the sayings of the Prophet himself, upon him be peace and blessings, cannot compete with the Quran.

The Quran is such a book that it illuminates the ways of both poets, musicians and orators, sociologists, psychologists, scientists, economists and jurists. Also, the founders of all the true spiritual orders and the schools of law and conduct found in it the principles of their orders and schools. The Quran has shown everybody the ways to solve their problems. It also satisfies everyone in his spiritual quests. Is there another book of the same character, quality and level next to the Quran?          

However great a genius one may be, it is impossible for one to establish rules to solve all kinds of problems that mankind may encounter until the Last Day. Even the best of systems that do not originate in the Quran or the Divine Revelation cannot last without undergoing revisions at least every 50 years. More important than this, none of those systems can promise man eternal happiness; the principles of all of them are restricted to the worldly life, which is transient and infinitely short when compared to the afterlife. By contrast, none of the principles which the Quran laid down centuries ago has become outmoded and worn-out with the passage of time, nor do they have any defects or shortcomings. For example, the Quran enjoins that wealth should not become a means of prosperity circulated only among the rich (al-Hashr, 59.7); that government offices should be entrusted to competent persons qualified for them and absolute justice should be the rule in public administration and judging between people (al-Nisa’, 4.58), and it lays down that a man has only that for which he makes effort (al-Najm, 53.39) and that whoever kills a human being unjustly is as if he had killed all mankind (al-Ma’ida, 5.32).

All such eternal, golden principles and many others like the prohibition of usury, gambling, alcohol and all kinds of illicit intercourse, and the injunctions with respect to praying, fasting, alms-giving and good conduct-principles strengthened through love and fear of God and through the promise of an eternal, happy life and fear of the eternal punishment of Hell-constitute another undeniable proof for the Divine authorship of the Quran.
More at: THE QURAN IS THE WORD OF GOD
We can confidently say that the Quran we have today is the same Quran that Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) used to recite. The Quran is perfectly preserved in it's original text, langauage and manuscript.

The Preservation of the Quran
More studies:
*"Is the Qur'an the Word of God?" at Debate.org
www.miraclesofthequran.com
www.quranmiracles.com

First published at 'knoji'

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Does believing in God Leads to Ultimate Happiness ? -The Concept of Happiness in Islam?

Seeking happiness is human necessity and if we search for the meaning of this word, it explains that 'Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy'.. Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. This article is an effort to explain the theory if believing in God leads to real/ultimate happiness and concept of happiness in Islam which agrees with the theory.


An undeniable reality is that permanent happiness cannot be achieved except by believing in God - The Creator - and following His guidance. Since it is He who created mankind, He is the one who knows what pleases and benefits them, just as he knows what saddens and harms them. A number of psychologists have affirmed that only a religious person lives with true content and serenity.


So if believing in God leads to ultimate happiness, then how can this be achieved?
 There is now extensive research suggesting that religious people are happier and less stressed. Surveys by Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center and the Pew Organization conclude that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religiously committed people. An analysis of over 200 social studies contends that "high religiousness predicts a lower risk of depression and drug abuse and fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of satisfaction with sex life and a sense of well-being," and a review of 498 studies published in peer-reviewed journals concluded that a large majority of them showed a positive correlation between religious commitment and higher levels of perceived well-being and self-esteem and lower levels of hypertension, depression, and clinical delinquency. If we examine all the orders and laws of Islam, we find that every single law or order aims at bringing happiness to the individual. This applies to Islamic regulations with regard to worship, economics, penal laws and all other aspects of life. Few laws and orders are:


When a person believes in Allaah, this belief gives him a strong feeling of security, which is a basic psychological need. This belief in Allaah gives the believer a strong support in critical moments and gives him continuous hope against all sources of despair. This belief gives strength to the sick and hope to the hopeless.
The Belief in Life after Death and the Feeling of Continuity:


A Muslim believes in life after death. This belief gives the person a feeling of continuity. To a Muslim, death is not the end of life; rather it is a transition from the first life to the second one. A Muslim is not horrified by death because he knows that death is a change into another life.


A Connection with God: A Muslim prays five times a day. This prayer is a connection between the believer and Allaah. Without this continual daily prayer, the man-God connection becomes weak. The stronger the man-God connection is, the more obedient to Allaah man becomes.
Away from Tension: Islam regulates the relations of the two sexes and discourages any unnecessary intermingling of the two sexes. This helps both sexes to be away from any source of sexual temptation or tension.


One of the most elusive objectives of every human being is "Happiness." The Noble Qur'an reveals the secret of attaining perfect happiness in this life and forever. We learn from the Noble Qur'an that happiness is an exclusive quality of the soul. Thus, a body that attains all the material successes it longs for - money, power, fame, etc. - often belongs to an unhappy person. Happiness depends totally on the degree of growth and development attained by the soul, the real person. The Noble Qur'an provides a detailed map towards perfect happiness for both body and soul, both in this world and in the eternal Hereafter.


To reach true happiness, we need to know what is the purpose of our life, how to reach success in the hereafter, and to fulfill the requirements of reaching this success by following the commands of Allah (SWT) and His true religion.


Throughout the ages, the concept of happiness has been widely discussed by the great thinkers of the past oriental or occidental. The Greek philosophers have stated in clear a term that the ultimate happiness will take place through what they called virtues. They unanimously agreed that there are four cardinal virtues, namely temperance, courage, wisdom and justice. Thus a happy person is the one who possessed these cardinal virtues in their selves.


Unfortunately, happiness in the context of modern western man is never been defined in a definite manner. It has continuously changed depending of which philosophical school or line of thinking these definitions are derived from. Happiness in Islam does not thus refer to the bodily or material aspect of the human life. As a matter of fact, the abundant material wealth, excessive physical pleasure sometimes contributes to the prevention of the true happiness. How many cases have we seen people with abundant of wealth are deprived from gaining the true happiness in their life. Their material bounties, on the other hand, are the very origin and cause of their unhappiness.


Islam simply views material wealth is only one of the tools to a more absolute kind of happiness which goes beyond the boundary of the physical gain. This is the very reason God states in the Quran (Al-Kahfi 18:46) “Wealth and children are temptation of the life of this world; the only things endure, are good deed, which is the best in the sight of your Lord as rewards and as the best hopes.”


It is interesting to see that the contrary of sa’adah is termed by the Quran as shaqawah, which conveys the meaning of great misfortune and misery in general. Shaqawah is the generic term which include within it many other terms also mentioned in the Quran as khawf (fear), huzn (grief), dank (narrowness), hasrat (profound grief and regret for something gone and never be experienced again). These terms are used in the Quran to denote those who turned away from God and spend his life in self-waste which than he discover after death how he has lost his soul and appeal toward God in turning back to worldly life to make good deeds.


The concept of happiness in Islam: The concept of happiness in Islam is expressed in the Quran and Sunnah in a number of different ways. First, we find the Quran discussing the good life. Allah says: Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, we shall make them live a good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do. [Surah al-Nahl: 97]


This good life is happiness itself. It is realized through faith and good deeds. This does not mean that we will not face difficulties in our good life. Our worldly lives, even when they are bolstered by faith and good works, are never free from distress and vexations. This world is the abode of toil, as Allah says: Certainly We have created man to be in toil. [Surah al-Balad: 90]


This world is the abode of tests and trials. Allah says: Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so We gave him (the gifts) of hearing and sight. [Surah al-Insan: 2]

Allah also says: Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial, and to Us is your return. [Surah al-Anbiya: 35]


The concept of happiness is also expressed in the Qurun as a negation of wretchedness and misguidance. It is also expressed through by contrasting it with the description, of a narrow, straightened life.


Allah says: But he who turns away from remembrance of Me, his will be a narrow life, and I shall bring him blind to the assembly on the Day of Resurrection. [Surah TaHa: 124]


Wretchedness is the opposite of happiness. It is a state of being bereft of Allahs remembrance. The way to distance oneself from wretchedness is to follow the path of guidance. This is what brings about happiness.
The Quran also uses the concept of the openness of the heart to express happiness. Allah says: Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam; those whom He wills to leave straying, He makes their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus does Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe. [Surah al-An`am: 125]
Another expression is the contentment of the heart. Allah says: Those who believe, and whose hearts find contentment in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment. [Surah al-Ra`d: 28]
The contentment and openness of the heart are aspects of happiness which are achieved through keeping up the remembrance of Allah and through following the guidance of Islam. Total and perfect happiness is achieved through true devotion in worship to Allah, salvation from Hell, and admission to Paradise in the Hereafter.
To reach true happiness, we need to know what is the purpose of our life, how to reach success in the hereafter, and to fulfill the requirements of reaching this success by following the commands of God and His true religion.

Useful links:
Islam and human happiness 
Real Happiness and Inner Peace
The Way To Achieve Happiness
Happiness is Submission to God Alone
Happiness is a common goal that everyone strives to attain

First published in: Factoidz
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