3. Belief in Books
One of the fundamentals of belief in Islam is belief in the holy books sent by Allah.
Islam orders believers to believe in all holy books. The source of all holy books is one. All of the heavenly books explain the orders and prohibitions of Allah and the duties and responsibilities of man. Allah appointed prophets and sent books to guide men and to warn them. Throughout the history, the wise action of Allah was like that. The prophets whom books were not sent to conformed to the previously sent book and warned and guided their tribes and nations.
Allah ordered believers to believe in all of the prophets and the revelations:
Muslims believe not only in the Quran but also the other holy books. Allah states the following:
It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Torah (Of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) (Aal-e-Imran,3/3.).
Islam is more universal in comparison to other religions in terms of belief in the holy books, it accepts all holy books. Books were sent to the tribes before the Quran, but those books lost their original identity through translations in time.
4. 1. IMPORTANCE OF HOLY BOOKS
We can list the importance of holy books as follows:
1. Allah has endless generosity. He offers abundant gifts and grants. He has endless blessings and numerous dinner tables; He granted men a lot of organs and feelings, He laid blessings for each organ and laid tables for each feeling. For instance, He created the sun for the eyes, the air for the lungs, and food for the stomach. Like mans material organs, his mind, heart and conscience need tables, spiritual food and remedies. Because of this secret, the Generous Lord, who meets all of the needs of human beings, did not leave their minds and brains, hearts and conscience, spirit and feelings without tables, food or remedies. He sent heavenly books that are like remedies and spiritual tables for them. He sent heavenly books that develop and improve spirits, give light and direction to minds and give happiness to life.
2. One of the attributes of Allah is the attribute of speech. Allah is the Eternal Speaker. The blessing of understanding and the faculty of speaking were given to human beings among the creatures. Man received the manifestation of the attribute of speech.
Where there is mind, there are also duties and responsibilities. Where there is speaking and speech, an interlocutor is sought. Since man is given them the mind, he will be informed of his responsibility, his duty will be reminded. Since man is given the blessing of speaking, he will be spoken to and he will be told why he was born and to whom he is responsible to. So, the fact that man was given the mind and the faculty of speech makes it necessary for heavenly books to be sent.
3. All of the feelings of man are conditional and limited. He cannot see kilometers away with naked eye. He cannot hear the sounds or smell the scents far away. Like these senses, mans mind and perception faculties are also conditional and limited. That is, the mind cannot know ghaib things. He cannot decode spiritual secrets and realities on his own. In other words, the orders and prohibitions of Allah are not understood by reasoning or by abstract mind. The mind can find its Lord by judgment or reasoning. However, it cannot understand why its Lord created it. Man needs to know a lot of ghaib knowledge and realities like the fundamentals of belief, the way of slavery, the qualities and properties of worshipping, the eternal life, the existence of Paradise and Hell, the names and attributes of Allah. Humanity needs prophets and heavenly books in order to learn them and carry out their duties and responsibilities. Therefore Allah sent prophets as guides and teachers to mankind and sent heavenly books.
4. Man has a nafs (soul). It has desires and lust. Man has endless goals, ambitions and pride, anger and fury, indignation and reactions.
Man is open to inculcations of the devil. Nafs may continuously tempt him to do bad deeds. The devil tempts him to do bad deeds. If man headed towards evil and destruction, his destruction would become terrible and his harm would be terrifying, he could ruin or destroy a country.
For these reasons, there is a need for prophets to show the right path and heavenly books to teach men the truth and the reality. Allah sent books to balance the falls and rises and the declines and downfalls and also to guide men to the right path and the line of true direction.
5. Mans disposition and conscience seek their Lord and want to know their owner and Master. They want to find answers the questions like Where did I come from, why was I created, what are my tasks and duties in this world?
It is the prophets that can give answers to these questions. It is the prophets that settle and discover the secret of the creation of the universe and the enigma of the creation of man. The guides of these prophets are the heavenly books. Allah gave the books to the prophets and explained people the mystery of this world through the prophets and answered the questions of the creation.
4. 2. HOLY BOOKS
Throughout centuries beginning from Hazrat Adam to the last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) Allah sent four books and some pages.
Pages were sent before books. They contained advice about belief and ethic. The ethical advice in the pages is present in the Quran in the perfect sense. As a matter of fact the Quran points out to this issue through the following verse:
And this is in the Books of the earliest (Revelations)―The Books of Abraham and Moses. (al-Alâ,18-19.).
After the pages Allah sent the four books. They are; 1. Torah, 2. Psalm, 3. Gospel and 4. the Quran.
It was given to Hazrat Moses (Musa). The Quran mentions that it was sent to the Israelites (Aal-e- Imran, 48,50,65,93 ; al-Maeda, 46,66).
It was sent to Hazrat Dawud (David).
It was sent to Hazrat Eesa (Jesus).
Gospel as a word means good news. It tells the life story of Hazrat Eesa and gives some ethical advice. It does not have legal arrangements. Since Christians accept Torah also as a holy book, they take Torah as reference for legal arrangements. Christians call Torah as Old Testament and Gospel as New Testament. They brought together some parts from Torah, Gospel and Psalms and called it the Holy Book.
4. THE QURAN
The Quran is the last holy book sent to the last Prophet Hazrat Muhanmmad (PBUH) through revelation chapter by chapter and verse by verse in 23 years. With the Quran the chain of heavenly books was completed and the other books were abrogated. Allah said the following in the Quran:
This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (al-Maeda,3.).
The Quran started to come down in Makkah. The first revelation came through Hazrat Jibril (Gabriel) while Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was busy with contemplation and worshipping in Mount Hira:
The call of the Quran is general. The Quran calls the whole mankind to the right path. Its message is not for a certain nation but for the whole mankind. The target is the salvation and happiness of the whole mankind.
Since the Quran was revealed in 23 years, the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet) wrote down the verses and memorized them during this period. So, the Quran was kept by the clerks of revelation and was continuously recited by hafizes (hafiz: one who memorized the whole Quran). It was recited in mosques and was conveyed to those who do not know it and they were taught to recite it. Later the copies of the Quran were duplicated, the Quran that we have today is the same Quran as the one during the time of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). It was conveyed to us in the same form as it was revealed.
4. 3. MIRACULOUS ASPECTS OF THE QURAN
The miraculous aspects of the Quran are plentiful (Said Nursi proved the miraculousness of the Quran in forty ways and showed its miraculous aspects in seven ways in his booklet the Miracles of the Quran, in his book Lemaat and in his interpretation İşarat-ül İcaz. Those who want to have more information about this issue should refer to those boks.). We can list those aspects in summary as follows:
1. Something like the Quran cannot be written:
The miraculous Quran says: "Oh men and jinn! If you have any doubts that the Quran is the Word of God and imagine it to be man's word, then come on, here it is, let's see! You bring a book like this Quran from someone unlettered, who does not know how to read and write like the one you call Muhammad the Trustworthy, and get him to compose it! If you cannot do this, then he need not be untaught, let him be a famous man of letters and learned. And if you are not able to do this, alright, not on his own, take all the finest works of all your orators and men of eloquence, and indeed of all the literary geniuses of the past and all those of the future, and the assistance of all your gods. Work with all your strength; compose the like of this Quran. And if you cannot do this, leave aside the Truths of the Quran and its many miraculous aspects, which it is not possible to imitate, and compose a work which is its equal in only the eloquence of its word order!"
Through the silencing words of:
Bring ye then ten Surahs forged, like unto it
it says " Come on, I do not want its true meaning from you, let it be fabrications and lies and false tales. And you will not be able to do this. So it need not be as much as the whole
Qur'an, just bring ten Chapters like it, equivalent of a short Chapter. And you will not be able to do this either, although the need for you to do so is so great. For your honor and self-respect, your dignity and religion, your tribal honor and pride, your life and property, and your lives in this world and the next will all be saved by producing the like of it. Otherwise in this world you will remain in abasement, without honor, dignity, religion, or pride, and your lives and property will be destroyed and will perish, and in the hereafter, as is indicated by the verse,
then fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones
you will be condemned to everlasting incarceration in Hell; together with your idols you will be fuel to its fires. Since your need is thus great, and since you have now understood your impotence in eight degrees, for sure, you should know eight times over that the Quran is a miracle. So either believe in it, or be silent and go to Hell!"
2. The Quran is also a miracle because it gives information about ghaib and the future. Human mind cannot estimate the future obviously and clearly. It cannot make decisions about the future. It is not something to be done by man to discover the happenings in the past that were left under veils and to reveal them. However, when we have a look at the Quran, we see that the Quran informs us about the prophets in the past, the characteristics of their tribes, the heavenly misfortunes that they suffered obviously and clearly, and makes us draw a lesson and think. The Quran also gives a lot of information about life in the grave, Paradise and Hell, and a lot of good news about the spread of Islam. For instance, it gave the good news that believers would enter the Kabah fearlessly, that Muslims would seize the booty, and a lot of happenings like the conquest of Makkah and that the Romans would beat Persians.
3. The beauty, the brightness and the fluency of the statements of the Quran enchant the spirits. It enters the hearts and attracts them. The depth of its realities, the loftiness of its meaning, the news about ghaib, the language of reality and the language of wisdom in it, show that it is not the words of man but a divine and holy statement.
The Quran showed with this high quality and characteristics to everybody that it could not be the work of an illiterate person or the work of the mind or will of a person.
4. The Quran is also a miracle because it encompasses the sciences and realities that are beyond human strength. People who lived fourteen hundred years ago could certainly not know the realities that would be discovered a thousand years later. Mind and thought cannot move along this path. If a book mentioned a lot of mysteries and realities that would be discovered a thousand years later, it could only be holy and divine. It is not the skill of a man.
In the Quran, there are signs indicating many scientific realities that have been discovered only in this century. These signs and statements are evidences that the Quran is a miracle. Lets list some of these statements:
The expansion of space has been discovered recently. The Quran points to this expansion as follows:
And the heaven, We have constructed it mightily, and it is surely We Who have vast power, and keep expanding it (adh-Dhariyat,47).
The Quran states the movement and rotation of the world concisely as follows:
Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away: (such is) the artistry of Allah, Who disposes of all things in perfect order (an-Naml,88).
The Quran states the separation of the earth and the sky while they were together and the fact that all living things were created out of water as follows:
Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (al-Anbiya, 30).
The Quran states that night and day were arranged in a system and that the sun and the moon are moved along certain courses as follows:
It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: all (the
celestial bodies) swim along each in its rounded course. (al-Anbiya,33.).
And the Sun runs his course for a period determined for him: that is the decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing. (Ya Seen, 38).
The Quran shows to the eye the measurement, appointment, rotation, and the illumination of the moon and its precise positioning in accordance with the sun; the eternal power and control of Allah, who directs the universe.
The Quran states the fact that the sea waters do not mix as follows:
He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together: Between them is a Barrier which they do not transgress: (ar-Rahman,19-20).
The Quran states the duty of the wind that serves the fecundation, fertilization and reproduction of trees and flowers as follows:
And We send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water (in abundance), though ye are not the guardians of its stores. (al-Hijr, 22).
5. In terms of its miraculous education the Quran is a miracle. The indication that a tree is living and productive is its fruits. The fruits of the Quran are the students that are educated by the Quran. Hundreds of thousands of saints, holy people, scholars, mujaddids, wise people, exemplary people that have been brought up for fourteen centuries is a great indication that the Quran is alive and living.
All of the true religious orders and the genuine ilms (sciences) of Islam, all of the Islamic scholars that have been educated under the spiritual wings and protection of the Quran testify that the Quran is pure truth and the assembly of truths and in its comprehensiveness, a matchless wonder.
Mr Ahmet went shopping. Passing by a big department store he saw that there was a great discount in electronic devices. He walked around the store. He bought a nice high quality camera and an advanced technology television set.
In the evening he wanted to set up the television and operate the camera. However he couldnt do it. There was vision on the television but no sound. He couldnt understand how the camera shot and how it recorded the vision, either.
He called his next-door neighbor Mr Halil. He was an electronic engineer. Mr Ahmet said on the phone:
- I bought a new television set and a camera. However I couldnt cope with it. I am astonished. I need your help. Can you come right away?
Five minutes later the doorbell rang. It was Mr Halil.
Mr Ahmet said:
-Come in. and let him in. They went into the living room together. Mr Halil liked the television set and the camera very much.
-Enjoy them. You bought the best quality goods. he said.
Mr Halil took the television manual first. He searched it. He set up the television in accordance with the manual. Then he searched the manual of the camera, instructed Mr Ahmet how it operated in general.
The task was over. Mr Halil wanted to leave.
-No, you cant leave now. I made some tea. There is also some cake and pie. Lets drink tea and watch TV. I wont let you go without drinking tea. said Mr Ahmet.
They were drinking tea and watching TV when Mr Halil said:
-Do you know what I thought while setting them up?
-What did you think?
-I thought like this: If we took that television to a mans house who never saw a television and who never set up a television set before and didnt give him the manual and told him to operate the television, what would the poor man do?
-He couldnt set them up. He would be astonished.
-Is that all? I think more dangerous things could happen. If he attached the cables differently, if he connected wrong cables, there could be a short circuit, a fire and the television could blow up. Or if he tried to set it up on his own, the television could break down; there could be vision but no sound. Sometimes there could be sound but no vision.
-You are right.
-So, the best and perfect way to operate a television set is to operate it in accordance with the manual. Isnt it?
-Yes, it is.
-This reality caused me to think about a reality in my mind.
-I thought like this: Man is like a television set Maybe he was created a thousand times more perfectly and miraculously than it.. It is only possible for a man to lead a nice life, to have a joyful, bright world free from parasites by arranging his life in accordance with a spiritual manual.
-Alright, what is that spiritual manual?
-That spiritual manual is the Quran. It tells the truth and explains what is right. It sets the essentials of the happiness and joy of the mankind. It presents the criteria and the prescription for the material and spiritual salvation of the mankind. Mankind is in need of the Quran in this depressed century. The farther man goes away from the Quran, the more troubles, pains, chaos and crises he will face. The prescriptions of leading a good life are present in the Quran. Those who live in accordance with the Quran, will obtain happiness and exhilaration in this world and eternal blessings in the hereafter.
Those words made Mr Ahmet think.
They were all right. A life away from the Quran was like Hell even in the world. A man who knew and obeyed Allah would be happy even in the dungeon. A person who forgot Allah would be in the dungeon even if he were in palaces.
You are absolutely right. You discovered the mystery. My mind, heart, soul and conscience approve your words. said Mr Ahmet.
There are a lot of wisdoms in Allahs sending the holy books. If the books had not been sent down, Allah, who is eternal, would not have been known. His orders and His will would not have been known. The purposes of mans creation would have remained veiled or closed. The books removed this veil and explained clearly the orders and prohibitions of the Perfectly Wise and the Eternal, the duties and the responsibilities of man.
The Perfectly Wise and the Eternal did not leave men without owners or protectors throughout the history and sent them prophets as guides and teachers who differentiated between the right and the wrong, the good and the ugly, the correct and the incorrect. Books are regulations and instruction manuals sent to mankind through prophets. Throughout history, believers found out about the orders and the prohibitions of Allah thanks to these books and tried to direct their lives.
Four books were sent down. The only one that maintained its originality among them is the Quran, which is full of wisdom.
During the period of each prophet, a particular science, art or skill prevailed. For instance, during the time of Hazrat Eesa (Jesus) medical science prevailed. So Allah granted Hazrat Eesa the miracle of reviving the dead, opening the eyes of the blind, curing the people with speckled skins. During the time of Hazrat Musa (Moses) magic was very common. So Allah granted Hazrat Musa the miracle of transforming his walking-stick into a snake. This snake swallowed the ropes of the magicians and the magicians accepted that it was a miracle by Allah. During the time of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) eloquence, rhetoric prevailed. During a period when rhetoric was perfect, the Quran was sent down. It silenced all of the skillful authors and poets.
The rhetoric of the Quran is beyond the talents of man. The rhetoric of the Quran comes from the beauty, charm, steadiness and the awe of its verse. The expression of the Quran is strange and peculiar, superior and unique, pure and clean. Its meaning is true and real, strong and deep. Its words are perfect in terms of wording, meaning and harmony. Its word and sentence harmony is a miracle. Its words flow like a fountain, into the minds and hearts.
The Quran has challenged the most genius authors, the most excellent orators, the deepest scholars of the mankind for fourteen hundred years, and has provoked them. It has called them to discuss.
The genius people who walk proudly and arrogantly on the earth could not open their mouths to discuss and bowed down in abasement.
The believers who recite the Quran surrender to their Lord learn their duties and responsibilities and enjoy the pleasure and the happiness of knowing their Lord and being addressed by His orders.
When the believers recite the Quran, they speak to their Lord in a way. These favors give the believers a lofty pleasure and a spiritual comfort. The Quran is an eternal guide, an endless light that enlightens them when they have a conflict among themselves.
The duty and responsibility expected from Muslims is to recite, understand and live the Quran; to show the ethic of the Quran in their lives, to try to mirror the Quran in a straight line.