Will you please give information about the universality of the Qur'an?
The Quran which was sent more than 1400 years ago is a book that have principles that can solve the problems of today and that can bind the people of this age against the change that has been existent since the creation of man and that has become dazzling in this age.
When we examine those principles, we see that they are general principles and that they contain criteria that all people can carry out at all times. We will make short explanations about five of those universal principles that have the meaning of command among those universal principles that were brought by the Quran.
The five things among those principles that are ordered to be fulfilled are as follows: 1) to work, 2) to be just, 3) to be honest, 4) to keep your promise, 5) to protect the things entrusted to you.
To work is the pre-eternal law of Allah. Allah expresses the importance of working as follows in the Quran:
“That man can have nothing but what he strives for; That (the fruit of) his striving will soon come in sight; Then will he be rewarded with a reward complete.”(an-Najm, 39-41) those verses state that man can advance only by striving and that the key to bliss in the world and the hereafter is to work legitimately.
The basic of Islam is justice.Justice is the combination of humane and social values like acting properly, not taking things belonging to others, not deviating from the straight path. The Quran orders an absolute justice. It does not differentiate between believers and unbelievers, those who are near and far, the rich and the poor regarding the issue. As a matter of fact, Allah states the following:
“...speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned...”(al-An’am, 152)
“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts) lest ye swerve and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.”(an-Nisa, 135)
One of the principles that we are ordered in the Quran is honesty. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the Quran regarding the issue:
“O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to the Right: That He may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins: he that obeys Allah and His Messenger, has already attained the highest Achievement..”(al-Ahzab 70-71)
“Therefore stand firm (in the straight path) as thou art commanded― thou and those who with thee turn (unto Allah); and transgress not (from the Path): for He seeth well all that ye do.”(Hud, 112)
One of the principles that the Quran emphasizes repeatedly is keeping your promise and fulfilling your obligations. The word “ahd” means “to order something to be fulfilled, to give an instruction, to make a promise; command, instruction, undertaking, contract, liability and trustable word”. A person must keep his promise whether he makes it to Allah or to believers and fulfill its necessities because Allah states the following in the Quran,
“O ye who believe! fulfil (all) obligations...”(al-Maida, (5): 1)
“Nay―Those that keep their plighted faith and act aright―verily Allah loves those who act aright.”(Aal-i-Imran, 76)
“...and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).”(al-Isra, 34)
The last universal Quranic principle that we will deal with is to be trustable. In general, trust is used to mean, ”something entrusted to someone for protection”. However, along with this meaning, it also covers the spiritual, bodily and financial facilities that man has and that are given to him temporarily. In Islamic law, trust is the name given to the whole duties assigned by Allah to man regarding both the rights of Allah and the rights of creatures.
“Those who faithfully observe their Trusts and their covenants.” (al-Mu’minun, 8)
We have given some examples of universal commands of the Quran that man can apply everywhere and at all times. Each of those principles will bring happiness to a community when they are applied whether by Muslims or non-Muslims. In the world where those principles are not applied, human beings become unhappy and hopeless – as it is the case in the world today. We, as people who heartily believe in those principles, must have a lifestyle in accordance with those principles and serve as examples for the humanity, because it is our duty to convey goodness to the humanity.
We have given universal examples of the Quran that man can apply under every condition and at all times. There are also some prohibitions brought by the Quran; we want to explain five of them in short. They are: 1- To associate partners with Allah; 2- To disobey one’s parents; 3- To kill a person unjustly; 4- To take bribes; 5- To gossip and backbite.
According to the Quran, the greatest sin is to associate partners with Allah; it means accepting other beings as partners of Allah, worshipping stones, trees, the sun, the moon, stars, angels, prophets, sheikhs or any being other than Allah. The Quran defines associating partners with Allah as shirk (polytheism), the greatest injustice and oppression. As a matter of fact, the following two verses give the most impressive examples regarding the issue:
“Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him: but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, hath strayed far, far away (from the Right).”(an-Nisa, 116);
“For false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing.”(Luqman, (31): 13)
Oppression means taking something from the place where it has to be and putting it somewhere else, deviating from the aim. Allah is the Lord that revives, kills, gives sustenance and bounties; it has no partners. When something is accepted as a partner of Allah, it is the greatest oppression. Therefore, it is stated in the Quran that those who associate partners with Allah will be punished severely and that it is impossible for them to enter Paradise:
“Whoever joins other gods with Allah―Allah will forbid him the Garden and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.” (al-Maida, 72)
The Quran orders us to do favors for our parents and prohibits us from disobeying them by saying,
“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”(al-Isra, 23-24)
In the verses above, Allah orders us to do favors for our parents after worshipping Him and He orders us not to say even “Ugh” to them, because it is Allah who creates man and the parents are the means of it.
Man is an honorable being that Allah appreciates and renders superior to all beings in the world. It is forbidden to despise and to blame him, to carry tales about him no matter how, and to kill him unjustly. To kill a person unjustly is regarded the same as killing the whole people as it is stated in the following verse and when the characteristics of believers are listed, they are defined as “they do not kill anybody”:
“If anyone slew a person―unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land― it would be as if he slew the whole people.”(al-Maida, 32);
“Those (believers) who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, not commit fornication― and any that does this (not only) meets punishment.”(al-Furqan, 68)
The last two universal principles consist of two humanly and social illnesses that gnaw away the community secretly and eliminate the feeling of trust: bribery and gossiping. They are prohibited in the Quran as follows:
“O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good-will.”(an-Nisa, 29),
“And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people's property.”(al-Baqara, 188)
“and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it...but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.”(al-Hujurat, 12)
The Quran is a book that was sent down to make human beings happy; its principles are universal and they can be applied at all times and under any conditions. Everybody should contemplate thoroughly; which one of those principles is invalid in this age?