The Noble Qur’an, or Final Testament, Revelation, or Book of God, is a combination of revelations received over 23 years to the prophet Muhammad. It is generally considered to be the most beautiful book in Arabic. There are many similarities between the Bible and Qur’an. The Qur’an tells stories of people and events contained in the bible even though there are major differences. Jesus, depicted as having not died by crucifixion, is depicted as one of the most respected and quoted prophets, with Muhammad being the last in a long line of prophets that began with Judaism, passed into Christianity, and was supposed to be ended with the Qur’an, so Muhammad thought. The Qur’an began when Muhammad received his first revelation in a cave at the summit of mount Hira as revealed to him by the angel Gabriel.
From reading the Qur’an, I was overwhelmed with the dedication and spirit of active faith apparent in it. There are verses of sublime beauty, and there are verses of intense call to action by those devotees of Allah, for whom everyone in the world should be thankful and should fear.
“Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.”
— Surah 9:29
Another verse especially appealing to me was in Surah 1:164:
“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of Earth, and the succession of night and day: and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the Earth after it had been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon: and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between the sky and Earth: in all this, there are messages indeed for people who use their reason.”
This reveals to me a sublime reverence for the world and its natural beauty.
Like the Vedas, and the Bhagavad-Gita, the Qur’an opens with a chant to invoke the sympathy of the all powerful god for whom they have much reverence.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful,
Praise be to Allah, the cherisher and sustainer of the worlds;
Most gracious, most merciful;
Master of the day of judgment.
Thee do we worship, and thine aid we seek.
Show us the straight way.
The way of those on whom thou hast bestowed thy grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.
— The beginning of the Qur’an.
To me, the Qur’an is another example of the human yearning to understand, to have meaning in their lives, and to seek to better themselves by attaining spiritual salvation from a higher power. It becomes the same beacon of light in the dark, to aid those lost in the woods, to find the way to peace of mind by stilling the questions that all humans fight with: the who, the where, and the how the universe was created. It arises out of the human desire to speculate and be curious and attempt to explain the world and its origin. The book is a work of beauty, of passion, of fury, and of love. Most of all, it is the product of humanity attempting to rationalize its place in the universe.