Present for the readers. It is with due humility and a deep sense of thanks giving to Allah the Almighty, that I present to my readers this exercise entitled "The Digest of the Holy Qur'an". The object is to classify and catalogue the teachings of the Holy Qur'an in such a way that its guidance is available for application in the every day life of the Muslims.
Importance of knowledge. When Allah created Adam, he taught him the nature of things, a knowledge denied to the angels. Allah asked the angels to bow to Adam, and they did except Satan. This appears to signify that because of his knowledge-
(1) Man will overcome the forces of nature--the angels; and
(2) He will have to carry a relentless struggle against evil--the Satan.
In this effort on two fronts, "Knowledge" is to help man fulfil his task.
Mandate of Allah. When Allah commissioned Man as His vicegerent on earth He endowed him with the faculty of assimilating "Knowledge", and in knowledge lies the superiority of Man over other creations of the universe. The mandate of Allah commissioning Man His vicegerent is contained in the Holy Qur'an.
This means that if Man is to fulfil his mission as the vicegerent of God, he must know intimately what is his mandate, and what are his obligations and responsibilities. That is why, the Holy Qur'an enjoins man to pray to God to advance him in knowledge. This exercise has been undertaken primarily with the object of bringirig home to the Muslims the mandate which they have to carry into effect as the vicegerents of Allah.
Encyclopaedic character of the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an is the fountain-head of all knowledge, and "the advancement in knowledge" implies that the Holy Qur'an should not be read or recited merely as a religious ritual; it should be studied in depth as an exercise in the advancement of knowledge.
Knowledge lies embedded in the Holy Qur'an as corals and pearls lie in the depths of the seas. We must dive deep to reach the treasures of the sea; thus we should strive to the utmost to understand the Holy Qur'an, with a view to applying its injunctions to every day life. This Digest is an exercise in projecting the Holy Qur'an as a "Book of knowledge", a veritable encyclopaedia. The Islamic way of life is not confined to a few religious rituals; it extends to the entire gamut of human life. We have thus to seek the guidance of the Holy Qur'an not merely to be a good believer, but to be a good citizen as well.
This obviously needs the projection of the Holy Qur'an not merely as a book of religious commandments, but as an emitome of knowledge and guidance which could be pressed into service to tackle the problems of every day life. It is towards the achievement of this object that this exercise has been undertaken.
Uniqueness of the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an is a unique book. In its narration, style, way of approach, and presentation it is fundamentally different from the conventional books with which we are familiar. It talks of many things in the same breath, and repeats the same thing over and over again in different context in different forms for the sake of emphasis, and driving home the particular point. The Holy Qur'an may be compared to a garden blooming with flowers of myriad hues. In order to preserve the fragrance of the flowers, scent is to be distilled from them; thus in order to understand the Holy Qur'an, it is necessary that a suitable digest of its teachings should be prepared. This exercise is designed to serve this purpose.
Aid to the study of the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an itself requires the believers to study, meditate, and ponder on the meanings of the Holy Qur'an. Allah has promised that those who strive to understand the Holy Qur'an, the light and mercy of God will come to meet them. This means that some aid has to be provided to enable the ordinary Mualims understand the Holy Qur'an. Through the last fourteen hundred years, numerous commentaries have been written on the Holy Qur'an by eminent scholars in different languages. In English we have some well-known commentaries by Allama Yusuf Ali, Maulana Muhammad Ali, Maulana Mawdaudi, Pickthall, Muhammad Asad and others. Where the Holy Qur'an is to be studied as a book of inspiration for the elevation of the soul, these commentaries serve a useful purpose. Where the Holy Qur'an is to be applied as a source of law, knowledge and guidance for every day life, some aid over and above such commentaries is called for, as these commentaries explain the particular context, and do not tell what the Holy Qur'an says about the same matter in other contexts. There is thus the need of a digest which should consolidate the teachings of the Holy Qur'an in such a way that one could know at a glance what the Holy Qur'an says about the same matter in different contexts. While there are numerous commentaries, no digest has been puhlished in English so far. It is a matter of thanksgiving to the Almighty that in spite of my limitations and handicaps I have completed the project to the best of my ability. If there is any good in the compilation, it is because of the Grace of God, if there is any shortcoming therein that is because of my limitations for which I seek the forgiveness of Allah and the indulgence of the readers.
Salient features. For the facility of my readers, I now proceed to explain some of the salient features of the book. That would help the readers in understanding the general framework, and that would facilitate the appropriate use of the book according to the requirements of the readers.
Summary of the Suras. Before one proceeds to in-depth study of the Holy Qur'an, it is necessary that one should have a general idea of what the Holy Qur'an says. The Holy Qur'an comprises 114 Suras. I have given a summary of each and every Sura arranged in proper alphabetic order according to the title of the Sura. The summaries are concise but comprehensive. Care has been taken to ensure that the summaries are a faithful precis. In the case of shorter auras the summaries have been prepared verse-wise; in the case of longer suras the summaries have been prepared section-wise. It is open to the readers to glance through these summaries in the alphabetic order as given in the Digest, or study them in the order provided for in the Holy Qur'an. The Sura number has been indicated in the title in each case, and there can be no difficulty in reading the Digest of all the Suras in the traditional order.
Commandments. The Holy Qur'an is basically a book of commandments. In order to observe the commands, it is necessary that one should know in specific and definite terms what these commandments are. I have digested all the commands subject-wise in the idiom of the Holy Qur'an. These articles will help the readers have a clear concept of their obligations to Islam and thereby fortify their faith.
Allah. It is Allah Who is our Lord and Master. From Allah we come and to Allah we return. Each one of us is responsible to Allah in individual as well as collective capacity. Most of the difficulties in our lives arise from the fact that we are not able to forge a proper equation between Man and Allah. It is necessary that we should have a clear concept of Allah. We should not regard Allah as something abstract or remote; we should regard Allah as the Absolute Reality, living God, and very close to man. A greater part of the Holy Qur'an is devoted to the projection of the attributes of Allah. Allah, according to the Holy Qur'an, is known by no less than ninty-nine names, and each of these names embodies a specific attribute of Allah. In a number of articles arranged in alphabetic order I have digested what the Holy Qur'an says about the various attributes of Allah. That will help the believers in the realisation of the dimensions of Allah.
The Holy Prophet. The Holy Qur'an is basically a communication between Allah and the Holy Prophet. The Holy Qur'an provides us the privilege of sharing in this communication, The Holy Prophet stands at the peak of humanity. He is the greatest man of all times. The Holy Qur'an projects the personality of the Holy Prophet in proper perspective. Many details about the biography and the mission of the Holy Prophet can be read in the numerous verses of the Holy Qur'an. In a number of articles arranged in alphabetic order, I have digested what the Holy Qur'an says about the Holy Prophet, his qualities, his mission, and his achievements. The Digest can, therefore, be read with advantage as a biography of the Holy Prophet.
Injunctions of Islam. The message of the Holy Qur'an is the message of Islam.
The Holy Qur'an is the source of the Injunctions of Islam, which a believer should not only know, but which he should be able to understand and practise as well. In numerous articles I have digested all that the Holy Qur'an enjoins about the various Injunctions of Islam. These articles will help in the proper understanding of the Injunctions of Islam, and would serve as reminders of faith.
The Digest may under the circumstances be viewed as a Code highlighting the Injunctions of Islam.
Item Code: NAJ715 Author: Prof. Masudul Hasan Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2001 Publisher: Kitab Bhavan ISBN: 8171511562 Language: English Size: 10.0 inch x 8.0 inch Pages: 445 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 890 gms