Lessons From The Stories of The Qur’an

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Foreword   It is an honour to me to be asked to write a foreword to the work of an erudite author, from whom during my student days I have learnt many things by which I am still profiting.   The Judeo-Christian authors have so much produced on Islam and on the venerated Prophet of Islam that it is time that Muslims too think of beginning to repay the debt. The Judeo-Christians will certainly profit by a perusal of this book whi...

Foreword

 

It is an honour to me to be asked to write a foreword to the work of an erudite author, from whom during my student days I have learnt many things by which I am still profiting.

 

The Judeo-Christian authors have so much produced on Islam and on the venerated Prophet of Islam that it is time that Muslims too think of beginning to repay the debt. The Judeo-Christians will certainly profit by a perusal of this book which, far from being a polemic against them, is an attempt to reglorify the names so dear to them. For every Muslim believes in the Prophets of yore as he believes in Muhammad (sallal-lahu’ alaihi-wa-sallam).

 

Truth and nothing but truth is the ultimate goal of every searcher in matters religious. Stress can never be laid too much on the fact that one must interest in the question: wherefrom do I come?--in order to distinguish oneself from mere animals and beasts who, like us, eat, drink, sleep, multiply themselves and die. Religious question is no more a la mode, but need is there that someone tells us that we are neglecting our duties to our own selves.

 

It is rare to find among Muslims such authors as simultaneously are well versed in both Qur’anic and Biblical lores. In dealing with the stories of the Biblical and other Prophets the author has shown a comprehensive grasp of the subject and has tried to remove the misconceptions the Bible creates about these holy personages in the mind of its readers. I am sure, the reader will greatly profit by the vast amount of knowledge collected in this book.

 

Introduction

 

God as declared by Himself in the Qur’an is the Rabbul- ‘Alamin, the Creator, Evolver, Sustainer and Cherisher of all the creatures and everything else in the world. His providence encompasses not only the entire physical side of human beings but it also furnishes them with the means of spiritual sustenance to enable them to attain to the ideal of becoming his vicegerents on earth. For this reason Prophets were raised who, by their teachings, preachings, and their practical application to life, tried to guide mankind in the proper use of everything made available to it by God for realising that ideal. Man by the use of his intellect, as mentioned in connection with Adam in the Qur’an, cannot reach this stage of perfection by himself. Therefore it was said:

 

(1) When there comes to you a guidance from Me, then whoso follows My guidance, no fear shall be on them, nor shall they grieve. And those who choose disbelief and belie Our signs, these be the companions of fire; in that they abide (ii. 38-39).

 

As these Prophets were raised to guide men to attain their perfection, it was necessary that they themselves should be perfect specimens of humanity to serve as models to and reformers of mankind. The Qur’an says that:

 

(i) All nations of the world were provided with spiritual guidance through their Prophets:

(2) And every community had its warner (xxxv. 24).

(3) And for each community there was a messenger (x. 47). (ii) These Prophets were all human beings, as human beings only could serve as perfect models to and reformers of mankind:

(4) And nothing prevents men from believing when the guidance comes to them except that they say: Does God raise up a human being as a messenger? Say: Had there been in the earth angels walking therein as settlers, surely We would have caused to come down upon them from above an angel as a messenger (xvii. 94-95).

(5) And we sent not before thee except men whom we gave Our command. Therefore ask ye of the people of the Book if you know not. And We gave them, not bodies not taking food and they were not exempt from death (xxi. 7-8).

(iii) All these Prophets were sinless:

(6) It is not attributable to a prophet that he should act unfaithfully (iii. 160).

(iv) They were all given books for the guidance of their people:

(7) Then God sends His Prophets (Anbiya), bearers of glad tidings and so warners, and He sends with them the Book with the truth (ii. 213).

(8) Surely We have sent Our messengers (Rusul) with clear proofs and We have sent down with them the Book and the balance that mankind may keep up justice (I vii. 25).

(v) Only some among them were mentioned by name but there were many more whose names were not mentioned:

(9) And there are messengers We have related to thee ere this and messengers We have not related to thee (iv. 164).

(vi) Belief in the Prophets of all nations is an essential article of a Muslim’s faith and forms the basis of the brotherhood of all nations:

(10) And who believe in what has been sent to thee and what was sent before thee (ii. 4).

 

In: our book entitled Tenets of Islam under the heading “Belief in Prophets” we have dealt fully with this subject. We refer the reader to it for further elucidation.

 

The Qur’an is not a book of history or biography. When referring to the Prophets the Qur’an speaks of their work for the grand object of reformation, their particular traits, the reactions of their people to their teachings and of the extent of their success to establish truth and uprooting evil. Mostly such incidents are chosen from their lives as contained parallel to what happened in the life of Muhammad (may his religion prevail) and which could bring comfort and solace to the Prophet and his followers in facing persecution and its consequent distress, confirming from the illustrations of previous sacred history that truth shall ultimately be established and opposition fail.

 

(11) These are announcements relating to the unseen which We reveal to thee. Thou didst not know them, neither thou nor thy people before this. Therefore be patient: surely the end is for those who are righteous (xi. 40).

(12) And all We related to thee of the accounts of the apostles is to strengthen thy heart therewith and in this has come to thee the truth and admonition and a reminder to the believers (xi. 120).

(13) And those who disbelieve say: Why has not the Qur’an been revealed to him all at once. Just so, in order that We may steady thy heart therewith, and We have arranged it well in arranging (xxv. 32).

 

The Qur’an does not concern itself with the details of the lives of these Prophets. It only lays stress on one fact that all Prophets delivered the message of Unity of the Divine Being and invited their people to obey this Being and do good to fellow-men.

 

In narrating these stories the Qur’an has brought out facts which enhance the moral value of these narratives and remove the defects and contradictions which have found way into sacred history due to manipulation of facts or carelessness in recording them. Whatever slur is cast on the character of a Prophet in the narratives of the Bible or Jewish and Christian tradition, the Qur’an has invariably vindicated it. This affords the clearest evidence that Divine inspiration and not any previous record or tradition was the source from which the Holy Prophet obtained information. By doing away with the profanity of sacred history, the Qur’an has done immeasurable service to the Bible itself. This fact is hinted at in the following verses of the Qur’an:

 

(14) In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a narrative which could be forget but a verification of what is before it and distinct explanation of all things and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe (xii. 111).

(15) We relate to thee their story with truth (xviii. 13).

(16) We relate to thee the best of stories by revealing to thee this Qur’an though before this thou wast certainly of the unaware ones (xii. 3).

(17) Thus do We recite to thee the histories of what passed of old and indeed We have given to thee a Reminder from Ourselves (xx. 99).

 

The above-quoted verses of the Qur’an must indeed be enough to satisfy that modernised section of the Muslims who are the advocates of “Liberal Islam” being awed by the Western civilisation and thought, and having not studied the Qur’an properly, that the Prophet did not make use of traditions of his time in the narratives he gave of the Prophets, but that the incidents referred to by him were, before his inspiration came, unknown to the Prophet and his audiences alike, and that what he said about these Prophets was the. absolute truth delivered to him through the medium of God’s angel Gabriel.

 

There are also people who feel that by the repetition of same incidents in these stories of the Prophets a sort of redundance, a disqualification in their estimation, has been created in the true word of God. It is wholly a misconception. Repetition in the Qur’an has a purpose of its own. The Qur’an was not written as a book by somebody sitting in a cloister. It is the record of collected open- air sermons by a man who was inspired by the Holy Spirit. His audience on every occasion consisted of different people, each of whom was entitled to learn what was told to the others before. Such things as had to be emphasised and driven deep into the hearts of the listeners had to be repeated. The Qur’an is the best example of highly effective rhetoric. So the repetition; but they are so dovetailed within other items that if we place them all in one place they will not be a tautological discourse. Something new is found in every repetition if examined with reference to its context.

 

The modem Christian and other critics of the Qur’an audaciously assert that the sources of the information of the Prophet were the Bible or those Jews and Christians of his time who came into contact with him. Let us now examine if there is any truth at all in these allegations.

 

The Qur’anic concept of God in its sublime purity and majesty is so radically different from the ridiculous and horribly unclean conception given by the Bible that one having no bias is constrained to admit that Muhammad could possibly have no inspiration from the Bible or the Jews or the Christians of his time. He would have thrown the Bible away if he could have ever read a chapter of Exodus, Deuternomy or the gospels. But he had no access to the Bible. It was not translated in his time into Arabic. He could not have reproduced the Bible stories on the basis of hearsay, for the stories given by him are partly confirmed by the Bible and partly by those writings which the Jews and Christians of that time preserved as non-canonial and apocryphal secrets, and at the same time avoided their manipulations and blasphemies. As a matter of fact he came into contact with the Jews in his later days in Madinah where their relations were never cordial but on a war-footing, and. he had given mostly the facts about the former Prophets before that time.

 

No religion can be based on documents which portray its own Prophets, leaders and religious men is Satanic colours. For example, the Bible speaks of deceit and lies attributed to Abraham, cheating and treachery to Issac and Jacob, adultery to David, incest to Lot, idol-worship to Aaron, apostasy to Solomon, and inhuman brutalities to Moses and Joshua, and at the same time calls all of them men after God’s own heart, pointing unconsciously perhaps to the defect in God Himself of approving nefarious and heinous practices.

 

In the course of the accounts given of the Prophets in this book as narrated by the Qur’an, we have shown in detail all those calumnies which the Bible heaps up on the holy character of the Prophets and of which the Qur’an clears them. This is a further proof that the Qur’an does not borrow its material from the Bible or the Jewish literature.

 

In clear contract to these contaminated Biblical accounts stand the pure sublime theism and the practical code of morals contained in the Qur’an, proving that it could not have been derived from either the Jews or the Christians. The Jews of his time never claimed to be Muhammad’~ teachers nor did the Christians of his day, and no twisting of historical facts has been successful in proving this claim. The great historian Gibbon had to admit that no such thing could have ever happened. He says.

 

Contents

 

 

Foreword

v

 

Introduction

vi

i.

The Story of Adam

1

ii.

The Story of the Prophet Nuh (Noah)

29

iii.

The Story of the Prophets Hud and Salih

42

iv.

The Story of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)

52

v.

The Story of the Prophet Lut (Lot)

65

vi.

The Story of the Prophet Isma’il (lshmael)

69

vii.

The Story of the Prophets Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya’qub (Jacob)

74

viii.

The Story of the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph)

78

ix.

The Story of the Prophet Shu’aib

109

x.

The Story of the Prophet Yunus (Jonah)

115

xi.

The Story of the Prophet Ayyub (Job)

118

xii.

The Story of the Prophet Musa (Moses)

120

xiii.

The Story of the Prophet Harun (Aaron)

150

xiv.

The Story of the Prophet Da’ud (David)

153

xv.

The Story of the Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon)

161

xvi.

The Story of the Prophets Zachariah and Yahya (John the Baptist)

174

xvii.

Other Prophets Mentioned in the Qur’an

18q

xviii.

Other Stories of the Qur’an

183

 

Index

209

 

Sample Page


Item Code: NAH243 Author: Ali Musa Raza Muhajir Cover: Paperback Edition: 2005 Publisher: Kitab Bhavan ISBN: 817151166x Language: English Size: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 232 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 310 gms
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