The holy Quran is Allah's final message to this world, revealed during the 7th century over a period of 23 years to the last Prophet of God, Muhammad (PBUH), who lived in Arabia. Allah chose Muhammad (PBUH) to be His last Prophet to the whole of mankind, unlike previous Prophets who were sent to specific nations.
The Quran that we read today contains the same words and the same letters that were spoken directly by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about 1400 years ago. This is quite impressive!
When we look at other religions the miracle of the Quran becomes clear! The Buddhists have many different holy books and no one is certain who wrote them. The Hindus have numerous books filled with stories of fantastic gods, monsters, war stories and philosophies which are difficult to accept as true. The language of the Hindu book, 'Sanskrit', is a dead language. The ancient Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew of the Jews and ancient Christians is no longer spoken the same way today. The Buddhist writings are written in any number of languages and have no connection to any original source documents. Arabic however, has been preserved and is studied by Muslims all over the world.
This fact about the Quran being unchanged since it was revealed should come as no surprise as God has told us in the Quran that He will guard it:-
"Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur'an) and surely We will guard it (from corruption)." (Al-Hijr 15:9).
(Note:- It is a feature of literary style in Arabic that a person may refer to himself by the pronoun nahnu ("We") for respect or glorification. This is known in English as "The Royal We")
The Quran is a book of great power and miracles. No other book has been read or memorised more than the Quran. From the perfect way it uses expressions to get its point across to the rhythm of its verses when recited aloud. It contains scientific statements which no human being could have known at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) nor for over a thousand years later! To add to all this, many 'young' children have memorized the 'whole' Quran, even though some speak a 'different' language to that of the Quran i.e. Arabic, which in itself is impressive!
It is a book which provides guidance for humans both in their personal and spiritual affairs. It is unlike any other book on the planet! It is the book given to us by the Creator of the Universe.
The Quran is a miracle like no other. Other miracles given to other Prophets took place during their lifetime, whereas the miracle of the Quran sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) remains effective, everlasting and challenging until the Day of Resurrection.
One such challenge is to produce a single chapter comparable to any in the Quran, even though the smallest chapter (Al-Kauthar 108) has ONLY 10 words! This chapter is shown below:-
It says in the Quran regarding this challenge:-
"And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'an) to Our slave (Muhammad (PBUH)), then bring a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful. But if you do it not, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers." (Al-Baqarah 2:23-24).
Regarding this statement, no one has yet met this challenge, and as such it is not possible, since the Quran comes from Allah. However, one may argue that why would Arabs challenge the Quran when they are themselves muslims? Firstly, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived amongst Arab pagans (i.e. Arab non-muslims) who were known to be well-versed in poetry and yet they did not meet this challenge. Secondly, not every Arab today is a muslim - there are millions of Christian Arabs in the Arab world, millions! Have they meet the challenge? Again, it is not possible as the Qur'an is what it claims to be - a divine revelation from the Lord of the universe i.e. Allah.
Refering to a stereotype that may arise in the mind of some people that every Arab is a Muslim and that Islam is a religion for Arabs only, statistics show that only 18% of Muslims live in the Arab world; 20% are found in Sub-Saharan Africa, about 30% in the South Asian region of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and the world's largest single Muslim community (within the bounds of one nation) is in Indonesia. There are also significant Muslim populations in China, Europe, Central Asia, and Russia. Thus, Islam is not a religion or way of life only for Arabs, and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was not only sent for the Arab nation only, but rather, as God says in the Quran, he was sent to the whole of mankind, thus the message of Islam is for the whole of mankind:-
"We sent you (Muhammad) not, but as a Mercy for all creatures." (Al-Anbiyaa 21:107).
Regarding the language of the Quran, the Quran was revealed in Arabic and as such the actual Quran is Arabic. Many translations are available to try to help people understand the amazing Quran, however it must be noted that a translation is not the Quran itself (i.e. the words of God). Translations of the Quran can never be as good as the original text in Arabic; there is no perfect translation from one language to another. However, for non-arabic speakers, many translations are available around the world which provide us with access to the meaning of the Quran.
Refering to the actual Quran, there are millions of Qurans around the world in Arabic and all of them have exactly the same text. No one else can say that about their books. Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists have only faulty translations of parts of their lost ancient holy books to use. The original writings were lost a long time ago. Since then we find that people have been able to add, change or delete various parts of these scriptures.
For example we have today many versions of the Bible and we find that no two Bibles are alike! One will have whole books or verses that the other one doesn't etc.! So to summarise, the Quran contains the words of Allah, His instructions etc. and its authenticity is proved by signs, miracles, and the fact that it will answer your questions, that it contains no errors or any contradictions, that it hasn't been changed or tampered with since it was revealed around 1400 years ago, that it is still relevant today and that it will always be relevant and that it agrees with what we find in creation. So if you are looking for the truth, then it is available to you! The Quran - The book of Allah.
Click below to listen to a beautiful recitation of the first Surah (Chapter) of the Quran, or alternatively right click and click on 'save target as' to download this file to your desktop:-
Surah Al-Fatihah (The Opening)
Shown below is the translation of the meaning of this chapter:-
1. In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
2. All praise and thanks are Allah's, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
3. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
4. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).
5. You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).
6. Guide us to the Straight Way.
7. The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.
To find out more about the miracles of the Quran look at the 'Quranic Miracles' section.