Romaan Basit, Final-Year Student, Jamia Ahmadiyya UK
Sweden is seeing yet another rising wave of anti-Muslim sentiment. A copy of the Quran was burnt in public this Easter weekend, causing violent riots in response. Rasmus Paludan, leader of far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), wrote on Facebook that it was “time to burn the Quran”, which he carried out last Thursday in the city of Linkoping.
The reaction was fierce; vehicles were set on fire and stones were thrown at the far-right group in protest, with the nation seeing the highest level of violence it has ever witnessed according to national police chief Anders Thornberg.
Danish politician, Paludan is no stranger to such controversy. In 2020, a similar plan was hatched to burn the Quran in Sweden, causing a parallel violent reaction. In the same year, Paludan was jailed in Denmark for offensive behaviour, banned from Sweden for two years and prevented from entering Germany amidst plans of a provocative demonstration in Berlin.
Far-right groups like Stram Kurs have declared war against Islam. They aim to rid the West of such a “violent” and “repressive” ideology, and have proved they will go to any length to do so; hence why atrocities such as Quran-burnings are becoming increasingly common.
What they do not realise is that burning physical copies of the Quran will never erase it from the hearts of the people. Safeguarding the Quran is a responsibility that Allah has taken on Himself. He says in the Holy Quran itself:
“Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.” (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.10)
The Quran has been preserved in its entirety; not only in letter but also in spirit. Every other divine scripture has been altered. The Quran, however, is the only book that has remained unchanged in the face of constant attempts to interpolate and even destruct it – from the wrongful interpretation by extremists to the burning of the Quran by the likes of Stram Kurs.
If all copies of the Quran were to disappear from the world
The reality is, even if every single Quran on the face of this earth was to be burnt, the Quran would remain preserved to the letter; in fact, it could be reproduced in a matter of days. This is a claim that no other scripture can make.
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra explains this in Tafsir-e-Kabir:
“If all copies of the Quran were to disappear from the world, even then, within a couple of days, the entire Quran can be reproduced. We can instantly reproduce it to the letter even in a small town like Qadian, not to speak of larger cities.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, p. 18)
One might wonder how this is possible. As mentioned, Allah the Almighty has promised to safeguard the Quran. For this, there are certain means of preservation in place to assure this. For example, since the beginning of Islam up till this day, there have always been people who have committed the entire text to memory. Also, the verses of the Quran were always written down and then compiled in a book form.
Regarding this, the Promised Messiahas has written:
“Hundreds of thousands of Muslims know the whole of the Quran by heart, thousands of commentaries have been written upon it, its verses are read in Prayers five times every day. It is recited by its followers daily, millions of its copies have been spread throughout the world, and its teachings have become known to the people of every nation. All these things compel sane reason to believe that it is impossible for any kind of interpolation or alteration to ever find its way into the Holy Quran.” (Brahin–e-Ahmadiyya, Part 2, p. 119)
There are other ways in which the Quran has been preserved, which have been mentioned at length by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra in Tafsir-e-Kabir Vol. 4. A detailed discussion of this can be found in the following article:
Therefore, yes, although the burning of the Quran is extremely inflammatory and provocative, this incident gives us proof of a living God who is All-Powerful. Despite all attempts, the Quran can never be erased. We should rejoice to know that no man can ever destroy what Allah the Almighty has vowed to preserve and safeguard.
How should Muslims react to the Quran-burning?
A question that naturally arises is how Muslims should react to such behaviour. When similar events took place in Sweden in 2020, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa not only condemned the burning of the Quran but also gave guidance on how Muslims should respond.
During the virtual mulaqat of the national amila of Sweden, Huzooraa stated:
“The reason why this is happening is that they do not know the true teachings of Islam and the Holy Quran. Moreover, due to the actions of some terrorists amongst the Muslims, these people get the impression that such things might actually be written in the Quran.
“They try to grab on to one verse that instructs the believers to do qitaal or to fight, whilst overlooking the rest of the verses which explain the circumstances or context enabling this permission.
“So, these people should be made aware of these teachings, and you should make your plans to propagate the true teachings in accordance with this.”
A violent response is never the answer. The only practical and effective response is to educate the masses about the true peaceful teachings of Islam. To do so, we must first educate ourselves; and even better, act on its teachings and become a living example of what this magnificent book stands for. This is what Islam is all about.