Unrivalled preservation and spiritual significance of the Holy Quran

Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam

The Promised Messiahas stated about the Holy Quran in one of his couplets:

کس سے اس نور کى ممکن ہو جہاں مىں تشبیہ

وہ تو ہر بات میں ہر وصف میں یکتا نکلا

“The similitude of this light [i.e., the Holy Quran] cannot be found in the entire world,

“For it is unique in every way, and matchless in every quality.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part III, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1, 1982, p. 274)

Among the sacred texts of various religions, the Holy Quran stands unique as the only scripture that is recited multiple times within a month. Muslims across the globe engage in daily recitation, with the month of Ramadan dedicated to its thorough and complete reading. This practice, embraced by Muslims in every country, highlights the Holy Quran’s distinct place as a universally recited text, a characteristic unparalleled by any other religious book.

The Promised Messiahas writes:

“I reflected over the word Quran and then it became evident to me that this blessed word in itself contains a magnificent prophecy. The prophecy is that this book alone is the Quran, i.e. a book that is worthy of being recited, and there will be a time when this will be the case even more so than before. In the era when other books will also be recited alongside the Quran, the Quran alone shall be worthy of being recited so that the honour of Islam may be saved and falsehood may be uprooted; other books will deserve to be forsaken completely.” (Malfuzat [English], Vo. 3, p. 9)

Without a doubt, the Holy Quran stands unparalleled in its splendour and supremacy across all dimensions when compared to other religious scriptures. Its unmatched preservation, the breadth of content, linguistic richness, and depth of its teachings highlight the Holy Quran’s exceptional nature. Beyond being the culmination of Islamic law and guidance, it showcases remarkable miracles and unique distinctions in every aspect.

Beyond Islam, the world’s major religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, and Jainism, hold a rich tapestry of sacred texts. A notable development occurred upon the advent of the Promised Messiahas; it was during his era that the scriptures from these diverse religions were extensively translated and made widely accessible. This pivotal moment allowed individuals from all walks of life to explore, study, and compare these holy texts, paving the way for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the truth across different faiths.

Reflecting the era marked by a significant linguistic milestone, the sacred texts that had remained bound to their local vernaculars for centuries were translated into English, the lingua franca of our time. This Herculean effort, overseen by the distinguished orientalist, researcher, and linguist Friedrich Max Müller (1823-1900), culminated in the creation of the Sacred Books of the East. This comprehensive 50-volume anthology, published by Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom, began in 1887 and was completed in 1910 with a detailed index. Through this groundbreaking project, religious texts from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, and Islam were made accessible globally, unveiling centuries-old knowledge to a worldwide audience. (“Sacred Books of the East”, wikipedia.org)

By complementing Müller’s extensive collection with earlier translations of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, revered by Jews and Christians, the breadth of accessible sacred texts from major religions during the era of the Promised Messiahas is significantly enhanced. Consequently, this initiative ensured that the foundational scriptures of nearly all major religions present during the Promised Messiah’sas lifetime became accessible to a global audience.

Reflecting solely on Müller’s work, the estimated page count for each volume ranges from 400 to 600 pages. This brings the total for Müller’s 50-volume compilation to approximately 20,000 to 30,000 pages, offering a profound exploration of religious texts from multiple traditions. This extensive collection, representing a significant scholarly effort, serves as a crucial resource for those seeking to understand the underpinnings of various faiths around the world.

These sacred texts were meticulously translated from seven languages, including Sanskrit, Arabic, Pali, Pahlavi, and Chinese, involving a roster of distinguished translators. This effort underscores the transition of ancient and, in some cases, scarcely used languages into English, making these treasures accessible to a wider audience. Unlike these languages, many of which have limited contemporary use and are considered classical or even “dead” languages, Arabic – the language of the Holy Quran – remains vibrant and widely spoken. This distinction highlights the Quran’s unique accessibility and its continuous impact on millions of people who engage with it in its original language, underscoring its unparalleled preservation and relevance in the modern world.

While the Bible has been translated into a vast array of world languages, making it broadly accessible, questions linger about the preservation of its original texts and languages. Unlike the Holy Quran, which is recited and understood in its original Arabic by a vast global community, the original languages of the Bible do not have the same level of living engagement. This difference raises considerations about the continuity and direct connection of believers with the original scriptural messages, emphasising the Quran’s distinctive preservation and the active use of its original language.

It is noteworthy that among the texts mentioned, none assert the spiritual reward of their recitation in the way the Holy Quran does. The Quran uniquely promotes the idea that reciting its verses not only purifies the soul but also enhances the reader’s spirituality, piety, and purity. Additionally, these other scriptures do not present themselves as paragons of eloquence, a quality the Quran is celebrated for. This distinction underlines the Quran’s singular position as a source of both spiritual enlightenment and linguistic mastery.

Moreover, the Holy Quran stands alone as the only religious scripture that has remained unchanged since its revelation, a testament to its unparalleled safeguarding over centuries. This distinctive characteristic of the Quran highlights its exceptional status among religious texts, underscoring its enduring authenticity and purity.

Amidst these insights into the Holy Quran’s unique attributes, we are drawn to a verse that captures its essence and the divine challenge it poses:

وَلَقَدۡ ىَسَّرۡنَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ لِلذِّکۡرِ فَہَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّکِرٍ

“And indeed We have made the Qur’an easy [to understand and] to remember. But is there anyone who would receive admonition?” (Surah al-Qamar, Ch.54: V.18)

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