Channel: Jamal Badawi
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Welcome back to another episode of Islamic focus, we're glad that you could join us Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you. Today we start a new series and our program 10 series dealing with the sources of Islam in today's program, it will be the Quran in introduction. I have joining me on the program is usual. Dr. jumada we have St. Mary's University brother Jamal Assalamu alaykum hottie
Okay, as I mentioned to our viewers, this is a new series that we're embarking on, I wonder if perhaps I could help you just relate this new series to the previous programs that we've done. Okay. And the first four series that we had in the program, we had basic focus on the matters of belief or faith, but the first one dealing with hate or monotheism and its impact on life, the second dealing with Prophethood the third dealing with Muhammad in the Bible, or the prophecies about the advent of Prophet Muhammad in the Old and New Testament, and the force dealing with various other aspects of Islamic belief such as soul life, death, resurrection, and related issues.
That amalgam if you will, of the first four series, which took us about 40 programs, was basically an elaboration on the first and fundamental pillars of Islam. the testimony of faith, or belief, part of
the fifth year is picked the other four pillars of Islam, the devotion and acts like prayers, the regular daily prayers, five times, charity, fasting and pilgrimage.
The six series is focused on another angle, or another aspect of Islamic teaching that is the moral teaching in Islam. And that does both with the question of ethics in general, basic questions about the nature of the human and his position in the universe. And how does the person relate to other people and to the creator and to the environment in general.
Some reasonably detailed discussion of the forbidden and lawful in Islam are lawful and unlawful in matters of food, drink, clothing, behavior, particularly question of sexual morality, and the last 10 programs in that particular series that will be basic, moral and virtuous. And
now, the seventh, eighth, and ninth series went beyond the matter of belief, worship, and moral teaching, to examine Islam as a complete way of life. The first of these three, that's the
seventh series, dealt with the social system of Islam, looking into general issues like the question of the universal brotherhood of mankind, a brotherhood of the faith for the issue pertaining to social responsibility in Islam. But the major part of that series focused mainly on the family understand position of woman and Islam, and their own
family and a standard
way of life, if you will.
The eighth series took another aspect of this complete way of life that is the economic system of Islam dealing with the question of consumption, and production and distribution within Islamic framework, the question of Riba or interest dealings and how could you establish an economy without it, a great deal of attention was given to the Muslim contribution to civilization, and silence as one aspect of Muslim attitude towards production and productivity, a specific question of alternative to market these were all included in the economic series. The last one we had the series number nine, dealt with the political system of Islam, in terms of its basic foundations and
principles, and the basic political process. According to Islam, ideal situation that Islam teaches not what people may do.
claiming to be Islamic, but what Islam actually teaches the question of succession to the Prophet. And we have gone into some detail indicating the virtues of the companions of the Prophet and showing that the Prophet left the choice to his followers to choose whoever they wish to have as their leader.
And discussion of the other guiding principles like questions of freedom and justice, rights of non Muslim minorities in an Islamic State, this were all covered. So all these three last series really that will be Islam as a way of life. But throughout all these nine series, we have been always quoting the Quran and saying the word of God and the prophetic tradition of Hadees. But we have never really gone into any depth trying to examine, what are these basic sources of Islam? What is the source from which those teachings are derived? And this is what we hoped would be accomplished in the series? Perhaps could we ask you to give us maybe a
sneak overview of what we might expect in this particular series? What might be covered? Certainly. First of all, when we deal with the sources of Islam,
there are two primary sources, there are other sources that are only supplementary or based on these two primary sources. But the first of course, is the Quran, the Word of God. And the second is the prophetic sayings, or Hadees.
Now, as far as the first source, which is the more important more fundamental one, we hope to look into some of the basic definitions and what is the nature of the Quran? As a revelation? How does it differ from other forms of revelation? We hope to be examined also the question of the source of the Quran, who was the author of the Quran, and I hope we just get as critical as you can and just try to really verify facts.
Thirdly, some aspects of the revelation of the Quran itself how it was revealed, how are the sutras, usually referred to as chapters, which is not a very good translation, but the closest are organized, how are the verses? Or is in the Quran put together?
A third aspect related to the Quran is the history of its compilation and recording How was the Quran preserved in this crucial issues that one has to make sure that the Quran
is the same as the will to the prophet or not, this is a matter that should be open for search and objective discussion.
Question of the challenge of the Quran itself,
which made in it also to manifestation of its source? Is there any challenge in the Quran that humans were not able to meet not only just in the natural beauty of the Quran, but also in the references are made to certain scientific things that were discovered centuries later, ahead of its time. But above all, even the challenge in terms of the wisdom and principles
included in the Quran.
We might touch briefly also on the so called aroma Quran or sciences, in plural of the Quran, which is something that has developed very early in the history of Islam, people trying to really make lots of study and examination of the Quran, its authority and
an authenticity and of course you can applies some similar questions to the examination of the prophetic sayings, their compilation in terms of history, their meaning, their classification, how could they be used and interpreted? So this order led to the methodology of finding the proper sources of information about Islamic teaching? Sounds like it should produce a very interesting series. And I hope so well getting into our program today. I think perhaps it might be appropriate if we begin with the Quran, the meaning of the word itself, could you explain
the what it means the word Quran? Well, the word Quran in Arabic comes from Cara and which carries two related meanings.
The most common meaning is reading or recitation. Because the Quran is read and decided this is one meaning related meaning also encara Arabic also means put together Gemma are compiled and put together and that could also be a reference of the compiling or adding or putting together of its,
you know, units basic units, usually if it has chapters or verses.
That is in terms of just the general etymological source of the word itself.
In terms of our definition of the Quran, the most
Common, and I would say, all unanimously agreed to definition of Muslim scholars of what the Quran is that it is the word of Allah, or God, capital G, the word of Allah, which was sent down or revealed to his last prophet, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
And who is recitation who is usually sufficient even is an act of worship.
If you look into the elements of that definition, first of all, it says it is the word of Allah, or God. And that makes it distinct from the words of any other human being, no matter who he is, even the words of Prophet Muhammad himself, when he's not receiving revelation is not regarded as foreign.
Secondly, it is the revealed part of the word of Allah. And that brings to our attention, the realization that not all the Word of God, or not all words of God have been revealed to us. The knowledge of God is infinite, is endless. But we did it talking about what he chose to reveal to us as human beings and communicate to us.
A third qualification of the definition that is not only revealed word of Allah, but revealed to his last prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. You recognize as we have indicated in previous series that God or Allah has revealed also scriptures and teachings
to previous prophets, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other great prophets in history. But of course, this cannot be technically called Quran. Quran is the last revelation, particularly the one that come has come through the prophet Muhammad, the last prophet. And the first part of the definition is that is that not only is the meaning of the Quran, holy, but even its own words are holy, because it is the direct Word of God. It's not just the meaning inspired into the prophets heart and then he uses his own words. It is verbatim, the word of Allah and that is why it's common. As you know, in Muslim countries that people even seek to recite Quran as an act of worship. It is a devotional act in
itself to recite the Quran, even in some Muslim countries where the Arabic language is not the mother tongue. Still, people try hard to recite the Quran Of course, it's more desirable to understand, in addition to recite, but even the recitation itself is a commendable act and illegitimate acts of worship. One final comment on this name of the Quran it is interesting also like Islam, remember in the very first series, we said that the name Islam, the term is not a term that is given by outsiders or related to one race or group and so on. It is in the Quran itself. The name of the Quran itself as a holy book, or the revelation of Allah isn't the Quran itself. I
counted using the concordance of the Quran nearly 70 places in the Quran where the term Quran for the new Quran appears in inside the Quran itself.
Now other other terms that you mentioned the frequency of the use of the word in the Quran itself, are there other terms? Other names of the Quran? Yes, there are and maybe if I will focus more on the names that appear in the Quran in addition to the term or on
the Quran was mentioned also given the name of Al Khattab that is V book. And that's an interesting like Dr. dress, a very prominent author on the subject of the Quran indicates. He said the fact that it's called both Koran which come from recitation. And keytab, which comes from writing is a reflection of the protection of the Quran both through recitation or memorizing, as well as through preservation in writing. So that's quite revealing, as a name.
Another name given in the Quran that appears in the beginning of the 25th surah is Al Furqan. And alpha can in Arabic means the criterion that is to say the criterion, which divides between truth and falsehood between right and wrong. And of course, the revelation of God is the truth. So it gives us the way or the test or the criterion for distinction. It is also mentioned for example, in chapter 15, as advic the reminder, because it reminds us of our creators reminds us of our duty as human beings. It reminds us of our destiny, and returning back to our Creator.
It is also described given the name of actin zeal that is something that has come down or revelation that came down like for example in chapter or Surah 26
Verse 192 in the Quran
in chapter four in the Quran, verse 174. It's also called Noora Medina manifest light, because of the bringing people from the darkness of ignorance in the creation to the true pass of the teaching, authentic teaching of the Lord or the Creator.
It is also described as hidden like in the beginning of the second Surah in the Quran, which means guidance,
as she said, are healing healing of what healing of the heart healing the disease's psychological or spiritual diseases. It is healing also for people who are suffering because whenever they feel
you know, sad and
agonizing they can go to the Quran and do that they find soothing things in their situation as
it is described as either or exaltation. As Bashir on one tear and Brinker of glad tidings and warning.
Mubarak blessed Aziz Bernard Majeed, glorious, and one of the most beautiful means actually of the Quran is
mercy. Because the Quran is mercy unto mankind is mercy because by following the Quran by following the last scripture or revealed word of the Creator, people can learn how to be merciful to each other to themselves, they also qualified to deserve the mercy of the Creator. So these are all names. Sometimes you find that in one single passage or area in the Quran, more than one name is given, let me cost you one just to you know, sure how the names connect with each other. Yeah, you had nasaka, Jad Kumar,
where she said when the masses were hidden,
in the very single base, you have four names, all mankind, there has come to you referring to the current
direction or frustration from your Lord and healing that is of the heart and a guidance and and mercy for those who believe
that regardless of whatever his name is used to refer to the Quran, which is of course, the more common name, it is quite different from any other revelation, including human happiness or the prophetic saints.
Any definition of the Quran he did say that it is different from the Hadees or the prophetic sayings, yes, and how is it different?
That's an interesting part because while both the Quran and Hadees were uttered by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, they are kept totally distinct, and very soil is totally different, even though they consider the same thing. Because in one case, the case of the Quran, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him had no control on the words, the Quran was dictated to him or revealed, both in meaning, and in words. Whereas in the Hadees, which was also uttered by him and made, it made it clear that this is distinct and separate from the Quran, you may have received, in most cases, an expression or revelation from God, but not in Word in meaning, and then he used his own words to explain it. But
since we're on that subject, I think it would be useful perhaps, since we made already the distinction between the Quran and prophetic saying, whether it's revelation by meaning and word or just meaning that even in the case of Hadith, or prophetic settings, there are two broad categories. One is called Hadith kotze.
For the lack of better term, let's say divine, saying God, divine Hadees,
which is an inspiration to the prophet in meaning. But he uses a term such as God's revealed sound source, so he's almost like quoting the creator of cutting God, but that's again separate from the Quran.
This category, in fact, does not mean that the Prophet received the exact wording of that saying, even though it may say God said this, because we find many instances in the Quran, where it talks about the stories of different prophets and quotes them, it caught the essence of what they said, but not necessarily the data, exactly the exact words that they they uttered.
But the the second broad category is the prophetic saying, prophetic saying could be of two types in turn. There are prophetic sayings which are derived from this basic
revelation or inspiration given to the Prophet, which means that the meaning of the Hadees the essence of it was revealed the Prophet Muhammad but the
He used his own words to express that, and that's the cold coffee. The second type is tofurkey, which means that the Prophet did not receive a specific revelation to say what he said. But he based his saying, on contemplation on thinking on his understanding of the Quran. So he did not receive a direct revelation, but even that second category is subject to correction. And find instance whenever the Prophet said something, or came up with his own interpretation, which is contrary to the will of the Creator, he was immediately corrected. So the second part even has the authority. So with that distinction between this Hades saying prophetic sayings,
and the subdivision even within the prophetic same,
we find that in all cases they are distinct from the Quran. To summarize in four basic things, one, the Quran is a revelation of meaning and words verbatim
to the mere recitation of the Quran is an act of worship, but reciting the saying of the Prophet is not an act of worship, you recite it for learning but not for worship.
Thirdly, the Quran contains challenge to mankind to produce anything similar to it the hardest doesn't. In other words, the Quran asserts that it is impossible for anyone to emulate the Quran in beauty and wisdom contents. But the same challenge in terms of at least literate literally,
beauty is not in Hades in Doha. This is also eloquent. And Firstly, that the compilation and collection of the Quran and its preservation has been done in such a way that leaves absolutely no question, no doubt about
its authenticity. Because it did not only come through one or two, it came through a multitude upon multitudes, both in writing and memorization. But in the case of prophetic settings, there are some categories of prophetic saying that gets close to the Quran, in its authenticity, but not all of them have the same and that's the basic difference also, between the Quran and prophetic sing I apologize. This this point might have been a bit technical, but I think it's useful to make that distinction between these different forms of revenue revelation.
Well, I think perhaps, for people who are unfamiliar, there might be some confusion in their mind as to the if the Quran was in fact, dictated word for word.
So what was the role of Prophet Muhammad? Okay, well, the Prophet Muhammad peace be alone did not just act like what you could have like the tape recorder, somebody just repeating what he hears, yes, he was in charge, of course, he was directed by Allah to recite the Quran exactly, as he dictated. But if you had no role whatsoever, the Quran could have been revealed as well on videotape or some tape or in tablets, without even the agency of any human being. So the question I think, is quite legitimate. What What role is he playing? If he's simply repeating the dictation given by engine Gabrielle? Well, first of all, he has the jetty out of the road, to understand and comprehend
the Quran as well as memorize it. This is one aspect of understanding. Secondly, he has the duty to communicate that to mankind. And mankind, of course, can relate easier and understand better when another human is communicating rather than as some voice and non voice or piece of equipment, you know, they're communicating
assertively, and that's an important role of the Prophet, that he was not simply to receive the Quran and recite it to the pupil or communicate it. He was supposed to exemplify it and he did, to exemplify it in his own life, and to try to apply it also in the society and the Muslim community around him.
Firstly, he has the duty also to interpret the Quran.
The Quran, sometimes deal with broader issues and problems, which need some interpretation, how it could be applied, that was also the role of the Prophet.
All of these words are definitely very important and requires a human model to show how the Quran becomes a living reality in the lives of the believers.
Now, your answer seems to relate somewhat to comparisons that some oriental evangelists make between Prophet Jesus peace be upon him in the Quran. Both are regarded as the Word of God by their respective followers.
What is your comment on this?
The comparison, while it might sound
logical, suffers from some basic flaws. I'm aware of that because like you said, some auditors for example would say, well, the basic difference. And the interpretation of the term WORD OF GOD between Muslims and Christian is that in the case of Christianity, the Word became flesh in the form of Jesus peace be upon him. For the Muslims, it's simply the word in a book. So he talked about blood and flesh versus a book.
But like I said, the number of comments that has to be made on this kind of, you know, incorrect analogy, if you will,
to start with when the Muslim says, and the Quran actually says not only Christian, Quran says that Jesus was a word from God. But the meaning is a little different than what the Christian theologians normally attached to the term, because to them, the Word of God means divine because it's part of God. Whereas when the Quran speaks about Word of God, it talks in plural
and Jesus peace be upon him not as the one and only Word of God or the Word of God. As a word from him, walk out the Kalamata man has the Quran puts it a word. What does that word mean? That is explained as well in the Quran,
that it says that the command of God when he when he when something is simply to say to be, and it is, in the
sutra of the Quran, for example, towards the end, there is mentioned that about the seats in the series were like ink for the words of God, the words of God would have not been or would not be exhausted. So the Word of God is not only one word, and the word de itself is a reflection of that. So this is one thing to keep in mind. The Muslim done.
Jesus was a word from God, so as Mohammed, so I, you, and I, and everybody else, you are created by the command of God through our word,
or words of God. That's a
clarification of the term first.
it is also incorrect to compare, for example, just the Quran with Jesus and say that these are the analogous because according to the Quran, at least from a Muslim standpoint, Jesus Himself also received a revelation from the Creator. And the Quran insists he received a book or scriptures and in jail. Now, the good news, if you will know evangel, simply translated. So in that sense, Jesus and Muhammad are similar. Both of them are words of God like everybody else. And both of them received also a book. So why do you compare one person with a book? That's the second,
the third part perhaps is even more important? Because when the analogy is made, that the essence of the Word of God in Christianity is in the person of Jesus. And in the case of Islam, it is in a book, it seems to give the impression around one that it is a book really versus a person as indicated earlier. Another have indicated already in the answer to the previous question, that the role of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was not simply uttering the words of the Quran, but living the Quran, exemplifying that in his life and in the life of the community around him. No wonder, we find that when his wife, Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked, what was the
characterization of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him? her answer was very simple, very simple.
He said she said Can a hollowcore Quran his character was the Quran. That is he was a living Quran a working crown chakra is not just a book, it's the Prophet also acted as the exemplify of of that book.
We'll have to conclude our program at that for today because we've exhausted our time. We want to thank you for watching and let you back. Next week. We'll continue with our new series dealing with the sources of Islam. Some further discussion regarding the author, authorship of the grant. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be on to you