1. What is the Qur’an?

The Qur’an is the last scripture that has been revealed to mankind
by the Lord Creator and Protector. It was through the Last Messenger,
Muhammad (), that the world first heard of it. It certainly is the
divine scripture that is to be accepted by all, upto the very last man.
The term ‘Qur’an’ has the meanings of ‘the recitation’, or ‘that
which is to be recited’ and of ‘that which is recited.’ Indeed, the Qur’an
itself has employed the connotation ‘the scripture that is recited’ in
connection with this term (13:31). Unlike the earlier scriptures, the
Qur’an is never a compilation of legal pronouncements or code of
laws (Taurat), or hymns (Zaboor) or a collection of Gospel or good
news (Injeel). It is highly probable that the Qur’an has been named as
the last scripture because each one of its words is to be repeatedly
read by thousands upon thousands of its believers and is to be so
etched into their hearts so as to mould their very lives according to its
guidelines. As for the actual reason, it is the Lord Who sent it Who
knows the answer thereof.

As far as its believers are concerned, the Qur’an is but the
benchmart to distinguish truth from falsehood. They understand that
all that has been commanded therein constitute the good and all that
has been prohibited therein constitute evil. In fact, the Qur’an introduces
itself as Furqaan (2:53, 2:185, 3:4, 25:1) which means ‘the criterion to
distinguish between truth and falsehood.’
The Qur’an also describes itself as Kitab (book), Dhikr
(guidance), Burhaan (evidence), Shifa (cure), Kayyim (that which is
pure), Muhaymin (that which preserves the previous scriptures) and
the like. Through these attributes the reader of the Qur’an is exposed
to the clear picture of the morality enshrined within. What is the
meaning of ‘Book of Vedas’? The term Veda is a sanskrit word which
means knowledge, learning etc. According to the vedic vision, the
Vedas signify Shruthi (or ‘that which is heard’). It is believed that the
contents of the Vedas comprise the words of the Lord Creator as heard
by the Rishis. The Rig Veda states that the Vedas originate in the
Parampurush (10:90:9). In any event, the term Veda has been used in
India to mean divine scripture. In due course of time, even the followers
of the semitic religions in India have tended to describe their own
religious scriptures as Vedas.
The term which the Qur’an has employed to refer to revealed
scripture is Al-Kitab which, in turn, simply means ‘the Scripture’. The
Qur’anic view is that the religious scripture consists of the revelations
made to the messenger by the Lord Creator Himself. divine revelations
have been referred to as Wahy and as far as a revealed scripture is
concerned, it contains Wahy alone. However, it is not necessary that
all Wahy made to all messengers should find mention in a scripture. In
fact, it is only that portion of the Wahy which has been received with
the special command for its inception in the scriptural text, that ultimately
finds expression in it.

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