The Qur’an is a religious scripture. Indeed, it is the very source of the divine religion. It explains the foundations of faith as envisioned by Islam. In addition it contains the regulations that are associated with the rites involved. However, it is not a book that merely incorporates hymns and prayers alone. It chalks out the way in which one can become a complete man by living in accordance with the divine guidance. It informs of the commandments that are to be observed in all walks of life. It exhorts to the pursuance of the example of the Prophets who, by living according to these commandments, had accomplished the most sublime heights of human greatness.
The Qur’an and the practice of the messenger – which was its most telling commentary – together combines to inform of all the qualitiesand virtues that must necessarily exist in a person in his, or her, capacity as a human being. All people are to be shown mercy; those who are undergoing privations must be helped; the poor and orphan are to be offered protection and love; others must be spoken of only in the best terms; one’s conduct must bespeak of humility; parents are to be treated with love and respect; children are to be shown kindness and care; the husband and wife are to show mutual love and respect and must allow for each other the free exercise of their individual rights; the sacred ties of marital life must be preserved; man and woman are to dress decently; there must be justice and fair play in official circles; integrity must prevail in all economic dealings; there must be honesty in trade and commerce – and the instructions of such nature, Can anyone point out that even a single one of these commandments is against the standards of human greatness?
It is evident that the case is the same when we consider the prohibitions in the Qur’an also. Do not consume; do not commit adultery; do not rob; do not lie; do not cheat; do not gamble; do not give, or take, in interest; do not indulge in extravagance; do not spill a drop of blood unjustly; do not malign chaste women; do not consume the wealth of orphan; do not abuse; do not violate the rights of any; do not adulterate; do not cheat in the matter of weight and measures; do not entertain envy and hatred; do not back-bite or slander; do not entertain a partial attitude towards one’s own – such is the nature of the prohibitions. Will any one dare to state that any single one of these is an obstacle in the path of human progress?
One of the specialities of the Qur’an which makes it unique is that in addition to providing a righteous code of conduct, it puts forward a very practicable scheme as well. Along with a reminder of the punishments that are to be meted out for sins in the life after death – thereby creating a mindset so necessary for the elimination of sins – the Qur’an also describes the punishments that are to be given to criminals by the state. In accompaniment to the moral commandments that are required for the trouble-free progress of the marital relationship in its position as a secure institution, the Qur’an also puts forward procedures for the pragmatic resolution of the problems that may arise in the family. In addition to providing for regulations that serve to make economic dealings honest and fair, the Qur’an also contains practical instructions that are to be followed in the event that there should arise
some disputation thereof.
The Qur’an never withdraws from the scene with a few advices and recommendations; on the contrary, in the interest of creation of a pure society, it conclusively proved that the code of righteousness which it prescribed was wholly practicable as well. This would then mean that the Qur’an is a book which not only prescribes a faultless order of righteousness but also proves it to be so.