Friday, September 18, 2015
Comment on article titled Which Quran, Mecca or Medina?
A non-Muslim interested in religious discussion shared this article on an email group: Which Quran, Mecca or Medina?
Here are my two-bits:
Muhammad (may peace be upon him) was the last Prophet and the Messenger of God.
As the last Prophet, it was necessary to document and record all the revelations he received through Gabriel, the Trustworthy Messenger, so that future generations could benefit from the Quran. Hence, the final ordering of the verses of the Quran is also as revealed by Gabriel. Moreover, the Quran has been preserved in the same order, both in written form and orally, in the minds of those who memorise it (the Huffaz).
Quran is not the only scripture revealed by God. Other scriptures were revealed before it as well. As mentioned in the link Mr. G posted in his email [https://beyondthecusp.wordpress.com/2007/08/10/which-quran-mecca-or-medina/ ], there are certain similarities with other scriptures and certain differences. That the Quran was revealed in seventh century AD, and that it is the last scripture, means that now this book is meant for the guidance of humanity, as this is the most relevant for our times. I think this is what is meant by bringing something in place of the old. All verses of the Quran are equally valid and relevant, they do not contradict each other, and no verse is abrogated by any other verse. Its a matter of diligently studying the verses in context.
As for the contrast between the verses revealed earlier and later during Messenger Muhammad's mission, let me first explain the term Messenger (Rasool). Messengers are sent to warn clearly and Allah has always sent Messengers to warn nations transgressing beyond limits of impending divine punishment. Noah's nation, the Aad and the Samood, the Pharaoh of Egypt, and others were warned well in advance before punishment came to them. So thus this Messenger was sent to warn the Arabs, and give them time to mend. The warnings were conveyed through repeated examples of prior civilisations in several verses all across the Quran, revealed over a period of over two decades. After that the Treaty was declared annulled, notice of war given four months in advance, and then the Muslim State of Medina formally marched towards Makkah, as per divine order through the Messenger of God, and they were victorious, as promised by God.
There were several attacks on the Muslims in Medina prior to the conquest of Makkah. The verses which deal with qital give guidance on conduct when in a state of war. All armies of the world give similar advise to their combatants. Advice for soldiers being sent to battle, and advice for missionaries being sent for peaceful spread of the message must necessarily be different. It is important to read the verses in context, as well as to understand that only a Messenger of God or the Head of State can declare a war and call for battle.
Yes, the verses of the Quran are being abused and misapplied by some zealots within the fold of Islam as well organised criminals. And yes, I understand how imminent and real the threat of being murdered is for non-Muslims who fear for their lives, and thus view Islam as a Satanic cult. Of course, Satan is the avowed enemy of the progeny of Adam, and will use all means to deceive and destroy humans.
However, it is critical to remember that this life is not et al, and that eventually we all will die, and what is really going to matter is the final judgement. Immortality is a foregone eventuality, what matters is the quality of our eternal life. I hope and pray that all of us our guided to faith and guidance, are able to attain forgiveness of the Almighty and dwell in the Gardens of Eternity forever.