- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Quran: For All Mankind
The Quran is a sacred book sent by the Lord of all creation. It is a book for all human beings. It was in the seventh century AD that Islam came to the world. According to the Islamic belief, God sent the same religion that is, Islam to every nation. The only distinctive quality of Islam, as regards to Prophet Muhammad is that while the messages sent to previous prophets got distorted, the original text of the message sent to Prophet Muhammad has been fully preserved due to the availability of paper (papyrus) in its crude form at the time and with the invention of the printing press in times to come. That is why, now, for later generations (after the emergence of Islam) the greatest and the only source of knowledge of the right concept of God, in its pristine form, is Islam. Anyone who wants to grasp the true concept of God has no choice but to turn to the Quran.
As we learn from the scriptures, God had sent all the previously revealed books so that man might be informed of the nature of his life. The Quran, the last of the revealed books, endorses all the revealed books, which preceded it. But this endorsement applies to them only in their original, pristine versions. The religious scriptures preceding the Quran were — as is claimed by their followers — divine in origin, but due to human interpolations - alteration, deletion and addition - they have been rendered historically unreliable. Therefore, from the point of view of academic authenticity they have lost their credibility. Now, the only choice before us is that of the Quran, the only preserved version of God’s message to mankind that was revealed by Him to His final Prophet.
When a believer of the previously revealed scripture turns to the Quran, it does not mean that he is rejecting his own belief, but rather amounts to his having re-discovered his own faith in an authentic form.
According to the Quran, the Sacred Book of God, God is one. He alone is the Creator and Lord of man and the universe: He is, moreover, the Sustainer of the entire universe. God is a living being. He sees and hears. At all times and in every place, it is possible for man to contact God directly, without any intermediary. God Almighty can compensate for all shortcomings in man. God will come to man’s rescue in both the pre-death and post-death period. God is a limitless source of solace and peace.
The Quran, addressed directly to mankind, tells us of God’s scheme for human existence: that man is placed on this earth for the purpose of being tested. The freedom he has here has not been given to him as a matter of right, but as a means to allow him to prove his moral fibre. It is the outcome of this test, which will ultimately decide man’s eternal fate.
It is asserted in the holy book that human beings are eternal creatures, yet only an infinitesimal part of their lifespan has been assigned to the present world, while the remainder has been ordained for the Hereafter.