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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Islam, the Religion of Ease

Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, is the creator of mankind and therefore knows his nature more intricately than mankind himself. Allah, subhanahu  wata'aala, has therefore chosen for us a religion best suited to the  nature of mankind, a religion that goes neither to the extremes of  hardship nor of laxity, but instead provides a middle path; in other  words, a religion of ease. Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, said;  "Allah intends for you ease, and does not want to make things difficult  for you" [2:185]; and "Allah does not want to place you in difficulty"  [5:6].
Such easiness is well explained in the hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said, "Religion is easy..." [Bukhari], he also said; "The best of your  religion, is the easiest." [Ahmad]
The easiness of this religion was put into practise by the best of  humanity, the one who came to deliver the message, as Allah, subhanahu  wata'aala, said;
"Verily there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves, it  grieves him that you should suffer any difficulty, he is anxious for you,  for the believers he is full of pity and merciful" [10:128]
This understanding is clarified in a hadeeth in which the Prophet, salla  Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "... Allah did not send me to be harsh, or  cause harm, but He sent me to teach and make things easy" [Muslim]. This  understanding is further implemented by the mercy sent to mankind,
Muhammed, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, in the hadeeth reported by his  noble and pure wife, 'Aishah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, who said; "Whenever the  Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, has a choice between two matters,   he would choose the easiest, unless it is sinful (act)" [Bukhari].
Many hadeeths have been reported on the matter of easiness: "Allah likes  for this nation ease and hates for it hardship and adversity."  [Tabaraani].
"We have been given a privilege over other nations... .we have been given  verses that no one else has been given, the last two verses of Surah  Baqarah(chapter 2)"Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into  error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to  bear" After each statement, Allah responded by saying, "I did, I did, I
did" [Muslim].
To further emphasise this understanding to his companions, when once a  Bedouin stood up and started urinating in the mosque, the people caught  him; but he, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, ordered them to leave him and  to pour a bucket or a tumbler of water over the place where he had  urinated. The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, then said, "You
have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult"  [Bukhari].
An example that illustrates this point is Salah, an act so important and  vital to Islam that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said;  "Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer" [Muslim]. He also  warned against leaving salah, even at the time of his death, in his very  last breaths before departing from this world.
Yet in this worship Allah has also prescribed easiness. At first, the  number of prayers was fifty in number, but they were reduced several times  until they were five. Then it was proclaimed 'O Muhammad, the order is not  changed. These five are (equal in reward) to fifty' [Tirmidhi].
Causes of hardship
If Islam is a religion of ease, why do we find many Muslims not practising  it? Why do we find them doing very little of what they ought to be doing,  and why do even those who practise their religion sometimes find it  difficult?  There are reasons why the practice of Islam can becomes hard:
1) Lack of pietyWhen we speak about Islam being easy we are, in reality, speaking about the easiness of its acts of worship and morals. Religion by definition means commitment and an obligation to a master. Therefore, being a  religious person means to be always aware that we are slaves to a master,  Allah, subhanahu wata'aala.  From here we see the mistake of those who want 'ease' to mean 'doing nothing’, just saying "I am a Muslim", committing themselves to nothing.  It is obvious that they want it to be easy, but what exactly do they want?
They want an easy life, a life without any religious practices. The idle belief of 'existing only to live' has long ago been negated by  Allah, subhanahu wata'aala. He said:  "Do you think you have been created for nothing and that you will not be  resurrected and brought back to Allah again!" [23:115]. He also said:  "Thinks man that he is left aimless?" [75:86].
Islam is easy to practice; but those who do not understand the reasons  behind their existence, who do not understand the concepts of religion,  but meanwhile are striving to secure themselves in this life; then surely  they will find its practices difficult.  The easiness of Islam is felt in all of its commandments. Some people find  this or that commandment hard to follow but this does not mean that the  command is in itself hard; often it is the person who is the cause. 
For example Salah, it is an easy act of worship, as Allah, subhanahu  wata'aala, has made clear: 
"And seek help in patience and prayer and truly it is (prayer) extremely  heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi'un (i.e. true submitting)" [2;45].
Prayer is an easy act of worship except, of course, for those who do not  truly submit to their Lord; they will find it toilsome.  Why do they find it so? The answer is that it is not the prayer that is  difficult, but it is the hearts of these people which have changed from  good to bad, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, mentioned:  "Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives  them. And when they stand up to pray, they stand with laziness ..."
[4;142]; in another verse He subhanahu wata'aala, said; "And that they  came not to prayer except in a lazy state ..." [9;54].
2) IgnoranceThe rules of Islam did not come as mere do's and don'ts. Each obligation  has wisdom and motivation behind it. It should make no difference to us if  the wisdom for that particular practice is known or not, because if it is  not known to us today, then if Allah wills, He will reveal it to future  generations. What is primarily expected from us is to fully submit and
implement every command.
For example, the giving of charity, which apparently decreases the wealth  of the giver. Islam did not say "Pay charity, pay charity", as this would  not motivate people and therefore make it difficult to act upon. Instead
Allah says; "Would you not like to give a loan to your Lord, and this loan will be  paid back to you multiplied and you will be rewarded for it." [2:245]
The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "Verily, wealth does  not decrease because of charity." [Muslim]
It seems Muslims often ask why this act or matter is Halaal or Haraam.  With such an attitude they will never achieve their goal, because behind  each injunction there is an aspect of wisdom. Without understanding this,  practising Islam becomes a heavy burden. With strong belief, we do not  even have to ask whether this or that is halaal or Haraam, but rather if  it pleases Allah. Therefore we should take the rules seeking the pleasure  of Allah subhanahu wata'aala,. If pleasing Allah subhanahu wata'aala, is,  always, our aim, then undoubtedly the practice of religion becomes easy,  no matter what apparent hardships we may encounter.
3) Inappropriate environment
It is true that sometimes we find it difficult to practise the religion,  even those who are committed to it!  The reason behind this is that we are practising our religion in an
non-religious environment. Islam is not meant to be practised while being  immersed in a Kufr (disbelieving) society. Its practice will indeed be  difficult in such an environment. Therefore, the difficulty cannot be  blamed upon Islam as a religion, but rather on the circumstances of the  society.
Returning to our example of prayer, we see that prayer by itself is easy,  but if you have to stand alone to pray amongst non-Muslims, all of them  watching you, it will suddenly become difficult. The obvious conclusion is  that the prayer in itself is not difficult, but the environment has made  it difficult.  Another example is that of a woman who wears hijaab and is happy to cover  herself. If this were an Islamic society, it would have been difficult for
her not to be covered, or for a man not to respond to the call to prayer  and pray in a mosque. Thus difficulty is not the nature of our religion,  but we are trying to be pure in a decadent and immoral environment. These  realities are not unknown to Islam, because the Prophet, salla Allaahu  'alaihe wasallam, already warned his companions some fourteen centuries  ago, and by that has also warned us by saying, as reported by Abu  Tha'laba, radiya Allahu 'anhu, "... Ahead of you are days which will  require endurance (in the practice of religion), in which he who shows  endurance will be like him who grasps live coals. The one who acts rightly  during that period will have the reward of fifty men who act as he does."
The hearers said, "The reward of fifty of them, Messenger of Allah!" He  replied, "The reward of fifty of you." A companion said about this  difference in reward, "Now you find people helping you to do good deeds,  but then they will not find things to help them but they will find things  to resist and oppose them." [Tirmidhi].
So Islam is the religion of ease. If we accept it as a religion to start  with, then we should take it with its concepts, and practise it in a pure  environment (as opposed to a corrupted and decadent one); it will then  become an easier religion to practise.  As it is not possible to have a 100% pure society, we have to strive to  achieve this by being surrounded by good Muslims. In doing this, the  religion will loosen the burdens around it. The easiness of Islam has even been testified by the enemies of Islam.  This was apparent in the statement of the Jews at the time of the Prophet,  salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, when a man and a woman from amongst them  committed fornication. Some of them said to the others: "Let us go to this  Prophet, for he has been sent with an easy law ...". [Abu Dawood].
So may Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, make us amongst those who  "Listen to the word and follow the best thereof, whom Allah has guided and  those are men of  derstanding." [39;18].


The Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (Deoband) is the largest group of Muslims and the only group whose beliefs and teachings are truly in accordance with the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The beliefs of this group are the same as the beliefs of the Sahaba or Noble Companions of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and the Salf-e-Saliheen (our great pious predecessors).
In many Ahadith, the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) strongly advised the Muslims to follow his Sunnah and to remain steadfast upon the path of his Sahaba, the Salf-e-Saliheen and the majority of Muslims to remain steadfast upon the way of the Ahle Sunnah. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "I have left two things behind me for you (the Ummah). You will never go astray as long as you follow these two things. One of these two things is Allah's Holy Book (the Holy Quran) and the other is the Sunnah of his Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)." (Muwatta
Imam Malik)
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that after he passes away his Ummah should remain firmly steadfast upon his Sunnah and upon the way of his four Muslim Caliphs. He advised us to follow this path alone and to be beware of innovations, which contradict the Holy Quran and his Sunnah. (Abu Dawud; Tirmizi)
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Follow the way of the largest group of Muslims! For, he who deviates from this group will be thrown into Hell!" (Ibn Majah)
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) advised us to remain firm with the largest group of Muslims and remain steadfast upon their way in beliefs and in actions.
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Allah will never allow my Ummah to unite upon misguidance and incorrect beliefs. Allah's mercy, blessings and protection are with the largest group of Muslims. And he who deviates from this largest group of Muslims will be thrown into Hell." (Tirmizi)
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "He who deviates from the largest group of Muslims, even as much as a hand span, has himself cut off his connection with Islam". (Abu Dawud)
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) clearly warned his Ummah to completely abstain from joining in the gatherings of or listening to the words of any of the other misguided groups that will appear amongst the Muslims, whose beliefs will contradict the beliefs of the largest group of Muslims. The beliefs of the largest group of Muslims will be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the beliefs of the Sahaba and the Salf-e-Saliheen. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "In the period prior to the Day of Judgement, false and deceitful groups will emerge. They will say things to you, which neither you nor your forefathers will have ever heard before. Stay away from these deceitful people and do not let them come near you! Do not be misguided by them and do not let them cause strife amongst you!" (Sahih Muslim)
The concept of the Muslim nation separating into 73 sects, is taken from authentic Ahadith such as the following related by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu): "The Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'The Jews separated into 71 sects, and the Christians into 72, and my nation will divide into 73 sects.'" (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Seventy-two (of the 73 sects of the Muslim nation) will be in the fire, and only one will be in Paradise; it is the Jama'ah (i.e. Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaah)." (Abi Dawud, Ad-Darimi, Ahmad)
There is another narration which states: "The Companions asked: 'Which sect will triumph (i.e. achieve salvation)?' The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) replied: 'The sect which adheres to that (set of beliefs and practices) which I and my Companions adhere to.'"

It should be clear from these Ahadith that the one sect, out of the 73, which is to gain salvation, is the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah, the only segment of the Muslim community which adheres to that which the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions (radi Allahu anhum) adhered to.
Ghousal Azam, Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (radi allahu anhu) states: "There are 73 groups as foretold by Sayyiduna Rasoolallah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and (bear in mind that), the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat was the rightful group". (Ghunyatut Taalibeen)
Imam Ghazzali (radi Allahu anhu) writes: "The Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat is the successful Firqah (group) and it is this Firqa which weighs or determines its thoughts and its according to the scales of the Holy Quran". (Mujarribaate Imam Ghazal)
Hazrat Sha Wali'ullah Muhaddith Dehlawi (radi Allahu anhu) states: "As Rasoolallah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, follow this 'Sawad-e-Azam', and when the four Madhabs are within the Sawad-e-Azam then the following of any one of them, is followance of the Sawad-e-Azam. Therefore, refuting any one of them is refuting the Sawad-e-Azam". (Aqdul Jayyad)
Imam Sufyan Souri (radi Allahu anhu) states: "By Sawad-e-Azam is meant those who are called the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat". (Al Mizaanul Qubra)
Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlawi (radi Allahu anhu) states in his book "Fatawa Azeezi" (Vol. 2, pg. 4) that: "The various parts of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat in Aqaa'id such as the Ash'ariya, the Maaturadi, in Fiqh such as the Hanifa, the Shafi'i, the Hambali, in Tassawwaf such as the Qaaderi, the Chisti, Naqshabandi, the Suhurwardi, this servant considers all of them to be the truth".
Imam Rabbani, Mujaddid Alif Thaani (radi allahu anhu) states in the second chapter, page 67 of his "Maktubaat Shareef" that: "The way of salvation is followance of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. May Almighty Allah Ta'ala bestow blessings upon the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, in their speech, in their actions, laws, for this is the successful group. Besides this, all other groups have become victims of deception. Today, nobody realises how much these misled groups will be punished, however, on the Day of Qiyamah this secret will become apparent. Even though at that time this knowledge will be of no benefit to the misled."

Who are extremists?

No one can deny the fact that in every age, it remains in top priority of non-Muslims (especially Jews) to spread negative propaganda against Islam or Islamic values. For which unfortunately,they succeeded to find and buy fraudulent and dishonest Muslims, who were actually not Muslims by heart rather they used the label of Muslim as a deception. But it is an open secret that Islam's enemies could never succeed in their vile effort to lessen the importance, beautifulness, attractiveness and spread of Islam.
All evil powers have been trying to demolish Islam even than Islam is the fastest growing religion of the world, why? This is a question which made whole world of infidels a restless nation to find the answer. But the answer is simple that everyone has a thirst of reality, truthfulness, contentment, happiness and a thirst of finding a way which leads directly towards one's real creator, the Allah Almighty. And Islam is the only well of sweet water which can satisfy this thirst.
One who studies Islam unbiasedly and without any prejudice in mind is forced to accept it as a true religion. They are many citations on this statement which all cannot be covered here and actually it is not my topic.
I think I wrote many lines on foreword now come to the topic. A few days back a cartoon was published in Washington Times which was considered as a humiliation of Pakistan and Pakistanis. During the same period the worst news which circled round in the news papers was of desecration of Holy Quran in Guantanamo Bay which was no doubt condemned all over the world. As I said earlier, it is not the first time that Islam and Islamic values like Holy Quran was targeted but the sad scene is that Muslims are still senseless. No strong and harsh words could be heard from the Government of any Islamic state against vicious American soldiers and no change could be felt inrelations between America and any Islamic state. They did what they could do but we did worse than them to be a silent spectator. One more thing which came out is that extremism which lies in the nature of non-Muslims against Muslims can be observed clearly. They call Muslims as extremists and by their ridiculous activities they are proving it for themselves.
These lines are not for non-Muslims to request them for justice; in fact I personally cannot expect justice from non-Muslims in favor of Muslims. I wrote these lines for those who are requesting andexpecting that serious actions will be taken against real terrorists (American soldiers). I would ask a question to our Government that whenever we capture any person who is accused for Americans we just hand over to them, now this time will they hand over our offenders to us or at least punish them such that no one in future can even think of doing so.
Muhammad Azeem

The Revelation of The Glorious Quran

The Revelation of The Glorious Quran
A Miracle to last till the End!
Well before God's revelation marked him as a Prophet, Mohammad (p) had rejected the religion of Arabia. This religion called on the worship of several gods, and Mohammad felt that these idols were not responsible for life or creation. Questioning the religion that he was born into, Mohammad (p) found peace in reflection, meditation, and contemplation; however, these acts of private worship did not give Mohammad the answers that he was searching for. In his late thirties Mohammad began a practice of retirement, where he would seclude himself from his family and relations and spend several days in a cave on top of a mountain two miles outside of Makkah. He continued this for many years: during the month of Ramadan, Mohammad would often spend the entire month in seclusion, for some instinct must have told him that in this holiest month he would find the answers to his questions. So, it was in his fortieth year that Mohammad (p) received the revelation from God.
While engaged in worship in a corner of the cave of Hira in the heart of the night, the orphan son of Abdullah who had never studied or attended a school, was suddenly shaken by the summons, "O Muhammad!" followed by the command to recite, this being the beginning of revelation. A wave arose from the limitless ocean of Divinity, rent the breast of the Prophet, bewildered and anxious, and filled to the brim the cup of his spirit.
Mohammad was shocked and afraid. How could there be another voice in the cave when he was all alone? Nevertheless, he replied: "I am not one of those who can read". After his answer, he was taken up, and violently hugged and then set free: the voice repeated, "Read". Mohammad could only give the same answer: "I am not one of those who can read". The being repeated the same action, hugging him again. Once again it commanded him to "Read". This time Mohammad gave a different answer: he said, "What shall I read?", and the voice said:
"Read! In the Name of your Lord, who has created you! He created man from a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the Most Gracious, He who has taught by the pen, Taught man what he did not know."[Al-Quran: 96:1-4]
The shining of a light from the realm of the unseen covered and enveloped his being and shone forth on his fair features, giving rise to new and bright life in the darkness of the night. Then, with a painful tumult in his heart and bearing on his shoulders the heaviest responsibility conceivable, he set out for home from the cave of Hira, destined to become the teacher of all human beings and to assume the leadership of humanity on its long march forward.
What force was it that had disquieted him despite his infinite patience, made him anxious despite all his tranquil courage, and plunged his whole being into painful turmoil? Thereafter the envoy of revelation came repeatedly, reciting verses to him, profound and astounding verses that bore no resemblance from the point of view of style and content either to the words of the Prophet himself, eloquent as they were, or to the conventional prose and poetry of the age.
Although the Arabs of the Age of Ignorance knew neither how to read nor how to write and had no historians, philosophers or scholars, they were famed for the excellence of their poetry and the eloquence of their speech. The Prophet, however, had never participated before the beginning of his mission in the cultivation of the arts of poetry and eloquence.
His conduct, on the one hand, and the verses of the Quran, on the other, both testify that he made no compromises in conveying his message. He conveyed the message that he had been ordered to deliver clearly, unambiguously and in utter contradiction both with the beliefs and inclinations of the people and with his own immediate interests. He loudly proclaimed the revelation he had received to the evil and the ignorant, to a people made degenerate and corrupt by the worship of the idols they had fashioned themselves, and he informed them that their sole salvation lay in the worship of the One God.
The new factor that appeared at a particular time in the life of the Prophet and caused him to engage in unprecedented forms of activity was the wondrous phenomenon of revelation, the heavenly message which he as the most lofty and qualified of men had been chosen to receive. Before then, no preliminary effort or particular inclination had been seen on his part that might have led to the bringing about of the sudden and remarkable transformation of the world he was now about to accomplish.
The factor that had this profound effect on Muhammad, that changed that quiet and reflective man into an explosive source of revolutionary energy and enabled him to bring about such a profound transformation of humanity, from within the intense darkness of the Arabs' Age of Ignorance, was nothing other than revelation. It was a call that penetrated the very depths of the souls of human beings that melted the marrow of their bones, and directed all their strivings to the attainment of perfection.
The command of revelation negated all the false and lying criteria which human beings had regarded as the measure of goodness and considered the sole means of evaluating human characteristics and habits, while, in fact, clothing falsehood in the garment of truth. It brought into operation new and clear criteria which showed human beings the goals to which they should strive to advance and brought about creativity in their lives. The veil of ignorance and silence was torn apart, the human beings' energies were set to work, the power of thought within them was aroused, and their spirits were borne aloft toward the infinite summit of being.
A people who in their ignorance and lowliness would tear each apart on account of the most insignificant things and had lost all virtue, thanks to their various forms of enslavement, now became, through Islam and its great concept of monotheism - the true pillar of humanity and the breaker of idols - so elevated of spirit and so self-sacrificing that they happily abandoned both their lives and their property. The remarkable stories of self-sacrifice on the part of those early Muslims will stand eternally as examples of true nobility.
The Prophet of Islam had the vision and belief of a world leader, but he began to proclaim his Divine summons to monotheism in a relatively restricted sphere, a closed environment where tribal institutions exercised great influence and idols were counted as the most sacred and beloved of objects. It was an environment that was not in any way prepared to accept the message of Divine unity.
The heavenly teachings of Islam and the culture to which they gave rise were superior not only to the intellectual atmosphere prevailing in the idolatrous society of the Arabs but also to all the religious doctrines and cultures of that age.
The program for reforming systems of thought and culture that had become corrupt was laid down by a man who had never studied, who was unlettered, and who knew nothing of the religious books or the civilization of his age.
At first he invited his relatives to worship the Creator, and then the people of Mecca and the Arabian Peninsula. Finally he proclaimed to the entire world his mission as the last of the Prophets.
The Prophet had been born into an environment where human beings engaged in empty boasting out of their shortsightedness and tribal mentality, where privileges were based on unjust social conditions and prejudices. Now he arose and swept aside all those false privileges. He established new values and concepts with respect to labor, life and social relations, in the framework of a series of rules and ordinances, and strove to concentrate all the goals and thoughts of the human being on a program for liberating peoples from slavery, and delivering the oppressed from the tyranny of emperors and kings. Even for those who do not regard these exalted aims as having a heavenly origin will admit that they are among the most exalted and previous values observable in human history.
What is significant about the Revelation, the Message of God, is that it was an act for which the Prophet (pbuh) was ready. Meaning, that he had already forsaken the beliefs of his people and his culture. Mohammad (pbuh) had proved himself ready for prophethood through his pious actions and behavior. Among his people he had already earned the name Al-Amin, The Trustworthy. Moreover, Mohammad (pbuh) was a mature man, one who had lived the majority of his life, and could devote the next twenty-three years of that life to the service of God.
Since different verses of the Qur'an were being revealed as and when appropriate, it was not possible from the very beginning to write and preserve it in a book form. So, during the initial stage of Islam, major emphasis was laid on memory as a means of preserving the Qur'an.
When a revelation used to come in the very beginning, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would tend to repeat its words instantly so that they would be memorized well enough. Thereupon, Allah Almighty directed him through the verses of Soorah Qiyaamah that he need not repeat words in a hurry immediately as revelation came. Allah Almighty would himself endow him with a memory that he will be unable to forget the words of the revelation once its descent has been completed. So it was that the moment the Qur'anic verses would come to him, they would be committed to his memory the next moment. Thus, the blessed chest of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), was the most protected vault of the Qur'an, in which there was no chance of even some common mistake, editing or alteration. Moreover, as a matter of additional precaution, he used to recite the Qur'an before angel Jibra'eel every year during the month of Ramadhaan; and the year he left this mortal world he completed a cumulative review of Qur'anic recitation twice with Jibra'eel. (Saheeh Bukhaari with Fat'hul Baari)
Again, as it was, he would not restrict his teachings of the Sahaabah (Companions) to just the meaning of the Qur'an, but had them memorize its words as well. Then, the revered Companions were themselves so enamored with a desire to learn and remember the Qur'an that every one of them was anxious to get ahead of the other. There were women who claimed no dowry from their husbands except that they would teach the Qur'an.
Hundreds of Companions, freeing themselves from all other concerns, had devoted their whole lives for this purpose. Not only did they memorize the Qur'an but also went on repeating it within the nightly prayers. "When someone migrated from Makkah and came to Madeenah", says Ubaadah Ibne Saamit, "the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would entrust him to one of us Ansaar so that he could teach Qur'an to the new comer." The mosque of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was so filled with voices generated by learners and teachers of the Qur'an that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had to ask them to lower their voices so that mistakes are not made. (Manaahilul 'Irfaan)
Thus memorisation of the Qur'an was given more emphasis in early Islam as this was the only protected and trustworthy method given the conditions of that time. The reason is that the number of people who could read or write was very limited in those days. The means of publishing books, such as printing press, etc., were not there. Therefore, in that situation, if writing was taken to be sufficient, it would have neither been possible to spread the Qur'an on an extensive scale nor to protect it reliably. In its place, Allah Almighty had blessed the people of Arabia with a memory of such dimensions that thousands of poetic lines would normally rest in the memory of one person after another. Common ordinary villagers would remember by heart their genealogies and those of their families and unbelievably enough - even those of their horses! Therefore, this power of memory was well utilized for the conservation and protection of the Qur'an and it was through it that the verses and chapters of the Qur'an reached all over in to the far corners of Arabia.
Besides having the Qur'an committed to memory, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made special arrangements to have the Qur'an committed to writing as well. Zayd Ibne Thaabit says: "I used to write down the words of wahee for him. When wahee came to him he felt burning with heat and the drops of perspiration would start rolling down on his body like pearls. When this state would go away from him, I would present myself before him with shoulder-bone or a piece (of something else). He would go on dictating and I would go on writing. When I would be finished with writing, the shear weight of copying the Qur'an would give me the feeling that my leg is going to break and that I will never be able to walk. In any case, when I would be finished with writing, he would say: 'Read.' I would read it back to him if there was a shortcoming, he would have it corrected and then let it be known to people. (Majma'uz Zawaa'id with reference to Tabraani)
Thus, there existed, during the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), a copy of the Noble Qur'aan which he had arranged to be committed to writing under his supervision. Although, it was not there as a formally prepared book, but it certainly was there in the form of various units of available writing materials. Along with it, it was also the practice of some revered Companions that they would make copies of the Qur'anic verses and keep them for personal recollection. This practice was common since the very early period of Islam. Accordingly, much before Umar embraced Islaam, his sister and brother-in-law had in their possession verses of the Qur'aan which they had written and kept in a book form. (Seerah Ibne Hishaam)
After reading about the Revelation of the Holy Qur'an, you might find the following of interest:
How the Holy Qur'an was preserved: Zayd Ibne Thaabit says: "I used to write down the words of wahee for him. When wahee came to him he felt burning with heat and the drops of perspiration would start rolling down on his body like pearls. When this state would go away from him, I would present myself before him with shoulder-bone or a piece (of something else). He would go on dictating and I would go on writing. When I would be finished with writing, the shear weight of copying the Qur'an would give me the feeling that my leg is going to break and that I will never be able to walk. In any case, when I would be finished with writing, he would say: 'Read.' I would read it back to him and if there was a shortcoming, he would have it corrected and then let it be known to people.
The Demand of the Qur'an for a Direct Confrontation: From the very first day that the Prophet began preaching his message of monotheism, he summoned people also to a realistic vision of the world. When inviting them to faith, he addressed their wisdom and intelligence and called on them to use their eyes and their ears to perceive the truth.
Do we deserve the Qur'an ? The student of the Qur'an will find out that, Qur'an is telling us that the messengers of Allah will lead the people from darkness into the light and that nowhere in the Qur'an does Allah tell us a story of a community misled by its messenger or given the wrong teachings by him.

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