The Quran, the words of God, and the last of all revealed scriptures, answers the chief philosophical questions relating to the meaning of life and the purpose of existence; Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What is the significance of life?
The Quran, the words of God, and the last of all revealed scriptures, answers the chief philosophical questions relating to the meaning of life and the purpose of existence; Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What am I here for? What is the purpose of life? What is the significance of life? What is meaningful and valuable in life? What is the value of life? What am I living for? And what is the reason to live? Answering all these questions, the Qur’an offers an all-encompassing and definite overview of life in its totality.
The Qur’an is a revelation intended for guidance which encompasses duties and commands, analysis of the right path humankind is guided to choose, an exhaustive explanation of facts pertaining to God’s attributes, facts about the universe, life on earth and the hereafter, besides stories of the Prophets as well as the past generations preceding us, some who earned God’s mercy, and some else who earned His Wrath.
All together assert the Divine wisdom of Allah (SWT), best manifested in events that had already taken place, commands that seek only the good of people, clarification of God’s enormous ability and attributes and elucidation of many secrets about the universe, whether the physical world or the unseen, many of which are yet to be uncovered.
From genuine faith and its main articles among other affairs pertaining to creed and belief in the oneness of Allah, to dealing with the enemy and confronting your personal dilemmas, religious tolerance, and righteousness, the Qur’an demystifies any perplexities relating to human lives in a manner befitting the past, present and surely the future generations.
It is the foremost and only source of guidance…
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.” – Qur’an 2:2
It’s a manual for living that outlines a clear and consistent set of aims for life and the so-called “natural” flow or order of the Universe. This “natural” feature of the universal order in its originality connotes the supreme power of Allah Almighty, the only Creator of the Universe, and His Supreme Wisdom running the whole of everything and every matter.
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.”—Qur’an 2:2
All manifestations listed herein are further stressed and supported by the miraculous aspect of the Quran, it’s style, wording, pattern, and simply everything it directly or indirectly connotes, thereby challenging any individual or group of people to produce something of its likeness.
Allah says in the Quran:
“And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful. But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.”—Qur’an 2: 23-24
Of all schemes employed in the Qur’an for full and efficient delivery of the message it carries, the Lives of the Prophets stand as one significant instrument. The use of anecdotes has been proven a psychologically effective manner of presenting knowledge or delivering information, and in Allah’s holy words:
“There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence. This is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe.– Qur’an 12: 111
The longest of accounts of all lives of the Prophets was that of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the details and morals of which are listed throughout the whole text of the Qur’an, which was revealed in its entirety during the course of his life, bearing witness of all his struggles against the disbelievers, obstacles facing his mission to deliver the message of Islam and the horrific difficulties that befallen him at the hands of his enemies, all of which he faced courageously, supported by the divine guidance of Allah, hence setting a good example for Muslims of the generation that lived through the period of his prophethood and those following, till date.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a practical explanation of the Quran and the Law of God (SWT). As described by Lady Aisha:
“His character was the Qur’an”.
And while the life of Prophet Muhammad is particularly detailed through the Sunnah, another fundamental source of Islamic legislation, we’re told through the Qur’an about Prophet Muhammad’s life instances and commands he received from Almighty Allah to act in certain situations in a particular way that only Allah (SWT) knew the wisdom behind.
One notable trait of the Prophet (pbuh), which was as well an indirect revelation from the Allah (SWT) is perseverance, a quality we hugely lack nowadays, which makes us put our trust in fellow humans who are equally needy, like us weak, and in most cases disappoint our expectations.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) kept a firm trust in Allah throughout his burdening mission and despite all plots constructed by his enemies and aimed at his destruction.
“O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.”—Qur’an 47: 7
If we can coach ourselves into referring only to God in times of struggles, no one would ever lay control over our life, or have a slight of influence over it. We were born free of any human control, and in order to remain so, we’ve got to put our trust solely in Almighty Allah.
Also there’s a lot to learn from the life of Prophet Abraham, the father of all Prophets, and our super role model in determination and strong will power, which as well, is expounded from strong faith in Allah. Prophet Abraham feared nothing and nobody, He laid supreme trust in Allah. The utmost and exemplary strength and firmness displayed throughout his life in some of the toughest life instances a human can ever tolerate, were natural attitude developed as a result of equally strong belief in the supreme power of Allah, His oneness and matchless wisdom.
He stood fearless when thrown into fire, and submitted to the will of God when he was commanded to leave his wife and little child alone in a barren land, believing in His ultimate wisdom knowing that Allah’s wisdom surpasses the limited human reasoning.
He gave God’s will utter rule over his heart when he was commanded to kill his own son. Again putting his trust in the Divine Wisdom that never fails, he was immensely rewarded and his son was unexpectedly and at the very last moment saved…
If we can develop only a fraction of such deeply rooted trust in God’s divine wisdom and will, we would never submit to the tormenting worry or mental dilemmas that analyze matters according to our limited perception of life and creation. This, however, shouldn’t in any way be interpreted as an encouragement to set our minds free of any thinking. Humans should do their thinking homework, but worry not about the result. Because the order of the universe is not influenced by our way of thinking or our very limited power. Unconditional trust in God’s wisdom will render minds free of needless worries and our hearts free of unyielding suffering.
Coming to the story of Joseph (pbuh), one of the mesmerizing parables of the Qur’an and the best of them all, we find a parable that encompasses nearly all aspects and all kinds of life perplexities.
“We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware.”—Qur’an 12:3
The story of Prophet Jospeh, which took him to different lands, met him with different people, carrying difference instances of unexpected twists of fate, manifests a great deal of God’s Divine wisdom, which is not always appealing to the limited capacity of human mind.
Prophet Joseph (pbuh), faced by luring calls from the wife of the minster whom he served, resorted to his faith which kept him protected against the plots planned for him. He appealed for strength from Allah, the Bestower of all strength and support. He showed great deal of patience and perseverance in living through hardships which only served to strengthen and assert his faith in his Lord, Allah (SWT), and in the end earned him the position of the minster whom he served in the beginning and before the downturn of his life began.
The story of Joseph also teaches that refraining from that which displeases Allah brings us what’s better than that which we left out of fear for His displeasure. We also learn from Joseph’s non-stop munajah and supplication to Almighty Allah, that we need support form Allah (SWT) even to commit to worshipping Him. We humans, are incapable of doing a thing without the support of Allah, even acts of worship.
In Surah Joseph:
“He said, “My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant.”—Quran 12:33
Even a noble Prophet needed help from Allah to shield him again sinning, even though he had all the intention and the strong will power that would stop him from any moral degradation.
Another moral in the story of Joseph that everything happens for a reason, and they submit to the sole power and will of God, whose divine wisdom shapes our destinies.
Despite the painful experience of being thrown into a dark and horrific well by his own siblings, being separated form his beloved father, being victim of injustice and jailed for long years without, according to God’s divine wisdom, it was a must-go-through experience, that enabled Prophet Joseph (pbuh) to deliver the message of monotheism in Egypt, and save its people from the darkness of Idols Worshiping.
Unconditional trust in God’s wisdom is what it requires to have peaceful souls if only people would listen.
More into the bounteous parables of the Quran in Part II, so stay tuned.