21 June, 2018 | 7 Shawwal, 1439 H

"What corrupts generosity is mentioning it."

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

Abstract

The Qur’an is a book of guidance, not an encyclopedia. It is the constitution for the salvation of mankind. On its own, it is not enough but requires teachers which are the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Imams of his Ahl al-Bayt (as). 

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Convert Channel! 

 

In this lesson, we will look into the nature of the Qur’an. We will look at who revealed it, and how it was revealed. We are also going to look at the purpose and aim of the Qur’an, as well as outside factors that enable the Qur’an’s aims of guiding humankind to be realized. 

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah said:  

 

"I saw the Messenger of Allah - upon whom be God's peace and benedictions - in the course of his hajj pilgrimage on the day of ‘Arafah. The Prophet (S) was seated on his camel [named] al-­Qaswa', and was delivering a sermon. I heard him say: 'O people, I am leaving among you that which if you hold on to you shall never go astray: the Book of Allah and my kindred, my household." 

 

The Qur’an is the Holy Book of Islam. It would be an incorrect statement to say that the book is simply divinely inspired. The Holy Qur’an is the literal word of God that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (s).  

 

None of the words contained in the Qur’an are the words of the Messenger of Allah. Think about it this way, if someone gives you a magazine article to read out loud which someone else has written, are you reading your own words or the words of someone else?  

 

Obviously it’s the words of someone else. The Qur’an functions in the same way, the words of God were delivered to the Prophet Muhammad (s) via the archangel Gabriel. The Prophet simply recited them to the people.  

 

The Qur’an sometimes seems confusing to some people. Unlike many sections of the Bible, it’s not really recounting stories from beginning to end, nor is it a straight forward philosophy book with a beginning, end and a conclusion.  

 

Furthermore, it is often claimed that the Qur’an, that is, the physical book which we hold in our hands, contains all of the information of the world. Yet when someone takes a look at the book (which is of average size) one realizes that this is a claim that is hard to believe.  

 

It’s not that Islam is making these claims, but it is simply a misunderstanding. The Qur’an is a book of guidance. It contains all the central principals for the guidance of humankind.  

 

The Qur’an says “And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear book. (Chapter 6, verse 59 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

The book here is in reference to al-lawh al-mahfūz, a divine tablet or book and not necessarily the Qur’an. This book contains knowledge of everything in the world and is different from physical Qur'an that we have in our hands. 

 

The Qur’an is therefore a book of guidance for humankind. It contains all the central principals and guidelines we need in order to reach the salvation both as individuals and a collective Muslim community. In this sense, the Qur’an therefore acts like a constitution, that is, a guiding framework for our lives for avoiding sin, doing good works, having good manners and ultimately finding faith in God and success in the Hereafter. 

 

The Qur’an is therefore not some super encyclopedia that contains all the details of the world. You wont', for example, find knowledge of computer programming in the Qur'an! 

 

Many chapters and verses in the Qur’an are mixed and in non-chronological order. Topics do not always follow one another either. The reason for this is to make guidance easier. By reading a chapter, or part of a chapter, an individual reader will come across a variety of subjects thus giving him or her a good platform concerning how to lead the religious life.  

 

Not many people will read the Qur’an from beginning to end. The Qur’an therefore solves this problem by putting many subjects within a small space where even the shortest read will give you ample information. 

 

Despite the centrality of the Qur’an, it alone is not enough. Just like a constitution needs interpreters, so does the Qur’an. The Qur’an’s interpreter is the Messenger of Allah (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as). The Qur’an thus needs a teacher so that humankind will be able to understand and implement the Qur’an properly.  

 

Now obviously people today tend to differ about the Qur’an even while claiming to follow the Prophet (s). This is because not everything that was related from the Prophet (s) was actually uttered by him. Many people actively worked to distort his teachings about the Qur’an. This is why Allah implemented a safety mechanism, that is, the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), as a second set of teachers who would preserve the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings about Islam and the Qur’an. 

 

The Ahl al-Bayt (as), like the Prophet (s), are the infallible and sinless teachers of Islam. The Qur’an says: 

 

Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the Prophet's Household (Ahl al-Bayt), and to purify you with an [extensive] purification. (Chapter 33, verse 33 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

So what does all of this mean? The Qur’an is a framework and constitution of guidance for humankind. The Prophet (s) is the teacher and explainer of the Qur’an. He also puts it into action.  

 

However, the Prophet’s (s) teachings may also get distorted by people of ill intention, so his Ahl al-Bayt (as) are the source of the Prophet’s authentic teachings about Islam and the Qur’an. They are also the perfect examples on how to put Islam and the Qur’an in action.

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh 

Al-Lawh al-Mahfūz

The divine tablet  

 

Day of Arafah

One of the last days of the Prophet where he delivered a sermon about following the Qur’an and his Ahl al-Bayt (as) sources of divine guidance and salvation.

Q1

Is the Qur’an the literal word of God, or simply the divinely inspired teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (s)? 

Literal word of God 

Q2

What’s the point of the Qur’an, what is it trying to do? 

Guide mankind to salvation in the Hereafter. 

Q3

Is the Qur’an alone enough for us? 

No, it needs teachers that are appointed by its author (Allah).  

Q4

Who are the teachers of the Qur’an? 

 The Prophet Muhammad and his Ahl al-Bayt (as) 

Q5

Is all knowledge in the Qur’an? 

 No, all knowledge of existence is in the divine tablet of God, which is different from the Qur’an 

Muslim
God
Allah
Hereafter
Prophet Muhammad
Messenger of Allah
Religion
Ahl al-Bayt
Sin
Sins
Salvation
Soul
Spirit
Islamic community
moral character
muslim ummah
holy book
holy scripture of Islam
Qur’an
nature of the Qur’an
Islam’s holy book
guidance of mankind
interpretation of the Qur’an

Al-Mizan by Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai

Authenticity of the Quran by Shaikh Muslim Bhanji