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Does the Koran Contain Everything? Print E-mail
Written by mquran.org   
Friday, 10 November 2006

• Being a Book describing man and the universe, the Koran contains ‘everything’. It declares:

With Him are the keys of the Unseen. None but He knows them. And He knows what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falls but with His Knowledge, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, nothing of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a Manifest Book. (al-An‘am, 6.59)

Ibn Mas‘ud says that the Koran provides information on everything but we may not be able to see everything in it. Ibn ‘Abbas, known as the Interpreter of the Koran and the Scholar of the Ummah, asserts that if he loses the rein of his camel, he can find it by means of the Koran. Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, a significant scholar who lived in Egypt in the 15th century, explains that all sciences or branches of knowledge are to be found in the Koran.

• How can a book of medium size and which contains reiterations contain everything we need about life, sciences, conduct, creation, the past and future and so on?

As is known, the Koran is a book of medium size and due to certain purposes it makes reiterations. So, how can it contain everything we need about life, sciences, conduct, creation, the past and future and so on?

Before proceeding to explain this important matter, we should point out that in order to benefit from the Koran, which addresses all time and space and all levels of understanding from philosophers to sociologists and psychologists, from physicists to biologists, from lawyers to Traditionists and from spiritual guides to educationists, one should be prepared to benefit from it. A student of the Koran should, first of all, have firm belief in the Koran and does his utmost to practice it in his daily life. Second, he must try to refrain from sins as much as possible. Thirdly, the Koran declares that a man has only that for which he makes effort (al-Najm, 53.39), so, in order to benefit from the Koran, a student of the Koran should, in the manner of a good, experienced diver searching for coral or of a deep-sea explorer, dive into the ‘ocean’ of the Koran and, with no tiredness and boredom, he should continue his research until death. Fourthly, understanding the Koran requires a good command of the Arabic language and sufficient knowledge about all the branches of natural and religious sciences. Therefore, a good interpretation of the Koran demands the cooperation of scientists from all the fields of natural and sociological sciences and religious scholars—experts on the Koranic commentary, Hadith, fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), theology and spiritual sciences. Fifthly, while reciting and studying it, a student of the Koran should regard him as the first addressee of the Koran. He should be conscious of the fact that every verse of the Koran addresses each of its students directly. If we consider, for example, its verses telling of the past events or the stories of the Prophets and their peoples as, simply, an account of certain historical events which has nothing to say to us, we cannot benefit from the Koran. We should know that with all of its verses, the Koran addresses us directly and describes us to ourselves.

• According to its nature, significance, worth and place in existence, everything has a place of its own in the Koran

According to its nature, significance, worth and place in existence, everything has a place of its own in the Koran:

The Koran contains every thing but not in the same degree. The Koran pursues four purposes: it seeks to prove the existence and Unity of God, Prophethood and bodily resurrection and concentrates on worship of God and justice. In order to realize its purposes, the Koran draws our attentions to God’s acts in the universe, His matchless art displayed through creation, the manifestations of His Names and Attributes and the magnificent, perfect order and harmony in existence. Also, it mentions certain historical events, lay down the rules of personal and social good conduct and morality and the principles of a happy, harmonious social life. Again, it explains how we must worship our Creator and what we must do in order to please Him. The Koran also gives much account of the other life and expounds how we can gain eternal happiness and be saved from eternal punishment.

• Everything is found in the Koran, but everyone cannot see every thing in it since the things are found at different levels.

The verse above (al-An‘am, 6.59) states that everything, wet or dry, is found in it. Is that really so? Yes, everything is found in it, but everyone cannot see every thing in it since the things are found at different levels. The Koran contains all things, but since the basic duty of the Koran is, as mentioned above, to teach about the perfections, essential qualities and acts of God and the duties and the status and affairs pertaining to the sphere of servanthood to God, it contains them either in the form of seeds or nuclei or summaries or as principles or signs, and they are found either explicitly or implicitly, or allusively, or vaguely, or suggestively. One or other of these forms is preferred according to occasion, in a way fitting for the purposes of the Koran and in connection with the requirements of the context. For example:

As the result of man’s progress in science and industry, some scientific and technological wonders such as planes, electricity, motor vehicles, and means of radio and telecommunication have come into existence and taken the most prominent position in the material life of mankind.

• The Koran’s viewpoint of life and the world is completely different from the modern one

The Koran’s viewpoint of life and the world is completely different from the modern one. According to the Koran, the world is a guest-house. Man is a guest with many duties who will stay there for a short time only, and he is charged with preparing all the necessities for eternal life. He will give priority to the most urgent and important of his duties. Therefore, whatever is designed and used mostly for worldly purposes, it will have very little share in servanthood to and worship of God, which is founded upon love of truth and otherworldliness, and therefore it will have a place in the Koran according to its merit.

• If the Koran had mentioned future events and scientific developments explicitly, then the purpose for testing men would have been meaningless

Religion is for examination, a test and trial offered by God so that in the area of competition elevated spirits and base ones may be distinguished from each other. Just as raw materials are put in the fire so that diamond and coal, gold and earth, separate out from one another, so too, in this arena of trial the Divine obligations are for testing conscious beings and putting them to a competition so that the precious ‘ore’ in the ‘mine’ of human potential may be separated from the dross. Since the Koran was sent for man to be perfected through trial in this abode of testing, in this arena of competition, for sure it will only allude to the future events pertaining to the world, which everyone will witness in due course of time, and will only open the door to reason to a degree that proves its argument. If it had mentioned them explicitly, then the purpose for testing men would have been meaningless. Simply, the truth of the Divine obligations or proposals would have been as evident as if inscribed with stars on the face of the skies. Then everyone would be left no alternative other than affirming them. There would be no competition, the testing and trial would mean nothing. A spirit like coal would remain together with, and appear to be of the same degree as, a spirit like diamond.

• Again, the Koran addresses all times and places and all levels of understanding. It is the commonalty in every community and in every age that constitute the great majority of people. Therefore, in order to guide everyone to truth and to its basic purposes, the Koran follows a style and language which is understandable to everyone.

Again, the Koran addresses all times and places and all levels of understanding. It is the commonalty in every community and in every age that constitute the great majority of people. Therefore, in order to guide everyone to truth and to its basic purposes, the Koran follows a style and language which is understandable to everyone. As an ordinary man of the lowest intellectual level can benefit from the Koran, a greatest scientist, no matter to which branch of science he belongs to, also benefits from the Koran. This is also why the Koran usually uses a symbolical language and frequently resorts to metaphors, allegories, comparisons and parables. Those who are well-versed in knowledge (Al ‘Imran, 3.7) know how to approach the Koran and benefit from it and conclude that the Koran is the Word of God.

If the Koran had mentioned modern scientific and technological discoveries, the people of earlier times would not have been able to understand them and therefore been deprived of benefiting from the relevant verses of the Koran. Also, sciences are in constant advance and what is regarded today as true may appear tomorrow as wrong or, by contrast, what we see today as wrong, may be proved to be true in the future.

• God Almighty has endowed man with intellectual faculties, so in many of its verses the Koran urges man to use those faculties of him and study nature and events.

God Almighty has endowed man with intellectual faculties, so in many of its verses the Koran urges man to use those faculties of him and study nature and events. If, therefore, the Koran had mentioned, say, modern scientific and technological discoveries or everything pertaining to life, nature, history and man himself, it would have been meaningless that man is created as the best pattern of creation endowed with many intellectual faculties. For he would not have been able to use those faculties and improve them.

• If the Koran had mentioned explicitly whatever we like it to do so, then it would have been a book with hundreds of thousands of pages impossible to read

If the Koran had mentioned explicitly whatever we like it to do so, then it would have been a book with hundreds of thousands of pages and therefore we would not be able to recite it completely to benefit from its spiritual enlightenment. Also, it would give us great boredom to recite. This is contrary to the reason of its revelation and the purposes it pursues.

 
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