The Revealed Books-Islam
THE REVEALED BOOKS
Today's khutbah is about the fourth Article of Faith, the fourth of the six things that every Muslim must believe in, and that is the Revealed Books from Allah. He sent approximately 313 Messengers (peace be upon them), these men were Prophets who had Books revealed to them.
The first of the Messengers (peace be upon them) was the Prophet Noah (A), and the last was our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Being that the Qur'an is the last of the Revealed Books it will be preserved in its original form until the Day of Resurrection.
We must understand the magnitude of this revelation. It is Allah's Speech. If we want Allah to Speak to us, all that we have to do is read the Qur'an while seeking His Guidance from it and He will Guide us. Every circumstance is covered in His Book.
Allah has sent His Guidance that was relevant to every era over the course of human history. Some of the most notable Prophets who are mentioned in the Qur'an were also Messengers. Allah says:
"Verily, this is in the former Scriptures,'
"The Scriptures of Abraham and Moses."
We don't know what came about with some of the Revealed Books, but we still believe in their original existence and the purpose of them being revealed which was for the guidance and direction of mankind to worship our Lord correctly.
There have been various ways in which people approached their Books in the past. The Prophets themselves (peace be upon them) would value them, but some of the people who came later would neglect their books and neither memorize them nor write them down.
Some people over the generations would even write books themselves and claim that those books were from among the Books that Allah had revealed. People can use religion to manipulate the masses and wicked people have no qualms about doing so to accomplish their twisted objectives.
A well know Messenger, and the one mentioned more than anyone else by name in the Qur'an is Moses (A). After being delivered from Egypt he was tasked with bringing order and structure to thousands upon thousands of migrants as his people travelled along. Allah says:
"Verily, We did send down the Torah (to Moses), therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's Will, judged for the Jews. And the rabbis and the priest (also judged for the Jews by the Torah after those Prophets), for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me and don't sell My verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the Kaafiruun (disbelievers)."
Out of all the Revealed Books, the Torah is one of the most well known. It was used by the Prophets (peace be upon them) who were sent to the Children of Israel after the time of Moses (A) and other Books were revealed to them as well.
Allah had chosen the Children of Israel to be favored for a period and sent them many Prophets (peace be upon them), some of whom were Messengers. The rules and regulations of the religion were laid out in the Torah, but only the righteous stuck with the protocols laid out in the revelations.
During the time of the Prophet David (A), Allah revealed the Psalms to him. It contained around 150 chapters, all of which dealt with the praises of Allah. He would recite these Psalms in a beautiful voice that was pleasant to hear. Allah says:
"And your Lord Knows Best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets to others, and to David We gave the Psalms."
It is important here to clarify the distinction between Allah distinguishing some of the Prophets over others and the Muslims making no distinction. As Allah's servants we don't take it upon ourselves to make this distinction, but if Allah does so Himself then we can do so in accordance to Allah's Guidance which isn't our own whims.
The Torah and the Psalms are distinct revelations and not a part of the same Book like Surahs of the Qur'an are. They were each revealed with their own distinct qualities and purpose to their individual Prophets. The Prophet David (A) actually made his legal rulings based on the Torah.
When the Prophet Jesus (A), son of Mary, came he was taught the Torah but he also had a new revelation sent to him called the Injil. It is commonly referred to as the Gospel in translation but it should be noted that according to Christian historians themselves the Gospels they read were written decades after Jesus (A) was around, so Allah Knows Best what happened to the actual revelations that had been sent to him. Allah says:
"And in their footsteps, We sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah that had come before him, and We gave him the Injil (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Torah that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for the pious."
Allah Speaks on His revelations as having been "given", which is an important distinction that the Revealed Books weren't something these Prophets came up with on their own. They weren't written according to their viewpoints, but were the verbatim revelations of Allah.
When Jesus (A), son of Mary, came with the Injil it was a turning point for the Children of Israel. Usually they accepted a Prophet, even if they later killed him like they did Zachariah (A), but Jesus (A) was denied as a Prophet by many people despite the clear proofs.
They denied Jesus (A), in much the same way that the Christians would later deny the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) despite the overwhelming evidence, including in their own Books, of his Prophethood.
As for the revelations sent to previous generations, we believe in their existence in their original form but we don't seek to read or study them. We don't know what's been changed, what's been fabricated, and what might be in its original form, as attested to in the following Hadith:
"Abu Hurairah (R) said that the People of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and expound on it in Arabic to the Muslims, so Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'Neither believe nor disbelieve the People of the Book, but say, "We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us..."
The Qur'an and the Sunnah are sufficient for us. We know that we can trust them so there is no need to go off seeking guidance when we have it right there at our fingertips. The Qur'an is still in its original form and the life of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the most documented person's life in human history.
We have been blessed with clear guidance and if we were to delve off into other people's books, especially when we are early on in our studies, then that is likely to make things convoluted for us and could cause us to go astray, may Allah Protect us from that.
All of the Prophets (peace be upon them) had a variety of miracles during their time periods. Our own Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had miracles that he performed on occasion, but the most significant miracle was the Qur'an itself as he expressed in the following Hadith:
"Narrated Abu Hurairah (R): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 'There was no Prophet among the Prophets but was given miracles because of which people had security or had belief, but what I have been given is the Divine Revelation which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will be more than those of any other Prophet on the Day of Resurrection."
The Qur'an is a literary and grammatical masterpiece that was revealed to someone who couldn't even read, so it eliminated the argument that he had sat back and wrote it himself. It speaks with accuracy about events of the past and events of the future.
The Qur'an has proven to accurately explain scientific marvels, unknown at the time it was revealed, which is a constant miracle for later generations of Muslims who weren't blessed to see and be around the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) first hand.
Manmade literary works are liable to have mistakes, inconsistencies and inaccurate information. Especially when you're dealing with thousands of pages that discuss everything from business, to family, to war and functions of a society. The Qur'an, on the other hand, has no contradictions. Allah says:
"Do they not then consider the Qur'an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions."
There Qur'an is clearly from Allah for anyone who can see. We should become acquainted with the Qur'an through study. Read the books from early Islamic scholars who had an in depth understanding of its teachings and applications.
The People of the Book disagreed after knowledge had come to them, so we have been encourage not to argue about the Qur'an. Allah has made most of it clear and easy to understand, but some verses are allegorical.
If we don't understand something then we should either leave it alone, or peacefully seek out the proper understanding of it. We see an example of this in the following Hadith:
"Jundab bin 'Abdullah Al-Bajali (R) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'Recite (and study) the Qur'an as long as you agree about its interpretation, but if you have any difference of opinion (as regards its interpretation and meaning) then you should stop reciting it (for the time being)."
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Taking a moment is intended to prevent argument. Coming together and studying Allah's Book together will generally give us a better understanding and allows for us to build unity and compile innumerable good deeds while we are doing so.
The Qur'an is a form of dhikr, remembrance of Allah, and the remembrance of Allah is the greatest of all actions in life. Our Book is essential to the foundation of our religious practices and Allah incentivizes reading it so that we might benefit from His teachings.
The Qur'an has what the previous revelations had all in one. There are legal rulings, praises of Allah, du'as that we can make, and a complete code of life for the community of the believers, Al-Hamdulillah.
There are Surahs in the Qur'an with increased rewards. Some of these Surahs are very short but carry a tremendous reward, for example:
"Abu Darda' (R) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'Can't any of you read 1/3 of the Qur'an in one night?' They said, 'How can we do that?' He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'Surah Ikhlas (112) equals 1/3 of the Qur'an."
This Surah is only four short verses, but by reciting it we receive credit for reading 1/3 of the entire Qur'an. This Surah is an expression of the complete Oneness of Allah as well as a refutation of the lies that some people associate with Him.
Another of these Surahs and other verses, can be found in the following Hadith:
"Ibn 'Abbas (R) reported, 'While Gabriel was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), a sound was heard from above. He raised his head and Gabriel said, "This is a door in heaven opened today, it was never opened before, and an angel descended from it. This is an angel coming to the earth that never descended before." Then he greeted and said, 'Be happy, for two lights have been given to you that were given to no other Prophet before you. The Opening Surah and the last Ayat (Verses) of the Surat Al-Baqarah. Every letter you read of them, will be awarded for it."
Allah has shown special favor to this generation of the Muslims through His revelation of the Qur'an to us. Every Muslim should know the Al-FaatiHah (Opening Chapter) by heart being that we are supposed to recite it in all of our Prayers.
The Al-FaatiHah is often referred to as "The Perfect Prayer", or "The Mother of the Book", and "The Seven Oft Repeated Verses". It contains guidance, praise, and a request for Allah's Help. People use it to help against jinn possession and a variety of other ailments.
If a Muslim shows up anywhere around the world and can't recite anything in a common tongue outside of the Al-FaatiHah, then it should be enough to receive the assistance of his fellow Muslims. The other verses mentioned in this Hadith are found at the end of the second Surah of the Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, and carry tremendous rewards and a protection for the people who recite them.
We respect the Qur'an and only touch pages that have the written Arabic script of the Qur'an when we are in ablution (Wudu). Our Sisters don't recite it when they are on their menses, and none of us recite it after having sexual intercourse until we have taken a bath or a shower (making ghusl).
When we show these regards for Allah's Book it opens us to the types of rewards in the following Hadith:
"The Prophet (S) said, 'Whoever reads a letter from the Qur'an has one reward for doing so; and every reward (for a good deed) is multiplied ten times."
An excellent way to compile good deeds to ensure our safety in this life and in the Hereafter. The next life is eternal and Allah's Protection is assured for doing certain behaviors. Reading Qur'an, especially particular Surahs, is one of those things.
In closing, Allah has Revealed hundreds of Books over time, all of which we believe in but only one of which we have to concern ourselves with following. May Allah reward us with good in this life and in the Hereafter and bless us with a thorough understanding of His final Book and let it be a protection for us and guidance for us and may He Give us good in this life, good in the Hereafter and Protect us against the torment of the Hellfire. Aameen