The Quran – Literature
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
The word “quran” is the English transcription of the Arabic word “kur,anun“, which means “reading, recitation“. It is formed from the root “kara, a,” which translates as “to read, recite, study, learn.”
In our case, we are not talking about just some oral information, but about written transcendental information, so we need to understand the word “quran” more widely. In English, there is a term that accurately reflects the meaning of the Arabic equivalent, – Literature.
Literature is creativity, expressed in both oral and written words, that is, verbal creativity. Proceeding from this, the translation will use the word “literature” instead of the Arabic “quran”.
Literature is positioned as divine information, which was in the “al-lauh al-mahfuz” – the preserved tablet.
Indeed, it is a noble Literature (Quran) in a Prescription well-protected, none touch it except the purified – a revelation from the Lord of the worlds! (56:77-80)
But this is an honored Literature (Quran) in a preserved tablet (al-lauh al-mahfuz). (85:21-22)
The Creator convinces Muhammad that the received Prescription is not some kind of obsession, but the message from the Lord.
And indeed, you receive the Literature (Quran) from one Wise and Knowing! (27:6)
Indeed, it is We who have sent down to you the Literature (Quran) by revelation. (76:23)
Important for understanding the essence of the Prescription is the mention of the language of the Quran.
Alif, Lam, Ra.
These are the signs of the clear Prescription.
Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Literature (Quran) that you might understand!
We relate to you, the best of stories in what We have suggested to you of this Literature (Quran) although you were, before it, among the unaware! (12:1-3)
And thus We have sent it down as an Arabic Literature (Quran) and have diversified therein the warnings that perhaps they will be aware or it would retell them remembrance! (20:113)
And We have certainly presented for the people in this Literature (Quran) from every kind of example – that they might remember. An Arabic Literature (Quran), without any deviance that they might beware! (39:27-28)
A revelation from the Gracious, the Merciful – a Prescription whose signs have been detailed, an Arabic Literature (Quran) for a people who know. (41:1-3)
And if We had made it a non-Arabic Literature (Quran), they would have said, “Why are its signs not explained in detail? Why is it a foreign and not Arabic!?”
Say, “It is, for those who believe, a guidance and cure.”
And those who do not believe – in their ears is deafness, and it is not clear for them. Those are seemed to be called from a distant place. (41:44)
And thus We have suggested to you an Arabic Literature (Quran) that you may warn the mother of cities and those around it and warn of the day of assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in the garden and a party in the blaze. (42:7)
By the clear Prescription, indeed, We have made it an Arabic Literature (Quran) that you might understand! (43:1-3)
These messages set the reference point for the proper perception of the Word of God. Once the precept is given in Arabic, then it is necessary to understand what is stated in it through the prism of the meanings of the words and events of that time.
Ignorant people needed the guidebook, without being aware of it. In this connection, the Prescription was given in an easy-to-understand form.
And We have certainly made the Literature (Quran) easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?! (54:17)
…so recite what is easy for you of the Literature (Quran)… (73:20)
Along with ease, Literature brought joyful message for its followers.
Indeed, this Literature (Quran) guides to that which is most straight and gives good tidings to the believers who corrected themselves that they will have a great reward! (17:9)
It is for followers of the Prescription the favourable conditions are provided which do not apply to those who wish to remain in the darkness of their ignorance.
And We send down of the Literature (Quran) that which is healing and mercy for the believers! But it does not increase the obscurantists except in loss! (17:82)
Literature is designed to remind people about the true meaning of the life on earth.
We have not sent down to you the Literature (Quran) that you be distressed, but only as a reminder for those who fear – a revelation from He who created the earth and highest heavens. (20:1-4)
And We did not give him knowledge of poetry, nor is it befitting for him. It is not but a reminder and a clear Literature (Quran). (36:69)
By the Literature (Quran) containing reminder! (38:1)
We are most knowing of what they say, and you are not over them a tyrant. But remind by the Literature (Quran) whoever fears My threat! (50:45)
The reminder also contained a warning about the possible consequences of an erroneous worldview.
Say, “What thing is greatest in testimony?”
Say, “God is witness between me and you. And this Literature (Quran) was suggested to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches… (6:19)
By the legible Literature (Quran)! Indeed you are from among the messengers, on a straight path. A revelation of the Exalted in Might, the Merciful, That you may warn a people whose forefathers were not warned, so they are unaware! (36:1-6)
But everything is meaningless for a person, if he does not bother to think about and analyse the prescriptions sent down from the Creator.
Then do they not reflect upon the Literature (Quran)? If it had been from other than God, they would have found within it much contradiction. (4:82)
Then do they not reflect upon the Literature (Quran)? Or are there locks upon their hearts? (47:24)
Reflection is impossible without attentive listening to the messages given by the Lord.
So when the Literature (Quran) is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy! (7:204)
As a guide, the Literature guarantees that any actions that are relevant to the Prescription will necessarily be taken into account by God.
And, you are not engaged in any matter or recite the Literature (Quran) and you do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any of an atom’s weight within the earth or within the heaven or smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear Prescription. (10:61)
Stand for prayer at the decline of the sun until the darkness of the night and the Literature (Quran) recite at dawn. Indeed, the Literature (Quran) of dawn and of the night is ever witnessed! (17:78)
Therefore, to show the example for everyone, first of all Muhammad was imputed to follow the read information from the Almighty.
Muhammad said, “I have only been commanded to serve the Lord of this city, who made it forbidden for battles and to whom belongs all things. And I am commanded to be of the humble and to recite the Literature (Quran)!”
And whoever is guided is only guided for himself, and whoever strays – say, “I am only of the warners!” (27:91-92)
The closest to the perception of the Quranic message were the holders of the Prescription, who considered as holy prescriptions those ones that were revealed by the Creator earlier. But the “priests” did not like the Literature, as it revealed much of what they were trying to hide from ordinary people.
Indeed, this Literature (Quran) narrates to the children of Israel most of that over which they disagree. (27:76)
The denunciation by the Literature the defects of the society, caused the rejection of those who possessed them, expressed in an attempt to lead the people away from the Quran.
And those who closed themselves say, “Do not listen to this Literature (Quran) and deceive about it that perhaps you will overcome!” (41:26)
Seeing the futility of counteraction to the Prescription, people not recognizing the future life expressed an absurd desire to replace this Literature.
And when Our signs are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Bring us a Literature (Quran) other than this or change it.”
Reply, “It is not for me to change it on my own accord! I only follow what is suggested to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous day!” (10:15)
The irreconcilability towards the Quranic truth created the opposite effect with respect to the Prescription.
And We have certainly diversified in this Literature (Quran) that they may be reminded, but it does not increase them except in aversion! (17:41)
Say, “If mankind and the invisible creatures gathered in order to produce the like of this Literature (Quran), they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other helpers!”
And We have certainly diversified for the people in this Literature (Quran) from every kind of example, but most of the people refused anything except closed nature. (17:88-89)
And We have certainly diversified in this Literature (Quran) for the people from every kind of example; but man has ever been, most of anything, prone to dispute. (18:54)
And those who closed themselves say,
“Why was the Literature (Quran) not revealed to him all at once?”
Thus that We may strengthen thereby your heart. And We have spaced it distinctly. (25:32)
And We have certainly presented to the people in this Literature (Quran) from every kind of example. But, if you should bring them a sign, those who closed themselves will surely say, “You are but falsifiers!” (30:58)
And they said, “Why was this Literature (Quran) not sent down upon a great man from the two cities?” (43:31)
I would like to draw attention to the mention, along with the people, of invisible creatures. It is known that these are rational creations, also called in this life to serve God. Naturally, they were also the object of the Lord’s exhortation.
When We directed to you a group of the invisible creatures, listening to the Literature (Quran). And when they attended it, they said, “Listen quietly.” And when it was concluded, they went back to their people as warners.
They said, “O our nation! Indeed we have heard a Prescription revealed after Musa (Moses) confirming what was before it which guides to the truth and to a straight path! (46:29-30)
Say, “It has been suggested to me that a group of the invisible creatures listened and said, ‘Indeed, we have heard an amazing Literature (Quran)!” (72:1)
As an ordinary man, Muhammad needed protection from the enemy’s machinations, the logical prescription of which is the following passage.
So when you recite the Literature (Quran), seek refuge in God from cursed disobedient. (16:98)
And the protection of the Almighty did not keep you waiting.
And when you recite the Literature (Quran), We put between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter a concealed veil. And We have placed over their hearts coverings, lest they understand it, and in their ears deafness.
And when you mention your Lord alone in the Literature (Quran), they turn back in aversion. (17:45-46)
The attention of the thoughtful reader will not escape the fact that the above excerpts report on the Literature in general. From these passages it is clear that the Prescription was sent down to Muhammad as a whole.
The blazing (ramadan) month in which was revealed the Literature (Quran), a guidance for the people… (2:185)
By the clear Prescription! Indeed, We are warners! (44:1-3)
Before us is clear information that Literature was sent down as a whole, but not by parts. Tradition claims that it was sent down to the first heaven, and then gradually have been sent down to the messenger for 23 years. However, the message that the Prescription is intended to guide people does not allow accepting the traditional point of view, because people could not be guided by the Prescription located in the sky.
An additional argument in favor of the sending down of the Literature as a whole is the following extract.
By the mount and by a Prescription inscribed in parchment spread open and by the visited house. (52:1-4)
Unambiguously the Creator swears by the written Prescription inscribed and spread open, together with the visited house. These signs give a description of the Literature, since the holders of the Prescription do not have the precedents such as the pilgrimage to the Kaaba.
No! Indeed, these is a Reminder!
So whoever wills may remember it.
In honored sheets,
Exalted and purified,
By the hands of scribes, noble and dutiful! (80:11-16)
This passage indicates that Literature was written down during the lifetime of Muhammad in the final form. In this process, the scribes took part, who captured the Prescription as Muhammad recited it.
The creator immediately provided the form, style, appearance and explanation of the Prescription, so that the messenger was instructed not to interfere in the process of the formation of the Literature.
So high is God, the true King! And, do not hasten with the Literature (Quran) before its suggestion is commanded to you, and say, “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge!” (20:114)
Move not your tongue with it to hasten!
Indeed, upon Us is its collection and its recitation.
So when We have recited it, then follow the Literature (Quran)!
Then upon Us is its clarification! (75:16-19)
The structure of the Prescription in the modern form corresponds to the given characteristics in the Literature.
And We have certainly given you, seven of the often repeated and the great Literature (Quran)! (15:87)
This passage informs us that the Literature is preceded by seven repetitive parts. The only chapter that tells on behalf of people, which is a model for appealing to God, is the first. There are seven parts in it, which must be repeated, since they expressly reflect the basic aspirations of believers. The second begins with the fact that the Creator acquaints with the Prescription itself:
Alif, Lam, Meem.
This is the Prescription about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those circumspect. (2:1-2)
There is the fact that the first chapter acts as a preface, and the main part begins with the second. This precisely reflects the description of the structure of the Literature from 15:87.
Having received the Literature completely, the messenger was to exhort his people, which presupposed a certain order, which again was given by the Creator Himself.
And with the truth We have sent the Literature (Quran) down, and with the truth it has descended. And We have not sent you, except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner.
A Literature (Quran) which We have divided that you might recite it to the people over a prolonged period. And We have revealed it by revelation. (17:105-106)
The prescription for convenience of perception was divided into parts. Part of the Quran is “sura“, which in Arabic means “chapter“.
Which We have sent down and made it obligatory and revealed therein signs of clear evidence that you might remember! (24:1)
To facilitate the task, the Creator invited opponents to repeat at least a part of the Prescription.
And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our servant then produce “a chapter” the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than God, if you should be truthful. (2:23)
And it was not for this Literature (Quran) to be produced by other than God. But it is a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the Prescription, about which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds!
Or do they say, “He invented it?”
Say, “Then bring forth “a chapter” like it and call upon whomever you can besides God, if you should be truthful!” (10:37-38)
Or do they say, “He invented it (Literature)”?
Say, “Then bring ten chapters like it (Literature) that have been invented and call upon whomever you can besides God, if you should be truthful!” (11:13)
Unfortunately, not only among opponents can there be ignorant people. Among the believers there are also enough precedents of inconsistency with divine norms.
O you who have believed! Do not ask about things which, if they are shown to you, will distress you. But if you ask about them while the Literature (Quran) is being revealed, they will be shown to you. God has pardoned that which is past; and God is Forgiving and Forbearing! (5:101)
What are the believers warned about in this place? They are warned against repeating the mistakes of the children of Israel, who pestered Moses with their questions.
Or do you intend to ask your messenger as Musa (Moses) was asked before? And whoever exchanges faith for closed nature has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way. (2:108)
In the story of Moses, God pointed out that they had a disease in their hearts. This kind of problem was with some of the followers of Muhammad.
Those who believe say, “Why has “a chapter” not been sent down? But when a precise “chapter” is revealed and fighting is mentioned therein, you see those in whose hearts is disease looking at you with a look of one overcome by death!… (47:20)
Such a state of the heart is expressed in hypocrisy.
They venal ones are apprehensive lest “a chapter” be revealed about them, informing them of what is in their hearts.
Say, “Mock! Indeed, God will expose that which you fear.” (9:64)
And when “a chapter” was revealed to believe God and to fight with His messenger, those of wealth among them asked your permission and said, “Leave us to be with them who sit!” (9:86)
And whenever “a chapter” is revealed, there are among them those who say, “Which of you has this increased faith?”
As for those who believed, it has increased them in faith, while they are rejoicing! (9:124)
And whenever “a chapter” is revealed, they look at each other, “Does anyone see you?” and then they dismiss themselves. God has dismissed their hearts because they are a people who do not understand! (9:127)
The main idea is that the division into chapters was initiated by God Himself. The chapters are divided among themselves by the formula “in the name of the God, the Gracious, the Merciful” and there are simply no other signs. The intervention of people in the additional separation of the Precept is censured.
Just as We had revealed to the separators Who have made the Literature (Quran) into portions!
So by your Lord, We will surely question them all about what they used to do! (15:90-93)
How was the human division of the Quran expressed? The most obvious intervention of people is the artificial division of the 8th chapter, for the next chapter does not begin with the formula “in the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful” and its content corresponds to a single theme from the 8th chapter – battle and military trophies.
The final of the life of this stage of life will be summing up the results of human activity, where the Word of God will serve as a starting point in the assessment by the Lord.
Indeed, He who imposed upon you the Literature (Quran) will take you back to a place of return.
Say, “My Lord is most knowing of who brings guidance and who is in clear error!” (28:85)
Refusal of the guide provided by God leads only to delusion. The reason for refusing the prescriptions is the denial of Literature as a transcendental source.
And the messenger has said, “O my Lord! Indeed my nation has taken this Literature (Quran) as abandoned!” (25:30)
And the result of those who did not recognize the Literature as the Word of God is very disappointing, and, in the end, those who denied the signs of God admit their mistake, blaming other people for this.
And those who closed themselves say, “We will never believe in this Literature (Quran) nor in that before it!” But if you could see when the obscurantists are made to stand before their Lord, refuting each other’s words…
Those who were oppressed will say to those who were arrogant, “If not for you, we would have been believers!” (34:31)
This finale once again warns against blindly following someone without independent reflection and analysis of the information suggested.