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You Must Read That Book!

 

You Must Read That Book!

Dr. Pasha

(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)

 

Regardless of Who You Are, or What You Do, 
You Must Still Read This Book!

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what or where you are. And I have no idea what you do or don’t do. But regardless of all that, I would still like you to read that book – the most amazing and incomparable Al-Qur’an!

For, there is no other book quite like that book in the world! There never was, and there never will be. Not to belittle, disparage or put any other book down. But simply to tell you that this is a book you owe it to yourself to read.

This book – I mean that book – is quite unlike any other book you may have read.

I am repeatedly saying “that” book for one simple but powerful reason: that is how that book describes itself – right at the outset: starting out with the fourth letter of its second of 114 chapters. That is why I am alternating between the expressions “this” book and “that” book.

Are You a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist?

I mean, are you a Christian? Are you a Hindu, a Jew, a Muslim or a Buddhist?

Are you an Atheist, an Agnostic, an Animist or a Deist? Or are you, maybe, something entirely different?

Are you male or female? Are you young or old? Are you rich or poor or something in the middle?

Are you white, black, brown, yellow, red or a happy or unhappy mixture of all of the above?

Are you a student, a university graduate, a holder of what people call a terminal degree, or a high-school dropout? Or are you a physician, engineer, lawyer, government servant, public official, business person or someone looking for a job?

And what are your political leanings? I mean are you a conservative, liberal, communist, capitalist or something a bit more exotic?

And are you from the East, from the West, from the North, from the South, or from somewhere else?

Boxes and Bins, Cells and Compartments that Divide Us

In which of these wonderful little bins and boxes have you chosen to lock yourself up and let them determine and guide your life and destiny. All the little cells and cabins human beings have devised to sort and separate themselves from one another! And then to use those very same bins and boxes, cells and compartments, as the basis and rationale for their mutual rivalries, quarrels, fights, jealousies, hatreds, depredations, dominations and exploitations!

What a way to live – the way we humans have chosen to define ourselves and live our life! But that is us humans. That is who we are and that is how we live.

These are all the familiar roles people embrace; all the delectable identities people impose upon themselves and others; and all the games people play – as individuals, groups, organizations, nations and societies – for all the various reasons they play them for!

But regardless of who or what you are, and regardless of what you do or don’t do – that is, regardless of your belief or behavior, and regardless of your race or religion, gender or age, nationality or language, education or occupation, habits or lifestyle, culture or ethnicity, views or ideologies, likes or dislikes, phobias or obsessions, anathemas or penchants and proclivities – you must still read this book.

I mean that book. This most amazing Al-Qur’an!

Love, Respect and a Little Bit of Pain

You must absolutely, positively read this book. For, there is no other book like it. There never was and there never will be.

Not to insult or attack any other book that you may hold in esteem, but purely to share with you the fact that this book may be quite unique and different from any and everything else that you may have read. And to tell you, with nothing but love and respect, and a little bit of pain, in my heart, that you owe it to yourself to get a first-hand acquaintance with such a book.

Love and respect because that is the least we owe one another as fellow-members of the human race. Pain because this knowledge should be the common and most inalienable right and heritage of every one of us, but it is not.

A Place to Turn to

Did you ever wander through the vistas of life looking for answers? Answers to all sorts of questions, from the most significant to the most trivial? Looking for ways to make sense of your surroundings, your environment and the entire universe – and your own place and role in it?

Did you ever wish there were some place you could go to, someone you could turn or talk to, something you could look up or read, where you would find the answers you were seeking; to relieve the pain you were feeling; and to alleviate the anxiety and confusion you were experiencing?

Where you would find the most authentic, true and reliable information – and advice, and help, and comment – on things that mattered most to you? Even beyond that, where you would see, hear and read God himself talk to you: directly and without an intermediary?

Where you will hear God’s own words directed at you personally, individually and often without equivocation and prevarication?

Too Good To Be True

If you thought all this was too good to be true, then all you need to do is read this book. This most amazing Al-Qur’an. For, this book is that book.

That book -- Dhaalikal Kitaab!

That is what the Qur’an says it is. That is exactly how the Qur’an puts it. I am quoting directly from the Qur’an – from that book.

I don’t mean someone or something purporting to speak for or in behalf of God. I don’t mean someone relating to you what God supposedly said to them, but God Almighty himself, addressing you directly, in his own words and voice, speaking to you in First Person and addressing you in Second Person?

And doing so using the direct-address mode of conversation that you are used to all your life. Calling out to you from beyond space and time, saying: “O, You!”

And yet assuring you all the time that he is close – closer than you think; closer than your own jugular vein; and, always, close enough to hear and answer you when you call him.

Have you – has your soul, deep down inside you, in the very core of your being – ever felt a need, a hankering, a craving, an urge, a burning desire, an aching for something just like that?

If you have, then you must read this book. This most incomparable Al-Qur’an. For, this book is that book.

Dhaalikal Kitaab – as that book describes itself.

Call Me and I Shall Respond

“Call me!” God Almighty says to you in this – that – book. “I shall respond.”

You never had it so good. You never had that kind of an open, unconditional commitment from anyone.

No supervisor, no superior officer, no business tycoon, no CEO, no owner of an industry, none of the wealthiest and most powerful people around, no prime minister, no president of a country, no king or queen ever told you that or gave you that kind of an open-ended, unqualified assurance.

Think of the good old days, as they say, or maybe not so good old days really, when human beings owned other human beings as slaves and when some human beings and their societies and nations and races got rich trading some other human beings, often based on their race and color and place of birth, not for a day or two, not for a decade or two, but for centuries. Think of those days when humans owned humans and had complete control and domination over them.

Do you ever think a master told his or her – for there were women slave owners too – slaves the same thing that God Almighty is telling you in that book: “Call me, I shall answer?”

That is why you must read that book, for there is no other book quite like that book in this world.

There Is No Other Book Quite Like It!

That is right.

There really is no other book in the world quite like that book. All you need to do is read that book and find out for yourself. Compare it to all the other books you know and come to your own conclusions.

You owe that much to yourself, do you not? Your life in this world and your destiny in the next world is worth at least that much to you, is it not?

When you pick up and read that book you will find that it is a book that elevates and exalts you beyond anything you ever thought was possible.

In that book you will read and hear God talking to you directly. What could be a greater exaltation of a mere mortal human being than that? When and where did you have an opportunity and experience like that in your life before?

You will find that it is a book that answers all the questions that were burning holes in your heart for you can’t even remember how long.

That provides you that ultimate solace and comfort you felt you needed when all human efforts to reach you and sooth the turmoil inside you failed to do their job.

You will find that it is a book that provides you clarity when all attempts on your part, and on the part of all others, to remove the chaos and confusion prevailing in and around you never quite accomplished their goal.

A Million Candles to Light Your Life

That book will open up pathways before you that you never thought existed. And it will light up a million candles along those pathways for you to pursue your hopes and aspirations and the destination of your choice.

That book will provide for you a wonderful new direction, and rich new vistas, in which to point your life and channel your efforts, resources, talents and energies. It will give your life a whole new meaning; and give your existence and struggle on earth a whole new purpose and perspective; and give your energies a whole new boost.

You will find that it is a book whose reading puts a new spring in your step; a new tilt in your chin; a new smile on your lips; a new contentment on your countenance; a new sparkle in your eyes; a new confidence in your demeanor; and a new hope, optimism and courage in your heart.

You will find it to be a book whose reading and contemplation make your relationship with the rest of the universe around you one of calm communion; one of serene peace and tranquility; and one of supreme joy and bliss. And, at the same time, set your heart ablaze with the twin emotions of boundless love for and unimaginable fear of your creator.

And wrings from your eyes, believe it or not, steaming, cascading streams of intense and sublime joy, sorrow, contrition, remorse, shame, love, bliss, felicity and devotion, as God’s words begin to clear the cobwebs in your soul and burn away the darkness in your heart, and as you begin to feel the awesome and indescribable power, majesty, glory and presence of God Almighty near and before you.

A Book of Timeless Miracles

It is a book of timeless miracles and unending epiphanies – and of unimaginable psychological and spiritual exaltations and transportations of joy and sorrow – from beginning to end.

If you want, you can simply refer to it as a book of miracles. For, everything about that book is a miracle. In fact, that book is so full of miracles, cover to cover, that it refers to every one of its own passages as a miracle – as an indelible and timeless marker for humanity to discern the truth and come to its creator.

How else could it be if it is a book in which God Almighty speaks directly to all of humanity?

That is why I say there is no other book quite like that book. And that is precisely also what that book itself says about itself.

Higher Than Angels

For starters, this book will show you that your status in God’s eyes was even higher than that of the angels. So much so that God made the angels prostrate before you as a human being, when he created your progenitor, Adam – may Almighty God bless him.

That book will show you how God Almighty created everything in heaven and earth just for you. And how he made you – man as well as woman – his own personal representatives on earth.

It will show you how your existence on earth is an integral part of God’s grand plan for you – and for his world. It will tell you how, as a baby, God brought you into this world pure and free, and completely unburdened by any guilt and untarnished by any sin, to be able to perform that exalted duty: to be God’s representative on earth.

That book would lay down for you, right at the outset, the parameters of right and wrong, and good and bad, and would also provide for you in many cases the rationale for doing so?

That book would make distinct for you the boundaries and demarcations that God has set up to separate the lawful and the permissible from the forbidden and the unlawful for you and for the whole world, and would outline for you the consequences of breaching those boundaries that God established for your own good and for the good of this world.

A Divine Bridge to Other Revelations

In many ways you will find in that book echoes of some of the other books you may have read before, and that may contain snatches of divine revelations, whether it is the Bible or the Gita or something else. But only in purer and more complete form. And in the original text in which that book was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and all his other prophets and messengers, 1400 years ago.

You will find that book to be a divine bridge to all the other faiths and divine books and revelations that came before it. As if someone had sat down and gone through those other books carefully and methodically and revised and updated them to meet your present-day and future needs and requirements.

It is a book that to a significant degree would place your fate and destiny in your own hand – based on your own choices and decisions; based on your own action and inaction; based on all your omissions and commissions; and on the knowledge you acquire and the judgment you use.

Be Your Own Judge!

That book would then tell you to go ahead and be your own judge and it will inform you that on the Day of Judgment God too would hold you accountable for what you do or don’t do in this world based on pretty much the same standards that you use in your own daily life and you think are the just and fair and correct ones.

It is a book that would clearly give you the right of choice, as a rational human being, to make up your own mind with regard to issues, and the choices you make, determine the grounds for what happens to you in life and after death.

It is a book that would give you the guarantee that not an iota of good you do in this world would ever be lost or discounted. It is also a book that would, at the same time, warn you that even the smallest amount of bad you do in this world may haunt you and catch up with you.

And all the time, this book would hold open before you the prospect of God’s unbounded love and eternal Grace and invite you to turn to him and repent.

That is why you must read this book, for there is no other book like that book.

Dhaalikal Kitaab!

Reprieve and Redemption

That book would at all times show you the way out of your predicament by throwing open for you the doors of repentance, reprieve, redemption and restitution.

Not by way of absolution of your sins through another human being like you, not through some magical formulas, but through a genuine change of heart and repentance on your own part.

You must read this book – that book – for in this book you will hear God Almighty call out to the sinners of the world directly and openly:

“O my slaves who have wronged themselves!

Despair not of the grace, love and mercy of God!

For, God forgives all sins!”

When did you ever hear that call that loudly, that clearly and quite in those terms? Not in a voice modulated and mediated through other human beings like yourself, but in God’s own voice that speaks to you directly and without intermediaries?

It is a book that would proclaim to you the unity and equality of the human race in terms you never quite saw or heard or understood before.

It is a book that would solve the mystery of the male-female dynamic – parity, equality, balance, harmony, reciprocity and complexity – in terms clearer and more powerful than you ever thought was possible. And all of it flowing out of its pages in unstoppable torrents of enlightenment for the past 1400 hundred years and changing and enveloping world cultures and civilizations as they moved forward from continent to continent and people to people.

Logic and Reason as a Pathway to God

You will find it to be a most remarkable book in a number of other ways too. That book would show you how to use your reason, judgment and common sense, not only to solve your practical problems in this life, but also would guide you to find God and reach out to his love, Grace and mercy, both in this and the next world.

It is a book that would teach you how to use your natural powers of logic as well as intuition, and all your skills of research and analysis, not only to make your life on earth better and more fulfilling, but also to work your way to God Almighty. That book would thus turn knowledge and science into your friends and allies on your journey to God and not make them hindrances and stumbling blocks.

That is why you must read this book – that book – regardless of who you are or what you do and regardless of whether you are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, atheist or something else. For, you need that book in your life as much as anyone ever needed anything in this world.

For, that book is God’s own personal gift to you that he sent to you through a very special personal messenger.

Wait No More!

If you had wished and wanted and waited for any or all of this, and a host of other things of this nature besides, then wish no more!

And wait no more!

For, your wish has come true. God has granted you your wish. And that book is here! And that book is the incomparable, the most amazing, Al-Qur’an. A book directly from God Almighty that you absolutely, positively must read.

For, it is a book that may be quite unlike anything that you may have ever read or heard of before in your entire life.

Reach out and grab hold a copy of that book today – either in the original Arabic or in a translation of it in any language that you are most comfortable in. For, Almighty God has made that book available, ready and waiting for you.

And he did it from before you were even born, knowing, as only he could, that once born in this world you would need that book. You would need that book to navigate the murky and turbulent waters of life on earth as much as you would need your mother’s milk.

Or as much as you would need air to breathe, food to eat or water to drink.

God Prepared the Earth for You

God Almighty prepared all those things for you – did he not? And kept them all waiting for you before you ever set foot on earth – did he not? So also did he prepare and keep this most amazing book ready and waiting for you from before your birth, as a birthday present for you. The greatest, the best and the most valuable and useful one you or anyone else would ever receive.

So reach out and pick up a copy of that book today. And, as that most amazing book itself says, read!

For, that is what that book commands all of us to do: to read!

Iqra’!

All of this from 1400 years ago, when most people in the world neither knew how to read nor were many of them even allowed by the kings and lords and the religious leaders to read. Beginning then, this book ushered in the greatest cultural, intellectual and lifestyle revolution this world has ever known.

It was on the foundations of inquiry, liberty, knowledge and culture supplied by that book that the world built its latest march to science, culture and civilization over the past nearly a millennium and a half.

That Book Calls Itself “The Reading”!

That is right.

That is what that book calls itself. It calls itself, believe it or not, “The Reading”! And that too in the 7th Century – not in the 20th or 21st Century. And that again in the middle of the Arabian desert.

Or “Something to Read!”

And it calls itself “The Writing”!

And it calls itself “The Book”!

What a book indeed!

How can there be a book that calls itself “The Reading“? And which then turns around and calls itself “The Writing“? And then finally labels itself “The Book”?

And then says it is that book?

And all this 1400 years ago, when reading and writing were the prerogative of the rich and the privileged few. When reading and writing were allowed only for the royals, the clergy and the nobles. And when most of the rest of the people of the world were forbidden by law from reading and writing, at times on pain of death.

Can you imagine that? Did you know that there was a time when human beings were prevented from reading, writing and teaching by law and by use of brute force?

Till this book came along and liberated humanity and conferred upon all human beings, regardless of their birth or rank, the most inalienable right to read and write. And in fact commanded every one of them to read.

That is why you must read that book, because that is what that book calls itself: it calls itself “The Reading!

It calls itself Al-Qur’an, which in the Arabic language means “Reading” or “Something to Read.” Or, simply, to read.

And It Did So 1400 Years Ago

What none of us should forget is this basic and most astounding fact: that book did all this, not yesterday or today, not a century or two ago, but all of 1400 years ago.

There is no other book in the world that ever called itself “Reading” – 1400 years ago.

And that book then goes to call itself “The Writing!”Al-Kitaab. And there is no other book in the world that ever called itself that – 1400 years ago.

And that book also calls itself “The Book,” which is another meaning of the Arabic expression “Al-Kitaab.” And indeed The Book it is – a book quite unlike any other book that you may ever have read or will ever read! And there is no other book in the world that called itself that either – 1400 years ago.

And, mind you, these are not the titles conferred upon it by its readers, admirers and devotees. These are all words which that book itself uses to describe itself – all of it going back 1400 years ago.

So, pick up a copy of this most amazing book today and read it. For, this book is that book.

Read that book. For it is “The Book” and it is “The Reading”!

And it is “The Writing.”

All of it divine; all of it from God Almighty, the most loving, the most forgiving and the most caring.

A Personal Letter to You from a Loving God

There is another meaning to the Arabic word Kitaab that many people do not fully understand or appreciate. And yet it has the most profound significance and implications for all of us – and for the whole world.

Arabic language frequently uses the word Kitaab to mean letter – a written message sent by someone to someone else. This would make that book a letter sent by God Almighty to each and every one of us directly and personally. Now, that puts that book in an entirely different perspective and brings out its relevance to us and our lives in ways that are absolutely stunning.

That means we can’t view that book as just another impersonal document written for a nameless, faceless mass audience with open boundaries and unspecified demographic and psychographic parameters. What we need to do is to treat that book as a carefully crafted personal letter directed at each one of us individually. A letter that is most uniquely miraculously suited to the needs and requirements of each one of us for a successful and joyous life both in this and the next world.

With love from the maker and master of the worlds, a personal letter for each and every single one of us, man and woman. I don’t know how anything in this world can ever get better than that!

Asking Questions: The Stuff of Human Life

Much of human life is about asking questions and looking for answers, is it not? Answers to all sorts of questions that we can think of? Answers to all sorts of questions that haunt and plague us all the time?

Thinking, reasoning, reflecting, asking questions, looking for answers, seeking clarity and understanding, trying to make sense of what surrounds us – are these not the threads out of which the fabric of human life is woven?

Well, those are all the very things that that book is about. That book will tell you, as it has been telling everyone for the past 1400 years, that far from being a problem or a pain or a curse, these are all some of the noblest and most important and blessed activities human beings can – and must – undertake.

A Book that Encourages Thought and Fosters Inquiry

That is why you must read this book. For, this book encourages thought, fosters inquiry, welcomes questions and opens doors to answers.

Answers to all sorts of questions – questions that you were too embarrassed, confused or afraid to ask; questions that you did not even know had any answers.

Below are some questions that people ask from time to time. The challenge is to find the answers – or at least knowing where to look for them. Answers that would bring a measure of satisfaction, comfort and enlightenment to humans across the spectrum of their many divisions and variations.

The fact is that in life, often, we all need to find our own answers. In a sense, that is what really gives meaning to life – having questions in the first place and then being able to find answers for them. And if those answers turn out to be the right answers, then we are the most fortunate people on earth.

Questions Are God’s Flashlights in Our Heads

The good news is that the answers are all out there. Often, it is just a matter of looking for them – and of course finding them. And, having found them, being able to tell the right answers from the wrong and dubious ones.

And, then, having made that determination, being able to embrace those answers that we consider to be the right ones – and building the edifice of our life and the life of our families and societies around them. That is what human life is all about.

Questions, therefore, are the stuff of human life. They are God’s little flashlights in our bosom turned on and off as he gently moves us along the path to truth and discovery. And ultimately to himself.

Because in the ultimate analysis, God is truth. He is, as that book says, Al-Haqqul Mubeen – the clear truth. That means where truth is that is where God will be. And where truth is kept away from human beings that place then becomes the Devil’s den.

Therefore, the key to this new life of success and joy and bliss is the search on the part of the individual – unremitting, honest, tireless search, a search without fear or favor – and a burning, uncompromising passion for truth.

Thereafter, what often determines the course and outcome of human life – whether in individuals and groups or in nations, societies, cultures and civilizations – is not the mere act of asking questions, but the honesty and integrity of those questions and the humility and the courage with which we embrace the answers that turn out to be true.

God Is Truth

You must read this book, because this book will tell you that search for truth is the very purpose and essence of human life. And it is, therefore, the highest, noblest and loftiest form of human activity on earth.

This book will tell you that truth comes from God. Therefore, you must pursue truth relentlessly, regardless of who or what you are, and regardless of where it takes you.

Al-Haqqu Mir-Rabbika, says this book – truth is from your master! So, why fear truth, when it is from him?

Not only that, this book will further tell you that truth is God Almighty himself. He is Al-Haqq – the truth!

Annallaha Huwal Haqqul Mubeen, says this most amazing book – surely, Allah is the clear and open truth!

And questions are important, because questions give impetus and direction to our search for truth. They are like knocking at doors. Questions help open doors.

God’s Meticulous Plan

Answers come when we have gone through the search process; when we have paid the price in pain, uncertainty, integrity and humility; and when we are in the right place at the right time to receive them.

And that means when Almighty God knows we are indeed ready for them. For, as that most amazing and wonderful book, the Al-Qur’an, tells us God does everything according to a most meticulous and detailed plan.

Never late, never early, but always – always – just when the time is right. That is when and how God Almighty does things.

So, here are some questions that come to my mind when I think about the Qur’an, and when I pick up a copy of the Qur’an and read it. I want to send those questions your way. I want you to see if those questions mean anything to you, and if you can find the answers to those questions – your own personal answers I mean.

Because after all the only answers that matter are the ones that we find for ourselves. Not the answers that someone else may force upon us.

And then you can see where those answers take you and what you want to do with those answers.

So, here it goes!

Questions Pertaining to the Qur’an

No matter how you look at it, you are most likely to find that this book, this most amazing Al-Qur’an, is a book unlike any that you may have ever read or seen in your entire life. And here are some reasons why.

    1. What other book in the world do you know that begins with the words that mean “In the name of God, the most loving and merciful, the most loving and merciful”?

Those words not put there by the readers, admirers, advocates or devotees of that book, but by that book itself? That means there simply is no other book like that anywhere in the world.

This is not to belittle, disparage or attack other books, especially those books that people treat with special reverence, but merely to recognize a simple fact about that book, the Qur’an. And make the discovery of that fact the starting point and the signpost for our future research and investigation.

    1. What other book in the world do you know whose every chapter but one begins with the words that mean “In the name of God, the most loving and merciful, the most loving and merciful”?

And that means all of its 114 chapters – with the exception of the 9th chapter.

    1. Have you ever come across a book that makes cleanliness of body an absolute requirement of not only human life in general but also for touching and handling that book itself? A book that requires you to take a bath and be formally clean every time you touch, open and read from it?

I am not saying there aren’t other books like that. All I am saying is if any of those books themselves says that, as distinct from the admirers and followers of the book saying those things about those books.

Washing Up: 
A Fundamental Requirement of Human Life

    1. A book that, 1400 years ago, made washing up a fundamental requirement of human life.

    2. A book that requires you to first go through the careful washing of your hands and face before you touch, open and read from it. And this going back 1400 years before the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) discovered the benefits of hand-washing in the 1990’s?

    3. A book that teaches you to seek God’s protection from the Devil, every time you begin to read it?

    4. A book, as I said earlier, that begins “In the name of God, the most loving and merciful, the most loving and merciful”?

    5. A book in which the third word from the beginning is: “The Most Merciful and Loving One”?

    6. A book in which the fourth word from the beginning also is: “The Most Merciful and Loving One“?

    7. A book whose very first introduction of God is the “Most Merciful and Loving One”?

    8. And whose second introduction of God also is also the “Most Merciful and Loving One”?

    9. A book 113 of whose 114 chapters begin with the words “In the name of God, the most merciful and loving, the most merciful and loving”?

And the remaining one of whose 114 chapters also has in it the words “In the name of God, the most merciful, the most merciful” (27:30)?

    1. A book whose very first words mean “All praise is due to God”?

    2. A book whose very first characterization of God is “Master of the Worlds“?

    3. A book that is from 1400 years ago, and whose frame of reference is not a village, a town, a tribe, a region or a race or a people, but what it calls the “Worlds,” all the worlds – in plural?

A Loving, Merciful and Forgiving God

    1. A book in which God Almighty himself calls himself “The Most Merciful and Loving” – close to 200 times?

    2. A book in which God refers to himself as “The Most Forgiving, The Most Merciful and Loving” over 50 times?

    3. In which God’s second most frequently used name is “The Most Merciful and Loving One”? A name that God uses almost like his nickname throughout that book.

    4. In which God himself uses his second name “The Most Merciful and Loving One” no less than 50 times?

    5. In which God’s own direct references to his unbounded love and quality of mercy are nearly 10 percent of the total words of the entire book?

A Chapter Called “The Opening

    1. Have you ever seen or read a book that is from 1400 years ago and that begins with a chapter called “The Opening”?

    2. That begins with content and passages that are anything like the opening chapter of the Qur’an?

    3. That has as one of its chapters a chapter like the opening chapter of the Qur’an?

    4. A book that has a prayer like the opening chapter of the Qur’an?

    5. A book that is from 1400 years ago, and that addresses people based on their belief and behavior, and not based on their race, region, tribe, occupation, nationality or gender?

A Book from 1400 Years Ago

    1. Have you ever seen or read a book that is from 1400 years ago, and that repeatedly calls itself “A Book”?

That refers to itself as “The” book?

That calls itself “A Blessed Book”?

That calls itself “A Wise Book”?

That calls itself “A Noble Book”?

That refers to itself as Thatbook?

Once again, I am not talking about its admirers and followers attributing all these honorific names and titles to that book, but that book itself using them to refer to itself on its own.

    1. A book that begins its second chapter by declaring that it is indeed “that” book – Dhaalikal Kitaab?

It is that eternal and everlasting book. The book that everyone needs and everyone has been promised and waiting for. It is the book that is guaranteed to guide and help humanity out of its troubles in every age and place.

A Book that Commands Everyone to Learn to Read and Write

    1. A book from 1400 years ago that calls itself “The Reading”?

    2. That calls itself “The Writing”?

    3. That claims, without ambiguity, reservation or prevarication that it is for all “people”?

    4. A book from 1400 years ago that expects, asks and tells everyone to read? That makes literacy a universal requirement for all human beings by commanding everyone everywhere to read.

    5. That strongly and repeatedly urges its readers to reflect upon its contents? And upon the universe and reality around them?

    6. That invites humanity to think and to observe? That makes observation, logic, analysis and understanding the foundation of human belief at all levels and in every sphere of human activity, including what many people call faith or religion?

A book from 1400 years ago that actually faults people for their poor observation, logic, analysis and reasoning?

That chides people for not reflecting upon its amazing qualities, claims and teachings as if people had padlocks on their hearts?

    1. A book in which God Almighty commands the Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to go and tell everyone: “I am the most forgiving, loving and merciful of all”?

    2. A book in which in the same breath God also says go tell “my people that my punishment is the most terrible and painful of all”?

    3. In which God Almighty says he made everything on earth for you?

    4. In which God Almighty says he made the sky and the planets and the sun and the moon for you?

    5. In which God Almighty says he made night and day to suit your needs?

    6. In which God Almighty tells people he made the rivers and the oceans for their use?

A Book Called “Light

    1. Have you ever held in your hand a book that calls itself “The Light”?

    2. A book from 1400 years ago that says that it is a cure for all that ails the human hearts?

    3. A book that calls itself the standard and criterion of truth? That refers to itself as the great distinguisher between right and wrong, between truth and falsehood?

    4. A book that claims that it contains no doubt or error?

A book without error?

What kind of a book could it be? How likely is such a book, when every other book in the world has all kinds of error in it? Even the most important and carefully edited treatises on science do. So much so that what we call science is an endless process of reducing that component of error in human knowledge and understanding – incrementally, a little bit at a time.

A Challenge to Skeptics

    1. Have you ever read a book from 1400 years ago that repeatedly challenges the skeptics to produce an imitation like it – all of it?

    2. Or to produce even 10 chapters like it?

    3. Or to produce just one single chapter like it?

And openly says, go and call whomsoever you want to help and assist you in that effort?

    1. A book that says repeatedly that it is a direct revelation from God?

    2. A book in which God says that he shall protect and preserve his revelation forever?

    3. A book that fearlessly claims that it is immune to corruption and falsehood from any direction?

    4. A book that pushes the frontiers of inter-faith harmony, peace and coexistence to superhuman limits by claiming that it came to confirm the essential truth of all the divine books revealed to all the prophets of God everywhere in earlier times?

    5. A book that actually lists by name a number of the earlier Biblical prophets whose work and mission it validates and confirms: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, David, Solomon, Jesus and others – May God Almighty bless them all?

The Male-Female Dynamic

    1. When did you last read a book that asserted 1400 years ago that male-female relations were based on a careful balance and judicious reciprocity of caring, compassion and respect?

    2. A book that, 1400 years ago, described the male-female genders as each other’s garment?

    3. That claimed 1400 years ago that women have rights – just like men have rights?

    4. That proclaimed, 1400 years ago, that women have rights, just like they also have obligations and duties?

    5. A book that 1400 years ago gave women parity with men in rewards and obligations?

    6. That, 1400 years ago, gave women the right to own property?

    7. That, 1400 years ago, gave women the right to inheritance?

    8. That, 1400 years ago, gave women the right to seek divorce?

    9. That, 1400 years ago, gave women the right to choose the men they would like to marry?

    10. That, 1400 years ago, made marriage the norm and made divorce permissible and lawful for men as well as for women?

A Chapter Called “The People”?

    1. And guess what: this 1400-year-old book also has a chapter called “The People.” How likely is that in a book of common human origin?

    2. Did you ever read a book that is from 1400 years ago and that contains a chapter called “Divorce”?

    3. A book, from 1400 years ago, that contains a chapter called The Women? And yet has no chapter called “The Men”?

    4. A book that uses Arabia as its backdrop and its launching point and yet has no chapter called “The Arabs”?

    5. Nor a chapter called “The Kings”?

    6. Nor a chapter called “The Nobles”?

    7. Nor a chapter called “The Priests”?

    8. And yet a book – from 1400 years ago – that contains a chapter called The Pen?

A Chapter Called “Democracy”?

    1. Have you ever read a book, or do you know anyone else who has ever read a book, that is from 1400 years ago, and that contains in it another chapter that it calls – in 7th Century Arabia – by the most unlikely and improbable name of Democracy?

No, not using that precise English expression “Democracy,” but using an even more basic and comprehensive Arabic expression “Shura,” which underlies the concept and process of democracy, and which stands for inclusion, consultation, power-sharing and empowerment at all levels of human life and enterprise.

Ask yourself if you ever read a book like that – or if you know anyone else who has ever read a book like that. Don’t you think these are fair and reasonable questions to ask? Considering how much of your life – and the life and well-being of the rest of the world – is riding on answers to these questions?

Power to the People

    1. That book uses that term “Shura” to stand for a most amazing and revolutionary concept that means power-sharing and self-governance for all people. It is a concept that involves the exchange of input, views and opinions on the part of all people as the basis of all power relations and structures and arrangements and transactions among human beings.

    2. Did you know that this book, thus, 1400 years ago, took all power and privilege – hereditary or otherwise – from the kings and the nobles, and from leaders of the church and religion – and gave it all to “The People” – ordinary people just like you and me and everyone else.

Can’t you see that nothing like that ever happened in this world before? Not until the time of Milton, Locke, Paine and Jefferson – more than 1000 years later – did “the people” of the world even entertain a possibility like that or dream a dream like that or speak a language like that.

Freedom of Faith and Expression

    1. Did you know that this was the book that introduced the world, 1400 year ago, to the ideas of freedom of faith, freedom of conscience, freedom of belief and freedom of expression? That it was this most amazing Al-Qur’an that said clearly in its pages that no faith should ever be forced on any one? That people should be free to choose the beliefs they want?

So, did you ever read a book like that? Did you ever think or suspect that there was indeed a book like that in the world that you could read and in which you could check out some of these things for yourself?

Don’t you think if ever there is a book like that, we all owe it to ourselves to read that book and see what it has to say?

A Book that Out-Christians Christians

    1. Ask yourself if you ever in your life read a book that came into this world 1400 years ago and which contains a chapter called Mary?

A chapter in which that book talks most tenderly and respectfully of Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, may God Almighty bless them both.

When did you last read such a book?

    1. A book that contains a chapter called “The House of ‘Imran’” or The Family of Imran – a reference to the family of Jesus and his mother Mary (May Allah bless them both)?

Miracles across Time and Space

    1. Did you ever read a book that you felt you can really and honestly refer to as a Book of Miracles? Living and timeless miracles that are valid and true for all time and in all places?

    2. A book, for example, that is from 1400 years ago, and in which God tells us that he “made every living thing out of water“? Or that he brought life out of water? Or that water is the origin of life? Or that life emerged out of water?

    3. A book from 1400 years ago in which God tells us that originally “heavens and earth were fused together” and then God “sundered” them apart?

    4. A book from 1400 years ago in which God tells us that the “sky was once smoke and gas“?

    5. A book from 1400 years ago in which God tells us that the “sun is a flaming source of light and radiation?

    6. A book from 1400 years ago in which God tells us that the “moon is a gentle reflection of borrowed light”?

God Says He Made Everything in Pairs

    1. A book from 1400 years ago in which God tells us that he “made everything in pairs”?

    2. And then ask yourself if this could mean the male-female pair that together is the secret to life on earth?

    3. Or the pair of positive-negative charges that together provides power and electricity to the world?

    4. Or the pair of 1-0 that together constitutes the key to our world of computers?

    5. Ask yourself if you ever read a book from 1400 years ago in which God tells us that reality is in “constant flux”?

Qur’an Says Each Heavenly Body Swims in Its Own Orbit

    1. It is a book from 1400 years ago and yet in it God tells us that “heavenly bodies are in perpetual motion”?

    2. In which God tells us that “each celestial object is swimming in its own orbit”?

    3. A book from 1400 years ago in which God tells us that it is “not right or proper or good for the sun to overtake the moon”?

    4. A book from 1400 years ago that repeatedly underscores the vastness and limitlessness of space?

    5. A book from 1400 years ago that says “if all the trees in the world were turned into pens and all the seas were used as ink, with seven more seas added to them, there will still be no complete accounting of God Almighty’s universe”?

A Chapter Called “Time”

    1. A book from 1400 years ago that contains a chapter called “Time”?

    2. And all this in a book, mind you, in which God is the one telling us all these things, in his own words, and not human beings of any kind, claiming to speak for God.

    3. A book that claims to be direct GodSpeak, if you will, and not human speech attributed to God by individuals claiming or purporting to be holy.

    4. In other words, have you ever read a book in which rather than people talking to you about God, God himself speaks to you about you, directly and without an intermediary, and about himself?

Consider this: In most other books you may have read, it is the writer of the book who would claim that God said this or that. It is the writer of the book who would attribute things to God.

But not that book, the Al-Qur’an.

In the Qur’an, it is not a human source claiming that God said something, but God himself saying: This is God, your lord and master, speaking to you!

There is a huge difference. It is a difference that no one can miss.

That Is Why You Must Read this Book

That is why, I submit to you, you must read this book. This most amazing Al-Qur’an. No matter who you are or where you are or what you do or don’t do. For, there is no other book quite like it.

That is why it is only fair that you ask yourself if you have ever read a book like that.

Think, think and think some more. See if you ever did read a book like that. Most likely you did not and most likely you will not.

Again, this is not to attack or insult any other book, but only to point out the obvious: that there is perhaps only one book like that in the entire world. And it is the Qur’an.

And you owe it to yourself to read that book.

A Complete Code for Human Life

    1. Ask yourself if you ever read a book that is from 1400 years ago and that offers human beings a complete code of conduct by which to live, not only for that particular age, time and place but for all times, places, cultures and societies?

You probably have read books, ancient or modern, that offer some wonderful ideas to improve the human condition. But those are likely to be mostly limited in their scope both in terms of what they cover as well as in relation to modern times and their complex requirements.

But not so this book, this most amazing Al-Qur’an. Not only does it cover practically every significant aspect of human life, but its core principles and teachings are valid and relevant for all times and places.

A Book that Tells us to Commit to Writing All Contracts and Transactions

    1. Did you know that 1400 year ago this book required people to write down all their loan arrangements in the form of contracts?

You must read this book because in this book God tells you what you should or should not do in order to make your own life as well as everyone else’s life better – right here in this world as well as in the next world.

    1. Did you know that in this book God tells you that the best course to follow is the straight path, which he calls Siraat Mustaqeem?

    2. Did you know that in this book God tells you that you must pursue the middle path in everything?

A Book in which God Tells You to Avoid Extremes in All Things

    1. Did you know that in this book God tells you to avoid extremes in all things?

    2. Did you know that in this book God tells you to avoid extremes in such worldly matters as spending your own wealth? And he calls spendthrifts, profligates and prodigals “the brothers of the devils”?

    3. Did you also know that in this book God tells you to avoid extremes even in such other-worldly matters as what most people call “worship” or “religion“?

    4. Did you know that in this book God tells us to forgive one another, for forgiveness is always the better, nobler alternative?

    5. You must read this book because this is the book in which God tells you Call me, I shall answer!

    6. Because it is the book in which God tells you “Think of me and I shall think of you. Talk about me and I shall talk about you. Remember me and I shall remember you.”

    7. Because it is the book in which God tells you “Thank me and I shall give you more!”

We Must All Read this Book

    1. We must all read this book because it is the book in which God tells us to always say something better and nicer to and about others.

    2. Because it is the book in which God tells us to say “Peace and blessings!” and turn and walk away from foolish, arrogant and problem people.

    3. Because this is the book in which God tells us to shun all kinds of social ills – such as backbiting which he says is like cannibalizing our own dead brother?

    4. We must all read this book because this is the book in which God tells us not to harbor suspicions and bad thoughts about others?

    5. In which God tells us not to spy on one another?

    6. We must all read this book because it is the book in which God Almighty talks to each one of us directly, personally and without an intermediary.

When did we ever read a book quite like that book?

A Book Whose Motto Is Truth

    1. All truth-loving people must read this book – we must all read this book – because the motto, the main mission of this book is truth – plain, simple and open truth.

    2. Because it is a book in which God tells us to tell the truth and to stand up for fairness and justice, even if it is against our own best interests. And even if it is against our own parents and relatives.

    3. Because it is a book in which God tells us that those who accept him must be moderate and middle-of-the-road people.

When did any of us ever read a book quite like that book?

A People Raised Up for Other People

    1. You must read this book – this most amazing Al-Qur’an – and we must all read this book, because in this book God tells those who follow this book that they are raised up for all of humanity, and they do not and should not exist just for themselves. That they are created for the good of the whole world. And not just for the good of their own tribe, nation, society, family, race, country or people.

I don’t think there is quite another book like that book in this world, do you?

Every law and constitution in the world, and practically every book in the world, tells its followers to love, honor, cherish and defend its own people – their own kind if you will. Whereas this book, this most amazing Al-Qur’an, which is God’s own law and constitution for the entire world and for all of humanity, tells its followers to love, defend, cherish and honor everyone else – all people.

That they have been raised up, and they exist, for the sake of the whole world, and for the sake of all other people in the world.

There really isn’t another book quite like that book in the world. That is why you owe it to yourself to read this book. This most amazing Al-Qur’an. Regardless of who you are and what you do.

Setting Humanity Free

    1. Have you ever read a book that with one stroke set humanity free from the millennial bondage of the original sin?

    2. Have you ever read a book, from 1400 years ago, in which God says it was Adam, the man – and not Eve, the woman – who disobeyed God in the Garden and was the cause of our exile from Paradise?

    3. A book in which God says that he forgave Adam when Adam repented?

    4. That says that God sent a messenger into the world whose mission it is to bring people out of all kinds of darkness into light?

    5. That says that God sent a messenger into the world who is a mercy to all the worlds?

    6. That says that God sent a messenger into the world who points out good, beautiful, nice and pure things and makes them lawful for people, and who then identifies evil, bad and impure things and makes them unlawful and tells people to keep away from them?

God’s Mercy Is for Everything and Everyone

    1. Did you know that in this book, in this most amazing Al-Qur’an, God says his mercy is for everyone and everything?

    2. And that his punishment is limited to the ones he has good and strong reason to punish?

    3. In which God says that he will not allow even an iota of good done by anyone to go to waste?

    4. Did you know that this book abolished, swept aside 1400 years ago what people today call “religion”?

    5. That this book completely, irrevocably and forever abolished the role of clergy and priests and religious leaders and holy men in human life and made every human being his or her own priest as it were?

A Chapter Called “The People”

    1. And, on top of all this, that book has a most unlikely chapter called “The People.” Now ask yourself this: When did you – or anyone else you know – ever read a book, that is from 1400 years ago, and that has a chapter called “The People”?

    2. Ask yourself: When did you – or anyone else you know – ever read a book that introduces to the world an all new concept called “The People” – not today or yesterday, or even a century or two ago, but all of 1400 years ago?

    3. A book, from all those centuries ago, that uses that concept – “The People” – to stand for all human beings with no exceptions or exclusions whatsoever such as gender, race, place of birth, tribal identification, nationality or property ownership?

When did you last read such a book? Is that a question worth asking, do you think? Is that a question you should be asking yourself?

Because that is precisely what that book – the Al-Qur’an – did. It gave the world the concept of “The People” that included all of humanity without leaving out anyone – male or female; slave or free; old or young; white or black; king or commoner, at a time when the world had no clue or understanding about any of it.

    1. And then ask yourself when you last read a book which is from 1400 years ago and which contains a chapter whose beginning word is: Read! – a common command to all of humanity; to all “The People.”

A Book in which God Addresses All People Directly

    1. When did you ever read a book that is from 1400 years ago and in which God asks “The People” directly to worship him and pray to him?

    2. A book from 1400 year ago in which God addresses people directly as O People!?

    3. A book from 1400 years ago in which God uses the gender-neutral expression AnnaasThe People – to refer to all of humanity and not “Mankind” the gendered, male-centered expression that the rest of the world uses?

    4. A book from 1400 years ago in which God uses the gender-neutral expression AnnaasThe People – no less than 240 times?

    5. A book from 1400 years ago which uses the gender-inclusive expression Al-InsaanThe Human – and not “The Man,” as did every other book until recently?

    6. A book from 1400 years ago that uses that gender-inclusive expression Al-InsaanThe Human – no less than 65 times?

    7. A book from 1400 years ago that uses the gender-inclusive expression Al-Ins for humanity – not “Mankind” – close to 20 times?

If this does not convince you that there is something very, very special about this book then what will? If this does not raise in your mind the serious probability of this book being from God, what will?

Biblical References

    1. Did you ever read a book in which God tells Mary, mother of Jesus, God bless them both, that he had purified and exalted her above the rest of the world’s women?

    2. In which God says that Jesus was like Adam (May Allah bless them both): God miraculously created both of them without a father?

    3. In which God says that Jesus miraculously spoke to the elders of the community as an infant in the arms of his mother?

    4. A book that is from 1400 years ago, and which provides a most insightful and sympathetic review of some of the most central figures and teachings of the Bible?

    5. A book that is from 1400 years ago, and whose story of the Fall of Man completely exonerates the woman from blame?

    6. Whose version of the Fall of Man completely absolves humanity from the burden of the Original Sin?

    7. Which declares that no human being can be responsible for the doings of another human being?

    8. Which sets Jews completely free of any guilt or culpability in the supposed killing and crucifixion of Jesus, may God bless him.

A Book Full of Daily Miracles

    1. When did you last read a book in which God says that he and his angels are continually blessing you?

    2. A book that is read and recited at least 17 times a day, every day, by hundreds of millions of ordinary people around the world just like you and me? People who are not priests or pundits but regular commoners just like the rest of us?

    3. A book whose reading and recitation around the world goes on around the clock and does not ever stop, invoking an unbroken stream of divine blessings on all of us?

    4. A book that is committed to memory from cover to cover by hundreds of thousands of ordinary people around the world?

A Book Recited from Memory Cover to Cover

    1. A book that is recited from memory, completely from cover to cover, in hundreds of thousands of mosques around the world during nightly prayers in the month of Ramadan?

    2. A book that is widely read and recited on a daily basis by hundreds of millions of ordinary people around the world outside formal prayers?

    3. That actually forms the basis for a great deal of belief and behavior for more than a billion Muslims around the world?

    4. That has consistently been the predictor and lodestar of human progress in the world for the past 1400 years?

    5. A book in line with whose teachings the world has been systematically changing for the past 1400 years?

    6. A book that for the past 1400 years the rest of the world has been catching up to a little bit at a time?

A Book Given to the World by an Unlettered Man

  1. A book that contains these and other equally amazing facts and yet which came out of the mouth of an “Unlettered Man” – as the Bible calls him?

  2. That claims that God sent this “Unlettered Man” to educate the world.

  3. A book from 1400 years ago that talks about its being a “Book” – and yet the land where this book came from did not have any books, writings, schools or libraries?

  4. A book from 1400 years ago, that talks about teaching the human being through the medium of “The Pen” – and yet the land where this book came from was famous as being the land of an “Unlettered People”?

  5. Well, did you ever read a book like that? Do you even know that a book like that exists in reality? And it is none other than that book, the most glorious and amazing Al-Qur’an?

Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of that book and read it – today?

Don’t you think we all do?

END

© 2007 Syed Husain Pasha

Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional 
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at] 
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.