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Basic Facts About The Noble Qur’an

I would like to begin this section with a quote from Dr. Laura Vaglieri’s book, An Apology to Islam:

“On the whole we find it [the Qur’an] a collection of wisdom which can be adapted by the most intelligent of men, the greatest philosophers, and the most skillful politicians. . .  But there is another proof of divinity of the Qur’an: it is the fact that it has been preserved intact through the ages since the time of its revelation till the present day . . . it was, therefore, neither by means of violence of arms, nor through the pressure of obtrusive missionaries, that caused the rapid diffusion of Islam, but, above all through the fact that this book, presented to the vanquished with the liberty to accept it or reject it, was the book of God.”


God in His infinite wisdom gave miracles to those chosen to convey the divine message to humanity as proof of the authenticity of their mission—miracles that would be understood and appreciated by their people.

At the time of Moses, magic was the predominant art. So the miracles given to Moses, such as the turning of his staff into a real snake, were related to magic. The magicians who came to challenge him realized the divinity of Moses’s message and believed, even though Pharaoh threatened to crucify them. As stated in the twentieth chapter of the Qur’an:

So the magicians fell down in prostration. They said, “We have believed in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.” [Pharaoh] said, “You believed him before I gave you permission. Indeed, he is your leader who has taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of palm trees, and you will surely know which of us is more severe in [giving] punishment and more enduring.”

They said, “Never will we prefer you over what has come to us of clear proofs and [over] He who created us. So decree whatever you are to decree. You can only decree for this worldly life. Indeed, we have believed in our Lord that He may forgive us our sins and what you compelled us [to do] of magic. And Allah is better and more enduring.”

Indeed, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal—indeed, for him is Hell; he will neither die therein nor live. But whoever comes to Him as a believer having done righteous deeds—for those will be the highest degrees [in position]: Gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. And that is the reward of one who purifies himself.
(Qur’an, 20:70-76)

At the time of Jesus, medicine was highly appreciated. From his virgin birth to his raising the dead, the miracles of Jesus were related to medicine. Again quoting the Qur’an:

[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary—distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous.”

She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel. And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead—by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.

‘And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me. Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path.’” (Qur’an, 3:45-51)

The Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger of God, who was to complete the message of Islam taught by all the prophets from the beginning of time, in its universal form for all humanity till the Day of Judgment. God gave him a miracle that could be appreciated by the people of his time, but also examined and appreciated by those in search of truth until the end of time.

The Arabs were proud of their language. They held regular poetry and prose competitions. Thus, Prophet Muhammad was given a miracle in the form of a book so beautiful that even his worst enemies could not keep themselves from listening to it. The beautiful language of the Qur’an and its wisdom led to the conversion of some of the most hostile enemies of the Prophet. It was a miracle then and a living miracle for us to examine now.


Now I will share with you important facts about the Qur’an and why it is a miracle.

MEANING: The word Qur’an means reading and recitation. The very first words revealed to Prophet Muhammad were, “Read in the Name of Your Lord.” (Qur’an 96:1)

This emphasizes the importance of reading, learning, and acquiring knowledge in Islam. “Acquiring knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim.” —Prophet Muhammad.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the Qur’an is to guide humanity to live based on the knowledge of the One who created them and knows their nature. “This is the Book about which there is no doubt, guidance for those who are conscious of God [pious, concerned about right and wrong]”. (Qur’an, 2:2) “A Book which We have revealed unto you [Muhammad], in order that you may lead mankind out of the depths of darkness into Light—by the permission of their Lord—to the Way of [Allah] the Exalted in power, worthy of all praise!” (Qur’an, 14:1) “O mankind! There has come to you a counsel from your Lord and a healing for your hearts [from worry, anxiety, fear, stress, envy, sadness, greed, etc.], and for those who believe, a guidance and a Mercy.” (Qur’an, 10:57)

The Qur’an also explains the purpose of life, God and His attributes, the life after death, a vivid description of the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell, and much more. It provides a complete code of conduct for happiness and peace of mind in this life based on God’s infinite knowledge and wisdom and how to attain true success in the next life.

MODE OF REVELATION: The initial revelation was given to Prophet Muhammad at the age of forty by the Angel Gabriel in 610 C.E. Many chapters of the Qur’an were revealed piecemeal over the next twenty-three years, shaping the early Muslim community and changing Arabia from an ignorant, crime-ridden, drunken, violent society of warring tribes into a sober, united, prosperous, and peaceful nation. In some cases, though, an entire chapter was revealed in response to a matter. For example, the idolaters of Mecca challenged Prophet Muhammad that if he was really a prophet, he could tell them about Joseph. All of Chapter 12 was revealed at that moment, giving the detailed story of Prophet Joseph’s life. It is interesting to note that Prophet Muhammad never directed people to change or discard any of what he told them was revealed to him from God. Whatever was revealed was written down, memorized, and remained as revealed words. No editing, no proofreading, no changes.

Any author can tell you how much rewriting and editing is involved in writing a book. He or she can also tell you that after all the writing, rewriting, editing, and corrections—even with the aid of a computer—there can still be found mistakes in the final version. However, the Qur’an actually puts forth a challenge to mankind in the following verse, “Do they not consider the Qur’an? Had it been from other than Allah, there would surely have found therein much discrepancy.” (Qur’an, 4:82) Indeed its piecemeal mode of revelation and the congruency of the completed Qur’an without discrepancy is a miracle in itself.

LANGUAGE: The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic. Arabic is a living language spoken by more than 300 million people in the world today. Thus the connection with the original language of revelation has been preserved. There are many translations of the Qur’an into English and other languages, but there is only one Qur’an—the one revealed in Arabic to Prophet Muhammad. Another aspect of the language of the Qur’an is its beautiful unique style that can keep the listener enchanted for hours. In fact, one can hear the same chapter recited over and over again and find it more loved and appreciated.

PRESERVED INTACT: “Indeed We [God] have sent down this reminder, and We will assuredly protect it.” (Qur’an, 15:9) This verse was revealed when Muslims were just a small band persecuted by idol worshippers in a land with no central government, schools, or libraries. The very survival of Islam was in doubt, not to speak of preservation of its scripture. Yet as promised in the Qur’an, every letter of it was preserved. Even The Oxford History of Islam, edited by John Esposito, testifies that not one letter of the Qur’an has been changed since its revelation. Jerald Dirks, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and an ordained minister who later became a Muslim, demonstrates clearly the authenticity of the Qur’an in his book The Cross and The Crescent. Two original copies exist today in museums in Turkey and Tashkent.

The person who leads the prayer in our Mosque has the entire Qur’an memorized. His wife has also memorized the entire Qur’an. Their oldest son finished memorizing the Qur’an at age ten, and their second son at age nine. In fact, in our mosque you can find more than fifty men and women who have the entire Qur’an memorized and you can compare their recitation to the recitation of any Muslim in the world, and you will find them to be exactly the same. Memorizing the Qur’an is a practice that dates back to the time of Prophet Muhammad, and this is indeed the primary way the Qur’an has been preserved. This leads us to the next fact!

EASY TO MEMORIZE: The Qur’an has a unique literary style, so beautiful that even non-Arabs love listening to its recitation. It is amazing that many non-Arab Muslims have memorized the entire Qur’an (over 6,200 verses) from cover to cover. An estimated 10 million people, from China to South Africa and the United States, have memorized the entire Qur’an, some of them as young as seven years old. Tens of millions more have memorized more than three-fourths or one-half of the Qur’an. This is no accident. “Indeed We have made the Qur’an easy to remember.” (Qur’an, 54:40) This is one reason the Qur’an has been preserved for more than 1,400 years.

THE CHALLENGE: The Qur’an challenges those who do not believe it to be the Word of God to produce one chapter like it. Some chapters of the Qur’an are only three verses long. The idol worshippers of Arabia tried for years and many others after them, but no one has been able to meet this challenge. Here’s a short chapter from the Qur’an: “By the token of time; verily man is in loss; except those who believe and do good deeds, and join together in teaching the Truth and join together in patience and perseverance.” (Qur’an, 103:1-3)

As mentioned earlier, Chapter 12, titled “Joseph,” was revealed all at once. It tells the story of the life of Prophet Joseph accurately and in its entirety, in a unique beautiful literary style that could not be matched by anyone! How could have Muhammad produced such a work on the spot from his own mind and challenged everyone to match it?

PROPHECIES: The prophecy regarding the preservation of the Qur’an has already come true. There are also many prophecies that came true at the time of the Prophet, including the defeat of the fire-worshipping Persians at the hands of Christian Romans.

The Byzantines have been defeated.  In the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome—within three to nine years. To Allah belongs the command before and after. And that day the believers will rejoice in the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful. [It is] the promise of Allah; Allah does not fail in His promise, but most of the people do not know. They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware. (Qur’an, 30-2-7)

Edward Gibbon called this prophecy in his The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Vol. II, p. 788), an unthinkable prediction, which appeared impossible to come true within the nine years prophesied in the Qur’an. But it came to pass. (See Chapter 30 of the Qur’an, titled “The Romans.”) The following link provides more detail from Maududi’s Towards Understanding the Qur’an: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/maududi/mau30.html#S30.

SCIENTIFIC MIRACLES: In the Qur’an there are many beautiful references to natural phenomena as signs of God’s existence. As our scientific knowledge advances, we can understand and appreciate the divine nature of the Qur’an. Here is a selection of such verses:

O People, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then [consider that] indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed — that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then [We develop you] that you may reach your [time of] maturity. And among you is he who is taken in [early] death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit [old] age so that he knows, after [once having] knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells and grows [something] of every beautiful kind. (Qur’an, 22:5)

And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging. Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made  [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the best of creators.   (Qur’an, 23:12-14)

And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are expanding [it]. (Qur’an, 51:47)

Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? (Qur’an, 21:30)

And it is He who has released [simultaneously] the two seas, one fresh and sweet and one salty and bitter, and He placed between them a barrier and prohibiting partition. (Qur’an, 25:53)

Does man think that We will not assemble his bones? Yes. [We are] Able [even] to proportion his fingertips. (Quran, 75:3-4)

Prominent non-Muslim scientists have found these and other verses that reveal discoveries made centuries later in:

  • Anatomy       
  • Astronomy
  • Botany        
  • Embryology
  • Fingerprinting
  • Geology       
  • Hydrology
  • Oceanography
  • Zoology

After extensive study of the Qur’an, French medical scientist Dr. Maurice Bucaille concluded in his book, The Bible, the Qur’an, and Science: “In view of the level of knowledge in Muhammad’s day, it is inconceivable that many of the statements in the Qur’an which are connected with science could have been the work of a man. It is, moreover, perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Qur’an as the expression of a Revelation, but also to award it a very special place, on the account of the guarantee of the authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements which, when studied today, appear as a challenge to explanation in human terms.”

Dr. Keith Moore, of the University of Toronto and author of The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, used at medical schools around the world, has an amazing analysis of the detailed description of the growth and development of a human embryo as mentioned in the Qur’an. He considers the presence of such scientific facts, discovered only a few decades ago, as proof that the Qur’an is a revelation from God.

Dr. Alfred Kroner is one of the world’s renowned geologists.  He is a Professor of Geology and the Chair of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.  Regarding Qur’anic verses dealing with the creation of the universe, Dr. Kroner said: “Thinking where Muhammad came from . . . I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years, with very complicated and advanced technological methods, that this is the case.”

You can read and watch their analysis and those of other scientists at the following website: www.islam–guide.com.

It is appropriate at this point to quote the following verse from the Qur’an, “We shall show them [those who do not believe in this Qur’an] our signs from the farthest horizons to within themselves until it become clear that indeed it is the truth.” (Qur’an, 41:52)

What you just read is still just the tip of the iceberg. Really! Could an illiterate man living a desert town more than 1,400 years ago do all this on his own? If you delve deeply into the Qur’an, the life of Prophet Muhammad, and Islamic teachings, you will find an ocean of beauty, knowledge, love, truth, and inner peace. That’s why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West. Men and women from all walks of life are embracing Islam. One very amazing story is that of British journalist Yvonne Ridley:

By ALLAN KOAY / The Star (Malaysia) / December 2, 2004

Barely had the ashes of the World Trade Centre in New York settled when Sunday Express journalist Yvonne Ridley found herself captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and held for 10 days. She was duly released unharmed, and two years later, in a remarkable twist, she converted to Islam.

Ridley, who had gone to Afghanistan to report for the British paper, found herself becoming the news instead. And her story could not have been more full of surprises and irony.

Ridley, who was in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday to give a talk as part of a fund-raising effort for Islamic social service organisation Al-Khaadem, was a portrait of calm and grace as she spoke about her experiences and the changes in her life. It was a picture far

removed from her pre-conversion, hard-drinking, firebrand journalist image as described by the media.

On Sept. 28, 2001, Ridley, then 43, was trying to cross illegally into Afghanistan from Pakistan. At a Taliban checkpoint, her donkey bolted and her camera fell out of the burqa she was wearing. She was subsequently thrown into prison, and questioned every day.

But to her surprise, the so-called “evil regime” treated her with respect and courtesy, and the men with the electrodes and torture tools never appeared. Instead she was given three meals a day, despite her hunger strike, and her captors even came to wash her hands for her at mealtimes. They referred to her as their “guest” and “sister.”

“The whole experience had taught me a very valuable lesson, and that is not to believe propaganda that powerful people in powerful places want us to believe,” says Ridley.

During her time in the Taliban prison, a cleric came to her one day and asked if she would like to convert to Islam. Fearing any response would be taken as adverse, she made a promise to him that she would read the Qur’an if she were released. She kept her promise, and what started out as a purely academic exercise turned into a spiritual one as

Ridley discovered that the Qur’an was not about oppression or violence but about peace, tolerance and understanding.

“I started reading the Koran and it was an absolutely breathtaking experience. It could have been written yesterday for today. It was crystal clear that women are equal in spirituality, worth and education,” says Yvonne. In August 2003, she embraced the faith. Yvonne was brought up as a Protestant in Stanley, sang in the church choir, and was the Sunday school teacher in her village.

Life-changing conversion

Today, Ridley, who admitted that she used to “work hard and play hard” and was a “prolific drinker,” finds herself healthier, happier, and more content and fulfilled.

“And my girlfriends can see this, and they ask: ‘What is this that has changed your life so much?’” she says. “And I say it’s Islam. And they say: ‘No, really, what is it?’”

Ridley has also become a fervent anti-war campaigner since her release. She has supported the Stop the War Coalition and travelled around the world addressing anti-war gatherings. She is a founding member of Women in Journalism and the patron of British organization Stop Political Terror, which looks into the welfare of Muslims in Britain, especially those being held in the Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons.

She has written two books: In The Hands of the Taliban, about her experience as a captive; and a fictional thriller, Ticket to Paradise. She still writes for the Sunday Express, and also for Muslims Weekly in New York. She is currently involved with the Islam Channel, a satellite broadcast that started about a year ago in Britain.  (BBC contributed to this story.)

What did this educated, liberated, brave woman with the inquisitive mind of a journalist read in the Qur’an that touched her heart and changed her life?

Indeed she is part of a growing number of Europeans and Americans who are embracing Islam, including:

  • Harvard Divinity School graduate, ordained minister, and doctor of clinical psychology Jerald Dirks who is the author of The Cross and The Crescent, Abraham, and Understanding Islam.
  • French physician Maurice Bucaille, author of The Bible, The Qur’an, and Science.
  • Jewish American thinker Margaret Marcus of New York (AKA: Maryam Jameelah), author of Islam in Theory and Practice, Islam and the Modern Man, and many others.
  • British pop singer Cat Stevens (AKA: Yusuf Islam), author of Life of the Last Prophet.
  • German ambassador and NATO information officer Dr. Wilfried Hofmann, author of Journey to Makkah and Islam: The Alternative.
  • Jewish Austrian journalist Leopold Weiss (AKA: Muhammad Asad), author of The Road to Mecca and The Message of the Qur’an.
  • United Sates Congressman Keith Ellison

                        (Learn more at www.welcome-back.org)

Perhaps the most unlikely of them all is the “Moz-lem hating” evangelical preacher Skip Estes from Texas. Estes made millions in gospel music. He knew and supported Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

Estes would have been the last person to have anything good to say or like about Islam. It’s an interesting story how he came to study the Qur’an and embraced Islam at the age of fifty along with his wife, his ordained minister father, and a Catholic priest! Now he serves as the National Muslim Chaplain and talks to the military, government, colleges, and other organizations about Islam. You can read his story at www.islamtomorrow.com and watch him tell his story at www.islamyesterday.com. I met him here recently. He is an excellent speaker and quite funny!

Now here’s a summary of reasons why it becomes clear to any unbiased observer that Islam is of divine origin:

1.  The life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)—This simple illiterate man was transformed into a great leader whose life earned him the title of the most influential person in history as well as one of the greatest leaders that humanity has ever known. This is the conclusion of many non-Muslim historians, including Michael Hart, La Martine, Karen Armstrong, and Montgomery Watt, to name a few. Moreover, Muhammad was able to accomplish so much with so little in just twenty-three years. In the words of Lamartine, “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?”

2.  Nation transformation—The entire Arab society was transformed from warring tribes into a righteous people united in worship of God who left adultery, drunkenness, gambling, robbery, racism, and oppression for goodness. In this regards, renowned British historian Arnold Toynbee remarked in his Civilization on Trial, “The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue. . . . This Islamic spirit [of submission to divine guidance] may be expected to manifest itself in many practical ways, and one of these manifestations might be liberation from alcohol, which was inspired by religious conviction and which was therefore able to accomplish what could never be enforced by the external sanction of an alien law. . . . Here then in the foreground of the future we can remark two valuable influences which Islam may exert upon the cosmopolitan proletariat of the Western society . . .”

3.  World transformation: Dr. Robert Briffault wrote in The Making of Humanity: “It is highly probable that but for the Muslims, Modern European Civilization would never have assumed that character which has enabled it to transcend all previous phases of evolution. For although there is not a single aspect of human growth in which the decisive influence of Islamic culture is not traceable, nowhere is it so clear and momentous as in the genesis of the power which constitutes the paramount distinctive force and the modern world and the source of its victory—natural sciences and the scientific spirit. . . . What we call science rose in Europe as a result of a new spirit of inquiry: Of new methods of investigation, of the method of experiment, observation, measurement, of the development of mathematics in a form unknown to the Greeks; that spirit and those methods were introduced into the European world by the Muslims.” [Bold added for emphasis.] 

4.  Miracles conducted during the life of Prophet Muhammad. Upon insistence of idolaters of Mecca who wanted to see a miracle similar to those of Moses and Jesus (upon them be peace), Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) prayed to Allah for one such miracle. So Allah split the moon in two halves in front of their eyes, as stated in the following verses:

The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]. And if they see a miracle, they turn away and say, “Passing magic.” And they denied and followed their desires. But for every matter is a [time of] settlement.  (Qur’an, 54:1-3)

That the Meccans called it a “Passing Magic.” They did not believe, and the reason for their denial was that they preferred to follow their desires rather than the truth.

5.  Tangible Miracle of the Qur’an, as discussed above.

6.  Prophecies about the coming of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible: We are told in the Qur’an, “Those who follow the Messenger [Muhammad], the unlettered Prophet, Whom they find mentioned in their own Scriptures, in the Torah and the Gospel.” (Qur’an, 7:157) “Those to whom We gave the Scripture [Jews and the Christians] know him [Prophet Muhammad] as they know their own sons.” (Qur’an, 2:146)

There are many prophecies in the Bible pointing to the coming of the Prophet. In fact, they are so clear that many Jews and Christians expected the coming of the Prophet and embraced Islam upon meeting Prophet Muhammad. This includes the chief rabbi of Madina, Abdullah ibn Salam, and his family.

These prophecies give Prophet Muhammad’s lineage as a descendent of Abraham and Ishmael (upon them be peace) and detailed accounts of major events in his life. You may refer to David Benjamin Keldani’s book, Muhammad in the Bible. He was a Roman Catholic priest who became a Muslim. You may also learn more by visiting


Of course, there are many other miraculous and wonderful aspects of Islam. As Philip K. Hitti wrote in History of the Arabs, “In this uncompromising monotheism, with its simple, enthusiastic faith in the supreme rule of a transcendent being, lies the chief strength of Islam. Its adherents enjoy a consciousness of contentment and resignation unknown among followers of most creeds. Suicide is rare in Muslim lands.” [Bold and italics added for emphasis.] 

If you decide to read the Qur’an for yourself, I recommend an English translation of the Qur’an by Saheeh International: http://islamicbookstore.com/b5269.html.

Of course you can also read the Qur’an online at www.freequran.com

(Recommended short chapters: 1, 12, 13, 16, 19, 30, 35, 39, 50, 67, 75-end.)

However, holding a copy in your hands and reading it cover to cover is something for you to experience personally.

You may also consult the following websites for an introduction to the theme and subject matter of each chapter from A.A. Maududi’s Towards Understanding the Qur’an:



I conclude this section with a brief explanation of the opening chapter of the Qur'an:

1- In the Name of Allah, The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful

From the very beginning of the Qur’an, Allah is identified by His Mercy for the entire creation. His Mercy covers all of His creation, including those who deny His existence. Allah continues to provide for us air, water, food, health, and so many countless blessings out of His mercy. Allah is especially Merciful to those who believe in Him and obey Him. He provides them knowledge, insight, and opportunities to do good so that they will attain true success.

So who is Allah? “He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the
witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Qur’an, 59:22)

“Allah there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.”  (Qur’an, 2:255)

“Originator of the heavens and the earth, When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is.” (Qur’an, 2:117)

2-[All] Praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the Worlds

All praise belongs to Allah for not only He has created all things, but He is indeed continually nourishing and sustaining all the worlds—such as the world of humans, animals, plants, planets, stars, etc. Yet when we pray to Him, he treats us as if we are His only creation. He is the Lord of all of His creation and does not have a chosen people based on race, status, or nationality. Looking at the greatness of the creation, some may feel overwhelmed by His great power, yet He lets us know that He is close to us and He treats each of us as if we were His only creation. “When My servants ask you [Muhammad] concerning Me, I am indeed very close [to them]: I answer the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me [directly without any intercessors, or intermediaries.]: Let them also answer My call, and believe in Me: So that they may be rightly guided.” (Qur’an, 2:186)

“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me, and do not deny Me.” (Qur’an 2:152) How Magnificent Allah is; God, the Creator of the entire universe will remember any one of us human beings just by our remembering Him! The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said: Allah the Almighty said: “I am as My servant thinks I am [i.e. in expecting Allah to be close, forgiving, and merciful]. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed [running].”

3-The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful

Allah’s Mercy is emphasized again right after telling us He is the Lord of the Worlds, so that we do not feel overwhelmed by His greatness and think He is unreachable or so that we feel we need an intermediary to pray to Him. It also means that He did not simply create the world and go on a vacation; rather He is actively involved in taking care of every aspect of it with love and mercy. Everything happens according to His wise merciful plan. When we face difficulties, commit sins, or make mistakes, we should not despair and give up.

“Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.” Qur’an, 39:53

In fact, Allah is so Merciful that when we believe in Him, without associating any partners with Him, and we turn to Him in repentance, sincerely asking for forgiveness and trying our best to change our ways to do good, He will not only wipe out our sins, but also turn our evil deeds into good deeds. “ And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated – Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. And he who repents and does righteousness does indeed turn to Allah with [accepted] repentance.” (Qur’an, 25:68-71) (Also see Qur’an, 3:133-136)

4- Sovereign of the Day of Recompense

He is indeed the Merciful, and He is also the Just. We must realize that there are consequences for our beliefs and actions. There is a Day when we will meet Allah, and He will ask us about all the blessings He has given us, and how we have served Him and humanity. On that Day will be compensated for our good and bad deeds.

Did we worship Allah, or did we follow our desires? Did we pray to God alone and directly, or did we pray to humans or statues, even though they are God’s mere creation? Did we help or hurt others?

According to the Qur’an, this Day will last fifty thousand years. Every single individual will have the opportunity to argue his/her case in front of the Lord of the Worlds. Such an opportunity is out of the Mercy of Allah; He could easily pass a judgment and reward the good and punish the bad, but He allows every person an individual hearing.

Each person will be held responsible for his or her faith and actions. No one will get away because of anything they had in the world—such as wealth, or a noble heritage. It is only through Allah’s Mercy that we can hope to enter the everlasting Paradise and avoid the never-ending punishment of Hell. The Qur’an tells us that all humanity will be physically resurrected. “Does man think We cannot assemble his bones [on the Day of resurrection]? Nay we are capable of putting him together to his very finger tip!” (75:3-4) Thus, we will be brought back to the very thing that identifies us from every other human being: our fingerprints. It is interesting that this was revealed over 1400 years ago, yet it was only 120 years ago that the significance of fingerprints was discovered!

5- It is You we worship, and You we ask for help

As you note, it does not say “We worship You,” but emphasizes that “It is You we worship.” He Alone, without any partners, is the One that we worship and ask for help. Here the concept of monotheism and focus on God as the Only One worthy of worship and seeking help from is emphasized.

Why is He worthy of our worship and obedience? Because of the unique and perfect being that He is. The Qur’an makes it clear that Allah does not suffer the limitations of His creation. He does not eat, sleep, get tired or ill, etc. And anyone or anything that suffers from such limitation can’t be God, worthy of worship and obedience. It teaches that no human being can have Allah’s exclusive attributes, such as answer prayers, forgive sins, know the future, etc.

He has no gender, parents, children, and “there is nothing like unto Him.” (Qur’an, 112:4) Whatever we imagine Allah to be He is not. Qur’an does give us ninety-nine attributes of Allah so that we can know our Creator better. He is The One, The Unique, The Holy, The Irresistible, The Mighty, The Wise, The Just, The Creator, The Forgiver, The Truth, The Source of Peace, The Bestower of Forms, and the Lord of the Worlds. Interestingly enough the word father is not one of His names, because that would denote that He is male. Of course, due to the limitation of our language we use the word He to refer to Allah.

Islam teaches that there is only One, universal God, other than Whom there is no other god or Creator. It teaches that there is no lasting love, true security, real honor, lasting happiness, and true peace and contentment except through God, and that no one deserves absolute obedience except God. We must love, trust, and fear Allah more than anything else, for everything that we love, trust, and fear will perish except Allah. We must also put all our hopes in Him more than anyone and anything else. Once we understand and implement this in our heart through constant remembrance of God in thought and action, and thankfulness for all His blessings, we will find ourselves content, at peace, courageous, self-confident, and truly happy in this life and in the hereafter when we meet Him on the Day of Judgment.

Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, who was also a descendant of Abraham, (peace be upon them all) taught this concept of worshipping none but Allah. It has been the essence of worship from the beginning of time.

6- Guide us to the straight path

Only Allah, with His Knowledge and Wisdom, can truly guide us to the straight path that leads to true happiness in this life and eternal life in Paradise in His presence in the Next Life. While Hollywood and Madison Avenue, with their limited knowledge and profit motives, tell us how we should live our lives, it is indeed only Allah who created us and who truly knows our nature who can guide us.

The answer to this request for guidance is given in the second chapter of the Qur’an, where it says, “This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who are God conscious and on guard [against evil].” (Qur’an, 2:2)

It is also only Allah who can put guidance into our heart and give us the will and strength to follow it. So we must ask Him for it every day and for every matter in our lives, especially in matters of worship.

 7- The Path of those that upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger, or of those who are astray!
There are three types of people: Those favored by Allah; those who have evoked His anger; and those who have strayed from the straight path.

  1. Those who are favored are people who have believed in Allah and His prophet and messenger and strive to increase their knowledge and excel in worship and doing good deeds, while avoiding sins and acts that displease Allah.

  2. Those who have evoked Allah’s anger are those who deny Allah, His prophets and messenger, those who have fought against them, and those who encourage sins and injustices. Because of their willful disobedience and evil actions, they have brought Allah’s anger on them.

  3. Those who have gone astray are those who may want to worship God, but they lack knowledge on how to do so. Thus, they worship God based on guesswork or unreliable information. Also those who don’t take the matter of meeting with their Creator seriously, and do not seek knowledge, and instead just follow their inherited faith or their inclinations, are not able to find the straight path. The only way to know how to worship God is through what He has revealed about Himself and what pleases Him to His prophets and messengers.

May Allah include us among those who are favored by Him.  Amen!