we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing facts about the Quran - the usage of 'those who believe' & 'believers'

Alhamdulillah, after studying the Quran for some time, I've picked up a few amazing facts about the Quran that I was never even aware of before. I'd like to share a few of them which are easy enough to understand that even a dummy like me could feel relatively confident to write about.

InshaAllah, this will be the first of a series of posts on this topic. I pray that Allah give me the ability to express my thoughts clearly and give us the proper understanding of His book. And with that, allow me to begin my post properly.

* * * * * *

In the Quran, you will find Muslims being addressed in two ways

الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا (those who believe)
and الْمُؤْمِنُونَ (believers)

If one were to read it casually, it is entirely possible to think that the two are merely two different ways to say the exact same thing. After all, it is common knowledge for an author to use this technique to avoid the text from sounding repetitive. Even we do this all the time just in our assignments.

However, this isn't the case for the Quran. The Quran is hyper sensitive about it's choice of words, sentence structure, and in some cases, even how the words are spelled in each ayaat. With this rule in mind, you'll need to realise that where the Quran is concerned, even though you'd think they mean they same but 'those who believe' and 'believers' aren't interchangeable terms.

So what is the difference between الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا and الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
With 'those who believe', imaan (belief), is used as a verb while with 'believers', imaan is used as a noun. In the Arabic language, a verb is associated with time - a similar concept to the English tenses - whereas a noun is timeless. In other words, you can say that a verb isn't stable in that it changes with time while a noun is something that is concrete and unchanging.

This means that 'those who believe' are people like you and me whose imaan fluctuates all the time Therefore, you will sometimes find some negative commentaries directed towards 'those who believe' in some ayaat. For example :

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ
O you who believe! Why do you say what you do not do (61:2)

The 'believers' on the other hand are the hire echelons of Muslims such as the sahabah whose imaan has matured and became firm. Read through the entire Quran and you will never find anything bad said towards this group. You will find only good things mentioned about the believers. For example in the following ayaat:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ.الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ
Most certainly the believers have already attained success. Those whom in their prayer khushuu' (23: 1-2)

These are only two of the many ayaat where these terms are used. Interestingly, you will find a remarkable consistency throughout the entire Quran with how the two terms are used. Such a consistent style of speech would be an amazing feat even in this day and age where an author can use the computer to make drafts to check and recheck the text for consistency and even the best authors today have editors to help them in this process.

But the Quran wasn't originally revealed as a book. It was revealed in the form of speech without any drafts or editors and was only much later compiled verbatim as a written text. Not to mention that the Quran took almost 23 year to be fully completed. Think about it, most of us can't even be consistent in our speech with what we said in a period of a week, much less in 23 years.

This perfection of the Quran, it's attention to the minutest of details and to remain ever consistent is one example of an evidence to solidify the fact that the Quran can't be the word of a man.


3 free comments:

farah azmi said...

this is enlightening! alhamdulillah.. thanks najib!

Mohd Shukri Hussin said...

such a very inspiring fact about Glorious Al Quran. i would suggest you to read 'The Quran: Unchallengeable Miracle' by Caner Taslaman. there are lots more of miracles in Al Quran.


najibu said...

farah: don't mention it. I don't deserve it anyways. I'm just sharing what the scholars found =)

shukri: inshaAllah will look into it

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