Preservation of the Holy Koran
This is the second part of an article on Ramadan and the Holy Koran.
Muslims recently welcomed the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan. During this month, we fast from dawn to dusk, abstaining from all food and drinks. An early breakfast is usually taken before dawn.
We also try to complete one reading of the Holy Koran. The Holy Koran comprised 114 chapters, each divided into verses. The chapters are of unequal length; the shortest chapter (Al-Kawthar) has only three verses while the longest (Al-Baqara) contains 286 verses.
The Holy Koran is an ancient book which has been immaculately preserved for the last 1,400 years since its revelation. Critics of Islam have made many objections to the claim by Muslims that the Holy Koran is perfectly preserved. The perfect preservation of the Holy Koran is due to two main factors. First, it was written down from the very beginning, and secondly, it has been memorised by people in its entirety since its very first revelation. Scholars suggest that there were between 15 to 40 scribes who were involved in writing down the verses as soon as they were revealed. The Holy Koran was revealed over a period of twenty-three years, which ensured safe delivery of the message from God to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and from him to his companions (peace be upon them). This prevented it from being forgotten as there was plenty of time to memorise and recite the Holy Koran in small, manageable portions.
Other than this, several other factors contributed to the preservation of the Holy Koran:
1, The language of the Holy Koran is very simple and attractive, enabling anyone to memorise it — fully or in parts — without difficulty.
2, The recitation of the Holy Koran was made obligatory in Salat — the five daily prayers — helping to preserve it.
3, In the Islamic world, the study of a variety of academic fields has been traditionally based on the Holy Koran, causing the Holy Koran to be quoted in all kinds of books related to different fields of study. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), the second spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said that if the quoted verses of the Holy Koran from all these books are collected and compiled, that the whole of the Holy Koran could be compiled from just those references.
4, The academic form of Arabic never changed and can be understood even today with ease. This helped preserve the original language of the Holy Koran, in turn supporting the preservation of the Koran itself.
• Tune in at 4pm to MAGIC 102.7FM for short weekly recitations of the Holy Koran with English translation during the month of Ramadan. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy of the Holy Koran with English translation and commentary. Shabnam Jheengoor is a member of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Bermuda