HOW TO TRY AND UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE OF THE QURAN
The Quran is a Revealed Book and is a confirmation of earlier “Books” of Revelations. God is the Author of this Book. The Author unsurprisingly spells out the characteristics of the Book and the manner in which the Book of God must be interpreted. This is my humble understanding of the subject:
1.Quran above all is a guide of return. Quran 28:85
- Granted that it equips us to deal with the life here and now but the main objective of this guide is to shows us the straight path of return.
- With the exception of a handful of verses, the message of the Quran is Universal and timeless.
- It is a Book that is free of any crookedness Quran 18:1-2
- It is a book in clear Arabic tongue (وَهَٰذَا لِسَانٌ عَرَبِيٌّ مُّبِين) While knowing Arabic is not a must to understand the message of the Quran but knowing some Arabic and the Arabic script makes it that much easier to get to the intended meaning of God’s words.
- Arabic speakers must also be careful of limiting the meaning of the Quran to their current understanding.
- God warns us about distortions and attempts to move words around Quran 5:13-15
- God warns us that the verses are straightforward with the exception of a few allegorical references that are not dependent of knowledge base, these should treated as know unknowns.
- God warns us not to take these references in a literal sense and assign meanings and context to them. Quran 3:7.
- By pointing out the allegorical references within some verses (Verses themselves are clear, the allegorical references within them are pointing to something we are unable to grasp directly) God has made the exceptions clear. The rest of the Quran is to be taken at face value and the Arabic language as understood by Arabic speakers take precedent. We are to refrain from digging up obscure references, meanings and connotations and make them central to our understanding. That would be the opposite of no crookedness.
- God’s use of words and terms spread among various verses of the Quran clarifies and demonstrates their meaning.
- We are also not to assign new or obscure meanings to often repeated words and terms that by themselves are not used in this “new” meaning sense anywhere in the Quran.
- We are not to convert noun into verbs and the other way around.
- We are to be mindful of singular plural, gender, and past present and future tense.
- We are to be mindful of who is being addressed.
- We are not to selectively switch between different meanings of words that may have multiple meanings.
- Context should neither be removed or forced. The correct lesson can only be learned from the intended meaning.
- When in doubt, we are to check our understanding for contradictions. This check must pass both the logical contradictions within our arguments and most importantly check whether our understanding of a particular verse or notion contradicts another verse or notion. This aspect of the Quran is language neutral. Quran 4:82.
- We are not to attempt to change the meaning of commonly understood words in a wholesale manner to try and remove contradictions in our understanding. It is a futile endeavor, man is not capable of putting together a Quran with alternative meaning to the intended meaning without introducing contradictions. This aspect is extremely important to understand.
- God has preserved the Quran by taking the responsibility of its gathering and reading. Quran 15:9 and 75:17. (Over 98% of almost two Billion Muslims use one “version” the Hafs reading).
- God is the teacher of the Quran, Quran 55:02
- God not only explains the Quran but uses the very terms Tafsir, Quran 25:33 to describe it.
- God also took it upon Himself to answer questions that were raised during its Revelation.
- If we wish to fully leverage words of God then we must expand our knowledge base Quran 6:105, 3:7.
- God is the one who guides. Period Quran 10:35.
- We are to employ logic and reasoning at every step of the way. Many verses.
- If there is any lingering doubt about the fact that Quran is the very word of God then we must first address the doubt and find a way to remove it to the point of certainty.