We talked in the previous article about how Allah preserved the Qur’an as He took upon Himself to protect it. We continue this interesting subject by discussing other means by which the Qur’an was protected against distortion.
Second: Reciting the Qur’an as an Act of Worship
Recitation of the Glorious Qur’an is an important act of worship in Islam. It has a great reward. Therefore, many Muslims dedicate themselves to reciting it daily. It can be recited at home, while traveling, in prayers and on many other occasions. Almighty Allah says:
And recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. (Al-Muzzammil 73:4)
As for the reward of reciting the Qur’an, Allah says:
Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah [i.e. the Qur’an], and perform prayers, and who spend in charity out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, they hope for a sure reward that will never perish. That He may pay them their wages in full, and give them more, out of His Grace. Verily He is Forgiving and pleased with those who do good. (Fatir 35:29-30)
The Prophet (peace be upon him), says about the reward of reciting the Qur’an, “Whoever recites one letter of the Qur’an has one good deed in reward, and that one good deed will be multiplied tenfold” (At-Tirmidhi)
The fact that Allah has made reciting the Qur’an an act of worship and promised a great reward for it made the believers recite it as much as possible. This activity began in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and continued until today by billions of Muslims. This is aside from the fact the Qur’an is recited out aloud in 3 of the 5 daily prayers that Muslims are obligated to attend at the Masjid. This is a key factor in the preservation of Qur’an because it leads each Muslim to be very familiar with it. It is well known and witnessed by all practicing Muslims that if the Imam misses one letter, reads a wrong word or confuses the order of the Qur’an in the prayer, those performing prayer behind him are required to correct him.
Since the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), it is a common practice in the month of Ramadan to recite the whole Qur’an by reading one juz’ (1/30 of the portions of the Qur’an) each day. This common conduct also made it impossible that anyone ever added, subtracted or changed even a single word from the Qur’an.
Third: Simplicity of Memorizing the Qur’an
Almighty Allah made it very easy for those who want to memorize the Qur’an. Allah (exalted be He) says:
And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember; so isn’t there among you those who would embark upon it (memorization)? (Al-Qamar 54:17)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the first one who memorized the Qur’an. Allah has assured him that He will reveal the Quran to him and protect him from forgetting it. Allah (glory be to Him) says:
We shall make you to recite it [i.e. the Qur’an], so you [O Muhammad] shall not forget it. (Al-A`la 87:6)
Most of the Companions, their followers -young and old- and the generations who followed them memorized the Qur’an to the letter by heart. The more amazing and miraculous point is that today millions of these memorizers are non-Arabs, as only 18% of Muslims are Arabs. Anyone who knows a little bit about Arabic knows that this is another miracle. How can a Pakistani, Indonesian, Russian, or African memorize a 600 page Arabic book to the letter, although he does not speak Arabic???
Fourth: The Charming Style of the Qur’anic recitation
The method of reciting the Qur’an is not up to people to come up with. In fact, the Qur’an was revealed in a unique style unknown to Arabs at the time of its revelation. Neither reciters nor listeners of the Qur’an get bored of its recitation when recited correctly. The more they recite the Qur’an, the more they desire to recite and listen again. The Qur’an attracts people’s attention which encourages them to listen. Many non-Muslims who don’t know Arabic have admitted their experience of enchanted tranquility while listening to it.
Fifth: Variety of Subjects and Rules in the Qur’an
Linguists, jurists, physicians, historians, geophysicists, scientists, astronomers, astrophysicists, economists, politicians, sociologists and others across time have found in the Qur’an interesting passages that excite their curiosity. This is from a book which was revealed 1400 years ago in the middle of the dessert to an illiterate man.
Since the Qur’an is the final book of Allah sent to mankind and it will stand as so until the Last Day, then it must contain a variety of law and subject matter which will be applied across the span of time and in all corners of the globe.