The Divine Wisdom in the Qur’an

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem. Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”

In the name of Allah most merciful, most compassionate

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This week’s khutba will be on The Divine Wisdom in The Qur’an’s being revealed in stages over a period of 23 years.

The Qur’an was revealed in stages over a period of 23 years, and not as a complete book in one single act of revelation. There are a number of reasons for this and wisdom behind it.

The time at which the Qur’an began to be revealed was the time for humanity to come to maturity. That is why, Muhammad, upon him be peace, was given his mission at that time. His mission and the mission for the umma (the society of Muslims) that gathered around him was to become the most complete, progressive and dynamic examples for mankind: to attain to the top rung of human advancement and be masters and guides for all civilized people thereafter. But these reformers to be had first to be themselves reformed. Their qualities and characters were deeply conditioned by the ways in which they had long been accustomed to live. Islam was to turn their good qualities into qualities of unsurpassed excellence, but Islam had also to get rid of their bad qualities and bad habits. To eradicate their vices, to replace them with virtues and the highest moral aspirations, in such a way that the change would be secure for all time ─ this was one of the purposes of the Revelation. If the Qur’an had been given in one single act of revelation, if it had stood in their way with all its prohibitions and commandments, they could never have understood, let alone accepted and applied them in the ideal manner.

If we bear this in mind, and remember too that we are not speaking of the reform of one or two individual bad habits but of the reform of a whole lifestyle, of ways of living and dying, of marrying, of buying and selling, of settling disputes, above all, a way of thinking about man’s relation with his Creator ─ then we begin to grasp why the Qur’an was revealed in stages.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We can see nowadays people all around unable to free themselves from their bad habits and addictions. The revelation of the Qur’an hoed out the weeds in people’s hearts, rid them of pests and other nuisances, and so made them a good soil for the cultivation of the virtues, excellent manners, and lofty aspirations. That so much was achieved in only 23 years appears to us what it was: a miracle.

The miracle of the Qur’an was unique. Mankind has not made so much progress over fifteen hundred years as it did over the period 23 years of the prophethood of Muhammad, (saw).

That period of 23 years was necessary for those who lived at that time to understand, interiorize and apply the Revelation easily. The Qur’an instituted a great deal of change, through prohibitions and commands and through new reforms of the deepest consequence. However, it established all of them in stages over time, as the need for guidance arose, without discouraging, or grinding down morale: warning and condemnation preceded prohibition; appeal and exhortation preceded command. For instance, intoxicating drinks were prohibited in three or four stages; burying girls alive in two stages; uniting warring tribes, and building up a close-knit society based on brotherhood and thus raising the collective consciousness in a couple of stages. These difficult reforms were not gestured at ─ they were achieved. The believers needed this period to reform and so become reformers.

If the Qur’an had been sent down in a single act of revelation, those Bedouins and unsophisticated people could not have borne it. That is why the ordinances of the Qur’an were sent to and inculcated in people in stages, out of consideration for what best fits human nature.

Since man is a part of the universe, we cannot consider him out of the context of the laws governing the universe. Just as everything in the universe develops and progresses in stages, so too man’s progress and development is most fittingly and enduringly secured in stages. The Qur’an is the basis and foundation of that progress and development, and had therefore to be revealed, in accordance with the Divine Wisdom which comprehends all things, in stages over 23 years. And yet, that it was 23 and nor 22 or 24, we do not presume to question: rather, whatever it had been, we would accept humbly and in full submission. Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds, and peace and the blessings of God on Muhammad, His Prophet and Messenger.

May Allah (SWT) give us the capability to understand the Divine Wisdom of Quran in every sense…

Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khayril mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wa sahbihee, aj-ma’een.
Ammaa ba’ad:
Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, wa alaa áli Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.”

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