Holy Quran is the book of guidance and a roadmap for prosperity of mankind. In previous weeks, we spoke of some of the miraculous aspects of Holy Quran and pointed out that further dimensions of this Holy Book are revealed with the passage of time.
Thus, even some of the non-Muslim thinkers have confessed to unique characteristic features of this Holy Book. For instance, the French thinker, Barthellemy Saint Hilair, has noted that: “Holy Quran is the most beautifully worded book in Arabic language, and is unique among the religious books of the world. Upon the confession of Arab Christians, this Holy Book has hugely influenced them. The strength of terms, harmony of words, and freshness of the thoughts of Holy Quran are such that this Holy Book conquers all hearts.”
Given the unique features of Holy Quran, this Holy Book can guide mankind toward perfection and prosperity in all eras and all phases in time. The eternity of Holy Quran is tantamount to the eternity of Islam as the last divine religion of mankind, continuing the guidance of mankind after the demise of the Last and Greatest Messenger of God, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny). Today, we discuss the eternity of the sacred religion of Islam.
As you know, the immortality of Islam is one of the unique features of this divine religion. In principle, the eternity of any religion is tied to the comprehensiveness of its teachings.
In the 89th ayah of Surat Al-Nahl, God notes: “…We have sent down the Book to you as a clarification of all things and as a guidance and mercy and good news for the muslims.”
The exegete of Holy Quran, Allameh Tabatabai, notes: “Holy Quran is the book of guidance of mankind. All the teachings related to the origin of the world, Day of Resurrection, ethical virtues, and all the stories and preach which are necessary for guidance of mankind, have been pointed out and stated in Holy Quran.”
Therefore, Holy Quran, with its immortal teachings, is considered to be a charter for the lives of faithful and monotheist individuals.
The 6th Infallible Imam of the Prophet of Islam’s Household, Imam Sadeq (Peace be upon him), pointed to the comprehensiveness of Holy Quran, noting that this Holy Book is fresh for all phases of time and for all human beings until the Day of Resurrection.
The comprehensiveness of Islam means that this divine religion has made every effort to guide mankind. The other important point is that the wide-scale teachings of the divine religion of Islam are not restricted to terms of prayers. This is because Islam maintains a comprehensive plan which is based on mankind’s innate nature and covers all of the aspects of human life, including its materialistic, spiritual, social, ideological, economic, political and legal dimensions. In the divine religion of Islam, all of the aspects of human life have been taken into consideration in accordance to a completely realistic and balanced outlook.
In relation to immortality of the divine religion of Islam, the point to realize is the compatibility of this divine religion with the different temporal conditions. This means that Holy Quran responds to all needs and necessities of different phases of time. Now, the question which springs to mind is that while global conditions are not sustainable and while everything is changing and developing, how does Islam handle the variable necessities of different phases in time?
In response, it should be said that it is the materialistic phenomena, which are variable in nature, and which move toward mortality, while the laws of nature remain fixed. In fact, in the world of nature, there are a series of laws of nature which are general and are not restricted to a particular phase in time. This in turn leads to sustainability and continuation of these laws. For instance, planets and stars are formed, circulating in their orbits, and radiating energy, and they finally end their existence one day. Humans also come to this world based on this divine tradition and pass away after covering their lifespan. However, the rules and regulations which govern man’s physique and soul remain the same. Hence, in the process of preparation of laws of nature, the innate nature of mankind is taken into account, and temporal developments cannot make a change in these laws. This is because the innate nature of mankind and his physical and spiritual characteristic features are invariable. For instance, the elements of man’s blood, heart’s performance, conduct of white cells against microbes, terms of performance of lungs, and other vital human body organs have generally been invariable. In the same manner, the spiritual features of mankind have remained fixed. In fact, the secret behind the eternity of Islamic rules and regulations is their compatibility with man’s innate nature, which remains invariable. The divine religion of Islam does not resemble temporary social, economic, and/or political phenomena which change face, gradually, and/or fade away. Islam is not a religion for a particular location, race, group and/or ethnicity. For this reason, all people are addressed in many ayahs of Holy Quran.
The 13th ayah of Surat Al-Hujurat notes: “O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most Godwary among you.”
The divine religion of Islam has resorted to sustainable laws, which are not harmed by the mounting complexity of social relations. In order to further clarify this fact, we should mention man’s needs. Human needs are divided into two groups; which are the primary and secondary needs. The primary needs are those which are rooted in man’s innate nature. As long as man exists, these needs exist, irrespective of temporal and spatial conditions. Primary needs include the need for food, clothing, housing, and/or spiritual needs such as the need to worship God and to perceive; or social needs such as the need to cooperate with others and to maintain freedom.
Meanwhile, there are a number of needs which originate from primary needs, such as the need for household goods, which change in form and shape in different phases in time, including the usage of means such as vehicles, planes, computers, and cell phones. These tools and means have highly changed with the passage of time.
With a simple comparison between the needs of mankind, we realize that man’s primary needs never end. Only, the terms of response of mankind to primary needs change in accordance to temporal conditions. The divine religion of Islam maintains fixed rules and regulations for primary needs, and flexible and changeable laws for secondary needs of mankind.
On this basis, the rules and regulations which have been set by the divine religion of Islam, compatible with man’s innate nature and for the sake of his prosperity, do not change in different periods of time.
Via this means, Islam has delegated the responsibility of making decisions on matters such as terms of establishment of order and security; economic, commercial and political relations; health; and resolution of problems such as poverty, inflation, and recession to competent and just rulers; conditioned on the compliance of decision-makers with the Islamic values and principles.
In this manner, it can be said that Islamic outlook maintains a live dynamism which sets general criteria for variable matters. However, Islamic rules and regulations are fixed for issues that are related to innate nature of mankind; such as the need to worship God; mother’s kindness toward her child; the need of mankind to establish a family; resentment toward injustice, and love for justice. These matters always maintain fixed and specific principles; because human nature and his innate needs never change.