The Qur’an is the final, infallible, direct, and complete record of the exact words of God, brought down by the angel Gabriel and firmly implanted in the heart of His final Prophet and Messenger, Muhammadp. The Qur’an was learned and memorized by many of Muhammad’sp companions and passed down to us via meticulous oral (primary) and written (secondary) preservation through the centuries.
The books that came before the Qur’an through God’s Prophets and Messengersp were also sent by God. By revealing the Qur’an, God’s message was restored and clarified. The Qur’an is unique in a number of ways. God, The Guardian, has perfectly preserved the Qur’an and guaranteed it from corruption until the end of time. The Qur’an is regarded, not just by Muslims but also by historians of religion, as the most authentic religious text among the world’s religions. None of the other revealed books have reached us in their original form or language. Some of them, like the scrolls that were revealed through Abrahamp, have not reached us at all. Over the course of time, parts of other scriptures were rewritten and some parts removed, distorting their message.
God did not allow this contamination to happen to the Qur’an because it is His final book for all of humanity until the Day of Judgment. No new Prophet or Messenger is going to be sent. If God had not protected the Qur’an, it would have never reached us in its original pure form. For this reason, God did not entrust human beings with preserving the Qur’an.
Divine preservation of the earlier scriptures was not as critical because God continued to send a succession of Prophets and Messengers to the people. The law as embodied in these older scriptures was not in its final complete form. By God’s order, Jesusp came with modifications to the law, for instance, making lawful some things that had previously been unlawful without making any changes to the core concept of monotheism.
Another unique quality of the Qur’an is that it is an amazing miracle in and of itself. A miracle is a phenomenon that goes against the natural order of things and clearly demonstrates the direct intervention of God The Almighty.
All the Prophets and Messengers brought miracles from God that clearly demonstrated the truthfulness of their claim to Prophethood. Abrahamp survived being thrown into a blazing fire without being harmed. Mosesp raised his staff and the sea parted for him by God’s mercy. Jesus p, the son of Mary, touched the dead and terminally ill and restored them to life and full health by the permission of God. All of these miracles revealed the legitimacy and validity of the Prophets and Messengers, but these miracles could only be witnessed by the people who were actually there at that time.
While the Prophethood of Muhammadp was similarly attested to by various miraculous occurrences, by far the most important of all is the Glorious Qur’an. God challenges all those who doubt the authenticity of the Qur’an to produce a single chapter similar to a chapter of the Qur’an. (It should be pointed out that the smallest chapter of the Qur’an is composed of just three short verses.) This has never been accomplished though there have been many people throughout history who would have loved to discredit the Qur’an and do away with Islam. God’s challenge remains open until the Day of Judgment. One of the Qur’an’s miracles is that it is the pinnacle of literary excellence. It is the most eloquent Arabic prose in existence. It has a style like no other work in the Arabic language, a style that is inimitable. The Qur’an is for all people and is available to us in its original, living language, Arabic, which is still greatly used throughout the world by millions of people. The original texts of many other religious books have been lost over time and were originally written in languages that are no longer commonly spoken.
Not a single word in the Qur’an is the word of Muhammadp, but all are the words of God. Muhammadp actually did not know how to read or write. He recited the Qur’an precisely as it was revealed to him by the angel Gabriel, while his companions, at his direction, recorded it in writing and memorized it. The Qur’an is the direct word of God. Therefore, the Qur’an is the only book we have today that is known to be authored by God alone. There are no other versions of the Qur’an. Although there are many translations of the meaning of the Qur’an, they are not nearly as magnificent and beautiful as the Qur’an’s plain Arabic text. Here is a sample of the Qur’an, chapter 112 of the English translation of it’s meaning:
“In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
1. Say: He is God, The One and Only; 2. God, The Eternal, Absolute;
3. He begets not, nor was He begotten; 4. And there is none comparable unto Him.”