About a hundred
years ago, England had a powerful Prime Minister. He was a Christian to a high
section of the Anglican Church. His name was Gladstone. One day in the year
1882, he was speaking in the British Parliament on how to weaken the power of
Muslims in Egypt so that the British could continue to rule over them.
At one stage he raised a copy of the Holy Qur'an in his hand and said that so
long as this book remained with the Muslims in that country and they respected
and followed it, the British would never be able to dominate them. He added that
the only solution was to try and separate the Holy Qur'an from the Muslims of
At the end of the speech; a committee was formed to decide upon ways and means
of carrying out Gladstone's recommendation. The committee resolved to send some
experts to Egypt who would launch a campaign which would weaken the faith of
people and make them suspicious of the truth of the Holy Qur'an. The aim was to
discourage people to refer to the Holy Book and gradually make them turn against
the Islamic way of life.
In the course of this political and vicious programme, a learned man by the name
of Dunlop was sent to Egypt as a teacher. He prepared many books containing
lessons which were nothing but propaganda in disguise. One of the lessons on
history was based on showing how Egypt was lagging behind and was not making
progress because of Islam and the Qur'an. It alleged that people of Egypt were
much more civilized prior to the coming of Islam.
Such ill-intentioned programme first succeeded to a small extent in influencing
the youths at schools.
Then the Holy men of Al-Azhar university protested to the authorities and
demanded that an end be put to it.
Now let us find out what are the qualities of this book which the enemies wished
to remove from the Muslims.
The Holy Book is known as Al-Qur'an which means 'The Reading', the reading of
the Prophet of Islam who never went to any school. Prophet Muhammad (s) had
retired to a cave on Mount Hira not far from Mecca. One day Angel Jibrail
(Gabriel) came to him and said "Read". The Holy Prophet said: "What should I
recite?" Jibrail said: "Read in the name of thy Lord, who created; created man
out of a mere clot of congealed blood; read; and thy Lord is most bountiful; He
who taught (The use of) pen; taught man that which he did not know".
The Holy Qur'an as word of God, the Almighty, as revealed to his Prophet
Muhammad (s) This book gives guidance for our daily life. It appeals to our
power of reasoning, and exhorts us to follow the commands of Allah. It is a
living miracle of Prophet Muhammad (s), the last of the Prophets who came from
God. It is not surprising at all that this Holy Book has remained intact for the
last 1400 years. And it shall remain so till the Day of Judgement, for Allah has
taken it on himself to protect it.
"Surely we have sent down the reminder (The Qur'an) and we will most surely be
its guardian (Sura Al-Hijr -verse 9)
The Qur'an is divided into 114 chapters (Suras). There are in it 6226 verses (Ayats)
containing 99,464 words made up of 330,110 letters.
Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a) has said that one should at least recite 50 Ayats
everyday. Let us, therefore, value and respect this Great Book by reading it
with understanding and follow its teachings.