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PostSubyek: THE QUR'AN SOURCE OF TRUTH AND GUIDANCE   Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:18 am

Subyek yang saya pilih adalah sekalian judul dari artikel yg diambil dari buku karangan Fateh M. Sandeela
dan pada kesempatan ini juga saya menyajikan teks aseli dalam bahasa Inggris dan sangat mengharapkan temen temen yg mengetahui atau menguasai bahasa inggris untuk sudi kiranya menterjemaahkan untuk teman kita yang agak terlambat memahami bahasa Inggris.. Very Happy Very Happy

Although every religion regards its own particular scriptures as ultimate and ideal, such is not always objectively the case. The objective view of the character and quality of scriptures depends, among other things, on their professed authorship, their authenticity, their intelligibility, and their practical relevance to the affairs of man and society. In each of those respects, and in others, the Qur'an is unique.

It claims to be, not just generally inspired or vaguely sensed, but literally reveled, Book of God. Not just its subtance or intent, but is very letter, is of Divine authorship. Notice the Qur'anic insistence :

[u]This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt.
(Qur'an 2:2)

Lo! We, even We, reveal the reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardians.
( Qur'an 15:9)

It is an unassailable Sripture. Falsehood cannot come at it from before it or behind it. A revelation from the wise, the Owner of Praise.
(Qur'an 41:41-42)

With truth have We sent down, and with truthhat is descended. And We have sent thee (Muhammad) as naught else save a bearerof good tiding and warner. And Qur'an that We have divided, and We have revealed it by revelation.
(Qur'an 17:105-106)

And When Our clear revelations are recited unto them, they who look not for meeting with Us say: Bring a lecture other than this, or change it. Say (O Muhammad) : It is not for me to change it of my own accord. I only follow that which is inspired in me. Lo! if I disobey my Lord I fear the retribution of an awful Day.
(Qur'an 10:16)

Upon the self - view of the qur'an, then, the scripture that was conveyed by Prophet Muhammad (saw) to mankind step in its transmission from its Divine Author to the comon believer is specially and severally mentioned, and integrity of each clearly, catagorically and confidently guaranteed. Not only has it been "sent down" with truth, but also it has 'descended' with truth. So also it is 'recited' by the Prophet to mankind truly, and is preserved from error and assault of every discription. Each of these affirmations is further adumbrated in other passages of the qur'an. And this self-view is supplemented by, and supported with, secular argument.

Like its self-view, the secular argument of the Qur'an is exhaustive too.It raises every relevant issue, and rest its case on the indubitable answer. Thus, the character of the bearer of the Qur'an, on whose general trustworthiness must depend the credibility of his claim as to authorship of the Qur'an, is confidently put forward:

[i]I dwelt among you a whole lifetime before it (the revelation of the Qur'an). Have ye then no sense?
(Qur'an 10:17)

Likewise, the nature and content of the revelation itself is held out confidently thus:

And this Qur'an is not such as could ever be invented in dispite of Allah... Or say they: He hath invented it? Say Then bring a surah like unto it, and call (for help) on all ye can besides Allah, if ye are truthful.
(Qur'an 10:38-39)

And again:

[i]Will they not then ponder on the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much incongruity.
(Qur'an 4:82)

And yet again:

[i]Say: Verily, though mankind and Jinn should assemble to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof though they were helpers one of another.
[(Qur'an 17:88)

The challange of the Qur'an has stood now for some 1400 years. And has remained wholly unanswered. The Qur'an's insistence on the inimitability of its style has been vindicated thus in the actual event. And the claim to the Qur'an's uniqueness of style has been positively confirmed by an ever increasing number of eminent non-Muslims of all denominations. Only a sampling of these may suffice. For instance, G. Margoliouth in his [i]Introduction to Rodwell's Translation, The Koran (London, 1918)

It (Qur'an) has created an all but new phase of human thought and fresh type of character....Yhe Koran enjoys the distinction of having been the starting-point of a new literary and philosophical movement which has powerfully affected the first and most cultivated minds among both Jews and Christians in the Midle Ages... The literary form is for the most part different from anything else we know.

Edward W. Blyden, in Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race ( Edinburgh,pp. 177-178) further says:

Only they who read it in the language of the Arabian author can form anything like an accurate idea of its unapproachable place a power among unevangelised communities for moulding into the most exciting and the most expressive harmonies the feeling and imaginations.

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PostSubyek: Re: THE QUR'AN SOURCE OF TRUTH AND GUIDANCE   Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 am


Also, James A. Mitchener, in Islam the Misunderstood Religion (Readers's Digest, American Edition, May 1995) say:

It is this combination of dedication to one God, plus practical instruction, that makes the Koran unique.

The Qur'an also invokes the authority of earlier scriptures. Although glossators have done their job exceedingly well, one passage each in the earlier scriptures suffices to show that the Qur'an, not only fits in with the processes of the Divine dispensation generally, but is also unique in at three distinct ways. Thus the Torah reports Prophet Moses (as) to have announced:
A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your kinsman; to him you shall listen. This is exactly what you requested of the Lord, your God, at Horn on the day of the Assembly, when you said: 'Let us not again hear the voice of Great Fire anymore, lest we die'. And the Lord said to me: ' this well said, I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put My words into his mouth. He shall tell them all that I commanded him. If any man will not listen to My words which he speaks in My name, I Myself will make him answer for it.
(Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

And the Gospel reports Jesus to have announced:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them how. Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you unto all truth; for he shall not speak himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come.
(John 16:12-13)

These passages, in the first place, spell out the authority and ultimatcy of verbal revelation that the Qur'an, as we have seen, professes to be. It is distinction of the Qur'an that spite of these clear and categorical statments of their own scriptures, to downgrade verbal revelation. The distinction, nevertheless, remains, as does the unequivocal claim of the Qur'an which speaks of itself as the 'Arabic Qur'an' (12:2;41:4) and in 'Arabic language' (46:12), whic can have meaning strictly in relation to verbal revelation only. That the Qur'an is alone in making any such claim, and in maintaining its validity, cannot in the least be doubted.

In those passages, secondly, the Torah and the Gospel necessarily deny their own ultimacy, since they expressly and insistently look forward to a future and further dispensation whose overriding authority they themselves stipulate. The position of the Qur'an is utterly different. Not only does it not look forward to any future or further dispensation, but also it declares its own ultimacy. It says:

This day have I perfected for you your religion and have completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam for religion.
Qur'an 5:3)

The Qur'an spells out its relationship with other Scriptures thus:

And unto thee (Muhammad) have revealed the scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee.
(Qur'an 5:48)

And again :

O People of the Scripture! Noe hath our messenger come unto you, expounding unto you much of that which ye used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much.
Now hath come unto you light from Allah and plain a Scripture, whereby Allah guideth him who seeketh His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He bringeth them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guideth them unto a straight path.
(Qur'an 5:15-16)

And thirdly, in and through those passages, the Torah and the Gospel confirm as well as fulfil the transcendent Covenant of which the Qur'an speaks thus:

When Allah made covenant with prophet: Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterwards there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him. He said: Do you agree, and will ye take up My burden in this? They answered: We agree. He said: Then bear the witness, I will the witness with you. Then whosoever after this shall turn away; they will be miscreant.
(Qur'an 3:81)

The Qur'an is unique in that, unlike the other Scriptures, it does not merely prepare the ground for, but fulfils the purpose and consummates the process of, that transcendent commitment. Its bearer is not just 'a messenger' but 'The messenger', as every muslim must witness. He is 'Rasoolullah', in contradistinction to 'Khalilullah', and 'Khaleemullah' and 'Roohullah'. The Qur'an, accordingly, is not just a scripture, but the The Scripture. It bear the seal of the Seal of Prophet. There is to be no future prophet, and no further dispensation. The ultimate and eternal message has come.

The Qur'an is also unique in that it is the only Scripture that has remainded uncorrupted through the long centuries of its life on earth. It was written down and fully memorised from its inception. And it continues to conform to its original standard in both its letter and its sound. The allegation that it was any of the Khualaffa-i-Rashideen who initiated that preservative process is wholly misconceived. The Qur'an could not be memorised or publicly recited, whish was done during the time of thr prophet himself, unless the order of the verses had already been fixed and their content known. What the Khuallafa-i-Rashideen, and particularly Caliph Uthman did was only to make master copies from original model.

The Qur'an is also unique in that it is the only Scripture whose future purity is guaranteed. That guarantee is provided, not only in the verbal assurance of the Qur'an itself, but also in the institutional arrangements existing for the purpose. the recital of its various parts by every active member of the Ummah five times a day, and their public recital at every congregational prayer at least once a week, and the wholesale recital in every mosque at least once a year, make sure that the authority and authenticity of the Qur'an is maintained unto eternity. That process is consolidated, and the purpose additionally served by the necessarily incidental process of the learning and teaching of the Qur'an on large scale for so regular and widespread a use.

The Qur'an is also unique in that language, in addition to being rich as well as exact, is also a living language. Much of the meaning and purpose of purity of text is lost, if the text, in spite of its remaining unaltered, become obscure or uncertain of meaning because of its prolonged or practical disuse.The words, even though remaining the same, can become mere cyphers in such case, and their sequence called sentence provide Mantras instead of any meaningful guidance, opening up a whole wide field of misuse and abuse in the name of religion and of revelation. That this possibility has, religious sriptures, as, for instance, in the case of Hinduisme, makes it a matter of practical concern, and not just of abstract speculation.

The other possibility of resorting to, and relying on, translations, is no less open to abuse and misuse. In the case, for instance, of Cristianity, which has had to rely on translations, greatest transitions have been effected by means of demonstrable linguistic discrepancies. The simple use of capital letters, which had no place in Jesus' own vocabulary, could be very potent, and has actually been effectively used, in that exercise. The phrase 'Son of Man', for instance, carries suggestions and implications which are alien to anything like 'Ibn-i-Aadam' which might occur in the regional, and mean nothing more than plain 'human being'. Where the original language of the Qur'an equally unavailable or archaic, such key Qur'anic word as, for instance, 'Hukum', could made to carry a distinctly different meaning than they decidedly have in the original, thereby perverting the whole process of understanding and observance. It is the words like 'Bain' and 'Ikhtilaf' occuring in the original that tell their contextual companion 'Hukum' apart from 'Amr'. In languages other than Arabic, these two easily distinguished expressions can be, and have in fact been, used as synonyms, and often with disastrous result. Thanks to accessibility and intelligibility of the original, such errors can be identified and eliminated.

The Qur'an is also unique in that all subject are in it juxtaposed. This has led the superficial critic to complain of ' wearisome repetition and jumbled confusion', and obliging one to offer the following apology (A.J. Arberry, The holy Qur'an, An Introduction, , 1953):

Truth cannot be dimmed being frequently stated, but only gains in clarity and convincingness at every repetition; and where all is true, inconsequence and incomprehensibility are not felt to arise.

The Qur'an, actually, deserves much more than an apology. There is positive merit in the turns and transitions of subject-matter as well as in repetition. In the comprehensive and integrated view of life and of society, such as the Qur'an provides and promotes, every subject-matter has innumerable points of contact with every other, some of them being entirely unsuspected by superficial reader. How much, on the other hand, may a diligent and dedicated reader learn and benefit by them, has been told by an eminent student of the Qur'an, Hartwig Hirschfeld in New Researches into the composition and exegesis of the Qur'an (London 1902,p.9) thus:

We must not be surprised to find the Qur'an the fountainhead of the sciences. Every subject connected with heaven or earth, human life, commerce and various trades are occasionally touched upon, and this gave rise to the production of numerous monographs forming commentaries on parts of the Holy Book. In tgis way the Qur'an was responsible for great discussions, and to it was directly due the marvellous development of all branches of science in the Muslim world.

There are also at least two other aspects of this distinctive feature of the Qur'an, each exceedingly beneficial in its own way. Firstly, the distinctive Qur'anic style helps initiate the reader into the whole range of ideology and ethic upon even casual and cursory reading. One does not have to wait to finish the Book before begining to benefit from it. Every page is sufficiently illuminating and instructive in and by itself. Greater reading and reflection could add further and finer shades to one's initial understanding. But the colour set at the start is sufficiently fast as well as fine to hold to the very end. As an eminent authority, John William Draper, in A History of the Intellectual Development of Eourope ((London, Vol.I, pp. 343-344) observes:

The Qur'an abounds in excellent moral suggestions and precepts; its composition is so fragmentary that we cannot turn to a single page wihout finding maxims of which all men must approve. This fragmentary construction yield texts, and mottoes, and the rules complete in themselves, suitable for common men in any of the incidents of life.

Secondly, it is juxtaposition of subjects that has prevented any part oof the Qur'an falling into disuse and the favourite part being able to preponderate, and even to perpetuate itself exclusively. Had the different subjects been treated distinctively and divisively the reader could choose to concentrate upon, or even cobfine his attention to, the parts answering to his interests and inclination, thereby encouraging evasion as well as eccentricities and allowing parts of the Book to be progressively forgotten and eventually lost. The soulless casuistry and legalism that has obsessed and even overreached some of the other dispensations can have no chance where legalism and idealism intertwine, where announcement and illustration of law and ideals goes hand in hand, and where relations of different laws and ideals are variously explicated, in their wide-viewed and multidimensional perspective.

The Qur'an is unique,finally, in that institutional arrangements have been made, not only to preserve its textual purity, as we have already noted, but also to promote its understanding and observance. The month of Ramadhan is devoted to this purpose in a triple way. In the first place, It is the month in which the Qur'an was revealed and is also widely and publicly recited. This call attention to the existence and accessibility of Divine Guidance while it helps refresh the memory of the exact text. Secondly, it is the month of fasting whereby the relationship of subjection and sovereignty as between man and God is practically reaffirmed and its incidents and implications brought home. And thirdly, consciousness of human subjections and divine sovereignty induced by fasting thus, makes human mind particularly receptive to the demands and dictates of the Divine Sovereign, and therefore, to the understanding and observance of the Qur'an.

How fasting is connected with taqwa, and taqwa, in turn, with the understanding and observance of Qur'an, is made plain by the following verses:

O ye who believe ! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you so that ye may inculcate Taqwa (Tattaqoon)
(Qur'an 2:183)

dikit lagi..habiss... Razz Razz
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PostSubyek: Re: THE QUR'AN SOURCE OF TRUTH AND GUIDANCE   Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:23 am


This is the scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto the Muttaqiis.
(Qur'an 2:2)

This is a declaration for mankind, and guidance and an admonition unto the Muttaqies.
(Qur'an 3:138)

It is the distinction of the Qur'an that it makes Taqwa, which is essentially a matter of faith and of will rather than of intellect or of mind, the key to understanding and observance of the scripture. Neither intellectual aptitude nor academic qualification can give comparable insight into the intent of the Divine Author, or be equally availing, as the will to understand and obey. Intellectual attainments in themselves are no more than weapons of the human will and, like every other weapon, their achievement depends on the efficacy of the will that wields them. The scriptures that entrust their understanding and exposition to a priestly class, or make no provision for the proper grooming of the human will, easily lend themselves to misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

This, then, marks the writer's reach, not the limit of the Qur'an uniqueness. The more one reads and reflects upon it, the more it is bound to stand out and outshine every other scripture. And the fact that the Qur'an invites constant and widespread reading and reflection, leaves room for endless additions to the list of its distinctions.

--------------------------------------------- Wassallam------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pendapat dari Fateh M. Sandela sangat apresiatif terhadap Qur'an baik dilihat dari cara pandang teksnya atau bahasa apalagi terhadap isi dan kandungannya. Dengan menyebutkan beberapa pemikir dari non muslim yg kebetulan telah mengkaji atau melakukan riset kapabilitas serta aksepbilitasnya alqur'an dengan menyebutkan bahwa alqur'an tidak ada batasan untuk digali dan dipelajari. Andaikan semua menyadari dan dengan serius mempelajari qur'an tidak hanya keindahan nilai sasteranya saja tidak menutup kemungkinan akan dapat menguak segala mistery pemberian serta kebesaran Allah SWT.

Mari kita diskusikan pendapat ini dengan persfektif kita (muslim yg tinggal di Indonesia)
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