(2:2) What assurance do we have that Islam is the truth? Can anyone be guided to the truth?
The Truth – only if you seek it
How do we know that the Qur’an is the truth from Allah Almighty? What assurance do we have that the Qur’an can help us in our lives? How do we know that it is still relevant to us today?
This Book has no doubt in it – a guidance for the God-fearing (2:2)
Anyone searching for an explanation to their existence, and wanting to know how to proceed on their life-long journey and how to pick their way through the rocky terrain that is life would desire certainty that their road map is accurate and up to date. With so many ideologies vying for followers how can we know that Islam or the Qur’an are right?
Certainly before we commit to any belief systems or Holy Books we want to know that we have the Author’s original manuscript. We want the truth. Undiluted. Uncorrupted.
Allah Almighty reads our mind, pre-empts and immediately dispels any hesitations or qualms we might have. He gives us the assurance plainly and emphatically that these words are from Him. The tone is as clear and categorical as it could possibly be.
He opens the door to His guidance, (which we requested in surah Al Fatiha) by prefacing it with His guarantee. Thus with this unequivocal statement, we can be one hundred percent confident that the right path lies ahead.
The words can never be changed. Indeed He has promised to protect them:
‘We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).’ (15:9)
And His guarantee that there is absolutely no doubt in it whatsoever is vital because what follows is a requirement from us to act on those words and to follow that guidance. They are not just words, they are the moral code on which we are to base all our actions. They are the directions for how to reach our destination and we already know from surah Al Fatiha that there are those who are on the right path, and have been favoured, and those who have gone dangerously off track. Allah Almighty is showing us the right path, but it is our choice to travel down it.
So Allah Almighty is entirely frank with us. The guidance is conditional. He offers us a two way deal in which He gives us the ability to read the roadmap, as long as we sincerely want to. Though the words are there, only those who approach them with a certain attitude will be able to truly understand them. So the pre-condition of receiving directions are purity of heart. Those who are open-hearted, even among non-believers, will find the truth in it. In return for asking, He has sent down His divine words, which no one can touch for their divinity and glory, yet He has made it accessible to us.
We can depend on the Qur’an to find our answers, when we have the right intentions. This open-hearted attitude is the quality of the ‘muttaqeen’, those who have acute consciousness and fear of displeasing Allah Almighty. Muttaqeen comes from the word taqwa, the origin of which means a shield. Thus the muttaqeen are the ones who protect themselves from wrongdoing, follow His commands, and attain nearness to Allah Almighty, developing deeper love and respect for Him. If we have a pure heart, we have the potential to be among the muttaqeen and the subsequent ayahs spell out the qualities of these successful people so we can be one of them as well. Allah, the exalted, will paint a picture of true believers, disbelievers and hypocrites and then give detailed examples of how to behave and (through endless examples) how not to behave. And so guidance is offered to us as the rest of the Surah unfurls. It is then up to us to act on it or, at our peril, to ignore it.
May Allah Almighty make us those who have taqwa and receive guidance, so that we too can achieve success.
September 30, 2019
September 19, 2019