No one can destroy the Quran. No matter how hard they try.
Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
Surely We revealed the Message, and We will surely preserve it. (15:9)
Allah Almighty has promised that He will protect the Quran – the final message. Allah Almighty promised clearly to preserve it. He never promised to protect any other previous revelation because the final Book and the lasting message is the Quran, and we can rest assured that no one can touch it. As Allah Almighty stated:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِالذِّكْرِ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّهُ لَكِتَابٌ عَزِيزٌ
Those who reject the Reminder when it has come to them—it is an invincible Book. (41:41)
لَّا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ ۖ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
Falsehood cannot approach it, from before it or behind it. It is a revelation from One Wise and Praiseworthy. (41:42)
In another beautiful ayah, Allah Almighty described the Qur’an:
إنَّهُ لكِتابٌ عَزِيزٌ
Indeed, it is a noble book. (56:77)
Allah Almighty describes the quran as ‘aziz, which means precious as well as noble. The word is derived from ‘izzah, which means protection. When something is precious, it is safeguarded and defended. Al-‘Aziz is also one of Allah’s names, meaning The Invincible: the One who overpowers without being overpowered. No one can defeat Allah Almighty, and no one can defeat the Book of Allah Almighty. This is the protected nature and invincibility of the Quran.
The Prophet’s character (peace be on him) was the Qur’an
Several books of Sunnah tell the story of Sa’ad bin Hisham, when he visited A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) in Madinah and asked her about the character of the Prophet (peace be on him). In Sahih Muslim, it is narrated:
I went to ‘A’isha and said, “Mother of the faithful, tell me about the nature of God’s Messenger.” She asked, “Do you not recite the Quran?” On my replying that I certainly did, she said, “The Prophet’s character (khuluquh) was the Quran.” (Muslim)
In Al-Adab al-Mufrad, compiled by Bukhari in addition to his Sahih, it has been narrated that when she described the character of the Prophet (peace be upon him)
Yazid ibn Yabnus said, “We went to ‘A’isha and said, ‘Umm al-Mu’minin, what was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, like?’ She replied, ‘His character was the Qur’an. Can you recite the surah entitled “The Believers”?’ She said, ‘Recite:
“It is the believers who are successful: those who are humble in their prayer; those who turn away from worthless talk; those who actively pay zakat; those who guard their private parts.” (23:1-5)’ She said, ‘That was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'”(Al-Adab al Mufrad)
Imam an-Nawawi commented on this hadith in his 10 volume commentary of the hadith in Sahih Muslim.
He said ‘the Prophet’s (peace be on him) character was the Quran’ means that he lived by the Quran and applied it in his life. He acted in line with what is in it: he would be angry about things that were done not in line with the Quran, and pleased when they were.
This was the implementation of the Quran in his character. He did not preach hollow words, he demonstrated the teachings every day in his behaviour.
Attacks on the Quran
Imam Ghazali also commented on this hadith in his book Ihya ulum ad-Deen, saying the Prophet (peace be on him) was the most courageous and the most tolerant person. We need these two qualities especially in today’s world, especially after the Wednesday of Eid, when a man deliberately invited hatred towards Islam by burning a copy of the Quran under the supervision and protection of the Swedish police. It is very ironic that it called ‘freedom of expression’ – in this instance is the freedom from consequences and from responsibility.
Our right not to be attacked
Burning a copy of the Quran is a blatant attack on the feelings of two billion Muslims worldwide, including tens of millions in Europe. It is an insult and a hurtful act that has a negative impact on the spirit of tolerance, cooperation, and harmony among Muslim citizens of Europe.
Such actions counteract the efforts of moderate Islamic institutions in the West. They also undermine Muslims’ trust in the calls of European governments for integration, coexistence, and respect for the law.
The European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling on 15th February 2011 which affirmed that insulting religious sanctities does not fall under the freedom of expression. The court also emphasised the right of others to protect their religious feelings and maintain religious peace in society.
Be wise and courageous
We need to be courageous to defend our rights, and at the same time we need to be tolerant, i.e. defend ourselves in the proper legal manner, not act rashly and emotionally, which is our default reaction. So often these kinds of actions are planned to deliberately provoke Muslims into reacting. And most of the time, we sadly walk into this trap, without noticing that we are doing exactly what they wanted.
Instead of getting angry and playing into their hands, the appropriate response is to take care of the Quran and convey its divine message to European communities, in order to contribute to raising awareness of the Quran and highlighting its values of tolerance and human coexistence.
It is important to approach the defence of our sanctities with wisdom, following peaceful legal means, and avoiding anything related to violence or disregarding the law. This requires embodying the values and ethics of the Quran in our behavior and interactions, in order to highlight the civilised image of Islam and Muslims.
Therefore we need to be very careful; we need to be very vigilant and very wise. The best way to tackle such offensive actions is to join forces with wise communities, of which there are many.
Strength in uniting forces
This equally applies to combatting the ongoing attacks against family values, the innocence of children, etc. The list is long. The attacks are strategic and we need to join forces with those who support good, who are sane and wise, and be a force against evil. This is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in Madinah – he mobilised the forces for good to protect the truth. We have to do the same, otherwise we will be beaten alone. So we need to be wise, courageous, and tolerant.
We ask Allah Almighty to enable us to implement the Qur’an, live by the Qur’an, spread the Qur’an, love the Qur’an, and protect the Qur’an. Ameen.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Khutbah 30th June 2023
Transcribed by Zayna Sheikh
- Growing up as a young Muslim (part 2)
- Growing up as a young Muslim (part 1)
- Being good neighbours
- Mirroring the Prophet (peace be upon him)
- Knowing Allah through His Beautiful Names – Al Jameel, Al Jaleel, Al Kareem
September 22, 2023
September 21, 2023