The Quran sometimes called the Holy Quran or the Noble Quran is the divine scripture or sacred text of the religion of Islam. Muslims believe that the Quran is the literal word of God. It was revealed to God’s final messenger Muhammad (S.A.W), to bring humankind out of the darkness of polytheism and ignorance and into the light of Islam. The Quran abrogates all scriptures before it, and confirms the books that were sent before it, including the Jewish Torah and the Gospels of Jesus. It became the book of guidance for all humankind. It contains signs of God’s greatness, miracles, parables, and lessons. The Quran explains the names and attributes of God and His creation and thus it calls all humankind to believe in God, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and in in fate or the divine decree. This was stated in various parts of the Quran.
(Quran 5:48) “And we have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Quran) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and trustworthy in highness and a witness over it (old Scriptures).”
(Quran 16:89) “And we have sent down to you the Book (the Quran) as an exposition of everything, guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves.”
“The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in God, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say) ‘We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers’ and they say, ‘We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to ou is the return (of all)’”. (Quran 2:285)
The Quran is the greatest of all scriptures and through it Allah speaks to humankind. He shows us His mercy, His love, His justice, and His wisdom. It serves as a guide, and a comfort to the heart. However, how can we be sure that the Quran we hold in our hands today is authentic? Muslims have no doubt that the Quran is exactly the same today as it was more than 1400 years ago when it was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad. However, the authenticity of the Quran is established in several ways. The most important way we can be sure that the Quran is authentic is the fact that when God revealed the Quran, He promised to preserve it. Stated in (Quran 15:9):
“It is We Who have sent down the remembrance (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it from corruption.”
During the time of Prophet Muhammad (may God praise him), the Arabs, although predominantly illiterate, were masters of the spoken word. Their poetry and prose were considered outstanding, and a model of literary excellence. When Prophet Muhammad recited the Quran (the words of God) the Arabs were moved tremendously by its sublime tone, eloquence, and extraordinary beauty. The Quran served as Prophet Muhammad’s miracle from God.
Moreover, the people around Prophet Muhammad, who memorized its words as they were revealed, and paid careful attention to each word, also preserved the Quran. Until today there are people who memorize the Quran with direct chains of memorization that span back to the Prophet (S.A.W) himself. Besides this record of memorization there is the written record as well, whereby trustworthy scribes wrote down the revelation. They wrote on flat stones, bark, bones, and even animal skins. Prophet Muhammad himself supervised the memorization and writing of the Quran.
The preservation of Quran was also a major priority for the four men destined to follow Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim nation. This was done through their extraordinary efforts and by virtue of Allah’s permission, the Quran became written in book form. From generations, one after the other, which went to great lengths to preserve the word of the Quran exactly as it was revealed. This process is called Tawatur in Arabic; it means the transfer from one generation to the next achieves historical continuity and perpetuation. This implied its authenticity since so many people in each generation conveyed it and as such, there can be no doubt about its authenticity. On the other hand, the Quran was not transmitted by a handful of people in one generation to a few persons in the next but it was passed by each entire generation to the next generation.
Another reason for believing its authenticity of the Quran’s is one of the most remarkable qualities, which is the complete consistency between the Quran and many of the discoveries of modern science. The Quran even pre-empts facts only discovered in the last 50 years or less. Another, remarkable future of the words of the Quran have remained unchanged. Over the centuries Muslims and non-Muslims alike have examined copies of Quran more than 1000 years old and found that they are all identical, apart from the introduction of vowel marks in the 7th century CE. These marks were introduced to further guard the authenticity of Quran by demanding strict adherence to pronunciation rules.
The preservation of Quran is a tale of wonder and amazement. It is a testament of God’s love for humankind, a book of guidance and a source of comfort. Muslims around the globe bear witness that it is the divinely revealed words of God. Words from the Most Merciful to His slaves, from the moment it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad it has been protected and preserved by God from the corruption of mankind.