What is belief in heavenly scriptures ?
The Islamic belief in divine scriptures includes believing in the heavenly origin of all books that were revealed onto humankind since Adam (peace be upon him). A Muslim cannot be considered a “Muslim” unless he has an absolute faith in all revelations and scriptures, including the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur’an.
Unfortunately, it is a historical fact that we do not have the originals of divine scriptures revealed before the Qur’an. The divine commandments they contain have been subjected to alterations over time; the Qur’an discusses such instances in ‘A’la 87:14-19; Ma’idah 5:32, 45; ‘Anbya’ and 21:105.
The Qur’an presents itself as a confirmation of “the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations and determining what is true therein” (Ma’idah 5:48).
The only way to test the authenticity of whatever is in the previous revelations’ modern iterations is comparing them to the Qur’an. If a passage conforms to what the Qur’an postulates, then that particular passage’s divine revelation can be asserted. However, in case there are discrepancies, then one could conclude that the passage in question has undergone changes and alterations over time since its revelation.
What is the essence of divine revelations?
The term “wahiy” (“revelation”) means “delivering a message to a recipient in a secretive and rapid way without uttering it.” The revelations are the way Allah communicates with humans.
The revelations are what Allah descends upon humans in response to their prayers ascending to Him. The revelations are means of communication by the Superior with His subjects. The revelations are condescension infinite and immortal Allah bestows upon His finite and mortal creations. The revelations are manuals for humans. The best manual for a device is written by its producer. Similarly, He who created humans provides them with the best manual to live by.
The revelations are a divine project for building humans’ character. In other words, the revelations deliver a blueprint, which conforms to the purpose of humans’ creation and life on Earth. To be precise, revelations shape humans in the following four ways:
- imagination by concepts;
- mind by propositions;
- personality by examples; and
- life by its entirety.
What ways were revelations descended by?
The Qur’an says, “by the following three ways” in Shuraa 42:51: “And it is not given to mortal man that Allah should speak unto him otherwise than through sudden  inspiration, or  [by a voice, as it were,] from behind a veil, or  by sending an apostle to reveal, by His leave, whatever He wills [to reveal].”
What is the purpose of revelations ?
The purpose of the revelation is: A human-centric life; a faith-oriented human; a knowledge-based faith, and truthbased knowledge. And the core of truth is, of course, Allah. The revelations save humans from being subjects of time and turn them into commanders of time.
The revelations save humans from being horses of life and turn them into riders of life. The revelations relieve humans from being subjects of power and turn them into holders of power. The revelations turn humans into masters of matter and servants of the worthy Master.
What is the practical value of revelations ?
The practical value of revelations is its capacity to save humans from their own vicious egos and corrupting desires as well as enabling their appropriate use of reason and will to their fullest capacities. To ensure this:
1.The revelation draws boundaries and teaches humans the purpose of creation: By remaining within those boundaries, the humans are relieved of uncertainties of life, and they feel and enjoy submission to the Supreme Being.
2.The revelation exposes humans’ strengths and weaknesses: The human sees himself reflected in the mirror of revelations and cognizes himself. He who cognizes himself, knows himself. And he who knows himself, knows his Lord.
3.The revelation teaches the human about Allah: There are two ways of learning about Allah: 1) the divine revelations which are literal words of Allah; 2) Allah’s great masterpiece—the nature around us. The revelation is not limited to teaching us how to read Allah’s words; it also teaches us recognizing His signs in nature. Therefore the Arabic word “âyah” is used both for verses and signs.
4.The revelation teaches about the unseen phenomena and the Hereafter, which humans are unable to learn employing empiric methods: The existence of a dimension above and beyond humans’ perception (al-ghayb) is certain. If one were to speak about this dimension without knowledge, it would be pure speculation. Baseless speculations lead to contradictions, on the one hand, and false beliefs in bogus metaphysics, on the other. The only reliable source of knowledge about the unseen is Allah, for His infinite knowledge encompasses that world, which is inconceivable for humans. Thus, the revelation is a divine source that teaches us reliable knowledge about al-ghayb.
What is the Qur’an?
The Arabic word “Qur’an” means a book, which is “always read,” “has boundless meanings,” and whose meaning is “unsurpassable by reading alone.”
Thus, the Qur’an is a book, whose text was revealed once, but whose meanings are revealed endless times till the end of the world. That is why one cannot say, “I finished reading the Qur’an” in the past tense, for the Qur’an’s meaning are not finished by reading its words on paper.
The Qur’an is an eternal miracle. As is known, all of the prophets performed miracles, which were dominant in their respective times and locations. The Qur’an’s distinction, however, is that it is a “living miracle,” which speaks to and about all times and spaces in the world and beyond.
The most potent evidence for that is the existence of men and women in various corners of the world, who completely changed their lives for the better thanks to the Qur’an’s irresistible logic, eloquence, and meaning. Considering enormous efforts and dedications one must commit to changing their personality, shunning and abandoning bad habits, and altering their way of life in its core, the great miracle of the Qur’an manifests itself again.
The Qur’an is a book with one end in the heavens and the other on Earth. The Qur’an was actually revealed not as a text, but as an inspiration from Allah in the spoken word form, delivered by angel Gabriel, to the reasoning soul and mind of the Messenger of Allah. The divine revelation, imprinted in Prophet Muhammad’s mind, was then inscribed on tree bark, paper pieces, and animal skin, and then delivered to the rest of humanity.