Quran relevant to Muslims only? What about the humanity.
Is the Quran only for Muslims? If God is the Lord of the worlds (Quran 1:2) and the Prophet is described as the messenger for the worlds (Quran 21:107) and the Quran is introduced as a reminder to the worlds, (Quran 68:52) then what is the relevance of the Quranic message to the world? How can the world, Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, benefit from the universal message of a universal and compassionate God? Can non-Muslims practice divinely revealed values without acknowledging their original source and without adhering to the total divine call?
The Quran, Muslims believe is the final testament God revealed for human beings through Prophet Muhammad , in the seventh century. They believe that that the Quran affirms everything that was revealed to all the previous messengers in the past including Prophets Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus. The Quran recognizes the principle of inclusiveness when it says: “I have come to you, to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me.” (Quran 3:50) The Quran also acknowledges that divine message has been sent to all in all languages and the Quran affirms the continuity of the divine message. “O ye People of the Book! believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hind wards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of Allah Must be carried out.” (Quran 4:47)
The Quran acknowledges the common thread in all the divine messages when it says: “The same religion He has established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah – the which We have sent by inspiration to thee – and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that you should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which you call them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him). (Quran 42:13)
The Muslims believe that the guidance in the Quran is for all time, and all people. Even though many Muslim scholars have often differed on the issue of giving a copy of the Quran to non-Muslims, quoting the Quranic verse that says “none shall touch but those who are clean,” (Quran 56:79) yet more serious among them believe that the verse refers to the purity and sanctity of the divine message emphasizing the fact that it is revealed by the one who is absolutely authentic (Allah) and delivered by the one who is sacred and pure (Angel Gabriel) and delivered by the one (Prophet Muhammad ) who is innocent from committing any wrong in communicating the message.
In fact, the Quran addresses human beings as “Ya aiyuhal Nas” (O Humankind) directly 306 times and indirectly more than two thousand times in its over 6,000 verses. In contrast the Quran specifically addresses Muslim men and women (Ya aiyuhal Muslimun/Muslimat/Muslimatun/etc) by name only 49 times. How can anyone refuse to share a copy of the Quran with non-Muslims? In fact, the first revelation that the prophet received was first recited by the Prophet to non-Muslims.
Regardless, the Muslim scholarship, by and large, has inadvertently turned the Quran into a manifesto for Muslims only making the argument that Quran is a book of guidance for Muslims primarily. On top of this the use of the Quran has been limited to ceremonial recitation. Is there nothing for the non-Muslim creation of God in the book Muslims attribute to a Merciful and Compassionate God of all. Can a non-Muslim make use of the guidance of the Quran while still remaining outside the fold of Islam? Can Islam be practiced by non-Muslims in its normative sense without adhering to its form ritual structure?
Contrary to what some Muslims might believe the fact is that many human beings, regardless of their relationship with Islam, have on their own reached conclusions that the Quran introduced to the world through revelation. In a way, many non-Muslims have shown a better understanding of the message of the Quran even without fully identifying with Islam than shown by many Muslims.
For instance, the empiricism 1 in modern natural and social sciences is a known reality of our epistemology. The Quran announced this maxim clearly when it said: “And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be inquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Quran 17:36) In other words one must use all methods of inquiry to come to a conclusion and decisions in all aspects of life must not be based on superstitions and hearsay.
There are five major divine ideas expounded in the Quran that human beings have now begun to realize as the essence of their humanity. They were there in other religious scriptures and they are defined in detail in the Quran, yet, humanity as a whole waited for almost 7,000 of its recorded human history to acknowledge their legitimacy and validity.
These ideas have constantly provided guidance to reformers and idealists regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds all over the world for centuries. What is ironic is that while acknowledging the supremacy of these ideas many Muslim groups and leaders in the Muslim world have often negated them through their writings or actions. Those five ideas are: oneness or unity of humanity, dignity of human beings, universalization of natural resources, justice and peace. No human society can live in a state of stability and progression without accepting these ideas and making efforts to live by them.