A presentation of the myriad of teachings contained in the Noble Quran could most likely fill up countless volumes of manuscripts. Quran is the speech of Allah SWT, for which He testifies: Say, “If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.”(Quran 18:109) So, what are the teachings of the Quran?
Every single Quranic teaching incorporates a moral lesson that has the inherent potential to change lives and stir souls. Even the hardest of hearts have been moved by God’s personal message to mankind. This is an attempt to present five unique teachings of the Noble Quran. Some of the choicest lessons have been carefully selected to inspire readers. For perhaps they may reconsider their priorities and objectives in life.
A Categorical Rejection of all Religions except Islam
“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” (Quran 3:85)
This introductory teaching presents an authoritative verse informing mankind of Allah’s decisive preference for Islam. It renders null and void, all other past religions. Although it is clearly a dire warning to people who opt for different paths. Within it, is also found, a subtle reminder to those Muslims who take their religion lightly.
Islam is a divinely ordained way of life, which is meant to be lived on Allah’s terms. The Muslim label is not just a sticker we put on a car or a badge that we wear for identification. It is, instead, a call to action! Merely calling ourselves Muslims and professing faith in Islam, without acting according to its beautiful and beneficial teachings, is like having a mind but refusing to think.
Of what good then is a dormant and unproductive faith? One that, while testifying to God’s existence, hopelessly fails to acknowledge His Omnipotence through servitude, clearly lacking the constant desire to please the Almighty, through obedience and submission to His beautiful & wise commands.
Such faith is rather, a languishing one that only serves to distance man from his beloved Creator. In light of the moral lesson in this poignant verse, it is inevitable that we ask ourselves: “When Allah has promised to derail all other rejected paths in the Afterlife, in which direction are we headed?”
Man’s Superiority is only by Virtue of Righteousness (Taqwa)
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Quran 49:13)
What we look like, our gender, and which family we are born into, is solely in accordance with Allah’s choice and decision. We have no say in the matter. This is also why Allah SWT will not judge us for our appearance or possessions. He has, however, granted each of us a free-will to obey or disobey Him. Owing to which, He will rightfully judge our actions and intentions. This was further endorsed by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH): Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth, but He looks to your heart and your deeds. (Muslim 2564)
A Muslim’s righteousness is declared the only accurate measure of his superiority over anyone else. We should, therefore, strive to be someone first in Allah’s Eyes. To be this best version of ourselves, we must be Muslims in both word and deed. This Quranic teaching is central to man’s understanding of himself.
In Response to the Myth that ‘Islam Endorses Terrorism’
“…that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind…” (Quran 5:32)
The teaching in this verse debunks the popular world-view of Islam being terrorism-friendly. For a religion that forbids the harming of an innocent, that is quite a farfetched accusation.
The following rules for warfare set by the Prophet (PBUH), further confirm this: “Go out in the name of God and do not kill any old man, infant, child or woman. Spread goodness and do good for God loves the doers of good.”
Is it possible for a religion in which a prostitute was promised Paradise for quenching a dog’s thirst, to be a promoter of violence? On the contrary, Islamic compassion considers something as trivial as removing a stone from someone’s path, a charitable act.
Even a fleeting look at the benevolent life of the Prophet (PBUH), is enough to dispel such bigoted claims. The man sent as ‘mercy to all mankind’ could never have propagated, enacted or approved of violent faith. The central teaching of this very telling Quranic verse is indeed a slap in the face of Islam’s vilest foes.
Quranic Teachings on the Status of Women
“And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer – those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged (even as much as) the speck on a date seed.” (Quran 4:124)
What does the Quran teach about the treatment of women? The answer to this may surprise many. The teaching found in the verse itself demonstrates flawless equity displayed by a Just God.
It must be said here that in the Pre-Islamic era, the Arabs (and the rest of the world) used to treat their women-folk as property. Unwanted and easily dispensable. Baby girls would be buried alive. Women could be bought and sold. In more explicit terms, women were treated like cattle.
Islamic teachings addressed this injustice to perfection:
It was declared that a mother’s right to be loved, served, and honored by her children, is three times greater than the father’s. It was also made abundantly clear that Paradise lay beneath her feet. A coveted place earned by cherishing her. Children were instructed not to utter even an ‘Uff’ to either parent.
Wives were granted complete freedom from material responsibility. Husbands would be their protectors and providers. No marriage contract would be written without the woman’s consent. And once married, it was her right to be clothed and fed by her husband, with kindness. Her wealth, on the other hand, was forbidden to him.
Islamic Shariah derived from the Quran and Sunnah dictated: that every sister, niece, or aunt, is to be looked after by the men of her household. Even the right to inherit was granted to Muslim women almost 1500 years ago. Unsurprisingly, it was allowed to women in the West and elsewhere, many centuries later. The Quran teaching highlighted by this verse concurs with the equitable treatment of women.
A Reminder that it is Impossible for Man, to Enumerate Allah’s Bounties
“If you were to count God’s favors, you would not be able to number them; most surely, humanity is very unjust, very ungrateful.” (Quran 14:34)
The beautiful Quranic teaching of this verse reminds every heedless man of the countless blessings that he receives but fails to acknowledge. Allah is not a partisan God, so when it comes to giving, not even a disbeliever is denied them.
From the mansions, limousines, and bulging bank accounts, to the needle and the shoelaces that man may possess, he owes thanks to Allah SWT. Hearing, sight, intellect, and free-will that he savors are also from amongst God’s continual bounties.
The treasures of health, wealth, well-being, and success, likewise, are blessings beyond compare. While using Allah’s bounties in excellent and lawful ways, is a way of expressing gratitude, their abuse makes one an ingrate. So, if a wealthy Muslim saves a portion of his wealth for the poor, he is considered a grateful servant of Allah. Gratitude is more than merely saying ‘Alhamdulillah,’ it is instead, shown best through acts of obedience.