Preview : A systematic study of ‘The Holy Qur’ān’

“Monumental Work, with Unique Insight into the Wondrous Verses of the Holy Qur’ān”

By Seyed E Hasnain*

Dr. Javed Jamil, currently Chair in Islamic Studies in Yenepoya University, Mangalore, has already earned reputation at the international level as an innovative thinker, scholar and writer. In recent years, he is being admired for his effort to establish what he calls Applied Islamics as a full-fledged discipline of Islamic studies. Applied Islamics, according to him, is “a dynamic concept, which studies and analyses the modern theories in all the fields including Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Philosophy, and presenting alternative Islamic concepts, definitions, theories, paradigms, models, programmes and policies for the benefit of the entire humanity.”

What attracted my attention at the very outset was the caption on the cover of the book. The book describes Qur’ān as “a humble endeavour to make a Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’an in terms of the Systems Almighty God created in the Universe, on the Earth, in Human Life, and the System He wants man to establish and adhere to with the aim of building a Healthy and Peaceful World and ensuring a Successful Life in the Hereafter”.This is a categorical confirmation of the fact that, in Qur’ān there are a very large number of verses, which describe the Creation and Functioning of the Universe as a whole and the Functioning of the Earth, including its flora and fauna. There is absolutely no doubt that, if human beings have to establish on earth the kind of harmonious functioning existing in the universe, they have no option but to follow God’s injunctions in full.

His latest book, “A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’ān” is a monumental work, with remarkably fresh insight into the verses of Qur’ān. What attracted my attention at the very outset was the caption on the cover of the book. The book describes Qur’ān as “a humble endeavour to make a Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’an in terms of the Systems Almighty God created in the Universe, on the Earth, in Human Life, and the System He wants man to establish and adhere to with the aim of building a Healthy and Peaceful World and ensuring a Successful Life in the Hereafter”.This is a categorical confirmation of the fact that, in Qur’ān there are a very large number of verses, which describe the Creation and Functioning of the Universe as a whole and the Functioning of the Earth, including its flora and fauna. There is absolutely no doubt that, if human beings have to establish on earth the kind of harmonious functioning existing in the universe, they have no option but to follow God’s injunctions in full. The particles of the universe, the stars, the planets and all other celestial bodies follow the Laws of Nature created by God with unimaginable precision. If God gave us human beings certain flexibility, we should endeavour to work only within the boundaries prescribed by Qur’ān. Moreover. the system that God has directed through His Final Book and Final Prophet (SAW) needs to be established not only in the lives of the people, but in the world as a whole, including the legal, social, political and administrative levels.

What is remarkable about Dr. Jamil’s approach is that, instead of presenting Islam as just a religion, the final version of all the religions sent through different prophets, he presents it as the only true holistic system for the whole world. Islam is not just theology, aimed at disciplining the lives of Muslims, but is also holistic socio-economic, political and legal system for the entire world, with guidelines in every field. He discusses the superiority of Islam over all the current ideologies prevalent in the international world, and argues that Islam primarily aims to establish a system, which ensures health of individuals, family peace and social order.

What is remarkable about Dr. Jamil’s approach is that, instead of presenting Islam as just a religion, the final version of all the religions sent through different prophets, he presents it as the only true holistic system for the whole world. Islam is not just theology, aimed at disciplining the lives of Muslims, but is also holistic socio-economic, political and legal system for the entire world, with guidelines in every field. He discusses the superiority of Islam over all the current ideologies prevalent in the international world, and argues that Islam primarily aims to establish a system, which ensures health of individuals, family peace and social order. The failure to focus on these three critical issues is largely, rather solely, responsible for the current sad state of affairs we are witnessing in the world today. Health and peace are the most important requirements for mankind; and Islam wants mankind to give them supremacy over all other aspects. The current COVID-19 pandemic, which has already taken over a million lives globally, termed as the worst pandemic of the century, is the Creator’s way of sending a reminder to humanity not to drift from these fundamental issues.

Another unique feature of this book is that, as explanation of the verses in the form of short notes, apart from the traditional sources, he has also used scientific facts and quotes from Biblical literature, wherever required. Many of these are the result of his personal research. For example, he has made an extraordinary endeavour to describe Seven Heavens, which he prefers to call Cosmic Tiers, in terms of Astrophysics. He has also presented medical facts related to various practices promoted or prohibited by Islam. But what is different in his case from other scholars who write on Islam and Sciences is that he studies modern scientific theories in the light of Qur’ān, rather than studying Qur’ān in the light of modern sciences. He is not overawed by the modern scientific advancements, but instead criticises many of the current developments and beliefs.

Another unique feature of this book is that, as explanation of the verses in the form of short notes, apart from the traditional sources, he has also used scientific facts and quotes from Biblical literature, wherever required. Many of these are the result of his personal research. For example, he has made an extraordinary endeavour to describe Seven Heavens, which he prefers to call Cosmic Tiers, in terms of Astrophysics. He has also presented medical facts related to various practices promoted or prohibited by Islam. But what is different in his case from other scholars who write on Islam and Sciences is that he studies modern scientific theories in the light of Qur’ān, rather than studying Qur’ān in the light of modern sciences. He is not overawed by the modern scientific advancements, but instead criticises many of the current developments and beliefs. This is seen in his other works also like “Islamic Model for Control of AIDS’, “Qur’ānic Paradigms of Scientific and Social Theories (First Volume: Dynamic Paradigm of Health)” and his works on Theoretical Physics like “Qur’ānic Version of Anthropic Principle” recently carried by International Journal of Islamic Thought, published by National University of Malaysia (UKM), and his long interview on Covid-19, published in the WML Journal of Rabita Alam-i Islami (World Muslim League) from Saudi Arabia. He does not fail to point out that the development of modern scientific philosophies has been under the patronage of the economic forces, which are determined to keep religion and God out of the international affairs because of their commercial interests.

As Dr. Jamil writes in the very first sentence of his Preface, “Qur’ān is not an ordinary work of an ordinary mortal but a Singular, Supreme and Majestic Work of a Singular, Supreme and Majestic Author, God the Creator and the Lord of the Multi-World”. What a wonderful description of the Holy Book and its ‘Author’, because it is not possible for any man or even the whole humanity to fully comprehend the wondrous verses of God! Qur’ānic wonders have continued, and will continue to be known to the world till its ultimate end. What we can do is to try to understand and implement its message in the world. Dr. Jamil sums up the purpose behind the book in a highly absorbing way:

“A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’ān” is a humble endeavour to understand the wondrous messages, and the system, propounded by Qur’ān, particularly with its absolute necessity in the context of the present and the future world. It classifies the verses in an entirely unique way, which will give an idea to the reader about the comprehensiveness of the Testament of God. It will help in convincing him that this is the Final Testament from God not to be merely understood, comprehended and researched, but also to be followed in letter and spirit in every walk of life, and to be applied to every system governing the human life, as individuals, families, society, nations and world as a whole.”

He adds:

“The world today, despite its apparently advanced and sophisticated ways of living, is overpowered with chaos at every level. The current international system, which many proudly call New World Order, appears to be highly advanced in method but is a colossal failure in the results. At the individual level, notwithstanding huge advancement of healthcare system, physical, mental and spiritual illnesses are ever on the rise. At the family level, the disintegration of family is fast becoming the norm rather than an exception. At the social level, the ever rising crime rate, social and economic exploitation, commercialisation of all forms of dangerous substances and practices including sexual deviations, addictions and crimes, and various kinds of extremist movements working in the interests of certain forces have almost completely destroyed the peace of life. It is in the background of this asphyxiating disruption of harmony that Qur’ān needs to be understood and applied in all spheres of life.”

It is indeed very correct when he says:

“The contest today is not between different religions. The real contest is between religion and irreligion; between the scientific (or healthy) morality preached by Divine Messengers and the commercial morality propagated by the tyrannical monarchs of the business world; and between the ‘Comprehensive Peace’ propagated by the Scriptures and the ‘materialistic peace’ imposed by the forces and powers that rule the roost.”

Dr. Jamil’s advocacy of Islam is neither apologetic nor defensive. He tends to be intellectually aggressive, without being offensive. He is never hateful, and respects all religions. In addition, he combines creative and investigative style of writing, which makes his works not only highly thought-provoking, but also extremely absorbing. Even the translations of the verses by the author are in modern, flowing English, which makes the work even more noteworthy.

I strongly feel that this is a Must Read work for all those, Muslims and Non-Muslims, who want to understand the importance and relevance of Islam in the modern world.

In short, “A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’ān” is a monumental work, with remarkably fresh insight into the verses of Qur’ān. In particular, I am sure; it will take the subject of Applied Islamics way ahead in the field of knowledge, and will hopefully inspire the researchers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, to benefit from the Wondrous Book of God. I strongly feel that this is a Must Read work for all those, Muslims and Non-Muslims, who want to understand the importance and absolute necessity of Islam in the modern world.

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*VC Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

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