Why the Burning of The Holy Quran is such a salient offence to the Muslims. (Opinion Piece)01 Aug 2023
We must begin by understanding what the Holy Quran is and its great principle over the trajectory of the way Muslims around the globe live their lives, especially in a world today.
The Holy Quran is the holy book which over a billion people use as a guide to live their lives and understand more about their purpose in this life, and essentially the Holy Quran covers all the information a person would need to know or can only capacitate to know for this life. It is such a major key to becoming a successful person as a Muslim in this world that its writing cannot be tampered with or changed, so as we speak the words in every Holy Quran are indistinguishable from each other since over 1,400 years ago.
So, when was it revealed? Who wrote it….
It is a bit more complicated than saying it was a book that came from the sky and the holy Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) took it and gave it to the Muslims. No, what happened was, in the early 7th century, in a cave called Hira, located on the mountain Jabal An-Nour near Mecca, an angel named Gabriel brought down verses of the Holy Quran, which Allah had sent, and gave the knowledge to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) then took the Holy Quran to his most trusted and greatest companions and gave them the verses to write (It is important to note that after the Holy Prophet (PBUH) passed, the Holy Quran was still being compiled by the most trusted companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)), word for word, in traditional Arabic, as this was the language chosen for the Holy Quran to be transcribed into, so it was therefore necessary for it to be the only language which holds the truest meaning and denotation of what Allah wants from Muslims in this life.
How was the Holy Quran understood by people if it was written in traditional Arabic with very intense metaphorical, advanced and hidden language?
As mentioned earlier, the Holy Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and was compiled by the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) companions. Understanding this, we see it was the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself who gave the tafseer (An interpretation of Quranic verses) of the Holy Quran, also some of the most knowledgeable and gifted, by Allah, companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave their own interpretations of important messages to the Muslims voiced through the Holy Quran. Some examples of what Muslims have understood from the Holy Quran are: the importance of Salat (The 5 daily prayers), Hajj (a compulsory Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, to visit the Holy Kaaba), hijab (showing modesty through public appearance for BOTH Men and Women), Akhlaq (the practice of virtue, morality, respect and ethical actions) and most importantly Tawhid (Understanding and having a secured belief in the oneness of God).
Now let us understand who burnt the Holy Quran?
As you might have heard or read before on the news An Iraqi refugee, Salwan Momika burnt the Holy Quran in front of the Stockholm Central Mosque in Sweden. What is more interesting is the fact that the man who burnt the Quran was a Christian.
How other countries reacted including Sweden and the Pope?
Well, it feels only necessary to begin with the Muslim world, beginning with Iraq. Iraq has officially asked Sweden to repatriate him to be prosecuted according to the Iraqi penal code also with there being protests in Iraq against this treacherous act. We also see countries like Iran, Pakistan and Lebanon carry out peaceful protests. We interestingly see the head of the church in catholic Christianity also speak out against what Momika did, the pope said to the public that he “feels indignant and disgusted by these actions”, this further exemplifies the clear division between a collective opinion on Islam compared to one man, as we know the pope is a representative of Christianity. Unfortunately, the Swedish Prime Minister responded by saying it was “legal but not appropriate”, this infers that Sweden were not very concerned with this major event, but that leaves another tale to voice out. Surprisingly, Putin puts a Quran on his desk and uses its verses when he will meet with Islamic politicians.
This shows that the Holy Quran is an indispensable part of Islam and the responses of foreign countries as well as Islamic countries outline the power of the Holy Quran. What does Quran mean, it means the sacred scripture. Muslims believe that the Holy Quran is essential to life and if people understood its beyond power, they wouldn’t dare burn it nor drop it nor disrespect, Muslims do not just touch the book without being appropriately ready, this means Muslims must make wudhu (a process of cleansing in Islam which makes one clean, more specifically pure before committing to a religious act).
The last message needed to be addressed after this horrible event occurred recently, is that of respect (akhlaq), Muslims are taught to not fight fire with fire, but to use water to purge injustice, take a leaf out of the Holy Quran- “Respond to evil with good” (41:34), this quite literally means what is wants you to understand.