There is a growing class of people, all the world over, and particularly in Europe and America, who are anxious to understand Major Religions with an open mind, so as to form their own opinion in the matter. To them Religion is no longer a spent-force, but a force which can help us out of the present world crisis. They hope that a Balanced Religion, Realistic, as well as Idealistic, Comprehensive, taking account of Human nature and Needs, in Beliefs and Deeds, can be utilized, in the light of experience gained, to vitalize Humanism, so as to save Mankind from the menace of Heartless Self Destruction, in private and public life. And in Truth, there is also the more vital Problem of Life after Death, a problem which is the keystone of Religion.
Of the few Basic Books of Major Religions, let the Qur’aan give here an outline of its Message, ISLAM, which would include the Supreme Being (GOD), HIS Attributes and Manifestations, the Prophets and their extremes - human and divine, the Man, his position and progress and his associations with all, the Creatures and their purpose, the Universe and its Reality. But Man is the keystone of the whole system, and clue to the whole Universe.
Islam claims to be in accord with Human Nature, for it proclaims:-
“Then set your face straight for Religion (Islam) in the right direction,- the Nature (framed) of Allah, on (the Principles of) which, He has created men (as well). There is no altering (the laws) of Allah’s creation. That is the right religion, but most people do not know (this).” (Verse-30, Sura-30) (Qur‘aan).
Islam is positively a System. A true Religion must reflect Nature. It possesses a natural grace. In principle, the Message of any Religion must needs come from its Basic Book, to carry Authority. The introductory notes are short without comments, carrying their Qur’aanic references with them for those who want further clarification on the points so as to let the readers think, feel and realize the truth for themselves.
The Qur’aan cannot be translated. The result of any translation is not the Glorious Qur’aan, that inimitable symphony the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy. (83:5). It is divided into 30 Parts, 114 Suuras (chapters), 558 sections, and 6236 verses.
As to the Qur’aan’s translations in general, to be frank, they often fail to convey the real sense, spirit and delicacy of the original, mainly because English terms are more or less inadequate to express the basic concepts of the Qur’aan, such as ‘Abd’ and ‘Rab’, ‘Rahmaan’ and ‘Raheem’, ‘Ahad’ and ‘Samad’, and several others.
Islam is the Message of the Qur’aan. It is a Perfect and a Practical Religion of Equality, Liberty and Fraternity. Islam, as defined by the Qur’aan, means Submission to the Supreme Being, and compliance with His Laws, which constitute Nature, including Man himself, vide 82: 3, 30: 30 “Surely the true Religion with Allah is Islam” 18: 3 Islam also insists upon the fundamental unity of all revealed religions in origin, includes them all collectively in itself, and enjoins all Muslims to acknowledge them,” vide 83: 3, 285: 2. “And whoever desires religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he shall be one of the losers,” vide 84: 31.