About a hundred years ago, England had a powerful Prime Minister. He was a Christian to a high section of the Anglican Church. His name was Gladstone. One day in the year 1882, he was speaking in the British Parliament on how to weaken the power of Muslims in Egypt so that the British could continue to rule over them.
At one stage he raised a copy of the Holy Qur'an in his hand and said that so long as this book remained with the Muslims in that country and they respected and followed it, the British would never be able to dominate them. He added that the only solution was to try and separate the Holy Qur'an from the Muslims of Egypt.
At the end of the speech; a committee was formed to decide upon ways and means of carrying out Gladstone's recommendation. The committee resolved to send some experts to Egypt who would launch a campaign which would weaken the faith of people and make them suspicious of the truth of the Holy Qur'an. The aim was to discourage people to refer to the Holy Book and gradually make them turn against the Islamic way of life.
In the course of this political and vicious programme, a learned man by the name of Dunlop was sent to Egypt as a teacher. He prepared many books containing lessons which were nothing but propaganda in disguise. One of the lessons on history was based on showing how Egypt was lagging behind and was not making progress because of Islam and the Qur'an. It alleged that people of Egypt were much more civilized prior to the coming of Islam.
Such ill-intentioned programme first succeeded to a small extent in influencing the youths at schools.
Then the Holy men of Al-Azhar university protested to the authorities and demanded that an end be put to it.
Now let us find out what are the qualities of this book which the enemies wished to remove from the Muslims.
The Holy Book is known as Al-Qur'an which means 'The Reading', the reading of the Prophet of Islam who never went to any school. Prophet Muhammad (s) had retired to a cave on Mount Hira not far from Mecca. One day Angel Jibrail (Gabriel) came to him and said "Read". The Holy Prophet said: "What should I recite?" Jibrail said: "Read in the name of thy Lord, who created; created man out of a mere clot of congealed blood; read; and thy Lord is most bountiful; He who taught (The use of) pen; taught man that which he did not know".
The Holy Qur'an as word of God, the Almighty, as revealed to his Prophet Muhammad (s) This book gives guidance for our daily life. It appeals to our power of reasoning, and exhorts us to follow the commands of Allah. It is a living miracle of Prophet Muhammad (s), the last of the Prophets who came from God. It is not surprising at all that this Holy Book has remained intact for the last 1400 years. And it shall remain so till the Day of Judgement, for Allah has taken it on himself to protect it.
"Surely we have sent down the reminder (The Qur'an) and we will most surely be its guardian (Sura Al-Hijr -verse 9)
The Qur'an is divided into 114 chapters (Suras). There are in it 6226 verses (Ayats) containing 99,464 words made up of 330,110 letters.
Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a) has said that one should at least recite 50 Ayats everyday. Let us, therefore, value and respect this Great Book by reading it with understanding and follow its teachings.