An Introduction to the Holy Qur'an

The Most Glorious Qur'an is the last of the Holy Books to be revealed by the Almighty Creator of existence through His Holy Prophet to serve as a testament and guidance for all mankind. We see in history that this great revelation, through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) took place gradually in a period of twenty-three years. The revealed holy verses exceeding 6,000 in their final arrangement of one hundred fourteen surahs (chapters) are the exact expression of the will of Allah uttered by His Holy Prophet.

As we know, the Holy Qur'an is the only Holy Book mankind has today which can still claim to be the exact and authentic expression of the norm and structure of a perfect life for social man as foreseen by Allah the Almighty, with His exact and encompassing knowledge of creation – a system of law and order through which a full fulfillment of life will be attainable for all.

The Holy Qur'an knows no limits in its capacity to bewilder and attract the mind of man except the limits imposed by the human mind itself, and it holds so much potential meaning and knowledge that each person according to his own capacity feels the limitlessness of this supernatural and holy record in expressing the meaning and philosophy of life . . ., so that, those sensitive to the social sciences not only find the most exact expression of the motivating forces of social history, but find the answers and the means of effecting social behaviour.

Through the study of the inerrable images of related historic facts, in the Holy Qur'an, the historian can study with a feeling of historic certainty and find the answers to the innumerable questions and doubts with which the limited knowledge of the realm of social sciences today most certainly still leave him.

The bewildered governor and legislator (though privately) aware of his hopelessly limited capacity to understand the frail and complicated structure of social man, not only finds the answer to his problems, but sees pictured the parts both he and his subjects might fruitfully and rewardingly play in the dramatic play of social life. For the political participator and leader torn apart by the strong contradictions between his political responsibilities and his self-consciousness of right and wrong, the unerring answers and solutions are given by the Holy Qur'an to national and international relationships and serves as a definite guide.

For those sensitive and responsible to human conduct and morals, the most beautiful expression and image of personal and social conduct are to be found; and lastly (though not of least importance) for all of us who just love to hear of the eternal struggle between the good and the evil, the beautiful and the ugly - the Holy Qur'an contains the most beautiful and dramatic of human episodes.

The Holy and most Glorious Qur'an, has been able to prove its status as an everlasting "Living Miracle" by remaining for all times the inerrable and unlimited source of human guidance to personal and social life. A feat it has attained by expressing its intentions through two types of verses with different literary addresses: the one direct and clearly understandable by all acquainted with the language even though of different scholastic standing "muhkamat ".

The other, the expression of the intended truth through such a structure of words as to keep it forever alive, the possibility of an ever growing meaning and a more complicated interpretation "mutashabihat" which may only be interpreted fully by the Living Imam (personage of Divine Guidance) to whom Islam has left the heavy and most necessary responsibility of correctly and fully interpreting the meaning of these holy verses according to the mental capacities and social needs of their own times.

A responsibility has been endowed by Allah the Almighty through the recorded speeches of the Holy Prophet, upon a determined line of personalities from the descendants of the Holy Prophet himself — Ahlul Bayt.

World Organization for Islamic Services,
(Board of Writing, Translation and Publication)
4th Muharram, 1392
20th February, 1972
Tehran — IRAN.