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How Does the Qur’an Address Each Level of Mankind in Every Age?


The wise Qur’an addresses each level of mankind in every age. It is essential for the Qur’an—which calls all mankind of varying intellectual and spiritual capacities to faith, and instructs them in faith, the highest and most subtle science, and in knowledge of God, the broadest and most enlightening branch of learning, and which calls them to the laws of Islam, the most important and elaborate of sciences—it is essential that the Qur’an should teach every group and level appropriately. Whereas mankind are many and diverse, the Qur’an is one and teaches the same teaching. Therefore, there must be different levels within the same instruction, in which each person will be able to find his share. You may refer to the examples given earlier. However, in order to point out the share of understanding of a few classes, I will point out a few minor points briefly.


He begets not, nor was begotten. And there is none comparable to Him. (112:3-4)

  • The share of understanding of the common people, who form the majority of mankind, in these verses, is this: ‘Almighty God is absolutely free from having a father, children, wives and equals.’ Those of relatively higher (more informed) levels of understanding will infer that the verses categorically reject the Divine sonship and divinity of Jesus and the divinity of angels and all other beings who beget and are begotten. Now, since the rejection of a negation or of an impossibility is evidently useless, the science of eloquence demands the existence of a conclusion from the words which is useful. It is unquestionable that God does not beget nor was begotten, therefore there must be another purpose in rejecting the attribution of sonship and fatherhood to God, which is this: Whoever has a father, children and equals cannot be God and does not deserve worship. It is for this reason (among many others) that sura al-Ikhlas, from which the verses above are quoted, is of such great use for all persons at all times.
  • Another group of a higher degree of understanding derive this meaning: Almighty God is absolutely free of all relationships with the creation which will suggest begetting and being begotten, and exempt from having partners, helpers and fellow-deities. His relationship with the creation is that He is the Creator and everything and everyone in existence is the created. God creates with the command ‘Be! and it is’ and through His eternal Will; He is absolutely free of every quality which, suggesting compulsion, obligation and unwilled, unintended action, is therefore contrary to His absolute perfection.
  • Still another group of considerably higher levels of understanding infer the meaning that Almighty God is eternal, with no beginning and end, and He is the First and the Last. Neither in His Being, nor Attributes, nor acts, has He in any way equals, peers, likes, or anything similar or analogous to Him. However, in order to make His acts understandable, the Qur’an (which also says, God’s is the highest comparison) allows us to have recourse to proper comparisons.

You may compare to these the share of understanding of the verses quoted of those who have perfect knowledge and love of God, and most truthful, painstaking scholars.

Muhammad is not the father of anyone from among your men. (33:40)

  • The share of the first group in this verse is this: Zayd, the servant of God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, whom he called ‘son’, divorced his wife Zaynab, because he found her superior to him in virtues, and by God’s command, God’s Messenger married her. Therefore the verse explains: If the Prophet calls you ‘son’, this is because of his mission as the Messenger of God. Biologically, he is not the father of any man among you so that he may not marry a widow of one among you.’
  • A second group derives this meaning: A superior treats his subjects with fatherly care and compassion. If that superior is both a worldly ruler and spiritual guide, then his compassion will be a hundred times greater than a father’s. The subjects of that superior consider him as if a real father. Since this may cause people to have difficulty in seeing the Prophet, whom they consider more fatherly than a father, as the husband of their womenfolk, the Qur’an corrects the public view, meaning: ‘The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, considers you with the view of Divine compassion and treats you as if a father. You are like his children from the viewpoint of his mission. However, biologically, he is not your father so that it would be improper for him to marry a woman from among you.’
  • A third group understands from the verse that because of their connection with the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, and reliance on his perfections and his fatherly compassion for them, the believers can not think that they will be saved even if they commit sins and errors. (There are many people like certain of the Alawis, for example, who do not perform the prescribed prayers and say ‘Our prayers have already been performed’, and Christians who delude themselves with the false belief that Jesus sacrificed himself for their salvation, who rely on the perfections of their leader or guide and show laziness in performing the religious commandments.
  • A fourth group deduces a prediction from the verse, which is this: The Prophet will not, for some reason, have a son through whom his line will be continued. His male children will die at an early age, and as expressed by the word ‘men’, he will be the father of female, not male, children, and therefore his line will continue through his daughter.

All praise be to God, the blessed children of the Prophet’s daughter Fatima, his two grandsons Hasan and Husayn, the ‘light-giving moons’ of the two illustrious lines, continue the line of the Sun of Prophethood both biologically and spiritually. O God, bestow blessings on him and his family.


In the whole of the Qur’an there is a perfect fluency, a superb clarity and soundness, a firm coherence, and a well-established harmony and proportion and a strong, mutual support and interrelation amongst its sentences and their parts, and an elevated correspondence amongst its verses and their purposes.

Although this is a fact testified to by the leading figures in Arabic philology, literature and semantics, like Zamakhshari, Sakkaki, and ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani—and, though there are seven or eight factors to counter fluency, soundness, coherence, harmony, proportion, inter-relation and correspondence, these factors rather enrich the Qur’an’s fluency, soundness and coherence. Like branches and twigs stemming from the trunk of a tree for the production of fruit, which will complete the beauty and growth of the tree, these factors sometimes show themselves not to cause discords in the fluent harmony of the Qur’an’s composition but to express new, richer and complementary meanings.

  • Although the Qur’an was revealed in parts over twenty years for different needs and purposes, it has such a perfect harmony that it is as if it were revealed all at once.
  • Although the Qur’an was revealed over twenty years on different occasions, its parts are so mutually supportive that it is as if it were revealed only on one particular occasion.
  • Although the Qur’an came in answer to different, repeated questions, its parts are so united and harmonious with each other that it is as if it were the answer to a single question.
  • Although the Qur’an came to judge of various, diverse cases and events, it displays such a perfect order that it is as if it were the judgment delivered on a single case or event.
  • Although the Qur’an was revealed by Divine courtesy in styles varied to suit innumerable people of different levels of understanding and of different moods and temperament, its parts exhibit so beautiful a similarity, correspondence, and fluency that it is as if it were addressing a single degree of understanding and a single temperament.
  • Although the Qur’an speaks to innumerable varieties of people, remote from one another in time, space, and character, it has such an easy way of explanation, such a purity of style, and such a clear way of description that it is as if it were addressing only a single homogenous group, and each different group thinks that it is being addressed uniquely and specifically. Although the Qur’an was revealed for the gradual guidance of different peoples in various purpose, it has such a perfect straightforwardness, sensitive balance, and beautiful order, that it is as if it were pursuing a single purpose only. Despite being the reasons of confusion, all these factors add to the miraculousness of the Qur’an’s explanations, and to its fluency of style and harmony.

Anyone with an unbiased heart, a sound conscience, and a good taste, sees in the explanations of the Qur’an a graceful fluency, an exquisite proportion, a pleasant harmony, and a matchless eloquence. Also, anyone with a sound power of seeing and insight sees that the Qur’an has an eye with which to see the whole of the universe with all its inner and outer dimensions like a single page and read all the meanings contained in it. Since it would cover volumes to explain this truth with examples, I will, referring the reader to Signs of (the Qur’an’s) Miraculousness and the Words written so far, not go further here.


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.