By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
29 April, 2015
The Quran says: “The Messenger will say, ‘Lord, my people did indeed discard the Quran.”’ (25:30)
The meaning of this verse is that on the Day of Judgment, the Prophet of Islam will say about his community that in the later period his people made the Quran a discarded book. This relates to a later period of Muslim history, after the time of the Prophet and his Companions, a time of the degeneration of the Muslim community. This development would be just the same as what happened in the case of earlier communities.
How will the Quran become a ‘discarded book’ in the period of degeneration? It will be discarded not in the sense that people will stop reciting it and giving it respect. Rather, it will become a ‘discarded book’ in the sense that in the period of the Muslim community’s degeneration, its members will no longer possess creativity. Because of this, they will be unable to discover the appropriate re-application of the Quran in the context of changed conditions. They would know ‘traditional Islam’, but would be unaware of ‘applied Islam’. Because of this, Islam will not remain a living faith.
Undoubtedly, the Quran is an eternal book, but conditions of society keep changing. And so, there is a need to explain Islam in the context of changed conditions in such a way that it can address the prevailing mindset of the times. There is need to discover the application of the faith in the context of these conditions that can show people that even today, Islam is a practicable religion that can provide them the guidance that they require in and for their lives. In other words, for such people Islam must be made a matter of rediscovery. If this does not happen, then practically, the Quran will become for them a ‘discarded book’.