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Islam is the religion of truth and Quran is the words of God. But why was it revealed in an era where it cannot be properly recorded and propagated. Communication was mostly from person to person or from prophet to person. There was no paper to write on, no television to record anything, no radio to broadcast anything, no camera to prove anything. Communication from person to person is liable to carry misinformation.

Why was it revealed in a period where the message of God could not be properly recorded?

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@ashes999, I will and in order to do that, I will have to provide my own answers to my questions because the existing answers did not really answered the question. –  muslim1 Nov 14 '12 at 16:58
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@ashes999, high accept rate is good but sometimes there is no perfect answer. In such circumstances, accepting answers will discourage new and better answers. Also read Should I accept wrong answers to boost my accept rate? –  Tabrez Ahmed Nov 15 '12 at 15:04
    
@ashes999 many of my question are conceptual and somewhat challenging. Most of them did not receive satisfactory answers at all. No I am not into answering it myself but I am afraid I have to because it needs an answer. I have learned from Muslim brothers, and if they do not have explanation, I have. BTW my answer might not be fully coherent with Islamic theory and I hope that is ok. –  muslim1 Nov 15 '12 at 22:26

2 Answers 2

In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

Let me clarify first that Information technology is the need of today's people not Allah's. Allah doesn't need anything to reveal His message. He also doesn't need anything to preserve His revelations.

Yet, Allah has made use of other great technologies:

  1. "The Angel Gabriel(pbuh)": He was used to reveal the Qur'an, ie. He brought the Qur'an from the Heaven to the Earth. He was way more faster than today's Communication technology.

  2. "The Hearts of Sahabah and their Sincerity": Sahabah were used to record the Qur'an. Their sincerity prevented them from interpolating it. Their hearts were used to preserve the Qur'an in the initial stage until it was compiled into a book by Uthman (ra). Sahabah were also the main source of recording of Ahadith and the Sunnah.

  3. "The Huffaz (people who memorize the Qur'an)": This technology was used to preserve the Qur'an after it was compiled into a book by Uthman (ra). This technology makes sure human interpolation is identified and corrected at source, thus preserving it.

These technologies (In addition to many other) appointed by Allah are so perfect that they remain perfect in any era. Eg. If some copy of the Qur'an has human-interpolated words, A hafiz can identify it then and there.

On the other hand, Communication technology that you are talking about is imperfect, insecure and subject to interpolation because it is open not only to the hypocrites but also the kuffar. For eg. If Allah had made use of Information technology to preserve the Qur'an, people would agree on a single database that was preserved from the age of Sahabah. To interpolate the Qur'an, all one had to do is hack the central database, and the Qur'an would have gone.

But these were the things chosen by Allah to preserve His message. If Allah willed, he would have surely used the Information technology, but he didn't, perhaps simply out of His own will.

And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses. Qur'an 28:68.

We all know that Allah doesn't do anything without a reason. But still, some knowledge is only with him.

They said, "Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise. Qur'an 2:32.

And still questioning His choice will be nothing less than questing for the knowledge that might sometimes harm our Imaan (faith and belief in Allah).

O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from the knowledge which does not benefit, from the heart that does not entertain the fear (of Allah), from the soul that does not feel contented and the supplication that is not responded." Sahih Muslim.

At the end, I would like to say that people of this era (era of IT) can think of this preservation as a miracle. As without much technology (particularly IT and communications that you talk about), Islam has managed to be preserved as is for 14 centuries. And by the will of Allah, It will be preserved until the end of time.

Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian. Qur'an 15:9.


ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (And Allah is the All-Knower, the Wise)

اللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنِي بِمَا عَلَّمْـتَنِي وَ عَلِّمْنِي مَا يَنْفَعُنِي

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Your "all one has to do is hack the central database" is a misrepresentation of how communications technology, distributed storage, and digital signing work. That probably isn't central to the point you're making, though. –  Marc Gravell Nov 14 '12 at 13:55
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@MarcGravell, no doubt distributed storage, data encryption and digital signing work very well. But if a person who has inside knowledge of its storage structure, encryption mechanism, etc. can always be misleaded. Or he himself may turn out to be a hypocrite who had a mission to destroy the database. And there are also chances of destroying the data centers by physical means like bombing, etc. by the anti-islamic radicals. BUT even if Allah had chosen information technology he would be knowing how to protect it because there is nothing that he is unaware of. –  Tabrez Ahmed Nov 14 '12 at 14:34
    
@MarcGravell, ultimately we can only believe that it was a Divine choice for Divine reasons which we are unaware of. –  Tabrez Ahmed Nov 14 '12 at 14:35
    
@TabrezAhmed what doo you mean by "compiled cover-to-cover by Uthman" may Allah be pleased with him. The Quran was complied in the caliphet of Abu Bakr on the suggestion of Ummar May Allah be pleased of them both. –  Mujahid مجاهد Nov 14 '12 at 22:03
    
@TabrezAhmed may be I will make a point here. 1 Why Islam did not propagate to North America, South America, Australia, Green Land in its original form. Should I blame Gabrielle for this? 2 Why a true copy of the Quran, as it was revealed, does not exists because there was no writing resources to make a book. 3 Yes no doubt sahabas were utterly sincere, but it is just by way of communicating from person to person, that make the message slightly altered. 4 Hafaz is a great asset for Islam, but they do not solve the problem of communication. –  muslim1 Nov 15 '12 at 1:26

Your question shows a very shallow understanding of the circumstances around the time of rasulullah, as well as the revelation and preservation of the Qur'an (and hadith) specifically. I will address your misconceptions point by point, inshaAllah.

  • Communication was mostly from person to person: Communication was done person-to-person (which is done today: emails, text messaging, phone calls) as well as person-to-group. When rasulullah received the first ayaat, he stood on a mountain and called many groups and relatives to him to embrace Islam. For many years, he went to Hajj and talked to whole tribes to convince them to support him (the Ansar accepted). It was not simply one-to-one.
  • Nor is there any issue with one-to-one communication: he sent Mu'adh ibn Jabal (radiallahu anhu) to Yemen. Alone. And instructed him to teach the five pillars, one by one. There is no problem with individuals teaching individuals; rasulullah himself proved this.
  • There was no paper to write on: the sahabas themselves narrated that they used to write on many, many surfaces. While the processed form of paper we have today probably didn't exist, they wrote on bones, leaves, and leather, among other things. Not that it matters, see my next point.
  • No television, no cameras to record: In fact, Allah ('azza wa jal) sent the message to a place and time with very advanced cameras; these cameras recorded everything in detail, good and bad, and relayed it back to us. Those cameras were the sahaba, and the detailed recordings exist today in hadith.

Let me explain further. The society and place and time, 1400 years ago in the Arabian penninsula (as well as other places in the world at that time), was largely an oral society. Literature and writing ability was scarce, but in existence; in fact, people were extremely strong memorizers and reciters.

To the point that in Imam Bukhari's time (200+ years later), teachers were shamed if they consulted their notes in class. That showed weakness in their memory. And that was 200 years later from rasulullah's time.


To summarize: Allah 'azza wa jal says in the Qur'an:

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Translation: Indeed, we indeed revealed the Qur'an, and surely we will definitely protect it. (Surah Al-Hijr, verse 9)

When we dig into details about the circumstances and lives of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and his companions, at the place and time that he lived, we see that Allah sent the Qur'an and explanation for it (the sunnah) in a place that guaranteed its preservation. Allah promised, and Allah delivered on that promise.

To this day, the Qur'an alone is narrated mutawaatir: from so many sources and peoples that it cannot possibly have any mistakes in it.


Sources:

  • Uloom Al-Qur'an double-weekend intensive course
  • Seerah double-weekend course, CD lectures (Medini and Mecci seerah CD sets)
  • Basics of Saheeh Al-Bukhari, weekend intensive course
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