The story of Quran: Why is it in Arabic? Part I

The Holy Quran is undoubtedly God’s greatest gift to the humankind. It’s the words of God revealed over the course of around 23 years to his prophet
Muhammad (PBUH). The Quran is the main reference for us Muslims because it includes everything we need to know about our religion and our life. Moreover, it contains many stories of our prophet and other prophets in addition to reassurance to us Muslims. Of course we know the importance of Quran and how
essential it is to us. However, sometimes one may wonder: • Why is Quran written in Arabic and not any other language? What’s so
special about Arabic to be the language of this sacred book?
The answer is that when Allah (SWT) sent any prophet to any nation, Allah would give this prophet a miracle. Prophet Musa (pbuh), for example, could talk to Allah and he had many miracles including: splitting the sea, his cane turned into a snake, his hands turned into shining white, and many more. Also, prophet Jesus was able to cure the sick and the blind… etc. All of the prophets sent by Allah (SWT) had miracles to distinguish them from
other people and to be a proof for who they are. Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) was sent in The Arabian Peninsula, where, at that time, the nation of this place was incredibly talented in Arabic. Arabs were unbelievably great in writing Arabic pros and poetry, especially long ones. Poets used to write all the time to tell the history of wars, or to flirt and talk about their beloved ones. They also wrote poetry that was mainly for praising or satire, and they wrote poetry to kill time.
The Arab rhymes were at their peak during that time and poets used to compete all the time to see who’s best. Hence, literature was a crucial part of these
people’s lives.

This is why Quran was sent in Arabic, because it was our prophet’s miracle. It was the only book that can beat anything the Arab wrote and will ever write.

“And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Quran) to Our slave (Muhammad), then
produce a chapter of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides God, if you are truthful.” (Quran 2:23)

Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), not being able to read or write, had no chance of writing such sublime words on his own. In fact, not a single human being can
write such words. It was the miracle of all miracles. Many Arabs believed in Allah and in the prophet after hearing Quran because they knew it was something
heavenly. One of these people is Omar ibn El-Khattab who, surprisingly, was one of the strongest opponents to Islam in the beginning. One day, he heard that his sister Fatima and her husband converted to Islam, he decided to kill them. However, when he read and heard the Surah his sister was reading, he believed
in Allah and the prophet. Surah Ṭâ-Hâ was the reason why Omar ibn El-Khattab
converted to Islam

“Ṭâ-Hâ. We have not sent down to you the Qur’ān that you be distressed. But only as a reminder for those who fear [Allah] -A revelation from He who
created the earth and highest heavens, The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established.1” (Quran 20:1)

This verse is a miracle because it turned one of Islam’s strongest opponents who was willing to kill the prophet into one of the strongest supporters for Islam. The same person who wanted to kill his sister for converting to Islam is one of the 10 people who are promised heaven and was a very strong Muslim that even Jinn would fear him. Another miracle of Quran is that, even though it’s been sent more than 1400 years ago, it hasn’t changed. Every Muslim is reading from the same Mushaf and it’s the same for all of us. We’re all reading and reciting the words that have been sent from Allah to his prophet Muhammed hundreds of years ago.

“Verily, it is We Who have sent down the Quran and surely, We will guard it
(from corruption).” (Quran 15:9)

As mentioned above, Allah is protecting Quran from any corruption and from anyone who would try to change anything in it.
Now you may wonder: • How was Quran transferred from one generation to another? In the beginning, men, women, and children would memorise Quran and recite it together because many of them couldn’t read or write. But when more people converted to Islam, people began writing it. A man named Zaid Ibn Thabit was the prophet’s most trusted scribe and he was responsible for writing it under the supervision of Muhammed, who was getting the word of Allah from his angel Gabriel. After the death of the prophet (PBUH), Abu Bakr, the prophet’s closest companion, was afraid that the Quran will be lost. In order to keep it, he, along with other companions of the prophet, suggested that they collect it into a book. They chose Zaid Ibn Thabit for this mission because they knew he memorized Quran by heart and that the prophet trusted him very much. Zaid tells his story in the following lines: “By Allah (God) if they had ordered me to move one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this (ordering me to compile the Quran). Then I said to Abu Bakr, “How can you do something that the Messenger of God did not do?” Abu Bakr replied, “By God, it is a good thing.” Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until God opened my heart to that to which He had opened the hearts of Abu Bakr and Omar. Therefore, I started looking for the Quran and collecting it from what it was written on, palm stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart, until I had collected it all.” As mentioned earlier, Zaid memorised Quran but heart and he could have written it alone. However, to be 100% sure about each letter, Zaid collected it from many trusted Muslims and from the writings. Later on, Uthman ibn Affan carried out the standardisation of the Quran so that there won’t be more than one dialect for its recital.

To know the full story, stay tuned for part II.