The Uloom ul Qur'an is a great scholarly work in Urdu by the renowned scholar Maulana Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani and translated into English by Dr. Muhammad Swalesh Siddiqui.
It has the stamp if authority of Maulana Mufi Muhammad Shafi and Mulana Muhammad Yusuf Binnori.
The work cover all aspects of the Qur'an, from wahy (revelation) to tajweed (its recital) and various readings. The book is an insight into the facts o the Qur'an, nature of revelation, sequence of revelations different readings, the miracles of the Qur'an and so on.
They have been explained in everyday languages and they remov all doubts and misgivings. The criticisms of the orientalists are answered with authoritative references.
(Mufti Muhammad Shafi) Through his grace and mercy, Allah favoured and enabled me to be of service to the Qur'an by writing the Ma'arif ul- Qur'an. And, it gives me pleasure to learn that Muslims do derive benefit from it. When the first volume was reviewed and revised, I wished that a thesis should be included as an introduction to the sciences of Qur'an but illness coupled with weakness prevented me from undertaking the task and I entrusted the task to my dear son, Muhammad Taqi. He wrote down a brief introduction of the subject for the Ma'arif ul Qur'an Simultaneously, however, he took up writing on the subject exhaustively which is now before us as Uloom ul-Qur'an (An approach to the Quranic Sciences)
This is a vast knowledge. Many volumnous books are written on the subject in Arabic, and quite a number have been published in Urdu, too. There was. Nevertheless, scope for a book that would deal with related discourses in detail and ward off the misgivings created by the orientalists and atheists. It was also necessary to bring to light the principles of Tafseer (exegesis) especially because, recently, many people have begun to compose commentaries on the Qur'an even though they are ill-equipped for the task and do not possess the requisite knowledge. These people should be warned of the dangers of their rash undertakings which might mislead other people.
We thank Allah that this book has tackled the problem better than I had expected. And. I am confident that if it is read with a quest for truth and a fair outlook, Insha Allah it will provide insight into the science of exegisis and remove doubts that are created in the mind by misleading suggestions of the orientalists and false fables common among the laymen.
The truth is that I had entrusted this task to my son because of my illness and weakness on the understanding that what a father leaves incomplete, the son completes it. But, when the book was before me and although I could not read it myself because of poor eyesight, my happiness knew no bounds when passages were read to me and I thank Allah deeply for this. If I had chosen to write on the subject when I was healthy. I could not have written as well as my son has done. There are two reasons for that. The first is that I could never have gone through the large number of books that son has consulted for the writing of the present book. Only a cursory glance at the numerous references to sources in the footnotes with their chapters and page numbers will disclose the amount of research he has undertaken.
The second reason is that my lack of knowledge of English kept me unaware of the poison spread by the orientalists against the teachings of Qur'an. My son who is a graduate with distinction in M.A.(English) and LLB could detect their mischief and give a befitting answer.
I pray to Allah from the core of my heart that He keep this light of my eyes sate, give him a long life and protect him from all mischief and trial! May He enable him to serve religion with greater enthusiasm and grant him truthfulness, sincerity and Your pleasure! May He grant approval to this work and make it a means of salvation for him and for me and let Muslims benefit from it to a great extent!
And Allah is the one who helps and on Him is reliance placed.
Praise belongs to Allah who suffices. And peace be on His chosen slaves.
The Quran is a blessing of Allah for all mankind. No amount of worldly wealth can replace it. It is that piece of cure which brings blessings in both the worlds through its recital, just looking at it, listening to it or reading over to others, learning it or teaching it, practicing its commands and propagating and diffusing its teachings in any manner whatever.
A Hadith is transmitted in Saheeh Muslim as narrated by Sayyidina Uqbah Ibn Aamir they were seated one day at Suffah when the Prophet came to them and said, "Does any of you love that he should go every morning to the market of Buthan or Aqeeq and bring two she-camels of the best kind without committing a sin or severing ties of relationship?" They said, "O Messenger of Allah, every one of us would like to do that. "So, he said, "If anyone goes to the Mosque everyday and learns two verses (of the Quran) or recites them then, that is better for him than two she-camels. And, if he learns three verses, that is better than three she-camels, and learning four verses is better than four she-camels. "
This Hadith is just one example of the encouragement that the Prophet gave to his ummah to recite the Quran to interpret its Message, to put it into practice and to diffuse its knowledge worldwide. The books of Ahadith are full with other Ahadith of the same Message. This is why the ummah has done great service to the Qur'an and its sciences and made extraordinary efforts to preserve its words and meanings. If we probe into these efforts, we are held spellbound.
Efforts to understand and interpret the Quran are one thing, the ummah has left no stone unturned to learn and preserve correct pronunciation and delivery of its words and the diactrical marks over its letters. They have founded a science of this subject and we do not find an example of that in any other language or religion of the world. Take the science of Tajweed alone. Whole libraries are found on the subject of correct reading of the Qur'an.
In short, of the many ways in which service is rendered to the Quran, one is through the books on the sciences of the Quran.
This is a vast knowledge and it underlines the principles and basis of exegesis. It tells us, how the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet, the reality of wahy, the sequence of revelation, the period during which the whole of it was revealed, the distinction of Makkan and Madinan surahs, background of revelation and how it helps in interpreting the Qur'an, the abrogated verses of the Quran. Meaning of many letters and many Recital of Quran, its subjects, manner in which Allah has preserved it, the stages which its writing and printing has gone through, principles and manners of exegesis, correct way to understand it and the errors that could mislead anyone. Many other similar questions are answered in the books of Uloom al Qur'an.
There are books on this subject in Arabic. They include: al Burhan ft uloom if Qur'an, 4 vols. By 'Allamah Zakashi, al Itqan, 2 vols. by AlIamah Suyuti. Manahil al Irfan, 2 vols. By Shaikh Zarqani. These books are well- known and reliable to this day and serve as source for subsequent works and study. There are innumerable books in Urdu .too that cover this topic. The most comprehensive and distinctive is al Bayan fi uloom il Qur'an by Abdul Haq Haqqani.
However, in different times the requirements also differ. With the influence of western thought and ideas, fresh question came to be raised and had to be answered.
The subject had to be dealt with from a new angle. For a long time it was felt that another book should be written with a fresh approach but I had not an iota of idea that I would have some part in it.
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