Dr Ghazala Hassan Qadri
The Holy Qur'an is the final divine book revealed to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and such is its importance that Allah Almighty Himself introduces the Holy Quran in these beautiful words:
And We have revealed to you that Glorious Book which is a clear exposition of everything and is guidance, mercy and glad tidings for the believers. (16:89)
In this verse, Allah Almighty states quite categorically that the Qur'an contains detailed knowledge of every single thing in the universe. This is the book which is the sole source of final, definitive and conclusive guidance which leads humankind towards perfect success in this life. This is the book that is a fountain of mercy, compassion, and care for every soul of this world. Indeed, this is the book, the holy and glorious Qur'an which provides good tidings of success relating to the hereafter for those who practice its guidance in their lives. The Qur'an is a book of hidayah, whose ilm is everlasting, continuous, and comprehends every aspect of human life. But crucially it is not stagnant but an organic living entity that has been providing guidance to generations upon generations throughout the ages.
So the question arises what is so significant about this newly published Quranic Encyclopedia? What was its need? Why is this compendium such a historic ensemble of volumes? It is important to remember that Qur'anic guidance comes into two manifestations, explicit and implicit manifestations of divine knowledge. Explicit manifestation and guidance have been provided to humans in the form of the literal words of the Qur'an, whereas implicit manifestation of Qur'anic knowledge has been provided in the form of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)
In the previous centuries, the great scholars and authorities of the Islamic world derived their guidance directly from these two sources. They maintained a balance of continuous, comprehensive, expansive, creative, and progressive characteristics of Qur'anic knowledge, which they then passed down to the general population. In reality, they made Qur'anic knowledge easily relatable and understandable to human life. Thus, the people of these times were so closely connected to the Qur'an that they felt the Qur'an addressed them directly and solved problems in their lives that they encountered. This unique connection kept the Qur'an and its commandments alive, not only within their hearts and minds, but practically manifested itself in their daily lives.
Unfortunately, in the last few centuries, this connectivity of Qur'anic knowledge with human life and its newly emerging problems has disappeared. As human society has become more and more complex over the years, we have not been able to transfer this Qur'anic knowledge into an easily relatable form, particularly for the younger generations, where it can provide practical wisdom to assist the people as the previous great authorities of Islam had done. There has been a loss of connectivity between a normal layperson and the Qur'an as the former no longer seeks to look for guidance and direction from the latter.
That is why Islamic knowledge has begun to weaken and we have not been able to formulate it in a way to meet the challenges and problems of the demands of the modern world. We have failed to explicate Qur'anic knowledge both on an individual, collective and national sphere of life, which is an utter travesty of the gift that has been given to us. Most of us do not seek the Qur'an to help us in our daily lives but rather seek out other outlets for our information. This has been compounded by the fact that for the last few centuries Qur'anic knowledge has only become the sole subject of the ulema. This scope has been further reduced since only those few ulema who were well versed in the Arabic language and all classic Islamic sciences necessary required to understand the Qur'an, were able to conceive and then convey its teachings as per their own capacities
This is why, as a Muslim Ummah we were in a dire need that Allah Almighty may bless us and send to us another tremendous authority who could revive the connectivity of Qur'anic knowledge with human life. Someone who could make the Qur'an easily accessible and more importantly easily, understandable and relatable for all of us living in the 21st Century. We needed someone to take up this amazing task and responsibility and act as the great scholars and authorities of Islam had done in the previous centuries.
So, who else was there to take up this challenge - to pick the gauntlet and undertake such a masterful and monumental task other than His Eminence Sayyidi Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Through his compilation of the Qur'anic Encyclopedia, Shaykh-ul-Islam has been able to revive the connectivity of the Quran with a common layperson. Shaykh-ul-Islam has become a has become a beaconof light, taking us out of the darkness that we have been engulfed in and provided us true, understandable and relatable Qur'anic knowledge through these magnificent eight volumes.
Allah Almighty has enabled Shaykh-ul-Islam to complete this task and author this magnanimous encyclopedia that discusses more than 5000 subjects. Moreover, when you delve deeper this Qur'anic Encyclopedia actually addresses more than 20,000 topics. This vast compendium covers thousands of areas of life, be it international law or politics, sociology or psychology, trade or economics, personal family law relating to marriage, divorce and inheritance rights. It may be related to science and cosmology or just delve into the beauty of the creation; the rivers that flow, the fish in the sea or the moon that shines ever bright. If you feel sad and down, lonely and depressed Shaykh-ul-Islam had provided us the pathways to navigate the Qur'an so that we can access its knowledge all in one place, under one heading without having to flip back and forth looking for different verses in different places.
Whether you are one of the most learned scholars in your field or just a humble student like myself, Shaykh-ul-Islam has made what was truly an impossible task a realistic possibility, opening the doors of Qur'anic knowledge to the masses. Shaykh-ul-Islam has been able to create a truly wonderous connectivity between the Qur'an and the younger generation, an eternal link between the Qur'an with the future generations of this world, truly making the Qur'an accessible to everybody as it was always meant to be.
Indeed Shaykh-ul-Islam is the only person in this world with the education, knowledge, capacity, and depth of understanding to produce such a wonderful compendium. We are very fortunate that Allah Almighty has blessed all of us by being a witness to the works of Sayyidi Shaykh-ul-Islam. We have become engulfed in darkness and this Qur'anic Encyclopedia is just one of many beacons of light that Sayyidi Shaykh-ul-Islam, by the will of Allah has gifted upon us.
On behalf of all my Muslim sisters, I salute him for his work on women's empowerment. I salute him for the work that he has done for the masses; for the youngsters, for the elders and most importantly for the Muslim Ummah. Allah Tala has given us one of the greatest blessings in the form of Sayyidi Shaykh-ul-Islam. May Allah Almighty give him a long and successful life and accepts all of his wonderful endeavors insh'Allah.