The Qur’an as Manual Book

Every gadget, machine or tool, has specific way to be used. Most of the things we use in our life have manual books or instruction guides. If a person buys a brand new car, he has to know how to operate or run the car. He can get a complete information about the car in the manual book which explains the elements of the car, how to take care of it, the dos and don'ts, and many more. In order to successfully and safely use the car for a long time, he has to follow all the instructions or rules in the manual book of the car. If he doesn't follow or if he changes some of the rules according to his own limited knowledge, then sooner or later the car will be broken.

Human being is the product of God, the creation of God. Therefore, human being also need manual book for living on earth. The Qur'an which was revealed by Allah (God) through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a manual book, a complete guidance for all people on earth. People have limited mind. People can't solve everything based on his limited knowledge. That's why, God sent the Qur'an and it is a proof of God's love towards human being as the Qur'an is truly a guide for human being in how to live on earth so that human being is happy not only in this world but also in the hereafter. Whoever wants to achieve happiness in both worlds, he must use the Qur'an as his manual book. 

However, the Qur'an is often treated or used in the wrong ways. Basically, based on what happens in the society, people use the Qur'an in one of these three ways:

1. the Qur'an as rhymes or recitation,

2. the Qur'an as magic formula,

3. the Qur'an as manual book for life.

If a person uses the Qur'an as rhymes, then all he has to do is to make sound or to recite  the Arabic letters perfectly and beautifully, according to the rules of Qur'an recitation, without the need to know the meaning. There are competitions in Qur'an recitation in which the winner is the one who is able to recite it the most beautifully. Sadly, there is common perception in the society (muslim society) that people who can recite the Qur'an beautifully are pious people, kindhearted people. This perception is of course wrong as such people don't understand the meaning of what they are reading. Even if they understand, doesn't mean they implement the rules of God in the Qur'an.

If a person uses the Qur'an as magic formula, then he doesn't have to recite it perfectly or beautifully, but what matters to him is which verses or chapters that he has to recite (say) and how many times he has to recite it. People dealing with jins or black magic, fortune tellers and witchcrafts often use verses from the Qur'an. They will say something like these: "If you want to be rich, you have to read chapter 114 of the Qur'an for 100 times every night!". "If you want to be successfull, you have to say "laa ilaaha illallaahu" for 200 times every morning!" "Say 'astaghfirullah' for 99 times every day, then your sins will be forgiven by God!"… those are examples of using the Qur'an as magic formula.

The correct way to use the Qur'an is to make it as manual book for life. If a person uses the Qur'an as his manual book then he MUST understand the meaning of the Qur'an. Besides reading the Arabic part of the Qur'an, he will read the translation of the Qur'an, he will try to understand it and implement the rules of God as stated in the Qur'an. If a person uses the Qur'an as his guide in his life, he will find solutions for his problems and he will decide every issue/problem according to the Qur'an. In short, using the Qur'an as a manual book means following the teaching of God in whole, not in parts. 

What will happen if the Qur'an is not used accordingly? Well, what will happen if a person doesn't obey the manual book when he tries to operate or fix his washing machine? If he doesn't do as the manual book's instructions, the machine will not last very long and finally it will be broken. The same thing happens when people don't use the Qur'an correctly. Using the Qur'an in the wrong way will definitely result in great loss for human being. It will cause a great loss as the ultimate goal of true happiness in the world and in the hereafter will not be achieved. And the action of using the Qur'an improperly or not using the Qur'an at all in life will be accounted before God in the hereafter.

God truly wants all human being to have the ultimate happiness and to enter paradise. God says in chapter 2 verse 38, "… And if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." God has provided human being with perfect manual or guide book to follow. All we have to do is to understand and obey the guidance.

On the contrary, God doesn't favor people who don't use the Qur'an in their lives and condemn those who don't refer to the Qur'an for solutions. God says in chapter 5 verse 44, "…If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) unbelievers." Verse 45, "…And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers."  Verse 47, "…If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel." And there is no place in paradise for the unbelievers, wrong-doers, and those who rebel.

The Qur'an is truly an awe-inspiring book. It's such an amazing book that God says in chapter   verse 31, "If there were a Qur'an with which mountains were moved, or the earth were cloven asunder, or the dead were made to speak, (this would be the one!)." However, such a qualities can be felt or sensed only when the holy book is used according to the purpose, that is the manual book for life on earth. And the manual book must be understood and the instructions must be obeyed. 

Indonesia is a country where the muslim community is the highest in number in the world. If the muslims use the Qur'an properly, that is if they understand and follow the teachings, the country should be prosperous and noble qualities such as honesty, cleanliness, and discipline should prevail. However, looking at the situation and condition of the people, it is obvious that the Qur'an hasn't been used properly. The Qur'an lies only on bookshelves at homes. The people only read aloud or recite the Arabic letters beautifully. Or, people just position the Qur'an in the brain, that is as knowledge. Most of them don't have the Qur'an in their hearts, meaning they don't have belief that the Qur'an is their manual book. Remember, knowledge will not result in action but the belief will.

It is interesting to know that the habit of using the Qur'an as rhymes or recitation is the result of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia for more than 300 years. At that time, whenever people recited the Qur'an, the Dutch would say, "Let them recite the Qur'an, do not disturb them! By reciting only, they will not know the meaning, so just let them recite." The colonizer actually had read the Qur'an and they knew that if the people knew the meaning and teachings of the Qur'an, surely they would not let themselves being oppressed and enslaved. God forbids oppression and slavery.

The Qur'an is guidance for mankind containing wisdom and rules in how to lead our lives on earth so that we survive in this world and in the hereafter. Using the Qur'an in a wrong way or not using the Qur'an in our lives will be a great loss. Don't let it happen…

 

Verily this Qur'an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward. (Qur'an chapter 17 verse 9).

Videos: Former Bible Preacher Shared A Bit About Qur'an & Bible

            Jesus, Qur'an, And Islam 

            The Purpose Of Life by Jeffrey Lang

Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan

Satan the Eternal Enemy

Satan, devil… Those words are often heard or read somewhere. But, what is exactly satan? Is it a creature with two horns on its head, two fiery bulging eyes, red face, and devilish smile..? When we say 'satan', do we really know what we say? What is the difference between jinn, iblis, and satan?

Human being was created out of clay. Angels were created out of light. Meanwhile, jinns were created from fire. Satan is often considered as another creation of God just like human being and angels. Satan is often thought to be created from fire, just like jinn. When God creates something, the creation must fulfill the purpose set by God. What is the purpose of the creation of human being? Human being is created merely to worship God. If a person obeys God, he will earn reward and if he doesn't obey, he will earn sin. Now, if satan is a creation just like human being, what is the purpose of the creation? Most people will say the purpose is to mislead people on earth or to make people disobey God. So, if the satan is successful in misleading people, will satan earn reward and go to heaven..? Misleading people or making people doing evil deeds is sinful, so satan must go to hell. Now, if satan doesn't succeed in misleading people, will satan go to hell because satan couldn't fulfill the purpose? It's funny to think that satan will go to hell whether or not satan fulfill the job. What a poor creation! God is unfair!

Satan is often associated with iblis. Satan and iblis are often considered the same entity. However, the Qur'an explains that iblis is creature of God among jinn who disobeyed God as stated in chapter 28 verse 50, "And behold, We said to the angels "Bow down to Adam", and they bowed down except iblis. He was one of the jinns and he broke the command of his Lord…" ​It is clear that ​among the jinns, there are some who disobey God and such jinns are called iblis who vowed to mislead the descendants of Adam until the last day comes. The intention of iblis is clear in the Qur'an chapter 38 verse 82, "(Iblis) said: "Then by thy power, I will put them all in the wrong." 

Meanwhile, satan is manifested in the form of human being and jinn as stated in the Qur'an chapter 6 verse 112, "Likewise did We make for every Messenger an enemy, evil ones, among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception…" Furthermore in chapter 114 verse 4-6, "From the mischief of the whisperer (of evil), who withdraws (after his whisper). (The same) who whispers in the hearts of mankind. Among jinns and among men." 

Therefore, satan is not another type of creation of God. Satan is attribute or nature, or character. Iblis is satan because iblis mislead people from the way of God. Whoever disobey God's rules in the Qur'an is satan. If a person has desire to do evil deeds, the desire itself is satan. If I have a friend and my friend asks me to steal money, then my friend is satan as he provokes me to disobey God's rule. If I follow his desire to steal, then I become satan too. If I repent and regret, then I'm no longer a satan. If a father suggests his son to lie then the father is satan. If his son follows the father's suggestion, then his son is satan. But if the son rejects to lie then the son is not satan. 

It is mistaken that satan is powerful. Satan can only do the provocation or suggestion as said in the Qur'an chaper 14 verse 22, "And satan will say when the matter is decided, "It was God Who gave you a promise of truth. I too promised but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me. Then reproach not me but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with God. For wrong-doers there must be a grievous penalty." Satan can't force or make people to execute the evil deeds. It is up to us whether or not we want to follow satan's provocation or whisper. Human being is truly free to decide what to do and what to choose. Satan is actually very weak as satan only whispers the idea of doing sins.  

Jinn can also be satan and provoke human being from obeying God's rule. Satanic jinns or iblis often take forms – human, animal, and other kinds of forms –  to deceive human being. Iblis usually take forms of dead relatives and imitate the way they speak and behave when they were still alive. The purpose of such action is to make people believe that the souls of dead people can come to earth which is not true and against the teaching of the Qur'an. Empty houses often have devilish jinns inside to disturb the residents. And there are many more ways that iblis do to make people go astray, to disbelieve God.

Why are we often provoked by satan? That's because satan come in the form of people we are familiar with, so we don't realize that at certain time, they are being satan. People still think that satan is another creation of God with distinctive physical features so when facing a familiar person being satanic they don't see satan but someone they know. 

It is important to be able to handle satan. That's because satan prevent human being to achieve the ultimate goal of being happy in this world and in the hereafter. Satan's provocation or suggestion is only one kind, that is asking people NOT to follow the rules of God in the Qur'an. If the rules are not implemented, it can be guaranteed that a person can't be happy in both world.

Human being — SATAN–> Al Qur'an ——-> true happiness

​Some characteristics and actions that belong to satan as mentioned in the Qur'an are arrogance, stinginess, prejudice, backbiting, dishonesty, extravagance (in life style), killing, ruining the environment, corruption, stealing, violence, and many more. And there is no better way to beat the evil whispers of satan than seeking refuge to God all the time, which is commanded in the Qur'an chapter 23 verse 97 & 98, "And say "O my Lord! I seek refuge with Thee from the suggestions of the evil ones. And I seek refuge with Thee O my Lord! Lest they should come near me." 

Satan is eternal enemy of every human being. Even Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was accompanied by satan in the form of desire and iblis. The Prophet said, "None of us is without satan. I myself have satan, however with God's help I can beat the satan."

So, hold tighly the rules of God in the Qur'an and seek refuge to God whenever there is the provocation of satan.