hoods are found in reality and in spirit more perfectly in the Qur’an and more clearly in Muhammad (UWBP). Thus, according to this excellent reasoning, the Qur’an is the Word of Allah and Muhammad (Upon whom be blessings and peace) is His Messenger.
Thirdly: In this is a sign that the outcome (al-ma’āl) of the Qur’an, that is, Islam, which emerged from it in the Era of Bliss, is like a tree whose origin is fastened in the depths of the past. Its spreading roots are fed from the water-sources of that time yielding life and strength. And with its trunk in the skies of the future, its spreading branches are laden with fruit. That is to say, Islam embraces the past and the future.
Fourthly: In this is a sign that it is urging the People of the Book to believe [in Islam], for it is making it appear familiar to them, and easy. It is as though [the Qur’an] is saying: ‘O People of the Book! You should not experience any difficulty in entering this [new] way, for you are not casting away your outer shell altogether, but only completing your beliefs and building on the fundamentals you already possess.’ For the Qur’an does not bring any new fundamentals or principal beliefs; it modifies and perfects existent ones; and it combines in itself the virtues of all the previous books and the essentials of all the previous laws. It only establishes new ordinances in secondary matters, which are subject to change due to differences in time and place. For just as with the change of seasons, food and dress and many other things are changed; so too the stages of a person’s life warrant changes in the manner of their education and upbringing. Similarly, as necessitated by wisdom and need, religious ordinances concerning secondary matters change in accordance with the stages of mankind’s development. For very many of these are beneficial at one time yet harmful at another, and very many medicines were efficacious in mankind’s infancy yet ceased being remedies in its youth. This is the reason the Qur’an abrogated some of its secondary pronouncements. That is, it decreed that their time had finished and that the turn had come for other decrees.
[The words] “before you (min qablika)” [also indicate] a number of subtle points:
Consider this: there is no word of revelation that is disdainful of its place, or is not content with it, or thinks that another place would be better. No, there is no word of revelation but it is like an embossed pearl, held firmly in its setting by the bonds of the relationships between it and its brothers. If you wish, study “before you;” you will see how the subtleties fly out from every side of the verse and alight on this unique phrase. The