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 ﷺ 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 ﷺ 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 pronounciation 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 Quran.
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 ﷺ 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 Quran.
There are books on this subject in Arabic. They include: al Burhan fi uloom il Quran, 4 vols. By Allamah Zakashi, al Itqan, 2 vols, by Allamah 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 worfts and study. There are innumerable hooks in Urdu, too that cover this topic. The most comprehensive and distinctive is al Bay an fi uloom il Ouran by Abdul Haq Haqqani .
However , in different times the requirements also tidier. With the influence of western thought and ideas, fresh question came to be raised and had to be answered. Hie subject had to be dealt with from a new angle. For a long time it was felt that another book should be written Willi a fresh approach but I had not an iota of idea that I would have some part in it.
This honour seemed to be written for me. The background of the story is that my respected father Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi wrote the Urdu exegesis of the Qur’an, Ma’arif ul Qur’an which is published in eight volumes. We can say without the least hesitancy that it is an unmatched urdu Tafseer on the pattern of the righteous predecessors for the modern times. Ami Allah granted it immense approval, when the second edition was about to be printed. My respected father commanded me to write down an introduction to it on the important points of the sciences of the Quran.
I began to write it down in obedience to him and while I was writing it down the earlier wish arose in me again and the introduction became lengthy in spite of my efforts In shorten it. When the manuscript crossed two hundred purrs, 1 realized that that was too lengthy an introduction for the Tafseer, and many important points had yet not been touched!. So, on the advice of my respected father, I summarized the introduction for the Tafseer and it was published with that. The lengthier work became part of a separate book by itself. However, my engagement in other tusks caused a delay in completing the book. When it was ready. I had included in it almost all the material 1 had in anind for the book.
While I cannot yet say it the book has everything that is necessary for the present times, yet I have full hope in Allah that as far as the subject is concerned, it includes much of what we need to teach today. 1 have had to consult many books to collect together the answers to many known questions and to include fresh ones. If they meet the approval of the learned then it is merely a favour of Allah, otherwise, I have the satisfaction of at least having initiated an effort for other scholars to complete it. If it helps anyone in understanding the Quran, I will have received my reward in full.
I request readers to pray that Allah grant approval to my humble effort and let it be an asset for me in the hereafter. Aameen.
وَمَا تَوْفِيقِي إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ العَلَى اﻟْﻌَظِﯾمُ
And only Allah is the One who enables, the Exalted, the Magnificent!.
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
Dar Ul Uloom, Karachi
29 Jumadi al Awwel, 1396 A.H.