The major themes and topics of the Quran

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This is an introduction to the major themes of the Quran, subjects and the strands of Quranic theology, emphasis is placed on the relationship of the major themes and their relevance to our lives and society. This will enable you to:

  • Describe and explain the five major themes and their branches.
  • Trace these themes in the Quran with references.
  • Use the themes to illustrate how they are relevant to us today.

The main themes of the Quran

Since the Quran is guidance for our life, its main message and themes are embedded in every page; Tawhid (the oneness of Allah) we are constantly reminded of this message. So, every time you pick up the Quran you are reminded of Allah, your duty towards Him. So, you don’t have to read the entire Quran to get its main message.

According to Shah Waliullah, there are five major themes of the Quran:

  1. Polemics, controversial discussions with Jews, Christians, disbelievers and idolators mostly about beliefs.
  2. Favours of Allah: Creation, gifts, health and wealth.
  3. Death and resurrection: Evidence for resurrection.
  4. Laws and responsibilities: Family law, civil and criminal, Fardh, Wajib, Haram, Makruh.
  5. Days of Allah: History, stories of the Prophets, parables of the people of Allah.

According to Syed Mumtaz Ali, there are seven major themes of the Quran:

  1. Beliefs
  2. Laws
  3. Prophethood: How Allah guides
  4. Death and Resurrection
  5. Moral teachings
  6. Creation and nature
  7. Human history

According to Prof. Fazul Rahman, there are also seven major themes of the Quran:

  1. Allah
  2. Man
  3. Society
  4. Nature
  5. Prophethood
  6. Eschatology
  7. Satan and Evil

These three lists of major themes of the Quran are fairly similar the differences are semantics. Based on these studies of the major themes of the Quran, I have elaborated on them and explained them as follows:

  • Belief system: Faith in Allah, Messengers and Hereafter, Angels, Predestination and the day of Resurrection. This is a powerful way to shape the worldview of its readers.
  • Commitment to Islam: Submission and Allah-consciousness, love of the Lord calmness and wellbeing.
  • Challenging idolatry and materialism: Dozens of passages, particularly in Makkan Suwar.
  • The pillars: Daily prayers, Zakat, fasting and Pilgrimage.
  • The Divine laws: Halal and Haram, marriage and divorce, inheritance, penal laws, vows and contracts, Alcohol and drugs: Forbidden, tools of Satan to create conflict, Sexuality: inner-human energy to be controlled, modesty, gender equality, Allah isn’t a patriarch or a matriarch. Magic and wizardry are forbidden, the miracles were not magic.
  • Spiritual values: Mindfulness and alertness, reliance on Allah, commitment and submission, repentance and seeking Divine forgiveness, supplication and private prayer, Jihad for self-improvement and justice, prayers of the Prophets, sacrifice, spiritual growth, worship, Divine remembrance.
  • Moral virtues: Truthfulness, Honesty, Kindness, Generosity, forgiveness, patience, gratitude, Modesty, Humility and courage.
  • The condemnation of moral vices: Falsehood, arrogance, anger, greed and jealousy.
  • Fulfilling social obligations: Caring for parents, kindness to relatives, neighbours, loyalty to friends and country, leadership, peace and reconciliation, the family: marriage, motherhood, family feuds.
  • Guidelines on earning and spending wealth: A test, hoarding, cheating, squandering, miserliness all condemned.
  • Coping with sufferings and difficulties: Coping with the challenges of life, sickness, war and peace.
  • Stories of the Prophets: Remarkable humans endowed with sublime character to be role models, their trials and tribulations are golden and to be admired. They include Prophet Muhammad, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa, Nuh and 19 other great men.
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