The verses of the Qur’an that are in question in this article are as follows:
And it was not [possible] for this Qur’an to be produced by other than Allah, but it is a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the [former] Scripture, about which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds. [Qur’an 10:37]
The word ‘former’ appears in brackets as it shows what the proceeding word ‘scripture’ refers to. Since the verse speaks of the Qur’an being a confirmation of the books before it, it is correct to understand that the Qur’an being a detailed explanation of the scripture refers to the previous scriptures. The Qur’an itself is detailed and complete but this does not mean that the readers should try and find irrelevant information in it such as who married whom, who had how many children, their ages etc. These matters do not affect the faith of any person and are irrelevant for the religion. Qur’an is a book of guidance and not a story book unlike what other scriptures have turned into over time.
There is, however, a book that contains each and everything including that what has happened and is going to take place as mentioned in Qur’an 6:38 and elsewhere:
God doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book. [Qur’an 13:39]
Knowest thou not that God knows all that is in heaven and on earth? Indeed it is all in a Record, and that is easy for God. [Qur’an 22:70]
Every little secret in the heavens and on the earth is (committed to writing) in a clear record. [Qur’an 27:75]
The prophet has precedence over all believers, more than their own lives. His wives are their mothers. According to the book of Allah, the blood relatives take precedence over other believers and the ‘mohajirs’ (believers who abandon their homes for the sake of Allah). But, of course, you may do your friends favors! Such is the writing in the book of decrees! [Qur’an 33:6]
It certainly comes from the master book with Us, (the source of all revelations). It is really sublime and sensible. [Qur’an 43:4]
In Book well-guarded, [Qur’an 56:78]
The verses are so clear. Do we even need a summary? The Qur’an we have is a part of the Mother of the Book that we do not have.
A proper understanding and taking the entire Qur’an as the context is essential for us to avoid reaching to premature and faulty conclusions. Although the above stated verses are sufficient to refute the false claims derived from the incorrect assumption that the Qur’an contains each and everything, we shall still answer the question of the arguers as to what 15:87 means. As Muslims it is our duty to educate others about Islam but unfortunately the needless arguers reach for conclusions before consulting the Muslims. This is like criticism for the sake of criticism instead of having a genuine thirst for knowledge. They pick up their own people in disguise of Muslims, ask them and then reach conclusions. They may fool their own sheep with these tricks but not those with knowledge or students of knowledge.
And We have certainly given you, [O Muhammad], seven of the often repeated [verses] and the great recitation. [Qur’an 15:87]
The verse should not be understood by quoting Muslim scholars who are quoted by random missionaries in their books without providing references. Much of the references found in a lot of missionary books actually turn out to be fabricated.
From the verse itself we know that the ‘seven of the oft repeated’ were given to the Prophet ﷺ and therefore cannot be something general or vague like some verses from the Bible as argued by a Christian missionary. Keeping the ‘storybook’ point in mind, we know that not everything needs to be fed to the readers in a spoon. If the readers of the Qur’an do not understand anything from it, they need to consult those with knowledge (43:45, 16:43, 21:7). The Muslims have been instructed to obey the Prophet ﷺ in Qur’an (3:132 8:20, 8:46 etc). Who can be better than Prophet Muhammad ﷺ when it comes to asking anything about Islam?
From the Prophet ﷺ we find out that the seven oft repeated are the seven recitals of the Qur’an and the first seven verses of the Qur’an, i.e. the first chapter.
It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding. [Qur’an 3:7]
The seven of the oft repeated were granted by Almighty Allah to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the Muslims agree upon that. Since it is Almighty Allah who is speaking to the Prophet ﷺ when informing him of granting the seven oft repeated and the Muslims are to believe in all of Qur’an and what the messenger ﷺ has brought, there is no chance that a believer would or could be affected either by disobedience or ignorance. The Message is received and there is no doubt in it. Using doubtful things and scholarly differences as an excuse to attack Islam is a bigger act of ignorance.
Indeed Allah knows best.