What are the qualities of the Qur'an? A non-muslim asked me this question. He wants understand how Islam is different from other faith.
Is it true that in Islamic history, there were dark periods when Muslim rulers and leaders conquered different non-Muslim lands, and converted churches and synagouges to temples? And they deprived Christians and Jews of their rights?
Islam is not different from other Abrahamic faiths. In fact, the religion of all the Prophets of God was Islam, that is, surrendering to the Almighty. The only thing is that the Islam that the Prophet (sws) brought in Arabia was the last version of Islam in terms of religious laws (while the beliefs and ethics have always remained the same).
The Qur'an is the miracle of the Prophet (sws) for its language, coherence and message. The qualities of the Qur'an are as simple as follows:
The Qur'an, in convincing people about accepting the messenger of God, did the same thing that resurrecting dead and turning a stick to a snake did for Jesus (as) and Musa (as). Such is the convincing effect of the Qur'an and its strength of guidance.
This is why it describes itself like this:
Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would certainly have seen it falling down, splitting asunder because of the fear of Allah And We set forth these parables to men that they may reflect. (59:21)
It is difficult to come up with an accurate understanding of the history of Islamic conquests. Among many reasons, an important one being the fact that these historical reports are under influence of either the conqueror or the conquered and can therefore be biased towards one of the parties.
We know that the first Khulafa of Islam (who were also the closed companions of the Prophet) did all they could to treat the conquered lands with fairness. However this does not seem to be the case for every Khalifa that came later.
One thing we can say is that if the later rulers had treated their lands with fairness we could perhaps see that the political power of Islam had lasted more than what it lasted.
Islam is a perfect religion, but not every Muslim is a perfect Muslim, and this certainly applies to the rulers even more than an ordinary person.