The Holy books were provided by Allah to His messengers as a guidance for the community at that certain point of time. Originally there was only one religion. As time passes by people got confused and therefore Allah sent His messengers and sent His words for the people to be guided back to the right path.
"And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright." (Quran, Al-Baqarah verse 53)
"Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace Guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight." (Al-Baqarah, verse 213)
"Or do they envy mankind for what Allah hath given them of his bounty? but We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom." (Al-Nisa, verse 54)
Who sets the guidance to mankind or to the community? If a ruler sets the law and the community as a whole agree on something to construct their law, it might be applicable only towards that community because of their tradition or customs. Since they are a community, it would be easier for them to accept the law. For example, it might be modest for a lady to wear a short skirt in Western culture but it might not be offensive for a lady to wear a short skirt in the Arab countries. Why is that so? Is it because of the customs and traditions? Is it because they follow the law from the Holy Quran? An ayah from the Quran mentions about ladies limitation on exposing their body in public. In Islam man also cannot exposed their body too much. It is understood that man are more physically capable to do labour work hence they are allowed to expose slightly more flesh compared to a lady. There is always a wisdom on why the body should not be over exposed. Our creator has warned us to not expose too much of our flesh/body. Certain community has accepeted and tries to adapt it as their custom. Many argues that the words in the Quran is made up by a human being (Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam). If that is so, what benefit does it give to him to set such a law? Obviously it will not benefit him in any way by asking all mankind to do certain things. Since the law in the Quran is NOT 'man made' it is then made by the creator to suit and benefit ALL mankind.
Take for instance the news on French President Nikolas Sarkozy who called for a ban on hijab.
France have the estimated population of 5 million muslims and the interior ministry says JUST 1,900 women in France wear the full veils. The number might just be 1,900 and they are afraid that it might spread to the rest of the 5 million muslims. They are afraid to be labelled as an Islamic country rather than their proudly secularise government. Why not make it compulsory for every women to wear hijab? Hijab does not neccessarily represent Islam. Anyone can wear a hijab (headscarf) without being a muslim. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8480161.stm)
Here are some ayah from the Quran about hijab.
“O you Children of Adam! We have bestowed on you raiment to cover your shame as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.”(Surah al-A'raf verse 26)
"Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do." (Surah Noor verse 30)
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” (Surah Noor verse 31).
"Those who harass believing men and believing women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad). That is most convenient, that they may be distinguished and not be harassed. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." ( Surah al-Azhab verse 58-59)
There's a tradition in Spain where they have a festival for throwing tomatoes everywhere. It might be acceptable in their country to do so. Imagine if that custom or tradition were being applied in a third world country; where food is insufficient. Of course people from the third world country will find it bizarre and would certainly not throw or waste the tomatoes. So who is entitled to guide mankind? A man? or Non other than our Eternal and All Knowing Creator?
These are only a few examples of why Quran is important. Insha'Allah this would be a step to open our mind and heart to accept each and every word sent to us to guide through our life. This is a reminder not just for the readers, but also a reminder to myself and my family.
This is a clip from the "tomato festival" in Spain from ITN