Monday, January 14, 2008

] What makes Muslims believe that the Quran is not written by Prophet Muhammad?

What makes Muslims believe that the Quran is not written by Prophet Muhammad? Does the Quran claim that it is from God? Could the Prophet have copied some portions of the Bible? Are there scientific facts in the Quran?

Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad is not the author of the Quran. God is its Author. The following points bear the fact:

*First of all, the Quran itself, at a number of places and in different ways, says that it is from God. One of the claims runs thus: "This is indeed a Quran most honourable, a Book well-guarded...a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds." (Quran 56:77-80)

(Here, one ought to know the features of the Quran to understand the claim better. For instance, if the Quran had consisted of a number of books, and each book was made up of a number of chapters, then each of the books had to claim that it was from God in order to render the WHOLE volume as coming from God. But, this is fortunately not so with the Quran. The Quran is just ONE Book made up of 114 chapters. So, if the Quran claims, in any of its chapters, that the Book is from God, then the WHOLE Quran is from God. Yet, the Quran does not make the divine claim only once, but several times in different phrases and in different chapters.)

*If the Prophet had written the Quran _ a Book par excellence _ surely he would have claimed credit for it, but he did not. He could not claim what was not his. Indeed God says: "This Quran is not such as can be produced by anyone other than God." (10:37)

*The Prophet was unlettered. However, even if he was educated and had written the Quran, how could he be bold enough to make this statement: "Do they not consider (ponder over) the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found therein discrepancies". (4:82)

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, commenting on this verse (verse 4:82) in his English translation of the Quran, says: "From a mere human point of view, we should have expected much discrepancy, because (1) Prophet Muhammad who promulgated it was not a learned man or philosopher, (2) it was promulgated at various times and in various circumstances, and (3) it is addressed to all grades of mankind. Yet, when properly understood, its various pieces fit together better than a jigsaw puzzle even when arranged without any regard to chronological order. There was just the One Inspirer and one inspired."

*The Quran took 23 years to complete. Had the verses of the Quran (which contains 6,666 verses) been written by the Prophet, he would have needed a number of drafts and the work would have needed editing, updating, etc. But this did not happen, yet the information is consistent throughout the Quran. The verses were taken down as dictated by the Prophet only once and no redrafting, editing or updating took place after that.

*At a number of stages during the 23-year period, challenges to reproduce, even a chapter of the Quran, were made. If the Prophet had written the Quran, he would not have made the challenges, for fear that the learned

Arabs and eminent poets of his time would have taken up his challenges and shamed him. One of the challenges goes thus: "And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed (from time to time) to Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a chapter like thereunto..." (2:23)

*The Quran says that the Prophet was not learned.

So, if the Prophet was educated in some institution but mentioned in the Quran that he wasn't, he would have been accused of being a liar and his mission would have fallen through.

*Even if the Prophet was learned, how could he have written such an inimitable Book of Information and Wisdom without resorting to consultation with prominent scholars and the best books from the best libraries in the world?! If he did this, it would surely have been known, since every move he made was known to people. The Prophet was a historical figure, not a mythological figure.

*The Prophet was the busiest and most active person in history. So, how could he have found the time to write (even if he were educated) such a comprehensive and extensive Book of Guidance which would have needed years of seclusion and concentration to complete?

*In the Quran, in Chapter 111, it is mentioned that Abu Lahab, one of the Prophet's uncles who was always against Islam, would never accept Islam. This Revelation came some ten years before the death of Abu Lahab. How could the Prophet have dared to write this chapter because all he (Abu Lahab) needed to do to prove that the Quran was not the Words of God, was to accept Islam dishonestly?

*The Prophet was mentioned by name in the Quran only five times whereas Jesus Christ's name was (honourably) mentioned 25 times. Could the Prophet go to such an extent of honouring someone more than himself if he had written the Quran?

*There is a chapter in the Quran entitled and dedicated to "Mary", the mother of Jesus Christ, while there is no chapter called, or dedicated to, the Prophet's own mother, Aminah, or daughter, Fatimah, nor were their names mentioned in the Quran. Could this have happened if the Prophet was the author of the Quran?

*Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is glorified in the Quran as a "woman of all nations". Why would the Prophet glorify a woman he had never seen and one from another race, saying that she was chosen (by God) above all women unless the formulation of the verses had nothing to do with the Prophet's own authorship but that he only repeated what was inspired to him by God?

*In the Quran, God is called "Allah" (in Arabic). He is also referred to by His Attributes, like the Cherisher, the Merciful, the Almighty. There are 99 such Attributes but none of these is "Abba" (Father) by which the Arab Christians of the Prophet's time (and even today) refer to God. If the Prophet was the writer of the Quran, he would surely have used "Abba" as one of the names for God because of its familiarity and also because it was easier to say "Abba" than many of the Attributes.

*Although the Quran's objective is basically religious, it does touch on certain principles and laws governing the universe. A French scientist, Maurice Bucaille, in his book, "The Bible, the Quran and Science", says: "What initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text of this kind (the Quran) is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed: the Creation, astronomy, the explanation of certain matters concerning the earth, and the animal and vegetable kingdoms, human reproduction ...I could not find a single error in the Quran. I had to stop and ask myself: if a man was the author of the Quran, how could he have written facts in the 7th Century AD that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?''

*The Quran mentions a number of scientific facts which were unknown to the world then. Some of them are:

-The moon has no light of its own and that what we see is the reflected light of the sun. (91:1-2),

-The universe came about by a "big bang" or disintegration billions of years ago. (21:30),

-Every living thing began in water. (continuation of 21:30),

-Stages of reproduction of a life in the womb.(22:5),

-Every living thing, including vegetable matter, is created in pairs (male and female). (36:36),

-All celestial body (namely, moon and planets) have their own course of orbit. (7:54 and 21:33),

-Space travel is possible. (55:33), and

-There is also life (in whatever form) in other parts of the universe. (42:29).

-All these scientific facts were discovered only in the last couple of centuries whereas the Quran mentions them 14 centuries ago. How could the Prophet, even if he were educated, have known these fact centuries ahead of recent times?

*Learned Arabs and other experts in the Arabic language acknowledge that the style, diction and rendering in the Quran far excels those in the Hadith. Those in the Quran are inimitable, proving that the Quran is authored by God.

*Umar, later to become Caliph, had wanted to kill the Prophet because of his (Islamic) teachings. One day, Umar heard his sister reading something _ the sound, diction and meaning of which made him halt to listen. His sister, who had secretly converted to Islam, was reading (part of) the Quran. Umar realised that the Words he was listening to could not be the words of man. He submitted to Islam soon after.

*The Quran says: "If the whole of mankind and jinns (spirits) were to come together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof even if backed up by each other with help and support." (17:88) This is a bold statement indeed. If the Prophet had written the Quran, would he as a human being, dare make such an explosive statement? Would this statement go unchallenged by the learned Arabs of his time?

Prophet Muhammad, being an unlettered person, could not have written the Quran, a Book full of wisdom and one dealing with varied subject matters. The Quran categorically states: "This Quran is not such as can be produced by anyone other than God. (It is a Book) from the Lord of the Worlds." (10:37)

Why do Muslims refer to the Quran as a living miracle?

Many of God's Prophets in the past had performed miracles either to prove that they were sent by God or to help people to achieve certain goals. However, as these miracles were for certain people of the time of the respective Prophets, they are neither tangible nor available today as a living proof. But the Quran is. It is a miracle by itself. When people asked Prophet Muhammad what miracle he had performed, the Prophet pointed to the Quran.

Muslims regard the Quran as a living miracle because, among other reasons, it:

*Is a Book par excellence in the provision of complete guidance for this life and the Hereafter,
*Is available in the language (Arabic) as revealed to the Prophet,
*Is inimitable in diction, sound and rendering,
*Is accurate in its presentation of facts,
*Has remained pure (without interpolation),
*Has no contradiction or inconsistencies,
*Has influenced the lives of people, and
*Is responsible for the speedy spread of Islam, even now.

With regard to the Quran being a miracle from the point of view of its influence on people, Maulana Muhammad Ali in his book, "The Religion of Islam", says: "The Quran is a miracle because it brought about the greatest transformation that the world has ever witnessed _ a transformation of the individual, of the family, of the society, of the nation, of the country, an awakening material as well as moral, intellectual and spiritual. It produced an effect, a hundred thousand times greater than that of any other miracle recorded of any Prophet; hence, its claim to be the greatest of all miracles is uncontestable and uncontested."

Researches on the Quran have been made throughout these 14 centuries. More particularly, in recent years, in the wake of religious enquiries, Quranic scholars, scientists and mathematicians have each, in their own way and knowledge, discovered that the factual contents of the Quran as well as the arrangement of its Words and text point to the fact that the Quran is indeed the living miracle of Islam.

No comments: