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Introduction to Al Quran
The Book of Allah containing His Words revealed to the Trusted One on the Earth, Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him), through the medium of the Trusted One in the Heaven, Jibraa`eel (the Angel Gabriel). It was revealed piecemeal to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) over a period of twenty-three years and some months. Allaah says,
“We have rehearsed it to you gradually in well-arranged stages.” [al-Furqaan, The Criterion 25:32]
The first revelation which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) received was,
“Read in the name of your Lord Who created. Created man from a clot (of coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” [al-`Alaq, The Clot 96:1-3]
The last verse to be revealed after which no further verses containing new rules and regulations were revealed was,
“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maa`idah, The Table Spread with Food 5:4]
The last verse to be revealed was,
“And fear the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every soul shall be paid what it earned and none shall be dealt with unjustly.” [al-Baqarah, The Cow 2:281]
The Qur`aa was collected under the auspices of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) in an order different from the chronological order of revelation. It consists of one hundred and fourteen chapters commencing with the chapter, al-Faatihah (The Opening) and ending with an-Naas (Mankind).
“Indeed the Book of Allah is a deep and profound ocean (of knowledge and wisdom) and understanding it is a fine and delicate matter. No one can understand it correctly save one who has excelled in the (Islaamic) sciences and acts with taqwaa of Allah both in the secret and in the open and is preserved from doubts and deviancy. No one can truly understand the Qur`aan except for one who pays devout attention with his heart present.” – ‘al-Burhaan’ [2/154] of az-Zarkashee
“The foundation for studying the meaning of the Qur`aan is to ponder and reflect. Know that the one reflecting can never attain true understanding of the Revelation and neither will the secrets of knowledge be manifested to him if his heart contains innovation or he persists in committing a sin, or his heart contains arrogance, or submission to his base desires, or love of this world, or he has not realised the reality of faith, or his faith is weak, or he bases his understanding only upon what his intellect comprehends. All of these factors serve as barriers from understanding the Qur`an and some are more severe than others.” – ‘al-Burhaan’ [2/180-181]
The Amazing Quraan
Calling the Qur’an amazing is not something done only by Muslims, who have an appreciation for the book and who are pleased with it; it has been labelled amazing by non-Muslims as well. In fact, even people who hate Islam very much have still called it amazing.
One thing which surprises non-Muslims who are examining the book very closely is that the Qur’an does not appear to them to be what they expected. What they assume is that they have an old book which came fourteen centuries ago from the Arabian desert; and they expect that the book should look something like that – an old book from the desert. And then they find out that it does not resemble what they expected at all. Additionally, one of the first things that some people assume is that because it is an old book which comes from the desert, it should talk about the desert. Well the Qur’an does talk about the desert – some of its imagery describes the desert; but it also talks about the sea – what it’s like to be in a storm on the sea.
Some years ago, the story came to us in Toronto about a man who was in the merchant marine and made his living on the sea. A Muslim gave him a translation of the Qur’an to read. The merchant marine knew nothing about the history of Islam but was interested in reading the Qur’an. When he finished reading it, he brought it back to the Muslim and asked, “This Muhammad, was he a sailor?” He was impressed at how accurately the Qur’aan describes a storm on a sea. When he was told, “No as a matter of fact, Muhammad lived in the desert,” that was enough for him. He embraced Islam on the spot. He was so impressed with the Qur’an’s description because he had been in a storm on the sea, and he knew that whoever had written that description had also been in a storm on the sea. The description of “a wave, over it a wave, over it clouds” was not what someone imagining a storm on a sea to be like would have written; rather, it was written by someone who knew what a storm on the sea was like. This is one example of how the Qur’aan is not tied to a certain place and time. Certainly, the scientific ideas expressed in it also do not seem to originate from the desert fourteen centuries ago.
Many centuries before the onset of Muhammad’s Prophethood, there was a well-known theory of atomism advanced by the Greek philosopher, Democritus. He and the people who came after him assumed that matter consists of tiny, indestructible, indivisible particles called atoms. The Arabs too, used to deal in the same concept; in fact, the Arabic word dharrah commonly referred to the smallest particle known to man. Now, modern science has discovered that this smallest unit of matter (i.e., the atom, which has all of the same properties as its element) can be split into its component parts. This is a new idea, a development of the last century; yet, interestingly enough, this information had already been documented in the Qur’aan which states:
” He [i.e., Allah] is aware of an atom’s weight in the heavens and on the earth and even anything smaller than that…”
Undoubtedly, fourteen centuries ago that statement would have looked unusual, even to an Arab. For him, the dharrah was the smallest thing there was. Indeed, this is proof, that the Qur’an is not outdated.
Another example of what one might expect to find in an” old book” that touches upon the subject of health or medicine is outdated remedies or cures. Various historical sources state that the Prophet gave some advice about health and hygiene, yet most of these pieces of advice are not contained in the Qur’an. At first glance, to the non-Muslims this appears to be a negligent omission. They cannot understand why Allah would not “include” such helpful information in the Qur’an. Some Muslims attempt to explain this absence with the following argument: “Although the Prophet’s advice was sound and applicable to the time in which he lived, Allah, in His infinite wisdom, knew that there would come later medical and scientific advances which would make the Prophet’s advice appear outdated. When later discoveries occurred, people might say that such information contradicted that which the Prophet had given. Thus, since Allah would never allow any opportunity for the non-Muslims to claim that the Qur’an contradicts itself or the teachings of the Prophet, He only included in the Qur’an information and examples which could stand the test of time.”
However, when one examines the true realities of the Qur’an in terms of its existence as a divine revelation, the entire matter is quickly brought into its proper perspective, and the error in such argumentation becomes clear and understandable. It must be understood that the Qur’aan is a divine revelation, and as such, all information in it is of divine origin. Allaah revealed the Qur’an from Himself. It is the words of Allaah, which existed before creation, and thus nothing can be added, subtracted or altered. In essence, the Qur’aan existed and was complete before the creation of Prophet Muhammad, so it could not possibly contain any of the Prophet’s own words or advice. An inclusion of such information would clearly contradict the purpose for which the Qur’aan exists, compromise its authority and render it inauthentic as a divine revelation.
Consequently, there was no “home remedies” in the Qur’an which one could claim to be outdated; nor does it contain any man’s view about what is beneficial to health, what food is best to eat, or what will cure this or that disease. In fact, the Qur’an only mentions one item dealing with medical treatment, and it is not in dispute by anyone. It states that in honey there is healing. And certainly, I do not think that there is anyone who will argue with that!
If one assumes that the Qur’an is the product of a man’s mind, then one would expect it to reflect some of what was going on in the mind of the man who “composed” it. In fact, certain encyclopaedias and various books clam that the Qur’aan was the product of hallucinations that Muhammad underwent. If these claims are true – if it indeed originated from some psychological problems in Muhammad’s mind – then evidence of this would be apparent in the Qur’an. Is there such evidence? In order to determine whether or not there is, one must first identify what things would have been going on in his mind at that time and then search for these thoughts and reflections in the Qur’aan.
It is common knowledge that Muhammad had a very difficult life. All of his daughters died before him except one, and he had a wife of several years who was dear and important to him, who not only proceeded him in death at a very critical period of his life. As a matter of fact, she must have been quite a woman because when the first revelation came to him, he ran home to her afraid. Certainly, even today one would have a hard time trying to find an Arab who would tell you, “I was so afraid that I ran home to my wife.” They just aren’t that way. Yet Muhammad felt comfortable enough with his wife to be able to do that. That’s how influential and strong woman she was. Although these examples are only a few of the subjects that would have been on Muhammad’s mind, they are sufficient in intensity to prove my point. The Qur’aan does not mention any of these things – not the death of his children, not the death of his beloved companion and wife, not his fear of the initial revelations, which he so beautifully shared with his wife – nothing; yet, these topics must have hurt him, bothered him, and caused him pain and grief during periods of his psychological reflections, then these subjects, as well as others, would be prevalent or at least mentioned throughout.
A truly scientific approach to the Qur’an is possible because the Qur’an offers something that is not offered by other religious scriptures, in particular, and other religions, in general. It is what scientists demand. Today there are many people who have ideas and theories about how the universe works. These people are all over the place, but the scientific community does not even bother to listen to them. This is because within the last century the scientific community has demanded a test of falsification. They say, “If you have theory, do not bother us with it unless you bring with that theory a way for us to prove whether you are wrong or not.”
Such a test was exactly why the scientific community listened to Einstein towards the beginning of the century. He came with a new theory and said, “I believe the universe works like this; and here are three ways to prove whether I am wrong!”. So the scientific community subjected his theory to the tests, and within six years it passed all three. Of course, this does not prove that he was great, but it proves that he deserved to be listened to because he said, “This is my idea; and if you want to try to prove me wrong, do this or try that.” This is exactly what the Qur’an has – falsification tests. Some are old (in that they have already been proven true), and some still exist today. Basically it states, “If this book is not what it claims to be, then all you have to do is this or this or this to prove that it is false.” Of course, in 1400 years no one has been able to do “This or this or this, ” and thus it is still considered true and authentic. I suggest to you that the next time you get into dispute with someone about Islam and he claims that he has the truth and that you are in darkness, you leave all other arguments at first and make this suggestion. Ask him, “Is there any falsification test in your religion? Is there anything in your religion that would prove you are wrong if I could prove to you that it exists – anything?” Well, I can promise right now that people will not have anything – no test, no proof, nothing! This is because they do not carry around the idea that they should not only present what they believe but should also offer others a chance to prove they’re wrong. However, Islam does that. A perfect example of how Islam provides man with a chance to verify it authenticity and “prove it wrong” occurs in the 4th chapter. And quiet honestly, I was surprised when I first discovered this challenge. It states:
“Do they not consider the Qur’an? Had it been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.”
This is a clear challenge to the non-Muslim basically, it invites him to find a mistake. As a matter of fact, the seriousness and difficulty of the challenge aside, the actual presentation of such a challenge in the first place is not even in human nature and is inconsistent with man’s personality. One doesn’t take an exam in school after finishing the exam, write a note to the instructor at the end saying, “This exam is perfect. There are no mistakes in it. Find one if you can!”. One just doesn’t do that. The teacher would not sleep until he found a mistake! And yet this is the way the Qur’an approaches people. Another interesting attitude that exists in the Qur’an repeatedly deals with its advice to the reader. The Qur’an informs that reader about different facts and then gives the advice: “If you want to know more about this or that, or if you doubt what is said, then you should ask those who have knowledge.” This too is a surprising attitude. It is not usual to have a book that comes from someone without training in geography, botany, biology, etc., who discusses these subjects and then advises the reader to ask men of knowledge if he doubts anything.
Yet in every age there have been Muslims who have followed the advice of the Qur’an and made surprising discoveries. If one looks to the works of Muslim scientists if many centuries ago, one will find them full of quotations from the Qur’an. These works state that they did research in such a place, looking for something. And they affirm that the reason they looked in such and such a place was that the Qur’an pointed them in that direction. For example, the Qur’an mentions man’s origin and then tells the reader, “Research it!” It gives the reader a hint where to look and then states that one should find out more about it. This is the kind of thing that Muslims today largely seem to overlook – but not always, as illustrated in the following example. A few years ago, a group of men in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia collected all if the verses in the Qur’an which discuss embryology – the growth of the human being in the womb. They said, “Here is what the Qur’an says. Is it the truth?” In essence, they took the advice of the Qur’an: “Ask the men who know.” They chose, as it happened, a non-Muslim who is a professor of embryology at the University of Toronto. His name is Keith Moore, and he is the author of textbooks on embryology – a world expert on the subject. They invited him to Riyadh and said, “This is what the Qur’an says about your subject. Is it true? What can you tell us?” While he was in Riyadh, they gave him all of the help that he needed in translation and all of the cooperation for which he asked. And he was so surprised at what he found that he changed his textbooks. In fact, in the second edition of one of his books, called Before we are born… in the second edition about the history of embryology, he included some material that was not in the first edition because of what he found in the Qur’aan. Truly this illustrates that the Qur’an was ahead of its time and that those who believe in the Qur’aan know what other people do not know.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Keith Moore for a television presentation, and we talked a great deal about this – it was illustrated by slides and so on. He mentioned that some of the things that the Qur’an states about the growth of the human being were not known until thirty years ago. In fact, he said that one item in particular – the Qur’aan’s description of the human being as a “leech-like clot” (‘alaqah) at one stage – was new to him; but when he checked on it, he found that it was true, and so he added it to his book. He said, “I never thought of that before,” and he went to the zoology department and asked for a picture of a leech. When he found that it looked just like the human embryo, he decided to include both pictures in one of his textbooks. Dr. Moore also wrote a book on clinical embryology, and when he presented this information in Toronto, it caused quite a stir throughout Canada. It was on the front pages of some of the newspapers across Canada, and some of the headlines were quite funny. For instance, one headline read: “SURPRISING THING FOUND IN ANCIENT BOOK!”! It seems obvious from this example that people do not clearly understand what it is all about. As a matter of fact, one newspaper reporter asked Professor Moore, “Don’t you think that maybe the Arabs might have known about these things – the description of the embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows? Maybe there were not scientists, but maybe they did something crude dissections on their own – carved up people and examined these things.”
The professor immediately pointed out to him that he [i.e., the reporter] had missed a very important point – all of the slides of the embryo that had been shown and had been projected in the film had come from pictures taken through a microscope. He said, “It does not matter if someone had tried to discover embryology fourteen centuries ago, they could not have seen it!”. All of the descriptions in the Qur’aan of the appearance of the embryo are of the item when it is still too small to see with the eye; therefore, one needs a microscope to see it. Since such a device had only been around for little more than two hundred years, Dr. Moore taunted, “Maybe fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did this research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then he somehow taught Muhammad and convinced him to put this information in his book. Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proof because it is such a ridiculous theory.” In fact, when he was asked “How do you explain this information in the Qur’aan?” Dr. Moore’s reply was, “It could only have been divinely revealed.”!
Although the aforementioned example of man researching information contained in the Qur’an deals with a non-Muslim, it is still valid because he is one of those who is knowledgeable in the subject being researched. Had some layman claimed that what the Qur’an says about embryology is true, then one would not necessarily have to accept his word. However, because of the high position, respect, and esteem man gives scholars, one naturally assumes that if they research a subject and arrive at a conclusion based on that research, then the conclusion is valid. One of Professor Moore’s colleagues, Marshall Johnson, deals extensively with geology at the University of Toronto.
He became very interested in the fact that the Qur’an’s statements about embryology are accurate, and so he asked Muslims to collect everything contained in the Qur’an which deals with his specialty. Again people were very surprised at the findings. Since there are a vast number subjects discussed in the Qur’aan, it would certainly require a large amount of time to exhaust each subject. It suffices for the purpose of this discussion to state that the Qur’an makes very clear and concise statements about various subjects while simultaneously advising the reader to verify the authenticity of these statements with research by scholars in those subjects. And as illustrated by the Qur’aan has clearly emerged authentic. Undoubtedly, there is an attitude in the Qur’an which is not found anywhere else. It is interesting how when the Qur’an provides information, it often tells the reader, “You did not know this before.” Indeed, there is no scripture that exists which makes that claim. All of the other ancient writings and scriptures that people have, do give a lot of information, but they always state where the information came from.
For example, when the Bible discusses ancient history, it states that this king lived here, this one fought in a certain battle, another one had so may sons, etc. Yet it always stipulates that if you want more information, then you should read the book of so and so because that is where the information came from. In contrast to this concept, the Qur’an provides the reader with information and states that this information is something new. Of course, there always exists the advice to research the information provided and verify its authenticity. It is interesting that such a concept was never challenged by non-Muslims fourteen centuries ago. Indeed, the Makkans who hated the Muslims, and time and time again they heard such revelations claiming to bring new information; yet, they never spoke up and said, “This is not new. We know where Muhammad got this information. We learned this at school.”
They could never challenge its authenticity because it really was new! In concurrence with the advice given in the Qur’an to research information (even if it is new), when ‘Umar was caliph, he chose a group of men and sent them to find the wall of Dhul-Qarnayn. Before the Qur’aanic revelation, the Arabs had never heard of such a wall, but because the Qur’an described it, they were able to discover it. As a matter of fact, it is now located in what is called Durbend in the Soviet Union. It must be stressed here that the Qur’an is accurate about many, many things, but accuracy does not necessarily mean that a book is a divine revelation. In fact, accuracy is only one of the criteria for divine revelations.
For instance, the telephone book is accurate, but that does not mean that it is divinely revealed. The real problem lies in that one must establish some proof of the source the Qur’an’s information. The emphasis is on the reader. One cannot simply deny the Qur’an’s authenticity without sufficient proof. If, indeed, one finds a mistake, then he has the right to disqualify it. This is exactly what the Qur’an encourages. Once a man came up to me after a lecture I delivered in South Africa. He was very angry about what I had said, and so he claimed, “I am going to go home tonight and find a mistake in the Qur’an.” Of course, I said, “Congratulations. That is the most intelligent thing that you have said.” Certainly, this is the approach Muslims need to take with those who doubt the Qur’an’s authenticity, because the Qur’an itself offers the same challenge. An inevitably, after accepting it’s challenge and discovering that it is true, these people will come to believe it because they could not disqualify it. In essence, the Qur’an earns their respect because they themselves have had to verify its authenticity. An essential fact that cannot be reiterated enough concerning the authenticity of the Qur’an is that one’s inability to explain a phenomenon himself does not require his acceptance of the phenomenon’s existence or another person’s explanation of it.
Specifically, just because one cannot explain something does not mean that one has to accept someone else’s explanation. However, the person’s refusal of other explanations reverts the burden of proof back on himself to find a feasible answer. This general theory applies to numerous concepts in life, but fits most wonderfully with the Qur’anic challenge, for it creates a difficulty for one who says, “I do not believe it.” At the onset of refusal one immediately has an obligation to find an explanation himself if he feels others’ answers are inadequate. In fact, in one particular Qur’anic verse which I have always seen mistranslated into English, Allah mentions a man who heard the truth explained to him. It states that he was derelict in his duty because after he heard the information, he left without checking the verity of what he had heard. In other words, one is guilty if he hears something and does not research it and check to see whether it is true. One is supposed to process all information and decide what is garbage to be thrown out and what is worthwhile information to be kept and benefited from at a later date. One cannot just let it rattle around in his head. It must be put in the proper categories and approached from that point of view. For example, if the information is still speculatory, then one must discern whether it’s closer to being true or false. But if all of the facts have been presented, then one must decide absolutely between these two options. And even if one is not positive about the authenticity of the information, he is still required to process all of the information and make the admission that he just does not know for sure. Although this last point appears to be futile, in actuality, it is beneficial to the arrival at a positive conclusion at a later time in that it forces the person to at least recognize, research and review the facts. This familiarity with the information will give the person “the edge” when future discoveries are made and additional information is presented. The important thing is that one deals with the facts and does not simply discard them out of empathy and disinterest.
The real certainty about the truthfulness of the Qur’an is evident in the confidence which is prevalent throughout it; and this confidence comes from a different approach – “Exhausting the Alternatives.” In essence, the Qur’an states, “This book is a divine revelation; if you do not believe that, then what is it?” In other words, the reader is challenged to come up with some other explanation. Here is a book made of paper and ink. Where did it come from? It says it is a divine revelation; if it is not, then what is its source? The interesting fact is that no one has with an explanation that works. In fact, all alternatives have bee exhausted. As has been well established by non-Muslims, these alternatives basically are reduces to two mutually exclusive schools of thought, insisting on one or the other. On one hand, there exists a large group of people who have researched the Qur’an for hundreds of years and who claim, “One thing we know for sure – that man, Muhammad, thought he was a prophet. He was crazy!” They are convinced that Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) was fooled somehow. Then on the other hand, there is another group which alleges, “Because of this evidence, one thing we know for sure is that that man, Muhammad, was a liar!” Ironically, these two groups never seem to get together without contradicting. In fact, many references on Islam usually claim both theories. They start out by saying that Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) was crazy and then end by saying that he was a liar. They never seem to realize that he could not have been both!
For example, if one is deluded and really thinks that he is a prophet, then he does not sit up late at night planning, “How will I fool the people tomorrow so that they think I am a prophet?” He truly believes that he is a prophet, and he trusts that the answer will be given to him by revelation. As a matter of fact, a great deal of the Qur’an came in answer to questions. Someone would ask Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) a question, and the revelation would come with the answer to it. Certainly, if one is crazy and believes that an angel put words in his ear, then when someone asks him a question, he thinks that the angel will give him the answer. Because he is crazy, he really thinks that. He does not tell someone to wait a short while and then run to his friends and ask them, “Does anyone know the answer?” This type of behavior is characteristic of one who does not believe that he is a prophet. What the non-Muslims refuse to accept is that you cannot have it both ways. One can be deluded, or he can be a liar. He can be either one or neither, but he certainly cannot be both! The emphasis is on the fact that they are unquestionably mutually exclusive personal traits.
The following scenario is a good example of the kind of circle that non-Muslims go around in constantly. If you ask one of them, “What is the origin of the Qur’an?” He tells you that it originated from the mind of a man who was crazy. Then you ask him, “If it came from his head, then where did he get the information contained in it? Certainly the Qur’an mentions many things with which the Arabs were not familiar.” So in order to explain the fact which you bring him, he changes his position and says, “Well, maybe he was not crazy. Maybe some foreigner brought him the information. So he lied and told people that he was a prophet.” At this point then you have to ask him, “If Muhammad was a liar, then where did he get his confidence? Why did he behave as though he really thought he was a prophet?” Finally backed into a corner, like a cat he quickly lashes out with the first response that comes to his mind. Forgetting that he has already exhausted that possibility, he claims, “Well, maybe he wasn’t a liar. He was probably crazy and really thought that he was a prophet.” And thus he begins the futile circle again.
As has already been mentioned, there is much information contained in the Qur’an whose source cannot be attributed to anyone other than Allah. For example, who told Muhammad about the wall of Dhul-Qarnayn – a place hundreds of miles to the north? Who told him about embryology? When people assemble facts such as these, if they are not willing to attribute their existence to a divine source, they automatically resort to the assumption someone brought Muhammad the information and that he used it to fool the people. However, this theory can easily be disproved with one simple question: “If Muhammad was a liar, where did he get his confidence? Why did he tell some people out right to their face what others could never say?” Such confidence depends completely upon being convinced that one has a true divine revelation. For example, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) had an uncle by the name of Abu Lahab. This man hated Islam to such an extent that he used to follow the Prophet around in order to discredit him. If Abu Lahab saw the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) speaking to a stranger, he would wait until they parted and then would go to the stranger and ask him, “What did he tell you? Did he say, ‘Black.’? Well, it’s white. Did he say, ‘Morning.’? Well, it’s night.” He faithfully said the exact opposite of whatever he heard Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) and the Muslims say. However, about ten years before Abu Lahab died, a little chapter in the Qur’an was revealed to him. It distinctly stated that he would go to the Fire (i.e., Hell). In other words, it affirmed that he would never become a Muslim and would therefore be condemned forever. For ten years all Abu Lahab had to do was say, “I heard that it has been revealed to Muhammad that I will never change – that I will never become a Muslim and will enter the Hellfire. Well I want to become a Muslim now. How do you like that? What do you think of your divine revelation now?” But he never did that. And yet, that is exactly the kind of behavior one would have expected from him since he always sought to contradict Islam. In essence, Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) said, “You hate me and you want to finish me? Here, say these words, and I am finished. Come on, say them!” But Abu Lahab never said them. Ten years! And in all that time he never accepted Islam or even became sympathetic to the Islamic cause. How could Muhammad possibly have known for sure that Abu Lahab would fulfill the Qur’anic revelation if he (i.e., Muhammad) was not truly the messenger of Allaah? How could he possibly have been so confident as to give someone 10 years to discredit his claim of Prophethood? The only answer is that he was Allaah’s messenger; for in order to put forth suck a risky challenge, one has to be entirely convinced that he has a divine revelation.
Another example of the confidence which Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) had in his own Prophethood and consequently in the divine protection of himself and his message is when he left Makkah and hid in a cave with Abu Bakr during their emigration to Madeenah. The two clearly saw people coming to kill them, and Abu Bakr was afraid. Certainly, if Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was a liar, a forger and one who was trying to fool the people into believing that he was a prophet, one would have expected him to say in such a circumstance to his friend, “Hey, Abu Bakr, see if you can find a back way out of this cave.” Or “Squat down in that corner over there and keep quiet.” Yet, in fact, what he said to Abu Bakr clearly illustrated his confidence. He told him, “Relax! Allaah is with us, and Allaah will save us!”
Now, if one knows that he is fooling the people, where does one get this kind of attitude? In fact, such a frame of mind is not characteristic of a liar or a forger at all. So, as has been previously mentioned, the non-Muslims go around and around in a circle, searching for a way out – some way to explain the findings in the Qur’an without attributing them to their proper source. On one hand, they tell you on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, “The man was a liar,” and on the other hand, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday they tell you, “He was crazy.” What they refuse to accept is that one cannot have it both ways; yet they refuse to accept is that one cannot have it both ways; yet they need both excuses to explain the information in the Qur’an.
About seven years ago, I had a minister over to my home. In the particular room which we were sitting there was a Qur’an on the table, face down, and so the minister was not aware of which book it was. In the midst of a discussion, I pointed to the Qur’an and said, “I have confidence in that book.” Looking at the Qur’an but not knowing which book it was , he replied, “Well, I tell you, if that book is not the Bible, it was written by a man!” In response to his statement, I said, “Let me tell you something about what is in that book.” And in just three to four minutes I related to him a few things contained in the Qur’an. After just those three or four minutes, he completely changed his position and declared, “You are right. A man did not write that book. The Devil wrote it!” Indeed, possessing such an attitude is very unfortunate – for many reasons. For one thing, it is a very quick and cheap excuse. It is an instant exit out of an uncomfortable situation. As a matter of fact, there is a famous story in the Bible that mentions how one day some of the Jews were witnesses when Jesus raised a man from the dead. The man had been dead for four days, and when Jesus arrived, he simply said, “Get up!” and the man arose and walked away. At such a sight, some of the Jews who were watching said disbelievingly, “This is the Devil. The Devil helped him!” Now this story is rehearsed often in churches all over the world, and people cry big tears over it, saying, “Oh, if I had been there, I would not have been as stupid as the Jews!” Yet ironically, these people do exactly what the Jews did when in just three minutes you show them only a small part of the Qur’an and all they can say is, “Oh, the Devil did it. The devil wrote that book!”. Because they are truly backed into a corner and have no other viable answer, they resort to the quickest and cheapest excuse available. Another Example of people’s use of this weak stance can be found in the Makkans’ explanation of the source of Muhammed’s message. They used to say, “The devils bring Muhammad that Qur’an!” But just as with every other suggestion made, the Qur’an gives the answer. One verse in particular states:
“And they say, ‘Surely he is possessed [by jinn], ‘but it [i.e., the Qur’an] is not except a reminder to the worlds.”
Thus it gives an argument in reply to such a theory. In fact, there are many arguments in the Qur’an in reply to the suggestion that devils brought Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) his message. For example, in the 26th chapter Allaah clearly affirms:
“No evil ones have brought it [i.e., this revelation] down. It would neither be fitting for them, nor would they be able. Indeed they have been removed far from hearing.”
And in another place in the Qur’an, Allaah instructs us:
“So when you recite the Qur’an seek refuge in Allaah from Shaytaan, the rejected.”
Now is this how Satan writes a book? He tells one, “Before you read my book, ask God to save you from me.”? This is very, very tricky. Indeed, a man could write something like this, but would Satan do this? Many people clearly illustrate that they cannot come to one conclusion on this subject. On one hand, they claim that Satan would not do such a thing and that even if he could, God would not allow him to; yet, on the other hand, they also believe that Satan is only that much less than God. In essence they allege that the Devil can probably do whatever God can do. And as a result, when they look at the Qur’an, even as surprised as they are as to how amazing it is, they still insist, “The Devil did this!” Thanks be to Allaah, Muslims do not have that attitude. Although Satan may have some abilities, they are a long way separated from the abilities of Allaah. And no Muslim is a Muslim unless he believes that. It is common knowledge even among non-Muslims that the Devil can easily make mistakes, and it would be expected that he would contradict himself if and when he wrote a book. For indeed, the Qur’an states:
“Do they not consider the Qur’an? Had it been from any other than Allaah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.”
In conjunction with the excuses that non-Muslims advance in futile attempts to justify unexplainable verses in the Qur’an, there is another attack often rendered which seems to be a combination of the theories that Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) was crazy and a liar. Basically, these people propose that Muhammad was insane, and as a result of his delusion, he lied to and misled people. There is a name for this in psychology. It is referred to as mythomania. It means simply that one tells lies and then believes them. This is what the non-Muslims say Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him) suffered from. But the only problem with this proposal is that one suffering from mythomania absolutely cannot deal with facts, and yet the whole Qur’an is based entirely upon facts. Everything contained in it can be researched and established as true. Since facts are such a problem for a mythomaniac, when a psychologist tries to treat one suffering from that condition, he continually confronts him with facts. For example, if one is mentally ill and claims, “I am the king of England,” a psychologist does not say to him “No you aren’t. You are crazy!” He just does not do that. Rather, he confronts him with facts and says, “O.K., you say you are the king of England. So tell me where the queen is today. And where is your prime minister? And where are your guards?” Now, when the man has trouble trying to deal with these questions, he tries to make excuses, saying Uh… the queen… she has gone to her mother’s. Uh… the prime minister… well he died.” And eventually he is cured because he cannot deal with the facts. If the psychologist continues confronting him with enough facts, finally he faces the reality and says, “I guess I am not the king of England.” The Qur’an approaches everyone who reads it in very much the same way a psychologist treats his mythomania patient. There is a verse in the Qur’an which states:
“Oh mankind, there has come to you an admonition [i.e., the Qur’an] from your Lord and a healing for what is in the hearts – and guidance and mercy for the believers.”
At first glance, this statement appears vague, but the meaning of this verse is clear when one views it in light of the aforementioned example. Basically, one is healed of his delusions by reading the Qur’an. In essence, it is therapy. It literally cures deluded people by confronting them with facts. A prevalent attitude throughout the Qur’an is one which says, “Oh mankind, you say such and such about this; but what about such and such? How can you say this when you know that?” And so forth. It forces one to consider what is relevant and what matters while simultaneously healing one of the delusions that the facts presented to mankind by Allaah can easily be explained away with flimsy theories and excuses. It is this very sort of thing – confronting people with facts – that had captured the attention of many non-Muslims. In fact, there exists a very interesting reference concerning this subject in the New Catholic Encyclopedia.
In an article under the subject of the Qur’an, the Catholic Church states, “Over the centuries, many theories have been offered as to the origin of the Qur’an… Today no sensible man accepts any of these theories.”!! Now here is the age-old Catholic Church, which has been around for so many centuries, denying these futile attempts to explain away the Qur’an. Indeed, the Qur’an is a problem for the Catholic Church. It states that it is revelation, so they study it. Certainly, they would love to find proof that it is not, but they cannot. They cannot find a viable explanation. But at least they are honest in their research and do not accept the first unsubstantiated interpretation which comes along. The Church states that in fourteen centuries it has not yet been presented a sensible explanation. At least it admits that the Qur’an is not an easy subject to dismiss. Certainly, other people are much less honest. They quickly say, “Oh, the Qur’an came from here. The Qur’an came from there.” And they do not even examine the credibility of what they are stating most of the time. Of course, such a statement by the Catholic Church leaves the everyday Christian in some difficulty. It just may be that he has his own ideas as to the origin of the Qur’an, but as a single member of the Church, he cannot really act upon his own theory. Such an action would be contrary to the obedience, allegiance and loyalty which the Church demands. By virtue of his membership, he must accept what the Catholic Church declares without question and establish its teachings as part of his everyday routine. So, in essence, if the Catholic Church as a whole is saying, “Do not listen to these unconfirmed reports about the Qur’an,” then what can be said about the Islamic point of view? Even non-Muslims are admitting that there is something to the Qur’an – something that has to be acknowledged – then why are people so stubborn and defensive and hostile when Muslims advance the very same theory? This is certainly something for those with a mind to contemplate – something to ponder for those of understanding!
Recently, the leading intellectual in the Catholic Church – a man by the name of Hans – studied the Qur’an and gave his opinion of what he had read. This man has been around for some time, and he is highly respected in the Catholic Church, and after careful scrutiny, he reported his findings, concluding, “God has spoken to man through the man, Muhammad.” Again this is a conclusion arrived at by a non-Muslim source – the very leading intellectual of the Catholic Church himself! I do not think that the Pope agrees with him, but nonetheless, the opinion of such a noted, repute public figure must carry some weight in defense of the Muslim position. He must be applauded for facing the reality that the Qur’an is not something which can be easily pushed aside and that, in fact God is the source of these words. As is evident from the aforementioned information, all of the possibilities have been exhausted, so the chance of finding another possibility of dismissing the Qur’an is nonexistent. For if the book is not a revelation, then it is a deception; and if it is a deception, one must ask, “What is its origin” And where does it deceive us?” Indeed, the true answers to these questions shed light on the Qur’an’s authenticity and silence the bitter unsubstantiated claims of the unbelievers. Certainly, if people are going to insist that the Qur’an is a deception, then they must bring forth evidence to support such a claim. The burden of proof is on them, not us! One is never supposed to advance a theory without sufficient corroborating facts; so I say to them, “Show me one deception! Show me where the Qur’an deceives me! Show me, otherwise, don’t say that it is a deception!” An interesting characteristic of the Qur’an is how it deals with surprising phenomena which relate not only to the past but to modern times as well. In essence, the Qur’an is not an old problem. It is still a problem even today – a problem to the non-Muslims that is. For everyday, every week, every year brings more and more evidence that the Qur’an is a force to be contended with – that its authenticity is no longer to be challenged! For example, one verse in the Qur’an reads;
“Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder, and made from water every living thing? Will they not then believe?”
Ironically, this very information is exactly what they awarded the 1973 Noble Prize for – to a couple of unbelievers. The Qur’an reveals the origin of the universe – how it began from one piece – and mankind continues to verify this revelation, even up to now. Additionally, the fact that all life originated from water would not have been an easy thing to convince people of fourteen centuries ago. Indeed, if 1400 years ago you had stood in the desert and told someone, “All of this, you see (pointing to yourself), is made up of mostly water,” no one would have believed you. Proof of that was not available until the invention of the microscope. They had to wait to find out that cytoplasm, the basic substance of the cell, is made-up of 80% water. Nonetheless, the evidence did come, and once again the Qur’an stood the test of time. In reference to the falsification tests mentioned earlier, it is interesting to note that they, too, relate to both the past and the present. Some of them were used as illustrations of Allaah’s omnipotence and knowledge, while others continue to stand as challenges to the present day. An example of the former is the statement made in the Qur’an about Abu Lahab. It clearly illustrates that Allaah, the Knower of the Unseen, knew that Abu Lahab would never change his ways and accept Islam. Thus Allaah dictated that he would be condemned to the Hellfire forever. Such a chapter was both an illustration of Allaah’s divine wisdom and a warning to those who were like Abu Lahab.
An interesting example of the latter type of falsification tests contained in the Qur’an is the verse which mentions the relationship between the Muslims and the Jews. The verse is careful not to narrow its scope to the relationship between individual members of each religion, but rather, it summarizes the relationship between the two groups of people as a whole. In essence, the Qur’an states that the Christians will always treat the Muslims better than the Jews will treat the Muslims. Indeed, the full impact of such a statement can only be felt after careful consideration of the real meaning of such a verse. It is true that many Christians and many Jews have become Muslims, but as a whole, the Jewish community is to be viewed as an avid enemy of Islam. Additionally, very few people realize what such an open declaration in the Qur’an invites. In essence, it is an easy chance for the Jews to prove that the Qur’an is false – that it is not a divine revelation. All they have to do is organize themselves, treat the Muslims nicely for a few years and then say, “Now what does your holy book say about who are your best friends in the world – the Jews or the Christians? Look what we Jews have done for you!” That is all they have to do to disprove the Qur’an’s authenticity, yet they have not done it in 1400 years. But, as always, the offer still stands open!
All of the examples so far given concerning the various angles from which one can approach the Qur’an have undoubtedly been subjective in nature; however there does exist another angle, among others, which is objective and whose basis is mathematical. It is surprising how authentic the Qur’an becomes when one assembles what might be referred to as a list of good guesses. Mathematically, it can be explained using guessing and prediction examples. For instance, if a person has two choices (i.e., one is right, and one is wrong), and he closes his eyes and makes a choice, then half of the time (i.e., one time out of two) he will be right. Basically, he has a one in two chance, for he could pick the wrong choice, or he could pick the right choice. Now if the same person has two situations like that (i.e., he could be right or wrong about situation number one, and he could be right or wrong about situation number two), and he closes his eyes and guesses, then he will only be right one fourth of the time (i.e., one time out of four). He now has a one in four chance because now there are three ways for him to be wrong and only one way for him to be right. In simple terms, he could make the wrong choice in situation number one and then make the wrong choice in situation number two; OR he could make the wrong choice in situation number one and then make the right choice in situation number two; OR he could make the right choice in situation number one and then make the wrong choice in situation number two; OR he could make the right choice in situation number one and then make the right choice in situation number two. Of course, the only instance in which he could be totally right is the last scenario where he could guess correctly in both situations. The odds of his guessing completely correctly have become greater because the number of situations for him to guess in have increased; and the mathematical equation representing such a scenario is 1/2 x 1/2 (i.e., one time out of two for the first situation multiplied by one time out of two for the second situation).
Continuing on with the example, if the same person now has three situations in which to make blind guesses, then he will only be right one eighth of the time (i.e., one time out of eight or 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2). Again, the odds of choosing the correct choice in all three situations have decreased his chances of being completely correct to only one time in eight. It must be understood that as the number of situations increase, the chances of being right decrease, for the two phenomena are inversely proportional.
Now applying this example to the situations in the Qur’an, if one draws up a list of all of the subjects about which the Qur’an has made correct statements, it becomes very clear that it is highly unlikely that they were all just correct blind guesses. Indeed, the subjects discussed in the Qur’an are numerous, and thus the odds of someone just making lucky guesses about all of them become practically nil. If there are a million ways for the Qur’an to be wrong, yet each time it is right, then it is unlikely that someone was guessing. The following three examples of subjects about which the Qur’an has made correct statements collectively illustrate how the Qur’an continues to beat the odds.
In the 16th chapter the Qur’an mentions that the female bee leaves its home to gather food.l2 Now, a person might guess on that, saying, “The bee that you see flying around – it could be male, or it could be female. I think I will guess female.” Certainly, he has a one in two chance of being right. So it happens that the Qur’an is right. But it also happens that was not what most people believed at the time when the Qur’an was revealed. Can you tell the difference between a male and a female bee? Well, it takes a specialist to do that, but it has been discovered that the male bee never leaves his home to gather food. However, in Shakespeare’s play, Henry the Fourth, some of the characters discuss bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and have a king. That is what people thought in Shakespeare’s time – that the bees that one sees flying around are male bees and that they go home and answer to a king. However, that is not true at all. The fact is that they are females, and they answer to a queen. Yet it took modern scientific investigations in the last 300 years to discover that this is the case.
So, back to the list of good guesses, concerning the topic of bees, the Qur’an had a 50/50 chance of being right, and the odds were one in two.
In addition to the subject of bees, the Qur’an also discusses the sun and the manner in which it travels through space. Again, a person can guess on that subject. When the sun moves through space, there are two options: it can travel just as a stone would travel if one threw it, or it can move of its own accord. The Qur’an states the latter – that it moves as a result of its own motion.’3 To do such, the Qur’an uses a form of the word sabaha to describe the sun’s movement through space. In order to properly provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the implications of this Arabic verb, the following example is given. If a man is in water and the verb sabaha is applied in reference to his movement, it can be understood that he is swimming, moving of his own accord and not as a result of a direct force applied to him. Thus when this verb is used in reference to the sun’s movement through space, it in no way implies that the sun is flying uncontrollably through space as a result of being hurled or the like. It simply means that the sun is turning and rotating as it travels. Now, this is what the Qur’an affirms, but was it an easy thing to discover? Can any common man tell that the sun is turning? Only in modern times was the equipment made available to project the image of the sun onto a tabletop so that one could look at it without being blinded. And through this process it was discovered that not only are there three spots on the sun but that these spots move once every 25 days. This movement is referred to as the rotation of the sun around its axis and conclusively proves that, as the Qur’an stated 1400 years ago, the sun does, indeed turn as it travels through space.
And returning once again to the subject of good guess, the odds of guessing correctly about both subjects – the sex of bees and the movement of the sun – are one in four!
Seeing as far back as fourteen centuries ago people probably did not understand much about time zones, the Quran’s statements about this subject are considerably surprising. The concept that one family is having breakfast as the sun comes up while another family is enjoying the brisk night air is truly something to be marveled at, even in modern time. Indeed, fourteen centuries ago, a man could not travel more than thirty miles in one day, and thus it took him literally months to travel from India to Morocco, for example. And probably , when he was having supper in Morocco, he thought to himself, “Back home in India they are having supper right now.” This is because he did not realize that, in the process of traveling, he moved across a time zone. Yet, because it is the words of Allaah, the All-Knowing, the Qur’an recognizes and acknowledges such a phenomenon. In an interesting verse it states that when history comes to an end and the Day of Judgment arrives, it will all be occurring in an instant; and this very instant will catch some people in the daytime and some people at night. This clearly illustrates Allaah’s divine wisdom and His previous knowledge of the existence of time zones, even though such a discovery was non-existent fourteen centuries ago. Certainly, this phenomenon is not something which is obvious to one’s eyes or a result of one’s experience, and this fact, in itself, suffices as proof of the Qur’an’s authenticity.
Returning one final time to the subject of good guesses for the purpose of the present example, the odds that someone guessed correctly about all three of the aforementioned subjects – the sex of bees, the movement of the sun and the existence of time zones – are one in eight!
Certainly, one could continue on and on with this example, drawing up longer and longer list of good guesses; and of course, the odds would become higher and higher with each increase of subjects about which one could guess. But what no one can deny is the following; the odds that Mohammed an illiterate, guessed correctly about thousands and thousands of subjects, never once making a mistake, are so high that any theory of his authorship of the Qur’an must be completely dismissed – even by the most hostile enemies of Islam!
Indeed, the Qur’an expects this kind of challenge. Undoubtedly, if one said to someone upon entering a foreign land, “I know your father. I have met him,” probably the man from that land would doubt the newcomer’s word, saying, “You have just come here. How could you know my father?” As a result, he would question him, “Tell me, is my father tall, short, dark, fair? What is he like?” Of course, if the visitor continued answering all of the questions correctly, the skeptic would have no choice but to say, “I guess you do know my father. I don’t know how you know him, but I guess you do!” The situation is the same with the Qur’an. It states that it originates from the One who created everything. So everyone has the right to say, “Convince me! If the author of this book really originated life and everything in the heavens and on the earth, then He should know about this, about that, and so on.” And inevitably, after researching the Qur’an, everyone will discover the same truths. Additionally, we all know something for sure: we do not all have to be experts to verify what the Qur’an affirms. One’s iman (faith) grows as one continues to check and confirm the truths contained in the Qur’an. And one is supposed to do so all of his life.
May God (Allaah) guide everyone close to the truth.
An engineer at the University of Toronto who was interested in psychology and who had read something on it, conducted researched wrote a thesis on Efficiency of Group Discussions. The purpose of his research was to find out how much people accomplish when they get together to talk in groups of two, three, ten, etc. The graph of his findings: people accomplish most when they talk in groups of two. Of course, this discovery was entirely beyond his expectations, but it is very old advice given in the Qur’an:
“Say, ‘I exhort you to one thing – that you stand for Allaah, [assessing the truth] by twos and singly, and then reflect…..’ In conclusion I ask you to consider with care the following:
Additionally, the 89th chapter of the Qur’an mentions a certain city by the name of ‘Iram (a city of pillars), which was not known in ancient history and which was non-existent as far as historians were concerned. However, the December 1978 edition of National Geographic introduced interesting information which mentioned that in 1973, the city of Elba was excavated in Syria. The city was discovered to be 43 centuries old, but that is not the most amazing part. Researchers found in the library of Elba a record of all of the cities with which Elba had done business. Believe or not, there on the list was the name of the city of ‘Iram. The people of Elba had done business with the people of ‘Iram!
“And they say, ‘Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say, ‘Indeed, the signs are with Allaah, and I am but a clear warner.’ But is sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book [i.e. Qur’an] which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in that is mercy and a reminder to people who believe.
Miracle of Quraan
“We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and within themselves until it will become clear to them that it is the Truth. Does it not suffice that your Lord is Witness over all things?”
(Fussilat, They are Explained in Detail, 41:53)
Muslims are taught that throughout the ages, Allah Almighty has sent a prophet to every nation as a warner and a bearer of glad tidings.
“Verily! We have sent you (O Muhammad) with the Truth, a bearer of glad tidings and a warner; and there is not a nation but a warner has passed among them,”
(Fatir, The Originator of Creation, 35:24)
Each prophet was wisely selected by Allah in order to be the best person for the job. He was then provided by Allah with miracles as proof of his truthfulness and his message. These miracles were wisely selected by Allah in order to be in the same field as that which these people excelled in so that they could fully comprehend the magnitude of these miracles.
For instance, the people during the time of Moses excelled at magical trickery. Their rulers used to surround themselves with the most powerful of these wizards as a sign of power. This is why Allaah made the miracles of Moses similar to their magical trickery (changing a stick into a snake, parting of the sea… etc.) but of a much greater magnitude than anything they could ever hope to accomplish. For they were not tricks, but actual physical miracles.
The people at the time of the prophet Jesus excelled in matters of medicine. For this reason, his miracles were of a medical nature (raising of the dead, healing of the blind…etc.), but of a degree that they could never hope to imitate. Similarly, one of the major miracles of Islam was a new and unheard-of type of literature similar to the Bedouin’s poetry but far beyond anything they could ever hope to match. Although they did indeed try. This new literature was called “The Qur’an.”
The Arabic language, as can be attested to by any of it’s scholars, is a very rich and powerful language. The Bedouin people of the Arabian desert were, in general, illiterate people of very little scientific knowledge. The thing that set them apart, however, was their mastery of poetry. Spending their days as they did in the desert watching their sheep graze got quite boring. They alleviated their boredom by continually composing and refining poetry. They would spend entire years composing and refining their poetry in anticipation of a yearly face-down of the poetic compositions of their peers from all over the country. The fact that they were illiterate forced them to also train themselves in the memorization of works of literature to such an extent that they were able to memorize complete works from a single recitation. Even in matters of leadership, one of the major criteria for selecting the leaders of the various Bedouin tribes was the individual’s prowess in literary composition and memorization.
The Arabian Bedouins took great pains to make their poetry as compact and picturesque as humanly possible, constantly expanding the language along the way. A single word could convey complete pictures. The Qur’an, however, has put even these great efforts to shame. You will notice that when a Muslim translates a verse of the Qur’an he usually does not say “the Qur’an says so and so” but rather “An approximation of the meaning of what the Qur’an says is so and so.” You really need to know the language to comprehend this.
In the English language, we find that the words: “mustang,” “colt,” “mare,” “pony,” “stallion,” “bronco”… etc. all refer to the same thing; a horse. Each one of these words conveys a slightly different mental picture. The mental picture we get when we hear the word “colt” is slightly different than the picture we get if we hear the word “mare.” In a similar manner, the Arabic language progressed in such a fashion as to make it possible to convey such mental pictures in as concise and picturesque a format as possible. It is not at all uncommon to find over three hundred words that refer to the same thing in the Arabic language. Each one of these words gives a slightly different picture than the others.
Many centuries of this constant refinement eventually lead to a very complex and rich vocabulary, and the primary miracle of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Qur’an, was in exactly this field
In the noble Qur’an we find a challenge from Allah to compose a literary work on a par with this Qur’an it is indeed the work of mankind. They could not. The Qur’an continued to reduce it’s challenge until the challenge finally became: “compose only a single verse comparable to this Qur’an and you will have won.” They still could not. This in addition to the fairness, justice, and logic of the Qur’an eventually won them over and slowly more and more people became Muslims.
“Well then, if the Koran were his own [Muhammad’s] composition other men could rival it. Let them produce ten verses like it. If they could not (and it is obvious that they could not), then let them accept the Koran as an outstanding evidential miracle”
Mohammedanism, H. A. R. Gibb, Oxford University Press, p. 42
“From the literary point of view, the Koran is regarded as a specimen of purest Arabic, written in half poetry, half prose. It has been said that in some cases grammarians have adopted their rules to agree with certain expressions used in it, and though several attempts have been made to produce a work equal to it as far as elegant writing is concerned, none yet has succeeded”
Glimpses of the Noble Qur’an, Muhammad Azizullah, Crescent Publications, pp. 104-105
“In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at pains to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which – apart from the message itself – constitute the Koran’s undeniable claim to rank amongst the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind… This very characteristic feature – ‘that inimitable symphony,’ as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book, ‘the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy’ – has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original.”
The Koran Interpreted, Arthur J. Arberry, Oxford University Press, 1964, p. x.
“The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organizations of the Muhammadan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today.”
G. Margoliouth, Introduction to J.M. Rodwell’s, The Koran, New York: Everyman’s Library, 1977, p. vii.
“A work, then, which calls forth so powerful and seemingly incompatible emotions even in the distant reader – distant as to time, and still more so as a mental development – a work which not only conquers the repugnance which he may begin its perusal, but changes this adverse feeling into astonishment and admiration, such a work must be a wonderful production of the human mind indeed and a problem of the highest interest to every thoughtful observer of the destinies of mankind … Here, therefore, its merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects which it produced in Muhammad’s contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and well-organized body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now ruled the Arabian mind, then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it created a civilized nation out of savage tribes, and shot a fresh woof into the old warp of history.”
Dr. Steingass, quoted in T.P. Hughes’ Dictionary Of Islam, p. 526-528.
Many claims have been made against Muhammad in that day and this. Among them are the claims that he was a lunatic, a liar, or deceived by the devil. If Muhammad was a lunatic or a liar then we have to wonder how all of his prophesies came true?. Further, if he was a deceived by Satan then we are faced with another problem. For we know that all Muslims are taught that when reading the Qur’an they must first begin with the words “I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the accursed one.” and then follow this up with the words “In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful” So we have to wonder if Satan would “inspire” a man to teach mankind to seek refuge in God from Satan? Indeed this is the exact same accusation which was made against Jesus (pbuh). Let us read how Jesus responded to this claim:
“But some of them (the Jews) said, He (Jesus) casteth out devils through Beelzebub (Satan) the chief of the devils. And others, tempting [him], sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house [divided] against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.”
It has been the case throughout the ages that with all previous prophets, their miracle was separate from their book. Although we may claim that we have the “Torah” of Moses, still, it is not possible now to bring Moses’ staff and see it perform miracles as it did in his time. Similarly it is not possible today to see Jesus raise the dead as he did so many centuries ago. However, since the message of Islam was the final message of God to mankind, therefore, the book of Islam itself was made the main miracle of Islam and it has continued to renew it’s challenge to mankind throughout the ages.
What does this mean? Nowadays, the number of people who can appreciate the literary content of the Qur’an has dwindled and this challenge no longer has the same impact it did fourteen hundred years ago. However, as we have seen in the verse quoted at the beginning of this chapter, Allah Almighty has promised to continually renew the challenge of the Qur’an throughout the ages. So how will it be renewed?
Recently, a new field of study has opened up to scholars. People nowadays are fascinated with science. This is the age of technology and scientific discovery. For this reason, mankind has begun to study the religious scriptures of mankind from a scientific point of view in order to challenge the scientific claims made in these scriptures. Many works have been published on this topic. In this chapter I will give a brief taste of these matters and then leave it up to the interested reader to learn more from any one of the many books which have been published in this regard (see list at the end of this book).
As mentioned previously, Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived among tribes of people who were for the most part illiterate. He himself was also illiterate. These people used to live extremely simple lives. Some were traders and businessmen, others were farmers, and yet others were nomadic sheepherders who traveled from place to place depending on where they could find grass for their sheep to graze. When Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought them the Qur’an, the believers found in the Qur’an the command to go out, seek knowledge, and confirm the presence of their Creator by studying His creation. Muslims began to fulfill this command of the Qur’an and this resulted in one of the greatest explosions of scientific advancement mankind has ever seen. All of this was going on during a period that the West calls “The Dark Ages,” wherein the scientists of the West were being persecuted and killed as sorcerers and wizards. During this period, Muslims scholars introduced into the world such things as:
* Mathematical evolution of spherical mirrors
* Rectilinear motion of light and use of lenses
* Refraction angle variations
* Magnifying effects of the plano convex lens
* Introduced the concept of the elliptical shape of cosmological bodies
* Study of the center of gravity as applied to balance
* Measurement of specific weights of bodies
* Rule of algebraic equations
* Solutions to quadratic and cubic equations
* Work on square roots, squares, theory of numbers, solution of the fractional numbers
* Solutions of equations of cubic order
* Wrote on conic geometry elaborating the solution of algebraic equations
* Determined the Trinomial Equation
* Avicenna’s “Canon of Medicine.” He is know as the Prince of Physicians to the West
* Wrote the first description of several drugs and diseases as meningitis.
* Treatment of physiological shocks
* Expertise in psychosomatic medicine and psychology
* Al-Biruni mentions fifty six manuscripts on pharmacology
* Credited for identifying small pox and its treatment
* Use of alcohol as an antiseptic
* Use of mercury as a purgative for the first time
* First to describe the circulation of blood.
* “Abbas” was, after Rhazes, the most outstanding Physician. His works were authoritative till the works of ibn Sina appeared
* Writings on Cosmology, Astrology, Science of numbers and letters
* Proved that the earth is smaller than the sun but larger than the moon.
* Final authorities on Chemistry for many Centuries
* Classified metals into three classifications
* Laid the basis of the Acid Base theory
* Distillation, calcination, crystallization, the discovery of many acids
* Cultivation of Gold – is a continuation of Jabir’s work
* Theory of Oscillatory motion of equinoxes
* Addition of ninth sphere to the eight Ptolemaic astronomy
* Discovered the increase of the suns apogee
* Gravitational force
* Responsible for the discovery motion of the solar apsides
* wrote ‘ On the Science of Stars ‘
* Determination of latitudes and longitudes
* Determination of geodetic measurements
* Described the motion of the planets
* Solved the problems of spherical trigonometry
* First to study the isometric oscillatory motion of a pendulum
* Invented the instrument ‘ Sahifah “
* Responsible for the proof of the motion of the apogee of the sun with respect to the fixed stars.
* authorities on the theory of the system of homocentric spheres
* Prepared a calendar that was more accurate than the Gregorian one in use today.
……………and much, much more.
All of this began with a single illiterate Arab from the desert fourteen hundred years ago. The book that was brought into the world by such a man cries out to be studied from a scientific aspect. We will now give you a glimpse of the results:
“So ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know”
(Al-Anbiyah, The Prophets 21:7)
Example Number 1: Embryology:
Dr. Keith L. Moore is a Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. He is a world renowned scientist and a distinguished researcher in the fields of anatomy and embryology, he has published more than 150 research articles, chapters and books in this field. He is the author of several medical textbooks, such as the widely used and acclaimed “The Developing Human: Clinically oriented Embryology” (now in it’s fifth edition, and translated into eight different languages), “Before We Are Born” and “Clinically Oriented Anatomy.” He has also recently co-authored “Qur’an and Modern Science, Correlation Studies.” Dr. Moore is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including, in 1984, the J.C.B. Grant Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has served in many academic and administrative positions, including the President of the Canadian Association of Anatomists, 1968-1970. Let us see what Dr. Moore’s opinion is on the scientific statements regarding embryology to be found in the Qur’an:
Dr. Moore was contacted by a Muslim by the name of Abdul-Majeed Azzindani. He was asked to participate in a three-year study of around twenty-five verses of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (sayings of Muhammad, peace be upon him) which speak about embryology, and to determine the their correspondence to modern scientific discoveries. Dr. Moore’s conclusion regarding this matter was:
“For the past three years, I have worked with the Embryology Committee of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, helping them to interpret the many statements in the Qur’an and the Sunnah referring to human reproduction and prenatal development. At first I was astonished by the accuracy of the statements that were recorded in the seventh century AD, before the science of embryology was established. Although I was aware of the glorious history of Muslim scientists in the 10th century AD, and of some of their contributions to Medicine, I knew nothing about the religious facts and beliefs contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah. It is important for Islamic and other students to understand the meaning of these Qur’anic statements about human development, based on current scientific knowledge. The interpretations of the “verses” in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, translated by Shaikh Azzindani, are to the best of my knowledge accurate.”
From the forward of “The Developing Human: Clinically oriented Embryology,” third edition, by Dr. Keith L. Moore.
The Qur’an and the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) provide a very detailed description of the microscopic development of the human embryo from a mere sperm drop up to the stage of a completely formed human being. It is well known that microscopes were not developed until the sixteenth century AD, and even at that were very crude in design. Zacharias Janssen is credited with having invented the compound microscope in about 1590. With it, remarkable scientific discoveries were made in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Dutch naturalist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek produced lenses powerful enough to prove that many tiny creatures are not spontaneously generated but come from eggs.
Before this period, theories on human reproduction ran rampant. Some scientist believed that the menstrual blood itself developed into the fetus. Later on, a new theory was developed wherein the sperm drop was popularly believed to contain a completely developed miniature human (homunculus) which later grew to the size of a baby. The science of embryology as we know it today did not discover many of the detailed aspects of human development which are taken for granted today until only about twenty years ago, or 1973 to be precise.
Now we must ask the question: where did Muhammad (peace be upon him) get such detailed knowledge of the microscopic development of the human embryo in the 6th century AD without a microscope, technical training, a laboratory of any kind, or even the ability to write his own name? The only logical conclusion is that it came from exactly where he claimed it did. From the one who created mankind, God Almighty!
Prof. Moore has since given numerous lectures on the topic of embryology in the Qur’an. He is quoted in one of these lectures as saying:
“It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah.”
Prof. Moore was so impressed with the Qur’anic classification of the stages of development of the human embryo, that he suggested the adoption of the Qur’anic system in place of the system currently in use by scientists today. Prof. Moore said:
“Because the staging of the human embryo is complex owing to the continuous process of change during development. It is therefore suggested that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge.”
When Dr. Moore first presented his findings in Toronto it caused quite a stir throughout Canada. It was on the front pages of some of the newspapers across Canada. One newspaper reporter asked Professor Moore,
“Don’t you think that maybe the Arabs might have known about these things – the description of the embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows? Maybe there were not scientists, but maybe they did some crude dissections on their own – carved up people and examined these things.”
Professor Morre immediately pointed out to him, however, that he had missed a very important point. All of the slides of the embryo that Dr. Moore had based his study upon had come from pictures taken through a microscope. He said,
“It does not matter if someone had tried to discover embryology fourteen centuries ago, they could not have seen it!.” Dr. Moore taunted, “Maybe fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did this research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then he somehow taught Muhammad and convinced him to put this information in his book. Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever?. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proof because it is such a ridiculous theory.”
When he was asked “How do you explain this information in the Qur’an?” Dr. Moore’s reply was, “It could only have been divinely revealed.”
Example Number 2: The Universe:
Another example of such scientifically accurate statements in the Qur’an can be found in the following analysis:
“And the firmament (sky) We constructed with power and skill and verily We are expanding it”
(Adh-Dhariyaat, The Winds that Scatter, 51:47)
(Remember: “we” is the Arabic plural of respect, not the Christian plural of “Trinity,” as seen in chapter 14).
“Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were fused then We ripped them asunder, and We created from water every living thing, do they not believe?”
(Al-Anbiyya, The Prophets, 21:30)
“Then He settled/equilibrated unto the firmament (sky) when it was smoke and said unto it and to the earth: come willingly or unwillingly. They said: we come willingly”
(Fussilat, They are Explained in Detail, 41:11)
Allah Almighty has in these three concise verses answered questions that it has taken some of the greatest physicists and astronomers of history centuries to answer. It was only in this century that they finally found the truth.
Mankind has studied the heavens and the earth for countless centuries. The Greeks were some of the first people to attempt to describe various cosmological phenomena. They gave us many of the very first theories regarding the universe and it’s composition. The major contribution came with the writings of Plato. Plato claimed that the universe was created by what he called “The Demiurge.” According to Plato, the universe was the result of reasoning and planning, it was constructed by the Demiurge upon precise mathematical and geometrical principles. Later on, Aristotle, Plato’s student, adopted his teacher’s basic concept. Aristotelian cosmology was based on the concept of an enclosed cosmos comprising a series of concentric, spheres revolving around a stationary Earth. Motion was provided by the “prime mover” and, once initiated, would remain circular, uniform and eternal.
Both Plato and Aristotle taught that the universe was eternal, with neither beginning nor end. The universe as a whole was considered steady and unmoving, and this was the basis for the later formation of the “steady state theory.” In 1915, Albert Einstein had published the famous general theory of relativity. Soon afterward he proposed a static model of the universe, but he would later declare that it was “one of the greatest mistakes of my career.” Why?, Because in 1925, Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the observational evidence for the expansion of the universe, or as Stephen Hawking put it “The universe is not static, as had previously been thought, it was expanding.”
Although mankind did not discover these facts till this 20th Century, still, we find that Allah Almighty had provided the answers for mankind 1400 years ago in the Qur’an through the agency of His illiterate Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). During Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) time, the Greeks were claiming that the cosmos was static and not expanding. So how did he know that the universe was expanding 1300 years before the foremost scientist of the West proved this to be a scientific fact?
However, this is not the only claim that the Qur’an makes with regard to the universe. Let us study the next two verses:
At the present time, the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is the cosmological model most widely accepted by astronomers. It holds that about 20,000,000,000 years ago the universe began with the explosive expansion of a single, extremely condensed state of matter (“the heavens and the earth were fused then we ripped them asunder”). As mentioned above, a further development of this model, known as “inflationary theory,” describes the original condensed matter as arising from virtually empty space. It was only after the development of radio telescopes in 1937 AD that the necessary observational precision was achieved in order for astronomers to arrive at the above conclusion. Out of the observations of such scientists has arisen the so called “Hubble Constant” (Ho) which is quantity currently used to gauge the rate at which the universe is expanding. In other words, the issue is no longer whether the universe is expanding or not, rather, it is only a question of how fast it is expanding.
The second and third verses presented appear to claim that the heavens and the earth were once a single mass then were “ripped asunder,” The exact root words used in the Qur’an are the words “ra-ta-qa” and “fa-ta-qa,” or “the heavens and the earth were ‘ra-ta-qa’ then we ‘fa-ta-qa’ them”
“Ra-ta-qa” is an Arabic word which has the general meaning of “to fuse, to sew, to mend, to patch up, to repair.” (“Lisan Al-Arab,” by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 114, and also “A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic,” Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 325)
Similarly, “fa-ta-qa” has the general meaning of “To rip, to undo sewing, to unstitch, to tear apart, to rend, to rip open.” (“Lisan Al-Arab,” by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 296, and also “A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic,” Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 695)
The verse then goes on to say that Allah Almighty created the heavens and the earth from a celestial “smoke.” Astronomers today have pictures of galaxies being formed by exactly this process, i.e. the condensation of spiraling celestial “mists.” Isn’t it an incredible coincidence that an illiterate man from the desert, without the aid of observatories or satellite imaging was making these claims over 1400 years ago?. Was he just guessing?
Further, the cosmic phenomenon depicted in the following two figures is commonly referred to by astronomists as a cosmic “mist.” However, if we were to read the second verse of the Qur’an presented above we will find that the Qur’an more accurately refers to it as a “smoke.” This is because “mist” implies a cool and tranquil spray of water. However, “smoke” implies a hot gas containing airborne particles. This is indeed another example of the literary miracle of the Qur’an in that it manages to convey to us in a very concise language a very accurate and detailed description of the topic at hand.
“And those who have been given knowledge know that that which has been revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth”
(Saba, Sheba 34:6)
“Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care) or are there locks upon their hearts?”
Example Number 3: Water and Life:
In the Qur’an we read:
“Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together then we split them asunder, and we created from water every living thing, do they not believe?”
(Al-Anbiya, The Prophets, 21:30)
“And Allaah has created every trodding creature from water……”
(An-Noor, The Light 24:45)
“It is He who created from water a human….”
(Al-Furqaan, The Criterion, 25:54)
Water is the most common substance on Earth, covering more than 70% of the planet’s surface. All living things consist mostly of water; for example, the human body is about two-thirds water (when you cremate a human what happens to him? Why?). Scientist tell us that all forms of life known to humanity today require three basic conditions: Temperature, the existence of water, and the existence of an atmosphere.
All metabolisms require water to survive, so animals that exist in arid regions have body mechanisms that protect against water loss and make maximum use of water (camels for example). Dehydration in humans results from lack of food, drink, and from sweating, in addition to other factors. This loss eventually affects the proper functioning of the heart, central nervous system, and organs containing smooth muscle. Finally, intercellular water is lost, which upsets vital chemical processes in the cells. If water is not restored to the body, death will usually occur within a few days.
The blood of all living creatures is composed of 55 percent plasma, which in turn is composed of more than 90 percent water. Jan Baptista van Helmont, the first experimental physiologist, around 1640 AD concluded that water is the only soil component required for plant growth. We could go on and on. Again we find ourselves asking the question: How did Muhammad (pbuh) know that all living creatures are created from water centuries before mankind discovered this fact through scientific experimentation? Did he randomly select an element from the countless billions of possible choices? Why did he not claim that mankind was created from air, or from wood, or from light? Why water?
Example Number 4: Deep sea currents:
In the Qur’an we read:
“Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covers it a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness.”
(An-Noor, The Light 24:40)
Mankind began to build submersibles in the seventeenth century. The first crude craft known to have ventured underwater was built by Cornelis Drebbel, court engineer to James I of England, and was demonstrated on the Thames river in 1620. From then onwards, development of submarines continued until the twentieth century, or 1954 to be exact, when the first nuclear submarine became a reality. With mankind’s study of the sea came the realization that the waters lying underneath the surface waves were not the place of tranquil calmness they were previously envisioned to be. Rather, there were underwater currents called deep sea currents which could at times become such violent storms as to rearrange sediments in the ocean bottom. How did Muhammad (peace be upon him) know about these underwater currents centuries before mankind invented the tools necessary for underwater exploration?
“Say: It was sent down by He who knows the secrets in the heavens and the earth.”
(Al-Furqaan, The Criterion (25):6)
It is worth mentioning here in connection with the above verse that some scientists have interpreted the “layer upon layer of darkness” to be the gradual separation of the light spectrum within the ocean, one color at a time until complete darkness is finally achieved. In other words, at one depth, the yellow bandwidth is suppressed and “yellow darkness” is achieved. At another depth, the red bandwidth is suppressed and “red darkness” is achieved, and so forth.
There are many other scientific statements made in the Qur’an which were only discovered to be scientifically accurate many centuries after Muhammad’s death. Many of them have only been discovered in this century. They range over many fields of science including Anatomy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Hydrology, and many other disciplines which are only beginning to be addressed by scientists today.
For example, the Qur’an makes reference to the fact that a human’s pain receptors are located in the skin (An-Nisaa’, The Women 4:56). That the frontal lobes of the brain are responsible for lying and sin (Al-’Alaq, The Clot 96:16). That mountains have below them roots that extend deep into the earth’s surface (An-Naba, The Great News 78:7). That mountains pin the earth’s crust and prevent it from moving (Al-Nahil(16):15). That there exists a physical barrier between bodies of fresh and salt water (Al-Rahman (55):20). There is also information regarding the formation of milk in cows (Al-Nahl, The Bee 16:66). And on and on. So where was Muhammad (peace be upon him) getting all of these scientific facts if not from the Creator of mankind and the universe? Allah Almighty askes:
“Is this sorcery or is it that you do not see?” (At-Toor, The Mount 52:15)
Prof. Keith Moore is not the only scholar who has been presented with such verses of the Qur’an. Many other scholars from all over the world have been presented with similar statements from the Qur’an in their field of expertise. Only a few of these people are:
1) Dr. E. Marshall Johnson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and the Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA. Author of over 200 publications. Former President of the Teratology Society among other accomplishments. After studying the verses of the Qur’an he came to the following conclusion:
“The Qur’an describes not only the development of external form but emphasizes also the internal stages – the stages inside the embryo of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science… If I was to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I do today and describing things, I could not describe the things that were described… I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammad had to be developing this information from some place… so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved…”
2) Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson. Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor Collage of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He is the President of the American Fertility Society, and has served in many other professional, national, and international organizations. He has received numerous awards including Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology Public Recognition Award in 1992. He has published more than 400 chapters and articles in journals and books. He says:
“… these Hadeeths (sayings of Muhammad) could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of the writer’… It follows that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion (Islam) but in fact religion (Islam) may guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches… There exist statements in the Qur’an shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur’an having been derived from God.”
3) Dr. T.V.N. Persaud. Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is the author and editor of 25 books, has contributed 31 chapters to publications, and has published over 180 scientific papers. In 1991 he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He says:
“Muhammad was a very ordinary man, he couldn’t read, didn’t know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate… we’re talking about 1400 years ago, you have some illiterate person making profound statements that are amazingly accurate, of a scientific nature… I personally can’t see how this could be mere chance, there are too many accuracies and like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which lead him to these statements.”
4) After a study which lasted ten years, the famous French physician Maurice Bucaille addressed the French Academy of Medicine in 1976 and expressed the complete agreement of the Qur’an and established findings of modern science. He presented his study on the existence in the Qur’an of certain statements concerning physiology and reproduction. His reason for doing that was that
“our knowledge of these disciplines is such, that it is impossible to explain how a text produced at the time of the Qur’an could have contained ideas that have only been discovered in modern times.”
5) Dr. Tejatet Tejasen, Head of the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chiang Mai, Thailand. After his study on the Qur’an passages dealing with embryology:
“From my studies and what I have learnt at this conference I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Qur’an 1400 years ago must be true. That can be proved the scientific way.”
6) Dr. Gerald C. Goeringer. Professor and Coordinator of Medical Embryology in the Department of Cell Biology in the Georgetown University school of Medicine. Washington, D.C. He has published numerous articles dealing mainly with the study of teratogenesis.
7) Dr. Alfred Kroner, Professor of Geology, Germany.
8 Dr. Yoshiodi Kozan, Director of the observatory of Tokyo, Japan.
9) Dr. William Hay, Professor of Oceanography, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
10) Dr. Pete Palmer, Professor of Geology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
11) Dr. Sayawida, Professor of Marine Geology, Japan.
12) Dr. Armstrong, Professor of Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
13) Dr. Draga Persaud Rauw, Professor of Marine Geology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
14) Dr. Schroeder, Professor of Oceanography, Germany.
The response of these scholars when presented with verses of the Qur’an in their field of specialization, varied. One thing however was always constant. They all confirmed the accuracy of the scientific statements made in the Qur’an, and they all could not explain how Muhammad (peace be upon him) could have known with such accuracy the scientific claims to be found in the Qur’an so many centuries before mankind discovered them to be scientific truths.
Allaah Almighty tells us in the Qur’an:
“Allaah did not create (all) that except in truth. He details the signs for people of knowledge.”
(Yunus, Jonah 10:5)
“And those who were given knowledge see that which was sent down upon you by your Lord is the truth and guides to the path of the ‘Exalted’ (in Might) the ‘worthy of all praise’.”
(Saba’, Sheba, 34:6)
“Had We sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder for fear of Allaah. Such are the parables We put forth for mankind that they may reflect.”
(Al-Hashr, The Gathering 59:21)
“Verily! this Qur’an guides to that which is most upright, and gives glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness that theirs will be a great reward”
(Al-Israa’, The Journey by Night, 17:9)
“And We have indeed simplified [the comprehension of] this Qur’an for remembrance, so is there any that will remember [and be admonished]?”
(Al-Qamar, The Moon 54:17)