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    The Amazing Qur'an

    The Amazing Qur'an
    By Dr. Gary Miller

    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 labeled amazing by non-Muslims as well. In fact, even people who hate Islam very much have still called it amazing

    Introduction

    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.

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    Merchant Marine

    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'an 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" (Surah Nur, 24:40) 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'an is not tied to certain place and time. Certainly, the scientific ideas expressed in it also do not seem to originate from the desert fourteen centuries ago.

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    The Smallest Thing

    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'an (Surah Saba', 34:3) 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.

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    Honey

    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 (s) 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 (s) 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 (s), 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'an is a divine revelation, and as such, all information in it is of divine origin. Allah revealed the Qur'an from Himself. It is the words of Allah, which existed before creation, and thus nothing can be added, subtracted or altered. In essence, the Qur'an existed and was complete before the creation of Prophet Muhammad (s), 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'an 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!

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    Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Qur'an

    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 encyclopedias and various books claim that the Qur'an 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'an.

    It is common knowledge that Muhammad (s) had a very difficult life. All of his daughters died before him except one, and he had a wife of several years who was very dear and important to him, who not only proceeded him in death but died 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 (s) 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'an 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 life. Indeed, if the Qur'an was a product of his psychological reflections, then these subjects, as well as others, would be prevalent or at least mentioned throughout.

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    Scientific Approach to the Qur'an

    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.

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    Falsification Test

    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 very surprised when I first discovered this challenge. It states (Surah An-Nisa, 4:82):

    "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 and 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.

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    Ask Those Who Have Knowledge

    Another interesting attitude that exists in the Qur'an repeatedly deals with its advice to the reader. The Qur'an informs the 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 of 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.

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    Embryology

    A few years ago, a group of men in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia collected all of 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 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 section about the history of embryology, he included some material that was not in the first edition because of what he found in the Qur'an was ahead of its time and that those who believe in the Qur'an 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'an's description of the human being as a "leech-like clot" ('alaqah) at one stage (Surahs al-Hajj 22:5; al-Mu'minun 23:14; and Ghafir 40:67) - 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.

    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.

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    Skeptic's Reaction

    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 PRAYER 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 they were not scientists, maybe they did some 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 that 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'an 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 (s) 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'an?" Dr. Moore's reply was, "It could only have been divinely revealed!"

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    Geology

    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 speciality. Again people were very surprised at the findings. Since there are a vast number subjects discussed in the Qur'an, 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 previous examples of embryology and geology, the Qur'an has clearly emerged authentic.

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    You Did Not Know This Before!

    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'anic 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.

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    Proof of Authenticity: An Approach

    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 in the other direction, in that the burden of proof 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. And 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 benefitted from immediately or even 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 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 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.

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    Exhausting the Alternatives

    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 yet come up with an explanation that works. In fact, all alternatives have bee exhausted. As has been well established by non-Muslims, these alternatives basically are reduced 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 (s), thought he was a prophet. He was crazy!" They are convinced that Muhammad (s) was fooled somehow. Then on the other hand, there is a group which alleges, "Because of this evidence, one thing we know for sure is that that man, Muhammad (s) was a liar!" Ironically, these two groups never seem to get together without contradicting.

    In fact, many references to Islam usually claim both theories. They start out by stating that Muhammad (s) was crazy and then end by saying 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.

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    The Critic's Trail

    As a matter of fact, a great deal of the Qur'an came in answer to questions. Someone would ask Muhammad (s) 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 br either one or neither one, but he certainly cannot be both! The emphasis is on the fact that they are unquestionably mutually exclusive personality 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 cycle 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 (s) 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 (s) the information and that he used it to fool the people. However, this theory can easily be disproved with one simple question: "If Muhammad (s) 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.

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    A Revelation - Abu Lahab

    Prophet Muhammad (s) 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 (s) speaking to a stranger, he would wait until they parted and the 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 (s) and the Muslims say. However, about ten years before Abu Lahab died, a little chapter in the Qur'an (Surah al-Lahab, 111) was revealed about 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 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 (s) 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 (s) possibly have known for sure that Abu Lahab would fulfil the Qur'anic revelation if he (i.e., Muhammad) was not truly the messenger of Allah? 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 Allah's messenger; for in order to put forth such a risky challenge, one has to be entirely convinced that he has a divine revelation.

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    The Flight

    Another example of the confidence which Muhammad (s) 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 (ra) during their emigration to Madeenah. The two clearly saw people coming to kill them, and Abu Bakr was afraid. Certainly, if Muhammad (s) 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! Allah is with us, and Allah 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 need both theories, both excuses to explain the information in the Qur'an.

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    An Encounter with a Minister

    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 (pbuh) 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 very 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.

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    The Source of the Qur'an

    Another example of people's use of this weak stance can be found in the Makkans' explanation of the source of Muhammad's message. They used to say, "The devils bring Muhammad that Qur'an!" But just as with every suggestion made, the Qur'an gives the answer. One verse (Surah Al-Qalam 68: 51-52) 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 (s) his message. For example, in the 26th chapter Allah (SWT) 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." (Surah ash-Shu'ara 26:210-212)

    And in another place (Surah an-Nahl 16:98) in the Qur'an, Allah (SWT) instructs us:

    "So when you recite the Qur'an seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan, 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 Allah (SWT), Muslims do not have that attitude. Although Satan may have some abilities, they are a long way separated from the abilities of Allah. 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 (Surah an-Nisa 4:82):

    "Do they not consider the Qur'an? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy."

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    Mythomania

    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 (s) 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 (s) suffered from. But the only problem with this proposal is that one suffering from mythomania absolutely cannot deal with any 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 (Surah Yunus 10:57) which states:

    "O 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, "O 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 facts presented to mankind by Allah can easily be explained away with flimsy theories and excuses.

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    New Catholic Encyclopedia

    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? If 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!

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    Testimony of an Intellectual

    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, reputed 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.

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    Burden of Proof on the Critic

    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!"

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    Origin of the Universe and Life

    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 and 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 (Surah al-Anbiya 21:30) 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.

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    More on Falsification Test

    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 Allah'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 Allah, the Knower of the Unseen, knew that Abu Lahab would never change his ways and accept Islam. Thus Allah dictated that he would be condemned to the Hellfire forever. Such a chapter was both an illustration of Allah's divine wisdom and a warning to those who were like Abu Lahab.

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    People of the Book

    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!

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    A Mathematical Approach

    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 ½ x ½ (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 ½ x ½ x ½ ). 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.

    Back to Section Index



    The Female Bee

    In the 16th chapter (Surah an-Nahl 16:68-69) the Qur'an mentions that the female bee leaves its home to gather food. 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 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.

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    The Sun

    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 (Surah al-Anbiya 21:33). 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 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 guesses, the odds of guessing correctly about both subjects - the sex of bees and the movement of the sun - are one in four!

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    Time Zones

    Seeing as back fourteen centuries ago people probably did not understand much about time zones, the Qur'an'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 Allah, 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 Judgement arrives, it will all occur in an instant; and this very instant will catch some people in the daytime and some people at night. This clearly illustrates Allah's divine wisdom and His previous knowledge of the existence of time zones, even though such a discovery was non-existent back 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.

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    Conclusions

    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 Muhammad (s), 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 (Allah) guide everyone close to the truth.

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    Addendum 1

    An engineer at the University of Toronto who was interested in psychology and who had read something on it, conducted research and 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 goes up and down at places, but it reaches the highest point at the variable of two. The 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 (Surah Saba 34:46):

    "Say, 'I exhort you to one thing - that you stand for Allah, [assessing the truth] by twos and singly, and then reflect...'"

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    Addendum 2: 'Iram

    Additionally, the 89th chapter of the Qur'an (Surah al-Fajr 89:7) 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 it 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!

    In conclusion I ask you to consider with care the following (Surah 29:50-51):

    "And they say, 'Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord?' Say, 'Indeed, the signs are with Allah, and I am but a clear warner.' But it 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."
    http://www.thetruereligion.org/amazing.htm


    #2
    The Qur'an and Modern Science

    By Amjad Rafiq. Based upon extracts from the video The Truth
    The Islamic Society University of Essex November 1994

    RELIGION and SCIENCE have always been considered to be twin sisters by Islam and today at a time when science has taken great strides, they still continue to be associated. Furthermore, certain scientific data are used for a better understanding of the Qur’anic text. In a century where, for many, scientific truth has dealt a deathblow to religious belief, it is precisely the discoveries of science that, in an objective examination of the Islamic Revelation, have highlighted the supernatural character of various aspects of the Revelation.

    After a study which lasted ten years, the famous French physician Maurice Bucaille adressed 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".

    Decades later a noted embryologist Keith L. Moore and expert in his field, upon being presented with the statements made in the Qur’an regarding the stages of the formation of the embryo from the mixing of the male and female gametes up to the embryo’s full development remarked "It has been a pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’an about Human Development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God or Allaah because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later." Professor Moore presented his findings to scientists at several conferences. Several Canadian periodicals published many of Moore’s statements and in addition he presented three television programmes in which he highlighted the compatibility of modern science with what has been revealed in the Qur’an 1400 years ago. Consequently, he was asked: "Does this mean that you believe that the Qur’an is the word of God?" to which he replied "I find no difficulty in accepting this."

    In fact Professor Moore was so amazed at the accuracy of the descriptions and the terminology used for the various stages of the development of the embryo that he modified his own textbook on the subject. He incorporated all the relevant Qur’anic passages and authentic statements of the Prophet Muhammad into his book, The Developing Human: Clinically oriented embryology with Islamic additions, which was published by WB Saunders in 1987 and was a standard university textbook in the United States. The book now contains passages of the Qur’an and the Hadeeth (verified statements of the Prophet Muhammad) for every stage of development and Professor Moore has also adopted the classification used in the above two sources.

    Consider also the statement of Tejatet Tejasen (Professor at the Dept. of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mei University, 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". Also the statement of E. Marshal Johnson (Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Anatomy, Daniel Bough Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA) when he became aware of such statements in the Qur’an and investigated them: "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..."

    Upon being presented with hadeeths (verified statements of the Prophet Muhammad) concerning dominant and recessive characteristics Joe Leigh Simpson (Professor of Obstretics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, USA) said: "... these Hadeeths 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".

    Consider also the statement of T.V.N. Persaud (Professor and Head, Dept. of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Manitoba, Canada): "Muhammad was a very ordinary man, he couldn’t read, didn’t know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate... were 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".

    These are just a number of quotes from the "Scientific Community" regarding the nature and the origins of the Qur’an. In fact the Qur’an and Hadeeth do not just talk about embryology but hundreds of other phenomenon including the earth and sun being round, spinning around their own axis and following their own orbits, the origin and formation of the universe, the two types of seas between which is a barrier, the role of mountains in stabilising the earths crust, the formation of milk in cows, the cause of sexual diseases, the location of pain receptors within the body, the expansion of the universe, the precise nature of the water cycle, the change in atmospheric pressure at high altitudes, the gender of the bee which is responsible for producing honey (female), the stars consuming themselves via the combustion of their gases and this being the source of their light and many more.

    Explaining all these statements by chance alone is something which has been resorted to, surprisingly by those deemed to be possessors of intellect and erudition. However this is not tenable as the following demonstration will show. When you make a guess regarding the true nature of something (in an accurate and precise manner that is) there are only two possibilities. Either you are right or wrong. If you make another guess then you only have one chance in four of being correct both times. If you make a third guess then you have one chance in eight of being correct all three times and so on. The chances of correctly describing, lets say, ten phenomena are 1 in 1024. Another point to bear in mind is that the greater the number of things you describe, the chance of being wrong is greater and thus the risk you are taking of being discredited gets bigger and bigger. The Qur’an and the Sunnah (Authentic sayings of the Prophet (sas)) make statements on literally hundreds of phenomenen and at the same time openly calls the scientific community to verify them. If one from the scientific community was to make hundreds of new claims regarding his particular field and was then to call all his fellow specialists to prove him wrong he would know without doubt that he is standing on an undermined sand cliff which is ready to crumble with him. How then for the one who makes statements about the specialities of others?

    One will be surprised to learn that such a scientific approach has been commanded in the Qur’an with the objective of ascertaining its truthfulness.

    Do they not carefully consider (investigate) the Qur’an or are there locks upon their hearts. [Surah 47:24]

    Do they not carefully analyse the Quran. If it had been from other than Allaah then surely they would have
    found many discrepancies therein [Surah 4:82]

    So religious (that is Islamic) beliefs are not based upon blind acceptance as many have generalised to all religions and thus falsely attributed to the Qur’an and Islam. This has been the experience of Europe in the past 3-400 years in which scientific advancement and its findings were seen as heretical, its proponents ridiculed and often exiled and tortured. Islam has never had that experience.

    It is true that peoples academic capabilities differ and thus some will be unable to ascertain the truth of it and therefore may accept it blindly. But again they have the opportunity to ask the people of knowledge, those who are in a position to make such a judgement, like those quoted above. It is from the principles of wisdom and justice that when you don’t know you don’t make a judgement yourself but rather consult one who is in a position to do so. In fact this is something Allaah has also commanded:

    So ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know [Surah 21:7]

    and He has also said

    And those who have been given Knowledge know that that which has been revealed to you from your Lord
    is the Truth [Surah 34:6]

    This is a clear proof of the lack of the dependance upon dogma, superstition and personal experience and an indication of the obligation to research, ascertain and to verify in a scientific manner the credibility of religious (Islamic) belief. Fortunately there are those who have done exactly that like Keith Moore and his scientific colleagues but there are others who have invented lies and slanders in order to discredit the Qur’an and the Prophet. However when these lies and slanders are put to the test scientifically they fail miserably and their irrationality and bias becomes evident. Some of the common claims are that Muhammad was possessed or was an eloquent poet or was a magician or was one who was brainwashed or was a soothsayer. In fact all of these have been denied and rebutted in the Qur’an itself in numerous places and numerous times. It is even more strange that these were the very same claims made by the people who belied the Prophet during his lifetime, and they are the only ones that are resorted to today. What a great advancement!

    Nay! We hurl the Truth against falsehood and it does smash it’s brains and thus it perishes. And woe be to
    you for what you describe (with your tongues) [Surah 21:18]


    Note: All quotes have been taken from a video in which after having been presented with the statements in the Qur’an and Hadeeth and given the chance to investigate, the various scientists were questioned as to their opinion regarding the Qur’an. There response was recorded live. The video is called "The Truth" and is available from the Islamic Society upon request. If you would like to know more or have any queries about this topic then please feel free to contact the Islamic Society on Ext. 2019 or if you prefer you are more than welcome to the Society in the Chaplaincy Centre or drop us a line via the Students Union Pigeon Holes
    http://www.thetruereligion.org/quranscience.htm






    [This message has been edited by Shehzaada (edited October 22, 2001).]

    Comment


      #3
      Prophecies in the Qur'an

      Extracted from Material on the Authenticity of the Qur'an: Proofs that it is a Revelation from Almighty God by Abdur-Raheem Greene

      I myself was influenced by my knowledge of the Bible to accept the Prophethood of Muhammad, and have had two Jewish rabbis admitting to me in Speaker's Corner that Muhammad was the Prophet spoken of in their books. It has long been recognised that a sure sign of the truth of a claim to Prophethood is the ability of that individual to accurately and consistently predict future events. This is especially true of Christians who often demand "what did Muhammad prophecy?". This is because the Bible lays down this as a means to distinguish a true Prophet from a false . Everybody is able to predict the future sometimes, some are able to get it right a lot of the time, but only someone who is receiving information from the One who has complete knowledge of the future can get it right every time. There are many predictions both in the Qur'an and the authenticated sayings of the Prophet Muhammed that have been fulfilled.

      1. The Qur'an says: "Ye shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, secure, heads shaved, hair curt short, and without fear" (48:28). This passage was revealed after the Prophet had been stopped by the Quraish from making 'Umrah (the Minor Pilgrimage) and a treaty was made between the Muslims and pagans at Hudaybia, six years after the Prophet's emigration from Mecca. From this position of weakness, in merely two years the verse was fulfilled, Mecca was captured, and the Muslims performed the pilgrimage, shaving their heads, and some cutting their hair.

      2. The Qur'an says: "Allah has promised to those of you who believe, and do good deeds, that He will surely grant them in the land inheritance of power as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion which He has chosen for them. And that He will change their state after fear to one of security and peace. They will worship Me alone and not associate aught with Me." (24:55) And also: "Say to those who deny faith, soon you will be vanquished." (3:12) and "When comes the help of Allah and Victory, and you see the people enter Allah's religion in multitudes . . ." (110:1-2) The first verse was revealed at a time of the Muslim's weakness, promising the righteous victory, and the second predicting the peoples entering into Islam in crowds, and so it came to pass, after the capture of Mecca, and in the time of the Caliphs Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali, who were from the most pious companions of the Prophet, were established by Allah in the land, defeating the Persian and Roman empires, so that Islam was established from Spain to parts of China in a mere twenty years. This, in part, fulfills another prophecy of the Qur'an: "It is He who has sent the Messenger with guidance, and the religion of truth, to make it triumphant over all religions." (9:32) Christianity, Judaism, paganism have never regained any lasting dominance, physically and intellectually since the coming of Islam. The secular philosophies of communism and capitalism are in the process of being dealt death blows. At the present rate of growth Islam will over take Christianity by 2025 in terms of numbers. See also Qur'an 48:18-21 and 1:13, which promise victory and the taking of booty - which were also fulfilled.

      3. The Qur'an says: "The Roman Empire has been defeated in a land close by; but they, even after this defeat, will gain victory in a few years. Allah's is the command, in the past and in the future. On that day shall the believers rejoice, with the help of Allah, He helps whom He wills. And He is the mighty and the most Merciful. It is the promise of Allah. Allah never departs from His promise: but most men understand not. They crave for the outer things of life, but of the hereafter they are heedless." (30:1-7) The Eastern Roman (i.e. Byzantine) Empire suffered a massive defeat at the hands of the Persians who captured Jerusalem in 614, and after that Egypt and Syria fell, and Constantinople was laid siege to - ("a land close by"). The pagan Arabs delighted in this, as it seemed to signal to them the success of idolatry over the followers of revelation. When this verse was revealed it seemed impossible that Rome would recover. The word, translated "a few", is bid'a, which actually means from three to nine years. Ubayy, a pagan Arab, wagered Abu Bakr one hundred camels that this would never occur. By the year 623, Heraclius, the Byzantine Roman Emperor, took to the field and vanquished the Persians in a series of battles, culminating in the battle of Niveveh in 627. Ubayy had been killed, so his relatives paid the dept. At this same time the Muslims had been victorious over the pagan Quraish and were rejoicing, as the Qur'an foretold.
      http://www.thetruereligion.org/quranprophecy.htm

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        #4
        We Believe in His Books

        Extracted from The Muslim's Belief by Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin.

        Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani

        We believe that Allah revealed books to His messengers as proof against mankind and a guidance for the righteous workers. They purified and taught them wisdom by these books.

        We believe that Allah sent down a book with every messenger, because He says: "Indeed We sent down Our messengers with the clear signs, and We sent down with them the book and the balance, so that people may uphold justice" (57:25).

        Books Known

        Among the books that were revealed, we know:

        1) The Torah, which was revealed to Moses, peace be upon him. It is the greatest among the Israelites' books: "Surely, We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; by its laws the Jews have been judged by the prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah, the rabbis and the doctors of law, because they were entrusted the protection of Allah's book and were witnesses thereto" (5:44).

        2) The Gospel, which Allah revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. It is a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it: "And we gave him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition to the God-fearing" (5:46); "And to make lawful to you certain things that, before, were forbidden to you" (3:50).

        3) The Psalms, which Allah gave to David, peace be upon him.

        4) The Tablets of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them.

        5) The Glorious Qur'an, which was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. It is "a guidance to the people and clear signs of guidance and the criterion between right and wrong" (2:185).

        The Qur'an Is Protected from Change

        The Qur'an is "confirming the scripture that was before it and stands as a guardian over it." (5:48). Thus, by means of the Qur'an, Allah abrogated all the previous revealed books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection from any play or mischievous distortion: "Indeed, We sent down the message and We will guard it" (15:9), for the Qur'an is a proof against mankind till the Day of Judgment.

        Previous Scriptures Changed

        The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period. Their use ended with the revelation of the Qur'an, which abrogated them and exposed their distortions and changes. That is why they were not protected from corruption. They underwent distortion, addition, and omission:

        "Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings" (4:46);

        "So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, and then say: 'This is from Allah,' that they may sell it for a little price. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings" (2:79);

        "Say, who sent down the Book that Moses brought as a light and a guidance to people? You put it into sheets of paper showing some of them and concealing much" (6:91);

        "And there is a group among them who twist their tongues with the Book, that you may think it is a part of the Book but it is not part of the Book. And they say 'It is from Allah,' yet it is not from Allah, and they tell a lie against Allah and they know it. It is not for any human being to whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophet hood to say to men 'Worship me instead of Allah" (3:78-79);

        "People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book and forgiving you of much. A light has come to you from Allah and a glorious Book, with which He will guide whoever follows His pleasure in the way of peace, and brings them forth from darkness into the light by His will" (5:15-16).

        Virtues of Belief in the Books

        1) Appreciating Allah's mercy and care for His people in that He sent down a book to every nation for its guidance.

        2) Appreciating Allah's wisdom, for He revealed in these books to every nation that which suits them. The glorious Qur'an is the final book and it is suitable to all people at all times until the Day of Judgment.

        3) Showing gratitude for Allah's mercy in revealing these books.
        http://www.thetruereligion.org/books.htm








        [This message has been edited by Shehzaada (edited October 22, 2001).]

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