ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE IN ITS
Among all the extant religious literature of the world, the Holy Qur'an is absolutely unique. Its recording and preservation are miraculous! Because it stands out distinctly from the ordinary human pattern of narration; the short-sighted and the inimical say that it is incoherent or incongruous. The pattern definitely is different. It is unique. It is miraculous. Let me substantiate what I assert.
Every other religious book is set on the pattern of, "Once upon a time..." or "The fox and the grapes...the wolf and lamb," etc, etc. i.e.
a.IN THE BEGINNING(Once Upon a Time)God created the heaven  and the earth ...(Emphasis added)
Genesis  1:1 (HOLY BIBLE)
b.IN THE BEGINNING(Once Upon a Time)was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God  ...(Emphasis added)
John 1:1 (HOLY BIBLE)
c.THIS IS THE GENEALOGY(The Origin, The Beginning)of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham...(Emphasis added)
Matthew 1:1 (HOLY BIBLE)
- NOW AFTER THE DEATH OF MOSES THE SERVANT OF THE LORD IT CAME TO PASS(So It Happened, Once Upon a Time), that the Lord spoke unto Joshua...(Emphasis added)
Joshua 1:1(HOLY BIBLE)
3.NOW AFTER THE DEATH OF JOSHUA IT CAME TO PASS(So It Happened, Once Upon a Time), that the children of Israel asked the Lord...(Emphasis added)
Judges 1:1  (HOLY BIBLE)
4.NOW IT CAME TO PASS(So It Happened, Once Upon a Time)in the days when the judges ruled, that there was famine in the land ...(Emphasis added)
Ruth 1:1  (HOLY BIBLE)
5.NOW THERE WAS A CERTAIN MAN(Once Upon a Time)of Ramathaimzophim, of the mount Ephraim
1 Samuel 1:1  (HOLY BIBLE)
6.NOW IT CAME TO PASS(So It Happened, Once Upon a Time)after the death of Saul ...(Emphasis added)
2 Samuel 1:1 (HOLY BIBLE)
7.NOW(Once Upon a Time)King David was old (Gone Cold) and stricken in years, and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
1 King 1:1  (HOLY BIBLE)
8.NOW(Once Upon a Time)in the first year of Cyrus King of Persia ...
Book of Ezra 1:1  (HOLY BIBLE)
9.NOW IT CAME TO PASS(So It Happened, Once Upon a Time)in the days of Ahasuerus ...(Emphasis added)
Book of Esther 1:1 (HOLY BIBLE)
10.NOW IT CAME TO PASS(So It Happened, Once Upon a Time)in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month ...(Emphasis added)
Ezekiel 1:1 (HOLY BIBLE)
If these examples do not confuse and bewilder you, then nothing else will! You are inevitably struck with the "once upon a time" syndrome. You have cultivated a predilection for man made stories, even if they be true. The style, the pattern, the narration is what I am speaking about. This is how humans think, talk and write. No blame on them for humans will be humans!
All the above references are from the authorised King James Version (KJV) which is the most popular version among the Christians of the world. You must have noted that every verse in the above quotations is 1:1, 1:1; meaning the first chapter and the first verse of every book of the Bible. Which start with "NOW, NOW, now!". Try it out, see for yourself how many more such beginnings you can find in the "Book of Books," I must, however warn you that your Bible Concordances will not help you. You will have to page through the Bible the same way as I did.
CONCORDANCES WON'T HELP
I consulted two Bible Concordances. The one was published by the Jehova's Witnesses - The fastest growing Christian sect in Christiandom. The second is "Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible."Both these concordances boast over 300 000 entries each. The latter has no less than 277 now's listed, but there is not a single "NOW" (once upon a time) of the examples given above. You can guess the reason! 
I do not want to tax your patience any further. I realise that you will want to proceed. "Alright now, please tell us your story about your Qur'anic revelation!":
"It was the night of the 27th of the month of Ramadaan that Muhummed (pbuh) the prophet of Islam, was in the cave of Hira, in the outskirts of the City of Makkah . He used to retire to Mount Hira for peace, quite and contemplation. He used to worry about the problems of his people - their drunkenness, adulteries, idolatries, wars, their rank injustices and cruelties. So much so that Gibbon, the master historian, was constrained to record in his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:"
"THE HUMAN BRUTE (THE ARAB), ALMOST WITHOUT SENSE, IS POORLY DISTINGUISHED FROM THE REST OF THE ANIMAL CREATION."
The recluse of Hira was yearning for a solution. He was wont to retire to his retreat often alone, but sometimes with his dear wife Umm-ul-Mo'mineen (Mother of the Faithful) Khadija-tul-Kubra.
THE FIRST CALL
One night - the night of Lailatul-Qadr - (the Night of Power and Excellence) when Divine peace rests on creation, and all nature is lifted up towards its Lord - in the middle of that night the book of God was opened to the thirsting soul. Gabriel, the angel of God, appears to him, and commands him in his mother tongue. Iqra', which mean "read!" or "recite" or "rehearse!" or "proclaim" aloud! Muhummed (pbuh) was too terrified and was totally unprepared for this shock. This was no graduating or gowning ceremony. In fear and trepidation he cries out Maa-ana-beqaa- Ri'in "I am not learned!" The angel repeats the command Iqra' for the second time, with the identical response from Muhummed (pbuh). Gabriel embraces him hard and commands him the third time:
Muhummed (pbuh) now grasps that what he was required to do, was repeat what was being said, since this Arabic word Iqra' means all these things - read, recite or repeat! Following the above first verse of Súra Al-'Alaq (Chapter 96 of the Holy Qur'an), four more verses were repeated and recited on Muhummed's (pbuh) first call and subsequently recorded in written form in the Holy Qur'an...(see page 35)
"Hold it, Mr. Deedat!" I can almost hear you shriek. All this that you are telling us about your 'Qur'anic revelation' is no different from the other numerous examples you have
to prove to have had a human hand in it. Were they all fallible and not divine?"
Exactly! I am happy that you see clearly how the subjective mind of man thinks, talks, and records. From the time you asked me (above page 33) "please tell us your STORY about your Qur'anic revelation," and I began to respond - "It was the night of the 27th of the month of Ramadaan... " up to - "and subsequently recorded in written form in the Holy Qur'an" were my own words, borrowed from the Holy Qur'an, from the Books of Tradition, from history and from the lips of learned men, I heard over the decades. The Qur'anic Scripture has no such taint from the hands of men. This is how it is preserved. I list below the first five verses of the first revelation to Muhummed (pbuh), for your critical observation and study -
A UNIQUE RECORD
Every Qur'anic text, in Arabic or in a translated form in any language will follow this pattern. There are no ifs and buts. You will NOT find in the text or translation that Muhummed (pbuh) "WAS FORTY YEARS OLD WHEN HE RECEIVED HIS FIRST CALL." You will NOT find that "HE WAS IN THE CAVE OF MOUNT HIRA." You will NOT find that "HE SAW THE ANGEL GABRIEL." Or that "HE WAS TERRIFIED," or how he reacted and responded to the command "Iqra'!" That when the angel departed after having completed the first five verses, "MUHUMMED RAN HOME SOME THREE MILES SOUTH TO MAKKAH TO HIS DEAR WIFE KHADIJA AND RELATED WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND REQUESTED HER TO COVER HIM UP, COVER HIM UP!" All this is what I call a "Once upon a time!" style. The Holy Qur'an narrates nothing of this, it is absolutely unique in its narration and its preservation. In short it is Miraculous!
Further, unlike any human endeavour of literary art, where every thing begins with the beginning: the first word and the first verse of the Qur'anic inspiration is not the first chapter and the first verse of the Holy Qur'an - IT OCCUPIES THE NINETY-SIXTH CHAPTER OF THE HOLY QUR'AN, as the divine Author (GOD ALMIGHTY) had instructed His Chosen Messenger Muhummed (pbuh). No religious Book on earth is like it or follows this pattern, because no alleged Revelation was preserved in its pristine purity when it was revealed!
A CANADIAN PSYCHOLOGIST
I had the privilege of sharing my thoughts on the first call
of Muhummed (pbuh), as contained in the first five verses of Súra Al-'Alaq (chapter 96) as seen on page 35, a young man from Canada . I was taking him on a guided tour of the largest Mosque in the southern hemisphere. Whilst chatting, I enquired as to his occupation. He said that he was doing a post-graduate course, majoring in psychology. "Psychology?" I said, and immediately drew his attention to the first five verses of the chapter under discussion. I asked him as to how he would account for the Message and experience of Muhummed (pbuh), speaking about "Reading , Writing and learning things unknown before," things which were not his immediate problem nor the problem of his people. How could the subjective mind of man, as if out of the blue  rehearse these words. I said, "Account for it!" He said that he could not. He confessed that he had already grappled with that problem. I said, "In that case we would have to accept the man at his word." And I quoted the first verses from Súra Najm:
And Muhummed (pbuh) is repeatedly made to tell the people:
The young Canadian politely responded, "I will have to give this matter serious thought."
If only we would familiarize ourselves with the facts from the Holy Qur'an, we would be able to open a conversation with the specialists in any science.
MIRACLE OF JOURNALISM
Being a beehive of activity, the IPCI Centre attracts a lot of people for dialogue and discussions, including the journalist and the newspaperman. As soon as I discover that my interviewer's field of activity is journalism, I tell him that I would like to show him the Holy Qur'an as a "Miracle of Journalism!" No one refuses to hear. I begin with the story of the Holy prophet Moses (pbuh), in the style and pattern of "Once upon a time." It can't be helped. Yet we cannot afford the luxury of the details of "Moses and the Bulrushes," or even the details of "his childhood, mother, and his sister," (Holy Qur'an 20:38-40 and 28:7-13). We have to skip the details. I begin with -
HIS MISHAP IN THE CITY
Moses (pbuh) came upon two men fighting, a man belonging to his own tribe and the other an enemy of his people. He went to help the Jew against the Egyptian and in the altercation slapped the tyrant too hard so that he died.
Moses (pbuh) then fled the country into the Sinai Desert and found himself among the Midianites. Here he helped two damsels in distress and was offered a job by their father Jethro. After having completed his indenture for a period of over eight years, Moses (pbuh) was beginning to get bored with his rustic existence. For a man who had grown up with royalty in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, he was getting restless. He wanted a change and asked for permission to become independent from his in-laws. Jethro was a very reasonable, and a practical man. He grants Moses (pbuh) leave.
MOSES PIONEERS A TREK
Moses (pbuh) left with his wife and children, together with his share of the sheep and the goats which he used to herd
for his father-in-law.
After some time he found himself with his family in the Sinai. He had lost direction from the last habitation with whom he had rested. He had run out of stocks of the braised meat that he was carrying. There was still enough Matzos the dried unleavened bread of the Jews. The problem was the meat. He had to slaughter a sheep or a goat. That would be easy. The difficulty was to start a fire which was a laborious task. It could take as long as half a day of rubbing two dissimilar materials. Obviously there were no matches or lighters in those days. He was procrastinating. Putting things off for today, or tomorrow and his meat problem would be solved, he thought ... "Where is the promised miracle!" Mr. Deedat?
So far I have given only the background to the story. The miracle is to condense all the above and more in just four terse verses - four short sentences in the most beautiful prose. But to appreciate the feat, I must draw your attention to what I would like you to notice in what is to me, the acme of journalism.
I live some thirty kilometres north of the City of Durban , where I have my offices. Prior to the construction of the N2 (Freeway) linking the City of Durban, I usually took the beach (seaside) road to Durban . This route took me pass the amphitheatre on the Durban beachfront. At the intersection of the amphitheatre I regularly observed a news vendor offering the morning paper - "The Natal Mercury," for sale. He had a placard daily with Head line to attract buyers. Again and again on reading the placard, I made up my mind not to buy the newspaper that day, but on parking my car in Central Durban on passing other
news vendors, I nevertheless bought the paper.
After numerous such changes of decision, I began to question myself as to the reasons for my change of mind. I discovered that though the same newspaper was being offered for sale the placards were different. On the beachfront the placards were made appealing to European clientele whereas the placards in the area I passed were directed to the Asian community. By extension the placard for the African and the Coloured areas would be slanted to induce them to buy the same paper.
So the master journalist would be the one who could invent a single placard that would appeal to the four major race groups  each day.
That would be the masterpiece of journalism! Journalists no doubt all agree with this reasoning. Let us then analyse the Holy Qur'an on this basis.
Muhummed (pbuh), the prophet of Islam is in Madeenah and is surrounded by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mushriks  and Munaafiqs  in the City. The Holy Prophet is to broadcast his news (Divine Revelation) to all these various people. What must he write on his placard to attract the attention of each of these varied groups? He is made to proclaim:
Can you imagine the excitement? The Christians and the Jews would be waiting to hear further, wanting Muhummed (pbuh) to make a fool of himself, for they reason within themselves what could this Arab know about Moses (pbuh) since he is an ummi (unlettered). The Muslims are thirsty for knowledge, they would be yearning - please tell us everything you can about Moses (pbuh).
The Mushriks (The polytheists) and the Munaafiqs (the hypocrites) were lolling their tongues to enjoy the three-sided debate on Moses (pbuh): between the Muslims, the Christians and the Jews. Everybody is "all-ears" (acutely attentive)! Muhummed (pbuh)  continues
Dramatisation! You can almost visualize the scene. Muhummed (pbuh) is talking telegraphically. It took about two thousand years after the birth of Jesus Christ (pbuh) for the largest Christian and Jewish nations on earth (the mighty United States )  to reach the height of perfection in the advertising field to formulate the slogan, in the words of the Western Union Telegraph Company, "Don't Write - Telegraph!" Which school of journalism did Muhummed (pbuh) attend to master this super American sizzlemanship?  He is made to carry on:
Please compare the above with any other English translation of the Holy Qur'an by friend or foe, and you will find the same brevity and economy of words. Muhummed (pbuh) was not doing any exercise in précis writing. He was only articulating God's Words as they were whispered into his heart and mind through the medium of the Archangel Gabriel. We must remember that there was no Arabic Bible, in the sixth century of the Christian era, when the Holy Prophet dictated the Qur'an.
Now do yourself a favour. Please contrast this Qur'anic Revelation with the Biblical story as contained in the second Book of the Holy Bible, the Book of Exodus, chapters 1, 2 and 3 which discusses this very aspect of the life of the Holy Prophet Moses (pbuh) we are dealing with here. I quote the beginning of the story from the Bible-
NOW  these are the names of the children of Israel , which came into Egypt ; every man and his household came with Jacob.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Is-sa-char, Ze-bu-lun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naph-tali, Gad, and Asher,
And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already,
Exodus 1:1-5 (HOLY BIBLE)
Simply warming up! Is this how God speaks? Please compare these five verses from the Bible with the four verses from the Holy Qur'an reproduced below.
To continue with the Qur'anic narrative, Moses (pbuh) was hungry for two things whilst wondering in the Sinai with his flock and family. He wanted 'fire' to cook his meat, and 'direction' to some hospitable community in the desert. Allah was unfolding his plan. Moses (pbuh) was being 'SET-UP' for his mission from the illusion of burning coal to the reality of the spiritual fire burning in the souls of mankind for thousands of years and a true direction for the guidance of humanity.
The 'fire' that Moses (pbuh) saw, was no ordinary fire. To him it meant an easy kindling of his own fire, the fire also indicated the presence of other human beings from whom he could get information: and guidance.
The spiritual history of Moses (pbuh) begins here and this was his spiritual birth. In Biblical terminology - 'This day have I begotten thee!' This is how God spoke to David (pbuh) about his appointment, in the Book of Psalms 2:7.
The whole Qur'anic passage above is full of the highest mystic meaning, which is reflected in the short rhymed verses in the original. Both the rhythm and the meaning in the text suggest the highest mystery. For easier comparison I reproduce the four verses together -
Has the story of Moses
Behold, he saw a fire:
so he said to his family,
"tarry ye; I perceive a fire,
perhaps I can bring you some
burning brand therefrom,
or find some guidance at the fire."
But when he came to the fire,
a voice was heard: "0 Moses!
Verily I am thy Lord!
therefore (in my presence)
put off thy shoes: for thou art
in the sacred valley of Tuwa.
HOLY QUR'AN 20:9-12
Tuwa was the valley just below Mount Sinai, where subsequently Moses (pbuh) was to receive the Law. In the parallel mystic meaning, we are selected by trials in this humble life, whose valley is just as sacred and receive God's glory just as much as the heights of the Mount (Tur) Sinai, if we but have the insight to perceive it. And the 'shoes' were to be put off as a mark of respect. In the parallel mystic meaning again, Moses (pbuh) was now to put away his mere worldly interests, and anything of mere worldly utility, he having been chosen by the Most High God.
WHAT IS YOUR VERDICT?
How is one, inured to folklore and fairy tales to evaluate this pure elixir from Heaven? Even a sympathetic critic like Thomas Carlyle, one of the greatest thinkers of the past century could not fathom its incisive brevity and perspicuousness. He called the Qur'anic reading -
"A WEARISOME CONFUSED JUMBLE CRUDE, INCONDITE; - INSUPPORTABLE STUPIDITY ..."
Incondite, meaning a badly constructed literary or artistic composition: and 'unsupportable stupidity'? After contrasting the Qur'anic and the Biblical narrations, how would your verdict go? I have yet to come across a journalist who failed to recognise the brilliance of Muhummed (?) (peace be upon him), in dictating direct facts, without any attempt on his part at analysing or interpreting it: exactly as a master journalist would do for today's newspaper or magazine. It is nothing short of the miraculous! Do you agree?
 The first verse of the Bible speaks about "the heaven and the earth " in the singular. In the holy Qur'an the word earth is always singular whereas the word heavens is in the plural. Some thing to ponder upon!
 The word "Genesis" itself means the beginning, this is, after all how every human tale ought to start. It should begin with the "beginning!"
 In the original Greek manuscripts of the new Testament there is no such thing as a capital letter and a small letter. The Christian theologians have contrived capitals according to their religious predjudices into their translations of the Bible ie. God and god.
 The editors of the RSV (the Revised Standard Version) of the Bible; supported by 32 scholars of the highest emminence; backed by 52 co-operating denominations, concluded their verdict regarding its authorship - NOT God but "Possibly Samuel".
 Their verdict again -"Not definitely known, perhaps Samuel"! Most definitely NOT God!
 Amazingly, the inspired editors of the RSV say about the authorship of the Book of Judges - "Possibly Samuel," and for the Book of Ruth - "Perhaps Samuel," but when they come to the Book of Samuel (?) himself they declare - Author - "Unknown"!
 The same (editors' verdict) - Author - "Unknown"!
 Again they unashamedly confess - Author - "Probably written or edited by Ezra"! Note their guarded semantics - "Possibly, perhaps, probably, etc." Get my book "Is the Bible God's Word?" from the IPCI for a fuller insight.
 Because they represent childish redundancies ("ONCE UPON A TIME"), which ill-befits the word of God even according to their own standards.
 Blue: as from nowhere!
 "By the Star:" an oath, an adjuration.
 Meaning Muhummed (pbuh) the Messenger of God.
 Inspiration: Our concept of the revelation to Muhummed (pbuh) is a verbal inspiration. The words of the Holy Qur'an were so to say "put into his mouth" (Deut. 18:18). Get your FREE copy of "What the BIBLE says about MUHUMMED (pbuh)" from the IPCI
 This is referred to by the Commentators to the archangel Gabriel through whom the revelation came.
 Under the "Apartheid" system, the four groups live in separate areas.
 "Mushriks": the pagans, the idolators of Makkah.
 "Munaafiqs": the hypocrites, running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.
 I urge my Muslim brethren to memorise the Qur'anic text with its meaning.
 Actually, these are not the words of Muhummed (pbuh) but the veritable Words of God as dictated to the Prophet. We say, "Muhummed continues" because this is what the unbeliever is thinking. Then let him give full credit to God's human mouth piece.
 The mightiest Christian nation on earth is the USA because it boasts a Christian population of over 200 million. The USA is also the largest Jewish nation because there are more Jews in America than in Israel or in any other country.
 Sizzlemanship: The art of American high-pressure salesmanship
 "NOW!" Here we start again - the "Once upon a time" story! Give another glance to all the other examples on the preceding pages 30 to 32.