The Holy Quran
(I) Is the Quran a Divine Revelation or Contrived by man?
1- The Quran is the Divine book of Islam which contains the tenets and religious laws upon which the Faith of Islam is founded and is also the source of its morals and ethics. If the Quran is proved to be a Divine Revelation, which is free from all falsehood, there is no alternative but to believe in it. Accordingly the powers hostile to Islam since the past and up to the present day have done their utmost to shake the belief the authenticity and Divine Origin of the Quran in the past, the pagans of Mecca did every thing in their power to challenge the belief that the Quran was a Divine Revelation and they claimed:
“Naught is this but a lie which he has forged and others have helped him at it’’ (25/4).
They also described the Quran as being:" Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening’’. (25,5) and that Muhammad was taught by a man:
“It is a man that taught by man: it is a man that teaches him ’’ (16,103),
They even alleged that the Quran was the work of a magician or a priest, in order to deny that is was a Divine Revelation inspired to Muhammad, blessings and peace upon him, to guide mankind.
A number of orientalists who were biased against Islam supported the Pagans’ false accusations and made desperate attempts to convince the world that the Quran was not a divine revelation but had been contrived by Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him. These Orientalists repeated the pagans’ allegations despite the Querns authentic and conclusive proofs to the contrary.
Since Muhammad was illiterate he charged some of his companions to commit to writing the Divine Inspiration that was revealed to him. Had he been able to read and write, he would not have needed anybody to write down the verses that had been revealed to him. The allegation that he relied upon the Jewish and Christian scriptures in the Quran is not only false but is also ridiculous, for how could an illiterate person read, understand and convey any beliefs existing in the Holy Books of other religions? How and when could that have happened? Such false allegations are not based upon any facts or proof.
2- Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him, preached his message in Mecca for about thirteen years, during that time there was no relationship between him and the Jews, and this fact is historically authenticated. His relationship with Christians has also been magnified beyond proportion. It has been related that when Muhammad was about eleven years old, he travelled with his uncle Abdul Muttalib by caravan to Syria. During the short time that the caravan rested, Muhammad met Bahiri, a Christian monk, and talked to him a few minutes. How could a boy of that age possibly comprehend the principles, rules, precepts and fundamentals of a religion in the few minutes that Bahiri had talked to him? Also why did Bahiri the monk choose Muhammad out of all the people in the caravan to teach him the principles of the Religion of Christianity? In addition to all this, why did Muhammad wait thirty years after his meeting with Bahiri before proclaiming his new faith? Such a story is not credible by any means.
This matter led the Orientalist Huart to reject this story as being fabricated. He affirmed that not one of the Arabic documents and manuscripts that have been covered, studied and published support this false allegation.He added: "The role allegedly played by the Syrian Monk was nothing but the imagination of the author of the story” 1 .
3- The Quran in common with the divine religions previously revealed declared there was one God, the Creator of the Universe and that all creatures are destined to return to Him. God Alone is Source of all divine religions so there should be no conflict in the fundamental precepts. The Quran, however, opposed many other prevalent beliefs among the followers of both Judaism and Christianity. This itself is sufficient proof to the allegation that Muhammad referred to the Jewish and Christian sources of faith. Had that been the case; the difference in these beliefs would have been insignificant and would not have involved fundamental beliefs.
4- No other scripture or Holy Book other than the Quran included scientific facts and cosmic and biological phenomena in its verses more than fourteen centuries ago, all of which were discovered only in the fifties of this century 2 (The twentieth century) following the advanced progress in all branches of science. Examples of this include the successive stages of the embryo and the fetus in the womb, (23,14 and 7,172) the sun, the moon, the planets, the wind, rain, etc (56,75 and 51,47).
When astronomers failed to a scientific explanation for a phenomenon they admitted that it was the result of “The Divine Hand” where could the illiterate prophet Muhammad have possibly acquired such highly advanced scientific information? It cannot be claimed that his sources in these matters were Jewish or Christian Scriptures, which make no reference to any such matters. The only source of the inspired verses of the Quran was undoubtedly and exclusively God Almighty, the Creator Universe and could not possibly been any human source.
(II) Was the Quran contrived from previous scriptures?
1- Had the Quran been contrived from previously revealed scriptures, Muhammad's adversaries would not have ignored the matter and remained silent. They would undoubtedly have seized the opportunity to accuse him to that effect. All their allegations were unfounded and lacked proof. The Quran itself has already mentioned these allegations and their refutation, as we have written already in the above first chapter.
2- The Quran includes many laws, instructions and commands which did not exist in the previous scriptures. Furthermore the Quran contains narratives with detailed accounts of previous generations in addition to prophecies which were fulfilled. An example of this was the final outcome of the conflict between the Romans and Persians, the events of which were unknown to Muhammad, his people and the followers of Judaism and Christianity.
3- The Quran urged people to acquire knowledge and to respect the human mind and intellect. Accordingly, based on Islam's new teachings and rulings, the Muslims were able, in a very short time, to establish a civilization which replaced the proceeding civilization and flourished for many centuries. Had the Quran been compiled from the previous divine religions why then did these religions not include the aforementioned precept and teachings and did not play the same role as Islam?
4- The Quran is a Book the style of which is consistent and eloquent. Had it been compiled from other scriptures it would have been incoherent, contradictory and inconsistent due to the alleged various sources. Moreover, the Quran, always addresses one’s sense and reasoning and does not include fables and myths. It relies upon evidence and facts and demands the same of its adversaries:" Produce your proof if you are truthful".[2/11 and27/64]This approach is considered a completely new approach and does not exist in any previous scripture.
5- It is evident that Islam completely rejected evil beliefs of Paganism, its way of life and brutal traditions and replaced them with true faith and a life of virtue. Where then is true Pagan culture that Islam has been falsely accused of adopting from Pre- Islamic Paganism?
(III) Is it true that the Quran did not introduce any new precepts and rulings?
In addition to the previous authentic refutation of the second accusation regarding theQuran, one may add:
1- The Quran related facts totally unknown to the people of the Books. For example it narrated the story of Zakariya and the birth of the Virgin Mary and his guardianship of her. The Quran also devoted whole chapter to the Virgin Mary, which is unparalleled in the New Testament. Where could the Prophet Muhammad possibly have acquired these facts?
2- It is related in Exodus that it was Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted Moses as a baby, whereas the Quran states that Pharaoh’s wife found him and adopted him. We also read Exodus that
“Aaron fashioned the gold and moulded the calf …”
that was worshipped by the Jews, where as the Quran states that Samiri was the culprit and that Aaron was innocent,[1/50]
3-If the Quran had been derived from the Holy Scriptures of the Jews and Christians, why did Islam reject the principle of the Trinity which is a fundamental belief in Christianity? Why did Islam also reject the belief in the crucifixion of Christ, redemption, inherited sin and the divinity of Christ? 3
4- The Quran presents the prophets of God as ideals of morality and virtue, whereas the Old Testament states that some of them committed sins and this is incompatible with the veneration accorded to them by Islam.
5- Religious observances commanded in the Quran such as praying, fasting, alms giving and the pilgrimage to Mecca in addition to the instructions and teachings stated as to the manner of how each observance is to be performed are matters that are unparalleled and are not mentioned in any other religion. The five daily prayers are performed in a certain manner at appointed times with the recital of certain specific verses of the Quran. Fasting entails total abstinence from food drink and physical desire from dawn till sunset. Alms vary in quantity and the way that they are donated. The Pilgrimage entails circling around the Kaba, being assembled in great gathering at Mount Arafat, going to and forth seven times between Al Safaa and Al Marwa, and pelting Satan with stones. These are all religious observances, which are specifically related to Islam. Which religion could possibly have been the source of these religious observances?
(IV) Did the collection of Quran throw any doubt upon the authenticity of its text?
1- The prophet chose scribes form among his companions, who wrote down everything that had been inspired to him by Divine Revelation immediately after its revelation. They wrote on whatever was available such as parchment, wood, pieces of leather, stones or flat bones. According to authentic sources there were twenty nine scribes, the most renowned among whom were the four Orthodox Caliphs,Abu Bakr,Omar, Othman and ‘Ali in addition to Muawiya,Al Zubeir Ben Alawwam, Sa’eed ben Al’Aas,Amr ben Al Aas, Ubay ben Ka’b and Zaid ben Thabit.
2- In addition to the scribes who wrote down the inspired Revelation of the verses of the Quran there were others who learnt what was revealed by heart. This fine tradition has continued throughout the centuries and exists up to this very day. There were hundreds of Muslims who learnt the Quran by heart and specialized in reciting it during the prophet’s life time. The prophet declared that he always revised the recital of the Quran once a year during the month of Ramadan in the presence of the Angel Gabriel, and he revised its recital twice during the last Ramadan of his life. The Quran was arranged in its final from according to the prophet’s instructions and every single verse was placed exactly as he had commanded.
3- One years after the prophet’s death, seventy of the learned men who had learnt the Quran by heart were slain in the Battle of Al Yamama against Musaylima the liar, Omar ben Al khattab advised the Caliph Abu Bakr to charge Zeid ben Thabit one of the scribes, with collecting the various documents upon which the Quran was written and to have them written in a complete copy that would be easy to refer to. Following this a rule was enforced by which manuscripts were considered authentic and accepted or rejected as not being authentic.The authentic manuscripts were those that had been dictated by the prophet Muhammad as witnessed by two persons. Naturally the Companions of the prophet who had learnt the Quran by heart played an important role in this matter when Zeid ben Thabit completed his mission of recording in writing the whole Quran, he presented it to Abu Bakr who presented it before his death to ‘Omar ben Al Khattab who gave it to his daughter Hafsa before his death.
4- During the Caliphate of “Othman ben ‘Affan, a committee of four scribes including Zeid ben Thabit was formed. These scribes wrote five copies of the original manuscript preserved by Hafsa, mother of the Faithful. One copy was sent to Mecca, another copy to Al Madina and the third copy was sent to Al Basra. The fourth and fifth copies were sent to Kufa and to Damascus. These four diligent and precise scribes had copied the original authentic manuscript and had also checked it with what the learned men, who had lived during the Prophet’s life time had committed to memory. This is the Mushaf, namely the Holy Book of the Quran, which has been in circulation in the Muslim world ever since.
No one has ever disputed the authenticity of the Quran since it was first recorded in writing more than fourteen centuries ago up to this very day. This point has been confirmed by a number of orientalists among whom are Loblois, Muir and the contemporary German Orientalist Rudi Paret who stated in the introduction of his translation of the Quran:" There is no reason to doubt that any verse in the Quran could be ascribed to any person other than Muhammad" 4 . He meant that after the death of Muhammad no one had altered anything in the Quran, either by adding a single word to it or removing a single word form it (4,5).
No proof has ever been presented to dispute or deny the authenticity of the manuscript compiled during the Caliphate of ‘Othman ben Affan. If any of the companions of the prophet had had any other manuscripts in their possession, they would have produced them and disputed the authorized copy. Such an allegation has never been made in the history of Islam and even the sects that have been looked upon as dissenters, such as the contemporary Ahmadites, sanction the same certified copy of the Quran.
1- Diraz ,Muhammed Abdullah . Ph.D.An introducation to the Quran . Footnote .
page 35 Dar Al Qalam .kuweit.1971. (this book is one of two scientific thesis presented in French to Paris .University 1947) .
2- Bokai. Morris The Quran, the Torah, the Gospel and science A study of the Holy books in the light recent progress in Science. Dar Al Ma’ arif publishing house, 1978
3- The transformation of the sperm to the human picture (23/14).
4- Emigration of sex cells yolk sac the loin. (7/172)
5- Location of the stars (56/75).
6- Expansion of the Universe.(51/49).
7- Zakzouk , M. Hamdy : Islam in mirror of Western Thought, Ps. 76,77 and 85. Dar Al Fikr Al Araby, 1994
8- Diraz Muhammad Abdullah, ph.D. :An intreduction to the Quran, p 38. Rudi paret : Der Koran Ubersetzung. Stuttgart, 1980, p.5.