As our Prophet, Muhammad (S), was the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, and was the possessor of the Final and Everlasting Messengership, and then his miracle must last forever as well.
He was sent in an era when people were boasting and competing in rhetoric and eloquence in poetry and prose. Rhetoric and eloquence was the prevailing criterion for recognising the eminence of remarkable personalities in society. Articulate and eloquent people had significant influence in that society. Consequently, Divine Wisdom demanded the Noble Qur’an to be a miracle in its letter and spirit, so that it can be an everlasting miracle and a continuous proof of the prophethood of Muhammad (S). Thus, his message is everlasting for all ages and eras.
We will suffice with a concise account about the miraculousness of the Qur’an.
The Prophet (S) appeared in a time and place which consisted of many nations and beliefs. Some were materialistic atheists who rejected God and the hereafter. Others believed in the transcendental. Some of them worshipped idols, while others worshipped celestial bodies. The ones who dissociated from idol-worshipping and the worship of celestial bodies ascribed to Zoroastrianism, Dualism or Judaism. Jews proclaimed that ‘Uzayr is the son of Allah while Christiansity proclaimed the Trinity.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Khosraus1 [akasirah] and the Roman Caesars [qayasirah] were busy colonising the weak nations and exploiting them, or battling and killing them.
The Prophet (S) was sent at a time when intellects were covered with delusions, hearts were grim with desires, and all those ruling were spreading corruption on earth or shedding blood. The banner of faith in the unseen and Divine Unity was raised.
The world was called to the service of Allah, the Exalted, and to the breaking of the imprisonments of disbelief and oppression. The tyrant kings of the Earth, the king of Iran, the Roman emperor, the Ghassanides2 of Syria, the Himyarites of Yemen and other minor and major rulers were invited to accept Islam, obey Allah and submit to truth and justice.
The Dualism of the Zoroastrians, the Trinity of the Christians, the fabrications of the Jews upon Allah and the Prophets (as), and the practices of the ignorant pagans, which were inherited from fathers and forefathers, were all dismissed.
The Prophet (S) stood alone before all the countries of the world, their nations, leaders and scholars. He declared their beliefs were wrong and challenged them with the miracles which Allah had given him as a proof over his prophethood.
His most outstanding miracle was the Qur’an, with which he challenged the kings, the emperors, the idol-worshippers, the Jewish rabbis and the Christian monks.
And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.3
It is obvious that if common people, who are prejudiced in their beliefs, priests from different faiths, who hold onto their followers, kings and rulers, who fear the awakening of their nations, could have confronted the Qur’an then they would not have delayed for a moment.
Do you think that if they had the ability to object to this challenge, they would not, which would outbalance their previous religion and world?
Surely they all took pains in encountering the challenge of the Prophet (S) regarding the Qur’an. They had scholars, poets and orators who were outstanding in eloquence and rhetoric. They would compete with each other every year in the famous ‘Ukkadh market and other places. They would hang the most astonishing poems in the Ka’bah. The most famous of these were the seven placards [mu’allaqat].
They strived for the triumph of their religions and this world, which was being threatened by the Qur’an. However, they returned disappointed and disgraced. They did not find any answer except that they said:
This is nothing but clear enchantment.4
History records that Abu Jahl went to al-Walid ibn al-Mughayrah, who was an authority for the eloquent Arabs, and put forward to him the challenge of the Qur’an given by Muhammad (S). Thus, he replied, “What should I say in this matter?
By god, there is not a single man among you better than me in poetry, nor is there anyone more knowledgeable than me in poetical metre, thematic sequence and songs. By god, what he (Muhammad (S)) says does not resemble any of these. By god, this Word has a sweetness that will shatter everything below it. It is indeed above all and nothing is above it!”
Abu Jahl said, “By god, your people will not be pleased unless you say something against it.”
He replied, “Give me some time to think.” When he pondered, he said, “This is an enchantment that has information about others.”5
Their allegation that the Qur’an is enchantment is surely due to their surrender to its miraculousness, because enchantment is a result of normal causes that are not outside human powers. Hence, that was an achievable matter for them. Magicians and prognosticators were all over the Arabian Peninsula and the nearby lands.
Nevertheless, history has recorded that they could not find an answer for the challenge of the Qur’an. They thus took refuge in trying to tempt the Prophet (S) with wealth and status. When he rejected all that, they began attempts to murder him (S).
The Noble Qur’an was revealed in an age when a group of people were atheists, who did not believe in transcendental beings. They used to believe that the one managing the astonishing system of creation is not attributed with wisdom and perception. As for the ones who did believe in transcendental beings they used to worship idols of all shapes. On the contrary, the ones that were connected to the heavenly religions were describing God with human characteristics based on their altered books.
History has recorded that the people in such an era were at their lowest in terms of ideas, morals and practices. An Ummi man rose, who had not received knowledge from anyone; yet, he broke the locks of ignorance and misguidance. He opened the gates of knowledge and guidance, revived the dead souls with pure life and took the people out of darkness into the light.
He called the people to the service of Allah, Who is free from all deficiencies. From Him are all perfections and beauties. To Him is all praise and extol. He declared that God alone deserves worship and that whatever other than Him they call onto is like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty presume to be water. He also declared that Allah is Greater than being restricted with limits and attributed with descriptions.
سبحان الله والحمدلله ولااله الاالله والله اكبر
Glory be to Allah, all praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest.
The Prophet (S) challenged in an environment in which they were ascribing the Creator with numbers, composition with numbers and Trinity. They were relating need and begetting the One free from partner and son. They had made His likes and associates. They believed that He is in an idol they had carved or that He was in a tree they had sanctified.
The Qur’an was revealed in such an atmosphere. Thus, the Prophet (S) freed Allah from all those delusions. The Prophet (S) declared that Allah is Unique, free from any intellectual, imaginative and sensual composition. He is essentially Self-Sufficient from all things. Everything other than Him is essentially in need of Him. His Holy Being was declared free from all types of mental and physical begetting. He clarified that all beings have come about through His Omnipotence. They were created with His Will. He has no like to Him in His essence, His attributes and His actions.
More than one thousand verses were revealed in the Noble Qur’an about the recognition of Allah, the Exalted, His attributes and His beautiful names. If we contemplate a line from those, the chapter of the Divine Unity, we will come to know the greatness of the guidance he (S) brought:
Say: He, Allah, is One. Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like Him.6
Moreover, the traditions of the Prophet (S) and his Household (as) are the keys to the treasures of Allah’s recognition. We will suffice with only two traditions from them:
Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Sadiq (as) said: Verily, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is free from His Creation, and His Creation is free from Him. Whatever can be defined by the word ‘thing’ is a creation other than Almighty Allah. Exalted is He who is beyond compare.7
Imam al-Baqir (as) said: All that you have made distinctive with your imaginations in its complete meanings is created and originated like yourselves. It returns back to you.8
Indeed, the greatness of what the Qur’an has presented of the guidance in the Divine knowledge manifests when compared with the Old Testament and the New Testament. Hundreds of millions of people, Jews and Christians, still believe in their verses. The faith of every synagogue and church is based on it.
We will suffice with a few examples from their Torah, which exemplifies their ideas about God:
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done…
The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…
15. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
17. But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”9
Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
22. And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”10
The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”11
We will suffice with stating a few remarks
Their Torah thinks that Allah, the Exalted, stopped Adam and Eve from understanding good and evil. Whereas Allah, the Exalted, created the human being and bestowed him with intellect to understand good and evil, and better and worse. Then how is it sensible to stop them from understanding good and evil?
The guidance of the Qur’an says:
Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.12
Surely the vilest of animals, in Allah's sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who do not understand.13
In this brief text we cannot mention the numerous verses of the Qur’an in encouragement of seeking knowledge, recognition, intellect, thinking and contemplation.
Allah created mankind to compete in good, and commanded him to do that. He restrained him from evil and commanded him to refrain from it. The purpose of this formation and legislation does not transpire except by understanding good and evil. The command to perform the preliminary and stop from the preliminary, with both ending in contradiction, cannot occur even from a fool, let alone the Absolute Wise.
Their Torah claims that God said to Adam and Eve: You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.
If, according to their belief God did not know that they will both die, then He is ignorant. However, if He did know, then He is a liar. How is it appropriate to call an ignorant or a liar, God?
More amazing than that, is that the snake deceived Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of recognition of good and evil. It revealed the lie and deception of God to them.
These are the examples from the guidance of the Qur’an regarding Allah’s Knowledge:
He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases.14
Not the weight of an atom becomes absent from Him.15
Your Allah is only Allah, there is no god but He; He comprehends all things in (His) knowledge.16
How can a confined being—who could not find Adam between the trees of the Paradise and the trees obstructed him from seeing so that he had to call: Where are you? to learn his place through his voice—be worthy of being the God of the universe, the Knower of secrets and hidden things, the One Who encompasses the Earth and the Sky and is the Creator of the universe and place?
As for the example of the guidance of the Qur’an, then it states:
And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures—none knows them but He; and He knows what is in the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.17
Whilst the Qur’an teaches the people the Unity of God and His deanthropomorphism and says:
Nothing whatsoever is like unto Him; and He is the Hearing, the Seeing,18
the Torah teaches the people association with God and anthropomorphism. Thus, it says: The Lord God said: The human has become like us after knowing the good and the evil…
Their Torah relates to God that He became regretful after creating Adam. He was thus ignorant of the outcome of his creation. How is it possible that a divine book, that came to guide mankind to their Lord, relates ignorance to God. This would necessitate limiting the essence and composing God in the light of knowledge with the darkness of ignorance. The result is describing the Creator with the description of the created.
The guidance of the Qur’an is:
Does He not know, Who created? And He is the Knower of the subtleties, the Aware.19
And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a caliph, they said: What! Wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.20
Their Torah has related resting, grief, affliction, anxiety and sorrow to God; whereas these are attributes that require body, ignorance and powerlessness.
So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” Nevertheless, He was still regretful of informing them of this. Then why does He say what He will not do it? Is this but ignorance of self and falsifying His own Word?
Glory be to Him, and highly exalted is He above what they ascribe (to Him).21
As for the Qur’an, then it says: Whatever is in the heavens and the earth declares the glory of Allah, and He is the Mighty, the Wise. His is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; He gives life and causes death; and He has power over all things. He is the First and the Last and the Ascendant (over all) and the Knower of hidden things, and He is Cognizant of all things.22
And we will also portray some beliefs specific to the Christians from the Bible:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
For there are three that testify:
The Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.23
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.
He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.24
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”25
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,
And Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so,
And the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside.
And said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.26
We will suffice with stating a few remarks:
Among the principles of Christian faith, the belief in Trinity is unanimously agreed upon by them. However, they would find stipulation in their Bible on the Divine Unity. As it has come in the Bible:
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.27
They are unable to combine the Trinity and the Divine Unity. Hence, they say, as it has appeared in the Bible: The three are one. They are united in reality and distinctive from one another in reality.
In any way, it is a void belief due to a number of reasons:
The sequence of numbers, like one and three, are opposites and opposites do not meet. Then how is it possible that the three may be one and one may be three?
The belief in Trinity necessitates belief in five gods. Rather, it would necessitate belief in endless gods, as it was mentioned in the chapter of Divine Unity from Imam al-Sadiq28 (as); thus, the Christians cannot escape from endless gods.
The belief in Trinity necessitates composition and composition requires components and one who composes it.
The belief in Trinity necessitates attributing the Creator with a created number, because the number and the numbered are created. Allah, the Exalted, is free from being numbered even from the number one, because the number one implies two, and Allah does not have second to Him. However, attributing Him with Oneness has already been discussed in the chapter of Divine Unity.
Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one Allah, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve.29
The Christians claim that Jesus is the son of God. The Qur’an has rejected their claim saying:
The Messiah, son of Maryam is but a messenger; messengers before him have indeed passed away; and his mother was a truthful woman; they both used to eat food. See how We make the communications clear to them, then behold, how they are turned away.30
The Word of the Exalted: they both used to eat food, is an indication that they both were beings in need of food. The one who is in need of food cannot be God.
The Christians believe that Jesus was the word of God and that this word came to this world and became a human made from body, flesh and blood. Then, he became incarnated in the flesh and blood of his followers. The first miracle Christ performed was to change the water into wine at a wedding in Cana and quench the ones present.
Now, which logic will accept that the one who came to elevate the intellects of the people to perfection and teach them wisdom would perform a miracle to make the people intoxicated and take away their thinking power?
The Christians believe that Jesus is God. At the same time, they believe he is from the children of the Prophet of God, David. They take back his relation to the wife of David who, they claim, had a husband and the Prophet of God David committed adultery with her. May Allah save us from such belief! Then when her husband was killed, he brought her to his own house and she gave birth to his children.
The summary of the story from the Bible is as follows:
Uriah was a commander in David’s army, who had a very beautiful wife. David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her. The woman conceived. David sent Uriah to a place where he knew the strongest fighters were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died. Uriah’s wife mourned for him. When the mourning period was over, David had Uriah’s wife brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.31
As for the Qur’an, Allah, the Exalted, has made it free from these delusions and rectified the belief about Prophet ‘Isa (as) from the two extremes of accusing him of being illegitimate of birth and claiming him of being the son of Allah, the Exalted. Hence, He said:
And mention Maryam in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place; so she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man. She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent Allah, if you are one guarding (against evil).
He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy. She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste?
He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed. So she conceived him; then withdrew herself with him to a remote place.
And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you; and shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates:
So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent Allah, so I shall not speak to any man today. And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her).
They said: O Maryam! Surely you have done a strange thing. O sister of Harun! Your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman. But she pointed to him.
They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle? He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; and He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live; and dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed; and peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life. Such is Isa, son of Maryam; (this is) the saying of truth about which they dispute.32
He freed Dawud (as) from these fabrications and said regarding him:
O Dawud! Surely We have made you a ruler in the land.33
He said to our Prophet (S):
Bear patiently what they say and remember Our servant Dawud, the possessor of power; surely he was frequent in returning (to Allah).34
We suffice with these examples from the guidance of the Qur’an in recognition of Allah, the Exalted, and the status of the prophets (as).
Indeed, the dimensions of the miraculousness of the Qur’an in its remaining teachings and laws are numerous. They include the beliefs, the ethics, the acts of worship, the dealings, the politics, etc… We will suffice by mentioning a few:
In comparison with social distinctions for distinguishing between people, like power, wealth, tribe, relations, race, etc. the Qur’an brought a criterion for merits, which is acceleration and competition in stages of human perfection both academic and practical. The honour of the human being in its reality and in its status is with what is with Allah and in what is with people. Specifically, it is piety in its extended form, like fearing that which causes the delicate humanity to become filthy. This results in becoming a veil between him and the Originator of perfection, beauty and magnificence. Thus, the Exalted says:
O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.35
The Qur’an cures the corrupt thinking that occurs due to drinking intoxicants and it also cures the economical illnesses rising from eating the properties gained with unlawful means:
O you who believe! Intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaytan’s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful.36
And Allah has allowed trading and forbidden usury.37
And do not swallow up your property among yourselves by false means.38
In the world where killing a human was not only allowed, but was a means of pride taking, the Qur’an forbade murder. It emphasised the sanctity of human life and laid the foundation of its jurisprudence on the most precautious status regarding souls.
And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for the requirements of justice;39
and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men.40
The Qur’an closed the door of injustice and oppression by negating tyranny and enmity. It opened the doors of good and virtue to mankind by emphasising justice and kindness.
Whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you;41
and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land.42
Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may be mindful.43
The Qur’an was revealed in an age where women were treated like animals. The Mighty said:
And treat them (the women) kindly;44
and they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner.45
So their Lord accepted their prayer: That I will not waste the work of a worker among you, whether male or female, the one of you being from the other.46
The Qur’an forbade all types of unfaithfulness:
O you who believe! Be not unfaithful to Allah and the Messenger, nor be unfaithful to your trusts while you know.47
Surely Allah does not love the treacherous.48
The Qur’an made obligatory the paying of trust:
Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to their owners;49
but if one of you trusts another, then he who is trusted should deliver his trust.50
The Qur’an has made the fulfilment of a covenant a sign of faith:
And those who are keepers of their trusts and their covenant;51
and has commanded to fulfil the indentures and covenants:
O you who believe! Fulfil your indentures;52
and keep the covenant; surely (every) covenant shall be questioned about.53
Allah has salvaged the people from the abyss of disbelief, ignorance and foolishness. And He made them carry the light of faith, knowledge and wisdom.
Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees.54
He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good.55
The Qur’an commands all its followers to do good and forbid the evil. It made permissible for them the purities and forbade the impurities. It makes them free from all things that imprison their humanity and are against their nature of equality. Hence, Allah says:
Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Tawrat and the Injil (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honour him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.56
He founded Medina based upon wisdom, chastity, courageousness, justice and the enjoining of good and forbidding of evil.
You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong.57
He burdened the believing men and women with these two responsibilities.
And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil.58
Enjoining good and forbidding evil require knowing the good and the evil. The one enjoining the good must himself first enjoin the good and the one telling others to forbid the evil must first leave the evil. The evil is general in that it includes the void beliefs, the abysmal morals and the corrupt actions. When this occurs then the society rotates around nobility and virtues. It does not incline away from the Right Path to the two extremes.
And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you.59
This is a sparkle from the radiant light of the Qur’an and the lights of its guidance for knowledge. If we wished to present its sciences and laws in the fields of human life from theology, morals, services, economics, politics and to all that which is guidance for the privilege of this life and the hereafter, then we would be compelled to compile detailed books.
If someone claims that he is the Messenger of Allah for the guidance of mankind up to the Day of Judgment, then the most difficult thing for him is to inform the people of what will happen in the future. The probability of it not happening, even if it was one to a billion, would frighten him so that it would abolish what he has established and prove his claim false.
Yet, we see that the Prophet (S) informed with decisive certainty, trust and tranquillity things that were about to happen, and then they occurred as he had said word for word, clearly his indicating his connection with the All-Knowing, the All-Informed, the One Who encompasses the time and all that are connected to time. Below are some news of the unseen that the Qur’an predicted:
The two major countries in the time of the Prophet (S) were Persia and Rome, who were engaged in conflicts and battles with each other. Persia defeated Roman army in a great battle in Syria. Historians mention that all signs indicated that it was the final victory. However, the Qur’an declared that Rome will overcome Persia in a few years, and thus it happened.
Alif Lam Mim. The Romans are vanquished, in a near land, and they, after being vanquished, shall overcome, within a few years.60
The tribes of Quraysh united with all of those from the Arab Tribes, who had taken oath to falsify the Prophet (S) and confronting his proclamation. They tried killing him numerous times, until he was compelled to migrate from Mecca in fear of their enmity. Thus, Allah, the Exalted, informed him that he will return victorious to Mecca. It so happened as it was said eight years later.
Most surely He Who has made the Qur’an binding on you will bring you back to the destination.61
The Qur’an declared the defeat of the Quraysh before the Battle of Badr, whilst they were sure of victory due to their much larger numbers, gathering and penetration in the Peninsula. Hence, the Qur’an said:
Or do they say: We are a host allied together to help each other? Soon shall the hosts be routed, and they shall turn (their) backs.62
It happened as the Qur’an had informed.
Allah had informed the Muslims that they will conquer Mecca and will enter the Sacred Mosque, mentioning their state at the time of admission. It happened as He had informed. The Exalted had said:
You shall most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah pleases, in security, (some) having their heads shaved and (others) having their hair cut, you shall not fear.63
After the return of the Muslims from the Battle of Tabuk, the word of the Exalted about the hypocrites revealed:
Say: By no means shall you ever go forth with me and by no means shall you fight an enemy with me.64
It was as the verse informed.
Before the conquer of Khaybar and before a significant amount of war booty came into the hands of the Muslims, while they did not even think of getting their hands onto the treasures of Kisra (Iranian Khosraus) and Qaysar (the Roman Caesars), the Prophet (S) promised the Muslims that they will conquer Rome and Persia and will rule them. These verses came down:
Certainly Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity on them and rewarded them with a near victory, and many acquisitions which they will take; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
Allah promised you many acquisitions which you will take, then He hastened on this one for you and held back the hands of men from you, and that it may be a sign for the believers and that He may guide you on a right path. And others which you have not yet been able to achieve Allah has surely encompassed them, and Allah has power over all things.65
When the son of the Prophet (S) died, al-’As ibn Wa’il said, “He is without posterity as he does not have descendants and progeny. Hence, the chapter of al-Kawthar was revealed:
Surely We have given you Kawthar. Therefore pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice. Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.66
The Qur’an declared that the one saying the previous statement will be without posterity, while the progeny of Muhammad (S) will remain.
The Qur’an was revealed in an era when the people thought the celestial sphere to be simple. They did not have any idea about the movement of the planets and stars in their orbits. The Qur’an described their movement and said:
Neither is it allowable to the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day; and all float on in a sphere.67
In an age when scholars did not have the perception that the law of duality included all things, Allah said:
And of everything We have created pairs that you may be mindful.68
In a time when people did not give any thought to the possibility of existence on other stars, Allah said:
And what He has spread forth in both of them of living beings.69
He taught about the fertilisation of the plants with the help of winds. Thus, He said:
And We send the winds fertilising.70
In a period when people believed that the celestial sphere was simple and that their creation is distinct to that of the Earth, and they did not have any knowledge about the contraction and expansion of the heaven, He said:
Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, but We parted them.71
In an era when they had no idea about the extent of the connected universe; He said to them:
And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof).72
In a time when scholars were picturing the celestial sphere as unable to be disrupted and tormented, and they believed that mankind can pass through them; Allah said:
O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority.73
Likewise, there are many other facts which the Qur’an presented about human beings, nature and the universe that were not known in the time of its revelation. Some were rejected or found astonishing, then were later discovered to be correct; all of these indicate that the Qur’an is from the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, Glory be to Him.
Every reasonable person who is familiar with the language of the Qur’an will undoubtedly admit that it has a special spirit and extraordinary attraction, unlike any other text. In fact, the relation between any other text—no matter how eloquent and ample it may be in all the standards of eloquence from the subtleties of content, articulation and style—and the Qur’an, is like the relationship between artificial flowers and natural flowers, or between engraved forms and the real human.
Undoubtedly, the actions of human beings and their words are not the same during different stages of their life. This is due to the constant evolving of his thinking and knowledge. The scientific contributions of a very learned person will be different in the various stages of his life, no matter which science he is an expert in and how vast the resources were in his excess. The modification in his work will be a result of the adaptation in his thinking.
The Noble Qur’an is a book containing different sciences; from the recognition of God and the Return to the signs in the horizon and the souls, the relationship of man with the Creator, personal and social duties, stories of the past nations and accounts of the Prophets (as).
An Ummi person recited it to the people, in approximately 23 years, who had not studied before any teacher. He lived in the most difficult circumstances in which all factors caused dispersing of thoughts; from the troubles of the infidels of Mecca, constant battles with them, to problems from the cunningness and planning of the hypocrites.
If we take into account the length of the period for the revelation of the Qur’an, the consideration of those factors, we will realise that had this Book been disconnected from the Beneficent God, Who taught the Qur’an, it would have contained many a discrepancy. However, we do not find any disparity or discrepancy in the Qur’an. This is clear proof that it was revealed from well above the human thought and their different states. And that is the status of the revelation, which is holier than ignorance and negligence.
Do they not then meditate on the Qur’an? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.74
If someone claims to be better in medicine than all the doctors of the world, then there are two ways of confirming his claim:
He should write a book on medicine which explains the causes of illnesses, and the medicine and the treatment required in such a way that is unique from all other medical books.
He is able to treat a sick person who has the illness spread to all parts of his body and strengths, and is on the verge of death. All other doctors are incapable of treating him. However, he becomes cured by this doctor and returns to full recovery.
The Prophets (as) are doctors of human intellects and their souls. They are curers of the illnesses that overtake human beings. Our Prophet Muhammad (S) is the best of those doctors and the most superior of them. The scientific proof is the Noble Qur’an. This Book has no parallel in explaining the causes of illnesses of thoughts, morals, and personal and social practices. It also contains their treatment. The examples we have already presented from the guidance of the Qur’an are sufficient.
The Qur’an was revealed to a society afflicted with the worst of human spiritual illnesses. Mental decline had reached such a level that every tribe had their own specific idol. In fact, every family had an idol. Sometimes they made the idols out of dates, worshipped them, prostrated to them in the morning and when they felt hungry they ate their god.
Hence, the Qur’an came to treat their afflicted minds. It praised the Creator of the universe as:
Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Everliving, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases, His knowledge extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great.75
Thus, they fell in prostration and said: Glory be to my Lord the High and praise be to Him.
From the natural emotional viewpoint, we notice that the society in which the Prophet (S) was sent was extremely hardhearted. A father would bury his daughter alive with his own hands.76 Then Prophet Muhammad (S) revived the natural emotions within them in such a way that they changed into the most merciful and victorious Ummah.
When they conquered Egypt, they saw a dove that had made its nest on a tent from the tents of the army. When the army decided to travel on, they left the tent for the bird as they did not wish to raze its nest. Thus, the city that was founded there was named Fustat after the name of the tent.77
He (S) eliminated the arrogance of the rich over the poor, such that once a rich man wearing clean clothes was sitting in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (S). A very poor person came and sat next to him. Consequently the rich man collected his dress from the poor person’s side. The Prophet (S) asked him: Did you fear that his poverty may come to you?
He said: No.
The Prophet (S) asked: Did you fear that your wealth may go to him?
He replied: No.
The Prophet (S) then asked: Then did you fear that he may make your clothes dirty?
He answered: No.
The Prophet (S) then asked: Then what made you do what you did?
The man replied: I have a Satan in me that beautifies all evil to me and makes every good look evil to me. However, I am willing to give half of my wealth to him.
The Messenger of Allah (S) asked the one in difficulty: Do you accept?
He replied: No.
The rich man asked: Why not?
He said: I fear that what has entered you may also enter me.78
What training is this that inserted the spirit of generosity in the rich and changed his arrogance to modesty; inserted farsightedness and high aspiration in the poor and changed his humility to dignity.
The Qur’anic training eliminated the overwhelming of the powerful over the weak. As we see in the story of Malik al-Ashtar below:
The Islamic state had earned sovereignty over the Roman Empire and Persia. At the time, Malik al-Ashtar was the commander in chief of the forces of the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali (as). One day Malik was passing through the market in Kufah. He was wearing coarse shirt and a turban made of the same material. Some men in the market saw Malik, made fun of him and threw a bullet at him to disrespect him. Malik passed by and did not pay attention. The other man was asked, “Woe be to you! Do you know who you have thrown at?”
He replied, “No.”
He was told, “That was Malik, the companion of the Commander of the Faithful (as).”
The man started trembling. He went after Malik to ask him for forgiveness. He found that Malik had entered a mosque and was praying. When Malik started to leave, the man threw himself at his feet and started kissing them. Malik asked him, “What is this?”
The man answered, “I ask you to excuse me for what I did.”
Malik responded, “There is no problem. I swear by God! I did not enter the mosque but to ask for your forgiveness (from Allah).”79
The effect of Qur’anic training on Malik was that the pride of high position did not take away from him the modesty of a believing servant to the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, the Mighty and High. He paid back the one who disrespected him, who was in a predicament of not knowing what is going to happen to him, with the best gift. Malik had interceded to Allah, the Exalted, and sought forgiveness for him.
Such training eliminated the ethnic differences that were firmly embedded in the souls. Among these was the ethnic prejudice between the Arabs and the Persians etc. When some objected to Salman the Persian and his likes sitting in the gathering of the Prophet (S) next to Arab tribal personalities, and wanted the Prophet to have a separate sitting with them, he answered them with the Word of the Exalted:
And withhold yourself with those who call on their Lord morning and evening desiring His goodwill, and let not your eyes pass from them, desiring the beauties of this world's life; and do not follow him whose heart We have made unmindful to Our remembrance, and he follows his low desires and his case is one in which due bounds are exceeded.80
Thus, Salman became the ruler of al-Mada’in. His salary was five thousand. Whenever he was given his salary, he would give it in charity. He used to eat food made by his own hands. He had one garment which he would lie down upon and then he would also cover himself with it.81
Likewise, the Qur’an eliminated differences based on race and colour to such an extent that Bilal, the black slave, became the special caller for prayer for the Prophet (S) and his close companion. When some of the Quraysh objected, saying: Could Muhammad not find someone other than this black crow as a caller for prayer?82 The response of the Prophet (S) to them was the Word of the Exalted:
O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.83
The example of the Qur’an is of a tree, the roots of which are knowledge and recognition. Its trunk is the faith in God and the Return. Its branches are commendable talents and good manners. Its flowers are piety and god-fearingness. Its fruits are wise words and admirable actions.
Have you not considered how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word (being) like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven, yielding its fruit in every season by the permission of its Lord?84
With this education and this training of the Qur’an, the tree of humanity gave fruit with the work of the Prophet (S). He presented the best unique fruit to mankind in the shape of ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib (as).
It would be adequate to mention a few lines from his infinite intellectual and practical virtues:
Because of his decency, he did not illustrate his knowledge and understanding in the lifetime of the Prophet (S). Hence, he was a moon under the shadow of a sun.
After the Prophet, he faced circumstances where he was covered by suppression and was prohibited to give rays of his light to the people.
Then, in the almost five years during which he ruled, he was faced with difficult battles: the battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nihrawan. However, during this short period, when he was given a cushion to rest and speak, his speech was better than the words of all creation, only below the words of the Creator. This statement is according to the expression by a Sunni writer, Ibn Abu al-Hadid.85
Whoever pays attention to the facts of his first sermon in Nahj al-Balaghah regarding the recognition of Allah, the Exalted will see that ‘Ali (as) is an ocean encompassing intellectual and practical wisdom. Another example is in the subtleties of the sermon where he describes pious, personal governing and the letter he writes to Malik al-Ashtar explaining the principles of administration and the political system. One should bear in mind that these three masterpieces are only drops from the ocean full of waves, striking with knowledge, recognition, articulation and eloquence.
When he went forward in battle, history has not witnessed more courageous than him. He used to wear armour that did not cover the back.86 In one night alone, he fought till morning and the people counted 523 proclamations of Allahu Akbar. With each recitation of Allahu Akbar, he would kill an enemy of Allah.87
In the same night, known as laylat al-Harir, he stood between the two armies and prayed his nightly prayers. He performed the rituals of service to his Lord. He commanded that his praying mat be spread between the two sides, and he entered the prayer before his Lord unconcerned about the shooting of arrows in front of him and on his sides, until he completed his supererogatory prayers.88 Even in battle, he continued to worship Allah as any other time.
When the Muslims were under attack in a battle and were escaping from fighting with the heroic warriors like ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd Wudd, he would go forward saying: I will take him on, O Messenger of Allah! He advanced to him with firm steps and a heart connected to Allah. He did not take long before hitting a Hashimite stroke that fell him to the ground.
Thus, on that day, the Prophet (S) announced: The battle of ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib with ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd Wudd on the day of Trenches is better than all of the actions of my Ummah upto the Day of Judgment.89
At Khaybar, the Muslims were frightened from the Jews and they were beaten by the deadly arrows of the guards from their strong castle. They were terrified by the dread of the famous Jewish riders, like Marhab, until ‘Ali (as) came forward and persisted in his attack to the top of the hill all alone, while facing the flood of arrows and stones from the guards of the fort.
He fought until he reached the gate of the fort and unrolled it. Marhab came to combat him, so ‘Ali (as) cut him in two halves. After killing Marhab, he killed another seventy horsemen. He proclaimed Allahu Akbar, announcing the victory. The Muslims thus came and joined him. The Muslims and Jews alike were stunned by his battle.90
This warrior, from whom the flanks of the fighters quivered with fear, had combined courageousness with fear of Allah. When he used to prepare for the prayer, his colour would change and his body would start to shiver. When they asked him the reason for that, he replied: The time has come for the trust, which Allah, the Exalted, presented to the heavens, the Earth and the mountains and they refused to take the burden, whilst man took it…91
This warrior, due to whose strength in the battlefields, the soldiers tremble; when night prevails, he is completely restless and cries:
O vicious world! Be away from me, why do you come in front of me like this? Do you want to allure me? Allah forbid that I should be allured and tempted by you and your pleasures. It is not possible. Go and try your allurements on somebody else. I do not desire to own you and do not want to have you. I have forsaken you thrice. It is like divorcing a woman thrice after which act she cannot be taken back as a wife…Sad is the plight of those who want to acquire you. They do not provide for the Hereafter. They have to pass through a long journey over a very difficult road towards a set destination.92
Once a Bedouin begged from him; therefore, he ordered one thousand coins for him. The representative asked, “From gold or silver?” Thus, he (as) responded: They are both stones for me. Give the Bedouin more beneficial of the two.93
In which nation or people have you seen courage combined with generosity in the battlefield? As an infidel said to him, “O son of Abu Talib, grant me your sword.” Thus, he threw it to him. Hence, the infidel asked, “Amazing, O son of Abu Talib! In such a time, you gave me your sword?”
Thus, he replied: O man! You spread your hand with a request before me and it is not generosity to reject the asking.
The disbelieving man threw himself to the ground and said, “This is the practice of the religious.” Then he kissed his feet and professed Islam.94
Ibn al-Zubayr said to him, “I have found in the accounts of my father that your father owed him eighty thousand dirhams.”
Thus, he replied: Indeed, your father is truthful. So he paid him the amount.
Ibn al-Zubayr then came to him and said, “I made a mistake in what I said. It was my father who owed your father that amount.”
The Imam (as) answered: I forgive your father the amount and what I gave you is yours from me.95
Has the world seen a ruler whose government extends from Egypt to Khurasan, that if he sees a woman carrying a waterskin, he takes it from her and carries it to her house? Then when morning came, he went to provide for them. He cooked food for them and fed the children. When the woman recognised him, she asked him to excuse her. Thus, he responded: In fact, I am embarrassed from you, O servant woman of Allah!96
Once, ‘Ali (as) accompanied his slave to the market. He was the caliph at the time. He bought two shirts and made the slave wear the better of the two wjile he wore the other himself. He wanted to please the young man, as he desired the better one.97
Who has seen a ruler, who has treasures of gold and silver under him, saying: By Allah, I have been putting patches in my shirts so much that now I feel shy of its tailor.98
Whenever he finished distributing the spoils, he would pray two cycles of prayers and would say: Praise be to Allah, who took me out of it the same as I had entered it.99
During his reign, he (as) presented his own sword for sale in the market and said: By Allah, even if I had the price of a loincloth then I would not have sold this.100
Whenever he was afflicted with a calamity, he would pray a thousand cycles [rak’at] of prayer, give charity to sixty poor people and fast for three days.
He had freed one thousand slaves with the hard work of his own hands. When he parted this world, he had a loan of eight hundred thousand dirhams.101
The night before he was struck with the sword, he went to the house of his daughter to break the fast with her. This dinner table of the ruler of an extensive country did not have more than two breads made from barley. O my daughter! Are you presenting your father with two condiments in one plate? Thus, he opened his fast with bread and salt, and did not even touch the milk. This manner was so that his dinner table is not more colourful than that of his subjects.102
Where will you see a ruler in history, who governs a country that extends from Khurasan to Egypt, abiding by a code of conduct for himself, his officials and the ones under his guardianship? The example of that is recorded in his letter to ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf, the governor of Basra. He wrote this letter when a report was made to him about the governor accepting the invitation of someone wealthy:
Ibn Hunayf! I have received information that a person of Basra invited you to a dinner and you immediately accepted the invitation. I have also heard that very sumptuous meals were served there! Finest varieties of viands were placed before you in large plates and you enjoyed them. I am sorry to hear the news. I never expected that you would accept the invitation of a person who invites big officers and rich people and from whose doors poor persons and hungry paupers are turned away rudely.
Look carefully into the things which you eat. If there is even a shade of their being obtained unlawfully then throw them away, only eat those things about which you are perfectly certain that they are obtained by honest means.
You must know Ibn Hunayf, that for everyone who follows a religion there is a leader and a guide from whom the follower learns the canons of that religion and the ways of leading a pious life. Now look to your Imam (Imam Ali (as) meant himself). In this world he has satisfied himself with two old, torn and coarse garments and two pieces of bread (one in the morning and one in the evening).
I know that to adopt such a hard way of life is beyond you but at least try to be pious. Try to follow me and be my companion in virtue, piety and simple living. I swear by Allah that from this world I have neither amassed gold, nor have I gathered wealth and possessions, nor have I changed these coarse and old garments of mine with even an ordinary raiment from your treasury (nor did I gain control of any land even as little as a hand-span. I did not take anything from it like the aliment of a female donkey)…
If I had so wanted I could have very easily found ways and means to provide for myself the purest honey, the best variety of wheat and the finest silk clothes that could be woven. But it is not possible for inordinate cravings to overcome me and it is not possible that greediness persuades me to acquire the best provisions when in Hijaz and Yemen there may be people who have no hope of obtaining a piece of bread and who have never satisfied their hunger fully…103
Indeed, the Islamic state manifests itself in the mirror of the existence of the ruler, the centre of which was Kufa. However, the possibility that someone in Hijaz or Yemen may be hungry stopped him from extending his hand toward delicious food. Neither did he (as) change his coarse and old garments with even ordinary raiment from the treasury, nor did he (as) gain control of any land even as little as a hand-span. That is how his food, dress and house were in this world. His intention was that he should not have a better living standard than the poorest subjects.
The Imam (as) implemented justice in his government such that when he saw his armour with a Jewish person, he (as) said to him: This is my armour that dropped from the back of my camel.
The Jewish man replied, “This is my armour and is in my possession. If you disagree, then a Muslim judge will decide between us.”
They thus went to Shurayh. When he saw ‘Ali (as) coming, he came down from his place and made ‘Ali (as) sit in his place. Then ‘Ali said: If a Muslim had disputed with me, then I would have sat in a similar position as him… He then said to the Jewish man: Take the armour!
The Jewish man responded, “the Commander of the Faithful came with me to a Muslim judge, the judge passed a ruling and he accepted it! O Commander of the Faithful! You are, by Allah, telling the truth that your armour dropped from the back of your camel. I picked it up. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
Thus, ‘Ali (as) granted it to him and gave him seven hundred coins. He was killed during the battle of Siffin (from ‘Ali’s side).104
When the news reached him that a non-Muslim woman living under the protection of Islam had her anklet robbed from her, he could not tolerate this oppression and breaking of the law and said: Even if a Muslim dies of grief after all this he is not to be blamed; rather, there is justification for him before me.105
Once, he saw an elderly man begging in the street, so he asked: What is this?
The people replied, “O Commander of the Faithful, he is a Christian.”
Thus, he responded: You used him when he was young and now that he is old and incapable, you have left him! Pay his expenses from the treasury [bayt al-mal].106
In observing the rights of the creation, even if the seven heavens and whatever is in between them were given to him, he would not deny an ant the shell of a barely grain.107
And in observing the rights of the Creator, he said: O God, I have not served You in yearning for Your Paradise, nor for the fear of Your Hell-fire. However, I found You to be worthy of service, thus, I served You.108
This is how the Messenger of Allah (S) trained ‘Ali (as) and when he was pleased with his training, he said about him: Allah educated me and I educated ‘Ali.109
With this training, he was able to present the perfect human model to mankind, who combined strength in the battlefield with a soft heart that causes a flood of tears on his cheeks when he sees a deprived orphan.
He was able to elevate humanity to the level where it was free from the imprisonments of all the limitations of worldly interests and all unlimited interests of the hereafter. He devoted himself to the service of the Lord of the Worlds.
This sincerity was not due to personal interests, but it was because he believed that his Lord was worthy of worship. Therefore, he worshipped Him.
The Prophet (S) combined freedom and worship in the personality of his student, which is the ultimate aim of the human creation and the creation of the universe. He destroyed his personal pleasure and anger for the pleasure and anger of his Creator so much so that he abstained from becoming pleased or angry (for personal reasons).
We witness this in the night of migration of the Prophet (S), when he slept in the bed of the Prophet and the Prophet left for Medina. It can also be seen on the Day of the Battle of Trenches, when the Prophet (S) is reported to have said that ‘Ali’s one stroke equals the actions of all man and jinn.110
He, who worked in the arid land of the Arabian Peninsula for a short period in those difficult circumstances, caused his nation to rise. He planted the tree of humanity that resulted in the best fruit in the shape of ‘Ali (as), which he gifted to humanity. Is it not the right of such a man (S) to claim that he is the leading gardener for humanity?
Is there anyone in the world who has an education and training better than that of ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful (as)?
Despite the miracles of the Prophet (S), which cannot be described in this book, do justice and fairness not require the one without evil desire and prejudice to believe in the Prophethood and religion of this Messenger? Should they not believe in him, who has been able to bring humanity to this intellectual and practical training, as mentioned briefly, which is the objective of the perfection of humanity?
What human intellect and nature demand of religion cannot be found but in this religion and path. A better personal and social education and training for mankind cannot be found. Thus, is there any religion better than Islam to become the final religion and its Messenger to be the Last Messenger (S)?
Such is the faith in the Prophet of Islam being the Last Messenger and for his laws to be eternal.
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the prophets; and Allah is cognisant of all things.111
We will shed some light on the brilliant life of the luminous sun, which is itself a proof of his Messengership and Prophethood.
When the Prophet (S) announced his convocation, the Quraysh tribes became frightened that the people will follow him. Therefore, they resorted to threats and temptation. They came to his uncle Abu Talib, and said, “O Abu Talib, your nephew has certainly depreciated our patience, blasphemed our gods, destroyed our youth and divided our assembly. If lacking is making him do this, then we will collect for him wealth so that he may be the wealthiest of the Quraysh. We will marry him to any woman he wants from the Quraysh.” They even offered him properties and sovereignty.
His (S) answer to that was: If they placed the Sun on my right hand and the Moon on my left hand, I would not want them.112
When they saw that temptation did not affect him (S) and that he was keen in his matter and did not give any importance to their bribe, then they resorted to threats and torture. Following are some examples:
Whenever he stood for prayers in the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca), they would send four chiefs of the armies of the Quraysh, belonging to the Bani ‘Abd al-Dar. Two would stand whistling on his right and the other two would stand clapping their hands on his left. They would do this to torture him and disturb him in his prayer.113
One day he was on his way to the Mosque when they threw dust on his head. Sometimes they would throw the intestines of a goat on him while he was prostrating in prayer. His daughter would come, remove them and wipe it off him.114
After the death of his uncle, his helper, Abu Talib, the Quraysh increased their tribulations and torture. Hence, in those dangerous circumstances the Prophet (S) proposed to the tribe of Thaqif in Ta’if to shelter him for allowing him to preach the message of his Lord. They, however, refused. They derided him and confronted him with their insane men and slaves.
They made two rows for him in the street. When the Messenger of Allah (S) passed through the rows, they did not allow him to place his feet or lift them; rather, they stoned him. They continued stoning him until his feet started to bleed. He thus passed through their rows, with his feet bleeding. Then he took shelter in one of their gardens.
He sat under the shadow of a grape plant while he was in pain and his feet were bleeding. ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah and Shibah ibn Rabi’ah were in a house. When they saw his state, even they felt ashamed at themselves for the enmity of Allah and His Messenger. Thus, they sent him some grapes with a Christian slave, called ‘Addas, who was from Naynawa. When he came to him, the Messenger of Allah (S) asked him: Which land do you belong to?
He replied, “I am from the inhabitants of Naynawa.”
He (S) said: From the land of the servant of Allah, Yunus ibn Muta?
‘Addas asked him, “Where do you know Yunus ibn Muta?”
Thus, he (S) replied: I am the Messenger of Allah and Allah, the Exalted, informed me of the news of Yunus ibn Muta. When he informed ‘Addas of what Allah had revealed to him about Jonas [Yunus], he fell in prostration to Allah and in showing reverence to the Messenger of Allah. He started to kiss the feet of the holy Prophet (S) when they were still bleeding.115
They tortured his companions with various forms of torture. Amongst these was the casting of Bilal under the heat of the sun. They would place a heavy rock on his chest and would demand him to disbelieve. However, he would reject them by saying, “He Alone.”116
They tortured the elderly lady, Sumayya, the mother of ‘Ammar, to turn her back from her religion and to disbelieve. When she did not, they killed her.117
Because of all these tortures, in certain circumstances, some of his companions asked him to pray against his people. He (S) would reply: Indeed, I have been sent as a mercy for the worlds;118 and he would pray for his people: O Allah, guide my people, for they do not know.119
Instead of wrath, he would desire mercy for them, a mercy that has no like of it from Allah, the Benevolent. This mercy was the blessing of guidance, and he related the people to himself by saying: My people, to protect them from the punishment of Allah and to intercede for them before Him. Instead of complaining to Him about them, the Prophet (S) would make excuses for them that they do not know.
His (S) living was ascetic and moderate. His food was barley bread and he would never eat to his fill.120
The greatest truthful woman, his daughter Fatima (as), came to him in the Battle of Trenches with a crust of bread. She gave it to the Prophet (S). The Prophet (S) said: What is this crust of bread?
She replied: I made some bread for my two sons, Hasan and Husayn (as); I brought you its crust.
The Prophet (S) responded: O Fatima, this is the first food that has entered the mouth of your father in three days.121
His moderation was not like this due to being straitened. In fact, he had wealth coming to him in those days, but he would distribute it, grant others and give in charity, to such an extent that he would grant up to a hundred camels to one person.122
When he parted this world, he did not leave behind a single dinar or dirham, a slave man or woman, a goat or a camel. His armour was deposited with a Jewish man for sixty kilograms of barley, which he had bought as provisions for his family.123
We must pay attention to two points:
The First: There is no doubt that the Jewish man did not demand any deed from the Prophet (S), due to his eminence and honesty. However, he (S) desired to abide by the law of deposit when a deed is not written, so that the property is like a deed to the creditor, even if the creditor was a Jewish person and the borrower is the highest personality in Islam.
The Second: It was possible for the Prophet (S) to consume the purest and the most delicious of food, but he sufficed with barley bread until the end of his life. Thus, he did not eat better nourishment than the weakest of his subjects.
The status of Fatima al-Zahra’, peace be upon her, is clearly known to the Shi’ites and the Sunnis. The books of the two schools of thought are filled with her merits, as we will mention later. Following her father, she would stand in her prayer niche until her feet were swollen.124 Although, she was absorbed in the worship of Allah, she would nevertheless manage the house of her husband, ‘Ali (as), the Guardian of Allah, and train the grandsons of the Messenger of Allah (S). One day, the Prophet (S) entered her house and found her grinding the handmill while feeding her son. The Prophet (S) began to shed tears.125
‘Ali (as) saw her draw the water skin so that it affected her upper body. She would grind the hand mill until her hands would blister, and sweep the house until her clothes became dusty. Thus, he (as) said to her: If you went to your father and asked him for a servant, it would remove your troubles. She went to her father, but felt embarrassed and returned. The Prophet (S) found out that she had come with a need. Thus, he came to her and asked her need. So ‘Ali (as) informed the Messenger of Allah (S) about what troubles afflicted her.
The Prophet (S) said: Shall I not teach you both something which is better for you than a servant? When you want to sleep then say Glory be to Allah سبحان الله, thirty-three times, Praise be to Allah الحمدلله, thirty-three times and Allah is the Greatest الله اكبر, thirty-four times.
The narrator says: Fatima (as) leant her head out and said three times: I am pleased with Allah and His Messenger.126
This father is able to fill the house of his daughter with gold and silver, and to provide her with slaves, men and women. Although he never turned away any needy person from his door, he abstained from giving a servant to the Queen of the Ladies of the Worlds, who was a part of him and whatever pleased her pleased him.127 Even though it was such an emphatic desire of his daughter, who was the most beloved person to him, it was the intrinsic nature of his heart to sacrifice for the poor people of his Ummah.
Such was his practice, for Allah had sent him to train his people. That is in the Word of the Exalted:
And prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them.128
Once a Bedouin lady passed him while he was eating sitting on the earth, so she said, “O Muhammad, by Allah, you eat the food of slaves and sit like them.”
He (S) replied: Woe onto you. Who is more of a slave than me?132
He would visit the sick, even at the most distant parts of the city.135 He would sit with the poor and eat with the needy.136 When he shook hands with anyone, he would not release his hand until the other person let go.137 He would sit in the last seat in the gathering.138 He would not constantly stare at a person.139 He would only become angry for his Lord and never for himself.140
Once, a man came to him. While talking to the Prophet (S) he started to tremble. Consequently, the Prophet (S) said to him: Take it easy. I am not a king. Indeed, I am the son of a woman who used to eat dried meat.141
His servant, Anas ibn Malik said, “I served the Prophet (S) for nine years. I do not know if he even once said to me: Why did you not do such and such? Neither did he ever criticise me about anything.”142
Once he (S) was sitting in the Mosque and a maidservant of the natives of Medina [ansar] came and caught the side of his robe. The Prophet (S) stood up for her. However, she did not say anything, so the Prophet did not say anything to her. She did that three times. The fourth time, he stood up for her and she was behind him. She took a thread from his robe and left.
The people asked her, “May Allah do to you what you did! You obstructed the Messenger of Allah three times without saying anything to him, nor did he say anything to you. What was it that you needed?”
She answered, “We have a sick person in the house, so the family sent me to take a thread from his robe to heal the sick person. When I wanted to take it, he saw me, so I felt embarrassed that I should take it while he is looking. I disliked asking him to give it to me, so I took it myself.”143
This incident indicates his concern about the honour of a person, because he (S) understood the need of the maidservant and her dislike of asking. Thus, he stood up from his place four times to fulfil her need. He did not speak to her so that she does not undergo questioning. Therefore, what will be the value of human honour in the view of one who safeguards the honour and respect of a maidservant with so much delicacy and manners?
During the time when the Jews were living in his government under oath and with tax, and he was in the highest position of power, one of them had given the Messenger of Allah (S) a loan. The man demanded his money back. He (S) said to him: O Jewish man, I do not have what I owe you.
Thus, the Jewish man said, “I will not part from you until you pay me.”
He replied: Then, I will sit with you. He sat with him in that place for so long that the Prophet (S) prayed DHuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha’ as well as the next day’s morning prayer.
The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) were threatening the Jewish man. The Messenger of Allah looked at them and said: Why are you doing this to him?
They replied, “O Messenger of Allah, a Jew has obstructed you?”
He replied: My Lord, the Mighty and High, did not send me to oppress someone under oath or anyone else.
As the day rose, the Jewish man said, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. I give a portion of my wealth in the way of Allah. By Allah, I did what I did to confirm your description in the Torah. For I had read your description there as: Muhammad son of ‘Abd Allah, the place of his birth will be Mecca and the place of his migration will be Medina [Tayba]. He will not be impolite or callous, nor will he be abusive or speak nasally. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah. This is my wealth, so do with it as Allah has revealed.” The Jewish man was very wealthy.144
It is reported on the authority of ‘Aqba ibn ‘Alqama that he said, “I entered the presence of ‘Ali (as). He had sour milk in front of him. Its sourness and dry fragmentation distressed me. Hence, I asked him, “O Commander of the Faithful, do you eat things like this?”
He (as) replied to me: O Abu al-Junub, I found the Messenger of Allah (S) eating drier things than this and wearing rougher things than this. If I do not do what the Messenger of Allah (S) did, then I fear that I will not join him.145
‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (as) was asked, who was at the peak of worship, “How is your worship compared with the worship of your grandfather?”
He (as) replied: My worship compared to the worship of my grandfather is like the worship of my grandfather compared to that of the Messenger of Allah (S).146
Towards the end of his life, he forgave his own killer.147 Thus, the Divine morals were manifest in him, and the mercy of the Beneficent appeared through him:
And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds.148
Indeed, a Great Messenger like this can say: Surely, I was sent to complete the noble traits of morals.149
How can it be possible to explain his moral merits whilst Allah, the Exalted, says about him: And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality.150
Indeed, only a brief study of his life, morals and traits is sufficient for a just person to initiate belief in his Prophethood.
O Prophet! Surely We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news and as a warner, and as one inviting to Allah by His permission, and as a light-giving torch.151
The Divine Books and previous Prophets (as) gave glad tidings about our Prophet, Muhammad (S), although their followers altered their books so there may not remain any sign of those glad tidings. Nevertheless, if one studies what remains of them, he will discover the reality. We will suffice with two examples:
It has come in the Torah:
This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death.
He said: “The LORD came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; he shone forth from Mount Paran. He came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from his mountain slopes.152
Sinai [Sina’] is the place where revelation came to Prophet Moses. Seir [Sa’ir] is the place where Allah sent Jesus. Mount Paran [Faran] is where the light of Allah shined, and that is the mount in the holy city of Mecca, where the light of the Prophethood of Muhammad (S) shined.
In another place in the Torah, regarding Prophet Ishmael [Isma’il] and his mother Hagar [Hajar], it says:
God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.
While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.153
Paran is Mecca, where Ishmael and his sons lived. The one whose light shined from Mount Paran, who came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from its mountain slopes, is the light Allah sent from the cave of Hira to illuminate the world with the light of the guidance of the Qur’an. He will burn infidelity and hypocrisy with the fire of the wrath of the Subduer [al-Qahhar]. O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites.154
In another place in the Torah it states:
God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth.
His splendour was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.155
With the coming of Prophet Muhammad (S) the world heard the declaration from the Mount in Mecca: Glory be to Allah, all praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest. سبحان الله والحمدلله ولااله الاالله والله اكبر
Thus, it spread around the world through the daily prayers of the Muslims: Glory be to my Lord, the Greatest and praise be to Him; and Glory be to my Lord, the Highest and praise be to Him.
It is said in the Bible:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.”156
And in another place in the Bible:
“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”157
In the original script, the name of the Prophet (S) had been quoted which Jesus had promised them that their Lord will send: Paraclete [Farqilita] which translates in Arabic as Mahmud or Ahmad. However, the translators changed it to al-Mu’izzi.
This is found in the Gospel of St. Barnabas:
Know, O Barnabas, that for this I must have great persecution, and shall be sold by one of my disciples for thirty pieces of money.
Whereupon I am sure that he who shall sell me shall be slain in my name,
For that God shall take me up from the earth, and shall change the appearance of the traitor so that everyone shall believe him to be me;
Nevertheless, when he dies an evil death, I shall abide in that dishonour for a long time in the world.
But when Muhammad shall come, the sacred Messenger of God, that infamy shall be taken away.158
In this Gospel, the glad tiding with the words: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah:
Adam, having sprung upon his feet, saw in the air a writing that shone like the sun; which said: “There is only one God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”
Whereupon Adam opened his mouth and said: “I thank you, O Lord my God, that You have deigned to create me;
But tell me. I pray to You, what means the message of these words: “Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Have there been other men before me?”
‘Then said God: “Be you welcome, O my servant Adam.
I tell you that you are the first man whom I have created.
And he whom you have seen [mentioned] is your son,
Who shall come into the world many years hence, and shall be my Messenger, for whom I have created all things;
Who shall give light to the world when he shall come; whose soul was set in a celestial splendour; sixty thousand years before I made anything.”159
In another place from the same Gospel it is found:
Then, Adam, turning around, saw written above the gate, “There is only one God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”160
And in another place from the same Gospel, it says:
Whereupon God will have mercy upon the world,
And will send his Messenger for whom he has made all things who shall come from the south with power,
And shall destroy the idols with the idolaters who shall take away the dominion from Satan which he has over men.
He shall bring with him the mercy of God for salvation of them that shall believe in him,
And blessed is he who shall believe his words.
“Unworthy though I am to untie his hosen,
I have received grace and mercy from God to see him.”161
It is sufficient for ascertaining the glad tidings of the Torah and the Bible about our Prophet, Muhammad (S), that he called the Jews and the Christians, and their rulers, rabbis, monks and clerics to Islam. He announced the deviation of the Jewish belief: Uzayr is the son of Allah;162 and for the Christian belief: Surely Allah is the third of the three.163
He made known very clearly that it was he for whom the Torah and the Bible gave glad tidings.
Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Tawrat and the Injil.164
And when ‘Isa son of Maryam said: O children of Israel! Surely I am the apostle of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Tawrat and giving the good news of an Apostle who will come after me, his name being Ahmad.165
Is it possible to make such an announcement about this claim when he is not truthful in it; especially before those enemies who used to wait for every opportunity to condemn him, physically or mentally?
Indeed, the rabbis, the monks, the Jewish and Christian scholars and their rulers exploited all resources to stand before him. They strived to oppose him, but returned disappointed and unsuccessful, even in battles and disputes. How did they fail in confronting this annihilating claim and become incapable of facing it and invalidating it?
Indeed, this disgraceful silence of the Jewish and Christian scholars and rulers, and that clear claim from the Prophet (S), is a conclusive proof over the confirmation of those glad tidings during that time. They did not spare a moment before changing their books to protect their worldly positions and status before the people. This is apparent from the report of a Christian cleric who became a Muslim and wrote a book called Anis al-A’lam. Its summary is stated below:
I was born near the Armenian Churches. Towards the end of my studies, I started to serve one the Catholic Bishops. Around four to five hundred listeners used to attend his lecture. One day, the students were discussing between them in the absence of the teacher. When I entered his presence he asked me, “What were they discussing?”
I said, “About the word Paraclete.”
Thus, he asked me about the views of the ones discussing so I informed him. He said, “The truth is other than what they have said!” Then he gave me the key to a box, which I used to think contains his treasure. He said, “In this box are two books; one is in Syriac language and the other is in Greek. Both of these were written before the deputation of Muhammad (S). Bring them to me.”
When I brought him the books, he showed me the sentence that contained the word Paraclete and said, “This word means Ahmad and Muhammad.” He then added, “Before the deputation of Muhammad, there was no difference between the Christian clerics about the meaning of this word. However, they changed his name after his deputation.”
I asked him about the religion of the Christians. Thus, he said, “It is abrogated. The path of salvation is confined to the following of Muhammad (S).”
I asked him, “Why do you not display that?”
He answered, “If I displayed that they will kill me.”
At that point we both cried. Then I travelled with this provision which I took from my teacher to Muslim countries.
The recitation of those two books was enough to bring change to the belief of that cleric. After being honoured with faith in Islam, he compiled his book, Anis al-A’lam in nullifying Christianity and proving that the true religion is Islam. His book shows his pursuit and research on the Torah and the Bible.