وَتَمَّتۡ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدۡقً۬ا وَعَدۡلاً۬ۚ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـٰتِهِ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ
“The Word of your Rabb (Sustainer, Lord) does find its fulfillment in Truth and in Justice: none can change His Words: for He is the one who Hears and Knows all.” (6:115).
Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, clearly reveals that the Central Purpose of Qur’an, is guidance for the mankind. Qur’an shows clearly the criteria for mankind to judge between what is right and what is wrong. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, reveals:
شَہۡرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ هُدً۬ى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَٱلۡفُرۡقَانِ فَمَن شَہِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّہۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُ وَمَن ڪَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ۬ فَعِدَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ وَلِتُڪۡمِلُواْ ٱلۡعِدَّةَ وَلِتُڪَبِّرُواْ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَٮٰكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an as the guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spent it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (2:185).
In this regard, then, the Qur’an “guides to that which is most upright:”
إِنَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ يَہۡدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقۡوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ أَجۡرً۬ا كَبِيرً۬ا
“Verily this Qur’an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the glad tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward.” (17:9).
It is inevitable, therefore, that as the origin of guidance, Qur’an is the source1 of all knowledge. It means, then, that although not a book of philosophy or science, Qur’an contains a complete chart of life for a human being. It shows a path to attain success both in this life and the life Hereafter. It does so, not as a mere theory, but by presenting practical models of human beings who lived the life of success envisaged by the Qur’an. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, puts them with the group of those He describes upon whom Allah showers His Blessings:
وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّہَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَۚ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ رَفِيقً۬ا
“All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah― of the Prophets (who teach) the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): ah! How a beautiful fellowship!” (4:69).
To be included in this group is the prayer of every Muslim when reciting Surah al-Fatiha these revealed words:
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
“Show us the Straight Path.” (1:6).
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ …
“The Path of those on whom you have bestowed Your Grace…” (1:7).
The objective of this Booklet in Part One is to describe and explain clearly the authenticity and finality of the Qur’an. Then in Part Two to discuss our duties we have towards the Eternal Message in the Qur’an.
In doing so, this text will demonstrate that the Qur’an clearly charts and shows our life on the earth has a definite purpose and that the Qur’an is truly the Book of Allah and a true guide that never fails to put man on the guidance that is most upright.
The authenticity of the Qur’an will show clearly that it only contains hard facts, not theories. Theories can change in time but what the Qur’an proclaims has not only truly withstood the test of time but has also withstood unique challenges. One example is the Ayat challenging that the Qur’an contains no crookedness whatsoever. Each statement of the Qur’an is the whole Truth.
ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِهِ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَلَمۡ يَجۡعَل لَّهُ عِوَجَاۜ
The evidence of the above claim, as will be seen, is contained within the Qur’an itself.
The Qur’an claims to be the final guidance for all mankind. It is the final Book of guidance because there will be no more revelations from Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, for mankind. It is not difficult to understand that the final Book of Guidance for mankind should be revealed to the final Rasul (Messenger) of Allah, sent for the guidance of all mankind. The clarity of the Qur’an being the final Book is seen in the following Ayat (verse)3
ٱلۡيَوۡمَ أَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِينَكُمۡ وَأَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعۡمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلۡإِسۡلَـٰمَ دِينً۬ا
“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:3).
The claim of the Qur’an that it is the Book of Allah and the Book of universal guidance, for all mankind, in all ages is something that must be substantiated by historical evidence.
In Part One of this Booklet, we will clearly see that there is, in the Qur’an, ample evidence for this claim. We propose to demonstrate the validity of the claims the Qur’an is making, under two main topics that will follow:
1. The Truths manifested in the Qur’an; and
2. The Prophecies contained in the Qur’an.
As for the Truths Manifested in the Qur’an, we will see Internal Evidence for Truths the Qur’an contains, and External Corroboration for the Prophecies it contains.
Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, creates all things and forms them well, and decrees for every creature its sustenance and its final destiny. When we look around us, we see in Allah’s handiwork complete symmetrical creation. Little reflection shows us how wonderfully every creation is instinctively guided to receive all necessities of its life, whether it pertains to living things, mammals and plants, or whether it pertains to the universe or natural phenomena.
Allah creates everything and gives it a structure that makes the creation both internally and externally equipped to attain its goal. Thus, a tree, say an orange tree, as it sprouts from the earth, it grows from the interior of the orange seed and is guided and directed upwards as it grows into a full-blown orange tree. It is equipped to extract all its nourishment from the soil and from the environment in definite proportions as it needs. It grows until it reaches its goal to produce oranges that contain many seeds. If it is a corn or a wheat plant, it is directed towards its own goal, until it grows into a full-blown plant producing what it is destined to produce.
Human beings, too, are not an exception to this rule, except that while animals and other creatures are guided by instincts given them by Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, human beings use not only their sensual perceptions but also their rational perception to be guided. Man is a gregarious, social animal. As a social animal, the whole of the human society needs guidance. Otherwise there is chaos and anarchy.
Primitive societies organized themselves along tribal lines. Most modern societies of human beings govern by constitution along democratic principles. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, wants mankind to be guided by revelation He sent to His anbiya in the model of lives they led. The final chapter of this guidance and perfection is the Qur’an and the perfect model of lifestyle led by Rasul Allah (S). Look how Allah Himself describes this.
لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ۬ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأَخِر وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬
“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah.” (33:21).
Fundamentally, therefore, the only True Guidance that Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, will accept is the Din4 of Islam.
إِنَّ ٱلدِّينَ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡإِسۡلَـٰمُ وَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡعِلۡمُ بَغۡيَۢا بَيۡنَهُمۡ وَمَن يَكۡفُرۡ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَرِيعُ ٱلۡحِسَابِ
“The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His will): nor did the people of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account.” (3:19).
Any other ideology in which mankind does not totally surrender to the Will of Allah in Islam is not acceptable to Allah, as He reveals:
وَمَن يَبۡتَغِ غَيۡرَ ٱلۡإِسۡلَـٰمِ دِينً۬ا فَلَن يُقۡبَلَ مِنۡهُ وَهُوَ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِين
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah) never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost. (all spiritual good).” (3:85).
The clear reason for this is that our Creator has guaranteed, in the Din of Islam, the guidance that directs man towards the falah5, or the final prosperity in this life and in the life Hereafter. He is the Creator and He has chosen Islam as the only Path to salvation; any other path leads to misguidance and crookedness.
ٱلَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَبۡغُونَہَا عِوَجً۬ا وَهُم بِٱلۡأَخِرَةِ كَـٰفِرُونَ
“Those who would hinder (men) from the path of Allah and would seek in it something crooked: they were those who denied the Hereafter.” (7:45).
Qur’an, therefore, gives us not only the firmest guidance, but also declares it to be the only guidance given by the Creator Himself in His Book and through His own prophets. It leads to the unfailing goal.
It is very interesting to note that in His Attribute of al- Rahman (the All Merciful, Most Gracious, the Compassionate) Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, reveals the highest manifestation of this great Attribute: the fact that He taught mankind the Qur’an:
“[Allah] Most Gracious!” (55:1).
“It is He Who has taught the Qur’an.” (55:2).
“He has created man” (55:3).
“He has taught him speech [and Intelligence]” (55:4).
Mankind, when reflecting on the Qur’an, finds in the very first Ayat (verses) revealed by Allah an injunction to learn by reading and writing:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
“Proclaim! [or Read!] In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, who created.” (96:1).
خَلَقَ الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ
“Created man, out of a (mere) clot (of congealed blood):” (96:2).
اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ
“Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful.” (96:3).
الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ
“He Who taught (the use of) the Pen.” (96:4).
عَلَّمَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مَا لَمۡ يَعۡلَمۡ
“Taught man that which he knew not.” (96:5).
These five ayat command Rasul Allah (S) to recite (read) in the name of Allah whose Power and Magnanimity here are related to the gift of revelation to man. It invites mankind to think and to ponder and arrive at the conclusions that will show him the guidance6.
The guidance received from the Qur’an will not be just theories. Rather, they will be containing only the Truth designed to annihilate the Falsehood. The Qur’an declares:
بَلۡ نَقۡذِفُ بِٱلۡحَقِّ عَلَى ٱلۡبَـٰطِلِ فَيَدۡمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ۬ وَلَكُمُ ٱلۡوَيۡلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ
“Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold falsehood doth perish! Ah! Woe be to you for the [false] things ye ascribe [to Us].” (21:18).
The confidence with which the Qur’an declares this is because the Qur’an is from no other than Allah Himself. It further carries a challenge that, if anything found in the Qur’an is not authentic or if it is not relevant to any age and any time, it is up to the disbelievers to prove it wrong. Consider, for example, the following7:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَۚ وَلَوۡ كَانَ مِنۡ عِندِ غَيۡرِ ٱللَّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ ٱخۡتِلَـٰفً۬ا ڪَثِيرً۬ا
“Do they not ponder on the Qur’an [with care]? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.” (4:82).
This is a unique attitude in the Qur’an. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, throws a clear challenge and then invites the reader to find a mistake. Commenting upon this attitude in the Qur’an, we are told: “The seriousness and difficulty of the challenge aside, the actual presentation of such a challenge in the first place is not even in human nature and is inconsistent with man’s personality. One does not take an exam in school (and) after finishing the exams writes a note to the instructor at the end saying, “this exam (my answers) are perfect. There are no mistakes…find (even) one if you can’. One just does not do that. The teacher would not sleep until he found a mistake. And yet this is the way the Qur’an approaches people”8.
The Qur’an also asks, as stated earlier, to read and write-that is, to research. Muslims took up this advice, together with prophetic Ahadith, on seeking knowledge. Each time Muslims followed this guidance from the Qur’an, they never failed in their research. In 1980’s, Some Muslims in the Hijaz asked a non- Muslim, a world- renowned expert on embryology, Dr. Keith Moore of the University of Toronto in Canada, to research and come up with his conclusions on the subject of embryology based on what the Qur’an has revealed on the subject. Dr. Keith Moore, together with his team of experts in embryology, researched and was absolutely stunned at the complete accuracy of the Qur’an in the subject of their research. Dr. Moore himself finding the Qur’an so accurate had to include the material he found in the Qur’an in the second edition of his textbook, Before We Were Born.
When Dr. Keith Moore was interviewed for a television presentation, he remarked that some of the things mentioned in the Qur’an had just come to light only thirty or so years ago. The thing that he found new was also the Qur’an’s description of a “leech like clot” (‘alaqah, as the Qur’an calls it9). Dr. Moore found this to be so accurate when he compared it with the picture of a leech that he included it in his textbooks. When his findings became public and the newspapers printed the story in their headlines, one reporter asked Dr. Moore this question: “Don’t you think that, may be, the Arabs might have known about these things – the description of embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows?”
Dr. Keith Moore quickly pointed out to the reporter that he (the reporter) had missed a very important point. Nobody could see this without the aid of a microscope. Dr. Moore also taunted the reporter by telling him this:
“…May be fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did Research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then, he somehow taught Muhammad and convinced him to put it in his book. Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proof because this is such a ridiculous theory”10.
When Dr. Moore was asked, “how do you explain this information in the Qur’an?” his reply was “It could only have been Divinely revealed.”
Experiences of these kinds have been borne out by other scholars as well. A French Scientist, Dr. Maurice Beaucaille, writes:
“A crucial fact is that the Qur’an, while inviting us to cultivate science, itself contains many observations on natural phenomena and includes explanatory details which are seen to be in total agreement with modern scientific data. There is no equal to this in Judeo- Christian (Old Testament and New Testament) Revelation. These scientific considerations, which are very specific to the Qur’an greatly surprised me at first. Up until then, I had not thought it possible for me to find so many statements in a text compiled more than thirteen centuries ago referring to so extremely diverse subjects and all of them totally in keeping with modern scientific knowledge. The hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur’an is quite untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate [sic], become the most important author, in terms of literary merit, in the whole of the Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at the time, and all this without once making the slightest error in the pronouncement of the subject? …They lead to conclusion that it is inconceivable for a human being living in the seventh century A.D. to have made statements in the Qur’an on a great variety of subjects that do not belong to his period and for them to be in keeping with what was known only centuries later.”11
Dr. Maurice Bucaille’s comment that explanations given in the Qur’an are seen to be in total agreement with modern scientific data is very interesting. The Qur’an contains only the Truth. No theories. If it did contain theories, it would have never withstood the test of time because theories, no matter how good, are liable to change as fresh discoveries are made. The Book of Allah reveals only the ultimate and final Truth. This challenge is, then, very unique in the face of all modern, scientific discoveries.
One of the astounding things also is the Qur’an’s description of the factors that give rise to the production of milk in animals. The accuracy of the Qur’an in describing this stunned Dr. Maurice Beaucaille. The Qur’an reads.
وَإِنَّ لَكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ لَعِبۡرَةً۬ۖ نُّسۡقِيكُم مِّمَّا فِى بُطُونِهِۦ مِنۢ بَيۡنِ فَرۡثٍ۬ وَدَمٍ۬ لَّبَنًا خَالِصً۬ا سَآٮِٕغً۬ا لِّلشَّـٰرِبِينَ
“And verily in cattle (too) will ye find an instructive Sign. From what is within their bodies, between excretions and blood, We produce for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it.” (16:66).
Dr. Beaucaille explaining this says: “It (how the cattle produce milk was totally unknown at the time of Prophet Muhammad and has been understood only in recent times. The discovery of the circulation of blood was made by Harvey roughly ten centuries after the Qur’anic revelation.”12
Researchers have only recently become aware that every living thing comes into being as a result of merging of a male and a female cell. This is true also for fertilization in plants. Several theories existed before this discovery. The modern discovery, using most up to date scientific equipment, has led to the conclusion that reproduction is impossible without fertilization except in certain plants where division is by way of the division of cells. The Book of Allah, on the other hand, already described this phenomenon so clearly:
ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ مَهۡدً۬ا وَسَلَكَ لَكُمۡ فِيہَا سُبُلاً۬ وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَأَخۡرَجۡنَا بِهِۦۤ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا مِّن نَّبَاتٍ۬ شَتَّىٰ
“He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky.” With it have We produced divers’ pairs of plants each separate from the others.” (20:53).
Or as Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, reveals in Sura Yasin:
سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلۡأَزۡوَٲجَ ڪُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ وَمِنۡ أَنفُسِهِمۡ وَمِمَّا لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
“Pure and Transcendent is Allah who created in pairs all things that the earth produces as well as their own kind and (also other) things of which they have no knowledge.” (36:36).
It is interesting to note that the Qur’an expands this phenomenon to include not only the human male and female and the animal and vegetable world, but in fact all parts of existence.
وَمِن ڪُلِّ شَىۡءٍ خَلَقۡنَا زَوۡجَيۡنِ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُونَ
“And of everything We have created pairs: that ye may receive instruction.” (51:49).
A few years ago, in 1984, when I was in Iran travelling from Tehran to Mashhad, I came across a journal during the flight. It was interesting to read that Jacques Cousteau, a famous marine biologist, had said that he always wondered why the salty body of water (oceans) on the earth did not become sweet and palatable when they met bodies of sweet waters, fed by rain (rivers, lakes and underground springs), flowing into the sea. Jacques Cousteau always wanted to find the answer to this question and, while no one had, and he was wonderstruck to find the Qur’an solved it for him:
مَرَجَ ٱلْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ
“He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together.” (55:19).
بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَّا يَبْغِيَانِ
“Between them is a Barrier which they do not transgress” (55:20).
فَبِأَىِّ ءَالَآءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ
“Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?” (55:21).
وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هَٰذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ وَهَٰذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخًا وَحِجْرًا مَحْجُورًا
“It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: one palatable and sweet and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed.” (25:53).13
A very similar incident occurred in the life of a non- Muslim merchant marine that made his living in the sea. A Muslim friend had given him a copy of the Qur’an14. After coming across a particular passage in the Qur’an, where Allah describes the status of a disbeliever and compares it with the stormy sea, he asked his Muslim friend if Rasul Allah (S) had ever been a sailor. When the Muslim replied that Rasul Allah (S) lived all his life in the barren valley of Makka – wadi ghayra dhi zar’in, as the Qur’an describes it – he was so impressed with the Qur’an’s exact description of the storm on the sea that he accepted Islam. He totally believed that the Qur’an had to be from no other source except Allah Himself. The Ayat in Surah an-Nur reads:
أَوۡ كَظُلُمَـٰتٍ۬ فِى بَحۡرٍ۬ لُّجِّىٍّ۬ يَغۡشَٮٰهُ مَوۡجٌ۬ مِّن فَوۡقِهِۦ مَوۡجٌ۬ مِّن فَوۡقِهِۦ سَحَابٌ۬ ظُلُمَـٰتُۢ بَعۡضُہَا فَوۡقَ بَعۡضٍ إِذَآ أَخۡرَجَ يَدَهُ لَمۡ يَكَدۡ يَرَٮٰهَا وَمَن لَّمۡ يَجۡعَلِ ٱللَّهُ لَهُ نُورً۬ا فَمَا لَهُ مِن نُّورٍ
“Or (the Unbelievers’ state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness one above another: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! For any to whom Allah giveth not light there is no light!” (24:40).
There are several examples where Qur’an has come to the aid of modern science. In doing so, the Book of Allah has disproved false theories. A classic example of this is the Ptolemaic theory of the immobility of the earth. Christian churches had accepted this theory as the solid truth. Further, they believed that the earth was the center of the universe.
It was an Italian physicist and astronomer of the 17th century, Galileo, who refuted this theory and stated correctly that the earth has a motion and it revolves around the Sun. The Christian churches vehemently opposed this. To them, Galileo had uttered a “blasphemy”. For this, Galileo was sentenced to life imprisonment. What is very interesting is that while Europe was gripped under such wrong theories, and Galileo had discovered the truth only in the 17th century, the Qur’an had already revealed, a thousand years before Galileo, that the earth had a motion. Not only does the Qur’an show that the earth has a motion, it also reveals how mountains act as pegs that balance the planet earth to keep it steady. Consider the following wonderful Ayat:
خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَنْ تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَأَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنْبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ
“He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm lest it should shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. We send down rain from the sky and produce on the earth every kind of noble creature, in pairs.” (31:10).
In a further elaboration of this challenge of the Qur’an, an interesting article15 shows several examples where the Qur’an has come to the aid of researchers and scientists to arrive at the final Truth in the face of several unfounded theories by various thinkers. One of these was the theory of the scientist Laplace, whose theory concerning the emergence of the solar system was refuted as modern scientific research was made. Modern science came to agree with the Qur’anic revelation in Surah Al-Anbiya’:
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
“Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined [as one unit of Creation], before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” (21:30).
Modern research has just arrived at the conclusion about our solar system; whereas the Book of Allah had already described it at the time when the knowledge of science, and, indeed, all other knowledge was extremely limited. Similarly, it is only now that scientists are arriving at the conclusion that our universe is continuously expanding. Until the 19th century this was totally unknown. The Qur’an, however, has described this in clear terms:
وَٱلسَّمَآءَ بَنَيۡنَـٰهَا بِأَيۡيْدٍ۬ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ
“With the power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of Space.” (51:47).
The Book of Allah describes the heavenly bodies, each of them keeping to its appointed course.
ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى رَفَعَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ بِغَيۡرِ عَمَدٍ۬ تَرَوۡنَہَا ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلۡعَرۡشِ وَسَخَّرَ ٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ كُلٌّ۬ يَجۡرِى لِأَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى يُدَبِّرُ ٱلۡأَمۡرَ يُفَصِّلُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَآءِ رَبِّكُمۡ تُوقِنُون
“Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; then He established Himself on the Throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs explaining the Signs in detail, which ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.” (13:2).
The Qur’an explained the above scientific truth in a way that is comprehensible to mankind in all ages. Our 8th Imam ‘Ali Al-Rida (‘a) gave a beautiful explanation of this Sign of Allah as he explained to one of his disciples saying, “…there is a pillar, but it cannot be seen”.16
Qur’an is the True Word of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, and has continued to withstand the test of time can also be shown through its prophecies. We can divide the prophecies in the Qur’an in three categories:
(a) The prophecies that occurred and were totally fulfilled in the life of Rasul Allah (S).
(b) The prophecies that were totally fulfilled after the passing away of Rasul Allah (S)
(c) The prophecies that are still to be fulfilled.
Now let us look at all the three with some detail:
There are several prophecies in the Qur’an that were fulfilled during the earthly life of Rasul Allah (S). In this paper, I shall discuss only two prophecies under this heading. The earliest was when Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, prophesied about Abu Lahab. Abu Lahab, whose actual name was ‘Abdu al-Uzza (named after an idol Uzza), was the most notorious opponent of the message of Islam and of Rasul Allah (S).
When Allah commanded Rasul Allah (S) to admonish the public for the very first time, Rasul Allah (S) used the same system to announce as was used by the Makkans at the time. This was to stand on Mount Saffa and give a cry “Wa Sabaha” three times. Makkans would be able to see a man standing on the hill of Saffa and would realize the importance of his calling them to him. As Makkans gathered, Rasul Allah (S) began a very interesting and comprehensive khutba in which he proclaimed the Oneness of Allah, that Allah had appointed him as the Rasul of Allah and admonished them about the coming of the Day of Judgment. Abu Lahab, who was in the crowd, shouted obscenity at Rasul Allah (S), cursing and wishing for no power in what Rasul Allah (S) was proclaiming in his Message. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, revealed a prophecy against Abu Lahab as follows:
تَبَّتۡ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍ۬ وَتَبَّ
“Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he.” (111:1).
مَآ أَغۡنَىٰ عَنۡهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا ڪَسَبَ
“No profit to him from all his wealth, and all his gains!” (111:2).
سَيَصۡلَىٰ نَارً۬ا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ۬
“Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of blazing Flame!” (111:3).
وَٱمۡرَأَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ ٱلۡحَطَبِ
“His wife shall carry the [crackling] wood [as fuel]!” (111:4).
فِى جِيدِهَا حَبۡلٌ۬ مِّن مَّسَدِۭ
“A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her [own] neck!” (111:5).
This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. As Islam began to rise and was becoming a reality, the enemies went into battle with them. Their efforts only resulted in their total defeat in the Battle of Badr. Many of their leaders perished. Abu Lahab himself perished a week after Badr, lost in every way, and totally consumed with grief in his own fiery passions. Abu Lahab, who wielded so much power during the Makkan past, now lay fallen to such an extent that no one was willing even to remove his corpse which lay in the hot sun giving out a foul smell. Abu Lahab was destroyed totally. His pride was his wealth, a very beautiful wife named Jamilah, and youthful sons to take pride in the Makkan society that adored sons, despised daughters to the point of burying them alive.
It is very interesting to note that prophecies in the Qur’an reveal not only that Qur’an is the True Word of Allah, but they also contain miracles of their own. For example, Dr. Gary Miller in his book The Amazing Quran tells us that if this prophecy was not the Word of Allah, Abu Lahab could have actually wiped out the message of Islam quite easily. All that he had to do was to falsify the above prophecy. He could have just accepted Islam and claim that, by accepting Islam, all his previous bad deeds were wiped out.
By accepting Islam, he would have thus falsified the prophecy and could have said, “See, I was always telling you that these are not the words of Allah. If these were, I would not have accepted Islam. Now I have accepted Islam and, according to Islam, since anyone who accepts Islam has his or her bad deeds wiped out, all my past deeds ought to be wiped out. If not, then, either Islam is wrong, or the prophecy against me is wrong.” Muslims would have had nothing to say. The confidence with which the prophecy is revealed in the Qur’an and the fact that he did not accept Islam shows, clearly, the Truthfulness of the Qur’an in any statements it makes.
Take another prophecy that was fulfilled during the mission of Rasul Allah (S). At the time of Rasul Allah (S), there were two superpowers in the world: The Roman Empire in the West and the Persian Empire in the East. Each of them had a clear ambition to be the only superpower on earth. There were, therefore, wars between these two superpowers. Sometimes it was the Roman Empire that had the upper hand, and vice versa. In the years 614-615 A.D., however, the Persian Empire managed to defeat the Roman Empire under Heraclius. This was, indeed, a major defeat. The Roman Empire lost control of Jerusalem and other important centers. Constantinople was the only major city not subjugated under the Persian Empire.
The Qurayshites of Makka began to rejoice at this news. They were hoping that the newly emerging Islam, which appeared to be so weak and helpless, would also be wiped out under their persecution and pressure.
Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, under these circumstances, when it was impossible even to imagine that the Roman empire could regain any of their occupied lands, prophesied like this:
“Alif Lam Mim.” (30:1).
“The Roman Empire has been defeated.” (30:2).
فِىٓ أَدۡنَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَهُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ غَلَبِهِمۡ سَيَغۡلِبُونَ
“In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious.”(30:3).
فِى بِضۡعِ سِنِينَ لِلَّهِ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ مِن قَبۡلُ وَمِنۢ بَعۡدُ وَيَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يَفۡرَحُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ
“Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision, in the Past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice.” (30:4).
بِنَصۡرِ ٱللَّهِ يَنصُرُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
“With the help of Allah. He helps whom He will, and He is Exalted in Might, Most Merciful.” (30:5).
وَعۡدَ ٱللَّهِ لَا يُخۡلِفُ ٱللَّهُ وَعۡدَهُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَڪۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
“[It is] the promise of Allah. Never does Allah depart from His promise: but most men understand not.” (30:6).
يَعۡلَمُونَ ظَـٰهِرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ هُمۡ غَـٰفِلُونَ
“They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world: but of the End of things they are heedless” (30:7).
And so, it happened…exactly as Allah promised. Within just seven years of the fall of Jerusalem, the Roman Empire fought a successful battle of Issus in the year of 622. Within the next two years, the Roman Empire successfully penetrated Persia.
Within the same span of time, the persecuted and weak Muslims had already completed the historical hijrah, had settled in Madina, Islam was forming itself into a power to reckon with and, in the year 624, as the Romans were penetrating completely the Persian Empire, Muslims were defeating the Quraysh at the Battle of Badr. The Qur’an’s prophecy was fulfilled to the letter.
There are many prophecies that were fulfilled after the passing away of Rasul Allah (S), exactly as prophesied in the Qur’an. The one that has direct bearing upon us is the one in Surah al-Jumu’ah. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, revealed:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلۡأُمِّيِّـۧنَ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيہِمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬
“It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom― although they had been, before, in manifest error.” (62:2).
وَءَاخَرِينَ مِنۡہُمۡ لَمَّا يَلۡحَقُواْ بِہِمۡ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
“As well as [to confer all these benefits upon] others of them, who have not already joined them: and He is Exalted in Might, Wise.” (62:3).
ذَٲلِكَ فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ يُؤۡتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلۡفَضۡلِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ
“Such is the Bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He will: and Allah is the Lord of the highest bounty.” (62:4).
What a wonderful prophecy! This was revealed in Madina when Muslims were still a small community. No one could even imagine Islam would gain any foothold beyond the boundaries of Madina, or even Arabia. Muslims were still struggling against all odds and conspiracies of the Makkan Qurayshites, their confederates and Madinian Jewish tribes. In an atmosphere like this, a prophecy was revealed promising Islam to be the reality for all peoples of the world. The Deen of Allah, in which people of all races, the Akhareen (i.e., non-Arabs) would join17.
We are the fulfilment of this prophecy of Allah because we are the people of the Akhareen referred to in this prophecy. We, the converts from Hindus of the past, and billions of others belonging to other races, cultures and nationalities!
A very similar prophecy was also made in the complete chapter of Surah an-Nasr:
إِذَا جَآءَ نَصۡرُ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡفَتۡحُ
“When, comes the Help of Allah, and Victory” (110:1).
وَرَأَيۡتَ ٱلنَّاسَ يَدۡخُلُونَ فِى دِينِ ٱللَّهِ أَفۡوَاجً۬ا
“And you do see the People enter Allah’s Religion in crowds” (110:2).
فَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّكَ وَٱسۡتَغۡفِرۡهُ إِنَّهُ ڪَانَ تَوَّابَۢا
“Celebrate the Praises of your Rabb [Lord] and pray for His Forgiveness: for He is Oft Returning [in Grace and Mercy].” (110:3).
Rasul Allah (S) had migrated from Makka to Madina as a persecuted man. While establishing in Madina the truly compassionate faith and true social justice of Islam, the Deen of Allah, all the efforts of the enemy to extinguish the light of Islam totally failed. Islam began not only to survive, but also to thrive. When Makka was taken bloodless, the compassion and mercy of Rasul Allah truly astounded the Arabs. Islam had become a reality, and Arab tribes all over came in delegation upon delegation to accept Islam. The prophecy was fulfilled as the boundaries of Islam began to expand. While this prophecy was fulfilled in the life of Rasul Allah (S), it also made Islam ready to receive the people of the akhireen.
One of the most interesting prophecies that we see being fulfilled in our modern times is that of the mummified bodies of the Pharaohs. I will let the Qur’an describe the prophecy in its own words:
وَجَـٰوَزْنَا بِبَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ ٱلْبَحْرَ فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ وَجُنُودُهُۥ بَغْيًا وَعَدْوًا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَدْرَكَهُ ٱلْغَرَقُ قَالَ ءَامَنتُ أَنَّهُۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِىٓ ءَامَنَتْ بِهِۦ بَنُوٓا۟ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ وَأَنَا۠ مِنَ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ
“We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: ‘I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit [to Allah in Islam]’.” (10:90).
ءَآلْـَٔـٰنَ وَقَدْ عَصَيْتَ قَبْلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ ٱلْمُفْسِدِينَ
“[It was said to him]: ‘Ah now! -but a little while before, you were in rebellion! And you did mischief (and violence)!’” (10:91).
فَٱلۡيَوۡمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنۡ خَلۡفَكَ ءَايَةً۬ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَا لَغَـٰفِلُونَ
“’This day shall We save you in your body, that you may be a Sign to those who come after you! But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!’” (10:92).
The commentators of the Qur’an tell us that Allah made this concession to Fir’awn.
He saved Fir’awn’s body. The body was saved from the sea and, according to Egyptian customs, mummified and preserved. A Sign forever, and for us, in the twentieth/twenty-first century, it is just amazing to witness the excavations of well-preserved mummified bodies of the Pharaohs fulfilling the prophecy in the Qur’an. The fulfillment of the prophecy is proven to be the body of the Fir’awn himself!
“Vr. 90 (1034)…While getting drowned Pharaoh realized the existence of God and declared His Unity but it was of no avail to him. It is proved here that however much one might deny the existence of God or His authority during one’s life-time, but when one experiences the agony of death, he helplessly realizes the Truth and spontaneously declares it. Vr. 92. (1035) Today after the passage of thousands of years, the body of Ramses II has been discovered and identified to be the body of the Pharaoh of Moses’ time (Ency, Br. Art Mummy).
This discovery of the fact is another proof positive of the Holy Qur’an being the Revealed Word of God, otherwise the matter could not have been known to Rasul Allah (S). It is reported by the fifth Holy Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir (‘a) that Pharaoh with all his men was drowned and the body of Pharaoh was thrown out of the sea, on the shore, so that the people might know he (Pharaoh) whom they worshipped as God was dead and had been reduced to a dirty corpse, and that the coming generations also might learn a lesson. When the Israelites saw the corpse of Pharaoh, their fight against his return to them once again subsided”.
Any intelligent, rational person will tell you that the Qur’an has proved, beyond any doubt, that it is the True Word of Allah. It guides mankind to the path of the Final Success.
Imam ‘Ali (‘a) calls it, “the best companion that will never deceive…” and, as we have seen so far in this paper, it always reveals the Truth and does exactly what it says it will do!
Based on this, it would be totally foolish to doubt even an iota about the fulfilment of those prophecies that are still to be fulfilled. These prophecies are in the plan of Allah and they will be fulfilled to the letter, there is no doubt about it! I will deal here with only two prophecies that are still to be fulfilled. I have chosen these two for a purpose.
There are some scholars who have said that we cannot tell how our history will shape itself. In other words, they say that we cannot chart future events in our lives that will inevitably shape our history. For “how can you predict history?” they say. While this is true for all other planning done by us mortals, it does not hold true for the planning of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
Muslims believe that Allah has already charted their history. Allah has already promised certain events and He never goes back on His Promise. That our history has been charted for us is seen further in the following amazing prophecy. Three times in the Qur’an has Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, revealed this prophecy:
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ
“It is He who hath sent His Messenger with Guidance and Religion of Truth to proclaim it over all religion, even though the pagans may detest (it).”(9:33).
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا
“It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness.” (48:28).
هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَرۡسَلَ رَسُولَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ ٱلۡحَقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهُ ۥ عَلَى ٱلدِّينِ ڪُلِّهِۦ وَلَوۡ ڪَرِهَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكُون
“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).” (61:9).
No other revealed scripture has a prophecy like this. This is the Final Message from Allah and He has already prophesied this for all universe. Our history has been charted. Another important revelation in this regard is also to be found in Surah an-Nur:
وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ڪَمَا ٱسۡتَخۡلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ دِينَہُمُ ٱلَّذِى ٱرۡتَضَىٰ لَهُمۡ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّہُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِهِمۡ أَمۡنً۬ا يَعۡبُدُونَنِى لَا يُشۡرِكُونَ بِى شَيۡـًٔ۬اۚ وَمَن ڪَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذَٲلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقُونَ
“Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion― the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me.If any do reject faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked’.” (24:55).19
Further, some Ahadith from Rasul Allah (S) confirms this. In one hadith, for example, Rasul Allah (S) is reported in many sources (Shi’i as well as Sunni) to have said:
“Even if there was just the one day left to the life of this world, Allah will extend that day until there appears a man from my Ahl Al-Bayt, whose name will be my name and his ancestors same as my ancestors, and he will fill the earth with total Justice where there is oppression and injustice”20.
The other prophecy, which must come to pass, is the total truth about the life Hereafter. This will follow the Resurrection and the Day of Judgment. Qur’an has several prophecies and warnings about the Day of Judgment, the events at the time of calamity, the wonderful status of those who led the life in total belief in Tawhid, never associating with Allah anyone else. They believed in all the articles of Faith and had an unshakeable belief in the Day of Judgment and the life Hereafter. They lived away this life feeling compassionate for others, always engaged in good deeds. They established Salat in their lives, and were always engaged in purifying their own selves and their properties through the institutions of Salat and Zakat (2.5% etc. also Khums, Sadaqa and other forms of purifying wealth – see your Fiqh). They believed fully in the prophecy that Allah has created us from the dust and will return us to the earth and then, eventually, Allah will bring us back forth (Resurrection, Judgment and the Hereafter) from the dust.
The authenticity of the Qur’an is wonderfully seen also in one Ayat I want to quote here. It is in Surah Taha, Surah 20, Ayat 55. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, reveals:
مِنۡہَا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُمۡ وَفِيہَا نُعِيدُكُمۡ وَمِنۡہَا نُخۡرِجُكُمۡ تَارَةً أُخۡرَىٰ
“From the (earth) did We create you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again.” (20:55).
How amazingly True! It requires only a little pondering. We have been created from the dust and will be returned to dust and then from the dust Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, will raise us. This Ayat is inspiring. When you think about this a little, how much dependent we are on the earth? Our whole survival, our homes, our furniture, our utensils, our food, everything has its origin from the earth, the cattle gets its food from the earth, Cattle gives us milk, its flesh, everything. It is amazing! Now you might say but what about when the body is cremated in other religions and not buried. Does it still return to the earth?
The answer is Yes. The body is cremated but its ashes remain. Eventually the ashes are returned to the earth or put in the river or ocean, eventually it still goes to the earth! What more proof do we need of the authenticity of the Qur’an and the total belief in everything it reveals? The Qur’an shows what the purpose of our earthly life is and it is to show all this that I am writing this and calling it “Al-Wasiyyat”. It is a loving guidance in the hope also that Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, will InshaAllah accept.
The Qur’an also shows the hopelessness of those who lived away their lives in the status of unbelief and unrighteousness. Because they did not believe in the Day of Accounting or in the Hereafter, their goal was only happiness in this life.
In order to achieve happiness and comfort only for themselves in this life, they lived the life of oppressing others, amassing wealth at the expense of others, consuming in their bellies what was the right of others, with no compassion or mercy for others.
The realities of Shaytan, as the Qur’an shows us, beguiled them. The Qur’an prophesies that it will be the same Shaytan that will abandon them on the Day of Judgment. As a matter of fact, the Qur’an shows us that Allah will give Shaytan the opportunity to address those who followed him, doomed for the fire of Hell:
وَقَالَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ لَمَّا قُضِىَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَعَدَڪُمۡ وَعۡدَ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمۡ فَأَخۡلَفۡتُڪُمۡ وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيۡكُم مِّن سُلۡطَـٰنٍ إِلَّآ أَن دَعَوۡتُكُمۡ فَٱسۡتَجَبۡتُمۡ لِى فَلَا تَلُومُونِى وَلُومُوٓاْ أَنفُسَڪُم مَّآ أَنَا۟ بِمُصۡرِخِڪُمۡ وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُصۡرِخِىَّ إِنِّى ڪَفَرۡتُ بِمَآ أَشۡرَڪۡتُمُونِ مِن قَبۡلُ إِنَّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬
“And Satan will say when the matter is decided: “It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me: then reproach not me but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrongdoers there must be a grievous Penalty.” (14:22).
May Allah Subhanahu a Ta’ala save us from the beguiling Shaytan and his progeny, Amin ya Rabb al-’Alamin.
After reading this, the readers will agree there is nothing more left to be said – Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala’s prophecies have come to pass, for believers and non-believers alike!
Every Muslim must believe the Qur’an to be the Final Word of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. This belief springs from the fact that, once a Muslim has uttered the Shahadah, he or she accepts the Usul ad-Din as the fundamental article of being a Muslim. Since Nabuwwat is part of our Usul ad-Din and the process of Wahy (revelation) from Allah is part of Nabuwwat, belief in the Qur’an as the Word of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, is a fundamental requirement.
Once this is understood and one believes the Qur’an to be the True Word of Allah, the status of one’s faith in the Book of Allah becomes much stronger. Those who understood this during the time of Rasul Allah (S) are mentioned in the Qur’an as the ones who were the forerunners in their belief; they are shown as those who believed with Rasul Allah (S). What was being revealed to him was forever true. Allah reveals:
ءَامَنَ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّن رُّسُلِهِۦ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعۡنَا وَأَطَعۡنَا غُفۡرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ
“The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Rabb [Sustainer, Lord], as do the men of faith. Each one [of them] believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His Messengers “We make no distinction [they say] between one and another of His Messengers.” And they say: “We hear and we obey; [We seek] Your Forgiveness, Our Rabb, [our Sustainer, our Lord], and to You is the end of all journeys.” (2:285).
The believers quoted in the above Ayat - foremost among them was Imam ‘Ali (‘a) -he had a very special attachment to the Qur’an. In the khutubat of Imam ‘Ali (‘a) in his Nahj al-Balaghah, we see the continuously overflowing love and advise to Muslims to be fully attached to the Qur’an. In one of his khutba, for example, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is telling us:
“Seek the cure of ailments from the Qur’an and procure its help in your afflictions for, verily, Qur’an is the remedy for the biggest of maladies: faithlessness and hypocrisy, error and misguidance. Ask of Allah His favors through it and turn to Allah by means of endearing it…”21
The complete lives of all other Imams (‘a) who followed Imam Ali (‘a) show exactly similar love for, and attachment to the Qur’an. Further, all our Imams have also taken great care to make Muslims understand their duties towards the Qur’an.
All this shows that, in order to do its tadabbur (pondering), we must have a real contact with the Qur’an22. The real contact with the Qur’an is possible only when we have a total and firm belief that the Qur’an is truly the Word of Allah.
We must be totally convinced that the Qur’an contains the absolute Truth and contains absolutely total, perfect guidance for the success of our life here in this world and in the Hereafter. When such a conviction enters our hearts, our love for, and our contact with the Qur’an will have a radical change!
The starting point to develop understanding of the significance of the Qur’an in our lives is to study the seerah (complete life) of Rasul Allah (S). We find in the seerah of Rasul Allah (S) that the only instrument he used to bring about the complete revolution (I call it an intellectual revolution) and establish a true New World Order was the Qur’an and his Sunnah. With these, he managed to change lives of people, purify their souls and taught them wisdom. Allah declares:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلۡأُمِّيِّـۧنَ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيہِمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬
“It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest error” (62:2).
We find the same in the seerah of all our Imams (‘a). They lived their total lives by the Qur’an. It would be accurate to say that they breathed by the Qur’an. They guided their followers by the Qur’an and the true Sunnah of Rasul Allah (S). In our belief, our Imams (‘a) are so perfect in their understanding of the true meaning of the Qur’an that they are also known as the natiq al- Qur’an (the Speaking Qur’an). In his daily life, Imam ‘Ali (‘a)’s deep understanding of the Qur’an is also seen when he describes, through the Qur’an, all the three major battles he fought during the period of his Khilafat (656-661A.H.)
The beautiful Ad’iyyah (Du’as) which the Imams (‘a) have left us, speak of their thorough knowledge of the Qur’an. In the Ad’iyyah left by them, we see also the correct methodology of supplicating to Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. The spiritual companionship thus derived will be the initial step towards understanding the Qur’an and then teaching it to others.
- 1. Knowledge began with the wahy or revelation. The first human being Allah created, Adam, was also a nabi. Wahy began with him with the knowledge as Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, taught Adam names. The commentators, the mufassirin, show this as the beginning of the process of all knowledge. This included knowledge of those things that was outside the realm of angels. Nabi Adam, ‘alayhi as-salam, was therefore able to understand. Allah made him, and his posterity that were to follow him, His Vicegerent on this earth. The vicegerents, par excellence, from among all mankind are the anbiya, the last of whom was Rasul Allah (S), the seal of all anbiya, and after him the chosen Imams who were endowed with ‘ilm al-ladunni and led the life of the vicegerents of Allah on the earth.
- 2. See also 41:41-42 in which Allah describes “…And it is a Book of exalted power. No falsehood can approach it from before or behind it. Revealed by One Full of Wisdom, worthy of all Praise” (41:41-42).
- 3. See 34:28 in which is revealed the universal mission of Muhammad, the Rasul of Allah: “We have not sent you but as a universal (Messenger) to mankind, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sinning), but most men understand not” (34:28).
- 4. The word din means a complete way of life. The word ‘religion’ for Islam cannot be applied in the common sense of the word. It is, in fact, a complete system of life. It encompasses the total ideal of life, not only for an individual, but for the whole society. The din al-Islam is actually the din al-Tawhid, the complete way of life in which the Absolute Sovereign Lord is only Allah, the Rabb al-’Alameen (The Lord of the Worlds).
- 5. It is important to understand the theology behind the word falah. Much the same way as the example given earlier about a seed of any particular fruit being guided towards its finality, the true faith in Islam is found in its usul al-Din. Usul itself means root. Therefore, usul al- Din means the roots of religion. These roots (the true faith) are analogous to the seed of a fruit tree that sprouts from within the soil guided by Allah upwards to its wonderful growth until it reaches its optimum and produces fruit. Falah means exactly that.
It means prosperity of the seed of our faith. Islam is the only complete way of life that guides man in his faith to sprout and is guided throughout his life towards final prosperity. This final prosperity is referred to as falah. At this stage one has attained, in the Qur’anic terminology, the fawzu al-’Azim or the “Highest Success”. In other words, that is the most optimum of the most successful life that sees oneself in the Jannat Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has promised those who are of the muflihun (Plural of falah).
- 6. In one of the beautiful traditions from Imam Musa al-Kazim (‘a) we are asked to: “understand the din of Allah, because understanding is the key to insight, it is the complement of worship, and it is the means for attaining high spiritual heights and eminence in the world and Hereafter. The difference in the merit of one who has mastered the understanding of din over the worship who worships without understanding is like the difference between the Sun and the Star. Allah would not approve the deeds of one who is devoid of the understanding of the faith”.
- 7. See also Surah al-Mulk, Verses 3 and 4:
الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا مَّا تَرَىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ
“Who has created the seven heavens one above another and you can see no flaw in the Creation of the Most Gracious. Then, behold again: ‘Can you see any rifts?’.” (67:3).
ثُمَّ ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ
“Then, behold time and again. Your sight will return to you in a state of humbleness and exhaustion.” (67:4).
- 8. Gary Miller, The Amazing Qur’an.
- 9. See Surah Al-‘Alaq:
خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ
“Created man, out of a clot (of congealed blood).” (96:2).
- 10. Gary Miller, The Amazing Qur’an, pp.9-11.
- 11. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, Qur’an and Science, pp.115-116.
- 12. Larry, p.36.
- 13. This great Sign of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, revealed also in Surah al-Rahman 55:19-20, states that these two bodies of water, in spite of the fact that they pass through each other, remain distinct, each with its own distinction. Where large rivers, like the Yangtse-Kiang and the Mississippi, carrying huge quantities of water meet the sea, the river water with its silt remains distinct from sea water covering large area, but salty does not become sweet and palatable or vice versa. See also Abdullah Yusufali, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary, n.3111.
- 14. This event is related in Dr. Gary Miller’s The Amazing Qur’an.
- 15. See Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari, “The Glorious Qur’an as an Everlasting Miracle”, (Translated from the Persian by Dr. Hamid Algar) in ‘Al-Tawhid: A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought and Culture, Vol. VIII, No.3, Rajab-Ramadan, 1411.
- 16. See Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari, “The Glorious Qur’an as an Everlasting Miracle”, op.cit.
- 17. Islam is the Deen for the whole universe and its Rasul, Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, was sent as a blessing to the universe; sent as the one who would invite mankind, with Allah’s permission, to the Deen of Allah:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَـٰكَ شَـٰهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا
“O Rasul! Undoubtedly, We have sent you as a witness, as the Bearer of Good News and a Warner” (33:45).
وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى ٱللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِۦ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا
“And as one who invites to Allah’s (Grace) by His permission, wa sirajan muneera -and (‘a) a lamp spreading light.” (33:46).
- 18. See S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali’s English Translation and Commentary of The Holy Qur’an, p.728. We are also told that Imam al-Baqir (‘a) explained that, after Fir’awn drowned, his body was thrown out of the sea and laid on the shore for people to see that he was not the god they worshipped.
- 19. See al-Fakhruddin Razi, at-Tafsiru al-Kabiru, p.28. vol. 1, al-Razi quoting this as a Shi’i hadith. See also, Husein Khimjee, The Legacy of the Khilafat Movement in Early Twentieth Century India, Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto, 1998.
- 20. See Qur’an:
مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ
“From the (earth) did We create you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again.” (20:55).
- 21. Nahj al-Balaghah. Khutba No. 176. Quoted also in al-Tawhid: A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought and Culture, Vol. VII, No.4, Shawwal-Dhu al-Hijjah 1410 (May-July) 1990. Online at: https://www.al-islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-1-sermons/sermon-176-seek-b...
- 22. The real contact with the Qur’an is not achieved by just declaring the greatness of the Qur’an and/or presenting it as the everlasting, living Miracle of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala on this earth. As we have already seen earlier, Qur’an has itself been inherently ordained by Allah Himself to be the everlasting miracle. No falsehood or interpolation will ever enter the Qur’an. This is the inherent thing in it ordained. What the Qur’an, therefore, needs from us, is much more than just its fadail, or its praises.