For recognition of the true divine prophets – like Muhammad (S) – we can use the following methods:
1. Study and conduct a detailed research into the manners and morals, and the life of the claimant of prophethood.
2. Study and contemplate on the set of principles of belief, laws, rules and regulations, which are introduced as religion.
3. Check the news and glad tidings that are received from the preceding divine prophets about him.
4. Take into consideration his performance of extraordinary acts and miracle, which other human beings cannot accomplish.
By studying the history of the early period of Islam, we come to know that the Muslims of that time were not same in acceptance of Islam; that all of them did not demand miracles from the prophet or some of them did not bring faith even after witnessing those miracles. On the contrary, getting faith and satisfaction in the prophethood of the Prophet and the veracity of his claim was generally through other means. At this point, we shall mention some of those means:
By studying the early history of Islam, it is known that some persons were influenced by the extraordinary personality, good manners, nice character, trustworthiness, truthfulness and honesty of Muhammad (S) and his good antecedents, and in this way they were assured about the veracity of the claim of his prophethood and they brought faith on him.
Muhammad (S), before being vested with the office of prophethood and even during his childhood possessed a remarkable personality and became famed for his benevolence, honesty, helping the deprived and weak, truthfulness and right behavior and he did not have even the slightest blemish on his past. Some people accepted his claim of prophethood and they accepted faith in this manner.
Lady Khadija (a.s.) can be considered to be the chief of such persons as she was the first of those who accepted his invitation and embraced Islam. She knew Prophet Muhammad (S) and his spiritual qualities and perfections better than others, and was most cognizant of him in ranks of truth and piety. That is why she accepted faith much before others. Therefore she considered these personal qualities to be the evidence of the veracity of his claim, which persuaded her to follow his messengership.
It is mentioned in history that after Muhammad (S) saw Jibraeel (a.s.) in the cave of Hira, and received the first revelation, he hurried home and narrated the incident to his wife, Lady Khadija (a.s.).
He says: I came to Khadija and said: “I am fearful for my life.” Then he narrated the incident of seeing Jibraeel and his message. Khadija replied, “Glad tiding be to you by Allah, He has not degraded you in any way. By Allah, you are nice to your kin, truthful and honest, you share the difficulties of others, are hospitable and help others in the problems of the world.”1
Sometimes the Messenger of Allah (S) took this matter as the evidence of his messengership and asked people to accept his prophethood.
Bulazari writes: When the verse of:
وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ
“And warn your nearest relations,” (26:214)
…was revealed on Prophet Muhammad (S), he climbed Mount Safa and called the Quraish in a loud voice and Quraish heard him and remarked: Muhammad is on Mount Safa and he is calling you. All of them came to him and asked: O Muhammad, why have you summoned us? He replied: “Would you believe me if I tell you that enemy riders have come behind this mountain and are about to launch an attack on you?” Yes, they said, “We would definitely believe you, because we have never seen you lying.
He said: “So I warn you of the chastisement of Judgment Day. O sons of Abdul Muttalib, O sons of Abd Manaf, O sons of Zahra! (and he mentioned the Quraish tribes). Allah has commanded me to call my near relatives to Islam. I do not consider anything more beneficial for your world and hereafter except that you say: There is no god, except Allah.”2
Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) also accepted Islam in this way. He was the first among men that at the beginning of the Prophet’s mission accepted his call and embraced faith as a result of recognition and assurance with regard to him.
Abu Bakr also became a Muslim in this manner. Abul Fida has narrated from Ibn Ishaq that Abu Bakr used to cultivate the company of the Prophet before his being vested by the office of prophethood and was so much aware of his truthfulness, trustworthiness and honesty that he knew him to be immune from attributing falsehood to people, far be it from him that he should attribute falsehood to Almighty God.3
Most Muslims in the early period of Islam embraced faith in this way since they were satisfied with the truthfulness and honesty of the Prophet and they knew that he never resorted to lying; therefore they believed his claim of prophethood and messengership with perfect certainty and embraced faith.
In the near future, we would discuss about the prominent and magnetic personality of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his good manners and praiseworthy qualities.
Recognizing the veracity of a religion and to be sure that it is heavenly, and verification of the message brought by it, can be undertaken through study and investigation in the text of its belief and ethical laws. If the beliefs proposed by it possess qualities like: compatibility with reason, and that it is opposed to superstitions, it is comprehensive and reliever of the social and moral difficulties of people, it calls people to good morals and character and restrains them from social and moral corruption, it would be known that this religion is true and that it is heavenly, and that it has really come from Almighty God and the true prophets of God.
But if the beliefs of that religion are dubious and invalid and its laws are weak and baseless, and they cannot solve social and moral problems, it would be known that its claimant is a liar and his religion is futile and invalid.
Some Muslims in the early period of Islam embraced faith in this same way. After study and contemplation about the beliefs and laws of Islam, they concluded that the proposal and compilation of such lofty and hundred percent correct and perfect beliefs could not be possible through an uneducated person, and also that they should be announced in a backward society mired in idol worship and moral decadence of the Arabian Peninsula; on the contrary they should be from Almighty Allah. At this point we shall mention some examples of this:
Amr ibn Ambasa says: In the early period of Islam, I came to the Messenger of Allah (S) at a time when he lived in fear of his life. I asked: Who are you? He replied: I am a messenger. I asked: Whose messenger? He replied: Messenger of Allah.
I asked: Has God really sent you? He replied: Yes. I asked: What has He sent you for? He said: That you should worship Him alone and do not associate anyone with Him. That you should break the idols and have good relations with your kin. I asked: He has sent you with a nice purpose…Amr said: I embraced Islam on listening to this.4
Abul Fida writes about conversion of Khalid ibn Saeed: Khalid met the Messenger of Allah (S) and asked: To what do you call us? He replied: Faith in One God, Prophethood of Muhammad and keeping aloof from worship of stones that neither hear nor cause any harm, they neither see nor cause any benefit, and neither can they differentiate between their worshippers from others.
On this point, Khalid said: I testify that there is no god, except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Thus the Messenger of Allah (S) was pleased with his acceptance of faith.5
The exchange that took place between the emigrant Muslims and King Negus of Abyssinia also supports this contention.
Ibn Athir has narrated the story of emigration of Muslims in detail, which in brief was as follows:
In the fifth year of migration (Hijra), some Muslims who were fed up to be under the yoke of the torture of the enemies of Islam, were compelled to migrate to Abyssinia in order to save their lives and religion. But after sometime Quraish sent two persons in pursuit of the migrants and they carried with them a lot of gift for the royals of Abyssinia to persuade them to send back the Muslim migrants.
So they came to King Negus in Abyssinia and narrated the purpose of their visit. The King summoned the Muslims in asylum and asked: What religion is this, that you have abandoned the faith of your ancestors and not even joined our religion or any other existing faith?
Ja’far ibn Abu Talib – the representative of the people – in reply said: During the period of Ignorance, we worshipped the idols, consumed carrion flesh and committed evil deeds; we broke off relations with our kin and misbehaved with our neighbors, our powerful ones trespassed the rights of our weak till the time, Almighty Allah sent a prophet for us, about whose genealogy we were cognizant and about whose veracity and honesty we were satisfied.
He called us to monotheism and negation of polytheism and to give up idol worship; he called us to truthfulness, restoration of trusts and maintaining relations with kin and doing a good turn to the neighbors and to keep away from sins like murder. He restrained us from committing evil acts, false testimony and misappropriation of the property of orphans. He commanded us to pray and keep fasts. Ja’far also mentioned a number of other Islamic rules and regulations. After that he said:
We brought faith on the Prophet of Islam and testified to his call; we considered as unlawful, that which he deemed unlawful and considered as lawful, that which he deemed lawful; therefore we had to bear the oppression and excesses of our friends; they subjected us to severe torture and chastisement so that we may give up our faith and revert to idol worship. Since they gained domination on us we came under the yoke of their oppression; they prevented us from fulfilling our religious duties and we had to migrate to your country and we hope that we will not have to face any injustice here.
King Negus said: Have you anything revealed to him from God? Ja’far replied: Yes, and then he recited some verses of Surah Maryam. The King and his bishops present in the court at that time wept on hearing those verses. Negus said: These statements and that which was revealed on Isa are from an illuminated source. You are free in our country; you may go anywhere you like and by God, I will never hand over you to them.6
That is why the manner of study and research in the beliefs and laws of religion can be introduced as a means of recognizing true religions. A large number of people at the beginning of Islam and after that embraced Islam in this way, in this time also there are some seekers of truth who accept Islam in this manner.
At the conclusion of this point, we consider it necessary that although a large number of Muslims in the early period of Islam and after that were satisfied with the rightfulness of the claim of the Prophet and accepted Islam because of it, their certainty is evident proof; but it is possible that for others this method may not be convincing and satisfactory. Therefore it cannot be used as an argument with others. Hence these can be introduced as the evidences of truthfulness and not as absolute argumentations and which can be used in debates.
The third method of verifying the claim of prophethood is through the prophecies of the previous prophets which mention his imminent advent. This method can used even in the case of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (S). For example, the Holy Quran has mentioned the glad tidings of the prophets with regard to the messengership of Prophet Muhammad (S) and it considers them as undeniable proofs; like the following verses:
وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ كِتَبٌ مِّنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِما مَعَهُم وَكَانُواْ مِنْ قَبْلُ يَسْتَفْتِحُونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ مَّا عَرَفُواْ كَفَرُواْ بِهِ فَلَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَفِرِينَ
“And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers.” (2:89)
اَلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَيهُمُ الْكِتَبَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقاً مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
“Those whom We have given the Book recognize him as they recognize their sons, and a party of them most surely conceal the truth while they know (it).” (2:146)
أَلَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِىَّ الْأُمِّىَّ الَّذِى يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوباً عِندَهُمْ فِى التَّوْرَيةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَ يُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَتِ وَ يُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَئِثَ وَ يَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَ الْأَغْلَلَ الَّتِى كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِهِ وَ عَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُواْ النُّورَ الَّذِى أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
“Those who follow the Apostle-Prophet, the unlettered, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (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 honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.” (7:157)
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَابَنِى إِسْرَآءِيلَ إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَىَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّراً بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِى مِن بَعْدِى اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُواْ هَذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ
“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 Taurat and giving the good news of an Apostle who will come after me, his name being Ahmad, but when he came to them with clear arguments they said: This is clear magic.” (61:6)
It can be concluded from the above verses that during the time of the office of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the revelation of Quran, Jews and Christians, residing in the Arabian Peninsula were in anticipation of the advent of the prophet who would be sent in that land and who would support the belief of God worship and monotheism and help the believers and heavenly religions. Jews and Christians were aware of the distinguishing qualities of that promised prophet and they recognized him just as they recognized their sons. So much so that they also knew that his name would be Ahmad.
It is known that Prophets Isa and Musa (a.s.) and other divine prophets informed about the advent of that prophet and also mentioned his particular qualities; they even stated his name and signs, which are all mentioned in the present Taurat and Injeel. Jews and Christians were having such profound faith in the coming of that prophet that when faced by the oppression of polytheists and not having strength enough to defend themselves they used to warn the idolaters that very soon the promised prophet is to appear who would come to help them.
Ibn Hisham writes: Asim Ibn Umar ibn Qatada has narrated from the men of his tribe that they said: By the favor and guidance of God, Hammad invited us to Islam. We were polytheists and sometimes there were fights between us and some Jews who possessed knowledge that we did not have and they used to warn us: The time for the advent of the promised prophet is near; when he appears we would with him slay you all like the Aad and Iram people. We always heard these threats from them.
Thus when Prophet Muhammad (S) was vested with the office of prophethood, we accepted his call and recognized him to be the same prophet about whom the Jews used to warn us. Thus we took precedence over the Jews and embraced faith; but they remained firm on their denial. Thus verses of Surah Baqarah were revealed about us and them.7
Bulazari writes: Safiya, daughter of Abdul Muttalib said to Abu Lahab: Brother is it proper for you to abandon your nephew and his Islam? By Allah, scholars had always prophesied that prophethood would appear from the loins of Abdul Muttalib and Muhammad is that same promised prophet.8
In books of history also the names of a large number of scholars of the People of the Book and other soothsayers are mentioned who before the advent of the Prophet of Islam were in anticipation of him and they had also informed others about it. Below we shall mention some of them by way of examples:
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) during childhood traveled to Syria with his uncle, Abu Talib; on the way he reached a monastery of Bahira who invited the caravan for dinner after he saw extraordinary signs and after he had posed some queries to Abu Talib. Then he told Abu Talib in private: Take your nephew back to your homeland and protect him from Jews; by Allah, if they see and recognize him, they would eliminate him. Know that your nephew would reach a position of greatness.9
There was a monk by the name of Aisa who lived in the Dharan province. He was in possession of extensive knowledge and he came to Mecca once a year and interacted with the people there. On one of his visits, he said: O Meccans, very soon a child would be born among you to whom would submit all the Arabs and non-Arabs; the time of his advent is near; and one who lives till that time and embraces faith has in fact fulfilled his desires and one who opposes him has made a mistake. By God, I am awaiting for him.10
Muhammad ibn Salma says: There was a Jew named Yusha in Bani Ashal. During childhood I heard that he said: Time has approached for the advent of a prophet from this Holy house (Kaaba); one who lives till his time should testify in his favor. Thus, I was alive till the time of the advent of the Prophet of Islam and I embraced faith at his hands; but that Jew, due to jealousy, refused to accept Islam.11
Asim ibn Umar says: An elderly man from Bani Quraiza asked me: Do you know the reason why Thalaba ibn Saya, Usaid ibn Saya, Asad ibn Ubaid and some others from Bani Hilal embrace Islam? I replied: No. He said: Some years before Islam a Jew named Ibn Hayyaban came to us in Syria and settled down there. By Allah, I had not seen anyone better than him. He lived with us for a period of time.
When he realized that he was about to pass away, he said: O Jews do you know why I settled down here? We replied in the negative. He said: It was so because I was in anticipation of a prophet and the time of his advent is near. And that he would migrate to this town. I was hopeful that he would appear and that I would accept his message. Time is near for the advent of that prophet, others should not precede you in accepting his faith as he would even take up arms against his opponents.
When the Prophet of Islam was vested with the office of prophethood and he besieged Bani Quraiza, these young men said: O Bani Quraiza, by God it is the same prophet about whom Ibn Hayyaban had informed. Bani Quraiza retorted: It is not so. They said: By God, he is the same, because he is having those same qualities and signs. Thus they embraced Islam and in this way they made their lives and properties safe.12
In some events connected with the past of Salman Farsi and his conversion, it is mentioned that he said: I set out to meet a very senior monk who resided in the vicinity of Jerusalem. He was an extremely elderly man and was accorded respect by one and all. On the way he looked at me and said: I am having a God, and Judgment Day, Paradise, Hell and accounting is before it all.
After some good advices he said: O Salman, Almighty Allah will soon send a prophet named Ahmad. He would appear in the land of Mecca. He would accept gifts but not alms. He will be having the seal of prophethood between his shoulders. His time is near, but since I am extremely aged, I don’t think I would be able to live till that time. If you live till that time, you must verify him and accept the religion offered by him. Salman said: Even though he may urge me to give up your faith? He replied: Yes, because the truth is with him and his leadership is approved by the Almighty God.13
Amir ibn Rabia says: I heard from Zaid ibn Amr ibn Nufayl that he said: I am in anticipation of a prophet from the descendants of Ismail and Abdul Muttalib. I don’t think I would life till his time. But I have faith in him and I testify that he is the prophet of God.14
When Khadija narrated to Waraqa ibn Naufal, a Christian scholar what her slave had seen from The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) during the journey to Syria or that which he heard from the monk, he told her: If what you say is true, Muhammad is the prophet of this nation. I know that there is a prophet for this nation and I am in anticipation of him.15
Although we don’t claim that all the prophecies with regard to him are correct. On the contrary, some may even have been interpolated, but from the above mentioned verses and some other prophecies we can conclude that during the time of the vesting of the office of prophethood of the Prophet of Islam and before that prophecies were well known among the people and most people, especially, the People of the Book were awaiting for a prophet, who was about to appear in the Arabian Peninsula and they were also aware of some of his signs.
It is possible that these prophecies spread among the people in two ways: One is from the sayings of the scholars of religion, which continued to go on changing from one language to another and in this way they gained currency among the people and were also recorded in their books occasionally and finally concluded from the statements of previous prophets. The second way is through quoting the heavenly books like: Taurat, Injeel, Zabur etc.
It is concluded from verse 157 of Surah Araaf that some signs of the Prophet of Islam were present in Taurat and Injeel and the Jews and Christians have informed about them. Despite the fact that this verse was heard by all of them, they could not refute it in any way. On the contrary, some of them embraced Islam in the same way, some examples of which are mentioned.
Anyway, it is regrettable that most Jews and Christians refused to accept Islam and justified their action on the pretext that the Prophet of Islam should be from Bani Israel, while the fact is that Muhammad is not from Bani Israel. Their scholars played an important role in this regard and in every possible way they tried to restrain the people from accepting Islam. Severe religious prejudices and love of wealth and position did not allow them to accept the truth.
Study of the different prophecies and deep research into Taurat and Injeel, comparison of different versions of the Bible and selection of the correct Bible; proving interpolation in these two books as was claimed needs a long discussion and a separate book, which is not possible at present; therefore we advise to those who are interested to refer to books of prophecies.
The fourth method of recognizing heavenly prophets is the display of miracles on their part. That is they perform extraordinary acts which ordinary human beings are not able to accomplish and which are not achieved through the normal process of causes and effects. Since the prophets claimed to have connection with the Lord of the worlds and that they were having knowledge about His message, they were bound to have a proof and miracle as no one other than Almighty Allah can facilitate such a thing.
All the prophets possessed miracles. The Prophet of Islam (S) had accepted the true miracles with regard to the previous prophets. Numerous miracles of the past prophets are mentioned in the Holy Quran.
Therefore, it is necessary that he himself should possess a miracle, since it is not right for him to narrate the miracles of the past prophets without himself being able to display them and say: The past prophets possessed miracles to prove their prophethood, but I don’t have any miracle, accept my call without miracles.
Hence, the Prophet of Islam (S) also possessed miracles, which are mentioned in books of history.
Bulazari writes: Waraqa said to The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S): No prophet was vested with the office of prophethood except that he had some special signs; thus what is your sign? The Messenger of Allah (S) called the tree to move and it split the earth and came towards him. Waraqa said: I testify to your prophethood and if you command me to fight in a holy war on your side, I would accept the proposal and render you all the help that I can.16
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: I was with him when a party of the Quraish came to him and said, “O Muhammad, you have made a big claim which none of your fore-fathers or those of your family have made. We ask you one thing; if you give us an answer to it and show it to us, we will believe that you are a prophet and a messenger, but if you cannot do it, we will know that you are a sorcerer and a liar.”
The Messenger of Allah said: “What do you ask for?” They said: “Ask this tree to move for us, even with its roots, and stop before you.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah has power over everything. If Allah does it for you, will you then believe and stand witness to the truth?” They said “Yes.” Then he said, “I shall show you whatever you want, but I know that you won’t bend towards virtue, and there are among you those who will be thrown into the pit, and those who will form parties (against me).”
Then the Holy Prophet said: “O tree, if you do believe in Allah and Judgment Day, and know that I am the Prophet of Allah, come up with your roots and stand before me with the permission of Allah.” By Him who deputed the Prophet with truth, the tree did remove itself with its root and came with a great humming sound and a flapping like the flapping of the wings of birds, till it stopped before the Messenger of Allah while some of its twigs came down onto my shoulders, and I was on the right side of the Holy Prophet.
When the people saw this, they said by way of pride and vanity. “Now you order half of it to come to you and the other half of it remain (in its place).” The Holy Prophet ordered the tree to do the same. Then half of the tree advanced towards him in an amazing manner and with greater humming. It was about to touch the Prophet of Allah. Then they said, disbelieving and revolting, “Ask this half to get back to its other half and be as it was.” The Prophet ordered it and it returned.
Then I said, “O Prophet of Allah, I am the first to believe in you and to acknowledge that the tree did what it did just now with the command of Allah, the Sublime, in testimony to your Prophethood and to exalt your word. Upon this all the people shouted, “Rather a sorcerer, a liar; it is wonderful sorcery, he is very adept in it. Only a man like this (pointing to me) can stand testimony to you in your affairs.”17
That is why the story of the moving of the tree at the command of the Holy Prophet (S) which is narrated by Imam Ali (a.s.) as well as Waraqa ibn Naufal does not happen to be more than a miracle.
In books of traditions and history etc, hundreds of miracles of the Prophet of Islam (S) are recorded, which are sufficient to testify for him. Though we do not claim that all the miracles attributed to the Holy Prophet (S) are absolute and undoubted; they include some true miracles also which are sufficient to prove the original miracle. These miracles at least are not less than the miracles attributed to Musa and Isa (a.s.) as they are considered as proofs to prove their ministry.
It can be concluded from the Holy Quran and books of history that Prophet Muhammad (S) was labeled as a magician and a madman because it is known that he performed extraordinary acts, which are usually accomplished through magic; but since we know that he was not a magician, it is understood that such acts were nothing but miracles.
At the end of this discussion, we feel it is necessary to say that miracles are extraordinary acts, which prophets employ in necessary circumstances to prove their prophethood. Therefore the prophet does not perform miracles at the desire of those who look for excuses. The prophet is not a juggler or a show man that he should perform amazing acts to entertain the audience; on the contrary, he is the messenger of God sent to convey the life-giving message to the people and to guide them to salvation.
More than anything else, people should pay attention to his rightfulness, trustworthiness and his detailed program although he is also having miracle, but he uses them only to exhaust the proof and to prove his prophethood. But after that it is not necessary for him to repeat his miracles in every instance that excuse seekers demand.
More important is the fact that the Holy Quran is itself introduced to be an everlasting miracle and which is at the disposal of all. In spite of this, some people due to malice and excuse seekers refused to accept Islam and made allegations that the Prophet of Islam (S) was a sorcerer and a madman.
Such people asked Prophet Muhammad (S) in selfishness: In case we accept your call, would you perform such and such extraordinary act? In such instances it is not necessary to display miracle as the Quran has also mentioned the demand of the polytheists from the Holy Prophet (S) and said:
قُل لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَى أَن يَأْتُواْ بِمِثْلِ هَذَا الْقُرْءَانِ لَا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيراً / وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِى هَذَا الْقُرْءَانِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ فَأَبَى أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُوراً / وَ قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ يَنبُوعاً / أَوْ تَكُونَ لَكَ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَعِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الْأَنْهَرَ خِلَلَهَا تَفْجِيراً / أَوْ تُسْقِطَ السَّمَآءَ كَمَا زَعَمْتَ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفاً أَوْ تَأْتِىَ بِاللَّهِ وَ الْمَلَئِكَةِ قَبِيلا / أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَى فِى السَّمَآءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَباً نَّقْرَؤُهُ قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إِلَّا بَشَراً رَّسُولاً
“Say: If men and jinn should combine together to bring the like of this Quran, they could not bring the like of it, though some of them were aiders of others. And certainly We have explained for men in this Quran every kind of similitude, but most men do not consent to aught but denying. And they say: We will by no means believe in you until you cause a fountain to gush forth from the earth for us. Or you should have a garden of palms and grapes in the midst of which you should cause rivers to flow forth, gushing out. Or you should cause the heaven to come down upon us in pieces as you think, or bring Allah and the angels face to face (with us). Or you should have a house of gold, or you should ascend into heaven, and we will not believe in your ascending until you bring down to us a book which we may read. Say: Glory be to my Lord; am I aught but a mortal apostle?” (17:88-93)
In the above mentioned verse, in the beginning the Quran is introduced as an everlasting miracle, which men and jinn cannot bring. After that it announces the demands of the opponents. Since the enemies, in spite of the fact that they themselves could not perform such acts, they belittled those miraculous acts and demanded other things as conditions for acceptance of faith; for example they said: We would accept your call if you can split the earth and bring out a spring of water from it, or that you bring for us orchards of fruits in which streams of water flow and things like that. They demanded such things from the Holy Prophet (S) who was told to reply to them as follow: Glorified is my Lord. I am a human being and nothing more. I have been sent from God to you in order to convey His commands.
- 1. Al-Kamil fit Tarikh, Vol. 1, Pg. 478.
- 2. Ansabul Ashraf, Vol. 1, Pg. 120.
- 3. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 433.
- 4. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 442.
- 5. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 445.
- 6. Al-Kamil fit Tarikh, Vol. 2, Pg. 79.
- 7. Seerat Ibne Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 225.
- 8. Ansabul Ashraf, Vol. 1, Pg. 119.
- 9. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 243-245
- 10. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 222.
- 11. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 294.
- 12. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 294.
- 13. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 306.
- 14. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 159.
- 15. Abul Fida, Seerat Nabuwwa, Vol. 1, Pg. 267.
- 16. Ansabul Ashraf, Vol. 1, Pg. 106.
- 17. Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 192.