The following article is from the On Demand Course: Is the Quran True Revelation? by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Shaykh Ali Hani. This is the second in a series.
كَفَاكَ بِالْعِلْمِ فِي الأُمِّيِّ مُعْجِزَةً
فِي الجَاهِلِيَّةِ وَالتَّأْدِيبِ فِي اليُتُمِ
“Enlightenment in the one unread is wonder enough,
In Age of Darkness; and good upbringing in orphancy.”
[Azzam, The Burdah: The Singable Translation]
This article will look at three considerations as to why The Quran is revelation from Allah, The Mighty and Merciful: The person of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), his (Allah bless him and give him peace) environment and those around The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Truthful and Trustworthy
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) before Islam was known as the true and trustworthy. He (Allah bless him and give him peace) lived a lifetime with them (40 years before revelation came) and not only did they know him to be truthful but they took him as an arbiter between them when they differed despite that he (Allah bless him and give him peace) was young.
Nobody of family, children, friends or anyone in the society ever even dared to claim that he (Allah bless him and give him peace) lied so if that is the person they wouldn’t lie to people would they lie about God?
He (Allah bless him and give him peace) was unlettered. He (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not learn how to read or write and this is from the perfection of The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). If we consider what The Quran contains of knowledge related to matters of science, politics, and history also considering that our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not receive a formal education about any of these matters that The Quran contains at a level of inimitability.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) grew up in Arabia which was distant from the great civilizations. This is a clear proof that The Quran is from Allah:
لَمْ يَكُنِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ مِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ وَٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّىٰ تَأْتِيَهُمُ ٱلْبَيِّنَةُ
“Those who disbelieve of the people of the Book and the idolators would never have been loosed from the bonds of unbelief, until the living clear Proof came to them: Namely a tremendous Messenger” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 98:1 and 2]
The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself is the clear proof. If you look at the person of The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his character – how he was with his wives, children, family, neighbors, friends, society, enemies, covenants, commitments, and you see how marvelous, truthful, and trustworthy he was then would such a person lie about God?
He (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught people the very pinnacle of noble conduct, character and a standard of ethics that no one past or present, not the West nor the East, comes close to, so how can anyone say he (Allah bless him and give him peace) is not a Messenger rather that he is but a liar?
If we consider the environment in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was raised, it was far from anything that would entail that he (Allah bless him and give him peace) could produce something like the Quran. The midst of the desert, the civilizational circumstance, widespread ignorance, and the various traits of the people – the Arabs no doubt had noble qualities but they did not embody nor aspire to these virtues that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came with – show how the Quran is only from Allah.
Some of the traits of the Arabs were:
- Widespread Zina
- Tribal wars
- Drinking of wine
- Killing of infant girls
- Ill-treatment of the weak and slaves
- No legal weight to women
But when we go to the Quran we see Sura al-Nisa’ which takes over a Juz of the Quran and the central theme is justice and fairness with women and likewise justice particularly with those who are disempowered. We see Suras whose central theme is the proper treatment of women and whose name is related to directly women and guidance about them (Sura al-Talaq, Sura al-Mujadilah, Sura al-Mumtahanah).
We also see the clear guidance with how marriage can be fairly terminated, fairness both to women and men concerning what happens upon divorce; neither should the woman be wronged nor should the man be wronged. many places people don’t get married because if a divorce takes place the woman takes half the man’s property, this is oppression.
Arabia saw the ill treatment of the weak, the disempowered, the slaves and the issue of racism that is still prevalent in the West and many societies still the problem of black and white. There is prevalent racism and these are qualities that are not acceptance whatsoever in the guidance that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has come with.
Similarly the issue of the economic injustice that is prevalent in so much of the world that in the same place, you will have skyscrapers but right next to it you will have the homeless.
As well as the prevalence of riba (one of the ways the Makkans got wealthy) which not only economically enslaves individuals by putting them in chronic, endemic, crippling debt but also economically enslaves entire nations and continents. The guidance of The Quran came with a complete prohibition on riba in all its manifestations.
Here we are in 2023 and no set of laws in the world has been able to come close to the just guidance of the Quran and that arose from a society that had the qualities that we mentioned, the Makkan and Arab society was far away from any of these qualities. So this is something no human civilization, past nor present, has been able to come close to.
Those Around the Prophet
There were only a few categories of people who were around The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the Quran did not come from any of them.
The Mushrikin (Idolators)
The idol worshippers were the ones who opposed the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). They continued to fight him (Allah bless him and give him peace) all the way til the 18th year after revelation when they gathered the Ahzab (confederates) for the battle of the trench, till then they continued to actively oppose him and so he could not have taken it from the Mushriks of the Arabs.
The Jews and the Christians
Quraysh would once in a while correspond with the Jews and the Christians but they weren’t there in Makkah. The Quran does not take from them rather it opposes their narratives and it refutes their misguidance, it explains clearly that you are clearly upon disbelief:
لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَـٰثَةٍۢ ۘ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـٰهٍ إِلَّآ إِلَـٰهٌۭ وَٰحِدٌۭ ۚ
“Those have truly committed unbelief who say that God is the third of a trinity.” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 5:73]
Allah also says:
وَقَوۡلِهِمۡ إِنَّا قَتَلۡنَا ٱلۡمَسِیحَ عِیسَى ٱبۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ رَسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمۡۚ
“And saying: Verily it was we who killed the “Messiah” Jesus son of Mary, the “Messenger of Allah”; Though they killed him not, nor crucified him, but rather another was made to resemble him to them.” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 4:157]
With the Jews, we learn of their error in their denial of Sayyiduna Isa and in their denial of Sayyida Maryam (their false accusation of her) as well as historical accounts that the Jewish peoples would conceal related to how they themselves dealt with their own Prophet, Sayyiduna Musa, accounts that they would hide about how they dealt with Sayyiduna Isa and many other things that the Quran uncovered.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not take it from them because these things they wrote, the things in the Rabbinical tradition were not in Arabic. The Jews and Christians didn’t have all this teaching and guidance to begin with.
As for the Hunafa’ (monotheistic Arabs), they were a simple people, who saw the disbelief prevalent amongst the Arabs so they kept away from it. They refused to believe in more than One God. Some of them had remnants of the Abrahamic tradition but they were not a people of education; they did not have a body of teachings and guidance or legislation, even their language was very simple that none of their poetry nor prose came anywhere close to the eloquence of The Quran.
The only other peoples the Arabs had contact with were the Sabians but they too did not have this civilization, they did not have this understanding. Rather they were disbelievers who worshipped stars and the Quran condemns that.
The above three factors (The person of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), his (Allah bless him and give him peace) environment, and those around The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)) display clearly how the Quran was not of human composition.