Channel: Jamal Badawi
Welcome to another edition of Islamic focus. I'm your host Tama Rashid Assalamu alaikum. Peace Biondi. Today we continue with our seventh program in our series dealing with the sources of Islam. We're dealing with the topic of authorship of the Quran and more specifically, we'll be looking at the question of personal religious experience, envisions as a possible source of the Quran. I have joined me on the program as usual, Dr. Bob, By the Way of St. Mary's University, college Ramallah salaam aleikum, honey,
could you very quickly summarize the main points that we discussed in our program last week,
we continue to look into the various explanations that try to give some source of the revelation trying to reconcile the fact that the profit claim that's coming from Allah from God, Visa V, what they tried to prove that it's not. And we discussed one of those theories, for example, trying to relate that to visions like Joan of Arc, and we indicated again, that the analogies as far from from relevant, we discussed the theories offered by such orientalist as Birmingham and
where they somehow claimed that the Prophet convinced himself that he will be the reformer and be the Prophet. And as such, he, this vision just began to materialize in his own mind. And we try to explain the erroneous interpretation or this erroneous interpretation on both historical and logical accounts. We analyzed First, the fact that there are so many things in the Quran, which pertain to past history. And history does not emanate from oneself history has to be taught or learned by the person somehow, we looked also into the fact that there are certain prophecies in the Quran, none of which was proven to be inaccurate, and all of them came to pass, or at least those that this time
came has come to pass with great accuracy. And indicates, again, that prophecies are not something that the person invents, I mean, you might be right once or twice, but to be consistent, and that shows
a different source than your own thinking. Well, on this question of prophecies, it's very interesting. And I wonder if perhaps we could explore just a little bit more,
I'd like to ask you if there are prophecies in the Quran, which are even more specific than those that we discussed last time, towards the end of the last, the last program? Yes, there are, in fact, in in chapter 30, or surah, 30. In the Quran, it's called the Rome or the Romans. It's an interesting case, really, because when you compare it with what actually happened in history, you find striking accuracy.
See, at the time, when Muslims were not really strong enough, and they were still, even during the meccan, period, about 614, and they Christian calendars.
That time, the Roman Empire was soundly defeated by the person.
In fact, the defeat was so bad that many people thought that the Roman Empire is basically finished, for example, in the year 610. The the Russians had stunning victories, and they dominated so many parts that were under the Roman rule, including, for example, in Egypt and North Africa.
And like I said, that there was no hope really apparent. It is under this circumstances that the first few verses or passages of that surah number 30. It says that the Romans have been defeated, but they will win again and they will have victory again in a few years. The original Arabic word for a few is better. But as you need better an Arabic means
three to nine, anywhere between the range of three years to nine years.
And interesting to notice that despite of this defeat of the Romans, the Arabs were happy with that, of course the pagans because they
They were professions. And of course, specialties were closer in their thinking to their pagan practice than the Romans were Christians, and perhaps would be closer to people who believe at least in some, you know, form of revelation of that nature.
And what happened is that according to historians, for example, we refer to give us gi BB or n and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire,
in which it is stated that
about seven years after that prophecy, that is six, about 621 22, there was a battle in which, surprisingly, the Roman won against depression, it's the place called ss, R. Ss us.
And not under this two years laters, the the Roman were able to penetrate even the Persian Empire. And they did so many places that were already under the rule like Mosul, for example, which is now in Iraq.
So notice here, the first of all, the prophecy that the Romans will win, even though they were soundly defeated. Secondly, that this victory will take place that they will be worth to start with, because nobody could have predicted they'd be all within this few years, within, you know, maximum 10, minute, nine years. And that the Romans, despite of the weakness will actually be the winners and that nobody could just, you know, speculate and put all of these things and no military expert No matter how much experience they may be might say, right and such and such time, this battle, we're going to take place and who's going to be the winner.
But there's something
equally stunning about that particular passage, because it ends by saying that in that day,
the believers also who will be happy with the victory of God.
And when you consider the nine years after the, the prophecy was made, at the same time, that the Romans were defeating the Persians.
Simultaneously, Muslims also were having their stunning victory against the pagans in the very famous battle called the Battle of Badr, where there is mention of it in the Quran, when Muslims were outnumbered more than three to one, armed and ill equipped. And they were, they had a brilliant victory, which was, of course, do you as a Quran explain it to divine intervention Above all, so what kind of a wise person can make such kind of prophecies with better accuracy with what would happen about the same time? It's something that,
you know, it's just beyond any human capacity if it was true that the Prophet was the author of the Quran. And by the way, this is not the only prophecy about the punishment of the unbelievers are even the Battle of Badr itself, and there's sound defeat in that battle. On this last point, with respect to the Battle of Berlin, could you explain a little bit more? Well, for example, in reading the Quran in surah, 54, particular in verse 45.
It makes a prediction, clears prophecy, safezone jamala, Luna de bourgh, the multitude will be defeated and they will show their back, they will be running away of fee, and will show their backs.
The interesting part about it is that this verse, or this passage was revealed in Makkah, at the time, when Muslim were so few and almost helpless, and there was no anticipation whatsoever that there would be any, you know, confrontation really military confrontation between them, and the pagans who sought to destroy them. Nobody predicted that understand at all, to the point that one of the close companions of the Prophet Muhammad, when he heard the verse, he said, Hmm, had I said, what, what kind of multitude is that, never thought that the world would take place. Even before that, one of the very earliest revelations of the Quran in surah till and sell that's what a number
eight as you find it in the Quran,
and the last passage and that, in that I am, out and that surah that's number 20
specifically says that Allah knows that some of you believers will be very tired during the day seeking, they're living, some will be traveling, some will be fighting in the path of Allah. And that was the reason why the night prayers was relaxed a little bit that they don't have to stay most of the night that they can pray whatever they can at night. But the interesting part about it is the prophecy very early before any notion of fighting would have occurred to the mind of anyone that they will eventually be
A military confrontation between the Muslims and the pagans. And this actually did come to pass another equally stunning
surah. In the Quran number 44,
especially from Isaiah 10 on. It describes a prophecy that came to pass with the minutus details.
What it says basically that wait in response to their disbelief, wait until the sky will bring forth the sort of mist or smoke
that would engulf them, that this will be a time of great suffering and difficulty. And then it says that there will be some prayer that God may or alarmingly remove that difficulty, that this difficulty will be removed. But they will go back again to their unbelief.
And then wait until the mighty punishment will come.
If one looks at it like that, it sounds rather vague. Well, what exactly does it mean? But when you analyze it as to what happened after this prophecy was made, is that as it happened with with Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, that because of their disbelief, Prophet Mohammed
called on God to punish them for this to give them a sign that they may hit his message. And historians tell us that after this passage was revealed, actually, a great famine
took place. And the pagans suffered so much, that one of them would look into the sky, and he sees it almost like a smoke. And that's one explanation with a smoke or mist, that is so hungry, that things are so hazy in His sight. It was reported by historian they they ate anything, even the bones, they tried to scour you know, just to, to keep them alive. And it happened also, as the passage predicted or prophesied that they went to the prophet and said, Alright, you pray to Allah, if he removes this difficulty, we will be good. And he prayed, and the difficulty was removed. But again, they went back to their unbelief. The third part of the prophecy that it says, Wait until the
big punishment would come, because subsequent to this rejection of faith after even the removal of the difficulty, they were involved in the Battle of better in which again, the pagans were soundly defeated. So there was an mightier punishment that was inflicted upon them. And by the way, one of the interesting parts of the Quran is that immediately after this few verses, passages, it mentions also something about Prophet Moses, as if to show the connection between the kinds of behaviors demonstrated by the pagans and the the Israelites also, in the early days, when they started the pharaohs. rejections by denial of the message of Prophet Moses, this is an interesting if you look
at it in terms of the specificity of the of the prophecies yesterday. Well, now you've given us several examples of prophecy, some of which have been more general, others related to specific events, as we've just been discussing, are there other prophecies which relate to specific individuals? Yes, indeed. And that, again, could be more amazing because, you know, it doesn't just talk about generalities where somebody might say, all right, maybe you can interpret this way or that way. For example, one of the uncles of the prophet who was known as Abu lahab, if you translate, it literally means the father of flame. And that was basically his nickname, because he
had a very fiery temper.
And what happened is that
in the very early days of Islam, when the Prophet Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, received the command to declare the message, rather than just start with his family, as was the initial stage, family and close friends to declare it to everyone.
And in the same story, when he collected people from different tribes and called upon them, and he stayed, and he said, you know, if I was to tell you, that there is an army behind that hill, going to invade you, would you believe me? They say, yes, of course, we never caught you, lying or telling something which is not truthful. And then he taught them of course, that I am the Prophet I am warning you against God's punishment unless you follow his path and all that, after he made that statement.
That uncle, the father of flame,
led swore at the Prophet he told him, are you collecting us to hear this kind of talk? That bad luck which means perdition is to your may you perish? He knows what the
following this kind of rude response to the Prophet assuta was revealed. That's number
111 you find the Quran which basically says that the punishment, or punishing would be the lot's not of the Prophet but of Abu lahab, or this father of flame. It describes how he and his wife used to hurt the Prophet so much and throw all kinds of things to hurt him on his path, especially at night, that they would both be punished in the hellfire. Now, the question may arise here. So what I mean what is there, by way of prophecy here, there's something here that may go unpassed unnoticed or pass unnoticed, I should say that not only does this chapter 111 prophesied that he will be punished in the hereafter which cannot be verified now, because the hereafter hasn't come yet, at least for
those who are living.
But the interesting part about it is that
we know from history, that there were many people, many individuals who are or who were, as that, as this fellow, the father of flames. And they were resistors of the Prophet, they were persecutors of a Muslim, and they ended up believing sometimes down the line.
So how could anyone make a prophecy with certitude and confidence that that particular Pharaoh will die as an unbeliever that you will never believe? And only this can be verified? 11 years later, when he died after the Battle of bats without believing? How could anyone say for sure that you will not be a believer, and that you will die as an unbeliever, just something beyond the imagination. In fact, some scholars have added an interesting question here that should be added
that they say that Abdullah have further flame like many other opponents of the Prophet, we are very eager to prove that the Quran is false or the message of the Prophet is not genuine, or the Quran is his own thinking or invention. And they use all kinds of means to profit. How come
Abdullah had that Father flame did not pretend to be a Muslim just to prove that the Quran is false. You could have came hypocrisy, right? No, I, I believe now, giving the message to people that the Quran is false because the Quran prophesied that he will not believe you couldn't even oppose the Quran, how come he wasn't able to do that unless this is a truth of revelation coming directly from Allah. Another one, just one more, okay, very similar case of one individually, that is believed to be person by the name of Allah WHEN IT admin mahira.
This was a sort like a very clear as
to among those who oppose the prophet and try to hurt him and used to engage in all kinds of arguments. And whenever he heard the Prophet Muhammad telling certain things about teaching or whatever he receives, by way of revelation of the Quran, he used to shout at him ancient tales and Arabic as our children are one in ancient tales, you know, what, what, what's that stuff? You're telling us? implying that you might have just copied that from here and there.
We find that there is one surah in the Quran 68
is particularly in passage 16, which prophesied exactly what will happen to that individual.
One, it is implied from that passage in the Quran, that like Abu lahab, he will not believe until he is punished, that he will live long enough to engage in a fight with the pagans against the Prophet. Thirdly, that eventually he will get hit on his snout, and that this will be a mark of his unbelief.
I think, to say that several years before this happened, anyone would say this is an amazing speculation. If you're if it's just a matter of speculation, how would you know that you will not believe? How do you know that you will live long enough to until the time of the battle? How do you know that during the time of that battle, he will be healthy enough to participate in that battle? How do you know that you will get injured in that battle? And how do you know that you'd be injured particularly on the nose? And there's no way that anyone can say with confidence that this one exactly happened to that particular individual who studies this argue? And time goes on? And this is
exactly what happened to him. What did the Prophet get this information if it was true, that the Quran emanates from his own thinking?
When I mentioned in the last program, that there are also additional proofs from the social psychological viewpoint that
the Quran could not have.
have been a reflection of the experience of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. Could you explain a little bit further? Okay? This is an issue that we find. Many scholars have devoted some, you know, discussion for that like chef hammer Chara we like Rashida, like Dr. Dre, as I mentioned his name also earlier. And it's a very simple and logical thing that is to say, if the Quran were the product of the subconscious of the prophet or his own thinking, whether he realized that or not,
then it is not reasonable to expect that that Quran would include correction of the Prophet, and even blame for that Prophet. In other words, if you offer something, if something emanates from you, you wouldn't reveal your mistakes and blame yourself, especially for mistakes that are not really
very big signs or anything very small mistakes, as we'll see.
That's the basic thesis on how exactly? Let's turn, for example, to suit our chapter 80. In the Quran, do
we find that this has an interesting story.
The prophet in the early days of Islam was talking to some of the modern people or the, let's say, the leaders of the tribes among his contemporaries. And he was trying to persuade them to accept the message of Allah and to follow the path of Islam and to give up their tokenism and their, you know, evil practices and so on.
And at that time, a blind man, a poor blind man, by the name of Abdullah Al Maktoum, came to the prophet and he wanted to ask him some questions.
The Prophet at that time felt that, you know that Pharaoh is already a believer, he could have asked me that question. And then later, so he found a little bit he was he felt a little bit irritated, because that's what I was, you know, pressing? for an answer to his question, while he was already the Prophet was busy with those important people. That wasn't really a bad mistake, would you consider it some people may not consider it a mistake at all. Because in his mind, if he appealed, and convinced those respected opinion leaders, maybe it would help guide so many other people to the path of Islam. So it was a very innocent kind of interpretation.
Nobody could have noted that, I thought, nobody even thought that the Prophet was wrong. However, in that surah, number 80, you will find a very severe belief in
by God to His Prophet, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him that you should have paid attention even to that poor blind person, and establish a different way of looking at things, even though like I said, it is very dispensable what the prophet has already done. What kind of a person authored a book that blames him for a mistake that people even are not aware of, unless it's something despite of himself, and he was perfectly honest, and uttering what he received even blame to himself.
in Surah, in the Quran, particularly in verse 67,
what happened is that after the Battle of Badr, this famous battle, the Muslim took 70, of the mighty strong people have Quraysh as prisoners of war, even though like I said, the Muslim world out number three to one.
And what happened is that there was some discussion as to whether those people should be returned immediately should be left free, should be left free for some ransom compensation to the Muslim community for their suffering, or should should they be held for a while until the unbelievers are truly subdued
the Prophet with his soft heart, he tended more towards a more charitable, you know, approach, at least freeing them in return for some kind of compensation events and to be paid by their people.
And anybody who would look at that and say, all right, that's a reasonable approach. It's humanitarian, and there's nothing wrong with it, no erroneous behavior on the part of that. However, we'll find that in the canal itself, and that is, the prophet explained that the more accurate thing to have done was to wait because you have to subdue First, the unbelievers until you achieve victory and Muslim community is totally secure. And then perhaps the question of returning prisoners that could be considered but not to release them to be a danger for Muslims endless battles. Again, like I said, Nobody could have suspected there's any wrong with that kind of decision. But again, the
current lens of how could he also have something that blames him for such a small thing, nobody even noticed.
Example, in the better of the book,
some people came to the prophet and they asked permission to stay behind and not to participate. And again, the prophet
Didn't want to investigate much whether they have good excuse or not. And he simply allowed them which was militarily too liberal. But again, nobody would have said that this is a basic sin or problem with his decision. Our
the Quran comes in Surah nine, in Isaiah 43, blaming the Prophet, how can you allow them without verifying, even though like I said, Nobody could have objected to that decision, as narrated in both Bukhari and Muslim, when one of the staunchest enemies of Islam who was a hypocrite who pretended to be a Muslim by the name of Abdullah him and Abby obey the died, the profit out of kindness in wanted to prey on him,
But again, we find the Quran in surah 984, blaming and correcting the Prophet that for people who deliberately rejected face and lived this kind of perverted life deliberately, you should not,
you know, ask for forgiveness for them. And another case,
when his uncle Hamza was martyred in one of the patterns. And a woman was so Savage, that she asked someone to open his tummy, and she got his livers and started chewing it. And the prophet SAW his dear uncle, who's very staunch Muslim also in this very,
you know, mutilated form. And he got very angry, and he somehow swore that He will punish the unbelievers in a similar way.
Again, anyone would say that this is only human, to say that even if you don't really intend to do it, but he will find that the Prophet corrected immediately in Surah, 16 and 126. And addresses the perfect day when you punish you punish in a way which is similar only to what you what damage has been done to you. But if you Be patient, that is to forgive and wait, it is better for those who persevere.
You say there are even aspects, time is running short, in fact that he was in this in detail. There are some aspects even pertaining to the personal life of the Prophet that people didn't have any notion of even or not clear notion, where the Prophet was corrected, as you find in Surah, 33 and Surah 66 where the Prophet again was corrected in something that he simply because of oversensitivity, not because of any deliberate
you know, disobedience or anything of that sort. The question basically, here is this. How could someone also, it took that point out to very small mistakes pertaining to human judgment that anyone can justify, and blame himself in such strong terms, unless it is something again, despite of himself,
one of the few minutes that we have left what you've said, sounds quite convincing, but I wonder if there are other psychological aspects which would corroborate the conclusion that the source of the cron is beyond the Prophet himself. One from the psychological standpoint, when we are angry, it takes us a little time to cool down. And you find when you read in the Quran, for example, I can swear eight verses 67 and 68. But there's first very strong blame to the prophet and then forgiveness and acceptance and this usually in human psychology doesn't happen, that
all of a sudden like this, there was a case where some of the hypocrites promoted all kinds of malicious
rumors against the integrity of his wife Ayesha, for one month, he didn't say a word you could have saved himself and claim some revelation that she's innocent. He waited for one month until the Quran, revelation came itself showing that even designs of those people and that his wife was totally innocent of this kind of, of accusation.
There are certain aspects in the Quran that verses would be revealed that the Prophet would not know the implication or the meaning. And he waits until another divination much later come to explain the wisdom behind it. Again, if revelation emanates from himself, how could he have the self revelation or vision of something that he doesn't understand? One example of that is a verse that was revealed in the Quran that says that you should really feel if you hide anything, or reveal Allah will know it. And some people will almost in a state of despair when they said, I'm going to be held responsible even for our thoughts. And then again, the prophet couldn't answer until another verse
in the Quran came to so that one should try his best that it doesn't mean what you interpreted in the Treaty of Arabia that we can discuss later when we get into history.
He took a decision based on revelation, and he never knew how to defend it and there was almost an introduction in the army.
And he couldn't give an explanation until the wisdom was revealed.
Later verses in the Quran much after the action has taken place. So how could that happen? If it was his own?
We'll have to end on that particular note because we're giving him getting indications that our time for the day is exhausted. We want to invite you back. Next week we will explore another major question.
Examine the possibility of the Prophet having learned the Quran from some other source or was he influenced by previous scriptures? That's our program for today. Thank you for watching. Aslam, alaikum peace be unto you