Channel: Jamal Badawi
© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.
Hello, welcome to another continuing episode of Islamic focus. I'm your host Tom Rasheed. Today we continue with our series dealing with source sources of Islam. continuation of the discussion of the topic of authorship of the Quran. I have joined on the program as usual, Dr. Jamal battery of St. Mary's University, but the Jamal assalamu Aleikum, Ronnie
Could I haven't very quickly as as our fashion summarize, the main points that we touched on in our program last week, certainly weren't last week. Mohammed was a continuation of the discussion of the theory that claims that the Quran could have been just a sort of vision that the Prophet sincerely thought it worked. And that emanated mainly from his own subconscious. And we indicated that the contents of the Quran includes prophecies that came to pass with the minor just detail, which of course will not be something that proceeds from one's own thinking. Secondly, we mentioned that the Quran contains certain passages which even blames the prophet or collected him in a very severe
term, even though it was a result of the very innocent interpretation done out of very good intention. But God wanted something different. And nobody else has something that really blames him for something that nobody even noticed. It was a second thought with all good intention. Thirdly, we indicated that he has gone through suffering
himself, an accusation that were made against his wife, and still for a whole month, he could not say anything until the revelation came, if he were to also that he could have saved and got himself out of this difficulty and waiting.
Thirdly, there were some passages in the Quran that were revealed, whose wisdom was known much later. And people asked him and he couldn't answer until much later, when the revelation came to clarify the issue. And again, how could one's own self revelation reveal to oneself something that seems self doesn't understand? So we said that the basis of that is very, very
incoherent, it could be no explanation of the Quran as emanating from the Prophet at all?
Well, I'd like to turn now to an examination of where perhaps you get another possibility that might be suggested to at least for the purposes of clarification. There may be those who say that there's you haven't touched on the possibility that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him might have learned the ground from some other source? What would your response be to that suggestion? Okay, well, first of all, just by way of cross reference, that part, a part of the answer to that question may relate to what was covered in a previous problem, at least one issue that
this implies, or this assumption implies that he did not tell the truth when he said, the Quran has come from Allah and we have already analyzed from the study of his own characters recognition of his own enemies, that this is not the type of person who will just falsify things. And, you know, for that purpose, but like you said, For Purpose of clarification, maybe you could go beyond that and put the question to further analysis. Now, the question here is this if the prophets newly learned the Quran, or the teachings of Islam from somebody and him, then who is that person, and in what context? We all know that the Prophet was unattached. He didn't know how to read or write until he
died. Secondly, we also know that he was raised in a community or environment which was predominantly a pagan communities wasn't, you know, people who believed in some form of monotheism, as the Quran indicated, they were insisted on monotheism. So one cannot make any connection really, there.
Indeed, if one were to be skeptical, he would be least skeptical, or should be least skeptical about Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in terms of learning from someone else or absorbing from his environment. Because, take for example, the case of prophets, Moses and Jesus peace be upon them. Moses was raised in the middle of the house of the pharaoh in civilization and religious arguments and discussions. So if anyone was skeptical, he would say, all right, maybe Moses might have learned
Jesus peace be upon him was raised in Jerusalem at the heart of, again the Hebrew tradition. And he learned a lot. And according to the New Testament, he engaged in lots of discussions with the Jewish scholars. Well, again, if one was to be skeptical he made as a question. I'm not saying that the reason to that because by the authority of the Quran,
the Muslim believes that both Moses and Jesus were genuine prophets of Allah for God, and that they received revelation. But I'm simply saying, if there was any question to be raised, even it is least applicable to the case of Prophet Muhammad, who was undeterred and raised in a community or environment, which was not really
monotheistic in orientation, where some doubts might be there about the source of the Quran. Is there any question about that? You know, you mentioned that Batman was raised in a, an environment that was predominantly pagan, was there any exceptions to that? But of course, needless to say that's in any community. Of course, there are some exceptions, you could not say that 100% of them were pagans, I think that would not be a fair statement for me to make.
But again, we're talking about the predominant atmosphere and dominant cultures, if you will, because, for example, some historians refer to one exception, very minor, one that doesn't have any significance. They refer to a few individuals, who could be counted, perhaps on one hand, who used to call themselves honey fields.
That is people who did not participate, particularly in the mode of worship or idol worship that other
Arabs used to do. They used to have a different way of contemplating or meditating about God, but they did not constitute a religion really, as such. They did not have a church, they didn't have any organizing, no scriptures, no set of teaching. And that is, you know, far from having any relevance. We need to be very comprehensive coverage of the Quran in various aspects of history, creed, the Hereafter, life hears economic, social, political, there's nothing really that can be correlated at all. And there is no record that we know of historically that they had any, any record even of their the set of what they believed were just a vague feeling or vague notion of monotheism which might
come down to them since the days of Abraham and Ishmael, but just a vague, unstructured type of thing. In addition to this, one cannot eliminate also the fact that
the word already maybe a few individuals who might have not necessarily been pagans, some might have had some Christian backgrounds
But in fact,
the those few people, as historians tell us, we're not necessarily of the predominant
cultures. It was just like a separate subculture that was not intermingling much with the other sites, and the Arabs.
Many of them were not allowed or as a principal, in fact, they will not allow to have any residence nearby the cabin because the cabin was regarded as the most holy shrine, even among pagans, respected so much Lee, they kept them at the outskirts of the city of Mecca.
In addition, like historians also indicate they were usually among the less literate or mostly illiterate people who are just like workers, sometimes domestic servants but not really people who have any influence on the culture or any, you know, level of learning whereby they could have possibly been responsible. So this kind of caliber cannot be really unexplained ation of the comprehensive coverage and the wisdom that is contained in the Quran. In fact, the Quran itself at one point even referred to some of those unfounded. So if you will, accusation that some of the pagans that actually made a very logical and very strong rebuttal of it.
Could you tell us, explain for us what the Quran has to say with respect to this and the nature of the other rebuttals contained in the Quran. Okay, before I get to the condition of the passage, and perhaps a little background would be useful. For example, some of those who were really desperate to discredit the prophet in his news time to find some way of disclaiming the origin, the divine source of the Quran. They started throwing all kinds of accusation and one of which they say right you know, if we can truly prove
you know, that the Quran is not coming from divine source, maybe we should throw some doubt so they said, All right.
He learned from a Christian Roman blacksmith.
And what happened really is that there was actually that person. And he used to work in his shop. And the Prophet sometimes just got some
curiosity to find out how he's doing that. So he used to sit out or stand and watch that blacksmith doing his work. I mean, aside from the fact that it is very
unreasonable to assume that in the midst of fire, bank banking can smoke, that the Prophet would learn from such an illiterate person on the high concepts of, of monotheism that we find in the Quran and all the other contents, organizing human life and,
you know, relating the human to the Creator. I mean, it's, it's totally irrelevant. However, the Quran puts it very nicely, and shows a very important logical flaw in this accusation. And that appears in Surah 16, particularly in passage 103.
Listen, maybe you should do that, you know, he asked me
to do a movie. But in that passage, God says,
indeed, that they say it is a human who teaches him that is teaching the Prophet.
And the tongue or the language of him, they wickedly point out, that is the blacksmith is notably foreign. Why in this foreign is impure and clear Arabic.
So the point here is that that's fellow actually, all he knew of Arabic was just a broken Arabic, how could a person was with that foreign tank with broken Arabic, the teacher of the prophet in producing a book that is the Quran, which for 1400 years challenge, the most eloquent of the eloquent to produce something similar to that logic is similar to saying that a Chinese immigrant in Britain was the one who taught Shakespeare's
I mean, it just doesn't make any, any sense as well. So this is one of the examples of you know, that at least that are known in history, we're not necessarily pagan. But obviously, there's absolutely no ground really to relate the source of the Quran to him. Now, aside from this Roman blacksmith that you've just been speaking of, were there other Jews or Christians in Mecca? Who were perhaps more learned? And so to what extent was the the profit in contact with any of these people? Yes, there was a notable case that's known and recorded in history, and we have lots of information on that. And that was an old man
who was blind, towards the end of his life.
And by the name of
that man actually was a cousin or relative of Khadija, the wife of the Prophet peace be upon him. And some historians say that,
even though he comes from, you know, Arabic descent, that he became Christian, at one point in his life, and he had some knowledge actually, of the New Testament.
However, if you really look at it clearly, in terms of the extent of his acquaintance with the Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, you don't see any connections all in fact, the there are only two incidents that we have some information on, historically of encounters between that man and the Prophet.
One, it says that, when I was going around the Kaaba,
you know, turning on the Kaaba, one time he encountered Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and he, like affectionately kissed his head.
The other occasion is an incident which is very well documented and all the details about it, we have record of and that is his encounters with Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him after Prophet Muhammad received the first
that neither of them really can give any
Could you shed some light on that, on that letter contact you just patrolling the ocean of Revelation. Right? Okay, well, briefly speaking, because that also can be discussed perhaps in the context of Islamic history or the life of the Prophet. But as it relates to the discussion here, what basically when Prophet Mohammed was meditating in the cave of Hara, outside of Mecca, top of mountain and the engine of Revelation. Gabrielle came to him the first time
he came down
tremble, you've been afraid, because as we mentioned in a previous program, he never anticipated or hope to be a prophet or anything. And he wasn't sure even whether this is a genuine Angela revelation or whether this could be an evil spirit or something. And he rushed trembling to his wife, a deja vu took him to that relative of hers.
And what accosted him a number of questions as to, you know, what's the description what exactly happened to you? And he concluded, clearly, and he said that this by the name of God is the same engine of revelation who came to prophets before. And he said to Khadija, that your husband would be a very important person, and have a great influence. Some historians say that he said, actually, that this is the long awaited prophets.
And, in fact, he gives an a prophecy, also an indication, he said, You will be driven out of your home. And if this happened to you, I would really give you all the support I could muster. So the Prophet asked him, Are they going to drag me out of my home, he said, there is no profit in history, okay, with the teaching that are similar to what you're began to receive, except that he was opposed and driven out by his advice, people are putting you first to opposition and persecution.
And after this, it is said that,
you know, the water cup that man shortly died. Again, there is no connection here for a very simple reason. The most trustworthy references indicate that he died very early. And you know, that revelation of the Quran came to the Prophet over a period of 23 years. And they conclude that he must have died within the first three years. And the Quran continued for 20 more years after his death, because he was already advanced in age and blind, as they described him. So, again, looking at it this way, I don't think
there's any connection that would have been impossible source, or the discussion that we've had to this point is basically focused on on Mecca.
Some people may wonder whether or not
the Prophet might have learned some of the religious teachings from other Jews and Christians in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula. How would you respond to somebody who would make that suggestion when he was a traveler and travel quite frequently? Okay. Well, let's take first the question of the Arabian Peninsula itself. I think this is a matter that should be related to both history and geography. Yes, there were some Christian tribes living in Nigeria known as the Christians of Nigeria, and that was in what we call today, Yemen.
That's to the south of Makkah. To the north. Yes, there were some Jewish tribes living in yesterday, which came to be known later as Medina. All right. However, it's interesting to notice that there is absolutely no evidence or record in history, about Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him traveling to Niger on to Yemen, either before he was
you know, giving the responsibility of prophethood or after that, there's absolutely nothing that we know of about it. So that removes that.
Secondly, with respect to the Jews living in Medina,
let's realize again, that number one, the prophet was not recorded to have gone to Medina before Prophethood.
Except when he was six years old, in the company of his mother, to visit her relatives, manning the judge,
what is now Medina, and do let the Prophet Muhammad visit the grave of his father because his father died while he was still in the womb of his mother? Yes. So I don't think we can say that the age of six the person going to Medina have learned of the Judaic concept in the information about the doll testament.
Furthermore, we're talking here about a place which is hundreds of kilometers away from Mecca.
And that's not one hour flights and jumbo jets, nor is it a matter of four or five hours driving on a superhighway. You know this, you're talking here about the place in the context of the transportation methods of the seventh century, you're really talking about traveling by cabin on board the cabin or horse for perhaps weeks.
You really don't see any connection at all between the existence of those communities.
is far away from the immediate environment where the Prophet
was located because we know
that some non Muslim writers about Islam have claimed that there were occasions when the Prophet was engaged in discussions with learned Jews and Christians, including priests.
might understand from what you've said at this point that this is not true. It is true, but sometimes the timing is not mentioned the timing is very crucial. Yes. So the emphasis in my answers in the previous questions was, that is before he was commissioned as a prophet and started to receive the revelation of the Quran, did he have any contact? And that makes a big difference? Because yes, there were incidents and the Quran even refers to the dialogue or discussion between the prophet and Jewish and Christian, religious leaders.
But that has taken place after long after actually became profit and long after so much of the Quran was already revealed. Many of these discussions has taken place in Medina, after the Prophet migrated. And we know that he stayed in Makkah for 13 years. So you're really talking about more than 16 years after the,
the beginning of his mission as a prophet of God, so that the time here is very, very Christian, how could he learn from them he has already thought so much about the teaching of the russland revealed so much revelations, in the form of the of the Quran. That's another thing. The second thing, in addition to timing, is the context where he met with them, did he? Did he meet with them as a student learning from them, or as a teacher, and inviters and corrector, even of some of the notions that they used to claim? Yes, and history tell us that he met them as a prophet, to invite them to the path of Islam to indicate to them and correct some of the dogmas that they have introduced into
the pure monotheistic faiths of Allah. The current affairs, for example, his discussion about correction of the notions of like Trinity and other
notion that many of those people have a third aspect that should be noted here, that many of those religious notables actually ended up following him and becoming his students themselves. The history told us of the names of very learned people like Abdullah had Milan cabin, or Sandman, all of these individuals were known to have good knowledge, especially the first two. And in fact, the Quran in chapters or surah, 585, makes reference to some of them actually, the one they heard, were very religious leaders and very notable learned scholars, when they heard that a cetacean of the Prophet, their eyes were flowing with tears, and they believed that the Prophet because they said
that we believe in the and the, what has been revealed to us and the truth that has been coming that is truly a prophet Muhammad peace be opening. So yes, there was this meeting, but when, in what context and what capacity is quite revealing can interesting.
Go back to this point about traveling we know that Prophet Muhammad peace be one who traveled extensively that was part of his trade in the, in the early years.
Common statement and many of the writings what Islam is that even if the Prophet did not learn about decrees from anyone in Arabia, he must have learned that through his travels, his other travels, how correct would you say the staircase when the first correction to that common statement? I agree, it's it's a very common, but common is one thing and correct is not necessarily the same. Those who used to travel extensively are the courgettes in general and the Quranic reference that they like in the suit our chapter called correlation that they used to have a trip in the summer and winter, in the summer used to go north to Syria. In the winter, they go south to Yemen for the purpose of
But that generalization about the Arabs in general, those who were involved in that trade, does not necessarily mean that the Prophet was involved in all of this challenge. In fact, historically, we know of two travels outside of the Arabian Peninsula made by the prophet peace be upon him. And one was when he was nine, and some other version perhaps no more than 20 years of age in the company of his uncle Abu Talib, when they went to Syria, for you know, trading purposes on a caravan
And obviously you cannot say that at that age, a person would learn something that people spend all their lives learning.
And even in that in one of the stories, for example, narrated in tirmidhi, that on the way back when he was a boy, one Christian monk, some even give his name as behera saw certain strange signs about the Prophet, he asked him some questions. And he weren't his uncle, he said that this is the anticipated or long awaited prophet. And be careful because other some people might hurt him if you know and actually advised him to go back as soon as possible. There are lots of details that we can discuss, perhaps in the issue of the lifetime of the Prophet.
But of course, it's obvious here that in a caravan passing, casually, by a monk resting for a couple of hours from the heat of the sun,
a nine or even 12 years old boy would learn all the secrets of theology and come up with something that really as enlightened in
the hearts of millions or hundreds of millions of people, South histories relate to two grand assumption to make the second incident where there is a record of his travel was when he was 25 years old after he married Khadija,
and he was responsible for her caravan. And imagine a person again, traveling with full responsibility have a whole caravan busy buying and selling, negotiating, packing and getting ready to go back, that in this casual discussion that might have taken place, or broad conversation with other nations, that he learned, again, something that would result in
a face that is of the magnitude of Islam and as comprehensive as what the Quran
contains. I should add really that not only historically, do we find that this kind of claim is unjustified. But it cannot be justified even on simple logical grounds.
It can't be justified in logical grounds, you have to explain what you mean by that. I mean by that, but aside from the historical fact that there is
no clear indication of anything that can be traced or resemble a possible source from which Prophet Muhammad might have learned the Quran.
And that there are additional reasons. Number one,
the life of the Prophet was open to all. And the Quran actually actually testifies to that fact, in Surah, 49, for example, that he didn't even have sufficient privacy in his own home because people were around him at all times. They were trying to recall each and every word that he said they tried to observe his action as the model for them.
And if this is the case, or this was the case, how could it be that he was secretly in the presence of all people around him at all times? Yes, go and meet with that teacher and learn the Quran from him and then come every once in a while and say this is a new part of the Quran, because as you said it was revealed in peace means how could he escaped this open eyes around him all the time.
And this is included people who are staunchly independent and strong personalities, like Abu Bakr and Osman and others. How could such wise people believe in him and sacrifice their property and lives and put it on the line in defense of what he teaches? If they know that he is not telling the truth? And they know because they're close to him, that he learned from some other source? How could you do that even a person who was his enemy, like how much
it was very strong person, very wise person, but he was an enemy of Islam and Muslims at the beginning, how could he turn around and follow the prophet and offer his life even? Or put it on the line in defense of Islam and what he saw as the truth if there were any such kind of teacher, but let's leave even his followers. Somebody might say they might have been reached or something about his enemies, and his enemies were keeping their eyes open for any flaw or mistake, or anything that may justify their accusation that he was a false prophet, or that he was claiming something that he was learning from someone else. If they were such a teacher, they would have made a big noise about
it and say, no, not only that he learned from others, and that's his name. And that's where we caught him, learning from him. And what kind of teacher let the Prophet learn all that without claiming the credits himself? Yes, yes. It has to be an invisible type of teachers that evaded all of those people. If there was another teacher. It was none but Gabrielle the end
That's the only viable extension.
conclude our program for the day. We want to thank you all for watching. invite you back next week when we'll continue with our series dealing with the sources of Islam. Islam alaikum peace be unto you