What I am going to be talking about , and I’d to actually turn it into more of a conversation than a lecture, is the concept of science in the Quran, but that is sort of abrupt as a topic because it needs a context, so I am going to present that context first, and then we’ll go into some examples of science in the Quran.
The Quran in Muslim belief is two things in one. It’s a divine message but at the same time, it is also a miracle. It’s considered a miracle. And when we talk about the word miracle – I mean, the divine message part, I think everybody understands – any people that adhere to a religion or way of life hold certain words to be scripture or to be Holy and this is the case of the Muslims with the Quran. But it’s just important to understand our concept of the word miracle before we go any further, because it is a very specific definition that Islam gives to the word that is not applicable to the word in common language. So even though I am using the word miracle, it’s not necessarily what you would think of usually. Now, I want you to think – where’d you use the word miracle?
[Audience – inaudible]
You want me to stop? Already?
[Audience – inaudible]
Ok, they want me to hold on and come back. But I don’t want to waste time, so what I’ll do is…I’ll talk to you about some things, and when other people come in, I’ll start over and I’ll quiz you on what I’ve talked about. Ok? This makes good use of our time. So you’ll signal me, and I’ll restart, no problem. Ok, InshaAllah.
So, in common language, nowadays, where’d you use the word miracle. You are watching TV. Who’d use the word miracle?
Doctors? Do you use the word miracle?
Yeah, sports, definitely. You know, the short clock’s running down, somebody takes a chuck at it from the half-court, and it goes in and everybody screams. It’s a miracle. Right?
Basically, also, you call your friends after you’ve really tanked the exam , and then the day of the grades, you go into class and you’ve got a 97, and you say this is…this is a miracle. Haha. Right?
Miracles – basically what people think of, when they think of the word miracle, is something really good and unexpected that happens to you or someone else – as a miracle. Somebody’s healed . Right? Or something really great happened. Or something very unexpected happened. Highly unlikely. But not impossible. It is highly unlikely, but not…impossible. That’s the general connotation of the word miracle, in language.
But it also has a spiritual sense, among religions in general. And in the spiritual sense, it has nothing to do with experiencing something or that something that can be proven. It rather has to do with something you feel in your heart. So, you can speak to someone of a particular faith and they can say well I believe that such and such religion is a miracle because I felt that miracle in my heart. I feel it. And I can’t give you that feeling – you’ll have to feel it for yourself. Right?
So, it’s basically – when we use the word in the spiritual sense, what you are actually saying is that it is not something provable at all. It is not something that can be gauged in scientific terms. It is a personal experience, really, right? So, that’s the second.
And thirdly, I want to say something a bit controversial – the word miracle is irrelevant…in the context of science. It’s irrelevant. Why? Because the scientific community in general, whenever they study a phenomena, what is their attempt? Are they trying to figure out if this is a miracle or is there a scientific explanation behind it? What their attempt always? To find a scientific explanation.
So, scientifically speaking, there is no such thing as a miracle. It has to have some sort of explanation. If you believe in miracles, then you are not truly a scientist. That’s the new way of thinking. That…that’s modern thought. Right?
Miracles are a religious thing. Or common language thing. But they are certainly not a scientific thing. It’s not a scientific thing. And wherever science has no answer, basically what it says is that we haven’t figured this out yet, but we are sure that there is an explanation. But it’s an unwillingness to take the leap of faith – is what is termed usually, right? The leap of faith.
So, for example, in the scientific community, you may have a belief in the big bang. Ok. And there may be a consensus about it. But when it comes to the question of what caused the big bang, an average scientist will tell you science can’t answer that question, philosophy can, or religion can. We can’t…until we have better knowledge that’s not a question that…it’s not a scientific question. And if you were paying attention to the debate early last year, particularly in some of the North Eastern States, in the education system, there was a big debates between a…the teaching of evolution versus intelligent design…do you remember this debate? It was a pretty popular debate. And essentially the argument on the scientific community’s end was that you can’t teach evolution, or rather intelligent design, for one simple reason. And what was their reason? Anyone knows? No, it’s not as such about proof. It’s a religious thought. It’s a philosophical idea. It’s not something that can be gauged with the five senses. Again, this is something you learn in life. Third grade. How you come to scientific conclusions? What do you use?
Yeah, the scientific method which involves, basically the five senses. And when you are talking about miracle, you are definitely asking people to go beyond…or believe something beyond the five senses. Right?
So, it seems like science and religion, at some point in time, they collide. And there doesn’t seem to be any reconciliation. Either you are religious, or you are scientific. And when there is…you know, on the other hand, there is this weird phenomenon that we are finding more and more of nowadays, there are people that are scientists but they are very religious. Right? You’ve got a very religious doctor. Doctor is a sort of a scientist. Or a physicist, right?
But, they may or may not necessarily try to merge the two things. Meaning, they put their religion aside when they study science, and they put their science aside when they read revelation or when they listen to a sermon or pray or whatever. That’s a personal, spiritual thing, and science is sort of like an intellectual thing. And you can’t really reconcile them. Even people that are religious and scientific, many of them have this problem. Right? So, it’s something that can’t be reconciled. At least, that’s what it seems.
But the term miracle in Islam, it has a very different connotation. By the way, before I go into miracles in Islam, I’ll tell you some funny cases of miracles…or the word miracle being used in the news.
There was a lady, I think it was four years ago, some homeless lady. She found a slice of bread under a bridge in Chicago. And it looked like Jesus. And she called it a miracle. And she sold it on ebay. For a few thousand. Right. Because it was a miracle slice of bread. Right. And this, by the way wasn’t in the…you know…alert international headline news. This was in the part of the news where they show a dog surfing and like, you know, silly news? This is where it belongs. Because, again, the term in irrelevant in the scientific sense.
So, what is a miracle in Islam? The classical scholars of Islam listed many conditions for something to be considered a miracle according to Islamic theology. I’ll give you the conditions that are agreed upon universally. Across the centuries, some conditions everybody agree with. Those are the ones I am going to share with you. Ok? And we are going to talk about them a little bit later on, and I’ll see if you can remember them if you are not writing them down.
The first one is it’s impossible for human beings to do or perform. A miracle has to be something that can’t be manufactured. It’s not skills. It’s not a trick. It’s not a technology. It has no possibility to have come…or it couldn’t have originated from a human being. It just can’t. It’s impossible. If you were to see it…and just to give you a crazy example, if somebody is, for example, floating, which is…crazy – you wouldn’t think of that happening, and if they are, that’s not something human beings can do without a device, right. Or a baby speaking. And I think all of you know what I am referring to, right? And that’s not something human beings can do. The day of your birth, you speak? Right? That’s not something you can do. Or, being born of a virgin mother, something human beings can’t do. So, it has to be beyond human capability.
The second thing. Which is different from the first, is that it breaks the laws of nature. There are certain patterns, in life, and we observe them – science is a great way to observe them. Gravity. Simple things from the ancients like fire-burns, right? And, here you have Ibrahim, or Abraham (AS) being thrown into the fire. But does it burn? No. So that will be considered miraculous. So it has to be something that you can’t explain from nature. But there is an added thing that…I don’t know if I put in the latter points here – it defies patterns of history. It was never done before, it can’t be done again. When you get something that stands out in history, you could say it’s possible that it might happen again but it hasn’t, and it never did before it – meaning, it stands out uniquely in human history. Which is sort of like what I am saying, when I say, it can’t be repeated. It cannot be duplicated. Actually, probably duplicated is a better word than repeated here. It can’t be duplicated.
Now, why would an amazing card trick not be considered a miracle in Islamic…in the Islamic sense? Someone else can do it too. Right, more than a person can do it. But it’s (miracle) something that you can’t reproduce. It’s not something that you can come up with over and over and over again. It’s a one time thing. That’s it. And this is part of its conditions. This is a unique condition in Islam. We don’t consider anything a miracle except something that is being claimed by a person who himself claims to be a messenger, of God of course, of Allah. A prophet…specifically a messenger – the word prophet is more general, the word messenger is more specific. This was just common sense. It doesn’t contradict the messenger.
I’ll give you an example from Islamic history. We are not going to discuss miracles in the overall sense yet, but you know, there was a man at the time of the Prophet (SAW) in Islamic history. He claimed to be a prophet. He said, well, Muhammad (SAW) has pretty good popularity, if I claim to be a messenger, maybe I can be pretty popular too. So he decides he is going to claim to be a messenger. His name was Musailmah – al-Kazzab. Right? And, in that same time, the Prophet (SAW) was brought a child who was very sick. And actually, then he was…first he was taken to a well that was almost dried up and he was asked to help and pray that this well recovers because the town was suffering from it. So the Prophet (SAW) he prayed – he made Dua, and he spit in that well, and it became overflowing. As the narration goes. Musailmah-al-Kazzab, on the other hand, his town was also having a drought. So his people said, you are a messenger too, you can pull this off. And so his…their well was half-dry, and he spit in it, and as soon as he does that, the narration goes, the well dried up completely. So what I…what I mean by ‘it contradicts the messenger’ is you are performing something, and what you are doing contradicts that fact that you are a messenger of Allah. It’s doing the exact opposite of what you claim to be.
But probably the biggest condition – and this is the one that the scholars emphasize the most on, and put it at the end, is that it challenges mankind. The point of a miracle isn’t to show you something really cool and say ‘wow, that was awesome’. The point of it, in Islam, in our belief, it’s always been, since the beginning of mankind, any prophet, any messenger that was given miracles, the point of it was miracles are…rather the messengers are bringing something really crazy…and before you can appreciate the last point, I am going to give you a scenario. Picture yourself in this time. Picture yourself living a couple of thousand years ago, you know, you live in a village, and there is a person living next to you – generally…middle-aged man, maybe forty years old; nice guy, you’ve known him your whole life, very wise person in the community – one day, he comes over to your house, knocks on your door, and says, Last night, an angel came into my house, and gave me revelation, that I am a messenger of God, and whatever I say from now on isn’t actually me speaking…I am just representing the message of God. So if you reject me, or deny anything I’m saying, it’s the same as you denying…who? God himself. And nothing I say is open to criticism any longer. Whatever I have to say is repre…I am not divine myself but whatever I have to say is representative of a divine authority. And you have to listen and obey me alone over everything else, and if you don’t, you’ll be doomed in this life, and the hereafter.
This is your neighbor. What’d you say to him? What’d you say? Nowadays, you’ll call 911…Haha. If you were nice, you’d say ‘what did you eat last night’. Or ‘are you on any medication’. Or you…pretty much your first assumption would be what? This person is crazy. That’s crazy. Why is that so crazy? Now, I want you to think…why would you and I have that as our first reaction? Why do you think that’s crazy?
I need to hear this. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
There is no tangible or empirical evidence, but it goes a step further. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
No, I am saying two thousand years ago.
[Audience – inaudible]
Yeah. That…very good. You can’t trust something that just a person that just comes and tell you. But it’s more extreme than that. I mean the claim is pretty strong. Right? There is a very simple reason. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
It’s not questionable. How can human beings shut their minds off? By definition, we are programmed to think. And he’s asking us not to think anymore. So this is not acceptable.
There…but there is even a more core, more basic…very simple common sense reason.
[Audience – inaudible]
Exactly. Statistics. You have never seen anything like this ever being true in your life. Nor does anyone else you know know of anything like this in their lifetimes. Nor has it ever been recorded in reliable history that you can think of. This is a completely unheard of phenomenon, something way beyond our…your experience, something you definitely don’t consider normal behavior. You know, in Abnormal Psyche, day one, the professor comes in and says the difference between normal and abnormal behavior, in the society that you live in, a claim like that, by anyone, even one in a million, would be considered what? Absolutely abnormal behavior. This is not a norm. It defies what you expect to be normal behavior. It cannot be taken seriously. So, we have lots of reasons to reject this man. And by the way, if you read the Quran, also other scripture…previous scripture, what do you find about the messengers? What did the people call them? What did the people call the messenger of Allah (SAW)? Magician. Insane. Right? Possessed.
Does it make a little more sense now why would people say something like that? Because what he’s asking them to believe…ok, believing in one God…it’s not very far-fetched. Believing in a hereafter – possible. The biggest, the hardest thing to believe is what? That the one…that just…I can’t see it happening…is what? A man being spoken to by an angel. That just…it goes…it’s beyond me. I can’t except that. Right? That’s the first reaction of many many people. So, in order for people to…in order for their decision to be facilitated, in order for them to make that leap not of faith, but with open eyes, Islam says there were miracles sent, the point of which was simply this: you think I’m crazy? Let me show you something God gave me that…as soon as you see it, it’s clear and evident nobody else could have given me this except God Himself. And this is the biggest proof that I am speaking the truth. Now, believe it…whether you believe it or not, put yourself in the hypothetical situation, if you were in a time when a man came, and claimed to be a messenger of Allah, a messenger of God, and he says to you believe that I am a messenger, and you say what’s your evidence? I mean, how should…why should I believe you? And he says, you look at this boulder right here? Go, check if it’s a real boulder or not. And you check, it’s a boulder, a big giant boulder. And you say I am going to pray, and by God’s permission, a camel is going to come out of it. Which prophet am I talking about? Saleh (AS). Right? And a camel comes out of a boulder. What would you say? Fine. I mean, you…your first impression – maybe it’s magic, maybe a trick with my eyes, so you verify…you look, and use…in the end, you have to say this can’t be. This is beyond…you know…anything I have ever seen.
Then, Maryam (AS) – Mary – comes to the people with the baby. With Jesus – with Eesa (AS). And people are accusing her of wrong-doing. And in Islam, this is something – I don’t think it’s in Christian scripture, but it’s in Islamic tradition, Eesa (AS) – or Jesus – in defense of his mother, speaks on the first day he is born, defending his mother, and saying I’m a messenger of Allah. She is innocent of the crime you accuse her of.
So now, if you didn’t believe – if you see a one day baby making a speech, a public speech, then, [Audience – inaudible] start over, no…keep going…cool.
If you see a baby making a public speech on the first day he is born, then you’d probably be a believer. Or, I mean you’ve seen the Prince of Egypt, I’m sure. If you were there when that water split, I’m sure that would turn you into a believer. Ok, this is actually a messenger of Allah, right. Messenger of God. This is beyond human capacity. It meets these conditions that I’m giving you. Right. But there is only one problem with all of this. In our time, I mean these are all of course a allegedly legends of ancient times. Stories made up. There was actually a BBS documentary, I think, a couple of nights ago, on, on Moses, and the…the…the exodus, whether it actually happened or not. And there, you know, scientifically trying to explain that it’s actually probably legend passed down, and it…with every generation, it got exaggerated to the point where it turned into the water parting, and that’s their explanation of the exodus. Right. But, if you and I, in our day and age, were to believe in a miracle, we would have to see something beyond science. Something that just can’t be explained otherwise. And that would make a believer out of me or of you. Because we are living in an intellectual age. We are living in a scientific age. The age of faith that just…it was just like the atmosphere around the entire earth, no matter where on earth you went, what culture you visited, people were religious – whether they believed in one god or many, they were religious. That culture is slowly changing very fast. As much religion you see in the world today, there is this new movement that over a few…I mean…it’s the second century of this movement now, late into the…actually the middle of its third, that now people are bigger believers in science than they are in religion, even if they are religious people. Even if they are religious people.
So we are living in an age of questioning and reasoning. And asking…you know…seeking intellectual answers. Now, does everybody understand the conditions of what constitutes a miracle in the Islamic sense? Ok, good.
The word miracle.
In the Arabic sense, the classical scholars, the Islamic scholars use the word Mo’jiza- I put the apostrophe therefore a’in – Mo’jiza, but it’s used only by the scholars of Islam. It’s not a religious word. Meaning, it doesn’t appear in the Quran, it doesn’t appear in any statement of the Prophet (SAW). Ok.
What does Mo’jiza mean? Mo’jiza – the word itself means that which incapacitates the opponent. Something that is used to overpower the opponent, and they use this term because the idea is the miracle of Islam, which we are going to discuss in a little bit, is something whoever argues with it is incapacitated – that’s the argument. And, centuries of scholarship are dedicated just to this one subject. Mo’jiza. The Mo’jiza of Islam.
But the word used in religious text – in Quran – and also in the sunnah – instead of Mo’jiza, the word used is Ayah. The word Ayah in Arabic means…actually Mo’jiza – you would probably literally translate into English as a miracle. Ayah, however, is translated as two things: it means a miracle, and it means a sign. Miracle and sign. And so a good translate of Ayah that alludes to both would be a miraculous sign. That would probably be a good translation of the word Ayah.
In the Quran, the smallest, or the lets go with the biggest…the biggest unit is a seventh. The unit under that is a Surah. Surah is kind of like a chapter, but not exactly. What’s the smallest unit in the Quran? Ayah.
Every – I am not going to use the word verse again, but just so you understand, every verse in the Quran is called, not a verse, but an Ayah. It’s called an Ayah. And actually using the word verse has some…implications, that I personally am not convinced of…of using the word verse because, for the of you who speak English as their first language, where do you hear the word verse? There are two main contexts where the word verse in used – poetry, music, songs, where else? One more place. The Bible. And the Quran is very emphatic in denying two things. At least two things. Number one, it’s not poetry. Number two, it’s not borrowed from previous scripture. Right? Si, it becomes important for us not to use that term because it already comes with a connotation that the Quran very emphatically denies. So, verse is not to be used…rather, Ayah is to be used, which I…what translation did I offer you? Miraculous sign.
Ok, so I discussed the difference between these two words. But I want to get to the more…meaty part of the discussion.
Miracles of the past prophets.
What are some of their miracles? You tell me. It’s the only thing I put in your hair.
Let’s hear it. You know any miracles of prophets from previous nations that you’ve heard of?
Other than Muhammad (SAW). Don’t mention Muhammad (SAW)’s miracles. Anybody else.
Yeah go ahead, you were saying something.
[Audience – inaudible]
What’s the miracle?
[Audience – inaudible]
O…the story with the staff and the snake. Yeah. Very good. Somebody mentioned the sea, the parting. Very good. What else? Think of other people. Other miracles. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
What was his miracle?
[Audience – inaudible]
Yes he did. But it wouldn’t be considered a miracle. You know why not? Figure out why not. From what the conditions of a miracle are. What are the conditions of a miracle?
[Audience – inaudible]
This is consensus among the Islamic scholars. The other paranormal phenomena that’s discussed in revelation are called kharafaat, karamaat, there are other words for them. Miracles – Mo’jizaat – have very specific definition. And I want to specifc…in the Islamic sense, what’s a miracle? And why wouldn’t Solomon speaking, or Sulaiman (AS) speaking to animals be considered a miracle? Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
You are missing the question. The question is, according to the definition of what’s an Islamic miracle? Why isn’t he speaking to animals considered a miracle? The biggest reason. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
Not just that…well it was God-granted, but he didn’t challenge mankind with it. He didn’t take this people and said believe in me because I can speak to animals. But he did do something…on the subject of Sulaiman (AS)…he did do something that was there to convince someone of Islam. To challenge someone. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
He did…but there is something bigger…Yeah…the throne of queen Sheba. He had it transported from her kingdom to his, and then she took Shahadah. So that would constitute a miracle. Ok.
So we’ve got some idea of the miracles of the past prophets. What do these miracles have in common? They have three things in common. I said two here, but I really meant three. What are the three things these miracles have in common?
[Audience – inaudible]
First of all, they are stuck in time. What that means is you can tell me that Jesus – Eesa (AS) – cured the blind, by Allah’s permission. And what’s the easy refutation? Very easy refutation. No, no-he-didn’t is not a very good refutation. Haha. But an intellectual refutation. It’s a second grade refutation. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
You are going too deep, though you are right. But there is something else. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
You are on the right track. Were you there? Simple as that. Were you there? Where’d you get this from? ************** write it in the book? How do you know it’s true? I don’t know. I just believe. Well, then…don’t prove it to me…that’s not true. That’s your personal belief. Keep it to yourself. Simple as that. It’s pretty easy.
All…all the arguer has to say, among many other things, is what? You were not there. Who saw it?
[Breakage in audio at ~30.00]
Alright. So I am going to give you some things about science, and I’ll leave you with language, because personally I am student of language. Of the Arabic language. I continue to be. And it is something that fascinates me of all the things that make me convinced of Quran, it’s the language. That just beyond anything else is very profound…it has a profound impact on me. I didn’t get the time to animate this, so I’ll just write a quick clarification. The Quran is not a book of science. It is a book of that has very specifc message. The specific message is to accept God not just as a divine Being but as someone who has direct control and impact over your life. To accept moral principles that He delivers to you, to implement them in your life, so that your worldly and after-worldly – other-worldly – life are a success. And this is the basic message of the Quran. Salvation. And it includes many unscientific statements. I mean, the Quran speaks of – I put some things in parenthesis but I mean you know others, the unseen, the unseen realm, another, another world – a world of angels and jinn – jinn, I wouldn’t want to call them demons for those of you who don’t know what that is, but if you the story of Aladdin, they use the word genie, it comes from the Arabic word jinn – in stories and Arab legend. But the jinn is a creature we believe are made of fire, like angel are made of light, and they are also creatures of choice – they can do right or wrong. That’s another subject.
And of course, the hereafter is very unscientific. To believe in a Day of Judgement, to believe in a Hellfire, to believe in a Paradise – there is not empirical evidence to prove a Paradise and Gardens and, you know, eternal life, and all of it, this sort of stuff. And of course, we eat and…in Paradise, we don’t go to the bathroom, we sweat perfume in Paradise, right. So, very unscientific for someone who doesn’t believe.
Then, we have to understand why is this subject taking momentum in recent times. Science and the Quran. It is really because the Quran…by it, I mean…the Quran speaks of Allah’s creation with the intent of inspiring reflection on the creation’s beauty. And reflection on the subtlety, the mechanics, the design, the technology of creation, the technology behind the single leaf, the symmetry involved; the advanced technology in a single cell or an atom, how precise that is, right. It wants people to reflect on the subtlety of Allah’s design and Allah’s creation. That’s where these phenomenon – worldly phenomena – creations of Allah or God are mentioned, and in later times, and this is the point that hits the…this is the one that hits my home…the miracle is in the choice of words used or given to describe the creation. What I mean by that is the Quran – I said before, is the literal word of Allah, meaning every word is divinely chosen, Arabic is unique because for any given word, you have dozens of synonyms, dozens and dozens of synonyms, each with a slight…like a…difference, very slight difference. So you have, for example, eight words for falling asleep, and the difference between all of them is one of them is deep sleep, the other one is almost asleep – your eyes are open but your mind is sleeping, the other one is you’re sleeping but you can hear people, the other one is you are sleeping when you are sitting, you are sleeping when you are lying down, different stages of sleep? Asleep with dreams in it, asleep without dreams in it…they’ve got a word for each one of them. And I am giving you a phrase for each of them: asleep with something, asleep with something. Arabs have got a word for each of these types of sleep.
Arabs have a word for different types of..different…ways to describe a farmer. They have a word for a farmer when he is planting this seed, they have got a word for a farmer when he is taking out the seed, they have got a word for a farmer when he is watering the plants, and they are all used for a farmer. But they are very specific about words. Very very specific. And the miracle aspect that’s now more recently been talked about is in the precision of the choices of words used to describe things you will almost think in passing, meaning Allah is talking about something like, you know, the creation of something, and just the way in which He talks about it, in on itself becomes uniquely miraculous.
And I put some Arabic here, don’t be intimidated…I’ll tell you what that…that’s for me, not for you.
Some simple examples.
One interesting example is Surah-Al-Hadeed. And by the way, Shiekh Zinidani, who’s a famous scholar in the Arab world, collects over 350 scientific phenomena in the Quran. But I’m not going to give you 350. I am going to give you 1-2-3-4-5. And just, point you in the direction when we talk about Quran and science , what it’s referring to.
So, this Ayah says: wa’anzalna al-hadeed…(57:25)
Surah Al-Hadeed is Surah number 57 of the Quran, and Allah uses the word ‘we sent down iron’. ‘We sent down iron’. Now, the thing of it is Allah speaks about creating lots of different things in the Quran. But for all of them, He uses a verb called Khalaqa, or ‘to create’. He created the heavens and the earth. He created life and death. He created, He created, He created. But when He speaks of iron, He didn’t say He created it. He said – what did I say? He sent it down. He sent it down. And scholars of the past were grappling with this issue: why? Cause, you know, the words of God are very precise – this is our belief. So, when someone will argue when He said He sent it down, He meant He created it – No, if He meant He created it, He would have said He created…He didn’t mean that. He meant specifically that He sent it down. Right?
And so, you find, in this…in the last century, the twentieth century, geologists coming to certain agreements about the beginnings of the earth – one of them being that iron was not…is not…is not part of the original earth. It actually came to the earth in the form of meteors. And was buried deep into the core of the earth. Right. So, the word used – iron – We sent down iron becomes a very accurate depiction of the reality of iron, because it was sent down.
Another example is in Surah-Al-Furqaan, Surah number 25: waja ‘ala feeha sirajan wa qamaran muneera [25:61]
Allah speaks of things in the heavens and the earth that are at His disposal: Tabaraka allathee ja’ala fee-assama-i-buroojan – Blessed in the One who placed in the sky stars – and then He says: waja ‘ala feeha sirajan – and in the sky, He placed – particularly for us – a lamp. He calls the sun a lamp, in this case: siraj. Wa qamaran muneera- the words qamaran muneera are describing the moon. The word qamar means moon. But the word muneer is the one that is really scientific – if you want to take it that way. The word muneer means something given light. Something illuminated. Not something that gives off light, but something that is lit up by something else. Like this room is muneer, this room is lit up because of the light, but the light itself is siiraaj. So there’s a source of light, and the recipient of the light. When He spoke of the sun, He called it a lamp. When He spoke of the moon, He called it a moon that reflects light. So at a time when this is not a know phenomenon, Allah is speaking of the moon as a body in space that doesn’t give off its own light as – I mean, nowadays, it’s ‘obviously, it’s reflecting the sun’s light’ but I mean, picture yourself 1500 years ago saying that..it’s not very obvious…looks like it’s giving its own light. Right. But then, it’s…the direct statement wa qamaran muneera.
This third one is cross between linguistic and scientific. I’ll just mention the linguistic aspect of this very quickly because this is not a big deal. At the time of the Prophet (SAW), the only people surrounding him were people of either…you know…idol worshipping people, atheists, Christians and Jews. The Christian and Jews were the more knowledgeable people, the idol worshippers were not an intellectual people; they were Bedouins in the Arab society. Even the Christian and Jews at the time believed that the earth was the centre of the universe. Ok. And this Ayah comes down and says…that…the beginning of the Ayah – this is Surah Yaseen, Surah number 36: La ashshamsu yanbaghee lahaan tudrika alqamara wala allaylu sabiqu annahar and then this part: wa kullun fee falakin yasbahoon. The sun does not rebel its orbit that it may come before the moon, neither does…and…so that the day may be coming early, nor does the night come before the day, meaning they’ve got their appointed times, but in the beginning of the Ayah, He is talking about light…the moon and the sun keeping their order, not coming out of their orbits, and then He talk about night and day not transgressing; when it’s time for night, it’s night; when it’s time for day, it’s day; and they don’t transgress each other – they keep their limits. So far, He is talking about the sun and the moon and the earth and time, right? And then He says: wa kullun fee falakin yasbahoon, and all of them – all of them meaning the earth, the moon and the sun, because these are the three objects mentioned in the Ayah – all of them are floating in their own orbits. Wa kullun fee falakin yasbahoon. All of them – falak means orbit, yasbahoon to swim or to float. So, all of them, in their own orbits, they are floating. Now, at the time, one belief was – the closer-to-scientific belief was the sun is at the center of the universe. And yet, Allah is going a step further at this time – 1500 years ago – and what’s He saying? The earth has an orbit. The moon has an orbit. And, the sun has an orbit. Right? Way ahead of its time. And this is the theme in scientific phenomenon in the Quran. It is not talking about something so amazing to you now, but it’s something to wonder that how is such an accurate depiction being given of an only lately discovered scientific…or a scientific phenomenon discovered much later, to be mentioned in this text. And it is not something, again, this is not something that was boasted or talked about or, you know, as soon as, for example in the…in Europe, in other discoveries, Galileo and things like that. These discoveries did not lead Muslim scholars to say ‘Aha! The Quran has been saying this all along’. Because it was like, you know, ‘we knew that’. Haha. The books says that already.
It wasn’t something…a big deal. And I’m saying that because the scientific is only a recent emphasis. We shouldn’t go overboard with the scientific thing. I am just mentioning some things, I mean, that are commonly talked about, but it’s not necessarily something that you constantly, you know, push.
Then there is, of course, the famous Ayah about the heavens and the earth – which is the Arabic expression for the universe. Heavens and the earth.
Kanata ratqan [21:30]. The word ratqan in Arabic means something that is fused and inseparable. Fused and inseparable. The word ratq is used when a mother is carrying a child, because the mother and the child are inseparable; and when she would start delivering, the other word was used fataqa. Fataqa is the time for her to start parting. Literally, her body is parting up, and she is parting from her child. So the Ayah says that the heavens and the earth used to be fused and inseparable, and then, We caused them to come apart. Meaning, there was the universe in origin…in the original, in its original form was a fused, united body, some sort of matter, and then it became, and spread out, and then the words used later on…it spread out far and wide. So, it’s close to – very close to – interestingly close it – the Big Bang Theory – that Allah SWT describes the beginning of the heavens and the earth.
And of course, from the biological perspective, there is the description of the embryo. I am not going to go into that one because it’s a nice PhD thesis. It’s out from a professor – I think Mustafa Ahmad – who shows the correlation between the linguistic analysis of the Ayah…the Ayah that talks about the stages of the embryo versus modern science and how it’s looked upon.
But, I’ll give you one…last one: waja’alna mina al ma-i kulla shay-in hay [21:30]. And We made from water every living thing. The basis of life…water. Again, something stated way ahead of its time. Now, I am going to go to the part that I like to go over.
The linguistic miracle of the Quran.
This is hard for me to explain to people that don’t know Arabic, but try to follow along with me. I’ll try to make it as easy as I possibly can. This is the third Ayah of Surah number 74 – Surah number 74, of course, is Surah al-Mudaththir, and it says: Warabbaka fakabbir. And declare the greatness of your Lord.
What’s unique about this Ayah – the word Wa – you notice the shape here, and the shape here are the same? Right, for those of you who don’t read Arabic, basically you can tell the shapes, right? This is sort of the Arabic symbol for the sentence beginning. In English you have the capital letter that starts off a sentence? In Arabic, among the many usages of the word wa, the letter wa, one of them is that it starts off a new statement. And what I’ve done here is I have separated the letters…see this shape over here? And that ending shape that’s similar that’s over there? Right? And this one’s got a dot underneath it? And this one’s got a dot underneath it? Right? And, that one’s got a dot underneath it. And this one’s got a dot…so what I’ve basically done, in Arabic you merge the letters when you write them, but I’ve written them here in separated form. For those of you who know Arabic, what letter is this?
[Audience – inaudible]
[Audience – inaudible]
What’s the first letter?
[Audience – inaudible]
What’s the last letter?
[Audience – inaudible]
What’s the second letter?
[Audience – inaudible]
What’s the last…the second last?
[Audience – inaudible]
[Audience – inaudible]
Third last one?
[Audience – inaudible]
Declare the greatness of your Lord.
Backwards and forwards – the same way. Ok? Palindromes!
Now, it’s fun to make palindromes in any language.
BOB! Race Car. Pop. You know…dad. It’s fun.
Try saying something you want to say in a sentence that is spelt backwards and forwards the same way without having to say what you want to say.
It’s not possible? At least, highly unlikely. Haha.
This is one dimension of the…the…the miracle of the Arabic language…the linguistics in Quran. I’ll give an even more profound example, in my opinion. I am going to come out of the full screen version here. Then, I’m going to help you understand something easier.
Ok. Once again, I am going to try to simplify this as much as I can.
Wait. Too far. Sorry. I ruined it for you. But most of all…haha.
Ok. Alright. You notice, the word wa again? Sentence beginning? Kul is kaaf and laam. That’s separated here. Fi is Fa, and this two dot thing is here. Then fa laam kaaf: falaka. I didn’t put yasbahoon. Let me just translate this for you – we just talked about this Ayah a second ago.
This is the Ayah that says, they are all floating in their own orbits. Rotating in their own orbits. The word for rotating, or floating, used is? Yasbahoon. I want you to remember what letter it begins with. Ya. Ok.
So the action, the verb – if I give you the English – all of them are floating, or rotating, in their own orbits. What’s the action? What’s the verb? Floating. Ok.
When you take the beginning letters, and you separate them; kaaf in the beginning, kaaf at the end. You notice the symbols are the same? Laam in the beginning, second last? Laam third last. Fa. Fa. And they are all rotating around what letter?
…which is the verb for…rotating. Yasbahoon. The letter that begins off…begins the word for rotating…rotating…SubhanAllah…they form a symmetrical pattern. This is the second example.
And of course, I’ll add one more complication to this. I said to you produce a sentence of something you want to say, something you want to say, and try to say it an a way that is spelt backwards and forwards the same way, not to mention – you can’t write it down. You can’t write it down.
And, the interesting thing is…this wasn’t discovered , and a dozen of these were not discovered until after the Quran was published…libraries…you know…many many scholars…generations later, scholars said, wait a second. They are doing letter counts of the Quran. They are doing…cause scholarship was done on the Quran from every perspective. And they started discovering this. Meaning, the Prophet (SAW) himself didn’t claim, hey! Look at this Ayah! Backwards and Forwards! He didn’t say that. It’s something that came much later. And yet, it was always there. SubhanAllah!
This one’s not 74:3, it’s 36…I think 36:30. In the thirties somewhere. So that was an example of palindromes in the Quran, and I want to give you some easy examples. This is very complicated. But, I am going to, again, try to simplify it as much as I can.
The first Ayah of…read the Arabic: Wala taqtulu auladakum. For those of you who read Arabic, what’s the…let’s read this together again: Wala taqtulu auladakum. Read the beginning here. Wala taqtulu auladakum. The word imlaaq is here. What’s the word here? Imlaaq. But before imlaaq over here, there is a min, and there is khashyata over here. There is a slight difference. And if you look at the ending, nahnu is here, and nahnu is here. Narzuqu is here, and narzuqu is here. But there is a kum here, and there is a hum here, and there is a hum here, and there is a kum here. So, there is a little bit of a change. But mostly, the Ayah is the same. These are two different citations from two different Surahs of the Quran. I’ll tell you what they mean.
The top one means: don’t kill your children because of poverty. We are the ones who provide you…you all, and not to mention them. I’ll say that again: And don’t kill your children because of poverty. We are the ones who provide you all and not to mention them.
Let’s look at the second one: don’t kill your children out of fear of poverty. We are the ones who provide them and you.
Did you hear a difference in the English? You have to pay attention to know. There are two difference. The first one said ‘because of poverty’, second one says ‘out of fear of poverty’. The first one says ‘We provide you and them’, the second one says ‘We provide them and you’. ..which, to the English listener – even an Arabic listener – same idea…I mean ‘out of fear of poverty’, ‘because of poverty’…what’s the big deal? It’s the same thing. Right? But if you pay a little bit closer attention, this is actually where the linguistic discussion on the Quran is the most in-depth. In these Ayah that are similar, and in translation – even in Arabic – you hardly notice the difference, in meaning, but if you dig a little deeper from the linguistic perspective, you discover something great. And that is, the word min, in classical Arabic which is because of – I translated it as ‘because of’ – is used as min ajar – harf ajar it’s called. It’s a word used to describe a reason. And it impl…the implication here is the Ayah is talking to people that are already poor – because they are killing their children because of poverty – meaning it already exists. If they are already poor, then they are worried about their own food, in their stomachs first…before even thinking about kids. So, when Allah says ‘don’t kill your children because of poverty’, Who does He provide first? You, because you’re poor yourself, and also them.
The next Ayah says ‘fear of poverty’ – and fear, in any language, particularly in Arabic, is always associated with the future. ‘I’m afraid of losing my job’, ‘I’m afraid to get late to work’, ‘I’m afraid of failing class’, ‘I’m afraid of a car accident’…you are afraid of stuff that hasn’t happened yet. The implication – directly – here is you are not poor yet – you are not poor yet.
Here, what was it? You are already poor. So, if you are not poor yet, and you are killing your children what is it telling you? That we are worried we won’t be able to afford them. So when these people are spoken to, what does Allah say? We provide them, not to mention you.
For the shallow look…the shallow look…you and them, them and you – what’s the difference? On just a subtle, more careful look, you will notice the accuracy of the order, and how it reflects the meaning that is to be communicated. Two different groups in the society are committing the same sin, for two different reasons. One reason is outlined here, and one reason is outlined here. What takes me twenty minutes to explain to you is just in the change of two words. This is divine speech. The accuracy, the subtlety of speech, and how it communicates very very specific meaning.
This is one of my favorite examples. This is for those of you who read the Quran a lot. You will enjoy this one inshaAllah. This is also to speak of the…the profound nature of the imagery in the Quran. Imagery in the Quran. The Quran is very connected, coherent text. One part describing the other. One them being repeated in different words.
Now, you notice in this Ayah – Allah says – I put the translation here – Ya’lamu ma yaliju fee al ard. He knows what enters into the earth. Wama yakhruju minha. And what comes out of it. Wama yanzilu mina al ssamaa. And what comes out from the sky. Wama ya’ruju feeha. And what rises to it. Wahuwa al rraheemu al ghafoor. And He is the constantly merciful, exceedingly – I missed the word – forgiving. Exceedingly forgiving. [34:2]
If you read Quran, what do you always read? Ghafoor ur Raheem or Raheem ul Ghafoor?
You always read Ghafoor ur Raheem. Forgiving , merciful. Forgiving , merciful. Forgiving , merciful. That’s the theme in the Quran. Over 70 times, you’ll find an Ayah ending Ghafoor ur Raheem.
In Allaha kana Ghafoor ar Raheema. Ok.Wallahu Ghafoor ur Raheem.
This is the only place, and again, what Ghafoor ur Raheem means is forgiving comma merciful. This is the only place in the entire Quran that says merciful comma forgiving. This is the only place. And it’s divine speech, right? Every word – in our belief is in its place. How come this is the only place that doesn’t say forgiving comma merciful – rather says merciful comma forgiving.
First of all, I’ll tell you what one of the great scholars of Islam Ibn Al-Qayyim said about this Ayah; he said every time Allah says forgiving comma merciful, at the end of an Ayah, at the end of a statement, the beginning of it always has mention of human beings. The beginning of it always talk about human beings in one way or the other. And that’s important to note because as far as human beings are concerned, they need to be forgiven first, then they become deserving of mercy – that’s the proper order – as far as human beings are concerned. Forgiving, then mercy. And he gave the analogy of a glass. You know, in Arabic, the statement is: Inn ad-dar a la nafsa la muqaddam ala jalb al-maslahah [to be verified] which means: if you have a dirty glass, and you want to drink…say juice…what do you have to do first before you can use the glass? Clean up the negative element before you can add the positive element. Forgiveness cleans up the negative element, mercy is obviously the positive element, right? So, forgiveness comes first, mercy comes second.
This is the only place in the whole Quran – I’ll be very impressed if you know where this is from.
[Audience – inaudible]
[Audience – inaudible]
You are right. Ya’lamu ma yaliju fee al ard is mentioned in Surah Al-Hadeed, but this is not it.
No one knows?
Ok, I’ll give you the number, you give me the name. Surah number 34. Figure it out one day.
[Audience – inaudible]
Very good. Saba. Surah As-Saba. Ayah number 2. 34:2. Ok.
This one – if you read the English translation – do you see mention of human beings? Are human beings being mentioned? Not directly. Not directly.
If you were to indicate the literal…if you…the outer meaning of this Ayah, the obvious theme of the Ayah is the knowledge of God. He knows…what goes into the earth, what comes out of the earth, what comes out from the sky, what goes up into the sky. The theme is knowledge. All over the Quran, whenever knowledge is mentioned, somewhere in the passage, there is also mercy. Knowledge and mercy are affiliated terms in the Quran. Because God’s knowledge, Allah’s knowledge, in the end is mercy. The biggest example of that is Ar-Rahman. You know the next one? Allama-al-Quran. The exceedingly merciful. Taught the Quran. Knowledge. Education, right? And there are many other instances.
But more than that, if there is no mention of human beings, then why is…mercy is understandable because that is universal…forgiveness is particularly an attribute that affects who? Human beings. If there is no mention of human beings, then there is no need for Ghafoor. But there is mention of human beings. It’s implied.
You know, in the beginning, when Allah says He knows what enters into the earth, the farmer thinks of what going into the earth? What’s planted into the earth? The seed. And what comes out? A plant. But at a deeper look, we also enter into the earth one day. And we will also be coming out of the earth one day – Day of Judgment.
Remember that again. He knows what enters into the earth – could refer to plants, but also refers to…human beings, because they are…they certainly enter into the earth and they will certainly be coming out.
If you look at the next part, He says what comes down from the sky…from a farmer’s perspective, what is coming down from the sky? Rain. But from the perspective of revelation, it is the words of Allah- revelation – angels, that are also coming down from the sky. That’s mercy. But let me not give you that parallel yet. So revelation comes down from the sky. Revelation comes, people decipher it. They act according to it, or they don’t act accordingly to it. What goes back up to the sky? Their deeds. For evaluation.
Let’s do that again. Human beings enter the earth – will come out of the earth. Revelation comes down from the sky, and what goes up? Deeds go up to the sky. Now, once again. At the time of death, human beings are in need of Allah’s mercy. When they are raised, they will be in need of Allah’s forgiveness. On the Day of Judgment, we all need forgiveness. So, mercy first, forgiveness second. What comes down from the sky again? Revelation – revelation is mercy. What goes up to the sky again? Deeds need what? Forgiveness. Mercy first, forgiveness second. The only place in the Quran where mercy is first, forgiveness is second. SubhanAllah. Very accurate use of words. Precisely in their places.
And these are just small examples of…you know, what happened in the beginning…I’ll tell you what happened historically: the subject became such an obsession with Islamic scholars. In the beginning, the papers used to be Aqeedah based papers – or creed papers. And books and documents…where they would write saying, this is what proves that this is the word of Allah. And for two or three centuries, this was the theme. And then the scholars got tire of that theme saying, we don’t need to prove it anymore. Let’s just explore its beauty. So the theme became…the theme later on is Jamaad-ul-Quran, rather than the Aijaz-ul-Quran. The beauty of the Quran. Let’s explore the deeper meanings of the Quran. Because it’s already…it’s way too obvious that it’s the word of Allah. They didn’t even delve into that much anymore after a couple of centuries. So you find most of this discussion really in the context of just exploring the Quran’s beauty…in that subtle capacity. What makes…what adds complications to this, however, is the fact that it’s not being expanded upon, or explained, or articulated by the Prophet (SAW) – only by the scholars who were exploring the language later on. Right. And yet, ‘his’ choice of words are always on point, because they are not his. They are Allah’s words. They are Allah’s words.
You know, an author has a time to write something, and edit it, and modify it, and edit it, and modify it. But the Prophet (SAW) of Allah, with Quran, it’s memorized as it is. Cover to cover. And then, there is no editing, modification. This is it. It’s just memorized as it is. So this is one…you know…profound example of…oh I did have ******** it. Haha.
I wanted to give you a couple of things. There’s some papers against this. I did some research on my own. Allah-hu-Aalam. How…there it is. Ok.
There’s a man by the name of Muhammad ibn Tariq as-Saidan, or Tariq al-Muhammad as-Saidan, who did a paper on the…or did a lecture series…12 hours on the miracles of the Quran. In Arabic. In Kuwait. Very interesting paper. He did over 50 miracles scientifically. But I want to share with you the word count in the Quran.
I verified five of these, and then I gave up. There’s no point. You can verify them if you want inshaAllah. I may have some of the numbers wrong, but I know they are equals. I may not have them because I just listen directly to the lecture. I didn’t get it of a website or anything. Ok. Oh…I didn’t share the coolest one with you yet. Sorry…two more. This is one, and then I’ll share one last one with you.
The word prayers, in the plural, – salawat – prayers is mentioned, interestingly, in the whole Quran only five times…which of course matches what? The number of times you have to pray.
The word dunya, which means this world, is mentioned a hundred and fifty times…fifteen times. And so is the word the hereafter – aakhirah.
Angels are mentioned ninety-nine times, and these are not…you know…word counts that are sort of imposed on the Quran, because the Quran is not…there are no versions, there is one text. And word searches were done in classical text ma’ajim, you know, kitab-al-ma’ajim, and there are other books that did word counts of Quran. They didn’t do it to find equals, but what this scholar did…as he was looking through the word counts, he was finding some equals, and he just listed them. You can take it as a miracle, you can’t, but certainly, it’s something very unique and profound. Angels and devils are mentioned in equal number of times, in the Quran.
Life and death is mentioned an equal number of times. Both a hundred and forty-five times.
The people and the messengers are mentioned an equal number of times. Why? Because the messengers came for all the people.
Iblees and…or…Ibless is the old name of Shaitan…and seeking refuge from him, both mentioned eleven times.
Zakah and Barakah mentioned equal number of times.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s name mentioned four times. Sharee’a mentioned four times. Right.
So you’ve got these themes that are connected with each other, and the term…day and night, by the way, same number of times. Man and woman, twenty four times each. The intellect and light, same number of times. They’ve got these terms that are related that are mentioned an equal number of times, but again, this is a recited word. This was something that was memorized. Memorized first and foremost. And even when it was available in the earliest generations in documented form, it was in the form of leather pouches, and you know, big parches, leaves, written on bones and things like that. So, there was no way to do document research until much much later. The most efficient way of preserving Quran was in terms of memorization.
The last thing…last last thing, I promise. And then, I’m going to let you go home. Is…this one really…when I first studied it, I had to turn everything away, and I just had to go pray…cause this is too much. At least for me. Let me see if I can find it…so I can show you what it is.
I was doing a competition between brothers and sisters at the ICNA convention in Atlanta two days ago. Ok. For those of you who read Arabic, for those of you who don’t, listen carefully to the Arabic words, and see if you can find a pattern. Read the first word in red. Zakarriyah. Next word. Khaffeeyah. Next word. Shaqqiyah. Next word. Waliyyah. Next word. Sharqiyyah. Next word. Nabiyyah. Then. Hayyah. Then. Then. Ok.
What…those of you who don’t speak Arabic…did you notice something?
[Audience – inaudible]
Those of you who don’t speak Arabic. Did you notice anything in the way the words sounded? They all did what? They…they rhymed. There was a rhyme scheme. This is Surah-al-Maryam. Surah number 19. Which is like a lot of other Surahs in the Quran. The words were rhyming at the ends of the verses…of the Ayah rather, ok?
Zikru rahmati rabbika ‘abdahu zakariyya. Iz naada rabbahu nida’an khafiyya. [19:2-3] Etcetera.
And they Ayah go on, and the words keep rhyming and rhyming and rhyming and rhyming until you come down and skip some Ayah in this presentation. But read the next word in red. Yamtaroon. That doesn’t rhyme with Khaffeeyah or Shaqqiyah or you know, Insiyyah. None of those words. Now, it’s got a different rhyme scheme. Yamtaroon. Fa yakoon. Mustaqeen. Azzeem, Mubeen, Yu’minoon, Yar’ji’oon. Different rhyme scheme. So you have first many many Ayah dedicated to the same rhyme scheme, and then a different rhyme scheme all of a sudden in the same Surah.
When the subject was the same, the stories of the prophets, the rhyme scheme was the same. As soon as the subject changes, it’s kind of like paragraph change…you know, you pit space, and tab bar, mover over, the indentation…Arabic didn’t…the Quran doesn’t have that. What does it have? A different rhyme scheme. Because the subject has changed. So, the listener can know that now a new subject is being talked about…but what’s interesting is when you want to refer back to the old subject, Wazkur fee al kitabi ibraheem, innahu kaana siddeeqan nabiyya. Stories of the prophets again. Old rhyme scheme again.
A word that is not poetry. It’s dealing with a very serious subject. But yet for the listener, who listen carefully, knows that the subject is one because the rhyme scheme is one. And as soon as the rhyme scheme changes, the subject has advanced to something else. And when the rhyme scheme returns, it is because that tangent was necessary to complete the original subject. SubhanAllah. Give me another document that does that consistently throughout the text.
Those of you who know Surah-an-Naba.
‘Amma yatasaaloon. ‘Ani al nnabai al’azeem. Allazee hum feehi mukhtalifoon. Kalla saya’lamoon. Thumma kalla saya’lamoon [78:1-5]. One paragraph.
Alam naj’ali al arda mihada. Go on. Waaljibala awtada. Wakhalaqnakum azwaja. Waja’alna nawmakum subata. SubhanAllah. One subject is done, the other subject has its own rhyme scheme.
And sometimes, you’ll have long passages with the same exact rhyme scheme with something interjecting in the middle that doesn’t fit the rhyme scheme. You know why? Because that tangent is necessary for the rest of it, and you have to pay attention.
Allah will say, La oqsimu biyawmi alqiyamah. Wala oqsimu bialnnafsi allawwama. Ayahsabu alinsanu allan najma’a izama. Bala qadireena ‘ala an nusawwiya banana. Bal yureedu alinsanu liyafjura amama. Yasalu ayyana yawmu alqiyama [75:1-6]. The subject is over.
The next one: Faiza bariqa albasar. Wakhasafa alqamar. Wajumi’a alshshamsu waalqamar. Yaqoolu alinsanu yawmaizin ayna almafarr. Kalla la wazar. Ila rabbika yawmaizin almustaqarr. Yunabbao alinsanu yawmaizin bima qaddama waakhkhar.
The next subject: Bali alinsanu ‘ala nafsihi baseerah. Walaw alqa ma’azeerah. You hear the rhymes? At the ends? Then a break. Because for the next subject, you need to understand something else.
La tuharrik bihi lisanaka lita’jala bih.
And then go back. SubhanAllah.
So, these are some of the linguistic dimensions of the miracle of the Quran.
The last thing that I want to leave you with, and most of all, the Quran is a miracle for the exact…for the most unscientific reason. Because it transforms lives. To this day. There are people…you will…they’ll be the last person you will think would be a Muslim, the last person on the face of this earth. One of my best friends in the world…his name is Abdullah, his original name is Mike, he was a neo-Nazi – tattoos all over his body – he’s memorizing Quran right now. He was actually part of…he was up there, and he was…he is actually talking to a couple of gangs in New York state prisons, and talking to them about Islam…some of the head leaders of the [White Supremist Group??? ] because they’re old friends. Haha. Last person you would imagine would be a Muslim. And he’s one of my best friends, and some… and by the way, he married a black woman, by the way…and…haha…yeah, and they have four kids. Yeah. SubhanAllah. And this man, you know how he became Muslim? He says one day, I had a fight with my mother, I punched her in the head, I got really mad at myself, so I had to find somewhere to go where the cops wouldn’t look for me, so I went to the library. Haha. I couldn’t find anything…I had to make…you know…make myself look, you know, normal, so I picked up a book, and it happened to be the Quran. And I wasn’t reading it. It was reading me. That’s what he said – I wasn’t reading it. It was reading me. And he took the Shahadah in the library. SubhanAllah. The most weird….weirdest experiences people have. When they read the Quran, it just completely transforms their lives.
Where I…my daughters go to an Islamic kindergarten…preschool…I started it, I was the principal first – but I quit when…we found a suitable replacement. The replacement is a woman. She’s Japanese. She’s born in Japan. She migrated here. And she was a very high power executive down town…she used to work on Wall Street. And you know how they have those vendors in Wall Street? That sell like Shawarmas and stuff like that…we call them ‘chicken guys’, right? So, she was at one of those, and the guy was blasting like…recitation of Quran, and she goes ‘that’s really interesting music, where’d you get that?’ And the guy said, ‘actually, I think…I can tell where to go…’ and pointed her to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, where she ended up in a store, and they gave her a copy of the Quran, and she read it, and she took Shahadah the next day, and her two sons are memorizing Quran. And she’s the principal of the Islamic school. Now. Right. Just…I mean, the most unlikely people…that you would think…no conversion, no preaching, nobody went to them and say ‘accept this or you’re doomed’, nothing. They just went and read the Quran. And you know what’s the craziest thing? After 9-11, there was spike in conversions, of people that out of curiousity started buying the copy of the Quran from Barnes and Noble, and this is not even the miraculous Arabic Quran. This is English translation of the Quran, and people are just, out of curiosity, ‘what is this…terrorist document?’ You know, and they are reading it, and they are finding, ‘how can I…how can I miss this?’
I just met…last week, I was in Atlanta – there was a convention there in Atlanta. And I met a young man, younger than me at least. He was – get this – his name is…his original name is Joshua – now his name is Youshea. He’s originally Irish. He was studying Orthodox Christianity, studying to become a scholar. He was studying Hebrew, Aramaic…he was studying the ancient languages…Latin even, to study the Bible in its original texts. And, he study…he heard the…a sermon one day about Islam and how it’s an evil religion. Right? And he…he thought to himself, ‘after all the Bible I have studied, I can’t think the Bible’s the truth, but one thing’s for sure, all the other religions I’m going to explore, Islam will never be one of them – because it’s an evil faith’. He wasn’t convinced of the Bible as…the more he studied it, the less convinced he became. And then, finally one day…the funny thing is, he was studying at a church…the wall to the Masjid is about a foot apart. He was studying at this place, and he used to park his car in the Masjid, at the mosque, and then go to church. For ten years, he was doing this…since he was in his early teens. And then one day, somebody saw him, and said ‘hey! The Friday prayer is going on’ cause he was going on Friday to church to speak to his priest, and they didn’t know that he’s not a Muslim, cause he’s parking in the Muslim…the mosque parking lot…he said ‘ok, whatever, I’ll check it up’. He goes in, listens to the sermon, takes his Shahadah, and becomes Muslim.
So, this to me, at least in our times, the strangest stories of people in the Western World, people that you would never have imagined, coming to Islam. This is probably, to me at least, the greatest miracle of the Quran. The most profound miracle of the Quran. This is one you can’t argue away from anyone. Because they have experience this themselves personally. They’ve personally personally experienced it themselves.
Last but not least, I pray that anything that I have said was good and true, and that Allah accepts my intentions and your intentions for His cause. And I also pray that any mistakes that are made, first of all I declare that they are my own, and second of all I hope that you can forgive me for my shortcomings, and that Allah also forgives me for them.