Quran and miracles

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Muslims consider the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as the word of God and a miracle.

The Main and primary miracle of the Quran is believed by Muslims to be the actual text of the Quran itself. This is not based on an emotional argument but instead a rational one. This is because Muslims believe, the text, although in Arabic does not conform to the standard poetry and prose categories commonly expressed by all forms of written and spoken languages and therefore falls outside of the realm of limited human possibility, and as humans are not capable of producing this type of speech, it is therefore from the devine who is outside the realm of limitation and restriction.

The definition of a miracle is "a marvellous event not ascribable to human power or the operation of any natural force and therefore attributed to supernatural, esp. divine, agency; esp. an act (e.g. of healing) showing control over nature and used as evidence that the agent is either divine or divinely favoured."[1]

Supporters of quranic science believe that Allah (God) in the Quran challenges Mankind to bring a recital like it and that the authenticity of its claims is supported by this challenge having gone unmet over over 1400 years.

The verses of the Qur'an dealing with the challenge are given below (Hilali and Muhsin Khan's Translation):

Say: "If the mankind and the jinns were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another." [Qur'an 17:88]

And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'an) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful. [Qur'an 2:23]

Or they say, "He (Prophet Muhammad(P)) forged it (the Qur'an)." Say: "Bring you then ten forged surah (chapters) like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than Allah (to your help), if you speak the truth!" [Qur'an 11:13]

Or do they say: "He (Muhammad(P)) has forged it?" Say: "Bring then a surah (chapter) like unto it, and call upon whomsoever you can, besides Allah, if you are truthful!" [Qur'an 10:37-38]

Or do they say: "He (Muhammad(P)) has forged it (this Qur'an)?" Nay! They believe not! Let them then produce a recital like unto it (the Qur'an) if they are truthful. [Qur'an 52:33-34]

The Quran describes Muhammad as "ummi",[2] which is traditionally interpreted as "unlettered,"[3] but the meaning is rather more complex. The medieval commentators such as Al-Tabari maintained that the term induced two meanings: first, the inability to read or write in general; second, the inexperience or ignorance of the previous books or scriptures (but they gave priority to the first meaning). Besides, Muhammad's being "ummi" was taken as a sign of the genuineness of his prophethood. For example, according to Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, if Muhammad had mastered writing and reading he possibly would have been suspected of having studied the books of the ancestors. Some scholars such as Watt prefer the second meaning.[4][5] The suggestion is that since Muhammad had no previous knowledge of the content in the Quran, it was in fact composed of miracles. The majority of Muslim thinkers accept the factuality of the miracles found in the Quran.

Time specific Miracles that relate to Muhammad[edit]

Several verses that appear in the Qur'an would suggest that certain miracles occurred just in relation to Muhammad: the splitting of the moon (Qur'an 54:2-1), assistance given to Muslims at the Battle of Badr (Qur'an - Although these events occurred during their respective times, Muslims believe their effect ofcourse cannot be perceived as they were witnessed by a particular people at the time and are therefore only miracles for those who witnessed it at the time. This is why Muslims do not rely on these miracles when inviting others to Islam, but instead rely on the main aforementioned sole textual miracle of which its miraculous nature is believed can still be perceived and witnessed today over 1400 later.

Prophecies[edit]

Throughout the Qur'an, claims or predictions are made concerning future events. Many of the prophecies are viewed as having metaphoric meanings, while others are taken more literally.[6] Because Muslims believe that the Qur'an contains the exact words of God which were revealed to Muhammad in Arabic and later transcribed, the meaning of the Qur'an has a great effect on Muslim beliefs and understandings.[7] Some prophecies are debated more than others as to whether or not they were actually fulfilled or how the Qur'anic text should be interpreted.[8]

One of the more general prophecies is that the Qur'an predicts its own preservation and endurance. The Qur'an states that the book itself will survive as a valid source and that the religion of Islam will last, even dominate, because of this.[6][9] Muslim scholars say that today's Qur'an is the same Qur'an originally compiled by Muhammad, and that the memorisation ensures the consistency and its preservation. [10][11] The following passages from the Qur'an state these prophecies:

“We have, without doubt, Sent down the Message; And We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)” (15:9).[12]

“It is Allah Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance And the ideology of Truth, to make it superior over all other ways of life, Even though the disbelievers May hate (it)” (61:9).[12]

Another interpretation of the Qur'an is that it predicted the defeat of the Persians by the Romans. Before the prophecy, at the Battle of Antioch, in 613 C.E., the Persians defeated the Romans. Muslims were upset by this defeat because they felt more connected to Rome, a Christian empire, than to Persia, a Zoroastrian one. A few years afterwards, the following verse was revealed in the Qur'an: "The Roman Empire Has been defeated – In a land close by; But they, (even) after (This) defeat of theirs, Will soon be victorious – Within a few years. With God is the Decision, In the Past And in the Future: On that Day shall The Believers rejoice” (30:2-4).[12] By 627 C.E., the Romans had successfully defeated the Persians, resulting in much celebration by Muslims and fulfilling the prophecy of the Qur'an.[13][14]

Another prophecy of the Qur'an that Muslims might argue has been fulfilled is the ease with which the book can be memorized. Because this is not a factual prophecy but based, rather, on opinion, it cannot truly be proven. However, Muslims do consider reciting or reading the Qur'an to be holy and a way to receive blessings, so it is extremely common for Muslims to memorize a large number of Qur'anic verses. The fact that this is possible and has been done by scholars and children alike, does suggest a certain quality of the Qur'an that makes it easily memorable. The Qur'an’s “rhythmic style and eloquent expression” have been cited as aids in verbatim memorization.[7][9][15] The following verse from the Qur'an is one example of the prophecy that the Qur'an will be easily memorized by future readers: “And We have indeed Made the Qur-an easy to understand and remember: Then is there any that Will receive admonition?” (54:17) [12]

Another prophecy, according to the Qur'an, may have predicted the preservation of the Pharaoh of the Exodus's body. In the Qur'an, God says to the Pharaoh: "This day shall We save thee In thy body, that thou Mayest be a Sign to those Who come after thee! But verily, many among mankind Are heedless of Our Signs!" [12] The body of the Pharaoh, who was argued to be either Ramesses II or his son Merneptah, was thought to be lost at sea until the mummies of both were discovered in the 19th century. They are on display today in Cairo's Egyptian Museum; thus, it is argued that the prophecy was fulfilled.[6][16]

Countless other prophecies are claimed to have been fulfilled. Some of the predictions may seem vague and easily fulfilled by a wide variety of events, causing debate and analysis, but, regardless, many Muslims believe that the Qur'an prophesies at least some future events, though perhaps not all those listed in this article. Nevertheless, the following include some of the other potentially fulfilled claims made by the Qur'an.

The development of using fingerprints for identification of criminals: "At length, when they reach The (Fire), their hearing, Their sight, and their skins Will bear witness against them, As to (all) their deeds." (41:20) [clarification needed][8][12]

The problem of environmental pollution as caused by human inventions: "Mischief has appeared On land and sea because Of (the meed) that the hands Of men have earned, That (God) may give them A taste of some of their Deeds: in order that they May turn back (from Evil)" (30:41); "Then watch thou For the Day That the sky will Bring forth a kind Of smoke (or mist) plainly visible, Enveloping the people: This will be a Penalty Grievous" (44:10-11).[clarification needed][8][12][17]

New modes of transportation created by humans: "And (He has created) horses, Mules, and donkeys, for you To ride and use for show; And He has created (other) things Of which ye have no knowledge" (16:8).[clarification needed][8][12]

The gradually-acquired equality for women and women's rights: "When the female (infant), Buried alive, is questioned - For what crime she was killed" (81:8-9).[8][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxfod English Dictionary, 2nd ed., definition of "Miracle".
  2. ^ Quran 7:157
  3. ^ Reason and Inspiration in Islam: Essays in Honour of Hermann Landolt, I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, p. 202 
  4. ^ Richard Bell (Revised and Enlarged by W. Montgomery Watt) (1970). Bell's introduction to the Qur'an. Univ. Press. pp. 31–51. ISBN 0852241712. 
  5. ^ Günther, Sebastian (2002). "Muhammad, the Illiterate Prophet: An Islamic Creed in the Quran and Quranic Exegesis". Journal of Quranic Studies 4 (1): 1–26. doi:10.3366/jqs.2002.4.1.1. 
  6. ^ a b c "Hidden Prophecies of Quraan". Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  7. ^ a b Godlas, A. "The Qur'an and Qur'anic Interpretation (tafsir)". Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Raza, Ansar. "FULFILLED PROPHECIES OF THE HOLY QURAN". Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  9. ^ a b "The Prophecies of the Quran". IslamReligion.com. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  10. ^ See:
    • William Montgomery Watt in The Cambridge History of Islam, p.32
    • Richard Bell, William Montgomery Watt, 'introduction to the Qurʼān', p.51
    • F. E. Peters (1991), pp.3–5: “Few have failed to be convinced that … the Quran is … the words of Muhammad, perhaps even dictated by him after their recitation.”
  11. ^ "How the Holy Qur'an was Preserved" quran.org.uk
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2002). The Holy Qur'an: text, translation and commentary. Elmhurst, N.Y.: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an. ISBN 0-940368-32-3. 
  13. ^ IslamReligion.com. "The Prophecies of the Quran". Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  14. ^ "AR-RUM". USC Muslim Students Association Islamic Sever. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  15. ^ iiie.net. "Preservation of the Quran (part 1 of 2): Memorization". IslamReligion.com. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  16. ^ Farhat, Amtul. "Pharaoh of Moses: A Quranic Prophecy Fulfilled"
  17. ^ "TRUTH EXPOSED Islam, The Only Solution For Humanity!: Prophecies". Retrieved 2014-04-19. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 1610691776