Q. A christian rose the following argument regarding the Revolution of the Quran. Every prophet in the Old and New Testament received Holy Scripture directly from God Himself. According to Mohammed’s own testimony, however, he is the only prophet in history not to receive revelation directly from God. He was given the Quran by an angel while meditating in a cave in the desert. But that’s not all. You see, Mohammed is the first person in recorded history to mistake a messenger from God for a demon from hell. According to his own testimony, he at first thought this angel was a demon, from whom he ran and hid in fear. But there’s more. Mohammed only realized his error after his wife – who never saw or heard the supernatural messenger – convinced him otherwise. Now, the visions that Mohammed received included the understanding that the testimony of a woman is worth only half that of a man, so it is unclear why Mohammed accepted her testimony, but he did. He would have written the vision down, but he couldn’t because he was illiterate. So others had to write the visions down as he dictated them.
A. The first statement raised by the Christian is totally wrong and bears nothing but falsehood. First of all, the Prophet Muhammad (SAS) received all his revelations, from God alone, just as it was the case of other Prophets. However, the ways of revelations were different. In the case of the angel Gabriel, he was sent by God Almighty to deliver revelations to all the Prophets. He also visited Jesus, Moses, Abraham and all other Prophets to give them revelations.
And this occurred with all the Prophets. Sometimes revelations came in the form of dreams. At times it came in the form of an inspiration. In some cases, a Prophet will hear the words of God but would not see anything, and on many occasions, the revelations were brought to a Prophet via the Archangel Gabriel (Jibrael). Even in the Old and New Testament, angel Gabriel is known to be the angel who brought revelations to the Prophet.
In many cases, the bible speaks about the angels coming to different Prophets to give them the commands and information of God. Angels came to Prophet Lot to inform him that the punishment of God is coming, so he must take the believers during the period of the night out of the city. Angels came to Prophet Abraham to inform him of the birth of a son. Angels came to Mary to tell her of the birth of Jesus, and the list goes on. So what is established from the Old and New Testament, is that angels brought revealations to all the past Prophets, and so, the angel Gabriel also brought revealations to the Prophet Muhammad (SAS). The angels’ coming was however not on their own, instead, it was commissioned by God. Hence, revealations come directly from God, but it cames, at times, through the media of an angel. This occurred with all Prophets, the bible is also filled with many incidents where Prophets had dreams which they stated were commandments from God. So the statement that ‘every Prophet in the Old and New Testament received Holy Scripture directly from God Himself’ is misguiding and misleading, and tells of the sheer ignorance of the writer.
With this understanding it shows that the writer’s other statement that ‘Prophet Muhammad is the only Prophet in history not to receive revealation directly from God,’ is also a fabrication on his part and shows his benightness in the matter of religion. In fact, the opposite of what the writer has stated is what is the truth. In other words, the most accurate statement is that ‘the Holy Quran, the revealation of God to the Prophet Muhammad is the only surviving scripture that has been revealed directly from God’. All other scriptures have been changed from its original form.
The Christian writer should be honest enough to reveal the hidden truths of their religion and the bible which many ordinary Christians do not know about.
The Christian writer further writes, ‘He (Prophet Muhammad) was given the Quran by an angel while meditating in a cave in the desert’.
This writer seems to be very backward in his understanding of Islam, which has been given in many non Islamic writings. First of all ‘the cave is not in the desert’, it was a cave at the top of the mountain.
Secondly, the angel did not give the Prophet (SAS) the ‘Quran’. He simply recited five verses of the chapter known as ‘Alaq’ to the Prophet Muhammad (SAS). This was not the whole Quran, it was only a few verses. The entire Quran was revealed over a period of 23 years to the Prophet Muhammad at many different instances and occasions, and at many different places, just as it occurred in the case of many Prophets. An example of this is that we saw that Prophet Moses received his first revealation when he was at Mt. Sinai where he saw a tree which looked like if it was on fire. He then drew closer to the tree and there is where he received his first revelation. The Old and New Testament is filled with many incidents of the angels’ visits to the Prophets at many different places. So, meeting the angel in the cave is not opposed to Prophethood nor is it abasing for any Prophet or angel.
The other statement used by the Christian is that ‘Muhammad mistaken a messenger of God for a demon of hell’.
This is an absurd statement made by this individual, which shows how oblivious and uninformed he is. The above statement is a concoction of his own, which bears nothing but total falsehood. There is absolutely no tradition, report or historical statement, given by any sound and credible writer that states that the Prophet Muhammad mistaken the angel for a demon on hell. This is a statement used by this Christian to only attack Islam and propagate falsehood about it.
The only thing that happened was that the Prophet Muhammad did not know it was an angel, and this was quite understandable, seeing that this was the first encounter he had with someone who is known to be an angel.
This was not unusual for anyone who is meeting an angel for the first time. In fact, the Bible tells of how scared and frightened Mary became, when she was visited by the angel who informed her of the birth of Jesus. The Bible also speaks about Prophet Abraham not recognizing the angels who visited him while they were going to Prophet Lot. In fact, he also became scared when he saw that they were not partaking of the meals he prepared for them. Prophet Lot also did not recognize the angels who came to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
So, in all these, and many more cases of the Bible, we see that many Prophets did not recognize angels at times. In fact, in certain cases, they even became scared and took the angel for someone who may be harmful, as in the case of Mary. So, what the Christian is mentioning as a ‘defect’ in the Prophet Muhammad, the same is to be found in his Bible.
With respect to the fact that the Prophet’s wife informed him that it could be an angel, this in not something that can be used against the Prophet (SAS). In fact, this is a clear indication of support and comfort given to the Prophet(SAS) since Khadija (the Prophet’s wife) had a fair amount of knowledge of scripture, prophets and angels. Her own cousin was one of the greatest Christian monks. So when the Prophet described what he saw, she was quite confident that it had to be an angel, one just like those who visited the Prophets like Moses and Jesus in the past. She was acquainted with incidents of these Prophets and angelic visits to them, having learnt about these from her own cousin, the Christian monk. The Prophet (SAS) on the other hand was not aware of angels or angelic visits, nor was he aware of Prophets and scriptures. All these were taught to him by God after he became a Prophet. His behavior upon the encounter, clearly showed that he was indeed a true Prophet, since an imposter or a ‘fake’ would not have behaved in this manner. False Prophets would have behaved as if they knew everything, and they would have done everything to elevate themselves in the eyes of the people, since their only objective of making a false claim was to gain fame. Becoming scared and running away to his home was definitely not something that can brought about a good name, so why would the Prophet do this, if he was false? The answer is quite clear, that this was a natural reaction to his encounter with the angel, since he had never seen or heard about an angel in his life.
The christian goes further to show his deep ignorance by saying that ‘it is unclear why Mohammed accepted her testimony when the testimony of a woman is worth only half of that of a man’.
What this ignorant Christian failed to recognize was that the statement of the Prophet’s wife was not a testimony. Probably the christian really doesn’t know anything about what is a testimony. The real testimony which confirmed that it was an angel who visited the Prophet Muhammad, really came from a Christian monk/priest by the name of Waraqa bin Nawfal. He is the one who testified that Muhammad is a Prophet of God, and the one who visited him in the cave was the same angel who came to Jesus and Moses. What the Prophet’s wife did was to simply console him, build his spirits and take him to Waraqa, the Christian priest.
If the Christian was honest, he should have given this information that the first person to testify that Muhammad was a prophet was a Christian priest and monk by the name of Waraqa bin Nawfal. The Christian goes on to say, ‘He would have written the vision down, but he couldn’t because he (the Prophet) was illiterate. So others had to write the visions down as he dictated them’.
The Christian in his ignorance and arrogance wished to used the ‘illiteracy’ of the Prophet to prove he was false, while in reality, it is this very quality that proved that he was truthful. In contrast to this foolish objection, we see that until today the world is still baffled as to how an unlettered man who lived over 1400 years ago could have been so accurate in predictions and sound information that came to be proven centuries after. The words of the Quran that he recited confounded the greatest literates living at his time and afterwards.
So, we say, ‘Yes! , the Prophet Muhammad was unlettered, however, it is this very quality which proved that the Holy Quran is a living miracle and that the Prophet Muhammad was a true Prophet’.
Due to the fact that the Prophet Muhammad (SAS) was not able to write, he recited the verses of the Holy Quran to his companions who documented, as well as they memorized it. Hence, during his own lifetime the Quran was not only persevered in memory, but it was also preserved in a written form. And so, the Holy Quran came down from one generation to another in its original pristine purity without changes, alterations, additions and concoctions. It is a living miracle that Muslims have today. Thousands of Muslims memorize it by heart and recite it on a daily basis. The Quran itself has given a challenge which no one until today has accepted. No one has been able to prove that the Quran has any inaccurate information nor can anyone prove that there are errors in it.
While the christian was so bold to make such objections about the Quran, we can ask him about his Bible. Did Jesus write their Bible? The answer is no. Did the disciples write the Bible? The answer is also no. So, who wrote the Bible and where did it come from? This is where there have been a lot of controversies in the Christian world. Every denomination has a different version of the same Bible, and every version is different from each other. There have been so many controversies that Christian theologians have admitted that there are countless errors in the Bible. In fact, a scholar has written a book named 50,000 errors in the Bible.
So, the next time a Christian wishes to ‘hunt’ for faults in Islam, he should examine his own religion before. If he does this, then he will become so occupied in the inconsistencies, fabrications and falsehood of some of his religious teachings, that he will not have the time to look at another person’s religion.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan