Qur'an: Fact or Fiction?

Sajid Iqbal

As we enter into the new millennium (Christian Era), we see that many people are confused about the ultimate truth and reality. There are an increasing number of people who claim not to believe in a Creator and believe that there is no Lord who oversees the function of the universe.

Even within those groups of people who submit that there is a supreme Creator are divided into various religions. The main religions of the world are Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism.

The followers of each of these religions will claim that they are on the right path and only they will have success in the hereafter. The question is that how do we determine who is right?

Well you see, each of these religions claim that their scripture is preserved from the day it was revealed (written) until our time. A religious belief is as authentic (truth) as the authenticity of the scripture it follows. So which book is actually the original true word of God?

Well for the Muslims it’s not much of a problem, Insha’Allah (that’s if we know what we’re talking about!). You see one of the best ways to convince somebody that your faith is genuine is to display a few miracles – no I’m not suggesting that you pull a rabbit out of a hat!

If we see at the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) the people bore witness to many miracles. But we know that Islam is a way of life for all times and Alhamdulillah, we have the greatest miracle with us and that is THE HOLY QURAN. “ A book! ”, I hear you all shout. “How can a book be a miracle?”

Well according to Muslims this book has been divinely revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) and contains many facts that no one could have known fourteen centuries ago.

For those people who claim that Muhammad (SAW) is the real author of this masterpiece should step back and analyze the book in a neutral state of mind. Anyone studying the book with an intention of seeking the truth, will come to realise that The Holy Quran is indeed the word of Allah(SWT).

The Holy Quran states:“ Whenever our signs are recited to them in a clear way, those who deny say concerning the truth, when it (the truth) comes to them; ‘This is plain magic’. Or do they say: ‘ He has forged it’” (Al-Ahqaf, 46. 7-8).

Other books that were divinely revealed like the Bible, Torah, Psalms have been altered with the passage of time. But the Holy Quran has been preserved in its original form because Allah (SWT) himself states: “Verily, We have revealed the remembrance (The Holy Quran) and We will preserve it.” (Al-Quran, 15:9).

The Holy Quran is unique to other scriptures also in the fact that the language in which it was revealed in is widely in use today.

On the other hand, the other scriptures have been altered and the languages in which they were originally revealed are dead and ancient, so as a result they are not in use today.

Realising that their own scriptures are not authentic, the western scholars have embarked on a mission to scrutinise the Holy Quran…(sorry, but you’re wasting your time chaps!)

But these guys should be warned beforehand that Allah (SWT) has Himself challenged that if the Holy Quran was from other than Allah then surely there would have been many mistakes in it.And the Holy Quran has given a knock-out blow (even deadlier than Lennox Lewis’s upper cut) to the unbelievers, challenging them that if they have any doubt in the Word of Allah(SWT), then they should try to produce a book like the Holy Quran.

In fact, Allah (SWT) has made the task less difficult by challenging the disbeliever’s to produce a single chapter (Surah) like it and even if they can’t do so then let them at least bring forth one verse like unto it. Of course they can’t and not one single person over the last 1400 has been able to produce a single verse like it; so they should prepare themselves for the hellfire whose fuel is man and stone.

Here comes the heavy bit.

You see there are only two modes of preservation historically and that is through writing and memory.

So if anyone claims that their scripture is preserved in purity, they have to provide concrete evidence that the scripture was written in its entirety and memorised in its entirety from the time it was revealed to our time in a continuos and unbroken chain.

You got that? Now lets get down to the nitty gritty and prove the point that the Quran is the only book which possesses its scripture in its entirety both in writing and in memory from the day of its revelation until our time.

In a nutshell: The Quran was revealed to the Prophet through Angel Gabriel; this process of divine revelation continued for 23 years. Prophet Muhammad memorised each revelation and used to recite it to his companions. Also Angel Gabriel used to refresh the Quranic memory of the Prophet each year.

Every month of Ramadan Gabriel would read the Quran to the Prophet (SAW) and then the Prophet would read it to Gabriel to make absolutely sure that every single word was remembered. And in the Prophets last year Gabriel had made him recite it twice. (Bukhari)

Also in his daily prayers and in tahajjud the Prophet used to read all the revelation that had been revealed to him so far.

Another point is that the Prophet also listened to the recitation of the Quran from his companions and many of the Companions also memorised the Quran. ‘Besides the official manuscripts of the Qur’an kept with the Prophet, many of his companions used to possess their own written copies of the revelation.’

Now there should be no doubt at all that every single word of the Quran was properly memorised by the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Now lets discuss the preservation of the text (you know, that The Quran has not been changed or corrupted) in term of its written form.

You see, the Prophet was unlettered so he used to call upon his scribes to write the revelation for him; the complete Qu’ran existed in written form in the lifetime of the Prophet (SAW). Whenever a new revelation used to come to him, the Prophet would immediately call one of his scribes to write it down.

Narrated by al-Bara: ‘There was revealed ‘Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah’ (4:95).

The Prophet said: ‘Call Zaid Ibn Thabit (one of the scribes of the Prophet) for me and let him bring the board, the ink pot and scapula bone.’ Then the Prophet said: ‘Write: Not equal are those believers…’ (Bukhari)

Authenticity Of The Quran: A Short History Lesson

It should be pointed out that Prophet used to have 48 scribes with him when he was in Medina, so there was no chance of any error or mistake in the text.

Are you with me so far? Good, now after the death of the Prophet(saw) Abu Bakr (the first Caliph) ordered the texts of the Quran to be compiled in the form of a single book to preserve its authenticity.

Then in the time of the third Caliph Usman(ra), differences in reading the Quran amongst the various different tribes became obvious due to the fact that the Quran was revealed in seven dialects of Arabic.

So Usman (ra) made an official copy in the Quraishi dialect, the dialect in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) and was memorised by his companions.

Thus this compilation by Usman’s committee is not a different version of the Quran (like the Biblical versions) but the same original revelation given to the Prophet by one God, Allah.

You can find this original copy made by Usman (ra) in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and in Istanbul (Turkey) today. Their text and arrangement can be compared, by anyone who cares to do so, with any other copy of the Quran, be it in print or written from any place or period of time.

They will be found identical!

What About Other Scriptures?

So, there you have it. Due to the fact that the Prophet memorised the entire Quran, had it written down infront of him by his scribes, that many of his companions memorised the entire revelation and in turn possess their own private copies for recitation and contemplation proves without a shadow of a doubt that we possess the text which was revealed to Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) by God Almighty.

Don’t forget none of the other scriptures were memorised word by word nor written down word by word. These scriptures have many additions, deletions and plenty of errors from the time they were revealed to the present day.

Maurice Bucaille states: ‘In the case of the Old Testament, the sheer number of authors who tell the same story, plus all the revisions carried out on the text of certain books from the pre-Christian era, constitute as many reasons for inaccuracy and contradiction.

As for the Gospel, nobody can claim that they invariably contain faithful accounts of Jesus’ words or a description of his actions strictly in keeping with reality. We have seen how successive versions of the texts showed a lack of definite authenticity and moreover that their authors were not eyewitnesses.’ (The Bible, Quran and Science, p127)

You see Quran is the only book in the world, which is memorised word by word by millions. This process of memorising the whole Quran by heart began from the Prophet, then in the period of the companions and then continued from generation to generation until the present day.

So even if a single letter was changed, a little kid of six will put his hand up and point it out! To further prove that the Quran is the word of God and not man, we will have a glance at some of the scientific facts in the Holy Quran and come to realise that these could never been discovered fourteen hundred years ago by any human. At that period of time even the basic instruments like the telescope or microscope weren’t available.

Today, with the rapid advancement of science we see that many new facts are being discovered and it seems that science and technology are the supreme powers. One of the ‘new discoveries’ pertains to the origin of this universe and is known as ‘the big bang theory’.(See Quran on Creation and Expansion of the Universe by Prof. Tahir ul Qadri for a detailed discussion)

Well, let’s have a look at what the Holy Quran says:‘Do not the unbelievers realise that the heavens and the earth were one unit of creation before we split them asunder?’ (Al-Anbiya 21.20).

So for those atheists who shout about the big bang theory and boast that well, you see, there was nothing and then all of sudden there was a bang and the world came into existence, you should ask them ‘OK mate, so there was a bang, but who do you think created this bang?

The quick response will be ‘It just happened otherwise the universe would not have come into existence’.

You should tell the smart alec (well, another word did come to mind...) that yes, there was a bang and it didn’t just happen but it was created by God, the creator of the universe and the Qur’an has declared this 1400 years ago, so there!

Either accept the Quran as the truth or spend the rest of your life in darkness and ignorance.

There are many other scientific facts, which have been mentioned in the Holy Quran but were only discovered by scientists recently. The Holy Quran has been divinely revealed and deals with all aspects of life and offers solutions to all problems of man.

It deals with issues of personal hygiene to how a government is to function. If we have a look to one of the most historical events in history, which took place in 1969, and that was of man landing on the moon.

Believe it or not, even this great achievement had been indicated in the Holy Quran! Allah the creator of the Universe states: ‘And by the moon when it becomes full. You shall surely travel from stage (earth) to stage (moon).’ (Al-Inshiqaq. 84:18)

Now you tell me this: how the heck can someone 1400 years ago, at a time when science and technology didn’t exist and the best form of transport was a camel, make a statement that in the future you will travel to the moon. If anyone said that you would have took the mick out of him and kindly advised him to get his head checked out.

Only Allah, the Creator of the worlds could have made such a statement and of course this was witnessed by the eyes of the world... its not called a miracle for nothing you know!

There are so many amazing scientific statements in the Quran from the description of mountains, seas and internal waves, to the creation of the universe and the creation of man.

The Quran talks about astronomy, cosmology, astrophysics, general theory of relativity, theory of the end of the universe, the black hole, cardiology, medicine, DNA, water cycle…and the list is endless.

A final scientific statement that we will briefly discuss is that of the creation of man. This will blow your mind away. In the Quran God speaks about the stages of the human when it is in the womb of its mother: ‘And indeed we created man from elements of dust. Then we put him in a secure place in the form of a cell.

Then we made him a being like a hanging nest fixed (in the wall of the uterus). Then we fashioned him a chewed lump. Then we made out of those lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh. Then gradually out of it, we developed another creature’. (23:14)

Now this verse describes the 7 stages of development of a child in a mother’s womb which were recorded in the Quran 14 centuries ago.

However modern embryology has only within the last few years proved that human development occurs in 7 stages:

  1. Extracts of clay or elements of earth
  2. Zygote (a fertilised single cell known as Ovum)
  3. A hanging mass clung to the endometrium of the uterus
  4. Development of a chewed lump
  5. Development of a skeletal system
  6. Development of a muscular system
  7. A new creation.

Dr. Keith Moore, chairman of the University of Toronto’s Anatomy department. On examining these and other verses said: ‘It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad (pbuh) from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a Messenger of God’.

And then he was asked ‘does this mean that you believe that Quran is the word of God?’ He replied: ‘I find no difficulty in accepting this’. So there you have it! The scientific statements and discoveries in the Quran 14 centuries ago are an undeniable miracle and testification that the Quran is the literal word of God and Islam is the true faith.

Now it is the duty of the Muslim to understand this powerful book and then convey its message to mankind at large…. and you know what, you can’t do that without reading it.

So do yourself a favour and pick up the Quran from the shelf, wipe off the dust and read the miracle for yourself.