Miracle of the Quran

From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

According to Islamic tradition, the Quran was revealed miraculously to Muhammadsa by God through the angel Gabriel. Muhammadsa was illiterate and had no formal education. Moreover, he lived in an unlearned age (570-632 CE) long before the development of modern science and academic scholarship. He was born in and lived most of his life in Mecca, a town which had limited contact with people of faiths such as Judaism and Christianity. Neither was Muhammadsa a poet or writer by profession. Yet, Muslims believe, the Quran demonstrates a miraculously advanced knowledge of science, history and religious theology which would have been impossible for a man living up to 632 CE to attain. Moreover, the literary Arabic of the Quran is unmatched and Muslims believe the book contains numerous prophecies which have been fulfilled. 


Overview


The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stated:

...A third miracle of the holy Quran which is present before our eyes is its verities, insights and fine points with which its eloquent composition is replete. This miracle has been set forth very forcefully in the holy Quran. It is said that, if all men, high and low, were to combine together to produce its like, it would not be possible for them to do so. This miracle is proved by the fact that during the last 1,300 years, although the holy Quran has been very widely published and challenges are being hurled right and left, yet no one has ever dared to take up the challenge. This proves clearly that all human faculties are unable to compete with the holy Quran. 

Even if out of the hundreds of excellences of the holy Quran, only one is put forward and its match is demanded, it is impossible for any human being to put forward the like of it. For instance, one of the excellences of the Holy Quran is that it comprises all religious insights and there is no religious verity related to truth and wisdom which is not found in the holy Quran. Is there anyone who can put forward any other book which has this quality? 

If anyone doubts the fact that the holy Quran is comprehensive of all religious verities, then such a doubter, whether Christian, Arya, Brahmu or atheist, can satisfy himself by examining the matter in his own way and we take the responsibility of satisfying him, provided he turns to us as a seeker after truth. All the holy verities that are contained in the Bible, or the words of truth and wisdom which we have seen in the books of philosophers, or the verities that have found place by chance in the Vedas or are still to be found in them which we have seen, or the wisdom and understanding which are set out in the hundreds of books of the Sufis, which we have come to know, are all found in the holy Quran. This perfect research which we have carried out in depth during thirty years has disclosed to us conclusively and certainly, that there is no spiritual verity which is helpful for the perfection of the soul and for the training of intellect and the heart which is not mentioned in the holy Quran. This is not only our experience, but is the claim of the holy Quran, which has been tested not only by me, but by thousands of divines from the very beginning who have borne witness to its truth. 

A fourth miracle of the holy Quran is its spiritual effects which have been inherent in it from the beginning. This means that its followers are accepted of the divine and are honoured with the converse of God. Their supplications are accepted by God Almighty, and He responds to them with love and mercy, and He informs them of some hidden mysteries as He informs the prophets and distinguishes them from other people by bestowing upon them signs of His support and help. This is also a sign which will continue till the Day of Judgement among the Muslims. It has been manifested throughout and is present even today. There are today among the Muslims people whom God the Glorious, through His special support, honours with true revelation and visions relating to hidden matters. 

O ye who are seekers after truth! and O ye who are hungry and thirsty for true signs! consider justly and with a pure vision of what high degree are the signs which God Almighty has set forth in the holy Quran and how they are present and perceptible in every age. The miracles of previous prophets are now mere stories and we do not know to what degree they are true.

- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Maktubat-e-Ahmadiyya


Preservation


Main article: Preservation of the Quran

The Quran at the very time of its revelation claimed it's text would be preserved by God:

We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian

- Quran 15:10

During the period of the Quran's revelation (610-632 CE) modern methods of producing paper, printing and distributing books and preserving material had not been invented and many people were illiterate. Yet, the Quran as we have it to day remains the authentic, complete and unaltered revelation from God to Muhammadsa.


Unmatched literary Arabic


The Quran repeatedly claims itself to be of divine origin which the combined efforts of humans cannot match:

If you are in doubt as to what We have sent down to Our servant, then produce a Chapter like it, and call upon your helpers beside Allah, if you are truthful. But if you do it not - and never shall you do it - then guard against the Fire


- Quran 2:24-25

Commenting on the above passage, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wrote:

This challenge of the holy Quran claims unique merit for the language and contents of the holy Quran. The challenge is accompanied by the warning that those who deny the holy Quran will never be able to produce anything like it. The merit of the holy Quran to which the challenge pertains comprehends everything - its spiritual and moral teaching, its prophecies, its appeal, and not least its language and style. The challenge is addressed to all and sundry.

Hazrat Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, Invitation to Ahmadiyyat


Scientific Knowledge


The Quran mentions scientific concepts which remained undiscovered by humans for centuries after its revelation. On the Quran's relationship with modern discoveries in the field of physics, particularly relating to the creation of the universe, the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community writes: 

Some of the theories relating to the creation of the universe have been verified as facts, whereas some others are still being explored. The concept of the expanding universe belongs to the former category, and has been universally accepted by the scientific community as 'fact'. This discovery was first made by Edwin Hubble in the 1920s. Yet some thirteen centuries before this, it was clearly mentioned in the Quran: "And the heaven We built with Our own powers (aydin) and indeed We go on expanding it (musiun)" (Quran 51:48) 

It should be remembered that the concept of the continuous expansion of the universe is exclusive to the Quran. No other Divine scriptures even remotely hint at it. The discovery that the universe is constantly expanding is of prime significance to scientists, because it helps create a better understanding of how the universe was initially created. It clearly explains the stage by stage process of creation, in a manner which perfectly falls into step with the theory of the Big Bang. The Quran goes further and describes the entire cycle of the beginning, the end and the return again to a similar beginning. The first step of creation as related in the Quran accurately describes the event of the Big Bang in the following words: "Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass (ratqan), then We clove them asunder (fataqna)? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (Quran 21:31) It is significant that this verse is specifically addressed to non-believers, implying perhaps, that the unveiling of the secret mentioned in this verse would be made by the non-believers, a sign for them of the truth of the Quran.

- Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth


Knowledge of History


The Quran gives details of ancient history which were unavailable to Muhammadsa and many have since been verified by modern archaeology and expert research. On the Quranic account of Moses' confrontation with the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community writes:

The Biblical account, though it records contemporary history, is evidently shallow and superficial by comparison. From the vantage point of a follower of the camp of Mosesas, the most that he could observe and record was the drowning of Pharaoh and his host, quashed between two mountain-like waves inundating them. What happened to Pharaoh himself before he was drowned? What passed between Pharaoh and God during his drowning moments? What was it he begged of Him, if anything at all, during his dying moments? These are things which lie absolutely beyond the reach of any human observer looking across from the dry shore. Hence, all that the Bible mentions of Pharaoh and his pursuing army is that each of them was drowned without exception.

"Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea..." (Bible, Exodus 14:28-29)

Evidently, according to this Biblical statement, all bodies were claimed by the sea, Pharaoh being no exception. The rout was total. As against this, the following is the statement of the Quran referring to the same event. The difference is so obvious:

"And We brought the children of Israel across the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts pursued them wrongfully and aggressively, till, when the calamity of drowning overtook him, he said, 'I believe that there is no God but He in Whom the children of Israel believe, and I am of those who submit to Him.' What! Now! While thou wast disobedient before this and wast of those who create disorder. So this day We will save thee in thy body alone that thou mayest be a Sign to those who come after thee. And surely, many of mankind are heedless of Our Signs." (Quran 10:91-93)

It should be especially noted here that contrary to this Quranic statement, the Biblical account does not as much as hint at the possibility of the retrieval of Pharaoh's body: '... not so much as one of them remained.'

Hence, till the time the Quran mentions the saving of Pharaoh's body with the purpose that the posterity may learn their lesson from it, no human source of history had ever referred to it.

When the Quran was revealed, the tombs of the Egyptian kings lay buried deep under layer upon layer of desert sand. Little was known of the science of mummification to the people of that age, certainly not to the Arabs. No books or tradition, religious or otherwise, had ever hinted at the rescue of Pharaoh's body let alone mention its subsequent preservation. This account of the Quran is unique also in the sense that it does not merely reveal some past events which were till then unknown to the rest of the world, but it also prophesises that the future would testify to the truth of the Quranic statement. It was implausible enough to conceive that the body of Pharaoh having drowned in the conditions described by the Bible, could be retrieved. The phenomenon of such a body, even if retrieved, would present no small problem for the purpose of mummification.

Yet, this is what the Quran claims. No man could have dreamt of making such a statement contrary to the available historical evidence at the time of the revelation of the Quran. All that man knew was that the body of Pharaoh had been devoured by the sea, lost forever. Even the Egyptian plunderers of the tombs had no notion whatsoever as to which, if any, of the Pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings. What made the Prophetsa of Islam make this unique statement if he were the author of the Quran? It could serve him no purpose anyway; if anything it could be counter-productive. If challenged, the Prophetsa could not have produced any evidence to support his contentions. The only purpose it would serve was to compromise the truth of the Quran. It was many centuries after the revelation of the Quran that the earth began to throw up its secrets. The mummified bodies of all the Pharaohs which can claim to be the Pharaohs of the time of Mosesas have been retrieved.

Whether it was Rameses II or another Pharaoh is a question still debated, but the fact that one of the mummies recovered from the Valley of the Kings is that of the Pharaoh who confronted Moses is no longer debatable.

- Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth


Prophecies


The creation of modern Israel

"We said to the children of Israel, 'Dwell ye in the land; and when the time of the promise of the latter days comes, We shall bring you together out of various peoples.'" (Quran 17:105) 

The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, by the Romans tolled the bell for the death of the Jewish state. From then on the Jews were scattered throughout the world moving on from country to country. It is this state of ultimate diaspora to which the above verse refers when it declares that one day the Jews will be gathered from all over the world and once again they will be assembled in the Holy Land. It is a covenant of God which shall be fulfilled. We have already seen the fulfilment of this promise on such a wide scale as has never been witnessed by man before. Never in the history of the Jewish people after any diaspora were they brought back from all the countries of the world as it happened in the recent past after the creation of the state of Israel.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth

The Suez Canal

"He it is Who shall merge the two seas together. This palatable and sweet, that saltish and bitter. And between them He has (presently) placed a barrier and a massive partition." (Quran 25:54) 

The two verses quoted above are taken from two different Surahs of the Holy Quran. Each predicts a separate event of the joining of two different seas together. This is exactly what happened in modern times. In the digging of the Suez Canal during 1859–1869 and that of the Panama Canal during 1903–1914, the world has already witnessed the fulfilment of these prophecies in a manner that could not have been even vaguely visualized by man during the age of the Holy Prophetsa.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth


Modern transport

"...when the ten month pregnant she-camels will be abandoned." (Quran 81:5) 

In this context the prophecy of the she-camels being abandoned can evidently be understood to mean that better, faster and more powerful means of transport will have been invented.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth

Modern printing

"And when the books will be extensively published and spread." (Quran 81:11) 

Also implied in this prophecy is the invention of the modern press, otherwise it would not be possible for handwritten manuscripts to be extensively published and widely distributed.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth

Discovery of new continents

"When the Earth will spread out." (Quran 84:4) 

...The prophecy contained in verse 4 above was manifestly realized with the discovery of the 'New World' by the end of the fifteenth century, when on 12 October 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth

Extraction of heavy metals

"When the earth is shaken with her violent shaking, And the earth brings forth her burdens," (Quran 99:2-3) 

It is predicted that the earth will go through a mighty shaking and will throw up its heavy metals and man will begin to wonder what indeed is happening to it.

The word athqal (burdens) refers to everything which is heavy, so the throwing up by the earth of its heavy metals will not be a forced extension of its meaning. Again it can also be translated as 'the earth will throw up its hidden treasures'. The tremendous scientific advancements which we have witnessed in this age could not become possible without the discovery of new minerals which the earth has thrown up as predicted. Count them out and the wheel of scientific advancement will turn back a full circle. No modern invention of any significance can be conceived without the discovery of coal, petroleum, uranium, plutonium etc.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth