The amount of people who have believed in the Divine authorship of the Qur’an since its revelation 14 centuries ago amounts to billions. In the face of such a consensus, especially when considered that each affirmation corroborates the others while negations or denials add nothing to each other, it falls upon those who reject the Divine authorship of the Qur’an to prove their negation, which is impossible. However, in order to remove the dust of doubt that may come to the hearts and minds of some individuals under the influence of both modern trends of scepticism and atheism and followers of other religions, we shall mention only a few of the evidences to establish that the Qur’an is a word of God.
When we study the Qur’an even superficially from the viewpoint of its wording, styles, and meaning, we will certainly conclude that it is completely different from all the other books in the world. So, in rank and worth it is above all of them, it must be the Word of God.
The Qur’an, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it
The Qur’an openly declares:
You (O Muhammad) was not a reader of any Scripture before it, nor did you write (such a Scripture) with your right hand, for then those who follow falsehood might (have a right) to doubt it. (al-Ankabut, 29.48)
It is an established, undeniable fact that the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, was illiterate. Whereas the Qur’an, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it:
If you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down onto Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a chapter of the like thereof, and call your witnesses, supporters, who are apart from God, if you are truthful. (al-Baqara, 2.23)
Mankind have since been unable to produce a like of only one of its chapters, including, of course, its shortest ones like sura al-Ikhlas or sura al-Kawthar; those who have ventured to do that have all laid themselves open to ridicule. This is a clear proof for the Divine authorship of the Qur’an.
The revelation of the Qur’an lasted 23 years. It is inconceivable that any book written by a mortal being in 23 years, one which is a book of Divine truths, metaphysics, religious beliefs and worship, prayer, law and morality, a book fully describing the other life, a book of psychology, sociology, epistemology, and history, and a book containing scientific facts and the principles of a happy life, does not have any contradictory points. Whereas, the Qur’an openly declares that it has no contradictions at all and therefore is a Divine Book:
Will they not then ponder on the Qur’an? If it had been from other than God they would have found therein much contradiction and incongruity. (al-Nisa’, 4.82)
The Qur’an is beyond compare from the viewpoint of its styles and eloquence. All the sentences, words and even letters used in the Qur’an form such a miraculous harmony that, with respect to rhythm, music, and even geometric proportions and mathematical measures, and with respect to how many times each is used in the whole of the Qur’an, each is in the exact place it must be and interwoven and interrelated with others. The literary masterpiece of no one, including the sayings of the Prophet himself, upon him be peace and blessings, cannot compete with the Qur’an.
In the period when the Qur’an was revealed, in addition to eloquence, poetry and oratory enjoyed great prestige in the
Despite the high level poetry reached at that time, the vocabulary of Arabic was not as advanced as the same degree. It was difficult, even impossible, to express in it metaphysical ideas or scientific, religious and philosophical concepts. Restricted to the words and expressions to explain the thoughts and feelings of desert men and the simple life they led, this language became so rich through the Qur’an and attained such a high level that it developed as the language of the most magnificent civilization of world history with all its scientific, religious, metaphysical, literary, economic, juridical, social and political aspects. It is impossible for an illiterate man to prepare the ground for and give way to such a philological revolution unparalleled in human history.
Despite its apparent simplicity, the Qur’an has such depths of meaning that everyone from the commonest of people to the most high-ranking scholar, scientist and literary man, finds his share in it. The Qur’an is such a book that it illuminates the ways of both poets, musicians and orators, sociologists, psychologists, scientists, economists and jurists. Also, the founders of all the true spiritual orders and the schools of law and conduct found in it the principles of their orders and schools. The Qur’an has shown everybody the ways to solve their problems. It also satisfies everyone in his spiritual quests. Is there another book of the same character, quality and level next to the Qur’an?
However beautiful and interesting, we can read a book at most two or three times and then are bored with it. However, no one has ever been heard to be bored with the recitation of the Qur’an. Hundreds of millions of Muslims recite portions from it in their five daily prayers and most of them recite it from beginning to end at least once a year. There have been hundreds of thousands of people reciting it from the beginning to the end once or twice or even three times a month. The more frequently one recites it, the more one benefits from it and the more desire one feels to recite it. One never gets tired of it, its wording, meaning and content, nor does the Qur’an lose anything of its originality and freshness. As time passes, it breathes into minds and souls new truths and meanings, thus increasing them in activity and liveliness.
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The Qur’an describes man with all his physical and spiritual aspects and contains principles to solve all the problems that may appear at any time and in any place concerning all the social, economic, juridical, political and administrative fields of life. Furthermore, it satisfies both the mind and spirit at the same time and guarantees happiness in both worlds.
However great a genius one may be, it is impossible for one to establish rules to solve all kinds of problems that mankind may encounter until the Last Day. Even the best of systems that do not originate in the Qur’an or the Divine Revelation cannot last without undergoing revisions at least every 50 years. More important than this, none of those systems can promise man eternal happiness; the principles of all of them are restricted to the worldly life, which is transient and infinitely short when compared to the afterlife.
By contrast, none of the principles which the Qur’an laid down centuries ago has become outmoded and worn-out with the passage of time, nor do they have any defects or shortcomings. For example, the Qur’an enjoins that wealth should not become a means of prosperity circulated only among the rich (al-Hashr, 59.7); that government offices should be entrusted to competent persons qualified for them and absolute justice should be the rule in public administration and judging between people (al-Nisa’, 4.58), and it lays down that a man has only that for which he makes effort (al-Najm, 53.39) and that whoever kills a human being unjustly is as if he had killed all mankind (al-Ma’ida, 5.32).
All such eternal, golden principles and many others like the prohibition of usury, gambling, alcohol and all kinds of illicit intercourse, and the injunctions with respect to praying, fasting, alms-giving and good conduct—principles strengthened through love and fear of God and through the promise of an eternal, happy life and fear of the eternal punishment of Hell—constitute another undeniable proof for the Divine authorship of the Qur’an.
Also, the Qur’an unveils the mystery of man, creation and the universe. These three creatures of God, that is, man, the Qur’an and the universe, are the three ‘books’ which make the Creator known to us. They are the three versions or expressions of the same truth. Therefore, the One Who has created man and the universe is He Who has revealed the Qur’an.
You cannot find one who does exactly what he tells others to do or one whose work exactly reflects himself. However, the Qur’an is exactly identical with the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, who received it from God and designed his life according to it. It may be said that the Qur’an is the embodiment of Muhammad in words or Muhammad is the embodiment of the Qur’an in belief and conduct. They are the two expressions of the same truth. When asked about the conduct of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, ‘A’isha Siddiqa answered: ‘Don’t you read the Qur’an? The conduct of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, consisted in the Qur’an.’ This clearly shows that both the Qur’an and Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, are the works of God Almighty.
A writer usually writes under the influence of the conditions surrounding him. It is almost impossible to find a writer, whether he be a realist or idealist or even a science-fiction writer, who can write completely detached from the conditions surrounding him. By contrast, even though revealed in parts on certain occasions, the Qur’an is equally universal and objective where it deals with particular issues as it is exact and precise where it deals with universal matters. It uses precise expressions even while describing the beginning of creation and end of time and the creation of man and his future life in the other world. Also, just as it sometimes draws universal conclusions from particular events, so too it sometimes goes from universal principles to particular events. This is typical of the Qur’anic style, which is impossible to find in any human work and is, therefore, another sign of its Divine origin.
There has been no one in human history who has written books accurate to the same degree on both religion and law and sociology and psychology and eschatology and morality and history and literature and so on. However, the Qur’an contains at least the principles of all the branches of knowledge either in summary or detail and not even a single piece of the knowledge it contains has ever been contradicted. Must this not be enough for one unprejudiced to acknowledge its Divine origin?
Which writer can claim that whatever he writes is absolutely correct and cannot be contradicted until the Last Day? At a time when the conclusions of science soon become ‘outmoded’ and worn-out and even the previous Divine Scriptures such as the Torah and Gospels undergo continuous alterations—even a superficial study of the issues of the Bible published in different times and in different languages will be enough to see the great alterations it has undergone—the truths of the Qur’an retain their freshness or, in the words of Said Nursi, ‘as time passes, the Qur’an grows ever younger.’ Despite all the efforts to find mistakes and contradictions in it exerted since the beginning of its revelation, it has remained unchanged and displayed its uniqueness, conquering every day new hearts and its hidden unlimited treasures being discovered one by one or growing to full bloom like a heavenly rose with countless petals.
However knowledgeable you are and if you are famous for your truthfulness, can you speak on behalf of the president, the prime minister and all of the ministers, and also on behalf of the associations of literary men, lawyers and craftsmen, and the board of university lecturers and scientists? If you can, can you claim that you represented them all as perfectly as each would want you to? If you can, can you legislate for all the affairs of the country? This is just what the Prophet achieved through the Qur’an. Now, how can you claim that an unlettered one, who had had nothing to do with any such affairs until his fortieth year, achieved this without Divine inspiration and support?
However slight, there are some admonitions for the Prophet in the Qur’an.
No one, especially if one who claims Prophethood, mentions a grave slander against his wife in the book he writes by himself. Whereas, the Qur’an gives an important place to the slander hypocrites uttered against ‘A’isha, the Prophet’s wife.
In order to show practically that Islam does not allow any racial discrimination and that superiority is only by piety and righteousness, not by birth, color, race, wealth or position, the Prophet married Zaynab, a noble woman from the Hashimites, to Zayd, an emancipated black slave. However, verses revealed later ordered that, in order to put an end to an established false tradition—namely, neither adoption nor any other way of declaring someone a son can create a legal relationship comparable to the relationship of children and natural parents, and there is no difficulty and sin for believers in marriage with the divorced wives of those whom they once adopted as sons—the Prophet should marry Zaynab.
This marriage was very difficult for God’s Messenger to enter into, but since it was ordered by God, he had no way out other than fulfilling it. As ‘A’isha would later say, if the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, would have concealed something of the Qur’an, he would have concealed this order and would not have married Zaynab. Also, if he had written the Qur’an by himself, he would never have mentioned this incident:
Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle to whose safeguarding ‘Abd al-Muttalib entrusted him, undertook the Prophet’s maintenance when he was yet eight years old and, after his declaration of Prophethood, protected him against the Quraysh for ten years. The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, loved his uncle very deeply and desired his conversion very much. However, a verse came and admonished the Prophet against this desire of his which nearly drove him to death: You guide not whom you love, but God guides whom He wills. He is best aware of those who are guided (al-Qasas, 28.56). What would have prevented the Prophet, if he were the author of the Qur’an, from falsely declaring that his uncle had accepted Islam?
There are many verses in the Qur’an beginning with ‘They ask you’ and continue with ‘Say (in answer)’. These verses were revealed to answer the questions put to the Prophet by Muslims and non-Muslims, including especially the Jews of Madina. The questions asked were about lawful or unlawful things, the distribution of war spoils, the mansions of the moon, the Judgment Day, Dhu’l-Qarnayn (one of the ancient kings who made great conquests in Asia and
As was explained earlier, the Prophet lived a very austere life and never pursued any worldly gains or aims like fame, rulership, wealth and having beautiful women. The views of the non Muslims alone on the Prophet are evidence for this. Furthermore, he had to resist hardships and persecutions of the severest kind. To claim that Muhammad—God forbid such a thought! — invented the Qur’an means that Muhammad, who was known as Muhammad the Trustworthy, was the greatest liar and cheat history has ever known. What might have caused him to falsely claim Prophethood despite the severest of deprivations and persecutions? To accuse the Prophet Muhammad of falsely claiming Prophethood and attribute the Qur’an to him, is the most groundless and the most degrading and meanest of accusations.
The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, saw much resistance from the Jews and Christians. He had to fight against the Jews of Madina several times and expel them from the city. Despite this, the Qur’an mentions the Prophet Moses, the Prophet sent to the Israelites, about 500 times, while the name of Muhammad is mentioned in the Qur’an only four times. The Qur’an also mentions the Prophet Jesus many times. Is it conceivable that one who falsely claims Prophethood ever mentions the Prophets of the peoples who show him great hostility?
The Qur’an’s mention of previous Prophets, including especially Moses and Jesus, upon them be peace, and the Christians’ and Jews’ denial of Muhammad’s Prophethood and the Divine authorship of the Qur’an, is an undeniable proof of the Prophethood of Muhammad and the Divine authorship of the Qur’an and that the Christians’ and Jews’ denial comes from purely false reasons like jealousy, prejudice and selfishness.
It is another argument for the Divine authorship of the Qur’an that it refers to certain facts of creation recently established by modern scientific methods. How, except on account of its Divine authorship, is it possible for the Qur’an to be literally true on matters of which people had not the least inkling at the time when it was revealed? For example, if the Qur’an were not a Divine Revelation, would it have been possible for it to contain such a verse as this:
Do not the unbelievers realize that the heavens and the earth were one unit of creation before we split them asunder? (al-Anbiya’, 21.20).
Whether the Qur’an really does refer, explicitly or implicitly, to the kinds of facts the sciences deal with, and the relationship between the Qur’an and modern sciences, are matters of considerable controversy among Muslim intellectuals. We should therefore treat the subject at length.
All of the six sides or aspects of the Qur’an are luminous and demonstrate its truth. From below, it is supported upon the pillars of proofs and evidences (rational, scientific, historical, and those pertaining to conscience and sound judgment, and so on); above it, are gleams of the seal of miraculousness: it aims at happiness in both worlds; and behind it are, another point of support, the truths of the Divine Revelation. To its right is the unanimous confirmation of guided reasons based on proofs; and to its left are the intellectual and spiritual contentment of those with sound heart and conscience, and their sincere attachment and submission to it. All these together bear witness that the Qur’an is an absolutely formidable, extraordinary and unconquerable stronghold which the hand of heaven established on the earth, and set their seal of admission of it as a faultless, true Word of God. The Administrator of the universe, Who always acts in a way to manifest unity, protect virtuousness and goodness, and extirpate falsehood and slander, has given the Qur’an the most acceptable, high and dominant rank of respect and success, and thereby confirmed its truth.
Also, the person who is the interpreter of the Qur’an, upon him be peace and blessings, believed in it and respected it more than anything and anybody else. He went into a sleep-like state during the revelation of its verses and confirmed and preached all of its decrees and commandments with utmost conviction and without exhibiting any deception and error to eyes wide open always to catch him, and without anything to shake him. Despite being unlettered, having founded on the Qur’an, he gave, without hesitation, news and information about the past and future and about the facts of creation and operation of the universe. Other sayings of his do not resemble the Qur’an and are inferior to it in certain respects. All this together proves that the Qur’an is the true, heavenly and blessed Word of that person’s Merciful Creator.
The fifth of mankind or even the majority of them in certain cases have always had an ecstatic and religious devotion to the Qur’an and listened to it lovingly and in adoration of truth, and as is testified to by numerous observations, signs, and events, as moths fly round a light, angels, believing jinn and other spirit beings gather together around it during its recitation. This also confirms that the Qur’an is accepted by almost all the beings in the universe and is of the highest rank.
Also, all the groups of mankind with different levels of understanding and learning, from the commonest to the most intelligent and learned, derive their share from the teaching of the Qur’an, and all the greatest scholars in Islamic sciences such as jurisprudence, theology, and religious methodology, have found in the Qur’an the answers to all of their questions and based their conclusions upon it. This is another evidence that the Qur’an is the source of truths, the mine of all true knowledge.
Furthermore, although among the unbelieving Arab literary men those who have been the most advanced in literature, have always felt much need to dispute with the Qur’an, they have been unable to do that even in eloquence, which is only one of the seven major aspects of the Qur’an’s miraculousness, and have not dared to produce the like of even one of its suras. The others, geniuses of learning and eloquence, who by disputing with it in eloquence have sought fame, have been compelled to refrain from doing so. This clearly shows that the Qur’an is a miracle, beyond the capacity of mankind.
Indeed, in order to judge the value, sublimity, and eloquence of a word it is asked: ‘Who has spoken it? To whom has it been spoken? Why has it been spoken?’ When considered from the perspective of these questions, again the Qur’an has no equal. For the Qur’an is the Word of the Lord of all beings and the Speech of the Creator of the whole of the universe which bears no signs to suggest that it is a book of imitation, one fabricated by someone and then falsely attributed to God.
God revealed the Qur’an to the one whom He chose as the representative of all the creatures, one who is His most famous and renowned addressee, and the extent and strength of whose faith embraced the comprehensive religion of Islam and caused its owner to rise to the rank of the distance of two bows’ length, and being honored with direct conversation with the Eternally Besought-of-All, after which he turned back to the world to convey to people the principles of happiness in both worlds. The Qur’an explains the principles of happiness in both worlds and the results of, and the Divine purpose in, the creation of the universe, and expounds the Prophet’s most comprehensive faith, which sustains all the truths of Islam: it shows and describes the huge universe like a map or a clock or a house and teaches about the Artist Who made it. Certainly it is impossible to produce a like of it or to match the degree of its eloquence.
In addition, numerous collections of books on the interpretation of the Qur’an, some of which cover as many as forty or even seventy volumes—written by meticulous scholars of the highest intelligence and learning—expound with proofs countless virtues of the Qur’an and its subtleties and mysteries, and disclose and affirm its numerous predictions. Among them, the one hundred and thirty treatises of the Risale-i Nur explain each virtue and subtlety of the Qur’an, such as its allusions to the scientific and technical wonders of modern civilization like trains and aircrafts and electricity, and its indirect references to future victories of Muslims and the history of the Companions after the Prophet, and the meaningful and mysterious design of its letters. All this means setting a seal on the fact that the Qur’an is a miracle with no equals and the Word of the Knower of the Unseen, which is the tongue of the world of the Unseen in this visible world of corporeality.
It is because of such virtues of the Qur’an that its magnificent spiritual dominion and its majestic sacred rule has been continuing for centuries to illuminate the earth and the ages, time and space, and more and more people have been embracing it with perfect respect. It is because of the same virtues, that each letter of the Qur’an yields at least the merits, ten rewards, and ten fruits pertaining to the eternal world, and that the letters of certain verses and suras, each give hundreds or even thousands of merits, and when recited on certain blessed occasions, the light and merits of each of its letters multiply by tens or hundreds. The world-traveller came to understand this and said to himself: ‘Based on the consensus of its lights and mysteries, and the concord of its fruits and results, this Qur’an, miraculous in every respect, proves and testifies to the existence, unity, attributes, and Names of a single Necessarily Existent One in such a manner that the testimonies of innumerable believers have their sources from that testimony.’
In a brief reference to the instruction which that traveller has taken from the Qur’an about faith and the Unity of God, we say:
There is no god but God—the Necessarily Existent One, the One, the Single—the necessity of Whose existence in His Oneness the Qur’an of miraculous exposition decisively proves, which is accepted and sought for by the species of angels, human beings and jinn; all of whose verses are recited in every minute with perfect respect by the tongues of millions of human beings; whose sacred rule in the regions of the earth and the realms of space and on the faces of ages and time; whose enlightened spiritual dominion has prevailed with perfect splendor over half of the globe and a fifth of humankind for fourteen centuries... Likewise, with the consensus of its heavenly and sacred suras, and the agreement of its luminous Divine verses, and the correspondence of its mysteries and lights, and the concord of its truths, and results, it manifestly attests, and is a clear proof of, this same truth.