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Islamic Education research network launched at University of Warwick

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The tradition that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, (may Allaah exalt his mention), heard Qayss bin Saa`idah preach at the `Ukaath fair is forged and discarded, as one of its narrators, Muhammad bin Hallaaj Al-Laakhmi, is a confirmed liar. The suggestion that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, learnt from Zayd bin Haarithah, may Allaah be pleased with him, is discarded on the ground that Zayd came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,  as a little boy and as a result he could not have taught Christianity to his foster father. Moreover, Zayd, may Allaah be pleased with him, had genuine faith in the Prophet’s message and followed him, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, until his death.

The allegation that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, received instructions from Waraqah bin Nawfal on Christianity is rejected on the ground that, if this information is true, then the Quraysh would have made a very big issue about it. The assertion that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was instructed by a foreigner, is already properly addressed and rebutted by the Quran itself, and is not discussed here. If some of the Christians and Jews of Makkah had provided the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with information about former religions, they would not have faith in the Prophet’s mission and leadership and would never have become Muslims themselves.

The Makkan tribes tortured a number of such converts in order to extort an admission that Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had obtained help from them. Jaabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, one of the victims of oppression when persecuted and tortured to the extreme, gave a significant reply: "It is not I who teaches Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, rather it is he who teaches and guides me." [Tafseer Al-Qurtubi] 

Some of the points raised in this connection by Dr. Jamal Badawi, a renowned propagator of Islam in Canada are worth noting. He says: “It would be highly imaginary to say that through his occasional chats with Jews and Christians, while busy with his caravan, Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, learned enough about either or both religions to formulate a new powerful and viable religion, a task that defies the collective efforts of scholars for centuries.” 

Furthermore, the above assertion raises a number of questions. Dr. Jamal Badawi puts forth the following six questions:

1.     Why is it, that in spite of the abundance of historical material on the life of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and in spite of the extensive research on his life for centuries by his critics, why was it not possible to discover the mysterious teacher who allegedly taught Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, all that he learned?

2.     It is known that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was opposed, ridiculed and persecuted for nearly thirteen years by his own contemporaries. Was it not possible for his enemies to prove to the masses that Prophet Muhammad's, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, claim of revelation was sheer fabrication? Was it not possible for them to reveal and name whom they alleged to be the human sources of his teachings? Even some of his adversaries who made this assertion changed their minds later on, and accused him, instead, of magic or of being possessed by evil.

3.     Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was raised among his people and every aspect of his life was exposed to them, especially by the openness that characterizes tribal life in the desert. How could his contemporaries, including many of his close relatives who knew him so well, believe in his truthfulness if they had any doubt that he was claiming credit for ideas taught to him by some other teachers, without bothering to give them credit?

4.     What kind of teacher might have taught Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a coherent and complete religion that changed the face of history? Why did he or they (if any) not speak against the alleged student who continued learning from them, while ignoring them and claiming some other Divine source for his teachings?

5.     How could many Jews and Christians amongst his contemporaries become Muslims and believe in his truthfulness, if they knew that he was copying from their scriptures or learning from their priests or rabbis?

6.     It is known that some of the Quranic revelations came to Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in the presence of people. The Quran was revealed during the span of 23 years. If the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had a teacher, where was he? How could he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, have hidden the teacher for so long? On the other hand, how could Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who was constantly surrounded by followers, be able to make frequent secret visits to that mysterious teacher or teachers for 23 years without being ‘caught’ even once?

Gradual Growth of Accuracy in the Quran 

The teachings of Islam in the Quran such as the rules and duties are indeed spelt out gradually over a period of 23 years, and the arrangement of the revealed verses and chapters are according to the need of the society at the time. A good example is the warning regarding intoxicants in the Quran, and how they were finally prohibited. The prohibition did not come all of a sudden. The society was first spiritually prepared to accept such a prohibition, and when the prohibition came into effect, it was accepted openly and gladly. This may look as a gradual growth in accuracy for some of the Orientalists who may make an issue out of it, but it is not so. However, it is worth noticing that some of the Orientalists have started to discard this line of thinking. 

The Quran is not a derivation from the Judeo-Christian scriptures as claimed by the Orientalists and as evidenced by the following:

 

Some Information Given in the Quran that is Not Mentioned in the Bible:  

·        Some of the Prophets mentioned in the Quran i.e. Saalih (for the Thamood) and Hood  (for the `Aad), may Allaah exalt their mention, are not even mentioned in the Bible

·        Information given in the Quran about Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham), may Allaah exalt his mention, specifically about his teachings on monotheism and the resulting struggle is not found in the Bible

·        The incidents of ‘Eesaa (Jesus), may Allaah exalt his mention, speaking in the cradle and confirming the chastity of his mother; giving life to the birds made by clay by God's permission, and the table of food descending from heaven

·        Moosaa (Moses), may Allaah exalt his mention, traveling to the "meeting place of two seas"

·        The incident of Pharaoh's plan to kill Moosaa, may Allaah exalt his mention, and that a "believer" in Pharaoh's court dissuaded him from carrying out his plan

·        Moosaa, may Allaah exalt his mention, striking the 12 springs for each Jewish tribe

·        The magicians in Pharaoh’s court dying for their belief in God.

Instances where the Quran contradicts accounts given in the Bible

·        The preaching of Nooh (Noah), may Allaah exalt his mention, was specifically monotheism according to Quran

·        The Quran categorically denies the concept of Trinity and confirms that ‘Eesaa, may Allaah exalt his mention, was no more than a Prophet -- not god, not the son-of-god and not part of a Trinity

·        The Quran categorically states that ‘Eesaa, may Allaah exalt his mention, was not crucified or killed

·         The Quran states that all the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, were noble men sent by Allaah and clears all the Prophets from evil intention or evil actions, as against what can be found in the Bible

·        The Quran testifies that all the Prophets of God, may Allaah exalt their mention,  were sincere in their mission for which they were sent by God, and never betrayed their mission as suggested in the Bible in the case of Moosaa (Moses) and Haaroon (Aaron), may Allaah exalt their mention; or sinned as in the case of Loot (Lut), Daawood (David), Sulaymaan (Solomon), may Allaah exalt their mention,  and others. 

More Details are given in the Quran as Compared to the Bible

1. Incidents relating to Prophet Nooh (Noah), may Allaah exalt his mention.

2. Maryam (Mary), may Allaah be pleased with her, being asked to pray to Allaah -- implying that she was a human being who required the mercy of God.

3. The whole story of Yoosuf (Joseph), may Allaah exalt his mention, delivered in a spiritual atmosphere with more details of his life that are not found in the Bible. 

It is true that some of the historical incidents are mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran, but this does not mean that the Quran selected them from these sources. Instead, it is a confirmation of the events of the past but looking at them with a clear vision. There was no library or museum in Makkah, and the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, could not read or write. There were no scholars and philologists in Makkah to unravel the secrets of ancient work to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

While casually recognizing that there are new elements in the Quran, the Orientalists seem to have never paid attention to find the sources of these elements. If they had done so, the Orientalists would surely have found reason to see that the assumptions under which they have been laboring so diligently and impressively need revision.  

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=articles&id=134205