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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

 

 

the suspicion:

 

1) muhammad did not receive revelations. he believed that he did but it was some kind of mental disorder set off by a traumatic event in his life. even though he did not show any signs earlier, there is evidence to show that this is scientifically possible.

2) muhammad did receive revelations, but not from god. there are other spiritual powers, namely satan and his minions, which try to ensnare souls. often, their messages appear very good and harmless and even seem to be complying with god, but in reality they are traps for the faithful.

 

 

the answer: 


anyone who has read the words of the qur'an along with some of the traditions of the prophet (peace be upon him) knows that he sincerely believed that he was a prophet of god. though you may dismiss him as mad or inspired by satan, nevertheless he could not have been intentionally lying to those around him. he was a passionate believer in god; he was genuinely convinced that god would help him in his mission – this is an undeniable fact to those who have even a cursory knowledge of his life.

if we agree to rule out the possibility of his lying, then the next logical objection to his authenticity as a prophet of god is that he was deluded. as you logically summarize, he was either mentally ill or beguiled by satan. let us look at these two possibilities in detail.

was he mad?

certain orientalists have proposed the suggestion that muhammad (peace be upon him) was mad, and they cite certain fictitious traditions that hint at his suffering from epilepsy in defense of their claims. the purported revelations, they explain, were nothing more than the ramblings of a delusional madman. in fact the arab pagans around the prophet also accused him of madness, as allah mentions in surah 15, verse 6:

*{and they [the arab pagans] say, ‘o you to whom the reminder has been revealed! you are most surely insane!’}*

if the product of this “madness” were anything other than the glorious qur’an, there might be some weight to the claim. but as it stands, the question must be asked: could a madman produce a seemingly perfect text? in fourteen hundred years of intense scrutiny and examination, not a single contradiction, grammatical flaw, or comparable imitation has ever been found.

could a madman inadvertently compose a text that stood as the foundation of the most successful and extensive empires ever to grace the earth? could a madman write a book that has united peoples of hundreds of different languages and races for over fourteen centuries? a text that directly generated radically original systems of government, economics, human rights, and scholarship that stood the test of time and have subsequently inspired the rules and governing systems by which we live today?

to call the qur’an the product of insanity is no less implausible than a group of monkeys jumping on a keyboard and producing an unflawed copy of webster’s unabridged dictionary. furthermore, the qur’an itself challenges such accusations through its self-declared inimitability (i’jaz). allah says in surah 2, verses 23 thru 24:

*{and if you are in doubt as to that which we have revealed to our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides allah if you are truthful. but if you do it not – and you can never do it – then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.}*

furthermore, if we believe in the existence of an all-powerful and controlling god, then we have to acknowledge that he would be in control the mind of a “madman” in the middle of the arabian desert. as a believer in god, you have to admit that he willed and allowed for muhammad to speak every verse of the qur’an, and thereupon god allowed for these verses to travel around the world and win the hearts of billions of muslims. if you are going on the assumption that the qur’an is “misguidance,” then god’s willing its existence coupled with its colossal influence on mankind makes the satanic-ploy theory more likely than its being a random creation of the mind of a madman.

an english speaker must bear in mid that the miracle of the qur’an is in the arabic original. in fact, the qur’an only exists in arabic; english versions are in reality translations of the meanings of the qur’an. additionally, it would be appropriate at this point to mention the innumerable scientific miracles scattered throughout the qur’an. as this issue has been dealt with extensively in previous answers on our site, please refer to the following link for a detailed and astounding presentation: miracles of the qur’an

was it satan?

the second logical objective to the qur’an’s divine origins is the possibility that it is the work of satan. christians have traditionally argued that the qur’an was intended by satan to be a means of leading astray the masses from god’s imminence, personified in jesus (peace be upon him). the christians have (incorrectly) held the islamic concept of god to be wholly transcendent, i.e. the muslim god is seen by them as completely impersonal, as he lacks a human facet like that which jesus represents to the christian tradition.

allah says in surah 50, verse 16:

*{we verily created man and we know what his soul whispers to him, and we are nearer to him than his jugular vein.}*

if we examine the satanic-ploy argument objectively, it proves to be extremely feeble. the qur’an calls only to deeds that are good. among many other things, it incites its reader to belief in god, trust and reliance on him, prayer, god-consciousness at all times, sincerity of intention, charity, kindness to orphans and the needy, graciousness to our parents, justice and fairness among people, truthfulness and good business ethics, chastity, cleanliness, etc.

one may object: well and good, but it’s all for naught if it calls even to a single evil. it may seem rational for satan to tell us, “pray, give charity, eat pure food, and kill your parents.” however, the qur’an doesn’t slip once; every deed that it calls to can unanimously be considered virtuous by people of all faiths – we urge you to search for yourself. then, why would satan call to belief in god and virtuous deeds?

additionally, allah says in surah 16, verse 98:

*{so when you recite the qur’an, seek refuge with allah from the accursed satan.}*

if we agree on the existence of god, don’t we think that no matter what religion we follow, he will respond to our seeking refuge in him from satan? in other words, why would satan tell us to seek refuge in god from him? even if we had the wrong religion, wouldn’t this weaken his power over us? the verse can only harm him; it serves no benefit to him – why would he include it?

next, let’s look at the state of the world in which muhammad (peace be upon) lived. the arab pagans to whom he originally preached were as far from god as is imaginable. they worshipped stone idols, buried their daughters alive, murdered over a camel’s drinking out of the wrong well, were ruled by the most absurd superstitions, etc. satan had fully deceived them already. why would he start a new religion that clearly brought them closer to god and closer to virtuosity? a christian cannot deny that the pre-islamic pagans were infinitely farther from the christian teachings and ideals than their later-day muslim counterparts.

one may say: but satan brought the arabs slightly closer to god in order to later mislead the rest of the world – it was a sacrifice on the part of satan for the sake of the greater evil. then let’s look at the state of the people who accepted islam after the arabs. the persians, though custodians of a hitherto great civilization, by and large practiced fire-worship; their religious beliefs, rituals, and views on the sanctity of life were no more than a shade better than the desert idol-worshippers. the indians were seeped in countless forms of idol worship, animism, ancestor worship, and religiously-legitimized socioeconomic bigotry. the advent of islam would later lead to a unification, simplification, and reform of the native beliefs of
india that now comes under the over-simplified title of hinduism. north africa, though containing many christian enclaves and strongholds many of which would incidentally retain their christian beliefs after the islamic conquests, was de-facto ruled by polytheist tribes of berber and african ethnicity. the later-day turks and mongols also worshipped idols and dead ancestors prior to their adoption of islam.

from a christian perspective, there is no doubt that islam brought the native populations of the aforementioned areas closer to the christian ideal than their previous religions. why wouldn’t satan leave “sleeping dogs lie” and let the people continue on in their religions that epitomized the nadir of misguidance? from strictly a numbers perspective, satan would have clearly mislead more people and would have caused more people to die in the farthest state from the christian ideal had he not “inspired” the qur’an, as the christians hold.

if there are holes in these arguments, please let us know. we respect your question because it is polite yet frank, and more importantly it reflects a logical and sincere quest for the truth. if you are not muslim, we expect you to have misgivings about the qur’an. we are not insulted by your objectives and we hope that more non-muslims would voice their doubts for the sake of arriving at truth.

on a personal note, i am a convert muslim from
america who accepted islam in my youth. within the past two years, i have taken up the part-time study of arabic with an experienced teacher, and by allah’s will, i have begun to grasp the meanings of the qur’an in its original language.

i can say from experience that my study has vastly improved my appreciation and understanding of the qur’an, and i would urge anybody who sincerely seeks to prove its authenticity to him or herself to take up the study of arabic. for me, the difference between the original language and the translated meanings is like day and night.




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