in 1977, professor gary miller, the active canadian preacher and mathematics and logic lecturer at toronto university, decided to provide a great service to christianity through exposing scientific and historical errors in the noble quran in such a way that would be beneficial to him and his fellow preachers in calling muslims to christianity. however, the result was completely to the contrary. miller's writings were fair and his study and comments were positive, even better than many muslims would write about the noble quran. he considered the noble quran, as it should be and reached the conclusion that it cannot be a work of a human being.
the first surprising issue for professor miller was the challenging tone in many ayahs1 such as the ayahs that can be translated as “will they not then contemplate the quran? and if it had been from (anywhere) other than the providence of allah, indeed they would have found in it many difference (s).” (tmq2 4:82) and “and in case you are suspicious (literally: in suspicion) about what we have been sending down upon our bondman, (i.e., the prophet. a bondman or slave is the highest title conferred by allah upon his chosen men) then come up with a surah of like (manner), and invoke your witnesses, apart from allah, in case you are sincere.” (tmq 2:23) although professor miller was challenging at the beginning he ended astonished at what he found.
the following are some of the points he mentioned in miller’s lecture the amazing quran3 :
there is no such author who writes a book and then challenges others that this book is errorless. as for the noble quran, it is the other way round. it tells the reader that there are no errors in it and then challenges all people to find any, if any.
the noble quran does not mention the hard events in prophet muhammad's (pbuh)4 personal life, such as the death of his dear wife lady khadijah (may allah be pleased with her) , death of his daughters and sons. strangely enough, the ayahs that were revealed as a comment on some of the setbacks proclaimed victory while those revealed at time of victory warned against arrogance and called for more sacrifices and efforts. if one writes his own autobiography, he would magnify the victories and justify the defeats. the noble quran did the opposite and this is consistent and logical: it was not a history of a specific period but rather a text that sets general rules for the relationship between allah (the almighty) and worshippers.
miller thought about a particular ayah that can be translated as “say, “surely i admonish you with one (thing) only, that you rise up to allah by twos and singly; thereafter meditate: in no way is there any madness in your companion. decidedly he is nothing except a constant warner to you, before (literally: between the hands of) a strict torment.” (tmq 34:46) he indicated the experiments one researcher had carried out at toronto university on “effectiveness of collective discussion”. the researcher had gathered different numbers of interlocutors in discussions and compared results. he discovered that the maximum efficiency of the discussion was achieved when the interlocutors were two while the more the number the less the efficiency.
there is a surah5 in the noble quran called maryam (mary) in which lady maryam (may allah be pleased with her) is eulogized in a way not even found in the bible. at the same time, there is no surah in the name of lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) or lady fatimah (may allah be pleased with her). the name of prophet isa (pbuh) (jesus) is mentioned 25 times in the noble qur’an while the name of prophet muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned only five times.
some attackers say that devils used to dictate to prophet muhammad (pbuh) what to write in the noble quran. but the question is how could this be while it contains ayahs that can be translated as “and in no way have ash-shayatîn (the ever-vicious (ones), i.e., the devils) been coming down with it; and in no way does it behoove them, and in no way are they able to do (that).” (tmq 29:209-210) and “so when you read the quran, then seek refuge in allah from the outcast shaytan (the all-vicious, i.e., the devil).” (tmq 16:98)
if you were in the situation of the prophet (pbuh) while he and abu-bakr (may allah be pleased with him) were inside the cave of hira’6 surrounded by the unbelievers who could have seen them if they had looked down. the human reaction would be to search for a back exit or some other way out or to shush in order not to be heard. however, the prophet (pbuh) told abu-bakr (may allah be pleased with him) “grieve not; surely allah is with us.” (tmq 9:40). this is not the mentality of a deceiver; it is the mentality of a prophet who has the confidence that allah (the almighty) would surely take care of him.
surat al-masad (palm fibres)7 was revealed ten years before the death of abu-lahab, the prophet's (pbuh) uncle. he had ten complete years to prove that the noble quran was wrong. however, he did not believe or even pretend to believe. how could the prophet (pbuh) be that confident unless he was sure that the noble quran was allah’s (the almighty) revelation?
commenting on the ayah that can be translated as “that is of the tidings of the unseen that we reveal to you; in no way did you (yourself) know it, neither your people, even before this. so (endure) patiently; surely the (fair) end is for the pious.” (tmq: 11:49) miller writes that none of the scriptures uses this kind of style; that is, giving the reader the piece of information and then tells him it is new information. it is really a unique challenge. what if the people of makkah, even by pretence, had said they knew that before? what if one scholar discovered later that this information was already known before? however, this did not happen.
professor miller mentioned what contemporary catholic encyclopedia includes under the entry 'quran'. it mentions that despite the plethora of studies, theories, and attempts to attack the veracity of quranic revelation under many pretexts none of them can be logically adopted. the church itself did not dare to adopt any of such theories but at the same time it did not admit the truthfulness of the muslims' theory that the noble quran is, without doubt, the last heavenly revelation.
in fact, professor miller was fair enough and was honest enough to change his position and choose the right way. blessed be he and those who search for truth and do not allow their prejudices to prevent them from reaching it.
in 1977, professor miller had a famous debate with islamic preacher ahmad deedat. his logic was clear and his justifications seemed based on intent to reach the truth without pride or prejudice. many wished at the time that this man would embrace islam.
in 1978 professor miller embraced islam and called himself abdul-ahad8 . he worked for some years at oil and minerals university in saudi arabia and then devoted his life to da'wa9 through tv programs and public lectures.
just think and do not let your prejudices prevent you from the right path.
1-a verse in the quran.
2- translation of the meaning of the quran. this translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (surah: ayah) of the quran. reading the translated meaning of the quran can never replace reading it in arabic, the language in which it was revealed.
3- it is a small tract of about 25 pages but a very thick one indeed.
4- [all prayers and peace of allah be upon him].
5- a chapter; the qur’an is comprised of 114 surahs.
6- this was during the hejira to al-madinah. the cave of hira' is in the mount an-nour. it is only two miles from makkah, a small cave 4 yards long and 1.75 yard wide.
7- it can be translated as “would the hands of abu lahab be cut up, (i.e., perish) and would he be cut up (too)! in no way did his wealth avail him, neither whatever he earned; he will roast at a flaming fire, (literally: fire comprising flame). and his wife, the constant bearer of firewood, upon her (long) neck she will have a rope of palm-fibers.” (tmq: 111:1-5)
8- this name literally means 'worshipper of the only one.'
9- islamic call.