Revelation of Quran to Prophet Muhammad
Q. Our society group would be grateful to know:
i) Why this Holy Qur’an was not revealed to the Prophets before Holy Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh)?
ii) Did Holy Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh) performed miracles during his life time?
(J.H. Thacker; Ahmedabad)
All the earlier Prophets came when in the world there were great barriers of distance and communication between different lands. The activities of earlier Prophets, therefore were limited to the area of their possible reach. In other words, we can say that they were sent to reform their respective races. Although the basic message, the tenets of the belief and the human values preached by all of them was the same but the ‘Shariah’ (the rites and the civil & criminal law) part carried by each Prophet took into consideration, the particular habits culture and capabilities of their areas of operation. Hence although the religion of all the profits was essentially the same (submission before God), the modes of rites and the legal part differed as per the needs of the respective area. The messages (the Word of God) delivered by those Prophets also underwent human interference some time after each Prophet had departed as the human society, although progressing gradually had no fool proof and reliable recording means which could not be tampered with. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) came in an era which was just before the explosion of scientific progress. The world was to become one place after a while, with the progress in communication and transport. The reliable means of recording were also to be developed, so that there was no danger of change in the message at last Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was the first Prophet through which the Word of God was to reach in every nook and corner of the world with such a degree of safety that not even a single letter of the message would be altered. He was therefore made the Last Prophet (Pbuh) as well, as the message would now remain safe forever and would reach to every part of the world. For this reason, Qur’anic Shariah had to be complete in every respect to suit all people for all times. The Qur’an testified to it that the shariah part for each past nation was different: “For each (people) we ordained a Divine Law and a traced out way” (5:48). But it also made clear that the essentials of the religion remained unaltered. “ He has ordained for you the faith which He enjoined on Nuh and which we have revealed to you and which we enjoined on Abraham, Musa and Isa, (saying): observe this faith and be not divided therein” (42:13).
As the basic message remained the same, the Qur’an has on one occasion named the earlier Divine Books also as Qur’an: “And say I am indeed he that warns openly and without ambiguity, as We sent down on those who made division. Who made Qur’an into shreds.” (15:89-91)
Ans. ii) Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) performed such a large number of miracles that it will take a moderate sized book to compile them all. On several occasions, he fed a large number of people on the diet of one person, quenched the thirst of thousands of companions with one small potful of water. He talked to the animals, trees and Jennies, foretold a large number of events, travelled to Jerusalem and heavens within a few moments time, divided and reunited the moon by pointing a finger and performed a lot of other miracles. Even when he was a child, a Christian saint recognized him as a future Prophet. The saint witnessed the trees bowing before him and a patch of cloud moving over his head as he walked.
I have not described in detail, anyone of the above as the Qur’an does not lay emphasis on such miracles of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), Although these are part of history and although the Qur’an describes the miracles of the earlier Prophets, it calls only one of his miracles as ‘The Miracle’ which overshadowed all these described above.
Before coming to that one Miracle, let me quote Jesus Christ from the Bible, who explained to his followers that they should not be misled by everyone who performs amazing things, as extraordinary powers could be developed by anyone by intense practice. He said: “For there shall arise false Christs and false Prophets (Pbuh) and shall shew great signs and wonders in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”. (Mat. 24:24)
The whole of the Christ’s life was full of miracles right from his miraculous birth upto the amazing ascension. He cured the incurable and raised to life, the dead by God’s permission. But that did not satisfy the disbelievers and they still demanded signs. Although, he had already shown so many sings, he answered: “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of the Prophet Jonas. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mat.12:39,40)
Jesus did not remind them of all those previous miracles, Instead, he said that only one sign would be given to them. It would be such a great sign as to eclipse all the previous ones. Similarly the Qur’an talks of only one sign of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) compared to which all the other miracles are not worth calling the miracles. The Qur’an quoted the disbelievers at many places asking for signs. Although he had already performed so many miracles, the Lord told the Prophet(Pbuh) to answer them that no sign would be given to them except one, for which they had to wait, to become manifest.
Following are few of the answers in reply to the disbelievers demand that “Why is not a sign sent down to Him from His Lord?
“Have they not been given sufficient proofs (of your Prophet hood) in the previous Books” (20:133)
“Your mission is (not showing them the miracles) but only to give warning (of the Hereafter)” (13:7)
“Say, Allah is well able to send down a sign but most of them do not know (what that sign would be)”.(6:37)
“Say, Allah alone has knowledge of what is hidden wait if you will: I too am one of those who wait”. (10:20)
Why is not Qur’an referring to the miracles, the Prophet (Pbuh) often performed in reply to the demand? Because, the Last Prophet (Pbuh) was not to be a guide for a certain period and certain people. The later men of the scientific age would believe in a living proof only. They would call fairy tales, the stories of the Prophet (Pbuh) conversing with trees and animals, if recorded in Qur’an. Besides, those who did not want to believe, always scoffed at the earlier Prophets (pbuh) when confronted with the signs, calling if sorcery, magic or trickstery. The Qur’an says: “If thou camest unto them with a miracle, those who disbelieve would verily exclaim: Ye are but tricksters”. (30:58)
“And if they behold a portent they turn away and say: Prolonged illusion! (54:2)
That is why the Almighty gave him a living sign, a final argument for the men of all ages to come. The sign is the ‘safe and Final Word of God’, The Quran.
Is it not a miracle that despite the descriptions of a large number of ayaat describing universe and its phenomenon, not a single ayat, sent down 1400 years ago can be contradicted by modern science? Is it not a miracle that the stages of creation of man, detailed by Qur’an cannot be challenged by medical science after 1400 years?
Is it not a miracle that a civilization, not mentioned in any earlier scripture or historical record, was excavated in the desert of Oman after 5000 years in 1992 and the Qur’an had described its details at more than a dozen places!
The Qur’an had claimed 1400 years ago that its authenticity will increase with the passage of the universe.
“But it is plain miracles (hidden for the time) inside the hearts of those endowed with (scientific) knowledge. Only the wrong doers deny our signs. And (yet) they say, why are not portents sent down upon him from his Lord? say: Portents are with Allah (to be made manifest in time) and my mission is only to give plain warning”. (29:49,50)
“We shall show them our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it (The Qur’an) is the Truth” (41:53)