Miracles discovered in how the sacred text of the Quran came to be
For Muslims, the Holy Quran is a scripture of the word of God. It was revealed more than 1,430 years ago to Prophet Mohammed through the Angel Gabriel during a period of 23 years. The Quran is an educational text that teaches a human being how to relate to God, to one’s fellow man and to one’s self, by controlling baser desires through strengthening one’s mind power.
The Quran also contains scientific truths touching on subjects such as biology, embryology and astronomy. Muslims believe that because Mohammed did not learn how to read and write and was raised in an illiterate community, he could not have known these facts, which were unknown to even the most advanced communities at that time.
Therefore, this enormous educational power must have come from a source above the human capacity. Some claim the power to be the devil, but the Quran condemns the devil and teaches people not to follow his temptations. Thus, Muslims believe the only source of the Holy Quran is the Almighty God.
A miracle in any era has the greatest effect if it triumphs over the most popular art or science of that time. Hence, as magic was the most popular art in the time of Moses, the miracles God gave to Moses enabled him to defeat the best magicians. Similarly, during the time of Jesus, the most popular and respected art was medicine. Hence, Jesus raised the dead to life and healed the blind, by God’s will.
When Mohammed was sent, the art most popular with the Arabs was that of poetry. Arabs used to hold great competitions in poetry and speechmaking, and there were special judges who were the best poets. Hence, the miracle given to Mohammed was the Quran, which defeated the best speakers and poets of the time through its eloquent power. At first, the Quran challenged the Arabs to bring a similar book. When they could not do it, they were given an easier challenge of bringing just 10 chapters similar to the Quran. When they even failed to do this, they were challenged to bring only one chapter, but they failed to produce anything close to the eloquence of the Quran.
There are different English versions of the Quran that different scholars have tried to translate, but because Arabic words often have several meanings, it is difficult for anyone to literally translate it.
The Quran is known by its amazing poetic form which has no equal in all of Arabic, or any other literature. Some might say that maybe there are works like the Quran. If that is true, let them be brought forward and let the excellent, eloquent Arabs of our time compare them to the Quran.
Iman Safdar Razi leads the Islamic Ahlul Bayt Association, participants in Austin Area Interreligious ministries, which can be reached at 386-9145.