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The Qur’an and Imru’ Al-Qais

The Qur’an and Imru’ Al-Qais

The Qur’an and Imru’ Al-Qais

The Qur’an has been revealed to the Prophet among pure Arabs, who were the most advanced nation in the field of eloquence, and reached a high level of eloquent self-expression.

The Qu’ran is the last divine book revealed to the last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him). It contains description of the concept of God, Messengers, Angels, Scriptures, the unseen and the Last Day and its events, like resurrection, reckoning, Paradise, Hellfire and eternal life. It talks in detail about the Islamic morals and ethics as well as the noble Islamic principles and values. The Qur’an confirms the divine Books which came before it, namely the Scriptures of Ibrahim, the Zabur of Dawud (David), the Torah of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus (peace be upon all Prophets and Messengers). The Qur’an included as well scientific facts and miracles about the creation of the universe, man and the living beings. It is a comprehensive book that touches on all walks of life and lays down the guidelines that regulate the people’s life and their relations with each other, the universe and God.

Almighty Allah revealed the Qur’an upon Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and made him the last of Messengers. The message commissioned to all Prophets and Messengers was the worship of Allah Alone and ascribing no partners, equals or sons to Him. He is the Creator of everything and He has no son or father. Almighty Allah says,

Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.” (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

The Qur’an has been revealed to the Prophet among pure Arabs, who were the most advanced nation in the field of eloquence, and reached a high level of eloquent self-expression. They would establish festivals of poetry and speech-giving, they hung their Mu`allaqat (millenary poems) on the Ka`bah as a sign of the high esteem for them. They competed in poetry and beautiful speech. Poetry flowed through their tongues and they recited poems on all occasions, for joy and sorrow, birth and death, happiness and misery, victory and defeat. This was something that was not known in any other nation. By His wisdom, Allah revealed the Qur’an in this language of which they were so proud.

However, the Qur’an dazzled these people with its beautiful words and meanings, its great purpose and structure. So, they submitted to it out of respect for its eloquence and dared not to speak any word of criticism against its wording, grammar or expression.

Allah challenged them in His Book to produce anything like the Qur’an, but they could not match it, let alone find fault with its grammar. Allah says:

Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.” (Al-Isra’ 17:88)

Moreover, Allah challenged them to produce even a chapter like one of its chapters but they failed as well, He (Glory be to Him) said:

And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful. (Al-Baqarah 2:23)”[1]

Some people claimed that the Prophet has taken the Qur’an from the Arab linguistic heritage, such as the poetry of some eloquent Arabs like Imru’ Al-Qais. They alleged that some verses from the Qur’an were taken from a poem by Imru’ Al-Qais, and they cited some verses from Surah Al-Qamar. Examples of these verses are Allah’s sayings:

The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]. (Al-Qamar 54:1)

But the Hour is their appointment [for due punishment], and the Hour is more disastrous and more bitter.  (Al-Qamar 54:46)

They ascribed other verses to Imru’ Al-Qais and brought as evidence some quotes from unsubstantiated sayings from here and there. Anyway, by referring to the poems of Imru’ Al-Qais, which are widely known and have been translated several times into most of the world languages, nothing of this is mentioned in them. Again, nothing of this, even half of a verse, is found in Imru’ Al-Qais poetry. This is stated by all specialists in the Arabic literature. The divans of Imru’s Al-Qais are not something concealed but they are well known and memorized by many contemporary writers.

In addition, the quoted two verses talk about the coming of the Hereafter and the split of the moon. The question so is ‘from where did Imru’ Al-Qais know about the miracle of the split of the moon which happened at the time the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taking in consideration that Imru’ Al-Qais died long before the coming of Prophet Muhammad?’ Also, Imru’s Al-Qais rose up and died idolater, and he was never reported to worship Allah or believe in the hereafter; how come that he warned against the nearness of the coming of the Last Day in his poems?

Furthermore, the Arabs were well known for saying poetry, even impromptu, and no one of them is reported to say that the Qur’an was taken from the poetry of so and so. They were aware very well of their literature heritage and they memorized long poems because this was a source of excellence and proud among them.

The problem lies in that the enemies of Islam rely on groundless and inauthentic claims to sustain their suspicions and lies. We hope that they search for the truth and follow the religion that Allah willed for the whole humanity, the religion that ensures the success of this life and the hereafter. Almighty Allah says,

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

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[1] http://islam-qa.com/en/34234 (Last accessed December, 19, 2013)

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The Merits of Reciting the Glorious Qur’an

The Merits of Reciting the Glorious Qur’an

During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), some unbelievers used to hide and listen to the Prophet while he was reciting the Glorious Qur’an.

By: Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

The merits of reciting the Glorious Qur’an are mentioned in both the Glorious Qur’an and the purified Sunnah. In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah, Most High, says,

Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a profit that will never perish. That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is Forgiving and Appreciative. (Fatir 35:29-30)

The Glorious Qur’an, moreover, praises a group of the People of the Book, saying,

They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer]. (Aal `Imran 3:113)

The Sunnah, likewise, highlights the merits of reciting the Glorious Qur’an in more than one hadith. Following are some examples:

`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever recites the Qur’an and masters it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven), and, whoever exerts himself to learn the Qur’an by heart, and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Apparently, the person who recites the Glorious Qur’an with great difficulty will be rewarded twice as much as the person who reads it with ease as the former bears the burdens of reading while he is not well-versed in reciting the Qur’an, which is a sign of his determination to read the Book of Allah, Most High.

Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will intercede on behalf of its readers on the Day of Judgment.” (Muslim)

Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,  “Whoever reads a single letter of the Book of Allah will be rewarded (as he has done a good deed) and his reward will be multiplied tenfold…” (Al-Tirmidhi)

`Abdullah ibn `Amr (may Allah be pleased with them both) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “On the Day of Judgment, both Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede on behalf of the servant (of Allah): Fasting will say, ‘O Allah! I prevented him from food and drink, so let me intercede on behalf of him; while the Qur’an will say, ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, so let me intercede on behalf of him.’” He (the Prophet) added, “Their intercession will be accepted (by Allah).” (Ahmad)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “There is no envy except in two: one who, having been given (knowledge of) the Qur’an by Allah, recites it during the night and day (and also acts upon it)… and a person, having been given wealth by Allah, spends it in the right way.” (Al-Bukhari)

“Envy” in the hadith means wishing to have the like of what another has, without the desire of any evil to the one he envies. This kind of envy is passable, which is contrary to the other abhorred kind, which includes the desire of evil to others.

Reciting the Glorious Qur’an, moreover, has an influence on the hypocrites. In this connection, Abu Musa AI-Ash`ari reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The example of a believer who recites the Qur’an, is that of a citron which smells good and tastes good; and the example of the believer who does not recite the Qur’an, is that of a date which has no smell but tastes sweet; and the example of a hypocrite who recites the Qur’an is that of an aromatic plant which smells good but tastes bitter; and the example of a hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an, is that of a colocynth plant which has no smell and is bitter in taste.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The house, in which the Qur’an is recited, will seem spacious, contain abundant provision, be visited by angels, and be abandoned by devils. In contrast, the house, in which the Qur’an is not recited, wil1 seem limited, contain scant provision, be abandoned by angels, and be visited by devils. ” (Ihyaa `Ulum Al-Din by Al-Ghazali)

`Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with them both) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “(On the Day of Judgment,) it will be said to the reciter of the Qur’an, ‘Read (the Qur’an) and occupy higher degrees. Recite (the Qur’an) as you used to recite it in the world, for your position will be at the end of the last Qur’anic verse you read.” (Abu Dawud)

The Book of Allah, the Glorious Qur’an, has a positive influence on the hearts of people; an influence which is admitted even by the unbelievers. The unbelievers used to command each other not to listen to the Qur’an fearing that it might influence them to embrace Islam. The Glorious Qur’an refers to this fact, saying,

And those who disbelieve say, “Do not listen to this Qur’an and speak noisily during [the recitation of] it that perhaps you will overcome.” (Fussilat 41:26)

In the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), some unbelievers used to hide and listen to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he was reciting the Glorious Qur’an. Once, Al-Walid ibn AI-Mughirah listened to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while the latter was reciting the following Qur’anic verse:

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (An-Nahl 16:90)

Thereupon, AI-Mughirah asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) to read the same Qur’anic verse once more. On hearing the recitation of that verse again, AI-Mughirah commented, “By Allah! This (speech) has sweetness, is covered with elegance … and it is not the saying of a human being.”(Al-Bayhaqi)

On hearing the Glorious Qur’an, the Jinn said, as the Qur’an states,

‘Indeed, we have heard an amazing Qur’an. It guides to the right course, and we have believed in it. And we will never associate with our Lord anyone. (AI-Jinn 72:1-2)

Lately, Dr. Ahmad AI-Qadi and some Muslim physicians conducted some experiments on a number of patients, including Muslims, non-Muslims, Arab, and non-Arab, to monitor the influence of the Glorious Qur’an on them. After listening to the Qur’an, the conclusions, however, proved to be amazing. The Glorious Qur’an had a positive influence on all of them irrespective of their religion or language. Yet, degrees of influence have differed according to some criteria such as language and religion. No wonder, the Glorious Qur’an enjoys this influential characteristic for it is the Word of Allah, Most High.

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Source: Taken from Al-Qaradawi’s book “How to Approach the Qur’an”

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Gary Miller: The Man Who Challenged the Qur’an

Gary Miller: The Man Who Challenged the Qur’an

Gary Miller: The Man Who Challenged the Qur’an

In 1978 Professor Miller embraced Islam and called himself Abdul-Ahad. He then devoted his life to Da’wah through TV programs and public lectures.

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 Qur’an 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 Qur’an. He considered the Noble Qur’an, 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 verses of the Qur’an such as the verses that can be translated as:

Will they not then contemplate the Qur’an? And if it had been from (anywhere) other than the Providence of Allah, indeed they would have found in it many difference(s). (An-Nisa’ 4:82)

And in case you are suspicious about what We have been sending down upon Our bondman, (i.e., the Prophet himself) then come up with a surah of like (manner), and invoke your witnesses, apart from Allah, in case you are sincere. (Al-Baqarah 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 Qur’an”:

There is no such author who writes a book and then challenges others that this book is errorless. As for the Noble Qur’an, 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 Qur’an does not mention the hard events in Prophet Muhammad’s 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 verses 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 Qur’an 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 verse 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 a strict torment.” (Saba’ 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 surah in the Noble Qur’an 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 `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) or Lady Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her). The name of prophet Isa (peace be upon him) (Jesus) is mentioned 25 times in the Noble Qur’an while the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned only five times.

Some attackers say that devils used to dictate to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) what to write in the Noble Qur’an. But the question is how could this be while it contains verse that can be translated as:

And the devils have not brought the revelation down. It is not allowable for them, nor would they be able. (Ash-Shu`ara’ 26:210-211)

So when you recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy]. (An-Nahl 16:98)

If you were in the situation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he and Abu-Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) were inside the Cave of Hira’ 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 (peace be upon him) told Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him):

Grieve not; surely Allah is with us. (At-Tawbah 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 was revealed ten years before the death of Abu-Lahab, the Prophet’s uncle. He had ten complete years to prove that the Noble Qur’an was wrong. However, he did not believe or even pretend to believe. How could the Prophet (peace be upon him) be that confident unless he was sure that the Noble Qur’an was Allah’s (the Almighty) revelation?

Commenting on the verse:

That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal to you, [O Muhammad]. You knew it not, neither you nor your people, before this. So be patient; indeed, the [best] outcome is for the righteous. (Hud 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 pretense, 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 ‘Qur’an’. It mentions that despite the plethora of studies, theories, and attempts to attack the veracity of Qur’anic 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 Qur’an 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.

Final Comment

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-Ahad. He worked for some years at Oil and Minerals University in Saudi Arabia and then devoted his life to Da`wah through TV programs and public lectures.

Just think and do not let your prejudices prevent you from the right path.

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Source: Taken from the book “A Message to Those Who Do Not Believe in Prophet Muhammad” by www.rasoulallah.net Team

Read Also:

Why Did Prof. Gary Miller Revert to Islam?

Dr. Gary Miller: “Man is Born Muslim”

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Comparison between the Bible & Quran (3/3)

Comparison between the Bible & Quran (3/3)

comparison between the bible and Quran

Whereas, The Bible is a collection of writings by many different authors, the Qur’an is a dictation (or recitation).

 

Qur’an Has Internal Evidences

Now I can come back to the claim the Qur’an makes that it has internal evidence of its origin. There are many ways that you can look at this. As one example, if I single out somebody here and say: You know, I know your father – he is going to doubt that, he has never seen me with his father. He would say, how does he look like, is he tall short does he wear glasses? and so on, and if I give him the right answers pretty soon he will get convinced, “Oh yes, you did meet him”. If you apply the same kind of thinking when you look at the Qur’an, here is a book that says it came from the one who was there when the universe began. So you should be asking that one: So tell me something that proves it. Tell me something that shows me you must have been there when the universe was beginning. You will find in two different Ayahs the statement that all the creation began from a single point, and from this point it is expanding. In 1978 they gave the Noble prize to two people who proved that is the case. It is the big bang origin of the universe. It was determined by the large radio receivers that they have for the telephone companies which were sensitive enough to pick up the transmissions from satellites and it kept finding background noise that they could not account for. Until the only explanation came to be, it is the left over energy from that original explosion which fits in exactly as would be predicted by the mathematical calculation of what would be this thing if the universe began from a single point and exploded outwards. So they confirmed that, but in 1978. Centuries before that here is the Qur’an saying the heavens and the earth in the beginning they were one piece and split and says in another Ayah: “of the heavens we are expanding it”.

Qur’an Has Exact Accuracy

Let me tell you about a personal investigation, it occurred to me that there are a number of things you can find in the Qur’an that give evidence to its origin – internal evidence. If the Qur’an is dictated from a perfect individual; it originates with God, then there should not be any wasted space, it should be very meaningful. There should be nothing that we do not need that you can cut off, and it should not be missing anything. And so that everything in there should really be there for a specific purpose. And I got to thinking about the Ayah which I mentioned before, it says, the likeness of Jesus is the likeness of Adam. It an equation, it uses the Arabic word (mithel), it says Jesus, Adam, equal. You go to the index of the Qur’an, you look up the name ISA. it is in the Qur’an 25 times, you look up the name Adam it is there 25 times. They are equal, through scattered references but 25 of each. Follow that through and you will find that in the Qur’an there are 8 places were an Ayah says something is like something else, using this (Mithel), you will find in every case and take both sides of it whatever that word is look it up in the index and it will be let’s say 110 times and lookup the other word and it will be said to be equal to the same 110. That is quite a project of co-ordination if you try to write a book that way yourself. So that everywhere you happened to mention that such and such is like such and such that then you check your index, filing system, or your IBM punch cards or whatever, to make sure that in this whole book you mentioned them both the same number of times. But that’s what you will find in the Qur’an.

Qur’an Provides Reason

What I am talking about is built on a thing that is called in Logic: Use and Mention of a Word. When you use a word, you are using its meaning. When you mention a word, you are talking about the symbol without the meaning. For example, if I say Toronto is a big city – I used the word Toronto as I meant this place Toronto is a big city. But if I say to you Toronto has 7 letters, I am not talking about this place Toronto, I am talking about this word – Toronto. So, the revelation is above reasoning, but it is not above reason. That is to say we are more apt not to find in the Qur’an something that is unreasonable, but we may find something that we would have never figured out for ourselves.

Unique Word Refers to Itself in Qur’an

The author of this sentence said if this book came from someone besides God then you will find in it many Ikhtalafan (inconsistencies). The word Ikhtilaf is found many times in the Qur’an. But the word Ikhtalafan is only found once in the Qur’an. So there are not many Ikhtilafan in the Qur’an, there is only one – where the sentence is mentioned. So you see how things are put together perfectly. It has been suggested to mankind: Find a mistake. Man could not get hold of a mistake, and he is very clever, because this sentence could also mean: Find many Iktilafan and so he quickly goes to the index to see if he can find many of them and there is only one… Sorry clever person.

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Source: www.bibleislam.com

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Read Also: 

Comparison between the Bible & Qur’an (1/3)

Comparison between the Bible & Quran (2/3)

Comparison between Bible and Torah, Injeel and Zabur

Between Divine Revelation and Non-Divine Revelation in Islam and Christianity (1/2)

Between Divine Revelation and Non-Divine Revelation in Islam and Christianity (2/2)

Comparison between the Quran and the Most Important Current Scriptures

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The Challenge of the Qur’an

The Challenge of the Qur’an

Holy Qur'an

The Qur’an is not only unique in the way in which it presents its subject matter, but it is also unique in that it is a miracle itself

By: Dr. Bilal Philips

The Qur’an is not only unique in the way in which it presents its subject matter, but it is also unique in that it is a miracle itself. By the term “miracle,” we mean the performance of a supernatural or extraordinary event which cannot be duplicated by humans. It has been documented that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) challenged the Arabs to produce a literary work of a similar caliber as the Qur’an, but they were unable to do so in spite of their well-known eloquence and literary powers. The challenge to reproduce the Qur’an was presented to the Arabs and mankind in three stages:

1. The Whole Qur’an

In the Qur’an, God commanded the Prophet to challenge all of creation to create a book of the stature of the Qur’an:

Say: ‘If all mankind and the jinn would come together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce its like even though they exerted all and their strength in aiding one another.’ (Al-Isra’ 17:88)

2. Ten Chapters

Next, God made the challenge ostensibly easier by asking those who denied its divine origin to imitate even ten chapters of the Qur’an:

Or do they say that he has invented it? Say (to them), ‘Bring ten invented chapters like it, and call (for help) on whomever you can besides God, if you are truthful. (Hud 11:13)

3. One Chapter

This final challenge was to produce even a single chapter to match what is in the Qur’an, whose shortest chapter, Al-Kawthar, consists of only three verses:

And if you all are in doubt about what I have revealed to My servant, bring a single chapter like it, and call your witnesses besides God if you are truthful. (Al-Baqarah 2:23)

These challenges were not just empty words with no one caring to prove them wrong. Prophet Muhammad’s call to monotheism, to the abolition of idolatry in all its forms, and to the equality of slaves and their masters threatened the whole socio-economic framework of Mecca society in general, and the position of the ruling Quraishee tribe from which the Prophet came in particular. Mecca, the trading center of Arabia, as well as its spiritual center, desperately wanted to stop the spread of Islam. Yet, all that the Prophet’s opponents had to do to crush the movement was to make up a single chapter like any one of those which the Prophet and his followers were reciting to the people.

A number of Quraish orators and poets tried to imitate the Qur’an, but they failed. They then resorted to offering him vast amounts of wealth, the position of king over them, and the most noble and beautiful of their women in exchange for his promise to stop inviting people to Islam. He responded to them by reciting the first thirteen verses of Chapter Fussilat, until they asked him to stop. (Al-Bayhaqi)

Quraish also resorted to torturing their slaves and relatives who had embraced Islam in a vain attempt to cause them to revert to paganism. Later they organized an economic boycott against the Prophet, his followers and the members of his clan, Banu Hashim, in an attempt to starve them into submission. But even this plan eventually failed. Finally, they plotted to kill him in his home by sending armed young men from each of the clans of Quraish in order that the guilt of his murder be shared by all the clans, making revenge by the Prophet’s clan impossible.

However, God enabled the Prophet and his followers to flee Mecca and join a new band of converts who had arisen among the tribes of a city to the north called Yathrib. Islam spread rapidly through the clans of Yathrib, and within a year Muslims became the city’s majority. Prophet Muhammad was then made the ruler, and the name of the city was changed to Medina An-Nabi (The City of the Prophet), which was then shortened to “Medinah.” Over the next eight years, the clans of Mecca and its neighboring lands mounted a series of unsuccessful battle campaigns against the emerging Muslim state in Medina, which ended with the Muslim invasion of Mecca itself.

All of this bloodshed could have been avoided if only the Quraish and their allies had been able to produce a mere three lines of poetry or flowing prose similar to the shortest chapter of the Qur’an. Hence, there can be no doubt about the inimitability of the Qur’an’s literary style, about the miracle of its rhyme and the marvel of its rhythm.

It has been suggested that the inimitability of the Qur’an is not necessarily unique, for great English poets like Shakespeare, Chaucer, or great poets in any language tend to have distinctly unique styles which set them apart from their contemporaries. However, if, for example, some leading poet of today were to make an in-depth study of Shakespeare’s writings and write a sonnet in Shakespeare’s style in old ink and on old paper, then claim that he had discovered a lost poem of Shakespeare’s, the literary world would probably accept this claim, even after careful study. Thus, even the greatest of poets could be imitated; no matter how unique his style was, just as the famous painters have been imitated. [In fact, some English scholars consider much of what has been attributed to Shakespeare to have been written by his contemporary, Christopher Marlowe.]

The Qur’an, however, is way above this level, as attempts to forge chapters have been made throughout the ages, yet none has withstood close scrutiny. And, as was mentioned before, the incentive to imitate the Qur’an was more intense during the time of its revelation when literally skills were at their peak than at any other time, yet there was no successful attempt.

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Terms of Lordship and Godhood in the Qur’an and the Bible

Terms of Lordship and Godhood in the Qur’an and the Bible

Lord and God

In many cases, the usage of the terms of lordship and godhood in the Holy Scriptures is not intended as a literal but metaphorical usage

In the Holy Scriptures, we often notice frequent usage of the terms of lordship and godhood. In many cases, such usage is not intended as a literal but metaphorical one, given the inapplicability of lordship and godhood to those described as “lords” or “gods” in some positions.

Unfortunately, such metaphorical usage gave rise to clearly false beliefs among the followers of some Abrahamic religions, especially Christianity, in the absence of the original versions of the Gospel or knowledge of the native language of such versions as well as their usages, be they literal or metaphorical.

The loss of the original versions which must have been written during Jesus’ lifetime or shortly after his Ascension and the consequent distortion and alteration led to big mistakes especially in the Christian creed.

In this article, I will deal with the terms of lordship and godhood both in the Qur’an and the Bible, especially the New Testament, to indicate which meanings are literal and which ones are metaphorical. I will begin with the term “Lord” both in the Qur’an and the Bible.

The Term “Lord”

The term “Lord” (Rabb in Arabic) is used in the Qur’an to refer to the Deity in all of its usages with a few exceptions. For example, we read in the second verse of the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an (Al-Fatihah) after Basmalah (the introductory verse: in the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful):

[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds (Al-Fatihah 1:2)

We also read:

O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous (Al-Baqarah 2:21)

It is clear enough that the term “Lord” is used here to refer to the Deity.

However, there are a few exceptional usages of the term “Lord” in the Qur’an which refer to human masters rather than the Deity. By the way, such a usage was common in classical Arabic. Old Arabs used to use the term “Lord” to mean a master or an owner rather than the Deity.

For example, the Qur’an relates the story of Prophet Joseph (Yusuf in Arabic) as follows:

And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, “Come, you.” He said, “[I seek] the refuge of Allah. Indeed, he is my lord, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed.” (Yusuf 12:23)

The Qur’an here tells us that Prophet Joseph referred to the ruler (Al-Aziz in Arabic) as “my lord”, i.e. my master. He did not intend the Deity.

Similar usages are repeated in the same Qur’anic chapter. The Qur’an also quotes Prophet Joseph as saying:

“O two companions of prison, as for one of you, he will give drink to his lord of wine; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and the birds will eat from his head. The matter has been decreed about which you both inquire.” And he said to the one whom he knew would go free, “Mention me before your lord.” But Satan made him forget the mention [to] his lord, and Joseph remained in prison several years. (Yusuf 12:15)

And the king said, “Bring him to me.” But when the messenger came to him, [Joseph] said, “Return to your lord and ask him what is the case of the women who cut their hands. Indeed, my Lord is Knowing of their plan.” (Yusuf 12:50)

Since the usages of the term “Lord” as a reference to other than the Deity is very few in number in the Qur’an, its metaphorical usage for other than Allah has not led to any dogmatic problem.

As for the term “Lord” in the Bible, we notice that it is used to refer to the Deity and Jesus as well. In the Old Testament, we read: “My son, if you come forward to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for temptation.” (Sirach 2:1) The term “Lord” here is intended for the Deity.

In the New Testament, we also read: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” (Acts 16:31) We also read: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7) In those verses, we notice that the term “Lord” refers to Christ Jesus rather than the Almighty Deity.

However, can the Almighty Deity be the Lord and Jesus be the Lord literally? The usage of the term “Lord” as a reference to Jesus is a metaphorical one given the inapplicability of lordship to him. There are many pieces of evidence for that from the New Testament itself and the Old Testament as well.

For example, in the New Testament, we read: “But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (John 6:68-69)

Here, an important question should arise: how can Jesus be “Lord” and “the Son of God” literally at the same time? Either Jesus is the Lord or the Son of the Lord.

In fact, the literal lordship of Jesus is negated by virtue of the Bible itself, including the Old Testament and the New Testament as well. In the New Testament, we read: “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Mark 12:29, Matthew 4:10)

Moreover, the Old Testament abounds in verses confirming the exclusive lordship of the Almighty Deity and refuting the literal lordship of anyone else. For example, we read: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4; 4:35&39; 32:39) and “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:10-11)

The Term “God”

It is used in the Qur’an only to stand for the Deity. It is not used to refer to anyone else, either literally or metaphorically. In the Qur’an, we read:

Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac – one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Al-Baqarah 2:133)

We also read:

And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:163)

As for the New Testament, Jesus is often referred to as “the Son of God”. For example, we read: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17)

We also read: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

As a matter of fact, references to Jesus as “the Son of God” are so many in number in the New Testament. Yet, is Jesus “the Son of God” literally or metaphorically? Literally speaking, Jesus cannot be the Son of God given the fact that he is not the only one who is so described in the Bible.

Many persons and beings are referred to as “the Sons of God” in the Bible. For example, angels are referred to as the Sons of God (Job 1:6, 1:2 and 7:38; Psalm 29:1 & 6:89; Daniel 3:25) Adam is also referred to as the Son of God (Luke 3:38) The Children of Israel are also referred to as the Sons of God (Exodus 4:22-23; Deuteronomy 1:14 & 32:5,6,19; Isaiah 43:6,7; Hosea 1:10)

God cannot be considered a father of Jesus literally simply because David is also referred to as the father of Jesus in the New Testament though he was not his father literally but metaphorically. In the New Testament, we read: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32)

It is crystal clear that Jesus cannot be the son of God and David at the same time. Therefore, this is a metaphorical rather than literal usage. No wonder, we observe that the New Testament refers to some people as gods metaphorically rather than literally. This indicates that metaphorical usage is common in the Bible.

For example, the Children of Israel are referred to as gods. In the Bible, we read: “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken (John 10:31-35)

The Old Testament quotes the Almighty Deity as promising Prophet Moses to be God. In the Old Testament, we read: “And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (Exodus 7:1)

Similarly, we also read: “I said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.’” (Psalm 82:6) What is more, Satan himself is referred to as a god in the Bible. We read: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) All of that proves common metaphorical usage in the Bible.

The evidence for such metaphorical usage is found in the Bible itself. It proves that God is Only One and has no partner, child or son. In the New Testament, we read: “There is only one God” (Romans 3:30 and 1 Timothy 2:5), “We know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.” (1 Corinthians 8:4), “God is one” (Galatians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; James 2:19; Ephesians 4:6, Jude 1:25)

In the Old Testament, we read: “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me.” (Deuteronomy 32:39; Exodus 20:3, 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Kings 8:60), “You alone are God” (Psalm 86:10 and Malachi 2:10), “This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6 and 9), (Isaiah 45:22, 5-6, 18, 21; 46:9)

Conclusion

To conclude, Jesus cannot be the Lord or the Son of God literally for he himself negated that and confirmed his prophethood. He said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

2 Philippians proves that Jesus was a servant of God. It reads: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

2 Philippians indicates that Jesus like all other human beings was made in God’s image as it was mentioned in the Old Testament:

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.’” (Genesis 1:26) This is also confirmed by the following statement of Prophet Muhammad: “God created Adam in His image.” (Agreed-on hadith)

Had Jesus been the Lord or the Son of God literally, he would not have made himself nothing, taken the very nature of a servant or been made in human likeness. He would have rather deserved worship and called people to it. However, when Satan tried to tempt him to worship him according to the New Testament, Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:10)

Indeed, Jesus himself worshiped God according to the New Testament itself. How can he deserve worship? In the New Testament, we read: “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray … Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed (Matthew 26:36-39)

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Sahih Al-Bukhari

3- Sahih Muslim

4- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

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