Navigation

WHO IS THE AUTHOR [S] OF THE QUR’AN?

From the practically universal perspective of the nearly 1.6 billion Muslim people, the Qur’an is regarded as “the word of Allah; God” 1. The predominant views among Western writers are that the Qur’an is not a divinely revealed scripture. Some hold that view because they do not accept the notion of divine revelation and some do not believe in the existence of God altogether. Some writers who believe in God, Prophets and divinely revealed scriptures hold that the Qur’an does not fall in this category of sacred books. Others hold the view that the Qur’an reflects the thinking, knowledge, environments and views of Prophet Muhammad and /or others around him.
Some of those who hold the above views may be also among the critics, even defamers of the Prophet [P] 2. Even writers, who speak positively about him as a great and highly influential leader and reformer, do not see him as a prophet of God. 3
This paper examines his claim that he was not the author of the Qur’an, which he insisted was revealed to him by God through the Archangel Gabriel. The paper is aimed at both Muslim readers and readers of other faith communities. It is aimed at people of other faith communities, particularly Christians and Jews, to help them reflect on a Muslim perspective on this vital topic. A perspective from within the Muslim community, reflecting the main stream may help balance the disproportionately and overwhelmingly dominant views of people of other faith communities or non-faith communities for that matter. It is also aimed at Muslims who are involved in explaining their perspective [s] on the primary and highest source of the Islamic faith.

Methodology
There is no question that Muhammad [p] repeatedly stated that he was the final and last messenger of Allah. There is no doubt also that he predicated the most significant indicator of the truthfulness of his pronouncements on the Qur’an as the divine word of Allah9. In an authentic Hadeeth, 4 he stated “There is no prophet except that he was given [a sign or miracle from Allah] which led people to believe in him [i.e., his truthfulness as a prophet]. However, what I was given was a revelation [the Qur’an]. Therefore, I hope to Allah that I will have the largest number of followers in the Day of Judgment”.5 The Qur’an itself bears this testimony as will be shown later. The central question is therefore is: How may the examination of the Qur’an help answer the question about its source [s]? In answering this question, we will examine both internal and external evidences related to this question. By internal evidence, is meant evidence from within the Qur’an itself; its own statements about its source. By external evidence is meant evidence based on reason and other sources external to the text of the Qur’an which may support [or negate] its affirmed divine source. If both types of assertions are consistent with one another and if they are both established on solid grounds, the legitimacy of the Prophet’s claims about the Qur’an and consequently the legitimacy of his prophethood are also firmly established. The supposed internal evidence is “a necessary but insufficient condition” of accepting the validity of such pronouncements. It is a necessary condition, however, because there is no point in searching for any external evidence if the assertions of the revelatory source of the Qur’an were not made in the first place. However, internal evidence in itself, if proven, may not be a sufficient condition to accept assertions about the divine source of the Qur’an on the part of for those who do not share Muslim beliefs. As such, external evidence, outside the Qur’an is needed to verify such assertions. The paper begins with an examination of the internal evidence.

Internal Evidence
Does the Qur’an Claims To Be A Revelation From Allah?
There is no dearth of such internal evidence in the Qur’an. This can be seen in at least three categories of verses:
1. Verses that affirm the divine source of the Qur’an. A few examples are quoted below:

“Blessed is He [Allah] who sent down the Criterion [the Qur’an] unto His servant [Muhammad], that he may be a Warner to the worlds [peoples and Jinn]. Qur’an 25:1 6

“We [Allah], without doubt, sent down the Reminder [the Qur’an], and We will surely preserve it” Qur’an, 15:9

“Surely, it [the Qur’an] is a [revelation] sent down from the Lord of he Worlds [Allah], brought down by the honest spirit [Archangel Gabriel] upon your heart [O Muhammad] so a that you be among the warmers, in a clear Arabic tongue” Qur’an, 26:192-194

“It is [the Qur’an] a revelation from Him Who has created the earth and the high heavens” Qur’an, 20:4

2. Verses that negate that there is any other source of the Qur’an other than Allah. A few examples are quoted below:

“This Qur’an could not have been invented [by any one part from Allah, but it is a confirmation of [revelations sent down before it] and a fuller explanation of the Book- wherein there is no doubt- from the Lord of the worlds” Qur’an, 10:37

“And when you [O Muhammad] bring them not a verse [revelation], they say: ‘why have you not got it together [made it up]’? Say: ‘I only follow that which Allah is revealed to me from my Lord: this [Qur’an] is light from your Lord, a guidance and mercy for those who have faith” Qur’an, 7:203

“And when Our clear revelations [the Qur’an] are recited unto them, those who do not look to meeting with Us say: ‘bring a Qur’an other than this, or change it.’ Say: ‘it is not for me to change it on my own accord. I follow nothing except what is revealed unto me. Truly I should myself fear, if I were to disobey my Lord, a penalty of a momentous Day [the Day of Judgment]” Qur’an, 10:15

3. Verses whose style indicates that the speaker is not the Prophet [p] but Allah Himself. Examples of that are expression such as:

“ Indeed We [Allah] created the heavens and the earth in six periods and no
weariness touched Us” Qur’an 50:38

The above quotes from the Qur’an and many others are also echoed as well in Hadeeths.7 They make it abundantly clear that the internal evidence about the Divine revelatory nature of the Qur’an is starkly clear and unmistakable. This evidence is but a major indicator of Muhammad’s prophethood, a universally accepted foundation of Islam. However, and as argued earlier in the paper, internal evidence is a necessary but insufficient condition to verify the affirmation of Muhammad’s prophethood, at least in mind of those who are healthily sceptical but not overly cynical. As such, it is necessary to examine and evaluate central external evidences as well. These are discussed next.

External Evidence

External evidence of the divine source of the Qur’an can be addressed on two levels, negation and affirmation. By negation is meant enquiring if there any other viable and better explanation of the source of the Qur’an? Affirmation, on the other hand refers to the enquiry as to whether there are strong rational positive evidences to support the claim of its divine origin. The negation aspect will be limited to the discussion and evaluation of the most common alternative explanations of the source of the Qur’an.

The First Explanation: Prophet Muhammad [p] Was The Real Author Of The Qur’an

This is perhaps the most common assumption about the source of the Qur’an. It is stated either explicitly such “Muhammad [p] wrote the Qur’an” or implicitly such as quoting a divine command in the Qur’an and attributing it to the Prophet [p], such as stating that “Muhammad [p] did not like some of his people’s practices such as excessive drinking and practicing female infanticide, so he told his followers to stop such practices”. Such commands appear in the Qur’an as Allah’s commands not as the Prophet’s own preaching and concerns.8 let us now examine the viability of this assumption.
1. Throughout his prophetic career, Muhammad [p] clearly and consistently upheld that the Qur’an is not his words and that he received every word of it through Angel Gabriel. To state, imply or insinuate that the Prophet [p] was the author of the Qur’an instead of Allah is to belie him. This assumption is utterly inconsistent with his reputation that resulted in his people according him with the nickname “Al-Ameen”, meaning the truthful or the trustworthy. When the Prophet [p] began to receive the revelations of the Qur’an, his contemporaries were shocked, as they could not fathom how Allah could speak through humans via divine revelation. While some Makkans rejected his pronouncements as the Prophet of Allah, they did so not because they lost their trust in his truthfulness. They rejected him because of a number of possible reasons. Some rejected him due to their perceived impossibility that Allah would communicate His divine message through a human being. Others rejected him because of the perceived threat of his egalitarian teachings to their privileged status in society. Still others rejected him because of their captivity to their customs and traditions. However, none of his detractors is known to have claimed that the Prophet [p] ever failed to speak the truth, not even his staunch opponents.9

2. The Qur’an is a book that changed peoples and history. It was and still is a source of guidance and inspiration for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Many discerning scholars from other faith communities rejected the prejudicial and polemical negative statement about the Qur’an and expressed their admiration of it. 10 The same appreciation of the Qur’an, contents and style, was expressed in his lifetime, not only by his followers but by his opponents as well.11 In such a case, it would have been more logical to expect the Prophet to claim credit for it if indeed he were the author. It is common for sceptics, when they see a great book to challenge its claimed author to prove that he is indeed the author and that he did not commit any act of plagiarism to glorify himself. However, it sounds illogical to ask the Prophet [p], who disavowed authorship of such a great book and denied any credit for it, to prove that he is not its author!

3. There is no viable reason or for the Prophet [p] to claim the divine source of the Quran if he were indeed its author. People may make false pronouncements so as to benefit from such pronouncements. Leaving the question of his acclaimed truthfulness aside, we may ask: what could have been his motive from doing so? In addition, what gain[s] could he have acquired as a result? Let us examine some possibilities, remote as they may be:

Material gains? This question may be answered by comparing his financial status before and after he stated that he had begun to receive the Qur’anic revelations. About the age of forty, Muhammad [p] had no financial worries. He was a successful and reputed merchant with comfortable income. Furthermore, he was married to Khadijah, a rich businesswoman who loved him so dearly that she placed her wealth under his disposal beyond his entitlements as her “business manager”. Additionally, Muhammad [p] was never known to be obsessed with accumulating wealth. On the contrary, he was always known for his unselfishness and altruism. Even as young boy in the custody of his uncle Abu Talib, he demonstrated dignity and unselfishness. As narrated in Ibn Ishaq, whenever food was served, Abu Talib’s children used to race to get what they wanted, not young Muhammad [p]. That led his uncle to try to save some food for him to make sure that he had enough to eat.12 His wife Khadija, who knew him best, made testimony about such quality. After receiving the first revelation and expressing his fears “that something may happen to me”. Khadijah had no hesitation to assure him “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones” 13

Now, we may ask: what financial benefit did he achieve because of asserting that he was the messenger of Allah? All available information show that he became worse off financially since he and other believers were subjected to harassment and boycott for the entire Makkan period lasting for thirteen years. Even after immigrating to Madinah, where he was accepted by all as the head of that city-state, he chose to live in poverty. His wife `Aisha narrated that two months would elapse without fire being lit in the Prophet’s household [to cook a hot meal], while members of his household survived mainly on a staple of dates and water with occasional gift of milk from their neighbours. 14 In another narration, `Aisha reported that the Prophet and his family never had their full of bread for more than two or three days. 15 Al-No`maan Ibn Basheer stated, “Surely I saw your prophet unable to find enough low-grade dates to fill his stomach”. 16 The Prophet’s bedding was made of ……stuffed in an animal skin. 17 Even after the victories he achieved and at the time of his death, his armour was held as collateral with a Jew for some barley that the Prophet bought from him.18 Surely, the Prophet [p] could have easily lived much more comfortably or at least he could have continued his comfortable life before his call. Not only was he worse off financially after his call, but it is also obvious that he purposely chose a simple life of poverty when he could have lived like a king. Perhaps this was his way of identifying and sympathizing with the poor and needy.

Personal power and leadership? Some may argue that the Prophet [p] may have been after power, respect and influence rather than material gains. This argument is self-contradictory since power and prestige are closely connected with finer clothes, better dwellings and other trappings of power. Furthermore, if the Prophet [p] was after personal power he was certainly going about it the wrong way. A seeker of power in his culture was one who regularly attends the consultation meetings of the chiefs and sages of Makkah to demonstrate his abilities and wisdom. Instead, he used to retire to the cave of Hiraa’ on the top of the mountain to reflect on Allah’s creation seeking to discover the truth that resonates with his innately pure and upright nature. There is no indication that the Prophet [p] aspired to become a leader, let alone a great prophet. That fact was stated clearly in the Qur’an and his adversary were not reported to have
challenged its accuracy. In the Qur’an, we read:

“And you [O Muhammad] had no hope that the Book [the Qur’an] that We
inspired in you, but it is a mercy from your Lord, so never be a helper to
those who reject faith in Allah” Qur’an, 28:86

The Prophet’s reaction to receiving the first revelation in the Cave Hiraa’
may also be revealing. If indeed the Prophet [p] had any ambitions to
become a prophet, he would have come from the cave happy and jubilant
that his supposed “dreams” were finally coming to fruition. His reaction,
however, was the opposite of that. He ran to his wife Khadijah trembling
and terribly worried if the one who spoke to him in the Cave was an evil
spirit. This is not only an historical narration. 19 It was alluded to in the
Qur’an20 with no reported denial of his contemporary detractors.

The proposition that the Prophet were after either personal material gains
or power or both seems illogical and contradictory to available historical
Information. In the early Makkan period and at the outset of his mission, The
Prophet [p] was offered both on a silver platter. He was offered money, power
and leadership and more just in return for his criticism of idolatry. His answer
was unhesitant, uncompromising and firm “… if they place the sun on my right
hand and the moon on my left hand on condition that I give up this matter [his
mission], I will never do so until either Allah makes it manifest [and
promulgated] or I will perish defending it. 21 For any seeker after wealth or
power, this offer is beyond his dreams. It is a huge carrot that does not even
require giving up one’s belief or right to worship. For the Prophet [p] this
generous offer was not only a huge carrot, he was also keenly aware that there is
also a huge stick ready to strike at him, his family and his followers and possibly
assassinate him. Outright rejection of such temptations and readiness to go
through suffering and deprivation, as transpired later on, is a clear indication that
he was unmistakably clear about his mission as Allah’s messenger no matter
what sacrifices it may have taken.

Was he a likely author of the Qur’an? It should be remembered that the Prophet [p] was unlettered and could neither read nor write. The Qur’an alludes to this as well. We read:

“And you [O Muhammad] did not recite any book before it [i.e. revelation
of the Qur’an to you], nor did you write it with your right hand, for then
the mendacious ones would have had grounds for doubt” Qur’an, 29:48

In spite of his many watchful enemies seeking to discredit his pronouncements,
none of them is known to have challenged the accuracy of this clear Qur’anic
pronouncement. Furthermore, there is no known credible historical narration
indicating that up to beginning of his mission at the age of forty, the Prophet was
known to have authored any work or was notable as a poet or orator. To assume
that he started all of a sudden to “author” such a significant and influential book like
the Qur’an is utterly unreasonable.

The Second Explanation: Prophet Muhammad [p] Must Have Learned the Qur’an From Other persons or Sources

Like the first supposed explanation, this second explanation is also common and is expressed explicitly or implicitly. The main argument to support it is that there are several “parallels” between the Qur’an and the Bible. Since the Bible was in existence for hundreds of years before the Qur’an, then these parallels signify that the later book [the Qur’an] must have drawn such information from the earlier book [the Bible]. It argued, furthermore that throughout his travels especially with commercial caravans, Prophet Muhammad [p] must have heard or learned about the notion of the one God, prophets and other Jewish and Christian teachings. Through these sources, it is claimed, he formulated his new religion. This claim is a mere assertion or assumption rather than a factual statement. However, as Tibawi notes, by sheer repetition and wide circulation this assertion and the far-reaching judgments based on it, it was elevated to the dignity of facts. 22 An example of such assertions was made by Montgomery Watt: “Islam would have to admit the fact of its origin, the historical influence of Judaeo-Christian traditions.” 23 Commenting on this statement, Tibawi says : “Here the question of (origins) is taken as settled and referred to as a (fact) without any qualification or discussion”.24 There are least…. arguments to challenge this common assumption:

1. Such a sweeping generalization implies that the most authoritative and authentic source of Islam; the Qur’an originated from human source [s] or at best existing scriptures and not from Allah in the form of direct verbatim revelation to Prophet Muhammad [p] . This assertion is contrary to the internal evidence in the Qur’an, which is echoed in Hadeeth as well. Furthermore, it also implies that that the Prophet’s pronouncements about the divine origin of the Qur’an were untrue, a matter which was negated earlier in the paper in view of the prophet’s undisputed truthfulness and integrity.

2. Historians admit that the similarity between two compositions does not necessarily imply that the later must have copied from the earlier. Both compositions may have been based of a third common source.25 An example of that in Biblical studies is the “synoptic” problem which attempts to explain the similarities between the three “synoptic gospels”, Mark, Matthew and Luke. According to the Qur’an, Allah is the One Common Source of all revelations given to His prophets, and hence the similarities in their teachings

3. Similarities between successive revelations to different prophets do not disqualify any of them as a genuine and truthful prophet of Allah, nor do they disprove that all prophets received direct revelation from Allah. After all, the genuineness of Prophet Jesus [p] cannot be negated or even questioned because most of his teachings are “parallels” to previous Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, he did make explicit mention of previous scriptures to show the continuity and consistency of the core message of Allah, just as the Qur’an did. 26 In fact, there are similarities between some Judaic teachings and the teaching of ancient religions like Hinduism such as many aspects of moral law. Such parallels do not mean that Prophet Moses [p] and all other Israelite prophets were copying from one another or from other human sources rather than being all inspired by The One and Only Divine source; Allah. The Qur’an affirms:

“ Surely We [Allah] sent revelation unto you [O Muhammad] as We did upon
Noah and the prophets after him, and as We sent r sent revelation upon Abraham
and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Aaron and
Solomon, and as We gave David the Psalms” Qur’an, 4:163

4. “The “parallels” argument seems to place two types of “parallels” in the same bag; parallels relating to the core message of Allah which is at the heart of all divine revelations which were preserved intact and perceived parallels which not so in reality. The discussion focused so far on the first type of parallels. However, some of the perceived parallels are not parallels between two genuine revelations, but perceived parallels between the Qur’an and dogmas, theological concepts developed later on and influenced the interpretations of the Biblical text. For example, the story of Adam and Eve and the Forbidden Tree in both the Bible and the Qur’an may appear broadly to be the same. On a closer look, however they do not have the same implications or agree on crucial points or even “facts”. According to the Qur’an, Adam and Eve acknowledged their mistakes, prayed for forgiveness and were forgiven. As such, the Qur’an does not provide a basis for the notion of “original sin”, commonly founded on the Biblical version of the story. Likewise, the Qur’an blames both Adam and Eve equally for their infraction and does not consider women’s suffering during pregnancy and childbirth as punishment that is connected in any way with the “Forbidden Tree” story. 27

5. The Qur’an was revealed in piecemeal manner over a period of about 23 years. Often times, revelations came in response to an issue, a problem, a question or an event in the life of the community. It is totally unreasonable , if not impossible, to make a convincing argument that throughout this extended period, the Prophet [p] was learning from some secret teacher [s] and evading all the watchful eyes of his critics and detractors in such an open community without being “caught”, even once, while doing so and for a period of 23 years. In Madinah, the Prophet [p] was surrounded constantly by his followers and mostly in public, If he were learning from others, how could his closest companions continue to believe him when he continued to affirm that the Qur’an he recited was purely Allah’s revelations?. All attempts to “discover” or even speculate about that unseen teacher [s], to explain the source of the Qur’an, were proven futile, illogical and un-historical. 28

6. I t may be added also that the Prophet [p] was raised in a predominantly idolatrous society for the first 13 years of his mission. Before he immigrated to Madinah, where some Jewish tribes lived, the Qur’anic revelations in Makkah had already articulated Muslim beliefs and the Qur’anic core truths. He was in no need to learn from them or from others. In fact, some Qur’anic verses challenged their contentions and claimed to supersede some of their earlier revelations. More than one prominent learned Rabbi [such as Abdullah Ibn Salaam and Ka`b Al-Ahbaar] accepted him as prophet/teacher. 29

The Third Explanation: The Qur’an Is A Product Of Delusion; Epilepsy Or Religious Hallucinations

It was contended that while the Prophet [p] was sincere and truthful, he probably suffered from epilepsy and it was during his epileptic seizures that he uttered what came to be the Qur’an. Reference is made sometimes to the reported state of the Prophet [p] at the times when he was visited by Archangel Gabriel to bring new revelations as reported in Hadeeth. Scientific developments in the study of epilepsy made this speculation utterly unscientific. Epileptic seizures occur because of disruption to the normal functioning of the brain. During epileptic seizures, generally speaking, the patient becomes incapable of sensible or even discernable speech. This is especially true of “generalized” seizures. 30
Once the epileptic seizure is over, the patient would have no memory of what happened to him or her during the seizure. None of the symptoms of other types of even partial seizures matches the state of the Prophet [P], whether during receiving revelations or at any other time. After revelation was completed, he remembered vividly every word of it as if it were ‘engraved on a stone”. It is true that many figures of history were famous and talented in spite of their suffering from epilepsy. This author is unaware of any historical precedent when any person made his most brilliant achievement because of his epilepsy and during its disabling seizures. This claim this is like claiming that Napoleon came up with his most brilliant war strategy during his epileptic seizures or that an epileptic artist painted his most brilliant drawings while going through the convulsions of epileptic seizures.

Equally untenable is to dismiss the contents of the Qur’an as religious delusion, hallucination or imaginations. Sometimes a good face is put on that contention such as praising the prophet for his pure innate nature that led him to be disenchanted with idolatry, injustice and moral corruption of his people, concerns that made him eager to help uplift his people. With these noble feeling he began to “convince himself” that he is the person to be entrusted by Allah to carry this responsibility. With the passage of time, these ideas began to “jell’ in his mind until it became a firm convictions at which time he began to imagine hearing voices from above and having “vision” relating to his prophetic role. In fact, one writer, Andrae Tor, speculated at length that the prophet probably had some “secret desire” to be famous. Yet, the same writer could not help but admit that the Prophet was not guilty of planning for his role as a prophet 31 It is noteworthy that some of the proponents of such theories are not necessarily atheists who do not believe in revelation let alone God, but persons who hail from Jewish or Christian backgrounds whose own faith is based on acceptance of divine revelation given to prophets in some form or the other. If they apply the same arguments to their own faiths, it may lead to the rejection of the prophethood of all prophets and perceiving them simply as good persons who were all deluded in thinking that Allah was revealing to them or guiding them. Imagine Prophet Moses being deluded that Allah spoke to him on Mount Sinai or gave him the Torah, or Prophet Jesus [p] imagining only that the “Father” revealed to him what he taught his people?. If revelation is mere illusion, then it must be applied across the board and not selectively. Similarly, if the phenomenon of revelation, beyond full human grasp as it may be, is accepted, then it should be accepted across the board as a reasonable phenomenon irrespective of debates about which part is original and which is interpretive, or which part was preserved intact and which was not.

Conclusion

This paper began with the definition of the issue under examination; who is the real author [s] of the Qur’an. The basic methodology was outlined. Such methodology was implemented by examining the internal and external evidence relating to the source [s] of the Qur’an. The textual evidence or internal evidence was both definitive and ample. External evidence seems to negate the most common explanations of the source [s] of the Qur’an. Negation, while helpful, may generate enough interest to find more positive and affirmative evidence from largely “neutral” sources, including certain discoveries related to history and other scientific discoveries made centuries after the “revelation” of the Qur’an. This will be, hopefully, the topic of another paper.

Endnotes

1. The Arabic term “Allah” is more correctly a proper name of God. In any case, it refers to the One and Only Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher of the Universe. It is the same term used to refer to God by Christian Arabs and is found also in Arabic Bibles. The term is strikingly similar to the Aramaic “Alaaha”, which also refers to God. From Muslim perspective, the Term Allah is preferable than God, not only because it is the proper name of God, but also because the term Allah is not subject to gender or plurality [linguistically]. The term Allah will be used throughout this paper.
2. [P] Is an abbreviation of “peace be upon him”, a formula that Muslims utter loudly or softly when the name of any prophet is mentioned.
3. See for example, Hart, Michael H., The 100: a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Citadel Press, Secaucus, NJ, 2001. While Hart ranks Prophet Muhammad [p] as the most influential person in history, he does not seem to accept his prophet hood.
4. Hadeeth refers to the words, actions and approvals of Prophet Muhammad [p] in matters of faith and practice. It is believed to be a revelation in meaning but the words are those of the Prophet [p]. Sound [authentic] Hadeeth is the second most important source of Islam after the Qur’an.
5. Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim [compiled by Muslim Al-Naysaboori, summarized by Zakiyuddeen Al-Montheri and edited by Nasiruddeen Al-Albaani], 3rd printing, Al-Maktab Al-Islaami, Damascus, 1977. Hadeeth # 19, p.13.
6. Translation of the meaning of the Qur’an in this paper is mainly based on The Glorious Qur’an with English Commentary [Translated by Ali Ozek et al], 80th Edition, Why Islam, Piscataway, NJ, 2003. This author made some modifications for the sake of greater clarity.
7. See for example, Sahih Al-Bukhari [compiled by Muhammad Isma`il Al-Bukhari and translated by Muhammad Khan], Maktabat Al-Riyadh Al-Hadeethah, Riyadh, 1981, Vol.1, Hadeeth # 2- 5, pp. 2-6.
8. References to these issues in the Qur’an include 81:8 and 5:93. One of the most valuable references in pursuing this line of questioning is Draz, Muhammad A., Al-Naba’ al-Adheem, Dar al-Qalam, Kuwait, 1970. I am indebted to Dr. Drazo this issue.
9. At the age of forty, when the Prophet began to the public call to Islam, when he asked his people if they would trust him if he were to tell them that there is an army behind the mountain getting ready to invade them, they answered “we never experienced you telling a lie”. This clearly shows why they consistently gave him the nickname “The truthful” or “ the trustworthy” . See Muhammad Abu Zahrah, Khaatam Al-Nabiyyeen[p], Dar Al-Fikr Al-Arabi, Cairo, 1972, Vol. 1, pp.431-432.
10. See for example, Michael A. Sells, Approaching the Qur’an: The early Revelation, White Cloud Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2000.
11. The Makkans sent one of their most eloquent men, Utbah, to speak with the Prophet [p]. After listening to a few verses from the Qur’an, Utbah went back to his people, “they were struck by the change of expression on his face”. When asked what happened to him he answered, “I heard utterance the like of which I never yet heard. It is not poetry, by God, neither is it sorcery nor soothsaying..”, see Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, Islamic Texts Society and George Allen & Erwin, London, 1983, pp. 60-61.
12. See Muhammad Abu Zahrah, Khaatam Al-Nabiyyeen[p], Op Cit., Vol. 1, p.175.
13. Sahih Al-Buhkari, Op.Cit. Hadeeth # 3A, pp.2-4.
14. AI-Nawawi, Riyadh Al- Saliheen, Dar Al-Warraq, Riyadh, 1991, Hadeeth # 492.
15. Ibid, Hadeeth # 491 and 493
16. Ibid, Hadeeth # 495
17. Ibid, Hadeeth # 507
18. Ibid, Hadeeth # 504
19. Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources ,Op.Cit., P.44.
20. The Qur’an, Op. Cit., 73:1-5 and 74:1-7.
21. Muhammad Abu Zahrah, Khaatam Al-Nabiyyeen[p], Op.Cit., P.537.
22. Shih Al-Bukhari, Op.Cit, Hadeeth # 3A and 3B, pp.2-5.
23. The Qur’an, Op. Cit., 29:48.
24. A.L. Tibawi, English Speaking Orientalists, The Islamic Centre, Geneva, Switzerland, 1965, P.17.
25. Montgomery Watt, Islam and the Integration of Society, London, 1961, p.263 cited in Tibawi, Op.Cit. p.22.
26. Tibawi, Op.Cit, p.22.
27. The story of the “forbidden tree” appears in both the Bible [Genesis , Chapter 3] and
In the Qur’an [e.g. 2:35-37, 7:19-25, 20:120-122].
28. The Qur’an alludes to the futility of the Makkans’ attempts to “find” any potential “teacher” who might have taught all this knowledge to Muhammad [p] in more than one place. See for example The Qur’an, Op. Cit., 23:69 and 16:103.
29. Muhammad Ibn Sa`d, Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kobra, Dar Saader, Beirut, 1985, Vol. 1, pp.360-363.
30. Walker, Matthew C. and Shorvon, Simon, Understanding Epilepsy, Family Doctor Publication Limited in association with the British medical Association, 2006. It is interesting to note that the authors include the name of Prophet Muhammad [P] among the names of other famous “epileptic” historical figures including Julius Caesar, St. Paul, Buddha, Alexander the Great and Joan of Arc [P.1]. When discussing the varieties of partial and generalized forms of epileptic seizures, they fail to match any of them with any authentic report about Prophet Muhammad [P], or any of the listed persons in their introduction for that matter. They speak, however, with authority as clinical neurologists, not as historians or theologians, let alone with any basic knowledge about the Prophet of Islam. They simply repeat similar unverified statements oft repeated by some Western scholars and uncritically accepted.
31. Andrae Tor, Mohammed: The Man and His Faith [translated by Theophil Menzel], Harper and Row, NY, 1995 [Revised Edition], p.94