Do You Know This Book?
By M. Tahlawi
This booklet is for every free thinking and broadminded human being whose goal is to find the truth. We encourage you to read this booklet with an open mind. For a few moments, please set aside your pre-conceived notions and take a critical
look at what is presented. It will open before you a new dimension of your role as a human being in this universe.
When we want to talk about Islam as a way of life, it is a very difficult task especially in the West because of several misconceptions and stereotypes that are prevalent about Islam and Muslims.
One of the surprising facts for most non-Muslims is that Islam has over 975 million followers all over the world. Islam has a revelation, a holy book, called the Qur'an which was revealed to the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, about fourteen hundred years ago. The Qur'an is the last and final revelation until the end of human existence on earth.
When we talk about Islam or Christianity, we should not consider some Muslims' and Christians' wrongdoings as a way to judge Islam or Christianity.
As far as scripture goes, let us see what Dr. Maurice Bucaille said in his book "The Bible, the Qur'an and Science", which was published by the American Trust Publications 1979:
"Thanks to its undisputed authenticity, the text of the Qur'an holds a unique place among the books of Revelation, shared neither by the Old nor the New Testament. In the first two sections of this work, a review was made of the alterations undergone by the Old Testament and the Gospels before they were handed down to us in the form we know today. The same is not true for the Qur'an for the simple reason that it was written down at the time of the prophet".
Somebody with a counter argument might ask, "How would I know that the Qur'an is a revelation from Allah?" Do you have any evidence?"
I have evidence that the Qur'an is a revelation from Allah and this evidence is presented in the next few pages. When the revelation of the Qur'an commenced in 622 A.D., it was a linguistic miracle. The Qur'an has a challenge in it. The challenge is for anybody to produce some thing like or similar to the Qur'an.
This challenge was present in the Qur'an inSura no. 17, verse no. 88
which is translated as follows:
" Say: If the whole of mankind and Jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they back up each other with help and support."
Years passed and nobody was able to meet the challenge. Later (after several years) the challenge in the Qur'an was eased asking for anyone to produce even ten Suras like those in it. This was in the Quran in Sura no. 11, verse no. 13
which is translated as follows:
" or they may say, "He forged it" Say, "Bring ye then ten Suras forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever ye can, other than Allah! If ye speak the truth"
Again years passed and nobody was able to successfully meet the challenge. Later the challenge was eased for the second time to produce one Sura like or similar to the Suras in the Qur'an. The challenge (to anyone) to produce one Sura was presented in the Qur'an in more than a Sura, one of them was in Sura no. 2, Verse no. 23
which is translated as follows:
"And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers besides Allah, if what you say is true."
Since then, more than fourteen hundred years have passed, and nobody has been able to meet the challenge, and nobody will, because the Qur'an is the only existing book containing the word of Allah which no man can match or imitate.
The most eloquent people in the Arabic language spent years going over and searching the Qur'an, trying to find any weak or inadequate word or sentence, but they could not. They even went further, trying to find a way to substitute a word or a sentence in the Qur'an, hoping to convey a similar meaning as the original one, but they failed to do so.
As a result of this, many people, especially linguists, throughout the last fourteen hundred years believed in the Qur'an as a revelation beyond any human capacity.
In the beginning of the modern ages, some non-Muslims argued that the appreciation of the Arabic language has declined even among the native speakers themselves, and that most of the non-Muslims cannot speak Arabic. They conclude that the Qur'an will not stay till the end of the human existence on earth as a miracle.
This is not a valid argument because there are still millions of people all over the world who have a very good command of the Arabic language and who can appreciate the linguistic miracle of the Qur'an. But the Qur'an has something else for the modern ages. Some people have noticed that there are many facts about the science of astronomy, human reproduction and other scientific fields in the Qur'an.
Modern scientists have been amazed by the accuracy of scientific information presented in the Quran. Some people wrote books about this phenomenon which attracted the attention of many people in the west - both Muslims and Non- Muslims.
One of these books is a specialized book in embryology entitled The Developing Human by Dr. Keith L. Moore, published by W.B. Saunders, 1982. In the third edition of this book, Dr. Moore said:
"It is cited in the Koran, the holy book of the Muslims, that human beings are produced from a mixture of secretions from the male and the female. Several references are made to the creation of a human being from a sperm drop and it is also suggested that the resulting organism settles in the woman like a seed, six days after its beginning. (The human blastocyst begins to implant about six days after fertilization.) The Koran, (and prophet saying), also states that the sperm drop develops 'into a clot of congealed blood' (an implanted blastocyst or a spontaneously aborted conceptus would resemble a blood clot.) Reference is also made to the leech-like appearance of the embryo... "
This was part of what Dr. Moore wrote in his book. Later, after more research and study of the Qur'anic terms used to describe the development of the embryo in the mother's womb and other related descriptions, Dr. Moore found that the Qur'anic terms and statements are amazing in their scientific accuracy.
Therefore, Dr. Moore decided to add a chapter to the next edition of his book to discuss the scientific accuracy of the Qur'anic version, which was revealed fourteen hundred years ago. In the seventh Saudi Medical Meeting, Dr. Moore wrote a paper about human embryology in the Qur'an and the Hadith. He said in the paper: "I was amazed at the scientific accuracy of these statements (in the Qur'an), which were made in the 7th century A.D."
Now the question is: if the Qur'an describes these scientific facts with great accuracy, how could it be a human work? Let us see what Dr. Maurice Bucaille said after he had read the Qur'an:
"My first goal was to read the Qur'an and to make a sentence by sentence analysis of it... my approach was to pay special attention to the description of numerous natural phenomena given in the Qur'an; the highly accurate nature of certain details referring to them in the Book, which was only apparent in the original, struck me by the fact that they were in keeping with present-day ideas although a man living at the time of Mohammed couldn't have suspected this at all...what initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text of this kind is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed... whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible I could not find a single error in the Qur'an. I had to stop and ask myself: if a man was the author of the Qur'an how could he have written facts in the seventh century A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?... What human explanation can there be to this observation? In my opinion there is no explanation; there is no special reason why an inhabitant of the Arabian Peninsula should have had scientific knowledge on certain subjects that was ten centuries ahead... It is an established fact that at the time of the Qur'anic Revelation, i.e. within a period of roughly twenty three years straddling Hegira (622 A.D.), scientific knowledge had not progressed for centuries and the period of activity in Islamic civilization, with its accompanying scientific upsurge, came after the close of the Qur'anic revelation."
In addition to what Dr. Bucaille said, there are more examples from different scientific fields other than embryology.
When I searched the Qur'an for verses which refer to scientific facts, I found a large number of such verses. I will try to give as many examples as the space permits.
The Qur'an states several facts about astronomy which were discovered in the late twentieth century. One of these facts is about the expansion of the universe. Let us see what Dr. Bucaille said about that:
"The expansion of the universe is the most imposing discovery of modern science today. It is a firmly established concept and the only debate centres around the way this is taking place. It was first suggested by the general theory of relativity and is backed up by physics in the examination of the galactic spectrum; the regular movement towards the red section of their spectrum may be explained by the distancing of one galaxy from another. Thus the size of the Universe is probably constantly increasing and this increase will become bigger the further away the galaxies are from us. The speeds at which these celestial bodies are moving may, in the course of this perpetual expansion, go from fractions of the speed of light to speeds faster than this."
The following Verse of the Qur'an Sura 51, verse 47
where God is speaking, may perhaps be compared with modern ideas;
"The heaven, we have built it with power. Verily we are expanding it."
is the translation of the word "sama"
and this is exactly the extraterrestrial world that is meant. "We are expanding it" is the translation of the plural present participle "musi'una" of the verb "aus'a" meaning "to make wider, more spacious, to extend, to expand".
Another example from a different scientific field is about the living things in general which we can find in more than one verse in the Qur'an. For exampleSura 21, Verse 30
was chosen by Dr. Bucaille to present how the Qur'an talked about these scientific facts. The Verse is translated as follows:
"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then we clove them asunder and we got every living thing out of the water. Will they then not believe?"
The notion of "getting something out of something"
does not give rise to any doubts. The phrase can equally mean that every living thing was made of water (as its essential component) or that every living thing originated in water. The two possible meanings are strictly in accordance with scientific data. Life is in fact of aquatic origin and water is the major component of all living cells. Without water, life is not possible. When the possibility of life on another planet is discussed, the first question is always: does it contain a sufficient quantity of water to support life?
From the Animal Kingdom there are so many facts stated in the Qur'an. One of these facts is about the source of the constituents of animal milk which has been described in the Qur'an fourteen hundred years before. It has been understood only in recent times. Let us see how Dr. Bucaille explained that when he made comments on Sura 16, Verse 66
which is translated as follows:
"Verily, in cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of what is inside their bodies, coming from a conjunction between the contents of the intestine and the blood, a milk pure and pleasant for those who drink it."
"From a scientific point of view, physiological notions must be called upon to grasp the meaning of this verse. The substances that ensure the general nutrition of the body come from chemical transformations which occur along the length of the digestive tract. These substances come from the contents of the intestine. On arrival in the intestine at the appropriate stage of chemical transformation, they pass through its wall and towards the systematic circulation. This passage is effected in two ways: either directly, by what are called the Lymphatic vessels', or indirectly, by the portal circulation. This conducts them first to the liver, where they undergo alterations, and from here they then emerge to join the systematic circulation. In this way every thing passes through the blood-stream.. The constituents of milk are secreted by the mammary glands. These are nourished, as it were, by the product of food digestion brought to them via the bloodstream. Blood therefore plays the role of collector and conductor of what has been extracted from food, and it brings nutrition to the mammary glands, the producers of milk, as it does to any other organ. Here the initial process which sets everything else in motion is the bringing together of the contents of the intestine and blood at the level of the intestinal wall itself. This very precise concept is the result of the discoveries made in the chemistry and physiology of the digestive system. It was totally unknown at the time of the Prophet Mohammed and has been understood only in recent times. The discovery of the circulation of the blood, was made by Harvey roughly ten centuries after the Qur'anic Revelation. I consider that the existence in the Qur'an of the verse referring to these concepts can have no human explanation on account of the period in which they were formulated."
The last example I would cite from Dr. Bucaille's book is what I consider a very interesting one, because this example illustrates where the Qur'an showed the people facts that have not even been discovered without the help of the information given in the Qur'an. This example is about the story of the Pharaoh and Moses which was presented in the Qur'an in more than one Sura.
To be continued...