By Imam Eesaa Wood
In last month’s article, we addressed that many people have concerns accepting Muhammad (P.B.U.H) as The Messenger of God. In that article, we took ourselves as well as any potential person we may be trying to convince through a logical progression to prove, without using “faith claims”, that The Prophet was truthful, God conscious, mentally sound and sincere in calling mankind to worship The One and only Creator. This month, we want to explore some of the signs of his prophethood. After all, signs are available for those who wish to see.
A great debater once illustrated that man often asks to be shown proof. However, when the proof is given, the one asking for it has their eyes closed and says that they don’t “see” any proof. In that way, we should understand that no amount of evidence will convince a person who has already ruled out the possibility for Muhammad being a prophet. God the Most High even reminds us that absolute indisputable proof immediately condemns the person asking for it who doesn’t accept it on the spot. “They (disbelievers) say, “Why has no ‘visible’ angel come with him (the Prophet)?” Had We (God) sent down an angel, the matter would have certainly been settled ‘at once’, and they (the disbelievers) would have never been given more time ‘to repent’ (Clear Quran 6:8). So, it is a mercy from The Almighty that the proof we offer today requires some reflection on the part of the reader.
Let’s examine a few undisputed facts shall we? Today, Muslims all over the world have the same Quran. It contains over 500 pages of Arabic text that are continuously recited in the five ritual daily prayers and in religious gatherings all over the earth. We can be very confident that the Qur’an we recite today is the same Qur’an that the Prophet recited to his companions from 610 to 632 of the Common Era. The Birmingham manuscripts, recently discovered in the basement of a British museum, contain portions of the Quran. The carbon dating on these manuscripts falls right over the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Those portions have little to no difference in them from the same ones recited today. But beyond these early manuscripts of the Quran, we have an amazing and miraculous system that has preserved the Qur’an from corruption since its beginning.
Miracle one: The Preservation of The Quran in the five daily prayers established in the life of the Prophet.
According to The Prophet, Muslims should pray at least five daily prayers. At least three of these obligatory prayers are recited aloud by the prayer leader each day at mosques, in homes and at places of work throughout the world. In the prayer, the communities praying behind the prayer leader, who like him have memorized the Quranic text being recited in the prayer, are responsible to correct the order and pronunciation of the Quranic recitation by the leader if a mistake is made. If someone wanted to add or delete some portion of the Quran, they would have to convince the local leader and congregation behind him of this new correction, but it doesn’t stop there. Muslims also have Friday prayer, a larger community prayer where the local small prayer halls and Mosques close so that the community can go to the bigger citywide Masjid for Jummah prayer. They would also have to convince those people as well of the new correction. Still further we have the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca where millions of Muslims from all over the Earth convene for prayer in the Grand Masjid Al-Haram once each year. You would have to convince them as well. In reality you would have to go all over the world and convince each individual Muslim one by one of this new correction in order to achieve the goal of changing the Quran. This is virtually an impossible task. This system has always preserved the Quran. As God said in the Quran, “It is certainly We who have revealed The Reminder (the Quran), and it is certainly We who will preserve it.” Clear Quran 15:9 So it goes without saying that we recite the same Quran as those before us.
When God says something in the Quran, we can be assured that it will happen in an extraordinary way as a “sign” of its divine origin. Let’s just take a few examples of signs from the Quran. Firstly, God calls the book of the Islam (68 times), “The Quran”. Quran means “that which is recited continuously”. Secondly, God calls the opening chapter of the Quran (Suratul-Fatihah), “the seven often-repeated verses.” Clear Quran 15:87 Finally, God says to The Prophet Muhammad, “And (have We not) elevated your renown for you?” Clear Quran 94:4 Bear in mind that originally these statements in the Quran were revealed to a few hundred followers of Islam. Let’s see how all of these statements have manifested themselves over 1,400 years as signs. Remember we’re looking to see if the Quran is recited continuously by people, that the opening chapter is repeated often and that the Prophets repute has been raised.
Miracle two: The overwhelming number of times that the Quran, it’s opening chapter and The Prophet are mentioned by Muslims.
There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims on earth today. There are few if any Muslims on earth today or in the past who have not offered a least one ritual prayer in their lifetime (Salatul-Eid for example, which is prayed twice a year on Muslim Holidays). In those prayers, there are obligatory elements that the Prophet mandated for the prayer to be acceptable to God. The recitation of the opening chapter of the Quran and the proclamation of Faith (I testify that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is God’s Messenger) are necessary for the prayer to be considered valid.
That means on holidays, at least 1.6 billion times the opening of the Quran is recited and Muhammad is proclaimed as God’s messenger twice a year. Now assume that all these Muslims offered their 5 daily prayers any given day of the year. With 19 repeating units in those five prayers, that would work out to 30,400,000,000 times the opening of the Quran is recited and 14,400,000,000 times that Muhammad is called God’s messenger (9 testimonies of faith in those 19 units). Even one practicing Muslim who prays their 5 daily prayers for 50 years strait will say the opening chapter 1,733,750 times and “Muhammad is God’s Messenger” 821,250 times! When you start factoring in the billions of Muslims that have lived over the past 1,400 years and all the voluntary and ritual prayers they have offered, these numbers become so astronomically high that…well one has to admit that The Quran is recited often, the first chapter is indeed often-repeated and the prophets renown is elevated. As Allah says, “Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.” Clear Quran 13:3
It’s also worth mentioning that the Prophet’s name as God’s messenger is shouted in the call to prayer around the clock from the tops of Mosques throughout the earth everyday of the year. Today, there could be as many as 1,000,000 Mosques and prayer halls where this is done in almost every county on the planet!
Outside of the Quran you have prophecies that Muhammad made about the Future. The most famous of which is contained in the well-known Prophetic narration of Gabriel (Mentioned in the most famous and accepted book of authentic statements from the Prophet: Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih-Muslim). The Arch-Angel Gabriel comes to the Prophet and asks him to narrate the signs of the Day of Judgment. He responded, “When the poor Arabs begin to compete with others in the construction of higher buildings.” Today we see the Burj khalifa (the tallest in the world), Abraj Al-Bait towers (the 3rd tallest in the world) and the soon to be Jeddah tower (which will be the new tallest building in the world). All these buildings reside in different parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Let’s examine how unlikely this prophecy was to have happened.
Miracle three: The unlikely chance that the Arabs would become so wealthy as to build the tallest buildings on Earth.
For more than 2,000 years there existed few if any buildings in the Arabian Peninsula that were greater than a few floors. Arab civilization, despite being as ancient and longer lasting than the Roman, Persian, or Egyptian civilizations around it, had little in terms of structures to compare. In the 19th and 20th centuries, God caused the industrial civilization to sweep the globe. One of the Major fuels of the revolution in technology and transportation was and still is today petroleum. Guess where God caused some of the largest supplies of petroleum to be found on earth? That’s right, Arabia. Now some of the poorest Arabs on earth become some of the richest people in the world. What do they do with their money? Literally compete to build the tallest building in the world. Had these unlikely events not all lined up so “coincidentally”, none of this would be possible. Without the industrial revolution, petroleum as its fuel and those large deposits of oil in Arabia, there would be no way for the Muslim community to “make” this prophecy come true.
Indeed, we could go on and on about the signs and miracles contained in the many prophecies of the Quran and of the Prophet Himself, but these that we have offered today are a great place to begin, insha’Allah.