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 in Sura 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."
"Heaven" 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 example Sura 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.
The Verses which inspire Dr. Bucaille to do the research around this incident are in Sura 10, Verses 90 to 92, which mean as follows:
"We (Allah) took the children of Israel across the sea. Pharaoh with his hosts pursued them in rebellion and hostility till, when the fact of his drowning overtook him he said: I believe there is no True God except the God in whom the Children of Israel believe. I am of those who submit themselves to Him. (It was said to him) 'Now! Thou has rebelled and caused depravity: This day we save thee in the body so that thou mayest be a sign for those who come after thee' But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our signs."
This is what the Holy Qur'an said about the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the sign Allah left for the people who come after the Pharaoh to see who has a revelation from Allah and who does not have. Let us hear from Dr. Bucaille how he conducted research to verify this Qur'anic story:
"In June 1975, the Egyptian high authorities very kindly allowed me to examine the parts of the Pharaoh's body that had been covered until then. They also allowed me to take photographs... What may already be derived from this examination is the discovery of multiple lesions of the bones with broad lacunae, some of which may have been mortal although it is not yet possible to ascertain whether some of them occurred before or after the Pharaoh's death. He most probably died either from drowning, according to the scriptural narrations, or from very violent shocks preceding the moment when he was drowned or both at once. The connection of these lesions with the deterioration whose sources have been mentioned above renders the correct preservation of the mummy of the Pharaoh somewhat problematical, unless precautionary and restorative measures are not taken very soon. These measures should ensure that the only concrete evidence which we still possess today concerning the death of the Pharaoh of the Exodus and the rescue of his body, willed by God; does not disappear with the passage of time. It is always desirable for man to apply himself to the preservation of relics of his history, but here we have something which goes beyond that: it is the material presence of the mummified body of the man who knew Moses, resisted his pleas, pursued him as he took flight and lost his life in the process. His earthly remains were saved by the Will of God from destruction to become a sign to man, as it is written in the Qur'an.
Those who seek among modern data for proof of the veracity of the Holy Scriptures will find a magnificent illustration of the verses of the Qur'an dealing with the Pharaoh's body by visiting the Royal Mummies Room of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo! "
These are a few examples just to illustrate what I am talking about in this booklet. There are over a hundred of these examples in several scientific fields in the Qur'an which all have been proven to be scientifically true, in this Book which was revealed fourteen hundred years ago. Anybody who would like to examine more of these concepts could read the Qur'an and find out for himself or, an interested person could get Dr. Bucaille's book "The Bible, The Qur'an and Science" which is available in bookstores, and check the accuracy of what he referred to. Not only Dr. Bucaille and Dr. Moore, but many scholars have researched these concepts and a lot of this research was presented on September 23rd, 1985 in the conference which was held in Cairo under the title of "The Scientific Concepts in the Qur'an."
Several papers were presented at the conference. One of the most interesting papers was from Dr. T.V. Persuade, a professor at the University of Manitoba, Canada, about human reproduction. Another interesting paper was presented by Dr. Marshal Johnson Ph.D., the Director of Daniel Baugh Institute, Philadelphia, USA, also about embryology in the Qur'an. Dr. Johnson said at the conference that he started to use the Qur'anic terms in teaching embryology to his students because they were more accurate and easier to learn than the terms in textbooks.
Dr. Arthur Elson from the City University in London, UK, stated that he was amazed by the scientific accuracy of the statements which had been made in the Qur'an. He had no doubt in his mind that these were not human words because these facts had just been discovered recently.
I would like to quote a Verse from the Qur'an which may sum up the purpose of having these scientific facts in the Qur'an as signs for the people.
The verse is from Sura 41, Verse 53 which is translated as follows:
"We (Allah ) will show them (the unbelievers) Our signs in the farthest regions, and within their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth."
What is the Quran all about?The Quran is written in beautiful prose that continues to be marveled at by the experts of the Arabic language. But it is not merely a literary masterpiece.
The Quran contains scientific facts and explanations that fascinate scientists of all fields. But it is not an encyclopedia of science.
The Quran mentions stories of people and places in the past with vivid detail. But it is not merely a book of history.
So what is the Quran?The Quran is a revelation from the Creator of this universe to all human beings. Its most important message is the Unity of God - that there is only One Supreme Being who has no partners and is not dependent on anyone or anything. He is the Creator of everything and the whole universe is in His control. He is the only One worthy of being worshipped.
It is impossible for the created to fully comprehend the Creator - so the Quran makes us aware of Him by mentioning His Attributes. He is the most Merciful, the Loving, the Majestic, the Oft-Forgiving. The name that He has chosen for Himself is Allah.
In His infinite mercy, Allah has not left mankind to wander searching for the correct path. He has revealed the Quran which includes a code for all people to follow. Islam is not just a set of beliefs. It is a complete way of life which covers all spheres of human activity - the social, economic, political, educational as well as the spiritual. Islam enjoins good manners for every occasion and stresses treating people, particularly relatives and neighbors, with kindness. The family enjoys a high status in Islam - it is viewed as the nucleus of society.
Allah has also sent messengers to guide mankind to the truth and to be an example for others to emulate. Stories of these messengers starting from Adam and including those of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, and ending with Mohammed (may peace be upon them all) are found in the Quran.
This final revelation from Allah to mankind has been safeguarded from any alteration. Since the Quran has been preserved in its original Arabic it has not lost any meaning in translation to another language. Millions of people from all parts of the world have memorized the complete Quran. So even if all printed copies of the Quran were destroyed it would continue to live in the hearts of these people.
What do Muslims believe?
There is only one God, Allah, who alone is worthy of being worshipped. Mankind has been guided at various times by the messengers of Allah of whom the most prominent were Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. The final message was sent to the last prophet, Mohammed, which replaces all previous messages. None of the prophets claimed to be god or part-god - they were human and were obedient to Allah.
Finally, I want to inform you that Islam is the universal message of Allah to all mankind and prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) is the last and final messenger of Allah. Therefore, Allah will not accept any way of life except Islam. He said in the Gracious Qur'an which is translated as follows:
"And any one who chooses a way of life other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers." (3:85)Please save yourself by embracing Islam.
Suggested ReadingIf you wish to know more about Islam you may refer to the following books:
- "Fundamentals of Tawheed" by Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips.
- "Towards understanding Islam" by Abul Ala Al-Moudoodi.
- "Salvation through Repentance" by Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips.
- "The Bible, The Qur'an and Science" by Maurice Bucaille.
- "Al-Qur'an The Miracle of Miracles" by Ahmed Deedat.
- "The True Religion" by Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips