by Ahmed Deedat
Say: If the whole of mankind and jinns
were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur`an, they could not produce the
like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.
What is a miracle?
I think it is necessary that we have a clear picture of what we mean by a miracle. Here
are some definitions:-
"An event that appears so inexplicable by the laws of nature, that it is held to
be supernatural in origin or an act of God." "A person, thing or event that
excites admiring awe." "An act beyond human power, an impossibility."
It is logical that greater the impossibility, greater the miracle. For example, should
a person expire before our very eyes and is certified dead by a qualified medical man,
yet later on a mystic or a saint commands the corpse to 'arise!', and to everybody's
astonishment the person gets up and walks away , we would label that as a miracle. But if
the resurrection of the dead took place after the corpse had been in the mortuary for
three days, then we would acclaim this as a greater miracle. And if the dead was made to
arise from the grave, decades or centuries after the body had decomposed and rotted away,
then in that case we would label it the greatest miracle of them all!
A Common Trait:
It has been a common trait of mankind since time immemorial that whenever a guide from God
appeared to redirect their steps into the will and plan of God; they demanded supernatural
proofs from these men of God, instead of accepting message on its merit.
For example, when Jesus Christ (pbuh) began to preach to his people - "the
children of Israel" - to mend their ways and to refrain from mere legalistic
formalism and imbibe the true spirit of the laws and commandments of god, his 'people'
demanded miracles from him to prove his bona fides ( his authenticity , his genuineness),
as recorded in the Christian scriptures:
Then certain of the scribes and the Pharisees answered, saying master, we would have a
sign ( miracle ) from thee. But he answered and said unto them, "an evil and
adulterous generation seeketh after a sign (miracle) and there shall no sign be given to
it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas ( Matthew 12:38-39 holy bible)
Though on the face of it, Jesus (pbuh) refuses to pamper the Jews here, in actual fact,
he did perform many miracles as we learn from the gospel narratives.
The holy Bible is full of supernatural events accredited to the prophets from their Lord.
In reality all those 'signs' and 'wonders' and 'miracles' were acts of God, but since
those miracles were worked through his human agents, we describe them as the miracles of
prophets (i.e. Moses or Jesus (pbuh) by those hands they were performed).
Some six hundred years after the birth of Jesus (pbuh), Muhammad (pbuh) the messenger of
God was born in Makkah in Arabia. When he proclaimed his mission at the age of forty, his
fellow countrymen, the mushriks of Makkah made an identical request for miracles, as had
the Jews, from their promised Messiah. Text book style, it was as if the Arabs
had taken a
leaf from the Christian records. History has a habit of repeating itself!
And they say: why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord? (Holy Quran
SIGNS! WHAT SIGNS!!
"Miracles ? Cries he, what miracles would you have? Are not you yourselves there? God
made you 'shaped you out of a little clay.' Ye were small once; a few years ago ye were
not at all. Ye have beauty, strength, thoughts, 'ye have compassion on one another.' Old
age comes-on you, and gray hairs; your strength fades into feebleness: ye sink down, and
again are not. 'Ye have compassion on one another': This struck me much: Allah might have
made you having no compassion on one another, how had it been then! this is a great direct
though, a glance at first-hand into the very fact of things...." "(On heroes
hero-worship and the heroic in history,") by Thomas Carlyle.
"This Struck Me Much"
This, that "ye have compassion on one another", impressed Thomas Carlyle most
from his perusal of an English translation. I presume, there verse that motivated this
1. And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among
that ye may dwell in tranquility with them. and He has put love and mercy between your
(hearts): verily in that are signs for those who reflect. (emphasis added) Translation by
A Yusuf Ali (Quran 30:21)
2. And one of His signs it is, that He hath created wives for you of your own species
that ye may dwell with them, and hath put love and tenderness between you. herein truly
are signs for those who reflect (emphasis added) Translation by Rev. J.M. Rodwell (M.A.)
3. By another sign He gave you wives from among yourselves, that ye might live in joy
with them, and planted love and kindness into your hearts. surely there are signs in this
for thinking men(emphasis added) Translation by N.J. Dawood.
The first example is from the translation by Yusuf Ali, a Muslim. The second is by a
Christian priest the rev. Rodwell and the last example is by an Iraqi Jew, N.J.
Unfortunately Thomas Carlyle had no access to any one of these because none of them had
seen the light of day in his time. The only one available to him in 1840 was as he said on
page 85 of his book under reference - "We also can read the Koran; our translation of
it, by sale, is known to be a very fair one."
Taint Is In The Motive:
Carlyle is very charitable to his fellow countryman. The motives of George
pioneered an English translation of the Holy Quran, were suspect. He makes no secret of
his antagonism to the holy book of Islam. In his preface to his translation in 1734 he
made it known that it was his avowed intention to expose the man Mohammad and his forgery.
He records: "who can apprehend any danger from so manifest a forgery?... The
protestants alone are able to attack the Koran with success; and for them, I trust,
providence has reserved the glory of its overthrow." George Sale, And he set to work
with his prejudiced translation. You will be able to judge how 'fair' and scholarly
George sale was from the very verse which 'struck' (Carlyle) 'much!' Compare it with the three
example already given by a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew: And of his signs another is,
that he had created you , out of yourselves, wives that ye may cohabit with them, and hath
put love and compassion between you .
I don't think that George sale was a 'a male chauvinist pig' of his day to describe our
mates, wives or spouses as sexual objects. He was only keeping to his promise, which
Carlyle overlooked. The Arabic word which he (sale) perverted is 'li-tas-kunoo' which
means to find peace, consolation, composure or tranquility; and not 'cohabit' meaning 'to
live together in a sexual relationship when not legally married' (the reader's digest
Every word of the Quranic text is meticulously chosen, chiseled and placed by the
All-Wise himself. They carry God's 'fingerprint', and are signs of God. And yet, the
Ask For A Sign:
What signs?? They mean some special kinds of signs or miracles such as their own foolish
minds dictate. Everything is possible for God, but God is not going to humor
of men or listen to their false demands. He has sent his messenger to explain his signs
clearly, and to warn them of the consequences of rejection. Is that not enough? The trend
of their demand is generally as follows:
In specific terms they asked that he - Muhammad (pbuh) - 'Put a ladder up to heaven an
bring down a book from God in their very sight' - "Then we would believe," they
said. Or "ye see the mountain yonder, turn it into gold' - "then we would
believe." or 'make streams to gush out in the desert' - "then we would
Now listen to the soft, sweet reasoning of Muhammad(pbuh) against the unreasonable and
skeptical demands of the mushriks - "Do I say to you, verily I am an angel? Do I say
to you, verily in my hands are the treasures of God? Only, what is revealed to me do I
follow." Listen further to the most dignified reply he is commanded by his Lord to
give the unbelievers.
Say (O Muhammad): 'The signs (miracles) are indeed with Allah: And most certainly I am
only a clear warner.!'
In the following ayah the holy prophet is made to point to the holy Qur`an itself as an
answer to their hypocritical demand for some special kind of 'sign' of 'miracle' for which
their foolish pagan mentality craved. For indeed all miracles are 'signs'; and it is their
disbelief, their skepticism, their lack of faith which motivates their request for a sign.
They are asked to - 'look at the Qur`an' and again, 'look at the Qur`an!'
It is not enough for them that we have sent down to thee (O Muhammad) the
book(al-Qur`an) which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it (this perspicuous book) is a
mercy and reminder to those who believe. (Qur`an 29:51).
As a proof of the divine authorship and the miraculous nature of the
Qur`an, two arguments
are advanced by the Almighty Himself:
1. 'that we' (God Almighty) have revealed to you (O Muhammad!) 'the book to you' who
art absolutely an unlearned person. An 'ummi' prophet. One who cannot read or write. One
who cannot sign his own name. Let Thomas Carlyle testify regarding the educational
qualifications of Muhammad -
'one other circumstance we must not forget: that he had no school learning; of the thing
we call school-learning none at all.'
Moreover the divine author(God Almighty) himself testifies to the veracity of
Muhammed's(pbuh) claim that he could never have composed the contents of the holy
he could not have been its author:
And thou (O Muhammad) was not (able) to recite a book before this (book came), nor art
thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand:
In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted (Qur`an 29:48).
The author of the Qur`an is reasoning with us, that had Muhammad(pbuh) been a learned
man, and had he been able to read or write, then in that case the babblers in the market
places might have had some justification to doubt his claim that the holy Quran
word. In the event of Muhammed(pbuh) being a literate person, the accusation of his
enemies that he had probably copied his book (Qur`an) from the writings of the
Jews and Christians, or that perhaps he had been studying Aristotle and Plato, or that he must have
browsed through the 'Torat,' the 'Zabur' and the 'Injeel' and had rehashed it all in a
beautiful language, might have carried some weight. Then, 'the talkers of vanities' might
have had a point. But even this flimsy pretence has been denied to the unbeliever and the
cynic: a point hardly big enough to hang a fly upon!
2. 'The book'? Yes, the 'book' itself, carries its own evidence proving its divine
authorship. Study the book from any angel. Scrutinize it. Why not take up the author's
challenge if your doubts are genuine? Do they not consider the Quran (with
care) had it
been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.
It is inconceivable that any human author would remain consistent in this teachings and
his preaching for a period of over two decades. From the age of forty, when Muhammad
(pbuh) received his first call from heaven to the age sixty-three when he breathed his
last, for twenty-three years the holy prophet practiced and preached Islam. In those
twenty-three years, he passed through the most conflicting vicissitudes of life. Any man,
during the course of such a mission, would be forced by circumstances to make
compromises, and cannot help contradicting himself. No man can ever write the same always,
as the message of the holy Quran is: consistent with itself, throughout! Or is it that
the unbelievers objections are merely argumentive, refractory, against their own better
light and judgment.? Furthermore, the holy Quran contains or mentions many matters
relating to the nature of the universe which were unknown to man before but which
subsequently through evolution and discoveries of Science have fully confirmed - a field
where an untutored mind would have most certainly lost in wild and contradictory
Again and again when miracles are demanded from the prophet of God by the cynical and
frivolous few, he is made to point to the Quran - message from high - as 'the miracle.'
The miracle or miracles! And men of wisdom, people with literary and spiritual insight,
who were honest enough to themselves, recognized and accepted al-Quran as a genuine
Says the holy Qur`an: Nay here are signs self-evident in the hearts of
those endowed with knowledge: And none but the unjust reject our signs. (The Holy Qur`an