- The Qur’an is from God conveyed through Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
- The Qur’an is not from God but from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ or other human beings
When Our clear revelations are recited to them, those who do not expect to meet with Us say, “Bring [us] a different Qur’an, or change it.” Say [O Prophet]: “It is not for me to change it of my own accord; I only follow what is revealed to me, for I fear the torment of a tremendous Day if I were to disobey my Lord.” Say [O Prophet], “If God had so willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have made it known to you. I lived a whole lifetime among you before it [revelation] came to me. How can you not use your reason?”
His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement—all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.
It must be pointed out that the Qur’an is not considered a book of poetry by any knowledgeable person. Nor did the Prophet ever indulge in versifying. It was indeed an allegation of the unbelieving Quraysh at the initial stage of their opposition to the revelation that Muhammad ﷺ had turned a poet; but soon enough they found their allegation beside the mark and changed their lines of criticism in view of the undeniable fact of the Prophet’s being unlettered and completely unaccustomed to the art of poetry, saying that he had been tutored by others, that he had got the ‘old-worst stories’ written for him by others and read out to him in the morning and evening.
…such a proclamation was no ordinary thing. It came from a person who had never learned anything from the renowned poets and scholars of the time, had never recited even a single piece of poetry in their poetic congregations, and had never attended the company of soothsayers.
- Stylometric analyses of the Qur’an compared to the hadith of Muhammad ﷺ
- The Prophet’s lack of control over revelation
- The separation between the emotional experiences of Prophet Muhammad and the speech of the Qur’an
- The Qur’an’s rebuking of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
- The limited references to Prophet Muhammad’s name in the Qur’an
- The iʿjāz of the Qur’an
Stylometric analysis of the Qur’an compared to the hadith
When we consider the Qur’anic style we find it the same throughout, while the Prophet’s own style is totally different. It does not run alongside the Qur’an except like high flying birds which cannot be reached by man but which may ‘run’ alongside him. When we look at human styles we find them all of a type that remains on the surface of the Earth. Some of them crawl while others run fast. But when you compare the fastest running among them to the Qur’an you feel that they are no more than moving cars compared to planets speeding through their orbits.
Revelation being beyond the Prophet’s control
And never say, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,” without [adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.”
The separation between the emotional experiences of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the speech of the Qur’an
The Qur’an’s rebuking of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
He [the Prophet] frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man, [interrupting]. But what would make you perceive, [O Muhammad], that perhaps he might be purified? Or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him?
And if he [Muhammad] had made up about Us some [false] speech, We would have seized him by the right hand. Then We would have cut [his] aorta. And there is no one of you who could prevent [Us] from [doing that]. And indeed, the Qur’an is a reminder for the righteous. And indeed, We know that among you are deniers. And indeed, it will be [a cause of] regret for the disbelievers. And indeed, it is the truth of certainty. So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great.
And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little. Then [if you had], We would have made you taste double [punishment in] life and double [after] death. Then you would not find for yourself against Us a helper.
But [Prophet] are you going to worry yourself to death over them if they do not believe in this message?
O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you…?
We know well that what they say grieves you [Prophet]. It is not your honesty they question—it is Allah’s signs [i.e., revelation] that the wrongdoers deny.
In the name of Allah, the Ever-Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Haa Meem. A revelation from Allah, the Ever-Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. [This is] a book whose verses are explained in detail—a Qur’an in Arabic, for people who reflect. Giving glad tidings and warning [of a severe punishment]. But most of them turn away, so they listen not...
When we consider carefully the timing of the revelation of the Qur’anic passages and surahs and their arrangement, we are profoundly astonished. We almost belie what we see and hear. We then begin to ask ourselves for an explanation of this highly improbable phenomenon: is it not true that this new passage of revelation has just been heard as new, addressing a particular event which is its only concern? Yet it sounds as though it is neither new nor separate from the rest. It seems as if it has been, along with the rest of the Qur’an, perfectly impressed on this man’s mind long before he has recited it to us... It has been fully engraved on his heart before its composition in the words he recites. How else can it unite so perfectly and harmoniously parts and pieces that do not naturally come together? Is it a result of an experiment that follows a spontaneous thought? That could not be the case. When each part was put in its position, the one who placed them never had a new thought or introduced any modification or re-arrangement.
How then could he have determined his plan? And how could he have made his intention so clear in advance?... When we consider such detailed instructions on the arrangement of passages and surahs we are bound to conclude that there is a complete and detailed plan assigning the position of each passage before they are all revealed. Indeed the arrangement is made before the reasons leading to the revelation of any passage occur, and even before the start of the preliminary causes of such events… Such are the plain facts about the arrangement of the Qur’an as it was revealed in separate verses, passages and surahs over a period of 23 years. What does that tell us about its source?
al-Walīd b. al-Mughīrah
Nay! Verily he [i.e., al-Walīd] has been stubborn in opposing our verses and signs... Verily, he thought and plotted; So let him be cursed, how he plotted! And once more let him be cursed; how he plotted! Then he thought! Then he frowned and was irritated; then he turned back and was arrogant! Then he said, “This is nothing but magic from old; this is nothing but the word of a mortal!”
How could such a serious matter that would have disturbed human hearts and would have been known in the East and the West be conceivable? If that was conceivable regarding such an important and momentous matter, it would be conceivable too that another prophet or numerous other prophets could have appeared to whom scriptures were revealed from Heaven and who could have come with laws different from this Sharīʿah, and the news of all that was suppressed. This is something that cannot be suspected [to have happened], because it is contrary to human nature and current customs, and likewise is what they object to.
Allah has sent down the best message—a Book of perfect consistency and repeated lessons—which causes the skin [and hearts] of those who fear their Lord to tremble, then their skin and hearts soften at the mention of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah, through which He guides whoever He wills. But whoever Allah leaves astray will be left with no guide.
Is it not enough for them that We have sent down to you the Book, [which is] recited to them. Surely in this Qur’an is a mercy and reminder for people who believe.