English-15

15) In composing the Qur’an, could it not have been the intention of
Muhammad () to achieve for himself the wordly benefits that may
accrue in establishing himself as the messenger of God?

It is greatly probable that Muhammad (), who had grown up
an orphan, was exposed to considerable hardships in life. However,
with his marriage to the business woman, Khadeeja (r), it is also
probable that there was, naturally, a considerable rise in his standard
of living. As the husband of Khadeeja, the possibility that he would
have been prone to the constraints of a financial kind is remote indeed.
The marriage of Muhammad () to Khadeeja took place fifteen years
before his attaining prophethood. This means that it was only after
fifteen years of his having led a life of financial security that Muhammad
() came on to the scene with the claim that he was a messenger of
God and that the Qur’an constituted the word of God. If the attainment
of wordly profits was his motive, his financial position should have
become stronger after he made the claim. But what was it that actually
transpired?
Says Aysha (r), the wife of the Prophet, “As there was no
food cooked in our house, the cooking place would go without a fire
being lit for one or two months at a stretch. Ours was a diet of dates
and water. Some times it would be the milk of goats and the dried
shells of dates which those from Medina would bring us.”
Aysha was once recalling the past days to a person. The subject
of narration was the poverty s which the Prophet and his family endured
after the migration. She then talked of an occasion in which they worked
in the house in total darkness. “Was not there a lamp?” enquired the
person. She then replied thus: “If the oil to burn the lamp was in our
possession, instead of burning it, we would have drunk it to satisfy our
hunger.”
This by no means, was the situation that was prevalent only in
the first years of the Prophet’s mission. Even after Muhammad ()
had assumed the position of the powerful sovereign of a vast realm
his condition was not very much different. Let the inner sanctum of
the ruler of the Islamic empire be described in the words of Umar (r),
his own companion:
“I never saw anything save three pieces of leather in a corner
and a little barley in the room of the Prophet. I wept at this. The
Prophet asked, ‘Why is it that you cry?’ I said: “O messenger of Allah!
How will I hold back my tears? I see the imprint of the palm leaves on
thine own body. I am also aware of the contents of this room.O
messenger of Allah! Beseech Allah for the ample means of thine own
sustenance. For, while the rulers of the Persian and Roman people –
the Chosroes and the Caesars – live in the luxury of gardens beneath
which rivers flow, the chosen messenger of Allah should live in abjectpoverty and hunger!’ When he heard this reply of mine, the Prophet,
who had been reclining on a pillow, now sat up and then said, ‘Oh
Umar! Are you still in doubt concerning this matter ? The comforts
and provisions of the Hereafter are much better than the comforts
and pleasures of this wordly life. The unbelievers enjoy their share of
the good things in this life. As for our share, it has been reserved for
the life Hereafter.’ Forthwith did I implore the Prophet thus, ‘O
Messenger of God! Pray for my forgiveness for I have, indeed, erred.’”
It is the claim that the Qur’an was the creation of Muhammad
(), which he had contrived for his own wordly gains, that is rendered
baseless here. For it is, indeed, without foundation to say that the man
who had given away the seven dinars, which were his only wordly
possession, in charity on his death-bed and who died, thereof, after
pawning his armour with a jew, was a man after wealth. Even the
New Catholic Encyclopedia has considered baseless the argument
that the creation of the Qur’an was due to an excessive love for wealth:
“A notion has been created that the religious revolution of
Muhammad was driven by a love of wealth. Actual and known
facts, however, will contest this notion.” (The New Catholic
Encyclopedia, Vol. IX, Page 1001)

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