17) Can it not be professed that the Qur’an was a book composed by
Muhammad () with the objective of uniting the quarrelsome Arabs
and to, thereby, lead them to the heights of greatness?
If it was, indeed, the goal of uniting the Arabs and of leading
them on to the path of progress which had worked behind the
composition of the Qur’an, then this should have been evident in the
themes that were discussed therein. However, to one who has had
even a single reading of the Qur’an, the fact that the cause of Arab
nationalism has not been espoused as a subject anywhere within it, is
very clear. Furthermore, before the facts mentioned hereunder, the
claim that it was Arab revivalism which had worked behind the
composition of the Qur’an is shown to be utterly without foundation.
One: There is in the Qur’an, not even a single verse which
encourages Arab revivalism or unity.
Two: The idea that the Qur’an does put forward is the vision of
a community based on ideals which is never constrained by territorial
or national boundaries of any sort. In this community which is firmly
grounded in an ideology – referred to by the noun ‘ummah’ – those
who accept the Truth are all members. They are never constricted by
boundaries of any kind: whether of national, regional, racial or caste.
Indeed, the concept of Arab nationalism is, in itself, totally alien to the
teachings of the Qur’an.
Three: If Arab revivalism was the goal of Muhammad () he
would have sought to unify them and lead them on to the path of
progress by accepting the offer of authority when it was made to him.
However, that never happened. He had, instead of working for a revival
by accepting the offer of power, turned it down.
Four: Even after he was accorded recognition, he never
advocated the particular cause of the Arabs in any way. In fact, he
declared, in the most unambiguous terms, at his farewell sermon,
that “the Arab has no superiority over the non-Arab nor has the non-
Arab any superiority over the Arab except in the matter of Godconsciousness.”
Can this be the words of a person who had laboured
for the cause of Arab nationalism?
Five: There are two women who have been mentioned in the
Qur’an as being the perfect exemplars for the believers. One is the
wife of the Pharoah and the other the mother of Jesus (66:11,12).
Neither of them was Arab. Can those whom the person, who wrote a
book for the cause of Arab nationalism, cite as perfect examples, ever
be the opponents of the Arabs themselves? The Qur’an speaks of
Mary in this fashion: “Behold! the angels said, ‘O Mary! Allah
hath chosen thee and purified thee – chosen thee above the women
of all nations.’” (3:42). It must also be remembered that nowhere in
the Bible has Mary been mentioned with such reverence. Indeed, the
Qur’an never picked the mother or wife of Muhammad () or anyother
Arab woman, for that matter, to be the greatest woman of all times. It
was, in fact, the Israelite woman, Mary, who was conferred that eminent
status. Is it possible to expect such a reference from an advocate for
the cause of Arab nationalism?
Six: A person who worked for the revival of Arab nationalism
would seek to inflate the ego of the Arabs with his compositions. He
would, therefore, talk of the greatness of the Arabs. But the Qur’an,
on the other hand, talks of the greatness that was conferred upon the
Israelites. “O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour
which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all others”