The Qur’an is, indeed, a book that guides people to the way of morality and virtue. In fact, it is the Qur’an, and the Qur’an alone, which can claim the distinction of being a book which transformed a society that was steeped in wine, debauchery and warfare into a people who became the staunchest advocates and practitioners ofmorality and virtue within a short span of just twenty- three years. However, to any who has had even a cursory reading of the Qur’an, it is clear that to say Muhammad () had written the Qur’an for the
cause of moral revivalism and had then attributed it to God is to say something without any foundation.Observe the facts mentioned below:
One: There have been no two opinions about the fact that Muhammad () was truthful. It is illogical, therefore, to assume that such a one as he would then, in the name of moral revival, attribute a blatant falsehood in the name of God. It is unbelievable that a person who persevered for the cause of morality would then committ, for the same cause, a gross immorality. What, indeed, can be a greater sin than attributing lies in the name of God?
Two: The Qur’an itself has declared that the worst transgressor is the one who invents lies in the name of the Lord Creator and the one who writes something and then says that it is from God. “Who can be more wicked than one who inventeth a lie against Allah, or saith, ‘I have received inspiration,’ when he hath received none, or (again) who saith, ‘I can reveal the like of what Allah hath revealed’?” (6:93). If the Qur’an is, indeed, Muhammad’s own work, then the ‘most wicked’ one mentioned in this verse must necessarily be he himself. Will he have condescended to describe himself as the “most wicked” and to preserve it in writing too?
Three: God has cursed those who write with their own hands and then attribute it to God. “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: ‘This is from Allah’.” (2:79). If the Qur’an is, indeed, the work of Muhammad (), then this curse is most applicable to him . Consider this : to makes one’s own composition; then to proceed to curse one’s own self. Is this believable?
Four: The Qur’an is not a book that was revealed all at once. The verses of the Qur’an were, in fact, revealed over a long period of twenty- three years and, that too, under varying circumstances. Indeed, in some cases, the verses of the Qur’an were revealed as a direct answer to the questions posed by the people. There are, in the Qur’an, around fifteen occasions wherein the verses which employ the style “they ask thee (O Muhammad) concerning…” and “Say (O Muhammad)…” have been used. It is evident from this that there were occasions when the Prophet could not provide a satisfactory answer to the questions of the people on a topic and that it was only later, with the revelation of the verses of the Qur’an, that this became possible. If the composition of the Qur’an was, indeed, the work of the Prophet, who sought to bring about a moral revival, he would have been able to answer the questions of the people as and when they arose. For instance, if it was the Prophet’s intention to save the people from the evils of drinking and gambling, he could have straightaway declared them to be sinful.Instead, that was not done; without making his own statement and he awaited the arrival of the divine revelation. It was only after the revelation of the divine verses that he sought to take action against these evils.
Five: There are certain Qur’anic verses which seek to correct Prophet Muhammad (). The verses of the Qur’an (80:1-10) which criticized the action of the Prophet when he did not receive the blind Abdulla bin Ummi Makthoom with warmth and respect owing to his being engaged in discussion with the leaders of the Quraysh, are only too well-known. In the Battle of Uhud wherein the Muslims had suffered great losses, the Prophet too had received a number of injuries. After the battle he had cursed some of the disbelievers and had mentioned to himself thus, “How will a people, who injure their own prophet, ever progress ?” Immediately was the verse of the Qur’an, which sought to correct the Prophet, revealed : “Not for thee, (but for Allah), is the decision: Whether He turn in mercy to, or punish them; for they are indeed wrong-doers.” (3:128)
If the Qur’an was really the composition of the Prophet, which he had made for the moral transformation of the people, would there have been verses in the Qur’an which criticized his own actions?