THE Qur’an: the book of miracles
No human being can ever produce anything like the Qur’an, regardless of how eloquent, or how clear minded or how ingenious he may be. The Qur’an is a book that was revealed to the most eloquent among the Arabs, to a people who were famous for eloquence and for the inimitable style of their poetry. When they heard the Qur’an, they were astounded and speechless, and could only yield to its majesty. Still, this did not stop their arrogance and it did not prevent them from ignorantly asserting that it must be the work of the magicians or the jinn. They claimed that it would not be difficult for a poet to produce something like it, although they acknowledged the prophethood of Muhammad .
So, Allah challenged them to produce something like it if they could. Ten suras (chapters). He said, but they could not. One surah and still they could not. The challenge was issued to all of humanity and to the jinn, and for all times. Allah said,
“Say, ‘If men and jinn gathered to produce the like of this Qur’an, they do not produce its like even if they were to each other assistants’.” (17:88) This challenge has stood for a thousand and five hundred years and still no one has been able to answer it.
Allah said, “Or do they say, ‘He forged it’? Say: ‘then bring forth a chapter like it, and call upon whom you could [to assist you] apart from Allah, if you are truthful.” (10:38) Allah Himself has taken the responsibility of protecting and preserving it from anyone, who would twist or alter it, saying, “It is We who have sent down the Remembrance [revelation] and We are its guardians.” (15:9)
But the miracle of the Qur’an is not just a matter of eloquence. Indeed, not an age has passed without some new miracle being discovered in it, something that was unknown to our predecessors.
Even today, in the age of science and technology, Western fair-minded scientists have admitted to the agreement between modern science and the Qur’an to the discovery of things the Qur’an has proclaimed for over a thousand years. The Prophet lived far from those who had detailed knowledge of science, and yet he used to know these discovered sciences because he had the connection with the One who created these sciences. Allah said,
“Have not those who disbelieved seen that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them, and We made from water every living thing? Will they not then believe?” (21:30).
And He said, “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and in within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not enough that Your Lord is a witness of everything?” (41:53)
One who contemplates the Qur’an can find in it verses that speak of science unknown before a century or so ago. For example, we find verses that talk about planets and orbits in the solar system.
“And the sun runs [on course] toward its stopping point. That is the determining measure of the exalted in Might, the Knowing. And the moon, We have measured it in phases until it returns [appearing] like an old day stalk.
Neither the sun [is allowed] to reach the moon, nor the night [is allowed] to win over the day. But each in an orbit is swimming.” (36:38-40)
There are other verses that speak of Allah’s creation, such as the one that mentions the barrier of water between the two seas, and the barrier between the fresh and salt water where a river flows into the sea. This, in fact, was not discovered until the beginning of this century. (the 19th century).
Allah said, “Or who [other than Allah] that has made the earth a stable ground, and placed within it rivers and made for it firmly set mountains and placed a barrier between the two seas? A god [should be taken] with Allah? Certainly, most of them are ignorant! ” (27:61)
Another verse speaks about the accumulation of clouds and how rain comes out of them: “Didn’t you see how Allah drives clouds, then brings them together, then makes them into a mass, then you see the rain emerge through it. And He sends down from the sky mountains [of clouds] within which is hail, So and He strikes with it whom He wills, and turns it away from whom He wills. The flash of its lightning nearly takes away the eyesight. Allah rolls the night and the day. Surely in that is a lesson for those with eyes.”
There are verses that speak of levels of waves in the sea, a kind of wave on the surface and another under it. This was, in fact, only discovered in this century. “Or like darknesses in a bottomless sea with waves above waves, above which are clouds, darknesses, one is above the other. If one holds out his hand, he can hardly see it. Thus for whomever Allah makes no light, for him there is no light.” (24:40)
There are verses that speak of the different stages of fetal development in the womb, and each stage is identified by a name that describes the form of the fetus: “We created man from an extract of clay, then We set him as a spermdrop in a firm lodging [i.e., the womb]. Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, then We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], then We made [from] the lump bones, then We covered the bones with flesh and then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the Best
of Creators! (23:12-14)
These verses describing all the stages of well-ordered fetal development, as well as others, caused Dr. Keith Moore – one of the most respected embryologists, to confirm these observations in his book The Developing Human, saying that the Qur’an has described this accurately, and well before human science could ever have done it.