Quran (القرآن) and Quran Tafsir with Muslim Scholar Ali Gomaa (على جمعة): The Miracles of Muhammad and the Miracle of the Quran (Quran 6:7)
I have been studying chapter 6 of the Qur’an: The Cattle (Al-An’am). I have been learning from Ali Gomaa; a leading Islamic scholar. He is the second highest Sunni authority in Egypt. This is episode 13 of 19.
Ali Gomaa discusses in this episode Quran 6:7 and the miracles of Muhammad and the miracle of the Quran. Here are three translations of Quran 6:7,
YUSUF ALI: If We had sent unto thee a written (message) on parchment, so that they could touch it with their hands, the Unbelievers would have been sure to say: “This is nothing but obvious magic!”
PICKTHAL: Had we sent down unto thee (Muhammad) (actual) writing upon parchment, so that they could feel it with their hands, those who disbelieve would have said: This is naught else than mere magic.
SHAKIR: And if We had sent to you a writing on a paper, then they had touched it with their hands, certainly those who disbelieve would have said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.
Sheikh Ali Gomaa’s Teaching About Quran 6:7:
“Allah revealed the Torah in tablets and the Israelites saw these tablets, and they fell from Moses’s hands, and were touched by those people. In spite of this, belief did not touch their hearts. As whoever wants to object revelation, and deny prophecy, will not do this until he witnesses a miracle. The prophet All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him has a lot of them, he says, “How you disbelieve while I am amongst you.” The Prophet has more than 1000 miracles. All miracles that came to all the prophets of Allah throughout history, came up with prophet Muhammad and more. He is distinguished with some miracles that did not come up to other prophets, most of these miracles have been witnessed by people. But some people felt their effects, but did not witness them, in spite of this, they did not believe.”
“Some of them asked for the book he was talking about. In our tradition, the book is a tangible thing. Allah answered their query saying that if he had sent this revelation not through angel, speech between Him and His prophet, or through direct revelation, instead, He had sent it down in a written book, they would still disbelieve. It is not about witnessing a miracle, it is about guidance of Allah and opening hearts. To be able to realize this miracle and believe the order of Allah SWT. 1Abbreviation for the Arabic phrase, Subhanahu wa ta’ala. This expression is used after using the name Allah. The English translation means “highly praised and glorified is He.” It is using reason, it is piety that man desires that makes him afraid from the wrath of Allah and makes him ask for His satisfaction. “We will always regret until getting Your satisfaction as there is no will but Yours.” This is the case, it is not supernatural. Although they are already found to prove the veracity of the prophet, but Islam does not depend on the supernatural side only.”
“These miracles were used to establish the first generation, making people enter the religion of Allah in troops. Afterwards, Muslims did not depend on them in their call for Islam “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition.”” So fair sermons and argumentation were the base of da’wa, not depending on miracles.”
“Some of the scholars exaggerated in denying miracles, this is wrong of course. Prophet is like all prophets, sent with miracles, gravel glorified Allah in his hands, the turnk came down to him until he hugged it thus mitigates, cattle talked to him, all his prayers were answered. For example, when he lifts his hands to the sky asking for rain, rain came down before his hands come back to their place.”
“His prayers were answered in his life and even after his death. For example, he asked Allah, “O Allah don’t let my grave be a worshipped idol.” Therefore, the prophet has not been worshipped even from the misguided communions who do not believe in Islam. Sabaeans worshipped Ali, but after that they were neglected in the tomb of history, some worshipped al-Hakim bi-amr-Allah al-Fatmi, others worshipped al-Bahaa and seceded from Islam. However, no one has ever worshipped not even as a strike of madness, Prophet Muhammad Ibn-Abdullah. I swear to Allah the Greatest it is a miracle. How? Some Islamic groups have been misguided in many ways but this way. His prayers were answered. Isn’t this a miracle? It is a miracle.”
“Allah establishes the way of the call for Islam by this verse. It is a way to address the mind and heart, the interests of people and their insight. It also addresses the goals of the Islamic law.”
“And if We had been sending down upon you a Book on paper, so they touched it with their hands. The disbelievers would say, this is not but obvious magic.”
Ali Gomaa says, “As long as there is a supernatural matter resulting from magic, as magic is real, they will relate this supernatural event to magic. This verse establishes a way to the call for Islam. Showing that Islam is not based on miracles, and if a person denies all miracles, he would be obliged to totally accept Islam and believe in it. Because the evidence will not be about an unseen mystical thing, he has to meditate.”
“There is a miracle of a prophet and of a messenger and there is a miracle of a message. The miracle of the prophet is what happened by him witnessed by his noble companions and the people around him. It is restricted by his lifetime. There is a miracle of a message, it is open and exceeds the limits of time, place, people and conditions and breaks all boundaries till the Day of Judgment. As Islam is the last message, and the prophet is the last messenger, and this religion will last till the end of days. It is an open message calling all the people of the worlds for it, this includes the six billion people whom we call for Islam. This is the message of Allah, not ours that is why we want all people of the worlds to be Muslims, an open message. Unlike other religions that made their religion exclusive to their children and nobody else.”
“The miracle of the message is the Qur’an, and in order to realize its miracles, you need to study, to meditate. You need an open heart.”
Christianity, the Bible, the Quran, and Islam
Muhammad and Miracles
Ali Gomaa claims that Muhammad did many miracles and seems to think that answered prayer is a miracle. Biblically speaking, answered prayer and miracles are different categories.
That Muhammad did miracles is far from obvious in the Quran; in fact, the Quran seems to indicate that Muhammad was not a worker of miracles and signs.
YUSUF ALI: Ye they say: “Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord?” Say: “The signs are indeed with Allah: and I am indeed a clear Warner.”
PICKTHAL: And they say: Why are not portents sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: Portents are with Allah only, and I am but a plain warner.
SHAKIR: And they say: Why are not signs sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner.
Ali Gomma would have us to believe that Muhammad did 1,000 miracles but the Quran does not attribute a thousand miracles to Muhammad . Does the the testimony of Muhammad’s Companions (Sahaba) and the Followers (Tabi’un) attribute to Muhammad a thousand miracles? If so, I would like to know what they were, and I would like to know when this testimony was written down.
Islam and History
Ali Gomaa indicates that reason and argumentation are important for Islamic dawa. Ali Gomaa says that even if Islam didn’t have miracles that a person would be obliged to accept it because of the evidence, “the evidence will not be about an unseen mystical thing.”
This is simply untrue when it comes to Islam’s denial of Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus’ death was observed and testified to by eyewitnesses and yet Muhammad came along hundreds of years later and said Jesus did not die on the cross – something mystical and unseen happened!
To embrace Islam is to embrace irrationality. History is not on the side of Islam when it comes to a central belief of Christianity: the death of Jesus on the cross.
The Quran, Arabic, and the Universal Message of Christianity
Ali Gomaa said that the Quran “is an open message calling all the people of the worlds…” This is certainly no miracle. In fact, centuries before Muhammad, Christianity was inviting all the peoples of the world to believe in Jesus. Jesus taught concerning His crucifixion,
But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.
The entire Bible emphasizes the universality of its message going back to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). A recurring phrase in the last book of the Bible has to do with the salvation of people from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9; see also also Psalm 22:27; 72:11; 87; 98:3; Isaiah 2:2-3; Jeremiah 3:17; Daniel 7:14; Revelation 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6).
The universality of Christianity is also seen in the translation of the Bible into other languages. Christianity does not say that in order to truly understand God’s Word you need to read Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. In fact, I believe that Christianity is the only world religion in which the original language of its leader is not the original language of its founding documents. Jesus spoke Aramaic and the New Testament was written in Greek. The Arabic of the Quran does not lend itself to universality. This is ironic because many Muslims believe that the Quran is a miracle, but it is not a miracle that can be seen by most people. One must speak and understand Arabic to see this miracle, and not everbody who is able to read and understand the Arabic of the Quran has admitted that the Quran is a miracle.
The Quran Contradicts the Bible
Another problem with the Quran being a miracle is that the Quran contradicts what other prophets proclaimed. The Bible contains validated revelation from God that was confirmed by signs, wonders, and miracles. The Quran was not confirmed by signs, wonders, and miracles. It contradicts previously validated testimony to what God did in history through Jesus in His death and resurrection.
I urge you not to be intellectually lazy. If you are a Muslim who takes seriously rational argumentation, then I invite you to read, study, and interact with my other arguments in, Is the Qur’an the Word of God.
Related Quran Tafsir Posts:
|↥1||Abbreviation for the Arabic phrase, Subhanahu wa ta’ala. This expression is used after using the name Allah. The English translation means “highly praised and glorified is He.”|