1. Some people hypothesize that the Prophet wrote the Qur’aan and they also point out all the probable sources from where he got ideas that he included in the Qur’aan, claiming them to be the revelations from Allaah. For their hypothesis to be correct, the following needs to be true:
- The Prophet must have had a good knowledge of the Bible, the Old Testament and as well as the New Testament, because many of the stories mentioned in the Qur’aan are only mentioned in the Bible. For that purpose, he also has to have knowledge of the Greek or Latin or there has to be a complete translation of the Bible in Arabic.
- Some things mentioned in the Qur’aan are not mentioned in the Bible but are mentioned only in the Talmud, which was not compiled at the time of the Prophet. To know those things, he had to have knowledge of Hebrew as well as access to Talmud scholars who had mastery of the oral traditions of Talmud.
- Some things mentioned in the Qur’aan are neither in the Bible, nor in the Talmud, but in some apocryphal books that have only recently been discovered, and were not known at the time of the Prophet. In the past, orientalists could not find any source of that information, so they just discounted them saying, “he must have mistaken it form this story or that story”.
- Prophet Idrees was not important to the Jews or Christians, except for the Christians of Abyssinia who had a scripture attributed to him. He must be knowledgeable about this fact because the Qur’aan aptly mentioned Idrees in soorah Maryam just when his companions were migrating to that area. So, he must have knowledge of Abyssinian Christianity as well. After that Idrees was not mentioned.
- The Qur’aan gives such detailed accounts about Dzul-Qarnain (Cyrus the great) and his expeditions, Moses & Khadhir and seven sleepers that those details are not mentioned in the Jewish or Christian canonical books.
- Some of the contents of the Qur’aan are attributed to Greek philosophers, Roman myths and Iranian folklore.
2. Perhaps, he did not read and learn these things himself, but heard various stories during his trade travels and then embellished them and claimed them as revelations. The questions is how many travels did he undertake, and what were the chances for him to acquire all this knowledge while doing better in his business than his fellow travelers and while hiding all this acquisition of knowledge from his caravan. Because no one from his caravans knew he was amassing all this knowledge on the trade trips, otherwise, they would have exposed this fact when he claimed this knowledge to be from revelation.
3. Perhaps, he had access to some people of knowledge who gave him the information and he restated this information as revelation from God. The questions is: why could not the Makkans in particular and the Arabs in general point out those persons and exposed his lies, when they were desperately trying to prove him a liar. Another question is why did the sources themselves not expose his false pretenses? The simple answer is that there were none such sources. That is why all of the Makkans and the Arabs became ardent believers in him.
The above points show the total falsity and untenability of the hypothesis that the Prophet had some human sources of information contained in the Qur’aan. Such a claim can be made only by someone who blatantly disregards the following facts:
- The Prophet had not learned reading or writing and he did not have access to any library of books;
- He did not know any language other than Arabic and many of the so-called “sources” were not available in Arabic.
- He could not have learnt all those things in a few trade travels he made, without neglecting his business and without people in the caravan knowing about what he was after;
- There could not have been any Arab or any Jew or Christian living in Arabia who could have been source of information without the source being exposed and without the source claiming credit for it.
In fact, the Qur’aan itself is the superb evidence that it could not have been a human production. In my booklet “A Book unlike any other”, I have covered this topic in detail. Even the consistently superb quality of the poetic prose was enough evidence for the Arabs that such a feat is humanly impossible.
If each of us reflects at our own lives, we will discover that it is impossible for a human being to be consistent over a period of 23 years. It took me 14 years to write my Tafseer of the Qur’aan; during that time, my writing style went through many changes. In addition, my style at any point in time was greatly impacted by what I was going through and what was my preoccupation. Now I have the challenge of re-reading and editing the manuscript to ensure consistency. Also, the style at a certain point in life is the same for everything one writes during those days. It is not possible for a person to write two pieces in tow totally dissimilar styles at the same time.
If we look at the Prophet and the Qur’aan, we find the following:
The Prophet went through many ups and down during his mission from the initial shock of rejection, to bearing the abuse, to the year of grief, to the incident of Taif, to Hijrah, to the victory at Badr, to the losses in Uhad, to the Jewish treachery, to the month-long siege in Ahzaab, to the treaty of Hudaibiyaah to the conquer of Makkah, so on and so forth. None of his personal state of mind is ever reflected in the verses of the Qur’aan. His own words and style not only reflect his state of affairs but also remain consistently different from the style of the Qur’aan. Those who speculate that the Qur’aan is the product of the Prophet, how would they explain maintenance of a different personal style vs. the Qur’aanic style and lack of reflection of his mental state in the Qur’aan? Is it humanly possible for a person to keep two styles in parallel, without one style affecting the other at all; to keep one’s writing free from his own state of mind; and to keep a style completely consistent over 23 years, without ever editing it again?
For those who do not know, once the words of the Qur’aan were revealed to the Prophet, there was never ever any change, addition, deletion or editing of those words, whatsoever. Even if something was said temporarily to the Prophet, it became non-editable part of the Qur’aan forever.