The Amazing Quran, a text that often surprises those unfamiliar with it, doesn’t fit the stereotype many non-Muslims have in mind. They might expect an ancient book from the Arabian desert to be filled with desert imagery, but it’s much more diverse. It not only describes the desert but also delves into the sea, vividly capturing the experience of a storm at sea.
An intriguing story from Toronto illustrates this point. A merchant marine, unfamiliar with Islam, read a Quran translation. He was astounded by its accurate depiction of a sea storm. When he asked if Muhammad was a sailor, he was told that Muhammad lived in the desert, which led him to embrace Islam instantly. The Quran’s portrayal of the sea storm was too precise to be written by someone without first hand experience, showcasing its timeless relevance.
Centuries before the Quran, Greek philosopher Democritus proposed the concept of atomism. Even in Arabic, “dharrah” referred to the smallest known particle. Modern science has shown that atoms can be split, a recent discovery compared to the Quran’s statement in Surah Saba’ (34:3). This reaffirms that the Quran is far from outdated.
When considering health advice, one might expect an “old book” to contain outdated remedies. While the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) offered health and hygiene advice, most of it isn’t in the Quran. This absence may puzzle non-Muslims, but it aligns with the Quran’s divine nature. The Quran is a complete, unaltered divine revelation that existed before Muhammad’s time. Including the Prophet’s advice would contradict its purpose and authenticity.
The Quran only touches upon one medical aspect: the healing properties of honey. This is a timeless and undisputed truth.
If one assumes that the Quran reflects Muhammad’s mind, it should contain traces of his personal experiences. Muhammad’s life was marked by hardship, including the loss of his children and his beloved wife’s death. He even ran to her in fear when the first revelation came. Yet, the Quran doesn’t mention these deeply emotional experiences. If the Quran were a product of Muhammad’s psychology, these subjects would have been more prominent. However, they are notably absent, emphasizing the Quran’s divine origin.
In essence, the Quran defies expectations and continues to be relevant across time and cultures, inviting readers to explore its profound wisdom.
A Scientific Approach to the Quran
The Quran offers a distinct advantage over other religious texts and belief systems, setting the stage for a truly scientific exploration. Unlike many other religious scriptures, it aligns with the scientific method. In the modern world, various individuals propose ideas and theories about how the universe operates, yet the scientific community demands a test of falsification. They require theories to come equipped with ways to prove their validity or falsity.
For instance, when Einstein introduced his theory of relativity, he not only presented it but also provided methods to verify its correctness. This approach earned him recognition and respect within the scientific community. Similarly, the Quran presents falsification tests. Some of these tests have already been validated, while others remain open for scrutiny. In essence, the Quran invites skeptics to challenge it, asserting that if it is not what it claims to be, specific methods can disprove it. Remarkably, over 1400 years, no one has successfully contested its validity.
The Falsification Test
In discussions with individuals who assert the truth of their beliefs, especially regarding Islam, you can initiate a unique challenge. Ask them if their religion includes a falsification test, something that would prove them wrong if it could be demonstrated. In most cases, they will have no such test. This is because their belief systems do not incorporate the concept of providing an avenue for validation or refutation. However, Islam differs in this aspect.
The Quran presents a clear challenge to those who doubt its authenticity. It invites individuals to find mistakes within it, challenging them to uncover discrepancies. This challenge is both serious and audacious. It is uncommon to encounter such a dare, even in everyday situations. For example, one does not complete an exam and then boldly claims that it is flawless, challenging the instructor to find any errors. This boldness sets the Quran apart.
Ask Those Who Have Knowledge
Another remarkable aspect of the Quran is its consistent advice to the reader. It imparts knowledge and then recommends seeking guidance from those with expertise if there are doubts. This guidance is unusual, as most religious texts lack scientific information and rarely suggest consulting experts. However, Muslims throughout history have adhered to this advice and made significant discoveries based on the Quran’s hints and directions.
One notable example pertains to embryology. A group of scholars in Saudi Arabia collected Quranic verses related to embryology and invited a renowned non-Muslim expert in embryology, Professor Keith Moore from the University of Toronto, to verify the Quran’s claims. Professor Moore was astonished by the Quran’s precision and subsequently modified his textbooks to include Quranic insights. He acknowledged that some Quranic descriptions of human development were unknown until thirty years ago. His thorough examination demonstrated that the Quran contains knowledge beyond its time, accessible only to those who believe in its wisdom.
In summary, the Quran’s scientific approach, falsification tests, and guidance to seek knowledge from experts make it a unique and remarkable source of knowledge and understanding.
A Skeptic’s Response
Dr. Moore’s work in clinical embryology sparked considerable interest when he presented it in Toronto, causing a stir across Canada. The headlines in some newspapers were amusing and puzzling, with one headline reading, “SURPRISING THING FOUND IN ANCIENT PRAYER BOOK!” This reaction revealed that many people failed to grasp the significance of the findings. One reporter even suggested that perhaps the Arabs, despite not being scientists, might have conducted crude dissections or had some prior knowledge of embryology. However, Dr. Moore pointed out a crucial fact that the reporter had overlooked: the Quranic descriptions of the embryo were based on microscopic observations. They described a stage of development that was too small to be seen with the naked eye, and microscopes had only been in use for a little over two centuries. Dr. Moore dismissed the notion that someone 14 centuries ago secretly possessed a microscope, conducted such research, convinced Muhammad to include this information, and then concealed the equipment, deeming it a ridiculous theory. In the end, Dr. Moore asserted that this knowledge could only have been divinely revealed.
Another colleague of Professor Moore’s, Marshall Johnson, who specializes in geology at the University of Toronto, was intrigued by the Quran’s accuracy in embryology. He asked Muslims to gather Quranic references related to geology, and the results were equally surprising. Although the Quran discusses a wide range of subjects, it explicitly states that readers should verify the authenticity of its statements by consulting scholars in those fields. As evidenced by examples in embryology and geology, the Quran consistently stands up to such scrutiny and remains authentic.
You Did Not Know This Before! A distinctive quality of the Quran is its assertion that the knowledge it imparts is entirely new, unlike any other scripture. Most ancient texts acknowledge the sources of their information. The Quran, however, provides new insights while challenging readers to investigate and confirm its accuracy.
Proof of Authenticity: An Approach It is crucial to note that while the Quran is accurate in many aspects, accuracy alone does not prove its divine origin. In contrast, accuracy is just one of the criteria for divine revelations. For instance, a telephone book is accurate, but it is not considered a divine revelation. The real challenge is to establish the source of the Quran’s information. The burden of proof falls on the reader, who must substantiate any claims of inaccuracy. The Quran encourages such a challenge.
When a person doubts the Quran’s authenticity, an effective approach is to follow its challenge. Attempt to find a mistake or an inaccuracy. If one discovers a valid mistake, they have a legitimate basis to question the Quran’s authenticity. The Quran, in fact, welcomes such challenges and, by standing the test, garners respect and acceptance.
Exhausting the Alternatives The Quran’s confidence in its authenticity is evident throughout, and this stems from its approach of “exhausting the alternatives.” It essentially states, “This book is divine; if not, what is it?” The Quran challenges readers to propose alternative explanations. However, no alternative explanation has succeeded. Non-Muslim scholars have historically narrowed down to two mutually exclusive schools of thought: some claim that Muhammad was deluded, while others assert that he was a liar. Yet, both groups contradict one another, as one cannot be both deluded and intentionally deceptive. These opposing theories have not succeeded in offering a compelling explanation for the Quran’s origins.