The word “miracle” expresses an event that is beyond the capacity of man or society. The appearance of a prophet invariably incited people to demand testimonials -miracles- as proof that he was a truly a heaven-ordained messenger. Moses, Christ and Muhammad were no exceptions.
For they say: “How is it no signs were sent down to him from his Lord?”(29:50)
To work miracles is no great matter for God. But miracles are not performed according to the expectations of disbelievers. A prophet’s mission, in his capacity as God’s messenger, is to warn mankind. No prophet can work miracles, nor can he produce evidence of prophet- hood, unless God says so. The answer to the disbelievers’ skeptic attitude is provided in the same verse:
…Say: “The signs are with God. I am only a plain warner.”(29:50)
THE QURAN IS ITSELF A MIRACLE
The proofs generally demanded by unbelievers are “God’s manifestation” in one way or another, or the “descent of angels from above.” But miracles are not meant to conform to the wishes of disbelievers. God announces, immediately after the above-mentioned verse, that the Quran He has sent is miracle enough:
“Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book being read to them? It is indeed a grace and reminder for people who believe.”(29:51)
The Prophet insistently repeated: “I am but a slave of God,” “The Signs are with God,” “I demand from you neither emolument nor recompense,” “Here is the Book sent by God, so act accordingly.” God asks, in referring to the Quran’s descent: “Is it not sufficient for them?” Nevertheless, the dissatisfaction and insistence of unbelievers could not be curbed as they refuted all evidences produced. They claimed that the Quran was the word of man:
“This is nothing, but the word of a human.”(74:25)
FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA TO THE LOFTY HEIGHTS OF SPACE
In the course of our journey through this book we shall study the revelations of the Quran, a journey that will take us from the bottom of the sea to the heights of space, from the creation of the universe to the latest discovery on the firmament, from the embryo to the life of bees and from the most probing questions of philosophy to the most complicated problems of physics. In this expedition we shall try to assess the unbelievers’ contention that “The Quran is the word of a human” as opposed to “The Quran is the word of God.”
We shall witness that the Quran is exempt from all errors, despite the vast range of subjects it covers, and that it reveals information that was not – and could not possibly be – known at the time. There are so many revelations succinctly communicated in the Quran – in four or five words – that man had to have recourse to knowledge accumulated over millennia in order to be able to understand the meanings hidden in them (for example, the verse related to the expansion of the universe that we shall presently be discussing). It is only due to the highly developed telescopes, sophisticated microscopes, systematical observation, computer-aided analysis, and huge research resources and sums of money that we have been able to derive that knowledge today.
As we proceed, we shall realize that the verses of the Quran could not have been produced by men alone, even if all of humanity at the time of Muhammad succeeded in devising a “collective mind.” Supposing that the population of the world, one hundred years ago, had succeeded in creating such a “collective intelligence;” the data we shall be discussing in the first seventy chapters of the present book would still be beyond the reach of the human mind. The revelation of so many miraculous predictions at the time of the Prophet is inconceivable. It is an injustice to truth to ignore this evidence, which neither can be explained by probability, nor by the knowledge and scientific level of the time.
To the contrary, these are clear signs in the hearts of those who are granted knowledge. None deny Our mes- sages except the unjust.(29:49)
FROM DESERT BEDOUINS TO PROFESSORS
We shall witness that the knowledge that modern science has achieved had already been foretold by the Quran 1400 years earlier. The lore of the Quran is presented in a somewhat different form than in the textbooks of physics, chemistry and biology, which are based on scientific methods. The Quran follows a beeline in communicating information, while the knowledge that books on science conveys to us is attained after long accumulation of data. The source of the Quran is the Creator of the universe. He has no need for accumulation of knowledge. He is the Knower of everything and can succinctly say what He wants to communicate to men.
His address is to humanity in its entirety, from the Bedouins of the desert to the professors of universities and scholars of great erudition. As the Quran addresses humanity in its entirety, it makes a distinction between the ignorant and the knowledgeable.
Say: “Are those who know equal to those who do not know? Only men of understanding take heed.”(39:9)
WILL MIRACLES BE PERFORMED FOR US?
In the first section of the present book, we shall dwell particularly on the scientific miracles predicted in the Quran. The second section will deal with mathematical miracles. Mathematics is the common language of natural sciences and a science that cannot be refuted. As a matter of fact, the extraordinary mathematical structure of the Quran shows that it cannot possibly be the work of a human being and that the Quran has been exactly preserved. The literary style of the Quran is also excellent, but those who do not know Arabic cannot appreciate this. Therefore, it is our intention here to limit our discussion in this book to an exami- nation of the miracles in the fields of natural sciences and mathematics, the common languages of humanity. We shall witness the universal miracles contained in the Quran that address mankind.
In an age when people were immersed in witchcraft, Moses triumphed over the conjurers of Pharaoh by performing miracles, with God’s assistance. At a time when healers were honored, Christ performed miracles and cured the sick. We observe today that considerable effort is spent to show that religion is superseded by science, while in reality, science is the body of rules that God – originator of the universe and its laws – instilled into matter. At such a critical point, we cannot help observing the unfolding of scientific and mathematical miracles. The fact that they are made manifest at such a transitional period of history is astounding indeed.
These miracles show that God’s scientific laws running the universe cannot and will not contradict religion He has established. The Quran is not self-contradictory; neither is it inconsistent with the universe that God has created:
Will they not then ponder on the Quran? And if it were from any other than God, they would have found in it many discrepancies.(4:82)
The question, “Why are miracles performed for ancient communities not witnessed or performed for us?” has thus been answered. Only God decides to work miracles and the time when they shall be demonstrated.
We will try to realize the scope of God’s miracles, ranging from physics to chemistry and from biology to mathematics. Those who seek God’s help without negotiating conditions have always been rewarded. We must be thankful for His guidance. At a time when reli- gion is being confronted by science, God is displaying His miracles by pulling our attention to the scientific facts expressed or embedded in His scripture. This vindicates God’s religion and demonstrates that the controversy between religion and science is irrelevant.
After reading this book, those who contend that religion and science are adversaries must accept one of the following alternatives:
1) Either what is asserted as religion has nothing to do with religious truth, thus, fabrications extraneous to religion must be purged; or,
2) The so-called scientific data or assumptions are false. One should inquire then, by systematic observation and logical deduction, where the errors lie and then search for scientific truth.
Religion, as a system devised by God, cannot contradict the universal natural laws imposed by the same God. However, bigoted fundamentalists, styling themselves as God’s spokesmen, and orthodox scientists who deny the Creator of all sciences, do their utmost to prove the so-called contradiction.
The self-confidence of the Quran is unprecedented. The language of the Quran is so confident and assertive that both believers and dis- believers have no choice but to acknowledge it either as the greatest reality or the biggest lie. Even the disbelievers, however, must still concede the extraordinary character of the Quran.
Or, they say: “He has forged it.” Say: “Then bring ten forged suras like it, and call upon whom you can besides God, if you are truthful.” (11:13)
But if they fail to answer you, then know that it is revealed with God’s knowledge, and that there is no God but He. Will you then submit? (11:14)
Ten chapters (suras) … Ten forged chapters … Had they been able to forge ten chapters, they might be in a position to hold sway over masses of people and forestall the spread of the influence of the Quran. The Quran’s assertion goes even further.
If you are in doubt of what We have revealed to Our Servant, then bring a sura like this, and call any witness, apart from God, you like, if you are truthful.(2:23)
But if you cannot, as indeed you cannot, then guard yourselves against the fire whose fuel is men and rocks, which has been prepared for the disbelievers.(2:24)
Could they forge one, let alone ten like it? How about facing this challenge? History bears testimony against it. Had they been able to emulate even one single sura of the Quran, the wrongdoers would have most willingly liked to do it and forestall the spread of Islam. They could not. They were incapable of it. Perverse that they were, they opted for an ill-favored alternative. The villains preferred to have recourse to arms and thus they drew their swords during the lifetime of the Prophet and fought against the believers. Had there been an easier way to settle things, everything would have been different, of course. To write was easy but to emulate the style of the Quran was impossible.
Say, “If all the humans and jinns came together in order to produce a Quran like this, they would surely fail, no matter how much assistance they lent one another.”(17:88)
A formidable challenge indeed! But the miracles we shall behold as we proceed will bear witness to the truth of this fact.
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION
We must not lose sight of the question raised by the Quran. The ques- tion is: “What is the state of our being?” Supposing for an instant that there was no such thing as the Quran (this argument is valid, of course, for all divine religions), questions such as “Where do I come from?” or “Where do I go?” would be left unanswered. Finding answers to these questions is even more important than finding our daily food. Eating and drinking are acts in our brief span of life that are insignificant compared to eternity, the ultimate desire of every human being.
The miracles contained in the Quran provide answers to our questions about our state of being. The revelations will lead us to the eternal bliss anticipated by man. Nothing can prevail over immortality. Eternal existence will certainly carry the day and will overshadow the transient.
Questions regarding our existence are addressed not only by the Quran, but also by all the other books previously sent. The message of the Quran promising eternal life can be matched by no other written human record. These miracles vindicate the teaching of the Quran. The Quran guides mankind to immortality, gives them hope and saves them from leading a life devoid of meaning.
What I am trying to achieve here is not the guidance of perplexed souls to a blindfolded credulity but rather to trigger their intelligence in order that they may end up in believing in the existence of God. The promises made in the Quran are eventually to our benefit, as those endowed with intelligence will readily see their scheme.
The fundamental truth is God’s existence and His revealed religion as propounded by the Quran. Conceiving God’s existence justifies the truth of religion that enables us to experience God, and refutes all counter arguments and teaches His ways. Perceiving the truth of religion confirms God’s existence, as the fundamental issue is the experience of God. Thus God and religion coalesce.
The Quran furnishes convincing proofs of God’s existence, as it also speaks of morals and religion and man’s view of life. In fact, the Quran is religion. The miracles of the Quran are not only compelling evidence of the existence of religion; they are also evidence of God’s existence. In addition to this, our cumulative knowledge derived from meticulous study of science also provides evidence for God’s existence, since it shows us God’s power and knowledge. For example, the description in the Quran, 1400 years ago, of the gestation of the fetus in the mother’s womb is a miracle and it corroborates God’s existence through the miraculousness of the Quran. The process of gestation, a proof of God’s omnipotence and providence, confirms God’s existence not only by its miraculous conception in the Quran, but also by showing the perfection of His creation. The convergence of these two paths, separate from each other, also gives substance to the irrefutable truth of the deduction made. In examining these miracles, we shall benefit from the opportunity to meditate on God’s wonderful creation. The Quran is God’s book as it elucidates in the best possible manner God’s existence and places Him in the core of man’s life, honoring him. Thus, the miracles in the Quran prove the existence of God through proving the existence of religion while it proves the existence of religion by proving the existence of God through pointing to His creations.
The miracles in the Quran reflect pure truth. Because these miracles were incomprehensible at the time of the descent of the Quran, the disbelievers tried to use them against the Quran. For instance, in the fourth chapter I refer to the sura Elucidated, verse 11. How incredible it must have been for the people of the Medieval Ages to read that, in the beginning, our world was in the form of gas. How incredible it must have been to imagine that the mountains, seas, stars, the sun and the moon had once been gaseous in form. Today our deductions are based on systematic observations rendered possible by the help of telescopes and the assistance of the accumulation of astronomic data, their computation and evaluation. This scientific information was not available at the time of the revelation of the Quran and did not serve as an advantage to its dissemination. As a matter of fact, because these assertions could not be substantiated, some of the believers were held in derision. But the revelation did not swerve from its declared aim: the announcement of the truth. This is but one historical example compelling us to believe in the revelation of the Quran, even though we may be unable to unravel all its mysteries. The Quran has never shaken the belief of its followers and points that were not clear at first, came in due time to be actualized in the form of miracles.
No intelligent, thinking human would conceive of communicating information to his own detriment while he was still alive, information that would only prove beneficial after the lapse of a millennium. It is true that at the time, man was in no position to understand these facts, but supposing that even if he had been, human qualifications would obviate the proper use of these data.
While examining the miraculous predictions in the Quran, our book does not rely on the viewpoint of any particular sect or religious order or go against the creeds of it, and does not set boundaries between schools of religious law like Hanefiyah, Shafiyah, Malikiyah, Hanbeliah, Alevi, Caferi, Zahiriyah, Shi’ah, etc. Religious controver- sies, historical issues are not within the purview of our work. The exis- tence of God and religion, the magnificence of God’s power, art and science are particularly stressed. It is our wish and expectation that our book finds favor with all of its readers, regardless of their creeds.
In the preparation of this work, we have had recourse to many sources, regardless of the religion in question or the religious order to which their authors belong. We divided the first section of our book into 70 chapters. Among the subjects treated are astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, archaeology and geology. The second part of the book analyzes the mathematical miracles and is divided into 50 MMLC (the Mathematical Miracle in Lexical Concordance). The “code 19” in the Quran has been our last domain of research. The subdivisions of the book make reading easier. Reference numbers are given under the verses quoted. We have been particular in giving the clearest translation of the Quran.