The Qur’an was Muhammad’s only Revelation

 

Marwan Boustany

 

The following verses of the Qur’an are quoted without reference to the rest of the Qur’an to imply that everything that the Prophet said was some form of revelation from Allah:

 

 “Nor does he say (anything) of (his own) Desire.  It is no less than a revelation revealed”

(53:3-4)

 

In the Qur’an it is explained very clearly that the inspired speech of the Prophet is the Qur’an and nothing else. Allah makes a clear distinction between the Prophet’s ordinary speech and the revelation that he recites.  This is an important issue because if all he said was revealed, then the desire of Muslims to follow every text/speech ascribed to him becomes understandable.  However, if only the Qur’an was revealed to him, then that desire becomes misguided.

 

I will present internal testimony from the Qur’an which demonstrates the point that all that he said was not revealed, thus refuting the understanding that has been attached to 53:3-4.

 

Consider that we see that Allah admonishes and corrects the Prophet in the Qur’an in several places. Here are a few examples:

 

 “Allah pardon you!  Why did you give them leave until those who spoke the truth had become manifest to you and you had known the liars?”

(9:43)

 

In the above Ayah the messenger of God is admonished as to why he had given permission to the Hypocrites to avoid Jihad until the truthful people were made distinct from the liars.

 

Had everything spoken by the messenger been a revelation from God, then the above Qur’anic revelation would not have opposed the speech of the messenger.  This is evidence that NOT everything that the Messenger did or said was by revelation.  This therefore means that 53:3-4 has not been interpreted correctly, and so in the light of what follows we will see, that the only revelation for guidance to the prophet was the Qur’an.

 

Another example we see in the Qur’an is when Allah says to the Prophet:

 

 “O Prophet! Why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

(66:1)

 

Here Allah admonishes the Prophet for forbidding something for himself that Allah did not forbid. This verse again establishes that the Prophet often acted on his own initiative as a human being without the revelation of Allah.  If everything he did or said was by revelation, he would not be admonished by Allah in the Qur’an for saying/doing something that Allah did not inspire him to say/do.

 

Another example we see is:

 

 “(The Prophet) frowned and turned away,

Because there came to him the blind man.

What could inform thee but that he might grow (in grace)?

Or take heed and so the reminder might avail him?

As to one who regards Himself as self-sufficient,

To him do you address yourself.

And no blame is on you if he would not purify himself

And as to him who comes to you striving hard,

And with fear (in his heart),

Of him you were unmindful.”

(80:1-10)

 

Here we see Allah admonishing the prophet for acting incorrectly by focusing his attention on a disbeliever when a sincere Muslims who wanted guidance was seeking his guidance. 

 

Now we look at the Qur’anic evidence that the only revelation that was being sent down to the Messenger was the Qur’an.

 

Allah Challenges people to produce something similar to the Revelation being sent down on the Messenger.  Let us read these challenges:

 

 “And if you are in doubt concerning that which We reveal to Our slave (Muhammad), then bring a Surah similar to it, and call your witnesses beside Allah if you are truthful.”

(2:23)

 

 “Or, do they say: He has forged it. Say: Then bring ten forged Surahs like it and call upon whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.”

(11:13)

 

These clearly tell us that what was being revealed was in surah form.  Did the prophet speak in chapters?  Was his speech composed of verses and chapters?  No!

 

So this is another proof that everything the prophet said was not revealed.

 

If we look at this next verse: -

 

 

“The hypocrites fear lest a Surah should be sent down to them telling them plainly of what is in their hearts. Say: Go on mocking, surely Allah will bring forth what you fear.”

(9:64)

 

We see that the hypocrites feared the revelation of a surah revealing their intent.  If everything the prophet said was by revelation, then why could he not just say it?  Why wait for a surah?  The answer is clear!  Because it was only the Qur’an that was revealed to him!  Why would they not fear his other non Qur'anic revelations?

 

The believers also used to wait for surahs (chapter) to receive Allah’s commandment.  If we read: -

 

 “And those who believe say: Why has not a Surah been revealed? But when a decisive Surah is revealed, and fighting is mentioned therein you see those in whose hearts is a disease look to you with the look of one fainting because of death. Woe to them then!”

(47:20)

 

Then we see that if everything that the Messenger was saying was revelation, then they would not have to wait for a surah.  Once again proving that Allah is making a distinction between what was revealed (The Qur’an) and what was the normal speech of the prophet. 

 

Next we see explicit reference to exactly what was revealed to the prophet: -

 

 “And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it suitable for him; it is nothing but a reminder and a plain Qur’an, that it may warn him who would have life, and (that) the word may prove true against the unbelievers”.

(36:69-70)

 

 “And thus have We revealed to you an Arabic Qur’an, that you may warn the mother city and those around it, and that you may give warning of the day of gathering together wherein is no doubt; a party shall be in the garden and (another) party in the burning fire.”

(42:7)

 

Muhammad was revealed an Arabic Qur’an, this is what Allah tells us, and this is all we can say was revealed to Muhammad, no more and no less.

 

In the next verses we see that the prophet is made to proclaim that he warns by the Qur’an only, if all his speech was revealed, then he need not say this: -

 

Say, "What thing is greatest in testimony?" Say, " Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur'an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches.

(6:19)

 

وَإِذَا لَمْ تَأْتِهِم بِآيَةٍ قَالُوا لَوْلَا اجْتَبَيْتَهَا ۚ قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ مِن رَّبِّي ۚ هَٰذَا بَصَائِرُ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“Say: I follow only that which is inspired in me from my Sustainer. This (Qur'an) is insight from your Sustainer, and a guidance and a mercy for a people that believe. And when the Qur'an is recited, give ear to it and pay heed, that you may obtain mercy.”

(7:203-204)

 

Then Allah tells the Prophet that he is to warn only by the Qur’an. If his other speech was also revelation, then this would be unnecessary:

 

نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ ۖ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ

“We know best what they say, and you are not one to compel them; therefore remind him by means of the Qur’an who fears My promise.”

(50:45)

 

وَأَنْ أَتْلُوَ الْقُرْآنَ ۖ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ

“And to rehearse the Qur’an: and if any accept Guidance, they do it for the good of their own souls; and if any astray, say: ‘I am only a warner”.

(27:92).

 

تِلْكَ آيَاتُ ٱللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِٱلْحَقِّ فَبِأَىِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَ ٱللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ

These are the verses of Allah which We recite to you in truth.  Then in what statement (Lit. Hadith) after Allah and His verses will they believe?

(Qur’an, 45:6)

 

So it now very clear that the only revelation received by the prophet for our guidance was the Qur’an.

 

 

The above evidence contradicts all claims of the people that the Prophet received other revelations besides the Qur’an.  Therefore, let us now consider the following statements of the Qur’an: -

 

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the disbelievers...

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the wrongdoers...

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient...

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it.  So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth...

And judge, [O Muhammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you.

Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith].

(5:44, 45, 47-50)

 

With reference to the Jews then the Christians then to Muslims, Allah repeatedly tells us that we must ONLY follow that which is revealed and not the words and opinions of men, which is the judgement of the times of ignorance.

 

So as Muslims, we must derive religious knowledge and guidance only from the Qur’an and not from the normal speech of the prophet.

 

Allah predicted this state of the Muslim Ummah within the Qur’an. The context of the following verse is the day of judgement. 

 

 “And the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands saying: O!  Would that I had taken a way with the Messenger”
(25:27)


We will see how the people destined for hell will wish they had followed the messenger that had come to them.

 

 “O woe is me! Would that I had not taken such a one for a friend! Certainly he led me astray from the reminder after it had come to me; and satan fails to aid man.”
(25:28-29)


They will say that someone lead them astray as they took him for a friend.  And as a result he leads them away from the reminder, which is the Qur’an.

 

 “And the Messenger will say: O my Lord! Surely my people have neglected this Qur’an.”
(25:30)


On the day of judgement, Muhammad proclaims that his people (the Muslims) have neglected the Qur’an.

 

 “And thus have We made for every prophet an enemy from among the sinners and sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and a Helper”
(25:31)


This verse tells us that, thus for every prophet there is an enemy, that is, an enemy that will lead people away from the Qur’an, the truth. 

 

The next verse elaborates on the theme of (25:31): -

 

 “Likewise did We make for every Prophet an enemy,- evil ones among men and Jinns, inspiring each other with embellished speech by way of deception.  If your Lord had so planned, they would not have done it: so leave them and their inventions alone.”
(6:112)


It is the enemies of the prophets who fabricate deceptive speech and inspire it in one another in order to guide away from the truth.  This can very easily refer to the books of Hadith.  The books of Hadith are seen as a legitimate religious source, they take away focus from the Qur’an and the majority of Muslims believe in them and follow them.  Yet, they have no justification in the Qur’an. 

 

As a relevant aside, this same trend easily applies to the so called Oral traditions (Mishna) of the Jews as part of their Talmud.

Let the Muslim world know that we they may be following the words of the prophet’s enemies.  Let us follow the way of the prophet and follow only the Qur’an.

 

To finish consider these clear verses: -

 

 “Shall I then seek a Ruler other than Allah? When He it is Who has revealed to you the Book (Qur’an, which is) distinctly detailed”

(Qur’an, 6:114)

 

What is the answer of Muslims?  Will they answer “Muhammad, his companions, the later generations and the scholars” or will they answer “No one other than my Lord”.

 

These are the verses of Allah which We recite to you in truth.  Then in what statement (Lit. Hadith) after Allah and His verses will they believe?

(Qur’an, 45:6)

 

What is the answer of Muslims?  Will they answer “The Hadith, Sunnah, figh and ijma’” or will they answer “Nothing other than your Qur’an my Lord”.