The trio met in front of the entrance of the hostel as planned. Yousef led them to the bookshop where he had seen the book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”. Michael stood reading the newspaper headlines at the newspaper corner, and suddenly called to Yousef.
Michael: Yousef…See this exciting headline...It’s the subject of our very same conversation today: "The announcement of discovering a manuscript of the Qur'an in an Israeli library".
Yousef: And I suppose you want to ask how this manuscript came to be in an Israeli library? I have already read this news yesterday on a website. Some analysis pointed to the theft of this manuscript from Iraq after the invasion of the coalition forces.
Michael: No, no... I do not mean that, I mean its relation to the genuineness of the Qur’an that exists now and its relation to the extent to which the Qur'an is authentic; the story says that the manuscript was written approximately 1200 years ago, i.e., only 200 years after the inscription of the first copies of the Qur'an, it is amazing news.
Yousef: My first point is that this isn't the oldest copy of the Qur’an that has been discovered so far; Russians say that the oldest copy of the Qur'an is in their possession. The Russian researcher Efim Rezvan confirmed that the radioactive carbon analysis, which was run in the Netherlands, indicated that the Qur'an manuscript they have in their possession goes back to the eighth and ninth centuries.
While the Egyptians claim that they have the oldest copy of the Qur'an housed at the Al-Hussein Mosque in Cairo. The manuscript is close to 1400 years old, and it is one of the 6 copies of the Qur'an which were copied at the order of the third Caliph Osman bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) in order to save the Qur’an from being lost.
Moreover, in Yemen, they say that during renovation work at the Great Mosque of Sana'a, in 1972, they found a manuscript of the Qur'an that goes back to the time of the first Caliph Abu Bakr, who was a close companion of the Prophet of Islam (mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him)!
It may be that all that is true; because the number of copies of the Qur’an which were written and sent to the different regions were several.
The second point I want to mention here is related to the saying that states that the Qur'an which the Muslims use nowadays is exactly the same as that of the time of the Prophet. This is a common saying of the scholars of different religions, and Orientalists admit it too. They, however, do not admit that it was revealed by Allah, while on the other hand, the authenticity of their Bible with its two Testaments has not been proven.
The French sociologist-Orientalist Ernest Renan says: "The Qur'an has not been changed or tampered with."
According to Dr. Michael Hart, the American writer of the book that we’ve come here to buy: "There isn't, in the history of revelations, a book which remained intact without any alteration, except the Qur'an conveyed by Muhammad." The German poet Goethe went beyond that to say: "The Qur'an is the book of books, and I believe that, as every Muslim does." In fact, he announced to the public when he reached the age of seventy that he intended to celebrate in awe the holy night in which the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.
Rajiv: This is our topic today: What really proves that the Qur’an is a revelation from God, and that Islam is the religion of Allah and revealed from the heavens?
Yousef: It isn't only the revealed religion of Allah, but it is the only religion now...
Michael: Let's stand aside so as not to bother the people in the bookshop with our voices!
Rajiv (Addressing Yousef while they were turning to a corner dedicated to discussions): If we agree to what you've said, what is the evidence that proves that?!
Yousef: I will prove to you, as much as time may allow us, the authenticity of Qur'an and that it is God's, and not Muhammad's, Word. I will also explain some aspects of its miraculous nature that shows the comprehensive knowledge of God which exceeds the limits of human beings.
Michael: Talk to us in the language that convinces us so that we can understand. Talk to us with science and reason.
Yousef: Those who follow churches call the book of their religion the Holy Bible. Holiness, however, is contrary to contradiction and error, due to the contradiction that would happen with the qualities of the true God in such a case - the true God who is supposed to be perfect and free of any defaults so as to deserve this divinity... I will not talk about the attitude of the church towards science and the battle that began between it and scientists because of the clash of the texts of the Bible with science, but let's look at the Qur'an and its challenge in this area:
One contemporary Muslim scholar, Sheikh Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, discussed with Professor Joe Leigh Simpson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Weston in the US, the Qur'anic texts that talk about the early stages of the creation of an embryo, when it is still a sperm drop. He explained how the Qur’an mentions that a human is created after the male and female sperm drops meet and then the creation of the human starts. Subsequently, the features are decided: the color of the eyes, the skin, the hair, etc.... Modern science has proven that the genetic features of a human is decided when he is still a drop of semen. This is identical to what God says in the chapter called Abasa verses 17-19: [Cursed is man; how disbelieving is he. (17) From what substance did He create him? (18) From a sperm-drop He created him and destined for him (19)]. After the professor heard these details, he stood in a conference sharing his opinion on this subject. He said: "…there exist statements in the Qur'an shown centuries later to be valid, which indicates that the knowledge could have only been derived from God and that the Qur’an is the word of God."
Let me start up my computer so I can accurately read some quotes that can be used as proofs … This here is Professor Keith Moore, author of the book “The Developing Human” which is a global scientific reference that has been translated into eight languages.He said at a conference: "…the descriptions of the human embryo in the Qur’an cannot be based on the scientific knowledge in the seventh century.
The only reasonable conclusion is that these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God. He could not have known such details, because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.” Not only did Dr. Keith Moore say that, but he cited the verses of the Qur'an and prophetic traditions that mention scientific facts of embryology in every page of his book.
This is Professor Yoshihide Kozai, Director of the Observatory of Tokyo. He says: "I am very much impressed by finding true astronomical facts in the Qur’an…. So, by reading the Qur’an and by answering the questions, I think I can find my future way for investigation of the universe.” Do you want more?!
Rajiv: Does the Qur’an make mention of other areas of interest?
Yousef: There are many verses about several areas of interest...For example, there are verses that speak about historical facts that weren't proven except by modern science. For example, in the story of Moses and Pharaoh, the Qur’an speaks about the death of Pharaoh by drowning, and the survival of his body, so that subsequent generations may learn a lesson from that, i.e. that it will be possible for generations to see his body and remember this lesson. Almighty God says in the chapter named Younis, verse 92: [So this day We shall deliver your (dead) body (out from the sea) that you may be a sign to those who come after you! And verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs , revelations, etc.).]. Here, there are three points that are referred to:
The way Pharaoh died: by drowning.
His body was saved and recovered from the water.
The body is preserved in a form that makes it possible for people to see it (mummification).
This was actually proven by modern science, but on a mummified body that was discovered only in 1898, i.e. after the death of the messenger of Allah (mercy and blessing of Allah be upon him) by about 1200 years. The cause of death of the mummy that was discovered in 1981 was revealed to have been by drowning; and this was only found out by using advanced instruments and experiments, and complex analyzes that were conducted by a team of French scientists led by Professor Maurice Bucaille. The moment he became aware that the Qur'an of the Muslims proved this matter, he announced his conversion to Islam. Then he wrote his important book “The Bible, The Qur'an and Science. The Holy Scriptures Examined in the Light of Modern Knowledge”.
In the Qur'an there are verses that contain miracles in more than one area at one and the same time. In the chapter named Al-Room, God says: [Alif, Lam, Meem. (1) The Byzantines have been defeated (2) In the nearest (adna) land. But they, after their defeat, will become victorious. (3)]... Here there are two miraculous points. The first is that the Qur'an foretells the victory of the Byzantines over the Persians, in a few years after their defeat. The word used to indicate this is Bid'a, i.e. between one and nine years. What the Qur'an had promised actually happened in seven years when another battle took place between the Persians and the Romans in the year 627 AD, in which the Romans were victorious.
The second aspect of this miraculous verse is that it mentions a geographical reality that wasn't known at the time, namely, that the battle was in the lowest “adna” area of land, as the word “adna” has two meanings for the Arabs: the nearest and the lowest. The area was on the one hand nearest to the Arabian Peninsula and on the other hand it is the lowest area on the surface of the earth, as it is 1312 feet (about 400 meters) below sea level. This is the lowest point recorded by satellites on earth, as reported by the Encyclopedia Britannica. The historical fact witnesses that the battle took place in the lowest regions in the world, in the basin of the Dead Sea, whose depth could never had been measured without modern measurement techniques.
Michael: I think that this is enough, Yousef.
Rajiv: But wait, I'd still like to know, does the Qur'an also speak about other areas of interest, for example astronomy and earth, marine sciences and others?
Yousef: Yes, in the Qur'an there are miraculous signs in these and other areas too, such as the beginning of the universe, the emergence of humans and information about medicine, botany, zoology, physics and the science of light. There are also miraculous historical and numerical signs, in addition to the miracle of its eloquence and the legislation it brought... And many others.
Michael: There are many topics that we could discuss, but unfortunately we will miss our friend Rajiv, because we are leaving tomorrow.
Rajiv: This saddens me so much. I'm really pleased to have met you both and I've benefited much from our discussions. I have an idea, why don’t we continue our discussions and communicate via the Internet?
Yousef: Great idea! And what do you think about celebrating this occasion, to leave a beautiful memory of our acquaintance?
Michael and Rajiv: Perfect.