December 2020

All scripture is inspired by God”(2 Tim othy 3:16). Scriptures source is God-breathed and its channels are “ holy men borne along of the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). The inspired script ure is written revelation just as the prophets sermons were spoken revelation. God has revealed his perfect nature and will to mankind through prepared individuals. God inspired the content of His message and delivered it through the personality, style, outlook and the cultural conditioning of the writers. “As light that passes through the coloured glass of a cathedral window, we are told is light from heaven, but is stained by the tints of the glass through which it passes; so any word of God which passes through the mind and soul of a man must come out discoloured by the personality through which it is given, and just to that degree ceases to be the pure word of God. But what if this personality has itself been formed by God into precisely the personality it is, for the express purpose of communicating to the word given through it just the colouring which it gives it? What if the colours of the stained-glass window have been designed by the architect for the express purpose of giving to the light that flood the cathedral precisely the tone and quality it receives from them? What if the word of God that comes to His people is framed by God into the word of God it is, precisely by means of the qualities of the men formed by Him for the purpose, through which it is given?” (Benjamin B. Warfield)

We list below a number of Hadith’s where Muhammad declares his mode of inspiration and we leave the reader to form his own judgement.

Inspiration comes like the ringing of a bell or Gabriel coming in the form of man accompanied with profuse sweating

> “Narrated ‘Aisha: (the mother of the faithful believers) Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah’s Apostle “O Allah’s Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes ‘after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.” ‘Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over). (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 1, Number 2)

> “Narrated Masruq: I asked Aisha “What about His Statement: “Then he (Gabriel) approached And came closer, And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer?” (53.8-9) She replied, “It was Gabriel who used to come to the Prophet in the figure of a man, but on that occasion, he came in his actual and real figure and (he was so huge) that he covered the whole horizon.” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 458)

> “Narrated Aisha: I was a young girl and did not have much knowledge of the Quran ………………… So, there overtook him the same state which used to overtake him, (when he used to have, on being inspired divinely). He was sweating so much so that the drops of the sweat were dropping like pearls though it was a (cold) wintry day. When that state of Allah’s Apostle was over, he was smiling and the first word he said, ‘Aisha! Thank Allah, for Allah has declared your innocence. (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 48, Number 829)

> “Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Allah’s Apostle ascended the pulpit and said, “Nothing worries me as to what will happen to you after me, except the temptation of worldly blessings which will be conferred on you.” Then he mentioned the worldly pleasures. He started with the one (i.e. the blessings) and took up the other (i.e. the pleasures).

> “A man got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Can the good bring about evil?” The Prophet remained silent and we thought that he was being inspired divi

nely, so all the people kept silent with awe. Then the Prophet wiped the sweat off his face and asked, “Where is the present questioner?” ………………. (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 95)

Inspiration through good dreams at the cave of Hira

> “Narrated ‘Aisha: (the mother of the faithful believers) The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read. (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)

The angel’s force used in inspiration

> “The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) Then Allah’s Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.” Khadija replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Gabriel opens Muhammad’s heart and washes it with zamzam water

> “Narrated Abu Dhar: Allah’s Apostle said, “While I was at Mecca the roof of my house was opened and Gabriel descended, opened my chest, and washed it with Zam-zam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it. (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 345)

Muhammad inspired while asleep snoring

> ” Narrated Safwan bin Ya’la bin Umaiya from his father who said: “A man came to the Prophet while he was at Ji’rana. The man was wearing a cloak which had traces of Khaluq or Sufra (a kind of perfume). The man asked (the Prophet), ‘What do you order me to perform in my ‘Umra?’ So, Allah inspired the Prophet divinely and he was screened by a place of cloth.I wished to see the Prophet being divinely inspired. ‘Umar said to me, ‘Come! Will you be pleased to look at the Prophet while Allah is inspiring him?’ I replied in the affirmative. ‘Umar lifted one corner of the cloth and I looked at the Prophet who was snoring. (The sub-narrator thought that he said: The snoring was like that of a camel). When that state was over, the Prophet asked, “Where is the questioner who asked about ‘Umra? Put off your cloak and wash away the traces of Khaluq from your body and clean the Sufra (yellow colour) and perform in your Umra what you perform in your Hajj (i.e. the Tawaf round the Ka’ba and the Sa’i between Safa and Marwa).” (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 27, Number 17)

The divine inspiration comes to Muhammad when he is on Aisha’s bed

> “Narrated ‘Urwa from ‘Aisha: The wives of Allah’s Apostle were in two groups One group consisted of ‘Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah’s Apostle. The Muslims knew that Allah’s Apostle loved ‘Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah’s Apostle, he would delay it, till Allah’s Apostle had come to ‘Aisha’s home and then he would send his gift to Allah’s Apostle in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah’s Apostle to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife’s house he was. Um Salama told Allah’s Apostle of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, “He did not say anything to me.” They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, “Talk to him till he gives you a reply.” When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, “Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, as the Divine Inspirations do not come to me on any of the beds except that of Aisha. (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 47, Number 755)

Muhammad’s nightly meeting with Gabriel during Ramadan

> “Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Quran to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 31, Number 126)

Muhammad hoped becuase of his inspiration that he would have more followers than the previous prophets

> “Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “There was no prophet among the prophets but was given miracles because of which people had security or had belief, but what I was given was the Divine Inspiration which Allah revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will be more than those of any other prophet on the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 379)

Individual Eschatology concerns the condition of the individual between his death and the general resurrection at the close of the age.

December 2020

The Mahdi literally means “the guided one”, and has come to mean in an individual way, the divinely guided one. While Allah himself is called al-Hadi in the Quran (Al-Hajj 22:54; Al-Furqan 25:31) the figure of al-mahdi or mahdi, and his mission is not mentioned at all. Islam uses the term of certain individuals in the past and of an eschatological individual in the future. The Mahdi is interpreted differently by Sunnis and Shi’a although both look for one who will arise to restore the purity of Islam and usher in a Golden Age in which Islamic revelation will reign in the ideal community, the umma.

There is a general belief amongst Muslims that the living Muhammad intercedes for them at the throne of God. The Wahhabi’s state that the intercession of their Prophet is only by the permission of Allah on the Last Day and that there will be no intercession for sins until the Day of Judgement. In principle the Quran denies that there is an intercessor with Allah. However, there are a few passages which suggest that under certain circumstances Allah does allow someone to intercede. It seems that Muhammad’s intercession is available for the Muslim as he/she invokes the blessings of Allah upon the Prophet.

The appearance of the Anti-Christ (ad-Dajjal)

Resurrection and the Last Judgement Al-Qiyama

December 2020

Questions and Answers about the Second Coming of Christ which are held by orthodox Muslims

Both the Quran and Tradition present their picture of ‘Isa. They give him a high place among the prophets; they affirm his sinless-ness; they affirm he had power to work miracles but all this does not distinguish Him in any way as to its nature from the other prophets who came before him.

The Quran recognises that David glorified and praised God. The mountains and the birds alternated with him in these praises (Al-Anbiya 21:79, Saba’ 34:10, Sa’d 38:18). Muhammad, it seems, took literally the passages where creatures and elements joined David in their praises so it seems that when David was fatigued Allah caused other parts of nature, both animate and inanimate to relieve him. David is presented as a model Muslim, praising Allah, fasting, prostrating, acting justly and fighting for the honour of Allah

The title Tawrat is given in the Quran and all Muslim works for the Book of Moses (in Hebrew Torah stands for ‘the Law’). The term tawrat is found in the Medina period. Muslim scholars accept that the Tawrat teaches the unity of God yet believe it falls short of the full revelation as it does not give an account of the stated method of prayers (Al-Fath 48:29), the fast, a detailed description of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and alms-giving, nor is there anything regarding heaven and hell. For these reasons the Tawrat is said to have been altered by the Jews.