|The Defense of The Qur'an Against The Bible Borrowing Theory|
|Written by mquran.org|
|Monday, 20 November 2006|
The Qur'ân is made up of 114 Surahs: only 27 of them were revealed in Madinah while the remaining 87 were revealed in Makkah or some other nearby locations. It is to be reminded that the Jews were in Madinah and the Christians were in Najran and Yemen. There was no seat of Christianity in Mecca, in al-Hijaz nor in Madinah as stated by Bell:
Dr. Nabîh Aqel, a Professor of Arabic and Islamic History, University of Damascus, states in his book Tarîkh al-cArab al-Qadîm:
Ibn Ishâq narrated also in al-Sîrah al-Nabawiyyah, speaking about four people from Quraysh (Mecca) who were among the generation that preceded the Prophet Muhammad(P) and who had abandoned their people's faith (paganism) and went in search for their Haneefite roots.
These four men were Waraqah bin Nawfal, cAbdullâh bin Jahsh, cUthmân bin al-Huarith and Zaid bin Amro who said to each other "you know that your people had deviated from the religion of your father Abraham" and decided to search for their Haneefite roots and they "scattered into different countries seeking the Haneefite religion, the religion of Abraham". Ibn Ishâq said that Waraqah bin Nawfal had converted to Christianity as a result of his search. 
The migration of these four men out of Mecca shows that the city was completely a pagan society for if there was any significant Christian or Jewish presence in Mecca, it wouldn't be necessary for these men to travel in search for it.
Yet another piece of evidence is that during the period of Christian influence and power in Yemen, from Najran to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), history narrates to us the famous attempt of a great Christian army to conquer Mecca. This army from Yemen was supported by elephants and was lead by Abraha, the Abyssinian. The doomed invasion occurred in the same year that the Prophet Muhammad(P) was born ,and later came to be known amongst the Arabs as the Year of the Elephant. The army's aim was to vanquish Mecca, destroy the Ka'aba (the holy shrine built by Abraham(P) and his son Ismâcîl(P)) and then to convert the pagan Arabs to Christianity. Once this was accomplished, they could force them to make pilgrimage to the great church named al-Qulais that Abraha had built in Yemen for this purpose.
Ibn Ishâq in al-Sîrah al-Nabawiyyah under the title The Story of the Elephant said:
Dr Helmi Mahroos Ismâcîl in his book al-Sahrq al-'Arabi al-Qadîm writes:
This Christian attempt lead by Abraha to destroy the Ka'bah corroborates that Mecca and al-Hijaz, in general, had no Christian or Jewish influence whatsoever even until the time the Prophet Muhammad(P) was born. Abraha had failed in his attempt to destroy the Ka'bah and this was a subject of a Qur'ânic Chapter as a Sign from God (Surat al-Fîl) :
Historians could not explain how this great army of Abraha didn't reach its goals in conquering the weak- and almost surrendered city of Mecca!!
The following provides an excerpt from a Yemenite archaeological site that mentions, in part, this incident. Walter W. Muller, a specialized researcher in ancient Arabian history, under the subject Outline of the History of Ancient Southern Arabia, says:
Without giving any reason why Abraha had failed in capturing Mecca even though it had surrendered!
Bernard Lewis in his book The Middle East: 2000 Years Of History From The Rise Of Christianity To The Present Day, writes:
For further information on the story of this Christian campaign against Mecca a reference is made in al-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah. Below is a pre-Islamic poem from the same source that preserved the event by a person who had witnessed it. The poet Nufail bin Habeeb was there when the event took place and met with the fleeing soldiers of Abraha's army who asked him the directions to Yemen:
The poem can be roughly translated as follows:
Bernard Lewis also gave a brief summary on how al-Hijaz looked before the advent of Islam saying the weakness that hit the empires of the north and the south lead to the state that later came to be known to Arabs as al-Jahiliyyah (the days of ignorance).
Although the above excerpt paints a very dark image of how the situation was in Arabia before Islam, it is not totally true. The great amount of cultural heritage left by the Arabs of al-Hijaz represented, for example, by their literature shows that the term al-Jahiliyyah is not descriptive and was mainly used to mean the decline in the social/ethical standards, but nothing else.
Furthermore; the failure of the Christian Abyssinian army of Abraha to capture Mecca made the pagan Arabs glorify the city even more. Mecca was mainly a pagan society that worshipped stones and trees, yet still believed in a Supreme God. As the Qur'ân makes clear, they believed that their false gods and idols were a means of getting nearer to God:
The historical evidence plus the internal evidence of the Qur'ân proves beyond any doubt that there was no Christian nor Jewish influence in al-Hijaz, in general, and in Mecca, in particular. So how was Muhammad(P) borrowing from the Bible when the non-existence of any Arabic Bible or Arabic apocryphal sources has been proven?
Again the Qur'ân denies that someone was teaching the Prophet(P) and at the same time points to the fact that the language is foreign.
Had someone been teaching Prophet Muhammad(P), his family and close friends would have eventually known. However, far from being skeptical about his claims to prophethood, these people gave their wealth and lives for Islam.
In Sûrah Fussilat, the Qur'ân explains the reason why the revelation is in Arabic. This is to make sure that the people who were experiencing it could not make excuses.
Now with the absence of Jewish and Christian sources in Mecca, the question remains: who was teaching Muhammad(P) the stories of the old Prophets and Nations which were all revealed in Mecca as the following table shows:
Arranged according to Qisas al-Anbya - Stories of the Prophets - by Imam Ibn Kathîr 
The only answer to the question of who was teaching Muhammad(P) the Qur'ân can be found in these verses [53:2-5]
some people attribute to Muhammad(P) an encyclopedic knowledge, indirectly saying that he knew all the sources - Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hanif and ancient Arab beliefs - you name it - before he could compile the Qur'ân. This ignores the simplest facts which the disbelievers from among his own people acknowledged 1400 years ago- that Muhammad(P) was an illiterate man. The following verse, for example, was revealed in Mecca during the early stages of the Prophet's call:
The Qur'ân had answered this accusation 1400 years ago; but all through the past thousand years were some people able to provide any further evidence for their claims?
It should be kept in mind that the Qur'ân was publicly memorized and recited by all Muslims, both during and after the life of Muhammad(P). If it was not clearly and widely known in Mecca that Muhammad(P) was illiterate, the verses which claimed that he was certainly would have caused doubts amongst the Muslims. However, not only did the Prophet's(P) followers continue to grow - in spite of great persecution - but there is also no record of the pagan Arabs in Mecca accusing Muhammad(P) of not being illiterate. They instead accused him of having a tutor or of being possessed, as previous verses have shown, since it was common knowledge that he was illiterate.
 Richard Bell, The Origin of Islam in its Christian Environment, 1925; 1968 (Reprinted), The Gunning Lectures Edinburgh University, London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, p.42.
 Nabîh Aqel, Tarîkh al-cArab al-Qadîm, 1983 (Third Edition), Dâr al-Fikr, Beirut, p. 305.
 Ibn Hishâm, al-Sîrah al-Nabawiyyah, Mousasat cUlûm al-Qur'ân, Beirut, p.222.
 Ibn Hishâm, Op.Cit, p.43.
 Helmi Mahroos Ismael, al-Sahrq al-cArabî al-Qadîm, 1997, Mousasat Shabab al-Jami'ah, Egypt, p. 210 - 211.
 Bernard Lewis, The Middle East: 2000 Years Of History From The Rise Of Christianity To The Present Day, 1996 (Second Impression), Phoenix: London, p.45
 Ibn Hishâm, Op.Cit, p.53.
 Bernard Lewis, Op.Cit, p.42
 Nabîh Aqel, Op.Cit, p.271
 Ibn Kathîr, Qisas al-Anbiya, 1985 (Third Edition), Dar al-Jeel, Beruit.
Khâlid al-Khazrajî, Mustafa Ahmed, Elias Karîm, Qasim Iqbal, cAbd ar-Rahmân Robert Squires, M S M Saifullah & Muhammad Ghoniem
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|Last Updated ( Monday, 20 November 2006 )|
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