Someone once asked me how I still believe that the Quran is divine considering all the modern cosmological and scientific theories. While answering this I started thinking, when had I exactly started whole-heartedly believing that this Book is divine and not man-made? And what exactly had convinced me of its divinity?
I was taught to recite the Quran as a child, but in my family, like most Muslim-born families, no one really talked about how or *why* this book is undoubtedly extra-worldly. It’s just “our Book”, that’s it. No questions asked, no answers told.
But I don’t remember having a “blind” faith in it either, at least not after a certain age. So something must have convinced me, there must have been some knowledge that nailed it for me, made me realize the magnitude of it. I know the rough time when that happened: I was around 14-15, I got to know more about Islam and history and the Quran and intelligent design and what not… But exactly *what* was it that did it – I keep failing to remember.
Maybe it was the palindromes in surah Muddatthir and Surah Yasin.
Maybe the event in history where the Romans were unexpectedly defeated by Persia in 615 AD in a land far away, and immediately verses were revealed in the Quran [Surah Rum] about their defeat, much quicker than the news could have humanly reached our Prophet ( ) in Arabia. And the next verses prophecised their next victory along with its timing (which came true).
Maybe the numerical miracles – 25% land and 75% water, 50% fear and 50% hope, 50% day and 50% night, 50% male and 50% female, and so on.
Maybe the unique, epic way this book has been passed on for generations, orally instead of by writing – yet not letting a single letter be changed.
Or maybe how its language is the only language that stayed the same through so many centuries, while languages from even 2 centuries ago – like Victorian English – have gone through such major change that laymen don’t even understand these languages anymore, and people have to spend years studying a single drama or poem.
The use of metaphors, hyperbole, rhyme, sarcasm, imagery, scene-setting, and other literary devices.
How the story of prophet Yusuf and his 11 brothers can be divided into exactly 12 parts, and how it symmetrically builds up a tragedy in the first half, and then relieves it in the second half.
Geographic facts like mountains having underground parts rooting them (like pegs), which have only been discovered later.
The mention of the sun and stars moving in orbits, despite being revealed at a time when people didn’t even believe the *earth* to be moving.
The medical accuracy in the stages of development of the embryo.
The expansion of the universe.
All life starting from water.
Ants having a language.
Iron having come from outer space.
Pharaoh’s body being preserved.
The poetic beauty.
The human rights.
And on and on.
But it wasn’t any of these. It just wasn’t. Knowing about all of these kept adding to my faith, made my conviction stronger, but where did it all root back?
I’ll never know. I could have known all of these and more and still disbelieved. So many people do. So there is only one legit answer. One that we read so often in the Quran itself, one we hear so often – at least once each Friday in jumuah khutba – yet ignore:
“Whomever Allah guides, no one can misguide. And whomever Allah misguides, no one can guide.”