How Do We Know The Revelation Is Credible? Part 2 | About Islam
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How Do We Know The Revelation Is Credible? Part 2



Reply Date

Mar 12, 2017


Can you elaborate on the process of the revelation and how do we know for sure that none of God’s words have been distorted. How was the message revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him)? How much influence did the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have on the revealed words in the Qur’an? Why did God use Gabriel to transmit the divine message? Why did it not go directly to the Prophet?



Salam Amina,

Thank you for your question. 

Please find the second and final part of the answer to your question below. Find the first part at the link here.

During the 23 years from the revelation of the first verses (recorded in Surat Al-`Alaq 96:1-5), the Quran was revealed to the Prophet in stages. There are a number of reasons why the Quran was not revealed at one time.

The most important objectives of this were to enable the natural and steady development of the community of believers by gradually implementing the laws of God; to meet the requirements of the changing conditions and needs of that community; and to facilitate easy absorption and memorization of the Quran

It is noteworthy that when the revelation progressed, the Prophet encouraged his companions to learn as many verses as possible. And what is more, whenever a revelation came, he called for a scribe and dictated it to him.

He was careful to keep the revealed verses safely recorded. Consequently, the Quran was available in written form during the Prophet’s own time.

Also, it is quite evident from the Prophet’s last sermon that the Quran in the written form—though not necessarily in a single volume—existed during his time.

He said:

I have left with you something which if you will hold fast to, you will never fall into error—a plain indication, the Book of God and the practice of His Prophet (Ibn Hisham). 

There are also three hadiths in Sahih Al-Bukhari that inform us that the Angel Gabriel used to recite the Quran with the Prophet once a year, but Gabriel recited it twice with him in the year he died. 

From the foregoing account of the process of revelation and the recording and collection of the Quran, it must be evident that there was no chance for any of God’s words in the Quran to be distorted.

But you have also asked, “How much influence did the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have on the revealed words in the Quran?” 

By “the influence of the Prophet” on the revealed words in the Quran, are you suggesting that the Prophet himself could be guilty of misrepresenting or misinterpreting the words of God?

If so, the answer is no, the Prophet could not have done this because Allah Himself chose him as His Prophet and Allah will not allow anyone, even His Prophet, to scuttle His purpose or undermine His message.

As for others, they are free to accept Allah’s guidance or reject it, as it is clearly mentioned in the Quran itself:

{Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will, believe, and Let him who will, reject [it] […]” } (Al-Kahf 18:29)

Your question can also suggest another possibility: that the words of the Quran are not necessarily Allah’s, but those of the Prophet. This possibility also is ruled out by the Quran and the authentic records of the Prophet’s life.

Whatever revelation the Prophet heard was immediately dictated to his companions for writing down then and there. And there was no question of the Prophet putting the ideas in his own words. 

There are clear accounts by the poets of the Prophet’s time, that the language of the Quran is so superb that none of them could excel it or match it. And all of them knew Muhammad (peace be upon him) and they were sure that he could never have composed the verses of the Quran.

This was the reason why many of them embraced Islam. Allah asks in the Quran:

{Do they say: “He forged it”? Say: “Bring then a chapter like it and call [for help] anyone you can, other than God, if you are honest} (Yunus 10:38).

And again, the Quran says:

{What! Do they say, “He has forged a falsehood against God”? But if God willed, He could seal up your heart. And God blots out vanity, and proves the truth by His words. For He knows well the secrets of all hearts} (Ash-Shura 42:24).

It is quite evident that there was no chance at all for the Prophet to distort or change the words of the message he got from Allah.

And moreover, the honesty and trustworthiness of the Prophet was never questioned by anyone who knew him, not even by his staunchest enemies. Indeed, he was called “Al-Amin” (the Trustworthy). 

Allah Almighty says:

{The truth is from your God alone; so be not of those who doubt} (Aal `Imran 3:60).

May Allah the Merciful guide us to the truth! Thank you and please keep in touch. 


Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

The Quran: From the Preserved Tablet to Humankind

How Do We Know that the Quran has Never been Changed?

Is the Quran Authentic?

About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.

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