Monday, July 18, 2016

Muhammad in Bible (Isaiah 29 : 11-18)




            “And the vision of them all is become unto you, as the words of a book that is sealed up, which they deliver to one that can read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. Then shall he say, I cannot; for it is sealed. And the book is given unto him that cannot read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. And he shall say, I cannot read. (11:12)        
   
            “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek in the Lord shall receive joy again, and the poor men shall rejoice in the Holy one of Israel.” (18:19)  (1599 Geneva Bible)

The verse above was concerning about Allah's guidance to those who have books (Bible). If Allah destined to open someone's heart to accept knowledge of his books, He will give light to his heart. With it, he could learn the knowledge inside the books. On the contrary, how smart and how learned someone, if Allah didn't destined him to understand His books, then he wouldn't be able to interpret them.


“And the vision of them all is become unto you, as the words of a book that is sealed up, which they deliver to one that can read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. Then shall he say, I cannot; for it is sealed.

Have we ever seen the people who were well versed in the matter of Allah's books. They were people who could read. They were not illiterate. They had learned Allah's books with their own skill. But, Allah said that later, they wouldn't be able to take the wisdom inside the books. The wisdom and meaning inside the books would be hidden from them so that they couldn't take the lesson.
Allah had made the wisdom inside the book like a sealed book. The sealed book so that no one was able to open it except the one whom Allah chose. Whereas, they were the people who could read and could learn it but, when they were asked to take the wisdom behind it, they answered, they couldn't read that. It was because Allah didn't allow them to take the lesson and wisdom inside the book. Even though they could read and learn it, but their interpretation was not in accordance with the meaning. Their interpretation and understanding would be very far from the true meaning. "Reading" which in this verse meant was not just reading by mouth, but reading to take the wisdom and lesson from it.
Let's see the next verse,

“And the book is given unto him that cannot read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. And he shall say, I cannot read.

The second person was someone who couldn't read or illiterate. Allah said that later He would ask an illiterate person to read His book. But, because he couldn't read, then he would answer he couldn't read.
Later, his knowledge and revelation would be ordered to be read by an illiterate person. He was not like the first ones. He was not someone who could read. He was also not a well versed person in the matter of Allah's books. The first ones were people who had understanding about Allah's books. But this one was really illiterate. If he was asked to read, then he would say, "I cannot read".
Here's the difference. The first ones were people who could read. They also learned Allah's verses which were inside the book. But, when they were asked to read (take the wisdom), they couldn't do it. But this one, when Allah asked him to read, he said that he couldn't read. Not because Allah hid the wisdom from him or not because the book was sealed but it was merely because he was illiterate.

“And the vision of them all is become unto you, as the words of a book that is sealed up, which they deliver to one that can read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. Then shall he say, I cannot; for it is sealed. And the book is given unto him that cannot read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. And he shall say, I cannot read. (11:12)

This prophecy was nothing but for the Prophet Muhammad.
As we know, there was only a few who could read in the ancient time. Most of them who could read were people who had position (rank) or were born from rich and educated family. The Prophet Muhammad was not them. He was an orphan since childhood. His life was gone through with his uncle who was not really rich. In the young age he shepherded his family's goat. And when growing to be adult, he sold Khadijah's commodities.
He was not born from a priesthood family which may give him opportunity to learn or to read. He never learned the books of Moses or the words of Jesus. Even though there had been community of Ahli Kitab (Christian) in Mecca in that time, but he never went there to learn religion to them.
But, he was someone who had a heart as pure as crystal. His heart was never stained with idol worship and vile deeds. He was known as Hanif, righteous in his life. His personality was beautiful as a dove, gentle and hospitable. His honesty and trustworthiness became people's talk in that time so that the title of Al-Amin (trustworthy) was given to him.

And the book is given unto him that cannot read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. And he shall say, I cannot read

The prophecy above became reality with the process of the first sending of revelation. His wife, Aisyah, said about the process of the first revelation given to Prophet Muhammad,

"The early process of the revelation sent down to Allah's Apostle was a good dream in sleep. The dream was seen evident to him as the radiance of dawn. Then he liked to seclude himself (be alone). He liked to seclude in cave Hira. He worshipped there, that was worshipping in some nights before yearned to his family, and taking supply for that. Then he went home to Khadijah[1]. He took supply as usual until the truth came to him. When he was in cave Hira, an Angel came and said, "Read!", he (Muhammad) said, "I cannot read". He (angel) caught me and embraced me so that I am tired. Then he released me, then he said, "Read!", then I said, "I cannot read". Then he caught me and embraced me for the second time, then he released me, then he said, "Read!", so I said, "I cannot read", then he caught me and embraced me for the third time, then he released me. Then he ( Angel) said,
            “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous,  Who has taught (the writing). Has taught man that which he knew not."
            Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. He went to Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and said, "Cover me!", she covered him until his fear was over. After that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.”  Khadijah 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 people afflicted with calamities.” Khadijah then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal ibn Asad ibn Abdul Uzza, who, during the pre-Islamic period became a Christian and used to write in the Hebrew alphabet. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadijah said to Waraqah, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!”  Waraqah asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah's Apostle described that which he had seen. Waraqah said, “This is the one who keeps the secrets (Angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live until the time when your people will turn you out.” Allah's Apostle asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqah replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to that which you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I remain alive until the day when you will be turned out then I should support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqah died and the Divine Inspiration also paused for a while.” (HR. Bukhari)

            This prophecy was for the Prophet Muhammad, as the verse said that later an illiterate person would be asked to read by someone whom Allah ordered. Then, if he was asked to read he would say, "I cannot read".

            “And the book is given unto him that cannot read, saying, Read this, I pray thee. And he shall say, I cannot read

Imagine, if one day you were in the same situation just like what the Prophet Muhammad experienced. You were secluding yourself or being alone in a lonely place. The space was dark and no one was there. Then, when you were engrossed in worship, suddenly a great creature from different realm coming to you. He embraced you and hugged you. Then he asked you to read, whereas you realized that you were illiterate. What will you answer?. I am sure you will just answer, "I can't read". In that time, your heart pulsed so fast, your eyes were goggled, you extremely frightened, you completely couldn't do anything, and you trembled. But, the creature asked you to read. Whereas, you really realized that you cannot read. Could we say the answer than, "I can't read".
There was a great wisdom in the verse which we just learn. This prophecy gave us lesson that prophethood was not a plan made in the "last evening". Revelation was not just sent down immediately without a prophecy beforehand. This plan was a great plan. This plan was a decision which will soon happen. All had been destined by Allah before he created all creations.
Prophet Isaiah lived several hundred years before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad but, the prophecy given to him had become reality. All what he said were appropriate by what the Prophet Muhammad experienced. Wasn't it proof of truth. Truth which cannot be disavowed by anything. Truth which cannot be debated by any argumentation. This truth was sincerely truth.
We see another verse afterwards,

“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.”(18)

So, if the book was read to the illiterate person, a change would come. There would be change of situation. The condition would be reversed. Those who were deaf would be able to hear. Those who were blind would be able to see.
The meaning of deaf above was never heard or couldn't hear the words of Allah and the teaching of righteousness. And what it meant blind was never saw the truth which was in accordance with the words of Allah. It meant that later, if the book was read to the illiterate person, people who went astray from the teaching of Allah would get guidance.
The Arabs before the coming of the Prophet Muhammad was jahiliyah (ignorant) nation. They didn't know the true meaning of life in sense of worship to Allah the one God. They never heard revelation read by a prophet. They never heard what was that pure monotheism. And they also never heard kindness which was in accordance with the guidance of God. But, after the deputation of Prophet Muhammad and the reading of Koran, they started to know what the truth was. They started to know that Allah was one and nothing was equal with Him.
Since a long time, they lived in the darkness. They used to drink liquor so that making them quarreled each other. They used to bury their female babies alive. They used to worship idol, grave, and another objects which cannot give any benefit. The darkness had covered them for a long time. Until finally, Allah sent a prophet to bring them out of the darkness. Who some time ago worshipped idol changed to worship Allah. Who some time ago buried female babies changed to give their rights. Who some time ago drank liquor changed to read Holy Koran.
Allah said that before the coming of Prophet Muhammad, the Arabs had gone  astray,
      
      It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error (Al-Jumuah : 2)

Then it was said that the poor and the meek (weak who have no power) would be happy after his coming,

The meek in the Lord shall receive joy again, and the poor men shall rejoice in the Holy one of Israel.

The coming of Islam had brought change especially for the poor and the weak. During the past, they were oppressed people. They don't have might if their rights were seized. And also for the poor, they don't get any help in going through the troubled life. Then, Islam came with the most hospitable and the most attentive teaching towards them. They got honorable place and having the same right like other people. Islam also obligated to anyone who had gold, silver, and farming to give some percents of those wealth if they complied with the measure. Islam also recommended alms to those who have more wealth. The Islamic protection towards the poor also can be seen from Qur'anic verses which criticized luxurious and extravagant styles of the rich.
Actually, there was another verse which will make us more convinced with this prophecy. In the next verse, number 24, was said like this,

Then they that erred in spirit, shall have understanding, and they that murmured, shall learn doctrine.

           This prophecy said that later the people who never knew the teaching of the prophets would understand. They would have knowledge about the true religion. Beforehand, they had gone astray. They never learn understanding which gave knowledge about truth. But, after the book was read to the illiterate person, they would know and understand the understanding they never learned.
The Arabs before the coming of Islam had never learned Allah's book. They were pure polytheists who didn't have written law and books of God. All of their religious service and deeds only based on hereditary forefather's tradition. But, when Islam came, they started to learn religion with the true understanding. They learned Holy Koran and they understood it. They started to know that Allah is one and Muhammad is messenger of God. They started to know the knowledge which they never knew before. They performed it based on the teaching of Prophet Muhammad. Whereas some time ago, they were people who had gone astray and going through their life without knowledge and guidance.
            Then it was said that later the people who murmured (while in the version of Complete Jewish Bible it was said by complain) would learn the teaching which was brought by the illiterate.

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

            The question is, whom the verse meant by murmuring people?. Who are they? The answer was nothing but women. They were the people that the verse meant by murmuring people. Woman in the ancient time was different from woman in this time. In the ancient time, women spend most of her times in the house. They cooked, raised children, cleaned the house, and do another house duties. Their habit when they were piqued by a lot of duties and their husband annoying attitude was murmuring. They would say their disappointment from their chamber. They would not say their gripes to their husband. As a result, they would just murmur from their chamber.
            Then, if the book was read to the illiterate, there would be change to the women. They would learn the knowledge and teaching of the illiterate. They learned and understood his teaching.

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.    

Before Islam came, women had low position in the society. Their rights were neglected. But, after Islam came, they got equal rights in Islam. they were given right of inheritance, right of divorce, and another rights. And of course, the rights to learn religion. In Islam, woman was allowed to learn religion. We could see the women who had high degree in the Islamic society in that time like Aisyah. She was the prophet's wife who had much knowledge and narrated many Hadits (prophet's words) from him. Whereas beforehand, the women were people who could just spend their life in house and maybe murmuring sometime. But, after Islam came, they were allowed to learn religion.




[1] Khadijah is Prophet Muhammad’s first wife. He sold her commodities before proposed by her.

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