THE INFORMATION HE GAVE ABOUT PAST
Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, gave lots of information about past peoples and events
- History is an important branch of knowledge. It is not a science like physics or biology. It mostly depends on documents that have remained of the past. Although we can have knowledge of the past and past events by means of documents, it is quite often very difficult to penetrate into the facts behind those events. We can hardly know the intentions of historical ‘actors’ or ‘actresses’ and the real motives behind events. In order to be able to judge rightly about persons and events, the documents we have should be reliable. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that personal inclinations and interests, prejudices, and different other motives may have a part of their own in documents, and, worse, documents may have been distorted. For example, if the Qur’an had not been sent down to our Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, we could not have had true knowledge about the Israelite Prophets and especially the Prophet Jesus, and the original identity of Christianity and Judaism. The Old and New Testaments have been so frequently and badly distorted and corrupted that it is impossible to open a way through them to historical truths.
- The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, gave lots of information about past peoples and events. Much of this information is in the Qur’an. As well as the main points in the histories of many past peoples and places like the ‘Ad, Thamud, Iram, Sodom and Gomorra, and ancient Egypt, and the peoples of Noah, Abraham and Shu‘ayb, we can also find in the Qur’an at least the general outlines of the history of the Israelite people from the beginning to the time of Jesus, particularly including the time of the Prophets Moses, David and Solomon, upon them be peace. It is highly interesting that much of this information is in the Qur’anic chapters which were revealed in the Makkan period of Muhammad’s Prophethood, during which he had contact with neither Christians nor Jews. When the Prophet emigrated to Madina, Jewish and Christian scholars asked him many questions about certain topics in the Torah and Gospels and since they received from him convincing answers, they could not object to any of them.
- Some of the information which the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, gave about the past is found in the books of Tradition like Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, and others. Neither the Qur’an nor the books of Tradition have been changed the least over time and none of the information the Prophet gave about the past has ever been contradicted. Rather, much of it has been affirmed the rest will also be affirmed through future investigations and excavations. This is an absolute, undeniable proof of Muhammad’s Prophethood.
- The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, did not only give information about past events and peoples, but he also analyzed them with their causes and results. Thus, the historical accounts of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, are of the kind that they presented laws of history and the broad psychological, social and economic principles concerning human individual and collective life. In addition, these accounts are masterpieces of literary style and eloquence, such that it is impossible to produce a like of them.