Unity In Diversity - Essays in religion by members of the faculty of the Unification Theological Seminary - Edited by Henry O. Thompson - 1984

The Concept of Revelation in Islam -- Yaqub Zaki

Revelation (wahi) is the act by which God, having created the world, proceeds to disclose Himself to His own creation, acting in His capacity as hadi (Guide). As such the term embraces any act of self-disclosure, beginning with God's addressing our First Parents in the Garden, and proceeding through a series of disclosures to prophets of both categories, i.e., rusul and anbiya', culminating in a final definitive act of disclosure known as khatm an-nubuwwa, or Seal of Prophethood. With the exception of the first, all these acts have made use of intermediaries, and the use, throughout history, of certain lineages forms an essential part of the divine plan. Thus the Qur'an tells us that God has preferred the families of Abraham and 'Imran over all others (3:33). The Abrahamic Prayers in the darud, or concluding portion of the Muslim liturgy, have the specific function of bracketing Abraham and Muhammad together. In this connection, the Prophet Muhammad as true heir of Abraham, the Prayer of Abraham (du'a' Ibrahim) in sura 2, vv. 127-9 takes on special significance:

127. And when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and Ishmael [also, he prayed:] "Our Lord! Accept [this work] from us, [for] you are the Hearer, the knower.

128. "Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You (muslimaini laka) and our seed a nation submissive unto You (ummat muslimat laka), and show us the rites by which we may worship You, and relent towards us, [for] You, only You, are the Relenting, the Merciful.

129. "Our Lord! And raise up amongst them an envoy from amongst themselves who shall relate unto them Your revelations (ayatika) and shall impart to them scripture and wisdom and shall purify them, [for] You, only You, are the Mighty, the Wise."

At this moment Isaac had still to be born so "our seed" must refer to the seed of Abraham as transmitted through the loins of Ishmael, progenitor of the Arabs, but the relationship is even closer, as we shall see. This passage should be taken in conjunction with another (38:100-8), the sacrifice of Abraham. Since Ishmael was at this moment the Patriarch's sole progeny the sacrifice demanded of Abraham was that of his whole posterity. The dramatic intervention at the last moment in vv. 104-5 whereby Ishmael was reprieved is an instance of divine providence; God provided for the future by sparing Ishmael so that from his seed -- the Prophet was descended of Kedar, second son of Ishmael -- a prophet could be born who would bring Abraham's work to a triumphant conclusion (khatm an-nubuwwa -- Seal of Prophethood). Thus the Covenant of Abraham was fulfilled in the person of his descendant with the restoration of the elder line. Abraham's prayer is answered in 3:164; and God's dispensational formula as found in the lineage of Abraham is comprised within the centuries which elapsed between the prayer's utterance and its fulfillment 2,400 years later in the very same place where it was uttered. Were it not for this, God's salvific plan, whereby man is enabled to overcome the effects of the Fall, would have been inoperative.

The temporal nature of revelation embodies the concept of progressive disclosure as well as periodical reaffirmation. We do not propose, however, to go into the details of this doctrine, the Seal of Prophethood, as these belong rather to prophethood than revelation. Prophethood and scripture are the twin vehicles of revelation: one is the impermanent life, the other the permanent record. Both testify to the truth, which is why the Muslim creed is known as the Shahada, or testimony, and the centrality of prophethood is evident from the fact that it forms the content of the second clause of the Shahada:

I testify (or bear witness) that there is no god but the God and that Muhammad is His envoy (rasul).

The first clause affirms (a) the existence of God, (b) His ontological unity, and (c) His unicity; whilst the second affirms Muhammad's special role as chosen (mustafa) medium through whom God, having created Man, discloses Himself to His own creation, i.e., having created, in Man, a rational being capable of apprehending Him, God reveals Himself, using for the purpose those faculties with which He has endowed him. The modus operandi of revelation is variable; revelation can be either oral or written: the Qur'an is written revelation, the Hadith oral revelation. In the first God addresses Man directly, using the first person plural; the second is more akin to inspiration except that the Qur'an refers to Muhammad as "an excellent model (uswat hasanat)" without venturing to affirm that his every action or statement is inspired. Exception must of course be made for the hadiths which are qudsi, i.e. hadiths in which God speaks in the first person, but these hadiths only amount to six out of the thousands which exist.

Islam discriminates between various categories of revelation all comprised under the generic wahi. There is a lower category of revelation known as ilham, which is the kind poets, artists and saints are accustomed to receive. This latter kind equates with inspiration and is fallible of its nature. Satanic inspiration is known by the onomatopoetic wiswas (whispering) and al-Tabarl instances two verses in the Qur'an whose source was recognized as satanic and were in consequence struck out immediately. The two verses in question came directly after 53:201 By contrast with ilham the wahi of the Qur'an is infallible, and to make this clear the Qur'an uses the term inzal (sending-down) which since it comes from a transitive verb (anzala) presupposes an object. What is sent down therefore is the text of something already in existence, a procedure intended to preclude the possibility of error. Grammatically the term is a masdar (verbal noun) of the fourth measure of the verb (from the root nzl: to descend). In this measure the verb is causative: if nazala means "to descend" anzala means 'to make to descend,' the subject behind God and the object a Qur'anic text (tanzil is used for an instance of its occurrence). The notion of descent is crucial to a proper understanding of Islam, for it is the correlative of transcendence. As God transcends His own creation the Qur'an can only come down from wherever He transcends it to. The two notions are inseparably linked. Also implicit in the concept of descent is the notion of hierarchy. God stands at the apex of a hierarchy of being (wujud), with man at the opposite remove in the capacity of recipient. Included on this lower plane are the Animal Kingdom ('alam al-hayawanat) and the Demonic Order (al-jinn, al-jann) as likewise beneficiaries of revelation. The form of revelation the brute creation receives is not entirely clear, although the Qur'an affirms its existence implicitly and in one case ("Then your Lord revealed unto the bee...." 16:68) explicitly; but we can take it that animals have an instinctual apprehension of reality, al-Haqq, the Real, being one of the 99 names of God, and thus live in a world of total albeit limited certitude. This much at least is clear from the interesting fact that only man can be a non-Muslim. Much clearer is the position with regard to the Demonic Order, although they pertain to an altogether different category of being, ontologically distinct from man and beast. The Prophet is the prophet to both mankind and jinn ("a mercy for the worlds"); and the Qur'an notwithstanding its terms of reference are human is addressed to both categories. The equality of both the human and demonic orders in respect of their ultimate destiny is clear from the numerous passages in which the Qur'an classes them together: " Ya ma'ashiral-jinn wa al-ins...." ("O assembly of jinn and humankind...." 6:130). It is recorded that the Prophet preached to the jinn; and the jinn, who understand human language and sometimes intrude into our world, listened to the recitation of the Qur'an and exclaimed in admiration (72:1). Muslim jinn of course read the Qur'an all the time.

Returning to the downward movement of inzal, concomitant with God's transcendence (mukhalafa), it is with this doctrine that Islam demolishes all notions of immanence, in-dwelling or pantheism. Likewise, incarnation (hulul): any religion predicated on the basis of incarnationism runs the risk of eroding the ontological boundaries that separate man from God. Pantheism is the negation of all hierarchy and, ultimately, of all worth. By defining wahi as inzal, a descent from a higher plane on to a lower, Islam wishes to signal to us that here is a basic pattern of movement in the universe, on the basis of which much can be predicated, not least politics. Politics is in fact no different from religion: truth comes from on top and moves down. Thus, in the state, power emanates from the top and on the way down it is met by responsibility moving up. Society is regulated by law, and in the Islamic state the source of law is divine. Thus wahi taking the form of descent provides us with a paradigm for the structure of both society and state, since the state is nothing but a function of society:

Allah (God)

Rasul Allah (God's Envoy)

Khalifat Rasul Allah (Deputy of God's Envoy)

Umm a (Nation, Community)

The meaning is clear: the Caliph is the guarantor of the legality of the state, for he holds his authority in virtue of its transmission from the Prophet to his successors. Obedience to him is therefore mandatory equally as in the case of the Prophet. This is not to be confused with state absolutism on the European model; it does not involve either deification of the state (Marxism) or of its head (monarchism); the Caliph is not a monarch but a mere executive whose function is to uphold the Law (shari'a) and provide a visible focus for the authority of the state. Since, at its ultimate source, the Law is divine the Shari'a is, strictly speaking, infallible. The paradigm just outlined sanctions the state as an apparatus for the enforcement of Shariya, enabling man to live under justice ('adl). Just as God and man confront one another from opposite ends of the ontological scale so do theocracy and democracy stand at opposite removes from one another, democracy being an inversion of the natural order of things, or hierarchy.

Although the Qur'an is only one of the four sources of law in orthodox (Sunni) Islam, the reason the Law must be accounted infallible is because it partakes of the infallibility of its source. The textual infallibility of the Qur'an derives from its being a transcript of uprinceps, the lauh al-mahjuz. This term is one of those gripping metaphors in which the Qur'an abounds; it means "the Preserved (or Guarded) Tablet." The Arabic admits of both constructions, both preserved (from, and for, all time) and guarded (against textual corruption). What is referred to here is the same as what Horace meant when he spoke of having erected a monument more enduring than bronze or marble. Inscriptions on marble or consisting of bronze letters on a marble slab were the Roman way of perpetuating a decree or historic document, e.g., Augustus' will.

Thus the Qur'an affirms that it is but the transcript of a celestial archetype, which is why the Prophet is adjured to add or subtract nothing but to adhere strictly to the text that is given him. Inzal therefore refers to the sending-down of a text, its vesture in sounds and words. The lauh is referred to in 85:21-2:

21. Nay, but it is a glorious Qur'an

22. On a tablet guarded.

And again in 43:3-4:

3. We have made it an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand,

4. And in the Source of the Book (umm al-kitab) present (here) with us, it is indeed sublime, decisive.

The Tablet may only have a metaphorical existence -- and to this we shall return later -- but the nature of wahi is that it is essentially a disclosure of things otherwise unknown or at least hitherto unclear. As the source of wahi pertains to the suprasensible world it is evident that we are dealing here with an order of things unseen, for which Islam uses the term al-Ghaib, the Unseen. Sura 3, v. 44 juxtaposes the two terms wahi and ghaib: "This is information from the Ghaib. We reveal it to you (O Muhammad)..." More details are given in 45:51:

And it was never given to any mortal that God should speak to him but by revelation or from behind a veil or by sending an envoy to reveal whatever He wills. He is Sublime, Wise.

This is to say, God speaks both directly and indirectly, directly to the recipient of the wahi and indirectly to others through him. To be totally effective it is necessary for the resultant text to be unassailable from the standpoint of literary or textual criticism. Thus the Prophet is commanded to adhere strictly to the text of what is revealed to him, that is not to add, substract or otherwise embellish (43:43). Consequently, the Qur'an is described as "an unassailable scripture" which "Falsehood cannot come at from before or from behind, a disclosure (tanzil: a sending-down) from the Wise, the Laudable" (41:42). When the Prophet is invited by his critics to produce another reading (qur'an) or alter the existing one, he replies that "It is not for me to alter it of my own accord. I follow only that which is revealed to me. I fear if I disobey my Lord the punishment of an Awful Day" (10:15). Reproduction of an archetype precludes the possibility of error, save in the course of subsequent transcription, due to the fallibility of the human medium or the deficiencies of the Arabic script before al-Hallaj's orthographic reforms; and, clearly, the mechanism of revelation ties in with the doctrine of finality, for a definitive revelation requires a definitive text as foundation. The thrust of all these doctrines -- Qur'anic imitability, abrogation, and the one just considered, the lauh mahfuz -- is toward the establishment of a text of unimpeachable integrity such as shall serve as the secure cornerstone for a new world order. This marks the transposition of Islam's message from a metaphysical plane on to a socio-political one with the inception of the Umma, a revolutionary conception of nationhood in which the criterion of belief replaces the genetic accident of birth as the determinant of nationality. The concept of finality is therefore central to Islam's way of viewing the world.

The Qur'an not only issues from a source stated to be divine (27:6):

As for you (O Muhammad), you receive the Qur'an from the presence of One Wise, Aware,

but as we have seen reproduces a celestial archetype, the lauh al-mahfuz that may in fact be a metaphor for the mind of God. As a literal transcript it cannot be altered in any way, even by translation. The instant the Qur'an is "translated" into another language it ceases to be the Qur'an and the resultant book is not the Qur'an but an interpretation -- one amongst many possible -- of its meaning. This is why there can be no such thing in Islam as an Authorized Version, and a translation has neither theological nor liturgical status. The author of the Turkish national anthem, Mehmet Akif, had to flee to Egypt to save his life when Atatiirk ordered him to translate the Qur'an into Turkish. He knew the dictator's intention in having it translated was to vernacularize the liturgy, as indeed had already happened in the case of the adhan. Since God has chosen to communicate with His creation in the tongue of the mother settlement" (umm al-qura) Arabic constitutes a sacred language, consecrated as the vehicle of communication between the higher and the lower planes; and it functions as the medium in which the dialogue is carried on, with God addressing man in the Qur'an and man replying through the liturgy, using, to do so, both the prayer of praise and the prayer of supplication. A careful translator like Pickthall recognizes these pitfalls, and by entitling his version The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an neatly evades the trap. People without theologically trained minds, a Dawood, a Zafrullah or a Yusuf Ali, either do not hesitate to use the word "Qur'an" or else blasphemously associate the text with the translation so as to infer that they are somehow the same things. Adding insult to injury, an apologetic commentary is sometimes added at the foot by way of directing the mind along approved channels.

"Qur'an" means 'a reading' and comes from the very first word of the first revelation to Muhammad, when the angel exhibited to him a piece of brocade into which these words were woven (96:1-5):

1. Read in the name of your Lord Who created,
2. created man from a viscosity.
3. Read! for your Lord is the most beneficent,
4. (He) who taught man that which he (formerly) knew not,
5. taught him by means of the pen.

"Qur'an" therefore means a reading, or recitation, from an already existent text which is published through revelation, and the inclusion of the reed pen (galam) refers to the means of its transmission, i.e. the recording process as well as its subsequent dissemination. This passage also adumbrates a whole theory of knowledge but the question of epistemology does not concern us here. The recording was done by Zaid ibn Thabit, the Prophet's secretary, on an odd assortment of writing surfaces from all of which the Qur'an was subsequently put together. The passages making up the Qur'an were dictated on the Prophet's emerging from a tranced condition during which the wahi took place, chiefly by audition (75:17-18). Very little is known about the physiology of revelation and still less about the psychology of revelation. The latter in any case does not concern us here since the Qur'an as the literal word of God does not admit of human admixture, although for other religions with a belief in an inspired scripture the question of filtration through a human mind and the degree to which the message is affected by the human filter are matters of transcendent importance. The signals which heralded the onset of a tanzil were various. Bukhari refers to the reverberation of bells, which was the most painful.2 Tirmidhi alludes to a sound like the humming of bees close to the face just before Sura 23 was revealed.3 Observers noted, and Bukhari records, that even on cold days sweat would appear on the Prophet's face.4 He would change color, turn red, sometimes livid; he snored or -- delicious detail -- rattled like a young camel, before tailing into a lethargy5 Such details are very vivid and bear the impress of authenticity. Although the parallel with shamanism is close these revelations differ from shamanism in that they come unbidden; they would come on him suddenly with no more warning than the excruciating sound of bells. The Fifth Sura was revealed when he was on top of a camel and as the poor beast could not support him any longer, he was obliged to dismount. At Arafat during his last pilgrimage the Prophet used his she-camel Qaswas as a pulpit from which to preach the Farewell Sermon, and at the moment the concluding portion (5:3) of the Qur'an was revealed,

This day I have completed your religion for you and perfected my grace upon you and chosen for you as religion the Surrender (al-islam),

Qaswas sank to her knees under the impact of the wahi.

As a work whose authorship is divine it is only to be expected that the Qur'an should surpass stylistically books whose authorship is merely human. Much of the impact of the Qur'an resides in the way in which the genius of the Arabic language is wrought to the height of its potential; and it is precisely an aesthetic criterion that is held to be the proof of its divine origin. This teaching, formalized in a doctrine known as the dogma of inimitability (i'jaz al-Qur'an), is derived from those passages where it challenges "the two dependent categories" (53:31) to which the Qur'an is addressed, i.e., humankind and jinn, to produce its like, or, failing that, then ten suras or even just a single one that is comparable in style (17:88, 11:13 and 2:23). This challenge has never seriously been taken up, and the Qur'an's position as the supreme work of Arabic literature and the unsurpassable model of Arabic prose remains unchallenged.

Another doctrine bearing directly on the question of revelation, because it involves its progressive nature, is the dogma of abrogation (naskh). It has been said that the Qur'an is unique in that alone amongst scriptures it supplies rules for its own interpretation. One of these is the distinction between allegorical and literal matter (3:7). Another is the doctrine stated in 2:106 giving the rules for abrogation. An abrogation (tansikh) involves two parts, the nasikh and the mansukh, respectively the active and the passive participles of the same verb: in other words, the passage which abrogates and the passage which is abrogated. Briefly what is entailed is that if there be a discrepancy between two texts bearing on matters of legislation the subsequent text cancels out the earlier one. By extension, the Qur'an abrogates all previously revealed scriptures just as Muhammad's prophethood supersedes the missions of all previous prophets, which are now rendered otiose in virtue of his universality. Thus the doctrine of abrogation links up with another, the Seal of Prophethood, which works both forward and backward in time: retrospectively, by annulling the claims of previous dispensations; and forward, by invalidating those of any future claimant to the title of prophet. This is why there was never any question in Islam of reference back to previous scripture, the way that in Christianity the Old Testament is used as a support system for the New. Equally, anyone coming after Muhammad is demonstrably a fraud, like Baha'ullah or the lying prophet of Qadiyan. This is one of the reasons why the search for the sources of Islam has been so futile; the question of antecedents is irrelevant in the same way that the question of Judaic sources is irrelevant to Christianity, when we reflect that the structure of Christianity was from the start distinct from Judaism.

It should come as no surprise therefore that the theology of revelation in Islam involves concepts foreign to both Judaism and Christianity. Thus the Qur'an is not only the literal word of God but uncreated (ghair makhluq) and coeternal with Him. As the thought of God the Qur'an may be said to form part of the divine ipseity As divine utterance (kalam Allah) it transcends, as we have seen, all human speech and partakes of the dhat (essential nature) of God. An-Nasafi, whose creed ('aqida) is one of, if not the most famous in Islam, states:

And He whose majesty is majestic, speaks by means of speech (kalam). This speech is an attribute from all eternity (azali), not belonging to the genus of letters or sounds,6 an attribute that is incompatible with coming to silence and knows no weakness.

God Most High speaks with this speech, enjoining and prohibiting and narrating. And the Qur'an is the uncreated work of God, repeated by our tongues, heard by our ears, written in our copies (masahif), preserved in our hearts, yet not simply a transient state (hal) in these [tongues, ears, copies, hearts]."

This sums up the orthodox position. Just before this point in his Aqa'id, in reference to the key Islamic doctrine of the mukhalafa ('almukhalafa min al-hawadith, God's difference from originated beings, i.e., that God is essentially different from and other than all that we can know), an-Nasafi distinguishes between a thing originated (muhdath) and an originator (muhdith):

Further, the world in the totality of its parts is a muhdath in that it consists of substances (a'yan) and accidents (a'rad)....

The muhdith of the world is God Most High, the One (al-Wahid), the Eternal (al-Qadim), the Living (al-Hayy), the Powerful (al-Qadir), the Knowing (al-Alim), the Hearing (as-Samil), the Seeing (al-Basir), the Desiring (ashSha'i), the Willing (al-Murid). He is not an accident or a body, nor a substance (jauhar), nor a thing formed, nor a thing bounded, nor a thing numbered, nor a thing divided, nor a thing compounded, nor does He come to an end in Himself; and He is not described by quiddity (mahiya), nor by modality (kaifiyya), and He does not exist in space or time, and there is nothing that resembles Him and nothing that is without His knowledge and power.

He has attributes which are from all eternity (azali), resting in His Essence (dhat). They are not He nor are they other than He.7

Thus the mukhalafa (otherness) of God differentiates the kalam (speech) of God: unlike other speech it has no origin in time and thus does not end in time. Since the dhat (essential nature) of God is inapprehensible to a being such as man whom He so totally transcends God can only be known through His Attributes(sifat). The Attributes represent the modalities of God's operation within the world He has created. The 99 names, the Attributes they connote, (e.g., rahma, compassion, from ar-Rahman ar-Rahim, the Compassionate, the Merciful, or, more likely, the Merciful Compassionator) and certain other deducible sifat form the only means by which God can be apprehended. The Attributes are the clue to the Islamic understanding of God, for a god that was completely transcendent would be an agnostic god. Therefore the Attributes provide the analogia entis otherwise supplied in Christianity by the Incarnation. But the most important of the Attributes are hypostatized ones pertaining to the dhat, such as priority (qidam) and continuance (baqa'), transcendence (mukhalafa) and tanzih (independence of substrate or termination). The remainder, such as the one just quoted, compassion (rahma), are relationships only. It is in fact several of these hypostatized Attributes which explain the creation of man, because when God took the inert clay and breathed into it of His spirit (32:7-9), thereby animating it, He effected thereby the transference of seven of His own Attributes. These are the Rational Attributes (as-sifat al- 'aqliyya):

Life (hayat)

Knowledge ('Urn)

Will (irada)

Power (qudra)

Hearing (sam')

Seeing (basar)

Speech (kalam),

the totality of which makes up a rational being, i.e., one open to revelation in a way not possible to the brute creation, who intuit the existence of God. By endowing man with this faculty (kalam) God thereby renders him capable of recognizing divine kalam, or revelation, which, apprehended by the other faculties, hearing, seeing, etc., becomes 'ilm (knowledge), knowledge of one's Creator, one's duties in respect of Him, etc. It is the reciprocal nature of kalam that constitutes the basis of the revelatory process, and this solely because in the act of transmission God created, through the combination of these seven faculties, a creature distinguished by the possession of 'aql, the faculty of discursive reasoning.

Kalam of course must, of necessity, pre-exist creation if it is to be imparted to it. The Qur'an therefore as kalam Allah, or divine utterance, is the Logos, the fertile intersection of the two planes, both cross and swastika. Clearly the uncreated nature of the Logos cannot refer to the physical book or no less physical sounds produced by the larynx since both of these had and have their origin in time. An-Nasafi stresses that God's kalam being azali does not partake of the characteristics of human speech, it does not belong "to the genus of letters and sounds," rather it is "an attribute that is incompatible with coming to silence and has no weakness." Precisely the same point is made by al-Ghazali in somewhat more detailed form in the Ihya'. When we say that the Qur'an is uncreate and co-eternal with God this obviously cannot refer to the written book, for which Arabic reserves the term mushaf (copy), or articulated sounds (qira'a, reading, repetition or recitation) but to something distinct from either. Al-Ghazali says that the term "Qur'an" embraces three levels of meaning: lugha wa natq (language and utterance), hum) wa kitaba (letters and writing) and ruh wa ma'na (spirit and meaning). It is only in the last sense that the Qur'an can be said to be uncreated and co-eternal with God. The first two act reciprocally one upon the other but both go back to the third and are but attempts to concretize or embody something in itself ineffable. The precise nature of God's kalam like the precise nature of God Himself eludes definition. God, of course, is constrained by the limitations He imposes upon Himself, one of which is that in addressing man he has perforce to use anthropological language, with all that that implies (grammar, logic, terms of reference, etc.). Not only is there no single human tongue but even the terms of reference must operate within the framework of human and sometimes even local experience. If, instead, the Qur'an had been revealed to dolphins -- and who is to say it has not been? -- its terms of reference would have been altogether different. We revert to the mystery of the bee.


1. See trans, in A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, pp. 165-167. OUP, 1955. Cf. sira of ibn Hisham ed. Mustala's-Saqqa, Ibrahim al-Ibvari and Abd al-Hafiz Shalabi, 2nd. ed.; Cairo: 1375/1955, I, 364-365. 'The story is rejected by Caetani (Annali, I, p. 278ff.)

2. Bukhari, Sahih, sect, wahi, bab 2: "Al-Hanth ibn Hisham asked God's Apostle: 'O Apostle of God, how does the wahi come to you?' God's Apostle replied, 'Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of bells, and this form is the hardest for me, and then it passes off after I have grasped what was said; and sometimes the angel appears as a man, who speaks to me and I grasp whatever he said.' "

3. Tafsir, sura 23.

4. Bukhari, ibid.: " A'isha added: 'I saw him when the wahi descended on him on an extremely cold day and when it passed the sweat would be coursing from his forehead'."

5. Muslim, sect. Hudiid, trads. 13, 14. Bukhari, sect. Hajj, bab 17.

6. Our italics.

7. This sentence is the famous formula, Hiya la huwa wa la ghairahu.

Additional Reading

Arberry, Arthur J. Revelation and Reason in Islam. London: Allen and Unwin, 1957.

Crollins, Ary A. Roest. The Word is The Experience of Revelation in Qur'an and Hindu Scriptures. Rome: Universita Gregoriana, 1974.

Sadr-ud-Din. The Holy Prophet's Revelation and its Nature. Lahore: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-i-Islam, 1969.

Wielandt, Rotrand. Offenbarung und Geschichte im Denken moderner Muslime. Wiesbaden: F Steiner, 1971. 

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