quran

Who Claimed Masses From The Sky (Part III) – Join islam

In the previous two articles linked below, we looked at how the messenger being challenged to bring masses from the sky cannot be regarding Muhammad. In this third part, we will discuss another proof as to why this challenge cannot be regarding Muhammad. For reference, here are the verses:

[17:90] They said, “We will not believe you unless you cause a spring to gush out of the ground.
[17:91] “Or unless you own a garden of date palms and grapes, with rivers running through it.
[17:92] “Or unless you cause masses from the sky, as you claimed, to fall on us. Or unless you bring GOD and the angels before our eyes.

وَقَالُوا لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا

أَوْ تَكُونَ لَكَ جَنَّةٌ مِنْ نَخِيلٍ وَعِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الْأَنْهَارَ خِلَالَهَا تَفْجِيرًا

أَوْ تُسْقِطَ السَّمَاءَ كَمَا زَعَمْتَ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفًا أَوْ تَأْتِيَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ قَبِيلًا

This article will focus on the following next verse and the specific claim where it states:”…unless you climb to the sky. Even if you do climb, we will not believe unless you bring a book that we can read.

[17:93] “Or unless you own a luxurious mansion, or unless you climb into the sky. Even if you do climb, we will not believe unless you bring a book that we can read.” Say, “Glory be to my Lord. Am I any more than a human messenger?”

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَىٰ فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّىٰ تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَـٰبًا نَّقْرَؤُهُۥ قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إِلَّا بَشَرًا رَّسُولًا

Here is the word by word brekdown of this portion of the verse:

7 aw أَوْ or
8 tarqā تَرْقَىٰ you ascend / climb
9 فِى into
10 l-samāi ٱلسَّمَآءِ the sky.
11 walan وَلَن And never
12 nu’mina نُّؤْمِنَ we will believe
13 liruqiyyika لِرُقِيِّكَ of your ascension
14 ḥattā حَتَّىٰ until
15 tunazzila تُنَزِّلَ you bring down
16 ʿalaynā عَلَيْنَا to us
17 kitāban كِتَـٰبًا a book
18 naqra-uhu نَّقْرَؤُهُۥ we (can) read it.”

This verse further reinforces that Muhammad was not the one who was being challenged with these requests because Muhammad literally ascended to heaven and was given the book, the Quran, for the people to read. Both these facts are detailed in the same Sura this challenge is made.

[17:1] Most glorified is the One who summoned His servant (Muhammad) during the night, from the Sacred Masjid (of Mecca) to the farthest place of prostration (Masjid al-Aqsa), whose surroundings we have blessed, in order to show him some of our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer.

 سُبْحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَـٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِنَآ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

[17:106] A Quran that we have released slowly, in order for you to read it to the people over a long period, although we sent it down all at once.

 وَقُرْءَانًا فَرَقْنَـٰهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ عَلَىٰ مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَـٰهُ تَنزِيلًا

1 waqur’ānan وَقُرْءَانًا And a Quran / recitation
2 faraqnāhu فَرَقْنَـٰهُ we sectionalized / divided it,
3 litaqra-ahu لِتَقْرَأَهُۥ that you may read it
4 ʿalā عَلَى to
5 l-nāsi ٱلنَّاسِ the people
6 ʿalā عَلَىٰ at
7 muk’thin مُكْثٍ intervals.
8 wanazzalnāhu وَنَزَّلْنَـٰهُ And we revealed it
9 tanzīlan تَنزِيلًا (in one) Revelation.

Muhammad’s ascent is also detailed in Sura 53: The Stars (Al-Najm).

[53:1] As the stars fell away.
[53:2] Your friend (Muhammad) was not astray, nor was he deceived.
[53:3] Nor was he speaking out of a personal desire.
[53:4] It was divine inspiration.
[53:5] Dictated by the Most Powerful.
[53:6] Possessor of all authority. From His highest height.
[53:7] At the highest horizon.
[53:8] He drew nearer by moving down.
[53:9] Until He became as close as possible.
[53:10] He then revealed to His servant what was to be revealed.
[53:11] The mind never made up what it saw.
[53:12] Are you doubting what he saw?
[53:13] He saw him in another descent. [53:14] At the ultimate point.
[53:15] Where the eternal Paradise is located.
[53:16] The whole place was overwhelmed.
[53:17] The eyes did not waver, nor go blind.
[53:18] He saw great signs of his Lord.

[29:51] Is it not sufficient that we sent down to you this book, being recited to them? This is indeed a mercy and a reminder for people who believe.

 أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

1 awalam أَوَلَمْ (And) is it not
2 yakfihim يَكْفِهِمْ it sufficient for them
3 annā أَنَّآ that we
4 anzalnā أَنزَلْنَا [we] revealed
5 ʿalayka عَلَيْكَ to you
6 l-kitāba ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ the book
7 yut’lā يُتْلَىٰ (which) it is recited
8 ʿalayhim عَلَيْهِمْ to them?

Additionally, it is worth pointing out that the verse ends with the messenger who was being challenged, stating, “Am I any more than a human messenger?

[17:93] “Or unless you own a luxurious mansion, or unless you climb into the sky. Even if you do climb, we will not believe unless you bring a book that we can read.” Say, “Glory be to my Lord. Am I any more than a human messenger?”

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَىٰ فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّىٰ تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَـٰبًا نَّقْرَؤُهُۥ قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إِلَّا بَشَرًا رَّسُولًا

As detailed in a previous article, the distinction between a prophet (nabi) and a messenger (Rasool) is that a prophet is given scripture. In contrast, a messenger delivers a message to their people. Therefore, all prophets are messengers by default, but not all messengers are prophets. If the verse stated, “I am not more than a human prophet,” instead of “messenger,” this would not make sense with the challenge being made. This is because, by definition, a prophet is given scripture, and Muhammad, being the final prophet (33:40), was given the book, the Quran, which further reinforces that this challenge being made was not being addressed to him.

All this points to the fact that the messenger being challenged in these verses (17:90-93) cannot be the prophet Muhammad but is regarding a messenger that came after him, Dr. Rashad Khalifa.


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