Secret Knowledge of the Qur‘an
By S.M. Zakir Hussain (Bangladesh)
of the Qur‘an
6. Background Shift
This is a style that I have not yet found in any other book or scripture except the Qur‘an. Through this style, God has linked two realities that are separated by about a two-thousand-year period. The juxtaposition of the two realities has been done so smoothly that it evades the brain unless it is pointed out by somebody else. Just look over the following stretch of text:
7:155. And Moses chose of his people seventy men for Our appointed tryst and, when the trembling came on them, he said: My Lord! If You hadst willed You hadst destroyed them long before, and me with them. Will you destroy us for that which the ignorant among us did? It is but your trial (of us). You sendest whom You will astray and guidest whom You wilt: You are our Protecting Friend, therefore forgive us and have mercy on us, You, the Best of all who show forgiveness.
7:156. And ordain for us in this world that which is good, and in the Hereafter (that which is good), Look! We have turned to you. He said: I smite with My punishment whom I will, and My mercy embraces all things, therefore I shall ordain it for who ward off (evil) and pay the poor-due, and those who believe Our revelations;
7:157. Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear. Then those who believe in him, and honour him, and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: they are the successful.
This first two verses – verses 155 and 156 – represent a conversation between God and Moses (May God be pleased with him). Who is God talking to in the verse No. 157? We need not answer this question. The verse No. 157 maintains the continuity of the same discourse. But – let us be surprised – who is God talking to and talking about in this verse?
While the context remains the same, with the message unchanged, the audience has changed. The same voice is delivering a speech to people who are separated from each other by thousands of years.
This shows that while speaking to Moses Go told him about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUB) who would come after him, just as He is talking about Moses while speaking to Muhammad (PBUB). While speaking to Moses, God might have said something like this: “I will ensure my blessings to those who follow you, and who will follow the illiterate prophet Mohammad (PBUH) after you.” In the same way, God instructs the followers of Muhammad (PBUH) to acknowledge the prophethood of all the prophets who were sent earlier.”