Authenticity of the Quran and Proofs that it is a Revelation from Allah
By Abdur-Raheem Green
Allah laid down a challenge in the Quran to mankind in general and to the Arabs in particular:
"And if you are in doubt concerning that which we have sent down to our slave (Muhammad) then produce a chapter like it, and call your supporters and helpers besides Allah, if you are truthful!" (Surah al-Baqarah 2:23)
The Arabs in the time of Muhammad, peace be upon him, had no civilization to speak of - no magnificent roads or public buildings, nor scientific or medical institutions. In fact, they lived a most primitive and barbarous existence. There was one thing in which they excelled - that was their language. They were extremely found of poetry, and prided themselves in their poetic abilities. They praised each other, admonished - and even argued - in poetry. There was even an annual market in Uhaz just for poetry - the finest of which was hung on the door of the Kaabah. The age of Muhammad was a time when the Arabs were at the peak of their linguistic abilities. Indeed, one of the finest poems ever written in Arabic was that of Labaid ibn Rabiyah, whos poem, when recited at Uhaz, caused the Arabs to prostrate before him in admiration. When this same Labaid began to hear the verses of Quran, he embraced Islam, and gave up poetry altogether. When he was once asked to recite some poetry he said: "What! After the Quran?" Indeed, many of the Arabs entered into Islam just from hearing the Quran, because for them it was a conclusive proof of its Divine origin. They knew that no man could produce such eloquence. The challenge of the Quran for man to produce its like is not, as some suppose, merely like the uniqueness of Shakespeare, Shelly, Keats or Homer. The Quran differentiated itself in its very structure. Poetry in Arabic falls into sixteen different "Bihar (rhythmic forms), and other than that they have the speech of soothsayers, rhyming prose, and normal speech. The Qurans form did not fit into any of these categories. It was this that made the Quran inimitable, and left the pagan Arabs at a loss as to how they might combat it. Alqama bin Abdulmanaf confirmed this when he addressed their leaders, the Quraish: Oh Quraish, a new calamity has befallen you. When Muhammad was a young man, he was the most liked among you, the most truthful in speech and the most trustworthy, until, when you saw grey hairs on his temple, he brought you his message. You said that he was a sorcerer, but he is not, for we have seen such people and their spitting and their knots. You said that he was a diviner, but we have seen such people and their behaviour, and we have heard their rhymes You said a soothsayer, but he is not a soothsayer, for we have heard their rhymes; and you said a poet, but he is not a poet, for we have heard all kinds of poetry. You said he was possessed, but he is not for we have seen the possessed, and he shows no signs of their gasping and whispering and delirium. Oh men of Quraysh, look to your affairs, for by Allah a serious thing has befallen you.
The Quraish decided that the only convincing propaganda they could make against the Prophet, peace be upon him, was that the magic of his speech turned a man away from his father, wife, brother and family. So Abu Lahab would wait on the road ways into Mecca in the Hajj season, and warn the people from listening to Muhammads speech. Tufail ibn Amr, chief of the Daws tribe and a distinguished poet, was one such man accosted by the Meccans, as he himself mentioned: I approached Mecca. As soon as the Quraish leaders saw me, they came up to me and gave me a most hearty welcome and accommodated me in a grand house. Their leaders and notables then gathered and said: O Tufayl, you have come to our town. this man who claims that he is a Prophet has ruined our authority and shattered our community. We are afraid that he would succeed in undermining you and your authority among your people just as he has done with us. Dont speak to the man. On no account listen to anything he has to say. He has the speech of a wizard, causing division between father and son, between brother and brother and between husband and wife. They went on telling me the most fantastic stories and scared me by recounting tales of his incredible deeds. I made up my mind then not to approach this man, or speak to him or listen to anything he had to say. The following morning I went to the place of worship to make tawaf around the Kaabah as an act of worship to the idols that we made pilgrimage to and glorified. I inserted cotton in my ears out of fear that something of the speech of Muhammad would reach my hearing. As soon as I entered the place of worship, I saw him standing near the Kaabah. He was praying in a fashion which was different from our prayer. His whole manner of worship was different. The scene captivated me. His worship made me tremble and I felt drawn to him, despite myself, until I was quite close to him. Notwithstanding the precaution I had taken, God willed that some of what he was saying should reach my hearing and I said to myself: What are you doing, Tufayl? You are a perceptive poet. You can distinguish between the good and the bad in the poetry. What prevents you from listening from wthe man is saying? If what comes from him is good, accept it, and if it is bad, reject it. I remained there until the Prophet left for his home. I followed him as he entered his house, and I entered also and said: O Muhammed, your people have said certain things to me about you. By God, they kept on frightening me away from your message so that I even blocked my ears to keep out your words. Despite this, God caused me to hear something of it and I found it good. So tell me more about your mission. The Prophet, peace be upon him, did and recited to me Surah al-Falaq. I swear by God, I had never heard such beautiful words before. Neither was a more noble or just mission ever described to me. Thereupon, I stretched out my hand to him in allegiance and testified that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah. This is how I entered Islam. Even the leaders of Quraish were unable to resist hearing the Quran.
The Seerah (i.e. Prophetic biography) of Ibn Ishaq reports one incident when Abu Sufyan, Abu Jahl and Al-Akhnas snuck out of their houses at night to listen to the Prophet reciting the Quran - hiding in their places until dawn. On the way home, they met and reproached one another, saying: Dont do it again, for if one of the weak minded fools see you, you will arouse suspicion in their minds. This happened three nights in a row, until they took from each other a solemn oath not to do it again. Utba bin Rabia, a chief of Quraish, during one of their meetings in which they discussed possible means to stop Muhammeds preaching, suggested to make some proposals to Muhammed and give him whatever he wants, so he will leave us in peace. Their leaders agreed, so Utba went and sat by the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said: Oh my nephew, you are one of us as you know, of the noblest of the tribe and hold a worthy position in ancestry. You have come to your people with an important matter, dividing their community thereby and ridiculing their customs, and you have insulted their gods and their religion, and declared that their forefathers were unbelievers, so listen to me and I will make some suggestions, and perhaps you will be able to accept one of them. The Prophet agreed, and he went on: If what you want is money, we will make you our chief so that no one can decide anything apart from you; if you want sovereignty, we will make you king, and if this ghost which comes to you, which you see, is such that you cannot get rid of him, we will find a physician for you, and exhaust our means in getting you cured, for often a familiar spirit gets possession of a man until he can be cured of it. The Prophet, peace be upon him, listened patiently, and then said: Now listen to me. The Prophet, peace be upon him, then recited from the beginning of Surah Fussilat (41) until the verse of prostration, were the Prophet prostrated, and all the while Utba listened attentively, sitting on his hands, and leaning on them. The Prophet, peace be upon him, then said: You have heard what you have heard, Abul Waleed; the rest remains with you. When Utba returned to his companions they noticed that his expression completely altered, and they asked him what had happened. He said that he had heard words that he had never heard before, which were neither poetry, nor witchcraft. Take my advice and do as I do, leave this man entirely alone for, by God, the words which I have heard will be blazed abroad. If the other Arabs kill him , others will have rid you of him; if he gets the better of the Arabs, his sovereignty will be your sovereignty, his power your power, and you will be prosperous through him. They said: He has bewitched you with his tongue. To which he answered: You have my opinion, you must do what you think fit.
Such was the power of the Quran that Umar ibn Al-Khattab, who was on his way to kill the Prophet, discovered his sister and her husband reciting the Quran. Upon reading twenty verses, instead went to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and embraced Islam. So how is it possible for an un-lettered and un-learned man, not versed in poetry, to be able to produce a work of unrivalled eloquence and perfect rhetoric, so that even the assembled experts and masters of all the forms poetry and the Arabic language were unable to produce the like of its smallest chapter? Indeed they chose rather to fight the Prophet, peace be upon him. Thus the flower of their nobility were killed, and their trade and reputation destroyed. How could they choose this rather than counter the verses of Quran? It is as at-Tabari wrote in the introduction to his Tafseer (commentary on the Quran): "There can be no doubt that the highest and most resplendent degree of eloquence is that which expresses its self with the greatest clarity, making the intention of the speaker evident and facilitating the hearers understanding. But when it rises beyond this level of eloquence, and transcends what man is capable of, so that none of the servants of God is able to match it, it becomes a proof and a sign for the Messengers of the One, the All-powerful. It is then the counterpart of raising the dead and curing of lepers and the blind, themselves proofs and signs for the Messengers because they transcend the realm of the highest attainment of mans medicine and therapy . . .". Continuing on, at-Tabari says: ". . . it is obvious that there is no discourse more eloquent, no wisdom more profound, no speech more sublime, no form of expression more noble, than this clear discourse and speech with which a single man challenged a people at a time when they were acknowledged masters of the art of oratory and rhetoric, poetry and prose, rhymed prose and soothsaying. He reduced their fancy to folly and demonstrated the inadequacy of their logic. He dissociated himself from their religion and summoned all of them to follow him, accept his mission, testify to its truth, and affirm that he was the Messenger sent to them by their Lord. He let them know that the demonstration of the truth of what he said, the proof of the genuineness of his prophethood, was the bayan (the clear discourse), the hikma (the wisdom), the furqan (the criterion between truth and falsehood), which he conveyed to them in a language like their language, in a speech whose meanings conformed to the meanings of their speech. Then he told them that they were incapable of bringing anything comparable to even a part of what he brought, and that they lacked the power to do this. They all confessed their inability, voluntarily acknowledging the truth of what he had brought, and bore witness to their own insufficiency . . . ".
If we examine analytically the claim of anyone to Prohethood then there are three possibilities concerning such a claim. The first possibility is that the individual is a liar. The second possibility is that the individual sincerely believes he or she is receiving revelation, but is only suffering some form of delusion, and the third is that the individual really is receiving revelation, and is speaking the truth. It is interesting to mention some of the arguments raised by the Christian and secularist Orientalists against Muhammad, peace be upon him, because taken as a whole they offer a conclusive proof in his favour. One school of thought has suggested, in essence, that Muhammad was a liar and a fabricator; that he learnt from various rabbis and Christian priests, and during his various retreats to the Mountain of Light, composed the Quran. Some have tried to soften these accusations by claiming that he was motivated by a sincere desire to reform his people, and so invented Islam to achieve this. Others accuse him of more worldly interests and cite the large number of wives as a proof of this. This approach has been rejected altogether by the second school, who upon observing the evidence of Muhammads character which places him far above lying and deceit, and the reality of his life style which was a paragon of simplicity and even poverty. Having found no substantiating proof that he had any rabbis or priests as teachers, and the complete acceptance of his claim by his close family and wives, to whom any duplicity would inevitably have been exposed, have claimed that he was totally sincere in his claim to prophethood, and that he truly believed that he was a prophet receiving revelation. They, also unable to accept the possibility that Muhammad truly was a Prophet, attempt various psycho-analytical explanations, such as the Quran being a voice of the subconscious, or the revelation being bought on by trances induced by epileptic fits. The basic claim being that Muhammad was deluded. We will not attempt to refute these accusations in detail here. The cursory examination of the opposing positions will suffice. What makes this a conclusive proof in Muhammads favour is that he could not be a calculating liar and be deluded at the same time. A man who sincerely believes that he is a Prophet, does not sit down thinking and planning what he will say the next day, because he believes that God is going to reveal it to him! Yet the opponents of Islam need both to explain the phenomena of Muhammad. He needs to be a cunning and calculating deceiver in order to explain the information and linguistic inimitability of the Quran, yet he needs to be deluded in order to explain his obvious sincerity. If one takes these two bodies of information together the only way to reconcile them is the third possibility, that he was indeed what he claimed to be - the Messenger of Allah.
Indeed, the Quraish found it very hard to produce a convincing argument against Muhammad, peace be upon him. They knew that Muhammad, peace be upon him, was unable to produce the likes of the Quran, either in its eloquence, or in the knowledge it contained. They were also familiar with his character and personality, and admitted that he had been the best, most trusted and well liked amongst them. Even Abu Lahb, the Prophets persistent enemy, said: "We dont call you a liar, Muhammad, we just dont believe in what you have brought." In reality, Abu Lahabs motivation for refusing to accept Muhammad was tribal rivalry. When the Prophet, peace be upon him, first received revelation to call his people openly to Islam, he went to the top of Mount Saafa and called all the tribes of Mecca, until they had all gathered or sent a representative. He said to them: "Oh my people, if I was to tell you there was a band of horsemen about to attack from behind this hill, would you believe me?" They all replied: "Yes! Why should we not believe you, we never heard anything but truth from you!" So the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "I have come to warn you of a terrible chastisement from your Lord." So Muhammads people testified to his truthfulness, and that they had never heard lies from him. And as Heraculus, the Byzantine Roman Emperor, said, when questioning Abu Sufyaan about the Prophet, peace be upon him: "If he does not lie about men, then he would not lie about Allah!"
Furthermore the Prophet displayed numerous qualities which Heraculus, the Byzantine Roman Emperor, recognized as indicating that Muhammad was indeed the Prophet who they (the Christians) had been expecting as the following narration shows:
"Abdullah ibn Abbas reported that Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraculus had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (i.e. Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), and at the time when Allahs messenger had a truce with Abu Sufyan and the idolatrous Quraish. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraculus at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all his dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraculuss question, said to them: "Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan replied, "I am the nearest relative to him." Heraclius said, "Bring him close to me and make his companions stand behind him." Heraclius told his translator to tell Abu Sufyans companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man and that if I told a lie they should contradict me. Abu Sufyan added, "By Allah, had I not been afraid of my companions labelling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet. The first question he asked me about him was: "What is his family status amongst you?" I replied, "He belongs to a noble family amongst us." Heraclius further asked, "Has anybody else amongst you ever claimed the same before him?" I replied, "No!" He said, "Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?" I replied "No!" Heraclius asked, "Do the nobles or the poor follow him?" I replied, "It is the poor who follow him." He said, "Are his followers increasing or decreasing?" I replied, "They are increasing." He then asked, "Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?" I replied, "No!" Heraclius said, "Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim?" I replied, "No!" Heraclius said, "Does he break his promises?" I replied, "No. We are at truce with him, but we do not know what he will do in it." I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that Heraclius asked, "Have you ever had a war with him?" I replied, "Yes." Then he said, "What was the outcome of the battles?" I replied, "Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we." Heraclius said, "What does he order you to do?" I said, "He tells us to worship Allah, and Allah alone, and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our kith and kin." Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, "I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Prophets come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have suspected that this man was following the previous mans statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his kingdom. I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I then asked you whether the rich people or the poor followed him. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Prophets have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, until it is complete in all respects. I further asked you if there was anybody, who after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is the sign of true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Prophets never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and not to commit illegal fornication. If what you said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it from the scriptures that he was going to appear, but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet."
Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by the Allahs Messenger which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Bura, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows:
"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Muhammad, the slave of Allah and his Messenger to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantines. Peace be upon him who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation you will be committing a sin by misguiding your peasants: "O People of the Scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. those who surrendered to will of Allah)."
Abu Sufyan then added, "When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter there was a great hue and cry in the royal court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the issue of Ibn Abi-Kabsha (a derogatory nick name for the Prophet) has become so prominent that even the King of the Byzantines is afraid of him. then I started to become sure that he would be the conqueror in the near future until I embraced Islam. The sub-narrator adds: "Ibn An-Natur was the governor of Jerusalem and Heraclius was visiting Jerusalem, he got up in the morning in a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer . He replied, "At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared. Who are they who practice circumcision?" The people replied, "Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them. Just issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country." While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allahs Messenger to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, "Arabs also practice circumcision." After hearing that Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then left for Homs and stayed there until he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, "O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your Empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet!" On hearing this the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realised their hatred towards Islam and when he lost hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience. He said: "What I just said was to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it." The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraculuss story (in connection with his faith.)
Heraclius was not the only ruler to recognize the Prophethood of Muhammad. Negus, the ruler of, Abyssinia, similarly recognised the message of Islam and the words of Quran as being of divine origin when he questioned the Muslims who had emigrated to escape the tortures and oppression of the pagan Quraish. The Prophets claim is given added weight by numerous Christian and Jewish scholars, both in Muhammads time, and afterwards who recognised him as the final messenger foretold in their scriptures. The case of Heraculus has already been mentioned. Bahira, the monk whom some Orientalists have vainly tried to suggest was the teacher of Muhammad, recognised the signs of Prophethood on him whilst Muhammad was a boy accompanying his uncle Abu Talibs caravan to Syria, as did Waraqa, one of the few Christians in Mecca, who had translated some parts of the Christian scriptures into Arabic, who was the cousin of Muhammads wife Khadija. Indeed, after the Prophet had received the first revelation, he went to this same Waraqa, who said Surely, by Him in whose hand is Waraqas soul, thou art the Prophet of these people. There has come unto you the greatest angel, who came unto Moses. You will be called a liar, and they will use you despitefully, and cast you out and fight against you. Al Jurud ibn Ak Ala, a Christian scholar and ruler of his people came to visit the Prophet and said: By Allah you have come with the truth, and have spoken truly, as a Prophet I have found your description in the Gospel, and the son of the Virgin has announced your coming. Al Jurud then accepted Islam along with his people. Also Muqauqas, the King of the Copts, in his response to the letter sent to him by the Prophet inviting him to Islam wrote: I have read your message and have understood what you have mentioned in it, and what you are calling to. I have known that a Prophet would be sent and thought that he would appear in Sham, and I have honoured your messenger.
The story of one the Prophets companions, Salman the Persian, further illustrates this:
I was a Persian man from the peoples of Isfahaan from a town known as Jayi. My father was the town chief. To him, I was the most beloved of the creature Allah. His love of me reached the point whereby he trusted me to supervise the fire he lit, which was not allowed to be let to die down. My father owned land, and one day while he was busy he told me to go and inspect the land and to bring from it some things he wanted. On my way I came across a Christian church. I heard the voices of the prayers of the people inside. I did not know what goes on with the lives of other people because my father had kept me confined to his house. So when I came across those people and I heard their voices I went inside watching what they were doing. When I saw them I liked their prayers and became interested in their religion. I said to myself: By Allah, this religion of theirs is better than that of ours. By Allah I did not leave them until sunset, and never inspected my fathers land. I asked: Where is the origin of this religion? They said: In As-Shaam (i.e. Greater Syria). I returned to my father who had become worried and sent after me. Upon my arrival he said: O son! Where have you been? Didnt I trust you with an assignment? I said: I came across some people praying in their church and I liked what they were on from their religion. By Allah I stayed with them until sunset. My father said: O Son! There is no good in that religion. The religion of your fathers is better. I said: No, by Allah, it is better than our religion. He threatened me and chained me by my foot and kept me confined to the house. I sent to the Christians requesting to let me know of the arrival of any Christian trade caravan coming from as-Shaam. A trade caravan arrived and they informed me about it. I told them to keep me informed about the people of the caravan, and when they were about to finish their business and return to their country. I took off the chains from my foot and joined the caravan until we reached as-Sham. Upon my arrival I asked: Who is the best amongst the people of this religion of yours? They said: The Bishop in the Church. I went to him and said: I like this religion and I love to be with you, serving you in your Church, to learn from you and to pray with you. The Bishop agreed. After a while I learnt that this Bishop ordered and motivated his people to pay charity only to keep it for himself. He did not give it to the poor. He heaped up seven jars with gold and silver! I hated him so much because of what I saw him doing. The Bishop died. The Christians gathered to bury him. I told them that he was a bad man who ordered you to release your money for charities only to keep if for himself and that he did not give anything of it to the poor. They said: How do you know this? I said: I can show his treasure. They said: Show us! I showed them the place and when they saw it they said: By Allah we will never bury him! They took his dead body and crucified and stoned it. They replaced their bishop. I never saw a man from those who do not pray the five prescribed prayers better than him; nor a man detached from this worldly life and attached to the hereafter more than him; nor a committed person who works day and night better than him. I loved him more than anything else I loved before. I stayed with him for sometime before his death. When his death approached I told him: O teacher, I stayed with you and loved you more than anything else I loved before. Now you are approached by the decree of Allah, so who would you recommend for me and what would you like to order me? The Bishop said: By Allah! People are in a total loss, they altered and changed what they were on. I do not know of anyone who is still holding to what I am on except a man in Al-Moosil, so join him. When the man died, I moved to Al-Moosil and met the recommended person. I told him that my former master at the time of his death recommended that I join you. He also told me that you are holding to the same as he was. The man of Al-Moosil told me to stay with him; I stayed with him and found that he was the best man holding onto the matter of his friend. Soon he died. When death approached him I asked him to recommend some other person who is on the same religion. The man said: By Allah! I dont know of anyone who is on the same matter of ours except a man in Nasiyeebeen, so join him. Following his death I moved to the man of Nasiyeebeen and stayed with him for a while. The same story repeated itself. Death approached and before he died, I came to the man and asked for his advice as to whom and where to go. The man recommended that I join another man on the same religion in Ammooriyeeyah, which I did, and earned some cows and one sheep. When death approached the man of Ammooriyeeyah, I repeated my request. The answer was different. The man said: O son! I do not know of anyone who is on the same religion as we are. However, the time of emergence of a Prophet will shade you. This Prophet is on the same religion of Abraham. He comes from Arabia and migrates to a place located between landscapes of black stones. Palm trees are spread between these scapes. He has certain well known signs. He eats food given as a gift and he does not eat from charity. The seal of Prophethood is between his shoulders. If you could move to that land, then do so. After he died I stayed in Ammooriyeeyah until one day some merchants from the tribe of Kalb passed by me. I told them, Take me to Arabia and I will give you my cows and the only sheep I have. They agreed. When we reached Wadee Al-Qura (close to Madinah) they sold me as a slave to a Jew and I saw the palm trees, and I hoped that this would be the same place described by my friend. A man who was a first cousin to my master came visiting one day and bought me. He took me with him to Madinah. By Allah! When I saw it I knew it was the place my friend had described. Then Allah sent His Messenger. He stayed in Mecca as long as he did. I did not hear anything about him because I was very much busy with the work of slavery. He the migrated to Madinah. I was on a palm tree doing some work for my master. A first cousin of his came and stood in front of him and said: Woe to Banee Qeelah, they are gathered in Quba around a man whom came today from Mecca claiming that he was a Prophet! When I herd that I shivered thinking that I was about to fall down on my master. I came down and I said: What did you say, what did you say? My master became angry and punched me with a powerful punch and said: What kind of business do you have in this matter? Go back to your work! I said: Nothing! I just wanted to be sure of what he was saying. On that evening I went to see the Messenger of Allah while he was in Quba. I took with me something I had saved. I went in and said: I was told you are a righteous man and that your company are strangers in need, and I want to offer you something I saved as charity. I found that you deserve it more than anyone else. I offered it to him; he said to his companions: Eat! and he kept his hand off. I said to myself: This is one of the signs! The next time I visited the Prophet in Madinah I said: I see you dont eat from the charity, here is a gift that I wanted to honour you with. The Prophet ate from it and ordered his companions to do the same which they did. I said to myself: Now they are two. On the third encounter I went to funeral of one of the Prophets companions. I greeted him with the Salaam, then I moved towards his back attempting to see the seal that was described to me by my friend. When he saw me he knew I was trying to confirm something described to me. He took the garment off his back and I looked at the seal. I recognised it. I came down on it kissing it and crying. The Messenger of Allah told me to move around and talk to him, and I told him my story.