If someone asks ‘why should I believe in the Qur’an‘ or ‘why should I take the Qur’an to be the word of God‘ then the answer to that is simple. The Qur’an is the only book which claims to be from God. No other scripture even makes this claim. The claim of the Qur’an is that all of it is the Word of God Himself from start to the end, word by word, letter by letter. Therefore, if you are a theist and looking for the revelation from God, you should only go to the Qur’an and nowhere else. Moreover, if you are an atheist and question the existence of God, you will also only go to the Qur’an to study if He exists and if so, what He wants from us.
If you read the Qur’an, God Almighty speaks Himself and narrates events of the past, present, and future Himself and below are just a few examples:
And [mention] when I said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. And I said, “O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.” But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And I said, “Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.” [Q.2:34-36]
This is one way of speech directly in first person. There are other ways of speech as well which are more royal where a person speaks in the third person and we see this in our times as well across various cultures. Some are more subtle such as telling someone ‘do you know who you are talking to‘ where the speaker does not mention himself but implies that he is a party of the sentence. Then there are direct ways of speaking in third person and some modern day, pop culture examples would be the former wrestler, now actor, The Rock or the rapper Ludacris. These are silly examples but hope to clarify the point. They, or their character, speak in third person. In the Qur’an, God Almighty speaks in third person as well:
And [recall] when Moses said to his people, “O my people, indeed you have wronged yourselves by your taking of the calf [for worship]. So repent to your Creator and kill yourselves. That is best for [all of] you in the sight of your Creator.” Then He accepted your repentance; indeed, He is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. [Q.2:54]
Going with the original claim that the Gospels are written by whoever they claim to be written by, then we learn that they are biographies of Jesus according to Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. The original claim is that the writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the original claim states that the Gospels are biographies of Jesus written by divinely inspired human beings and they contain the word of God, the speech of Jesus, the narrations of the author(s) and statements of others from the perspectives of the authoring men.
The conclusion is not disputed by the Christians.
The Torah has more of God’s speech in first person and third person than the Gospels. Although the book of Genesis begins with God’s speech in third person, it transitions into first person once out of 31 verses:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (1) And God said… (3) And God saw the light… (4) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so (30).
The above examples are to show the tiny similarity with the Qur’an i.e. the style of speech in first and third persons. The official Jewish claim is that the first five books of the Torah, i.e. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, were dictated to Moses by God. While reading, due to excessive third person speech and very less first person speech, one may assume that the author is not God but a man, we shall ignore it because this may be a Hebrew style. We will also not argue over the other four books claimed to be dictated to Moses by God. Let us take a look at some other books:
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister… (1) Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (9) Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people… (10) [Joshua 1]
We see here that initially the verses begin with what God did, in third person, and when He instructs Joshua to go and proclaim to the people, the next verse informs us of what Joshua did indicating that the incident is not in real time. It is as if someone wrote after all this happened what God said and what Joshua did. Another example below:
And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua… (12) And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. (16) [Joshua 1]
The entire way of narrating all these incidents is from a later perspective with someone writing about what happened in the past. There are hundreds of examples, if not more, in the Torah where the incidents are narrated by the author after they happened. Some other books are not even claimed to be from God:
The song of songs, which is Solomon’s. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. [Song of Solomon 1-3] and much more…
The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. [Ezekiel 23:1-3] and much more…
In the above instance, the author, writing in first person, states that the word of the Lord came unto him. This drastically changes the human style identified above and there are hundreds of examples like these in the Torah.
The conclusion reached for the Torah is different from that of the Gospels. Torah, if official claims are to be accepted without debate, is a collection of books which has direct revelation from God and it is also a book written by men from their perspective. Therefore, the claim made in the beginning of this essay that “the Qur’an is the only book which claims to be from God. No other scripture even makes this claim” stands true.
Hindu and Buddhist scriptures
The Hindus and Buddhists do not even claim that their books are from God. They take them as ancient wisdoms and stories and events that happened in the past and will occur in the future. Due to this nature of some ‘unknown’ or ‘mystery’, the Hindus claim divinity of their scriptures but do not argue for it to be the speech of God in first or third persons. A brief look at their holiest book also reveals the same and it does not require much research; the very first verse reveals this:
I Laud Agni, the chosen Priest, God, minister of sacrifice, The hotar, lavishest of wealth. [Rig Veda, book 1, hymn 1] The style switches to a human being requesting to Agni: Be to us easy of approach, even as a father to his son: Agni, be with us for our weal (hymn 9).
If the hymn was in third person ‘Agni be lauded‘, then we could have understood it to be Agni speaking of themself in third person. There are numerous such examples and the entire text is written from a perspective of man speaking of divinity and stories.
O INDRA, Vṛtra-slayer, none is better, mightier than thou: Verily there is none like thee. [Rig Veda, book 4, hymn 30]
Countless more references can be provided but the message is conveyed with these few examples.
It should be remembered that we are not discussing whether the book is from God or not which is why the official claims of these books have been accepted. Digging deeper may reveal that the authors of these books are not who they are claimed to be. What we discussed is the fact that no book, other than the Qur’an, claims to be from God Almighty and this is just fascinating to say the least. How many billions of people exist today and billions have passed away before us and yet, there is only one book claiming to be completely the revelation of God. Rationally speaking, there should be many claims but the fact that there are not, is in itself a unique miracle of the Qur’an.