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Article appeared Friday, May 17th, 2019 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (571) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

What is Revelation? And where has Revelation come from? Before we delve into these
questions on Revelation, should we ask where we humans came from? Is it possible to
find out? After being born, one-day realization dawns – we suddenly become conscious
of having a consciousness. We realize that we can see, hear, feel, and have emotions
and that we have questions. We ask our parents and those around us the questions that
we have. More often than not, do we get our questions answered?

Our innocent questions sometimes embarrass and often annoy our parents. Why is this?
Is it because they are shy to tell us or is it that they simply do not know the answer?
What are the questions we ask? For example, did we ever ask the question, Ma, where
did I come from? Parents become embarrassed at this question, some perhaps get
annoyed. To save parents the embarrassment, Peter Mayle {1} put together the book,
Where did I come from? which describes, in simplest terms for children, the entire
reproductive process from intercourse to birth. The book delves into the physical sexual
processes. But, wait, is this what the child actually wants to know? As an analogy, if the
same question is asked about an exotic building that was recently constructed, where
did this building come from? – what would the answer be? Would the appropriate
answer consist of how the foundation was laid, how the steel girders, bricks and glass
were put together? Or would who conceived and designed the building be the more
appropriate answer?

So, when a child asks, Ma, where did I come from?, what is he/she really asking? Each
baby born is unique, complete with its own set of emotions and individual personality.
Could the question actually mean Ma, who designed and brought me into existence? So,
rather than lovemaking, what would the more appropriate answer be? As the parents did
not design the baby, who did? Would the more appropriate answer be, God designed
and made you into a beautiful person? The child’s next question would likely be who is

Who is best to answer such questions? If God created the universe, designs and creates
each individual person would He Himself not be the best to answer such questions?
How, and using what methodology could He convey the answers? He would have to
convert His Words to a human language that we can understand. This is what
Revelation is – God sending His Words down to human kind in a form/format that we
can understand and refer to. The last such Revelations for human kind are compiled as
the Holy Scripture, the Al-Qur’an. Does this compilation answer the above questions?
Verse 14 of Chapter 23 not only lays down the processes of creation, it confirms who
designed each individual:
“Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We
made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the
bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature: so blessed be
Allah the Best to create!” [23.14]

And Verse 16, Verse 78 from the point of view of our consciousness adds,
“It is He Who brought you out from the wombs of your mothers when you knew
nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections: that
you may give thanks (to Allah).” [16.78]

The Arabic term “Allah” literally means “The God”, {2} i.e., the one and only Almighty
Lord of the Universe. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was made to memorize the Words of
the Al-Qur’an (during 610 – 632 AD) and relay to human kind. The word Qur’an literally
means “the reading” or “the recitation” {2} (or that which must be read as a manual
to understand and follow), and refers to the divinely revealed scripture given to
Muhammad. In addition to answering human kind’s questions, it informs God’s
purpose and duties and responsibilities towards Him and the rest of creation. After
death, on the Day of Judgment, human kind will be judged on the basis of what
has been revealed.

25.1 “Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His servant that it may
be an admonition to all creatures.”
Blessed {3} in the sense that God provides all the knowledge towards growth and
development to all that is good. Criterion {3} refers to the Revelation (the Qur’an) in the
sense that it separates truth from falsehood and teachers those who believe in God, how
to live by separating what is lawful and what is prohibited. Who is “He”?

25.2 “He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: no
son has He begotten nor has He a partner in His dominion: it is He Who
created all things and ordered them in due proportions.”
He is God (Allah in Arabic) who has designed and originated space, time, the universe
and everything in it {4, 5}. Can we run away from the fact that everything that He has
created belongs to Him?

25.3 “Yet have they taken besides Him gods that can create nothing but are
themselves created; that have no control of hurt or good to themselves;
nor can they control Death nor Life nor Resurrection.”
God alone is in control.

25.4 “But the Disbelievers say, "Naught is this (the Qur’an) but a lie which
he has forged and others have helped him at it." In truth it is they who have
put forward an iniquity and a falsehood.”
Could Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have had knowledge of how the baby is formed inside
the womb, as given in Verse 23.14 above – knowledge that has been made scientifically
available only in recent years?

25.5 “And they (disbelievers) say, "Tales of the ancients which he has
caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and

25.6 “Say, "It (the Qur’an) was sent down (revealed) by Him Who knows all
the secrets (that is) in the heavens and the earth: verily He is Oft-Forgiving
Most Merciful."”
Should He, the Almighty, who has designed everything in precise proportions not know
all that we cannot see or sense?
{3} Quran, The Study. A New Translation and Commentary. Nasr, S.E., Editor in Chief,
HarperOne, 2015, p.890