By : Malik Bin Nab
It is clear that the Holy Qur'an, through its scriptural and psychological characteristics, is definitely independent of the subjective consciousness. Here, we shall examine some verses which further underscore the Qur'an's independence from human genius.
The general characteristic of the Holy Qur'an is an entity ordered and foreseen flowing from a pre-established plan. This fact is particularly evident in the case of the anticipations concerning the subsequent course of the Holy Qur'an. To anticipate is to foresee and one could not imagine oneself performing such a psychological act without the conscious contribution of a subjective consciousness which foresees.
Early in the dramatic blossoming of the Qur'anic phenomenon, when moral crises and doubt were resolving themselves within Muhammad, he received this remarkable revelations:"Surely We shall charge thee with a weighty word." (Holy Qur'an 73:5)
What is the weight of the message? This message is the whole of the Holy Qur'an, to have been completed 23 years later It is the weight of religious thought, of the moral experience and the fervor of a quarter of the world's present population.
Certainly this is a significant anticipation, not only concerning whose influence is felt even today, but also concerning the course of the revelation itself. Subconscious? Premonition? Foresight - reflected or voluntary? These are meaningless words, when we are confronted with data gathered regarding the subjective consciousness of Muhammad on the one hand, and on the other with the "weighty message" of the Holy Qur'an.
Surely in an anticipation so general one could perhaps see a simple wish of an "I" which projects into the future. And yet some of the anticipations are quite precise. We shall consider at least two such anticipations which treat a definite objective. Here is the first: "We narrate to thee the best of narratives, in that We have revealed to thee this Qur'an, though before this thou wast of those unaware." (Holy Qur'an 12:3)This verse forms part of a preface to the story of Joseph (Yusuf). The preliminary assertion has been confirmed by historical criticism. Muhammad was completely unaware of the narrative in question before the revelation of the Holy Qur'an. Moreover, this unawareness was an essential datum required for the personal conviction of the Prophet. Hence, there is an indisputable anticipation concerning the course of the revelation as well as a specific objective: that of the story of Joseph, previously unknown to Muhammad.
In fact, one can distinguish two facts regarding the unawareness of the Prophet on this point:
1. From the historical point of view, there was no trace of the story of Joseph in the consciousness of Muhammad before this revelation.
2. From the psychological point of view, the consciousness of Muhammad did not intervene in the revelation and in particular did not take part in its final course. As for his subconscious, it could not by itself generate such a complex theme. Moreover, this anticipation concerning the course of the phenomenon remains doubly inexplicable, if restricted to an interpretation by the subjective consciousness of Muhammad.
A second example is furnished by the initial verse of chapter 24: "(This is) a chapter which We have revealed and made obligatory and wherein We have revealed clear messages that you may be mindful."We see in this verse, which consists of "clear messages", the appearance of the schematic plan of the Surah to come, and yet already foreseeing these signs as the ultimate objective of the revelation. It appears that there is an intelligence which foresees these and a will which consigns them to our reflection: such intelligence was never compatible with the subjective consciousness of Muhammad generally, and certainly would have been impossible in his condition of receptivity.
Twenty-nine Surahs do not begin with an intelligible word but rather with simple alphabetical symbols. Classical commentators gave them different interpretations, and depending on the mentality of the period, some even looked for enigmatic allusions to distant episodes in human history. In any case, their meaning remains mysterious. The letters cannot be interpreted as remnants of dead words since the Prophet himself recited them separately, that is to say, every letter was distinctly vocalized.