How Do Different Understandings Of Revelation Impact Our Understanding Of The Qur An?

Submitted By lanelarkin206
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How do different understandings of revelation impact our understanding of the Qur’an? In chapter two of The Qur’an: An Introduction, written by Abdullah Saeed, Saeed discusses revelation and the Qur’an. It is commonly agreed upon by Muslim scholars that revelation through a messenger is the clearest form of revelation being that it is brought to the prophet in a language he/she can understand1. However, the fact that Muhammad’s revelations, the ‘speech of God’, were revealed to him in the human language of Arabic sparked some controversy, being it would seem as though God, the eternal creator, would speak in words incomprehensible to humans1. However, the Qur’an specifically states that its words were sent down “verbatim” from God so that Muhammad and the people could understand. If linguistics didn’t play a role in revelation, most religions based on the word of God would cease to exist. It is much easier for people to accept someone’s personal account (in this case, Muhammad’s) than it is to question the unknown (whether or not God can communicate with humans in a language humans can understand).
Saeed concludes with the idea that revelation in and of itself is independent of social history in Islam1. If the Qur’an is in fact the speech of God, and if it is true that it does not contain words from the Prophet Muhammad in any capacity, then the Qur’an was never created in the intellectual or physical sense; rather it is simply an attribute of God1. In Christianity, for