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When Human Conversations Became Part of the Holy Qur’an

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How Muhammad's uncle's words in a conversation with him was later snapped up by Allah and revealed a verse on its basis...

[This article is written based on discussion at Statements that became part of Quran]

When you start with certainties, you end up with doubts! But, when you start with doubts, you reach that certainty’. - Anonymous


In terms of Islam’s claims regarding the Qur’an being holistically divine, I wonder if anyone has ever thought about those statements by various people (including the holy Prophet himself), which later became part of the Holy Qur’an as sacred verses by Allah.

Here is one example:

“Muhammad meets Zayd b. ‘Amr and offers him meat that was slaughtered for the Pagan idols house at the Kaaba (Sahih Bukhari, 7.67.407, 5.58.169) Volume 7, Book 67, Number 407: Narrated ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle said that he met Zayd bin ‘Amr b. Nufail at a place near Baldah and this had happened before Allah's Apostle received the Divine Inspirations. Allah’s Apostle presented a dish of meat (that had been offered to him by the pagans) to Zayd bin ‘Amr, but Zayd refused to eat of it and then said (to the pagans), “I do not eat of what you slaughter on your stone altars (Ansabs) nor do I eat except that on which Allah’s Name has been mentioned on slaughtering.” Volume 5, Book 58, Number 169.

In the above ensemble, as we can see that Zayd b. 'Amr’s disliking towards the offertory meat slaughtered by Pagan Arabs for their Idols, which later on becomes part of the revered Qur’an and its now one the most essential part of the Muslim faith, Halal Meat as we know of it!!! Here is the verse Allah later revealed clearly with inspiration from this conversation:

“Forbidden to you (for food) are carrion and blood and swine flesh, and that of which has been dedicated to any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which has been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, except that which you make lawful (by the death stroke), and that which has been immolated to idols.” [Quran 5:3]

Who was Zayd ibn Amr?

Good question! There is some history available about Zayd, according to Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat-e-Rasulallah (the first book to look into the life of Prophet Muhammad). Zayd was one of the four peoples, who were in search of the true Abrahamic Religion. One of them was Warraqa ibn Nawfal, cousin of Prophet Muhammad’s first wife Hazrat Khadijah. Zayd was an old man when a young Pagan Muhammad met him. He had travelled quite extensively and remained confused about the true monotheistic religion. Zayd had developed a deep hatred towards the Pagan Arabs and their idea of Polytheistic Religion. He also disliked the traditions such as making round circles of the Kaaba in order to make the Idol Gods happy, burying alive female children, and eating meats of animals sacrificed to Pagan Idol Gods.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that, the Quran is supposed to be the word of Allah. But, this incident gives the impression that these words were first perhaps used by Zayd Ibn Amr before it became part of the holy Qur’an. How can this ever happen? Allah surely could have come up with some better or at least different words altogether?

But that’s only in the Ahadiths?

Yes I know, and any scholastic people can reject the validity of such Ahadiths altogether because, essentially Ahadiths is nothing but the best of a memory recall of someone who lived during Prophet Muhammad’s times passed through multiple generations. But, we also must not forget the typical argument amongst Muslims that:

“Not everything can be found in Qur’an, you’ve to consult Ahadiths and even Fiqah (where Qur’an and Ahadiths cannot help)”

We also must not forget that, some of the most essential part of the Islamic rituals is also followed as per the Ahadiths and Sunnah, and that they are nowhere to be found in Qur’an as such. I’ve no problem accepting the theory that the Ahadiths cannot be trusted but, then you cannot even be selective about the Ahadiths that – whatever Ahadiths you like will be valid and where it wouldn’t make sense you would start questioning about its validity?

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