in category Qur'an

How do Qur'anic reprimands of the Prophet's actions make it unlikely he was the author?

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Islamic researcher, graduated from Al-Azhar University, Islamic Studies in the English language. I also studied at Temple University in the US.
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In a Nutshell:
The Qur'an contains a number of critiques of the Prophet's actions which make the possibility of Prophet Muhammad (saw) being the author of the Qur'an improbable.

Qur'anic Reprimands

On a number of occasions, the Qur'an reprimanded, censured or blamed the Prophet for certain acts:

When he promised his wife Aisha he would not again drink honey given to him by her co-wife Zainab, Allah revealed:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ ۖ تَبْتَغِي مَرْضَاتَ أَزْوَاجِكَ
"O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives?" (66:1)

Marrying his adopted son's wife: When Allah revealed to his Prophet (outside the Qur'anic Text) he will marry his adopted son's wife, the Prophet (saw) didn't tell people because he was afraid of their criticism. Allah revealed:

وَإِذْ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِي أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَتُخْفِي فِي نَفْسِكَ مَا اللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَاهُ
"And when you said (O Muhammad) to the one on whom Allah bestowed favour and you bestowed favour, 'Keep your wife and fear Allah,' while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him." (Qur'an 33:37)

Permission to the hypocrites: In a battle, a group of the hypocrites excused the Prophet (saw) from participating, he allowed them to stay behind. The Qur'an was revealed:

عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنكَ لِمَ أَذِنتَ لَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَتَعْلَمَ الْكَاذِبِينَ
"May Allah pardon you, [O Muhammad]; why did you give them permission [to remain behind]? [You should not have] until it was evident to you who were truthful and you knew [who were] the liars." (Qur'an 9:43)

Turning away from a blind man: When the Prophet (saw) was inviting the Meccan leaders to Islam, a blind man came and asked him for guidance. The Prophet frowned and turned away because if leaders accept Islam, the rest would follow them. The Qur'an was immediately revealed to correct him:

عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّى، أَنْ جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَى، وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّى، أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنْفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَى، أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى، فَأَنْتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّى، وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّى، وَأَمَّا مَنْ جَاءَكَ يَسْعَى، وَهُوَ يَخْشَى، فَأَنْتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّى، كَلَّا إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ، فَمَنْ شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ.
"The Prophet frowned and turned away because there came to him the blind man, (interrupting). But what would make you perceive, (O Muhammad), that perhaps he might be purified or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him? As for he who thinks himself without need, to him you give attention. And not upon you (is any blame) if he will not be purified. But as for he who came to you striving (for knowledge) and he fears (Allah), from him you are distracted. No! Indeed, these verses are a reminder." (Qur'an 80:1-12)

Captives of Badr: After the battle of Badr, Muslims captured a number of fighters of Meccans troops. The Prophet (saw) consulted his companions (ra) whether to take a ransom that could help us equip ourselves against further battles and save their lives as they may later convert to Islam, or to execute them as they attacked Muslims and were willing to sweep them. The Prophet and Abu Bakr supported the former and Umar supported the later. When there is no revelation has not yet revealed, the Prophet issued taking ransoms of them. The Qur'an immediately was revealed to blame the Prophet (saw):

مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى حَتَّى يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ الْآَخِرَةَ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ، لَوْلَا كِتَابٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ، فَكُلُوا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَالاً طَيِّبًا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ.
"It is not for a prophet to have captives (of war) until he inflicts a massacre (upon Allah 's enemies) in the land. You desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. If not for a decree from Allah that preceded, you would have been touched for what you took by a great punishment. So consume what you have taken of war booty (as being) lawful and good, and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (Qur'an 8:67-69)

Such critique appears to emerge from a third party against him - not critique he would impose upon himself.


The Qur'an contains a number of critiques of the Prophet's actions which make the possibility of Prophet Muhammad (saw) being the author of the Qur'an improbable.

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