In The Quran itself, within some of its chapters, it foretells events in the future that have come true; these are more commonly known as “prophecies”.
It tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt, in which Moses and the Hebrews enslaved to the Pharaoh of the time escape -
“We delivered the Children of Israel across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, aggressively and sinfully. When drowning became a reality for him, he said, “I believe there is no god except in the One whom the Children of Israel have believed; I am a submitter. Too late! For you have rebelled already, and chose to be a transgressor. Today, we will preserve your body, to set you up as a lesson for future generations. Verily, many among mankind are totally oblivious to our signs.” (Holy Quran, from 10:90 to 10:92)
As you can see from the above passage, The Quran prophesises that the body of the Pharaoh will be preserved for future generations.
This was proved correct when the mummy of Merneptah (the Pharaoh of the Exodus) was discovered well preserved in 1898, and it can be seen on display in the Royal Mummies Room of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
Even though, this event occurred over 3000 years ago (more than 1600 years before Muhammad) according to both archaeological and Biblical data, the author of The Quran predicted that the body of the Pharaoh would be preserved as a sign for future generations, which is nowhere to be found in the Biblical version.
Dr Maurice Bucaille (who was chosen to examine the mummy) covers the above prophecy in detail in his book. Please refer to the Bibliography.
A very interesting prophecy relates to the moon landing (which occurred in 1969), is it possible The Quran predicted this? Well, judge for yourself by considering the following information – Chapter 54 of The Quran is entitled “The Moon” and starts right away by giving us news about the splitting of the moon as a sign that the end of the world is drawing close.
“The moon has split and the hour has drawn closer” (The Quran, 54:1)
When did the prophecy come to pass?
To answer that, one must keep the prophecy in mind: “The moon has split.” This is a metaphor. Parts of the moon have left its surface. They no longer are part of the moon. So, the prophecy does not refer to the landing on the moon or to the first step made by Neil Armstrong but to the fact that Armstrong and Aldrin collected 21 kilograms of lunar rocks to bring back to earth. The prophecy was fulfilled at the very moment the astronauts left the moon in the lunar module containing 21 kilograms of rocks that had belonged to the moon. This can be confirmed by checking the definition of “split” in any dictionary, among the definitions given by Dictionary.com are – “to divide, disunite, separate”
The date this prophecy came to pass was on July 21 1969. The moment the prophecy was fulfilled is confirmed by the hour of departure of the lunar module, which left the lunar surface at 17:54:1 (Universal Time) or 1:54:1 (EDT) and as you have seen above, verse [54:1] is the verse that deals with the prophecy.
Still not convinced? Lets read the following verses after (54:1) –
“The moon has split and the hour has drawn closer. Then they saw a great miracle; but they turned away and said, “Old magic.” They disbelieved, followed their opinions, and adhered to their old traditions.” (The Quran, from 54:1 to 54:3)
Here, the author of The Quran specifically states – “the moon has split”, then people will see “a great miracle”, yet they still “disbelieved”. Could the “great miracle” be the fulfilment of prophecy?
A more general prophecy is given in Chapter 41 about God’s promise to show the unbelievers that The Quran is the word of God –
“We will show them our proofs in the horizons, and within themselves, until they realise that this is the truth. Is your Lord not sufficient as a witness of all things?” (The Quran, 41:53)
Today, scientific discoveries in every field are giving more and more evidence to the truth of this statement, as I have shown previously. See ">Islam and Science page for details
The author of The Quran also prophesised that The Quran itself would remain intact (unaltered) through time –
“Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder (The Quran), and, absolutely, we will preserve it.” (The Quran, 15:9)- since its revelation more than 1400 years ago, the original Quran is still fully preserved and intact as it was when it was first revealed (as I have discussed in the Introduction).
“It is He who has sent his messenger with guidance and the religion of truth and will make it dominate over all religions, in spite of the idol worshipers.” (The Quran, 61:9)
- within decades the above promise became true. Islam prevailed. The two superpowers of the day, the Persian and the Roman empires crumbled at the hands of the Muslims.
“Why do they not study The Quran carefully? If it were from other than God, they would have found in it numerous contradictions.” (The Quran, 4:82)- The Quran deals with hundreds of issues, and reiterates many stories of the past nations. Yet, no one can show any incongruity or contradictions among the more than 6000 verses of The Quran. Many have tried but all of their apparent contradictions stem from misinterpreting the original Arabic and thus producing two or more statements, which seem to conflict with each other, when in truth, this is not the case.
Some prophecies occurred during the lifetime of Muhammad, such as the following references –
“Surely, He Who ordained The Quran for thee, will bring thee home again.” (The Quran, 28:85)- this verse was revealed when Muhammad’s situation was dire, due to the hostility from the people of Mecca (which was his home). The hostility was due to the chiefs/leaders of the time, who rejected his message and thus rejected him and his followers. It was a hopeless situation, most of his followers had already migrated to Madinah (a nearby city), now it was his turn. He migrated as a refugee and then returned several years later as a conqueror, fulfilling yet another prophecy.
“Condemned are the works of Abu Lahab, and he is condemned. His money and whatever he has accomplished will never help him. He has incurred the blazing Hell.” (The Quran, 111:1 to 111:3)
Abu Lahab was the most bitter enemy of Muhammad, and opposed the establishment of Islam to the utmost of his power. In this verse it explicitly states that Abu Lahab, would be condemned to Hell (because he would never accept Islam and thus die a disbeliever).
Even after 11 years after this Quranic revelation, Abu Lahab never accepted Islam and thus died a disbeliever. In view of the fact that he was Muhammad’s bitterest enemy, logic and experience suggest that it is unwise to make such a declaration, for Abu Lahab could have very easily disproved The Quran by pretending to believe. Why did Abu Lahab waste this golden opportunity? What made Muhammad so certain that even in ten years Abu Lahab would not exploit this tempting opportunity? At any rate past experience does not include knowledge of the future.
Once again, consider how many people could predict future events, some of which are quite remarkable, without producing an error? In my opinion, even if you disregard every prophecy and consider the Pharaoh prophecy alone, the probability of predicting this event (taking into account the time span involved) would be low.
Overall, taking into account all of the above prophecies, the probability of someone achieving the above feat (using a safe estimate) would be about “1 in 1 million” (which means that 6000 people in the world today could accomplish this task theoretically). Once again, if you think my value is too high, please choose your own realistic probability and write it down.
Conclusion for Prophecies Within The Quran, probability = “1 in 1 million”