GodTube Questions for Islam #2: Muhammad’s Internal Witness Alone?
John C. Rankin (December 15, 2010)
Is there any other source for Muslims trusting in Allah and the Qur’an apart from the internal witness of one man, Muhammad, a man who claimed only to be human?
A bit of background. Muhammad spoke of his original revelation in the cave of Hira’ circa A.D. 610 — feeling strangled by an angel, or a demon as he questioned it, in a state of extreme dread, and shivering as if struck with a high fever. His wife Khadijah and her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawful, a heterodox Christian, assured him otherwise, and thus he moved forward as the self-assured prophet of Allah.
As with all his subsequent revelations across the next 22 years, sometimes in a trance in the presence of fellow believers who had asked him a question, the only witness to these revelations was in Muhammad’s internal person.
This contrasts sharply with the Bible, where the word of God came by the unquestioned power of the Holy Spirit, through hundreds of people across thousands of years, all in the accountable covenantal community, as written and redacted by dozens of people into the books of the Bible as we now have them.
In other words, I see a difference between checks and balances, in the nature of Bible, on the one hand; and the solitary witness of one man, in the nature of the Qur’an, on the other. Is this a fair concern and comparison?