Q: Please give me three reasons a Muslim might put forward to support his or her belief that Islamic law (shari'a) cannot be made by humans, but must come from Allah.
A: Here are a few reasons to prove that Shari'ah is Divine and not man-made. Before proceeding we need to understand that Shari'ah comprises Qur'aan and Sunnah. Qur'aan is the Holy Book of Almighty God revealed to The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last Messenger of God to mankind.
Sunnah means the sayings, actions, and practices of Prophet Muhammad, as well as practices of his Disciples that he approved and sanctioned whilst living among them. We will now advance reasons for the Divine nature of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, so that readers will understand that both Fountainheads of Islamic Belief and Practice are Divine in content and origin.
THE HOLY QUR'AAN
1) The Holy Qur'aan has predicted events of the future that came true. For example, the victorious return of the Romans after being vanquished by the Persians. (Surah 30: 2 – 4) The Romans were so badly defeated that even the political experts of the time gave them no chance of ever re-organising themselves into a force of note, let alone avenging their defeat by the Persians. But it happened within the time frame set out by The Qur'aan. Another example is the exploration of space by man, as in Surah 55, verse 33. At that stage in history it was never dreamt that human beings will one day traverse the domains of outer space. Only Divine Knowledge could have forecast such an event. A third forecast was the conquest of Makkah, which too, was not even remotely anticipated by the Muslims of that time. Such was the conviction of this conquest that the Holy Qur'aan mentioned it as a foregone conclusion; hence the use of the past tense verb. See Surah 48, verse 1.
2) The Holy Qur'aan revealed secrets of people to the Messenger of God in his lifetime, such as the presence of hypocrites (who pretended to be Muslims but were in fact traitors and spies – 9:101); the motives of a group of people who erected a mosque in order to divide the Muslim community. (9:107); the unravelling of a plan hatched by the wives of Prophet Muhammad (in order to gain more attention from him) (66:3)
3) The Holy Qur'aan has discussed details of scientific events, phases of creation, and unfolding of nature. The Prophet Muhammad was not schooled in any science, so how was it possible for him to speak so accurately about science and nature? Examples: The stages of the foetus in the mother’s womb and subsequent birth (Surah 23, verse 12 and beyond) ; the creation of living beings from water (biology) (21:30); the renting asunder of the heavens and earth (a theory that scientists have dubbed ‘the big bang’) (21:30); the pegging of mountains deep into the earth (16:15), something science only discovered recently. The Prophet Muhammad had never travelled across the sea, yet the Qur'aan that he recited accurately described the darkness beneath the waves of the ocean! (24:40) There are many more of such extraordinary observations related to science and nature in the Qur'aan; we have sufficed with a few. For more information, visit this link www.harunyahya.com/miracles_of_the_quran_01.php
4) The Qur'aan discusses the story of Yusuf or Joseph in great detail. This story was never mentioned in the Torah or the Injeel (The Old and New Testaments). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not a man of letters and had neither studied history. How could he have located a story of this nature in the annals of history? The same can be said of the many historical accounts chronicled in the Qur'aan.
5) Shari'ah Law is derived partially from Qur'aan. When considering the laws of The Qur'aan, it becomes evident that these are designed with precise benefit and effect, and are most appropriate to bring about the intended objective of establishing law and order on earth. Man-made laws are always flawed and have to be altered and adjusted to match changing trends and habits. Quranic Law is as relevant today as it was fourteen hundred years ago. The Quran’s penal code is unique. Every country that applied the Quranic injunctions of the death penalty, amputation of a thief’s hand, lashing for fornication, stoning to death for adultery, lashing for drinking wine, achieved an exceptionally low crime rate, almost negligible. Then when considering the nature of these laws, one cannot fail to see that no human mind could have conjured up punishments of this nature. History proves that none of these were used by past nations, and it was only Islam that introduced them to the world. This is another clear proof of Islam’s Divine nature. The Islamic Law of Succession is another case in point. No human mind could have fathomed out a system of estate distribution as mentioned in the Qur'aan. Whichever way one looks at it, the divisions of shares work out accurately and fairly.
We now turn our attention to the Sunnah or Traditions of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam
1) He taught the use of clay stones to cleanse the private part after passing urine. Latter day scientists have discovered that natural clay is the only substance besides water that can neutralise the alkaline deposits in urine that leave behind bacteria and germs. How would an unschooled and untrained man, living in the middle of the desert, know of such things, if not guided by a Superior Power?
2) He emphasized the use of the Miswaak – a wooden twig – to cleanse the teeth. Today medical science has revealed healing propensities in this particular twig. Again, is this mere co-incidence or Divine Intervention?
3) He advocated the use of sand when cleansing dirty utensils. Here too, it has been scientifically proven that sand contains a natural detergent that removes germs and bacteria.
4) Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam predicted events that happened in his time, after him, and that will still occur. This list is lengthy, so we mention a few:
a. He predicted that his followers would fight among themselves after his demise. Exactly 40 years after he passed away, this prediction came true.
b. He forecast huge volcanic eruptions in Madinah. This was witnessed about 600 years later.
c. He prophesied that Muslims would engage in severe battles with Mongolian Tartars. When he made this prediction, these Mongolians were unknown to the people of his time. The Prophet Muhammad actually described the Chinese features of these people, yet had never set eyes on a Mongolian or a Chinese! More than 600 years later, the Mongols from Central Asia attacked and ransacked Baghdad and surrounding areas.
d. He predicted that during latter years, vices will become rife. He spoke of widespread and open prostitution, consumption of alcohol, rampant murder, wars among nations, common abuse of trust, unqualified people taking up posts of leadership, a surfeit of wealth in the world yet economic upheaval, poverty that will destroy nations, disobedience and abandonment of parents. These are just a few of many. No one who knows the modern world can deny that these evils are not predominant and prevalent in our societies. How could a man living among a nascent civilization over fourteen centuries ago predict such events with certainty and accuracy?
I think the above is more than enough evidence on which we can safely conclude that Islam and its elementary teachings are Divine and Sacred. One final observation that will leave one in no doubt that A Divine Hand that controls Islam:
Islam with its profound teachings and spiritually enhanced practices has remained unchanged since its inception fifteen centuries ago, right down to the minutest detail of the Prophet Muhammad’s life. Nothing has changed barring new faces and places. Every act of worship, every prayer, and every rule continues to remain alive and vibrant in the life of every Muslim man, woman, and child. No other religion can even come near Islam in this concept. Does one need anything more to prove Islam’s Divinity?
Mufti Siraj Desai