Is the verse 85 of chapter 28 (Ghesas), a kind of prediction?
A research about this verse and to inspect it impartially
إِنَّ الَّذِى فَرَضَ عَلَیْکَ الْقُرْءَانَ لَرَادُّکَ إِلىَ مَعَادٍ قُل رَّبىّ أَعْلَمُ مَن جَاءَ بِالهْدَى وَ مَنْ هُوَ فىِ ضَلَالٍ مُّبِین(۲۵:۸۵)
Indeed he who has revealed to you the Quran will surely bring you back to the place of return (home-Mecca). Say my lord knows best him who brings guidance and him who is manifest error.
This verse is one of those verses of which Muslims use to prove Muhammad’s truth worthy.
It is mentioned In Nemooneh commentary about the inspiration cause (the reason of which a verse is inspired) of this verse as below:
OCCASION OF THE REVELATION (inspiration cause) when the prophet was forced to change his field of combat, and emigrate from
Mecca to Medina, he left his home town (Mecca), in which was the Sacred Mosque built by his forefather Abraham. It
Was natural for him to love such a home town tenderly. When the prophet set out and made for Medina, he reached a point
Which is called JOHFA, at a short distance from Mecca. He turned and cast a last look on that beloved sacred city of God,
And felt very sad in the heart that was strongly connected with that sacred place. In that condition Gabriel appeared to him
And said: – –
“Do you indeed love your home town so much?” The prophet answered: – -” Yes! So it is.” Gabriel said: – -” Your Lord has sent me to give you the news, that: – -” He who made the Quran incumbent upon you, He will bring you back to Mecca.”
And we all know that the promise of God was soon after fulfilled, and Mohammad (SA) returned to Mecca at the head of a great army.
Therefore the above verse is one of miraculous predictions of Quran that has mentioned such news which has taken place after a while. Now we want to inspect this verse exactly whether it is a prediction or not?
Also we should say that if it is proved that this verse is a prediction the acceptance of miracle of Quran is ceased by this issue that we prove no one can predict such predictions and then conclude that this news has been sent by God. We will discuss this issue in the following link:
There are some problems to the above verse:
۱-the first problem: our understanding of the prediction of the verse is due to this issue that the meaning of (معاد-the place of return) is “Mecca” and not anything else while Nemooneh commentary in interpreting this verse says:
A group of commentators have presumed other possibilities about meaning of (the place of return) that it may mean (return to the life after death), (death), (resurrection land),(the grate position of intercession for Mohammad),(heaven) or (Jerusalem).so it is observed that in translation of this term there are differences between commentators therefore it may be incorrect to translate that term to “Mecca” and accordingly the prediction of Quran is not provable.
Respond to the first problem:
It is correct that there are differences in this verse but the famous comment of commentators is that the word (the place of return) means “Mecca” and even commentators like Sadeghi Tehrani (the owner of Al-Forghan commentary) has brought their reasons to prove that this word here definitely means “Mecca”. For example about the meaning of “Death” he says that the prophet has not been in place of death till God wants to bring him back to that place.
This issue is definite that the main idea of most of commentators is that this term here means “Mecca” and if we juxtapose it with that historical event (inspiration cause) this possibility will increase that (the place of return) means “Mecca” but other possibilities are also possible (however the mentioned possibility is more probable.) and therefore this prediction is not a proof but a strong possibility.
In these cases which a verse has many possible meanings some commentators have a view. They believe that if one verse has many meanings which do not have any contradiction with each other, all of them will be correct and God has wanted to say all of meanings. This view is also a Quranic miracle. And according to this view the miraculous aspect of the verse will not be harmed by plurality of meanings of (the place of return) and it is not bad to know that several meanings have been quoted from only one commentators like Ebne Abbas(contemporary of Mohammed’s period)-re to Jameo-Albayan commentary-
But one may say that Mohammad said this sentence at the time of leaving Mecca and did not expressly mention the name of Mecca in his sentence in order to have enough justification if he would not have come back to Mecca. It means that if he would not come back to Mecca in future he could justify his sentence thus that my aim to express (the place of return) was not Mecca but something else (e.g. resurrection day).
What we can say in response is that people of that time understood the meaning of (the place of return) otherwise they would ask Mohammad about its meaning and we have also some Hadiths (what has been quoted from Mohammad and innocent twelve Imams-leader) which imply that the term (the place of return) means Mecca however we have other hadiths which imply other possible meaning. All of the meaning which has reached us by Hadiths could be one meaning of the term (the place of return) and not its only meaning. We should say that this verse could not be a proof but by considering the famous idea it is absolutely a powerful possibility.
۲-The second problem:
Ghesas chapter is inspired in Mecca while according to the mentioned story (inspiration cause) this verse is not inspired in Mecca!
Respond to the second problem:
Criterion of inspiration in Mecca or Medina is different in view of commentators. An idea which is accepted by some commentators is that, chapters which have been inspired before Hejrat (migration from Mecca to Medina) are inspirations of Mecca (Macci) however they have been inspired out of Mecca and those verses which have been inspired after Hejrat are inspirations of Medina (Madani) however they have been inspired out of Medina. Now when was this verse inspired? Before Hejrat or after it? Both are possible and depend on when we count the beginning of Hejrat, Mecca exit or Medina entrance? Even some one has said that this verse is neither Macci nor Madani.even some Sunni commentators like the writers of Rooho-Almaani, Altamdid & AlTanvir have said that this verse was inspired at time that Mohammad was in Mecca and had not started the Hejrat. Those commentators believe that this verse has two prediction; exiting from Mecca and returning to it.
It is quoted in Sharaf-Alnabi book on page 131 that this verse was inspired in Medina.
At the end of this respond we should say that whether this verse is Macci or Madani, this does not harm the prediction at all.
۳-the third problem: one may say that such prediction was very easy for Mohammad and it cannot be a miracle.
Response to the third problem: by considering the conditions of Mecca at that time this possibility seems unlike. The reason that Mohammad migrated was the presence of idolaters and disbelievers in Mecca. The city was under the control of them and they put heavy pressure on Mohammad and his follower and that is why Mohammad left there. In such situation it is not reasonable at all to express such prediction.
Furthermore this verse includes another prediction that Mohammad will survive till the time of return and it is not reasonable at all in those conditions of Mecca in which disbelievers severely wanted to kill Mohammad. The murder of Mohammad was very possible as they decided to do times but they did not achieve (e.g. in the night of Lailat-Almabit). Therefore such prediction was not simple at all.
Of course being survived is the prerequisite of returning to Mecca and can hardly be a prediction itself.
Also one may say that Mohammad expressed this sentence while he was saying to himself that if I survive it will be very good because my prediction takes place and I will attract more people toward myself and if I die it won’t be matter that I have lied to people .
What we can tell in response to the above problem is that this prediction is not basically about Mohammad’s being survived till the time of return but it is basically about Mohammad return. Mohammad should have thought about this possibility that he may survive and then people would want him to come back to Mecca. Prophet had not only predicted his aliveness but basically he had predicted his return.
Furthermore even if prophet of Islam was a liar we can understand from his life that he did not want to leave any weak point in his life even after his death which harms his prophet hood. The prophet who says in his Quran:
((وَ ءَاخَرِینَ مِنهُْمْ لَمَّا یَلْحَقُواْ بهِِم-۶۲:۳ prophet has been sent to the next generation.))
Therefore he should think of his death and his sentence ((if I die it won’t be matter that I have lied to people)) can not be matched with prophet’s life. Such clever prophet should be careful about his speeches in order not to encounter with contradiction between his speeches and his claims.
۴-the forth problem: one may say that prophet has defined that verse after he came back to Mecca to attract people toward himself more than before. He told people when I was coming out of Mecca God revealed me this verse and I am expressing it now. Furthermore prophet sometimes ordered to put some verse between some chapters. So it is possible that prophet might have ordered to the writers of Quran to put this verse between Ghesas chapter which is a Macci chapter.
Response to the forth problem: in response the below issues should be considered:
۱-firstly we should say that the above mentioned problem is only a possibility and is not provable at all and is in contradiction with historical quotation which has reached us. If we want to insert such possibility into this historical quotation all of historical quotations will be exposed to doubt and no one can rely on any history. But it should be said that this possibility is less but probable and will be weakened by the next instances.
۲-if the above suppose is correct and prophet expressed this verse in Medina to deceive people would it not be better to use the term Mecca instead of (the place of return-معاد) to clear any doubt from the face of this prediction.
۳-to prove the above unreasonable possibility we should have at least a Hadith to upload it , there is no inspiration cause which implies that prophet has expressed the verse after entrance to Mecca but one may say that prophet has told to his followers to quote this news in a way that the next generations never understand when I expressed this verse. Prophet knew that people of his time would accept his speech simply. But prophet was worried about next generations who may not accept his speech simply and he ordered to clear the history!
In this case we should say that there are many more problematic cases in history of Islam which are at the first rate to be cleared.
۴-it should be asked that why did anyone not ask Mohammad why you are telling this verse now (in Mecca).this question should have been asked from Mohammad but there is nothing in history which uploads this and also we do not have anything to imply that prophet has postponed preaching one verse likewise.
۵-prophet has other predictions which have been told definitely before their happening (e.g. prediction of victory of Roma) and this reality proves the possibility of prediction for Mohammad. Therefore in predictions like (returning to Mecca) which its time is not clear, we can increase our trust by looking to those definite predictions.
۵-the fifth problem: the writer of book of Tafhim-AlQuran (toward understanding Quran) on the following commentary link says something else which we bring below:
Some commentators opine that this verse of Surah Al-Qasas was sent down on the way during the Holy Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madinah, and in this Allah had promised His Prophet that He would again bring him back to Makkah. But, firstly, the words of the verse do not allow that “ma `ad” be taken to mean “Makkah”. Secondly, this Surah, both according to the traditions and the internal evidence of its theme, was revealed some time during the time of the migration to Habash, and one cannot understand that if this verse was revealed after several years on the way during the migration to Madinah. why was it inserted in this context without any relevance? Thirdly, in this context, the mention of the Holy Prophet’s return to Makkah seems quite irrelevant. For if the verse is taken to mean this, it will not be a reply to the disbelievers’ excuse but would rather strengthen it. It would mean this: “No doubt, what you say, O people of Makkah, is correct. Muhammad will be expelled from this city, but he will not remain an exile forever, but eventually We will bring him back to this very place.” Though this tradition has been reported by Bukhari, Nasa’i, Ibn Jarir and other traditionalists on the authority of Ibn `Abbas, it is, in fact, Ibn `Abbas’s own opinion; it is not a tradition that might have been received direct from the Holy Prophet that one may have to accept it.
The word ma ad in the original means the place to which one has to return ultimately. Its use as a common noun implies that it is a place of eminence and glory. Some commentators think it refers to Paradise. But there is no reason why it should be restricted only to Paradise. Let it remain indefinite as Allah Himself has put it so that the promise become applicable both his world and to the Next World. The context also requires that it should be looked upon as a promise to bestow the highest glory and eminence on the Holy Prophet ultimately not only in the Hereafter but in this world too. In the saying of the disbelievers of Makkah, which has been the theme of the discourse from verse 57 until now, they had said, “O Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him), do you want us also to be doomed with you ? If we join you and adopt this Faith, it will become hard for us to live in Arabia.” In response to this, Allah tells His Prophet: “O Muhammad, that God Who has placed the burden of conveying the message of the Qur’an on you, will not destroy you: rather He will exalt you to the rank which these people cannot even imagine today.” And, in actual fact, in a few years after this, even in this world, Allah granted the Holy Prophet complete authority over the whole of Arabia, and there was no power to resist him, and no religion to stand its ground. There had been no precedent in the history of Arabia that the whole peninsula might have come under the sway of one man so completely that no opponent might be there to challenge him and no soul to dare disobey his orders. Then it was not only a political domination but religious too, for the whole population had been won over to Islam.
Response to the fifth problem: this problem is not basically a problem because according to what were said this could be another commentary for this verse and in aspect of prediction it is similar to the main commentary of this verse and even the prediction which is adopted from this commentary is more difficult to predict, but here some cases should be mentioned:
۱-about inspiration of this verse in time of migration to Habashe, neither this commentator has mentioned any evidence nor have we found anything.
۲-this issue that this commentator has said :(( thirdly, in this context, the mention of the Holy Prophet’s return to Makkah seems quite irrelevant. For if the verse is taken to mean this, it will not be a reply to the disbelievers’ excuse but would rather strengthen it…)) is not correct. What this verse expresses will not strengthen disbelievers’ excuse (their excuse was that they might say that prophet himself expresses his exit so we can force him out.) because the first clause of the verse (Indeed he who has revealed to you the Quran) and the indefinity of (معاد-the place of return) express this reality that the return which has been mentioned in this verse is not the return for which disbelievers waited.
Even if this commentator is right it will not harm the prediction of verse at all.
Final conclusion: this verse cannot be a strong proof but it is absolutely a good subsidiary because the possibility of being a prediction is high. Of course as it was mentioned at the beginning of this article, this verse will be a miracle if we prove that no one else can predict such prediction and this issue should be discussed somewhere else.