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Salamun Alaikum (Peace be upon you)




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Copyright © 2009 Joseph A Islam: Article last modified 23rd January 2012


It is often asserted by a contingent of Muslims that whatever the Prophet spoke was a revelation from God. Such an assertion is usually advanced to provide tacit support for Islamic secondary sources and to authenticate his sayings captured by later compilers.  What is often found amiss in such an unwarranted interpretation, is a lack of appreciation that the Arabian Prophet was not only a Prophet of God and a spiritual guide, but he was also a community leader (of the new Islamic state), a husband, a father and functioned in other multifaceted capacities.


As we will note from a Quran's perspective, it was only his utterances in his capacity as a Prophet of God that were protected.


Sadly, isolated verses are torn from their proper context and misquoted to muster support for such a belief.


One such verse from the Quran is:



"Nor does he speak out of (his own) desire".


Without proper context, this verse implies a Prophetic human automaton that has no sense of volition but rather speaks only of God's words. However, if the context of the verse is consulted, it becomes clear that the verse is a reference to the Quran and his speech in his capacity as a Prophet of God.


The fact that the following verses (53:3 ff) explicitly state that he was 'taught' by a mighty power (53:5) who he saw (53:11-12 - Gabriel) makes it absolutely clear that this was a reference only to the Quran and his utterances as a Prophet of God. (Please note that God cannot be seen (42:51). See related article [1] below).

Therefore, in this context, the Prophet's contemporaries were being clearly informed that the Prophet was neither deceived nor was he erring in any form. But rather, whatever he communicated via the Quran was inspired.


The fact that all of Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) utterances or practices were not inspired by God is clear from the following banning incident of verse 66:1.



“O Prophet! Why do you forbid that which God has made lawful to you? You seek to please your wives! But God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” 


However, the Prophet's inspiration with respect to the Quran remained protected by God's decree.


Surely We have revealed the reminder (Arabic: Dhikr) and We will most surely be its guardian (Arabic: Hafizun)







There is no warrant from the Quran that all of the Prophet’s utterances or practices were inspired by God.

The reference in verse 53:3 is contextually specific only to his utterances in his capacity as a Prophet of God referring to the Quran which he was 'taught' by a mighty power (53:5). This was indeed protected by God (15:9).


Related Article:

(1)    Understanding Verse 42:51 - Who can Receive 'Wahi'?



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