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I want to make a disclaimer first. I am not a follower of Islam or any other religion for that matter. I like to maintain a neutral perspective. I've been reading this book No God but God by Reza Aslan. And it's my first time reading about Islam in this depth.

What I've come to understand is that whatever prophet preached as a socio-economic model for the Ummah were the demand of the contemporary society. What I mean is, the group of followers that Prophet had accumulated in the city of Yathrib, later known as Medina contained poor as well as rich. It made sense for the rich to help the poor. So, prophet established that the fulfilled ones donate zakat to be given to the poor.

Also prophet allowed the men in his community to take as many women and their children as they could provide/feed for which made sense especially because women were widowed after tribal wars they had to participate in during the growing period.

Now, what concerns me is not that the Prophet appear to be preaching what seemed most rational thing to do given the circumstances. I am concerned about the people believing in his words as the word of the God and not just as that of a good leader of the community. Did Prophet really believe what he said were the voices of God? Did it actually matter whether he thought they were voices of God or just his own rational decisions on the circumstances at hand?

I have few more question along the same line. But don't want to make this question too vague.

  • To understand your question better, if you don't mind, can you tell me are you believing any God? In my opinion, it's better to understand your question and your perspective. But you don't have to tell. – nim Jan 20 '16 at 7:37
  • I am of Hindu origin and my parents too don't take religion too seriously. I, myself, don't have any faith on any god. I see Islam with just as authenticity as I do Hinduism. I am approaching this from a Historic perspective rather than a theological one. For what it's worth, I'm 19 by the way. :) – Bibek_G Jan 20 '16 at 8:21
  • Welcome to Islam, Vivek. If he were to be just a leader with some savvy rules, he could atmost become a notable figure in history like any other. But, he is one step above that, and that is what we believe. You may ask what made us think so ? It is the Qur'an which made us think so. As you've taken time to understand about Islam, I invite you to understand it directly from the origin, and then judge by yourself. Your question has a one line answer btw. – servant-of-Wiser Jan 20 '16 at 10:13
  • I get that Muslim people all around the world have all the reason to believe in the Prophet and his superiority as messenger now that Islam has become a religion. But why did the people believe in him when Islam was just beginning to form ? – Bibek_G Jan 20 '16 at 10:24
  • Then add the 'history' tag, and highlight that you want to know about it but only after enough study. – servant-of-Wiser Jan 21 '16 at 12:03
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Short answer: Yes

Long answer: I do not have and islamic degree, but I practice islam and read about it every day. I see you have some questions you seek an answer to them. Thats wonderful, because thinking & wondering about the; universe, things, truths, etc... is the most skill that Al Quran urge people for it.

But, I see you have some misunderstanding in your questions:

Did Prophet really believe what he said were the voices of God? Did it actually matter whether he thought they were voices of God or just his own rational decisions on the circumstances at hand?

First of all: they were 'words' from Allah not the 'voice' of Allah himself.

[You need to understand the process of revelation] I can shorted here: Prophet Muhammad does not hear Allah's voice, neither some Prophets except Moses! Mohammad hear the angel messenger of Allah (which was the angel Gabriel) (We refer to him as the Holy Spirit). And Gabriel tells Muhammad about the words of Allah, and what decisions should he take. And that words become actions that benefit the humans and become 'Al Quran' (also some become 'Hadith Qudsi' I don't mean 'Prophetic Hadith').

Therefore Mohammad heard Gabriel voice that tell him about Allah words.

And yes for us as muslims, we believe that our prophet Mohammad believe in Allah and all his Angels, previous Prophets, previous books. And yes we believe that decisions Muhammad take, was from Allah himself 'through revelation process', not a decisions based on circumstances by human mind.

Also I advice you to read from different sources. Do not let your information build on one source or on one islamic sect knowledge. Because (unfortunately) we become many sects and some sect think they are on the right path and other are on the wrong path, so they rampage on others and kill them as you saw in the media (or as you may be read in the history of islamic nation)! and that people worshiping the devil (without noticing), not Allah.

Enjoyable reading in Islam btw

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    Salam and welcome on Islam SE. Please take your time and take our tour and check our help center to learn more about this site. – Medi1Saif May 30 '16 at 5:47
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The Islamic tradition has two parts

  1. Quran
  2. Hadith

Only the Quran is considered the word of Allah.

Hadith is the word of the Prophet (pbuh) which would include interpretation of the Quran, general wisdom or clarifications etc

When the Quran was revealed to the Prophet ( pbuh ), he would get into a specific state. Everybody around him knew that was not the regular way the Prophet(pbuh) spoke. What was revealed was not even regular Arabic spoken at the time. It was highly eloquent and poetic.

Besides that there was information in those revelations that the Prophet(phuh) could not have possibly known and in many cases this revelation corrected a lot of information.

For example: The story of the birth of Jesus (pbuh) to virgin Mary (ra). It begs the question how a single mother survived a very conservative Jewish society?

Jewish law calls for stoning of any fornicator. When the community around Mary (ra) came to ask her whose child it is, the infant child spoke to protect his mother. This miracle is not part of the Christian scriptures but in the Quran it is logically placed to show how virgin Mary(ra) survived a conservative Jewish society.

Another example: The story of the sleepers in the cave (surah kahf). That story was from another society that could not have possibly mingled with the Arabs at the time. It had the information about a dog. The dog was the reason why people stayed away from the cave for 300 years and the youths were able to sleep 300 years undisturbed. This was not part of any narration of the story.

Because of information like this and much more discovered in todays age ( like big bang theory or water cycle or embryology ), it is the word of Allah.

  • please consider adding your resources in your answer. – nim May 30 '16 at 8:12
  • What does (ra) mean? – Felix Dombek Aug 26 '16 at 15:13

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