The Information Given About the Future in the Qur'an
Another miraculous aspect of the Qur'an is that it revealed beforehand a number important events that would occur in the future. Verse 27 of Sura Fath, for example, gave the believers the glad tidings that they would conquer Mecca, which was then under pagan occupation:
"God has confirmed His Messenger's vision with truth: 'You will enter the Masjid al-Haram in safety, God willing, shaving your heads and cutting your hair without any fear.'He knew what you did not know and ordained, in place of this, an imminent victory." (The Qur'an, 48:27)
On close consideration, the verse can be seen to announce yet another victory that will take place before the victory of Mecca. Indeed, as stated in the verse, the believers first conquered the Khyber Fortress, which was under the control of the Jews, and then entered Mecca.
The announcement of the events that will take place in the future is only one of the pieces of wisdom in the Qur'an. This is also evidence to the fact that the Qur'an is the word of God, Who has infinite knowledge. The defeat of Byzantium is one of the pieces of news given about the future, accompanied by other information that could not have been known by the people of that time. The most interesting point about this historical event, which will be examined in detail in the following pages, is that the Romans were defeated in the lowest region in the world. This is interesting because "the lowest point" is particularly stressed in the relevant verse. With the technology of that time, it was obviously impossible to make such a measurement and to determine the lowest point in the world. This is a revelation to people from God, the All-Knowing.
The Victory of Byzantium
Another astonishing piece of revelation that the Qur'an gives about the future is to be found in the first verses of Sura Rum, which refers to the Byzantine Empire, the eastern part of the later Roman Empire. In these verses, it is stated that the Byzantine Empire had met with a great defeat, but that it would soon gain victory.
"Elif, Lam, Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the lowest land, but after their defeat they will themselves be victorious in a few years' time. The affair is God's from beginning to end." (The Qur'an, 30:1-4)
These verses were revealed around 620 AD, almost seven years after the severe defeat of Christian Byzantium at the hands of the idolater Persians. Yet it was related in the verses that Byzantium would shortly be victorious. In fact, Byzantium had then suffered such heavy losses that it seemed impossible for it even to survive, let alone be victorious again. Not only the Persians, but also Avars, Slavs and Lombards posed serious threats to the Byzantine Empire. The Avars had reached as far as the walls of Constantinople. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius had ordered the gold and silver in churches to be melted and turned into money in order to meet the expenses of the army. When these proved insufficient, even bronze statues were melted down to be turned into money. Many governors had revolted against Emperor Heraclius, and the empire was on the point of collapse. Mesopotamia, Cilicia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Armenia, which had earlier belonged to Byzantium, were invaded by the idolater Persians.20
In short, everyone was expecting the Byzantine Empire to be destroyed. But right at that moment, the first verses of Sura Rum were revealed, announcing that Byzantium would triumph in a few years' time. This victory seemed so impossible that Arab polytheists had gone so far as to make fun of these verses. They thought that the victory announced in the Qur'an would never come true.
Around seven years after the revelation of the first verses of Sura Rum, in December 627 AD, a decisive battle between Byzantium and the Persian Empire was fought at Nineveh. And this time the Byzantine army unexpectedly defeated the Persians. A few months later, the Persians had to make an agreement with Byzantium, which obliged them to return the territories they had taken from it.21
At the end, "the victory of the Romans," proclaimed by God in the Qur'an, miraculously came true.
Another miracle revealed in these verses is the announcement of a geographical fact that could not have been known by anyone at that time.
In the third verse of Sura Rum, we are informed that the Romans had been defeated in the lowest region of the Earth. This expression, "Adna al Ard" in Arabic, is interpreted as "a nearby place" in many translations. Yet this is not the literal meaning of the original statement, but rather a figurative interpretation of it. The word "Adna" in Arabic is derived from the word "deni", which means "low" and "ard", which means "world". Therefore the expression "Adna al Ard" means "the lowest place on the Earth".
Most interestingly, the crucial stages of the war fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Persians, when the Byzantines were defeated and lost Jerusalem, had really taken place at the lowest point on earth. This specified region is the Dead Sea basin, which is situated at the intersection point of the lands belonging to Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. The "Dead Sea", lying 395 meters below sea level, really is the lowest region on Earth.
This means that the Byzantines were defeated at the lowest part of the world, just as stated in the verse.
The most interesting point lies in the fact that the altitude of the Dead Sea could only be measured with modern measurement techniques. Before that, it was impossible for anyone to know that it was the lowest region on the surface of the Earth. Yet, this region was stated to be the lowest point on the Earth in the Qur'an. Hence, this provides further evidence that the Qur'an is divine revelation.