By Ahmad Syafii Maarif
History has told about behaviour changes of Abu Lahab (born as ‘Abd al-‘Uzza/worshiper of idol al-‘Uzza) to his nephew, Muhammad peace be upon him (PBUH). Before mandated as prophet, Abu Lahab cared for Muhammad very dearly because he thought Muhammad PBUH would be the replacement of his brother and Muhammad PBUH's father, Abdullah, who died when Muhammad PBUH was still in his mother’s, Aminah, womb. But this behaviour drastically changed when Prophet Muhammad PBUH started to give his word of warning to his closest relatives about the coming of Allah’s torment, according to revelation on surah al-Syu’ara verse 214, “And, admonish thy nearest kinsmen.”
One day on year of 611, to fulfill the command of the verse, Prophet Muhammad PBUH went to Shafa Hill to hail his relatives. After their coming, Prophet PBUH immediately spoke, “O people of Quraysh (by calling names of the father of each clansmen), please come. “ They asked, “What is going on?” the Prophet answered, “If I was to tell you that an army was advancing to attack you from the other side of this mount, would you believe me?”
Because of Muhammad PBUH since his early age was known as al-amin (the truthful), never lied in his whole life, they answered, “Of course we believe.” Then, the warning was stated, “(Calling names of the father of each clansmen)! I have come to you as a Warner (Nadzir) and if you do not respond to my warning, punishment will fall upon you. I have been sent by Allah to warn you and I can not protect you in this world, nor I can promise you anything in the next world, unless you acknowledge and submit to the worship of One Allah”. Amongst the clansmen was Abu Lahab, a presumptuous weathy man who arrogantly responded, “May you perish, did you call us to this?”
Then, continued with hurtful insults, “Tabban laka.” (Woe to you). Because of this incident, Abu Lahab’s hatred became unstoppable, did not care that the victim of his ruthlessness was his own nephew whom by Allah has ben chosen as end-time prophet and apostle.
This incident became asbabu al-nuzul (occasions/circumstances of revelation) surah Makkiyah al-Lahab (Palm Fibre, The Flame), consists of five verses, came on year of 611 which told about the behaviour and fate of Abu Lahab with his wife who commonly known as Umm al-Jamil (Mother of Beauty), but her attitude recorded in Al-Qur’an as “carrier of crackling wood as fuel and has twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre around her neck”. Her real name was Arwah binti Harb, sister of Abu Sufyan bin Harb of Bani Umayyah.
Now, what is the relationship between Abu Lahab’s story to Dr. Gary Miller? If there is none, then this “Resonance” would not be titled as above. Dr. Miller was a priest mastered in mathematics and logic from University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Miller really wanted to do scientific research on Al-Qur’an so he could find the errors in the holy book of Muslims. What then happened? Dr. Miller failed to find a single mistake for what have been stated in the Al-Qur’an.
In his article, “The Amazing Qur’an” Dr. Miller wrote, “Prophet Muhammad had an uncle named Abu Lahab. This man is a man full of hatred towards Islam and made it common for him to follow the Prophet PBUH wherever he went just to discredit him. If Abu Lahab saw Prophet PBUH talked to an outsider, he waited until both separated. Then he met the outsider and asked, “What did he say to you? Did he say black? Then it is actually white. Did he say morning? Then it is actually night.”
To cut it short, Abu Lahab always twisted whatever the outsiders heard from Muhammad PBUH and the Muslims. Abu Lahab died in such a deep stress about 10 years after the coming of this revelation, after War of Badr (second year of Hijra), because his hope of Quraisy’s army victory to destroy Islam was vanished forever.
To Dr. Miller, dark fate befell upon Abu Lahab which was told long before the coming of surah Al Lahab, was really ashtonishing. Why? Because, it was impossible for a Prophet to foretell his uncle’s fate long time before tragic death of Abu Lahab. This news must came from the sky that never been wrong. This was one of the reason Dr. Miller became a Muslim on 1978 with his Muslim name Abdul-Ahad Omar.
In the “Amazing Qur’an”, you would find Dr. Miller’s research results about how grand the Qur’an on challanging human’s logic to find the errors in it. To Dr. Miller, Al Qur’an could never be made by any human throughout history, from then, now or future. Readers could contact Mr. Miller on email@example.com. This soul felt beaten and ashamed to Dr. Miller who found the truth after doing profound empirical research, while I have never researched anything about Al-Qur’an!