You wrote: “In 53:1-17, the whole idea of Angel Jibreel only comes into picture, upon which you are developing your interpretation, if one translate word رَأَىٰ “Raa” in 53:11(5) as “Saw”. But if one translates it to “Learned”, “Took to Heart”, “Observed”, like what Dr. Shabbir has done in his QXP, then there arises no need of appearance of Angel Jibreel and Exalted Prophet’s explanation to other about his encounter with Angel Jibreel.”
Razi bhai, I respectfully disagree with you. My analyses are not based on just this word alone. Let me agree with you and take the word to be “observed or perceived.” How would people dispute/argue with him in 53:12 what he observed/perceived? It is obvious, he told them about his observation and perception of something. Isn’t it? This observation/perception is fully captured in 53:6-10. When you couple this with the definition of رَأَىٰ “Raa” you posted from Lughat, this observation/perception is related to physical/material thing or being. Verses are clearly mentioning a process through which this physical being came down and got close to prophet.
Second, the grammar used for sturdy/hardy/powerful and sound intellect in 53:5-6 is referring to an entity, not God. Thus, prophet met/saw/perceived/observed an entity up close. This entity taught him something, revealed to him something. Since God cannot be this entity, then Jibreel is the only choice.
Third, I used both definition of this word in my post to you. Prophet could only comprehend mentally something after seeing some signs of it physically. God cannot be seen, thus, God is ruled out. His Quran cannot be seen either unless written on something prophet could see/observe and then comprehend.
You wrote: “Why God needed to validate Prophet’s encounter (if any) with Angel Jibreel to other people? Even after God’s validation, it would still remain a personal experience of Prophet which cannot be shared by any other so what purpose does it serve? But it makes complete sense if God validate and ascertain His revealed words by Himself for people of that time and all time to come.”
It is simple. Prophet had to inform his people that (i) there is only One God, (ii) he has been chosen as a prophet/messenger by God, and (iii) he would receive revelations by God or he has received some revelations by God. To this, either he explained the whole encounter himself or when people asked him about it. Thus, the labels of dalala and ghawa etc. God is only responding and validating His prophet’s speech related to this phenomenon of wahi as it unfolded.
You wrote: “ …. but, I will repeat again, it leaves a lot of rational and logical gaps and many loose ends.”
Dear brother, bring those gaps to my notice. Let me reflect upon them. So far, none could be sustained as per my analyses.
You wrote: “Again by depending upon literal meaning of 66:1-5, you are bringing Angel Jibreel for conveying something which didn’t become part of Quran and further drawing a conclusion that “angel Jibreel along with other angels was available as a helper to him”. In my opinion such conclusion of supernatural intervention belittle and undermine the mighty effort done by Exalted Prophet as a human being to explore all his human potential and develop his virtues to its maximum under the most tiring and difficult circumstances and thereby set an example for all other human being for all time to come. Otherwise, it would give an excuse to any ordinary person, like me, to say how I can follow Exalted Prophet for he was helped by angel. QXP leaves no such rational and logical gaps.”
Supernatural Intervention: The biggest supernatural intervention is God’s Wahi and talking to His prophets and messengers. None of us has any problem with this supernatural phenomenon but when it comes to its other details mentioned in Quran we have issues? The difference between you me and prophets is that they have WAhi, which guides them. Quran is witness to this, clearly indicating that God revealed Quran in stages for his messenger to strengthen his heart/mind. Is this not supernatural? Yes, prophet had to go through all worldly struggle and difficulty but he was guided all along by God through Jibreel. Can you and me have an excuse not to follow the prophet since no wahi has come to us? If this cannot be an excuse for us, how then Jibreel coming to him for the same purpose becomes an excuse not to follow him. Logical or rational gaps are created by us not paying attention to the verses, grammar, and context.
You wrote: “You insist that people of that time were aware of “Salat”, so there was no need to provide its detail. But 8:35 describes “Salat” of people of that time as whistling and clapping, a completely different picture from what you are giving by your assumption.”
This we have discussed earlier as well in other threads. 8:35 is clearly mentioning two realities, namely, (i) Salat as ritual prayer was known to Meccans and they were doing it at the house, (ii) this ritual prayer however was nothing more than “whistling and clapping.” From (i) we can clearly see that people at the time including prophet knew the meanings and mode of salat at the time. Thus, when God used the same word “salat”, it could not be anything other than a ritual prayer. Thus, Salat is a ritual prayer.
The (ii) above need further pondering. It could be that Pagans’ salat was contaminated both physically and in terms of substance since they had no Book with them. God’s prophet simply removed contaminated parts under the guidance from Jibreel. None of “whistling and clapping” is found in today’s salat. Thus, salat stood restored.
You wrote: “Further, your argument of “continuity of practice of an entire community” is nothing more than the argument of opponents of Prophets who used to say “we are just following our forefathers” and it holds no sanctity. Also, this argument of yours opens another gap for raising human action almost equal to Quran.”
You have not quoted any verse to show “we are just following our forefathers” so that I could see what it is exactly in the context it appears. Please quote a verse.
However, Quran is not uprooting the old practices, rather it is uprooting the contaminated ones. Quran is clearly asking “follow the creed and manasiks of Ibrahim.” Pagans in their own way were following the creed of Ibrahim. They were doing salat as explained above, they were doing Hajj, etc. Whatever contamination were there in these rituals, these were removed by prophet. Major important elements of these rituals are in Quran.
You wrote: “No practice howsoever old it appears to be or claims to be cannot be put in parallel with a single word of Quran, since Quran is protected by God and no such protection is available to any practice of human being. There is no mean available to verify the certitude of claim of continuity of any practice beyond a certain time. All attachment, respect and reverence to any practice is just conditioning of mind by members of community in which one is born and raised.”
We agree that Quran is fully preserved. When Quran asks us to follow the creed and manasiks of Ibrahim, is this command fully preserved? Obvious answer is yes. Then we must ask what is the creed of Ibrahim and what are its manasiks? Major elements of this creed are also preserved in Quran. For example, salat has Wudu, Qiam, Ruku, and Sujood right in the Quran. Are these elements found in today’s salat? If yes, then salat is preserved for last 1400 years.
You wrote: “I am not suggesting that any vices are due to the ritual prayers but I will not hesitate to say that all virtues of Islam has been replaced by few rituals. Just watch and observe any Muslim society particularly where they are in majority, how least they are focused on human development and human rights and how oversensitive they are on matters related to rituals.”
You have identified a problem in contemporary Muslim societies. Did you identify or tried to identify the source(s) of this problem? If Salat was/is supposed to stop us from bad behavior, and it is failing to do so, should we uproot the salat or examine ourselves? Problem is not with salat as a ritual, rather within us. I could see two camps, one old, one relatively new to tackle this problem. One camp is relying on hadeeth literature to cement the same old practices without examining ourselves, the salat doers. This group has defined the purpose of salat as per their desires, completely neglecting what quran advocates the purpose to be. The second group is a recent phenomenon. This is busy to uproot the salat as a ritual. This group is busy in defining the original salat with new, modern words, and phrases to reflect their desires, completely neglecting the Quran, its grammar, context, etc. Both are failing and will continue to fail until unless they get back to Quran and re-examine the purpose of the Salat and how it achieved its purpose during the life of the prophet.