Another miraculous aspect of the Qur'an is its prediction of future
events, all of which have so far been fulfilled. This is one of
the proofs that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah. In the following
pages, we will dwell on some of these events.
THE VICTORY OF BYZANTIUM
An astonishing prediction is found in the first verses of Surat
ar-Rum, which refers to the Byzantine Empire, the eastern part of
the later Roman Empire: The Byzantine Empire, which had met with
a great defeat, would soon gain victory.
Alif, Lam, Mim. The Romans have been defeated
in the lowest land, but after their defeat they will be victorious
within three to nine years. The affair is Allah's from beginning
to end. On that day, the believers will rejoice. (Qur'an, 30:1-4)
were revealed around 620, almost 7 years after the idolatrous Persians
had severely defeated Christian Byzantium in 613-14. In fact, Byzantium
had suffered such heavy losses that it seemed impossible for it
even to survive, let alone be victorious again. Following their
defeat of the Byzantines at Antioch in 613, the Persians seized
control of Damascus, Cilicia, Tarsus, Armenia, and Jerusalem. The
loss of Jerusalem in 614 was particularly traumatic for the Byzantines,
for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed and the Persians
seized the "True Cross," the symbol of Christianity.174
In addition, the Avars, Slavs, and Lombards also were posing serious
threats to the Byzantine Empire. The Avars had reached as far as
the walls of Constantinople. Emperor Heraclius ordered the gold
and silver in churches to be melted and turned into money in order
to meet the army's expenses. When this proved insufficient, bronze
statues were melted down in order to mint more money. Many governors
had revolted against Heraclius, and Byzantium was on the point of
Cilicia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Armenia, which had earlier
belonged to Byzantium, were invaded by the idolatrous Persians.176
The Dead Sea basin where Byzantium was defeated by Persians.
Above is a satellite photograph of the region. The Lake
of Lut region, which is the lowest region of the world,
is 395 meter below the sea level.
In short, everyone was expecting Byzantium to be destroyed. But
during this time, the first verses of Surat ar-Rum were revealed,
announcing that Byzantium would triumph in 3 to 9 years. This predicted
victory seemed so impossible that the Arab polytheists thought it
would never come true.
On top a satellite photograph of the Dead Sea basin. The
altitude of the Dead Sea could only be determined with modern
measurement techniques. These measurements led to the discovery
that this region is the "lowest region on the Earth."
Like all the other predictions
in the Qur'an, however, this one also came true. In 622, Heraclius
gained a number of victories over the Persians and conquered Armenia.177
In December 627, the two empires fought a decisive battle at Nineveh,
some 50 kilometres east of the Tigris river, near Baghdad. This
time too, the Byzantine army defeated the Persians. A few months
later, the Persians had to sue for peace with Byzantium, which obliged
them to return the territories they had taken from it.178
The Byzantine victory was completed when Emperor
Heraclius defeated the Persian ruler Khosrow II in 630, recaptured
Jerusalem, and regained the "True Cross" for the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre.179 In the
end, "the victory of the Romans" proclaimed by Allah in the Qur'an
miraculously came true within the verses' stated "three to nine
years" time frame.
Another miracle revealed in these verses is the announcement of
a geographical fact that could not have been known by anyone at
that time: that the Romans had been defeated in the lowest region
of Earth. This Arabic expression adna al-Ard is interpreted
as "a nearby place" in many translations. However, this
is not the literal meaning, but rather a figurative interpretation.
The word adna, derived from the word dani (low),
means “the lowest”. The word ard means “the
world.” Therefore, adna al-ard means "the lowest
place on Earth."
Some interpreters of the Qur'an, considering
the closeness of the region in question to the Arabs, prefer the
"closest" meaning of the word. However, the actual meaning indicates
a very important geological fact: The Dead Sea, one of the regions
in which the Byzantines were defeated in 613-14, is the lowest region
As stated earlier, for Christian Byzantium, the loss of the True
Cross was the heaviest blow in that defeat in Jerusalem, located
near the shores of the Dead Sea.
The Byzantines and the Persians actually fought
at the Dead Sea basin, which is situated at the intersection point
of the lands belonging to Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. At 399 meters
below sea level, the Dead Sea is the "lowest" place on Earth's surface.181
However, as only modern measuring methods and equipment can prove
this fact, it would have been impossible for anyone living at that
time to realise this truth. Yet, the Qur'an states clearly that
this region was the "lowest land" on Earth and
thereby provides further evidence that it is the Word of Allah.
175. Warren Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society
(Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press: 1997), 287-99.
178. Treadgold, A History, 287-99.
180. “The Lowest Part on the Face of the Earth,”www.beconvinced.com/science/QURANLOWEST.htm.
181. “Dead Sea,” World Book Encyclopedia, 2003, Contributor:
Bernard Reich, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science and International
Affairs, George Washington University