All praise is due to Allah for making it easier for us to attain faith through His Quran that is full of miracles. Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon His Prophet (sav) who established the Islamic civilization and taught us what civilisation is. Greetings to all Muslims who are working hard to ensure that the laws and teachings of the Quran becomes dominant all over the world.
The verse that foretells the victory of the Romans in a war against the Persians is another miracle of the Quran.This will come to pass after the Romans themselves were defeated. The verse reads “Alif-Lam-Mim.The Romans have been defeated in the nearer land (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine), and they, after their defeat, will be victorious within three to nine years. The decision of the matter, before and after (these events) is only with Allah (swt), (before the defeat of Romans by the Persians, and after, i.e. the defeat of the Persians by the Romans). And on that day, the believers (i.e. Muslims) will rejoice (at the victory given by Allah (swt) to the Romans against the Persians), with the help of Allah (swt), He helps whom He wills, and He is the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.” (It is) a Promise of Allah (i.e. Allah will give victory to the Romans against the Persians), and Allah (swt), fails not in His Promise, but most of men know not”. The promise of this verse has materialized exactly the way it was described. This is how it happened; enmity between Persia and the Byzantine Empire began in 602 A.D, that was eight years before the prophecy was given to Prophet Muhammad (sav). In 610 A.D, when Muhammad (sav) had already become a prophet, the emperor of Persia called Parvis declared a war against Christianity. People like Nesturi and Yakubi who were considered infidels and expelled by the church, joined the Persian army in order to fight the Christians.Zoroasters and twenty-six thousand Jews also joined the Persian army to fight the army of Heraclius, the Byzantine Emperor. The Persian army first conquered Antakya in 612 A.D before proceeding to conquer Damascus in 613 A.D. They took full control of Jerusalem after conquering Palestine in 614 A.D. They massacred ninety thousand Christians during these conquests. In Jerusalem, they burned and destroyed all that was considered to be holy to the Christians. They took away the cross that was believed to have been used in crucifying prophet Isa (a.s) to Persia. The palace of the Kisra of Persia was decorated with thirty thousand skulls of Christians. By 616 A.D the Persians had occupied all lands between Persia and the valley of Nile. This included the city of Alexandria. The Persian army had therefore succeeded in conquering Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and the Anatolian regions of Turkey including some areas around the Bosporus, which made them reach seemingly unstoppable power. The defeat of Roman Empire gave way for a rebellion at almost all its colonies. These included the colonies in Africa and Europe. Consequently, some cities closer to Istanbul rebelled against the Roman Empire. The army was destroyed and the treasury emptied. The Romans were forced to sign a treaty with very unfavourable conditions. Parvis, the emperor of Persia became overwhelmed with his victory and in a letter that he sent to Heraclius, he said: “From the greatest of all deities and the ruler of the world Husrav Parvis, to the rascal and senseless Heraclius; you said you have confidence in your Lord, why didn’t your Lord prevent me from taking over Jerusalem?”
Husrav Parvis further stated that, “Heraclius, the Roman Emperor will appear before me in chains and will be compelled to dessert Prophet Isa (a.s) and worship the fire just like all the Zoroasters do”. Shortly after the major victory, the Persian army seized Jordan, Palestine, Sinai Peninsula and set foot in Egypt. The pagans and the polytheists of Mecca were happy with these developments. They said: “If the Zoroasters of Persia had been able to defeat the people of the book, the Christians, we the Pagans will also be able to defeat the Muslims.” That is when the first few verses of surah Ar-Rum of the Quran that said “the Romans will become victorious again few years later despite this heavy defeat. This will make the Muslims rejoice”. This means the Romans will be victorious and at the same time the Muslims will also be given victory that will make them rejoice. This is foretelling the future by the Quran one more time. Looking at the situation on the ground at that time, there was nothing showing that the Romans can stand on their feet one more time. Furthermore, the Muslims were living a very deplorable life under the pagans of Mecca at that time. There was apparently no way the Romans nor the Muslims can be victorious. The whole of Egypt came under the control of the Persians in 619 A.D. Libya and Anatolia region were also under the control of the Persian Empire. This made Heraclius to decide escaping from Istanbul to Tunis. With this trend of events Ubey b. Halef betted with Abu Bakr (r.a). and the rule of the betting is that, if the Byzantine Empire should defeat the Persian Empire within 3 years Ubey b. Halef will give Abu Bakr (r.a) 10 camels. Otherwise Abu Bakr (r.a) will give Ubey b. Halef 10 camels. After getting information about this bet, prophet Muhammad (sav) said “bid’i sinin” that appeared in the verse meant less than 10 years and this could be between 3 and 10 years. He then told Abu Bakr (r.a) to go and renew the bet by prolonging the duration to 9 years and increasing the number of camels to 100. Game of chance was not forbidden in Islam at that time.
After this terrible defeat, Heraclius started preparing his army in Armenia for a counter attack in 632 A.D. They succeeded in entering Azerbaijan in 624 A.D thereby destroying the biggest temple of fire of the Zoroasters. In that same year the Muslims won the victory over the war of Badr. As it is reported by Imam Tirmidhi, the victory of the Romans against the Persian army occurred at the same time with the victory of the Muslims at the war of Badr. This definitely made the Muslims rejoiced as foretold by the verse in surah Ar-Rum.The two events foretold by the Quran took place exactly the way it was narrated in the Quran. Foretelling of these two unknown events had materialized.
When the two armies confronted each other in the battle field in 627 A.D, the Byzantine army defeated the Persian army. These developments led to an uprising amongst the dynasties and the emperor was dethroned. 18 children were killed and the dethroned emperor himself died in jail. In the same year, the treaty of Hudaybiyya that was referred to by the Holy Quran as the “Manifest Victory” was signed. A lot of pagans and polytheists converted to Islam after the realisation of the verses of the Quran. The bet between Abu Bakr (r.a) and Ubey b. Halef was won by Abu Bakr (r.a) and Ubey’s inheritors were compelled to give 100 camels to Abu Bakr (r.a).The Prophet Muhammad (sav) instructed that the 100 camels should be given out as alms since the game of chance had been made forbidden to Muslims.
As a summary: the war started in 610 A.D, the Roman army suffered their first defeat. They lost lands like Antakya, Jerusalem and Damascus. By 616 A.D they also lost Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and parts of the Anatolian region.The Persian army proceeded as far as to Istanbul and dealt a serious blow to the Romans. The Romans began an offensive in 623 A.D that resulted into victories at the onset. The Romans started suffering from partial defeat in 614 A.D and their subsequent partial victory after their defeat started in 623 A.D. This chain of events took exactly 9 years.The total defeat of the Romans was in 616 A.D and the total victory of the Romans occurred in 623 AD. The time period between these 2 events was also exactly 9 years. This is exactly the meaning of the “Bid’i Sinîn” mentioned in the Quran.
The signs of the victory of the Romans started in 623 A.D but the victory itself was attained in 625 AD. From this it can be inferred that the actual victory came after 3 years. The choosing of the exact expression, “Bid’i Sinîn” which meant between 3 and 9 years by the Quran for these events is a miracle. This is because the struggle leading to the victory of the Romans lasted 3 years and the total victory was attained in the ninth year and this is exactly what the verse in the Quran pointed out. Furthermore, “Bid’i Sinîn” is giving information on the victory at Badr war (in 616 A.D.) that was going to be given to Muslims almost 7 years later and this coincided with 14th March, 624 A.D. The victory foretold by this verse would not have been fully understood if the expression “Bid’i Sinîn” had not been used. Lo and behold, the Roman army won the victory 9 years after their defeat and Muslims had the victory at the Battle of Badr, this brought a lot of relief to the Muslims. The foretelling of the victory of the Muslims by the verse is more important than the victory of the Romans.
The verse continues with the sentence “The decision of the matter, before and after (these events) is only with Allah”, meaning the victory of the Romans doesn’t guarantee them victory afterwards and doesn’t promise the Romans superiority over all forces in the world until the end. In this world and anywhere else only Allah’s will had been done and it will continue to be that way. Just like the way victory was given by Allah to the Romans (the people of the book) against the cruel Zoroasters of Persia, victory was going to be given by Allah to his true slaves, the Muslims against the Romans and Byzantine Empire as well. In other words, the verse also implies that, the Romans who defeated the Persians will be defeated by the Muslims soon. This is because true judgement and full command belongs to Allah only, and only His will would be done. The news of the future in Quran (even if it is shath) can be apprehended in the subsequent verses. As reported by Abu Saeed Al-Khudri and other companions of the Prophet Muhammad (sav); the second verse is read not with indefinite article but a definite article. That is to say, instead of reading the phrase غلبلة الروم )) “Guli batur-rum” to mean ‘the Romans had been defeated’ it should rather be read as “galibatur-rum” to mean the Romans had defeated. Consequently, the phrase ( سيغلبون )“sayaglibun” which means “will be victorious” should have been read with an indefinite article as “sayuglabun” to mean “will be defeated”. That means the Romans will be defeated by the Muslims after they had defeated the Persians. This attribute of the verse is giving information about the events that were going to happen tens of years or even hundreds of years later. This had materialised. The Roman army were defeated at the battle of Yarmouk during the era of Abu Bakr (r.a) and this had continued up to the reign of Umar (r.a). As a result, Muslims conquered the lands of Damascus, Palestine and Jerusalem. This campaign continued till the gates of Istanbul was entered. At the end of it all Byzantine Empire become nothing but history.
Prophet Muhammad (sav) painted a vivid picture about these events even though Quran only made implications on them.
According to the hadith reported in the Musnad (Hadith Book) of Imam Ahmad and Ad-Dârimî, when the Prophet Muhammad was asked which land will be conquered first? Is it Istanbul or Rome? “The first city to be conquered is Heraclius’s city (ie Istanbul)” was the reply of the holy Prophet (sav). Since Istanbul, as one of the centres of the Romans had been conquered the next centre to be conquered is Rome. With the permission of Allah (swt) this city will be conquered at the appointed time. The phrase ( أدنى الارض ) “adnel-ard” translated as ‘nearer land’ can mean the following; lands nearer to Saudi Arabia, Hejaz area, Persian lands or the Byzantine lands of Damascus and its environs. It could also mean lands nearer to the centre of the Byzantine Empire, that is Anatolian region. It could also mean both Anatolia and the Byzantine Empire itself. Quran translators had translated ( أدنى الارض) “adnel-ard” to mean nearer land but that is not the exact meaning of the phrase but the closest in meaning. The exact meaning of this phrase is the lowest point on earth (in terms of altitude). Due to little or no knowledge of altitude in the past, it was translated as the ‘nearer land’. If the verse was actually referring to the ‘nearer land’ the word ‘akrab’ would have been used instead of ‘adna’. All the same ‘Nearer land’ is not totally wrong in the sense that all the wars were fought at areas closer to the Hejaz and Byzantine areas. The scientific miracles of Quran will be lost if we accept the meaning to be ‘nearer land’. Dead Sea was the intersection point for the battles fought in Syria, Jordan and Palestine. It has has been proved that areas around the lake of Lut (Dead sea) have the lowest altitude measuring 400 meters below sea level. Advancement of science and technology has shown us the reason why Quran used the phrase ( أدنى الارض ) “adnel-ard”.
To sum it up in a few sentences; Quran foretold the victory of the Romans 9 years after being defeated, the victory of the Muslims (at Bedir war) at the same day with the Romans, the rejoicing of the Muslims on that day, the duration of the victory of the Romans to be 3 years, the defeat of the Romans to take place at a place that has the lowest altitude on earth, the defeating of the Romans by the Muslims after the Romans had defeated the Persians, giving full control to the Muslims after defeating the Romans, the conquest of the Roman lands of Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and the conquest of Anatolian region together with Istanbul. Aren’t these enough proofs to show that Quran is the word of Allah(swt).