Mother of the Believers is the title given to the wives of Muhammad, but it best suits his first wife, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. According to Islamic sources, Khadijah was a wealthy widow and Muhammad’s employer. Muhammad was twenty-five, and Khadijah was forty when She proposed to him. The marriage between Khadijah and Muhammad was both happy and monogamous. When he was on his journeys without Her, Muhammad never felt any desire for other women. They had six children, of which four daughters survived. Only after Khadijah had died did Muhammad marry other women.
According to Islamic accounts, Muhammad returned home to Khadijah in a state of terror after receiving his first revelation from the Archangel Gabriel. He told Her what had happened. She comforted him and supported him from then on. Khadijah’s moral support made Muhammad believe in his mission, and Her financial support was indispensable. Apart from a wife, Khadijah was like a mother to Muhammad, in the likeness of Eve and Adam. She was Muhammad’s boss in more than one way.
Unlike the Bride of Christ, the Bride of Muhammad is still in the records and hard to ignore. One can imagine no plausible political or religious agenda for misrepresenting the facts in this way. Women were hardly ever boss over their husbands in seventh-century Arabia, so the odds of the founder of Islam finding himself in this position by accident appears low because it fits the pattern of God being the wife of the prophets.
Muslims claim that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad by God, with the Archangel Gabriel being the intermediary. Historical analysis suggests that much of the Quran comes from Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian sources. Nevertheless, some parts may be Muhammad’s revelations. The Quran itself provides no evidence for God being a woman but claims that God is the greatest schemer (Quran 3:54, 7:99, 8:30, 10:21, 13:42) and capable of deception (Quran 4:88, 5:41, 11:34, 14:4). The existence of different religions and theological disputes are part of the plan, the Quran claims.
The Quran corroborates the virgin birth of Jesus. The virgin birth is the miracle of the mother goddess. Jesus is consistently called Son of Mary (Quran 2:87, 4:171, 61:6) while Christians call him Son of God. The repeating of the phrase Son of Mary suggests importance. It stresses that God is not Jesus’ father but it may also indicate that God’s name was Mary. Chapter 74 of the Quran is named The Hidden Secret or The Cloaked One. The Arabic name for this chapter can both be translated to a hidden secret as well as a man wearing a cloak. The man wearing a cloak is Muhammad. This chapter further mentions that 19 angels are guarding hell (Quran 74:31).
In 1974, Rashad Khalifa claimed to have discovered a mathematical code hidden in the Quran based on the number 19. He used Chapter 74 to demonstrate the significance of the number as it says: “We have made their [the angels’] number only as a test for the disbelievers so that the People of the Book [Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians] will be certain, and the believers [Muslims] will increase in faith, and neither the People of the Book nor the believers will have any doubts, and so that those hypocrites with sickness in their hearts and the disbelievers will argue, ‘What does God mean by such a number?’ In this way, God leaves whoever He wills to stray and guides whoever He wills. And none knows the forces of your Lord except He. And this description of Hell is only a reminder to humanity.’ (Quran 74:31)
The verse implies that the number 19 has significance beyond the number of angels guarding hell. It gave rise to a numerological cult within Islam, based on Khalifa’s claim that the number 19 comes with mathematical properties with regard to various counts of verses, words, letters, and names of God in the Quran, such as:
- The Quranic opening formula, Basmala, consists of 19 letters.
- The first word of the Basmala, Ism (name) without contraction, occurs 19 times in the Quran.
- The second word of the Basmala, Allah (God), occurs 2698 times (19×142).
- The third word of the Basmala, Rahman (Gracious), occurs 57 times (19×3).
- The fourth word of the Basmala, Rahim (Merciful), occurs 114 times (19×6).
- The multiplication factors of the words of the Basmala (1+142+3+6) give 152 (19×8).
- The Quran consists of 114 chapters (19×6).
- The total number of verses in the Quran, including all unnumbered Basmalas, is 6346 (19×334). The cross sum of 6346 is 19.
- The Basmala appears 114 times (19×6). It is absent in chapter 9 but appears twice in chapter 27.
- From the missing Basmala in chapter 9 to the additional Basmala in chapter 27, there are 19 chapters.
- The occurrence of the additional Basmala is in chapter 27, verse 30. Adding this chapter number and the verse number gives 57 (19×3).
Khalifa did some manipulations on the data to make them fit his theory. For instance, he claimed that two verses in the Quran (chapter 9, verses 128 and 129) were added later and are not part of the original message from God to Muhammad. When the Quran was written down after decades of oral reciting, only one witness could corroborate the validity of these verses. Thus, Khalifa claimed that the Quran has only 6346 verses instead of the traditional count of 6348. Including those two verses, the Quran has 2699 occurrences of the word ’Allah’ and 115 occurrences of the word ‘Rahim’, neither of which are multiples of 19. Because decades of oral reciting preceded the codification of the Quran, more verses are doubtful. And the codifiers of the Quran apparently believed that these verses were genuine as they included them. Hence, claiming that verses 128 and 129 from chapter 9 are not genuine, seems arbitrary.
Numbers usually are meaningless, but the number 19 appears in a chapter named Hidden Secret. Hence, the number 19 may have significance and refer to a hidden secret that proves that the Quran comes from God. And so, the rise of the cult may not be an accident. But what could the hidden secret be? Chapter 19 is named Mary, and it is about the Virgin Mary. The hidden secret may be that God’s name was Mary, something only God could know. The cloak may refer to God appearing to be a man while being a woman or the Virgin Mary being the cloak hiding the identity of God.
Featured image: top small written Arab phrase “Umm ul Muminin”(Mother of the believers) then in centre Big written “Khadijah” and bottom small written Arab honour phrase ‘Radhi allahu anha.’