The Quran about suggestion

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

The most mysterious and controversial fact in the history of mankind is the phenomenon of God’s revelation (suggestion). The society always suspicious to the people who announced that certain information from the Creator was sent down upon them. Of course, there were precedents of charlatanry and deception, therefore, to distinguish the true revelation of the Supreme from forgery, it is necessary to define clear criteria and conditions for sending the information of the Lord through the prism of the Quran.

And it is not for any human being that God should speak to him except by suggestion or from behind a veil or that He sends a messenger and suggests to him, by His permission, what He wills! Indeed, He is Most High and Wise! (42:51)


The above passage shows only three conditions under which God’s communication with a man is possible:

1) Direct revelation (suggestion);

2) Through a certain barrier;

3) With the help of a messenger.

The Arabic word “waha” has the following meanings “to suggest, to inspire, to inform, to reveal (secret)”. As can be seen from the translations of the above word, their qualities refer to the manifestation from the outside.

Usually people distinguish the bearers of the revelation of the Creator from the general mass. The very act of suggestion from the Most High forces people to exalt a person to the degree of the prophets sent by the Creator. However, this practice leads to an erroneous definition of the true status of the object of revelation. An example is provided by the following evidence:

And when I suggested to the disciples, that they believe Me and My messenger Jesus, they said, “We have believed, so bear witness that indeed we humbled ourselves!” (5:111)

When We suggested to your mother, ‘Cast him into the chest and cast it into the river, and the river will throw it onto the bank; there will take him an enemy to Me and an enemy to him!’ (20:39)

And We suggested to the mother of Musa (Moses), “Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers.” (28:7)


In this case, neither the apostles of Jesus nor the mother of Moses can claim to be the messengers of the Most High. Simple suggestion to do a certain action is not a criterion of a prophetic mission, because representatives of the animal world may also be led by the Lord’s suggestion:

And your Lord suggested to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and in that which they construct. (16:68)


In this passage we learn that a bee was inspired by a certain “program” of life on earth, which definitely pushes the idea of “programmed” life of all representatives of the flora and fauna. At the same time, similar programs are also installed in inanimate objects, the fact of which also creates a precedent for the corresponding conclusion about everything around us:

And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven illuminating and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing! (41:12)


From the Prescription it is known that the main executors of the commandments of God are the maintainers. The Arabic root “malyaka” means “to own, control, to be able, to knead“. Accordingly, from the presented meanings of the word it can be concluded that maintainers are beings who are endowed by the Creator with certain capabilities and power to control.

When your Lord suggested to the maintainers, “I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who closed themselves, so strike them upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.” (8:12)


This example clearly shows that the Lord interacts with His maintainers through suggestion.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that suggestion can also come from the creations of the Most High.

And do not eat of that upon which the name of God has not been mentioned! Indeed, it is an apostasy! Indeed, the disobedient ones suggest to the ones they patron to dispute with you! And if you were to obey them, indeed, you would be the associators of partners to God! (6:121)


Disobedient to God use suggestion not only to lead people away from the path of their Creator, but also to use them against messengers sent by the Almighty. The most important weapon of the disobedient in the fight against people is decorative speech.

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy – the disobedient ones from mankind and invisible creatures, suggesting to one another decorative speech in delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. (6:112)


Along with this, suggestion can be used not only by enemies of people, but also by the righteous. Confirmation of this can be seen in the example of Zakaria:

So he came out to his people from the prayer chamber and suggested to them to exalt in the morning and afternoon. (19:11)


From these facts it is clearly seen that all of His creations can be exposed to God’s suggestion, which themselves possess this quality-ability to suggest. What then, in this case, the people chosen for the role of messengers sent by the Creator differed from other people?

To distinguish the suggestion that determines the messenger sent by the Lord, consider all the conditions of revelation:

  1. The basic formula of suggestion to all sent messengers of the Creator was MONOTHEISM:

Follow, what has been suggested to you from your Lord, “There is no deity except Him – and turn away from those who associate others with God!” (6:106)

Then We suggested to you, “Follow the community of Ibrahim (Abraham), inclining toward truth! And he was not of those who associate with God!” (16:123)

That is from what your Lord has suggested to you of judgement. And, do not make with God another deity, lest you be thrown into Hell, blamed and banished! (17:39)

Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been suggested that your god is one God! So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him correct himself and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone!” (18:110)

And We sent not before you any messenger except that We suggested to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” (21:25)

Say, “It is only suggested to me that your god is but one God! So will you be humble?” (21:108)

Say, “I am only a man like you to whom it has been suggested that your god is but one God! So take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness!” (41:6)

2. Just like to ordinary people, to the messengers, God often suggested local (specific) actions:

And We suggested to Musa (Moses), “Throw your staff!”… (7:117)

…And We suggested to Musa (Moses) when his people implored him for water, “Strike with your staff the stone!”… (7:160)

And We suggested to Musa (Moses) and his brother, “Settle your people in Egypt in houses and make in your houses direction and establish prayer and give good tidings to the believers!” (10:87)

And it was suggested to Nuh (Noah) that, “No one will believe from your people except those who have already believed… (11:36)

So when they took him and agreed to put him into the bottom of the well…

But We suggested to him, “You will surely inform them about this affair of theirs while they do not perceive!” (12:15)

… So their Lord suggested to them, “We will surely destroy the obscurantists! And We will surely cause you to dwell in the land after them. That is for he who fears standing before Me and fears My threat.” (14:13-14)

Indeed, it has been suggested to us that the punishment will be upon whoever denies and turns away.’ ” (20:48)

And We had suggested to Musa (Moses), “Travel by night with My servants and strike for them a dry path through the sea; you will not fear being overtaken nor be afraid!” (20:77)

So We suggested to him (Nuh), “Construct the ship under Our observation… (23:27)

Then We suggested to Musa (Moses), “Strike with your staff the sea,”… (26:63)

And it was already suggested to you and to those before you that if you should associate partners with God, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers!” (39:65)


3. The revelation of events that Muhammad did not witness:

That is from the news of the hidden which We suggested to you. And you were not with them when they cast their pens as to which of them should be responsible for Maryam (Mary). Nor were you with them when they disputed. (3:44)

That is from the news of the hidden which We suggested to you. You knew it not, neither you nor your nation, before this. So be patient; indeed, the outcome is for the circumspect! (11:49)

That is from the news of the hidden which We suggested to you. And you were not with them when they put together their intrigues while they conspired. (12:102)


Having looked impartially on this topic as a whole, one can come to the conclusion that only the combination of all types of suggestion into a single whole (Prescription) and sending them down as the revelation to the one “subject” gives grounds to consider him as the messenger sent by the Lord:

Indeed, We have suggested to you, as We suggested to Nuh (Noah) and the prophets after him. And we suggested to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Yaqub (Jacob), the descendants, Isa (Jesus), Ayub (Job), Yunus (Jonah), Harun (Aaron), and Suleiman (Solomon), and to Daud (David) We gave the Scripture. (4:163)


Say, “What thing is greatest in testimony?”

Say, “God is witness between me and you. And this Literature (Quran) was suggested to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches. Do you testify that with God there are other deities?”

Say, “I will not testify!”

Say, “Indeed, He is but one God, and indeed, I am free of what you associate with Him!” (6:19)


Say, “I do not tell you that I have the depositories of God or that I know the hidden, nor do I tell you that I am a maintainer. I only follow what is suggested to me!”… (6:50)

Say, “I do not find within that which was suggested to me forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine or that dedicated to other than God – for indeed, it is abomination and apostasy! But whoever is forced, neither desiring nor transgressing, then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful!” (6:145)

And when you, do not bring them a sign, they say, “Why have you not selected it?”

Say, “I only follow what is suggested to me from my Lord… (7:203)


And when Our signs are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Bring us a Literature (Quran) other than this or change it.”

Reply, “It is not for me to change it on my own accord! I only follow what is suggested to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous day!” (10:15)


And follow what is suggested to you, and be patient until God will judge. And He is the best of judges. (10:109)

Then would you possibly leave some of what is suggested to you, or is your breast constrained by it because they say, “Why has there not been sent down to him a treasure or come with him a maintainer?” But you are only a warner. And God is Disposer of all things. (11:12)

We relate to you, the best of stories in what We have suggested to you of this Literature (Quran) although you were, before it, among the unaware! (12:3)


Thus have We sent you to a headship before which headships have passed on so you might recite to them that which We suggested to you, while they closed themselves from the Gracious!

Say, “He is my Lord; there is no deity except Him. Upon Him I rely, and to Him is my return!” (13:30)


And indeed, they were about to tempt you away from that which We suggested to you in order to make  you invent about Us something else; and then they would have taken you as a friend. (17:73)

And if We willed, We could surely do away with that which We suggested to you. Then you would not find for yourself concerning it a guardian against Us. (17:86)

And recite, what has been suggested to you of the Prescription of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge! (18:27)

So high is God, the true King! And, do not hasten with the Literature (Quran) before its suggestion is commanded to you, and say, “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge!” (20:114)

Say, “I only warn you by suggestion.” But the deaf do not hear the call when they are warned! (21:45)

Recite, what has been suggested to you of the Prescription and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits excessiveness and disapproved, and the remembrance of God is greater. And God knows that which you do. (29:45)

And follow that which is suggested to you from your Lord. Indeed God is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (33:2)

Say, “If I should err, I would only err against myself. But if I am guided, it is by what my Lord suggests to me. Indeed, He is Hearing, Intimate!” (34:50)

And that which We have suggested to you, of the Prescription is the truth, confirming what was before it. Indeed, God, of His servants, is Acquainted and Seeing. (35:31)

Thus has He suggested to you, and to those before you – God, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (42:3)

And thus We have suggested to you an Arabic Literature (Quran) that you may warn the mother of cities and those around it and warn of the day of assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in the garden and a party in the blaze. (42:7)


He directed you straight to your duty what He enjoined upon Nuh (Noah) and that which We have suggested to you and what We enjoined upon Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) – that they would be persistent in duty and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with God is that to which you invite them. God chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever prays for help! (42:13)


And thus We have suggested to you the Spirit with Our command! You did not know what is the Prescription or faith! But We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, you guide to a straight path  The path of God, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth! Unquestionably, to God do matters evolve! (42:52-53)

So adhere to that which is suggested to you! Indeed, you are on a straight path! (43:43)

Say, “I am not something original among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is suggested to me, and I am not but a clear warner!” (46:9)

It is not but a revelation suggested, (53:4)

And was revealed to His servant what was suggested. (53:10)


Say, “It has been suggested to me that a group of the invisible creatures listened and said, ‘Indeed, we have heard an amazing Literature (Quran)!” (72:1)


The analysis of the above passages allows us to understand that the very act of suggestion of the Creator can occur with any of His creatures. However, the status of the sent prophet determines a multifunctional revelation – Prescription. Only the fact of having the suggested Prescription gave people the right to declare themselves as the prophets sent by the Lord.

And We sent not before you except men to whom We suggested from among the people of cities. So have they not traveled through the earth and observed how was the end of those before them? And the home of the hereafter is best for those who circumspect! Then will you not reason? (12:109)

And We sent not before you except men with clear proofs and Scripture to whom We suggested!  So ask the holders of the reminder if you do not know! And We revealed to you the reminder that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought! (16:43-44)


P.S. Suggestion as a phenomenon people use for a long time. “Programming” of each other was based on the acquired experience of a person. Therefore, the new discovery of people in any field of activity always causes a special attitude towards the discoverer, since the information given was not available in the previous “programs”. This phenomenon in our time is called “creative inspiration.” A person, having put a lot of intellectual efforts, being in a strained mental state, suddenly lights up with unexpected information. After carefully considering this phenomenon, we can see and understand that this is nothing but the suggestion of God, which, in turn, does not endow a person with the status of the prophet sent by the Almighty.