By the Lote Tree

Isaiah 6 and the Surat Al-Najm, Star Sura 53:1-18 each describe an event in the prophets’ lives that initiated their prophetic vocation. These events are supernatural and dramatic. They represent a breach in the division between the natural and spiritual worlds. They involve the appearance of beings from the divine realm to the prophet’s physical senses. Aside from the similarities and significant differences between these two texts, they both represent a claim of authority for the message contained in the passage itself, as well as for subsequent messages brought together in the sacred collection, the Book of Isaiah in the case of Isaiah, and the Qur’an in the case of the Star Sura. After a careful examination of each text employing a comparative lens, I shall attempt some global comments on the phenomena of prophecy.