First Aspect: The challenging of the Qur'an; no one being able to imitate it.

First Aspect: It possesses miraculousness and its miraculousness exists for the following reasons. The great majority of the people of the Arabian Peninsula at that time were illiterate. Due to this, rather than in writing, they preserved the sources of their pride, historical events and stories encouraging good morality, by means of poetry and eloquence. Due to the attraction of poetry and eloquence, meaningful sayings would remain in people’s memories and be passed down the generations. In consequence of this innate need, therefore, the goods most in demand in the immaterial market of that people were eloquence and fine speech. A tribe’s poet or orator was like its greatest national hero. It was he who was their greatest source of pride. Thus, among the peoples of the world, the eloquence and rhetoric of that intelligent people, who due to their intelligence ruled the world after the establishment of Islam, was at the highest and most advanced degree. It was the thing most highly prized among them that they felt greatest need of, and was their cause of pride. They attached such value to eloquence that two tribes would do battle at the word of a poet or orator, and they would make peace at his word. They even wrote in gold on the walls of the Ka‘ba the seven qasidas of seven poets called the al-Mu‘allaqat al-Sab‘a, and took great pride in them. It was at such a time when eloquence was thus most sought after that the Qur’an was revealed. Just as at the time of Moses (Peace be upon him) it was magic that was most sought after and at the time of Jesus (Peace be upon him), it was medicine. The most important of their miracles were in those fields.

The Qur’an, therefore, invited the Arabian orators of that time to reply to even one of the shortest of the Suras. It challenged them with the decree of:

And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a Sura resembling it. (Qur’an, 2:23.)

It also said: “If you do not believe, you shall be damned and shall go to Hell.” It provoked them intensely. It smashed their pride in fearsome manner. It was contemptuous of their arrogant minds. It condemned them firstly to eternal extinction and then to eternal extinction in Hell, as well as to worldly extinction. It said: “Either dispute me, or you and your property shall perish.”

If it had been possible to dispute the Qur’an, is it at all possible that while there was an easy solution like disputing it with one or two lines and nullifying the claim, they should have chosen the most dangerous and most difficult, the way of war? Yes, is it at all possible that that clever people, that politically-minded nation, who at one time were to govern the world through politics, should have abandoned the shortest, easiest, and most light way, and chosen the most dangerous, which was going to cast their lives and all their property into peril? For if their literary figures had been able to dispute it with a few words, the Qur’an would have given up its claim, and they would have been saved from material and moral disaster. Whereas they chose a perilous, lengthy road like war. That means it was not possible to dispute in by word; it was impossible, so they were compelled to fight it with the sword.

Furthermore, there are two compelling reasons for the Qur’an being imitated. The first is its enemies’ ambition to dispute it, the other, its friends’ pleasure at imitating it. Impelled by these, millions of books in Arabic have been written, but not one of them resembles the Qur’an. Whether learned or ignorant, whoever looks at it and at them is bound to say: “The Qur’an does not resemble these. Not one of them has been able to imitate it.“ The Qur’an is therefore either inferior to all of them, and according to the consensus of friend and foe alike, this is completely non-valid and impossible, or the Qur’an is superior to all of them.

If you say: “How do you know that no one has tried to dispute it, and that no one has had sufficient confidence to challenge it, and that no one’s help for anyone else was of any avail?”

The Answer: If it had been possible to dispute it, most certainly it would have been attempted. For it was a question of honour and pride, and life and property were at risk. If it had been attempted, numerous people would have supported such an attempt. For those who obstinately oppose the truth have always been many. And if many people had supported it, they surely would have found fame. For insignificant contests, even, attracted the wonder of people and found fame in stories and tales. So an extraordinary contest and event such as that would never have remained secret. The most ugly and infamous things against Islam have been passed down and become famous, but apart from one or two stories about Musaylima the Liar, no such thing has been related. Musaylima was very eloquent, but when compared with the exposition of the Qur’an, which possesses infinite beauty, his words passed into the chronicles as nonsense. Thus, the miraculousness of the Qur’an’s eloquence is as certain as twice two equals four; and that is how it is.

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Second Aspect: Explains in five ‘Points’ the wisdom of the Qur’an’s miraculousness contained in its eloquence.

 

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