Further Topic Research:
Syntax help

What's new | A-Z | Discuss & Blog | Youtube

Rebuttal to my "Surah like it" article:

From: "MuWaHiD AhMaD" <muwahhad@hotmail.com>
To: truthspeaks@answering-christianity.com
Subject: I wish you would reply!!!
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 00:39:22 +0100

My Dear brother Abdullah,
I hope by the grace of Allah you are in good health. I am writing this mail
after visiting your website and after reading an article on there. The
article was about the Quran and Allah's challenge in it about producing a
single surah like it. In your article you discussed about the criteria and
interpretation of this verse:

Noble Verse 2:23 "And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from
time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call
your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides God, if your (doubts)
are true."

Commenting on this you wrote:

"The challenge in Noble Verse 17:88 to Mankind proves that Allah Almighty is
not limiting His challenge to the Arabic language only, because we see Him
clearly challenging all of Mankind and the Jinns as well. Otherwise, He
would've said "If the whole of Arabs were to gather together to....." We
also see that the challenge is also not only limited to the Global languages
that Mankind speaks, but also to the language or languages that the Jinns
speak or communicate among themselves."

Note: Allah is not limiting the challenge by making it in arabic only, but
human beings are still able to learn arabic to take up the challenge. So
everyone is able to take part in the challenge. Believe it or not until a
few weeks back I use to think exactly as you do about this matter, namely
that the challenge is not only to bring a book in arabic but in any
language. But I realised my mistake as soon as I understood the true miracle
of the Quran. After all there is some reason due to which Allah chose the
arabic language for his final revelation out of all the languages of the
world. It is this reason which Inshallah I will try to explain to you here
and I hope you will be able to grasp it but only if Allah wills.

You furthur stated:

The point of the challenge is not to come up with words similar to those of
the Noble Quran ONLY.This is the first step of the challenge, but it is NOT
the whole challenge. Many can produce Books similar to the literature of
the Noble Quran, but NON can produce the Miracle that exists in the Noble
Quran.

Note: This is the sort of reasoning and line of thinking which is similar to
that of the Rashad Khalafa cult. The only difference is that their
conclusion is different to yours. They use this, infact, have to use this
kind of reasoning to proove the number 19 miracle.

You continued and said:

"There are more than 1.4 billion Muslims today. Prophet Muhammad peace be
upon did not convert sticks to snakes, or split the sea in half, or raise
the dead, or cure the blind, or perform any of the Miracles that Allah
Almighty's Messengers did in the past peace be upon all of them. Prophet
Muhammad peace be upon him came with a Book revealed to Him by Allah
Almighty.

The miracle in inspiring the reader of the Noble Quran, and to make him
accept the Message of Islam, which is believing in Allah Almighty as the One
True Living GOD Almighty, is the challenge that Allah Almighty declared on
both Mankind and the Jinns combined together."

Note: There are other books that do come up to this criteria e.g. the bible,
taurat, the book of baha's, Ismaeli's, agha khan's, the book of Mirza Ghulam
ahmad qadiyan. People do believe in the books of these people to be true.
Millions of them do and they are really sincere in believing so. I could go
on and on narrating stories to you about their conviction. But the reason
they believe is due to ignorance but we cannot deny that they are sincere in
their ignorant beliefs.

Then you also said:

"Many can try to produce chapters that have similar literature that of the
Noble Quran, as some already done so, but non of these false books can
convert a single sincere person. Only Allah Almighty's Divine Revelations
such as the Noble Quran can. This is the Miracle of the Noble Quran, and
the Miracle of Islam."

Note: Who says the false books these people bring does not convert a single
sincere person? It does and these people are really sincere in their beliefs
and convictions but the reason why they are sincere is because of ignorance.
When Mirza Ghulam Ahmad brought his false book didnt people believe in him?
Besides if someone brings a book and that converts people to his religion
then how are we going to decide whether that person is sincere or not? Will
we have to tear open his chest and look at his heart to know if he is
sincere or not? So see bro as u said:

"Producing a book in Arabic or any other language is not the challenge that
Allah Almighty declared. Beside, when someone produces a book that has a
similar literature in the Noble Quran, then who's to determine and judge
whether the book had met the challenge or not?

We obviously can't have verbal communication with Allah Almighty. So even
if we produce a book that has a similar literature that of the Noble Quran,
then we will find no third party to Judge between us and Allah Almighty's
Noble Book, the Noble Quran."

NOTE: We face the exact same, infact, an even worst problem with your
criteria. How are we suppose to verify whether a person converting to a
religion is sincere or not?

Anyway now to my point.

Let me begin with a simple example. Which will Inshallah strike the root of
the problem.

When Moses showed his miracle of his stick changing into a python and eating
up all the other snakes of the magicians. The magician understood the extent
of the miracle and immediately prostrated. As for pharoah his arrogance and
ignorance togather prevented him from understanding what had happened.
The Magicians had knowledge and they knew what had happened thats why they
were the first ones to bow down. As for Pharoah he didnt understand as he
did not have much knowledge abt magic so it was hard for him to appreciate
the true improtance of the miracle. Now, the miracle that Allah showed the
people of Moses through Moses was also using finite objects (just like words
and literature are finite). Tha was the whole point of the miracle. That
Allah made such a thing happen through a finite object which no one on earth
could do and which was theoretically impossible to do.
Similarly, the Quran is the miracle sent to us from Allah through Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh). It is a miracle we can verify all the time till the day of
Judgement. To appreciate it, one must understand Arabic language atleast.
Preferably he must also know Arabic literature and poerty, prose e.t.c. This
is the reason why the Arabs at the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
appreciated the true miracle of the Quran and they could not take up the
challenge. Why? Because they were knowledgeable and masters in the Arabic
language and they knew it was not within their capacity to bring verses like
the Quran. Here I will show you a few examples:

Asad bin Zerarah, the famous chief of Medina went out of his house fully
armed with an ulterioir motive of exiling Musab bin Umair (r.a), who was
sent by the Prophet (pbuh) to preach in Medina, but the voice of someone
reciting the verses of the Quran fell on his ears. And immdiately he
embraced Islam at the hand of Musab bin Umair, the very person he came to
exile.
Thamama bin Athal who hated the Prophet (pbuh) happened to listen to the
recitation of the Quran for two days and converted to Islam.

Another person, Khalid bin Aqba who while passing by heard the verses of the
Quran being recited. He was so stunned that he said:

“By Allah there is a strange sweetness in it, there is a strange freshness.
It’s roots are saturated with water and its branches are over-laden with
fruits. Man cannot converse like this!”

Waleed bin Mugheera who was an elderly Quresh and was an avowed enemy of
Islam was also of the view that there is a strange impact of it and there is
no parallel to it in this respect.

On another occasion a herdman who had just heard the Quran while he was
herding his sheep was so amazed at the beautiful and powerful verses of the
Quran that he converted. His name was Zul bin Jadeen (r.a).

Once the Quresh got so fed up of the Prophet (pbuh) and his mission that
they decided amongst themselves that they would tempt the Holy Prophet
(pbuh) and then threaten him outrightly. They thought either of the two
would work.
After mutual consultation a chief of Mecca named Atba who was a wealthy man
of repute in those days came to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and began his
speeach thus:

“My nephew, Muhammad! If your activities are guided by the motive of money
we ourselves will present you with a very huge amount so that you become
wealthy.
If your motive is status then we all will make you our chief and are even
ready to crown you as the King of Arabia.
We are ready to do whatever you please but please give up your path.
Last of all if there is some disbalance we can get you treated for your
problem.
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) then replied that whatever you have said about me is
not correct. I do not want wealth, reputation, status or authority to rule.
Nor am I mentally deranged. You will learn as to what I am from these verses
of the Holy Quran:

“Ha Mim:
A Revelation from (God), Most Gracious, Most Merciful;-
A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail;- a Qur'an in Arabic, for
people who understand;-
Giving good news and admonition: yet most of them turn away, and so they
hear not.
Those who practise not regular Charity, and who even deny the Hereafter.
For those who believe and work deeds of righteousness is a reward that will
never fail.
Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two Days? And do ye
join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds.
He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed
blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them
nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs
of) those who seek (Sustenance).
Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke:
He said to it and to the earth: "Come ye together, willingly or
unwillingly." They said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience.”
So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days, and He assigned to
each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with
lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the
Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge.”

Atba was so moved by hearing these verses of the Holy Quran that he listened
to it in perfect tranquility. And ultimately, moved out silently. Quresh
tribals who were impatiently awaiting to know the result of his parleys
surrounded him sentimentally and inquired as to what had happened.
Atba told the impatient chiefs of the Quresh I have returned after listening
such words that are neither narration nor poetry, neither magic nor any
other such thing. If wiser council prevails upon you, it is better to leave
Muhammad (pbuh) on his own plight. Hearing this all of them formed the view
that Atba has also been charmed by the sweet speech of Muhammad (pbuh).

Suvaid bin Samit (r.a) met the Holy Prophet (pbuh). His title in his
community was Kamil (perfect). The Holy Prophet (pbuh) preached him Islam.
He inturn said “Perhaps you have got the same that I have got with me”. When
he was asked to show what he has got. He said it is the polities of human
and he recited certain excellent verses. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) appreciated
the poetry and his test. And said that what he (Prophet (pbuh)) has got is
quite different. It is the word of Allah, a guidance and effulgence. Then he
recited some verses of the Holy Quran which impressed him so much that he
unhesitantly embraced Islam. When he returned to his native place, people
from amongst his community turned hostile and slew him.

Zamad Izdi once came to Mecca. He was a Yemenite and had high reputation as
the foremost magician of Arabia. When he heard that the Holy Prophet (pbuh)
is under the influence of some powerful jinn (this were the rumours the
Quresh use to spread) he told the Quresh that he can cure the ailment of
Muhammad (pbuh) by his witchcraft. He came to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and
said “Come! Muhammad! Come! I recite a charming extract.” The Holy Prophet
(pbuh) asked him to hear first what he recites. The Prophet (pbuh) recited
some verses from the Quran and after that he said:
“Afterwards I mean to say ……”

Zamad had heard upto this only and interrupted saying “Please repeat the
same verses” He heard the same verses thrice from the Holy Prophet (pbuh)
then he admitted that he had seen a number of magicians, jugglers,
conjurers, poets and such other persons of no ordinary repute. But none of
them have recited such words ever. These words are fathomless oceans. He
then asked the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to stretch out his hand so that he
accepts Islam.

Lubaid Amiri was known as a great poet of the Arabic language and it was
said about his verses that ‘write them on your necks, no matter if you need
a dagger to do so’.
Once he came to give a courtesy call to Umar (r.a) when the latter was the
Caliph. He was accorded all due respect and was extended hospitality. In the
meanwhile Hadrat Umar asked him to recite a few verses to grace the
occasion. But he submitted, ever since Allah has granted me the Holy Quran I
have lost all taste for poetry.

These are just a few incidents from within the time of the Holy Prophet
(pbuh). This shows that the Arabs who were masters at poetry could not but
help appreciate and submit to the beauty of the Quran in all respects.
Besides if what you say is the true criteria then what was preventing the
Pagan Quresh from bringing up verses and making people follow and believe in
it, infact whenever someone comes up with any poem many people come and
believe in what the poets says. So frankly I don’t think people’s acceptance
of the message is the criteria to judge whether the message is from God. It
might be one of the factors we take into consideration but not THE Criteria.
And I do accept you did say that this might be the first step but not the
whole challenge, I totally agree with you upto that but what I do not agree
with is that your saying that men can bring and have brought verses equal in
literary perfection to the Quran. Because I do not accept and will never
accept that any man or all the men and jinns put togather could compete and
equal, let alone excell, God in even one aspect. Even if it be in terms of
literature. In other words I believe that if all the men and jinns on one
side and Allah on the other have a competetion to see whose verses are
literary more excellent then there is no question of anyone equalling or
even coming close to Allah’s perfection.

Allah is perfect, and whatever he does is a reflection of his perfection.
Just as a liar cannot but help reflecting his nature in his actions
similarly Allah’s Perfection is reflected upon every single thing that He
does. And we see this reflected in everything that Allah has created. They
are in perfect order and in perfect harmony. None of us has ever been able
to create what Allah has created. We have not even been able to better any
of the Created things of Allah let alone Create someothing new out of
nothing better than what Allah has created. So similarly a book written by
Allah, to qualify to be from Him, his perfection must be reflecting in it.
So to say that a book is from Allah and to really believe in it and then to
say that it’s literature is not unique and perfect enough to be imitable is
really a very weird theory to put forward. If we say the Quran is the word
of God and then also accept that in terms of literature something like it
can be produced, then we will have to explain that how come someone can
produce verses better or equal in literary style and perfection to a book
which is suppose to be from God??? i.e. How can someone compete with God
even in this aspect? How could God be equalled by a man even in this single
aspect?
We know human beings are not perfect and never can be perfect. No matter if
all the human beings on earth get togather and decide to do a job to
perfection they still will fail to do so because it is in our nature to be
imperfect. We make mistakes and that’s our nature. So no matter how hard a
man tries it is just not possible for him to come up, even in terms of
literature, a single poem, chapter or book which would be perfect in every
or even a single sense. This is what seperates man from God. We just cannot
be perfect and God just cannot be imperfect. So even in terms of literature,
when God desires to reveal something in any language it would be perfect. So
basically bro we should be proud of the book we have. Its not like any other
book in any respect. It is very unique and perfect in every sense. We
should be proud that we have a unique book amongst us, which is from God and
which is 100% in our possession as God revealed. And anyone who wants can
examine it. We should have pride in that we should not be the ones saying
“Well interms of literature men can equall it and they have.”.
Astaghfirullahul Adheem. Now look what the kafir’s and muslims of today have
to say about it:

"Well then, if the Koran were his own [Muhammad's] composition other men
could rival it. Let them produce ten verses like it. If they could not (and
it is obvious that they could not), then let them accept the Koran as an
outstanding evidential miracle"
Mohammedanism, H. A. R. Gibb, Oxford University Press, p. 42

"From the literary point of view, the Koran is regarded as a specimen of
purest Arabic, written in half poetry, half prose. It has been said that in
some cases grammarians have adopted their rules to agree with certain
expressions used in it, and though several attempts have been made to
produce a work equal to it as far as elegant writing is concerned, none yet
has succeeded"
Glimpses of the Noble Qur'an, Muhammad Azizullah, Crescent Publications, pp.
104-105

"In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my
predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing
however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at
pains to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which - apart from
the message itself - constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst
the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind... This very characteristic
feature - 'that inimitable symphony,' as the believing Pickthall described
his Holy Book, 'the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy' -
has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not
surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in
comparison with the splendidly decorated original."
The Koran Interpreted, Arthur J. Arberry, Oxford University Press, 1964, p.
x.

"The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great
religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works
belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the
wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has
created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character.
It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian
peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast
politico-religious organizations of the Muhammadan world which are one of
the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today."
G. Margoliouth, Introduction to J.M. Rodwell's, The Koran, New York:
Everyman's Library,
1977, p. vii.

"A work, then, which calls forth so powerful and seemingly incompatible
emotions even in the distant reader - distant as to time, and still more so
as a mental development - a work which not only conquers the repugnance
which he may begin its perusal, but changes this adverse feeling into
astonishment and admiration, such a work must be a wonderful production of
the human mind indeed and a problem of the highest interest to every
thoughtful observer of the destinies of mankind … Here, therefore, its
merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some
preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects
which it produced in Muhammad's contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it
spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld
hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and
well-organized body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now
ruled the Arabian mind, then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it
created a civilized nation out of savage tribes, and shot a fresh woof into
the old warp of history."
Dr. Steingass, quoted in T.P. Hughes' Dictionary Of Islam, p. 526-528.

Recently, the leading intellectual in the Catholic Church - a man by the
name of Hans - studied the Qur'an and gave his opinion of what he had read.
This man has been around for some time, and he is highly respected in the
Catholic Church, and after careful scrutiny, he reported his findings,
concluding, "God has spoken to man through the man, Muhammad." Again this is
a conclusion arrived at by a non-Muslim source - the very leading
intellectual of the Catholic Church himself!

Now what is the Quran:

cAbdur Rahīm Green mentions that:
These are the sixteen al-Bihār (literally "The Seas", so called because of
the way the poem moves, according to its rhythmic patterns): at-Tawīl,
al-Bassit, al-Wāfir, al-Kamīl, ar-Rajs, al-Khafīf, al-Hazaj, al-Muttakarib,
al-Munsarih, al-Muktatab, al-Muktadarak, al-Madīd, al-Mujtath, al-Ramel,
al-Khabab and as-Saria'. So the challenge is to produce in Arabic, three
lines, that do not fall into one of these sixteen Bihār, that is not rhyming
prose, nor like the speech of soothsayers, and not normal speech, that it
should contain at least a comprehensible meaning and rhetoric, i.e. not
gobbledygook. Now I think at least the Christian's "Holy spirit" that makes
you talk in tongues, part of your "Tri-Unity" of God should be able to
inspire one of you with that!

The Qur'ān is not verse, but it is rhythmic. The rhythm of some verses
resemble the regularity of sajc, and both are rhymed, while some verses have
a similarity to Rajaz in its vigour and rapidity. But it was recognized by
Quraysh critics to belong to neither one nor the other category.[4]

A F L Beeston, T M Johnstone, R B Serjeant and G R Smith (Editors), Arabic
Literature To The End Of The Ummayad Period, 1983, Cambridge University
Press, p. 34.

It is interesting to know that all the pre-Islam and post-Islamic poetry
collected by Louis Cheikho falls in the above sixteen metres or al-Bihār.[5]
Indeed the pagans of Mecca repeated accuse Prophet Muhammad(P) for being a
forger, a soothsayer etc. The Arabs who were at the pinnacle of their poetry
and prose during the time of revelation of the Qur'ān could not even produce
the smallest sūrah of its like. The Qur'ān's form did not fit into any of
the above mentioned categories. It was this that made the Qur'ān inimitable,
and left the pagan Arabs at a loss as to how they might combat it as Alqama
bin cAbd al-Manaf confirmed when he addressed their leaders, the Quraysh:
Oh Quraish, a new calamity has befallen you. Mohammed was a young man the
most liked among you, most truthful in speech, and most trustworthy, until,
when you saw gray hairs on his temple, and he brought you his message, you
said that he was a sorcerer, but he is not, for we seen such people and
their spitting and their knots; you said, a diviner, but we have seen such
people and their behavior, and we have heard their rhymes; you said a
soothsayer, but he is not a soothsayer, for we have heard their rhymes; and
you said a poet, but he is not a poet, for we have heard all kinds of
poetry; you said he was possessed, but he is not for we have seen the
possessed, and he shows no signs of their gasping and whispering and
delirium. Oh men of Quraish, look to your affairs, for by Allah a serious
thing has befallen you.
It is a well known fact that the Qur'ān was revealed in seven ahruf (or
seven forms) to facilitate greater understanding of it among the Arabs who
had different dialects. This was also to challenge them on their own grounds
to produce a sūrah like that of the Qur'ān. The challenge became more
obvious when none of the seven major tribes could imitate it even in their
own dialects as no one could claim that it was difficult to imitate due to
it not being in their own dialect.

E H Palmer, as early as 1880, recognized the unique style of the Qur'ān. But
he seem to have been wavering between two thoughts. He writes in the
Introduction to his translation of the Qur'ān:
That the best of Arab writers has never succeeded in producing anything
equal in merit to the Qur'ān itself is not surprising. In the first place,
they have agreed before-hand that it is unapproachable, and they have
adopted its style as the perfect standard; any deviation from it therefore
must of necessity be a defect. Again, with them this style is not
spontaneous as with Muhammad and his contemporaries, but is as artificial as
though Englishmen should still continue to follow Chaucer as their model, in
spite of the changes which their language has undergone. With the Prophet,
the style was natural, and the words were those in every-day ordinary life,
while with the later Arabic authors the style is imitative and the ancient
words are introduced as a literary embellishment. The natural consequence is
that their attempts look laboured and unreal by the side of his impromptu
and forcible eloquence.[7]
The famous Arabist from University of Oxford, Hamilton Gibb was open upon
about the style of the Qur'ān. In his words:
...the Meccans still demanded of him a miracle, and with remarkable boldness
and self confidence Mohammad appealed as a supreme confirmation of his
mission to the Koran itself. Like all Arabs they were the connoisseurs of
language and rhetoric. Well, then if the Koran were his own composition
other men could rival it. Let them produce ten verses like it. If they could
not (and it is obvious that they could not), then let them accept the Koran
as an outstanding evident miracle.[8]
And in some other place, talking about the Prophet(P) and the Qur'ān, he
states:
Though, to be sure, the question of the literary merit is one not to be
judged on a priori grounds but in relation to the genius of Arabic language;
and no man in fifteen hundred years has ever played on that deep-toned
instrument with such power, such boldness, and such range of emotional
effect as Mohammad did.[9]
As a literary monument the Koran thus stands by itself, a production unique
to the Arabic literature, having neither forerunners nor successors in its
own idiom. Muslims of all ages are united in proclaiming the inimitability
not only of its contents but also of its style..... and in forcing the High
Arabic idiom into the expression of new ranges of thought the Koran develops
a bold and strikingly effective rhetorical prose in which all the resources
of syntactical modulation are exploited with great freedom and
originality.[10]
On the influence of the Qur'ān on Arabic literature Gibb says:
The influence of the Koran on the development of Arabic Literature has been
incalculable, and exerted in many directions. Its ideas, its language, its
rhymes pervade all subsequent literary works in greater or lesser measure.
Its specific linguistic features were not emulated, either in the chancery
prose of the next century or in the later prose writings, but it was at
least partly due to the flexibility imparted by the Koran to the High Arabic
idiom that the former could be so rapidly developed and adjusted to the new
needs of the imperial government and an expanding society.[11
Lastly, the beautiful style of the Qur'ān is admired even by the Arab
Christians:
The Quran is one of the world's classics which cannot be translated without
grave loss. It has a rhythm of peculiar beauty and a cadence that charms the
ear. Many Christian Arabs speak of its style with warm admiration, and most
Arabists acknowledge its excellence. When it is read aloud or recited it has
an almost hypnotic effect that makes the listener indifferent to its
sometimes strange syntax and its sometimes, to us, repellent content. It is
this quality it possesses of silencing criticism by the sweet music of its
language that has given birth to the dogma of its inimitability; indeed it
may be affirmed that within the literature of the Arabs, wide and fecund as
it is both in poetry and in elevated prose, there is nothing to compare with
it.[12]
The above sentences speak of themselves. Summing up: Within the Arabic
literature, either poetry or prose, there is nothing comparable to the
Qur'ān. Muslims throughout the centuries are united upon the its
inimitability.

cAbd al-Jabbār insisted on the unmatchable quality of the Qur'ān's
extra-ordinary eloquence and unique stylist perfection. In his work
al-Mughni (The Sufficient Book), he argued that eloquence (fasāhah) resulted
from the excellence of both meaning and wording, and he explained that there
were degrees of excellence depending on the manner in which words were
chosen and arranged in any literary text, the Qur'ān being the highest
type.[17]
al-Baqillanī (d. 1013 CE), in his systematic and comprehensive study
entitled I'jaz al-Qur'ān upheld the rhetorically unsurpassable style of the
Qur'ān, but he did not consider this to be a necessary argument in the
favour of the Qur'ān's uniqueness and emphasized instead the content of
revelation.
The choice and arrangement of words, referred to as nazm was the focus of
discussion by al-Jahīz, al-Sijistanī (d. 928 CE), al-Bakhī (d. 933 CE) and
Ibn al-Ikhshid (d. 937 CE). al-Rummanī and his contemporary al-Khattabī (d.
998 CE) discussed the psychological effect of nazm of the Qur'ān in their
al-Nukat fī I'jaz al-Qur'ān and Bayan I'jaz al-Qur'ān, respectively.
The author who best elaborated and systematized the theory of nazm in his
analysis of the i'jaz is cAbd al-Qahir al-Jurjanī (d. 1078 CE) in his
Dalā'il al-I'jaz. His material was further organized by Fakhr ad-Din al-Razī
(d. 1209) in his Nihāyat al-I'jaz fī Dirāyat al-I'jaz and put to practical
purposes by al-Zamakhsharī (d. 1144 CE) in his exegesis of the Qur'ān
entitled al-Kashasāf, rich in rhetorical analysis of the Qur'ānic style.[18]

Comparing the stylistic perfection of the Qur'ān versus stylistic
imperfection of the Bible, von Grunebaum states:
In contrast to the stylistic perfection of the Kur'an with the stylistic
imperfections of the older Scriptures the Muslim theologian found himself
unknowingly and on purely postulative grounds in agreement with long line of
Christian thinkers whose outlook on the Biblical text is best summed up in
Nietzsche's brash dictum that the Holy Ghost wrote bad Greek.[19]
Futher, he elaborates the position of Western theologians on the
canonization process and composition of the Bible:
The knowledge of the Western theologian that the Biblical books were
redacted by different writers and that they were, in many cases, accessible
to him only in (inspired) translation facilitated admission of formal
imperfections in Scripture and there with lessened the compulsive insistence
on its stylistic authority. Christian teaching, leaving the inspired writer,
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, free in matters of style, has
provided no motivation to seek an exact correlation between the revealed
text on the one hand and grammar and rhetoric on the other. It thereby
relieved the theologian and the critic from searching for a harmony between
two stylistic worlds, which at best would yield an ahistoric concept of
literary perfection and at worst would prevent anything resembling textual
and substantive criticism of Revelation....
In Christianity, besides, the apology for the "low" style of the Bible is
merely a part of educational problem - what to do with secular erudition
within Christianity; whereas in Islam, the central position of the Kur'an,
as the focal point and justification of grammatical and literary studies,
was theoretically at least, never contested within the believing
community.[20]
Abdur Raheem Green says:
Indeed many of the Arabs entered into Islam just from hearing the Qur'aan,
because for them it was a conclusive proof of its Divine origin. They knew
that no man could produce such eloquence. The challenge of the Qur'aan for
man to produce its like is not, as some suppose, merely like the uniqueness
of Shakespeare, Shelly, Keats, or Homer. The Qur'aan differentiated itself
in its very structure. Poetry in Arabic falls into sixteen different "Bihar"
and other than that they have the speech of soothsayers, rhyming prose, and
normal speech. The Qur'aan's form did not fit into any of these categories.
It was this that made the Qur'aan inimitable, and left the pagan Arabs at a
loss as to how they might combat it
And he gives his criteria:
These are the sixteen Al-Bihar (literally "Seas", so called because of the
way the poem moves, according to its rhythmic patterns): At-Tawil,
al-Bassit, al-Waafir, al-Kaamil, ar-Rajs, al-Khafeef, al-Hazaj,
al-Muttakarib, al-Munsarih, al-Muktatab, al-Muktadarak, al-Madeed,
al-Mujtath, al-Ramel, al-Khabab. So the challenge is to produce in Arabic,
three lines, that do not fall into one of these sixteen Bihar, that is not
rhyming prose, nor like the speech of soothsayers, and not normal speech,
that it should contain at least a comprehensible meaning and rhetoric, i.e.
not gobbledygook. Now I think at least the Christian's "Holy spirit" that
makes you talk in tongues, part of your "Tri-Unity" of God should be able to
inspire one of you with that!

I wont bother showing you all the guys that tried to take up the challenge
and miserably failed. But Here is a link you could check out for yourself:

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Miracle/ijaz1.html

Anyway I think all the above should be enough. But bro Ive gotta hand it to
you, that eventhough u slightly deviated from the correct understanding of
the matter but you had some good points too. Actually, bro personally Ive
been thinking about this myself too for some time. That if someone comes up
with just any verses how will we judge whether he has passed or failed the
test. Simply to do this we have to describe what is the Quran? And that is
what the people have to bring something like. Also to this we add the
effects that the Quran has. Here is the criteria that I came up with

1> It must not be from the sixteen Al-Bihar (literally "Seas", so called
because of the way the poem moves, according to its rhythmic patterns):
At-Tawil, al-Bassit, al-Waafir, al-Kaamil, ar-Rajs, al-Khafeef, al-Hazaj,
al-Muttakarib, al-Munsarih, al-Muktatab, al-Muktadarak, al-Madeed,
al-Mujtath, al-Ramel, al-Khabab. So the challenge is to produce in Arabic,
three lines, that do not fall into one of these sixteen Bihar, that is not
rhyming prose, nor like the speech of soothsayers, and not normal speech,
that it should contain at least a comprehensible meaning and rhetoric, i.e.
not gobbledygook.
2> It must not contain contradiction which is one of the criteria God has
given us Himself: “Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been
from other Than God, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.”
(Quran 4:82)
3> It must contain information about the future i.e. Prophesies.
4> It must contain scientific information which is unknown to us today and
which will only be verified in the future sometime.
5> It must literary be perfect.
6> It must be powerfull like the Quran. (i.e. The Quran was so powerful that
even when the pagans use to hear it they would stop in their way to listen
to it. I have shown you examples of that above here are a few more: “At one
occasion the Prophet (pbuh) was reciting the Chapter An-Najm in the Holy
Kaaba. While reciting he came to a verse and prostrated and with him
prostrated all the muslims and even all the non-believers, who were hiding
and listening to the recitation, could not stop themselves from
prostrating.” It has to have the sort of effect on people like the Quran had
and has and will have forever on people.)
7> It must have the power to move people to tears on a regular basis.
8> It must be such that people would never get bored of reading it even if
they read it again and again. They must not get tired and fed up of it.
(This is from my personal experience bro. This is the uniqueness of the
Quran. I have heard of songs that really sound very sweet and beautifull. I
use to hear them again and again on occasions and I remember coming to the
point where I totally got disgusted with the song and bored of it. So much
so that I would hate hearing it again. With the Quran it is not so at all. I
have myself heard Surah Yasin recited by Qari Abdul Basit everyday, for
months and not once have I got bored of it ever! Even now I feel like
listening to it again and again. My thirst for it increases not decreases.)
9> It has to have the Power of giving mental and spiritual peace to whoever
reads or listens to it.
10> It must have the power of not only awe striking the listner or reader
but also must be able to bring a change within the people individually and
socially, just like the Quran brought change and a revolution.
11> Three furthur criteria’s have been stated in the following verses by
God Almighty himself: “.We have already sent down to you verses making
things clear, an illustration from (the story of) people who passed away
before you, and an admonition for those who fear (God).” (Quran 24:34) i.e
it must make things clear, must illustrate stories about the people passed
away, and be an admonition for those who fear God.
12> Must be historically accurate.
13> Must be accurate with scientifically proven facts.
14> Allah says also "….It is a Guide and a Healing to those who believe;
and for those who believe not, there is a deafness in their ears, and it is
blindness in their (eyes): They are (as it were) being called from a place
far distant!" (Quran 41 44). So it must be a guide to those that believe.
15> “ This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who
fear God; 3. Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend
out of what We have provided for them;” (Quran 2:2). It must guide those who
fear God, believe in the unseen, are steadfast in prayer, spend out of what
is provided for them. Anyone can guide the Fools!!!

This is a short summary of the criteria’s that I would use. But this is not
a complete list yet. Inshallah I will work on it and try to complete this
list as much as I can.

And Bro finally please take pride in the Quran’s literary perfection. It is
too one of the Miracles. Infact this is the miracle that Allah showed to the
Arabs who were masters at literature in the first place. And they failed,
even though they tried. And as for the link you put on your site to show us
that something equal in literary perfection has been brought to the Quran,
go to the link I gave u above those surah’s have already been refuted on the
links I gave you. They just do not come anywhere near to the perfection of
the Quran. Man read it! Read them yourself they are no match to the Quran
they are only a lame effort of some missionaries and their cronies and the
only thing it does proove is that it exposes how perfect the Quran is in
comparison to the words of men. The challenge is not to bring just verses in
arabic, the challenge is to bring verses that match the literary perfection
of the Quran. It is obvious the Missionaries aim was not to bring verses
that are as excellent and powerfull as the Quran. Their attempt was to just
come up with anything, just for the sake of it to misguide the non-arabs.
How powerful the Quran is and we should be proud of that!.Man even the
orientalist accept that!!!

"In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my
predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing
however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at
pains to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which - apart from
the message itself - constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst
the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind... This very characteristic
feature - 'that inimitable symphony,' as the believing Pickthall described
his Holy Book, 'the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy' -
has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not
surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in
comparison with the splendidly decorated original."
The Koran Interpreted, Arthur J. Arberry, Oxford University Press, 1964, p.
x.


Kremer endeavoured to disprove in his latest writing about the noble
free-thinkers, and to explain as a misunderstanding of later literary
historians, the assumption that Abu'l-'Ala' al-Ma'arri wrote an imitation of
the Koran. For the sake of completion it may be pointed out that
al-Zamakhshari also presupposes that Abu'l 'Ala' intended to imitate the
Koran. It is likely that he has the title of Abu'l 'Ala's work in mind when
he says in the introduction to his Kashshaf: wa-mayyaza baynahunna bi fusul
wa-ghayat. In his commentary to Sura 77:30-3 he expresses the opinion that
Abu'l 'Ala' wished to excel the beauties of this passage in a verse which he
wrote in order to compete with God's word. In those verses of the Koran the
infidels are addressed:
"Go then in shade (of the smoke of hell) which rises in three columns,
verily it is not shady there and there is no protection from the hell fire.
Verily, it throws sparks as big as palaces, as if they were reddish-yellow
camels."
Abu'l 'Ala' in the verse in which he is said to imitate this passage of the
Koran does not speak of the hell fire but of the fires burning in hospitable
houses in order to invite the tired traveller. Of this fire he says:
"A red one, with hair (rays) which float far in the darkness, and throws
sparks as big as tents."
This verse is in fact contained in a dirge and consolation which the poet
addressed to the family of the 'Alid Abu Ahmad al-Musawi after his death.
Fakhr al-din al-Razi reproves al-Zamakhshari for suggesting that Abu'l-'Ala'
intended this as an imitation of the Koran; but he declares that, as a
parallel was suggested, he is obliged to show in how many respects the
expression of the Koran is superior to that of the poet. After giving twelve
proofs he concludes:
"These points came to me in a flash, but if we were to beseech God to help
us in search for more, he would undoubtedly offer us as many more as we
could desire."[12]

On Ibn al-Mukaffa''s attempt to match the Qur'ān, we read:
When Ibn al-Muqaffa' arrived at the passage Sura 11:42-46 he realized that
it was impossible for any human being to equal the book. So, he desisted
from his mu'arada and tore up what he had done.[4]
Gustave E Von Grunebaum, A Tenth-Century Document Of Arabic Literary Theory
and Criticism, 1950, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, p. xiv.

Anyway I hope you understand my point now. I have been through almost all of
your website. I think you do a good job in exposing the Christian’s,
especially missionaries, hypocricy and crookedness. But still there are some
things that you have written with which I don’t agree. But this one really
surprised me and shocked me. That’s why I have written this mail to you.
Believe me bro I have not even seen or heard, even a kafir claiming that
someone has come up with something as perfect as the Quran in terms of
literature and I was surprised to hear a fellow muslim say so. The only
other people I have heard saying this are the Rashad Khalafa (accursed)
group! So I hope and pray to Allah that you understand what I am trying to
explain. And Finally I would like to remind you about this fact:

QURAN IS THE GREATEST LITERARY MASTERPIECE OF THE ARABIC LANGUAGE AND NO ONE
TO THIS DAY HAS EVER BEEN ABLE TO EQUALL ITS PERFECTION.

This fact is universally acknowledged by muslims and non-muslims alike. The
ones with knowledge accept this and we don’t need to give the ignorants much
attention, cause they don’t know what they are on about!

Bro if you have real player then pls click on this link and listen to the
Quran attentively. And then think how can anyone bring anything like it?????

http://islamicity.com/audio/RA101/ra101_36.smi

Allah Hafiz
Your Brother,
Ahmad

P.s This was the original Email I sent you before. But I have recieved no
reply from you. I just today visited your site and after seeing ur new
articles I have finally realised why you couldnt appreciate the Quran. Now
things make sense. Before I was a bit confused. I've expected these sort of
statements to be made by Shia's, qadiyani's, khalafites, ismaili's e.t.c.
not from Sunnis.

 

 

 

 

Back to "Surah like it" article.


Send your comments.

Back to Main Page.

 

What's new | A-Z | Discuss & Blog | Youtube