Linguistic miracle of the Quran
Fatwa No: 252952

Question

Salam Alakium; please answer this directly without saying to read a similar question because its specific question unlike ones on this site. I want to know what is the miracle of the Quraan; not the science miracle that has been debated and doesn't seem like a miracle to me most of the facts; and that is not the main miracle . I am asking about the lingustic miracle of the Quraan. What makes it a miracle. If I have a book and I have verse from Quraan then what is the miracle of Quraan as opposed to this other normal verse? I understand Meccan's didn't seem to bring a verse like it: but the 'like it' means what? Just because Meccan's didn't bring anything like it is not amazing just to say they were the best in Arabic speech who's to know if they were best in Arabic speech they were people who lived like animals how smart could they be. if they didn't bring anything who cares that is not amazing because we are not there and reason is unknown a athiest gave me a book of a poet when I gave him the challenge; so what makes Quraan better and a miracle?. We have the Quraan and I can hear and see it and we have other normal texts so I want to understand what makes Quraan betterthen another text. It can't be just the grammer what else is it? I do believe but I need to understand the miracle because if I see and understand the miracle it will surely give me yaqeen and true faith. How can a person have full faith in anything when he doesn't understand the proof. Please provide long detailed answer Thanks

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

The most important thing that you mentioned is that you believe in the Quran. This is an obligation on every person who believes in Allaah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) as Prophet and Messenger.

The Quran is one of the divinely-revealed Books that we must believe in, and we have to believe that it is from Allaah, and it is the noblest and most honorable of the Books. Allaah says (what means): {O you who have believed, believe in Allaah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allaah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.}[Quran 4:136]

Nonetheless, there is no harm in a Muslim finding out about what may increase his certitude and give him reassurance. Allaah says (what means): {[Allaah] said, "Have you not believed?" He said, "Yes, but [I ask] only that my heart may be satisfied.}[Quran 2:260]

But, at the same time, one must avoid exposing oneself to the malicious allegations of the disbelievers. A person who is not knowledgeable enough in the Islamic religion to refute their allegations must avoid debating with them. Allaah says (what means): {And indeed do the devils inspire their allies [among men] to dispute with you. And if you were to obey them, indeed, you would be associators [of others with Him].}[Quran 6:121]

However, it is strange that you underestimate the eloquence of the Arabs before Islam. Being Bedouins, over which you have criticized them, is the reason for their eloquence and fluency as they did not mix with others who could have influenced their language. It is for this reason that the urban Arabs used to send their children to the deserts where Bedouins lived so that they could learn many things, among which were the oratory arts. The scholars who were interested in the Arabic language and lexicography, used to go around in the desert so that they could learn it from its source [i.e. the Bedouins].

It is well-known that Arabs were very interested in literature, both in poetry and prose, to the extent that they used to hold meetings in their markets for this purpose, like the famous market of 'Ukaath.

On the other hand, you should know that the linguistic miracle of the Quran cannot be known except to those who know the Arabic language and the style of the Arabs' speech. Not all Arabs are aware of this nowadays, let alone non-Arabs, because non-Arabic words have been introduced to many Arab people. If there are people who cannot distinguish between the Quran and poetry – here we refer to the atheist you mentioned in the question and others – then there is nothing you can do for a blind man who cannot distinguish between night and day, or a sick person who cannot distinguish between sweet and bitter food. Those who opposed the Quran in the earlier times used to fabricate lies against it which they knew were fabrications. Allaah says (what means): {And among them are those who listen to you, but We have placed over their hearts coverings, lest they understand it, and in their ears deafness. And if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. Even when they come to you arguing with you, those who disbelieve say, "This is not but legends of the former peoples."}[Quran 6: 25]

However, some were just and testified to the truthfulness of the Quran. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him related that Al-Waleed ibn Al-Mugheerah came to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the Prophet recited the Quran to him. Al-Waleed seemed to be affected and moved by it. Abu Jahl heard about this, so he came to Al-Waleed and said: "Do you not see that your people are collecting charity for you?” He said: “And why is that?” Abu Jahl replied: “So that they can give it to you, as they see that you went to Muhammad and listened to him so as to get some of what he possesses.” Al-Waleed said: “Quraysh knows that I am among the wealthiest of its sons.” Abu Jahl said: “So, say about Muhammad something that would convince your people that you oppose him.” Al-Waleed replied: “And what can I possibly say? There is not a single man who is more knowledgeable of poetry and prose than I, even the poetry of the Jinn. By Allaah! What he [Muhammad] says bears no resemblance to these things. By Allaah! What he says has a sweetness, and a charm to it; the highest part of it is fruitful and the lowest part of it is gushing forth with bounty; it dominates and cannot be dominated, and it crushes all that is under it.” [Al-Haakim authenticated it, and Ath-Thahabi and Al-Albaani agreed with him]

For more information, please refer to Fataawa 97212 and 239494.

Indeed, Allaah challenged the Arabs to bring one Surah like it, but they were unable to do so. What is meant here by 'like it', is the similarity in eloquence and fluency as stated by At-Taahir ibn ‘Aashoor in his Tafseer (interpretation of the Quran).

The linguistic miracle of the Quran is not limited to only one aspect of language apart from another; rather, it is miraculous in the following aspects: articulation, formulation, style, quality, eloquence and sound. Shaykh Mannaa’ Al-Qattaan said in his book ‘Uloomul-Quran (The Sciences of the Quran): “The Arabs were unable to imitate the Quran although it was not different from the patterns of their speech. The Quran reached the summit in front of which the linguistic ability in humans remain incapable with respect to the following: words, letters, composition and style; the consistency of its letters, charm of its expressions, the sweetness of its style, the tone of its verses;  taking into account the requirements of the circumstance in ways of expression, in nominal and verbal phrases, in negation and affirmation, in mentioning (something) or omitting it, when something is mentioned in a definite or indefinite manner, in mentioning something at the beginning or mentioning it at the end, literally or figuratively, in periphrasis and brevity, when mentioning a ruling that applies to everyone and when it applies to someone in particular, when mentioning something in general and in a specific manner, and in the text and in understanding the context (i.e. concluding the meaning from the context), and so on.” [End of quote]

Therefore the comparison between the Quran and the words of humans is not possible and the difference between them is like the difference between the heavens and the earth. If humans compose poetry or prose, as soon as they start it, they soon end it, and if they prolong the speech, weakness appears at its end and critics start to direct their arrows against it such as the case in literary criticism, whether in poetry or prose.

Many books in the past and present have been written about the linguistic miracle of the Quran, the most important of which are: I’jaaz Al-Quran by Al-Baaqillaani, and I’jaaz Al-Quran by Ar-Raafi’i.

We cannot mention here examples of this miracle in details, but if you are fluent in Arabic, then you may read the above books. An example of periphrasis and brevity is what was mentioned about the stories in the Quran, as the Quran mentions them in various fascinating manners. Take for example the story of Moosa (Moses)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention the Quran mentions it in detail in Chapter Al-A’raaf [Quran 7] while in Chapters An-Naazi’aat [Quran 79] and As-Saaffaat [Quran 37], it is mentioned in brief, but it fulfills the purpose.

Also, among the miraculous aspects of the Quran concerning the power of similes is what the scholars mentioned as an example on this. Allaah says (what means): {But those who disbelieved - their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing but finds Allaah before Him, and He will pay him in full his due; and Allaah is swift in account.}[Quran 24:39] [Note: this is a translation of the meaning of the Quran, the eloquence and miraculous aspect are only apparent in the Arabic text of the Quran]. In this verse, there is expression of an abstract meaning in a tangible way, and both are used to illustrate the inability of achieving what the person is imagining while he is very much in need of it. If it was said about its meaning, 'the onlooker thinks it that it is water, and then it turned out that it was contrary to what he had expected', then it would be eloquent. Of course, more eloquent than this is the wording of the Quran, because a thirsty person has a greater desire for his expectation to come true. Moreover, after this disappointment, the person gets his account which leads him to be punished forever in the Fire.

Also, resembling the actions of the non-Muslims with a mirage is a good simile, let alone if this is supported by good composition, sweetness of the words, abundance of benefit, and the correctness of what it (the simile) signifies.

We cannot go along mentioning more examples about this, but you may refer to the books that we have previously mentioned in order to find out more.

Finally, we emphasize what we have mentioned at the beginning that it is an obligation to believe in the Quran, that it is the Book of Allaah that is precise and decisive and which was revealed by The All-Knowing, The All-Wise, and that a Muslim must submit to this fact, whether or not he realizes its perfectness and excellence.

Allaah Knows best.

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