22) What is it that makes the Qur’an a supernatural sign?

The content, style and language of the Qur’an are all, in themselves, wonderful. It was into the midst of the greatest exponents of Arabian literature that the Qur’an was revealed. The poetry of fourteen centuries past are, to this day, hailed as the masterpieces of Arabian literature. It was through an illiterate person from amongst them that the world first heard of the Qur’an. As for him, he was one who had shown not the slightest inclination towards literature upto the age of forty. There were also no questions raised about the undoubtedly, excellent quality of the style of the Qur’an by the society into which it was revealed. Whether believer or unbeliever, the Arabs were all unanimous in their recognition of the lofty standard of the style and language of the Qur’an. The unbelievers, for their part, had only refrained from accepting its divine nature by resorting to allegations that it was sorcery and the words of the Devil himself. It is pertinent, here, to note the words of Waleed bin Mughira, a leader of the Quraysh and himself the greatest authority in Arabian literature, who, on being asked by Abu Jahl to make a public proclamation against the Qur’an, said: “What can I say? Whether it be in prose or in poetry, the poems of the Jinns or in any other branch of Arabian literature, I possess greater knowledge than you. By God! The words brought forth by this man, are such as to be incomparable with any of the others. By God, his words possess a charming sweetness and a particular beauty all of themselves. Moreover, its branches are laden with fruit while its roots are firmly entrenched in the soil whence it proceeds. Most certainly, therefore, it is superior to all other dicourses. Furthermore, it is not possible for any other discourse to show it in poor light. It is certain that it will conquer anything comes under its influence!”
It must be remembered that this has been the comment of a non-Muslim. Indeed, a finer endorsement of the level of the style and language of the Qur’an need not be called for. The style of the Qur’an is inimitable. This has been attested by even the most modern of the non-Muslim Arab scholars. Observe the writing of the orientalist G. Sale. “The style of the Qur’an is beautiful, it is adorned with bold figures after the eastern taste, enlivened with florid and sententious expressions and in many places where the majesty and attributes of God are described, sublime and magnificient” (G. Sale, The Koran: Commonly called Al-Qur’an, with a preliminary discourse, London, 1899, Vol.1, page 47). A.J. Arberry, another orientalist, writes thus: “The complex prosody, a rich repertory of subtle and complicated rhymes had been completely perfected. A vocabulary of themes, images, and figures extensive but nevertheless circumscribed, was firmly established” (A.J. Arberry, The Qur’an
interpreted, London 1955, page 11). The style, language and content of the Qur’an are all unparalleled; all beyond imitation; are all in their refined beauty, exquisite. Anyone conversant with Arabic will easily grasp this. Each verse of the Qur’an possesses an extreme attraction and a potential so great as to cause a transformation in the mind of its listeners. This has been admitted by
several medieval and modern critics with a reasonable knowledge of Arabic.
A thing becomes a supernatural manifestation when it remains unconquered by man. When Prophet Moses let fall his staff upon the ground, it turned into a writhing serpent. Moreover, it swallowed the staffs and ropes of the magicians of the day who had come to contest the sign of God. This has been described in the Qur’an and the Bible.
(Qur’an 26:38-45, Exodus 7:11-13).
It is the contention and claim of the Qur’an itself that it remains unmatched in its style, structure, breadth of vision and loftiness of content and that it is impossible for any man or groups of men to evercompose a script that will, in any way, equal it. “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 Allah, If ye are truthful. But if ye cannot-and of a surety ye cannot-then fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, which is prepared for those who reject Faith. ” (2:23,24). That this is, in fact, true will be admitted by all those who are learned in the language. It has not yet been possible for any one in the world of Arab letters to answer the challenge posed by the Qur’an when it dared its detractors to bring forth even a single chapter like its own. The fact of the matter then is that even the critics who are well versed in Arabic have not been able to either defend or make a convincing reply as regards their own contemptuous refutation of the claim that the Qur’an remains the supernatural sign that was revealed to Prophet
Muhammad().

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