Miracle of the Quran

The Literal Miracle of the Quran

The miracles that were given to the prophets were chosen so that they would have the greatest impact on that particular nation. Thus, since the people of the time of Moses greatly excelled in the ‘art’ of sorcery and magic, the miracles that were given to Moses were of a similar type, except much stronger and more powerful (for example, the staff, the shining hand, the splitting of the Red Sea, and others). Likewise, the people at the time of Jesus excelled in the art of healing and medicine, and therefore, the miracles that were given to Jesus were of a similar type, except much stronger and more powerful (for example, healing the leper, curing the sick, raising the dead, and others).

During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Arabs had reached the peak of eloquence, and this was their most prized art! Poetry was what they valued the most, and each tribe competed with others to see which one could produce the most skilled and eloquent poet. During the annual fair of ‘Ukhaadh, poets from all over Arabia would compete for the honour of having their poem win the highest praise: that of being posted on the door of the Ka’bah (the House in Makkah) until the next fair.

Due to this pride that was prevalent among the Arabs, the miracle that was given to the Prophet (peace be upon him) was of similar nature; Allah revealed the Quran in an Arabic that was so emotive and eloquent that the Arabs could clearly see it was a miracle from their Creator. On top of this, Allah challenged them to bring forth anything similar to the Quran, and told them that such attempts would be futile,

*{And if you are in doubt as to what We have sent down to Our servants, then produce a chapter similar to it…, if you are truthful. But if you do not do it – and of a surety you cannot do it – then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers} * (Quran, 2:23-24)

Till this day, though many have tried, no one has been able to produce a single chapter like the chapters of the Quran in their beauty, eloquence, splendor, wise legislation, true information, true prophecy, and other perfect attributes.

Although the literary aspect of the Quran is the strongest and most apparent aspect of its miracle, is the most difficult aspect to discuss in non-Arabic terms. The Quran is in “…clear Arabic” (Quran, 26:195), and in order to understand its miracle in this respect, a thorough understanding of the Arabic language is essential. However, it would be more prudent to give two examples (of the many examples recorded) of the impact that the eloquence of the Quran had on its first listeners.

Perhaps one of the most famous stories is the story of al-Waleed ibn al-Mugheerah. Al-Waleed was the most eloquent and highly esteemed poet of Makkah at the time of the Prophet. He once passed by the Prophet (peace be upon him), and heard him reciting the Quran. This had a visible effect on him, and he went away shaken and startled by what he had heard. The news of this incident spread throughout Makkah. Aboo Jahl, a staunch opponent of Islam who was afraid that the people of Makkah might be affected by this news and convert to Islam, rushed to al-Waleed, and told him, “O my uncle! Say something (against Muhammad (peace be upon him)) so that the people will know that you are against him and hate (his message).”

Al-Waleed replied, “And what can I say? For I swear by Allah (note: the disbelievers like al-Waleed believed in Allah as the Creator, but they were still pagans in worship), there is none amongst you who knows poetry as well as I do, nor can any compete with me in composition or rhetoric – not even in the poetry of jinns (i.e. genies)! And yet, I swear by Allah, Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) speech (meaning the Quran) does not bear any similarity to anything I know, and I swear by Allah, the speech that he says is very sweet, and is adorned with beauty and charm. Its first part is fruitful and its last part is abundant (meaning it is full of deep meanings), and it conquers (all other speech), and remains unconquered! It shatters and destroys all that has come before it (of poetry, because of its eloquence)!” Aboo Jahl responded, “Your people will not be satisfied until you speak against him!” Al-Waleed therefore requested Aboo Jahl, “Leave me for a few days, so that I may think of an appropriate response to give to the (people of) Quraish.”

After the few days were over, Aboo Jahl came back to him and asked him what he had prepared. Al-Waleed, during this time, could not think of any explanation to give except, “This (the Quran) is a type of magic that has an effect on its listeners.” In response to this, Allah revealed,

{Nay! Verily he (i.e. al-Waleed) has been stubborn in opposing our verses and signs… Verily, he thought and plotted; So let him be cursed, how he plotted! And once more, let him be cursed; how he plotted! Then he thought! Then he frowned and was irritated; then he turned back and was proud! Then he said, ‘this is nothing but magic from old; this is nothing but the word of a mortal!’ I will cast him into the Hell-fire…} (Quran, 74:16-26] (Any person who understands even the most basic amount of Arabic cannot help but notice the sheer power and eloquence of these very verses themselves.) This, then, is the testimony from the greatest poet alive at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him)!

Yet another incident is that of Utbah ibn Rabee. Utbah was once sitting with other members of the Quraish, and the subject of Muhammad (peace be upon him) came up. The elders of the Quraish began complaining about all the problems that this ‘new’ message had caused among their people, and started to discuss various ways that they could rid themselves of this irritating problem. Utbah suggested that perhaps the Prophet (peace be upon him) could be convinced of giving up his message, if only it was explained to him in a gentle manner the problems that his message had been causing. Common sense, Utbah argued, would prevail. As proof of his convictions, Utbah himself volunteered to be the one to go and talk to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

He therefore set out to meet the Prophet (peace be upon him), and started to try to convince him to abandon preaching this ‘new’ message, and let the Quraish return to the paganism of their ancestors. After finishing his plea, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked, “Have you finished, O Aboo al-Waleed (the nickname of Utbah)?” When he replied in affirmative, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Then listen to me:

*{In the Name of Allah, the Ever-Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Haa Meem. A revelation from Allah, the Ever-Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. (This is) a book whose verses are explained in detail – a Quran in Arabic, for a people who reflect. Giving glad tidings, and warning of (a severe punishment). But most of them turn away, so they listen not…} * (Quran, 41:1-4)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) continued to recite, until he finished the chapter. Utbah sat quietly, entranced by what he was hearing. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “You have heard what you have heard, so do as you please.”

When Utbah returned to his people, they said to themselves, “I swear by the Lord of the Ka’bah (i.e. the House in Makkah), this Utbah is not the same as the Utbah that left us!” And indeed, it was not the same Utbah. He said, “O people! I have heard a speech the like of which I have never heard before. I swear by Allah, it is not magic, nor is it poetry, nor is it sorcery. O gathering of Quraish, listen to me. Leave this man alone, for I swear by Allah, the speech that I have heard from him (meaning the Quran) will soon be news…”

The Quran is the miracle of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was given this miracle as the ultimate proof for his Prophethood.

{And they say, ‘Why are not miracles sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner.’ Is it not a sufficient (miracle) for them that We have sent down to you the Book which is recited to them? Verily, therein is a mercy and a reminder for a people who believe.} (Quran, 29:50-51)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also alluded to the status of the miracle of the Quran when he said: “There has not been a single prophet except that Allah gave him miracles because of which people believed in him. I have been given (as a miracle) the Inspiration (i.e. The Quran) which Allah revealed to me. I hope, therefore, that I will have the largest number of followers on the Day of Judgement.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also carried out other miracles in his time such as the splitting of the moon, the increasing of an inadequate amount of food to a very large quantity, the speaking of stones, animals, and trees to him, the sprouting of water from his hands when the companions were short of it, as well as other miracles. However none of these miracles were permanent – they occurred in front of specific groups of people at specific times and places.

Man being the frail creature that he is, the impact of the written words is much less than the impact of sight. These miracles of a surety occurred, but the effect that these miracles had on those who saw them is much greater than the impact that it will have on later generations who merely read about them. **The beauty and power of the Quran is that it removes the constraints of time and place upon the miracle – the Quran is a permanent miracle for all generations after the Prophet (peace be upon him) to see and appreciate, no matter where they live, or what time frame they are born in. **

Hashi - Just a hint, try to keep your initial posts short or others will not read them. If we have to read through several consecutive posts just to get the point, then many will simply move on to another subject

GB & Peace

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