The Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were in command of the Arabic language and were fascinated with poets who were held in high esteem. Until today, their poetry is considered the cream of the crop as far as language mastery is concerned. The language specialists of the time were astonished by the language and style of the Qur’an. The Qur’an challenged them to imitate the Qur’anic language and style or to find faults or inconsistencies in the Qur’an. Many tried, and some continue to try without any success that can withstand scrutiny. The Qur’an stated that nobody can imitate the Qur’an (17:88, 11:13, 2:23-24, 10:38) which means: Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.” (17:88); Or do they say, “He invented it”? Say, “Then bring ten surahs like it that have been invented and call upon [for assistance] whomever you can besides ALLAH, if you should be truthful.” (11:13); And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than ALLAH, if you should be truthful (2:23); But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers (2:24); Or do they say [about the Prophet], “He invented it?” Say, “Then bring forth a surah like it and call upon [for assistance] whomever you can besides ALLAH, if you should be truthful.” (10:38).
One of the influential tribal chiefs who was well known for his knowledge and proficiency of the language, and who was also very knowledgeable in poetry, and familiar with the tricks and witchcraft of magicians and sorcerers, was asked to meet with Prophet Muhammad with the intention of finding faults in his message or with the Qur’an. He went and listened to the recitation of the Qur’an by Prophet Muhammad. When he returned, he said to them that this man (Prophet Muhammad) is not a poet nor is he a sorcerer and the Quran that he recites is definitely not words of man. He described the Qur’an as truly different, appealing to one’s common sense, and it penetrates and engulfs the heart with sweetness and ease. Yet, some decided that no one would be allowed to listen to Prophet Muhammad or to the Qur’an, and inflicted severe penalties on people who did.
For the 21st century, the century of science and exploration, ALLAH (SWT) revealed in the Qur’an verses that stated scientific facts concerning the universe, its creation and what is in it. Some of these facts were recently discovered, or are currently being researched. Some of these will be addressed in future articles. Scientists of today and tomorrow can learn a lot from these facts to sharpen their research goals.
By Bassam Jamil Jody, Ph.D.