Allah’s Challenge to Mankind
One of the greatest miracles of the Holy Qur’an is its inimitability, this outstanding challenge to mankind has stood strong for over 1400 years. In the time of the Prophet Muhammad his enemies accused him of many things ranging from being called a mad man, magician to a poet. None of these accusations really carried any weight. Prior to prophet hood people loved him and trusted him very much, to the point where he was called ‘As Sadiq Al Ameen’, the truthful and trustworthy one, so to overnight call him mad was totally illogical. The magicians of his time had certain habits and customs which the Prophet never had, so that label was dropped very quickly. The claim that he was a poet was a very weak refutation of his prophetic message, he was not known for composing any poetry in his life, as a matter of fact there were people who were much better poets and orators than the Prophet Muhammad, and this fact was well known. So, based on this information Allah intellectually proves to the people that the Qur’an is the word of God and not the word of Muhammad.
Each Prophet came with a miracle
What’s very powerful with these miracles is that they are not exclusive to the Prophet Muhammad, but we see them amongst the other Prophets also. The manner in which these miracles take place is even more convincing that the prophets are men and their message is divine. Each miracle that the prophet came with was not a random miracle, rather each nation was advanced in a particular science and then Allah brought a divine miracle from that very field that the people were well learned in, they were experts in it.
The Miracles of the Prophet Mosa
Let’s look at the story of the Prophet Mosa, what was the science that everyone was rushing to learn? And there were real experts in it? It was none other than magic. The magicians were the most learned people of the society, so when the miracle came at the hand of Mosa in the form of ‘magic’ but was not magic of course the expert magicians recognised the power of the miracle and believed in Mosa and proclaimed their faith in front of pharaoh irrespective of being threatened with torture and death.
“So Pharaoh and his people were defeated right there and put to shame. And the Magicians fell down, prostrating. They declared, “We now believe in the Lord of all worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh threatened, “How dare you believe in him before I give you permission?” [7:121-123]
The miracle of the Prophet Jesus
The science that was flourishing in the time of the prophet Jesus was medicine. People were rushing to learn it and competing to be the better doctor. The most intellectual people of his time were the medics. So, Allah in order to convince the most intelligent people of that era brought miracles at the hand of Prophet Jesus such that the most intelligent people knew immediately that they were miracles and not simple medicine.
“I will heal the blind and the leper and raise the dead to life, by Allah’s will.” [3:49]
The miracle of the Prophet Muhammad
The science in which people at the time of the Prophet Muhammad were experts in, and competed to be the best at was the Arabic Language. The regular poetry competitions that were held and gathered many, and the poets who were honoured by having their poetry hung on the door of the ka’ba and the huge rewards giving to participants, all reflected the advanced level of Arabic amongst the people of that time.
Now that the background has been established, we come to the accusations of the people that the Prophet Muhammad wrote the Qur’an himself. They accepted the Qur’an was a master piece of the Arabic language. So, Allah places a very logical challenge. The deniers of the Qur’an were experts in the Arabic Language, they also claimed that Muhammad wrote it himself, and they boasted about being the best poets. So, Allah challenges them, you say you are better poets than Muahmmad and you deny the Qur’an, so why don’t you produce a book better than the one ‘Muhammad wrote’, a very logical point. And the very fact that they were unable to respond to this challenge proves the divine nature of the Qur’an, it is the word of Allah.
The stages of Allah’s challenge to mankind
The challenge to reproduce the Qur’an was presented to the Arabs and all of mankind in three stages
Stage 1: Produce a book similar to this book
In the Qur’an, Allah ordered the Prophet to challenge all of creation to create a book similar to that of the Qur’an:
“Say: “If all mankind and the Jinn would come together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce its like even though they exerted all and their strength in aiding one another.” [17:88].
Stage 2: Produce a ten verses similar or better than the Qur’an
The challenge then was made even simpler, much easier, by now asking those who are unable to bring an entire book to simply bring forward ten verses.
“Or do they say that he has invented it? Say (to them), ‘Bring ten invented chapters like it, and call (for help) on whomever you can besides God, if you are truthful.”[11:13].
Stage 3: To simply a chapter, just one!
A chapter that resembles or is better than a chapter in the Qur’an, and the shortest chapter in the Qur’an is simply three verses, surah al-kawthar, so the challenge was made much more easier.
“And if you all are in doubt about what I have reveald to my servant, bring a single chapter like it, and call your witnesses besides God if you are truthful.” [2:23].
Further studies in understanding the miracle of the Qur’an
In further studies and courses regarding the miraculous nature of the Qur’an, the eternal miracle, one would need to study the following topics to really grasp a detailed understanding and gain full confidence that the Holy Qur’an is indeed the word of Allah, and all that it contains is divine and protected. These subjects include:
- The definition of the Qur’an.
- The source of the Qur’an.
- The Prophecies of the Qur’an.
- Muhammad’s teacher.
- A source beyond Man’s World.
- The literary miracle.
- The secret of the Qur’anic Miracle.
- The excellence in every passage.
- The unity of every chapter.
- The Semantic design of the longest chapter.
The miraculous nature of the Holy Qur’an is discussed on Islamic Courses Online. You can take great benefit from the course titled ‘Allah’s Challenge to man’.
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