Question: “Aren’t the linguistic features of the Qur’an artificially advanced?”

It is said that there are many Chapters of the Qura’n where the linguistic features are artificially advanced, to the point that one who knows Arabic only to a moderate level cannot keep up with the text, and cannot understand the Qur’an in such places – he refers particularly to the earlier Makkan Chapters with their extensive use of linguistic features. What do we say in this case?

Answered by Sharif Randhawa (Researcher at Bayyinah Institute, owner of Qur’anic Musings blog), with slight modifications and additions

From what I understand of this objection, it seems to be arguing that the literary excellence of the Qur’an is a flaw.  This would be an unacceptable complaint, since it is from the very essence of excellence that some of its workings are outside the reach of the common person who only has moderate knowledge of the field. We also do not agree with the use of the word “artificial” in here, since there is nothing extra and nothing artificially pushed in the Qur’anic composition – rather the utility of every one of its verses can be identified by the scholars of the Qur’an.

If we want to make a rough analogy, a person who is sincere about studying Shakespeare will not complain about the difficulty of the language.  He will cherish it and try to learn about each of its intricacies, and the more he unravels them the more his admiration of the text will grow.

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