Question: “Is ‘language at the time of the Jaahiliyia’ really the best standard through which a miracle from God could have been manifested?”

It is said that every single civilization, people, or culture has excelled in one quality above and beyond other civilizations at any given point in time. So he asks, why should the Muslims be so concerned or narrow-minded about “language at the time of the Jaahiliyia” as the best standard through which a miracle from God could be shown to the people at large- especially, he says, as personalities have appeared, in the past and even today, claiming special communication between themselves and God, and many of them doing amazing things based on the proclivities of their culture, time and place (i.e. that which we Muslims would call miracles according to the skeptic) – What is our response in this case?

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

A literary miracle is not necessarily, or obviously, the best standard (depending on what that means) through which a miracle from God could be shown to the people at large.  I am sure God could place so much clear evidence of the truth of the Qur’an that no one in the world who learned of it would doubt it.  He could have the truth of the Qur’an written clearly in the sky by the stars, in Arabic.  Nonetheless, the Qur’an insists that its own evidence suffices for the one who sincerely examines it.  This is the form of the miracle God chose so that people would have a chance to consider it fair-mindedly (or close-mindedly) without their belief being compelled.

Moreover, the sorts of so-called miracles offered up by most personalities today are of the same type—visual miracles, healings, etc.—which can be reproduced by illusion, magic, technology, etc., and which moreover do not last for generations thereafter.

[Note: When talk of the “best standard” is brought up, there are a number of topics at work in here: One of them is that Allah chose to have the perceptible evidence for his last religion to be the Qur’an. We Muslims do claim that the Qur’an gives indubitable certainty of its truth is examined properly. The opponent might disagree, but our response would be that even if we hypothetically accept that the Qur’an is “not clear enough as a proof”, we say that in any case God is not under any obligation to make the evidence as clear as the opponent may like. After all, Islam calls for belief in the unseen, and if we have groups and ideologies denying the reality of the seen, then “clarity of evidence” will never come forth through these routes.

Secondly, we say that Allah has provided humans with a tool for rational analysis which is the brain, and this can lead, after proper consideration, to the belief that only one God exists, a God who is necessarily unlike anything in the creation. It is our firm position that if one does reach this conclusion, then his adoption of the Islamic religion is not at all strange, but rather it follows naturally from the first set of conclusions he reached.]