Question: “Isn’t language ill suited for Divine interventions into human history?”

There are those who say that language is ill-suited to be the primary ground for Divine revelations, due to the inherent limitations of language in conveying the true and desired referent, and especially so when discussing Divine matters, which by definition are outside the realm of human thought and therefore outside of human language- What do we say about this matter?

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

Then one may ask, what better means of communication does the questioner propose?  In any case, Muslim scholars have always recognized that the Qur’an uses approximate or symbolic language when discussing matters of the unseen in order to meet with our imaginations.  Moreover the concepts that are a concern of the Qur’an and which pertain to human guidance, like the concept of God or His right to be exclusively worshiped, can be understood by all persons, whether they be sophisticated academicians or simple Bedouins and villagers.

We also know that there are some matters that may be termed as ‘antimonies’ that cannot be fully comprehended, such as the total nature of free will vis-à-vis God’s Power and Omnipotence, but their full, detailed comprehension is not necessary for spiritual and ethical guidance.

[Note: Concerning this last point, the Islamic theologians definitely have written detailed discussions about free will in their works, yet the issue is that most people are simple and have difficulties comprehending detailed expositions of cosmology/theology. Had the Qur’an itself gone into very deep details about these matters, then it may have led to a situation of burdening people beyond what they can handle, and would have defeated the purpose of sending a revelation for all mankind.]

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