Question on the Lack of a ‘Structural Plan’ in the Quran

The skeptic asks what the exact strength of the claim that the Quran’s structural plan does not follow any of the humanly known blueprints for composition, speech, or poetry is. The skeptic says that as far as he can see, it would have been better if there was a previously-known meter, mode, or plan that all could relate to and learn, and this (rather than the lack of such a plan or mode) would make the Quran’s eloquence and impact more discernible to the common listener. What do we say about his claim?

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

I don’t think all aspects of the Qur’an’s eloquence are supposed to be “discernible to a common listener.”  I think rather there are meant to be many aspects of it that are continually uncovered through close study.  Beyond this, there are a number of reasons the Qur’an could not be ordered in a conventional way.  First, it is meant to be a text that provides continuous and diverse counsel and reminder when read, recited, and listened to.  This can only be done if the Qur’an interweaves various themes together within a Sura, and reiterates and elucidates those same themes but in distinct ways in other Suras.  Second, the Qur’anic revelations tended to be occasional, revealed in response to different issues that arose in the early Muslim community.  This allows the Qur’an to be not just a set of general principles or homilies, but a practical text whose rulings are practically modeled in the history of the early Muslim community.

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