Objection: “Encyclopedic knowledge of language may exist among people, this negates the Muslim argument for the Qur’an”

The skeptic says that one of the arguments in favor of the miraculous nature of the Qur’an is that no one person can possibly know the language from top to bottom, to the point that he can compose something that is impossible for others to imitate (which means that only Allah put the Qur’an together in its arrangement and composition). But the skeptic says that this point is weak, since there are people who have a super-encyclopedic knowledge of Arabic or any other given language. Is this a valid objection in your view?

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

Question: “If the literary devices of the Qur’an can be traced, does this not make it an ordinary book?”

It is asked that, if the rhetorical devices in the Qur’an can be traced back to some or the other pre-Islamic poetry or prose, then how can anyone claim that the Qur’an is miraculous, seeing that it is merely borrowing and adapting already existing literary genres? For example, it is said that the rhetorical techniques used in the Qur’an (such as Iltifaat, Tajaanus, Muqaabalah, etc.) were already known and used, and there is nothing miraculous in using what everyone else is using or at least knows about it.

(Thus, it is said that exactly for the very reason that one can make sense of what the Qur’an says by going back to a dictionary and referring back to previous writings in prose and poetry, no person should consider such “traceable material” as being a candidate for miracles).

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

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 Continue reading

Thoughts on a comment concerning Sanskrit, Arabic, and the Qur’an

A comment (derived from certain Hindu tracts): In opposition to Arabic and to the Islamic religion, if one were to learn Sanskrit (the language of the early Hindu scriptures) one would also have been introduced to a deep understanding of Hindu metaphysics and of the structure of reality itself. Thus, it is said that Sanskrit as a language is much deeper and useful in every sense than bland languages, including Arabic, and that this characteristic goes well beyond composing a book.

Moreover, the claim is that even if he were to consider the Qur’an, the very fact that there has been an avalanche of philosophical and other types of exegesis based on the primary Hindu texts over the millennia should be enough to point to the greatness and uniqueness of such texts when compared to any other book or received wisdom (including the Qur’an) – What do we say about this matter?

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

Question on concealed or uncategorized literature and the Qur’anic challenge

Connected to a previous question on the matter, the non-Muslim says that literature, by its very nature, can never be taken as a yardstick for miraculous Divine interventions into human history, since there is so little of literature that has been uncovered, so much speech goes unnoticed and uncategorized, and it might be possible that some of these tracts of poetry, essays, prose, etc. are in fact greater than the Qur’an, but that they have simply remained concealed. What is our response to this claim?

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

Objection: “Many types of literature have moved men to action, why do Muslims concentrate on the Qur’an”

The non-Muslim says that many different types of speeches and writings have moved men towards immediate action and have made them totally change their minds and their lives. The non-Muslim asks whether there is a reason why anyone should pinpoint the Quran’s impact in this field, while bypassing all other “similar literature”? The non-Muslim says that based on his understanding, the Qur’an is not unique or miraculous in this regard. What do we say about this claim?

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

Question: “Why do Muslims think Qur’anic Arabic can encompass all wisdom?”

The non-Muslim says that new language and new terms will always be needed to express the “previously unknown”, so how can we Muslims be so naive to think that the language of the Qur’an or of early Islamic history is enough to encompass all the wisdom contained in the cosmos for all time – What would we say about this allegation?

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