Question: “Isn’t the Evolution of Arabic an evidence against Islam?”

In connection with a previous question, the skeptic says that surely, in the thousands of years when Arabic has been evolving as a language, a good percentage of the language must have become modified in some sense [i.e. in structure, meanings of words, etc.]. He asks that, are we Muslims really sure that the Arabic of the Jaahiliya time was really the best, with nothing better than it before or after, and if so, where are the scientific studies which show this claim to be true.

He explains that since the arrival of Islam, many new terms have entered into the normative version of Arabic, the grammar has changed and many other modifications have come upon it which seriously call into question the eternal validity of classical Arabic as the best mode of human expression [the skeptic maintains that languages do change as a natural matter of course, but it is our insistence that there is indeed a peak of linguistic achievement which is problematic for any objective and serious researcher into the Islamic religion]

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

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Question: “Aren’t the ‘Miracles of the Qur’an and of Islam’ at best Probabilistic Evidences?”

It is said: “At most, the ‘Miracles of the Qur’an’ and of Islam in general are probabilistic sets of evidence, since reasonable arguments can be made against them. Even if we take the evidence from biology (like evolution), archeology, or other fields to also be probabilistic evidence against Islam, why should the objective person choose the probabilistic set of Islamic evidences over and above the (stronger) probabilistic set of evidences from scientific observations, experiments, and their concomitant conclusions?” What is our response in this case?

Answered by Sharif Randhawa (Researcher at Bayyinah Institute, owner of Qur’anic Musings blog), with slight modifications[1] Continue reading

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 Continue reading

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: “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

Question concerning Arabic (Classical and Modern) and the potential for new revelations

The skeptic says that aren’t we Muslims extremely naive and overconfident in thinking that the medium of the classical Arabic language is the best that could have ever come about in the world in terms of information exchange – this being an important argument for why the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic?  The skeptic says that it is very much possible for higher modes of communication and information exchange (that is, more expansive, open to more miracles) may appear or may have already appeared in speech, and also in dance, music, pictures, paintings, videos, technology, or a combination of all these in one way or the other? 

And also related to the above, the skeptic may say that today’s Arabs, for the most part, are unable to understand the classical Arabic of the Qur’an, meaning that the message of the Qur’an has been phased out in terms of its relevance to the language of the people. What do we respond in this case?

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