Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A new philosophical perspective on the inimitable challenge of the Quran. - Miracle of The Quran

Apologies, this article has now moved to the new site. Click here to read


Anonymous said...

its hard to express just how unconvincing this argument is to me.

in english none of the translations i have read had any literary merit to speak of, so one looks at the content, and finds a strange melange of other middle-eastern faiths and sects but no great surprises in theological terms.

if one takes in good faith that it is unique and special in arabic, then one must surely conclude that it was intended by god for arabic speakers alone.

obviously the quran is in "perfect arabic" because the quran, believed to be from god, must define perfect arabic by its very existence. its a circular argument.

can any iranians tell us if the quran has any special literary merit in its persian form?

can any pakistanis tell us if it is special in urdu or punjabi or whatever? tom

Rationality said...

I want you to answer this question As the statement "The Holy Quran is without contradictions" is also presented as a miracle to the world...
According to Holy Quran, Prophet Muhammad PBUH is the final prophet that world will see in His personality, in a Human bodily form as well as in his spirituality/Spiritual Span Of Shariah.
While we as Muslims belive in that Jesus AS will come back from skies. His advent will surely be in his capacity of being a prophet as Holy Quran says that He is a Prophet towards Bani-Israel (And prophethood is not like a designation of a primeminister which could be taken away it is a spiritual high ranking from which man could go higher but not come down) Now as a result of his bodily advent or descending from skies, the Finality of Prophet Muhammad PBUH as personality as well as Bodily form is challenged. as the world will see a prophet coming down to earth after the bodily demise of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Secondly Holy Quran will still have the claim that Jesus will still be a prophet towards Bani Israel it mean the Shariah of Israelitis will never be canceled as jesus according to Quran is duty bound to preach bani israel the law of Torah. In this case the finality of Prophet Muhammad PBUH in terms of Spirituality is also challenged. Question is how is he a final Prophet then? as finality will be of Jesus in this case. If some one says that his span of prophethood will be spanned to Muslim Ummah as well, Firstly this will inturn again contradict with the Quranic verse that he is a prophet towards bani israell AND secondly it will affect the finality of prophet in terms of Jesus being given a new type of prophethood which he didnt have in past. And there is a Quranic aayah which also states that previous Shariah's have been canceled as this shariah is the newest, the latest and the final one.......???????????????????
reason of asking is that at many points the fiality of Prophet in comparison to Jesus's second advent creates contradictions between many Quranic verses.

Anonymous said...

Can people stop dodging the issue by making unproven claims like "how unconvincing the argument is" or trying to refute the Qur'anic challenge by doing what is not the challenge, i.e. not understanding Arabic, so trying to refute the challenge by talking about in English or whatever?
Such arguments show an amazing amount of ignorance of the subject matter and the blind following that atheists and others do of their own beliefs by refusing to understand others' arguments. It also shows the dogma and fanaticism that the atheists and others are in.
"if one takes in good faith that it is unique and special in arabic, then one must surely conclude that it was intended by god for arabic speakers alone. "

Actually that conclusion is neither proven nor warranted. You just have flawed logic.

Anonymous said...

where is the flaw in my logic?

that i am unconvinced is a fact.

the unproven claim for the universality of a book which can only be properly understood in a language spoken by just 3% of the worlds population is yours. tom

Anonymous said...

This argument from the Eloquence of the Quran is getting more and more interesting. Still I would add a few pointers inshallah.

Yes the Quran does have a unique style if we take the chapter as a whole but what makes it more interesting is this.

A-The most descriptive words on the subject matter are still being used

B-Some sort of rhythme is used aiding an important issue MEMORY. In fact the Quran is in fact unique in its ease of memory across different cultures who do not even speak the language or even understand it! So the ease of memory is preserved

C-The minimal number of words are used to describe a concept

D-Cohoerence is retained, across the board as show in the Phd thesis of Husaain Abdul Raof at the University of Leeds. In fact he was astonished by it.

E-We must remember the tawatur transmissions that have reached us of the limited scope of our Prophet who was an Ummi (at the most very limited in writing a few words here and there)

F-The transmission is perfect in the sense of miminal use of words, the most descriptive, a rhythme to aid memory

In other words a perfection in speech.

What also astonishes me personally is that Allah is promising the prophet in one of the most backward waters of the world at that time that this message would be preserved.

The preservation of the Quran is another amazing prediction and in fact virtually unique to Islam

Taking that all together really does point to an interesting linguistic issue with regards to the Quran

Anonymous said...

As-salaamu 'alaykum akh Adam

I have only studied philosophy at A-level, so you are better at constructing arguments than me I assumde, however I have one point. Regarding your argument, I totally agree with it, however I believe the first premise could have been worded better, you mentioned:

"1. Any literary form in the Arabic language falls into its known divisions of prose or poetry."

Is the Qur'aan a literary form in the Arabic language? If yes, then the premise needs to be reworded to something like "Any normal literary form...". In other words, it needs to be reworded to exclude the Qur'aan.

If the answer to the question is no could you please explain why it's not a literary form in the Arabic language.

Jazakallaah khayr


Adam Deen said...

As-salaamu 'alaykum akh Shakeel

Thanks for pointing that out. The argument is still in its early stage and does need to be improved.

Im happy that your studing philosophy. Keep it up, more muslims need to be educated in this field.

Anonymous said...

Not a comment but an honest question.

I understand Muslims to believe the revelation of the Koran to have been quoted by Mohamed. Is there any evedence that the language was that of Mohamed and or God - or the scribe?


Anonymous said...

For some Quran is a miracle and others it's a work of an illiterate. I rather see miracle in the contents of the book and there simply isn't one. Many people like myself that leave islam leave when they read quran.

Ali from Pakistan

Rationality said...

Mr Ali..
there is a persian proverb
Aftab Aamad Daleel-e-Aftab
Means the Sun's exitance is a proof of its being.
At least you should have contributed with one single rational argument to defy this Sun Of Reasonings & logic, History, Spirituality, Science, and what not.. "The Holy Quran".
i hope you are quite fimiliar with an urdu term
Mein Na Manoon Haar :)
means i dont want to accept that i lost :)

Anonymous said...

Well Mr Rationality..
I didn't become non-muslim in a day so I don't expect you to admit 'Haar' with my comment. I was not arguing as such but contributing with my comment which is a fact and might give you a reason to think.
While you are obsessed with the Holy book and see it as a miracle there are other people with similar background, experience, knowledge and analyticle ability that don't see it as a miracle.
To tell you the truth growing up in a muslim society and listening to praises of quran from every other person day in and day out (extremely annoying), when we actually read the book with translation at later age, we find it to be an amazing dissapointment. Personally even if someday someone proves there is a god, I for one will only cosider Him an evil god. sorry!


Shalmo said...

^^Ali I don't think I believe you are an ex-muslim

90% of the time I see these people who proudly call themmselves ex-muslims online I find are christians/atheists wishing to argue, and create power in their argument, by claiming to be a former believer

I'm not saying there aren't genuine former muslims out there, I'm just saying its kinda obvious you are not one

That said I haven't seen any merit in your argument. All you said was that you have read a translation of the Quran....yeah like that means anything since we all know almost every translation of the Quran is fraught with errors hence why it best understood in arabic. Furthermore the Quran alone in insufficient, you need to understand the proper context and extra exegetical material that comes alone from the Prophetic traditions

There is a reason it takes 20 or more years to master Quranic sciences, before anybody considers you an authority in the Quran. People are not stupid. Where are your credentials in these fields?

If you would like an honest read into how the Quran is understood and applied to Islam then I suggest you read relevant tafsirs of it.

Here let me get you started:

Though I don't believe you are interested. Your purpose seems to simply have been to post an ex-muslim simply for the sake of it, in order to try to trample the faith of people here. You will be unsuccessful I assure, because far more people are coming to islam than the minuscule minority leaving it.

Hafid said...

As salaam alaykum akh Adam

This is a poor argument and does stand up to any kind of rigorous scrutiny. Beauty and literary merit are ill-defined and unclear terms. A similar argument could be used to defend the divine origin of the Torah or even Moby Dick.
If one holds a text as the standard for the language, as has become the case for the Qur'an and the Arabic language, then it will clearly become an unparalleled text wtih regards to its meter, grammar, vocabulary etc.
In fact, we can go one stage further and say that at the time of its appearance it was in fact using 'incorrect' grammar and meter compared with the tradtion of the time. It only came to be the apex of beautiful Arabic after it was held in such high regard as religious revelation.

So speaks a fervent believer but one who is disappointed by these weak pseudo-philosophical arguments. Tracts like these give atheists and anti-theists more ammunition.

Adam Deen said...

I agree that beauty and literary merit are ill-defined and unclear terms. Yes, some argue that the Quran is the most beautiful Arabic literature to demonstrate its divine authorship. However, I think you have misunderstood my position. The argument I put forward is discussing the unique literary form, not the eloquence of the Arabic text alone. It is evident that we can differentiate the literary forms between Arabic prose and poetry, similarly it has been recognised by Quranic scholars that the Qur’anic literary form is a unique mode of expression unlike existing categories of Arabic text.

Anonymous said...

Why is this Qur'an from God and not the Devil?

After research, I as a theologian believe that this requires a theological explanation and not a naturalistic explanation.

Muhammad was possessed by something according to the accurate historical sources. Whenever he would receive a revelation, his body would undergo irregular behaviour. He was clearly possessed by something, I will never doubt that.

The being identifies itself as God, but what if it was posing as God but really is the devil?

Anonymous said...

@ the guy in the first comment i'm going to have the assumption that you're christian ok first i'll take a quote from your bible "And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive." mark 3:26

A quote from the quran
"And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing" 41:36
thats among many quotes

so basically you're contradicting you bible. now lets say that for the sake of arguing that that part in the bible is wrong or wrongly translated or means something else. basically the revelation of the quran is much more powerful than the bible i.e. no contradiction scientific evidence, literary form etc...
now this means that satan won ok he could've simply say (god forbid astaghfaru allah) that well god lied i'm more powerful than he is coz you have no evidence that god is more powerful than me. yet he didnt say that that looks very stupid to me. also why would he make a revelation so strong and so good and then give credit to god! that's illogical and contradicts the genius in the quran. it's like saying someone went in a fight with someone and won after a long battle and then decided that the loser should be the one going to the finals!!! it doesnt make sense.
of course satan even isnt comparable to god. statan was created by god. but that was just to go along and show you how illogical what you said is. also as for the reason he was feeling different most of the time was because it was what you call the holly ghost that was giving him the quran.

Anonymous said...

also after writing the previous comment about god and satan i came to realize one thing. if Muhammad (pbuh) wanted power or ruling of arabia he could simply use the quran as evidence for him being god and rationalizing it as incarnation of some sort that doesnt allow the full power of god to be on earth. yet he didnt so it was definitely not from him and from god. btw to those who will try to refute it think of two things before commenting. he cannot be a liar and crazy at the same time. and the second is if he could be both at the same time a disease i dont know it's name but the one in which he makes a lie and believes it, according to the diagnosis of the disease he wouldn't be dealing with facts and the quran is full of facts. if you dont beleive me google it.

Anonymous said...

Allahu 'Alam but I find limiting the miraculous nature of the Quran to it's literary style unsatisfying. It's no doubt part of it but as a risaalah to all of mankind it must carry convincing material of it's divine origin in it's semantic content as well so that dimension should be added.

This would mean that divine light could also shine through proper translations of the Quran. In fact a lot of converts bear witness to this, among them myself. There is something special or rather superhuman in the way that the Quran addresses it's readers/listeners.

No doubt, the full spectra of the miraculous nature of the Quran is only realized in it's Arabic format. And now after years of studying I can finally taste a bit of it.

Another issue in the field of 'ijaaz is the qira'aat. So far I haven't seen much done with regards to them. I believe that comparing qira'aat, how they overlap and complement each other and studying the many occasions of takraar (repetition) in the Quran would be very fruitful for 'ijaaz-studies.

'Uloom al-Quran is a sea without shores. There' always something new to be discovered. As the hadith states "laa tanqati' 'aajaaibuh" (its's surprises never ends) The early scholars who wrote on 'ijaaz such as al-Jurjaani focused on what they in their time found relevant.
In their days Arabic was a lingua franca so focusing on the literary aspect of 'ijaaz al-Quran became natural.

Today however, the situation of the arabic language and the muslims is quite different. Other dimensions of 'ijaaz al-Quran need to be addressed since 99% wouldn't be able to comprehend what the early scholars dealt with.

Anyway, thanks bro! I liked your article.