The Holy Quran – A Linguistic Miracle By Michael Ahmed

It was a night of tranquility where peace reigned in the vicinity of mount 'Hira'. The unlettered Arab was seated in solitude in contemplation of the atrocities committed by his people. Suddenly an astounding figure appears before him from nowhere and commands the Arab in his mother tongue: 

"Read!" The Arab, terrified by the situation replies in bewilderment: "I am not learned!" The figure repeats the command: "Read!" The Arab responds identically…..On this, the figure embraces the Arab hard and commands him the third time: "Read in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher who created     " [Holy Quran 96:1]                      

Thus began the unfolding of the Book of Allah, the Holy the "unlettered Arab" our beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), who was given the responsibility of revealing it to the whole of mankind through the "astounding figure" Gabriel, the leader of Allah's Angels. In contrast to the other Holy Scriptures in existence today, the Holy Quran is absolutely unique in its style of presentation and recording. The fact that it is the WORD OF GOD ALMIGHTY and that it was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is well evident to anyone who peruses a few Ayaths (verses) in the Quran. This is so
since it is in first person grammar. This means that it is a direct recording of the very words of the speaker Himself (In this case the Creator, Almighty Allah Himself). 

"0 thou wrapped up (in a mantle) Arise and deliver thy warning! And thy Lord do thou magnify   [Holy Qur'an 74:1-5] 

The above example is picked randomly from the Holy Quran. As anyone would see, they are direct commandments from the Lord, Almighty Allah, to His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Similarly, other verses in the Holy Qur'an are directed to the Prophet (PBUH), to the believers, to the 'People of the Book", to the whole of mankind at large .This could be confirmed by verses of the Holy Quran. 

Christendom may brag that the Bible is the most sold book in the world perhaps second only to the Red Book of Mao tse-tung. Yet the Holy Quran remains as the most read, revered,
memorized, respected book in the world. St. James version of the Bible may remain as the best translation for its beautiful English. But Jesus never spoke English. The religion that God'
revealed to Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was 'lnjeel' which was to be a confirmation of the Torah (which was revealed to Prophet Moses (PBUH)). The fact is that the language that Prophet Jesus (PBUH) spoke was known as 'Aramaic' (and not Hebrew or Greek for that matter). Today none of the versions of the Holy Bible are present in this language. What we find today
are only translations in several other languages. The process of translation has its inherent inefficiencies. One cannot represent the exact meaning embedded in the original language by attempting to re-construct it in a new language. It is a well-known fact that there will inevitably be distortions of the original meaning. This results in serious degradation of integrity. 

Throughout history myths and superstitions have so crept under the banner of religion that the true nature of God was masked and distorted, so much that to believe in any religion came to be considered childish stupidity by modern literary giants. "In the face of such opposition we come across The Koran (Quran), It is a small, though unique book, in many aspects. No other book claims to be the very words of God as spoken in the first person. No other book claims to be without error or contradiction, originating from the one who has "knowledge of everything". No other book provides falsification to prove it wrong, as demanded by the scientific community and finally no other book challenges people of learning to a final debate of authentically based on knowledge and verification” – M. Asadi 

Human touch of the Bible is sprinkled everywhere in it.." Yes, the Bible is human, though some out of zeal, which is not according to knowledge, have rejected this. Those books have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men and bear in their style, the characteristic of men" – Dr. William Scroggie, Moody Bible Institute Chicago. No scholar in the world could make such an accusation against the Holy Quran. 

The unique style of presentation of the Holy Qu'ran is never found in any other scriptures existing today. The charming rhyme-rhythm of the Holy Quran has enticed non-Muslims and Muslims throughout the world. Its uniqueness is that the narration is in the first person. A close examination of the Bible would result in the conclusion that they are mostly either in third
person or in the form of lengthy narration of incidents which supposedly took place during the time of Jesus. The very words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament will not fill half the page of an exercise book. The Bible within its text never claims to be one

uniform book. Nowhere within the text of the Bible is the Bible called "The Bible". The word Bible itself was invented to represent a collection of books. This collection of books was not
the same among different groups. Compare this to the Qu'ran: there is not a word of difference between two Qurans anywhere in the world. The Qu’ran is the only thing common among Muslims of whatever nationality, sect or group. The Qu'ran within its text names itself many times as "The Qu'ran ".It also claims to be completely from God, as a whole. (Qu'ran 55: 2).

In contrast with the Bible, the Holy Qur'an doesn't consist of lengthy narration regarding events that took place during the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH). The manner in which it is presented proves beyond all doubts that it is a comprehensive RECORDING OF GOD'S WORD. It is an alternative to Allah 'physically being present' before us. It is none other than the placing of the words of Allah in the Prophet (PBUH)'s mouth. IT DOES NOT contain sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). 

It is a well-known fact that the only time tested Holy Scripture that has remained unchanged since its revelation is the Holy Qur'an. One does not find any "versions" of it as one may see in
the Bible. The Bible comes in many versions. Some common ones are the King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New International Version , the American Standard, the Catholic (Douay) and the Good News Bible etc. If the Bible is indeed the word of God, then we need to ask, "which version is from Cod?" The different versions of the Bible are merely different translations. They add and take out what other "versions" contain. 

A detailed study of the history of the Bible would reveal that's its compilation commenced more than 300 years after Prophet Jesus (PBUH). Until this time the facts about the life of Prophet Jesus (PBUH), were passed down by word-of-mouth. Subsequently to be recorded in the Bible. This fact alone raises severe doubts about the authenticity of the information that was present at the time compilation begun. The degree, to which something that is passed down by word-of-mouth (through a few people) is distorted, is unimaginable. It would thus be a fruitless effort to comprehend the amount of distortion undergone by something that takes this path for more than 3 centuries! 

An important criterion in assessing the authenticity of scriptures is the time difference between the revelation and its transcription. According to authentic hadith, the Holy Qur'an was transcribed by companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), during his lifetime. The team of scribes was led by Zaid Ibn Thabit (Raliallahu Anhu). The scribes were asked to rehearse aloud what they had written (as per what was dictated to them by the Prophet (PBUH)) so that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was certain about the authenticity of what was written down. (This procedure had to be followed since the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not know how to read or write in any language – let alone Arabic. 

The Holy Quran is easily distinguished from all other Holy Scriptures because of the sanctity and reverence attributed to it. A person is not even allowed to touch the Holy Qur'an (Muslim) without having performed ablution (state of purity, which is a prerequisite for the performance of the 5-times-a-day worship of Allah). No other scripture requires such a strict state of purity of the reader. AlIah has made this obligatory since the Holy Qur'an is none other than the direct word of God Almighty. 

At the very outset of Arabic history, the Quran set a literary standard that could not be exceled. Arabic maintained the style set for it by the Quran. No masterpiece comparable to the Quran was destined to be produced after it. So Arabic remained  cast in the mould of that divine symphony. Its uniqueness is the onomatopoetic style in which certain verses were presented by Allah. Over the centuries many attempts were made to produce a work equal to the Quran. All attempts have failed dismally. Musailema Ibnu Habib, Tulaiha ibnu Khuwailid, Nadhr ibnu al Harith, Ibn al Rawandi, Abu al Ala al Maarri, Ibn al Muqaffa, Al Mutanabbi and many have tried their hands at it, but their efforts, like Musailema’s extra-ordinary reference “God’s blessings upon pregnant women, extracting from them a sprightly life, from between stomach and the foetal membrane” look ridiculous when compared with the literary majesty of the Quran. 

The greatest substantiation of the Quran’s claim that no one would be able to write a work like it (17:88) comes from what Ernest Renan has called the "linguistic miracle" of the Arabic language.

The mere fact that the Roman Catholic Church will never touch any of the versions other than "Catholic (Douay) Version" of the Bible, the Anglican Church will never touch any of the versions other than the "King James Version" of the Bible, and the denominations within Christendom have their own “Versions” of the Bible which other dominations will not touch, prove beyond all doubts that the Bible is not the word of God as often claimed by the Christian world. The obvious reason behind having several “Versions” or “Editions” of the Bible is that the contents of the Bible have been tampered with to contradict each other. 

As opposed to this scenario consider the boldness with which Allah challenges the entire humanity of the accuracy of the Holy Quran: 

Do they not consider the Qur’an with care)? Had it been from other than Allah they would surely have found therein much discrepancy”  (Holy Qur’an 4:82) 

The authenticity of scriptures can be further scrutinized by the analysis of the languages in which they are present today as opposed to the language in which they were revealed. The Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PI3UH) in his mother tongue, Arabic. Even today the Holy Qur'an is present in a living Language Arabic. Over 250  million people speak the language of the Quran. Hundred millions more study the classical script making the Holy Quran the "most read", "most memorized" book on earth. Today over a million adults and children know the entire Qu'ran by heart. In contrast not a single Christian living today knows the entirety of the New Testament, nay not even a chapter from it. 

Ernest Renan – a French orientalist carried out extensive research on the Semitic language. He wrote a book on their vocabularies, in which he had this to say about the Arabic Language: "The Arabic language is the most astounding event of human history. Unknown during the classical period, it suddenly emerged as a complete language. After this, it did not undergo any noticeable changes, so one cannot define for it any early or late stage. It is just the same today as it was when it first appeared". 

In acknowledging this “astonishing events of human history" Renan, is in fact acknowledging the miraculous nature of the Quran. It was the Qu'ran's phenomenal literary style which preserved the Arabic language from alteration, such as other languages have undergone. The Christian Georgi Zaydan is one of the scholars to have recognized this fact. In a book on Arabic literature he writes: "No religious book has had such an impact on the language in which it was written as the Quran has had on Arabic Language” When the famous Arab poet Labeed accepted Islam, he gave up writing poetry. When some asked him why he has done this, he replied: “What? After the Quran?


Egyptian writer Kamil Gilani enjoyed deep intellectual relationship with an American Orientalist by the name Finkle – who was fluent in English, German, Hebrew and Arabic and had spent
all his life studying the literature of these languages. “Tell me, are you still among those who consider the Quran a miracle?” whispered Finkle in Gilani's ear adding a laugh to indicate his ridicule of such belief. He thought that Muslims could only hold this belief in blind faith. It could not be based on any sound, objective reasoning. Thinking that his blow had really gone home,
Finkle was visibly pleased with himself. Gilani too started laughing. “Before issuing any pronouncement on the style of the Quran we should first have a look and see if we can produce anything comparable to it. Only when we try our hands, shall we be able to say conclusively whether humans can produce anything comparable to the Quran or not.” Gilani invited Finkle to join him in putting a Quranic idea into Arabic words. The idea he chose was: Hell is extremely vast. Finkle agreed and both men sat down with pen and paper. Between them they produce about 20 Arabic sentences. "Hell is extremely vast," "Hell is vaster than you can imagine," "Man's intellect cannot fathom the vastness of Hell," and many examples of this nature. They tried till their thinking cap went empty. Gilani looked at Finkle triumphantly. "Now that we have done' our best, we shall be able to see how the Quran stands above all work of men". "What has the Quran expressed this idea more eloquently?" Finkle inquired. "We are like little children compared to the Quran", Gilani remarked. Amazed Finkle, asked what was in the Quran. Gilani recited the verse from the from Sura Qaf: "On the Day when We will ask Hell: 'are you full? And Hell will answer: "Are there any more?" (50:30). Finkle was startled, on hearing this verse. Amazed at the supreme eloquence of the Quran, he openly admitted defeat. "You were right, quite right" I unreservedly concede defeat" "For you to acknowledge the truth." Gilani replied, "is nothing strange, for you are a man of letters, well aware of the importance of style in Language”.

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