The Nobel Qur’an
What Muslims Believe about the Qur’an:
The Qura'n is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is extant in its original form. It was memorized by Muhammad (pbuh) and then dictated to his ‘Companions’, and written down by scribes, who crosschecked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters (Suras), has been changed over the centuries, so that the Qur’an is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) fourteen centuries ago.
The Qura'n, the last revealed Word of God, is the primary source of every Muslim’s faith and practice. It deals with the entire subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system
The Qur’an was so meticulously preserved because it was to be the Book of guidance for humanity for all times to come. That is why it does not address the Arabs alone in whose language it was revealed. It speaks to man as a human being: "O Man! What has seduced you from your Lord". The practicability of the Qura'nic teachings is established by the examples of Muhammad ((bpuh)) and the good Muslims throughout the ages. The distinctive approach of the Qur’an is that its instructions are aimed at the general welfare of man and are based on the possibilities within his reach. In all its dimensions the Qur’anic wisdom is conclusive. It neither condemns nor tortures the flesh nor does it neglect the soul. It does not humanize God nor does it deify man. Everything is carefully placed where it belongs in the total scheme of creation.
Actually the scholars who allege that Muhammad ((bpuh) was the author of the Qur’an claim something which is humanly impossible. Could any person of the sixth century C. E. utter such scientific truths as the Qur’an contains? Could he describe the evolution of the embryo inside the uterus so accurately as we find it in modern science?
Secondly, is it logical to believe that Muhammad ((bpuh)), who up to the age of forty was marked only for his honesty and integrity, began all of a sudden to author a book matchless in literary merit, the equivalent of which the whole legion of the Arab poets and orators of highest caliber could not produce? And lastly, is it justified to say that Muhammad (bpuh) who was known as AL-AMEEN (The trustworthy) in his society and who is still admired by the non-Muslim scholars for his honesty and integrity, came forth with a false claim and on that falsehood could train thousands of men of character, integrity and honesty, who were able to establish the best human society on the surface of the earth?
Surely, any sincere and unbiased searcher of truth will come to believe that the Qur’an is the revealed Book of Allah.
B. What Non-Muslim Scholars Say about the Qur’an:
We furnish below opinions of some well-known non-Muslim scholars about the Qur’an. Readers can easily see how the modern world is coming closer to reality regarding the Qur’an. We appeal to all open-minded scholars to study the Qur’an in the light of the aforementioned points. We are sure that any such attempt will convince the reader that the Qur’an could never be written by any human being.
However often we turn to it [the Qur’an] at first disgusting us each time afresh. it soon attracts, astounds, and in the end enforces our reverence...Its style, in accordance with its contents and aim is stern, grand, terrible - ever and anon truly sublime - Thus this book will go on exercising through all ages a most potent influence.
(Goethe, quoted in T. P. Hughes Dictionary of Islam, p.526.)
The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organizations of Muhammadan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today.
(G. Margoliouth, Introduction to J. M. Rodwell's The Koran, New York: Everyman's Library, 1977, p. VII.)
A work, then, which calls forth so powerful and seemingly incompatible emotions even in the distant reader - distant as to time, and still more so as mental development - a work which not only conquers the repugnance which he may begin its perusal, but changes this adverse feeling into astonishment and admiration, such a work must be a wonderful production of the human mind indeed and a problem of the highest interest to every thoughtful observer of the destinies of mankind.
(Dr Steingass, quoted in T. P. Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, pp. 526-27.)
The above observation makes the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur’an untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human-being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?
(Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Qura'n and Science, 1978,p. 125.)
Here, therefore, its merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects which it produced in Muhammad's contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and well organized body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now ruled the Arabian mind. then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it created a civilized nation out of savage tribes, and shot a fresh woof into the old warp of history.
(Dr. Steingass, quoted in Hughes’ Dictionary of Islam, p. 528.)
In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at pain to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which - apart from the message itself - constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind.. This very characteristic feature - 'that inimitable symphony', as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book, 'the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy' - has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original.
(Arthur J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, London: Oxford University Press, 1964, p. X.)
A totally objective examination of it [the Qur’an] in the light of modern knowledge, leads us to recognize the agreement between the two, as has been already noted on repeated occasions. It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammad's time to have been the author of such statements, on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are part of what gives the Qur’anic Revelation its unique place, and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely upon materialistic reasoning.
(Maurice Bucaille, The Qur’an and Modern Science, 1981, p. 18.)