[2:23] If you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then bring a Surah (chapter) similar to this, and do call your supporters other than Allah, if you are true.
Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the very word of God Almighty: a complete record of the exact words revealed by God through the Archangel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him).
The Qur'an was memorized by Prophet Muhammad and his followers, dictated to his companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during the Prophet's lifetime. Not one word of its 114 surahs (chapters) has been changed over the centuries. The Qur'an is in every detail the same unique and miraculous text that was revealed to Muhammad over fourteen centuries ago.
The Qur'an is the principle source of every Muslim's faith and practice. It deals with all subjects that concern us as human beings, including wisdom, doctrine, worship and law; but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time, the Qur'an provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and equitable economic principles.
"He (God) has sent down to you the Book (the Qur'an) with truth, confirming what was revealed before; And He sent down the Torah (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this as a guide in humankind; and He sent down the Criterion (the Qur'an)." (Qur'an 3:3-4)
When we study the Quran even superficially from the viewpoint of its wording, styles, and meaning, we will certainly conclude that it is completely different from all the other books in the world. So, in rank and worth it is either below all of them-even Satan cannot claim this, nor does he conceive of it-or above them. Since it is above all of them, it must be the Word of God.
The Quran, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it
The Quran openly declares:
You (O Muhammad) was not a reader of any Scripture before it, nor did you write (such a Scripture) with your right hand, for then those who follow falsehood might (have a right) to doubt it. (al-Ankabut, 29.48)
It is an established, undeniable fact that the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, was unlettered. Whereas the Quran, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it:
If you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down onto Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a chapter of the like thereof, and call your witnesses, supporters, who are apart from God, if you are truthful. (al-Baqara, 2.23)
Mankind have since been unable to produce a like of only one of its chapters, including, of course, its shortest ones like sura al-Ikhlas or sura al-Kawthar; those who have ventured to do that have all laid themselves open to ridicule. This is a clear proof for the Divine authorship of the Quran.
The revelation of the Quran lasted 23 years. It is inconceivable that any book written by a mortal being in 23 years, one which is a book of Divine truths, metaphysics, religious beliefs and worship, prayer, law and morality, a book fully describing the other life, a book of psychology, sociology, epistemology, and history, and a book containing scientific facts and the principles of a happy life, does not have any contradictory points. Whereas, the Quran openly declares that it has no contradictions at all and therefore is a Divine Book:
Will they not then ponder on the Quran? If it had been from other than God they would have found therein much contradiction and incongruity. (al-Nisa', 4.82)
The Quran is beyond compare from the viewpoint of its styles and eloquence. All the sentences, words and even letters used in the Quran form such a miraculous harmony that, with respect to rhythm, music, and even geometric proportions and mathematical measures, and with respect to how many times each is used in the whole of the Quran, each is in the exact place it must be and interwoven and interrelated with others. The literary masterpiece of no one, including the sayings of the Prophet himself, upon him be peace and blessings, cannot compete with the Quran.
In the period when the Quran was revealed, in addition to eloquence, poetry and oratory enjoyed great prestige in the Arabian peninsula. They used to hold poetry competitions and the poems of the winners write in gold and hang on the wall of the Ka'ba. The Prophet Muhammad was, as everybody knows, unlettered and no one had heard him say even a couple of poetry. However, the Quran also challenged the known experts in these fields and forced them to surrender. When those who persisted in unbelief heard the Quran, they were captivated by it. Nevertheless, in order to prevent the spread of Islam, they labeled it as something magical and advised people not to listen to it. But when those, like Hansa and Lebid, who believed in the Quran, gave up inventing poetry after the Quran's revelation in respect for and awe of its styles and eloquence, the unbelievers had to confess: 'If we call it a piece of poetry, it is not. If we designate it a piece of rhymed prose, it is not. If we describe it as the word of a soothsayer, it is not.' At times, they could not help listening to the Prophet's recitation secretly at night but they could not overcome their arrogance and so believe in its Divine origin.
Despite the high level poetry reached at that time, the vocabulary of Arabic was not as advanced as the same degree. It was difficult, even impossible, to express in it metaphysical ideas or scientific, religious and philosophical concepts. Restricted to the words and expressions to explain the thoughts and feelings of desert men and the simple life they led, this language became so rich through the Qur'an and attained such a high level that it developed as the language of the most magnificent civilization of world history with all its scientific, religious, metaphysical, literary, economic, juridical, social and political aspects. It is impossible for an unlettered one to prepare the ground for and give way to such a philological revolution unparalleled in human history.
Despite its apparent simplicity, the Quran has such depths of meaning that everyone from the commonest of people to the most high-ranking scholar, scientist and literary man, finds his share in it. The Quran is such a book that it illuminates the ways of both poets, musicians and orators, sociologists, psychologists, scientists, economists and jurists. Also, the founders of all the true spiritual orders and the schools of law and conduct found in it the principles of their orders and schools. The Quran has shown everybody the ways to solve their problems. It also satisfies everyone in his spiritual quests. Is there another book of the same character, quality and level next to the Quran?
However beautiful and interesting, we can read a book at most two or three times and then are bored with it. However, no one has ever been heard to be bored with the recitation of the Quran. Hundreds of millions of Muslims recite portions from it in their five daily prayers and most of them recite it from beginning to end at least once a year. There have been hundreds of thousands of people reciting it from the beginning to the end once or twice or even three times a month. The more frequently one recites it, the more one benefits from it and the more desire one feels to recite it. One never gets tired of it, its wording, meaning and content, nor does the Quran lose anything of its originality and freshness. As time passes, it breathes into minds and souls new truths and meanings, thus increasing them in activity and liveliness.
The Quran describes man with all his physical and spiritual aspects and contains principles to solve all the problems that may appear at any time and in any place concerning all the social, economic, juridical, political and administrative fields of life. Furthermore, it satisfies both the mind and spirit at the same time and guarantees happiness in both worlds.
However great a genius one may be, it is impossible for one to establish rules to solve all kinds of problems that mankind may encounter until the Last Day. Even the best of systems that do not originate in the Quran or the Divine Revelation cannot last without undergoing revisions at least every 50 years. More important than this, none of those systems can promise man eternal happiness; the principles of all of them are restricted to the worldly life, which is transient and infinitely short when compared to the afterlife. By contrast, none of the principles which the Quran laid down centuries ago has become outmoded and worn-out with the passage of time, nor do they have any defects or shortcomings. For example, the Quran enjoins that wealth should not become a means of prosperity circulated only among the rich (al-Hashr, 59.7); that government offices should be entrusted to competent persons qualified for them and absolute justice should be the rule in public administration and judging between people (al-Nisa', 4.58), and it lays down that a man has only that for which he makes effort (al-Najm, 53.39) and that whoever kills a human being unjustly is as if he had killed all mankind (al-Ma'ida, 5.32). All such eternal, golden principles and many others like the prohibition of usury, gambling, alcohol and all kinds of illicit intercourse, and the injunctions with respect to praying, fasting, alms-giving and good conduct-principles strengthened through love and fear of God and through the promise of an eternal, happy life and fear of the eternal punishment of Hell-constitute another undeniable proof for the Divine authorship of the Quran.
Also, the Qur'an unveils the mystery of man, creation and the universe. These three creatures of God, that is, man, the Qur'an and the universe, are the three 'books' which make the Creator known to us. They are the three versions or expressions of the same truth. Therefore, the One Who has created man and the universe is He Who has revealed the Qur'an.
You cannot find one who does exactly what he tells others to do or one whose work exactly reflects himself. However, the Qur'an is exactly identical with the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, who received it from God and designed his life according to it. It may be said that the Qur'an is the embodiment of Muhammad in words or Muhammad is the embodiment of the Qur'an in belief and conduct. They are the two expressions of the same truth. When asked about the conduct of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, 'A'isha Siddiqa answered: 'Don't you read the Qur'an? The conduct of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, consisted in the Qur'an.' This clearly shows that both the Qur'an and Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, are the works of God Almighty.
A writer usually writes under the influence of the conditions surrounding him. It is almost impossible to find a writer, whether he be a realist or idealist or even a science-fiction writer, who can write completely detached from the conditions surrounding him. By contrast, even though revealed in parts on certain occasions, the Qur'an is equally universal and objective where it deals with particular issues as it is exact and precise where it deals with universal matters. It uses precise expressions even while describing the beginning of creation and end of time and the creation of man and his future life in the other world. Also, just as it sometimes draws universal conclusions from particular events, so too it sometimes goes from universal principles to particular events. This is typical of the Qur'anic style, which is impossible to find in any human work and is, therefore, another sign of its Divine origin.
There has been no one in human history who has written books accurate to the same degree on both religion and law and sociology and psychology and eschatology and morality and history and literature and so on. However, the Qur'an contains at least the principles of all the branches of knowledge either in summary or detail and not even a single piece of the knowledge it contains has ever been contradicted. Must this not be enough for one unprejudiced to acknowledge its Divine origin?
Which writer can claim that whatever he writes is absolutely correct and cannot be contradicted until the Last Day? At a time when the conclusions of science soon become 'outmoded' and worn-out and even the previous Divine Scriptures such as the Torah and Gospels undergo continuous alterations-even a superficial study of the issues of the Bible published in different times and in different languages will be enough to see the great alterations it has undergone-the truths of the Qur'an retain their freshness or, in the words of Said Nursi, 'as time passes, the Qur'an grows ever younger.' Despite all the efforts to find mistakes and contradictions in it exerted since the beginning of its revelation, it has remained unchanged and displayed its uniqueness, conquering every day new hearts and its hidden unlimited treasures being discovered one by one or growing to full bloom like a heavenly rose with countless petals.
However knowledgeable you are and if you are famous for your truthfulness, can you speak on behalf of the president, the prime minister and all of the ministers, and also on behalf of the associations of literary men, lawyers and craftsmen, and the board of university lecturers and scientists? If you can, can you claim that you represented them all as perfectly as each would want you to? If you can, can you legislate for all the affairs of the country? This is just what the Prophet achieved through the Qur'an. Now, how can you claim that an unlettered one, who had had nothing to do with any such affairs until his fortieth year, achieved this without Divine inspiration and support?
However slight, there are some admonitions for the Prophet in the Qur'an.
No one, especially if that one claims Prophethood, mentions a grave slander against his wife in the book he writes by himself. Whereas, the Qur'an gives an important place to the slander hypocrites uttered against 'A'isha, the Prophet's wife.
In order to show practically that Islam does not allow any racial discrimination and that superiority is only by piety and righteousness, not by birth, color, race, wealth or position, the Prophet married Zaynab, a noble woman from the Hashimites, to Zayd, an emancipated black slave. However, verses revealed later ordered that, in order to put an end to an established false tradition-namely, neither adoption nor any other way of declaring someone a son can create a legal relationship comparable to the relationship of children and natural parents, and there is no difficulty and sin for believers in marriage with the divorced wives of those whom they once adopted as sons-the Prophet should marry Zaynab. This marriage was very difficult for God's Messenger to enter into, but since it was ordered by God, he had no way out other than fulfilling it. As 'A'isha would later say, if the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, would have concealed something of the Qur'an, he would have concealed this order and would not have married Zaynab. Also, if he had written the Qur'an by himself, he would never have mentioned this incident.
Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle to whose safeguarding 'Abd al-Muttalib entrusted him, undertook the Prophet's maintenance when he was yet eight years old and, after his declaration of Prophethood, protected him against the Quraysh for ten years. The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, loved his uncle very deeply and desired his conversion very much. However, a verse came and admonished the Prophet against this desire of his which nearly drove him to death: You guide not whom you love, but God guides whom He wills. He is best aware of those who are guided (al-Qasas, 28.56). What would have prevented the Prophet, if he were the author of the Qur'an, from falsely declaring that his uncle had accepted Islam?
There are many verses in the Quran beginning with 'They ask you' and continue with 'Say (in answer)'. These verses were revealed to answer the questions put to the Prophet by Muslims and non-Muslims, including especially the Jews of Madina. The questions asked were about lawful or unlawful things, the distribution of war spoils, the mansions of the moon, the Judgment Day, Dhu'l-Qarnayn (one of the ancient kings who made great conquests in Asia and Africa), the spirit and so on. One who does not have an all-encompassing knowledge cannot answer such questions. But the answers given by the unlettered Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, satisfied everybody and no one could object to him. This shows that he was taught by God, the All-Knowing.
To claim that Muhammad-God forbid such a thought!- invented the Quran means that Muhammad, who was known as Muhammad the Trustworthy, was-we beg forgiveness for having to narrate such a false claim-the greatest liar and cheat history has ever known.
As was explained earlier, the Prophet lived a very austere life and never pursued any worldly gains or aims like fame, rulership, wealth and having beautiful women. Furthermore, he had to resist hardships and persecutions of the severest kind. To claim that Muhammad-God forbid such a thought!- invented the Quran means that Muhammad, who was known as Muhammad the Trustworthy, was-we beg forgiveness for having to narrate such a false claim- the greatest liar and cheat history has ever known. What might have caused him to falsely claim Prophethood despite the severest of deprivations and persecutions? To accuse the Prophet Muhammad of falsely claiming Prophethood and attribute the Quran to him, is the most groundless and the most degrading and meanest of accusations.
The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, saw much resistance from the Jews and Christians. He had to fight against the Jews of Madina several times and expel them from the city. Despite this, the Quran mentions the Prophet Moses, the Prophet sent to the Israelites, about 500 times, while the name of Muhammad is mentioned in the Quran only four times. The Quran also mentions the Prophet Jesus many times. Is it conceivable that one who falsely claims Prophethood ever mentions the Prophets of the peoples who show him great hostility?
The Quran's mention of previous Prophets, including especially Moses and Jesus, upon them be peace, and the Christians' and Jews' denial of Muhammad's Prophethood and the Divine authorship of the Quran, is an undeniable proof of the Prophethood of Muhammad and the Divine authorship of the Quran and that the Christians' and Jews' denial comes from purely false reasons like jealousy, prejudice and selfishness.
It is another argument for the Divine authorship of the Quran that it refers to certain facts of creation recently established by modern scientific methods. How, except on account of its Divine authorship, is it possible for the Quran to be literally true on matters of which people had not the least inkling at the time when it was revealed? For example, if the Quran were not a Divine Revelation, would it have been possible for it to contain such a verse as this: Do not the unbelievers realize that the heavens and the earth were one unit of creation before we split them asunder? (al-Anbiya', 21.20).
Whether the Quran really does refer, explicitly or implicitly, to the kinds of facts the sciences deal with, and the relationship between the Quran and modern sciences, are matters of considerable controversy among Muslim intellectuals. We should therefore treat the subject at length.
All of the six sides or aspects of the Quran are luminous and demonstrate its truth. From below, it is supported upon the pillars of proofs and evidences (rational, scientific, historical, and those pertaining to conscience and sound judgment, and so on); above it, are gleams of the seal of miraculousness: it aims at happiness in both worlds; and behind it are, another point of support, the truths of the Divine Revelation. To its right is the unanimous confirmation of guided reasons based on proofs; and to its left are the intellectual and spiritual contentment of those with sound heart and conscience, and their sincere attachment and submission to it. All these together bear witness that the Quran is an absolutely formidable, extraordinary and unconquerable stronghold which the hand of heaven established on the earth, and set their seal of admission of it as a faultless, true Word of God. The Administrator of the universe, Who always acts in a way to manifest unity, protect virtuousness and goodness, and extirpate falsehood and slander, has given the Quran the most acceptable, high and dominant rank of respect and success, and thereby confirmed its truth.
Also, the person who is the interpreter of the Quran, upon him be peace and blessings, believed in it and respected it more than anything and anybody else. He went into a sleep-like state during the revelation of its verses and confirmed and preached all of its decrees and commandments with utmost conviction and without exhibiting any deception and error to eyes wide open always to catch him, and without anything to shake him. Despite being unlettered, having founded on the Quran, he gave, without hesitation, news and information about the past and future and about the facts of creation and operation of the universe. Other sayings of his do not resemble the Quran and are inferior to it in certain respects. All this together proves that the Quran is the true, heavenly and blessed Word of that person's Merciful Creator.
The fifth of mankind or even the majority of them in certain cases have always had an ecstatic and religious devotion to the Quran and listened to it lovingly and in adoration of truth, and as is testified to by numerous observations, signs, and events, as moths fly round a light, angels, believing jinn and other spirit beings gather together around it during its recitation. This also confirms that the Quran is accepted by almost all the beings in the universe and is of the highest rank.
Also, all the groups of mankind with different levels of understanding and learning, from the commonest to the most intelligent and learned, derive their share from the teaching of the Quran, and all the greatest scholars in Islamic sciences such as jurisprudence, theology, and religious methodology, have found in the Quran the answers to all of their questions and based their conclusions upon it. This is another evidence that the Quran is the source of truths, the mine of all true knowledge.
Furthermore, although among the unbelieving Arab literary men those who have been the most advanced in literature, have always felt much need to dispute with the Quran, they have been unable to do that even in eloquence, which is only one of the seven major aspects of the Quran's miraculousness, and have not dared to produce the like of even one of its suras. The others, geniuses of learning and eloquence, who by disputing with it in eloquence have sought fame, have been compelled to refrain from doing so. This clearly shows that the Quran is a miracle, beyond the capacity of mankind.
Indeed, in order to judge the value, sublimity, and eloquence of a word it is asked: 'Who has spoken it? To whom has it been spoken? Why has it been spoken?' When considered from the perspective of these questions, again the Quran has no equal. For the Quran is the Word of the Lord of all beings and the Speech of the Creator of the whole of the universe which bears no signs to suggest that it is a book of imitation, one fabricated by someone and then falsely attributed to God. God revealed the Quran to the one whom He chose as the representative of all the creatures, one who is His most famous and renowned addressee, and the extent and strength of whose faith embraced the comprehensive religion of Islam and caused its owner to rise to the rank of the distance of two bows' length, and being honored with direct conversation with the Eternally Besought-of-All, after which he turned back to the world to convey to people the principles of happiness in both worlds. The Quran explains the principles of happiness in both worlds and the results of, and the Divine purpose in, the creation of the universe, and expounds the Prophet's most comprehensive faith, which sustains all the truths of Islam: it shows and describes the huge universe like a map or a clock or a house and teaches about the Artist Who made it. Certainly it is impossible to produce a like of it or to match the degree of its eloquence.
In addition, numerous collections of books on the interpretation of the Quran, some of which cover as many as forty or even seventy volumes-written by meticulous scholars of the highest intelligence and learning-expound with proofs countless virtues of the Quran and its subtleties and mysteries, and disclose and affirm its numerous predictions. Among them, the one hundred and thirty treatises of the Risale-i Nur explain each virtue and subtlety of the Quran, such as its allusions to the scientific and technical wonders of modern civilization like trains and aircrafts and electricity, and its indirect references to future victories of Muslims and the history of the Companions after the Prophet, and the meaningful and mysterious design of its letters. All this means setting a seal on the fact that the Quran is a miracle with no equals and the Word of the Knower of the Unseen, which is the tongue of the world of the Unseen in this visible world of corporeality.
It is because of such virtues of the Quran that its magnificent spiritual dominion and its majestic sacred rule has been continuing for centuries to illuminate the earth and the ages, time and space, and more and more people have been embracing it with perfect respect. It is because of the same virtues, that each letter of the Quran yields at least the merits, ten rewards, and ten fruits pertaining to the eternal world, and that the letters of certain verses and suras, each give hundreds or even thousands of merits, and when recited on certain blessed occasions, the light and merits of each of its letters multiply by tens or hundreds. The world-traveler came to understand this and said to himself: 'Based on the consensus of its lights and mysteries, and the concord of its fruits and results, this Quran, miraculous in every respect, proves and testifies to the existence, unity, attributes, and Names of a single Necessarily Existent One in such a manner that the testimonies of innumerable believers have their sources from that testimony.'
In a brief reference to the instruction which that traveler has taken from the Quran about faith and the Unity of God, we say:
There is no god but God-the Necessarily Existent One, the One, the Single-the necessity of Whose existence in His Oneness the Quran of miraculous exposition decisively proves, which is accepted and sought for by the species of angels, human beings and jinn; all of whose verses are recited in every minute with perfect respect by the tongues of millions of human beings; whose sacred rule in the regions of the earth and the realms of space and on the faces of ages and time; whose enlightened spiritual dominion has prevailed with perfect splendor over half of the globe and a fifth of humankind for fourteen centuries... Likewise, with the consensus of its heavenly and sacred suras, and the agreement of its luminous Divine verses, and the correspondence of its mysteries and lights, and the concord of its truths, and results, it manifestly attests, and is a clear proof of, this same truth.
In His Name, glory be to Him There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise.
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Eleven years ago someone asked me: "You regard the Quran as highly exalted and radiant. Study it for once in an objective manner and see whether it is so radiant and exalted!"
Objective reasoning means impartial judgment or not taking sides, but the objective reasoning which you and your disciples suggest is, in fact, taking the part of those in opposition to the Quran; not impartiality but an attitude of temporary unbelief. This is really so because to suppose the Quran the work of a human being and to build an argument on this supposition is to side with unbelief or falsehood.
Then, accept it as neither the Word of God nor the work of a human being!
That is not justifiable either, for, if some item of property is disputed between two parties, it is deposited in the hands of a trusted third party, provided that the two parties are in reasonable proximity to each other. However, if the parties are quite far apart, the property is left, until the dispute is settled, in the possession of the one who already holds it ñ the matter is not left undecided.
The number of people who have accepted the Quran as the Word of God over fourteen centuries amounts to billions. So it falls upon those in opposition to it to prove, if they can, that it is the work of a human being, not upon the Muslims to prove it to be the Word of God
To follow the analogy through, if the Quran may be regarded as a priceless piece of property, there is an infinite distance between its present owner-God-and its claimant-man. So the matter cannot be left undecided as there cannot be, in this case, a third party into whose custody it may be entrusted. That being so, it should be left in the "hands" of God. Second, the number of people who have accepted it as the Word of God over fourteen centuries amounts to billions. So it falls upon those in opposition to it to prove, if they can, that it is the work of a human being, not upon the Muslims to prove it to be the Word of God. If its opponents are able to refute all the proofs that the Quran is the Word of God, only then can it justifiably be argued whether it is the Word of God or the work of a human being. Otherwise, not!
Therefore, O Satan! Who would dare to pull out that brilliant Quran from the Greatest Throne of God onto which it is fixed with thousands of "nails" of decisive proofs? Despite you, O Satan, the people of truth and justice deal with the issue by just reasoning and strengthen their belief in the Quran through even the least of those decisive proofs. As for those who are taken in by you and your disciples, it is very difficult for them to get out of the darkness of unbelief into the light of belief. This requires a proof as strong as all the "nails" with which the Quran is fixed to the Greatest Throne of God, once it has been cast to the ground by supposing it to be the work of a human being. It is because of this that many people are deceived by you into that false pretence of "objective" reasoning and ultimately lose their faith.
The Quran resembles the word of a human being in that it follows the style of human speech or conversation. If it were the Word of God, it should be extraordinary in all its aspects. As God's artistry cannot be likened to what is human, His Word likewise should not resemble human speech!
Our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, was a human being; except for his miracles and states of prophethood, all his acts and attitudes originated in his humanity. Like all other human beings, he was subject to and dependent upon the creational and operational laws of God; he suffered from cold, felt pains and so on. He was not extraordinary in all his acts and attitudes, and set an example to mankind through his conduct. If he had been extraordinary in his conduct and attitudes, he could not have been an absolute guide in every aspect of life and the mercy for all the worlds through all his states. In the same way, the Wise Quran is a leader to conscious beings, a director to mankind and the jinn, a guide to men of perfection, and an instructor to truth-seeking people. For that reason, it needs to be in the style of human speech and conversation: for mankind and the jinn take out of it their supplications, they learn from it their prayers, they converse about their affairs in its terms and they derive from it the principles of good conduct. In short, every believer adopts it as the authorized recourse or reference on all his affairs. If, by contrast, it had been like the Word of God which the Prophet Moses heard on Mount Sinai, no one could have borne to hear it, let alone adopt it as a recourse. One of the five greatest Messengers of God, namely the Prophet Moses, upon him be peace, was able to hear only a few pieces of that Word and asked, "Is this Your speech?" God answered, "I have the power of all tongues and languages."
Many persons give voice in the name of religion to almost the same subjects as those in the Quran. So, is it not possible for a human being to produce the like of the Quran?
First of all, a religious man voices the truth for the love of religion and in the name of God's commandments; he never lies against God. He would never venture so far as to imitate God and speak on his own for fear of the Quranic threat, Who is greater in wrongdoing than the one who lies against God! (39:32)
It is by no means possible for a man to succeed in doing such a thing for a man can only imitate another one of nearly the same level. Only those of the same species can take each other's form; only those of nearly the same level can pretend to each other's level. However, it is very difficult, even in this case, for them to deceive people for long as their pretensions and false display will certainly give them away sooner or later in the sight of perceptive people.
Suppose the counterfeiter is greatly inferior in rank to the one he tries to imitate. If, for example, an ordinary man were to pretend to the knowledge of Avicenna or a shepherd were to make himself appear to be a king, he would most certainly do nothing other than lay himself open to ridicule.
Is it at all possible that a firefly could make itself appear as a star to observers for a thousand years? Can a fly make itself appear as a peacock for a year? Also, is it at all conceivable that an ordinary private could pretend to be a famous marshal and occupy his chair for a long time without giving himself away?
Likewise, is it possible for a slandering, lying man of unbelief to sustain for a lifetime, before the discerning, a false display of the loyalty, truthfulness and conviction of a most pious man?
If all these "ifs" are indeed inconceivable and if they are all unacceptable to any intelligent man, then how can one suppose the Quran to be the work of a human being? To do so would mean regarding that Manifest Book, which has been like a star of truths or a sun of perfection radiating the lights of truths in the sky of the Muslim world for centuries, as-God forbid!-a collection of falsehoods invented by-God forbid!-a counterfeiter! It would also mean that those who were in his company for twenty-three years and followed him for fourteen centuries were not aware of his real identity and, although he was-God forbid!-like a firefly, knew and believed him to be a radiant, star-like source of truths! This is the most inconceivable of suppositions and you, O Satan, cannot deceive any sensible man into such an inconceivable supposition even if you were a hundred times more advanced in your devilish craft! What you can manage, however, is to deceive people into looking at the Quran and the Prophet from a very great distance and see those star-like objects as fireflies.
To suppose the Quran to be the work of a human being would also mean that a most bright, true and comprehensive criterion of the human world, miraculous of exposition and which brings well-being to that world, is-God forbid!-the product of an unlettered individual. It would mean-God forbid!-pretence and counterfeiting always appeared to even great intellects and exalted geniuses as earnestness, sincerity and purity of intention! It is surely the most inconceivable of allegations. Further, to accept it would mean regarding as reality an inconceivable supposition. It would mean that a most illustrious and virtuous being who, throughout his life, displayed and preached conviction, truthfulness, trustworthiness, sincerity, earnestness and uprightness in all his states, his words and his actions, and who brought up many truthful persons was-God forbid!-a mean and most discreditable rascal, wholly insincere and the foremost in unbelief. That is so great a delirium that even Satan would be ashamed to conceive it.
There is not a third alternative in this matter because, if the Quran is supposed as the work of a human being, it must be something so far debased as if it had fallen the distance from heaven to earth. It would change from being a collection of truths into a source of superstitions. And the rank of the one who brought that wonderful decree-the Quran-would likewise be degraded from being a source of perfection to-God forbid!-the greatest cheat; that must follow if he is-God forbid!-not a Messenger of God. For the one who lies in the name of God is the meanest of people. It follows that such a supposition is as inconceivable as always seeing a fly as, and imagining it to have the qualities of, a peacock. Only an intoxicated man, moreover insane from birth, could regard such suppositions as possible.
The Quran directs the Muslim community which includes, among its members (and this has been witnessed for fourteen centuries past) the greatest and most magnificent division of the children of Adam. The Quran holds that community in such an order and under such a discipline as to enable them to conquer both worlds-this one and the next. It has equipped them both materially and spiritually, and instructed and educated them in all rational, moral and spiritual matters according to the intellectual capacity of each of their individuals. It has also purified them and employed each member of their bodies and each of their senses and faculties in its most proper place. As for the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings) who brought the Quran from God, he also brought to mankind the laws of God exemplified by his attitudes and actions throughout his life. He instructed mankind through his actions throughout his life and through his sincere practice of the principles of truth. He showed and established through his sincere and reasonable sayings the ways of true guidance and well-being; and he is, as testified by his whole life and good conduct, the most knowledgeable of God and the most fearful of His punishment. He also established his splendid rule of perfection over half of the globe and one-fifth of mankind. He truly became, through world-famous manners and world-admired actions as a prophet, statesman, commander, spiritual and intellectual guide, father, husband, friend, and so on, the pride not only of mankind but also of the whole creation. Such being the case, to suppose the Quran as the work of a human being would mean that it is-God forbid!-the worthless fabrication of-God forbid!-a dishonest liar who did not recognize God and felt no fear of Him! This is, again, the most inconceivable of suppositions and therefore, O Satan, you cannot deceive into such a supposition any sensible and sound-hearted man, even if you were a hundred times more powerful in your devilish tricks!
How can I fail to deceive! I have actually deceived the majority of mankind including the foremost in rational thought and led them to deny both the Qur'an and Muhammad!
When looked at from a great distance, the biggest thing can look as small as a tiny particle; a star can be considered as a candle.
When considered in a superficial way, vulnerable to distraction and illusion, an inconceivable thing can appear conceivable.
Once, an old man was scanning the horizon in order to catch sight of the new crescent of Ramadan. A white hair from his eyebrow which had curved over his eyes came into his line of vision: deceived by that illusion, he announced, "I have seen the moon!" However inconceivable it is that a white hair could be regarded as the crescent, this inconceivability became actual in the eyes of the old man who was deceived by an illusion while searching for the crescent in the sky.
Denial is different from non-confirmation. Non-confirmation is a kind of indifference and lack of judgment. For this reason, many inconceivable things may exist unintentionally in non-confirmation. As to denial, it is a judgment and means the confirmation of non-existence. A man usually gets to denial through reasoning. A devil like you, O Satan, deprives him of sound judgment and deceives him into denial. So, O Satan, you have used such devilish devices as heedlessness, deviation, sophistry, obstinacy, demagogy, arrogant superiority and conceit, seduction and custom which cause many to see falsehood as truth and the inconceivable as conceivable. Through them you have deceived lots of unfortunate people (human in appearance but it is questionable whether they are so in essence) into unbelief which, in fact, requires the acceptance of many inconceivable things.
The Quran, besides the merits of it mentioned above, is a book of pure truths and matchless value. It has become a guide to the saints, scholars of truth and purity who are like stars in the sky of the human world. It continually invites the people of every age and race and those seeking perfection, to truth and love of the truth, truthfulness and loyalty, trustworthiness and reliability. Through the truths of the pillars of belief and the principles of the fundamentals of Islam, the Quran secures happiness in both worlds. As for the preacher of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings) is a most trustworthy being, the foremost and firmest in belief and conviction. This is testified by the religion and law of Islam which he preached, and demonstrated by his unanimously acknowledged piety and sincere worship manifested throughout his whole life. It is required by his laudable virtues, and confirmed by all the men of truth and perfection. That being the case, to suppose the Quran to be the work of a human being would mean that the Quran is-God forbid!-a collection of fallacies and lies, and the Prophet is-God forbid!-an unreliable, unbelieving liar without fear of God. This supposition is the most dangerous kind of unbelief and the most abominable of deviations and wrongdoing, which even devils and sophists would be ashamed to conceive.
Those who have only the power of hearing to appreciate the miraculousness of the Quran acknowledge the Quran not to be of the same kind and degree as all the other books they have heard. The Quran is, therefore, either inferior to them all or superior. No one in the world, even if he be a devil, can claim that the Quran is inferior to the other books, so it should necessarily be accepted that the Quran is superior to them all, and that it is, thereby, a miracle. That being the case, based on the two decisive proofs called "dichotomy" and "reductio ad absurdum" we openly declare:
O Satan! and O you disciples of Satan! The Quran is either the Word of God manifested through the Highest Throne of God and His Highest Name, or-God forbid!-the fabrication of an unbeliever who does not recognize and fear God. Even you, O Satan, cannot claim the truth of the second alternative; you were not, and will not, be able to voice such an allegation. If this is so, then the Quran is, of necessity and undoubtedly, the Word of the Creator of the universe, since, as explained and proved above, there is not a third alternative in this matter.
Likewise, Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings) is either a Messenger of God, and the most perfect of the Messengers and superior to all other creatures, or he must be regarded as-God forbid!1-a man of unbelief. He must then be regarded as of the lowest nature since he lied against God without recognition of Him and of His punishment. This is, O Satan, an allegation which has been, and will be, made by neither the philosophers of Europe nor the hypocrites of Asia, in whom you place great trust. Since there is no one in the world who will heed and accept such an allegation, even the most corrupt of those philosophers and most unscrupulous of the hypocrites are bound to admit that Muhammad was a very wise man and of exemplary good conduct.
Finally, there are again only two alternatives in this matter. As in the case of the Qur'an, the second is inconceivable and acceptable to no one. Then Muhammad upon him be peace and blessings) is, self-evidently and of necessity, the Messenger of God, and the most perfect of the Messengers, and superior to all other creatures, even if you, O Satan, and your party are averse.
Upon him be blessings and peace to the number of angels, human beings and the jinn!
1. Since the Quran mentions such a supposition in order to refute the unbelief and bad language of unbelievers, I felt justified in mentioning it, though fearfully and with aversion, only as a most impossible supposition to show how groundless and false are the assertions of the misguided.