the CHALLENGE OF THE QUR’AN
Literature and poetry have been instruments of human expression and creativity, in all cultures. The world also witnessed an age when literature and poetry occupied pride of position, similar to that now enjoyed by science and technology.
Even non-Muslim scholars agree that the Qur’an is Arabic literature par excellence – that it is the best Arabic literature on the face of the earth. The Qur’an challenges mankind to produce the likes of it:
وَإِن ڪُنتُمۡ فِى رَيۡبٍ۬ مِّمَّا نَزَّلۡنَا عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِنَا فَأۡتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ۬ مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ وَٱدۡعُواْ شُهَدَآءَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ
And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur’ân) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Sûrah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allâh, if you are truthful.
أَمۡ يَقُولُونَ ٱفۡتَرَٮٰهُ قُلۡ فَأۡتُواْ بِعَشۡرِ سُوَرٍ۬ مِّثۡلِهِۦ مُفۡتَرَيَـٰتٍ۬ وَٱدۡعُواْ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ
Or they say, “He (Prophet Muhammad SAW) forged it (the Qur’an).” Say: “Bring you then ten forged Sûrahs (chapters) like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than Allâh (to your help), if you speak the truth!”
The challenge of the Qur’an, is to produce a single Surah (chapter) like the Surahs it contains. The same challenge is repeated in the Qur’an several times. The challenge to produce a Surah, which, in beauty, eloquence, depth and meaning are at least somewhat similar to a Quranic Surah remains unmet to this day.
A modern rational man, however, would never accept a religious scripture which says, in the best possible poetic language, that the world is flat. This is because we live in an age, where human reason, logic and science are given primacy. Not many would accept the Qur’an’s extraordinarily beautiful language, as proof of its Divine origin. Any scripture claiming to be a divine revelation must also be acceptable on the strength of its own reason and logic.
The Quran and Modern Science
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