Do we really see the Quran as a miracle? – A Personal Reflection
From the distinct qualities that differentiates humans from all other creatures is organised speech. Allah has taught man speech, a medium of communication between the Creator and creation, a pathway to access divine and intellectual guidance
The very beginning of guidance was characterised by speech,
and the final guidance completed in the form of perfect speech
It’s only befitting that this perfect Speech that invites mankind to a transcendent being is itself transcendent. When the polytheists of Mecca rejected the Quran by calling it magic
they were inadvertently acknowledging this very transcendent nature. When no rational explanation was given to the advent of this perfect Speech, it was called magic. The Quraysh were unable to characterise any part of the Quran with human speech, thus were completely mesmorised. By design, the Quran was inviting them to reflect over its verses and to internalise both the message and the mode of communication (linguistics).
We often understand a miracle as a phenomenon that defies the laws of the universe and has no rational or logical explanation with the objective of presenting irrefutable evidence to its audience. But have we ever considered the possibility of speech being miraculous? All messengers of Allah were given miracles, however the marvel of the Quran carries very distinct qualities that distinguish itself from previous miracles.
If you look at miracles given to previous Prophets, they were predominantly experienced by the faculty of sight, such as the parting of the Red Sea or the bright light that manifested itself from Musa’s AS hand. Previous miracles were designed to be the external proof that were separate from the Message of that time. For example, when the Children of Israel witnessed Prophet Eesa AS restoring life to the dead, it was to authenticate Essa’s AS message and reinforce that the Injeel was from Allah.
The Quran on the other hand, does not require an external miracle to prove its divine origin. It is both the miracle and the book combined in one. The Quran offered an open challenge to the Quraysh on five different occasions, asking them to reproduce a speech similar to the Quran if they were still in doubt
However, the impeccable and unparalleled coherence, symmetry, precision, word selection and marvelously controlled and complex compositions could not be imitated or replicated.
As mentioned above, the greatest opponents of the messenger of Allah were incapaciated by the Quran’s unparalleled style. Perhaps this a lesson for us to reflect on the Quran and begs the question, why is it that we are not left mesmerised by this Speech? Are we striving to experience the Quran as a miracle, subsequently strengthening our relationship with Allah’s message?
In Surah Baqarah, when Ibrahim AS requested to be shown how life is restored to the dead, Allah proceeded to ask Ibrahim “Don’t you believe?” This was a Prophet who was the ultimate embodiment of submission and faith, having previously said,
Close attention should now be paid to his answer. He said
Thus, the impact of a miracle on the heart is profound. It softens the heart and illuminates it with a higher sense of faith, paving the path for the believer to graduate from Imaan and rise to the ultimate state of Ihsaan.
Just like the Quran is a revelation, its linguistic miracle is revelatory; revealing itself more and more as one unpacks its hidden treasures and reflects over both its message and mode of communication. As it’s deeply embedded and complex structures rise to the surface, it becomes apparent that the source of this Speech is not man, but the Lord of the worlds
According to verses 47:24 and 4:82, reflection on the verses of the Quran aims to unlock the heart and clarify the mind, developing both the spiritual and intellectual dimensions of man. Subsequently, this provides the tools for deep study and ongoing reflection. The study of the linguistic miracle of the Quran is a vehicle towards fulfilling the greater objective that the Quran wants from us, which is to reflect, think, ponder and engage with it at all levels. As Muslims, we should at least start this journey of studying this miraculous Speech and subsequently be of those who were fortunate enough to experience the greatest miracle given to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.
Disclaimer: The views, opinions and conclusions presented in these pieces are strictly those of the authors. MYA does not necessarily endorse the personal views of the authors.
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