THE MAGNIFICENCE OF THE QURAN – Book Sample
Proofs of the Qur’an’s Magnificence – (THE MAGNIFICENCE OF THE QURAN)
One of the clearest proofs of the Qur’an’s magnificence, which I will focus on in this section, is the fact that so many of Islam’s enemies, throughout history, have bore witness to the greatness of the Qur’an. For in an ancient Arab saying it is said, “The truth is that which is attested to by one’s enemies.”
From the very onset of the Prophet’s mission, many of Islam’s enemies could not help but to listen to the Qur’an and to admire its divine eloquence. Those who persecuted Islam the most from among Makkah’s chieftains were most prone to secretly listening to the Prophet (s) recite the Qur’an.
While it is true that the complete magnificence of the Qur’an can be appreciated in Arabic only, many historians, scholars, philosophers, and statesmen have become impressed simply by reading accurate translations of the Qur’an’s meanings. Among the educated and literate members of Western societies, the Qur’an is admired for its beauty and magnificence. Some do so in secret, others openly.
Upon hearing a Western non-Muslim praise the Qur’an, one almost concludes that one is listening to a Muslim, even though such is not the case. Harold Bloom, for instance (perhaps the most eminent literary critic of today), wrote: “(Muhammad’s) shattering spiritual and imaginative originality cannot be doubted.
No one else in human religious history has given us a text in which God alone is the speaker. Audacity, a crucial characteristic of Muhammad in every way, marks the Quran’s achievement of a literary effect unlike any other. We can never relax as we read it, or when we recite it, alone or with others.”
The Westerner’s fascination with the Qur’an depends on his perspective, background, and initial impressions. Some Western scholars of literature are impressed with the language, eloquence, and flow of the Qur’an.
Scientists are amazed at how the Qur’an is in complete harmony with modern scientific knowledge, we know, for instance, that Dr. Keith Moore of the University of Toronto introduced into his book on Embryology an entire chapter on the Qur’an’s description of an embryo’s growth in a mother’s womb. He did this after he realized that that description was in exact accordance with modern scientific knowledge.
As for the layman who has no particular interest in science or literature, he is taken aback by the unified Message of the Qur’an; everything else he comes across contains contradictions, but not the Qur’an: It consistently, and without any contradiction whatsoever, calls to the worship of the One True God, Allah (s).
In this section, I will cite some of the sayings of Western philosophers, statesmen, and scholars regarding their impressions of the Noble Qur’an.
- The French Philosopher Alex Lawazon wrote, “Muhammad left to the world a Book that is a miracle of eloquence; it is a holy Book that is a repository of lofty manners and teachings. Nothing that has been discovered in modern day knowledge contradicts the fundamental teachings of Islam; in fact, there is complete harmony between the teachings of the Qur’an and the laws of nature.”22
- Commenting on how the Qur’an has brought the peoples of many lands together by endowing them with a common language and shared beliefs, Louis Saydayyo said, “It is important to point out that, despite the many languages that are spoken by the peoples of Asia…and of Africa, there is a Book that they all understand and that unites them in spite of their different natures; and that Book is the Qur’an.”23
- Golad Sutton, acting as Minister of the British Colonies, once said while addressing the British Parliament, “As long as the Qur’an is in the hands of the Muslims, we will not be able to rule over them. Therefore, we have no choice but either to wipe it out of existence or to turn Muslims away from it.” Bad as conditions are for today Muslims, Sutton failed miserably in achieving either of those goals. Today, the Qur’an is recited by more than a billion Muslims; it is memorized by thousands; its recitation is broadcast on radio and on television all over the world; and it can be found in virtually every Muslim household. And though Muslims, as a group, do not apply its teachings to the degree that is required of them, they have not – as the abovementioned facts indicate – completely turned away from it, but are rather extremely attached to it. And all praise is for Allah, the Lord of all that exists.24
- Dr. Shoombas, a German Orientalist, said, “Perhaps you will be amazed to hear this confession from a European such as myself. But I cannot help myself. I have studied the Qur’an and have found in it great eloquence and profoundly wise teachings, such as I have never come across throughout my entire life. One line from the Qur’an is worth volumes. Without a doubt, therefore, the Qur’an is the greatest miracle that Muhammad (s) came with from his Lord.”25
- The French scholar Count Henry D. Castaray wrote, “It boggles the mind to contemplate how those Verses (of the Qur’an) could have come from an illiterate man. The entire population of the East agrees that the human mind is incapable of producing Verses that can match either its wordings or meanings.”26
- James Matchins said, “Perhaps no book is read more widely throughout the world than the Qur’an; at any rate, it is surely the easiest to memorize, and has more of an impact than any other book on the day-to-day lives of those who believe in it. It is not long like the Old Testament; furthermore, it is written in an elevated style, one that is closer to Verse than to prose. Among its qualities is that no sooner do its Verses come into contact with man’s heart than he feels a sense of spirituality, a sense that is accompanied by an increase of Faith.”27
- Nasree Salhab, an Arab Christian scholar, said about the Prophet (s), “He could neither read nor write, and yet he left as a gift for mankind the most complete written work that mankind could dream of.”28 Nasree further confessed, “It is impossible for either a non-Arab or one who is not proficient in the Arabic language to fully appreciate the beauty of the Qur’an.” Moving on to the topic of the universal message of the Qur’an, Nasree said, “The Qur’an does not address Muslims alone, nor does it deal solely with their affairs; rather, it addresses all of mankind and deals with all of their affairs. Were human beings to embrace the Qur’an and to both accept and apply its teachings, mankind would be in a much better state than it is in right now.” Finally, Nasree had this to say about the Qur’an’s influence on Arabic poetry: “We take much delight in Arab poetry; this holds true for the people of Beirut, Damascus, Cairo, Baghdad, Tunis, and every other Arab land. And the credit for that (pride in the Arabic canon of poetry) goes to the Qur’an – to nothing but the Qur’an.”29
- The Orientalist Sail said, “The style of the Qur’an is truly beautiful…especially when it discusses the Greatness and Majesty of Allah (sp). One of the most amazing qualities of the Qur’an is that it enraptures the heart of any person who listens to it being recited, regardless of whether that person believes in it or rejects it.”30
- Kopeland said, “It is the Qur’an that enabled Arabs to conquer the world and allowed them to establish an Empire that surpassed – in its size, population, strength, and level of civilization – both the Empire of Greater Alexandria and the Roman Empire.”31
- Dr. Laura Fishya wrote, “The greatness of Islam is found in the Qur’an. One of the clearest proofs of the Qur’an having a divine source is the fact that the text of the Qur’an remains in its pristine form from the day it was revealed until this very day, it has not been corrupted or distorted in the least. This Book, which is recited throughout the Muslim world, does not cause even the slightest degree of boredom in the hearts of believers; to the contrary, the more believers recite it, the more beloved it becomes to them. Even today, when faith (in religion) is at a low (throughout the world), thousands of people are able to recite the entire Qur’an from memory. In a single town you will find more people who have memorized the entire Qur’an than there are in all of Europe who have memorized the entire Bible.”32 She also said, “The fact is that Islam spread with lightning-like speed not through strength or the efforts of proselytizers, but rather as a result of the Book that Muslims presented to conquered peoples.”
- While delivering a speech in the British Parliament, Mr. Birk said, “Indeed the teachings of the Qur’an are more merciful, wiser, and more logical than any other set of laws throughout all of history”.33
- Harl Sheffield said, “In its eloquence, wording, and power to convince the Qur’an has no equal. It deserves full credit for the flourishing of knowledge throughout all parts of the Islamic world.”34
- The famous Lebanese Christian Dr. George Hanna said, “One must admit that, beyond being a Book of religion and of laws, the Qur’an is also a Book of pure and eloquent Arabic. It is because of the Qur’an that the Arabic language has flourished. Throughout the centuries, scholars of the Arabic Language have recognized the Qur’an as being their primary reference book for understanding the connotations and denotations of words. And here I am referring to both Muslim and Christian scholars of language. As for the former, they believe that the correctness of the Qur’an’s Arabic is a direct result of it having been revealed by Allah; or in other words, it is because of its divine source that it is free of defects and mistakes. As for
- Christian scholars of the Arabic language, they too acknowledge the correctness of the
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