Article by Mohammad Abid Bahrami
Quite often we muslims are told by non-Muslims specially atheists that how do we accept Quran as the divine speech of God and how can we prove this? What makes it so special that no human being has written it and only a supernatural being ( GOD ) permits this ?
Before to delve into main argumentation which is deconstructed above however, I would like to touch succinctly upon two of main resources of seeking knowledge or information about something. Which is testimonial knowledge and subsequently inference from possible explanations.
Two of these are vastly discussed in philosophical areas neverthless I would only talk less of them here.
1- Testimonial Knowledge ( acquisition of knowledge from testimony)
We human beings inform oursevles a lot through testimony of others be them scientists , lesturers, medical doctors, witnesses in court and so on. So it’s never out of our daily life discussions. For instance scientists base their assumptions and hypothesis on the experiments of their predecessors . Because these scientist cannot do all the experiments by themselves. Therefore,they gain this knowledge through the testimony of the previous scientists. Even if things are not about doing experiments but still we admire and perceive them based on the tistimony of others. The majority of our beliefe system is testimonial not based by scientific methods meaning we belive in something due to having others’ testimonies. The whole history is based on testimonial knowledge coming down from generations to generations.
2- The inference from best or possible explanations
Inference from possible explanations is wonderfully applicable in many aspects of our lives. I would clarify it in an example. Imagine you wake up from bed one morning and go to kitchen suddenly you see that a toast spread nutella in it is being placed on the table. You now seek to find explanations for this action that who did this . well one could be that your little brother last night was eating toast with nutella then maybe he felt full so he left the other .The other possible explanation would be that in the morning your dad made it but he was in rush to work so he couldn’t eat or your Mom made it for you before leaving home. Now there might be other explanations as well but we suppose only three possible explanations here then we juxtapose them all carefully and we get our inference or the conclusion from all these possible explanations which laterly it would be callled the best explanation.
Now I am assuming that you have come to know both these two concepts. Let’s turn to our main argument
Quran as the divine speech of god scripted into 114 chapters is miraculously challenging the whole mankind to bring out chapter alike it. But failed they since 1400 years up to now no one has ever succeded to do so.
Furthermore Quran’s unique linguistic and literary form is loudly praised and revered by eastern and western scholarships that many reknown rhetorcians, eloquents , linguists, philosphers had glorfied Quran’s unique literacy and eloquence. Furthermore no one has ever succeeded to immitate even one verse of quran regarding its linguistic and literacy forms. In fact when quran was sent down to 7th century of arabian peninsula , the era was so well-known of its mystical and powerful poems and poetry. Meaning that time the poetry, literacy and eloquence was on its speaks which current contemporary arabic linguists and even western scholars admire it. When a poet was raised or risen in their region , people would celebrate feasts for him due to their utmost passion for poerty and literacy. Henceforth, The best place to challenge Quran was the 7th century which Quran was revealed that time. But even the pagan poets were dazzled and amazed by the unique literary form of Quran and they have praised it as well. In fact all of these have been recorded in history so based on the testimony of the eastern/western scholarships and of the recorded manuscripts we can conclude that Quran is unique and is inimitable in the sense which no one could overtake the challenge to bring a copy of it or produce a chapter a page or a verse alike it. If the arab poets in the time of prophet Muhammad pbuh which were the highly advanced eloquents and literates of all arab history failed to do so what about now ? Currently non-acedamic arabs only get 60 % meaning of Quran which means Arab themselves are dumbfounded by the miracle of Quran and the rest Arab linguists accept the fact that Quran is perfect which they even have shortcoming and faults in their works but they find Quran splendidly perfect. ( this part indicates the gain of knowledge from testimony of others)
Neverthless, the possible explanations for the authorship of Quran could be that it was authored by an Arab, non-Arab or Muhammad pbuh or God.
These are the best possible explanations which Could be used in the argumentation .
However, Firstly Quran could never come from an Arab as we explained in detail which arabs were perplexed with the unique literary form Of Quran ,which they even admired it and some great poets of that time even felt incapable of continuing their poerty once they noticed the miracle of Quran. Quran could never come from a non-arab which rationally everyone would concede it. Some might contend that a non-arab expert in Arabic literature could do so which again it is unacceptable because if the supreme arab linguists of all time failed to imitate then an non-Arab could fall short of that either.
Furthermore, contended if Prophet Muhammad pbuh was its Author. Well first we should not deny the fact thet he was an illiterate prophet however take for instance if he was literate then the pagans of that time accused Prophet Muhammad pbuh as a mere poet after when they heard the Quran from him. But later on they stopped doing this accusations because for them a person to become a poet it would take years and years to indulge himself into the world of poetry since it was very challenging to be nominated as a poet in that era . Moreover, Propet Muhammad pbuh never wrote a sentence of poetry, or literature or studied it. Therefore how could it ( Quran ) come from Him . It’s a falsified assumption . Conspicuously if we read Quran, we will find out that there is nothing about personal life of Prophet Muhamamd pbuh mentioned therein because he has been through many trials and tribulations but If he were to produce Quran , Quran would speak of him as well his personal life and his afflictions and so on.
So here we come to the last one which denoted that Quran came from God
Well for us Muslims God ( Allah ) is the All-knowing, All wise so in order to communicate to his servants he sent down Quran as his divine speech and revelation.
Now if one to deny God in the first place then we shouldn’t firstly prove to him the divine authorship of Quran. We must first make him/her understand the reality of a divine existence ( prove to him the existence of God ) then come forward to the existence of his dvinie speech which is Quran.
It is not ˹possible˺ for this Quran to have been produced by anyone other than Allah. In fact, it is a confirmation of what came before, and an explanation of the Scripture. It is, without a doubt, from the Lord of all worlds.( Quran 10:37)
Or do they claim, “He made it up!”? Tell them ˹O Prophet˺, “Produce one sûrah like it then, and seek help from whoever you can—other than Allah—if what you say is true!” ( Quran 10:38)
Or do they say, “He has fabricated this ˹Quran˺!”? Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Produce ten fabricated sûrahs like it and seek help from whoever you can—other than Allah—if what you say is true!” ( Quran 11:13)
And the exalted and almighty Allah says:- I know what you do not know ( Quran 2:30)
We have only a drop of ocean comparing to his knowledge so we leave the rest unto him.
This article pays its tribute to the work of Hamza Andreas tzortzis : The Divine reality , God Islam and the mirage of atheism.
Mohammad Abid Bahrami is an Economic analyst and junior researcher whose main focus is on : Economics, Politics, Philosophy, History and religion.
M. Sc. Economics