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Miracles of the Qur'an - Harun Yahya

MIRACLES OF THE QUR'AN

 



THE PERFECTION OF THE QUR'AN
FROM THE LITERARY ASPECT

THE INIMITABILITY OF THE QUR'AN
COMMENTS ABOUT THE QUR'AN FROM VARIOUS SCHOLARS
A SELECTION OF OTHER STATEMENTS REGARDING THE QUR'AN


THE INIMITABILITY OF THE QUR'AN

We have so far considered the miraculous characteristics of the Qur'an from the scientific and historical points of view. In addition to these, the Qur'an also possesses an astounding, inimitable style from the literary perspective.

It first needs to be stated that the exposition in the Qur'an addresses all human groupings from all ages. No matter what the reader's education and cultural level, the Qur'an is written in a clear, comprehensible language which can be understood by everyone. In one verse, Allah reveals the following about the Qur'an:

We have made the Qur'an easy to remember… (Qur'an, 54:22)

Despite having such an easily comprehensible style, it has never been possible to imitate the Qur'an from any point of view. Some of the verses in which Allah draws attention to the inimitable nature of the Qur'an are:

If you have doubts about what We have sent down to Our servant, produce another sura equal to it, and call your witnesses, besides Allah, if you are telling the truth. (Qur'an, 2:23)

Do they say, "He has invented it"? Say: "Then produce a sura like it and call on anyone you can besides Allah if you are telling the truth." (Qur'an, 10:38)

One of the reasons that the Qur'an is described as miraculous stems from the fact that, as emphasized in the verses above, nothing like it can ever be written by human endeavour: The greater the scale of that impossibility, the greater the size of the miracle which we see before our very eyes. Therefore, the fact that the style of the Qur'an has been incapable of imitation by even one out of the billions of people down the centuries is one of the proofs of its miraculous nature. In his book, The Construction of the Bible and the Qur'an, F. F. Arbuthnot makes the following comment about the Qur'an:

From the literary point of view, the Koran is regarded as a specimen of the purest Arabic, written on half poetry and half prose. It has been said that in some cases grammarians have adopted their rules to agree with certain phrases and expressions used in it, and that though several attempts have been made to produce a work equal to it as far elegant writing is concerned, none has as yet succeeded.245

The words employed in the Qur'an are exceedingly special, both in terms of meaning and also of fluency and effect of style. However, those who are unwilling to believe that the Qur'an is a holy book in which Allah has revealed His commandments and prohibitions, have come up with a variety of excuses as to why they should not follow it. They have attempted to take refuge from its beauty by turning to denial. Allah reveals the following about the deniers' descriptions of the Qur'an:

We did not teach him poetry nor would it be right for him. It is simply a reminder and a clear Qur'an so that you may warn those who are truly alive and so that the Word may be carried out against the disbelievers. (Qur'an, 36:69-70)

The Superior Nature of the Rhyming Scheme in the Qur'an


Prof. Adel M. A. Abbas' book, Science Miracles

Another of the elements which make the Qur'an inimitable stems from its literary structure. Despite being in Arabic, the Qur'an bears no similarity to the forms used in Arabic literature.

The rhyming system in the Qur'an is known as "rhymed prose" and linguists describe the use of this rhyme in the Qur'an as a miracle. In his book Science Miracles, a work prepared to demonstrate that the Qur'an is a linguistic miracle, the well-known British scientist Professor Adel M. A. Abbas carried out a wide-ranging study of the letters and rhyming scheme used in the Qur'an by means of graphics and diagrams. Some rather striking facts were established in this book with regard to the rhyming system in the Qur'an.

As we know, 29 Suras in the Qur'an begin with one or more symbolic letters. These letters are known as "muqatta'ah-letters" or "initial letters." Fourteen of the 29 letters in Arabic comprise these initial letters: Qaf, Sad, Ta, Ha, Ya, Sin, Alif, Lam, Mim, Kaf, 'Ayn, Nun, Ra, Ha.

Of these letters, when we look at the use of the letter "Nun" in Surat al-Qalam we see rhyming with the letter "Nun" in 88.8% of the verses. 84.6% of Surat ash-Shu'ara', 90.32% of Surat an-Naml and 92.05% of Surat al-Qasas are rhymed with "Nun."

When applying these studies to the whole Qur'an, 50.08% is rhymed with the letter "Nun." To put it another way, more than half the verses in the Qur'an end with the letter "Nun." In no literary work of comparable length has it been possible to rhyme with a single sound in more than half the text. This applies to all languages, not just to Arabic.

Distribution of verses ending with the letter "Nun" from those suras beginning with initial letters:

Verse number
Name of Sura
Number of letter “Nun”
     
2
al-Baqara
196
3
al ‘Imran
121
7
al-A‘raf
193
10
Yunus
98
11
Hud
56
12
Yusuf
93
13
ar-Ra‘d
5
14
Ýbrahim
6
15
al-Hijr
81
19
Maryam
5
20
Ta Ha
0
26
ash-Shu‘ara’
192
27
an-Naml
84
28
al-Qasas
81
29
al-‘Ankabut
59
30
ar-Rum
54
31
Luqman
7
32
as-Sajda
27
36
Ya Sin
71
38
Sâd
18
40
Ghafir
32
41
Fussilat
30
42
ash-Shura
6
43
az-Zukhruf
78
44
ad-Dukhan
44
45
al-Ghashiyya
30
46
al-Ahqaf
26
50
Qaf
0
68
al-Qalam
42

The above table shows the distribution of verses ending with the letter “Nun” in those Suras beginning with initial (symbolic) letters.

When a general examination of the rhyme scheme in the Qur'an is made, we see that around 80% of the rhymes consist of just three sounds (n, m, a) consisting of the letters Alif, Mim, Ya and Nun.246 Excluding the letter "Nun," 30% of the verses are rhymed with "Mim," "Alif" or "Ya."

The four most frequently employed sounds in rhymes:

Letter
Total
Sounds
a
a
m
n
Verse number
949
246
666
3123
4984
Proportion (%)
15.22
3.94
10.68
50.03
79.92

The above table shows the proportional distribution of the four letters comprising 79.92% of the rhyme system in the Qur’an.

The following verses are just a few of the many examples of rhymes using these four letters.

Surat al-Muminun
1. Qad aflaha almu/minoona

2. Allatheena hum fee salatihim khashiAAoona

3. Waallatheena hum AAani allaghwi muAAridoona

4. Waallatheena hum lilzzakati faAAiloona

5. Waallatheena hum lifuroojihim hafithoona

6. ... aw ma malakat aymanuhum fa-innahum ghayru maloomeena

7. ... faola-ika humu alAAadoona

8. Waallatheena hum li-amanatihim waAAahdihim raAAoona

9. Waallatheena hum AAala salawatihim yuhafithoona

10. Ola-ika humu alwarithoona

11. ... hum feeha khalidoona

12. Walaqad khalaqna al-insana min sulalatin min teenin

13. Thumma jaAAalnahu nutfatan fee qararin makeenin

14. ... fatabaraka Allahu ahsanu alkhaliqeena

15. Thumma innakum baAAda thalika lamayyitoona

16. Thumma innakum yawma alqiyamati tubAAathoona

17. ... wama kunna AAani alkhalqi ghafileena


Surat an-Nahl

1. ... wataAAala AAamma yushrikoona

2. ... annahu la ilaha illa ana faittaqooni

3. ... taAAala AAamma yushrikoona

4. ... fa-itha huwa khaseemun mubeenun

5. ... wamanafiAAu waminha ta-kuloona

6. Walakum feeha jamalun heena tureehoona waheena tasrahoona


Surat al-An'am

1. ... thumma allatheena kafaroo birabbihim yaAAdiloona

2. ... thumma antum tamtaroona

3. ... wayaAAlamu ma taksiboona

4. ... illa kanoo AAanha muAArideena

5. ... fasawfa ya/teehim anbao ma kanoo bihi yastahzi-oona

6. ... waansha/na min baAAdihim qarnan akhareena

7. ... in hatha illa sihrun mubeenun

8. ... thumma la yuntharoona

9. ... walalabasna AAalayhim ma yalbisoona

10. ... ma kanoo bihi yastahzi-oona


Surat ar-Rum

6. ... walakinna akthara alnnasi la yaAAlamoona

7. ... wahum AAani al-akhirati hum ghafiloona

8. ... wa-inna katheeran mina alnnasi biliqa-i rabbihim lakafiroona

9. ... walakin kanoo anfusahum yathlimoona

10. ... an kaththaboo bi-ayati Allahi wakanoo biha yastahzi-oona

11. ... thumma ilayhi turjaAAoona

12. ... yublisu almujrimoona

13. ... wakanoo bishuraka-ihim kafireena

14. Wayawma taqoomu alssaAAatu yawma-ithin yatafarraqoona

15. ... fahum fee rawdatin yuhbaroona


Surah Yunus

26. ... ola-ika as-habu aljannati hum feeha khalidoona

27. ... ola-ika as-habu alnnari hum feeha khalidoona

28. ... waqala shurakaohum ma kuntum iyyana taAAbudoona

29. ... in kunna AAan AAibadatikum laghafileena

30. ... wadalla AAanhum ma kanoo yaftaroona

31. ... faqul afala tattaqoona

32. ... faanna tusrafoona

33. ... annahum la yu/minoona

34. ... faanna tu/fakoona


Surat al-‘Ankabut

6. ... inna Allaha laghaniyyun AAani alAAalameena

7. ... walanajziyannahum ahsana allathee kanoo yaAAmaloona

8. ... faonabbi-okum bima kuntum taAAmaloona

9. ... lanudkhilannahum fee alssaliheena

10. ... awa laysa Allahu bi-aAAlama bima fee sudoori alAAalameena

11. ... walayaAAlamanna almunafiqeena

12. ... innahum lakathiboona

13. ... walayus-alunna yawma alqiyamati AAamma kanoo yaftaroona

14. ... faakhathahumu alttoofanu wahum thalimoona


Surat an-Naml

12. ... innahum kanoo qawman fasiqeena

13. ... hatha sihrun mubeenun

14. ... faonthur kayfa kana AAaqibatu almufsideena

15. ... min AAibadihi almu/mineena

16. ... inna hatha lahuwa alfadlu almubeenu

17. ... fahum yoozaAAoona

18. ... sulaymanu wajunooduhu wahum la yashAAuroona

19. ... waadkhilnee birahmatika fee AAibadika alssaliheena


Surat an-Nisa’

23. ... inna Allaha kana ghafooran raheeman

24. ... inna Allaha kana AAaleeman hakeeman

25. ... waAllahu ghafoorun raheemun

26. ... waAllahu AAaleemun hakeemun

27. ... an tameeloo maylan AAatheeman


Surat al-Ma’ida

22. ... fa-in yakhrujoo minha fa-inna dakhiloona

23. ... fatawakkaloo in kuntum mu/mineena

24. ... inna hahuna qaAAidoona

25. ... faofruq baynana wabayna alqawmi alfasiqeena

26. ... fala ta/sa AAala alqawmi alfasiqeena

27. ... qala innama yataqabbalu Allahu mina almuttaqeena

28. ... innee akhafu Allaha rabba alAAalameena

29. ... wathalika jazao alththalimeena

30. ... faqatalahu faasbaha mina alkhasireena

31. ... faasbaha mina alnnadimeena


Surat al-A'raf

2. ... wathikra lilmu/mineena

3. ... qaleelan ma tathakkaroona

4. ... fajaaha ba/suna bayatan aw hum qa-iloona

5. ... ith jaahum ba/suna illa an qaloo inna kunna thalimeena

6. ... walanas-alanna almursaleena

7. ... wama kunna gha-ibeena

8. ... faola-ika humu almuflihoona

9. ... bima kanoo bi-ayatina yathlimoona

10. ... qaleelan ma tashkuroona

11. ... lam yakun mina alssajideena


Surat at-Tawba

7. ... inna Allaha yuhibbu almuttaqeena

8. ... waaktharuhum fasiqoona

9. ... innahum saa ma kanoo yaAAmaloona

10. ... waola-ika humu almuAAtadoona

11. ... wanufassilu al-ayati liqawmin yaAAlamoona

12. ... laAAallahum yantahoona

13. ... ahaqqu an takhshawhu in kuntum mu/mineena

14. ... wayashfi sudoora qawmin mu/mineena


Surat al-Baqara

62. ... wala khawfun AAalayhim wala hum yahzanoona

63. ... waothkuroo ma feehi laAAallakum tattaqoona

64. ... lakuntum mina alkhasireena

65. ... faqulna lahum koonoo qiradatan khasi-eena

66. ... wamawAAithatan lilmuttaqeena

67. ... aAAoothu biAllahi an akoona mina aljahileena

68. ... faifAAaloo ma tu/maroona

69. ... baqaratun safrao faqiAAun lawnuha tasurru alnnathireena


Surat al ‘Imran

130. ... waittaqoo Allaha laAAallakum tuflihoona

131. Waittaqoo alnnara allatee oAAiddat lilkafireena

132. ... laAAallakum turhamoona

133. ... oAAiddat lilmuttaqeena

134. ... waAllahu yuhibbu almuhsineena

135. ... walam yusirroo AAala ma faAAaloo wahum yaAAlamoona

136. ... waniAAma ajru alAAamileena

137. ... faonthuroo kayfa kana AAaqibatu almukaththibeena

138. ... wamawAAithatun lilmuttaqeena

139. ... waantumu al-aAAlawna in kuntum mu/mineena

140. ... waAllahu la yuhibbu alththalimeena


Surat al-Anbiya’

5. ... falya/tina bi-ayatin kama orsila al-awwaloona

6. ... afahum yu/minoona

7. ... in kuntum la taAAlamoona

8. ... wama kanoo khalideena

9. ... waahlakna almusrifeena

10. ... afala taAAqiloona

11. ... waansha/na baAAdaha qawman akhareena

12. ... hum minha yarkudoona


Surat an-Nur

47. ... wama ola-ika bialmu/mineena

48. ... fareequn minhum muAAridoona

49. Wa-in yakun lahumu alhaqqu ya/too ilayhi muthAAineena

50. ... bal ola-ika humu alththalimoona

51. ... waola-ika humu almuflihoona

52. ... faola-ika humu alfa-izoona

53. ... inna Allaha khabeerun bima taAAmaloona

54. ... wama AAala alrrasooli illa albalaghu almubeena

55. ... faola-ika humu alfasiqoona


Surat al-Hijr

5. ... wama yasta/khiroona

6. ... innaka lamajnoonun

7. ... in kunta mina alssadiqeena

8. ... wama kanoo ithan munthareena

9. ... wa-inna lahu lahafithoona

10. Walaqad arsalna min qablika fee shiyaAAi al-awwaleena

11. ... kanoo bihi yastahzi-oona

12. Kathalika naslukuhu fee quloobi almujrimeena

13. ... waqad khalat sunnatu al-awwaleena

14. ... feehi yaAArujoona

15. ... nahnu qawmun mashooroona

The formation of rhymed prose with just two or three sounds in a poem of 200-300 lines may give that work an important quality, sufficient for it to be described as a masterpiece by literary critics today. However, bearing in mind the length of the Qur'an, the information it contains and its wise exposition, the extraordinary manner in which its rhymed prose system is used becomes even clearer and more beautiful. The Qur'an indeed contains an ocean of information relating to a wide variety of subjects. They include: religious and moral guidance, lessons from the lives of the peoples of the past, the message of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, the physical sciences and historical accounts of important events. But all of this, although wonderful in itself, is delivered with the most fantastic literary rhythm and excellence. It is simply not possible for so much rhymed prose by use of so few sounds in the Qur'an, with its varied and knowledgeable subject matter, to be achieved by human endeavour. From that point of view, it is not surprising that Arab linguists describe the Qur'an as "very definitely inimitable."


COMMENTS ABOUT THE QUR'AN FROM VARIOUS SCHOLARS

Some Comments on the Literary Excellence and Inimitability of the Qur'an

... the Meccans still demanded of him a miracle, and with remarkable boldness and self confidence Mohammad appealed as a supreme confirmation of his mission to the Koran itself. Like all Arabs they were the connoisseurs of language and rhetoric. Well, then if the Koran were his own composition other men could rival it. Let them produce ten verses like it. If they could not (and it is obvious that they could not), them let them accept the Koran as an outstanding evident miracle.247 (The well-known Arabist Hamilton Gibb of the University of Oxford)

As a literary monument the Koran thus stands by itself, a production unique to the Arabic literature, having neither forerunners nor successors in its own idiom. Muslims of all ages are united in proclaiming the inimitability not only of its contents but also of its style.248 (Well-known Arabist Hamilton Gibb)

The influence of the Koran on the development of Arabic Literature has been incalculable, and exerted in many directions. Its ideas, its language, its rhymes pervade all subsequent literary works in greater or less measure. Its specific linguistic features were not emulated, either in the chancery prose of the next century or in the later prose writings, but it was at least partly due to the flexibility imparted by the Koran to the High Arabic idiom that the former could be so rapidly developed and adjusted to the new needs of the imperial government and an expanding society.249 (Well-known Arabist Hamilton Gibb)

Whenever [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] was asked a miracle, as a proof of the authenticity of his mission, he quoted the composition of the Qur'an and its incomparable excellence as proof of its divine origin. And, in fact, even for those who are non-Muslims nothing is more marvellous than its language with such apprehensible plenitude and a grasping sonority… The ampleness of its syllables with a grandiose cadence and with a remarkable rhythm have been of much moment in the conversion of the most hostile and the most sceptic.250 (From Paul Casanova's article, "L'Enseignement de I'Arabe au College de France" [The Arab Teaching at the College of France])

It [the Qur'an] is a literal revelation of Allah, dictated to [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] by Gabriel, perfect in every letter. It is an ever-present miracle witnessing to itself and to [Prophet] Muhammad [saas], the Prophet of Allah. Its miraculous quality resides partly in its style, so perfect and lofty that neither men nor Jinn could produce a single chapter to compare with its briefest chapter, and partly in its content of teachings, prophecies about the future, and amazingly accurate information such as [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] could never have gathered of his own accord.251 (From Harry Gaylord Dorman's book, Towards Understanding Islam)

All those who are acquainted with the Qur'an in Arabic agree in praising the beauty of this religious book; its grandeur of form is so sublime that no translation into any European language can allow us to appreciate it.252 (From Edward Montet's Traduction Francaise du Coran [French Translation of the Qur'an])

The Qur'an in its original Arabic dress has a seductive beauty and charm of its own Couched in concise and exalted style, its brief pregnant sentences, often rhymed, possess an expressive force and explosive energy which it is extremely difficult to convey by literal word for word translation.253 (From John Naish's book, The Wisdom of the Qur'an)

The Koran is universally allowed to be written with the utmost elegance and purity of language, in the dialect of Koreish, the most noble and polite of all Arabians… The style of the Qur'an is generally beautiful and fluent,… and in many places, specifically where the majesty and attributes of God are described, sublime and magnificent… He succeeded so well, and so strangely captivated the minds of his audience, that several of his opponents thought it the effect of witchcraft and enchantment.254 (From George Sale's book, The Koran: The Preliminary Discourse)

A miracle of purity of style of wisdom and of truth.255 (From Rev. R. Bosworth Smith's book, Mohammed and Mohammadanism)

It [the Qur'an] has a rhythm of peculiar beauty and a cadence that charms the ear. Many Christian Arabs speak of its style with warm admiration, and most Arabists acknowledge its excellence… indeed it may be affirmed that within the literature of the Arabs, wide and fecund as it is both in poetry and in elevated prose, there is nothing to compare with it.256 (From Alfred Guillaume's book, Islam)

Some Comments on the Divine Nature of the Qur'an and Its Effect on People

On the whole we find in it a collection of wisdom which can be adopted by the most intelligent of men, the greatest of philosophers and the most skilful of politicians… But there is another proof of the Divinity of the Qur'an; it is the fact that it has been preserved intact through the ages since the time of its Revelation till the present day… Read and reread by the Muslim world, this book does not rouse in the faithful any weariness, it rather, through repetition, is more loved every day. It gives rise to a profound feeling of awe and respect in the one who reads it or listens to it… Therefore, above all, what caused the great and rapid diffusion of Islam was through the fact that this Book… was the book of Allah…257 (From Laura Veccia Vaglieri's book, Apologie de I'Islamisme)

The Koran abounds in excellent moral suggestions and precepts, its composition is so fragmentary that we cannot turn to a single page without finding maxims of which all men must approve. This fragmentary construction yields texts, and mottoes, and rules complete in themselves, suitable for common men in any of the incidents of life.258 (From John William Draper's book, A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe)

It must be acknowledged, too, that the Koran deserves the highest praise for its conceptions of the Divine nature in reference to the attributes of Power, knowledge and universal Providence and Unity-that its belief and trust in the one Allah of Heaven and Earth is deep and fervent-and that… it embodies much of the noble and deep moral earnestness, and sententious oracular wisdom, and has proved that there are elements in it on which mighty nations and conquering… Empires can be built up.259 (From the preface of The Koran, translated from the Arabic by Rev. J. M. Rodwell)

Here, therefore, its merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects which it produced in [Prophet] Muhammad's [saas] contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and well-organized body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now ruled the Arabian mind, then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it created a civilized nation out of savage tribes…260 (A statement of Dr. Steingass, quoted in T. P. Hughes' Dictionary of Islam)

In making the present attempt… to produce something which might be accepted as echoing however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at pains to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which-apart from the message itself-constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind… This very characteristic feature-"that inimitable symphony," as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book…-has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original.261 (From Arthur J. Arberry's book, The Koran Interpreted)

A totally objective examination of it [the Qur'an] in the light of the modern knowledge, leads us to recognize the agreement between the two, as has been already noted on repeated occasions. It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of [Prophet] Muhammad's [saas] time to have been the author of such statements on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are part of what gives the Qur'anic Revelation its unique place, and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely upon materialistic reasoning.262 (Dr. Maurice Bucaille, former chief of the Surgical Clinic, University of Paris)

… [T]he Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point… A creed so precise, … so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvellous power of winning its way into the consciences of men.263 (Edward Montet, a French intellectual)

... We have a book absolutely unique in its origin, in its preservation… on the Substantial authority of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt.264 (From Rev. Bosworth Smith's book, Muhammad and Muhammadanism)

… the Qur'an is explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience.265 (From James Michener's article, "Islam: The Misunderstood Religion")

Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Qur'an I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world.266 (From a lecture on "The Ideals of Islam" quoted in the book Speeches and Writings of Sarojini Naidu)

We must not be surprised to find the Qur'an the fountainhead of the sciences. Every subject connected with heaven or earth, human life, commerce and various trades are occasionally touched upon, and this gave rise to the production of numerous monographs forming commentaries on parts of the holy book. In this way the Qur'an was responsible for great discussions, and to it was indirectly due to the marvellous development of all branches of science in the Muslim world… This again not only affected the Arabs but also induced Jewish philosophers to treat metaphysical and religious questions after Arab methods. Finally, the way in which Christian scholasticism was fertilised by Arabian theosophy need not be further discussed.

Spiritual activity once aroused within Islamic bounds was not confined to theological speculations alone. Acquaintance with the philosophical, mathematical, astronomical and medical writings of the Greeks led to the pursuance of these studies. In the descriptive revelations [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] repeatedly calls attention to the movement of the heavenly bodies, as parts of the miracles of Allah forced into the service of man and therefore not to be worshipped. How successfully Moslem people of all races pursued the study of astronomy is shown by the fact that for centuries they were its principal supporters. Even now many Arabic names of stars and technical terms are in use. Medieval astronomers in Europe were pupils of the Arabs.

In the same manner the Qur'an gave an impetus to medical studies and recommended the contemplation and study of Nature in general.267 (From Prof. Hartwig Hirschfeld's book, New Researches into the Composition and Exegesis of the Qur'an)

The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organizations of the Muhammadan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today.268 (From G. Margoliouth's introduction to The Koran, translated from the Arabic by Rev. J. M. Rodwell)

However often we turn to it [the Qur'an]…, it soon attracts, astounds, and in the end enforces our reverence… Its style, in accordance with its contents and aim is stern, grand, terrible-ever and anon truly sublime-Thus this book will go on exercising through all ages a most potent influence.269 (A saying of Goethe quoted in T. P. Hughes' book, Dictionary of Islam)


SOME SCIENTISTS' COMMENTS REGARDING THE QUR'AN

… There are too many accuracies [in the Qur'an] and, like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which led him to these statements.270 (Dr. T. V. N. Persaud, Professor of Anatomy, Pediatrics and Child Health, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Reproductive Sciences at the University of Manitoba)

… It follows, I think, that not only there is no conflict between genetics and religion but, in fact, religion can guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches, that there exist statements in the Quran shown centuries later to be valid, which support knowledge in the Quran having been derived from God.271 (Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Molecular and Human Genetics)

As a scientist, I can only deal with things which I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology. I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Quran. As I gave the example before, if I were to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I knew today and describing things, I could not describe the things which were described… So I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved in what he [Prophet Muhammad (saas)] was able to write.272 (Dr. E. Marshall Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Thomas Jefferson University)

In a relatively few aayahs [Quranic verses] is contained a rather comprehensive description of human development from the time of commingling of the gametes through organogenesis. No such distinct and complete record of human development, such as classification, terminology, and description, existed previously. In most, if not all, instances, this description antedates by many centuries the recording of the various stages of human embryonic and fetal development recorded in the traditional scientific literature.273 (Gerald C. Goeringer, Associate Professor of Medical Embryology at Georgetown University)

It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur'an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] must have been a messenger of God, or Allah.274 (Dr. Keith L. Moore, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto. Distinguished embryologist and the author of several medical textbooks)

... Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur'an and Sunnah. The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge.275 (Dr. Keith L. Moore, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto)

The intensive studies of the Qur'an and Hadith in the last four years have revealed a system of classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D... the descriptions in the Qur'an cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century... 276 (Dr. Keith L. Moore, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto)

I think it is almost impossible that he [Prophet Muhammad (saas)] could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case… Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics 1400 years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind for instance that the earth and the heavens had the same origin, or many others of the questions that we have discussed here.277 (Alfred Kroner, Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Germany. One of the world's most famous geologists)

If you combine all these and you combine all these statements that are being made in the Qur'an in terms that relate to the earth and the formation of the earth and science in general, you can basically say that statements made there in many ways are true, they can now be confirmed by scientific methods... And that many of the statements made in there at that time could not be proven, but that modern scientific methods are now in a position to prove what [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] said 1400 years ago.278 (Alfred Kroner, Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Germany)

I say, I am very much impressed by finding true astronomical facts in Qur'an, and for us modern astronomers have been studying very small piece of the universe. We have concentrated our efforts for understanding of very small part. Because by using telescopes, we can see only very few parts of the sky without thinking about the whole universe. So by reading Qur'an and by answering to the questions, I think I can find my future way for investigation of the universe.279 (Professor Yushidi Kusan, Director of the Tokyo Observatory, Tokyo, Japan)

Certainly, I would like to leave it at that, that what we have seen is remarkable, it may or may not admit of scientific explanation, there may well have to be something beyond what we understand as ordinary human experience to account for the writings that we have seen.280 (Professor Armstrong, Professor of Astronomy serving with NASA)

It is difficult to imagine that this type of knowledge was existing at that time, around 1400 years back. May be some of the things they have simple idea about, but to describe those things in great detail is very difficult. So this is definitely not simple human knowledge. A normal human being cannot explain this phenomenon in that much detail. So, I thought the information must have come from a supernatural source.281 (Prof. Dorja Rao, Professor of Marine Geology at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

… I believe that everything mentioned in the Qur'an 1400 years ago is true and can be proven by scientific methods… This must be by inspiration from God, or Allah, Who knows all science. Thus, I believe that this is the time to say: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."282 (Prof. Tejatat Tejasen, Head of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology, University of Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand)

The Qur'an came several centuries ago, confirming what we discovered. This indicates that the Qur'an is the word of God.283 (Prof. Joly Sumson, Professor in Gynecology and Obstetrics)

It [the Qur'an] discusses the past, the recent period, and the future. I do not know the cultural level of the people in the period of [Prophet] Muhammad [saas] and I do not know their scientific level. If it is as we know about the low scientific level in this ancient period, and the absence of technology, then there is no doubt that what we are reading nowadays in the Qur'an is a light from God. He inspired it in [Prophet] Muhammad [saas]. I had made research into the early history of civilization in the Middle East in order to know if there was such perfect information as this. If there was no other information like the Qur'anic information in that ancient period, this strengthens the faith that God sent [Prophet] Muhammad [Prophet]; He sent to him a little amount from His large science, which we have discovered only in recent time. We are hoping for continuous dialogue in the subject of science with the Qur'an in the field of geology.284 (Prof. Palmar, one of the major scientists in geology in the USA)

After a discussion about the function of mountains for the fixing of the earth:

I believe that this [the Qur'an's information] is very very strange, it is nearly impossible, I believe truly that if what you are saying is right, thus, this book [the Qur'an] is very valuable to be noticed, I agree with you.285 (Professor Syawda, a Japanese scientist famous in Japan and internationally in the field of oceanic geology.)


A SELECTION OF OTHER STATEMENTS REGARDING THE QUR'AN

Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason... When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt the only answer for me was the Qur'an and Allah had sent it to me.286 (Yusuf Islam [Cat Stevens], former British pop star)

I am not a Muslim in the usual sense, though I hope I am a "Muslim" as "one surrendered to God," but I believe that embedded in the Quran and other expressions of the Islamic vision are vast stores of divine truth from which I and other occidentals have still much to learn, and "Islam is certainly a strong contender for the supplying of the basic framework of the one religion of the future."287 (From the book Islam and Christianity Today)

The essential and definite element of my conversion to Islam was the Qur'an. I began to study it before my conversion with the critical spirit of a Western intellectual... There are certain verses of this book, the Qur'an, revealed more than thirteen centuries ago, which teach exactly the same notions as the most modern scientific researches do. This definitely converted me.288 (Ali Selman Benoist, France, Doctor of Medicine)

I have read the Sacred Scriptures of every religion; nowhere have I found what I encountered in Islam: perfection. The Holy Qur'an, compared to any other scripture I have read, is like the Sun compared to that of a match. I firmly believe that anybody who reads the Word of Allah with a mind that is not completely closed to Truth, will become a Muslim.289 (Saifuddin Dirk Walter Mosig)

The strength of the Koran is that a Muslim, or anyone, can open it to any page and get a message dealing with life's meaning.290 (The well-known theologian John Esposito)

I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.291 (French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte)

Tony Blair: "Qur'an Inspired Me"

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair says that he has read the whole Qur'an three times. In his statements, he often mentioned his admiration for the Qur'an's moral teaching. On March 29, 2000, the BBC reported on Blair's admiration for the Qur'an in a feature entitled "Blair: Qur'an Inspired Me." He was reported to have said that Islam was a good and peaceful religion, that he owned two copies of the Qur'an, and that he was quite inspired by it:

If you read the Koran, it is so clear… the concept of love and fellowship as the guiding spirits of humanity.292

Two or three days before the 9/11 attacks, the British newspaper The Mail on Sunday published an article in which Blair said that former US president Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea had given him a copy of the Qur'an as a gift, that he had begun to read it and that it given him courage in times of difficulty.293 After the attacks, Blair once again said in an interview on Al-Jazeera television that had read the Qur'an. He also added:

I read the message of the Koran, insofar as it can be translated. And I read about Islam and I enjoy doing that. And I think that I have learned things about the Koran that I never knew before and I think a lot of Christians would be interested.294

Time magazine described Blair as "long-time student of the Koran" in one article about him.295

A speech by Bill Clinton which described how influenced he was by the Qur'an

In his last year in the White House, former US President Bill Clinton received a number of Muslims during Ramadan. At the meeting, which began with a reading from the Qur'an, Clinton used verses from the Qur'an in his own address and frequently stated his interest in Islam:

And I thought it was particularly moving that Imam read the passage from the Koran that said that Allah created nations and tribes that we might know one another, not that we might despise one another. There's a wonderful passage in the Hebrew Torah, which warns people never to turn aside the stranger, for it is like turning aside the most high God. And the Christian Bible says that people should love their neighbor as themselves. But it's quite wonderful to say that Allah created the nations and tribes that they might know one another better... Let me say, also, that there is much that the world can learn from Islam. It is now practiced by one of every four people on Earth. Americans are learning more in our schools and universities. Indeed, I remember that our daughter took a course on Islamic history in high school and read large portions of the Koran, and came home at night and educated her parents about it, and later asked us questions about it... So I ask you again to rededicate yourselves in this coming year to making sure that others in this country truly understand and appreciate the faith you embrace, its practices, its beliefs, its precepts and its inclusive humanity... The Koran also teaches, in addition, to the fact that we should do unto others as we wish to have done to us, and reject for others what we would reject for ourselves, but we should also make a commitment to live in peace…296

George W. Bush:

"It's [the Qur'an is] a very thoughtful gift."

On 26 September 2001, President George W. Bush held a substantive meeting with American Muslim leaders, and said that "the teachings of Islam are the teachings of peace and good." During this meeting, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), presented a copy of the Holy Qur'an to President Bush. During a brief press conference after the meeting, the President expressed his pleasure saying:

And I want to thank you very much for the-the gift you gave me, Imam, the Koran. It's a very thoughtful gift. I say, "Thank you very much for the gift." He said, "It's the best gift I could give you, Mr. President." I appreciate that very much.297

On September 17, 2001, President Bush visited the Washington Islam Center mosque, one of the oldest in the United States. In his speech, he emphasized that Islam is a religion of peace and that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam or the sincere Muslims of the world, all of whom deplore terrorism. Bush stated that those who inflict harm on innocent and civilian Muslims are just as in the wrong as those who carry out terrorist attacks. At this crowded meeting, covered live by a large number of domestic and international television stations, President Bush read the following verse from the Qur'an:298

"In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule." (Qur'an, 30:10)

 
 

    

245. F. F. Arbuthnot, The Construction of the Bible and the Koran (London: 1985), 5.
246. Dr. Adel M. A. Abbas, Anne P. Fretwell, Science Miracles, No Sticks or Snakes (Beltsville, Maryland, USA: Amana Publications: 2000), 13.
247. H. A. R. Gibb, Islam-A Historical Survey (Oxford University Press: 1980), 28.
248. H. A. R. Gibb, Arabic Literature-An Introduction (Oxford at Clarendon Press: 1963), 36.
249. Ibid., 37.
250. Paul Casanova, “L’Enseignement de I’Arabe au College de France” (The Arab Teaching at the College of France), Lecon d’overture, 26 April 1909.
251. Harry Gaylord Dorman, Towards Understanding Islam (New York: 1948), 3.
252. Edward Montet, Traduction Francaise du Coran (French Translation of the Qur’an), Introduction (Paris: 1929), 53.
253. John Naish, M. A. (Oxon), D. D., The Wisdom of the Qur’an (Oxford: 1937), preface viii.
254. George Sale, The Koran: The Preliminary Discourse (London & New York: 1891), 47-48.
255. Rev. R. Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammadanism, www.ndirect.co.uk/~n.today/disc160.htm.
256. Alfred Guillaume, Islam (Penguin Books: 1990 [Reprinted]), 73-74.
257. Laura Veccia Vaglieri, Apologie de I’Islamisme (Apology for Islamism), 57-59.
258. John William Draper, A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe I (London: 1875), 343-344.
259. Rev. J. M. Rodwell, M. A., The Koran (London: 1918), 15.
260. Dr. Steingass, quoted in T. P. Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, 528.
261. Arthur J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (London: Oxford University Press: 1964), x.
262. Maurice Bucaille, The Qur’an and Modern Science, 1981, 18.
263. Edward Montet, Paris, 1890; Quoted by T. W. Arnold in The Preaching of Islam (London: 1913), 413-414.
264. Reverend Bosworth Smith in Muhammad and Muhammadanism (London: 1874).
265. James Michener in “Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,” Reader’s Digest, May 1955, 68-70.
266. Lectures on “The Ideals of Islam,” Speeches and Writings of Sarojini Naidu (Madras: 1918), 167.
267. Hartwig Hirschfeld, Ph. D., M. R. AS., New Researches into the Composition and Exegesis of the Qur’an (London: 1902), 9.
268. G. Margoliouth, Introduction to J. M. Rodwell's, The Koran (New York: Everyman's Library: 1977), vii.
269. Goethe, quoted in T. P. Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, 526.
270. Video tape entitled This is the Truth, www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-h.htm.
271. Ibid.
272. Ibid.
273. Ibid.
274. Video tape entitled This is the Truth, www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Science/scientists.html.
275. Ibid.
276. Ibid.
277. Ibid.
278. Ibid.
279. Ibid.
280. Ibid.
281. Ibid.
282. http://islamweb.net/english/new/week15/(10)%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20THE%20
LEADERS%20OF%20MODERN%20.htm.
283. Ibid.
284. Ibid.
285. Ibid.
286. www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/articles/what_they_say_about_islaam.html.
287. W. Montgomery Watt, Islam and Christianity Today (London: 1983), ix.
288. www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/articles/what_they_say_about_islaam.html
289. Ibid.
290. John Esposito, quoted in Jacqueline Blais’ “People Want to Know, So Koran is Best Seller,” USA Today, 27 November 2001.
291. Napoleon Bonaparte, quoted in Christian Cherfils’ Bonaparte et Islam (Bonaparte and Islam) (Paris, France: 1914), 125.
292. BBC News, 29 March 2000.
293. “Blair Kuran’a Merak Salmis” (Blair is Interested in the Qur’an), Milliyet, 11 September 2001.
294. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Interview with Al-Jazeera, 9 October 2001, www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page3562.asp.
295. Travels With Tony, Time 158, 12 November 2001, no. 20.
296. www.amaana.org/ISWEB/ramadan.htm.
297. www.ama-nj.org/bush_meeting.html.
298. “Remarks by the President at Islamic Center of Washington, D.C.,” 17 September 2001, http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/islam/s091701b.htm..