Hawzah News Agency – In the previous article, we briefly referred to the miraculous qualities of the Qur’an. Now, we shall summarize some other manifestations of its miraculous nature. If the literary miracle of the Qur’an can only be grasped by one who has some mastery in the Arabic language, the other miraculous qualities can, fortunately, be grasped by everyone.
The person who brought the Qur’an was unlettered and unlearned, not having been schooled; nor had he studied at the feet of a great master; nor had he read a single book, as it is stated:
And thou wast not a reader of any scripture before it, nor didst thou write it with thy right hand, for then might those have doubted who follow falsehood. (Sura al-Ankabut, XXIX: 48)
The Holy Prophet recited this verse to people who were well aware of his life-history. Naturally, had he studied previously, he would have been contradicted by those who knew of his past; so if he was accused by some of having had the Qur’an ‘taught to him by a man’, we know for sure that it is baseless, as are all the other accusations made against him. The Qur’an refutes this accusation, saying that the one who was supposed to have taught him was a non-Arab; while the Arabic of the Qur’an is classical, eloquent Arabic.
The Qur’an was revealed in recitation to the Holy Prophet over the course of twenty-three years, under various conditions (peace and war, whilst journeying or residing at home, etc.). The nature of such an oral discourse normally imposes at least two or more different styles or modes upon the speaker. Even authors who compose their works under unvarying, stable conditions, and who attempt to maintain thematic consistency and stylistic harmony, are often unable to avoid discrepancies and disharmony in their works; such problems are even more likely to befall one who delivers a verbal discourse gradually, and under extremely variegated conditions and circumstances.
It would be appropriate here to recall that the Qur’an contains discourses on themes as diverse as theology, history, religious law and legislation, ethics, the natural world and other matters; but despite this immense variety of subject-matter, it maintains, from beginning to end, the most supreme harmony, its style of discourse flowing marvelously through its diverse contents. The Qur’an itself mentions this aspect of its own miraculous nature:
Will they not then ponder the Qur’an? If it had been from other than God, they would have found therein much incongruity. (Sura al-Nisa, IV: 82)
The Qur’an recognizes the capacity of human nature for farsightedness, and on that basis establishes laws. Given this fundamental capacity for insight, all aspects of the spiritual and material life of man are encompassed by the Qur’an; universally applicable principles—ones which will never fade or become outmoded—are also given in this Scripture. One of the special features of the universal laws of Islam is that they are valid in the most diverse conditions and environments. When Muslims had conquered vast parts of the world, they were able to rule with authority and dignity over generations of different human collectivities by virtue of these laws. Imam Baqir said:
‘Everything of which mankind has need and has asked for is given by God in this Holy Book, and has been explained by Him to His Prophet; and He has established for everything a limit, and for each limit, a rationale has been given.’
Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, Doctrines of Shii Islam, A Compendium of Imami Beliefs and Practices, Translated and Edited by Reza Shah-Kazemi, published by I.B.Tauris Publishers, london • new york 2003.