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1 THE MIRACLE OF QURANIC ELOQUENCE The Holy Quran is in fact system of life bestowed upon us by Allah. So there is no Visit for aspect of human life about which the Holy more articles on Islam. Book does not guide us. It has been sent down as the fountain head of guidance and counselling and as the way to success and triumph. It is an indisputable fact that this Book kindled such a lamp in the midst of the dreadful gloom of ignorance and perversity that its flame never waned 1. Till date, its brilliance and lustre remain as they were in the days of the Holy Prophet pbuh and will continue with same intensity till the Day of Judgement. The human being may scale or even cross over the sun and the moon every day for research and discoveries, yet the guiding ability of the Holy Book will remain intact with it. This Book is Allah’s Word Who is eternal and matchless. While on one hand it is a Book dealing with the laws and codes of life, on the other hand with respect to its linguistic wonder it is an incomparable literary work, or even more correctly a literary masterpiece. A better work in literature is simply unimaginable. In spite of being voluminous, not a single sentence of the Book fails to meet the literary standard. The most suitable words and the most appropriate styles have been chosen for articulating each topic and every thought dealt with in the Book which invariably causes the reader and the listener to enter into a state of ecstasy2. A wonderful aroma, fragrance and deliciousness is there in it: you may repeat a single Sura or even a single verse a thousand times, but be sure you are going to find a new delight, a fresh sweetness and a strange thrill each and every time. You can read the whole Quran without your tongue coming to an abrupt stop or your coming across a break in the flow, nor will you find a complicated sentence structure or a philosophical jumble. What you find is a plain and simple expression motivating the reader to long for the Paradise, describing the horrors of the Hell, informing the attributes of the Believers and the bountiful rewards they are going to get in the Heaven or narrating the stories of the Unbelievers and the deniers of the Hereafter but in such a style that is touching as well as enchanting. It moved the stonelike heart of Hazrat Umar Farooq puhm. He had come to take the life of the lamp of Divine Message, Noble Prophet pbuh but on listening a few verses of Sure Taahaa from his sister, he at once transformed into a devotee of thp. When Hazrat Ja’far puhm recited Sura Maryam in the court of the King of Ethiopia, the king spontaneously broke into tears. Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan and Akhnas Bin Shuraiq were supposedly 3one of the worst Quran-haters, yet they used to be restless for hearing the Quranic recitation. In the day they would be the flag bearers of hostility and obstinacy, but in the night when thp would recite the Glorious Quran in his blessed room, they would hide near the house to listen to the Quran. Occasionally their eyes would get wet with tears while their hearts trembled. Hundreds of incidents involving the nost staunch opponents of Islam have been recorded in the books of History and Seera (hagiography 4) in which they acknowledged the glory


Wane decrease in importance, brilliance, size, etc; dcline a state of exalted pleasure or happiness, rapture; excessive joy. 3 Supposedly = as is generally supposed 4 hagiography = a biography of a saint 2

2 of the Holy Quran as they found themselves unable to resist its beautiful tone, charming style and its extraordinary sweetness and matchless aroma. For a community which used to challenge others regarding rhetorical skills and would call other peoples dumb and tongueless as even their children had a natural flair 5 for Arabic poetry and literature, {for such a community} it was a really exciting and challenging assignment to produce a book like the Quran. It was a fatal attack on their faith and religion as it was a combat-call for their sense of national honour and a challenge to their self-respect. It was impossible for a self-respecting Arab to rest in peace without answering this challenge. Yet human history bears witness to the fact that a pin-drop silence enveloped the assembly of fiery speakers and passionate poets. Nobody could dare to stand up to the challenge. They had no option but to make a humble retreat. Consequently they concentrated all their energy towards troubling and hurting thp leaving no stone unturned in this direction. They took to torturing him and engaged themselves in name-calling: calling the holy soul lunatic, magician, poet and soothsayer. But what they could not do was to say a few verses in response to the Quranic challenge. If only they could respond to it, things would have been so simple. Neither would the Battle of Badr have taken place nor would the field of Uhud have got blood-bathed. There would have been no need to invent a thousand ways of enmity and hostility, envy and tyranny. Turning their back from accepting the Quranic challenge clearly proves that they knew they were incapable of coming up with a face-saving response. The challenge of the Glorious Quran remains as it is, from that day to this day and no age has been devoid of genius litterateurs 6 and outstanding rhetoricians 7, yet there has been no response to this challenge till date, nor can there be one till the Last Day, the Day of Judgement. Retaliating against a murderer with like recompense, i.e. Qisas was considered to be a great virtue among the Arabs. To underscore this belief, many proverbs and adages were in currency among them, e.g.: Al Qatlo Ihyaul Lil jamee’ Killing is giving life to all. Al Qatlo Anfaa Lil Qatl Killing stops killing. Aksirul Qatl Li Yaqillal Qat Kill more to make killing less. The adages were so popular that they were on the tips of all and sundry and were considered quite articulate. The Holy Quran also expressed this very idea but with a great diction? Wa Lakum Fil Qisae Hayat (2:179) in the Law of Equality there is saving of life to you. With whichever angle you observe the brevity, comprehensiveness, natural flow, grandeur and meaningfulness of this sentence, you would find it a masterpiece of rhetorical miracle and all the other quotes appear pale in comparison. There are a number of opinions from Quranic experts on why the Quran is a matchless elocutionary marvel with respect to its words and sentences, the structures of its sentences, the underlying beauty lying in its words and its incomparable sweetness: 5

flair = aptitude litterateur = a literary man 7 rhetorician = an orator, a user of rhetorical language 6

3 Some of the scholars feel that the Book is a rhetorical wonder because it articulates the ideas powerfully but with brevity and conciseness, others believe this is due to its rhetoric and fluency. Still others are of the view that it is on account of the Quran being a highly grand and sublime literary work when compared with the Arab literature. A number of commentators say that it is a literary marvel as it includes the stories and incidents of the past while others have taken the view that it contains the knowledge of the Unseen {Ghaib} and categorical commandments while other intellectuals call it a miracle as it includes all forms ofsciences and arts in brief as well as in detail. (Al Itqaan Fi ‘Uloomil Quran 2:122) Dr Abdul Mughni has discussed the literary aspects of Allah’s Book in great detail, describing delicately and effectively its similes and metaphors, figurations and metonymies, allusions and allegories, words with several meanings, choice of words, wittiness and captiousness, conciseness and terseness, melodious attribute, portrayal and depiction, distinctive features of the Holy Quran in critical literature, etc. For this purpose, his book The Literary Wonder of the Glorious Quran can be a good source of knowledge. Numerous books have been written regarding the articulation, elocution and literary marvel of the Holy Quran commonly called The Miracle of Quran. These books deal with all the categories of rhetoric and articulation. Almost all linguists acknowledge that a language transforms every century. The original forms of the still existing ancient languages are no more than archaeological relics whether we take the Syriac, the Hebrew, the Aramaic or any other language. But even after the passage of nearly 1500 years, the Arabic language exists in its full glory and splendour till today. It is a miracle of the Quran that it preserved the brilliance of the Arabic language. In short, the fluency and elocution of the Holy Book are matchless, above comparison. However, the purpose of its revelation is humnan guidance and well-being. With regard to this attribute also, the Book stands apart as a miracle which is to last till the Day of Judgement. May Allah make this marvel a source of benefit for the entire humanity and make the path of guidance easy for us. Quran mein ho ghotaa zan ai marde musalman Allah kare tujh ko ‘ataa jiddate kirdar Dip into the Quran, O Muslim man! May Allah bestow you with a novel character.

Muhammad Noamaan Bader Nadawi Al Qasmi Darul Uloom Sabeelus Salam Hyderabad

Quranic Eloquence  

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