Channel: Jamal Badawi
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Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you.
Welcome to another Islamic focus program. I'm your host Emma machine. Today we continue with our series dealing with the sources of Islam. We'll be starting a new segment entitled the linguistic miracle of the Quran. I have joining me as usual on the program, Dr. Jamal battery of segments University of Jamal Assalamu alaykum Malik who said,
since we're beginning a new segment in the series, I wonder if perhaps I could have you show how this new segment fits with the first segment which we completed last week, the quantum modern science Sure. Well, the wholesale series of which this is the 24th program deal essentially with the sources of Islam, with a special emphasis on the main source of his languages that are on. And we indicated previously that the Quran is not like any other book. And it's not like any other scripture even that preceded it. its uniqueness is in the fact that Muslims believe that in the entire Quran from beginning to end, there is nothing but a verbatim Word of God, as revealed to
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. And that Prophet Muhammad did not have any role actually, in the composition or the contents of the Quran, he was simply conveying what was dictated unto him through Angel Gabriel. Now, for those who might not be familiar with Islam, and with the Quran, in particular, this might sound like an exaggerated or a change
in a statement of belief, which requires some rational evidence. So in the last 23 programs, we try to address that from the point of view of the skeptic even trying to indicate that there is a logical impossibility that the Prophet would have composed the score.
And we try to analyze that from the historical, logical, psychological and analytical standpoint. And we indicated also that even from the standpoint of modern science, and the kinds of things that were mentioned in the Quran that were discovered on the in recent decades, there could be no explanation that there is any human source of the Quran, whether it is Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him or any previous book or any previous
human who lived on this earth. So today, we're really moving to into another side or another element of this
proof, if you will, or analysis of the possible sources of the Quran by looking into the linguistic miracle of the Quran, which again will show as we proceed, that even linguistically speaking in terms of the literal beauty of the Quran, it is not like any other human rights thing, and that it would have been impossible for any human being to produce it and give ample evidence hopefully, for this, and the topic, by the way, is not new. There have been lots of volumes written on it in the past and present. But among the recent writings, which are very interesting and try to synthesize lots of these are things like manna Hill and fan written by Ashraf Ghani in the edges of the Quran
or melichar of the Quran by a referee. And another reference that we will be using quite heavily because it's very interesting and very systematic, is inevitable our theme of the omnius news or something like that left translation, written by a great scholar of the Quran, Dr. Ahmed Abdullah dress, to his book referred to for his very beautiful reference with lots of rational and discussion analysis, which we heavily
use in this program is
for most of the viewers of the program for that better most Muslims are not Arabic speaking individuals. So the first question that really comes to mind is, why was the Quran
revealed in Arabic And how does that relate to the universality of its teachings? And how can a person who was, I guess a non Arab, Arabic speaking individual, appreciate its linguistic miracle? Right? Okay, well, first of all, the issue of universality of validity of the teaching
is independent of the language in which it was revealed, just to give you an example, that perhaps everybody can relate to
The 10 commandments given to Prophet Moses peace be upon him, are valid for all times and place, Thou shalt not kill, steal and all that. But they were revealed, for example, in Hebrew.
That doesn't mean that because it was revealed in one language, that it's relevant to people who speak different languages are non Hebrew speaking people. By the same token, the divine revelation in the form of Scripture
has to be communicated to people in a language that humans also can relate to and understand, at least even in the among the people who receive the message first.
And since the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was sent as a universal message to mankind, he was born first in Arabia, and the first people that he encountered and conveyed the message to his his immediate environment, which is, of course, was Arabic speaking. And that's why you find the Quran for example, in Surah, 14, in passage four, it says, Well, now I've sent them in the suit in in Lebanese and economy lubaina we have not sent a messenger except in the language of his people, so that you can explain to them or make things clear to them. And the question also could be turned back? Some people might say, Well, I suppose the Quran was revealed in in order to do English or
French, the same question would have arisen, you know, why in order to does it have any relevance to other people are in English for that matter.
Another aspect also is that the Quran is also a linguistic miracle and challenge. And the challenge would not have any meaning really, unless
it is addressed to people who know this language so that it gives them a chance to challenge it, to try to produce something similar to it. And in fact, the Quran also make reference to this and sort of 41 and 44 is the translation of meaning that if Allah says, if we made this Koran or revealed it, in non Arabic language, do with that said, What?
This Quran is a non Arabic Quran, while the prophets to whom it was revealed is an Arabic speaking. In other words, he would have said, how could we challenge you know, the source of difficulty involved. And finally, in terms of how others non Arabic speaking, whether they are Muslims or others can relate to this linguistic miracle, we can use the analogy of expertise that we accept from other specialists. You don't have to be a physician, for example, to accept the statement made by physicians, for example, that smoking contribute to cancer.
Okay, you don't have to be a doctor, he says, but you can say all right, those people have studied that research that they are the top experts. And that's what they admitted, so I have no reason to oppose it. By the same token, the Quran was revealed in Arabic among people who prided themselves of being so eloquent, it was revealed at the time, which actually is termed as the golden age of Arabic. And the Quran was revealed in their own language, and they still failed to produce anything close to that. So one can say then that if the top eloquent, Arabic speaking people in the golden age of the Arabic language, could not match even the small part of the Quran, then, who else can
meet the challenge? If they themselves could not meet that challenge?
Well, beginning our analysis Now, when we say
the linguistic miracle of the Quran, what what is meant by that? Well, that relates to the whole notion of profit today and Americans given to different profits. According to the Quran, every prophet was given some sort of assign so that people who are skeptic might come to the senses and try to really consider or be serious about his message. But the Quran also indicate that each prophets miracle is unique. but different. being unique doesn't mean that, you know, there are no other miracles of a different nature, because each miracle was geared to meet certain needs of its time to address certain issues that are uppermost in the minds of people. For example, in the days
of Prophet Moses, people were very high on magic, and they were really top experts in that. So there came most Moses with his cane swallowing all their magic deeds that showed to them that even with your own standard of magic, this is something different. It's really beyond your abilities. We have to admit that he's got some other support some divine support, and the birth of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. The
virgin birth came at the time again when they skylights, you know start to argue about the soul where the soul exists whether the soul exists in the blood and the words, so much formalism and materialism. So here again, was a sign of the existence of the word of spirit, and that the will of God to create is not limited by any imagination of ours. By the same token,
the prophet, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in the golden age of Arabic, beauty and literature in
this is, by the way, a period, an era that was never matched, either before or afterwards and this is definitely the top period. And in the midst of all of that, there comes Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and unlettered person, who was never known to be a poet or a writer or writer or anything. He was actually an unlettered. And then he recites the Quran and says, It's not mine and challenge, the most eloquent of the eloquent to match anything, and it's literally beauty or wisdom, and they all fail. And the challenge continued even 1400 years after the Quran was revealed through him, that raises a serious question, really, that's what we meant by the literal on the linguistic miracle of
the Quran. It's not like any other writings.
You mentioned that the revelation of the Quran began in the golden age of Arabic.
Are there any historical indications of the importance of that, that period? Yes, in fact, history has already returned. Lots of so called shedinja hidden the pre Islamic
poetry in lots of things, I'd like that available and studied and taught in different
you know, universities and schools as the example of the top most
literary beauty in the Arabic language. In addition to that, it's known historically also that they used to have
like what you call today, perhaps like conferences.
They used to call it soup, which literally mean market that was actually market of ideas and so on, like the famous supercar, which is a place where they used to meet
periodically. And the best poets from different places come and present their poetry proudly, and the competition, very hard competition, just like what happened in the scientific conferences today, these are people presenting the best of their production. And when the Quran came on, this disappeared, because the old, the whole concern of all eloquent people was not really enough to come back and present proudly, what they consider to be the best, because the Quran has totally overwhelmed all of them, and it became the talk of the town.
So that is quite stunning in itself that all of this glory was totally submerged by the
attraction and magical
effect. I think there's a challenge that's presented to try to match the beauty of the eloquence of the Quran. Can you give us a few examples of how this challenge is presented in the Quran? Sure. And perhaps it would be useful also to put it or put some of those quotations in historical context which perhaps add a little bit more to their understanding.
It is noted that the first challenge
present to the laquan to match the quantity because they claim it's it's a human writing said alright, it's Chima writing, you're also human with the best produce something like the first was to ask them to produce something like it like the hopper and and that was actually
stated in Surah 17 and passage at eight o'clock eastern actually gentle insulin gene nada, and yet to finish the header for layer two nebulously, he was talking about the home era. This means that say let's say Mohammed, if the whole of mankind and jinn, unseen creatures were to gather together to produce the light
of day discourse on the could not produce the like there have even if they backed up each other's with help and support. So that was the first stage in sort of 17 bring something like it.
They said the following challenge Kim in Surah 11 in the Quran, in passages 13 and 14
and it says in the translation again
Or they say that is the unbeliever say, he closed it. That's the Prophet for that Quran. So the reply comes, say on Mohammed, bring you then 10 sutras or 10
that says chapter chapters or units, for like unto it, and called your eight whomsoever you can, other than Allah. If you speak the truth is there right? If you say that he the Prophet, concocted, why don't you concoct? Not the whole thing, just 10 chapters or 10 units like
and then came another challenge in Surah, Tim, in the Quran when they fail, so it's almost like putting them on the spot and say, Alright, try, you couldn't succeed. Okay, let's even ask you for something less.
And it says again, or do they say he forgot it, say bring them a surah. That means just a chapter, nothing.
So you're even lowering the challenge, as sort of like unto it and call to your head, anyone you can beside Allah, if it be that you speak the truth. But all of this sort of, interestingly enough, were revealed in NACA.
But the challenge did not stop there. Even after 13 years of persecution of Muslims in Mexico and they went to Medina, we find that one of them Medina,
or another night Surah Surah, Al Baqarah, the second Surah in the Quran,
not only says bring a surah like it, in essence of being very similar, but something that could be even comparable. In other words, this is rather hard to explain, because of the subtle expression Arabic, in Arabic language, there is a difference between saying bring something Nestle or min Nestle, Nestle something like it mean mystery, something that remotely even can be compared to it, and that we find, for example, in the 223,
the same kind of terms, but lowering even
the challenge. So in all of this, we find, again, that
was reported historically to have stood up to that challenge, or succeeded in the remotest way even to bring something that even get close to the grave. We've said no one succeeded in producing the likely Quran. I guess we can infer from that that there must have been some attempts to do so. Could you tell us about that develop that point? Well, there are lots of historians, for example, who mentioned about people who thought or contemplated matching the Quran. For example, there are some narratives about some very eloquent and very famous poets, like Edmund Macaca and Marjorie and other married
that some believe that they tried actually to sit down and jot something which they think could match the Quran. But nothing really came out. Because apparently those people were sensible enough not to make themselves the laughingstock of people, because if they brought it for people that simply laughed at them. So in order to preserve their self respect, apparently they did not
reveal it or did not come forward with it. But there were some who were crazy enough to
just rush and try to make what they wrote public. And those who did that. We're really the laughingstock and maybe that's why other people did not follow their, their suit.
One of them is somebody who is known as mussalam al Khattab that's literally masala the liar, because this fellow wanted to oppose the Prophet by claiming that he also is receiving revelation from God. And he tried to compose certain things
which imitate the ryan the beautiful rhyme in the Quran. But the meaning was very trivial and very laughable. And I'll give you an example. Android might be difficult to translate, but in Arabic it reads like this
watashi Neti Patna Alhaji knotty Arjuna one third is actually Hamza. She has some line. But what does it mean? It simply says those women who grind the grain, those who need the dough, and those who bake the bread.
Right? Well, there's some invitation of the right but what kind of wisdom and beauty is is conveyed in this. There are similar things that are really laughable the historians mentioned that ready for you to read and enjoy them. It's nothing really that shows any matching as well.
And as many historians also indicate that
those who, as we said before, we're very proud of the literally
ability and beauty
were totally submerged in the Quran became the top the not just the top that there is something even close to it, that just became the overwhelming.
And this is by the way is it is a matter which is confirmed from intendment evidence in the Quran as well as extended evidence, you can perhaps examine some examples of this evidence that you refer to, that they try to suppress them, when they have been so many attempts to suppress the Quran and even prevent people from listening to it. And of course, to suppress something that means that you're afraid of it that it has some magic or influence that you want to keep people away from. And that is reflected historically in numerous and repeated attempts to prevent people from listening to the prophet or hearing the Quran. For example, the many people used to come during the season of
pilgrimage to Mecca. And they just used to meet with people and ask and see what new ideas, new poems and all that. And whenever those people came, the pagans who opposed the Prophet used to catch them before they reach the Prophet say, Oh, don't talk to that man is crazy. Is this in that good old kind of description to him? Just to make sure that they want to listen to him? What if you're confident? Why don't you let them listen and then decide for themselves but that attempt to prevent them? It says that this shows that there's something really, that you feel you dread,
as merited also in salvation Buhari collection of prophetic scenes.
It was mentioned that one of the closest companions of the Prophet peace be upon him, Abu Bakar
was in trouble because people of course, were persecuted Muslims were persecuted. So he had a neighbor who was not a Muslim, a pagan man, because that neighbor was his friend. So he sought his protection. And among the Arab tribes, the custom was that if you give protection to some neighbor, then everybody respect that.
And what happened is that Abu Bakr used to recite the Quran at night in the court of his house. So many of the dependents of those pagan crusades, the children, the wives and so on, used to listen very eagerly, and really get very much attracted to the Quran. So the big chiefs of Christ, the tribe of the Prophet go speak, and people were very much upset with this, that they were afraid that their dependents might be attracted to Islam and really
react to the Quran. So they applied all kinds of pressure on that neighbor, to withdraw his protection of our buck, which he did. So they that shows again, that they were really viciously
trying to make sure that the voice of the Quran will not reach other people by just make it look terrible to them. Just keep them away so that they won't even listen to it. And it's not only the big chiefs where
the fear or worry that they had was not only for their dependents, at times, they seem to be indications even that they were afraid for themselves to be attracted to the Quran might sound paradoxical, but they themselves were trying to
avoid listening to the Quran, while at the same time being very much attracted and wanting to listen to the Quran. This is a very interesting point. Is that based on interpretation, or is there any concrete events which seem to indicate this? Well, there are historical narratives that seem to clearly indicate that let me just give you one.
This study was narrated by Agnes hack, which is a very famous biography of the Prophet peace be upon him about three of the most vicious opponents of the prophets in the meccan period in the face of persecution. And this were Abu Sufyan Abuja and after submission, three people,
despite of their resistance, and opposition to the Prophet, each one of them had that attraction to listen to the Quran. They realize that during the night, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in his own home used to recite the Quran.
So in one night, each one of them individually because they didn't agree that individually said Alright,
let me sneak in the darkness of the night and get too close to the house of the Prophet and, you know, stand outside and enjoy listening to this strange core. And
so each one of them thought the same thing. And the dark of the night each one sneaked very quietly and said, but apparently they sat in different corners, different places around the house and everyone was keeping quiet
So that they can listen to the Quran. And nobody can see that he's listening. They stay there's almost all night listening and enjoying tremendously the beauty of the Quran. But when the dawn start to break, each one of them said to himself, oh no, I better get home before anyone catches me. Of course, the idea is that if the other people the common man is sees them, what would you say to people that are opposing the Quran, you're saying the Quran is better than the Prophet is better on yourself, cannot resist even listening to it. So they were afraid that some people might catch them started, again sneaking quietly to go home.
But when they started going home, they ran into each other,
you know, the roads? And everybody said, Where are you coming from? Where are you going? So everybody knew exactly what the others were doing. And they said to each other, no, we shouldn't do that. We shouldn't listen to that grant. We should not come again. So they agreed to that. Next month, each one said to himself, well, you know, maybe the other fellows will observe the treaty will not come again.
I want to listen to the Quran. So again, each one individually decided to break the hour, and sneak sneak in the darkness of the night set again, around the house of the Prophet and everybody tremendously enjoyed listening to locker and went on broke, broke again. They ran into each other. Haven't you agreed not to come back? What are you but how about you? How about you? They started arguing fighting each other and say, okay, no, no, we shouldn't do it again. They repeated the same thing, the third night, which was again, the tremendous magical look around. And then after the third night, they said, All right, listen, we have to sit down you will never leave from here, until
we make a solemn oath, never to come again. And listen to the Quran. And in fact, there is
a reference in the Quran to that particular incident even though they thought it was sacred, but it was not sacred for God. And that appears in Surah 41. In passage 26 waka Latina Casa ruleta smile The head of one healthy lambda Kentucky Boone, that is the unbelievers referring to this three said, Don't listen to this Quran. But make noise there and that you may prevail, or have the upper hand. So that indicate like I indicated before that the strength of there's pride and there's a lock once the Quran was seen as a totally category by itself, totally different from what they used to try it no matter how beautiful and eloquent
while in the remaining months that we have today's program, are there any incidents where those who oppose the the Prophet explicitly acknowledged their inability to mask the beauty and the wisdom of the crop. There's the famous story of a lady named Maghera
person also used to very much oppose the Prophet. But one time he came to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him to listen to the Quran. And he will he was so much impressed and so much touched by it, even though he was eloquent himself, very famous
person and some of the other unbelievers, you know, they were afraid that he might have been influenced by the prophet. So one of them a Buddha, literally translate the father of ignorance.
This is his name anyway, he came to him and he said, Listen, and really because he knew that he was influential,
the people have collected or planning to collect some money for you to say something to oppose the Quran or to something against it.
He said you people know that. I'm the most eloquent of you. You all know that I have all knowledge and experience expertise with the poetry and all that and I don't know really what to say by way of opposition of the Quran.
They said you better say something, you know in the trunk to pressure him very much to say something. What his answer was that while I know that none of you know poetry better than I do.
I swears that what this man is saying that it
is nothing like what we do at all for that saying that's for this court and there is a kind of sweetness. It has a sort of grace.
It says it's upper part. It's a very difficult for you notice until because it's very laquan description, it's upper part is lightning and it's lower part is shining. It is always gets above and can never be surpassed. It surpasses and can never be surpassed and destroys anything under it. In other words, there's nothing that comes close to it that can be compared to it. After lots of thinking they asked him again, please do
To say something against, you know what he came up with. He says in her illustration, this person must be magic. It's just magic that came from humans but he himself could not even come close to, you know, saying something that might at least indicate that this Quran has come from a human so the fact that he says that it's magic, it shows that he just threw his hands in the air and admitted explicitly that the Quran is quite different.
Well, it's been very interesting program discussing the linguistic miracle of the Quran. We want to thank you for watching. invite you back next week. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you