Dec 14, 2009

The linguistic Miracle of the Qur'an

As Salaam Alaykum.

Bismillah Irahman Irahim.

Although Much could be written on this topic, however I think the following story will suffice. I have extracted it from a book called, " Muhammad (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) The Prophet Of Revolution" by Ml Wahiduddin Khan, Who himself has taken the story from Sheikh Tantawis commentary on the Quran. Jawahir fi Al-tafsir Al- Quran Al-Karim.

Sheikh Tantawi (ra) writes " On 13 June 1932, I met an Egyptian writer, Kamil Gilani, who told me an amazing story. One day he was with an American orientalist by the name of Finkle, with whom he enjoyed a deep intellectual relationship."Tell me, are you still among those who consider the Quran a miracle? whispered Finkle in Gilani's ear, adding a laugh to indicate his ridicule of such belief.

He thought that Muslims could only hold this belief in blind faith. It could not be based on any sound objective reasoning. Thinking that his blow had really gone home, Finkle was visibly pleased with himself. Seeing his attitude, Gilani too started laughing. " Before issuing any pronouncement on the the style of the Quran," he said, "we should first have a look and see if we can produce anything comparable to the Quran or not."

Gilani then invited Finkle to join him in putting a Quranic idea into Arabic words. The idea he chose was:' Hell is extremely vast' , Finkle agreed, and both men sat down with pen and paper. Between them, they produced about twenty Arabic sentences. " "Hell is extremely vast," " Hell is vaster than you can imagine,"

"Mans's intelligence cannot fathom the vastness of Hell," and many examples of this nature, were some of the sentences they produced. They tried until they could think of no other sentences to express this idea. Gilani looked at Finkle triumphantly. " Now that we have done our best, we shall be able to see how the Quran stands above all work of men." he said " What, has the quran expressed this idea more eloquently.?" Finkle enquired. " We are like little children compared to the Quran," Gilani told him. Amazed, Finkle asked what was in the Quran.

Gilani recited this verse from Surah Qaf:
يَوْمَ نَقُولُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلَأْتِ وَتَقُولُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيدٍ

" On the Day when we Will ask Hell: " Are you full? " And Hell will answer Are there any more? " (50:30)

Finkle was startled on hearing this verse. Amazed at the supreme eloquence of the Quran, he openly admitted defeat." you were right, quite right," he said, " I unreservedly concede defeat." " for you to acknowledge the truth," Gilani replied, " is nothing strange, for you are a man of letters, well aware of the importance of style in language." This particular orientalist was fluent in English, German, Hebrew and Arabic, and had spent all his life studying the literature of these languages..

(Sheikh al Tantawi (ra) Al Jawahir fi tafseer Al Quran Al Kareem, Vol. 23pp.11-12.)

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