The inimitability of the Arabic Holy Qur'an for all times and in all places has been proven by the inability of anyone to bring a similitude to it, or even one of its surahs. This is despite the challenges that were directed to the Arabs by the Holy Qur’an; the existence of motivation among the enemies of Islam from the time of revelation to the Day of Judgment; and the absence of any impediment, as they are a people of eloquence and rhetoric. In addition to this, the Holy Qur’an was revealed in their own language and it accorded with their literary expressions and styles.
In this chapter, we will summarize some aspects of the eloquence of the Holy Qur’an that are felt by every open-minded and sensitive reciter and researcher of, and listener to, the Holy Qur’an; as the Holy Qur’an is minutely and wholly inimitable in regard to its eloquent style.
- Its splendid composition is different from the ordinary language of the Arabs, whether poetry or prose. Its style also clearly differs from that of its conveyer, Muhammad (peace be upon him), who said:
- “I am Muhammad, the illiterate prophet (thrice), and no prophet will come after me. I have been given the opening, conclusion, and Jawami` (the shortest expressions with the widest meanings) of speech.” (Reported by Ahmad)
- The Holy Qur’an has one consistent elevated level of language, despite the diversity of its meanings and subjects, and this applies even to the verses concerning legislation and judgments. An example is the verse related to debt in Surah Al-Baqarah – Verse No. 282 (the longest verse in the Qur’an). Another example is the verses concerned with inheritance in Surah An-Nisa’ – Verses Nos. 11 - 12.
- The Holy Qur’an is suitable for all people, regardless of their different levels of knowledge, and of time. Accordingly, lay people, dignitaries, the simple minded, and scientists have been able to understand and become affected by the Holy Qur’an throughout time.
- The interpenetration of the meanings and subjects of the Holy Qur’an is presented in such a way that they become unified in one integrated harmonious structure that can not be imitated.
- The eloquence of the Holy Qur’an depends on the great diversity in the ways of expressing the same subject matter, so that every expression presents a new meaning.
- The Holy Qur’an is free from repetition, with the exception of (for) two reasons. The first reason is for confirmation, and this is accompanied by an exaggeration of the meaning and an increase in the effect. As for the second, this is related to the integration of the figuration and forms that are used to present a specific subject.
- The whole Qur’anic method of expression gives us a feeling of the Majesty and Glory of the Speaker, Allah. It is psychologically impossible for a human being to imitate such a style, with this intensity, throughout the whole of the Qur’anic text.
- There is a great diversity in the manners of address, in a way that accords with narration and embodies situations and meanings in a true and accurate way (whether the discourse is with the Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him], groups of people, Allah, or when using the third person pronoun for things, individuals, or groups)
- Words and sentences are such as to give more than their literal meanings, and to bring tangible imaginable forms.
- Figurations are transformed from static forms into living and animated scenes.
- Scenes are exaggerated and animated according to the necessity of the situation and context.