Monday, July 16, 2012

Is The Qur’an a Literary Miracle?

Execution of al-Nadr on order of Muhammad - He didn't think the Qur'an was a literary miracle....

1. Were Muhammad's contemporaries all impressed by the miraculous nature of the Qur'an?
One would assume that, were a work of literature created by God, it would be perfect and that all those who heard it would be transfixed. It would, we might also assume, not be greeted by derision and dismissed as mere plagiarism by other poets of the time. Nonetheless, this is what apparently happened when Muhammad first started to reveal God's words to humanity. We know of one such reaction because the criticism is actually referred to in the Qur'an itself:

83:13 ... [W]hen Our revelations are recited to him, he says, "Ancient fables!" 14 No indeed! Their hearts are encrusted with what they have done. 15 No indeed! On that day they will be screened off from their Lord, 16 they will burn in Hell, 17 and they will be told, "This is what you call a lie." (Haleem)
This passage is thought by scholars to refer to al-Nadr, who  was promptly assassinated on the orders of Muhammad. The scene is depicted above. The same fate befell at least three other poets who were ill-advised enough to criticise God's chosen mouthpiece.

2. Are the literary devices used in the Qur'an an argument for its divine origin?
Muslims say that the Qur'an contains an impressively broad range of stylistic devices to communicate its message. Hamza Tzortzis of the Islamic Education and Research Association (iERA) has recently written and published (via iERA) a study entitled The Qur'ans (sic) Unique Literary Form
Let us examine what Hamza has to say.

The following list, says Hamza, has been provided to show that the Qur’an employs more rhetorical features than any other rhymed prose; past or present. (Hamza obviously has great faith in his readers' knowledge of esoteric literary terms, as he neglects to explain any of them. Without wishing to insult my readers, I have given an explanation (in brackets) where I feel one might be enlightening)
 Analogy
 Alliteration  
Antiphrasis  (using a word to mean the opposite - ironically)
 Antithesis  (saying contrasting things)
 Asyndeton  (basically leaving out conjunctions eg veni, vidi, vici)
 Assonance  (repetition of vowel sounds for effect - I'm sure you knew that one...)
 Cadence (using rhythm)
 Chiasmus  (criss-cross structure eg who is first shall be last, who is last shall be first)
 Epizeuxis  (repetition of word for effect)
 Equivoque (pun or double meaning)
 Homonymy  (word with more than one meaning)
 Hyperbole  (exaggeration - again, sure you knew that one)
Isocolon (stressing connections by using words same length – veni, vedi veci (which is also an example of asyndeton – so now you know…))
Metaphor 
  Metonymy  (the substitution of a word or phrase for another closely associated _ The Golden Arches are metonymic  (for Mcdonald’s!))
 Parenthesis (word or phrase inserted as an aside)
 Polypton  (repetition of words from same root eg run, running, runner)
 Rhetorical Questions (I don't need to explain this, do I?)
 Stress (I said I don't need to explain this, DO I?) 
Synedoche (same as metonymy really – using part of something to refer to the whole)
Once the more technical terms are explained in simple language - like all jargon designed to intimidate, impress and exclude - they become less impressive. In fact, I would say that if I were to write a "revelation" in poetic language the length of the Qur'an over the course of twenty-three years, I'd be hard pressed NOT to include all of the above. As a list it's simply not that impressive, Hamza. Especially when we compare it to a writer like Shakespeare (who didn't spend 23 years on one book but wrote a play while rehearsing another and performing yet another and managed to write 884,000 words of majestic poetry and prose. By comparison the Qur'an is one tenth the length (only approximately 78,000 words). I'm no Shakespeare scholar but I suspect we'd find his oeuvre included all of the above techniques and PLENTY more besides. Does that then make Shakespeare's work divine (in the true sense...)?



3. Is the literary form of the Qur'an unique?
Muslims make great play of the fact that the Qur'an is neither poetry nor prose. Once again, let's turn to Hamza Tzortzis' study to understand more clearly the Muslim argument. Every expression of the Arabic language falls into the literary forms of Prose and Poetry, he states. Even this bare statement is somewhat misleading, as he later concedes, since there is a form of literary expression called saj'. Here is what we are told about saj':

Von Denffer in his book ‘Ulum al-Qur’an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an’ provides the following 
description:

“A literary form with some emphasis on rhythm and rhyme, but distinct from poetry. Saj’ is not really as 
sophisticated as poetry, but has been employed by Arab poets, and is the best known of the pre-Islamic Arab 

prosodies. It is distinct from poetry in its lack of metre, i.e. it has not consistent rhythmical pattern, and it shares 
with poetry the element of rhyme, though in many cases some what irregularly employed.
Hamza further concedes that some of the Qur'an - the early Meccan surahs - are synonymous with saj' 

The Qur’an has its own unique form. It cannot be described as any of the known literary forms. However due to similarities between saj’ and early Meccan chapters, some Western Scholars describe the Qur’an’s literary form as saj’.  Angelika Neuwrith states,“Saj’ is given up completely in the later suras where the rhyme makes use of a simple –un/-in – scheme to mark the end of rather long and syntactically complex verse….saj’ style is thus exclusively characteristic of the early suras”
Thus the Qur'an appears to be a "unique form of saj'", according to Muslims.

There are three major opinions based upon modern and classical scholarship on how the Qur’an achieves this unique literary form and this unique form of saj
1. Unique fusion of Metrical and Non Metrical Speech
2. Qur'anic saj' (by which is meant, apparently, more "mono-rhythm", more "inexact rhyme")
3. Greater range of stylistic devices (which we've already covered)

It is certainly the case that saj' was widespread in pre-Islamic Arabia.
According to Al-Jahiz, the advantages of rhymed prose are twofold; it is pleasing to the ear and easy to remember. He says the Arabs have uttered a far greater quantity of simple than of rhymed prose, and yet not a tenth of the former has been retained while not a tenth of the latter has been lost. (wikipedia)
This perhaps goes some way to explaining another of the "miracles" that Muslims attribute to the Qur'an: the ease of memorising it. Arabic literature relied upon oral transmission for far longer than its European equivalent. Poetry and rhymed prose or saj' thus allowed performers to remember huge amounts of material with relative ease. That the Qur'an has the same quality is therefore not miraculous but totally understandable.
But let us return to what supposedly distinguishes the Qur'an from saj', something which is of course essential for Muslim defenders of the miraculous and unique nature of the Qur'an. 
i. Qur'anic saj' sometimes has a rhythm and sometimes not (Hamza's impressive sounding "fusion of metrical and non-metrical speech")
ii. Qur'anic saj' has rhymes which are sometimes inaccurate or "not very good". (Hamza's "inexact rhymes")
iii. Qur'anic saj' many rhetorical devices (but, as we saw earlier, hardly a hugely impressive list given the length of the work, the time taken to produce it, and when one compares them to a more prolific and skilled writer like Shakespeare)

Hamza goes on to list further characteristics which he deems worthy of special mention since they make the Qur'an "unique" in his opinion:
"Semantically orientated assonance and rhyme" - so the rhyme and assonance correspond to the meaning. I would humbly suggest that if they didn't, the Qur'an would be what is termed "nonsense", such as the poems of Edward Lear.

"Interrelation between sound, structure and meaning" - see above


"Iltifaat: Grammatical shifts" - This is important so let's turn to Hamza's study again:
Professor Abdel Haleem in his article 'Grammatical Shift for Rhetorical Purposes: Iltifat and Related Features in the Qur'an' brought to attention, that another inimitable feature of the Qur'an, is the extensive use of grammatical shiftsThese grammatical shifts include changes in person, change in number, change in addressee, change in tense, change in case marker, using a noun in place of a pronoun and many other changes.Another example of a Virtue out of FaultThe Qur’an is the only form of Arabic prose to have used this rhetorical device in an extensive and complex manner. Abdel Haleem states,“…it employs this feature far more extensively and in more variations than does Arabic poetry. It is, therefore, natural to find…no one seems to quote references in prose other than from the Qur'an”
So when an ayat shifts confusingly from I... to... He.... to WE this is not shoddy editing but “grammatical shift for rhetorical purposes”. The fact that the Qur’an uses this “more than any other Arabic literature before or since” is hardly surprising since no other literature before or since has claimed to be from the mouth of God who for reasons known only to Him can’t quite decide whether to refer to himself in the first person singular, third person singular or the first person plural.

 Unique Linguistic Genre - Hamza's next characteristic that makes the Qur'an unique is somewhat confusing, since he claims the Qur'an is unique because ...it is unique. Can't argue with that one!

Conclusion: 
1. The Qur'an was criticised by other poets of the time. Muhammad had these poets assassinated. This does not suggest to me that the Qur'an or its mouthpiece were divinely inspired.
2. The apparent unique breadth of rhetorical or literary devices is not overly-impressive given the length of the Qur'an and the amount of time its author had to consider its content and style.
3. The supposedly unique ease with which people can memorise the Qur'an is not so miraculous when one learns that most pre-Islamic Arabic literature was memorised with ease because of the nature of poetry or rhymed prose or saj'. They were designed to be easy to remember.
4. The apparent unique literary form of the Qur'an is an understandable result of a piece of literature produced over a period of 23 years. One must ask oneself: is it more impressive to produce a piece of literature in a mixture of styles (rhymed prose and poetry) than in one consistent style? Would Homer's Illyad or Milton's Paradise Lost be more impressive works of literature if their authors had chopped and changed between styles?
5. Many of the features of the Qur'an which "scholars" suggest add to its uniqueness and richness can be interpreted as weaknesses (grammatical shifts, repetition, inconsistent style, poor rhymes). That these features have been used to support the hypothesis that the Qur'an is a literary masterpiece tells us more about the obsequious nature of current Qur'anic scholarship than it tells us about the Qur'an.
6. If one believes that a work of literature contains the very words of God, one will expect and want to find perfection. What one expects and wants to find, one usually does.

24 comments:

  1. Do you read Arabic, sir?
    If you don't, as I suspect, what right have you to criticise the Qur'an.
    There are many features therein which only an Arabic speaker could appreciate.

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    1. So Allah's final message to all mankind is in fact only able to be fully appreciated by the small percentage of people who read classical Arabic, is it?
      Have you really thought about this?
      The main miracle of Islam, that Muhammad himself referred to and that's mentioned in the Qur'an, the unique... miraculous... literary qualities of the Revelation, are a closed book to the vast majority of those for whom it was apparently written (all mankind, remember?)

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    2. I don't know if you're a Hamza Tzortzis fan, but just in case, you might like to know that a few months ago Hamza Tzortzis described his own Arabic skills on facebook in this way:

      "my very little knowledge of the arabic langauge"[sic]

      He said a similar thing on the Magic Sandwich Show last year. This is a man who has built a following by writing and talking extensively about the "linguistic miracle"!

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    3. Since only about 15% of Muslims are from Arabia and even their various dialects differ from classical Arabic I'd have to conclude that most Muslims don't have a clue about the Qur'an and hence Islam. Therefore they must be blindly following the Mullahs.
      As a former Muslim I did not know Arabic but still believed.
      - Azim

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  2. Unbelievable - so Hamza Tzortzis talks pretentious, pompous bollocks about a subject he knows very little and the ummah lap it up.
    Interesting post btw.

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  3. semoga Allah memberikan hidayah pada Bapak untuk membukan mata hati bapak yang paling dasar ...jika Bapak membaca Quran dg hati yang paling dalam dan kebenaran bapak akan merasakan keindahan Quran yang sebenarnya ...bertobatlah pak ...hidup kita tidak lama di sini ...tapi kehidupan kita akan abadi di alam kubur ..dengan membawa kebaikan yang bapak tanam di dunia ini ...Quran salah satu jalan mencari kebaikan hati ...carilah hidayah dan kebenaran quran dg hati yang bersih semoga bapak mendapatkan nilai itu

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    1. Thanks Anon - and for readers who don't speak Indonesian here's a summary:
      "Repent! The Qur'an guides us for a good life...etc."
      Would you like to add anything to the debate?

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  4. In the name of Allah the most merciful.

    I would like to point out the manner in which your contentions fall short. To begin with You asked the question Were Muhammad's contemporaries all impressed by the miraculous nature of the Qur'an? You assert"One would assume that, were a work of literature created by God, it would be perfect and that all those who heard it would be transfixed. It would, we might also assume, not be greeted by derision and dismissed as mere plagiarism by other poets of the time. Nonetheless, this is what apparently happened when Muhammad first started to reveal God's words to humanity". You then quote a passage from the Quran.83:13 ... "[W]hen Our revelations are recited to him, he says, "Ancient fables!" 14 No indeed! Their hearts are encrusted with what they have done. 15 No indeed! On that day they will be screened off from their Lord, 16 they will burn in Hell, 17 and they will be told, "This is what you call a lie." What you fail to realize is that knowledge and proof is one thing but submission is another. You may have evidence and knowledge of somethings but that does not mean you will submit. And a clear example is given with the prophets and messengers before, in which they preformed many miracles and yet you still had people who were disblievers. And what the verse is pointing to is one of their baseless claims due to their own subjective self delusion which was contrary to the evidence i.e the Quran being inimitable. Arbuthnot, who was a noted British orientlist, and translator disagress with you on your assertion. He is a non muslim scholar by the way, he explains in his book-The Construction of the Bible and the Koran the effect of the Qur’anic style.- “It is confessedly the standard of the Arabic tongue… The style of the Koran is beautiful and fluent… and in many places, especially where the majesty and attributes of God are described, sublime and magnificent… He succeeded so well, and so strangely captivated the minds of his audience".

    You then assert in your conslusion to this first point. "The Qur'an was criticised by other poets of the time. Muhammad had these poets assassinated. This does not suggest to me that the Qur'an or its mouthpiece were divinely inspired."
    The only example you were able to give was Al-Nadr bin al-Harith. Now what you conviently ommited was that Al Nadir bin al Harith in the Battle of Badr, Nadr joined the the opposing Quraish army. After the battle, out of the 72 captives, only 2 were executed, one of them being Nadr b. al-Harith.The account can be found at -The Life of Muhammad PBUH by Abdul Hameed Siddiqui, p.185-186, Islamic Publications LTD-.And in the source it says"The two men, were executed because of their unrelenting hostility towards the Muslims."However, whats interesting, is that out of all the prisoners of war, only 2 were executed. Moreover, these prisoners were treated with the utmost kindness. So much so that history records many of their conversions to Islam. Examples of the kindness include the fact that the Muslims gave them the better thing to eat, while they contented themselves with dates. Furthermore history tells us that the best poet at that time was Walid Ibn Magirah. And he says about the Quran"By God! this could not have come from a human being." Many others I can name such as Tufail etc. I would like to conclude with the words of Professor Philip k. Hitti, a notable non muslims academic and scholar:"The style of the Koran is Gods’ style. It is different, incomparable and inimitable. This is basically
    what constitutes the ‘miraculous character’ (i’jaz) of the Koran."-Philip K. Hitti. 1960. “History of the Arabs”, seventh edition. Macmilllan & Co Ltd.-

    I will try to address some of your other inane assertions with another post.

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    1. Thank you anon. I will address your points when I return from my travels

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    2. @Anonymous, That quote by Phillp K. Hitti is probably not his own opinion but a retelling of the orthodox position on the Quran. He does this quite often in works. Furthermore, in the second paperback edition (1970) of "The Arabs: A Short history" he mentions "-the classical language modeled by the Koran is followed everywhere. At the time of the Muhammad there was no work of the first order in Arabic prose. The Koran was therefore the earliest, and has been since remained the model prose work. Its language is rhythmical and rhetorical, but not poetical. Its rhymed prosed has set the standard which almost every conservative Arabic writer of today consciously strives to imitate".
      It other words the Qur'an is held as the standard for Arabic literature (for conservative religious writers), which would make it de-facto inimitable. Hardly a miracle but an outcome of historical events

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  5. You then ask the question "Are the literary devices used in the Qur'an an argument for its divine origin?" Then you assert "Once the more technical terms are explained in simple language - like all jargon designed to intimidate, impress and exclude - they become less impressive. In fact, I would say that if I were to write a "revelation" in poetic language the length of the Qur'an over the course of twenty-three years, I'd be hard pressed NOT to include all of the above. As a list it's simply not that impressive" Now this is quite surprising becuase the people who have studied the literary devices used in the Qur'an disagree. Now I would refer you to what the experts have to say about the matter becuase it is clear you are quite inept to fully appreciate this."The Qur’an is a ‘sea of rhetoric’. The Qur’an exhibits an unparalleled frequency of rhetorical features, surpassing any other Arabic text, classical or modern."."The use of rhetoric in the Quran stands out from any type of discourse.-F. Esack. 1993. Qur’anic Hermeneutics: Problems and Prospects. In the Muslim Wolrd. Vol 83, No.2; p 118-141.- The literary devices employed in the Qur’an are not ornamental elements such that they can be dispensed with, but rather they are part and parcel of its meaning and linguistic make up. Without them the Qur’an’s meaning and literary excellence is lost. The Quran, like all other great literary masterpieces, stands out because of its use of language to convey meaning.

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    1. If you read the paper by Farid Esack, a Muslim scholar, the "Qur'anic Hermeneutics: Problems and Prospecs" you would realize the author considers the doctrine of Ijaz (inimitability of the Qur'an) to be a problem in modern quranic hermeneutics. Later on he mentions "The various theological formulations regarding it linguistic aesthetic character, we shall see, are further testimony of the trend in 'ulum al Qur'an to move from flexibility to rigidity or linguistic chauvinism. An example in this instance is the rejection of linguistic pluralism, i.e. the principle that no language in entirely independent in its development from that of another". pg.127. Later on, he elaborates "The notion of any language or discourse being absolutely free from expressions or words used in another language in alien to the basic linguistic principle". pg. 128

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  6. You then Go on to assert"As a list it's simply not that impressive, Hamza. Especially when we compare it to a writer like Shakespeare (who didn't spend 23 years on one book but wrote a play while rehearsing another and performing yet another and managed to write 884,000 words of majestic poetry and prose. By comparison the Qur'an is one tenth the length (only approximately 78,000 words). I'm no Shakespeare scholar but I suspect we'd find his oeuvre included all of the above techniques and PLENTY more besides. Does that then make Shakespeare's work divine (in the true sense...)?" You then conclude your point by saying"The apparent unique breadth of rhetorical or literary devices is not overly-impressive given the length of the Qur'an and the amount of time its author had to consider its content and style. Now what you fail to realize is that yes the Quran was revealed in a 23 year period. The prophet p.b.u.h did not have a lot of time to consider the content and style. And many of its verses were revealed at SPECIFIC times and places. The Qur’an is a known literary masterpiece yet its verse were at many times revealed for specific circumstances and events that occurred. However, without revision or deletion they are literary masterpieces. All literary masterpieces have undergone revision and deletion to ensure literary perfection, however the Qur’an was revealed instantaneously. What is very unique is that the Quran was revealed into chapters, and these chapters are literary coherent. If thats the case then how are they coherent if they were revealed over 23 year period? It only indicates the author knew the future. Imagine writing your conclusion then going back to the introduction then adding to the main part. Imagine if you did that for you an essay, you wouldn't have a coherent essay. The literary devices employed in the Qur’an add to this amazing feet of the Quran. As far as your comparison with shakespear. William Shakespeare, who was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, is often used as an example of unique literature.
    However there are some problems with the above argument. It does not take into account the nature of the Qur’an’s uniqueness and it doesn’t understand the uniqueness of literary geniuses such as Shakespeare. Although Shakespeare composed poetry and prose that received an unparalleled aesthetic reception, the literary form he expressed his works in was not unique. In many instances Shakespeare used the common Iambic Pentameter (The Iambic pentameter is a meter in poetry. It refers to a line consisting of five iambic feet. The word “pentameter” simply means that there are five feet in the line.) However in the case of the Qur’an, its language is in an entirely unknown and unmatched literary form. The structural features of the Qur’anic discourse render it unique and not the subjective appreciation of its literary and linguistic makeup.The Qur’an reaches, indeed defines, the peak of eloquence in the Arabic language The Qur’an stakes its claim to divine origin on the matter of its language, by issuing a challenge
    to rival even its shortest chapter. This has rested at the core of many historical studies of the Qur’an, as many have attempted to answer the central question of authorship.How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature?

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  7. With regards to memorization of the quran, you assert "The supposedly unique ease with which people can memorise the Qur'an is not so miraculous when one learns that most pre-Islamic Arabic literature was memorised with ease because of the nature of poetry or rhymed prose or saj'. They were designed to be easy to remember."

    Those who have accomplished the extraordinary feat of memorizing all of the 6246 verses are not a handful of devotees but there are hundreds of thousands of them. Most, just like most Muslims in the world today, do not speak Arabic. Yet they have meticulously learnt to pronounce each and every word of the Quran correctly. The phenomenon is not a result of some religious resurgence that would pass. From the very first day that the Quran was revealed, it was memorized. And the number of those who have memorized it has been increasing ever since. Memorization of Quran has been going on all through the centuries,all over the globe wherever Muslims are.There are other religions that claim to possess the Word of God. There are none that can show a book that has commanded anything remotely comparable to this level of devotion. Quran is the most read and the only completely memorized book in the whole world. It is also the most studied book in the world. It has stimulated development of entire disciplines of knowledge throught history dealing with its reading, writing, and interpretation. Yet fourteen centuries later, its language is as alive as it was when it was revealed. And there is no other example when the very first book in a language became any masterpiece let alone the eternal masterpiece that Quran is.

    I will try to respond to your other contentions in another post Inshallah(God willing). I would apprecitae if you can approve my other comment. And by the way I am not anon, whom ever that is.

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  8. I don't know how I missed this post. Great one as usual.

    On a related note, I have been studying the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein recently. He did a lot of work on the philosophy of language. His teachings I think, can take the apologetics around Qur'an's literary qualities straight to hell.

    I will try to prepare an argument about this!

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  9. I am Swedish, with a little knowledge of Arabic.
    I have recently converted to Islam, being an Atheist before.
    I like this article, it was well written, though it doesn't raise doubt when you have already decided to become a Muslim.

    As for the grammatical issue you have pointed out, I have heard that it is a form of praise, referring to God as "we". Others have said it is when God refers to himself and those with him [The angels], which I think is most likely.

    Also, the prophet Muhammad was illiterate, I find it hard to believe he could have come up with over 600 pages of beauty without the ability to read nor write. He must have been some genius to come up with this stuff in a cave, memorize it then speak it aloud to those who could write, no?

    Finally, the book was written over a millennium ago, but has mention to things that have been discovered 12-13 centuries after it was written, one of the many reasons people like myself and others convert.

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  10. Haha I'm still waiting for Spinoza & captain to bring their arguments and responses to anon.....have you constructed your arguments yet?

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  11. You can't defeat it.

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  12. We are still waiting on capt never to return n Spinoza lost on his travels.....Lmao!

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  13. On Aug. 1. 2013 Anonymous wrote: "Finally, the book was written over a millennium ago, but has mention to things that have been discovered 12-13 centuries after it was written, one of the many reasons people like myself and others convert."

    You have been not been paying too much attention to this blog. Here's a link you should consult. http://captaindisguise.blogspot.ae/2013/09/muslims-against-science-in-quran-claims.html

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  14. I would like to respond to some of your points "anonymous".

    I don't have the patience to write out such detailed responses so I will try hit the core issue. For a start we can get into this debate with various sources about weather the people at Mohammed's time knew the Quran was a miracle or not but the bottom line is, when Mohammed started preaching the vast majority of people just ignored or ridiculed him as you would expect if someone claimed to be speaking Gods words. This whole topic of the people who studied the Quran talk of amazing rhetoric, rhetoric itself is completely subjective and has no place in this discussion, what one person finds persuasive another person wont. yes you are correct it often was spontaneous and the style of the Quran itself makes that easier, switching from one topic to the next randomly not following any grammatical reason or rhyme, like the switching of the subject pronouns from he to we etc., the Quran can just use anything and it will be held up as miraculous rhetorical device. There is no way to objectively prove any miraculous quality about a piece of literature, just for the sake of clarification the style of Quran does make it easier than other books to remember yet it is still an impressive feat to memorise all of it, makes no difference to it's claim of being a miracle.

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  15. As for the grammatical issue you have pointed out, I have heard that it is a form of praise, referring to God as "we". Others have said it is when God refers to himself and those with him [The angels], which I think is most likely

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  16. People who actually take this blog seriously need to check their own credentials and knowledge, this is literally the most embarrassing response to the linguistic challenge of the Qur'an that I have ever read, why would anyone waste their time even engaging with such delusions. The fools that comment, believing in the drivel presented in this post are clueless and nonsensical, how could one even comprehend the great capacity of idiocy that these mules swim around in, lost amongst their arrogance, rooted within their ignorance and bewitched by their backward presuppositions, bias and blinded. Sincerity is never there, heedlessness to ones thoughtfulness and patience is never bared, for will they ever learn? Only if they cared.

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