been written, but not one of them resembles the Qur’an. Whether learned or ignorant, whoever looks at it and at them is bound to say: “The Qur’an does not resemble these. Not one of them has been able to imitate it.” The Qur’an is therefore either inferior to all of them, and according to the consensus of friend and foe alike, this is completely non-valid and impossible, or the Qur’an is superior to all of them.
If you say: “How do you know that no one has tried to dispute it, and that no one has had sufficient confidence to challenge it, and that no one’s help for anyone else was of any avail?”
The Answer: If it had been possible to dispute it, most certainly it would have been attempted. For it was a question of honour and pride, and life and property were at risk. If it had been attempted, numerous people would have supported such an attempt. For those who obstinately oppose the truth have always been many. And if many people had supported it, they surely would have found fame. For insignificant contests, even, attracted the wonder of people and found fame in stories and tales. So an extraordinary contest and event such as that would never have remained secret. The most ugly and infamous things against Islam have been passed down and become famous, but apart from one or two stories about Musaylima the Liar, no such thing has been related. Musaylima was very eloquent, but when compared with the exposition of the Qur’an, which possesses infinite beauty, his words passed into the chronicles as nonsense. Thus, the miraculousness of the Qur’an’s eloquence is as certain as twice two equals four; and that is how it is.
Second Aspect: We shall now explain in five ‘Points’ the wisdom of the Qur’an’s miraculousness contained in its eloquence.
First Point: There is a wonderful eloquence and purity of style in the Qur’an’s word-order. From beginning to end, Isharat al-I’jaz (Signs of Miraculousness) demonstrates this eloquence and conciseness in the word-order. The way the second, minute, and hour hands of a clock each complete the order of the others, that is the way all the sentences of the All-Wise Qur’an, and its words, and the order in the relationships between the sentences and words, have been expounded in Isharat al-I’jaz, from it first page to its last. Whoever wishes may look at that and see this wonderful eloquence in the word-order. Here, we shall mention one or two examples in order to demonstrate the word-order in the parts of a sentence. For example:
But if a breath of your Sustainer’s punishment touches them.1
In this sentence, it wants to point out the punishment as terrible through showing the severity of the least amount. That is to say, it expresses littleness or fewness, and all the parts of the sentence look also to this littleness