like of this Qur’an. And if you cannot do this, leave aside the truths of the Qur’an and its many miraculous aspects, which it is not possible to imitate, and compose a work which is its equal in only the eloquence of its word-order!”
Through the silencing words of
Bring then ten Suras forged, like it,1
it says: “Come on, I do not want its true meaning from you, let it be fabrications and lies and false tales. You will not be able to do this. So it need not be as much as the whole Qur’an, just bring ten Suras like it. You will not be able to do this either, so bring a single Sura. This will be too much as well. So alright, make it the equivalent of a short Sura. You will not be able to do this either, although the need for you to do so is so great. For your honour and self-respect, your dignity and religion, your tribal honour and pride, your life and property, and your lives in this world and the next will all be saved by producing the like of it. Otherwise in this world you will remain in abasement, without honour, dignity, religion, or pride, and your lives and property will be destroyed and will perish, and in the hereafter, as is indicated by the verse,
Then give heed to Hell-fire, whose fuel is men and stones,2
you will be condemned to everlasting incarceration in Hell; together with your idols you will be fuel to its fires. Since your need is thus great, and since you have now understood your impotence in eight degrees, you should be certain eight times over that the Qur’an is a miracle. So either believe in it, or be silent and go to Hell!” So see the way the Qur’an forces them to accept the argument in this category of ‘silencing in argument’ which is within that of ‘making understood,’ and say: “There is no manner of exposition better than that of the Qur’an!” Indeed, after that of the Qur’an no need remains for further exposition.
Here is a second example:
Exhort then [O Prophet], for by your Sustainer’s grace you are neither a soothsayer nor a madman * Or do they say: A poet! – let us wait and see what time will do! * Say: Wait then, I too shall wait with you. * Is it that their faculties of understanding urge them to this, or are they but a people transgressing all bounds. * Or do they say: He fabricated this [Message]? Nay, they do not believe. * Let them then produce a recital like unto it – if they speak the truth. * Or were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators? * Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, they have no firm belief. *