spread everything that was against Islam. And if someone had disputed the Qur’an and they had made it known to everyone, it would certainly have been recorded in the books of history in glittering terms. But all the histories and books are in evidence; apart from a few passages about Musaylima the Liar, there is nothing in any of them. Whereas for twenty-three years the All-Wise Qur’an continuously taunted and challenged them in a way that would increase their obduracy. It in effect said:
“Let someone unlettered like Muhammad the Trustworthy compose the like of the Qur’an. You won’t be able to, so come on, not an unlettered person, let someone very learned and literary do it. You won’t be able to do that either, so rather than a single person, gather together all your scholars and men of eloquence, and let them assist one another, and the false gods on which you rely can also lend a hand. You won’t be able to do this either, so use the literary works of the past, and even call on those of the future to help you, and then compose the like of the Qur’an. And if you can’t do this, don’t compose all the Qur’an, but only ten Suras. You won’t be able to manage ten which are truly like the Qur’an’s Suras, so put it together out of stories and fictitious tales; just produce something similar to the word-order and eloquence. And don’t write a long Sura, just a short one. But if you can’t do this, your religion, lives, property, and families will all be in danger, both in this world and in the next!”
With these eight alternatives, the Wise Qur’an has challenged and silenced men and jinn, not for twenty-three years, but for one thousand three hundred. Nonetheless, in those early times, those unbelievers did not have recourse to the easiest way, dispute or contest, but chose the most difficult way, that of war, putting their lives, possessions, and families into danger. That means, it was not possible to dispute it.
Wouldn’t any intelligent person, particularly the people of Arabia at that time – and the Quraysh, who were very clever – have ensured that one of their literary men composed a Sura similar to one of the Qur’an’s and so be saved from its attacks; would they have abandoned the short and easy way, cast all they possessed into peril, and travelled the way most fraught with difficulties?
In Short: As the famous Jahiz put it: “Dispute with words was not possible, so they were compelled to fight with the sword.”
I f i t i s a s k e d : Some learned scholars have said that not one of the Qur’an’s Suras, but not a single of its verses can be disputed, nor even a single sentence or a word, nor have they been disputed. But this appears to be exaggerated and unacceptable to reason, for many human words resemble those of the Qur’an. Why do they say this?