to prostrate before its eloquence. And, for example:
The Thamud rejected [their prophet] through their inordinate wrongdoing. * Behold, the most wicked man among them was deputed [for impiety]. * But the Apostle of God said to them: “It is a she-camel of God. And [bar her not from] having her drink!” * Then they rejected him, and they hamstrung her. So their Lord, on account of their crime, obliterated their traces and made them equal [in destruction, high and low]! * And for Him is no fear of its consequences.(91:11-15)
In these few short sentences, with a miraculousness within the conciseness, fluency, and clarity, and in a way that does not spoil the understanding, the Qur’an relates the strange, momentous events involving the Thamud people and their consequences, and the Thamud’s calamitous end. And for example:
And remember Zun-Nun, when he departed in wrath: he imagined that We had no power over him. But he cried through the depths of darkness: “There is no god but You; glory be unto You; I was indeed among the wrongdoers.”(21:87)
Here, many sentences have been “rolled up” between the words “that We had no power over him” and “but he cried out in the depths of the darkness,” but these omitted sentences neither spoil the understanding, nor mar the fluency of the style. It mentions the chief elements of the story of Jonah (Upon whom be peace), and refers the rest to the intelligence.
And for example, in Sura Yusuf, the seven or eight sentences between the words “Send me” and “Joseph, O man of truth!”(12:45-6) have been skipped concisely, yet it neither impairs the understanding, nor mars the smoothness of the style. There are a great many instances of this sort of miraculous conciseness in the Qur’an, and they are very beautiful indeed.
However, the conciseness of the verses from Sura Qaf are particularly wonderful and miraculous. For they each point out the truly dreadful future of the unbelievers when each endless day will last fifty thousand years, and the dire things that will happen to them in the awesome revolutions of the future. It flashes them over the mind like lightning, depicting that long, long period of time to the mind’s eye as a single present page. Referring the events that are not mentioned to the imagination, it evokes them with truly elevated fluency and smoothness of style.
When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that you may receive mercy.(7:204)