The Third Fallacy
They ask: “What need is there for such parables, which infer that [the Qur’an] is incapable of setting forth reality?”
The Answer: Since the purpose of the Qur’an’s revelation is to guide the masses and they are ordinary people, and ordinary people cannot understand sheer truths and abstract ideas stripped of their imaginings, in His grace and beneficence Allah the Most High clothed the truths in the garments of things familiar to them, to make them more palatable. You have seen this in the discussion about the allegorical verses [in verse 23].
The positioning [and relationships] of the verses’ phrases:
The phrase “Behold, Allah does not disdain to propound a parable of a gnat, or of something [even] less than that (Inna Allāha lā yastaḥyī an yaḍriba mathalan mā ba‘ūḍatan fa-mā fawqahā)” refutes and rejects [their] string of objections. It is as though they are asking:
“What is the reason (ḥikma) Allah the Most High speaks with men, and reproaches them and complains about them, for it is a sign that they too have the power to act in the world? – Especially if [His speech] resembles the conversations people hold among themselves, doesn’t it infer it is human speech? And especially if man’s image is apparent behind the speech? And especially if [He speaks in the form of] allegories and parables, for this infers the inability to depict reality? And especially if the parables are commonplace, for this is a sign that the speaker’s mind is limited? And especially if they [depict] trifling things, for this indicates the speaker’s frivolity? And especially if they are things that do not have to be mentioned and it would be better to avoid? And especially if some are things self-respecting people would not stoop to speak of? And especially if the speaker is someone grand and important? So the Qur’an replies and demolishes this chain from beginning to end with a single blow. It declares: “Allah does not disdain...” For the inner face [of things] (malakūtiyya) is not contrary to His grandeur and glory, and He neglects or omits nothing. Godhead necessitates this. Hence He portrays insignificant things [to express] insignificant meanings, for wisdom and true (lit. the mystery of) eloquence necessitate this. And hence He propounds commonplace parables since they are conducive to education and guidance. And hence He depicts truths by means of parables since this is necessitated by divine grace and condescension. And hence He chooses to speak in the manner of human conversation since this is necessitated by dominicality (rubūbiyya)