Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household), faced many people in his lifetime who did not believe in him. They challenged him to produce a miracle to match those produced by other prophets in the past. He retorted that it was quite unnecessary, as the Noble Quran Itself was the supreme miracle for all times and all places.
Many Muslim and non‑Muslim scholars have proved, in various ways, that the Holy Quran is a miracle. This conviction is reflected in many books and articles throughout the history of Islam. They render a variety of sound and just reasons to substantiate this fact. As I have chosen to let the Glorious Quran answer most of the questions, I think it would be appropriate to continue the same technique, and see how the Munificent Quran Itself proves Its own miraculous nature.
Let us first define "miracle". The Arabic equivalent of miracle is mujizah, which is a derivative of the root "A‑J‑Z". This root reflects the idea of being unable to, inability, impossibility. Mu’jizah (or miracle) means something that no one can do except Allah the Exalted (or His Messengers, with His Leave). What is the difference between magic and miracle? The difference is that the former can be done by a talented human being either out of his own creativity or by learning from others. The latter, however, cannot be done by mankind. Humankind is unable (‘ajiz) to do it on its own initiative, without the Will of Allah the Exalted. In order to perform a miracle, one must be empowered by Allah the Omnipotent exclusively. With this in mind, let us now see how the Precious Quran Itself proves that It is a miracle:
82nd and 83rd revelations1, 9 years B.H.
Allah the Exalted challenges the enemies of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household), to produce a book like the Great Quran.
﴾33 ‑ Or do they say "He fabricated the (message)"? Nay They have no faith! 34 ‑ Let them then produce a recital like unto it, if they speak the Truth!﴿2
118th revelation, 4 years B.H.
Five years later, the challenge is reduced to only ten Surahs, instead of a similar book.
﴾Or they may say `He forged it' say: `Bring you then ten Surahs forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever you can, other than Allah! If you speak the truth!﴿3
121st revelation in the same year
He confirms that the entire human race and the jimis cannot produce a similar book.
﴾Say: `If the whole of mankind and jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.﴿4
131st revelation, 2 years B.H.
The challenge continues:
﴾Say: `Then bring you a book from Allah, which is a better Guide than either of them (the Tawrah and the Quran) that 1 may follow it! (Do), if you are truthful!﴿5
160th and 161st revelations, in the 4th year A.H.
Now, after 13 years of frequent challenge, Allah the Omnipotent confirms again that people are unable to produce a Book like the Holy Qur'an. He now further reduces the challenge from ten to only one Sarah:
﴾37 ‑ This Qur an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; On the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book ‑wherein there is no doubt‑ from the Lord of the worlds. 38 ‑ Or do they say, `He forged it'? Say: `Bring them a Sarah like unto it, and call (to your aid) any‑one you can, besides Allah, if you speak the truth.﴿6
164th and 165th revelations, in the 5th year A.H.
Again, He confirms the invitation to produce even one surah similar to the Qur'anic surahs. For those who claim they can produce a similar book but in reality have not been able to do so, He clearly reminds them of the excruciating consequences:
﴾23 ‑ And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to our obedient, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers besides Allah if your (doubts) are true. 24 ‑ But if you cannot ‑and certainly you cannot‑ then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones ‑which is prepared for those who reject Faith.﴿7
Therefore, the contestation continued for fourteen years during the lifetime of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household), with frequent reminders. Today, after over fourteen centuries, no one has matched even the smallest surah of this Book. I hope that the above passage illustrates how the Noble Qur'an Itself proves its miraculous nature (i.e. the inability of humankind to produce a similar Writing).
Some people have claimed that their writings are Divine or their books are comparable or even superior to the Glorious Quran. There are also people who believe in these claims without either having assessed these writings in the original text (excerpts, translations, interpretations and commentaries are unacceptable for this assessment), or having realised the perfection and glory of the true wahy from the Miraculous Qur'an. I hope this and the next sections of this book can provide a basis for the examination of such claims.
* An Introduction to the Glorious Quran by Bahram Samii. Chapter 4 "The Glorious Quran as a Miracle". Published by: The Muhammadi Trust Great Britian Reproduced with permission by the Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project team.
1- Revelation numbers are based on an appendix to the following Qur'an: al‑Qur'an ul‑Karim, donated by the Union of the European students Islamic societies and the student Islamic societies of Canada and America, with compliments from Kayhan Inc., P.O. Box 638, Oakland Gardens, NY 11364, U.S.A. Translated by Muhammad Kadim Mucizzi (to Farsi) including various appendices produced by Mahmnd Ramyar and distributed by Book Distribution Center, P.O. Box 22933, Houston, TX 77027, U.S.A.
2- LII:33 & 34
4- XVII: 88
6- X:37 & 38
7- II:23 & 24