6.6 The Challenge
Quraysh, the masters of poetry and oratory in an age, which is considered the golden age of those arts, continued to argue and quibble with, or without, reason. Mohamed, continually receiving the Revelation, continued to teach and help people and to bring them "out of darkness into light." He taught them morals, manners, and principles far above anything their fathers had known.
He related to them stories of ancient peoples, the stories of those before them who had believed and those who had not believed. The Koran gave accurate information about preceding generations, about ancient peoples within the pale of history and those outside its range, peoples only Allah could recall. Such knowledge could only come from the source of all knowledge. The Koran has related these stories not to amuse people or to teach them mere history, but to point out to them the moral behind these stories. First a story, or several instances of the same kind are related, then the moral behind them is pointed out, and last of all the law or theory behind it is given. These stories are used as examples to help people grasp the significance of the theory.
People were very much interested and flocked around Mohamed. The eminent Qurayshis were worried and, in order to divert people from the Koran and its great wisdom, they concocted a lie. Seeing that the Messenger who was always considerate, particularly to the neglected, stopped occasionally and said a kind word to a poor Christian boy called Jabr, they propagated the rumor that Mohamed sat by this poor boy day after day, and it was he who dictated the Koran to him. In answer to this the Koran gives them a clear and infallible argument. It says:
"We are aware they say, 'But he is taught by a man.' The tongue of him they allude to is foreign, and this is a clear Arabic tongue." (16:103)
The Arabs were very sensitive to the shades and variations in their language. Not only could no foreigner master these very fine literary arts, but also the Koran surpassed anything that they, the masters of the language, could produce. Then how could it be taught by a foreigner? The Koran was beyond anything that man could produce and it challenged them in the verses below to produce anything like it.
"If you are in doubt about what We have sent down on Our slave, then produce one surah like it, and call your witnesses, apart from Allah, if you are truthful. If you cannot, and you shall not, then beware of the fuel, prepared for deniers, whose fuel is people and stones." (2:23,24)
Try as they might, Quraysh could not produce anything like it. No one in the last fourteen hundred years has been able to do so. If one examines the Koran from any angle, upon any level, it is always so beyond anything that man can produce as literature, as thought, as historic and scientific knowledge, that neither the years nor new scientific discoveries can tarnish it. The Koran points this out to them in the following words:
"Had it come from other than Allah, you would have found in it many in-congruencies." (4:135)