Challenge of The Quran

The challenge of the Quran or Tahaddi (التحدي في القرآن‎, al-tahaddi fi al-Quran), in Islamic theology, refers to a challenge proposed in the Quran. It requests non-Muslims among both humans and jinn to produce either a chapter or multiple chapters like those within the holy book, with the aim of proving the Quran’s superiority over any work. The Quran says that this is impossible to achieve.

Challenge types

Non-Muslims are challenged to produce a “statement” or speech similar to the Quran one verse, and challenged to produce either one or ten similar chapters in others. Another verse states that neither humans nor jinn could create a book like it, even if they were working together.

Some of the verses of Quran which mentioned the challenge:

And if you all are in doubt about what I have revealed to My servant, bring a single chapter like it, and call your witnesses besides God if you are truthful (24) But if you do not do this, and you can never do this, then fear the Fire which has been prepared for the disbelievers and which shall have men and stones for fuel (Quran 2:23–24)

Or do they say that he has invented it? Say (to them), ‘Bring ten invented chapters like it, and call (for help) on whomever you can besides God, if you are truthful. (Quran 11:13)

Say: ‘If all mankind and the jinn would come together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce its like even though they exerted all and their strength in aiding one another. (Quran 17:88)

Allah's names and attributes in the Quran.

Allah’s names and attributes in the Quran.

Said about the challenge

Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, in his book ” Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey” wrote:

But the Meccans still demanded of him a miracle, and with remarkable boldness and self confidence Mohammad appealed as a supreme confirmation of his mission to the Koran itself. Like all Arabs they were the connoisseurs of language and rhetoric. Well, then if the Koran were his own composition other men could rival it. Let them produce ten verses like it. If they could not (and it is obvious that they could not), them let them accept the Koran as an outstanding evident miracle

Dr.Maurice Bucaille author of “The Bible, the Quran and Science” wrote in page 86 of his book:

 The above observation makes the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur’an quite untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merit,in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific  nature  that  no other human being could possibly have  developed at the time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncements on the subject? The ideas in this study are developed from a purely scientific point of view. They leadto the conclusion that it is inconceivable for a human being living in the Seventh century A.D. to have made statements in the Qur’an on a great variety of subjects that do not belong to his period and for them to be in keeping with what was to be known only centuries later. For me, there can be no human explanation to the Qur’an.

Challengers

While the Quran itself does not explain what parameters people are meant to judge works attempting to meet the challenge by, but Implicitly the challenge in the first place about the rhetoric of the Qur’an and its unique style in the Arabic language, at a time in history when eloquence and poetry was most highly prized in the Arabian Peninsula, Allah revealed the Quran of miraculous exposition to Prophet Mohammad, eloquence was the most suitable miracle for him. Also it was a notable aspect of the Quran. During descending of Quran, it first challenged the literary figures of the Arabian Peninsula and then all the people throughout the ages and at every level of knowledge and understanding until the judgment Day, Islamic scholars state that the challenge can never be fulfilled, as no one can compete with the wisdom of God. This view holds that the Quran is the most perfect book to ever exist. Muslims believe that this challenge was unable to be fulfilled in the era of Muhammad, and will remain unfulfilled until the end times. Some scholars attribute this to divine intervention, stating that God will prevent all those who attempt it from achieving their goal.

A number of people, both atheists and members of other religions, have nonetheless attempted to fulfill the challenge, and others have created their own works to meet it. The True Furqan, a Christian work written in Arabic mirroring and published in 1999, it is one of the attempts that did not get recognition either by Muslims nor non-Muslims.

Opposing viewpoint

Iranian scientist Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi is quoted criticizing Quran

“You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions. And does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: “Produce something like it?”

Although the quote says that Muhammad al-Razi said about the Quran “is full of contradictions” but he did not mention anyone of those “contradictions”, so that indicates it could be just a biased personal opinion not based on facts or the quote is a false quote and Muhammad al-Razi did not say that, while the Quran claims that itself has no contradictions as verse 4:82 says:

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’ān? If it had been from [any] other than Allah [God], they would have found within it much contradiction.(Quran 4:82)

There are who question the attribution of such quotes to Muhammad al-Razi due to such as quotes are from a book called Aʿlām al-nubuwwa (Signs of Prophecy) written by another person called Abu Hatim al-Razi and not in any extant work of Muhammad al-Razi himself.

Abu Hatim was an Isma’ili missionary who debated Muhammad al-Razi, but whether he has faithfully recorded the views of Muhammad al-Razi is disputed. According to Abdul Latif al-‘Abd, Islamic philosophy professor at Cairo University, Abu Hatim and his student, Ḥamīd al-dīn Karmānī (d. after 411AH/1020CE), were Isma’ili extremists who often misrepresented the views of Razi in their works. This view is also corroborated by early historians like al-Shahrastani who noted “that such accusations should be doubted since they were made by Ismāʿīlīs, who had been severely attacked by Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyā Rāzī”. Al-‘Abd points out that the views allegedly expressed by Razi contradict what is found in Razi’s own works, like the Spiritual Medicine (Fī al-ṭibb al-rūḥānī). Peter Adamson concurs that Abu Hatim may have “deliberately misdescribed” Razi’s position as a rejection of Islam and revealed religions. Instead, Razi was only arguing against the use of miracles to prove Muhammad’s prophecy, anthropomorphism, and the uncritical acceptance of taqlīd vs naẓar. Adamson points out to a work by Fakhr al-din al-Razi where Razi is quoted as citing the Quran and the prophets to support his views.

See also

References

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia