MATCHLESS ELOQUENCE AND PROFOUND MEANING

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Although this medium-sized book contains a certain amount of apparent repetition, it declares that everything wet and dry is in a Manifest Book (itself) (6:59). It addresses and satisfies all levels of understanding and knowledge, regardless of time and place.

Hundreds of interpreters have written commentaries on the Qur’an in the fourteen centuries of its existence, and none has claimed to understand all of its aspects and meanings. Thousands of jurists have inferred laws from it and based their reasoning upon it, but none has claimed to infer all of the laws contained therein or understand all reasons behind its injunctions and prohibitions. All pure and exacting scholars who “marry” mind and heart follow it, all revivers (the great saintly scholars who come when needed to revive and restore Islam) find their ways in it, all beloved friends of God derive their sources of inspiration and ways of purification from it, and all authentic spiritual paths depend upon it. Yet, like a source of water that increases as it flows, it remains as if untouched.

The Qur’an’s miraculous or inimitable eloquence gives it this depth and richness of meaning. Its creative and artistically rich style is only one element on which its eloquence is based. It frequently speaks in parables and adopts a figurative, symbolic rhetoric consisting of metaphors and similes. This is natural, for the Qur’an contains knowledge of all things and addresses all levels of understanding and knowledge.

Its verses, linked with rhythm and symmetry of form to display Divine Unity, stir our emotions and intellect to reflect upon unity in variety and harmony in diversity. Each chapter has a particular rhythm and presents topics in various ways. This style discloses a unique beauty with matchless eloquence. Attentive reciters and intelligent listeners experience how the Qur’an is the fairest 142 discourse fully consistent in itself and whose statements corroborate, expound, and refer to one another (39:23).

Although the Arabs of the Prophet’s time were highly intelligent and well-versed in poetry and eloquence, they could not produce anything like the Qur’an. Likewise, none of the countless literary figures who have lived since has duplicated it. In fact, God Almighty challenged his contemporaries and humanity at large, regardless of time or place, to create even a chapter like those of the Qur’an. That all attempts failed proves the Qur’an’s Divine origin.

If you are in doubt about the Divine authorship of what We have been sending down on Our servant ( Muhammad), then produce just a sura like it and call for help from all your supporters, all those (to whom you apply for help apart from God), if you are truthful in your doubt and claim. (2:23)

And this Qur’an is not such that it could possibly be fabricated by one in attribution to God, but it is a (Divine Book) confirming (the Divine origin of and the truths that are still contained by) the Revelations prior to it, and an explanation of the Essence of all Divine Books—wherein there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds. Or do they say that he (the Messenger) has fabricated it? Say: “(If it is possible for a mortal to fabricate it) then produce a sura like it, and call for help on anyone you can, apart from God, if you are truthful (in your doubt and the claim you base upon it).” (10:37–38)

Say: “(Even) if humanity and jinn united to produce the like of this Qur’an, they will never be able to do so, even though some of them help the others.” (17:88)

No human composition has ever equalled even the Qur’an’s smallest chapter (Surat al-Kawthar), and no one will ever be able to do so. Opponents have always taken up arms. But their attempts have never succeeded. As one Muslim scholar (Jahiz) points out, if people could defeat the Qur’an or Islam through argument, science, or eloquence, they would not have to resort to arms. The Qur’an becomes younger and fresher as time passes, for this process allows its unlimited hidden treasures to be disclosed one by one.

Said Nursi frequently draws our attention to its wording’s miraculous depths of meaning. For example, Arabic’s definite particle al adds inclusiveness to the word, and so he interprets Surat al- Fatiha’s initial al-hamd (the praise) as: “All praise and thanks that everyone has given and will give until the Last Day to others since the beginning of human life on the earth, for any reason and on any occasion, are for God.”

Also, from the characteristics of the words used and their order in: Out of what We have provided for them they give as livelihood (2:3) he infers the following rules or conditions of giving alms:

In order to make their alms-giving acceptable to God, believers must give out of their livelihood a certain amount that will not make it necessary for them to receive alms. Out of in out of what expresses this condition.

Believers must not transfer another person’s goods to the needy, but must give from their own belongings. The phrase what We have provided for them points to this condition. The meaning is: They give (to maintain life) out of what We have provided for them (to maintain their life).

Believers must not remind those who receive their alms of the kindness they have received. We in We have provided indicates this condition, for it means: “I have provided for you the livelihood out of which you give to the poor. Therefore, you cannot put any of My servants under obligation, for you are giving out of My property.”

Believers must not fear that they may become poor through giving to others. We in We have provided points to this. Since God provides for us and commands us to give others, He will not cause us to become poor by giving to others.

Believers must give to those who will spend it for their livelihood, and not to those who will waste it. The phrase They give as livelihood points to this condition.

Believers must give for God’s sake. We have provided for them states this condition. It means: “Essentially, you give out of My property and so you must give in My name.”

What in out of what signifies that whatever God provides for a person is included in the meaning of provision. Therefore, believers must give out of their goods and also out of whatever they have, such as a good word, an act of help, a piece of advice, and teaching. All of these are included in the meaning of rizq (provision) and giving others as livelihood.

Along with these conditions, the meaning of the original three-word expression becomes: “Out of whatever We have provided for them as goods, money, power, knowledge, and intelligence, and so on, believing that it is We Who provide and therefore without feeling any fear that they may become poor because of giving and without putting under obligation those to whom they give, they give to the needy who are sensible enough not to waste what is given to them, such amount that they themselves will not be reduced to needing to receive alms themselves.”7

 

Ünal, Ali. Living in the Shade of Islam. Somerset, NJ: Tughra, 2009.