Second: Unmatchable Eloquence

Dr. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al-Muslih

>span >Allaah The Almighty Challenged the disbelievers of Quraysh and the other Arabs—rather, even all men and jinn—and no one in existence then would even dare accept this challenge, despite Quraysh, at the time the Quran was revealed, having reached the highest peak of eloquence and oration. Truly, Allaah did Pour the language’s beauty and eloquence into the tongue of Quraysh, making them dominant over the Arabs in their markets, where poetic challenges were exchanged, like at ‘Ukaath, Thul-Majannah, and Thul-Majaaz.

>span >Al-Bayhaqi quoted Al-Khattaabi (d. 388 AH) in Dalaa’il An-Nubuwwah (1/16) as saying:

Some scholars have held: That which the chosen one, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, presented to the Arabs of speech, that which disabled them to produce something the likes thereof, is more amazing a sign and more apparent an indication of truth than raising the dead and healing the blind and leprous, because it came to the folk of fluency, the lords of language, the masters of eloquence, those advanced in linguistics. Yet this was a speech, the meaning of which was clearly understood to them. Their disability is even more amazing than the disability of one who watched Christ raise the dead, because they were never before able to do that; or healing the blind and the leper, as they had no knowledge of treating these illnesses. But Quraysh were given this fluency, eloquence, and oratory skill, so being unable to even attempt matching it truly indicates the knowledge behind his message and the truth behind his prophethood. This is a clear-cut case and a plain proof.

>span >Al-Bayhaqi said in Dalaa’il An-Nubūwah (1/12):

>span >As truly Allaah Says (what means): {Then if you do not do so, and you will never do so.} [Quran 2:24] Further, from another perspective, Allaah revealed that which their hearts concealed, making clear to His prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that they actually knew this was true and that it is impossible to be an invention of man; and that nothing prevented them from recognizing his prophethood except arrogance, envy and stubbornness. He Says (what means): {Indeed they do not consider you a liar, but the tyrants stubbornly reject the signs of Allaah.} [Quran 6:33] This was the case with Abu Jahl. It is reported in Al-Maghaazi (1/27) by al-Waaqidi and by at-Tabarani in al-Mu‘jam Al-Kabeer (24/346/860) that Abu Jahl commented on the dream of ‘Aatikah bint ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, saying to Al-‘Abbas, may Allaah be Pleased with him:

We and you are like two horses on a bet. We competed in glory for some time. Then, when the riders came parallel, you say, “We have a prophet!” All that remains is for you to say, “We have a prophetess!”

Despite the disbelief of Quraysh and their opposition, their masters and chiefs would eavesdrop at night, listening to the recitation of Allaah’s Messenger , sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, out of amazement, bewilderment and perplexity at the splendor and beauty of this Quran. Ibn Hisham reported in his Seerah (1/315) that:

Abu Sufyaan ibn Harb, Abu Jahl ibn Hishaam, and Al-Akhnas ibn Shariq […] all went out one night to listen to the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, while he was praying in his home. Each of them took a seat, listening intently, not knowing the place of one another. They spent all night listening, until the dawn broke and they departed. They met on the road and found fault with each other for what they did. It was said, “Do not return to this, for if some of the fool among us saw us, something undesirable might enter their souls.” They split up until the second night, when they all returned to their same places, listening all night until the dawn broke again. They left and then met again on the road, so it was said, “We should not depart until we all make a pact that we will not return again.” So they made a pact upon that and then went their separate ways.

>span >Ibn Hisham narrated this in his Sīrah (1/294), and then continued:

>span >He was overwhelmed and overtaken by the beauty and splendor of this clear speech. He even warned Quraysh to leave Muhammad , sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,  alone, but they would not listen due only to their arrogance and false pride.

NB: The translator has skipped a part of the source text for the reasons which he mentions in his comment on the skipped part.

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