One of the proofs for the prophethood of Muhammed ﷺ is the Quran, which is an imitable literary miracle of unrivaled eloquence. However, the miraculousness of the Quran is very difficult to realize for someone who is not specialized in Arabic, never mind someone who does not speak Arabic at all! Such a person would not be qualified to judge the literary quality of the Quran, nor be able compare it with other literature in order to determine its imitability. Fortunately, there are ways around this problem.

One can appreciate the miraculousness of the Quran, even if one does not speak Arabic, by considering the following three facts:

First: the Quran challenges Prophet Muhammed’s opponents (the pagan Arabs) to disprove its miraculousness, by getting together and producing a chapter that rivals the eloquence of any of its chapters:

وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
And if you doubt about what We have revealed to Our slave, then produce a chapter like it, and call upon your supporters other than Allah, if you are truthful[1].

Second: The pagan Arabs were expert poets. Likely, the best in the Arabic language in all of history. To this day, Arabic linguists still use pre-Islamic poetry as a template for grammatical and linguistic rules. This is proof that Prophet Muhammed’s opponents were competent, and that it is nomically necessary for them to have been able to meet the Quranic challenge.

Third: Prophet Muhammed’s opponents were heavily invested in destroying Islam, and disproving his prophethood. The pagan Arabs imprisoned, tortured, and killed many of the early Muslims. They even engaged in wars against Prophet Muhammed ﷺ and his community. Wars where those pagans spent much time, much money, and risked their very lives, in order to stop the spread of Islam.

With the above in mind, we argue:

    • If a claimant to prophethood is aided by a negation of nomic necessity, then he is a true prophet.
    • Muhammed ﷺ is a claimant to prophet who was aided by a negation of nomic necessity.
    • Therefore, Muhammed ﷺ is a true prophet.

As for the first premise, it is true because God is the creator of normalcy. So His aiding a claimant to prophethood by negating normalcy for him, signals His support for this claimant. More on this here.

As for the second premise- Muhammed ﷺ is a claimant to prophethood who was aided by a negation of nomic necessity- this is actualized in the pagan Arabs’ inability to address the Quranic challenge. For if the pagan Arabs were able to fulfill the Quranic challenge, and given their extreme desire to destroy Islam, they would have spared themselves the time, money, and the risks of death in battle, and they would have simply cooperated with one another in order to produce a text which rivaled the Quran literarily. But they did not, and Islam ultimately prevailed[2]. Thus, the Quran resulted in a negation of nomic necessity. Namely, the inability of the pagans to address its challenge, when they should have been able to do so.

To make the above clearer, Imam Al-Baqilani[3] compares the failure of the pagans in addressing the Quranic challenge, to a prophet who challenges his opponents to move their hands, when God prevents them from this act for the timeframe of the prophet’s challenge. This is a negation of nomic necessity for those people, and proof for this prophet’s prophethood. Likewise, God preventing the pagans from being able to address the Quranic challenge, is a negation of nomic necessity for them, and proof for Muhammed’s ﷺ prophethood.

Therefore, Muhammed ﷺ is a true prophet.


 

[1] Quran 2:23.

[2] As is evident from the religion’s current existence, which would not have been the case had the pagans been able to meet the Quranic challenge. Since if the pagans were able to produce a text which rivaled the literary quality of the Quran, Muhammed ﷺ would have lost his followers.

[3] Tamhid Al-Awa’il wa Talkhis Al-Dala’il (pg 84).

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