One of the proofs for the prophethood of Muhammed ﷺ is the Quran, which is an inimitable 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 inimitability. 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.
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 the pagans were unable to meet the Quranic challenge, then Muhammed ﷺ is a true prophet.
- The pagans were unable to meet the Quranic challenge.
- Therefore, Muhammed ﷺ is a true prophet.
As for the first premise, this is true because the inability of the pagans to address this challenge would be a negation of normalcy (i.e. a miracle). And as outlined in another article, a claimant to prophethood who is supported with a miracle is a true prophet.
The inability of the pagans to address the challenge is a negation of normalcy, given their expertise in poetry. Not to mention that the Prophet ﷺ was also an unlettered man who could neither read nor write. And it is nomically impossible for one man, especially if unlettered, to present a work that the collective efforts of his community of professional poets cannot rival– let alone surpass.
As for the second premise, it is true given the fact that the pagans were heavily invested in destroying Islam, resorted to taking extreme risks to do so, and yet they failed in their objective. From this we deduce the following: if the pagan Arabs were able to address the Quranic challenge, and given their extreme desire to destroy Islam, they would have spared themselves the time, money, and the risk 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.
Thus, the pagan Arabs were unable to address the Quranic challenge, when it was nomically necessary for them to have been able to do so. And since Muhammed ﷺ was a claimant to prophethood who was aided with this negation of normalcy, then Muhammed ﷺ is a true prophet of God.
To make the above clearer, Imam Al-Baqilani 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.
 Quran 2:23.
 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. For if the pagans were able to produce a text which rivaled the literary quality of the Quran, Muhammed ﷺ would have lost all his followers.