The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

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socrates
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The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by socrates » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:54 am

sgttomas is a muslim who has begun to discuss an important question with me on another thread. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1413&start=20
I hope I summarise him correctly as follows:

He holds the position that the bible is superseded by the Qur'an because it is the "literal speech of Allah."

He makes the important distinction between whether something really is the case or whether it is merely claimed, and he tells me that in the case of the Qur'an, it is possible to discover which of these alternatives apply. It is possible, he believes, to show that the Qur'an really is the "literal speech of Allah," by the use of certain valid arguments that can be found within the pages of the Qur'an itself.

I am sure everyone would agree that this is a very interesting claim and so I would like to invite sgthomas to explore this issue here.

Sgtt - perhaps I could begin by asking you to select one of these valid arguments at a time, so that we may examine each of them closely. Which one do you suggest we examine first? Perhaps you would like to choose the one that impresses you as being the strongest.
"An honest man is always a child."

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by sgttomas » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:27 am

The only one worth evaluating is that the speech itself is inimitable. This is the preeminent claim and the one that will always be available for our introspection. It wasn't what I needed in order to come to belief, but what I needed can't be evaluated in objective terms. Any subsequent claims of divine origin can be explained away by trivializing the facts. The Quran is a recitation in Arabic. Anything other than that is not the Quran.

Regarding one point you stipulated; I would have said it differently. The Bible was superseded by her own authors. The Quran came to correct those falsifications and to confirm what wasn't altered. The Quran has been preserved completely intact.

-sgtt
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by socrates » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:55 pm

sgttomas wrote:The only one worth evaluating is that the speech itself is inimitable. This is the preeminent claim and the one that will always be available for our introspection. It wasn't what I needed in order to come to belief, but what I needed can't be evaluated in objective terms. Any subsequent claims of divine origin can be explained away by trivializing the facts. The Quran is a recitation in Arabic. Anything other than that is not the Quran.

Regarding one point you stipulated; I would have said it differently. The Bible was superseded by her own authors. The Quran came to correct those falsifications and to confirm what wasn't altered. The Quran has been preserved completely intact.

-sgtt
Firstly, thank you for your correction. I always make a determined effort to understand the position of those to whom I am speaking, and so any attempts to make this clearer are always welcome. Please continue to correct me each time I deviate from your meaning.

Actually, I am already a little puzzled to hear that you think there is only one valid argument worth evaluating, since you originally offered up summary versions of five of them, and stated that one can barely go 10 verses of the Qur'an without finding them.

So before we proceed, I think it worth checking your position. Do you think there is only one valid argument that shows the Qur'an is "genuinely the 'literal speech of Allah', rather than something which is merely claimed"? Or are there others too?
"An honest man is always a child."

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by sgttomas » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:04 pm

I'm responding to your request for the STRONGEST argument, and that we will evaluate them ONE at a time. You should read more carefully, as you are saying things which are not true. I did not say there was only one valid argument. I said there is only one worth evaluating. Meaning, only one for you to evaluate. Meaning, this is the strongest argument. If you find your heart moved by the speech of the Quran, we can look further into the other matters, that you may find guidance, if ALLAH wills.

I assert many ways exist that a person may find undeniable proof of ALLAH's work in the Quran. I also assert, as you have asked for the best proof, that the literary "miracle" of the Quran is the one that takes precedence. The Quran says that the Creation of the Heavens and Earth are a proof of His existence, yet people deny them, even though for the believer they are the most clear examples of ALLAH as the Creator and the one with power over all things. The one unrelenting claim of the Quran, though, is that a person cannot produce something like it. A person may always deny what is plain before their eyes, but given the challenge of having to produce something, denial is no longer valid - except to deny the challenge.

I believe I have complied with a perfectly valid response to your post.

-sgtt
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by met » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:28 pm

sgttomas wrote:The only one worth evaluating is that the speech itself is inimitable. This is the preeminent claim and the one that will always be available for our introspection. It wasn't what I needed in order to come to belief, but what I needed can't be evaluated in objective terms. Any subsequent claims of divine origin can be explained away by trivializing the facts. The Quran is a recitation in Arabic. Anything other than that is not the Quran.

Regarding one point you stipulated; I would have said it differently. The Bible was superseded by her own authors. The Quran came to correct those falsifications and to confirm what wasn't altered. The Quran has been preserved completely intact.

-sgtt
This problem exists with the xian scriptures too, of course, to a lesser extent. How's your Greek and Hebrew? If they're not excellent, fluent, as natural as breathing, the arguments can only go so far....
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by socrates » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:28 am

sgttomas wrote:I'm responding to your request for the STRONGEST argument, and that we will evaluate them ONE at a time. You should read more carefully, as you are saying things which are not true. I did not say there was only one valid argument. I said there is only one worth evaluating. Meaning, only one for you to evaluate. Meaning, this is the strongest argument. If you find your heart moved by the speech of the Quran, we can look further into the other matters, that you may find guidance, if ALLAH wills.

I assert many ways exist that a person may find undeniable proof of ALLAH's work in the Quran. I also assert, as you have asked for the best proof, that the literary "miracle" of the Quran is the one that takes precedence. The Quran says that the Creation of the Heavens and Earth are a proof of His existence, yet people deny them, even though for the believer they are the most clear examples of ALLAH as the Creator and the one with power over all things. The one unrelenting claim of the Quran, though, is that a person cannot produce something like it. A person may always deny what is plain before their eyes, but given the challenge of having to produce something, denial is no longer valid - except to deny the challenge.

I believe I have complied with a perfectly valid response to your post.

-sgtt
Ah yes, I thought I must have misunderstood you and thank you for the advice that I should read more carefully. Sometimes it can be too easy to forget things like this.
You have now spelt out your meaning more clearly to help an aging Athenian dolt like me. I admit to having made an error in assuming that your phrase "only one worth evaluating," implied that the other arguments were not worth evaluating. I see now that from the context of me asking you for the strongest argument, you meant that there was "only one worth evaluating - as-the-strongest-argument-for-our-evaluation-here-now." I must say that before I realised my error, I was a little disappointed to think that we may only have one to examine so I look forward to examining the others In due course.

So let us begin with your strongest. In your next response, I would be very grateful if you would make the first move by expressing the argument in its full version, in the clearest and strongest manner you can. And although I shall do my best to read carefully, please remember that I am deficient in this regard and would greatly benefit from you spelling everything out as though you were talking to a complete idiot or a small child. Then perhaps I will have some chance of understanding you.
"An honest man is always a child."

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by sgttomas » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:50 am

Okay, here is the argument in the clearest and strongest way that I know how to express it. Ask the author of this website, he'll tell you much better than me: http://www.shariahprogram.ca/

That's the best I can do. He (the author) has claimed in his classes that he understands the expression of the Quran's inimitability through its literary forms and content. I'd say he has a better shot at giving you an honest answer than I do. And if you don't already know Arabic, he can teach you, as that is a prerequisite for attaining to the knowledge you are seeking. Without this knowledge base, you cannot evaluate the other claims. The Quran is an Arabic Quran, as the Quran says about itself. The renderings into other languages are useful for instruction and have their ability to guide a person. But you are asking me about the Quran as a divine book and how to properly evaluate it. You need to fulfill the requirements that a scholar would assume in order to approach the book properly.

It is the case that people have come to appreciate the Quran as the Word of God without access to this level of knowledge. As in my case, I was convinced by something entirely personal. That is all I can hope for you without reaching the proper scholarly levels of knowledge to properly evaluate the divine origin - and how can I know what that will be for you?

There is a weaker option, but one that might meet halfway between the scholarly route and the personal one. That is you could undertake a meta-investigation of the Quran's inimitability. Good people on these boards can tell you the the position of the Bible as the verbal plenary Word of God is untenable in academic circles of credible and honest work. Consequently, modern Christianity has adjusted to a different notion of divine speech and human interaction with it. What similar work has been done on the Quran, what is the scholarly consensus, and what has been the reaction in the faith community? I'll leave this to you to investigate, as I have neither the desire, or resources to carry it out.

The only claim for you to evaluate now is the inimitability of the Quran. That's the first and foremost argument and nothing else can compare to it. You'll come to your own conclusions. I think that a basic dictionary defintion suffices for what kind of search for knowledge this will be. The meanings are rendered clear. I've done what I can for you.

May ALLAH guide you.

-sgtt
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by socrates » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:34 pm

sgttomas wrote: I've done what I can for you.

May ALLAH guide you.

-sgtt
Thanks for giving me hints on how I might establish the answer to this question - "The Qur'an, is it the 'literal speech of Allah'?"

I understand that you "have neither the desire, nor the resources" to carry out the investigation I need. You are also refreshingly honest in admitting that you don't yourself have these answers but know that they may be found on the website - http://www.shariaprogram.ca, and I acknowledge that your own beliefs are based upon personal reasons that are beyond objective examination. And for this I thank you.

However, if at some time in the future you find, through your own development, that you feel you know enough to establish the inimitability of the Qur'an through the use of objective arguments, I would love to hear from you.

May I wish you all the best.
"An honest man is always a child."

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by sgttomas » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:13 pm

Yeah that's a completely fair request. ...that's actually my objective in learning Arabic, inshaALLAH (if ALLAH wills). I truly hope to be able to fulfill your request some day. I think you would do well by asking the author of that website...I can't promise you he will reply, but it's worth a shot. You seem sincere and erudite.

Thank you for being forthright and courteous. Wish you the best too.

-sgttomas
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

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Re: The Qur'an, is it the "literal speech of Allah"?

Post by sgttomas » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:42 pm

so socrates, did you contact that person through the website like I recommended?

you can also browse http://www.theinimitablequran.com. you can also engage with that author. let me know how you progress.

-sgtt
Last edited by sgttomas on Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

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