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And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like these, and call your witnesses apart from God, if you are truthful.
— Verse 2:23.

However, humans have failed to fulfill this challenge.

So, what qualities do the Surahs have that have prevented mankind from meeting this challenge?

  • If mankind knew what these qualities were, they would have been able to fulfill the challenge ;) – Tamer Shlash Dec 12 '14 at 0:34
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    Timeless book of pure guidance. That's a quality that no human is able to duplicate. – Honey Feb 1 '17 at 16:04
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The only and obvious quality that the Surahs(Chapters of Qur'an) have are that they're authored by none other than the CREATOR himself, the best author ever.

Unlike the James Bond series, when the original author died, others tried to think like him and tried to produce sequels by Looking at the world in his shoes.

But, to think like the creator (I mean he knows what is good for us and what is not, and so accordingly he made out laws for the mankind) is impossible, as he is the All wise. Man wouldn't himself know what is good for him. For only the creator knows well about his creations.

So, even if someone tried to author some book like Qur'an making an hypothetical God, or even talking about the real God, it wouldn't stand long in this world of ADVANCED SCIENCE and LOGICAL REASONING because man makes mistakes.

To answer, your question, some of the qualities the surahs have (what I've felt are)

  • Creates a lot of psychological impact on the reader and convinces almost anyone who read it to say "Oh my God! THIS IS FROM GOD."

  • Convinced many scientists, archeologists, explorers and compelled them to question "How would a man know about these scientific facts 1400 years ago when there was no science or discoveries made."

  • Consists of True stories(set as examples for us to teach), which force the reader to convince himself to feel that the stories were REALLY TRUE. (Note: Qur'an 16:24-25)

  • Talks about various subjects pertaining to human life, and thereby drafting laws suiting the best of human behavior which are unquestionably in favor of humans who feel the laws are wise enough.

  • Is read by a person more than once who has read it once initially, thereby making it one of the books which is most highly read.

  • No matter how old the book was, doesn't create a taste of boredom to the reader as do other books do which create an obsolete taste to the readers as time passes.

  • No holy scripture has survived this long enough in its true form considering the aforementioned extraordinary features.

These are just a few which I've personally felt, but there might be many more qualities which make The Glorious Qur'an so Glorious.

The revelation of the Book (this Quran) is from the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists) in which there is not doubt! (Qur'an 32:2)

No matter how many Shakespeares, Einsteins and Abraham Lincolns sit together, they cannot make such a book with the aforementioned qualities.

May the creator guide us all.

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    The science in the Quran is actually not based on good arguments and lots of counterarguments and counterexamples exist. The most quoted example "embryology" in the Quran is very well refuted. Sadly, I've noticed that people conform the verses of the Quran (without context) to fit the scientific worldview of today. – user921 Mar 16 '15 at 6:48
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    hmm! Please check out this. Scientific conflicts with respect 2 Qur'an Can you plz provide a valid source which proves that "Qur'an" vs "Embryology" problem? – servant-of-Wiser Mar 16 '15 at 7:00
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    The verses pertaining to embryology is not how it works in modern medicine. Even Aristotle (some 1000 years before Islam) also knew about embryology in the same manner as described in the Quran. This manner has deep roots in Greek and Romany mythology. There are lots of sources on this. But are you sure you want to see them? Because even though this information exists, I find that devout muslims simply will ignore the logic and go the apologetic route. – user921 Mar 16 '15 at 7:05
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    Again, in your link, you have the typical answers: "Quran can not be wrong so either science is wrong, or we don't know enough" and the second being "verses are taken too literally or out of context" which ironically, majority of the answers exhibit. I apologize if I offend people but I am just speaking with rational and logic. – user921 Mar 16 '15 at 7:08
  • Provide one strong and perfect and unnecessary stuff less source for embryology problem. – servant-of-Wiser Mar 16 '15 at 7:09
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The quality the Quran has, which makes it impossible for mankind to reproduce something like unto it is the language. Humans speak Arabic, however, the pattern the Arabic of the Quran takes is perfect, beyond what the Arabs have ever seen. This is why the possibilities of the source of the Quran were three: the Arabs, Muhammad (saw) himself, or Allah (swt). It could not have been the Arabs because they were challenged to bring something like it. It could not have been Muhammad (saw) because they themselves did not accuse him of such. And the challenge to the Arabs includes anyone that feels he's upto par in Arabic. No one has and no one can. It is, therefore, Allah (swt) that revealed it. Hence, the uniqueness of the Quran is in its languages, nothing more.

https://www.islamiqate.com/3896/their-any-proof-that-allah-revealed-the-quran-his-messenger

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To be frank, I think this verse is not well understood, and the usual interpretation simplistic and a bit nonsensical. Like how it supposedly means that nobody is able to match the perfection of the language or content of the Qur'an.

This interpretation makes little sense, in my opinion, because it sets up the rules of this 'challenge' to be entirely subjective. You could easily dismiss any attempt, based purely on personal taste, by saying that any contender's entry is not as beautiful, not as perfect, etc. That makes the challenge pointless since it can never be settled objectively.

Furthermore, I am pretty sure that someone could produce a fake verse, with some inspiration from the actual Quranic ayah, which, to someone not well versed in the Qur'an, would be difficult to distinguish from a true ayat. Has he then beaten the challenge?

Finally, "call your witnesses" - this would again be highly dependent on which witnesses are actually called, if the winner of the challenge were to be determined based purely on aesthetics.

So yeah, I don't like the usual interpretations people make of this verse and I cringe a little when Muslims bring it up, within this context, as the main evidence of why the Qur'an is true revelation.

A much better understanding of this verse, in my opinion, (and I don't remember the source for this but believe it is one of the known tafseers) is that it challenged the people of the (saws) Prophet's time, to show from where he got this scripture, if not from God. Since the Prophet (saws) was illiterate and unlearned, it is obvious that he could not have produced it himself, so the only other option, if not from God, is that he took it from somewhere else. A work with the stature of the Qur'an would not be unknown in the Arabic speaking world if it, or anything similar to it, had already existed. So that, I believe is the real challenge this verse puts forth.

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