Allah says if you have any doubt in the Qur’an which we revealed to our slave then bring out a Surah of its like and call your supporters besides Allah if you are truthful. I read this ayah which is the twenty third verse in Al-Baqarah and my immediate response was, ‘of course no one can do that.’ But then again I’m a Muslim Alhamdullilah. I read a verse very differently compared to someone who has no intention of believing.
A year ago, while preparing for my Advance level papers, I became extremely interested in Ahmed Deedat’s (rh) The Choice. I was unable to finish it but I would open random pages of it and just read. Not the most remarkable thing do as my papers were near but anyway I remember going to the last page where I saw an Arabic passage printed in a similar fashion as the Surahs in the Qur’an. It even started with Bismillah. So to a non-Arabic reader, it might just look like a small chapter from the Qur’an. However it wasn’t a Surah, as Ahmed Deedat (rh) stated underneath that the script was an attempt to produce something like the Qur’an. Now I want to tell you another similar story. This is the one I got to hear from Ustadh Nouman in his day 10 session of Surah Al-Baqarah. He spoke about a university where students, who were pursuing a Masters degree in Arabic, were given a class project to produce something similar to the Qur’an. And these students thought that they succeeded in their job.
Now in both stories I narrated above, there was someone who believed they could construct a Surah the way Allah did. And in their eyes they accomplished it. But when Allah puts forwards a challenge, for those who doubt, is He only saying that bring forth a Surah which looks like a chapter from the Qur’an and matches its style. He means more than that.
Rasool Allah (saw) first received revelation at the age of forty and his (saw) mission to spread the word of Allah completed at sixty three years of age. So the entire Qur’an was revealed to him (saw) within a period of twenty three years. And what happened to an ordinary Arab, who accepted Islam, in the span of less than a quarter of a century? He changed completely! His views on religion, economics, politics and culture drastically transformed. He stopped worshipping the idols and the way he dealt in business became interest free. He left being selfish and understood that someone, who had less, had a right to a particular share in his wealth. He lowered his eyes when he encountered a non-mahram and treated every women with respect. His addiction to wine completely washed off and he stopped preferring what was declared Haram for him to consume.
The Qur’an changed every aspect of the life of that Arab. From the way he ate to the way he dressed, the way he entered the bathroom to the way he slept, the way he cleaned himself to the way he walked. So many things changed. Moreover it was the Qur’an which let tears flow down the cheeks of a believer when he recited it. It was the Qur’an which increased the faith of every believer with each ayah as it was revealed. And to this day it’s doing the same: transforming and guiding souls.
This is the impact Allah is talking about. Can someone who doubts the Qur’an bring out one Surah which is capable of transforming people in such a short period of time and so immensely? I tell you that there’s no revolution that came about in a society within even a quarter of a century except for the one Qur’an brought in a lesser period. Even the Muslims in India took a longer time to gain independence which was just one change. However the Qur’an was granted power to make so many changes in a mere number of twenty three years. Now did the people who took up the challenge to write similar to the Qur’an succeed? No! Because their words are incapable of impacting and transforming lives in any aspect. So the challenge stands undefeated and will remain undefeated till the Last day.