This second light has three rays.
FIRST RAY: The Qur’an is a book of perfect fluency, superb clarity and soundness, firm coherence, and well-established harmony and proportion. There is a strong, mutual support and interrelation among its sentences and their parts, and an elevated correspondence among its verses and their purposes. Such leading figures in Arabic philology, literature, and semantics as az Zamakhshari, as-Sakkaki, and ‘Abdu’l-Qahir al-Jurjani144 testify to this.
In addition, although seven or eight factors counter fluency, soundness, coherence, harmony, proportion, interrelation, and correspondence, these factors rather enrich the Qur’an’s fluency, soundness, and coherence. Like branches and twigs stemming from a fruit-bearing tree’s trunk and completing the tree’s beauty and growth, these factors do not cause discord in the fluent harmony of the Qur’an’s composition, but rather express new, richer, and complementary meanings. Consider the following facts:
- Although the Qur’an was revealed in parts over twenty-three years for different needs and purposes, it has such a perfect harmony that it is as if it were revealed all at once.
- Although the Qur’an was revealed over twenty-three years on different occasions, its parts are so mutually supportive that it is as if it were revealed all at once on one occasion.
- Although the Qur’an came in answer to different and repeated questions, its parts are so united and harmonious with each other that it is as if it were the answer to a single question.
- Although the Qur’an came to judge diverse cases and events, it displays such a perfect order that it is as if it were the judgment delivered on a single case or event.
- Although the Qur’an was revealed by Divine courtesy in styles varied to suit innumerable people of different levels of understanding, moods, and temperament, its parts exhibit so beautiful a similarity, correspondence, and fluency that it is as if it were addressing one degree of understanding and temperament.
- Although the Qur’an speaks to countless varieties of people remote from each one in time, space, and character, it has such an easy way of explanation, pure style, and clear way of description that it is as if it were addressing one homogenous group, with each different group thinking that it is being addressed uniquely and specifically.
- Although the Qur’an was revealed for the gradual guidance of different peoples with various purposes, it has such a perfect straight forwardness, sensitive balance, and beautiful order that it is as if it were pursuing only one purpose.
Despite being the reasons of confusion, these factors add to the miraculousness of the Qur’an’s explanations and to its fluency of style and harmony. Anyone with an un-diseased heart, a sound conscience, and good taste sees graceful fluency, exquisite proportion, pleasant harmony, and matchless eloquence in its explanations. Anyone with a sound power of sight and insight sees that the Qur’an has an eye with which to see the whole universe, with all its inner and outer dimensions, like a single page and to read all the meanings contained in it. Since I would need many volumes to explain this truth with examples, please refer to my Isharatu’l-I‘jaz and the Words written so far.
144 Abu’l-Qasim Jarullah Mahmud ibn ‘Umar az-Zamakhshari (1075–1144) was one among the most well-known interpreters of the Qur’an. He lived in Kwarazm. His interpretation of the Qur’an called al-Kashshaf was famous for its deep linguistic analysis of the verses. *Abu Ya‘qub Yusuf ibn Abu Bakr as-Sakkaki (?–1229): Miftahu’l-‘Ulum (“Key to Sciences”) and al-Miftah fi’n-Nahw wa’t-Tasrif wa’l-Bayan (“A Key to Grammar, Inflection, and Syntax and Style”) are among his most well-known works. * ‘Abdu’l-Qahir al-Jurjani (d., 1079) was known as the master of eloquence. Asraru’l-Balagha (“Mysteries of Eloquence”) and Dalailu’l-I‘jaz (“Evidences of Miraculousnes”) are his most famous books. (Tr.)