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Poll: Signs of eloquence of Quran

Quran's eloquence is...

  • Beyond human calculated words, but possibly from misguided higher intelligent beings

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • One human can't do it but it's capable of many humans who have advance knowledge of eloquence

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Perfectly calculated words capable of only God or his exalted chosen ones

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • At a level capable of any human as it's not eloquent at all

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    16

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
Salam

To me it seemed at first the way Prophets' names appear in the Quran, was almost random, and almost meaningless and repeated for no calculative reasons.

Now with understanding the religion properly, I understand that their names appear where they are very calculated to the point you can't calculate better.

I've shown some of this in the thread "signs of eloquence in the Quran".

And this is the nature of Quran. It appears sometimes as if messy speech to the untrained perceiver. But when you begin to reflect over it, signs of calculated words appear.

The sacred acronyms such as Taha, Yaseen, Hameem, etc, I've also shown have a calculated way with Surahs under their jurisdiction, and this design of the Quran to compliment the Successors of Mohammad (s), is a sign for me, since I understand it. I've tried to show some of these signs through different threads.

The way the reward accusation appears in the Quran each phrase in a perfectly calculated place and way, is also a major sign.

Humans don't calculate this accurate precise in speech.

Of course, the way it sounds is perfect, but that can't only be perceived in Arabic. I'm trying to show things that can be perceived in translations as well.
 

Augustus

the Unreasonable
The fact is, there were no arabic writings that was in anyway even in the same genre of the Qur'an from the time period. And the best of writings are poetry of the time, and the Quran is not poetry, though it is poetic. Also the poetry of the time had a different rhythmic style, which is nothing like the Quran being not poetry anyway. But when the Qur'an is being poetic, the rhythm does not compromise the words used in the sentence that will have a sound that suits the mood, and a tone that suits the statement, and a rhythm that also suits the mood within the word itself, not only the sentence. Sometimes the same thing will be said twice but the sound of the recitation will be different just to suit the mood of the sentence and even the surrounding verses. And within the sentence, words also will change in sound to set a particular mood. Then there is a thing called the Shagr which is typically only present in poems, but thought the Quran is not poetry, you find it. It's like a control mechanism that poets use in their poems but that compromises the tone of words and they do that deliberately. The Quran somehow has managed to maintain both with no compromise as if it's a cakewalk. There are new forms of wakth introduced in the Qur'an which were never used before. It's like a system of ending a sentence which also has meaning, which corresponds with other sentences in other places in the Qur'an. This brings memory bells when reading. More so when reciting. This is a memory bell or reminding mechanism which harmonises with meaning, context and tonality. Only when you read and recite the Qur'an will you be able to understand it. Hard to explain. Ha and The sounds will be there in some verses, which will not only remind you of a verse in a completely different chapter, and also give it a meaning that could only be derived by the tone, not by word.

There are no documents in arabic, in history found so far that is similar or even close. Anyway, for you to understand this even to begin this path you have to have arabic knowledge. These are just superficial otherwise. So though you think this is about being smart, it's not. It's just that different people have knowledge in different things so don't have that knowledge in this field. This is not just polemics, nor is it construction in theology.

Thank you for sharing your opinion on what makes the Quran so eloquent.

It was interesting (I know it was from your previous post).

We still seem to be discussing 2 completely different topics though.

Obviously I know non Arabic speakers can't analyse subtleties of Arabic language. That doesn't mean they can't consider by what criteria could a text be considered beyond human capabilities., or note that these are intrinsically subjective.

Hence I said:

There are no objective criteria for establishing a text's eloquence as being divine.

If you think there are feel free to state what they are and how these are objective.

You can make a case that there are some objective criteria that mark eloquence, and objective methods for measuring the relative merits of texts based on these characteristics. Even this is debatable though.

Even if we accept there are for the sake of discussion, these would not be grounds for "objectively" declaring a text divine via comparison with a small number of other texts (or even a large number).
 

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
Salam

@Augustus

When writing poems, you sometimes make a meaning with rhythm. You sacrifice often better meaning to make it sound good. Sometimes you might forego better rhyme because the meaning it to shallow and so you pick lesser of two sounds for better meaning. I think @firedragon is saying, one of the features of Quran, it has perfect sound with perfect meaning. Both. No meaning is sacrificed for the other and no sound is sacrificed for meaning. That's a bit too good don't you think? Neither can the be meaning be better picked nor the way it sounds. Both together is too good.

If not, let's see humans do something like that.
 

firedragon

Veteran Member
Thank you for sharing your opinion on what makes the Quran so eloquent.

It was interesting (I know it was from your previous post).

We still seem to be discussing 2 completely different topics though.

Obviously I know non Arabic speakers can't analyse subtleties of Arabic language. That doesn't mean they can't consider by what criteria could a text be considered beyond human capabilities., or note that these are intrinsically subjective.

Hence I said:

There are no objective criteria for establishing a text's eloquence as being divine.

If you think there are feel free to state what they are and how these are objective.

You can make a case that there are some objective criteria that mark eloquence, and objective methods for measuring the relative merits of texts based on these characteristics. Even this is debatable though.

Even if we accept there are for the sake of discussion, these would not be grounds for "objectively" declaring a text divine via comparison with a small number of other texts (or even a large number).

The objective criteria is inimitability. That's an objective criteria, not subjective. The general discourse is on the internet. This discourse is always, general statements. Why is it inimitable are brought in by scholars, not taught by God. That is why you are saying, as most on the internet and other writings say. Most polemicists make general comments, not educated comments. The problem with these general comments is that their standard is subjective. From their point of view, the proposition is objective, because there is one proposition, with a lot of scholarship behind it, which is for them objective. But since the polemicists don't really have a standard in eloquence and being ignorant of the standards set by the Qur'an and the scholars who bring it out, their perception is that it's equal to their subjective criteria of their own perceptions.

So far the attempts of the polemicists have been based on some polemics like "Uthman burned the Quran", "Qur'an was copied from the Bible", Qur'an was copied from the Muaallaqaat assabah, or that there are literary similarities with al Kindi, or that "I wrote a book in arabic that resembles the Qur'an". That's what the Bab did in the Bahai faith. He wrote a book called Asma al Qayoom just like the Quran in arabic, had chapter headings like the Quran, and claimed that since the Quran is inimitable, the only one who can do it is God, and he was God's manifestation so he could do it. His scholarship was poor. The Qur'an never had chapter headings in the first place, and he didn't know that because his scholarship was poor. All of these claimants scholarships were poor. Al Kindi claim was proven bogus because there is no evidence, nor textual constency with other works of al kindi, nor was the language good. The sources were 700 years apart from the real man. And the traditional documents didn't have this so called "copied text" from his Dhivaan.

Then there were some who wrote books and thought it was like the Qur'an just because it's in arabic. A guy called Radhwan wrote something and said that he conquered the Qur'anic challenge. He typed whiskey on google translate and cut and pasted the word from it calling it "wheyskey" in arabic pronunciation.

None of them understand one percent of the Qur'anic Balagha. Eloquence is not the correct translation. But what else could one do? Balagha means the end or reaching a particular juncture. The science is called Ilme Balagha.

The criteria is objective. Inimitability. How is that? Is spelled out by scholars and there were no external criteria to apply on the text. If there were external criteria to impose upon the Quran to plead inimitability, then it will be an external science. No one could do that. Because the Qur'an does not fit into any of these sciences. Zilch. The Quranic eloquence was discovered, not imposed, not developed, nor existed. If you could do the research and present one book that fits, I will look at the presentation of it.
 

firedragon

Veteran Member
Salam

@Augustus

When writing poems, you sometimes make a meaning with rhythm. You sacrifice often better meaning to make it sound good. Sometimes you might forego better rhyme because the meaning it to shallow and so you pick lesser of two sounds for better meaning. I think @firedragon is saying, one of the features of Quran, it has perfect sound with perfect meaning. Both. No meaning is sacrificed for the other and no sound is sacrificed for meaning. That's a bit too good don't you think? Neither can the be meaning be better picked nor the way it sounds. Both together is too good.

If not, let's see humans do something like that.

That's absolutely true, and is only one feature. Must be one out of 100. I have not counted how many are there. Maybe unlimited.
 

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
From a non believer perspective an eloquently written book doesn’t make the content true,Tolkiens “Lord of the Rings” among others like Shakespeares “A midsummer nights dream” ,as eloquent as they are the content is fiction so maybe eloquence in the Quran means very little and apparently takes 50 years to understand how to spot it according to fire Dragon.
Salam

There is many ways to know Quran is true. One of them is to just let the Quran speak to your soul. If you do, you will see how Quran heals and reminds. It's exalted spirituality is also a sign and the way God talks about it not being wussy flowery like Rumi nor Wahabi military scholars "worship God" style (I'm speaking metaphorically, I have nothing against Rumi poems), the way God talks and the exalted personality it reveals is a sign from God.

This perhaps the easiest way to recognize it's from God.
 

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
That's absolutely true, and is only one feature. Must be one out of 100. I have not counted how many are there. Maybe unlimited.

I'm going to make the challenge easier then Quran. I'm not saying bring a Surah like it. Just change a verse - one verse in the entire book, with better suited words. Let's see anyone do it.
 

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
That's absolutely true, and is only one feature. Must be one out of 100. I have not counted how many are there. Maybe unlimited.

There's also the guidance upon guidance, light upon light, effect it has. No humans starts with the same Quran and ends with the same Quran. Also, Quran appears differently yet the same words are spoken, to every human, depending on their knowledge.

If a person is well aware of political theories and models in political sciences, this will open dimensions to them in Quran, that those not aware of those things, might not perceive.

The more knowledge you gain, the more "signs" of Quran and "dimensions" of the Quran and even say "modes" of Quran open up.

Everyone who reflects over issues they come aware of with Quran, will see, Quran addresses all things pertaining to guiding humans to the proper path.

Even if say you started of as a sorcerer and knew demonology very well, there's a whole dimension and mode to Quran to this. And so your knowledge of that will help you understand Quran as I've seen videos of many former sorcerers into the occult come to Islam for what Quran says about the occult.

If you just focus on human rights approach and Quran, there is a whole dimension and features about that, and doors about that.

So people say the "the world is your oyster", the Quran is that and more, it opens endless treasures the more knowledge you gain.

Eloquence, rhyme, is just one dimension to the Quran.
 

Augustus

the Unreasonable
The objective criteria is inimitability. That's an objective criteria, not subjective.

How is inimitability 'objective' though? If inimitability is objective, why did Muslim scholars disagree over what inimitability even meant and how it could be established?

On what grounds is something judged to be inimitable? How would these criteria be objective? How would the judgements against them be objective?

Is the challenge is to bring a verse like it, or is your view that inimitability must be judged at the level of the entirety of the text? If the former, what is inimitable about the short verses in the Quran in your opinion, if the latter how many attempts have there ever been and what remains of them?

And if something being unique doesn't necessarily mean its difference is a marker of superior eloquence how should we value uniqueness?

Why is it inimitable are brought in by scholars, not taught by God. That is why you are saying, as most on the internet and other writings say.

No, I'm saying that, on this issue, it is not possible to make a scholarly/theoretical argument by which a miraculous origin would be the most probable explanation if one did not start from that position in the first place (this is more a point about the exceptionally high threshold rather than regarding the merits of any argument).

Especially when you get a field that develops in the 9th/10th C within the context of intra and interreligious polemic/apologetics that seeks to elucidate and provide justification for a conclusion that has already been reached.

When the arguments were made to fit the conclusion, how can subjectivity not be a factor at some point?
 

firedragon

Veteran Member
How is inimitability 'objective' though? If inimitability is objective, why did Muslim scholars disagree over what inimitability even meant and how it could be established?

If you think people disagreeing how something objective is true means its not objective, I don't think its a pursuable discussion.

On what grounds is something judged to be inimitable?

Good question. Even if everyone on earth questions that, the criteria of inimitability is objective.

Is the challenge is to bring a verse like it, or is your view that inimitability must be judged at the level of the entirety of the text? If the former, what is inimitable about the short verses in the Quran in your opinion, if the latter how many attempts have there ever been and what remains of them?

I have given you a synopsis. You have not engaged with it.

No, I'm saying that, on this issue, it is not possible to make a scholarly/theoretical argument by which a miraculous origin would be the most probable explanation

Why is it not possible? Why don't you engage with that little synopsis I gave you and address it objectively?

When the arguments were made to fit the conclusion, how can subjectivity not be a factor at some point?

Subjectivity at some point does not mean inimitability is subjective. It could be objectively true, but people have to work out the mechanism of it.

IT's like saying evolution is not objectively true but only subjective because there are different mechanisms in theory.
 

KWED

Scratching head, scratching knee
I've read the Qur'an in English. I've been told it loses some of its beauty in translation. Do you still want me to vote?
This regular argument from apologists is in itself evidence that it was not authored by an omnipotent, omniscient god.
An actual omni-everything god who wanted the genuine, supernatural eloquence of his message to reach everyone would have revealed it in a way that did not lose its essential magic when translated.

Also, this argument would mean that everyone who is fluent in Arabic would think it a marvel beyond human capacity, regardless of their background - but they do not. It is only people who already believe it is a magic book, who can see that it is a magic book.

(Note, this is where @Link's convenient "everyone who doesn't see the good magic of the Quran is subject to dark magic" claim comes in)
 
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KWED

Scratching head, scratching knee
Yes it looses a lot, because Quran is musical perfectly chosen words too. That the way they flow and sound and placed, is also, perfect.
How would you know? You are not fluent in Classical Arabic.
 

KWED

Scratching head, scratching knee
Soundwise, it must lose something. It is simply read when one examines it in English.
That argument is like saying that because reading the sheet music for Delibes' Flower Duet loses all the beauty of hearing it performed, then it must be magic.

The argument here is that the words are eloquent, not that it sounds beautiful when recited (which is an entirely subjective argument).
 

KWED

Scratching head, scratching knee
English translations do not maintain the eloquence. A translator can try his levels best to try and "maintain" the eloquence, but that will turn into a weird poetic writeup, not a translation. I don't think it's possible.
So what is your argument here?
That god only speaks Arabic?
That god couldn't reveal the Quran in a way that is eloquent in any language?
That the Quran is only aimed at those fluent in Arabic?
That the whole, much vaunted "eloquence" claim is just a red herring?
 

Augustus

the Unreasonable
Subjectivity at some point does not mean inimitability is subjective. It could be objectively true, but people have to work out the mechanism of it.

IT's like saying evolution is not objectively true but only subjective because there are different mechanisms in theory.

Are you relying on any theological axioms to make this argument such as the Quran is eternal and uncreated, or do you mean in the same way we would judge the inimitability or aesthetic qualities of any text?

I'm assuming the latter, which means it is qualitatively different from something like evolution.

Evolution exists independently of human observation, if no humans existed, evolution would still exist.

Inimitability or aesthetic comparisons require humans to exist and to understand. Eloquence in Arabis requires people who speak Arabic to exist.

If humans died out and aliens discovered the Quran, it wold be a series of squiggles on a page. Its aesthetic qualities would be judged by the fonts and presentation as perceived by the aliens.

If you think people disagreeing how something objective is true means its not objective, I don't think its a pursuable discussion.

It is evidence against it being objective, not proof. You would have to make a substantial argument that it is objective first.

So far you have simply asserted it.

Good question. Even if everyone on earth questions that, the criteria of inimitability is objective.

What are these criteria though? It should be pretty easy to state them.

Obviously I cannot judge texts based on these criteria, but you should be able to explain how an expert would 'objectively' identify Quranic eloquence as objectively better

In your opinion, what would make a verse like this inimitable? What about the original language makes this far beyond the ability of a human to produce?

Say: 'I take refuge with the Lord of men, (1) the King of men, (2) the God of men, (3) from the evil of the slinking whisperer (4) who whispers in the breasts of men (5) of jinn and men.' (6)

I have given you a synopsis. You have not engaged with it.

I assume you mean the previous post (rather than the examples of people trying to imitate the Quran).

As I previously explained, these are your opinion on what makes a text eloquent and what you find impressive about the Quran.

These are not objective standards of eloquence.

Why is it not possible? Why don't you engage with that little synopsis I gave you and address it objectively?

Because, by definition, a miraculous origin is so improbable for any text that any even remotely plausible non-miraculous argument is more probable.

It is a unique genre - Why is a combination of 2 exiting things beyond human capability? Things form another time often sound different to our expectations.
Word choice - How is this anything but subjective?
Tonality - again how is this anything but subjective?
Intratextuality - perhaps eloquent and impressive, but objectively inimitable? How do you reach this judgement?

How many texts are there to actually compare the Quran to? And why are the standards derived form the Quran the objective reference point?

The Quran for Muslims and the contexts in which they interact with it and read/here it are unique. How can we rule out that this is impacting a subjective judgement like a Catholic finding something transcendent in the Latin mass?

The problem is that none of these things were arrived at objectively, but were a conclusion that was assumed true that required explanation. This, by definition, leads to motivated reasoning. That doesn't necessitate it being wrong, but it is another point that had to be explained and justified with stronger evidence.
 

KWED

Scratching head, scratching knee
Thanks for the extrapolation, I appreciate the clarity.
That's kinda what I figured. Even a really good translator is putting a level of human intervention and fallibility between the original text and the translated version.

For that reason I answered 'I don't know'. As an atheist, my assumption would always be that at best they were written by one or more eloquent humans. But I can't judge the original text, so that seems the appropriate answer.
The "but it's just a translation!" approach is fine if it is merely poetry, and the form is more important than the function. However, the entire purpose of the Quran is as a guide to convince people that Islam is true and the Quran is from god - and on that measure we should judge it by what it actually says, not the way it is said in one particular language.

There are dozens of English translations written over the last century or so, all by people fluent in Arabic, from a variety of cultures, many of them authoritative Islamic scholars. And here's the thing - they all say pretty much the same thing throughout. They may use different terms but the message is the same so it is entirely reasonable to accept translations as valid source material when assessing the Quran. The whole translation issue is a big, smelly red herring to deflect from the real problems apologists face.
 
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KWED

Scratching head, scratching knee
If anyone spends some time studying the Qur'an, the Bab's writings and Bahailah's writings, they are poles apart. can never be matched. No way.
So what is your argument here?
Because the Quran is written differently to the Torah that we should reject the Quran?
Does god only have one style?
Is 7th century Arabic poetry god's trademark?
 

firedragon

Veteran Member
Are you relying on any theological axioms to make this argument such as the Quran is eternal and uncreated, or do you mean in the same way we would judge the inimitability or aesthetic qualities of any text?

I'm assuming the latter, which means it is qualitatively different from something like evolution.

Evolution exists independently of human observation, if no humans existed, evolution would still exist.

Inimitability or aesthetic comparisons require humans to exist and to understand. Eloquence in Arabis requires people who speak Arabic to exist.

If humans died out and aliens discovered the Quran, it wold be a series of squiggles on a page. Its aesthetic qualities would be judged by the fonts and presentation as perceived by the aliens.

I was showing the flaw in your argument.

As I previously explained, these are your opinion on what makes a text eloquent and what you find impressive about the Quran.

You cannot say that with out engaging in it.

So that ends that conversation.

Cheers.
 

KWED

Scratching head, scratching knee
Far beyond Shakespeare.
How do you propose to objectively demonstrate that the "eloquence" of the Quran is "far beyond Shakespeare"?
Or are you just presenting an opinion based on bias? ;)

Here's an idea.
Lets see how many of Shakespeare's works have been performed or filmed in languages other than Elizabethan English.
The argument is that the "beauty" of the work is necessarily lost in translation. Shakespeare is all about the "beauty" so there would be no point in doing it in any other language.
If there are no such productions your argument stands.
If there are some, your argument fails.
 
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