Unchallenged Beauty of the Quraan

Unchallenged Beauty of the Quraan

Abdullaah ibn al-Muqaffa was from Khurasaan in Persia. He was born in Iraq and was a fire-worshipper. Later, he accepted Islam at the hands of Isaa ibn Ali.

He is accepted as a scholar in the science of Arabic grammar and rhetoric and wrote a number of books on this subject. He has also translated works of Aristotle into Arabic.

His words and poetry are quoted by a number of famous mufasirin of the Quraan, such as Imaam Qurtubi, Allaamah Aalusi, Zamakhshari and others. Ibn al-Muqaffa is particularly famous for his translation of Kalilah Wa Dimnah from Persian into Arabic.

This book was translated into Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, French, English, and other languages from Arabic and had an enormous impact on European literature. It is a book consisting of fables, wherein animals have been assigned human qualities, with the aim of teaching a moral lesson.

Stories of this type have reached English literature with the likes of “The hare and the tortoise”, “The fox and the crow”, “The lion and the mouse” and so on.

This same Ibn al-Muqaffa, the most eloquent scholar of his time, decided to challenge the eloquence of the Quraan by compiling some beautiful verses in Arabic. He compiled some verses but, while walking one day, he heard a young boy reciting this verse of the Quraan:

“And it was said, ‘O earth! Swallow up your water and O sky! Withhold (your rain)!’ And the water was made to subside. And the Decree (of Allaah) was fulfilled.
The Ark rested on Mount Judi and it was said, ‘Away with those who do wrong!’ ”(Surah Hud, verse 44)

He returned and erased what he had compiled, saying, “I testify that this (Quraan) can never be challenged. It is not the words of man.”

Reference : Pearls from the Path, Volume 1; page 44; Muslims at Work Publications; 2010

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