وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِى رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُواْ شُهَدَآءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ
“And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful.”
فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَلَن تَفْعَلُواْ فَاتَّقُواْ النَّارَ الَّتِى وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ
“But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.”
The Qur’an is the Greatest Miracle given to the Prophet:
The Sahihs record that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
“Every Prophet was given a miracle, the type of which brings mankind to faith. What I was given is a revelation that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent down to me. Yet, I hope that I will have the most following on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was also aided with innumerable signs and indications that testify to the truth of his prophethood and what he was sent with, all thanks and praise is due to Allah Almighty.
The Message of Messenger of Allah is True:
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala begins to prove the truth of prophethood after He stated that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him.
وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِى رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا
“And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur’an) to Our servant (Prophet Muhammad” salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)…”
If you claim that what he was sent with did not come from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then produce something similar to what he has brought to you, using the help of anyone you wish instead of Allah. However, you will not be able to succeed in this quest.
Therefore, this is a general challenge to the Arab disbelievers, the most eloquent among all nations. Allah challenged the Arab disbelievers both in Makkah and Al-Madinah several times, especially since they had tremendous hatred and enmity for the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his religion. Yet, they were unable to succeed in answering the challenge, and this is why Allah, the Most Powerful said,
فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَلَن تَفْعَلُواْ
“But if you do not – and you will never be able to”, indicating that they will never be able to answer the challenge. This is another miracle, in that, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala clearly stated without doubt that the Qur’an will never be opposed or challenged by anything similar to it, for eternity. This is a true statement that has not been changed until the present and shall never change. How can anyone be able to produce something like the Qur’an, when the Qur’an is the Word of Allah Who created everything how can the words of the created ever be similar to the Words of the Creator. Allah is telling them that even if you did bring any witnesses or critics or helpers to produce a chapter similar to the Qur’an – they are inferior to Allah and lesser than Him. So call any of them besides Allah – you will not be able to produce similar to this Qur’an. How are you going to compete with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
Warning of Allah to disbelievers:
Ayah 24 ends with a strong warning, that if you will not be able to produce a surah after accepting Allah’s challenge, and certainly you will not be able to do so, then be ready for the punishment. It is very strong ayah affirming the punishment of Hell fire. Fire, whose fuels are men and stones. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala promises the ungrateful deniers His punishment.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala keep us among the fearful believers Ameen, we are nothing in status and wisdom, and whatever we are is His blessing. Hence, His own creation cannot stand against Him, except who is blind not from eyes but from the heart.