to other prophets and the constant iteration of the claims of the Qur'an to
be a divine revelation, are but a few of the many utterances on this subject,
and the general impression left upon the mind of the reader is that they are the
outward expressions of a man whose own mind was not at ease and who sought by
the very frequency and force of his assertions not only to silence his
adversaries, but also to give confidence to his own hind and to confirm the
faith of his followers.
Early in his Meccan career the Prophet challenged the production of a book
like the Qur'an:
Will they say, 'He hath forged it himself ? Nay, rather it is that they
Let them produce a discourse like it, if they speak the truth.' Sura At-Tur (lii)
Sura Al-Isra' (xvii), one of the latest of the second period of the Meccan
Suras, continues the challenge :
Say, verily, were men and jinn assembled to produce the like of this Qur'an,
they could not produce its like, though the one should help the other. 90.
A little later on we find:
If they shall say, 'The Qur'an is his own device,' say . then bring ten Suras
like it of your own devising, call whom ye can to your aid beside God. Sura Hud
So convincing was this argument considered to be that we find it used also at
If ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then
produce a Sura like it. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 21.