Why Can’t A Computer Rewrite A Verse Of The Qur’an? (Continues)

Published: 7 March 2023

Friday Post 17

By Shofi Ahmed


We know the Qur’an is always ahead of our time. But what does it mean to be new forever? It’s new in every aspect even in technical terms. For example the iPhone 14 is very expensive because it’s the latest version. True, but soon it won’t be the most glittering newest version that you can hold up on your palm. It will be old like the iPhone 13. Nothing is new forever but the Qur’an is. It’s the modern of all things modern ages and era. New becomes old but the Qur’an stays new as always.

Every new era opens a new window to explore it furthermore. Question is if we don’t look at it through the new windows, can we really discover its bigger picture? I won’t say the full picture. Because the truth is we can’t get to the bottom of it. As time passes by we ourselves become aged while the subject matter Qur’an is not. But we can make progress and that’s the purpose as Allah SWT said in the Qur’an ‘Iqra’ read. We can be good readers and followers of the Qur’an receiving endless benefits. Because the learning curve of the Qur’an has no end. It continues. That in effect continues to streamline benefits for us.


We can focus on one specific subject of the Qur’an for example Masla/Masel jurisprudence, the basis of Sharia. Nonetheless the contents of the Qur’an stretch far more than that. There are infinite secrets in the Qur-an. For example Ya-sin. The meaning of Ya-sin is secret forever. Allah SWT is very kind, gracious and merciful. When He locks something He opens something more. Following that norm of Allah SWT it could be that He opened a window to the infinite secret in the next ayah. The following Ayah is Wal Quranil Hakeem.


Allah SWT In the very beginning of Surah Yaseen takes an oath: By the Hakeem Quran. Allah SWT says that the Quran is hakeem. This attribute of the Quran is mentioned in multiple places in the Qur’an, and Allah Himself is called al-Hakeem in the Quran multiple times. What does it mean? And how is the Quran actually hakeem? There are more than one meanings of Hakeem. It Means wise, having authority. Hakeem also has the meaning of being closely knit together.


Research shows that the notion of ḥikma is explained in the compilations of several Qur’anic commentators, representing different scientific methods and ideological groups. Moreover, the above-mentioned verse is the first to occur with this sense of ḥikma, in terms of the Qur’anic order. This study traces the different linguistic meanings and origins of this concept, through the compilations of famous ancient Arab linguists and poetic citations, especially from pre-Islamic poetry. In addition to the linguistic meaning of the term, the article also explores its metaphorical meaning. The study reaches the conclusion that the Qur’anic concept of ḥikma is specified through the context, in other words, through the literal and the versificational. The various meanings which the commentators attribute to the concept indicate that interpretative judgements are limited by the human capability to specify the meanings of Qur’anic concepts. Therefore the human language differs from that of Allah SWT who descended the Qur’an by revelation ‘in plain Arabic language’ (Q.26:195).


What it means is that we cannot dive into the infinitely versatile Qur’an just cherry picking one subject of it. Let it be a core one such as jurisprudence from which we derive Masla/Masael. Dr. Reda Bedeir once said, “I did my PhD on Surah Yusuf. For five years, I studied only this Surah, and I have read almost every possible Tafseer work on this surah. And yet every time I read it again, I derive more lessons from it.”


Dr. Reda Bedeir’s example of studying only one surah for five years is indicative of just how deep and complex the Qur’an’s lessons can be – and how much each one of us can uncover with dedication and passion. The Qur’an is infinitely versatile, and its lessons, which can be scientific, technical works of art as well, remain alive and relevant no matter how many times we return to it.


In Shaa Allah continues