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Sahib Mustaqim Bleher Assesses the Surah Like It Challenge
"And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'ān) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Sūrah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allāh, if you are truthful." (Qur'an 2:23)
Recently, there has been some commotion concerning the challenge of the Qur'an to produce a Surah Like It. After having his attention drawn to an Internet site that claimed to have met the challenge, Sahib Mustaqim Bleher decided to write to the site owners. Below is a copy of the e-mail sent to the site owners. We are currently waiting for a reply and will keep you informed of any new developments.
|From: Islamic Party of Britain|
|Subject: surah like it|
|Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Date sent: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 10:17:05 -0000|
Firstly, I agree that there should be no stifling of debate. Secondly, the challenge of the Qur'an to try and produce a Surah like one of its own is meaningful only if it does not preclude people from trying. However, they should be more honest in their presentation. The original site completely omits the background information you present on your Pipex site, and by merely listing so-called "Surahs" does give a false impression. It also has no room whatsoever for informed discussion. It may, therefore, given the evangelical content of the "Surahs" be intended to inflame. If it is to be a proper challenge, it should afford room for people's comments, and it should also present original Surahs to which the fabrications claim a likeness, so as to enable outsiders to judge the merit of the claim. Being an Arabic speaker myself, I can tell you that the invented Surahs come out very poorly in rhythm, rhyme, and grammar, not to talk about the idiosyncracies of meaning. The English translation, of course, only makes the meaning available. If they were honest, the authors should subject their "Surahs" and the orignals on which they modelled them to an independent textual analysis by a reputable linguistic institution and make those findings available. It is the dishonesty in publishing the material without background and opportunity to respond, which makes Muslims object to the existing of the original "Surah like it" site. You may publish this letter if you wish.
|Sahib Mustaqim Bleher|
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