I’jaz al Qur’an: A Literary and Historical Analysis of the Inimitability of the Qur’an
Contributor(s)Shakoor, Musa Abdul (Author)
Ali, Souad (Thesis Director)
Gallab, Abdullahi (Committee member)
Barrett, The Honors College ()
School of Life Sciences ()
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Abstractabstract: The term I’jaz al Qur’an refers to the inimitable quality of the Qur’an. The doctrine of inimitability comes directly from the Qur’anic text itself: 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 (The Qur’an Al-Baqarah 2:23). This verse is one of the verses of tahaddi (challenge) that challenges mankind to imitate just one chapter of the Qur’an. The doctrine of inimitability comes directly from this verse and four others throughout the Qur’an. It took about two centuries after the revelation of the Qur’an for the topic i’jaz to become the subject of mass scholarly activity. Reasons for the sudden increase in scholarly activity surrounding i’jaz include such historical events as the emergence of Sufism, the mu’tazalah school of theology, the shu’ubiyyah movement, and the Muslim-Christian interactions during the ninth century. Scholarly activity on has produced several theories on i’jaz from the likes of classical Islamic scholars including Abu Ishaq al-Nazaam, Al-Qadi Abd Al-Jabbar, Abu Bakr Abd al-Qahir bin Abd ar-Rahman bin Muhammad al-Jurjani, Abu Bakr Muammad ibn al-Tayyib al-Baqillani, and Muhammad ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi. These theories of i’jaz, while sharing many similarities, were chosen for this analysis due to the key differences they exhibit. These differences are often associated with the theological school and area of expertise of the given scholar, all of which will be explored thoroughly.