Why is the Qur'an called a living, permanent miracle?
The beauty of the Qur'an is in its brevity. The words and phrases in Arabic expresses the richest and strongest meanings in the briefest form. Word by word and phrase by phrase, the recited Qur'an, like a loom, weaves together its magic on the human mind.
Recitation of the Qur'an has a miraculous power and beauty of sound. It is the most beneficial audition to the mind and the most delightful to the ear.
A Muslim scholar said that "The style of the Qur'an is strong and emphatic, as well as smooth and delicate. The reader can feel it fall down like rocks or with infinite tenderness and finesse. Whether the Qur'anic recitation murmurs like a serene brook or pounds like a torrent, its beauty is always perfect. Its similes and metaphors hit the imagination with a mighty power that leaves one breathless with fascination."
Because it is unique and cannot be matched or equalled in beauty and perfection, it cannot be composed by the human mind. It has beauty, grandeur, grace and a unique style. It has no parallel and is of unsurpassed excellence.
The Qur'an itself poses the challenge in many ways: the challenge for anyone or the whole of humanity to compose even 10 Surahs, or even one surah. It cannot be done.
What is the subject matter of the Qur'an?
The magnitude and variety of the Qur'anic theme is unique. According to the Qur'an itself: "Nothing is omitted here."
There are 4 main subject divisions of the contents of
(1) Passages commanding worship of God, the Creator and Bestower, and His marvellous creation.
(2) Eschatology - Resurrection, Judgement, rewards and punishment in the Hereafter.
(3) Narratives of earlier Prophets - The Qur'an speaks very lovingly about Jesus (Pbuh) and his mother, Mary - A whole surah is named after Jesus's mother, thus honouring Mary, who was chosen out of all women.
(4) Commandments and regulations for conducting all earthly affairs. So the Qur'an contains the general code of the Muslim world - social, civil, commercial, military, judicial, criminal and religious. Everything is regulated from ceremonies of religion to those of daily life, from salvation of soul to the health of body, from morality to crime, from punishment here to that of life to come.
God tells us in the Qur'an about human nature, and that the ideal attitude of the human mind is common sense and reasonableness. The Qur'an teaches freedom from contradiction and paradox and myth. It invites people to accept its message rationally, critically and without compulsion. It stresses using personal judgement.
The Qur'an gives us the Criterion to distinguish between good and evil. It guides us to seek balance in life, to follow the path midway between the two extremes of leading an ascetic life and a wasteful hedonistic', pleasure loving life. It teaches us to live a life according to the laws of Nature. On the spiritual side, it purifies the soul from evil desires and prepares it for its entry into Heaven.
What was the impact of the Qur'an?
For those who heard the Qur'an recited by Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), the Qur'an was a living reality, and a relevant force. It exercised a shattering, fascinating, stirring and moving power over them. The Qur'an took possession of their souls, minds, hearts and wills. They succumbed to its impact. The very recitation overwhelmed them and they acknowledged its divine origin and submitted themselves to God' is conditions. The Qur'an brought about individual and collective transformation in the Believers. It created a new phase of human thought and fresh type of character. "Those who followed the counsels of this Great Book became the Creators of a civilization which is astounding to this day. They became the leaders of mankind. The Qur'an continues to be an enduring part of that success.
The Qur'an invited mankind to cultivation, Science, because it is only through the proper understanding of God's creation that we can strengthen our belief in His Supreme Power and Knowledge. So Muslims can be both Believers and Scientists. There is no conflict between Science and Islam.
Conclusion: So the Qur'an is indeed a unique phenomenon in the history of human culture. The Qur'an is no ordinary book. Being God's word it can hardly be placed on the same footing as human productions. It is a priceless treasure, and it is treasured with reverence by Muslims. It is a Book for all seasons, A book for All Reasons. On reading it, there is a recognition in the heart, and we say "O Allah, your Word is the Truth - Thou Alone art True God Almighty, does tell the Truth.