A Research Study of the Causes of the Qur’anic Inimitability and Literal Inimitability of Quranic Fāṣilah


  • Dr. Abid Naeem Department of Religious Studies, FC College University, Lahore
  • Dr. Shumaila Majeed Department of Islamic Studies, University of Sialkot, Sialkot
  • Hafeez Ur Rahman Department of Sciences and Humanities, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Lahore Campus, Lahore


Iʻjāz bil-ṣarfah, Mutazilites, Ash‘rites, Iʻjāz Bayānī, Faṣilah


The glorious Qur’ān is a miracle of Allah in a number of ways. There are two prominent schools of thought among scholars regarding the nature of the Qur’anic Iʻjāz (inimitability of the Qu’ān); one is the Mutazilite school of thought known as the school of Iʻjāz bil-ṣarfah and the second school is of the Ash‘rites. Iʻjāz bil-ṣarfah means that the Qur’anic text does not contain such original inimitability in it that cannot be countered by the Qur’anic opponents. It is by the plan of the Almighty that He had not allowed opponents of the Qurān to bring so identical book to the Qurān. If Allah had not reduced the ability of the Arabs to compete with it, it would have been possible for them to bring its likeness. The Ash‘rites, in the majority among scholars, disagree with the Mutazilites and believe that the Qurān's miraculous qualities are Qur’anic original qualities.  According to them, declaring the Qur’anic Iʻjāz as Iʻjāz bil-ṣarfah weakens its miraculous and inimitable position.

The paper deals with reasons for preference for the Ash‘rite school of thought. It also discusses that of all the genres of the Qur’anic Iʻjāz, Iʻjāz Bayānī/ Literal Iʻjāz has the honour of being the most diverse genre of Iʻjāz since it is the only genre of the Qur’anic Iʻjāz that is found throughout the Qur’ān, and it is the only absolute genre of the Qur’anic Iʻjāz through which, the Qur’ān remained unconquerable by the most eloquent Arab opponents. Since the Qur’anic Fāṣilah is the most essential form of Iʻjāz Bayānī, the Iʻjāz of Fawaṣil is equally found in the entire Qur’ān too. The research method employed in the paper is qualitative and library research.