Islamic preachers begin by proclaiming the Quran's 'inimitability/literary' miracle, reinforcing it by suggesting that non-Muslims lack the understanding of classical Arabic, let alone expertise, which disqualifies them from questioning/challenging this claim.  Employing this tactic, they forcefully assert the alleged miracle of the Quran upon us.

Islamic preachers also assert that the Quran stands as the GREATEST Miracle of all time, either due to its purported inimitability or its proclaimed literary excellence. However, if this were indeed the case, one would logically expect a significant number of conversions to Islam as a result of this purported GREATEST Miracle. Curiously, not a SINGLE native Arabic-speaking Pagan or Jew embraced Islam based on this acclaimed greatest miracle, although they were unmatched in their knowledge of classical Arabic.

At most, Islamic preachers offer the names of only a few individuals who supposedly converted to Islam due to the inimitability miracle. For instance, they mention individuals like:

  1. Umar Ibn Khattab,
  2. Labīd ibn Rabī al-ʿĀmirī,
  3. Tufayl ibn Amr,
  4. Jubayr ibn Mut'im
  5. Walid ibn al-Mughira (Actually, Walid didn't even accept Islam and he was a staunch opponent of Muhammad)

 Yet, even these individuals are not conclusively linked to accepting Islam because of the inimitability challenge (as we will see in this article later).

It was only Muhammad's true and most significant miracle, known as "The Sword Miracle," that led the pagans to accept Islam en masse later in the 9th Hijri year. 

How did native Arabic-speaking Pagans understand this challenge (according to the witness of the Quan)?

Islamic scholars of the last 14 centuries themselves failed to come to a consensus on what inimitability means regarding the Quran. It seems that the doctrine of the "Quranic Literary Miracle" was added to the "inimitability challenge" only in the fourth century. 

But let us leave Islamic scholars and their claims. Let us concentrate on the Quran. 

Firstly, it's crucial to understand that according to native Arabic-speaking Pagans/Jews, the Quranic Challenge specifically centers around the inimitability of the Quran and is unrelated to any literary miracle. These are two distinct concepts. It was only later generations of Muslims who associated the inimitability challenge of the Quran with a literary miracle. The Quran itself never claims to be a literary miracle, nor does any Hadith make such a claim.

Here are the verses of the Quran concerning this challenge, and you can see they all focus on inimitability, with none mentioning a literary miracle:

  1. "Or do they say he has fabricated it? Say bring then a chapter like unto it, and call upon whom you can besides God, if you speak truly!" (10:38
  2. "Or do they say he has fabricated it? Nay! They believe not! Let them then produce a recital like unto it if they speak the truth." (52:34
  3. "And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down to our servant, then produce a chapter of the like. But if you do not - and you will never be able to - then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the Kafirs." (2:23)
  4. "Say, Bring you then ten chapters like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than God, if you speak the truth!" (11:13)
  5. "If men and Jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur'an they would never produce its like not though they backed one another." (17:88)

Consequently:

  • The native Arabic-speaking Meccans did not perceive the Quranic Challenge as a trial of the Quran's literary excellence.
  • Instead, they viewed it as a challenge related to the Quran's content and substance, rather than its style or linguistic prowess. They understood Muhammad's claim that his God communicated with him, revealing information about the unseen— past events, and tales of earlier nations. This claim mocked the pagans as their gods didn't communicate with them and didn't provide them with similar knowledge about past events.

Therefore, regarding the inimitability challenge, the pagan Meccans were unimpressed, not considering it a miracle. Their response to the challenge is reflected in Quran 8:31:

  • "When Our Signs are rehearsed to them, they say: 'We have heard this (before): if we wished, we could say (words) like these: these are nothing but tales of the ancients.'" (Quran 8:31)

They accused Muhammad of fabricating these tales with the assistance of others, as stated in Quran 25:4-5:

  • "This [Quran] is not except a falsehood he fabricated, and another people assisted him in it. And they say: '(These are the) Tales of the ancients, which he has written down.'" (Quran 25:4-5)

As far as the additional literary miracle is concerned, then the Quran is itself proof that the Native Arabic-speaking pagans were aware of the somewhat poetic nature of the Quran. 

Quran 6:5:

بَلْ قَالُوٓا۟ أَضْغَٰثُ أَحْلَٰمٍۭ بَلِ ٱفْتَرَىٰهُ بَلْ هُوَ شَاعِرٌ 

Yet they say: "These (i.e. the Quranic verses) are only confused dreams (of Muhammad), or he has invented them; or he is only a poet

There existed tons of poets in that era, whose poetry was considered great, despite them being illiterates (just like Muhammad). Therefore, the fact of Muhammad's illiteracy would in no way constitute proof of the Qur'an miraculous origin as the great pre-Islamic poets were illiterate.

Now, imagine the mindset of the people of pre-Islamic Arabia. Eloquence and poetry were the essence of their society. The natural taste for Arabic poetry and literature was ingrained in every child. Eloquence and rhetoric flowed through their veins like lifeblood. They possessed a lot of pride in their poetry and literature. They were so proud of poetry that they used to call all other nations "Ajam," meaning "dumb", in comparison to themselves.

So, they were the best people to JUDGE if there existed any literary miracle in the Quran or not. And according to their judgment, the Quran had absolutely no miracle. 

Note:

During the era of Muhammad, poetry in Arab culture stood at notably higher standards compared to contemporary Arabic literature. Hence, modern-day Arabs might perceive it as having some literary impact. However, this phenomenon isn't unique to Arabic; many languages had higher literary standards in the past. Take, for instance, the Hindu religious text Ramayana, an epic poem comprising over 24,000 couplet verses divided into seven kāṇḍas. The Hindus of TODAY also claim their Ramayana to be a literary miracle as its literary standard is very high for present-day people. 

Consequently, for the people of Muhammad's era, the Quran did not represent a literary miracle.

 

Failure of Islamic preachers to show where a large number of native Pagans/Jews converted to Islam due to this alleged Greatest Miracle of all time

If the Quran truly stands as the greatest miracle of all time, it would be reasonable to expect a substantial number of conversions to Islam because of it. However, Islamic preachers have not provided evidence of such widespread conversions attributable to the Quran's inimitability challenge.

At most, Islamic preachers offer the names of only a few individuals who supposedly converted to Islam due to the inimitability miracle. For instance, they mention individuals like Umar Ibn Khattab, Labīd ibn Rabī al-ʿĀmirī, Tufayl ibn Amr, and Jubayr ibn Mut'im. Yet, even these individuals are not conclusively linked to accepting Islam because of the inimitability challenge. 

The Biggest Problem: Muslims FABRICATED thousands of false traditions for the sake of their religion:

The most significant issue is the fabrication of thousands of false traditions by later Muslim generations to bolster their religion. These fabrications cast doubt on the authenticity of traditions related to these individuals. 

To understand this issue of the fabrication of traditions by Muslims to bolster their religion, please read our article:

Therefore, please keep in mind that later Muslim generations were fully capable of fabricating dozens of false traditions about these few individuals too. 

 

(1) Umar Ibn Khattab:

Islamic preachers assert that Umar, upon hearing the verses of the Quran in his sister's home, was deeply moved, leading to his acceptance of Islam. However, this claim faces several challenges. For example, the hadith recounting Umar's experience in his sister's home is not considered Sahih (authentic) according to the standards of Hadith in Islam. Moreover, contradictory traditions exist regarding the circumstances of Umar's conversion, undermining the reliability of the story involving his sister's home.

Furthermore, even within the narrative of his sister's home, there is no mention of a specific challenge related to the inimitability or linguistic miracle of the Quran. Instead, it suggests that Umar was moved by the Quranic message of monotheism. Yes, the Quranic message might have touched the hearts of some pagans. Perhaps they would have found it more attractive than the pagan religion which had multiple gods and questionable rituals. 

However, finding the Quranic message more attractive than the pagan religion is not equal to converting to Islam due to the Quranic challenge of inimitability or its alleged literary miracle

(2) Labīd ibn Rabī al-ʿĀmirī:

Again there exist no reliable traditions about him. And those traditions, which exist, tell contradictory stories about how he accepted Islam.

One tradition claims Muhammad hanged 3 verses of "Sura al-Kawthar" on Ka'ba. When Labīd saw those 3 verses of Surah al-Kawthat, he claimed it to be only a divine speech and accepted Islam. However, it seems logically not possible that the pagans of Mecca would have ever allowed Muhammad to put the verses of the Quan on Ka'ba.

While the other contradicting tradition claims he accepted Islam due to حُرُوف مُقَطَّعَات (i.e. "disconnected letters" of the Quran, like Ṭā-HāYā-SīnṢād, Qāf etc). 

(3) Tufayl ibn Amr:

The story of Tufayl Ibn Amr is as under. Ibn Hisham wrote (English Translation, page 154):

... I (i.e. Tufayl) said. The apostle explained Islam to me and recited the Quran to me. By Allah I never heard anyting finer nor anything more just. So I became a Muslim and bore true witness. I said, `O prophet of God, I am a man of authority among my people and when I go back and call them to Islam, pray to Allah to give me a (miracle as a) sign which will help me when I preach to them.' He said, `O Allah give him (a miracle as) a sign.'  So I went back to my people and when I came to the pass which would bring me down to the settlement a light like a lamp played between my eyes and I said, `O God, not in my face! for I fear that they will think that a dire punishment has befallen my face because I have left their religion.' So the light moved and lighted on the top of my whip

Firstly, this story is not narrated in accordance with the authentic (Sahih) standards as per Muslims' own criteria. Secondly, the portrayal of light appearing between Tufayl's eyes as a miracle leans more towards a fantasy narrative rather than reality (we will explore later in this article how Muhammad failed to present a single miracle before pagans and Jews). Moreover, does this not suggest a lapse in Allah's omniscience, given that he apparently did not foresee that Tufayl's people would interpret it as a severe punishment for abandoning the religion of their ancestors rather than embracing Islam because of this miracle? How did Tufayl surpass Allah in wisdom?

(4): Jubayr ibn Mut'im:

Islamic preachers also claim that Jubayr ibn Mut'im was arrested and taken to the Prophetic mosque. There, when he heard the verse [Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators of themselves? (Verse 52:35)], then he was impressed and he accepted Islam. 

In response, we assert that his conversion cannot be solely attributed to the Quran being a literary miracle. While it's true that the Quran's message may resonate with certain individuals, such experiences are common across various religions and ideologies. Additionally, another tradition presents a different narrative, suggesting that he embraced Islam due to verse 52:7 (which concerns Allah's torment rather than creation).

 

The case of Walid ibn al-Mughira:

Islamic preachers often cite the case of Walid ibn al-Mughira to bolster the claim of the Quran's literary miracle. However, he did not even embrace Islam because of this alleged miracle. In fact, he was one of Muhammad's staunchest opponents. So much so that Muhammad denounced him harshly in the Quran (68:10-13), labeling him as "a worthless habitual sweater, a slanderer, a preventer of good, a transgressor, a sinner, and a Bastard زنيم".

Why did Muhammad use such strong language for him in the Quran?

The reason lies in Walid's remarks about the Quran. He referred to it as "the tales of ancient people أَسَٰطِيرُ ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ" (Quran 68:15) and dismissed it as "magic" and "the speech of only a human being" (Quran 74:24-25).

Quran 74:18-30:

74:18  Indeed (surely), he thought and deliberated إِنَّهُۥ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ
74:19  So may he be destroyed [for] how he (wrongly) deliberated فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ
74:20  Then may he be destroyed [for] how he deliberated ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ
74:21  Then he considered [again] ثُمَّ نَظَرَ
74:22  Then he frowned and scowled
74:23  Then he turned back and was arrogant
74:24  And said, "This is not but magic imitated [from others] فَقَالَ إِنْ هَٰذَآ إِلَّا سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ
74:25  This is not but the word of a human being." إِنْ هَٰذَآ إِلَّا قَوْلُ ٱلْبَشَرِ
74:26  I will drive him into Saqar
74:27  And what can make you know what is Saqar (a mountain in hellfire)
74:28  It lets nothing remain and leaves nothing [unburned]
74:29  Blackening the skins
74:30  Over it are nineteen [angels]
(Translated by Sahih International)

Muhammad's purpose in revealing these verses was to refute Walid's judgment about the Quran and to warn of severe punishment for him in the afterlife. However, Muhammad, being human, made a significant error here, as these verses also serve as evidence that Walid did indeed "reflect" and then "evaluate" the Quran as merely magic and the speech of a human being.

Thus, these verses contradict Muhammad and the Quran, indicating that native Arabic speakers did indeed perceive the Quran as nothing more than magic and human speech.

To counter these explicit Quranic verses, Muslims fabricated the following tradition, alleging that Walid did not contemplate to evaluate the Quran, but he only reflected to plot a scheme against the Quran.

al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain al-Hakim:

 أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ الصَّنْعَانِيُّ بِمَكَّةَ ، ثنا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ، أَنْبَأَ عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ ، عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ ، عَنْ أَيُّوبَ السَّخْتِيَانِيِّ ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا ، أَنَّ الْوَلِيدَ بْنَ الْمُغِيرَةِ جَاءَ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنَ ، فَكَأَنَّهُ رَقَّ لَهُ فَبَلَغَ ذَلِكَ أَبَا جَهْلٍ ، فَأَتَاهُ فَقَالَ : يَا عَمُّ ، إِنَّ قَوْمَكَ يَرَوْنَ أَنْ يَجْمَعُوا لَكَ مَالًا . قَالَ : لَمَ ؟ قَالَ : لِيُعْطُوكَهُ فَإِنَّكَ أَتَيْتَ مُحَمَّدًا لِتُعْرِضَ لِمَا قِبَلَهُ قَالَ : قَدْ عَلِمَتْ قُرَيْشٌ أَنِّي مِنْ أَكْثَرِهَا مَالًا . قَالَ : فَقُلْ فِيهِ قَوْلًا يَبْلُغُ قَوْمَكَ أَنَّكَ مُنْكِرٌ لَهُ أَوْ أَنَّكَ كَارِهٌ لَهُ قَالَ : وَمَاذَا أَقُولُ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا فِيكُمْ رَجُلٌ أَعْلَمَ بِالْأَشْعَارِ مِنِّي ، وَلَا أَعْلَمَ بِرَجَزٍ وَلَا بِقَصِيدَةٍ مِنِّي وَلَا بِأَشْعَارِ الْجِنِّ وَاللَّهِ مَا يُشْبِهُ الَّذِي يَقُولُ شَيْئًا مِنْ هَذَا وَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّ لِقَوْلِهِ الَّذِي يَقُولُ حَلَاوَةً ، وَإِنَّ عَلَيْهِ لَطَلَاوَةً ، وَإِنَّهُ لَمُثْمِرٌ أَعْلَاهُ مُغْدِقٌ أَسْفَلُهُ ، وَإِنَّهُ لَيَعْلُو وَمَا يُعْلَى وَإِنَّهُ لَيَحْطِمُ مَا تَحْتَهُ قَالَ : لَا يَرْضَى عَنْكَ قَوْمُكَ حَتَّى تَقُولَ فِيهِ . قَالَ : فَدَعْنِي حَتَّى أُفَكِّرَ ، فَلَمَّا فَكَّرَ قَالَ : هَذَا سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ يَأْثُرُهُ مِنْ غَيْرِهِ

... from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, that Al-Walid ibn Al-Mughirah came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and he recited the Quran to Walid. It was as if al-Mughirah was enchanted by it. This news reached Abu Jahl, so he went to him and said, "O uncle, your people are thinking of gathering wealth for you." The Prophet asked, "Why?" Abu Jahl replied, "To give it to you, so that you leave the path of Muhammad and stay on the religion that you followed previously." Walid replied, "Quraysh know that I am among its wealthiest." Abu Jahl said, "Then say something about Muhammad that would reach your people that you reject him or that you dislike him." Walid replied, "What should I say? By Allah, there is no man among you who knows more about poetry than me, nor do anyone knows more about rhymes, or the poetry of the jinn than me. By Allah, his speech does not resemble anything. By Allah, what he says has a sweetness to it, and upon it, there is a beauty. It is fruitful, its highest part is overflowing, and its lowest part is deep. It rises above, and nothing rises above it. It breaks down whatever is beneath it." Abu Jahl said, "Your people will not be satisfied with you until you say something about him." Al-Mughirah said, "Leave me until I think." When he pondered, he said, "This is magic that influences but cannot be influenced by others."

However, the problem persists: Islamic traditions are highly unreliable, with hundreds of thousands of such traditions fabricated for the sake of religion. For instance, in this tradition, we encounter the perplexing notion of "knowing the poetry of Jinns." How did Walid come to possess this knowledge? Was he in communication with Jinns?

Moreover, why was Walid singled out as the only one able to discern that the Quran was not of human origin? What about other native Arabic-speaking pagans, who boasted numerous skilled poets? Why were they unable to recognize the literary brilliance of the Quran? Does this imply that one must be among the top poets, and know both human and Jinn poetry to recognize the Quranic literary excellence?

Furthermore, contradictions often arise in such cases, where falsehoods are spoken. This inconsistency is evident in another tradition narrated by the same Ibn Abbas, which also contains contradictions.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, verse 74:11:

عن ابن عباس قال دخل الوليد بن المغيرة على أبي بكر بن أبي قحافة، فسأله عن القرآن، فلما أخبره، خرج على قريش فقال يا عجباً لما يقول ابن أبي كبشة فوالله ما هو بشعر ولا بسحر، ولا بهذي من الجنون، وإن قوله لمن كلام الله، فلما سمع بذلك النفر من قريش، ائتمروا وقالوا والله لئن صبأ الوليد، لتصبو قريش، فلما سمع بذلك أبو جهل بن هشام قال أنا والله أكفيكم شأنه، فانطلق حتى دخل عليه بيته، فقال للوليد ألم تر إلى قومك قد جمعوا لك الصدقة؟ فقال ألست أكثرهم مالاً وولداً؟ فقال أبو جهل يتحدثون أنك إنما تدخل على ابن أبي قحافة لتصيب من طعامه، فقال الوليد أقد تحدث به عشيرتي؟ فلا والله لا أقرب ابن أبي قحافة ولاعمر ولا ابن أبي كبشة، وما قوله إلا سحر يؤثر

 He (Ibn `Abbas) said, "Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah entered the house of Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah and asked him about the Qur'an. When Abu Bakr informed him about it, he left and went to the Quraysh saying, `What a great thing this is that Ibn Abi Kabshah is saying. I swear by Allah that it is not poetry, nor magic, nor the prattling of insanity. Verily, his speech is from the Words of Allah!' So when a group of the Quraysh heard this they gathered and said, `By Allah, if Al-Walid converts (to Islam) all of the Quraysh will convert.' When Abu Jahl bin Hisham heard this he said, `By Allah, I will deal with him for you.' So he went to Al-Walid's house and entered upon him. He said to Al-Walid, `Don't you see that your people are collecting charity for you' Al-Walid replied, `Don't I have more wealth and children than they do' Abu Jahl answered, `They are saying that you only went to Ibn Abi Quhafah's house so that you can get some of his food.' Al-Walid then said, `Is this what my tribe is saying Nay, by Allah, I am not seeking to be close to Ibn Abi Quhafah, nor `Umar, nor Ibn Abi Kabshah. And his speech is only inherited magic of old.' 

So, the contradictions become apparent:

The first tradition asserts that Walid visited Muhammad, who recited the Quran to him. However, the second tradition contends that Walid visited Abu Bakr's house, where Abu Bakr recited the Quran to him.

In the first tradition, Abu Jahl didn't orchestrate any plot; instead, he simply informed Walid that the Qurayshi people were amassing funds to "BUY his loyalty", dissuading him from following Muhammad and remaining steadfast in his ancestral religion. Conversely, the second tradition alleges that Abu Jahl indeed plotted, informing Walid that the Qurayshi people were gathering funds as "CHARITY" for him, while he visited Abu Bakr's home under the pretense of seeking "food." Abu Jahl hoped to provoke Walid's anger with this plot and thereby ensnare him in his scheme.

Is it plausible to believe that a discerning individual like Walid would so easily succumb to Abu Jahl's ploy, especially when he supposedly knew well that Muhammad's speech was neither poetry nor magic but indeed the words of Allah, a fact he allegedly openly testified to before Quraysh?

The contradictions persist. Yet, a third tradition posits that it wasn't due to Abu Jahl, but rather Walid independently devised this scheme.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, verse 74:11:

وقد زعم السدي أنهم لما اجتمعوا في دار الندوة ليجمعوا رأيهم على قول يقولونه فيه قبل أن يقدم عليهم وفود العرب للحج ليصدوهم عنه، فقال قائلون شاعر، وقال آخرون ساحر، وقال آخرون كاهن، وقال آخرون مجنون كما ... كل هذا والوليد يفكر فيما يقوله فيه، ففكر وقدر، ونظر وعبس وبسر، فقال إنْ هذا إلا سحر يؤثر، إنْ هذا إلا قول البشر

Al-Suddi claimed that when they gathered in Dar al-Nadwah to agree on a statement to say about him before the Arab delegations arrived for Hajj to dissuade them from following him, some said he was a poet, others said he was a magician, others said he was a soothsayer, and others said he was insane ...  All of this while Al-Walid was contemplating what to say about him. So he pondered, estimated, looked, frowned, and scowled, and he said, "This is nothing but magic that has an influence. This is nothing but human speech."

The Quranic verses themselves provide clarity that Walid did not scheme/plot anything. These verses contain no indication of Walid recognizing the speech as Allah's, Abu Jahl's plot, or any planning by Walid.

Surah 74 was revealed early in Muhammad's proclamation of prophethood in Mecca. Throughout his 13-year Meccan life, Walid persistently opposed Muhammad, yet neither Muhammad nor any of his Muslim companions reminded him of the events mentioned in these traditions (i.e., why Walid opposed Muhammad despite allegedly acknowledging the Quran's excellence and divine origin).

The Quran consistently denounces Walid as "a worthless habitual sweater, a slanderer, a preventer of good, a transgressor, a sinner, and a Bastard زنيم," among other things, but never once reminds him that he had previously acknowledged the Quran as Allah's speech and a miracle.

Distortion (تحريف) in translation to fit the Quranic Verses to these fabricated traditions

The correct translation is:

74:18  Indeed (surely), he thought and deliberated إِنَّهُۥ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ
74:19  So may he be destroyed [for] how he (wrongly) deliberated فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ
74:20  Then may he be destroyed [for] how he deliberated ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ
74:21  Then he considered [again] ثُمَّ نَظَرَ
(Translated by Sahih International)

However, to align these verses with the fabricated traditions, many modern Quran translators have distorted the translation as follows:

74:18  For he thought and he plotted; إِنَّهُۥ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ
74:19  And woe to him! How he plotted! فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ
74:20  Yea, Woe to him; How he plotted! ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ
74:21  Then he looked round ثُمَّ نَظَرَ
(Translated by Yusuf Ali and many other modern Quran translators. Link)

The term "قَدَّرَ" means "to evaluate/to deliberate/to measure/to determine." It belongs to the "Verb (form II)" category. Link

Unfortunately, many of the modern Quranic translators have altered the meaning of "قَدَّرَ" to "to plot/to plan/to make a scheme." (link).

However, they are caught red-handed, as "قَدَّرَ" has been used in numerous other Quranic verses, consistently conveying the meaning of "to evaluate/to determine" and never as "to plot/to plan". (link). Moreover, even many of modern Quran translators translated it correctly as "to evaluate/to deliberate/to measure/to determine." (link)

This represents a case of "Double Dishonesty" by Islamic scholars. Firstly, they fabricated traditions, and then they distorted the meaning of Quranic verses through incorrect translations to align them with the fabricated traditions.

 

Fact: People Embraced Islam because of the "Sword Miracle" of Islam, and not because of the  "Inimitability" (i.e. the alleged greatest miracle of all time)

These are the factors influencing why Arabic-speaking pagans embraced Islam:

  1. Lower-status individuals with immature opinions.
  2. Dissatisfaction with the pagan religion.
  3. Power dynamics and politics.
  4. Coercion through Sword: Particularly evident during the later years of Muhammad's life when he wielded absolute power in the entire Arabian peninsula, and he issued threats of violence against all pagans in the Quran (9:5). This fear of sword was a primary catalyst for the spread of Islam.

(1) Lower-status People with immature opinions

According to the pagan Quraysh, only a small number of lower-status individuals believed in Muhammad's message due to their immaturity:

Quran 11.27: The chiefs of the disbelieving nation said, "We find you to be no more than a human like us, and we find that only those of lower status and immature opinion follow you. We do not find you superior to us in any way. In fact, we think you are a liar!".

However, the number of such people was very limited, and many of them were slaves.

(2) Dissatisfaction with the Pagan Religion

Pagan religions often involved strange rituals that seemed nonsensical to many. In contrast, Muhammad's message of monotheism, focusing on one single god, was appealing to certain individuals. According to Muslim accounts, some pagans had already abandoned their faith to become Christians or followers of the Hanif religion. However, their numbers remained relatively small.

(3) Power dynamics and politics

Throughout the entire Meccan period spanning 13 years, only a handful of people embraced Islam. Surprisingly, in Medina, a significant number of people converted to Islam even in Muhammad's absence. How did this happen?

The answer lies in power dynamics and politics.

Medina was home to two major pagan Arab tribes, Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj, alongside three major Jewish tribes and several smaller ones.

The pagan Arabs, feeling inferior to the Jews due to their superior education, wealth, and fertile lands, gradually began to convert to Judaism.

Sunan Abi Dawud, 2682:

When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew

Moreover, the pagan Arabs were also afraid of the Jews, as they used to hear from their Jewish neighbours that a prophet would be sent at the end of time and that the Jews would follow him and fight the Arabs along with him and kill them in the same manner in which the earlier nations of ‘Ad and Iram were killed and destroyed.

A huge civil war took place in Medina, where al-Aws and al-Khazraj fought each other too. And when al-Aws lost a lot of wars against al-Khazraj, they went to seek the alliance of pagan Meccans, but they refused (Samhudi, Wafaa al-Wafaa, Vol. 1, p. 385). At that time Muhammad presented himself to them, seeking protection in Medina and telling them that he and his followers would then assist them. Some of them accepted Islam at that time. 

This was soon followed by the war of Bu'ath (another civil war in Medinah). It took place 5 years before hijra (i.e. Muhammad's migration to Medina). 

*Aisha described this war:

Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 3846:

"Allah caused the day of Bu'ath to take place before Allah's Messenger (saw) was sent so that when he reached Medina, those people had already divided (in different groups) and their chiefs had been killed or wounded. So, Allah made that day precede Allah's Messenger (saw) so that they (i.e. the two pagan Arab tribes) might embrace Islam." 

Most of their key leaders (those who had a similar mentality to ibn Ubbay) who could hinder the message of Muhammad were killed as well as large numbers of their followers. Thus, the new generation of two pagan Arab tribes wanted to unite again and utilised the offer of Muhammad. (Samhudi, Wafaa al-Wafaa, Vol. 1, p. 389, Shireef, Tarikh Makah wa al-Madinah, p. 367)

The promise of the Jews to kill and destroy the polytheistic Arabs on the arrival of their next prophet also made al-Aws and al-Khazraj to accept Islam. As al-Aws and al-Khazraj collectively could exert control over the Jews, they received Muhammad and were able to launch the Islamic state.

In Zad Al-Ma‘ad, Ibn Al-Qayyim wrote (link):

One of the things which Allah Almighty accomplished for His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was that the tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj heard from their allies from among the Jews of Al-Madeenah, that 'A Prophet will appear in our time and we will follow him and kill you, in the same manner in which ‘Ad and Iram were killed.' The Ansar used to perform Hajj, as did the Arabs, but not the Jews. So when they saw the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, inviting people to Allah during the season of Hajj and they observed his manners, some of them said to the others, "You know, by Allah, O people, that this is the prophet whom you were threatened with by the Jews, so do not let them precede you in following him. So hasten to accept his invitation."

(4) Not even 10 Jews believed in Muhammad due to the alleged greatest miracle of inimitability:

After arriving in Medina, initially, Muhammad tried to please the Jews so that they accepted him as a true prophet. For this purpose:

  • Muhammad started to copy a lot of Jewish Laws into Islamic Sharia. 
  • He also claimed the revelation of such verses, that were pleasing the Jews, like verse 29:46 {Our God and your God is one, and to Him we submit}.
  • He also changed the Qibla from Ka'ba to the Jewish Temple (Bait-ul-Muqqadas) in Jerusalem. 

Nevertheless, the Jews of Medina didn't believe in Islam and kept declaring Muhammad to be a false prophet. 

The alleged inimitability and literary miracles of the Quran neither ever impressed the Pagans in Mecca, nor it ever impressed the Jews in Medina. 

This frustrated Muhammad so much, that he used to say even if 10 Jews believed in him, then all Jews would become Muslims. 

Sahih Bukhari, 3941:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ لَوْ آمَنَ بِي عَشَرَةٌ مِنَ الْيَهُودِ لآمَنَ بِي الْيَهُودُ

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Had only ten Jews (amongst their chiefs) believe me, all the Jews would definitely have believed me."

Sahih Muslim, 2793:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ لَوْ تَابَعَنِي عَشْرَةٌ مِنَ الْيَهُودِ لَمْ يَبْقَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا يَهُودِيٌّ إِلاَّ أَسْلَمَ

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: If ten scholars of the Jews would follow me, no Jew would be left upon the surface of the earth who would not embrace Islam.

Note: The Islamic Translators of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim added these words in parenthesis on their own "(amongst their chiefs)" or "Scholars of the Jews" It is a Distortion (TEHRIF) case, while these words have nothing to do with the original tradition, which is talking about normal 10 Jews, and not about any of their chiefs/scholars. Islamic preachers are compelled to do this TEHRIF (distortion) while it EXPOSES Islam and Muhammad, and Islamic preachers want to HIDE the Truth from the masses. 

This distortion by Islamic preachers is utterly shameful and shows how dishonest they are and how ashamed they are of the truth.

It seems Muhammad repeated this statement multiple times, and his companion 'Auf ibn Malik is also a witness to a similar statement from him. 

Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Hadith 23464:

حدثنا أبو المغيرة قال حدثنا صفوان قال حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن جبير بن نفير عن أبيه عن عوف بن مالك قال انطلق النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما وأنا معه حتى دخلنا كنيسة اليهود بالمدينة يوم عيد لهم فكرهوا دخولنا عليهم فقال لهم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يا معشر اليهود أروني اثني عشر رجلا يشهدون أنه لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله يحبط الله عن كل يهودي تحت أديم السماء الغضب الذي غضب عليه

Narrated by Abu Al-Mugheera through Safwan through Abdul-Rahman ibn Jubayr through his father through 'Awf ibn Malik, who said: One day, the Prophet ﷺ and I went to a Jewish synagogue in Medina on one of their festivals. They hated that we made an appearance. The Prophet ﷺ said: "O' Jewish tribe, show me twelve men from among you who testify that there is no deity but Allah,and that Muhammad is his messenger, and Allah will spare all the Jews under the visible heaven from the wrath He has upon them."

Grade: Sahih (Albani)

But the Jews of Medina still refused to accept him as a true prophet, and that was the point where Muhammad's enmity and hatred started against the Jews:

  • First of all, Muhammad changed the Qibla once again from Bait-ul-Muqqadas to Ka'ba in Mecca. 
  • Then he started openly threatening the Jews to accept Islam, otherwise, they would be expelled from Medina, and he would snatch away all of their lands by force. 

Sahih Bukhari, 3167:

Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were in the Mosque, the Prophet (ﷺ) came out and said, "Let us go to the Jews" We went out till we reached Bait-ul-Midras. He said to them, "If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle (only), and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle."

Yes, that was the whole argument of Muhammad: "...that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle (only) ..."

Please remember that Muhammad used the same argument to attack innocent Pagan tribes (who had nothing to do with Muhammad previously and had never attacked or harmed Muhammad). 

Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 3012:

Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama: The Prophet (ﷺ) passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." Prophet said: All the graze-lands belong to Allah and his prophet.

Later Muhammad's anger and hatred against the Jews went so high that he was no more satisfied by expelling them from Medina, but he wanted to expel them from the whole Arab peninsula. It was due to the reason that it was a shame for him that he was claiming himself to be the promised prophet of the Jews, but the Jews were telling people that he was not that promised prophet. Muhammad didn't want the Jews to tell this to others, thus he wanted to expel them from the whole Arabian peninsula. 

Sahih Muslim, 1767(a):

It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.

(5) Pagans didn't accept Islam even after the Victory of Mecca:

Despite the conquest of Mecca by Muhammad in the 7th year of Hijri, the pagan Meccans remained resistant to accepting Islam.

In an effort to prevent opposition from the pagan leaders of Mecca, Muhammad offered stipends to them, fostering a sense of financial interest and aiming to ensure their compliance with Islam. Quran (9:60). But despite getting the stipends, they didn't accept Islam. 

(6) Pagans accepted Islam only after they were FORCED to do it under the Fear of Sword

So, the situation was:

  • Native Arabic-speaking Pagans of Mecca were not accepting Islam due to its challenge of inimitability or any linguistic miracle.
  • They didn't accept it after the conquer of Mecca in 7th Hijri year. 
  • They didn't accept it even after receiving stipends. 

In the 9th Hijri year, Muhammad claimed the revelation of verse 9:5 (i.e. the Verse of the Sword, which ordered to kill all polytheists after 4 months). 

Quran 9:5:

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah (i.e. if they become Muslims), let them [go] on their way.

Muhammad allowed the people of the book (i.e. Christians/Jews/Magians) to stay alive by paying Jizya tax, but he refused to accept any Jizya from polytheists. They either had to accept Islam, or they would be slaughtered.

Only after that, pagan Arabs accepted Islam to save their lives. 

The Christians/Jews/Magians paid Jizya but didn't accept Islam. It was difficult for Muhammad to kill Christians and Jews as killing them for not accepting Islam would have angered the Christian Byzantine Empire while killing Magians would have angered the Magian Persian Empire. But pagan Arabs were vulnerable and they had no backing outside of Arabia. Therefore, Muhammad allowed them to stay alive by paying Jizya. 

Due to this forced conversion, we do see Christians and Jews in Arab countries, but no polytheists as all of them were forced to convert to Islam.