Secret Knowledge of the Qur‘an
By S.M. Zakir Hussain (Bangladesh)
of the Qur‘an
4. Multi-Directional Self-Establishment of the Speaker:
Throughout the Qur‘an, the self-establishment and self-reference of the Speaker (God) creates a huge variety and multi-dimensional unity. I have presented this aspect of the style of the Qur‘an in many other books. Here also we will consider some interesting verses.
4.1. Have a glance at these verses:
27:73. Lo! (O Humankind!) is full of bounty for mankind, but most of them do not give thanks.
27:74. Lo! your Lord (O Muhammad!) knows surely all that their bosoms hide, and all that they proclaim.
27:75. And there is nothing hidden in the heaven or the earth but it is in a clear Record.
27:76. Lo! this Qur'an narrates to the Children of Israel most of that concerning which they differ.
27:77. And lo! it is a guidance and a mercy for believers.
27:78. Lo! your Lord will judge between them of His wisdom, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.
27:79. Therefore (O Muhammad) put your trust in Allah , for you (stand) on the plain Truth.
In the very beginning, God refers to him as ‘your Lord’. Why does he refer to by this pronoun (your) of second person, plural numbers? Then who does He refers to by the pronoun (‘their’) of third person, plural number? The demand of the discourse is that both the pronouns should refer to the same group, but what God does here is otherwise. That is because as the Lord, He is the Lord of us all, but those who are ungrateful have decided not to be included in the groups that acknowledge Him as their lord. God has divided His audience into two sub-groups, as they themselves have identified with different cults.
Now compare how it would look like if the marked references were as represented in the right column below:
4.2. There is no mistake in the following verse. Nor is it a magical utterance. Rather, what it is a mystery.
21: 7. And We sent not (as Our messengers) before you (O Muhammad) other than men, whom We inspired. Ask (O Humans) the followers of the Reminder if you do not know?
The verse starts with ‘you’, a singular person, which refers to the Prophet (PBUH). Where, then, does the plural pronoun ‘you (all)’ come from? Actually, the Prophet (PBUH) cannot be the target of the criticism ‘if you do not know’, because he really knows. Consequently, the target of the instruction has to be those who say they ‘do not know’.