The Fifteenth Word


In His Name, All-Glorified is He.

There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise.

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

If a provocation from Satan should provoke you, seek refuge in God. Surely He it is Who is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (7:200)

The Qur’an’s argument against Satan and his party

This topic comprises a rational, objective discussion with Satan to refute one of his deceptive arguments. In the discussion, he and the transgressors finally are silenced and overcome.

One day eleven years ago during Ramadan, I was listening to a Qur’anic recitation in Istanbul’s Bayazid Mosque. Suddenly, I felt as if an invisible person were telling me: “You regard the Qur’an as highly exalted and radiant. Study it objectively—suppose it to be a man’s word, and see if

it is really so exalted and radiant.” I was taken in for a brief moment, and fancied that the Qur’an was a human work. However, perceiving that the speaker was Satan, who wanted to show me the Qur’an devoid of its lights and lead me astray, I sought help from the Qur’an and immediately felt a light in my heart. This encouraged me to argue:

O Satan! Objective reasoning means impartial judgment, but the “impartial” judgment used by you and your disciples means siding with the Qur’an’s opponents and following temporary unbelief. For supposing the Qur’an to be a human work and arguing as if it were is to take the part of the opposing side; it is to side with unbelief or falsehood.

When he retorted: “Then accept it as neither the Word of God nor the work of a human being,” I replied:

I cannot justify such a position. For if two people argue about an item, it is deposited with a third person, provided that the two par ties are in reasonable proximity to each other. If they are not, the property is left with the one who already holds it until the dispute is settled. It is not left somewhere between them.

The Qur’an is a priceless item; there is an infinite distance between its owner (God) and its claimant (humanity). It cannot be left between these two sides, nor can be a meeting point, for they are opposites like existence and non-existence. Thus, it should be left in the “hands” of God. {Also, since its Revelation, billions of people have accepted it as God’s Word.] Therefore, if the opposing side can refute all the arguments proving it to be God’s Word and prove that it is the work of a human being, it can claim ownership of it. Who would dare to remove that brilliant Qur’an from the Greatest Throne of God, onto which it is fixed with thousands of “nails” of decisive proofs?

Despite you, O Satan, the people of truth and justice deal with the issue by just reasoning and strengthen their belief in the Qur’an through even the smallest decisive proof. Those who are deceived by you and your disciples find it very difficult to move from unbelief’s darkness to belief’s light, for it requires a proof as strong as all these “nails,” once it has been cast to the ground by supposing it to be the work of a human being. Thus many people are deceived into that false pretence of “objective” reasoning and ultimately lose their belief.

But Satan insisted: “The Qur’an resembles human speech, for it follows a human style or conversation. If it were the Word of God, it should be extraordinary in all aspects. As His artistry cannot be likened to what is human, His Word likewise should not resemble human speech.” I replied:

Our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, was a human being. All of his acts and attitudes, except for his miracles and states of Prophethood, originated in his humanity. Like all other human beings, he was subject to and dependent upon God’s laws of life. He suffered from cold, felt pain, and so on. He was not extraordinary in all his acts and attitudes so that he could set an example to humanity through his conduct. If he had been extraordinary in all his acts and manners, he could not have an absolute guide in every aspect of life or a mercy for all through all his states.

In the same way, the wise Qur’an leads conscious beings, directs humanity and jinn, guides people of perfection, and instructs truth seeking people. Thus it must follow the style of human speech and conversation. Humanity and jinn take their supplications and prayers from it, talk about their affairs in its terms, and derive their principles of good conduct from it. In short, every believer adopts it as the authorized reference for all their affairs. If, by contrast, it had been like the Word of God heard by Moses on Mount Sinai, no one could have borne it or used it as a reference. Moses, one of the five greatest Messengers of God, could endure to hear only a few pieces of that Word and asked: “Is this Your speech?” God answered: “I have the power of all tongues and languages.”


Satan continued: “As many people discuss, in religion’s name, almost the same subjects as those in the Qur’an, a human being could have writ ten it,” and I replied, through the Qur’an’s light:

FIRST: Religious people speak the truth out of their love of religion and in the name of God’s commandments. They do not lie against or imitate God and do not speak on His behalf for fear of the Qur’anic threat: Who is more in wrong than the one who lies against God? (39:32).

SECOND: No one can imitate God and speak on his behalf. People can imitate only those of nearly the same level. Only those of the same species can take each other’s form. Only those of nearly the same level can pretend to each other’s level. However it is very difficult, even in that case, for them to deceive people for long, as their pretensions and false display eventually unmask them to perceptive people. If, on the other hand, counterfeiters are greatly inferior to those they try to imitate (e.g., an ordinary person claiming Ibn Sina’s (Avicenna) knowledge, or a shepherd pretending to be a king), they would open themselves to ridicule.

Could a firefly make itself appear as a star for 1,000 years, or a fly make itself appear as a peacock for a year? Could a private pretend to be a famous marshal and occupy his chair for a long time without giving himself away? Could a deceitful unbeliever sustain for a life time, before discerning people, a false display of a most pious person’s loyalty, truthfulness, and conviction? If these “ifs” are inconceivable or unacceptable to any intelligent person, considering the Qur’an a human work would mean seeing that Manifest Book, which has been like a star of truths or a sun of perfections radiating the lights of truths in the sky of the Muslim world for centuries, as a collection of falsehoods invented by a counterfeiter. It would mean his Companions of thirty-three years, as well as all who have followed him during the next fourteen centuries, were unaware of his real identity. This is beyond belief.

O Satan, you cannot deceive sensible people in such a way, even if you were far more advanced in your devilish craft. You only can deceive people into looking at the Qur’an and the Prophet from a very great distance and seeing those star-like objects as fireflies.

THIRD: Calling the Qur’an a human work means that a most bright, true, and comprehensive criterion of the human world, miraculous of exposition and bringer of well-being to the world, is the product of an illiterate man’s mind. Moreover, his pretence and counterfeiting have appeared as earnestness, sincerity, and purity of intention for fourteen centuries to even great intellects and exalted geniuses. It is a most inconceivable allegation.

Further, accepting it would mean that a most illustrious and virtuous being who spent his entire life displaying and preaching conviction, truthfulness, trustworthiness, sincerity, earnestness, and uprightness in all his states, words, and actions, as well as raising many truthful persons, was a mean and discreditable rascal, wholly insincere, and the foremost in unbelief. Even Satan would be ashamed to conceive of such a great lie.

There is no third alternative. If the Qur’an were a human work, it would be so debased that it could be a source only of superstition. The rank of him who brought it also would be degraded from being a source of perfection to the greatest cheat. Thus, he could not be God’s Messenger, for one who lies in His name is the worst of people. Such a supposition is as inconceivable as continuously seeing a fly to be a peacock and observing a peacock’s attributes in a fly. No normal person could regard such suppositions as possible.

FOURTH: The Community of Muhammad, the Muslim community, has proved to be the greatest and most magnificent people of history. The Qur’an has enabled them to conquer this world and the next; has equipped them materially and spiritually; and has instructed and educated them in all rational, moral, and spiritual matters according to the particular level of each. It has purified them and used each bodily member, sense, and faculty in its most proper place.

The Prophet, who brought the Qur’an from God, used his life to exemplify His laws in all his attitudes and actions. He instructed us via his actions and sincere practice of the principles of truth as long as he lived. He showed and established the ways of true guidance and well being via his sincere and reasonable sayings. In addition, as his life and good conduct testify, he is the most knowledgeable of God and the most fearful of His punishment. He has established his splendid rule of perfection over half the globe and one-fifth of humanity. He truly became, through his well-known manners and actions as a Prophet, statesman, commander, spiritual and intellectual guide, father, husband, friend, and so on, the pride of humanity and of creation.

So, if you consider the Qur’an a human work, it would be no more than a worthless fabrication of a liar who did not recognize or fear God. For there is no middle, meeting point between these two alternatives. No intelligent person, O Satan, could be deceived by such an inconceivable supposition, not even if you were far more powerful in your devilish tricks.

Satan retorted: “How can I fail to deceive? I already have deceived most people, including the foremost in rational thought, and led them to deny both the Qur’an and Muhammad.” I said:

FIRST: When looked at from a great distance, the largest thing can look like a tiny particle; a star can be considered a candle.

SECOND: When considered superficially and in a way vulnerable to distraction and illusion, an inconceivable thing can appear conceivable. Once an old man scanned the horizon to catch sight of the new moon of the month of Ramadan. A white hair from his eyebrow curved over his eye and came into his line of sight. Deceived by that illusion, he said: “I have seen the moon.” Because he concentrated on the moon and his hair appeared to him without his will and intention, he took the hair for the moon.

THIRD: Denial differs from non-confirmation, which is a kind of indifference and lack of judgment. Thus, many inconceivable things may exist unintentionally in non-confirmation. Denial is a judgment and means confirming non-existence that usually is reached through reasoning. A devil like you deprives people of sound judgment and leads them to denial. You use heedlessness, deviation, sophistry, obstinacy, demagogy, arrogant superiority, conceit, seduction, and custom to cause people to see falsehood as truth and the inconceivable as conceivable. Thus you have led many people (human in appearance but perhaps not in essence) into unbelief, which requires accepting many inconceivable things.

FOURTH: The Qur’an is a book of pure truths and matchless value, which guides saints and scholars of truth and purity, who shine in the sky of humanity like stars. It teaches and invites to truth and love of the truth, truthfulness and loyalty, trustworthiness and reliability. It secures happiness in both worlds through Islam’s pillars of beliefs and fundamental principles. The Prophet is a most trust worthy being, the foremost and firmest in belief and conviction. This is testified to by Islam and its law, which he preached and showed by his acknowledged piety and sincere worship manifested throughout his life, as required by his laudable virtues, and confirmed by all people of truth and perfection.

Given this, considering the Qur’an a human work would mean that it is a collection of fallacies and lies, and that the Prophet is an unreliable, unbelieving liar with no fear of God. This supposition is the most dangerous kind of unbelief, deviation, and wrong-doing. Even devils and Sophists would be ashamed to conceive of such things.


In short: It was mentioned in the 18th Sign of the 19th Letter that those whose power of hearing allow them to appreciate the Qur’an’s miraculousness acknowledge that it is not of the same kind and degree as all other books they have heard. Thus it is either inferior or superior to all other books. As not even a devil would assert the former, we must accept that it is superior and therefore a miracle. That being the case, based on the two decisive proofs of dichotomy and reductio ad absurdum, we openly declare:

O Satan and your disciples. The Qur’an is either God’s Word manifested through His Supreme Throne and Supreme or Greatest Name, or, God forbid such a thought, the fabrication of an unbeliever who does not recognize or fear God. Even you, O Satan, could never say that this second alternative is true. Thus the Qur’an is, of necessity and undoubtedly, the Word of the Creator of the universe, given that there is no third alternative, as explained above.

Likewise Muhammad is either a Messenger of God, as well as the most perfect Messenger and superior to all other creatures, or, God forbid such a supposition, a man of unbelief and the lowest nature, since he lied against God and neither recognized Him nor His punishment.69 Not even European philosophers or hypocrites of other lands, in whom you place great trust, have alleged—nor will able to allege—such a thing, O Satan, because no one will heed and accept such an allegation. So, even the most corrupt philosophers and unscrupulous hypocrites in whom you trust, say: “Muhammad was a very wise man and of exemplary good conduct.”

Finally, there are only two alternatives. As the second alternative with respect to both the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad is absolutely inconceivable and unacceptable, the Qur’an is self-evidently and of necessity God’s Word and Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, His Messenger; he is the most perfect Messenger, and superior to all other creatures. This is true whether you or your followers like it or not. Upon him be blessings and peace to the number of angels, human beings, and jinn.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

69 Since the Qur’an mentions such a supposition to refute the unbelievers’ unbelief and bad language, I felt justified in mentioning it, though fearfully and with aversion, only as a most impossible supposition to show how groundless and false are such assertions.