The Qur’an, which consists of 114 surahs (chapters), is a complete, single and well identified book, as if it is a long speech starting from surah al-Fatiha (the Opening) to surah an-Naas (Mankind). The Quran can easily be identified as a book that has one author or narrator. It is not a compilation of narrations, speeches, comments, opinions, recordings, chronicles, as compared to the Bible, for example, which is a combination of all the above.
The Qur’an is unique, unexampled and different from any other book. If one reads it, without telling them that Muslims believe it is a revelation from God, they immediately will identify that the Qur’an has a unique narrator, very self-confident, certain, aware, speaking from the position of power, that doesn’t mind to confront and criticize – it doesn’t bother about if the audience increases or not.
Speaking about itself, the Qur’an from the beginning claims to be a book, so the author is clearly well aware of its entirety. In other words, when reading the Qur’an, it can be inferred that it has one and only one author, who is very well acquainted about it, who claims authorship of every single word, who even tells the audience about what kind of book it is, what language it uses, what letters, and how to read it.
The Qur’an tells about itself that is in clear Arabic, which consists of the Arabic sounds or letters, “Certainly, We have made it a Quran in Arabic so perhaps you will understand.” [43:3]. It explains the methodology of approaching or reading it, “He is the One Who has revealed to you ˹O Prophet˺ the Book, of which some verses are precise—they are the foundation of the Book—while others are elusive. Those with deviant hearts follow the elusive verses seeking ˹to spread˺ doubt through their ˹false˺ interpretations—but none grasps their ˹full˺ meaning except Allah. As for those well-grounded in knowledge, they say, “We believe in this ˹Quran˺—it is all from our Lord.” But none will be mindful ˹of this˺ except people of reason.” [3:7]
Unusual for any author, the Qur’an claims perfection and clarity – “There certainly has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book” [5:15]; it claims that “This is the Book! There is no doubt about it.” [2:2]; it claims that it will be preserved – “It is certainly We Who have revealed the Reminder, and it is certainly We Who will preserve it.” [15:9]; it claims that “It cannot be proven false from any angle.” [41:42]
Not only does the Qur’an claim perfection, which is not conventional for any author to say so out of fear of foolishness and lack of confidence, it even goes out of its way to challenge all humans to bring a similar chapter like it, “And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a sûrah like it and call your helpers other than Allah, if what you say is true.” [2:23]
This is just one glimpse of what makes the Qur’an unique and unexampled.