Another aspect of the Qur’an which serves to indicate its unique and exceptional nature is the remarkable and inexhaustible attraction that it exerts.
Today, more than fourteen centuries after the revelation of the Qur’an, the captivating sound of the recitation of the Qur’an can still be heard in all the different parts of the world, leaving its impression on hearts and minds, and transforming the spirits of all who listen to it.
Its appeal overwhelms the soul and brings tears flowing from the eyes and makes the heart tremble.
“Those to whom We gave the Book before this, believe in it, and, when it is recited to them, they say, ‘We believe in it; surely it is the Truth from our Lord; even before it we were of those who surrender”. (28:52-53)
This ayah describes a group of people who undergo a state of veneration and awe when the Qur’an is recited before them. They affirm faith in all the contents of the Book, declare everything in it to be nothing but truth and their veneration of it continues to increase.
Then in another verse, a group of Christians who believed and became Muslims on hearing the Qur’an are described in these words:
“And when they hear what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflow with tears, because of the truth they recognize. They say, “Our Lord we believe; so do You write us down among the witnesses.” (5:83)
In another place, while describing the believers, the Qur’an says:
“God has sent down the fairest discourse as a book, consimilar in its oft repeated parts, whereat shiver the skins of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts soften to the remembrance of God …” (39:23)
The rays of attraction exerted by the Qur’an was not confined to Mecca, its birth place, but spread outwards from Mecca together with the movement of the Muslims. To mention some examples: the rays of Qur’an shone in the heart of King Najjashi, in the Christian court of Ethiopia, thanks to the recitation of Ja’far bin Abitalib, despite the unfavorable situation prevailing there and the pressure brought to bear by the opponents of Islam.
Equally they shone in Madina, the base for the formation of a new Society, where the Qur’an was recited by Mus’ab bin Umayr.
Ibn Hisham writes in his life of the Prophet: “So strong was the heartfelt desire of the people to hear the Qur’an that even some of the unbelievers of the Quraysh would secretly go near the Prophet’s house at night, remaining there until dawn, in order to listen throughout the night to the pleasing melody of the Qur’an as recited by the Messenger of God. This happened many times”. (Sirat Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 386)
So that the people would not fall under the influence of Qur’an’s eloquence and power to attract, the nonbelievers would instruct a group of people to go and make a noise, to whistle and clap their hands, while the Prophet was reciting the verses of Qur’an.
“The polytheists said: Do not listen to the verses of the Qur’an, and make a noise while they are being recited, perhaps you will thus triumph”. (41:26)