Asateer-ul-Awwaleen : Non-believers ineffective strategy to defame Quran

Asateerul-Awwaleen is a Quranic term to describe some of the non-believers criticism against the holy book. Asateer means fabricated story, fable. Awwaleen means earlier. Non-believers claimed that Quran was not a divine word but rather, especially its cautionary qissas were “stories of the ancient past”.

This term of Asateerul Awwaleen is found in many verses in Quran, such as:

When it is said to them, “What is it that your Lord has revealed?” they say, “Tales of the ancients!” An-Nahl (16/24)

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.”

Al-Anfal (8-31)

“Such things have been promised to us and to our fathers before! they are nothing but tales of the ancients!”

Al-Mumenoon (23/83)

These baseless claims from the non-believers were a part of strategy to defame Holy Quran, since from the earlier times, whenever new suras were being revealed, Quran’s rhetoric and eloquence became the center of attention among the ordinary crowds of Mecca. Therefore, aristocratic cream of the non-believers launched as many as campaigns they could think of, just to smear the holy words of Quran.

One was to accuse Prophet Muhammad(saw) of sorcery and wizardry. Another one was to find excuses to not follow the call of the Quran, which led to label its cautionary qissas as “asateerul awwaleen”

Naturally, none of these smear campaigns worked and more and more people agreed upon the call of Holy Quran gradually.

It is also important to acknowledge that these “qissas of the past” found in Quran function as ethical and divine warnings, not as “historical documents”.

After trying to label these qissas as ancient of the past, non-believers started to claim that they can provide a “similar book” to Quran.

Quran replies;

And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true.

But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith. Al Baqara (2-23/24)

History notes that even after such a challenge, even the most vociferous individuals among the non-believers didn’t attempt to “bring such a similar book to Quran”.

Because, deep inside their hearts, they knew no mortal can reach the eloquence level of Quran when it comes to rhetoric.





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