Do I love you because you're beautiful
or are you beautiful because I love you?

-- Joe Aldridge

My wife is the most beautiful women in the world!

Bring me any woman like it!

If you can't, then you have to accept that everything she says is right.

I hope everybody can see that this is not a sound argument. Nevertheless it is very much like the claim of the Qur'an saying "Bring one sura or just one verse like it, if you can!" And if you cannot, then you have to believe the Qur'an is from God (and obviously then you have to obey it).

What is wrong with such a challenge or criterion?

In regard to a woman one cannot draw conclusions about her virtue or her knowledge from the property of beauty. Neither is there any logical connection between eloquence and divine origin. But even if there were such a connection, there is no established standard according to which we can judge. This is explored further in Is the challenge honest?

Beauty of women is just as much subject to taste as is beauty in literature. Different people have different likings. Who is to say my taste of what I find beautiful is more right than what you find beautiful or eloquent? Some people find the Qur'an to be eloquent and some don't.

But the most important comparison between the beauty of a woman praised by her husband and the appreciation and admiration for the Qur'an expressed by a believer is the following. If a man is truly in love with his wife, he will be totally convinced that she is the most beautiful woman on the earth even if nobody else sees this. It is a question of his relationship to her, and not a question of his ability to judge objectively.

For a husband to praise and prefer his wife above all other women is right and proper and will only have positive consequences. But the decision for the Qur'an or any other revelation should not be based on such subjectivity and might decide whether you go to heaven or hell, depending whether you are right or wrong.

A husband might praise his wife for her surpassing beauty even if she is not the most beautiful woman either for his (blind?) love to her, or because he fears her and does not dare to speak ill of her in her presence.

In the same way the Muslim might be in love with the Qur'an/Islam and not be able to see objectively for such a positive reason, or he is afraid that daring to look and compare will be dangerous and hence refuse to do so (a negative motivation).

In any case. It is absolutely impossible to disprove the challenge "Bring any woman more beautiful than her". He has made himself the last judge. Nobody can overrule him. And in the end, he still has the way out, that he was only speaking of "inner beauty" which cannot be appreciated by the man who does not really know her [is not married to her], just as the Qur'an is taken out of reach of the sceptic by claiming that only the believer, the person coming with the right attitude, will be able to appreciate the beauty and eloquence and depth etc. of the Qur'an.

This is utter subjectivity. And useless as a criterion for seeking objective truth.

These are a few very quick thoughts. I hope to soon make this argument a bit more elegant. Well, maybe more "elegant" in my view. You might never agree with my taste for elegance. :-)

Overview on the question: Is the Qur'an miraculous?
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