"In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at pain to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which-apart from the message itself-constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind... This very characteristic feature-"that inimitable symphony" as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book, "the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy"-has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and net indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original." A totally objective examination (of the Quran) in the light of modern knowledge leads us to recognize the agreement between the two, as has been already noted on repeated occasions. It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammad's time to have been the author of such statements, on account of the state of knowledge in his day Such considerations are part of what gives the Quranic revelation its unique place, and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely upon materialistic reasoning.

Arthur J Arberry (The Koran Interpreted London: Oxford University Press, 1964)