Poetry is a beautiful, wonderful way to express oneself.  Lyrical, filled with imagery and hyperbole, poetry is a great way to communicate deep emotions that sometimes defy simple explanation.

But if one is trying to be precise and specific, if one is trying to give instructions that have the ability to make an eternal difference in one’s life, maybe poetry isn’t the best way to communicate, at least not at first.

The Qur’an would certainly fall into this second category: essential speech.  Though his detractors claimed the opposite, as we see in today’s ending to this surah, Muhammad was a prophet not a poet.  His words were inspired by the “Trustworthy Spirit” (26:193), the angel Gabriel, not the fancies and whims that drive the poets of his time who wandered about aimlessly in the wilderness (26:225).  His words have the aroma of truth, not the odor of sentimentality and pretension.  These are words that even non-Muslim Jews have accepted as words of God, as some Jewish leaders in Mecca had accepted Muhammad as a new prophet of their God (26:197).

Muhammad’s words also did not come from the jinn (those sometimes evil or mischevious spirits) as others claimed (26:210).  This is not even logical.  Why would a jinn inspire such holy words?  How could they?  Jinn are prevented from even hearing the Qur’an (26:212).  Poets may be inspired by the jinn (at least in their thinking at that time) but not Muhammad (26:224).