The poetry festivals of the pre-Islamic period often pitched two poets against each other in a war of verse in which one would be deemed winner by the audience. Literary criticism also grew into theology, and thus gained a more official status with Islamic study of the Qur'an. Although nothing which might be termed 'literary criticism', in the modern sense, was applied to a work held to be i'jaz or inimitable and divinely inspired, analysis was permitted. This study allowed for better understanding of the message and facilitated interpretation for practical use, all of which help the development of a critical method important for later work on other literature.
I am wondering what the bold part could mean.
Could anyone please in a more readily way explain it?
Any comment would be appreciated