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The Quran + Arabic question to Muslims

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    Muslims regard Arabic as a sacred language ...would you say that one of the reasons the Qur'an is important is because when reading in Arabic one is able to reach a higher state of consciousness where they are able to truly connect with Allah....or wouldn't you describe it like this
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    I wouldn't describe it like that.
    According to Islam, God has provided many revelations before the Qur'an as well, in other languages besides Arabic.
    The Qur'an states: "We sent not a messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them." 14:4

    The importance if reading the Qur'an in Arabic (and any other scripture in the language it was originally revealed in) is so that you don't lose the meaning of the text in translation. A person reading a translation of the Qur'an in English and a person reading the original Qur'an in Arabic could easily get very different impressions as to what the Qur'an is talking about on certain issues. You reach this "higher state of consciousness" (if you want to call it that) by thinking about and being conscious of the issues that God has asked you to think about. It's not the language on its own which is important, but the concepts that enter your mind while reading it.
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    Its not the language that is sacred its the Quran.
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    It's in Arabic for a few reasons. Let's take a look at context for example;

    1. It was revealed in a society which mainly used oral communication. So their memorization skills (which they took alot of pride in) was exceptionally good.

    2. It was revealed in a society full of Arab linguists, call it a bunch of Shakespeares if you like. But Arab Poetry was life and death for them, for example; when a child was born that showed signs of having Poetic skills, they'd have a feast and celebration upon it.

    As it is said;


    The Arab grammarians were excellent linguists in both the realm of phonetics and in that of grammar and syntax. Jonathan Owens' The Foundation of Grammar (1988) as well as a new book just completed by him on medieval Arabic grammar have convincingly demonstrated that, in many ways, the Arab grammarians were way ahead of their time. - Review of Grammaire Fonctionnelle de l'arabe du Coran (Bahmani Nedger) by Alan S Kaye, 1990, The Canadian Journal of Linguistics, Volume 35(4), The Canadian Linguistic Association, p. 381.


    Which makes context perfect for revelation to come down as a challenge. As the Qur'an says;


    And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'an) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful. [Qur'an 2:23]


    Say: "If the mankind and the jinns were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another." [Qur'an 17:88]


    The setting is also enhanced by the social problems like infanticide, slave prostitution, animal cruelty etc. to give it better reason for revalation to be sent down in that time, that place.

    There's also other logical reasons why it was in Arabic, as the Qur'an states itself;


    'Had We sent this as a Qur'an (in a language) other than Arabic they could have said: Why are not its verses explained in detail? What! (a book) not in Arabic and (a messenger) an Arab? Say: It is a guide and a healing to those who believe ...' (Al-Qur'an 41: 44).


    The language itself is very rich, and since today has been preserved (Lexicon dictionaries etc.).
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    Arabic is also the language of the heavens. The sheer beauty of its infallible nature is one that makes many people cry and weep. An example of this was Umar (2nd caliph).. when he went to his sisters house to indeed kill them as they had converted, he seen writing of the Quran, and was amazed by the poetic nature and its's accuracy. And Umar was extremely clever and was high in poetical oratory and from then on, there had never been another Umar again.

    Its important that muslims hold on this book.. It's the only thing that will make them prosper in this life and in the herafter.

    Civilizations change, Cultures change, people change, countries change, empires rise and fall over the last 1400 years but ONE thing that has NOT changed is the Holy Quraan. Not a dot has been put out of place and its this that we need as we frail into the darkness of this world of trials and tribulations.
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    To OP, yes, if these are the words revealed from Angel Jibraeel A.S. himself from Allah then of course it is of utmost importance to understand them in their original form. This is the way Allah chose to communicate with us.



    ◎ إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

    Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an in order that you may understand.


    [Surah 12:2]
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    The importance if reading the Qur'an in Arabic (and any other scripture in the language it was originally revealed in) is so that you don't lose the meaning of the text in translation. A person reading a translation of the Qur'an in English and a person reading the original Qur'an in Arabic could easily get very different impressions as to what the Qur'an is talking about on certain issues. You reach this "higher state of consciousness" (if you want to call it that) by thinking about and being conscious of the issues that God has asked you to think about. It's not the language on its own which is important, but the concepts that enter your mind while reading it.
    Why didn't your God assist in the translations then? If being understood is important, and your work is going to be translated, then you could ensure the quality by supervising the translations. Seems like a no-brainer, no?...
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    Why didn't your God assist in the translations then? If being understood is important, and your work is going to be translated, then you could ensure the quality by supervising the translations. Seems like a no-brainer, no?...
    There isn't really any need. If a non Arabic speaking person wants to understand the Qu'ran correctly, then ensuring that he doesn't lose meaning in translation is something he can easily do for himself.

    One simply needs to recognise that full translations of the Qur'an need to sacrifice a bit of accuracy in order to read well in English. So they give a good general understanding of the method, but one can't place reliance in the precise wording. If you want to understand the exact meaning of a word that has no direct english equivalent, there have been plenty of books written where you can just look it up.
    So that if you look up the word "Kufr", you might get a few paragraphs or a few pages explaining the precise meaning - whereas if you looked at this word in a translation, they need to make it as concise as possible, can't spend so much time on one word, and might just write "infidel" or something.

    My understanding of the Qur'an has come from reading both types of information. And having done this so often, with regards to certain words in the Qur'an that have no direct English equivalent, I may as well be a fluent Arabic speaker, because I understand what that word means upon hearing it in Arabic.
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    thanks!

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Updated: April 29, 2012
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