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KITAB, QURAN & ARABIC

CHAPTER 1     KITAB, QURAN & ARABIC –     IS "ARABIC" THE NAME OF A LANGUAGE OF MIDDLE EAST AND "QURAN&quo...

Thursday, 7 March 2019

ARABIC IS THE LANGUAGE OF ROOT WORDS


ARABIC IS THE LANGUAGE OF ROOT WORDS

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

The language of the book Quran is Pre-Classical Arabic, which was primarily an oral and regional language but spoken in various dialects. Initially the Arabic language is developed on root words or a base word that carries the semantic content of the word and from it derives the family of the particular word.

The idea of root languages is that a base word as well as its inflected forms support the same core meaning, and can be considered extended words if a learner knows both the base word and the affix. Pre-Classical Arabic words are formed by taking basic words and adding combinations of prefixes and suffixes to them. A basic word to which affixes (prefixes and suffixes) are added is called a root word because it forms the basis of a new word. The root word is also a word in its own right. For example, the English words achieve, achiever, achievement consist of the root word achieve and the suffix – “er and ment.”

The reason why today Arabs or non Arabs don't understand the Quranic Arabic is that their basic premise is wrong. Fundamentally the Quranic Arabic is a root word language but it no longer follows its principles of sticking to its basic root meaning, thanks to the evolution of Original Arabic into Modern Standard Arabic [MSA]. All the languages of the world evolved and Arabic is not an exception to it.

“Our ability to form a limitless number of thoughts into spoken word is one of the things that separate us from our less evolved cousins. While we know that language first appeared among Homo sapiens somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 years ago, the secret to how language evolved is still unknown, and mainstream theories fall into two distinctly different camps. One widely held theory is that language came about as an evolutionary adaptation, which is when a population undergoes a change in process over time to better survive.” – Charles W. Bryant –

The evolution of vocabularies in the language depends upon the fast growing need to perceive / learn things beyond our culture and beliefs. Many times some foreign words are baptized into the mother language to fulfill these gaps. These baptized words no longer remain foreign as they are brought into the fold of the mother language. So in my opinion when we discuss Arabic vocabularies it is useless to discuss Aramaic, Hebrew or Syrian origin of some baptized Arabic words.    


All the current translations of the book Quran are either based on Modern Standard Arabic or Shan e Nuzool [circumstances of revelation]. The present translation or interpretation of the book Quran does not represent the actual message intended by the author of the book because our puppet scholars have confined the vibrant Arabic meanings to fixed liturgical meanings thus confining the timeless message to the concocted Jewish and Christian stories.

If the derivative of single root word have so many different meanings that do not connect with the essence of the root word then we must not mislead people into thinking that Arabic is a root word language. If Arabic is a root word language then we cannot fool people into believing that a single root word have so many drastically different meanings which does not have any relation or connection with meaning of the root word.

The true meanings of the words will be decided by the context of the subject but our translators have fixed established meanings in their minds even before they undertake the work of translation of the book Quran. This is the reason why the readers are so confused. And it is a very difficult job to overhaul the entire translation of the book Quran. All present translation of the book Quran is based on Tafsir Al- Tabari. Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī [224-310 AH] was a influential Persian scholar during Abbasid period. All the so called scholars / translators with the exception of very few are ditto copycats of that first tafsir.

In classical lexicons the basic meanings of امه [ummuhu] are he tended, he repaired, betook himself, directed his course towards him, pursuing the right way so all the related words of ام [Umm] must have the same essence as of the meaning of the root word in all its derivative words.

The below are the translation of the root word ا م م and its derivatives taken from Arabic Corpus. The basic purpose is to show how the translators of the book Quran have drifted away from a single root word and derived so many different shades of meanings without having the essence of the root word present in it. The essence of the word is totally destroyed by the translators from its root just to justify their own preconceived context and narratives.


Umm - أُمُّ – Mother, foundation – 3:7

Imāman - إِمَامًا – Leader, guide – 2:124, 11:17

Anyone with little common sense can accept the above meanings as it has the essence of the root word but to accept the meanings such as unlettered ones, register, highway, record abode, community, nation, religion, people and coming is against the principle of root word languages like classical Arabic. Modern Arabic is evolved Arabic but the book Quran is written in pre-classical and classical Arabic so the translators must follow the principles of root word languages.

Ummiyyūna – أُمِّيُّونَ – Unlettered ones – 2:78

Imāmin – إِمَامٍ – Register – 36:12

Imāmin - إِمَامٍ – Highway – 15:79

Imāmi – إِمَامِ – Record – 17:71

Ummuhu – أُمُّهُ – His abode – 101:9

Amāmahu - أَمَامَهُ – Before him – 75:5

Ummatan – أُمَّةً – Community – 2:128

Ummatin – أُمَّةٍ – Nation – 4:41

Ummatan – أُمَّةً – Religion – 23:52

Ummatun – ummatun – People – 3:104

Āmmīna – آمِّينَ – Coming – 5:2




There are many such words but we will discuss only more words.

(1)
 - عَلِمَ - The basic meaning of ilm is he knew, the meaning of other derivatives of ilm are Maulim - Teacher, Uloom - science, Aalim - scientist, Allama - Higher degree of teacher, Taalim- Education - We can see the chain of thematic words connected to single root word with the similar essence of meanings except the below three words. Such discrepancies any layman can pick up faults in the translations.


Mountain - 42:32, 55:24 - كَالْأَعْلَامِ


Landmark - عَلَامَاتٍ - 16:16


Universe / worlds - 1:2 and many more - الْعَالَمِينَ


The above 3 words have ilm as its root word but see how its meaning is so awfully different from the root word علم - ilm


(2) 
-  شَهْرُThe basic classical meaning is notable, apparent, manifestation, famous, notorious, commonly know - the derivatives are Mashoor - Famous, Reputed, Shaurat - Fame, Ashaar - well known, Ashaaru - banner. All the derivatives have the essence of the root word present in it but when this word is translated as lunar month then we can clearly see that its meaning does not belong to the thematic chain of this word thus the meaning has to be wrong.


(3) 
الدِّينِThe translators have translated this single word as the religion, the judgment, the law and debt; thus completely ignoring its classical lexicon meaning in lieu for their established narratives in the mind. Because of this whimsical method of choosing the meanings the common readers are deprived the true essence of the word. In fact the word madyan and madina is also a derivative of word دين but it is treated as proper noun and translated as city by the translators. 

(4) - حرمThe basic classical mean is sacred, inviolable but our translators have translated the meaning of its derivatives as forbidden, prohibited, deprived, unlawful, sanctuary...

Since very long the translators are completely destroying the message of the book Quran by whimsically choosing or copying the ready-made meanings without applying their minds to the context and the order of the verses. Although done unintentionally but they are misleading the followers of the book Quran and causing immense damage to the message. Before translation a translator should know the basic difference between Old / Pre-classical / Classical and Modern Arabic. Before translating of any old scriptures one need to have the nuance of that old language plus must have the knowledge of writing format existing in those days. 

I have gone through more than 50 conventional and non conventional translation of the book Quran but unfortunately could not find a single translation which I can approve and recommend to others.   

I am in the process of translating the book Quran. I have written around more than 100 articles plus completed the translation of first draft of 60 surahs starting from backward order of sequence and surah Al-Fateha + Al-Baqrah. Inshallah I will require at least 10 years more to complete the translation of the entire book Quran.




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