Chapter 14

AN ARABIC QURAN

Muhammad for long years had a minority complex because Jews and Christians had holy books, but the Arabs not. This became better as the Quran took form, but only one language was possible for him: Arab. For a god wanting to reach all the world it was a bad choice, partly because it was the language of mainly uncultivated nomads and primitive farmers in a distant corner of the world, but mainly because it had an incomplete alphabet (the Arab alphabet was not completed until around 900 AD), and it was thus very often impossible to write exactly and impossibly to mistake, what one meant. This is a problem even today - one does not know what this and this really means. But to camouflage that there because of this are many versions of the texts, they do not call it versions, but "ways of reading". Honesty is not always strong in Islam.

But a religion which needs to use dishonesty - well, it tells something about that religion.

01 13/37c: "- - - in Arabic". Arabic - the language mainly of primitive, uneducated nomadic desert tribes - was a strange language for a universal god to choose, and especially so as they did not have a complete alphabet at that time (the Arab alphabet was not completed until ca. 900 AD - it lacked the vowels and the small point (diacritical marks) which marks some letters in Arab - and it also lacked some other signs, f.x. the comma), so that it was impossible to write down exactly what was said - a problem for Islam even today, as in very many cases the original Arab text have 2 or more meanings, often very different, and it frequently is impossible to know exactly what was meant. Islam have evaded - not solved, but evaded - the problem by saying that all possible ways of understanding the texts which give logical meaning, are correct ones - even if the meanings as said may vary wildly. They call it "different ways of reading" because they do not like the expressions "different varieties" or "different versions", which in reality is the right name for it.

02 16/103f: “- - - this (the Quran*) is in Arabic, pure and clear”. Wrong in many ways: There are alien words (some 275 according to Arthur Jeffries), there are orthographical mistakes, there are grammatical errors and there are lots and lots of places where even today Islam does not know the exact meaning of words or verses (the last partly because the book originally was written by means of an unfinished alphabet - no short vowels, no diacritical points (points user to signify some letters)).

Also as said the book is not very pure Arabic:

The old Arab alphabet as mentioned only had the consonants - it even today is unclear what is the real meaning of many sentences.

The old Arab alphabet did not have the points (“diacritical marks”) used later to mark different letters.

The old Arab alphabet did not have marks like full stop or comma – even though many a Muslim today claims that the Hafs version of the Quran he is reading – or may be the Warsh version if he is from Africa – is an exact copy of Muhammad’s words “down to the last comma”.

The written Arab language and alphabet was not perfected until ca. 900 AD - perfect writing was impossible around 650 AD when the official Quran was made.

#03 39/28a: “(It is) a Quran in Arabic - - -”. We have never been able to understand why it is a good thing that the Quran is in Arab if Allah wanted to be the god for all earth – well, even the Arabs tell it is a difficult language (though language experts say the claim is blown up by Islam – perhaps as an extra defence to avoid having to explain mistakes, etc. they cannot explain, perhaps as an artificial back up for the demand that Muslims must read the Quran in Arabic - and say it is just a medium difficult language).

###Muslims further insist it is impossible to translate it (just like the Japanese used to say about Japanese before they learnt other languages well). That is rubbish. What one human brain is able to think, another human brain at the same level of knowledge and intelligence is able to understand.

Of course there is the fact that all languages have special words, etc. which you do not find in other languages - this is the case for all languages, and nothing special for Arab, like some uneducated Muslims like to claim (and some of them even believe it, we think). Take f.x. the Norwegian very simple word “tran”. This word exists in few other languages. F.x. English has to say “cod liver oil” – and French similar. In Arab one would have to say something like “oil from the liver of the North Atlantic fish which in English is called cod” – but the main thing is that even if they need an explanation which the Norwegians in this case do not need, it tells 100% exactly and correctly the same and correct meaning. Or take the Inuit – they are said to have 42 different words for different kinds of snow and snow conditions – Arab hardly has more than a couple. But it would not be too difficult to explain to an Arab that this Inuit word means that the snow is wet, this that it is laying full of water, this that the snow is dry, this that it is or has been wind driven, this that it is frozen hard, this that it is sticky (so you can make snow balls f.x.), this that it is powdery, etc.

And it is just the same with Arab: Arab f.x. has a word for “2-years-old she-camel”. “Solch ein Wort gibt es nicht im Deutch” (“such a word does not exist in German”) – but it is no problem to explain to a German that one is talking about a female camel which is 2 years old. As said: What one human brain can think, another human brain at the same level can understand with a little explanation.

**Besides: To demand that an Afghan farmer shall read the Quran in Arab just means that you demand he shall be explained all those different words and different meanings on beforehand – because that is the only way he can understand them when he reads them later. Just the same words and the same explanations – but a lot more words, because he may not know on beforehand exactly which words that may give him extra insight.

In addition the Arab alphabet at that time was unfit for writing down exactly what was said – the alphabet at that time was very incomplete. (That was one of the reasons why there were so many varieties of the Quran in earlier times. Now there mainly are 2 of the earlier 14 “canonized” ones and others, that are used – one (Nafi after Warsh) in parts of Africa, and one ('Asim after Hafs) in the rest of the world – though they call it “ways of reading” to hide that the reality is “varieties”. Those two expressions in this case are exactly identical). If Allah wanted to reach many, the natural language in that area had been Greek or perhaps Latin or Persian. Or why not Bahasa Indonesian? - one of the easiest languages in the world to learn and with as many potential Muslims as in Arabia, and with good connections to surrounding countries. In case of a western language or Persian they also could have written down the book correctly, as those languages already had perfected alphabets. Then they had not had the problem of not knowing what was really said and written. Now Muslims only can make unfounded – or wrong – statements claiming that the Quran of today is correct to the last letter and last comma, even though a number of the letters – and the comma – did even exist around 650 AD in Arab.

Many Muslims even believe what they say, partly because they do not know the history of neither the Arab alphabet, nor of the Quran. Only with a complete alphabet in around 650 AD the claim could have been correct. But the fact of the incomplete alphabet of that time, makes the claim a joke. But why do the mullahs, imams, etc. lie to their congregations on these points - or hide the points?

04 41/3e: "A Quran in Arabic - - -". That it was in Arabic meant much to Muhammad, who had felt that Arabs were inferior to Jews and Christians because the Arabs had no holy book. For a god wanting to reach the whole world, however, Arab was a miserable choice. For one thing Arab was a "small" language - understood mainly by Arabs - whereas languages like Latin or Greek or Persian or some others were widely understood ones, especially among learned people. It also was a language spoken mainly by primitive desert nomads, and thus with a somewhat restricted vocabulary (it is not without a reason modern translators complain about one word covering several meanings, as the old Arab did not always have distinct words for everything). But the main problem was and is that Arab at that time had not a complete alphabet - it consisted mainly of the consonants only, and the reader had to guess which vowels and signs had been intended. The result was that even today it in very many cases is impossible to know what really was the meaning of many words and sentences in the Quran. Therefore Islam was forced to decide that all reasonable meanings possible to find in a word or a sentence were "correct" meanings - even if they varied wildly (An example in English which shows the problem: You have the consonants "h" and "s" and know they represent a word. But is the word "hose" or "house" or perhaps "his" or "has"? The result was a large number of varieties of the Quran, depending on which vowels and which signs one later put into the manuscripts). At a time there were at least 14 officially accepted version of the Quran. Today there are two (a fact most Muslims do not even know, because it is something their religious leaders never tells them): The version of Nafi after Warsh in parts of Africa, and the one of 'Asim after Hafs in the rest of the world. Islam hides the fact that there still are many possible versions of the Quran, by calling it "different ways of reading" - but this expression simply is another way of pronouncing "versions". Had Allah (?) chosen f.x. Greek or Latin or Persian, these problems had not existed, because they had complete alphabets - - - and it had forever been possible to know exactly what Allah (?) said and meant. As it is today, whenever a Muslim - mostly in honest belief because he does not know the history of his own holy book - claims that "the Quran is exactly Allah's words down to the last comma" it in reality is a joke - even though an unintended one - a joke with an extra and also unintended point, as also the comma did not exist in Arab around 650 AD when the Quran was written.

Also as said the book is not very pure Arabic:

The old Arab alphabet as mentioned only had the consonants - it even today is unclear what is the real meaning of many sentences.

The old Arab alphabet did not have the points (“diacritical marks”) used later to mark different letters.

The old Arab alphabet did not have marks like full stop or comma – even though many a Muslim today claims that the Hafs version of the Quran he is reading – or may be the Warsh version if he is from Africa – is an exact copy of Muhammad’s words “down to the last comma”.

As the written Arab language and alphabet was not perfected until ca. 900 AD, perfect writing was impossible around 650 AD when the official Quran was made.


 

This content was posted with assistance from M. A. Khan, the editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islam Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery" (available online)