If the Quran is the original word of God...

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Tequila
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26 Jan 2013, 6:44 am

...that must not be changed, surely anyone who tries to interpret it - i.e. the 'scholars' on the Islam Channel - isn't an interpreter at all but a blasphemer? And the penalty for blasphemy in Sharia is death?

Surely the original word of God cannot be interpreted - it must stand alone? I mean, if it can't stand alone (and many Arabic scholars of the Qu'ran often don't have a clue what various passages mean) and needs to be interpreted then that's a fatal flaw in the entire enterprise.

No?



Cei
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26 Jan 2013, 7:11 am

Tequila wrote:
...that must not be changed, surely anyone who tries to interpret it - i.e. the 'scholars' on the Islam Channel - isn't an interpreter at all but a blasphemer? And the penalty for blasphemy in Sharia is death?

Surely the original word of God cannot be interpreted - it must stand alone? I mean, if it can't stand alone (and many Arabic scholars of the Qu'ran often don't have a clue what various passages mean) and needs to be interpreted then that's a fatal flaw in the entire enterprise.

No?


How do you come to understand anything through language, except through interpretation? The level of interpretation needed may vary, but it's always there. I can say "I caught a fish today" and you still have to decide whether it's a metaphor, a joke, or I'm just telling you about my success at fishing. Surely we should not simply ignore the Qur'an to avoid flawed interpretations?

If you mean things like bringing up the context of certain verses, I don't see why that would be any kind of problem. Plus, I think it's not necessary for a general understanding.

That said, guessing at the meaning of "Alif, Lam, Meem" is probably at the very least a bad idea, and insisting that your interpretation/Sheikh So-and-so's interpretation is the absolute truth is often kinda ignorant too, IMO.

And, you do raise an interesting point, in a way. I'll think about this.



Tequila
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26 Jan 2013, 7:30 am

Cei wrote:
I can say "I caught a fish today" and you still have to decide whether it's a metaphor, a joke, or I'm just telling you about my success at fishing.


Well, if I can't ask further questions, I am left confused. That is the crux of it. And I would eventually disregard the comment entirely.

As a Muslim, you can't do that. You can't ask further questions (apart from to the interpreters, who may well be blaspheming the holy book according to the mood of competing scholars) and that book - that is often contradictory - is all you have. So all you're left with is groups of men who consider themselves well-versed in scripture arguing over what this or that bit of text means. One of them has to be wrong, and one of them has to be a blasphemer. Under Islam's own laws that means that someone loses his head.

That's another one of the failings of the Quran. If it is meant to be the word of God, why make it so impossibly inaccessible to understand for most people? I mean, even you must admit that the sheer obscurity of Classical Arabic is a terrible place to start for readability. Did they not have the foresight to realise that most people probably won't be able to read whatever version of Classical Arabic?



Arran
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26 Jan 2013, 9:19 am

Tequila wrote:
That's another one of the failings of the Quran. If it is meant to be the word of God, why make it so impossibly inaccessible to understand for most people? I mean, even you must admit that the sheer obscurity of Classical Arabic is a terrible place to start for readability. Did they not have the foresight to realise that most people probably won't be able to read whatever version of Classical Arabic?


I don't understand this one. What would have been the best language for the Qu'ran? The popularity of languages changes with time. Latin was once a major language but now it is rarely used for everyday communication and its use is confined to scholarly types.



Tequila
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26 Jan 2013, 9:24 am

Arran wrote:
I don't understand this one. What would have been the best language for the Qu'ran? The popularity of languages changes with time. Latin was once a major language but now it is rarely used for everyday communication and its use is confined to scholarly types.


One that people can understand. Why pick a language like that?

If God wants his followers to understand his true meaning, why have it in just one language? If God really is God, why not have it in many different languages.

And at least it's slightly easier for many people to understand Latin than sodding Classical Arabic.



Tequila
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26 Jan 2013, 9:24 am

Oh, and if the translators get the word of Allah wrong or incorrect in the translation, does that also make them blasphemers too?

The world needs to know.



MCalavera
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26 Jan 2013, 9:29 am

You sure are a strident fighter against Islam, aren't you? :P



trollcatman
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26 Jan 2013, 9:50 am

Tequila wrote:
One that people can understand. Why pick a language like that?


I think the belief is that god picked Muhammed as his prophet, and he just happened to speak classical arabic.



Tequila
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26 Jan 2013, 10:00 am

MCalavera wrote:
You sure are a strident fighter against Islam, aren't you? :P


One could even call it a jihad (in the non-violent sense). ;)



ruveyn
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26 Jan 2013, 11:30 am

The Torah is the original word of God. But, as the theory goes, the Jews screwed it up so badly, that Allah (May His Name be Magnified) had to appoint to final Prophet and Messenger Mohammed (Peace and Blessings Upon Him) to get the right word out to the people at long last.

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Arran
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26 Jan 2013, 1:16 pm

Tequila wrote:
If God wants his followers to understand his true meaning, why have it in just one language? If God really is God, why not have it in many different languages.


That is the strangest thing I have read in a long time...

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And at least it's slightly easier for many people to understand Latin than sodding Classical Arabic.


Do you know Arabic? If so, then tell me where you learned it. I don't know Latin so I'm unable to comment on how difficult it is to learn it.



ruveyn
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26 Jan 2013, 1:36 pm

Arran wrote:

I don't understand this one. What would have been the best language for the Qu'ran? The popularity of languages changes with time. Latin was once a major language but now it is rarely used for everyday communication and its use is confined to scholarly types.


The Best Language for revelation is the language that the Prophet or Messenger knows best. In the case of Mohammed, that would make the best language Arabic. In the case of Moses that would make the best language Hebrew or Egyptian. Since most of the slaves freed from Egypt spoke Hebrew then Hebrew was the language to use.

ruveyn



Tequila
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26 Jan 2013, 1:37 pm

It isn't much cop in the modern world, though, is it? To most Muslims alive today, Classical Arabic might as well be grandiose holy scribbling.



0_equals_true
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27 Jan 2013, 7:21 am

ruveyn wrote:
The Torah is the original word of God. But, as the theory goes, the Jews screwed it up so badly, that Allah (May His Name be Magnified) had to appoint to final Prophet and Messenger Mohammed (Peace and Blessings Upon Him) to get the right word out to the people at long last.

ruveyn


Except for the fact that the Tanakh, as we now know there was five different versions of the story which were not consistent (not referring the the books of Moses but five version of the whole works), but were amalgamated to form the Hebrew bible. We know that Judaism, was born out of Canaanite culture, as a gradual process, and slaves out of Egypt, if possible certainly has nothing to to with the origin.

Also that despite being different versions of the Christian narrative, there is a general theme as with Judaism which Islam and the Qur'an get so spectacularly wrong. Despite the very many non-Christian contemporary accounts they come up with a totally different theme. Yet not being contemporary, or anywhere near the action, they say that everything said for centuries is 'wrong'.

I am not even attempting to legitimize any of them, just point out that the Qur'an uses the convenience of not having contemporary references for the life of its prophet and being newer, to say they their version is 'right', and is remote to the Abrahamic native as pacific island cargo cults.

Don't worry I understand satire.



ruveyn
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27 Jan 2013, 7:25 am

Tequila wrote:
...that must not be changed, surely anyone who tries to interpret it - i.e. the 'scholars' on the Islam Channel - isn't an interpreter at all but a blasphemer? And the penalty for blasphemy in Sharia is death?

Surely the original word of God cannot be interpreted - it must stand alone? I mean, if it can't stand alone (and many Arabic scholars of the Qu'ran often don't have a clue what various passages mean) and needs to be interpreted then that's a fatal flaw in the entire enterprise.

No?


Define word. Define god. Anything written or spoken has to be interpreted by the reader or listener. There is not a single self defining word in any language. Words are either defined or they are taken as undefined and their "meaning" is clarified by -usage- and not something internal to the word.

ruveyn



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27 Jan 2013, 7:41 am

Tequila wrote:
It isn't much cop in the modern world, though, is it? To most Muslims alive today, Classical Arabic might as well be grandiose holy scribbling.


To be honest translating it in the English has already been done, and they also have madrassas. Just like the bible, people can read, and not really pay attention to meaning,.

Perhaps it is worse, if people with limited experience of other cultures, and modern life do understand the meaning.

In Mali in the south Islam is mixed with Animist African tradition as is the case that whole section of western coastal Africa except a few case like Nigera. They have different problem, but is a more easy going form of Islam. The Tuareg in the north have a more strict, and unadulterated form of Islam.

The irony is the Tuareg are related to Berber not Arab, there original inhabitants of North Africa, which have their own traditions and religions. Other Berber groups in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco have fought for year to be able to use their own language (including written), and practice some of their culture an beliefs.

My personal theory why the Tuereg, are different is because The Magreb is such a difficult place to be, and Arabs made packs with them and rewarded them, enough for them to adopt Arab religion.

This when on even recently, Gaddafi was doing this. he knew than dispute lines on a map, Libya is a thin strip on the cost, as the rest of the country is desert. He was able to use Tuereg to do a lot of his dirty work (especially conflict with Berber), and provide some safe haven.

In fact it wouldn't surprise me, if recent event are in part to do with that.