Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Qur’anic Language and Grammatical Mistakes

Just on Language and grammatic

Our Muslim brethren say that the eloquence of the Qur’an, the supremacy of its language and the beauty of its expression are conclusive evidence that the Qur’an is the Word of God because the inimitability of the Qur’an lies in its beautiful style of the Arabic language. We acknowledge that the Qur’an (in some of its parts and chapters) has been written in an eloquent style and impressive words. This fact is beyond any doubt and anyone who denies that does not have any taste for the Arabic language. Yet, on the other hand, there are many clear language errors in other parts of the Qur’an pertaining to the simplest principles of style, literary expression and the well-known grammatical rules of the Arabic language and its expression.

We even find in the Qur’an many words which do not have any meaning and are not found in any language. There is also a great deal of vocabulary which no one can understand. Muhammad’s companions themselves have acknowledged that, as we will see, but before we examine all these issues, it is important to clarify two important points.

First, from a linguistic point of view, the eloquence of any book cannot be an evidence of the greatness of the book and proof that it was revealed by God, because what is important to God is not to manifest His power in the eloquence of style and the expressive forcefulness of the classical Arabic language, but rather to embody His power in the sublime spiritual meaning contained in that book which will lead the people to a high spiritual level which enables them to live together in peace and love. It helps them to enjoy an internal profound joy and spiritual, psychological fullness—abundant life. God does not care to teach the people of the Earth the rules and the principles of the Arabic language. God is not a teacher of a fading classical Arabic language, but the true living God is our spiritual leader in life of love and joy.

s the content of the Qur’an properly fit to be ascribed to God? All that we intend to do here is to determine that eloquence of style is not always an evidence that the words uttered come from heaven or that the one who has spoken them is a prophet. The German poet Schiller is not a prophet, and the Iliad and the Odessa are not composed by a prophet but rather by a Greek poet. The masterpieces of Shakespeare’s poems and plays in English literature which are translated and published more than the Qur’an by ten fold have not compelled the British to say that the angel Gabriel is the one who revealed them to Shakespeare.

The second very significant point is that the eloquence of the Qur’an and the supremacy of the classical Arabic language in which the Qur’an is written have created difficulty in reading and understanding, even for the Arabs themselves. So what would we say about the non-Arabs even if they learn the Arabic language? The Qur’an will continue to be a problem for them because it is not sufficient for a person to learn the Arabic language to be able to read the Qur’an. He also has to study the literature of the Arabic language thoroughly. Thus, we find that the majority of Arabs themselves do not understand the classical language of the Qur’an which contains hundreds of words which confused Muhammad’s companions who mastered the language but failed to explain their meanings, along with many other words which even Muhammad’s companions could not comprehend.

Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti composed at least one hundred pages in part II of his famous book, "The Itqan", to explain the difficult words included in the chapters of the Qur’an, under the title "The Foreign words of the Qur’an". The vocabulary of the classical Arabic language and some of its expressions are not in use anymore among the Arabs. The language itself was so diversified that the Shafi’i was led to say, "No one can have a comprehensive knowledge of the language except a prophet" (Itqan II: p 106).

The question which imposes itself on us is: What advantage do the people of the world get out of the Book of God if it is written in a difficult language which makes it impossible for Arabs (even Muhammad’s companions and his relatives) to comprehend it? Does God write a book in which people do not comprehend the meaning of many words included in the text, especially when the scholars insist that the Qur’an must be read only in Arabic? In his book al-Itqan, Al Suyuti says:

"It is utterly inadmissible for the Qur’an to be read in languages other than Arabic, whether the reader masters the language or not, during the prayer time or at other times, lest the inimitability of the Qur’an is lost. On the authority of the Qaffal (one of the most famous scholars of jurisprudence, fundamentals and exposition), reading the Qur’an in Persian cannot be imagined. But it was said to him, ‘Then no one will be able to interpret the Qur’an.’ He said, ‘It is not so, because he will bring forth some of God’s purposes and will fail to reveal others, but if somebody wants to read it in Persian he will never bring forth (any) of God’s purposes."’

This is why non-Arabs repeat the Qur’anic text without understanding it, because they utter it in Arabic. The same words have been repeated in Dr. Shalabi’s book (p. 97), "The History of Islamic Law". He also adds,

"If the Qur’an is translated into a non-Arabic language, it will lose its eloquent inimitability. The inimitability is intended for itself. It is permissible to translate the meaning without being literal."

The same principle is followed by those who worked on the English authorized translation. They said (page iii),

"The Qur’an cannot be translated—that is the belief of traditional Sheikhs (religious leaders). The Arabic Qur’an is an inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy."

This is true. If the Qur’an were translated literally into English, for example, it would lose its linguistic beauty, and could not then be compared to any other book in English, French, or German literature. In addition, a person might wonder how the many incomprehensible Arabic words could be translated.

The other question which confronts us is this, Does God belong to the Arabs only? If His book can only be in Arabic, then it is written only to the Arabs and it should not be read except in Arabic as the scholars claim as if God were an Arabic God. Thus, the scholars prohibit praying to God in any other language than Arabic in all mosques. It is also required that the call for prayers and the confession of faith which attests that the man is a Muslim must be uttered in Arabic because Muhammad (the prophet of Islam) said that Arabic is the language of paradise and the Arabs are the best nation created among peoples.

Among the famous prophetic traditions which Muhammad said to the Muslims is, "Love the Arabs for three (things): Because I am an Arab, the Qur’an is in Arabic and the language of the people of the paradise is Arabic" (refer to al-Mustadrak by the Hakim, and Fayd al-Ghadir).

Let us now examine the failure of the Arabic language in which the Qur’an is written, and limit ourselves to the following points:

The Original Qur’anic Text Was Without Diacritical Points, Vocalization, And Some Of Its Letters Are Omitted.

We will attempt to explain this problem to the English reader as plainly as possible. We hope he will find it exciting and interesting. The Arabic reader knows fairly well that the meanings of the words require the use of diacritical points above or below the letters, otherwise it becomes very difficult (if not impossible) to comprehend their meanings. Vocalization also is very significant in the field of desinential inflection, along with writing all the letters of the word without omitting any of them. Thus, the reader of the Arabic language cannot believe or imagine that the Qur’an was written originally without these significant requirements, but let us assure you that this is a historical fact, well-known and acknowledged by all Muslim scholars without any exception.

We will also see that there is a large number of words about which the scholars could not agree as to their meanings. One simple example helps us to visualize the nature of the problem. Let us take the Arabic letter "ba". By changing the diacritical points, we get three different letters—"ta", "ba", and "tha". So when these letters are written without the diacritical points, it becomes difficult for the reader to know the word that is intended.

Examine the following word. Look thoroughly at the diacritical points (I repent), (plant), (house), (girl) (abided). Another example (rich), (stupid), and so on. Without these diacritical points it is very hard to distinguish the words from each other. Thus, the meaning differs from one word to another depending on the place of these diacritical points. Many of the Arabic alphabets require the presence of the diacritical point to differentiate between one alphabet and another and hence between one word and another.

Now let us quote the Muslim scholars who have the final word in these matters.

1) In his famous book, "The History of Islamic Law" (p.43), Dr. Ahmad Shalabi, professor of Islamic history and civilization remarks,

"The Qur’an was written in the Kufi script without diacritical points, vocalization or literary productions. No distinction was made between such words as ‘slaves’, ‘a slave’, and ‘at’ or ‘to have’, or between ‘to trick’ and ‘to deceive each other’, or between ‘to investigate’ or ‘to make sure’. Because of the Arab skill in Arabic language their reading was precise. Later when non-Arabs embraced Islam, errors began to appear in the reading of the Qur’an when those non-Arabs and other Arabs whose language was corrupted, read it. The incorrect reading changed the meaning sometimes."

The same statement is made by Taha Husayn in "Taha Husayn" (p. 143), by Anwar al-Jundi.

Then Dr. Ahmad alluded to those who invented the vocalization and diacritical points and applied them to the Qur’anic text many years after Muhammad’s death such as Abu al-Aswad al Du’ali, Nasr ibn ’Asim and al-Khalil ibn Ahmad. He also added (on the same page) that "without these diacritical points, a man would believe that verse 3 of the chapter, ‘The Repentance’, would mean that God is done with the idolaters and His apostle— free from obligation to the idolaters and His apostle—while the real meaning of the verse is that God and His apostle are done with the idolaters—free from further obligation to the idolaters.

Now the question we would like to ask Dr. Ahmad and all those wise men: Why was not the Qur’an revealed to Muhammad in a perfect Arabic language complete with the literary indicators and the diacritical points lest a difference or change of meaning occur? If a student of Arabic writes an essay in Arabic without the diacritical points would the teacher give him more than zero? The answer is known to two hundred million Arabs.

The second question is: Did God inspire those who added the diacritical points and the vocalization through an angel, for example, to eliminate the different meanings on which the scholars disagree? Who instructed Nasr ibn ’Asim, Abu al-Aswad al Du’ali and Khalil ibn Ahmad to undertake this serious task and create the diacritical points and the vocalization for the Qur’anic text? Was it not more appropriate that Muhammad himself or some of his successors or companions like ibn ’Abbas and ibn Mas’ud should accomplish this work? Yet al-Suyuti himself tells us that ibn Mas’ud was not pleased with that (refer to "Itqan", part 2, p. 160), nor were other leading companions and scholars such as ibn Sirin and the Nakha’i.

2) Ibn Timiyya, Sheik of the Muslims (vol. XII, p. 101), tells us:

"The companions of Muhammad had never used the diacritical points or the vocalization for the Qur’an. For each word, there were two readings—either to use (for instance) ‘ya’ or ‘tah’ in such words as ‘they do’ or ‘you do’. The companion did not forbid one of the readings in favor of the other, then some successor of the companions began to use the diacritical points and vocalization for the Qur’an."

On pp. 576 and 586, he adds,

"The companions (Muhammad’s friends) did not vocalize or provide diacritical points for the letters of the Qur’anic copies which they wrote, but later during the last part of the companions’ era, when reading errors came into being, they began to provide diacritical points for the copies of the Qur’an and to vocalize them. This was admissible by the authority of the majority of the scholars, though some of them disliked it. The truth is, it should not be disliked because the situation necessitated it, and the diacritical points distinguish the letters from each other while vocalization explains the grammatical inflection."

There is a candid acknowledgment from ibn Timiyya that diacritical points are required, but did not God and His angel Gabriel along with Muhammad and his successors know about this problem? The simplest principles of sound Arabic language demand that words should have diacritical points and their letters should be written in complete form. Didn’t they know that disagreements among Muslim scholars would take place and that they would fight among themselves and that even death would result from the differences in reading the Qur’anic text? Didn’t they know also that the differences in meaning of the Qur’anic vocabulary would be decisive in the interpretation and judgments of Islamic law?

It is surprising that such things had not occurred to the mind of God, Gabriel, Muhammad, and the companions and the caliphs; then, three persons come later and insert these changes into the Qur’anic text. Yet, what is really more surprising is that when the companions discovered the differences in the readings of the Qur’anic text (as Ibn Timiyya says), they did not have any objection against any of the different readings and they did not prohibit either one. The justification for that was that Muhammad himself had acknowledged the presence of seven different readings, not just two readings as was clearly stated in the Sahih al-Bukhari, (vol. 6, p. 227). This fact is common knowledge among all the scholars.

3) Jalal-al-Din al-Suyuti

In his famous book, "al-Itqan Fi Ulum al-Qur’an" ("Adjusted Qur’anic Science"), al-Suyuti reiterates (part four, p. 160) the same words of ibn Timiyya which have been quoted by Dr. Ahmad Shalabi about those who invented the diacritical points and the vocalization of the words. He also said that some of the scholars detested that, as we mentioned before. There the Suyuti presents (part four, pp. 156,157) a list of words which could be read differently. One of them is the reading by which the Qur’an was written, though Muhammad himself had accepted and acknowledged both readings.

In part one, p. 226 of "The Itqan", the Suyuti makes an important declaration in which he says that the difference in reading has led to differences in Islamic law. He illustrated that by the following example: He indicated that some scholars demanded of the worshipper that he wash himself again (the ablution) before he prays if he shook hands with a woman. Yet other scholars require him to do so only in case of sexual intercourse and not just because he shook hands with her or touched her hand.

The reason for this disagreement is ascribed to one word found in the Chapter of Women (verse 43) and whether it has a long vowel a or not. The Jalalan (p. 70) and the Baydawi (p. 113) record for us that both ibn ’Umar and al-Shafi’i seriously disagree with ibn ’Abbas in the way they interpret this verse because ibn ’Abbas insisted that the meaning intended here is actual intercourse while the former said no, it is enough for a man to touch the skin of a woman or her hand to require having his ablution (washing) repeated.

In four full pages (226-229), the Suyuti stated that the many arguments and various interpretations pertaining to the above word have brought about different ordinances. When we read the commentary of the Jalalan or the Baydawi, we realize that whenever they come across certain words which could be read in more than one form they say: This word is read in two different forms.

Before conclude this part, let me call attention to the following everyday story: A man was asking about the place of two verses in the Qur’an. He was told that he could locate them in the Chapters of Resurrection and the Hypocrites. He made every effort to find these two chapters but in vain. Then he was told that the Chapter of Resurrection is number 75 and the chapter of the Hypocrites is number 63. He told them that chapter 75 is named "The Value" and chapter 63 is named or called "The Spenders". They told him you say so because you read them without the letter A (long vowel A) His logical answer was: "I have read them in exactly the form in which they were written without the long vowel A. Why should I add the long vowel A to the words of the Qur’an which would change the meaning?"

My dear English reader have you recognized the purpose of the above paragraph? Is the word "reply" the same as "replay"? There are dozens of words like that in the Qur’an, even some of the titles of the Qur’anic chapters have been written without the long vowel A. For example, the word "masajid" (mosques) is written "masjid" (a mosque), and "sadaqat" (charities) as "sadaqta" (you said the truth). The meaning (as you see) has been completely changed

Meaningless Qur’anic words

All Muslim scholars acknowledge that the Qur’an contains words which even Muhammad’s relatives and companions have failed to understand. In his book, "The Itqan" (part 2, p. 4), the Suyuti states clearly:

"Muhammad’s companions, who are genuine Arabs, eloquent in language, in whose dialect the Qur’an was given to them, have stopped short in front of some words and failed to know their meanings, thus they said nothing about them. When Abu Bakr was asked about the Qur’anic statement ‘and fruits and fodder’ (8:31), he said, ‘What sky would cover me or what land would carry me if I say what I do not know about the book of God?’ ’Umar ibn al-Khattab read the same text from the rostrum, then he said, ‘This fruit we know, but what is fodder?’ Sa’id ibn Jubair was asked about the Qur’anic text in chapter 13 of Mary. He said, ‘I asked ibn ’Abbas about it, but he kept silent."’

Then the Suyuti indicated that ibn ’Abbas said that he does not know the meanings of some of the Qur’anic verses (like these in Chapter 69:36, 9:114 and 18:9).

quoted the Suyuti’s text word for word, and stated the confession of ibn ’Abbas who is interpreter of the Qur’an and legal jurist of the caliphs for whom Muhammad pleaded with God to enlighten his mind to comprehend the meaning of the Qur’an. Also, who was closer to Muhammad, than Abu Bakr and Umar, the first two caliphs along with ibn ’Abbas? All of them failed to comprehend many of the Qur’anic verses. Therefore, the Suyuti warns that anyone who attempts to conceive the meanings of these words will suffer complete failure. Then he mentions that the caliphs and ibn ’Abbas, themselves, did not know their meanings.

Of course, he was right, because if those great leaders had failed to know their meanings, who would? Certainly, those intimate companions of Muhammad asked him about the meanings of those obscure words, but it is clear enough that Muhammad himself failed to know their meanings, otherwise he would have explained them to his companions as he did on several other occasions.

In addition to these ambiguous words there are at least 14 other words or symbols which are recorded at the introductory part of 29 Qur’anic chapter. These codes are entirely ambiguous. Also four of these codes are titles for four chapters; therefore, four Qur’anic chapters have meaningless titles. These chapters are chapter Taha, ya sin, Sad, and Qaf. When the Jalalan attempted to expound the meanings of these 14 obscure words and the titles of these chapters, they said, "God alone knows His own intention."

I am stating these words for the benefit of the reader as they are recorded in the authorized English translation of the Qur’an. "Aim-Alr-Almus-Hm" means nothing in any language! Is it a characteristic of Arabic eloquence to have meaningless words and titles of complete chapters which no body can comprehend?

The Qur’an says woe to anyone who asks for the meaning!

The Qur’an acknowledges that there are meaningless words. In chapter of Family of ’Umran: 7, it indicates that there are allegorical verses which "no one knoweth how to explain save God." The Qur’an does not tell us why these words have been recorded in the Qur’an if no one knows their meaning. In his book, "The Itqan" (part 3, p. 3), the Suyuti refers to the above verse, then he remarks,

"The Qur’an is divided into sound, intelligible (verses) and obscure, unintelligible (verses). The obscure (verses) are only known to God such as the detached alphabets at the beginning of the chapters."

On pp. 5 and 6, the Suyuti asserts that the majority of the companions and the successors of the companions, especially the Sunnis (among them ibn ’Abbas himself) affirm that there are words of which no one knows the interpretation save God only.

It is worthwhile mentioning here that anyone who attempted to comprehend the meaning of those words or any of the obscured verses was severely punished. On pp. 7 and 8 (part 3 of "The Itqan"), the Suyuti records for us a moving episode about a person called Sabigh who wanted to inquire about these same Qur’anic interpretations ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab severely punished him on successive days until he was almost killed due to head injuries. This is "the just ’Umar", as they call him.

The Qur’an Gives The Antonym (opposite) Meaning Of Words And Phrases

This fact is well-known to all scholars. It clearly reveals that the Arabic language of the Qur’an is not always sound as some believe. In the second part of "The Itqan", the Suyuti speaks explicitly about things which no one expected to find in the Qur’an. Actually, these defects are not supposed to occur in any standard Arabic book which complies with the rules and characteristics of the Arabic language. On page 135, the Suyuti says,

"The word ‘after’ has been mentioned twice in the Qur’an so as to mean ‘before’, as in this saying, ‘We have written in the psalms (the scripture) "after the reminder" (21:105) while He meant "before."’ Also in this saying, ‘The earth "after" that He has extended (79:30) while he meant "before" and not "after" because the earth was created first "before" and not "after" He created the heavens,’ as Abu Musa indicated."

These are the actual words of Suyuti. The question now is: Does this linguistic defect conform to any language in the world? Does this comply with the characteristics of writing and the artistic, eloquent style of Arabic language? Is it proper, in the Qur’anic style to write "after" when you mean "before"? How can the reader know the correct meaning since it is common knowledge that "after" and "before" are opposite words? Is it sensible that the angel Gabriel meant to say "before" but he instructed Muhammad to write "after"? It is difficult for us to believe that.

This problem is not confined to one word because the Suyuti provides us with eight pages (Itqan, part 2, pp. 132-139) full of similar examples found in the Qur’an in which, according to the interpreters of the texts, the Qur’an meant the opposite meaning than the literal meaning of the expression. There is no connection between the literal meaning and the meaning intended by the Qur’an.

Let us examine together some of the examples the Suyuti presented to us in his book, the Itqan, part 2,
(A) "The Qur’an means, ‘Do not those who believe know that had Allah willed, He could have guided all mankind’, but he said, ‘Do not those who believe despair!’ instead of writing ‘know’ as he meant" (see Thunder: 31). Is "despair" the same as "know"?

(B) "The Qur’an says in chapter 2:23, ‘... your martyrs’, but it means here, ‘ ... your partners’ (p. 133). After the Suyuti made this remark, he commented,

"The martyr is supposed to be the person who is killed, or the one who testifies concerning people’s matters, but here it means ‘your partners."’

(C) "In chapter Joseph: 20 the word ‘Bakhs’ (too little) is meant to be ‘haram’ (forbidden, sacred) contrary to the usual meaning" (p. 132).
(D) "In chapter Mariam (Mary):46 the phrase, ‘I certainly will stone you’ is interpreted to mean, ‘I certainly will curse you’, and not, ‘I certainly will kill you’ as its literal meaning suggests" (p. 133).

Let the reader decide for himself as he examines these illustrations.

Why the Qur’an did not say: "Do not know those who believe.. " instead of "do not the believers give up all hope..." Is "despair" the same as knowledge? And if the Qur’an intended to say, "Did not ... know" would it be recorded as to mean "to give up all hope?" The same thing could be said about "too little" and "martyrs " Does not each word have a different meaning than the meaning indicated by the Qur’an? Is it one of the prerogatives of the language to use a word which has a different connotation than the intended meaning?

Let us state another illustration from "The Itqan" (part 3, p. 251) where the Suyuti says,

"In chapter the (Rahman):6, The Qur’an says: ‘The "Nagm" stars and the trees bow themselves.’ Here the Qur’an does not mean by ‘the stars’ the heavenly stars but the plants which do not have trunk. This is the far-fetched intended meaning."

We would like to state here that there is no one who would imagine or expect this meaning. Even the Saudi scholars who translated the Qur’an into English (p. 590) understood the word ‘Nagm’ ("star") to mean a heavenly star—and stated it as such. Thus, even the Saudi translators of the Qur’an could not imagine that the Qur’an has meant by the word "Nagm" ("star"), the plants which do not have trunks.

Theer are some
doubts about the Suyuti’s explanation and thought maybe it was the Suyuti’s fault and not the Qur’an’s, or the Saudi scholars. Why should we attack the Qur’an and blame it for the Suyuti’s error? But, examining the interpretations of former Muslim scholars to be sure of the proper interpretation, and referring to Baydawi’s commentary (p. 705) it can be found that it is in full harmony with the Suyuti’s interpretation who stressed that this word alludes to the plants which sprang from the earth without a trunk. The same interpretation is found in the Jalalan (p. 450). In Al-Kash-shaf (part 4, p. 443), the Zamakh-Shari agreed with the mentioned scholars and remarks,

"And the ‘star’ which is a plant which springs from the earth without a trunk such as the herbs, for the trees do have trunks."

Thus, let the Saudi scholars correct the translation errors of the Qur’an, along with another error (as the Suyuti comprehended it) though they are right in their interpretation of it: The word "amid most" (chapter 2:143) means - according to Suyuti - righteous or just people (p. 251 also refer to the Baydawi p. 29 and Tabari 24). Thus Suyuti says,

"The conspicuous meaning of the word suggests the (idea) of intermediary, while the intended meaning is ‘righteous’ and this is the far-fetched meaning."

Another example in which the English translator was proper:

The Qur’an says in chapter 57:29: "Lest the people of the book may know." This is the literal translation of the phrase. The word means (in both Arabic and English) "lest" while the intended meaning is that they may know (refer to the commentary of Jalalan p. 459). The translators of the Qur’an correctly translated it as "that they may know" which is opposite to the literal meaning of the word in Arabic.

Yet, before concluding the discussion of this point, let’s share with the readers another strange phrase which illustrates the above mentioned point even more clearly.

In chapters 75: 1,2 and 90:1, the Qur’an repeats the phrase: "I do not swear..." This is the literal translation of the phrase, but the interpreters and the translators of the Qur’an insist that the meaning is: "I do call...," or "No, I swear" indicating that the word "do not" is redundant, and when He said, "I do not swear", he meant, "I swear" (refer to the Jalalan, p. 493, 511; Al-Kash-shaf, part 4, p. 658, 753; and Baydawi, pp. 772, 799). The Qur’an says:

"I do not swear by the Day of Resurrection"
"I do not swear by the reproachful soul"
"I do not swear by this city"

While he meant (according to all Muslim scholars) that He does swear by the above three things. The Zamakhshari noted that some had objected to that, and they have the right to object to this confusion, but others said that the pre-Islamic, great poet Emro Al-Qays used to do so.

In the Qur’an There Are Omitted Words, Incomplete Phrases, and Errors In The Structure Of Sentences

This is strange and unjustifiable. Why should many words or even completed phrases be omitted confusing the meaning? In his book, "The Itqan", the Suyuti has discussed this matter and pointed to many omitted letters or words and sentences. He devoted ten pages of part 3, (pp. 181-192) to listing ample examples of which I quote but a few of them.

A) "We read in chapter (Surahh) 22:32:
 It is from the piety of hearts.’ The Suyuti says it should have been written this way: ‘Its glorification comes from the deeds of those of piety of hearts."’

B) "Also, in chapter 20:96, the Qur’an says,
So I took a handful (of dust) from the footprint of the apostle’. The Suyuti says: It is supposed to be written as such: ...from the footprint of the hoof of the apostle’s mare"’ (refer to p. 191)

C) Among the many striking examples of the omission of various sentences is what we read in chapter 8:45,46. The Suyuti comments in p. 192,

"The verse: ‘Send ye me oh righteous Joseph...’ means, ‘Send ye me to Joseph to ask him for the interpretation of the dream.So he did. He came to him and said, ‘O, righteous Joseph...."

In the Qur’an just two words at the beginning are written and two words at the end and all the words in-between are omitted! Let the reader decide for himself if it is possible to comprehend the intended meaning, having all these words omitted from the verse until it becomes entirely meaningless.

Other Language Errors In Sentence Structure

It is appropriate to refer to Muslim scholars when a person wants to study and comprehend the Qur’an. They are well acquainted with the principles of the Arabic language and the Qur’an. There is none better than the Suyuti, Baydawi, Tabari, Jalalan, and Zamakh-Shari who are great, recognized scholars and linguists quoted by the Azhar scholars in Egypt as well as the Saudi scholars. The American, European and Orientalist, with all due respect, do not understand the Qur’anic language like those great Muslim scholars. The Suyuti (part 3, p. 33), quoting several great Muslim scholars, says,

"The Qur’anic verse: ‘Let not their wealth nor their children astonish thee! Allah purposeth only to punish them in the world’ (chapter 9:85). It actually means: ‘Let not their properties and children astonish you on this Earth because God purposes to torment them in eternity."’

Let the reader notice that there is no mention of eternity in the verse. In pp. 34 and 35, the Suyuti remarks:

"The intended original word order of (the Qur’anic) text: ‘Have you seen the one who made his God (the object of) his compassion?’ (25:34) is to be read, ‘... who made his compassion his God’ and not, ‘... his God (the object of) his compassion’, because ‘who made his God (the object) of his compassion’ is not blame- worthy."

In page 328, the Suyuti says that,

"There are many verses in the Qur’an which were revealed without any connection to the verses which proceeded or preceded them, such as what we read in chapter 75:13-19 because the entire chapter talks about the states of resurrection. But these verses were revealed because Muhammad used to hastily move his tongue when dictating the Qur’anic revelation. Some Muslims said that part of the chapter has been dropped, because these verses are not relevant to this chapter at all."

We conclude our discussion of this part by pointing to the boring repetition of certain phrases by which the Qur’an is characterized. The phrase, "O which of your Lord’s bounties will you deny?" is repeated thirty-one times in a chapter in which there are no more than 78 verses (chapter 75). The story of Noah is repeated in 12 chapters. Abraham’s story is repeated in 8 chapters along with the episode of Lot. Moses’ story is repeated in 7 chapters, Adam’s in 4 chapters, and John’s in 4 chapters. Moses’ conversation with pharaoh is repeated in 12 chapters. Certainly these stories differ drastically from the stories recorded in the Old Testament.

There are approximately 15-20 grammatical errors found in the Qur’an which cannot be denied by those who master Arabic grammar This has created a heated argument because these grammatical errors are not expected in a book which Muslims claim is dictated by God and its inimitability lies in its perfect Arabic language. Thus, how can the Qur’an include grammatical mistakes which a junior high school student who has a basic background in Arabic would not make? If anyone of the Arab readers wishes to expand his knowledge of these errors, we would like to refer him to the following Qur’anic verses: Chapters 2:177; 3:39; 4:162; 5:69; 7:16; 20:63; 21:3; 22:19; 49:9 and 63:10. As an illustration, we refer to one example which is found in chapter 20:63. The Qur’an says,

"These two are certainly magicians"—Inna Hazan Sahiran. The correct grammar must say, Inna Hazyn Sahiran.

According to Arabic grammar, these two must be in the accusative case after "Inna", but they are stated in the nominative case which is completely wrong.


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