Arabic is the Purest Language for Scripture?
“Arabic is the purest language for Scripture”According to some, Scripture is God’s very Words, the exact copy of an eternal Book which pre-existed the world. This is the foundation for the use of Arabic Qur’ānic verses as magical amulets, mantras, since it is believed that these are God’s very utterances. It is on this basis that the comparison is made which denigrates the Bible. Yet it is easily demonstrated that this view of the Qur’ān is ridiculous and untenable. Qur’ānic Arabic is a snapshot of a continually evolving and changing language (historical linguistics gives clear proof that languages constantly evolve, especially in oral cultures like Pre-Islamic Arabia). It is demeaning to God to consider this “snapshot” language as some eternal language of God; it belittles him. God is not like a human that he articulates his thoughts with vocal cords, tongue and teeth through some transient human tongue, nauzubillah! Every communication given by God is essentially translation: God’s thoughts are absolute and transcendent, unhindered by the narrow constraints of human languages with their undeniably limited vocabularies and capacities. To ascribe one human language to God is belittling and anthropocentric. Imagine a primatologist learned the grunt-language of gorillas to warn them of an impending disaster. Ascribing a particular human dialect to God is rather like saying that this intelligent primatologist’s mother-tongue was gorilla grunt-talk; it is insulting and demeaning. The Qur’ān itself says that it was revealed in Arabic so that the Arabs might understand (Sura Yusuf 12:2). Furthermore, such an idea elevates one particular culture’s language as “more divine”, which is a historically dangerous idea and demeaning to other cultures and languages. Scholars of linguists insist that all languages are on the whole equally capable of expressing and communicating clearly the full range of human experience. If the angel Azrael indeed asks “ir dinuka? Ir rabbuka? I” Jesus and Moses would have been baffled, since they didn’t know Arabic.
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