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Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam ( 3 Oct 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Shroud of a Holy Language


By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

2 Oct 2012

30-22 “And among His signs are the creation of Heaven and Earth, and your variety of Tongues and Colour. Here truly are signs for all mankind”.

A deceptive trick and snare of Arabic language cast on gullible Muslims by the religious industries, to believe that any language can be holy. The majority of Muslims believes that this language is holy on the basis that:-

a) It is ‘God’s own language ‘as the Quran is in Arabic,

b) Because the Quran was revealed in Arabia, in Arabic,

c) The Messenger was a born an ‘Arab’ and he compiled it in his own mother tongue, the Arabic language.

The above raises a few pertinent arguments against this notion for the following reasons;

- God in His godhood, along with infinite favours of His (14-34), is also Omniscient – all knowing, and therefore He cannot be a monolingual. To believe that He is monolingual therefore would be akin to kufr- denial of His attributes. It also means raising mere humans, God’s own creation above the Creator, as many among humans are bilingual and a few even multi-lingual!

- Mohammad the messenger was NOT the only holy messenger of God sent to give God’s guidance to humans as there were many Messengers before him (2-4) in many Nations. It stands to reason therefore that all the previous Messengers-125 thousand according to Musnadand 144 thousand according to the Bible-- in order to communicate effectively with their peoples, must have imparted the Message in their own mother tongues and NOT in classic Arabic of Quran.

-The Message is Universal. But there is NO universal unique human language. Hence, the need to rely on the translators of the Quran in various tongues to impart its message for non-Arabic people, to make them understand the Message in their own language.

In order to acquire a fuller understanding of any book in a language not one’s own, it is not just enough to know the particular language in its colloquial daily usage; but to grasp its nuances and the true spirit of the Message.

There are many words in Arabic which are synonyms in other languages today, such as in Persian and Urdu, but have completely different meanings than those given in Quran. Never the less the Book uses them but has given them a significant wider scope of meaning that the community of readers of Arabic by rote have failed to grasp!

The word Al-lah – THE god, for example was commonly used in Arabia for the chief of all idols and yet since then is universally meant to denote “none but the supreme and ONLY Authority”, for whom the Arabic noun is Allah. But Allah is exclusively taken by Muslims as if it was a name registered as a personal name in the Birth, Marriages and Death Registry of a universal Authority.

It is even argued by some that since Allah is the ‘personal name’ given in Quran for God, one must NOT refer to HIM by any other name in any other language; for that would be blasphemous! Although the uniqueness of God, is recognised in Christianity, Judaism and others; the practitioners of those Quran accept as “people of the Book”, knowing very well that their original Books have been ‘tempered’ with. Yet in practice, Muslims reject this statement as if their holy Messenger’s Allah is quite different to Moses’ or Jesus’ etc.

The fact the Quran is in Arabic is NOT a limitation of linguistic knowledge of God. The Arabic language was simply and logically chosen because The Messenger was a born Arab and the people of Arabia spoke Arabic as their mother tongue. That is the only language that they understood. Hence, the Message could NOT have been given in any other language other than Arabic! Just the same as the other Messengers of God did NOT convey their Message in Arabic, but in their audience’s mother tongues.

It therefore must be concluded that IF Arabic is holy for it being Muhammad the Messenger’s language then, all other different languages of the previous holy Messengers must also be holy. This to Muslims today is incomprehensible; caked by centuries of dust of ignorance and promotion of Arabic as a religious holy language. This in complete contrast to their belief that although all previous Messengers were holy, but Not their languages!

The marketing of holiness of Arabic has been so convincingly successful for over a millennia, that not only the language of the region but also everything else from there such as the water of Zamzam, the dress mode, the attar-perfume, dates, the prayer rugs, and even souvenirs-- although most are made in India, Japan and China, are considered holy!

It is a snare and a very effective one to shackle the Muslim communities in the ‘religious piety’ of trillion dollar industries; of everything coming from Arabia as ‘holy’, for the sole benefit of one particular nation and country and its people. Thus, robbing the world of the Universality of the Message of The Book; which in essence is meant for the good of humanity at large.

A child of eight attending ‘religious’ lessons on Sundays had picked up the few common Arabic words, such as ‘Jazakallah’, used daily by ‘good-Muslims’, and its parents were highly pleased and proud of her. But when the child was asked once what it meant, it just shrugged its shoulders and said “Aeee doon’t knooo” and trotted away, thus leaving the questioner aghast!

The above illustrates the dilemma of being brain washed into the reverence of a Religious language. Instead of learning any language for acquiring ‘knowledge’, it is used for performance of the rituals, rites and liturgy of the Church.

This insularity of Arabic has obscured the true meaning of the Message for humanity in general by shrouding it under the cloak of holy language, for the sole economic purpose of a Nation and also perpetuating a profession of particular elite called the a’alimud-deen!—ملا کی اذان اور، مجاھد کی اذان اورMullah’s call is different to that of Endeavourer’s!