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General Islamic Matter
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ChrisNo1
 
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Quote ChrisNo1 Replybullet Topic: Islam - Arabic
    Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:14pm

Hello Everyone, peace be with your all or in arabic Salamailakum

Hello, I just wanted to know why 'arabic' is such an important element in islam. Arabic however is only a language. I am not saying its a bad language and that its not rich! Love, Peace, Submition can be expressed in all languages.

Mosques quote the Qu'ran in arabic, and say their prayers in Arabic. This is ofcourse understandable in the middle east were most people speak arabic.

When I went to Turkey the mosques said there prayers in 'Arabic' but most Turks I met didn't understand a thing except for a few words. That also extends to other muslim in non arabic-countries.

My girlfriend who is Turkish knows all the arabic prayers but doesn't have a clue what they mean (word for word). This means the prayer is void because the person saying the word feels nothing. If it was said in their own language then the prayer would allow that person to relate to it more.

Maybe I am arrogant and I'm missing something here. I understand that It's nice because Mohammed spoke the language and all the other prophets spoke semetic languages.

If anyone can explain please do?

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ChrisNo1
 
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Quote ChrisNo1 Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:22pm

There is also another point I would like to add. Most people I know who converted to Islam changed their name in favour for a Muslim name.

The thing I can't understand is that Arabic names existed before Islam. So their Arabic names. The arabic names are translations of prophets names from Hebrew or aramaic. If this is not the case please explain.

If I converted to islam why would I have to change/ or feel that I have to change my name! If the point of changing my name is a sacrifice or submission then why couldn't i change my name to an english equivalant. i.e. Ibrihim - abraham?

I am not judging your religion, just trying to understand!

 

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Yusuf.
 
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Quote Yusuf. Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:23pm

When any text is translated from one language to another, the meaning is necessarily affected. This is the nature of language: there is not a one to one correspondence of meaning. Thus, the Holy Qur'an should be learned in Arabic so that its full meaning is understood.

On the other hand, what you mention about people knowing the Arabic text without knowing the meaning of that text is perhaps worse. The ideal situation would be for a devoted Muslim to learn Arabic while studying the Holy Qur'an in their native language until such time Insha'Allah that they can understand the Arabic text.

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Quote Yusuf. Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:25pm
Originally posted by ChrisNo1

There is also another point I would like to add. Most people I know who converted to Islam changed their name in favour for a Muslim name.

The thing I can't understand is that Arabic names existed before Islam. So their Arabic names. The arabic names are translations of prophets names from Hebrew or aramaic. If this is not the case please explain.

If I converted to islam why would I have to change/ or feel that I have to change my name! If the point of changing my name is a sacrifice or submission then why couldn't i change my name to an english equivalant. i.e. Ibrihim - abraham?

I am not judging your religion, just trying to understand!

 

This is a personal preference that reflects the desire to "have a new start." There is absolutely no requirement that one do it, and I know many reverts to Islam who have chosen not to.

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Quote ChrisNo1 Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:27pm

If I created a book for cooking with receipes and it was translated, I might not be able to get a 'Pure' word for word translation but the receipe is still there. Surely if the Qu'ran is taught in native tongues the receipe is still there!

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Quote Yusuf. Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:33pm
Originally posted by ChrisNo1

If I created a book for cooking with receipes and it was translated, I might not be able to get a 'Pure' word for word translation but the receipe is still there. Surely if the Qu'ran is taught in native tongues the receipe is still there!

That's not a fair comparison. a recipe is a rather simplistic affair. the language of the Holy Qur'an is very subtle; additionally, word formation in Arabic is quite different than in English. for example, there is no past, present, or future tense in arabic. there is also a voice called the "medio-passive," which is halfway between the active and passive voice in english.

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Quote ChrisNo1 Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:40pm

I think it is fair. If I was to write a newspaper or a story book in English, I am sure it could be translated into arabic and vice versa. I understand that both languages are completely different but the message and point of the story or article would be understood if translated!

If this was an impossible concept then how do people translate the Qu'ran into English! I have read the Qu'ran in English!

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Quote Nausheen Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2005 at 5:43pm

Auzubillahi minash shaitan ir rajeem,

Bismillah ir rehman ir rahim

Originally posted by ChrisNo1

If I created a book for cooking with receipes and it was translated, I might not be able to get a 'Pure' word for word translation but the receipe is still there. Surely if the Qu'ran is taught in native tongues the receipe is still there!

Dear Chris,

Quran is not a book of recepies or just straightforward/mathematical formulas.

It depends on the nature of the text that is being translated. Do you expect poetry to be translated without loss of meaning?

For that matter, even some jokes cannot create the complete desired effect when they are brought from one language to another.

There are some laws and rules in Quran, which i believe can be conveyed, in other languages, as there lived scholars int all times who have studied and written about these in their languages. However the spiritual aspects cannot be transported completely in English or any other language, without having a text alongside to explain it further.

Quran is the book that has been translated in maximum number of languages. This is so, because it is not in the capacity or means of everyone to learn arabic, and then understand the Quran. However, a translated text, helps a great deal, and solves the purpose.

So it is not that doing a  translation or reading it for the purpose of guidance is a totally redundant exercise. However for those who wish to and desire to understand the book in its complete depths, it is advisable to learn arabic and then study The Book, as it was revealed. It needs to be mentioned however, that understanding of Quran takes a lot of exercise and effort, just reading the original or the translation cannot be sufficient. it can help in reflection, but for a deeper understanding, one needs to "study" the Book. 

Peace,

Nausheen

Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa
Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena
wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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