Wednesday 26 December 2018

Is the Arabic Language Qur'an relevant to people of other languages

There is often a discussion that since the Holy Qur'an was revealed in the Arabic language, it is only relevant to the people of the Arabic speaking people of the Arabian Peninsula. Some even object that since it was revealed under a peculiar environment exclusive to Arabia, its relevance to people of other regions is questionable.

And it is amazing to note that such queries are often raised by people of other faiths, whose holy scriptures have been translated from the language these scriptures were originally written and spread out to the whole world so that these could be read and understood. Likewise, the Holy Qur'an too was revealed in Arabic for it was the language of the people where it was revealed, but this does not mean that its message was only for the Arabs. Today when the Qur'an has been translated into all other languages, it has spread the message which is in universal and commanded for the entire mankind not just the Arabs.

Also, the commandments of Allah contained in the Holy Qur'an are as relevant today as these were more than 1400 years when it was revealed. The same way Bible and Old and New Testaments are applicable to the Christians and Jews today as these were applicable to the people of Israel when these were revealed on to Prophets Mus and Eesa (Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them).

Thus, the relevance of religion of Islam to our practical life today is oft question. But I wonder why such queries aren't raised for Christians and Jews as they too follow scriptures revealed much earlier than the Holy Qur'an. However, since Arabic language is very rich, especially that of the Holy Qur'an, it is generally recommended that one must learn Arabic to fully grasp the messages and commandments contained in the Holy Qur'an for better and full comprehension.

I came across such a discussion and thought of sharing it with my readers to understand the context clearly. Please listen to an enlightening answer on the subject by Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī, a Pakistani Muslim theologian, Quran scholar, Islamic modernist, exegete and educationist in the video below. Though the conversation is in Urdu, its English translation in subtitles on the screen will help non-Urdu peaking to know Professor's view point:
I hope this would clarify the queries oft raised and substance contained in the Holy Qur'an will be understood in whatever language it is translated for people to understand the Divine message. Remember, the Divine message is never stale as it is revealed not for one generation or people of one area, but it is sent for the entire mankind.

However, as highlighted by the learned scholar in the video above, the reason why we do not find Holy Quran relevant to our practical life is that we have stopped reading and interpreting it like any other disciplines of knowledge, like mathematics, chemistry, physics and others. So let us start learning the Qur'n like any discipline, it will only be then we will start to find its relevance to our lives by understanding it. 

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is our duty to convey only to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video above are those of the scholar concerned. We have shared this view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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