Sunday, April 14, 2013


"Classical Arabic is the version of Arabic which was used by the Koreshite tribe, hereditary guardians of the Temple of Mecca, and to which Mohammed belonged. Long before Arabic became considered a holy tongue because it is the vehicle of the Koran, it was the speech of the sacerdotal class of Mecca, a sanctuary whose religious history legend starts with Adam and Eve. Arabic, most precise and primitive of the Semitic languages, shows signs of being originally a constructed language. It is built upon mathematical principles - a phenomenon not paralleled by any other language." (Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah)

"...The text of the Qur'an reveals language crushed by the power of the Divine Word. It is as if human language were scattered into a thousand fragments like a wave scattered into drops against the rocks of the sea. One feels through the shattering effect left upon the language of the Qur'an, the power of the Divine whence it originated. The Qur'an displays human language with all the weakness inherent in it becoming suddenly the recipient of the Divine Word and displaying its frailty before a power which is infinitely greater than man can imagine." (Seyyid Hussein Nasar)

This "shattered" and "scattered" facade of language is one factor that makes the Qur'an difficult for many Westerners to approach, until the reason for this effect is adequately understood. Then the dramatic shifts in person, mood, tense, and mode become exhilarating exercises in perspective and translation of consciousness into a new manner of perception."

Introduction, 'The Essential Koran, The Heart of Islam. An Introductory Selection of Readings from the Qur'an', Translated and Presented by Thomas Cleary, 1993

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