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The Quran => General Discussions => : Peaceful January 19, 2013, 08:09:48 PM

: Mis-interpretation of 2:208?
: Peaceful January 19, 2013, 08:09:48 PM
Shabir Ally made the interesting claim that 2:208, is referring to Peace, not Submission.

Khan, Pickthall, and Shakir all translate it as Submission. Dr. Ghali and Ahmed Subhy Mansour translate it as Peace.

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanooodkhuloo fee assilmi kaffatan walatattabiAAoo khutuwati ashshaytaniinnahu lakum AAaduwwun mubeen

Can anyone prove that this refers to Peace using Arabic linguistics?
: Re: Mis-interpretation of 2:208?
: HOPE January 19, 2013, 10:16:44 PM

If translated literally, the second meaning of islam is submission, peace being the first.  When one submits, one is in a state of peace.  The soul and spirit of Islam is in peace.   In reality Islam is not only peace in name, but peace pervades all its teachings, and works as the key to its understanding.

Peace is in relation to the Muslim's attitude to his fellow human beings; submission describes the attitude of the Muslim to God.

: Re: Mis-interpretation of 2:208?
: Peaceful January 20, 2013, 04:10:41 PM
Yes, but I feel, respectfully, that you are making a theological argument. From the linguistic perspective it appears to me that this word 'Silm' can never mean Peace, so I was wondering how Shabir Ally got to this conclusion, based on the Arabic text. Peace would have to be Salam, not Silm. I don't think Submission is a secondary definition of Silm.
: Re: Mis-interpretation of 2:208?
: HOPE January 20, 2013, 05:45:05 PM

I thought since the root is S L M like in islam, peace  is inherently implied.  Shows how much I know. 

: Re: Mis-interpretation of 2:208?
: Joseph Islam January 21, 2013, 07:52:11 AM
Dear All,

Salamun Alaikum.

The primary meaning of the root SLM means to become safe, secure, and free from fault or blemish [1]. Even in the act of salutation in the form of a greeting, one implies a prayer for another's safety, security and freedom from any kind of evil or strife to the person. In other words, to be safe and sound or in a state of peace.

Although the root SLM can be nuanced given context, a central theme running through its meaning is one of peace. For example, the noun ‘salam’ can mean peace as in 4:90-91 or to surrender as in verse 16:28. The noun 'salim' can mean pure / secure / unimpaired or sound as in verses 26:89 and 37:84 or the derivative verb 'musallamah' can have further shades of meaning such as in verses 2:71, and 4:92.

As many will already know, Arabic nouns have two genders (masculine and feminine). Nouns in the 'main' take a male form unless a female is the subject of the noun or there is a feminine suffix ending such as 'ah'. (e.g. muslim'ah). Exceptions to the rule do exist such as 'sama' which although is a feminine noun, it isn't attributed to a female subject nor does it have a suffix such as 'ah' or 'at' which would make it feminine.

There are some nouns such as 'silm' (genitive masculine) but can be treated as either masculine or feminine or known as a 'common gender'. Other examples of common genders would include words such as 'ankabut' (spider), 'sultan' (authority / power), 'zawj' (can apply to husband or wife), 'imad' (column or a pillar) etc.

The genitive noun 'salm' is also best rendered as 'peace' as can be clearly noted in verses such 8:61 and 47:35. Linguistically, 'silm' also means peace (state of peace) or a reconciliation as shown in the following excerpt [2] (salm / silm), both of which are derivatives of the same root.

However, in verse 2:208 either meaning of 'peace' or 'submission' can be inferred or theologically derived. For example, one attains a state of 'peace' once they have 'submitted' (in submission) to the true religion of God. Hence, why I feel different commentators capture the nuance of the word differently in this verse.

Even in the somewhat related Semitic stock such as Hebrew, the related word carries similar meanings to the Arabic root SLM.

For example, according to Hebrew Concordances (7965) Shalom can mean:

1) completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
    1a) completeness (in number)
    1b) safety, soundness (in body)
    1c) welfare, health, prosperity
    1d) peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment
    1e) peace, friendship
        1e1) of human relationships
        1e2) with God especially in covenant relationship
    1f) peace (from war)
    1g) peace (as adjective) [3]

I hope that helps, God willing.


[1] http://quransmessage.com/images/slm1
Source: LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 4, Page 1412
[2] http://quransmessage.com/images/slm2
Source: LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 4, Page 1414
[3] Hebrew Dictionary (Lexicon-Concordance), [online] http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/7965.html, [Accessed] 21st January 2012.


13th March 2013

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