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Messages - Ocyid

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1
General Discussions / Re: Tawrat to Musa AS
« on: October 20, 2018, 08:39:46 AM »
Helo student, nice to know you read my article hehe

I thank you for your suggestion, but unfortunately I have my own method than the way you are suggesting

I think every study of Quran should be first based on Quran and Quran alone, not based on other people's interpretation. Human's interpretation regarding Quran, including mine, is highly based on our limitation as a creature that so much depends on the context we are living in, like time, space, and background study. That's why the interpretation of humans regarding Quran shall be put as considerations only: a speculation, nonetheless. Unless there are solid evidences that can support a "speculation", any explanations should be made as considerations only - not necessarily a "fact". this is actually the lesson in 39:18. We should not make this into right or wrong matter, but a "clue" to reveal the truth. Those who really study Quran understand this, since Quran is never aimed to divide people but for us to be a clue to find out the truth. I believe everything in it (3:7).

Now, if you still allow me to learn about this together:

Quote
why Quran never mentioned Torah with Musa AS

there are actually three keys to answer it:

1. the consistency
2. the content
3. (what seemingly) historical evidence

1. The Consistency
In Quran, Moses is consistently mentioned to be given the "l-kitāba", while "Tawrat" or "Torah" is mentioned separately.

why? Are there two "Books" instead of one?

If you pay a little attention, the word "l-tawrāta" is actually related to the narration of Isa Ibn Maryam than Moses himself. And, please note that even though I say:

Quote
four things taught to Isa ibn Maryam

I did not mean there are "four" Books. The word "wal-ḥik'mata" (the wisdom) is often (if not always) mentioned together with "l-kitāba" (the book) such as in 2:129, 2:151, 2:231, and more, which means the Book along with the understanding of it. Thus, I believe there are "three" Books instead of four. Although such interpretation is also possible:

Quote
l-kitāba (the "Book" or "Scripture" in verses I mentioned above) wal-ḥik'mata (and [the] wisdom) [which is:] wal-tawrāta (and the Taurat) wal-injīla (and the Injeel)

Those who understand it this way will think there are "two" Books. This is clearly acceptable, if we only consider the verse itself. But, this does not answer the question of why "all" of the verses of Moses that mentioned about "The Book" (The Scripture) does not directly say "Tawrat" or "Torah". Or, why does "The Book" and "The Wisdom" is mentioned in the "usual order" followed by "Tawrat" and "Injeel" than simply say "The Taurat/Torah" "The Injeel/Gospel" and "The Wisdom"?

Surely, Allah (THE God) is the Only One to know about it... or is it there IS "another" book than we have previously known?

A little additional information, there is information that  the "Scripture" (l-kitāba) is given to Yahya in 19:12 and the Book alone without mentioning any other scriptures. It is indeed intriguing to think the "Scripture" was, in the end, given to different "group of people". But, this will need to be proven.

People can "assume" anything about this information. Is the "l-kitāba" or the "scripture" a reference for the "Tawrat" or the "l-tawrāta" itself or is there simply another book? But, assumption is nothing more but an assumption - not necessarily a "fact". So, how do we know it actually refers to one book or there are actually two books instead?

2. The Content
First, I must to admit, there is actually a link between the "Tawrat" and the "Scripture of Moses" which is the mentioning of "light and guidance" in 5:44 (Torah) and 6:91 (the Scripture of Moses). But, still, the content of the "Scripture" (literally) and the content of Tawrat are explained in different narration. The content of Tawrat is mentioned in 5:44 and specified in 5:45: "an eye for an eye". The law mentioned in 5:45 nowadays known as "Lex Talionis". Meanwhile, the content and even the "form" of the Scripture of Moses is explained in 7:145: "instruction and explanation for all things". The question about the content of the Book or Books would be very crucial to answer all of the questions. But, if we start with the assumption that there is only one book, who will search for the "other" book? Remember, there must be a fine reason why Quran does not directly state "Tawrah" instead.

Moreover, if you gather the verses regarding the l-kitāba and the l-tawrāta, you will see these two books have what seemingly to be different "ending". The Tawrat is narated to (still) be held by the Jews (hādū) in 5:41-43 even before Isa Ibn Maryam (5:46), while the Scripture was made into "parchment" in 6:91. This, again, is interested to be researched further. Could it be that the "Torah" is the "Parchments" of what used to be the (complete) "Scripture of Moses"?

But the most interesting thing is actually the last key: (what seemingly) historical evidence.

3. Historical Evidence
I do not know how much you are aware of this, but to answer either the Scripture of Moses and Tawrat refer to the same Book or not actually also means to answer the similarities between The Code of Hammurabi and the Torah itself. And, interestingly, Quran could give us the answer. Please read the following article to get the insight of the problem:

https://www.gotquestions.org/Moses-Hammurabi-code.html
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7150-hammurabi#

Hammurabi himself was speculated to live before Moses. Now, how come similar laws have already existed before The God Himself sent His Divine Words? Does God copy the laws made by mankind? I am a believer, I believe it is the otherwise. But, this is what I believe in, not necessarily a "fact". Could it be that, somehow, Hammurabi, the God-fearing prince, got the laws of God from "someone" before Moses? Who was this person and how come he possessed Book that confirmed the Words of God even before the revelation itself?

I hope you get the basic conception. Something must have been mixed during the course of history that happened more than 3000 years ago and, interestingly, a Book that was "sent down" only around 600 AD could shed light to the whole questions...

But, to answer the whole questions, there are logical methods to follow, not simply "claims"! And this is how we, muslims, actually could prove the truth in Quran with something that nobody else could answer before. It is just like the question of "Makkah and Bakkah".

I personally do not aim to make myself right; I simply give you the truth. But, if the Scripture and the Tawrat turn out to be two different books, I really would love to read the first one. Please note I gave you verses that connect the Tawrat and the Scripture together.

By the way, if you are interested to read the full laws, you can find it on the internet like this one:

Quote
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/ancient/hamcode.asp

It would even better if you could compare it to the Tawrat itself like in this site:

Quote
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-tanakh-full-text

We seriously need to challenge ourselves to move forward than to simply accept what is fed to us. I do hope you conduct your own research. I could be wrong and others too. I believe any study of the Quran should be aimed to encourage others to prove the truth within the Quran rather than to follow what is "claimed" to be right and wrong. Who knows you are the one to tell us the truth regarding this particular matter. Remember: God gives to whomever He pleases  8).

Sorry for another long writing Mr. Student. Really want to go deeper about this particular matter, but kind of running out of time. I hope one day you are the one that can show me the truth.

Have a good day friend.
Salamun Alaikum  :D

2
Note: Actually I did conduct my own research regarding the analysis I have presented here. And, every information I got I attached its source as a footnote. Yet, since I do not know how to make a footnote here, I will have to present it here as a list only. I have the MS Words version, but I can't give it to random people. So, sorry... I do hope I can give it to Mr. Joseph though, he might know what to do.

Reference
http://www.avesta.org/zfaq.html
https://www.ancient.eu/Ahura_Mazda/
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahura-mazda#
https://sreenivasaraos.com/tag/varuna-and-ahura-mazda/
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahura-mazda#
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahura_Mazda
https://www.ancient.eu/Ahura_Mazda/
Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Volume XLVII, Issue 4, 1 December 1979, Pages 557–588, https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/XLVII.4.557. Published: 01 December 1979
https://falsewitnessblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/zoroastrianism-monotheistic-or-dualistic/#_ftn3
https://www.gatha.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=362&Itemid=69&lang=en
http://www.zoroaster.com/index.htm
http://www.avesta.org/yasna
http://www.zoroaster.com/gatha.htm
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp
http://www.avesta.org/zfaq.html
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahura-mazda#
https://www.ancient.eu/Ahura_Mazda/
https://sreenivasaraos.com/tag/varuna-and-ahura-mazda/
Bhargava, P. L. “THE WORD ASURA IN THE ṚGVEDA.” Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, vol. 64, no. 1/4, 1983, pp. 119–128. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41693045.
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=12&verse=39#
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=27&verse=9
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=46&verse=12
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avesta-holy-book
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas-ii-translations
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avesta-holy-book
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=25&verse=20 click the Arabic words for words-to-words translation
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=2&verse=110
http://www.avesta.org/yasna/yasna.htm#y45
http://www.zoroaster.com/Gatha/Ushtavad/gatha%2045.htm
http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=2&verse=283#(2:283:29)
http://avesta.org/yasna/yasna.htm#y31
http://www.zoroaster.com/Gatha/Ahunavada/gatha%2031.htm
http://avesta.org/yasna/yasna.htm#y33
http://www.zoroaster.com/Gatha/Ahunavada/gatha%2033.htm
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=18&verse=26
http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=18&verse=26#(18:26)
http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=18&verse=26#(18:26:10)
http://www.avesta.org/yasna/yasna.htm#y31
http://www.zoroaster.com/Gatha/Ahunavada/gatha%2031.htm
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=57&verse=3
https://books.google.co.id/books?redir_esc=y&id=zB4n3MVozbUC&q=gathas#v=snippet&q=gathas&f=false

I hope this information is useful for you - or better yet, we can take a very good lesson from this information. Now, that would be (in its own) an achievement for us all!  ;D

3
Other Resemblances
Another “name” of God that are mentioned in both Gathas and Quran is the “All-Seeing”. In Quran, the “All-Seeing” is represented by linguistic element “Al Basir / Al Baseer” and its variants. Based on my findings, there are at least 41 verses that mention Allah as “Al Basir” (and its variants), such as 2:96, 2:110, 2:233, 2:237, 2:265, 3:15, 3:20, 3:156, 3:163, 4: 58, 4:134, 5:71, 8:39, 8:72 and at least in other 27 verses. Whereas, Allah as the “All-Seer” (Sahih International translation for the Arabic word “Baṣīran”) can be found stated explicitly in Al Furqan (25) 20: “And ever is your Lord, Seeing” (Wakāna Rabbuka Baṣīran). A little bit information, Allah “Al Basir” are often mentioned in the sentence “Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing ” (Inna l-laha Bimā Taʿmalūna Baṣīrun) such as in 2:110, 2:233, 2:237, 2:265, 3:156, and some other verses. Based on my count, this sentence appears at least in 15 from 41 verses.

In Gathas, Ahura Mazda is also mentioned as the “All-Seeing” that cannot be deceived in Yasna 45.4. Nevertheless, the linguistic elements used in Avestan is “vîspâ-hishas”. In the same Yasna, L.H. Mills chose the word “All-Observant”, while Prof. Ervad Maneck Furdoonji chose the word “All-Seeing”. In Yasna 45.4, it is informed that:

Quote
“nôit5 divzhaidyâi6 vîspâ-hishas7 Ahurô8

Prof. Ervad translated it into:

Quote
“Ahura Mazda8 who is the All-Seeing7 is never5 deceived by anyone6

Moreover, in the same Yasna, Prof. Ervad actually also mentions Ahura Mazda as the “All-Knowing” from the Avestan word “vaêdâ” (Mazdâo vaêdâ = Ahura Mazda “who is all-knowing”). However, this word is not mentioned in the translation from L.H. Mills of the same verse. Yet, it does not mean the “All-Knowing” is not mentioned in the Gathas version of L. H. Mills.

In the preceding Yasna or Y 45.3 from L.H. Mills version of the Gathas, Mazda Ahura is mentioned as the “All-Knowing”. The same word is also mentioned by Prof. Ervad version of the Gathas, but the chosen word is the “Omniscient”. This translation comes from the Avestan word “vîdvåo”. The word itself is mentioned in:

Quote
“ýã62 môi63 vîdvåo64 Mazdåo65 vaochat66 Ahurô67

Prof. Ervad translates this clause into:

Quote
“which62 the Omniscient64 Ahura67 Mazda65 has said66 to me63 (through me)”

Please notice that in the source language, the word “Mazdåo” comes before “Ahurô”. Thus, it might be why L.H. Mills translated it into Mazda Ahura instead of Ahura Mazda. Again, the same “characteristic” also mentions in Quran using the Arabic word “Al Alim / Al Aleem”.

In Quran, the terms “Allah Knows” is mentioned multiple times – here, I can even say “many” times. In Al Baqarah alone, it is mentioned at least 32 times. Based on my count, Allah “Al Alim” (and its variants) or the “All Knowing” is mostly mentioned in the combination with “Al Sami / Al Samee” (All-Hearing) in Al Baqarah. The combination “L-samīʿu - L-ʿalīmu” (All Hearing – All Knowing) is mentioned 7 times in Al Baqarah, which are in 2:127, 137, 181, 224, 227, 244, and 256. Whereas, Allah as the “Al Alim” (All-Knowing) is clearly mentioned in at least three different phrases within verses of Al Baqarah (chapter 2). It is mentioned three times within the phrase “Bikulli Shayin ʿAlīmun” (Knowing of all things – Sahih International version) in 2:29, 2:231, and 2:282; twice within the phrase “Fa-inna l-laha Bihi ʿAlīmun” (-indeed, Allah is Knowing of it – Sahih International version) in 2:215 and 2:273; once within the phrase “Wal-lahu Bimā Taʿmalūna ʿAlīmun” (And Allah of what you do [is] All-Knower – words to words translation) in 2:283. There are also other variants in saying “Allah Knows” within Al Baqarah (chapter 2) alone, not to mention any other chapters. This is just an example to show that Allah (God) as The All-Knowing is indeed mentioned or even explained within verses of Quran.

Until this point, the explanation above shows that the “God” in both the Quran and Gathas actually share at least two characteristics, which are the “All-Seeing” or “All Observant” and “All-Knowing” or the “Omniscient”. The difference is only in the linguistic element or the language used by both Holy Scriptures – one is in Arabic, other is in Avestan language. Besides the name “Ahura Mazda” itself and two characteristics above, there are at least two more “characteristics” of the Ahura Mazda that can be related to the God mentioned in Quran. These two are the “Sharpness of His Eyes” (Y 31.13) and His “First and Last” characteristic (Y 31.8 )

In Prof. Ervad translation of Yasna 31.13, it is mentioned that Ahura Mazda observes with His “Sharp Eye”. In L.H. Mills translation of the same verse, Mills used the word “Flashing Eye” instead. In the word to word translation of the Yasna, it can be seen that Prof. Ervad translation is based on the Avestan word “chashmêñg thwisrâ”. Both versions of the Yasna are presented below:

Quote
Prof. Ervad version of Yasna 31.13 from www.Zoroaster.com:
“The questions which O Ahura Mazda any one asks openly or secretly or any person for a small sin undergoes the highest penance all these Thou dost observe with (Thy) sharp eye O lord and in accordance with truth”
Quote
L.H. Mills version of Yasna 31.13 from www.Avesta.org:
“Whatever open or whatever secret (acts) may be visited with punishment, or whether a person for a little sin demands the highest punishment, — of all this through Asha Thou art aware, observing it with Thy flashing eye

Moreover, another resembling characteristic, which is “Thou that Seest Far Onward”, is actually mentioned in L.H. Mills translation of Yasna 33.13. However, it is not mentioned in Prof. Ervad version of the same verse. In fact, Prof. Ervad version of the same Yasna is actually quite different with the translation of L.H. Mills. Thus, I think it would be wiser for me to leave this verse alone for a while, until there is some clarity of why such inconsistency could happen or there is another alternative translation to consider. However, it does not mean the characteristic mentioned by L.H. Mills in Yasna 33.13 above should not be considered at all. It is just that it may be better to leave it for a while.

Back to the characteristic mentioned in Yasna 31.13 by both Prof. Ervad and L.H. Mills, this characteristic can actually be related to the characteristic of God mentioned in Al Kahf (18) 26. In this verse, it is explained that Allah “has [knowledge of] the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth. How Seeing is He and how Hearing!” (Sahih International version). This translation comes from the Arabic “Lahu Ghaybu L-samāwāti Wal-arḍi Abṣir Bihi Wa-asmiʿ” or the words-to-words translation: “For Him (is the) unseen (of) the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees! [of it] And how clearly He hears!”.

In the word-to-word translation, the Arabic word “Abṣir” is translated into “How clearly He sees”. If we look closely, there is actually “conceptual similarity” between the characteristic of God mentioned in Yasna 31.13 with Quran 18:26. Unfortunately, this resemblance is not quite as explicit as the All-Seeing or the All-Knowing characteristic that have been discussed before, but the resemblance here is rather implicit. If you can see it here, the conceptual idea is simply: He (God) Clearly Sees (all) for the Sharpness of His Eyes. Yet, I do not want to make my own interpretation: it is very risky and definitely will trigger heavy critics. Thus, I will only put both partial verses of Yasna and Quran here for you to conclude yourself. To look at both Yasna and Quran for the complete verses are highly recommended.

The last similar “characteristic” that I have found so far is the “First and Last” characteristic of the God mentioned in both Quran and Gathas. In L.H. Mills translation of Yasna 31.8, there is a mentioning about (Ahura) Mazda as “the First art (also) the Last”. However, this translation is slightly different with the translation of Prof. Ervad for the same verse. In Prof. Ervad version, Ahura Mazda is mentioned “as the First of All”. In the word-to-word translation provided by Zoroaster.com, it is shown that this translation comes from the Avestan word “pourvîm, while the next word “ýezîm” is translated into “Worthy of Worship” in Prof. Ervad version of the Gathas. These two Avestan words are interjected by the Avestan word “Mazdâ”, in the phrase “pourvîm Mazdâ ýezîm”. Unfortunately, L.H. Mills version of the Gathas in Avesta.org does not provide or is not accompanied by the words-to-words translation. Hence, we cannot see from what Avestan word Mr. Mills translated the word into “the Last”. Hereby, I present to you the full verse of the Yasna 31.8 from both Prof. Ervad and L.H. Mills:

Quote
Prof. Ervad version of Yasna 31.8 from www.Zoroaster.com:
“Ever since I have held thee (O Ahura Mazda) in (my) eye I have always regarded Thee O Ahura Mazda as the first of all, as worthy of worship with pure thought as the father of Vohu Mana (good mind) as the real origin of truth (and) as the lord over (all) actions of this world”

Quote
L.H. Mills version of Yasna 31.8 from www.Avesta.org:
“I recognize Thee, O Mazda, in my thought, that Thou the First art (also) the Last — that Thou art Father of Vohu Manah; -- when I apprehend Thee with mine eye, that Thou art the true Creator of Right [Asha], and art the Lord to judge the actions of life”

The First and The Last are two “characteristics” or “Beautiful Names of God” mentioned in Al Hadid (57) 3. If you see the translation of this verse in Corpus.Quran.com, these two “characteristics” are the ones consistently translated into “The First” and “The Last” in multiple translations provided by the website. In the page about this verse, you will see that different translators chose different words for the remaining passage. The translation of “The First” and “The Last” itself comes from the Arabic word “L-awalu” (The First) “Wal-ākhiru” (and The Last) in Quran. Now, if we use L.H. Mills translation of the Gathas, these “characteristics” mentioned in Al Hadid (57) 3 are actually also mentioned in Yasna 31.8. However, since it is not mentioned in the translation of Prof. Ervad, alternative translations or even further explanation would be required in order to find some clarity regarding the difference between both translations.

The Long-Lost Scripture
The “characteristics” of the God apparently are not the only resemblances between Gathas and Quran. There are other underlying concepts that are actually quite similar between both the Gathas and Quran. One of them is the meaning of the name “Gathas” itself.

According to Amaresh Datta in Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: Devraj to Jyoti, Volume 2 (1988), “Gatha derived from the root ‘gai’ to speak, to recite in a singing manner, to sing, to extol. ‘Gatha’ originally meant ‘a speech’, ‘a verse’, and ‘a song.” . Now, if I am not mistaken, there is a Scripture mentioned in Quran associated with the “Book of Song”. In Wikipedia, there is an explanation about the name of this book equivalent with the Hebrew word “zimrah” (song, music), “zamir” (song and nightingale), and more, with cited reference “Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament Vol. 1, page 245”. Unfortunately, I could not access this book. So, I hesitate to put this information here. Maybe, you guys could enlighten me a little about the root of “The Scripture” mentioned in four verses of Quran (3:184, 4:163, 17:55, and 21:105).

Until this point, I cannot say that Gathas is the “Scripture” mentioned in Quran. It, unfortunately, would require another lengthy writing for me to explain this. The least I can say is that there is a long-lost or even forgotten ancient Sacred Scripture known as the “Gathas” (‘a speech’, ‘a verse’, and ‘a song’). This Holy Book has been existing even before the revelation of Gospel and Quran. However, since it was written in extinct language and has “just” been restudied and translated in the last couple centuries, this book is (apparently) often “unrecognized” or “overlooked” by Islamic societies. Whereas, the “name” of the God in this Holy Scripture is actually mentioned in multiple verses of Quran – only not in its original language, but in Arabic.

Now, I am aware that this would bring its own controversy, which is actually not my intention. I essentially just want to explore this matter more rather than making some unnecessary sensation. However, realizing my own limitation as an ordinary human-being, I cannot do this alone. Thus, I am writing all this in this Quranic forum to ask for assistance or even invite anyone who are interesting in this particular matter to join me in researching the history based on the verses in Quran or, as I call it: the Quranic Version. The major purpose here is to find “solid evidences” of the historical elements mentioned in Quran. Is it possible? Well, you have read my lengthy writings (and sorry if it is boring). If you follow my writings, the verses in Quran actually does not contradict history in general – even with recent findings. It is even confirmed more the truth about the narration in the Quran itself. It is just that we have to know the “reference” we need among the verses of the Quran themselves and the methods that are actually very well implied within the verses of Quran.

However, judging from the recent mentality of Islamic world, I don't really think this could be well accepted - or even understood. As you may have known (well, at least those who hang out in this forum for some time), nowadays (or ever) the so-called Muslims actually rarely focus on their own Holy Scripture (Quran) as the main source of information. There are people like you who try to dig deeper information in Quran by analyzing its verses. But, people like you are actually a very small portion of the so-called Muslims in the world. I am sure you feel this too. Many may not even know what is inside the Quran. I believe this is why this site is established in the first place: to invite people to go back to Quran as the core of Islam. Is it easy to do so?

There are indeed observable major tendencies where outer sources outside the Quran has been acknowledged and understood as an inseparable part of religion too. Of course, all would have its own advantages and disadvantages. But, when this "outer sources" compromise the "truth" within the Quran itself, I do not think that is a "good" thing to happen for Islam itself. Take for instance my statement in the beginning of previous post, there is a big possibility where the narrations of history mentioned within verses of Quran are actually telling us about the ancient word: beyond the boundary of Arabic world or even the Semitic people - the way that the God mentioned in Quran might as well have been known by the ancient people, even far outside the limit of Arabian peninsula. Yet, how many Muslims are aware of this? And many are still struggled with the understanding that "Allah" is the "Exclusive Name" of God... How far actually we are left behind from the rest of the world with this mentality?

It is actually very pitiful to see the owner of the "Book" that can make them grow like "a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers" (48:29) is now act like a "closed seed". Why?

Why?

Well, for me, this simply answer the (what apparently rhetorical) question within the Quran itself: "And We have certainly made the Qur'an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?" (54:17, 54:22, 54:32, and 54:40). Well, in the end, aren't we the one to choose our own destiny? (8:53, 13:11)

By the way, without any-ill intention, I found this very interesting verse that I have not heard of before. I hope this verse could give us inspiration in keep learning and studying many things in the world! ;D

Quote
Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason [yaʿqilūna - in word to word translation:use (their) intellect]
(8:22)

For me, this verse is very inspiring. Reading this verse, I remember a saying by Indonesian national hero and, once, the leader of Islamic movement, HOS Tjokroaminoto: Semurni-murni Tauhid (the Purest of Tauhid), Setinggi-tinggi Ilmu (the highest of knowledge), and Sepintar-pintar Siasat (the Smartest Strategy).

I hope this words can inspire us to explore even more!  ;D ;D ;D

I seriously write this like anyone will ever read this... Ya udahlah ya, yang penting gw udah nyoba...

There are actually even more that I want to share – if you guys (and, maybe, ladies) allow me. Yet, for now, I will have to close this very long (and apparently not-that-interesting) discussion... Since, now is already three in the morning...

Hopefully, my writing can give you an insight about how valuable it is actually the information provided by the Quran

As usual, all mistakes are mine - solely mine - my responsibility. However, all good you find here must be coming from Quran. That is why you should keep learning the Quran and trying to understand it.

I apologize for any inconvenience you found in this writing - as if someone will ever read this ;D

Have a good day y'all!

Salamun Alaikum,



Ocyid, your Indonesian brother (I'm a male! a male!)

4
Well, this is actually the continuation from previous post:

Quote

Since I am not sure that the previous post is interested enough for you to read, just remember that anything you find interesting in this post might be related to the explanation in the previous post. Thus, to read the previous post is actually advisable. The funny thing is that I am not really sure somebody will eventually read this writing ::)

Anyhow, besides the "names" of God mentioned in ancient texts that I have explained in the previous posts ("Aten" and "Prajapati"), there is actually another "ancient names" of God that can be found in an ancient text that once thought to be lost: the Gathas (Avestan). This "name" of God mentioned there is "Ahura Mazda".

The Mighty – Wise Lord: Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda is the “Supreme Being” or “The Highest Spirit” of Zoroastrianism, title of a “Great Divinity”. The website Sreenivasaraos.com explains that Ahura Mazda is a formless One and Only God by referring to “Gathas: 29.4”. Iranicaonline.org mentions that Ahura Mazda is “One uncreated God” (second paragraph) with the reference cited “Y (Yasna) 30.3 and 45.2”. Common website like Wikipedia simply states Ahura Mazda as “Creator and Sole God” of Zoroastrianism without explaining the source. A writer in Ancient.eu, the so-called educational website of history, describes Ahura Mazda as “the Highest Spirit worshipped in Zoroastrianism”. Most of the websites in the internet will imply that either Ahura Mazda is the “Only God” of Zoroastrianism or He simply is the “Supreme Being”. These two statements actually have different understandings, which eventually lead in different views in seeing the Divinity of “Ahura Mazda”. However, both statements actually share common ground in which Ahura Mazda is viewed as the “Highest Entity” in Zoroastrianism.

Not only in viewing the Divinity of Ahura Mazda, there are also some points of view in viewing the Zoroastrianism itself. One of them is the monotheistic value of Zoroastrianism as it has been discussed by James W. Boyd and A. Donald in their scientific journal “Is Zoroastrianism Dualistic Or Monotheistic?”. For those who are interested more can visit this website https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/XLVII.4.557. Or, if you do not have the access, you may want to visit Falsewitnessblog.wordpress.com article about Zoroastrianism: “FACT-CHECK: Is Zoroastrianism a Monotheistic Religion?”. Another point of view comes from Khosro Khazai (Pardis), the writer of The Gathas; The Sublime Book of Zarathustra, which states in Gatha.org that “the Gatha of Zaratustra(sic) is not a religion”. However, the term “religion” is actually mentioned in the Gathas: Yasna 44.10, 44.11, 49.6, 53.1 and 53.2. The website Zoroaster.com also posted about it in its index page of “The Religion of Ahura Mazda”.

There would be a lot of interpretations in viewing the Divinity of Lord Ahura Mazda, in viewing the position of Zarathustra as the prophet of Zoroastrianism, or in viewing the Zoroastrians itself. This is actually something natural; the way there are many interpretations in viewing verses in Quran or in viewing Islam in general – or, as it has been discussed before, in viewing the Divinity of Lord Prajâpati in Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda or in viewing the Divinity of Lord Aten in The Great Hymn to the Aten. Again, this is something natural. Therefore, we may want to focus more on what is actually being said in the source texts themselves than the interpretations.

In the internet, there are at least two free sources of the Gathas that I could find. The one is the website Avesta.org with the translation from L. H. Mills, Sacred Books of the East, American Edition (1898) . The other is the website Zoroaster.com with the translation from Prof Ervad Maneck Furdoonji KANGA M.A. in Gatha-Ba-Maani. I recommend to see both translations to get the insight from the Gathas, the way I recommend to see multiple translations of the Quran from the website Corpus.Quran.com  for non-Arabic speaker to get better understanding for the Quran itself. Moreover, the website Zoroaster.com even provides the words-to-words version of the Gathas. However, it shall always be remembered that the translation of the Gathas is basically the translation of an extinct language by using its closest counterpart: the Vedic Sanskrit. Thus, the role or, more precisely, the “influence” of Vedic Sanskrit shall never be forgotten.

Ahura Mazda is mentioned multiple times in the Gathas. I originally use the translation by L.H. Mills from Avesta.org to conduct my research. From what I could find from L. H. Mills translation, the “name” Ahura Mazda is not always mentioned as “Ahura Mazda”, but also as “Mazda Ahura” and independently as “Mazda” and as “Ahura”. “Ahura Mazda” and “Mazda Ahura” are mentioned 66 times, with “Ahura Mazda” is mentioned 12 times and “Mazda Ahura” is mentioned 54 times in Gatha. While independently, “Ahura” is mentioned 129 times and “Mazda” is mentioned 181 times. Based on this translation, the flexibility of its placements may actually show that “Ahura Mazda” is not a “name”, but rather a “reference” for God or simply the “linguistic elements” used in Avestan to represent “The God” Himself. The same way “Allah” is used in Arabic, “Aten” is used in ancient Egypt, and “Prajâpati” is used in Sanskrit.

For the meaning of Ahura Mazda itself, some of the websites in the internet simply states that Ahura Mazda means “Wise Lord”, which “Ahura” means “Lord” and “Mazdā” or “Mazdāh” means “Wisdom” or “Wise” . Radu Cristian in his article Ahura Mazda in Ancient.eu (Ancient History Encyclopedia) explains that “Mazda, or the Avestan form of the Mazdā, reflects the proto-Iranian word Mazdāh which is a feminine noun. Considered the proper name of the god, it may also come from the Sanskrit word medhās, meaning 'intelligence' or 'wisdom'” . Therefore, many may know “Ahura Mazda” simply means “Wise Lord”. However, the website Sreenivasaraos.com, with understanding that Avestan language closely resembles Vedic Sanskrit, implies that “Ahura” might be the variant of Vedic Sanskrit “Asura= the Formless Mighty Lord”, while Mazda might be the variant of “Mahat = Greatest; or Medha = Vedhas = wise” (point 86.2)[/color].

Encyclopedia Iranica (Iranicaonline.org) in its article about Ahura Mazda explains that the identification of “Ahura” as the Nameless, Exalted Asura of the Rigveda is “not universally accepted”. However, if “Ahura” is indeed a variant of the Vedic Sanskrit word “Asura”, it literally means “Powerful or Mighty”. P.L. Bhargava in his journal article THE WORD ASURA IN THE ṚGVEDA explains that “Barring seven of the latest hymns, the word asura, including its variants asurya and āsura, is always used in Rgveda as an adjective meaning powerful or mighty”. Thus, Ahura Mazda could also mean “Mighty” (Asura) “Wise” (Medhās) based on this explanation. Now, the most interesting part is that this “name” is actually mentioned many times in the Quran. The “Mighty” - “Wise”, or I would prefer the “Almighty - All Wise” Lord, is actually mentioned in Quran. However, this “name” is not mentioned by using Avestan language, but in Arabic language.

One of the “Beautiful Names” or more precisely “Divine Characteristics” of God mentioned together in Quran is the All Mighty (Al Aziz) - All Wise (Al Hakeem). Surely, these are not the only “names” that are mentioned together. There are other “combination of names” that are also mentioned together like The All Knower – The All Wise (ʿAlīman - Hakīman) in Al Insaan (76) 30, The Most High – The Most Wise (Aliyyun - Hakīmun) in Ash-Shura (42) 51, The All Might – All Knowing (L-ʿazīzi - L-ʿalīmi) in Al An’am (6) 96, and more. However, the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (The All Mighty – The All Wise) is among the combinations that are quite frequently mentioned in Quran. You may want to check the Holy Quran yourself for this.

I do a little research regarding this particular “names”. Based on my findings, the “All Mighty” (Al Aziz and its variants) is mentioned at least 87 times and “All Wise” (Al Hakim and its variants) is mentioned at least 90 times in Quran. For the analysis itself, I used Indonesian language version of the Quran (Al Quran Indonesia) and make the words “Perkasa (Mighty)” and “Bijaksana” (Wise) as a keyword. The Arabic word “Al Hakim” is consistently translated into “Bijaksana” (Wise) in Indonesian language. However, the word “Perkasa” does not always come from the Arabic word “Al Aziz” or its variants. For example, the Arabic word “L-qahāru” in His Beautiful Names “L-wāḥidu (The One) - L-qahāru” is also translated into “Mighty (Almighty)” in Indonesian language. In Corpus.Quran.com, you can see that different translators use different words in translating this Arabic word, with Pickthall as the only one that translates it into “Almighty” (look Quran chapter 12 verse 39 as an example) . Therefore, since the Arabic word might not root from the Arabic word “Aziz”, I exclude these verses.

From 92 verses that I found, there are 87 verses left which mentions Allah as the “Al Aziz” or the “Almighty”. From these 87 verses, 47 verses mention Allah as the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (The All Mighty – The All Wise). The same thing with Allah as the “Al Hakim” or the “All Wise”. From 90 verses, 47 verses mention Allah as the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (The All Mighty – The All Wise). It means more than half the verses that mention Allah as the “Al Aziz” (The Almighty) and “Al Hakim” (The All Wise) actually refer to Him specifically as “The Almighty - All Wise” or in Arabic “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu”. This “combined-names” are being mentioned in these verses: Al Baqarah (2) 129, 209, 220, 228, 240, and 260, Ali Imran (3) 6, 18, 62, and 126, An Nisa (4) 56, 158, and 165, Al Maidah (5) 38 and 118, and other 31 verses of the Quran. In An Naml (27) verse 9 it is even clearly stated “O Moses, indeed it is I - Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise (L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu) (Sahih International translation).

Now, if we follow the formula in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every messengers was sent in the language of their own people, what possibly were the linguistic elements to represent The Almighty – All Wise in the language preceding the Arabic? Please note, An Nisaa (4) 164 does inform us that Allah did speak to Moses (wakallama l-lahu Mūsā taklīman). Now the question is: did God use the Arabic terms “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” when He spoke to Moses (Musa) while Moses himself might not have spoken in Arabic language? Remember Moses might have not spoken in Arabic language is implied in Al Ahqaf (46) 12. It is informed in the verse that before Quran there was a “scripture of Moses” and Quran is a “confirming Book in an Arabic tongue” . Hence, it can be inferred from this verse that there is a possibility where Moses did not speak in Arabic language, so the book sent to him was not in Arabic (remember the formula in 14:4). And maybe that is why, Al Ahqaf (46) 12 explains that Quran is a “confirming Book in an Arabic tongue”. Moreover, it could also mean that when God spoke to Moses, He might not have spoken in Arabic but in the language of Moses or, at least, in the language that Moses could understand.

I clearly do not know in what language God possibly spoke to Moses. However, based on the explanation from An Naml (27) verse 9, the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (Almighty – All Wise) God is actually already known even far before the revelation of Quran itself – or at least, during the time of Moses. Yet, the language used to “represent” Him might not have been in Arabic as it is implied in Al Ahqaf (46) 12. So, in what language God spoke to Moses? Again, I do not know in what language God spoke to Moses. Nevertheless, an ancient Holy Scripture written in an extinct language - the Old Avestan or more precisely the Gathic dialect - actually has already mentioned A God known as “Ahura Mazda” or “Asura – Medhās” in Sanskrit, which this “name” means “The Mighty – The Wise”.

Interestingly, this Holy Book has already existed even far before the revelation of Quran or even the Gospel. However, this book was once thought to be lost and only to be introduced to the Western world in the 18th century and actively studied in the 19th century. The problem is that this Holy Book is written in an extinct language. The website Encyclopedia Iranica (Iranicaonline.org) informs us that scholars “in the 20th century has tended to vindicate the comparative method ” by using Vedic Sanskrit “for which Vedic provided abundant material ” for the translation of this ancient scripture. Now, since this Holy Book has been presumably long-lost and only to be restudied in the last centuries, apparently not many Muslims are aware, know, or even care of the existence of this Scripture. Thus, not many or even “no” Muslims (as far as I know) are aware that the “names” of God mentioned in this Sacred Scripture is actually mentioned multiple times in Quran, with An Naml (27) verse 9 as the “solid” evidence.

This findings actually could have mutual benefits for both Zoroastrianism and Islam alike. For Islam, this findings confirm the truth of the information provided in An Naml (27) verse 9. One of the “names” of God well-known in the ancient world is indeed The Almighty – All Wise. The thoughtfully long-lost Gathas is the evidence for this. However, the language used to represent the meaning of this “names” is not Arabic, but Avestan – an extinct language. Thus, the linguistic elements used is not “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu”, but “Ahura - Mazda” or in Sanskrit: the “Asura - Medhās”. Again, this could also confirm the information in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every messengers was sent in the language of their own people. For Zoroastrianism, this finding actually confirms that the God worshiped by the Zoroastrians might as well be the same God worshiped by Islamic people (The Almighty - All Wise Lord) and may even be the same God worshiped by the so-called Abrahamic religion. Thus, it could also mean that the Gathas might be a long lost scripture well-known for Islamic or even Abrahamic religion and Zarathustra could be a prophet that is actually very well-known for Islamic and Abrahamic religion alike. It makes the Gathas in line with the Torah, Gospel, and Quran and makes Zarathustra in line with Abraham, Moses, Isa Ibn Maryam, and Muhammad. It also means there might be mutual information between the Gathas and Quran that might have never been known before. However, before we go further, The Almighty – All Wise is actually not the only “Beautiful Names of God” mentioned in both Gathas and Quran, there are other “Beautiful Names of God” that are also mentioned in both Quran and the Gathas.

5
In the Name of The Most Gracious - Most Merciful

Salamun Alaikum,

Hello everyone, this is my third writing regarding this subject and my fourth independent post in this forum. This is a continuation from my previous writing in this post:


I know my writing is very long and, maybe, a little bit difficult to understand. Well, I did try to make it shorter and easier. Yet, I am afraid I will miss important point in pushing my limit to do so. I know as the consequence it becomes very long and looks like very complicated (or maybe it is - sadly). I feel like -so far- I failed to point out the importance of this topic. The idea is actually very simple: to compare the verses in Quran with others ancient texts. So far, I have found that the God in Quran might actually have already been known or at least mentioned in, at least, two ancient texts - mainly recognized from His Oneness and Incomparable characteristic. It is just that the linguistic element used to "refer" to Him is different with the linguistic element used in Quran, which is Arabic. By analyzing these texts, not only we can see that narrations in the verses of Quran is true, but it also gives us insight that the narrations of history within verses in Quran are actually telling us about the "Ancient World". As far as I could understand so far (I could be wrong for this), general understanding about narrations of history revealed in verses of Quran is still viewed as the history of the "Arabs" world. Thus, any study conducted regarding the "historical elements" of the Quran is focused heavily around the Arabian Peninsula or even specifically around Saudi Arabia. Now, this is (I believe) some sort of "cultural misunderstanding".

It is true indeed that Quran was sent down to Arabic prophet, but it does not mean the content of the Quran only tells us about the history of the Arab world as well as the God mentioned in Quran is the God known only by Arabic or the so-called "Semitic" people. Is this how we see Quran? Is this how we see the All-Powerful God mentioned in Quran? Most - I believe - simply don't care...

I am truly speechless right now... If Quran, the highest of all source of information, cannot enlighten you, what am I supposed to expect?

Well, at the very least, let me fill this blank space with the story I know about the All-Powerful One God - "He" who is known and worshiped by "righteous" ancient people - "He" who has existed from the beginning and will continue on living forever - "He" who listens and sees all - the All-Knowing One and Only!

Since this "story" is quite long, I will divide this into two sections: The Long-Lost Scripture and The Almighty-All Wise. I apologize for any inconveniences that might occur before, during, and after this writing. I just want to share what I know - since, apparently, I can't expect more... So, this story begins with the discovery of what thought to be long-lost Sacred Scripture by the Western World in the 18th century...

The Avestan Gathas
In the previous discussion, we have seen that if we look beyond the “linguistic elements” or “the language”, other ancient texts actually already mentioned about the Supreme and/or the supposedly Sole God as it is mentioned in Quran. However, the linguistic element used to “represent” The God is not necessarily the same with the One used in Quran or “Allah”. Therefore, “Allah” is actually only a “linguistic element” or “Arabic word” to represent “The Glorious God” Himself, not a name.

In ancient Egypt, the “linguistic element” used was “Aten”. In Hindu, the “linguistic element” used was “Prajâpati” - the Supreme Entity during the time of Brahmanas until “His supremacy was taken over by Brahma” (George M. Williams, Handbook of Hindu Mythology, 2008) . Not only the “name” of God, the verses of Quran that indicate the “characteristic” of the God Himself or the Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4 are actually clearly mentioned in the third line of the sixth paragraph  of “The Great Hymn to the Aten” and in the 10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda. This implies that the God known by Muslims or at least the concept of One God is actually already known far before the revelation of Quran or even Gospel itself. Indirectly, this too actually shows the truth in Ibrahim (14) verse 4: that every prophets was sent in the language of their own people – not necessarily in Arabic. Thus, if we try to search the “name” of God in Arabic or “Allah” in ancient texts, we may not be able to find it because ancient people might have not used the same “linguistic elements” as it is used by the Arabic people. Nevertheless, if we try to look the underlying concept, the Oneness of God actually has already being mentioned in several ancient texts - only in different languages.

Other verse of Quran that will explain this is Al Ahqaf (46) verse 12. In Al Ahqaf (46) verse 12, it is mentioned that Quran “is a confirming Book in an Arabic tongue”  of the scripture of Moses. This implies that the scripture of Moses might not have been sent down in Arabic language – and maybe as well as other ancient scriptures. One of the website that I found, ProjectAugustine.com, even has already discussed about the similarity between “The Great Hymn to Aten” with “Psalm 104”. Now, if we still cannot go on to the understanding of this “Exclusive Names of God”, we (Muslims) are actually the one to be left behind because our own misconception in understanding the linguistic element “Allah” used in Quran. This is also why I think the discussion of “Exclusive Names of God” started by Mr. Joseph actually very important to discuss and elaborate in the first place.

Not only in “The Great Hymn to the Aten” and the “10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda”, there is actually another ancient text that has mentioned The God with similar characteristics as it has been mentioned in Quran. This ancient text is: Avestan Gathas. Gathas is a very ancient scripture written in Gathic or Old Avestan , while the Gathic or Old Avestan is a very ancient dialect of Avestan or Old Iranian language . It is the oldest dialect in the Avesta, the Holy Book of the Zoroastrians. The Avesta itself is the only evidence of the Avestan language.

In the explanation given in Encyclopedia Iranica about Gathas, it is explained that “According to tradition, the five Gathas are composed by Zoroaster himself”. Zoroaster or Zaraθuštra (Zarathusthra) is a prophet lived in ancient Iran and the prophet of the Zoroastrianism itself. Unfortunately, little is known about Zoroaster or Zarathusthra life, including where and when he lived. There is lengthy explanation about speculation of where and when Zoroaster or Zarathusthra lived in Encyclopedia Iranica (Iranicaonline.org). The date range from 1750 BCE until 258 years before Alexander the Great, while the safest assumption of the probable location of Zoroaster or Zarathusthra as explained in that page is in the northeast Iran. Mary Boyce wrote in the introduction for her book, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (2001), the life of prophet Zarathustra is known mainly from the Gathas: “seventeen Great Hymns which he composed and which have been faithfully preserved by his community” (page 17) .

Avestan language is considerably an extinct language in which it is no longer actively used for communication, but it does not mean it is completely lost . There are samples for Avestan alphabets in Omniglot.com and a PDF from Dr. Ervad Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia with the title “Teach Yourself Avestan Language” in Cais-Soas.com website. The full link is presented in the footnote below.

An Extinct Language
Before we start the discussion, the extinction of Avestan language, especially the Gathas or the Old Avestan language, is an important thing to be put into consideration. Encyclopedia Iranica (Iranicaonline.org) so far, or as far as I know, is the best website that gives a general but comprehensive understanding regarding this matter. This website gives us basic understanding that we may need about the problem from multiple points of view. This site also gives us a good introduction regarding Avesta, Avestan Language, and Gathas in general.

The extinction of the Avestan language or especially the Gathas or Old Avestan language actually gives us advantage as well as disadvantage. Specifically for the Gathas, the advantage is that at least it can only have been written by the people who used this extinct language, not by the people outside its time-range. Thus, the information inside the Gathas has a higher chance of not being “forged”, “changed” or “counterfeited” by later people because nobody uses that language anymore, although it does not necessarily mean that the information inside the Gathas is “factual”. Simply put, any information comes from the Gathas can be said as based on “linguistic evidences” than merely “claims”, which the extinct language itself becomes the basic argument for “authenticity”.

In the article “AVESTA i. Survey of the History and Contents of the Book” from Encyclopedia Iranica, it is explained within the sub-chapter “Contents of the Avesta” there are indeed some problems with “authenticity” for the Avesta itself - such as the fabrication of the Vištāsp Yašt, which is considered by the tradition as Zarathusthra teaching for Kavi Vištāspa turned out to be “a poorly fabricated medley of quotations from the Vidēvdād”. However, it is also explained that this problem might happen for the texts compiled later (more recent). While for the older texts such as the Old Avestan texts and the old Yašts, the article explains that there is “probability” where these texts “have come down to us in their entirety”. The reason for this as it has been mentioned in that page would be: “the Parsis would have paid particular attention to the transmission of the most venerable parts of the sacred canon”.

If there is advantage, then there is also disadvantage. The disadvantage in the extinction of Avestan language (especially the Gathic dialect or the Old Avestan language) is that; since the language is extinct, the interpretation or even the translation of any texts written in that language –by itself- is a great challenge. In the website Encyclopedia Iranica, the problems in translating the Gathas are widely discussed in “GATHAS ii” . In this article, there are multiple translations of the Gathas presented as case examples and also lengthy explanation about two main methods in translating the Gathas. Unfortunately, the article does not start with the core of the problem, which is the extinction of Gathic or Old Avestan language itself. The extinction of the language, as it has not been actively used again, is actually the core of the problem in translating the Gathas. Boyce (2001) mentions in her book that the dialect used by Zarathustra (Zoroaster) is only known from the Gathas and “a few other ancient texts” (page 18). Thus, it makes the interpretation of the Gathas difficult, since many words in the Gathas are practically unknown.

The Translation of Gathas
In the translation of the Gathas, there are two main methods with Christian Bartholomae dictionary as the parting-line between the two methods. The first method relies on Zoroastrian traditions to understand the Gathas with James Darmesteter as the main supporter of this method. Other translator mentioned is Lawrence H. Mills, yet the work of Mills (at least one of them) is said to be “in its convenient arrangement of the original text with the Pahlavi and Sanskrit glosses”. In the article “AVESTA i. Survey of the History and Contents of the Book”, it is explained that this method is called traditional school, which “considered that the Avesta could only become clear with the help of the native Pahlavi commentary”.

The second method is said to be “comparative linguistics” method with Bartholomae book Wörterbuch (1904) as a reference. The method itself uses material from Vedas, ancient Indian texts, to be compared with the Gathas. Thus, those this method is called the Vedic school and those who use this method is called Vedacist. Scholars who used this method were “convinced that the best approach to the true meaning of the Avesta was the etymological one, for which Vedic provided abundant material”. Furthermore, it is explained in the article “GATHAS ii”  that “the entire history of Gathic scholarship in the 20th century has tended to vindicate the comparative method at the expense of the Zoroastrian tradition’s authority”.

These two methods pose threats for the understanding of the Gathas itself. The works of Darmesteter and Mills are considered “obsolete” with the publication of Altiranisches Wörterbuch (1904), the book of Christian Bartholomae. In the article, it is explains that the works of Darmesteter are “frequently noted” and “frequently dismissed” with the expression “falsch” (false in Germany) . Moreover, the Vedacist or those who used the comparative linguistics approach are skeptical about the native Pahlavi commentary of the Avesta, which from the Vedic school point of view “was no more reliable a guide to the Avesta”. Meanwhile, the comparative linguistics method is criticized for its threat in leading to “the way to unverifiable speculation”  of the Gathas itself. Those who are interested in this matter more can visit the website Encyclopedia Iranica (Iranicaonline.org). Both the article of the translation of Gathas and Avesta I (mostly the subsection “History of Avestan Studies”) will provide information about the complexity in the translation of the Gathas itself. This is the basic reason why there are so many translations of the Gathas. One of the page in Gatha.org  website even provides multiple translations of the Gathas to show its readers the complexity in translating the Gathas.

Now, the basic question here would be: can we rely on the translations of Gathas? To answer this question, we may want to understand the long history of the translation of Gathas itself.

Vedic Sanskrit Role
First of all, the article in Encyclopedia Iranica (Iranicaonline.org) about the translation of Gathas convinces us that the translators of Gathas, at least the ones mentioned in the article, are “competent scholars whose interpretations were informed by solid philology”  . Yet, of course, this is not enough. In the article “AVESTA i. Survey of the History and Contents of the Book” subsection “History of Avestan studies” , it is explained that question of “authenticity” for the Avesta and others texts brought by Anquetil-Duperron for the first time from India in 1762 has caused long time polemic in the Western world. It was not until the decrypting of Old Persian inscription dating from the time of Achaemenid Empire this question of authenticity was finally answered. It was revealed that the Old Persian inscription with ancient Iranian language closely akin to Avestan has proven “that the language of the Avesta was an antique representative of an independent Indo-European language, which was however more closely related to Indian than to any other branch of the family”.

To understand how close the Avestan to its Indian counterpart or the language of the Vedas, the website Sreenivasaraos.com  offers us an explanation regarding this particular matter. In its article Varuna and his decline – Part Seven subsection “Language of the Avesta and Vedic Sanskrit” , it is explained that Shri JM Chatterji, the author of The Hymns of Atharvan Zarathustra (1967), observes the resemblance between the Avestan language and Vedic Sanskrit (the language of the Vedas) . The explanation is given in 83.1 that the relation between the Avestan and the Vedic Sanskrit is “so close that entire passages from the Gathas can be rendered into Vedic Sanskrit by application of the phonetic rules – that is by exchanging some sounds for others”. One of the examples provided by the website is presented below:

Quote
“The Sanskrit terms aham (‘I’), jihva (tounge), sapta (seven), hima (snow) and yajna (sacrifice ritual)
would become ajem, hijva, hapta, zyma, and yasna, respectively, in the Iranian texts”
(https://sreenivasaraos.com/tag/varuna-and-ahura-mazda/)

For more examples and explanation, you may want to visit the website page. Furthermore, the argument given in 83.3 actually includes the statement from The Cambridge History of India, Professor T. Burrow from Oxford University, and HD Griswold in his book The Religion of the Rig Veda about the close resemblance between the language of Avestan Gathas and Vedic Sanskrit. However, since the website does not provide more detail sources of these statements, I hesitate to include these statements here. You may want to see it in the website directly for more detail.

Now, the most essential and important aspect related to Islam or specifically the Quran based on the explanation above is actually the name of the God “Ahura Mazda” mentioned within the Gathas in Avestan language and how it is translated by using its Indian counterpart: the Vedic Sanskrit.

Reference:
https://books.google.co.id/books?id=N7LOZfwCDpEC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=5#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
https://katherinestange.com/egypt/hymn2.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10121.htm
http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=46&verse=12
https://projectaugustine.com/biblical-studies/ancient-near-east-studies/parallelism-between-the-hymn-to-aten-and-psalm-104/
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas#
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avesta-holy-book
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas-i-texts
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/zoroaster-index
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/zoroaster-ii-general-survey
https://books.google.co.id/books?id=a6gbxVfjtUEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=ahura+mazda+mary+boyce&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiOpbeQ-M3aAhWJe7wKHeB1DAMQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=gathas&f=false
https://www.omniglot.com/writing/avestan.htm
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Languages/avestan/avestan_language.htm
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avesta-holy-book
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas-ii-translations
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avesta-holy-book
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas-ii-translations
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas-ii-translations
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avesta-holy-book in History of Avestan Studies
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas-ii-translations
https://www.gatha.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=281&Itemid=69&lang=en
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gathas-ii-translations
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avesta-holy-book
https://sreenivasaraos.com
https://sreenivasaraos.com/tag/varuna-and-ahura-mazda/
The website Sreenivasaraos.com provides the link http://www.avesta.org/chatterj_opf_files/slideshow.htm for the scanned version of the book



to be continued... #adding suspense effect#

6
General Discussions / Re: Tawrat to Musa AS
« on: September 07, 2018, 12:11:26 AM »
Hello students, Salamun Alaikum

Sorry, the question is not aimed for me, but since I am writing around this topic, maybe I could give you a little bit information. However, please notice that this is just some kind of preliminary thought. I have not entered much in this particular area. Moreover, I do not understand what Youtube guys are talking about and maybe, I assume, as well as those who don't speak Urdu. So, could you enlighten us a little bit?

I did a little research before writing this. But, since it is just a very fast research, you may want to re-research it yourself.

From what I could find, the mentioning that Moses was "given" (ātaynā) the "Scripture" (l-kitāba) is mentioned in, at least,  these verses:

11:110
17:2
23:49
25:35
28:43
32:23
41:45

Then it is explained that the "Scripture/Book" (l-kitāba) is "inherited" (wa-awrathnā) to "Children of Israil" (banī is'rāīla). It is explained in 40:53. Please note that in this verse, it is mentioned that Moses was given "guidance" (l-hudā) and the "Scripture" was inherited to the Children of Israil. Therefore, after that, the "Scripture" was given to Bani Israil (Children of Israil). This is mentioned in 45:16. Besides the "Scripture", there are (or were) also other things that have been given to Bani Israil mentioned in 45:16. You can see this in http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=45&verse=16#(45:16:1). Here is the Sahih International version of the verse:

Quote
And We did certainly give the Children of Israel the Scripture and judgement and prophethood, and We provided them with good things and preferred them over the worlds

Another thing that may be worth to note is the term "given" (ātaynā). In these verses, it is mentioned that Moses was "given" the scripture. Here, I include a phrase from 17:2 as an example: waātaynā mūsā l-kitāba (And we gave Musa the Book [the Scripture]). This is quite different from Yahya for instance; that although he is mentioned along with the "Scripture" in 19:12, the word that "links" both terms is "khudhi". In the word-to-word translation, it is translated into "hold", while multiple translators used different words to translate this Arabic word (see http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=19&verse=12 for further detail).

Now, either unfortunately or fortunately, (based on my finding) these verses do not "literally" mentioned "Taurat/Tawrat/Torah" (this is just a spelling variations, not a big deal), but simply "Scripture" (l-kitāba). The term or word Taurat ("l-tawrāta" and its variants) are "literally" mentioned in 3:3, 3:48, 3:50, 3:65, 3:93, 5:43, 5:44, 5:46, 5:66, 5:68, 5:110, 7:157, 48:29, 61:6, and 62:5.

Based on this findings (at least so far), it is actually true that the term "Taurat" (l-tawrāta) is never mentioned alongside Musa/Moses. The "Book" given to Musa/Moses is mentioned simply as "Scripture" (l-kitāba). In fact, the Arabic term "l-tawrāta" (Taurat) is actually related (several times) to the narration of Isa ibn Maryam in 3:48, 3:50, 5:46, 5:110, and 61:6.

Now, this is indeed interesting. If we pay attention to this particular matter, it is actually explained in at least two verses that Isa ibn Maryam was "taught" (whatever this might imply) both the "Scripture" and "Taurat". These verses are 3:48 and 5:110. If the grammar translation is correct, please note that in 3:48 the word used is "wayuʿallimuhu" (translated into "And He will teach Him"), while in 5:110 the word used is "ʿallamtuka" (translated into "I taught you"). Again, if the translation is correct, apparently there is a distance in "time" between the two events. However, both the "Scripture" (l-kitāba) and the "Taurat" (wal-tawrāta) are mentioned at the same time in these two verses. That could mean there are two (or even three) different Holy Books "taught" to Isa ibn Maryam. In fact, there are actually four things taught to Isa ibn Maryam informed in 3:48 and 5:110:

Quote
l-kitāba (the "Book" or "Scripture" in verses I mentioned above) wal-ḥik'mata (and [the] wisdom) wal-tawrāta (and the Taurat) wal-injīla (and the Injeel)

This is actually not surprising, since the Jews actually have some other books outside of the Torah like Biblical Hebrew or/and the Tanakh. Note: I do not know the difference between the two books, hence I use the "or/and". The Christians too are familiar with the Old and New Testament, which is likely the "Taurat" and the "Injeel" mentioned in Quran - but maybe not necessarily the "Scripture" of Moses/Musa. However, it might be a little surprising for the Muslims, because (apparently) many Muslims think "Taurat" as the "Book" given to Musa (Moses). This is the likely explanation for the common misunderstanding.

I clearly do not know to whom "Taurat" was sent down to, at least for now. However, if you follow the information provided by the Quran, you will (at the very least) find many useful information. In 5:44-45 for instance, Quran actually informs what is inside the "Taurat":

Quote
And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers (5:45)

Now, the interesting fact is that such laws (lex talionis) are also found in Code of Hammurabi. This code was rediscovered in 1901 (http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/hammurabi). There are indeed (as usual) some controversies regarding the similarity of lex talionis (an eye for an eye) between the Torah and the Code of Hammurabi. You can read one here: https://www.gotquestions.org/Moses-Hammurabi-code.html. Others simply discuss the similarities and differences between both ancient texts. You can read an example here: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7150-hammurabi if you are not lazy enough, or you can see brief presentation here: https://prezi.com/wazc-qsf-hhn/hammurabis-code-vs-torah/, which I do not recommend to get -at least- basic understanding.

Despite the controversies, the discovery of Hammurabi stele actually proves (at the very least) such laws existed a long time ago. However, since right now I am not focusing on this particular problem, I do not know whether the "things/rules" mentioned in 5:45 are also mentioned in both "Torah" and "Code of Hammurabi" or not. If the passages mentioned in "5:45" are also mentioned in "Torah" and "Code of Hammurabi", they might be connected somehow. Yet, this will need a (predictably long and deep) research between these three "Ancient Texts" - but at least we know that they are somehow connected.

Besides the brief information that I maybe should not have given right here - right now above, Quran actually has given us clear information about the possible time-range for the "Taurat" and about what happened to the "Scripture" (l-kitāba) sent down to Moses.

Although the information provided in 3:48 and 5:110 stated that God taught Isa ibn Maryam the Taurat, at least three verses of Quran inform us that the Taurat came before Isa ibn Maryam. These three verses are 3:50, 5:46, and 61:6. Well, at least that is what is implied in the translation. Since (I must admit) I do not understand Arabic, maybe you can enlighten me about this phrase:

Quote
(wa)muṣaddiqan1 limā2 bayna3 yadayya (yadayhi)4 mina5 l-tawrāti6

It is literally translated into "confirming1 that which2 (was)/(was) between3 before me/his hands/my hands4 of5 the Taurat6".

It is also explained that the Torah was sent down after Ibrahim in 3:65.  From these verses, it is actually clear that the "Taurat" was sent down after Ibrahim (3:65) but before Isa ibn Maryam (3:50, 5:46, and 61:6). There is actually another mentioning regarding "Taurat" sent down "after" Israil (is'rāīlu) in 3:93. Israil in 3:93 is interpreted as "Yaqub" (Jacob) in my Indonesian version of the Quran. Since here I try to stick with the Quran, I will let it be. You can explain it further if you wish in the comment section below. However, I hesitate to include it here because I have a little question regarding 3:93. In 3:93, it is informed that:

Quote
All food was lawful to the Children of Israel except what Israel had made unlawful to himself before the Torah was revealed


Now, the question here is that: was "Israil" still alive during the revelation of "Taurat"? This verse actually could imply two different understandings. First, that "Israil" forbade himself to eat "certain" foods until the revelation of "Taurat", which means he is still alive during the revelation of "Taurat". Or, it is "Children of Israil" who followed Israil in forbiding "certain" foods until the revelation of "Taurat", which could imply the revelation itself happened far after the time of "Israil". These are two different understandings. However, please understand that this is just a question not an interpretation. Please enlighten me regarding this particular problem.

Besides explaining the possible timeline, Quran actually also provides us with information about what happened to the "Tablet" (l-alwāḥi - as explained in 7:145) given to Moses/Musa. So far, I have found several verses regarding this particular information and try to place it into what apparently chronological order of the narration itself:

Quote
6.154: Then We gave Moses the Scripture [l-kitāba], making complete [Our favor] upon the one who did good and as a detailed explanation of all things and as guidance and mercy that perhaps in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord they would believe - Sahih International

Quote
7.145: And We wrote for him on the tablets [l-alwāḥi] [something] of all things - instruction and explanation for all things - Sahih International

Quote
7.150: And when Moses returned to his people, angry and grieved, he said, "How wretched is that by which you have replaced me after [my departure]. Were you impatient over the matter of your Lord?" And he threw down the tablets [l-alwāḥa] and seized his brother by [the hair of] his head, pulling him toward him- Sahih International

Quote
7.169: And there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture [l-kitāba] [while] taking the commodities of this lower life and saying, "It will be forgiven for us." And if an offer like it comes to them, they will [again] take it. Was not the covenant of the Scripture taken from them that they would not say about Allah except the truth, and they studied what was in it? And the home of the Hereafter is better for those who fear Allah , so will you not use reason? - Sahih International

Quote
28.48: But when the truth came to them from Us, they said, "Why was he not given like that which was given to Moses?" Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Moses before? They said, "[They are but] two works of magic supporting each other, and indeed we are, in both, disbelievers. - Sahih International

Quote
6.91: And they did not appraise Allah with true appraisal when they said, " Allah did not reveal to a human being anything." Say, "Who revealed the Scripture [l-kitāba] that Moses brought as light and guidance to the people? You [Jews] make it into pages (parchments) [qarāṭīsa], disclosing [some of] it and concealing much. And you were taught that which you knew not - neither you nor your fathers." Say, " Allah [revealed it]." Then leave them in their [empty] discourse, amusing themselves - Sahih International

Quote
42.14: And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture [l-kitāba] after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt - Sahih International

Now, if you follow these verses in Quran, you will see several historical information that actually explains within verses of Quran. The original form of the Book of Moses for instance, is explained in 7:145 and 7:150. The content is explained in 6:154, while the content of the "Taurat" is explained separately in 5:44-45. And, what happened to this "Scripture" is explained further in 7:169 and 6:91. As the consequence, the people who inherited this "Book" are (still) or were (at least some point in time) actually "in doubt" (42:14) or even "disbelieve" (28:48) in it. The "fate" of the "Scripture" given to Moses is actually clearly explained in Quran - and that "fate" happened as the result of the action conducted by "Its" (the "Book") own people. Hopefully, this will give us (the people of Quran) a very good lesson.

Until this point, the conclusion is still the same that the mentioning of the "Book" given to Moses/Musa is not "Taurat" ("l-tawrāta") in these verses, but rather the "Scripture" (l-kitāba). The question is: are there two different "Books"?

Well, Allah knows best regarding this particular matter and we don't know anything, except what is explained in the Quran itself!

A little bit additional information, besides "Scripture" (l-kitāba), there are also the mentioning of the Arabic word "ṣuḥufi" of Musa (Moses) in at least two verses 53:36 and 87:19. Unfortunately, the translations are not quite consistent. In Indonesian version of the Quran, "ṣuḥufi" is translated into "lembaran-lembaran" (or roughly translated "pages") in 53:36, while the same word is translated into "Kitab" (Scripture) in 87:19. In Corpus.Quran.com, the word "ṣuḥufi" is simply translated into "Scriptures" in word-to-word translation. In 53:36, Sahih International and Shakir use "Scriptures" in translating this word, while Pickthall, Yusuf Ali use "Books" (in plural) and Sarwar use "Book" (singular). Only Mohsin uses "Pages" with the word "Scripture" in bracket and Arberry uses "Scrolls". For 87:19, most translators use the word "Scriptures". Only Pickthall and Yusuf Ali use the word "Books" and Arberry is consistent in using "Scrolls".

By the way, if you Google the web, there are information about "Suhufi Musa", which is translated into "Scrolls of Moses"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrolls_of_Moses. I, based on the information presented in 7:145, don't think this "Suhufi" is a "scroll" at all. How do you "scroll" a "Tablet" - preferably, one made from stone? There are many examples of ancient Stone Tablets. You can see the example here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Hebrew or the general understanding here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablets_of_Stone. Please notice, I do not say those are the "Tablet" mentioned in Quran; those are just examples I include to make you easier in understanding what a stone tablet is (sometimes, I do really have to give this kind of explanation to avoid some unintentionally misunderstanding).

If we think it through, the basic question would be: why these two verses use the word "Suhufi" instead of "l-kitāba"?. Does it have something to do with the mentioning of "Ibrahim/Abraham" related to both verses? Or, does it emphasize on different things? Now, since I do not know what are the meanings (plural) of this word, I cannot say much. Yet, if this Arabic word can be translated into "pages", it is quite intriguing to think that apparently there is more than one Tablet (l-alwāḥi) that were given to Moses/Musa (and possibly Ibrahim/Abraham) based on 7:145. I simply think maybe "Suhufi" here simply means "more than one Tablet" or "pages of (stone) Tablet". Again, the point of reference would be information given in 7:145. However, this would depend on the meanings of the word "ṣuḥufi" itself - I could be wrong tho :P.

Well, this turns out to be *unexpectedly* very-very long explanation... I am sorry for that. However, please remember this is actually my quick research. Thus, I really expect we can further develop this together. And, please note that this kind of information is not supposed to divide us; so what if it turns out the "Scripture" and "Taurat" are two different Books? So what if it turns out to be the same Book? God already gave us the Quran... So?

Please understand, that this kind of information is supposed to be made as a starting point of further research that will give benefit for both Islam and Jews alike and -the most important thing- lesson for us to not repeat the same mistake ever again! I hope the information I presented here not merely to be made into some sort of argument to claim who is right and who is wrong! This is so uncalled for! Unless we are determined to clarify this "misinformation" about the "Scripture" given to Moses, I don't think we should bring this into some unnecessary arguments to separate us further from our own brothers and sisters. It would be an empty "discourse" to satisfy our own pleasure, but not necessarily "disclose" the truth veiled within the mist of time.

Please, try to understand it (or maybe I should make it easier... poor me for this  :-[).

In the end, I hope this information is useful for you and any further researches for the benefit of us all. All the mistakes you found in here are solely my fault - my responsibility. All that are good must be coming from Quran. So, don't stop learning Quran  :D I personally hope this information is permanently attached in this forum so people can either add information that I failed to notice from the Quran or simply criticize it. But, that is not a decision for me to made.

I guess that's it for me now or until I find something else. Hopefully, you find useful things from this writing. I hope you have a nice day 8)



Salamun Alaikum,



From: Ocyid, Your Indonesian friend  ;D

7
General Discussions / Re: The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« on: August 15, 2018, 05:06:39 AM »
can anyone inform me how to modify my writing?

since i cannot modify it.

Thank you

8
General Discussions / Re: The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« on: August 15, 2018, 04:29:14 AM »
Further Readings:

This is the reference that I used in this writing. Yet, since I copied this from Word, this reference will trouble you a bit. I just hope it is worthy. I have the MS Word version. Yet, since I do not know where to upload, I apparently cannot share it with you here.

1.Wikipedia page about “Aten” with the source mentioned Redford, Donald (1984). Akhenaten: The Heretic King. Princeton University Press. pp. 170–172. ISBN 0-691-03567-9. Being honest, I have my own limitation to see the original source and thus need more information about it to conclude whether the word “Aten” is a translation which has guidance or it is an interpretation because it is simply pictured with shining circle. The understanding of it will make everything clear. Therefore, any information about where I could read the book for free is much appreciated. Regards, Ocyid.
2. https://katherinestange.com/egypt/hymn2.htm
3. http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=112 I use the Sahih International version in this quotes.
4. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/
5.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/index.htm
6.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm
7.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10121.htm
8.https://www.jstor.org/stable/1062566?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
9.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=N7LOZfwCDpEC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=5#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
10.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=DH0vmD8ghdMC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=4#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
11.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=g6FsB3psOTIC&pg=PA504&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
12.https://books.google.co.id/books?redir_esc=y&id=OgMmceadQ3gC&q=prajapati#v=snippet&q=prajapati&f=false

13.https://www.jstor.org/stable/1062566?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
14.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm
15.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm
16.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=N7LOZfwCDpEC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=5#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
17.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=g6FsB3psOTIC&pg=PA504&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
18.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=DH0vmD8ghdMC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=4#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
19.Bernard Ellis Lewis and Buntzie Ellis Churchill, Islam: The Religion and the People (https://books.google.co.id/books?id=IVyMAvW9slYC&source=gbs_navlinks_s)
20.https://rejuvenasiakal.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/agama-hindu-berasal-dari-islam/ with the source mentioned Jesse Russel & Ronald Cohn (2012). Anacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages,Nations and Religions, Book Of Demand, Jilid 1, hlm 396
21.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm


I hope nothing but the best for you, may peace be with you.


Salamun Alaikum,
With Regards



Ocyid

9
General Discussions / Re: The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« on: August 15, 2018, 04:28:46 AM »
The Lessons from The Translations of The Quran

If we pay attention, the words-to-words Quran and the so-called “translation” usually would be different. The so-called “translation” of the Quran is actually the “end product” of the translation process itself, in which the final process is to make the source texts “readable” in the target language. Therefore, some “adjustments” may be needed. This is common or even natural in the process of translation – mostly to the language with different grammatical rules. However, maybe not many people are aware that by doing so, this final stage of “readability” is actually already included the process of interpretation. This is why the translation of Quran is different between translators, because every translators has their own interpretations regarding the source texts that they read. Once more, this is natural in the process of translation or even in the reading process itself: every readers will have different understanding even if they read the same book. It would highly depends on the background of the readers themselves. The thing is that we may want to focus more on what is actually mentioned in the Quran itself. Therefore, if it is possible, words-to-words translation would be a great addition to any translations of the Quran. So, every readers of Quran would know what is actually mentioned in the source text and what is “supplementary” to make the source text “readable” in the target language.

Most people must be aware by now that additional information within the verses of Quran are usually put inside a bracket or “()” symbol in the Quran. Yet, what most people might not realize is that the final translation of the Quran itself is actually already involved the process of interpretation, in which the deep but wide meanings within the Words of All-Knowing God is simply understood by limited humans’ minds. Humans, no matter how much knowledge we have, are bonded with our very limited understanding. This, actually, has been implied in Al Baqarah (2) 255: we know nothing about what is in front and behind us. All we know is strictly limited by the time and space – and, most importantly, by what He wills. For me, this limitation of mankind, or even creatures, is actually the very essential and most fundamental value within the revelation of Quran itself or in my humble term simply; the human in humans (as it has been implied within the Ar Rum (30) 30). Thus, again, words-for-words translations of the Quran are essentially required to know exactly what is really mentioned within the Quran itself and how the translators interpret them in the target language.

The easiest way to see the whole process of translation is actually by seeing your own translated version of the Quran and its words-to-words translation (if any) to prove it yourself. However, my recommendation would be the website http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp. In that website, you can click the Arabic to see the words-to-words translation. By comparing the words-to-words translations and also each translations of the Quran, you will see the "basic" difference between a “translation” and “interpretation”. This also concludes that within any process of translation, the involvement of interpretation is actually something natural. Therefore, the word-to-word translation or the translation of each linguistic elements present to the source texts would be a crucial point in understanding the Quran or any so-called sacred texts.

The False Name of God

In the 10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda, the “name” of Sole God - with none other besides Him - is mentioned as “Pragâpati” or “Prajāpati” (the Lord of Creatures). Again, if the original text does literally mention such a concept, the text itself is actually a proof that the God or at least the concept of Oneness of God in Islam is actually already known since a long time ago. It also means the God or at least the concept is known by the Hindus. However, the language used in the Rig Veda is not Arabic but Sanskrit. Thus, the “linguistic element” used to represent The God or The Creator is not “Allah” but rather “Pragâpati” or “Prajāpati”. This understanding that "Allah" is only a linguistic element to represent "The God" in Arabic not an exclusive name is actually very crucial in finding the truth of Quran. Thus, God explains that
Quote
We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people (Ibrahim or chapter 14, verse 4)
. Now, why don't we use this information to find His other "Names" in ancient texts? This is actually why I wrote this very long article. You can see the original text or the Sanskrit of Mandala X Hymn 121 in www.Sacred-Texts.com (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rvsan/rv10121.htm).

I know this finding will have its own controversy, mostly because “Pragâpati” or “Prajāpati” has His own statue, while the concept of God in Islam does not have any forms – mostly not in the form of a human. The thing that we might want to put in mind is that anything could have happened during the course of many centuries. Things like a human became the son of God or the name of a human elevated equally to the name of God do happen in the course of time.

There is actually a logical explanation for the statue itself, either it is an ancient misconception for the depiction of the Creator and Sustainer of the heaven and earth (Rig Veda 10:121 verses 1, 5, 6, and 9)  or there was something happening over a very long-long time. Please note that when I stated “misconception” I did not state it in a disrespectful manner. However, if Prajāpati is the ancient “name” or more precisely “reference” of God in Islam, Prajāpati or the Lord of Creatures (or if I may, the Creator) is simply far too great for any humans’ minds can comprehend. It is actually based on respect and awareness that Islamic people do not depict The God, since God is simply beyond us all. I do have the same respect for Prajāpati who in the first verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 is mentioned “He alone was the lord of all” . Thus, depicting such an Absolutely Powerful Lord with my limited mind would be far beyond my own or any other humans’ capability as nothing more but a human. In my respect of His Greatness, I see that depicting Prajāpati as the Lord of Creatures would be a “misconception”. I apologize if you find this offensive. However, this view does not come from “disrespect” but rather “a deep respect”. Surely, there would be different views about this. I just hope you will understand my motive regarding this particular matter.

Other possible explanation is that the depiction of Prajāpati in the form of statue is a result of the time itself. Williams in Handbook of Hindu Mythology (2008) writes that the supremacy of Prajâpati was taken over by Brahma and later Brahma was replaced by Vishnu and Siva. This has been “subcontracting creation to first seven, then ten, and finally twenty-one or more Prajâpatis, of whom Brahmâ was seen as one” (page 235) . Since Prajāpati was taken over by Brahmâ, Prajāpati often refers to Brahma in later literature followed by Shiva and Vishnu. This is why Prajāpati can also refer to Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu in later Hindu practice (Lochtefeld, 2001. Page 519) . Moreover, according to Roshen Dalal in Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide (2010) there are also “several others referred to as Prajāpati in Mahabharata and Puranas” (page 311) . Still according to Dalal, there are even groups of Prajapatis, which were the descendants of the God Brahma mentioned in Puranas and other texts. From this information, it can be deduced that there is a possibility where the statue of Prajâpati might actually not have been a depiction of Him, but rather a depiction of other Gods referred to as Him. Yet, during a long course of time, the statue itself was started to be referred to as Him. This is possible. However, to make sure about it, a further study will be needed. Now, if we take Quran as a point of reference, the event itself might actually have been mentioned in At Tawbah (9) 31. You may want to read the verse yourself.

Based on the explanation above, Quran actually could be used as a point of reference in finding other “names” of God in ancient texts. We just have to follow the characteristics of the God being mentioned in Quran – especially His Supreme Oneness characteristic. We just have to see beyond the linguistic elements used as tools in delivering meanings. This is actually the method implied in Ibrahim (14) verse 4. Moreover, if we look closely, the verses in Quran actually could be used to explain the history itself. We just have to keep our eyes and minds open and keep learning about Quran and the world itself. This is how we will understand the truth in Quran. The thing that we should remember is other religions will have their own views. Therefore, there would be a lot of views, whereas the view used here is from Quranic point of view. This is why this method is called The Quranic Versions; in which the history in general is explained through the verses of Quran.

The Vedas (or here mostly the Mandala X Hymn 121 in Rig Veda), for instance, might be a very important ancient texts for Islam itself. In a blog Rejuvenasiakal.wordpress.com, some young people from Malaysia wrote about “Agama Hindu berasal dari Islam?” (roughly translated “Does Hindu Religion came from Islam?”). Now, before the title inciting any misunderstanding for the Hindus, Islam here means “to surrender oneself, to commit or resign oneself to the will of God” (Lewis and Churchill, 2008) . The word “Islam” used in the article actually refers to its meaning rather than the religion or "the people of the Quran". If I can take it roughly, the title actually implies that Hindus is essentially a religion that leads to the way to “salvation”, just like the Christian, Jewish, and “Islam” essentially are. I believe people in this forum can explain this matter more than me. This explanation is merely a just-in-case scenario for those who might misunderstand about the tittle – which may often happen.

Within the article written in Melayunese language, it is explained that there is possibility where Brahma is actually Ibrahim (Abraham) being mentioned in Quran. This explanation could be found under the subsection “Tuhan Brhama itu Ibrahim a.s?” (sic).  It could be roughly translated as “Is God Brahma Ibrahim AS?”. In this subsection, there is an explanation about the etymology of Abraham from the word “Ab” or “Ap”, which means “father” in Kashmir, and “Ram”. It is stated in that site that “the prototypical Jews will call Ram “Ab-Ram” or “father Ram”. It is also explained further in that page that the word “Brahm” (sic) is derived from the word “Ab-Ram” and not the vice versa. I personally believe that it could be the other way around. Unfortunately, I cannot contact the site owner to verify or clarify this. Honestly, I have not conducted my own research regarding this matter, so I cannot say anything further about it. You may want to contact the site owner for further explanation, since I failed to reach them. However, if Prajāpati (the “name” of the One Supreme God mentioned in Rig Veda) is indeed The Absolute One God mentioned in Quran, then there is a chance that Brahma is indeed the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) mentioned in the Quran. It will also explains why Prajāpati appears late in the Vedas, why Prajâpati was the Supreme Entity and the father of Gods during the time of Brahmanas (George M Williams, 2008), and why Mandala X Hymn 121 is about "sacrifice". Maybe, only Quran that can explain this. However, I must warn you that before further study is conducted, this shall not be made into a final conclusion. I too want to be right about this, but the truth should always come from evidences - not a mere argument. Therefore, you may want to look up the ancient texts during the time of the Brahmanas. There, you will find the truth.

This is actually my whole point in reminding Mr Joseph of his article “‘ALLAH’ IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE NAME FOR GOD”. It is true that the name of “Allah” is simply a linguistic element in Arabic that represent the concept of God itself. Therefore, it is equivalent with God in English, Tuhan in Indonesian, Dios in Spanish, Dieu in French and such. However, when Mr. Joseph started to enter specific “name of God”, preferably those who are mentioned in other Holy Books, maybe –just maybe- there is actually a better method to confirm it. Remember that these specific “names” such as Krishna, Khuda, Yahweh, Elohim, Adi Purush (Timeless being); Para Brahman (The absolute Truth), El, Eli, Eloi, and Jehovah are bonded with historical background, which in the end creates religious understanding. Without checking the historical background, I do think it would be quite risky and reckless. Sure, Para Brahman might be known as “The Absolute Truth” nowadays, but did it really refer to “The God” itself a long time ago? Time can really change many things. Therefore, a little precautions and background study might be required to determine whether it is a “reference” of God or something else. There is actually another lesson that can be learned from the Rig Veda Mandala X Hymn 121 as it is explained by Max Müller in Vedic Hymns. You can read it in www.sacred-texts.com.

Ka

In his note about the 10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121, Max Müller mentions about a misunderstanding in viewing the pronoun “Ka”, which means “who”. Müller explains that since “the authors of the Brâhmanas had so completely broken with the past that, forgetful of the poetical character of the hymns, and the yearning of the poets after the unknown god, they exalted the interrogative pronoun into a deity,' and acknowledged a god 'Ka, or Who’”. Müller further explains that the Brâhmans actually have invented “a God” named “Ka”. Thus, “in the later Sanskrit literature of the Purânas, Ka appears as a recognised god, as the supreme god, with a genealogy of his own, perhaps even with a wife; and that in the Laws of Manu, one of the recognised forms of marriage, generally known by the name of Pragâpati-marriage, occurs under the monstrous title of 'Kâya'”.

This explanation given by Max Müller could be a good example or even hard evidence of Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23 in the Quran. Müller explanation is also the reason why we may want to be very cautious in mentioning “specific reference” of God, mostly those who are mentioned in other sacred books or ancient texts. However, it does not necessarily some “names” of God in ancient texts are not the ancient “names” of Islamic God. It is just that these “names” of God mentioned in other sacred books or ancient texts must fit the characteristics of God as they are mentioned in Quran – mostly His Absolute Oneness character.

They are actually some benefits in applying this method for us. It can improve our knowledge or understanding about history or other religions. It can show us the truth that other ancient texts have already mentioned similar concept as it has been informed in Quran even far before the Christian Bible. But, for me, the most important thing is that we will know the “names” of God in the ancient time. As I am a believer of His Exalted Authority, these “names” are very important to me – no matter how people often laugh and underestimate me for this. For me, these “names” actually the evidence of the truth within Quran itself.

Again, Mr. Joseph is right that God Himself is far beyond our limited capability to understand. Thus, essentially, He simply cannot be represented by any linguistic elements. Therefore, when He sent us His words through His prophet including His Beautiful Names, there must be a very good reason behind it. Allah is the All-Acquainted (Al Khabir/Khobiiro ) after all. This is also what makes me believe that the verses Mr. Joseph mentioned 017:110 and 007.180 are actually still within the context, which is the Quran itself - not out of it.

I do not say there are 99 Names of Him, since I haven’t counted them. I personally count His Names that are mentioned together as one name, not separately. Now, the question is: how if we use His Beautiful Names mentioned in Quran for our benefits, like to search His other “names” in the timeline of history?

Can this be proven?

Sure! Why not?

There is a way to prove it by using the same method. If we look deeper in the historical timeline, there is actually another ancient text that already mentioned Beautiful Names of God within the Quran in an extinct language several hundred years before the Bible – an ancient text that might often be forgotten by us: the Avestan Gathas. However, since the Avestan Gathas are quite long than "The great Hymn to the Aten" and "Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda", I will need more time to prepare it.

In the end, I apologize if there are some "inappropriate" things in my writing or if you find this offensive, as I have no intention to do so. Please remember that any mistakes I made in this writing is mine alone as a limited being. Yet, if this turns out to be truth, please remember that it is Quran that tells you the truth. I am among you who know this kind of truth from the Quran. Therefore, please read your Quran and try to understand its messages. And you will see even more than this piece of writing.

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General Discussions / The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« on: August 15, 2018, 04:26:35 AM »
This writing is a continuation from my previous post in this forum http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2598.0. The topic is about to find the "names" of God in ancient texts/scriptures. In the previous post, I explained how language actually works and the importance of understanding that "Allah is NOT an Exclusive Name of God". In this post, I will show you one example of ancient text where the concept of One Supreme God was actually already mentioned far before the Quran, only not in Arabic language.

Until this point, we know that humans have been endowed with linguistic capability to make them able to give “names” to things as it has been explained in Al Baqarah (2) 30-33. Unfortunately, “name” itself is still too general to trace the “other names” of God in ancient time. Every culture might have their own label for the abstract concept of “God”. Thus, we need to be more specific in finding "The God” we are looking for. Therefore, this time we will look for the “characteristics of God” being mentioned in Quran to know "The God" we are actually looking for. Here, we simply go beyond the surface forms into the level of meanings but not necessarily reach the level of interpretation itself.

“The Great Hymn to the Aten”

I previously have given the example of Aten, the monotheistic God of ancient Egypt in this forum http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2587.msg13402#msg13402. If we only look to the “name” of the God itself or “Aten”, we might not be able to determine whether Aten is the “other names of God” in ancient Egypt or it is not. It could simply be a general “label” for the underlying concept of “God” or even “Gods”, not necessarily The God being mentioned in Quran. This is not enough to determine whether “Aten” is other “name” or more precisely “reference” for God that we are looking for. “Aten” itself actually means “disc” , which makes it seem like the name “Aten” does not have any relation with the God being mentioned in Quran. However, if we dig deeper on the history of Aten itself, there is a hymn for the “Aten” called “The Great Hymn to the Aten” . In this hymn-poem, there are similarities between these hymns with verses in Quran. The clearest one would be the third line of the sixth paragraph which states “O sole god, like whom there is no other!”. This line is the same with Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4: “ Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One” and “ Nor is there to Him any equivalent.".

Not only on that particular line, there are other conceptual similarities between verses in the Great Hymn to the Aten with Quran as I have explained in the previous writing. Surely, deeper analysis is needed. This is actually why I am writing this essay: to invite others who are interested in this field of study to work together in order to reveal the truth about the past, since I do have my own limitation. Nonetheless, if the Great Hymn to Aten is indeed authentic text from the ancient time and its translation is correct, there is a possibility "Aten" is another “name” of God in another language, as it has been explained in Ibrahim (14) verse 4.

From the above explanation, it is actually quite clear that the things we really need in order to discover other “names” of God far before the revelation of Quran is actually the characteristics of the God itself, as they are being mentioned in multiple verses of Quran. Like the name or precisely reference of “Aten” above, the “name” itself cannot be used to conclude whether Aten is the other name of God or not, but His “Oneness” characteristic as it has been mentioned in the sixth paragraph line three is undeniable evident that “Aten” is the other name of God based on the information provided by Quran (Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4). This is actually the method of Quranic version; to use the information provided by the Quran to find the historical evidences of verses within the Quran itself. Since this method heavily rely on the Quran itself to find the historical evidences of its own verses, it can be said that this method is simply provided by the Quran by using the method implied in the Quran to prove the verses within the Quran itself.

Now, can this really work?

Yes and –to tell you the truth- it is actually quite easy, even a man like me can do my own independence research to implement this method. Only when I try to prove this, I will need help, since I do have my own limitations. Unfortunately, not many people understand or even care to even pay attention about how important this is. Therefore, I have not been able to give any hard evidences that I need to prove the effectiveness of this method. But, again, it does not mean it cannot be proven. The “name” of Aten is one of the possibility. Therefore, by using the same method, it is actually possible for us to find other “names” of God by looking deeper into other ancient texts and compare these texts with the Holy Quran itself. Based on my finding, other concepts of the Supreme One God can be found in at least two other ancient texts. These two ancient texts are the Vedic and the Avestan Gathas.


Rig Veda: Mandala X Hymn 121

The Rig Veda is the oldest of the four Vedas. It is estimated that this ancient text “was composed about 1500 B.C., and codified about 600 B.C” . In one of the Vedic Hymns by Max Müller (1891) , there is a Hymn to the Unknown God, which is Mandala X Hymn 121. In this Hymn, the concept of One Supreme God is mentioned. From my finding, the Oneness of God can literally be found at least in the 1st, 3rd, and 8th verse. Now, the more interesting thing that I found is actually in the 10th verse. In the 10th verse, the “name of God” mentioned is “Pragâpati” (Prajapati). Here, I will quote three translations I could find from  Max Muller along with J Muir  and Ralph T.H. Griffith  (1896). These translations are from Internet Sacred Text Archive:

   Muller : Pragâpati, no other than thou embraces all these created things. May that be ours which we desire when sacrificing to thee: may we be lords of wealth!
   Muir :   Pragâpati, no other than thou is lord over all these created things: may we obtain that, through desire of which we have invoked thee: may we become masters of riches.
   Griffith: Prajāpati! Thou only comprehendest all these created things, and none beside thee. Grant us our hearts' desire when we invoke thee: may we have store of riches in possession.

As you can see from the three translations above, the same concept of One God as it has been mentioned in Al Ikhlas (112) 1 and 4 has already been mentioned by this ancient sacred text – just like it has also been mentioned in “The Great Hymn to The Aten”. Even though so, the “name” or the linguistic element used to represent the concept of “God“ is not “Allah”, but “Pragâpati” or “Prajapati”. In its Wikipedia page, it is explained that “Prajapati (Sanskrit: प्रजापति) is a compound of "praja" (creation, procreative powers) and "pati" (lord, master)” with the source mentioned: Jan Gonda (1982), The Popular Prajāpati, History of Religions, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Nov., 1982), University of Chicago Press, pp. 137-141. Unfortunately, I cannot read the detail in Jstor.org . Hence, I cannot make it as a source, but rather an information only. Maybe, you can check the information yourself. And, if you are kind enough, maybe you could provide me with the detail – only if you will.

Not only Jan Gonda, there are several other books that discuss about Prajapati. In Handbook of Hindu Mythology (2008) By George M. Williams, Prajâpati “was first a Vedic God (Deva) of real importance, only to be reduced over the centuries to the function of a group (rank) of Gods” (page 234) . Moreover, Williams mentions that Prajâpati was the Supreme Entity and the father of Gods during the time of Brahmanas until “His supremacy was taken over by Brahma”. Roshen Dalal in Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide (2010) wrote that Prajapati in Rig Veda is “praised as the creator of heaven and earth, of the waters and of all that lives, of the one God above all other Gods” (page 311) . Similar with Williams, Dalal also mentions that Prajapati was replaced by Brahma, which is why in the later literature “Prajapati often refers to Brahma”. Still according to Dalal, Shiva and Vishnu are sometimes also called Prajapati. Moreover, several other Gods in Mahabarata and Puranas are also referred to as Prajapati. This group of Gods is called “Prajapatis” (Prajapatayah). Similar information can be found in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 2 by James G. Lochtefeld, Ph.D. (2001). Although appearing late in the Vedas, Prajapati is “described as the creator of the universe and is considered superior to the Vedic deities” (page 518) . Moreover, Lochtefeld also mentions that “Prajapati can also be used to refer to the God Brahma, as fashioner of the universe, or the Gods Vishnu or Shiva, as the universe’s supreme deities” in later Hindu practice. Based on these information, Prajapati is apparently the Supreme God with none others besides Him before He became only as a reference for other Gods.

A little note, there is actually other explanation in Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Constance Jones and James D. Ryan (2006). In their book, there is an explanation about Prajapati “being identified with the cosmic Purusha, the source of all reality” (page 332) . In page 338, there is an explanation about how Purusha began to be called as Prajapati. Unfortunately, I cannot see the content of this book. So, the best thing I can do is to put this information here. Hopefully, this information will be very useful for those who are interested with this matter more. Even though so, I personally hope someone will help me to read this book.

In the internet, there are many explanations and interpretations given about “Prajapati” or the Lord of Creatures (Williams, 2008 and Lochtefeld, 2001) or Lord of All Born Being (Jones and Ryan, 2006) or Lord of Living Creatures (Jan Gonda, History of Religions, 1982. Page 129) . Surely, these various interpretations are something natural for a text that has been existing for more than 2000 years. However, if the text is authentic, the translation is correct, and the original text does mention about the Oneness of “Prajapati” in 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 10th verse of the hymn, Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rigveda could be a linguistic evidence that the God (or at least the concept of One God) in Islam is actually also known by the Hindus – only linguistic element used to represent the concept of “the God” is different. This, by itself, also proves the explanation given by Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every prophets was sent in the language of their own people, not Arabic. And, also by itself, it shows that Allah is NOT an exclusive name, but rather a linguistic element to represent "The God" Himself. Surely, this is an initial research and not a final conclusion; a further study is needed. However, this proves that if we look deeper than the “label” or the linguistic elements used to represent God in spoken or written language, we can actually find the same underlying concepts as they are narrated in Quran within other ancient texts.

Once again, there would be a lot of interpretations regarding “Prajapati” and it is actually natural for a text that has been around for more than a millennium. Therefore, the authenticity of the text and the accuracy of the translation would need to be confirmed and proven. When the authenticity of the text and the accuracy of the translation can be confirmed -no matter what the interpretations are- the linguistic elements existing within the text itself is enough to be the evidences. Please remember that anybody can interpret anything, yet we simply have to focus on what is mentioned in the text itself. Quran would be a good example of this.

11
Salamun Alaikum brother

i wrote something about this, so if I may answer the answer would be: Yes.

The Quran is actually intended to be a message, in which we, or the readers, are supposed to know the meaning of the Arabic of the Quran itself. Quran is sent down in Arabic because the language of the prophet is Arabic. This is clearly mentioned in Fussilat (41st chapter) verse 44. Some other verses also support this verse Ash-Shura or Asy-Syura (Chapter 42 ) verse 7, Maryam (19) verse 97, and Ad Dukhan (44) 58.

By knowing this, we know now that the rest of the verse in which “Arabic language” is mentioned initially is addressed to the prophet or the Arabic people at that time. In Quran these verses that mentioned “Arabic language” (with the exception verses that has been discussed above) are: Yusuf (Ch.12) verse 11, Ar Rad (13) 37, Ta-Ha (20) 113, Ash-Shu’araa/Asy-Syua’ara (26) 195, Az Zumar (39) 28, Ha-Mim/Fussilat (41) 44, and Az-Zukhruf (43) 3.

There are actually two other verses that explicitly mention about “Arabic language”, which are An Nahl (16) 103 and Al Ahqaf (35) 12. However, these two verses give different emphasis from the rest of the verses in which Arabic language are mentioned in it. In An Nahl 103, the emphasis is in denying the accusation that Quran was made by Prophet Muhammad by learning it from other people. Meanwhile, Al Ahqaf 12 explains that Quran is the book that confirmed the scripture that was sent down to Musa (Moses) the prophet. It should be noted that although this verse (Al Ahqaf 12) explained that Quran is indeed the Book confirming the Scripture of Moses the prophet, yet it is also explained that it is confirmed by using Arabic-language. This implies that the Scripture/Book of Moses might not have been sent down in Arabic. Thus, this information is consistent with the information in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every prophet (or messengers) spoke the language of their people.

Language here, and in any act of communication, actually only play the role of a "bridge" to deliver meaning. Therefore, any messengers were sent in the language of their own people as it has been explained in 4th verse of Ibrahim (14th).

Now, you actually have two different questions:

1. does the Quran transcend the language barrier?
and 2. do we rely on God?

These are two different matters.

The answer of the question no. 1 is simple: it was supposed to. But, then again, Quran is a medium in which it is passive; the way any books is. A book is nothing more than a medium to record and "transfer" information between the writer and the readers. The one that is supposed to be active is the humans. We are actually the one that is supposed to be active and take the lessons from the Quran itself. Thus, as the non-Arabic language speakers, we must see it beyond the language of the Quran or the Arabic itself. If you want to see the whole point of the revelation of Quran itself, you may want to look up the Al Qamar chapter (chapter 54) mainly these verses: 15, 17, 22, 32, 40, and 51.

Now, by understanding question number 1, we will be able to answer question no. 2: is there any in this planet that can be relied on but God?

There is a deep and very long explanation concerning the 2nd question. It simply could not be answered by yes and no or brief explanation. Yet, the most vital point will go back to us: do we really understand how it works?

By understanding the Quran, we are expected to understand that, in the end, God is the Only One that makes the final decision for our own good through His Wisdom. This is why "muslims" is said to be "those who submitted to the Will of God" (CMIIW). The thing we should do is that we try our best as it is implied in 2:134, 141, 13:42, 14:51, 6:158, 17:19, 20: 15, 25:47, and some more verses. But then again, how do we try our best if we do not even know where we are going? It would be like driving without Google map in unfamiliar or foreign road. Therefore, the thing that we should do in the first place is simply trying to understand the Quran or the "map" itself. This is what I believe most people in this forum trying to do; they try to understand the map itself.

This is the conclusion I get by trying to understand the Quran itself. So, my answer would be:
1. Yes, but we are the one that should be active in overcoming that language barrier
2. Well, by finding the answer of no.1, I believe you would be able to answer this question yourself.

This is my humble opinion. I apologize for any mistakes I made. It would be my own limitation as an ordinary humans. But whatever good you find in my writings, those must come from the Quran. You may want to study and understand it, because it is truly interesting.

My Regards


Salamun Alaikum

12
General Discussions / Re: The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts
« on: August 14, 2018, 03:35:05 AM »
Salamun Alaikum Mr. Hamzeh,


First of all, I am happy someone actually read my writing, since not many people do so. I really am appreciate it so much  :D

I do understand what you are trying to say Mr. Hamzeh and I think it is a good critic for my own improvement. I thank you for that. Here, I do not put it into the state of right or wrong, but rather a point of view that comes from my own mistake of posting a half-done article. I apologize for any inconvenience. Yet, if I post the whole article it would be quite long and possibly nobody wants to read it.

I will start this discussion with the first verse of your article to answer our own wonder about language itself:

Quote
30:22 And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Lo! herein indeed are portents for men of knowledge.

The verse above indeed states that among His signs are "the differences of our language and colours". It is true. However, it does not show us how we can be differed in languages and colours. Therefore, there are almost unlimited possibilities to answer: how come there are so many languages and colours in the world?

Sure, not all of that question can be answered for sure - it can be only answered with assumptions and hypotheses without certainty. Yet, concerning language, the answer is actually given in the next verse that you provide:

Quote
2:31 And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.

I gave full explanation about this in my two previous writings that might be too long and (maybe) boring if I include it here. Thus, I will use your statement to show this so-called method:

Quote
How we are able to communicate and adapt to words and voices from young children and describe emotions and things is very amazing.

If we truly want to know "how", Quran actually already answers this through its verse above: by teaching  :D

If we want to pay attention to how we actually "teach" our children how to speak, we are actually simply "naming" things for him/her to repeat. We simply "point out" the thing and "pronounce" the linguistic element that represent the object itself. If the baby is facing towards us as his/her father, we will pronounce or say "daddy". If the mother is present, we will "point to her" and say "mommy". If a cute little creature with heavy fur and four legs that we make as a pet appear, we point the "thing" out and say "cat" and so on. As well as action, when the baby starts to walk and able to jump, we also repeat the same process. When he/she starts to move forward with his/her feet, we repeatedly and often unconsciously say "walk", for instance. When he/she pushes his/her body with his/her tiny leg upward, we call it "jump" and so on. I personally is still single, so this is what I observe. Those who have children might have even better examples.

This method is actually the implementation and development of foreign language learning in early years of children's development, which turns out to be the nature of language itself: to use linguistic elements, or words, to represent the real-life object or action either concrete or abstract. It is the same thing in which pictures are used to describe the "objects" or "actions" represent by the "linguistic elements" or words for preschool or elementary children. Surely, the more we know about the world, the more we desire to know the "names" of "objects" we found in the world and pictures either cannot comply the demands or too complicated in representing the real-life objects or actions. Hence, those pictures are replaced by "definitions" just like in Thesaurus.

"Naming" might seem like a simple action, yet it actually underlying the nature of language itself. Language teaching through the means of "naming" things also might seem simple. But in reality, this is how we teach language to our children. Anybody can observe or try this. Remember, that this is actually the method of teaching foreign language for children in their early development. Try to use foreign language when you teach your children how to speak, they might have a better chance in developing the foreign language as you desire them to be fluent in - of course, in exchange of their own native language. Or, simply try to observe how people teach their babies to talk, and you will see that they actually simply use "words" to represent the object/action itself - often, unconsciously.

Based on my explanation above, both "naming" and the teaching of language through the act of "naming" itself are actually the very nature within language itself. Hence, although it seems simple, Al Baqarah (2) verse 32 actually tells us this very basic understanding of language. There is actually another discussion of how language can only be acquired through "teaching". Yet, since this writing is quite long enough and I am concerned you will get bored, maybe you can browse for "feral children" to understand my point. Or, maybe I can write about it in another article. The thing I must remind you is that how God taught Adam to speak would be "beyond" our limitations.

This is actually why I think the discussion of "Exclusive Name of God" written by Mr. Joseph is extremely important - not because the identity of God in the first place, but in how these verses of Quran actually explain the nature of language itself. Imagine; Quran that has been around for more than 1000 years actually gives us the nature of language in the easiest way possible. Many language experts would be so much interested in this. But, since I want us, the Quranic people here, to work this together, I place it here to be a lesson for us and to be developed further together as one community under the Quran.

I don't think you are wrong that I seem concerned with the "identity" of God. The mistake is apparently mine. Maybe I should have not used the word "true" or "false" in my article that can mislead others to different understanding than it is intended to. I apologize for this.

Let us put it this way: you are right that there were ancient people that already worshiped the same One God with the God mentioned in Quran as it has been informed in this verses:

Quote
the God of Abraham or the God of Moses and Haroon(20:70), or the God of whom the Children of Israel believe in (10:90)

Now, the question is: if these ancient people spoke in other language than Arabic as it has been mentioned in Ibrahim (14) verse 4, would they still use the same "name" or "Allah" as it is used in Quran?   Or, did they use different "reference"?

Aren't you interested to find out? This is actually my main point: to find out the "reference" used by these ancient people to refer to "The God" Himself. Is this possible? Sure, if we use Quran as a point of reference.

By the way, pardon the use of bold and underline here. Since, there is no space between line, I might need some methods to emphasis the main point. I do not intend to speak in impolite manner. Please, pardon me.

There are actually methods that could be used by simply comparing the underlying concept of verses in Quran (mostly Oneness of God) with ancient texts and we will find out that ancient people actually have already known or at least had similar concept of Oneness of God written in their texts/scriptures. One of the example that I already mentioned here is "The Great Hymn to The Aten" (http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2587.msg13402#msg13402). The people who really know Quran will know how this ancient text mentioned some similar concept stated in Quran. By finding His Holy Ancient Names, we could expect to enlighten others about "Allah is NOT an Exclusive Name of God" without mere arguments, but evidences. And, most importantly, we could expect others to go back to Quran. This is why I wrote the long article. :)

Is it going to be easy to convince others that "Allah" is only a linguistic elements or the "Arabic word" to represent the God itself?

I do believe you and many people in this forum already understand how difficult that would be ;) On the other hand, many people in this forum actually are the ones with advantage by understanding that "Allah is NOT an Exclusive Name of God". Thus, I wrote my article here. I wouldn't dare to write my article somewhere else, for not many people understand this. Hopefully, by providing proofs, it would be easier for you or anyone to understand the Quran itself and to explain it to others. Here, I am only your humble servant - although I do have my own limitations too, especially in resources.

I do believe the misunderstanding left here would be in this statement of mine:

Quote
Therefore, it would be wiser if we use the Quran itself as a reference point for “Beautiful Names” of God, not out of it, to avoid including false “names” of God among the “real” ones.

As I have already mentioned above, maybe I shouldn't put the words "true" and "false" that may mislead others in different understanding than intended. I apologize for this. I do not try to make this whole matter into "right" or "wrong", but rather as consideration for us in understanding the verses in Quran itself. The point is actually; Quran is already mentioned that there are people who literally invented “name” to their self-created Gods in at least these verses: Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23.

It is true that God is far too great to be represented by linguistic elements: 
Quote
if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted
Luqman (31) 27. Yet, because God is far too great to be represented by linguistic elements itself, whatever mentioned in Quran must be very important, including His Beautiful Names.

I do not say Mr, Joseph is wrong in his article, All the Beautiful Names belong to God indeed. However, when he started to mention a specific reference as it has been mentioned in other sacred texts/scriptures, he or "we" may want to take a precaution because those specific references are bonded with historical background. This historical background is what actually influence religious understanding for the religion itself. The way hadists and cultural background influence "Islamic" people understanding about Islam itself. There are actually lessons that we can learn from history about this. In my future article, you will see the full discussion and an example of it. Right now, I just need to make some preparations.

I do feel bad to remind Mr. Joseph, since it is impolite for me to remind my senior in my culture. Yet, I do think this is quite important to mention. Thus, for any misunderstanding that may come from it or any impolite impressions, I am truly sorry.

In the end, I am so much grateful for your comment Mr. Hamzeh. In the time of darkness and despair, your comment is like a gentle tap and a dim light for me: something that makes me want to keep writing... though I do not know whether I keep writing is something good or it is not. Just, please remember that my writing is an initial research, not necessarily a conclusion. Thus, I expect to work with you and everybody else in this forum to understand even more about Quran and the world itself.

At last, all my mistakes are mine as nothing more but a limited human being, but whatever good in this writing must be coming from Quran.

Once again, I thank you for your comment, you might never now how important that is for me at this moment. May peace always be with you.



Salamun Alaikum

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General Discussions / The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts
« on: August 13, 2018, 01:43:26 AM »
The “Name” of God in Ancient Texts[/b]


In the Name of Most Gracious, Most Merciful


This is actually my third writing in this forum, a continuation from my previous post: http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2587.msg13400#msg13400. In this writing I basically criticize about Mr. Joseph article: “‘ALLAH’ IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE NAME FOR GOD” (http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/allah%20is%20not%20an%20exclusive%20name%20for%20god%20FM3.htm). This article by Mr. Joseph is actually a very important discussion within Islam itself. However, maybe not many people either aware or care about how important this discussion is. In my critics, I do agree that “Allah” is not an exclusive name of God, it is simply a “linguistic element” used in Arabic to represent the “God” itself in spoken or written language. Nonetheless, we may want to remember that “Allah” might unconsciously have been understood as an “exclusive name” of God by the Islamic people for a very long time. Thus, it is actually very natural for the misunderstanding of many moslems/muslims to think that "Allah" is the “name” of God. Since this might have been a very long time embedded mentality, it would be quite difficult to be “changed” by simply giving an argument the way Mr. Joseph does in his article. Therefore, there might be a better way to deduce whether Allah is the “name” of God or simply a “linguistic element” used to represent The God Himself in Arabic spoken/written language. Now, the question is: how?

If we think about it carefully, Ibrahim (14) verse 4 actually gives a very basic hypothetical question to resolve this problem:

Can we find the name “Allah” in ancient texts/scriptures or can we not?

Ibrahim (14) verse 4 actually already explains that every messengers was sent “in the language of his people”. Thus, there is a big chance we won’t find the name “Allah” in ancient texts/scriptures, since ancient people who far predating the Quran might not have used Arabic as their language. Allah as the “name of God” might have been used only as long as the Arabic language as it is known now started to be used. So, how about the “names of God” before Arabic itself? Did the previous Holy Books use the same Arabic term "Allah" to refer to the Almighty Himself? Or, did they use different "names" to refer to Him?

In the following article, I provide explanation that if we see beyond the language as merely tools in delivering meanings, we will see similar underlying concepts about God found in Quran within some ancient texts that might have not been even considered before. However, before we enter to the main discussion, it would be better for us to understand how “name” itself works in the first place. Therefore, I will begin this long article with the understanding of “name” itself and hope you won’t get bored along the way.


“Name” As A Label for “Thing”



I actually have given a lengthy explanation about how verses in Quran actually give us very basic nature of language itself in my previous writing. Here, I’m just going to repeat it briefly and add a little bit.

The act of “naming” might seem like a simple act. However, if we try to understand the nature of language or look deeper to the underlying principle of how language works, we will find that “naming” is actually the most fundamental aspect of language itself. This makes the narration of Al Baqarah (2) verses 30-33 are actually very important verses in understanding language itself; the beginning, the nature, the development, and such. Even though so, my writing is actually an initial research towards this Quranic methods. Therefore, I invite you -the people of Quran- to develop this method together with me, so we can study deeper how Quran actually tells us the very basic fundamental nature of many things.

We, humans, give names to anything or everything, either abstracts or concretes. This, apparently, is the basic idea of language itself: to represent an object/objects in "real life" (concrete or abstract) with spoken or written linguistic elements. This is also why “words” are closely related with “meaning”.

A group, line, cluster, etc. of letters can be called a “word” when it has meaning. Even two letters like “oh!”, as long as it has meaning, could be called as “word”. You may google it yourself, if you don’t believe me. This shows that “words” are nothing but a representative of the real-life objects; or in simple understanding, the “words” actually only “linguistic representative” of the “definition” itself. This is the nature of language. Therefore, if we think and look deeper about it, language might have started by the act of “naming” itself, as it is explained in Al Baqarah (2) verses 30-33. As it is humans that give "names" to "objects", “name” is actually -borrowing Saeed in Semantics (Blackwell, 1998)- only a “label” we attach to the real-life object.

By “naming”, we are actually giving labels to things, concretes or abstracts. We label the act of “move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn” as “walk”. We label “the move at a speed faster than a walk” with “run”. We label the action of “run at full speed over a short distance” with “sprint” and etc. The same thing is applied with verbs. In English for instance, the label for verb that indicates past action is the suffix “-ed”. That is why verbs end with “-ed”, surely with some variants in use, represent “action that has been done in the past”. “Walk” for instance, if it is added with “-ed” at the end, it represents “move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn in the past”. This is actually how language works. Therefore, a group, line, cluster, etc. of letters can be called a “word” when it has meaning, since “words” are supposed to represent something. This is why although Al Baqarah (2) verses 30-33 seem like a simple narration, it is actually very important! All verses in Quran is important! Often, people or we are the ones that do not understand how important they actually are.

In reality, there is no specific rules in this act of “naming” or giving “labels” to things. If we consider how God has endowed us with our linguistic capability as He taught language to the first human (Al Baqarah [2] verses 30-33), there is almost no limitation to this act of “naming”. The limitation is simply our own creativity. This might be how there are so many languages in the world, because the humans have this “basic” ability to create their own language. This explains the arbitrary nature of language; the differences or varieties of various languages never come from the languages themselves, but rather from the creativity of the users of the languages in producing, inventing, developing, and choosing their own languages (note: this is not a rigid and final definition. Further development is needed. This definition is made to make you easier in understanding the “arbitrary” concept.) For you who are interested more in the arbitrary of language, you may want to visit this website page:

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-arbitrariness-language-1689001

You actually can see the evidence of this in every-day life. In reality, we can create our own “words” with those who are close to us. In other words, you can choose specific “labels” for things or act and so on. The only requirement needed for that “labels” to work in an act of communication is simply to be understood by the participants in which that “labels/words” are used. Isn’t this how we create “codes” to signal some particular “information” or “action” and such that is only known by some particular people (or here, the participants)? You can create these special codes with your children that only you and your children understand for instance, like “poo-poo” for time to go to restroom or “gram-gram” for grandmother and such. Surely, higher level of participants, like an underground community or government organization, will require more complicated “codes” or “labelling” and may even need to have their own “rules” in using this “special languages”. Only when the participants are getting larger, a “convention” is needed.

The “convention” within a language is the final stage required because the “participants” or the “users” of the language are growing wider and larger. This “agreement” between “users or participants” of a language is needed to make “the flow” within an act of communication effective and efficient. Yet, it does not mean this is a very basic requirement. This “convention” is simply needed for the purpose of effectiveness and efficiency of a communication itself. If someone who does not know the convention of a language participate in that language, it is likely that this particular person will have some trouble to adjust in using that language. This often happens to us when we learn foreign language. There is actually a long and deeper discussion for this, but for now, let’s go back to the fundamental problem of “name” itself.

Since name is merely a label “attached” by humans to every objects, either concrete or abstracts, “name” can be varied, unique, or seem like it has no relation with the object itself. Again, this shows the arbitrary nature of language itself. This is also the reason why there are so many and/or various languages in the world. The same with the “name” or more precisely the “reference” of God, various people in various ages or places could have their own “label” for God. It could be anything. For example, in English, the Entity that is worshiped by the believers is labeled as “God”, in Arabic as “Allah”, in ancient Egypt as “Aten”, in Indonesia as “Tuhan”, and so on. The “label” could be anything, but it simply represents the Entity that is worshiped by their believers. Therefore, although the “labels” could be varied, the “general concept” that underlying these “labels” actually remains the same. This is how translations works!

Until this point, we are actually seeing that basically humans are the ones that produce, “invent”, develop, and use language by organs that has been endowed to us and the teaching of God as it has been mentioned in Al Baqarah [2] verses 30-33. So, language basically is our own product. We use our linguistic ability to “represent” real-life objects, either abstract or concrete. English people use the word “God” to represent the concept of “Entity” worshiped by Its believers. Arabic people use the word “Allah” to represent the same concept. And since linguistic ability is endowed to humans by God, every societies or every cultures that has existed or still exists might have their own “label” or linguistic element to represent the concept of God itself. God uses these “linguistic elements” to make us understand about Him and His messages. Surely, since every societies or every cultures might have their own versions of “linguistic elements”, God sent every messengers with the knowledge of these “linguistic elements” so they can deliver His messages clearly. This is actually what is being implied in Ibrahim (14) verse 4. Sure anyone can understand this verse clearly for it is actually quite easy to understand. But, then again, have we ever thought to use this understanding in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 to find His ancient names in ancient texts?

Unfortunately enough, understanding the underlying concept of the “name” of God is not enough in finding other “names” of God in the past. As you can see, every civilizations might have their own “label” for God, either in time or space. The easiest way to see this is by using Google Translate. Just put the English word “God” and start to translate it into another language. You will see that each nations or languages might have their own “label” for God. Similar things might also happen for every cultures within the timeline of history.

Every nations, kingdoms, cultures, tribes, etc. that have ever existed in history might have their own “labels” for God. I agree with Mr. Joseph that, in his own words, “Allah” is actually only a linguistic element that represent the concept of God in Arabic language. Therefore, it is actually equivalent with “God” in our language. God is far too great to be represented by our linguistic capability; He is far beyond any humans can ever think of or even imagine. However, Quran also mentions that there are people who literally invented “name” to their self-created Gods in at least these verses: Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23. Therefore, it would be wiser if we use the Quran itself as a reference point for “Beautiful Names” of God, not out of it, to avoid including false “names” of God among the “real” ones. These “names” being mentioned in Quran has meanings and, in these meanings, there are many lessons that we actually could learn. Furthermore, not only extremely meaningful, these “Beautiful Names” of God can actually be used to find the other “names” of God in ancient time. We just have to follow or see the “characteristics” of God (or “names” if you prefer) as it has been mentioned in multiple verses of Quran. Therefore, the real question here is actually not the name itself, but rather “the characteristics of God”.

This is actually why the discussion of “Exclusive Name of God” is quite important to discuss. Yet, apparently not many people are aware of, understand, or even care to discuss this. Thus, here I am trying to make you understand how important this matter actually is - of course with my own limitation. In the next discussion, I will show you the evidences of Ibrahim (14) verse 4 and also Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23 within the course of history itself.

Salamun Alaikum,



Ocyid

14
I will provide an example here. Yet, please remember that this is just a quick example I made to show you the general idea. Thus, further research would be needed. I indeed hope we could work this out together.

This example is taken from Akhenaten, a pharaoh in Egypt that “noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the “Aten” (taken from Wikipedia page about Akhenaten). The idea of “centered” God seems to be interesting to be noted, since the core value of Islam is the Oneness of God. Of course, “centered” and “one” are two different notions. Therefore, some people (it is not explained who) interpret it as “monolatristic, henotheistic, or even quasi-monotheistic”. You may want to check the Wikipedia page of Akhenaten yourself. The thing we should remembered is that differences in interpretations are something natural. Yet, these differences, as far as I understand, actually do not deny the “centered God” of the reference “Aten” itself.

Other factor that makes it more interesting is there is story about a prophet that was appointed to take care of “the treasury of the land” in Yusuf (12) 55. The story itself is narrated to happen in ancient “Egypt” in Yusuf (12) 21, which is translated from the word “mis’ra” (please correct me if I am wrong). The complete story is mentioned in Yusuf or chapter 12. These two “requirements” give two good reasons to start to look deeper into the "name" or the “reference” Aten itself.
 
Unfortunately, from its Wikipedia page, Aten means “disk” (you can visit the website yourself). Thus, the meaning here (at least, so far) could not be used to support Aten as the “name” or “reference” of God in Ancient Egypt based on Quranic approach, since there is no mentioning about “disk” among the “names” of God being mentioned in Quran (or is it?). However, there is a poem that is “attributed to 18 dynasty Pharaoh Akhenaten” for Aten. The title of the poem is “Great Hymn to the Aten”. You can find it here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hymn_to_the_Aten

What makes it interesting is that there are resemblances between the supposedly “hymn-poems” and the Quran itself, at least in these verses:

This is from the middle of the text:

Line 1: How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
(To be honest, I do not find verses that are exactly like this in Quran, although these verses seem to be in accordance with the verses in Quran itself. Thus, I collect verses that close enough with these verses. For this particular line, the closest resemblance that I could find is Al Baqarah (2) 164. There are other verses too that actually imply or even confirm this line, but their similarities might not appear in words or surface level. Thus, these verses can only be placed as supporting evidences – not a main one. These verses are: Al An’am (6) 99, An Nahl (16) 11 and 13, Ta-Ha (20) 53, Asy Syuara (26) 7, Luqman (31) 10, and Fatir (35) 27-28.)

Line 2: They are hidden from the face (of man).
(This line apparently is still connected with the first line. Without further information, it is quite difficult to understand this line alone. Is it hidden because it is unknown and will remain unknown or is it hidden because we are simply not aware of? Yet, so far the closest one I could find in Quran is An Nahl (16) 8. Do you have any other opinions?)

Line 3: O sole god, like whom there is no other!
(This is actually the most decisive line that makes me quite sure, Aten is the reference of The True God in ancient time, since this line is similar with His Divine Characteristics as it has been mentioned in Al Ikhlas (112) 1 and 4)

Line 4: Thou didst create the world according to thy desire
(The closest verses with this line is, at least, in this verses: Al Maidah (5) 17-18, Al An’am (6) 73, Al Qasas (28) 68, Ar Rum (30) 54, Asy-Syaura (42) 49, and Al Qasas (28) 68. You may know even more.)

Line 5-6: Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts, Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet,
(Chapter An Nur (24) verse 45 actually quite resembles with the line 4, 5, and 6)

Line: 7: And what is on high, flying with its wings
(The line 5,6, and 7 actually quite similar with what is mentioned in Al An’am (6) 38)

Line 9, 10, and 11: Thou settest every man in his place, Thou suppliest their necessities: Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned.
(Verses in Quran that resemble these lines are, at least, Ar Rum (30) 40, Fatir (35) 11, Ghafir (40) 67, and Fussilat (41) 10. I am sure there are many other verses that will confirm these 9, 10, and 11 lines, altogether or separately. Therefore, further and deeper analysis will be required to collect all verses that have the same concept with these lines.)

Line 12 and 14: Their tongues are separate in speech, Their skins are distinguished
(These lines closely resemble Ar Rum (30) 22)

Line 15: As thou distinguishest the foreign peoples.
(The underlying conceptual ideas of line 12-13-14-15 seem to be closely related with Al Hujurat (49) 13. Nonetheless, I still could not say that these lines resemble Al Hujurat (49)13. Only verses that have “linguistic resemblances” that I actually can put here. Yet, if we look deeper than the linguistic boundaries themselves, there is an underlying similar concept between this so-called “hymn” with verses in Quran.)

Line 16: Thou makest a Nile in the underworld,
(There is actually some certain understandings that we need to achieve regarding this line. We know Nile is a river, thus it might represent “rivers” in general. Yet, what about “the underworld”? Does “underworld” here is equivalent with the hereafter? If –only if- it is, then there are many verses in Quran that mention about this too; it means it is similar in concept only expressed with different words. Some of them are Al Baqarah (2) 25, Ali Imran (3) 15, 136, 195, and 198, and many more)

In its Wikipedia page, there is actually other lines of this hymn from the last part of the text. Yet, this is just an example that I need to mention. Again, further and deeper studies about this hymn will be required to recognize whether this hymn has similar concept with Quran or it is not. Unfortunately, there is one important step that needs to be done before I can go on to analyze this hymn. That is to confirm the authenticity of this text and the precision of the translation itself. Once it is done, we can go to the next step. Regrettably, this is my limitation.

As I have mentioned in the very beginning of this long article, I am an independent researcher that do not have any resources or connection to academic study. The best I could find is free online site and Wikipedia. I know well how people underestimate Wikipedia. Therefore, at least until this very moment, this is the best I could do. If you are interesting more regarding this matter, you may want to confirm those two requirements as starter. And, if you are kind enough, maybe you will tell me about it. Hehe…

Despite those two basic requirements that need to be fulfilled, the general idea here is actually to follow the information provided in Quran with facts in general. The hymn above is just one of the examples. There are (I believe) even many more. As you can see above, it does not have to come from “religious” or “sacred” texts. Even something considerably as “common” (common here implies it is not considerably “sacred”) texts, in fact, shows that the basic concept of One Supreme God was already known in far ancient time before Quran or even Christianity itself.

I might need a legit confirmation of the requirements I have mentioned above to say this. Yet, if the hymn is authentic and the translation is acceptable, the hymn itself might actually confirm what is being told in Ibrahim (14) verse 4. Hence, it may strengthen the conclusion that “Allah” is actually just a “reference” of God in Arabic, not a “name” itself. Therefore, the things we should make as a guidance essentially is the “underlying concept” within the Quran –and only Quran- than the “surface forms”.

Up until this point, I need to emphasize that I fully agree with Mr. Joseph regarding this “exclusive name of God” matter. The lengthy explanation I gave is nothing but a supplementary information in order to get broader and deeper insight about the problem itself. Yet, I might need to remind a little bit about how we might want to stick with the information within the Quran itself. To tell you the truth, I feel bad about this because I don’t think I am worthy enough to remind anyone but myself about any problems. But, maybe this reminder can even take us much more advance in understanding the Quran. Like the “names” or more precisely “the reference” of God above.

The reference “Aten” might have never been considered before as one of the name or reference for “Allah” in the ancient time. However, if we dig deeper of His Oneness characteristic, the story about a prophet holding prestigious position in ancient Egypt, and the hymn for him that have some resemblances with the verses of Quran, there is quite fair chance that “Aten” is actually the reference of God used during ancient Egypt. Still, further study is needed to prove this.

On the contrary, there are also possibilities that there are “names” or “references” that might not represent “The God”, but actually represents other than God like the name of humans or even other Gods as it has been explained in at least these verses Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23. Therefore, we might want to be cautious about this other “references” of God. It might be wiser if we get used to “enclose” the verses of Quran in justifying these other “names” or “references” of God.

I am terribly sorry if I look like preaching or lecturing, as it is not my intention to begin with. It is just that maybe our precautions will be able to prevent unintentional misunderstanding in the future. That’s all.

I do believe that by saying “Whether we call Him Rab, Lord, God, Almighty, Krishna, Khuda, Yahweh, Elohim, Adi Purush (Timeless being); Para Brahman (The absolute Truth), El, Eli, Eloi, Jehovah, or whichever beautiful name we call Him”, Mr Joseph simply implies that the word “Allah” is actually only Arabic “word” or linguistic element that represent “God” in spoken or written language. Thus, it is equivalent with “God” in English, “Tuhan” in my native language, or any other equivalent words that equivalent with “God” in other languages. This is in accordance with his final words “'Allah' is only an Arabic name for God. It is the name that the Pagan Arabs were familiar with during the time of revelation to refer to their Supreme authority. It was the name of God that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was familiar with. Allah has been known by different names to great Prophets of the past in the languages of their own people. All beautiful names belong to God.” I am fully agree with this statement.

I repeat for once more that our only difference is when it starts to enter “specific names”, since there might be a "method" to find that specific "names" or "references" to follow before we can deduce whether the "specific names" are the right reference or they are not. Again, we might want to be cautious about this matter, since (I am afraid) making a hasty move will only lead us to misunderstand or falsely recognize the God itself – as Quran itself actually has given us many of His Names.

From this difference, I actually stand in the middle between him and those who believe in 99 Names of God. Remember, our guidance is Quran, therefore only Quran that we shall follow. I agree with Mr. Joseph when he states “This would be in effect a restriction on His majesty and God can never be contained, neither physically or linguistically”. The Supreme Lord of the universe is too great to be represented by linguistic elements created by humans. All descriptions about Him and His Glory in the language that we can understand are only intended to make us easier in recognizing and taking lessons from His Divine Messages. However, I do not agree that we can make our own references outside the Quran for Him, since Quran itself is a “complete” book… isn’t it?

I get the impression that Quran is a “complete” book. But, I seem like I cannot find the right source to justify it myself. I try to search this forum and I find the term “explained in detail” in http://quransmessage.com/articles/god%20has%20warned%20believers%20to%20only%20follow%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm. Does “explained in detail” mean Quran is “complete”, which implies that it does not need anyone to add anything in it? Please, enlighten me about this problem.

However, I do believe Quran is a “complete” book. Thus, we might want to follow it and might not want to add anything into it. This is why I believe, the verses in 017:110 and 007.180 actually refer to the Beautiful Names within the Quran itself - not out of it.

I agree with Mr. Joseph that God is far too great to be represented or “contained” physically or linguistically. However, if Quran is “complete”, there might be a reason why He only mentioned some of His unlimited and uncountable Beautiful Names and Glories. Therefore, maybe –just maybe- it would be better if we stick with or focus more to the information provided by the Quran than what is not mentioned by the Quran.

I do not want to argue about this. I believe Mr. Joseph has conducted his own research about those names he mentioned. This is nothing but a reminder, not only for Mr. Joseph but also myself and anyone who reads and studies the Quran. Remember that, in the end, God knows and we don’t (Ali Imran [3] 66). Therefore, it might be wiser if we follow whatever comes from the Quran itself.

The same reminder applies for those who said God has 99 Beautiful Names. Can you or they prove that God really has 99 Names as they are mentioned in Quran? Remember that the Names being mentioned in Quran is actually very fluid, which means in many verses these “names” often do not stand alone but in pair. We might want to pay attention to this too. Some of the examples are “Arrohmaanir-Rohim” (Most Gracious-Most Merciful) in Al Fatihah (1) 3, “Aziizul-Hakiim” (All Mighty, All Wise) in Al Baqarah (2) 129, “Samii’am-Bashiiroo” (All Hearing-All Seeing) in An Nisa (4) 58, and many more.

*Note: pardon me for the transliteration if you feel it is different than what you know. This is actually the transliteration in Indonesian version of the Quran. Pardon me too for the translation, I choose the easiest translation to understand from Corpus.Quran.com.

I believe many who state that God only has 99 “Names” do not pay attention to these combinations. Whereas, these combinations could be very important to be noticed. There are very valuable lessons in these combinations. Not only that, at least two of these combination actually could be used to trace His Great Existence in the past – in a very ancient Holy Scriptures that might often have been forgotten by Islamic people ourselves. This is what I am actually researching. Moreover, if we pay attention closely, these “other Names” or more precisely “characteristics” are actually the Ones that truly “define” The God Himself.

Nonetheless, before that, we might want to understand how it actually works. Thus, another long writing may be needed like the lengthy explanation about “naming” above. Therefore, after this, there would be another long writing – and I am truly sorry for this. Yet, since I need to post this, you might have to wait till I finish it for the following writing. Hence, I need to close this one for a while.

To be completely honest with you, I actually have no self-esteem to write this kind of writing. But, I feel like to keep this kind of information for my own is a bit “wasteful”. Therefore, I encourage myself to write this.

I am not a very bright man, thus (quite similar with Mr. Joseph statement in one of his article) any mistakes I made in this writing is fully mine as nothing more but a lowly and limited human being. Yet, whatever good you found or can benefit you in this writing it must be from Quran, as it has been mentioned in 4:79. Sometimes, I even think it is so unfortunate indeed that a man like me that studies the Quran, if only great people like you would try to understand the Holy Quran… the world surely would be a better place…

Anyway, I do not believe anyone would read this, so I am just going to put it here. At least, I have fulfilled my duty to tell you what I know. I do not expect you to follow or believe this. Whatever you choose to believe, will always be your own responsibility (6:164). This is only my way to redeem my own mistakes.

Please wait for my future my writing, if you do so. If you don’t, then I hope my writing can benefit you somehow instead of wasting your time.



Have A Nice Day Everyone,
Salamun Alaikum



Your friend, Ocyid  :D

15
Quranic Method
So far, I agree with Mr. Joseph and this lengthy explanation is nothing but a supplementary information from different approach. However, there is one significant difference that, regrettably, I may need to mention. On the 13th line of his article, Mr Joseph states “Whether we call Him Rab, Lord, God, Almighty, Krishna, Khuda, Yahweh, Elohim, Adi Purush (Timeless being); Para Brahman (The absolute Truth), El, Eli, Eloi, Jehovah, or whichever beautiful name we call Him”. I believe Mr. Joseph has conducted his own research about this, therefore he can made this statement and I am not going to criticize this without prior knowledge. Yet, I would like to humbly remind anyone who are interested in this particular area of Quranic study that maybe (just maybe) it would be better if we stick to the verses of Quran itself in finding His other references in older texts or books. It means it might be wiser for us to support these “names” or “references” with verses of Quran that mention them. We may want to remember Quran mentioning about people who literally invent “name” to their self-created Gods in at least these verses: Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23.

I want to make an example here, yet I am concerned this could be offensive or simply incorrect. Thus, I apologize and ask to be corrected if it is. The name of “Jesus” for instance, as far as I know it is actually one of the reference of Isa ibn Maryam (may peace be upon him). Therefore, it is considerably not a “name” or “reference” for God, but a name of a respectful prophet. Yet, there might be people who think that it is indeed one of the reference of God. Remember, we play in the field of mentality where we can’t see it clearly.

Of course, this is just an example. I am sure general audience understand that Jesus is a human, despite various concepts in seeing his divinity. I am afraid, there might be similar cases that makes the “names” or “references” of God are mixed with the names and reference for a human. I hope the readers of this article get the general idea of the example, rather than make the example itself as the case study. Please, enlighten me about other more appropriate examples.

Again, I believe Mr. Joseph has conducted his research. This is nothing but a reminder. Yet, if we look Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23, we actually have homework here. That homework would be; to “filter” or “select” or “eliminate” (whatever terms you think appropriate) His “proper” or “appropriate” references by using the Quran as a guidance among many “names” or “references” of God that we could find.

There is actually a premise and/or requirements in finding the “names” or “references” of God in time before the Quran. Or, in much easier understanding, there is a way in finding the ancient “names” or “references” of God. We just have to follow the underlying concept or meaning of these “names” or “references”, instead of the “surface” form (like the use of Arabic word “Allah”) to refer to The Almighty Lord Himself. I call this method simply by “The Quranic Version”, since we simply follow the verses of Quran to find other “names” or “references” of God in the timeline of the history.

Could this work?

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