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Offline salam

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Please see this article
https://www.quranite.com/al-masjid-al-haram-in-the-quran/

This article claims that the difference between 2nd person plural and 3rd person plural is merely that of placing a diacritical point to achieve ‘ya’ rather than ‘ta’ (the placing of two dots below the stem rather than above it) and is arbitrary and not intrinsic to the original unadorned text.

Is this claim valid?

On the basis of this claim, the article argues that 9:28 should read as ‘lā taqrabū’ and not ‘lā yaqrabū’, thus directing the believers to forsake al-masjid al-ḥarām.

Offline Hamzeh

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Asalamu 3alykum

Dear Salam

You mentioned:
Quote
This article claims that the difference between 2nd person plural and 3rd person plural is merely that of placing a diacritical point to achieve ‘ya’ rather than ‘ta’ (the placing of two dots below the stem rather than above it) and is arbitrary and not intrinsic to the original unadorned text.

Yes there does seem evidence that the original text did not have any diacritical points or vowel signs.

The diacritical points and vowel signs have been inserted by publishers to make it easy for people to read the Arabic script as the Arabic letters are widely used by other nations as well but sound different depending on the arrangement of words from one language to another. So therefore by inserting the diacritical points and vowel signs this has made it easier for many people to sound out the words instead of guessing how each letter is to be sounded when they are not familiar with the Arabic language. The Arabs of course would not of needed the diacritical points and vowel signs because to them the words and their arrangements are their own.

Also there is no evidence that the Quran has ever had any change in any word which alters its meaning. [1] This is also verified by verse:
15:9 Surely We have revealed the reminder and We will most surely be its guardian

Now by altering the word "yaqrabū" to "taqrabū" which renders a completely different meaning and would completely change the way the verse is described would really make verse 15:9 problematic. Especially that now the Quran has been in existence for over 1400 years, we can safely say that it has not been preserved if what this author claims to describe and be true. Which I as a believer would not agree to.

To me this seems like one is changing the words of the Quran to fit their own understanding. If this is done to one word and is accepted then we might as well keep doing that to any other words that do not seem to align with our perspective. Just keep changing them to what we think might be possible according to what we think they should be.

If the author was to insist that the word itself could carry another description and could be verified by some literature, dictionary etc, then that would be a different case.

The author does agree that the word "yaqrabū" means what it traditionally means which seems like now the claim is the Quran has an error in its transmission.

In my humble opinion this is not warranted by the Quran.

Salam

[1] HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE QURAN WAS FULLY PRESERVED? - IS IT NOT THE AHADITH THAT INFORMS US?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/how%20do%20we%20know%20the%20quran%20was%20preserved%20if%20nor%20for%20ahadith%20FM3.htm

Offline salam

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Wasalam

Dear Hamzeh

From my understanding, the quranite.com article seems to be suggesting that for 9:28 the dots were put below the stem arbitrarily, for no particular reason.

Quote
The Arabs of course would not of needed the diacritical points

If the Arabs did not need diacritical points, how would they know if 9:28 is to read as ‘lā taqrabū’ and not ‘lā yaqrabū’?

Salam

Offline Duster

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If the Arabs did not need diacritical points, how would they know if 9:28 is to read as ‘lā taqrabū’ and not ‘lā yaqrabū’?

Shalom / peace. 

The same way Arabs can read newspapers today without diacritical marks.
 
.....The same way even a child that reads Urdu can understand the difference between words without diacritical marks and read it correctly given the context.......Also the Quran was first an ORAL transmission. Allah inspired it and didn't put it on a tablet. The ORAL transmission was that transmitted through Hafiz (memorisers) just like today ....The ORAL transmission was then noted in parallel. Only later, were diacritical marks introduced to help NON ARABS. By then the READING was well established.

Like today, although an Arab could probably understand the Urdu script, they may need diacritical marks to pronounce it correctly.  Same way an Urdu reader may understand the Arabic script but may need diacritical marks to pronounce it correctly. 

>>>Please see below the 2 links from brother Joseph

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=409.msg1210#msg1210

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=681.msg2590#msg2590



Offline salam

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Shalom.

Let's imagine that there are no dots above or below the stem, how do we know if 9:28 is to be read as ‘lā taqrabū’ and not ‘lā yaqrabū’? How would it be possible to know if it is 2nd or 3rd person plural?

Offline Athman

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Salaamun alaikum,

Dear Br. salam,

Notwithstanding the input by Br. Hamzeh and Duster above, let me try address what the author of that article in the link above claims.

Without touching on the historical aspect of Masjidul Haram as depicted by the author of the article, the order of the events associated with it as appears in the Qur’an, nor the analogies proffered by the author together with the claimed original significance and claimed binding spiritual significance till now, I would first find strange why the author opts/fails not to show the seemingly very far-fetched conclusion that the Masjidul haram was ultimately destroyed, an idea which seems to be at the crux of what forms the basis of the whole discourse.

Apart from 7:19, in which is a 2nd person dual imperative occurrence of the form 1 verb ‘qaraba,’ the other instances given are rightly identified as being of 2nd person plural bar 9:28 which is 3rd person plural imperative and which forms the subject of the article. In my opinion, as regards the 11 instances of the verb form 1 ‘qaraba’ given in the article, the author seems to bet the correct construct of the verb in 9:28 based on similarity of appearance elsewhere in the Qur’an, in this case, within the other 10 occurrences. He expects the ‘qaraba’ imperative verb of 9:28 to be structured in a similar manner to those in the other instances due to an arbitrary majority 2nd person plural occurrence of the verb ‘qaraba’ in those 11 sample Qur'anic instances cited, and which would assumedly be an odd/minor occurrence. In my opinion, this is unwarranted.

While the other 10 citations address 2nd person audiences, the address of 9:28 as regards the verb ‘qaraba’ in its given construct is clearly 3rd person audience - (al-mushrikuun). This is clear especially considering the next word ‘najasun’ - literally impure, used in reference to those idolators. Thus, being ‘najasun,’ they were not to approach the Sacred Mosque as from the following year. This can also be supported by 9:17 which the author also cites as a reference. The whole narrative in those verses of chapter 9 make this clear.

The statement, ‘...an arbitrary choice in any case and not one intrinsic to the original unadorned text...’ seems not to acknowledge the fact that any diacritical marks made on the Qur’an for purposes of clarification and proper pronunciation are guided by the Oral transmission of the Qur’an, hence, not arbitrary.

The claim that the 2 dots above the stem are marks distinguishing ‘ta’ from ‘ya’ actually binds. The 2 dots above the stem are necessary for ‘ta’ to be ‘ta’ otherwise one would be inclined to assume it a ‘ya.’ On the other hand, a ‘ya’ can either be identified by those 2 dots below the stem or the unadorned stem - omitting the 2 dots altogether. This is necessary for a non-Arab as well as it is for an Arab. Hence, there’s a difference between those essential marks for an Arabic letter identity and diacritical marks which can also include vowels and which can be unnecessary for an Arab or one well versed with the language.

Apart from the specific term contended by the author, ‘yaqrabu,’ the author fails to see that he also has to apocopate the ‘him’ in ‘a’mihim,’ (year of theirs) the 7th term in precedence from ‘yaqrabu’ in that verse, to ‘kum’ for ‘a’mikum’ (year of yours). That is, ‘do not approach Masjidul haram after this year of yours.’ Rather, since ‘a’mihim’ addresses ‘them’ - idolators, (this is ‘their’ last year) the preceding verb ought to still be addressing them - they should not approach (fala yaqrabu) (...) after this year of theirs (ba'da 'amihim), 9:28 - this is their last year.

Hopefully that somehow helps.


Regards,
Athman.


Offline Hamzeh

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Asalamu 3alykum

Dear bro Salam

I believe brother Duster had clarified the matter.

Quote
the Quran was first an ORAL transmission. Allah inspired it and didn't put it on a tablet. The ORAL transmission was that transmitted through Hafiz (memorisers) just like today ....The ORAL transmission was then noted in parallel. Only later, were diacritical marks introduced to help NON ARABS. By then the READING was well established.

Yes we already agree that there was NO dots.  Arguably more important than the written manuscript is the oral transmission or at least the reading of the manuscript. The recited words is what counts. Because its the words that are spoken that have a vocabulary definition and not necessarily the manuscript.

The Quran can also be recited using transliteration words these days. For example one can write the word in question like this:

1. La yaqrabu
2. La yakrabu

Whether you read it from 1 or 2 the word is the same and sounds same Because the way it is pronouced is what counts especially in Arabic. There is no 2 words that sound exactly the same but have different meaning. A word  will have nuances depending on the way it is spoken. But the word remains the word.

As belivers we know God has been the One guarding the Quran from corruption. This mean all the words recited today are the same way prophet recited them.

The author does implicitly seem to agree that the word "la yaqrabu" does mean what it is well attested to mean. So he is not changing the meaning of a well attested word. He is changing a well established recited word in a way that changes and alters the meaning if you switch the "ya" to a "ta"

In my humble opinion he is therefore saying is that the Quran all this time has been recited incorrectly and has not been guarded from corruption which is not acceptable in light of verse 15:9

015.009 “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”


Peace

Offline Amira

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Perhaps I should remind members of this forum that the owner of the site referenced (Sam Gerrans) is a conspiracy theorist, believes the moon landings are fake, and in general has some nonsensical views. I would not take anything from his website, Quran-related or otherwise, as fact.
“Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib: I heard the Apostle of Allah say: In eloquence there is magic, in knowledge ignorance, and in poetry wisdom”

“Historically, what is or isn’t mainstream (in Islam) has always been a function of power, not of truth.” (Iyad El-Baghdadi, Arab Spring activist)

Offline Hamzeh

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Asalamu 3alykum

Thank you sister Amira for the heads up.

Thanks for sharing this argument brother Athman.

Quote
Apart from the specific term contended by the author, ‘yaqrabu,’ the author fails to see that he also has to apocopate the ‘him’ in ‘a’mihim,’ (year of theirs) the 7th term in precedence from ‘yaqrabu’ in that verse, to ‘kum’ for ‘a’mikum’ (year of yours). That is, ‘do not approach Masjidul haram after this year of yours.’ Rather, since ‘a’mihim’ addresses ‘them’ - idolators, (this is ‘their’ last year) the preceding verb ought to still be addressing them - they should not approach (fala yaqrabu) (...) after this year of theirs (ba'da 'amihim), 9:28 - this is their last year.

Salam

Offline niaz

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Salaamun 'alaikum,

Yes, Duster nailed it ... that the Quran was transmitted in parallel as an ORAL transmission. When Muhammad recited the Quran, he would either have done it either always as 'la yaqrabu' or as 'la taqrabu', and not arbitrarily choosing every time; even though the letters would have looked the same in the "unadorned text". If one claims that all ya's and ta's are arbitrarily interchangeable since diacritical points are not "intrinsic to the original unadorned text", then the Quran will not make any sense. The numerical structure of the Quran also confirms that ya's and ta's are definite and distinct - there are 2 suras with the letter 'ya' as an initial, the 19th sura Maryam [kaf ha ya 'ayn saad], and the 19th initialed sura (sura 36)  [ya seen]; whose initial counts are 798 = 19x42 and 285 = 19x15 respectively. We can't arbitrarily read it as 'ya seen' or 'ta seen'.

Peace.

Offline salam

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Thank you all for your responses.  :)

Offline Wakas

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    • What does The Quran really say?
peace,

Apart from the specific term contended by the author, ‘yaqrabu,’ the author fails to see that he also has to apocopate the ‘him’ in ‘a’mihim,’ (year of theirs) the 7th term in precedence from ‘yaqrabu’ in that verse, to ‘kum’ for ‘a’mikum’ (year of yours). That is, ‘do not approach Masjidul haram after this year of yours.’ Rather, since ‘a’mihim’ addresses ‘them’ - idolators, (this is ‘their’ last year) the preceding verb ought to still be addressing them - they should not approach (fala yaqrabu) (...) after this year of theirs (ba'da 'amihim), 9:28 - this is their last year.


This is the important observation. Raised by me also.