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Offline Saba

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What is Quranic Grammar?
« on: October 06, 2012, 08:34:13 AM »
Salam br. Joseph

I am following a potentially interesting discussion Q&A on another forum. The following question was asked by a 'Quranist' and I wanted to know what your views were on the question. Thank you as always ...Saba  ;D 8) 

"We will therefore begin with the question: WHAT IS QURANIC GRAMMAR?"

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: What is Quranic Grammar?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 09:09:32 AM »
Dear Saba,

Peace to you.

There is no such thing as 'Quranic grammar'. This is a contrived question at best.

There is Arabic grammar which the Quran uses to part with its guidance in Arabic.

The Quran was simply revealed to a community in a language they understood to make the message clear to them [1]. They spoke the Arabic language with a semantic field possessing grammar rules like any other language.

“And We did not send any messenger but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly; then God lets go astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills and He is the Mighty, the Wise”

The Quran did not intend to define grammar rules as it did not intend to define the meanings of words or the ambit of the semantic field of the language. The Quran expected its audience to know this. This point is often missed by some Quranists or at worst, deliberately obfuscated.

The Arabic language (like many other languages) has been transmitted en masse with all its peculiarities and nuances over time. Indeed, some meanings of words do develop and indeed some words of the Arabic Quran have also fallen out of modern use and have become archaic. However, the gist of the grammar of the language has remained in tact as have many of the discussions surrounding classical Arabic words and their possible meanings.

Classical lexicons capture the ancient debates between various classical linguistic authorities and lexicographers assume that the reader understands the rules of grammar and the wider language before their works are consulted.

As noted by a well-known and appreciated 19th century lexicographer:

"I have supposed the student who will make use of this work to be acquainted with the general rules of grammar. These he must bear in mind when he meets with particular rules mentioned by me" Edward Lanes [2]


The protection of the 'dhikr' (reminder) is assured by the Quran (15:9). This implies both the 'words' (kalimaat) of the Quran and an appropriate ability to discern its 'meanings'. Otherwise, the 'dhikr' would be meaningless. The Quran does not simply ratify the protection of the 'kalimaat' (words) alone, but rather the 'dhikr'. This includes words, meanings, grammar and everything necessary to make the ‘message’ intelligible.
The Prophet was tasked with a responsibility to convey the message of the Quran in Arabic to his people. His people had a responsibility en masse to pass the message to mankind (22:78) both in Arabic and to convey its meaning to those who did not understand the language.

Therefore any source, including classical lexicons, works of grammarians, dictionaries or indeed, any Islamic secondary source as defined above which is used to understand the classical Arabic language is implicitly ratified by the Quran (15:9).
So in conclusion and in my humble opinion, the premise on which the Quranist position is oft formulated which attempts to sever the link of an existing language in which the Quran was revealed and was subsequently transmitted en masse, is fundamentally flawed.

I hope that helps,



[2] LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Preface xx vii
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Saba

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Re: What is Quranic Grammar?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 11:13:43 AM »
Thank you v. much for your response br. Joseph.


13th March 2013

This thread is now closed and a direct link to this post is now available at the dedicated Q&A page.