what is the Quran

learning Quran

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1- The Linguistic Meaning of the Word ‘Qur’aan.

There are a number of different opinions concerning the linguistic meaning of the
word ‘qur aan.
The most popular opinion, and the opinion held by at-Tabaree (d. 310 A.H.), is that the word ‘qur’aan’ is derived from qara’a, which means, ‘to read, to recite.” ‘Qur’aan’
would then he the verbal noun (nuisdai) of quia a, and thus translates as ‘The Recitation’ or ‘The Reading.’ Allaah says in reference to the Qur’aan,

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«It is for Us to collect it and to Recite it (Ar. qur’aanahoo). When We haverecited it. then follow its Recitation (Ar. <jitraamth)» [7S:17-S|
On the other hand, Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d. 204 A.H.) held the view that the
word ‘qur’aan’ was a proper noun that was not derived from any word, just like “lotah” or TnjecT.” He recited the word without a hamza, such that ‘Qur’aan’ would
rhyme with the English word ‘lawn’. One of ihcqiniaal 2 ‘ also pronounced it this way.
Another opinion –

states that the word ‘our aan’ is from the root qarami, which means, ‘to join, to associate’. For example, the pilgrimage in which ‘Umrah and Hajj are combined is called HajjOiraan, from the same root word. Therefore the meaning ol the word ‘qur’aan’ would be, ‘That which is joined together,” because its verses
and soorahs are combined to form this book. In this case, the word would be pronounced the same way as Imaam ash-Shaafi’cc pronounced it, without the hamza.

2-The Definition of the Qur’aan.

There are many definitions of the Qur’aan, but they differ in wording only. There is no difference of opinion as to what the Qur’aan is, but merely what the best way to define it is.
One of the more appropriate definitions is as follows:'”‘ The Qur’aan is the Arabic Speech (kalaatn) ofAllaah, which He revealed to Muhammad (j^) in wording and meaning, and which has been preserved in the mus-hafs, and has reached us by mutawaatir transmissions, and is a challenge to mankind to produce something similar to it.

The Breakdown of the Definition:

The statement in the definition, ‘The Ouraan is the. Arabic… implies that the Qur’aan
is in the Arabic language. This, therefore, implies that a translation ol the Quraan
into any other language cannot be considered the Qur’aan. 1Imaam az-Zarkashee
said, “Know that the Qur’aan has been revealed in the language of the Arabs. Therelore, it is impermissible to recite it in any other language.””
There are eleven references in the Qur’aan that it is in the Arabic language, amongst
the verses.

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Since the Qur’aan has described itself as being in Arabic, it is clear that any nonArabic speech cannot be the Qur’aan.
However, is every single word in the Qur’aan originally from the Arabic language?
In other words, does the Qur’aan use words from other languages? There exist narrations from some ol the Companions, and many grammarians after them, concerning certain words in the Qur’aan which were claimed to be of non-Arabic origin.

Thus, for example, Ibn Abbaas claimed that the word toor was Syriac for mountain, tjijiqa
meant “to intend’ in the Roman language, Intdnaa was Hebrew for repentance, W/7
was Persian for book, sundus meant a soft cloth in Hindi (probably referring to Sanskrit), miskfiaat was a shining lamp in an Ethiopian language, and sirri was Greek for
small river. 52 His student ‘Ikrimah was also of the same opinion.