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  • Writer's pictureRaghad Bushnaq

Understanding the Quran Language

The Quran is the holy book of Islam and is written in Arabic. Understanding the language and vocabulary of the Quran is essential for Muslims who wish to gain a deeper understanding of their faith and its teachings.

The Quran uses many literary devices such as metaphors, allegories, and rhetorical devices. It is important to understand these devices to interpret the meaning of the verses correctly.

The Hadith are the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, and they provide additional guidance and clarification of the Quran. Understanding the language and vocabulary of the Hadith is important for Muslims to understand the context and the intended meaning of the sayings and actions of the Prophet.

To understand the language and vocabulary of the Quran and the Hadith, one must have a strong foundation in Arabic grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. In addition to that, one should understand the historical and cultural context in which the Quran and Hadith were revealed.

Scholars of Islam study the language and vocabulary of the Quran and the Hadith extensively to provide interpretation and commentary on these texts. Muslims rely on these scholars to guide them in understanding the teachings of Islam and applying them to their daily lives.

1. Understanding figurative language: The Quran uses a lot of metaphors and allegories to convey its message. For example, in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 186, Allah says,

"And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me."

Here, Allah is using the metaphor of nearness to express that He is always ready to respond to the prayers of His servants.

2. Understanding the context: It is important to understand the historical and cultural context in which the Quran was revealed to fully comprehend its meaning. For example, in Surah Al-Hajj, verse 39, Allah says,

"Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory."

This verse was revealed in the context of the early Muslims being persecuted and attacked by the disbelievers of Mecca. The verse gives them permission to defend themselves against their aggressors.

3. Understanding the grammar and syntax: The Arabic language has a unique grammatical structure, and understanding it is important for comprehending the meaning of the verses. For example, in Surah Al-Ikhlas, Allah says,

"Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent." Here, the use of the definite article "the" before "Eternal Refuge" emphasizes the uniqueness and exclusivity of Allah as the only refuge.

4. Understanding the broader themes and message: The Quran contains many interconnected themes and messages that are woven throughout its chapters and verses. For example, the theme of social justice and compassion is prominent throughout the Quran. In Surah Al-Ma'arij, verse 22-24, Allah says,

"And those who are mindful of their trusts and their promises. And those who are in their testimonies upright. And those who [care] for the needs of their families, and of the orphans, and of the poor." These verses emphasize the importance of fulfilling one's obligations and responsibilities, and caring for those who are vulnerable and in need.

Understanding the language, context, literary style, and broader themes of the Quran requires a comprehensive and in-depth study. Muslims often turn to scholars and teachers who have devoted their lives to the study of the Quran to gain a deeper understanding of its message and guidance.

Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The wonders of the Quran will never end, and its marvels will never be old. Therefore, keep on reciting the Quran, for Allah will never cease to renew its marvels and to cause its wonders to appear." (Narrated in Al-Tirmidhi)

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