The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the by Christoph Luxenberg

By Christoph Luxenberg

All through its historical past the Koran has provided difficulties of interpretation. a few students estimate that no less than 1 / 4 of the textual content is vague in which means, not just for Western translators yet even local Arabic audio system, who fight with the archaic vocabulary that's not utilized in glossy Arabic.
In this in-depth learn of the language of the Koran, pupil Christoph Luxenberg dispels a lot of the secret surrounding various hitherto doubtful passages. the foremost, as Luxenberg exhibits exhaustively, is to appreciate that Aramaic--the language of so much center jap Jews and Christians of the pre-Islamic era--had a pervasive effect at the improvement of the Arabic textual content of the Koran. For 1000 years previous the appearance of Islam, Aramaic (or Syriac because it used to be also known as) was once the lingua franca of many components of the close to East. It used to be the local language of the 1st Christian evangelists and the most liturgical language of the early Christian church buildings from Syria to Iran.

Based in this historic context and a profound wisdom of Semitic languages, Luxenberg clarifies many thorny textual puzzles. probably his finest argument is that the passage frequently translated as relating the "virgins" which are believed to greet the departed trustworthy in paradise used to be some time past misunderstood. actually, wisdom of old Christian hymns in Aramaic means that the observe in query refers to "grapes" that the departed will get pleasure from in a paradisiacal backyard. Luxenberg discusses many different comparable attention-grabbing circumstances the place Aramaic vocabulary and ideas encouraged the textual content of the Koran

This hugely erudite paintings makes an important contribution to the learn of the Koran and the background of Islamic origins.

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Extra info for The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran

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483): "Both languages often form new plurals on the basis of broken plurals. The process ofthese formations is then once again subject to the sı This is only one example for many critics who uncritically, in terms of philology and history of language, take traditional erroneous notions as their starting point. Further explanations relating to Koranic orthography and morphology follow elsewhere. To be added, then, to the fınal o 1h as a rendering of the Aramaic emphatic ending li is the fınal 1 1li as the regular emphatic ending in SyroAramaic.

39 this one can make conclusions about the pronunciation not only of Arabic, but especially of Aramaic loanwords. :ı.... (=Michael), which faithfully reproduces the Syro-Aramaic written form ~, 43 should not be pronounced ~ 1 Mlki11, 44 as it is vocalized in the modem Cairo edition of the Koran (S ura 2:98), but MI}{ael according to the Syro-Aramaic pronunciation. ;ı. , which should not be pronounced Gibrll, as the Cairo edition reads today (Sura 2:97, 98 and 66:4), but as a transliteration of the Syro-Aramaic l..

U (l;ıanpa)66 (heathen ), the expression is to be understood as an epithet for Abraham. I (lbrahlm al-l;ıanlf = Abraham the heathen). The lact that in the Koran this expression is regularly in the Arabic accusative proves precisely that it had been taken up in its Syro-Aramaic form and become an established epithet for Abraham. But what is meant by this epithet, "the heathen," is that Abraham, who actually was a heathen, believed precisely as such in the one God. l.! "so turn (unswervingly) to the l;ıanlf faith (actually (ılı With his epithet (institution) Beli has approximately guessed the conjectured sense; with "standing," however, he has understood the word qiyllman itself according to its meaning in Arabic.

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