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Re: Volunteers, Unicode, previous examples and things
- To: General Arabization Discussion <general at arabeyes dot org>
- Subject: Re: Volunteers, Unicode, previous examples and things
- From: "Mete Kural" <metek at touchtonecorp dot com>
- Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 00:36:00 -0700
I am sorry but I cannot follow you. But our simple difference seems to be that you use the English word scripture to mean something that is constrained to written form whereas I use it to mean it similar to the English word "book" or the Arabic word "kitaab". Both meanings could apply in different contexts. I have seen the word "scripture" used for kitaab in several translations not just Pickthall. Other translations use the word "book". I think both are suitables words to translate kitaab into. In fact the both words have similar meanings in the American Heritage dictionary:
Scrip·ture Pronunciation Key (skrpchr)
1. A sacred writing or book.
2. A passage from such a writing or book.
2. The sacred writings of the Bible. Often used in the plural. Also called Holy Scriptures.
3. scripture A statement regarded as authoritative.
book Pronunciation Key (bk)
1. A set of written, printed, or blank pages fastened along one side and encased between protective covers.
1. A printed or written literary work.
2. A main division of a larger printed or written work: a book of the Old Testament.
1. A volume in which financial or business transactions are recorded.
2. books Financial or business records considered as a group: checked the expenditures on the books.
1. A libretto.
2. The script of a play.
1. The Bible.
2. The Koran.
1. A set of prescribed standards or rules on which decisions are based: runs the company by the book.
2. Something regarded as a source of knowledge or understanding.
3. The total amount of experience, knowledge, understanding, and skill that can be used in solving a problem or performing a task: We used every trick in the book to finish the project on schedule.
4. Informal. Factual information, especially of a private nature: What's the book on him?
7. A packet of like or similar items bound together: a book of matches.
8. A record of bets placed on a race.
9. Games. The number of card tricks needed before any tricks can have scoring value, as the first six tricks taken by the declaring side in bridge.
But we don't need to delve into a mindless discussion of English words and their meanings right now. I have no problem with you using the word scripture to mean what you understand. In the end this is language, words have multiple meanings.
---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Abdalla Alothman <abdalla at pheye dot net>
Reply-To: General Arabization Discussion <general at arabeyes dot org>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 07:41:03 +0300
>On Thursday 30 June 2005 01:12, Mete Kural wrote:
>> Salaamu Alaikum Abdalla,
>Wa alaikum asalam wa rahmatullaah.
>> I don't quite understand what you mean here in trying to distinguish the Quran
>> from being a scripture but only a recital.
>I didn't make the distinction, it's already there before I was born. Hence,
>a written Quran is called a MuS-Haf where as a Tilaawa is not called a MuS-Haf.
>Moreover, I didn't deny that the Quran takes various forms, of which one is the
>written form (MuS-Haf). As for exclusively saying that it is a recital, what can
>I do? It's called Quraan. Insinuating that I deny that the Quran is a kitaab is a
>bit unappropriate. I simply denied that the Quran is a kutbaan (something that is
>only written before it is distributed.) From a developer's perspective, think of it
>as raw text that you can format as HTML, XML, PDF, or pass it to a speech engine to
>be read outloud.
>> A scripture is recited.
>Yes, but it remains a scripture. If you burn all of its copies in the whole
>world, nobody can reproduce it, because it is depended on the written sources.
>This cannot happen to the Quran because it is not a scripture, but a recital.
>Moreover, a scripture is not recited the way the Quran should be recited (wa
>rattil al-qur-aana tarteela. Surat Al-Muzzamil)
>Because the Pentatuech (Torah) is a scripture, it is non-existent today (the
>people of Musa (s) lost it many times before the last time; and whenever they
>lost it they had bad luck in battles. See Albaqrah:248). What exists is what
>it supposedly contained. The Quran, however, is exists.
>In its original format, the scripture has its sources in manuscripts. The sources
>of the Quran are not manuscripts or divine materials.
>> As you know, the second ayah of the second surah start
>> with "dhaalika l-kitaabu laa rayba fiih" translated in many translations similar
>> to "This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt".
>> Also the third ayah of the third surah mentions "nazzala `alayka l-kitaaba bi-l-haqq"
>> translated in Pickthall as "He hath revealed unto thee the Scripture with truth". In addition, please find:
>> Also the third ayah of the third surah mentions "nazzala `alayka l-kitaaba bi-l-haqq"
>> translated in Pickthall as "He hath revealed unto thee the Scripture with truth".
>Shakir translates it as: This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a
>guide to those who guard (against evil).
>Yusuf Ali translates it as: This is the Book; in it is guidance sure,
>without doubt, to those who fear Allah;
>Khan and Hilali translate it as: This is the Book (the Qur'Ă˘n),
>whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-MuttaqĂ»n
>[the pious and righteous persons who fear AllĂ˘h much (abstain from all
>kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love AllĂ˘h
>much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].
>Among the favored translations by Ahl Al-Sunna, I only see Pickthall
>using "scripture." And that might be related to his pre-Islam
>background or maybe it's his personal opinion. Nevertheless, I am by
>no means trying to discredit Pickthall and his fine works. Also, whoever
>wants to refer to the Quran as a "scripture" let them do so, it's not
>really my concern.
>When it comes to the Quran being a book, nobody is denying that it is
>a "kitaab," but the question is that the "kitab" is not prepared by
>any human being. It is a kitab alright, but the question is who wrote
>it? And where is it? And what does it look like? That's why I clarified
>that the book is free format--it has the capability to spread in thin
>air as radio waves, paper and ink, stones, or whatever.
>When it comes to the Pentatauech, those books where sent down on Moses
>in a physical format. So they take the word "scripture;" that's not
>the end of their scriptures, though. The word is a wrong word to
>describe the Quran for reasons that are unsuitable as a discussion in
>this mailing list.
>The summary of the opinion I presented is very simple. The Quran is
>not bound by any physical format (i.e., paper and ink, etc.) When we
>hear the Quran in radio, what we are listening to is called "The Noble
>Quran" and so on.
>The idea is that when an application developer wishes to develop any
>application related to the Quran, she or he should ask: "What am I
>trying to present?" If the content is to present a "soft" MuS-Haf --
>something that looks like a MuS-Haf on a computer screen -- then I
>guess the application developer should comply with what the Muslims
>have agreed upon on what constitutes a MuS-Haf, visually speaking. But
>if the goal is to do some operations with the Quran, the text doesn't
>have to look exactly like the MuS-Haf.
>> Even the most traditional accounts record that the transmission was
>> both oral and written.
>Of course, and nobody is denying that as well. And nobody can deny
>that if it wasn't for tawaatur, we would not have at hand a single
>authentic qiraa-ah. ;)
>It is not wrong to write the Quran, but IMHO, I think it is wrong to
>claim that the Quran is a scripture only. When preachers of other
>religions appear on TV an say, "This is the word of God!" They fall
>into numerous problems that we Muslims do not need (e.g., in their
>ancient scriptures, the word "god"--as is--is not there.) such as
>letting others imagine that the written Quran should only appear as it
>is in the MaSaaHif. As time passes by, people will tend to ignore the
>rulings related to the text of the Quran if the text does not look
>like a MuS-Haf (e.g., maintaining a cleanliness state and wearing
>appropriate clothing as a means of respect).
>> Remember that surah 85 ayah 21-22 says:
>> "bal huwa qur'anu mujeed. fee lawhum mahfoodh."
>This has nothing to do, IMHO, with constraining the Quran into its
>written format only, and can be answered back with an aya from surat
>Fa itha qar-anahu fattabi' qur-aanah. (Thuma in 'alayna bayanah)
>It doesn't say fa itha katabnahu for obvious reasons...
>Allah (tt) did not send down a book that has a physical format just
>like what the Messenger Musa (a) received from Allah as Allah (tt)
>says in many places including surat Al-A'laa:
>Ina hatha lafi al-suHuf al-Uoola, suHufi Ibraheema wa Musa.
>There are no suHuf or alwaaH (tablets) that were sent down by Allah
>(tt), IMHO. Moreover, looking at various Quran manuscripts throughout
>the Islamic history reveals undeniable facts that:
>1. In the early stages of its writing, the Quran was written with
> plain letters.
>2. Dotting notations was added in more than one stage.
>3. Simple diacritical marks where added in slow steps.
>4. There wasn't any aya numbers or sections
>Yet, what they held in their hands was indeed called The Quran. I
>doubt that anyone can deny that the Sura (Surat Taaha) 'Umar snatched
>from his sister's hands before his Islam--that sura that caused an
>earthquake in his heart-- looked like Surat Taaha we see today in the
>MuS-Haf. The same thing applies when we were in highschool and we were
>asked to write down a passage from the Quran. I doubt anyone can deny
>that what we wrote was a Quran (We even wrote it down without
>diacritical marks!) If nobody doubts, then I ask: Why then are
>numerous Quran related projects are postponed until what can be
>presented will match the MuS-Haf? I don't know about the others, but
>I'm not going to wait. :)
>Copying the Quran and inventing numerous ways to present it and
>simplify its readings was an amazing process that the SaHaaba and the
>tabi'een overtook and amazed the world with it [at times when reading
>was a crime in some societies]. But those methods are not closed to
>Wishing you and your family peace and good health.
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