Mar 14, 2012

2 questions answered regarding stories in the Quran

Asalamu Alaikoom
I have 2 question related to stories of the Quran: 
The Quran quotes all the Prophets ( peace be upon them) talking and advising their people in Arabic ( the language of the Quran). Did all the Prophets speak Arabic? 
Also I have memorized some of the Quran and have noticed some difference related to the same stories. for example in the story of Adam (peace be upon him) Allah (swt) says to both Adam and Eve: 
 in Surat Al Baqarah: 
وَكُلاَ مِنْهَا رَغَداً حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا 
and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein 
In Surat Al A'raaf 
فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا 
and eat thereof as you wish 
Why was it worded differently?


Wa alaykum asalam wa Rahmatullah,

Allah (swt) says in the Quran in Surat Ibrahim

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ

And We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people to state clearly for them [ the message]

Every Prophet spoke to his people in their own language in order to make the message clear to their people.

When Allah (swt) mentions for example that Prophet Isa (as) said to his people:

وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّراً بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ فَلَمَّا جَاءهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُوا هَذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

And [mention] when Isa, the son of Maryam, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic."

Isa (as) made the proclamation in his own language ( Aramaic) and what the Quran does is it reproduces the statement in the most precise way, in the Arabic language.

Stories in the Quran

regarding your second question; Sometimes the same event is mentioned and told from a slightly different perspective based on the context and subject matter of the Sura. This could involve mentioning something in one context and omitting it in another, as in the 2 verses you quoted, where the word رَغَداً is omitted in Surat Al A'raaf and mentioned in Al Baqarah.

Omitting something from a story doesn't mean it wasn't said. What the quran does is mention the part of the narrative that is most relevant to the subject matter and context. All words in the Quran are chosen in the most perfect way and this is one aspect of what makes the Quran a linguistic miracle.

If one was to read the context of Surat Al Baqarah and Surat Al-A'raaf one will notice that Surat Al Baqarah deals with the honoring of Adam and his offspring. While Surat Al-A'raaf is a sura that deals with admonishing man for disbelief and mentions the destruction of a number of townships. So the Quran takes both of these contexts into consideration when narrating both of these stories.

Wa Allahu A'lam 

These 2 sections of the Quran highlight some of the differences in the story in Surat Al Baqarah and Surat Al A'raaf

Insh'Allah, I plan to produce a series that will go through a number of stories in the Quran with a deep analysis of both style and language, and to show why the Quran is a linguistic miracle


By Nabeel Alkhalidy

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