Friday, January 25, 2008

Post 6. Religious versus secular content of the Quran.

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The Great Mohammedan Introductory Prayer.
Faatihah: Sura I: Section 1: Verses 7.
Sura I.
Faatihah I.
Verses: 7. Section: 1.

"’Al-Hamdu lillaahi Rabbil-’Aalamiin:
Maaliki Yawmid-Diin!
’Iyyaaka na’-budu
iyyaka nasta-’iin
Siraatal-laziina ‘an-amta alay-him
‘Gayril-magzuuli alay-him

Sura I.
Faatihah I.
Verses: 7. Section: 1.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah,
The Cherisher and Sustainer
of the Worlds:
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
Master of the Day of Judgment!
Thee do we worship,
Thine aid we seek,
Show us the straight way,
The way of those on whom
Thou hast bestowed the Grace,
Those whose (portion)
Is not wrath,
And who go not astray."
Extracted from-:
" Roman Transliteration of the Holy Quran "
with Full Arabic Text
an English Translation.
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
SH. Muhammad Ashraf
Publishers & Booksellers
7, Aibak road ( New Anarkali)
" Mohammedanism a branch of Christianity? "
I am uploading this Post as a sign of my appreciation, love and respect for the charismatic content of the Quran, arabic culture and language, although I personally find arabic script as not having the full-bodied solidity and reassurance of western alphabets. This cannot be ascribed to any semitic trait as the hebrew alphabet is one of the most solid and architecturally balanced I know.
A short Digression on the beginnings
of the written and spoken classical arabic
used in the Sacred Book-: The Quran
I wonder why the arabic scholar Al-KHALIL ben AHMAD ( died in c. 786 A.D.) who created the arabic lexicography (dictionary ) and SIBAWWAYH ( died in c. 796 A.D.) who developed classical arabic by producing the first arabic grammar by selecting the best and most accomplished usages from the many dialects spoken in the arabic peninsula, in the days of Mohammed, did not decide to adopt the readily available hebrew alphabet and adapt the hebrew grammar to arabic, thus allowing a convergence rather than the divergence between the two semitic branches which is causing so many problems to the World
since the days of Mohammed, the Great Prophet.
Could any professor of classical arabic enlighten us in a suitable Post readable by the non-scholarly?
German professors have carried out in-depth parallel studies of sirian/mesopotamic languages, many of which belong to the indo-european group, comparing and contrasting these to arabic, exploring the influence of christian missionaries on the religious conversion of Mohammed ( Before his conversion to monotheism he had been an arabic polytheist with a strong attraction for the monotheism of the Hebrews to whom he was related and with whom he worked and lived since three large hebrew communities of the Diaspora are known to have established their roots around Mecca and Medina prior to the times in which Mohammed had been born. )
This issue shall be taken up again when I'll publish the Post mentioned above, which is my translation in english from an Article printed in an Italian authoritative nagazine, "Espresso".
Their Title is "Vangeli-Islam?", that is " Gospels-Islam? ".
End of Digression.
However, " that the arabic alphabet may be architecturally too light ", may be a purely subjective opinion. On the other hand I have artistic skills and appreciation that should give some weight to this opinion.
I am certainly aware of the calligraphic artistry, inventiveness and skills of arabic, writtten ornamental decorations, an art-form which has been pushed to its limits by the prohibition to produce iconic art to avoid the danger of idolatry, which is common to the unreformed branches of both the islamic and the judaeo religious-ideologies. As a theologian who has studied the history of both the Hebrews and the Arabs, I have become aware of the reality that idolatry cannot be totally avoided and that one good way to reduce it is by learning to sublimate, lift and elevate it through free-willing educated renunciations of the material around us, not by placing severe limitations and handicaps on whatever is thought to be liable to tempt the human being or by stopping progress and history itself. The renunciation of idolatry for the love of and to the greater glory of Allah ( Jehovah ) must be a free, personal, individual, responsible, accountable, decision, the more meritorious the stronger the temptation is allowed to naturally exert itself, freely. The presuppositions to this scenario of freedom are education that includes ethics and morality and a freedom of choice that takes into consideration the interests and freedoms of both the individual and collective.
Moreover, I have used the couplet religious-ideology differentiating this on purpose from the purely religious/ethical issues, on the basis that the theocratic obsession that still appears to inform and dictate a behaviour of violence and enforcement by a small group of fundamentalists on the majority of those who try to behave normally-: To work, to raise families and to progress in a democratically possible way, vitiates these legitimate and human aspirations.
A jesuit, the liberationist theologian Juan Luis Segundo teaches learnedly on religious ideologies in a christological work titled " Jesus of Nazareth, Yesterday and To-day ".
What do my mohammedan visitors to the blog think about this?
I would lovingly appreciate their comments, opinions and views .
Having stated what I can see as being positive in the Quran,, I am bound by honesty to also express my concern for the fact that, theologically and historically, the interpretation of the Quran has never been officially reformed. By reformation I mean here a rationalisation and normalisation of what is secular in the Quran in order to make it compatible with non-islamic cultures and above all, since democracy is now, when properly managed, in the absence of corruption ( i.e., make information on the income of everyone evident ) and de-stabilisation, the accepted solution to the issues related to the problems of the equitable distribution of resources, mutuality and reciprocity in all types of relations between races, religions, cultures etc. for the sake of peace and survival.
Yes, the survival of the whole human species.
Co-operation and not war is necessary to-day for the solution of the problems of a plentyful, globally available, New Energy and New Water which solved, can in turn allow the solution to the problems of Global Warming.
Yes: Energy and Water.
All the rest to be enabled by these two.
Also, since global catastrophic events caused by sources outside the Earth are always a possibility, inter-planetarian and even inter-stellar exploration must be pursued.
This is made extremely difficult by all the divisions, alignments, wars and wastages caused by sabotaging, fundamentalist-minorities.
The West may have eventually no other alternative but to behave very nastily.
Nobody may win, but honour which is, historically, on the side of the West.
Whoever is out there, playing dangerous games, BEWARE!
Common sense should prevail.
Beware of the adoption of Confrontation Ethics!
My warning is out of my heart.
So help us God!
I'd like to end this Post with the exortation from Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali, the interpreter of the Quran in the english translation mentioned above-:
" To all who love and reverence the Book.
And earnestly strive to find in it,
Not a reflection of their own fancies,
But the Call to higher matters of the spirit,
I dedicate this humble effort at Interpretation,
The fruit of my Life, Thought and Study. "
Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali ( Servant of Islam )
Al-Hamdu lillaahi!


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