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Frank

Writing The Koran

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Layna! Concentrate!

 

You were asking for someone who knows Arabic and who can critique the writing style of the Qur'an. ..

 

Good.. good...

 

The perfection of the Qur'an is lost on someone who can't speak the Arabic language.
Doh! Lost the plot.

 

The whole point of this interminable discussion is that because I don't read Arabic I need input from someone who does. (And that someone has to be able to communicate with me effectively.) I had hoped that Rushdie did, but I'm told he doesn't.

 

As others have pointed out, the book he wrote is fictional. You continue to speak of someone who will assess the Qur'an as a work of Literature yet that is the farthest thing you'd expect in fiction

 

Wot? Anyway, go back and see what I've written about Rushdie. As he's no longer a candidate I'm not going to speak about him any more in this thread, although I'd be happy to contribute to a 'Satanic Verses' or a 'Killing Authors' thread.

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If you are constantly "submitting" the "final draft" on every day that you "create" something, there is no way you could use the 23 years before a book is completed to brush up on it. So for anyone to argue that the Qur'an is like any other book in the sense that prophet Muhammad had plenty of time to perfect it would be rather stupid.

 

Only if you accept the 'divine dictation' version. Obviously atheists and other non-Musliims don't. If it wasn't 'divine dictation', then we have no idea how much redrafting and correction Mohammed did before he presented each section to his followers. The Koran is not a long book. 23 years is a very long time.

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I’ll try to give it a go, tell me if this is what you are looking for.

 

Note: Balagha is the art of reaching the limit in description and style (or attempting to). It includes the structure of the sentences, the sequence used, the choice of words and the writing styles. It focuses on the above in both the meaning and the shape (like riming, rhythm...etc.). Naturally I will focus on the meaning part although they usually come together as this is where most of ingenious creation is found; but I will do that because it is difficult to explain without you at least hearing the words in Arabic so you can understanding how the words sound as opposed to only what they mean.

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I find that one of the frequent elements of the Quran as a literature is its pictorial scenes. In some verses it even becomes something like a movie scene that zooms in and out. Take Surat Al Takkaour (81) as an example:

 

[1] When the sun is folded up; (turned off, disposed of)

[2] When the stars scatter; (and are turned off)

[3] When the mountains vanish; (walk away, move away)

[4] When the she-camels, are left untended; (abandoned)

[5] When the wild beasts are herded;

[6] When the oceans boil over with a swell; (spill over with hot water)

[7] When the souls are sorted out; (being joined, like with like)

[8] When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned,

[9] For what crime she was killed;

[10] When the Scrolls (books, papers, records) are laid open;

[11] When the World on High is unveiled; (depicted as if the sky/outer space is scraped off showing what is behind)

[12] When hell is kindled to fierce heat; (its fire increases as if you just added fuel to a fire)

[13] And when the Garden (heaven) is brought near; (not necessarily physically, it becomes nearer as in “wanted even more”)

[14] (Then) shall each soul know what it has put forward. (everyone will know what they have really worked for during their life).

 

 

Here, there is a description of the sa’a (doomsday). It starts with looking at the wide picture, and depicts the picture with only three words per verse: the word Itha (when), the object and the verb, the subject or who is doing it is left anonymous – leaving it to your imagination, was it God directly, or was it influenced by God, or did the Angels do it by order from God?

 

It starts with a zoom out, showing the universe, and gives a graphic description using one single word (the verb) chosen to give full detail. First, the sun is folded over itself and turned off, the stars scatter in all directions and turn off. The picture then zooms in to earth, but still having a wide view – the mountains move away and vanish, as if they walk away or are walked away. The picture then zooms in a little further showing how tamed animals are abandoned and left alone, animals in general, especially the wild ones flock together in groups herded to unidentified destination(s). Then, the oceans and seas boil their water that it spills over the land.

 

Then it zooms even closer in, to humans, who are also herded in some way, but not all together, they are divided into groups based on their actions in the world.

 

Then the ultimate zoom-in, is when (imagine a camera) we focus on a small baby, a few hours old, the baby girl is asked (for what guilt have you been killed?) Again, the one asking is left anonymous.

 

This zooming is not only in terms of size, it is also in terms of how personal the act is: the sun and stars are far and quite impersonal, the mountains are much closer and hence much more personal, but the animals are even closer. When the sea boils over the water comes even closer to humans, it may touch them and it now becomes quite personal. But telling us what happens to humans is not personal enough; people are still treated as one group here.

 

When the focus is on the innocent baby that has been wrongfully killed, it becomes extremely personal; it guides your imagination to a particular direction: you would wonder: if this innocent baby has been asked “why?” questioned about what has happened and she had no guilt at all – how would the guilty be questioned. The one that killed her, he would surely be asked: “why?”

 

This also moves you from one point to another, at first it was doomsday, now it is judgment day, the next aya zooms out a bit, on judgment day this time: when the scrolls are laid open, what scrolls you may ask? The record where every single action you (and me and everyone – according to Islamic belief) has done in his life is recorded, it is now open so you may see it; should you forget it would remind you, should you wish to deny, it would prove your guilt.

 

Then, what is beyond this world is revealed, whatever is hiding the other world from us is scraped, like you would scrape the snow off your windshield so that you can see through it; now the move is not a zoom in or a zoom out, you are already fully zoomed out, it is advancing you to “what lays behind”, now you can see the blazing fire of hell and you can see the most desired tranquility of heaven. At last, you come to the main point, now that you have seen what you have seen; you now know what you have achieved throughout your life.

 

These 14 short ayas at the beginning of Surat Al Takkaour are not a mere description of what is going to happen, it is a whole movie, moving you from one point to another, zooming in, zooming out, and advancing through places and giving a clear and very imaginable picture. All this with short ayas and using very carefully selected words, specifically the indirect verbs. There is a considerably fast rhythm to these ayas and last letter in each aya is a still T. What I mean by a silent T is not that it is not pronounced, it is, but in Arabic the letter is considered to be “still/silent” if it is not followed by a vowel sound (note sound, because not all vowels in Arabic are letters).

 

The choice of ending each aya by this still T means that when you read it out loud you come to a short stop where you can take a breath, this stop would make the sentence sound as if it fell: “bang” then silence; then you go on with a fast pace, then “bang”…etc. it gives you a fraction of a second to anticipate what is next: even the two sentences describing the questioning of the baby, first it says: “When the baby is questioned” then a brief silence where you take a breath and anticipate – then the question….

 

I don’t know how much sense this makes to you; but to me, this aya is sort of like an action movie…. Telling me what is going to happen in a very breath taking way.

 

I’m sorry for making this post long, I must admit that although I’m trying my best not to translate I just find myself translating my thoughts from Arabic to English so I don’t know how it sounds to someone that does not know Arabic.

 

So, is this what you are looking for?

Edited by Mahawi

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:sl:

 

Masha'Allah sis, subhaanAllah so beautiful, jazaakillah kheyr.

 

I'm not all that good at transliteration, but I tried doing the verses sister Mahawi posted, so you can see the flowing rhythm and rhyme in them:

 

1- Ithash-shamsu kuwwirat

2- Wa ithan-nujoomun-kadarat

3- Wa ithal jibaalu suyyirat

4- Wa ithal 'ishaaru 'uttilat

5- Wa ithal wuhooshu hushirat

6- Wa ithal bihaaru sujjirat

7- Wa ithan-nufoosu zuwwijat

8- Wa ithal mau'oodatu su'ilat

9- Bi eyyi thambin qutilat

10- Wa ithas-suhufu nushirat

11- Wa ithas-samaa'u kushitat

12- Wa ithal jaheemu su''irat

13- Wa ithal jannatu uzlifat

14- 'Alimat nafsum-maa ahdharat

Edited by xXxXMuslima-4-LifeXxXx

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Only if you accept the 'divine dictation' version. Obviously atheists and other non-Musliims don't. If it wasn't 'divine dictation', then we have no idea how much redrafting and correction Mohammed did before he presented each section to his followers. The Koran is not a long book. 23 years is a very long time.

 

Concentrate, Franky boy!

 

You're so obviously missing the point.

 

A good part of the Qur'an was for SPECIFIC events, and for SPECIFIC situations. For example, Event A happens today. The Muslims have no idea how to deal with it. Qur'anic verses explaining Event A or giving a solution to Event A are revealed either within a few hours, or a few days.

 

Next you'll be arguing "well, we don't know if Muhammad existed or not!"

 

 

Wot? Anyway, go back and see what I've written about Rushdie. As he's no longer a candidate I'm not going to speak about him any more in this thread, although I'd be happy to contribute to a 'Satanic Verses' or a 'Killing Authors' thread.

 

Perhaps you should also contribute to a "Killing Danish Cartoonists" topic for all of the difference it'll make. :sl:

 

Salam.

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according to Epicurus all perceptions are true , they are passive (they do not add or subtract anything of the object perceived), unreasoning and incapable of remembering .he continue by saying that they are conscious reception of atoms emitted by objects around us and their content is entirely determined by those objects nature and properties . This being said he claims that the error does not origin from perceptions but actually it happens when the mind start reflecting on those senses.

 

For just as the primary affections, that is pleasure and pain, come about from certain agents and in accordance with those agents pleasure from pleasant things and pain from painful things, and it is impossible for what is productive of pleasure not to be pleasant and what is productive of pain not to be painful but that which produces pleasure must necessarily be naturally pleasant and that which produces pain naturally painful so also with perceptions which are affections of ours, that which produces each of them is always perceived entirely and, as perceived, cannot bring about the perception unless it is in truth such as it appears.

 

Now isambard since you are using the word ironically I will assume we have the same conception of truth as being by its nature objective, if not then there is no need to debate this issue since a person asserting that truth is subjective cannot conceptualize truth nor is capable of abstraction, and that you adhere to what gnuneo is saying the impossibility of knowing it objectively , well I respect both of your view and I will not try to refute anything since it’s self refutable .

 

may i assume you have not heard of E-prime? It removes the word "is" as being flawed in reality. It can be replaced with profit with the words "can be modelled as". Ergo, your phrase "truth is subjective" becomes "truth can be modelled as subjective" - surely you would agree? Equally, as you understood, i would not disagree with "truth can be modelled as objective", as should be clear from my previous post. You no doubt are taking exception to my assertion NOT that there is an objective reality, but upon my statement that *we* as individuals cannot know it.

 

please give an example of an objective truth that you would defend with your life - excepting your own Life, that being (as hume argued) the only one Truth an individual can be sure of. (actually he called it God, but in essence there is no difference).

 

 

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layna, may i say you are awesome? :sl:

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Excellent assumption I have not heard of the term e-prime thanks for teaching me something new it’s always good to learn, anyway back to the topic you are just using this notion of e-prime to attack the identity relation between the subject and its predicate but as I said earlier in another thread when talking about Leibniz and the notion of complete concept the predicate is part of the subject so to say something is x this is merely a linguistic description of something but it will not add or subtract anything from the concept of this thing , like if you remember Kant used this idea to refute the ontological argument by saying that existence is not a predicate so you cannot bring god into existence if he does not already exist.

 

Now about objective truth defending with your life expecting your own life and concluding it’s consciousness it’s a smart since you cannot reject the truth that you have a consciousness so you are defending it with your life expect your own life as for an example of my own well honestly I don’t feel it’s related to the subject we are discussing but anyway I will add that by asserting this objective truth you have created an infinite number of other objective truth which you defend with your life maybe even without being self aware of this fact I will quote albert camus from the myth of Sisyphus

For the one who express a true assertion proclaims simultaneously that it is true and so on ad infinitum

Also the principle of sufficient reason states the same .

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I’ll try to give it a go, tell me if this is what you are looking for.

 

Thank you very much (sincerely, if I need to add it), that was a great post.

 

Unfortunately ...

 

 

It's sort of starting from the wrong end. You could (for example) give me a highly detailed analysis of the stylistic techniques of TS Eliot, but that wouldn't help me understand his poetry's "worth".

 

I'd expect a critic to say something along the lines of "In my opinion, no Arab poetry has ever aproached the Koran, and, moreover, no poetry in any other literary tradition I'm familiar with has." Of course, a Muslim would HAVE to say that, and a non-Muslim COULDN'T say that, so the discussion has to sidle up to the crux.

 

OK, here's my question. Is the "creative leap" of the Koran of a different order than the creative leap of a Joyce, Proust, TS Eliot, Dostoevsky, Austen, Shakespeare, Homer, etc, etc, etc? If so, is that leap of such a magnitude that it is not human? Compare and contrast. :sl:

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a challenge to anyone who doubts the Quran. many have attempted and failed this challenge.

 

And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Quran) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Soorah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful

2:23

 

and that person of hell does NOT know the Quran well, he is an ignorant fool may Allah destroy him in this world and the hereafter.

 

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