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Reader comment on item: Muslims in the West: Can Conflict Be Averted?
in response to reader comment: Messenger ,Prophet, and Imam

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 3, 2006 at 07:32

I have no idea what you are talking about here. But if you wish to know my understanding based on reading a dictionary, that you do not seem to do, of the words Rasul/Nabi/Sa'ee read the following.

Now let us talk about some basics: Rasul; the root of the word is RSL which means to correspond, carry on a correspondance, to contact, get in touch, exchange letters and this is from Lisan al-'Arab the Arabic dictionary par excellence. Notice the secular meaning of the word here.

But this is not what really happened: The word Rasul appears very early in the extant Arabic sources and for sure we know what it means (eg: Khalifat Allah and Khalifat Rasul Allah that apeear early on on coins and notice that such title does not say: Nabiyoo Allah or the Nabi of Allah, and for any reader who is interested in what the words Khalifa and rasul mean here please see an infidel source and that is Patricia Crone: "God's Caliph"). The word took on a different meaning where the prophet is the messenger and the messenger is the prophet, and for all intents and purposes the nabi becomes the rasul and the rasul is the nabi. You must pardon me but your first flaw is that tyou seem to believe that the Arabic language was fully fledged in 632 CE as we are told by the tradition and for this see below. Your second flaw is that you do not seem to be aware of the saying: "al-tafseer lel sahaba wa al-ta'weel lel 'Ulama."

Now enter the word: prophetes (Greek) which means: "one who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpretor through whom the will of a god is expressed" (well Muhammad claimed he did as he was rasul Allah) AKA as rasul and see the above definition. It can also mean: "soothsayer or predictor" (and Muhammad denied this) So was Muhammad a soothsayer or predictor? . And last it could mean: "The chief spokesperson of a cause or a movement" (see Webster's) and he sure was.

As I mentioned before: The word sa'ee is very much the secular word that would describe a messenger.

So a Rasul = A Nabi and Muhammad is: 1. al-Nabi Muhammad. 2. Muahmmad rasul Allah. 3. al-Nabi Muhammad rasul Allah (see Hoyland).

Now, if the question is: Is the Qur'an a dictionary of the Arabic language?

The answer is: No it is not. The Qur'an claims to be written in 'Arabi Faheeh, but it does not claim that it is a Ma'jam (dictionary). As a matter of fact the Qur'an is full of strange non Arabic words eg; my favorite is kalala, and clearly non Arabic words eg: Tur which is Syriac, and very poor grammar at times and the example here is: "ina hadhan la sahiran." And to add insult to injury it does not tell us very much about the words that were introduced into Arabic language in the 3rd century by the likes of Hunein ibn Ishaq (who was a Christian....gasp!!!) based on Sibawayhe's Fi'l and eg: balgham, tuhal and safra. These words would have made no sense to Muhammad and his generation but you will find them in Lisan al-'Arab.

If you want to know Arabic vocabulary, classical Arabic that is, you must consult Lisan al-'Arab, and you need to do lots of reading about the Muslim masora.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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