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The word طالوت or Talut and other matters

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?
in response to reader comment: Why not translate ALL Arabic words into English? What is "talut"?

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jun 12, 2016 at 08:38

Hi Mach37

With respect Dr Pipes is a historian and he is very knowledgeable about Islam and the Arab world and historians read literary sources in their primary language and in this case the primary language of Islam is Arabic

And yes some Islamic technical words and terms should be written by using Arabic script or Arabic transliteration an example: One can use the transliteration al-Jihad or the Arabic word itself الجهاد

This does not mean that one is promoting Islam It is the opposite we are reading Islamic sources in their primary language Arabic that is so no Muslim can argue that we do not understand what these literary sources are saying

As for why do we have the Qur'an in the way we have it today? We really do not know But we know that the Qur'an is a very heterogeneous text and this is why the early Mufasereen invented the idea of Mecca period and Medina period

However at times this divide did not really work example check Q53 or Surat al-Nijm and you will realize that Verse 53:32 could not have been part of the original text. It is very long and very violent and does not follow the very short and poetic verses that constitute the rest of the Chapter This clearly is interpolation However al-Mufasereen tell us that this verse belongs to the Medina period which does not make sense because Q53 ia a Meccan Sura

If you want to read scholarly work on the subject then read Theodor Noldeke's History of the Quran

As for the word طالوت or Talut here is the dictionary meaning of the word


It is a good example that if one is serious about reading the Qur'an then one should have knowledge of not just Arabic but Syriac and Hebrew as well as the religious landscape and history of the Middle East in late antiquity

I hope this helped


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