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Deciphering the Qur'an

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Nov 20, 2016 at 11:34

Dr Pipes

In Qur'an Surat al-A'raf 56 the verse says:

ان رحمت الله قريب

Truly the mercy of Allah is near

Very strange Arabic indeed because the word رحمت or Rahmat (Mercy) should be رحمة Or Rahma and the last letter is a Ta Marbouta not a Ta as we find in the verse

Now the correct form or the word رحمة is a feminine word which means that the word near should also be feminine

However the word near or قريب as we find it in the verse is masculine and in this verse it should be قريبة or Qariba (notice that the word also ends with a Ta Marbouta) the feminine form of the word near

So by the standards of the 3rd century of Islam Arabic grammar the sentence should be

ان رحمة الله قريبة

Or Ina Rahma(t) Allah Qariba (notice that the letter Ta Marbouta is vocalized as T if the following word starts bt AL)

al-Mufasereen had lots of explaining to do and as an example here is Tafsir al-Qurtubi


In short he avoids the word Rahmat as for the word Qarib he tells us that the word رحمة Rahma (f) and the word Rahm رحم (masculine) are the same therefore there is no mistake because the word Qarib should be left as masculine! Strange indeed

So how did this happen? The Quranic word Rahmat is from the Syriac form of the word ܪܚܡܬܐ or Rahmata and this very well explains why the word ends with a Ta and here is the word mercy in Arabic and Syriac


The word Qarib ܩܪܒܐ (Syriac Qariba) and Arabic قريب is from the Semitic root Q-R-B and in this case the Syriac Qariba was Arabized as Arabic Qarib without any regard to gender in what was to become Classical Arabic

Notice that the Syriac word ܩܪܒܐ or Qariba is masculine which is more evidence that the author Arabized the word by removing the Syriac alip at the end of the word


I suspect that the author of this verse was bilingual Syriac/Arabic person and he was Arabizing a Syriac text that we don't have anymore

Books do not drop from the sky! They are written by human beings at a point in time and in a specific linguistic milieu


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