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Surat al-Rahman: Foreign Words in the Qur'an? Astaghfirullah!

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?
in response to reader comment: Surat al-Rahman: Variant Traditions, Multiple Authors, White Virgins and Grapes?

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 5, 2022 at 07:12

The author of the Qur'an claims that it is قرانا عربيا or Arabic Qur'an and it is Kitab Mubeen or clear book.

Now, in Surat al-Rahman: 54 it says:

مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَىٰ فُرُشٍ بَطَائِنُهَا مِنْ إِسْتَبْرَقٍ

Or: reclining on beds with linings made of Istabraq

Notice that I left the word Istabarq untranslated because this is not an Arabic word.

The word Istabraq appears several times in the Qur'an


Ghali translates the word a "brocade."! However, the word brocade in Arabic is الديباج or al-Dibaj and why would the author of the verse uses a word that is not Arabic for "brocade" when there is an Arabic word and it is al-Dibaj? We will never know.

al-Qurtubi comes to the rescue and he tells us in his Tafsir of Surat al-Kahf: 31 that the word استبرق or Istabraq is: فارسي معرب Or, are you ready?: Persian (language) Arabized

et voila we have another word in the Qur'an that is not an Arabic word and in this case it is Persian.

However, like a loyal believer, al-Qurtubi then tells us: إذ ليس في القرآن ما ليس من لغة العرب or there is nothing in the Qur'an that is not from the language of the Arabs. Then he concludes: والله أعلم . Or only Allah knows!

Here is a link to "Foreign Vocabulary in the Qur'an" and the word Istabraq.


And to paraphrase Patricia Crone, the Qur'an is a flat text and once the reader scratch the surface, he/she will not find any rich deposits that can help in deciphering what the text is really saying. This is why textual criticism of the OT by Wellhausen (documentary theory) was successful and it was a failure when he applied the same methodology to the Quranic text.


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