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Surat al-Rahman: Post Script 2: Ibn Manzur and the Word مرج in Surat al-Rahman

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?
in response to reader comment: Surat al-Rahman: A short Summary

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 18, 2022 at 08:11

Dr. Pipes,

The word Marj, in the Two Seas Tradition verses, has no clear meaning.

As a matter of fact, I just found that there is a northern suburb of Cairo and the name is المرج or al-Marg but Egyptians fail to provide us with the etymology and meaning of the word.
I checked Crum the Coptic Dictionary for a similar word to Marg but I could not find such word. I would appreciate if any Egyptian Arabic speaker from among your readers if he/she can provide us with the meaning and etymology of the word al-Marg

Badawi and Hinds define the word مرج as: "turmoil and chaos." Not even close to Ghali's (who is Egyptian) claim that the word مرج means "Merged."

May be the meaning of the word مرج was lost or changed. So the next step is to read how Ibn Manzur defined the word مرج

Here is the primary meaning, according to Ibn Manzur of the word مرج its primary meaning is:

المرج : الفضاء ، وقيل : المرج أرض ذات كلإ ترعى فيها الدواب

Or al-Marj is meadow: space and it was said that al-Marj is the land where animals would graze.

However, Ibn Manzur had to deal with the meaning of the word in the Two Seas Traditions and this is what he says:

والمرج الخلط . ومرج الله البحرين العذب والملح : خلطهما حتى التقيا

Or al-Marj is THE MIXING. And Allah Marj the two seas the sweet and the salty (means): He MIXED them when they met.

Notice that it becomes clear that the physical barrier of the Barzkh keeps them separate.

And the lesson to be learned? Never trust translations of the Qur'an

Here is the link to Ibn Manzur's Lisan al-'Arab and the word Marj



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