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Re: Verse 22:5
By:Jawaid Ahmed
Date: Friday, 8 January 2010, 2:04 pm
In Response To: Verse 22:5 (Noman Waseem)

You do have a legitimate right to question the use of modern terms being applied to the Quran but I do not see why we must avoid doing so.

The words in the Quran are used to describe the stages of human development and as such modern readers can easily identify with modern terms, embryo, zygote etc. Using terms written down 100’s of years ago for the equivalent stages only makes the Quran antiquated. The Quran is for all time and needs to keep up to date and be relevant. Someone asked me why the Quran does not have Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or any other modern scientific formula. The Quran is descriptive and words are a poor media for transmission (that is why we have so many translations and interpretations) but at every level of understanding a “description” is always better than a definition; understanding of terms change, E=mc2 may become obsolete when knowledge increases or there is a Unified Theory of Everything, so describing a day as like 10,000 years (see other post) is better in the long run. To Allah time is “irrelative”, he is beyond the confines of the created universe and as such past, present and future have no meaning; we are constrained by time and space, not He.

Arabs may well have heard from the Greeks about human development so we must not always jump to the conclusion that all scientific knowledge in the Quran could only have come from Allah. However, the Quran only contains verified scientific facts and not the thousands of other unscientific beliefs of that time, so something is going on that cannot be attributed to human beings alone.

[There is the problem with allegorical verses like “floating mountains turning to clouds”, see Yusuf Ali translation:-
27.88. Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away: (such is) the artistry of Allah, who disposes of all things in perfect order: for he is well acquainted with all that ye do.

But the Quran Crusader comes to the rescue:-

27:88 And the powerful elite that you deem firm as mountains, will float around like weightless clouds. Such is the Design of God Who disposes of all things in perfect order. Surely, He is fully Aware of what you do.]

I have read and heard similar remarks from orientalists about the use of modern words, who see the Quran as a threat and do whatever they can to deny its truth. They see the Quran only confirming known scientific facts when their own scriptures have many absurdities and criticise modern translators for using modern terms. Dr William Campbell in his debate with Dr Zakir Naik, “the Bible and the Quran in the light of modern science” used the example of the word pig in his attack (no, I am not obsessed with pigs, just that a few of my recent posts have been about them!). He said that a pig is an animal but is now used as a derogatory term for police officers, which was not the case 100 years ago. Hence, when someone wrote about pigs in the past we cannot have the meaning of police, it must mean the animal.

Similarly, when the modern translators use modern words they are using terms that were not understood as this in the past and this is a mistake. As I said above, the Quran CAN be understood and translated with modern terms because the description is what the word is being used for. So we do need “modern” terms and understanding.

I hope that answers your question.

Messages In This Thread

Verse 22:5
Noman Waseem -- Thursday, 7 January 2010, 11:27 am
Re: Verse 22:5
*Dr Shabbir -- Thursday, 7 January 2010, 3:09 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
Abby Starri -- Saturday, 9 January 2010, 9:02 am
Re: Verse 22:5 - edited
Saadia Khan, Project Manager -- Thursday, 7 January 2010, 3:58 pm
Re: Verse 22:5 - edited
Noman Waseem -- Thursday, 7 January 2010, 9:55 pm
Re: Verse 22:5 - edited
Saadia Khan, Project Manager -- Thursday, 7 January 2010, 10:21 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
Laila Noor -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 10:10 am
Re: Verse 22:5
Jawaid Ahmed -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 2:04 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
Hicham -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 5:08 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
Jawaid Ahmed -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 6:05 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
Hicham -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 6:51 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
Naushad P. -- Saturday, 9 January 2010, 6:51 am
Re: Verse 22:5
Noman Waseem -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 5:13 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
*Dr Shabbir -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 5:58 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
Noman Waseem -- Friday, 8 January 2010, 9:47 pm
Re: Verse 22:5
*Dr Shabbir -- Saturday, 9 January 2010, 1:31 am
Re: Verse 22:5
UmeAimon -- Saturday, 9 January 2010, 1:55 pm