Strange Quranic Terms

Here's a note from Thomas E. Burman, Reading the Qur'an in Latin Christendom, 1140-1560, page 43:

There is no clearer sign of the potential difficulties for the Qur'an's translators than the existence in the Islamic world of a whole genre of lexicons of the so-called “strange”or “foreign” words in the Qur'an. For as Muslims realized early on, there were a number of words in their sacred text that were not part of ordinary Arabic discourse, some of them deriving from rare Arabic or Semitic roots, some of them traceable to even more exotic languages, such as Persian. For a medieval Latin trasnslator such 'strange' Qur'anic terms must have been maddening.”

For example, “(Quran 4:51)those who were given a portion of the Book believe in jibt and taghut”. What're taghut? Well, they were idols; or they were people; or it means Satan; or sorcerer; depending on who you ask. Maybe it means clitoral orgasms, who knows?

We've blogged and sloggged up to Chapter 37, and looky here:

The beginning of sura 37 is a vivid example. It begins with the phrase Wa-al-saffat saffan, “By those arranged in ranks,” there once again being little in the context of the passage to explain what this meant. Muslim commentators naturally had to provide some clarification, and the normal view that they advanced was that by those arranged in ranks God means angels.

He calls this a 'famously difficult passage'. No shit: I thought he was talking about soldiers. Never heard of angels arranging themselves in ranks, only dancing on the heads of pins. Maybe they do line dances. This is the second time we've needed ESP to know he meant angels. Can't he just say "angels"? Does god have a speech impediment?

Mostly, this chapter is a dud, just more God Will Fuck You Up, and prophet stories again (god fucked 'em up, y'recall). It has that bit about a shooting flame that chases devils away, that we saw in sura 15. It describes heaven and hell again, sillily.

Awww, ain't it cute? Naturally he goes and spoils it with creepy talk about hell. (51-57) One of the guys in heaven had an 'intimate companion' back on Earth, and he looks down and sees him? her? down there in hell. Does he say “ZOMFG, that's someone I love down there, O NOES!!! HALP!!”? That would be the normal human reaction, for anybody who wasn't a sociopath, but hey, speaking of Mohammed, he has him say “ "By God! thou wast little short of bringing me to perdition!” Total inability to empathize, check. Mohammed's following his own first commandment, he gets hard again for the tortures of hell, and we find out it has a Zaqqam tree,

64 For it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-Fire:
65 The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils:

That's all it says about it, so I had an image of a tree with a lot of heads growing off it, and wondering who'd want to chow down on a thing like that. Wikipedia tells us more, and it sounds pretty nasty. (some books need footnotes, others need endnotes, the koran needs an online encyclopedia). One other thing stood out in this chapter (stood out = didn't 'same old' my brain into cottage cheese). He brings up the Dotters of Heaven again. (yay!)

149 Now ask them their opinion: Is it that thy Lord has (only) daughters, and they have sons?-
150 Or that We created the angels female, and they are witnesses (thereto)?
151 Is it not that they say, from their own invention,
152 "God has begotten children"? but they are liars!
153 Did He (then) choose daughters rather than sons?

This is what Mo said in ch22–in Medina—to replace the Satanic Verses in ch53 that he said ten years earlier—in Early Mecca—by repeating something he'd said years later in late Mecca, that same night. Confused? Don't worry about it. You can count on one thing at least; women ain't fer shit.


PersonalFailure said...

So, Mohammed was totally into Japanime chicks? Who isn't?

And line dancing angels? lulz!

Anonymous said...

High fives Uzza. Got ref of ur site from Kafirgirl's blog.

"150 Or that We created the angels female, and they are witnesses (thereto)?"

Excellent question.Were any muslims witnesses to Mo receiving revealations from Allah thru Gabriel?

Anonymous said...

u know what is really sad for u, that u are spending so much time, trying to show hatred towards islam and giving islam a bad name, and yet there are soooooo many christians and other religions that are converting to islam because of the beauty of the reilion, and they believe in the oneness of God, he has no partners and he is very different from all that he has created. so no matter how hard you are trying to spread hatred towards islam, people are still seeing the beauty of it, and you will see the truth one day if not in this world in the next world.

uzza said...

I like the logic, #3. Islam is beautiful, therefore, these meanings are not ambiguous. Got it. Now how about answering #2's question, hmmmm?

Anonymous said...

To #3, here's an Al Jazeera report complaining that exactly the opposite is happening, that Muslims are converting to Christianity at a rate of 6 million per year (in Africa at least).


What have you got to back up your claim or is your claim just something you made up for your own convenience like the great prohpet just made up your religion for his own convenience?