The arabic context of the Qur-aan.

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Bismihi Ta`ala

*THE ARABIC CONTEXT OF THE QUR-AAN.*Qur-aan was revealed in the Arabic language. It is because that it was revealed in the Saudi peninsula. And in that context, the Arabic language was the local language and hence this was the most understood language for the Arabs of Saudi peninsula to understand and become muslims. When the Arabs adopted the religion, then they were called to propagate it to other nations around the globe. 
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِتُنْذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنْذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِير [الشورى : 7]
God says: ‘’And thus, we have revealed to you an Arabic Qur-aan, so that you may warn the mother town(Makkah) and those around it, and warn them of the day of gathering, about it there is no doubt –
when one group of people will be in paradise and another group in the blazing fire.’’(42:7)
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ [إبراهيم : 4]
‘’We have not sent a prophet but (speaking) in the language of his people so that he might clearly convey the message to them.’’(14:4)Although, originally, the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was originally sent as a blessings and a warner for the whole world-وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا  [سبأ : 28]‘’We did not send you but to the entire mankind.’’(34:28)-‘’We have not sent you but as a blessings for the whole universe.’’(21:107)To achieve this goal of the whole world, he had a mission of preparing a group of people that will carry his message to the four corners of the world. The most outer limit that the prophet Muhammad Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam travelled during his prophecy was to Tabouk, 625 kiliometres north of Madinah. Else he spent the 23 years of prophecy, not leaving the Arabian peninsula, precisely mostly around the area of Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah.The beloved prophet Muhammad peace be upon him openly trained his companions as his own message carriers:‘’You have been sent to make ease upon the people and not to stern upon them.’’(Bukhari)صحيح البخاري -)فإنما بعثتم ميسرين ولم تبعثوا معسرين
 At the end of his 23 years mission, the Arabs of Saudi Arabia became muslims and they were ready to be the conquerors of heart of human kind. They conquered most of the then populated areas of the world: Northern Africa, part of Europe, Asia and part of Russia. So the mission of prophet Muhammad peace be upon him started when he came down from the mountain of Nur in Makkah and ended with more or less 125000 arabs convinced on Islam. The page of history of man changed to bring light to the previous ‘’Dark age’’. The world progressed with the perfect prescriptions of Islam mainly in social equity, political stability, financial democracy and chastity.Without the Arabic speaking Muhammad S.A.W. and the Arabic Qur-aan, the Arabs will not have digested any other book revealed in other languages. This is the context of revelation. But the revelation language of Islam-Arabic language- has marked to a great extent the emblems of Islam. Until today, the call of prayer, the 5 daily prayer worship, the labbaik starter of Hajj, reciting of the Qur-aan and the Friday sermon that never altered from Arabic language, although Islam reached in less than a century non Arabs like China, Afghanistan, India, northern Africa and Spain in Europe.Worth noting that the Arabic language does not impose itself as a supremacist nor does it racially favours anyone to this respect. The beloved prophet Muhammad peace be upon him quickly corrected and annihilated the wrong concept of Arab nationalist belief at inception: حياة الصحابة – الكاندهلوي – (3 / 336)وأخرج ابن عساكر عن مالك عن الزهري عن أبي سلمة بن عبد الرحمن قال: جاء قيس بن مطاطية إلى حلقة فيها سلمان الفارسي وصهيب الرومي وبلال الحبشي رضي الله عنهم فقال: هؤلاء الأوس والخزرج قاموا بنصرة هذا الرجل، فما بال هؤلاء؟ فقام معاذ رضي الله عنه فأخذ بتلبيبه حتى أتى به النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فأخبره بمقالته فقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مغضباً يجر رداءه حتى دخل المسجد، ثم نُودي الصلاة جامعة، فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال: «يا أيها الناس إنَّ الربَّ رب واحد، وإن الأب أب واحد، وإن الدين دين واحد، ألا وإن العربية ليست لكم بأب ولا أم، إنما هي لسان فمن تكلم بالعربية فهو عربي». فقال معاذ وهو آخذ بتلبيبه: يا رسول الله ما تقول في هذا المنافق؟ فقال: «دعه إلى النار» قال: فكان فيمن ارتد فقُتل في الردة. كذا في الكنز .
 Reported in hayatus Sahabah from Ibn Asaakir and Kanz that Qais ibn Batatiyah approached a sitting where there was Salmaan the Iranian r.a., Suheib the Roman r.a. and Bilaal the Abissinian. He said: ‘’The tribe of Madinah Aws and Khazraj helped this man(Muhammad S.A.W.). What can these (non Arab citizens) be in help?’’ When these words reached the prophet, He immediately called his companions to be assembled and said: ‘’O people! Your God is One, your father(Adam) is one and your religion is one. The Arabic language is not your father nor your mother. It is only a language. The one who speak Arabic will be called Arab.’’In the last Sermon of his Hajj, He said: ‘’O people! Know that your God is One, your father is one. Listen properly: there is no superiority of Arab over non Arab, nor non Arab over Arab, nor black over yellow/white, nor black over white/yellow, except by the quality of piety.’’(Ahmad)مسند أحمد ط الرسالة – ()حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدٌ الْجُرَيْرِيُّ، عَنْ أَبِي نَضْرَةَ، حَدَّثَنِي مَنْ سَمِعَ خُطْبَةَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي وَسَطِ أَيَّامِ التَّشْرِيقِ فَقَالَ: ” يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، أَلَا إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ وَاحِدٌ، وَإِنَّ أَبَاكُمْ وَاحِدٌ، أَلَا لَا فَضْلَ لِعَرَبِيٍّ عَلَى عَجَمِيٍّ ) ، وَلَا لِعَجَمِيٍّ عَلَى عَرَبِيٍّ، وَلَا أَحْمَرَ ( عَلَى أَسْوَدَ، وَلَا أَسْوَدَ عَلَى أَحْمَرَ، إِلَّا بِالتَّقْوَى أَبَلَّغْتُ “، قَالُوا: بَلَّغَ رَسُولُ اللهِ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: ” أَيُّ يَوْمٍ هَذَا ؟ “، قَالُوا: يَوْمٌ حَرَامٌ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: ” أَيُّ شَهْرٍ هَذَا ؟ “، قَالُوا: شَهْرٌ حَرَامٌ، قَالَ: ثُمَّ قَالَ: ” أَيُّ بَلَدٍ هَذَا ؟ “، قَالُوا بَلَدٌ حَرَامٌ، قَالَ: ” فَإِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ حَرَّمَ بَيْنَكُمْ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ ” ـ قَالَ: وَلَا أَدْرِي قَالَ: أَوْ أَعْرَاضَكُمْ، أَمْ لَا ـ كَحُرْمَةِ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا، فِي شَهْرِكُمْ هَذَا، فِي بَلَدِكُمْ هَذَا أَبَلَّغْتُ “، قَالُوا: بَلَّغَ رَسُولُ اللهِ، قَالَ: ” لِيُبَلِّغِ الشَّاهِدُ الْغَائِبَ Although the context of revelation was in the Arabic language, but in no avenues did Islam preferred the Arabs. This equalitarian concept of Islam attracted the hearts of non Arabs to gain glory of Islam. Today from the 6 accepted of Arabic books of text of the prophet/Hadith, were written by mostly non Arabs, starting with Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi…But, we are grateful to Arabs pioneers that came to our lands and freed our ancestors from the wrath of idolatry. We are grateful to those Arabs that protected integrity of the deen of Allah in Makkah and Madinah and the surrounding. We are grateful to the language that hold the original text of the Qur-aan and the sayings of the prophet. We love Arabic and Arabs because our Qur-aan is Arabic, our prophet was Arab and the language of Jannah will be Arabic.  Tomorrow, Insha Allah, we will talk of a few factual texts that are related to the particular context that was prevailing amongst the Arabs of the 8th century. Because the first digestion of revelation was important. So that when they are consolidated and convinced, then they may carry the flag of Islam around the world. Context is important, because quoting without the arena of context will definitely bring wrong conclusions.
Mufti Mackoojee

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