The question asked by lot of people is, “Why was Quran revealed in Arabic and not in any other Language”?
The language of Quran is unique. I aim to show that this language has several characteristics, which makes it an ideal medium for such a communication.
In any language the number and construction of its root words are extremely important as they form the basis of communication and expression. With that consideration, take a look at this language. The structure of its root is thoroughly mathematical.
Each pair of the 28 letters of Arabic, in whatever order combined, is potentially capable of giving a root word, provided that in case of a verb the second letter is doubled. A biliteral or a uniliteral verb is unknown to this language.
Then each trio of letters in whatever order combined, is again capable of giving a root word. The number of words thus formed by permutation and combination amount to thousands. Out of these, some combinations are yet to be utilized, but the number of actual roots in use, are not less than 25000.
Now each one of these twenty five thousand roots is further capable of yielding a further crop of words by a small variation of vowel points. Thus the language acquires immense capabilities of exact expressions.
Other languages having much smaller number of root words, need the help of prefixes and suffixes. For example, ancient Sanskrit, although richer than other Aryan languages, contains only about two thousand roots, which have to receive aid from 25 prefixes and 200 suffixes. The language of Message, on the other hand, neither uses prefixes nor suffixes. And because of such large number of roots available, its vocabulary meets with every human requirement with its inexhaustible treasure of simple words.”
Combination of letters in its roots is also peculiar. When similar letters are combined, they denote generally different shades of meaning of the same idea. They are similar in sound? Take Khafar - it means to escort or safe conduct, or ghafar - to cover or veil, and kafar - to cover or conceal. This peculiarity makes the language extremely rich in synonyms and rhymes, increasing the beauty and harmony of expression. Based on this characteristic of language, philologists have divided its roots into families and clans, an exercise that has often helped in the quest for origin of words.
Clan organisation is visible here also and it has its advantages. When a foreign word is traced to this language, and is found to be a fugitive member of a family or clan of words, while none such family of words exist in that particular foreign language, then it shows clearly that the word had migrated originally from this very language.
Third outstanding feature of this language, which is also important in relation to a coded message is that, 90% of its roots contain three letters only. These ‘triliterals’ are economical, and easy to hear, remember, and pronounce.
Languages like Hebrew also has a lot of triliterals, but why do we say that they are not economical? The reason is, in Arabic, for different shades of meaning, distinct simple words are available. That is why when you want to translate a triliteral word of this language into a different language, it results in either long words or complete sentences. Take the word Za’l. It means ‘to produce weak bodied children on account of marriage between near relatives from the paternal and maternal side’. Or take Lamaz, which means ‘to wipe one’s lips with the tongue’.
Fourth advantage of this language is that the same root supplies the various human requirements connected with it. This characteristic has helped it to keep pace with the developing needs of the society. Take an example.
laban is milk, while malban is milk vessel. malainat is milk spoon. labaan is breast,
and lab’an means to have udders filled with milk. Then labain is fed on milk, while laa’ban is much milk giving. labnah is cream cheese, and so on and on. Now do you see, how the auxiliary requirements have been supplied by the same triliteral root?”
Pronunciation is very important here. And this brings to the fifth advantage of this language. A very important one that has helped the Message remain free from distortion. Philologists have isolated twenty one diseases in relation with the spellings of words, often found present in scripts of various languages. In this language, its two characteristics, presence of 90% three lettered words and fixed number of letters in a word, has not let any of these diseases enter into its spellings.
Well, take English, the language in which we are communicating today. It is because of these diseases that Americans are working to improve its script, although problems still remain. One such problem is the case of silent or surplus letters, such as ‘s’ in the island or ‘l’ in the word stalk. In the language of Message, introduction, addition or subtraction of such letters are not possible in the three lettered words that form its majority.
Sixth point also pertains to spelling of the word. The order in which the letters are combined is also sure and definite. If the order of letters is changed, it gives quite different roots. Take for example the word lafah. If we rotate these words they become, falah, hafal, lahaf, fahal, halaf, etc.
Such group of words shows an additional seventh subtle advantage of this language. Alphabets in some triliterals can be rotated so as to give different shades of meaning to the same idea. This aspect of its roots completely insures them against metathesis... Then eighth point is that like the number and order of letters, the accent of a letter is also perfectly fixed. Slightest change of accent yields a different root, such as, falakh, falagh, falaq, or falak.
Due to contact with aliens or geographic influence, a difference of accent in the colloquial speech of a region usually enters but this does not detract from the permanency of spellings of its words. In such a case, the language of Hejaz, is the standard language which can always correct a wrong accent. Take the word ‘kharsh’, it means to scratch. In Sanskrit it becomes Aggrish and in Hindi: khurach-na. In Persian, it becomes kharashi-dan, while in Greek: Xrasso. The Italian: Crucci-are and French: Courrouc-er meaning to irritate are the changed version of kharsh. Then Russian Krosh-ka which means crumb or a scratched portion, English: scratch and Spanish:Rasca-dura, which represents a metathesis of this word. All these words show that Kharsh has become a changeling according to different local accents. But, in this language it must always remain a triliteral composed of three alphabets khe, re and sheen. The slightest change of accent will give it a different root, such as qarsh, kars, ghars, qars etc.
The ninth peculiarity of this language, also pertains to the use of alphabets. Some alphabets are stronger in comparison with others. Such as ‘Ain’ is stronger than ‘alif’. Using stronger word the action also becomes strong. Such as Saar means to walk, but if we use the alphabet ‘ain’, changing the word to Sar’aa , the meaning changes. It means walking quickly. And if we convert it to sa’aar, then the meaning will further change and would imply running.
Then tenth advantage of this language is that, it is also highly picturesque. Here a verb is often linked up with a noun to denote verbal action. Thus, the action along with the actor presents a vivid picture before the mental eye and the meaning gets fully expressed. For example, take ‘kashd’. It means ‘to cut a thing with teeth’. This word is a picture of a specific action. Similarly, take merse which means to soak a thing in water. I think it is more eloquent than immerse which is based on it.
Eleventh point is a slight variation of this quality. In this language, often the physical gets moulded into moral, in a subtle pictorial way. The Message has utilised this peculiarity very effectively. Yes. Take the word karb. This word actually means to load, but it also signifies distress and grief, when the load is of troubles.
Then twelfth advantage is that the verb often endows the noun its quality, so that the resulting noun denotes its reason and philosophy. Apart from Sanskrit which also provides the philosophy of word sometimes, it is an exclusive virtue of this language.
Take jan, it means to cover, to conceal. This verb has endowed several derivative nouns with the quality of covering and concealing, such as, janat. Or janan. Or janain etc.
An embryo in a uterus emerged..
The thirteenth point pertains to the riddle of homonyms. By Homonyms, we do not mean those words that have the same sound as another word but have a different meaning and origin, like the word Kerb we mentioned a short while ago. The different meanings of the kerb were related to each other. The term Homonym is applied to a word only when totally unconnected words become mixed up into one spelling. Such as the multiple ‘grave’s of English language. There are 600 such homonyms in English, which are defined and well marked, besides numerous others which have not so far been traced and earmarked. In fact all languages of the world abound in homonyms except. Arabic. Philologists of this language have given an interesting explanation of the riddle of homonym. In their opinion, the letters of alphabet of this language are very difficult to imitate by alphabets of other languages. For example triliteral words having second and third alphabets same and first alphabet either Seen, Se or Swad, will have subtle differences of accent of ‘s’. To an outsider these three words would sound similar, although the words would have different meanings. Likewise, four other alphabets resemble the ‘z’ sound but again with subtle differences of accent. There are other alphabets also, difficult to imitate. Such different roots with subtle difference in accents when adopted into a foreign language would become homonyms. In this language, delicate letters like ye, wao, he, alif, ain etc., help keep the different roots apart in most cases. These experts have substantiated their claim by successfully analysing hundreds of established homonyms of different languages into separate and distinct roots traceable to this language.
Please note, I do not say that this language does not contain a single foreign word. After the Phoenicians, these people were the best sailors and traders. Several trade names and names of commodities have passed from other languages into this language. In fact, there are more than 200 such foreign words. They are known as loan words or ‘dakhil’ in this tongue. Subsequent to the conquest of Europe by this nation after the arrival of Message, about one thousand loan words have passed from this language into European languages, about which all the philologist agree. But they are mostly terms of arts and science. Likewise, during the British rule over India, several English words passed into Hindustani and Hindustani words into English. But, all these loan words had one thing in common. They were all nouns. No nation, have exchanged any verb from other languages. Such loan words are to be cautiously avoided in tracing out the roots of one language from the other. The work of these experts is unique in this respect. They have not only analysed the homonyms but have also traced the verbs of different languages to their origin in this language. And this analysis is available for verification.
All I want to say is that the unique structure of its roots, the vastness of its vocabulary, the presence of maximum number of synonyms, the philosophy and reason behind its words and the absence of homonyms in this language, together with the presence of homonyms in all other languages of the world show that this is the mysterious mother of all languages which philologists have been searching for ages.
Sussmilch held that language could not have been invented by man but was a direct gift from God. But Herder’s strongest argument against this is that if language had been framed by God and by Him instilled into the mind of man we should expect it to be much more imbued with pure reason, than it is as an actual matter of fact. Much in all existing languages is so chaotic and ill-arranged that it could not be God’s work, but must come from the hand of man. [Jesperson p. 27]
Now the question is why haven’t the major philologers of the world considered it in their analysis? Do you think that such big names were biased? No of course one can not call them biased. The moot fact is that its candidature was never considered seriously because script of this language entered into the scene very late. Although if someone had paid attention, there was an obvious mystery requiring a probe.
This land was a barren peninsula segregated from the rest of the world. The isolated tribes in this vast tract led a nomadic life. They had no philologers like Yashk or Panin to reform or graduate their language like Sanskrit, yet they were able to chisel and perfect their language to such an exquisite beauty?
So the question is, did all those diverse tribes speak the same language? No. The Message came in the language of Quraish, the tribe that were incharge of the mysterious structure known as Kaaba. Afterwards the Message replaced all other dialects with this language and spread it into large parts of the world..
The Message has not given any categorical statement on this subject. I think that the basic structure was a gift, and rest of vocabulary developed with time.
My fourteenth point pertains to the amazing endurance of this language over one and a half millennia. It is a fact of history that no other language of the world, spoken at that time, has managed to survive this term. And it is also an unwritten rule of history that only five centuries are enough, to change a language so radically so as to make the works of distant predecessors almost incomprehensible to average readers. And yet this language has not only retained its comprehensibility, it has also flourished tremendously. The development in wording and style has not been to such an extent that the words should loose their original meanings.
HOW THE MESSAGE USED THIS LANGUAGE
My fifteenth and last point on this topic pertains to the way the Sender Intelligence has deployed this language for its peculiar enigmatic purpose. How He has used this medium like a delicate, finely tuned, deep toned instrument, and how He has played a tune on this instrument of immense complexity and simplicity, stretching it to its utmost range and capability. A man unfamiliar with the nuances of this language, can never understand, appreciate or comprehend, the multitude of techniques that has been utilised by the Message to put its contents across to humanity.
Here the case is much more complex. A literary piece in any language, usually employs, one, two, or a maximum of three, different techniques in a composition, but, in the ‘text of Message’, a study has isolated a minimum usage of 32 different techniques.
Yes, but I will not bore you with the elaboration of these multiple techniques. I only want to present here, five features, which are related to my hypothesis.
FIRST, researchers have isolated thousands of words that appear to have been put at their particular place with so much care, thought and design that any exchange of synonymous words could result in considerable loss of impact and import of that sentence.
SECOND, an underlying harmony seems to exist in the employment of alphabets, particularly in chapters that begin with either a single alphabet, or a set of alphabets, known as Harf Muqattat or abbreviated letters.
God! There is no god but He, - the Living, the Self Subsisting, the Supporter of all..
Interestingly enough, the purpose of these abbreviated letters is shrouded in mystery, as no one knows their real meaning.
THIRD, an internal phonetic harmony also exists throughout the text, which is dependent upon the utilisation of alphabets, choice of words and its proper phonetic interpretation. And it comes through more clearly, when the text is recited in its musical form, called Qirat.
“FOURTH, the text of Message has a unique format. It is neither prose nor poetry. The later verses, laying down moral and legal codes have utilised the prose format, but the early revelations had a lyrical and mystical quality, endowed with extreme beauty and power.
So I do call to witness the ruddy glow of Sunset; [84:16]
The Night and its Homing; [84:16]
And the moon in her fullness: [84:16]
Ye shall surely travel from stage to stage. [84:16]
What then is the matter with them, that they believe not?- [84:16]
FIFTH, the Message has used the technique of imagery to its fullest. It has brought us a world, where images dance and move with life, and abstract things acquire physical forms. In fact, in an age when audio visual help was not available, the Message converted its statements into strong audio visual signals, with some special use of this language.
I can understand your reservations, but, I will try to explain what I mean by this conversion of language into an audio visual signal. Take a particular assertion of Message as a sample. Here Creator has stated.
Now, reach back into the past. Fifteen hundred years ago, there were no recorders, synthesisers, special effects machines, stock sounds, or fancy studios. So, the Creator employed the only thing available at the time, the language itself, to introduce these ‘special effects’. And to achieve the desired effect, it resorted to a peculiarity of this language, which permits the usage of a word together with its synonym, side by side. Such an application, in this language, increases the strength of word tremendously...”
“Pairs!” It is really difficult to explain. “When we analyse this verse, we find, that out of eight words, only three words represent life, death and journeying, while rest of the five words are all simply synonyms of ‘We..We..We..We..and We’ reinforcing each other, increasing the strength of word to gigantic proportions, creating an aura of thunder, lightening, vastness of space and tremendous echo of an extremely awesome voice, overpowering the senses.”
That is why when fifteen centuries ago, an unlearned forty year old man, who had never preached in public, had never composed a poetry or even a speech, suddenly started revealing verses that were the ultimate in complexity of composition and contents, the idolaters of Mecca who were the first listeners, became baffled and found themselves unable to categorise these utterances. They called these verses magic. And the accusation acquired more intensity and strength as the verses began gripping and bending the minds of people, altering their loyalties against strong tribal and family ties, and challenging the allegiance to old order. The threatened society tried to persecute the reciters, forbid and cajole the others not to listen to these verses and when nothing worked they simply tried to create clamour wherever they heard the recitation in progress.
The unbelievers say:” Listen not this Quran,
But talk at random in the midst of its (reading),
That ye may gain the upper hand!” [41: 26]