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In the Name of God بسم الله

Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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About Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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    Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Umar Al-Ja'abi
  • Birthday 11/10/1997

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  1. Salams I like Zondervan's textbooks, if you want to learn Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Aramaic, Syriac, or read a good introduction to Ugaritic (as far as I've seen with the few and far between textbooks on Ugaritic they produced the only truly introductory textbook that'll give you a good foundation going forward), they have good books for that. They should probably just stick to that, theologically they're a whole lot less interesting. It shouldn't mean a crisis of faith for you if an Ahmadi apostatizes, as Br. @Qa'im said above, the same should be said for a Shia or Sunni. Don't take it with a self congratulatory attitude either though, as if he never truly believed. He might very well have believed despite his crisis in faith, there might have been issue in his belief, yes, fundamentally even resulting in apostasy winning out, but his faith or lack thereof shouldn't be the basis for your own. wassalam
  2. Yes, it's that book series I think. There's also a series of videos on youtube accompanying the book that I think cover the book in its entirety. The issue is I think both of them were designed for the first edition which was 3 books but I think it's the same number of lessons in both editions they're just designed a bit differently with added dialogues I think in the second edition so you can use either series with the newer edition. I really recommend people use that second edition I link to in my post not the first one because its self contained within a single book as opposed to being spread across three different books; one textbook, one key, and whatever the third book was.
  3. Salams, I've compiled a list of resources such as student grammars, readers, reference grammars, and dictionaries. I recommend that from the material I recommended you try to work either the Madinah Arabic Series, the second edition whose PDFs I posted, or do Arabic Verb Tenses and follow it up with Standard Arabic from which you might work with a reader. You can't learn a language from an app, at best you might get a bit of extra practice done but real language learning won't be done through it.
  4. Bismillah Salams, I mentioned in Ancient West Arabian where I read about this proverb last time but was unable to find it. Coincidentally Dr..... Ahmad Al-Jallad ended up sharing it. The story is recounted by Ibn al-Jinni but I've found it mentioned in Yaqut al-Hamawi's geographic encyclopedia, Mu'jam al-Buldan: "Al-Asmaʿī said: An Arab went to see one of the kings of Ḥimyar who was on a raised terrace. The king told him, 'thib.' So he jumped and broke to pieces. The king then said, 'We don't have ʿArabiyyat, whoever enters Dhofar must speak Ḥimyarī.' By saying 'thib' he meant 'sit down' in Ḥimyarī, and by saying 'ʿArabiyyat' he intended to say 'Arabic'." Himyar was located in modern-day Yemen and was the successor state to the ancient South Arabian kingdoms, its capital was Dhofar. Prior to the expansion of Arabic into the Arabian peninsula, Ancient South Arabian languages were spoken there, the only ones we have records for are Sabaic, Minaic, Qatabanic, and Hadhramautic, these belonged to the South Arabian classification. By the end of the first millennium BC the writing began to show a decidedly non-South Arabian substrate and around this period, Arabic began making further incursions south. Eventually a dialect of Arabic arose in the region which was heavily influenced by the pre-Arabic languages of the region known as Himyari, or Himyari. This story showcases the differences in Himyari and Standard Arabic in a rather hilarious manner, the verb wathaba in Standard Arabic means "to jump" but in Himyari meant "to sit", thib being the imperative of wathaba. So when the Arabic is told by the Himyari king "sit" ("thib!"), he thought he was told to jump and leaped to his death because he "shattered to pieces". Interestingly, in the Ancient South Arabian language of Sabaic, the root w-th-b meant "to sit" (as indeed it did in Hebrew and other Semitic languages). Even today the dialects of Yemen show traces of the pre-Islamic languages of the region in vocab and, at times, even in grammar. The king then went on in the story to remark that they don't speak "ʿArabiyyat" but Himyari, this show cases another remarkable feature of this dialect whereby the pausal form "-ah" is reduced always to an "-at", so what would be pronounced "ʿArabiyyah" in Standard Arabic is "ʿArabiyyat" in Himyari. After all, whoever enters Dhofar must speak Himyari.
  5. Salams, You realize this is a translation of S. Khomeini's legal opinion right? It's not something I'm arguing. I'm not even quoting it to assert his conclusion but because someone wanted to see a translation of it. I'm not sure why you're replying as if I'm the proponent of this view.
  6. Salams, This quote was a central discussion point of this thread since it was one of the points the brother from IP tried to explain away and it was in translating it he made a mistake that defeated his own point. The this is the quote from S. Khomeini in question: "As for the remaining groups of the Nāṣib, even the Khawārij, there is no evidence for their impurity, even though they are the worst in punishment from among the disbelievers. If a power were to rebel against Amīr al-Muʾminīn (a), not for religious reasons, rather for kingship or other goals — such as ʿĀʾisha, Zubayr, Ṭalḥa, Muʿāwiya, and their like — or holding enmity for him or any one of the Imams (a), not for religious reasons but for enmity of Quraysh, Banū Hāshim, the Arabs, or due to his being the killer of his child, father, etc., apparently none of this necessitates outward impurity. Even though they are worse than dogs and pigs, [this is due] to the lack of evidence from consensus or reports for this." wassalam
  7. Salams This is a very embarrassing situation. The construction وإن being "although" or "even though" is basic knowledge one learns early on reading Classical Arabic, you can consult a dictionary or reference grammar to see this. The lack of a conditional clause being set up is evident when you read the sentence thus ruling out "even if", you don't need to study very much to learn what a conditional clause looks like. This guy said he was in hawza for a half of a decade — more than enough time to learn the rudiments of Arabic, rather, to be quite fluent by now (even though the first year is Farsi) — additionally he's said that he's had 50 teachers! It's not like he didn't have ample opportunity. The amount of money we Shias have given in terms of khums to pay for this education is ridiculous considering he's just making videos with silly errors like this. It's embarrassing that some guy that's been there this long can't translate a rather simple Arabic sentence and instead of studying is off being a propaganda mouth piece on YouTube. This is nothing against the brother personally, I'm sure he's a pious brother and a nice guy but as a public speaker and representative of the hawza (as he's making himself to be here) I expected a lot more for five years and fifty teachers, this is honestly a shame and an embarrassment. SDL and their idiot staff will only use something like this to their advantage. What type of a message are we sending to the world if our seminarians can be this non-serious. Thank God our seminarians are often much better than this, at the very least they know when they have "even if" and when they have "even though". Wassalam
  8. Salams, Is Classical Arabic a primarily tense based language or an aspect based language? I had written this yesterday and shared it with a few people but got no feedback. Please share your thoughts. It's written by me, a non-expert, and intended for the feedback of non-experts. Before proceeding further I think it necessary to briefly explain the difference between the two. Tense locates an absolute time when an action took place, while aspect relates how that event took place in time. With aspect there is also often a reference to time, such as locating an action in the past, present, or future, but this isn't necessarily only conveyed through the actual tense used but also contextual clues from the language. Aspect is broadly divided into perfective aspect, meaning an action already completed, and imperfective aspect, meaning an action that is incomplete and is happening over time. Languages don't seem to work exclusively in only aspect or only tense, for example, the English verb "fell" indicates both an absolute time (prior to the telling of the story) and how this event relates to time (complete). From what I gather, though, it seems verbal systems might primarily be one or the other. Arabic still conveys a default "past tense" with the perfective aspect since naturally an event already complete would be an event that took place in the past and similarly for the imperfective aspect. This does not mean to say that the verbal system cannot convey tense, obviously you are able to. When reading "A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax" I found at the beginning of discussion on verbs the author stating that philologists view Biblical Hebrew now as as an aspect based language not a tense based one. Simply put, tenses don't work as neatly in Hebrew as they do in other Indo European languages. I'll be using my own examples and anything that comes to mind. I first want to give the example of the perfect verb שָׁמַר, "he guards"/"he keeps". With the presence of a wāw it becomes וְשָׁמַר, this doesn't mean "and he guarded", rather, the wāw actually reverses the tense and makes it a non-real perfect for an event which will have happened in the future, "and he will guard". God addressing the Hebrews often uses this construction in the Bible when speaking about the laws they are to follow. The imperfective form of this verb is יִשְׁמֹר, "he will guard" or, less commonly, "he guards". If the wāw is added to it, it becomes the past narrative וַיִשְׁמֹר, "and he guarded". The biblical stories always have such clauses, using the perfective aspect is much rarer. Similarly in stories the tenses are in reference to each other in the past rather than using past tenses as tense based language would. Arabic's verbs don't work exactly like this, but since these two languages are closely related and both descend from Proto-Semitic, there is an overlap in the morphology of these languages. Arabic textbooks teach the ماضي as the past tense and the مضارع as the present and future tense (though often إسم فاعل also acts as a present tense "verb"), however students will begin to see that the "past tense" verb isn't necessarily for past tense events and neither is the non-past just for non-past events. For example in wishes you use a verb in the ماضي form even though it is regarding something which will happen in the future, رحم الله والديك, لعنه الله or دام الله ظله are such examples, though this doesn't necessarily seem to be the case in dialects, e.g. يسلم said in Lebanese, from the larger phrase يسلم الله ايديكم. Similarly in hypotheticals you have a past tense verb used, e.g. in the letters ascribed to the Prophet he says to Heraclius, وإن أبيت فعليك إثم الأريسيين. He hasn't actually denied the call of the Prophet but the Prophet uses the past tense verb here (obviously caused by the "waʾin"), rather the sins of the Arians (sic) would be on him when he would have (a perfect action, one that is completed) denied him. Additionally non-past verbs are used with the past tense meaning when describing ongoing actions even if they happened in the past, that is to say they are being used in the imperfective aspect. In such a case I find it actually rather similar to Hebrew where in proverbs you have "נסו ואין רדף רשע וצדיקים ככפיר יבטח" (the wicked flees when none give chase while the righteous are as bold as lions), yiβṭāḥ (to be bold or courageous) used here is imperfective while nāsū (to flee) is perfective despite not referring to any event in particular but something that would happen. There is also a report of a man who went to the Kaaba and saw there the Prophet who was circumambulating it using the verb يطوف because this action wasn't complete when the man saw the Prophet, rather the Prophet was in the process of doing this action. I haven't done any exhaustive study into the Arabic verbal system and I'm sure there already exist some on this topic, these were just thoughts I had after reading the aforementioned statement regarding the Hebrew verbal system and how this seems to hold up for Arabic, its sister-language, as well. The triggers might not be the same but there seems to me a similarity in what happens to verbs. I'd love to hear any thoughts anyone has on this, it seems something interesting to do more research into.
  9. Salams, I study life sciences at university but I don't really have an interest in it at all. It was more because my family wanted me to do medicine but I've decided against it myself. My own interests are in history, religious studies, codicology, philosophy, and philology. I especially enjoy Near Eastern studies which include, among other things Islamic studies. I've been trying to take courses as electives more in line with my own interests, history and religious studies ones of course but took Biblical Hebrew and Latin in this school year that just ended as well as a few other things on my own, planning on taking Ancient Greek in the fall when I'll have my final year. In the future I'd like to do graduate studies in one of the above subjects, I've been speaking to a professor about how it would be to apply to do a masters in Semitic philology in the future, I've been attracted to epigraphy for the past few years. I really do wish that when I was in high school I could have known about these things which now interest me, but often you're just presented with one of the STEM fields or business. A pity, but I'm glad I got to discover these things. Not sure how life will turn out or if I'll be able to get to do graduate studies but I'd like to be a teacher.
  10. Salams, A linguistic miracle would be speaking a language you were never taught, not writing well.
  11. Salams, You might find other such quotes from philologists and orientalists. In fact, Thomas Erpenius delivered lectures at the University of Leiden in the 17th century about "the dignity of the Arabic language" (given in Latin). That and the quotes you've presented, however, hardly make an objective case as to what really makes it a better language than all other languages. They're just quotes by people who never became Muslim but appreciated the Arabic language and the beauty of the Qur'an. No one denies the Qur'an's sublime and divine beauty, but it doesn't prove that the language it's presented in is miraculous. Perhaps the only argument actually presented regarding any reason Arabic is better than other languages is the point by Arthur Arberry about how Arabic can be rather eloquent despite something like repetition. But this once again hardly is an argument that proves Arabic is better than every other language and therefore the logical choice for divine revelation, just that it's capable of being very beautiful. What's more, it ignores that other languages are capable of such eloquence. Of course Arberry wasn't making any such argument, it's just the author of that article.
  12. Bismillah Salams, I'm curious as to where this is proven? Arabic can do a whole lot more than English in a shorter sentence, but that's because the grammar allows for it. Other languages are also quite capable of expressing much in few words, Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Hebrew, etc. Agglutinative languages can go a step further and express what might be a phrase in Arabic as a word. And Arabic grammar has features many modern European grammars lack, but certainly it lacks features other languages have. Old Nubian, for example, was capable of differentiating an inclusive pronoun and exclusive pronoun. That is to say, it could differentiate a "we" with the addressee included and a "we" with the addressee excluded. Arabic certainly doesn't have this. Old English, Sanskrit, Hebrew, etc. are all capable of using duals, something people often think unique to Arabic. Arabic is a wonderful language and worth studying, but it doesn't seem to unique in terms of precision as a language, capable of discerning finer details, or allowing for succinctness. And there really is no objective way for a linguist to judge whether Arabic is better capable of presenting deep spiritual, moral, and ethical expressions in a uniquely eloquent manner. Perhaps Muslim philologists might have argued this in the medieval ages (almost all of whom lacked knowledge of any other classical languages other than Modern Persian, unfortunately -- which isn't to deride these past masters but to state an obvious limitation) but there is no such consensus among linguists. It's rather pitiable that we need resort to such naive arguments and self congratulation to defend such uncertain notions. Allahu A'lam. Salams
  13. Bismillah Salams, This phenomenon is termed a palindrome, where a word or even a phrase can read the same forwards and backwards. Such a phenomenon isn't unique to the Qur'an though that we could claim it miraculous. My Latin professor mentioned this year that the Romans had something called a sator square, which read: "sator apero tenet opera rotas" (a sentence which is grammatically correct but whose meaning is up for interpretation, possible something like "the sower Arepo has work wheels" or something along those lines) which would be written as a square going across and down and read the same thing in both directions. In this case it is a perfect palindrome as words don't carry over from one word to another, thus the second word reading forwards or backwards is apero (Apero) always, and the fourth word opera (with great effort). It can also be rearranged as a cross to read Pater Noster ("Our Father", the opening of the Lord's Prayer) going both down and across with two A's and two O's left over as Alpha and Omega. There are, of course, less complex palindromes but I remembered this as an interesting one due to its complexity. However, whether it is racecar or sator arepo tenet operas rotas such a phenomenon isn't unique to the Qur'an and this is hard to call miraculous. This also doesn't seem anything particularly unique to Arabic or miraculous to the Qur'an. The nature of Semitic roots allows for such occurrences. As such this isn't even unique to Arabic, Aramaic is capable of doing the same thing. From the root of g-n-n you can derive: גִּנָּיָא -- ginnaayaa, attested in Palmyrene Aramaic, an evil spirit, a type of being concealed from the vision ܓܢܝܙܐ -- gəniizaa, also meaning evil spirit but also something hidden or concealed ܓܢܘܢܐ -- gənonaa, meaning a bridal chamber, a room which is concealed from all other than the bride and groom גִּנָּא -- ginnaa (among various other forms) meaning garden, also in the context of heaven, the former is something that one conceals from the public and the latter it concealed from the eyes til qiyama מגינ -- Məghen, meaning a shield, which conceals and protects its user ܡܓܢܐ -- maggənaa, meaning a protector, who is someone who would conceal you אגן -- no vocalization listed but attested in Samaritan Aramaic, a tent, which is a place where one is concealed from outside Beyond that verbs are also derived from this root that attest similar things. In fact this Semitic root has the meaning of concealment in various languages and its derivatives are things that are concealed. Once again this is something fascinating about the Arabic language but it isn't something unique to Arabic let alone to the Qur'an. To prove a linguistic miracle people often argue that it is inimitable, that it cannot be reproduced and therefore has to be from a divine source. Their argument is a literal reading of verses challenging disbelievers to bring something like it and call their witnesses. Their proofs for the inimitability have to do with discussing the rhetorical beauty of the Qur'an itself. I won't deny the Qur'an its sublime and divine beauty, its ability to move listeners and to cause serious reflection, or the eloquence of this book. And I admit that the Qur'an itself is miraculous as it is a revelation from God. But I can't seriously sit around counting how many rhetorical devices exist in a verse to reasonably prove that this is what you can definitively and objectively call a miracle. It isn't splitting the sea, returning the sun to midday, resurrecting the dead, or speaking to angels, it's counting how many times God appears in the verses of a chapter, seeing how many rhetorical devices exist in a verse, looking at chiasms, etc. These prove the Qur'an a work of sublime beauty but cannot definitively be said to be non-human in origin, as opposed to anything like the aforementioned miracles.
  14. Ayat al-Kursi isn't the only occurrence of a chiasm, you can read about the chiastic structure of Surat Yusuf here as well: https://ponderingislam.com/2015/09/29/chiastic-structure-in-surah-Yusuf/ That being said, I'm not sure that the beauty of the Qur'an, whether in its plain eloquence, the moving nature of many passages, or even in its chiastic structures can be called a miracle in any objective sense of the word.
  15. Do you mean a chiastic structure? That the final part of the ayah complements its initial part and so on?
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