The book "The The Qur’an Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, and Misread: the Aramaic Language of the The Qur’an" was published in 2006 by Gabriel Sawma. The author has claimed that the language of the Qur'an is the Syro-Aramaic, and most of its teachings are derived from Jewish-Christian sources. Among his claims, he alleges that Muslims have misunderstood the verse 116 of Surah al-Baqarah:"And they say Allah has taken to Himself a son Glory be to Him…" (Wa Qālūt takhadhal lāhu Waladāan Subĥānahu). He regards the word ‘اتَّخَذ’ (Has taken) as a distortion of the Syriac «اتَّحدَ» (has united) happened by the Qur'anic scribers. According to this recitation, the meaning of the verse is "They said that God is united with the Son". This meaning is in accordance with the New Testament doctrine of the incarnation of God through the Son. In this paper, Gabriel Sawma's viewpoint is reviewed and criticized by two intra-religious aspects including the Qur'an and Arabic literature and extra-religious features including linguistic historical-comparative in some branches of Sami languages and interfaith research. The authors conclude that the textual and linguistic evidence prove contrary to the Sawma's claim.
The effect of language on culture has been an interesting issue in applied linguistics. One of the main critical domains of culture-related language issues is pronunciation. The importance of pronunciation in some cultures is doubled when its importance goes beyond the daily use of language. Many illiterate Muslims in non-Arab countries must perform their religious duties in accurate Arabic pronunciation. Since illiterate learners can not be treated with regular and traditional educational intervention to complete this incumbent religious task, the current research has employed dynamic intervention, an approach adopted from the socio-cultural theory of Vygotsky (1978), for instructing a sample of these people in Iran. First, the main pronunciation problems of these participants were identified. Then using a native speaker’s judgment, the effect of this educational intervention was calculated in a pretest-posttest design. A paired t-test was used to interpret the collected data. The findings showed that dynamic intervention has a meaningful effect on the improvement of pronunciation in the Iranian illiterate participants of the study. This study could have implications for language teachers, language learners, and researchers in different fields of sociolinguistics and applied linguistics.
The “Story-Based Language Teaching (SBLT)” is one of the most effective approaches in language pedagogy that addresses various elements and parameters in different texts. The aim of this study is to locate SBLT elements in one of the popular Holy Quran’s stories; namely, Abraham`s story known as a pedagogical text, based on Javadi Amoli (2006) and Farhadian’s (2011) Quranic pedagogical frameworks. To this end, the corpus of 130 verses containing the Abraham narration from various surahs was scrutinized and analyzed to extract their precious methods and strategies. To do that, the coding system was utilized to account for the frequency of the predominant method. Upon completion of the coding procedure, the inter-rater (coder) reliability was estimated and the results were confirmed by 81% reliability. The results illustrated that most of the Quranic pedagogical methods proposed by Javadi Amoli (2006) and Farhadian (2011) are manifested in Abraham`s story and some other methods were found by the present researcher through further analysis. The above-mentioned methods from the most repeated to the least ones are Storytelling, Repetition, Precise look, Wisdom, Encouragement, Socratic method, excellent examples, Sympathy, Metaphor, Parable method, Prayer, punishment, Discussion, Debate, Simile, Observation, Experience, Legislation, Holistic view, and Exemplification, respectively. Furthermore, it was confirmed that the dominant instructional methods in this story were inductive and explicit. The findings contribute to Quranic courses syllabus design and teaching pedagogy.
Despite the huge bulk of research conducted on translation quality assessment, the literature on the translation of the Holy Quran is in its infancy. Since jurists, commentators, and Quranic interpreters analyze individual Quranic verses as a whole discourse and in relation to other verses and Surahs, it is deemed necessary for translators to follow the same procedure and consider the wholeness of the text in their translation of individual verses. Coherence is among linguistic properties that contribute to the wholeness of the Quran as a unique discourse. A literature review shows that coherence has a direct effect on the quality of translations. Thus, this research intended to investigate the effect of coherence on the translation quality of some famous translations of the Holy Quran from an instructional viewpoint. To this aim, a mixed-methods study was employed in which the effect of coherence on reading comprehension of 12 Ph.D. candidates enrolled in an ESP course was studied. In the qualitative phase, utilizing linguistic markers, samples of coherent translations were extracted from the 30th chapter of the Quran. Then, two reading comprehension tests were developed from the coherent samples and the corpus without coherent markers. In the next step, these tests were administered to participants. The data were analyzed through a t-test. Findings showed that coherent translations enjoy post-posed/pre-posed concessive, sense continuity, backgrounding, explicitation, and addition as coherence markers. Also, quantitative findings showed a significant difference between the tests taken by the participants at two different times (t (11) = 4.204 and p = 0.001) proving the meaningful effect of coherence on translation comprehension.
Metaphor, as a part of humans’ verbal communication, is naturally used in the language of religion. Directional metaphors are formed based on the main directions as the original domain and are related to the concepts that indicate the direction and spatial location. Directional metaphors allocate spatial meanings to concepts and thus convey meaning based on humans’ sensory and cultural experiences. The present article employs a descriptive-analytical method to investigate the linguistic aspects of the directional metaphor of the word “qurb” (nearness to Allah) in the Quran, and makes this metaphysical concept understandable in the human mind through referring to its empirical and physical backgrounds. Spatial or local directions, as well as geometric illustrations, create a new understanding for humans. Although the Quran has used several words and phrases to convey the meaning in the application of the directional metaphors, the present study examines the directional metaphors of the word “qurb” (nearness to Allah). In the end, it is concluded that the directional metaphors used for this word are behind and in front, up and down, center and margin, as well as inside and outside.
Arabic, as the only medium of performing religious rituals, is a widely used language in Islamic communities. Amongst uses of Arabic, reading and recitation of the Holy Qur’an enjoy a critical position. Accordingly, many religious schools have invested in teaching Qur’an and its required skills. Research findings have shown that Qur’anic teaching follows a traditional procedure in theory and practice. Considering the importance of conducting applied linguistics studies on teaching Qur’anic reading, the current research was an attempt to investigate the effect of semantic-structural elaboration of Qur’anic reading efficiency, encompassing reading reaction time, fluency, and comprehension. To this aim, an intact group of intermediate Qur’anic learners was selected through non-random convenience sampling and an experimental (pretest/intervention/posttest) design was employed in which the group underwent three different experiments. After raising awareness on five frequent Qur’anic roots and their derivations that occurred in different Qur’anic verses, tests were administered and parametric data were collected and analyzed through SPSS. Research findings revealed that intervention adversely affected reaction time by a significant increase (t (24) = -12.067, p < 0.000.) while promoting reading fluency and reading comprehension (t (24) = -9.643, p < 0.000, and t (24) = -6.914, p < 0.000, respectively). It was suggested that, though semantic-structural elaboration significantly increases learners’ knowledge of semantic, syntax, and morphology and promotes language skills, form-focused instruction is cognitively demanding and must be done with due caution. These findings could have implications for Qur’anic teachers, learners, and applied linguists in general.