Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Syriac

Are the Words in Surah Al Fatiha in Koran Syriac?

In the first 13 years of proselytizing Islam, Prophet Muhammad was mainly translating the content of religious books (Christian and Jewish) available in Mecca.

The original Koran was written in Aramaic language, before it was translated in the local Koreish Arabic slang (Mecca and Hijaz) in the peninsula.

ما صحّة أنّ مفردات سورة الفاتحة

في القرآن سريانية؟

أكد الباحث  غابرييل صوما، المختص بدراسة اللغات السامية والقديمة، أن آلاف مفردات اللغة العربية المعروفة حاليا هي كلمات آرامية سريانية وليست ذات أصل عربي، وإنما دخلت على اللغة العربية نتيجة تفاعل اللغات التي كانت منتشرة في منطقة بلاد ما بين النهرين مع جاراتها التي كانت معروفة آنذاك في منطقة شبه الجزيرة العربية.

وفي هذا السياق، ذكر صوما في كتابه “القرآن الذي أسيء تفسيره وترجمته وفهمه”، أن القرآن القديم كان مكتوباً باللغة الآرامية وليس اللغة الحالية (العربية) التي نعرفها اليوم.

ولفت إلى أن الكلمات الآرامية تنسحب على الغالبية العظمى من سور وآيات القرآن الكريم وعلى رأسها سورة الفاتحة التي يستهل بها القرآن سوره.

 

 

وفي قراءة صوتية له لسورة الفاتحة وباللغة الآرامية طلب صوما من كل من يقرأها مقارنة معاني مفردات الفاتحة مع مقابلاتها في اللغة الآرامية والتي كانت على الشكل التالي:

(بشيم، آلوهو، رحمان، رحيم — حمودو، لالوهو، رب، عالمين — رحمان، رحيم — ملك، يوم، دينو — أيكو، آت، نعبد، آتعنين- إهدولان، الصورتو، إيدميتقيم…) إلى آخره من آيات السورة.

وبالعودة إلى سورة الفاتحة المكتوبة باللغة العربية فإنه ما من مجال يدعو للشك في منطقية الطرح الذي يقدمه الباحث صوما، على الأقل في هذه السورة المعروفة مفرداتها لملايين البشر على وجه الأرض.

وأردف قائلاً: إن معرفتنا عن اللغات السامية تأتي من الكتاب المقدس ومن المخطوطات التي تركها الآموريون في منطقة ما بين النهرين (ماري) القريبة من الحدود السورية والعراقية…لافتاً إلى أن الآموريين هم أول من تكلم الآرامية وكان ملكهم يدعى حمورابي وهو مكون من 3 كلمات (آمو) تعني الشعب، (ييرو) يعني المدينة، و(رابي) يعني السيد أو كبير القوم…

واعتبر صوما أنّ المفسرين كانوا دائماً يتخبطون في معاني القرآن، فمرة لا يجدون المعنى للكلمة، ومرة أخرى الكلمة لا تتماشى مع سياق الجملة، وأخرى كلمة غريبة لا يعرفون لها معنى،

كما أنهم وجدوا أنفسهم عاجزين عن تفسير الأحرف المتقطعة في أوائل السور والتي لم تفك رموزها ولا معانيها، وكلما تساءل الشخص ما معناها يقولون له “حروف إعجاز وليس لها معنى نعلمه نحن البشر”.

لكن إذا كان ليس لها معنى فلماذا تواجدها أصلاً هل لزخرفة المصحف؟…أليس هدف الله تعالى إيصال رسالة واضحة ومفهومة للبشر؟

Beirut: Wet Nurse of laws during Roman Empire. Part 1

A brief history:  Between 150 and 551 AC, the city of Beirut (Beryte) was the official Roman State law center and this recognition extended to the Byzantium Empire.

Beirut had the preferred law school for law students and the professors flocked from the four corners of the Empire.  There were 6 other law centers such as the ones in Rome, Constantinople, Athens, Alexandria, Caesar of Cappadocia, and Caesar of Palestine, but Beirut kept her high standing over four centuries as the main official law center.

Beirut was called “Mother of laws” and “The most magnificent city” during the Roman Empire.  Emperor Justinian I (527-566) attributed to Beirut the title of “wet-nurse of laws

Between 150 and 551, Beirut was the official location for posting law articles and saving the Constitutions and compilations of laws.

Comparative law studies is the immediate successor of the roman laws that was initiated and updated in Beirut.  In the 5th century, Beirut law school started to teach in both languages of Latin and Greek.

Paradoxically, the main language of the common people was the written language Syriac (Aramaic,  the language spoken by Jesus).  Another demonstration that written languages are the domain of the elite classes, and used as coded language for administrations and government of people.

The Common people had to suffer the consequences of not knowing the language of their dominating Masters; in this case either Latin or Greek.

Rome fell in 476 and Western Europe had to wait until the Crusader’s campaigns (1096-1291) for the Justinian civil code of laws the “Digeste” to be found and rediscovered and then applied in Europe starting in the 12th century.

In 551, an earthquake demolished the city of Beirut.  The law school was temporarily moved to Sidon. In 560, as the professors returned to Beirut then a huge fire burned the city again.  Beirut was still in ruin by 600.

As Islam Arab conquered the near east region in 635, Beirut recaptured its previous status as a law center but without the brilliance of previous periods. Beirut was compiling Islamic laws according to “Charia”.

During the last 7 Omayyad caliphs and the first two Abbassid caliphs (690 to 770) the Lebanese theologians (ulema) and judges (fakihs and cadis) were the cornerstones for the nascent Islamic jurisprudence.  Imam El Uzahi (707-774) from Baalbek and who studied in Beirut and lived was the most brilliant and most sought after fakih in his life.  His doctrine was applied in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria for 200 years.

Then, the doctrines of Hanafi (Syria), the Chafii (Egypt), the Maliki (Andalusia and Northern Africa  took the ascendency.

Note: The next chapters will give details on the most famous law professors in ancient Beirut and a few current updates.

The Sacred Practical Necessities; (October 25, 2009)

Cultural transformation is the byproduct of practical necessities: Struggling for life and fearing of death.  For example, by the time mankind got conscious of his ephemeral life (for many millennia, people didn’t get to live beyond the age of 30 at best) and that death is a certainty then, religion (the eminently among the sacred practical necessities) was created to cope with the consequences that resulted from that conscious fear, on the ground that, otherwise, no security or peace of mind could prevail within any organized society.

Religion might not have been invented right after we got conscious of our mortality, but necessarily as modern man realized that he is a special individuality.  Then modern man got wary of producing mass hand tools for the tribe and took special care for individual designs such as specialty carved symbols on the tools, particular color combinations, drawing and painting that reflected feelings and awe toward the environment and the forces of nature.  Painting, sculpting, and drawing symbols were the precursors for inventing a language as a practical necessity, first verbally and then, by written medium.

Death is chaos and life is a struggle to feed on death:  a constant semblance of restructuring spiritual cohesion.   Metaphysic, the precursor to religion, is but this longing to providing continuity between life and death so that our logical mind does not breakdown to smithereens: Sciences and technologies cannot provide definite and exact answers to everything.  Metaphysics must have been substantiated because many people experienced a few supernatural events and realized that what is being physically sensed is not the whole story.

I believe that institutionalized religions grew after verbal communication was feasible by means of languages to harangue communities against the other infidel tribes.  Religion, as a conscious culture, utilized the metaphysical potentials in man to codify its system of beliefs and then codifying a system of daily behavior, rules, and regulations.

Unfortunately, what was necessary at a period was utilized inevitably to dominate other tribes that believed or adopted different totems or sacred rites.  An irreversible trend was set in motion: practical necessities generate cultures with counter productive results (theorized as necessary) to our evolution.  That mental process is the foundation to our spiritual shortcomings to progress ethically and morally.

Religion and sciences have the same roots in the conscious and, though they evolved with different methodologies, they adopted the same procedure for impacting on the mind: They established consensus based on a few premises, struggled hard not change their system of beliefs and then, waited for a paradigm shift to transforming the traditional culture.  The revolution of Luther and Calvin against the concept of Papal infallibility left intact the core obscurantist culture of Catholicism and Christianity which is viewing knowledge with suspicion, and specifically scientific knowledge, as the work of the devil. In fact, Protestantism went as far as considering philosophy as compromising the human mind.

The fundamental revolution came when people realized that if the Pope is fallible then, religion is consequently fallible and the quest for answers to fill the void in knowledge was resurrected with sciences.  Cultural Revolution in Europe was made feasible because of three basic developments: the weakening of the central religious power in Rome, the invention of mass printing, and the focus on local languages such as German, French, and Italian instead of Latin (the language of central power). Hence, this frenzy in Europe of the 16th century Renaissance to translating the Islamic books (then the most advanced in sciences).

Historically, the Arab conquerors of the Near East region (that was part of the Byzantium Empire in Constantinople) relied on scholars in the Near East who wrote in the Greek language to re-translating the Greek classical work into Arabic and Syriac (also called Aramaic, the written language of the Land).  Aramaic was the spoken language of the people and of Jesus. Damascus was selected to be the first Capital of the Arabic Dynasty of the Umayyad and Damascus saved the Greek language from oblivion.

The scholars of the Renaissance in Europe mastered both the Greek and Latin languages and could eventually refer to the original Greek manuscripts.  Thus, the period of the Renaissance in Europe was a revolution against the failure of the Christian religion to satisfying the cultural transformation after the failure of the crusading campaigns to circumvent the essential trade routes (through Egypt) and the affinity of the Arabic/Islamic culture in Spain (from 800 to 1400 AC).

Most paradigm shifts could be classified as cultural transformations but a few could be conceived as cultural evolution; a qualitative jump in our knowledge of nature and man are related to concepts such as using symbols, verbal communications as a language, the written language, the concept that man and earth are not the center of the universe, that time is an intrinsic element of space such that no two events can be said to occur simultaneously, that man is not wholly master of his decisions, and that man is neither the crown of creation nor the peak of evolution.

What is this “Greater Syria Nation”? (December 3, 2008)

Syria, “Syrie”, or “Souria” is Su Rya in the Sanskrit language which means the “Land of the Sun“.

There are other names for Syria such as Suraqia (a combination of Syria and Iraq) or the Fertile Crescent.  The Arabic/Islamic occupation called it “Al Sham” or the land on the left side of Mecca or westward.

This potential nation is bordered from the East by the Zahgross and Bakhtiyari Mountain Chains (in present Iran and facing the Arab/Persian Gulf) that link with the Kurdistan Mountain Chains up north and the Taurus Mountain Chains in present Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea.

The south east merges with the western desert of the Arabian Peninsula; the south is bounded by the Arabian Sea; the south west by the Sinai Desert and the west by the Mediterranean Sea.

Thus, this potential nation included present States of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, part of west Iran, and part of south Turkey.

The Syriac or Aramaic language calls it Shu Riash, the Assyrian (Ashur) and the Ancient Testament of the Jews called this land Aram with qualifiers. For example, we have Aram of the two Rivers (Iraq), Aram Damascus, Aram Soba (Bekaa Valley in Lebanon), Aram Maakat (Hasbaya, Banyas in Lebanon), Aram Rahoub (Golan Heights in Syria).

Theoretically, “Greater Syria” has formidable delimited natural borders.

Practically, the topography of the inner land was wide open and there were no difficult barriers for any invader to move in with a large army.

Unfortunately for “Greater Syria” it was a most fertile land with mighty long rivers and multitudes of rich, skilled, and self contained City-States “merchant Republics” that were willing to pay the requisite tribute in order to be left in peace to resume their way of life and for accumulating more treasures.

The “Land of the Sun” has the sun shining most of the years and its ancient religion adored the Sun as the highest unique God (fundamentally monolithic) in the name of Eel or Enlil (Babylon) or Allah in the Arab Peninsula.

All the ancient Empires in that region adopted the same religion with slight variations.  Each religious sect had an assortment of minor Gods (males and females) with specialties and attributes such as Baal, Ashtarout (Astarte), Nabu, Hubal, and Lat and so on.

All the Empires in Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome adopted the same structure for their religions.

The specialized minor Gods overshadowed the generalist mightiest Unique God. 

Thus, each City-State was jealous of it minor God or totem on whom it lavished qualities of its main trade.

I think that is how caste systems were created: each City-State considered its self-autonomy as symbolic to its minor God or sect.  Trade exigencies were the only reasons for these City-States to communicate among one another or associate with for duration.

These City-States were “merchant republics” with democratic institutions within city limits; they were unable to unite or form any long lasting Empires against the invading warlike Empires coming from Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Rome, the Crusaders, and finally the European colonizers.

A few City-States confronted mighty Empires and sometimes managed to defend themselves victoriously like Sidon (Saida).  Many times the City-States burned themselves and their cities (again Sidon) and Cartage.  Tyr accepted that Alexander enters the sanctuary of Baal but refused him the permission to enter with his officers.

Syria was unified most of the time under foreign Empires of domination.

The first time that Syria enjoyed unity as a Nation was under the Seleucus dynasty (one of Alexander officers) with Capital in Antioch for barely 3 centuries.  It was a nation of compatible cultures with the Greek City-States mentality.

Even then, Syria was unable to institute a central army. That was the period when Hannibal was defeated in Zama (Tunisia/Cartage) by the Romans.

Cartage, the typical City-State of caste system and founded by Tyr, signed cooperation treaties with the Seleucus empire against their common enemy Rome, but the support failed to materialize when needed against Rome.  It was after his defeat that Hannibal fled to Syria; but it was too late to check mighty Rome militarily.

Before Islam, Syria was a prized region for frequent razzias by the Bedouin tribes, originating in the northern part of desert Arabic Peninsula.  Many of these Arabic tribes settled in Syria and a few converted to Christianity before Islam conquered Syria.

There were two other periods when Syria had a special nation status during the Arabic Omayyad dynasty and Saladin Al Ayyubi with Capital in Damascus.

Mostly, Syria was divided in small kingdoms or fiefdoms as extensions to City-States variations.  Thus, Syria is a mix of various nationalities and ethnic groups that have common cultures and language but never managed on its own volition to form a central government with a central army. 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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