God, Islam, Rasuls, Prophets, Angels, Muslims, Mankind

Do all Arabs automatically understand the Quran since it was revealed in their language?

From my experience, I’d say no. I’ll provide 2 major reasons for which you shouldn’t expect that to be true:

  • The modern versions of Arabic spoken by many Arabs are not identical to the Qur’anic Arabic.
  • Just because something is in your native language, or in a language very similar to your native language, doesn’t mean that you automatically understand it. Let me give you an example. Please consider these 2 people:
Albert Einstein and on the right you have Kim Kardashian
Albert Einstein and Kim Kardashian

On the left you have Albert Einstein and on the right you have Kim Kardashian. Einstein’s native language was German while Kim’s native language is English. Now, if I presented a physics paper written in English to them both, who do you think would understand it better?

I submit that Kim would have next to no idea what the paper was talking about while Einstein can be expected to decipher what the paper was talking about. Why is that true when this person has to first mentally translate the content while Kim requires no translation?

It’s because of the fact that even if you are native to a language, you don’t automatically gain knowledge in every subject written in that language. So the next time you feel like assuming that an Arab must necessarily understand the Qur’an better than a non-Arab, think about Einstein and Kim Kardashian reading an English physics paper.

Author: Salman Khan

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