June 23, 2024
Was the Qur'an Originally Aramaic?
Dr. Jay Smith creates myths about the origin of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the Holy Qur'an...........

Dr. Jay Smith is an American Christian evangelist renowned for his work in Christian apologetics and missionary activities, particularly focused on Islam. He has been a full-time missionary with the Brethren in Christ Church, a Protestant denomination rooted in the Anabaptist tradition. He has been attacking Islam’s standard narratives, agreed upon among the Muslims, since the 90’s. He creates myths about the origin of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the Holy Qur’an.

Dr. Jay Smith falsely claims without any evidence, that the Qur’an was originally created in Aramaic by someone who taught Muhammad (peace be upon him), and it was the 5th Umayyad King Abdul Malik ibn Marwan (d. 705 CE) who created the Arabic version of the Qur’an. You can listen to his claim in the following video:

Original Qur’an was Revealed in Arabic

The fact that the original Qur’an was revealed in Arabic is supported by several verses within the Qur’an itself. Here are key references from the Qur’an that affirm this:

Surah Yusuf (12:2):

  • “Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.”
  • This verse clearly states that the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic to ensure that its message is comprehensible to its initial audience.

Surah al-Nahl (16:103)

And We surely know that they say, “No one is teaching him except a human.” But the man they refer to speaks a foreign language, whereas this Quran is in eloquent Arabic.

Surah Ta-Ha (20:113):

  • “And thus We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an and have diversified therein the warnings that perhaps they will avoid [sin] or it would cause them remembrance.”
  • Again, this verse emphasizes that the Qur’an was sent down in Arabic, highlighting the intention behind this choice for clarity and remembrance.

Surah Ash-Shu’ara (26:195):

  • “In a clear Arabic language.”
  • This short verse reiterates that the language of the Qur’an is Arabic, and it is described as clear, indicating its intended accessibility to its primary audience.

Surah Az-Zumar (39:28):

  • “[It is] an Arabic Qur’an, without any deviance that they might become righteous.”
  • The emphasis here is on the Arabic nature of the Qur’an and its straightforwardness, implying that its purity and clarity in Arabic are intended to guide people towards righteousness.

Surah Fussilat (41:3):

  • “A Book whose verses have been detailed, an Arabic Qur’an for a people who know.”
  • This verse highlights that the Qur’an’s verses are detailed and specifically in Arabic, designed for people who possess knowledge.

Surah Ash-Shura (42:7):

  • “And thus We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur’an that you may warn the Mother of Cities and those around it and warn of the Day of Assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in Paradise and a party in the Blaze.”
  • This verse indicates the purpose of revealing the Qur’an in Arabic was to provide a clear warning and guidance to the central city (Mecca) and its surroundings, reinforcing the contextual necessity of using Arabic.

These references collectively demonstrate that the original Qur’an was indeed revealed in Arabic, serving the purpose of clear communication to its primary audience, who were native Arabic speakers.

Aramaic Qur’an: A Myth Created by Dr. Jay Smith

Dr. Jay Smith, a well-known Christian evangelist and apologist, has indeed been involved in various critiques of Islam and the Qur’an. His arguments often include controversial claims about the origins and composition of the Qur’an. Let’s break down and address some of the points raised in the cited video:

Allegations Raised by the Arab Pagans:

  • Surah Al-Nahl (16:103) addresses the claim made by the pagans that the Qur’an was taught to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by a non-Arab. The verse states: “And We certainly know that they say, ‘It is only a human being who teaches him.’ The tongue of the one they refer to is foreign, and this [recitation] is [in] a clear Arabic language.”
  • This verse clarifies that the Qur’an was revealed in clear Arabic, countering the claims that it was influenced by a non-Arabic speaker. It reinforces that the Qur’an’s language and message are distinctly Arabic, suitable for its initial audience. Arab pagans never complained about being Qur’an in a foreign language like Aramaic.

Claims about the Aramaic Origin of the Qur’an:

  • Dr. Jay Smith’s argument that the original Qur’an was in Aramaic filled with the teachings of Jesus is highly disputed and lacks credible evidence. The Qur’an itself, in multiple verses, affirms its revelation in Arabic, as mentioned earlier (e.g., Surah Yusuf 12:2, Surah Ta-Ha 20:113).
  • The notion of an Aramaic Qur’an contradicts historical and linguistic evidence. Arabic was the native language of the people of Makkah and Madinah, and an Aramaic Qur’an would have been incomprehensible to them, defeating the purpose of the preaching meant to guide the Arab people.

King Abdul Malik ibn Marwan and the Compilation of the Qur’an:

  • The claim that King Abdul Malik ibn Marwan produced the Arabic Qur’an conflicts with historical records of the Qur’an’s compilation. The process of compiling the Qur’an began during the caliphate of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and was completed under Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him), who standardized the text and its dialect to preserve its authenticity.
  • Uthmanic codices of the Qur’an, some of which are preserved in museums and libraries today, provide physical evidence of the Qur’an’s compilation in the early 7th century, long before the reign of Abdul Malik ibn Marwan.

Contradictory Claims:

  • Dr. Jay Smith’s contradictory claims – that the original Qur’an was Aramaic and that Abdul Malik ibn Marwan produced the Arabic Qur’an – highlight inconsistencies in his arguments. If the Qur’an were originally Aramaic, there would be historical and textual evidence of such a version. However, no such evidence exists.
  • The Uthmanic codices, which are in Arabic and date back to the time of Uthman, refute the idea that Abdul Malik ibn Marwan had some role in their compilation. The continuity and consistency of these manuscripts support the traditional Islamic narrative of the Qur’an’s preservation.

The Purpose and Use of the Qur’an in Arabic:

  • Revealing the Qur’an in Arabic was essential for effective communication with the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) immediate audience, who were native Arabic speakers. An Aramaic Qur’an would have been impractical and ineffective for conveying the divine message to an Arabic-speaking population.

In conclusion, Dr. Jay Smith’s assertions about the Qur’an’s origins lack substantiation and contradict well-established historical and textual evidence. The Qur’an’s revelation in Arabic is a fundamental aspect of its authenticity and its primary purpose to guide the Arabic-speaking people of the Arabian Peninsula. The historical process of its compilation and preservation further corroborates its Arabic origins, as affirmed by both Islamic tradition and scholarly research.

Indeed, the notion of an Aramaic Qur’an lacks any credible basis in both Islamic and European literature. Islamic historical accounts and traditional literature consistently document that the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic. The biography (Sīrah) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Hadith collections, which are records of his sayings and actions, also support this. All the Hadiths that mention the Tafsir and recitation of the Qur’an in Salah (prayers) prove that the Qur’an was an Arabic book from day one. Contrary to this Dr. Jay Smith has not a single reference to the Islamic traditions and history to prove his baseless claim.

The primary purpose of Dr. Jay’s baseless claims is to confuse the Muslim youth about their standard Islamic narrative, hence shaking their faith and allowing them to sow the seeds of Christianity in their immature minds and untrained minds. But, we shall keep defending the Islamic faith on all intellectual levels and prove its authenticity and accuracy with undeniable shreds of evidence in Sha Allah.

Allah will surely perfect His light (Islam) whether it may annoy the disbelievers.

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