The Arabic Language and Philosophy

A brilliant quote from here:

"In modern analytical philosophy, there is hardly anything in
Arabic or any other Islamic tongue. Philosophical discussion is best
conducted in English. Owing to the grammatical limitations of
Arabic, it is impossible to express most philosophical claims with an
acceptable degree of rigour and clarity. Moreover Arabic is a
devotional language lacking the vocabulary requisite for detached
discussion of controversial matters."

Muslim philosopher, Shabbir Akhtar who taught at the International
Islamic University in Malaysia

Comments

SocietyVs said…
I find that rather odd coming from a Muslim teacher since isn't the belief that the Arabic language is the only true translation for the Quran? Weird.
Abu Daoud said…
Well yes, but I think this is a neat quote because this professor understands that Araabic is suitable for something and not for others. It is actually a huge problem here in the ME. Written Arabic (ie, of that Quran) is so hard and complicated than even folks with college degrees cannot write a short story or article without numerous errors in grammar. Also, reading is so hard that though people know how to do it, they don't. It is so slow and hard and the meaning if often times not clear at all (the same is true for the Quran.)

Fortunately, understanding what you are reading has nothing to do with devotional reading.

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