Arabic, the Divine Language; Questions about Jesus

Fascinating how Islam resists translation, unlike Christianity:

My parents made certain that I received thorough instruction in Islam. At the age of twelve I was sent to a mullah to study the Quran. One hour a day, every day, I was at the mosque learning the words of the Quran - but not its meaning. Although I memorized much of the Quran, it meant nothing to me because it was in a language I did not know.

The mullahs were afraid to translate the Quran into our own language. Such an attempt would have been considered a sin. Arabic was conceived to be the only divine language, and by learning to read the Quran in the original language in which it was given, I was making myself a better Muslim and I was adding to my chances of getting into paradise. For three years I was subjected to this grueling exercise in meaninglessness. In spite of the boredom and tedium that I and the other fifteen boys in the class felt, I endured it because I was afraid my father would beat me, or even kill me, if I did not attend the Quranic lessons faithfully.

My parents were such strict Muslims that they spent every Friday at the mosque, and my father considered his pilgrimage to Mecca the greatest achievement of his life. We met people from other religions, but we thought of them as victims of error. And we particularly considered Christianity to be false.

After my father died when I was in my teens, I set my heart on becoming an engineer so that I could make a good living and help my country. I enrolled in the Afghanistan Institute of Technology and studied there for three years. I enjoyed my studies immensely, especially since there were no classes in religious subjects.

Religious questions occasionally intruded into my mind, even during those years. I had heard enough about Jesus to wonder if he could be the way to God. I did not find anything in Islam that appealed to me. It seemed that everyone had something to believe in, however. Everyone needed something that gave meaning and purpose to life. I wondered if I should believe in Jesus as Christians did, but I did not take any steps to find out more about him.

When I was studying at the Institute, I tried to forget about religious issues. None of my teachers talked to me about Jesus. None ever tried to influence me to read the Bible or to be converted to faith in Christ. I remember meeting only one Christian who read the Bible, but that individual never spoke to me about Jesus. Since there was a law at that time that forbade Afghans to visit foreigners in their homes, I did not dare to enter the house of any Christian.

One day I came across a book that made a deep impression on me and renewed my interest in the person of Jesus. The book, entitled Religion, was written in the Persian language by a Muslim. It was about the life of Jesus and it raised questions in my mind that I had not seriously considered before. The author described the entrance of Jesus into the world by a virgin. In fact, there were other remarkable things about the life of Jesus that evoked more respect for him than for Muhammad.

From Answering Islam


santosh kumar said…
hi, it is really nice thought,
SocietyVs said…
The old arabic language again - I find it strange to be honest - it would be similar to Jewish people enforcing Hebrew or Christians enforcing Greek - but these are choices of study and can help in interpretation - but their ain't nothing in english or context I can't get from the bible I could from another language (at least that has been my observation in study).

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