Author Topic: 'WE' in the Quran  (Read 261 times)

Makaveli

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'WE' in the Quran
« on: July 16, 2017, 06:18:42 PM »
Hello,

I am new here, and not really sure if this topic was covered before here on Free-Minds, but I never witnessed this issue was discussed among the Quran alone followers. In the Quran, in many verses, God speaks of himself as 'We' instead of 'I'. There are other verses, where 'I' is used too, but I did not count the exact amounts of both variants. Therefore, what is your theory on 'plurality' of God? I am well aware of every traditional explanation, but it's just something I am not personally buying, for several reasons:

1. Such manner of speech, when high ranked officials may speak of themselves (or their actions) as 'We' is something, which I strongly believe was not available ubiquitously up until modern times. I heard the Romans were the first to introduce such manner of speech when a person would say 'You' compared to 'you' when talking to a higher ranked official, out of respect, where 'You' would indicate higher position of that person, and that particular person would, in turn, speak of himself as 'We'. Such official (such as Ceaser) would then say 'We' as opposite to 'I' or 'Me' when discussing decisions, for instance. But I highly doubt that such forms of expression were popular in the pre-Islamic Arabic. Even among Romans this manner of speech could only be 'popular' among the elite, and not ordinary people. I speak Russian natively, and in Russian we say "Вы" (Vy') when addressing to an unfamiliar person, or a person of a higher social rank or official position, out of social respect. When we talk to a friend, we use 'Ты' (Ty') instead, which means 'you' and refers to friends, or ordinary people, while 'Вы' is used in two contextes, either if we speak to the group (You as the group."Why don't you guys etc.), or we speak to an unfamiliar person, or a person of higher age, or a higher social rank, so we say You (plural of 'you') as in "Вы" instead. Such form of experssion became popular among ordinary Russian people centuries after the events of the 7th century. Even serfs in the ancient Russia would address the Tzar as Ты (Ty') instead of 'You' as a plural or a polite form of you.

Therefore, I highly doubt that 'We' in the Quran is a manner of speech, which refers to the greatness of God. Surely, God is allmighty (16:78), but it probably has nothing to do with the manner of speech, since the Quran is the book for people of reason (2:164).

2. First Chapter (‘Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help’) does not imply plural.

3. One of the perhaps greatest thing about God, is the fact that we cannot imagine Him or measure His Greatness (42:11). Therefore, if we use such narrative as 'We' and interpret it as a polite form, then we are comparing God to the king, or the top manager of some company.

4. There are similar 'pluralistic' forms of name of God introduced in other Scriptures. In the Torah, the term Elohim (Hebrew: אֱלֹהִים‎ ’ĕlōhîm) is used, which is the plural of ‘gods’ but which is often used in combination with a singular form 'god'. This was later changed in the Greek New Testament and other versions, so most translations use onyl the singular form. But you check the Hebrew version of Genesis 1:26 and countless of other verses, where 'Elohim' is used.


So what are you thoughts on 'plurality' of God in the Quran and other Scriptures? I understand it's a huge topic, but aren't we all here to seek truth?


Peace.

Amra94

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 10:09:09 PM »
Killuminati all thru your body

imrankhawaja

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 10:49:09 PM »
if you see it from the lens of one who is debating on God singularity or plurality as per language rules then you may find it interesting..

let say a person show his views that you must address God as in a singular form i.e "I"
another person say no you must pay respect while addressing God using plural form"WE"

the debate is on language rules, obviously becoz when things comes in debate regarding God , it always give you options for selecting things and choices..

these two are also a part of this and thats why in urdu language
some people call God as  o God (you)=(tum) are great
some people call God as o beloved God (you) =(ap) are great...

tum and ap both translated as (you) but one of them is a symbol of respect...
same like we suppose to say "ap" to our parents and "tum" to our friends... even some people say it vice versa...

God actually leaveit on us how we  will address him thats why he left both options open for us  ;)
 
SO which of the MIRACLES/MARVELS of your Lord you will deny
55:55.

Makaveli

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 03:51:29 AM »
Killuminati all thru your body

feel me

if you see it from the lens of one who is debating on God singularity or plurality as per language rules then you may find it interesting..

Nice observation, but then again, there are verses, where Allah refers to Himself as I (20:82), and as in many cases as 'We' (6:123). I agree that plurality and singularity may differ in different languages, but we need to refer to the text. Plus this does not explain 'plurality' in the Old Testament, where often single and plural versions of Eloh/Elohim are used in the same verse (Genesis 35:7 or Psalm 82:1 - the divine council).

huruf

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 11:52:26 PM »
May be God speaks as His names. As the Qur'an says God has many names, namely very often and in every chapter it opens with bismillahirahmenirahim, may be he directs us to some names or all his names. To bear in mind what He reveals in those names.

Some people have suggested tht He is speaking about He and the angels...

I think He is pointing to something we should bear in mind and profit from, His manyfolddness...

I would look more careflly to thos sentences and contexts where He speaks one way or the other.


Salaam

HP_TECH

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2017, 06:01:57 AM »
Hello,

I am new here, and not really sure if this topic was covered before here on Free-Minds, but I never witnessed this issue was discussed among the Quran alone followers. In the Quran, in many verses, God speaks of himself as 'We' instead of 'I'. There are other verses, where 'I' is used too, but I did not count the exact amounts of both variants. Therefore, what is your theory on 'plurality' of God? I am well aware of every traditional explanation, but it's just something I am not personally buying, for several reasons:

1. Such manner of speech, when high ranked officials may speak of themselves (or their actions) as 'We' is something, which I strongly believe was not available ubiquitously up until modern times. I heard the Romans were the first to introduce such manner of speech when a person would say 'You' compared to 'you' when talking to a higher ranked official, out of respect, where 'You' would indicate higher position of that person, and that particular person would, in turn, speak of himself as 'We'. Such official (such as Ceaser) would then say 'We' as opposite to 'I' or 'Me' when discussing decisions, for instance. But I highly doubt that such forms of expression were popular in the pre-Islamic Arabic. Even among Romans this manner of speech could only be 'popular' among the elite, and not ordinary people. I speak Russian natively, and in Russian we say "Вы" (Vy') when addressing to an unfamiliar person, or a person of a higher social rank or official position, out of social respect. When we talk to a friend, we use 'Ты' (Ty') instead, which means 'you' and refers to friends, or ordinary people, while 'Вы' is used in two contextes, either if we speak to the group (You as the group."Why don't you guys etc.), or we speak to an unfamiliar person, or a person of higher age, or a higher social rank, so we say You (plural of 'you') as in "Вы" instead. Such form of experssion became popular among ordinary Russian people centuries after the events of the 7th century. Even serfs in the ancient Russia would address the Tzar as Ты (Ty') instead of 'You' as a plural or a polite form of you.

Therefore, I highly doubt that 'We' in the Quran is a manner of speech, which refers to the greatness of God. Surely, God is allmighty (16:78), but it probably has nothing to do with the manner of speech, since the Quran is the book for people of reason (2:164).

2. First Chapter (‘Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help’) does not imply plural.

3. One of the perhaps greatest thing about God, is the fact that we cannot imagine Him or measure His Greatness (42:11). Therefore, if we use such narrative as 'We' and interpret it as a polite form, then we are comparing God to the king, or the top manager of some company.

4. There are similar 'pluralistic' forms of name of God introduced in other Scriptures. In the Torah, the term Elohim (Hebrew: אֱלֹהִים‎ ’ĕlōhîm) is used, which is the plural of ‘gods’ but which is often used in combination with a singular form 'god'. This was later changed in the Greek New Testament and other versions, so most translations use onyl the singular form. But you check the Hebrew version of Genesis 1:26 and countless of other verses, where 'Elohim' is used.


So what are you thoughts on 'plurality' of God in the Quran and other Scriptures? I understand it's a huge topic, but aren't we all here to seek truth?


Peace.

Your premise is wrong. First Pluralis excellentiae has much older usage than what you estimated.
Secondly its usage in the Semitic languages denotes something entirely different than a simple direct western translation to "we".

Regardless of your understanding or lack thereof. God is not plural, no plurality for the Most High.
He is The One.
إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِي

My Lord I repent to you for anything I uttered concerning You for which I have no knowledge of. Indeed You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful

Makaveli

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 06:04:44 AM »
Your premise is wrong. First Pluralis excellentiae has much older usage than what you estimated.
Secondly its usage in the Semitic languages denotes something entirely different than a simple direct western translation to "we".

Regardless of your understanding or lack thereof. God is not plural, no plurality for the Most High.
He is The One.

A little bit deeper, perhaps? Could you show examples of Pluralis excellentiae in Semitic languages? Plus I was talking about European 'royal we' rather than Semitic, which of course could be way more ancient. But my point was the fact that modern traditional mullas explain 'we' as if it is a simple 'royal we', such as if the president talks speech based on collective actions (We did, we have placed et cetera). Examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIXxkWmw_yI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKUec4uHaFI


But I still somehow doubt that Semitic 'we' has anything to do with modern 'royal we'. Again, refer to Genesis 1:26 and other verses for the example.

That's why I started the topic in the first place. I've never said God is 'we' or plural.

WayFinder

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 01:13:52 AM »
Can the WE simply means the manifestion of God's power through His Divine powerS/attributeS/beingS endowed with different powers such as angelS?
3:7 He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding.

Makaveli

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 06:38:22 AM »
Can the WE simply means the manifestion of God's power through His Divine powerS/attributeS/beingS endowed with different powers such as angelS?

Nice observation, but third person and first person forms can also be found in the Quran.

HP_TECH

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Re: 'WE' in the Quran
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 06:42:30 AM »
A little bit deeper, perhaps? Could you show examples of Pluralis excellentiae in Semitic languages? Plus I was talking about European 'royal we' rather than Semitic, which of course could be way more ancient. But my point was the fact that modern traditional mullas explain 'we' as if it is a simple 'royal we', such as if the president talks speech based on collective actions (We did, we have placed et cetera). Examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIXxkWmw_yI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKUec4uHaFI


But I still somehow doubt that Semitic 'we' has anything to do with modern 'royal we'. Again, refer to Genesis 1:26 and other verses for the example.

That's why I started the topic in the first place. I've never said God is 'we' or plural.

I mean you're just beating down on a nail that's been hit many times long ago. There is a plethora of information on this forum.

Here is the same exact topic:

https://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9608280.0;all

If you possess a keen eye for logic and arguments based on evidence then keep an eye out for my comments in the thread and my links.

If you thoroughly follow through and read on perhaps it will God willing answer your questions
إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِي

My Lord I repent to you for anything I uttered concerning You for which I have no knowledge of. Indeed You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful