Preposition Errors in the Qur'an
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A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition. A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence as in the following examples:
- The book is on the table.
- The book is beneath the table.
- The book is leaning against the table.
- The book is beside the table.
- She held the book over the table.
- She read the book during class.
In each of the preceding sentences, a preposition locates the noun "book" in space or in time.
Propositional (Symbolic) Logic
Propositional (symbolic) logic is a statement that affirms or denies something using formal symbolic language. The affirmation is often an inference of a fact based on pre-existing prepositions (assumptions).
The most common symbols used are:
- Conjunctive symbol: and
- Disjunctive symbol: or
- Implication symbol: then
Predicate (Prepositional) Logic
Predicate (prepositional) logic is a subset of propositional logic. When you make an assumption (a predicate or a preposition) and infer new predicates out of existing predicates.
- If one says: "Take the orange and the apple", it means take both the apple and the orange.
- If one says: "Take the orange or the apple", it means take one or the other or both.
- If one says: "Take the orange then the apple", it means take both, but take the orange first, or take the apple last.
Propositional Logic and Qur'an 4:3
Yusuf Ali: .. marry women of your choice, Two or three or four;..
Pickthal: .. marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four;Shakir: .. marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four;
- Yusuf Ali and Pikthal are both using "or". Shakir is using "and".
- The Arabic version is using "and" (the transliteration of 4:3 is using the conjuntive symbol wa (and)).
- Thus this verse is telling men that they can marry two and three and four women. The total happens to be nine women, whereas Islamic law allows maximum four.
- A grammatically correct verse should be using the disjunctive symbol aw (or); "Marry two or three or four."
- If one were to re-write 4:3 and correct the logic mistake, then the Qur'anic challenge to write a 'better verse' would be met.
- It is a common occurrence to find propositional errors in the writing of humans
- but the Qur'an should contain no such errors.
These types of errors can be readily used against the perfection of the Qur'an.
- They can be used against anyone challenging others to present a better verse.
- This is a major problem that apologists face. They claim the Qur'an is exactly the same as the day it was revealed; every sentence, every letter. Because of this, the grammatical and factual errors of the Arabic Qur'an cannot be ignored.
- English translators can correct the Qur'an author's mistakes, but the original Arabic remains; disproving the claim of a "perfect Revelation".
- Misinterpreted Verses - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Misinterpreted Verses
- Polygamy - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Polygamy
- Heather MacFadyen, "What is a Preposition?", University of Ottawa, accessed January 7, 2014 (archived), http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar/preposit.html.