إِنَّا أَنْـزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُون
"We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an
so you people
may understand / use reason" (12:2):
This verse is not inferring that the choice of using the Arabic language is due to any intrinsic superiorities over other languages.
The Qur'an is sent as guidance to all mankind. The language of Scriptures, as and when they are sent down to different generations and regions, is in the language of the messenger and the people who are immediately around him:
"We have not sent any Messenger except with the language of his people so he can make things clear to them. Allah misguides anyone He wills and guides anyone He wills. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Qur'an 14:4)
Thus, for those people caught in the darkness of disbelief at the prophet's time, it was a great blessing that Allah sent a messenger with a magnificent Scripture in their language, which they could understand and use their reasoning over.
"A Messenger, reciting Allah's clear Verses to you to bring those who believe and do right actions out of the darkness into the Light. Whoever believes in Allah and acts rightly, We will admit him into Gardens..." (Qur'an 65:11)
The verses on sending the Qur'an in Arabic should therefore be perceived in this light. Had the Qur'an been in a foreign language, it would not be possible for the speakers of the language who received it or the messenger, to take its message to the world. In other words, although the Quranic message is for the world, this verse is more specifically addressed to those who understood the language (..."so that you may understand")...emphasising on appreciating what would have happened had it been in a language other than their tongue. This is proved in the following verses:
"So We have revealed an Arabic Quran to you, in order that you may warn the capital city and all who live nearby..." (Qur'an 42:7)
"We have made the Qur'an easy in your language so that they may take heed it." (Qur'an 44:58)
"If We had made it a foreign Quran, they would have said, ‘If only its verses were clear! What? Foreign speech to an Arab?’ Say, ‘It is guidance and healing for those who have faith, but the ears of the disbelievers are heavy, they are blind to it, it is as if they are being called from a distant place.’ (Qur'an 41:44)
So when Allah says:
"We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an so you people may understand / reason" (Qur'an 12:2)
We can clearly see it is in reference to the above verses - to the blessing that Allah revealed clear wisdom and guidance in a language they can understand and be able to reason over (Arabic).
Therefore, Verse 12:2 (and 43:3) are not classing the Arabic language as being linguistically superior to other languages of the world, nor do they mean to indicate any intrinsic linguistic qualities of the Arabic language over others as being the motivational factor in its choice. Yet, it is wrongly taught in great many literature that the Arabic language has been divinely shown or praised in the Qur'an for its qualities - which is followed on by other exaggerated claims like it being the language of Paradise etc.
To imply Arabic is not superior in any of its aspects is not the intention of this article, just that it is not the intention of Quranic verses to imply that it is. Previous Scriptures of Allah had been in non-Arabic languages. Every Scripture has been as worthy, and capable of providing guidance to mankind as the Qur'an, despite being in non-Arabic languages. This shows that the Qur'an is not superior to other Scriptures as also proven by 'we do not differentiate between any of the messengers' (2:136).
To conclude, 12:2 and 43:3 are there to point to Allah's blessing to mankind in sending them a Scripture speaking the language of the people who received it, so that they can understand and spread it's message to the rest of the world. They are not indicating Arabic as being a language superior to other languages.
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