Author Topic: Azar, a proper name or something else?  (Read 462 times)

ade_cool

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Azar, a proper name or something else?
« on: July 18, 2021, 04:28:12 AM »
Salam all,

I come across verse 6:74 and I see various translations do not translate "Azar" and simply leave the word as proper name. For examples:

[6:74] And Abraham said to his father, Azar: “Will you take statues as gods? I see you and your people are clearly misguided.”

[6:74] And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said to his father Azar, "Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error."

[6:74] AND, LO, [thus] spoke Abraham unto his father Azar: "Takest thou idols for gods? Verily, I see that thou and thy people have obviously gone astray!"


I check in PRL for the root of word Azar which is ا ز ر, and it gives the following:
to strengthen/aid/assist/help/sympathise, Azar (name of an idol) derived from the Chaldean name of the planet Mars.

Since the word has meaning, what about translating verse 6:74 as below (instead of leaving the word Azar as proper name -- which can be anything for that matter):

[6:74] And when Abraham said to his father, sympathetically: “Will you take statues as gods? I see you and your people are clearly misguided.”

  • The meaning is given by Classical Arabic Dictionary
  • It is consistent with all other verses in which Abraham's father is not referred using proper name, simply referred as Abraham's father.

    Examples:
    [19:41] And recall in the Book, Abraham; he was a man of truth, a prophet.
    [19:42] When he said to his father: “O father, why do you serve what does not hear or see, nor help you in anything?”

    [9:114] And Abraham seeking forgiveness for his father was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear that  he was the enemy of God, he disowned him. Abraham was kind,  compassionate.

    [21:51] And before that We gave Abraham his understanding, and We were aware of him.
    [21:52] As he said to his father and people: “What are these images to which you are devoted?”

    [43:26] And when Abraham said to his father and his people: “I am innocent of that which you worship.”
  • It is coherent with Abraham's character as depicted in Quran

    Examples:
    [19:43] “My father, knowledge has come to me which did not come to you. So follow me that I will guide you to a level path.”
    [19:44] “My father, do not serve the devil. For the devil was ever disobedient to the Almighty.”
    [19:45] “My father, I fear that a retribution will inflict you from the Almighty and that you will become an ally to the devil.”
    [19:46] He said: “Have you forsaken my gods O Abraham? If you do not stop this, I will stone you. You should let me be.”
    [19:47] He said: “Peace be upon you, I will ask forgiveness for you from my Lord. He has been most kind to me.
    [19:48] “And I will abandon you and what you call on besides God. And I will implore my Lord, hoping that I will not be mischievous in imploring my Lord.”


    [9:114] And Abraham seeking forgiveness for his father was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear that  he was the enemy of God, he disowned him. Abraham was kind,  compassionate.


What do you guys think?


Wassalam

Anoushirvan

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Re: Azar, a proper name or something else?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2021, 01:33:47 PM »
Salam,

I have another suggestion.

In one of the oldest Qur'an manuscript, the Codex Wetzstein II 1913 https://corpuscoranicum.de/handschriften/index/sure/6/vers/74?handschrift=163, the name was not Azar but Arza, see the rectangle in the attached image:



Without diacritical spots, it is not possible to distinguish in Arabic between Azar, Arza, Arar, Azaz.

Here the diacritical red spot is clearly on the second ر.
Note: there is also another red spot close to the alif, suggesting the word "azz", but it sounds like it is the ink from the reverse side that crossed the page.

Now, the meaning of arza (أرز) in Arabic is something like "unwavering". It means also cedar or pine-tree, and it means, maybe through some derivative "chief of clan".

In the context, I find this meaning fits perfectly:
6:74 And Abraham said to his father unwavering (or maybe stubborn/hardened): “Will you take statues as gods? I see you and your people are clearly misguided.”

It's likely that the original word was arza and not azar, then someone, long ago, made a mistake, and the mistake spread around.

Noon waalqalami

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Re: Azar, a proper name or something else?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2021, 02:55:41 AM »
Salam,

I have another suggestion.

In one of the oldest Qur'an manuscript, the Codex Wetzstein II 1913 https://corpuscoranicum.de/handschriften/index/sure/6/vers/74?handschrift=163, the name was not Azar but Arza, see the rectangle in the attached image:



Without diacritical spots, it is not possible to distinguish in Arabic between Azar, Arza, Arar, Azaz.

Here the diacritical red spot is clearly on the second ر.

It's likely that the original word was arza and not azar, then someone, long ago, made a mistake, and the mistake spread around.

Peace
It’s with alif zay ra see older manuscript Qaf 47  — many were traced years later dots and alifs added eg fatha red dot over ra hence AZRa

https://corpuscoranicum.de/handschriften/index/sure/6/vers/74?handschrift=73


Anoushirvan

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Re: Azar, a proper name or something else?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 04:55:01 AM »
Peace
It’s with alif zay ra see older manuscript Qaf 47  — many were traced years later dots and alifs added eg fatha red dot over ra hence AZRa


I notice you systematically misread what I write in this thread as well as the others.
What I wrote is really clear though.

I mentioned Codex Wetzstein II 1913.

This one is clear from this manuscript unless you don't have eyes in front of the holes: it is alif-ra-zay here.

Of course you will find manuscripts with alif-zay-ra also, since it is the standard reading nowadays. Go to your nearest library, you will find some, even printed very recently in the 21st CE.


Noon waalqalami

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Re: Azar, a proper name or something else?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2021, 08:49:51 PM »
I notice you systematically misread what I write in this thread as well as the others.
What I wrote is really clear though.

I mentioned Codex Wetzstein II 1913.

This one is clear from this manuscript unless you don't have eyes in front of the holes: it is alif-ra-zay here.

no, again red dots Codex Wetzstein II 1913 were added years later

use magnifier if cannot see the verse prior even it is NOT alif-ra-zay

https://corpuscoranicum.de/handschriften/index/sure/6/vers/74?handschrift=163

6:73 الصور l-ṣūri (with red dot kasra below ر "i" sound)/the trumpet

6:73 الخبىر l-khabīru (with red dot dama above ر "u" sound)/the aware

6:74 ازر āzara (with red dot fatha above ر "a" sound)/Azra




Anoushirvan

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Re: Azar, a proper name or something else?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2021, 10:29:52 PM »
no, again red dots Codex Wetzstein II 1913 were added years later

use magnifier if cannot see the verse prior even it is NOT alif-ra-zay

You keep not understanding my point: I don't give a damn that the dots were added later or before, it's not the question.

It is just the dots are there and they indicate the way those who added them were reading the text.


The important point is how the people who put the dots were reading the text at that time.
That the dots were added later or before the rasm plays no role in the question here.

So the guys who owned that manuscript Codex Wetzstein II 1913 in the 7th CE or 8th CE were reading "Arza", not "Azar".
That's a fact told by the dotting, and please stop challenging facts.

The next point is that "Arza" fits better in the textual device of surah 6 than "Azar", so it might actually have been the original word of the text instead of "Azar".

Then, probably not so late after, a "mutation" in reading took place, like many others, spread around, and became the dominant variant, progressively eliminating the original one.

That's why you see most manuscripts with dotting "Azar" (the reading become dominant) but one (or maybe some others too) with dotting Arza (original reading still kept for some time).


Noon waalqalami

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Re: Azar, a proper name or something else?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2021, 02:38:28 PM »
You keep not understanding my point: I don't give a damn that the dots were added later or before, it's not the question.

It is just the dots are there and they indicate the way those who added them were reading the text.


The important point is how the people who put the dots were reading the text at that time.
That the dots were added later or before the rasm plays no role in the question here.

So the guys who owned that manuscript Codex Wetzstein II 1913 in the 7th CE or 8th CE were reading "Arza", not "Azar".
That's a fact told by the dotting, and please stop challenging facts.

The next point is that "Arza" fits better in the textual device of surah 6 than "Azar", so it might actually have been the original word of the text instead of "Azar".

Then, probably not so late after, a "mutation" in reading took place, like many others, spread around, and became the dominant variant, progressively eliminating the original one.

That's why you see most manuscripts with dotting "Azar" (the reading become dominant) but one (or maybe some others too) with dotting Arza (original reading still kept for some time).

again NO manuscripts that word — red dots are diacritical marks
fatha kasra damma
https://youtu.be/nVWq30mxxss

another example same page
6:77 l-qamara/the moon


Anoushirvan

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Re: Azar, a proper name or something else?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2021, 04:12:49 AM »
again NO manuscripts that word — red dots are diacritical marks
fatha kasra damma


Ok, I see your point now.

But one advice: you should seriously consider improving the clarity of your explanations because it was not all clear from the beginning, it would have avoided a lot of heated statements.

Back to the topic, I agree with your point, the red spots are not diacritical points distinguishing e.g. ra from zay, but diacritical marks, fatha, kasra, etc.
So Codex Wetzstein II 1913 doesn't prove anything.

But I would maintain my theory that the original word was "arza", not "azar" due to the fact arza perfectly fits the context and metathesis (inversion of root letters) is frequent in Semitic languages.
Except that no known manuscript can prove it.