2-Horizontal reading of Quran

Once your head is cleared of all preconceived notions, the next step is a horizontal reading of the Quran. A horizontal reading, or a comparative reading, is a method of textual analysis used by Biblical scholars to compare multiple accounts of a similar event, side by side, cross-referencing for contradictions. /Horizontal_reading.

In other words, reading several different articles about the same robbery allows one to compare narratives and detect contradictions. This is exactly how to study the Quran. For example, Surah Hajj will not explain the Quran’s narrative of hajj. To conceptualize hajj one must study the diversified verses, side by side, that contain the root of hajj (حجج).

The root definition, and this is the key, must remain consistent in all the verses.

Arabic words are derived from their tri-lateral root. Lane’s Lexicon, an Arabic to English dictionary, is an invaluable reference for root word definitions. tyndalearchive.com

The crux of the matter is one cannot change the meaning of the word to fit a particular narrative.

The root word hajj is translated as debate or argument in some verses and a physical pilgrimage to Mecca in others. There cannot be two separate meanings. Studying the verses side by side, highlights the contradiction. This is how Allah guards and preserves His Word. He diversifies (root صرف) a word throughout the Quran to secure its meaning. For example, securing a portfolio by diversifying the funds. The Quran directs the reader with examples, spread throughout the text, to get a full picture, a thorough understanding of the word.

No one can alter the Words of Allah

In verses 6:34, 6:115, and 18:27, Quran states no one can alter (بدل) the words of Allah. Lanes’s Lexicon defines the root (بدل) as: the changing, or altering, the form, or fashion, or semblance, or the quality, or condition, of a thing to another form, while the substance remains the same.

In other words, homonyms (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings) do not apply in the Quran. One word can not hold different meanings.

When reading the following verses, keep in mind the definition of alter (بدل) .

6:34 And certainly were messengers denied before you, but they were patient over denial, and they were harmed until Our victory came to them, and none can alter the words of Allah. And there has certainly come to you some information about the messengers.

6:115 And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

18:27 And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. None can alter The Words of Allah, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge.

Hence, by altering (بدل) the words, changing the meaning and leaving the original word intact, the original message has been tampered with.

Allah guards the Quran by diversifying (صرف) His Word: horizontal reading

The Quran Corpus site is a good reference to find verses with same the root word /corpus.quran.com

6:105 And thus do We diversify the verses so the deniers will say “you have studied” and so We make the Quran clear for a people who attain knowledge.

6:46 …look how We diversified the verses and they still turn away.

6:65 …look how We diversified the verses so they may attain understanding/knowledge/wisdom.

7:58 …thus do We diversify the verses for a people who are grateful.

17:41 And We have certainly diversified in this Quran so mankind may be reminded, but it does not increase the deniers except in aversion.

17:89 And We have certainly diversified for the people in this Quran from every example but most of the people refuse, disbelieve.

18:54 And We have diversified in this Quran for the people from every example, but man in many things disputes/quarrelsome.

20:113 And thus We have sent It down, an Arabic Quran, and have diversified therin the warnings for taqwa (God-consciousness) or remembrance.

25:50 And We have diversified It (Quran) among them so they may remember.

39:23 Allah has sent down The Best Hadith (Quran), a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who are conscious of their Lord, then their skins and hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah…

I conclude with Quran verse 3:103: And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided… The rope is the Quran’s message, which is distinctly detailed, as well as instructions on how to study It through It’s own words, and not through the lens of tradition. Hence, not dividing into sects, since each sect has their own tradition, hadith. The Christians have the bible, Jews have the mishnah, all sects of Muslims have their own hadith.

For the Quran’s message to become clear, one must study a word, its consistent root definition, and how it is used in the verses diversified throughout the Book. This will give understanding, knowledge, and wisdom behind that word.

6 thoughts on “2-Horizontal reading of Quran

  1. //Yes “tasreef” is precisely horizontal reading to get all the angles, Thank you for sharing//

    Horizontal reading is in fact the key provided and mentioned in Qur’an.

    تَدَبُّرٌ: Critical thinking: Follow an inquiry based process: use prior and background information.

    The whole purpose of reading is comprehension. And the whole purpose of reading and comprehension is to know the ultimate truth; truth warped in time-space; the whole truth not effected by time-space. Man has discussed at length about truth and has propounded many theories; like substantive theories: correspondence theory; coherence theory. Logic is the tool for reasoning about the truth and falsity of statements. The correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes (i.e., corresponds with) that world. It states that true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs. For coherence theories in general, truth requires a proper fit of elements within a whole system. Very often, though, coherence is taken to imply something more than simple logical consistency; often there is a demand that the propositions in a coherent system lend mutual inferential support to each other. So, for example, the completeness and comprehensiveness of the underlying set of concepts is a critical factor in judging the validity and usefulness of a coherent system. A pervasive tenet of coherence theories is the idea that truth is primarily a property of whole systems of propositions, and can be ascribed to individual propositions only according to their coherence with the whole.

    [why do they behave as such] Is it because they do not personally study the Qur’ān critically, logically and coherently pursuing its text?

    And had it (Qur’ān) been authored by someone other than Allah the Exalted, they would certainly have found, what to say of one, many mutual variations – contradictions – conflicts within it. [4:82]

    The topic of the Ayah relates to academic rule of studying a book. The Grand Qur’ān has laid down an enquiry system and criterion to determine the veracity of a lengthy text. It is denoted by Arabic verbal Noun: تَدَبُّرٌ: Critical and logical thinking: an enquiry based process and pursuit: linking background information given before to determine cohesion and coherence. Lane’s Lexicon says that: تَدَبُّرٌ signifies the thinking, or meditating, upon a thing, and endeavouring to understand; he looked into it, considered it, examined it, or studied it, repeatedly, in order to know it, or until he knew it. Its Root is: د ب ر that signifies the tail end of a thing and of back – rear in contrast to front.

    Since the Verb choice is Form-V which has reflexive causative meanings, and the subject receives back the impact of action, the act is to be done personally. It generally depicts such actions where the subject honestly and sincerely performs it diligently.

    For detailed study



  2. //For the Quran’s message to become clear, one must study a word, its consistent root definition, and how it is used in the verses diversified throughout the Book. This will give understanding, knowledge, and wisdom behind that word.//


    Semantics of Grand Qur’ān – Dictionary of Roots and Lexicon of Qur’ān

    1. Introduction

    2. Semantics of Qur’ān is like “semantics” of DNA—triplet schema

    3. Root [In reality, it is “seed”-an embryonic plant] +

    4. Morphology +

    5. Syntax

    This will give a near accurate understanding provided we follow the fundamental academic rules of studying a book.



  3. Qur’ān is rendered facilitative for comprehension by use of figures of speech

    By unique device: تَصْرِيفٌ like coverage of an event by multiple cameras

    Allah the Exalted has used a unique device to render Qur’ān facilitative for complete understanding which no other author can employ because they suffer limitation of observation.

    Our vision becomes dynamic when we are able to recognize objects and concepts from multiple perspectives and from different viewing angles. It then assists explicit cognition. Visual perception faces difficulties with varying lighting conditions illuminating the environment and our inability to absorb/digest visual scene in a single glimpse.

    Real life experience will make the point lucid. A person watching a cricket or football match in the stadium and the Umpire/Referee cannot observe what a person can observe in the live telecast flashing each image of movements of the player and the ball from various angles seen by various cameras fixed all around the ground.

    One writing device for facilitating the reader to conclusively comprehend an object, topic and concept is to describe it with the help of dichotomous relations; and by showing it from different angles, dimensions, and aspects. Dichotomous relations and terms incorporate both closeness and distance and help human cognitive tendency in categorizing experiences with their help. This device portrays the varieties, or vicissitudes of affairs or events; scope, diametric properties; and possibilities the reader might not have given a thought. It illustrates how and why is it important to observe the other side of same or similar subject or concept and be mindful of possibilities that have not occurred but are probable.



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