A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic
A ”Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic” is the first dictionary of its kind to appear in well over a century, i. e. after a stretch of time during which, thanks to the endeavors of both Muslim and western scholars, tremendous progress has been made towards the exact linguistic understanding of the Noble Koran, one of the most important texts of all humankind.
This dictionary presents the entire Koranic lexical material in an easily accessible arrangement, with glosses in English based primarily, yet critically, on the German translation by R. Paret, with certain new proposals by the compiler. The entries are accompanied by a selective (in some instances, exhaustive) listing of their places of occurrence in the text and by the citation of a great number of relevant textual segments.
The main part of the dictionary, the ”Lexicon of Roots“, contains the nouns and verbs, arranged by their consonantal roots, as is traditional in Arabic lexicography. This is followed by a categorized list of ”Proper Names“, provided in order to enable the user to look up, e. g., which prophets, which scriptures or which pagan idols are mentioned in the text. The third section, ”Pronouns and Particles“, is meant to provide extensive information on the syntactic structure of the text; in it are listed all the lexical items that, because of not being root-derived, could not be included in the ”Lexicon of Roots“. As a special feature, ”Additions to the Lexicon from the Canonical Readings“ surveys the additional lexical material contained in the recognized variants (the so-called ”Seven Readings“) of the standard text.
A further feature of the dictionary is a listing of certain major and minor lexical problems arising during the close reading of the text.
The dictionary is supplemented by an extensive ”Appendix“. This contains various lists, some semantically, some morphologically defined, that appear to be of special interest, such as the nouns and noun-phrases referring to God, the numerals, the elative forms, the designations of Judgment Day and the names of the suras and their lengths.
The dictionary ends with a ”Bibliography“ of works of general importance, supplemented by an index referring the user to the great number of citations of special studies embedded in the individual articles.
The dictionary aims at reflecting the state of the art of Koranic philology, and so at providing both a guideline for the student of Arabic and Islamics and a research tool for the specialized scholar.