Why quran talks in third person?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Thankyou for your wonderful work here, reading the answers here has helped my Imaam tremendously and increased my knowledge.
I have found it is easier to comprehend and understand the Quran and focus more if I take it as if Allah is talking directly to me. But in the translations they seemed to be talking in the third person as a description?
With the name of Allah the Beneficient the Merciful.
This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God; Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them; And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.
They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.
As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.
God hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).
I hope that is clear and I pray to Allah I have not asked an inappropriate question.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Why Quran talks in third person?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
May Allah Subhanah reward you with the best of this world and the Hereafter for your kind comments of encouragement for our humble efforts in the propagation of the Truth. If our humble and modest efforts have helped even one brother or sister get closer to Allah and His Deen of Truth, then we would consider ourselves indeed fortunate to have been given this opportunity by the Lord Most Merciful to serve in His Cause. We hope, beg, and pray the Merciful Lord accepts our humble and weak efforts, forgives us our shortcomings, and saves you, us, and all the believers from the torment of the Hell Fire. Ameen.
Your Statement: I hope that is clear and I pray to Allah I have not asked an inappropriate question.
Dear and Beloved Brother in Islam, the deen of Truth called Al-Islam is based on the Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge of Allah Subhanah, and in complete accordance and alignment with the nature and logic The Merciful Lord has bestowed upon mankind. Islam has permitted and absolutely encouraged mankind to ask and satisfy any question that might arise in one’s mind regarding this deen of Truth; provided the person asking the question is seeking knowledge and wishes to better understand the wisdom and ‘hikmah’ behind each and every command of Allah and His Messenger (saws). It is the right of the brother or sister to ask anything they wish to clarify in the deen; and it is the responsibility and duty of the good scholars to address the question asked to the best of their knowledge and ability, and in the most polite and humble manner.
What has been discouraged, and considered a sin in Islam is the asking of questions with the intention to ridicule or rebuke or deny the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws). But if one’s intention in asking the questions is to seek clarification on any aspect of the deen, or to understand the wisdom behind the commands so that he may better follow the deen; there is absolutely no harm in seeking such clarifications.
Your Question: I have found it is easier to comprehend and understand the Quran and focus more if I take it as if Allah is talking directly to me. But in the translations they seemed to be talking in the third person as a description?
May Allah Subhanah bless you and reward you for asking such an intelligent and thought provoking question in your quest for seeking more knowledge of the Truth.
Dear and Beloved Brother in Islam, first and foremost we must understand that the Quran was not revealed in the form of a document or a book, but rather it was revealed by inspiration to Prophet Mohamed (saws) in the form of discourses over a period of 23 years; which the Noble Prophet (saws) recited and declared verbatim to his listerners.
Thus, in the course of revelation, at times it seems that Allah Subhanah is addressing mankind in the first person, most times it seems the Lord is addressing Prophet Mohamed (saws) as in a conversation or the second person, and at times it seems that the Merciful Lord is speaking in the third person, narrating the Truth of what transpired in the past or what will transpire in the future! All three modes of conversation have been utilized by the All-Knowing, All Wise Lord for his chosen last and final Message, which He revealed as the Book of Guidance to all mankind until the end of time.
Examples of when Allah addresses His slaves in the first person in the Quran:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 5: O mankind! If ye have a doubt about the Resurrection (consider) that We created you out of dust then out of sperm then out of a leech-like clot then out a morsel of flesh partly formed and partly unformed in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term then do We bring you out as babes then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die and some are sent back to the feeblest old age so that they know nothing after having known (much). And (further) thou seest the earth barren and lifeless but when We pour down rain on it it is stirred (to life) it swells and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Aaraaf verse 27: O ye children of Adam! Let not the Shaytaan seduce you in the same manner as he got your parents out of the garden stripping them of their raiment to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Baqarah verses 47-48:
47 O children of
48 Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside).
Examples of when the Lord addresses the Prophet Mohamed (saws):
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 45: O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and a Warner
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 28: O Prophet! Say to thy Consorts: "If it be that ye desire the life of this world and its glitter then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner."
Examples of when the Lord All-Mighty address mankind in the third person:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 255: Allah! There is no Allah but He the living the Self-subsisting Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to his creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. For He is the Most High the Supreme (in glory).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 59 Surah Hashr verses 22-24:
22 Allah is He than whom there is no other god, Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He Most Gracious Most Merciful.
23 Allah is He than whom there is no other god, The Sovereign, The Holy One, The Source of Peace (and Perfection), The Guardian of Faith, The Preserver of Safety, The Exalted in Might, The Irresistible, The Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.
24 He is Allah, The Creator, The Evolver, The Bestower of Forms (or colors). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: Whatever is in the heavens and on earth doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, The Wise.
The All Wise, All Knowing Lord has chosen all kinds of ways to portray His Divine Message to mankind to guide them to the Straight Path; and He best Knows which is the best form of relaying His Diving Message to His slaves. As believers, we are satisfied with Allah being our Lord and with everything He does and Commands, we are satisfied with Islam being our deen, and we are satisfied with the Message He has chosen for our guidance. My dear and beloved brother in Islam, rest assured that if there was a better way for Allah Subhanah to address us and guide us to the Truth, The Lord Who is Absolutely and Unconditionally Perfect in all aspects, would have used it!
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,